NFL rivalries New England Patriots vs New York Giants

NFL rivalries New England Patriots vs New York Giants

The New York City metropolitan area has nine major sports teams – six play within city limits, the most of any American city – and almost every one of them has a deeply rooted rivalry with a major Boston-area team.

It’s hard to pin down the reason Boston and New York have such animosity for each other. Cities in the Boston-Washington super-metropolitan area have a certain disdain for each other due to a mutual perception of the other as a commercial and tourism drain. Boston, in particular, has been forced to live in the shadow of the much bigger, much flashier New York City – even though both cities have similar colonial roots – and is forced to actively compete for nearly everything with the nation’s largest city. This includes influence in the media and financial markets, impact on shipping and business, and market access for their various sports teams. The two cities even go head to head over who has the best clam chowder.

Despite this, there is not much of a New York Giants-New England Patriots rivalry. As the Giants are an NFC team, they are not in direct competition with the AFC Patriots. Historically, the Giants have not been much of a hindrance to the Patriots – their intraconference regular-season matchups tend not to be overly notable in the analysis of each team’s history.

Even though the Giants have beaten the Patriots in both of the teams’ meetings at the Super Bowl – the 2007 season’s Super Bowl XLII, where the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14; and the 2011 season’s Super Bowl XLVI, which saw the Giants upset the 13-3 regular season Patriots 21-17) – Patriots fans’ animosity is reserved for their New York City in-conference rival, the New York Jets.

However, considering the last time these two teams played each other was Super Bowl XLVI, there is the feeling that the Patriots – who are undefeated at 8-0 going into Week 10 – may be seeking revenge against the Giants (5-4). In a season that has been about settling scores – such as taking on and defeating the Indianapolis Colts following the “Deflategate” controversy and the resulting overturned suspension of Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady – the notion of putting to rest the ghost of the “Super Bowl win-that-wasn’t” seems to fit perfectly.

Whether this game ignites a rivalry between the Patriots and the Giants is yet to be proven, but it is more than likely that New Yorkers in Boston this weekend will be more than cautious to avoid giving away where they hail from. The Giants will host the Patriots November 15 at MetLife Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:25 PM EST.

Charting Sentiment for a Potentially Sentimental Game

NFL rivalries New England Patriots vs New York Giants friendliest rival

A cursory glance of search term “patriot giants” finds that the Twittersphere is abuzz about the matchup:


That’s like a Jets fan wanting the Patriots to beat the Giants in a super bowl


Being a Patriots fan is struggling to converse about good football w/o someone saying we’re cheaters or a Giants fan bringing up the SB


The Giants will play shitty against the Eagles and play like there life depends on it against the patriots


The Eagles are reallllly bad and the Giants making them look like the ’07 Patriots


The Giants losing wouldn’t bother me so much if I didn’t live in New England and have to deal with Patriots fans talking shit.


Am I the only person viciously enjoying the Giants’ misery and suffering? It fills my Patriots/Redskins heart with so much joy!!

Given the high level of anti–New York animosity currently online, the results of a sentiment analysis of tweets originating in New England about the Giants and New York–born tweets about the Patriots are surprisingly positive. In the case of New York, the positive sentiment perceived among those tweeting about the Patriots averaged a score of 0.31. In New England, those mentioning the Giants achieved a positive sentiment score of 0.29.

Understanding Animosity

NFL rivalries New England Patriots vs New York Giants positive terms

Even though it’s the Giants who will be playing the Patriots on the 15th, New England fans’ minds are never too far from their true enemy. Among the top-ranking positive mention terms is “Revis” – a reference to New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, the six-time Pro Bowl selectee who is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the league and who has three interceptions as of Week 7.

Other top terms were “New York,” “Super Bowl,” “Steve Spagnuolo” (Giants defensive coordinator), “Big Blue” (a reference to the Giants), and “Ann Mara,” the recently deceased matriarch of the Mara family. Mara was the grandmother to actresses Rooney and Kate Mara, mother to current Giants CEO John Mara, widow to Giants former co-owner Wellington Mara, and daughter-in-law to Giants founder Tim Mara.

For the Patriots, only reserve running back LeGarrette Blount made the top 10 positive mentions. Blount is slated to start Week 8 for an injured Dion Lewis. This lack of positive mentions for Boston reflects the fact that – outside of New England – the Patriots are still facing an image problem.

Despite this, the November 15 matchup is shaping up to be a release for those who feel the Giants stole the Lombardi Trophy from the Patriots in 2012. Whether this constitutes a rivalry is for the sports historians to decide, but – for the fans – this matchup between two of the league’s best teams will be an emotional one.



We pulled every tweet from since the 2014 season with #patriots in the state of New York and #nygiants in New England, and using the Alchemy API, we looked at the targeted sentiment score of the most commonly used terms throughout. The targeted sentiment looks at the words around a particular term and determines on a scale of -1 to 1 how negative or positive these words are, with 0 being neutral.

Rise of the Ugly Christmas Team Sweaters

ugly team sweaters

There is a science to the ugly sweater. Prior to the onset of the holiday sweater party fad in the early 2000s, the knitted color-block sweater – known to some as a “Grandma sweater” for the likelihood of receiving one as a Christmas gift from a grandparent and to others as the sweater proudly worn by Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” – was the wearable equivalent of a fruitcake. Cloyingly sweet, mind-numbingly colorful, and tasteful only under limited, extreme circumstances, the ugly sweater tied with argyle socks and coal as the most dreaded Christmas gifts.

Then 2001 happened. In the mid-1980s, the “tacky” knitted sweater – which, at the time, was already a throwback to 1960s Swiss skiing culture – hit its peak of popularity as apparel somewhere between genuine and ironic. In 2001, according to the book “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On” (as quoted in the Washington Post), a themed Christmas party played off this glut of ’80s-style poor fashion sense by telling guests to wear ugly holiday sweaters. Word of the party spread, inspiring other ugly sweater parties, and the trend grew into a phenomenon.

Jumping back to today, ugly sweaters have become big business. One sweater, for example, sold by Barneys New York, was put on sale for $1,375 in 2013, while a second – currently sold out on Farfetch – retailed for $2,990. High-fashion retail stores – such as Bloomingdale’s, H&M, and Abercrombie & Fitch – all have lines of ugly holiday sweaters while shows such as “Glee” regularly incorporate ugly sweaters as props in Christmas shows. In thrift stores across the nation, the inventory of knitted color-block sweaters is regularly cleaned out – a marked difference from 20 years ago, when such a sweater could easily be bought on the secondhand market for less than a dollar.

Seeking to cash in on the craze, most sports teams offer a holiday “ugly” team sweater. In 2013, Michael Lewis, the chief executive of Forever Collectibles – the exclusive manufacturer of ugly sweaters for the NBA, NHL, NFL, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and more than 200 NCAA teams – noticed many of his employees came to work in December wearing the knitted color-block sweaters. After realizing that there may be a market for team-related ugly sweaters, Lewis hesitantly made the pitch.

“We don’t do apparel,” said Lewis to The New York Times. His company, according to Lewis, was the leading manufacturer at the time of sports-related memorabilia. “I thought the leagues would laugh at me if I brought this to them. But my people were insistent: ‘Michael, we’ll draw up some sketches.’”

