Sunday, December 25, 2011

FIRE SCHOTTENHEIMER

It is nice to have a new computer, enough said.

After the last few weeks and especially after yesterday's Jets - Giants game, you have to fire Schottenheimer. He has taken a team that has all the talent in the world on the offensive side of the ball and he has turned it into a complete train wreck.

An offensive coordinator needs to evaluate his talent and develop a system that will fit. Schottenheimer has tried so hard to fit a square peg in a round hole way too many times. Sanchez is that square peg. He is a good quarterback when the running game is taking the lead but Sanchez cannot throw 50 times a game. That is a recipe for disaster. Sanchez only looks comfortable when his running game is rolling.

Schottenheimer has one of the best O-Lines in the game for the run. He has a good running back in Greene and a great back up in LT. He has a powerful blocking back in John Conner and he still thinks that the Jets need to lead with the pass. Everyone in the league knows what Schottenheimer is doing and he still comes out and tries to be Air Schott, but he is more like Air Schitt.

Schottenheimer cannot change on the fly, Schottenheimer panics when things go sideways and Schottenheimer is fooling no one with his formations. Here are two examples. The Jets have 4th and 2 and they are going for it. Schottenheimer calls a shotgun formation that basically is telling the world you are passing. The play begins and instead of trying for 3 yards, the primary receiver goes 15 yards down field and is overthrown. Lucky for Schottenheimer the Giants take a penalty. Second example, late in the game, Jets deep in their own end, Schottenheimer calls a drop back pass formation. Not bad if the Giants weren't crashing in all game but they were and you take a safety. Really!!!

Sanchez looked awful this year but Schottenheimer made him look worse. The Jets need an offensive coordinator who will recognize the teams strengths and weaknesses and then devise a system for that.

The Jets are team that can be very good but their lack of discipline and not being able to take care of the football will kill the best of teams. Their defense was good this year but once Leonard went down again, the Jets could basically cancel Christmas. (See Poole being steamrolled.)

Mr. Johnson, now that your playoff hopes have all been extinguished, you need to take a hard look at who is directing this team and make the appropriate changes. Remember, it's not personal, it's business.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

GO BEACH!!!

The 49ers have started their brutal end of November beginning of December schedule. This is either a cruel joke or someone at the NCAA has lost their mind.

As of today, the Long Beach 49ers have a 3-1 record. On November 16th, they traveled to Pittsburgh and beat the #9 Pittsburgh team 86-76. Not bad since Pittsburgh has not lost to a non-conference team at home in 58 games. Go Beach!!! They then went to San Diego State on November 19th to take on the Aztecs. They ended up losing in OT. They then came back home on Tuesday night against Boise State and gained a win. Go Beach!!!

So far, so good. But, in a three week period, the 49ers will take on #1 North Carolina, #7 Louisville and #14 Kansas. All of these games are on the road. And to make their holidays just a bit brighter, the 49ers are traveling to the Diamond Head Classic on December 22 and they will be playing #12 Xavier. Wow.

If they can come out ahead on some of these road games, you have to put them in the Top 25. GO BEACH!!!

RAILSPLITTERS MAKE IT TO SEMIS

Lincoln High School got a major scare from the Orange Wave of Jefferson High School in their quarter final play-off game. The Railsplitters pulled out a 30-28 win.

Jefferson High School made it into the play-offs with a 4-7 record due to their strength of schedule. In their first round play-off game, Jefferson stunned Canarsie to advance. Jefferson was hoping to pull another stunner against the Railsplitters.

Lincoln was up 24-6 at halftime but Jefferson came out firing in the third quarter. With 5 minutes left in the third quarter, Lincoln's quarterback, Jesel Jones threw an interception that was run back. Then to add more drama, Lincoln fumbled on the ensuing kick-off and Jefferson recovered. Jefferson got the ball into the endzone with a little more than a minute to go in the third. This cut the Lincoln lead to 24-20.

With Lincoln up by two points at the end of the fourth quarter, Jefferson tried an onside kick but Lincoln recovered, securing the win. They now advance to the semi-finals against Clinton High School on Saturday in Coney Island.

Good news, bad news. Good news is, we are one game away from the finals at Yankee Stadium. Bad news is, we got to practice over Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

LET'S GO RANGERS!!!!


The New York Rangers will be facing the Philadelphia Flyers on January 2, 2012 in the NHL Winter Classic. HBO cameras are now following the New York Rangers around for their 24/7 series. The first sneak peek will be on November 25, 2011. It will be fun listening to the players that are mic'd up during practice.

The HBO special is going to be fun to watch over the next few weeks but what is even more fun to watch is the Rangers this season. The loss on Saturday put an end to their seven game winning streak. Tonight the Rangers will put the loss on Saturday behind them and try to start another streak. The next four games are against Florida, Washington, Philadelphia and the Penguins. 

What is great about this years roster is that they have a core of players that they obtained through the draft. The Rangers selected Lundqvist in the seventh round in 2000. Dubinsky and Callahan were drafted in 2004, Sauer and Staal in 2005, Ansimov in 2006 and Del Zotto and Stepan were both taken in 2008. It is great to see that the Rangers have built from within. And you have Marian Gaborik who is scoring goals again and Brad Richards is doing everything. The defense has been great despite the loss of Staal to the injured reserve.


Monday, November 21, 2011

BC LIONS AND WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS IN GREY CUP


Next Sunday the BC Lions will take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup game. This is the Super Bowl for the CFL. This is a great accomplishment for the BC Lions since they started the season at 1-6.

Next Sunday's Grey Cup will pit Buck Pierce of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers against Travis Lulay of the Lions. Lulay was Pierce's understudy when Pierce was the Lions starter. Lulay has matured immensely during this season. When the Lions played the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on August 13, Lulay was pulled in the second half of that game. The Lions eventually lost 30-17. That defeat dropped the Lions to 1-6. After that game, the Lions and Lulay have become an unstoppable team. They have gone 11-1 since that game.

Yesterday, the BC Lions went up 26-3 at halftime in their playoff game against the Edmonton Eskimos. Lulay had 241 yards passing and two touchdowns before the half. During the second half, Lulay ran the ball 61 yards for a touchdown. This put the Lions up 40-16. That run from scrimmage happened to be the longest run from scrimmage by a Lion during a play-off game. The BC Lions eventually won the game 40-23.

The 99th Grey Cup, which is being played in Vancouver, will definitely show that the BC Lions of today are not the BC Lions that met Blue Bombers back in the summer.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

THE GAME HAD TRAGEDY


On Friday, my good friend lost his father. From all of us here in The Cheap Seats,we send our condolences to you and your whole entire family. Irving will be waiting for him to show him the ropes and give him advice on which barber chair not to sit in. Maybe they can have a conversation on whether the Dodgers were better off in Brooklyn or in Los Angeles.

Yesterday, at The Game, tragedy struck in the parking lot. Before the Yale-Harvard, a U-Haul truck carrying kegs of beer swerved out of control in the grassy parking lot outside of the Yale Bowl. The U-Haul struck three people. One of these victims was fatally injured. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of this person.

Inside the Yale Bowl, Harvard dominated Yale 45-7.  Harvard has wrapped up the 2011 Ivy League Conference Title. Harvard put on an offensive clinic including a fake field goal, that could only be used for The Game.

This is a classic rivalry. The Game is always scheduled for the final game of the season and it is the most important game for these two teams. Winning of The Game is more important than their overall record.

 
In other Ivy League action, the Columbia Lions finally won a game. Hopefully this made their band happy.


 And tonight the BC Lions take on the Edmonton Eskimos for a berth in the 2011 Grey Cup.

Friday, November 11, 2011

SAY IT AIN'T SO JOE

As a supporter of Penn State football, I can say this, the school did the right thing yesterday in firing Joe Paterno. The school needs to fire everyone on the staff. You have identified the main culprit and all the people who placed the football program ahead of innocent victims but have you rooted out all accomplices? Get rid of the whole bunch and start new.

