Bio: I cover the Brooklyn Nets, the St. John's Red Storm men's basketball team, and the Brooklyn Cyclones. I support the Fort Hamilton Tigers football team, a 3-time city champion. I am a graduate of Fort Hamilton High School (2003) and Brooklyn College (2008).
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By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19 – Showcase pic of Stu Jackson at a Big East forum
Stu Jackson, the former Knicks coach and top NBA executive, is the Senior Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball with the Big East Conference.
Jackson was on hand for the Big East Conference’s Media Day on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, and I caught up with him on various topics such as coaching, the best players of the Big East and paying college athletes:
What are the exciting themes of the Big East coming into this season?
Jackson: I think we have a lot of storylines. One is our players, we’ve got both of of our returning Players of the year in Ryan Arcidiacono (of Villanova) and Chris Dunn (of Providence) coming back. If you look at our Preseason All-Big East First Team (Arcidiacono, Georgetown’s D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Xavier’s Jalen Reynolds, and Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones from Butler), it’s comprised of players that had great years last year, so it speaks to the strength of our players and some of our teams. The second theme is that, you know, we’re alive and well. Looking forward to a great, exciting season. We think the strength of our league top to bottom, since the league has reconfigured (in 2013), is the strongest that it’s been. We do have some teams preseason that I think will be top teams nationally, but more importantly, we probably have two or three teams by January that are going to develop, when you look at Providence or Marquette, teams like that, that have been re-tooled, but will be stronger come conference season.
What do you think of St. John’s? They underwent a major overhaul with new Head Coach Chris Mullin.
Jackson: St. John’s is an X-Factor. You know, no one really knows, but what you do know is that when teams have that many changes that early on in the season, it’ll take some time until they get their sea legs, but the proof with St. John’s will really sort of be towards the middle and going into the end of the year, have they gotten better and then started to gel?
By “middle of season,” you mean when Big East play begins because St. John’s has always played a rather easy non-conference schedule, and that Big East play will be the real gut check?
Jackson: That’s exactly right, because then they’ve had two months to really sort of get themselves galvanized as a unit, you know, offensively and defensively, and that’ll be a truer indicator of who they are, not in the beginning of the season.
Going back to the strength of the Big East, two years ago, people had some doubts about it being only a ten-team conference after losing schools like Syracuse, Connecticut, and Louisville, but being here today feels like old times.
Jackson: “Old times” meaning that what is still intact is you got the seven schools from the old conference (St. John’s, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, Villanova,Marquette, DePaul) and three new ones (Butler, Creighton, Xavier), all of whom have added great value to the league, but you’re starting to develop the rivalries you had in the old days. For me, when I look at the schedule, yeah, it’s funny, some of those rivalries have changed, like I’m actually really looking forward to Butler-Georgetown or Xavier-Villanova, those are very compelling games. The ten-team league really gives us the advantage of truly getting an indicator of who the true champion is, because you play everybody two times.
Is that because the style of plays match up well? For example, Xavier is tough in the mold of Georgetown, and Creighton shoots from the outside like a Providence would.
Jackson: There’s no question, if you look at the way Xavier plays, they’re very creative offensively, and you put them against someone like Georgetown, whose offensive system has been proven over the test of time, and that’s a very compelling matchup. The job that coach Greg McDermott does at Creighton, I think you’re really going to see this season because they’ve gotten a little more athletic than they have been during their transition into the Big East, in part because they’ve had to, so they’re going to be a little different. There’s different styles, different type teams, but the one rockbotton common denominator is this league has some great coaches, and that’s always been the history of the Big East.
Any surprises, like will this be the year Seton Hall stays at the top all the way through?
Jackson: I think Seton Hall is going to be as good directly proportional to their ability to come together as a team and mature. If they do that, no one questions their talent level because they have it. When you talk about (Angel) Delgado and (Isaiah) Whitehead and (Khadeen) Carrington, they’re legitimate, talented players and, if they can really galvanize themselves, they’re heading for a terrific year. Again, they’re one of the teams, like in January, let’s see where they are, and if they continue to get better, with their talent level, they’re going to be a formidable team.
How are you liking your work personally at the Big East?
