Congratulations to South Jamaica native Lamar Odom on being inducted in the NYC Basketball Hall of Fame last week. Odom, who nearly died from a drug overdose two years ago, seems to have overcome his demons and is hoping to restart a professional basketball career overseas,
Another New York hoops legend, Connie Hawkins, passed away over the weekend. He was 75.
During the second-ever episode of “Saturday Night Live” in October 1975, singer-songwriter and Forest Hills High School alum Paul Simon, “challenged” Hawkins to a one-on-one contest in a playground for a taped skit with “Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard” playing in the background.
Hawkins was unfairly kept out of the NBA for political reasons in the 1960s so he wound up being the American Basketball Association’s first superstar.
Who would have thought a few weeks ago that it would be the Giants, and not the Jets, who would be winless after five games?
Losing to the Los Angeles Chargers (it still seems strange not to refer to them as the San Diego Chargers) who had lost nine consecutive games dating back to last season, at home no less, was disgraceful.
Making matters worse for Big Blue is that their leading offensive weapons wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. fractured ed his ankle in the fourth quarter. If he is out for any considerable amount of time, which now seems highly probable, many Giants fans will be rooting for their team to go winless in 2017 so that they can draft either USC’s Sam Darnold or UCLA’s Josh Rosen as the successor to Eli Manning.
Many NFL seers thought the Jets would be lucky to win three games this season yet they go into Sunday’s game with the New England Patriots with a 3-2 record. Gang Green fans now need to be realistic, however. The Pats are a big step-up in weight class from the Dolphins, Jaguars, and Browns. Patriots head coach William Belichick and his quarterback Thomas Brady have made their careers bursting the collective bubble of Jets fans over the years.
HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” is used to winning Sports Emmy Awards but last Thursday night it won an Emmy at the News & Documentary Awards ceremony for “Cost of the Game: The Dangers of Youth Football.”
Producer Nick Dolin told me that many school districts and Pop Warner leagues are thinking of switching from tackle football to flag football in an effort to reduce both knee and shoulder issues to the long-term disabling effects of head injuries. “The sooner you begin tackle football the sooner the clock starts ticking on the dangers of head trauma,” Dolin told me.
He reiterated basically what Marc Buoniconti told me at the Miami Project fund-raising dinner two weeks ago. Marc outlines his thoughts in his new book. “Undefeated” From Tragedy to Triumph” (Post Hill Press). “School districts should worry about lawsuits in the near future,” Marc wins.
Katie Nolan, who was one of the most identifiable personalities on Fox Sports 1, is jumping ship to the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN, beginning in January. It will be interesting to see if ESPN will want to pair her with Mike Greenberg when his morning TV show debuts sometime in spring 2018.
It’s obviously a minute part of the Las Vegas tragedy but the massacre perpetrated by Stephen Paddock had a sobering effect on sports there.
The city’s first major professional team, the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL, was about to start their inaugural season. Needless to say, the buzz for that all but disappeared.
The Mandalay Bay Hotel & Resort, the site where Paddock killed 58 people with assault rifles, is a major promoter of big-time boxing cards. It is to be seen whether there will be a short-term hiatus as far as that goes.
Jason Aldean, the performer who was on stage at the Route 91 Festival when Paddock started firing, was letter perfect in his speech to the audience on “Saturday Night Live” as well as performing “I Won’t Back Down,” which was both a terrific tribute to Tom Petty, who unexpectedly suffered a fatal coronary last week, and it captured our collective mood about not being intimidated by evil psychos.
New York Comic Con, New York’s largest pop culture festival, concluded its four-day run on Sunday. What started as basically a meeting spot for comic book collectors has expanded into all forms of arts and commerce.
Topps, best known for baseball cards, now has card lines for numerous TV series and World Wrestling Entertainment, made an understandable big deal at the Javits Center commemorating the 50th anniversary of Wacky Packages, those cards which lampoon iconic brands. I still break up seeing their sendup of Captain Crunch cereal that they labeled “Comrade Crunch” with its Communist-sized portions that are all part of a worker’s paradise!
Schick was promoting its Hydro-5 manual razor by having professional barbers give free shaves at Comic-Con. Schick is hoping to make inroads at rival and industry leader Gillette’s Fusion 3 line of premium disposable shavers.
Healthy snacks and beverages can actually be fun to eat and drink based on what I saw at a media event last, the Healthy Brand Showcase.
If you like the taste of potato chips but not the salt that comes with it, then try Cassava Crunch, a chip that is made from the root vegetable, cassava, which is also known as yuca. Likewise, if you like raisins but want to sample a different dried fruit, try Made in Nature’s Mangoes Sweet & Tangy Supersnacks.
Planet Fuel’s Cherry Lemonade, Apple Pear and Mango Pear Lime Organic Juices are surprisingly low in sugar and are very refreshing. Seltzer fans should enjoy Aqua Carpatica, which comes from the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. The company claims that it is the only sparkling water that is free of nitrates and sodium. It also possesses electrolytes which make it a good choice after a workout.
Two longstanding toy industry media events took place recently, Toy Insider’s Holiday of Play Preview and TTPM’s Holiday Showcase.
Some of the kids’ games I saw at the Toy Insider event certainly have an attitude.
Farty Franny is a board game where the spin of the wheel will determine whether Franny the Cow moos or makes a flatulent sound. Not Parent Approved is a language card game that is based on the 1960s classic, Mad Libs. The sentences with the blanks at the end beg for mischievous answers. Both look like fun, however!
TTPM had a more traditional fare.
Discovery Network has gotten into the toy biz and their Marble Run is based on the baby boomer favorite, Mouse Trap. Discovery also has a Glowing Bubble Lamp that allows kids to use effervescent tablets to create changing color lamps reminiscent to those lava lamps from the 1970s. Polaroid, the longtime photo developer, has a Pop Camera that allows users to take old school Instamatic photos and be able to save them digitally as well.