Archive for the ‘New York’ Tag


I recently completed my first article on the blog of Sports in American History, a group blog with other academics who are interested in Sports History. I’m researching right now on fans in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Detroit and Chicago. This article comes out of a discussion with the people who conduct the Harris Poll.


Sports Fans

I wrote The Bullets, The Wizards and Washington, DC Basketball partly because I was amazed at the issue of fans and their support of the DC teams over the years.


Even when the Bullets were good, the numbers of fans were not as great as you’d expect. And when the Wizards were bad, man, fans had it tough.


I’m working on two papers that I’ll be giving at the Popular Culture Association in Chicago and the North American Society for Sports History in Glenwood Springs, Colorado early this year.

Crunched some figures about numbers of fans who are linked to certain sports teams on Facebook. I looked at cities in the US that have teams in the four major US professional sports (baseball, football, basketball and hockey). These cities are Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Miami, Detroit, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and San Francisco. I divided the number of fans on Facebook into the population of the metropolitan areas from the 2010 Census to determine the percentage of the population showing fan interest for each team.

The results show that Washington has the lowest percentage of its population involved with its teams and Phoenix has the second lowest. Boston has the highest. The data appears below organized by sport.

By Sport: (ranked by percentage of population)


Red Sox  4,185,683 (92%)

Yankees  6,651,882 (68%) #1 in the New York area

SF Giants  1,866,243 (43%)

Cubs 1,874,234 (39%) #1 in the Chicago area

Detroit Tigers  1,404,184  (33%)

Texas Rangers  1,648,160 (26%)

White Sox  1,117,960 (23%)

Phillies  1,368,839 (23%)

Rockies  579,638 (23%)

Diamondbacks  371,803 (9%)

Mets  711,431 (7%)

Marlins  349,337 (6%)

Nationals  270,473 (5%)

Football (ranked by percentage of population)

Patriots  4,346,695 (95%)

Cowboys   5,896,128 (92%) #1 in the Dallas area

Broncos  2,014,604 (79%) #1 in the Denver area

49ers  2,332,133 (54%) #1 in the San Francisco area

Eagles  2,277,997 (38%) #1 in the Philadelphia area

Bears  3,062,435 (32%)

Giants  2,883,522 (29%)

Dolphins  1,496,534 (27%)

Lions  1,089,921  (25%)

Redskins  1,270,765 (23%) #1 in the Washington area

Cardinals: 667,826 (16%)

Jets  1,568,587  (16%)

Basketball (ranked by percentage of population)

Heat  9,483,777 (170%) #1 n the Miami area

Celtics 7,351,417 (162%) #1 in the Boston area

Nuggets  1,252,113 (49%)

Mavericks  2,756,809 (43%)

Knicks  4,148,183 (42%)

Suns  1,061,293 (25%) #1 in the Phoenix area

Warriors  929,247 (21%)

Pistons  714,206  (17%)

Nets 1,403,669 (15%)

Sixers  539,415 (9%)

Wizards  286,115 (5%)


Red Wings  1,492,132 (34%) #1 in the Detroit area

Bruins   1,516,883 (33%)

Avalanche  460,522 (18%)

Black Hawks  1,568,115 (17%)

Flyers  914,211 (15%)

Sharks  608,476 (14%)

Rangers  1,081,743 (11%)

Capitals  536,195 (10%)

Coyotes  148,657 (4%)

Stars  216,058 (3%)

Panthers  102,193 (2%)

Islanders  142,380 (1%)





Bummed Yankee Fan

I watched and felt the disappointment. But I’m already sick of all the tired columnists and reporters in the NY Daily News, NY Post, and ESPN who can only see Yankee failure and not Detroit’s success.

Love to see one of the reporters hit Benoit’s nasty sinker that he threw to ARod to strike him out in the seventh. The best ARod could have done was foul it off his foot. Maybe he could have done that but this year he didn’t. That doesn’t make him the main reason the yankees lost.

At least there are a few columnists who can see more clearly.

