New York City definitely isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the most comfortable place for a Dolphins fan these days, as I witnessed first-hand when I made a rare sojourn to Times Square to hit up Foot Locker today and found myself smack dab in the middle of a massive Jets playoff pep rally.
Rearview mirror: The coolest, and un-coolest, athletes of the 2000’s
Another set of lists as part of our friends at Trumbull IslandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Year/Decade-ending Top 10 list hysteria. Here are the Top 10 coolest athletes of the decade, and the Top 10 least coolest athletes. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m missing some, but I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a pretty good primer. I think youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see Nas is generally a good barometer here. Feel free to let me know some other guys I missed.
Rearview mirror: Fiedler notches his name in post-9/11 lore
Two days after Mike PiazzaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s inspirational home run, the NFL resumed its games as well. Before the Dolphins played the Raiders, quarterback Jay Fiedler, who IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always been partial to Ã¢â‚¬â€œ we Jews have to stick together Ã¢â‚¬â€œ led the team onto the field while waving an American Flag that had recently been flown in Afghanistan.
Fiedler was a capable but unflashy quarterback whose best attribute was his toughness. But on that day, he was a true champion, even before what he did on the field.
That said, he performed brilliantly. Fiedler, with no time left, made a gutsy dash up the middle and crashed into the end zone to score the winning touchdown of an 18-15 victory over a team that would play in the Super Bowl that season. Though a solid athlete — in fact, a former decathlete — Fiedler was no speed demon, but like Piazza, he wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let his team lose that day after such an emotionally charged beginning.
And through his act of sheer athleticism and joyousness, Mr. Fiedler ended up with his first and only Sports Illustrated cover.
I remember the Piazza game more vividly, particularly since I was there, and because it was in New York and had a lot more significance as such. But I remember FiedlerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mad dash as well, and if that’s the main thing you take from his career, that isn’t such a bad thing to hang his hat on.
Remembering how Piazza showed us all how to overcome
I write this sentence as I ride by the skyline in Weehawken, and even after eight years, I look at the void in lower Manhattan and still canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe it.
Eight years ago today was an unbelievable time for the New York area, though you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need me to tell you that. Everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news. I was at home in New Jersey when my father called to tell me to put on CNN Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and also to look outside, since we used to have a view of the Twin Towers from our back porch.
What I remember most about what went on around here was the way people came together. For an act that was designed to rip people apart, I find that it actually brought people together. The outpouring of goodwill from people in this area was remarkable. The atmosphere was such that everyone had to band together. For a time, we were all brothers.
Citi of dreams? Depends what you’re looking for
After my third time at Citi Field (two games and a public workout) on Wednesday, it has become apparent that the first-year ball yard is perfect for the Mets of current vintage. By that I mean, the star of the show is most certainly not the team on the field, which is currently rather unremarkable, but rather the field itself. It’s like PNC Park in Pittsburgh, except it’s not nearly as dire a situation for the Mets.
At least so far. When you see the picture at right and wonder if new Knicks draft picks Toney Douglas and Jordan Hill feel like having a summer job, you know things are not going well. I mean, that pitch Hill is throwing probably had a better chance of finding the plate than many that Oliver Perez (seven walks) offered up on Wednesday.
There is zero question that at least at this point, the on-field product takes a back seat to the park experience. And to be certain, it’s great for fans. It’s a perfect place to simply hang with friends, drink a beer and sort-of watch a game.
If you’re a baseball traditionalist who scores a game by hand — probably while wearing a derby hat and smoking a cigar — this park was not designed for you. What they had in mind was a place where you can wait on a line for a “Shake Shack” hamburger while watching the game on a screen on the back of the scoreboard. A place where you can get sushi, if you’re so inclined. (I usually am, but not at a ballgame) A place where you can frequent a center-field beer garden — which, despite the flowery name, is indistinguishable from any other beer vendor.
If you simply want to sit and pay close attention to a baseball game, well, nobody’s stopping you. It’s just that in the back of your mind, you know they didn’t make the park for you. Continue Reading