Month: March 2012

Just Pey No

I know it’s been like a week since Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts announced they have agreed that after a storied career with the franchise, Manning would no longer be a Colt.  It’s sad, since he’s been very successful, but he’s also been what we call “hurt” and at the end of the day, we know this is a business.

Yet, I had people asking me to weigh in on it.  I thought since I’ve said it on Twitter that my position is clear on the idea of Peyton Manning on the Jets.  I mean, I am a Jets fan first, but there are players who deserve my respect, and I always respected the shit out of Peyton.  Thought it was a shame that if his career were to end, it would be this way and not via a retirement road show like he deserves.  That’s about the extent of it.

Meaning, don’t even bother asking me if I want him on my team.  The short answer is no.

The long answer – are you fucking crazy? Why the hell would he be a good fit for the Jets AT ALL in this lifetime?  Like, I don’t know why this is even a discussion.  Hell-to-the-NO is more like it for the long answer.

Besides, this was written on Friday afternoon, and by Friday evening, it was announced that the Jets had extended Mark Sanchez with a three-year deal.  So a lot of this is moot now.

Yet, I had some people try to argue with me why it would be a good idea for Peyton Manning to be a Jet.  I listened, since I like to think of myself as a compassionate version of Mike Francesa (ok, that’s a bad example, since I’m comparing myself to a know-nothing blowhard radio guy), but I don’t want to be abrupt or condescending.  If someone brings up a good point to me, I’ll acknowledge it but tell people how I feel afterwards.

Someone suggested to me that Peyton could help the Jets bring home a Super Bowl.  And if I eat broccoli today, I could take a dump tomorrow.  Look, maybe five years ago Peyton could win a Super Bowl in New York.  With his injury history and obvious deterioration, it’s not the best idea, especially when we already have Sanchez here.  Hiccups and all, Sanchez is our guy, as I discussed with Jon Presser on my podcast a few weeks ago.  Even Eli Manning has two Super Bowl titles, and he led the league in interceptions not more than two years ago!

I know Peyton Manning will end up somewhere.  But if anyone merely suggests that he could cure what ills the New York Jets at this point, they’re sorely mistaken.  Like, didn’t we just go through that mess with Brett Far-ver-uh in 2008?

Here’s where I think Peyton would be a good fit:

1.) Seattle Seahawks

2.) Miami Dolphins

3.) ….Yeah, that’s about it.

I know it’s a longshot, but you come here for my opinion, and I’m gonna give it to you.  I like and respect Peyton Manning, but to suggest he could do better or be better than what we have is a massive overstatement.  Sanchez is our guy and the sooner we realize that, the better off we’ll all be (and the Jets took care of that for us today).  But, you know, best of luck to Peyton on his job search.  He’ll be employed in no time.

Plus, I wouldn’t want that Sausage Race looking mother fucker on my team anyway.


Uncanny resemblance, right?

Married to the Mets: Hey Blondie

“HEYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!! BLONDIE!!!!!!!” They chanted as they ran up the stairs after a Mets/Cubs game in 2005.


Rumor has it that I didn’t get a full head of hair till I was about two years old. I had peach fuzz to the extent that my parents were afraid I might never grow hair. I did though, grow hair, that is. I was a nice flaxen blonde in my youth. Nowadays, I need to buy it.

There’s a rumor, also, that somewhere someone once said that blondes have more fun. Since the only time I’ve ever been a true brunette (I have no idea what color my hair is), I can’t attest to it. What I can say is, though, that being a Mets fan has made things more fun in my life. No matter how they perform, I can guarantee that most of the time, I am having fun.

Also, when you have some semblance of blonde hair, you get called “Blondie.” A lot.

I stood out like a sore thumb because I was a tomboy growing up. Along with my long hair, usually pulled back in a ponytail, I wore a hat, usually of the Mets type. Dad would go to Cap Day, and I’d often inherit the cap. The standard uniform was jeans, some kind of sports shirt and my cap. Kind of like when you see me at CitiField these days too.

When I was 12 years old, I had big hair. Like big-Aqua-Net-extra-hold-supported-Jersey-hair hair. My mother spent a lot of money on my hair being permed, and I spent a lot of time in the bathroom styling my hair. When the Mets had bucket cap day in 1988, I was thrilled, because it complimented my hair style so well. (More than I can say about the actual style. I mean, seriously, did we really think we looked good??)


