We'll probably have some sort of hastily slopped together piece on the nonsense that is the Bills on TNF tonight at some point later this afternoon. But, frankly, I'd be a shitty Mets fan and human being if I didn't take a moment to breathe this great news in here at the Deeg. RA Dickey. Cy Young.
I am pretty used to sports disappointing me. This is a Buffalo problem, of course, but is also a sports problem more generally. These games we love rarely provide the kind of joy we're looking for - the kind that comes with championships and being able to walk into work with the "my team is the fucking best" rushing to roll off your tongue. Sports are built on the majority of teams and players and, by extension fans, falling short with "there's always next year" as the sole remaining brightside. This is, as an aside, why the NHL lockout hurts us as much as it does; the loss of a "next year" looms large for teams and fans who haven't had much by way of success and who realistically need every chance they can get to win it all. Even though our stake in a CBA is infintesimal, we can't help but feel cheated out of a season of opportunity (however slight) to set everything right with a championship.
I'm not sure I really have an opinion as to how much days like this can make up for a season like, say, the Mets had this year. Lord knows that I don't feel a whole lot better about the four consecutive Super Bowl losses the Bills handed us just because Jimbo and Thurman and Marv and Ralph and Bruce are in the Hall of Fame. In fact, it almost makes me angrier - especially with Ralph being there, since he's a vicious turdburger - since I'm forced to come to terms with what should have been with a team lucky enough to have some of the best players there ever were. Certainly, there's little joy in walking into work saying "Jim Kelly is a Hall-of-Famer" when the instant rebuttal to that will make me break out into a cold sweat and hives.
After all, the Mets were bad this year. Sure, they were good at one point - very good, in fact. But, they were terrible in the end, in the only way that really matters. Their season was only positive when compared to the prevailing wisdom about what kind of season they should have had when writers were making their predictions in March. In the midst of their craphole of a season, of course, was Robert Allen Dickey and his twenty wins. He averaged nearly a strikeout per inning pitched, he won nearly two thirds of the games he started (only six of them being his losses), and - with a team of, basically, losers - he managed to keep his ERA to a low 2.73. He was the reason to watch the Mets down the stretch, when playoff hopes were in the toilet and Johan was long-since placed on the IR. In the season where the Mets had their first no-hitter EVER, Santana's win on June 1st became a distant afterthought to the kind of season that Dickey put together.
Now, he has a Cy Young.
Dickey wrote, in the piece I linked to above, about how this isn't just an award for him, but that it's for his family and his team and his fans - all of whom supported him during the recent years of his improbable journey from apparent bust to All-Star and Cy Young winner. This is the typical thing to say when you win an award like this, and more often than not it does little to lift my spirits following a season like the one we just had. Yet, with this guy - this success story arising out of failure, this player who inexplicably inspires me in a universe of sport I so often find disheartening... with this guy, and this award, I'm loving today.
So, Bills - do your worst, as I'm sure you'll do. Dickey's going to have me smiling for a while yet.