Look Closer: Clinton Place captures spirit of All Hallow’s Eve

As you may remember from last year, when we talked horror movies, Halloween is a special time around here. Honestly, it’s the only holiday I truly like. (New Year’s is okay.)

But I don’t really get into the drunken nonsense this holiday has become for most people. Most parties are just an excuse to get hammered, which to me, isn’t really what the holiday is about. I think it’s the one time of year it’s totally acceptable to enjoy the macabre and become something different from what you actually are. (Or let your true colors show. I generally transform myself into some weird vampire with a Freddy glove)

In that spirit, if you’re in the New York/New Jersey area, I highly endorse that you check out Clinton Place in Hackensack, N.J., about 10 minutes from the George Washington Bridge. Put it in your GPS and take Route 4 West over to the old Bergen Mall, it’s a few blocks from that.

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The Weekly: Duck! Trojans to face serious challenge from Oregon

Since our name kind of sounds like an offshore gambling site anyway, I love that SportsAngle has added gambling lines to its oeuvre, with my 12-6 NFL record supplemented by our new associate Nick Benvenuto providing college football picks. Nick had a solid 2-2 record his first week, so all you really would have lost would have been the vig. (I think that’s what it’s called?) Regardless, I’m glad to have him aboard, and below is this week’s installment of The Weekly.

Repeat upcoming?

As Halloween looms over this upcoming college football weekend, The Weekly is haunted by the ghosts of past losses — none more haunting than the one suffered last weekend in the Baylor-Kansas State game. 

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The Afternoon Before: Playing the blame game

 Again, later in the week working better, because of baseball and LeBron starring in the best Nike ad in years. It may become a trend. My usual reminder: I’m a football layman.

Apparently, the Dolphins didn't recover this fumble

When I showed up at work on Monday, one of my co-workers said, “Obviously, you’re going to write about instant replay this week.” Well, yes, but not in the way he was thinking

As a Dolphins fan, I do think they got shafted, much the way the Lions were in Week 1 when some obscure rule wiped out what was obviously a Calvin Johnson touchdown. They forced a fumble by Ben Roethlisberger before he crossed the plane of the end zone, and then Ikaika Alama-Francis recovered the ball and came away with it after the pile was sorted out.

And the referees said they couldn’t figure out who recovered it. I mean, that’s crazy. Anyone with eyes saw Alama-Francis with the ball.

But you can’t just roll over at that point. There’s still a game to win.

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Witness protection: Marketing LeBron in post-“Decision” landscape

Since LeBron James’ reputation went straight to hell in the court of public opinion in early July, I’ve pondered how you can possibly market someone whose Q rating dropped like a stone following “The Decision.”

As it turns out, Nike and ad agency Wieden+Kennedy knew exactly how to go about doing it.

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The Afternoon Before: NFL reaps what it sows with concussions

Way late with football thoughts this week due to Larry Johnson and the baseball playoffs, so it’s “The Afternoon Before.” I realize I’m beating a dead horse with the head injury thing, but as I was on this a few weeks back, I want to discuss this week, when it all came to a head, pun intended.


I remember way back in 1996, watching a rookie-year Zach Thomas’ first game for the Dolphins, when New England’s Shawn Jefferson came on a reverse and Thomas ran sideline-to-sideline, lowered his shoulder and leveled him, knocking him unconscious.

I still remember my reaction: Shock and horror at the brutality of the sport.

Except for the fact that it wasn’t my reaction at all. I told anyone who’d listen that it was obvious from his very first hit that Thomas was going to be a special player.

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The Weekly: Feeling good about Auburn, TCU, Baylor, Kentucky

Something new we’re trying here – college football. Personally, I don’t know very much about college football, though I watch it casually. Luckily, I’ve been put in touch with Nick, who appears to be somewhat of a gambling expert and picks the games by an e-mail newsletter every week. He’s been doing this all season, but we’re jumping on board now. I’ve been reading his stuff and like it, and his record’s pretty decent, so here goes. We’ll try to get him a permanent posting name and such soon, I found this in my e-mail when I woke up today so I’m kind of working on the fly.

This is apparently Cameron Newton

It took more time than we expected, but we’re grooving heading into Week 8.  Our second consecutive winning week in a row still leaves us under .500 for the season, but gives us a renewed sense of optimism for the stretch run. 

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The Afternoon After: The irrational hatred of Favre

Here are my weekly thoughts on the game of football, with my standard disclaimer that I don’t profess to know a whole lot about the sport. Apologies for its lateness – baseball, some Halloween activities and hanging out with Larry Johnson (post forthcoming) got in the way a bit.

"Text me" on a Favre jersey? This doesn't even make sense

It’s amazing to see the fall of Brett Favre, considering the heights he came from.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not an enormous fan of Favre’s apparent heavy-handed attempt at simultaneous sexual harassment and adultery.

But the visceral jubilation I’ve seen for the destruction of Favre’s legacy is baffling to me. It seems to stem from a deep-rooted dislike of Favre that has grown over the years, and one that seems somewhat outsized.

I mean, if you took out of context the euphoria on Twitter after Favre threw an interception on Monday night against the Jets, you’d have thought we caught Osama Bin Laden.

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