Tag Archives: Brett Favre

The best book I’ve read in years finally comes out (and it was dedicated to me!) Lady Gaga and James Corden do a great “Carpool Karoake.” And a 5-year-old soccer fan does something adorable.

gunslingercover

In September of 1993, a scrawny, glasses-wearing, jean-jacket sporting freshman at the University of Delaware (OK it was me) walked up to the student newspaper office, The Review, and said he wanted to write.

I had all of two years of high school newspaper experience, hadn’t taken any of the required college journalism courses you needed to write for the newspaper, and probably annoyed a few of the editors by telling them how great my high school newspaper was (hey, The Commack H.S. Courant won awards!)

The editor-in-chief was a tall skinny dude with a cocky attitude but a heart of gold. His name was Jeff Pearlman, and he wasn’t allowed to write for The Review as a freshman, and it stung him. After quizzing me a bit on sports, he decided he’d give me the chance that he never was.

Twenty-three years later, I’m really glad I walked up the stairs to the office that day. Jeff has become one of my two or three best friends in the whole world. He has been more instrumental in whatever journalism successes I’ve had than anyone else; truly there was a time early in my career where just about every chance I got was because he either talked me up to the person in charge, or passed on an opportunity so I could have it.

As a friend, he’s been more than amazing, which is why he was a groomsman in my wedding three years ago. His kind gestures big and small have never been forgotten, including the time two years ago when he mentioned our newborn son’s name on a nationally-televised sports show, just because I told him my wife thought it’d be cool to hear it. (To be fair, my son DOES share a name with a former NFL receiver, so it wasn’t dropped totally out of nowhere).

He’s also, oh yeah, a fantastic journalist and author, with four New York Times bestsellers to his credit.

Why am I telling you all this? Because as one of the people lucky enough to have edited/proofread all of his books and offer thoughts on them, I feel pretty qualified to say this: His new book, “Gunslinger,” a biography of NFL legend Brett Favre, is by far his best. Jeff talked to nearly 600 people about Favre, who of course played QB for the Green Bay Packers, won a Super Bowl, had a major prescription drug problem, said he was retiring 43 times before he actually did, and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame last summer.

Also, I nearly cried when Jeff sent me an advance copy a few months ago and I saw this on the first page:

favrebookdedication-2

I can’t tell you how cool I thought it was to have a book dedicated to me (all those other names are obscure New York Jets from the 1980s and ’90s; we’re both hardcore Jets fans).

Anyway, after all he’s done for me, the least I can do for him is promote his books when they come out. I am certain this Favre book will be a bestseller, and well worth your time. (Here’s a very quick taste of what you can expect from the book.) If you are, or know of, a big NFL or Green Bay Packers or just sports fan, please consider buying “Gunslinger.”

**Next up today, seems like James Corden hasn’t done a “Carpool Karaoke” in a while, but this one was worth the wait. I’m no Lady Gaga fan (I don’t dig her music, and I think she spent way too much of her career doing offensive and crazy things just to get attention), but she comes across really well here. Her voice is, unquestionably, fantastic, and Corden’s “costume changes” at about the 12-minute mark through are pretty hilarious.

soccerfan-5yearold

**Finally today, I don’t know if this is a true “Good News Friday” story but it made me smile pretty widely when I heard it. It seems 5-year-old Louis Kayes had to go to a birthday party last weekend, which meant he couldn’t go to the game of his favorite soccer team in Scotland, Celtic FC.

So Louis borrowed his mom’s phone and called the team to tell them he was sorry he couldn’t make it, and could he speak to manager Brendan Rodgers and captain Scott Brown, to apologize for his absence

She told the BBC her son had called after a “bit of a guilt trip”.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Kaye Adams program, she said: “He was in the living room with my phone and then I heard the voicemail message from Celtic Park saying ‘thank you for calling’.”

“He wanted to let both of them know he’d missed it in case they were looking for him,” said Lisa Kayes, Louis’s mother.

