Alabama vs Ole Miss had a lot riding for the Crimson Tide as they needed to put up un-godly like numbers against Miss State in order to try and jump Georgia in anyway shape or form to get into the college playoff. This is where the conundrum starts, Do you start your star QB Tua Taovailoa or do you start Mac Jones ( 18/22 235 yards and 3 tds) who keep in mind had a great game against Arkansas 2 weeks earlier. Well the answer was obvious when the Crimson Tide had scored 5 touchdowns on 5 possessions to take a commanding 35-7 lead with just about 3 minutes to play in the half. After the last touchdown, Tua went around to everybody on the offense to shake their hands basically saying his time was done and he was done for with the game out of hand, Mac Jones even started warming up thinking he was going to go in. Well that was not the case now was it….
Alabama got a quick 3 and out with just about 2 minutes left in the half when you were able to see Tua back with his helmet on pleading with Nick Saban to go back into the game as he did not want to be done. Nick Saba decided to let Tua go and let him practice “2 minute drill” and then be done. Well wouldn’t ya know the first possession on 3rd down got rolled up on by a Bulldog player and he ended up dislocating his hip and having a wall fracture which required surgery which was a success.. When Saban was asked do you regret leaving him in the game he had this to say ” Not at all,The guy was healthy. He didn’t have a problem with his ankle, and it certainly didn’t look like he had a problem with his ankle, which would have been the only reason not to play him in the game. It’s an SEC game. Typically, you play the best players on your team at every position. So why wouldn’t you play him? If I knew he was going to get hurt, I wouldn’t have played him.”
So the question remains, Did Nick Saban make a mistake by playing him with the game out of reach or did he do the right thing by letting him the practice which he wanted.. Here’s my short answer, No Nick Saban didn’t make a mistake by playing him and letting him get the reps in.. Every QB can always use a 2 minute drill practice no matter who they are. I agree with Nick Saban whole-heartedly as he is the best college football coach in the past decade and his decision goes a long way. Well played Nick, well played!!
Last night, the two best NFL record teams both played separate games. The NE Patriots snuck out a win over the Philadelphia Eagles 17-10. While on the other coast, the San Francisco 49ers struggled to pull out a win against the (3-7-1) AZ Cardinals late in the 2nd half. The Pats and the Niners moved on to 9-1 records but does the age old adage “you are what your record says you are” hold true?
Looking at both teams schedules, it’s fair to say they both had relatively easier schedules the first half of the season. We have seen both of these organizations fall victim to strong divisional teams. With the Patriots losing to the Ravens on November 3rd by a score of 37-20 and the 49ers taking their first loss to Seattle 27-24 in Week 10. This proved something we all knew, both teams were and are beatable.
The NE Patriots have an outstanding defense this year but their offense pales in comparison. In fact, Tom Brady has thrown passes to 17 different receivers this year. With his favorite receiver, Julian Edelman still playing injured and his first year without his star tight end (or any tight end), this Pats offense can’t seem to find any momentum. They’re even short their star kicker, Steve Gostkowski. Without an offense they will surely flounder in the playoffs. Historically, Bill Belichick and company find a way to rally back. But with the trade deadline come and gone, the injuries and lack of depth will surely work against them in the post season.
The SF 49ers have found themselves in a comparable situation. Undoubtedly, this team is the most improved in the NFL. From their 4-12 record in 2018 to having one of the best records in the league, we must give Kyle Shanahan and his defense major credit. That front 4 on defense can be lethal. But similarly that offense can be very inconsistent. We see glimpses of hope in their run game and some decent passes by Jimmy Garoppolo. But what we all want to know is, are they for real? Can they withstand the talented teams on the back half of their schedule? They’re struggling with injuries but so is every team in the league. We can’t ignore the elephant in the room that there’s a big question mark around Jimmy G. He has shown to panic and be turn-over prone in difficult situations. The lack of receiver depth does not help his case. There are solid teams in the NFC that can stop their run game and power punch with a pass rush which proved to be Jimmy’s kryptonite in their loss to the Seahawks. It’s important to note that the defensive line can only do so much especially when faced with a running quarterback.
Both 9-1 teams have started to show us who they are as their schedules have toughened up. There are some highly competitive teams with worse records but that are playing better, more balanced football. 2 of these teams, the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks, have proved that you don’t need to have the best record in the NFL to beat the best team or even “be” the best team.
