[Pictured: I couldn’t find an image of Spencer Tracy as the Yankee-loving Cuban from the movie of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, but this reenactment from the CSTB photo dept pretty much sums it up.]
Fueling the fire for Yankee fans who like to bash The New York Times as anti-Bomber comes today’s column by … well I don’t know what Joe Queenan has been doing since he used to be an all around crank about middle-brow culture, and I can’t read his Wikipedia page just now as my kid is throwing popsicle sticks at the TV … but like politicians and prostitutes who all become respectable with age, any writer hanging around New York City long enough ends up in The New York Times. Queenan offers up a solid anti-Yankee fan rant (via @gregmitch) here on the literary faux pas of assuming you’ll sympathize with any character in literature who loves the Yankees. The column began as Queenan read David Benioff’s City of Thieves, or at least the first two pages thereof:
The narrator, the young boy™s grandson, reveals on Page 2 that after the war, his grandfather came to America and became a œdevout New York Yankees fan. I found this revelation crushing. The idea that someone who had escaped the siege of Leningrad would then voluntarily join the evil empire in the Bronx struck me as repellent. So I set the book aside and donated it to my library. Maybe some Yankees fan would enjoy it. I sure as hell wouldn™t.
I do not object to Yankees fans in principle, so long as they are homegrown, preferably natives of the Bronx or Yonkers. (Yankees fans born in Queens or Brooklyn, it goes without saying, are Iscariots.) But those of us who grew up in fiendishly inbred sports towns like Philadelphia, Cleveland, St. Louis and even Boston cannot stomach the kind of parvenu, out-of-town front-runner who becomes a œdie-hard Yankees fan without any moral, cultural, ethnic, genetic or geographical connection with the team. And like most Americans, I reserve my greatest antipathy for the millions of bogus Yankees fans in the pink or green or red Yankees caps one routinely runs across in London, Rome, Sydney, Stockholm and Mombasa. Or, if driving, runs over.