Tag Archives: Jets

Senate may make long-overdue change in military rape cases. The Jets continue their schizophrenic pattern. And dogs doing funny stuff.

militaryjusticebill

For the last several years, as I read more and more horrifying stories of what happens to female soldiers in all branches of our military, I’ve been more and more disgusted.

As we’ve seen in scandal after scandal, thousands of women have been sexually assaulted while serving our country, and rarely if ever are their attackers brought to justice (hell, sometimes they even get promoted).

The fantastic documentary movie “The Invisible War”, which I wrote about here, talked about how much the deck is stacked against women like Kori Cioca and others who have been violated.

One of the biggest obstacles is getting a fair shake judicially when a victim’s complaint is handled in the military chain of command, where sometimes the person handling the rape charge IS the person who did the assaulting. And even when the defendant is not the judge, it’s incredibly difficult for women’s complaints to be taken seriously.

In the Senate right now a cross-section of Democratic and Republican senators are taking up a proposal to remove the power to decide whether to try sexual assault cases from the military chain of command and put it in the hands of an independent military prosecutor.

This would be a vital step toward at least helping these victims get a fair shake. Why only 46 of 100 Senators are signing on to this so far is beyond me, but hey, it’s a start.

Read more about the proposal here, and check out “The Invisible War” on Netflix here.

steelers

**Well, can’t say I didn’t see that one coming.
Everything for the past two weeks that’s been said about the New York Jets ws positive. They’ve finally turned the corner, they’re 5-4, they’re in playoff contention, then they sign veteran safety and future Hall of Famer Ed Reed, they’re playing Buffalo Sunday who the Jets always beat … so of course, being a Jets fan, with all that positivity, I was frightened of Sunday’s game.

And I had reason to be. After three decades of being a fan, I’ve learned to see these things coming. Geno Smith was awful, as bad as he’s been all year, losing fumbles, throwing interceptions (including a Sanchez-ian Pick 6 in the third quarter).
The offensive line couldn’t block a mosquito. The secondary was awful, as it has been much of the year. And so the Jets became the first team in NFL history (whoo-hoo!) to alternate wins and losses for the first 10 games of the year.
Always nice to make history.

Couple more quick-hit NFL thoughts:

– Everyone who had the Eagles in first place in the NFC East a month ago, please raise your hand. What a wacky NFL season.

–So much for that Cleveland Browns resurgence, eh?

– I say it every time they wear them, but those Pittsburgh Steelers throwback uniforms (above) are the ugliest unis I’ve ever seen. I mean, did they all just break out of prison?

**And finally, for a little Monday pick-me-up, four minutes of puppies and big dogs escaping from situations they weren’t too thrilled to be in. The dog at :37 is my favorite, sign him up for the NBA!

Watching the NYC Marathon live an awesome experience. A freaky Criss Angel trick that made me scream. And the Jets keep shocking everyone

nycmarathon.shelley

I would like to one day run the New York City Marathon.

For now, though, I’m only running five miles at a time, so I settled for the next-best thing: Watching the marathon live, from about 500 yards outside my front door.

Always wanted to see the Marathon live, and Sunday I got to cross it off my bucket list: Since my wife and I moved to First Avenue, a major viewing area for the awesome race, I knew I would finally get my chance.

And it was… extraordinary. Such a wonderful, wonderful time. So many senses came at me I was overloaded; it was cold, it was loud, it was joyful, it was crowded, and mostly… it was fantastic.