Jackson: I’m enjoying it, I mean, I’m enjoying the challenge. You mentioned it, people sort of said the Big East was going away, I get the hair up on the back of my neck when people say that. The challenge is to make sure we stay out there relevant, that we’re getting our message out there, that the broadcast is good, that we continue to recruit well, retain good coaches, and any way that I can help in that is great, and it’s been a lot of fun.
You bring a wealth of knowledge to this, having been a coach in this building (with the Knicks) and experience in the NBA league office, how has that helped you get to know these coaches?
Jackson: It’s helped me get to know them. I knew most of them personally before I took the job, but it’s just helped me understand from their perspective the pressures that they’re under, the concerns that they have. Having been a coach before, we’re all crazy, right, and we should be, because you have to be crazy and passionate about trying to accomplish what you want to on the court and that takes a real singleness of purpose and I get that, I understand that. My job is to understand that, and yet, incorporate the conference initiatives and hopefully meet their needs.
How do you think Chris Mullin will do at St. John’s?
Jackson: I’ve personally known Chris Mullin for longer than I care to acknowledge (said to laughter), and I know him as a person and he’s a very smart individual, his passion about the game, but more importantly, my sense with him early on here at St. John’s is that he’s trying to do it the right way, in that he’s building a culture and an expectation level for his players that will sustain itself, and that’s the way he has to do it. I’m glad that’s the approach he’s taking and, in time, he’ll get there.
You coached Mark Jackson with the Knicks and he was linked to the St. John’s job, could you see him coaching again in the NBA or college?
Jackson: I think Mark will get another opportunity in the NBA, without question. The Golden State Warriors won the championship last year and there’s no one that can really ignore Mark Jackson’s contribution to that team. He established a defensive mindset with the Warriors that carried over to Steve Kerr. Steve Kerr made it better by offensively tweaking them and making them the most efficient NBA team on both sides of the ball. Mark will get another opportunity and I think that’s probably where he sees his home.
This summer, there was a lot of progress with regards to paying athletes, and that it is generally accepted that conferences will give student-athletes the “cost of attendance” in addition to their scholarships. Will he Big East adhere to this?
Jackson: We absolutely are, particularly with respect to men’s and women’s basketball. I know we say this, but we really mean it, when it comes to basketball and the Big East, the name is synonymous and we’re going to do everything we can with respect to basketball. We’re in this for the long haul.
I talked with Clark Kellogg of CBS Sports, who has kids that play college sports, this past March, and he was adamant that conferences should provide the cost of attendance, that this should be the resolution.
Jackson: It should be, and the climate is right, and frankly, it’s the right thing to do for college athletics and these student-athletes.
Do you think the one thing with these players coming in that they’re a little more savvy, that they see FOX Sports here covering this conference, and they’re aware of contracts and how much money is made off of them?
Jackson: There’s no question, from my own experience, the level of education, savvy as you call it, and knowledge of the world around them, you know, us old-timers can sit around and tall about how smart we were, it doesn’t compare to these kids today – it just does not. You can’t pull the wool over their eyes, they understand at some level the business of professional athletics and the business of collegiate athletics. They understand that they have a lot of skin in the game as a student-athlete, a lot of hours working at their athletic craft and a lot of hours, obviously, academically, and it’s demanding, but they have a knowledge of what’s going on around them. I think that’s a positive.
By Lloyd Carroll of the Queens Chronicle – BrooklynFans.com Contributor
The expression “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is a cynical take on why there seems to be so much evil in the world but it does highlight the issue of perspective. I was thinking of that phrase in the aftermath of the Mets’ 5-2 loss to the Dodgers in Game 2 of the National League Division Series.
The final score was secondary compared to the real story of the game and probably what people will recall about this NLDS years from now; namely how Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley wound up breaking Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada’s leg sliding into second trying to break up a double play. The debate of whether Chase Utley is a dirty player or an old-schooled, hard-nosed type began immediately. Not surprisingly, Mets fans were vociferous Utley detractors while those baseball fans rooting against the Mets were his ardent supporters.
