M-E-S-S mess mess mess!

In light of recent events, I want to talk about my Mets fandom yesterday after seeing a guy at a restaurant wearing a "I'm Calling It Shea" t-shirt.

I started considering the psyche of this guy, so attached to a big concrete donut in Flushing that he refuses to honor its quarter of a billion dollar replacement by calling it Citi Field. I admit I was one of those people at one point, secretly hoping the new ballpark would be called Citi Field At Shea Stadium, but I realized I was clinging to the name of a completely crass, downright ugly monument to losing.

Shea Stadium was never Yankee Stadium, or Ebbetts Field, or Fenway Pahhhk or anything of the sort. It was a testament to the time it was built: remember, its ballpark contemporaries were RFK in Washington, Three Rivers Stadium, Veterans Stadium, etc - all destroyed within the last few years with nary a tear shed. Its charm stemmed from the fact that it was so utterly charmless, like a drunk guy at a bar telling dirty jokes and stinking of stale beer and body odor. Shea Stadium, you were a drunk guy that everyone liked for a few hours and was incredibly glad once you left. Sorry.

Any Shea Stadium apologists were basically ascribing a false history to a team that has constantly been the ugly stepsister and nothing more. People love things that are old and classic, or fresh and new. We love vintage cars and brand new sports cars - no one is clamoring for a 1995 Ford Fiesta. Shea was a crappy stadium for a bastard team that sprang from the graves of the old Brooklyn Dodgers and New York (baseball) Giants.

And basically, that's Met fans in a nutshell. We refused to root for the Yankees, we adopted a team out of necessity, and it has proceeded to jam its thumbs into our eye sockets every September for the last 25 years. We don't root for the Pirates, a team that has 112 consecutive losing seasons, or the Cubs, who are so historically bad that it's at least a LITTLE cute, or the Rays, who were a punchline because they were new and crappy and now are newish and good. We fall into that category with Astros fans and Padres fans and Mariners fans of liking teams that are 40-50 years old and are aggressively mediocre.

Sometimes, we win a World Series, sure. But more often than not we are cellar dwellers. Sometimes we go on a run, and the NY Post back page is something like "THE WRIGHT STUFF" or "REYES THE ROOF" or "BATS IN THE PELFRY" (copyright My Father 2011). Sometimes there are articles about how the Mets are replacing the Yankees as the hot team, and then it's right back to this.

So the Mets are hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, probably destined to fall into the hands of a somewhat crazy hedge fund billionaire. Could it get any worse? Not unless every time David Wright strikes out he slams his bat into a lucky fan's crotch. That would be a little worse.

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