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Till Death Do Us Part

Joyce MandelkernMonday, August 31, 2009
By Joyce Mandelkern

I married the Mets back in 1962 at the tender of age of 7. I made my vows of "for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health. Of course I had no conscious clue that this was what I was doing, but that is what it turned out to be - a marriage I have sustained with complete devotion. I had no idea that for the most part, I would be in for season after season of heartbreak and that there would be a lot more worse than better. This year, there is a lot "poorer" and "in sickness" to go along with the" worse". To my credit, though, I have NEVER EVER looked elsewhere for a thrill and I have held steadfastly to the "forsaking all others" part of my vows as well.

But I have to tell you, I am tired of defending my fandom to those who don't understand why I still watch every pitch of every game. I have had verbal altercations with people who don't get why I bother when the team has been out of the race since mid-July and the organization seems to be in total disarray. Perhaps this is the "new "fan - the one who only watches baseball if their team wins. Believe me; I want to win more than the next guy. I just never expect to. Maybe that's just part and parcel of being a Met fan, I never expect to win. I'm old school - I watch in hopes that we do win and I watch because I love the game and I love my team, win or lose. That is not to say that I am not frustrated, upset or unrealistic about who we are. I am fully cognizant of all of these things. It just doesn't change my approach as a fan.

So here are my reasons for still watching - every pitch, every game, every day...

  1. I am not a fair weather fan. I am not a front runner. I don't care if the Mets are 35 games over .500 or under .500; they are the team I root for.
  2. I root for the name on the front of the uniform, not on the back of the uniform. Players come and go, my loyalty to the Mets as a team is consistent. I don't care who the players are, if you are wearing the uniform, I will root for you to play well and win. I won't boo you.
  3. You never know what you are going to see when you go to the ballpark or watch a game on TV.
  4. I am still waiting to see that no hitter and I don't want to miss one pitch of it when it happens.
  5. I am still trying to make CItifield feel like home to me. I miss Shea. Maybe the more I go, the more comfortable I'll be.
  6. I love listening to Gary, Keith, and Ron. And is there anything better than Howie saying, "PUT IN THE BOOKS!"?
  7. One of my favorite things to do in life is sitting out at a game with Pete on a hot summer night.
  8. I like watching the new guys to see what they can or can't do.
  9. A win still excites me.
  10. A loss still upsets me.
  11. I learn something new every time I watch a game - still, after all these years.
  12. I love the game.
  13. I will not be or become a spoiled, entitled fan - like some other people in this town.
  14. The way things are now is very nostalgic for us - just like old times. Wanna talk throwback? It is almost nice to have no pressure when we watch them play - almost.
  15. I still believe in miracles.

The Mets have been with me forever. They have distracted me through stressful times in my life and they have created some stress in my life. They have brought me joy and brought me sadness. I have cried tears of joy and tears of sadness. My Metsies and I have been through a lot together and I am not about to abandon them in their time of need. It doesn't mean I don't want things to change and get better. It does mean that divorce is not an option. Perhaps a marriage counselor... .

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 -->

Comments (7)

I agree Joyce, it is about the team, the name, the years, the wait til next year. My father introduced me to the Mets when I was 4yrs old. He, an old Brooklyn Dodger fan who swore off baseball when the "Bums" sold out and went out west. He did not watch another game (he claimed) until the Mets came on the scene. My father was a NYC Cop, he took me to my first game, 1969 World Series game. I don't remember much, but I do have one vivid memory of that day before the game. It was the autographed ball by Don Clendenon, it is still at my mother's house in Brooklyn. I root for the Mets win or lose, they are my team, but there is just something about this particular team (not the subs) the past few years that has been a true disappointment. I have dealt with the Pete Falcone's, Willie Montanez', Wayne Twitchell's, Sergio Ferrer's, Randy Jones', etc. I remember the lean days, the worst team money could buy and so on. This group has so underachieved it goes beyond a reasonable endurance. I was caught in the hype and thought this group would contend for years. Yes, the injury bug and the baseball Gods have conspired to ruin 2009. But can they please get something right, diagnose an injury correctly, bring in some youth to see if there is potential for next year, can ownership please stop lying to the general public? I said things were not right since Doubleday left, and to me it has come true. Can we just get a consistent product?

