Daily Archives: September 27, 2009

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


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)


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.