This Kindle Fire giveaway has been so exciting and also a big revelation to me. I never expected such a heartfelt outpouring of Amazin’ entries. Every single entry was a true telling of why that person loved the Mets. We heard from 109 different Mets fans, male and female, young and old, east coast and west coast. Honestly, I was overwhelmed and never thought we’d get a response like this. It’s true what I always say and that’s that Met fans are the best fans in baseball. But sadly, there can be only one winner. However, I do want to highlight our three Finalists and two Honorable Mentions, beginning with the latter. Please Enjoy…
Honorable Mention No. 1
By Jesse Sloan
My religion is not practiced in any church or temple. There is no deity I pray to, while seated happily among a cheery Sunday morning congregation. No, my religion is practiced underneath the wide blue skies that canopy a big green field in the heart of Queens. I believe in the New York Mets.
I have orange and blue in my blood. My dad grew up rooting for the ugly stepchild of New York baseball as a kid, and he brought me up the same way. When I exclaimed, as a 2-year old, “Let’s go Mets!” I sealed in stone my covenant to the franchise. However, the life of a diehard Mets fan is not a path to nirvana, but the exact opposite: one filled with struggle and disappointment. The blown near-saves, second-half meltdowns, and season-ending injuries cripple my fragile spirit, already jaded by years of frustration.
So why stay unshakably faithful to a team seemingly bent on everlasting failure? Because Mets baseball is what I truly love. April 1st is circled on my calendar every year; Opening Day is my high holy day. I look forward to the start of baseball the way young children lay restlessly in their beds on Christmas Eve. When Opening Day finally arrives, it’s like gazing upon an enormous, unopened gift.
Though the Mets are probably headed towards another losing season, I don’t let that dissuade me from watching every game and praying, fervently praying, for a miraculous turnaround. I stick with them, through thick and thin, until September rolls around and another upsetting season comes to a close. My resilience and passion for the team is unmatched, and I don’t let others’ doubts – or disbelief, keep me down. I stay faithful to the Mets in the same way the Maccabees stayed faithful to Judaism and God, because even against all odds, there is always a reason to be hopeful.
Life as a devoted Mets fan is a roller-coaster of emotion, and one that – for the most part, travels strictly downhill. Just when it looks like the team’s starting to build some momentum in the right direction, you’re hit with the gut-wrenching news that their star pitcher, and the celebrated “Next Messiah” of the organization, has a torn elbow muscle requiring the dreaded and wicked Tommy John Surgery, which has the potential to keep him out for a whole season.
However, no matter how discouraging the news, I’ve learned to keep the faith, regardless of how grim the situation looks. In my heart, I believe my salvation always lies ahead and will arrive when the Mets win a championship; something they haven’t achieved in 27 years. Like any truly faithful follower, the long years of anticipation and disappointment are but a minor inconvenience. It is the promise of paradise that keeps my eyes turned forward and focused on the prize.
I will always live and die by the Mets, because they’re a part of my spiritual being and my family’s legacy. In times of persecution, true Mets fans rely on and repeat our credo of loyalty and enduring hope, “Ya Gotta Believe.” They are three small words that will eternally unite and bond our family of loyal Mets fans. Three simple words that define a shared, steel-hearted resolve, and will always be a vital part of my life.
A tremendous effort – even a Herculean effort – by Jerry. Well done. You have cemented yourself as one of the true die-hard Met fans.