The agony of yet another Yankee World Series triumph precipitated the realization that I could have had a happy, productive life had I been a Yankee fan.
I can’t blame my parents. My mother liked the Yankees and my father paid no attention to baseball. I can’t blame my environment. I grew up 20 miles outside of New York City and had the option of rooting for the Yankees, Giants, or Dodgers.
I became a passionate Dodger fan, but do not understand how or why. It was not a conscious choice. Something happened at age 5 — brain waves fired from the Planet Zork-El, or a spell cast by a sorcerer? I have no recollection. In any case for the next five years the Dodgers were the most important thing in my life. And what a miserable life compared to that of a Yankee fan:
Age 6 — Yankees beat the Dodgers in World Series, 4-1.
Age 7 — Dodgers lose pennant on last day of the season on Dick Sisler's 10th inning home run; Yankees win the World Series, 4-0.
Age 8 — Dodgers lose game three of the National League playoffs on Bobby Thompson's home run; Yankees win World Series, 4-2.
Age 9 — Yankees beat Dodgers in World Series, 4-3.
Age 10 — Yankees beat Dodgers in World Series, 4-2.
I have never recovered from these psychological scars.
Rooting for the Dodgers between 1949 and 1953 explains my bi-polar disorder, poor posture, bed-wetting, failure to rise above the rank of Pfc. in the Army Reserves, depression, irrational fear of beige tones, sleeping disorders, foolish venture investments, auto-immune diseases, ring-around-the-collar, schizophrenia, parking tickets, tennis elbow, hypertension, binge drinking, constipation, fallen soufflés, panic attacks, impotence, gambling losses, social awkwardness, obsessive-compulsive hand washing, three-putt greens, embarrassing body odors, bad hair days, and my infantile propensity to blame my problems on the performance of the Brooklyn Dodgers (1949-1953).
Life could have been different. Research reveals that Yankee fans in the 1950s were taller, richer, smarter, and more self-confident than Dodger fans. Therefore, had I been a Yankee fan, I would have been:
- Taller, at 6’ 6” a college basketball star and tapped for Skull and Bones.
- Richer, having invested in Xerox while in 8th grade.
- Smarter, receiving the same grades but with even less homework.
- More self confident, at ease with my constant success, free from self-doubts and trusting in myself and my abilities, remaining cool, calm, and self-assured no matter how difficult the problem or dire the predicament while displaying the cavalier sang-froid of a double-O operative.
Had I been a Yankee fan, I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody. That is the tragedy of my life.
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