Monday, December 12, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:37 AM
Trouble is, your acute depression cannot be faked. You must be catatonic, suicidal, ready to put your forehead through the TV. Last night, that's where I stood in the third quarter, before the Giants got the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. - for whom there is no equivalent on the Yankees, or maybe in all of baseball.
The putrid Giants offense could not rush for a first down against Trump's hair. Last night, I was screaming for Ben McAdoo's firing and flipping the TV whenever NBC showed that ultimate small-handed WASP, owner John Mara, as Al Michael's voice assumed a reverential tone worthy of Jesus. I was like an alchy, vowing to quit the Giants forever - to even root against the team and revel in its downfall. Then Beckham caught the ball and raced 60 yards to score.
Today, it reminds me of a catch by Victor Cruz in 2011, the last time the Giants snatched anything more meaningful than a stripper's pastie. It was Christmas Eve, Alphonso was visiting, and we watched in a bar, away from impressionable kids. The Giants were down 7-3 against the Jets, with Eli Manning throwing from his end zone. Cruz caught the ball, dodged a tackler and - whoosh - 99 yards. He was high, he was far, he was gone. Alphonso started screaming and refused to stop - nearly got us booted from the bar. I am choosing my words carefully now, aware of just how pathetic this makes me sound: It was the most joyous moment of that entire Christmas.
Listen: On an existential level, I hate the Giants and the NFL - two utterly soul-less entities that trivialize patriotism, dehumanize women, print dirty money, steal from taxpayers, and grind their players into dust. That said, I've blindly rooted for the Giants since the days of Y.A., Gif, Sam, and Ro-Lo-Mo-Ko. In all that time, Giants juju never worked. I watched without the psychological crutch of magical thinking. It leaves me terrified... but goddammit, there is no sports equivalent to Odell Beckham Jr. All you can do is be amazed.
The 2017 Yankees will be a team in search of a superstar, the guy who can - woosh - win a game from our own one-yard-line. It won't be Matt Holliday, who is simply too old. It cannot be Aroldis Chapman, who will only appear with a lead. As nice a player as Didi Gregorius is, he's no reality-altering star. Somebody must emerge - Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Jorge Mateos, Gleyber Torres - somebody. It might be none of the above. But somebody has to explode. And none of them will be Odell Beckham Jr.
I don't see the Giants winning anything this season. The reason is simple: Winning last night's game pulled me off of Suicide Watch. I'm no longer drinking the turpentine. Thus, the Giants cannot win. The rules of juju metaphysics this winter are strikingly simple: Nothing bends 'em like Beckham.