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Superman to NJ?

Posted in Nets on December 1, 2011 by kfaris89

Dwight Howard is one of the marquis big men in basketball. He is on a short list of dominant centers in the NBA today and quite frankly, might just be the best. Young, big, strong, freakish athleticism, charisma, Dwight has everything the Nets need and so much more. This  trade is a no-brainer for the Nets and let me tell you why. Sure, I love Brooke Lopez just as much as the next Nets fan. He is home grown and we’ve watched him develop since his rookie year only a short few years ago. But guess what Nets fans, he is nowhere near the player Dwight is. And that is saying something since Lopez is basically on the door steps of being a perennial All-Star. So yea we give up Brooke and 2 1st rounders. So what!?!? You have no idea who those first rounders will even be or if they will even be lottery picks.

The worst part about this trade, in my eyes, for the Nets, would be taking on the contract of  Hedo Turkoglu. This would put the nets front office fairly close to the cap with Deron Williams, Dwight, and  Hedo if Dwight and Deron were to resign next year. But it’s a risk you have to take! I don’t believe that Deron is a lock to stay for the move to Brooklyn as is but if we continue to show him they we want a winner, I can’t think of a better way to do that then by sending a message to the entire NBA that the Nets are for real then for trading for Dwight Howard. Sure they won’t have a lot of cap maneuverability but they have some other pieces on this roster as is. Anthony Morrow would blossom with Dwight’s present as he would draw countless double teams in the box leaving Morrow open. Little known fact is that Morrow had the highest three point percentage in the league last year. Howard’s presence would only increase that number. A wing and a PF would obviously be our two big needs and that can be taken care of in free agency or the draft. This would be a HUGE step in the rebuliding process for this organization and I really hope the Nets can find a way to pull the trigger.

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Jo Pa’s Side of the Story

Posted in College Football on November 10, 2011 by kfaris89

Over the last 48 hours we’ve all gone through a lot of emotions over the developing story in “Happy Valley”. Anger, disappointment, rage, disgust among many others. But the one that keeps coming back to me is simply sad. Sad for university, the students, the players, the coaching staff, the administration. Sad for those who are innocent in this whole mess because no matter what if you were around during this time, you’re now guilty by association. But obviously, and most importantly. Sad for the victims. This is who we can not forget as this story develops. This isn’t about people’s job security at a top learning institute, but this is about the innocence that these victims lost 10 years ago, this is about these kids becoming victims again, as this story now becomes public and they are in the news every day, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Jerry Sandusky is now on the same level of evil as Casey Anthony, Timothy McVeigh, or any other recent serial murder or rapist in the past. That is the main story here and I hope we don’t lose site of that. This man deserves to burn for what he’s done, and I know he’ll get whats coming to him.

But for now I want to hit on Joe Paterno. As my friend East Side Ryno just wrote, he, like many of you out there, believe that this was the correct move in firing Joe Pa. I know I am probably in the minority outside of Pennsylvania but I have to strongly disagree. With the facts that we have now, I FIRMLY believe that Joe Pa was the victim of a witch hunt by the Board of Trustees at Penn State. After 60+ years, he deserved better and let me tell you why.

Let’s start out with what exactly we do know. The facts we have right now (let it be known that more facts might come out and completely change my opinion) show that in 2002 Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant at the time, came to Joe Paterno and told him that something had happened between Sandusky and a young boy. No one knows yet was exactly was said but rumor has it that it was a fairly vague one or two sentence complaint. Yes he said it was inappropriate in nature and “fondling” may have been used, but let me ask you all this question. Say you had worked with someone for 35 years, someone you considered to be a good friend. Suddenly someone you had been working with for maybe more than a year comes up to you and says he saw your friend with a young boy. What would you do? I think most of you would approach that friend. Call him/her out on it and see the response. Based on the response alone, someone might take your friends word for it. Others might take the next step. Joe Pa did that. Joe Pa went to Gary Schultz, whose job by the way, put him in charge of University Police! He was told that an investigation would be done, and less then a month later, he was told that the investigation lead to nothing. So again I ask, what would you do? Would all of you be so fast to call the cops on someone who you thought to be a friend for 35 years because a new guy you work with tells you he saw something? I’ll tell you what, I don’t think many of you would despite how  hard you try to convince yourself you would.

