Jesse Jarnow

the narrator speaks (nlcs, no. 2, 3 & 4)

Not long after that season ended, I got a copy of the Mets’ highlight video, 1986: A Year to Remember, at a literal fire sale over on Jericho Turnpike: the place had burned, and the tape smelled like badly crisped bacon for a few years. As a nine year old, I watched it religiously, learning consciously for the first time about drama. There was an ominous narrator, atmospheric music, non-linear editing techniques, excited radio announcers, and some killer montages (one featuring “Karn Evil 9” by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, though I wouldn’t learn that for another decade). I saw how music could build tension and how authoritative foreshadowing could build it even further. I learned about fate, or at least its implications.

For me, it is right impossible to watch this post-season unfold and not hear A Year to Remember‘s narrator framing it. I want him to. I want him to say things like “in game 5, they put the ball in the capable hands of Tom Glavine,” as he described a winning Bob Ojeda appearance against the Red Sox. I want to see surprisingly tasteful bits of nostalgia — say, Reyes sliding in slow motion into second, coming up grinning — like the condensed version of the Series set to Bob Dylan’s “I’ll Remember You” (which, like the ELP cut, I didn’t realize was Dylan until much later).

Of course, the video’s weight comes entirely because the Mets made it, and won the World Series. Watching the Mets go down two games over the weekend, Saturday night in a singularly spectacular meltdown by seemingly everybody, the fate of the team was thrown into question for the first time since the post-season began. If the Mets lose now, and they might, does that invalidate everything that has happened already? Does the entire theoretical highlights video crumble? As the games progress, I hear him crunching them into soundbytes. I just wish I could feed him lines.