Joe Paterno was Penn State and Penn State was Joe Paterno. Paterno said that he told the proper authorities when he learned of this. Good for you, but you did not do enough. You are Joe Paterno and if you pushed the issue to be investigated properly they would of. You are Joe Paterno. You now are Joe Paterno, the man who allowed this to happen in his house and not the man who had most wins in college football. Sad. How does a sport take precedence over the heinous act of child molestation?

Here is a strange thought. These heinous acts happened over a number of years. Isn't it kind of strange that right after Paterno becomes the winningest coach in college football history, these heinous acts are addressed. Coincidence? I think not.

Monday, November 7, 2011

THE RESULTS ARE IN

On Friday's card of the Breeder's Cup, I went 3 for 3. Not bad considering I was using a system that I developed and had not used it on a big race day. The test was going to be Saturday's card.

The first race on Saturday that I was interested in was the third race at the Breeder's Cup. This was the Grade 2 Marathon. My system picked Birdrun. Due to the odds that he was going off at, I played him to place. He pretty much stayed right near the front throughout the race and finished 2nd by a head. He paid $7.20 to place, not a bad way to start the morning.

I had two more betting interests in the 5th and the 7th race. In the fifth, my system picked the number 2 horse, Giant Ryan and he turned into a Giant Nothing. He finished 8th out of 9 horses. No problem, this was the first ticket that I did not cash in two days. I can live with it. The second betting interest in the 7th race was Irrefutable. Basically, if he ran any slower he would of come in first in the eighth race.

I am now wondering if the system has run it's course. I had to tell myself that everything is cyclic and just forget those two races. My next race was the 8th race and my system picked the number 1 horse, St. Nicholas Abbey from Ireland. This horse was being shipped all the way from Ireland just to run in this 3 million dollar race. Aidan O'Brien is the trainer and he was having his 18 year son, Joseph, ride this horse. Before I made my bet, I thought to myself, this is going to be amazing or the kid is going to freeze and the horse will do nothing.

They get loaded into the gate and when the gates open, St. Nicholas Abbey gets out to fourth place in this mile and half jaunt on the grass. O'Brien keeps the horse on the rail and within striking distance. When they started to come into the final turn, St. Nicholas Abbey went two wide from the rail. He was now behind a wall of horses. The kid better have some guts and get that horse to the outside and as they came spinning around the turn, O'Brien swings the horse five wide and St. Nicholas Abbey responds. He clears the field going away. Joseph O'Brien is now the youngest jockey ever to win a Breeder's Cup race. For his job well done, the horse paid $15.60 and $7.20. This was a nice ending to a real fun day watching and wagering on the Breeder's Cup.

The system took on the Breeder's Cup and it went 4 for 7. Not bad, maybe I should sell it on the Internet?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

BIG SATURDAY

Yesterday was the first day of the two day Breeder's Cup card. I did well in my betting interests. At the Breeder's Cup, I went 3 for 3. At Aqueduct, I went 2 for 4. Hopefully, my Saturday's picks are going to be as good as Friday's. We'll see.

Once the Breeder's Cup is over, the LSU and Alabama game will start. A great game with a lot on the line. I like LSU in this one even if they are on the road. A game that I am going to keep an eye on is the OSU/Kansas State game. An OSU win keeps them in the mix.

And big football is not just here in the States. North of the border in Canada has a huge game in the CFL. The BC Lions are taking on the Montreal Alouettes. A BC win will give them a bye in the first round of the play-offs. An amazing feat for a team that started 0-5.

And tomorrow, my high school, Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY, is going up against Fort Hamilton High School. Lincoln is looking to complete an undefeated season with a win over Fort Hamilton. Go Big Blue.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

BREEDER'S CUP 2011


Friday brings the Breeder's Cup to Churchill Downs and Aqueduct opens for the fall meet. What is so special about this Aqueduct opening is the addition of video lottery terminals and electronic table games in the area where the Grandstand used to be. New York is moving in the right direction to get people to come to the track. They are even charging free admission, everyday. Every track that has went to adding slot machines and other forms of gambling in addition to live racing has shown an increase in attendance and on-track betting pools.

Even with that exciting news, Churchill Downs will be the focus on Friday and Saturday. The Breeder's Cup is a two day card bringing the best of the best to compete with each other. There are three races that I am interested in for Friday. They are the Grade 1 Breeder's Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, the Grade 1 Breeder's Cup Filly and Mare Turf and the Grade 1 Breeder's Cup Ladies Classic.

In the Sprint I like Turbulent Descent but I will not get a price. It won't cost me to watch. The Turf race has Nahrain going off at 7-2 on the morning line. The race that Is going to give me a price is the Ladies Classic, I like It's Tricky at 5-1.

Those are my three plays for the Breeder's Cup for Friday but Aqueduct is where the money is going to be. I have a play in the second race at 4-1 and I am going to play a Pick 3 starting with the fourth race. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, October 31, 2011

TRICK OR TREAT?


With a few hours left before C.C. could of declared himself a free agent, the Yankees reached into their bag of goodies and gave C.C. a lot of candy. They gave him a one year extension worth $25 miilion for 2016 and a vesting option for 2017 worth another $25 million. Can you say trick or treat?

If you thought that the Yankees pitching staff was awful last year, imagine if they didn't have C.C. signed for next year. His departure would have been a gaping hole in the Yankees pitching staff.

He has been one of the better acquisitions for the Yankees over the last decade. He has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 ERA since 2009. Now the Yankees need to find someone to pitch in the number 2 slot. There are two pitchers on the free agent market, Wilson of the Rangers and Oswalt, who was recently released by the Phillies. Wilson will command big bucks while Oswalt is damaged goods and they both are over 30. My theory with free agents is, you are paying them for what they have done not for what they are going to do. A high priced free agent pitcher usually falls on his face after he gets the big bucks. Can you say Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, Javier Vasquez and who can ever forget Ed "Please Don't Slash My Tires in the Parking Lot" Whitson.

Pitching is always the foundation of a good ballclub and the Yankees need to address that this off-season. They have addressed the Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano issue, so now the major issue can be tackled.
 

BC LIONS TAKE HOLD OF FIRST


After an 0-5 start, the BC Lions get a first round bye in this year's play-offs. With yesterday's win over the Edmonton Eskimos, they are tied with Edmonton for first place with a 10-7 record and they have a 3-1 season series record against Edmonton. So, if theses two teams are tied after the season ends next week, the Lions have the tie breaking edge.

Saturday night, Travis Lulay threw for three touchdown passes and the Lions defense harassed Edmonton's quarterback, Ricky Ray, all night. Khalif Mitchell had two of the Lions sacks on Ray. The Lions run defense allowed a whopping 17 yards to Jerome Messam, Edmonton's star running back.

The Lions seem to be clicking on all cylinders right now despite last week's hiccup against the Hamilton Tiger Cats. The Lions need to keep this roll going to end the season with a win and a first round bye for the play-offs.

Next week, the Lions play the Montreal Alouettes while Edmonton takes on the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

LINCOLN ROUTS CANARSIE


You would think that yesterday was January 29th and not October 29th. With an early snowstorm hitting the northeast, many of the college and high school games were played in icy and slushy conditions. These conditions sometimes bring out the worst in teams but in the case of Lincoln High School, this intense snowstorm did not stop their express to the City Championship.

Lincoln was bringing their 7-0 record to Canarsie High School. Canarsie was in second place in their division with a 6-1 record. This was a big game for Lincoln considering that all the critics were saying that this Canarsie team was only the second "real" team that Lincoln has played this year. This "real" team was destroyed 54-0 by the Lincoln squad.

Lincoln is now the only undefeated team in the city at 8-0. They are on track to go back to the scene of their last loss, last year's City Championship. Next week, Lincoln takes on the team that beat them out for that championship, Fort Hamilton, in their final game of the season.

