Mets Fans Should Be Proud Of Not Selling Out Opening DayS

If you're not doing anything today, why not head out to Citi Field to catch the Mets' Opening Day game? At last check, there were several thousand decent seats still available. To make it even sweeter, if you go today, you'll get free tickets to another game this weekend.

There will be empty seats visible as Johan Santana takes the mound for the first time since 2010. This will look bad and everyone will laugh and the Mets will be a punchline and Mets fans will get defensive, which they absolutely shouldn't. There's no shame in empty seats. Half the teams that sell out today and tomorrow will have massive swaths of empty seats over the weekend. Selling out is not the be-all and end-all of fandom. (The Fenway sellout streak is one of the biggest frauds going.)

Is there any reason to get excited about the 2012 Mets season? The team has done precisely nothing to improve, its owners too caught up in legal battles and repaying profits from Bernie Madoff. Showing up in droves says two things: I support my team, and I will mindlessly ignore being shit upon by ownership. Mets fans, you've been loyal. You've sold out every opening day since 1997, and there have been some terrible teams in that stretch. But can you honestly look at what your franchise has done and become and feel okay with giving Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz more of your money?

If you're going to go to games this year, that's your call. Fandom is about compartmentalization. But while there's no shame in buying Mets tickets, there ought to be a little bit of pride in willfully staying home.