As reported by Forbes, Forever Collectibles sold out all 300,000 units of sports teams sweaters it produced in 2014. In 2015, in addition to its contracts with all of North America’s major professional sports leagues and the NCAA, the company will expand internationally to include licensed sweaters for all the major English soccer clubs.

As the popularity of ugly sweaters grows, the drive to get the “best” ugly team sweater is sure to follow.

“Sports licensing is such a powerful sales driver, because it is built on an emotional connection between the fans and the team,” Marty Brochstein, senior vice president of Industry Relations and Information for the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association, told Forbes. “In the apparel category, it seems as if we are moving to an era of getting loud and making a strong statement through the clothes you wear. You have seen it on the field uniforms, such as the University of Maryland the Oregon Ducks, and now it is moving off the field into licensing. These sweaters are capitalizing on the fans’ desire to make the same kind of statement off the field that the players are making on it.”

Understanding the Growth of Ugly Sweaters’ Popularity

The rise-of-ugly-christmas-sweater

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In 2014, the number of online searches for ugly sweaters skyrocketed. This corresponds to a shift in perception of ugly sweaters – from a fashion oddity to a tradition deeply ingrained in the modern psyche.

An example of this is the National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day – an observance recognized since 2011 during which lovers of the knitted color-block sweater can proudly sport their favorite outerwear in solidarity on the third Friday of December. According to the organizers, about 1,000 people participated in 2011. An estimated 5 million, however, participated in 2014.

While many believe that the popularity of the ugly sweaters fad may be a backlash to the seriousness and stuffiness of the holiday season, that – by itself – does not explain why this trend has grown the way it has or why the ugly sweater has grown to be purchased and worn year-round and not just during the Christmas season.

However, the growth of search prevalence for ugly sweaters from 2013 to 2014 may be best attributed to the growing trend of designers producing “fashionable” ugly sweaters, the increase in celebrities’ appearances in ugly sweaters, the introduction of teams’ ugly sweaters, and the resurgence of the ugly sweater market after a two-year sales slump.

Tracking Ugliness


According to Google Trends, the states that record the most online inquiries of ugly sweaters in the United States are North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Delaware, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. This, curiously, differs from mentions of the search term “sweater,” for which Alaska, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire were the top states.

The reason for this is unclear, although the Midwest and Upper Great Plains may have a greater affinity for ugly holiday sweaters than the rest of the nation. The knitted color-block sweater sold best in these areas in the ’80s, suggesting both a larger built-in nostalgia market and a bigger secondhand supply.

The trends in metro areas with the most searches, however, reflect a different pattern. Philadelphia had the most online ugly sweaters inquiries, followed by Baltimore, Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Boston/Manchester, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and San Diego.

The Demand for Bad Fashion



Overall, among sports ugly sweaters, NFL-specific ugly sweaters are most in demand, and the Seattle Seahawks sweater is the most popular team ugly sweater. Some of the reasons for demand are obvious – for example, the success of the long-suffering Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in the last two seasons or the fact that a team is located in a cold-weather area, such as the Michigan State Spartans or the Seattle Sounders. Others are harder to explain: One example is the Alabama Crimson Tide; among all regions, the Southeast ranks as the lowest in regards to online ugly sweater searches, as recorded by Google Trends.

The popularity of the Alabama ugly sweater may best be explained by the fact that collegiate logo marketing is growing as a part of the overall sports marketing industry – which has seen its fourth straight year of growth. Simply put, the team ugly sweater is a fun, kitschy addition to a market that is bursting at the seams.

“The sports market is built in large part on a solid base of core fans. The emotion that keeps fans attached to a team is a powerful sales driver,” Brochstein told Forbes. “There are variations year to year based on ‘wins and losses’ – obviously, success draws more purchases from the core and attracts more casual fans – but the basic appeal of sports-licensed merchandise is continual.”


The Evolution of the Pittsburgh Steelers Jersey

evolution of the pittsburgh steelers jersey

In June, the Pittsburgh Steelers created a lot of excitement among fans by introducing the “bumblebee” jersey, which has been worn occasionally since 2012. The black-and-gold horizontal-striped jersey with black-on-white number patches – which team president Art Rooney II once admitted looked like a prison uniform – is based on the 1930s then–Pittsburgh Pirates uniform and has became a favorite among jersey buyers. The “bumblebee” will debut this season on November 1 against the Bengals.

“We wanted to use a jersey that we wore early in our history as we celebrate our 80th season,” Rooney said in justifying his decision to launch the unique jersey in 2012. “We have never used those jerseys since the 1934 season and I think our fans will be excited to see our players wear them in action this year.”

For many, a team’s jersey is the most identifiable symbol of the team. As players spend the game masked and helmeted, the field uniform is the visible avatar of the team, carrying the fans’ passions and anguish on its sleeves. The jersey is a part of the brand, which represents the team’s successes, failures, rivalries, and accomplishments. It’s not so much that if the jersey is liked, the team will be liked; the jersey represents the team and as the team is successful, the jersey becomes more revered.

Sports Illustrated hit on this point in an analysis of the success of college football team the Oregon Ducks (University of Oregon). “[This] brand wasn’t built by the marketing department or by a consultant,” wrote Andy Staples for SI. “The staff at Nike, one of the best brand-building companies in America, had a hand in the process, but the people most responsible were the coaches and the players. Like anything else, a football team’s brand is mostly defined – for better or for worse – by the quality of the product. Coca-Cola could have actors sing about buying the world a Coke, but the world wouldn’t have bought many if those Cokes had tasted terrible.”

“In Oregon’s case, Nike’s uniform designs and technological advances are vital components. But so is the blur offense created by former coach Chip Kelly and refined by successor Mark Helfrich and coordinator Scott Frost. And the most important factor is a culture that has remained intact through three coaching changes over 20 years.”

In the case of the Steelers, the jersey has come to represent an 82-year history during which they transitioned from an also-ran team with the longest record for going without a championship pre-merger to the team with the most Super Bowl wins (6), most Super Bowl appearances (8), most conference championship appearances (15), most conference championship games hosted (11), and most AFC championships (8) post-merger. Arguably one of the most successful teams in the modern era, the black and gold represents years of toil, hardship, and long-due redemption for a team as hard as the reputation of its host city.

Pittsburgh Steelers jersey history timeline

The History of the Steelers Jersey

1933: Sports promoter Art Rooney purchases an NFL franchise for $2,500 with the intentions of converting his semi-pro team, the Majestics, into a pro team. As was tradition at the time, Rooney changes the name of the team to the city’s baseball team name, the Pirates.

The 1933 jersey is engineered to give the ball carrier as much of an advantage as possible: The black vertical stripes on a gold background are actually raised felt, meant to cause friction against the ball when the carrier presses it to his body to reduce the possibility of fumbles. The original 1933 jersey also bears the coat of arms for the City of Pittsburgh on its chest as a way of getting the hometown crowd behind them.

The 1933 jersey is no longer thought to exist, and no high-definition photos or diagrams are available. When the Steelers sought to recreate the jersey for its NFL 75th Anniversary throwback in 1994, they were unable to make a faithful reproduction, as the exact design of the coat of arms is also lost to time. The throwback featured non-raised stripes and the current city crest.

Despite the jersey’s engineering, the ’33 team finishes 3-6-2. The team would not finish above .500 until 1942.

