Tag Archives: Eli Manning

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 Jets have a pulse, the NFC “Least” is a joke, and more NFL thoughts. An awesome Daughtry song I just discovered celebrates ’80s and ’90s rock. And the amazing iPad magician


The New York Jets have a pulse this morning. And I’m wondering if we could petition Roger Goodell to make sure the Dolphins are the Jets’ opponent every week from now on in 2015.

Because that Jets team I watched Sunday looked nothing like the bums who’ve gone 1-4 since a 4-1 start. Hell, the Jets haven’t looked that good since … the last time they played the Dolphins.

Sunday, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw four TD passes (and finally trimmed that scary-ass beard of his.) Brandon Marshall, welcome back to the offense! We’ve missed you, buddy.
Chris Ivory had a rough day but ripped off a gorgeous 31-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, breaking five tackles.
And Devin Smith, to this point the Jets’ bust of a second-round draft pick actually caught a touchdown pass. It was a Thanksgiving miracle, I tell ya.

Seriously, I have no idea if this Jets team is any good. I know for certain that Miami stinks. Next week is Jets vs. Giants at the Meadowlands, in a game with huge importance for both. Should be a ton of fun.

Other NFL thoughts from Week 12…

— Speaking of the Giants, what an awful performance against the Redskins. That NFC Least division has to be the worst it’s ever been. Somewhere Bill Parcells called Joe Gibbs on the phone Sunday night and muttered, “Can you believe this shit?”

— But Odell Beckham Jr. made another insane touchdown catch Sunday for the Giants. That kid is worth the ticket price alone.

— The closed captioning of Giants-Redskins at one point called Eli Manning “Eli Man Penguin.” And now that’s all I’ll ever call him.

— Our first snow game Sunday! Denver-New England. Love, love, love football in the snow.

— Go ahead, you figure out the Seattle Seahawks in 2015. I sure as hell can’t. Big win over the Steelers on Sunday. I think they are equally likely to miss the playoffs as they are to get back to the Super Bowl.

— A lot more awful games on Thanksgiving, and plenty of stinkers on Sunday. Is it me, or has this been a pretty terrible NFL season, quality-wise? Good thing millions are still addicted.

— I know I shouldn’t take joy in the misery of others. But man, it is SO much fun watching Rex Ryan explain away another Bills loss Sunday, using the exact same lines and excuses he used to use as Jets coach.

**Next up, I’ve said it many times on here, and it can be verified by anyone who knows me well: I know nothing about current pop music. I choose to be blissfully ignorant of most music made after 1994 or so, except for a few songs that capture my attention for a brief time.

But happily, my wonderful wife occasionally sends me music from the 21st century she thinks I’ll like. And after watching the Thanksgiving Day parade performance by Daughtry of this song of his from 2013, she immediately told me to listen to it.
Which I did. And I loved it. And since this blog is nothing if not random stuff that comes into my head sometimes, I’m sharing it here now.

It’s about paying tribute to the great 1980s and ’90s rock and roll that seems to be dying off these days, and the lyrics are funny and I like the beat.
It’s called “Long Live Rock and Roll.”
Is it the greatest song ever? No. But if you’re a Gen X’er like me or just someone who loved that music, it’s pretty terrific.
Then again, others may disagree.


**Finally today, this is a clip sent to me this weekend by my father that made me go slack-jawed a few times; it’s from an “Ellen” episode earlier this year and stars Simon Pierro, who’s billed as the world’s best iPad Magician.

I have no idea how he does any of this, the thing with the straw at 1:50 just blew me away (and was a little creepy.)

But I enjoyed seeing this, no matter how the hell Pierro did it. My iPad just crashes on Chrome all the time, it doesn’t do any of this stuff.

Another glorious NYC Marathon Sunday, viewed up close. The Jets are nosediving, and a 52-49 NFL game? Sure. And all hail the Kansas City Royals, world champs.


Lots of wonderful things I’ve discovered about living in NYC for the past four years.

One of my top three favorites, though, is the first Sunday in November. As I’ve written about here the past three years, Marathon Sunday is the best. Fifty thousand runners, of all shapes, stripes, creed, color and age, pushing their bodies 26.2 miles through all five boroughs.

