Monthly Archives: September 2009

Billionaire Russian is buying the Nets. Is this good or bad? And a fun stat about health care and UFOs

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So I realize I’m a few days late on this, but my favorite NBA team is apparently being bought by the richest guy in Russia.

Mikhail Prokhorov, who apparently has a net worth of $9.5 billion (that’s about what I think I’m worth,

by the way, not that anyone will confirm it), has reached a deal to buy the New Jersey Nets. And yes, the “Nyets” joke has already been made plenty of times.

This seems to have come out of nowhere, and on the surface seems great for everyone: Struggling Nets owner Bruce Ratner gets cash for his new arena in Brooklyn (which, I’m starting to think, will get built as soon as the stuff in “The Jetsons” is real), NBA commish David Stern gets a foreign owner with a lot of cash in his league, and us Nets fans get to keep dreaming that LeBron James will come to the team next year.

Of course, I’m brimming with questions: Will borscht be served at the concession stand? Is there a chance that instead of throwback jerseys, the Nets could wear those cool-looking “U.S.S.R” shirts the Soviets used to wear? Will the owner threaten to send a misbehaving player to Siberia, and you know, mean it?

And could we get Dolph Lundgren to come out to the opener and re-enact his “Rocky IV” scenes? “If he dies, he dies.” Man that guy shoulda won an Oscar.

And would LeBron James even want to play for a Russian dude?

All things that will be known in due time. Heck, I don’t even know if this guy will pass inspection from the other NBA owners, who are kind of picky about who they let in to their club.

I truly have no idea how this thing will play out. But at the very least, my Nets will be interesting off the court this season.

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In my continuing attempt to find humor in the health care debate…

**OK, so usually I ignore the 5,426 emails I get per week from Moveon.org. I love them, love that they’re pushing liberal causes, but man, do they send a lot of emails.

But this one I had to read, and I’m glad I did. Apparently, according to media watchdog site mediamatters.org, a recent N.Y. Times/CBS News poll showed that only 26 percent of Americans opposed a public option for the new health care plan.

A 2007 Associated Press/Ipsos poll found that 34 percent of Americans believe in UFOs.

So basically, more people believe in unidentified flying objects than oppose the health care plan. And yet this is apparently a raging debate in Congress.

Which just proves my point: There’s a ton of bat-shit crazy people in America.

The cowardice of Hollywood, as seen in “Desperate Housewives.” And Florida cops love Wii bowling.

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Let me say that it’s entirely possible that this is a wild overreaction by me. Sometimes things just hit you at a certain time and make you so annoyed.

However, I don’t think this is one of those things.

So I’m watching the season premiere of “Desperate Housewives” Sunday night. I know it’s a silly show with ridiculous storylines, but the writing is awesome, Eva Longoria Parker is just smoking hot (as is Teri Hatcher, still), and it entertains me.

So one of the new plot points this season is that Lynette Scavo, Felicity Huffman’s character, is pregnant with twins. Lynette has four other children with her husband Tom, and she’s somewhere in her early 40s. She and Tom have, like, no money; their pizzeria cost them a ton, and now Tom’s in school while Lynette is the only one working.

So the episode starts and Tom and Lynette are talking about the craziness of having more children. Tom (whose character has always been the weakest on the show, IMO)  tries to reassure Lynette, tells her everything is going to be fine. For most of the episode, Lynette is depressed and worried and not really at all interested in having more kids.

And yet, never, ever, ever, in the entire episode, is the subject of Lynette having an abortion even implied, hinted at, or even brought up as a topic between Lynette and Tom.

OF COURSE she’s going to have the baby, because everyone wants babies! Even if you’re in your early 40s, have four kids already, have no money and are drowning in debt, it’s still awesome to have two more kids. Yippee!

Why is abortion never even brought up? Because, my friends, it is apparently still considered such a toxic issue that no mainstream show dare go near it. My goodness, ABC might lose some advertisers, draw protests, inflame the right wing who could boycott the show.  A woman even discussing having an abortion on a show? We can’t have that. No, no, no. We must present reality only one way, and avoid offending anyone, anyone out there who may watch us.

