Tag Archives: Auschwitz

The end of an era in N.Y. sports, as Eli Manning is benched. A sensational documentary short about the Holocaust, and family. And this Washington Post/O’Keefe scam is nuts, and pathetic

There are some days where something seismic happens in New York sports, and you kind of have to pay attention if you live here.

Wednesday was one of the days. Things were going along normally, no big whoop, and then all of a sudden around 4 p.m., an era ended.

Eli Manning, brother of Peyton, son of Olivia, Archie and the city of New York, was benched. The man who won two Super Bowls for the Giants, whose completely-expressionless face appears on billboards and signs throughout the tri-state area (seriously, you can’t get away from the guy, even my Mom knows what he looks like), was benched after an incredible 210 straight starts at quarterback.

This has been coming for a while, even if Giants fans don’t admit it. Peyton’s bro hasn’t been good for a few years now, creating more turnovers than an excited baker on their first day, and the Giants are terrible this year. It makes sense to want to see younger quarterbacks on the roster play, even if one of them is the horrendous Geno Smith (every Jets fan is laughing right now).

But the way the Giants handled this today, just really poor. The head coach, Ben McAdoo, was awful and awkward in explaining the decision, basically saying it was Eli’s choice, and they threw Manning to the interview wolves while he fought back tears.

This is probably the end for Eli in N.Y., and he’s had such a strange career. Many of his seasons were terrible, and he made you wonder just what he was doing. But he had two amazing, transcendent years in 2007 and 2011 and led the Giants to two improbable Super Bowl titles, and that’s usually enough to get someone into the Hall of Fame, and a lifetime pass to go out on their own terms.

I was talking about Eli with my man Jeff Pearlman after the news broke, and we couldn’t decide if Eli was a Hall of Famer or not. Your gut reaction says yes because of the postseason success, but his overall stats   aren’t all that great.

Still, he is an icon, a model of durability who, like the last N.Y. athletic icon to retire, Derek Jeter, managed to live an entire career in the spotlight and barely make a misstep.

I’m no Giants fan, of course, but you can’t help but admire Eli for composing himself with class and humility his whole career. He deserved to go out better than this.

**Next up today, another in a sensational series of short New York Times documentaries caught my eye Tuesday. This one is incredibly beautiful and powerful, about a 92-year-old woman named Klara, escaping Auschwitz, and family. Some amazing storytelling here.

Never forget.

**Finally today, I’m not sure what I can say that would be more shocking to you about this expose the Washington Post newspaper did today, about a fake source trying desperately to get the Post to report that she was raped by Roy Moore at 15, hoping that they’d report it, she could tell them it was all a scam, and therefore make everyone in Alabama convinced that all the women accusing pedophile Senate candidate Roy Moore of assault are lying.

Or, as ABC News’ Jake Tapper Tweeted Tuesday, rather succinctly:
“To reiterate: James O’Keefe hired a woman to pretend she had been sexually abused in an attempt to undermine actual victims of sexual assault and child molestation.”

The details of this story are horrifying, and amazing, and … I really don’t know what to say. Except: James O’Keefe, you’re going to a very, very warm place down below when you die, sir. And you deserve nothing less.

The tennis-playing sisters from Compton give us more thrills. A Barenaked Ladies cover that’s awesome. And a really bad idea at the Auschwitz camp

serenavenus.hug

The story has been told so often, and yet, I feel like it can’t be told enough.

Two young African-American girls, growing up on the dangerous streets of Compton, Calif., rise up to become extraordinary tennis champions, and role models to millions.

They win Grand Slam championships. They play each other for some of them, always feeling awkward and uncomfortable celebrating a victory while the sibling suffers.

And after nearly two decades in the spotlight, Venus and Serena Williams are still here, playing on the world’s biggest stages, still at or near the peak of their sport.

The two put on a fabulous show Tuesday night at the U.S. Open, putting on one of their better matches against each other. Venus raised her game significantly to match Serena’s, and going into the third set, I stared at my TV and honestly thought Venus might, might have a shot to win.

But then much as Roger Federer seems to do, Serena went to 11. She raised her game, showed what an incredible competitor she is, and hung on for the win.

Before we get back to focusing on Serena’s quest for the calendar-year Grand Slam, let’s not lose sight of the amazing career Venus and Serena have both had; Sibling rivalry? They never showed any sense at all of any jealousy (well, that’s not true, Venus did look a little mad when Serena was the first to win a major).

They have been best friends and confidants, and have at times taken turns ruling the sport.

Two little girls, growing up in Compton, Calif., turning out like this.

If it’s not the most improbable sports story of all time, well, it’s in the Top 5.

**Next up today, this is one of those random covers of a classic song that’s probably been out there for a while, but I’d never heard it until recently and I think it’s fabulous.

It’s Barenaked Ladies, a terrific band that’s not as famous as they should be, performing the Phil Collins song “In the Air Tonight” at a small show this past summer.

Just beautiful stuff, a different twist on a great tune.

auschwitz.misters

**And finally, an idea so awful you just have to laugh out loud. At the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp, administrators there wanted to do something to help visitors/tourists cope with the oppressive summer heat in Poland.

So they installed “misters” to spray mist on the visitors. Mist, which is basically water, which of course reminds people of the showers that millions were forced into during the Holocaust before they headed to the gas chamber.

Oy. Pretty bad optics on that one, Auschwitz.

A point in their defense, though, which was raised by a panelist on ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” where I first heard about this: You’re on a tour of Auschwitz. Aren’t you supposed to be thinking about the Holocaust at this point?

Just saying.