Newer head shot

Friday, October 11, 2013

A return from the missing in action

Incredibly, it had been since late August that I had written on my blog. I am so embarrassed and upset by that fact.

I have legitimate excuses. At that time, I was totally buried by high school football previews. This marked the 32nd year that I had to focus on heights, weights, years and positions, about high expectations, raising the bar, taking it one day at a time, respecting the opponents and playing within the means. I had to write 44 such previews for three different newspapers. It was definitely time consuming and mind erasing, if you know what I mean.

But if you ask me a question about Hudson, Essex, Bergen and Morris County football, I should have an answer with all the preseason research I did.

Soon after, the season began and wouldn't you know, I got sick. I'm battling a rare form of diabetic neuropathy that has attacked my legs. Since late June, I've fallen a total of 20 times. I've done more pratfalls than Dick Van Dyke. I've done headers at Red Bull Arena, the Prudential Center and a high school football game, where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was on call to get me off the ground. It's been embarrassing, frustrating and upsetting, all at the same time.

The inability to walk right now has forced me to give up some of my jobs temporarily. I used to joke that I had more jobs than a Jamaican, that I had about 12 different payrolls that I was under. Well, for now, that number has been sliced tremendously.

So those are the reasons why I've been away from blog writing for the last two months. I had to worry about getting the work done for organizations who pay me _ and then I had to deal with my ridiculous inability to stay on my feet.

So here goes, my first attempt at blogging since August.

I know Giants fans are upset that they're 0-6 _ and rightly so. No one could have ever dreamed that Big Blue could be so bad. I know I certainly didn't, even though there was some concern going into the season about their linebackers and the health of their secondary.

I certainly didn't expect Eli Manning to become such a giving soul, turning the ball over to the opponents so many times. Throwing 15 interceptions in the first six games is inexcusable and downright putrid.

But you can't pin the Giants' poor record just on Eli. Sure, he's been awful, but it's not all his fault.

Before last night, when Brandon Jacobs showed us a flashback to 2007, the Giants had no rushing attack at all. David Wilson did not perform as expected and did that silly backflip when he finally scored. If he hurt his neck doing that routine, he should surrender the rest of his salary.

The Giants' offensive line was put together with postage stamps and hinges. Jerry Reese gambled and thought that Will Beatty was the lineman of the future, so Reese gave him a huge contract. Beatty has been dreadful. The entire line couldn't block the Olsen twins. They let Eli get hit time and time again and then now he's gunshy and throwing the ball too soon. There's not enough time for Eli to throw like he used to.

Defensively, the Giants' strength when they won the two Super Bowls was their defensive line, with Justin Tuck and JPP getting sack after sack. Well, where are they now? Tuck is too busy eating Subway sandwiches and JPP is a shell of his former self after back surgery.

So there's a lot of blame to throw around. It's not just Eli.


Talk about bad quarterback play. How much longer can Rutgers allow Gary Nova to be their signal caller?
I have never seen anyone misfire as much as Nova does, throwing to the other team, overthrowing receivers on simple out patterns by 20 yards, hitting the mascot and cheerleaders instead.

The Scarlet Knights had a chance to beat Louisville last night. The nationally ranked Cardinals were trying their best to give the game to Rutgers with fumbles and miscues on field goals. What happens? Nova turns it right back over with an interception, four in all.

And how does Nova handle it? "My's on's my fault."

Yeah, no kidding. The Scarlet Knights will not be a national power with Nova as the quarterback. It's impossible to get that bad of play from your quarterback and expect to be a contender.

Speaking of Rutgers, there's another case of abuse that took place at Louisville under Julie Hermann's watch and the school is doing nothing to question their already embattled athletic director.

The powers-that-be at Rutgers maintain that the case with the Louisville women's lacrosse team in 2012 is a "matter that Louisville must handle and has nothing to do with Rutgers."

But it does have something to do with Rutgers, considering the woman you chose to be your new AD was in charge when these latest cases of abuse took place. Obviously, Hermann turned a blind eye to the abuse being done by the Louisville women's lacrosse coach. Sorry, but Rutgers has do to something to investigate that situation and not blow it off because it didn't happen at Rutgers.

With all the bad publicity the school has received in recent months, they had to at least look into the allegations.

My beloved Mets honored Mike Piazza on his induction to the Mets' Hall of Fame. It was a nice ceremony and it was nice to see Piazza at CitiField with his former teammates Edgardo Alfonso and John Franco. It was also touching to see Piazza recognize his father, Vince, who has been in ill health recently.

However, the Mets really flubbed the day _ as usual _ by choosing not to retire Piazza's No. 31 jersey. Here's the best positional player in the team's history, the man who helped give the franchise credibility again, and they don't honor him permanently? That's just ridiculous.

You can read more of my stuff at,, and I'm going to try to continue to work through my illness, thank God.


  1. Hope you start feeling better, Jim. You're right about Big Blue's O-Line ... Reese failed miserably and it's reason #1 for the Giant's woes.

    1. Thanks Joe...Let's go watch the corner of Lembeck and Old Bergen as patrol boys once again...God, I loved wearing that badge and white sash...I felt important...and Reese has to take the hit for the Giants being this bad

  2. You're the man, Coach. Wish you a quick recovery and understand that your former athletes will always be here for you.