Saturday, October 9, 2010

Topsy-Turvy In Jersey

The New Jersey Devils debuted the 2010-11 season at the Prudential Center last night, against the Dallas Stars.

Now, as we all learned from watching football, "Dallas Sucks" (TM). We have to root against Dallas in every sport at all levels. Except in the NBA: I have a soft spot for Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, because he pisses off the establishment.

The Devils scored twice in the game's first 10 minutes, on goals by Travis Zajac and Zach Parise. ZAJAC, ILYA Kovalchuk, PARISE... The ZIP Line is already moving forward.

Except... as they say in English soccer, "Two-nil, and you fucked it up!" Lost 4-3 in overtime. I was rather displeased.

Then Rutgers was playing at Rutgers Stadium against Connecticut last night, and blew a 17-7 lead, falling behind 24-17. Lots of fans left early.

But they came back to tie, and with 13 seconds left, San San Te kicked a field goal, and RU won anyway, 27-24! Big win in the Big East Conference opener!

As Keith Jackson, the legendary voice of ABC's college football broadcasts used to say, the social portion of the schedule is over. From here on in, it's strictly meat and potatoes.

With no in-State rival, Penn State too chicken to play them, Syracuse awful these last few years, Temple having slunk off to the Mid-American Conference and Princeton not willing to give up their Ivy League status, UConn (and their largely Red Sox-loving fan base, including their corrupt basketball coach Jim Calhoun) are the closest thing RU has to a real geographical rival. So this was a nice steak and a tater loaded with toppings.

So I guessed both games wrong. I can live with it: In an 82-game season, the Devils can make that awful loss up; in a 12-game season, RU needs all it can get!

East Brunswick High had the week off. They play next Friday night, at home at Jay Doyle Field, against Howell of the Shore Conference. Rutgers next plays a week from today, against Army, in the first college football game at the new Meadowlands Stadium. Somehow, I don't think it'll be a sellout crowd of 82,000. But with Rutgers Stadium filling 52,000 strong every game and a big waiting list, it's possible.

The new stadium is 37 miles from Rutgers Stadium and 48 miles from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Past RU-Army games at Giants Stadium often felt like home games for Army. This time, it'll probably be a Rock Your Red day.

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