A Metropolitan Chronicle from someone who's been to the Dark Side.
Friday, October 9, 2015
MANDATORY CREDIT: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
In October 2006, in the living room of a friend of mine not into baseball at all, I watched Endy Chavez make an incredible catch...and subsequently Aaron Heilman, Carlos Beltran, and a nasty curveball that absolutely pissed me off.
In September 2007, my friend Ted, a huge Phillies fan I've discussed on here before (in fact, first) texted me something I can vaguely remember now, but my response might have straight up been, "What are you talking about?"
To which he responded...
"Do you know what's going on?"
He had snapped me out of a season-long credit-card-max-out-inducing vinyl disc binge I had been going on, and I got back just in time to watch the 1st inning (or 1/3 of...) of Tom Gl%£¥ne's non-devastating 7 run performance. I vowed to never NOT follow the Mets daily again.
In September 2008, in a White Plains bar, I watched the bullpen put a bow on a very exciting yet uneven, odd and bittersweet last season of Shea Stadium baseball. About a week before that, I watched on the SNY Plaza monitor Daniel Murphy, who led off with a triple, get stranded on 3rd in the 9th inning against the Cubs. A disgruntled fan, with as thick of a New York accent as you can imagine, walked away, exclaiming, "Dey Stink!" Luis Alaya blew it right thereafter. I shook my head at Lee Mazzilli.
I got myself to Shea Stadium the next night, my last time ever in the building, and the Mets walked off on the Cubs in what everybody knew was an evening too late.
In October 2009, after the worst season, still to this day, I ever experienced as a baseball fan, I watched the Yankees take on the Phillies. I rooted for the Phillies...eesh.
October 2010, I watched Sandy Alderson introduce himself.
In August, I found out that the friend whose house I watched 2006's Game 7 at, whom I hadn't really seen since 2009, overdosed back in April and passed away. Besides being the first person my age (30) to die that I once spent a lot of time with, he died, unbeknownst to me till August, while I was in the middle of writing the 1st draft of a screenplay that takes place during the time I knew him.
Now, I don't mention this to bring the mood down, but my point is how long 9 years really is. A lot can change in that matter of time. And I, and we, have been through a lot as Mets fans in that time.
I thought about my former fandom some as I watched the Yankees and their fans go down in 1 game. I have an interesting perspective as having been raised in the Yankees world in my initial baseball years, then coming of age and becoming a Mets fan as an adult (the way I see it, I was born again, and now have been thoroughly raised in Mets fandom.) While Mets fans can sit in their anxieties that the other shoe will eventually drop, Yankee fans are cocky about the ghosts eventually emerging and swinging things the navy pinstripes' way, or at least that was the attitude till 2004. 11 years of a different world where the Yankees no longer dominate the Red Sox and have only been to and won only 1 World Series might have quelled that inevitable feeling for those fans, but while watching that Wild Card game, I couldn't have felt farther removed from the Yankee fan mindset.
I stopped having fun in my Yankee fandom. I have, including during my time rooting first and foremost for the Yanks, never not had fun rooting for the Mets.
We New Yorkers are lucky.
Unlike other towns, where the only flags you see flapping are Phillies flags, or Indians flags, or Red Sox, or Cardinals, or Brewers, etc. you see not only the local baseball flavor worn here, but basically every other team in all of human sports accounted for, since New York is a domestic and global phenomenon. In the 4 major U.S. sports, we have 9 local sports teams to mix and match with.
And in baseball, over here, we choose the Mets. In reality though, the Mets chose us.
And it doesn't matter how shallow or deep our playoff run ends up being.
After 9 years, I am about to have the time of my life.
KEEP. ON. PUSHIN'.
LET'S. GO. METS.
(Thanks to Greg Prince of FAFIF for the song selection. Only one that makes sense.)