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The View From The Cheap Seats

November 20, 2009 under Cheap Seats

By Eddie Mayrose

New York Jets In Familiar Position

It’s Groundhog Day for the Jets as the promise of a 3-0 start has been crushed under the weight of a skid that has seen them lose five of cheap_seats_3_their last six and landed them in their annual, mid-season playoff position; outside looking in. This year’s version of  “Same Old Jets” could be a little more interesting than its predecessors, though, as the characters are far more compelling.  Trash talking defenders forced to eat their words because of fourth quarter ineptitude, a color blind quarterback preparing post-game cheat notes for the media and the world’s largest crybaby as the leading man. While the swoon is something all too familiar to their fans, it’s a nice gesture by the Jets to, at least, put a new spin on an old, old story.

Does Punishment Fit The Crime?

Cheap Seats regular and Jets’ season ticket holder, Lou Ricciardi, took his son, Bobby, to Sunday’s Jacksonville debacle and I’m wondering how bad young Bob’s transgression had to be that it required such severe punishment.

CBS Sports Puts Stamp of Approval on Bonehead Play

Was amazed that the play that saw Jaguars’ running back Maurice Jones-Drew take a knee on the one yard line instead of scoring the go-ahead touchdown nthat the Jets were conceding with a minute left in the contest was so well received.  Jags’ coach Jack Del Rio had instructed his star to, essentially, take a dive in order to run down the clock.  As if a field goal was a sure thing and the possibility of a fumble didn’t exist.  This would have been a smart play had Jacksonville been up by a point instead of down.  But, to pass up a certain score that would put you ahead is as ludicrous as the endorsement the play received from CBS analyst Dan Fouts. Had Jacksonville somehow failed to score, Del Rio would’ve had a long week.

New England Patriots’ Bellichick Still A Little Green

While on the subject of coaching blunders, you’d have to look long and hard to find one with results as disastrous as Bill Bellichick’s Sunday night.  Not only did his fourth down gamble hand Peyton Manning the ball just twenty eight yards from a winning score, Belichick also informed his defenders that he has no faith in them. The loss could have serious repercussions come playoff time, especially if it costs New England a home game. When you see a brain cramp like that, you have to wonder if Bellichick stiill suffers some minor effects from his one afternoon as HC of the NYJ.

New York Knicks Mull Signing of Allen Iverson

So now the Knicks are mulling the signing of Allen Iverson which, after ten losses in the first eleven games, seems like a logical, next step  as the season becomes the most disastrous in franchise history.  Selfish, divisive and not nearly as talented as he once was, Iverson is on the verge of becoming the latest act in Donnie Walsh’s expiring-contract sideshow.  Can’t wait for the first time each of Mike D’Antoni’s starters walks on to the court carrying his own ball.

Kelly Tripucka Still An All-Star

Although the Knicks may be completely unwatchable, they’re at least a good listen when Kelly Tripucka is behind the microphone.  His expert analysis and delivery are as smooth as the feathery jumper he displayed during his long NBA career; a career still unjustly snubbed by The Basketball Hall of Fame.

New York Mets Hire Wally Backman to Manage Brooklyn Cyclones

I don’t know much about what caused Wally Backman to step down after just three days as Diamondbacks’ manager in 2004 and even less about what he’s done to address those issues since.  But I’m positive I don’t get to decide that he doesn’t deserve the second chance given him by the Mets as manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones.  I’m also sure that, if Backman does have his life in order, he’s exactly the kind of fiery personality so sorely lacking within the organization.

The View from the Cheap Seats

September 23, 2009 under Cheap Seats, MLB, NBA, NFL

By Eddie Mayrose

Giants Lost in the Shuffle

With the Jets off to a stunning 2-0 start, much of the sports discussion in New York cheap_seats_3_owumhas become different versions of, “Everything you always wanted to know about Rex but were afraid to ask.” Unfortunately, the media frenzy surrounding Gang Green’s unexpected success under its fiery, new Head Coach has pushed an even better story off of the back pages.

In the August 31st edition of Sports Illustrated, Giants’ GM Jerry Reese discussed how the team’s Wide Receiver position would be impacted by the loss of Plaxico Burress and the organization’s decision not to trade for an established veteran.  “We love developing our own guys and we feel like we have quality receivers to get the job done”,  he said at the time.  Reese looked very smart Sunday night as  Mario Manningham and Steve Smith each pulled in ten balls for over 100 yards and a touchdown in the Giants big win over Dallas.

