Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Keep Favre's Breakout Game In Perspective

Brett Favre finally had his breakout game for the NY Jets we all knew he would eventually have. Who thought he would throw for 6 TD's in one game, 3 to Laveranues Coles? Well I for one know that anything is possible with Favre. But with that possibility also comes the risk of throwing some interceptions when chances are taken. So if you want Favre and Schettenheimer to take those chances rather than run the ball three times in a row (i.e. New England Game) you have to be willing to accept an interception or two along the way. He's that kind of a quarterback; you have to let him take his chances and sling the ball and hope that he makes more plays than he blows; and historically he's made a whole lot more than he's blown to date.

Favre's breakout game is due to two major reasons though. One: Favre is more on the same page, obviously, with his receivers, especially Coles who had his best game TD-wise with 3 TD's. Two: The Arizona Cardinals are not such a great team. They tried to hand the game to the Jets with 7 turnovers (3 INT's, 4 Fumbles lost). The Jets took the game over in the 2nd quarter by scoring 34 points after a scoreless 1st quarter, but tried to hand the game back to the Cardinals by spotting them 21 points in the 3rd quarter to make things interesting. They just happened to outscore them in the 4th quarter enough to win the game by 21, in a wild mistake filled game with a Final score of 56-35 Jets. Crazy!!! But keep this win in perspective. Favre did have a breakout game, no doubt, and it's nice to see Cole's get over his crush on Chad Pennington already and get involved in a big way; but The Jets defense really played up and down in this game by laying down in the 3rd quarter and giving up 35 points in the second half. The Jets were lucky they were playing the hapless Cardinals who repeatedly turned the ball over at the most inopportune times (like the whole game). So far this season the Jets beat two Bad-to-Mediocre teams and lost to two Superior teams. So keep it in perspective. They're 2-2 now. Not bad, but not great either. Favre does make it exciting and the Defense did show flashes of what they might become, but they were too inconsistent to believe they're gonna get away with a win every week if they play like that. The Jets are headed in the right direction from the looks of it. They just have to continue to head that way. In two weeks, after the Bye Week, we'll see. They play Cincinnati, an 0-4 team, who most likely will be 0-5 after playing Dallas this week, and will certainly have their backs up against the wall one way or another. That should be a game The New York Jets dominate too. They could easily be 3-2 going into week 7. Don't think they're sittin' pretty yet. We'll see. Enjoy being .500 right now though fellow Jets fans. Enjoy.

Cool Sports Blankets!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shea It Isn't So! Mets Anything But Amazin'

The New York Mets organization paid tribute to Shea Stadium last night in an anti-climactic celebration following their season ending, playoff eliminating, loss to the Florida Marlins. While the '08 "Anything But Amazin'" Mets cried in their clubhouse after the 4-2 loss, Mets greats from the past participated in a bittersweet ceremony to bid farewell to Shea. Such greats as Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Lenny Dykstra, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight "Doc" Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Tom Seaver, Mike Piazza, and a whole lot more participated in the ceremony. Each one stepped on home plate one last time. They finished the ceremony with a last (ground) pitch by Seaver to Piazza, followed by the two of them walking off embracing and closing the big blue gates leading to the field one last time while waving goodbye. The Beatles "In My Life" played through the PA system. I couldn't help but think about how the Jets used to open those gates up when the opposing teams would attempt field goals, inviting the swirling winds, and close them on the Jets FG attempts. However sweet it was to see Seaver and Piazza walk off together, two generations of Mets beloved by fans, it was that much bitter to see the last Mets season at Shea Stadium end the way it did; with a loss to the Marlins, and a win by the Brewers to clinch the NL Wildcard spot. The second year in a row collapsing at the end of the season and failing to live up to their potential. It's a bitter pill to swallow for any Mets fan. Who knows what they'll do next year; hopefully they turn over a new leaf in their new Citi Field Stadium. They need to be more consintent the first half of the season so that they're not in that position again. They need to do something about the lame bullpen and get a competent closer to replace Wagner. Oh well Mets..See ya next year. Farewell Shea Stadium. Thanks for all the good (and bad) memories. It's been Real, It's been Fun, It hasn't been Real Fun.

