NBA

Crazy 3s

One of the drawbacks of being a hockey and baseball fan is that if one sports is in the playoffs, it impacts the start of the season of the other.

In fact, I gave up following basketball because of the conflict it would provide between hockey playoffs.  See, back in the 1990s, I used to follow the Utah Jazz, mostly for the John Stockton and Karl Malone combo.  Once they retired, I kind of lost interest.  Then again, the strike in hockey kind of threw me off for a while.  Then the Mets collapsing two years in a row brought me back.

Now, it’s special.  I’m married and as irony would have it, he’s a Utah Jazz fan.  He never cared much for hockey till I started making him watch.  So I guess it’s up to me to be the open one, and allow him to watch the basketball games on television.  They are in this market though, so it’s not often.

Till the crazy threes happened recently.  The Rangers are in the playoffs, and making it interesting.  The Mets are also an interesting and fun team to watch, and we’re both big baseball and Mets fans.  And then, there’s Maude, or rather, the Utah Jazz.  See, they were in the playoffs too.  Unfortunately, they were eliminated last night.

But the weekend proved interesting.  Our two year wedding anniversary was on Saturday, coincidentally, it’s also Cinco de Mayo (because we need an excuse to drink margaritas on our anniversary).  This year was also nuts because hubby, being a comic book geek, had Free Comic Book Day, which falls on the first Saturday of May every year.

 

Tom Seaver Bobbleheads being brought into the Jackie Robinson Rotunda prior to the game.

It was also Tom Seaver bobblehead day for the 4 pm start at CitiField, and the Rangers were playing the Capitals at 12:30 pm. Throw in the Utah Jazz later that night, and we had ourselves a party.

To say it was a busy day would be an understatement.

It started with me picking up breakfast from our favorite diner to bring to him as he waited in line at comic book day.  Because the line was very long about 2 hours before the place opened, they started to let people in earlier than the open.  So we were able to bring breakfast to the park and eat like normal people, and not on the sidewalk.

From there, though, we had some time to kill.  It was off to CitiField to hang at McFadden’s to claim our seats for the Ranger game.

 

The first two periods flew by, but I needed to actually go into the stadium twice.

A friend couldn’t make the game, so I needed to pick up a ticket for him that he called in for me, and I went into the stadium, twice.  Even as I found out the Rangers lost.

Son of beech.  Sheet.

From there, we met up with some friends who wanted to buy us celebratory margaritas.  How could we say no?  From there, it was to the Taqueria to get our margs, and from there, to our seats.  Then there’s the game.  Which took FOREVER and a day to finish, but it finished.

But since we were running around since the word “go” in the morning, our Cinco de Mayo/anniversary celebrations were cut short by me after the Mets game.

In fact, I was up in the Caesar’s Club for the last few innings to stay warm and recharge my batteries, both on my phone and for myself.  Plus hubby was able to find a Nieuwenhuis shirt in the bullpen store on the Excelsior level…I just want to point out there were plenty there, but you still can’t find Niese.

 

I was just so friggin tired.  Plus, the Jazz was game was on at night, and he wanted to watch.  Which hubby was more than happy to eat tacos and tortilla chips from the local greasy taco spoon and watch.

So for those of you keeping track at home, Saturday was Rangers – L, Mets – W, Jazz, – L.

Leading to Monday, it was a three-peat of extraordinary measures.  The Mets game was starting at 7, Rangers 7:30, and the Jazz somewhere around there (needless to say, their preference was a little low on the totem pole…sorry honey).

The Mets game looked like it was going to be annoying, a Roy Halladay start, and Jonathon Niese not his normal self at first (but he recovered, thank goodness).  I thought we were lucky to get A hit let alone a run.  I mean, it’s Halladay.

But things got interesting.  When I turned on the Ranger game, the Mets started to come back and they tied the game after being down 2-0.  Meanwhile, the Rangers allowed to be tied at one point, 1-1.

The Jazz were in the background, on the computer, with hubby following the CBS Sports scores.  Since between hockey intermissions, we turned the Mets game back on.

