New York

The sports landscape in New York breaks down like a scene from a Charles Dickens’ novel – for every “have,” there’s a historical “have not.” Every team has its crosstown rival – the fly in the ointment, the foil, the competition for the back pages and fannies in the seats.

For the Yankees and their 26 World Championships, there is the Mets with their 120 losses in 1962 and epic 2007 collapse. For the Giants that slayed the giant in Arizona, there is the Jets dubious drafting history, and their ineptitude under Rich Kotite.

As a fan, passion runs deep knowing your team isn’t the only game in town. That you have to worry not only about teams in your division, but also about the team in your own backyard. Did your team blow a late lead? Expect to catch heat about it tomorrow at work. Have a losing season? You won’t hear the end of that until the next campaign starts.

It’s a different vibe than every other city around. You go to battle with your teams more than fans anywhere else do. You have to defend them, and yourself, every day. If you’re not from here, you just won’t get it.

While the crown rests heaviest on the traditional powers in NYC, no team escapes criticism – and with good reason. New Yorkers expect success, and excuses don’t carry much weight here. This town is hell when you lose, but win and you’re immortal.

So pick a side (no fence sitters allowed), but be prepared to fight tooth and nail for everything you get.

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