Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What the Bowl Season Could Look Like

With the college bowl season in full swing, I’ve been getting my fill of games like the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl and the Duck Commander Independence Bowl (not to mention a bowl played outside the US – the Popeye’s Bahama Bowl!).

After some thought, here are some bowls I’d like to see:

  • Little Orphan Annie Bowl – For teams that have had their coaches leave them before the end of the season. 
  • The “It’s Still not the Super” Bowl – The perfect set up for short-falling former NFL coaches like Jim Harbaugh, Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, Mike Riley and Bobby Petrino.
  • The Takata Air Bag Bowl – This would feature two teams currently under investigation by the NCAA.
  • The Kurt Cobain Bowl – Brings in the two teams with the “students” that have failed the most drug tests.
  • The Bo Schembechler Bowl – No passing allowed; would be perfect for a Georgia Tech/Navy match up. 
  • The Sarah Palin Bowl – This one is set up for two colleges that have quit their football program.  It would be dinner only.  This year is hosted by the University of Alabama – Birmingham.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2015!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

What the New York Sports Fan Want to Find Under Their Tree

Today is Christmas, and like all good little New York sports fan boys and girls, there are several things under the tree, let’s start crackin’ some presents!

For Yankee fans, there’s the gift of Christmas’ past, reliving the days of the Core Four in various video formats.  Unfortunately, there’s Christmas present, which finds some coal in the form of questions marks like new shortstop Didi Gregorius and a MASH unit of pitchers.  Let’s hope the coal evolves into diamonds.  What we really want is one full year of a healthy pitching staff – Tanaka, Pineda, Nova, CC and Eovaldi could be awesome, except they can’t stay off the DL.  Let’s hope that changes in 2015.

For Ranger fans, we’re grateful for 2014 and the run to the Stanly Cup
Finals.  But what we really want is to see King Henrik Lundqvist skate with the cup.  This year, with forward Rick Nash playing to his full potential, there’s a chance that last year was not a fluke.   Let’s see if the next big drink the Rangers take is from a sliver chalice.

For Knick fans, we have the lesson in humility.   As plans go awry in 2015 and the team edges toward their worst record in team history, we learn that there’s no easy fix, that great teams are built slowly and that the correct way is through the draft.   We hope that in 2015, Phil Jackson gets an early Christmas present in May – with the number one pick.  

For Giant fans, we’re still slightly hungover from recent championships, and now wake on Christmas morning to find three years of playoff-less football come and gone.   As we check our current gift list we find a shining star (and Fantasy Football first round pick) Odell Beckham Jr. and the potential of the last two drafts (Andre Williams, Justin Pugh, Jonathan Hankins, Demontre Moore, Devon Kennard), combined with  vets who should make 2015 much happier – if (and it’s a big “if”) they can stay healthy.   What you really want is one last successful season for Coach Tom Coughlin so he can go out on a winner. 

I hope that 2015 finds all of you happy and healthy, and that we get a couple of deep playoff runs out of our favorite teams!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Winter of My Discontent

During my hiatus writing for, I’ve noticed that there’s been a severe lack of winning in New York sports.   OK – now that I’ve qualified for “Understatement of the
Year” – let me clarify:  the Giants have gone from “bad” to “worse” to “god they suck!”; the Knicks (always my favorite punching bag) have, believe it or not, underachieved; the Yankees have gone two years without making the post-season and fears are that we’re “back to the future” of the early-1990s; and the Rangers, my beloved Eastern Conference Champions, are treading water (which considering they play on ice, is a pretty neat deal).

While it’s too early (and way too easy) to put a bullet in the Knicks season, and the Yanks are always a candidate to instantly rebuild, it’s the right time to eulogize the Giants.   When this season started at 3-2 after five weeks, there was guarded optimism, and a daunting six game gauntlet facing them.  Seven weeks later, coming off a loss to (ugh) Jacksonville, they’re still looking for win number four.   The locker room has lost more people than 14th century Europe, with 20 players on injured reserve (including the retirements of G Chris Snee and RB David Wilson).   Those who can play, have either suffered from the rebuilt offense and makeshift offensive line; inept and perplexing defensive strategy; and/or acute fumblitis, or as I like to call it, a case of the Mannings. 

In a season that started with little optimism and ended in disaster, outstanding questions remain:  
  • Can a team that has had three General Managers in 38 years fire one (Jerry Reese) that has two Super Bowl wins in his closet? 
  • Did a Hall of Fame Coach suddenly forget how to game plan? 
  • How many times can you fire a defensive coordinator?  And when you do, who will replace him?
For my semi-coherent rantings on the Yankees, you’ll find my articles on   For the Knicks, I’ll leave that to Guest Writer Craig Hoberman (I like to share my suffering).  As for the Rangers, I sit and hold my breath, hoping that a Stanley Cup will cure all my problems.

And now, it’s time for my medication . . .

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