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Road Trip

Joyce MandelkernThursday, May 3, 2007
By Joyce Mandelkern

The Mandelkerns are hitting the road with the Mets. We are going to Arizona and going to 3 of the 4 games scheduled there. No, I am not a stalker or a groupie. We actually go back and forth to Arizona very often during the course of the year. It is our home away from home. However, this trip is scheduled around the Mets. And for the record, seeing the Mets on the road goes against everything I stand for. I will explain.

I don't like when fans of visiting teams come into our house and root against our team. I find this very disrespectful. I know it is not rational or logical, it is just how I feel. I feel it invades the sanctity of the stadium. It is for "us". It is our place of worship so to speak. You may enter, but be quiet and respectful. Observe, don't disrupt. I know where this feeling comes from and I will explain it more in detail before the series that will take place at Shea the weekend of May 18th.

I have only gone to see the Mets play outside of Shea twice in all my years of being a fan. When we first got married, Pete and I lived in Atlanta. It was 1979 and we actually went to Atlanta Fulton County Stadium to see the Mets play the Braves. We were in different divisions at that time. The Mets were terrible. We had Frank Taveras and Willie Montanez. The Braves had Dale Murphy and Bob Horner. I don't remember having much to cheer about so I can't imagine I offended any Braves fans while they did their chopping.

The other time was this past fall when the Mets played the Dodgers in the playoffs. Our youngest son had been transferred to Southern California in July and he is as big a Met fan as we are. When we found out that the Mets were going to play the Dodgers he suggested we come out there for a visit and all go to the game. He was dying to go and we were dying to see him. So "stub hub" it was and off we went to Dodger Stadium. We wore our Met hats and shirts and let me tell you, we had nothing but trouble the whole game. People were throwing things at us and taunting us the whole time. We told security, the people around us pointed out who the culprits were, yet they did nothing and did not care. All security did was offer to show me where I could buy a Dodger hat instead of wearing the "wrong" hat. Plus, it took us 2 hours to get out of the parking lot. All in all, except for the win, a frightening experience.

So why this trip to Chase Field you may ask. Well, first of all, our son from California is meeting us there and our son and daughter-in-law are coming with us so we are all going to the games together and having a mini family vacation. We have been to Chase Field, when it was the BOB. We didn't see the Mets there, however. Two things stand out in my mind. They sold strawberries and whipped cream which I thought was amazing at a stadium. And, I had never been in a stadium that was so steep. Our seats were so high up that we were all dizzy and nauseous. No joke. I couldn't look at the field. I had to sit at an angle and look directly at other seats. We were with all the kids and we all voted to leave because none of us could handle it. When it came to walk down the aisle, I had to bump down on my rear end I was so scared. This time, we have seats on field level - "stub hub" again.

So here is my ethical dilemma and one my oldest son and I have been debating about. He feels strongly that I should leave my Met clothes and hat home and go incognito. I understand his point completely but I don't think I can do that. Nor do I think I can sit on my hands and not clap and cheer. Yet I don't want to become one of those fans I hate. Please feel free to weigh in.

Last year, the Mets broke out on their West Coast trip. The Jason Grimsly story broke just as they got to Arizona. Things are different for both teams this year. The Mets need a strong road trip. It is time to put things together and as our fearless leader would say, "get into a nice little rhythm".

Arizona is my "happy place". It is where I go to exhale and sometimes even to hide. I hope the Mets don't ruin it for me.

About Joyce: I am an insanely passionate die-hard Mets fan since 1962 who is also a season ticket holder and usually can't bear to look and buries her head in her hands or starts pacing when I'm home when things get tense...   Read More -->

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Comments (7)

I hear ya, but don't despair. I saw many Met games in Atlanta, esp during the Mo Vaughn years. The Mets were almost always killed. But I proudly wore my Mets hat and shirt, took the verbal abuse and went back the next year, hoping for some Met payback.
Sounds to me like you were sitting around a lot of hostile Dodger fans. Plus it was a playoff atmsophere and most Dodger fans knew they wouldn't make it past the first round. Or they were still fuming from the LoDuca double tag. I assume Diamondbacks will be less hostile. If not, bond with them over beating the Yankees in 2001. Either way I say, wear your Met colors proudly

BTW: Dodger fans were hostile to Larry David too

I just don't understand why it's wrong. I don't mean any disrespect, at all, but I just don't understand why it's wrong.

