Thursday, October 19, 2006

NLCS: Stressful Ramblings about the Mets [J. Mark English]

I heard yesterday on WFAN that Willie Randolph is so confident that his team will win this series...and all year long he has been saying "when we go to the WS"...not "if we go..."... that he has handed out the travel itineraries for the trip to Detroit.
Talk about confidence. Think he may need to knock on wood?
I remember when the Giants played the 49ers in the '90 NFC Championship game, Bill Parcells told the team before the game that the 49ers had already booked their hotel rooms in Tampa Bay in anticipation of going to the Super Bowl. And who won? The Giants of course, and their itinerary had already called for flying directly from San Francisco to Tampa Bay.
Be that as it may, having no idea who will win this game, and knowing that no matter what, the Mets will do everything in their power to make it as difficult as possible to win...I can no longer stand the anticipation and the pressure of waiting. I even have the butterflies in my stomach...I'm not even going to be there at the stadium! Why should I care so much?
It just had to mention on the radio today that when the home teams wins game six, the past 11 times, that team went on to win game 7. Way to jinx the Mets. Just like when they kept bringing up the scoreless innings for Glavine heading into game 5.
But boy oh boy, GAME SEVEN... What powerful words those are. What memories will come from tonight? What will happen? Who will be the hero? Who will get that big run? Who will make the memorable mistake that will be remembered for ages?
This is why we love sports. The drama...the real life drama. And the fan, like myself, attaches their identity to a team. For 16 years I have cheered for these Mets. I have suffered through the losing seasons, and suffered even more when the dared to reach the heights in '99, and '00 but came up short.
Some people do not understand how people can be come so attached to a group of players that they do not know, and will never meet. I say to them what the great mountain climber, George Mallory, said to someone who asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. "Because it is there." (He died in his attempt to reach the peak.)
And so because our teams are here, because they play for the city, for the name on the front of the jersey, and not the back, that is why we stick with our teams.
And this is why if the Mets win tonight, I will be in a state of euphoria. If they lose, I will be in a state of despair. Why the polar opposites over a team which I am not a member of? Because the Mets are there, and oh how I love them.
Finally, to quote Al Davis, to the Mets I say - "just win baby".