View image | gettyimages.comThe way I see it, the Mets owe us big time for spending so many hours watching them lose two games in a row in Kansas City to a superior team. How they repay us is obvious. They have to host a victory parade down Broadway in Manhattan, and make sure we all have the day off so we can sleep in late.The opener on Tuesday was grueling enough—the longest World Series game in history measured by innings. By the time the final out was recorded in the 14th, five hours and nine minutes after it started, I was numb, both spiritually and physically. My eyes could barely see. My mind was shot.As they taught us by their debacle the following night, the first matchup was one the Mets had to win. All that effort gone to waste. I mean, on our part, as demoralized fans too masochistic to turn the damn thing off until some distant voice of reason, probably female, penetrated our consciousness with these words: “Go to bed!”After all, hadn’t we done our time already this season? Didn’t we stick with the Metropolitans back in July, when the needs of our families and our communities—hell, our republic, for that matter—went begging for 18 innings? It was July 19th, and the Mets only took a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the top of the 13th inning, only to blow it in the bottom of the same inning when Jeurys Familia gave up a leadoff homer. No, I don’t want to remember it well—they did go on to prevail 3-1—but it came back to haunt me when Game 1 entered the midnight hour after he’d blown it in the ninth inning. I turned to my viewing companion, my son who had to get up even earlier the next morning than I so he could catch a train to the city, and asked him rhetorically, “How much longer should we watch this?”Well, the answer was obvious. To the bitter end. After all, past was prologue. We both stuck with the team in July, when the World Series seemed like a pipe dream, why would we be sensible now? Back then, Ruben Tejada—bless his soul, and curse Chase Utley’s—hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Wilmer Flores to score the go-ahead run. We got an insurance run on a squeeze bunt by Eric Campbell. Ah, those were the days, weren’t they? And let us recall that it was a day game, too.Tuesday night seemed to last forever. My son said he had a dream (perhaps a nightmare) later that it ended at 5 a.m. Let the record show it was over way before then. Apparently, we were not alone. The game was the most-watched World Series opener since 15 million viewers tuned into the 2010 matchup.This game, let’s face it, did have a little bit of everything. There was the first inside-the-park homer since the World Series of 1929 (and the anniversary of the Stock Market crash was this week, too, come to think of it)—and it came off the very first pitch that our Dark Knight, Matt Harvey, threw. That in itself is a rarity.And, laughing at their expense because it is Fox after all, there was a “rare electronics failure” that blew the game off the air—and onto our radios—in the fourth inning. Just like that, we all had to hunt for our AM dials, but just before we could settle in, the network figured out how to stream the international feed for domestic consumption. I just felt sorry for the hapless chaps back in the studio who had to make small talk while the engineers figured out how to override the meltdown. We haven’t seen anything like this since the Oakland A’s-San Francisco Giants World Series—dubbed the Battle of the Bay—was disrupted by a severe earthquake that struck in 1989 just as Game 3 was getting underway and knocked ABC off the air. By the way, the Giants were down two games to none. The bad news is that the Athletics went on to sweep them four-zip.Tuesday’s snafu also illustrates just how dependent America’s pastime has become on modern technology. The four-minute on-field delay was reportedly due to the replay capability being lost in both team’s clubhouses. We wouldn’t want to lose that, would we? Why, without replay capability, how could the game go on? Now, since it was Fox, nobody dared to blame the liberal media for screwing up, but the thought had to be in the noosphere. But they found the right switch and the game went on at Kauffman Stadium. For the record, the 2013 Super Bowl was delayed when the power went out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. That’s a more old-fashioned problem, but it certainly couldn’t have helped the automaker’s brand since play stopped for 34 minutes.Once Fox resumed its World Series coverage, it was amusing when Joe Buck—he of the five o’clock stubble—told the viewing audience that they had enough quarters to keep Game 1 on the air for the rest of the evening as he traded microphones with Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz, who were handling the game for MLB International. Little did Buck know that the night was still young.Going into Wednesday night’s game from the Mets’ point of view, they probably figured that all their East Coast fans could use some shut-eye but they took it one step further, and seemed to nod off at the plate, getting only two hits off the Royals’ mighty-dreadlocked righthander Johnny Cueto, who pitched the whole damn game, while our long-haired phenom Jacob DeGrom hardly struck anybody out and got rocked instead. Our reputed ace gave up four runs in the fifth inning, and then it was lights out for him. For good measure other Mets pitchers came in in relief and allowed three more before the game was mercifully over, 7-1 the final score.Sleep, perchance to dream, never sounded so good Wednesday night. For the superstitious, the Mets lost by one run in the first game of the 1986 World Series and by six runs in the second game—and that was at Shea Stadium, where we teach future generations the Mets beat the Red Sox in Game 6, and, just as important, in Game 7.Whether history can repeat itself this time against Kansas is a question that remains to be seen. Too many Mets fans woke up Thursday morning thinking the world had ended, let alone the Series. But let us remember they’ve only played each other twice, and they have at least two more games to go.So, the message to us all: stay tuned. And hope the blessings flow. 