The real meaning behind those Daniel Jones ‘boos’

The first instinct is to tell Daniel Jones: Relax, kid, you’ve joined a long and distinguished line of people who got themselves good and booed at Yankee Stadium.

Babe Ruth was booed there, for having his first non-Ruthian season. Joe DiMaggio was booed there when he decided to hold out for a fatter contract at the depths of the Depression. Mickey Mantle was booed for not being Joe DiMaggio. Roger Maris was booed for not being Mickey Mantle. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera were booed after teaming up to win four World Series, with another one still on the way.

Of course, those players also happened to, you know, play for the Yankees.

Giants used to be booed at Yankee Stadium, too, notably the late Allie Sherman, the coach who was alternately booed and serenaded (“Good-bye, Allie, we hate to see ya go …”) by anxious, annoyed partisans. Of course, that was after he’d turned in seasons of 1-12-1 and 2-10-2 … and at a time when the Giants actually still played their home games at 161st Street and River Avenue.

Daniel Jones will never play a down of football at Yankee Stadium. It should also be noted that he has yet to play a down of professional football anywhere else in the world yet, too.

That didn’t stop a faction of folks Monday night from booing Jones when some well-meaning scoreboard ops worker flashed his picture on the huge video board at Yankee Stadium during a Yankees-Rays game.

(A side word or two on the subject of booing, if i may: I’ve always been fascinated by the physical act of uttering the word “boo.” It seems preposterous, truthfully. I understand screaming at sports, yelling at sports, even cursing at sports. I get the anger that brews and percolates at ballparks and arenas. But are there really people who feel the best way to express displeasure is to actually say the word, “Boo?”)

Well, clearly, there are. Boos fill almost every game you attend at one point or another, aimed at a player, a coach, a referee, a fan who drops a foul ball, a security man who tackles a drunken fan who’s sprinted on the field, and just about every wedding proposal ever flashed on a scoreboard (which, actually, is the one time it is not only OK to boo, but required by civic decree).

But boos are funny: They are like a drop of vinegar plopped into a giant vat of ice water. No matter the percentage, once the vile substance is in there, that’s all you can taste. So how many people really booed Daniel Jones, a couple of thousand? A couple of hundred? A couple of dozen? It’s hard to tell. “Boo” resonates more than any other word in the lexicon. It bounces and it echoes and it multiplies in duration and intensity beyond what is audibly reasonable or rational.

Immediately, of course, there were some who wanted to crush all Yankees fans for this, especially because there is a (thoroughly unscientific) belief that most Yankees fans are also Giants fans. But even that presents questionable logic; the Yankees are in first place. They’re on pace to win another hundred games or so. That very night, Masahiro Tanaka threw a two-hit shutout, and Edwin Encarnacion was making his debut. If you’re a Yankees fan in a foul mood, something else must be terribly amiss in your life.

And that’s the thing: This isn’t on Yankees fans. It’s not even on any frustrated Giants fans who may have happened to be there Monday night and just let their instincts take over. I am willing to bet if you polled every person who actually yelled “boo” — every one — they weren’t booing poor Daniel Jones, but rather their belief that the Giants should have taken someone else with the No. 6 pick in the draft.

Which presented these folks — in an era of social media when every human being everywhere is encouraged to express every opinion they have every minute they are breathing — with two choices.


Or, you know: “Boooooo.”

Nothing personal, kid. Booing is easier.

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