Thursday, October 29, 2009

What Would Pop-Pop Do?

Some Mets fans are having moral and ethical dilemmas in this World Series. I totally understand. While I'll pay attention to the overall stats, scores of the games, etc, I didn't turn the game on once last night. I could care less who wins or loses, they could get swine flu for all I care, and at the end of it all, I can do without the general Yankee ball-washing that occurs in times like this.

But I will say this. It's interesting to see some of the questions arising about who should be rooting for who or what this series, especially Mets fans. Why Yankee fans care about what or who the Mets should be rooting for is beyond me. Metstradamus said it best a few days ago. This is Satan's Series, no one wins here (for us).

Yankee fans will say you should root for New York. Phillies fans are okay with Mets fans jumping on their wagon. Here's the thing though: Most Mets fans I know are not exactly rooting for the Phillies. Someone told me today, Yay! The Yankees Lost! BOO! The Phillies WON! It's a lose-lose situation on either end. It's a different scenario where the Yankees root for the Mets. It's tougher when the shoe is on the other foot. Obviously, if the Angels were playing the Phillies, or the Dodgers were playing the Yankees, our allegiance would be easier to see.

But why do most Mets fans have a problem with rooting for New York? Yankees fans arguments center around, shouldn't you root for NY, even if it's the Yankees?

I think it goes to the roots the old school American League versus National League rivalries. Imagine this: let's say the year is 1946 and you are a dyed-in-the-wool New York Giants fan (the baseball variety, of course). The hated Dodgers are playing the Yankees in the World Series. As a Giants fan, I would have to believe you would root for the National League. Although the Dodgers were hated, I think Yankee hatred ran deep even then. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Although the enemy of my enemy of my enemy are all my enemies. Maybe no one cared. But life was different then. There was no Internet, no blogs, no Twitter feeds. All that was there were your friends. But if you were a baseball, you knew the World Series was going on.

Mr. E's dad, Pop-Pop, was a baseball fan. He had National League roots, and leaned towards the Dodgers. My dad was too young to understand the true rivalries. But even when the NL skipped town in 1957, Pop-Pop could not root for the Yankees in good conscience so he, like most NL fans, had to wait till the Mets came around.

So maybe some old schoolers can shed some light on this. I know why I'm not rooting for the Yankees. I know why I'm not exactly rooting for the Phillies either. But I'm not rooting for the Yankees to win, that much I know.

Back when it was the two NL teams and one AL team, was it fashionable to root for the NL team playing them, even if they were your arch rival in the regular season? I think a lot of this overexposure now has to do with saturation of social media. Maybe it mattered back then, maybe it didn't. But I'm curious to know from anyone who was either around or knew from people who were around.


dykstraw said...

i don't see this how this is rocket science. i'm against steroids and $200M payrolls and DH softball league rules being rewarded, i'm against parades in my backyard, and most of all, i'm against the notion that somehow yankee fans are suffering because they haven't won in a whole nine years. philly may be a city of savages but it's not one i need to visit regularly. and i envy the phillies organization more than i hate it.

Coop said...

I'm just trying to figure out the history as to why Yankee fans think it's ok for Mets fans to root for the Yanks in a series b/c it's about "NY" but Mets fans wouldn't expect Yanks fans to root for them. It's easy for me to figure out though on the record I am not exactly rooting for either, more so for the Yanks to lose. I agree, I tried to discredit the Phillies as much as I could but I can't any longer. They ARE that good.

dgwPhotography said...

It's the same as the emperor saying, "Come, Skywalker. Feel the strength of the Dark Side."

I come from a long line of Brooklyn Dodger fans - there is no way any of us would ever root for the MFYs under any circumstances...

Coop said...

So Whit, it would be acceptable in the case of the '51 WS to root for the MFG's? Even though they broke the Dodgers' hearts? I'm just trying to see the history of this - I know it's never ok to root for the MFYs EVER but wondering how it all started and if it was ever okay!

dykstraw said...

coop, it's sort of the opposite. i think most yankees fans would root for the mets or not care either way, because nothing the mets could ever do would threaten the yankees' elite status. and yankee fans could root for the "new york" team. what they generally don't understand is that the yankees are an iconic team not bound by geography, with fans - and thus haters - everywhere.