Given all the articles and afternoon talk shows dedicated to the topic of raising ethical and well-adjusted children, it continues to amaze me how many parents error on a critical first step that will shape their child’s development. When faced with the decision of steering their kids towards a lifetime of rooting for the Mets or the Yankees, most parents continue to choose the Bronx Bombers, thus setting the training wheels in motion for a lifetime of frustration, unrealized expectations and an inability to celebrate the small achievements in their lives.
Since I am sure no one will be offended by my previous statements, I will provide irrefutable support for my opinions. Ever since the dawning of the George Steinbrenner era, Yankee fans have been characterized by a sense of entitlement that accepts nothing short of a world championship. A team of all-stars at every position has become the norm with the best players being lured into pinstripes at prices that no other team could match. And when one of these all-stars became injured for more than two weeks, he was immediately replaced by another high priced all-star from a team that could no longer afford him. While George’s son, Hal has taken a more conservative approach to spending, today’s Yankee fans have become more impatient and irrational in their expectations. Many are unhappy and even depressed despite what is viewed as a very good, if not championship caliber team.
Met fans on the other hand are a grateful and appreciative lot. We enter each season with the lowest of expectations. For years, there has been no serious hope of making the post season so we endure and even thrive by learning to celebrate the smallest achievements that come our way. The impressive debut of a minor league pitching prospect, the slumping batter who finally gets a hit after going 0 for 23, the joy of a three game winning streak…all are relished and fawned upon as signs of a better tomorrow. We may not have experienced a World Championship in 27 years, but we have acquired an enviable resilience that helps us look forward to brighter horizons while accepting the fact that the best things in life aren’t always destined for our doorstep. We have learned to smile at our own faults and more than most, we have learned how to be content. Last year when our team was in contention through the all-star break before falling apart at the seams, Met fans appreciated that our team was able to last so long. Yankee fans on the other hand would have been calling for heads to be served up based on the second half meltdown.
So parents, especially Yankee fans yourselves, can you do what’s best for your children and do what your parents neglected to do for you? Guide your children towards Queens and the Mets. Every parent wants to see their children succeed in a way they never did. Choosing the orange and blue is a step in the right direction and one of the most selfless acts you will ever do. And if you need help in justifying your decision, I have summarized the reasons why young Met fans are destined to grow up to be happier and better adjusted adults with a set of values that parents relish.
10 REASONS WHY THE ROAD TO A HAPPIER CHILD BEGINS IN FLUSHING
1. Met children don’t expect Dad to fix every problem by throwing money at it.
2. Met children know how to appreciate what they have.
3. Met children have a sunny disposition and are always looking forward to tomorrow (kind of like Annie).
4. Met children have empathy and compassion for the underdog.
5. Met children are content with their lives.
6. Met children learn how to be fun and spontaneous (You can’t wake up one day and say let’s go to a Yankee game. Met children and their dads can wait until the last minute and still get pretty good seats).
7. Met children are never boastful.
8. Met children do not feel entitled to the best money can buy.
9. Met children accept themselves for who they are.
10. Met children (and their fathers) learn not to take themselves too seriously 8-)