We have a saying in this house- Knicks gonna Knick. It means
that the Knicks will always find a way to lose. They’re losing is so powerful
that they turned ten time champion Phil Jackson into a pathetic unemployed loser
in a matter of weeks.
You can easily make the connection with the New York Mets.
It’s totally fair to say that the Mets are gonna Met. Because the Mets find a
way to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.
Look at the last three times the Mets were worth a shit.
In 2000 the Mets were handily defeated by a New York Yankees
team full of future Hall of Famers, all stars, and a steroid fueled fuckface. The
best player in the game at that time, Alex Rodriguez, expressed his desire to
come play for the Mets. That move would have given the Mets two Hall of Fame
monster hitters in the heart of their lineup. So what did they do?
Mets gonna Met. They did nothing.
A few years later the Mets retooled under General Manager Omar
Minaya and added a distinct Latin flavor to their roster. Carlos Delgado,
Carlos Beltran, and Pedro Martinez made Queens a well paid home. They also
added 100 year old Orlando Hernandez and 117 year old Julio Franco to the team,
along with any player with a Spanish surname (Looking at you, American born
Xavier Nady). And that team’s major highlight? A caught looking strike three to
end their season.
And the next season? The epic September collapse where Tom
Glavine showed that he was truly an Atlanta Brave with that final start. Also?
That game began the era of wasting David Wright’s career.
The Mets languished from that 2007 season all the way to a
miracle post season run in 2015 where some rare in season trades bolstered a
lineup and a bench. A fine, young pitching staff with tons of promise and some
timely hitting from playoff hero Daniel Murphy propelled the Mets to the World
Series. Where they promptly lost the series in five games.
In the process they lost Murphy to a division rival and
never replaced his bat, then watched as their star pitcher blew his arm out. So
there’s that. They did return to the playoffs the next year…for one game.
It’s not like the Mets don’t spend money. They have a TV
network and a beautiful stadium that see millions of fans arrive or watch at
home annually. And it’s not like the Mets have the lowest payroll in baseball.
They don’t. They were 9th in baseball last year, and were almost 10%
higher than the next tier of team salaries.
No, it seems where the Mets make bad decisions stems from
one place, which affects a few others. Their owners- the Wilpon’s- are fuck
Not financially. There, they’ve done great. They avoided
being held accountable throughout the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, where they
made fantastic returns on their investments as other people went broke in the
scam, then allegedly did not suffer any financial losses after. They sold a
chunk of team ownership to raise personal capital, and watched the team gain
value in the process. They have a TV network that is part of a cable package,
so they get monthly revenues from commercials and subscribers, although
Frontier Communications did end their broadcast relationship with SNY this fall
due to their “excessive carriage rates.” And unlike every other New York area
sports channel, they have no other New York based sports tenant to pay to air.
And with those resources? The Wipons make horrible
Mets fans can list off the failed free agents and veteran
trades the team has made like it’s a Dishonor Roll. Some of those were
surprises. Who saw Roberto Alomar falling apart so quickly? Who thought Mike
Piazza was going to resign with the Mets? But there’s a whole lot of Mo
Vaughns, Bobby Bonillas, Jason Bays, Jeremy Burnitzes and Mel Rojases going on.
A Mets trade for a major contributor is rare- consider the trade of Cy Young
award winner knuchleballer R.A. Dickey for a catching prospect that they
expected to be a star- Travis DeArnold. If the Blue Jays didn’t throw in level
A ball pitcher Noah Syndergaard, that trade would have been awful as well.
Some teams have just about the same amount of scouts- the
San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The shitty Pirates have a
similar org chart. That can’t be good. But the Giants have been successful for
decades, so we have to call into account the quality of Mets scouts.
But look at the teams with more scouts than the Mets. The Atlanta Braves. The Philadelphia Phillies. The St. Louis Cardinals. The Boston Red Sox. The Los Angeles Dodgers. The Houston Astros. The Cleveland Indians. The Chicago Cubs. The Chicago White Sox. The Detroit Tigers. The Baltimore Orioles. All of these teams have had greater levels of success than the Mets in the Wilpon Era. They all have had faster rebuilds, have had more sustained successes, and almost all of them have won a World Series since 2000.
You may notice a team that didn’t make the list. The New
York Yankees. Why? Because their scouting staff is DOUBLE what their same
market peers have. Well, not exactly double. Two scouts short of double. 154
So we know the Mets are short of amateur and professional
scouts as compared to more successful organizations. But surely they hire
managers and coaches with winning pedigrees, right?