In 2013 we moved to an apartment right under the 59th Street bridge, along 1st Avenue, which is a perfect spot to get up close and watch the runners fly by. With the weather perfect and my excitement heightened by showing this fabulous spectacle to my little boy for the first time (he was momentarily excited and wide-eyed, but after 10 minutes he got a little cranky), I happily stood along the barricades at 61st and 1st for a few hours.

Some thoughts from a wonderful day of watching athletic accomplishment:

— One thing that always surprises me about this throng of runners all barreling down the street: You never see a collision, or any bumping at all. I think in 2.5 hours of watching Sunday I maybe saw one time where a runner almost ran into another one.

— Highlight for me Sunday was seeing my awesome friend Christine, running her first marathon, spot me before I spotted her. I had my wife and all the strangers around me looking out for her (she had told me what she’d be wearing, I told her where we’d be, and I was tracking her race on the fabulous NYC Marathon app), and then all of a sudden she started streaming toward me. We hugged, I told her how great she was doing, she screamed “This is so hard!” and then kept running.

It was great.

— Love the high-fiving of strangers. Love screaming out the name of people with their name on their shirt, then them looking around like “who knows me here?”

— The costumes were, as usual, stellar. I saw quite a few Batmans, several Wonder Womans, lots of people wearing their country’s flags, and even a guy dressed in full FDNY firefighter gear, carrying a fire extinguisher to boot. That dude had to be committed to that costume to wear it for 26 miles.
My favorite, though, had to be the dude wearing an Eiffel Tower replica, with two people trailing him, one who was barefoot. I was speechless at that one.

— Always great signs from fans along the course. Two favorites from Sunday: 1., attached to a picture of a male underwear model, the words “Hey girl, I’m waiting for you at the finish line,” and “If Britney Spears could survive 2007, you can survive 26.2 miles.”

— Finally, every year I say the same thing, after watching the joy and agony of the runners: I’m gonna do this one day. I haven’t run so much since the little guy was born, but before his arrival I did a 10k and could run 6 miles at a time. I’ll get there one day.
But watching is almost as much fun.


**Next up, never a good sign as a Jets fan when Geno Smith comes into the game in the first quarter. What a miserable performance by my team, really getting blown out from the start by the suddenly decent Oakland Raiders. Looks like Ryan Fitzpatrick may be out awhile, which means we get more of Geno, which means the Jets’ once-promising season may get real shitty, real fast.

— The Giants scored 49 points Sunday. Eli Manning threw SIX touchdown passes. And they lost.
That was one of the most bizarre NFL games I’ve seen. Literally neither defense could make a stop, until the Giants got a defensive touchdown to go up 49-42.
What a pathetic display of defense. How do you feel good if you’re the Saints after that?

— Are the Vikings the best team no one is talking about? They’re 5-2, they’ve got a terrific young quarterback, and a good defense. And yet nobody’s considering them as a contender.

— This is not NFL-related, but again college football had me screaming at the referees Saturday night. Check out this nutso game-winning touchdown by Miami over Duke, using eight laterals, that absolutely should not have counted. Clear runner down at :26, and brutal block in the back at :39. Yes I’m a biased Duke fan, but this thing went to instant replay and they still got it all wrong! So, so awful.


**Finally, this World Series, man … it’s been fabulous.  Sunday night, Matt Harvey pitches the game of his life, just a few months after Mets fans were questioning his heart and desire. Guy throws eight shutout innings in a game his team must have, and still can’t get the win.
The Royals’ aggressive baserunning, a bad throw by Lucas Duda, and extra innings again. What an incredible, battle-back, scrappy team Kansas City is. I mean, they are never, ever, ever, out of a game. Such great defense, such smart baseball they play.

They are worthy World Series champs. Once the game got tied Sunday, I had no doubt K.C. would win. What an amazing turnaround story that franchise is.

As for the Mets, they had a hell of a season. Much better than anyone expected. You hope they’ll be back.

Terrific series. The best team won. (And poor Daniel Murphy can now go find a hole and hide for a few months).

“Choose Your Own Adventure” books awakened my imagination. An incredible musical collaboration on a “God Only Knows’ remake. And a really bad day for the Manning family


I get nostalgic for a lot of things from my 1980s childhood. Hey, I’m a sappy, sensitive guy.
When John Hughes died, I was crushed and wrote a long piece about him. Whenever any relic from my past shows up in contemporary pop culture (like when a 2XL robot appeared in “Argo”), I get way too excited.
Last week I had another wave of nostalgia hit me when I read that the creator of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, R.A. Montgomery, died on Nov. 9.

