Man, am I tired.
My fingers are killing me from all that clicking.
From the Mets-Braves game to the Yankees-Red Sox game to the Redskins-Cardinals game.
So white men can't jump, huh? I was jumping all over the place.
I wish I had a fancy TV with picture-in-picture, like Wilbon has. Then maybe I could have watched one game for more than 15 seconds at a time without having to click again.
Many men suffer from this same condition. We've been diagnosed as clicking-obsessive.
It wasn't so bad in the afternoon. You could shuttle between the two 1 o'clock NFL games. But after 8:15--with the Mets still on, and the Yankees on, and the Redskins on--clicking became problematic in Washington. You couldn't merely hit "last channel" on the remote control. That only gave you two games. You had to prioritize the games and use the clicker strategically.
I went with the Mets first--because of the extra-inning drama--and the Redskins second. I set up 4 and 7 on the "last channel" click. Then, I used the "up arrow" to click to 5 for the Yankees, then the "down arrow" back to 4 for the Mets. When I got to 4, I immediately went to 7 to reestablish the 4-7 last channel connection.
I'll tell you I was pressing that button so quick, I felt like I was on "Jeopardy." (Until I gave out about 11:15, and I nodded off with my clicker still in my hand. At my age the eyes go before the fingers.)
But I "competed," as Norv Turner likes to say. I "made plays." I hung tough, sitting in the same chair for 5 hours 46 minutes of that Mets game. I wasn't like Bobby Valentine. I didn't pace my family room floor like a man in a straitjacket. Whew, the game was long. By the end I thought the Braves might try to sneak Greg Maddux back into the game, figuring nobody on the Mets would remember he pitched the first seven innings because they were so many hours ago.
Admittedly, the games began to blur a bit. Once I was clicking especially frantically, and I landed on Brad Johnson being intercepted by McKinnon--and Johnson had already been intercepted by McCleskey--and the guy on the mound for the Braves was McGlinchy. And I had to take a deep breath and gather myself before I went McCrazy.
(By the way, who was Johnson throwing to in the first half? He seemed so strangely out of sync. One time he hit the referee with a pass. Instead of audio, they should have put a compass in his helmet.)
I had a couple of great clicking moments. How's this for a combo: I was on the Braves-Mets when Keith Lockhart hit the triple in the top of the 15th inning that drove in Walt Weiss and gave the Braves the 3-2 lead. And I clicked back to the Redskins just in time to watch Champ Bailey get his second interception. ("That's cool," my friend Nancy said, "because I missed Lockhart's hit and the second Bailey interception. I don't know what happened. I just fell in the cracks." Women!)
I saw that great relay, from Mora to Alfonzo to Piazza, to nail Lockhart by 30 feet in the 13th inning; Piazza had the ball in enough time to autograph it before Lockhart reached home. I saw Shawon Dunston's full at-bat against Kevin McGlinchy in the 15th--Dunston fouled off six straight pitches with two strikes before getting that key single. I saw Robin Ventura hit the game-winner. (I never heard the term "walk-off homer" before these playoffs. Tim McCarver uses it so often I feel like I've spent the last 50 years in an igloo.) I saw Tino Martinez race home to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead after Bret Saberhagen, who now looks like a porn star with that goatee and slicked-back 'do, fumbled a toss while covering first. I saw Champ Bailey scoot down the near sideline for the Redskins' first touchdown.
I missed some stuff, though. Live by the click, die by the click. I missed Bailey's third pick. (Excuse me, was I the guy who said they should have drafted Ricky Williams? What was I smoking?) I missed Ricky Ledee's pinch-hit grand slam that ground the Sawx into powder. And I missed Bobby Cox going for the jugular by bringing in Kevin Millwood or Tom Glavine to close it down with a one-run lead in the 15th, instead of leaving a frightened rookie out there. Oh, that's right, Cox didn't make that move. Instead, he sat there with Leo Mazzone, who was rocking back and forth like a bobbing-head doll, watching McGlinchy come apart at the seams.
I'll tell you what I didn't miss. Unlike umpire Tim Tschida, I didn't miss Chuck Knoblauch tagging Jose Offerman for a phantom double play in the bottom of the 8th. Because Knoblauch didn't tag Offerman. Evel Knievel could drive his motorcycle through the gap between them.
Excuse me, Tony, aren't you going to talk about The Bandwagon?
No. I'm talking about clicking. Talk to me after Dallas about The Bandwagon. But I'll say this: Look at the standings. You've got San Diego on top in the AFC West, St. Louis on top in the NFC West, Tennessee tied for first in the AFC Central and Detroit tied for first in the NFC Central. None of those teams made the playoffs last year, and their combined record was 22-42. If this is their year, it can sure be the Redskins' year too. All they have to do is put electrodes on Bill Arnsparger's brain and siphon out the defensive stuff. Okay, back to clicking.
The great pleasure of clicking is the unexpected treasure of what unfolds:
John Rocker's psycho high anxiety.
Joe Torre's basset hound eyes.
Bobby Valentine blowing those enormous bubbles. Then smiling that feral smile.
Bobby Bonilla's stomach. For heaven's sake, Bobby Bo, eat a salad. This guy's bigger than Bill Parcells now.
Jake Plummer getting his finger caught in Shawn Barber's face mask. Gosh, I hate when that happens.
Mike Nolan smiling!
Sunday night was one of the great nights ever for TV sports. You had an unbelievably tense game with the Mets and Braves, a terrific melodrama with the Yankees and Red Sox--and for all Redskins fans a very encouraging win on the road. And with a little dexterity you could grab a big piece of all three.
Now get some rest.