It was about time, the easiest and easiest way to relieve whatever aches you were in was to open your record cabinet (old man alert!) (OGA 3!) And plug in a headset the size of a space headphones into your stereo.
Then let “Born to Run” or “Revolver” or “Dark Side of the Moon” or “Exile on Main Street” or “The Unforgettable Fire” take a broom for whatever weighed heavily on your mind. Usually by the time “Jungleland” or “Eclipse” popped up, you were in a better place.
Later, the movies did this round, but you had to be lucky enough to meet them early enough that you could still catch Butch and Sundance cracking up before deciding to take on the Bolivian Army, before Worm and Mike McD did. meet the state soldiers, before Eddie prepares the Colts Quiz for his fiancee Elyce.
(OGA 4: The advent of DVDs and streaming has largely benefited from this.)
We have something else now.
(And as a warning, we should say here: no one should ever really be “depressed” about the outcome of a sporting event, no matter how horrible that outcome must be.)
Of course, we know better. As much as we love sport as a distraction, as a wonderful source of joy, passion, energy and love, we also know there is a flip side. We know that sport can keep us awake at night. We know that sport can inspire anger. And suddenly, we know that sport sometimes needs to find its own antidotes to face all this madness.
This is, I think, where the value of “Once Upon a Time in Queens” comes into play.
Look, I think even the most dedicated fans of the 1986 Mets – damn it, I think most of the 86 Mets themselves – would probably admit that the last thing the world needed was another look under the hood. on the whereabouts of this team, which has won exactly one title, which has never come close to its dynasty destiny, which mostly serves as an uplifting sports narrative like anything else.
But do you know something?
I heard a lot of Mets fans this week who took every second of this four-part documentary, inhaled it, listened to another version of how they destroyed the plane back from Houston, which has overheard another rendition of Keith Hernandez saying to Jesse Orosco “throw another fastball and I’ll kill you” at the end of Game 6 of the NLCS.
And they did it because a few channels down the line, on SNY, the realtime version of the Mets spent the week officially being announced irrelevant by (aptly enough) the Cardinals, because sometimes you want to know that Orosco is damn definitely going to wipe out Kevin Bass or Marty Barrett and not leave it to chance (and worse) that Jeurys Familia is going to keep someone in the stadium he needs to keep in the stadium.
We take comfort in the familiar, in a great song like “Eleanor Rigby”, in a great line like “Boy, I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals”, in “Nails” Dykstra always ending game 3 of the NLCS with one home run and the start of Game 3 of the World Series with another.
For sports enthusiasts, these kinds of things are not only useful, they are necessary as well. I know more than one Jets fan who needs at least an annual view of the NFL Network’s 1968 season documentary, Alec Baldwin’s extra-dramatic storytelling lending gravity to the good times. Knicks fans can be forgiven if there are a few times a year where “When the Garden Was Eden” is the nightly entertainment.
And even the happiest among us – those who support the Giants and Yankees – suffered a Thursday night to rank with any Jets fan / Mets fan the other night, and they can be forgiven if they do. spent Friday sifting through their 1998 World Series or Super Bowl XXI video library.
It might not be “Tumbling Dice” at breathtaking volume. But what works, isn’t it?
If you not only love baseball, but you love to immerse yourself in it, then you must order a copy of “The Baseball 100” from my buddy Joe Posnanski. Believe me, it is unlike any other baseball book you have ever read.
If you remember what Saquon Barkley looked like before the knee, there’s really only one way to put down roots every time he touches the ball now. And that 41 yards from the other night was enough for you to dream about it again.
The Mets and the Tuesday’s Children will commemorate two decades of collaboration when the organization honors six members of the 2001 team for their work with children after 9/11. Bobby Valentine, John Franco, Al Leiter, Todd Zeile, Edgardo Alfonzo and Robin Ventura will be celebrated during a dinner at Citi Field on Thursday.
Less of those, please, “Ted Lasso.”
Go back to Vac
Ken Whitehead: It looked like the Yankees had slipped into the Giants’ uniforms during Thursday night’s game. Watching these two games the same night woke me up at 1:42 a.m.
Vac: For fans of the Yankees / Giants persuasion, it actually feels like a good night’s sleep, given the circumstances.
Rob Schwartz: There’s more than a touch of irony to Sunday’s Jets vs Patriots game. Twenty years ago, after a week-long hiatus due to 9/11, the Jets faced the Patriots. Halfway through the game, the Jets knocked out Drew Bledsoe and Bill Belichick replaced Tom Brady. And Bledsoe has become the Wally Pipp of football.
Vac: I can’t be the only one who thinks Mo Lewis should have been voted a few of those Patriots Super Bowl actions for taking out Bledsoe at the old Foxboro Stadium that day.
@AsaOlivier: Steve Cohen bought the Mets by saying he wanted to learn from the Dodgers. Mark Walter gave outgoing GM Ned Colletti a chance and saw it didn’t work, made him bounce back for Andrew Friedman. Cohen could learn a lesson from this.
@MikeVacc: I suspect he already has.
Joe Shepherd: Instead of exit signs at MetLife, they should display evacuation routes, as FEMA requires for disasters.
Vac: This one has been setting there for years, just waiting for somebody to do it. Good for you, Joe!