Before I read and became obsessed with sports, before I tore through the “Little House” books and Encyclopedia Brown and a million others, I was totally enthralled with “Choose Your Own Adventure.”
I’d get one from our public library, or the school library at North Ridge Elementary, and I couldn’t wait to devour it. I’d read it as fast as I could, going through all the permuatations and possibilities (“well of course I’m going to follow the suspicious man into the bank, who wouldn’t?”), and then anxiously await my next library trip.

Those books opened my mind, and the minds of millions of others, to new ideas, new possibilities, and of course, new adventures. For a few hours I could forget where I was, and who I was, and go on incredible voyages without leaving my seat.

Thank you, R.A. Montgomery, for making my childhood a little bit happier, and giving me reading experiences I’ll never forget.

Very cool backstory on how the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series got started here, courtesy of MentalFloss.com.

**Next up, my awesome friend Melanie pointed me to this on Facebook, and I’m so glad she did: The BBC and a charity called Children in Need, in England, got a Hall of Fame-level group of singers together to record the Beach Boys’ classic “God Only Knows” and perform in this awesome video.

Elton John, Chrissie Hynde, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder… the list goes on and on. The video is psychadelic and fabulous, and the song is timeless. Hope it raises a ton of money for charity.


**Finally, Sunday was a really, really bad day for the Manning family.
At least, the Mannings who make their living playing quarterback in the NFL.
Peyton and his team were stunned by St. Louis, 22-7, with the Papa John’s pitchman tossing a couple of interceptions.
And little bro Eli, well, Eli had one of those Eli days that crop up every season, where everything goes wrong, it’s not all his fault, but the stats look really ugly.
Eli tossed FIVE interceptions in a game the 49ers desperately tried to give to the Giants, but ole’ No. 10 just kept chucking it to the other team.

Yeesh, seven picks between the Mannings. Hope Archie didn’t watch any of it.

Some other NFL thoughts on a day when the Jets didn’t lose…

— Remember when Robert Griffin III was basically going to be the Redskins’ savior, and Barack Obama’s sports counterpart as a messiah, hero, etc.? Yeah, about that. Washington fans were chanting for Colt McCoy in the fourth quarter. Colt McCoy! As one Redskins fan on Twitter said aptly, “God is punishing Dan Snyder, and the rest of us (Redskins fans) are collateral damage.” Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal forced himself to watch Bucs-Skins and wrote a really funny article about it here.

— The Jets are 2-8. The Giants are 3-7. New York football, it’s FAN-Tastic! Seriously, why would anyone pay money to go to the Meadowlands the rest of the year.

— The Atlanta Falcons are in first place in the NFC South. With a 4-6 record. And I just know in January a 10-6 NFC team like the 49ers will have to play a road game at 6-10 division champ Atlanta or New Orleans. Which is a disgrace. But that’s what the NFL guarantees a division champ: One home game.

— The Packers. I mean, 50-plus points in two straight games? Insane. Meanwhile, Mark Sanchez came back down to Earth, which all Jets fans enjoyed.

— Finally, two quick thoughts from the Sunday night game: Adam Vinatieri is 41 and still kicking 50-plus yard field goals; he’s gotta be a Hall of Famer one day. And two, someone named Jonas Gray scored four TD’s for New England, because of course any guy off the street could be signed by Belichick and be awesome. God, it gets tiring hating the Pats…

The Jets remember that they stink, and other NFL thoughts. An evil woman at a baseball game steals a ball. And Lane Kiffin, good riddance

jets-titans-football (1)

*”Homeland” is back! Very pumped up that my favorite show, by far, currently on TV has returned for the fall season. I watched the season premiere last night, but just like I did last season, I will do my weekly “Homeland” analysis/thoughts and stuff on Tuesdays, to give my fellow show fanatics a chance to watch it without risk of spoilers. All I’ll say today is that Sunday night’s episode was very, very interesting with many unexpected twists…

Yeah, so this is what life is like when your football team has a rookie quarterback.
One week, he plays awesome, and you think “Finally, a franchise signal-caller to build around.”

Then the next week he looks like a JV quarterback for a bad high school program, and you wonder if this guy really is the answer, or just another in a long line of failures.

