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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

An Empire Falls

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Disappointing Yankees: Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter were part of the most expensive sports team ever assembled. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Last night the Boston Red Sox defied history and became the first baseball team to come from being down 3-0 to win a seven game playoff series. In their path was the dynastic team from New York.

Most everyone loves to hate the Yankees. Heck, Americans just plain love an underdog, especially when facing such a dominant power. The Yankees have had the Red Sox number since 1918, the last year Boston won the World Series. The Yankees, since obtaining Babe Ruth from the Sox in 1919 for a bucket of spit, have won 39 American League pennants and 26 World Series. For many fans, and I am not even talking baseball fans here, many sports fans simply wanted to see New York fall to the Sox.

Now, what I want of you fair reader, you the person cheering not so much the pennant won by the Sox but the demise of the Evil Empire, is to ask yourself why you are happy about last night's outcome.

Are you happy because the Yankees have the highest priced team? Are you happy because team owner George Steinbrenner gets what he deserves for investing over $200 million dollars on his roster? A total three times and more than many, many teams?

After all, Steinbrenner is applying pure American business strategy. He spends a lot because he makes a lot. He reinvests in his company. Surge forward, stomp out the competition. All that. He is about as American as it gets. Sorta like Kevin Costner who made it big and kept reinvesting in himself. Yet when it comes to sports and entertainment, Americans love to see teams and huge movie stars who have risen to the top fall. And fall hard. Remember how Costner rode his wave and captured two Oscars® in 1991 for Dances With Wolves? After that "every" movie-goer wanted to see him tank. And that they got with Waterworld. Much like sports fans, who this week wanted to see the Yankees fall hard in historical fashion, got with the Red Sox victory.

Losing four straight after being three outs from winning the pennant? The Empire is finished. Rejoice! yelled sports fans across America.

. . .

Now, I want you to consider why so many of these same Americans find it so hard to understand why America is so hated. Why so many want to see America crumble. Pretty easy to understand, isn't it?