1934: The 1934 jersey features raised stripes running horizontally. Instead of the coat of arms, two black-framed black-on-white number panels appeared on the chest – a unique feature among NFL jerseys. It will be this jersey that will become the “bumblebee” throwback.

Uni-Watch investigated this jersey and found the team only wore it during one game in 1934, instead of the 1933 jersey. This game, based on photographic evidence from the University of Pittsburgh, was the November 12, 1933 game against the Brooklyn Dodgers, which the Pirates/Steelers won 32-0. For most of its games that year, the team wore either a solid yellow jersey with black chest numbers, a black jersey with gold sleeve bands and chest numbers, or a yellow jersey with wide black sleeve bands and black chest numbers. Many suspect that the team wore the city crest jersey for four games that year.

Nobody knows why the Pirates/Steelers cycled through so many jerseys that year.

1940: The Pirates change their name to the Steelers in reference to Pittsburgh’s steel industry. To help build morale, the White House asked the Steelers to continue playing – despite the fact that most of the team’s line-up has been drafted into World War II.

1943: To cope with the financial stresses, manpower shortages, and diminished market, the Steelers merge with Pennsylvania’s other NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles, becoming the “Steagles.” The team plays in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and embraces the Eagles’ green and white: The new jersey features white chest numbers and vertical sleeve stripes on a seafoam green jersey. The merged team finishes the 1943 season with the Steelers’ second winning-season record (the first was the year prior).

1944: The Steelers merge with the Chicago Cardinals as a result of an uneven number of teams in the league, forming the “Card-Pitts.” This marks the Pittsburgh franchise’s only winless season. The experiment ends in 1945 when the Boston Yanks permanently merge with the now-defunct Brooklyn Tigers.

1954: The first “modern” Steelers uniform emerges – the black at-home jersey with gold horizontal sleeve bands and gold chest numbers. The helmet transitions from leather to plastic – although, facemasks will not become compulsory until the 1960s.

1960: The latest jersey debuts; it is similar to the 1954 jersey, except that it is tighter. It is unclear whether this was intentional, as logic suggests a looser jersey would afford more comfort and freedom of movement.

1963: This year marks not only the first use of the Steelers’ logo – which is based on U.S. Steel’s three-points logo – but also introduces a new away uniform. The jersey is white with yellow diamond-shaped number patches at the shoulder, black chest numbers, and black sleeve and collar cuffs. The logo is placed on the right side of the helmet only, allegedly because owner Art Rooney was on the fence about it. The right side–only helmet logo is now Steelers tradition.

1966: This year marks the debut of a new home uniform: a black jersey with a yellow diamond “yoke” at the shoulders and collar and white numbers at the chest and high on the sleeves. The Steelers are the only team to use anything other than a rectangular “yoke” on their jerseys. The “Caped Crusader” jersey – so named because it resembles Adam West’s Batman costume – was designed to stand out from other NFL jerseys and to draw attention to the Golden Triangle development in Pittsburgh. The players hated the jersey, and the triangle faded easily.

1974: From the team’s inception until 1971, the Steelers only had eight winning seasons. The ’70s change all this, starting with the 1974 season that nets the team its first league championship at Super Bowl IX. Quarterback Terry Bradshaw, defensive tackle “Mean Joe” Greene, defensive end L.C. Greenwood, defensive tackle Ernie Holmes, and defensive end Dwight White wear the white away jersey with gold horizontal stripes and black shoulders and chest numbers.

1975: A new home jersey follows the 1974 away jersey in design, with a black jersey with gold and white alternating stripes and white numbers on the shoulders and the chest. A white American Bicentennial patch appears on the jersey for Super Bowl X. Bradshaw and the “Steel Curtain” win the Super Bowl this year, as well as in 1978 and 1979.

1988: With minor alterations, the 1974 and 1975 jerseys are still used today. However, in 1988, the Steelers added an “AJR” patch to their jerseys to mark the passing of Rooney.

2000: The Steelers logo patch is permanently added to the jerseys at the left shoulder, and the NFL logo is introduced to the front of the collar – as it is for all NFL jerseys.

The Black, White, and Gold

In 2009, then-governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell and then-governor of Arizona Jan Brewer put an unorthodox twist on the traditional governors’ wager on championship games. Instead of daring each other to perform an asinine stunt, the bet dictated that the losing governor would have to treat the winner of an essay contest in the winning governor’s state to an all expense–paid vacation in the losing governor’s state. For Super Bowl XLIII, Rendell had Steelers fans explain why they loved the Steelers, in 250 words or less.

The winner, Cole Hughes, a Residence Inn manager, expressed what many Steelers fans feel about their home team in describing how he and his father dealt with having only one ticket to the 1972 AFC Championship: “My dad, who was a steelworker, somehow came up with one ticket,” Hughes wrote. “We went down to Three Rivers with the hope of getting another. Not one single ticket was even being scalped that day, so it didn’t happen.”

“He wanted me to use the ticket. I wanted him to use the ticket. We went back and forth for 15 minutes outside of Gate A, each insisting the other use the ticket. At 13, I knew enough to insist he use it as he had gone through many losing seasons with the Steelers. I reasoned that this was the beginning of something good and I would get to my share of AFC Championships.”

“I convinced him to use the ticket, which he did, and I took the bus home and listened to the game on the radio with my buddies. We always had a great memory of that day with that one ticket.”

The Steelers of today pale in comparison with the Steelers of the ’70s or even the Steelers of the last decade; but for a city as hard-nosed and hard-working as Pittsburgh, the Steelers are the ideal team. They didn’t see a championship for their first 38 years, they had to fight for respect and recognition, and they were regularly lost in the haze of Philadelphia’s and New York’s flashier teams. Yet the Steelers are still owned and run by a direct descendent of its founder, who never moved, and the team is still the fixture in Pittsburgh society it was more than 80 years ago.

The black, white, and gold have came to represent the tradition of the NFL’s most storied team, and, like the team, the history and evolution of the jersey represents a never-ending passion for what could be and what was.

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Best Places to Watch the World Series

Best places to watch the World Series

The 2015 World Series is turning out to be different than most analysts would guess. After a cliffhanger 5-4 victory in 14 innings during Game 1, the Kansas City Royals took a dominating 2-0 lead in the series when the team – fueled by an inability by New York MetsJacob deGrom to get the Royals to “take the bait” and swing and miss at his fastballs – gave the Mets an uncharacteristic 1-7 Game 2 loss at Kauffman Stadium. As the series moves to New York City and Citi Field for a three-game run, two cities hold their breath.

For one thing, sweet redemption for a heartbreaking 2014 World Series loss and the 30-year wait for a second MLB championship is two wins away (both on the road). For the other, the long road back to victory – in which, historically, the Mets only have a 17.1 percent chance of success – begins in front of a home crowd. And that home crowd has been waiting 29 years for their “other team” to claim the Commissioner’s Trophy.

For Mets and Royals fans, this series is an act of destiny and the fulfillment of a long and difficult wait for validation. For one of these teams, a more than 28-year wait will come to an end – raising the stakes for their respective fan bases to epic levels. For most fans, the absolute best place to be to see this chapter of history unfold is at the stadium, surrounded by thousands of like-minded devotees eager to share in on history.

