Sunday, November 4, 2012

At the End of the Storm

A lot of things to talk about -- and not much to talk about.

Since we last "spoke," the Northeastern United States got pounded by Hurricane Sandy, the "Superstorm," or "Frankenstorm." Thus far, it has been credited with killing 185 people and causing about $50 billion in damages, making it the 2nd-costliest storm in American history, although that's still less than half the value of the damage caused when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005.

UPDATE: The generally accepted totals became 233 dead, and $75 billion in damages.

Multiple sporting events were rearranged:

* The 1st Brooklyn Nets game, scheduled to be Nets vs. Knicks at the new Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn on Thursday, November 1, was postponed. Instead, the Nets opened last night, and beat the Toronto Raptors 107-100. Brook Lopez led the scoring with 27 points. Attendance was 17,732, pretty good, all things considered. Sometime this week, having done a feature on New York Tri-State Area stadium & arena finales, I'll do one on debuts.

* The Knicks' home opener was played as scheduled on Friday night, against the defending Champion Miami Heat. The Heat's Dwyane Wade told reporters that he thought the game should be postponed. The Heat, as a whole, played as if it had been. The Knicks played as though the show must go on, winning 104-84. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 30 points. LeBron James, playing his 1st game since he won his title (and he'd better not count on any more), scored 23. Wade scored 15.

* Mayor Moneybags, Michael Bloomberg, first said that the New York City Marathon, scheduled for this morning, would go on; then, when the hue and cry in the face of rebuilding efforts became too great, he canceled it.  He didn't postpone it for a week, which would have been appropriate, he canceled it outright, as in it will not be held. Typical tyrant, even when he accedes to the wishes of the people, he overreacts.

The City will be so much better off on January 1, 2014, when he gets out of City Hall -- unless, of course, he changes the City Charter again, to allow himself to run for a 4th term; but, this time, I don't think he would win. Bill Thompson came fairly close to beating him in 2009, so a candidate with a pulse probably would have done it, and one certainly will next November.

* The National Football League so no reason to postpone today's games: The Jets have a bye this week anyway, and the Giants have the late game (or what would have been "the late game" in the era before Sunday Night Football), at 4:25, hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers.

* The Rutgers football team, coming off their 1st loss of the season, had a bye, so it wouldn't have been an issue anyway. They can still win the Big East Conference, but must beat Cincinnati away, Pittsburgh away and Louisville at home in consecutive weeks, after this Saturday's home game against Army. That Army game may be their last win of the season.

* The East Brunswick High School football team also had a bye. Their most recent game, a dire 28-0 loss to Edison, left them 2-5. The average score of their 5 losses is 37-2, while the average score of their 2 wins is 24-14 -- overall, the average is Opponents 30, EB 8.

The Bears still have to play 3 more games: Away to Piscataway, a perennial Playoff contender whom they haven't beaten since 1990 -- that is not a misprint: Nineteen ninety, 22 years ago -- a consolation game during the week of the Playoff Quarterfinals, which would presumably be against a team of similar record; and away to Old Bridge, the Purple Bastards, The Scum, on Thanksgiving morning. A person predicting a final record of 3-7 would be rather optimistic at this point.

* The New York Red Bulls had qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs. The 1st leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, against arch-rival D.C. United, was supposed to be last night at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, with the 2nd leg this coming Wednesday night at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington.

Instead, the games were switched, and the 1st leg was played at RFK last night. Each team got an own goal, and a 1-1 score will be carried into the 2nd leg in Jersey on Wednesday night. Unfortunately for the Red Bulls, there is no away-goals rule in this case: If it's still tied at the end of regulation of the 2nd leg, there will be extra time; still tied, shootout.

The winner will play the winner of the other Conference Semi, between Sporting Kansas City (formerly the Kansas City Wizards) and Houston Dynamo. In the Western Conference Semis, the defending Champion L.A. Galaxy are playing their arch-rivals, the San Jose Earthquakes; while Real Salt Lake are playing the Seattle Sounders. Sporting KC recently beat Seattle in the final of the U.S. Open Cup, America's answer to England's FA Cup, ending Seattle's 3-year run of winning it.

* Don't even get me started on Arsenal at Manchester United. Mike Dean is still a blatantly corrupt ref. ManUre still get calls they don't deserve, especially at Old Trafford. Arsenal still get the short end of the stick, even when they don't play ManUre. And Dean still looks like Vladimir Putin. At least the Tottenham Scum also lost.

* And, oh yeah, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series, sweeping the Detroit Tigers in 4 straight.


So... While power is still not on at my house (we were told it would be on tomorrow, but much of my home town is already back on), I was able to get to my office, which has power, and I'm typing this on my work computer. Yes, on a Sunday. There's hot food downstairs, too.

The repairs continue all over the Tri-State Area.

In the meantime, what comes to mind is the words of the song from the Broadway musical Carousel, by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, a song which, through the 1963 version by Liverpool-based band Gerry & the Pacemakers, became an anthem for British soccer teams Liverpool and Celtic of Glasgow.

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