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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Poor showing against Titans leaves Sour taste in Giants fan's mouths

Poor showing against Titans Leaves sour taste in Giants’ fans mouths
By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Managing Partner/Executive Editor-Football Reporters Online

It was reminiscent of many trips back from the Meadowlands I remembered as a Teenager in the late 1970’s when my father was still with us. Back then we would wait for the busses outside of Gate D. Now we stand, however painfully, and wait for the train. We had all just watched the Titans throttle the NY Giants, if only on the scoreboard. I wanted to get some fan reaction. Two ladies behind me were in their jerseys and had polish under their eyes. It, and their make-up, was already running.

“Nooo…it was not a very good game” one told profootballnyc.com’s John Fennelly and I.” On seeing our press passes around our necks, another said. “No, this isn’t what I paid for, but I understand that anybody can have a bad day. At least they had more emotion then last week, but maybe too much,” said another. Two young men in front of me recognized my Military lapel pins and told me “we’re in the U.S. Air Force sir. I’m a Medic and He’s a Fireman. We are home on leave, and our Girlfriends’ got us the tickets for today. This was supposed to be the highlight of our trip home from our duty station in Japan.”

A young father with his two boys aged 5 and 8 had brought his children to their first Giants game. “I had hoped they would see a win today, that it would be something they’d carry with them for life. Maybe next time.”

More spoke up as we boarded the train, but no one spoke of 1978 and the plane with the banner that said 15 Years…., or of burning tickets in protest. A day I remember well. As well as the Giants 1986 NFC title game victory over the Washington Redskins by the score of 17-0. Most fans that remember that success, or the 1990 NFC title game against the Vikings, might feel very far away and detached from those teams and times. My Dad would simply say “Peaks and Valley’s, just like life kid, so get used to it.”

I felt for them all today, each and every one of them on line with us at the railhead, at the transfer in Secaucus, and getting off the train in Penn Station. I lived it from 1965 in Yankee Stadium as a 5 year old going to my first game by taking the third avenue “El” from Gun Hill Road , as a young teen going to the Yale Bowl and Shea Stadium, and in the early days of Giants Stadium. I knew the feeling of discomfort and dread these fans were feeling after a loss. I also knew the Emotional “high” of winning. From 1984 through 1990 the NY Giants were the team with the highest winning percentage in professional football. I sat in section 311 for most of those years with my Dad, until his passing in 1987, and with other friends and family after that until I went to the “professional’ side of all things football. I know exactly how he would have described this game’s outcome, in his no nonsense way akin to many professional veteran law enforcers/ex-soldiers like himself. “Plenty of emotion all right, but no focus for it to go to. On the football field it just gets you a loss, but on the battlefield it gets you shot up dead.” I remember going to California with Him for Super Bowl 21. I remember him telling me on the flight home afterwards” now I can Die in peace. Eleven months later we would bury him in His Army Dress Uniform with two tickets to the next game in his pocket, and his cherished 1962 NFL eastern division title football with it’s 12 autographs.

My Dad was also our local Housing development’s “official-unofficial football coach and expert all things Pigskin.” He would have spoken very little on this ride home if he where still with us today. But he would have quickly penned another of his famous letters to Mr. George Young, NY Giants General Manager at that time. Letters that always seemed to gain a hand-written reply by mail, because that was Mr. Young’s style.

He would calmly begin “Mr. Young, Penalties, turnovers, sloppy play, this doesn’t win ball games. I don’t teach it to my son and his teammates and your coaches shouldn’t either” I’m also sure Mr. Young, Mr. Accorsi, or Mr. Reese would all reply in a very similar manner: “ It was a bad day, but it was one bad day.” So tomorrow we move on.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Are NFL Head Coaches Benching Black QBs Faster Than White QBs?

Are NFL Head Coaches Benching Black QBs Faster Than White QBs? It's a pattern that's starting to emerge, though not in a neat way.

On Sunday, Tennessee Titans QB Vince Young (black) is benched after a 3 interception one fumble performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers for Kerry Collins (white). Oakland Raiders QB Jason Campbell (black) is sent to the sidelines after lackluster first-half play against the St. Louis Rams, and replaced by Bruce Gradkowski (white).

