EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday! I cant put into words how exhausted I am. This Brave New COVID World means any cold your kid gets equals 2-3 days out of daycare to get tested to prove its just a cold. So Trenoir has been home sick the last 4 days, waking us all up with middle-of-the-night joy. Waking up me and the wife is one thing but waking his sister really tests the boundless joys of parenthood. Anyway, enough about that. Let’s get to the sports and today’s MTM Headliners: NY Jets, NY Giants, LA Lakers.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Ladies and Gentlemen, your NY Jets find a new way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. FACT: some Jets fans were scared they would blow the chance to select Trevor Lawrence by winning a game. With 13 seconds left, up 4 points and the Raiders on the Jets 46 yard line, it seemed it was time for the prevent defense or the dime formation. Time to knock down the pass or tackle the guy short of the end zone and get that elusive W. That, however, would be the thought process of a normal team… not the Jets. Instead, Gang Green brings an all-out blitz, leaving their corner-backs on Revis Island with no Revis and no over-the-top help. The secondary included 5th round pick Bryce Hall and undrafted rookie Lamar Jackson. Jackson got beat with a double move,the Raiders were in the endzone and the Jets were still winless. All in stunning fashion. The geniuses at the NFL did some fast stat work and discovered that no one had ever called such a play on the last play of the game when trying to protect a 1-touchdown lead. Jets Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was nowhere to be found after the game, but you know was? Lamar Jackson. Standing there taking question after question from the journalists. He wasn’t making excuses, he was raising his hand and saying he didn’t do a good enough job: “I am rookie, I don’t have the seniority to be questioning a call. It came in, I was out there and I had a job to do. I did my best, he caught me with a double move I wasn’t prepared for and it cost my team the game. All I can do is learn from it and use it to make me better.” I know GM Joe Douglass will blow things up and make some changes in the offseason but I have to say, I have tremendous respect for Jackson. The smart thing and the brave thing are on parallel streets that rarely intersect. The smart thing would be to hide, but he didn’t. That is the kind of character you need on your team. I want more guys like that and hopefully he stays and goes on to have a long career.
It is too early to tell but Brian Flores and
Matt Joe Judge might be of the few Belichek Belichick Disciples worth a damn. Judge has the Giants winning games; 4 in a row to be exact. Looking back, their first two wins were against NFC LEast rivals/soups cans and then vs a Joe Burrow-less Bengals. None were impressive. BUT… this week many they took down DangeRuss Wilson and the 31-points-per-game Seattle Seahawks. Sure, they are still only 5-7 and likely won’t reach .500 but it is a good first season under a rookie coach and as a Jets fan, I can’t knock it. It is better than anything being produced by my guys. By reaching 5 wins, Judge’s first season is already a success. Let’s see how he builds on it.
The NY Knicks have not won an NBA title since the ’70s. I wasn’t even born the last time they won. Meanwhile, the Lakers have piled up over 10 combined trophies and conference titles. They consistently have good ownership and good GMs. Their moves this off-season prove it. After landing LeBron James and trading for Anthony Davis, they won the #COVID-19 shortened season title. They didn’t rest on their laurels, as their offseason moves bolster the bench and starting lineup. Now they make another statement by signing Davis and James to contract extensions. I said it before; this is a long-term play by the Lakers to go for another dynasty. They did it in the ’80s with Magic & Co. and in the 2000s with Kobe and Shaq. Now it is LeBron and AD. This is why James went out there; he wanted to be with a franchise that knew how to win and build on that winner. Not many teams offered him that combination, certainly not NY.
Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for Ben Whitney, who is digging up all his Giants gear he was hiding in the basement at the start of the season.