Does Coming to New York Mean Switching Teams?


Rachel Ruecker

Some NYU students stay true to the sports teams of their hometowns while others find themselves potentially at the front of Yankee Stadium.

Miguel de Laveaga, Contributing Writer

For those of us who came to New York City to pursue our education, the comfort and familiarity of home and family are not the only things we left behind. Moving to New York means moving away from our hometown sports allegiances. For some, that loyalty remains steadfast. For others, it means adopting the teams of their new hometown.

Throughout my first few months here, my eyes haven’t wandered from any teams other than my beloved hometown San Francisco squads. Perhaps other students, however, have begun to gravitate toward the teams in our new home. So, this week I’ve gone to figure out where everyone really stands, from first-year students to those more accustomed to NYU and the city as a whole.

Although not a big sports fan, LS freshman Raymond Lee admitted to keeping a closer watch on his home teams through the postseason.

“I do get into it when playoffs come around,” Lee said.

But Lee said that being from northern Virginia has left him with a scarce contingent of serviceable teams. Rooting for New York alternatives has been a breath of fresh air.

“DC sports have always been discouraging to watch,” he said.

Since coming to the city, Lee has adapted to his new surroundings, becoming quite the New York Knicks fan. In fact, the reason I stopped to talk with him was because of the Derrick Rose jersey he was wearing.

“Me and my Knicks buddies have watched every game so far this season,” Lee said, and although they may be a measly 3-6, he and his newfound pals have enjoyed themselves tremendously. “Whenever I hang out and watch them, it’s such a great time.”

Steinhardt freshman Victoria Pflaum was wearing a Yankee hat on her way to class. After speaking to Lee, I was expecting a similar story of transformation. Instead, Victoria told me about her immense pride for her hometown team.

“I guess I’ve been a lifelong Yankee fan,” Pflaum said.

Her appreciation stemmed from her upbringing in her hometown of Poughkeepsie, just two hours north of the city. Even though her family isn’t as diehard as many other New Yorkers where the Yankees are concerned, she’s still been to a number of games. However, she noted that the move down to Manhattan took her further away from the fandom, more than anything.

This season was really disappointing for all of us, but I didn’t care that much this time around,” Pflaum said. “I think I’m, like, more removed from it living here now. Like, living in the city has actually softened it.”

Tisch sophomore Zachary Nagin was the first student I spotted not wearing any apparent sports gear. Nagin hails from Westchester, just outside the city. But unlike Lee and Pflaum, Nagin was pretty ambivalent, demonstrating a more typical NYU stance toward sports. When I asked him what his favorite sports team was, he said it was the Cincinnati Reds, not because of the city or any part of the team, but rather for aesthetic reasons.

“I really like the color red,” Nagin said.

He said New York sports teams have never intrigued him, primarily due to their subpar color palettes.

All of the New York teams suck at colors,” Nagin asserted. “The Yankees colors have always bored me. The Mets, that orange and blue — they could really use a makeover from that atrocious orange and blue.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter where you’re from if the colors don’t match up for you.

In Washington Square Park, I spotted someone wearing a Boston Red Sox beanie — a bold move for anyone living in New York. Tisch freshman Adam Picard-Park was firm in his Bostonian beliefs when I asked if he had grown fond of any local teams since enrolling at NYU.

“No, I hate the Yankees. I’m a Sox fan,” Picard-Park said. “I promised my mom I would never root for the Yankees.”

He didn’t stop there though, as I pressed him on New York City sports teams as a whole.

“I pretty much hate all the teams,” Picard-Park said.

It’s clear different people have different thoughts on the New York sports scene. While it’s safe to assume that some new students may switch their affiliations, people like Picard-Park, or even those like Nagin are too strong to be swayed by a move. The comforts of rooting for a home team may be enticing, but should they let you down, New York has no shortage of teams all over the city just waiting to become your new hometown team.

Email Miguel de Laveaga at [email protected].