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.
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.