This time of year makes me sad.
I miss the playoffs. Watching the Knicks and Nets, Rangers and Islanders battle this May makes me long for the days where the Mets battled in October.
There’s an excitement. People often call it “palpable” which isn’t actually true. It can’t be touched or felt, but we still somehow know it’s there. I was fortunate enough to experience this non-palpable excitement in 2006 when I was at Shea for Game One of the League Divisional Series against the Dodgers. Living 4 hours north of Queens, I get to maybe 1-2 games a year, so any Mets game is special. But this one was absolutely different from the rest of the games I’d been to before or since. The thought that the Mets were just 11 wins away from a World Series title made the anticipation of possibility something I’ll remember forever.
As I write this, I’m watching the Blackhawks and Wild in Game 4 of the NHL Playoffs. I’m not a fan of either team but I’m watching “because it’s the Cup” (outstanding job, by the way, to the NHL marketing team on that one). Every game is important. You miss that when your team isn’t within a stone’s throw of the postseason year after year. I’ve always said that I’ll watch any sport if it’s the playoffs, because everyone treats it differently; the fans, announcers, officials and, of course, the players.
I always find it funny that playoff atmosphere is one of the most asked-for features for sports video games. Gamers want the postseason to just feel different. When the popular title “MLB The Show 2013” released this year, it actually featured a Playoff Mode where the atmosphere was in sharp contrast to the day-in and day-out monotony of the regular season.
Many of you who read this are fans of the New York area teams mentioned above, so your thirst for playoff action is being quenched to some degree. But I’m still parched (I’m also a Sabres and Steelers fan, so it’s been a tough year). As I’ve said before, I can’t imagine we’ll see our playoff drought end this year or next, so it looks like the wait will more than likely continue. But when it does return, the postseason will be well worth the wait.