EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Once again I found motivation for today’s piece via the piece from the day before… and actually the piece from last Friday, too. These excellent posts helped me develop 3/4ths of my patent-pending formula for this week. The rest just took a wee bit of research and… BANG! Strap in and get ready for the Song of the Week – followed by Sports Stuff. In today’s mix: NFL Combine, Rangers Generation Never and Rangers Next Season…
Song of the Week: I have mentioned the movie Sing and yesterday, worlds collided. I was watching the movie for like the 30th time and saw a message on my phone that comedian and activist-against-rape Barry Crimmins had passed. I thought “Damn, there is number three.” They say people die threes, so within a week of hearing about one person passing, you hear about two more. Crimmins joined Frankie Hess and Short Matt‘s childhood neighbor. I didn’t know the latter but I was chatting with Lord Baldy of Smalltown when he told me had to leave quickly for a wake. Deaths are always funny to me because I never experienced dead family members at a young age. Most of our family was back home in Ghana. I never really went to any funerals. Moreover, Ghanaian wakes are a lot like parties, so if you are child to pre-teen, you really don’t know the difference. Since losing my Dad, I have looked at death a lot differently, as you can imagine. While watching Sing, I heard the song “My Way” and though that is not a bad song to play at someone’s funeral. So I decided without doubt the Song of the Week is My Way by Frank Sinatra.
NFL Combine: It is that time of the year again. Time to get absorbed in how fast this guy can run or how much he can lift. I hate the NFL combine because I am not a stats guy. Speed is great and we will talk about great players and the skills they showed at the combine. However, anyone that has watch sports long enough knows that there are a lot of can’t-miss-prospects that end up missing. And a lot of players clubs draft as their 2nd or 3rd option turn out to be studs. Apparently, this draft contains one of the fastest offensive linemen ever. I am not sure what that means. What will be key is to see what teams do with the QB class come draft time. One team to watch will be Angry Ward’s Minnesota Vikings because all three QBs that were on the roster are free agents and they must decide who to re-sign, if any. Or do they draft a new kid or sign another free agent. Head Coach Mike Zimmer has admitted who he picks will determine how long the team keeps around.
Rangers Generation Never: I have a sports report buzz alert function on my phone. The other day it vibrated (Oh behave!) with an interesting article about Ranger legend Jean Ratelle. It was about how his teams are considered the greatest teams never to have won the cup… and if this Rangers generation belongs in the same category. It was Ratelle Night at the Garden and another Ranger legend, Emile Francis, said it is a tough feeling knowing how good and how close they were. That being the best to never win was no consolation.
I am too young to know anything about the 1960s and 1970s Rangers, so I will leave it Angry Ward and Cheesy Bruin to discuss that. I will say this recent group of Rangers came so close, so often and you just kept looking at the team and roster, despite the turnover, and thinking they are good enough to win it all. But they weren’t. Hey, I thought the Gretzky-Messier Rangers were destined to win the Cup but nope… not even close.
Rangers Next Season: The Rangers will be a much younger and faster squad next year. That doesn’t guarantee a better squad, so you look to who will coach them. It will be interesting to see if they keep Alain Viganault or replace him with Lindy Ruff. Both are horrible coaches for young players. I mentioned yesterday that I would like an out-of-left choice like Minnesota State’s Mike Hastings or Hartford Wolfpack coach Keith McCambridge. Just someone hungry with a young team that will grow together. That would be some out-of-the-box thinking that will never happen because New York never thinks out of the box.
Leave your thoughts below and come back tomorrow for another gem of a column by Cheesy Bruin. You can also find us on Twitter – @JunoirBlaber, @MeetTheMatts & @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram – @MeetTheMatts – and Facebook – Meet The Matts.