The playoffs are the reason I’m at this bar on 109th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, in a neighborhood dominated by a university whose students, for the most part, couldn’t care less about sports, collegiate or professional. A friend had told me it was a Mets bar; I didn’t know quite what that meant, but as I walk in, it becomes immediately evident. The bar’s signature cocktails are named after Mets things; I think one’s called the Metropolitan, an allusion to the Mets’ full name back when the team played its first miserable games in 1962. (The Mets, an expansion team formed because of the vacancy left by the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, who departed for Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, finished with a league- and modern-day-worst 120 losses in 160 games.) The chalkboard showing the expansive beer list — I order a pint of Shock Top with an orange slice garnish — also displays an oversize Mets logo. Bobblehead figurines of Mets old and new adorn the shelves holding the liquors behind the bar.
It’s Thursday night, October 15th, Game Five of five in the hotly contested first playoff series between the Mets and aforementioned Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets and Dodgers had each won two games apiece over the previous week. This game will determine which team will move on to the National League Championsh...
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...lies, and I take it as such because I’ve been exchanging jokes and friendly barbs with my teachers all season long. But the jokes from fellow students sting more, because I know many hate me simply because I’m a Mets fan in their Phillies territory. To get vengeance, I attend an after-school screening of the playoff series between the Phillies and Colorado Rockies, who win the series that day to send the Phillies home for the winter.
(Ultimate vengeance: The Giants, who you’ll recall lost to the Eagles last year, defeated the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, football’s ultimate championship. I told the staff people in the school administrative office, one of whom is also a Giants fan, that I’m wearing my Giants hat to school. Normally, no hats are allowed, but an exception was made for the Phillies. Her response? A pointed “We’ll see.”)
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