About six weeks ago, my MetsFriend, Matt, offered me a ticket to see the Mets play the Braves at Citi Field. It wasn’t just any ticket, either; I would be watching the game in the Empire Suite with him and his parents after having lunch at the Acela Club. Having never watched a live baseball game like that, in an ultra-fancy environment where regular t-shirts aren’t allowed, I had to say yes. There’s apparently a separate menu with waiters, and Mr. Met comes around to take pictures!
Admittedly, that sounds just a little too fancy for my taste, at least as far as baseball is concerned. I like watching the game in the stands with all the other fans. I like the food. And I don’t even mind being outside, away from air conditioned splendor. For me, that’s part of the whole experience of watching a live baseball game. Sure, you might have to deal with some drunk motherfucker who keeps staring at your tits or trying to start the goddamned wave, but even that has its charms.
Knowing that this baseball watching excursion was going to be different from any I’d experienced, I decided I had to establish some rules for myself.
1) No Swearing. That’s right, none. I’m not going to be in the stands, I’m going to be around other fancy pants Empire Suite-ers, not to mention Matt’s parents, who are as Catholic as they come. I will keep my swearing to Twitter, so keep an eye out for tweets that consist of nothing but insults and blue language.
2) No Drunkenness. For me, drinking and baseball go hand in hand. What’s the fun of going to a game and yelling pretty much whatever you want in the general direction of the field if you can’t also be drunk? However, considering that there will be no tailgating, I’ll be navigating my way from New Haven to Queens on my own, and I’ll be with Matt’s parents in the Fancy Suite, I should probably abstain this time.
3) No Phillies Gear. I’m going to a Mets-Braves game as the guest of one of the most devoted Mets families out there. If the Mets were playing the Phillies, I’d consider it acceptable. But since the Mets are playing the Braves, who I hate just as much as the Mets (more now, since the Braves are in first place), I’ll be wearing blue that day out of respect for my hosts. I won’t be wearing any Mets gear, of course. Let’s not get crazy. I’m still a Phillies fan, I’m just choosing the lesser (or least threatening) of two evils.
4) No Mets Mocking. There is only one player on the Mets who I consider even remotely tolerable, and that’s Ike Davis. The kid tries really hard and is clearly thrilled to be playing big league ball. I can get behind that. Every other Met can fuck off. David Wright needs to pluck his eyebrows, get his teeth fixed, and stop hanging out with the Situation. Johan Santana needs to keep his dick in his pants and off the thighs of random women. Rod Barajas needs to remember he’s a shitty baseball player. But on July 10th, I have to keep all of those feelings locked inside. Putting aside the fact that I will most likely be the only non-Mets fan in the room and would be savagely beaten should I speak ill of the players, everyone would automatically assume I’m a Braves fan. I can’t have that. Thinking about that makes me want to disinfect my whole being. So I will stay silent about the Mets. However…
5) Mocking the Braves is Allowed. God willing, at least a few people in the Fancy Suite will be the typical vocal baseball fans I know and love. If so, I’ll be able to talk some smack about the fucking Braves. I can’t be the only one who wants to beat up Chris Coghlan behind the cafeteria after school and then stuff him in his locker, right? Mets fans and Phillies fans may hate each other and be diametrically opposed in nearly every way, but we can meet in the middle on hating the Braves and the Yankees. It’s how I know that world peace is possible.
6) No Confronting Mr. Met. Mets and Phillies fans argue about more than just baseball. They argue about the greatness of their respective mascots. It’s generally accepted that the Phanatic is the greatest mascot in the history of mascots. Generally accepted by everyone, of course, but Mets fans, who continue to futilely insist that Mr. Met is thebest mascot of all time. Let’s compare, shall we? Mr. Met has the body of a man and then a giant, out of proportion baseball head affixed with a creepy, vacant, almost desperate perma-smile. The Phanatic is a green…alien…mutant…tennis ball…thing with a trumpet shaped mouth, a giant body that looks pretty rad while dancing, and a dynamite personality. Anyone can put a giant baseball head on some dude, but there is only one Phanatic. (Can you imagine Mr. Met mounting an opposing team’s mascot? Do you even want to?) If the opportunity presents itself and I can get my picture taken with Mr. Met, I’m definitely going to. However, to prevent a nationally publicized story in which this female Phillies fan beats the shit out of Mr. Met while visiting Citi Field, I will have to hold my tongue. Though I do reserve the right to put my Phillies hat on for the picture. If Mr. Met has a problem with that, then we’ll just have to throw down.
I’ll be chronicling my trip from start to finish on Twitter. I’ll also be chronicling Matt’s love affair with Ike Davis. Matt loves Ike in the same way that many male Phillies fans love Chase Utley. (Recent text from Matt: “I like Ike’s hair. He runs fast.”) On Saturday, the first 25,000 fans at Citi Field will receive the handsome Jose Reyes drawstring bag pictured at the left. I will most likely be one of those first 25,000 fans, so I guess I’ll get a Jose Reyes drawstring bag. I think I’ll use it to store my 2008 World Series memorabilia.