As Knicks fans flooded out of Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, their chants could be heard ringing through the rafters after a triumphant defeat of the Indiana Pacers.
Pray tell, what were they chanting?
“Fuck Trae Young.”
NBA heads need not check their breaking-news headlines; rest assured, Trae Young still plays in Atlanta (though the Reggie Miller / Indiana connection would be gold). So why then were the gathered Knicks fanatics hollering his name as if he bore any relevancy to the night whatsoever?
Our (yes, sadly, our) now months-long obsession with “Fuck Trae Young” has been roundly mocked throughout the league. “Wait, Trae stomped on Knicks hearts for 4 out of 5 games, proving himself to be far and away the best player in the entire series, the Knicks had no answer for him, no hope to contain him, the upset almost singlehandedly sent the Knicks’ #1 guy into a complete tailspin that continues to this day…and yet Knicks fans are still chanting for more, even around games that have absolutely nothing to do with the balding one?! Um, what the fuck gives?”
I’ll tell you what gives! The popular take (because it’s derisive against the Knick) would have you believe it comes down to nothing more than, “Trae lives rent free in our heads.” There’s definitely some truth to that; no arguments there.
But what if my comrades-in-depressing-arms are proud of that fact?
WHAT IF THAT’S THE FUCKING POINT.
To me, and perhaps to the rest of the fanbase (if not consciously, then at least subconsciously?), “Fuck Trae Young” has become a rallying cry epitomizing our continued perseverance in the face of relentless, unceasing, decades-proven, perpetual doom.
Us Knickserati are a rare breed; find me another fanbase who’s experienced as much nonstop degradation on and off the court, and instead of letting this turpitude diminish our passion, we’ve gone the other fucking way.
Oh, you think a measly half-century of incompetence has depleted our commitment to this team?
Nah, Fuck Trae Young.
See what I did there? Trae has simply become the latest figurehead (in relief) for what I’m describing; his heroics/shenanigans were merely the newest in an endless cavalcade of guys who’ve made a mockery of Knickerbockery (mock the Bocks!). Which is why he’s become the poster child for our resilience.
Yeah, we know we suck. We know Trae will probably keep whooping our asses for years to come, as will the rest of the league. But does that mean we’re down for the count, not here for the fight?
Hell no. That’s how the terrorists win. Instead:
Fuck Trae Young.
You can throw anything at us – trust me, we’ve weathered it all — and I promise you that we will still cling to our fandom, to our undying loyalty to this franchise, in the face of patented insanity. Punch us ten times, and we’ll get back up 11 more, with an even louder:
Fuck Trae Young.
We’re too aware that the cards are stacked against us. Heck, we might not even have a deck! But nothing will stop us. We’re out for blood, even if we never even (K)nick the flesh.
As the kids say, it us:
The 21st century version:
COME AT ME BROOOOOO!!!!
The Knicks version:
Fuck Trae young.
Despite titling this concept a ‘rallying cry’, the definition of ‘battle cry’ is truer to the spirit of the idea (even so, dubbing it a crying rally, if you look at it from a certain (more realistic?) perspective, is a play-on words too delicious to pass up):
A yell or chant taken up in battle, usually by members of the same combatant group. Battle cries are not necessarily articulate, although they often aim to invoke patriotic or religious sentiment.
Inarticulate religious fervor? Sounds like Knicks nation! To quote George Michael (wait what?):
So, the next time you hear “Fuck Trae Young,” just remember: what you’re really listening to is an admirable (if you find delusion to be admirable) pledge of allegiance to this virtue:
Now let’s go lose to Boston!
And, as always:
Fuck Trae Young.