September 20, 2013
Figuring Out Mets Fans
The Eternal Optimists
I used to find myself here. No matter what, things are going to get better. They'll figure it out. They'll get it done. I believe in my Mets..They won't let me down! And then they did..over and over again. Some fans remain undeterred in the face of some pretty epic meltdowns and little progress in recent years. They believe the Mets are only a few moves away from a World Series run and they also believe in each and every player that straps on the uniform. This isn't a terrible mindset to have by any means. It makes the games more fun and prevents fans from ever getting down on their team. Its just at this point, I don't know how y'all do it...
The 'I Don't Care' Contingent
There are two subgroups within this larger group. First and foremost there are a great number of fans who are so beaten down, so weathered by season after season of disappointment that they can no longer tune in on a nightly basis to watch the team flounder. It may not be that they don't care, but they've certainly become apathetic towards the team's plight. The other group that resides here are those who say, the Mets need to get better and "I don't care how they do it." To trade you have to have players worth trading. To sign players via free agency you need money. To win games you need good players. The circumstances make no difference to these folks. Just get it done so I can enjoy my baseball team.
The Past vs. The Present
This has got to be the most tired group within the fan base. I'm not talking about those who discuss the franchise legends like Tom Seaver or Cleon Jones. I'm talking about those who still, to this day, argue about the departure of Jose Reyes. Those who still make references to Carlos Beltran's strike out that ended the 2006 NLCS. Those who discuss any one of an unending list of team failures. I suppose there is a level of comfort in those years. You know..when the Mets were good..or at least when we had reasons to be optimistic. However, those days are long gone now. Dwelling on the past takes what little fun there is in the present away, but that doesn't matter to this group..who just can't get over the mistakes of yesteryear.
The Righteous Reality
This tends to be an ever slowly growing group of Mets fans. Those who read everything, understand the game, and the processes that go into putting a team on the field. Its also has to be one of the most frustrated groups within the fan base. These guys and gals are always looking forward. The next draft or free agency period that will usher in the future. They are aware that off-the-field circumstances effect the product on the field. That baseball is a business and we may not always (or ever) get what we want. These fans learn from the past and hope that the Mets can do the same. They also try to impart that logic on other, often unsuspecting and less than willing, Mets fans. These are the intellectuals (sometimes self-proclaimed), if you will.. and you're going to hear their opinion whether you like it or not.
Bueller....Bueller.... (If your too young for that joke, look it up.) There probably aren't enough fans left here to warrant talking about, but the bandwagon fans are an integral part to any fan base. Believe it or not, no baseball team in the country could fill their stadium without the bandwagon fan. Show up when the getting is good and then find the exits when things start to spoil. Baseball is supposed to be fun, and these fans won't partake in it any other way. Well..baseball hasn't been all that fun in Queens lately and the stands at Citi Field reflect that. However, the bandwagon fan is more important to team revenue that most people understand and its for that reason that they remain an integral part of the Mets fan base.
So, where do you stand? Chances are you can probably align your thoughts with more than one of these groups. Maybe you just hate labels, which is fine too. While we all often disagree about the best players and the best courses of action, its important to remember that we're all still here. Its important to remember that one day things will get better, and for those of use who've rode out the storm, it will be glorious to watch it all come together. In the meantime...try not to kill one another!
If you like what you read, you can follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83.