Remember "ABC’s Wide World of Sports?" The show ran for decades and had a memorable opening sequence of sports clips punctuated by Jim McKay’s signature line: "The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat." The latter was always accompanied by the sight of a ski jumper taking a horrific fall and tumbling head over heels into a snow bank far down the mountain.
The New York Mets are that skier. They are a brutal team that, no matter how much temporary comfort they provide courtesy of a modest winning streak or two, will somehow find a way to deliver the agony of defeat.
Last night’s game was vintage Mets. They were in Philadelphia to battle their archrival Phillies for sole possession of first place. As is their wont, the Mets broke on top for a sizable, early lead. In fact, they led 7-0 after four innings.
But, I knew they’d lose. In fact, I predicted it to my son, Chris, as soon as the Phillies scored their first run. And, sure enough, the New York Metropolitan Baseball Team ended up losing in 13 innings and surrendering first place. No surprise. It was pre-ordained.
Certain people and certain organizations exude defeat. I sometimes see defeat in the eyes of job-seekers, competitors or acquaintances. Other times, you can see it in the eyes of passersby on the street.
The Mets exude defeat. And, with two rare exceptions, they’ve always delivered. What must it be like to be haunted like the Mets’ players most certainly are? Despite what they may say publicly, all 40 men know that somehow, some way, when the chips are down, the club will cave. Talk about the agony of defeat.
Oh well, football season is about to start. And with it will come new opportunities to suffer with my other passion, the New York Jets. Like their baseball siblings, the Jets also find creative ways to experience the agony of defeat.
I can’t speak for other Mets/Jets fans, but this particular one is SO ready for the thrill of victory that I can taste it. Unfortunately, though, both my teams continue to tumble headfirst down that ski slope of life.