Saturday, August 17, 2013

Signs of the Apocalypse: When The Mets Provide More Joy Than Arsenal

As a life long Mets fan, I can honestly say that I know what it's like to suffer with a team. It's been 27 years since the Mets last won a championship and since then they've found numerous ways to break their fans' hearts. Some of my "fondest" memories include:
  • Seeing Carlos Beltran strike out looking to end the 2006 NLCS and the Mets' season.
  • Sitting through doubleheader losses to Seattle and Colorado.
  • Seeing Brandon Phillips step to the plate as the 4th batter of the game and give the Reds a 4-0 lead over the Mets in the top of the first before the Mets recorded an out.
  • Watching Tom Glavine kill off the Mets' on the last day of the 2007 season by giving up 7 runs in a must win game before fans even had the chance to sit down. 
  • Watching Scott Schoeneweis and Luis Ayala combine to doom the Mets to another season ending collapse on the last day of the 2008 season before fans were treated to a "celebration" of the closing of Shea Stadium.
  • And plenty of other indignities and humiliations.

As an Arsenal fan for the past 15 years, I have been able to turn away from my Mets misery and enjoy the successes of a top football club. Sadly, I'm beginning to think that things are changing.

The past two campaigns have been nerve wracking for Arsenal fans as we've seen some of our best players depart the club with lesser quality replacements coming in. We have scraped by to finish in the top four in each of these seasons and were promised big signings this summer by Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal brass.
Fans give Wenger a subtle hint
Then came today and the opening match of the 2013-2014 season. Aston Villa visited the Emirates and simply put, Arsenal were humiliated with their first season opening loss at home in 20 years. Forget the hows and whys....the fact is that Arsenal have been slipping in quality for a number of seasons now and no one can understand why that's being allowed to happen.
What the hell just happened?
Arsenal had two and half months since the end of last season to make some quality signings and have not done so. The board seems to be saying one thing and then doing the opposite. Tension is building and there's a real sense that there's going to be a fan mutiny if things don't change fast. Aside from the fact that fans want the team to win, Arsenal have a rich history that is in jeopardy of being tarnished.

Meanwhile...the Mets are starting to look like a team for the future. I already knew they were going nowhere this season so it's been pretty enjoyable to watch them play this year without any expectations.

Since the opening day outfield of Lucas Duda, Collin Cowgill, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Mike Baxter was thankfully jettisoned, the Mets have actually looked and played like a Major League team.  First they added some solid veterans in Marlon Byrd and Eric Young. Then they injected youth with Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Jennry Mejia and Travis d'Arnaud. This mixture has given Mets fans big hopes for the future.
The Mets' future
Plus, for the first time in at least six seasons, the Mets' bullpen has looked pretty good. (I had to read that sentence twice in order to believe that I could actually say that).

With David Wright as captain and other young Mets players, Niese, Gee, Parnell and Murphy already in the fold there is general excitement building among the Mets'  fan base. 

Travis is one for the future
As Tug McGraw so famously said back in the day, "Ya Gotta Believe". I am starting to do so for the Mets and am hoping to be able to continue to say that for Arsenal.


No comments:

Post a Comment