However, there are only so many seats available for each World Series game. For those who cannot score a seat to the Big Show, watching the game at a sports bar is the next best thing. Sports bars can range from corner dives that regularly show the current game to multi-level entertainment destinations. Even the smallest of towns typically has more than one choice of where to watch the game, and choosing the right spot can ultimately make the difference in enjoying the game.

Several bars come up repeatedly in discussions about the best bars to see the World Series this year in New York City and Kansas City. These include Foley’s in Manhattan, New York – which renamed itself “Daniel Murphy’s Pub & Restaurant” in honor of the Mets; the Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall in Astoria, New York; McFadden’s Saloon and Restaurant, which has franchises in Flushing, New York, and in Kansas City; and Kansas City’s 810 Zone. While many of these bars are known as unofficial second homes for the teams – hosting interview sessions and ex-players, for example – these bars have won their reputations at the places to watch the game because of the atmosphere of their game-day service.

“Like any Mets fan, I would rather watch the game at Citi Field,” Daniel Gargiulo, a manager at McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon’s Midtown Manhattan location, said to Fanatics. “You will never know when the next time this will happen, so you would always want to actually be in a seat at the stadium. But – and this is not just because I work here – when the Mets are playing, I still like to come to McFadden’s because I know the atmosphere here. The World Series is not the time when you want to go to a bar and sit next to someone not into the game. This place is the next best thing to being at Citi Field; with the energy and cheering and signs, you can almost imagine you are watching the game in person.”

This article will look at four of the most recognized baseball bars – McFadden’s of Flushing, McFadden’s of Kansas City, Rival’s Sports Bar of Kansas City, and Foley’s of New York City – to see how these institutions became the must-go place to see the game.

McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon @ Citi Field, Flushing, New York

Within the array of New York City drinking holes, McFadden’s holds a special place. Located behind the bullpen gate at Citi Field, the Irish bar has been New York’s place to cheer on the Mets since TBS featured it on the “fan cam” during its coverage of the National League Championship Series. The coverage made McFadden’s the place to be part of Mets history. “I guess the best word to describe it would be magical,” Amani Mousa, the manager of McFadden’s at Citi Field, told the Village Voice. “I mean, people were lining up. They would arrive early just so they could make sure that they were sitting on the side of the bar that was being taped. Everyone got so into it.”

Not so much a separate location as an annex for the franchise’s flagship location in Midtown Manhattan when the Mets have a home game, the Citi Field bar has become the fount for Mets excitement. During the NLCS, when the Mets had big moments – such as second baseman Daniel Murphy’s record-breaking home runs scored in six consecutive postseason games – TBS found an excuse to cut to McFadden’s, where pandemonium over the Mets reigns.

McFadden’s has a special relationship with the Mets. Due to the Citi Field location’s proximity, the bar has served as a second clubhouse for the franchise, with ex-players regularly showing up to sign autographs and to conduct meet-and-greets. A patron sitting at the bar at McFadden’s can easily hear the sounds and commotion of the field. It was the Mets that recommended McFadden’s to TBS, and it’s likely safe to assume that TBS’s coverage persuaded FOX to continue using McFadden’s for fan reactions.

“Pretty much every bar in New York City tried to capitalize on this conference series and the division series and put on their happy hour specials to draw in a crowd,” Mousa said. “But people already associate McFadden’s Citi Field with the Mets, and they know that we’re the place to be before, after, and during the game.”

“We’re the true home to Mets fans – any other bar would be like a duplicate. No disrespect to them, but you really can’t compete with us.”

Somewhere between a dive bar and a destination, McFadden’s is known for its raucous, hard-partying staff, easygoing nature, and comfortable atmosphere. This has been known to get out of control, as was the case in 2008 when – at the Midtown location – a man wearing a FDNY T-shirt got in a fight with a group of firefighters that spread to include approximately 20 people and led to the arrest of two firefighters. The bar closed following the incident and reopened under new management.

Depending on when you attend, the bar can be called a college bar, an after-college bar, a yuppie bar, a sports bar, or a reporter’s bar. But, despite all this, the bar is one of New York’s most popular, which has led to many imitators. It is not unlikely to have business magnates, actors, and politicians drinking at the bar at the same time as ordinary New Yorkers and tourists.

Above all else, McFadden’s is a Mets bar, which is extended to all bars under the franchise – franchisees typically give specials and discounts when the Mets play. For a New Yorker who can’t get a ticket to Citi Field – and for many who can, but just want a place to get a drink – there is no place better than McFadden’s.

“I haven’t had the chance to talk to many of our patrons about the World Series, but from those I have, there is real excitement,” said Garguilo. “Many have brought in signs and you can feel the energy with this crowd. It’s an amazing thing to be part of.”

McFadden’s Sports Saloon, Kansas City, Missouri

It’s a strange thing to be at a Mets bar in Royals Country. However, for the McFadden’s franchise in Kansas City, this doesn’t seem to be a problem. Following the Royals’ 2014 sweep of the American League division series, Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer held a one-hour Happy Hour at McFadden’s during which he picked up the tab for everyone to show appreciation of their support over the year. The bar tab totaled about $15,000, of which Hosmer paid $3,000. His teammates covered the rest.

Despite the fact that it is a franchise of the Manhattan flagship bar, Kansas City’s McFadden’s Saloon has become a standout in the city’s mixed-use Power & Light District. In the free-spirited district – which is the only place in the city that permits drinking on the streets – the high-tech venue, which includes multiple high-definition plasma TVs, large projection screens, digital surround sound, and drink specials when the game is on, has become the popular spot to watch the game.

It also helps that the bar’s older sister is regularly featured in the World Series telecast.

Foley’s New York Pub and Restaurant, New York, New York

Game on @kellyswestportinn! #worldseries #LGM

A photo posted by Daniel Murphy’s Pub & Rest. (@foleysny) on

For many Irish, the somber ballad “Danny Boy” has become an unfortunate stereotype for all things Irish; almost an anthem to wrap up and quantify the American interpretation of what it means to be Irish in North America – good, bad, correct, and incorrect. While the song itself – an ode to great sacrifice and lost – is within itself not offensive, its overuse has taken on a special meaning within itself.

One bar in New York City decided to do something about it. In a moment that the bar still proudly promotes, the bar banned the playing of “Danny Boy” for the month of March 2008. The argument made? It is overplayed at the expense of other Irish songs, it is one of the most depressing songs of all times, and it was written by a man who has never set foot in Ireland. The ban brought Foley’s international coverage, including a skit on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and simultaneous front page coverage on AOL, MSN, Comcast, and Yahoo!

For Foley’s – temporarily renamed Daniel Murphy’s Pub & Restaurant in recognition of the Mets’ record-making slugger – it is these types of stunts that made it one of New York City’s best-known and most beloved Irish and baseball bars. The home of the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame, the bar takes seriously its love of the game and of its owner’s heritage, which has led to the bar having regular patrons such as Mets third baseman David Wright. Only a decade old, the bar feels older due to a manufactured authenticity, such as the presentation of antique scorecards and bricks from Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

“There’s really no baseball bar like this in New York,” said a patron to The New York Times. “It’s kind of like they deconstructed baseball down to its essence.”

Among the memorabilia in the bar are stadium seats, World Series rings, over 3,000 autographed baseballs, and an assortment of bobbleheads. Currently, Foley’s is regularly at capacity as the Mets continue their hunt for their long-awaited World Series title. Owner Shaun Clancy has indicated that the name change may be permanent should Murphy have an extraordinary performance in the World Series and the Mets win.

