Quick Story (some of you know this, because, well, you’re in it; others know this because I’ve told it before):
Picture It: Morgenstern Hall, October 19, 1999. My roomate, close friend and I are watching the NLCS on the then astounding technology of the TV-Tuner card my roomate had on his computer. Both Roomate and Friend are big Met fans. The Yankees had clinched their series against the Red Sox the previous day, and were awaiting the outcome of the Mets-Braves NLCS to know whether they would be travelling to Atlanta or Queens. I, being a Yankee fan, was happy and content and waiting for the World Series. Roomate and Friend, being Mets fans, were on shpilkis and so excited for a Mets comeback (they were down in the series 3-0 before winning the next two and forcing Game 6). So we watched Game 6. And it was an exciting game. The details of the game don’t really matter, except to say that it was edge-of-the-seat the whole way. I mean, the thing went to extras, so there’s this palpable tension, and it was great baseball. I’ll quote the Wikipedia entry on how the game ended:
Finally, in the 11th, the Mets’ magic ran out. Kenny Rogers entered the game (although most had speculated that it would be rookie Octavio Dotel) and give up a leadoff double to Gerald Williams. A Bret Boone sacrifice bunt moved Williams to third with one out. Following intentional walks to Chipper Jones and Brian Jordan, Rogers walked Andruw Jones on a 3-2 pitch to score Williams and win the pennant for Atlanta.
Now, the relative merits of intentionally walking the bases loaded for Andruw Jones (to put the force at home in play) aren’t in question here. Let’s just say, it was a particularly cruel way to watch your favorite team get eliminated, especially to a hated division rival that, to that point, you just couldn’t get past.
Man, I would be steaming. If something like that happened in the Yankees-Red Sox series, I would be rooting for anything and everything to happen (including the Mets) to make sure the Red Sox lose.
And yet, not a full ten minutes after the game was over, the sting of the loss not fully subsided from the Mets fans, Roomate and Friend start giving me, in unison, the Tomahawk Chop. That’s right. Stupid chant and arm motion and everything. These Mets fans were so clouded by their irrational hatred of the Yankees, that they were rooting for the divisional rival that had eliminated them from the playoffs not 15 minutes earlier, in particularly excruciating fashion. And they were doing it by copying the ridiculously annoying fan motion that could only have caused them nausea in the past. (Yankees analog: if in 2002 the Mets were in the WS, and I started wearing a rally monkey after that infuriating fan stupidity trend just eliminated the Yanks. Or started banging those stupid-ass thundersticks). I could only sit back and laugh at how pathetic they’d become.
Fast-forward to 2007. The Mets have just completed what can only be described as a collapse of epic historic proportions. Mets fans across the city must be devastated, and me being the good friend that I am, send this email to a couple of friends of mine, who are Mets fans, and copy a couple of Yankee fan friends (including two who had made a $5 bet in August that the Mets wouldn’t win the division):
Way to be on the wrong side of history, NY Mets!!
7 games with 17 to play. [Yankee fan friend], let’s go out to lunch with [Met fan friend’s] fiver!!
LETS GO YANKEES!!!
In true Mets fan fashion, this is the response I get from one of the Mets fans:
Let’s go Sawx!!!
Followed quickly by this:
Serves the Mets right for getting a manager from the truly evil, disgusting, slimy, garbage, sleazeball empire. Go Sawx!
(Yeah, blame the Manager and his Yankee pedigree. That’s where he learned to choke, on the playoff-bound, twenty six-time champion Yankees) And finally, this:
Ok. Keep holding onto the fantasy that the Yankees will come out of the playoffs alive. If the Red Sox don’t win the World Series, then I hope the Yankees lose in game 7 of the World Series.
How do Mets fans mourn? By focusing on the Yankees!