WHITE PLAINS, NY – I was watching one my favorite movies over the weekend, The Shawshank Redemption. Apropos of nothing, and to make sure we don’t accidentally attract a few Millennials, here is my Shawshank Themed Weekend in Review.
“Brooks Was Here”
The words scrawled on the ceiling by Brooks Hadlin, the friendly, institutionalized prison librarian just before his death, bring to mind the two huge losses in the sports world this weekend. Death has been busy in 2016, taking icons Prince, Bowie, Glenn Fry, Abe Vigoda, Lemmy, and Natalie Cole, to name a few, and we still have 3 months left. The Reaper’s fickle finger turned to the sports world, taking a golf legend and a transcendent young pitcher. Palmer was a beloved gentleman and man of the masses, and Fernandez was by all accounts a gregarious, energetic, and esteemed young man, as well as a hero in the Cuban community. Arnie had lived a full life, but José’s ended far too soon at 24, with a baby on the way. Sad times, RIP Arnie and José.
“There’s a Harsh Truth to Face”
Red’s begrudging acceptance that he won’t make it on the outside is similar to the begrudging acceptance of Giants and Jets fans as we watched our teams this weekend and realized they might not be as good as we thought they were. I’m a Giant fan, but I’m no Homer. You’d have to be blind not to see that Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz are the real deal. I know they’ve only played three games, but I’ve seen enough to be sufficiently scared. Dak looks unflappable, standing in the pocket in the face of rabid blitzers, as if it were a no-contact practice drill. Wentz also looks poised and totally in control of the offense. The “he hasn’t played anyone good yet” crowd was silenced hard on Sunday, as the Iggles easily took out Pittsburgh. Neither QB has even thrown a pick, which is impressive for a couple of rookies. I hate to say it, but two NFC East Rivals look set at the position for years to come. Meanwhile, the Giants were making crucial blunders in their loss to Washington, negating big plays with boneheaded penalties. It all ended with Eli throwing a late pick when a FG would have won it. Vereen looked open on the play had Eli thrown a nice touch pass with a little air under it, but he whipped it right into the arms of someone named Su’a Cravens. Su’anofabitch!
But the Giants didn’t come close to matching the turd the Jets left in KC, with Ryan Fitzmagic looking like a drunken Muggle. Jets fans pining for Geno Smith used to seem like an impossible dream, but now it feels within reach. Fitz’s brutal performance was part of an 8 turnover game for the Jets, which hasn’t happened since 1975. ‘75 was 41 years ago, but it was still more recent than the Jets’ one and only Super Bowl win. But even that is more recent than 1960, the year of the Philadelphia Eagles’ last championship. It’s been a rough 4 or 5 decades for green and white, northeast-based teams with flying mascots.
“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of the things, and no good thing ever dies”
Andy’s plea to Red to keep hope alive is the Mighty Miracle Mets; you gotta believe-ing their way to a near playoff berth. Sure, the schedule maker deserves part of the credit, but the Mets have overcome their share of obstacles. Here’s a reminder of their opening day starters: Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, and Colon (holding the spot for Zack Wheeler). Only a banged up Syndergaard and Colon are still standing, joined now by the Shoplifters’ Row of Lugo, Ynoa, and Gsellman. How the Gsell are they not 10 games back, man? With the Giants and Angry Ward’s Cardinals right there, they could still miss the playoffs. If they do make it, they’re not likely to go far. A deep playoff run is not as unlikely as Trump building a wall on our southern border, but still pretty unlikely. Getting in would be a successful season in my mind, with what they have overcome.
“Man up and vanished like a fart in the wind!”
The Warden’s frustration at Andy’s disappearance is like the Yanks’ slim playoff hopes vanishing in the wind after scoring exactly zero runs in three in straight games from Thursday to Saturday. Oh yeah, and Tanaka was shut down with forearm trouble. Turn off the lights at the Stadium on your way out.
Es todo para hoy. Come back tomorrow to get Angry Ward’s take on the candidates’ outfits in Monday’s big presidential debate.