Why the World Cup is Outrageously Disappointing

by Chris Ippolito

During my years at Marist College, I came across very few true hockey fans.  As a die hard Rangers fan and ardent supporter of USA hockey, I felt obligated to push hockey on my housemates, who fortunately, were extremely open-minded about it from the beginning.  Two years after their introduction, I would consider three of the four of them good Rangers fans and all of them huge supporters of USA hockey (not a hard feat after Team USA’s Olympic performance).

With this in mind, all of my housemates were soccer supporters.  Realizing the strides that they took in their hockey fandom, they tried pushing “the beautiful game” on me.  Selfishly, I was not as open minded about watching soccer as they were to watching hockey.  To be blunt, I can’t stand watching the sport.  I played for about six years as an adolescent, even captaining my travel team for my final two years.  However, once I discovered football, I left soccer for good, never to return.  Every time one of my housemates would put soccer on the tube, I would go upstairs to my room to watch Mike Francesa or ESPN’s Around the Horn.  One afternoon, as I was about to do just this for approximately the 50th time, I was called out by all of them.  After insisting that I just simply couldn’t sit there watching a million inconsequential passes and a trillion dives a game, they made one simple request of me: “At least watch the World Cup and support the USA.”   So, wanting to placate my now fellow hockey supporters, I obliged. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

NBA Finals Dilemma

It seemed like such a simple choice.  As the NBA Finals began, I stood firmly behind the Boston Celtics as two of my favorite players, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett led Doc Rivers’ squad into another Finals matchup with the Lakers.  That Los Angeles features both Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant, a pair of NBA figures for whom I’ve never had any tolerance, made the decision to back the boys from Beantown all the easier.  Until I realized, however, that Nate Robinson, longtime headcase acquired in mid-season from the Knicks, would garner a championship ring should the Celtics triumph. Ouch. Now I’m left to pull for the impossible during tonight’s Game 7.  Can both teams lose? Continue reading »

by Moonlight Graham

It happens every spring.  MLB clubs head into the new season filled with all of the promise and excitement that a new year brings.  Injured players are healthy, dissapointing performance are forgotten and optimism rules the day. Unfortunately, many also begin the new campaign focused more on finances than the standings and thus, head into battle without a full arsenal of weaponry.

Without going into all of the legal issues surrounding the MLB arbitration process, suffice to say that the most important element is service time; specifically, days on a Major League roster.  If a rookie that would normally be eligible for arbitration after two years is held back until the end of May, he cannot be credited with the service time required for a full season.  Therefore, the big payday usually gained through arbitration is delayed by a full calendar year. Continue reading »

by Moonlight Graham

You know you’ve had a good run as a Fantasy Baseball League when you’ve been around to see the entire career of a Hall of Famer like Ken Griffey Jr. Long the property of the Monroe Pearls of the Hausier’s Krowedum Rotisserie League, Griffey was one of the reasons the league decided to no longer retain players from year to year. “I’d like a shot at Junior”, was a common refrain, “why should Fat Cat get to keep him forever?” Griffey, a first-ballot Cooperstown entrant regardless of the injuries that plagued the latter part of his career, was one of the game’s greats; certainly one of Fantasy Baseball’s greatest, and, now that he’s decided to retire,  will be missed. However, he was not the only giant lost to the Fantasy Baseball world as Forte Bellino, long-time owner of the U.B.40′s, U.B. Jews and charter member of the HK Roto League as well as its first champion, passed away suddenly at the sinfully young age of fifty eight.  A high school teacher, administrator and coach, Fortunato left behind legions of family, students, colleagues and waiters (his favorites)  that he filed under the one category that mattered to him most: friend. Continue reading »

Cheerleading’s Not a Sport, Is It?

by Eddie Mayrose

In his book, Hate Mail from Cheerleaders, former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly recalls the incendiary comments he made about cheerleaders that sparked the mountain of protest letters he received. “Cheerleading is not a sport!”, wrote Reilly.  “There are ten or twelve sports for girls at every high school.  If you want to play a sport, get in between the lines and play a real sport.  But, wearing a circle skirt and a tight sweater and facing away from the field going, ’2-4-6-8′ is not a sport!”

Now, I must admit, there was a time I’d have screamed, “Amen” to all of that.  I had three boys playing different sports throughout the entire year and a daughter doing the same.  So, when she came to her mom as a fifth grader to ask for help in petitioning me to allow her to join the cheerleading team, I was not happy.  I had an extremely dim view of everything about the activity (certainly not a sport); from the over-the-top parents to the considerable expense.  “What’s wrong with basketball, track and softball?”, I asked.  “Heck, if you’d like, I’ll even teach you to play golf.”  But, she was not to be swayed so, much to my chagrin, I became a “cheerleader parent”. Continue reading »

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