OK Met fans. It has been a tough couple of years. Talent-filled teams each of the last two years combined with a high payroll and of course high expectations. I can boldly, but not gladly, say the Mets' last two years were probably the most heartbreaking of any professional sports team in the last two years. Granted, I said heartbreaking, not worst. I consider a heartbreaking year where the team is in the race all year long better than that of a team that was never in playoff contention at all.
Any-who, there are a couple of tendencies, patterns, characteristics, etc. that I see in Met fans like myself that I do not see in many other fans of baseball teams.
I have been going to Shea Stadium for about twenty years now. Unlike the cross-town Yankees, the Mets HAVE had losing seasons. However, there was never a year, nonetheless a game in which I went to where the crowd was not electric.
Conversely, I have been to Philadelphia many times to see Mets/Phillies games and the fan consistency is not there. Granted, when that team is good they have some of the most die-hard fans on the planet, but during there losing seasons there are more Mets fans showing up to those games in Philadelphia.
I have heard roaring "Lets Go Mets" chants in Florida and Philadelphia, but I have never and will never hear a Lets Go Philly chant in Queens. The point I am getting at is that of course there are rude, dumb, idiotic Met fans as there are for every team in every sport (Except maybe the St. Louis Cardinals) but winning or losing Met fans show up and root hard and for that I salute all Met fans.
2) Miracle Win Tendency
One aspect of baseball that has followed the New York Mets since there existence is that the way they win always seems to be in spectacular fashion. In 1969, the Mets pulled out a World Series with miracle catches and peculiar plays, not to mention they were called by many the "Miracle Mets."
In 1986 Mets win an LCS containing scuff baseballs, extra innings, Dysktra walk-offs,etc. Then, the Mets comeback in the world series from 3-2 down to win in seven games. Are those miracles? If they are not than how about the Mets needing two runs in the tenth with two outs and nobody on base? They got that done with some timely hits, a wild pitch, and a routine ground ball error to first.
I have seen many Mets wins over the years that just had me awestruck. Remember the Mets vs. Giants when Jose Reyes scored from second base on a double-balk by Armando Benitez. When I ask my father, a lifetime Met fan, he does not consider these scenarios as miracles, but as New York Met rallies. He thinks true Met rallies are started or include these odd baseball situations nearly every time.
3) Devastating Loss Tendency
As great as that last paragraph was in bringing back great memories, we shall not forget some of the worst memories. If you are reading this, and are a true orange and blue New York Mets fan, I am sure you have your fair share of stories. Just as there are ridiculous miracle wins, there are equal if not more devastating losses. Many ugly memories can fill up this paragraph so I will only use one example. I was at the Robin Ventura walk-off grand slam single.
I then remember watching the Mets come back from five down and manage to walk in the series winning run. In 2008 I could go on forever with last year, but I think everyone gets the devastating loss point I am getting at.
Now that these three characteristics of a Met Fan have been revealed, all that a Met fan would do is look to the future.
We have David Wright, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, a brand new field, a g.m. who will spend money, hopefully a new closer, and the best announcing tandem in baseball. Lets hope 2009 is filled with more positive miracles and less devastating losses.
In final, to all the die-hard fans out there, I salute you and look forward to slapping high fives with random people in the aisles of Citi Field for the rest of my life, whether celebrating a championship, a double down the line or even a much needed pitching change.