Everyone in New York has long known that there are differences between fans of the Yankees and Mets, but it has never been easy to quantify what those differences were beyond the opinions of a particular fan or two. A new survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal might change that.
They spoke to 650 fans across the city and began breaking down the data on Friday by looking at the lives and thoughts of the male respondants. There are plenty of interesting nuggets to glean from the findings. Yankees fans make more money but are also more likely to live alone without pets in a home that features a cassette player. Hey, it's expensive to get tickets to the Stadium and there's not a lot of cash left over for family and/or technology that's not wildly outdated.
Mets fans drink more beer and own more guns, a potentially dangerous combination with Jerry Manuel pushing buttons in the dugout and Oliver Perez still taking a regular turn in the rotation. Adding to the trouble is the fact that 87 percent of them follow the Mets daily, a situation that becomes fraught with danger when booze and bullets are thrown into the mix.
Despite their divergent baseball interests, there is some common ground. The two groups enjoy pot and tattoos at just about the same levels and they each draw the same percentage of their fans from Manhattan. All of that makes for fun conversation, but the stat that jumps out beyond any other is the survey's finding that Yankee fans worry about their team more than Mets fans.
At first, it seems shocking. What is there to worry about when you've won 27 world championships and root for a roster larded with superstars? They are stereotyped as smug and arrogant on a daily basis, but it's hard to think of Yankee fans as worrywarts constantly waiting for the roof to cave in on them. That's Mets fan territory, or so we used to believe.
The more you think about it, though, the more it makes sense. Mets fans don't worry about their whole baseball world falling apart, they know it is going to happen and go through their days with a grim fatalism about it. Yankee fans, on the other hand, allow Javier Vazquez to whip them up into an unholy lather even while their team gets off to a smashing start to the season. Derek Jeter can swath himself in bubble wrap all he wants, it isn't going to stop his most rabid supporters from worrying that an anvil is going to drop on his head and cause the team to miss the playoffs.
Higher expectations probably do give birth to more worries about failing to live up to them. It might be wiser to just follow the lead of Mets fans and enjoy a cold beer, though.