joyce, i applaud your loyalty as a met fan.i too, have met fandom built into my DNA.so does my brother.the sad part of being a met fan these days is not the team being reduced to a laughingstock.As a met fan, we've all been through that stuff.The truly sad part is having to endure an ownership that has created this mess by being incompetent, totally engrossed in the revenues of the team to the detriment of winning games, building a stadium that honors another team in the national league and lying to the fans about the madoff scandal and every injury a player has sufferred this year.I am sick of it and will not buy one more overpriced ticket till the wilpons sell the team.By ripping off fans for tickets that are 2 to 3 times the price they should be, the wilpons push the idea that it's ok because baseball now falls under the "entertainment" umbrella, such as broadway shows and concerts.Therefore, in my opinion when i go to a game and pay 100's of dollars, the ownership has a responsility to provide an entertaining product.it is supposed to be a 2 way street.The wilpons have failed to provide this.When they do, i will give them my "entertainment" dollars..

Hi Joyce. The scary thing is I find myself feeling a strange calm when the Mets are losing. Perhaps I've gone numb after two years of unfiltered rage, or maybe the Mets don't really feel like my team anymore. No Reyes, No Wright (ok, he's back tonight), No Beltran, No Delgado, No Maine, No Johan. I mean really, is this the New York Mets? It seems like I live somewhere else and I'm watching a team of never were's, still aren'ts, and never-will-be's. Not to mention, the Mets feel like just another team for the rich, not a team for the middle class. As for the rooting for the front of the jersey thing, it's hard when the names on the back of that jersey embarrass that front. And it's been downright embarrassing to be a Met fan recently.

I must confess that I nearly did file for divorce from my marriage to the Mets after the 2007 season — and I've been a fan since 1982. In fact, the ONLY thing that kept me from bolting was the Johan acquisition. I'll also take it a step further. If I were born in 1964 and not 1974, I would be a Yankee fan for over 30 years right now. I have told friends that if I were old enough to understand the Seaver trade when it happened, that would have been the breaking point. And no, I would not have come back in the 80s when the Mets got good again and the Yankees truly became The Bronx Zoo. Twelve-year-olds are more impressionable than two-year-olds, obviously. And so are 35-year-olds. If Reyes or Wright get traded, there will be a separation and a divorce could still happen.

At this point, I'm still a fan, but not as actively as I used to be. Part of it is my work, part of it is my social life, and part of it quite honestly is that this year's team is not worth watching. Maybe they will be again in 2010; I've just been conditioned not to expect it.

Oh well. Until next year, here's to football!

Joyce,I used to feel the same way but now I'm having a hard time staying loyal to a team who's ownership seemingly is not all that Passionate about winning.They Don't even seem all that concerned about what is going on at all,and it frustrates me to no end.Just the simple fact that they wanna cut payroll after this disastrous season tells you all you need to know about the Wilpons.They have a ton of holes to fill,Money coming off the books,and they STILL refuse to spend the money necessary to fix this team when they clearly have the resources to do so!I myself am giving them one more year to prove to me that they give a Damn,and if they fail they will lose me ,and other fans I'm sure!

Joyce, I'm with you. I was 8 when my dad took me to my first game at the Polo Grounds in 1962. It's funny how I can remember such happy times before 1969 when it seemed there were no expectations to meet. It seemed like the old days when I took my two sons to CitiField this year. It's a great thing to love your team and hope for better days. Although its a bit harder when you live in South Jersey surrounded by Philly fans during their temporary period of dominance.

I still have faith.

Joyce, nice article. the whole thing sums up my feelings too. evryone who has posted before me seems to have good sense. the only thing is that i would never give my loyalty to another team. no way baby!! i have been a fan since i was in the second grade in 1969. I became an instant Clendenon fan and am still today. the guy who has the ball is something to cherish for life. I have told family that when i pass, i want the clendenon 1971 baseball card buried with me. that card was my fovorite and still is today. i have a neat collection but nothing is more valuable to me than that card. we will come back someday and succed again. will it happen in my lifetime? i don't know for sure but i will always root for them that's fore sure...

I like your stuff Joyce. You're spot on. We need to talk sometime. I'm with you too.

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