Growing up on Long Island, I’d say 80 percent of kids are both Mets and Jets fans.
The fan bases are centered there, the teams both used to play/practice closer to us than the Yankees and Giants, and there has always been a tortured fan base vibe to both teams.
Luckily for me, I escaped one misery and became a Yankees fan. But still, the Jets have given me enough misery for a lifetime.
To be a Mets/Jets fan is to know the ending of the movie long before the credits, and to expect disappointment and take comfort in it; losing for Mets/Jets fans is a security blanket you can always count on.
Which is why I’m thinking about people like my friends David K. and Scott S. today, lifelong Jets/Mets fans, who’ve experienced more sports fan suffering than any human should.
But today, their world is upside down. Look: The New York Mets are two wins away from the World Series, with dominant starting pitching and a pretty-good infielder (Daniel Murphy) who’s suddenly the greatest hitter in the history of baseball.
And my New York Jets, with another impressive win Sunday to move to 4-1, suddenly with a shot to go to Foxboro next week and prove they’re a first-place team in the AFC East.
It’s nuts. It’s impossible. It NEVER happens.
Only twice in the history of these two terrible teams have they both been good in the same calendar year: 1969, when the Jets won the Super Bowl and the Mets won their first championship, and 1986, when the Jets ran out to a 10-1 start and the Mets won their last World Series (The Jets collapsed that season, but still, for a few months were the best team in football).
And now, it’s happening again. Do you know how much losing these fan bases have endured? How many injuries and bad luck and coaching ineptitude they’ve seen (we’re looking at you, Rich Kotite and Jeff Torborg)?
And now, at least temporarily, there’s joy.
Up is down. Black is white. Pat Buchanan’s a liberal Democrat and Jesse Jackson has joined the Tea Party.
It’s a mad, mad world. And I know lots of people are enjoying the hell out of it.
**Next up today, I love Larry David like most Americans do, and I love me some Bernie Sanders, as you all know. So when I discovered on Sunday that America’s comedian curmudgeon had surprisingly played America’s political curmudgeon on “Saturday Night Live,” well, there was no way this wasn’t going on the blog today.
That it happened to be really funny was a bonus; Kate MacKinnon’s Hillary has really gotten almost as good as Amy Poehler’s was, and David’s rant about emails, and the pens at the bank, had me laughing out loud.
**Finally, I don’t talk much about college football on here because, quite frankly, I don’t follow it or care for it that much. College football is by far the most corrupt college sport (I know, my beloved college basketball can be a cesspool sometimes too, but it’s not in the same cheating league as football), and it’s never meant too much to me.
But two plays in the past few days blew me away, first for its athleticism and the second one for its shock value.
The first one (video above) was a type of catch I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Stanford’s Francis Owusu on Thursday night made this incredible catch against UCLA, trapping the ball against the defender’s back to score a touchdown. The close-up replay starts at :35… I watched it five times and I still can’t believe he caught it that way.
The second one got way more attention, because it was on Saturday, and it was the final play of the Michigan-Michigan State game. If you haven’t seen it, it has to be seen to be believed. Michigan was up 23-21, with 10 seconds left, and was about to pull off a big upset in this huge rivalry.
All the Wolverines had to do was have punter Blake O’Neill punt the ball, anywhere and for any distance, and they’d win. But O’Neill dropped the snap, and well, this happened… I’ve never seen a game end like this. Absolutely soul-crushing for 100,000 UM fans in Ann Arbor.
The lede from the great Mitch Albom’s column in the Detroit Free Press Sunday:
Rub your eyes. Shake your head. Rub your eyes again. You will never see a play like that again and you will never see an end like that again and there may never be a game in this storied Michigan-Michigan State rivalry like that again, not one that ends more strangely or turns more fortunes than the final seconds of this chilled Saturday evening.