Chase Utley was on first base in the seventh inning with his team behind 2-1when his teammate Howie Kendrick hit a slow infield grounder that might have been a double play. The Dodgers had a runner on third base and if the Mets completed the DP the run wouldn’t have scored. Chase knew that the Dodgers were running out of game and series real estate. When Utley saw Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy awkwardly throw the ball to an out of position Tejada, he went all in to break up the play.
Philadelphia TV sports reporter Leslie Gudel who has covered the Phillies for years told me that Utley would never hurt an opposing player on purpose but added that his hunger to win his intense. It killed him to be on losing Phillies teams in recent years. Former Phils general manager Ruben Amaro traded him to the playoff-bound Dodgers in August as a personal favor.
Even Mets fans who were willing to give Chase the benefit of the doubt were understandably enraged that not only did the umpires not rule in favor of the Mets which would have gotten them out of the inning but they made matters far worse by awarding Utley second base even though he never touched the bag. LA went onto score three more runs in the 7th inning to salt the game away.
Baseball rules and discipline czar Joe Torre suspended Chase Utley for Games 3 and 4 because of what he perceived to be unsportsmanlike conduct. Torre may also have been looking out for Utley’s safety since those games were taking place at Citi Field. Utley immediately appealed.
Torre tried his best to absolve the umpires of blame for their incompetence. He made it clear however that he expects middle infielders to be given the same protection from kamikaze slides that catchers now enjoy. That may be cold comfort for Mets fans.
I had to chuckle about how the executives at the Los Angeles Metro were talking trash to their MTA counterparts about improving the cleanliness of the #7 train in light of the Dodgers’ playoff appearance in Queens.
Kudos to Los Angeles for finally creating a subway system in an attempt to alleviate that city’s horrendous traffic problems. The Long Island Expressway at rush hour is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway compared to LA’s I-5, 10, or 405 at any hour. It should be noted however that there is not a train stop at Dodger Stadium the way there is one just outside Citi Field.
I have ridden on LA’s red and blue subway lines and they are terrific. LA County officials are working hard to expand mass transit throughout more parts of Southern California. Keep up the good work, guys, but don’t make fun of our subway system until you get to New York’s level of mass transit infrastructure.
Speaking of Los Angeles, Knicks head coach Derek Fisher got in some trouble there when he was confronted by a former Lakers teammate, Matt Barnes, about dating his ex-wife. That story, not only made the sports pages, but it was fodder for both “TMZ” and “Saturday Night Live,”
which mentioned it on last week’s “Weekend Update.” I have a feeling that Knicks owner James L. Dolan is not happy about that kind of derisive publicity.
The biggest winner of the baseball’s post-season has been TBS which has the rights to the National League Division Series and was blessed to have two marquee match-ups, the Dodgers versus the Mets as well as the Cubs against Cardinals. Turner Sports executives are of course ecstatic over the high ratings.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the media that he would not mind having nearly all of his players back for next season. He did concede that he was frustrated that one of his faster players, outfielder Brett Gardner, basically stopped trying to steal bases after the All-Star Game.
You can’t blame the New York Islanders if they feel slighted. Last Friday was their first regular season game at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center after 42 years at the Nassau Coliseum. That should have been a big deal except that it was completely overshadowed by the fact that the Mets were playing their first playoff game in nine years that night. Newsday did report the Isles’ Brooklyn debut (they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime) on the backpage but that’s only because they put their paper to bed around 10 PM each night which was about the time the Mets got underway at Dodger Stadium.
If that weren’t bad enough, WFAN’s midday team of Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts poked fun at the fact that the Islanders had a lighting ceremony the day before at the Empire State Building. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but the Islanders’ blue and orange is the same color scheme used by a certain Queens baseball team. Therefore most people understandably thought that the Empire State Building was paying tribute to the Mets and not the Islanders.
One concession that the Islanders have made to moving to our neighboring borough to the west is that they have finally added a New York-based radio station, WNYE 91.5 FM, which is best known for its programming for New York City public schools.
You can make an argument that October is the most exciting time for events in our city.
New York Comic-Con, which now otudraws its more famous San Diego namesake, just concluded another successful four-day run over Columbus Day weekend at the Javits Center.
The annual New York City Wine & Food Festival begins on Thursday. Both the Yankees and the Jets will be competing with sports-food themes at noon on Saturday. A Yankees brunch will take place at NYY Steak in midtown while Jets legend Joe Namath hosts the annual Ultimate Tailgate Party at Pier 92.