Never mind the fact that abortion is legal in this country. Never mind the fact that Roe vs. Wade is almost four decades old. Never mind the fact that for millions of women each day, a decision on whether or not to abort a fetus is a heart-wrenching, real-life issue.

Look, I’m not sitting here advocating abortion, though I am definitely pro-choice. And I’m not saying the writers of the show are stupid for not making Lynette have one.

I just think it’s remarkably pathetic and cowardly that shows like this completely ignore this side of the discussion, and quite frankly treat the audience like morons by ignoring that elephant in the room.

This is why I laugh riotously when people are always accusing Hollywood of being “liberal.” The people in Hollywood may be liberal, but the shows? So far from it.

Anyway, this annoyed me.

*** Here’s something awesome: Apparently police in Lakeland, Fla. did a little Wii playing while performing a drug raid on a house (As my wife would say: Why does this stuff always happen in Florida?)

My favorite part of this is the sheriff trying to justify things. Brilliant.

Three and oh, my New York Jets keep flying. And a great old Jewish joke at the end

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Well, this is getting a little ridiculous, isn’t it?

It’s getting increasingly difficult for me to strike my usually pessimistic, gloomy view of my New York Jets.

Yet another Sunday afternoon, and yet another day I leave Houligan’s (sports bar where I watch the games) happy. After a great start, a very shaky 2nd and 3rd quarters, and a terrific 4th, Gang Green beat Tennessee, 24-17.

It was quite different from the first two games, but at the end all I care about is the W. Three and oh. Never, in a hundred years, would I have predicted the Jets would be 3-0 after this brutal early schedule they had.

But hell, maybe after 40 years everything is starting to go right again. Heck, the Jets got two gift touchdowns from the Titans’ returner (or should I say ex-returner) Ryan Mouton, Mark Sanchez didn’t panic under pressure, and they’ve got a quarterback crazy enough to take on defenders while leading with his head. It’s great!

— Let’s start with Mark Sanchez. Love the kid’s poise in the pocket, but hey Mark, bubeleh, next time you’re going to try to run it in for a touchdown, please slide or try to go around the big dude trying to tackle you? This play scared the hell out of us fans (fast forward to about the :32 mark). Still, really bad attempt at a mustache aside, the kid is making all the right moves. Sure he had some mistakes Sunday; the ball slipped out of his hand a few times, and he threw an INT that wasn’t his fault. But he’s making progress every week.

— Big game for David Harris and Bart Scott, the Jets new linebacker combo. They harassed Kerry Collins in the fourth quarter. The D looked shaky for quite a while in the second and third quarters, but you know what? When it mattered most and they HAD to get stops, they did. I love that Rex Ryan throws so many different looks at opposing offenses; three straight weeks now, in the fourth quarter, the opposing QB looked rattled.

–I’m officially concerned about the Jets running game. It’s been three games now, and the O-line hasn’t been opening too many holes. Thomas Jones had two good runs in Week 1 and that’s been it, and Leon Washington hasn’t done much, either.

— Jerricho Cotchery, you rule. Couple of fantastic catches Sunday. Overall, the offense was subpar, but they took advantage of the chances the Titans gave them.

— Tennessee’s receivers totally let Kerry Collins down most of the day. Justin McCareins, where have you gone? Oh wait, he stunk, too.

— Next week is a freebie in my mind. I don’t expect the Jets to go into the Superdome and shut down Drew Brees (though Buffalo did a pretty good job on him Sunday.) Even if the Jets lose that one, they’re 3-1 with two games against Miami, one against Buffalo and one against Oakland the next four weeks. Sounds good to me.

OK, enough giddiness. These are my Jets I’m talking about here. They’ll break my heart again at some point this season. But for now, man this is fun!

