not one, but two soul-crushing playoff games in their first postseason appearance in seven years, some wild comebacks in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the NFL's 2011 schedule release, an event that has left me wondering if my two designated road games this season will actually be feasible given that they're in back-to-back weeks.
But friends, I come here to talk about none of those right now. Because those are good things. Fun things. And what I have to tell you is not fun at all.
I'm going to my first Mets game of the season tonight. It won't be pretty.
See, I've had several seasons when the Mets fell into mediocrity -- and did so early -- but it's rare that I've been living in the New York metropolitan area and seen them fall so quickly that I haven't even gotten out to a game yet. And fallen they have. After losing two straight to the Astros, the Amazins and their sparkling 5-13 record are at the very bottom of the Major Leagues, meaning that unlike last year's team, which simply plodded its way through injuries to a mediocre 79-83 record, this year's squad, with mostly the same roster, is downright awful.
The team is so bad that New York Daily News beatwriter Andy Martino actually got away with two of the more scathing -- and at the same time brilliant -- game stories I've ever seen, capturing not just the Mets awfulness, but the ambivalence of the fans that are currently watching. I'm generally disinclined against Martino since he grew up a Braves fan, but he does a masterful job of tiptoeing the line between truth and bitter sarcasm that apparently has eluded other writers in recent days.
And he hits the nail right on the head. This team is bad. Really. They're not good. We know it. They know it. And yet here I am ready to pull up stakes around 6:00 pm tonight and ride the 7 train to Citi Field for what is sure to be the first of several times this year. The positive to all of this is that when you know the team is bad you can at least laugh at it to make the pain dull itself. Also those $6.50 bags of fresh Kettle Corn they have at Citi Field are a tremendous deal.
Seriously. They're enormous.
So yeah, I've got that going for me tonight as I start my weekend, but on the plus side the Stanley Cup playoffs have been so good that I'm almost able to forget about how bad the Mets have been. I'm not sure how many of you have been watching, or keeping up with the very exciting awards announcements, European hockey news or top playoff performers, but it's all been pretty sweet -- in particularly Tuesday night's utterly wild Game 3 between San Jose and L.A. that saw the Sharks rally from a four-goal deficit to win in overtime.
And last night's double-OT games between Washington and New York and Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay weren't bad either. All in all the hockey playoffs are shaping up to be pretty tremendous so far, which is good because they might be the only distraction I have to keep me from watching baseball other than planning out my potential European vacation this summer or my two Giants road games I have planned.
If you're curious I'm looking to hit up New England on Nov. 6 and San Francisco a week later.
So hockey is what I will rely on for now, and the great thing about that is that they last for six more weeks. The only downside?
Baseball season lasts six more months.