Category Archives: Uncategorized

What Now?

The only thing I am sure of after another Giants loss is that something will change over the next two weeks. It could be a coach, probably not the head coach, getting fired.  That would be my strongest bet. But it really could be anything.  Giants ownership hates losing to the Jets, and with two weeks to think things over, change is the safest bet.

But beyond change a much deeper question needs to be answered. Where is this franchise going?  For the first nine seasons of Eli’s career, they finished at or above .500 eight times. For the last seven, they have to win out or, they will have only reached .500 or better once.

And that doesn’t capture how truly bad it has been. Outside of 2016, when was the last time the Giants played an important game in the second half of the season? I’m going to guess it was the last Super Bowl. In short. we are reaching plane flying above the Meadowlands territory here.

This Will be Interesting

Kyrie, KD, and DeAndre Jordan are apparently all heading to New York City to play!  By New York City, I mean Brooklyn and this has the potential to be the most interesting basketball move made here in years.

Let’s start with the optimistic view. Durant heals and returns to being one of the best players in the league. Paired with Kyrie and DeAndre, he turns the Nets into a championship team. Add in the fact that the Knicks have been horrible for 20 years and appear to have whiffed completely on free agency, and you might see a change in the rooting dynamics in our city- which is overwhelmingly skewed towards the Knicks.

On the flip side, what happens if Durant returns diminished, Kyrie continues to piss people off, and the Nets don’t become a great team?  The Nets will have swung and missed in a very public way and won’t be contenders for five years at least.

But here’s the hideous thing from a Knicks perspective. Their icompetent owner will almost certainly overreact to this super team created on his doorstep and overpay for mediocre talent. The spiral of doom will continue. I hope I’m wrong, but we all know I’m not.

Here’s to 2019!

Last year predicted the Vegas Knights to make the Stanley Cup and Golden State to win the Finals. I also predicted the Twins and 49rs to be good, so you’ve been warned. Here’s how I see 2019 unfolding.

January

Mariano Rivera comes three votes away from being the first unaimous Hall of Famer. Rivera is inducted along withEdgar Martinez and Ray Holliday.

Clemson beats Alabama to tie their playoff series at 2.

Kansas City and Dallas advance to the Super Bowl.

Manny Machado joins the Phillies on an eight-year/ $320-million deal. Bryce Harper shocks the baseball world by signing with the White Sox for ten years and $350-million. The Yankees respond by bringing back Robertson and Britton and signing Troy Tulowitzki to a minimum contract.

February

Kansas City wins the Super Bowl

The Rangers extend Kevin Hayes and name him captain

Close to 100 free agents remain unsigned as pitchers and catchers report.

March

The number 1 seeds are Duke, UVA, Tennessee, and Nevada. And Nevada follows in UVAs footsteps and loses in the first round.

Plenty of free agents are still available as the MLB season starts  in response, the players stage a symbolic strike on the day after Opening Day

April

Tiger Woods almost wins the Masters, but blows a lead on the last day.

Duke cuts down the nets after beating UVA

The Knicks miss the playoffs since they might already be eliminated while the Rangers only get eliminated in the final week of the season

May

The NHL and NBA playoffs have a Canadian feel as Toronto, Winnipeg, and Calgary make the hockey final four while the Raptors do so in the NBA.  But, Milwaukee beats Toronto to adavance to the NBA Finals and face Oklahoma City, who outlasted Golden State.  The Leafs lose to Washington, while Winnipeg makes the Cup

The Giants don’t draft a QB in the first round of the NFL Draft

The Knicks win the NBA draft lottery

June

Milwaukee and Winnipeg win their respective championships.

After 81 games Stanton has 36 homers and Judge has 35. The Yankees are also cruising to them AL East title.

Zion Williamson is the Knicks pick.

July

The Yankees enter the break up ten on the division, but the Brewers have the best record in baseball.

August

The Red Sox cut the Yankee lead to two games after sweeping them at the Stadium

September

Eli Manning is the starting QB for the Giants opener.

The Yankees, Twins, A’s, Phillies, Brewers and Dodgers win their divisions. Boston, Houston, Atlanta and Chicago are wild cards.

