This past weekend was one of those rare times of year when my three favorite pro sports teams were all making news and doing big things: The Rangers, the Nets, and the Jets all either delighted me, angered me and left me scratching my head and pulling out my few hairs left.
It was a worlds-colliding kind of sports weekend. Some highlights/lowlights from my point of view as a NY sports fan:
**The Nets: Since I’d like to get the misery out of the way first, that was one of the all-time brutal, gut-punching losses Brooklyn suffered Saturday. Deron Williams and Co. were up 14 points with less than four minutes to play … and lost.
That’s really, really hard to do. But if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. Turnovers, missed free throws, and some holy spirit of Magic Johnson got into Nate Robinson of the Bulls (the most obnoxious player in the NBA, am I right?), and all of a sudden the game went to overtime.
Where of course, the agony got drawn out for us Nets fans, as it stretched to three OT’s before the Bulls won.
Just a horrendous performance at the end by the Nets, and P.J. Carlesimo’s coaching job was as bad as the players’ performance. Series is now 3-1 Bulls, but it’s basically over. Damn.
**The Rangers: On a much happier note, my favorite hockey team appears to finally have stopped underachieving the last few weeks, and roll into the playoffs on a high note. Very excited to see Rick Nash and Derek Stepan scoring so much, and I think the Rangers have a very winnable first-round series against the Capitals. (Gotta love the NHL playoffs, the best in any sport).
Not saying the Rangers are winning the Cup or anything; they’re nowhere near as good as Pittsburgh, Chicago, Anaheim or Boston. But at least finally, after 3 months of mediocre hockey, they’re showing what’s possible with all that talent on the team.
**The Jets: Finally, the New York Jets, America’s most dysfunctional football team. I don’t know what the hell to think about a team with so few offensive weapons deciding that, instead of drafting some, let’s take a QB in the 2nd round who back in October was considered a Top 5 pick, yet by April wasn’t even worthy of a first-round choice.
Which is to say, the more everyone saw of Geno Smith, the less they liked him. Except for the Jets, who apparently decided five QBs on the roster already weren’t enough.
I spent Saturday trying to talk myself into the Geno Smith era: Hey, at least it means I won’t have to watch Mark Sanchez anymore, and maybe the kid will prove all his critics wrong who say he fumbles too much and can’t read defenses well. And maybe the Jets will be smart with him and let him learn on the bench behind David Garrard for at least half a season…
But who the hell am I kidding? I was rationalizing big-time. Taking Smith was not a good move by my Jets; I can’t see any way he can succeed this year with such little talent around him.
But it’s April; no sense stressing over the Jets’ miseries just yet. There’ll be plenty of time for that in the fall.
Let’s go Rangers.
**Finally today, I say in this space every year how ridiculous and unprofessional I think the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner is.
Reporters whose job it is to investigate and cover politicians in that town get together and share drinks and back-slaps with the same people they’re supposed to be impartial about.
It reeks of unprofessionalism and “insider-ness” and everything people suspect about the culture of Washington.
But they’re going to keep having it every year, and with a pretty funny President in office, I usually get some good chuckles out of the POTUS speech.
Some of his best lines from the video above:
— “You know, sometimes I look in the mirror and realize I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist I used to be.”
— “CNN covers ever angle of a story, just in case they stumble onto the right one.”
— “Sheldon Adelson spent $100 million in 2012 to try to get Republicans elected. He would’ve been better off offering me $100 million not to run.”