The Philadelphia Eagles trade Donovan McNabb (black) to make room for Kevin Kolb (white), who doesn't play because of a concussion last week, and gives way by need to Michael Vick (black).

Vick, even though he's playing lights-out football, is forced to be humble and say "This is Kevin Kolb's team" because Andy Reid says so, even as Vick's proved in two straight games (and in preseason) that he's a better quarterback.

The point is that many NFL head coaches seem quick to pull their black quarterbacks if they don't play well and replace them with a white quarterback, and let that white quarterback play out of a bad game.

In the case of Oakland Raiders Head Coach Tom Cable, he surprised everyone by pulling Campbell at halftime, and saying to Bruce Gradkowski "Go and win this game for us." That public statement was frankly boneheaded, because Coach Cable sent the message to Campbell that he has no real confidence in him, just two games into the season on a new team and in a new system.

Cable should have not just given Campbell the chance to play into the game, but had his coaching staff coach him out of his slump. That's what they get paid to do, or at least should be able to do. The Raiders won by two points, and Campbell wasn't doing a bad job: he was 8 of 15 for 87 yards, and threw just one interception in the first half.

In the Rams game Sunday, Bruce Gradkowski was 11 of 22, 50 percent versus 53 percent for Campbell.  Bruce had one touchdown, yes, but one interception too. In other words, there was not much difference between Campbell and Gradkowski, yet the Raiders didn't give Campbell a chance to win the game and Coach Cable throws him under the bus.

Now, because the Raiders won by just two point, there will be an irrational, emotional look at the situation and some will say Bruce should start on the basis of one game.  The fact is, no one knows if Campbell could not have rallied the Raiders and himself to win, because they didn't give him a chance to do so.

Bench Favre for Jackson

Hey, The Minnesota Vikings are 0 and 2 and Brett Farve, who's white, has four interceptions in two games.  You don't see Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress pulling him for Tarvaris Jackson, who's black.  Yet, Jackson's more than ready to play and go out and win a game for the Vikings.

And in the case of Vince Young,  Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher has pulled Young in that way before.  Coach Fisher has to prove he can coach Young out of his slumps - Fisher hasn't done this yet.  If he does, he would be a better coach and Young a better quarterback.

And just for good measure, Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw four interceptions against the Cincinnati Bengals, yet was allowed to complete the football game. This fits the pattern in a way such that if Flacco were black, we could bet that he might have been benched for Marc Bulger. The point is, again, that Flacco, who's white, was allowed to finish the game even though he was terrible.

This is an awful pattern that's emerging.  Hopefully, it doesn't continue through the year.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kansas City Chief's Mccluster, Arenas, Berry - Rookies Open New Arrowhead Stadium

The Kansas City Chief's Dexter Mccluster, Javiar Arenas, and Eric Berry are rookies that opened the New Arrowhead Stadium with a win against The San Diego Chargers. So much for the yearly "Chargers are the best in the AFC West" media mantra that this blogger's sick of. Not a fan of the Chiefs, but it was nice to see them beat the Chargers. They had to be, and are, a vastly different team.

According to ESPN's Trent Dilfer, Chief's Head Coach Todd Haley said they were essentially better, stronger, and faster compared to last season. Dilfer said he'd not "bought the Kool Aid" until he saw the team. This space agrees. The Kansas City Chiefs are certainly faster, and reports are the Chargers are still chasing Dexter Mccluster.

Dexter Mccluster, formerly of the Mississippi "Runnin Rebels," was one that, when the Chief's picked him #36 and in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Bill Chachkes of Zennie62.com remarked "He's going to be a good one for them."

Bill was right.

He's listed as wide receiver, but really it's best to think of him as something like a hybrid U-back that can play receiver or running back. He's fast and his 94-yard punt return was a record in Chief's history.