Some thoughts from 90 minutes spent leaning against a metal police railing at mile 16 (that’s my wife’s picture from where we were standing, above):

– My favorite part of the day was yelling out random stranger’s names and screaming for them like we were old friends. For many of the runners, we just yelled out the logo on their shirt (like “France” or “Fred’s Team”), but with a ton of runners putting their names on their shirts, we got plenty of practice screaming “Go Susie!” or “You can do it, Greg!” A lot of the runners played to the crowd, but to see their faces light up when five or six random strangers screamed their name and cheered for them was so great. At first, a lot of them looked at us like “Do I know you?” But then they just gave a thumbs-up, or a wave.

randomstranger

– The coolest sight was the uniforms of the runners. So many colors, so many different sock and sneaker looks, and so many costumes. We saw three Spidermans, a couple of Supermans, people with giant blue and yellow wigs, and my favorite, a dude running in a Hulk Hogan “Hulkamania” shirt (and yes, he did the hand to the ear move Hulk was famous for).

Truly, it was like watching a rainbow blur by you every 10-15 seconds.

– There were a lot of creative shirts, but my favorite was definitely the woman who’s orange T-shirt said on the back “You just got passed by a pregnant lady!”

Hey, the kid will come out of the womb in running shape, right?

– Each runner’s bib has a tracking device, so it was cool seeing people we were standing near know when their loved one would be coming by.

– For so many of these runners, it was a once in a lifetime experience. And so many of them were running with cameras and filming the crowd. Which means I can guarantee you that my little group I was standing with will be on about 15 home movies forever.

Which, if you think about it, is a nice way to be in someone’s life for a few seconds.

**OK, so my mother-in-law sent me this video of a Criss Angel illusion that he’s been doing for years, but was just on a recent episode of his TV show.

I watched it a bunch of times and it freaked me out every time, even after I did some Internet research (check the comments section). I know it’s not “real” but still pretty amazing. The good parts begin at 1:20…

jets-v-new-orleans-saints

**It’s pretty easy to wager on the 2013 New York Jets.
On odd-numbered weeks, they win.
On even numbered weeks, they lose.

Fortunately, they play “bye” next week, so I think they’ll be able to win that one.
Yep, the crazy, wacky season of the Jets continued on Sunday, as they once again won a game they had absolutely no business winning, when you looked at on paper.
They ran the ball for 200 yards, they got a huge pass rush in the second half, and they “held” Drew Brees to 380 passing yards (trust me, they did a good job on him when it mattered.)

Chris Ivory ran hard. Geno Smith played smart and didn’t turn the ball over. And the D-line continues to look ferocious; finally, after years of searching, the Jets have a pass rush, thanks to Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, and Sheldon Richardson (all great draft picks. Stephen Hill, meanwhile… not so much.)

I have no idea if this Jets team can actually make the playoffs, which would be the most surprising season in my lifetime as a Jets fan. But they sure have made this season a lot more fun to watch than I would’ve thought.

They’re 5-4, when I never thought they’d get five wins all year. Crazy.

“Homeland” totally redeems itself with an awesome finale. NBA players sing the dreidel song. And the Jets’ misery continues

Episode 212

“Homeland,” “Homeland,” “Homeland.”

Home-freaking-land. All is forgiven. After a few episodes where I finally cracked, and started to admit what others had been saying, that the show was veering wildly off-course and slipping away, it totally redeemed itself Sunday night.

Everything felt pitch-perfect: Brody didn’t die (I thought for sure they would kill him, but Quinn’s reasons for not doing it made perfect sense). Broday may or may not still be a terrorist (I’m thinking not). Carrie decided to run off with Brody, choosing his love over her career.  Then a bomb exploded under his car, everyone from the CIA is dead, and Carrie and old man Saul are the only ones left.

Then an old video when Brody really was a terrorist gets released, and suddenly Carrie realized she can’t possibly go off with Brody.

And now the show is completely re-set for Season 3. We’ve got Brody, on the run in Canada, ironic that he’s actually innocent of this attack, but everyone thinks he’s done it. We’ve got Brody’s family, hopefully out of the show now. And we’ve got Carrie and Saul, looking for a new terrorist threat and piecing their world back together, while rogue CIA assassin Quinn lurks somewhere.

I was on the edge of my seat on the couch all hour. What a fantastic way to end the season.
Gotta wait nine more months for another new “Homeland,” and that’s just way too long.

