Saturday, October 21, 2006
RIP, 2006 Mets
Real-life friends of the CP will be laughing in a just a minute, after I admit to you all that I, Coaster Punchman, actually shed a tear at the end of last night's game. In fact, I may have shed more than one.
Early yesterday afternoon one of my clients called to tell me she ended up with an extra ticket to the Mets game, and invited me to go with her. She is a MAJOR Mets fan, almost to the point of freakishness. But since I am a diehard fan of the Mets' Single A minor league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, we are a great match. I treat her to at least one Cyclones game every summer out at Coney Island, at a great little stadium right on the ocean. I love minor league stadiums. Cozy. Intimate. Cheap. Unfortunately, I have not been as lucky with the players as Susan Sarandon, but that's fodder for another entry.
Anyway, not to rehash the heartbreak of the unfortunate end of the Mets' season, but.... damn! I would have hated to be Carlos Beltran, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded. Who the fuck could handle that kind of pressure? It SO could have been a Kirby-Puckett-game-six moment.
But alas, it was not to be.
The strangest part of the evening was when, moments after Beltran's tragic strike-out, the crowd sat in stunned silence while the Cardinals ran out onto the field to do their triumphant war dance. Since there was no cheering or any other noise to accompany them, it was almost like watching it happen in slow motion with the sound on the TV muted. I said out loud "look at that! They're dancing around in complete silence!" This guy in front of me turned around and said "I know! Fuckin' weird!"
As annoyed as I get by extreme fanaticism over professional sports, I have to admit I was quite moved by the dedication of these fans. People everywhere were teary eyed because the end of the game had been so intense before the big let down.
As I stood and waited while my client used the restroom, I watched people exit the stadium. At one point a man about my age walked toward me, his arm around the shoulders of a red faced, sobbing boy of about ten. Although the Mets' loss was not a tragedy by any means, the image of this brokenhearted boy remained with me the rest of the night and throughout most of today.
Is this really happening? Could I actually be turning into a baseball nut?
(to be continued)