Last week Jessel Jones put on a show for Lincoln but this week the spotlight focused on Kareem Folkes. He scored on touchdown runs of 31, 30, 23, 17 and 70 yards. This is difficult to do on any given day but for him to do that in the conditions he was playing in, was simply amazing. If you have never played in a snowstorm with wet and icy conditions, I will describe it as like playing in an ice skating rink with no visibility and your whole body feels like it has been shot up with Novocaine.

Another remarkable statistic from yesterday's game is that Lincoln did not have one turnover while Canarsie had five. It was a nearly perfect effort for Lincoln in imperfect conditions.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

LINCOLN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL



Lincoln High School's win last week gave the Railsplitters a 7-0 record. They are the first PSAL team to reach 7 wins. Before the win last week many were describing Lincoln's schedule as a cream puff schedule. Sheepshead Bay was going to be the first team of substance for Lincoln.

Sheepshead Bay came into Coney Island and were beaten by a better Lincoln squad 36-14. If you were to ask Sheepshead Bay what happened they will tell you that they still think Sheepshead Bay is the better team. Coach Fred Snyder of Sheepshead stated after the game, "We weren't beaten by a better team." Lincoln's coach, Shawn O'Connor replied, "Maybe if he wasn't beaten by a better team, maybe he was out coached.".

The star of the game was quarterback Jessel Jones. He had four touchdowns, two throwing and two running. His first touchdown was a 74 yard run on Lincoln's first possession and then he broke one for 63 yards at the end of the first half with the game tied 14-14. He showed his touch when he connected on a 14 yard touchdown pass and then on a 55 yard touchdown pass. A case can be made that he is the best signal caller in the city.

Saturday night Lincoln High travels to the Canarsie section of Brooklyn to take on Canarsie High. Canarsie has a 6-1 record and with a win here, they can take a piece of first place with Lincoln in the PSAL Division One Championship Division. That task will not be easy. Lincoln's stubborn defense has only given up 38 points this year, while it's offense has put up a total of 308 points on the year. That is an average of 44 points a game. These numbers are best in the conference. Canarsie is the second leading defensive team in the conference and this game might be a defensive struggle. Canarsie is going to have to hope that it becomes a defensive battle since they do not put many points on the board. They have been averaging 22 points a game.

LOUTALLICA


There are a number of things that go together, peanut butter and jelly, Abbott and Costello, Lewis and Martin but I am not sure if Lou Reed and Metallica go together. The above video shows Metallica acting as a great back-up band for one of Lou Reed's songs but.....

Lou Reed, co-founder of the Velvet Underground and Metallica, the band that has defined the 1980s thrash metal scene has combined forces on an album. These two rock icons have made their places into music history in each of their respective genres. Growing up in NYC, Lou Reed was one of my favorite artisits. Over a decade later a band by the name of Metallica came along and totally revolutionized what we called back in the day, Heavy Metal. But still, I don't know why I can't see them doing an album together.

Back in October 2009, they both took the stage at Madison Square Garden for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert. Lou Reed liked the results of their jam session and he proposed making an album with Metallica. Lou Reed has described Metallica as the hugh volume backing band that he has always heard in his head.

Reviews have said that this album named Lulu, that comes out on Tuesday, is a very gruesome album. Metallica comes up with signature riffs, speed metal gallops and the powerhouse drums that every Metallica album brings. This is all beneath the recitation of Lou Reed.

We'll see come Tuesday what the Monsters of Rock and  Mr. Reed have up their sleeves.

LONG BEACH STATE BASKETBALL

College basketball is almost upon us. The Long Beach 49ers open their 2011-2012 season against the Idaho Vandals on November 12.

Long Beach State has been picked to win the Big West Conference by the league's media and they have also received two points in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll. They have also placed three of their players on the Preseason Big West All-Conference Team. Long Beach is returning 4 starters from last year's 14-2 Big West team.

Caspar Ware is the only player in Big West history to be named player of the year and defensive player of the year last season. How about that for an all around ball player. Ware needs 42 steals and 77 assists to become Long Beach State's career leader in those two categories. If that isn't enough, he has been named to the John Wooden Award's Preseason Top 50.


Caspar Ware is not the only one on the team.  Larry Anderson is a two time first team All-Big West selection. He also ranks among the league's active career  leaders in 8 of 9 statistical categories.

And not to make things easy, the 49ers have a few non-conference games against formidable opponents. If they are able to beat a few of these opponents, I can see them cracking the nation's Top 25. They are taking on No.1 North Carolina, No. 8 Louisville, No. 11 Pittsburgh, No. 13 Kansas and No. 15 Xavier in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic.  What makes matters worse is the fact that everyone of these games are on the road. I guess North Carolina doesn't want to play in the Pyramid.

This is going to be an exciting year for Long Beach State Basketball. Can you say March Madness?





Friday, October 28, 2011

PAT DARCY, DID YOU SEE THAT?

Last night's sixth game of the World Series will now be remembered with Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, Game 4 of the 2001 World Series and Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

Last night Mark Lowe played Pat Darcy while David Freese played Carlton Fisk. Last night's game was not the most well played game of baseball but what happened in the course of the game was completely outstanding.

I would like to list my three favorite World Series games that I have watched.

1- Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Even though I am a Yankee fan, you have to give credit where credit is due and that game was phenomenal for a 13 year old. Just like last night, the Red Sox tied the series up at 3 games a piece. Game 6 of the 1975 World Series was also postponed the day before because of rain. Check out the below video.



2- Game 4 of the 2001 World Series - The Yankees had two outs in the bottom of the ninth and they were trailing 3-1. Tino Martinez hits a two run homer to tie the game. An inning later Derek Jeter hits a walk off homer at 12:04 AM on November 1 and become Mr. November.



3- Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. Congratulations to the Cardinals and good luck tonight to both teams because there still is one more game to play.

Monday, October 24, 2011

AND FURTHER MORE


The BC Lions coughed up a major hair ball on Saturday with a 42-10 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. This loss ended their eight game win streak and dropped them into second place with two games remaining. This weekend they will play the first place Edmonton Eskimos. A win over the Eskimos will have the Lions winning the season series. Then on November 5, they will need to beat the Montreal Alouettes in order to secure a bye in the West Division final on November 20.  We definitely have a race for 1st place.

I know the Rangers have not seen Madison Square Garden a lot this season but they continue to have a problem with scoring on the power play. This year the total of power play goals is a whopping zero. Lundqvist has been the magician that he always is. He needs more support or they are going to wear him out. Sad statistic: the leading scorer for the Rangers is Brad Richards with 4 points. They need to screw their heads on a play hockey.

HELLO NEWMAN!!!


Yesterday was the first time in my life I watched a NASCAR race. I was talking with Magellen a few weeks back and he was explaining to me the excitement of NASCAR.  Since I am open to trying new things, I told Magellen, pick a race, come over and we'll watch. Magellen picked yesterday's Talledega Race, he came over, we ordered Al's New York Deli Pizza (the closest you are going to come to Brooklyn pizza in Costa Mesa) and we watched. I was explained the nuances of this particular race and I watched with an open mind. I said I have to pick a driver and a car so I can root for someone and I decided on the GoArmy car with Ryan Newman driving. I was told that the beginning and the end of the race is the most exciting so we would change the channel every so often to the Jets game. Needless to say, the race was interesting and Newman did a number on his car at one point. Am I a NASCAR fan? I don't know.

Yesterday the Jets came out on top 27-21 but it sure didn't start out that way. Going into halftime, the Jets were down by 11 points.

Going into the second half the Jets' defense came to play. The Chargers were held to 117 yards and they scored no points. Rivers was intercepted twice and they only converted once in seven tries on 3rd down. Darrelle Revis came up big, again, when he picked off Rivers in the fourth quarter. The Chargers were on the 25 yard line of the Jets and it was third and five. Revis picked off the pass and ran it back 64 yards.

On offense the Jets did something this week that has not been seen all season. They actually had a running game. They ran for 162 yards and Shon Greene had 112 of them.