Wrong. The Mets seem to be a landing pad for reclamation
projects and first time managers. They’ve had two decent managers over the last
30 years. Davey Johnson and Bobby Valentine. The Mets have had chances to hire
managers with pedigrees, as recently as a few days ago when they’ve watched
World Series winning Joe Maddon go to the Angels and World Series winning
manager Joe Girardi go to the divisional rivals Phillies.
And the Mets? They replaced first time manager Mickey
Calloway with first time manager Carlos Beltran. And who hired him? First time
general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
Which in fairness was a turn around from the prior administration or longtime reclamation project and career loser Terry Collins, with retread GM Sandy Alderson. These two teamed up to luck into a postseason based on young pitchers who never had a lineup to supplement their work, and always, ALWAYS a sketchy bullpen.
But look at that stellar, inspiring list of recent Mets
managers. You can marvel at:
And you wonder why they lose?
Wally Backman came through the Mets system as a player, then
became a manager in various levels before returning as manager in the Mets
system. He had a winning record in A ball, AA, and AAA, even managing to win
some championships. He had a winning record! But hey, Terry Collins was running
a sub 500 team for years, so why change things up?
Even as recently as 2019, a player developed by the Mets and
who starred for the Mets- Edgardo Alfonso-
took the A level Brooklyn Cyclones to a league championship. And was
fired for it. You read that right. What the actual fuck is this organization
doing? Alfonso was a Met in the last era in which the team was consistently
good, and past of what some called the greatest infield ever. Fired for
winning. This is the GM Mets fans get.
And this is the GM Mets fans deserve. Why? Because Mets fans
are stupid. They line up each year to put 2,000,000 asses (literally and
figuratively) in the seats of an admittedly beautiful ballpark. And then they
take off their shirts and have the Mets organization shit on their collective
chests like a high octane German shizer film. They pay their monthly cable
bills and don’t ask the providers to remove the stain from their drawers. They
buy t-shirts and jerseys and pay $40 to park under a train track or on the side
of a highway because…they’re fucking stupid. Why? Because they don’t ask for
You know thaty the divisional rival Atlanta Braves have already begun signing free agents? They took former Giants closer lefthanded All Star Will Smith off of the market well before the Mets made reservations for the Winter Meetings. Mets fans will say Smith isn’t good. If he was in the Mets bullpen last year? They make the playoffs.
Let me be the first person the make this point and argument.
If the Islanders arena progresses at Belmont, the Mets should move there as
well. Not the indoor arena. That’d be silly. No, instead of ANOTHER shopping
mall, build a baseball stadium. And maybe….shhhh….a small casino in the
proposed and yet unbuilt hotel. Imagine a horse track, an indoor sports arena,
an outdoor sports arena, a hotel, a casino, and two train stations- one coming
from Long Island and one from Queens – all within walking distance of each
other? And near their fanbase? That’d sound…smart. So that’s fucked.
Instead the fans have accepted the existence of chop shops
and grey mud puddles for generations.
So to Mets fans- stop it. What you’re doing is the equivalent of Magic Johnson buying billboards in support of spreading AIDS. Cancel your TV packages. You don’t need them. Just buy channels you want and stream Mets games. Stop paying for failure.
Stop with season tickets. Stop with t shirts. Stop paying to
watch games. I can tell you what will happen.
The team will lose money. Then they will lose value. Then
someone with money will come in recognizing the bargain to own a mass market
team at a bargain price and do what new owners always do- use the savings to
reinvest in their product. That way if they sell it’s a quick flip. And if they
stay it’s a fortune down the road. And will the present owners reinvest in this
team to make it a winner?
No. The Mets presently have enough parts to just need a few more pieces to be short term solid. What pieces? A competent front office, an experienced manager, experienced coaches with winning records, a few key free agents, a few solid drafts, and an owner willing to spend. Just look at their take on analytics, which is growing in all sports.
Are you at all shocked?
This plan doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s worked for the
Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals, Cubs, Red Sox, Astros, Marlins, Giants, and
Tigers. Clearly it didn’t work for the teams that never invested.
Like the Mets.
So, which side of the fence do you want to be on? Perpetual
pissing your own money away to a rich guy with a losing team for more of the
same? Or maybe a sense of satisfaction from not the usual “almost successful”
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Or smash
your head into the wall as you order your Mets Christmas gifts. Unlike what the
team owners do at this time of year.