Rivals Sports Bar, Kansas City, Missouri

As Citi Field has McFadden’s, Kauffman Stadium has Rivals Sports Bar, which is located just beyond the stadium’s right-field fountains. Featuring floor-to-ceiling glass, the bar offers one of the best views of the game available in the stadium. With a 360-degree bar, a 103-inch flat-screen TV, and retractable warehouse doors that allow an open-air setting, this ticket holder–only bar offers a sense of class for fans who want to seek a more comfortable way to enjoy the game.

Rivals is owned by the Royals organization and is ran by Aramark; as such, it is functionally a second clubhouse in the ballpark. While the chance of meeting an ex-player here is not as high as at McFadden’s, you can reserve a table against the glass, overlooking first base and offering an exceptional view of the game.




Patriots Fandom in New England

Patriots fandom in New England

Over the last decade and a half, the New England Patriots have proven to be a dynasty that cannot be beat. Four Super Bowl wins have been added to the team’s credit since 2001, when – following a 0-2 start and a late season start due to 9/11 – reserve quarterback Tom Brady rallied his team following starter Drew Bledsoe’s injury to a 11-5 record and an unexpected Super Bowl win. The Patriots have come to define American football in the new millennium.

The team is known for being one of the perennial powerhouses for the league. Since 2001, the Patriots have won the AFC East 12 times and the AFC six times and have made the playoffs every year since 2001 except for 2002 and 2008. On top of this, Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are assured to be voted into the NFL Hall of Fame, and Brady regularly tops the list of America’s favorite quarterback.

Love them or hate them, the Patriots are the current face of the NFL and the team to beat.

In New England, more than anywhere else, the Patriots rule. According to the Facebook Data Science team’s 2014 NFL American fandom map, the Patriots are “liked” the most of any NFL team by Facebook users in the six New England states (Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island) – with the notable exception of the Stamford and New Haven areas, which favor the New York Giants. This brand allegiance translates to an average of 68,756 fans attending the home games at Gillette Stadium for 2014 – which gives the Patriots one of the best attendance levels per capita and the best merchandising market in the league.

For New Englanders, the NFL is the Patriots.

Understanding Patriots Country

New England patriots fandom merchandise sales map

Although the team was once the Boston Patriots, the most devout New England Patriots fans are not necessarily from Boston. Interpreting the merchandise purchasing patterns of Patriots fans in New England by zip code reveals that the highest concentration of purchasers per capita occurs within the Boston Metropolitan Area, with suburban zip codes 02110, 02210, and 02109 having the highest rates.

In the truest sense, New England is Patriots Country, with pockets of financially committed Patriots fans located in areas other than Boston. According to real estate blog Estately, which analyzed Facebook data to determine where the most enthusiastic Patriots fans lived, Warwick, Rhode Island, topped the list with 29.73%, followed by Fall River, Massachusetts; Haverhill, Plymouth, and Brockton, Massachusetts; and Cranston, Rhode Island. Boston came 21st on the list with a 16.17% enthusiasm rating.

The Patriots play in Foxborough, Massachusetts – which, while technically a part of the Greater Boston area, is actually closer to Providence, Rhode Island, than it is to Boston. It may be for this reason that the most devout Patriots fans live closer to Gillette Stadium.

Despite this, the zip codes with the highest concentration of Patriots’ purchasing power are affluent areas within Boston’s city limits or along the I-95 stretch between Providence and Boston.

Pinpointing Where Patriots Merchandise Buyers Live

New England Patriots top 10 zipcodes

A look at the areas that have the most merchandise sales per capita can cast light on what the average Patriots fan looks like. Zip code 02110 – which has the most Patriots merchandise buyers at 4.15 units per every 100 residents – is Boston’s Financial District and Waterfront, home to Long Wharf, Boston Harbor, and the New England Aquarium. The wealthiest zip code in the state, 02110 is second only to Connecticut’s 06831 for the highest average income in New England reported to the IRS, according to Experian.

The high level of fandom in this area is largely credited to many fans having fan gear orders delivered to their work address. As most deliveries occur during work hours and many apartment dwellers cannot easily accept residential package deliveries, at-work deliveries is a growing trend. According to Mitie – which runs mailrooms for corporate clients – the delivery of personal mail to work addresses has grown 20 percent over the last year to make up 30 to 40 percent of a typical business’s mail flow.

Another high concentration of business workers is in zip code 02210, which has the second-highest presence of Patriots merchandise buyers at 2.82 per 100 residents. This area is Boston’s Seaport District. While it doesn’t rank on Experian’s richest zip code list, the area is known for its affluent residents, with the average family making approximately $85,481 a year here. The third-highest presence, 02109, which consists of Boston’s North End, is – like 02210 – highly affluent with home prices reflecting the fact that most of Boston’s revolutionary past happened in this neighborhood.

This helps to explain why quarterback Tom Brady’s jersey was the best-selling for 2015. Support for Tom Brady from Patriots Country over his suspension fight helped to make Brady merchandise – including game jerseys, T-shirts, OYO Sports minifigures, Forever Collectibles bobbleheads, and Fatheads – the top-seller for fiscal year 2016.

Shop now for New England Patriots fan gear on Fanatics.



We looked at Fanatics merchandise sales data for every zip code in New England, and using the latest U.S. Census population numbers, we determined the number of units shipped to each zip code per 100 residents. We filtered this by looking only at zip codes that had at least 1,000 residents in the 2010 Census.


World Series Rivalry Mets vs Royals

MLB World Series 2015 rivalry New York Mets Kansas City Royals

On a cursory glance at the 2015 World Series matchup of the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals, little separates the teams. Both have been in a long drought since their last Major League Baseball championships – the Mets won their last World Series in 1986, while the Royals last won in 1985.

Both are teams fueled by freshman-heavy squads, and both lost in their last chance to win the World Series in crushing style. The Mets’ 2006 run was stopped when the St. Louis Cardinals beat them in the National League Championship Series 4-3, while the Royals lost the 2014 World Series to the San Francisco Giants with a Game 7 score of 3-2 – with the tying run on third base when Royals catcher Salvador Perez fouled out and ended the game. The Royals’ 2014 World Series run ended a 28-season streak of failure to make the postseason one of the longest in post wild card–game MLB history.

The sad, almost unbearable truth is that despite the teams’ similarities, no rivalry exists between the Mets and the Royals – either imagined or historical. While the Royals and New York’s other team – the Yankees – have a storied and heated rivalry that is likely to cause bar fights and intense arguments whenever the two play (in part due to the back and forth between the two perennial American League Championship Series participants between 1976 and 1980), Kansas City and New York – for the most part – genuinely like each other.

Besides the Yankees and the Royals, no New York or Kansas City team in any sport has a serious grudge against each other. A historical example of the cities’ “frenemies” status is that the A’s – while they were still in Kansas City – regularly and willingly farmed its players to the Yankees during the mid to late ’50s, including one notably lopsided trade for future home run record holder Roger Maris.

Despite the lack of gunpowder preloaded in this contest, this World Series is likely to be one for the history books. In the majority of predictions about the World Series, experts suspect the matchup to see Game 7 but are evenly divided on who will win. CBS Sports, for example, has the Royals winning the series three experts to two. Bovada has the series on even money, while has the Mets as slight favorites.

