The death of longtime New York sportswriter Dave Anderson at age 89 last Thursday set off a wave of tributes including a very touching one from his New York Times colleague, Jamaica High School alum George Vecsey.
Dave Anderson was a sportswriter’s sportswriter. He got to the crux of the matter in his columns without either a predetermined agenda and without regurgitating the obvious. Given his prominence at the nation’s newspaper of record, he had ample opportunities to branch out into radio and television but he was content just being a newspaperman.
One of my biggest thrills was Dave Anderson knowing my name and telling me how much he enjoyed reading my columns when I started out with the Queens Chronicle. That was a priceless boost of confidence for which I will always be grateful
Mets ace pitcher Jacob deGrom would seem to be the favorite to win the National League Cy Young Award next month and his candidacy got a big boost when he was unanimously voted the Baseball Digest MLB Pitcher of the Year by a blue ribbon panel. Baseball Digest, incidentally, has dramatically updated its look as it has ditched dull red & black Reader’s Digest design in favor of a bigger, colorful glossy look under new editor, former New York Yankees media relations director Rick Cerrone.
DeGrom, who is not known for schmoozing with the media, was surprisingly approachable following the Mets’ season finale. I told him that he destroyed the old “Samson and Delilah” biblical tale. “Actually I got stronger when I cut my hair!” he said with a smile.
Two well-known brands in the sports collectibles biz, Topps and Beckett, have teamed up to create a series of ten baseball cards for the best players by position in the history of each MLB team. You can learn more at 30Teams30Weeks.com. Of course the debates will begin instantaneously. For example Jason Isringhausen is named the best relief pitcher in Cardinals history. I would have gone with “The Mad Hungarian,” Al Hrabosky.
As soon as the season ended two Mets left the country. The jury is out as to whether Dominic Smith will live up to billing as the Mets’ first round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft but you can’t knock his effort. He is playing in a Dominican Republic fall league to work on his defense at both first base and in the outfield. Reliever Robert Gsellman, easily the biggest free spirit on the team, is traveling through Europe on his own.
It’s hard not to feel for Yankees first baseman Greg Bird. The slugger stayed fairly healthy compared to the past but slumped just as the Yankees picked up first baseman Luke Voit from the Cardinals in a late July trade. Voit immediately went on a hitting tear. The end result was that Greg Bird was left off of the Yankees post-season roster.
There’s no “I” in team but it’s the first letter in “Income.” Jets running back Isaiah Crowell scored a touchdown against his old team, the Cleveland Browns, in Cleveland and celebrated by pantomiming wiping his butt with the football. The Jets, who had a 14-point lead, were understandably assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and eventually lost the game. Crowell deservedly took a lot of “crap” after the game for his actions. He may have gotten the last laugh however as Dude Wiper, a toilet paper substitute manufacturer, signed him to an endorsement deal.
Dude Wiper certainly got their money’s worth from Crowell on Sunday as he set a Jets rushing record by picking up 219 yards in the Jets’ 34-16 win over the Denver Broncos.
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold threw touchdown passes to Terrelle Pryor and Robby Anderson and he displayed a veteran’s poise with his game clock management by making sure that he did not leave the Broncos a lot of time to mount a comeback.
Marcus Maye took a lot of ribbing from his teammates in the Jets locker room following the game. Maye picked off a pass thrown by Broncos QB Case Keenum in the Denver end zone and ran it back for 104 yards before being tackled inches short of scoring a touchdown. That was probably the longest interception in NFL history that did not result in a score.
The CW Post name will be disappearing in 2019 when it comes to sports as Long Island University is consolidating its Brooklyn and Nassau County campuses when it comes to sports as they’ll all be under the LIU banner as the university is moving nearly of all of its sports to NCAA Division I status. All basketball games will now be played in downtown Brooklyn while football will remain at Upper Brookville.
HBO Sports president Peter Nelson conceded to me at the recent News & Documentaries Emmy Awards two weeks ago that his company was getting out of the fight game because they hadn’t been landing many big bouts ever since their guy, Manny Pacquiao, got past his prime. Boxing press conferences are known for the lavish food spreads but in recent years the press was lucky to get a bottle of water at HBO’s fight announcements. It inevitably shows when you don’t put the financial resources into your product.
The first week of October has become a big one for the ad industry thanks to Advertising Week publisher and Cardozo High School alum Matthew Scheckner who is responsible for creating Advertising Week New York which took over the sizable Loew’s Lincoln Square Theater complex.
A Spectrum Cable sales executive revealed during Advertising Week New York why we can’t avoid those seemingly ubiquitous Draft Kings ads that feature NBA Hall of Famer and TNT NBA studio personality Charles Barkley. She said that with sports gambling now legal in New Jersey, Draft Kings came to Spectrum with a big budget and that they have the capability to place their ad portfolio on a variety of TV networks throughout various times of the day.
Football tailgating has gotten to be far more intricate than just putting burgers and franks on the grill in the stadium parking lot. At this weekend’s New York City Wine & Food Festival, the premier annual culinary festival in our town, many celebrity chefs will be showing off their gameday creations that are more in keeping for a Michelin or Zagat-rated restaurant than for the
\MetLife Stadium parking lot.
Last weekend’s New York Comic Con did not get as many broadcast or cable television network television panels as in the past (Nickelodeon’s “Teenage Ninja Turtles” was a rare exception) as they were supplanted by the offering from streaming services as CBS All Access (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Neflix (“The Umbrella Academy,” The Haunting of Hill House,” and “Big Mouth’) and Amazon Studios (“The Boys,” “Lore” and the deeply disturbing nightmare of what America would have been like had the Axis Powers won WWII, “The Man In The High Castle.”)
General Mills took over a room at the Javits Center during NYCC to promote its ever expanding line of flavored Cheerios.
Keeping with the New York Comic Con food front, Knicks legend, Basketball Hall of Famer, and longtime team MSG analyst Walt Frazier, who owns the Clyde’s Wine & Dine Restaurant a block away from the Javits Center, told me prior to last Wednesday’s Knicks-Nets preseason game that the four days that it takes place are some of the busiest for his establishment.
Colorado Ski, that state’s winter resort consortium, made its annual trek to New York to meet with media. While upstate New York and Vermont have lots of nice places to ski, Colorado is the major leagues of downhill racing as cities as Aspen, Vail, and Telluride are practically synonymous with the sport.
Don’t worry if you’re a beginner. The Copper Mountain Resort not only has bunny trails but has numerous instructors who specialize in getting novices to master the basics.
Queens’ own JetBlue has daily service between JFK and Denver International Airport and regional airlines as Boutique Air have plentiful regional service between Denver and the state’s many great resort towns located on the western side of the Rockies.