Dexter Mccluster, Javiar Arenas, and Eric Berry, their 1st round pick, together with new coaches Romeo Crennel on The Chief's Defense and Charlie Weis heading The Chief's Offense, give the Chief's new life and identity. It's a different team, with new player and schemes, that if it gets confident could go deep into the playoffs.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Titans 30, Raiders 6, 3rd Q - How Raiders Can Come Back

At first, the Tennessee Titans score of 30 to the Oakland Raiders 6 would seem to be almost insurmountable. Especially listening to the ex-San Diego Charger Dan Fouts. It's not.

First, offensively, the Raiders and Titans are almost similar looking at the stats at the half: 8 first downs to 11 for the Titans. But the Titans have had big plays, leading to 108 yards for Oakland to to 261 yards for Tennessee.

The Raiders problems offensively, aside from the center snap errors, are one of the types of plays called by Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson. Jackson's calling pass plays that call for Quarterback Jason Campbell to throw to the strongside of the offense, the side with the most receivers. In the running game, they go right at the Titans, save for one end-around with Darren McFadden.

When the Raiders go three wide receivers on one side, they throw in that direction. When the Raiders call a running play, it's not a counter action play. And they finally got Zack Miller running a post route down the middle as I blog...but then go right back to the runs to one side without a fake step.

Why all this? Because the Titans are going after the ball like someone took their wallet. That kind of play calls for misdirection and weakside passing. That's a textbook approach. Why Hue Jackson's not doing that is beyond me.

Calling long developing trick plays don't work because the Titans Defense, as you saw, if you were watching the game, zeros in on that too fast.

Frustrating to watch.

If I had to rein in Hue, I'd say, you need to call the following: rollouts, bootlegs, three-steps, five-steps, play action. No seven-step passes, which have been called on several occasions. Draws? Yes. Screens? No, because they're playing man-for-man. Counter-action runs.  And no-huddle. And short passes to McFadden - again, and again.

That would keep Oakland's Defense off the field.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

ESPN's Adam Schefter Says Tom Brady Contract Rumor Is Wrong

Adam Schefter
ESPN's Adam Schefter, who correctly tweeted that ESPN's Tim Cowlishaw was wrong about the timing of the signing of Darelle Rivas, scores again today.

On Twitter, Schefter reported that The Boston Herald's claim that Tom Brady was very close to signing to a three-year contract extension with the New England Patriots reportedly for $58 million, was wrong.

Adam Schefter tweeted:

Aware of Brady-contract talk. But two knowledgeable people say reports of deal being in place are "inaccurate" and "wrong". We'll see.    about 7 hours ago via web     Retweeted by 30 people

In an update at SBNation.com, Adam was reported to have said that a Tom Brady contract would be done in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 06, 2010

New York Jets Single Game Seats Pros & Cons

New York Jets Single Game Seats Pros & Cons

By David Levy

This past Tuesday the Jets announced they would be selling single game seats, but only in the upper bowl. These are the NON PSL seats. Matt Higgins, the Jets Executive VP of business operations said the Jets would not sell single game seats when the Giants made their announcement two weeks ago. He was referring to the PSL seats, not the non PSL seats. Obviously, the Giants had no choice but to offer PSL seats as all their seats have PSL's. This was a great move for the Jets organization. The fact the upper bowl seats do not have PSL's makes it easier for the team to offer them on a single game basis.
But like any decision there are the good point and bad points to this. Let us start off with the good points:

1-With about 2000 seats available on a per game basis, those who did not want to purchase season tickets can now purchase certain games, albeit they are not sold out by the time it gets to them. Someone can go to 2-3 games instead of being responsible for a whole season. Makes it easier on some peoples wallets.

2-It gives the Jets breathing room in selling off those seats. They may go little by little, but at least those seats will be sold. Instead of sitting on blocks of season tickets, they now will only sit on seats for certain games. Depending how the Jets do over the season, those seats could go fast or slow. Anyone wanting to get last minute seats for a game can now do so.

3-For those 2000 seats not sold, it would have been revenue lost. Now that revenue can be made. Once again, slow revenue made but it can be made. With prices ranging from $95 to $125 for season ticket holders and $105 to $135 to the public the Jets will be able to make money on a game by game basis. Unfair the general public has to pay more but what can you do. That revenue can range from $200,000 to $260,000 per game estimated, depending on how many seats are sold. But only if all 2000 seats are sold per game.

