I left the Super Bowl at the end of the third quarter and returned to my room. On the board attached to my door, I wrote a message.
Super Bowl Over
Officially Baseball Season
I forgot about the message on my door for a while, as my attention was consumed with people who had consumed a few too many refreshing beverages and needed help walking around, but when I returned to my room and finally got to sleep, I remembered what I’d written again.
It’s strangely fitting, but also disconcerting. During the Super Bowl, the entire room got an email. We all opened it. In deference to the impending snow, school had been canceled on Monday.
How did college kids respond? Well, how do you think they responded? Their minds raced furiously as they calculated whether they could get alcohol, how much later they could be up, and whether they would still have to go to lab tomorrow if the class would not happen.
I responded in a different way, which is to say, not at all: I continued watching Cam Newton miss his receivers, while realizing that I would have the first day of baseball anticipation season entirely free.
Somehow, it seems that my first however many months of school have been an almost exact reflection of the Mets successes and failures. Some of that is probably based on my moods when the Mets lose, compared to when they win. Some more of it simply cannot be, and can’t be anything but coincidence, but sure is strange to think about.
I’ve had a whole host of days that I’d call important this year. September 26th, 2015 was an important day. It also happened to be the day the Mets clinched the division. November 15th was an important day, for more than one reason. It was also the day I saw Bill Maher, a part-owner, performing live.
And what happened just a few days ago? The Mets held a press conference making the signing of Yoenis Cespedes official, and affirming that they’re ready to be a legitimate contender once again. And while I won’t get into them, some pretty important things happened on that day as well.
Suffice it to say that for the longest time, by which I mean 2009 to June 2015, my luck seemed about where the Mets’ was – barely there at all. But the Mets are different now. They’re strong. They’re confident. They’re finally for real.
And I’m not trying to imbue myself with all of these attributes, but things sure do seem to be changing.
The Mets figure to have some good luck coming their way, what with the much improved team and the rotten luck in the World Series and the improvement of their BABIP to and above the mean, at least based on Line Drive Percentage, which I’ve been told can be indicative of luck. I’m looking ahead, hoping for a 2016 just as fortunate as the Mets’. But regardless of whether the Mets are preparing for 100 wins or 100 losses, the first day of baseball anticipation is one to celebrate.
In less than two weeks, we’ll hit the first mandatory reporting date. In less than a month, we’ll watch our first game of the Spring. And in 55 days, we’ll all be breathless with anticipation, killing time until we get underway versus the Royals in Kansas City. And let me tell you, we’re going to win that game for poetic justice.
But really, 55 days. Eight weeks. We spent nine weeks, from August to October, leading the division. That passed in mere seconds. Eight weeks is nothing. It’s a cakewalk.
We’ve got nine days until Pitchers and Catchers, an event which by itself is enough to merit celebration. When Pitchers and Catchers starts, we’ll have six and a half weeks until Opening Day.
After Pitchers and Catchers, we’ve got a week until full squad workouts, and then another six days until the Spring opener, versus the Nationals. On the day of the Spring opener, less than a month from now, we’ll have only four and a half weeks to wait. And that time will pass like nobody’s business, because in the Spring time, when the living is easy, everyone is happy, and the time simply flies.
And then Baseball will be back, and we’ll wonder how we could possibly have survived such an absence. We’ll be back to everything it is that baseball season entails, which, for me, is not a short list. Quickly checking the game during Poli Sci. Listening on the radio while reviewing a Spanish essay for concordance errors. Wrapping up a late game, grabbing a late-night sandwich, and calling it a night well spent.
It’s a veritable explosion of cliches; college, baseball, even late night sandwiches. But no one ever said that cliches aren’t fun to live through. And in one day fewer than eight weeks, we’ll be living through a 162 game journey once again: the biggest — and best — cliché of them all.
It does seem like a long time to wait, but that’s exactly why we give it its own season. The day after the Super Bowl to the day before Opening Day. Baseball Anticipation Season. What else are we going to do?