(WTNH)–When most out-of-staters think of Connecticut, they probably think of preppies in white collar shirts, khakis and laxbro haircuts. And boat shoes. Can’t forget the boat shoes.
Of course, those of us who live here know that’s not the case—except for Fairfield County. And some of the shoreline. And some of Litchfield County. And part of Farmington. And West Hartford. (OK, so maybe it is kind of true).
Most people probably think Connecticutians (pretty sure that’s the word) are spoiled, affluent, and intolerable.
And you know what? We are.
At least when it comes to sports.
Diehard sports fans who live in Connecticut might have it better than anybody else in the country. Think about it. The large majority of fans in the state either root for New York or Boston teams, which of course, include some of the most legendary franchises in sports.
Most baseball fans in Connecticut will either be pulling for the Yankees to win their 28th championship this fall, or for the Red Sox to win their fourth since 2004. OK, so there’s also the Mets, but I mean, those people bring that misery on themselves.
Most football fans spend their winters either rooting for one of the most storied franchises in NFL history, or the New England Patriots.
Seriously. As ridiculously successful as the Pats have been since 2001, the New York Giants still have more NFL titles, with eight all-time, going back to 1927. Sure, there’s the Jets, too, but again, no one has to voluntarily subject themselves to that kind of pain.
Hockey fans either root for the six-time world champion Boston Bruins (who have appeared in the Stanley Cup Final 19 times), or the New York Rangers, who own four Stanley Cup titles and are one of the league’s most important franchises.
There’s also the Islanders, with their four Stanley Cups, and the three-time champion Devils, who embarked on one of the longest sustained runs of excellence in league history in the ’90s and 2000’s.
Even the Whalers–who haven’t existed since 1997–are still remembered for what Vice calls it the Greatest Logo in Sports History. Take that, Raleigh.
Basketball fans have the most storied franchise in the sport—the Celtics and their 17 world titles. And then there’s the Knicks. But still.
There’s also Trinity squash (maybe the greatest collegiate athletic program in the country), and Quinnipiac and Yale hockey, which met each other in the 2013 national championship game. Big-time college hockey doesn’t even exist outside of the northeast and midwest, so there’s an entire sport’s existence to brag about.
And then of course, there’s UConn basketball.
The women’s program is almost inarguably the greatest in the history of college basketball–men’s or women’s–and the men’s program, with its four national titles, certainly ranks in the top 10 all-time. Maybe even the top five.
No other college basketball program in America can compete with the Huskies on the hardwood.
When you think about it, there aren’t many areas in the country that can make a convincing argument that they’ve lived a more charmed sports life.
Fans in Los Angeles can come close–they’ve got the Lakers, USC football, Cal-State Fullerton baseball, and the Dodgers. They’ve also got UCLA everything–as the Bruins have won a total of 131 NCAA national championships and have been dynastic in everything from men’s basketball to volleyball, baseball, tennis, softball, water polo and track.
But for two decades, L.A. didn’t even have the NFL. Fans chose to root for either the Chargers, Raiders, or Rams, and that’s not exactly like choosing between the Giants, Jets and Patriots.
Nope, when it comes to fanhood, Connecticut is like the Fairfield County of sports.
You know, except for the boat shoes.