But there’s something uniquely New York about the bombast and utter certainty with which Yankee fans and the media cover their guys – and my sense is that since 2004 it’s a key component of the existential dread Yankee fans feel each year when the Next Dynasty has failed to materialize.
This impacts more fan bases than just the Yankees, but the cognizant dissonance of Area Yankees Fan™ not just wanting a ring, but a dynasty
, makes it fun to watch them fall short of their own lofty and unrealistic expectations.
In 2022 the idea of teams being unbeatably elite and winning championships in bunches is less achievable. Being able to compete for a playoff spot and taking your chances once you're in is the new corner of the market to game and exploit.
There's toxic nostalgia baked into the Torre dynasty run of the mid-90's/early oughts, which was already propagandized by the MFY's 20's-50's and "twenty something rings" knee jerk rejoinders from decades of lazy WFAN Guy In The Car analysis, and decades of John Sterling and Michael Kay duking it out for worst home run calls in professional sports.
And that nostalgia built them a new stadium that scrubbed all previous personality out of the old place; I was shocked how joyless it was sitting there for a game this year with still-tortured feng shui of getting in and out of the place, and the mall food court quality of the food options, and the Mastercard logo everywhere you looked, and what sounded like drunk Fred Norris sound cues every second trying to get the party started. (The stadium-wide A-OOOOOO-GA submarine collision alarm with two strikes/two outs is especially horrific).
I think the deadly nostalgia is also amplified from generations of NY'ers ingesting a steady diet of George Steinbrenner's trolling legacy swagger to entitled fans during their last heyday (which honestly has the same heft and weight and sweaty energy of Trump tweets). I can't find the quote but that "I'm sorry the Sox didn't go the extra mile and care enough about their fans to compete" or whatever he posted at the height of the Sox/MFY rivalry is a prime example. He was the heel that pumped up the base when the Yankees were kings of the league.
Now it's 2022 and the Yankees fans that check in and show up to the Bronx for ALDS's are watching with this outsized manifest destiny and historic exceptionalism chip on their shoulders that has lasted for decades, and they think it's fun to boo FA-to-be Aaron Judge for doing what he always does
. Or to suddenly be mad that what brung them here (all-or-nothing softball beer league home run offense) isn't working against the best pitching in the league.
In the meantime sports media can dust off and trot out the same sepia-toned footage of Aaron Boone hitting a 2003 walkoff because *they too* are irradiated by this same nostalgia, and they want to will the undetermined sports narrative into Yankees teams of bygone eras.
Every year the Yankees lose they're a year further from reliving the golden years of a Guiliani New York City. Every year they lose their fans are once again the living embodiment of the Springsteen song "Glory Days." So yeah, whether there's a rivalry or not, MFY fans losing is the evergreen gift that keeps on giving.