Photo: Kathy Kmonicek, Newsday

Friday, September 26, 2008

Can NY Mets Pull Off One More Miracle For Shea?

Can the Roller-Coaster Mets turn into The Miracle Mets one more time for Shea Stadium in a finale series against the Florida Marlins this weekend? Or will the 3rd place Marlins play spoiler again like a recurring nightmare replay of last seasons collapse? Will we see Pedro Martinez pitch another game at Shea Stadium, or anywhere other than Hall Of Fame videos in Cooperstown? Who knows? What we do know is the Mets won't win these games, or playoff games, with the bullpen. The only way they'll win is with great offense; hitting and base running like last night at Shea in a win to prevent a 3 game series sweep by the Chicago Cubs, who took the first two games of the series in two heart breakers. You never know with these '08 New York Mets. Last night had that Miracle Mets feel in the last 2 innings when in the 9th Carlos Beltran hit his 12th game winning RBI of the season, driving in Jose Reyes from second base, after a two run eighth inning on a Ramon Martinez single RBI and a miracle play slide by Ryan Church into home plate off a Robinson Cancel hit. Church was beat by the perfect throw by rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome to catcher Koyie Hill but somehow slid around Hill to his right and Hill missed him on a swipe tag allowing Church to reach back and score. The runs in the 8th set up the winning RBI by Beltran in the 9th to possibly save The Mets season and extend Shea Stadiums life a little longer. Thank the Baseball Gods it didn't come down to the relief pitching or closer Luis Ayala or any other closer, because whenever it comes down to the bullpen you know what the results are. Lets go Mets. Lets put a couple of games of really good offense together. Lets make some more of those miracle plays. Lets do it for Shea.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jets Need To Capitalize On Opportunity vs Chargers

Brett Favre and The New York Jets need to capitalize on this opportunity against the weak pass defense of the San Diego Chargers tonight at Qualcomm Stadium on Monday Night Football. This is the perfect time for Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to let Favre open up and air it out against a Charger's Defense, ranked 30th in the NFL, that gave up 437 yards in their first two games. Now is the time to sieze the moment to catch up to the New England Patriots(2-1), who lost to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday for the first regular season loss in 21 games. Especially after a week of heavy criticism by the New York media in response to last weeks conservative play calling against the Patriots in a series in which they rushed the ball three times in a row inside the Pats 10 yard line and didn't put it in. They wound up settling for a field goal on that series and ultimately lost the game. It would be a shame if The NY Jets didn't take advantage of this rare opportunity to be neck-and-neck with the Mighty Patriots at 2-and-1 three games in to the young season. So you gotta hope Schottenheimer unleashes Favre's arm finally. Let the Gunslinger sling the gun. Get ready Coles, Cotchery, and Stuckey; hopefully you'll have big games and open this thing up already on the big Monday Night Football stage.

Photo: C.W. Griffin/Miami Herald via MCT

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bottom Of The 9th 2 Outs Full Count For Yankee Stadium

It's hard to believe tonight is the last game at Yankee Stadium, "The House Ruth Built". Wow! Even this Mets fan can wax poetic about the MLB stadium with the richest history in the league. It's seen more World Series Games and MLB Championship Teams than any other baseball stadium in history. For me it's partly because my parents were both born and raised in The Bronx and my Father, Grandfathers, and Uncle were obviously NY Yankee Fans from the get go. My parents eventually settled on Long Island and my Father switched over to The NY Mets since my brother (not me yet since I was but a tot) and eventually I were Mets fans due to the proximity of Queens and Shea Stadium. The Mets were, and are, more of a Long Island team in my opinion. Anyway, I saw my first baseball game I can remember at Yankee Stadium probably around 1969 when I was 4 years old. My Grandfather brought my brother and I. I wish I had a picture from that day. I do have a memory though. My Grandfather was upset that all my brother and I were interested in were the hot dogs, cotton candy, and peanuts. Oh well, what do you expect from two little Mets fans? I still feel it's sad that this "Coliseum" of sorts will be torn down. What an incredible building. It's as much part of the New York landscape as The Twin Towers were. Well it's the bottom Of The 9th, 2 Outs, Full Count for Yankee Stadium. Goodbye House That Ruth Built. We'll miss you. You'll forever be ingrained in our memories as New Yorkers and Major League Baseball fans.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Acclaimed Sports Photographer Neil Leifer Book Signing SoHo NYC