Louis told BBC Scotland the birthday party had been “good”, but said he would definitely not be missing Wednesday evening’s Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Come on, Celtic FC, give this kid free tickets for the rest of the season!

The Jets fail to show up, Calvin Johnson is a god, and other NFL thoughts. A 91-year-old couple tells the secret of marriage. And racism at Barney’s

calvinjohnsonWell, that was entirely predictable.

All season long the New York Jets have teased us some weeks, pretending to be a decent team, then following that game  up with a miserable performance.

So after last week’s huge win over the Pats, I expected a loss Sunday. However, I didn’t expect a complete meltdown on offense, defense, and special teams. Which is what we got with the miserable 49-9 loss to the Bengals.

Honestly, I have nothing much to say about this game,which  I turned off in the 3rd quarter.
The pass rush was awful, the secondary is a joke, and the Jets’ pass protection was non-existent. They’re 4-4, headed for  7-9 and mediocrity. Fabulous.

More thoughts on a pretty surprising NFL Sunday:

— The ending of that Cowboys-Lions game was nuts. Calvin Johnson with 329 yards receiving? And the Lions marching right down the field in the final minute to score, while Dez Bryant and Tony Romo having a screaming match on the Dallas sideline, was beautiful. That Lions offense is sensational.

— The New York Giants are 2 -6, and have a legit shot to win the NFC East. That’s how bad the division is. The Eagles are horrendous with or without Michael Vick, the Cowboys’ D is awful, and the Skins are mediocre.

— Terrelle Pryor, with a 93-yard TD run? Not bad for a quarterback.

— Finally, there was some buzz in the NFL this week that Brett Favre admitted he’d had memory loss recently. After a 20 year career and getting sacked 500-plus times, it’d be stunning if Favre’s brain wasn’t damaged. I fear he’s headed for a very rough next 20 years.

**I thought this was really sweet: Lee and Morty  Kaufman have been married for decades, and now the two 91-year-olds have become TV stars, thanks to their starring in a new commercial for Swiffer.

It’s adorable, and so are they. Ellen DeGeneres had them on her show recently and they explained to her the secret of a long, happy marriage. So cute…

**Finally today, this has been bugging me for a few days now. It’s been a big story in New York, but maybe not elsewhere, so I wanted to share.

Barney’s is a very fancy men’s clothing store in New York City, with a long reputation for snootiness and not treating its customers fairly.

Last spring a 19-year-old African-American man named Trayon Christian walked into Barney’s and bought a $350 belt from the store. He paid for the belt with his debit card, walked out of the store, and that should’ve been the end of that.

Only after a block of walking Trayon was accosted by the police, who asked how he could afford such a belt. (Now, how in the world could the police have known the man had just bought an expensive belt? Well, clearly Barney’s had alerted police, that’s how.)

They hauled Martin down to the police station, interrogated him some more, called his bank, and eventually released him.

“Why me? I guess because I’m a young black man, and you know, people do a credit card scam so they probably thought that I was one of them,” Christian said. “They probably think that black people don’t have money like that.”

Martin has filed a lawsuit, and not surprisingly, since his case made the news, more former Barneys’ customers have come forward to talk about similar incidents happening to them.

Absolutely disgusting and reprehensible. These people legally paid for their purchases, but because Barney’s thinks all African-Americans who have money to spend in their (ridiculously-overpriced) store must be criminals, they alert the police.

Remember stories like this when you hear politicians say that racism isn’t a problem in America anymore.

