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The View from the Cheap Seats

January 7, 2010 under Cheap Seats

By Eddie Mayrose

Jets Say Farewell To Giants Stadium Demons At Cincinnati’s Expense

It was right out of Meadowlands history.  The former defensive coordinator turned head coach cheap_seats_3_owumbrandishing a style of smash-mouth football behind a dominating offensive line and a punishing defense on a cold, windswept December evening.  A raucous crowd firing up the home team on its way to a playoff berth and a shot at the Super Bowl. Only, this time, it wasn’t Bill Parcells leading the Giants during their heyday.  Instead, the New York Jets; yes, those Jets, turned in the kind of dominating performance their fans hadn’t seen since Klecko and Mehl hung up their cleats all those years ago.  Behind first year Head Coach Rex Ryan, who, himself, had given them up for dead just two weeks earlier, Gang Green turned the final game at Giants Stadium into a coming-out party for what many hope to be a new era for the Jets.  That it took twenty five years to get here didn’t seem to bother any of the faithful Sunday night.

While many have pointed to the Jets’ good fortune in facing two teams, (Indianapolis and Cincinnati), with no motivation, Big Rexy’s boys will offer no apologies as participants in the Super Bowl tournament.  Even though it’s a long shot to think they would have beaten the Colts had Peyton Manning and Company turned in a full day’s work, the Bengals absolutely came to play last week until their spirit was broken by the suffocating Jets’ defense in the first quarter.  Carson Palmer was an abysmal 1 for 11 and the former Chad Johnson couldn’t catch a cold.  Instead, the Jets dominated every facet of the game behind the tried and true formula for playoff success: Rushing and Defense.  Piling up 257 yards on the ground while allowing just 61 bodes well for New York in this week’s rematch.  Cincinnati can take heart in that they’ll be welcoming back a number of starters but, unless their names are Unitas and Butkus, it may not be enough.

New York Giants Shame Their Own Tradition

At the beginning of the season, who’d have believed that the unyielding and overpowering shutout to tom osiclose Giants Stadium would be turned in by the Jets while the Meadowlands’ main tenants went meekly into the off-season?

The type of performance given by the Giants over the last two weeks is one that surfaces every year.  At the end of each season, we see teams quit on their teammates, coaches and fans; embarrassing themselves professionally in the process.  That, this time, it occurred with a team on the brink of the playoffs and just two years removed from a Super Bowl title is as amazing as it is sad.

Big Blue’s total lack of effort in being outscored 85-16 over its final two games is a sign that a huge overhaul is necessary.  The process started Monday with the firing of Defensive Coordinator, Bill Sheridan but should not include, for now, the Head Coach.  What Tom Coughlin needs to realize, however, is that, somewhere along the way, he’s picked up a number of whiners and weak links that need to be banished no matter what their previous record of success.  Blind loyalty for past achievements is a potent formula for getting yourself fired.  He can start with DE Osi Umenyiora, who got into it with Sheridan during training camp, went home for a nap and a ba-ba and was awful, thereafter. The Jints have enough talent to rebound in 2010.  However, with two playoff teams already in the division and Mike Shanahan arriving in Washington, they’d better be quick about it.

Magic Johnson Denied Courtside Seats By New York Knicks

The New York Daily News reported that NBA legend Magic Johnson had his request for complimentary tickets denied by Knicks’ brass; reportedly due to critical comments Johnson made about former Knicks’ boss, Isiah Thomas.  Based on that, I’m wondering how anyone gets in the building.

NBA Commish Must Ban Arenas For Life

Washington Wizards’ teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittendon are alleged to have drawn guns on each other in the Wizards’ locker room over a gambling debt; something Arenas has confirmed.  arenasApparently, it was Arenas’ idea of some sort of prank.  He’s been suspended indefinitely as D.C. police continue to investigate.

There is no gray area here for Commissioner David Stern as to his course of action.  This was no courtside melee that spilled into the stands and endangered ticket holders; something for which Ron Artest lost a season.  This was a real, live, life-or-death situation created by two idiots with no regard for the value of a dollar, let alone a life.  How would you like to be the clubhouse guy for Washington?  Young guy, going about your business and all of a sudden you’re in the middle of a shootout.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Once you’ve actually become unbalanced enough to draw the weapon, how far, actually, is the next step to fire it?

The NBA averted the worst event in its history by an eyelash.  Should Arenas or Crittendon be allowed back, the league will be as culpable as the players when, not if, it happens again.  Sadly ironic that it happened with the Wizards, a team whose name was changed from the Bullets because its late owner, Abe Pollin, was concerned about the violent image the name projected among D.C. youth. 

