It can be a liberating feeling when your baseball team is eliminated. I am just not sure that I could have handled the stress of another Mets post season especially with the memory still fresh from last year when Carlos Beltran's feet were in the box but the bat was on his shoulder as he watched the last pitch of game seven go by.
I didn't want to spend the next four weeks agonizing every night watching playoff games all pumped on caffeine to stay up past midnight and then all bleary eyed the next day while scouring every single word in every single newspaper, magazine, and website simultaneously while watching Peter Gammons on some continuous loop either real or more likely imagined in my head.
Instead I can do something fun. Like being the first one in my household to watch all ninety-seven hours of the Ken Burns World War II documentary!
Or I can brush up on my BNI Leadership Team Policy and Procedures Handbook! After all a good referral is a terrible thing to waste.
Now I'll be able to go up to New Hampshire for this weekend's Hens game against UNH with a clear head not having to worry about a Mets playoff game coinciding with Delaware's upcoming clash with Ricky Santos; or even worse having to find a bar in Durham the night before that is willing to switch the channel off the inevitable Bruins pre-season hockey game.
With all of this extra time I will be able to focus my attention on my calling-it-mediocre-would-be-generous fantasy football team, and give Kansas City back-up running back Michael Bennett the respect and attention he rightly deserves.
Okay, maybe not.
It is supposed to be different when you are forty-two, right?
Certainly I didn't feel as bad on Sunday when the Mets lost and the Phillies won ending the Mets season, as I did when the Jets lost the 1982 AFC Championship game to the Dolphins. I watched that game alone in my room at my parent's house in Green Acres because I was too nervous to watch the game with anyone else. I didn't come out of that room at all that night. I just sat there wondering what could have been had Jerome Barkum not dropped Richard Todd's pass in the endzone. I had to be prodded the next day by my mom just to go to school.
But at the same time, it probably would not have felt as good as it did in 1986 when Mookie's ball went through Buckner's legs and all of New York City erupted as we watched from an Italian restaurant on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan during Fall break from college; Billy Rustum finally picking his head up off the bar where it had been buried in his arms since the sixth inning because he just couldn't bear to watch.
We love sports as much for the lows as we do for the highs.
I understand the depths of the Phillies fan. I took a three year Mets sabbatical when I worked for the Phillies from 1992-94. I was in the visitor's radio booth in Toronto at Skydome producing the radio broadcast when Joe Carter took Mitch Williams deep in game six to abruptly end the 1993 World Series.
I don't hold any animosity towards the Phillies for overtaking the Mets this year. Let's face it: The Mets blew it. They completely imploded and the Phillies were there to pick up the mess. The Phillies, to their credit, put themselves into a position to take advantage of the collapse. But it was a collapse.
Good luck to the Phillies and all my Phillie fan friends. Enjoy the ride over the next three weeks and I hope they don't break your heart again.
I'll be sure to save the season premiere of Two and Half Men for you on my Tivo.