A special guest column by Daily News columnist and New York Times bestselling author Mike Lupica:
The day began as these types of big sports days in the big city always seem to begin. Vendors peddling their hot dogs and nuts, children laughing, cars speeding by like stars in the night sky. There's a different kind of murmur to the assorted throng of people going about their day-to-day in the rat race that is the Big Apple today, though.
Tonight is about tacos.
Just as so many sons and fathers have shared a burrito after a stick ball game, their Ma yelling out to little Johnny from the window, "come and get it, boys". The smell of Burritos and tacos wafting through out the early evening air of a thousand summers on a thousand New York nights just like this. This spring night is a little different though. The early morning clouds exploding into rain showers, almost as if to say "tonight is special". Because, tonight the kid from Fort Hamilton High school in the hard-scrabble streets of Brooklyn, M@d Scientist, is trying to have one of those New York nights that will be talked about in the barber shops and ice cream parlors of Brooklyn and Queens and the Bronx and Staten Island. One of those special nights that have been reserved for heroes like Mickey, Derek, Patrick and now M@d.
I ran into M@d about an hour before the last Taco Tuesday. His thick Brooklyn accent that sounded like the streets that raised him, a mischievous smile creeped across his face like he knew the importance of what was to come, not just to him or his ragtag gang of PTU cohorts, but to an entire city, an entire nation that has been through so much these past few years. I asked him if he was excited for the tacos. "Me?" he said with a grin before pausing and admitting, "I'm just a kid who loves tacos".
Tonight, that kid who loves tacos from PS 102 and McKinley Junior high (the same school that birthed Sammy the Bull and Abraham Lincoln) will have a seat at the Hop Devil Grill, take a sip of water and eat tacos. For his neighborhood, for his blog, for his city. And for us.