200 Miles From the Citi

August 22, 2009 2:40 AM


As an introduction, I could start at the very beginning.

1985, probably. I was in my first year of little league, and since I was a bit stockier than the other kids and didn't care what position I played, I was made a catcher. In between innings, one of the coaches came over and folded my chest protector over so I didn't get too hot. "There," he said. "Now you look like Gary Carter!"

I quickly found out that Gary Carter was the catcher for the Mets, and I suddenly had a favorite baseball player and a favorite team.

But I won't start there. I think I'll fast forward to five years ago, when I started writing about the Mets, Jets, and sports in general at this location. The operation has now moved here, and I'm excited about it.

Truth be told, growing up not very far from Shea Stadium, I probably would have ended up being a Mets fan no matter what. Especially when you consider that no sooner had I started following baseball than the Mets had one of the most successful seasons in history in 1986, and I was hooked. Little did I know then that would be the Mets' high-water mark for the next 23 years (and counting....).

For the Jets, I blame my dad. He's been a season ticket holder since the 1960's, and we grew up rooting more passionately for the Jets than the Giants. I still don't hate the Giants like other Jets fans I know, but I'm a Jets fan, not a Giants fan.

I can't complete the introduction without adding that I have lived the past 10 years in the heart of Red Sox and Patriots country, and have seen those teams win a total of five championships in that span.

Needless to say, I am a frustrated fan. And in the past year I've become more of a cynical fan than the blind loyalist I was for the first 30 years of my life.

But no matter how frustrated I get, I always hope. I haven't given up on a Mets season as early as I have this one since the early-to-mid 1990's, but until they're mathematically eliminated from the post-season I'll still think in the back of my mind that they have the chance to pull off some miracle comeback.

And the Jets, hapless as they are, have the hope of a promising rookie quarterback/savior.

And that's why I write. More often than not, it will be my agony that plays out on these pages. But there's always the hope of another 1986.

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