As a Mets fan living in the Philadelphia area, I’ll be the first to admit, it hasn’t always been the easiest. Now I’m sure you are wondering why a girl like myself would like the New York Mets, especially because I have never lived in New York.
When most people ask me what my favorite teams are, I get some of the strangest looks for more than one reason:
1. I’m a New York fan living in Philadelphia area. (Who does that?)
2. Giants, Mets, Rangers. (Enough said)
3. I’m a chick that actually follows the Mets.(Rare)
When people would say, “why the Mets”, or “the Mess” as most of my friends refer to them as, or why the New York “mixup”. I would say, I’m a Mets fan because my daddy said so. (I actually have that on a shirt… one of my absolute favorites) Anyways, that was cute when I was young. Nowadays saying I’m a Mets fan because my daddy said so, isn’t as valid or much of a strong response.
So one day I finally took a swing at it and asked my dad, why are Mets fans… This may or may not have been after Beltran stood there looking in game 7 of the championship series. But in all seriousness I asked why we like the Mets, and not the Yankees. My dads answer was simple, “Growing up in Pop-pop’s house, if you weren’t a fan of the Giants, the Mets and Penn State Football, then you didn’t get dinner.”
Now of course they got fed no matter what, but i saw the trend of you were a fan of those teams because that’s what your dad watched.
So here I am thinking about this trend of liking a team because your dad said so. This, like most things, was not a good enough reason for me.
I had to find out the real reason as to why, I’m a Mets fan. One day, I finally got the courage to ask my grandfather, why the Mets?
With him, I had to be careful on how I would say it. If I said why are we Mets fans, he’d probably think I’m giving up on them, if I said why aren’t we Yankee fans, he probably think I’m turning in my blue and orange for some pin strips. After really thinking this through, I pulled my grandfather aside after he has had some of his favorite cool and refreshing Coors Light and said, “Gpop, I have a very serious question for you…if we like the Giants and the Rangers, why are we Mets fans? It just doesn’t seem to make sense to me.”
Bingo! I nailed it.
His response.. “Well Mace, I’m glad you asked, you’re actually the first one to question as to why the Mets.”
He explained how back in the day, he was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and that any true fan of the Dodgers, would never become a Yankees fan, when they made the move to California.
Then in 1962 the Metropolitans appeared.
He continued to talk about how he always stuck with the Mets, and his experiences at Shea.
The years 1969 and 1986 gave both my grandfather and my dad some pretty good reasons to believe.
(86′ was by far their favorite year, Mets won The World Series, Giants won the Super Bowl and Penn State won The National Championship.) As a sports fan, what more could you ask for?
I wish I would have asked my grandfather earlier as to why we are Mets fans.
The most rewarding part of being a generation Mets fan is that I can always say to my dad or grandfather, tell me about this… and they will give me a great story and then some.
They have continued to believe and so will I.
There is so much history and knowledge within my grandfather and New York sports, it’s unbelievable. It is most definitely one of the coolest things I’ll probably ever get to experience in my life.
While I’m not the youngest in my family, I am the youngest one to truly care about the Mets. It is my turn to make everyone younger than me to start having faith.. and if David Wright isn’t a great selling point, both on the field and with his looks, then I don’t know what is.
Now when people ask why, I say I’m a Mets fan because I believe in the team and I always will. But most importantly I am a Mets fan because I am part of a family tradition and it is my responsibility, no matter how good, or how bad they play, to support the team and to share the wealth and the value of being a true fan with the future generations to come.
A Gift and a Curse
Some may call what my father did to me a cruel thing to do to a child, others may just call it unfortunate. I myself consider it a gift and a curse. It was Oct of 1986, I was nearing my 4th birthday. Late in the evening my Dad woke me up and placed me in front of the TV. I wasn’t sure what was going on, all I knew was that there was a baseball game on the TV and my Dad was very excited. Then Jesse Orasco recorded the last out of the ’86 World Series. My Dad went crazy, I started jumping around and what I’m sure was planned became official, I had become a Mets fan.
I’m sure many Mets fans have a similar story about how they became a fan of what some call New York’s “other” team. Almost all Mets fans younger than 35 trace their roots back to their parents. For the most part the Mets have never been a team that attracts the band wagon fans. This probably is due to the fact that for roughly 75% of their history, they’ve sucked. As almost any Mets fan will tell you though, we don’t mind not attracting those types of fans. People who bleed the Orange and Blue are a different breed. We’ve suffered, we’ve been embarrassed, we’ve been let down and we always come back. There are fan bases who have lived in the shadow of a cross town rival, but none have dealt with a rival that is as consistently good as the Yankees. White Sox fans have had to deal with Cubs fans for over 100 years, but for most of that time, they’ve both been awful. The Mets fan has had to deal with living in a world full of sports arguments that for the most part they couldn’t win.
When people ask me, “Why are you a Mets fan?” I usually respond, ” My Dad was one, so I became one too”. That really only tells about why I became a Mets fan, not why I am one. I’m a Mets fan because I believe that the underdog can triumph. I believe in Miracles in sports. I, like Tug McGraw know that for something good to happen, “Ya Gotta Believe”. I’ve been through heartache, I’ve been through pain, and I’ve constantly dealt with disappointment. Still though, I believe.
I was 3 the last time I saw the Mets win the World Series. When (not if) it finally happens again, all the pain and suffering I’ve dealt with will be worth it. Every Mets fan I know feels the same way. We share a bond, we share a love, we share an admiration for Mr. Met.
Most of all though we share the Mets.
Keep on keepin’ on