Sunday, January 26, 2014

Devils Disgrace in Da Bronx

Disgraceful. Da Devils were a Disgrace in Da Bronx.

I was so pumped for this game: The home of my favorite team in all of sports, hosting my 2nd-favorite team. And we were going to beat the team I hate the most!

In the immortal words of Jim Steinman (as sung by Bonnie Tyler), "Once upon a time, there was light in my life. Now, there's only love in the dark."

Rangers 7, Devils 3 at Yankee Stadium II. The Devils had a 3-1 lead with 3 minutes remaining in the 1st period, on 2 goals by Patrik Elias and 1 by Travis Zajac, and then they completely melted down.

It would have been bad enough if the Devils had given a good effort and that lot across the Hudson had simply outplayed us. I would have hated it, but I would have understood it. That's sports, you know: Sometimes you don't lose, sometimes the other team just plain beats you.

That was not the case this time.

This was an unacceptable performance.

This was the biggest embarrassment at Yankee Stadium since Kevin Brown and Javier Vazquez made it so easy for the Red Sox to put their cheating to good use on October 20, 2004.

The Devils embarrassed all of us today, from Hoboken to Hackettstown, from High Point to Atlantic City, from Trenton to the Tunnels, from Route 94 to I-195, from Route 29 to the Palisades Parkway.

It was bad enough that it was against The Scum, that lot across the river. But for the last 43 minutes (at which point 3-1 Devils became 3-2 Devils), there was no effort at all.

Don't blame Martin Brodeur: He got no help from his defense. Blame such stiffs as "captain" Bryce Salvador, Eric Gelinas, Peter Harrold, Anton Volchenkov and Marek Zidlicky.

"That wasn't on Marty," Elias said. “We gave up way too many odd-man rushes.”

Jaromir Jagr: "It wasn't his fault. We gave him 3 on 2s, 2 on 1s. Of course, I feel bad for him, but it wasn’t his fault."

Gelinas: "We were letting some odd-man rushes and making some bad decisions, me especially on one of the goals, and we can't make those mistakes. It wasn't a nice feeling seeing him leave the game. I felt bad for him."

Fair play to Gelinas, who, despite being a rookie, took more responsibility than Captain Salvador, who offered this weak effort: "You don’t want to him to have one of these games in an environment like this." Sure sounds like Salvador was blaming Marty.

A lot of "Devils fans" on Twitter did blame Marty, and demanded that he be pulled after 2 periods for Cory Schneider. Well, he was, and it didn't work.

You can also blame head coach Peter DeBoer, for messing with the forward lines, again. The Jazz Line -- Jaromir Jagr, Travis Zajac and Dainius Zubrus -- works well together. None of the others that DeBore has tried has. He doesn't know what the hell he's doing.

Can't blame the refs: They didn't change the outcome, although Derek Stepan holding Zajac's stick and then getting a bullshit penalty shot (on Schneider in the 3rd period) didn't help.

Can't blame the weather: Both teams played in the same conditions.

Can't blame the delay, of an hour and 10 minutes because of the glare of the sun: Both teams had to deal with that, too.

This was a team wobbling, and then going through the motions, not even coming close to giving enough of a damn. This game was lost, a lot more than it was won. The Rangers only had to expend a minimal amount of effort, because the Devils expended none. I can't credit them for the win because a college team could have beaten us today.

The Rangers still suck, which is a reflection on personality rather than performance. Today, we flat-out stunk.

If you're a Giants fan, you'll recognize the date: For the Devils, this was November 19, 1978. This was John McVay losing the plot, and Joe Pisarcik handing off the ball to Larry Csonka instead of just taking a knee and running out the clock, leading to a fumble that got returned for a touchdown by future Jets coach Herman Edwards, leading to a stunning game-winning touchdown by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants' biggest rivals (and I don't want to hear that the Dallas Cowboys are).

After that game, which Eagles fans call the Miracle at the Meadowlands (and Giant fans call nastier names), offensive coordinator Bob Gibson (no relation to the Baseball Hall-of-Famer of the same name) was fired the next day, and has never worked in football again; head coach McVay was fired after the season, and although he has worked in an NFL front office since, he has never coached at any level again; and Andy Robustelli, Hall of Fame defensive end and by that point the G-Men's director of operations, was also fired.

Ray Perkins was named head coach, with Bill Parcells as one of his assistants. George Young became general manager. When Perkins was offered the job at the University of Alabama, Parcells succeeded him. And the rest is history: Except for the Ray Handley interregnum, the Giants have usually been at least good, on occasion excellent, and nobody has ever again been taken seriously while laughing at them.

Speaking of things worth laughing at, unless you're a Jets fan. If you are one, you'll get this reference: Peter DeBoer is Rich Kotite on ice.

