It is easy to say that the sight of grown men crying in their seats at Shea Stadium on Sunday — when the Mets wrote the punctuation mark on their historic collapse — was pathetic.
But such thinking misses the point about why plenty of adults — normal, intelligent adults with real jobs and loving families — felt so disgusted by the Mets’ performance that they woke up Monday as if having just flown home on the red-eye from the funeral of a particularly close friend.
Try as we might to say that we don’t really care about what our beloved Amazin’s do on the field — after all, being a Met fan means learning to say “Wait ’til next year” while the season is still going on for dozens of other teams — we must care. We have no choice. Being a Met fan, like any other chronic affliction, is incurable.
When I was in my formative years — during that seven consecutive years of sub-.500 play from 1977–1983, for example — being a Met fan was my badge of integrity, an indication that I was not the kind of insecure person who needed to gravitate to winners or craved and the easy happiness of success, awards, trophies, consistent excellence or being carried off the field on the shoulders of cheerleaders.
Then as now, all the kids were Yankee fans. But this year proves what I have said all along, that steady success (they’ve been in the playoffs for 453 consecutive seasons, right?) makes Yankee fans soft. (Think of the children!)
Just as my father before me and his father before him, I will teach my children that being a Met fan means always knowing that the other shoe is going to drop. Even when John Maine was pitching a no-hitter for 7-2/3 innings on Saturday and the Mets were scoring like Rob Lowe at a sorority party, I kept telling my wife that I needed a 15-run lead to feel comfortable.
The Mets only put up a 13-run lead, so I never relaxed. Good thing, too, because the team lost the next day so badly that I swear I’ll never watch another Met game as long as I live.
Until April, I mean. This disease has not run its course.
Gersh Kuntman, editor of The Brooklyn Paper, has been a Met fan since 1974.
The Kitchen Sink
You may know Bruce Ratner as the man who wants to fill Prospect Heights with 16 skyscrapers, but we know him as the guy who’s letting our Park Slope pal Ben Rubin install his beloved multi-media installation, Listening Post, in the lobby of the gorgeous new Times building in Gaphattan. What can we say, the man showed real taste this time. …
The improv for kids program at the Gallery Players on 14th Street is getting raves. Check out the next show on Sunday, Oct. 21. Tickets are just $8 and can be reserved by calling (718) 595-0547 x6. …
How about that Joan Millman! The Carroll Gardens Assemblywoman just handed the Park Slope YMCA a check for $50,000 to get the Y started on its hot new aquatics center. …
We ran into Councilman Bill DeBlasio the other day as he helped kick off the Doe Fund’s new Seventh Avenue street cleaning operation. DeBlasio helped line up the $34,000 in public financing to get sweeping from Fourth Street to Prospect Avenue in the once-dirty South Slope.