Shooting Airballs at an Imaginary Basket

Jose Vilson 3 Comments

As my first decree of totally partiality, I am a Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan, and when I’m in the mood, the Rangers, too. Yes, it’s a bias that I assumed environmentally; I live in / love Manhattan, and even if the rest of the city treats the Lower East Side like an annex of Brooklyn, it’s still my home.

Living in this city, I’m used to too many extremes; either I have an awesome team and a garbage team, or a heartbreaking team and a lovable team. Yes, for those of you with only one or two teams to choose from, bear with me.

The question that always comes up in the months of October, January, and May (baseball, football, and basketball, respectively) is what every team asks when their team hasn’t won the ‘chip in a while: is it really better to have a team that’s good but comes close every single year or just have a terrible team so you have no expectations for them?

Most of my friends and I were coming of age a little before the late 90’s Yankees dynasty.Yankees There were 2 truths that everyone stuck by: 1) The Braves were always going to whoop the NL with Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz, and 2) Don Mattingly was never going to win a ring for us. It was just the truth. When the Yankees finally on one in ’96, the Yankees HAD to do it right after Donnie Baseball retired. The stars were not aligned for that man.

And they kept winning and winning, and it was awesome. Then, they didn’t win one in 2001, and ’02, and … now we’re wondering if A-Rod and Jeter will ever sleep over in each other’s cribs again.

Patrick EwingThat dynasty started, though, just as Patrick Ewing went on the decline. Unlike Don Mattingly, Patrick Ewing had a team that at least took them to the Finals a couple of times. A few brawls, a ton of missed layups, and a whole lotta Bull later, we have a team that can’t even wipe their sandals. I would rather have P.J. Brown flip over Charlie Ward a few more times before I ever heard of a Knicks team playing under .500. That’s preposterous.

The easy answer is to say that I’d rather have a team that’s winning all the time and has a chance for a championship. What happens, though, when that team is constantly winning, but never climaxing? At least if they kept losing all the time, there’d be no reason to actually go and tease yourself by cheering for them.

I’m sure there’s plenty of Royals fans swooning for George Brett, Arizona Cardinals fans giving me dirty looks, and Orlando Magic fans still mad at Shaq (Penny feels your pain). Not many empathize with me, but with only a couple of weeks until this new baseball season begins, I wonder if this is just another season full of hot air for the Yanks (because the Giants and Knicks aren’t going anywhere for a while), or will they keep me sedated for one more season.

jose, a fan ever since patrick ewing graced the garden

p.s. Jerome James’ nickname after watching him play only 4 minutes in a starting role for the umpteenth time in a NYK uniform: Big Weezy

Jerome James

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 3

  1. angelamichelle

    ya know… the giants and the knicks and the yanks have always been favourites of mine, alongside my beloved pistons, wings and tigers.

    *lions? what is a lion? i’m not understanding what you’re saying…*

    anywho… for me, i love the games. i love the skills shown by players from my home team and those abroad. i like sports period, although i am admittedly a fair weather fan (meaning i follow scores, i don’t necessarily watch all the games) and claim no extreme loyalty to any one team… although if you talk about rip, i’m liable to get a lil heated. HA!

    mad you brought up penny though. now that’s just wrong.

    great post as always.

  2. pre_k

    hell with what you heard the giants play in east rutherford NJ… thats right dirty jerz. and just because i am a hater.. BOOOOOOOO to the yankees.. its about the mets simple as that.

  3. teana

    funny how the talk disintergrated all the way down to a soap opera. it’s like bronx junior high now. so sad. though you know my theories about what needs to happen, they better prove me wrong though.

    i’m just hoping for a championship season. i don’t know how many more “almosts” i can endure.

    coming from the bay we’ve got the “almost a’s,” the gents, warriors and the ever pathetic shells of their former glorious selves, niners and raiders. life has not been easy for the bay area sports fan.

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