I am surprised to find myself defending Rudy Guiliani, but here I am.
I support his decision to root for the Red Sox in the World Series. But the New York papers crucified him for it yesterday. The New York Daily News headline screamed “Traitor!”.
When your team doesn’t make it into the playoffs or the World Series, it’s natural to root for your division or league. When the Orioles were sitting at home in October, I used to root for the Yankees. No one considered it disloyal to the Orioles. If your team got beat in the season, you want them to have been beaten by the best.
But Yankee fans don’t root for the Yankees — they root against everyone else. The fan hostility against the visiting team is palpable in Yankee Stadium. Its a completely different vibe than I experienced growing up as a Baltimore Oriole fan.
Later, attending games at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, the Milwaukee Brewer fans rooted for their team like civilized fans, even when the White Sox were in town. (Okay, maybe emotions were a little higher when the White Sox were visiting.)
Go on, Rudy, root away!