They say this is the city never sleeps.
Because if you slept at all during the 24 ½ hours from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 12 until around 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 12 … well, there’s no telling how much you missed, so hopefully it was a good nap.
Actually, that’s not true. You could whistle away a blissful six hours of deep REM sleep starting at midnight. The wake-up call wouldn’t come until …
6 a.m. Tuesday: Jets get C.J. Mosley
Just in case you thought we were kidding about how bonkers-crazy the NFL free agency period is as opposed to baseball’s, it was exactly 73 minutes before the sun rose over New York City that the Jets rang the bell on the Craziest Day Ever, agreeing with Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley on a five-year, $85 million contract.
Most days, that would be more than enough news to carry you through a cycle. Mosley is a four-time Pro Bowler and exactly the kind of fierce presence the Jets have been hungering for. Did they overpay for him? Sure they did! And that would’ve been one of the best part about debating this all day, along with the fact that he’d be joining ex-Viking Anthony Barr for an instant jolt on the Jets defense.
Not a bad news day before you even order your lead-off coffee …
9:02 a.m.: Tim Tebow reassigned to minor league camp
One Twitter jokester (OK, it was me) sub-tweeted the news thusly: Jesus wept. He was told a few minutes later, correctly, that the funnier comment would be “Jesus Alou Wept.” In either case, it means that there was probably much rejoicing in the streets of Syracuse, N.Y., home of the Mets’ new Triple-A farm team, where Tebow likely will spend much of the upcoming summer.
It also allowed a spotlight to be placed, however briefly, on just what a fun story Tebow has become. There is little doubt that his original signing was a novelty act. But there is also little doubt that he has improved as a baseball player. Significantly, in one important observer’s eyes.
“He’s honestly one of the most improved players I’ve ever been around,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “Of course he still has a way to go. But that really tells you how hard this game is.”
The Tebow Effect is real, too. You can be walking in the bowels of a spring-training ballpark and know when he’s entered a game by the surge in crowd buzz. And as one. Met official said, “He walks in a room with Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, and it’s like those are two guys who walked in off the street. All anyone sees is Tim.”
10:54 a.m. Aunt Becky was indicted?
As we said: a bonkers day. Actress Lori Laughlin, of “Full House” fame, is charged (along with “Sports Night” star Felicity Huffman, among many others) with taking part in a scam where non-athletic high schoolers were given admissions help to several prominent schools due to exam finagling and bribery and … sorry. We’d like to spend some more time with this but …
12:51 p.m.: Barr ‘Dewey versus Trumans’ the Jets
And, well, the Post, too, since we’d all gone to bed thinking that the Vikings’ stud edge rusher was trading in his purple for green. As someone with the Jets told our man Brian Costello before Coz tried to get his 15 minutes of sleep for the week: “You never know until the pen hits the paper.” And Barr’s pen scrawled his name on a contract to stay with the Vikings rather than bolt to the Jets, and for less money.
That was a gut punch. And so was …
4:21 p.m.: Center Matt Paradis Picks Panthers over Jets
Just over 10 hours earlier the Jets believed they were on the verge of putting together an epic recruiting class. Then Barr reneged. And Paradis, whom they’d hoped would be one of Sam Darnold’s most effective bodyguards, opted for Carolina.
Looks like a lost day for the poor Gang in Green …
5 p.m.: Dolan
… but everything that came before was surely mere prelude for the appearance of Knicks owner James Dolan on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN radio. And Dolan didn’t disappoint, bringing his usual bag of tricks (and tics).
He said the word “right” approximately 8,000 times in an hour (nobody ever compared him to Barack Obama as an orator, but that was exhausting). He said he’d been “ambushed” by the fan at the Garden that TMZ’s video caught him arguing with. He revealed he had banned said fan for life.(Question: even if we give Dolan the benefit of the doubt that the fan had – his words – “stalked him” … So? The fan was cordial. He didn’t curse. He made a suggestion. Is that suddenly outside the realm of free speech? In Jim Dolan’s Garden it is.)
He insisted that the Knicks would be players for free agents this summer. He ripped the Daily News a little more. He swore up and down that he wouldn’t sell the team. It was all an amazing performance, especially since Peter Rosenberg, one of Kay’s co-hosts, was practically giving him a back rub the whole time.
Yep, this would certainly be what everyone would be talking about the rest of the night, if not the rest of the week, if not …
7:44 p.m.: Giants trade Beckham to Browns
Wait … what?
The first reaction: shock. Dave Gettleman had scoffed at the whispers that had swirled around Odell Beckham Jr. since practically the moment the two men agreed to a $95 million contract. Yes, OBJ was a handful. Yes, he hadn’t led the Giants to any significant glory. But from the moment he donned a No. 13 it was impossible to keep your eyes off him. He was – what’s the popular new term? – a generational talent.
And now he was a Brown, swapped for Jabrill Peppers and two draft picks.
Talk about your “Holy #@$#” moments.
The second reaction: melancholy. In the space of about eight weeks New York has been relieved of both Kristaps Porzingis and OBJ. They had a lot in common: so much of what we saw from them had come in flashes (and many of those flashes had come in defeat), and so much of their value was always in what they COULD do. Now that value will either be realized or capsized in Dallas and Cleveland.
Say it again: Dallas and Cleveland.
New York’s collection of true athletic stars has dwindled down to a precarious few. At least there’s Aaron Judge. At least there’s Jacob deGrom. At least there’s Saquon Barkley.
At least there’s Le’Veon Bell.
Wait … what?
12:19 a.m. Wednesday: Jets agree to terms with Bell
And, suddenly, the James Dolan interview felt like it was conducted around Labor Day.
And, suddenly, the Jets, who looked to be having one of their best offseason days ever, until it became one of their worst offseason days ever, were ready to go back to best-day-ever status as long as they could extend the clock an extra 20 minutes of so.
Bell was the jewel of what they wanted to do this free-agent season, a bellcow of a back who brings immediate star power to the locker room and a priceless weapon to the offensive huddle, all for $61 million, which was only $1 million more than he’d scoffed at on Twitter a year ago when a Jets fan volunteered to come up with the cash.
Quite a day. Quite a time. Are your eyes heavy? Really?
Close them at your own risk.