Category Archives: Sports

Fans? Who cares about fans? Fans are suckers

Sports is a business I know that but today the NFL in voting to approve the Raiders move to Las Vegas showed us once again that not only is sports a business but it’s owners think of the fans as nothing more than suckers.

Let’s be clear here the Raiders, one of the league’s most storied franchises, have one of the most loyal rabid fan bases in the NFL. There is no questioning that. Even after the Raiders left them for 12 years in the 80s and 90s they welcomed them home as if they had never left. They dress up for games and root like hell for a team that gave them a decade of putrid football. But that didn’t matter because win lose or draw they were their Oakland Raiders. Simply put if you never been to a Raiders home game you have missed out on one of the best spectacles in all of sport. But because the city of Oakland wouldn’t bow to the pressure of 32 billionaire owners and provide them with a corporate welfare check to finance a stadium, at a time when the City has far more pressing economic concerns,  the Raiders told one of the NFL’s best fan bases to kiss its ass and you know why? Because they can. They can because the NFL knows the fan is a sucker.

Between 1982 and 96 iconic NFL franchises moved all over the map. the Raiders moved twice, the Colts moved, The Browns moved, the Rams moved, the Oilers moved. The league awarded Cleveland and Houston new franchises to help ease the pain and put the expansion buy-in fee into their pockets. Through it all the cash kept on pouring in. Baseball once cancelled a World Series in 1994 and while it isn’t what was it used to be nationally it is doing just fine regionally as owners are flush with more money than ever before. The NBA markets its stars more than any other league. Come out and see Lebron James and the Cavs they yell and then teams casually and with no regard to its paying fan will rests whole lineups, on the road, the only time they’ll play in that city all year. Even hockey who decided to cancel an entire SEASON once and makes no attempt to grow their game to new fans like baseball sees its owners sitting on more money than ever before. How is this possible? Because the league knows the fans are suckers. No matter how bad they treat us, no matter how many teams up and leave, no matter how high the prices go or bad the product gets we’ll still scream and cheer for our team. We’ll still open up our wallets and feed the beast.

Today 32 NFL owners had a great day as they pondered the revenue from their shiny new toy in Vegas and likely expansion fee revenue for the new team in Oakland, you know that’s going to happen.  But it was a sad day for the NFL fan especially Oakland and as the billionaire owners smile for the cameras and count the cash they whisper to each –  Fans? Who cares what the fans think? Fans are suckers

In Defense of A-Rod

I love the Yankees but I’ve always been disgusted by the hypocrites who call sports talk radio to voice their displeasure with A-Rod, he’s a disgrace to pinstripes, he’s a cheat, he’s a bum, get him out of here. These same hypocrites however proudly boast of all the Yankees championships including the most recent one in 2009. A championship the Yankees don’t win if it wasn’t for A-Rod.

A-Rod is no doubt a flawed figure and almost all of his troubles were self inflicted. But by all accounts his teammates love him and he goes out of his way to help and support the young kids on the Yankees. I think it speaks volumes that after everything the Yankees still want him to be a part of the organization and work with the next generation of Bronx Bombers. I don’t think any of us will ever know and even if we did understand what fueled a man blessed with his physical abilities to make some of the bad decisions A-Rod has made. He forever tarnished what should have been a career for the ages. Yet In a sports world where we cheer for known domestic violence abusers because they can still help our team win or turn a blind eye to other crimes against women and society because the accused can sack the quarterback I’m not going to burn A-Rod at home plate because of his PED sins. Rather I’ll accept them as part of he was and judge him as a whole. Because despite 696 home runs he is still only a man and men make mistakes.

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/watch-brian-cashman-removes-his-2009-world-series-ring-in-a-rods-defense/

Hey Mets fans worry about your team not the Yankees

I interrupt the start of this baseball season for an important message.

