Monday, March 13, 2006

 

Where Were You October 25, 1986?

People remember where they were when John F. Kennedy was killed. They remember where they were when Ronald Reagan was shot. If you're a New Yorker, you remember where you where during the blackouts of '65, '77 and '03. If you're a New York Mets fan, then you know where you where on the night of October 25, 1986. I was sitting white knuckled, grabbing onto the edge of the couch, in my living room, leaning forward, towards the television set, with my friend Cesar, both of us holding our breath on every pitch of Game 6 of the World Series between the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox. For any Mets fan, you know what Game 6 was. You know how you felt. And maybe, you believed in miracles again. The game is one of (if not the) greatest moments in sports history. Now, 20 years after that faithful night, Game 6 is a movie directed by Michael Hoffman (Restoration, Soapdish) and starring Michael Keaton as a die-hard Red Sox fan and playwright who must decide whether to go to the opening night of his latest play or watch Game 6 of the World Series. As a Mets fan, the energy in the city surrounding that entire season, the play-offs (against the Houston Astros), and the World Series itself, was almost surreal. People spontaneously paraded through the streets. Local barber shops posted charts to track every game. All radios were tuned to the games. Mets fans had waited a long time for this to happen. In 1986, younger fans had no recollection of the Mets two previous trips to the series in 1969 and 1973. Older fans had waited more than a decade for the return, and almost two decades for another win. Game 6 is being given a very limited release before it makes its way to DVD in May. Also of note: If 1986 represented the apex of satisfaction for a Mets fan, then 1988 -- and a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the play-offs -- represented the nadir. But director Abel Ferara, in his masterpiece Bad Lieutenant, weaves a fictional account of that Mets post season into the film, with ironic results. Of course, the Mets would return once again to the World Series, in 2000, in the fabled "Subway Series" against the New York Yankees, but in 1986, the moment was now, and every Met fan in the city, including myself, hung on every pitch, every swing, and every moment of Game 6.

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