Thursday, October 08, 2009


This is for anyone who lives in Los Angeles (or Chicago or anywhere else with multiple teams in the same sport). Do you like one LA team and hate the other? Or do you just root for the city? My whole life I've been hearing about how people like either one team or the other. Yet having grown up in the New York metro area, I've learned this is total bullshit, at least when it comes to New York. Of course there are plenty of people who are like that (I liked two NY teams growing up and I HATED the city's other team in that sport, as did all my firends who liked NY teams). But there's an entire faction of fans who just "root for New York." Which is about as gutsy as picking two horses in a race and then bragging that you "picked the winner" when one of them wins, ignoring the fact that everyone else picked only one horse. And it's even worse considering they also take credit for the successes of nine total teams in the four major sports (and conveniently ignoring the failures of the losers) while most fans have three or four.

Granted, some people do the "favorite in each league" thing. Again, lots of Sox fans including myself had Mets sympathies, some, like my girlfriend, have Philly sympathies, but none of us when asked our favorite team would say "well I have two..." And none of us would go parading around in a World Series champs t-shirt if that team won. In fact, it's only been harder for me to hope the Mets do well because of the fact that so many supposed Yankee fans really root for both. ('86 made it hard enough in the years following that.)

And the thing is, it's always Yankee people. It's never someone saying, "I root for all the New York teams, except for the Yankees." Because that's what someone who becomes a Yankee fan is: someone who only wants the glory and looks for every possible way to get it, even if it means some other team gives it to you. Someone who knows that no matter what happens, they can always claim the most wins, even if they have no recollection of any of them.

I've been hearing a lot of this type of Yankee fan lately. One woman called the FAN and bragged about her decades of loyalty to the Yankees--except for one period. I'll give you one guess. It's funny, I always talk about how I grew up around mostly Yankee fans--except in 1986, when they were all Met fans. Funny to hear someone come right out and admit it, though. And then I heard a guy call in to a Boston station and casually throw into his Yankee talk that he's "3-0 in the AFC and NFC." Dude. If you truly were a fan of one of the two teams, you wouldn't be happy about BOTH doing well, you'd be happy about yours doing well, and pissed about your supposed rival doing equally well. Terrible job.

So, LA, Chicago, Bay Area, do you come across these dirtbags, too? Or do you all truly love your team and hate your cross-town rival?

Note to NY people: Don't try to tell me I'm wrong about this HUGE chunk of NY fans--they make freakin' half Mets, half Yanks jerseys for god's sake.

And another thing! Don't gimme this crap: "hey, people can like two teams if they want, who cares..." Fine, why don't I just root for all 30 teams? The point is, you can root for as many as you want, but don't go taking credit unless you've picked (or were given) ONE.

I can't stand those people either. I hate the Mets. H.A.T.E. them, and I could never understand how a Yankee fan could like the Mets, Jets-Giants and so forth. I guess from that you can weed out the real fans from the frontrunners.
In my humble opinion as a person living in the bay area off and on for almost 20 years, I think most bay area people don't love one team and hate the other. They might like one team more than the other but I've never heard anyone say "I love the Giants and hate the A's". In fact they make baseball caps out here that have both the Giants and A's logo on it so you can support both teams.
I've discovered that most people in NY go with whoever's hot at the moment. There are hardcore Mets and hardcore Yankee fans, but those who say they root for both are generally not big baseball fans. I call them "Spike Lee fans," those who jump on whomever's hot in New York at the time (aka notorious frontrunners).
About twenty years ago, I spent a few months in southern California. Most of my relatives are Angels fans, but are sympathetic to the Dodgers. I did meet a some people at Anaheim Stadium, though, who loved the Angels and positively hated the Dodgers.

It is good to hate the Dodgers.
Thanks for all the interesting comments on this topic!
I actually know a bunch of Mets fans who live around here now and root for the Sox as their "2nd-team" team. Maybe it's some kind of New England Stockholm syndrome. Even so, all the Mets fans I've known have hated the Yankees as much as we do.

I know that Chicagoans are *supposed* to like one team and hate the other, but I have known at least one cubs fan who wore a Chi Sox hat around in 2005. However he seemed a little guilty about it somehow...
That is horrible--it seems like the whole Cubs/White Sox thing is a really big deal, with loving one and being all blue collar or whatever, and hating the other, or loving one and being all white collar, and hating the other. Or something. I always forget which is which.
Do you really take "credit" for when a team you root for wins anything? Why?
Do I need to explain the history and culture of sports fandom here? If you come to this blog not knowing about that, you're not gonna understand much of what I'm talking about.

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