Posted by: hawaiianhaircut | 07/13/2010

Sad Days of Summer

“You have to understand how I feel,” Steinbrenner once said after he was caught cursing by TV cameras during a playoff loss in 1980. “There are 5 million Yankee fans just like me sitting in front of TV sets with beer and hollering the same thing … I want this team to win. I’m obsessed with winning, with discipline, with achieving. That’s what this country’s all about, that’s what New York’s all about — fighting for everything, a cab in the rain, table in a restaurant at lunchtime — and that’s what the Yankees are all about.” – SI

Following Sunday’s passing of N.Y Yankee and Football Giants’ legend Bob Sheppard, even sadder news emerged this morning from Yankee stadium.  The Boss has passed away.

I know this is a Giants/Football/Baseballsucks blog, but the passing of such a giant of a man in sports has to be acknowledged here. George Steinbrenner was the epitome of what an owner should be in professional sports. His decisions can be questioned, his ethics and humanity up for debae, but no one can deny that he was after one goal his whole life: winning. 

Isn’t that all that can be asked of any owner? The desire to win day in and day out and compete for a championship every season?  Big Stein was a polarizing figure, and people loved to hate him, but for any Yankee fan, he was as good as it gets.  He bought a struggling Yankee franchise in 1973 for 8.8 million (really?!) and died today with one of the most recognizable brands in world sports worth an estimated 1.8 Billion. 

Steinbrenner should be remembered for his 7 rings, 11 pennants and in general having a team that was in contention every season.  He will of course be eulogized by some for just being plain crazy and hiring/firing people on a whim, but at the end of the day, he has done more for baseball than any other modern owner.  As mentioned by Tim Kurkjian on ESPN, his luxury tax dollars going to the small market teams has kept many of them afloat and in contention.  He has never hesitated to spend obscene money when he sees the end game of a ring in the distance.  Is there any doubt where Mebron would be playing if he were a baseballer?

People like to compare Stein and Jerry Jones as his football equivalent.  I would hold off on that for a while.  If the Cowboys at the end of the JJ era have the success the Yankees have had, then any Cowboy fan should look back and embrace their owner the same way Yankee fans have for years.  I admire Jerry Jones for wanting to win so bad it literally looks like it ages him; even though his decisions leave a lot to question. We all know the Boss would have hired Jimmy Johnson back as soon as Quincy Carter showed his face in Dallas.

George Steinbrenner will be missed by any sports loving person in the NY/NJ area.  Personally, he has been a part of the sports sphere of NY for my whole life, so its sad to see him go.   Though he will never be remembered with the dignity and quiet confidence of Wellington Mara, he will be remembered for being the reason the Yankees are the Yankees.  I don’t think there is any better tale to reflect this team’s influence than when I asked my Uncle in India if he wanted to see a baseball game when he came to the states.  Wading through his knowledge of cricket, soccer and poverty, he asked me with no prompting…Is it going to be a N.Y Yankee game?

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