October 18, 2015

SCAZZERO | Who’s Had it Worse: Mets Fans or Cubs Fans?

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So coincidentally this year I have written articles about the Mets and the Cubs, and here they are in a match-up against each other in the National League Championship Series fighting to make it to the World Series. The Mets last won the World Series in 1986 and the Cubs in 1908 (slight difference). Over recent years, fans of both teams have gained a sort of pity from fans of basically any other team in the league, but for different reasons. It’s time to play “Who’s had it harder, Mets or Cubs fans?”

On having to continuously maintain optimism for a team that doesn’t quite perform up to their fan base’s enthusiasm, I would say the Cubs have had that market cornered for a solid 108 years. Just the sheer amount of time that has passed since they have won a World Series would be enough for an average fan to lose hope. But Cubs fans are not regular fans, which puts them in a different category of “pity.” Their losing has become so legendary it has almost become adorable. Their impressive propensity to lose over the years has even earned the team the nickname the “lovable losers.”

Yes, fans are always disappointed, but they still always hold out for next year. The Mets, however, have a more hostile environment in New York. Their losses are not just accepted with a shrug and a “we’ll get ‘em next year,” but instead the team is criticized for being inept. The North side of Chicago is devoted to their Wrigley Field inhabitants; the neighborhood surrounding the field is named “Wrigleyville,” full of bars are dedicated to the ivy-covered stadium and the Cubbies. In contrast ,the area around Citi Field is populated by numerous chop shops that have thwarted attempts to get them evicted. Cubs fans patiently and devotedly waited while Theo Epstein promised to rebuild the team, a move that would not fly in New York, where owner Fred Wilpon and his son Jeff are derided around New York as Wil-ponzis.

Mets fans have also had much rougher things to deal with than just a poorly performing team. The Mets fan base has recently been mocked in the press for having the worst spelling and grammar in the M.L.B., in an evaluation done by automated-proofreading company Grammarly

The franchise is also currently paying former player Bobby Bonilla some $1.2 million a year every year as part of a deferred payment schedule they negotiated when buying out Bonilla’s $5.9 million contract in 2000. He has not played since 2001. So while their record might not be as dismal as the Cubs, the Mets have had to deal with a lot more behind-the-scenes drama and frustration with the management of the franchise. And overall, the atmosphere surrounding the Mets for New York fans is considerably more hostile than Chicago’s undying love of the Cubs. But right now, both teams have a chance at pulling their fans out of their usual misery.

As of this weekend, the Mets currently lead the Cubs 1-0, so there is still a chance for either of them to make it through and face either the Kansas City Royals (who lead their series 2-0) or the Toronto Blue Jays for the final match up. Either way, each fan base deserves this long-awaited break from their usual slumps. For the Mets, it would mean the fans would have more faith in their organization, and for the Cubs fans it would be an incredibly historic day and one of the greatest days in franchise history (100 plus years in the making), so it will be interesting to see which team gets that lucky break.