While spring is commonly seen as the “rebirth” of life after the long cold winter, one could say fall is the “rebirth” of the sports world after the long, hot summer. We have the NFL and college football in full swing. The NBA and NHL begin their long, arduous seasons while ever-exciting college basketball begins its journey to March Madness. This year, as an added bonus, MLB ended with a World Series for the ages. Though I’m writing this article the night before Game 1 of a sure-fire classic between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs, we’re guaranteed to see one of the two longest World Series droughts come to an end. Speaking of the World Series, our local New York Yankees and New York Mets are aiming for a 2018 Subway Series! Finally, our two local professional soccer teams in the MLS, the New York City FC and NY/NJ Red Bulls are both in the playoffs simultaneously for the first time. What a way to begin the year in sports for the metropolitan area!
TROUBLE IN THE MEADOWLANDS???
The New York Giants, in the league since 1925, has long been a model franchise in how it’s run from an organizational standpoint. From Tim Mara to his son Wellington and now his grandson John (The Tisches came into the picture later), the G-men were known for their class and dignity throughout the league. Recently though, that image has been tarnished quite a bit. In the case of PK John Brown, a Pro Bowl player last season, that reputation has been damaged. It’s one thing to sign him to a 2-year $4 million extension NOT knowing of the alleged accusations of domestic violence. But for owner John Mara to come and admit that they knew of his past transgressions and signed him anyway. Didn’t the Giants learn from their NFC East counterparts the Dallas Cowboys who were criticized all season long in 2015 for signing Greg Hardy? Even though Hardy seems much more of a malcontent then Brown, Hardy was never actually accused of a crime while Brown was. There was even an incident between Brown and his ex-wife at this year’s Pro Bowl where the league had step in and shuttle her and their kids to another room. Do you mean to tell me that no one in the Giants front office knew of even THAT event before resigning Brown? Many current NFL players are questioning out loud the fact that Brown continued to play while former Rutgers and Ravens RB Ray Rice has been pretty much black-listed from the league. As far as we know, Rice had one incident of domestic violence albeit a very public one. There are many members of the local media up in arms over this and I am one of them.
Now the Giant’s Met Life Stadium roommate, the New York Jets, have their own set of issues thus far this season. By the way, speaking of Met Life the Company, HOW in the world can you fire Snoopy & Charlie Brown??? Good grief!!!! Anyways, the Jets have their own worries starting with the fact that they just aren’t a very good football team. One can certainly lay blame on both the front office and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for not signing soon enough to be with the team during the important preseason. I guess Fitzpatrick thought he could skate by with last year’s outstanding, career-year numbers and they’d just repeat in 2016. Ummm, no Fitzy. This year, he’s been among the worst starting QB’s in the league and has lost his job only to regain in. Who knows, by the time this article is out on the streets, the Jets may be back in the thick of things. But probably not. With back-up QB Geno Smith out the only real hope the team has for the immediate future is to drop out of the playoff race and see what they have in Bryce Petty. I’ve heard from sources that rookie QB Christian Hackenberg from Penn State, their surprising 2nd round draft pick is nowhere near ready to play in the NFL. Plus since they spent that early pick on him in this draft, there is no way they could invest another high draft pick on yet another young QB. Best bet, as I mentioned, see what Petty has to offer for the future and decide what caliber of veteran QB you bring in for 2017. Fitzy and Geno are most certainly gone. On the defensive side of the ball, it hasn’t helped the team that former All-World CB Darelle Revis is a shell of his past greatness. I’m not saying his career is done but a move to one of the safety positions is likely.
As always if you have any sports questions/comments, feel free to tweet me @i95sportsnet or @bobbyblackjack.