Long ago, I developed a little theory as to how many NY baseball fans came to choose between the Bronx and Queens. It came to me in a frightening self-realization: had I been born a few years earlier, I would in fact be a Met fan. I am an early-70s baby, so naturally, by the time I was old enough to understand the use of the potty, the Yankees were smack dab in the middle of the Steinbrenner Renaissance, and the Miracle Mets magic had turned into dust, their team of Cinderellas into a field of rotten pumpkins. The Yankees stayed relevant as I moved into middle school, at which point I'd settled on all the teams -- Yankees, Islanders, Knicks, and 49ers -- that I'd call "mine" for the remainder of my days. Meanwhile, the Mets organization was in a mess, and the basement was where they received their mail for years. But was it all about wins and losses for me? As I said before, not quite.
My dad is, in fact, a Met fan. To this day I am tickled pink by a picture I have of myself at 2 years old proudly wearing a Mets cap. Which father wouldn't want is only son to root for his team right along with him? Sadly -- for him I mean -- I grew up a pretty independent-minded kid, and I remember being downright confused as to why my dad would root for such a pathetic band of losers. But he was still dad, still able to wield some influence over me. The Knicks weren't all that much better at the time -- I was definitely too young to experience the championship years -- yet I grew to offer my allegiance to them long before Bernard King came to town.