Other NFL thoughts:

— Congrats to the Detroit Lions and their fans, as the Leos finally broke a 19-game losing streak with a win over the Redskins. If I’m Washington head coach Jim Zorn, I’m not answering the phone for a few days. It’ll probably be crazy owner Dan Snyder looking to fire him. Great column on the Lions here by the great Mitch Albom.

–HUGE comeback win for the Cincinnati Bengals, HBO’s favorite team. Down 20-9 at home to the Steelers in the fouth, Cincy comes back and wins with a Carson Palmer touchdown in the final minute. Psychologically, Pittsburgh has owned the Bengals, so this one is huge. Who’d have figured Pittsburgh would be 1-2 after three weeks, with two crushing last-minute losses? Check out Cincy Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty (who I always read after Bengals games because even when they’re terrible, he’s wildly entertaining) with a good column here.

— We have two legit opportunities for a team to go 0-16 this year. I don’t have a clue who the Cleveland Browns will be able to beat; they look horrendous. And the St. Louis Rams, well, they’re not much better, especially if Marc Bulger is out for a while.

— Apparently some guy playing QB for the Vikings had a last-second touchdown to win the game. Sorry, I’m still in a Brett Favre blackout. Can’t discuss it.

— The Miami Dolphins’ receivers stink. All of ’em. Man did they drop a lot of passes Sunday in their loss to San Diego. Ted Ginn, especially, can’t seem to catch a cold. Poor Chad Pennington got hurt again, too; I love Chad but he gets hurt practically every year.

— Miami is 0-3, my Jets are 3-0. That’s just beautiful.

**Finally today, for those of you, like me, going without food for Yom Kippur, here’s a great joke from a very cool website called, Old Jews Telling Jokes. It is, well, exactly what it says is: A web site where old jews stand up and tell jokes.

This one is unsafe for work at the end, so maybe turn your volume down if that’s where you’re hearing it:

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My annual 24-hour holiday from food (it’s a Jewish thing)

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So it’s Yom Kippur Sunday night. Always a rough time for your humble blog author.

Ask anyone who knows me: I love food. Love, love, LOVE food. I love the smell of hot food coming out of the oven, whether it’s chicken parmigiana, lasagna, steak, whatever. I love the first bite of a dish prepared out of the kitchen of a restaurant, when you’ve had 20 minutes to wait and anticipate and build up expectations.

I’m not going to go all Frank Bruni on you here, but you get the point.

I eat constantly, pretty much every few hours., so much so that when my wife or my in-laws asks who’s hungry, they don’t even wait for an answer from me. Because they know the answer is always yes.

“Of course I could eat!” I reply. It also annoyed my sister and others throughout my life that I could eat crap and not gain weight; I had my mother’s metabolism, thankfully. (Of course, now in mid-30s I eat much healthier than before and actually am gaining weight. Just the other day a guy in my adult tennis league, who hadn’t seen me since May, told me that “it looked like I put on some pounds” over the summer. Seriously? I wanted to say. But I digress).

Anyway, so me and food, we’ve been in a longtime, loving relationship.  Except for once a year, we have a violent, 24-hour breakup. I don’t look at it, I don’t touch it, I try not to even think about it.

They call it Yom Kippur, the Jews’ Day of Atonement. Apparently we don’t eat or drink from sundown to sundown, and our sins are washed away.

(Have you heard the great old Jon Stewart joke about Yom Kippur? “You don’t eat or drink for one day and all your sins are forgiven . BEAT THAT!! Beat that with your “Lent” . . . what’s that, 40 days? Forty days to one . . . even in sin, you’re paying retail!”)

I’m not really a practicing Jew; I don’t go to synagogue regularly, at least not since my Bar Mitzvah 21 years ago. But for some reason, I’ve always observed Yom Kippur.

I try to be a good person; I don’t think I commit too many sins (I run a few red lights, accidentally have backed into other cars in parking lots, commit the occasional grand larceny, that kind of thing), but I still feel that it’s important to spend one day a year, cleansing your body and soul.

