Longtime readers (or long time friends) no doubt know that one of my closest friends is Brian Fusco. You may remember him from the various Red Sox vs. Yankees posts this time last year. Brian is, and has been for as long as I've known him (almost 10 years now) a devoted Yankees fans. His devotion to the pin striped ones is always best described as nearly religious. It fulfills, as best I can tell, a bonding function in his family. It's something that his brothers and father share, and something that is a point of commonality. And lord knows that's important.
His fandom is also a source of fairly frequent teasing from Mark and I -- we who dislike the machine that is (or recently was) the Yankees.
But the odd thing, as I've come to realize is that Brian in his professional life always roots for the underdog. And in some cases for the preposterous, jaw dropping, eye-rubbing underdog.
Instance 1. Brian moved out from New York to join me, JKD and Tanner in Iowa. He moved without a job (same for the others, I'd already been hired) in order to do numerous tasks of dubious personal enjoyment to help a fiesty, spine-bearing Democrat compete in Iowa...against the life time party guy, John Kerry. He willfully moved to Iowa to do this (I guess I did so as well, but other people's devotion to these things amazes me, my own just seems like a programming error).
Results. Um, yeah. We lost. But I challenge anyone living in a non-Schiavo like state to tell me we weren't right. Each of the things that men and women of lesser vision attacked us for turned out to be diversions from a weak argument of their own. But, we lost. And in a Jana Novatna sort way.
Instance 2. Less risky, but still somewhat outlandish in theory. Brian moved to Wisconsin. Specifically to La Crosse. He did this to so that he might help re-elect (see less outlandish) a guy who voted against the Patriot Act. This is at a time when every Democrat (well, lots of the ones I don't like) were saying that you had to be strong and tough. Apparently the way you demonstrate these values is by whining like a girl with a hop-scotch related injury. You whine about how you were tricked, how you really thought you could trust the president. Anyways Brian packs up and moves to help a nebbish Jewish guy try to win in Wisconsin. Because why not. Now I also worked for Paul Wellstone. A nebish Jewish professor...but again the insanity of others amazes, mine just feels normal.
Now I guess technically Russ Feingold isn't an underdog, but how many people figured he'd basically prevent Kerry from getting his ass whooped in Wisconsin. That's right the regal senator grabbed on with both hands to little radical Russ' coatails and let the ground work of clinically insane people like Brian, and the Matts carry him to victory in Wisconsin.
Instance 3. Brian moved back to New York and is working for a white woman running for city council in.....wait for it, Harlem.
Results. We'll find out on Tuesday.
I guess when your childhood team is the winningest team in the history of sports, you can make your life's mission to work for long shots.
Good luck Brian.