Whatever honeymoon new NY Jets head coach Adam Gase was hoping for from fans and the media evaporated by 4 PM this past Sunday.
The Jets held a 16-0 lead over the Buffalo Bills deep in the third quarter and appeared to have stopped yet another Bills’ offensive drive when Jets linebacker Henry Anderson was called for a roughing the passer penalty. The Bills maintained possession and went onto score a field goal. Although it only cut the Jets’ lead by three points, there was a foreboding feeling throughout MetLife Stadium. Somewhere Mark Gastineau, who was renowned for such bonehead penalties at the most inopportune times, had to be smiling.
Sure enough, Jets highly-touted QB Sam Darnold became a shrinking violet in the fourth quarter when his team needed him most as countless passes were batted away by the Bills’ defense while his Buffalo counterpart, Josh Allen, resembled Tom Brady at crunch time. Granted, the Jets offensive line stinks, but Adam Gase arrived with a reputation of being an offensive guru. That knowledge was not evident when the Jets badly needed it.
The other storyline from the Jets game was that their new kicker, Kaare Vedvik, missed both an extra point in the first quarter and a chip shot field goal near the end of the first half. Not surprisingly many Jets fans were demanding that team general manager Joe Douglas give a tryout to women’s soccer star Carli Lloyd who has shown in videos that she can boot long ones through the uprights.
Speaking of big blown leads, Mets fans will long remember last Tuesday’s DC disaster when our Flushing heroes blew a six-run lead in the ninth inning as the Nationals scored seven runs in the bottom of that frame to win the game, 11-10.
I asked Mets manager Mickey Callaway if the time between when the Tuesday game ended until the Mets won the matinee the following afternoon was the most emotionally difficult he had endured in his professional baseball career. “You mean including as a player? Then absolutely not. However, I can assure that I didn’t sleep well that night!” he replied.
Former Mets catcher Todd Pratt, who was a playoff hero for the Mets in both 1999 and 2000, returned to mingle with fans and chat with the media at Citi Field last Friday night.
He just finished his second year as a manager in the Miami Marlins’ minor league system. In my opinion, Pratt has all of the necessary ingredients to be a successful manager at the highest level: a long MLB playing career; great media skills; and he can nicely mix analytics with old school baseball knowledge for making game decisions.
“I haven’t put a timetable on getting my chance to a manager in the majors, but I’m optimistic,” he said with a confident smile.
Mets fans aren’t the only ones who are frustrated with Mets closer Edwin Diaz’s inability to save games by seemingly always giving up key 9th inning home runs. Actor Omar Miller, who co-stars in the new CBS family comedy “The Unicorn,” asked me about him at last month’s Television Critics Association summer tour. “What’s the deal with Diaz? He’s killing my fantasy team!”
Although he lost in five sets in the US Open’s men’s finals to Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev of Russia will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Interestingly he was booed by the crowd at Arthur Ashe for a good chunk of the Open because of his constant displays of on-court anger that would make even Douglaston native John McEnroe blush. Medvedev initially said that he was feeding off of the crowd’s anger towards him.
At a post-match press conference Friday night I asked Medvedev if he was a pro wrestling fan and was trying to emulate the villainous heels who love to work up the crowd.
“I hadn’t watched wrestling since I was six years old when I believed that it was real. The truth is that I am embarrassed about my on-court anger and I need to be a better person,” he replied candidly. That could be why many at Arthur Ashe Stadium started cheering for him in the fifth set.
Tribeca Enterprises which operates the Tribeca Film Festival every April has branched out to the world of television with the Tribeca TV Festival which will be running from Thursday through Sunday at the Battery Park City Regal Theater complex. Among the new fall shows that will have panels and screenings are CW’s “Katy Keene,” CBS’s “Evil,” Starz’ “Leavenworth,” Hulu’s “Looking for Alaska,” and Epix’s“The Godfather of Harlem.”