It’s tough, though, I gotta tell ya. When I was a kid, it was no big deal. I remember the big “breaking fast” meal over at the Lipton’s house every year; family and friends got together and noshed on bagels and lox. Time just flew by like Usain Bolt in the 100 meters back then.

Now, especially when Yom Kippur bleeds into a work day, those last few hours are rough. No water, no morsels of food can pass my lips, and by 3:30 p.m I’m pretty much running on fumes. I start dreaming of what I’ll have for dinner around, oh, 1 o’clock or so.

But you know what, I survive every year. My people have been doing it for thousands of years, so what’s one day, right?

To anyone else fasting out there, I say good luck and if I can offer only one piece of advice, it’s this:

Try not to pass any bakeries or pizzerias Monday.

Assisted suicide should be legal

While I completely disagree, I understand rationally and logically why so many people believe abortion should be illegal.

And while I completely disagree, I understand why the idea of euthanasia, or assisted suicide, freaks so many people out, and creates such strong reactions in people.

Who gets to say that another person’s life should end? Why do they get to decide that that person shouldn’t breathe anymore?

But ever since I heard about the concept of euthanasia many years ago, I’ve been in favor of its legality. Of course in this country, assisted suicide is illegal. Despite the best efforts of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in Michigan in the 1990s, you’re not allowed to end someone else’s life, unless you’re a physician in a hospital.

But I think the huge objection people have about assisted suicide is that it will be arbitrary and unnecessary, like there will be a whole slew of older folks just going around offing each other.

When I think of why I’m in favor of it, I think of suffering I’ve seen, older people who no longer are capable of taking care of themselves, or have unbelievably painful illnesses.

Should someone who’s suffering from the final stages of Alzheimer’s be forced to live out their final days without being aware of anyone or anything around them? What’s the sin of a loved one peacefully ending the life of someone suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)?

I think the decision to end the life of a loved one is an unbelievably difficult one, but it’s one that loved ones should be allowed to make. It’s not murder, as some have called it. It’s the most humane thing to do in some cases.

I bring all this up because I was just reading a N.Y. Times story today about England appearing to slightly relax its laws about the issue.  While not quite making it legal, the story says that the country’s top prosecutor created a list of conditions under which his office would be unlikely to prosecute people who helped friends or relatives kill themselves.

Basically, the prosecutor is saying he’d look the other way under certain circumstances.

I’m not naive enough to think America is ready to pass any assisted suicide laws making it legal; Oregon is the only state that allows it right now.

But even if this is happening in England, it’s a step in the right direction.

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**From the category of “Fascinating Fact I Learned Today,”  I was listening to an NPR podcast and they mentioned that Bud Collins was being inducted into the Brandeis University Hall of Fame this weekend; apparently he was the tennis coach there from 1959-63.

But that’s not what blew me away. It was this: One of his star players was Abbie Hoffman. Yep, the 60s radical, lunatic but biazarrely entertaining guy who led the Yippies and then was a fugitive from the law for more than 10 years.

What a bizarre couple that must’ve been, Abbie and Bud. If you’re as curious as I am, Bud wrote about Abbie in this 1979 Sports Illustrated article.

An inglorious end for the Great Gretzky, and a hilarious Ricky Gervais rant

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Sports fans have been incredibly lucky over the last 30 years.

Let’s say you’re like me, and started to become interested in sports around 1983 or so. Just since then, we have been privileged to watch the greatest basketball player of all-time (Michael Jordan), the greatest tennis player of all time (Roger Federer) and, apparently, the greatest golfer ever (Tiger Woods. I say apparently because I loathe golf and refuse to care or pay attention to it).

Maybe you could get an argument on a few of those from people. Some will argue Rod Laver or Pete Sampras is better than Federer, and there was a golfer named Nicklaus who seemed to be pretty good once.

But no one, I mean NO ONE, argues that Wayne Gretzky is the Greatest Hockey Player of All Time.

