Cheering like the New York Jets Cheerleaders

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Dad’s sitting on the couch, watching Sunday football.

Me? I’m sitting behind the couch in our brand new house on our  white you-better-not-spill-anything-on-it-Sam carpet — pouting.

“Why do we always have to watch what Daddy wants?” in my best seven-year-old whine.

But ten minutes later, I’m on the couch beside him watching — the red and green Power Ranger action figure deserted behind the couch.

***

Two years later. . .

My friends are all at Cameron’s, hanging out, playing with their DS’s, eating junk food.

But me? I desert them.

Desert them to sit on the couch with my Dad.

Sit and watch Brett Favre and the New York Jets.

The Tennessee Titans — 10-0 coming into the game.

The New York Jets — 8-2. The Jets underdogs. And the game’s in Nashville.

And we’re there together, high-fiving every Jets tackle, touchdown, interception, sack. High-fives that create an endless bond of watching sports together.

Watching an upset I’ll never forget. Jets, 34 – undefeated Titans 13.

***

7 years later…

The Mets — our Mets —  one strike away from the World Series.

The count, 3-2. The pitcher, Jeurys Familia — 43 saves, the Mets’ dominant closer. The batter, Dexter Fowler — a little bit of power, 17 homeruns on the season.

We’re on our feet, waiting for that last strike, that last out. Waiting for that moment I’ve been waiting for my entire life.

And Fowler just stands there. Stands there, while Familia winds up. Stands there as the 98 mph sinker heads toward him. Stands there as Strike 3 dives by. Stands there … and Familia starts the celebration.

And the whole team rushes the mound, dog piles Familia.

The Mets are in the World Series.

Dad and I hug like David Wright, the Mets captain hugs his teammates.

Cheer like the New York Jets Cheerleaders

High-five like Mike Piazza’s after he hit his Post-9/11 homerun.

Celebrate like our Mets do in Chicago, minus the champagne.

***

Now

Dad and I try to watch every Mets game we can together.

And Jets.

And Hornets.

Watch together and create the bond that’s built my love for sports and my interest in the field of sports journalism.

A bond I hope I can share with my son some day.

 

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