Tag Archives: Derek Carr

Saying goodbye to a crappy 2016 at the NY Botanical Garden train show was super-fun. The Mariah Carey train-wreck on NYE: Oy. And the NFL playoffs should be wild.

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And a happy 2017 to all of you out there in Internet-land. I hope you rang in the new year safely and happily, we did our usual “movie and champagne at home” thing, where we enjoyed “Oceans 11” (my first time seeing the whole thing, it was very entertaining but I kept marveling at the sheer impossibility of that caper) and then watched Kathy Griffin do her annual humiliating of Anderson Cooper on CNN (truly that network’s best programming of the year).

But before all that the wife and I took our 2-year-old to the New York Botanical Gardens for a wonderful day. First we saw a Thomas the Tank Engine show for the toddler set; my boy hasn’t watched Thomas yet on TV but we have a few books and he’s becoming a big train fan. He sat still for the whole 30-minute show and got his picture taken with Thomas on stage, so he was very happy.

Then the real highlight: The NYBG does a Holiday Train Show every year, and it was nothing short of astonishing. They spend months and months building replicas of New York landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the N.Y. Public Library, and Yankee Stadium, out of plants, branches and resin. And they have a whole slew of model trains going around the landmarks and winding through an entire area of the Garden. (that’s one of the models, above).

It was really pretty special to see, the craftsmanship and beauty of the landmarks, the gorgeous trains, and how many little kids and big kids alike (me) couldn’t stop smiling.

If you’re in the New York area and/or are visiting between now and Jan. 22, I highly, highly recommend it. It was the perfect happy day to end a miserable year. Here’s the NYBG website with details of the train show.

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So I have no particular dislike of Mariah Carey, except for the fact that she used to seem like a nice person when she was younger and fresh-faced and grew up like 30 minutes from where I did, and then in the past 10-12 years she seems to have turned into a not-so-nice diva who thinks her poop doesn’t stink. Anyway, I like her music just fine, she’s obviously a great talent, yada yada yada.

But man, did she have a miserable New Year’s Eve. Performing live at Times Square on ABC’s show (the one Dick Clark made famous and Ryan Seacrest is now desecrating), she lip-synched badly, got mad at the technical mistakes, then basically left. Not a good look when people start calling you Mariah Milli Vanilli Carey.

Watch for yourself…

**Finally today, the NFL regular season ended Sunday and it was a merciful end for Jets fans like me; I think I watched one or two plays, tops of their “huge” win over the Buffalo Bills. Hey, 5-11 is better than 4-12! The Jets are a mess, the Bills are an even bigger one; if you want more proof, check out how the Jets scored their final touchdown. I mean, maybe that’s happened before in the NFL, but wow. How do you not know the rules about a kickoff?
Happily, Jets owner Woody Johnson decided not to do the knee-jerk thing and fire the coach and GM; you’ve got to give them more than two years when one year was terrific and the second one was terrible.

Also, Darrelle Revis? Thanks for the memories. Don’t let the door hit you on your big, fat wallet on the way out.

— OK, on to teams that matter now in January. I always love it when new teams make it into the playoffs, ones that haven’t been there for a while. This year we’ve got the Raiders but their stay will be short since their star QB, Derek Carr, is hurt; the Lions who are never a playoff regular, and the New England Patriots, who finally had a good season (ha ha).

I have no idea who’ll win the Super Bowl, but a few weeks ago I thought the Steelers and Packers were playing the best. I don’t believe in the Cowboys in the playoffs yet, so let’s go with Coach Hoodie in the AFC and Seattle in the NFC, just because they’ve been there before. My “backup” picks would be the Giants and the Chiefs, because they’re both playing terrific right now.

— 49ers fired Chip Kelly. Guy inherited a terrible team, and they give him one season and then fire him. Hard to believe this is the same franchise that everyone used to look up to.

— Kirk Cousins, I really, really wanted to believe in you. But you make it tough. You’re in a must-win game, against a team (the Giants) who didn’t need the game at all, and you come up very, very small.

— Finally, this isn’t directly related to football, but was so outrageous that I must point it out. A Philadelphia Inquirer reporter named Jeff McLane was ejected from the press box of Sunday’s Eagles-Cowboys game, for apparently talking too loud and briefly arguing with a media relations staffer. An Eagles VP then threatened to eject the rest of the sportswriters there who were objecting. McLane has been a beat writer for eight years, so of course he’s written some negative stories about the team. But come on, how amateurish is this?

