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Didja ever notice where Gordon Mann was?

For those who didn't read the most recent post, this week we are celebrating the 19th anniversary of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. As such, I have asked friends, acquaintances, and colleagues from all walks of life to share their stories of where they were on the evening of October 25, 1986. We begin with Division III sports afficianado Gordon Mann.

I was probably either crying or sleeping or both.

You see, my mother wouldn't let me stay up past a certain bedtime. While my mother was sympathetic to my sports fandom, that sympathy only extended so far -- roughly 9:30 as I recall. During football season I used to look forward to Monday night so I could watch MacGyver and then the introduction to Monday Night Football. That was back when they used the dramatic music and a simpler intro narrated by Al Michaels ("JimPlunkett knows the Broncos well") instead of scantily clad cheerleaderslip synching in dopey faux-bar scenes to that country guy's played-out"Are you ready for some football?" song. Can we please get another theme song? Please?

Where was I? Ah yes. That night she made an exception and allowed me to stay up a little later to watch a few innings. I was very upset that my team of heroes -- Strawberry, Doc, Dykstra, Backman, Mookie -- was going to see its season end this way. It wasn't fair. They were the good guys (hey,I was 8 so there was definitely a naivete about their off-field antics), the team who rallied against improbable odds to beat Houston and wore cool wristbands. If they weren't supposed to beat the Red Sox, what was the point? Why have that Mets' hat and pennant in my room? Why fire a super pinky at a brick wall pretending I was Dwight Gooden? Weren't the good guys -- He-Man, Richard Dean Anderson, Roger McDowell -- supposed to win in the end?

So my parents shouted from the other room as my cries of anguish became more audible and angry, "If you're going to get that upset, you should go to bed." I certainly wasn't going to convince them otherwise based on my composure, so I turned out the light, hugged my pink panther stuffed animal, wept bitterly and slept.

I remember getting up the next morning, making my cranky way to the breakfast table. I'm sure I didn't ask about the score since I was in full brood-mode and nursed some superstitions that if I didn't watch the last out or ask the score my team was more likely to win. Of course, if I never asked the score, I'd never know whether this worked. But I was 8 so we're not talking Socratic logic here. One of my parents told me cheerfully, "The Mets won!" And so all was right with the world.

Later I saw the unbelievable football -- Buckner making an improbable mistake ripped from a Bugs Bunny cartoon, the winning run scoring as the Mets celebrated like little 8-year olds themselves. My cereal tasted sweeter, elementary school recess was better and my faith in the justice of life had been restored. So I never saw Wilson's ground ball go through Buckner's legs when it actually happened. But oddly enough that moment remains one of my favorite sports moments of all time.


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