The Yankees have a chance to tie up the Divisional Series with the Cleveland Indians tonight. I hope they have another thumbs-down performance to extend their improbable season.
It happens every so often that teams rally around something genuine fun and potentially iconic.
Notre Dame had “Win one for the Gipper” (ok, not fun or genuine but iconic).
In the 70’s the Mets had Tug Mcgraw and “You Gotta Believe” (very fun and very authentic)
The best ones come up naturally, created within the team, not something manufactured by the press or PR department.
Thumbs-down is the product of a team having fun after a fan -who did not know he was on camera- emoted his disdain for all things Yankees and a Todd Frazier home run with a simple gesture. (By the way, I love these fans -the ones with that thousand-mile stare that makes them look more like they are coming to terms with being sucked into a black hole rather than the fact that their team is behind late in a game.)
Thumbs-down is fun because you feel like you are in on the joke when an announcer who didn’t do his homework or a casual fan doesn’t understand why an entire team is up against the rail of the dugout putting their thumb down after a home run. It makes you feel good, it makes you smile. Fans can participate too.
I also like it because of how they totally, sarcastically co-opted something negative and turned it into a positive celebration. This is hands-down the best way to deal with an attack, a slight, a mistake or just a so-so performance. Own it and don’t show it bothers you. (Maybe the president should read my blog)
I know this technique works because it is also the way middle school staffs make cool things like dabbing, the Harlem Shake and Whip Nea Nea uncool overnight.
Don’t watch this. You will be sorry.
The police officer is alright.
As I write this, Yankees are up 5-3 in the 5th inning ( If you are not from the U.S., that means they are winning with more than half the game over-word to our international readers). Whatever happens, this has been an exciting season. This team reminds me of the ’95 and ’96 squad- Man, I was obsessed with the Yankees in the 80’s and 90’s. That dates me a bit but also means that teams like this come along about once every 20 years if you’re lucky.
As the years go by, I care less and less about sports (my son has no idea who Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly or Orlando Hernandez is- or Garry Ward, or Rafael Santana or Jesse Barfield or Steve Balboni) and yet I want to see these guys win it all this year. I’m really hoping for the Yanks to give me a few more games to give a thumbs-down to.