Anyone watch the Yankees' trophy celebration after winning the American League Championship Series? It was painfully corporate and choreographed. In stark contrast to how the Phils handled things last week, there was no acknowledgment of, or interaction with, their fans - no sense of unity.
Even more galling: The Bombers started hawking American League Championship merchandise on MLB.com before they beat the Angels. Maybe it was a computer glitch, an honest mistake - but I doubt it.
Just add those unfortunate incidents to New York's overall distasteful history. (Speaking of: Shane Victorino in a skirt? The N.Y. tabloids never disappoint.) The city's rank sense of entitlement may have been perfected by Yankees fans, but it dates all the way back to the 17th century, when some opportunistic and amoral businessmen aced a bunch of Native Americans out of their homes. In 1626, the Dutch West India Co. dispatched a soulless representative named Peter Minuit to New York to acquire as much cheap land as possible on behalf of the company. Boy did he come through.
Armed with trinkets valued at 60 guilders - the equivalent of $24 - Minuit bought Manhattan from a group of Native Americans who thought they were simply renting a portion of the island to their strange, pale visitors. If Minuit had been born a few centuries later, he would have been a Steinbrenner.
No wonder George Washington abandoned New York many years later during the Battle of Long Island. Sure it made strategic sense at the time, but I suspect he simply didn't want to spend another day in New York. (The hotel rates are outrageous.)
According to David McCullough's brilliant book 1776 - which I highly recommend - Washington's ragtag revolutionaries were trying to hold off a large force of British troops that arrived from England in late August of that year. It didn't go well. The Americans suffered heavy casualties - more than 1,000 men, including 700 who were taken prisoner (compared with fewer than 400 losses for the British). Under the cover of thick fog, Washington and his soldiers retreated across the East River to Manhattan and later fled from there, too.
Some 13 years later, long after the last Union Jack was folded up and shipped back to not so merry old England, Washington returned to New York to be sworn in as the first president of this fine land. Saving N.Y.C. from imperial rule was arguably his biggest mistake. He should have just let the Brits have it.
All the condescension and pretention that took root in New York over the years would have been a crisis for the crown to solve today. I'd love to see the queen figure out how to handle Yankees fans. God save her.
Instead, Bombers backers are, sadly, America's problem. So are countless other plagues that germinated in the city that never sleeps. Ruthless murderer and mobster Al Capone terrorized Chicago for years, but was born in N.Y.C. So was street magician-global embarrassment David Blaine. Both have committed criminal acts against the public.
New York also proudly claims responsibility for pop culture blights Mariah Carey and Vin Diesel; Stephon "Starbury" Marbury, the former basketball player turned Internet video sob story; tireless self-promoter Sean Combs/Puff Daddy/Puffy/P. Diddy/Diddy/TBA; yammering ninnies Keith Olbermann and Sean Hannity; hate peddler Ann Coulter; father of the atomic bomb Robert Oppenheimer; and, worst of all, Lindsay Lohan.
N.Y.C. should also be blamed for the insipid, endless Gangs of New York. That's three hours of my life I'll never get back. They should have just killed Leo an hour and a half in for all sorts of reasons, Titanic not the least among them.
Even the Statue of Liberty, the very symbol of American freedom, rankles a bit. It was finished in France in 1884 and shipped across the Atlantic as a gift to commemorate our country's independence as well as signal Franco-American friendship. Joy. If we've learned anything since then, it's that the French are swell pals who are always there when you need them. Polite, too.
People talk about how Philadelphians have a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to New York, but when you consider the respective histories, it seems pretty obvious that our city is superior. The Liberty Bell may have a crack in it, but that's only because it got dropped outside Paddy's Pub on a pretty sweet episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Plus, does New York have a a clothespin statue or a Ben Franklin impersonator who popped up on the Food Network to judge a cheesesteak competition? It does not.
Anyway, I'll leave you with a quote from the venerable Mark Twain, who wrote and said a lot of smart things during his time: "There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
A lot more people live in N.Y.C. than in Philly. Just sayin'.