Back in April, a coworker of mine made his annual trip to Las Vegas. At the time, the New York Mets had just completed an 11-game winning streak to hit the ground running right out of the gate at the start of the regular season.
I was riding high with excitement. The Mets had not experienced a winning season in seven years, and with the improvements they made to their team — led by an influx of young, powerful starting pitching — it looked like the 2015 season might break that trend.
But even the most optimistic fans still had tempered expectations. We’d simply be satisfied with a playoff berth — something that hasn’t happened since 2006. Meaningful baseball in October is all we wanted to see, even if it resulted in an early postseason exit.
So with that in mind, I gave my coworker all of the money in my wallet ($25 — I’m poor) and told him to bet it on the Mets winning the World Series. He did, placing the wager with 15 to 1 odds, and returned the bet receipt to me upon arriving home.
Flash forward six months: the Mets are in the World Series, and I have no god damn clue where that bet receipt is.
I’ve searched far and wide for it — in my home, my car and my office. That thing is gone.
I’d be more upset about it, but I’m just too freaking happy that the team I have loved and cherished since I was 6 years old is in the World Series. As a sports fan, this is what it is all about.
With as many as 30 teams competing for the same goal — whether it be baseball, football, basketball or hockey (or cricket for my south Asian readers) — winning a championship is damn near impossible. So many things have to go right for your team throughout the course of a season.
It’s so difficult that I have yet to see one in my lifetime. The Mets last won in October 1986. I was born six months later. Yes, they got there in 2000, but I was only 13. I hadn’t experienced enough suffering to appreciate it.
Fifteen years and nine losing seasons later, I finally have come to appreciate the meaning of success. Here in New York, it’s Mets mania. And it’s all because nobody saw it coming.
The team shocked the world, and even more so, shocked Mets fans.
Unless that ticket somehow reappears, then that’s $375 that I will not be able to claim if the Mets win the World Series. Do I wish I could add that money to my checking account? Of course. That’s a lot of Jello pudding snack packs I otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.
But after 20-plus years of barely missing any Mets games, through all the pain and suffering, and all of the memories I’ve forged watching this team over that time with my friends and family, there’s no greater reward then to finally watch them achieve something you’ve waited for your entire life.
And you can’t put a price on that.