Again, if you haven’t watched this show yet, you’re missing one of the best TV shows of all time.

**Well this is pretty entertaining. I know Hanukkah ended, but I saw this the other day and laughed, and then forgot about it. And with Jeremy Lin returning to MSG and kicking the Knicks’ butt Monday night (the Nets fan in me enjoyed that, and I’m headed to my first Nets game in Brooklyn tonight, report to follow in Wednesday’s blog), figured I could still post this.

It’s the decidedly non-Jewish Houston Rockets singing the “Dreidel” song…

jetsweb18s-1-web

**And finally, because I wasted three perfectly good hours of my life watching Monday’s train-wreck of a Jets-Titans game, a few thoughts on my disastrous boys in green and white:

– This Jets team might be the most boring they’ve had since the 1-15 team. And even that team was exciting because you never knew what horribly new way to lose they’d invent next.
– I can’t watch Mark Sanchez play another game at quarterback. I just can’t. Four years in and he’s still as bad as he was as a rookie. For the love of God, they MUST have a new QB next year.

– The lack of speed and skill on the offense is pretty amazing. This is a terrible Tennessee team, with the worst defense in the league, and the Jets couldn’t do bubkis with them.
– Jon Gruden is an affront to the ears. Not just mine; all ears, everywhere in the sound of his voice.

– Shocking to see the Jets actually give Tim Tebow a whole series at QB. Of course, when he didn’t immediately lead them to a TD, he was banished.

– I’m very happy that because I’ll be on vacation and out of the country for the last two Jets games this season, that Monday night was my last day of misery with them for a while. Such a nice way to end the season.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all. The guy who was arrested twice at the exact same time. And Larry David’s family Thanksgiving

Today is my favorite day of the year, just about every year.
I love everything about Thanksgiving: the great food, the good football, the family and friends all being together, no matter what the religion. And of course, one of the funniest movies of all time, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” being on TV somewhere (Seriously, if you don’t like PTA, I don’t think we can be friends. Every scene in that movie is perfect, including the one above).
Most of all, I love that it reminds us to count our blessings, and be grateful for all that we have.
I know that’ s hard for a lot of people in my neck of the woods this year, in New York, where Hurricane Sandy devastated so many lives.
Still, I hope everyone has plenty to be thankful for this year. For me, this Thanksgiving will be a first, location-wise, as I’m at my wonderful soon-to-be-in laws for my first Turkey Day. As I write this, the aromas coming from the kitchen Wednesday night are enough to tempt any human, but alas, I must wait until tomorrow.

When it will be Thanksgiving.  Wishing all of you a wonderful day, and wishing the Jets a win over the Patriots (yeah, like that will happen. But a man can dream.)

**Been meaning to post about this story for a week and I keep forgetting. I’d say it’s probably never happened before.
So on Nov. 5, the night we all turned our clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings Time, 22-year-old Ohio man Niles Gammons was arrested for driving under the influence. Gammon was going the wrong way up a one-way alley and was stopped at 1:08 a.m., and when he failed the Breathalyzer test, he was arrested and brought to the police station.
The officer gave him a citation, suspended his drivers license, and then released him into the custody of another adult.

Exactly one hour after the first stop, when the clocks had turned back and it was again 1:08 a.m., Gammons got behind the wheel again and nearly rammed into a police cruiser. He was again cited for a DUI and his arrest time read 1:08 a.m.

I mean, what are the odds? DUI is a serious charge and I’m not at all trying to make light of it, but seriously, what are the odds of being arrested twice at the exact same time?

That’s some cosmic time-machine stuff right there.

**Speaking of Thanksgiving, let’s leave it to one of the funniest TV people alive, Larry David, to tell us what it was like at his house on Turkey Day growing up.

Good-news Friday: The man who made 1 million free throws for charity. My 1 good news thought from Jets debacle. And saving the world from Nickelback


It’s time for another Good News Friday, and I’m going to start with a very dedicated man.

Two years ago Dave Cummings decided he wanted to do something special to help pay tribute to and raise money for American soldiers. So he vowed to make 1 million free throws over the next two years.  He raised nearly $70,000, made about 1,300 free throws a day, every day, for the last two years (think about how much of a time commitment that is, especially if you have a full-time job like Cummings did).

But the New Hampshire man did it, and on Veterans Day at the Basketball Hall of Fame, he sank foul shot No. 1,000,000.

A beautiful tribute to the troops. Check out the great NPR “Only A Game” radio show’s story on Cummings here.

**And on the Veterans theme, I continue to be touched by these awesome “surprise reunion” soldier videos …

**It would be absolutely impossible for me to keep this “good news” thing going today and talk about last night’s disgusting Jets loss to Denver. The only good news for me out of this loss is I no longer think I’ll be watching the rest of the Jets season.

And now, back to the good news: How cute is this? A puppy giving a massage to a  cat. 

**Finally, this is good news to all who like good music. The horrid band Nickelback was scheduled to play the halftime show of the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day game against the Green Bay Packers next week.
Correctly horrified, a Lions fan started an online petition asking the NFL and the team to book a better act. He got 50,000 signatures in a week!

Good music taste should win out. But alas, Nickelback will play anyway. Still, nice to see we can still mobilize large numbers of people around something really important: Not inflicting horrible music on America while we’re eating turkey.

The Jets season continues to spiral downward. The sensational 49ers. And the best surprise kid’s video, ever

This is how a season blows up.
Players talking badly about coaches behind their back. Neither offense nor defense playing well at the same time in the same game. The players after yet another loss spouting things like “we’re getting there,” and “this was better.”
This is what my New York Jets have come to, five weeks into a season that was supposed to be so much better.
My boys lost again Sunday, to New England, in depressingly familiar fashion: They fell behind by double-digits early, mounted a comeback late, but once again when the chips were down, the defense couldn’t make a stop to give the offense one more chance.
So frustrating, and not just because they lost to the Evil Empire, Coach Hoodie, and the Golden Boy quarterback Tom Brady.
Couple quick thoughts on the game:
– Why, for the love of Emerson Boozer, must the Jets start every game in the middle of the second quarter? For a year and a half now they give away the opening 15 minutes. Sunday they didn’t get a first down until their fifth offensive drive. I’m sorry, but when you start the game badly every week, that’s coaching.
– I liked that the Jets finally got a pass rush going. Too bad Brady still carved them up when he needed to. Damn he’s good.
– Shonn Greene, welcome to the 2011 NFL season. That was his first good rushing game.
– I don’t want to hear another word about how good the Jets defense thinks it is. Once again Sunday, for at least the 7th or 8th time in the last 3 years under Rex Ryan, the Jets D had a chance to make a fourth-quarter stop, to give the offense the ball back with a chance to win the game.
And once again, the D melted like butter at a picnic in August. Brady led the Pats down for a game-clinching field goal, and that was that. Awful.

Some other NFL thoughts on another interesting Sunday…

– Nice to see the Raiders rally in honor of the great Al Davis, who died Saturday. Course, Matt Schaub of the Texans threw a horrendous interception at the end of the game by the goal line to help, but hey, a win’s a win.
– What a hell of a statement by the 49ers Sunday. Winning 48-3 in the NFL, against a 3-1 Tampa team? Wow. That was pretty shocking.
– The Panthers and Cam Newton don’t win much, but they sure are fun to watch.
– Awful loss for the Giants. Eli Manning, you gotta be better than that. Giants can’t be losing to Seattle at home.

**This is fantastic. Watch as a little girl finds out that she’s going to Disney World for her birthday. The look on her face when her Mom tells her is just so priceless.

