IT STARTED in the parking lot, way before the first pitch, when a truckload of Yankees fans started giving twin brothers Marcus and Mitchell Leysath the business.
"So who you guys think is gonna win?" asked Rusty Greeno, 30, an Army specialist from Fort Dix, deceptively clad in a red Yankees hat.
"Come on, man. Who do you think?" said Mitchell Leysath, 30, of Trenton, who was sporting a Jimmy Rollins jersey. "We're going all the way."
That exchange, outside Chickie's and Pete's sports bar in Bordentown, N.J., was tame compared with the civil war inside the bar last night during Game 1 of the World Series. Interstate 95, just a few miles from the bar, is generally considered the north-south border separating Phillie fans from Yankee lovers. Bar owner Pete Ciarrocchi says his place is the "Mason-Dixon Line" for sports in the Garden State. And last night it was the men from the south, in the gray uniforms, who won the first skirmish, as a general named Lee (Cliff, that is) led the Phillies to a 6-1 rout.
"It's like the Hatfields and McCoys right here in the cornfields," Ciarrocchi said.
Before the Phillies pulled away, instead of trading bullets, though, the mix of Yankees and Phillies fans peppered one another all night with bold predictions and insults that opened old wounds.
"Yankees sweep, just like 1950!" yelled Jesse Herrera, 23, of Trenton, whose profession, he claims, is "Yankees fan."
"No, no, no, it's gonna be Phillies in six!" said Keith Williams, a reasonable Trenton resident trying to keep Herrera's rowdy table in check with the power of his Mike Schmidt jersey.
Early on in the game, as New York ace CC Sabathia loaded the bases with ball after ball, Steve Meisberger took off his Yankees cap and ran his fingers through his hair in frustration.
"He's a Cowboys fan, too," he said.
After Chase Utley's first solo shot in the third inning sailed over the rightfield wall, one bullhorn of a voice in the roaring crowd rose above them all.
"Yankees suck!" Bordentown native Brent Mileski bellowed, repeatedly, throughout the night.
Hours later, the Phils fans were in complete command thanks to Lee, Utley and Raul Ibanez.
"It's all over," the crowd chanted, as Yankees fans fiddled with their phones in the 9th and slipped out the doors.
Yankees fans at the bar were willing to give the Phils their due, for the most part.
"I hate Chase Utley, but he is an all-star," said Ray Kelly, 28, of Wrightstown, Burlington County. "The Phillies just damaged us."
During the afternoon, the midday shows at Philadelphia's WIP (610-AM) and New York's WFAN (660-AM) met at the Bordentown bar for a previously scheduled broadcast to talk Eagles and Giants football. Not surprisingly, the game plan changed.
"There was no football talk. Maybe one sentence," said Ciarrocchi.
Anyone who didn't have Phillies or Yankees gear in the bar was fixed up in the parking lot, where items for both teams were being sold from a Modell's Sporting Goods trailer.
The Phillies dominated the cash register there.
"We're not selling any Yankees stuff," said employees Steve Brown. "Maybe a hat or two."