Also getting underway this week is the annual celebration of up and coming performers, the CMJ Festival.
New York City has become every bit as important to television production as Los Angeles. Some of the biggest names in the industry will be at Paley Fest, which runs through October 19 at the Paley Center for Media on Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street. As soon as that wraps up, the annual New York Television Festival, which celebrates current shows filmed in our town, as well as those making pilots with the hope of them being picked up by networks, takes place and will go through October 24.
By Lloyd Carroll of the Queens Chronicle – BrooklynFans.com Contributor
The timing of the Mets’ clinching the National League East title, coming a few days after the passing of Yogi Berra, started me thinking about the similarities between this Mets club and the 1973 “Ya Gotta Believe” Mets that Berra managed that came within one game of winning the World Series that year. The fact that they lost Game 7 to the Oakland Athletics, a far superior team, has unfortunately relegated that team to a more obscure status than they deserve.
In 1973 the National League East was a rather weak division, with four of the six teams, including the Mets bunched around the .500 mark, with the Amazins prevailing on the last day of the season. It can easily be argued that today’s NL East is even worse as three of the five teams: the Phillies, the Braves, and the Marlins having records far below the break-even mark while the Washington Nationals have hovered at just above it for most of the season. The Mets smartly took advantage of the situation.
Taking nothing away from what the Mets have accomplished so far, the key to them being NL East champs was the utter self-immolation of the Washington Nationals. Mets television play-by-play voice and Flushing native Gary Cohen even conceded this point during Saturday’s telecast.
I can’t remember a baseball with such a high payroll and so much talent squandering things to such a horrifying level. It’s one thing to just play poorly; it’s another to have such a toxic chemistry that teammates openly can’t stand each other.
On Sunday, the day after the Mets beat the Reds to clinch their division title, Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon verbally chastised and then threw punches at teammate, and probably National League MVP, Bryce Harper. Harper had let it be known to the media on Wednesday night following the Nats’ second straight loss to the Baltimore Orioles that basically finished off their chances of catching the Mets, that he wasn’t happy that Papelbon had brazenly hit Orioles slugger Manny Machado with a fastball in the ninth inning. Machado had hit a two-run homer two innings earlier that gave the Orioles a lead that they would not relinquish. Harper griped that he would probably get plunked with a fastball the following day.
Getting back to Yogi, I had the honor of meeting him numerous times but I don’t have any special tales to tell. I was always impressed by how accessible he was and how he always seemed to enjoy meeting his public. I never saw him turn down an autograph request.
My favorite Yogi story was about his devotion to his late wife Carmen. Baseball players have a reputation for having fun on road trips. When someone asked Yogi if he ever fantasized about having an extramarital affair, he quickly replied, “Why go out for hamburger when I have steak at home?”
All good things must end. The Jets, who looked so impressive in their first two games, quickly fell behind to the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday 24-0 before scoring a touchdown right before halftime. It’s to their credit that they fought back to make the final score a respectable-sounding 24-17 but the truth is that they were never in the game.
With the Jets trailing 17-0 wide receiver Brandon Marshall caught a pass from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and then tried to lateral it to a teammate who was not prepared for Marshall’s improvisation. The end result was a fumble which the Eagles recovered. They would go onto score a touchdown a few plays later.
Marshall proved to be a good sport about his bonehead decision after the game. “That may be the worst play in NFL history!” he declared. Brandon, I think you have some competition in that regard. Just ask Giants fans.
By Lolita B. - BrooklynFans.com Photographer – @LolitaLens - Showcase pic – Indiana’s Tamika Catchings takes it to the hoop
The Indiana Fever upset the New York Liberty in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden, 66-51.
Marissa Coleman led Indiana with 15 points on 5-for-11 from the field, all of which came from behind the arc. Tamika Catchings had 14 points on 5-11 shooting, with four rebounds and two assists. Erlana Larkins had 12 points (5-6 FG), eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Candice Wiggins led the Liberty with 15 points on 5-for-10 from the field, 3-for-6 on threes, two rebounds, and two assists. Tina Charles had 13 points (6-16 FG) and 10 rebounds.
