The New York sports landscape is so unlike any other one in this country, it’s mind boggling.
Other places have newspapers; we have tabloids. The New York Post, the New York Daily News and Newsday all qualify as such because of their presentation, as well as their style.
Other places have passionate fans; we have the most fickle. Don’t believe me? Philadelphia fans are the craziest and most outrageous by far, but they’ll go to games if their team isn’t playing well because they’re devoted unconditionally.
But there are so many things to do, see, eat, drink and smell (homeless people’s urine being a major one) in New York City, your favorite team has to be a winning one if you’re going to spend your valuable time going or money to see it play. The Yankees – the most successful team in sports – drew three million people in a season for the first time in 1998. But they needed to win 114 games to do it. They only hit four million in 2001, after 10 straight winning season.
The media and people in general here are just innately more critical than everyone else.
If you’re a person of prominence in New York, you’re going to get ripped, trashed, and/or slandered at least once. And I don’t mind the constant bitching and moaning.
But with sports teams, the constant nit-picking makes me nauseous.
There have been people who have called sports talk radio shows in New York City imploring the Yankees to get rid of Mariano Rivera. Yes, Mariano “The greatest closer in the history of the world” Rivera.
I’m all for free speech. But Lord, some people need to turn down their psychosis a tad.
I’m referring to two Internet message boards most St. John’s basketball fans are familiar with.
One (Redmen.com) is mostly fair, but the main posters lean on the idealistic side of things most of the time. No problem with that. What I do have a problem with is the suspension of any new-member registration. The moderators don’t want trolls (message board speak for individuals who get their kicks insulting and bemoaning everything and anything, including other posters). But there are means to weed them out and still have a free discussion about St. John’s basketball.
The other Internet meeting place (Bigeastboards.com) promotes 100-percent free speech. However, some of the people on there need to get a grip. The same goes for some members of the Redmen.com message board, as well.
A message to those people: Norm Roberts is not getting fired after this year. It’s not going to happen, nor should it. He will be the Red Storm’s head coach for the foreseeable future.
And no, not every St. John’s loss spells doomsday, just like not every win means the NCAA Tournament this year. Or the NIT for that matter.
I don’t think people’s reactions on these two boards are strange. New Yorkers live and die with every home run or three-pointer or touchdown. And there’s nothing wrong with it.
But when you start criticizing everyone and every thing without rhyme or reason, it’s childish. Not everyone will agree with you. It doesn’t make them wrong, and it doesn’t make you wrong.
Is Norm Roberts going to succeed at St. John’s? No one knows that for certain. He does have three nice recruits coming in next year though, doesn’t he?
And when you start writing on a message board that you’re done with the team, because they played an awful game or had a bad year or hired someone you feel is the wrong coach, how does that make you a real fan?
It doesn’t. You’re not. You know what it does mean?
You need to grab a clue and – for your own health – just take it easy.