Ah, Brett Favre, Jets fans love you all over again. And Newt, examined

Brett Favre, I never knew how to quit you.
Thankfully, you keep reminding me why I’m glad I did.
Maybe it’s the way “Monday Night Football” announcers slobbered all over you, praising you more than the media praised Obama in ’08. (Seriously, Gruden and Jaworski, does every sentence out of your mouth have to be paying homage to the guy? It was nauseating.)
Maybe it’s the fact that you played so awful for the first 2 1/2 quarters Monday night, only to scare the living you know what out of me and other Jets fans with your second-half rally.
In the end, though, I was a happy man Monday night. The Jets won, they’re 4-1, and who cares if they almost blew that game.
Some quick thoughts from a very happy blogger:
**LaDainian Tomlinson continues to amaze. Man that guy is good when he’s in space. What a tremendous pickup.
**I, and many other Jets fans I’m sure, had visions of Herm Edwards with that awful clock management in the first and second halves by the Jets. Seriously, this stuff is not that hard.
** Mark Sanchez had a poor game. Look, it happens. But that game should NOT have been close. The Jets dominated for the first three quarters, and couldn’t put Minnesota away.
** Percy Harvin is scary fast.
** Jason Taylor, you’re still a Dolphin and a jerk to me. But I’m starting to appreciate you since you seem to be rushing the passer so well.

**Seriously ESPN, enough Favre-love. The guy is a legend, one of the greatest to play the game. But right now he’s a 41-year-old with tendinitis who just isn’t that good.

**So there are a lot of dumb things in Esquire magazine, the clothes they tell me I “must” own are ridiculously overpriced, and it’s a pretty sexist publication sometimes, too.
But the reason I keep subscribing year after year is the writing. There is some tremendous, tremendous journalism in Esquire every month. In the last issue I truly was fascinated by this profile of Newt Gingrich by John H. Richardson.
Gingrich is truly a character, and by examining the future Republican presidential candidate through the mind of his ex-wife, you really get an interesting portrait of Gingrich.
And what a sad, insecure little man he truly is.

Parting shots from a weekend in New England. And the Jets roll on without me

Here it is folks, the picture I’ve been waiting a few weeks for: Patriots fan Ali Taber wearing a Jets jersey. Doesn’t she look thrilled? And yeah, that’s a Favre jersey I own. Hey, at the time I was pumped up about ole’ No.4.That photo will be on her excellent blog on Motherhood for the next week, as per our bet.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I love travel. Going to new cities, getting on airplanes, meeting new people and overhearing stories … it’s all good. I’m sure if I flew every weekend or more often I’d hate it and get sick of it and probably need those vomit bags they have on planes, but for now I love it.”

A few highlights from Sunday, when I flew back from New Hampshire to Florida, on a surprisingly packed flight:

— Gotta love loud people arguing next to you on a plane for three hours. The three folks sitting across the aisle talked about politics and a whole bunch of other stuff, quite vociferously, for most of the flight. But my favorite part came when they brought up the Kennedy assassination. Oh, these three (two men and a woman) had all kinds of theories and “truths” to spew, and we all got to hear them all.

— Manchester Airport gets a big thumbs-up from me. Fast security lines, a bar/restaurant with NFL Sunday ticket, and a very easy to navigate layout. Definitely would be happy to fly there again.
— One of the most frustrating moments in the life of a human: You’re in a public bathroom and wash your hands. You walk over to the automatic paper towel machine thingy, that is all “motion sensored” and all you’ve got to do is hold your hands under it.
And you stand there. And stand there. And stand there. And the towel doesn’t come out, and there’s no lever to push and you can’t reach in and grab a towel. So you just stand there with wet hands until you get mad and leave and wipe them on your pants on the way out.

—  My ears didn’t pop on our descent back into Orlando Sunday night. But I knew they wouldn’t, because they popped on the trip there. And for reasons I absolutely cannot fathom, my ears only ever pop on one leg of a round-trip flight. Sometimes it’s on the way there, sometimes it’s on the way back, but it’s only ever once.
Can someone explain this to me?

**So I was traveling Sunday and missed most of the Jets’ 38-14 beatdown of the Buffalo Bills. Me missing a Jets game is a very rare occurrence, and missing 3/4 of this blowout means I missed a rare stress-free Jets game.
But from the highlights and talking to my Jets “posse,” I am exceedingly confident about this team. Mark Sanchez again did not throw an interception, the running game was outstanding again (OK, yes, I was wrong about LaDainian Tomlinson, he’s not washed up), and the defense played terrific as well.

