Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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Thursday, April 08, 2004

Pirates or Philles: Pennsylvania's team? 

Well, today is the final game in the Pirates-Phillies series and these guys won't meet until the end of September because of baseball's goofy scheduling. As I said in my post the other day, there isn't much rivalry between Pittsburgh & Philadelphia in terms of sports or ... well pretty much anything. Pittsburgh defines itself against Cleveland, Philadelphia against New York or Washington D.C. Aside from politics, when you have "regional" candidates like in 2002 running against each other, I think the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia rivalry is either non-existant or unilateral.

I remembered, the other day, Sports Illustrated's 50 States, 50 Years issue which covered Pennsylvania last year in early August. I thought the polling results were interesting. When asked which baseball team people rooted for, Pennsylvanians said:

Pirates 31%
Phillies 26%
Yankees 9%
(everyone in Scranton & the Northeast must be a Yankees fan, I guess)

I thought it was an interesting, and surprising, result given that the Philadelphia Metropolitan area comprises 5.1 million people, compared with just 2.4 million in Pittsburgh. I suppose people in the "T" (Erie, Altoona, Scranton, Harrisburg) root for the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins over the Phillies, Eagles and Flyers, because the poll had pretty much uniform results of Pittsburgh sports teams winning by about 5%-8% each. (Click here for the poll.) I wonder why that is: general antipathy in the state towards Philadelphia sports teams? Why do the Pirates and Penguins, who struggle to bring people to PNC and Mellon Arena, poll ahead of the Phillies and Flyers?

I leave it to you, dear reader: which is Pennsylvania's team?

(Interestingly, the rivalry between my alma mater (Pitt) and Penn State is the state's biggest rivalry despite the fact that they haven't played since 2000 (when Pitt won 12-0) and won't play again for a long time.)

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