By the time I was out of high school and in college, my hair was straight as a pin. Save some stints where I would just go to those walk-in places in the mall and ask them to chop my hair short, it had lots of long periods. In Mezzanine 22, I once wore a cap with a ponytail sticking out, and Richie (the yeeeeee haw! guy who sat behind us in Row C) yanked on the tail. The temptation, he said, was too great to do so.

This was 2002. At that point, I was in a relationship with the guy I call the “Big Ex” in my lexicon. We had lived together at that point, and to say he wasn’t a big baseball fan was an understatement. At first, he had a whole self-righteous attitude towards organized sports, but once he saw there was alcohol and usually a food bribe from me, we went to a few games. That was when we had met Frank, Tommy and Kim from the Woodside Crew. The infamous crew that gave us the famous saying, “Fuck these guys, I’m going to Donovan’s” when the Mets are doing particularly bad.

We went to a lot of games back then, probably because my dad and I had our Saturday plan at that point, and my dad was off doing other things on the weekends. Not to mention the Mets were just horrible then. Not just bad in the traditional sense. Boring beyond belief. The only thing that kept us going then was the relationship with the folks in 22. They made the games more fun.

I was going through a lot back then too. Stuff at work, where I was very unhappy. But also stuff in my relationship. We ended up together for almost seven years, but it was still relatively new then. My hair ended up getting a brunt of the frustration. Short. Blunt. Bangs. Grow it back. Cut so short to barely to put back. Blonde. Blonde streaks. Brown. Brunette. Straight color. It wasn’t nearly as bad as when I was in college: I had been a redhead at some points (and let’s not talk about when I went nuts and dyed it blue).

Being a blonde was part of my identity. But like many chapters of my life, I was constantly reinventing and trying to find myself. It’s difficult to do that when you’re in a relationship with someone. Especially when there’s not a lot of compromise. So my hair took a lot of the hits to the experimentation.


But there was compromise when we went to Shea. We started out driving there, but ultimately, the train won out. We discovered the Long Island Rail Road that dropped you off behind the 7 train, closer to the park. I think this was 2005, and I was blonde again.

Things were going south in the relationship. The Mets, though, were finally looking up. Carlos Beltran was new, and while the Scott Kazmir trade the year before had left us Victor Zambrano, new General Manager Omar Minaya had made a splash with Pedro Martinez, future Hall of Fame pitcher fresh off an improbable championship run with the Boston Red Sox the year before.

It was fun going to Mets games, but I can’t say I went to many that season. I know that I went to a lot, and I still had the Saturday plan with Dad. The Ex and I went to games, but I remember going to many by myself. I had no problem doing things by myself, but looking back, it was really the beginning of the end when I started doing my own thing over the weekends, and he was more than happy to give me my space.


By the 2006 All-Star Break, it was evident the Mets were running away with the division. Adding big bat first baseman Carlos Delgado, the emergence of Beltran (who had a very quiet debut year in 2005), and lightning in a bottle help from Jose Valentin, the Mets were the toast of New York. I had no problem getting him to the games, since we were having a lot of fun. He had given up drinking, but at that time, drinking was part of my boisterous fan persona. I guess I had retained the attitude of Mezzanine 22, though my Saturday seats were in Section 10 at that point (the “family-friendly” section). When we found ourselves at games midweek, we thought, hey maybe we should look into season seats. Those turned in Mezzanine 14 Box, with Diamond Club access, which ultimately translated into CitiField seats.

I kept the tickets. He got the TV in the breakup in 2007.

I didn’t cut my hair off till 2008, though, when I found out he got married without my knowledge. Never thought it should have been me, but definitely thought I should have known.


The year 2005 was the turning point. Things were miserable, just as the Mets were getting good. They were a distraction. I went to games by myself, and he let me. One day, I wanted to go to a game. He was cranky. I told him I wanted to leave him. We talked it over.

We decided to try to make it work. In all honesty, when I look back at that day, it should have ended. Yet, what did we do? We went to see the Mets play the Cubs on a Friday night. They won that game. It was fun to watch. I believe we sat in the Mezzanine. I had blonde streaks. But I was also tan, so my blondeness stuck out like a sore thumb.

This was a night we took the Long Island Rail Road in. One of the drawbacks to the service was it left every hour, even after the games let out, which was difficult to time (even though the travel time was 15 minutes from midtown, a distinct discount from the nearly 30 the 7 train took).

