Passing on the love of bad teams to your kids
By Chris DuPrau @ChrisDuPrau
There are certain things that you inherit from your parents that are beyond your control. Some are beneficial. My parents gave me my height which aside from me hitting my head on things more often than short people has been a great thing for me. Some things you inherit from your parents aren’t though. My Dad was pigeon toed and had the forerunner of what is now known as the “DuPrau ass” (large and glorious). Those two traits were passed on to me which only exacerbated my already goofy tendencies. Those things that were passed on were beyond both mine and my parents control. Some things that are passed down are controllable though. Traditions, ideas, beliefs and sports teams. That last one is really important, because unfortunately for me and my kids, my Dad made me a New York Mets fan.
Now I know what you’re thinking, how can the passing down of fandom for a sports team be a bad thing? Well in the big picture it’s not necessarily bad, in fact at times it is absolutely amazing, but when you pass down Mets fandom you’re basically setting your children up for years of misery with hope and relevance sprinkled in about once a decade. You would never want your kid to have a significant other who is really fun and exciting 30% of the time, but an inept person who constantly makes mistakes and is the butt of countless jokes at family gatherings the other 70%. You would tell your kid they aren’t worth the hassle, and they need to find someone else. Well as a Mets fan, we can’t find someone else. It’s just not in our nature. I’ll let the boys from Brokeback Mountain explain the feeling of a being a Mets fan.
Jake is right….so damn right. It gets bad as Mets fans. Real freaking bad.
Here is just a snippet of what I and all Mets fans have had to deal with just this century.
Ya, that freaking happened
This next one happened on the last day of the year when we needed a win to make the playoffs
The ending was quick and painful, but this was a 3 week freefall that almost saw me and my then girlfriend, now wife break up. Also, the Mets collapsed again in 2008.
I still get sick watching this one
Swing the freaking bat!!!!!!
And lastly the rise and fall of our Dark Knight
We would have had DeGrom and Thor going in game 6 and 7…ugh
Those are just some of the high profile on the field misery that Mets fans deal with. There is a regular smorgasbord of the off the field issues ranging from…
- Our owner being broke because he lost a ton of money in the Madoff Ponzi scheme
- Our medical staff continually being unable to keep people healthy or properly diagnose them
- Our star pitcher contracting freaking Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
- Our real star pitcher having one of the best statistical seasons ever and having a below .500 record
- We pay Bobby Bonilla over $1 million a year until 2035 because we redid a contract factoring money we were getting from Madoff
- Our owner calls out our Captain/Lord and Savior David Wright in a magazine article saying he is not a superstar
- Our Captain/Lord and Savior David Wright being cruelly taken away from us due to injuries robbing Mets fans of his joy/passion/skill and amazing good looks.
- The Mets are a literal dumpster fire
I could have wrote a lot more in this section, but I started having mild seizures and blacked out for a bit. So, why on God’s green Earth would a parent intentionally raise their child to be a fan of this team that will most of the time literally put them through hell?!?
Well, every so often, they’ll give you moments like these
Backup catcher winning a playoff series with a homerun…amazing
Walk off grand slam…single!!!
Daniel Murphy is my spirit animal
I still can’t believe it happened.
That Piazza homerun did more to make me feel normal again after 9/11 than anything else.
(If you’re wondering where ’86 is, I was 3, I went with things I can actually remember)
So as Mets fans we persevere. We deal with being in the Yankees shadow, we plan dynasties that only make it 2-3 years, we constantly wait for the proverbial other shoe to drop. Most of all though, we believe. “Ya Gotta Believe isn’t just a slogan for Mets fans, it is literally a way of life. It’s all we can do. We believe that one day we’ll get our extended time in the sun, and that belief keeps us going.
What my dad passed onto me wasn’t a sports team, it was a freaking life lesson. Life is not always easy, it kicks you in the ass time and time again. Chances are though if you keep on persevering good things will one day come. That’s what being a Mets fan is all about. Dealing with all the hot garbage that surrounds the team on an almost constant basis, so that every so often we get a reprieve from all that and get to enjoy them. Let me tell you, on those rare instances when this team is good, it makes all the crap you dealt with to get there worth it.
To my Dad, thank you. You made me a Mets fan in the 80’s when it was easy, but you helped to keep me a Mets fan during the rise of the 90’s Yankees. You were always there to bitch about them with me when they couldn’t get a bunt down or when a reliever through a 0-2 fastball down the middle. It’s rarely been easy, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
To my kids I’m sorry. I could have you let you pick your own team and chances are you would have found one that is not nearly as dysfunctional as the Mets. I just can’t do that though. In today’s technologically driven world everything is about immediate gratification. Being a Mets fan is the opposite of that and it’s important that you learn that like Andy Dufrene, to achieve joy you may need to crawl through 500 yards of shit. You need to learn to hope. Hope for a miracle, hope for competence, hope that this is their year. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing, and no good thing ever dies. Most of all though I need someone to bitch about the Mets with because your mother literally hates the Mets and can’t stand watching baseball.
I’m passing the Mets on to 3 kids (and my goofy walk on to at least one). They’re going to be miserable a lot, but at least we’ll be miserable together.
Keep on Keepin’ on