Saturday, July 31, 2010

MetropoliTONS of Fun

You already know what it is
We the Mets from Queens
We lose a lot ...
but we're going to try to win
We'll see what happens

So Ron Artest has created a Mets anthem for the 21st century. Why is it not surprising that someone as creatively and emotionally ... different as Ron Ron found a way to sum up what it means to be a Mets fan in a two-minute verse?

Win some, lose some
The Mets dun dun
We just tell ourselves
Success is a nuisance

Success must be a nuisance, because Met ownership and the front office seem to have been allergic to it for the better part of 50 years now. The past 15 years have been particularly difficult to bear, since the playing field has been tilted in favor of big-market clubs like at no other time in baseball history.

No matter - as is their custom, the Mets have bungled their way through most of that time period anyway. Three playoff appearances, one National League championship - that's it. Success is apparently such a nuisance for the Wilpon family that, since firing Bobby Valentine eight years ago, they've decided to employ a corporate flunkie as a general manager and a series of stooges as managers. Success has certainly been kept to a minimum around these parts, thanks to the hiring practices of Fred Wilpon.

Today is the trading deadline - which itself has become sort of a black feast day for the Mets fans. Once I'm done here, I'm going to strap on my praying hat and beg the baseball gods to keep the Mets from doing something stupid that will only keep this team further from their third championship. The last time I forgot to do that, Victor Zambrano became a Met.

I got a ring
No need to be cranky
The Mets need 25 more
To tie the Los Los Yankees

Shut up, Ron Ron.

Baseball is not exactly a singing sport, anyway. Everyone knows the words to Take Me Out to the Ballgame, of course, and far too many people drunkenly slobber the lyrics to Sweet Caroline whenever it is foisted upon us. (Can we start a movement to ban Sweet Caroline at sporting events around the country? I am convinced that footage of American baseball fans screaming "so good, so good, so good!" is shown in terrorist training camps around the world on an endless loop to whip would-be jihadists into a lather.)

Mets fans are actually lucky in that we have two incomparable homages to our hometown team. Meet the Mets is still a wonderful sing-along; created in 1962, updated in 1984, it is the first song I plan on teaching my little niece when she's old enough to sing it. (War Eagle will be the second song she learns - she'll be the envy of her pre-school class!)

Then there is Lets Go Mets, the soundtrack to the 1986 championship season. I have a simple request - the Mets should play Meet the Mets before the bottom of the first inning and Lets Go Mets right after the national anthem (minus the Joe Piscopo interlude, of course). Forget Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Lazy Mary -we have our own songs to sing.

Now we have Ron Ron's joint, which belongs up there with the two greatest Mets songs ever written. Embrace the silliness, the ill-placed Jason Bay shout-out, the self-effacing lyrics about the Mets' limited history of success. Ron Ron has captured exactly what it means to be a Mets fan - loyalty in the face of logic, fidelity in the face of reason.

We are all Mets fans, no matter how incompetent ownership is, no matter how embarrassing the on-field product becomes. We stay with this team, year after year, because they are our team and because somehow, in some way, they find little ways to make us happy.

We the MetropoliTONS of Fun
We the MetropoliTONS of Fun
No matter how many games we won
We the MetropoliTONS of Fun

1986, 1969 dot dot dot
C'mon y'all, let's step it up.

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