The Most Contrarian Street In Queens

When we moved into Kawama we were excited to see that one of our neighbors was a Phillies fan — at least that's what we assumed by the car and its Phillies license plate holder and window stickers.

I think Goober was the first to approach the owner of the car. We were all curious how someone so deep in Mets country could be a Phillies fan. He said something about vacationing in Clearwater, the Phillies' spring training home in Florida, and developing an affinity for the team. Over the summer we'd chat every now and again about the Phillies, say, about Michael Martinez's first big league home run or whatnot.

If the Phillies had gone to the World Series against, say, the Yankees, I hoped a writer would find one more Phillies household on the block and then we'd be profiled as the block in Queens with the most Phillies fans.

That, of course, didn't happen ("We dared for a single season to behave like Yankees fans, to cheer for our team with a swagger instead of hesitation, and in the end we took a kick to the stomach"), and within days of the Phillies' season unceremoniously ending in the first round, the guy across the street replaced his Phillies license plate holder and window stickers with a New England Patriots license plate holder and window stickers.

It's one thing to root for the Phillies because you vacation in Clearwater — even though the Mets are the home team, you have this special link with a different team — fine, I get that. But rooting for the Jets' arch-rival can only be construed as a blatant fuck you to New York City. In my mind this started when Bloomberg announced he was running for a third term, or perhaps when Con Ed couldn't figure out how to get the electricity back on for like a week back in 2006. That's what I'd like to think this is about.

But just the idea that there's one guy in Queens who not only roots for the Patriots but who is so flashy about it is of course really funny to me. Look, New York is a wonderful city. I feel very fortunate to live here. I enjoy living here. But one thing I am physically incapable of ever doing is rooting for its sports teams. I used to say that I only miss two things about my home town: My family and the sports teams. That's still the case, but there's something else at play here when it comes to supporting New York's teams.

One, they don't need me. There are more than enough fans in the 40-million-plus Metropolitan Statistical Area to support two NFL, MLB and NBA franchises, and three NHL franchises. For the most part, those teams dominate if not in wins than at least in financial resources. They could succeed without fans at all.

No, it's something else, which just could be that there's just something really unappealing about latching on to New York teams. I can't quite pin it down. If I moved to Cleveland I might start rooting for the Cavaliers. If I found myself in Vancouver I might bring myself to cheer for the Canucks. But the Yankees? The Giants? The Rangers? The Knicks? God, no.

Maybe one day I'll figure out what it is exactly but for now, I'll just chalk it up to an innate contrarianism.

Which is why tomorrow I sort of want to bring a dozen chicken wings across the street, just as a little wink, like "I feel you, bro." Because the only thing this could possibly be is a Class A Contrarianism, and if we find one more example we could be written up as the most contrarian street in Queens.

Posted: February 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: The Thrill Of Victory And The Agony Of Defeat! | Tags: , , ,

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