By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor - @JESchott19
The New York Islanders can officially call Brooklyn home, and they ushered in the Barclays Center era with a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night.
The Islanders announced they were moving from Long Island to Brooklyn on October 24, 2012. This was about a week before the Nets opened their first season at Barclays Center.
In an instant, so Brooklyn went from not having a team for 55 years, from when the Dodgers left in 1957, to calling two professional teams their own.
The announcement of the move to Brooklyn changed the Islanders’ fortunes as well. They were in the process of building a nice roster while also knowing, eventually, they would get their long-awaited new arena.
The Islanders have made the playoffs two of the past three seasons. Last year was a season to remember as they won 47 games and had 101 points, while challenging the Rangers for the Atlantic division title. They are still in search of playoff glory, as they lost in the first round to the Washington Capitals in seven games.
This could be a big year, as they are ready to become one of the elite teams in the National Hockey League, boasting a very explosive roster.
They are led by John Tavares, who had a team-leading 86 points last season, with 38 goals and 48 assists; Kyle Okposo, who had 51 points; and Anders Lee, who had 25 goals last season. Their defense is also one of the best, with Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk, and Jaroslav Halak in net.
Tavares said on Monday night of the Islanders finally calling Brooklyn home, “The first few times we played here, it was hard to really, certainly understand how. you know, without the locker room and all that, we just bused in here for games and whatnot, so, but today, when you go through, coming in here in the morning, getting to see the new locker room and getting comfortable with everything, your surroundings and just kind of routine throughout the day, it’s definitely different. It’s great, it’s a beautiful facility, the locker room’s incredible, and the kind of stuff that we’re really looking forward to.”
The games Tavares was referencing were the preseason games the past two seasons against the Devils, in which they played in front of packed houses in Brooklyn.
Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano, entering his fifth full season at the helm, said of the Barclays Center ice, “I thought it was good, I thought they did a good job, even at the pregame skate this morning, it was good for us.”
Capuano said of the Islanders getting used to their new routines on game days, as they basically are spending all day in the arena, “Well, that’s why we’re playing the games here and everybody’s gonna go through the routine. It’s a little bit different, obviously, for support staff, for players, for coaches, but it’s something that we have to adjust to and, you know, it’s a great building, it’s a great setup for our guys, so I’m sure that we’ll figure it out.”
On Monday night, the Islanders’ first goal showed what kind of team they are. Cal Clutterbuck stole the puck at center ice with just under two minutes left in the first period. The Islanders took it deep into Flyers territory, and Samuel Morin took a penalty with 1:18 on the clock, giving the Islanders a power play.
The Islanders cashed in, as Josh Bailey, from the right corner boards, sent it to Lee, who found Tavares for the Islanders’ first goal in Brooklyn with 56 seconds left in the opening period.
Lee got a goal of his own on another Islanders power play 3:25 into the second period, and he was set up by Tavares and Marek Zidlicky.
In the third period, Islander newcomer Kirill Petrov scored, on a set up from Johnny Boychuk and Mikhail Grabovsky, with 6:51 left in the second period to make it 3-0.
The Islanders brought in Petrov, a 25-year-old left wing, from Kazan of the KHL in Russia.
Capuano said of Petrov, “I thought he did well. The thing for me with him tonight is he played the body and he played physical. When you’ve got that size, he utilized it. I thought the young guys played well tonight, him in particular.”
The Flyers got goals from Taylor Leier with 51 seconds left in the second period, and Brayden Schenn 1:33 into the third.
To add to the special nature of the night,the National Hockey League picked this game to test out 3-on-3 overtime regardless of the score at the end of regulation, in this case a 3-2 Islanders win.
This was interesting to watch, as there was a lot of open ice and plenty of breakaways. If people think the current 4-on-4 produces plenty of scoring chances, they ain’t seen nothing yet.
The Islanders have two more preseason games at Barclays Center, this Wednesday against the Devils, and next Monday against the Capitals in a playoff rematch. They open the regular season at Barclays Center on October 9th against the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
By Lloyd Carroll of the Queens Chronicle – BrooklynFans.com Contributor
On Monday afternoon Mets manager Terry Collins channeled his inner Harry Truman by articulating the frustrations that most Mets fans felt about Matt Harvey being removed halfway through Sunday’s game with the Yankees. The Mets were winning at the time 1-0 but by the time the game ended they were thumped 11-2.
