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The Out-of-Towner

Oct. 30, 2000
Oct. 30, 2000

Table of Contents
Oct. 30, 2000

NBA Preview 2000-01

The Out-of-Towner

The wife and I moved our family to New York City for the fall so
we could experience firsthand the thrill of rude cashiers, cabs
that smell like a goat fry and the $19 tuna sandwich.

This is an article from the Oct. 30, 2000 issue Original Layout

So we've had a front-row seat to the tension in Gotham lately,
with elbows flying in grocery lines, mothers slamming their
strollers into each other and half the populace screaming at the
other half. And that was before the Subway Series.

Folks in the rest of the country see this World Series as the
government versus Microsoft. They don't care who wins as long as
a whole lot of New Yorkers suffer. But having studied the Mets'
and the Yankees' fans, it seems to me there are some basic
differences.

For instance, I've noticed that Mets fans occasionally take the
peanuts out of the shell before eating them. In addition, many of
them are from families who've been walking erect for two or more
generations.

Mets fans are a paper-napkin kind of crowd. Yankees fans prefer
their shirts, in the rare event they're wearing them.

Mets fans worship their heroes so devoutly that Mets players find
it difficult to leave the house. Yankees fans worship players
whose prior felonies make it illegal for them to leave the house.

There haven't been many, but Mets fans take great pride in each
and every pennant their team has won. Yankees fans take great
pride in each and every pennant their team has bought.

Mets fans enjoy the everyday food of the city--a delicious hot dog
from Gray's Papaya, maybe an egg cream or a street-corner knish.
Yankees fans like beer.

Mets fans worship an odd mascot with an XXL head known as Mr.
Met. Yankees fans worship an odd mascot with an XXL head known as
Mayor Giuliani.

In big games Mets fans pray for another home run off the bat of
32-year-old legend Mike Piazza. In big games Yankees fans pray
for another home run off the glove of 12-year-old legend Jeffrey
Maier.

After wins at Shea Stadium, Mets fans love to celebrate to the
beat of Who Let the Dogs Out. Yankees fans make visitors ask the
same question. In fact, Mets reliever John Franco wouldn't let
his eight-year-old son, J.J., wear his jersey to Game 1 at Yankee
Stadium for fear it would cause trouble. But Yankees fans don't
mind jerseys. It's Mets hats that they steal off heads and set on
fire.

Mets fans root for outfielder Benny Agbayani, who once tossed a
live ball into the stands. Yankees fans root for infielder Chuck
Knoblauch, who once tossed a live ball to first base.

The hardest three-year stretch for most Mets fans was from 1977
to '79. The hardest three-year stretch for most Yankees fans was
third grade.

A good question to ask Mets fans is, "Do you think manager Bobby
Valentine will be back next year, or will he leave for more
money?" A good question to ask a Yankees fan is, "Is this the
stop for Yankee Stadium, or should I go screw myself?"

Put it this way: Mets fans are diehards, Yankees fans throw
DieHards.

Mets fans take advantage of New York's unsurpassed array of
cultural treasures, including art museums, opera houses and
Broadway theaters. Yankees fans like beer.

At Shea Stadium, Mets fans get used to the wind blowing in from
leftfield. At Yankee Stadium, Yankees fans get used to the wind
blowing out from the owners' box.

Mets fans seem to be ethnically diverse, with a fan base that
includes African-Americans, Asians and Eastern Europeans. Yankees
fans have also gotten used to sitting behind poles.

Mets fans use their cell phones during games. Yankees fans use
the phones in their cells.

The language of Mets fans can be a little coarse, sprinkling the
occasional f word into conversation. The language of Yankees fans
can be a little coarse, too, sprinkling occasional conversations
in with the f words.

All in all, I'd say Mets fans seem to relish the honor of winning
after years of sweat; of standing by their team because it's
their team, through feast and famine; of wearing their old,
frayed Mets hats past all the bandwagons and Senate candidates in
the crisp new hats of the easy team to root for, the soulless
one, the corporate one.

Yankees fans like beer.

COLOR PHOTO: DANA FINEMAN/SYGMA
Mets fans worship a mascot with an XXL head known as Mr. Met.
Yankees fans worship a mascot with an XXL head known as Mayor
Giuliani.