At halftime of last night’s Super Bowl, the Mets/Giants fan contingent at the party I was at huddled in a corner worried as all hell that Tom Brady and the Patriots had turned the momentum of this game around and had taken total control. The biggest complaint was that the pass rush of the Giants wasn’t putting enough pressure on the Pats OL and thus giving Brady way too much time in the pocket.

The Highlander/Giants fan section just looked at us and laughed. “Hey, fuck Tom Brady, Wes Welker and that cripple Gronk” but “don’t you guys see this momentum swing”? To that they reply, “Have you seen Eli in the 4th quarter” then came the kick to the Mets fans nuts “He ain’t David Wright you know” it wasn’t the knock on Wright that hurt but the laughter that came with it.

The Highlander/Giants fans look at Eli now as they do Derek Jeter. Eli is now New York Sports royalty. Two Super Bowl trophies and two Super Bowl MVP’s, have moved him to the front of the line with the likes of DiMaggio, Mantle, Jeter, even I dare say Messier close to Willis Reed right there with fellow Giants immortal Lawrence Taylor. It’s one thing to be a one-time champ in this town but when you get not only multiple titles but the MVP both times, you are in the rarefied air of NYC sports icons.

Again I never saw this coming, and I doubt any Giants fan did either. The story line here is on December 19th the word on the NY sports street was Coughlin’s got to go, Jerry Reese too, in fact clean house altogether. The defense, the corner stone of the Giants franchise, was one of the worst in the league statistically but as the injured returned and the pass rush led by neophyte All World DT JPP and Justin Tuck taking the heat off the secondary was key for this Giants resurgence.

Now the coach, GM and QB are Teflon, no more criticisms, no more second guessing of this group after two championships in four years, a fan can get used to this.

Maybe this and the NY Rangers resurgence is a good omen for the Mets. Both teams’ foundations are built on home grown players that were drafted or signed and traded for using comprehensive scouting. Mets fans have to hope the front office can find a baseball equivalent of Victor Cruz an undrafted free agent. Or make a deal that brings back a Ryan McDonagh type that has the great confluence of youth, toughness and talent.

I’m livin’ La Vida Loco of my sports fan life right now, one of my teams of rooting interest will be parading downtown tomorrow morning , right by my office and my favorite hockey team is not only leading the leading their conference but they are the toughest bunch of Rangers to skate the MSG ice and my beloved Celtics, who all the experts claim are too old to make a run not just relying on the Big 3 but on a deep bench that makes major contributions of late, especially the maturation of Avery Bradley and the rookie Boilermakers, JaJuan Johnson and E’Twan Moore (ok sorry about the Celtics tangent)

Maybe Terry Collins will use this Giants victory a physiological tool for his team, which the majority of those who follow baseball believe this coming season to be a train wreck. Collins should tell his team that the same Mets nay-sayers buried the Giants too and drive home the no one loves and respects us but ourselves. Then show them the Canyon of Heroes parade and the fact the champions eat and drink free in NYC.  

 

 

 

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It’s not unusual to have friends and family members with different sports rooting interest as you, I have many friends and relatives who root for the Highlanders, Knicks and the Jets,  even a couple of Devils, Islanders and Nets fans thrown in the mix as well. This week the Giants fan contingent of my inner circle have been in constant contact about what to expect from our Giants tomorrow as they take on the Patriots in Super Bowl 42 and what is fascinating  is how the dominant fan gene takes hold when we discuss the game.

The Highlander/Giants fans of the group are so super confident that the Giants will win, it has the Mets/Giants fan breaking out in a cold sweat. Highlander/Giants says the Giants front four will dominate and that between Justin Tuck and JPP, Tom Brady will be leaving Indianapolis with a toe tag on his man Uggs. Mets/Giants says “it’s Tom Fuckin’ Brady” and he not only has a score to settle with the Giants for Super Bowl 42 and he also played like shit in the AFC Championship game to where he vowed to Pats owner, Bob Kraft he feels he let him and the organization down. Mets/Giants is nervous because he fears Brady’s A game. Highlander/Giants says “Fuck Brady’s A game”.

