NY Sports Day

Sports Beat “Queens: The Battleground Borough”

Brooklyn has suddenly become a major player in the world of professional sports with the opening of the Barclays Center. The Nets begin the 2012-13 NBA season tonight there as they take on the Knicks. Last Wednesday, the New York Islanders, those perennial cellar dwellers of the National Hockey League (those years when there aren’t labor issues) announced that they would be moving from the dilapidated Nassau Veterans Coliseum to the Barclays Center effective the fall of 2015.

It’s completely understandable if Queensites feel a bit envious of all the attention that our neighboring borough is getting but there is another way of looking at things. Queens is connected to Manhattan, the home of Madison Square Garden’s Knicks and Rangers, by two bridges and a tunnel., while we also share a lengthy land border with Brooklyn. With 2 million residents Queens should be to New York’s winter sports teams what Ohio is to presidential election campaigns.

The Knicks, Rangers, Nets and Islanders should be competing for our loyalties by sending their current players and alumni to our community events and by advertising in our newspapers (OK, I admit to some self-interest here!)

The Islanders in particular would be wise to promote themselves in our borough since they have far more fans here than in any of the other boroughs, including Brooklyn, since Nassau County is our neighbor to the east. The Nassau Coliseum is on the average a thirty-minute drive for most of us.

Isles owner Charles Wang said that the team will still be called the New York Islanders and that their logo will be unchanged. I have no problem with the team name but the logo, which features a map of Long Island, has always irked me because it only shows the land mass occupied by Nassau and Suffolk counties. They would be wise to now include all of Long Island, meaning the addition of Brooklyn and Queens, to the design.

One of the ironies of the Islanders move from Uniondale to downtown Brooklyn is that they will finally be near a Long Island Rail Road station, Atlantic Terminal. The absence of an LIRR station at Nassau Coliseum has always hampered the box office success of the Islanders as it disenfranchised fans who did not have cars. Even if you did have an automobile at your disposal, the odds are that you did not want to drive it in bad weather which is frequently the case during hockey season. Parking fees and high gasoline prices also have to be factored into the budgetary equation.

Congratulations to Baseball Hall of Famer and original Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner who turned 90 last Friday. Ralph still offers commentary during select Mets games on SNY.

While it’s understandable that the Jets probably did not have full focus on football last Sunday as everyone was preparing for Hurricane Sandy, their 30-9 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins was galling and badly damaged their fading playoff hopes.

QB Mark Sanchez, who enjoyed a decent outing against the New England Patriots last week, reverted to his ineffective ways. In fairness, his offensive line was the equivalent of tissue paper.

As has been the case all season, the Jets were penalized at the worst possible times but the sad truth is that they should have been called for more infractions but the referees probably wanted to get out of MetLife Stadium as quickly as possible since the game’s outcome was never in doubt from the get-go.

Even one of the Jets’ traditional pillars, special teams, was awful against the Dolphins as Miami was able to recover a surprise on-side kick early in the first quarter, and then block a punt shortly after that. The Jets also allowed a ton of yards on both kickoffs and punt returns.

The first words out of Charles Wang’s mouth when he made his big announcement at the Barclays Center was “Hello Brooklyn!” It seems as if that has become the hot 2012 catchphrase around here. Sportiqe, a sporting apparel company that makes fashionable t-shirts, cardigans, and hoodies has signed a licensing deal with the Nets and the NBA to produce a line of “Hello Brooklyn” apparel.

Biz Bash held their annual fall trade show last week at the Javits Center to promote various venues for corporate parties. Two upscale Manhattan bowling emporiums (you can’t call these places “bowling alleys” ), Bowlmor and Lucky Strike, exhibited there as a way of getting a leg up on competitors Frames and 300. My guess is that one of these companies will open an outpost in Long Island City or Astoria sometime in 2013.

Forget Democrats and Republicans or Coke and Pepsi. If you want to see two rivals who go at each other with everything they’ve got and more, check out Apple and Samsung whose Iphones and Galaxies battle for world domination in the smartphone market. These guys file patent infringement lawsuits against each other on almost a daily basis.

Samsung took over Moynihan Station last Wednesday night to introduce the Galaxy Note II, a product that Samsung calls a “phablet,” a combination of cell phone/tablet that allows a user to handwrite e-mails as well as access the Internet with a stylus.

Humorist Mo Rocca, who many know from his past work on Comedy Central, and currently CBS’s “This Morning,” has launched a light-hearted show, “My Grandmother’s Ravioli,”  in which he tries to learn recipes from senior citizens from various ethnic groups. The show airs Wednesday evenings on the Cooking Channel.

The Sinclair Institute’s “The Better Sex Guide to Extraordinary Lovemaking” (Quiver Publishing) is a throwback to such 1970s’ bestsellers as Alex Comfort’s “The Joy of Sex” and Dr. David Rubin’s “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex.” Sinclair was one of the exhibitors at one of the more fun trade shows that I have covered, Consumer Product Events’ “Valentine’s Day Gift Show.”


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