A pretty darn good Super Bowl. And a few pretty awesome commercials

Given that it’s a near-certainty that Sunday’s game as the last real NFL football I’d be seeing for at least a year and a half, I’m glad it was a pretty entertaining game.
With the owners getting set to lock out the players (billionaires fighting millionaires, as it were), Sunday’s Super Bowl was all we’re getting probably until 2012.
So I’m happy it was a hell of a game. All the classic elements of a great contest were there; one team gets out to a big lead, the other comes all the way back, and we’ve got an exciting finish.
Lots of topics to hit on from this game, and all the FOX-related hoopla throughout the day:
– Aaron Rodgers will play in, and win more Super Bowls than that guy he replaced, Brett something or other. And who in the world could’ve ever predicted that? It never happens in sports that a legendary QB follows another legendary QB. It happened in San Francisco with Montana and Young, but off the top of my head that’s the only time it happened in my lifetime.
– We went a few years there in the post-Ed McCaffrey/Wayne Chrebet time without a stud, fast white wide receiver in the NFL. Glad to see Jordy Nelson is stepping in to fill the void.
– I didn’t look this up, but I thought that was the fewest penalties I’d ever seen called in a Super Bowl. Good to see.
– That camera shot of Cameron Diaz feeding Alex Rodriguez popcorn? Priceless.
– The halftime show was, umm, interesting. I thought the Black Eyed were mostly OK, though Fergie’s mic kept cutting out, it looked like. LOVED that Slash got some SB halftime love, with “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” one of my favorite-ever songs, though it didn’t sound great.

– Did you hear about the ticket fiasco before the game? 1,250 people had tickets for seats that didn’t exist or weren’t deemed safe, and had to be moved. 400 people never got a place to sit, having to stand and watch the game on monitors. Disgraceful. Check out the details here.

– How good is Clay Matthews Jr., the Packers’ stud linebacker? Amazingly good.
– I thought Troy Aikman had a bad game announcing for FOX. He misspoke a bunch of times and didn’t really add anything to the broadcast.
– I tweeted this last night: Look at how many injuries there were in the Super Bowl. And the NFL owners want to add two games to the schedule. Insanity.
– Still annoyed the Jets weren’t in this game Sunday. Arrghh. So close.

**As for the commercials, well, I thought most of them were blah. But here were my three favorites. Above, we have the NFL paying tribute to its fans through classic TV, digitally enhancing everyone with football paraphernalia. Brilliant.

**Then, a truly moving commercial from Chrysler, starring Eminem. I don’t buy for a minute that Detroit is going to reclaim its title as car capital of the world, but it’s a hell of a good ad:

**And this one might’ve been my favorite, the Volkswagen Darth Vader commercial. So good. And the expression on the father’s face when he presses the remote button? Fabulous.

Which did you think were the best commercials?

An incredible invention for “stainers” like me. A unique way of storytelling. And that pathetic Green and White football team

I have many flaws. One of them is that I absolutely, positively almost always find a way to stain my clothes.
Doesn’t matter how careful I am, doesn’t matter how much I’m thinking about the great new shirt I’m wearing, and how difficult it would be to clean. Doesn’t matter that I carry Tide to Go sticks and OxyClean in my car. Doesn’t matter if I buy pants that say they are stain-resistant (“Ha!” I yell at them. “I don’t think you can resist me!” I do this in stores and people occasionally stare.)
I stain, therefore I am. It’s just something I’ve come to accept about myself.

But the German company, Nanopool, they’re here to help me. And this is just so cool. They’ve invented something called liquid glass. It’s a spray-on, protective coat, one million of a millimeter thick, of pure silicon dioxide.
The spray-on liquid, called Quantum LiquiGlas, acts like an invisible shield, protecting us from stains, bacteria (how helpful would this stuff be in hospitals?), and other dirt.
How cool is this? Gotta love those Germans sometimes. I don’t think this stuff is available in the States yet, but man, as soon as it is? I’m buying it by the caseload.
Until then, I’ll be the guy at the party with the red wine stain on his shirt.

