Let me start this off by saying that as a lifelong New York Yankees fan, I take no pleasure in seeing them eliminated from the American League Championship Series — especially after they displayed such a tremendous effort to eliminate the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS after falling behind two-games-to-none, and almost did the same against the heavily favored Houston Astros in the ALCS.
With that said, I do feel one thing as a New York City FC fan: relief.
For the better part of two months now, I have tried to perform a balancing act between supporting the team I have loved since birth and supporting the team I have learned to love a little more recently. With a conflicted heart, I cheered and cheered as the Bronx Bombers marched to the brink of the World Series (whilst playing with house money), simultaneously being crushed by the fact that the Boys in Blue would be forced to find other venues other than the familiar Yankee Stadium to host their own must-win matchups.
This precarious saga, however, is over — at least for the remainder of the 2017 calendar year.
Following their final regular season fixture against the Columbus Crew on Sunday — which was relocated to Citi Field in Queens following the Yankees’ playoff surge — NYCFC will no longer have to worry about where their playoff matchups will take place, due to the Yankees being eliminated from the MLB postseason Saturday night. Even in the worst-case scenario where City is defeated by the Crew (who, quite honestly, have a far worse crisis on their hands), fall down the table, and have to play a knock-out game on October 25 or October 26, Yankee Stadium will be available.
For New York City, Sunday’s matchup at Citi Field will be the second of two games this season that have been relocated due to scheduling conflicts with the primary tenants of the House That Jeter Built, the first being the now-infamous September 23 game against the Houston Dynamo which was played at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut — some 100 miles away from the South Bronx — due to Yankee Stadium being needed by the Yankees to make up a previously rained out game.
We here at Hudson River Blue have explained it multiple times already, but I’ll say it again: this Sunday’s matchup will not be the last of its kind. At least until NYCFC is able to procure their own hallowed grounds.
As a fan of both the Yankees and NYC, I find it frustrating and emotionally exhausting to have to hope for one team to fail in order for the other to potentially succeed. And I’m sure I’m not the only one with these frustrations either.
But, for now, those frustrations are no longer an issue as NYCFC’s “temporary” home that they have turned into a fortress waits in the wings pending the results of Decision Day, albeit at the Yankees’ expense.