Monday, December 20, 2010

A team defeat

Could there have been an uglier loss than Sunday's Giants' loss to the Eagles.

Ahead 31-10 with approximately eight minutes remaining, a Big Blue victory seemed a certainty. But Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and the Eagles snatched the game, scoring 28 unanswered points.

I know many have placed the loss squarely on the foot of Matt Dodge, who inexplicably punted to Jackson with 14 seconds remaining and the score tied instead of booting the ball out of bounds. The result was a game-winning 65-yard score by the Eagles' dynamic wide receiver/returner as the clock ticked to :00.

Dodge was not the only culprit when it came to this loss. The offense, which had put up 31 points in 3 1/2 quarters suddenly went ice cold. The defense, which had kept Philadelphia in check throughout most of the game, suddenly faded. And coach Tom Coughlin, considered one of the most well-prepared in the game, didn't see on onsides kick coming with the Eagles behind 31-17 and less than seven minutes left.

It all resulted in what could be a devastating loss if the Giants fail to reach the playoffs. If nothing else, it could well go down as the most embarrassing loss in the history of the franchise.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bronx blues

To say this has been a rough offseason for the Yankees might be an understatement.

First there were the less-than-pleasant negotiations with Derek Jeter. They ultimately re-signed their captain but the public relations hit both the Yanks and Jeter took was noticeable.

Then their arch-rivals in Boston traded for Adrian Gonzalez, who is one of the best first basemans in all of baseball, before signing premier outfielder Carl Crawford.

The biggest blow, however, came late Monday night when the Yanks learned Cliff Lee spurned their offer, signing instead with the Phillies. New York made no secret of the fact obtaining the ace lefty was their top priority this offseason and as of a week ago it seemed a near-certainty it would only be a matter of time before Lee was donning pinstripes.

That, however, did not happen.

Now begins the speculation as to why Lee signed elsewhere.

Did Lee only use the Yankees to drive up his price? Were the three months he spent pitching in Philadelphia in 2009 so great he was just waiting for an offer to go back there? Did the Yankees not show him enough love while courting him? Did the incident with a few Yankee fans disrespecting Lee's wife during the playoffs influence the decision? Did the Yanks' hardball negotiations with Jeter leave Lee with a negative impression with the organization?

Whatever the reason, Lee left anywhere from $30-$50 million (depending on which reports you believe) on the table to sign with Philadelphia. This normally does not happen to a Yankee organization prone to landing the big fish.

The Red Sox got better. The Yankees lose out on Lee with no known Plan B in sight.

I know it's only December 14 but for Yankee fans this is already shaping up to be a LONG, COLD winter.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Deal done, finally

The biggest non-story, thankfully, came to an end.

Derek Jeter and the Yankees finalized their contract extension and all was right in the world. The Yankee captain said he was angry at the Bombers during negotiations and I say stop whining. The Yankees said during negotiations Jeter needed to drink the reality potion and I say stop the whining.

Everyone knew Jeter wasn't going anywhere but for the past month these negotiations have dominated the landscape. Why are the Yankees being so callous to their icon? Why is Jeter being so unreasonable to the team that has treated him so well for so long? And could this lead to Jeter playing elsewhere?

I had to laugh everytime I heard one of those questions. Negotiations usually get a little messy and this one was no different. Yet everyone -- from Yankee fans to Yankee haters -- had their opinions.

I guess I just never got too wrapped up in billionaires arguing with millionaires over millions of dollars.

In Jeter's case, I won't have to hear about it for another three of four years.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Humiliating defeat

So, that sound you might be hearing this morning is the sound of many fans jumping off the Jets' bandwagon. You could hardly blame them after Monday's embarrassing loss to the Patriots.

New England dominated Gang Green in every way imaginable, leaving the boisterous Jets and their fans more than humbled. The question now is where does New York go from here?

With games against the Steelers, Dolphins, Bears and Bills on the horizon, the Jets have to forget about this 45-3 loss as quickly as possible.

If not, New York just might find itself on the outside looking in come playoff time.