Plaxico Burress caught four passes on Sunday with three being for touchdowns. All three of the touchdown passes were in the red zone. This was huge for the Jets and for Burress. Coming into Sunday he only had 14 receptions for the season.

All in all this was a good win for the Jets going into the bye week. There are still some areas that need to be addressed. Sanchez has to stop throwing into crowds. He threw into double coverage and was picked off by the Chargers and that led to a Charger touchdown. The Jets committed eight penalties and that included a holding penalty on Mangold which nullufied a beautiful touchdown catch by Santonio Holmes. They are not there yet but at least they are moving in the right direction.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

JETS-CHARGERS



The Jets have not looked like the Super Bowl contenders that everyone had made them out to be. They have had glaring weaknesses that at one time was their strength. Their offensive line has been weak which in turn makes a weak running game weaker and the side of the ball that was winning games for the Jets last year, their defense, has looked awful at times.

The Jets are 3-3 right now and last week's win against the Dolphins, showed me something and made me think. This year's Jets have not faired well on the road but they seem to play quite well at home. The defense last week slowly came together as the game wore on. This all has to come together by tomorrow because after tomorrow, the Jets have their bye week and then they come back on the road. They travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium to take on the Bills. Who would have thought that the Bills were going to be a factor to reckon with at this time of the year. After the Bills, the Patriots come into MetLife Field. These are two big division games.

I believe that the Jets are going to come out on top against the Chargers. I believe the Chargers are a soft 4-1 team. They have beaten the Vikings, Chiefs, Dolphins and the Broncos and they have lost to the Patriots. This Chargers team has a wealth of talent but they are a Norv Turner coached team. Turner seems to erode the team year after year. Last year it was the special teams and this year it is the fumbles. The Jets defense has caused 12 fumbles this year and the Chargers have fumbled the ball 9 times this year. That is huge for the Jets defense when they are playing at home.

We are only in the seventh game of the season but tomorrow's game against the Chargers will be a turning point for the rest of the season. It is a must win for the Jets.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

WHO IS ANTHONY CALVILLO


I can not think of anything good to write about the Jets right now, so I am going to turn my attention to north of the border and give credit to someone that is not exactly a household name here in the states.

On October 10, 2011, the quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, passed Damon Allen's record for most yards passed in a professional football career. The record now stands at 72,770 yards. Brett Favre ranks third with 71,838 yards.

The name of this record holder is Anthony Calvillo. He is 39 years old, a graduate of La Puente High (California), a Utah State alumnus and a cancer survivor.

In 1993, Calvillo lead Utah State to a Big West co-championship and a win in the Las Vegas Bowl. This was the first and only bowl game in Utah State's history. The scouts never came knocking on his door because he was too short for a quarterback at 6'1".

After college Calvillo became a teacher and a football coach. He ended up going to a try-out for the CFL in Las Vegas and the league picked him up. Going to the CFL was a learning experience for Calvillo. If you have not seen the CFL there are a number of differences than traditional football. The field is larger and longer, there are 12 players and there are three downs instead of four. The league is pretty much passer-friendly. Calvillo has completed 60 percent of his passes since 2003 and threw for 6,041 yards in 2004. Since he was named the starter for the Alouettes in 2000, the Montreal team has made eight appearances in the Grey Cup and they are the two-time defending champion.

In 2007, Calvillo's wife was diagnosed with lymphoma and he took a leave from football to be with her. She has been cancer free but during last off-season, Calvillo was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He needed two operations and treatment with a radioactive iodine pill. He was healthy for the season opener last June.

Anthony Calvillo, an undrafted quarterback from Utah State, pursued his dream and now he is the all-time leading passer for all of professional football. Congratulations.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A DAY AT THE RACES



Yesterday was a beautiful day at Santa Anita Racetrack. The sun was shining, it was in the 80s and the track was fairly empty, which is not unusual. I was kind of excited because I have been tinkering with statistics in the racing form and I came up with a quick and easy system that I wanted to see if it would work.

Before I go on to the results of yesterday's racing card, there has been a Mush update. Supposedly, Mush got into a fight with one of the other Stooges at Hollywood Park the other day. The fight went from arguing to actual fisticuffs. I was told that it was over money. The Hollywood Park security guards broke it up and Mush got booted from the park. Mush has a hearing in a few days to see if he can get reinstated at Hollywood Park. You have to be a degenerate gambler like Mush to even think of going to some hearing at the racetrack just to see if you could come back in. A person like Mush has to do this because Sandman frequents Hollywood Park and that's who gives Mush betting money. I was also told that Mush lived in Orange County and I am kind of wondering if Mush might be Dwayne from Bixby. I will take a picture of Mush and put him in a photo line-up and see if he can be picked out. I will have to admonish Magellen and the gang before showing the photo array.  More on that later.

Now on to yesterday's festivities:

We take our usual places and I start to handicap Belmont Park using my system. In my first race, my horse goes off at 2-1 and finishes third. That was a good sign that my system was in the money. I did not play this race because I am looking for bombs. I switch my attention to Woodbine (I really like to play the Canadian tracks). I have a play in the second race, a 5-1 shot, and he hits the wire first and pays, $10.00. Not bad. My next play is at Hawthorne and the horse that I like is in a fairly large field and Hawthorne was showing signs of no speed in front. This horse was a sheer speed horse so I played it to place. He ran great but was overtaken in the stretch and he finished second. Perfect.

I turned my attention back to Woodbine and I kept coming up with bombs. Three races in a row, my system had picked a 13-1 horse, a 22-1 shot and an 8-1 shot. Each of these horses touched the wire first. The 22-1 horse paid 46.90 and 21.40 to place. At this point of the day, my buddy was watching and laughing because this does not happen that often. The above picture is of the 22-1 shot, Sarah Lynx. She was ridden by Christophe Soumillon. She won the Grade 1, 1.5 million dollar Pattison Canadian International.

My system worked well yesterday. Of the 14 races played, it hit win or place on 10 of those races.

By going early and playing the east coast tracks, I was basically done before Santa Anita even started. It was one of those days that a horseplayer remembers. Good thing Mush was nowhere near us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

JUST A THOUGHT



Last night we went to see the movie Moneyball. For anyone who is a baseball fan, this is a real good movie that shows the side of baseball that is never seen by the fans.









The Daily News in NYC has always been so great at just telling it like it is. This was on the frontpage of the sports section. I have been saying this since the Yankees traded for him. He is more valuable as trade bait than anything else. Completely overpriced and overrated.









And the backpage for the same day stated what a lot of people are thinking. Posada has had a great career but those glory days are behind him. There is nothing worse than watching a great player look less than average when he takes the field. For the fans and especially for yourself, retire and allow us to remember the Jorge Posada we all came to know.








With hockey season starting, the New York Rangers began the season in Sweden. They have added Brad Richards to the mix and they are hoping that Gaborik is energized by playing alongside Richards. Last year the Rangers seemed to have a problem with putting the puck in the net and they seemed to have problems when they were on the power play. Their defense was always good and there are some question marks right now with Staal out with an injury. The first two games against the Kings and the Ducks, the Rangers looked like their usual anemic selfs.


Tonight the BC Lions take on the Calgary Stampede for first place in the Western Division of the CFL. The Lions defeated the Stampede earlier in the season at Calgary. The Lions are hoping to keep their winning streak alive with a win over their division rivals.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

WHO WILL STOP THE RAIN


The Yankees have dealt with this type of weather 22 times this season. One of their games this season started after 11 PM and they played three games in three cities in three days during this stretch. Last night's game was stopped with the score tied 1-1. They will pick up where they left off tonight but with two different pitchers. Nova will be facing Fister and Garcia will be going on Sunday with CC starting on Monday.

Yesterday I was praying for rain after CC and Nova but this scenario might be a blessing in disguise for the Yankees. This is why baseball is such a great game because these types of situations happen and the manager has to adjust. According to the Weather Channel, there is a 60 percent chance of rain today with a 40 percent chance of rain tonight.

