Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pinch hitting for your ancestors' memories, eminent domain...

                             While walking in my neighborhood recently, I noticed a sign that read "First home game since 1957".  It was an ad for the new Brooklyn Nets basketball team, and the sign referred to the old Brooklyn Dodgers, who moved to L.A. at the start of the 1958 season.  I almost threw up.  Yeah, I get that it'll be the first professional sports franchise to play in Brooklyn for over half a century, but  talk about apples and oranges.  The Dodgers were the olde town team, beloved by all the locals, even when they were bad, which was often.  The Nets are strictly a power play move to cram more revenue into an already crowded area.  Developer Bruce Ratner, with the help of a certain Russian billionaire, helped destroy a vibrant community by using  unethical tactics and eminent domain. You should see the monstrosity they built to house the's hideous.

                   To me, the only real (semi) professional team Brooklyn has are the Cyclones, the Mets A ball minor league team.  Playing in Coney Island with the amusement park in the distance, the Cyclones are pure Brooklyn; unpretentious, fun and a little scary (well, the boardwalk can be late at night if you walk down the wrong way), and while it's mostly future stars on the team, you'll occasionally see a player or two on rehab assignment...I remember seeing Moises Alou there circa 2006, just three years removed from his "Steve Bartman" meltdown while a member of the Cubs in 2003.  Yeah, that Moises was on a lot of teams.  Side note:You know that his dad and two uncles made up The Giants outfield briefly in the '60s?  Yup. Felipe, Matty and Jesus.  You think the "Nets" are gonna have cool facts like that.  Of course not.  They'll just regale us with pointless stories about which one of them is boinking a Kardasian sister.

                  Anyway, The Brooklyn Dodgers won their only World series title in 1955, and were referred to as "The boys of summer"...not to be confused with that terrible Don Henley song.  Actually, did I even need to write the word "terrible" there? BTW, my sister interviewed Henley for her college paper back in the '90s, and unlike the Cyclones, HE was pretentious.  Kept pronouncing literature as "literator".  When you think about it, that's more ignorant than pretentious...where was I? Oh yes, their only championship in 1955... well they did actually win a lot of National league pennants, losing most of them to the evil empire, like a lot of National league teams.  As for their old home, Ebbets field, it's now a housing project. In fact the only way anyone could tell that Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, and Roy Campenella once played there, is a small plaque on the building itself.

             Yes, I did grow up in the Boston area rooting for the Red Sox, but as a Brooklyn resident for the past decade, a part of me wishes that the team who played on the corner of Bedford avenue and Empire blvd was still around.  For one thing, it would take me like 10 minutes to bike there from my apt.  I mean, I like the Mets and all, mostly because I've used to Psycho therapy to remove any memory of 1986, but they're in Queens.  I'm really into the whole Brooklyn pride thing, and I know it's a different sport, but I just can't root for the Nets.  It's safe to say, I'm actively rooting against them.  So unless the Mets move to my borough, the only Brooklyn team to me will be the kids spending their summers in that park off of Surf avenue. Well, them and the Brooklyn Bombshells from the Gotham Girls Roller Derby League, those gals can hit!

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