Name a record in the NHL record books, and he holds it. I don’t know if I’m so into hockey because of No. 99, but he certainly had a big part of me loving the sport as a child (And yes, there will be hockey on this blog. That and college basketball are my other winter passions. )

I loved it that my beloved New York Rangers were Gretzky’s final team; I can still see him skating around MSG one final time after his last game in 1999, as the adoring masses cheered.

Fast forward 10 years, and Gretzky is hardly being adored. Thursday he resigned as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, who are in the midst of a truly messy ownership squabble, even by NHL standards. Gretzky may have been fired by a new ownership group, which is battling the NHL to own the Coyotes (why anyone wants such a pathetic franchise is beyond me, but hey, it’s not my money).

So instead of being pushed out, the Great One jumped. Truthfully, his stint at coaching was a disaster. In four years he had a 143-161-24 record, and Phoenix missed the playoffs all four years. Did he have much talent to work with? No. But he certainly didn’t make the talent any better.

Gretzky joins a long list of superstar players who were bad coaches. Magic Johnson. Ted Williams. Larry Bird. Bill Russell. These guys were legends, but they just couldn’t translate their brilliance onto others. I remember Magic vividly becoming angry after one Lakers practice, saying he just couldn’t understand why Point Guard X didn’t see that coming, or why he didn’t make that play.

The answer, of course, is that the guy wasn’t Magic Johnson, and Magic never could come to terms with coaching players who just didn’t have his gifts.

I hope Gretzky is back in the NHL at some point soon; he deserves a hallowed place in the game for as long as he lives.

But no hockey fans in Phoenix are boo-hooing his departure today. As a coach, Wayne was a failure. Maybe that’s the real reason he left: He knew he wasn’t getting it done, and it was killing him.

***I know there are a legion of Ricky Gervais fans out there, but I’m not really one of them. The British comedian who starred in the original The Office”  in England just isn’t usually my pint of ale.

But I thought this was truly hilarious, a brief discussion of the terrible lessons we get from nursery rhymes:

Sports gambling in Delaware, and a great new show with Al Bundy

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There really aren’t a whole lot of controversial things that happen in the state of Delaware, home of my wonderful college years (if I could go back right now and do it all over again, I’d be on the next train to Newark. Yeah, we don’t have an airport there. That’s a problem.)

We’ve got a whole lot of banks there in the First State, a cool minor-league baseball stadium, and tax-free shopping.

Not a lot of headline-grabbing going on there.

But I’ve followed with amusement over the past months as Delaware has suddenly become a hotbed for one specific issue: Sports gambling. If you’re not familiar with the whole brouhaha (man I love that word), here it is in a nutshell: Delaware wanted to raise money for the state, which was in deep financial doo-doo (a nearly $800 million budget deficit). So it went ahead and legalized betting on games.

This sent all the pro sports leagues off the deep end, because even though it’s legal in Nevada and two other states, and even though sports betting increases interest and participation in every sport, and brings in MILLIONS of dollars, well, they decided we can’t have that because it’s too messy and wrong. A whole court fight ensued, led by the NFL, and after months of wrangling a court ruled that First State bettors can only wager on NFL games.

But they can’t just bet on individual games, see. They can bet on three-game “parlays” which if you’re not familiar with this means the following: You have to bet that the Eagles, Giants AND Falcons will cover the point spread to make any money. If any of them lose, well, nice knowing you.

This is so ludicrous on a number of levels. Allowing betting, but only under exact conditions, is like telling a kid he can’t have dessert but he can have a cookie or two. Gambling is gambling, and if it’s allowed, it should be allowed.

Second, it kills me that the NFL and NCAA go to such incredible lengths to try to limit the scope of betting. Please. Like they really care if people get addicted to gambling, or if people lose money.

All they care about, as Norman Chad pointed out on SI.com, is that a huge amount of the NFL’s popularity is due to gambling. People bet on the games, they want to see if they make money! Same as with the NCAA Tournament.

