In 2008, I remember watching the Phillies' World Series parade. It was like a car crash, I couldn’t look away. I called my dad to go on a long-winded rant about the Mets’ missed opportunity, and my hatred for Philly fans. I’ll never forget him cutting me off to say, “When they wake up tomorrow, they’ll still live in Philadelphia.”
After watching the Eagles' celebration on Thursday, that line is once again relevant.
With each year that passes, and each parade I watch that isn't for the Mets, my desire grows to have a parade of our own down the Canyon of Heroes. I find myself daydreaming about how it would all play out.
I currently live in the city, but I would have to head home to Babylon, Long Island the night before to take the LIRR to the parade with my friends and family. It just wouldn’t feel right any other way. Almost all of my game day experiences started off with conversations over beers about the Mets on the train, and that’s exactly how I plan on starting my parade day off.
Rather than rushing to reserve a spot against a rail somewhere, you’ll find me bellied up at a bar, surrounded by like-minded fans in orange-and-blue. I don’t need to be staring at a battered and beaten NYC street, I see enough of that as is. Foley’s, a self-proclaimed Irish bar with a baseball attitude in Midtown, is a personal favorite, and likely to be on my list of stops.
I’m going to make the executive decision now to leave the plastic at home, and make this a cash only day. There’s no way I’ll be in any state of mind to remember to close out a tab. It’s amazing how easy drinks go down when you’re basking in glory, or so I imagine….
Once I get word the parade is headed my way, I’d find a spot somewhere with a decent enough view.
I don’t sing, I don’t like rain, and I certainly don’t sing in the rain. I’ll make an exception for ticker tape raining down on me to bust out a rendition of “Meet the Mets.” I’ll have my arms out wide, and look up to the sky like Andy Dufresne when he finally escaped from Shawshank to soak it all in.
Note to self: Remember to pocket some ticker tape as a keepsake.
I know championship parades often include former players, and with all due respect to the immortals from the ’86 team, they had their day. When the day comes again I want that to focus on the guys who gave it their all, but didn’t quite ever get us over the hump. I’m talking about Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonzo, John Franco, and really anyone from those teams besides Kenny Rogers. God willing, David Wright will be on the winning team. Otherwise, he rides in a car along with Piazza as co-Grand Marshalls.
I have no use for the stop at City Hall. It’s a lot of boring exchanges with politicians using baseball lingo that someone told them would play well to the audience. Once the parade has passed me by, I’m headed to Citi Field, where hopefully the Mets will be continuing the celebration on their own with a rocking crowd.
Can you imagine a stadium full of pessimistic Mets fans not having a worry in the world? I can’t. I truly can’t. I’m sure we’ll already start worrying about who’s going to leave in free agency rather than fully enjoying the moment, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
After going through a politically correct ceremony with the mayor, the players and coaches are sure to loosen up at the stadium. There’s nothing like sharing raw emotions with over 40,000 of your closest friends. I’ll be curious to see which players immortalize themselves with remarks we’ll never forget, with Jason Kelce did on Thursday.
Citi Field is where I want to be: I consider it my “summer share house,” and when our time to bask in the sun comes, I want to be surrounded by those that shared it with me. This will be the first happy goodbye I’ll ever experience at the end of a season, and I’m not quite sure how I’ll react to that. Only time will tell.
From there I’m heading back to Babylon, and hitting up all of my local watering holes with a Mr. Met-sized smile as I reminisce on the day I just had. I won’t be hard to miss; I’ll be the guy buying beers for the house.
One day, this dream will become a reality, and it can't come soon enough. And mom, if you’re reading this, I’m going to need a ride home that night.