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The Dartmouth
June 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

New Yorkers root for the home team

Whether you consider yourself a devoted Yankees fan, a die-hard Mets fan or barely recognize who these teams are, this year's subway World Series -- the first in 44 years -- has been difficult to ignore.

For the first time since 1956, when the Yankees defeated the then-Brooklyn Dodgers four games to three to take the title, the World Series features two New York teams: the two-time defending world champion Yankees, and the Mets, who are making their first World Series appearance since their win over the Red Sox in 1986. This first-ever matchup has provoked a variety of reactions both nationwide and on campus, ranging from intense excitement in some New York fans to only mild interest or indifference in many others.

"If I had any less work I'd be watching it," said Eric Etu '01, a resident of upstate New York and an admitted lifelong Yankees fan. "If I'd been able to get tickets, I definitely would have gone in to see one of the games," he added.

Ted Knudsen, an '04 from New York and an ardent Mets fan, expressed a similar view. "I've watched all of every game so far, and I'll watch every game to come, especially given the fact that the Mets are in the running, and that it's a subway series," he said.

With game three of the series in progress, many of these same fans were also eager to offer predictions on the outcome.

"I expect it to go to five or six games, but seeing as how it's keeping me from my work, I hope the Yankees can keep up their run and win in four," Etu said.

"The longer it lasts, the better," said Maureen Ellinwood '03, from northern New Jersey, who noted she hopes for a seven-game series. "But I predict the Yankees will win based on how they've done in the past," she continued.

Despite the greatly increased appeal of a subway series to many of those from the New York area, the same geographical fact has apparently driven down nationwide interest in the series: in Chicago, for example, television ratings for the series opener were off more than 20 percent from previous years. This same trend seems to be mirrored at Dartmouth.

"I'm interested in the series as a New Yorker, but I don't think it engages other people nearly as much," Jeff Withers '02, commented.

"I definitely think the fact that it's a subway series makes many people less inclined to follow it," said Tim Lesle '01, from North Pole, Alaska. "I imagine if the rest of America doesn't think New York City is caught up in itself, it will after this," he noted dryly.

Still, a significant number of non-New York fans, particularly the notoriously passionate Boston Red Sox fans, seem to have taken interest in the series.

"I think Red Sox fans are resigned to the fact that their team will never win, and have thrown their support behind the Mets, not so much because they like them, but out of hatred towards the Yankees," Etu said.

Kip Praissman '04, a resident of Long Island, had another perspective on the changing of team loyalties. "Many people from beyond New York who claim Yankee loyalty are only fans because of the team's record the past few years. You don't find many Mets fans outside of New York," he said.

Even though the series has turned out Yankees fans and haters alike, the amount of time students have been able or willing to devote to the games has been limited. Many students admitted that their work has significantly cut into the time they would otherwise have spent watching the game, while even in the late innings of last night's game three at Shea Stadium, the television lounge in Collis remained nearly half-empty.

Even so, with the amount of attention the series has received thus far in the national news, and with New Yorkers' reputation for being somewhat outspoken, it is unlikely anyone will be unaware of the final outcome for long, be it in five, six or seven games.