Rearview mirror: The coolest, and un-coolest, athletes of 2010


In the tradition of last year’s post for Trumbull Island’s Decade-Ending List bonanza, where I threw together a list of the coolest/un-coolest athletes of the 2000’s, here’s my take on 2010. Some of the same names made it to this year’s list, since they’re still cool/uncool a year later. I have to admit that the research for this was non-exhaustive, and I’m not sure I’m actually qualified to be an arbiter of cool anyway, so feel free to point out anyone I’ve missed.

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Look Closer: Gothic Tree shines new light on holiday season

Back in October, my girlfriend asked me at some point if I’d ever considered getting a Christmas tree, to which I responded with an open-minded “Hell no.”

I’ve never particularly liked Christmas, and only in recent years began not to despise it. I’m Jewish, and I don’t even like those holidays. For me, it’s always been Halloween or bust, with New Year’s and July 4th being somewhat acceptable.

I found the holiday season to be a nuisance at best. My parents were careful to give me a great Chanukah experience growing up, but as one of two Jews in my entire high school, I was surrounded by a holiday that I had nothing to do with. I couldn’t help but feel left out, and playing with my friends’ toys on Christmas morning didn’t help matters.

My girlfriend is in fact also Jewish. But she grew up in a home that celebrated both holidays, and she wanted a tree to enjoy while visiting my apartment.

In a diabolical move, fully knowing I adore the Snoopy Halloween special, she showed up at my place right before Halloween with the entire line of Hallmark Halloween Peanuts ornaments out of nowhere. I had to admit they were awesome, and I begrudgingly agreed we would find a place to put them.

My apartment — known to my friends as “The Chamber of Fear” — would have a tree this year.

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Holiday tradition: Twas the Night Before Christmas, Philly Style

Note: Keeping up a holiday tradition we started last year, I’m posting this in conjunction with good friend and SportsAngle contributor Frank Pepe (even though I certainly have no love lost for Philadelphia). I listened to this last year and enjoyed it a great deal.

Merry Christmas to all. Enjoy Kobe vs. LeBron.

Three Philly/Christmas greats: Philly Boy Roy, Santa, The Answer

This season means different things to different people. For me, a Canadian transplant living in New York, I mostly just miss Boxing Day. Tonight is Christmas Eve, which I don’t celebrate, though I do celebrate its arrival and the opportunity to listen to my favorite holiday poem, "Twas the Night Before Christmas, Philly Style" by Henry Livingston Jr. and Roy Ziegler.
I wanted to share the poem, which is written out below, on my Web site, but our webmaster reset the password earlier in the week and may or may not be in church, so, long story short, I’m locked out. Esoteric kindly decided to help me out.

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Rearview Mirror: 25 years later, vintage Jordans as cool as ever

With all the hysteria about the Jordan Cool Grey XI re-release the past couple days, some people were thrown back to when they first released in 2001, especially with things once again becoming pretty tense out there at those late-night campouts at the mall.

But some people were thrown back even farther. My friend Kevin, who runs the excellent music blog, told me yesterday that he still has his first Air Jordans, given to him in 1985 — which happen to be the first Air Jordans, period.

He sent me some pictures, which I’d like to share. Consider it a small Christmas gift.

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The blueprint: Knicks are evidence that Mets’ patience is prudent

Very different Big Threes

I got this e-mail last week — before Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies — from a good friend who listens to what I’d consider to be an unhealthy amount of Mike Francesa:

Are the Mets looking at anyone? Crawford to Red Sox. Yanks are in hot pursuit of Lee.  Angels are looming once again. Why are the Mets second-rate?

Although my friend isn’t a fellow Mets fan, I sense his radio-honed opinion likely mirrors a lot of the fan base, and even the media. (Jon Heyman seems to have a particular axe to grind.)

I’m definitely not opposed to fans having passion for their teams, especially when it’s also my favorite team. But when it gets in the way of patience, not to mention logic and reason, that’s when you have to cast your gaze across town at the excitement surrounding the Knicks, and understand that they are the model outcome for the Mets’ new regime.

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The Afternoon After: Just a phase?

Here are my usual layman’s thoughts on football. As always, I’ll offer the disclaimer that I’m hardly an authority on the sport.

All wet

I went with some friends to a New York City barbecue joint on Sunday to watch the Dolphins-Jets game. When the final seconds ticked off the clock, I high-fived and celebrated with two fellow Dolphins fans, because even though the game was one of the worst in recorded history and our team’s probably not going anywhere, you’d still rather see your team win than lose.

And, frankly, none of us have any love lost for the Jets, though don’t get me wrong, that head coach of theirs is a real peach.

At that moment, some young socialite resplendent in a pink button-down shirt got up with his family to leave the restaurant. As he walked by us, he turned and spat out, “Well, they’re not going to make the playoffs, anyway.” Obviously, he was a scorned Jets fan.

We got a good laugh out of this – I mean, a pink button-down shirt? – but a little later, I started to wonder: When exactly do we lose our ability to forget the big picture and simply love our teams?

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The Weekly: On the money with Navy

Due to a day trip to Sugar Loaf, N.Y., I missed The Weekly until just now. You’ll have to take my word for it that this came in before the Army-Navy game, especially since Nick just about nailed the score on the nose. Looking forward to his bowl predictions!

In terms of “The Afternoon After/Before,” the Winter Meetings (day job) and Kyrie Irving’s toe injury torpedoed that this week. Look for it early next week after this weekend’s games.

Trust us, this guy won

The two-week hiatus was apparently just what the doctor ordered.

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Sympathy for the Devil: Why Kyrie Irving’s injury hits home


The texts and e-mails started rolling in on Wednesday, asking me how I was doing in the wake of Kyrie Irving’s toe injury. They came from people who know how I’ve followed Kyrie’s early career over the last year or so.

I’m obviously concerned, more for him than about anything else. As incredible a player as Kyrie has looked, he’s still a freshman. And I know what it’s like to be a New Jersey kid at Duke, where a 500-mile difference can seem like 500,000 miles when you’re alone.

Despite Mike Krzyzewski saying he could be out for the season, I have to hold on to hope that this year is going to have a happy ending for Kyrie. He’s got a tremendous medical staff on his side, and the healing powers of youth.

But a part of me misses a simpler time, watching Kyrie do his thing at high school games at Kean University. And there’s a part of him that deep down probably agrees with me.

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The Weekly: Back in business like Cam Newton

After a brief reprieve, Nick Benvenuto and The Weekly are back with a vengeance. Considering the nothing I know about college football, I’m glad to have him back.

That guy on the right? Clearly the greatest moment of his life

Thanks to a pair of unexpected weekend scenarios, The Weekly took a bit of a hiatus.  As I’ve said in the past: no article is better than a half-assed article.  But don’t worry, we’re back for the stretch run. 

It’s amazing how things can change in two weeks, but the college football landscape isn’t the same as we left it. Boise State’s improbable run to a National Championship has been derailed by two shanked chip shot field goals.

Top ranked Auburn’s Heisman-leading quarterback Cam Newton was declared ineligible. The notoriously slow moving NCAA miraculously found a way to overturn the Newton decision in just one day, furthering the idea that the NCAA does not want TCU to play in the National Championship game. 

Speaking of the Horned Frogs, they were a member of the Mountain West Conference when we left you, now they’re the newest member of the Big East.  There’s a new twist every week in this sport, and we don’t think Championship Week will be any different.  On to the picks…

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