Posted 23 June 2006 - 02:56 PM
Lately I see brand new Mets caps on the subway. Not a flood, but a steady and growing stream. Even a sprinkling of the hip hop nation has joined in, abandoning their pink and red Yankee caps for the blue and orange but still managing to keep the bills of these brand new caps stylishly flat.
I am working on my 5th Mets cap myself. I never throw them out - I just lose them after 5 or 6 years and then I have to go to the trouble of breaking in a new one. For perverse reasons I've especially enjoyed wearing those Mets caps in the lean years. Walking around the city you got little smiles of recognition from other fans. You might be crazy but at least you weren't a front runner.
I feel a little funny about all the new caps, not that I was always a Met fan myself. I was born and raised in the Bronx and rooted for the Yankees as a matter of local pride. Then a funny thing happened in 1979 when I moved to Brooklyn. I fell in with a bunch of Mets fans. When they asked me to go to a ballgame, implicit in the request was that we were going to Queens and not to the Bronx.
The Mets teams of those years were simply awful but I had a wonderful time at those games. One of the benefits of seeing a bad team is that you could sit pretty much wherever you wanted, close to the action on the field. It was also a little strange - Shea stadium was largely empty and the cheers echoed. I remember going to a Bat Day game and seeing only 5,000 people in the stands; the Yankees drew 50,000 to a similar event.
On the other hand the people who did show up were the nicest fans you've ever met. They were friendly and really knew the game. It was routine to wind up in conversation with strangers by the 2nd inning and by the 6th you were telling jokes and buying each other beers.
Then a funny thing happened - the Mets gradually got very good. There's a very rewarding feeling that comes with watching a bad team get better and better. It's silly but you feel like your investment in time and emotional energy has paid off. On the down side the makeup of the crowds at Shea changed. The same 5,000 fans still came to the games but we were joined by 35,000 new faces.
Many of them were just fine but lots of them were only there because the Mets were a hot ticket. It was easy to spot these people. They were over dressed for a baseball game and had little interest in the game itself; they only seemed to pay attention to the home runs. On the other hand some of the worst of these new fans brought dates who looked like models so it wasn't all bad.
By the early 1990's the team was bad again and the new fans had found other places to go. I suspect many of them wound up in the Bronx, not that I missed them all that much.
This year, with the Mets regularly drawing over 40,000 on the weekends those same fans are filtering back to Shea. Now when I see all those brand new Mets caps on the subway I always wonder what hat those people were wearing last year.
"I don't understand what's wrong with thinking of correlation as a pricing convention the way one thinks of Black-Scholes vol. I mean, vol curves aren't "real" anyway, but nobody uses local vol models to price vanilla options." - Taion
"But this is blatant ultracrepidarianism on my part." - Taion
I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.
"once the penis came out, there was discussions as to why we didn't order the testicles" - Daniel describing a meal in China