Thursday, March 29, 2012

D'Brickashaw Ferguson talks about Tim Tebow as a New York Jet

I don't really have much to add to this article from today, which you can find here. I just like to give play to fellow Freeporters (anyone who reads my blog knows D'Brickashaw played saxophone with my sister in high school and used to walk her home from school). And you get all the media hype about this trade and all the commentators, um, comments, but this gives a bit of insight into what's going on in the locker room. And I know Brick to be a level-headed, decent guy, so I value his opinion. If he's intrigued by this trade, then so am I.

Note to readers: you might not be able to read the whole article on the Newsday website, unless you're a Newsday or Cablevision subscriber.

Should be an interesting upcoming NFL season.

The perfect sport?

The boyfriend and I got into a discussion last night about what exactly is the perfect sport. He's been watching a lot of soccer lately and had been discussing the sport with his father yesterday. I, as you all know, am a huge fan of the New York Yankees and New York Giants, but even I will admit that each game has failings: baseball can be long and boring and football has too many commercials. The boyfriend, who is an ambivalent Yankee fan, agrees with both those assessments. He likes soccer, because there are almost no commercial interruptions, but most of the games are very low-scoring, which doesn't make for a whole lot of action. I forgot what his problem with basketball was, but I'm sure he mentioned too many commercials and excessive salaries. (As you may have guessed, he's not a huge fan of the sports-as-moneymaker-for-networks-and-players angle). He finally landed on rugby, which he claims has few commercial interruptions and lots of action, before admitting that perhaps hockey is the perfect game.

Except neither of us watch hockey.

I'm intrigued by hockey - I think its similarity to soccer and lacrosse, except that it's on skates, would make it easier for me to learn to understand than, say, rugby, which I don't get at all, but I've never had anyone around who watches hockey and can explain it to me, I don't know any of the players, and I don't like to ice skate.

I'm a girl. Not liking ice skating is allowed to be on my list of criteria for not watching a sport.

But, now that the New York Rangers are killing it and have secured a playoff spot, maybe I should finally give hockey a go...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tim Tebow to be a Jet?

That's what all the news outlets are reporting, that the Denver Broncos just traded Tebow to the New York Jets. What's interesting to me about that is that a few Jets fans, including my die-hard Jets fan brother, picked Tebow and the Broncs as their team to root for in the playoffs since the Jets didn't make it.

This move, though, doesn't make any sense to me unless they're not planning on starting Tebow as QB. Mark Sanchez has been inconsistent but he's consistently led his team, with the exception of this past season, to the playoffs for several years in a row, and not just to the first round of the playoffs. Maybe having Tebow there to compete for the starting position will light a fire under Sanchez to work harder and get better, but he's young and he's personable and he deserves a chance to grow into being a great quarterback. NBC Sports' Michael David Smith raised an interesting question though, that maybe the Jets would plan to use Tebow as a wildcat quarterback, much as they did with Brad Smith when he was on the team - Smith played QB in college and having those skills allowed the Jets to play as if they had two quarterbacks on the field at one time, even though Smith was usually not in the QB position. I'm more of a Giants fan than a Jets fan, so I'm not really that emotionally invested in the outcome, but I do like Sanchez, so I hope he's not gone - I would hate to see him pushed out the same way Tebow was just pushed out of Denver, but I guess we'll see what happens...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's tough to know just when to go: nice Newsday article on Andy Pettitte's return

As y'all are aware, Andy Pettitte is officially un-retiring today from the New York Yankees. I wrote about this just the other day, but I had to write again because there was a really thoughtful, well-written article in Newsday today by Mark Herrmann where a few ex-Yanks like Joe Girardi, Reggie Jackson, and Goose Gossage talk about the decision to keep playing or not, and how they dealt with it - sometimes you know when you're done, and sometimes you think you're done but you realize you're not. I can respect that. Athletes get so few good years - retiring at 38 or 40? I wish! - that I can see wanting to make sure you got good use out of all of them, and if Andy feels like he still has something to give, then I respect that he has to try. I was just so happy that one of my all-time favorite players got the opportunity to leave on his own terms and on a high note that him returning makes me nervous that he'll have a bad year and that's all anyone will remember. But maybe I'm the one who needs to take a deep breath, have a little faith, and enjoy the ride.

If you're a Newsday or Cablevision subscriber, you can read the article here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peyton Manning goes from being a young horse to a bucking one...

The news at the moment is that apparently, barring any complications, Peyton Manning is going to be a Denver Bronco. So Denver is pulling a Yankees move, edging out young but erratic Tim Tebow for aging, injured but tried-and-true Manning. I don't think it's completely unexpected. The Broncs and especially John Elway never really seemed to be completely on board the Tebow train, but it's too bad they didn't give the kid a little bit more time to prove himself...though with the NFL season being only 17 weeks long, there's really not a lot of time to give a QB that chance. Oh well. I guess this means no more Jimmy Fallon doing Tim Tebow as David Bowie, but maybe now the media will also leave Tebow alone about his Christianity. If convicted and accused felons/adulterers/rapists can play the game without much media scrutiny, a kid whose only crimes are that he's only good, not great, and that he believes in God should be shown the same courtesy. But as I am a Manning, not a Tebow fan, welcome back to the game, Peyton. Us fan girls here have missed you!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New York Yankees and Andy Pettitte: reunited and it feels so good...

