When I was a kid, I was a Dr. J fan. This made me, by proxy, a Philadelphia 76ers fan. Now, being from Nyack, New York one would have expected that I’d be a Knicks fan. The fact was that I had liked the Knicks back when I could barely walk and they were still winning titles behind Walt “Clyde” Frazier, but I had liked The Doc even then, when he was soaring through the air for the New York Nets of Long Island.
I was also a bit of a San Francisco 49ers fan, being absolutely in love, as I was, with their running back, the little remembered Wendell Tyler. When a gang of us would get together and play “kill the carrier”, it was Tyler’s herky-jerk jukes and fakes that’d I’d imitate, often fumbling (as he did) just for authenticity.
I was a Mets fan too but this was just because an older man that I respected said that he was and I really didn’t give a damn about baseball.
Now I’m all Mets, Knicks, and Jets. How did this happen? Going away to college.
This complete sociopathic bozo from Philly named Shawn Houston (then and always a friend, even now a Facebook friend) started giving me the business one day after the New York Giants lost to his hometown Eagles.
The conversation went like this: Him: You see what my Eagles did to your Giants yesterday? Me: I’m not a Giants f… Him: Your team just couldn’t stop Cunningham. Me: I’m not… Him: The Giants suck! Me: I… Him: New York sucks! Me: Hey!
So when I meet somebody today and they’re, let’s say, a lifelong Harlem resident and their favorite teams are, for instance, the Pittsburgh Steelers the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Red Sox, I know immediately that they’ve never been away from New York long enough to have to defend it.