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The Northeast's DMZ

Growing up in the quiet corner of Connecticut (aka "the New England part of Connecticut"), my view of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry and the resulting fissure in the northeast was exemplified by two of my best friends: Kurt & Rich. These identical twin brothers disagreed about almost everything, yet few things sparked argument like the Sox versus the Yanks. Rich defended Mike Greenwell against the onslaught of Kurt's Don Mattingly love. I'm not sure if the debate was ever resolved. Though I maintain to this day that the Gator had a far more creative nickname than Donnie Baseball. (Any thoughts as to how a kid from Kentucky gets the "Gator" nickname? Do I remember he wrestled them?)

I bring this up now because... well because it's my blog. My friend passed along this map and it got me to thinking about the geography of the heart of Red Sox Nation. First, let me restate something: the RSN I refer to has NOTHING to do with the stupid entity run by the Corporate Sox.

First, let me pick the low-hanging fruit: long ago I ceded the southwestern corner of Connecticut to the dark side. Stamford, I hardly knew you. And I don't regret that.

My question for my "many" readers is this: are there other pockets of rampant disloyalty in New England?

As food for thought on the subject, let me point out that there are many NY Giant fans in the Burlington area. Given that one of my best friends is a Giants' fan born in Jersey, I figured this was because of transplants. However, as I settled in up north, I became suspicious of this hypothesis. There seemed to be too many Giants' fan and they otherwise acted much like Vermonters. The explanation: the Giants used to train at St. Michael's College in Colchester, just north of Burlington. Many local kids grew up being able to watch real pros in their back yard. Hell, I thought Geoff Blum might be a great star because I got his autograph when he played for the Vermont Expos. So, I totally understand these Vermonters' love of the Giants. Regardless, GO PATS!!!

So, are there any analogous weak links in the chain of passion for all things Sox in New England? Does the Vineyard have a pocket of Cardinals fans because Stan Musial once summered there? Does Concord, NH root for the Tigers because they enjoy Jim Leyland's musk? Does Killington's interest in leaving Vermont run so deep that they root for Joe Torre's boys?

Here's a NY Times article on the subject. It focuses on locating the whereabouts of the CT fault line and excepts as a given that there are no rebel territories within the RSN. I'm not so sure. I'm watching you Bangor Maine... (randomly chosen. I have nothing against Bangor or the Bangorese. I've never even been there and I'm not sure where it is. Good people, the Bangorese. So I hear.)

Comments

DC in DC said…
Great post, WW, glad to see that the cool baseball map and NY Times link made the cut! Incidentally, my dad grew up in Stamford, and my longtime-Stamford-resident grandfather was the one who nurtured my love of the Sox and gave me my first Red Sox hat. So I guess southwestern Connecticut's not all bad.

On the Times graphic you can see the border shoot west into NY State up near Bennington, VT. My sister (who sent me the Times article in the first place) lives right near there in Glens Falls, NY -- she reports a fairly even 50/50 split.
Wally said…
I enjoy the fact that Bennington is no-doubt Red Sox while the NY state towns just over the border, like Glens Falls, are jump balls. Somehow, that tastes like victory to me...

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