(bumped from FanPosts)
I do not count myself among those who condemn being a sports fan as a useless and irrelevant waste of time, although I certainly see where they are coming from, particularly in this day and age. In the past, when players and not laundry defined a team, when sports stadiums were named after public figures and local icons, and when fans were not treated as herd animals to be exploited and otherwise contained so as not to stain their rightful superiors, one could claim a certain romantic charm to following your team, as your team possessed a certain spirit of which you were legitimately a part.
It is possible that a certain vestige of that charm remains even now, despite the morphing of sports franchises into dehumanized corporate behemoths. True, Shea Stadium has given way to a field named after a corporate parasite that has been implicated in massive criminal activity, the volume of which ran into the hundreds of billions. True, this was done with a heap of taxpayer money essentially gifted to one of the richest men in the world upon the obviously fraudulent promise that the revenue generated would make the municipal investment worthwhile. (If that were the case, the Wilpons would have found a willing private investor. That he chose not to is a telltale indication that he desired and received an outright subsidy.) True, the owners themselves were implicated in a gigantic Ponzi fraud that resulted in hundreds of small investors losing their life savings, and that displayed in stark relief an American economy where insider networks, rigged markets, and systemic fraud, not ingenuity and productivity, comprise the true support structure of a nearly impenetrable elite caste.
But we could ignore all this and focus on our guys. We could truly root for David Wright, Jose Reyes, and anyone else who were truly Mets in spirit. We could band together while they set out to face the hated Braves, Phillies, and Yankees. We could still hold on to the notion that this team in some capacity truly was ours, no matter how tenuous our grip was. We could, in short, suspend our disbelief and focus our energies on something that, despite the protests of the scolds and schoolmarms, has always been and will always be a meaningful enterprise: the best athletes in the world contending for the right to call themselves champions. It sounds like a TNT slogan, but when Mariano Rivera faces Evan Longoria with the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth inning, the contest is as real and meaningful as it was when the Greeks would suspend their wars to hold their Olympic tournaments. At that point, what we experience by proxy is united with what they experience in reality; the player and the fan are confederate, and all else falls by the wayside.
And then, nothing. One day, about a month ago, after a couple of weeks of being too occupied to watch any of the games, I check out Amazin' Avenue, and don't bother reading up on David, Carlos, Wilmer, Kirk, Fernando, or anyone else. I chance upon reading that Fernando had not started half of the games since his call-up, and then simply navigated away. It was only the latest blast of the unrelenting bombardment of idiocy that has defined the tenure of the Wilpons, but it was the blast that expurgated any sentiment I had for this team other than that of pure disgust.
The Mets make me ill. Whatever dignity remains of sport has been obliterated in New York by a management that continuously drowns their team in the infinite sewage flood of its own idiocy. I tune in to watch the heroes triumph over the villains, and so do all of us. We tune in next year pulling for David Wright to put up the slash line of .350/.450/.700 with a clutch factor of +3 wins and earn the MVP award by unanimous vote. We pull for Jose to put up the 20-20-20-80 season and score 150 runs, and to watch Voltron incinerate enemy combatants with his laser vision. And then the Wilpons put up a park that looks like one Earl Santee would have designed specifically to neutralize David Wright. Beltran is compelled to play through chronic injuries to gain an extra two wins at most from a lost season so that we can lose spots in the draft. Jeff Francouer is allowed to exist. Our insufferable fan base continues to excoriate our best players after experiencing a lost season in their absence. The clash of titans is overwhelmed by the farce of clowns.
And so, I've had it. I have not watched a single inning of a Met game in a month. Quite simply, I find watching a Met game to be equivalent to watching Hormel Chavez get his balls massacred for three hours, except with lower entertainment value, and the added benefit of watching the careers of the most talented position players we've ever had needlessly sacrificed to the idiocy, vanity, venality, heedlessness and avarice of those who have, by virtue of criminal injustice, been placed in charge of them, and who profit massively from their own idiocy. Come to think of it, watching the Mets is not as analogous to watching Hormel Chavez as it is to volunteering to take his place.
The Mets are now a freak show first and a baseball team as a distant afterthought. When this ceases to be the case, maybe I'll tune into a game (as I still do occasionally) and be able to stomach it for more than three minutes. Maybe I will again care when we get a leadoff double in the ninth inning of a tie game. I believe I saw just that in one of my rare forays into Met games, and simply turned it off in complete apathy. I have lately come to be more concerned about our geopolitical system being, as I am increasingly aware, on the precipice of abject disaster. Indeed, the moment when I completely redirected my attention away from this team was when I realized that I (and indeed all of us) have much more power over these very geopolitics than over the Mets. The Mets are the apex of pointlessness, far more of a lost cause than the country.
And Hell, I want to return to sanity now, not three years from now. That's my stance.