Thursday, August 7, 2008

Opinion: Fans and Team Performance

I have been a Met fan my entire life and I hate the way we act as a whole (warning: I am about to generalize). Met fans are cynical, anxious, and boo their team if they do not perform up to par. And you know how I know this? Because I am one of them. I am the first to pull my hair out if Scott Schoenweis enters a tie game, the first to pace uncontrollably across the room when Aaron Heilman (who looks eerily like my brother) enters the middle of an inning, and I am definitely the first to say "oh no" when Billy Wagner gives up a leadoff hit in a one run game. True story: when I was younger I would throw my shirts down the stairs if the Mets lost a big game (thank you Octavio Dotel and Turk Wendell).

So how the hell did we wind up like this? The answer is obvious. Countless disappointments+repeated failure+gruesome losses=one cyncical Met fan. All I have to do is look to the crosstown Yankees to see how winning fans act (warning: more generalizing). They are passionate like us, but they actually believe in their team and players. Success has bred the mindset that "the Yankees will always win." Met fans severely lack that winning attitude and I have seen enough players get gobbled up by the booing and negativity and never succeed in New York because of it.

And I have come to the conclusion that even though Met fans are an extremely passionate fan base, I think we do more harm than good. I mean, for God sakes, if a pitcher blows a lead (especially Schoenweis) fans boo and holler like crazy while fans at home find the nearest remote to throw at the TV. And our damn slogan is "Ya Gotta Believe." Yeah, Met fans believe that our team is gonna blow it and most importantly, they will blow it in the most painful, horrid way possible. Maybe that's why when the Mets win it's so sweet, but c'mon, eventually the fan base has to grow up. These guys are human and all of the booing and negativity is no place to breed success.

My Mets are now in third place, only 2 games back. I am confident in my guys, but I am also fearful of our horrible bullpen. There is no doubt more booing on the way, but I have taken the approach not to boo. These are my guys and they deserve my support, through the good and bad.

So maybe the fans have nothing to do with winning and losing. I have heard that players have an ability to block out the booing and all of the noise while remaining "in the zone." I think that as fans it is our job to first of all have fun and then secondly provide a positive atmosphere so that our guys can succeed on the field. And Mets fans, for as long as I can remeber, have failed.

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