“A lot of people at Yankee Stadium were enraged at A-Rod … those people are idiots”

Oct 7, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Alex RodriguezReuters

We had a nice little burst of Yankees rage this morning, with writers who blamed everyone (A-Rod) for everything they could think of, never once acknowledging that (a) the Yankees, on the whole, out-pitched and out-hit the Tigers in the series; but (b) sometimes the ball just bounces the wrong way for you and anything can happen in a five game series.

Larry Koestler of The Yankee Analysts, however, supplies us with a healthy dose of sanity this morning, putting the Tigers victory over the Yankees in reasonable perspective. He notes that A-Rod was likely still feeling the effects of his nagging injuries, and notes that the numbers bear that out.  He notes that A-Rod wasn’t the only hitter who stunk up the joint. He also takes the seemingly crazy position that, hey, the Tigers actually won this series, it wasn’t simply a matter of the Yankees losing it.  Credit Max Scherzer and the Tigers’ pen for (mostly) limiting the damage and preventing those big Yankees innings we all assumed would happen last night.

This may be less satisfying for all of you than blaming A-Rod.  It does, however, have the added benefit of being true.

Washington DC Roads

Been out riding around on my hybrid bicycle the last few days and have a great sense of how much the 20 inches of snow has slowed the nation’s capital.

The northwest section is mostly thinly plowed. If the section with the most businesses and richest citizens are not getting Department of transportation attention you can only imagine what the rest of the city looks like.

There are several state streets, such as New York Avenue, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Avenue, that at least have one lane plowed going in each direction. In some of the busier intersections, there are two or three lanes open.

The numbered streets are a mixed bag. The major streets, such as 7th and 9th Streets, are both well plowed. Most of the rest of them barely have a single lane cleared. The alphabet streets are somewhat worse. Even in major traffic areas, most of the road isn’t visible under caked down snow and ice.

Where have the plows been since Saturday? The City Council member’s office promises that the city has not ignored any areas. Seems like each area has been left unfinished since the weekend’s one time pass on the street with a single plow.

Now DC is getting more snow forecast for tonight and Wednesday.

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Best of Year, Best of Decade Lists

Why do we love lists? Is it some gene for categorization? Is it the thrill of controlling circumstances? Is it our belief ion the innate ability of reviewers and critics and experts?

What do you enjoy about best of lists?

While it is probably all of these factors, I know why I enjoyed looking at the lists for best of the decade in today’s Washington Post. I wanted to see how many of the movies or television shows I saw, how many of the music listed I owned and whether I have been to see the best theater, dance, concerts and art shows over the past decade. The feeling is confirmation in our choices.

I read the lists for theater, concerts and dance. I’d seen some of them. All took place within Washington, DC so I had the chance to see them. Then I looked at the art best of list. Damn, there were shows in New York City, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney. It’s only five hours away, so I thought maybe I could have  seen it.

Then I read further. Chicago, mmm, that’s stretching it. Wow, Kessel,  Germany, Parma, Italy, this is ridiculous.  Why are these on this list? It’s not like a person can go out and by a tape of the show and experience it.

Should best of lists include activities that are way out of the range of the ordinary person to experience?

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Celebrity and Athletes

After weeks of running Tiger Woods stories on its front pages, the media has realized the gold mine of revealing the sex lives of athletes. Here comes TMZ.

As Tony Kornheiser said on ESPN Pardon The Interruption (PTI), athletes are physical people. It’s likely that there are many stories to be told that will rivet audiences. If people want to know about actors and actresses and they find out about politicians then of course they would want to hear about sports stars.

When Mets Manager Bobby Valentine said that Major League Baseball would be ready for a gay player, speculation ran rampant for days. Mike Piazza announced that he was not gay. Years later, the media ran the story of the accusation that Roberto Alomar had AIDS and the media recalled the Valentine statement and wondered if the Met he might have been talking about was Alomar.

Will this exposure hurt all athletes. As Sally Jenkins reminds us in her Tiger Woods piece, athletes are often spoiled and thought that they are invisible. A true recipie for exposure of their foibles.

