Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Football Is Upon Us? Too Soon!

My sister, after 30 years of not paying much attention to sports, has decided to pick a favorite football team. And by "football," I mean FOOTBALL.

Her company's office has season tickets to the New York Jets, and she likes green, so now she roots for the J-E-T-S-Jets-Jets-Jets.

It has now been 40 years since the Jets won their one and only Super Bowl -- 41 if you count the season about to start. Wow, 40 years in the wilderness? Funny, my sister doesn't look Jewish!

Fortunately, they now have Mark Sanchez as their quarterback, not that vacillating fossil who plays for the Minnesota Vikings.

Here's what I told my sister after she e-mailed me her choice of the Jets:

<< You may regret this. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow...

Is this about availability of tickets to you? That would be understandable.

Is this about new quarterback Mark Sanchez being attractive? Doesn't matter if he can't play, although it looks like he can.

Is this about the green-and-white uniforms, which EBHS (East Brunswick High School, our alma mater) has now copied right down to the helmets? Not a good reason to root for a team.

Is this about their history? Uh, no, even the Israelites had only 40 years in the wilderness.

Is this about the nice new stadium? Not yet, they've still got one year left in the tin can. Regardless of the other team's name being on it, Giants Stadium is a terrible facility, bad parking situation, dark concourses and weak food.

Is this about pissing off some Giants fans you know? Now that, I would understand completely!

Is this about getting in on the ground floor, watching a bad team become good and saying you were there when they were crap, so you have the right to celebrate when they... who am I kidding, this is the Jets we're talking about!

Then again, what do I know? My NFL team is the Philadelphia Eagles, and they haven't gone all the way since Eisenhower was President! And they just, essentially, traded their best defensive player of the last 15 years for Michael Vick. Oy... >>

She said it was because of the free tickets, the colors, that she didn't like the Giants, and because, while (like me) she really likes the city of Philadelphia, she doesn't want to root for a team with Vick (even with the same green & white color scheme).

Well, she's made her choice. I hope it turns out to be easier on her than it's been on most Jet fans these last 40 years.


I can't believe we're about to start the college football season. I'm still big-time in baseball mode. But then, we are in September. And the tickets are already bought. Now, it's just a matter of fighting the traffic on Route 18 and River Road.

Rutgers starts the season this coming Monday afternoon, Labor Day, at home at a Rutgers Stadium newly expanded to 52,000 seats (up from the old stadium's 23,000 and the "new" stadium's 41,500), against the University of Cincinnati.

Hard to believe it's so soon. Harder still to believe that a lot of people think that this opening game may decide the Big East Conference Title!

This is a team that, regardless of how good either team has been, has given RU trouble over the years.

Come on you Scarlet Knights! Trap the Bearcats!


Dear Old Alma Mater opens the season a week from Friday, on the ominous date of September 11. We play at Woodbridge, one of our oldest opponents. They've been playing football since 1920, and we've been playing them since 1963, our third season of play. Two more seasons, and we'll be at our 50th Anniversary. Another one for the Hard To Believe File, because when I got there in 1984 we were considered a young school, and Woodbridge was already an old one!

How good will EB be? Who knows. Head Coach Marcus Borden is like a box of Cracker Jacks: You think you know what you're going to get, but there's always a surprise.

I just hope he doesn't do any more running on 3rd-and-18. Unless you've got Barry Sanders in your backfield, you just don't do that. No wonder he spends so much time praying in the locker room!


As of right now, the Yankees are on a five-game winning streak, having swept the Chicago White Sox at home and taken the first two of a series with the Orioles in Baltimore, hitting 5 home runs last night. They are 6 1/2 games up on the Red Sox -- and the difference is that they've taken 6 of the last 7 with the Sox, after the Sox took the 1st 8 matchups of the season.

The Yankees' Magic Number to clinch the Division is 25. The Sox still lead the Wild Card race though, but I'm torn as to whether to hope they miss the Playoffs completely or force us to face them in the ALCS -- to settle this bullshit for once and for all!

The Mets? Who's kidding who. Their Tragic Number to be eliminated from Playoff contention is 17. Even "The Great Johan Santana" is out for the season. Again, "the best pitcher in baseball" made no difference to them.


Days until Rutgers plays football again: 5.

Days until Derek Jeter becomes the Yankees' all-time hit leader: 8 (projected -- I moved this one up a bit to reflect the tear he's on).

Days until East Brunswick plays football again: 9.

Days until Arsenal plays again: 10. I hate Interlulls. Especially since the U.S. team has no chance at winning the World Cup -- and Poland, whom I might watch on TV taking on Norther Ireland on Saturday, may not even get into it!

Days until the final Yankees-Red Sox series of the 2009 regular season: 23, Friday, September 25, at Yankee Stadium II. At this rate, that night could also be the Division Title clincher.

Days until the Devils play hockey again: 31. One month! Hockey? I'm not even ready for football yet!

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving clash: 85. A shade over 12 weeks until we play the Purple Bastards! Cheer up, Bobby D, oh what can it mean to a... Sad Purple Bastard and a... shit football team! (OB coach Bob DeMarco's a decent guy, but I hate that team about as much as I hate the Mets, Red Sox and Rangers.)

Days until the 2010 Winter Olympics begin: 163.

Days until the 2010 World Cup begins: 283.

Days until the World Cup Final: 314.

Days until Derek Jeter collects his 3,000th career hit: 619 (projected).

Days until the Rutgers-Army football game at Yankee Stadium: 801.

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