SUPPORT THE CITI FIELD HOOLIGANS.
The highlight of tonight’s loss against the Giants was a large group of fans up in Section 516, towards the top of the park. They caught my attention early in the game when they attempted to get a “R!” “A!” call-and-response going at the second out, and more when they brought out a drum and started singing Daniel Murphy’s name to the tune of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes: “Dannnnieelll Murrrphyyyy…..Dannnnieelll Murrrphyyyy…..”
“Is that ‘Hava Nagila’ they’re using for Ike Davis?” TBF said, when #29 came up to bat. It was indeed, a chant for Ike Davis, set to that popular folk tune. There was a song for David Wright, a song for Jose Reyes. It was reminiscent of what European football fans are known for doing.
“I want to go sit with them,” said TBF. The young teenagers in front of us noticed them, laughed, and started their own cheers. They made people cheer, and applaud louder. They had flags. They had blue and orange balloons. They were awesome.
I picked up my camera and took a walk at the next inning break to find out what the deal was, and met the Citi Field Hooligans.
The Citi Field Hooligans are an organized group of about 30 plan ticket holders (they have a 15 game plan). There used to be more members, until the ticket price went up. The ringleader, Jeff, says that they were inspired by the positive loud support given to European soccer fans. His goal is to have the Mets sponsor a section for them at Citi Field, a designated section where they can sing and cheer and bring a megaphone and signs and banners and support the team. “Some people love us, some people hate us, some people love to hate us,” one of the group told me. I met some people who just came up to 516 to sit with them (including the proprietor of The Crazy Mets Fan, because they’re so much fun. TBF and I briefly considered relocating for the rest of the game (and probably should have given the outcome).
They chanted “You’re lost! You’re lost!” at people wearing Yankees gear. They had a call and response going with Giants fans in adjoining sections. They have a great song for Jose Reyes, The Fastest Man Alive.
Don’t get me wrong, these guys (and two women) were enthusiastically patronizing their beer vendors. But they weren’t mean drunk, or falling over drunk, or nasty drunk. They were pleasant. They were polite. They were nice guys, no one was rude or obnoxious or used foul language or made me feel uncomfortable at all.
They cheered loudly THE ENTIRE GAME, up until the very last out these guys were on their feet. They are awesome, and the Mets should support them. If they can start a section for families out in the Left Field Landing, give people who want to cheer and support their team and have fun a section somewhere, out in the Pepsi Porch or wherever else you’re not selling tickets. Get a sponsor. Have some kind of food promotion. Let them bring flags and banners and signs and be loud and proud. This is exactly the kind of positive image the Mets should welcome with open arms right now.
I tried to get Kevin Burkhardt up to see them and hope he does some day.
I am pleased that I was able to be a social media advocate during my brief visit, and they are now on Twitter at @citihooligans. Their web site is CitiFieldSheas.com, and their game schedule is there. (There is also a Facebook page which I wasn’t able to find, but hope to link later.)
Oh, and there was a game. Guess at what point TBF said, “We deserve to lose this game now?” Eric Davis at Amazin’ Avenue termed it “a heartbreaking loss” and that’s all I have to say about the actual game.