It may be hard for those outside the Tampa Bay area to understand, but there's something nasty about Tampa Bay fans feelings toward New York and Philadelphia.
First, let's talk Yankees. There's good reason for Rays fans to hate the Yankees. The Yankee fans (not all but many) are some of the most obnoxious fans that come to Tropicana Field.
Many of them are transplants from New York, who decided that Florida was a great enough place to live, work, and raise a family but not support the local team.
Others, even worse, are posers. Never stepping foot in New York for one day and probably never hearing the name Lou Gehrig or Don Mattingly, they prance into the Trop like they own the place.
Yankee fans will say that it's not their fault, the Rays fans should support their team better.
The problem is, Tampa Bay is a transient community. Very few folks are born here, most have moved from somewhere else.
So unless those folks who decide to make a life here in Tampa Bay decide they want to support the teams in the community in which they live instead of that team they grew up with that plays 1,187 miles away, the Rays have a very small base to pull from.
In other words, the Yankee fans who live in Tampa Bay ARE THE PROBLEM.
Now, Philadelphia's a different animal all together. The community of Tampa Bay's dislike for the city of Brotherly love goes back to 2000. That was the first year the Eagles obliterated the Buccaneers in the NFC playoffs and ended their season.
Meetings in 2001 (NFC wildcard), 2002 (NFC Championship) and 2003 (opening day) would fuel the flame.
It was enhanced even more when the Lightning face the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004. In a grueling seven game series filled with hard hits, dramatic wins and Lightning coach John Tortorella telling Philly coach Ken Hitchcock to "Shut your yap", by the end of it - the hatred was truly there for all things Philly.
Then came last year's World Series with the Cinderella Rays taking on the Phillies for Baseball's crown. There were the tough losses and then the rain...and more rain...and the Game Five that took three days to play to completion.
The only thing good about Philly from a Tampa Bay perspective are the cheesesteaks.
So in the end, it's hard to pick a team to root for in this bunch. I'd have to say I'll root for the Phillies because I just love seeing Yankee fan disappointed even more than those poor Eagles fans when the Bucs shutdown the Vet.
Of course, as late as this World Series is starting (Thanks, Fox), it may Thanksgiving before a champ is crowned.
I've heard of Rain outs...but Snow Outs?
Best of luck to both teams. Each club has had outstanding seasons and deserve to represent their respective Leagues in the Fall Classic.
I pick the Yankees in six.