My trip to CitiField earlier this week has to be one of my weirdest ever. (Though it was also highly enjoyable for other reasons, which you shall read about on the interwebs very soon [/tease].) The sparsely distributed crowd contained a disturbingly high concentration of enemy partisans. I’ve been to a bunch of Subway Series games where the ratio of Yankees fans to Mets fans was 1:1, and where loud sections cheering LET’S GO YAN-KEES! would have an angry counterpoint of LET’S GO METS! But I’ve never been to a game where Mets fans were completely out-shouted by the opposition. That happened this evening, and it was disturbing to hear what little crowd there was erupt with each Giant hit or Tim Lincecum strikeout.
However, it’s not Giants fans’ fault for showing up if Mets fans won’t. The situation was a little annoying, but considering how the Mets have played so far and the weather that evening (temps in the low 50s with insane winds to match), it was, sadly, unsurprising. And the Giants fans were simply cheering for their team; none that I saw crossed the line into outright assholery. They were far from the worst people in the park.
For that, I had to go into the Caesar’s Club. This is the section behind homeplate that has a large bar, lounge area, and many higher-end food stands, with a TV in every conceivable spot showing patrons the game. This section is only open to folks with tickets in certain sections, which I possessed (brag). I used the facilities there, and that’s where I found the worst fan of the evening, and possibly ever.
Almost all of the bathrooms at CitiField have piped audio from the WFAN radio call of the game, so you won’t miss a thing while you answer nature’s call. This one was no exception, but it also had a large wall-mounted TV, which was tuned to a Bulls playoff game.
I’m gathering this whole scene all at once as I enter. Along with it, a very large man covered in head-to-toe Mets gear. Hat, jacket, jersey, might have even had Mets sweats on, too. The large man gestured to the TV in this annoyed, harassed way and complained, in typical New Yorker fashion, “You believe this? 50 fuckin TVs out there and you gotta come in here to watch basketball.”
I was baffled by this outburst, for so many reasons. First off, this guy was, again, completely decked out in Mets gear. Unless someone was forcing him to do so at gunpoint, it’s safe to assume he’s a fan. It’s also safe to assume he wasn’t dragged along by a friend, relative, spouse, etc. He made a conscious decision to come to this game and to declare his fanhood via his outfit. If he was that annoyed about missing the Bulls game, why didn’t he just say home?
Secondly, yeah, what jerks the Mets are, forcing you to watch the game they’re playing and not giving you the option of viewing a game in a completely different sport that doesn’t involve any local teams! The nerve!
It just goes to show how quickly fans can go from being underserved to entitled. Shea Stadium had almost no amenities to speak of. There were a few monitors at concession stands to keep you up to date about what was going on in the game, but they were few and far between, especially on the upper deck. The concessions themselves were limited almost exclusively to sausage and peppers, hot dogs, and hamburgers, none of which were very good, and which could only be washed down with terrible beer-swill like Bud or Coors Light (though if you were willing to hunt for it, you could find a stand that had Guinness or Brooklyn on draft–as long as that stand was open that day, which it often wasn’t).
In order to enjoy anything else, you had to go to the field level. But you could only go to the field level if you had a field level ticket. No one else was allowed, not even to patronize the concessions. Despite being such a dump, Shea had rigorously enforced caste system.
For all the other issues it might have, CitiField is light years apart from Shea in terms of what it offers fans. And yet, the more you offer people, the more some people want. The Mets could have give this guy his own private in-seat TV and a pair of headphones, like his own Jet Blue flight, and he would complain about the sound.
It reminds me of Louis CK’s bit about how advances in technology have only made people expect more and brought zero happiness. It also reminded me of my very first trip to CitiField. I saw people wandering the Caesar’s Club almost dumbfounded with awe over all the choices. Now, two years later, the Mets are jerks because you can’t watch the NBA in their plush lounge that serves sushi and exotic rums.
This just in: people are assholes!