Let's Go to the Videotape: 1999 ESPN Playoff Intro

With signings and TRAIDS and so forth in a holding pattern, I figured now was as good a time as any to revisit a feature from last offseason: Let's Go to the Audiotape, wherein I highlight as much Mets-related video as the litigious MLBAM will allow.

At this point, it should be obvious to everyone and his mom that I am enamored of the 1999 Mets. That's why I thoroughly enjoy this clip, the opening to their first playoff game that year in the division series against Arizona. Of course, they'd essentially been playing elimination games for a week to that point, suffering a disastrous seven-game losing streak that necessitated a sweep of their last three games against the Pirates. That, and some help from the Brewers (who were playing the wild card leading Reds), bought them a play-in game in Cincinnati, which they won handily thanks to the arm of Al Leiter and the bat of Edgardo Alfonzo. They then had to hop on a plane and fly to Phoenix and face Randy Johnson.

Chris Berman alludes to some of this insanity during this clip, as does Buck Martinez, then a sideline reporter for ESPN. You'll also see former Met Ray Knight talk about how the Diamondbacks were a young franchise but not a young team (true enough). And of course, a few bloviating Bermanisms, although I don't find him nearly as annoying in this clip as I normally do. Perhaps it's the occasion. If it somehow ensured a Mets playoff appearance, I'd endure a broadcast team of Tim McCarver and a wisecracking robot dog that sounded exactly like Tim McCarver.

At the very end, you'll get a brief glimpse of John Olerud in ESPN's theme montage from 1999, in which players did an ersatz Bob Dylan by dropping cue cards that read EVERY GAME A HERO, accompanied by David Bowie's "Heroes." And not the terrible cover you often hear during sporting events these days, but the actual Bowie version. It may mark the last time ESPN got something like this right.

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