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Mr. Met Has Fallen Down The Stairs

Mr. Met cheers during game two of a doubleheader between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets at Citi Field on August 12, 2023 in New York City.
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Drew periodically sends pictures to the rest of us. He and his sons looming over a pile of steamed and totally doomed blue crabs; the three of them at the beach, looking happy in very bright sunshine. He means well by this, I'm sure, but they can be hard to process on a laptop, from home, during a heat wave that has the piles of garbage bags on the sidewalk—New York is only a few hundred years old, we're still figuring out a better way of doing this—all but emanating cartoon-style stink lines. Sure, he has earned a rest. Yes, I am glad that he is having fun and enjoying some time with his family. I don't think it's asking too much for him to overnight me a couple of crabs and a bib. But Drew did take a break from his break to do the next best thing, which is record a very summery, moderately sports-y two-hander episode of the podcast.

There will be a version of this podcast, at some point this summer, that consists entirely of the goofing around with which this episode begins. That consideration of Beach Moves as a concept, and the variously appealing beachways of the coastal rich, will expand beyond the relatively narrow space we afforded it; our discussion of the various types of cannabis dispensaries and some washed-guy observations on the role of that substance in the washed-guy lifestyle could become an entire pre-ad break half of the podcast; the fantasy of embodying the impatient virtuosity of James Caan in Thief will likely be mentioned in every episode between now and then. But we couldn't quite get there in this one.

This is because some pretty interesting sports stuff happened since we last recorded, and this is still enough of a sports podcast that we wanted to talk about it. And so there was some celebration—muted, qualified, grudging—of the Boston Celtics as a pretty much perfect, entirely dominant NBA champion. There was also a last consideration of the Luka Doncic arc across this postseason, which enfolded both a period in which he indisputably looked like The Future and what is probably the most embarrassing showing by a superstar in recent memory. We looked forward a bit, at least far enough to admit that neither one of us can really come up with a reason why the Celtics couldn't do it again, but mostly were happy to put a pretty grim NBA Finals behind us ...

... So that we could get to talking about NFL shit. Whenever there is anything remotely approaching a vacuum in the sports calendar, NFL chat must inevitably fill it, but also it had been a while. I know that Drew never stops thinking about NFL stuff—maybe for a fraction of a second, probably while eating—but I hadn't really let my mind stray in that direction for a minute, which meant that I was almost glad to get to kick around Drew's questions about the economics of Paying A Quarterback. That was occasioned by the big new Trevor Lawrence contract, which will give a top-of-the-market annual salary to a quarterback that neither Drew nor I nor the Jacksonville Jaguars actually know to be good. But it expanded beyond Lawrence to become a more wide-ranging conversation about what quarterbacks are actually worth and when they are worth the most, and the NFL's Jurassic attempts to do basic moneyball stuff. I didn't expect to talk about Jared Goff this much in June, but I was happier to do it than I would have expected.

Then things got beachy. An extended Funbag session started with a listener voicemail that dared to question whether The Met Gala might be enhanced by involving the actual New York Mets; I think I came up with a nice way to honor John Olerud's contribution to baseball and fashion, but I have yet to receive any response from Anna Wintour's people on that front. We were gently remonstrated with by a Canadian listener for our ignorance on how sports fans are distributed across that country, said "sorey" about those misapprehensions, and then went back to being dumb about all that in a way that segued into a semi-appreciation of the mid-grade donut chains of North America. Last week's discussion of LinkedIn hijinks led to a question about the various expressions of social media brain disease and modes of horniness on that platform and others. The question of how non-aligned fans might best and most happily pick a team, and what it is actually like to be a fan of one team in a two-team city, went in various directions but concluded with the time my father called the New York Jets "flashy new AFL bullshit." By the time I managed to sneak Browning Nagle into the podcast, I knew it was pretty much over. It's hard to keep a man from the beach when you're just reciting the names of various lousy Jets quarterbacks. But it worked for a while.

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