Friday, November 04, 2005


the knicks and the garden

Mike Vaccaro wrote an awesome column in the Post today which really captures the zeitgeist of Knicks fandom (wow, third post today that is at least tangentially Knickerbocker-related). What the people running Madison Square Garden have done to the World's Most Famous Arena in the past few years is enough to break any New York sports fan's heart, considering how amazingly special the place was in the 1990s.

The very premise of Vaccaro's column implies that the Larry Brown Knicks have a chance to make the Garden special again, but I'm not so sure. When I look at Isiah Thomas' player moves as Knicks' head honcho, I see flawed players acquired by trading other flawed players. Sometimes it feels like he'll make any move in the hopes that some new random assemblage of players will click. I dunno; maybe I'm still hung up on the bruising Knicks of the mid-1990s, or the miracle Knicks of 1999; maybe it will take some time to fall in love with a Knicks team that's long on talent but still feels not quite right. Maybe falling in love with this group will be impossible.

Maybe all they need to do is win.

And another thing: when I look at Larry Brown, I see a guy who's about to realize how hopelessly over his head he is with the players he's stuck with; I just can't see him staying in New York very long. Being coach of the Knicks should mean something, but right now, despite all of the "homecoming" talk, I look at Brown and I think "hired gun." He just doesn't feel like the head coach of the New York Knicks. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad he's here. He's a great coach, and his being here means the franchise still has a semblance of a clue - but I fear that, before too long, he's going to start trying to claw his way out of NYC (like a cat in one of those carry-on cage thingies).

"the ship be sinking"

It's hard to imagine Bush vocalizing his team's fortunes the way Michael Ray Richardson did back in the 80s, but the ship be sinking anyway. When you consider that recent presidents as ideologically disparate as Reagan and Clinton enjoyed monster approval ratings in their second terms, it seems pretty clear that Bush has completely lost touch with moderates. Which makes sense, given that Bush tried to take away Social Security, let his unqualified buddy Michael Brown preside over the loss of a major American city, nominated an underqualified buddy to the Supreme Court, then kowtowed to his narrow base of semi-loyal wackos and nominated somebody who makes Antonin Scalia look like Justice Mendoza on the West Wing (ably played by the creamy Edward James Olmos). Oh yeah, there's that whole Iraq thing, too.

Speaking of the West Wing, it looks like Hawkeye Pierce is getting his ass kicked around the country by Jimmy Smits (I'd jokingly call him by one of his non-West Wing character's names, but I couldn't think of one; thanks for the heads-up to Kris, who actually voted for Matt Santos). Good to see somebody doing well in the polls.

you gotta be there

"You gotta be there to say you were there."

Glad to see Chuck Dolan has the boys down in marketing working in shifts to come up with gold like this.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

giants are screwed

NY Daily News: Giants in first & feelin' Super

Newsday: Surging Big Blue for real

The rest of the NY media is glowing about the Jints, as well.

If the Giants lose to the Niners or the Vikings in the next two weeks - and these articles almost guarantee it - you'll be able to play this to the sight of the bandwagon emptying out.

life's little victories

When I went outside this morning at 8 am, I found that the three-hour parking meters on my little stretch of Walnut Street had three hours' worth of money in them, and the two-hour meters had two hours' worth in them. I'm not sure how it happened, and I put 75 cents in my meter just to be safe (in case this happy glitch vanished like a mirage). But still, I was able to take a little more time this morning to get myself ready and to clean up the apartment.

I love it when stuff like that happens - like free t-shirts, or free food, or finding a five-dollar bill in your pocket when you put on a jacket for the first time after a hot summer. This was one of life's little victories.

Monday, October 31, 2005

not to jinx it, but...

The Inky ran an interesting sidebar describing how Steve Young compared this current Eagles incarnation with the 1994 Bills, who were plagued by a "general malaise" after making it to four consecutive Super Bowls with nothing to show for it.

Well, like the Yankees or the Braves (or the Cowboys or Bulls of the 1990s), I'll believe the Eagles are dead when I see a body. Until then, they're still the Top Dog in the NFC East (and then some), and the Giants (or whoever else would overtake them) will have to win what Philly has by beating the Eagles themselves.

In a similar vein, while I love watching Eli turn more and more into one of the better quarterbacks in the league, I don't think he'll officially have arrived until he begins torturing Philadelphians. Nothing would please me more to see Eli regarded here in Philly the way Troy Aikman was (and really still is). You see, when that happens, it can only be because he and the Giants are either 1) the only thing keeping good Eagles teams from greater things, or 2) routinely showing bad Eagles teams just how bad they are.

