Friday, October 8, 2010

Why I Am a Yankees' Fan

I am often asked why I am a Yankees' fan because I am a middle class guy from Milwaukee, WI with no apparent ties to the richest team in baseball from the big city of New York. Why would a person who has been raised a die hard Brewers' fan even consider rooting for a team like the Yankees? I mean, can the two teams be any different? The Brewers are a small market team that has never won a World Series, hadn't been to the playoffs in 26 years until 2008, and has a dismal reputation for losing. The Yankees, on the other hand, have won 27 world titles and make winning another title their goal every season. Why, then, do I root for both?

The answer as to why I root for the Brewers is simple: I am from Milwaukee, I love this city, and I love its teams. I bleed Packer green and gold (yes, I know they are not from Milwaukee) and I grew up attending Brewers' games. I was a fan through the bad years, which made making the playoffs in '08 that much more rewarding. I have attended Brewers' Spring Training, met the players and coaches, and have experienced more in baseball through following the team than I ever imagined I would have been able to in my lifetime.

Why the Yankees, then? Why, you may ask, do I shamelessly follow, cheer for, defend, and admire a team I have seen play live so rarely that I can count them on one hand? To answer that, I have to take you back to September 11, 2001. When the planes hijacked by terrorists hit the World Trade Center, I was in 8th grade English class. I remember watching television live when the second plane hit, and just being dumbfounded by what I was seeing. My heart went out to the people in the planes, in New York, their families, and to the whole country. I remember when baseball canceled its games for a few days so that the nation could get itself in order, so that we could figure out what we needed. And when play resumed, the Yankees were in the thick of playoff race.

The New York Mets were out of the playoff race and the Yankees were receiving most of the attention from the national media as the New York team who was in the thick of a baseball season and a national catastrophe. I did not watch a lot of the playoffs that year since I was still in school and working on homework or in bed as the games were being played; but each morning I checked the paper or SportsCenter to see how the Yankees did. As the weeks dragged on (as MLB playoffs usually do), I started to get more and more excited until they reached their fourth World Series in a row (they had won 1998-2000).

This is when I really fell in love with the Yankees. Led by Derek Jeter, whose late game heroics had earned him the nickname Mr. November (because of the 9/11 attacks, the playoffs spilled into the month of November) and great role players like Tino Martinez and Paul O'Neill. I stayed up and watched every game I could until I got too tired to watch or my parents made me go to bed. My dad started watching more with me and it became a great bonding time for us, cheering for this team that we both had felt indifferent about before like it was our own beloved Brewers.

That leads me to Game 4, October 31, 2001. The Yankees were down by 2 with 2 outs and a runner on. The Diamondbacks closer was Byung-Hyun Kim, who at the time was one of the best closers in baseball. Tino Martinez, the veteran First Baseman came to the plate. I remember my mom had gone to bed, my siblings were asleep, and it was just my dad and me sitting in the dimly lit basement watching the Yankees (down 2 games to 1 in the series) trying to make a miraculous comeback to tie the series. Kim through his nasty submarine pitch and Martinez swung, smashing the ball over the right-center outfield wall. My dad and I sprang to our feet cheering and jumping up and down. He picked me up as I fist pumped the air as if I was the one who had kept New York alive for another inning. The Yankees would go on to win the game 4-3, but lose the series in 7 games.

Now I ask you, how could you even attempt to pretend memories like that do not have a factor in whom you root for? To be able to share that moment, that game, that series with my dad is something I would never trade for the entire Yankees' payroll. Ever since then, I was hooked. I couldn't pretend that I was indifferent to the Yankees like I was before; I was a fan, a die-hard fan. When the Yankees came to Miller Park in 2005 to play the Brewers, I couldn't decice which team to root for, so I wore a Brewers' T-shirt and a Yankees' baseball cap to the game I attended (the Crew won 3-2 on a Junior Spivey 2-run home run off of Randy Johnson).

"The Yankees buy all their talent" and "You are so cliche for liking the Yankees" are examples of criticism I get all the time. I enjoy the banter, the friendly arguments, and the satisfaction of when my Yankees win against my friends' teams. However, no feeling I have now can match the connection I had to the Yankees, baseball, or my dad that October night. Say what you want about the Yankees and my admiration for them, but nothing can take that memory away from me, nor make me disown the Yankees. So for that moment, I thank baseball, the Yankees, and my dad, and say a big IN YOUR FACE to all opponents who fall to the best team in baseball.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

When I Say I Love You

Whenever I tell you that I love you,
I mean so much more than what is spoken.
My true emotions fill those words so few
With this truth: without you I am broken.
When I say that commonly spoken phrase,
I am quite sure that you misunderstand
That I am telling you for all my days
I want you next to me holding my hand.
And when I tell you that I love you so,
Nothing could ever be more true than this:
I will stand with you through times high and low
And will always be there with true love's kiss.
So next time I say it is you I love,
It is as sure as the sun shines above.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Time Goes Slow and I Drag On

Time goes slow and I drag on
Awaiting the strike of Three.
Then I will be able to leave this place;
At last I will be free.

The things I could do if I weren't bound
To sit here and waste my time!
I am confident that stealing life
Is a harsh and terrible crime.