Since the Yankees got rained out, I tuned into the BC Lions-Edmonton Eskimos game. This contest was for a share of first place in the Western Division of the CFL. This was the grand re-opening of BC Place with the flip top lid. This is the stadium that is going to host the Grey Cup at the end of November.

What is interesting is that the BC Lions got off to a 1-6 start and after yesterday's win, they are in a three way tie for first place.

The BC Lions quarterback, Travis Lulay, has improved since the beginning of the season. He threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns. Andrew Harris, BC's running back had he best game of his career last night. He had a total of 175v yards from scrimmage, 115 of those coming on five pass receptions and another 60 on rushes. Congratulations go to Geroy Simon, BCs slotback, who has gone over the 1,000 yard mark for receptions for the ninth year in a row.

The Lions have come a long way since the beginning of the season and by beating the Eskimos 33-24. They have placed themselves in the thick of things and they have a real good chance of going to the Grey Cup.

Friday, September 30, 2011

C.C. AND THEN NOVA AND THEN PRAY FOR RAIN


The first game of the American League Play-offs start today. The Yankees are facing the Tigers and the first game gives us Sabathia and Verlander. This could be a classic game with two of the best pitchers in the game going against each other.


Ivan Nova will start game 2. Girardi has no other choice even if his stupid binders tell him otherwise. Nova deserves to be the number 2 in the rotation because without him, the Yankees would not be here. After game 2, we have a problem. I have a solution to this problem. Pray for rain.


With the Yankees starting pitchers, Girardi needs to be creative and I think his first move, even before the first ball is thrown, is going to be a costly one. I say start Nova in game 1 and C.C. in game 2.

The Tigers are starting Verlander in game 1. The guy has been unhittable. He's been a machine and he shuts down softball teams. If you start Nova, I feel Nova can keep the Tigers under three runs and hopefully Verlander makes one mistake to the softball team. The Yankees have a chance of winning. If you pitch C.C., the same scenario plays out except if the Yankees lose 3-2, you basically have wasted a pitcher.  C.C. and Verlander faced off earlier in the year and they both pitched 6 innings and they both left with the game tied at 3. C.C. gave up 6 hits and Verlander gave up 3, one of them being a 3 run homer. The Yankees eventually won.  I say that Nova can do what C.C. did on that day and you still have your ace for game 2.

The reason this scenario has been played out in my mind is because of the game 3 starter Freddy Garcia. If you lose the first two, you now have all your eggs in the Garcia basket. I know that if you win the first two and Garcia tanks in the third game, you have C.C. in game 4. With this pitching staff you have to look at worse case scenarios and prepare. (2004 Game 7 Yankees/Red Sox, need I say more)

Here are my predictions

American League
Tigers sweep and I say I told you so to Girardi.
Rangers in 4

National League
Phils sweep
Diamondbacks in 5 and this is my pick for most entertaining series for this round.

Friday, September 16, 2011

HAVE WE GONE NUTS?

I am amazed with some parents during youth sports functions, whether it is Pop Warner or High School and yesterday I saw firsthand how one parent could make a spectacle of himself and cause a coach to have to defend himself.

Yesterday, Wilson High School (Long Beach, California) was visiting Artesia High School in a junior varsity football game. Junior varsity football does not attract many fans and because of the 3:15 start time not many parents can make it. The other thing about JV Football is that it is very much an instructional and developmental level of football. This is where the coaches take the young boys and try to develop their skills so they can move up to the next level (Varsity) and compete. The coaches need to instill winning habits and winning the football game is important but the educational part of the game is of the utmost.

My nephew plays for Wilson High School and I like to go watch him and see how he is developing as  a football player. (He is 15) One of the defensive coaches for Wilson High School is Alfred Rowe. He played two years at USC, brother Kenny Rowe is playing for the San Francisco 49ers and his younger brother, Matthew Rowe, is an outstanding football player for Poly High School (Long Beach, Ca). What is more important is that Alfred Rowe's dad, is a good friend of mine. We went to college together and we were roommates and not to mention he was an outstanding fullback for Long Beach State back in the early 80s. Needless to say, Alfred Rowe's football background is extensive. I would have to say he knows what he is talking about.

The game is about to start and one of the parents arrives and takes a seat on the top row of the bleachers. Within minutes of him taking his seat, this parent turns into Mr. Megaphone. He becomes PA announcer, color commentator, play-by-play announcer and his son is the greatest one on the team. If you don't believe me, just ask him. The parent was even telling the coaches this. It was annoying.

I did not know at the time who is son was but as the game progressed, I learned. His son was one of the wideouts. The parent (we will call him Mr. Megaphone) kept screaming to throw him the ball. What Mr. Megaphone did not see was that Wilson's quarterback was not getting much time. The coaches switched to a ground attack in order to get the passing game going. Not good enough for Mr. Megaphone. He turned his commenting now to the coaching staff. When he saw that this wasn't getting anywhere, he turned his commenting to the refs, who were doing a fine job. One ref was a middle aged man with a knee brace and Mr. Megaphone decided to make comments about the refs injured knee. You might be asking, do you think they could hear him? Yes, there weren't many people in the stands and this guy was loud, the coaches heard and the refs heard. His comments were completely uncalled for.

At one point, Mr. Megaphone's son got a ball thrown to him and he dropped it. He was pulled from the game (don't know if they were going with a different package or did they pull him because of the drop, can't answer that). When he was pulled, he threw his hands up in the air and walked off and gave a wave to the coach. He walked past the coach and sat down on the bench. He leaned back and draped his arms over the backrest. This is an act of defiance and one coach came over and spoke to him. He reluctantly got up. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Alfred is coaching the defensive side and I like his style of coaching. Alfred doesn't take hooey from anyone on the sidelines. Alfred uses some colorful language in describing his unhappiness. That is just football. At one point one of his defensive players screwed up and Alfred became Donald Trump, he was firing people. He screamed, "Hey you, what in the world was that, you're fired." Now I guess in this politically correct world this just doesn't cut it. You can't learn to play football riding in a golf cart and eating twinkies. It is a tough and demanding game. It is a paramilitary organization and orders have to be followed.

Wilson won 33-7 and one of the coaches came up to the stands and said, "Parents, if you want to come down and talk to the kids, let's do it quick, we have to get on the bus." The coaches are in charge of the kids in all school functions and as long as they are not doing anything to jeopardize the safety of the kids, you have to let them be in charge.

I went out to talk to my nephew and Alfred was telling the kids, let's go, we have to get on the bus. You can keep talking to your parents but keep walking. Not a very demanding request. My nephew is the king of dawdlers and Alfred had to tell him, let's go, move it, we need to get on the bus. So we started to walk a little faster.  Mr. Megaphone did not like this because his son was being told to do something. Mr. Megaphone started to scream at Alfred, "You can't talk that way to my son." and Alfred said, "Yes I can, I am his coach." Mr. Megaphone was now getting more belligerent. He was saying things to Alfred that were not necessary and because of what? Oh yea, Alfred was trying to do his job and get the kids on the bus.

DOH!!!"

Alfred took his backpack off and turned and faced Mr. Megaphone. A hockey skirmish ensued, everyone trying to hold back Alfred and Mr. Megaphone. My nephew tried to get in the middle and I screamed at him, "Get on the bus!!! What in God's green earth are you going to do? Get!!!" Lot's of words were exchanged but no punches were even close to being thrown but Mr. Megaphone would not let up!!!

Both parties were separated and after 10 minutes the field was cleared. On the way to my football practice, I just shook my head. We wonder why our educational system is so broke. We give teachers the responsibility to teach our children. We pay these teacher a pittance and then when they are just trying to do their job, they have to listen to the bullshit from Mr. Megaphone. No parent has the right to tell a football coach, I'll kick you ass for telling a kid to step it up and get on the bus.

I spoke to Alfred's dad this morning and he said that Alfred is not allowed to be on Wilson High School until their investigation is done. What investigation needs to be done? A parent was a donkey from the time he walked into the stands, threatened an employee of the school and the school is investigating the coach. WOW!!!

