When I was ten years old I went to Shea Stadium with my dad to watch the Mets play their first game after 9/11. We were playing the Braves and I can still to this day hear the “LARRRYYYYYY, LARRRYYYYYY” chants at Shea mocking Chipper Jones’ REAL first name. This was the most emotional, thrilling sporting event I have ever been to. The people of New York needed something, anything, to take reality off of their minds. On that evening, the Mets were our magical distraction. Down one run in the bottom of the eighth, Mike Piazza came to bat, and did this…
New York won the game 3-2.
So tonight, just as Daniel Murphy hit his 6th homerun in 6 games, I flashed on that unforgettable night at Shea with my dad and I began to reflect.
When I first moved to Seattle, I took deep pride in moving across the country, beginning a new life away from everything I ever knew. The Seahawks took off that season and I latched onto their fan-hood as an emblematic gesture of the person I was becoming. Their Super Bowl run symbolized the pride I had to be fully embracing a new life in a new city with new people and I never wanted to look back.
But when the Mets won tonight, I looked back at New York, for the first time since I left and re-found a part of myself I’ve been ignoring. My past. And that’s okay. Because sometimes there are memories we need space from before we allow ourselves to re-visit them. And as much as the present moment defines who you are, if you don’t develop a respect for your own past, then you can never candidly embrace what will always be inside of you.
Am I embarrassed that it took a Mets World Series birth to remind me how much New York still runs in my veins? A little. Do I catch a lot of heat from my friends for embracing the Seahawks with such enthusiasm? Deservedly. But the bottom line is this:
When the LIRR hits Jamaica, Penn Station is within striking distance. You’ve never had real pizza, until you’ve been to New York. I know exactly where I was standing when Antonio Davis fouled Larry Johnson for the four-point play. I’m passionate. I’m emotional. I’m assertive. I’m annoying to lose to. I respond to text messages very quickly. And I will always be a proud New Yorker. That’s who I am. Never forget.