Back then, remember the old set up at the 7 train? There was that weird platform, and you had little crowd control. There would be bottlenecks after every game. This was no exception. Yet, we had about four minutes to make a train, and an ocean of people to swim through to get there.

Seemed impossible.

We tried to cross the street, and there was still a little wait on the stairs. The time was ticking.

Till one of the loudmouths started yelling at his friend in front of us. Apparently, it seemed, there was a trivia question to which his friend didn’t know the answer.


It looked as though he forgot former Met Todd Hundley’s dad’s name.

I knew it. I thought someone else would chime in.

Till I found myself yelling out, “Yo!! It was Randy! RANDY!! HUNDLEY!!!”

The guys did the double-finger point and yelled, “HEYYYYYYY!!!! BLONDIE!!!! AHHHHHHH!!! MOVE!!! MOVE!!! MOVE!!!!!!!”

Holy cow. I think I started a riot.

The crowd all of a sudden busted up the stairs. We had about a minute to spare. Running across the wooden almost-boardwalk to the LIRR platform, we just beat the train by a hair.

Probably the first time we smiled the whole day.


In 2009, I was talking to one of my coworkers on an elevator. I was on my way to a hockey game. Everyone in the office knew me as the resident Mets fan, but the hockey thing caught him by surprise. I shrugged and said, yeah, I’ve liked the Rangers since I was 12.

My coworker asked, “So let me get this straight. You have baseball season tickets. You have hockey season tickets?”

I shook my head. “No, I just buy a few games from my friend during the year.”

“But still, you willingly go.”

I nodded.

“Why are you still single?”

I brushed it off, laughed. Truth was, I wondered that myself. We hear that women who like sports are, like, the most desirable and least attainable prime mate out there. I had been seen as “the friend” for a long time, or the buddy who was fun to go to sporting events. Truth be told, even with the Big Ex, I had a tough time imagining myself ever getting married. The irony was I had more of a relationship with my teams than I did with any man.

I guess my point is never say never. But I also wondered why people just can’t be content with a woman choosing to be single.

I had an ear-length bob then. In 2009, I was also a brunette.

The Gal For All Seasons Meets That Sports Babe TONIGHT!

Join me on the Gal For All Seasons podcast on NDB Sports Media tonight at 7 pm EST.

My special guest will be talk show host and Twitter personality ThatSportsBabe, aka Jackie Taylor, to discuss hoops, NBA, and whatever else floats our boat.

Looking forward to tonight’s show…are YOU?????

March Madness

Most of you probably think of college hoops when you think of the term “March Madness.”  The reality is, I don’t have a horse in that race.  My husband is a St. John’s fan, but if it’s any indication I went to an all-women’s school for my undergrad.  Nuff said.  Although truth be told, I used to really be into hoops in general.  I followed John Stockton and Karl Malone on those great Utah Jazz teams (and ironically, married a Jazz fan, as he actively follows them to this day), but since they retired, I haven’t had much use for the sport professionally. My dad used to live down the street from Monmouth University and those basketball games were always fun.

I guess it was the survival of the fittest, in my life anyway.  Being a gal for all seasons, I don’t have a “break” per se in my sports world.  If you were to look at things from a calendar perspective, I’m booked pretty much from Jan 1 to Dec 31.  I may not have games every day for my team but I may have vested interests in other games to follow.  Basketball kind of fell by the wayside because since that season overlaps with hockey, a sport I like a great deal more than hoops, and ends well into baseball, my number one love, hoops took a hike.

Yet, March is a bit maddening, as a hockey fan and a baseball fan.  I’m looking at the Rangers schedule for the next few weeks and it is JAM PACKED.  We’re in the home stretch of the playoff push, and it’s pretty certain they will get a high ranking in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  I’ve often told my dad that hockey season ends when the Rangers are out of the playoffs and baseball season starts that same day.  In the fall, hockey season starts when the Mets are no longer playing (but I have to admit, I’ve watched most of the baseball playoffs in the last few years, just to torture myself I suppose since the Mets are almost certainly never a factor).  Somewhere, football comes in, but as you know, it’s not that much of a commitment.  So for me, the biggies are hockey and baseball due to the time commitments of being a fan.

