The New York Jets beat their MetLife Stadium NFL co-tenants, the New York Giants last Sunday 34-27, in what was a surprisingly entertaining game given all the understandable negativity coming from both the media and sports fans because of the poor records of each team entering the game.
The Jets have been besieged by injuries at the cornerback position so late last week they activated their sixth-round 2019 NFL draft choice Springfield Gardens native and Campus Magnet High School alum Blessuan “Bless” Austin.
Austin had the unenviable job of covering the Giants’ very talented receivers, Darius Slayton and Golden Tate. While Tate did beat him for a third-quarter touchdown, he won the battle when it most counted, as neither Giants receiver could do much in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Austin said that he wasn’t nervous appearing in his initial NFL game. I asked him if growing up in Queens gave him the confidence to play in front of over 70,000 people. “Absolutely. It gives you a tough skin. I am able to handle the insults that come my way.” I then asked him if the insults were coming from fans or opposing players. “Both!” replied Bless with a laugh.
It’s too soon to know how good a quarterback Sam Darnold will be for the Jets, but there is little doubt that he has mastered NFL postgame cliches like a true veteran. “You had to realize that your performance today would be especially scrutinized given the fact that your counterpart would be (Giants rookie and first-round draft pick) Daniel Jones. Was that a motivator for you?” I asked Darnold at the podium in the Jets locker room. “No., it wasn’t. I just wanted our team to win,” Darnold answered unconvincingly.
Incidentally, Daniel Jones had a fine day as he threw four touchdown passes in spite of relentless pressure from Jets linebackers and All-Pro safety Jamal Adams.
Flushing native, Queens College alum, and former NFL senior vice president of events Frank Supovitz has authored a book about crisis management titled “What To Do When Things Go Wrong.” (McGraw-Hill).
Supovitz writes in great detail about his career, especially the Super Bowl in New Orleans seven years ago, which had to be stopped in the third quarter because of a power outage at the Superdome. Fortunately, he prepares for all contingencies, and that was one of them.
“While there may only a 20% chance of rain in the forecast there is a 100% chance that you will get wet if you don’t carry an umbrella,” has always been his philosophy and it helps explains why he is in high demand for his services from corporate America with his new company, Fast Traffic Events.
“What To Do When Things Go Wrong” is available in hardcover, on Kindle, and was just released as an audiobook.
Former Giants defensive end Chris Canty has been filling in as a panelist on FS1’s weekday morning sports show, “First Things First.” Canty, who also appears middays on WEPN (ESPN Radio New York 98.7 FM), was pressed into action when Fox Sports suddenly fired Cris Carter from the show for reasons that have not been stated.
I ran into Canty outside MetLife Stadium before Sunday’s Giants-Jets game, and he told me that he would very much like to join the show on a permanent basis.
It was a nice touch on the part of Fox Sports to move its Fox NFL Sunday studio show to West Point this past weekend as a way of honoring Veterans Day.
Sports apparel manufacturer New Era has come up with NFL knit caps that are comfortable to wear. They have an acrylic exterior and a fleece interior, so they aren’t itchy. Their timing couldn’t be better with the cold weather upon us.
Yankee Stadium hosted its first Ivy League football game that I can remember as Dartmouth continued its unbeaten season as they defeated Princeton.
I wonder why Columbia, which is located in NYC, was not asked by Yankees officials to play a game at Yankee Stadium. Coincidentally the Columbia Lions defeated the Harvard Crimson 17-10 thriller in overtime on Saturday.
CBS Sports reports that Saturday’s LSU-Alabama game was the highest-rated regular college game in eight years. The advance word that President Trump would be attending the game undoubtedly helped boost viewership.
Sportswriter Pete Caldera who covers the Yankees for the Bergen Record has developed a nice second career as a crooner of the great American songbook.
Last week, Stephen Colbert invited him to sing a parody of “New York, New York” as a way of spoofing President Trump’s decision to relocate his primary domicile from New York City to Palm Beach, FL.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that former Mets general manager Sandy Alderson who has a winter home in central Florida, was livid when he read that the Citrus County Library was ending its digital subscription to the New York Times. Citrus officials initially said that they were balking at the $2,700 subscription price but then changed their tune to the fact that they did not like the paper’s editorial direction when Alderson offered to fund the cost.
MSNBC nightly 7 PM show, “Hardball,” hosted by the irrepressible Chris Matthews, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Matthews loves politics and has friends on both sides of the aisle. He has always seen politics as the art of the possible, but it’s also a sport because there are always winners and losers. He may talk over guests, but he never shies away from asking tough questions, which is how his show derives its name.