Tag Archives: NY Mets

Hard to be a Sports Fan

never give up

Sometimes being a sports fan is a difficult job.  When your teams are winning, it’s easy.  When they’re not, it’s hard to remain loyal.  What is especially hard is when ALL of your teams are on a losing path.  It would be one thing if just The New York Giants weren’t playing well, but add to that a dismal record for The New Jersey Devils and the losing season for The New York Mets and we have a houseful of disappointed fans.

We won’t give up on them.  We will keep cheering them on, even when they bring home those losses.  Instead, we will cheer on the amazing moments from the games – like last night’s thrilling catch by Odell Beckham Jr who truly caught one of the most amazing grabs I think I have ever seen.

Yet still, we still watch.  We love the games, we love the players.  I am known for getting mad, angry and shouting at the television when they lose but I have also cried when they have won.  I was at a final game of The Stanley Cup Finals when the Devils pulled off the victory.  When no one expected them to win.  We still believed in them.

Standing by and watching these losses only makes it that much more worthwhile when they win!

#2

derek jeter

I have never been a Yankee fan.  I can’t be.  I root for The NY Mets no matter how awful they may be.  Yet, I can’t help but get caught up in all of the Derek Jeter commotion.  Even though I would never root for The Yankees, I will cheer on Derek.  Especially tonight.

He is the epitome of what a sports role model should be.  He is the type of player that I want my kids to root for.  He follows the rules on AND off the field. He’s friendly, engaging, appealing, attractive and one of the best hitters to play the game.  Plus, that smile…it only adds to his charm 🙂

As a captain he showed leadership. He is respected by his teammates, other players, coaches and fans.

The Washington Post quoted Washington Nationals, Tyler Clippard who said,

“I was his teammate for four months, when you’re around somebody like that, you’re going to pay attention. He’s a good, genuine guy. The best thing I can say about him is that you would never know he is Derek Jeter. He doesn’t ‘big league’ anybody, no matter what walk of life you’re from. . . . He’s not putting on a show.” 

That’s probably the best way to describe how I feel about him.  Genuine.  So as the world say good bye to him tonight, as he plays his last home game at Yankee Stadium, my family was watching.  We were talking about what he might do with his life after baseball.  The kids think he will coach or manage.  I think he should be some sort of motivational speaker.  People will surely listen.

Responsible

responsibility

My dad is on his way to recovery.  He was sitting in a chair out of his hospital bed this morning when I went to visit.  He had eaten his breakfast and brushed his teeth.  Definitely on the upswing.  The doctors want him up and walking around now.  He wasn’t ready to do it while I was there so I made him promise he’d do it when my sister arrived. Waiting to hear from her if he followed through!

He was gazing out the window talking about what a beautiful day it looked like outside and he was right!  Memorial Day weekend started off a bit rainy, but today, the weather was perfect.  Tomorrow is expected to be the same which is great for the Memorial Day Parade and Duck Races in town.

When we knew how nice the weather was supposed to be, DJ had asked us if he could take Drew to a Somerset Patriot Game today.   They are a minor league baseball team about 45 minutes from our house.  Dave and I debated about letting him take him without us.  It would be his first drive on the highway since getting his license without one of us being in the car with him.  There were two options for him to get there.  One required driving on two highways, and the other was to take Route 22.  If you aren’t from this area, you would not understand the apprehension we have with Route 22.  The best word to describe it would be chaotic.  There are cars merging on and off of it from the left and right.  Jug handles and u-turns every few miles.  There are center islands with many stores, and cars pulling out from all directions.  Traffic lights every few minutes.  Total mayhem!  I have been driving for over 25 years and I still don’t like driving on it!  You have to be aggressive enough, but not overly aggressive at the same time.

Last night, we discussed it and I told him we had to make a decision, either Route 22 where he could drive 45 mph or the two highways with higher  speeds, more traffic and no lights to slow him down.  So after some debate and asking DJ what he thought, the choice was Route 22.  I went to bed a little nervous but feeling like we made the right choice.  He’s going to have to do it sooner or later and I can’t let my nervousness stop him.

This morning, they got up and were getting ready to leave when a text came in from my brother offering him two tickets to The Met’s Game.  So, the decision making began again.  Letting him take Drew to Citi Field by train(s) or sticking to the original plan and going to the minor league game.  I have let DJ go to plenty of Mets’ Games by train, it was having Drew tag along with no adult supervision that made me nervous.  The only problem with making the decision this time, was that I had to do it on my own since Dave was playing in a soccer game and I couldn’t reach him before they’d have to leave.

I finally decided to let them go see the Mets.  They aren’t little kids.  They are totally capable and I know this. Kids who grow up in the city travel this way all of the time.  They sent me a message when they got there and took a photo for me to see their seats.   I love when they spend time together.  Their five year age span sometimes makes this a challenge.  Drew tries so hard to to get DJ to spend time with him and he loves it when he does.  I know they are having a great time.  I have to give them more opportunities to do things like this.  In just over a year, DJ will be going to college and depending how far away he goes, their time together cold be limited so I need to let them enjoy it while they can!

 

A Visit With Gram

old

Tonight, we met for “Family Dinner”, like we do almost every weekend.  In the past we have always gone to the same place, but recently we have been changing our routine and trying other places every so often.  One place our family really enjoys is Enzo’s in Millburn, which is in the town right next to ours.  Great service and great Italian food.

Tonight, it was a small group of us, just Dave, Drew and me, my dad, my older brother Chip, my grandma and her aide Elsa and my brother-in-law and his kids.  My younger brother Tim took DJ to a NY Mets game and my sister was out with friends.  So, just ten of us – kind of a rarity.  Sometimes those are the nicest dinners though because we can all actually have one conversation instead of many going on at once.

