Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beards, Superstition, and the Mets

A little over a week ago, my friend Jeff called me with an idea..a call to put down the shaving cream. His idea was for us (and any of our other Mets fan friends who agreed) to grow a beard. Having gone down this road before with what we hoped would be Playoff beards in September of 2007, I was hesitant at first - due in large part to the fact that we were forced to shave off our beards in late September of 2007 after we attended a Philip Humber meltdown against the Nationals at Shea (in an effort to reverse the team's fortunes).

Even though the wounds from the 2007 beard-growing fiasco are still fresh, starting today, and continuing through the morning of April 5th (Opening Day), Jeff and I will be abstaining from shaving. Let's call this one the "Opening Day Beard." With tomorrow being the official reporting date for pitchers and catchers, spring training is about to be underway. And as spring training - and the countdown to Opening Day - starts, our shaving stops. I am not a person who experiments with wild facial hair. The only other real beard I grew was for the 2007 fiasco. I do go 4 or 5 days without shaving during the week if I have nothing important to do, but I am usually as close to clean shaven as possible.

When I broke the news to my girlfriend this morning, she was less than pleased. She thought I was joking at first, before realizing how serious I was about the Opening Day beard. I really don't even know what Jeff and I expect to get out of this. After 4 and a half months without baseball, we've started to become delirious. I suppose the beard is many things...

It's a show of unity for the upcoming season, a sort of reverse countdown to Opening Day (the longer the beards get, the closer we get to Opening Day), and eventually, a type of cleansing on April 5th - when we shave our beards and finally wash off the filth and grime of the 2009 regular season.

Superstition and the Mets have always gone hand in hand. Many of us (Mets fans) wear the same jersey to the ballpark over and over if the Mets are on a winning streak, and remove it once the streak ends. If we're watching the game together in certain spots on the couch or the floor and something good starts happening, we don't move. If we're planning to watch a game at a bar, but remember that 3 months ago, the Mets lost a close game while we wathced the game at that very same bar, we switch the locale. No one knows for sure if any of this stuff matters, but it gives us a feeling of closesness with eachother and the team.

With pitchers and catchers set to report to Port St. Lucie in less than 22 hours, here's to a successful 2010 season - and to the continued use of ridiculous superstitious nonsense by fellow Mets fans.


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