I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I decided to like sports, but I’m pretty sure I was a Mets fan long before then. After all, my dad and cousins and uncle all rooted for the Mets, and my mom’s side didn’t really seem to root for anyone. So it had to be orange and blue. Later, I would learn that my grandpa had been president of the company that built Shea Stadium, and even later I would learn that perhaps that wasn’t really the reason why we became Mets fans in the first place.

It hasn’t always been easy rooting for the Mets, ’06 through 08—the years where I was still disillusioned enough to think that I myself could make it to the pros—were definitely the toughest. I remember going outside on a cold, rainy October night and tossing a baseball through tears with my dad after Beltran left the bat on his shoulder in 06. I remember those agonizing weeks at the end of September the next year, when I watched our seven-game lead evaporate to none. I was there for that last game in 07, when the collapse was complete, and I was there the next year for Shea’s last game in 08, where they let another season slip away.

When they tore the stadium down that winter, I wondered if I could now be free from it all. After all, we were only fans because of grandpa, right? I don’t seriously have to keep putting myself through this every year?

Really, I wasn’t fooling anyone. After all, these were surface level questions, perhaps, I thought, not unlike the reason why my family became Mets fans in the first place. That felt more like a corporate, suit-and-tie, Yankee fan reason to like a team, and I still can’t understand how anyone with a soul can seriously feel an attachment to the Yankees. It’s like rooting for Tywin Lannister. Nobody really stands up and cheers when he does his job well (although he certainly has the “Re2pect” of all of Westeros).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that what may look like a superficial reason to be a Mets fan—my grandpa’s company getting the Shea job—is actually quite a personal one. In fact, when I bitterly tried to make a futile attempt at escaping Mets fanhood after ’08 by pointing this out to my dad, he told me that he didn’t remember any changes in his household while the Stadium was being built. Instead, he remembers going to the games in the early years, like when the team went 40-120 in 62, and falling in love with them anyway. He remembers having trouble scoring the games during those years because we would invent new ways to lose. We were bad and we knew it, but things were fun. Then he remembers watching them become a pitching juggernaut in 69, and winning it all out of nowhere.

But being a Mets fan, for me, is about more than a championship. It’s about pain and patience, shock, pleasant surprise and absolute pure joy. I know I shouldn’t care this much, but being a Mets fan isn’t that much different from anything you care strongly about. Yes, of course you want to win one, and what the team is doing right now is crazy, what with our three young flamethrowers and Murphy being unstoppable. We’re four wins from a World Series Championship, and somehow I wish we could just stay this close forever.

The Mets play Game One against the Royals tonight. Maybe we’ll win it all, and maybe not. Either way, this team is built for the future. Right now, though, I don’t want to think about what’s to come or what’s in the past. I’m just going to appreciate this special team for a little while longer.