I told Alfred's dad that I will help in anyway that I can to show that Mr. Megaphone was completely wrong and out of line.  I will use the Eric Stratton defense.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A YEAR FOR 3000 AND 600


In what was the year of 3000 for Jeter has also been the year of 600 for Rivera.

What is really amazing about the 600 is that he is only the second player to do this. Within days Rivera will break Trevor Hoffman's record of 601. This record is amazing for a pitcher who did this with basically 1 pitch.

Hats off to you Mo, there will never be anyone like you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

SEPTEMBER 11

It has been ten years since we all woke up to a changed nation. A lot has happened in those ten years but the thing that has not changed is the memory of the people who were the victims of those attacks. Let us take the time to remember the people that were at work that morning, traveling that morning and the emergency services personnel who answered the call.

We will never forget the victims nor will we ever forget what happened on that September morning.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

1960 WORLD SERIES



I was looking through some of the saved programs on our DVR and I came across a special from December. It was on the MLB Network and it was the replay of the seventh game of the 1960 World Series. This show was hosted by Bob Costas and he had a panel that included Bill Virdon, Dick Grout and Bobby Richardson. This was an unearthed copy that was shown at Bynum Auditorium last November in front of fans and players.

This game has not been seen in it's entirety in 50 years. This game came about because Bing Crosby was a part owner of the Pirates and he was to nervous to watch Game 7 in person. Bing went to Paris and he had someone film the game for him. When he got home, he watched it and then the kinescope was placed on a shelf until an archivist for the Crosby Estate found it.

Watching the game in it's entirety was amazing. Getting to see a World Series game being played by Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente,Roger Maris and Yogi Berra, just to name a few, would of been a treat for any baseball fan. It was great to see the reactions of the players 50 years later. Bob Costas asked Dick Grout about what was on his mind after watching the top of the sixth and he shook his head and said,"I should of knocked down Mantle's grounder." Mantle got a hit right before Berra hit a three run homer to put the Yankees up 5-4. During that same discussion segment, they spoke with Vera Clemente about her late husband Roberto. Costs stated that every time Clemente is seen on screen, whether he is warming up, stepping into the box, walking to the plate or catching a routine fly, there is a reaction from the audience. He went on to tell Mrs. Clemente, "Your husband is not just respected but he is revered".

What I did notice is how fast the game moved. The pitcher got the ball and threw it. The batter didn't stop every second to adjust something. This game of baseball was not slow and it kept your interest. The announcers also didn't fill up with air with nonsensical drivel about how many base hits Berra gets when it is 75 degrees.

When Hall Smith hit a three run homer in the bottom of the eighth to put the Pirates up 9-7, the fans in the auditorium gave him a standing ovation. Watching the game in it's entirety, you realize there were a lot of ups and downs to this game. This was the same inning that Tony Kubek took a ball in the face at short and put him in the hospital. There also was a slow roller by Clemente with two outs and the Yankee pitcher Coats didn't cover first, which led to the three run homer.

The ninth inning was wild, the Yankees were down by two and with runners on first and second and Mantle gets an RBI single to make it 9-8. With one out, Berra gets up and lines a shot to first that was caught on one hop, right by first base and somehow Mantle got back to first and avoided the double play which would of ended the inning and the game. This avoided double play allowed McDougal to score from third, tying the game. This all sets us up for the bottom of the ninth, 9-9.

Ralph Terry is the pitcher and Johnny Blanchard is the catcher and the first batter is Mazeroski. We all know what he does during that at bat. A walk off homer and the Pirates win the series.

This game had everything except one thing, not one player struck out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?


With major league teams expanding their rosters, the Yankees have called up the possible catcher of their future, Jesus Montero. Montero is a 21st century catcher, he is big, 6'3" and 235 pounds, and he could hit, yesterday he clobbered two homers. But when it comes to actually catching, the jury is still out on him.

Here is the upside for the Yankees and Montero. Right now he fits into their softball hitting line-up and he will be a good addition once the play-offs start. The downside is long term. If he does not improve defensively at catcher, there is nowhere for him to go. He can't make the move to first base because that position is pretty much sewn up for awhile. He is too young, 21, to be considered the everyday DH. The Yankees might need to package him up in a deal for a top flight starter.

Girardi said that he does not want to put Montero behind the plate at this point in the season because he is unfamiliar with the pitchers. For crying out loud Girardi, just say it, he stinks as a defensive catcher. Girardi said that he is going to pick his spots when he will let Montero catch.

Montero has said that he is fine with whatever the Yankees decide to do with him. So, what would Jesus do?

Monday, September 5, 2011

END OF SUMMER



Labor Day brings the end of the summer meet at Saratoga and Wednesday brings the end of the Del Mar meet. They move to Fairplex, for it's 13 day meet and then on September 30, Santa Anita opens for the it's Autumn meet.

Tyler Baze was suspended on Thursday for failing to take a breathalyzer test. Baze, who was suspended from August 19-21 for failing a breathalyzer teat, signed an agreement for random testing. On Thursday, Baze stated that he came into the first aid station to get his blood pressure checked. While he was in the first aid station, an employee was not sure if he was supposed to get a breathalyzer test. Baze said that he left the first aid station and then left the track in order to attend an AA meeting. While enroute to the AA meeting, Baze got into a traffic accident. He said that he went to Scripps Hospital for treatment. The stewards called Baze and told him that he needed to get back to the track because he needed to complete a breathalyzer exam. Baze told him that he was in the hospital and had a doctor confirm this.

On Friday, while meeting with the race stewards, Baze admitted to making up the story of the car accident. Baze stated that he just did not want to take a breathalyzer test. Baze has been officially suspended until a formal hearing is conducted. This means that he can not come on the grounds of any race track. He most likely will miss all of his mounts until the middle of October.

On a brighter note, Del Mar has a Pick-6 carryover today of $273,832.00. Since today is not closing day there will be no guarantee pay-out. If this carries over to Wednesday, there will be a guarantee pay-out. The carry-over could be close to a half a million. Just a thought, but if a few of us throw in some money and go in on a ticket, we have a better chance of hitting.  You can't win unless you play.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

FEATHERWEIGHT GARY RUSSELL JR




Last night I watched HBO's Boxing After Dark and the undercard was a featherweight fight between Gary Russell Jr and Leonilo Miranda.

Russell has had an outstanding amateur career and he turned pro in 2009. He has a record of 17-0 at this point in his career.

Last night, Russell proved to me that he belongs in the fight game. I have not seen a person with such hand speed since Roy Jones Jr. If you watch the above video from an earlier fight, you will see his hand speed.

In the fifth round, Russell threw a right hook to the chin, a left to the body and followed up with four more body shots that were thrown fast and accurate, I had to rewind the DVR just to see how many landed. After reviewing the tape, I learned that each of those shots landed. In the sixth, he came at Miranda with the fastest 10 body shots I have ever seen in a boxing match.

Outside of him having some fast hands, his technique and his overall boxing skills are nearly flawless. Barring injury, barring mismanagement and every other demon that comes into a boxers life, Gary Russell, Jr. will be a  champion in no time soon and will be one of the greatest featherweights.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

WHAT DOES YOUR BINDER SAY NOW GIRARDI

NOTE TO JOE GIRARDI


Maybe in one of those stupid thick binders that you carry around in order to make managerial decisions, there might be some good information besides the superfluous crap that you look at. These two numbers next to Nova's name should suffice. The two numbers that I am talking about are 15-4.

Make him your number 2 starter, it isn't rocket science.

AMERICANS IN TENNIS


It has been a long time since an American cracked the top 2 in tennis rankings. Right now the top 4 players are from Europe. Why in the world can't America develop a number one talent in tennis.

I look at a guy like Donald Young and I hope he is the one. He beat the number 14 seed, Stanislas Wawrinka, on Friday in a grueling marathon.