“Was I disturbed about taking Matt Harvey after the fifth inning? You’re damned right I was!” Collins told the press corps during his 4 PM briefing. He then made it clear that the Harvey handling issue is coming from Sandy Alderson who may or may not be taking his cues from Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras.
I asked him if it was just a coincidence that the Mets’ competitors for the NL East crown, the underachieving Washington Nationals, were suddenly winning just as soon as the Mets started slumping, or was it a case of sharks smelling blood in the water and thus upping their game. Collins concurred that teams can get energized from when the scoreboard gives them favorable news. He then added, “We have to win games plain and simple.”
Collins was articulating the frustration that Mets fans had been feeling for nearly a week. The fans’ reaction to Harvey’s early departure might not have been as vociferous as it was had it not been accompanied by a perfect storm of negative news both before and after. Much to the chagrin of Mets fans, the Yankees always seem to get the better of the Mets in pressurized situations and once again they took the rubber game of the Subway Series. The fact that the Mets couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag and were so inept in the field against their Bronx rivals was an embarrassment.
It also didn’t help that The Nationals’ hot streak, combined with memories of Mets’ September collapses in both 2007 and 2008, certainly helped darken the mood of many of the Flushing faithful.
What is most irritating about the recent Mets slide is not the fact that they dropped a series to the Yankees who are a very good team battling their division title but rather that they lost 4 out of 6 games to the Miami Marlins. The Amazins’ troubles began a week ago Tuesday when Marlins’ pitcher Tom Koehler flushed them with ease by a score of 9-3 and he also hit Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes with a fastball. I am not sure if it’s coincidental but Cespedes, who had become a Mets folk hero since his trade to the team on July 31, went into a deep slump afterwards.
The odds are good that the Mets will clinch the NL East in Cincinnati this weekend but the Phillies’ accounting department will undoubtedly be hoping that things get delayed until next week when the Mets go to Philadelphia since that could mean a ticket revenue windfall for late September midweek games.
Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedist who performed arm surgery on Matt Harvey as well as countless other athletes is profiled in the October issue of Playboy. The article is properly titled “The Most Important Man In Sports.”
It’s still too early to for Giants fans to put up the white flag for the 2015 season but you can’t blame them for feeling really big blue at this point.
Even the most optimistic Giants fan knew that it would be an uphill climb after All-Pro defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul lost his middle finger and part of his thumb stupidly handling fireworks on July 4th. Not surprisingly, the Giants pass rush has been below par although veteran Robert Ayres has played well in the early going.
Of course the difference between victory and defeat generally rests on the shoulders and throwing arm of Eli Manning. In the humiliating opening game, which was unfortunately broadcast on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” poor communication and clock mismanagement led to a heartbreaking 27-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. A week later, with the Giants up on the Atlanta Falcons 20-10, Eli Manning was sacked by DE Kroy Biermann and fumbled the ball in the red zone. The Falcons quickly marched down the field and score a touchdown to cut the lead to 20-17. You can argue that resulted in a 14-point swing since it sure looked as if the Giants were about to score a touchdown which would have salted the game away.
For Giants fans are looking for a ray of hope, wide receiver Victor Cruz should be back very shortly. Eli having two quality receivers to throw to, Odell Beckham, Jr., and of course, Cruz should help running back Shane Vereen pick up a lot of rushing yards.
Speaking of Odell, check out his humorous Lenovo ad with comedian JB Smoove about creating humorous names for your fantasy football team on YouTube.
The news for Jets fans is a lot more sanguine following the Jets’ surprisingly strong performance in Indianapolis Monday night. They outplayed the favored Colts in all facets in their 20-7 win. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was a master at using up the clock while keeping drives alive with smart play-calling. For the second straight week the Jets defense was able to produce five turnovers. Last year it was the opposing teams that won the interception/fumble battles.
Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was at Citi Field for the first game of the recent Subway Series since the MLB Network had broadcasting rights for it. Smoltz feels that with starting pitchers being carefully monitored for pitch and innings more of a burden will fall on relief pitchers. The result will be that more of them will need Tommy John surgery in the near future.