While most analyst media outlets – including International Business Times and SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio – are currently predicting the Mets to squeak out a win, this fight will be one for the ages and likely the cause of a new sports rivalry. With the Royals’ fastball-hitting specialists going against the best fastball artists in the league with the Mets’ starters, the arguments about this series have already began; Bleacher Report has taken the controversial position of calling the series in six games for the Royals while Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez has predicted that the Mets are the team of the future, with Rodriguez predicting the team to win three or four out of the next five World Series.

Charting the Start of a Rivalry

MLB World Series 2015 rivalry New York Mets Kansas City Royals Friendliest rival

In the modern information era, social media is the chronicle of what’s happening and what the populace thinks of what’s happening. In a cursory glance of hashtag #RoyalsMets on Twitter, you get tweets like these:


#FallClassic #RoyalsMets – KC I’ve been a loyal fan since 1985. Win or lose. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! #KansasCityRoyals


#RoyalsMets write it down


Baseball season is back. #royalsmets

Hashtag #worldseries added tweets such as:


Today’s the day! #WorldSeries world-series-cup #LGM mets-apple


Ok #Royals imma need you to come out hella strong tn!! #worldseries world-series-cup


#WorldSeries world-series-cupStarts Tonight Also…Damn I Love Sports

Overwhelmingly, there is a lack of animosity or venom in the conversations over social media. For the most part, everyone is excited for a remarkable matchup to begin.

This feeling is reflected in the sentiment analysis of Mets mentions in Missouri and Royals mentions in New York. In some of the highest scores reported during this Fall Classic, the two host cities have little to say bad about the opposition team. Missouri’s mentions about the Mets illustrate St. Louis’s generally good feelings about New York; at 0.45, Missouri reported the best sentiment score of any team at any point of this year’s World Series race.

New York, which generally is regarded as more cynical than other states, scored a 0.36 toward Missouri, which is in line with the sentiment scores New York registered for other series teams.

A Sentimental Game

most positive terms world series New York Mets vs Kansas City Royals

Scoring an almost perfect sentiment score is Kansas City’s left fielder Alex Gordon, a one-time Platinum Glove, four-time Gold Glove, and three-time Fielding Bible award winner who is among the most popular baseball players currently playing. It is rumored that this season will be Gordon’s last with the Royals. Gordon is one of the Royals’ heavy hitters, playing a significant role in the team’s ALCS victory this year.

“KC” as a term also came in high with a 0.73 sentiment score – “KC” refers to Kansas City – with Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain, Mets infielder Wilmer Flores, former Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman/right fielder Bobby Bonilla – who received the first of his annual deferment checks of about $1.2 million from the Mets this year – and the term “Escobar” also top the sentiment list. The term “escobar” is likely a reference to Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar.

An interesting term on the sentiment list is “Hugwatch”: a reference to players hugging each other in the dugout. This usually happens when a player plays his last game – either due to a trade or retirement; in a show of emotion, the player leaves the dugout by hugging each of his teammates. With several players on both teams likely to retire or be traded after the World Series, the “Hug Watch” alert level is currently high.

Likely, many players – following the end of this series – will have reasons to hug one another. Rarely is there a World Series with this immense amount of talent and noticeably low level of bad blood.

For fans of the Mets and the Royals and for baseball fans worldwide, this World Series will be one to remember – one of two very deserving teams will be rewarded for a postseason many already believe is among the best in recent memory.

Enjoy the teams player walk up songs, New York Mets & Kansas City Royals playlists.



 We pulled every tweet from the 2015 MLB Season with #Mets in the state of Missouri and #Royals in the state of New York, and using the Alchemy API, we looked at the targeted sentiment score of the most commonly used terms throughout. The targeted sentiment looks at the words around a particular term and determines on a scale of -1 to 1 how negative or positive these words are, with 0 being neutral.

New York Mets Walk-Up Songs

If you are a fan of the New York Mets, you have a lot to be happy about. Game 4 began with a three-run home run – only to be immediately followed by a single-score shot over the right field wall – and the Mets cruised to an 8-3 victory, completing the 4-0 sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series. The Mets’ dominating performance will give the ALCS winner something to think about as the Mets advance to the World Series for the first time in 15 years.

Making the series win even more poignant: The Mets’ Daniel Murphy broke a postseason record with home runs in six consecutive games, and the win defied the “Back to the Future” movie prophecy of a Cubs sweep in 2015. New Yorkers have a lot to celebrate in a win few would have predicted when the season began. Instead of the Cubs sweeping the 2015 Fall Classic on October 21, 2015, as “Back to the Future II” suggests, the team was swept.

The Soundtrack of a Sweep

A part of this miracle season is the music that framed the Mets’ entrances. During Game 1, for example, Daniel Murphy entered to Linkin Park’s “What I’ve Done” to drive a home run in the first while Travis d’Arnaud entered to Drake’s “0 to 100 / The Catch Up” for his sixth-inning homer.

While sometimes overlooked, a team’s walk-up music helps to frame a player’s performance. For the 15 seconds a player has to advance from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box or from the bullpen to the pitching mound, the walk-up music is the only chance that player has to psych himself up, to get the crowd behind him, or to intimidate his opponent. For most players, the walk-up song is a serious part of the superstition of play, requiring debate and deliberation about its choice and blind adherence should it yield positive results.

“I don’t know if you’ve seen that one U.F.C. movie with Kevin James in it,” d’Arnaud told The New York Times, referencing the comedy “Here Comes the Boom.” “The teacher talks about how in war they used to play their battle songs to get you ready for the war. And for me, that moment, that’s my war with the pitcher, so I need something to get me hyped up and get me ready to go out there and see a baseball coming at me at 95 miles an hour.”

While the idea of personalized entrance music for baseball players is a relatively new one – popularized in the movie “Major League” – it has become as quintessential a part of the way fans relate to and identify their favorite players as the players’ jersey numbers themselves.

As the Mets await the winner of the ALCS, we have prepared a New York Mets playlist, including the favorite walk-up songs of the batting and relief pitching squads.

sounds of the New York Mets

The New York Beat

Reflecting the multiculturalism of the Mets and New York City in general, Latin music dominates the Mets’ walk-up music list. Alex Torres (El Vega’s “Te Encontre”), Dilson Herrera (El Barbero’s “Si La Vieran Bailar”), Juan Lagares (Jay the Prince’s “Mas Flow Que Dinero”) and Juan Uribe (Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida”) have all indicated – according to – that their favorite walk-up songs are Latino in flavor.

This differs from the league, where hip-hop/rap rules the walk-up charts, with rock closely following. As for the the Mets, nine of the favorite walk-up songs are Latino, seven are hip-hop/rap, and five are rock.

While there is no scientific correlation between type of music and performance, it is safe to say that players who feel good in the batter’s box will perform better.

Explaining to The New York Times his choice of “0 to 100 / The Catch Up” by Drake as his walk-up music, Travis d’Arnaud says, “Because when I walk up to the plate, it makes me feel really good.”

As the Mets move one step closer to claiming their first World Series title since 1986, one thing is assured: The team’s victories will be staged by its players’ entrance themes. When fans reflect on this season, it will be the walk-up music that helps to frame the memories of this amazing run.

