Sunday, October 22, 2006

Darth Marc: The Art Of War

True story that's has some relevance to what's been going with me the last couple of days.

In elementary school, there was this creature/girl named Antoinette who used to hang out with these two linebacker chicks. You have to remember that from first to fifth grade, some girls were very often bigger than boys. They generally stop growing vertically in their early teens. So while 5'6'' is hardly scary to me now, when I was 8 or 9 it was an entirely different proposition and world view.

Antoinette wasn't very big at all. She actually looked like a black Who from the Grinch that stole Christmas. Hideous little creature with the mouth to match. She and her friends would bully the boys every chance they'd get during recess. Saying the nastiest stuff. The sort of things you'd pummell a boy for saying but that girls somehow get away with.

Anyhow, Antoinette started in on me one day. Initially, I tried to ignore her. But when she started talking about whipping my ass for three days in a row, I snapped. I belted her in the chest (pre-puberty, nothing to hit) and hit one of her bodyguards in the head with my full bookbag. They were on the floor groaning in pain. I was so scared I would get detention that I bolted from the scene and started playing football with the fourth graders. Hoping that if World War III started, I'd have witnesses to back me.

Apparently they were too embarrassed by getting laid out by a mere boy that they didn't say anything to the teachers. But a couple of days later, when we were lining up to go to homeroom, Antoinette comes up to me and says;

"You know, you shouldn't have hit me. I didn't hit you and you're not supposed to hit girls."

Can you imagine the arrogance? It's ok for her to terrorize every boy on the playground. But once someone calls her bluff, she hides behind the veil of chivalry? Unreal.

But as unbelievable as her remark was, it wasn't nearly as surreal as what I said in response;

"You're right, Antoinette. I'm sorry."

To this day, I'm still sick to my stomach that I apologized to that wretched beast. I'm not condoning the beating of women in any way shape or form. But if she were a guy, she would lasted all of two minutes before getting an NWO style beatdown. But because I was raised right, she gets a pass the one time she and the Seven Blocks of Granite got what they deserved.

Fast forward to Thursday night. The 97 win Mets lose to possibly the worst team ever to represent the National League in the World Series. Yes, worse than the '69 and '73 Mets. Those teams at least had Koosman and Seaver. The National League was so awful that this year, only the Scions of Shea topped 90 wins. Even without Pedro and El Duque, the Mets should have had a cakewalk to the Series. The Cardinals were limping into the NLCS as well. Their number two starter Mark Mulder was out, their closer Jason Isringhausen was on crutches after hip surgery and their second and third best players Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds were playing hurt.

This was setting up to be the ultimate nightmare for the Empire. Not only do the Yankees get a Billy Batts type beatdown from the young Tiggers. For first time ever the Mets advance further in the playoffs when both teams make it. And to top it off, they get the worst team in the playoffs in NLCS. A dark day for the empire.

To be fair, the Flushing faithful did not start in on me after we lost. But regardless of what any of them might say, the only reason why Imperial email boxes, voicemails and blogs didn't look like Beirut from all the scuds lobbed by Mets fans after we lost was because they more than anyone are aware of the importance of baseball karma. Particularly when it comes to playoffs.

They didn't want to jinx the Mets chances by heaving bombs at Yankee fans. So they held off on me. If the Mets were out of it early as in years past, I would have woken up to an email box full of Yankees Suck, Jeter blows comments and posters of whatever headlines the New York tabloids decided to print on my office door and wall.

So when Wainright buckled Beltran's knees for the third out of game seven, I was screaming like a banshee. I text messaged half the known world. I called all of St Louis friends to shout congrats to them. And I breathed a huge sigh of relief with my brothers of the Empire.

If the Mets had won, there was a very good chance that this would become a Blue and Orange town again. For those of you who have not lived through that hell, let me say that it's not fun. Those who have, know exactly what I'm talking about. But more on that in my next post.

