When logging on to Twitter, you’ll often notice the most popular topics bandied about are a daily redundancy of Justin Bieber, a sporting event or athlete that is making news, and middle-schoolers telling you what not to do on a first date. However, every once in a while a hash tag like #MetsBandNames or #MetsYouveForgottenAbout will sneak into the “Trending Topics” column. When that happens, you can be sure it is not the work of “Beliebers” or 13-year-old dating experts. Instead, the thanks should go to a large group of Mets fans enjoying just another day in the community of the Mets Twitter world, or as they prefer to call it: #MetsTwitter.
Mets fans have always been known to be loud in voicing their support (or disgust) for the team. Though the New York Mets official Twitter feed has just over 177,000 fans, ranking them 13th out of the 30 Major League Baseball team accounts, the Mets fans seem to love not only tweeting about their team, but sharing their thoughts with fellow fans and creating discussions and friendships.
“I’m happy to say that I have made a lot of friends through Twitter,” stated Matthew Falkenbury (@dailystache), founder of the popular Mets blog The Daily Stache. “Whether it is fellow bloggers or just fans of the team, it is great to meet people who love the Mets as much as I do.”
To show the rising popularity of #MetsTwitter, Falkenbury started doing a ”Mets Twitter Recap” on his site. The feature is a basic summary of that night’s Met game, incorporating jokes and insight, all through the tweets of Mets fans.
“I saw the Sports Illustrated College Football blog, Campus Union, use the same idea for every bowl game, and I thought it would work with Mets games because of the great volume of Mets fans that tweet during the games,” Falkenury explained, also noting that viewership of the site has doubled with every Twitter recap. “It has been a great addition to the site.”
Even when there is no game in progress, #MetsTwitter is never at a loss for ideas.
“The one thing that I’ve noticed most about Mets fans on Twitter is that everyone cares about the team winning, but at the same time, Mets fans have the ability to make fun of their own team without any shame,” noted Tyler Siminski (@tysim19), a Mets tweeter and contributing writer for the site.
When an article came out last year reporting the Mets disappointment in Ike Davis’s partying habits, the #DrunkIke meme quickly became a running joke that still holds strong today. ESPN’s Karl Ravech will forever live in #MetsTwitter infamy after his incorrect hunch of “not buying that Phillies are dead” was tweeted late last year. Even Jordany Valdespin (or JV1, as #MetsTwitter refers to him as) has become a cult hero, thanks to his cocky attitude and self-portraits.
“The Mets have been nothing short of entertaining, on and off the field,” said Siminski.
Meredith Perri (@MeredithPerri) grew up in a Mets household in downstate New York, so she was well aware of the passion of Mets fans before joining MetsBlog.com as an intern last summer. But once her first post hit the internet, she got to experience first-hand how passionate the fans can be on social media.
“I definitely got a lot more tweets and followers,” she said, pointing out that she went from 100 followers to over 400 over the course of her internship. “I tweet about a number of things, but if you go through the people who follow me on Twitter, the majority are Mets fans.”
An aspiring journalism student at Boston University, Perri certainly appreciated the acknowledgement, and admitted it boosted her confidence.
“It felt like people were actually reading my work,” she said. “It was kind of like: ‘Okay, I can do this.’”
Of course, as a result of going to school in Boston, Perri knows all about raving sports fans. While she has grown used to the surrounding Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins fans, she says about Mets fans: “They are definitely very present and passionate on Twitter.”
Somewhat surprisingly, that passion has ceased to soften, despite the Mets woes over the last few years. While #MetsTwitter is certainly full of pessimists who sometimes make it seem as though they are rooting for the team to fail, thus causing some confrontation, the varying differences of opinions are what drives it to continually grow.
“I think that it is like having a gathering of Mets fans at a bar or a party that surrounds the watching of the game,” Falkenbury said. “People talk about the game. What has gone right, what has gone wrong. They make jokes, they fight, they live and die with the team and do it within 140 characters at a time.”
Still, Siminski feels it is the more jovial Mets fans who bring the spirit of a community.
“I think the main reason that Mets Twitter has become so popular is the fact that the team has gone through so many hardships the past few years. Everyone wants to be around once this team takes the next step.”
Eventually, that day will come. But for now, #MetsTwitter can take solace in the fact that they already have taken that next step, and it only looks to be getting bigger.
Thoughts from Joe D.
I thought it was uncanny that when Adam wrote this a few days ago, the next morning on Friday, there was an article in the New York Times by Richard Sandomir about basically the same exact subject that Adam has so cleverly covered here.
In an articled entitled, For Mets Fans, Even 140 Characters Can Be Too Many, I was pleasantly surprised to find our site mentioned in the very first sentence:
Those who use Twitter to comment about the Mets – from @MetsMerized and @kranepool to @TheHappyRecap and @metspolice — usually have plenty to say.
Rich is right. Many of us do have plenty to say about the Mets on Twitter even with the challenges of a 140 character limit. But that only breeds new and creative forms of sharing a message or opinion, and that’s the fun of it. Twitter has become another way to revel with other Met fans during a win, or share our misery after a loss. I absolutely love it.
Those who embrace the technology and the social aspects of Twitter such as Adam, me, and thousands of other Mets fans, use the social monolith to stay connected with the team, the players, and all the beat writers, while interacting with other followers and friends. The common bond that brings all of us together are those amazing New York Mets.
Last month we finally eclipsed 5,000 followers on @Metsmerized and we’re now at 5,232 after gaining 37 new followers this week. Go ahead and click that banner and join the revolution… You know you want to!
Here are some other suggestions on who to follow: