Saturday, December 29, 2012
Syracuse's efforts to brand itself as New York's College Team are going to take a big hit next year when it joins the Atlantic Coast Conference. One showcase it will lose is access to the Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium, which has obligations to take teams from the Big East and Big XII. This is the third season of the Pinstripe Bowl and SU's second appearance. I missed the debut game against Kansas State in 2010, which SU won thrillingly. But I wasn't going to miss their second and perhaps last appearance, so as soon as it was officially announced I ordered the tickets for Poppy and me through the Dome Box office. $60 each and only $7 total for shipping and handling, no other fees. Seats were in section 226, the third baseline, second deck 6th. Pretty good seats, along the goal line in the end zone reading Syracuse. The game was great, SU dominated on the ground, rushing for almost 400 yards, 208 for Prince-Tyson Gulley and 157 for Jerome Smith. SU pulled away in the second half, for a 38-14 win. The weather really stymied both teams, but I will readily admit that Syracuse is much better equipped to deal with a day such as this when it's hard to throw or catch a pass. The Orange got two safeties, and neither QB threw for 200 yards. At a certain point Syracuse stopped even trying to throw the ball.
Thank God this year is almost over. NEW YORK GIANTS -6 1/2 philadelphia I don't think the Giants have quit even though they've played horribly two straight weeks when a lot was on the line. NEW ORLEANS -4 1/2 carolina The Saints seem to still be playing hard. This is a pretty small spread for a home team. But hard to figure when two teams are out of it. DENVER -16 kansas city Last time they played Kansas City kept it close. Not this time. NEW ENGLAND -9 1/2 miami Patriots were disappointing against Jacksonville last week. And disappointed against San Francisco the previous week. They will go into the playoffs playing better than that. BEST BET chicago -3 DETROIT The Bears need this game (and a Vikings loss) to make the playoffs. Detroit is done, and probably have nothing left to care about after getting Calvin Johnson the receiving yards record last week. Last Week: 2-3 (1 point) Season: 33-47 (25 points) Best Bets: 0-1 (4-12) Home Favorites: 0-0 (9-21) Home Underdogs: 0-0 (6-4) Road Favorites: 1-2 (10-14) Road Underdogs: 1-1 (8-8)
Friday, December 28, 2012
The whole country is smitten with our First Lady Michelle Obama. And they love her even more in Washington DC. Her normal stay-at-home mom wardrobe, her perfectly toned arms and her wonderful caring anti-childhood-obesity program are enough to make you swoon. But there are some holdouts, probably racists and right-wing nuts. But Washington does have a first lady we can all agree on, Rebecca Liddicoat, soon to be Mrs. Robert Griffin III. By all accounts, Liddicoat and Griffin have a great relationship. They met and fell in love at Baylor and RG3 proposed to her last year with a love song he wrote himself. The fact that they are different races doesn't matter to them, or anyone who is not Rob Parker. They certainly look happy. Lauren Tannehill? Or an international supermodel like Giselle? But then again, do I really want my star QB involved with some shrew? Don't I want him to have a loving supportive wife who always stands by him and never causes trouble? I think the Mannings have done this right, Peyton Manning's wife Ashley and Eli Manning's wife Abigail are both low-key, but they're also gorgeous, more attractive than the future Mrs. Griffin III.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
A very touching video is making the rounds on the internet since Christmas. An Alabama fan gets a ticket to the BCS National Title Game, Alabama vs. Notre Dame. Strange that Poppy didn't react that way when he got a ticket to the Pinstripe Bowl for Christmas. I love the way the guy tried to seem happy about the hat, and they had to say "what size is it?" in order for him to notice the ticket.
"Die Young" - Ke$ha Congratulations on surviving the end of the world prediction from the normally infallible Mayans. But don't rest on your laurels and think you are going to live forever. Take Ke$ha's advice and make a New Year's resolution to live like you're going to die young. But do so in a fiscally prudent matter, just in case you do make it into your golden years.
Jack Klugman died on Christmas Eve at age 90. Klugman, no relation to Razor or FatScat, had been a smoker and had throat cancer and even lost a vocal cord because of it. He was in one of my favorite old movies, the simple but elegant "12 Angry Men." He was the last surviving actor from the movie. But he is most famous for his role as the slovenly sports reporter Oscar Madison on the sitcom adaptation of the play/movie, "The Odd Couple", which had one of the best opening themes in TV history.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
A lot has been lost this year, a massive hurricane destroying the East Coast, a horrific mass shooting devastating the entire country, and a presidential election saddening about 50 percent of Americans. It's been a crazy year, but when so much has been lost the best thing to do is to be thankful for that which we do have. So whether you're spending this time with family celebrating Christmas, or spending it with the proprietors of your local Chinese food restaurant, take a minute to reflect on all that you have gained this year, while others have lost so much.
Monday, December 24, 2012
For Real Four weeks ago I watched the Seattle Seahawks play the Chicago Bears. The Seahawks were 6-5, with one of those wins being the screwjob against the Packers. The Bears had a 14-10 lead late in the game and seemed likely to make the Seahawks 6-6, but really should have been 5-7. Then the Seahawks struck. They scored a late TD in regulation to take a 17-14 lead, then another one in overtime to win the game. If there were such a thing as momentum, that game started it all. In the three games since the Seahawks have outscored opponents 150-30. Granted, two of the opponents were weak, but they pounded a pretty good San Francisco team. Seattle has a great defense, with big, strong fast players up front, and in the secondary. They have a great running game which opens things up for Russell Wilson who is putting up numbers just as good or better than his more highly regarded rookie counterparts.
I have been calling for a total dismantling of the New York Mets since around 2009. I have blamed the Mets fans and their desire to keep up with their obnoxious neighbors for preventing the Mets from doing what they need to do to win a World Series. Here is how you compete in baseball today: draft well, develop those draftees, sign the ones that show the most promise early in their major league careers to long-term deals to lock them up until at least their age 30 seasons. Something the Mets can afford to do, given their market size and revenues. And once you've done all that, and you have 5-6 really good players locked up to cost-effective contracts, then you sign a couple veterans to short deals, 1 or 2 years, 3 at the most. The Mets are finally embracing that philosophy and it's promising to pay dividends, probably not in 2013, maybe not in 2014, but by 2015 the Mets should be on the road to contention. And trading R.A. Dickey was a huge part of it. I love R.A. Dickey. What a nice man, a class act and a great pitcher, but he had to go. Even if the Mets were in position to be competitive this season, I still would favor this trade. Dickey is old (entering his age 38 season). He throws a knuckleball, which may mitigate some of the expected decline of aging, but can also be a fickle mistress, meaning his magic could fade quickly. Speaking of magic, let's take a brief interlude to appreciate just how awesome, Dickey's knuckleball is. Plus, he's coming off a Cy Young season, even if the Mets were on the verge of contention, selling high on Dickey would be the right thing to do. But the Mets aren't good. And Dickey was seeking a 2-year extension for $25 million, through his age 40 season. And the Mets got two very good prospects for him, Travis D'Arnaud who could be a solid hitting catcher for a long time for the Mets. And a hard-throwing righty Noah Syndergaard who will fit in the nicely with the young arms the Mets are already developing. Add that to Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and Jon Niese and the Mets have a promising young rotation. The lineup is another matter which is why I like resigning Daving Wright. The Mets lineup is very weak, and doesn't have the youthful reinforcements the way the pitching staff does. Wright is an excellent player at a very important position. His presence will likely help the development of younger players like Davis and Duda (who I think still has potential and should be given fielding lessons and the everyday left field job). I'm also a pragmatist. I understand this is a business. Wright has marquee value and even though the fans are idiots, the Mets need those idiots to buy tickets and jerseys and to watch SNY so keeping Wright was a very important gesture to keep those fans. Sure, I would have liked the slew of prospects a trade for Wright could have brought in return, but I understand his value to the team goes beyond his contributions on the field. And Wright is entering his age 28 season which means, when the team Sandy Alderson has expertly crafted is ready to compete, Wright should still be performing at a high level, hopefully high enough to return the Mets to the World Series.