My gram who turns 98 in less than two weeks, does not look like she is nearly a century old, but her hearing is not great, and she is more frail than she ever has been.  This is why we have someone live with her full time, but despite those small ailments, she is doing pretty well.  She still gets her hair and nails done every week.  She meets my dad for lunch a few times a week and still goes to shopping at the mall.  After dinner tonight we were all getting set to go our own way home when my gram asked me if I wanted to come over for a little while.  Although we spend a lot of time with her and see her at least once a week, this is not something that she often asks of us so Dave, Drew and I looked at each other and knew that we had to join her.   She only lives a couple of miles from the restaurant so we got in our car and drove up to her house.  My dad decided to come too.

We sat in her living room and just chatted.  She told us about the other woman at “her salon”.  It turns out that she is not the oldest woman there.  One lady who comes weekly at the same time as her is 99!  She laughed and told us about the “old ladies’ that all come in on Saturday mornings with their walkers. (like her) and in wheelchairs.  Dave told her they could start their own club, “The Titanium Ladies”.

With our busy lives, we don’t get a lot of free time and sometimes it is hard to make time.  Meanwhile, for Gram, whose life has slowed down so much that she often tells us that she is bored, going there after dinner was important.  We did not stay for a long time, but I know that she was so happy that we came and we were glad that we went.  It was good for all of us.

Baseball and Superstitions

baseball

Our nights have been very busy this summer.  Drew is playing on the summer baseball travel team and weeknight games and practices have filled our evenings for nearly the entire month.  Fortunately, our family loves baseball.  We go to baseball games all of the time, whether they are Drew’s games, minor league or even a Mets Game now and then.  We are a little bit baseball crazy right now!

Baseball is one of my favorite parts about summer.   The games are so unpredictable.  They can be over quickly some nights, and go on for hours on others.  We often laugh at some of Drew’s rituals but admit that all four of us are superstitious  and have our own bits of “crazy” that we have to do to psyche ourselves up before we do certain things.  Drew blesses himself and blows a kiss in the sky to my mom before each at bat.  He carries her mass card in his pocket.  He believes in the power of his “lucky bat”.   Dave told me that before he plays soccer, (he plays a few times a week), he has a superstition about tying his shoes in a certain order and won’t tie his shorts until right before a game.  My superstitions involve me thinking that everything I see is “a sign” of something.  Butterflies, dandelion fluffs, pennies….I always think that they mean something!

Drew’s team is playing in a tournament this weekend.  Two today and two more tomorrow.  Then their season ends with single elimination playoffs which begin on Monday.  The season could go on for another week or so, or all be over as soon as Monday night.  I hope that they do well and get to play it out, but as long as they do their best, they have made us all proud.  They have learned so much this year and have come together so fluidly as a team.  They have become more than just teammates, they have become friends.

“You can be a joker, just don’t be no clown”

dont judge

I am sure everyone has heard the quote, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.  Today, I have the perfect story to go along with it.  We had some errands to run today, so we took Drew to his choice of lunch.  He chose TGIF’s.  When we pulled into the parking lot, there were four motorcycles parked near us.  We asked to be seated in the bar area so that we could watch The Met’s Game, (DJ and a friend were at the game).  We were seated at a table right next to the bar, where there were four large, intimidating looking men sitting.  They were all wearing biker jackets with a scary looking design on the back that read, “Joker’s Wild”.  It had a scary joker/clown looking character and five playing cards with aces on four of them and a joker on the last.  We assumed that they were the “bikers” whose bikes we had seen in the parking lot.  They were talking with each other and to the bartender in big, loud, booming voices and I heard them talking about what, Jokers Wild on the jackets meant.

I could only hear snippets of what they were saying, but I was intrigued…Dave of course would call it, “eavesdropping”.  I told him that I was going to just come right out and ask the guy about it!  This is so out of my comfort zone, but most of my blog has been bringing me out of my normal comfort level!!  So, as one of these very large, very unnerving men got up from his seat, I said, “Excuse me, can I ask you a question”?  He looked at me, through his very black, very dark sunglasses, (that he was wearing inside), and said, “um, yes”.  I told him that I was writing a kindness blog, and I had overheard him telling someone about his jacket and would he tell me more about it.  He smiled, and passionately began to tell us about it.

  jokers wild

Here is his explanation… of the jacket I found so intimidating at first:

The Ace of Spades represents God, The almighty, who we should be giving thanks to for everything that occurs in our lives.  The Ace of Hearts, is for family – those who should be most important to you and come before everyone else other than God.  The Ace of Spades represented responsibility and knowing that we need to do what is right and just, while taking care of everything in our lives.  The Ace of Diamonds is for career and knowing that your job needs to be a priority in your life.  That leaves The Joker.  Who is your release.  The person you can be, ONLY after you have taken care of all of the responsibilities in your life.  He said that is, “the biker in him”.  Once he knows that his personal life has been prioritized and taken care of, he can jump on his bike and be “someone else”.  His alter ego in a sense.  He told me, “You can be a joker, just don’t be no clown”!

Under his biker jacket he was wearing a tee-shirt that he told us was for the charity that he and his friends were riding in today.  Today, he and his buddies were out on a ride raising money for AIDS awareness.  On his arms, he had rubber bracelets that he was wearing from his last two charity rides.

These four, “intimidating men”, or so I thought, seemed to have hearts of gold.  I learned that one was a police officer and another was a federal agent.  They were good guys, who were just out, doing something for others, while releasing the joker inside of them!  A lesson that was great to teach to Drew, about not judging a book by its cover, but also a lesson for myself.  That jacket is not so intimidating to me anymore!  Still a bit scary looking, (I have some irrational fear of clowns), but I love knowing that there is a story behind it and that in most cases, I am sure there is always a story.  I just need to ask.