Thursday, February 01, 2007

This Year Is Here

I'm resistant to change.

I like old things such as ripped jeans, ripped furniture, cookie sheets with thirty layers of grease...for example.

In a contradiction of those terms, ever since last season's loss I've been ready to cast 2006 aside and go forth on to 2007 with extreme prejudice. But until January first the calendar wouldn't let me. And even after the calendar changed, I still felt 2006 dragging me backwards as if I was tuna swimming upstream.

"The Mets are gonna be good this year." -Mets fan, on January 29th, 12:25 PM
With one innocuous quote, 2006 was over...last year. A distant memory. Or as a friend of mine would say: "nobody remembers". I wouldn't go quite that far, but 2007 officially became "this year" with one simple remark. Heck I got so excited at the fact that "this year" is upon us that I immediately put on some shorts, broke out my baseball glove, and ran around Central Park looking for a game of catch. Heartwarming, right?

Six hours later, I was sitting in a hospital bed with a massive case of frostbite from being stupid enough to wear shorts in sub-freezing weather.

Stupid, right? But hey, one can be forgiven for a touch of spring fever with the temperature at a balmy 29, I say. Besides, 2007 is all about out with the old and in with...Ruben Sierra?

I guess I can hold on to my ripped jeans for one more season.


Speaking of ripped jeans, you know what strikes me on the eve of Super Bowl XLI? And trust me, this is no knock on the NFL, the New York Giants, football fans, or George Carlin. But as 2006 started, it seemed that you couldn't get through a day of spring training without realizing that '06 was the 20th anniversary of a World Champion team. As the Mets were entering that season with somewhat high aspirations, the parallels between '86 and '06 were almost surreal...well, outside of the bar fights and the like (Paul Lo Duca's marital woes only count as a controversy because with 10,000 more media outlets, everything is a controversy). There were former Mets celebrating everywhere...heck even Strawberry made a couple of appearances in between money arguments. With every turn of the line-up card it seems there were reminders of Lenny, Kid, and Mookie...even when the Mets were eliminated, Mookie was omnipresent.

The New York Giants entered the 2006 season with higher championship hopes than even the Mets did while celebrating a 20th anniversary of their own World Championship, yet you would have never known it by watching the Giants this season. I mean, where was Phil McConkey? Where was Carl Banks? Wasn't the immortal Lee Rouson at a card signing somewhere?

"In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there's kind of a picnic feeling; emotions may run high or low, but there's not too much unpleasantness.
In football, during the game in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you're capable of taking the life of a fellow human being."
-George Carlin
I guess the NFL, even with only one game a week for 16 weeks, has no time for silly things like nostalgia, memories, ripped jeans, and even Ruben Sierra. Too bad. The '06 Giants could have used some nostalgia to mask Tiki Barber's career aspirations, Michael Strahan's amazing ability to yell at a reporter and then nine weeks later play one on TV, Jeremy Shockey's attempted coach killing and successful dropped passes, and the team's near complete collapse from a 6-2 record.

Of course, nostalgia isn't always needed. 2007, for example, is the 20th anniversary of such momentous events as Dwight Gooden's very first drug rehabilitation, the lopsided Al Pedrique for Bill Almon trade, Keith Hernandez shaving his mustache, Tom Edens' major league debut, and Terry Pendleton's season killing home run.

As much as it would make a momentous reunion ceremony, I'll opt for the present, ripped jeans or not.


Mike said...

1987: Never has a Met season packed more frustration & woulda-coulda-shoulda.

It was fun seeing both Straw & HoJo go 30-30 when it still meant something, but what a series of disasters & disappointments.

Remember Ojeda & the hedge clippers?

Anonymous said...

What did Spongebob ever do to you?


Send OJ to Iroc and he will bring freedom and demcracy and goodness!

G-Fafif said...

Daily News had a nice spread last week on the '86 Giants. That was a great, great team and it occurred to me that, yeah, where were they all this time? Other than Carl Banks working a little radio and Harry Carson getting face time for being in the Hall finally and of course Phil Simms on CBS every Sunday, WTF?

The Mets embracing their tradition and the Giants not paying much mind to theirs. Will wonders ever cease?

G-Fafif said...

Mike, Ojeda and the hedge clippers was '88.

See, there's plenty of woulda-coulda-shoulda to go around!

Unser said...

Pendleton . . . ugh.

The NFL . . . double ugh. The Super Bowl can't come and go soon enough for me. How lame have these past 2 weeks been?

Pitchers and catchers in a couple of weeks . . . can't wait.

Metstradamus said...

Anonymous, it's a long story. You'll be a better person for having not known. Trust me.