I’m a New Yorker born and raised and I proudly carry the banner of the Big Apple. When I’m away from home people ask me where I’m from and I respond the City. They look puzzled and say but you’re in a city now. Yeah I say but I’m from “THE CITY”. I moved to Long Island for a few years, temporary insanity, but I never changed my driver’s license because I always knew, I’d be back,after all the five boroughs are my home even if I temporarily resided in a strange world of monolithic split level homes, driveways, and mediocre Chinese food.
I’m also a Yankees fan. The Yankees were my first love and even though the New York Giants bring out my greatest passion now there will always be a special place in my heart for my first love. I tell you this today because the other baseball team in town, the New York Mets, stands on the precipice of returning to the World Series for the first time since 2000. You remember 2000 the year the Yankees reminded the Mets who was big brother dismissing them in five games. But I digress, today with the Mets on their run to a possible world championship I am constantly asked if as a New Yorker I’m excited, am I rooting for them, am I going to watch the game tonight. My answer in order is no, no and maybe as long as it doesn’t run up against The Walking Dead. This is of course meets with utter disdain. Eyes roll and accusations are hurled. Well of course you’re not excited because you’re a hateful Yankees fan, you’re just jealous. What kind of New Yorker are you anyway? Well first off I’m an awesome New Yorker. As a Yankees fan that goes without saying right? But again I digress. The simple fact of the matter is I am not a Mets fan. I have no emotional attachment to them and to be honest most of the time I view the Mets the same way I view the St. Louis Cardinals or Milwaukee Brewers just another team that plays Major League Baseball. The Mets barely register on my radar I’m not the Yankees fan who is worried about the Mets taking over the town, because the town is after all New York, eight million plus people, so I’m pretty confident it’s big enough for both of us.
No I’m a Yankees fan through and through. In the off season I worry about the moves of the Red Sox and Orioles not the Phillies and Nationals. When spring training rolls around my attention is squarely on Tampa, hell I don’t even know what a Port St. Lucie is. Regular season my mode of transportation is the D or the 4 not the 7. I’m the arrogant Yankee fan all others baseball fans warned you about. Yes I’ll constantly remind you not only that they have won 27 championships but that no team in your lifetime or your children’s lifetime will ever have as many. You’re from Boston – Nice to meet you. Hey do remember 1978 and Bucky “bleeping” Dent? No? What about 2003 and Aaron “bleeping” Boone?
Yes I’m a Yankees fan and you want me just because they play in the same city to “root” for the Mets. I don’t think so. Now to be clear I’m not rooting for the Mets to lose and in some way it would be nice to see my friends who are Mets fan and have been beaten down by the Mets happy if only for a minute. But they shouldn’t ask me or want me to hop on the band wagon now. To be a true sports fan you can only give your heart to one team in any sport and only to the players who wear that team’s jersey. You never have a favorite player on another team; yeah I’m looking at you Knicks fans who loved MJ. You can delight in another team’s demise. Boo Hoo Cowboys fans Dez Bryant didn’t catch that pass, at least that what the refs said. But you sure as hell don’t root for the Packers to win. And when your team wins oh baby it is sweet and you don’t want people who were never emotionally invested in them, didn’t feel the pain when they lost, couldn’t tell you who the 25th man on the roster is celebrating with you. It’s your moment; your time to celebrate and look down from Mount Championship and bellow is there no team out here to challenge mine.
So Mets fans stop asking me to root for your team and don’t you ever question the New Yorker in me. It’s your moment own it, enjoy it, just don’t ask me to join you.