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Posted July 14, 2005

Where are all the Yankee Fans?

By Kevin Devlin

     There has been a giant transformation within the psyche of the Yankee fan who happens to call New England his home. Their voices have been silenced, their bravado dissipated like water on a hot, steamy day, their arrogance tamed-subdued like a lion in a cage.

     If one listens to WEEI Sports radio, this phenomenon is happily discussed by Red Sox Nation advocates. Perennial WEEI caller Frank, an old timer, toothless wonder from Gloucester, who has been an avid Bronx Bomber fan for years, suddenly stopped bellowing on the radio. His voice was silenced like the bats of the Yankees.

     His beloved Yanks are in a funk, and he has nothing to say. Now, only once in a while, he calls up, but with the Yankees in second place, I guess he just can’t seem to summons the nerve to call up and berate Red Sox Nation. He certainly can’t applaud the Yankees at this point in time. And Frank personifies all the local Yankee fans that have suddenly stopped calling WEEI because they have nothing to say, nothing to defend or brag about.

     Last year after the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 seasons, another phenomenon occurred in Southie. Longtime and outspoken Yankees fan, our own lovable Matt Sances, disappeared for about a month. Always available for heart-wrenching comments at Mirisolas or Sals Restaurants, Matt was now missing, silent as the night. He was gone, like the glory that was the Bronx. Without notice he was like the Invisible Man, nowhere to be found.

     But being good and humble winners, when Matt found enough courage to return to his favorite restaurant sites, we really didn’t give him any grief about his momentary and ostensibly timely disappearance. He was never questioned as to where he was, however, why he disappeared was never questioned, because we knew why. We left him alone because we were still too busy enjoying the moment. 

     Last week I asked Matt about his self-imposed exile from the local scene after the World Series last October. Matt pleaded innocent, pleaded ignorance of the matter, stating he never hit the mattresses like the Godfather’s soldiers did when hiding from their enemies. He vowed that he never eluded the mighty Red Sox fans or their wrath. He said that it really didn’t matter. He denied everything.

     But that’s not the general consensus of what really happened because it did matter to our young, erudite sports enthusiast and teacher. Indeed, Matt did take an unannounced vacation.

     Guy Mirisola, own of Mirisolas’ Restaurant on the corner of “L” Street and East Eight Street, felt that Matt’s inexplicable, brief departure due to the Red Sox incredible win, and historic downfall of the Evil Empire, was evident and indisputable.

     “All of a sudden, I didn’t see Matt for an entire month,” said Guy. “I guess he just couldn’t face the music, as they say. But that’s the best thing he could have done at the time. If he was around right after the Red Sox Series win, we would have been relentless, hammering him for his allegiance to the hated Yankees.”

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