You hear the same stories all the time featuring the familiar players, Yankees, Red Sox, Patriots, Isiah Thomas, Donovan McNabb, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, the Mets, Eli Manning, Jimmy Rollins, Boston, New York, Philadelphia. Sometimes it seems that the entire world of sports rotates on an axis located right through the North East. Fans in backwater towns like Kansas City, San Francisco and Seattle complain of an east coast bias in sports reporting.
But maybe, just maybe, the East Coast deserves its bias. The simple fact is that the Northeast delivers.
It’s not the San Diego Chargers challenging the ’72 Dolphins for an undefeated season. It’s not the Chicago Cubs that have made the postseason for the past dozen or so years. It’s not Los Angeles Lakers featuring the worst coach/GM combo in the history of sports. It’s not quarterbacks or shortstops from San Francisco or Houston who date top actresses and super models.
The 2005 and 2006 World Series featuring the Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers respectively, received the lowest World Series records in the past few decades, behind only the 2002 World Series featuring the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants. Those numbers numbers, 10.1, 11.1 and 11.9. On the other hand, World Series featuring New York and Boston teams have averaged much greater ratings, 15.8 in 2004, 13.9 in 2003 and 15.7 in 2001.
You can complain about every Yankee/Red Sox game getting the national television treatment and a playoff atmosphere, yet each game gets sold out, more often than not the games turn out to be classics and most importantly, you always tune in.
Waiting lists for season tickets to the Patriots, Giants, Jets and Eagles are estimated at decades, each. You can walk up on Sunday mornings and buy tickets to games at Oakland, St. Louis and Atlanta. This might be a good idea if you are a fan of one of those teams, since each has already failed to sell out at least once this season leading to a local television coverage blackout.
Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest media market doesn’t even support a football team, and no one seems to care. The case isn’t that much better in baseball, where Los Angeles fans are notorious for arriving during the second inning and leaving at the seventh. We won’t even get started on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim…
The Northeast teams have history and tradition. Team loyalties are passed down through generations. Yankee and Celtic fans can spend hours reciting all the details about their numerous championships. Philadelphia fans can commiserate in their misery and loss. Red Sox fans, well, they’re a breed apart. West Coast fans rarely go back even a single generation. Teams such as the Houston Texans, Arizona Diamondbacks, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Charlotte Bobcats have three decades of tradition, between all four teams.
The Northeast deserves their sports and the bias that comes with it. This is the Northeast. Gray skies, cold temperatures and crappy weather are the norms. Is there a wonder why Florida has trouble supporting professional franchises when there are far more attractive distractions? Let’s not even get into the West Coast, especially Los Angeles and the Hollywood lifestyle. Even Matt Leinart thinks celebrities first, football second.
There may be an East Coast bias in sports, but those who complain are just jealous that they can’t root for the Yankees, Patriots or Celtics. Now go out and enjoy your gorgeous weather. We in the Northeast have some sports to watch.