Yankees lefty Chris Capuano has had a rough 2015 and it started when he pulled a leg muscle covering first base during a spring training game. Capuano is one of the most congenial and intelligent athletes you’ll ever meet (he graduated Duke University with a degree in economics) and he knows that at age 37 the odds are that his big league career is probably coming to an end. He told me that at least one television network has approached him about a career in broadcasting but that he is seriously thinking about going for his MBA degree full-time. My guess is that Capuano will be a Major League Baseball team executive in a few years.
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, who grew up in Suffolk County, suffered a leg injury that sidelined him for most of the season although he has returned to action. Stroman took advantage of his unexpected downtime and returned to Capuano’s alma mater, Duke, to finish the requirements for his bachelor’s degree. “I can’t understand why any athlete would go to Duke without intending to finish,” Marcus told me.
Former Knicks star Bernard King is working on his autobiography that he expects will hit bookstores next fall.
The Islanders traded one of their most popular players, winger Michael Grabner to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a number of minor leaguers. Grabner unfortunately was hurt for a good part of the last two seasons.
The New York Daily News made news recently by laying off a number of big names in their sports department. Allegedly Mike Lupica was let go but his contract runs until the end of the year and I have a feeling that a deal will be cut. News owner Mort Zuckerman likes him a lot even though I doubt that there is anyone who has said in the last decade, “Did you read what Mike Lupica wrote today?”
Although saving dollars was the intent, the News improved its Sundaynational baseball column by having the knowledgeable John Harper replace Hall of Fame hack Bill Madden, a guy who always showed his readers that he had a firm grasp of the obvious. He also had a vendetta against Alex Rodriguez who he claimed would never play for the Yankees again after he was suspended last year for PED use. I always thought of Madden as the poor man’s Dick Young except that he did not possess his wit.
The biggest loser, aside from those who lost their jobs from the Daily News’s austerity actions, was the Athletics department at St. John’s University. Roger Rubin, who did a terrific job covering Red Storm basketball, was not spared the ax even though he had a beat as opposed to niche sports columnists as Hank Gola, Wayne Coffey, and Filip Bondy, who also lost their positions despite being very talented writers. The SJU sports information department should be grateful that Brooklyn Fans does a spectacular job covering Red Storm hoops.
The way things are going there will be a pair of empty chairs on SNY’s 5 PMsports talk show, “Daily News Live.”
Equestrian sports are part of the Olympics so it makes sense that there should be some horse riding competitions that the public could watch. Last week the Rolex Central Park Horse Show made its debut. It would be nice if this becomes an annual event here.
After five years New York Fashion Week left Lincoln Center for various parts of the city. What hasn’t changed is the number of consumer goods manufacturers from all walks of life that try to create buzz. At the GBK Suite, King Features introduced an energy drink that featured the likeness of 1920s cartoon sex symbol Betty Boop while Pilot Pen showed off a dress designed by Nicholas K that was comprised exclusively of Frixion Clicker pen parts. Carmex introduced its latest lines of flavored lip balms. Fashion Week has also become big for the spirts industry. Maven Cocktails debuted its line of ready-to-drink bottles of vodka infused red and white wines.
TV Guide is getting some much needed competition from Entertainment Weekly when it comes to glossy magazine coverage about the new television season. EW does a nice job not only reporting on new shows but on returning ones as well.
By Lolita B. - @LolitaLens – BrooklynFans.com Photographer - Showcase pic – Epiphanny Prince dodges Mystics defense
The New York Liberty lost a heartbreaker in double overtime, 86-83, to the Washington Mystics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series.
Washington was led by Ivory Natta, who had 15 points on 4-9 from the field, with all four of her baskets coming from behind the arc, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. Emma Meeserman had 13 points (6-12 FG) and 10 rebounds, while Stefanie Dolson also had 13 points (5-10 FG) and 9 rebounds.
The Liberty were led by Epiphanny Prince, who had 16 points on 11-for-16 from the field, 3-5 from behind the arc, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Tina Charles had 22 points on 10-for-27 from the field, with 8 rebounds and 5 assists.