With the Jets beating the Titans (and I’m sure Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher just loved wearing “Houston” on his shirt, and didn’t those old-time N.Y. Titans uniforms look cool?), the Giants beating the Bucs, the Tiger and Phil show at the Tour Championship/FedEx Cup finale, and the Yankees winning their 100th game and clinching the AL Eastern Division championship and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, did anyone see Pat Misch shutout the Marlins yesterday and maybe knocking them out of the playoffs (revenge isn’t as sweet as I thought it would be)? Or was it one of those trees falling in a forest kind of things.
I watched…most of it. At one point, the camera found a die-hard masochist Met fan in the stands holding up a sign, a take-off of Mastercard’s commercial about traveling a long way and spending a lot of money on airfare and a hotel and tickets and how being a Mets fan was priceless (for some of us it’s actually rather expensive, but I digress). Gary Cohen then started ruminating about this lost season, noting that “miracles are worth waiting for, and that’s what makes a Mets fan.”
I’m having a hard time with that. I understand what he’s saying â€“ that the rare championship is all the sweeter for the waiting â€“ but watching the Yankees celebrating a championshipâ€¦againâ€¦I think I’d risk being bored by winning all the time. Discuss.
But enough of this philosophical folderol. Here are the middle three of my Nine Things That Make Me Go Hmmmm.
6. Leave the Boys Alone (Excelsior Gold Sections 318-319-320 Only): The picture above is my view of the SNY booth from my seats. I think Gary Cohen and Ron Darling both have begun to recognize me (Keith’s always in his own world). When one of them recognizes my existence with a look, I smile and nod in greeting and I usually get a friendly nod back. Excelsior newbies, however, insist on yelling and waving at the boys in the booth â€“ WHILE THEY’RE ON THE AIR! Last Monday night, a modern version of Margaret Dumont’s entitled matron came by and tried to toss a book she was waving into the booth for them to sign. Fortunately, the ushers are Johnny-on-the-spot at putting a stop to this and similar Gary, Keith and Ron Tom-foolery. If you’re going to sit in one of these three sections, feel free to gawk, stare, point, snap a picture â€“ then leave them alone and let them do their usually excellent jobs, regardless of what world Keith is currently inhabiting.
5. Gameus Interuptus: The Mets have been posting a message on the scoreboard asking fans to respect their neighbors and wait until after an at bat to return to their seat. After all, and I know it’s hard to remember this, when you stand up those behind you can’t see. Your father wasn’t a glass maker and all that. But let me go three steps further. First, unless you forgot your Depends and didn’t take your Flomax, don’t get up and leave your seat during an at bat. Second don’t get up from your seat during a rally and, three, don’t get up and/or don’t come back during an inning. Many stadiums actually bar you from returning to your seat while there’s action on the field. There are plenty of ushers at CitiField who can block section entrances and restrain those less interested in the game or indifferent to the annoyance they would cause to those of us actually watching the game until the inning is over. But they don’t and won’t. So, please â€“ at CitiField you can watch the game from behind almost any section of the stands or on a monitor. If you must leave and/or come back in the middle of an at bat or inning, please respect those of us still sitting and scoring, and wait until the third out.
4. The Race is Fixed: During the mid-innings, an animated race pitting two Arpielle trucks, one schlepping a light tower vs. the other a fork lift, is played on the centerfield video screen (and aren’t those twin Arpielle banners flanking the screen the ugliest ads you’ve ever seen?). The cartoon vehicles leave from an animated midtown Manhattan, jockey for position over a ghostly 59th Street Bridge (and feeling groovy) then speed on a fantastically empty Grand Central to CitiField. What’s my beef? People cheering. At a cartoon race. Whose outcome is pre-determined. I understand yelling at the which-hat-is-the-ball-under animation, and the which-hat-is-the-gift certificate-under contest, and the whiffle ball home run derby â€“ but an cartoon race between ugly trucks? I know the Mets aren’t so entertaining these days, but are we that starved for competition? If you are, try playing Mound Ball*.
* Mound Ball: Collect a dollar from everyone in your group or row and one person holds the loot. At the end of a half inning, the ball gets rolled back toward the mound. If it clears the grass lip and ends up on the actual mound â€“ and stays there â€“ whoever is holding the loot keeps it and you start all over. If it doesn’t, everyone throws in another buck and the loot pile gets passed to the next person. Now THAT’S something to cheer for!
The final three Things/Hmmm in a day or so.