The end of the NFL season means that the front offices of all teams will brainstorm to find ways to markedly improve themselves for 2018. A lot of sportswriters are imploring the Jets to sign longtime Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins who is slated to become a free agent in March. A notable exception is Daily News NFL columnist and Fresh Meadows native Gary Myers who doesn’t view him as an elite signal caller.
I frequently disagree with Myers but he is absolutely right on the money this time. What has Cousins done for the Washington Redskins? His stats may be nice but they haven’t won a playoff game in the last seven years. Of course the Jets have missed the playoffs for the past eight years so on that level Cousins is a perfect fit for them.
Jets fans who are drooling for Cousins have to wonder why his old employer, the Redskins, pulled the trigger on a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs to acquire their starting QB from last season, Alex Smith, if Cousins is so desirable.
While I understand Jets fans’ frustration and the reality that neither of the two quarterbacks on their roster, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, are not quality NFL starters, history has shown that the household names of the NFL such as Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, and Matt Ryan were drafted and developed by their current teams.
Drew Brees who started his career with the San Diego Chargers but was traded to the New Orleans Saints in 2006 when the Chargers drafted their current QB, Philip Rivers, has flourished in the Crescent City but he is a rare exception that proves the rule.
I have been critical of the New York Islanders communications department because they have not been very welcoming to media. That may be because the team’s general manager, Garth Snow, who helps set the corporate culture, is averse to dealing with the media. NHL sources tell me that the Islanders’ former majority owner, Charles Wang, who was very fond of Snow in spite of the Islanders’ failure to make the playoffs most seasons, added a very lucrative golden parachute to Snow’s contract just before he sold majority interest in the team to fiancier and Bayside High alum Jon Ledecky. Thus Ledecky may be stuck with Snow for a long time.
The Isles’ community affairs department is first rate however. Islanders players regularly visit schools and hospitals. A couple of weeks ago the team held a Mental Health Awareness night before a home game. Last Saturday night the Islanders hosted a “Pride Night” in which they saluted the LGBTQ community. Yes, this is common in other pro sports, but hockey tends to be far more conservative. For years, the only NHL player who was vocal about LGBTQ rights was the inimitable Sean Avery.
You can say a lot of things about Super Bowl LII but boring it wasn’t. In a back and forth affair where offense was the name of the game, the Philadelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots by a score of 41-33 to win their first-ever Super Bowl.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman’s very worried look with 13 seconds left on the clock encapsulated the fears of all Eagles fans because Patriots QB Tom Brady would have one last shot for a “Hail Mary” pass to the end zone. As every NFL fan knows, if anyone can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it’s Thomas E. Brady. He gave it his best heave but the Eagles defense was able to knock it down and escape.
A Super Bowl means great business for the local beers of the cities participating in it. I have a feeling that a record was set for Yuengling Beer sales in Philadelphia Sunday night while New Englanders were drowning their sorrows with large quantities of Samuel Adams’ Sam ‘76.
The best Super Bowl commercial by far was the “Dirty Dancing” finale spoof with Giants QB Eli Manning and his favorite wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. handling the bulk of the choreography. The ad was for the National Football League whose ratings slipped this past season. The tag line of the commercial was “More touchdowns to come.”
St. John’s 81-77 win over Duke at the Garden on Saturday was a shot in the arm for the Red Storm that few expected. Historically the Johnnies generally give the Blue Devils all that they can handle but coming off 11 straight losses this season few really expected them to beat the fourth-ranked team in the country. If this game doesn’t lead to some wins against Big East teams this month then the upset will only serve as the highlight of an otherwise dreary season.
The weirdest Super Bowl-related story of the week was reading that a Flushing insurance underwriter, Solomon Chu, was fired from his job at National Debt Relief because he tore down a poster of Tom Brady that was put up without his notice. Chu thought that it was a prank but according to the New York Post, the head of human resources at his company, Jeanne Murray, is a big Patriots fan and fired Chu over his “vandalism.” This kind of publicity doesn’t help any company and I have a feeling that Ms. Murray may be having a conversation with upper management shortly.
I am not sure if this had anything to do with the Super Bowl but Sunday was National Homemade Soup Day.
The death last week of former Yankees outfielder Oscar Gamble shook up a lot of baby boomer baseball fans who remember him for having the biggest Afro hair style in baseball. He had so much hair that his Yankees cap looked like it was child-sized on his head. Like a lot of men, Gamble lost most of his follicles as he aged but he was a good sport as he always smiled next to his Topps baseball card for then and now photos. It should also be noted that Oscar was a very good player who possessed both power and speed.
Lake Placid, New York was the home of both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. During this past week the 38th annual Empire State Winter Games took place there as 2,500 amateur athletes competed in a lot of the sports that will be taking place in Pyeong Chang over the next two weeks.
Brooklyn Nets forward Quincy Acy is a good rebounder but his head coach, Kenny Atkinson, should forbid him from ever shooting a three-point shot. He has a very limited shooting range and his success rate at hitting that kind of long outside shot is the equivalent of picking the right Power Ball numbers.
Retired Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has always been known for his jocular personality. He is dipping his toes into the reality TV world with a ten-episode series on Fusion titled “Big Papi Needs A Job.” Ortiz will unleash his inner George Plimpton as in each show he’ll try a new gig such as being a dog groomer or being a Fenway Park tour guide.
Speaking of television that makes you chuckle, “Schitt’s Creek,” that stars veteran funnyman Eugene Levy has returned for its fourth season on POP TV. Levy plays the patriarch of a once wealthy family that now has to scrape by after losing their fortune in a Bernie Madoff-like Ponzi scheme.
Comedies about teachers have been around since the beginning of television. Some have been pretty good such as “Those Who Can’t” which will shortly begin its third season on Tru TV while others weren’t with the most recent miscue being a television adaptation of the Cameron Diaz comedy, “Bad Teacher,” that starred Ari Graynor. A new NBC comedy, “A.P. Bio,” whose executive producers are Seth Meyers and “Saturday Night Live” czar Lorne Michaels, now joins the ranks.
“A.P. Bio,” is a homage to “Welcome Back, Kotter,” and “Head of the Class.” The show stars Glenn Howerton as a self-absorbed burnout named Jack Griffin who is forced to return home to Toledo to take a teaching job at his old high school after he fails to get tenure from Harvard’s Philosophy department. The fact that he doesn’t know a lick about biology is overlooked by his beleaguered principal played by the always welcome Patton Oswalt.
Glenn Howerton’s Jack Griffin is a true anti-hero and that is always a risky proposition for a lead character in a network television since it generally hurts ratings. The show previewed last Thursday and will return to NBC on March 1after the Olympics end. “A.P. Bio” takes risks and that generates smart laugh. I hope that it stick around. You can view the first three episodes on NBC.com.
The law industry’s annual trade show, Legal Tech, has understandably a lot of exhibitors who specialize in legal research and data security. This year’s show also had a few companies who have products aimed towards the general public. Corel was promoting its Word Perfect 18 writing software program. I have always found Word Perfect to be superior to Microsoft Word when it comes to spacing and reducing pages. Unfortunately Corel does not have Microsoft’s reach. Another company, Nuance, was promoting its Dragon software which translates the spoken word into sentences on your computer screen. This reduces strain on the hands.