Although it wasn’t quite midnight when the run Matt Harvey was responsible for crossed the plate and scored, it certainly felt like the carriage turned back into a pumpkin for the New York Mets. Harvey saw a chance to put all the innings-limit talk behind him and endear himself into baseball folklore, making a last stand and extending the series to a Game Six. But it was not to be. It just wasn’t in the cards.
And as that run scored, the newfangled Mets bandwagon began a mass exodus not seen since all your Miami Heat fan friends showed up to hang out wearing Cleveland Cavaliers apparel last summer.
But there is a better question to be asked here, and it transcends baseball: Is it ever okay to bandwagon?
Magically, over the months of September and October, it seemed that the classic interlocking of Mets and Yankees fans disappeared in favor of the blue and orange from Flushing. Mets fans came out of the woodwork and the authenticity of every single one was brought into question.
Traditionally, the Mets play the role of little brother to the Yankees. Yes, the Mets are a baseball team in New York, but for several years since the monumental collapses of 2007 and 2008, one could simply walk up to Citi Field on gameday and buy tickets for most games.
But from the time the Mets swept the Washington Nationals in August, there was something different about this Mets team. The dominant pitching was being supported by the newly acquired Yoenis Cespedes and the suddenly resurgent lineup, and the whispers began: Could they make a run?
With the Yankees limping through September, trying to just survive to scrape into the one-game wild card round, the Mets bandwagon had plenty of vacancies.
But if one is to bandwagon, they must be very conscious of a few things: It is not your favorite team and do not act as such. Don’t talk about how difficult the season was. And don’t let people know you’re bandwagoning. Keep it to yourself.
A season is long and tortuous, and the fan that had to endure some truly dark times during the season doesn’t want you enjoying it as much as they are. Just enjoying the good times is not what being a fan is all about.
Being a sports fan is all about the highs and lows of a season, to truly be there to see the end of the dark times. As dramatic as it sounds, people look to sports to distract themselves from everyday life—that’s what sports are: An escape. It’s why bandwagoning is so against the grain of being a sports fan.
It’s almost a rite of passage; you suffer with your team to eventually climb to the mountaintop, and in the case of Met fans that mountain took nine long years to climb. So don’t jump on the bandwagon as it goes by, just wave to your friends and let them have their moment because for some, they don’t get that more than once or twice in a lifetime.