The lecture sucks my energy,
My drive is nearly gone
To even do the thinks I want;
Or to lay out in the lawn.

So I sit here and write
My earnest pleas for strength
And determination to get through
This class, 50 minutes in length.


I sit and guard when life is through
And make sure you are not forgotten.
When family and friends forget to come
I make sure you are not forgotten.

When your soul moves to hell or heaven
I stay with your remains.
I stand tall and proud in your place
Proclaiming to the world your names.

I show who you were and may be still;
I tell all about your life.
I also list off your loved ones dear:
Your parents, children, and wife.

My image may strike fear to many,
But they do not realize
That I am here to guard them
Until He comes from the skies.
Dear Friends,

As many of you know, second semester for some reason always is stressful, dramatic, and just an overall nightmare. Believe me, nobody knows this better than me. After pondering why this is for a good, long while I believe I have reached a substantial theory: second semester sucks worse than first semester because there is nothing to look forward to in the summer like there is during winter (Christmas). Now, along with this, I have devised a solution. If we move Christmas to the middle of summer, second semester won't suck.

Think about it; when we leave for winter break, we are all happy and cheerful because we are home for Christmas. When we leave for summer, what can we say? We're home for the frickin' 4th of July? Whoopdy Doo! Here's what we do: we take Christmas and put it in late June, early August. Then we are happy because we have a more substantial holiday in the middle of break. I'm not saying that the Fourth is not substantial, but honestly, New Years is pretty substantial and no one says they're excited to be home for New Years! No! They're glad to be home for Christmas! Ok, so we moved Christmas. Now we take Thanksgiving and move it up three weeks.
Now we're home for Thanksgiving and New Years, instead of the pointless Thanksgiving break in November that a certain RA had to stay on campus for. Now look! We've eliminated a pointless break, and made summer vacation and second semester ending more enjoyable and less stressful because now there's something to look forward to in both breaks! There problem solved!

Oh and to all you who say Christmas needs snow... the carols are wonderful and all, but think of all the wonderful new music can be written by changing the date. And if you're celebrating Christmas for the right reasons, snow shouldnt matter.

Opening Day

I stand in the tunnel and take it all in
The cheer of the crowd, the breeze on my skin
The crack of the bat, the flight of the ball
The first game of the year, the sweetest of all
The players are fresh and our hopes are high
The spring sun is warm and high in the sky
The anthem is sung, the crowd on its feet
"Play ball!" says the ump, and we all take our seats
"Strike one!" is the call and we give out a cheer
For the first, long-awaited pitch of the year
The innings fly by and I'm keeping score
My team is winning, but we want to see more
Our lead slips away, but we never need pout
'Cause in the bottom half, Casey hit the game winner out.


So easy to believe
And easier to tell
It's a masterful skill
To make it sell well

Directed at friends
And enemies alike
Some out of love
And others out of spite

Told in different ways
To anyone at all
Just don't get caught
Trust will then fall
The strength of a few words surprises most
When they suddenly pierce the back and ears.
Consumed in frustration, they become lost,
Their lives filled with silent emotional tears.
Slander and hatred have achieved their goal
By ruining their target’s former trust
While tormenting and ravaging their soul.
The damage is done, friendship starts to rust.
Emptiness abounds, happiness is gone,
A Brutus among friends ruins any joy;
Thriving on drama, playing with its pawn,
Treating its victim as a worthless toy.
A life is upended with words unkind,
Proving quality friends are hard to find.

Friday, May 7, 2010

On Sleepless Nights I Lay In Thought

On sleepless nights I lay in thought
Of what our future holds;
I think of days spent hiking
In fields of marigolds.

And I think of traveling far and wide
To wherever we desire to go.
Taking our love on a world tour
From Paris to Cancun, Mexico.

Then I think of our future family
And what our children will do.
I think they'll be happy and grow
To hopefully be more like you.

And as I grow more sleepy
My thoughts drift even more to you,
And how much I adore your smile
And everything you do.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Will Live the Rhyme

In the time it takes you to read this,
What else could you have done?
Perhaps you could taken a walk
And enjoyed the summer sun?

Or maybe you could have called your mother,
Whom you haven't seen for quite a while,
And told her how much you miss her cooking;
(You know that would make her smile).

You could have even picked some flowers
For the sweetheart you hold dear;
It's been forever since you've done that;
Why are you still sitting here?

The weeds in your garden are growing fast
And your grass is getting long.
You could go out and be productive
Instead of reading this absurd song.

When's the last time you played catch
With your son, brother, friend?
Your glove is sitting on your shelf;
Right there, there on the end.

When's the last time you enjoyed your life
And actually thought of being alive?
Do you realize there's meaning for you,
Goals for which you need to strive?

Have you noticed the leaves turning green
and the fields are in full bloom?
I know I'd rather be out there
instead of this suppressive room.

The World is really a beautiful place
When you really stop to ponder.
But we waste it away by sitting around;
How can we do this? I wonder...

Well I don't know about you, reader,
Sitting there wasting time,
But I am through with idleness;
I will live the life of rhyme.

I will live my poetry, instead of write it;
I refuse to waste away.
Are you through as well, my friend?
Tell me, what will you go do today?