RU experienced

Back when I was a student at Duke, I’d frequently congregate with my two best friends for what we called “sessions.” I’d turn on my black light, we’d listen to Tool and have the particular brand of deep conservations you tend to have in a dorm room late at night.

Along with our standard agenda — girls, grades, graduation, the existence of God — we often explored how things might have been different had we gone to a big-time football school instead of one devoted to basketball.

Continue Reading

Saints and glimmers

Who dat

“Rough day, huh?” asked the smirking mid 40s-ish man wedged in next to me on my train ride from the City back to New Jersey on Sunday night. I was confused for a second; it had indeed been a long day at work, but how would he know that? Did I look that worse for wear?

Then I realized he was referring to my attire: a Reggie Bush Saints jersey, the first one I grabbed in my haste to catch the train in the morning. The Redskins had upset New Orleans that afternoon, and he clearly hoped to wallow in my misery.

“I’m not a Saints fan,” I said. “I’m actually a Dolphins fan, so I guess that’s even worse, though I honestly still don’t care all that much.”

Seemingly dissatisfied by my answer, he turned back to his middle class-ish family with a grunt and resumed discussing fantasy football banalities, explaining to his daughter how he had cut Peyton Hillis for Brett Pettigrew as if it were the secret to eternal life, and extolling the virtues of “RD2.” I secretly hoped he meant this guy.

My train companion wasn’t the only person who attempted to draw a pained reaction from me about the Saints’ defeat. Two other people brought it up during my trek home, both similarly befuddled when I told them I couldn’t care less about the Saints. This Sunday, I’ll leave no doubt and wear my horrible Dolphins David Boston jersey.

These reactions from strangers didn’t stun me: The teams we root for are woven into our DNA to the point that people associate us with them, even if all they know about us is what shirt they see us wearing.

Continue Reading

Week 11 picks: Bears, Giants and Cowboys

For lack of a better place to put them, just picks this week — I’ve been exceedingly busy with Mike Krzyzewski’s record-breaking 903rd win, which I wrote up for Dime. I’ll probably resume with some random thoughts early next week.


Season record: 13-11-3
Last week: 2-1. Hit on Patriots, Bears. Should have hit with Giants.

Bears -3.5 vs. Chargers – San Diego is too beat up to keep up with the Bears.

Giants -4.5 vs. Eagles – No Vick means a far less exciting game, and I doubt the Giants will let up at all given how they were humiliated at home by Philly last year.

Cowboys -7.5 at Redskins – Washington is terrible, and DeMarco Murray is the man.

The Afternoon After: Can’t win for losing

Halloween/Watch The Throne/recovering from baseball … it all added up to me missing a week of this. It was a pretty lousy week to miss NFL pick-wise, as I went 10-4 in my weekly league.

I get it! Because their QB is named Matt Moore.

As a Dolphins fan that just saw his team’s Suck for Luck hopes dashed by a demoralizing victory over the Chiefs, I’m still baffled by one thing: Why wasn’t I supposed to root for them to lose as many games as it takes to get the No. 1 pick in the Draft?

Continue Reading

SportsAngle presents: Download our 2011 Halloween Mix CD

photoI haven’t had a ton of time to write lately because of the World Series, and some stuff I’ve done for Dime Magazine with Kyrie Irving and Penny Hardaway.  Expect some more next week, I have a couple of ideas I’ve wanted to put out there.

But for now, I’m enjoying the Halloween weekend. If you’ve been a longtime reader of this site, you know I like everything about the holiday – the movies, the decorations, all of it. It’s basically the only holiday I truly like, though New Year’s isn’t that bad and I’m very slowly warming up to Christmas.

My belief is that you’re never too old for Halloween; I’d better believe that, since I’m now 32. But for a few days a year, I think it’s cool to embrace your weirdness and just enjoy the creepiness of this time of year. I don’t get into the whole party thing – I think about 98 percent of the people I see with their drunken nonsense in New York City are pathetic. I enjoy the holiday in other ways; snowed in today, I indulged in a double-feature of Death Proof and Drag Me To Hell.

Continue Reading

The Afternoon Before: Tying up the loose ends

Some random thoughts, starting with a series finale I just watched five months after it happened.

Coach and Vince

Working nights, I pretty much only watch television with DVR, and there are two types of shows for me: the ones I can watch any old time just to keep up with and get out of the way, and the ones I save for when I can truly enjoy them.

Law & Order SVU minus Christopher Merloni has become a show I can shoehorn in while I’m eating my cereal in the morning, or getting ready for work. Boardwalk Empire, on the other hand, requires my full concentration.

This dynamic was the reason that despite airing back in May, I only watched the final episode of Friday Night Lights last night, tempering my curiosity with the desire to watch it at exactly the right time.

Continue Reading

The Afternoon Before: Joining the chorus

A couple of basketball lockout notes this week. So yeah, I’m just like everyone else.

Love this adI make a living in baseball, and though I’m not crazy about everything the sport does, the power brokers behind the game have been able to learn from their mistakes for the sake of the big picture. The labor situation in baseball is about as good as it’s ever been, resulting in business as usual, even during a recession. They have a good thing going – no need to trip over their own feet.

The NFL gets it, too. Both sides were looking pretty bad for a while during the spring and summer, but when it came down to it, they knew they couldn’t miss any regular-season games. You barely even hear their lockout referenced now. They realized they had a good thing going, and worked things out during the window they had to not mess everything up.

Conversely, everyone involved with the NBA lockout can only be described as clueless for letting things get to this point.

Continue Reading

The Afternoon Before: Time traveling with Pack Wars

Calm before the Wars

Remember that feeling you had as a kid when you’d rip open a fresh pack of cards, convinced there was some sort of cardboard gold inside? Every once in a while, you’d hit the jackpot: Ken Griffey Jr. grinning at you, or Shaq trying to demolish a backboard. It was the teenage boy version of pulling the handle on a slot machine.

That’s where Pack Wars comes in.

Continue Reading

The Afternoon Before: The frustration of Maravilla

This week’s random thoughts. A little boxing, a little baseball, a little Kobe Bryant as a rapper.

Tape delay

Last November, I thought after watching Sergio Martinez detonate Paul Williams in Boardwalk Hall that I had seen The Next Big Thing.

Almost a year later, the growing suspicion that we’re never going to see that actually happen has become a bigger personal disappointment to me than anything else in a sport that tends to consistently disappoint, far surpassing the interminable wait for Pacquiao-Mayweather.

Continue Reading

The Afternoon Before: Playing out the string

Later than usual with this, and just one thought and some NFL picks. Been a busy week and had some other stuff to write, including one article I’m hoping to see on the Dime Magazine site this week. I loved Dave Cone

It’s no secret that the older we get, the more jaded we are, especially when it comes to the way we watch sports.

I remember watching the final game in 1991 for a 77-84 post-Strawberry Mets team like it was Game 7 of the NLCS, as David Cone struck out 19 batters and had the chance to tie the record, but retired Dale Murphy with a groundout to end the game.

I remember sitting on the literal edge of my seat on the couch, praying that Cone would dig deep and join Clemens in the record books.

Twenty years later, my perspective has of course changed. The Mets, famously, have never had a pitcher throw a no-hitter, and R.A. Dickey took one into the seventh inning this afternoon. And I opted not to watch it.

Continue Reading