Shortly after midnight, I decide to see if any of my favorite Met bloggers have posted. So I can wallow and feed off their psychic despair. Initially, I was going to just monitor their suffering. But after a conference with the devils of my nature, I decided...what the hell. What better time to strike an enemy than when he's at his weakest. And if he's going to be out in the open screaming, "Ow, I'm hurt!!! I need a doctor!!" then what better time is there to put one right between his eyes.

You see, Yankee fans know better. When you make the playoffs every year, you learn a couple of things. Aside from knowing what it's like to see your team celebrate a title, you also learn about how to handle being the target of scorn and ridicule when your team loses. When you're the top dog, half the world wants you to win. But half is waiting for you to fail miserably. We've learned that the hard way since 2001. If the Yankees lose in the playoffs, you know you must;

1)Turn off your cellphone as soon as the game ends.
2)If you're at the game, go straight home, unless you're going to a Yankeefan-friendly establishment.
3)Don't turn on the television at home for fear of smashing it.
4)Do not turn on your computer and check your email or blog for at least 12 hours.

If you do any of these things, you're putting yourself at risk. Particularly after a catastrophic loss.

Mets fans haven't learned this yet. They're a very touchy-feely Dr Phil sort of fanbase. They've yet to have their hearts hardened by the baseball wars. It's very endearing in someways. So when they lost Thursday, their natural reaction is to do what they always do. Go online and commisserate with one another. Find some words of comfort from their Internet faith-healers Metstradamus, Brooklyn Met Fan, Toasty Joe and Matt Cerrone.

So what do you think their reaction was when they go post on Metstradamus' site and see that I left a little calling card?

That's right, they lost it. It's like crashing an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with hookers, Grey Goose and enough coke to kill the 12th Mountain Division.

You can read the horrible responses to my scuds for yourself. My favorite was from my dear friend and co-worker, the Metsmaster who wrote;

My Brothers and Sisters:

We fought the good fight and came up short. Such is life. It was a good season, the future is bright. We have nothing to be ashamed about.

Unfortunately, the time has come when something must be done about Darth Marc. He has shown his true colors with this Pearl Harbor-like attack this morning. His team went down in flames last week and was treated with the common courtesy due a baseball fan by other fans. He skulked into the office and offered his hand wishing the Mets good luck. But courtesy and good taste are foreign to him and his kind. Like the Japanese 64-years ago, while shaking the right hand, the left is stabbing you in the back. So I suggest the following action Brothers and Sisters... The Amish form of punishment towards members who offend the community is called shunning. They are completely ignored. The shunned are not spoken to or acknowledged until they prostrate themselves before the community. This is what I suggest we do with Darth Marc. Shun him. Ignore him. Cast him out of our community. Metstradamus, you have the power to expunge his comments from your site. Do it. Do it now. I make this declaration to DM (I can no longer even speak his name) may speak to me about any other subject; the weather, politics, religion, football, anything. But I will not speak to you about anything related to baseball; past, present or future. The subject is taboo. I recommend the rest of us do the same. He can talk baseball until he is blue in the face to the oher Yankee cretins from here to Wisconsin. He can write to his heart's content on his own blog, the one NOBODY reads. He can talk to himself if he chooses. But he will not talk baseball with us again. Those of us of Irish descent are blessed/cursed with incredibly long, freaking memories when we are wronged. We have been wronged.

You're dead to me Lisa......

The Lisa comment is a reference to an alleged Tigers fan who started in on me after the Yankees lost. I got very angry and cussed her out because 1)I've never heard her talk about Detroit before this series and 2)I never bothered her when the Yankees beat the snot of them during the regular season.

In my mind, in the world of sportsfan warfare, there are civilians and soldiers. Civilians are fans of a team who might hate a rival franchise, but aren't outwardly boastful about it. They might talk about it with their friends or write about it on their blogs. But they would never launch internet scuds via email or blogosphere. My friend Karen is an example of a civilian. She loves the Yankees and will ocassionally write of her hatred of Boston. But she never would go on Sons of Sam Horn or the Boston Globe and post nasty remarks about Big Papi and Theo.

