Sunday, February 12, 2012

The week in review 2/12/12

The past seven days have been tumultuous here in NY. The world champion Superbowl Giants, The unknown sensation Jeremy Lin who has absolutely turned basketball (Not just in NY, but literaly world wide) on its ear leading the haphazard, injury plauged NY Knicks to a five game winning streak, and making basketball actually fun in NY again. And by the way Jeremy, don't listen to that moron 'Ron Artest', oops I'm sorry, 'Meta World Peace' who proclained in the back of the NY Daily News that you should start showing up at practices with your pants hanging low, wearing dark sunglasses, and smoking a cigar, and of course be very late. That idiot should realize that those are traits the regular guy who follows basketball HATES about certain players. You keep playing and being true to yoruself. You're the fresh face of basketball now that EVERYONE wants to see. You smile running up the court, you're having fun, you thank God, and you keep checking that film at halftime like you did friday night. Without realizing it, you have become an inspiration to everyone with your nose to the grindstone, never give up attitude. Also your thanking God after every game is a major plus as it continues to show how humble and more importantly genuine you really are. For the first time since Patrick Ewing left, basketball has become fun again, and for the first time since Mark Jackson was traded for Charles Smith, the Knicks have a real point guard. Whitney Houston. What a sad, sad day this is. Another performer who was blessed with a voice that was extraordinary, who let her personal demons catch up with her and end her life long before it should have been over. It's a sad day for her family and friends, as well as her fans. Her music was never my cup of tea, but she was incredibly talented, and will be missed, probably by no one more then her children. God Speed Whitney Houston. You should have been stronger and used more good sense.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New day, new experiences

There've been a lot of new things happening here in New York the past few days. Of course the biggest news is the Giants win and bringing back a SuperBowl crown to New York. We're a blessed city with , of course, The Yankees, the greatest sports franchise in history anywhere in the world, and also the now four time Superbowl world champion Giants. It's been only 2 1/2 years since the Yanks had their most recent parade down the boulevard of heroes, yet seeing another today is just as exciting as the last one was. New York has another champion this year. For the next twelve months we've given New England more reason to hate us. Good. But The Giants news is NOT all that's going on in this city sports-wise. Has anyone besides myself been watching the Knicks since saturday? There's a little known point guard , a totally unassuming kid named Jeremy Lin who's sat on the bench warming the end of it the past month +. He's had a few moments of play in that time , but it's usually in garbage time when the Knicks are being blown out. He was sent down to the D-League (Developmental league) a few weeks back for a few games, then returned to the Garden and resumed his place on the benches end. That was until saturday night. The Knicks coach put in Lin, almost as a "What else can I do?" kind of expression. The Knicks had last 12 of their last 14 at the time, and the season was quickly becoming one that had all the fans groaning with every games end. But then Lin stepped onto the floor saturday night, and did the one thing this team desperately needed. He drove to the basket. He controlled the floor. He passed the ball for 7 assists saturday and added 25 points of his own. He repeatedly split the defense. And along teh way thsi skinny kid grabbed 5 rebounds. He had a career night. Those are superstar numbers for a point guard. Now as his coach said saturday night "It's one game." Okay, so what does he do for an encore then? Well the beleagured (And rightfully so)coach places the kid in the starting lineup last night, and the kid gets 28 points , and 8 Assists, leading the Knicks to a victory over a quality team, and more importantly without thier two superstars (Amare Stoudamire lost his 35 year old brother in a car accident monday morning, our prayers are with you and your family, Amare, and Carmello Anthony was injured five minutes into the game.) So again , it's two games, not a season. That's okay, lets see what happens from here. But what gets me is how the Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni (Who I am NOT a fan of.) can outright say "I didn't know he could play like that." You didn't know he could play like that? It's your job to know. There's no excuse for having this guy sit on the bench since Christmas day when he could have been at least coming off the bench and providing a spark by breaking down the defense. Instead we've been stuck with poor Toney Douglas who is really a two guard, not a point guard, and then after him rookie Iman Shumpert, who is likewise a natural two and has been playing out of position all season long. It's crazy the way this team has been playing. Before this weekend they've been standing outsiude and lobbing three's conmstantly, and missing so badly, it's been horrible. The one bright spot before this was really Landry Fields who can drive, when plays are run for him, but very few were. Mostly it's been pound the ball into Carmello. They've ignored Amare' all season long as well, with very few plays being headed his way. But in the past two games you have had an even offense as Lin has done the two things the Knicks have missed desperately, he drives to the basket and he passes the ball to the right guy, like he did last night, to another guy who has warmed the bench all season, Steve Novak, who the great coach, Jeff Van Gundy called "The best pure shooter in the league." Another little used player who scores 19 points in limited time, and add that to Jarod Jefferies working man effort with 13 points and 8 rebounds along with taking 5 offensive fouls (using his body as a roadblock and taking a hit for it.) Add to that an assist and 2 steals, and you have a group effort. And guess what? They played defense last night. Something they haven't done till saturday as well. This all may be the start of something good, or it could be an abberation. I'm going to think positively and say that the Knicks have found a point guard.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What an in-between season...

Usually, I look forward to winter , with the changing of the seasons and all that, but also because I'm a really avid skier, it's one of my three non-romantic loves in life. The other two being guitar playing and of course motorcycling. But this year I've been suffering with a bad back since July, an ailment called Stenosis of the spine as well as a few bulging discs. I haven't worked since early August and doubt I ever will be able to go back to the very physical work I did all those years. Even crouching down, or doing a squat is extremely painful at this point. And this is six months into physical therapy.
But enough about that. What I want to discuss is the not quite winter we are having. I don't mind the lack of snowfall here, and the day where it topped 60 degrees this week was awesome. But it's just not winter. One day it's 60 and sunny, two days later it's high 30's. Too far of a stretch for me. I'm not happy with this season of in-between. On the one hand it's good for me so I don't lament not being able to ski with my constantly pain wracked back, but on the other I feel like we're stuck in a shadowland of almost one thing or another.
Tonight is the annual running of the Crotona midnight run. It's an all night motorcycle run in the dead of winter night that occurs once a year. Not my kinda thing, but good luck and God Speed to all who intend to run it tonight, but the point of bringing this little gem up is the fact that it's going to be relatively warm tonight. Most years this is run when temps are in the teens. Tonight here on the island we're supposed to have a low of 29 . Practically balmy for this event. Some former participants are already complaining about the lack of cold. Hey more power to 'em. I'll be home with the heat turned up wondering when we're going to get some snow up north.
Have fun and be safe Crotoans.