It’s just idiotic that Delaware can be, as Chad says, “a little pregnant.” Parlays are almost impossible to win, so why would bettors gamble in Delaware when they can bet with better odds elsewhere?

The NFL folks are just such amazing hypocrites when it comes to gambling, and this Delaware case is example No. 4,865.

**OK, quick interlude that cracked me up. So on my way to work today I took a different route because I had an errand to run, and I saw a hilarious site. As I drove past the Dollar store knockoff on Ridgewood Ave., there was a woman standing out there with a sign saying “Final closeout, everything must go, prices are slashed.”

And I’m thinking: Yes, that’s the reason people aren’t shopping at the Dollar store. The prices are too damn high! Because there are scads of people who think to themselves: “Ya know, I’d love to shop somewhere with affordable prices, but that Dollar store? Too expensive. What, they’ve dropped the price to 50 cents? Stop the car honey, we’re going in!”

*Finally, at the risk of being one of those annoying people forcing a TV show upon you, I have to say how awesome the new ABC show “Modern Family” was Wednesday night. Yeah, I know it’s the first episode and pilots are often great, but this show was superb. It’s got Ed O’Neil (Al Bundy from “Married With Children”), Julie Bowen from “Ed” (who I’ve always had a major crush on), and some other hilarious people you haven’t heard of.

Anyway, it’s a rare sitcom that’s actually funny. Laugh-out loud funny. Here’s one clip that manages to take a classic 80s movie line and make it funny by changing it just a little bit:

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Songs that just keep coming back, I call Obama’s peeps out, and life as a Jets fan

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Lot of stuff between the ears today, so let’s rock and roll:

** So two things made me think of the ultimate Journey song ‘Don’t Stop Believin'” this week: one, Journey singer Steve Perry, a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan, is apparently mad that the L.A. Dodgers are using his anthem as a psych-up song during their games.

And then it came up again while I watched the series premiere of “Glee” that Fox aired last spring, that featured a kick-ass performance by the glee club of the song in the final scene.

And it got me to thinking: Why is it that some songs just keep coming back into our pop culture sphere? I’m not talking about songs like “Y.M.C.A” or “Celebration,” by Kool and his merry Gang. I’m talking about songs that are huge when they come out, go away for a while, and then come back. Then they go away, come back, and well, you get the idea.

“Don’t Stop Believin'” is suddenly huge again. “Sweet Caroline,” by the great Neil Diamond, went away for a while, then the Red Sox brought it back a few years ago and it became big to a whole new group of people. Same for “I Love Rock and Roll,” by the great Joan Jett, which is now basically the theme for “Sunday Night Football” on NBC.

What is it about certain songs that allow them to have three or four lives? I truly don’t know. If you do, please let me know.

In the meantime, bringing up Journey means I get to share with you perhaps the greatest and most unintentionally hilarous music video of all time: Journey’s “Separate Ways.” I believe it was ESPN’s Bill Simmons who once said that if you were to take someone from the future and show them the 1980s in four minutes, this is what they should experience: Truly, truly awesome in its awfulness. YouTube won’t let me embed it but trust me, these are four minutes that will have you laughing out loud.

**OK, lest you think that all I do is cheerlead for Obama and our current administration, I have to slap them down for something. When W. was in office myself and other Democrats were pissed every time he and Karl Rove and Co. intervened in state and federal elections, trying to sway them and push candidates who only believe in their agenda.

Well, Obama and Rahm Emanuel are basically doing the same thing now, trying to get New York governor by default (hey, who knew Eliot Spitzer liked hookers, right?) David Paterson to step aside in next year’s race.  It was wrong for the last eight years, and it’s wrong now. What, the Obama administration doesn’t have enough to do.?

**One of my major pet peeves with the national news media is this bullshit “false equivalency” thing newspapers and TV stations do, where no matter how bogus the claim is from one side of the political aisle, it is presented as fact, all in the name of “fairness to all.” It’s complete crap, it was complete crap during the election when the Republicans made stuff about out of whole cloth, it’s complete crap when Democrats do it, too.