So herein lies the problem.  It’s March.  My hockey team is doing extraordinarily well.  It seems like they’re playing every other damn day in the month of March.  Yet, my husband, whose baseball love trumps everything else, accepts my love of hockey, but there may be some games conflicting.  Hey, it’s baseball.  Baseball makes everything right.

Except when the Rangers are doing so well.  They had a great game against the Boston Bruins over the weekend, and it seems like this is the start of a new rivalry judging by how the game ended.  In speaking to my Ranger blogosphere buddies Nick Montemagno and Kevin DeLury on last week’s podcast, the general consensus is that the hot team gets hot at the right time and ultimately, rest is for the non-weary in hockey. Unlike baseball when you try to rest your regulars, the playoff push expects more of them.  And more of the fans who support them.

This leaves me with not a lot of free time going into the spring.

I never miss baseball Opening Day.  It’s like my High Holiday.  After that, it’s fair game till the Rangers are done.  But March will be a true test for me, given that the spring training broadcasts are so few and far between and that I have Ranger games many nights.  Should lead to an interesting household to say the least here.

Married to the Mets: Worse Than Chernobyl

I became a Mets fan at a very interesting time.  Essentially, they ruled the city.  When I was young, I didn’t know a New York City that wasn’t all about the Mets and the Yankees, storied pinstriped team in the Bronx, played second fiddle.

Till, of course, they weren’t.

I have a family member who shall remain nameless, who claims to be a lifelong Yankee fan. Funny, I don’t remember him rooting for them till 1996.  And I DEFINITELY remember wearing our Mets gear together, rooting for them on WOR.  I do remember at one point he told my dad and I that he admires us for sticking with the Mets for so long.

You know, it’s not like we had a choice.

For me, though, the choice was simple.  I stuck around for a multitude of reasons.   Most of all, that I didn’t want to give up on the team. Also because the fans I met made me laugh like nothing else.

It was one thing watching games with my dad, Uncle Gene and Aunt Melissa, and hearing the wisecracks from all of them during the games.  Even when we met Dominic, Rob and Mike in the stands at Loge Section 22, the Mets deep-in-the-trenches army-like humor kept us going.

I’ve been a Mets fan for nearly 30 years.  (Let that one sink in for a moment).  In those years, they’ve had two World Series appearances, a few playoff runs, but mostly, futility mixed in with a splash of ennui.  Yes, it’s tough to be a Mets fan sometimes.  Yet, the fans, the true bleeding blue-and-orange fans kept me coming back when I had every reason not to.

In the 1980s, you couldn’t really knock the team because they were so good.  Shea Stadium, however, was fair game.  In the spring of 1986, the Chernobyl disaster hit Kiev, Ukraine…and Banner Day at Shea.  “Shea’s Bathrooms Are Worse Than Chernobyl,” one of the banners read.  I don’t remember any other banner that year but that one.  It was priceless and still generates some laughs from those of us who saw it.  Till the very last day of Shea, the bathrooms were the butt (no pun intended) of the joke with many fans.  In fact, I appeared on a blogger’s roundtable with such personalities as Matt Cerrone from Metsblog, Joe Janish from Mets Today and Ted Berg from SNY on Mets Weekly in 2008.  Janish made a joke about the bathrooms, and needless to say, we all chuckled.

At the root of it all, Mets fans are humorous.  We’re funny, and we’re a bunch of wise guys, and we need to make the impossibly tragic funny, in order for us to survive it.

Over the years, I’ve met so many people, fans just passing through (sometimes, I was one of those fans), people I sat with an entire season, people I sat by just once, often leave me with such indelible prints of my brain, that I still think of them from time to time.

Like the guy I sat behind at Camden Yards one year during an extra inning game in 1998.  Ironically, ex-Met Jesse Orosco (in the twilight of his career) came into the game via middle relief (in the back end of the game of course).  This gentleman threw his hands up in the arm in disgust, yelling, “Just forfeit!! Just forfeit the game!”  Though I was in Maryland, he sounded like Benny from Brooklyn, as “forfeit” sounded like “faw-fit.”  Needless to say, this has been rehashed several times over the years, usually when the Mets bring in someone with a two run lead in late innings.  Used in conjunction with the likes of Guillermo Mota, Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoeneweis, among others.

