When I was a youngster, ABC had a regular television segment, aimed at helping kids to learn more about grammar, history and math through music. It was called "Schoolhouse Rock," and some of those tunes are still fresh in my brain after all these years.
One of my favorites was "Conjunction Junction, what's your function?" It was geared to teach kids about "hooking up words and phrases and clauses."
Well, these days, we can use that tune in another way when dealing with New York sports franchises. We can sing, "Dysfunction Junction, who's more dysfunctional?"
We're here to discuss: Just who is the most dysfunctional sports franchise in New York? The nominees are: The Mets, the Knicks and the Jets.
Envelope please? And the winner is:
Honestly, it's a tough call. There really isn’t a winner. All three have had their moments of stepping to the forefront in winning the dysfunctional crown. They all have had their moments. It’s almost as if it depends what time of day or what month it is, because they take turns at wearing the dubious crown.
If the presentation was being made a month or so ago, then the winner would have clearly been the Mets.
It was then that the Mets bumbling and lying owner Freddie Coupon made three lying declarations in the same day, telling reporters that he made a contract offer to their now-departed franchise shortstop (lie), that it was his general manager that actually suggested he should lower the team’s payroll (lie No.2) and then said that the Bernard Madoff situation had nothing to do with the way they handled personnel (lie No. 3).
But now, the Mets have seemed to have received a reprieve from the dysfunctional crown, thanks to the settlement Coupon reached. The Mets won’t have to pay a dime in the settlement for three years and still might not have to pay a dime at all.
However, there are the countless injuries, the struggling players, the never-ending lies. The Mets are still very dysfunctional for sure.
A week or so ago, the Knicks entered the race for the crown. The excitement over phenom Jeremy Lin had disappeared. They were in the middle of a six-game losing streak and their troubled _ and highly overrated _ superstar Carmelo Anthony went to the leader of the dysfunction, namely owner James Dolan, a man who still considers human cancer and pariah Isiah Thomas as a close friend, and told the owner that he could not work with coach Mike D’Antoni any longer.
D’Antoni started the day at a morning shoot-around, telling reporters that he was making some changes for that night’s game. Two hours later, a spin message was released, with the team saying that D’Antoni had “resigned by mutual agreement.” Yeah, right. He was kicked out and told to leave.
The Knicks then bring in assistant coach Mike Woodson and suddenly, everything is wonderful again in the world. They’ve won five straight games now, so they’ve relinquished their hold on the most dysfunctional. For now.
Wednesday, the latest contender for the dysfunctional title stepped to the forefront, when the Jets pulled the trade for the God-loving, ESPN-created superstar known as Tim Tebow.
When I heard news of the trade, I immediately shot off an e-mail to two of my closest friends who are Jets fans, with the subject line: “Tebow? What are they thinking?”
This is a trade that makes absolutely no sense. Why would the Jets trade two draft picks for a kid who simply cannot play quarterback?
Tim Tebow is a nice kid. I applaud his morals and his attitude. I marvel at his squeaky clean image. I simply don’t understand the intense and immense popularity he receives, because he cannot play. He can’t throw a timing pass, an out pass, a crossing pass, ANY pass. He can run. No question. But as a quarterback? No way.
I don’t care what he did during the remarkable run the Broncos had last year to make the playoffs, then beat Pittsburgh somehow in the playoffs. A lot of weird and wild circumstances helped that run. It all just led to the Tebow-mania, but the bottom line is that the kid cannot play.
Now, you’re the Jets. You just threw a gigantic contract extension on your young quarterback Mark Sanchez, one that was not necessary now, but it might have eased the tension because you flirted with Peyton Manning.
And now, a week later, you’re bringing in another quarterback?
This is a team that utilized Wayne Hunter, who I think is the worst offensive lineman in the history of the NFL, at right tackle all of last season. The team doesn’t have a pass rush. Neither of those position needs have been addressed.
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said that they wanted Tebow to run the Wildcat package. So you trade a fourth-round draft pick simply for that? If that was the case, why didn’t the Jets just re-sign Brad Smith, who not only could run the Wildcat (which by the way, is a formation that is now being stopped by NFL defense) but was also an excellent kickoff return guy.
No question, this was done as a gigantic publicity stunt. The owner of the dysfunctional Jets, Woody Johnson, likes to make big splashes. That’s why he signed Brett the Cheese Whore. It’s why he plucked Plaxico Burress off that plane to San Francisco last summer and offered him a big deal. Anything to get on the back pages of the Post and Daily News. Anything to sell millions of green and white No. 15 jerseys. Maybe a few will buy PSLs now at MetLife Stadium, just to catch a peek at the rock star Tebow. Obviously, Brett the Cheese Whore didn’t do it.
They might deny the fact that it was a publicity stunt, but hey, denial is the first sign of being dysfunctional.
And what’s with holding a conference call at 11 p.m.? What’s the purpose of that, except depriving hard-working sportswriters and editors some sleep?
So now the Jets have Tebow. Get ready for Tebow-mania. Let’s face facts, the first time Sanchez throws an interception this season, the Jets fans will be chanting Tebow’s name, just adding to the dysfunction.
So who earns the title? See how tough of a call it is. It’s like they’re taking turns at wearing the dysfunctional crown. Today, it belongs to the Jets. But we all know it’s temporary. The Mets will do something within the next week or so to move to the top of the dysfunctional class. The Knicks and Dolan are always poised to do something totally ridiculous.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinions. It certainly does lead to interesting debates.
The NFL certainly threw the book at the New Orleans Saints, basically giving the Saints the equivalent of the old NCAA “death penalty” for their bounty system.
Let’s face facts. The Saints may never recover from losing their head coach for a year. Their general manager cannot conduct business for eight games. This is before any penalties have been levied at individual players.
But how is what the Saints did worse than what the Patriots did to cheat to win the Super Bowl?
You can read more of my work at www.hudsonreporter.com, www.theobserver.com and www.dailyrecord.com.