Was thinking this morning about the three clubs I follow closely. Of late, things have been historically bad for two (Giants and Knicks) and at least disappointing for the other (Mets) the past few seasons.
But no matter how painful things get, I can't quit them, especially right now, when the hopeful optimist in me sees things on the verge of some positive changes.
Even as the Mets seem poised to spiral down the crapper, there's a sparkling asterisk up in the corner of this season's dull performance (accented by Mickey Calloway's 98-110 career Mets skipper record). Hard to say what it signifies yet, but it's not difficult to predict that this team soon (again, I hope) will have a different manager. I'm hoping there's a chance that someone of the Wally Backman ilk is finally given a shot, and the players rally behind him, seeing that, ironically, old-school stability matters, and that simple accountability counts. You hustle and play well? You're playing. Don't like it? Fuck off. Do something about it. Wanna mope and complain on Twitter? AMF.
The Knicks summer ahead is set to be - dare I use the over-used/mis-used label - epic? Will Durant? Won't he? Did the foot injury have any impact on the "sure-thing" status of King KD ruling over Madison Square empire? What about Kyrie? Or Kemba? Both happy choices to play second fiddle. Or stick with DSJ and sign a second max whose name doesn't start with the letter K? Unless of course Durant says that's what he wants, and well, then ... K (yrie) it shall be. What about Davis? Hell yes! Just not for Mitch Rob. But you might have to. Oh no! Just package anything else and go! Didn't get the Zion ball, but maybe Barrett? Could be good. And if all or any decent combinations of this? Ah, the Garden will host a playoff game once again.
And the Giants. Putrid, putrid seasons in the rear-view seem precisely as close as they are. Painfully so. Debates wage on daily here and elsewhere that there's a plan, or not ... that to jettison stars took away firepower, or it "improved the culture" ... Jones was a nightmare pick at 6, or maybe we just don't know much about this at all. As much as during any off-season/pre-season I can remember, there are stark black and white sides to arguments, and multiple situations worthy of close analysis. A few things seem sure. The O-line looks better. The defensive backfield has a shot to be better, perhaps very good. We still have Barkley, and we Quarterback 1 and Quarterback 2, as close to mirror images in many regards as we might imagine. On one hand we have the old, beloved champ (of some) and hated doofus (by others) of a QB, then a kid on the side whose potential fortune remains to be seen. Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs ... you kidding me? Oh why the hell not! Hey, if things come together, if there's a semblance of a pass rush, if linebackers overachieve, if specials are at least middle-of-the-road, and if receivers are good enough to allow Saquon to do his thing, you never know. In any event, we all hope this team will compete better than the ones we've seen for a while.
Sometimes it's painful being a fan, and these three franchises have made things tough to watch for a while. But there's one huge part of being that anguished fanatic that carries me through.
In the words of old Red ... I hope.