It was announced today that the infamous Davis Ortiz jersey that was once buried in concrete under the new Yankees Stadium by a crafty Sox-fan-come-construction worker will be donated by the Yankees to the Jimmy Fund. The cancer research fund will then auction off the jersey to raise money for their efforts.
This raises a very possible, and very disturbing, scenario: what if the money raised from this donation by the Yankees turns out to be the final amount of money needed to cure cancer? What if after the cure is found, after the successful clinical trials, after the FDA approval, after the announcement to the public, after the incredible fanfare, after the countless lives saved, someone audits the Jimmy Fund and traces that tipping-point donation to this auction with the Ortiz jersey that was donated by the Yankees; in essence, giving credit to Steinbrenner and the Evil Empire of curing cancer?
What would this mean for the average ardent Sox fan? Any way you spin it, it would be hard to boo a team that cured cancer. Yes, A-Rod is a douchebag, but hey, can you really call the person who sort of saved your Nana's life, a fag? Yeah Damon's a traitor, but well, that traitor sort of ended your cousin's battle with leukemia. Not to mention how the population of cancer-ridden Sox fans would feel toward their sports nemesis, after they were given a second chance at life. It would probably make those "Yankees Suck" chants half-hearted, at best. And those "Jeter Sucks" t-shirt will probably have to read on the back "but he did sort of cure cancer so he's not that bad."
The nearly 100 year long rivalry, the most wonderful and bitter rivalry in sports, would most likely vanish. The ill-feeling the Red Sox Nation currently feels has already been tempered due to the recent World Series victories, so one must assume that it would vanish entirely if and when the Yankees cure cancer. The best battle in sports would be all but over, and a general chumminess between the Sox and Yankees, if not between Boston and NY in general, would fall across the hearts of the now amiable sports fans.
Well I, for one, think this is too big a risk to take. This historic rivalry must be preserved at all costs, even if those costs would be the millions or billions of lives that could have been saved by a cancer cure. Sure, living is nice, but would it really be worth surviving cancer if it meant missing out on the elation of seeing the Sox beat the hated Yankees? Let's be honest, the greatest joy a kid with cancer can probably experience is to attend a Sox-Yankees game in Fenway Park, the seats so graciously donated by the Jimmy Fund doing what it should be doing: giving these poor children hope and happiness in the form of a David Ortiz walk-off home-run, and NOT by accepting evil donations from the bad guys.
The passions that are stirred up in this rivalry, the excitement, the highs and lows, the sweet feeling of victory, and the agonizing crush of defeat, all these are the precious moments we experience that defines what living really is. And if the most precious things that make up life disappear by letting the Yankees cure cancer, then hasn't cancer, and the Yankees, already won?
Jimmy Fund, we cannot let this happen.