This was a huge win for Young because it silents all the critics that have said he is the next American disappointment. He is 22 years old and he has finally started to come into his own. Over the past seven years Young has been in Newsweek, he has won the Junior Australian Open and he has been ranked the number one junior in the world. He also won the junior Wimbledon title. All this had happened by the age of 16.

Over the years, Young has had battles with the USTA in regards to how to develop and which tournaments to play in. In April the USTA would not grant him a wild card entry into the French Open. Things were souring fast for Young.

In March, Young beat Andy Murray at Indian Wells and in July he beat two top thirty players. One of those wins launched him to his first ATP semifinal in his career.

So with Friday's 4 hour match, Young has moved on to the next round. If he keeps his head straight and his tennis strong, I think we might see an American move up in the rankings.




Friday, September 2, 2011

THE JETS AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL

College football season starts tomorrow and there are a lot of high hopes for a number of different college programs and there are some question marks for a great number of others. I think the fan of college football is sitting and waiting to see where the next scandal will arise.

I will watch and root for the UCLA Bruins. Their cross town rivals, USC, are not bowl eligible because of their NCAA violations. If the Bruins were as great a team as USC was, I will guarantee you, there would be an investigation into Neuhisel. (Not like that hasn't happened before to him) My point is this, college football is a great game with a lot of problems behind the scenes. They have great games and rivalries but it just gets annoying, year after year, finding out that this college or that college has violated some rule.

Which brings me to an interesting Division that I have followed for years and just enjoy watching their games. I really like Ivy League football. You snicker and that is fine but hear me out. Here is a league that has been around forever.  You have the Bears of Brown University,  the Lions of Columbia University,  Big Red of Cornell University,  Big Green of Dartmouth College,  the Crimson of Harvard University,  the Quakers of the University of Pennsylvania,  the Tigers of Princeton and the Bulldogs of Yale. Each of these teams have student athletes, they are there to get an education and then play football. They do not go to bowl games and the majority of the players know that this is their last hurrah at the game of football as they know it. But each and every Saturday, they come out on the field and play football with a passion like no other. They are playing football because they love it. Plus, each and every one of these schools has no easy majors. Just look at the GPAs and the majors for these rosters.

I pull for the Crimson of Harvard because I like to say Harvard with a Boston accent. The truth of the matter is that we were in Cambridge, Mass. on the day that they were playing Brown. The atmosphere was great and it felt like you were attending a Ohio State/Michigan game. So from that time on, I root for the Crimson of Haved.

Haved's first game is next week at Holy Cross and then they come home to play Brown. Next week is also the start of the NFL and there are some questions that Rex needs to answer before September 11.

Rex needs to figure out who he can plug into the O-Line if a starter goes down. His depth at that position was cut short after Robert Turner broke his leg. They have been trying Vladimir Ducasse and he just isn't working. He took  three penalties against the Eagles and that just drives an offensive line coach crazy. The Jets running game so far has been abysmal. If your O-Line is having problems, so does your running game. I always say, your offense goes where your O-Line takes it.

Greg McElroy hurt his thumb during the Eagles game, so Brunell needs to get his calf better. Ryan needs Brunnell to be the back-up to Sanchez.

These things have to be worked out over the next week before opening day against the Cowboys.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

CRAZY FROM THE HEAT


Maybe the Yankees and the Red Sox read my blog from yesterday. The rivalry heated up last night and it sure looked like a good old Yankees/Red Sox skirmish. Players fumed, benches emptied and coaches were ejected. Maybe MLB actually installed my idea, Wild Card teams do not get any home games.

From years past, Carlton Fisk, Lou Piniella, Thurman Munson, Bill Lee, Pedro Martinez and Alex Rodriquez all settled their differences with harsh words, bean balls and fists. You can now add Francisco Cirvelli and John Lackey to the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.

The incident in the seventh inning never amounted to a full blown brawl but it was right up there with rivalry flare ups. After Cirvelli hit a homer in the fifth and as he crossed the plate, he demonstratively clapped his hands. This is just Cirvelli, the man seems to be on a constant caffeine high. Come the seventh inning, Lackey, who took offense to the gesture, plunked Cirvelli between the 1 and the 7. Don't care what Lackey says, he was throwing at him. So what, it's baseball and it's the Yankees/Red Sox. Cervelli taking offense to it, so what, it's baseball and it's the Yankees/Red Sox. They both were showing some passion and showing that they are in a fight and they really care.

The benches emptied and when the dust settled, Larry Rothschild, the Yankees pitching coach was tossed during the bru-ha-ha. Girardi hung around until the ninth when he was steamed that Saltalamacchia was awarded first base after he clearly was swinging at a pitch but was ruled that he was hit by the pitch. Earlier, Granderson was hit by a pitch but it was called a strike because it supposedly hit the knob of the bat.

All in all, there was a game and CC got a win against the Red Sox.

Now we got something to watch, the Yankees and Red Sox are actually having a passionate series and they are all playing like this means something.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yankees vs Red Sox: A Little Watered Down

It seems to me that everytime you look up the New York Yankees are playing the Red Sox. As a matter of fact they face each other 18 times during the regular season and possibly seven times in the post-season. There is no urgency in a Red Sox/Yankees game.

Right now the Red Sox have a 1.5 game lead on the Yankees in the American League East. If the Red Sox sweep this series, they go up 4.5 games but there are another three games left between them. If the Yankees sweep the last three than all of this is for nought.

Here is what I say they need to do. Limit the games between the two teams to possibly 12 games. Strategically place them on the schedule. Opening Day is a great place to have this rivalry and sprinkle them throughout the year. Have a three game series in late August and then have them play three on the last days of the season.

With this theory, there are more meaningful games between the two teams. This 18 game stuff becomes old because it gets to a point that no one cares. Those extra six games makes a huge difference in the fans interest. The games become more exciting and every game means something.

Which gets me to my next complaint, the Wild Card. Don't like it and never will. The Wild Card is an easy way to reward the first place winner of all the losers. Since baseball will never do away with the Wild Card, I have a proposal. If you are the Wild Card team, you get no home games, none. That will make playing for the Division Title that much more important.

If you have twelve games between the Red Sox and the Yankees and the Wild Card team gets no home games throughout the play-offs, every one of the Red Sox/Yankees games would be exciting and important.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

IT GETS BETTER WITH AGE

Yesterday at Saratoga Racetrack, a three year old horse showed the racing world that his career started late in his third year.

The Travers Stakes was run yesterday and a horse who I have liked since the Kentucky Derby, Stay Thirsty, came out in front. This is a 1 million dollar Grade 1 Stakes race and with this win, moved him atop the three year old division.

This Travers was wide open with Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom sidelined. You still had Preakness winner Shackleford and the Belmont winner Ruler on Ice entered. Stay Thirsty won this race going away with two longshots rounding out the top three finishers. Ruler on Ice finished fourth and Shackleford finished a tired eighth.

There is no doubt Stay Thirsty has gotten better since the Kentucky Derby. By resting him for the Preakness, he came back and ran a real good race in the Belmont. He then won the Jim Dandy and now the Travers. His four year old season is going to be great.

Stay Thirsty's jockey, Javier Castellanos, compared Stay Thirsty to his father Bernardino. Castellanos has jockeyed both. Stay Thirsty gives Castellanos a hard time in the first half of races and eventually settles down. Bernardino, another Travers Stakes winner, would do the same thing.

Look for Stay Thirsty to be entered in the Breeder's Cup and look for him in the winner's circle after that race.


Friday, August 26, 2011

ITS A BEAUTIFUL DAY FOR A BALLGAME, LET'S HIT THREE


All season I have been comparing the 2011 Yankees to a recreational softball team and last night their three grand slams proved my point. Not taking away from a record breaking feat but I am talking about the big picture and that big picture is winning the World Series.

Let's review the differences between a baseball team and a softball team.

A baseball team usually has an ace and three other starters who can keep a team in a game, a softball team has a guy who can pitch the ball somewhere near the plate and someone is going to swing. Remember the old softball adage, "You paid your forty dollars, swing the bat!!"

