Being a Mets fan has certainly been a ride — a ride that breaks down half the time, but is ultimately one of the weirder and more rewarding rides you could possibly go on. My 25 years of Mets fandom haven’t quite yet reached “grizzled sufferer” status, but we’re definitely getting closer and closer every day.
That said, I wouldn’t trade my baseball allegiances for the world. Here are a few reasons why:
1. “Real New Yorkers Are Mets Fans”
After being introduced two months back, newly minted Met (and former Yankee) Curtis Granderson said “I’ve heard true New Yorkers were Mets fans.” The comment spurred as much of a debate as an offseason comment can ignite, but the statement has more than a degree of truth to it.
Of course there are thousands, if not millions of “True New Yorkers” that are Yankees fans. The Yankees though, also have a considerable fanbase filled with transplants, bandwagoners, and those who live outside the New York area. Not saying this is bad, but it’s something you don’t see as a Mets fan — if you’re a Mets fan, you’re gonna be from or have roots in the New York area.
2. A Sense Of Humor Is Required
Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Kevin James are all very outspoken Mets fans. Rooting for Flushing’s finest is clearly helpful for cultivating humor. As the clip below shows, we don’t really have much of a choice:
3. The Franco Effect
One of my favorite Mets is John Franco. By the time I got around to watching him he was a bit older, past his prime and all-star appearances. Nonetheless, he was always scrappily effective, and willed his way to save after save after save. Brooklyn born and bred, he was an admirable captain, and even bigger workhorse.
In the first game after the unfathomably devastating 9/11 attacks, Mike Piazza hit a go ahead home-run against the rival Braves to lift the upstart Mets to a 3-2 victory. It was one of the biggest moments in team history, and undoubtably one of the most emotional — it showed that the Mets, and in turn the city, was proud and ready to fight back.
5. Subverted Expectations
Between the trials and tribulations of the Alomar/Vaughn/Burnitz power trio that never was, being caught looking, and countless other “almosts” throughout the years, Mets letdowns are a bit different than a franchise perpetually struggling in obscurity. The Mets oftentimes have expectations. Sometimes, they even come disastrously close to meeting them.
All of this has proven to be great training for dealing with relationships, career stuff, and everything in between. Nothing’s a sure thing until it truly is.
6. “It’s Outta Here!”
There somehow isn’t a youtube compilation of Gary Cohen’s greatness, but definitely check out this website if the YouTube below isn’t enough. Which it might not be.
7. Stubborn Pride
In a town where you can easily just root for what’s arguably the greatest franchise in the history of sports, it takes a pretty twisted person to root for a team that, well, is definitely far from that. Being a Mets fan is therefore not so much a badge of pride as it is a cool scar that you’re for someone reason thrilled to have. You gotta believe.