Something funny happened on the way to the Garden though.  Early in the third period, the Capitals went ahead 2-1.  The Rangers meanwhile decided to do their best impression of Ice Capades.  But here’s the kicker though.  For me, though I watched the game, and I wasn’t very happy with how the Rangers were playing, I had an eerie sense of calm over me.  Like, I wasn’t worried.  I figured, even if the Rangers lost, they’d just win the next two games.  THAT’S HOW MUCH I BELIEVE IN THE TEAM.

But then there’s Maude…

A penalty working in the favor of the Rangers?  Just seconds away from regulation being done?  Brad Richards, king of the last minute dramatics, scores the tying goal, and I was never happier to see overtime, ever.

I told my husband to not turn the Mets game on just yet.  I guess I was being paranoid, like, I didn’t want the goal to be waived off because I turned off the game.  Yes, I’m weird.

But then, Twitter blew up in my Mets people.  “JORDANY VALDESPIN!”  “SHADES OF OMIR SANTOS.”  Most Mets fans remember when Omir Santos took Jonathan Papelbon to school in 2009, when he hit a go-ahead home run in the 9th inning, leading to a blown game opportunity for Papelshmir.

I yell, “Ohmygoodness, honey, turnonthemetsturnonthemets TURN ON THE METS!!”

He had no idea.  He was shocked, I was like – whoa.  Imagine how happy he’d be if the Jazz won?

The Jazz, meanwhile, were one game away from elimination from the San Antonio Spurs, who had thus far dominated the series.  Meanwhile, I was just glowing from the Rangers.

I knew, then, that I must have felt some kind of energy.  Like, it would be okay for them no matter what.

Then.  It happened.

Marc Staal scores the game winning goal, overtime is over, and the Rangers are suddenly up three games to two, and it’s like 1986 all over again for me.

I related that last night’s win was like Game Six for the Mets vs Red Sox.  It was to an extent that I had given up hope that the Rangers would win, they would head into DC losing the series, and they would have to lean on the flair for the dramatics.

Not anymore.

The Mets won, the Rangers won…The Jazz, sadly, lost their game and the season last night.  But it’s okay.

I mean, maybe not for hubby.  But at least now, we won’t have to worry about fitting that crazy three into our schedule now.

They say two’s company, but three’s a crowd.  And perhaps in a way it’s like that for spring sports, especially if you have many horses in different races.

We had several ways to get these games, get these scores, but we managed to make it work.  And make it fun too.

Advertisements

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?????

Hitting Close To Home

I have friends who are Mets and Reds fans.  I know someone who is a Flyers AND Isles fan.  I have a good friend from the West Coast who is an Oakland A’s fan and a Mets fan (Hi Jess!).

I don’t get it.  I have enough trouble following my one baseball team around the country, and some people are following two, maybe three for each sport!  And it’s not like these people I know who root for these teams have had marginal success over the years.

Something in common for those teams though: They’re geographically insignificant to each fanbase.  Rooting for geographically close teams in the same sport, though, is beyond my method of comprehension.  Mets AND Yankees.  Jets AND Giants.  I feel like there is too much of a conflict of interest, even if, as the saying goes, these teams don’t impact one another directly.

I’ve been fortunate.  Two of my teams won championships in a very short amount of time in my fandom.  Whether they will again in my lifetime remains to be seen.  The Jets constantly tease me and it pisses me off.  Part of my 11-year old mind in 1987 told me to become a Giants fan.  I guess being naive and not understanding the futility of being both a Mets and Jets fan (and Rangers, who at the time, hadn’t won a championship since 1940), I thought they’d just win some other time.

By 2008, I had some choice words for my dad.  “It’s bad enough you’ve made me a Mets and a Rangers fan…but a JETS fan?  What were you thinking?”  Like most of 1969, I’m sure my dad rooted for them in a drug-induced haze and just stayed because he knew nothing else.  But the Giants on my watch have won three Super Bowls, and the Jets none.  But I don’t root for the Giants.  They’re not my team.