The Yankees break their own home record as a team with 281 powered by 58 from Judge and 55 from Stanton.

October

The Dodgers win the World Series over the Yankees.

November

The Knicks have a winning record at the end of the month

December

Alabama, Clemson, Texas, and Michigan make the CFP playoffs

A blogger in Brooklyn vows to do better next year

Happy New Year!

 

The Madness Arrives!

I love college basketball, so this is a special time of year for me. I think Thursday and Friday should be national holidays and here are my predictions.

East Region- I can’t find a reason that Villanova won’t advance to the Final Four. First, they are a really good team. Second, geography really helps them. The East Regional is in Boston, and Villanova is the only school within 500 miles. And it is a simple drive, or ride on Amtrak to get there. Expect a big Nova crowd at the Shawmut Center and that propels them to San Antonio.

Midwest Region- This is the hardest reason to handicap because it is stacked with great teams.  But, I really think it boils down to two teams Duke and Michigan State.  I don’t believe in Kansas at all, in fact I think they could be the first number one to lose to a sixteen, and Auburn seems out of its weight class here. Duke has already beaten Michigan State this year and I expect them to do so again as they head to the Final Four.

East Region- Virginia is a great team that is really not fun to watch. Arizona is a great team under a dark, dark, cloud of scandal.  I think Arizona wins that matchup, but the team no one is talking about, Cincinatti takes the region.  Don’t be surprised if Kentucky loses in the first round, Davidson has shown us a few things before.

West Region- This is the anti-East with none of the schools remotely close to the regional site. Gonzaga is the closest, and I think that powers them to the Elite Eight, where the fall to North Carolina again. UNC has been up and down this year, but they are 2-1 vs. Duke and lead the country in Quadrent 1 wins.  They’ve already dispatched Michigan and they will do so again in their matchup.

Give me a UNC-Villanova rematch with UNC being smart enough to guard the inbounds this time.  Joel Berry and Theo Pinson graduate with three Finak Fours in their four years and two titles.

 

Here’s to 2018!

2017 gave us some great sports moments from an amazing Super Bowl comeback, to a fantastic World Series. What will 2018 bring?  Here are my predictions.

January

Oklahoma survives a nail biter against Alabama to win the National Championship.

In the pro game Pittsburgh edges New England on a last minuet field goal to face Minnesota in the Super Bowl

Bonds and Clemens get into the Hall of Fame along with Chipper Jones

February

The Vikings win the Super Bowl

MLB hands down five 50-Game suspensions for sexual misconduct by its players

Vince McMahon announces the return of the XFL

March

Michigan State, Duke, Wichita State and Arizona State get number one seeds in March Madness

The MLB season opens to weather-related chaos

April

Michigan State cuts down the nets with a win over Duke

Tiger Woods plays in the Masters, but doesn’t factor as Jordan Spieth runs away with it

The Knicks make the playoffs and lose in the first round, the Rangers don’t

May

The expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights make history by advancing to the Finals in their first year where they face Tampa.

The Celtics return to the Finals against Golden State.

June

Tampa wins the Stanley Cup while Golden State cuts the nets down again

July

The Yankees are mired in mediocrity at the break three games under .500 and ten games behind Boston.  Minnesota has the best record in baseball

August

After running off a bunch of wins, the Yankees trade for Zach Grienke to fortify a shaky rotation

Jordan Spieth falls just short of the grand slam finishing sixth in the PGA

September

The Giants open the season with Eli Manning under center

Boston, Minnesota, and Houston win their divisions in the AL.  Washington, Chicago, and Colorado in the NL  Cleveland and New York are the wild card in the AL with Atlanta and LA in the NL

October

Houston meets Washington in the World Series with Washington winning it all.

The Giants finish October with a winning record, San Francisco is undefeated.

November

The Rangers fire Vigneault.

The Giants go into a tailspin and bench Eli for their number one pick, Josh Rosen

December

Five teams finish the NCAA football season with perfect records throw ing the playoffs into chaos.  Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Ohio State make it while USC doesn’t.

San Francisco and Jacksonville clinch the number 1 seeds in the playoffs

A blogger in Brooklyn vows to do better in 2019

Happy New Year!