Highlander/Giants says “ancient history “ when Mets/Giants brings up the team was 7-7 late in the season and how the  Redskins loss in Week 15 is still on my mind. Highlander/Giants then says “that was the last time the G-Men lost, they are on a 5 game winning streak looking better each time out” That when Mets/Giants says “that’s what worries me, the team is due for a bad game and a loss”, to which Highlander/Giants says “I swear to God I don’t know why I’m friends with you (Highlander/Giants family member give me the old you can pick your friends and not your relatives response)and if that wasn’t enough cruelty, Highlander/Giants pours salt in the wound by adding “and you dwell on negative shit forever, Jimmy Qualls, Mike Scioscia, Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright….move the fuck on already”

I can’t help it. Fans of multiple sports teams have a dominant sports fan gene, mine happens to be the Mets fan gene.  See the Giants fan gene I have is strong when it comes to history and loyalty with pride in winning as well. The Giants have won 7 Championships (4 pre-Super Bowl NFL Titles and 3 Lombardi Trophies) same with the Boston Celtics gene that also adds arrogance from our late leader the Great Red Auerbach.  The NY Ranger fan gene runs close to the Mets fan gene in that the Ranger fan gene reacts to overpriced free agent flops and overall anger and disappointment with the team and management.

So as I get ready for tomorrows Super Bowl, a Super Bowl I will watch at a GIANTS FANS ONLY party that will feature more Mets/Giants than Highlander/Giants, my hope is that Highlander/Giants doesn’t keep up their rhetoric during the pre-game dinner as I would hate to sit down to a meal with my hands over my ears yelling “I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!

 

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Every morning I check my e mail and Twitter hoping there is some kind of Mets news to read about and to discuss, today I’m hoping all is quiet on the Flushing Front because I am exhausted from yesterday even though I didn’t do a damn thing but watch TV.  

One of the best features of having FiOS is the NFL Red Zone Channel. You get live cut ins of every NFL games without commercial interruption and when your team is playing on Sunday or Monday night, Red Zone is wonderful. I watched most of Patriots-Redskins (Tom Brady is totally frustrated that the Pat defense is so bad he has turned into an Arena Football League QB having to put up a zillion points to win a football game) and then switched over to Ch 5 to watch Tebow Time (I get that a lot of people are turned off by the religious zealotry of Tebow as people like that get on my nerves as well, but you have to put that aside when looking at this guy. The most over used phrase in sports in “he’s a winner” but the fact is Tebow is a winner. He’s won at every level of football he’s played including QBing two National Championship teams and he’s won a Heisman Trophy.  I get that he is as inaccurate a passer as the local weatherman with a winter forecast but he does make big plays when it’s needed and his teammates believe he makes them and the team better. That’s all that counts. )

After all that I was still waiting for the main event of the evening, Giants-Cowboys. I was totally pissed off that this game wasn’t the 4PM FOX game as I wanted to watch the finale of Boardwalk Empire. I would have put up with the insufferable team of Joe Buck and Troy Akiman just to find out what happens to Nucky Thompson and Jimmy Darmondy. Giants-Cowboys took precedent over the illegal activities in Atlantic City.     

As much as the Mets put me through the ringer, the angst they’ve given me over the last couple of season can’t compare to the love/hate I have for the NY Football Giants of the last couple of years.

I don’t think there is a player or coach on this Giants team I haven’t shouted profanities at my TV at this season? Head Coach Tom Coughlin annoys the living shit out of me with all his reactionary faces to every single play. No one gets more “YOU SHOULD BE FUCKING FIRED” rants than Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride (a Jets fan buddy and I got into a heated discussion over lunch on whose team has the worst OC my Giants with Gilbride or his Jets with “That asshole Shotty”) I cannot stand Brandon Jacobs (not as much as a despised Jeremy Shockey and Palxico Burress when they were G-Men) and there are many times where Eli Manning goes from looking like Johnny Unitas and then like Dave Brown but I never curse at Eli, I  like Eli a lot to the point I feel right now he’s the best quarterback in the history of the New York Giants.  That brings me to last night’s Giants-Cowgirls game.

As I’m watching this game I went over in my head how much I hate the Dallas Cowgirls. Then I started thinking what opposing team of my favorite teams do I hate the most? I ran through all the teams I root for Mets, Giants, NY Rangers, Boston Celtics and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and came up with this list:

Los Angeles Lakers

Philadelphia Flyers

Dallas Cowboys

Philadelphia Eagles

USC

Philadelphia Phillies

 I put the Lakers first on the list because in this modern day of teams fraternizing and always hugging and laughing with each other, when the C’s meet up with the Fakers there is true unadulterated hate between them. These are the two greatest organizations in the history of the NBA  and neither would piss on the other if they were on fire. I love that.

