A survey of over 1.3 million people across the country has just been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranking the 50 states and Washington D.C. on how happy the residents of each locale are. It used data collected over four years. Out of the 51 states and D.C., New York came in last at 51st, Connecticut second to last at 50th, and New Jersey came in at 47th.
This begs the question—why are these states so unhappy? The economic doldrums that have been well documented in upstate New York non-withstanding, financial considerations do not seem to be driving the responses. Connecticut and New Jersey are the top two states in per capita income and the New York metro area also ranks considerably higher than the national average in all measures of economic well being.
And, as the locals so often point out to the rest of the nation who are in “fly over” territory, New Yorkers and the metropolitan region enjoy haute cuisine, extensive museums, a vibrant arts scene, world class shopping, the beaches of Long Island and Jersey, the quaint charms of New England, and a host of other amenities that should make life there just grand. So what’s the beef?
Well, as New Yorker's can tell you, it’s their sports teams and their respective fans. I’ve used a special statistical analysis to determine just what is causing the woe in the metropolitan New York area, with the percentages noted.
The Yankees—50 Percent Woe Factor
In and of themselves, they’ve probably caused as much heartache across this great land as Sherman in Georgia, lousy crop prices, foreclosing notices from cold hearted bankers, broken prom dates, Nancy Pelosi, and high fat foods. But the distress caused by the Yankees is especially intense in New York itself.
On one hand, their fan base causes New Yorkers who are not Yankee fans (i.e. Met fans) great distress. With their obnoxious behavior, holier than thou attitudes, placation of Midas type spending from George and now his kid, and general nausea inducing antics, the Yankees and their fans are tough, tough, tough on the old Constitution.
On the flip side, however, Yankee fans themselves are amongst the most perpetually unhappy human beings in the world. Spoiled like a Vanderbilt child, Yankee fans are not satisfied unless they win a World Series every single year. Even when they do win, like this year, the average Yankee fan enjoys the victory only via the taunting and attempted humiliation of their opponents. Zen they are not.
The average Yankee fan is already worried about next year, gnashing their teeth in anticipation of the upcoming campaign and how they will stay on top . Pressure, pressure, pressure. Offseason conversations, if you can call them that, are reduced to ranting “27 rings” or some such drivel, drowning out all joy, spirit, and normal human interaction. Well, at least it keeps New York’s extensive cadre of therapists employed.
The Mets—20 Percent Woe Factor
They try. Lord knows, they try. But with leadership better suited to running a Chuck E. Cheese franchise, and the aforementioned Yankee fans harping on them every chance they get, poor Metsie fans troop through life like a fat boy at the prom. They get to see the festivities, but there's no dancing with the good looking chicks. Bummer.
The Jets—10 Percent Woe Factor
For some unknown, weirdly masochistic reason, the Jet’s and Met’s share a common fan base. Maybe they should sell leather gear in their concession stands, because rooting for these guys is painful, painful, painful. Not good for the happiness quotient, unless your version of happy includes a night with the angry mother in law or nipple clamps.
The Giants—10 Percent Woe Factor
Yeah, they won a couple of Super Bowl’s, including one a couple of years ago. But Giant fans suffer from the same delusions as Yankee fans…they think they should win every Super Bowl, every year, year in and year out.
And they’re friggin’ miserable wretches to talk to, be around, text, or communicate with in any other way when the Giants don’t measure up to snuff. This behavior seems to be driven by their hyper competitive investment banker, lawyer, ad executive, and other “captain of capitalism” fan base, who are all trying to keep up with the (Jerry) Jones and Trumps. Envy and stress ain’t good for ya. Money's not everything, but don't tell that to these guys. Mama needs a new pair of shoes...and they cost $500!
The Knicks—Five Percent Woe Factor
Just the mere thought of Issiah Thomas is still enough to cause Knick fans to instantly upchuck, even though he has now been mercifully banished from the franchise. Knick fans can often seem to be suffering from the onset of dementia, as they will ramble on about long ago ghosts…”Willis Reed, Earl the Pearl, Walt Frazier”... usually with a bit of spittle and drool running down their chins.
The Rangers—Four Percent Woe Factor
Ever since the strike, hockey has been relegated to minor league status. This makes their fans sad. No one else notices, just like no one noticed when the sport went on strike. Again, sad. So the Rangers are a sad team in a sad sport, which is only followed by a bunch of tight lipped Canucks who don't have a dang thing to do during their 10 month winter. Depressing, ain't it?
The Nets, Devils, and Islanders—One percent Woe Factor
Worse than the Rangers in the “we don’t care” category. Trying to find a real fan of any of these franchises is like trying to find a country western line dance joint in the Bronx…it may be there, but you’ll sure have to look around a lot to find it.
So there it is. Incidentally, the state with the happiest people is…Louisiana. Which makes sense. The Saints are in first place, and their fans are just happier than pigs in mud to be there. LSU is a power in college football, hoops, and baseball every year, they have great hunting and fishing, awesome food, their bars stay open 24 hours, and they off loaded all their riff raff over to Houston after Katrina hit. Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez.