Yankees fans may be feeling an unfamiliar sensation this autumn. As the leaves fall from the trees, an emptiness, a longing, an intense need may develop while you, an outcast, watch from the shadows as everyone but you seems to be enjoying life to the fullest. That enemy you have in Boston, in the full flower of love's promise, the nouveau riche in Los Angeles flaunting their newfound wealth.. even Chicago will seem a brighter place as the crisp winds of October begin to blow.
And you? You'll be wondering what happened to your life as your baseball team misses the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, and your last playoff fix lasted but a fleeting moment, stolen from you in a heartbeat, the joy not nearly as intense as it was in your glory days when the rush would last right on through Halloween and the comedown was less a crash and more a blissful, relaxing ride home from the ultimate high.
This is your brain. This is your brain on front-running bandwagon fandom.
Your dealer's in the ground. Pour out a 40 for old Tampa George, who built the ship that sailed you to the Promised Land. His boys are in charge now, keeping the crime in the family, but let's face it: Hal is Fredo, not Michael. You know he would've been out getting that Dominican sugar, that Cuban fireball, that good stuff they make out in the land of the corn-fed white boys, not pushing the same product that just doesn't do it for you anymore.
Luckily, the Partnership for a Yankees-Free October can help.
Wherever you may be, you can find joy in the dying light of lost summer again. You can once again become a valued member of your community, joining your fellow New Yorkers on the 7 train to Queens to watch the Mets either make another World Series run or experience a form of dramatic heartbreak that is the best off-Broadway performance in the whole city---we're talking about the Mets here.
You could go to Chicago, be a goodwill ambassador perhaps, enjoying a deep-dish pizza with a long-suffering bunch of people whose motto seems to be "Why not us, too?" after what happened in Cleveland back in June.
You could recapture some of that old outspend-the-other-guys-and-buy-the-league magic by becoming a Dodgers fan. After all, front-running bandwagon fans are the best fans, right, Yankees Nation?
You could even go to Boston. If you're from Brooklyn, rooting for something ironically comes naturally to you, so why not become a Red Sox fan?
This assumes you're from New York. After all, a substance that some deem a dangerous drug is just a part of the culture to others, right? Like Southwest tribals doing peyote. Or cheap cigarettes in North Carolina. After all, you can't spell methadone without Met, so it does seem a hollow substitution, and you wouldn't want to abandon that sevenfold payment on the sins of your father.
But what if you're not from New York? Well, now is the time to put down old adolescent crushes and toys. Sure, as kids, we do what we think is cool, and we like being associated with winners. You're probably a Dallas Cowboys fan going cold turkey off Tony Romo, too. Or maybe you liked Jerry Rice, and now that the 49ers are “the team with that guy who won't salute the flag,” and the Lakers and the Bulls between them have as much in common with Magic and Michael as Mister Rogers does with Donald Trump, it’s the perfect time for recovery.
There's a whole world of better sports fandom out there for you. So remember: Friends don't let friends become Yankees fans. We hope you reflect on that as the Yankees miss the playoffs once again with their dysfunctional disgrace of a franchise.
At the Partnership for a Yankees-Free October, we're always here to help.
Fox Doucette is a Boston-born Seattle dweller who couldn't become a Mariners fan because his dad would rise from his grave and drag Fox back to hell with him if he turned his back on the Red Sox. Follow Fox on Twitter @RealFoxD.