I guess it goes back to 1974 when the Flyers beat the Rangers in the playoffs and the whole Broad Street Bullies era took off. To this day Bobby Clarke is the opposing player I hate to most.

The Cowboys? Jimmy Jones, the whole stupid star at mid-field, Americas Team my ass

The hate for the Iggles is a family hand me down. My father never got over Chuck Bednarik’ hit on Frank Gifford.

Still remember how upset my old man was after the Anthony Davis game when USC came back to beat Notre Dame that sealed the end of the Ara Paseghian era at South Bend.

Now when it comes to the Mets it’s hard to find a real rival. When the Mets were good in the 80’s the rivals were the Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals. Then it was the Braves and lately the Phillies but there has never been that one team with a long history of a rival with the Mets. I never looked at the Highlanders as a Mets rival but more of a neighbor I just ignore.

I was ready to bail from the Giants game right after the Tony Romo 50 yard TD pass to Dez Bryant that put the Cowgirls up 34-22 with like 4 minutes left in the game. I was thisclose to clicking the DVR for Boardwalk Empire but I was just to numb to change the channel. I just kept thinking “well, as bad as this loss is at least there will be a house cleaning of the coaching staff and the Chin will take over” next thing I see Eli marching his team down the field, shredding a Cowgirls  secondary and going to TE Jake Ballard who looked like Gulliver to the Dallas Lilliput DB’s for a TD that brought the Giants to within 5 of the Cowgirls with just 3 minutes and change left in the game. Unfortunately the Giants had to go back on defense. I have no faith in the D which really really bothers me because the Giants have always been known for their D-Fence. Miraculously the D steps up at the most crucial time in this game, well mostly Jason Pierre-Paul and Chirs Canty did the steppin’ and the Cowgirls had to give Eli back the ball.

For all the hype that Tim Tebow gets, Eli Manning is becoming one the best QB’s in pressure situations in all of football. Manning would not disappoint leading the Giants to a game winning TD drive. Does K Gilbride ever get it through his head that Eli in the no-huddle is as good as brother Peyton in these situations? Give Eli the keys to the offense and sit back and look like a genius why don’t ya.

Of course even after the Jacobs TD this game wasn’t over not until JPP says it’s over with his huge block of a last minute Dallas attempt of a game winning field goal. The NY Football Giants are in 1st place in the NFC East and control their fate to get to the post season. All this happened in a matter of minutes.

PHEWWwwwwwwwwwwwww! I’m exhausted time to get to bed. Or so I thought. My wife tells me “you have to watch Boardwalk Empire, you won’t believe what happened” Aw shit, I’m now I have to sacrifice another hour of sleep. It was well worth it, I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen yet but HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT!

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On this date in Mets historyin 1974, the Mets traded Tug McGraw, Don Hahn and Dave Schneck to the Philadelphia Phillies for Del Unser, John Stearns and the immortal Mac Scarce.

Off season? What off season, there is more baseball news on this 32 degree morning in NYC than any other sports news.  Giants-Redskins? a murmur and some asshole comments. Jets-Pats? For such a big game the main topic is Tom Brady’s hair line. Knicks? Who gives a fuck.  Coach DiAntoni’s view of defense is when the opposition misses a shot.  NY Rangers, second only to the Mets in my fan affection but even with Gaborik’s hat trick and the fact the beat the lowly Fishsticks, not much buzz about the Blueshirts today. The big sports news in NYC, Baseball, Baseball and more Baseball:

The Mets non-tendered went as planned except for the curve ball Sandy Alderson tossed in by releasing Chris Carter.  As much as I like The Animal, and lobbied for more playing time for him last year, this is a very smart move by the Mets. According to Adam Rubin, Carter would have been given a minor league deal and would have been paid $200K but the real reason is Carter has no position on defense in fact you’d be better off signing Jack Cust than Carter.

Looks like the game plan on acquiring pitching will be of the low risk/high reward variety as reports are the Mets are looking to make a deal with injury prone LHP Jeff Francis and former Padre Chris Young. If both can stay healthy (a big IF) they are definitely worth t shot of signing to incentive laden deals.  Young would thrive in Citi Field as he is an extreme fly ball pitcher and to that fact I hope the Mets are looking at RHP Joel Peralta another fly ball pitcher for the bullpen and George Sherrill for the LOOGY spot if Perpetual Pedro proves to expensive.

WOW LMillz may be a LI Duck or a Lancaster Barnstormer  or an Orix Buffalo or maybe a KC Royal ?

