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‘7 Line Army’ documentary finds a sweet spot in sports fan documentary genre

The 7 Line Army in centerfield during Game

The 7 Line Army in centerfield during Game 2 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. Credit: Newsday / William Perlman

Stories about extremely passionate sports fans are tricky terrain, at risk of sappiness or, worse, sadness in the form of folks without much else going on in their lives.

But some find a sweet spot, and that is the case with “Loyal til the Last Out,” a documentary on “The 7 Line Army” of Mets fans that premieres at noon Saturday on MLB Network. (It repeats at 10 p.m. Sunday.)

The story of how Mets fan and T-shirt maker Darren Meenan began the group has been told before, but even for those familiar with it, following Meenan and his group through the 2016 season is an enjoyable ride.

The bonds among members is evident, as is their devotion to the Mets, but on the whole those featured in the show, produced by Sports Illustrated Films, seem like well-adjusted people who would be good company.

The highlight is joining the group in the outfield seats in San Diego last spring on an outing that coincided with Bartolo Colon hitting a home run.


Another is from the wild-card game against the Giants at Citi Field, as Meenan refuses to leave his seat upon being invited to visit New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio because, after all, he is busy watching a playoff game.

DeBlasio comes down from his box to see Meenan instead.

And then there is the fan who sips a beer at Yankee Stadium during an interleague game and pronounces its taste “pompous” and “arrogant.”

David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Jerry Blevins are interviewed, as is announcer Howie Rose, who calls the Army “Baseball Woodstock.”

SI Video executive producer Josh Oshinsky called the group’s passion “intoxicating” in a news release.

Watching the Army bask in two consecutive playoff berths is vicarious fun, but it also makes you wonder this in the wake of the team’s catastrophic start in 2017: What the heck are these people thinking now?

Stay strong, 7 Line.


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