A FATHER APOLOGIZES To His Children for Brainwashing Them Into Becoming Fans of the New York Mets

It came on Monday in a rapid series of three texts from my 20-year-old son.

He wrote:

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“Why did you raise me a Mets fan?”

“Horrible.”

“We just can’t win.”

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I didn’t have a good reply.

All three of my children, you see, ages 20, 14, and 12, are Mets fans. Not like they had a choice. Here at “2 Guys,” we’ve long maintained . . .

If you can’t brainwash you’re own children, what kind of parent are you?

This is a composite photograph of every Mets fan who has ever lived. We’ve all looked exactly like this kid at one point or another.

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Let’s face facts. It hasn’t been a super-happy experience for them. There have been times when I’ve looked over at my moist-eyed children, the heartbroken boys especially, and said, “I’m so sorry.”

  • I’m sorry for another lackluster season.
  • I’m sorry there’s no joy in Mudville.
  • I’m sorry the kids laugh at you in school.
  • I’m sorry that other kids beat you up, and throw rocks at you, and urinate in your backpacks.
  • I’m sorry for the Jason Bay t-shirt I got you a few Christmases back.
  • I’m sorry that the very concept of “Jeff Wilpon” has wormed its way into your bright, young, innocent hearts.
  • I’m sorry that you’ve had to learn that hope is not to be trusted, ever.
  • I’m sorry for Armando Benetiz, for Braden Looper, for Frank Francisco. . . for every guy who ever blew a lead and crushed your tender hearts.
  • I’m sorry for the collapse of 2007, and the collapse of 2008, and pretty much most of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 — and counting.
  • I’m sorry for all the lies from management, year after year.
  • I’m sorry we’ve ever had to discuss a bum like Bernie Madoff.
  • I’m sorry about the replica Marlon Byrd sunglasses.
  • Not to speak ill of the dead, but Jose Lima was truly amazin’ in 2006: 17.1 IP, 22 R, 25 H, 10 BB, 2.019 WHIP. He went 0-4.

    I’m sorry to you, Nick, most especially, for you are the oldest and have suffered the longest. I’m most sorry for your 13th birthday party at Shea, May 7, 2006, when we drove from Albany with a small group of your friends to see the Braves play the Mets. The pitching matchup that fateful day was John Smoltz vs. the late, not-so-great, Jose Lima. We couldn’t shake that cold feeling of dread on the way down, because we knew it would be baaaaad. And it was. Losing 8-1 after 5 1/2 innings. Down 13-1 after 6 1/2. Saddest party ever. But remember, son: we went bowling the next year!

    * I am sorry, so sorry, for the heartbreak of Matt Harvey’s injury.

  • I’m sorry for the brainwashing, for all the losing, for everything. But even so, kids, let’s remember the words of the great Roger Kahn. He was writing about the Brooklyn Dodgers, but no matter, because the Dodgers were the spiritual antecedents of our beloved Mets:

“You may glory in a team triumphant, but you fall in love with a team in defeat.”Roger Kahn, The Boys of Summer

 

 

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9 comments

  1. Michael Geus says:

    Don’t worry, someday when the do win again it will be that much more special for them. Now, you will probably be long gone by then, but hopefully it makes them think of you.

    Silver linings.

  2. Patrick Boegel says:

    I broke the news to my daughter, the only one in my household foolish enough to ride this wagon with me.

    “The Mets are screwed.” That is what I got back.

    I felt good that she had a grasp on the reality of the situation. I felt I may have succeeded in one small area of parenting. Extracurricular crisis management.

    • I guess that beats, “I hate you, Daddy.”

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        She was too young to really grasp 2006 and the grill kick that was 2007 and 2008 to follow. At the time it was the Mets will always be a good team I am 7 so who cares. Harvey is a minor gut punch but nothing compared to the inevitable heart removal down the road.

        She will get her Yadier Molina why is Heilman in the game moment.

        Her Kenny Rogers really just threw a 3-2 breaking ball with the bases loaded?

        That chilling sensation when a catcher known solely for defense that averages about 4 HRs a year takes your ace deep with 1 out in the 9th while your unhittable lefty sits in the bullpen waiting to face said lefty hitting catcher who shockingly struggled to hit lefties.

        One can forecast the pain.

  3. Dave says:

    Jim,

    Kahn’s quote is true, and triumph after a history of disappointment is always sweeter in sports (and life). But these Mets are nothing like the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 50s. The “Boys of Summer” were an elite MLB team, winning 6 pennants in a 10 year span from 1947-56. During those years, the Dodgers regularly won 90+ games (in a 154 game season), giving their fans plenty to root for each season (even if October heartbreak followed).

    The Mets in the Collins era are worse than bad, they are boring to watch. The Dodgers of the 50s may have had trouble beating the Yankees, but they were never boring.

    This is what made Harvey’s dominance this year such a unique point of pride for all Met fans. He was exciting. Harvey also gave us a reason to believe the franchise was in a “ready to launch” mode, a la 1968 or 1983-84. With Harvey’s future uncertain, and a less than great free agent class this off season, it is difficult to see a path out of the wilderness anytime soon. Sad situation.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      In limited defense of the future, Harvey’s situation would be far more uncertain if it were the shoulder capsule or something of that ilk. The UCL while awful is more of biding time to sit and wait. The likelihood of having to wait all of 2014 and then a cold winter before seeing Harvey in 2015 is grotesque. Still the more frightening thing is, for every Adam Wainwright there is a Josh Johnson. Sunshine on a cloudy day. Or something.

      • Funny you mention Wainwright, I was just typing about him earlier for tomorrow’s post. The Cardinals — admittedly, a much different organization — weathered his absence quite well in 2011.

  4. Frank Dunne says:

    Jim… you brought a tear to my eye…

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