**I always love when reporters take new and brave steps in telling a story. And when the story is as heart-wrenching as this one, well, it’s just a terrific piece of journalism. A writer named Ian Shapira decided to tell the story of a woman’s highs and lows during pregnancy and the aftermath through her Facebook updates.

I’m warning you, this is a sad story you’re about to read, from The Washington Post, if you click here. But it’s also a remarkable story, and I urge you to read it.

**Yep, the Jets suck.
No two ways about it. Sunday was the second straight Jets game which made me want to pull my eyeballs out in frustration (a lot harder than pulling your hair out, let me tell you.)
At least last Monday night, when the Patriots pummeled my boys 45-3, I could take solace in that they got destroyed, and had no chance.
Sunday against the equally-inept Dolphins, the Jets just freaking blew it. Mark Sanchez was awful. The offensive line was awful. The receivers were remarkably bad in catching the ball, kind of an important skill (nice to see Braylon Edwards’ end-zone dropsies rubbing off on Santonio Holmes.).
This team is going nowhere, fast. They’re looking at two more losses in a row now, with Pittsburgh and Chicago on the schedule.
Sigh. Time I start paying all my sports attention to the Rangers and Duke basketball.

Ice cream for dogs, Brady and the Pats suffer (yay!), and man, that’s gotta hurt.

So, I’m not a big animal lover. Nothing personal, I’m just not a huge fan.

But I realize I live in a world where many people treat their pets better than their spouses. A world that sees people like my crazy but lovable sister-in-law Lauren dress her dog in Santa outfits every December, then takes said puppy to get her picture taken with Santa. A world that sees pets often eat better and more expensively than their human owners.

But still, even I was taken aback at the supermarket on Saturday when I ran into the above product. Seriously, we need special ice cream for dogs now? The Butter Pecan from Baskin’ Robbins was being rejected by the canines? Breyer’s Chocolate chip just wasn’t good enough for the four-legged beasts anymore? Come on people, have dogs really been clamoring for this?

All the dogs I’ve known just want a nice, interesting place to pee (where they can smell other stuff, of course), some decent shelter, an occasional game of fetch, and a nice place to lay their heads.

Sigh. What at least made me feel a little better is that the Frosty Paws seemed to be fully stocked in the supermarket. Maybe, just maybe, nobody’s buying this stuff.

Then again, these dogs look pretty happy.

*** Pretty terrific day of football Sunday, unless you root for the New England Patriots, which of course I don’t.

Boy, did Baltimore ever manhandle Coach Hoodie and his pretty-boy quarterback. I mean, that was a dominating performance. Couple of caveats in the Pats’ defense, of course: Wes Welker was out injured, and Tom Brady does have about six different wounds right now.

There have been some people who are already saying this is the end of the Pats’ dynasty, no one’s scared of them anymore, yada yada yada. I’m not ready to say that yet; they’ll be back pretty strong next year, I have no doubt.

Still, it was nice to see the New England fans booing the hell out of their beloved Pats Sunday. Music to my ears.

**Debated this with a few Jets friends Sunday; who would we rather face, San Diego or Indy? I’m glad it’s San Diego. I know they’ve won 11 in a row and have a scary good QB in Phillip Rivers, but there were two reasons I wanted NO part of the Colts:

1. Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback ever (yeah, I said it)

2. Norv Turner is coaching the Chargers. When Norv’s on the other sideline, you always have a chance.

***That was a great school-yard touch football game the Cardinals and Packers played. 51-45 in overtime? Were the teams aware that tackling is legal in the NFL these days? Damn exciting stuff, though. Incredible game from Kurt Warner and Steve Breaston, though I don’t know how in the world Arizona will have a chance to stop Drew Brees and Co. in New Orleans next week.

One other thing that cracked me up from that game: Cards defense gives up 45 points, then scores the game-winning touchdown, and the defensive players are acting all cocky. You made one play since the first quarter, fellas.

**And finally, if you think you’ve had a bad day, well, you could be one of these people: The biggest “ouches” of the past year (Tip of the hat to SI.com for this gem):