Now is the time of year when the two main professional
sports that I follow – football and baseball – are in limbo. One’s finished up
the season in January, and the other is getting on track to get started in
I’ll have to admit, the last several weekends leading up to the Super Bowl have been hard for me to get into gear. With neither one of my favorite sports teams on TV, I’ve been reduced to watching classic movies, golf or tennis, or the all-news channel. Not that any of those alternatives are bad, mind you, but it’s just not football or baseball. Not only that, but this infatuation with the media to say the Super Bowl is being played in New York this year is driving me bananas!
Since I was a little kid, I followed in my dad’s footsteps and took a liking to the New York Giants and the New York Yankees. I can remember watching the Giants on TV in simulcast. Yes, simulcast! My dad didn’t like the announcers the Giants had on TV, so he’d turn the audio down, turn the stereo on, and tune it in to whatever local New York radio station was broadcasting the game. Back in the day, Marty Glickman and Don Criqui called the Giants games on the radio. No one could touch them, but of course they were on-the-air way before Pat Summerall and John Madden ever came along.
As for the Yankees, I started watching them when Mickey Mantle was at the twilight of his phenomenal career. Throughout the 1960’s and into the 1970’s, the Yankees fielded mediocre teams. It wasn’t until George Steinbrenner bought the team that they came back into prominence. George was the guy everybody wanted to hate because of the way he treated some of his players and managers, but you couldn’t argue with his results.
I always found that there are two types of New York sports fan: The ones who like the Giants in football and usually like the Yankees in baseball. Then there are the ones who like the Jets in football and usually wind up liking the Mets in baseball. I don’t know why that really is. It’s not a generational thing. I guess there are people who like the original New York sports teams, while there are others who fancy the expansion teams.
I have favorites in the other professional sports, too. I follow the New York Knickerbockers, too – once again, another original New York sports team that has been around for a long time. I’m not that much into hockey, but I do admire the Devils for being the only area sports team to have the name “Jersey” in their team name. The Nets did too until they moved to Brooklyn.
That's the one thing that peeves me about the Giants and the Jets. Our state is good enough for them to play their games in, but the name of our state isn't good enough to put on their team logos or be part of their team names. Now that the Super Bowl is being played at Met Life Stadium this year, all the sportscasters are saying that the game is being played in New York. Not true, folks. . .the last time I checked, Met Life Stadium is in New Jersey, NOT New York.
Supposedly, the “name change” was one of the reasons why the new Yankee Stadium was built next to the old stadium and not within the confines of the Meadowlands. I can understand tradition and all that, but I can’t even bring myself to say the words “New Jersey Yankees”, let alone force them to rename the team.
I have high hopes for the Yanks and Giants in 2014. Hopefully,
barring injuries, they’ll make the playoffs and compete for their sport’s
championship. In the meantime, I sit on the living room couch early Sunday afternoon, waiting
for my teams to start their respective seasons while watching something on
demand to bide my time. The Knicks play tonight, so it looks like another round
of golf during the daytime before then.
What’s a sports-minded fellow like me to do?
(The entire Jersey Shore Retro Blogography can be found at http://longbranch.patch.com/blogs/kevin-cieris-blog .You can also follow Kevin Cieri's blog on his Facebook page, "Jersey Shore Retro" as well as on Twitter @jsretro).