Now for some bad points on the seats:

1-Those from the general public that do buy them will not have a parking pass. I do not think that is part of the deal. One will have to park off site and take the shuttle or whatever parking the Jets designate. Once again, some fans will be shafted on the parking.

2-The Jets will lose revenue once again. They will not have guaranteed blocks of season tickets sold along with parking. Instead it is a game by game basis and there is no guarantee every seat will be sold. The Jets lowered certain PSL's & seats by 50%. They have to make up that lost revenue somewhere to pay for the stadium. That was the intent all along. Will ticket prices, parking, and other costs go up over the years to compensate for those prices being lowered? Time will tell.

3-The Jets will now be responsible for ticket sales, or TicketMaster. The Jets wanted to take ticket sales out of their hands and leave it to the fans. Now, they have that responsibility once again. This is one aspect I am sure is a burden and a responsibility no one wanted going forward. Having TicketMaster handle the sales will make it easier for the Jets, but nothing they can breathe easy about.

4-Why would those who purchased PSL's in the lower bowl want to buy seats in the upper bowl? Maybe to give to friends or family that could not afford the PSL's? Perhaps. Maybe to have options for family who come in from out of town, to use for business, or whatever else those have the money to spend them on. Would make it easier on those with parking passes to buy them for friends so they have a ride to the stadium and not park off site. But anyone who bought a PSL who buys upper bowl seats will not be sitting in the upper bowl. Guess the Jets were being nice in offering the seats to them first.

I am sure there are other factors I have not thought about. If anyone has any of their own feel free to leave them. The whole PSL/Non PSL system the Jets thought about obviously has not worked for them. They have had to change many of their original plans as the market dictated back to them what to do. Lowering prices, single game seats, last minute sales are factors they never thought about or did not want to. Even the New York Yankees had to lower prices and did not sell out their best seats well into the season. Just shows the market you look for you may not find.

I know a lot of fans are happy about this and others not so happy. I have come across many different fans over the past two years when it comes down to the new stadium and its seating. Seems a great number of ticket holders from the 60's and 70's feel the PSL's are ludicrous. Something they would not pay for and feel it is a slap in the face to long time season ticket holders. Younger fans who have had seats since the 80'sinto today feel like it is a necessity these days if one wants to see a football game. A purchase like this to them is like purchasing a car or house, just another payment on top of the ones they already have.

Some season ticket holders see a PSL as a status thing. Having one to them is like having a BMW, a beach house, a promotion at work, or anything else that they can brag or talk about to friends. I have seen this in the past few months. Some try to one up the other in regards to seat location. It is not about being a fan, it is about how much one is laying out to show they are a bigger fan than someone else. I can imagine what some are saying that have seats in the Coaches Club section.

I actually had a conversation with someone who runs a Jets blog about the PSL's. He is actually proud of not just the money he spends on the PSL's, but tailgating, merchandise, food in the stadium, and everything else to show how much of a fan he is. Some people just love to show how much they spend to be a fan of their team. Wonder if some would pay for the PSL's above their kids education. Do not laugh, I am sure some have. Some fans just have the wrong priorities.

Many fans though do the right thing. Weather it be investing in a PSL or watching from home. Everyone should know their limits. The single game seats will be good for those with tight budgets who still want to go to a game. In time, those will be able to get PSL's or season tickets. I am sure people will sell them down the line. Others will hold onto them for their kids and grandchildren.

The season begins in a week. The parking lot will be filled and I am sure many will be tailgating and having a great time. Will be interesting to see if there are any empty seats all around. Be hard to see on TV because of the color of the seats. Many will Tweet from the game and talk about it afterwords. Might even see a lot of scalping going on for some of those seats. Maybe those seats will be sold to those seeking season tickets in the future. Something to keep an eye on.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

UPDATE: Revis, Jets Agree To New Deal « CBS New York- News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

UPDATE: Revis, Jets Agree To New Deal « CBS New York- News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

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