Jay-Z’s Yankee-Inspiring World Series Performance a Lesson to Us All

Dear Phillies, Philly Fans, and the Rest of Yankee-Hating America,

Remember the face you all made when listening to Jigga The Greek the night of Game 2? You probably don’t, because — like the Phillies — you were probably enjoying Jay-Z’s World Series performance of “Empire State of Mind.” Despite your lame, predictable, populist leanings — and yes, being a Phillies bandwagon fan right now is almost as bad as being a Red Sox bandwagon fan, ever — you can’t resist a good time. Which we will show you. As we beat you. Which we’re about to do. Thanks to Jay-Z.

When Mr. Carter and Ms. Keys threw serious heat at the world Thursday night, you couldn’t do anything but enjoy yourself. Which is why we’re the Yankees: our failings are celebrated, because we have the most resources available to us, the most money, the most out-and-out capitalistic endeavor in all of professional sports. We have a legacy to live up to, and not getting to and winning the World Series season after season isn’t just a “maybe next year” kind of thing. It’s an out-and-out failing of our standards. The Yankees should win the World Series every year. There’s no reason not to. When it doesn’t happen, it should come as a shock to us and the world. And when we leave in the seventh inning during a blowout loss like some of us did in Game 1, it’s not because we’re “bad fans,” it’s because we’re “disappointed fans.”

What’s worse: having your dad stay through your entire Little League loss, or having him pack his shit and leave during the seventh inning? We want to inflict Freudian damage on our players, we love them so goddamn much. We expect things of them. We want them to be their best, which is what they should be, every time they step to the plate. This is in the great tradition of New York: everything is better here, or is supposed to be; it’s why we live here. When did New York lose its much-merited hubris? I know, I know. Union Square’s a shopping mall and everyone’s been priced out of Manhattan, etc, etc. But it’s still New York. And it’s still the best.

So after we lost the first game of the World Series, we just needed to be reminded of that. Enter Jay-Z and “Empire State of Mind,” a song that needed to grow on me. But he nailed it, through and through. It was a performance, at the World Series, that even made the other team smile. Watch the game tape.

Philly, say hi to Freeway for me, as you will probably need a Hustler’s Prayer to get through this. Also, a team who could beat the Yankees. Which you don’t have. Also: Bask in the glory of what will amount to your only win in the next week. Make the moment last. Seriously. Maybe you’ll get one more, but who knows, right? Enjoy it while it’s here. After all, life is precious.

Suck my (Yankee) balls, and Godspeed,

Foster

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