As New York Mets fans are well aware, once you are locked into rooting for a baseball team, it’s hard to break that routine. Every MLB fan base has its own “lingo,” set of inside jokes, and signs of extreme fandom. One of Pete Alonso’s best lines from the 2020 Fan Fest was when he quipped, “There’s no casual Mets fans” to a cheering panel audience. Pete is 100% correct about that one.
For us members of the Flushing Faithful, it can be a fine line between “devoted fan” and “refreshing Twitter every five seconds for the entire offseason to see if they signed anyone yet.” Mets fans can be emotional, sometimes grouchy, extremely sentimental, and very loud both on social media and in real life.
I wrote a piece a while back detailing five ways to spot a Mets fan in a crowd, but there are so many more hallmarks of Mets fandom that I had plenty of material left over to write this article. Read on for ten signs that your Mets fanaticism might tip the scales from “passionate” to “extreme.” I would recommend detoxing from the team if you check off too many of these boxes, but baseball season is about to begin, so that detox will just have to wait until November.
When you hear about “Thor,” your mind immediately goes to Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, not Chris Hemsworth
Noah Syndergaard has been affectionately known as “Thor” since well before his rookie season, when fans and media members alike noticed his resemblance to a certain Marvel superhero. This tweet from October 2013 might have had something to do with it.
Syndergaard fully embraced the title in this memorable SNY digital short back in 2016, when he dressed up in a Thor costume and walked around New York City looking more like a Times Square mascot than an MLB player.
Syndergaard has had several heroic career highlights that back up his lofty nickname. In his rookie season in 2015, he won the only game for the Mets in the World Series with a fastball way, way upstairs that has since gained legendary status. He was at the center of the Terry Collins/Tom Hallion incident in 2016 that you really have to see to believe. Syndergaard also hit two home runs in one game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016, and has maintained a consistently excellent Twitter presence throughout his entire tenure as a Met.
Regardless of how the rest of Syndergaard’s career plays out, he will always be the #1 Thor in the hearts of Mets fans.
You Google “Mets all-time pitching leaders” after every Jacob deGrom start just to see where he stands
This might just be a “me” thing, but I take great satisfaction in memorizing Jacob deGrom’s statistics and place on several franchise all-time lists. He has already climbed near the top of the Mets all-time leaderboards in strikeouts, WHIP, ERA, pitcher WAR, and fielding independent pitching (FIP). With every “vintage” deGrom start consisting of seven shutout innings, eight-plus strikeouts, and a scant number of hits and walks allowed, he continues to etch his name in Mets lore.
I get great joy out of watching deGrom rocket up the franchise strikeout leaderboard start after start, season after season. It makes me very acutely aware that I, along with this entire generation of Mets fans, am watching greatness unfold before me every time deGrom takes the mound. Not every start is history-making, of course, but more often than not, his starts feel special enough to prompt a quick Google search for “Mets GOATs.”
Your personal “Dark Knight” will always be Matt Harvey, not Batman
Matt Harvey was dubbed “the Dark Knight” after a Sports Illustrated cover story in May 2013, right when the fervor of “Harvey Day” was reaching its peak. The nickname suited him well; Harvey was dark-haired, pitching in the inspiration for Gotham City, and helping the Amazins to “rise” from the doldrums into relevance once again, if not into actual playoff contention.
Though Harvey’s Mets career petered out after he was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in 2016, his rise to prominence in New York was nothing short of meteoric. He was the most exciting homegrown player since David Wright, and signified a “turning of the tides” from the depths of disappointment in 2009/2010/2011 into hope for the future. Even though Harvey no longer pitches in Flushing, devoted Mets fans everywhere who remember his rise will always think of him as “the Dark Knight.”
You groan every year on July 1 and begrudgingly celebrate “Bobby Bonilla Day” like it’s an actual, terrible holiday
Who knew back in 1991, when the Mets first signed Bobby Bonilla to a five-year, $29 million contract, that they would still be paying him 30 years later. Unfortunately for Mets fans, “Bobby Bonilla Day” is nowhere near its conclusion, as the Mets are still scheduled to pay Bonilla $1.19 million every year on July 1 through 2035. Jaxon deGrom might be a New York Met before they finish paying out this contract.
Bonilla is one of those rare examples of a player who is more famous for the specificities of his contract than for his actual play in Flushing. He actually had a few good seasons for the Mets in the 1990s and was an All-Star in 1993 and 1995, but the Mets were so bad during those years that it hardly mattered. All Mets fans have by now accepted that Bonilla’s legacy in Queens will be “the guy that somehow snagged the greatest contract in major league history.”
