I don’t really check my personal Facebook page that often. Early evening Sunday, I checked it. And it was flooded with posts by people I know from the Baltimore area. They were celebrating.
Celebrating the Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I laughed about it. And then it got me thinking. I don’t remember my social media being overwhelmed when the Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series in October. Sure, there were a few Orioles fans on my timelines that exhibited a sense of relief. But it wasn’t pure vitriol.
So that made me wonder: Do Baltimore-based sports fans hate the Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens’ natural rival, more than they hate the Yankees or the Boston Red Sox.
And, if so, why?
Obviously, the rivalry with the Orioles and the Yankees/Red Sox has been around longer than the Ravens versus the Steelers. I know old Baltimore Colts fans didn’t like the Steelers, but there weren’t that many years when both teams were good, so I don’t really remember an intense hatred for the Steelers in Baltimore until the Ravens came to town and joined Pittsburgh’s division. A healthy dislike maybe, but not a true hatred in the 1970s.
On the flip side, I first started watching baseball in the 1970s in Baltimore and immediately was taught that the Yankees were evil and the Red Sox were kind of evil (actually more sadsack than evil).
The Red Sox have come a long way, of course, to the point that their fan base may be disliked more – or at least nearly as much – as the Yankees’ in Charm City.
But how about if we cross sports?
Does Baltimore hate the Steelers the most? Or the Yankees? Or the Red Sox? I’m assuming the Washington Redskins, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Bengals and Toronto Blue Jays can create some fan discord in Baltimore, but not to the same extent as the Big Three of the Steelers, Yankees and Red Sox. (A few years ago, I might have said the Big Four, with the Duke University men’s basketball team thrown in there, too. But the University of Maryland’s switch in conferences probably lessens that one a tad. Sadly.) Also, I don’t think the New England Patriots is a sound answer, because that’s not Baltimore. That’s the country — outside of the New England
As I’ve written in the past, as a sportswriter, I no longer have much of a rooting interest in teams – certainly not the way most fans do. I have some personal feelings that go way deep – like wanting to see the University of Notre Dame football team not underperform continually – but I don’t do much rooting, or hating, for that matter.
So, teach me, oh, Tap Room visitors. I’ve asked a few times about which club you disliked the most, the Yankees or Red Sox (or Jays or Nats). But let’s put a slightly different spin on it.
Ignore that this is a baseball blog for a day and let me know which team you hate the most – especially among the Steelers, Yankees and Red Sox. I know how my Facebook timeline would answer.
Tap-In Question: Hey Balmer, who do ya hate most; The Steelers, Yankees or Red Sox?