NY Sports Day
Lloyd Carroll

The Week That Was: The Last Chapter In The Book of Eli?

Neil Miller/NYSD

      It’s hard to think of the New York Giants without thinking of their starting quarterback for the last fifteen seasons, #10 himself, Eli Manning. He is certain to be enshrined in the Football Hall of Fame and possesses two Super Bowl rings.

     “What have you done for me lately?” is a universal mantra and it’s especially true in sports. The 2017 season was disastrous for the Giants and 2018 has been looking like a bad sequel. In short, Giants fans are not feeling nostalgic.

     Giants general manager Dave Gettleman took a lot of criticism for selecting running back Saquon Barkley with the second pick if the 2018 NFL Draft instead of choosing one of the many franchise type quarterbacks who were available such as Sam Darnold who the Jets selected with the very next pick.

     In fairness to Gettleman, Saquon Barkley has more than lived up to his end of the deal. Eli still looks the same as he did when the Giants traded for him during the 2004 NFL Draft and has managed to stay healthy. Manning’s two Super Bowl victories came over the New England Patriots whose QB, Tom Brady, is still going strong at age 41, so why not Eli?

     One reason is that the Giants offensive line offers Eli such little protection that it’s amazing that he’s still able to play as exemplified by the seven sacks he absorbed from the Redskins on Sunday in a 20-13 loss. He deserves better.

     Health issues are starting to take a toll on the Jets. Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa missed Sunday’s game with the Chicago Bears, a predictable 24-10 loss, with a severe ankle injury and he may miss more on top of that.

    Running back Bilal Powell, the longest tenured Jet, suffered a neck injury a week earlier which being labeled by many as career-threatening. Granted, Powell has never been a Pro Bowler nor has he ever played in a playoff game for the Jets but he has been a workhorse for them. His serious injury received scant media attention and that’s an injustice.

   Hardly anyone was aware that former Islanders CEO Charles Wang was suffering from lung cancer prior to the announcement of his death on October 21st.

   Wang was a great booster for Long Island but the conventional wisdom that he was responsible for keeping the New York Islanders in our area has been mythified in my opinion. The team’s  $27 million television per annum broadcast rights contract with the MSG Network which runs through 2031, combined with the National Hockey League’s understandable desire not to weaken its standing in the corporate capital of the world, were far bigger factors.

     What’s indisputable was that Charles Wang gave blind loyalty to underlings who ran the franchise into the ground. Based on what I’ve seen, things don’t appear to be reversing anytime soon.

    The Brooklyn Nets’ G-League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, begins their second season at the refurbished Nassau Coliseum this Saturday night when they take on their rivals, the Westchester Knicks, at 7 PM.

     The LI Nets’ new head coach is Will Weaver who bears an uncanny resemblance to his fellow Texan, Democratic US Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke. The players on their roster who have the best chance of one day making it to the NBA are guard Theo Pinson and forward Alan Williams. Forward Drew Gordon has spent time on NBA rosters and is looking for one more shot.

     Long Island Nets management, under the aegis of former Columbia Loins star point guard Alton Byrd, realizes that they are competing with family entertainment such as going to the movies or dining out and they’ve priced their tickets accordingly. You can get a very good seat for $15 and parking is $5.

     With the media being under siege nationally it was very classy of Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie to thank sportswriters after a game for their coverage of his team. Athletes rarely express any gratitude towards the press.

     The Atlanta Braves moved out of Turner Field in downtown Atlanta to a new ballpark, SunTrust Satdium, in suburban Cobb County in 2017. There was baseball played however at Turner Field this past summer thanks to Forest Hills native Hank Azaria who stars in the baseball satire “Brockmire” which will start its third season on cable’s IFC Network this coming April.

     Azaria’s character, down-on-his luck, foul-mouthed baseball play-by-play broadcaster, Jim Brockmire, is a spoof of the late legendary Mets voice, Lindsey Nelson. After being out of the big leagues for well over a decade following an on-air meltdown that was caused by his ex-wife’s infidelity, Brockmire is now back “in the show.” Turner Field, which is only 22 years old, will serve as a stand-in for a major league stadium. 

     Biz Bash Live is the annual trade show where providers of entertainment try to attract corporate party planners took place last Wednesday at the Javits Center and sports was a key part of it. The Brooklyn Nets were promoting various game and dining options. The Potomac River town of National Harbor, Maryland, which hosted the 2016 Baseball Winter Meetings, sent tourism representatives to attract convention business and they promoted the fact that you could take water taxis from National Harbor to see the Washington Nationals play. 

     Executives from the tourist bureau of Los Cabos, Mexico, the southern-most region in Baja California, were in town to meet with media last week. They promoted the great golfing, fishing, and whale watching that takes place there during the winter but conceded that competitive, direct air service from New York has been a problem. A representative from Long Island City-based JetBlue was at their press event s maybe things will change shortly.           

     The big fall flavor in the food business is pumpkin spice. Thomas has brought back its line of pumpkin spice bagels and English muffins while Tastykake has just launched iced pumpkin spice cupcakes.


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