I am always surprised at the reaction my now-year-old post, Obviously, Massachusetts Schools Neglect to Teach Geography of Areas outside of New England (or No, Western New Yorkers are not Yankees Fans.), still gets. The most viewed and most commented post ever on this blog, the discussion it’s encouraged is great!
Jon emailed me earlier this week with a comment too lengthy to be posted as a comment, and I thought it was cool enough to be my first sorta, kinda in a way guest post ever. I’ll also link to this in the comments section of the original post as well.
Thanks, Jon for such a well thought out response to the article, and for another view into being a Western New York sports fan. The comment, which includes one of the best descriptions of why Western New Yorkers tend to flock to Boston, after the jump.
Being a fellow WNYer almost all of my life, your Binghamton post caught my eye as I might be leaving Buffalo to go to school there. I’ve visited only a handful of times but it’s strange that my uncle who I’ve never seen as a sports fan whatsoever (more of an outdoor type) follows the Yankees quite regularly. Maybe it is because they are on TV there.
I agree with your posting about WNY/CNYers having a disdain for NYC, but not to the point where we would never visit…just not the place to live. I am more drawn to moving to Boston too. I think it’s just about being labeled Upstate. It is like feeling completely ignored. Oh well.
To Pravin: I’ll try to break it down the best I can.
In WNY I see Baseball interest as waning. but among the teams you will find the Yankees have a slight edge but that could change with the Mets being now affiliated, also both YES (Yankees) and SNY (Mets) are both on the basic cable packages. Coupled with the fact that the University at Buffalo (30k students) of which i’d estimate 15-25 percent are from the 5 boroughs + Long Island with a sizeable portion from areas within an hr of NYC. The point is the Mankees/Yets fans in Buffalo are influenced by those downstaters.
I don’t even think there are Pirates fans in Pittsburgh let alone Buffalo, but I think you can get FSN Pittsbugh in the south western NY counties, see the map here.
Indians- now that the affiliation is over you will see less and less. Blue Jays are only the team you go see when you want to see your other favorite teams. There are not on any over the air Canadian TV networks and their radio signal is weak in Buffalo which may contribute to the lack of interest.
As for the Bills, the Dolphins rivalry fluctuates depending on how bad they are (but we’ve been bad for a decade too). most of the older fans would put them as the biggest rival because of Kelly/Marino but if i had to rank the rivals I would say…
Tier 1- Jets slightly above the Dolphins
Tier 2- Patriots. but they’ve been just plain better than everyone in the AFC East. still there is hate, but it’s a different kind of hate than the 2 above teams.
Tier 3- Jaguars (have faced them a lot in the past decade), Titans, Browns.
Sabres rivals (for me I have only a dislike for the Habs and not the hate brewing for the below teams) but for other fans it could be different
in this order
2. Maple Leafs
some fans might put the Canadiens either below or above the Flyers.
General NBA interest in the City of Buffalo, Knicks are on TV, some Raptors games on CBC. and proximity to Cleveland, those would probably be the 3 biggest draws but it’s probably a mixed bag.
But we are a big college basketball city.
Depending on where you go/went to college you could be a ‘Cuse fan, UB Bulls, Canisius, Niagara or St. Bonaventure fan.
from my experience traveling around WNY it’s like this…
1A. Bills/Sabres (probably more Bills than Sabres interest in Southtowns, areas closer to Orchard Park)
1B. Sabres/Bills (Sabres get the edge in the Suburbs, North of the City)
2.Bisons (families, baseball players, people who live in the city)
3. College Sports
UB Football, “Big 4” Basketball, Syracuse FB/BB
4.Bandits (Lacrosse) college students, popular among the Bills crowds who don’t go/can’t afford sabres tickets, popular with the Natives (who live south of the city)
Major League Baseball
High School Sports
NBA/Nascar (about even)