In 2000, the football Giants made a great mid-season run and won themselves the NFC East and got a first round bye, improbably. They beat the Eagles handily in their initial playoff game, then welcomed Minnesota into Giants Stadium for the NFC Championship.
That game was the blowout of all blowouts, you might recall. At half-time, the score was 34-0 (en route to a 41-0 final). I was there and I was a smoker back then, so I headed for the spirals to pollute myself. I was standing next to another addict — a stranger — who turned to me and said “I’m just waiting for the alarm to go off, ’cause I must be dreamin’.” We both laughed.
I’m feeling similarly buoyant these days on a couple of fronts. The Giants are steamrolling the division once again (and schadenfreude rears its head as the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in a 1-7 quagmire and have just fired their coach.) There are rumbling of at least 1 New York team in the Super Bowl (question for Roger Goodell: if both New York teams find themselves in their respective Conference Championship games, who plays where when? But that’s a question for a later time…) Life is good if you’re a New York fan following the League where they play… … … … … for pay.
The other developments that make me sanguine about the future is the recently amped up brain wattage of the Citi Field front office. The hirings of J. P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta are such a sudden 360 from previous regimes, I’m getting vertigo. The Mets will have intelligent, reasoned, thoughtful and strategic voices in the back rooms, rather than the reactionary, atavistic, craven mob we’ve had the past decade. It seems they’ve vaulted from the Flintstones to the Jetsons in the space of a month & a half. It’s a beautiful autumn in New York, all-in-all.
The alarm might sound in the form of the Charlie Samuels scandal. For those not as maniacally Met-minded as I, Charlie Samuels was an equipment manager/travelling secretary for the Mets since the mid-80′s. Revelations have come to light that he’s been betting on football & baseball to the extent that he’s under investigation by the Feds for what his activities are and with whom he’s been associating. Needless to say, the Mets jettisoned him as quickly as they could have, but there will be questions surrounding his relationships with certain players, tips he’s received from certain players for whichever services might have been performed, even his living arrangements — he invited Francisco Rodriguez to stay with him in the aftermath of his punching out his girlfriend’s father and the resulting restraining order from said girlfriend. It’s all under scrutiny and I fear the facts as they come out. Suffice to say, this could make Kirk Radomsky/Brian McNamee look like a traffic ticket.
If it’s as bad as I fear, I may have to hit snooze…