 

 

Bye-Bye Brooklyn

Reports are that the Islanders have won the bidding for the right to develop a new arena on land adjacent to Belmont Park. While it isn’t unclear how long it will take to build the arena, this clearly means they will be leaving the Barclays Center very soon.

Hockey in Brooklyn just didn’t work and there are two main reasons why. First, this is Ranger country. The Islanders have a loyal following, but it isn’t in Brooklyn. Second, the arena is a terrible place for hockey. It’s asymmetrical and there are seats that don’t let you see the entire ice. That combination of forces led the Islanders to look for a new home.

The amazing thing is how many new sports facilities have been built this century in the local area. Every major sports team has either gotten a new building, or had their entire arena gutted and rebuilt. We’ve also added a soccer stadium and have another team looking to build one somewhere in the area. By my count, that’s six new buildings in about 15 years with a seventh on the way. Atlanta just built a new football stadium to replace one that wasn’t even 25-years old, so we may see more building in the near future. I hope everyone enjoys paying taxes.

If…

There are all sorts of reports that the Giants will fire Ben McAdoo tomorrow.

I cant defend McAdoo at this point. For a supposed offensive genius, it is damning that the Giants have never scored 30 points in a game under his management. Add in the appearance that the team has quit on him and you can’t argue with the idea of letting him go. But, to do it now, and to do it without firing Jerry Reese at the same time, would be ridiculous.

Reese gets credit for the last Super Bowl, and he gets partial credit for the previous one,  but that doesn’t excuse the past five years. Tom Coughlin was forced out and that was Reese’s mulligan. If McAdoo, the coach he hired, is going to be fired, the Giants need to clean house completely and part with their GM.

That’s not the way they typically do business, but firing one without the other would be a joke.

How Bad Can This Get?

The Giants have never lost more than 12 games in a season, but a quick look at the schedule suggests that “achievement”could be surpassed this year. They have eight games left, and after this Sunday against the winless 49’ers, every opponent, save the Raiders, is .500 or better, and the Raiders are a decent team that isn’t playing like one right now.

Lets say they win this week. Not a great bet, but this is the one game they clearly should win. Where does their next win come from?  At home against KC the following week?  I doubt it. On the road in Washington Thanksgiving night?  Almost certainly not. On the road in Oakland? I don’t think so. At home against Dallas and Philly?  No and no. On the road in Arizona Christmas Eve? Again, not likely. At home against Washington in the season finale?  Yeah, I could see that. Add it up and I have them finishing 3-13.

The real question is what would happen then?  The Giants almost never fire people, but a franchise record for losses would have to end in firings, right?  What I suspect is that Jerry Reese is already a goner and Ben McAdoo has the remaining games to save his job. The bar isn’t high. Finish the year with 3 more wins and I bet he comes back under a new GM. He would have two seasons left on his contract and with a major rebuild commencing, he would face a make or break 2018.

 

A Disgrace

The U.S. did not qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. That in itself is a major headline, but the way they failed is absolutely breathtaking. Trinidad and Tobago has a population about 1/6th that of New York City and was the worst team in the hexagonal qualifying format that decides the 3 or 4 teams to qualify from CONCACAF for the World Cup.  How bad was this loss?  This article makes a compelling case that it was the worst ever by the U.S.

What happens now is the big question?  What makes this so frustrating is that youth soccer participation has almost tripled since the last time we missed the World Cup to over 3-million  To put that into perspective, that’s over twice the population of Trinidad and Tobago.  US Soccer needs to figure out why that isn’t translating into sustained excellence and who can put things back together.  This loss will sting for a long time, but even longer if the flaws it exposed aren’t corrected quickly.

 

This Could Get Ugly

College recruiting is an ugly process and this morning there was evidence of how ugly it really is. Coaches at four schools, Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State, USC, and an executive at Addidas, were arrested.  It was part of a three-year investigation and the documents add that Louisville and Miami are also being investigated.

The feds caught everyone, including the NCAA, by surprise and the fallout from the could be massive  it’s naive to think that only six schools are involved and impossible to guess where this will all end.  What we do know is that two premier college programs are charged with bribery and wire fraud among other things. This won’t end well.