Then there are soldiers. I'm a soldier and so is Metstradamus. We've been at war for years. From me taking particular glee when Clemens beaned Piazza to him wallpapering my wall with Rally Monkeys in 2002, we've done every horrible thing one fan can do to another. In 2004 after the collapse, He along with Brooklyn Met fan were the worst of my tormentors. I was one of his worst in 2000. Anything goes, and all is fair in love and war.

Now if I was a civilian who's gotten a pass over the years and started carpet-bombing every Met fan I knew all of a sudden. I could understand the outrage. But they know who I am. What I'm about. I make no excuses for anything I've done. I even dropped little hints about the possible storm to come after every loss. They had to know what I was planning to do.

In war, if you see an officer, you take a shot at him. When Metstra and others decided to post right after the loss instead of waiting 24 hours. I had my sniper rifle ready and took my shot.

Metstra and I had a candid phone conversation on Saturday afternoon. He wasn't angry about what I wrote but the fact that I did it right after the loss. "You couldn't give me 24 hours???", he said. He reminded me that he didn't bother me after the Detroit loss. That he gave me my space. I said that he only laid off because the Mets were still alive and he didn't want to mess with his team's karma. He denied it. I called him a liar. The conversation went south from there.

But before I hung up, I felt a little guilty and for the sake of friendship, apologized and said that the next time, I would give him until at least noon the next day until I launched an attack after the next catastrophic loss.

Looking back, I realized that that was a bad idea. Another Antoinette moment, 30 years later.

The karma issue aside, if a someone is a soldier in the Sportsfan wars, then they have no right to determine when or where his opponent decides to attack. As long as it's about the team and not personal, it's fairgame. I'm smart enough not to get on line right after an awful loss. So whether you write something five minutes or five hours after the game, it doesn't matter because I won't read it until the next day anyway. If I read it all.

If you're dumb enough to stick your head out of the foxhole, then you deserve whatever happens to you.

I got in a clean shot to the body and an uppercut to the jaw. Textbook knockout. And now, I'm supposed to feel guilty.

Never again, I tell you. Never again.

I know that I deserve whatever I get in the future. So Metstra, while I might honor your wish for a noontime embargo of hostilities....

You might want to watch out for the snipers....


Blogger Karen said...

Can I be considered a "civillian who turns soldier when seriously provoked"? I'm thinking of an incident with a jackass White Sox fan at the Stadium back in the summer... and in that, you had two "civilians" who turned "soldier", so you know it had to be bad.

It's like the story of Ferdinand the Bull. You're just content to sit and smell the basebally flowers in the field until you're stung by a bee. Then everyone thinks you're a fighter by how batshit you go. But then the sting wears off and you remember that you're happiest just sitting and smelling the basebally flowers. And the bullfighter sits there waving his flag and is confused by your placidness.

Or something.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Oh, and as much as I don't like the Red Sox, the only one I really spew about on the blog is Schilling. And that's because he's taken shots at Yankee fans, so he'turns me into a soldier by default.

5:18 AM  
Blogger brooklyMetFan said...

pssst - the Mets have already taken back proper ownership of this town!

we're the young and exciting team while the yankees are fat & bloated and loaded with cheaters and creeps

5:57 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Karen, favorite story growing up. You absolutely can be considered a "citizen-soldier" in the sportsfan wars. You're in the reserves! ;-)

Schilling brings out the worst in all of us. You're not alone in that equation.


I was going to respond..but my friend and co-worker, Layne summed it up perfectly with this...

pssst brooklynmetfan....come closer...closer. perfect! to "take back proper ownership of this town" you might want to try winning a world series first....97 wins and an embarrasing collapse in the NLCS doesn't exactly give you "ownership" of a city. just a thought.

12:38 AM  
Blogger help-a-rascal said...

holy shit, delusions of grandeur, anyone? i have no idea where you got your ego, but it is undeservingly colossal. really, do you honestly think that you are some sort of ground-breaking innovator in barbs you conjure up? just because you were able to get under the skin of a bunch of depressed met fans hardly makes you the flamethrower you fancy yourself to be. that task barely requires a plastic butter knife these days, and you break your arm patting yourself on the back about it. you'd be in line for a bill maher, "get over yourself" award if he still gave those out.

