Odell Beckham Jr.the rookie wide receiver of the NY Giants has taken the NFL and the city by storm.Whether you’re a hardcore fan or casual observer or have never seen a football game you no doubt have seen the catch he made against the Dallas Cowboys on a Sunday night a few weeks ago.That catch is being called by many the greatest of all time and thrust the young man into national prominence.He currently leads the team in receptions,yards and touchdowns.It has been a lousy year for the Giants but the excitement Beckham has generated has made the last few games of the season a must watch.He has thrust himself into the lead for NFL offensive rookie of the year.The Giants haven’t had a player this dynamic since Lawrence Taylor burst on the scene in 1981 and won the defensive rookie of the year.Giants fans are excited thinking what it will be like next season when star wideout Victor Cruz comes back from his knee injury.I would also like to see them draft another receiver to make it a very dangerous trio.We have been blessed to have had players such as Taylor,Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera in our backyard.The great thing is they were all drafted and played their entire career with the same team.Naturally any player has to stay healthy but providing he does,Odell Beckham Jr will be another one we mention in the same sentence as those great players.That’s my opinion.
This is about a harsh reality that’s preying on the streets of our cities.You have heard about the shooting of unarmed black Michael Brown by white Police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson Mo.You have also seen and heard about the rioting and looting in the streets by the Black Community there and some of the black players from the St.Louis Rams holding up their hands in protest.Here on Staten Island you had the choking death of Eric Garner who is also black by the white NYPD policemen.No matter what people say or think,the reality is the police target blacks.The video of those policemen choking Eric Garner to the ground and him saying over and over “I can’t breathe” is sickening.They didn’t even think of easing up on him,they just kept applying pressure until he was nearly dead.The same would not have happened to a white man.The fact is the police look at all blacks that wear jeans,sneakers and a hoodie as a potential criminal.White kids who wear the same gear are not targeted.It has been that way forever and will continue to be.Eric Garner and Michael Brown were unarmed and hadn’t done anything that should have cost them there lives.But that’s the way it is and will always be.Black is not beautiful in the eyes of the police.That’s my opinion.
The NFL season is entering the final quarter with only four games left.The Eagles,Packers and Cardinals all lead their respective divisions with 9-3 records while the Falcons and Saints are tied for first at 5-7.The Patriots and Broncos lead theirs at 9-3 with the Bengals on top at 8-3-1 and the Colts lead at 8-4.These teams are going to have a battle on their hands because so many other teams are in playoff contention in both the NFC and AFC.That’s why football is the number one sport in this country.The season is the shortest of all the major sports and it’s because of that every game is like life and death.If you are a fan of these teams I’ve mentioned or another team that’s in contention you’re in for some sweating,nail biting,high anxiety moments but I know you would not trade those moments for anything.Being a Giants fan I’m done for this season so I’m looking towards next year and the draft.As a football fan though I’m really looking forward to seeing which teams will make it and which teams won’t.Then when the playoffs start who will advance and who will go home.And finally which team will be the last one standing holding the Vince Lombardi trophy as Super Bowl Champs.Sweating,nail biting,high anxiety on every play.That’s why in spite of all the off the field problems it’s the number one sport in America,and it’s by a wide margin.That’s my opinion.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.Today is a day to take a few minutes to ponder what you’re thankful for.As for me,I’m thankful for the time I was able to spend with my family.One year ago today my brother Ellis passed away.I was devastated because I didn’t see it coming.We had gone food shopping and I was cooking the turkey that evening.We had been talking all day and there was no indication anything was wrong.Late that night I went to his room and he was just lying there and not moving.I tried to wake him up but it was no use,he was gone.My mother and father passed away many years ago so it was just me and my brother and suddenly it was just me.I spent Thanksgiving alone with no thought of eating any of the food I had prepared.I thought back to my childhood when my mother would make thanksgiving dinner and we would gather around the table to say grace.Today I will be thinking about when my whole family would gather at my uncle’s house in Mt.Vernon and we kids would get a football game going while the older folks were in the house gabbing.Then we would sit down to the greatest meal you could eat.Most of my family have passed away since then but today they will once again come alive as I think back to those wonderful days.I hope all of you who read this blog are spending Thanksgiving with the people you love.Enjoy your time with them so someday you can have memories like I have.Happy Thanksgiving.
