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...
- 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.
- 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.
- You never know what you are going to see when you go to the ballpark or watch a game on TV.
- I am still waiting to see that no hitter and I don't want to miss one pitch of it when it happens.
- 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.
- I love listening to Gary, Keith, and Ron. And is there anything better than Howie saying, "PUT IN THE BOOKS!"?
- One of my favorite things to do in life is sitting out at a game with Pete on a hot summer night.
- I like watching the new guys to see what they can or can't do.
- A win still excites me.
- A loss still upsets me.
- I learn something new every time I watch a game - still, after all these years.
- I love the game.
- I will not be or become a spoiled, entitled fan - like some other people in this town.
- 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.
- 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... .