Shoot, they’re 3-1, 3-0 in the AFC East, and next week should get Santonio Holmes, an outstanding wide receiver, back in the lineup, along with the injured Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pace on defense. And who comes to town next Monday night? A certain former Jets quarterback named Favre. Should a be a lot of fun.

Couple other quick-hit NFL thoughts from Sunday:
— Very, very pleased that the Eagles fans did the right thing and gave Donovan McNabb a standing ovation in his first game back in Philly with the Redskins. Good job, Iggles fans.
— Starting to get worried about the Saints and the Colts. New Orleans is 3-1 but keeps squeaking out wins, and there’s no way Indy should’ve lost to Jacksonville Sunday, even if it did take a 59-yard field goal.
— Hey Giants, where the hell’s that been all year?

So close, but another heartbreak for Jets fans. And Brett Favre, torturing Vikes fans again

And so it ends. In a very familiar way for me.

The last time the New York Jets were this close to the Super Bowl, in Jan. 1999, they played an outstanding first half in the AFC Championship, and eventually led the Denver Broncos, 10-0.

I remember exactly how I felt at that moment, that finally, after all the pain and suffering of my Jets fan lifetime, the Jets were going to go to the Super Bowl.

And yep, that’s how I felt about 5:45 p.m. Sunday, pacing in a packed Houligan’s, high-fiving my Sunday buddies Sean the ex-firefighter and Bob the Dolphins fan and the two Jets fans, man and wife, who started coming around playoff time (and whose names I never learned). The Jets were going to the Big Game.

17-6 Jets. Two minutes to go until the half. The Jets were playing great. Mark Sanchez, playing like a 10-year veteran. The defense, all up in the great Peyton Manning’s face. It was really going to happen.

And then, well, you know the rest. Under a hailstorm of perfect Manning throws, Indy came all the way back. The Jets season, for the 41st straight year, ends before the Super Bowl.

So many things to digest and analyze after this one, as I sit here near midnight, disappointed, but damn proud of my team.

— First, I feel so good about Sanchez being the Jets’ QB in the future. The kid made huge improvements in the last month. He’s got the arm, he’s got the poise, he’s got the guts (did you see that hit he took before throwing the TD pass to Dustin Keller? Tremendous.)

— I still cannot believe Braylon Edwards, Mr. Butterfingers, caught that 80-yard touchdown pass. I figured after that happened, this had to be the Jets day.

— Peyton Manning. I mean, the guy is just the best I’ve ever seen. He makes every throw, puts it exactly where he wants it, where only his receiver can get it. I’m convinced he could take a couple of D-III wide receivers, and in a month have them catching six balls a game.

— Shonn Greene’s injury was a killer. An absolute killer. I’m not going to say the outcome would’ve been different, because I think the Colts still win. But when the Jets’ top back goes out early in the third quarter, it sucked the life out of the team.

— The Jets’ offensive line did an outstanding job in pass protection; neither Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis were big factors Sunday.

— Jay Feely, I’m not blaming you for missing the 52-yard field goal try. The first one from 44, yes, that one I blame you for. Gotta make that.

— The Jets’ future looks really, really bright. Young QB, young stud running back, outstanding defense, great head coach … but you can’t say they’ll definitely be back here. It’s too hard to win in the NFL. Who knows when they’ll be back in the AFC championship game? That’s why this loss really hurts.

— It was a great ride, for the Jets and the crazy fans like me. At 4-6, no way you could’ve made believe they get this far. I’m down tonight, but in a few days I know I’ll be so happy for the last few weeks’ worth of excitement.

**Oh yeah, the other game was pretty good, too. Drew Brees and the Saints set up what should be a sensational Super Bowl with a 31-28 win.

But all I want to say about that game is this: Let’s say you’re a Vikings fan. You rooted against Brett Favre for 15 years. He killed you in big games, he led the Packers to a Super Bowl win while your team continues to come up short. Then, finally, he retires. You’re done with Favre forever.

Only, in 2009, he comes out of retirement to play for you. Suddenly, black is white, up is down. You’ve got to root for No. 4. And you learn to love him, as he plays great and leads you to the NFC Championship game.

And then, with the game tied and the Vikings ready to kick a possible game-winning field goal to send you to the Super Bowl for the first time in more than three decades, ole’ Gunslinger Brett comes out and throws a ridiculous, across-his-body, off his back foot interception. And of course you lose the game.

I mean really, how much more can Brett Favre torture the good people of Minnesota, including my delightful cousins, the Haases? How much more can they take?

I’m just asking.

*And oh yeah, tennis fans, check out my Australian Open blog here.

A night at the circus, and Favre channels his inner “American Idol.”

As part of my Christmas present to Julie, I took her to the circus Saturday night. We’re big circus fans in my house. We went five years ago to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey show in Albany, and I figured it was time to go again.

You never have a bad time at the circus, do you? At least I don’t. Some random thoughts from a fun evening in Orlando:

— As an adult, I find the circus a visual assault on my senses; there’s so much to look at at once, so much to take in. How can a 7-year-old brain possibly handle it? They can’t, that’s how. Most of the kids, as I looked around the arena, had a delighted yet glazed look on their face.

— Of all the things that make me say “How do they do that?” at the circus, the guys in the mini-motorcycles in that little cage wow me the most. I mean, they had 7 of them in there at one point, zooming around really fast and in a tiny space. How do they not kill each other?

— On that note, how many injuries do those guys and the acrobats and the tightrope walkers suffer while practicing all this stuff? I’ve got to think medical insurance for circus people is astronomically expensive. Maybe our government could get into that after this other health care bill thingy is dealt with.

— Do you think the costume designer for the circus performers is ever told, “No, not that. It’s too shiny and sparkly.”

— There was one act that freaked me out, when they had something called the “Bionic Benders,” a man and woman who like bent their bodies in grotesque fashion. Totally disgusted me.

— Finally, I was thinking of how the circus is like baseball. You start out at the smaller ones, the local and regional circuses, where you learn how to play to the crowd and do something cool to be a part of the show. Then you work your way up, hoping to get a shot at the majors, and then one day you’re good enough for Ringling Bros. It’s got to be like getting called up to the big leagues, right? I have to believe when you’re at that level, it’s so rewarding. All the bumps and bruises, all the travel, everything is worth it, because you’re in the best circus in America.

**So, because I’m still kind of flying high after Sunday, a little fun review:

***OK, so have you heard that “Pants on the Ground” song that the old guy did on “American Idol” last week? Of course you have, I have a very hip readership.

Anyway, well, that noted cool guy Brett Favre started singing it after the Minnesota Vikings win Sunday. Pretty damn funny, if you ask me:

A beautiful Jets win, the Dolphins blow a gimme, and Bo knows Tecmo Bowl

Ah, what a much happier Sunday this was for me.

The weather was warm. I’ve just returned from a wonderful visit with family and friends. There were no new wars breaking out, as far as I knew.

And oh yeah: The New York Jets remembered how to win. Finally, Mark Sanchez played under control, the running game was good enough, and the defense harassed Carolina into four interceptions. Gang Green won, 17-6, and it should’ve been at least 27-6 or so.

Don’t worry, I’m not dreaming about the playoffs again; they’re still 5-6, and there are lots of teams ahead of the Jets, still. Of course, if they beat Buffalo Thursday up in Toronto, the Jets will be 6-6 and I’ll have 10 days to start figuring out how, exactly, my boys can get into the postseason.

But first things first: our franchise QB did exactly what he needed to do: He made safe throws, he didn’t force the ball, and when there wasn’t a play to be made, he scrambled. He scared the hell out of Jets fans when he looked to have injured his knee in the third period, but he seemed to be OK.

The Jets got a gift TD to start the game (when have you ever seen a ball bounce off a receiver’s ankle and right into the hands of a defender? Thank you, Darrelle Revis, for catching it), but the defense really played well. The Panthers’ running game never got going, and good Lord, there was a Kerry Rhodes sighting! The Jets’ safety who used to be a star and now, frankly, stinks, made TWO interceptions Sunday.

So yeah, it was nice to break a three-game losing streak. This is the kind of game the Jets played earlier this season, and it was nice to see it again. I thought it might be gone forever.

Couple other thoughts on Jets-Panthers:

**Boy, Jake Delhomme is horrendous. Two of his four picks in the fourth quarter were simple “chuck and ducks,” where the Carolina QB just stepped back, chucked the ball off his back foot and didn’t even try to follow through. What has happened to that guy?

** Jets were lucky in many ways Sunday, especially when replay overturned that Steve Smith touchdown for Carolina that would’ve made it 14-10. Looked like a catch to me.

**Dustin Keller, you’re KILLING me with these fumbles. Again the Jets’ terrific tight end tries to reach out for the goal line after a great catch and run, and fumbles. If he scores there, game is pretty much over. Just go down, please. Thank you.

Other NFL thoughts…

**Fantastic game Sunday night, with the Ravens nipping the Steelers. I don’t want to say I’m psychic or anything, but at 17-17, 3rd down and 6 in OT, I said out loud (to no one), “This would be a good time for Dennis Dixon to remember he’s a guy making his first-ever start, and throw a pick.” And then he did, setting up the game-winning field goal. Still, for a third-string QB, kid played pretty damn well.

**Houston Texans = frauds. Complete, utter frauds. 17-0 against Indy, at home, and they lose by eight.

**I’ve tried to avoid talking about the guy all season because I’m still pissed at how he sabotaged the Jets’ season. But good lord, Brett Favre is playing insanely good right now.  Three more touchdowns Sunday. He’s completed 69 percent of his passes, with 24 interceptions and just three interceptions. I don’t care that he’s got a great running back, O-line, and defense, those are ridiculously good numbers.

**Brutal, brutal losses by the Dolphins and Jags Sunday. Miami was tied with Buffalo, 14-14 in the fourth, and then gave up 17 straight points to lose. And Jacksonville failed to show up in San Francisco. If I were an optimist, I’d say everything broke right for the Jets to get back into the playoff hunt.

**Can’t wait for tonight’s game: Saints-Patriots. Should be a fabulous matchup.

***So while I was in New York last week something fabulous happened: My friend Andrew showed me that you could download the original Nintendo Tecmo Bowl game onto your Wii for like, $5. There is no way that I’m NOT doing that next weekend, and probably wasting a good four hours playing. God I loved Tecmo Bowl, and the two unstoppable forces of the game: Lawrence Taylor on defense, and Bo Jackson on offense.

I once read an interview with Bo, done about five years ago I think, where he said no matter where he goes in public to go give a talk or anything, he’s always asked about Tecmo Bo and how amazing he was.

Believe me, he was THAT amazing. Check this out, you young’uns:

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The Jets crush me again, Yanks one win away, and an exciting new place to buy beer

*Nov 01 - 00:05*

I’m getting more than a little sick and more than a little tired of this losing to the damn Dolphins, New York Jets.

I’m also stunned that the Gang Green can completely throttle the Miami offense, holding them to 104 yards, can gain 378 yards on offense on their own, and still lose the game.

How the hell do you give up two 100-plus yard kickoff returns in the same game? In a row???? I mean, after the first one, don’t you just, I don’t know, KICK AWAY FROM TED GINN!!???? Shonn Greene’s fumble also led to another touchdown by Jason Taylor (God I’ve hated him for so long), and somehow the Jets managed to lose this game, 30-25, and fall to 4-4 on the season.