Ok Mets fan we get it your team is good, real good. But stop with the narrative that Yankees fans are bandwagon fans, that we won’t support them in a rebuild. I mean come on until midway through last summer Citi wasn’t exactly rocking. Not like Mets fans were packing the joint. Not like the line at Shake Shack wasn’t longer than people actually watching the game. So enjoy your team it should be a real fun summer out in Flushing but please stop talking about my Yankees and their fans.

That is all I now return to your season already in progress.

Morning after Super Bowl take aways

Morning after Super Bowl take aways

It wasn’t Whitney Houston at Super Bowl 25 but Lady Gaga you crushed the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50. Bravo!

Sloppy, that was one incredibly sloppy game.

When will we learn that when a team brings a defense like Denver did to the big game no matter what offense they bring they are probably going to win the game.

In a year of horrible officiating the refs blew yet another one as they ruled it wrong on the field then blew the replay by not overturning Cotchery’s catch in the 1st quarter. It kept the Panthers deep in their own territory and two plays later Miller strips sacks Newton and the Broncos are in the end zone. 10-0 and the Panthers are chasing that 7 points all game.

Nice of the NFL to give us two halftime shows first the bland with Coldplay then the funky with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars

Cam Newton you had great season but you know you have to dive on that fumble in the 4th quarter even if you don’t get it you have to try to get it.

Peyton Manning the greatest QB of his generation, yeah I said it Patriots fans, goes 13 for 23 for 141 yards no touchdowns and a pick yet now everyone says his legacy is restored, now he’s in that discussion of the greatest ever. Really? Now he’s in the discussion? This performance after the career he had cemented his place in history? That just shows how foolish that argument is in the first place. Football is a team game.

Dan Marino I don’t care what Alec Baldwin says you’re still a better dancer than JJ Watt.

Cam Newton you had great season part 2 but you can’t dab and take sideline pictures and smile while going 15-1 and then sulk and walk out of the press conference when you lose. I know it hurts and you wear your emotions on your sleeve but as the face of the franchise you have to stand tall in victory and defeat.

Just wondering had Cam won and then repeatedly told America that he was going to drink a lot of beer like Peyton did what America’s reaction would have been?

Eli I know you just lost your Thanksgiving dinner bragging rights now that big bro has two rings like you but when the camera is on the family’s box and the whole family is celebrating you have to at least pretend to happy for Peyton.

Fire up the Hot Stove – Yankees trade for Hicks

The Yankees jumped right in at the general manager’s meeting trading John Ryan Murphy to the Twins for outfielder Aaron Hicks. With this trade the Yankees youth movement continues, albeit at a glacial pace. This is yet another small but smart move by Brian Cashman. Hicks is a plus defender and immediately becomes the Yankees best defensive outfielder. He was a prime time prospect, a 2008 first round draft pick who has been slow to develop but looks to have turned the corner and at just 26 years of age he’s six years younger than both Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury. With Didi Gregorius at short stop and Hicks potentially in center the Yankees have the making of a solid defense up the middle.

Murphy may be a solid catcher down the road but he’s stuck behind Brian McCann and not nearly the talent Gary Sanchez is who had a nice season in AA AND AAA and is just ripping up the Arizona Fall league. This move also allows them to explore moving Gardner and beside the obvious financial flexibility that would afford the Yankees they may be able to get a young starter for him and if last year showed anything you can never have enough starting pitching.

Now if only Cashman could find a taker for Mark Teixeira so they could play Greg Bird everyday and convince Carlos Beltran he best helps the team in a part time role next year so they can see what they have in Arron Judge this team may be on the way to ripping up their AARP card.

Hell yes I’m a New Yorker – Hell no I’m not rooting for the Mets

I’m a New Yorker born and raised and I proudly carry the banner of the Big Apple. When I’m away from home people ask me where I’m from and I respond the City. They look puzzled and say but you’re in a city now. Yeah I say but I’m from “THE CITY”. I moved to Long Island for a few years, temporary insanity, but I never changed my driver’s license because I always knew, I’d be back,after all the five boroughs are my home even if I temporarily resided in a strange world of monolithic split level homes, driveways, and mediocre Chinese food.

