Boston, It’s Time to Bask in the Hatred of Other Sports Fans
If there are two things that give life force to Boston residents, they are these: the disdain of others (because it gives us an excuse to be enclavish and defiant), and hatred for the Yankees (because the Yankees suck).
Boston has been given a healthy dose of both thanks to Reddit. A series of “hate maps” have made their way around the sports media this week after Reddit user KMHokie35 asked other users about where they live and which sports teams they hate, then used the data to build maps documenting the most hated team in each region of the United States and the world. The maps aren’t particularly scientific, but people like talking about them anyway, and it’s no wonder. They contain some great news.
On the one hand, we have the NFL, where our beloved New England Patriots are the subject of some ire. You don’t have to be a cartographer to see how the world feels about the Pats on the global map:
And while no one likes to be disliked … just kidding. Like a severed hydra head, the hatred of others only strengthens us Boston folk. As writer Joe Keohane once put it in an essay for this magazine:
We’re used to being swamped with bile from the rest of the country, which seems perpetually annoyed at us for how we talk, how we root, and the fact that Hollywood has, for reasons past understanding, suddenly decided to set 70 percent of its movies somewhere between Charlestown and Southie.
To be hated as an individual can be lonely and isolating. To be hated as a city can breed community. What would be worse than seeing the Patriots splashed across a hate map of the world? Not seeing them on the map at all. We will not be ignored! Except on the NBA maps, where no amount of infamy can overcome literally everyone’s hatred for the Miami Heat and the L.A. Lakers.
But what gives us even more enthusiasm and energy than defending ourselves against the jealous exterior? Hating the Yankees, of course. That’s what makes the MLB Hate Map so perfect. The Red Sox are there, to be sure. New York hates us. Florida hates us (which is really like saying that aging New Yorkers hate us). Missouri hates us. (Sorry, ’bout those World Series losses, guys.) But by and large, the nation has focused its hate on one Evil Empire: the New York Yankees.
And if staring at that map of America doesn’t make you feel good, why, then maybe this world map will:
Is it any wonder, then, that these maps have caught on in Boston? They give us just the perfect amount of clannish umbrage yet also make us feel connected to others through our mutual loathing for the Yankees. We are, at once, an island in a sea of misunderstanding and citizens of the world. Enjoy it—except for you, Australia.