By: Will Johnson

Why the Hell am I a Mets Fan?


Dear New York Metropolitans’ Fans,

How are you? I am fine. Well that’s not quite true. I’m fine in the terms of physical health.

I’m not fine is in the department of mental health. For you see I am a Mets fan. I believe that is officially designated a mental health issue. It’s a disease. Don’t go gasping, it’s not contagious. And anyway, you have it too. You are all diseased.

I mean it’s got to be an incurable disease right? Why the hell do I cheer and support a team that is mediocre? A team that day in and day out disappoints me and breaks my heart. There is a vastly successful team a bridge away who has 27 championships and their legends are legends of not just their team but of baseball itself. Why not cheer for them? It’d be easier right?

Well yeah it’d be easier but then I’d become one of their fans. Those bleacher creature yahoos who spent my school years informing me what Mets stands for. We’ve all heard it, I’m not going to dignify it by writing it here. So if I started cheering for the Bronx team then I’d become one of them. And I’d rather have a cool refreshing glass of East River water then be one of them.

So why the hell am I Mets fan? I think it’s a genetic disorder, this disease. Passed on from family members. My father was and is a Mets fan. A fan since 1964 with only two moments where the faith waivered. Once on that dark day in 1977 when M. Donald Grant (spits on the floor) traded Tom “Hallowed Be His Name” Seaver to the Reds as part of the midnight massacre. And again in 2008 after the Mets closed out Shea Stadium by collapsing for the second time in a row. He left before the closing ceremony. He was angry at the team. Swore he’d never watch the team again. Fast forward to opening day of the next season and guess what we were watching. You got it…American Idol. Kidding, never watched an episode in my life. We sat down and watched the Mets open up their new stadium. I asked him about his swear to never watch them again. He told me to shut up.

So I got the Mets disease from my dad. I guess I might’ve been able to cure it early. But I was born in the 1980s. 1984 to be exact. I was two when they won their last title. And when I was three I got to meet my idol. Mookie Wilson. Let me give you a little history about me and the Mook.

My mom tells me that when I was a toddler, any black man we saw on the street or in a store or anywhere I would point and say “Mookie”. That’s right, every black man in the New York area was Mookie Wilson to my two years old mind.

When I was three years old my Dad took me and my cousin John to a menswear store around the corner from our grandmother’s house. Appearing live and signing autographs was Kevin Mitchell and Mookie Wilson. Wait, these guys actually are real? They don’t just live in my TV?

When I got to the head of the line I removed my hat like I was meeting the Pope. I remember being shy and I think I was averting my eyes. I remember him saying “Don’t worry kid, I don’t bite.” Oh well good to know, wasn’t something I was worrying about but still good to know. He signed by hat and said good bye. I wore that hat nonstop for the next few years. To the point I actually sweated the signature out. Loved that hat. Still have it at my parents’ house.

So from that point on I wasn’t a Mets fan. I was a Mets FAN. I stood by them as they sank in the early 90s. I cheered for Rico Brogna and Butch Huskey. And I’d get the yearbook and see the guys who were “down on the farm” Guys like Edgardo Alfonzo and Rey Ordonez. And then Mike Piazza came in and all of a sudden we were really good.

And then we suddenly became okay. And then just there. They weren’t in the basement, they weren’t on the top. The team was just there. Some bright spots, Jose Reyes and David Wright being the two main guys. And then 2006 came and we are running over all competition. No one can stand in our way. We’re going to win the World Serie-SWING THE BAT BELTRAN! Sorry, whenever I think about the ’06 season I get flashbacks to Carlos with the bat on his shoulder. It’s part of the disease I think.

Then the dark days. Collapses, a new stadium that doesn’t look like our home, Jerry Manuel, Ponzi schemes, Jason Bay and no money to buy good players. The last, let’s say decade has been a bit of a trial. But we stand by them. It’s hard. There’s no questioning that. It’s been hard and mentally draining. So why do we stay?

Cause if we switched teams now, we’d be no better then those people who started cheering for the Bronx team when they started winning. We’re not Mets fans cause it’s easy we’re Mets fans cause we can’t be anything else. We have it in our blood. It is a disease, but one we would never want to cure. Cause then when they’re amazin’ again and they will be where will be then?

Sincerely yours,
Will Johnson

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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