Sportsbeat – 12/24/10

If the Jets win the Super Bowl then all NFL head coaches and their wives will make fetish videos! Then again, Rex Ryan is more likely to win an Adult Video News Award than the Lombardi Trophy. Hustler, Nugget and Gallery are now assigning reporters to cover the Jets!

Enough with the rimshots. The puritanical family values crowd should be applauding Rex and his wife Michelle for still having the hots for each other after 23 years of marriage and who keep their romantic flame going with some creative role play.

You have to believe that Tom Coughlin would gladly prefer making a bondage video that went public than enduring another humiliating nightmarish loss a la what the Giants suffered at the hands of the Eagles on December 19.

The Knicks have become relevant again even if they are not quite among the NBA’s elite teams just yet. Their games at Madison Square Garden against both the Celtics and the Heat just before Christmas had a playoff-like atmosphere, something that has been missing there for years.

The concern is whether the Knicks will be able to stay healthy. I asked head coach Mike D’Antoni if he was worried about accelerated depreciation (an accounting term for the loss of value through wear and tear) occurring in his players because he plays his starting five for almost the entire game. “These are young men who can play 40 minutes; but yes, I will keep an eye on them,” he said prior to the Knicks’ blowout win over a very good Oklahoma City Thunder team led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

I asked backup Thunder point guard, Royal Ivey, who grew up in Bayside and graduated from Cardozo High School, about whether he has adjusted to living in Oklahoma City. “I have gone from the city that never sleeps to the city that sleeps,” he said with a chuckle.

Speaking of Queens hoops stars who played in the NBA, former Knicks and Nets forward Anthony Mason has started a big men’s clothing company called Custom Kings. “I am looking for a distributor and I’ll be at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in February trying to get a deal done,” Mason told me after the Celtics-Knicks game.

Pat Summerall, John Madden and George Steinbrenner (who started the largest regional sports network in the world, YES) were among the inductees at the fourth annual Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame that is run by the Sports Video Group. The Hall of Fame is looking for a permanent home and there are rumors that it will wind up at the American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

When the Yankees announced that they would be inaugurating a college football bowl game at Yankee Stadium on December 30, few took the event seriously. To their credit though, the Yankees lined up two teams with solid followings, Syracuse and Kansas State; lined up a title sponsor, New Era; signed up a Super Bowl-like halftime show with the cast of “Rock of Ages” performing three numbers; and held numerous press events to bring public awareness. The end result was an advance ticket sale of over 40,000. The Yankees also donated 6,000 tickets to various local kids groups.

“The New Era Pinstripe Bowl is contracted to be at Yankee Stadium for the next three years,” Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said when asked about the rumor that the NHL wanted to have its annual New Year’s Day Winter Classic held there. “If the NHL wants to hold the Winter Classic at another time, we’d be interested,” Trost added in his no-nonsense manner.

The NHL may have to turn to Plan B. Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon has not hidden the fact that he would love for Citi Field, which is dormant after the baseball season ends (some may claim that it is still dormant during the baseball season), to host a Winter Classic with the Rangers as the home team.

Cliff Lee’s CPA must be even more upset than Yankees fans are that the pitcher signed with the Phillies. I am sure that he urged Lee to stay with the Texas Rangers because there is no state income tax in Texas and the real estate taxes in even the poshest Dallas-area neighborhoods are fairly low. Every athlete knows that the Philadelphia tax collector’s office is relentless in getting revenue from them and that Pennsylvania’s income tax structure is similar to that of New York. In addition, the real estate taxes of posh Philly suburbs as the various Main Line towns and ritzy South Jersey locales as Cherry Hill and Marlton are quite high.

SNY Mets analyst, and the greatest first baseman in the team’s history, Keith Hernandez, made a public appearance at Strawberry’s Grill in Douglaston the week before Christmas. I asked Keith if he was surprised about where Cliff Lee wound up. “I don’t think about baseball during the off-season,” he harrumphed. Mets fans would be wise to follow his advice.

It was about time that the Islanders recalled center Josh Bailey from the Bridgeport Sound-Tigers. Why should he play for a minor league team in the American Hockey League when he can play for a minor league team in the NHL?

Speaking of the Isles, when is goalie Rick Di Pietro, who was once again put on the injured reserve list, going to finally announce his retirement? The word is that the arrogant Di Pietro has a degenerative hip condition. That’s not good for anyone, let alone a goaltender.

New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has been hurt most of the year and that is one reason that the team has stunk this season. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello had the right to engage in one of his favorite activities–firing his head coach. At age 38, Marty is unlikely to regain his all-star form. Lou should look into his farm system and bring up Queens native Dave Caruso who is tending the nets for the Trenton Devils.

Anyone who has spent time in a press box was deeply saddened by the sudden passing of radio producer and East Meadow resident Joel Blumberg. Among those who attended his standing room only funeral at West Babylon’s Star of David Chapel were Knicks’ voice Mike Breen, Rangers’ play-by-play man Kenny Albert, Mets broadcasters Howie Rose and Gary Cohen, Sirius XM hockey guru Ashley Scharge, and veteran local radio sports anchors Ed Ingles, Barry Landers, Todd Ant and Marc Ernay.

Note to MSG College Sports VP Joel Fisher: it’s time to make the Holiday Tournament a local affair. Northwestern and Davidson University drew flies to the Garden although it was fun to watch Davidson forward/center Jake Cohen play. Cohen has NBA potential and would make Jewish hoops fans proud if he were to make it to the pros. Currently the only Jewish player in the league is New Jersey Nets guard Jordan Farmar.

The Holiday Tournament would sell more tickets if local schools as Columbia, LIU, Fordham, St. Francis, Iona, Monmouth, Hofstra could play each other. Currently the only NYC college that always plays in the Holiday Tournament is St. John’s which won this year’s trophy.

Ski season is here and the nearest slopes can be found in the Poconos. The area is home to gaming as the old Mount Airy Lodge has been renovated from top to bottom and is now the Mount Airy Casino. While there is no downhill skiing on the premises, there is snowmobiling.

Mount Airy’s spa is certainly worth a visit.

What I always hated most about the winter was the bundling up. Thanks to 21st century technology it is now possible to stay warm without having to put on bulky sweaters and jackets. Columbia Sportswear’s Titanium jackets with Omni Heat technology and Lands End’s Squall parkas keep you quite warm on the most frigid days and still make you look and feel as if you are wearing a windbreaker.

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