Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Teams and Location

Originally written Sept. 19, 2004

New Jersey Yankees??

This weekend there was a hotly contested baseball series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. One of the few things that bother me a lot about sports is people rooting for teams that are from a different state than they reside. This is readily apparent during the Yankee/Red Sox series. I cannot fully express how much it bothers me those fans from New Jersey root for the Yankees. Yes, I understand that you do not have a team in Jersey, but to call yourself a “die-hard” fan is a joke. More to the point, it seems people root for the Yankees because it is now a trendy bandwagon to jump on to. If you have a reason that you root for a team that is not from your home state you should have a good reason for doing so. I know sports should not be dictated entirely by location, but that is one of the many things that make rivalries fun. You immediately dislike or bond with a person based on sports affiliation. Normally, I would contend that you can only root for teams in your home states, but that is somewhat unfair. I think it is more an indictment of sports as a whole that makes it difficult geographically speaking to have true “home teams.” Such examples would be: New Jersey residents rooting for the Yankees, people deciding to root for the LA Lakers or Clippers, who both play in the same building, states that don’t even have any professional teams, or the New York Giants and Jets who not only play on the same field, it’s located in New Jersey.

I must confess that if you know me, and know I’m a Red Sox fan and live in Virginia, I am even guiltier of this assertion. But, if you take the time to ask me why, I would explain that, both my parents are from Boston, and I grew up watching Red Sox games with my grandfather. And in his later years when I visited I would read box scores to him because he could not see. So, the Red Sox are not only a team to me, but also an outlet for me to remember my grandfather, and how much he loved rooting for the team that could never pull out a tough series. But he never stopped rooting, so, neither will I.

So, basically if we’ve learned anything from this nonsensical column of sports rebuke is that New York, Metropolitan Area, (upstate is totally different) and New Jersey are totally ass-backwards in the sports or baseball and football. Somehow they managed to get basketball correct. Now, you may say that Boston is backwards, or that there are equally asinine sports teams and there locations, but at least the New England Patriots allow for more of a region than just a state’s allegiance. So, maybe what should happen is that the teams from the New York City area be renamed Metropolitan ___________s. It could solve some of the apparent animosity, and also bring together more fans that have been afraid of associating with the teams until now.

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