Let's compare this to the 2011 Yankees. You have an ace in Sabathia and then you have to hold your breath when every other starter takes the mound. Last night, Hughes got the ball and he turned into the softball pitcher that he is. He lasted 2.2 innings, gave up 6 runs and 7 hits. When he exited, the Yankees were down 6-1. Let the softball game begin.

Another difference between a baseball team and a softball team: The baseball team that goes on to win with 22 runs usually will give up 1 or 2 runs. A softball team will score 22 runs and give up 9. Everyone is so excited about a 22-9 win but did anyone notice that the A's scored 9 runs. If that doesn't bother anyone in the Yankees dugout, then they are nuts.

The Yankees were down 7-2 and Cano hit the first of three grand slams in the fifth inning and then with the Yankees down 7-6 Russell Martin hit the second grand slam to make the score 10-7. Meanwhile with the Yankees putting runs on the board, they allowed the A's to still score 2 more runs.

The record breaking grand slam came off the bat of Granderson in the eighth inning. Perfect for a guy that has been hitting homer after homer this year.

I was approached the other day by someone at work and they asked me, "Why do you say the Yankees pitching staff is awful but they have the third best ERA in the American League?" My answer is simple, it is a long season and every team gets it's fair share of games against other teams that are not that good. The Yankees feast off of teams that also have softball pitchers and they score against these teams. When you put the Yankees up against a team that has a good pitching staff, the Yankees have to fight for everything. Don't get me wrong but the Yankees have a powerful line-up but it's pitching that wins World Series. I told this person that the Yankees chances are slim to none in a short series. You have one ace, Sabathia, and he has to win against the other teams ace. If the Yankees lose, 1-0, who you are you gonna pitch for game 2? Exactly, I couldn't think of an answer either.


And onto the last comparison of baseball teams and softball teams. A baseball team has position players and utility players. Everyone has a job and the manager plugs the right person in. A softball team has 10 guys, who if need be, can play any position. How many times have you heard this, "Hey, Fanuchy, I know you don't play short but I need you there today, Fineberg has a harpsichord lesson. Just get in front of it and knock it down. Don't worry we will score more runs than you make errors."

Yesterday the Yankees decided to make Posada, Fineberg. They put him at second base for the final innings. This isn't a championship Major League Baseball team but a championship caliber softball team.

Monday, August 22, 2011

JETS WILL TAKE TO THE AIR


Some may think that the addition of Plaxico Buress is a gamble. I think the addition of Plaxico Burress only makes the Jets passing game that much stronger. Any defensive coordinator will now have to figure out how to cover Buress and Holmes. You can't double team one and single coverage the other, just won't work. If you slide the safeties over in a zone formation, Dustin Kellar will kill you in the in-between zone.


With the receivers the Jets have, my cousin's son, Steven #9, could air it out too. Steven's football team got to play a scrimmage game at halftime of the Jets/Bengals game. How cool is that for a kid to be playing on the turf of the Meadowlands with the NY Jets watching.


And besides getting to play with the NY Jets watching, he got to meet Mark Sanchez (a little hard to see Steven) and also have Darrelle Revis walk right behind you.


This picture says it all as he walks off the field and Steven will remember this for the rest of his life.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NOT SURE WHAT YOU ARE THINKING

The football season has started and our football team is coming along great. I am coaching a Pop Warner team. (Updates will be in a later post, we are still in scrimmage mode)

Yesterday at practice we were doing defensive drills. I was standing on the edge of the field since I coach the offensive line. As I am making my notes for my offensive lineman and I get a tap on my shoulder and a voice states, "Are you the Head Coach?" I turn around and I see a man who I never have seen before and I reply, "No, but how may I help you." He says, "I am here to pick up Henry (I will not use the kid's real name for this post), he is late for his tutoring." I ask him, "Who are you?" and he says very hesitantly, "I am a friend." This all sounded very suspicious considering that we are in the middle of a practice and this guy comes out of nowhere to pick up a kid. I tell this guy, "Hold on a second, let me check with the Head Coach." He then tells me, "If you can hurry it up, we are already 30 minutes late."

I go over to Henry and I say to him, "You see that guy in the white shirt? Do you know him?" and Henry said ,"No." I asked Henry if he had tutoring today and he said no.

I walked back over to this guy and I said to him, "Who sent you to pick up Henry?" and this guy said, "His mother." I advised this guy that I needed his mother to come get Henry before I will release him to an adult, that I have never seen before. He gets irritated with me and starts to tell me that I am making Henry even later to the tutoring session. I asked the guy where Henry's mom is and he said in the car. He was told to go get her and Henry can leave. The guy left in a huff and talking all sorts of smack to me as he walked away.

About five minutes later, I notice that Henry's mom is storming across the field at me. I figure I will meet her halfway. Before I can even get to her, she starts to yell at me about how they are late to the tutoring session and how Henry was lying to me because he didn't want to leave football practice. I tried to explain to her, that I am not releasing a child to a person that I don't know and one that is giving me answers that are vague. I told her that if she leaves the practice field, the kids are our responsibility and we take that responsibility serious. She was not happy with my answers and started to rant and rave. I said to her very politely, "Ma'am, Henry's over there and you can take him to where he needs to go." I turned around and walked away thinking to myself , "Lady, what are you thinking."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

THIS SIDE OF 3000

It appears that once Derek Jeter got his 3000th hit, the hits have started to rack up. Since number 3000 Jeter has been batting .331 with 5 doubles, 2 triples and 1 home run. Not bad for a guy that started the season with a .260 batting average. On June 13, he went down with a calf injury that sidelined him for a while.

Jeter, who is 37, was being written off. On June 13, everyone was talking about his lack of production and the possibility that he didn't have it anymore. Jeter is one of those amazing athletes that seem to always take it to the next level when need be.

Since Jeter returned, the Yankees have been in a fight with Boston for first place. Even with the suspect starting pitchers, Jeter has been the most productive Yankee. As the Captain, he is leading by example and it appears that everyone is following his lead ie: Cano and Granderson.

I am not sure if the chase for 3000 was getting to Jeter. I do know that once 3000 was reached, it appeared that Jeter went back to his usual business, helping the Yankees win baseball games.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BUBBLE BOY


We need to chip in and get Joe Paterno his own bubble. He needs better protection out there. This past incident on Sunday is not an isolated incident.

On Sunday, Paterno was run over by a player during a drill. Paterno was watching another drill when he got blindsided. Paterno suffered a hairline fracture to his pelvis. That is dangerous for an 84 year old. He conducted his coaches meeting by phone on Monday.

In 2008, he suffered a hip injury in a pre-season practice. He was demonstrating an onside kick and down he went. Who is protecting this guy?

In 2006, he suffered a broken leg and damaged knee ligaments when a player ran him over during a game at Wisconsin. Who is protecting this guy?

We protect Presidents, Vice Presidents, First Ladies and senators and congressman. We protect actors and we protect buildings. I ask this question, "When are we going to protect this national treasure called Joe Paterno?"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR

Last night was yet another joke and anyone who thinks that the Yankees are World Series bound are delusional. The Yankees do not have the pitching to compete in a seven game series, let alone a short five game series.

AJ Burnett is like a boxer who comes out strong. He throws a few jabs and lands a few solid rights but once he is countered, he becomes lost. AJ Burnett had that one inning again. Abreau connected with a counterpunch and AJ became wobbly. He then walked Trumbo, got a long fly out from Wells and then another brain surgeon, Girardi, has AJ walk Itzuris. When AJ is wobbly the last thing you want to do is put anyone on base. Since he walked Itzuris, he might as well walk Bourjos. Then, Jeff Mathis, the only other person who is batting a little above the Adam Dunn line, gets a double off of AJ. Can you believe that Girardi still wants to keep him in the rotation.

AJ has not won in August since 2008 and he has not won since June. He looks great one inning and the next he looks awful. He has been a very expensive .500 pitcher. He is great in the clubhouse and throws a great pie in the face but he is the guy you can't trust in a short playoff series.