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From the week of October 16, 2003

Yanks for the Memories

Finders, keepers:Bill Gallo, I'm sure I'm not the only reader taken aback by your harsh words about the World's Greatest Baseball Team in the October 9 "Yanks a Lot." Fatal dose of West Nile, plane crashing -- are you for real? Like a professional businessperson goes into a meeting expecting to close the deal, here come the Yankees expecting to be the world champions once again. Get over the paychecks; they earn them. The comment that Yankee fans should be confined to New York is ludicrous. I've lived from Boston to Hawaii, and Yankee fans are everywhere.

I guess the sold-out shows at Coors should speak for themselves. A ballgame ticket, $40; beers and a hat, $50. Watching the Yankees crush their competitors: priceless.

Adrian O'Leary
Lakewood

Losers, weepers:Bill Gallo's hatchet job of the New York Yankees was a Westword gaffe. His ill-willed comparison of the world's tyrants (Hitler and bin Laden) to the New York Yankees was utterly distasteful. I cannot speak for the large Jewish and Islamic communities in New York, but I can guess that others also find disgust in Gallo's uninformed comments laced with a bad attitude.

Gallo's own "cocky, strutting" attitude gives him the misguided sense that he has the journalistic license to slander and put words into the head/mouth of Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams. Gallo conjectures that Williams's attitude toward the Minnesota Twins is "Who do you farmers think you are, anyway?" Nothing in Williams's humble upbringings in San Juan, nor his quiet demeanor as a New York Yankee, would indicate that he looks down on his competitors. The inconsistencies of Gallo's column continue by referring to the Yankees as "regal, sophisticated, Chateaubriand-eating New Yorkers," but then a few paragraphs later, he portrays the Yankee community in a different class as those who have "eaten hot pastrami or jumped a turnstile in the subway at midnight."

Many people may find George Steinbrenner as "irksome" as Gallo does, but like Steinbrenner or not, his commitment as an owner to winning baseball games for himself, for his team and for his fans has proven results. Gallo should understand this with his comment that "Americans embrace all winners." I wish that Colorado Rockies owner Charlie Monfort had an inkling of Steinbrenner's desire to win. Yankees fans have never accepted the status quo, and they've been vocal about it. If the Yankees are booed at home by their fans, it's because Yankees fans care about winning.

Would the committed ownership and rabid fans of the Broncos or Avalanche accept a losing season the way Rockies ownership and fans have? The Avalanche expect to go deep into the post-season, just as much as the Yankees do. The Avalanche have made six trips in the past eight years to the Western Conference finals, winning two Stanley Cups. The Yankees have made six trips in the past eight years to the American League championship series, winning four World Series. Elite teams like the Avalanche and Yankees expect more. Gallo may call it "snooty entitlement," but I call it the desire to win the championship, the World Series, the Stanley Cup, every year.

May the curse of the Bambino live on at Yankee Stadium, and may Lord Stanley smile upon the Pepsi Center's fantasy line of Sakic, Selanne and Kariya. And may the Yankee team plane fly home safely, contrary to the hopes of Yankee-haters as put forth by Gallo. His journalistic malpractice evokes bin Laden and then concludes with a wish for a plane full of New Yorkers to crash. So...if you're not with us, then you're against us. I've heard it before.

Steven Ray Liedlich
Eldora


Yuga Your Way...

Riding drag:After reading about the latest Bush regime nonsense in the Rocky Mountain News, I did my weekly perusal of your October 9 issue. Nope, "bad boy" Jason Sheehan didn't seem to use the F-word this week, but there was entirely too much coverage of the puerile Puppetry of the Penis, a Dan Savage column devoted to autofellatio, and details of some band that wants to stage a live suicide and "sodomizes skinned calves," all amid the usual gamut of phone-sex ads. (And amazingly enough, no JM Schell -- whose letters could be easily quantified as Mad Libs based on National Review articles -- to provide unintentional comic relief.)

For some reason, I found my brain drifting back to the ancient Hindu holy text, the Vishnu Purana: "The leaders, with the excuses of fiscal need, will rob and despoil their subjects and take away private property. Moral values and the rule of the law will lessen from day to day until the world will be completely perverted and agnosticism will gain the day among men."

But don't get me wrong; I ain't no fundamentalist. It's just that living in the Kali Yuga (the final, least spiritual and most negative of four evolutionary Yugic cycles in Hindu cosmology) is kind of a drag.

You at least thought it was going to be some sort of Blade Runner future with exotic designer drugs; instead we've got Friends reruns and SSRIs. And with soulless urbane cosmopolitanism on the left and faux-Christian fascism on the right, perhaps J.D. Salinger said it best in Franny and Zooey: "This is the Kali Yuga buddy, the Age of Iron. Anyone over sixteen without an ulcer's a goddam spy."

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