I disappeared into playoff hockey for the last few weeks. When the Rangers are playing, it’s unavoidable. It’s better when the other local teams aren’t in it, not counting the Islanders. It’s tough to consider them local.
That’s to say that Flyers and Devils fans don’t really acknowledge them as rivals in any way, shape or form, which is understandable too; a decade-plus of futility tends to do that (thank you Garth Snow and Rick DiPietro). But boy, do they love to hate on the Rangers fans around here. Sometimes they hate so much they come to blows over it, and once resulted in jail time.
Realizing that, it’s tough raising my kids as Rangers/Mets/Giants fans down here. That said, it’s also a great way to reinforce that greatest of abilities, ‘stick-to-it-iveness’. Be a Mets fan long enough and you start to get that bunker mentality (or occasionally mild Stockholm Syndrome) that one of these days we might sniff a season or two of above-500 ball.
I am, however, sentencing them to a life of second class citizenship. Phillies Day at school. Eagles pep rallies. Energizer battery throws. And endless trash talk, constant and annoying. When they’re bigger I’ll tell them the stories about why we can’t go see the Mets when they’re in Philly, but there’s also a good shot that no matter how I bring them up they’ll give in to that other kind of Stockholm Syndrome. The one that comes from peer pressure. The one that makes them root for… The enemy.
And I could be able to deal with that. Possibly. After all, my own father watches me root for teams that aren’t the Yanks or Jets.
But so help me God, if they try to root for the Flyers…