There's a reason football starts with an “f”. So do all the other sports as far as I'm concerned.
Don't get me wrong. I like football. In November, where it belongs. Get it the fuck out of September. October, too. Even if the Mets aren't in the post-season, baseball deserves October, not so much for the playoffs and the World Series but so we can spend a month mourning and reflecting on what he have just witnessed.
But no, it starts ramming itself down our throats in late July and by September, it's jumped offsides and into the valuable media space that should by rights be maintained 24/7/365 by baseball (24/7/366 in leap years). You can't even whistle it for encroachment.
Honestly, who but those who make their living in it (players, coaches, inveterate gamblers) spend the football offseason staring out the window waiting for autumn? “Oh boy, fall is coming! And winter, too! Soon it will be cold and rainy and maybe icy! Imagine the accidents! And the football!”
No, it's horrible. The only good thing about September is that baseball is still being played, occasionally meaningfully. It was meaningful Monday night in Chicago where the White Sox were choking away their massive lead to the Tribe and in St. Petersburg of all places where the Red Sox were not playing like idiots, damn it, and in Pittsburgh where Roger Clemens' ERA floated up to 1.89, a safe distance from Doc's post-Gibby low of 1.53 (we don't have much but we have that) and in the fucking Bronx where the fucking Orioles were their usual worthless pieces of…ah, you know the rest. Fuck them, too.
I hate fall previews. I hate anything that glorifies September and everything after. I don't care which dinosaur has a new CD coming out or what fucking movie Gwyneth Paltrow is in. I like TV a lot, but I can do without being told that it's the new fall season. There's nothing new about September, a dreadful, dreadful month.
Why the dread? I haven't had to go back to school in more than 20 years, so it can't be that. I prefer warmth over cold but I'm glad to be mostly rid of the humidity, so it's not the weather. No, it's gotta be what happens to baseball in September.
It dwindles and practically disappears. In its stead we get football out the yin and the yang and then those other worthless sports. You know why they have football, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis (which they have the nerve to play at our subway stop), kayaking and the Tour de France, don'tcha?
It's to make us think we don't need baseball. That's all they're there for, to make us look bad and feel stupid. Well fuck the lot of them. I remember six years ago leaving Shea after a drab Mets loss to the Phillies on a Saturday afternoon. I had some time to kill in Woodside, so I wandered down Roosevelt Avenue and came upon an Irish bar. You know what they had written on their outdoor chalkboard to lure you in? A schedule of soccer matches.
Fuck soccer. How on earth can another sport be ballyhooed in the very borough where the Mets lost a game that very day? How can life be allowed to go on so casually?
There is no direct Mets correlation to loyalties in other sports. I like the Jets and the Giants. I know people who like the Mets but can't stand one or both of those teams. Call me in November, and we'll have a nice chat about football. Call me in December and you could easily mistake me for somebody who gives a flying wedge about who makes the NFL playoffs and such. But leave me and my game the fuck alone in September when there's so little left of it to begin with.
On a gentler note, I was thinking how strange it is when our favorite Mets are remembered as something else altogether. The result of that thinking is at Gotham Baseball.