Choose the correct phrase (and no peeking!) to complete this story from a certain paper of record:
As mortified fans watch the [Red Sox/Mets] fritter away their once-commanding grip on first place in the [American/National] League East, dread infects the city that it might be witnessing a collapse of unprecedented proportions. Even those who far prefer the [Pats/Yankees] can’t escape the fact that such a nose dive would be downright humiliating to [Boston/New York].
How could they? How dare they?
[Patrick O’Shannon/John Glendinning], 53, a retired laborer from [Malden/Brooklyn] who goes by Whitey, is so agitated he can’t watch the games without losing his sense of civility. “I get too nervous,” he said. “I start throwing things at the wall.”
But, hey, calm down. Collapses happen.
Indeed, where would the city be without its grandiose collapses? The all-out falls from grace or riches or first place, or even a simple upright position, are a familiar and infuriating and perhaps even necessary part of the [Boston/New York] experience.