Mets fans can watch the game at McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon @ Citi Field, Flushing, New York

Update: find other MLB teams’ player walk up songs at the MLB Walk Up Songs application at Fanatics


The Evolution of the Washington Redskins Jersey


Field uniforms are – for most fans – the first way they recognize their favorite players. The science and art of what makes a good uniform is studied and debated at length as part of the underlying mythology of gridiron football; a bad uniform can spoil the football experience as much or more than bad cheerleaders or poor officiating from the referees.

According to NFL rules, a team can change its uniform significantly only once every five years. While minor changes, such as wearing an already approved previous uniform – known as a “throwback” – or an announced alternative jersey, are permitted, the league takes seriously its commitment to brand consistency. While most teams typically take the opportunity to change their looks on a regular basis, many teams don’t. The Indianapolis Colts, for example, have worn their white-and-blue uniform since 1957. The Green Bay Packers have been consistent since 1961, the Kansas City Chiefs since 1963, and the Oakland Raiders since 1964.

Included in this list of perennially consistent uniforms is the Washington Redskins, who have not seen a major uniform modification since 1972. For fans of the official team of the nation’s capital, the white, gold, and burgundy of the Redskins jersey symbolize their love and commitment to their long-suffering and maligned team, whose legacy in the ’80s and ’90s dwarfs the difficulties the team faces today.

The third-most valuable team in the league, but currently the 13th-most popular, the Redskins have a lot of reasons to celebrate their past in their uniform. We created a retrospective to look at the evolution of the Redskins’ jersey, from its humble beginning to its current iteration.


A Proud History

1937: In 1932, a group led by laundry chain owner George Preston Marshall bought the rights to the former NFL team the Boston Braves. Marshall moved the team to Fenway Park – the home of the Boston Red Sox – and renamed his team “Redskins” both to continue using the Braves’ uniforms and to build kinship with Red Sox fans. The original uniform was a burgundy long-sleeve jersey with a stylized profile of a Native American head on front instead of number patches. This was paired with gold pants.

Boston, at the time, was not known for its football fan base. Struggling home tickets sales persuaded Marshall to move the team to Washington in 1937. During the early years as the Washington Redskins, the team had some of their most poignant moments: They won their first league title the year of their move, won their second championship in 1942 and lost the 1940, 1943 and 1945 championship games.

This early success helped to make the team a beloved part of Washington life. The jersey of this period, introduced in 1937, moved the Native American head to the sleeves – with both patches showing the head from the right side. In practical terms, this meant that the head on the player’s right sleeve was looking forward, but the head on the left sleeve was looking backward. The Redskins’ 1994 “throwback” jersey honored this by having reverse-facing sleeve patches, as well. In front of the 1937 jersey were gold number patches with white outlines.

1942–1956: Over the next decade and a half, the jersey saw only cosmetic changes – a switch to solid white number patches in 1942 with the removal of the reverse-facing patches, a new font for the number patches that was used only in 1948, and the addition of the gold-and-white vertical shoulder stripes in 1956. The 1956 jersey also marked the adoption of the team’s official colors of white, burgundy, and gold. The 1956 jersey aligned with the Redskins’ fall from grace – the team had been knocked out of playoff contention for the last 10 years and would not make a playoff for 15 more.

1962: The Redskins would not be serious contenders until 1962. That year marked the drafting of Syracuse University’s Ernie Davis, the Redskins’ first African-American player. To mark the season, the Redskins introduced a new road uniform – a white mid-sleeve jersey with burgundy vertical shoulder sleeves, front number patches, and sleeve numbers coupled with gold pants with a burgundy stripe and a burgundy helmet with a feather down the center.

1966–1970: The years leading up to 1971 showed a team in flux – both in substance and in appearance. 1966 saw a short-sleeved burgundy home jersey with no shoulder stripes and white front and sleeve number patches. 1969 welcomed the hiring of celebrated coach Vince Lombardi and another jersey change – this time, the burgundy home jersey adding the NFL logo on the shoulder in celebration of the NFL’s 50th anniversary and gold and white alternating sleeve cuff stripes.

1970 saw Lombardi’s death and a change to the road jersey – burgundy and gold stripes to the collar and horizontally at the sleeves against a white jersey with burgundy front and sleeve numbers.

1971–1972: George Allen’s signing on as coach in 1971 saw the Redskins return to stability and the playoffs. The team made four playoffs consecutively, with minor jersey alterations happening at this time. Of considerable note, however, is that in 1972, the Redskins’ logo took its modern form – that of a Native American brave in profile, surrounded by a gold-framed ring with white-and-gold war feathers. This was the final major uniform alteration to date.

The White, Gold, and Burgundy

In the years that follow, the Redskins challenged the 49ers and the Cowboys for league dominance. On the strengths of Joe Theismann, Art Monk, Russ Grimm, and head coach Joe Gibbs, the Redskins won Super Bowl XVII in 1983, won the NFC East in 1982 and 1984, made it to the NFC Championship Game in 1986, and won Super Bowl XXII in 1988 and Super Bowl XXVI in 1992.

“Some of my favorite early memories involve the Washington Redskins,” wrote a Redskins loyalist in a Huffington Post blog. “For as long as I remember, I’ve watched games on Sundays. My father is a Washington, D.C., native who has been a fan of the team since they moved to town from Boston in 1937. I’ve watched the ’Skins play with four generations of my family and, though I now live near a team that regularly makes the playoffs, my loyalty remains with my oft beleaguered Washington football team.”

Currently, there are 5 style jersey’s available at Fanatics:

  1. Alternate
  2. Fashion
  3. Team
  4. Throwback
  5. White


Kansas City Royals Walk-Up Songs

In Toronto, it feels a little bit like history repeating. In 1985, the Toronto Blue Jays led the Kansas City Royals 3-1 to lose three straight, handing the Royals the American League Championship Series. For Blue Jays fans, there has been some hostility toward their Kansas City counterparts for this blown opportunity.

Jump to this year: The Blue Jays started the series down two to the Royals in this season’s ALCS, before rebounding in Game 3. With Kansas City but one game away from repeating 1985, the Royals are on the brink of their second-straight World Series. However, that one game failed to materialize in Game 5, when the Blue Jays beat the Royals 7-1 on the back of a blown umpire call to force a Game 6.

For two never-say-die teams, this series is evolving to be one of the best pairings in this post-season. The Royals – with their strong bullpen and formidable defense – were considered a favorite in this post-season. The Blue Jays, however, have proven this year that they play best when cornered, defeating the Texas Rangers in the American League Division Series after starting the series 0-2.

“We’ve been through a bunch of hurdles all year,” Blue Jays outfielder Chris Colabello told Fox News. “We were 7 1/2 games (back) at the deadlines. … We had to claw back from that. We were down two games back in the division series and we clawed back from that. I’ll tell you what, we’re going to leave everything we have out there.”

The Heartbeat of a Series

As the world tunes in to watch this tug-of-war battle continue in Game 6 in Kansas City, it will be the Royals’ entrance music that frames the fight at Kauffman Stadium. It is easy to overlook how 15 seconds (or less) of music can affect anything, but in reality, the music played while a player moves from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box or from the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound can undermine or make that player’s performance.