"knockout?" how do you knock someone out when your woozy, punch-drunk team was carted off the canvas after a first-round t.k.o.? we may only be razor ruddock, but you, at least this year, are peter mcneeley.

seriously, ask anyone which team's losing out was the bigger choke, the "new murderer's row" or our "best team by far in the national league." i'm sure you already know the answer. but if all this serves to ease your own suffering, by all means continue to suck your own thumb and call us poopyface.

oh, and scuds were notorious for missing their targets. you should look up a different missile to which to compare your insults. perhaps a molotov cocktail, since any dumbass can make one and yet they still can cause enough damage to be annoying.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Last time I checked, I wasn't writing on your blog whining about how weak your digs at the Yankees are.

It's not the stimulus. It's the response, my friend.

What I've learned in dealing with you mooks is that you don't have to be Wilde, Carlin or Pryor and exhibit some world-class humor. It would be wasted on many of you anyway. You just have to do enough to get the needed response.

It's kind of like throwing rocks at an animal to irritate it. Why use a high-powered bow? It's overkill and a waste of a good weapon on an unworthy target.

4:11 PM  
Blogger help-a-rascal said...

last time i checked, i wasn't going on and on in masturbatory fashion about how devastatingly witty my verbal assaults on the yankees and their fans were. what i was doing was responding to a jackass who thinks that his insults, while irritating, are so crushing as to send the entire mets blog-reading fan base to their shrinks, en masse.

it's a good thing that you don't have to be wilde, carlin, or pryor to slam us met fans effectively, because you're actually more in the vein of pauly shore, dane cook, and larry the cable guy. but don't put on this act of "i'm just minding my own business, i didn't complain on your blog, etc." you don't get to say your piece and then bitch when someone tells you how lame you are. if you're going to claim you're such a veteran of battles involving fans of rival teams, maybe you shouldn't be so sensitive when you get called out.

so, anything else? do you have any more, hopefully better shots to shoot? because if you have some higher powered weaponry,as you claim, you really ought to use it. an answer to repeated references to your own team's recent propensity to choke might be a good place to start. you know, the whole "those in glass houses" thing. or maybe a comment on how superior the AL is to the NL and how weak the cardinals are.....oh, wait, maybe you don't want to touch that one.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

The AL is better than the NL...whatever happens this World Series doesn't change that. Just as when the NL was a deeper better overall league all those years but the Yankees were winning World Series. Or when the Bulls were winning in the NBA. The West was a much deeper league, but the Bulls had Jordan.

If you can honestly look at the leagues and say they're even...well...let's just say that you're wrong and leave it at that.

I actually get a kick out of all this. Allegedly noone reads me. I'm irrelevant. I'm lame. Yet I continue to get all this attention from you Mets fans.

God forbid, I actually had something interesting say. I might have to change my email address!!!

4:50 AM  
Blogger help-a-rascal said...

the funny thing is, it seems like mets fans make up about 80% of your readership, or at least those who comment. if it makes you feel any better, i will admit to reading your blog from time to time, certainly more so lately. while i do think some of what you have to say is pretty lame, i will also admit that you sometimes make good points, like your defense of the arguable overall vast superiority of the AL. maybe this W.S. doesn't prove the NL is equal. however, it does matter what the cardinals do in this series, as it relates to your assertion that the mets loss to them is so unforgivable in light of their alleged suckitude. also, if they defeat the team that sent your team home then it puts you in a diffcult position in claiming that the yankees' loss was nowhere near as bad as the mets'. i mean, the whole thing about the tigers being the best team in baseball most of the year doesn't really hold up in light of their record after the all-star break.

anyway, in conclusion, it isn't necessary for mets fans to shun or ignore you rather than engage you. that's a cop out. one just has to bring the proper armament, so to speak.

7:34 AM  

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