Under the prior regime I’d say Joe Janish’s post aboutmoving Francisco Rodriguez to the White Sox would be a pipe dream. Under the Alderson reign, this post makes absolute sense and I could definitely see it happen.

Back in the day, I couldn’t stand Ron Santo especially back in 1969 when Santo would jump up and click his heels after a Cubs victory against the Mets. But I’m still sad to hear of his passing

So when will LeBron and the Heat go to Cleveland? Wait? What? It was last night? Shit. Who knew!

Looks like those cut throats running the Bronx Bastards will let El Capi-Tan save some face and juice up their contract offer today. No matter what happens, for now on Derek Jeter is Randy Levine’s bitch.

Good luck to Hisanori Takahashi on his signing with the Angels. A two-year deal for a 35 year old who can only pitch an inning of relief as the second time through the lineup he gets plastered may work in Anaheim but it sure doesn’t in Flushing .

Happy 62nd Birthday to the Prince of Darkeness. Hope you have bloody good fuckin’ birthday Ozzy!!!!!!!!!   

An Ike Davis Hanukkah, OH……MY…….GOD!!!!!!!

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I didn’t watch one pitch of yesterday’s Mets-Phillies game. With opening Sunday of the NFL in full swing and the New York Football Giants on Ch. 5 and Tom Brady and the Pats on Ch. 2, there was no reason to move the dial any further. Oh I didn’t blow off baseball altogether, by 4PM I was ready for the Giants-Padres game and the match up of Tim Lincecum and Matt Latos, in fact my baseball viewing from today on will include watching the Giants, Padres, Rockies, Rays, and the on the downward spiraling Highlanders.

It hit me around 7PM last night when I didn’t even know that the  Mets lost to the Phillies 3-0, that the NY Mets franchise has collectively climbed in the Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s Way Back machine and have arrived at 1979.

What year 1979 was. I was 21 years old with more hair than I knew what to do with (give me a moment please………………………..sniff! sniff!……………..ok back to the post) hanging out at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. Going to the Palladium to see The Clash and Graham Parker and the Rumor (The Palladium was a great venue, first time I ever saw Bruce Springsteen ad the E Street Band was there in 1976, YES I SAID 1976!) I spent my winters and spring watching the NY Rangers from Section 432 in my Blue Seat all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to Les Habitants but at least the Blueshirts beat the Icelanders as that was the year that no good scumbag Denis Potvin took out Ulf Nilson and the POTVIN SUCKS Chant was born.

More to the point of this post though, 1979 was the year the NY Mets drew 788, 905 live bodies to Shea Stadium, less than 10, 000 a game (9, 621 to be precise) and I can not remember if I were a part of that 788, 905-details are very hazy-but I’m sure I was because it was Richie Hebner’s one and only season as a Met and I remember him giving Mets fans the finger. I also remember it was Ed Kranepool’s last year. I remember Bob Murphy telling the tale of Ed Glynn a relief pitcher who also hawked hot dogs at Shea as a youth. The one bright spot of ’79 was that miserable, no good, saboteur of the franchise; M. Donald Grant was no longer around, dumped by Lorinda de Roulet after the 1978 season. But the team still sucked.

Right after the season, de Roulet thankfully sold the team as she had no clue on how to run it, she sold it to the dynamic duo of Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon and the rest as they say is history.

Myself and many Mets fans lived through 1979 and not only was it not fun but it was painful. Painful because of what could have been. What if Tom Seaver was never traded ? What if Joan Payson wasn’t sick and then dying during the advent of free agency with that asshole Grant advising her ? Remember Mrs. Payson had no problem spending money on her team, in fact when the Mets were born in 1962 she told Horace Stoneham that she wanted to buy the contract of Willie Mays and money was no object. What would have happened if Whitey Herzog would have been named manager after the death of Hodges instead of the overmatched Yogi Berra?

As much as I would to re-live 1979 all over again I wouldn’t want to relive the Mets season of that year as the Mets were so bad no one cared. At least we still care, we still have passion for this team, though it’s mostly negative, it’s still passion. Let’s hope the right moves are made for a new GM and manager and that deadwood and players who don’t like it here are sent off, no matter the cost monetarily. It’s time to restore some pride in this organization but I’m not optimistic the people in charge are intelligent enough to pull it off. All Jeffey Skill Sets needs to do is start collect batting practice baseballs, clean them and use them again and he’d be Linda de Roulet all over again.

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