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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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We Are All SIck in the Head

Yesterday fans who came to Citi Field got a free hot dog and the chance to watch the Marlins beat the sluggish Mets. But hey, it was a nice night.

Tonight it was cold with periodic spurts of rain. The Mets, meanwhile, meekly absorbed a horrific ass-beating, marked by more bases-loaded walks, dimwitted baserunning, grounders not corralled, double plays hit into and double plays not turned. The Mets have been in free fall for some time, but amazingly, they have yet to reach terminal velocity. Though it defies all the laws of probability, they are actually managing to play worse and become even harder to watch.

Anyway, it's probably best that there was no giveaway. Given all of the above, what possible freebie would have been sufficient inducement to justify a trip out to Flushing tonight? A complimentary Shackburger, shake and fries? Piggyback rides for all from Mr. Met? The Pepsi Party Patrol hurling actual game-used bases navigated ineptly by Angel Pagan? Gold ingots for the first 25,000 fans? A Rey Sanchez edition Bentley given away each inning?

And yet there they were — fans. Ten thousand or so at least, cheering bravely for baseball played about as carelessly and stupidly as it can be.

From the relative comfort of my bed, I watched them and tried to think of a possible explanation for that many people not being able to find something — anything — better to do on a Thursday night in New York City.

Perhaps they were Marlins fans, who find near-empty stadiums comforting. (Joke stolen from Greg Prince.)

Perhaps they were county prisoners being given a reward for good behavior, but still not allowed to leave the stadium.

Perhaps it was an overly subtle Improv Everywhere prank.

Perhaps Tobi Stoner — 2009's 53rd Met — has lots and lots of friends and family.

And then I realized that while I wasn't at the game, I was continuing to watch it, even though Marlins kept scoring and Mets kept falling over things. Surely I had something better to do, but there I sat, fuming at Angel Pagan and hoping Nick Evans might get a hit. If I'd had a ticket, would I have been out there bundled up and cheering for the Mets to draw within eight in the ninth? Good Lord, I probably would have been there. Oh, of course I would have been there.

No, there wasn't anything wrong with those people. They were just Mets fans, showing up even in the spastic dying days of an ungodly season, hoping over-the-hill veterans and undercooked rookies might give them something to clap for. Which, after all, was what I was doing too.

Come to think of it, there is something wrong with us. We're sick in the head, is what we are. Pathetic and delusional. But you know what? Fuck it. We're sick in the head together. And when karma turns — in 2010 or 2012 or 2020 or whenever — the shared insanity will be sweet indeed.

Need therapy? Seek it at AMAZIN' TUESDAY, the final 2009 edition of which is coming to Two Boots Tavern on the Lower East Side, 7:00 P.M., September 15. Please join us and Mets By The Numbers' Jon Springer as we welcome our special guests The Bad Guys Won author Jeff Pearlman and Metstradamus mastermind John Coppinger. There'll be great pizza, cold beer, loads of baseball talk…and a Mets game from Turner Field that will probably make you want to blind yourself.

8 comments to We Are All SIck in the Head

  • Anonymous

    When Gary was describing the cheering, die-hard fans who were there last night, it reminded me of Christmas in Whoville after the Grinch stole all the presents.

  • Anonymous

    Ha. That's beautiful. Would have made a much better starting point for this post, in fact.

  • Anonymous

    I haven't laughed so hard in years. You described it perfectly.

  • Anonymous

    We got upgraded to the Ebbets Club yesterday and I got a chance to see the boys pathetic play up close. Great seats, I am so glad I went…and the bartender kept me very happy!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    zoe and i had fun screaming (different sorts of) crap at cody ross and jeff francoeur
    and there was the girl with the homemade binghamton mets THOLE 25 shirt
    now THAT'S a fan

  • Anonymous

    I went last night with my two young sons. I only had two tickets from my Sat. plan but showed up with my second son and was going to buy the cheapest ticket available and sit somewhere together. While on line, someone just handed me a ticket for free. So I got a givaway anyway! Then toward during the 7th inning we went to the Mini-Citi Field for the first time. That was fantastic! My guys loved being on that field. When we were doing that the score was 6-4. When we were done we looked up and saw the score 9-4. I said, “What happened?” My 7yr old said, “Brian Stokes happened.” He's becoming a real Met fan (sniff, sniff…)

  • Anonymous

    I was rockin that section too, and having great fun despite the score. And you nailed it Jason, the reason we stay is because we have eachother. When the score isn't much fun, we peel our ears for the 4 hecklers of the remaining 2,000 fans and get our kicks that way.