I've been an avid sports fan since the first days of my life. Unlike most other kids whose cars and action figures often top their lists of favorite toys, the mini soccer ball that my dad gave me for my third birthday had been my best friend for my entire childhood years. Growing up, I played and watched a number of different sports, including soccer, ping-pong and badminton. You might be wondering why baseball, football or basketball are not on this list, right? That's because I was born and grew up in Vietnam, where you can pretty much say soccer is the religion. I was the star of my school elementary school and junior high school soccer team. I played soccer at such a high level that justified my optimism of an opportunity in a professional soccer career. Then when I was 14, I suffered constant chest pains, which resulted in a trip to the doctors. This medical visit proved to be a turning point in my life, as doctors diagnosed me of a light valvular heart disease. My parents were relieved upon knowing that the doctors found this out before it was too late. For me, though, I wasn't thrilled at all when they told me I had to "limit physical activities". That was like telling a newlywed couple to reduce sexual activities during their honeymoon (apology for bad analogy, but this was the first that came to mind). All of a sudden, my ambition came crashing down. From then on I had to settle for watching sports on television and continue the pursuit of my love for sports by learning to analyze the action, in hope of becoming a sports journalist/analyst in the future. And so far so good, I'm currently a Journalism major at a US college.

     Like most sport fans, I have my own favorite teams and/or athletes to root for. And by "root for" I mean to live with them, die with them. "Hardcore" is the correct word for that, but not at the "hardcore" level of a self-proclaimed Phillies "hardcore" fan that happens to be my roommate, who as of now still firmly holds the belief that Pat Burrell is the starting left fielder for the Phillies next season. Fans, for the most part, pick their team based on where they reside. It's rare to see a guy with a Yankees jersey wandering around in Boston and vice-versa. As much as I'd love to pick a hometown team to root for, last I check there was not a single MLB, NBA, NFL franchise that plays their home games in Vietnam. I don't pick teams based on their winning records or appearances on ESPN like those fair-weather fans out there do, I instead pick talented but underachieving teams/players. I'm an optimistic guy by nature, and of course, I was very optimistic of their chances to succeed sooner or later.

     But none of the teams/players I've been rooting for enjoy any success (yet). The Phoenix Suns are still one of the few NBA teams yet to win a championship. Guillermo Coria, Argentine tennis clay-court specialist, failed to win any grand slams despite being considered the favorite multiple times and ultimately retired in 2009 due to shoulder injuries. 

     And many, many more, which include...

     Of course, the New York Mets... Since the Carlos Beltran called strike three in 2006, I've been optimistic of their chances in the future because of the young and talented roster they possessed. But then came the 2007 collapse, which showed the obvious weakness of the Amazins: the starting rotation. The Johan Santana acquisition in the 2008 offseason brought my confidence up a ton, but the Mets again failed to reach the playoffs, this time the bullpen was to blame. 2009 offseason, the supposedly lategame lockdown 1-2 punch J.J Putz and K-Rod were acquired, which, unsurprisingly, boosted my expectations for the 2009 campaign. Heck, even Sports Illustrated picked the Mets to win the World Series. There was absolutely no reason not to get pumped up when your team had the likes of Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado in the lineup, a rotation led by Johan Santana, with Putz and K-Rod as the bullpen anchors. Then injuries came in bunches, resulting in a disastrous 72-90 season. 2010, a big bat arrived in the form of Jason Bay, key players returning from injuries, well you guessed it, I was once again optimistic. And 79-83 was all I got.

     I started to feel like this is the story of a Mets fan's life, or more so my life...

     2011 offseason, new regime, intelligent approach, solid low-profile acquisitions...

     But should I be optimistic...

     Maybe not...



     (I'm not a native English speaker, so please cut me some slacks on my below-average writing... Thanks for reading anyway)

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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