The Week That Was: Same Old Pats vs. Jets

     The Yankees playing in the American League Championship Series probably had a lot to do with it but there was surprisingly little buzz in the week leading up to Sunday’s Patriots-Jets game. First place in the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference was on the line.

    Another reason for the low-keyed buildup was that although the Jets had won three straight games going into Sunday’s game most believed that the Jets were still a very long ways from being in the league of the five-time Super Bowl champs. Even at age 40, Patriots QB Tom Brady is still the Road Runner to the Jets’ Wile E. Coyote.

     Things didn’t change on Sunday either. The Patriots spotted the Jets an early 14-0 lead but the Jets’ inability to stop the Patriots’ running game as well as their failure to establish their own led to a 24-17 defeat that really wasn’t as close as the score indicated.

     The Jets were the victims of a controversial referee call when Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins appeared to score a touchdown. Unfortunately he fumbled the ball out of bounds in the end zone and it was a ruled a touchback and the Patriots wound up with the ball. It’s debatable whether this was the game-changing moment that bitter Jets fans believe.

     Visit Houston, that city’s tourism bureau held a media reception in New York the same night that the Yankees were finishing off their comeback against the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series.

      Its CEO, Mike Waterman, admitted that he was rooting for the Yankees to move on and play the Astros for a pair of reasons. The Yankees are the best known American sports brand and they certainly have a far larger fan base than the Indians which would be great news for the city’s hotels and restaurants. More importantly however it would be a priceless chance to show the New York media that in spite of the August’s Hurricane Harvey Houston was open for business and that the downtown shows little evidence that any devastation in the city’s downtown.

     The Mets have benefitted economically from the Yankees’ October success. Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club which normally plays its home games at Yankee Stadium had to move this Sunday’s game from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field. The Mets have leased out Citi Field in the past for international soccer contests but this will be the first MLS game to be played there.

     Last week wasn’t a good one for the growth of soccer in this country as the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad & Tobago beat the US men’s team 2-1 in a World Cup qualifying match which means that our nation won’t be competing in next year’s global tournament. Fox Sports executives who spent a lot of moolah on rights fees can’t be happy.

   Boxing, which many thought was dying not so long ago, is experiencing a revival. A good case in point was Saturday’s boxing card of 154-pound pugilists at Barclays Center that was broadcast on Showtime. There were three intriguing bouts as former welterweight champ , the dapper Austin Trout lost via TKO in the tenth round to Jarrett Hurd; Jemell Charlo made surprisingly easy work of Erickson Lubin knocking him out in the first round; and in the headlining match-up, Erislandy Lara won a decision over previously unbeaten Terrell Gausha.

     The New York City Wine & Food Festival, which is held in mid-October, celebrated its tenth anniversary this past weekend. While it seems like food festivals and restaurant weeks have been going on forever they are actually a fairly recent phenomena.

    The NYCWFF gives both restaurants and food & beverage brands a golden opportunity to promote themselves. A growing market in the food industry are gourmet providers who deliver scheduled meals to busy folks who either want to eat healthy or have specific dietary needs that takeout from local restaurants cannot provide.

     One such company, Epicured (, which launched in 2016, made its NYCWFF debut. It serves gluten-free, low-carb meals that are designed for those with digestive problems. Based on the chili, soups, salads, and entree dishes that I sampled, everyone who likes tasty food will enjoy their cuisine. The prices for meals average around $15 which is not a budget-breaker for most. To Epicured’s credit, they are not a subscription service that practically requires one to have a supermarket-sized freezer as well as incur a significant financial obligation.

    Raisins have long been known for being one of the healthiest snacks around. I have to confess that I never really enjoyed those little red boxers of Sun Maid as a kid because they were often overly dry and had a dull taste. A new company, Amazing Fruit Products, must realized that other felt the same way that I did, as they have started Amazin’ Raisin which is soft and chewy and is infused with flavors as lemon, orange, and raspberry.

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