By Max Caster
New York and its inhabitants have always been stereotyped by outsiders. The city is crime ridden. The people are rude. Everyone speaks with a Brooklyn or Italian accent. And so on.
Frankly, those things aren’t entirely true. There are criminals and rude people and Italians, but not everyone fits those characterizations.
I’ve always been a defender of my home state. But it’s difficult to defend what has been happening at the US Open this weekend.
There have been hecklers wreaking havoc from the galleries, senselessly victimizing the golfers. But it’s not the fact that they got rowdy. In fact, I think golf would be more entertaining if the spectators got more involved with the players, and vice versa. Golf, tennis and other country club sports isolate themselves into the image of respect and high class, which makes them less engaging.
Today, while watching the Open, I noticed that the fans at the 18th green were cheering the golfers when they finished. Not to congratulate them on a job well done, but to get them to throw their ball into the stands. Some of the golfers complied, some didn’t. I jokingly said to my Dad, “Uh oh. The fans are yelling for balls. New York is at it again!”
That’s great. That’s New York. But the things they said to the players were offensive, uncalled for and supported the perceived negative disposition connected to New Yorkers.
Yelling at Ian Poulter about his bright pants is funny. Ridiculing Phil Mickelson about his weight is one thing. Saying that to someone’s face isn’t the best thing to do. It’s not the worst either. But chastising him, while referencing his wife’s battle with cancer, is a completely different level. That’s simply inconceivable to me.
So the place where the New York Yankees overspend for every star player; where the biggest dirtbag in the NHL is embraced by the Rangers’ fan base; where winning is considered a birthright has another smudge on its already stained reputation. New Yorkers, much less Long Islanders, can’t handle a major golf event.
I’m so fed up with New York and New Yorkers being lumped into one big, undesirable group. And I’ll never suggest that anyone should alter their personality or routine to please others, but can New York please be looked upon positively in a spotlight?
On national baseball broadcasts, Mets or Yankees, the Yankees’ payroll is almost always brought up. The commentators don’t say how great it is that the team is willing to spend big money for the best players. They talk about how absurd and ironic it is that the team with the highest payroll hasn’t won a championship in almost 10 years now. Then it’s suggested that the team should revert back to bringing up their minor league talent like it was done in the 90’s, which is a common misconception.
That accusation of greed is just the most common in a barrage of falsities by the rest of the world. And right now, we, as New Yorkers, are not helping it get any better.
Also, let’s not forget the abolished Gate D routine at Jets games.
Other than the sights, New York is a place learned about through ‘Page Six’. And no disrespect to the New York Post, but that’s terrible.
Let’s face it, and maybe this is my ‘New York attitude’, but the Empire State is the media capital of the world. Forget LA, London and Beijing. It’s New York. And with all eyes focused here, New Yorkers need to make a better effort to give the state a better image.
As the slogan goes, “I love New York.” But I hate to see it like this.