New York Needs ‘Damn Yankees’ to Win it Again

Have you ever seen the musical, ?Damn Yankees!?? It?s the story about?well, I forget what the plot is about. But I remember that the dad was a fan of the now-defunct Washington Senators. He hated the New York Yankees because they always won, and they always beat the Senators. That?s where the title of the play comes from? the dad yelling at those ?Damn Yankees!?

When I saw that play several years ago, I didn?t think much of it, because the Yankees were not a powerhouse team back then.

Now, having won three straight World Series, four of the last five, and having defeated the Seattle Mariners in the American League Championship Series, four games to one, to reach another World Series, many will want to think that same thing? Those ?Damn Yankees!?

I am not a Yankees fan. I wish someone would beat them. I wanted the New York Mets to win the World Series last year and was disappointed when they didn?t.

However, with the attack on New York on Sept. 11, I now almost hope the Yankees win it all.

New York City needs it. Even though Yankee Stadium is located in the Bronx, Manhattan needs it. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani needs it. New York Gov. George Pataki needs it.

Everywhere, we see hats and shirts with the letters FDNY or NYPD, honoring those who lost their lives trying to save others that dreadful morning. Even the Salt Lake City Fire Department has gotten in on it, selling its shirts and hats to help benefit those fallen victims and their families.

Benefit concerts are still going strong over a month after the attacks. Madison Square Garden was filled for a benefit concert organized by Paul McCartney last weekend to honor those people.

Patriotism all over the nation is still in high gear. At sporting events, people are still waving American flags and holding signs that say ?God bless America.?

It was a special moment when, on Sept. 24, Monday Night Football made its scheduled visit to Giants Stadium for the game between the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers actually won that game, but the pre-game festivities rivaled those seen at the Super Bowl. Luther Vandross sang a beautiful rendition of the ?Star-Spangled Banner.? American flags were everywhere. They brought an enormous flag and held it across the field. The flag was almost the size of the field itself, which is 100 yards by 52-1/3 yards. The Jets players talked about their feelings in interviews.

The clean-up of the fallen towers is still going on and will be for quite a long time. My mom and sister recently visited New York, something they?ve done several times in the past. They told me how different it seemed to be there and how not seeing the two World Trade Towers standing tall was so strange.

I have been to New York City more than once, and I?ve stood on top of one of the towers. It hurt to see them fall.

The Yankees are a big part of New York City. That?s part of the visit?to go to a Yankees game at the world-famous Yankee Stadium. They?ve been around for a long time. Baseball legends like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle played there.

Now, those two are long gone, but other Yankee legends, like Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams, are taking their place. I don?t know if Jeter and Williams rank up there with Ruth and Mantle, but they?re good?very good. They are helping the Yankees take care of business.

With the uncertainties of the future, like the fighting in Afghanistan and the Anthrax scare, people need something to hold on to. People want to be happy and cheer for something. Certainly, they are cheering for our armed forces in the Middle East, but they need something more.

Baseball is America?s pastime. It has been for a long time. It may not be the most popular sport in the United States, but it is still our pastime.

So, now that the Yankees have knocked off the Oakland Athletics and the Mariners, many people will cringe at the fact that the Yankees will just not lose in the Playoffs.

But, if the Yankees win the World Series any year, let this be the year. Let New Yorkers cheer about something. They need it. They?ve been through something more tragic than has ever been experienced in the United States to date. They were blind-sided, sucker punched. Let them cheer.

I?m not saying that no one else in the United States is suffering because of the attacks. I am just hoping to give New Yorkers something to cheer about, something they desperately need.

Lance welcomes feedback at: [email protected].