Well, here’s the brilliant Glenn Greenwald with yet another example of the media totally printing fabrications, just because one side says so.

**What’s it like being a Jets fan when times are good? My man Pearlman hits it on the head with this column. This is a fictional conversation, but he and I have had many very similar chats over the years.

**And finally, a little health-care humor to help you through a Wednesday…

Why I kept thinking about death today

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I don’t think about death too often. Occasionally, thoughts of my mortality will occur to me. I know there have been several occasions, specifically on a June night in 1994, when I told God he could now take me after I finally got to see the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup.

But unlike my buddy Pearlman, who obsesses about death as often as most of us, you know, breathe, I just don’t think about it. I’m an incurable optimist, who enjoys almost every day on this earth that I’m fortunate enough to enjoy.

But I was kinda shocked into thinking about death Monday. My mom called with some news so out of the blue, it could’ve been orange.

“Samantha Cohn died,” she said.

Samantha Cohn was a girl I went out with a few times when I lived in New York and worked for SLAM magazine, back in 2002. We were set up because my cousin Marni was good friends with her sister Mindy, whose husband had died in the Twin Towers on 9/11. I liked Sam right away; she was smart, pretty and had a good sense of humor.

I don’t remember a lot about our dates, except that on one of them we went to Serendipity, an ultra-cool New York restaurant, that we saw a really bad movie (“The Bourne Identity”) together, and that we once kissed in the back of a taxi.

We stopped seeing each other because, well, I don’t really know why. I think she wasn’t ready for a relationship and I was, basically.

And then seven years later, my mom calls and tells me she’s dead. Apparently she had contracted the Epstein-Barr virus recently, and was in the hospital, and from there the details were sketchy.

I was completely floored by this once the news sunk in. I mean, she was 32. This was a girl who was basically my age, living a happy, healthy life, and suddenly she’s no longer with us.

Freaked me out completely. I believe she’s the first girl who I ever kissed who has died. I feel terribly for her family and for her poor sister, who has now lost a husband and a sister in the last 8 years. Just awful.

Hope you appreciate every day of our life while you’re here.

OK, onto some less-morbid Tuesday thoughts:

**Caught a lot of the second half of the Colts-Dolphins on Monday Night Football. Always been a huge Peyton Manning fan. He still, after 12 years, amazes me with how good he is. We’re lucky to be living in this era to see him.

**Caught President Obama on Letterman Monday night. He was, as usual on these shows, smart, funny and self-effacing. It’s a little strange still to see a President so comfortable in his own skin, but he truly comes of as a regular guy (I can hear my Republican readers (both of them) gnashing their teeth).  He had a great line about dealing with Sasha and Malia when they grow up.

He said that so far things have been normal for them, but it might get strange when they get to be teenagers, “and want to go on dates, and I’ve got men with guns surrounding them.”

Finally, I don’t think we’d ever see Tiger Woods doing anything quite like this. But with Mr. Federer, well, the man’s not afraid to act goofy, one more reason to love him. Skip to 1:00 in for the good part.

Finally, Jets kick the Patriots’ butt. And a word on the Emmys (and cockroaches)

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Nine years I’ve been waiting to see this sight.

Nine goddamn years I’ve been waiting to see Tom Brady leaving the Meadowlands with his head down. Nine years I’ve been waiting to see Bill Belichick, who I will never, ever forget should’ve been the New York Jets coach before he wussied out and quit after one day, running off the field in shame.

Yes, it’s been a long time since my beloved Green and White defeated the evil New England Patriots at home. Man what a great Sunday it was, as the Jets won, 16-9. A punishing, aggressive, harassing defense tortured the heck out of Giselle Bundchen’s husband, holding him to three measly field goals.

