Sportscaster101.com talent Anthony Romano is joined by Vinny Micucci for a breakdown of the 2012 AL EastSource: Sportscaster101.com
(East Meadow, NY) - As the ball came spiraling back to earth eventually to fall incomplete and my favorite football team had captured the Super Bowl title, I stood in amazement at the last month and a half pondering what was another incredible ride. You see, from outside of New York; a sports fan might believe that this town has it all. They might see the banners raised, the canyon of heroes full and the rings shown all as something to symbolize what this city has accomplished. However, a closer look at the divide that exists shows otherwise.
I have been very lucky as a sports fan. My teams are the Giants, Yankees, Rangers and Knicks. I simply followed my father and he followed what is a fairly strict line. Certainly not in all cases but the majority of sports fans in New York follow along a line. Giants fans root for the Yankees, who root for the Rangers, who root for the Knicks…Let’s call them the “Championship Fans”. Jets fans root for the Mets, who root for the Islanders, who root for the Knicks. We can call them “Second Fiddle Fans”. Unfortunately, for the “Second Fiddle” fans, the only like team is the Knicks and that is not helping the case. You can trace this to the divide between fans in Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn years ago…you can trace it to the colors or rhyming if you would really like but in a vast majority of New York sports fans lives…they follow this trend.
The “Championship Fans” who rooted as your New York Giants held the Lombardi Trophy have had a distinct advantage over the New York “Second Fiddle” counterparts. What must the feeling be like to live in the largest city in the country with so many championships over the past 25 years and still miss out on nearly all of it?
By anyones count, 25 plus years ago since 1986…fans of the Giants, Rangers, Yankees and Knicks have enjoyed 10 Championships whereas the “Second Fiddle” fans can only embrace 1…the 1986 New York Mets. I write all of this not to shove it in anyones face but merely to illustrate how amazing it is that the divide of fans that clearly exists can actually be so one-sided when it comes to playing for the leagues ultimate prize.
Yet, one day perhaps in the near future, the “Second Fiddle” fans will get their day. What will it feel like? What will their emotions be? As a member of the “Championship Fans” club, it is all about the ride. It is the constant debate leading up to big games. It is the attention paid to each detail along the way. It is the bragging rights that come with wins (much like this article). It is the many moments and gut-wrenching highlights that we re-live over and over through the years. All in all…it is fun.
With all of that said, I am aware that winning anything for a professional team is tough. I am realistic. I understand that not every player can bat .300 in the majors and hit a Home Run at will. I realize that not every pass on 3rd down will move the chains and I know that not every slight deflection of the puck will be stopped. Fans nowadays have too high of an expectation of players and teams and that is not me. Additionally, I am aware I personally did nothing to accomplish these wins. I just happened to pick right. Otherwise, this would be a very different article from written from the view point of a “Second Fiddle” fan.
One fans view point…”Ranking the Championships of the last 25 years of the “Championship Fan”
1) 2007 New York Giants - I can’t imagine anything in my lifetime trumping this. It came out of nowhere. The Giants put up a great fight in week 17 vs. the Patriots at home and it flew from there. They eased past a Ronde Barber mouthed Buccaneers team. They stole away the tickets Jerry Jones placed at his players lockers for the NFC title game with a big win in Big D. They defeated Favre in Green Bay in minus 5 degree temps in dramatic fashion. They had no business being in the Super Bowl and defeated the 18-0 Patriots thanks to great defense. Tom Brady said “oh, we’re only going to score 17?” Eli Manning, who faced critics left and right somehow guided his team to a game-winning drive and the catch off of David Tyree’s helmet sealed the deal. It was NY over Boston..and because of all that was attached to it…all of the storylines involved..it has to be the greatest Super Bowl. (click here for a great Patriot fan reaction video; courtest of Fitzy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNIl2uCPwWs )
2) 2000 New York Yankees - This article again doesn’t exist if the “Second Fiddle” fans get one over the Yankees. The series was tight each contest even though it only went 5 games. The signature blow was Derek Jeter leading off game four with a solo blast after the Mets won game 3. It was as if, the “power hitting” Jeter was saying…”ok, you’ve had your fun with that one win, but now it is time to end this”. That earned the Yankees eternal bragging rights until the reverse happens or the Mets win a few of their own. Since then, the Yanks keep winning and the Mets have had some of the biggest collapses to end a season of all time. “Second Fiddle” fans still point to Carlos Beltran’s strike three call against St. Louis as the big moment.
3) 1994 New York Rangers - After years of 1940, the Rangers put to bed the Islander fans only real vocal edge at any game. It was the greatest “chant” that I can recall and shut anyone up in 4 short syllables. However, it is by the waste side and now Rangers fans sit cautiously wondering what this season can bring.
4) 2011 New York Giants - Really? Another run just like the last? Again, over the Patriots? Eli is finally getting his long-awaited due? New York avenged losses to Green Bay and San Fran on the road and proved that they are the only ones not to flinch against the Patriots.
5) 1998 New York Yankees - This was the juggernaut team. They disposed of the San Diego Padres in 4 during the World Series and won 125 games over the course of the year. This was the team that Yankee fans got over confident with. They would be trailing 11-0 after one inning at your BBQ. You would say, “11-0? They will come back.” You would then get a hamburger and come back to a 13-11 Yankee lead. They just didn’t lose.
6) 1996 New York Yankees - Because it had been a while in Yankee circles since their last title, this one was special. It was the beginning of the Yankee run of the late 90’s and it was the start of the Yankee household names like Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Pettite, Williams and more!
7) 1991 New York Giants - As a vast underdog, the Giants took care of the upstate Bills by installing a slow it down game plan that kept Jim Kelly and the high powered Bills off of the field. Scott Norwood still is haunted by this game but it goes down as a “wide right” and Giants win!
8) 2009 New York Yankees - Another good team that came together when it mattered. The importance of this win was it came against their rivals to the south…Philadelphia! Fans are very aware of just how good the Phillies are nowadays and the fact that they aren’t already winning multiple titles is surprising but the Yankees took home the hardware.
9) 1986 New York Giants - The score wasn’t all that close but the Giants won and captured their first Super Bowl title. This is lower because it is the first sports memory I really remember. I didn’t have much background to compare it to. I wasn’t aware of the magnitude but I do remember some of the fan fare around me at the time.
10) The 1999 New York Yankees - A good team with a good win over the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees dispatched of the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS and got their 2nd straight title.
A “Second Fiddle” fans Rankings of their past 25 years titles.
1) The 1986 New York Mets
Fans from around the nation, as New York wins, it doesn’t mean everyone is happy. It doesn’t even mean that everyone is a little happy because as you see…due to the divide of teams, one seems to be hogging all of the spotlight. One day, maybe the tide will turn. Logic says that there is no way of knowing but if the current state of all New York teams is any indication…it won’t be anytime soon. However, when that day comes when “Second Fiddle” fans enjoy “the ride”, I’ll enjoy watching it, because it will be legendary!Source: Sportscaster101.com