The thing is, Reese’s quote was just a different take on similar statements he’s made regarding Head Coach Tom Coughlin, QB Eli Manning and an untested Offensive Line over the course of the last few years.  Under Reese, the Giants have established themselves as a consistently competitive team simply by sticking to their guns; making sound evaluations and then supporting them when things get tough.  So far, it’s produced four straight playoff appearances and a Super Bowl.  So, enjoy the excitement of the Meadowlands’ other tenants.  The Giants actually prefer that you do.  But don’t lose sight of the fact that consistency beats occasional success every day of the week.

Jets’ Fast Start Fools Even Most Loyal Followers

Cheap Seater and Jets season ticket holder Lou Ricciardi, who would have opted to start Kellen Clemens over Mark Sanchez because of what he expected to be a disastrous start, chimed in this week on the euphoria sweeping Jets’ nation.  “I can’t believe how wrong I was but I hope they continue to prove me incorrect all year” said Ricciardi.   “I’ve had season tickets for twenty years and I’ve never heard the Meadowlands that loud.”

We’ve seen this kind of quick turnaround under a new head coach before.   In his first season, Herm Edwards won the AFC East only to oversee three ensuing flops while Eric Mangini was dubbed “Man-Genius” after his first year netted a 10-6 record and a playoff appearance.  It seems a little different with Ryan, though, if only because he’s recognized that the first thing that needs to be changed is the team’s attitude.  He’s imposed his attack mentality on his defensive charges and fired up the fans in the process.  That he rubbed one in the face of archrival Bill Bellichick is even better. But, after all of the phone calls to ticket holders and pregame speeches, this is still a team with a rookie QB that has struggled in December throughout its history.  If Ryan and Sanchez can finish the season the way they’ve started it, the Jets may finally have themselves a winner.

On The Joba Training

Now that Phil Hughes has firmly established himself as a reliable eighth inning reliever, the Yankees have no alternative but to use Joba Chamberlain as their fourth starter in the postseason.  With that in mind, it’s probably a good idea to get Chamberlain some more work; as his latest outing in Seattle clearly indicates that the Joba Rules put in place to limit his innings are also limiting his effectiveness.

Shooting Guard

Apparently misunderstanding his coach’s instructions to “drive and shoot”, Cleveland Cavs’ guard DeLonte West was arrested last week for carrying two unlicensed handguns and a shotgun while riding his motorcycle.  After two years of passing the ball to LeBron James, seems like West finally decided it was his turn to take a shot.

Sore Loser

When Bill Bellichick offers his dead fish handshake to an opposing head coach after a game, he looks like a jerk.  But when he brushes off a rookie quarterback who goes out of his way to shake his hand, as Mark Sanchez did on Sunday, he deserves a smack.

Manuel Labor

A few weeks ago, I wrote in this space that it was impossible to hold manager Jerry Manuel accountable for the Mets’ terrible record because of the team’s extensive injury list.  However, after watching how his undermanned charges have begun to phone in the balance of the season, I’m wondering if Manuel has actually lost his squad.  Bad is one thing.  Apathetic is inexcusable.

Fans Enjoying Last Hurrah?

Lost in the euphoria of the Jets upset of New England in their home opener was the fact that many of the fans that made up the most raucous crowd I’ve ever heard at a Jets’ game will probably not be there next season because they can’t afford the Personal Seat Licensing fees. And, it may be a more difficult transition than they think, as local TV blackouts of home games loom if the Jets can’t fill those seats.

Out of Timeouts

Though it’s completely understandable that a coach would want to use a timeout to freeze the opposing kicker before a last second field goal attempt, someone needs to explain to me how it’s more effective when it’s called at the last possible second.  We see this nonsense every week; most recently on Sunday night in Dallas.   The kick goes through, the winners start to celebrate and the line judge comes running in to wave the whole thing off.  It’s something that the NFL needs to address before a player is injured on one of these non-plays.

Redskins Rookie Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

Sunday night, after the Redskins stumbled through a 9-7 win over the hapless Rams in a game that left the hometown fans dissatisfied, Skins’ rookie line backer Robert Henson, listed by Washington as inactive for the first two games of the season, shared this little missive on his Twitter account. “All you fake half hearted Skins fan can .. I won’t go there but I dislike you very strongly, don’t come to Fed Ex to boo dim wits!!” “The question is who are you to say you know what’s best for the team and you work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds.”

Ignore for a second the obvious flaw in his thinking that anyone working 9 to 5 at McDonald’s could even afford the absurd cost of a Redskins’ game ticket.  Focus instead on the ironic point that, after leaving  TCU without a degree and no real indication from the Skins that he has a future in the league, Henson may very well become the biggest employee at his own local McDonald’s.  That is, if the fast food giant deems him a qualified applicant.

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