That’s what the last two weeks were like for the Jets and Geno Smith. A week after playing pretty terrific against Buffalo, he was beyond awful against the Titans Sunday.
The Jets got walloped, 38-13, and it was mostly Geno’s fault. He committed four turnovers, should’ve gotten sacked for a safety, and just made stupid mistake after stupid mistake (the “switching hands with the ball behind your back while getting sacked” is a move not even Penn and Teller would try).
Smith’s teammates were of little help; the offensive line caved in like a terrified witness in a Mafia trial, the defense didn’t do much pressuring of Tennessee’s QB, Jake Locker, and the special teams weren’t any good.
But mostly, this loss is on Geno. Just one you’ve got to suck up and attribute to growing pains.

Couple quick-hit NFL thoughts from Sunday:
— How ’bout those Cleveland Browns? Two straight wins since trading their best player, including an impressive job in beating Cincinnati on Sunday. Good for them.
— Stick a fork in the Giants. Another miserable offensive performance by Eli Manning and friends.
— Seattle really stole one in Houston, coming back from 20-6 down to win in OT. Seahawks might be the best team in the NFL.
— Finally, is there a more exciting team to watch than Detroit? They always score a bunch of points, and always give up a bunch. They give you more thrills, both ways, than anybody else. Love watching the Lions. And they might even be good this year!

**Sometimes the headline of a YouTube video really does tell the whole story. The headline here: “Evil Woman Steals Ball from Little Girl.”

And you have to love the yutz who high-fives her for her “accomplishment” right after she does it. Awful.


**So Lane Kiffin, a scumbag who stands out as a scumbag even among the moral morass that is big-time college football coaching, was fired by USC Saturday night, after they got beat by Arizona State.

Kiffin, if you know him at all, is known for being the most obnoxious, self-serving, pompous coach in all of the land. He burned all kinds of bridges in Oakland as coach of the Raiders, he cheated and angered everyone in the state of Tennessee while head coach at UT, and then has acted like himself again at USC, alienating the media, fans and players alike.

But even when you’re talking about Kiffin, who deserves everything bad that happens to him, how he was fired was pretty cruel.
The USC athletics director pulled him off the team bus as it was headed back from airport in L.A., and fired him. Then the AD, Pat Haden, wouldn’t let Kiffin back on the bus back to campus, telling the bus to go on without Kiffin.

That’s cold. Well-deserved, but cold.

Big brother wins another Manning Bowl. Catching fish with your hair? Sure. And a baseball player mails pot to his dog.


As a lifelong little brother myself, I always root for Eli Manning when he has to play Peyton.
I mean, Peyton has gotten to do everything first in life: Star in football, first in college, and then the NFL. Peyton got to throw touchdown passes first, got to the Super Bowl first (though Eli now has two rings to Peyton’s one, which just seems strange, doesn’t it?), and is a better overall quarterback and TV commercial pitchman. (that’s Peyton above on the right, with little bro’ Eli in front).

So when Eli has played Peyton, I generally pull for the Giants signal-caller. But once again Sunday, as he has in all three times they’ve played, Eli fell way short.
Peyton was brilliant, throwing for more than 300 yards and powering the Broncos to an easy win over the 0-2 Giants. (By the way, my terrible Jets are 1-1, and the far-superior Giants are winless. I said to my father-in-law, a die-hard Giants fan, Sunday night, that if the Jets somehow finish with a better record than the Giants, he’ll never hear the end of it.)

Peyton beating Eli was expected, but I still felt for the younger brother as usual. You know Peyton has never let him win anything in life, and when they’re old and gray and sitting on the porch chasing the grandkids, Peyton will hold his 3-0
record over Eli’s head forever.
Damn those older siblings.

Some other quick-hit NFL thoughts an another bananas day in the league:
— It’s really fun to watch the Eagles play offense. Not so much fun to watch them play defense. Michael Vick will throw for 6,000 yards this year, and the team will finish 7-9. Good times, eh?
— Biggest positive surprise so far? The 2-0 Chiefs. Still weird to see Andy Reid in red-and-white, but that’s a pretty solid team he’s got there in Kansas City. Biggest disappointment? The Washington RGIII’s (hey, it seems like much of the media has decided not use the offensive “Redskins” name anymore, so RGIII’s is as good as anything else).
Boy does Washington look awful. Their defense is atrocious, they can’t get off to a good start, and there’s no running game to speak of. Griffin doesn’t look fully recovered from his knee injury at all.
— Three games were decided in the last minute Sunday: Chicago-Minnesota, Buffal0-Carolina, San Diego-Philly, and New Orleans-Atlanta, while a fifth, Tennessee-Houston, went to overtime. My point? I have two. First, nobody does drama like the NFL. And 2, why anyone would ever wager on these games is beyond me. Nobody knows what’s going to happen from week to week, and if someone tries to tell you they do, they’re bullshitting you.