It has never been a secret that Andy Pettitte was always one of my three favorite Yankees - when I was hanging posters on my college dorm room walls, cut outs of his photo from the newspaper were smack dab in the middle.

So I was obviously upset when he retired a little more than a year ago...but at the same time, it seemed like a natural end to what had been a pretty great career, though marred a bit by his admission of using performance-enhancing drugs. He got that last World Series ring in 2009 with the rest of the core four and while he was still a reliable pitcher, he was getting older and had lost some of his edge, so while I would miss him, it was a fitting time for him to leave. I had seen him pitch in person. I was okay with his decision.

Now he's re-signed with the Yanks. A part of me jumped for joy at the news - that part was the human person on the outside. I also squealed with glee. I am a fan girl. I can't help it. But part of me thinks - why? I love love love Pettitte but after bowing out gracefully and on a somewhat high note, why come back for more? Why fade out in a whimper after, for all intents and purposes, you already went out with a bang? And of course it brings me back to my ever present pet peeve with my favorite team - why give that spot to a fading, aging superstar when you could have given an up-and-comer with potential a chance to prove his worth, a chance to shine, and a chance to become a possible future core member of the team, much as Pettitte was 15 years ago?

So, once again, the sports world is tearing me apart a bit inside. But let me be the first to say that while I have mixed feelings about Andy re-signing with the Yanks, the possibility of getting to see him pitch in person again makes me really excited about going to a Yankee game this upcoming season.

Fan girl, out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The bottomline: Peyton versus the Colts

I have mixed feelings about the Indianapolis Colts releasing Peyton Manning today. I love Peyton Manning. Even as a New Yorker, I'm not afraid to admit it. Of my three Manning jerseys, one is a Peyton Colt's jersey. He's an amazing athlete and seems like a decent guy to boot, although I have to admit it was his stint on Saturday Night Live that really sealed the deal on my Peyton crush.

I know he was very badly hurt last season, so hurt he didn't even play. And that doesn't bode well for a player. Also, it doesn't bode well for any athlete, hurt or not, once he hits the mid-30s mark in age, which Peyton has. Maybe his best years are behind him. Maybe he'll never be the same quarterback who got the Colts to two Super Bowls and won one. And that's fair for the Colts to take that into consideration. I'm all about new, young blood. Just read my posts (rants) about the New York Yankees.

But I'm also about loyalty, and just as I have a problem with players who become so full of themselves that they leave their teammates and fans without so much as a by-your-leave (I'm totally looking at you LeBron...that's right), I have a problem with teams that, because of the bottom line, won't let a lifelong player, a player who kept the team in the spotlight, finish out his career with them.

I crush hard on Joe Mauer because he's so good (well, except for last season) that he could have his choice of World Series-bound teams to play with. He's a hot commodity. But he lives and breathes Minnesota. And while the Twins have lately been a playoff team, he seems okay with the fact that they might never make it to the World Series. And then I look at Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees - he's another player who has stayed with the same team his whole career, and he's still good, but he's not the player he used to be. The Yankees could find a younger, stronger, faster shortstop to replace him, and in a year or so, they probably will, but they're willing to find Jeter another position in the field to allow him to play out his career where he started.

So I get where the Colts are coming from. For them, it's about money - it's about what they can afford and it's about what they can get for their money. That's what business is all about, and the NFL, just like any other sports league, is a business. That's the bottomline. But sometimes, you have to forget about the money and act like a human being. That's my bottomline.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New York Knicks win, again: bizarro world continues

Last night the boyfriend and I were flipping around the television channels. Mostly we were watching The Godfather, because, well, the movie rocks. Hard. But during commercial breaks we were watching the Knicks-Cavs game. Two minutes of game, then back to the movie. But here's the kicker. I started enjoying myself so much watching the Knicks - the Knicks! - that I kinda wanted to keep the channel on the game. Instead of watching The Godfather, one of the all time great movies, ever.

Bizarro world.

The thing is - and this will sound familiar to anyone who has heard me go on and on about my love for Nick Swisher - the Knicks looked like they were having fun. Maybe they were having fun because they were starting to do well, but maybe they were starting to do well because they were having fun, but the whole dynamic of the game changed in that the players were looking energized and the bench was dancing and cheering and the *crowd* was chanting *for* the team and suddenly the Knicks looked like they wanted it and they were going for it. With all the dunks and alley-oops the Knicks were rocking, those players were beginning to look like they could literally fly. Like superheroes. The boyfriend, as we started watching the game, was telling me how the Knicks don't typically play well defensively, but then *he* started to get into the game as they started stealing the ball and getting those rebounds and basically, stepping up their defense.

The Knicks were looking good...I feel like I'm in a whole 'nother universe. The boyfriend did admit that the Cavs haven't been all that great of a team since LeBron James totally gave Cleveland the finger and jumped ship, but considering the Cavaliers were beating the Knicks by 17 points at one point last night, it was a pretty exciting win. Special shout-out to Jeremy Lin, of course, and to Steve Novak, whose sweet spot is apparently the entire court as he was sinking every three-pointer he was putting up.