I live in Putnam County, north of NYC, and televised Mets games have been blacked out of the entire county, treated with all the warmth of a Sandanista in the Reagan White House. Last Friday, desperate to unwind from the week by watching the Mets take on the Marlins, I called every bar in the area. I searched for one joint with a satellite dish. No luck. "The Mets have been blacked out of Putnam County," the bartender at Boomers told me.
I've tried to pick up games on WFAN, but radio reception in our apartment is painfully saturated with static. Meanwhile, on TV, we've been treated to a number of quality of programs in place of Mets games. On Thursday night, when the Mets/Nationals game was blacked out on ESPN, we got a halfhearted debate about the recently released 2006 NFL schedule. (No one--not Michael Vick, not any one of the Super Bowl champion Steelers, no one--cares about the NFL schedule in April. Not even the ESPN sports geeks could feign interest.) On Friday night, channel 9 replaced the game with an episode of "Will and Grace." It was the one where you think, if only for a moment, that Will is going to ditch that pesky homosexuality and finally get together with Grace, all while their friends sprinkle in catty comments. Classic. Saturday, however, was the clincher. Again, no Mets game. Instead an infomercial for a Dual Action Colon Cleansing program. I take the couch in hopes of a Tom Glavine/Dontrelle Willis showdown and find instead why I really need an all-natural pipe cleaning routine. Spring is the time of renewal and birds chirping and the invigorating feeling of sunlight on your cheeks as you walk out the door from work and, for those who pay $40 for cable TV each month, it is also the time when it is your right to watch the motherlovin' Mets each night. The bell tolls for those denied SNY.