I was having a discussion with @jaydestro on Twitter this morning that piqued my interest as to the psyche of Yankees fans. Jay correctly noted that many Yankees fans and local media members will likely overreact should the Yankees lose to the Red Sox tonight. I asked Jay whether he thought the Yankees having won the World Series last year would change the psyche of Yankee fans, and he answered in the negative, a position that I agree with. Many Yankees fans have a win-every-year attitude, whereby a 2010 that ends without a title would be a failure. The Yankees have the resources to win every season, and fans therefore expect the ultimate prize each year.
While I certainly understand that attitude, my feelings about the 2010 season are a bit different. All of the seasons following the Red Sox breaking the curse in 2004 started with a bit of panic, as we wanted to see the Yankees reestablish themselves as the powerhouse team in the AL East. The feeling about the Yankees was no longer that they would find a way to win. Rather, it seemed that they would save their worst performances for the most inopportune time. But 2009 changed all that. The team had an amazing killer instinct, pulled out tons of thrilling wins, and brought home the trophy in the postseason. As the Yankees start their first championship defense of my adulthood, I feel more at peace with the club, as if I can simply sit back and enjoy the ride rather than fret at every loss. While that feeling might dissipate over the long season, I think that in some ways, this is a house money season for me as a fan. I would love to see the Yankees win the World Series this season, and will still be emotionally involved in every game. But unless the season is a disaster, I will not be as devastated if 2010 ends without a championship as I was from 2005 through 2008.
How about you? Does 2010 feel different as a fan, coming off a title? Or are you still viewing the season as championship or bust?