Having been around sports all my life, I think one of the big lessons is that sports is about a lot more than winning. A geeat majority of the time, your team's season is going to end with a loss ... so if you're just after that high of seeing them win the championship, you are going to find yourself sorely disappointed more often than not. Learning how to deal with that yearly disappointment transfers well to real life when sometimes things don't go your way.
Maybe following a sports team through good and bad isn't quite akin to family so to speak, but there are a lot of the same draws. Makes the good times all the more sweet.
Speaking of the Mets, yeah they're still living up 1986. Was in town for a Red Sox at the Mets game in August this year (I'm a Sox fan) and it was 1986 championship bobblehead day featuring Jesse Orosco. Sox won that day but it was still cool to watch the Mets almost pull off another championship this year.