Dear New York Jets Fan,
While it is rare that I write about the NFL, I thought I would take this opportunity to wish you and your team good luck as you face the New England Patriots this weekend. As it happens, I am a New York Giants fan when it comes to football, but that is beside the point. As a lifelong New York Mets fan, I think it is fair to say that I understand the pain and suffering that you have gone through since your last Super Bowl victory over forty years ago. And if you are a relatively young sports fan like myself, we can relate to each other in that neither of us has had the pleasure and joy of seeing the team we devote more time and energy to than anything else in this world win a championship for their respective sport.
Yes, you are correct in that I did get a small taste of what it feels like for a team you truly root for to win a championship when in the most improbable of circumstances, the New York Giants somehow actually did defeat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. But as exciting as that was, the Giants are really a secondary interest for me. Don't get me wrong, it was a fantastic sight to see and it was a night I will never forget, but my love for the Giants does not even approach the passion and useless energy I seem to waste on the Mets season after season. Sure, we've had our exciting moments in recent memory: Robin Ventura's Grand-Slam Single, Mike Piazza's historic homerun following September 11, and Endy Chavez's miraculous catch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 National League Championship Series. But similarly to the Jets, the Mets, particularly in the past few years, have had an incredible amount of heartbreak and a truly unbelievable set of unfortunate circumstances that have prevented them from winning the World Series.
To those of you who are skeptical about your chances this weekend, I know the odds might be against you, but as we have seen time and time again, the world of sports is not an aspect of life where the best and most talented teams always come out on top. Just look at this past November. No reasonable Major League Baseball fan could have possibly predicted back in April that the San Francisco Giants, a seemingly average team, would end up defeating the Texas Rangers in the World Series. Look at the Seattle Seahawks. Who could have predicted back in September that they would not only be in the playoffs, but that they would also advance beyond the first round? Naturally, this gives me hope for the Mets in 2011. While even the most optimistic Mets fans would say that the chances of them winning a World Series incredibly slim next season, there is no reason why I can't scream and cheer as I do every season, praying that this year will finally be the one. So remain positive, and live with the fact that there is a chance the Jets could win this weekend despite your prior matchups with the Patriots.
The world of sports is a truly unusual one. It is a world that while we have absolutely zero control over what happens, we are so beyond absorbed in the success of our favorite teams that it is almost as if our lives depend on it. There are few things, if anything, in this world that I want more than for the Mets to win the World Series, just as I'm sure you are desperately hoping for a Jets Super Bowl victory. So is 2011 the year for the Jets? Will you finally be able to put all those years of hope and suffering behind you and enjoy the feeling of rooting for a winning team? I really hope so. If I'm not going to enjoy a Mets championship for at least another eight months, I hope that at least one New York sports fan base can enjoy their team's success.
Follow Steven Hirsch on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SEHirsch_NYMets