**Next up, nothing unusual to see here: Just a college kid catching a fish with only his hair.
One of the many, many reasons I wish I still had lovely mane of locks: I could do stuff like this.


**Finally today, a tale of an athlete so stupid you just have to laugh and just sort of marvel at his stupidity. A couple of weeks ago a Cleveland Indians pitcher named Chris Perez was convicted on drug charges, for mailing a package containing nine ounces of weed.
To his dog.
Yep, Brody the Dog got a package from his owner, which was awfully nice since I’m sure Brodie hadn’t gotten high in at least a few days. All he’d been doing was chasing his tail (which is a lot more fun when you’re stoned, dogs have told me), and running after a tennis ball, (which is an activity that loses its luster when you’re stoned, dogs have also confided in me.)

Ah, Chris Perez. If only you knew the truth: The dog was just ordering the pot for the goldfish; that’s the real drug fiend in your family.

30 years later, the end of “Trading Places” explained. Eli and Peyton rapping hilariously. And company sends horrible message to girls

It’s always nice to have a mystery from my childhood explained to me, like I did Tuesday.
Sadly, it’s not the mystery of why my dictator-like youth soccer coach made us do 50 wind sprints one day, nearly making us pass out.
Nor is it what the hell “ALF” really was. Those mysteries remain unsolved.

However, what the heck was really happening at the end of the classic 1980s movie “Trading Places?” That has finally been explained.
Bloomberg News got Dan Aykroyd, who along with Eddie Murphy was hilarious in the flick, to explain what Billy Ray and Louis were doing to the Duke brothers at the end, during that chaotic scene on the floor of the Exchange.

Now, I finally get it.

childrensplace2**Next, I have to call out The Children’s Place, a store I’ve never set foot in, and now never will. (Hat tip to my friend Kelley Cole for pointing this out on Facebook).

This fine establishment of kids’ clothing decided to send a really horrible message to young girls with their new line of T-shirts.
Seems that it’s not cool or necessary to be smart, or do your homework if you’re a girl.

One T-shirt reads “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” The other one, shown above, has boxes of “shopping,” “music” and “dance” checked off, while math is left blank with “Hey, nobody’s perfect” written underneath.
The fact that these are marketed to kids as young as 5 years old is revolting. I thought Abercrombie & Fitch had cornered the market on creepy tween marketing, but The Children’s Place is right up there with them.

**Finally, Peyton Manning has always killed me with his funny commercials and “SNL” appearances. But he and brother Eli may have hit a new high with this new DirectTV commercial.
Yes, that’s really them. Rapping. Go white boys, go.

Thinking about death after a trip to the cemetery. The Giants and 49ers look awesome. And Alan Grayson, stirring it up again against Walmart

In between Thanksgiving meals, Thanksgiving leftovers, having my annual Thanksgiving weekend dinner with old friends and all that, I went to two cemeteries last week.

No one I knew died recently; I just went to visit my grandparents. Hadn’t been to their graves in a long time (they’ve all been dead for at least 10 years), but something made me want to visit.

Cemeteries are a strange, strange place. Very quiet, and very still, and especially when you’re there by yourself, you sometimes feel a little silly standing there talking to a piece of granite for a few minutes.

But I think it’s important to visit people who were once so important in your lives, even if they can’t really hear or see you anymore. So I talked to them, and told them about some of the milestones in my life they’d missed: the college I graduated from, the career I had as a journalist, my marriage that failed and the one that’s upcoming that I’m so excited about.

It felt good, almost like visiting an old friend. I wish Larry Lewis and Ruth Lewis and Don Kouvant were still here, to meet my fiance and one day meet some more grandkids.

I miss them very much, but cherish the time I had with them. As I was leaving, I promised them I’d come back and visit soon.

I hope I remember to honor my word.