Seriously, this actually happened. Pathetic.

 

The Joe McKnight murder proves once again the incredible race divide in the criminal justice system. An amazing play wins a state title in N.J. And thoughts on the amazing Raiders, the surprising Bucs, and the pitiful Niners

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The next time someone tells you the criminal justice system in America works the same for everybody, before you start fuming, tell them a little about the murder of Joe McKnight last week.

Maybe you heard about it. McKnight, 28, is a former college star at USC and NFL player for a few years, and was an African-American living in his hometown of New Orleans. He was involved in an apparent road-rage incident with a 54-year-old white male named Ronald Gasser.
McKnight was unarmed. Gasser shot him three times and killed him. Gasser stayed at the scene, handed his weapon to police, and was arrested.

Gasser walked out of jail on bail less than 24 hours later. He has not yet been charged with a crime.

The outrage I feel about this is palpable. But my friend Kelly Markowitz said it better on her Facebook page better than I could.

So take it away, Kelly…

“Close your eyes and imagine if the victim was white and the shooter was black. Never would the accused have been released without being charged. Actually if this scene had played out and the races were reversed, it’s likely the accused shooter would have been shot himself by police officers. NO gun on the victim! What will it take for the general population to acknowledge and feel the injustice?

Yes, there is something called white privilege … You’d think after 11 generations of African Americans living as slaves we could somehow start moving forward and act like civilized human beings. But no, while we no longer have slavery, bigoted white people still can’t seem to grow the fuck up and acknowledge their inhumane and evil past, yet they continue the tradition of racism, bigotry and inequality. Hey, guess what? Yes, we all look different. Just because you have blonde hair or have pale skin doesn’t make you superior or entitle to special treatment. And if you think so, you’re an idiot.”

What she said.

It is unfathomable that a black man who shot a white man in a road rage incident would be let out of jail immediately. Oh, don’t give me bunk about Louisiana’s “Stand Your Ground” law and how they’re still gathering evidence, yada yada yada.

Pure horse-crap. White man murders unarmed black man in broad daylight, isn’t even in jail for two days.

“Everybody wants to make this about race. This isn’t about race,” Sheriff Newell Normand said.

Nah. Of course not, Newell. Just despicable.

**Next up today, this time of year is great for seeing epic plays that win state championships and stuff. How about this on Saturday from Mater Dei Catholic in New Jersey, to beat Holy Spirit in the Non-Public Group 2 championship game? That happened with four seconds left in the game.
You know those kids practiced this all year and were like, “No way coach EVER calls this in a game!”

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**Somebody rouse Ken Stabler from the grave, and go tell Fred Biletnikoff and Jack Tatum the news: The Oakland Raiders are a full-fledged beast again.

Are you aware they’re now the No.1 seed in the AFC, and if the season ended today they’d have homefield throughout the playoffs? I know it was just Buffalo on Sunday, but the Raiders roared back from a 24-9 deficit and demolished the Rex Ryans, 38-24.

They’re 10-2. Haven’t had a winning season since the year after 9/11, for crying out loud. They’ve got an exciting young team, a rabid fan base… and so of course it looks like they’re going to move to Las Vegas soon.

Ah, sports.

— Yet another way the longer extra point, and the 2-point conversion, have made football more exciting: Atlanta scores to go ahead of Kansas City late in the 4th quarter, 28-27. They go for two to give themselves a three-point lead, only the Chiefs’ Eric Berry intercepts the 2-point pass and goes the other way for two points, and suddenly K.C. is back up and they win the game by those points. Nuts.

— Raiders-Chiefs for AFC West supremacy Thursday night. First good Thursday night game, maybe ever.

— Larry Fitzgerald is one hell of a player. Third all-time in receptions now after Sunday. And he’s a sportswriter’s kid. Gotta be the best athlete progeny an ink-stained wretch has ever produced.

— So the Giants finally play a decent football team and get smacked. Very interested to see how they play Dallas next Sunday night.

— Finally, a few words about Chip Kelly and his 1-11 San Francisco 49ers. I really, really thought he got a raw deal in Philly. I thought he was an innovator and someone who, like Jimmy Johnson, would come from college and change the NFL a bit.
They got whipped Sunday by the 2-9 Bears.
So I’m starting to have doubts about Mr. Kelly’s genius.

