Blame Bradford Campeau-Laurion
The 2004 title wasn’t enough. The Red Sox humiliated the Yankees in the ALCS, won the World Series, and got the so-called monkey off their back. Still, Yankees fans brought the bravo. Instead of “1918” T-shirts, Bronx-ers parroted lines like, “There was no curse… you just sucked for 86 years” and “26 to 6… who’s counting?” Humbled they weren’t, even if they had become the historical standard for in-series futility. They were the Yankees. The ship would right itself.
In 2005, the status quo reigned. The Yankees and Sox both went out in the first round of the playoffs. The Yankees took their series to the seventh inning of game five; the Sox got swept.
In 2006, the Yankees crept back up to the top. The Red Sox finished third in the American League East, which drew chuckles around these parts. Sure, I was laughing when Kenny Rogers absolutely b*tched the Yankees in the playoffs, but there was a real concern that 2004 was just a fluke. A beautiful, miraculous, oh-my-God it happened fluke, but just a giant speedbump on the Yankees dominance train.
Then came 2007. The Red Sox won the AL East and won the World Series. They could compete with the Yankees on a decade-long basis. Good. But the cycle wasn’t fully complete. The Yankees still made the playoffs. They didn’t get to feel what it was like to sit at home in October, watching an octet of other teams compete for their trophy. They hadn’t seen the bottom.
And then, last year, it happened. In the farewell season to The Stadium, it was hoped that the Yankees would close it with a bang and title number 27. Instead, their playoff chances were done by September 27. Now they were the third place team, the second-class team, the funniest team money could buy. They were finally just another team, and it was glorious.
Unfortunately for all of us, they had sown the seeds of their resurrection. They just didn’t know it. In a September game, they kicked out a fan for attempting to pee during God Bless America. That man’s name is Bradford Campeau-Laurion. Bradford Campeau-Laurion is a Red Sox fan. And Bradford-Campeau Laurion is a bastard. You see, we finally had everything that we wanted. And then he had to go and ask for more.
Campeau-Laurion contended that the Yankees had violated his first amendment rights by preventing his tinkle, and sought to have them apologize and end the policy. Sure, he was completely legally right and was right to challenge the policy, but that’s hardly the point: Campeau-Laurion taunted the beast. “Look,” God said, “What else do you want? You’re not even asking for money. I gave you everything you wanted, and you want more. Remember everything I did for you to get you out of this mess. I think you’re being greedy.”
Campeau-Laurion was taken aback. “I don’t think I’m—”
“SILENCE!” God said. “I’ll be the judge of that.”
While He was judging , the Yankees signed CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Teixeira. A-Rod got called out to the point where he stopped caring about what other people thought of him, and simply cared about hitting a baseball. The Yankees finished a stadium with a 150-foot right field porch, and hit approximately 75 home runs in April.
I’m not saying God is all “Go Yankees!” They’re in the World Series now, and I doubt God has a preference between them and the Phillies. But something changed this year, and I refuse to believe it’s a long-overdue balancing of the scales. No, I believe other forces are at work. Campeau-Laurion won his lawsuit in May, getting his lawyer’s fees paid for and a small, unsolicited payout from the city. The Yankees also agreed to forever allow peeing during God Bless America. Unfortunately, that includes during the World Series, too. Ergo, Brad’s fault.
I hope you’re happy.