Throughout my football fandom, though, I never hated the Giants.  They had more success than us.  Hell, my friend Sully over at Sully Baseball says that New York gets this aura of “championship town,” but it’s hard when you’re a Mets, Jets or Rangers fan (though the Mets and Rangers did have ONE parade in my lifetime) because it’s mostly Yankees and Giants.  So naturally, like many Yankee “fans” I know (because I know fans without the quotes), it’s easy, in my opinion, to root for the Giants because they’ve won many championships.  Especially in my lifetime.  I get angry with my dad and I get upset with myself.  Because goddammit, I couldn’t even make a sport I’m the least invested in easy for myself.

People who root for the Mets and Yankees…okay.  TOTALLY don’t get it.  The rivalry doesn’t make as much sense as it did when it was clearly the NL town versus the AL town, but it’s deeply rooted in history.

Now, most Mets fans had the nine layers of hell series in 2009, when the hated Phillies faced the hated Yankees.  I didn’t watch.  Scenarios occurred that I was happy with, like Cole Hamels being exposed to be the bitch he was, Jimmy Rollins shutting the hell up and Chase Utley owning the Yankees (I’m one of the few Mets fans who actually likes Utley).  But there were some fans who felt the need to root for the one or the other.  Why?  WE HATE BOTH OF THOSE TEAMS.  WHY WOULD WE ROOT FOR ANY SIDE OF IT?  I was rooting for an epicenter to form at Yankee Stadium and suck both teams in and they never got to play.

But there were still some fans who momentarily forgot that they should never ever say the “Lets Go Yankees” chant, because they feel the need to root for someone.  What’s worse, some of these folks became the dreaded “homers” that these fanbases consider their own.  I call those people “frontrunners.”  Just to have something to cheer for.  But it’s more than just cheering.  It’s being happy AND reveling in the victory like it’s your own.  Is it a water cooler topic?  Is it a bragging rights thing?  If these teams are hated so much, why bother cheering at all?  Either way, as fans of a rival, whether manufactured or not, it doesn’t make sense to me.

Now this gets me to the Super Bowl.  Once again, we are faced with a dilemma, if you will, as Jets fans.  The hated Patriots face the Giants.  Notice I didn’t say “hated” Giants.  Because I don’t hate them.  For whatever reason, Giants fans have taken a HUGE dislike to the Jets fan population, at least those who are vocal on Twitter.

So most recently, it’s Giants fans who have made a Jets/Giants rivalry a “real” one, when it never was one.  Or maybe it was bubbling underneath and needed to come up.  Why would I actively root for a team that dislikes my fan base so much?  There are exceptions to every rule, but you get my drift.  It’s a Super Bowl where I could care less really about the teams.

It goes to the whole rooting for two teams.  I don’t get it.  Especially teams so geographically close.  My husband is a Seattle Seahawks fan.  If they went to a Super Bowl, and they weren’t playing my team, I’d be thrilled and excited.  The Seahawks don’t matter to me.  The Giants do and it’s geography, not to mention the success they’ve had in playoffs that the Jets do not have.  It’s easy to root for them and don’t deny it.

I do not buy the “Jets/Giants rivalry isn’t anything like Mets/Yankees.”  If one is a Jets AND Giants fan, one is taking the easy way out because chances are, you will have a local team to support when the going gets going.

This is not a Miss Manners post on who to root for.  Just don’t be a homer.  I don’t like the Patriots, but I respect them.  I don’t dislike the Giants, but I respect them.  It’s an easy situation for me.  I’ll watch the game.  I’ll eat carbs.  And that’s it.

A fan is someone who sticks with their team through the good, bad and ugly, and doesn’t cherry pick a team to root for during the playoffs.   I would say that besides being a Mets/Yankees “fan,” a Jets/Giants “fan” is more of the same, since the Giants have had more success than the Jets ever had or look to have.  It’s an insurance policy, plain and simple.  If it was easy, we’d all be Yankees fans, and we’d all be Giants fans (in New York of course…and Boston fans need to stop complaining!).

And I still don’t get it.  I don’t know.  Must not be in my DNA.