Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mr. Methattan 

It's 60 degrees out in Manhattan today. The sun is shining, finally. The sky is blue. Opening Day right around the corner. How could things get any better? This is how!
The original Mr. Met, the one with the swollen head even before his namesake team reloaded during the offseason, will hit the streets of Manhattan on Wednesday to trumpet the coming start of the 2005 season. Standing at the top of a double-decker bus decked out in Mets colors and balloons, Mr. Met will expose fans to Opening Day fever by handing out schedules and T-shirts with the club's motto: "Next Year is Now."
Now that is just flat-out cool. Mr. Met doing his best Michael J. Fox impersonation from Teen Wolf bus surfing through the streets of Manhattan giving away free Mets stuff. Okay, maybe a little corny, but cool nonetheless. I'll see you guys later, I'm heading out to go find my favorite swollen headed baseball figure (no, not Barry Bonds).

Update: The original Mets.com article was a bit vague so I shot them an e-mail. Mr. Met should be at Bryant Park at around 1:15 then at the Plaza Hotel around 2:00. Hope that helps.

Update #2: Just got back from my Mr. Met pilgrimage. Here's a quick report.

The Metmobile, a double decker bus with no roof on the top, pulled up at the Plaza Hotel a little after 2:00. The bus was adorned with blue and orange balloons and other Mets paraphernalia. About 25 members of the Mets PR staff was on top and inside the bus, tossing pocket schedules to the cheering people on the sidewalk and screaming "Let's go Mets" as it rumbled down the road like Mo Vaughn would rumble around the bases. The Metmobile parked on 5th Avenue directly in front of the Plaza and the crew of Mets PR folks got out of the bus and descended into the crowd, giving away pocket schedules and Mets t-shirts to anyone that would admit, er, I mean tell them they were Mets fans. Cool t-shirts too - black with "NEXT YEAR IS NOW" printed in white letters with an orange border across the front and "The New Mets" across the back.

I finished up my dirty water dog and pretzel I bought on the street, which was damn good by the way, wiped the mustard off my lip, and headed for the Metmobile, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Man of the Hour - Mr. Met himself. As I approached, a cheery Mets PR girl asks, "Hey, are you a Mets fan?" I think to myself, "you don't know the half of it." But instead simply say, "um, yeah." So she hooked me up with a t-shirt. Sweet! As I get closer I notice the head. That big, white, beautiful head! While living in New York City I've had my share of celebrity sighting but nothing could prepare me for this. There he is, it's Mr. Met! The crowd engulfed him like he was Justin Timberlake on set of MTV's TRL! Everyone is screaming, "Mr. Met Mr. Met!"

I made my way through the crowd and there he was, right in front of me. I saw nothing but head. I heard nothing but the wind bouncing off the head. For the love of God look at that head! I froze. The head put me in a trance. "What do I do now" I thought to myself. I'm just standing there staring at him and he's just looking back at me. I'm choking worse than the 2004 Yankees. Then, out of nowhere, Mr. Met puts up his hand and instinct took over. I turned on it like a 3-2 hanging curve - "SMACK!" - I connected with the sweet part of the palm to give Mr. Met a towering high five. As my high five follow through took me past Mr. Met, in my mind I saw the Shea home run apple come out of of the hat, light up and fireworks exploding over beutiful Flushing Bay.

That's it. Got my pocket schedule. Got my t-shirt. Got to high five the coolest sports mascot in the history of sports mascots. I can now die a happy man.

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