This team’s record is actually perfect; they’re a so-so football team. They can’t put everything together in one game, and it’s mind-boggling. They run the ball well like they have the last few weeks, and then they can’t throw. Then Mark Sanchez plays great in the second half Sunday, and the special teams screws up. Or Sanchez plays well like in the first Miami game, and the special teams are good, and the defense sucks.

Truly, this is one of the more mystifying Jets teams of my lifetime. So frustrating, losing to the Fins, and listening to their fans at Houligan’s (my sports bar) all excited and giddy after the game.

Also, Jets linebacker Bart Scott, ye of your sarcastic comments after the game: Shut the hell up. You and the rest of the Jets have no right to talk any smack whatsoever, about the Dolphins, about the Middle East, about ANYTHING. You’re 4-4, which is not that good. So please, be quiet until the team has proven something.

The Jets are off next week. Good. I need a break. And so does the carpet at Houligan’s, all my pacing has probably worn it out.

Some other NFL ramblings from Sunday:

**It has to stink to be a Green Bay Packers fan today. Not only do you lose to Minnesota, but even after you lustily boo Brett Favre, the Vikings and ole’ No. 4 come into Lambeau Field and win easily, as the Indecisive One throws four touchdowns to beat you. I was actually surprised there weren’t more cheers for Favre; I mean, I know the fans are pissed, but he did give you 16 good years. I guess it’s just too soon to forgive him.

**Hey, remember when the Giants were, like, good? They were undefeated and cruising and all was swell.

Yeah, I can’t remember that either. Man did they look awful in losing to the Eagles.

*** So, maybe the Carolina Panthers aren’t horrendous after all. And maybe Arizona isn’t that good. The NFL sure has a lot of mostly crappy, but not entirely terrible, teams this year. Buffalo, Carolina, Seattle, Jacksonville, and plenty more.

**Eric Mangini just looks miserable right now. The old Jets coach was practically whimpering in his post-game news conference after yet another pathetic performance by his Cleveland Browns, a 30-6 loss to the Bears. I almost feel a little sorry for the guy, but you know, he sort of made his own bed there, by picking a lot of the players himself, and by playing musical chairs with his terrible QBs.

**On the World Series: I think Jorge Posada ran the equivalent of the New York City Marathon Sunday, walking back and forth to the mound for conferences with Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia. But hey, whatever works.

**This series will probably go back to New York with the Yankees up 3-2; I fully expect Cliff Lee of the Phils to dominate Monday night and keep his team alive. But then, in Andy Pettitte I trust. Still can’t believe A-Rod is coming up so clutch; it’s like he’s a different person.

**Also, I think it’s very cool that between the microphones and the HD technology, you can hear the home plate umpire tell the batter and catcher where the pitch was. Several times Sunday I heard the ump say “a little outside,” or “low.”

I don’t think we appreciate it enough, but watching sports in 2009 is just an unbelievable experience.

NevadaWolfpack

***OK, this isn’t really football news but it sorta is. As if there weren’t enough weird things about the Washington Redskins, as if it weren’t despicable enough that owner/dictator Dan Snyder has sued season ticket holders who couldn’t pay for their seats due to the recession, now there’s this:

Apparently the Redskins have been selling beer at FedEx Field in the bathroom. Seriously, that is pretty disgusting.

But as the article says (and man do I wish I thought of this line), it brings new meaning to the term “revenue stream.”

Jets beat the hell out of the Raiders, a “Little House” spoof, and the Yanks go back to the Series

Jets Raiders Football

For a while in the early part of this decade, it seemed like the Oakland Raiders ripped my heart out every year.

They beat the Jets big, they beat them small. They beat them in the regular season, they beat them in the playoffs. OK, no more Dr. Seuss-like pronouncements. But basically, the Raiders owned the Jets.

That’s why Sunday was so sweet for me, and for, I’m sure, all the Jets fans out there. Sunday, against one of the worst NFL teams I have ever seen, Gang Green beat the ever-loving stuffing out of the Raiders, 38-0.