NFL Playoff Predictions

Green Bay 31 Arizona 23: Bobby Carr, Joe Berg and Lynn Dickey rejoice.
Dallas 27 Philadelphia 13: Tell your father-in-law to kiss your arse, young Flanagan.
Patriots 26 Ravens 21:  Is there any way both teams can lose?  Won’t even watch this game.
Bengals 17 Jets 9: Condolences to Lou Ricciardi, Jack O’Sullivan and Mike Walsh.

Big Conference Matchups Highlight This Week’s NCAA Schedule

October 15, 2009 under College Football, Uncategorized

We’re seven weeks into the College Football season and finally have a weekend we can01-USCNotreDameAP sink our teeth into.  Starting with a huge Big East matchup tonight and carrying through a big SEC clash on Saturday night, there are a number of games that will make or break a school’s hopes for at least a conference title and, in some cases, a National Championship.  Let’s take a look.

Red River Rivalry Is Oklahoma’s Last Stand
It’s plain and simple for Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma Sooners.  Win out or forget a BCS bid.  OU has already suffered two losses, albeit without the services of Heisman winner Sam Bradford, and can afford no more.  Each week’s contest will be the biggest of their season from here on out and none will be tougher than Saturday’s matchup with #2 Texas.  Mack Brown’s boys have been flying under the radar this season but intend show their wares to a national audience behind QB Colt McCoy, a narrow runner up to Bradford for last year’s Heisman.  Texas coach Mack Brown will look to repeat last year’s dominating performance that saw the Longhorns hold Oklahoma to just 48 rushing yds.  A Sooners’ victory would open the BCS door for quite a few schools but Texas just seems too strong.  Texas 34 Oklahoma 20.

Big East Championship Game in October
Tonight’s matchup between Cincinnati and South Florida lost some of its luster a few weeks back when USF QB Matt Grothe was lost for the season but still features the conference’s best teams.  Freshman sensation B.J. Daniels has done well to knock off an overrated Florida State and a punchless Syracuse squad since taking over.  However, the Bearcat offense is clicking on all cylinders behind QB Tony Pike and they’ve already shown they can win decisively on the road.  Cincy averages 42 PPG and will look to impress a national audience of voters by hanging at least that many on the Bulls. Cincinnati 38 South Florida 17.

No Easy Weeks For SEC Football Teams
Alabama, fresh off its biggest win of the season over Mississippi, puts its perfect record on the line vs. South Carolina. For the Gamecocks, the tandem of QB Stephen Garcia and WR Alshon Jeffery will have to play much better than last week when they managed to hold off a less than impressive Kentucky squad.  This is the first of three straight home games for the Tide, who’ll rely heavily on RB Mark Ingram to counter Steve Spurrier’s defensive schemes.  Alabama 27 South Carolina 23.

Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech Battle for Coastal Division Crown in ACC
The two best offenses in the ACC hook up with a bid to the conference championship game likely going to the winner. The Hokies have risen to #6 in this week’s CSV poll; an opening week loss to Alabama the only blemish on their record while Georgia Tech has a loss to Miami standing between them and perfection.  Both teams have dual threat QB’s with big play resumes but we like Va. Tech’s Tyrod Taylor just a bit more than Ga. Tech’s Josh Nesbitt.  And we absolutely love the speed of the Hokies defense.  Throw in the inevitable ‘Beamer Ball” special teams play and it comes up Virginia Tech 31  Georgia Tech 16.

USC Trojans Visit South Bend
USC continues its difficult road schedule in renewing its heated rivalry with the Fighting Irish.  ND coach Charlie Weis has had two weeks to prepare for this one but, unless he’s found a way to get thirteen defenders on the field, he’ll be on the short end of a shootout.  Irish QB Jimmy Claussen leads an offense as good as any in the country but the defense can’t stop anyone. Look for Pete Carroll to extend his winning streak over Notre dame to seven behind frosh QB Matt Barkley and tailback Joe McKnight.  USC 44 Notre Dame 34.

CollegeSportsView.com’s  Top 25

1) Florida (5-0)
2) Texas (5-0)
3) Alabama (6-0)
4) Boise State (5-0)
5) Cincinnati(5-0)
6) Virginia Tech (5-1)
7) USC (4-1)
8 ) LSU (5-1)
9) TCU (5-0)
10)Ohio State (5-1)
11)Kansas (5-0)
12)South Florida (5-0)
13)Oregon (5-1)
14)Oklahoma (3-2)
15)Iowa (6-0)
16)Nebraska (4-1)
17)South Carolina (5-1)
18)Miami (3-1)
19)Oklahoma State (4-1)
20)Georgia Tech (5-1)
21)Notre Dame (4-1)
22)Penn State (5-1)
23)BYU (5-1)
24)Wisconsin (5-1)
25)Utah (4-1)

Five Teams to Watch
Auburn (5-1)
Missouri (4-1)
Mississippi (3-2)
Arkansas (3-2)
Nichols  (3-3)


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