We laugh. We cry. We occasionally flip people off in moments of pure emotion. Then we go to sleep and get ready to do it again. This is the life of a Mets fan and it can get messy. This is also how soccer legend Diego Maradona has handled Argentina’s performance at this year’s FIFA World Cup. Turns out he might also be a Mets fan. Coincidence? I think not:
Argentina were touted as heavy favorites to go far in this year’s World Cup, but found themselves in jeopardy of not advancing from their group stage. And though they underperformed, they ultimately did enough in Tuesday’s last minute victory over Nigeria to secure a spot in the knockout rounds. Maradona’s full range of emotions have been on display for every match:
Is Maradona a Mets fan? pic.twitter.com/4kGZZmSkpQ— The 7 Line (@The7Line) June 27, 2018
It’s exhausting being Maradona. pic.twitter.com/5n3xp8lUx5— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 26, 2018
If it turns out that Maradona is in fact a Mets fan, it would make perfect sense. His playing and managerial career have paralleled the ups and downs of the Mets franchise over the years. Let’s take a look:
Both Maradona and the Mets enjoyed the peaks of their careers in 1986, winning the World Cup and the World Series in bizarre fashion. Both needed miraculous and controversial plays en route to their titles:
The “Hand of God”
But 1986 would prove to be the only year of glory for the two sides in what should have been years of dominance. Maradona would taste another World Cup final in 1990 only to watch his Argentinian side fall to West Germany. The 1994 World Cup ended his International career, as he was sent home early after a failed drug test.
The Mets 1986 team would follow suit. They’d taste the playoffs again in 1988, but would be eliminated by the Dodgers in the NLCS. By the early 90s their playoff hopes were obsolete and many of the stars from the 80s had left the team. The Mets wouldn’t make the playoffs again until 1999. And like Maradona, many Mets players from the ‘86 team were affected by drug use and let it derail their careers.
In 2008 Maradona had a chance to revive his legacy when he was named head coach of the Argentinian National Team. Stacked with young talent, the Argentinians would be seen as favorites to go far in the 2010 World Cup. And after an impressive start in the group stages and first round knockout, they would be embarrassed by Germany in a 4-0 defeat. Maradona and Argentina agreed to part ways after the defeat. His tenure as head coach was short lived, and ultimately viewed as a disappointment.
The Mets also underwhelmed in the late 2000s. Fresh off a disappointing exit in the 2006 NLCS, expectations were high for a team that was rich with young stars and talented veterans. And even though the Mets played meaningful baseball late in the 2007 and 2008 season, they would ultimately collapse and miss the playoffs. By 2010 the Mets lost their mojo, finishing 4th in consecutive seasons from 2009-2010.
Since the late 2000s there have continued to be ups and downs for both Maradona and the Mets, but neither entity could find that moment of glory they once knew. And while they are still in pursuit, we’re pretty sure there is one parallel they will always share:
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.