I’m  also a Yankees fan. The Yankees were my first love and even though the New York Giants bring out my greatest passion now there will always be a special place in my heart for my first love. I tell you this today because the other baseball team in town, the New York Mets, stands on the precipice of returning to the World Series for the first time since 2000. You remember 2000 the year the Yankees reminded the Mets who was big brother dismissing them in five games. But I digress, today with the Mets on their run to a possible world championship I am constantly asked if as a New Yorker I’m excited, am I rooting for them, am I going to watch the game tonight. My answer in order is no, no and maybe as long as it doesn’t run up against The Walking Dead. This is of course meets with utter disdain. Eyes roll and accusations are hurled. Well of course you’re not excited because you’re a hateful Yankees fan, you’re just jealous. What kind of New Yorker are you anyway? Well first off I’m an awesome New Yorker.  As a Yankees fan that goes without saying right?  But again I digress. The simple fact of the matter is I am not a Mets fan. I have no emotional attachment to them and to be honest most of the time I view the Mets the same way I view the St. Louis Cardinals or Milwaukee Brewers just another team that plays Major League Baseball. The Mets barely register on my radar I’m not the Yankees fan who is worried about the Mets taking over the town, because the town is after all New York, eight million plus people, so I’m pretty confident it’s big enough for both of us.

No I’m a Yankees fan through and through. In the off season I worry about the moves of the Red Sox and Orioles not the Phillies and Nationals. When spring training rolls around my attention is squarely on Tampa, hell I don’t even know what a Port St. Lucie is. Regular season my mode of transportation is the D or the 4 not the 7. I’m the arrogant Yankee fan all others baseball fans warned you about. Yes I’ll constantly remind you not only that they have won 27 championships but that no team in your lifetime or your children’s lifetime will ever have as many. You’re from Boston – Nice to meet you.  Hey do remember 1978 and Bucky “bleeping” Dent? No? What about 2003 and Aaron “bleeping” Boone?

Yes I’m a Yankees fan and you want me just because they play in the same city to “root” for the Mets. I don’t think so. Now to be clear I’m not rooting for the Mets to lose and in some way it would be nice to see my friends who are Mets fan and have been beaten down by the Mets happy if only for a minute. But they shouldn’t ask me or want me to hop on the band wagon now. To be a true sports fan you can only give your heart to one team in any sport and only to the players who wear that team’s jersey. You never have a favorite player on another team; yeah I’m looking at you Knicks fans who loved MJ. You can delight in another team’s demise. Boo Hoo Cowboys fans Dez Bryant didn’t catch that pass, at least that what the refs said. But you sure as hell don’t root for the Packers to win. And when your team wins oh baby it is sweet and you don’t want people who were never emotionally invested in them, didn’t feel the pain when they lost, couldn’t tell you who the 25th man on the roster is celebrating with you. It’s your moment; your time to celebrate and look down from Mount Championship and bellow is there no team out here to challenge mine.

So Mets fans stop asking me to root for your team and don’t you ever question the New Yorker in me. It’s your moment own it, enjoy it, just don’t ask me to join you.

The Rangers season was it a failure? Yes – Yes it was

“Lou, I’ve just won you the pennant. I got you Steve Trout!”

George Steinbrenner uttered these words in 1987 after he traded promising young pitcher Bob Tewksbury for the aforementioned Steve Trout. Trout posted a 6.60 ERA in his only season in New York. He walked more batters (37) than he struck out (27) and the Yankees finished fourth.

In their quest to win the World Series in the 1980s the Yankees traded away young prospects like Willie McGee voted one of the 50 best players in St. Louis Cardinal history, Doug Drabek the 1990 NL Cy Young Award winner, Jose Rios the 1990 World Series MVP, Fred McGriff 493 career home runs and Jay Buhner 310 homer runs and 2004 inductee into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame, for veteran players none of whom brought them a championship.

