Some Weekends, I wish I wasn’t a Sports Fan

These are the kind of headlines I’m used to as a New York sports fan…

When it comes to reading the newspaper, I tend to leave out all the sections that highlight “bad” news: News, Business, International, and frequently, Metropolitan. When I’m done sorting “bad” news sections from “good” news pages, I’m left with Sports and Arts/Style. Probably, to most people it would seem I get very little “real” news at all from my daily New York Times. Of course I beg to differ.

Sports and Art are the core of my being and the principle sources of my income, after all.

When you’re a New York sports fan, you’re not used to getting bad news. Mediocre news. Tragic news. Great news. Yes, all of those. But not bad news. And certainly not bad news on a regular basis about all your favorite teams at once. It’s one of the great advantages to being in a metro area with a professional sport franchise in every division in every league — even when one team in one sport is having a losing streak, another team in another (and sometimes the same) sport is on a winning run.

But then Mariano Rivera twisted his knee.

It was the domino that started the cascade. Sure, a day later the front page of the section ran with that quintessential photo of Mo running to the field from the bullpen and the headliner quote: “I’m coming back. Write it down in big letters.”

But that was the only spark of good news.

Rangers Fall Flat

Bats Go Quiet as Yankees Lose Again

For Rangers, Questions and Negative Answers

End is Likely for Knicks

Back when the Knicks Won One

I felt like someone had swapped out my Sunday Sports for the week’s Wall Street Recap. Were these articles secretly about Enron and Goldman Sachs? Because surely, they couldn’t be about my Yanks and Rangers!?

Luckily, by Tuesday, thanks to an overtime goal and 10 runs in Kansas City, the sports section is once again safe to read and chock full of good news.

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What Superbowl XLVI Revealed About my Relationship History

I'm armed with my Giants t-shirt. Too bad my date rooted for the Patriots.

Who would have thought a Superbowl Game could reveal so much about my romantic history? Gearing up for this weekend’s New York-New England showdown put me face-to-face with a startling trend in my dating habits.  Apparently, there’s a part of me that’s a masochist, because as I look down the timeline of relationships and dates past, all this Yankee sees is a string of New Englanders in their Red Sox caps and Patriots jerseys.

I was still carrying the bag housing my freshly-purchased Giants t-shirt when I met Robert for drinks. Robert and I seemed a nice fit. Putting aside his boyish good looks, he was an artist and environmentalist, and for both of these I have a particular soft spot. But then the trouble begins. Robert is a Rhode Island born, Vermont educated Patriots fan. I am a Giants fan (newly-minted, albeit, but still a fan), and when our discussion turned to the pending Superbowl, we both started to get prickly.

It's a modern day, sports world Romeo and Juliet. If they can make it work, why can't I?

The story of Romeo & Juliet is one of the most over romanticized in the history of English literature, and yet I find myself destined to play the part of the New York Montague consistently attracted to a New England Capulet.

That boy my senior year of high school. My first love in college. The last 4 guys I’ve been on at least one date with. Red Sox fan after Patrios fan after Bruins fan after Harvard alum. It’s my tragic flaw – I always seem to fall hardest for men who root for my teams’ arch-rivals.

I blame New York men, mostly, for this. If New Yorkers canoed more, if they were more transcendental, if they had served time on turkey farms  in their youth, I might find it easier to fall for one of my own men in pinstripes. But there’s something about that rugged New Englander with a well-worn copy of Walden in his back pocket and a knack for layering sweaters that I find totally irresistible.

Given my type, this may very well have to be my wedding cake.

Luckily, Robert hates baseball, so if anything comes of this, I won’t wake up to find my Jeter t-shirt slashed to bits or my traveling Yankee gnome beheaded.

Back in 2008, when my MA thesis advisor recommended I apply to Harvard for my doctorate, I practically spat at her:

“I’m a New Yorker! I can’t live in a city that roots for the Red Sox.”

In the wake of Superbowl 2012 and what it reveals about my dating history, it occurred to me that this may have been a foolish display of stubbornness. In December, I’ll be applying again for PhD programs. I suppose I’d better apply to some Boston schools, because apparently this pinstriped Juliet is in the wrong city to find her Romeo.

I’m Sorry, I Can’t Meet You for a Drink. It’s the Post Season.

I travel with a Yankee garden gnome named Jorge.

Most girls would scoff at the thought of staying home on a Friday night to watch a baseball game in lieu of meeting a witty, model-good-looking, 6-foot, D-1 ball player turned Ivy-League Law student turned successful litigator for drinks.

But then again, I’m not like most girls. I’ve got my priorities straight.

The first app I downloaded was MLB Lite. I travel around the world with a Yankee garden gnome, tenderly christened Jorge. There are 3 pictures on the pushpin board of my office at work – one of a Japanese maple, one of the old Yankee Stadium, and one of Alex Rodriguez at the plate, from behind.

Is it really a surprise that when faced with a choice between the first game of the American League Division Series, the NY Yankees vs. the Detroit Tigers, and a first date with Mr. Perfect on Paper that I would chose Game 1?

The photo hanging over my computer at work -- A-Rod at the plate, from behind. Thank you telephoto lens

My diehard allegiance to the Bronx Bombers has been both the impetus and executioner’s axe of many a potential relationship. I once dated a boy who worked for the YES Network with the principal aim of securing season tickets. “What team do you root for?” is one of my 10 essential “get to know a person questions.” I can accept Phillies fans. Mets fans I have little tolerance for. Blue Jays fans I forgive because they’re probably Canadian and have no alternative home teams to root, root, root for. Red Sox fans?

Well, see exhibit 1:

Me: “I’m tired of dating smart boys. Enough with Rhodes Scholars. I want someone stupid.”

Friend: “Well then, I’ve got the guy for you. He’s a Red Sox Fan!”

Me: “Perfect.”

It's the Post Season, and my team has a 28th World Series to win

To some men, a girl who rain-checks dinner because she wants to watch “the game” at home with her friends (and garden gnome) is the holy grail. To others, it’s confusing — who wears the pants in this romance?

As the grounds keepers pulled the tarp over the Yankee Stadium infield Friday night and news filtered in that the game would be postponed, a friend turned to ask if rescheduling drinks with Mr. Perfect-on-Paper was worth it?

“Did you see C.C.’s last inning?” I cried.

To this she could offer no retort. A first drink with Mr. Perfect-on-Paper wasn’t going to be the only date rescheduled in October. It’s the Post Season, after all, and my team has a 28th World Series to win.