DeBoer should not have left The Stadium with a job. GM Lou Lamoriello should've given him a MetroCard, and told him to get back to Jersey on his own. Granted, he still would've had to pay $5.00 to get from New York's Penn Station to Newark's, but at least El Baldo (whom I've also called El Cheapo) would have paid for his $2.50 back to 33rd & 7th, which is more than he deserves.

Oh, wait, New York's Penn Station is under Madison Square Garden, home of the Rangers, and would be crawling with Ranger fans.

Yeah, well, DeBoer deserves to face their reactions, too. After all, it's not like Ranger fans have a history of being violent assholes, do they?

Uh... Yeah, there was some extracurricular activity in Yankee Stadium II today.

But you know what?

The Stadium was about 75 percent Devils fans.

The Scummers say we can't fill the Prudential: Today, we filled Yankee Stadium.

Devils fans can be proud. Devils players cannot.

We're still 3-1 against The Scum this season, and still in the hunt for a Playoff spot. But without significant changes being made, there would be little point in making it.

I would rather start all over with DeBoer and certain players going out, and miss the Playoffs, because then I would have hope that things will be better next season. As things stand now, the Devils don't deserve to make the Playoffs.

Some changes need to be made, starting at the top. DeBoer out.

*

Days until Arsenal play again: 2, Tuesday night (2:45 PM our time), away to South Coast club Southampton. Arsenal are top of the League, with 16 League matches to go. I am taking nothing for granted, but, this time, it sure looks like they're playing for more than just 4th place and qualification next season's UEFA Champions League. This past Friday night, Arsenal beat Coventry City, 4-0, to advance to the 5th Round of the FA Cup -- meaning that, on February 8 and 15, back-to-back Saturdays (unless the Cup match is moved, most likely to the next day if at all), Arsenal will be playing Liverpool, first in the League, then in the Cup.

Days until the Devils play again: 2, Tuesday night, 8:00 Eastern Time, away to the St. Louis Blues. We beat them 7-1 at the Prudential this past Tuesday. I don't think we're going to score 7 on them again.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 6, this coming Saturday, at 5:00 PM (2:00 Pacific Time), a "friendly" (exhibition game) vs. the Republic of Korea (a.k.a. South Korea), at the StubHub Center (formerly the Home Depot Center) in Carson, California, home of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA. We will also be traveling to the Ukraine for a friendly on March 5, and I suspect that there will be another tuneup match or two between the end of the European club season in May and the start of the World Cup in June.

Days until Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands: 7, a week from tonight, kickoff at around 6:25 PM.

Days until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: 12, on Friday, February 7.  Under 2 weeks.

Days until the Devils next play a local rival: 34, on Saturday afternoon, March 1, away to the New York Islanders. We play away to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, March 11; home to the Rangers on Saturday night, March 22; away to the Islanders a week after that; and home to the Islanders on Friday night, April 11.

Days until the Red Bulls play again: 41, on Saturday, March 8, 7:30 PM, away to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Just 6 weeks.

Days until the next North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham: 48, a Premier League match, on Saturday, March 15, at White Hart Lane. Just 7 weeks. This follows (then) non-spending Arsenal humiliating Tottenham's £110 million of new spending in a 1-0 win in a Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium on September 1, and our half-injury-replacement side beating them 2-0 to knock them out of the FA Cup at the Emirates on January 3. And they thought they were better, that there was a "power shift in North London," and that we were "in a downward spiral." Now, they've fired another manager, while Arsene Wenger has Arsenal top of the League and still in the FA Cup and the Champions League. The Spuds never learn, do they?

Days until the Yankees play again: 67, on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:10 PM, away to the Houston Astros.  Under 10 weeks.

Days until the Yankees' home opener: 73, on Monday, April 7, at 1:00 PM (well, 1:07 or so), vs. the Baltimore Orioles.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 76, on Thursday, April 10, at 7:00 PM (well, 7:07 or so), at Yankee Stadium II.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 78, on Saturday, April 12, 2:30 PM, vs. D.C. United, at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington.

Days until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil: 138, on Thursday, June 12. Under 5 months.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 216, on Saturday, August 30, away to Washington State, at whatever the Seattle Seahawks' stadium is going to end up being called next fall. A little over 7 months. Why we're playing "Wazzu" in the University of Washington's territory, I don't know. Maybe WSU, in the eastern part of the State in Pullman, wants to boost their recruiting in the Western part. Either way, it will be Rutgers' first game since losing the 2013 Pinstripe Bowl to Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium II, finishing the season at 6-7.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: Unknown, as the schedule has yet to be released. Most likely, it will be on the 2nd Friday night in September. If so, that will be September 12, therefore 230 days. Under 8 months.

Days until Rutgers makes its Big Ten Conference debut: 231 days, on Saturday, September 13, time to be determined, against old enemy Penn State.

Days until the next East Brunswick vs. Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 306, on Thursday morning, November 27, 10:00 AM. Just 10 months.

Days until the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 954, on Friday, August 5, 2016. Under 3 years.

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