NEW YORK, N.Y.-
What a weekend it was in college football. Two of the initial top four teams in
the College Football Playoff went down, including Minnesota upsetting Penn
State and LSU defeating Alabama in the “Game of the Century.” The big question
after that SEC clash was: “Where will Alabama land after this loss? Are they
still deserving of staying in the top four?”
Ultimately Georgia was slotted fourth this week while the Crimson Tide slipped to fifth to the dismay of many. The committee got it right this week, as they valued impressive wins by Georgia over a close loss to the top team with Alabama.
There is a growing notion that a “good loss” can actually
boost your resume when it comes to arguing your case to be one of the final
four teams. This can absolutely be true when the sole loss can be paired with a
few solid wins. When the biggest brag about a team’s resume is that they lost a
close game at home to the number one team in the nation, that shouldn’t trump
having wins over ranked opponents.
The biggest indictment for Georgia was their home loss to
South Carolina, a team that beat the ‘Dawgs with their third string quarterback
and likely will finish the season 4-8. An inexcusable loss for sure, but one
game doesn’t tell the entire story of their season. The Bulldogs own two top-10
wins this season, defeating No. 7 Notre Dame at home and No. 6 Florida in
Jacksonville. Two wins over highly ranked opponents should definitely outweigh
a brutal loss.
Alabama’s resume on the other hand is completely different. They have the best loss by far of any one-loss team when they fell to now top ranked LSU. Outside of that, they have nothing else to lean on. The Tide did beat Texas A&M when the Aggies were ranked No. 24, but have since fell out of the rankings. The only chance ‘Bama has left of notching a ranked win will be in the Iron Bowl at Auburn, who could have three losses if the Tigers fall to Georgia this weekend.
Alabama’s ranking will be a hot button topic for the rest of
the season because of their resume, or should I say, lack there of it. Owning
the best loss is helpful, but can only take you so far, especially when teams
behind the Tide have opportunities to pad their resumes. Oregon and Utah,
should they win out, will face each other in the Pac-12 title game and the
winner will own a conference title and a win over a top 10 team, neither of
which Alabama can claim. Minnesota still has two ranked opponents left on their
schedule in Iowa and Wisconsin plus gets a shot at most likely Ohio State in
the Big Ten Championship should the Gophers make it. Penn State has a chance to
avenge its loss by traveling to Columbus to play the Buckeyes next week.
Oklahoma and Baylor play each other this weekend and most likely again for the
Big 12 title, helping to boost one of their resumes.
Since the College Football Playoff has been implemented, two teams have made it without winning their own division: 2016 Ohio State and 2017 Alabama. The common dominator with both were their big wins throughout the season as the Buckeyes captured three wins over ranked opponents, including No. 3 Michigan while ‘Bama opened the season with a win over third ranked Florida State and tallied two other wins over ranked opponents. Their impressive victories were the reason they made the final four in those respective seasons, not their “good losses.”
This may seem like I’m just picking on Alabama, but the
truth is you could insert any team with the Tide’s resume and the argument
would be the same. I understand the eye test is a big component of what the
committee factors in when they are judging teams, but the body of work can’t be
ignored either. Wins have to matter in college football. If they don’t why are
we even playing the games?
The National Lacrosse League has just awarded an expansion lacrosse franchise on Long Island. The addition of the NY Riptides, Long Island’s newest professional team, means there are now 13 teams scheduled to play the 2019/2020 season. Just like that, professional lacrosse is back on Long Island!
I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the Riptides to the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. Excitement was in the air as they took the field to host their first public practice, which was very well attended. I must say, they looked pretty good out there! After practice, the coaching staff conducted a Q&A with the fans. Interestingly, the majority of the questions seemed to focus on the players who were recently drafted, as well as the secret development of the NY Riptides Mascot, which has yet to be revealed. Afterwards, the players greeted fans, took photos, and signed autographs.
I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Head Coach Regy Thorpe, who is thrilled to be on Long Island. He has a lot of talent, and will undoubtedly be working hard over the next few weeks to fine-tune his starting lineup! I look forward to having him as a guest on the WWSRN.
The NLL season starts for the Riptides [on 12/7/19|], when they take on the Halifax Thunderbirds. The first home game will be [12/28/19|]. For schedule information or to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.nyriptides.com.