There was Richie in Section 22 in the Mezzanine.  Between him shouting “YEEEEEEEEEE HAWWWWWWWWW!” at the top of his lungs at inopportune moments (keep in mind, this was in 2002, when NO ONE was going to games, and the Mets didn’t give us much to cheer).  My personal favorite is one that we use to this day.  During a random Saturday game, probably against a futile team like the Pittsburgh Pirates, there was a 6-0 deficit for the Mets to overcome in like the 6th inning.  Richie’s response was a classic one.  “We’re down 6-0, in the 6th inning to the Pirates. WE GOT ‘EM RIGHT WHERE WE WANT ‘EM.”

Woodside Tommy, also from Mezzanine 22, was one of the smart ass ringleaders.  At a game in Coney Island, when Howard Johnson was the manager of the Cyclones and Bobby Ojeda was his pitching coach, Tommy yelled to Ojeda in the bullpen.  “HEY!  BOBBY O!!!!!! GIMME A HIGH FOUR!!!”  Of course, in reference to Ojeda snipping off his finger prior to the playoffs in 1988.  When I told Tommy he was an asshole, Tommy feigned innocence. “What? What?? What am I gonna say?  Gimme a high FIVE????  Ha ha!”

The man had a point.

There was the Opening Day when my ex was wearing his Brooklyn Dodger cap.  My dear uncle Gene, as everyone knows, was a New York Giants fan back in the day and still has some massive hate towards the team from the borough of churches.  My smart ass of an ex (there’s a reason why he’s that) said, “Hey Gene, I got another one of these caps for you at home if you want it,” fully knowing that Gene hates the team.  Gene said, “Yeah, good, I need some kindling for my fireplace!”  Then he had his maniacal laugh that only Gene can have.

There was the night in 2006 when I was sitting in the Field Level at Shea Stadium, and Jose Lima gave up a grand slam to Dontrelle Willis, the starting pitcher for the Florida Marlins that night.  I had to be carried out of the stadium, but not before it took me until the 7th inning before I realized Lima was NOT in the game since the 2nd inning basically.

I was not only that drunk, but  I still have some massive Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder from that one.  In fact, I believe that was the night I coined that term, shorthand is “PTMD.”  Many, many Mets fans have their own personal PTMD moments.

You know you have them too.

Lately, some of my catch phrases have taken a life of their own.  Like the ever-infamous, “HOLY SHEEPSHIT AND BALLS” that started on Twitter.  It started off as “Holy sheepshit” when something fun happened or surprising was going on.  Since then, it’s mutated.  The balls I added on because, I don’t know, I thought it was funny.  For the record, it’s supposed to be read as “Sheep shit and sheep balls,” not a purely baseball reference, as I’ve been known to tweet that during football and hockey.

While I’m thrilled to be a part of people’s lexicon while watching sporting events, I have a mouth like a truck driver that for some reason people take a holier-than-thou approach to in dealing with me.  I have to say, hey, lighten up, it’s the heat of the moment.

Like you’ve NEVER done that.

Hell, I sat in the trenches with many Mets fans in the late ’80s and early ’90s, even the early aughts, with this army-like humor.  I was even at a Mets/Braves game in 2007 when the aforementioned Mota came in and proceeded to make the game VERY interesting.  When we all talked about it later, after the Mets won of course, it was like surviving a war.

Mets fans are like army buddies.  Some of these people are the best buddies I’ll ever have in my life.  You can have inside jokes about the Mota game, or the Lima Time game, or that time on Twitter when <blank> happened and we all said “HOLY SHEEPSHIT!”  Or later, it’s mutated into Twitter memes, like our friend @JedSmed who creates different Mets hash tags when there’s nothing going on.  Or when Matt from the Daily Stache started #ReplaceShitWithMets trend or the #JustinTurnerFacts.

Like army buddies, you gotta keep things interesting to get through it all.

The next generation of Mets fans will be introduced to Banner Day in 2012, just like I was back when I first became a fan.  I couldn’t tell you what banner took the prize during that scheduled doubleheader in 1986, or if there were really cool banners.  No.  All I remembered was a plain white bed sheet with black shoe polish-like substance with the words, “SHEA’S BATHROOMS ARE WORSE THAN CHERNOBYL.”

You had to be there to get it.  Just like with most things that come with being a Mets fan.  You can look at one another, or bring up a difficult memory or even a fond memory, and know what it’s like.

Yet, I’m sure at the end of the day, we’ll take Shea’s bathrooms back any day, Chernobyl or no.