Guys like Bart Scott and Darrelle Revis and David Harris and Lito Sheppard and Shaun Ellis (really, the whole Jets defense played great) got after Brady and the Pats’ receivers all day long. Did the Jets greatly benefit from Wes Welker not playing? Of course. Welker is awesome. But the Jets’ defense was superb in all areas. Revis, in particular, totally shut down Randy Moss, and unlike in some games in his past, it looked like Moss was trying.

And the offense? It was good enough. I was a little worried about Mark Sanchez in the first half, but the kid turned it up. You don’t understand how nice it is for a Jets fan to see a quarterback zip the ball into receivers; after the last seven post-Vinny Testaverde years, we just haven’t seen that.

I was, of course convinced that after Jets coach Rex Ryan stupidly tried to throw the ball on 3rd and 3 with 2:30 left in the game and the Jets holding a 16-9 lead (come on Rexie, it’s 3rd and 3, a toss to Leon and we get the first down and the game’s over!), that Brady was going to march down the field and tie it.

What’s funny is that after the game, Bart Scott said he knew that’s what Jets fans were thinking (hey, just because he’s new doesn’t mean he doesn’t know the pathetic history of our franchise!). But dammit the Jets D stepped up and stopped the Pats.

I know, I know, the Jets are 2-0, and they’re in first place in the AFC East, but I’ve been down this road too many times before to get too excited. But you have to love how this team is playing: Aggressive, smart, tackling well (best Jets tackling team since the Parcells years) and making enough plays to win.

Good stuff.

Couple more NFL-related thoughts from a pretty awesome Week 3:

**Something’s just not right yet with Tom Brady. Maybe rust from all the time off, or his receivers aren’t good enough, but something isn’t clicking. As you can imagine, my heart’s bleeding for the guy.

** Chad Johnson (I refuse to call him by his stupid other name), you’re a wimp for only doing the Lambeau Leap into the arms of a Bengals fan in Green Bay. But damn impressive win for the Cincy boys.

**OK, you go gamble on the NFL: Houston scores seven points, all on defense, against the Jets last week. Then, against Tennessee, one of the best defenses in the league, the Texans score 34.

**Couple of real good late games, Pittsburgh-Chicago and San Diego-Baltimore. The Bears, well, they downright stole that win, thanks to Jeff Reed missing a couple of field goals he normally makes. And the Chargers, well, they absolutely, positively should’ve won that game. Except their coach is Norv Turner, and once again that’s why they lost. I can’t believe he actually has one of the 32 head coaching jobs in the NFL. It defies logic. I really thought my mother could do better.

At the very least, she’d make sure they had nutritious, low sodium pregame meals.

**Hell of a Sunday night game. Eli Manning will never be as good as his brother. But damn, he’s getting closer. Fantastic final drive for the Giants. Clutch, clutch win over Dallas in Jerry Jones’ new castle. And can I just say how absolutely freakin’ stupid the rule is that you can call timeout a split second before the guy makes the kick? So stupid.

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OK, so I won’t reveal any of the Emmy Award winners Sunday night in case you haven’t watched them yet, but can I just ask: Is Neil Patrick Harris becoming the next Billy Crystal?

He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s talented and can sing and dance, and he used to be Doogie Howser. He was an awesome host Sunday and I think we should just give him the job permanently. I thought it was hilarious that he introduced the presenters with their most obscure roles ever.

Also, during my favorite segment of these award shows, the “In Memoriam” part (I’m weird, I know), I was shocked to hear that Mr. Bentley died. From “The Jeffersons,” remember? I loved that character.

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Finally, a personal horror. Woke up earlier than usual Sunday; started to do laundry. Pulled out a bunch of towels from the laundry basket and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see the largest freakin’ dead cockroach I’ve ever seen.

This thing was like the Mark McGwire of insects. I screamed for the wife. She screamed. She kills cockroaches at our house, while I’m on body removal (it’s the opposite for spiders. Don’t ask, we all have our phobias).

I disposed of it. Kept doing the laundry.

The horrors of everyday life.