Why are you a Mets fan?
That’s the question the New York Mets’ official Twitter handle posed to the online public Monday afternoon, asking fans to reply by hashtagging #ImAMetsFanBecause.
We are #Mets fans but how we became a fan differs. Share who made you a fan w/#ImAMetsFan Because you could win tix,” the @Mets Twitter account tweeted.
Sure, it wasn’t the most elegant turn of phrase, but the hashtag campaign seemed like a feel-good way to celebrate one of New York’s most embattled sports franchises -- especially with the lure of free tickets.
Some fans embraced the hashtag, pointing to the Mets’ 1986 World Series win: #ImAMetsFanBecause1986!, wrote Dani (@dbBBfan14).
Or adorable family ties: "@Mets #ImAMetsFanBecause of my grandfather who worked for the @Mets from 1969-1986 #firsttolast #PatMcmahon," wrote Paul Edward (@PaurkChop), attaching a photo with his grandfather.
"I watched day games with my grandmother when she took care of me when I was a kid, "wrote Karendipitee (@Karendipitee), attaching picture of a dedicated brick at Citi Field.
"@Mets #ImAMetsFanBecause of my older brother who taught me the magic of the 69/73 Mets. I've passed it on to my sons and hope it cycles on," wrote Robert Nolan (@factor71_rjn).
But then Twitter’s snarky user base and the Mets’ tortured, surly fan base began to intersect. The result was a quickly hijacked hashtag that highlighted the shortcomings of the poor, poor Mets.
"@Mets #ImAMetsFanBecause I'm mentally unstable!" wrote Kevin (@KVP_10).
"#ImAMetsFanBecause Who among us wouldn't root for a bad team halfheartedly funded by a morally and financially bankrupt ownership?" wrote Greg Orlando (@OrthelandoftheG).
"#ImAMetsFanBecause I hate myself & expect a better team every year & every year I'm wrong. :')" wrote Will Landman (@WillTheLandMan).
"#ImAMetsFanBecause My shrink recommended it. He said “you think YOU have problems?" wrote David Daniels (@dvdaniels).
"#ImAMetsFanBecause There's always next year." wrote Brendan Carey (@brendanjcarey).
"#imametsfanbecause My parents decided it was better for me to know how to cope with heartbreak early on." wrote Catherine Tacopina (@CatherineTac).
"#ImAMetsFanBecause I wasn't loved enough as a child," wrote Helen S. (@HESilf).
"@Mets #ImAMetsFanBecause without the hurt, the heart is hollow." wrote Robert Shields (@rshields37).
Perhaps it's because Mets fans haven't gotten over collapsing and giving away the 2007 National League East title to the Philadelphia Phillies. Or because they lost the division again -- and this time watched their rivals to the south win the World Series.
It could be that they're not over losing the 2000 World Series to their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. The Yankees, by the way, have won five World Series titles since that last glorious 1986 title for the Mets.
Whatever the reason, Mets fans showed that laughing at yourself really can be the best medicine.