Except for one horrible injury to Leon Washington, who suffered a broken fibula and about whom a teammate said “I could see blood spurting out. I’ve never seen anything like that before” (lovely), it was a sensational day for the Jets.

They finally did what they should’ve done last week: run, run, and run some more, and throw the ball only when absolutely necessary.

Thomas Jones looked terrific, as did rookie Shonn Greene (though, unlike the Mets’ Shawn Green, I don’t think is Jewish), who replaced Leon Washington.

Mark Sanchez did just enough, though I have no freakin’ idea why he was still in the game to take a couple of hellacious hits late in the fourth quarter. Sanchez was poised, confident, and made the throws he needed to make. And really, that’s all we should ask of the kid. These Jets fans who are ready to throw him out after a few bad games are morons. The kid has now started 23 games since high school.

The Jets defense was outstanding (welcome to the season, Calvin Pace, you of your two strip sacks), and JaMarcus Russell, God bless you for being so awful. He basically gave the Jets their first two touchdowns. I was legitimately sad when the Raiders pulled him.

Losing Leon is a huge blow; his dangerous kickoff returns alone make him a big asset. But with this win, the Jets stay a game back of New England, and have a chance at some Dolphins revenge next week.

Man, this Jets team is hard to figure after 7 weeks: Three straight wins, then three straight losses, now a resounding win. Ask me around Thanksgiving and I’ll be able to tell you if they’re any good or not.

Some other quick-hit thoughts on this NFL Sunday:

**Good God the Saints are explosive. Down 24-3, they scored 43 points in the last two quarters and the last minute of the first half. Forty-three! Couldn’t happen at a better time, against the hated Dolphins. Thanks, Drew Brees. If the 4-3 Jets can beat 2-4 Miami next week at the Meadowlands, that could just bury the ‘Fins’ playoff hopes. Lovely.

**Ah, that’s the Brett Favre I remember from last season. A fumble in the fourth quarter in the red zone against Pittsburgh, returned for a touchdown, then an INT that wasn’t his fault a few minutes later.

**So someone please tell me how JaMarcus Russell is still a starting quarterback in the NFL. If he’s an NFL quarterback, I’m Manute Bol.

**Go ahead, you figure out the Cincinnati Bengals.

pettitte

**As for the New York Yankees, I of course am thrilled to see them finish off those poor-fielding Angeles of Los Angeles, 5-2 Sunday night. It seems like it’s been a lot longer than six years since the Bronx Bombers have been in the Series, but that’s probably just something obnoxious Yankee fans like me think sometimes.

Couple thoughts:

1. This will be a longer post this week, but the Yankee fans’ adoration of Alex Rodriguez is something I never thought I’d see. Much like with Bill Clinton, I’ve always been so conflicted about him, myself.

2. It amazes me what pressure can do to human beings. The Angels were a fantastic defensive team in the regular season. But in the pressure cooker of October, they melted like an egg on a sidewalk in Florida in July.

3. Also, memo to FOX baseball directors: We really don’t need to see a fan reaction shot to EVERY out. And why do we care if Giuliani’s at the game anymore? He hasn’t been the mayor since 2001.

**Finally, I was watching a Rangers game Saturday night through the NHL’s free preview of its Center Ice Package, and the telecast was a “Hockey Night in Canada” production. Always a good time. Anyway, I heard a promo for something that I couldn’t believe was real, but apparently it is.

There’s a Canadian sitcom called “Little Mosque on the Prairie.” Seriously. According to the show’s web site, it’s an internationally-acclaimed comedy about Muslims and Christians attempting to live in harmony in the small town of Mercy, Saskatchewan.

This brings to mind all kinds of jokes in my head (would Laura Ingalls Wilder ever go to Mecca?), but I’m sure many of them would be offensive.

Anyway, here’s a clip of the show, from the first episode: I found it interesting.

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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