Two cool Halloween stories for a spooky Monday. The Jets have a winning streak! And why Saints games are so much fun. And the NBA “genius” who autographed the Great Wall of China

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Happy Halloween, my fellow ghosts and goblins! Hope you and yours have a safe and fun day; my little guy is going as an elephant this year (pretend bag of peanuts came with the costume, which I thought was a nice touch), and I think now that he’s 2 he might enjoy the experience a little more.

Anyway, whether you’re trick-or-treating with your kids, or handing out Kit-Kats and mini-Hershey bars to the neighborhood brats who complain they only got two pieces, hope it’s a safe, fun day. A few Halloween-y items to start today:
First, how awesome is that kid (above) in his Prince costume? First of all, the kid is actually as tall as the real Prince was (ouch). Also the hair and the wisp of a mustache are just perfect. Bravo.

Secondly, this cracked me up, and apparently others enjoyed it too, since it has 5 million view on YouTube. A dog owner decided to dress up as his pooch’s favorite toy, Gumby, and see what happened. Take a wild guess how pumped up the furry guy was…

My final Halloween item comes from a very cool gesture from my man Jeff Pearlman’s daughter, who is Jewish, and her best friend, who is Muslim. They decided to dress up as a new superhero team for Halloween called the “Juslims,” and their photo went crazy-viral on Sunday. So much so that Buzzfeed interviewed the girls and they sounded great.

**Ladies and gentlemen, the New York Jets are on fire! Two wins in a row! 3-5, playoffs here we come, baby!

Yeah, right. The pathetic NFL team I root for played as poorly as you can imagine for a half against the lowly and winless Cleveland Browns, trailing 20-7, and looking like they wanted to go home and watch Game 5 of the World Series, just like the rest of the Browns fans.

But just to tease us fans for a few more weeks, the Jets responded with a huge second half, the Browns remembered they are the Browns, and the Jets squeaked out a 31-28 win.
Great. Now we Jets fans don’t get to see if Bryce Petty is the QB of the future for at least a few more weeks.

— Thought about this during the Jets-Browns game: Wouldn’t it be nuts if, in 2016, the Cavaliers won the NBA title, the Indians won the World Series, and the Browns went 0-16? That’d be awesome.

— I don’t have any statistical proof of this at the moment, but doesn’t it seem like the New Orleans Saints play more crazy-finish games than anyone, at least in the last five years? It always seems like Drew Brees and his mates are involved in nail-biter after nail-biter. Sunday they held off Seattle 25-20, but not before the Seahawks drove to the Saints’ 10 and had one pass into the end zone to win it.

— Some fan threw a dildo onto the field during the Patriots-Bills game. I have no sarcastic or witty comment to add, I just feel like you needed to know that happened.

— I realize I may be the last football fan in America to have seen this, but the Bo Jackson Tecmo Bowl commercial for Kia? Magnificent. I’ve tried to explain to younger people that Tecmo Bo was the greatest video game athlete of all time, and they just don’t get it. But he was.

— Is it time we acknowledge the Raiders are finally good? I mean, 6-2 is 6-2. Their QB, Derek Carr, is terrific, they’ve got great wideouts, and a defense that doesn’t stink. Maybe all this success means they won’t move to Vegas in a few years.

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**Finally today, this story just made me laugh and question this guy’s sanity all at once.
A Houston Rockets guard named Bobby Brown (no, not the singer) was with his team over in China a few weeks ago playing some NBA exhibition games when, like millions of tourists do every year, he decided to visit the Great Wall.

But unlike those millions of others, Bobby decided to treat one of the Seven Wonders of the World like it was a storefront in Bed-Stuy. He scrawled his name (and uniform number!) on a section of the historic site.

And then, you know, Brown posted a photo of his autograph on Twitter.

I mean … COME ON DUDE! Do you think Yao Ming wrote his name and number on the Statue of Liberty when he played the Knicks???

Shockingly, Chinese citizens weren’t thrilled by Brown’s deed.

“Are you proud of your carving? This is a part of world heritage, not the toilet of your home,” one said.

Brown apologized. Can’t wait till he goes back to China with a big scrubber to try to get his signature off.