You permanently associate all Mets walk-up songs with their respective player
The current and recent Mets roster has been blessed with some truly quality walk-up songs, as I touched on in an article from May 2020. When I hear a certain song enough times before a player comes up to bat, that song becomes permanently attached to that player forever.
“Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd plays on the radio? I immediately think of Jacob deGrom. “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones comes onto a classic rock station? I get flashbacks to Ike Davis. Flipping on the TV to the beginning of a random Friends episode? Wilmer Flores memories flood back into my consciousness. I’m not sure if there is a “Mets walk-up songs greatest hits” album out yet, but if there were, I bet a large portion of Mets Twitter would listen to it on the regular.
The only people you follow on Twitter are Mets beat writers, other Mets-related accounts, and fellow Mets fans
Speaking of Mets Twitter, many Mets fans exist on the bird app solely to immerse themselves in Mets-related content. I count myself heavily among this contingent. If the first person you followed on Twitter was Noah Syndergaard (like mine was) or some other Mets-associated person, you probably use Twitter mostly for baseball purposes and frequently risk falling into the timeline vortex.
Mets Twitter can be fun, but it can also deceive us into thinking that everyone else in the world is also debating the intricacies of Kevin Pillar’s contract at the same time as we are. Twitter can very easily create a false sense of reality, especially when minor news breaks and we assume that the entire universe is going wild over Jerry Blevins signing a minor league deal with the Amazins. Still, it can be a lot of fun to share in the excitement with our fellow Online fans and indulge in our own little world of Mets fandom.
Someone mentions a “captain,” and your mind immediately goes to “why yes, David Wright, of course”
When David Wright was officially anointed as the fourth captain in Mets history back in 2013, he followed in the formidable footsteps of Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, and John Franco. The Mets bestowed this honor on him just about a week after his heroics in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, where he earned the nickname “Captain America.” Though Wright has been retired for several years, he lives on in real life, and in his memoir, simply as “the Captain.”
For an entire era of Mets fans, Wright was “the guy.” He set many franchise hitting records during his long-standing tenure at third base, and was easily the greatest third baseman in team history. He exemplified what it meant to be a captain and led by example, commanding respect from his fellow players, fans, and media members without ever asking for it. As long as Wright still looms large in the consciousness of the Flushing Faithful, I have a feeling that team officials won’t be rushing to crown a new captain any time soon.
As soon as the Francisco Lindor trade was announced, you mentally handed over $100+ for a jersey that was not yet on sale
Mets fans have been ready to fork over money to this team for months, ever since the Cohen ownership was officially approved last fall. Nothing whetted our appetites more than the Lindor/Carrasco trade on January 7, after which it seemed like the entirety of Mets Twitter metaphorically got out their credit cards and prepared to add a not-yet-existent Lindor jersey to their closets.
After months of not being able to attend games in person, I am nostalgically looking forward to throwing money at my beloved Mets, whether I’m buying merchandise or spending $14 on chicken tenders and fries at Citi Field. New York fans always seem to have something to grumble about even when things are going well, and I have a feeling that deep down, we’ve all missed grumbling about how expensive ballpark food and baseball attire is to buy.
You fall asleep in Mets attire after a big win to celebrate
Again, there is a chance that this one only applies to me, and I am okay with that. Occasionally after the Mets win a thrilling walk-off or eke out a close victory, I have been known to put on my Pete Alonso jersey or Jacob deGrom shirt and drift off to dreamland with a smile on my face. Mets clothing just hits different after the team has won in spectacular fashion late in the evening.
It is very true that what you’re wearing can impact your mood, so for me, wearing Mets clothing always gives me an extra pep in my step and ends my day on a happy note. It also helps me start my day with a smile when I wake up and instantly remember that the Mets won big the night before.
After a bad Mets loss, your first thought is, “well, I’ll be back here at 7:10 pm tomorrow to do this all again”
Mets fans can get very easily aggravated, but one of our strongest traits is that we are fiercely loyal to the orange and blue. No matter what happens on the field, we know that we can’t stop ourselves from tuning back in the next day to see how the team responds. Having the wonderful Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling as our announcers also makes it easier to commit to tuning in every night.
Settling into the baseball season is like falling back into a familiar routine every spring, where the comforting nature of having a game on every night overpowers any residual emotion from the previous night’s game. I cannot recall ever, in my entire life, deciding not to watch a game just because the Mets were terrible. Fans of the Amazins have learned to love their team in spite of their years of failure, though hopefully better times are ahead. The fact is, nothing can erase the sting of a painful loss like the promise of a fresh start on SNY the next day.
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Following the Mets can be quite addicting, especially when the season is about to start and you keep falling down Twitter rabbit holes of 30-second bullpen session clips from Port St. Lucie. Luckily, most of the time, the Amazins make all of this dedication worth our while.