On September 11th, 2001, this country was the victim of an unprovoked attack perpetrated by murderous thugs from another country. Almost 3,000 people died. Some were Christian, some were Jewish, some were Muslim. Some were men, some were women. Some were old, and some were so god damned young. Some of the dead were Mets fans, some were Red Sox fans, some were Yankee fans. Some of them were married, and some of them never got the chance. Some of them had kids. Their families and friends grieved their loss. And New York began, slowly, to rebuild and to heal.
Countless songs, essays, and stories were written about that beautiful fall morning (some of which were downright poetic), and no one who lived through the experience - whether here in New York or watching from afar - could ever forget even one small detail of the events. Now, almost a decade removed from that terrifying day, as we still struggle to find the balance between moving forward and never forgetting, some people think it is acceptable to betray the hallowed ground of the World Trade Center. People who just don’t get it, people who would ask the families of the victims to look the other way, and pretend it didn't happen.
People who would openly and without apology operate a bar just two blocks from where the Twin Towers once stood that serves as an affront to the memory of so many people who died that day.
The Ground Zero Yankee bar.
The Dakota Roadhouse, located at 43 Park Place is just a stone's throw away from the site of the World Trade Center. And despite the Red Sox and Mets fans who died on that day, the Roadhouse is undoubtedly and unapologetically a Yankees bar. Even their website brazenly advertises a "FREE COORS LIGHT FOR EVERY YANKEE HOME RUN."
I caught up with the owner of this establishment by phone earlier this week and asked him how he could be so insensitive to the memory of the victims of 9/11, and wanted to know whether he would refudiate his business.
Me: Is it true that you operate a Yankee bar?
Douchebag Yankee Bar Operator: Not really. I am a Yankee fan, and we get mostly Yankee fans in here, but we usually show the Mets game and a few other games in here, too. Pretty much anyone who is a baseball fan and wants to have a good time after work is welcome as long as they keep it under control.
Me: But what about all the people who died on 9/11? How can you operate a Yankee bar on such hallowed ground?
DYBO: What? What the hell are you talking about? Who is this? The bar is two blocks away - it is like a five-minute walk from Ground Zero. Is this a fucking joke?
Me: No, it is not a joke. I just want to know why you can't operate your Yankee bar somewhere else. Why does it have to be so close to Ground Zero? Isn't it just a little insensitive to the families of the victims who were Mets fans and Red Sox fans?
DYBO: Dude, lots of Yankee fans were killed on 9/11. And the people who killed them were murderous thugs from Al-Qaeda, not Yankee fans. Are you dense?
Me: No, but I am a Mets fan.
DYBO: Same thing.
Me: See! See! You are a Yankeeist. A radical perpetrator of supporting the Yankees to the exclusion of all other baseball teams.
DYBO: Relax. I was just kidding. I hosted a party in here for a group from Boston just the other night. And they are welcome back any time. By the way, where are you calling from? I didn't recognize the area code.
Me: I live in Kansas. But I am a really big Mets fan and I love this country, just like all Americans.
DYBO: Wait, if you live in Kansas, then why the fuck do you care what we do in New York? There are Red Sox and Mets fans in New York and they don't care at all about my bar. In fact, they come in here sometimes (though usually they go the Mets bar around the corner, or the Red Sox bar up the street). I have lots of friends who are Mets fans, and a few who are Red Sox fans. Why are you calling me from Kansas to give me shit that no one in New York cares about? Are you just bored?
Me: People in the real America want to know that the hallowed ground of the WTC site is not being desecrated.
DYBO: I thought you people were all for local control and states' rights? Don't answer that. Look, I really have no idea what this is about. We were here before 9/11, and we have just as much of a right to be here as anyone else. There were dozens of Yankee bars in New York before 9/11 because there have always been thousands of Yankee fans in New York. I know some of them are assholes, and believe me, we hate those guys more than you do. But the overwhelming majority of Yankee fans are good people who just happen like a different team than you do. They probably got it from their parents.
You know, in the aftermath of 9/11, Americans rightly celebrated what is great about our country, including the freedom to follow whatever baseball team you want, whenever, wherever, and however you choose to follow them. Nothing could be more un-American than to question that most basic of our founding principles. Let the triumph of tolerance and American values over bigotry, hate and misinformation be the enduring lesson of 9/11, and let that be our lasting memorial to the fallen.
Me: That was pretty eloquent. Are you sure are not an allegory being used as a literary device to make a larger point?
*This essay is a parody meant to demonstrate the author's views about . . . wait, forget it, if you don't get it then you are a moron. Either way, if anyone took this the wrong way or was truly offended, you have our and my sincere apologies. Seriously.**
**Unless you are a Yankees fan. In that case go cry it out with the other haters of freedom and peace and tolerance at the Dakota Roadhouse.