That day is coming, children... maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon.

yanks interested in piazza?

Matt over at Metsblog writes that the Yankees have briefly discussed bringing Mike Piazza on-board as a part-time DH and catcher with Jorge Posada.

While the Yankees mull almost everybody over each winter - I think they had internal discussions about offering me a minor league deal last December - this is more than a little disturbing.

There are only two things baseball players take away from the game - money and memories, and they owe to themselves to get as much of both as they can. I realize this. And I realize that Piazza, while a classy guy, is as subject to this truism of modern MLB life as anybody else is.

Still, #31 stands a good chance of completely blowing away his entire Mets legacy if he moves across town. And I'm not sure I would ever be able to look at him the same way if he were to bash the Mets once there, as all Mets-turned-Yankees seem contractually obligated to do.


1801 Lombard St

On Friday night, Kris and I ate at Tangier - that little place across from Graduate Hospital with the red neon sign. The beer selection, while not cheap, was good - I had a Dogfish Head, which I liked very much, and a Flying Fish, which was OK, but not as good as the Dogfish. Not really sure which particular brews from each respective brewer I had, as it was loud and I wasn't really paying too much attention to the waitress (who didn't exactly dote on us).

The food was OK; burgers come on a sweet onion roll, which is a mistake if one plans on entertaining company for the remainder of the evening.

I think the best thing about the entire place is that our seating arrangements allowed us to sit next to each other, as opposed to across a table from each other, which was nice. At the end of a long, long week for both of us, we just wanted to go somewhere relaxed and have a beer or two and some food, and Tangier fit the bill.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

me no blog long time

I haven't blogged in a while - ever since the project from hell took over my life (it was like the Hotel California - you could check out, but you could never leave). Now that that's over with, I've got a couple things to post about...

1) I'm really, really glad that Tom Renney didn't pull a Willie Randolph and let Henrik Lundqvist rot on the bench until it was too late. It's still too early to proclaim him as having arrived, but given his background, the scouting reports coming into this season and his performance thus far, he's certainly close. He's given the Rangers strong games in each of his appearances, and he basically won them a game on Thursday night against the Islanders at the Garden. He doesn't give off that Dan Blackburn "confident-but-still-in-over-his-head" vibe, which makes him the first Rangers rookie goalie since Mike Richter to instill some confidence in the faithful.

1a) If the Rangers' penalty killing is as good as it's looked thus far, the Blueshirts could go a long way in this new NHL.

1b) Speaking of Blueshirts, can we go back to the white jerseys at home and leave the away jerseys for, well, away? I know it makes laundry slightly easier for the teams, and the league loves the fact that the dark jerseys at home and the light on the road harkens back to the NHL of the 1960s and earlier, but it's just not the NHL I grew up with.

Now, I love the away jerseys - when I dropped $300 on a Messier jersey back in 10th grade, I went with blue. But, without having seen any Rangers games in HD, I must say the blueshirts have never, ever been able to convey their bluey goodness on TV. And the home whites look crisp on TV at the Garden.

And that's my selfish opinion.

2) If anybody knows of a way to get tickets to Ben Folds at the Electric Factory on Wednesday night (without sucking or selling any body parts), lemme know. I'm equal parts hard worker and lazy idiot, so I waited waaaay too long to try to get tickets to this.

3) I'm still holding out hope for the Karl Rove perp walk one of these days here (soon).

4) I found a weird magazine on the ground yesterday outside of the Rite Aid at 23rd and Walnut called "Libations" (I think it's an insert in Citypaper). It's basically a thinly-veiled marketing attempt for certain beermakers to position premium and semi-premium beer as the "new wine" - something to be savored, collected, and consumed with fine foods. And while it is thinly-veiled, I was hooked. But really, it didn't make me want to go out and by cases of Blue Moon (especially when you could go out and buy Hoegaarden) so much as it made me want to try microbrewing.

And really, microbrewing is something I've been thinking about long before I found a weird magazine on the ground and decided to pick it up. If I ever have a basement, I'm turning part of it into a microbrewery, and another part of it into a black and white darkroom.

5) I'm in my PJs right now, blogging from the couch as Kris plays with Pandora. XPN is playing from the surprisingly good laptop speakers. I don't have to work today. Life is good.

magnum sez...