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Shoaib Malik’s injury not severeAN Amazon Warrior for three years, Rayad Emrit will suit up for his new side tonight, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, when they take on Guyana Amazon Warriors at Guyana National Stadium, Providence, here at 20:00hrs.Having suffered a loss in their opening game against the Trinbago Knight Riders on Wednesday, Emrit maintained that Patriots will be looking to rebound strongly and hopefully grab the result that his side needs.Reflecting on that game at the pre-game press conference at the Marriott Hotel, Guyana, Emrit said, “We had a decent game, we were in a position to win but losing three wickets in four overs did not help.”“Our batsmen need to step up against a very good Amazon Warriors side. Hopefully we can get that right and the result that we need.”He also spoke of the Patriots non-dependence on any one player saying; “We don’t rely on any one player, I have learnt a lot from my three years with the Warriors and I have tried to pass that on to the team, hopefully they can buy into it.”Emrit further noted; “I am excited to be back in Guyana, I know I still have fans here and I love them just as much as they love me. I just want to have a great game and contribute to a successful outing.”Meanwhile, Amazon Warriors vice-captain and man-of-the-match in the first game, Chris Green doesn’t feel as though his side needs to change much heading into tonight’s game.“It was a really good feeling to start the way we did, it was not the smoothest of games but we came out victorious in the end. There is still a long way to go in the tournament and we will be looking to play good cricket and continue along the successful path.”After being struck on the hand during the Warriors 13-run win over the St Lucia Zouks on Thursday night, captain Shoaib Malik has not suffered any serious injury.It is not yet clear if he will take the field in tonight’s game but Green noted; Malik had a scan, it seems to be in the all-clear; he should be fine. Obviously he’s an important player for us, being the captain and all.”Green also spoke of the importance of the crowd support and thanked the Guyanese for their die-hard backing of the Amazon Warriors over the years.Guyana Amazon Warriors: Anthony Bramble (wicketkeeper), Chris Green, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Ben Laughlin, Saurabh Netravalkar, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Clinton Pestano, Nicholas Pooran, Sherfane Rutherford, Shadab Khan, Romario Shepherd, Shoaib Malik (captain), Keagan Simmons, Odean Smith.St Kitts & Nevis Patriots: Carlos Brathwaite (c), Aaron Jones, Akeem Jordan, Fabian Allen, Shamarh Brooks, Keron Cottoy, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Rayad Emrit, Laurie Evans, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jeremiah Louis, Mohammad Hafeez, Jason Mohammed, Kjorn Ottley, Devon Thomas, Usama Mir.
UW quaterback Scott Tolzien was surrounded by several new faces in the Badger huddle due to injuries against Iowa, but Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema says all those hurt could be ready to play Saturday.[/media-credit]The past few weeks have been physically and emotionally draining for the Wisconsin Football team.But coming off the bye week, and some much-needed rest, the players seem rejuvenated and full of energy at practice, according to head coach Bret Bielema.“On Tuesday when I came into that meeting room I could really just feel the energy,” Bielema said.The players had a daunting task in front of them with games against Ohio State and Iowa, but UW got the job done and used the bye week to rest up for the final four games of the regular season.Getting healthy, ready for PurdueLooking to come out strong from the bye week should be made easier with the return of a few key players. Wide Receiver Nick Toon is one of many injured Badgers expected to return to the playing field against Purdue.“He has been at practice and looks good to go,” Bielema said.Also, it appears as though Lance Kendricks, Peter Konz, and Mike Taylor will all be back in action this Saturday as all three have shown signs of improvement.Running Back James White, who suffered a knee sprain early on against Iowa, has seen a faster than expected recovery. Bielema attributes the reason for such rapid improvement being a result of White receiving assurance of only minimal amount of damage to his knee. The coaches are going to be careful with White’s injury but the hope is that he can contribute Saturday against the Boilermakers.“I saw [White] run around on Sunday and he won’t be in full speed on Tuesday but hopefully he will by the end of the week,” Bielema said.The Badger offense will be looking for continued success after piling up 31 points on a stingy Iowa defense in their last outing. Saturday provides a different challenge in West Lafayette, but for Bielema and the Badgers the plan remains the same.“For us to have success this weekend, we are going to have to stick to our formula, and the formula doesn’t change, only the tactics,” Bielema said.Purdue is coming off of two difficult back to back road loses against Ohio State and Illinois, however the Boilermakers played well in their last home game against Minnesota.The Badgers understand the challenge any road environment presents, but after a week off and plenty of rest, Bielema expects his team to head to Purdue with a lot of energy.“We have to embrace the challenge again of going on the road,” he said. “Our kids are going to be excited to play.”Resilience under center An important aspect to the Badgers’ offensive efficient has been quarterback Scott Tolzien’s durability and resilience, both physically and mentally.Tolzien has proven he overcomes adversity and comes back strong. According to Coach Bielema, one of Tolzien’s idols is Brett Favre, for his perseverance and toughness to find a way to get back out there. Tolzien has some of that same fire to find a way to get on the field, not only in the game but in practice as well.“If I cut practice, I am going to have to answer to Scott. If I cut plays out or 5-10 minutes, he is going to want to know why,” Bielema said. “That’s what makes him who he is.”Focused on the task at handWith Iowa defeating Michigan State this past weekend, the Badgers are in a great position right now to be serious contenders in the Big Ten title race, which could land them in a BCS bowl game.The speculation and bowl projections are fun for fans to look at, but now more than ever, Bielema needs his team to embrace the 1-0 mentality.“If you don’t take care of business this week, then it is all for nothing,” Bielema said. “I think this group of guys probably gets that better than years past. The reason they are in the position they are in is they take it one week at a time.”