Being a New York Mets fan is singlehandedly the most difficult thing I have ever done and continue to do. No, I have not had a very difficult life, residing in currently the number one place to live in America (according to Money Magazine), Apex, North Carolina. But I spent the first nine years of my life living in New York, and unfortunately I was doomed since birth. Both my mother and brother were and are a die-hard Mets fan, and I guess you can say the curse rubbed off on me, and significantly at that. I am the definition of a fanatic, (a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause) and it may be fair to say the Mets are somewhat of a religious ritual of mine. I have been prone to go to superstitious lengths for my team. While my lucky socks are not going to send one soaring over the fence to win the game, who is to say the crushing 6-5 defeat was not because I forgot to wear my royal blue Mets cap (just a hypothetical, it’s always on come first pitch).
The 162 game baseball season is an endless, emotional rollercoaster, compiled of plenty of times of hope, and far too many nights ending with my hands on top of my head, blankly staring at the television as the opposition lines up to exchange high-fives. Empty nights turn into months, and seasons filled with promise are swept under the rug along with the embarrassing product put onto the field. Positions are a mere turnstile for mediocrity. Nine years since the team’s last postseason appearance, seven since the last winning season. The losing begins to weigh on you; it starts to mold you as a person. Low expectations are the only thing you can surmise; the label of a loser goes hand in hand with both the team and fan base. There’s only one thing you can do to escape that label, and that’s to win. If you win, the people will come, plain and simple. Here in 2015, the Mets are playing and winning meaningful games in September for the first time in almost a decade. While I have enjoyed every moment of this experience, there’s still the perennial loser taunting me in the back of my mind. The only way to get out of that is to win, and the Mets are looking primed to do a lot of that from this point forward.
The agony of a die-hard fan is universally felt with all teams, sports, and across the nation. I am a New York sports fan. I go all in with every Giants, Knicks, and Islanders game I watch. It is easy to stay loyal and proud of your team when they win, it takes a lot to ride with them through the bad times, and my teams have had their fair share of losing. While I’m lucky to root for the winningest team in College Football, locals aren’t as so. While the big three colleges in North Carolina aren’t known for what they do on the gridiron, they more than make up for it on the basketball court.