Many people are quick to label America the best country in the world, and there was something about this grand proclamation that struck a cord that I finally placed. It is exactly when loser fans of high-spending winning teams say that their team is the best in the world, yet the fans themselves have never done anything in their lives but cheer on real winners.
America might be the Yankees, Celtics and Steelers, but Americans are the fans of the Yankees, Celtics and Steelers. A bunch of loud and overweight chest-thumping losers who failed to live up to the potential of top players on the field. Instead, we question the decisions of leaders and pick fights with rivals.
We all want to feel like we’re part of the team. That’s why I say, as a Yankee fan, “We’re the best team in the world.” Even though I know full well that Cablevision lets us spend more money on our infield than the Gross National Product of several African nations. America is the same thing. We can get in more debt than Liverpool F.C., but spend as much as we want on victories.
That makes us, as America fans, pound our chest and proclaim that we have the greatest team, but in truth, we are cheering on nine (eleven tops) elites and a fully-stocked front office. We haven’t accomplished a thing with our lives. We eat too much, spend our money on useless possessions that will break in a few months and gossip about last night’s So You Think You Can Dance at the day jobs we hate.
And that’s why political pundit shows are just as asinine as listening to a debate in section 39 of the Yankee Stadium bleachers over which long-reliever should come in after Sabathia. It gives us something to talk about and emulate because we as individuals haven’t amounted to a thing in our lives. We latch on to major sports teams, just as we latch onto political discussions to give us some kind of meaning, but none of it really counts for anything.
Barack Obama will take your thoughts into consideration just as much as A-Rod will listen to you when you yell, “Swing!” from the upper deck. There is a far-off chance that he’ll hear you, but your contribution is pure entertainment and mindless chatter at the water cooler.
We look at statistics, read articles, debate with our Canadian/Red Sox friends and buy merchandise while the cost of our ticket pays for a new left fielder and war on Libya. In the end, though, the starting lineup for the Yankees is like if you took America’s nine smartest, most-educated researchers, scientists and brain trust and say that they represent all of us. We are not smart, go-getting, productive members of society. We want to cheer, criticize and feel like we are a part of those who are.
We are far from being the best country in the world. Our education, health, crime and economy rank far lower than other first-world countries. Essentially, the economic collapse was like overpaying on a ten-year contract for a forty-something-year-old starter who blew out his shoulder during Spring Training.
What do we do? We yell at the front office, debate with other fans about what they should do and continue taunting our rivals that we’re the best, even if the World Series is much harder to come by these days. We’re not the best, but we’re Americans, so we’re the only ones allowed to say that. As far as you’re concerned, our country will kick your country’s ass, and if you think otherwise, we can take this outside.