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Why Mets fans root against the Yankees in the postseason

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26 Oct 2000: The New York Yankees celebrate their World Series clinching victory in Game 5 of the World Series at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. The Yankees defeated the Mets 4-2 to win their 26th World Series title. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello/ALLSPORT
26 Oct 2000: The New York Yankees celebrate their World Series clinching victory in Game 5 of the World Series at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. The Yankees defeated the Mets 4-2 to win their 26th World Series title. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello/ALLSPORT
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“How can you root against your home city?”

It’s the question I’m always asked in October when the Yankees are in the postseason. Needless to say it’s happened a lot since I was about 8 years old. And of course, that question always comes from Yankee fans. I’m not sure why they insist that we root for the Yankees this time of year. They don’t seem to care about Mets fans otherwise.

But we all know better. We don’t give them the satisfaction of saying “Yes, I’m rooting for the Yankees.” Because what would that mean to a Mets fan at its core? It would mean we’re admitting to ourselves that this other team from New York is better than us. We just have too much pride in being the underdog.

I don’t know any Mets fan that roots for the Yankees in the postseason. And I know I can’t speak for all fans from one side or the other. But based on my personal experience growing up as a baseball fan, I thought I might shed some light on this love/hate (mostly hate though) relationship with our brother team from New York.

It all goes back to the fanbase

I think Yankee fans, and not necessarily the team itself, are why most Mets fans struggle with rooting for the team in October. When it comes to New York baseball, the team you root for can say a lot about who you are as a person.  Mets fans often identify with that underdog spirit. The idea that nothing has ever come easy for us.  So when we do reach some level of success it feels that much more satisfying because of the work that was put in.

As a Yankee fan, you’re used to that success. You expect it. Baseball aside, the Yankees are one of the most successful sports franchises, period. And who could forget that when most arguments with Yankee fans often start off with “27 ringzzz baby!” I’ve had arguments with Yankee fans where that’s all they’ve said, over and over, like a parrot that got lost in a ballpark.

It was mentioned several times at the start of the ALCS this year, that the Yankees would be the “underdog” going into this series. All I could think was “no.” A franchise with 27 championships can never be referred to as an underdog. Not until the Yankees suffer a 108 year drought, or every other team catches up to match that number. Then, and only then, I might consider using the term “underdog.”

In the past two years, the Mets popularity seemed to outshine the Yankees even if for a moment. We had the interesting storylines. We had players to get excited about. And it looks as though this is just the beginning of it all. Mets fans are loyal. Despite all our moaning and groaning through it all. We would never sell ourselves out to root for the “better” team from New York.

“But we rooted for the Mets in 2015!”

Is another phrase I hear a lot. And to that I say, “No. You turned into ghosts.” Aside from a select few Yankee fans I know, I found a majority of the fan base to disappear completely in the fall. Mentioning nothing about baseball as though the sport suddenly ceased to exist. Not actively rooting against the Mets, is not the same as rooting for the Mets. I also don’t recall Mets fans, hassling Yankee fans as much with “why won’t you root for us!?!” Because when it comes down to it, we simply do not care. There are plenty of fairweather Mets fans out there. We don’t need to beg a few more to pop up every time the sun comes out for us in October.

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