Those moves did however help the Yankees of the 1980s win more games than any other team in Major League Baseball yet they never won that World Series they were chasing, never hung that banner and after all was said and done the Yankees and their fans, despite all their regular season wins had nothing to show for their pursuit of the championship but dashed dreams and a barren farm system which led to a record of 288 wins 369 loses between 1989 and 1992 and Frank Costanza wondering why the hell did we trade Jay Buhner.

A rough period for the Bombers but one that would have been a lot easier to stomach if Yankees fans would have had that one banner to point back to. A banner just like the one the 1986 Mets could point to. A banner that enabled the Mets who despite all the regular season success the Yankees had claim New York as their town. You see no matter what anyone says deep down the truth in sports is

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Over the last four years the New York Rangers have been to 3 Eastern Conference Finals and 1 Stanley Cup Finals. They have played more playoffs games than any other team in that period yet the last time Gary Bettman in his rather awkward manner asked a Rangers captain to come get the Cup was 21 years ago and counting. In an effort to capture the elusive Stanley Cup Rangers GM Glen Sather has gone all in to win.  Last year trading Ryan Callahan and first round picks in 2014 and 2015 for 39 year old Martin St. Louis and this year trading top prospect Anthony Duclair, a lottery-protected first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-round pick in 2015 for defenseman Keith Yandle. If you’re counting and you should be that’s 3 first round picks, 1 second round pick, 1 20 something year old Center, 1 top prospect and 0 Stanley Cups.

So as a Rangers fan am I’m angry this morning? Hell yeah I am. Do I consider this season a failure? Hell yeah I do. Rangers fans who tell you they’re not and it isn’t are either lying to themselves or are living the same fantasy notion we sell to kids today – Everybody’s a winner here’s your trophy for just showing up. Sadly that’s not real life. In this version of the NHL there is no team like the early 80s Islanders or mid 80s Oilers out there with Hall of Famers up and down there lineup. This Rangers team is as good as any team out there and they had the experience of 3 conference finals and 1 Stanley Cup final working in their favor. They had built to this moment for 4 years and when it came they came up short, woefully short. They lost to a young inexperienced team. They lost to a team with a coaching staff that was less experienced yet somehow made adjustments for games 5 and 7 that the Rangers staff seemed unable to counter. Their top goal scorer became a grinder for two straight playoff years and that is unacceptable. Think about it if Mark Messier guaranteed a game 6 victory in 1994 and had gone scoreless and the Rangers got shut out would anyway have lauded his penalty kills. In the biggest game of the season last night Rick Nash had one shot on goal. Let me say that again one shot!! The Rangers seemed to say let’s sit back and play conservative hockey, Lundqvist will save the day until Tampa makes a mistake. Except Tampa had different plans they weren’t about to make a mistake not on this night and this time it was the King who blinked. Lundqvist, after standing on his head for two periods, let in a soft goal and really when you think about how brilliant he has been the law of averages said it was due to happen. And speaking of Lundqvist here another parallel to the 80s Yankees. Don Mattingly. One day Lundqvist like Mattingly will see his number retired and fans will reminisce about all the great moments he gave them and then like Mattingly if the Rangers never get over the hump lament the fact that he never won a Cup. Lundqvist will be 34 by the time the playoffs begin next year the window may not be closing fast by make no mistake it is closing and world class goalies like Lundqvist don’t grow on trees. Lundqvist more than any other reason is why the Rangers are in win now mode and why every year they don’t their fans have every reason to be upset and when you get shut out in game 7 at home and your fans are left to wonder: Where was the urgency? Where was the step up performances by the stars, not named Lundqvist? Why did the best team in hockey, record wise, let an inexperienced Tampa team dictate the pace of the game? Their fans have every reason to be angry as well