There have been athletes that have relished exposure of their private lives. My top dog is Joe Namith, who enjoyed bachelorhood in New York City during his time with the New York Jets football team in the late 1960s. While it helped that Namith was a bachelor, the positive exposure might have also been because of the heyday of free love.

Titillation and scandal has always sold. There are more outlets for displaying this now. Gossip comes to sports on a regular basis—watch out everyone!

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Kander & Ebb at Signature in DC

DC area residents are the first to see a new show by two gay icons of the American musical theater, Fred Ebb and John Kander. Fresh off a Tony Award for the top regional theater, Signature Theater created First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb that will run for three weeks. Here’s a moment from the concert.

The special event concert has songs for the Broadway aficionado and for the novice as well. The duos most popular works, from the big shows Cabaret and Chicago, are sprinkled throughout the thirty songs and two and a half hours.

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I saw last Friday evening’s show with two savvy Broadway musical listeners and another person, who, like myself, is more of a dabbler in the arena. We all agreed that the 19-piece orchestra and six singers created a fulfilling evening.

Two songs from a little known show, 70, Girls, 70, thrilled one of the experienced guys, because he had never heard them. While he and I found the campy humor of Boom Ditty Boom hilarious and clever, other friends thought the song inane.

The most obvious gay piece in the show is from Kiss of the Spider Woman. The window dresser, played with much verve by Matthew Scott, sings She’s A Woman and Dressing Them Up. The audience gave him one of the most rousing ovations of the entire evening.

Concert shows extract the songs from their original context. Having seen several of the shows at Signature Theater, I could understand much of the sentiment behind the songs from The Rink, Kiss of The Spider Woman, and The Happy Time. People who have not seen the shows might struggle with the feeling of the singers’ characters.

Since several of the songs come from shows that have not been seen on Broadway for eons, I did hear some talk about potentially taking the show to New York. The crew I was with had very mixed feelings about whether the show in its current state would make the leap successfully.

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Hip Hop Theater

Madonna Concert - Dancing to Vogue
Image by Anirudh Koul via Flickr

Another successful week of Hip Hop in DC. The Festival drew people to movies about Ghana; Youth panels,  and stage production.

The Festival gets Washingtonians away from the monied Northwest section and spreads them out across the other parts of the city. They drive past things they don’t see and get to hang with people they would not know.

The Dance Place extravaganza Saturday night was excellent. Don’t Hit Mama: Nita Liem – Artistic Director, Bart Deuss Co-Artistic Director/Dramaturg, with Clearence Koorndijk and Honey Eavis, Holly Bass, Brandon Barnette, Meghan Bowden, Olivia Crosby (Culture Shock),
Simone Jacobson, Shae Lim
and many more!
Curated by Holly Bass. Music by DJ RBI.
Support for Nita Liem was made possible by
Consulate General of The Netherlands in New York & The Royal Netherlands Embassy

The audience performed and watched. No one sat. Everybody danced. Four guys moved synchronized across a platform in the back.  Scenes flashed along the white wall in the front of the room.

The fifteen performers danced with anybody who wanted to move. They formed dance circles featuring star turns. They formed lines and invited anybody to get their grove on down the line. Michael Jackson got his due with spins of his top songs as the closing numbers.

We were the only gay couple. Wish there had been at least one other one there. We could only guess that there was one gay or lesbian performer and really only one guy did a great dance to Madonna‘s Vogue.

I wish I’d had someone with insider knowledge with us to provide me with some of the knowledge about actions that I do not have. That would have made the evening even better.

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Arts in Washington

Here’s another of the Washington Post arts pieces about how New York is the place to be.

Local theaters sometimes got frustrated when the newspaper’s critic reviewed shows in New York City rather than DC shows.  Similarly, some galleries and museums grew tired of Gopnick’s features on the Met and the Whitney shows.

This time the piece focuses on the potential futures of painter Ian Whitmore and glass artists Graham Caldwell.

Most intriguing to me was this quote: In this city’s small scene “you can establish a niche pretty quickly.” Anything new and good really stands out, and quickly gets picked up by dealers, collectors, critics and art lovers.”