Taschen Store in SoHo, New York City is hosting an event with the acclaimed sports photographer Neil Leifer tomorrow, Sept 19th. Leifer did a collector’s edition with Taschen last year that has sold out. Neil Leifer is a noted photographer for the Time family of magazines. As a boy in New York City, Leifer would gain free admission to New York Giants games by pushing the wheelchairs of handicapped patrons into the stadium. Using his free ticket and a camera, he would then position himself on the field with the photographers...Neil Leifer has photographed greats such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Bear Bryant, Willie Mays, etc. (read more about Leifer). This signing tomorrow is to celebrate the release of the unlimited $40 trade edition of his book. Taschen Store is located at 107 Greene Street NYC. If you love the photos of Neil Leifer don't miss this event. For more information call Taschen Store at 212-226-2212.

Photo: Neil Leifer

Monday, September 15, 2008

New England Patriots Still Class of AFC East and NFL

The NY Jets still couldn't pull off a victory against the New England Patriots at the Meadowlands Sunday even with The Patriot's hands tied behind their back. Without Tom Brady leading the Bunch the Patriots proved they're still the team to beat in the AFC East. Matt Cassel's first career start(16-for-23,165 yards,no TD's,no INT's) was one in the "W" column for the Pats as well as the New York Jets first loss of the season, dropping their record to .500, and extending the Patriots regular season winning streak one more game. It's apparent that even with Brett Favre (18-for-26,1TD,1INT) at quarterback Mangini's Jets are still not in the same class as the Patriots. The Jets were in the game until the fourth quarter, but just missed too many opportunities and made too many mistakes to compete on the same level as New England. Matt Cassel and Belichick's Patriots played mistake free football as usual, and The Jets were "the same old Jets" as usual too! The major difference between teams was the Jets were penalized 6 times for 60 yards compared to twice for 10 yards by the Pats, and the big interception of Favre by Brandon Meriweather on an ill advised, off balance pass in the 3rd quarter. Sometimes the chances Favre takes pay off, sometimes they don't. This was one that worked against him. Like the interception in last years Championship game against The Giants, Favre wished he could have this one back. Lets face it; Favre is exciting to watch because of the risks he takes to put his team in a winning position. But sometimes these very risks he takes backfire, and this time that's what happened. Another hiccup was Jay Feely's missed 31-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter. You just can't make these kind of mistakes if you plan on beating the Patriots. Just ask the other NFL team that plays in New Jersey. Tom Brady is certainly one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but the Patriots proved that they can win without him. They're still a great team with a great system and a great coach (however much he lacks in personality). The Patriots are still the team to beat in the AFC East and in the NFL!

NY Mets Going Nowhere Fast

With 14 Games remaining in the '08 regular season the NY Mets seem to be headed down the same path as last September. The path to nowhere! With 27 blown saves this season, 11 of which were committed in the 9th inning, The Mets bullpen has the team ready to lose the National League East Division. If they do win it they're not gonna go far without a competent closer. Either somebody wakes up or the New York Mets can kiss the Pennant goodbye. This past weekend The Mets dropped two out of three to the weak Atlanta Braves after nice starting efforts by Johan Santana in Saturday's early game and Oliver Perez Sunday were blown in the 9th innings of those games. The Mets salvaged the series with one win in the late game Saturday. It seems as though they're trying to emulate last years collapse, blowing a seven game lead with 17 games remaining. Now they only have a one game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies with 14 games left. I guess if Luis Ayala or someone else doesn't pick up the slack of losing Billy Wagner the Mets seem like they're destined to repeat the downward spiral of last years end to the season. It's like their games are a microcosm of the season; sometimes strong going into the home stretch, but they find a way to blow it in the end.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Should NY Jets Rejoice Pat's Tom Brady Out?

