On Sunday, an audio clip of a passionate Mets fan known only as "Will from Queens" went viral on the Internet. Will had called into Mike Francesa's radio show on Sunday morning to tearfully beg Matt Harvey to step up on Monday night.
"He has to do it tomorrow night," Will said. "I want to see it done tomorrow night. Thank you..." He trailed off, but we needed to know more. So we found him.
Will from Queens, it ends up, is Will Collins, a 42-year-old eighth grade math teacher in Queens and a hardcore Mets fans, although the latter goes without saying. Collins once again appeared on Mike Francesa's show on Monday, and Francesa surprised Collins by telling him he'd be sitting next to the radio star for Game 3 of the NLDS. Collins snapped this photo for us right before he entered Citi Field.
In a phone conversation earlier on Monday with The Huffington Post, Collins spoke about the emotional phone call, Matt Harvey and his thoughts going into Game 3. We spoke with him for 15 minutes, but the gregarious Collins was so energetic and passionate that we were only able to get three questions in. Such is life with Will from Queens.
What inspired to call the show on Sunday morning and pour your heart out?
They didn't get it right. I wasn't upset about [Utley's slide]. I was, but it wasn't like from what I read they were like "he's looking for a shoulder to cry on." I really wasn't, it was just all of the years and in this weird way Tejada goes down and it's Flores who's going to come in who was such a special part of the year this year. From when they thought he was traded and the Harvey, I have my Harvey jersey, I haven't worn it all year, and I want to wear it.
Is there something with Matt Harvey that resonates with you?
Just the fact that I don't know if he knows the impact that he can have. Like anything else, he's a Met, but through all this, the innings pitched, the way he came out and talked about it. It's, like, man, you were loved, you have an opportunity. And he's not dumb, he knows what's coming up in this game, but it's, like, you can win this city back. There’s a lot of people that are just, you know, I think the way you conduct yourself does matter and, you know, when David Wright got the hit the other night to really seal the game, just the professional way he went into second base, he didn’t go wild, he wasn’t acting like he had been the man all year. He was able to take that moment and I want Harvey now, who Mike Francesca or one of those guys is saying “he creates the fire.” Well, when the big moments come along it's a privilege to be part of them when you go through all this losing, like we all have. Just, oh man, just go do it. No more talk, the whole agent, the whole thing. This is Queens, this is not the Yankees. This is even more because you got all the blue collar people, there’s blue collar people who are Yankee fans as well, I was born in the Bronx I get the whole thing. But it’s just this whole, Flores is coming back in, I think it’s just going to be something amazing. Harvey has all this drama surrounding him. He might have wanted to be the Game 1 pitcher, I think it was meant to be, he’s the right guy for this spot I feel. He can nail the pressure, I just hope he realizes it. So I called up, it happened so fast. I don’t even know what Mike said to be honest. It was the play from the night before and it all just kind of came together.
Are you originally from Queens?
I was born in the Bronx and I grew up in a farm in Upstate, but I moved back and I’ve been teaching here for the last 15 years in Queens at a public school. I take my classes to the Mets, every year we go back for the educational day, and last we went as a school. That’s a big part of my life and it’s great for the kids to get, you know you want to have a connection with the greatest city in the world and getting on the 7 train and going over to, and now they got the new stadium. Look it’s just the regular fan that loves the team and you know, we have a real shot. Who would have thought at the beginning of the year with all the nonsense with Sandy Alderson, the team is terrible, the Wilpons and all the stuff going on. But all of sudden these guys, just keep, these wins have been incredible. It’s like when Patrick Ewing when he was with the Knicks, they didn’t win the big one but my gosh how awesome was it to be a fan during his time.
This interview has been edited and condensed
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