The current state of New York sports is very bad.The Giants are 3-7 and the Jets are 2-8.The Knicks are 3-8 and the Nets are 4-6.The Yankees finished 84-78 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.The Mets finished 79-83.I’m leaving out the Rangers because they made the Stanley Cup Finals last season.The Islanders are playing well but have been down for many years.The Devils haven’t won in a long time.Why are things so bad? It’s because the people responsible for putting the product out there have done a poor job.Owners and General Managers of these teams either are not willing to spend money to bring in better players or have been terrible at picking players in the draft.The fans are the ones that suffer because they pay ridiculous prices to see their team win,not just to play.And when that doesn’t happen year after year frustration starts to set in.I’ve always said it takes a special athlete to win in New York.Sure there’s pressure in other cities but New York is different.Some guys come here for the money because they were very good somewhere else,but when they don’t perform up to that money they received they can’t handle it and get run out of here.The people running the New York teams have been lacking in this exercise.When they do spend a large amount to get a player he suddenly can’t do as well as he did where he came from.They’re drafting of players have been awful also.What are they thinking? Until these areas improve greatly the teams of this city will continue to struggle and the fans will grow more and more frustrated and just may stop paying the outrageous prices these teams charge for an inferior product.That’s my opinion.
The NFL season has just moved past the midway point with all the teams having played at least nine games so it’s time to ask,”how is your team doing?”Injuries will play a big role in how teams finish.The Arizona Cardinals have lost their quarterback Carlson Palmer for the remainder of the season while they currently have the best record in the NFL.The Philadelphia Eagles lost their quarterback Nick Foles for the season while they are in first place in the NFC EAST.Backup quarterbacks Drew Stanton in Arizona and Mark Sanchez in Philadelphia will lead their respective teams the rest of the season including the playoffs and Super Bowl should either one get that far.In the case of Stanton the comparison has been made to Jeff Hostetler of the Giants,who in 1990,took over for Phil Simms and led them to a Super Bowl championship over the Buffalo Bills.I saw every game Hostetler played in Simms place and he made some terrific plays in clutch situations.There was the throw he made to tight end Mark Bavaro in the NFC Championship game against the 49ers that set up the game winning field goal.And in the Super Bowl he was being grabbed by the wrist in the end zone by Bruce Smith of the Bills and somehow managed to hold onto the ball for what was a safety but easily could have been a touchdown if he had dropped it.I think that it’s one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history because the Giants won by 1 point 20-19.That play was the difference between winning and losing.Drew Stanton will be called upon to make a clutch play somewhere along the line and whether he makes it or not will determine how far his team goes.That’s my opinion.
For anyone who doesn’t know the story of Lauren Hill,what you will read here is a touching and truly heartbreaking account.Lauren Hill has Inoperable brain cancer.Her doctors figure she will not see the year 2015.Her last wish was to be able to play her first college basketball game,so yesterday in Cincinnati Ohio Helen’s school,Mt.Saint Joseph played Hiram College.The NCAA allowed the game to be pushed up 3 weeks so Helen could participate while she’s still able.She was introduced to a standing ovation and then she scored the first basket of the game on a layup.At half-time she received the Pat Sumitt inspirational award from Pat Sumitt herself.Lauren was so overcome with emotion she began crying.Many in the sold out arena could not keep from shedding tears also.Finally Lauren scored the last basket for Mt.Saint Joseph as they beat Hiram easily.Never has a Division three basketball game received such national attention.My sister had Breast cancer and went through chemotherapy and thank God she’s been able to beat it.Unfortunately Lauren Hill may not be able to do that but she has had her wish fulfilled and her story should serve as inspiration to us who think life is a bitch or take it for granted.Remember how this wonderful young lady never complained or said why me.That’s my opinion.