You had a feeling that it would end ugly for the Jets this year and it did. Finishing the year with three straight losses to wind up with a disappointing 8-8 record will certainly lead to the ouster of Jets offensive coach Brian Schottenheimer, and has already begin the inevitable yet understandable public doubting about whether QB Mark Sanchez is really “The Sanchize.”
Dan Leberfeld, the publisher of the terrific Jets Confidential newspaper and website believes that former Alabama QB Greg McElroy, who got hurt this summer at Jets training camp and is still on the roster, is superior to Sanchez. At the very least, head coach Rex Ryan should give McElroy significant playing time during the 2012 preseason to make him a viable understudy to Sanchez.
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum will certainly feel some heat. Cornerback Kyle Wilson and offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse, the Jets top two draft picks in 2010 have proven to be busts so far. Even worse however were his decisions to ditch wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery in favor of 37 year-old Derrick Mason who was subsequently let go by the Jets in mid-season, and to break the bank for wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who former Jets QB and current SNY analyst Ray Lucas labeled a cancer in the locker room following the team’s 19-17 loss to the Dolphins on New Year’s Day.
Holmes pouted on the sidelines after being removed from the game for his lackadaisical attitude. He then proceeded to throw Mark Sanchez under the bus for throwing key interceptions during the season, as well as admitting that he did not see any reason to rush back to the huddle when the referees were reviewing a play. Santonio was a Jets captain this season. Now that’s what I call leadership.
Time Warner Cable customers in our area began the new year without the MSG family of channels in yet another dispute between a television network and a cable/satellite provider.
There will certainly be more of these skirmishes since the dollars involved with sports programming is astronomical. ESPN has proven that it can extract high fees from Pay-TV providers because it spends big bucks on rights fees. The Angels spent the gross national product of many countries on Albert Pujols because they want to entice Rupert Murdoch’s FOX Sports Network to big hundreds of millions of greenbacks on broadcast rights fees. Murdoch will in turn seek big subscriber fees from Southern California TV providers. Cablevision is seeking about 6 or 7 bucks per subscriber from Time Warner Cable according to sports business columnist Evan Weiner.
As expected, Time Warner Cable is resisting and claims to be championing the rights and economic well-being of its customers. Of course TWC plays the same game as ESPN and the MSG Networks. The company just spent over $200 million on acquiring the cable rights for LA Lakers games so that they can soak their own customers and rival providers in Southern California.
My guess is that Time Warner and Cablevision will cut a deal when the politicians put pressure to force cable companies to offer a la carte channel pricing options for basic packages. That certainly would not be in the best economic interests of either cable sports networks or Pay-TV providers. It’s better for all involved to keep having non-sports fans subsidize cable carriers and fat cat sports networks.
If you grew up rooting for the Knicks, make sure to pick up a copy of Harvey Araton’s When The Garden Was Eden (Harper). When I first saw the book in Barnes & Nobles I assumed that it was yet another knock on Cablevision CEO James Dolan whose company now runs Madison Square Garden.
In fact, Dolan is hardly mentioned in it at all as Araton concentrates on those legendary Knicks teams of the 1970s. He points out that Dave DeBusschere had to wait an inordinate amount of time to have his number retired at the Garden because Knicks executives were miffed that he worked for the American Basketball Association and the Nets after he retired.
For those who perennially bash Oyster Bay resident Jim Dolan, keep in mind that Sonny Werblin who ran the Garden in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, coldly traded Walt Frazier to Cleveland and released both Willis Reed and Earl Monroe.
Harvey Araton is one of the few recognizable New York Times sports columnists left now that Port Washington resident George Vecsey has announced his retirement.
Newsday used to have one of the best sports staffs around. These days the bench has gotten a bit thinner now that Alan Hahn has left the Knicks beat to work for the MSG Network and longtime Islanders beat writer, Katie Strang, jumped ship to ESPN New York.
Here is an unsolicited tip to Newsday sports editor Hank Winnicki: allow the supremely talented and underappreciated Mark Herrmann to revive his witty “Windup” column for the Sunday paper.
The Mets are rumored to have the inside track from hosting the 2013 All-Star Game. There are also rumors that the NHL may consider Citi Field for the 2013 New Year’s Day Winter Classic. The Mets have indicated their interest to the league and it doesn’t hurt that both NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL chief operating officer John Collins are Queens natives. Of course knowing the way things work out for the Wilpons, neither will occur in 2013.
The National Enquirer is reporting that Kobe Bryant had affairs with 105 different women while he was married. If you are going to lose hundreds of millions in a divorce you might as well get your money’s worth!
Nets forward Kris Humphries is inexplicably being booed by fans because of his ill-fated marriage to Kim Kardashian. Paradoxically, the notoriety he received from being associated with the reality TV queen appears to have made him more comfortable on his stage, an NBA arena. He seems to have markedly improved so far this young season even if his team has not.
If your New Year’s resolution is to exercise more than you should also be ready to find a way to handle the inevitable aches and pains. The New York College of Health Professions in Syosset trains massage therapists and has one of the largest holistic health clinics in the country. You can register for a variety of massage therapies at rates far less than spas charge because you’ll be attended to by students working under a supervising physician.
If you have trouble getting up in the morning, there is good news. Starbucks has just introduced its first line of single sever K-cups designed for Keurig machines.