**While still trying to swallow the bile from the Jets’ loss last Thursday (you know it’s bad when even Fireman Ed decides to quit, I took in some good football Sunday. My usual Monday ramblings…

— Now that looked like the Super Bowl champs on Sunday night. The Giants got their swagger back, Eli looked like Eli again, and they even looked like they could run the ball a little. I’m sure Giants fans will still find ways to complain about Eli, though; funniest thing I heard in a while was last week on WFAN, a caller started his point with “I’m not a big Eli fan, I know he won two Super Bowls … and the Jets fan-host, Joe Benigno, practically sputtered, “You know, I wish I could ever get to a point with my team where I say I’m not that big a fan of a guy who won me two Super Bowls!”

Don’t worry Joe, it won’t ever happen.

— I think Jim Harbaugh is crazy for yanking Alex Smith in the midst of a terrific winning season, but man, this Colin Kaepernick kid looks pretty good. Never thought I’d say this, but maybe the Jets can get Alex Smith for next year?

— I know a lot of obnoxious Steelers fans, so it was nice seeing Charlie Batch and friends screw up so royally Sunday.
— Only a Norv Turner-coached team can give up a 4th and 29 in the 4th quarter. I love me some Norv.

**If you follow politics fairly closely, you probably remember Alan Grayson. He’s a liberal Democrat from Florida who had a pretty eventful one-term in Congress a few years ago, standing up to Republicans, and the Iraq War, but got himself into a whole heap of trouble when he called his 2010 opponent “Taliban Dan” and ended up losing his seat.

Basically, Grayson is someone I admire for speaking his mind, but he goes a little too far sometimes. On Thanksgiving, though, I loved what Grayson did.

Just elected to the House again from a different district, Grayson spent his Turkey Day at a Florida Walmart, handing out turkey sandwiches and reminding Walmart employees how badly they’re treated by not being allowed to unionize. Most Walmart “associates” make around $10 an hour, by the way.

So Grayson gave each employee a paper bag that had three things in it: A turkey sandwich, a bag of chips, and a letter explaining their right to organize.

Much to my shock (yeah, right), Grayson was thrown out of the building.

OK, it was a stunt, but it certainly was worth a try. And the fact that one of the largest employers in America refuses to let its own employees bargain for rights, and get needed protection, is just one of the many, many reasons I am disgusted by Walmart.

1 day out from Election Day, and the end of Mitt Romney. Andrew Luck and the Steelers star on an NFL Sunday. And the Hurricane Sandy concert rocked

Finally, the endless campaign is about over.
The undecideds have all finally decided. The constant barrage of emails begging me for money (which have turned my stomach in the past week as the really important reason to give money and time, the recovery/relief efforts of Hurricane Sandy, is so much more vital) are through.

What will happen Tuesday? Obama will win. Oh sure, I’m a little concerned and pissed that the state of Florida seems to be pulling some more crap by turning people away from the polls and cutting hours early, but I cannot believe this election is going to come down to Florida. Too many things would have to break right for Romney all at once on Tuesday for him to win this election. He’d have to get Ohio and Florida and Wisconsin and Virginia and that’s just not happening.

The Senate is what concerns me more; I’ll write more about that in Tuesday’s blog.
Right now though, I’m feeling two conflicting emotions: I can’t wait for Tuesday night to get here, because I freaking love the thrill of election nights.

And two, I can’t wait for Tuesday night to be over.

**Some NFL thoughts on a rare day when I didn’t see much football, but caught up through highlights:

— What in the name of Steve Pelluer is going on with Indianapolis? The Colts were supposed to be terrible this year as rookie QB Andrew Luck learned to play the position at the pro level.
Except he threw for 433 yards Sunday in beating the Dolphins, and Indy is now 5-3 and very much a playoff team in the AFC. Crazy to see that both Peyton Manning’s former team AND his current team have the same record. And check out this speech (above) by Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who’s battling leukemia and has been away for the team for a while, but came to the game Sunday and gave this stirring post-game speech.

— Terrible collapse by the Giants Sunday against the Steelers; Eli Manning and the offense apparently fell asleep at halftime and did squat in the fourth quarter. Even though they won, thought it was a terrible idea for Mike Tomlin to run a fake FG down 20-17 in the fourth quarter. Way too big of a risk. But a hell of a win for the Steelers.

— I guess Obama’s doomed; the Redskins lost their last home game before the election, and 17 of the last 18 times, that means the incumbent party in the White House lost the election. Oh well. President Romney it is.

— How good is the Bears defense? Every damn week they score a TD. My best fantasy football move ever was picking them up in week 2.