We have gone to more than a few ballparks now to see the Mets, and we will go to many more. And we have had many fans in our section at Shea who are fans of the visiting team, and they are more than welcome. We've even had really great baseball conversations with visiting fans - usually TBF will lean over to ask a question about their bullpen or something, they answer, and then ask a question of their own, and we're off and running. It's great.

What isn't welcome is acting like a jerk. Cheering your team when they are winning or have done something good is not acting like a jerk. You don't get to disrespect the home team - that's all.

Walking around taunting fans of the home team when your team is ahead is acting like a jerk.
Using abusive language to taunt the home team when you are visiting, is acting like a jerk.
I also think that any heckling you might do of, say, Jimmy Rollins or Chipper Jones at Shea is only appropriate to do at Shea. When you are at Citizens Bank Park or the Ted, you don't get to heckle them. It seems pretty simple to me.

The other thing that's out of the question for me is the tomahawk chop. I am new to this, remember, and it still makes me sit there with my jaw on the floor that this is allowed in 2007 and that no one has a problem with it and no one calls the whole part & parcel of Braves fans who engage in this racists. Some moron in our section at the last Braves series started it, and I have never been so mad. I told him that his racist garbage wasn't welcome here and to take it home if that's what he wanted to do. I was applauded when I walked back to my seat.

Joyce, go to Safeco and you can get chocolate-covered strawberries on a stick. And sushi - the "ichi-roll".

I have a friend who's a New York Islanders season ticket holder, and prowdly admits the double-standard about road fans. He hates it when road fans enter our building and cheer and heckle, but he does it himself. It's like, the one double-standard that's acceptable.

I might be a little bit more of a sedate fan than that, but still...

Another reason for catching a Mets game in Arizona: according to whatever news station I was listening to an hour ago, the Mets have won their last TEN games there.

Sorry to hear about the mountain goat seating arrangements. They say the same things about the White Sox' new park (U.S.Celluar Field is the horrific official name). Man, I hope we don't end up with anything like that here!

As a die hard Mets fan who has not lived in NY since 1987 I say don't worry about it and go ahead and wear your Orange an Blue PROUD! I go to almost every game in DC and there are more Mets fans then Nationals fans. I spent 10 years in Atlanta and did it there too. In 2005, I was at the Mets vs Nats game on July 4. We were taunted, booed, and had stuff thrown at us. But who cared I got see and root for the Mets.

I'm with MetsGrrl and Beth. I'm surprised to hear you say you have a problem with the opposing team's fans coming into your home, and you also say you had a bad experience in LA as one of those fans.

I think, and this is a problem in all sports, that the real issue should be that we should want other team's fans in our building. It makes it more fun, to give each other a hard time. Though, in a non-profane and especially non-racist or sexist manner. I love seeing the Mets on the road! Just came back from a weekend jaunt to RFK and had a blast. Chanting "Lets Go Mets" and having the home crowd boo us down. I'll never forget being in Yankees Stadium in June 1997, at the first ever regular season Mets/Yankees game. Alternating chants of LETS Go YAN-kees!/Lets Go METS! - It doesn't get any better than that!

I hate to hear about fans who get beer thrown on them or cursed out just because they are wearing the wrong colors. That is inexcusable. For all the money that fans get charged for the right to watch a ballgame, all fans should be accepted. THANK YOU Cardinals fans, for traveling to Shea, and spending your hard earned money on concessions. All the money should go right into Omar's payroll next season.

I for one, look forward to rooting for the Mets in enemy territory, in both Atlanta and Detroit later this year...

Being a Mets fan in the South, I have to say I have great fun going to Turner Field & heckling Larry, trying to get a Jose chant going, & generally annoying Atlanta fans. I'd think less of their fans if they didn't come to Shea (which I guess they don't really) & do the same. In Atlanta, we are loud, boisterous, but generally respectful, trading good natured barbs with some of the people around & the security staff, but still representing as Mets fans.

Stand up and cheer, it's just baseball ... don't let it ruin your day!

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