Yo Mets Is In A League Of Its Own



Good news everyone! Yo Mets T-shirts are now available at YoMets.com for a mere $10. The shirts say, “I am Yo Mets” and are encouraged to be worn to all Yo Mets sporting events. I know what you’re thinking: “What in the name of Jamaal Branch is a Yo Met and why would I want to buy their crappy T-shirt?” No, Yo Mets is not a minor league baseball team with hip-hop flava. They are an intramural sports team the likes of which Colgate has never seen before, and they are currently leading the school-wide IM overall points race. Yo who? Who Mets? That’s right. Ahead of all fraternities, ahead of the Regulators and the Panty Raiders, ahead of Staff Infection (and any other infection for that matter), is Yo Mets – a team with more heart than height, more spunk than speed, and more love for intramural sports than every other collar-popping, beer-guzzling Colgate student put together. They’ve earned 307 intramural points so far this year, giving them a 39-point lead in the intramural standings over the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, their closest competitor, and the team shows no signs of letting up. Like any great team, Yo Mets is grounded in great leadership. Their unofficial leader is a self-described “huge sports guy” named Alex Friedman, a slim, bespectacled senior who divides much of his time between managing the women’s basketball team and writing for the oldest college weekly newspaper in America. Oh, and then there’s the small job of running Yo Mets, which is more like running a major corporation than an intramural sports outfit.Friedman accidentally named his squad long before he arrived at Colgate. A native New Yorker and avid Mets fan, he attended the 2000 World Series and picked up a free sign being distributed by the now defunct website YoNewYork.com with two words printed on it that would change his life forever. Two years later, the “Yo Mets” sign was hung in Friedman’s East Hall double, and, like any great saying, it simply caught on. “As time went on, it became everything,” Friedman said with a smile. “It’s my nickname, it’s the name of our team, it’s a greeting, it’s a question. Yo Mets – now an adjective, verb, everything you can imagine.”They play every sport you can imagine, too. This year, Yo Mets has competed in every possible intramural category. For those of you that haven’t been keeping up with Colgate intramurals, the program offers more sports than Chelsea Piers. And in everything from trap shooting to table tennis, Yo Mets is in full effect. “We made a pledge that, no matter what, we would field a team for every sport this year,” Friedman said. “It hasn’t always been easy, but whatever the sport, we try to get some people together.” And that’s where the intramural championship comes in. A quick look at the Colgate intramural sports handbook reveals that a good number of points are awarded to intramural franchises just for participating. Although Yo Mets is a three-time defending champion in the foul shooting competition and recently took home the League B ice hockey championship, they aren’t exactly a bunch of jocks. They are relying primarily on their unmatched attendance record to thrust them into Colgate intramural history. The members of Yo Mets come from all over campus. The core of the team is Friedman and his senior housemates at 20 College Street – Dan Knaus, and the Maroon-News’ own Evan LeBon and “Cooking With” Tom Evans. But you can’t compete in 20 intramural sports with four people. Yo Mets teammates include members of every class year at Colgate. According to Friedman, first-year James Herbert, a member of LeBon’s link group, was the catalyst of Yo Mets’ championship hockey team. Even a professor, Kevin Rask of the Economics department, gets in on the fun. A former varsity athlete at Swarthmore College, Rask is the Yo Mets’ point guard in the winter and second baseman in the spring. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this intramural phenomenon is the aforementioned Yo Mets website. Originally set up to post pictures of weekend shenanigans, the site expanded into the realm of intramurals last year and is definitely worth exploring for a few minutes of procrastination time. Modeled after ESPN.com, it is truly a site to behold. Statistics are kept for nearly every Yo Mets competition, pictures are posted, and short blurbs give the Yo Mets news of the week. This week’s headline proclaims the hockey team the champions of League B: “Do You Believe in Miracles? Yo Mets!” “It definitely is a time commitment, but I get a lot of positive feedback on it so I keep going,” Friedman said of his astonishingly-detailed site. “Some people think it’s hilarious, some people think I’ve got way too much time on my hands. But it’s a lot of fun.” And, championship aspirations aside, that’s what Yo Mets is all about: good, clean, wholesome, make-your-mama-proud fun. For that reason, Friedman names last year’s Yo Mets victory to claim the intramural bowling title as his favorite Yo Mets moment. “That’s the Yo Mets sport – bowling,” he said. “You hang out with guys, knock down some pins and have some laughs. That’s Yo Mets in a nutshell.”Friedman and his housemates are set to graduate in the spring, but he remains optimistic about the future of Yo Mets at Colgate. Next year, the torch will be passed to Maroon-News commentary editor Dan Murphy to continue the Yo Mets legacy. “Murph and some of the freshmen have good Yo Mets spirit,” Friedman said approvingly. “We’re certainly looking to keep Yo Mets alive.” Who knows? Sports fans may someday look back on the 2004-2005 Yo Mets in the same way we view the 1923 New York Yankees or the 1991 Chicago Bulls: as a team of ordinary men who reached the highest levels of athletic achievement and and gave birth to a dynasty.