–Those Seahawks uniforms are by far the ugliest thing in the NFL right now. Except for Mark Sanchez’s quarterback play, of course.

**Not sure how many of you saw Friday night’s Hurricane Sandy benefit concert on NBC, but it was just outstanding. Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Christina Aguilera, Sting and others performed in a quiet studio and all sung beautiful, somber songs that really captured the mood of New York right now.

(The one bizarre note of the whole show was Jimmy Fallon, God love ’em, singing lead vocals on “Under the Boardwalk” while Springsteen, Joel and Steven Tyler sang backup. Whose idea was that?

The full one-hour concert (which can be seen here)  raised more than $22 million for the Red Cross. Fantastic job, all involved.

Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast; I’ve got bread and water so I’m good. The Jets… oy. And Mitt, lying ever more brazenly

For the first time in my life, there’s a hurricane named after my mother.
But I’m pretty sure she’s never gone 75 miles per hour in her life (even when we were late for school in the car pool), like the winds that are going to whip through New York and up and down the East Coast Monday.
Man, this is going to be one hell of a storm. There’s been talk of nothing else all weekend here in my corner of the world. Bread and water and gasoline and you name it, all stocked up.

Personally, I’m feeling pretty safe. It’s not like I can really go anywhere in Manhattan Monday; the subway, the trains, all of it, shut down completely.

They’re calling it the biggest tropical cyclone in history, so this could be quite a bit worse than Irene last year, which was pretty bad for Connecticut and other parts.
Hurricanes used to seem fun as a kid; then I moved to North Carolina and saw how devastating they can be.

I hope if you’re reading this on the East Coast, that’s a good sign you’ve still got electricity. Stay safe, my friends. Just ride out and hopefully by Tuesday night, we’ll all be getting ready to eat lots of candy and try to figure out why everyone went as Taylor Swift or a vampire for Halloween.

Final hurricane thought: Can you imagine if this storm hit a week later, on Election Day? Mass chaos.

**Not much to say about the Jets’ pathetic showing on Sunday, which would’ve had to have improved by a lot to really be called “pathetic.” A couple short thoughts, since I got my venting out hours ago during the game.

— There’s really never going to be a time where Rex Ryan benches Mark Sanchez. If it didn’t happen Sunday (and I know it wasn’t all his fault, but he was bad), with a dull, lifeless team getting blown out at home by the Dolphins, it’s not going to happen at all.

— I’m not there yet, but almost to a point where I hope they lose the rest of their games so they can get a high draft pick and start over with a new QB. I don’t think owner Woody Johnson is going to fire Rex and GM Mike Tannenbaum yet, but man he ought to start thinking about it.

— I am so sick and tired of these unlikable Jets players and their attitude and their woofing. Freaking disgusts me how much a 3-5 team talks shit to the other team.

Other, happier NFL thoughts from Sunday…

— My poor soon-to-be father-in-law nearly had a stroke watching the Giants-Cowboys (I was there with him; I should’ve had a blood-pressure machine hooked up to him, at least). Giants go up 23-0 when Tony Romo did his best Mark Sanchez impression. Then the ‘Boys storm back to go up 24-23, only for th Giants to re-take the lead 29-24.

Followed by the Cowboys scoring on a quasi-Hail Mary with six seconds left… that was overturned by replay and ruled incomplete. What a nuts game, but the Giants always seem to win them.

 I know the Saints’ defense stinks, but anyone out there still have doubts about how good Peyton Manning is?
— Crazy finish to that Bears game. Carolina is coming up with new ways to lose every week.
— I think Andy Reid will finally be shown the door in Philly after this year. His team played a dog of a game Sunday (and yes, that’s a reference for you, Mr. Vick).


**Mitt Romney is getting more and more desperate. The election is only a week away, he’s going to lose this race, and so he and his team are just flinging more and more bullshit at the wall in the hopes that somehow, it will stick.

His latest complete fabrication? While talking to a group in Ohio, he said that Chrysler is closing down its Jeep plant in Toledo and moving all Jeep manufacturing to China.

Completely, 100 percent not true, as Chrysler pointed out in this blog post immediately after Romney said it.

It’s one thing to scare the hell out of voters about what “the other guy” will do. It’s another to basically tell thousands of Ohioans that they’re about to be fired.

Ah, the last desperate breaths of a desperate campaign.