My Entire Team Sucks, But It's OK
Girl Meets World
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 19:04
Let’s be honest: sometimes the joke that the Mets stands for My Entire Team Sucks is true. Abandoning realistic expectations and any desire to see my team win a championship, I somehow love these underdogs. It wasn’t easy to be a fan growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., surrounded by Yankees fans.
For those less familiar with baseball, in the 50 years that they’ve existed, the Mets have won two championships, in 1969 and 1986. That’s not good. They’ve had many more epic collapses than victories and even more years of horrible baseball. (In 1969, they were called the “Miracle Mets” because, by some act of God, they learned how to play baseball halfway through the season.)
Being a fan of the Mets is irrational, but I’m not alone. Thankfully for my ego, when a writer wants to portray a character as a goofy, lovable underdog, they make him bleed orange and blue just like I do.
Peter Parker is a Mets fan. I discovered this after my brother bought a comic book titled Maybe Next Year. In this Spiderman masterpiece, Peter spends the anniversary of Uncle Ben’s tragic death at a Mets game to continue the annual tradition they had shared. In this issue, the Mets lose, but Peter and Uncle Ben agree to wait for “next year.”
Once I discovered this factoid about Spidey (who, full disclosure, is my favorite superhero), it made sense. Being a Mets fan is a character-building experience — you become dedicated to a hopeless cause, always an optimist even when things appear grim. You have to be loyal, or you’d have jumped to that team in the Bronx a long time ago. These are all important characteristics for a superhero.
Of course, Peter isn’t the only adorable loser invested in a team of (slightly less) adorable losers. Josh Lyman, deputy chief of staff on “The West Wing,” spends an episode trying to escape Washington, D.C., for Florida to see Mike Piazza at the Mets’ spring training camp. His allegiance made Josh, who can be abrasive, seem a little more nerdy and endearing.
Being a Mets fan can be pretty hilarious, in a self-depreciating, depressing way. Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Romano, both in real life and on their eponymous television shows, are Mets fans. One of my favorite episodes of “Seinfeld” featured Keith Hernandez, then the Mets first baseman and now their hilarious commentator.
In one episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Ray and his brother Robert reconcile after an argument by singing the team’s song, “Meet the Mets.” Then again, I can’t hear that song without thinking about taunting from elementary school — “meet” rhymes with “beat.”
The most prolific Mets slogan is the catchphrase of former closer Tug McGraw: “Ya gotta believe!” And this is what my fandom is all about — a belief against all reason that this year they’ll make it happen, even if I know that, like Uncle Ben, at the end of the season I’ll say, “Maybe next year.” (But if current Mets third baseman David Wright is reading this, we’re not that bad! Please sign a contract extension. And then call me.)
Victoria Edel is a sophomore in the College. GIRL MEETS WORLD appears every other Friday in the guide.