Will Collins had gone from not watching NLDS Game 3 at all to watching it from the front row, a turn of events he still was having trouble fathoming a half-hour before the first pitch Monday night.
"I can't even take it in," he said, standing next to his host, Mike Francesa, at Citi Field. "The whole crying thing, that's the last thing on my mind now . . . It's awesome."
The "crying thing" happened Sunday morning, when as "Will from Queens," he called into Francesa's WFAN show and became emotional when discussing how much it meant to him for Matt Harvey to have a strong pitching performance in Game 3.VoteMike Francesa: Fan or foe?
Audio of the call went viral on the Internet, to the point that the 42-year-old junior high school teacher from Forest Hills felt compelled on Monday to phone Francesa's producer, Brian Monzo, and ask to be put on the air to reassure listeners he was OK.
"After my open, I walked by and Monz said to me, 'Will is on the phone,' '' Francesa said. "I said, 'Does he want to talk to me?' He said, 'No, he wants to come on the air.' I said, 'Is he OK, or is he upset about this attention?' ''
It turned out Collins was not upset, just concerned that people might have been overly worried about him. "I called up the second time just to set it straight, because I was laughing to myself [over the reaction],'' he said. "I was just caught up in the moment."
During the course of Monday's conversation, Collins told Francesa he does not have cable television and thus takes in most Mets games on the radio -- including the current series, all of which is being televised by TBS and TNT.
So Francesa invited Collins to sit next to him behind home plate.
"It hit me when he said he was going to listen to the game on the radio," Francesa said. "It's fun for me, who has been to a million games, to get to see someone experience something they never have experienced before.
"So the idea of me sitting there tonight watching Will will be as much fun as watching the game. I've been lucky enough to be able to do this a couple of times, so I'm enjoying it more than he is, I bet you."
Francesa originally had planned to bring his 10-year-old son, Jack, and a friend, but that idea was nixed because of the late starting time. Francesa was about to invite an adult friend when Collins called. "I didn't even know what to say," Collins said. "I was speechless. I can't even say how much it meant. It was just amazing."
Collins, who was wearing a replica Matt Harvey jersey, said he was supposed to do some tutoring Monday but changed his plans after the invitation and soon found himself on the 7 train headed for his first in-person playoff game.
"They said, 'Can you get down here?' '' Collins said. "Can I get down here? Yes! It's just a blast."