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I’LL BITE YOUR LEGS OFF! | metsgrrl.com



This photo on Toasted Joe’s blog this morning got me thinking how very apt it was: the Mets really are the Black Knight of MLB this year. If you are one of the four people who has never seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, let me explain: King Arthur meets the Black Knight in a forest. He has to fight the knight to cross a bridge. Arthur cuts the knight’s arm off, and thinks that’s the end, that he’s won.

You can find the script here if you are unfamiliar with the scene.

ARTHUR [LA Dodgers]: Now stand aside, worthy adversary.
BLACK KNIGHT [Mets]: ‘Tis but a scratch.
[Joe Morgan] : A scratch? Your arm’s off. You lost Pedro!
[Mets]: No, it isn’t.
[NY Post]: Well, what’s that, then?
[Mets]: I’ve had worse.
[Daily News]: You liar!
[Mets]: Come on, you pansy!
[ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT’s right arm off]
[Grady Little]: Victory is mine!
[Mets]: Hah! [kick] Come on, then! Have at you! [kick]
[Nomar]: Eh. You are indeed brave, Sir Knight, but the fight is mine.
[Mets]: Oh, had enough, eh?
[Joe Buck]: Look, you stupid bastard. You’ve got no arms left. You have no starting pitching!
[Mets]: Yes, I have.
[Pujols]: Look!
[Mets]: Just a flesh wound. [kick]
[MLB]: Look, stop that.
[Mets]: Chicken! [kick] Chickennn!
[David Eckstein]: Look, I’ll have your leg.
[ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT’s right leg off]
[Mets]: Right. I’ll do you for that!
[Scott Spezio]: You’ll what?
[Mets]: Come here!
[Tony La Russa]: What are you going to do, bleed on me?
[Mets]: I’m invincible!
[Bob Klapsich]: You’re a looney.
[Mets]: The Black Knight always triumphs! Have at you! Come on, then.
[ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT’s last leg off]
[Mets]: Oh. Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to you. I’ll bite your legs off!

[With apologies to the Monty Python troupe.]

During the playoffs, I have been meeting TBF at Grand Central for dinner, since he works in midtown. Last night, after deciding we were done with the Grand Central food court, we decided to meet at Goodburger on 2nd Avenue. I walked from the 6 train, wearing full game regalia, and was suddenly a moving target. I am usually accustomed to being ignored.
“St Louis!!! Go St. Louis!”
“Mets are going DOWN tonight!”
“Pujols is the MAN!”

Now if this came from individuals wearing red birds and red shirts or red soul patches, I would have taken it like a woman. Fair is fair. But it didn’t. It came from random people, several of whom were wearing Yankees hats. What was striking was how they took such PLEASURE in their vehemence. Suddenly, we’re the bad guys in this town? I’m being taunted by YANKEES fans because now I’m the bad guy/gal? I mean, really, what is it? Now we’re doing well and we can’t be told we suck, but you [taunting fan] can’t actually admit that we did something right to get where we are, because that would question your own taste and judgement, since your team isn’t in the playoffs, and hasn’t been for a long time now, despite your payroll and your intangibles and your sacred ground and your rings.

Now, let’s move on beyond the local color: let’s talk about the media coverage. I once read NY Post rock critic Lisa Robinson the riot act in person as she was walking into a concert, because she phoned in a report from a Who concert and called “Baba O’Riley” “Teenage Wasteland”. But these sports commentators get shit wrong and NOTHING HAPPENS. You have to publicly abuse a blind guy AND then offer a racist remark before anything can possibly happen to you, apparently. But beyond the moronity and the blandness of the commentary is the overwhelmingly patronizing and condescending attitude of, well, they have no business being here. They’re not the YANKEES, after all. Or worse, they’re just the Mets and how DARE they be playing October baseball without Pedro and without El Duque and without Cliff and and and. GO away, you pesky, annoying insect. I haven’t paid any attention to your team all season and now you are making me work by having to learn something, or make me look like a fool when I run my mouth off and don’t, either way I don’t like it much. So lose already, please. Don’t you understand, you’re NOT supposed to win. So could you please lose already because I have the story written and ready to go and I want to go home and watch football. You know you’re going to lose, what’s the point in continuing this charade?

Even the guy who is answering the MLB mailbag on Mets.com is acting this way. It’s not just that he’s obviously a closet Cardinals fan, it’s that he clearly has no respect for the Mets at all whatsoever. He is huddling around his sheets of numbers and trying to take solace in his numbers: “Mets have no starting pitching. Mets will lose. Mets will lose and I can go home, or go write about something more interesting.”

Even to a newbie like me, it’s obvious that playoff baseball goes far beyond the numbers. Not just for us. This is the time where people see what they are made of. This is the time when you might as well try to go far beyond yourself and watch what happens. This is not hard for us; we do it all the time, and we did it all season. When they interviewed Delgado last night post-game, (who is an incredibly articulate man – not just well-spoken, articulate, without having to heavily rely on standard baseball cliche) he made the point that his attitude was to go out there and have fun, because the alternative was to get nervous about the situation and when he gets nervous, nothing happened. No one expected the Mets to do anything this year, so they went out and had fun and look at where that got us?

So I asked TBF about this last night over dinner. Why it was like this. Was it the Mets hatred leftover from the 80’s? (Because if you ask me, St. Louis are the pond scum this time around). Is it a New York thing? WTF is up with this?
“It’s a New York thing. People hate New York. The Mets/Yankees World Series was the lowest-rated WS ever.”
Now, this is truly astonishing.
“And, yes. it’s also a Mets thing. We’re not supposed to win.”

That, more than anything else, is what it feels like to me. We’re not supposed to win. We’re supposed to roll over and play dead because that’s what the NUMBERS say we should do. It doesn’t take into account fortitude and spirit and heart and street fighting scrappiness that wouldn’t be out of place on in a Canarsie stickball game. None of this should be a surprise to anyone who is from this town, because THIS IS THE TRUE SPIRIT OF NEW YORK CITY. Nothing is for granted. Nothing is given to you just because you have the degree or the pretty face or your mom thinks you’re talented. When you fall down, get back up. When you get pushed, push back. And never, fucking EVER, give up.


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