In Boston, you are either a Red Sox fan or you’re not. In New York, things aren’t that simple.
While the Yankees have generally run the city and picked up the majority of the bandwagon fans, the Mets are a vocal minority. The Wall Street Journal went on a fact-finding quest in an attempt to discover exactly what made Mets and Yankees fans different.
With the help of polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, the Journal took a demographic look at the two fan bases. As a whole, the Yankees were markedly more popular, garnering 60 percent of the vote from the study’s 650 participants across New York’s five boroughs. The Mets only grabbed 33 percent of fans, but the two teams split Manhattan with 19 percent each, as more than half of the island apparently has better things to do than follow baseball.
Some Yankees fans don’t follow baseball too much either, perpetuating the idea of the casual “fan” who picks the Yankees as their team mainly because they are baseball’s biggest brand that gives fans a good chance to celebrate a World Series victory. Mets fans actually pay more attention to their team than Yankee fans — monitoring their team's progress more often, making more bets more often and listening to substantially more sports radio.
Red Sox Nation should be thankful their archrivals reside in the Bronx and not Queens. While stories of hostile Yankee fans are one thing, the statistics show the true capabilities of the average Citi Field visitor.
Mets fans are 43 percent more likely to drink beer than their crosstown counterparts, while only 16 percent say they don’t drink at all (compared to 30 percent of Yankee fans). In addition to drinking, they also are more than twice as likely to own a gun, with 11 percent of Mets fans packing heat compared to just five percent of Yankees supporters.
Despite a propensity for booze and firearms, the Mets' male fans are also more likely to have a stable home situation — 51 percent are married, 47 percent own pets and they also are more likely to have children than a Yankee fan. The Bronx Bombers faithful feature mostly single men, 59 percent eschewing wedlock at the time of the survey.
The lack of marriage doesn’t seem to bother the Yankees fans, though. Emilio Fields, 27, pointed out to the Journal that rooting for the pinstripes makes single life that much better.
"More single girls are Yankees fans," he said. "You see those pink Yankees hats all over the place. I don't see pink Mets hats."