When my parents got married, their Rabbi called it a "mixed marriage" due to the divided sports loyalties that would stem from Boston and New York sides of a family. He wished them well in bridging that divide.
Fast forward a few years, and for me, it began with baseball. Whether it was the magic of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera or some serious bonding time with my Dad, or maybe my own NYC roots prevailed… I have been a New York Yankees fan for as long as I can remember. Never did I consider rooting for anyone else, the dreaded Boston Red Sox. I knew where my baseball loyalties were.
A couple more years passed, and I started to gain interest in sports other than baseball. This time, my cousins on my Mom's side of the family got their sweet revenge. Despite my Dad's affection for the football Giants and even sometimes the bad-but-lovable Jets, I was convinced by my cousins that Boston teams were indeed the "best team." The Yankees were untouchable, of course, but my desire to be in touch with the Boston community outweighed any other hometown pressures. Plus, I got to have something cool in common with my cousins!
And so it began. I remember running downstairs at my cousin's house and proclaiming to my Dad, who was sitting with my Bostonian Aunt and Uncle, that I would now root for the Patriots, the Celtics, and the Bruins. The look on my Dad's face was one of surprise and disappointment, though my Uncle's ear-to-ear grin was even more memorable. I was now one of those, a Boston Sports Fan, excluding the Red Sox, through thick and thin.
My Dad got over his "disappointment" pretty quickly, but what I didn't anticipate was the years of commentary I would get from my NYC schoolmates. "Bandwagon," or "fake New Yorker," they will sometimes say. Of course, I do not help the situation when wearing my Patriots merchandise around the house, to school, and even to BBYO events! However, just this past weekend, I went to the joint NYC-New England Region Fall Convention. I not only wore my Tom Brady jersey with pride, but it helped me connect instantly with many fellow Patriot fans from New England Region!
The New York-Boston sports rivalry, as loud and animated as it gets sometimes, is hardly a major global issue. At the same time, being equally proud of my "conflicting" roots has taught me to stand firm in my convictions, to accept the consequences, even friendly jabs get tiresome at times, but also to embrace people's differences and find undiscovered connections. My well-worn Patriots sweatshirt continue to be a target for dirty looks from Giants and Jets fans each Monday. However, it reminds me to stay strong and to be genuinely proud of who I am and my family origins.
Sophie Poritzky is a BBG from L'dor Vador BBG #2559 in Manhattan Region and is obsessed with Harry Potter.
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