It Was a Pretty Surreal Sunday Night for the Mets

Phillies fans cheer while Mets win in 14 innings.

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, May 2, 2011  |  Updated 9:02 AM EDT
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Pics: Crowds Celebrate at White House

AP

New York Mets relief pitcher Taylor Buchholz, rear, and catcher Ronny Paulino hug after winning a baseball game against the Phillies. The crowd chanted "USA! USA!" upon learning the U.S. government had completed a mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

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We finally learned what it takes for a New York team to beat a Philly team in Philly without getting booed.

Let's hope we never see it again because you can't get a scene like the one that greeted the news of Osama Bin Laden's death without all of the pain and suffering of 9/11 to precede it.

It was fitting that a team from New York was on the field when the news started spreading to every smartphone in Citizens Bank Park. Nearly a decade after that awful day, our city got to be part of a shared celebration that closed one door on the event that caused us to be the center of the nation's shared grief.

It was doubly fitting that the Mets were the New York team on the field. While the Yankees' run to the 2001 World Series has become an indelible part of our memories of that time, it was Mike Piazza's home run on September 21st that actually brought the joy of sports back to our city after the towers came down.

The fact that it all came against the Phillies made for a really perfect circle because it proved, once again, that sports is merely a sideline to the real, messy business that is life. A stadium mostly known for vulgarity became a spot for something much bigger during the eighth inning.

Chants of "USA! USA! USA!" started spilling out of the stands as people smiled, hugged their neighbors and enjoyed a moment that was a really long time in coming. The players didn't know what was happening right away, but they soon figured it out and David Wright got it right after the game.

"I don't like to give Philadelphia fans too much credit. But they got this one right."

They really did and it made for a scene that we won't soon forget. There were more scenes to come and all of them drove home just how much this meant to our country.

Somehow, though, the fact that a stadium full of Phillies fans couldn't have cared that the Phillies lost 2-1 to the Mets in 14 innings on a night that Cliff Lee started told you everything you needed to know.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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