Players and teams are never happy to see opponents get hurt, especially a season ending injury like New England Patriots Tom Brady suffered the first game of the season Sunday. And the Jets did express sympathetic feelings upon learning of Brady's season being cut short. But the consequences do exist. Matt Cassel will be the starter at the Meadowlands next week against the NY Jets, and presumably the rest of the '08 season; and you would expect the Jets, and the rest of the NFL's AFC East, to rejoice that they won't have to face him this year. But stop right there Don't write off the New England Patriots just yet! Bill Belichick's teams have overcome key losses in the past (see Brady replacing an injured Drew Bledsoe a few years back) and they'll most likely rise to the occasion again. You never know! They may find another rising star in Cassel. He certainly has a great supporting cast around him on offense, and Belichick's Defenses are always strong units with lots of depth and this year will be no exception. So don't start rejoicing yet Jets Fans. There's plenty of football left. Tom Brady was just one player, although an important one, on a very strong team. He didn't single handedly win 16 regular season games and two Playoff games including the AFC Championship Game in '07. He was just one player on a whole team of champions to make it happen. I expect the Patriots will not lose a beat. They'll persevere; and they'll still rise to the top. It should be interesting though to see how this plays out for the Jets and the rest of the AFC East. What do you think will happen?

Note: New York Jets signed Kicker Jay Feely, 32, to replace the injured Mike Nugent.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Brett Favre's NY Jets Have That Magical Feel

The New York Jets much anticipated debut of Brett Favre vs the Chad Pennington led Miami Dolphins, which came right down to the wire, showed that this season, if nothing else, will be lots of fun for NY Jets Fans. It was fun to watch Favre(15-for-22,194 yards,2TD) work his magic with a mix of smarts, awareness of the situations around him, and a few gambling improvisational moves thrown in when needed. That 4th and 13 TD toss from the Dolphins 22 yard line to Chansi Stuckey proved that with Favre at Quarterback anything can happen. Not to mention his first TD pass as a Jet, a 56 yard play to Jericho Cotchery on 1st and 10 from the Jets 44 in the 1st Quarter (whoops! I mentioned it). Not that Chad Pennington(26-for-43,251 yards,2TD,1Int) was a slouch with the Jets or as a Dolphin yesterday, but Favre just has a special magic about him that can't be defined; and if yesterdays game is any indication of things to come this season for The New York Jet's it's gonna be interesting and exciting to watch. He brings that long game back to the Jets that they've lacked for a long time; probably since Vinny Testeverde's mirage season. The respect for that passing game also seemed to open up the running game for Thomas Jones; who ran for 101 yards and a TD, matching his TD total of last season in his first game of this one.

The Jets Defense looked pretty good too; with constant pressure on Pennington, including 4 Sacks of him, and giving up only 49 yards on the ground. Although it did get a little scary towards the end with Pennington driving with his ball control offense and never give up attitude, but the Jets Defense held on with a big interception by Terrelle Revis with seconds left in the game to put it away. And new aquisitions Calvin Pace (5 Tackles, 1 Sack) and Kris Jenkins, and Rookie Dwight Lowery (4 Tackles, 3 pass deflections) looked impressive.

Right now things look pretty good for the Jets. 1 and 0 for the season. Undefeated! Yes Jets Fans let's have fun this season and enjoy it while it lasts, because even if we do make the NFL Playoffs this year, and advance in them, the speculation will start again: will he play or will he retire. Oh well, just have fun and enjoy The Magic. Let's do it Brett! Jets,Jets,Jets!