Game 113 - Mets
Mets 4, Braves 3
Upon further review, maybe I wasn't in hell the other night. Maybe it was Purgatory. I don't know . . . maybe it was Iowa. The result's of last night's follow-up, however, make me think that I was paying my dues Tuesday for the Wednesday redemption.
It's a microcosm for sports fandom on the whole. The glory is exponentially more personally satisfying when you're toiled through lean times. The Brooklyn Dodgers finally winning the World Series in 1955 had to be phenomenal for all of the team's fans, but so much moreso for the dedicated contingent whose hope and interest had never waned, even under the strain of gut-wrenching failures galore. Rob can tell you all about such a feeling, though his compatriots a generation or two older can do so even more. Yankee fans? Not so much, spoiled by the spoils of success. (Maybe, just maybe, a Bronx dweller who came of age in '64 or so and had to wait until '77 . . . but it doesn't really measure up.)
I myself was spoiled like this; my baseball team won one of the most thrilling, heralded, replayed (and if you're Rob, horrifying) championships in history when I was 16. Meanwhile, my football team captured three titles between my entre into middle school and my college graduation. I loved it, and I thought I appreciated it, but I hadn't paid my dues. Yet.
Now that the Mets have suffered through some pretty God-awful years, I have a significantly more acute appreciation for any future returns to the promised land. Sure, 2000 was a reprieve from the doldrums, but losing to the Yankees left a little scar somewhere on the Township's person as well. (A Yankee fan in the bar the other night expressed disappointment that that Series hadn't gone 6 or 7 games to make it more exciting; I resisted the urge to invite him to go have intercourse with himself only because I saw that it was his best feeble attempt at saying something empathetic.) If the Mets ever do hoist that trophy again, I'll feel a release that's a fraction of what Sox fans felt in '04 (or the other Sox fans in '05), but it will be heaven after some time in hell. (See Misery Loves Company, Volume 1.)
As for my gridiron club, we'll be waiting a long, long time for that return to the mountaintop, but that's another story.
And so last night was a little slice of heaven -- the Mets go down by a pair, the aforeragged Luis Castillo ties it up, the yestergriped Moises Alou hits a pitch into the deep pen (a pitch I never would've thought he could drive out), BWag makes it interesting, BWag closes it out, and I spend all evening accompanied by several great friends of 20 years chasing Sam with Stella into the night.
It gets better than that for me, but not by much, and not very often.
Game 3 this afternoon . . . just happy to be alive (and that my baseball team is very much the same) today. Let's see what happens.