“The snippet of song you’ve chosen has to make you want to hit a baseball really freaking hard,” wrote Jay Tymkovich in his analysis of what makes a good walk-up song. “Rhythm and sound correlate remarkably well with certain physical actions; some songs make you want to slow dance, just like some songs make you want to jump up and down in a mosh pit. I would hazard a guess that every human being in the world knows a song that burrows deep down into his or her gut, and activates a desire to pick up a club and start smashing.”

For players waiting to take the field, walk-up songs are the only chance to intimidate their opponents, rile up the crowd, or psych themselves up. For the crowd, walk-up songs show a side of the player that the average fan would otherwise not be privy to. For many, their favorite player can just as easily be identified by their walk-up song as by the number on their jersey.

As the Royals conclude their matchup with the Blue Jays, we have compiled a list of the Royals players’ entrance music, including the favorites of the hitting and relief pitching squads.

Sounds of the Kansas City Royals - Player walk up songs

The Kansas City Beat

In Game 1, when Royals catcher Salvador Perez came out to hit his third home run of the post-season, he was introduced to Plan B’s “Fanatica Sensual.” In Game 2, when relievers Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis capped a five-run seventh inning to secure a come-from-behind win, they entered to Tego Calderón’s “El Abayarde” and Dr. Dre’s “Ackrite,” respectively.

Overwhelmingly, Latin music and hip-hop dominates the Royals’ walk-up playlist. According to, Alcides Escobar (Zion y Lennox’s “Pierdo la Cabeza”), Edinson Volquez (Maceo’s “Full de Vacaneria”), Johnny Cueto (El Mayor Clasico ft. Shadow Blow’s “Como Antes” and Vakero ft. Kunin’s “Deja tu Envidia”), and Omar Infante (Daddy Yankee’s “Sígueme y Te Sigo”) all enter to a Latino beat. Likewise, Alex Gordon (G-Eazy’s “I Mean It”), Chris Young (Jay-Z’s “Young Forever”), Christian Colon (Meek Mill ft. Rick Ross’s “Off the Corner”), and Lorenzo Cain (Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen”) all enter to hip-hop.

This differs from the league overall, whose players enter to hip-hop and rock primarily. Of note among the Royals’ current walk-up playlist is Ben Zobrist; he enters to his wife Julianna Zobrist’s song “The Dawn.”

As the Royals continue their epic fight against the Blue Jays for the coveted honor of meeting the New York Mets in the World Series, walk-up music will play more of an essential role than ever. While there is no basis for arguing that a walk-up song improves performance, it does directly affect the player’s mindset, which can mean the difference in such a tightly contested matchup.

“Walk-up songs are the ultimate form of expression – a 10-second sample for tens of thousands of a player’s most devoted fans to hear,” wrote baseball blogger Andrew Erickson. “It’s a pretty amazing thing knowing one song can make even more of an impact than John Cusack with a trench coat and a boombox.”

Royals fans can watch the game at McFadden’s Sports Saloon, Kansas City, Missouri

Update: find other MLB teams’ player walk up songs at the MLB Walk Up Songs application at Fanatics


Cubs vs Mets Rivalries Analyzed

NLCS Rivalries Chicago Cubs vs New York Mets

Typically, the rivalry between New York and Chicago revolves around pizza philosophy and the debate between thin crust versus deep dish. In baseball, the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets do not have much animosity toward each other – as they play in different divisions in geographically divergent markets, the occasional matchup between the two tends not to produce too many sparks.

This, however, did not temper the emotions in play during the Mets’ 4-0 sweep of the Cubs in the National League Championship Series. The Mets’ first pennant in 15 years, the series’ dominating win is the latest example of the team’s attempt to revitalize a franchise that has been relegated to the shadows of the Yankees for decades.

Once called New York’s “other team,” the Mets persevered through bad trades, cold streaks, and suspensions during this season alone. Longtime Mets fans will always remember the metamorphosis of the club from perennial losers to powerhouse. In Game 4 of the NLCS, the Mets overwhelmed the Cubs with a three-run home run in the first, a two-run double in the second, and a two-run home run in the eighth, sealing the series 8-3.

In doing this, the Mets sentenced the Cubs to its 107th consecutive season without a championship – one of the longest dry streaks in North American sports history. This is despite the fact that the Cubs set the league’s postseason record for most home runs in a single game and the franchise record for most home runs in a series.

Positive Thinking

Despite this, the cross-talk on social media has not been all negative. A cursory examination of #CubsMets yielded these references:

@NathanConley Oct 15

Both championship series should be a lot of fun. #BlueJaysVsRoyals and #CubsMets. Love October baseball.

@RF1071 Oct 15

#CubsMets is gonna be fun.

@wmanhatten Oct 15

Power pitching vs. power hitting #CubsMets

@Bonnie_D_Ford Oct 15

Gonna get to re-live my childhood. #cubsmets

@sethDunbar Oct 15

Young pitchers vs young hitters in the NLCS is gonna be the funnest MLB series I can remember in a long time. #CubsMets

Overwhelmingly, the talk on Twitter following the end of Game 4 was relief that the 15-year pennant dry streak for the Mets was over, with the occasional mention of the busted “Back to the Future II” prophecy that the Cubs would sweep the Fall Classic on October 21, 2015. While – as to be expected – some negativity emerged, such as the Cubs’ posting a photo of a digitally defaced Citi Field on its Snapchat account and a negatively received interaction between the manager of the Cubs’ Twitter account and a fan seeking a free jersey, this series has been the most positive in the 2015 postseason so far.

Respect Among Opponents

Chicago Cubs vs New York Mets - Friendliest rivals

When looking at the positive sentiment of Illinoisans toward the Mets and of New Yorkers toward the Cubs, there is little difference. In an analysis of terms used by social media users in Illinois and New York, the use of positive terms to describe the opposing NLCS team were within .02 sentiment points of each other, with Mets mentions in Illinois slightly edging out Cubs mentions in New York.

With both teams seeking to overcome long pennant droughts and working to recover their relationship with their fan base, it is understandable how sentimentality on both ends can be similar. Both teams have freshmen squads, both teams had a Cinderella season, and both teams were not projected to be in the NLCS when the season began.

In the minds of the fans, there may not be two more similar teams than the Mets and the Cubs, which belies the ultimate result of their NLCS meeting.

Tracking Positivity
The most positive terms in the Chicago Cubs vs New York Mets Rivalry on Twitter

Among the most positive terms tracked by the sentiment analysis are Mets catcher Kirk Nieuwenhuis – who played for 17 days for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler – who transferred from the Houston Astros this year; and Mets pitcher Jon Niese. Other positive sentimentality terms include Texas Rangers Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan; Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward – whom rumors state that the Cubs have shown interest in; and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant – who, despite being dominated for most of the NLCS, still had a stellar rookie year this season.

The mix of New York and Chicago terms in the positivity list reflects the fact that – despite the lack of rivalry between the two teams – this matchup meant a lot for those who watched the series. Without a doubt, this series will be discussed for years to come as part of a season that helped to redefine two franchises and to spread hope and positive thinking to two long-suffering sets of fans.



We pulled every tweet from the 2015 MLB Season with #mets in the state of Illinois and #cubs in the state of New York, and using the Alchemy API, we looked at the targeted sentiment score of the most commonly used terms throughout. The targeted sentiment looks at the words around a particular term and determines on a scale of -1 to 1 how negative or positive these words are, with 0 being neutral.