Today, Team Spogo begins a two week trek down the east coast for a variety of meetings in Washington DC, Richmond, and New York. As we head south on the Mass Pike towards enemy territory, I can’t help but think about the Boston-New York rivalry.
The roots of the mutual disdain between Bostonians and New Yorkers goes much deeper than just Red Sox and Yankees baseball (for history lesson, keep reading – otherwise skip ahead). It all started as far back as 1627, seven years after the Mayflower landed in Plymouth, when a messenger from New Amsterdam visited the Pilgrims with “a rundlet of sugar and two Holland cheeses” as a peace offering following a land dispute. As the story goes, the Pilgrim greeted the messenger, accepted the gift basket, promptly threw it on the ground and exclaimed “Yankees suck! Now get the hell off my FAHHM!”
Boston and New York were meant to be mortal enemies. For me, the power of the rivalry lies in sports. Below are the top three sports moments that have defined my personal Boston – New York rivalry.
1) Red Sox vs. Yankees ALCS Championships – 2003 and 2004
Without 2003, 2004 would never have been as sweet. That’s why I’m counting this as one ‘moment’. In 2003, Aaron Boone hit a 12th inning walk off homer in Game 7 to send the Red Sox home. It was devastating. But it intensified the rivalry. Just one short year later, the Sox handed the Yankees the biggest choke in baseball history (please ignore last year’s Red Sox collapse), winning four straight games to go to the World Series.
Whenever I think about 2004, I get goose bumps. Sometimes I just start weeping uncontrollably. There’s no way to describe the comeback that unfolded on those four cold nights in October. Staying true to my M.O. as the most negative fan in Boston, I turned off Game 4 in the 9th inning. Down 4-3 in the 9th, three games back, I was sure it was over. But as we all know…Millar walked, Roberts pinch ran and stole second, Mueller singled to tie the game…and Papi ended it in the 11th. From there we went on to win the World Series for the first time in 86 years.
2) Patriots vs. Giants – Superbowl XLVI
David and I often argue over which Superbowl was more painful, 2007 or 2011. It’s like trying to decide whether to take an ice-pick to the ear or to the eye. Either way, both of those games have left incurable scars. For me though, last year was worse. Dave and I watched the game by ourselves in a hotel room (this story will get a full post soon…but the wounds are still fresh). I was on the verge of a panic attack every time the ball left Brady’s hand. As the last Hail Mary fell just out of reach of Gronk’s big mitts, I was left with that awful feeling again. But as I said in an earlier post, this only makes the rivalry stronger. Time to jump back on the bandwagon!
3) Patriots vs. Jets – November 13, 2011
On the surface, this game isn’t anything more than a typical Pats victory over the subway scum New York Jets. Sure it was a great win in enemy territory, but we’ve come to expect it. Patriots walked away with the game, 37-16. What makes this game special for me though, is that I was in attendance. Sitting one row from the last at MetLife Stadium, I had the pleasure of meeting some true Jets fans. And by true I mean belligerent, antagonizing, obnoxious, and some other nice words. Aside from avoiding fights all night, I ended up having a blast. I couldn’t have walked out of that stadium any happier. The experience just added fuel to the fire.
With half of my family from Greater Boston and (the unfortunate) half from Greater New York, the rivalry is especially near and dear to me. Now that David and I have brought on a New York blogger, we’re excited to ignite the rivalry from within Spogo. We encourage reader comments–share your own stories, thoughts and favorite moments right here. No matter what side you’re on, we’ve got you covered.