Joe Paterno is now the face of a massive cover up at Penn State. The Board of Trustees, so quick to throw him under the bus, has now basically said to the public that Joe Pa is guilty of something. Was part of the cover up or was at least more involved then the current facts actually show. It almost is like the Board needed someone to go down with the sinking ship so that the public didn’t think they were doing nothing. So they took someone who did nothing wrong, who had been loyal to the university and to the community for 60 years, and made him the face of the witch hunt to prove their point. Well guess what Board of Trustees. You got the wrong guy. Your focus is in the wrong place. Mike McQueary, who is the one who DID see something did NOTHING. And my friends, guess who still has a job and reportedly WILL be on the sidelines this Saturday against Nebraska. You guessed it, Mike McQueary. Joe Paterno should’ve been able to finish the season and resign then. But now the Board has tarnished his entire career, to try to save face and show they are doing something to try to “fix” the problem. Guess what… This can’t be fixed. The victims will never get their innocence back. But for what has taken place so far, based on the evidence that is out in the public right now, this situation couldn’t be being handled worse. The whole situation to sum up in one word… Sad.

Jets Preview

Posted in Jets on November 5, 2011 by kfaris89

Limiting Turnovers This Week is a Must for The Sanchize

Well Jets fans we get to week 9 in the NFL season and  I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t have pinpointed this game as a MUST WIN division game before the year started. Who would’ve thought that the Bills would be in 1st place a 5-2 and the Jets would be in 3rd place in the division at this point. Anyone? As I just mentioned this game is must win but here’s the problem. I don’t see the Jets actually winning. I’ve gone back and forth all week on it and I’ve come to the conclusion that the Jets weakness’ play right into the hands of the Bills strengths. Not a good combination.

The Bills force a lot of turnovers! Mark Sanchez is a turnover machine at times. So put 2 and 2 together and you tell me what you get. I’ve been trying to convince myself all week that he won’t turn it over against the Bills but I mean lets be real. Tom Brady threw 4 picks against them. Granted I don’t see him throwing 4. But I think him throwing at least 2 is certainly in the realm of possibilities. Sanchez’s decision making needs to be much better. He needs to be sharp from the first snap otherwise the Jets are in trouble.

Problem number dos. Fred Jackson. As I heard on ESPN a couple weeks ago, the Jets talk a lot about stopping the run, but they don’t actually do it. Jackson has had an MVP type season so far and whats worse, is that even when the bills were bad, they have ALWAYS been able to run it on the Jets for the past decade.  Whether it be Travis Henry, or Willis McGahee, or Marshawn Lynch, or Fred Jackson, or the fat pizza delivery boy, if you’re in a Bills uniform playing RB, you’re almost guaranteed to rush for 100 yards with a touchdown or two.

So that’s the sad truth Jets fans. The way I see it is that the Jets pass defense will keep Fitzpatrick in check. He’ll throw a lot underneath, screens, dump offs. Quick passes and running game, chewing up a lot of clock and eventually leading the Bills to a win. Not to mention the fact that the Jets weren’t exactly great last year offensively after the BYE week. Not Rex’s specialty. Bills 24- Jets 20.

Rex Talks the Talk; And Finally Backs It Up.

Posted in Jets on October 26, 2011 by kfaris89

After another week of smack talk from Rex Ryan, the Jets finally decided to back his coach up with their play on the field, particularly in the second half. The first half, to be honest, was more of the same Jets that have looked sub-par at best to start the year. The offense was anemic, they had let up 21 first half points, turned the ball over on offense. Needless to say going into the second half I didn’t give them much of a chance. But the Jets defense and running game stepped up big time. If you’ve been a reader on here you know I’ve been preaching since week one the need to run the ball. And that’s exactly what the Jets did. Shonn Greene looked like the guy people expected him to be, and Sanchez managed the game well from there.

It was great to have a Plaxico Burress sighting, because despite reports otherwise, I was beginning to think he was in fact still in jail and not on the Jets sideline. But Sanchez finally used him for what he was intended for. He was a presence in the redzone, looking  in that area. He didn’t get any shorter in jail and with him getting more time in the offense and more into football shape, I expect big things from him in the second half of the year. All in all I was definitely pleased with the Jets performance this week. The defense stepped up huge in the second half when it had to, making Phillip Rivers look like Kyle Boller at times. Keep up this intensity, and the Jets will be right where they need to be come playoff time, and hopefully by the offense will be clicking on all cylinders.

Better But Not Good Enough

Posted in Jets on October 11, 2011 by kfaris89

Last week, I preached to you all that the Jets needed to get back to ground and pound. Their offensive line was playing too soft and they needed that hard nosed running mentality back. Well getting Nick Mangold back certainly helped and the Jets actually looked very good at time running the football. At the end of the first half, the Jets had BY FAR their best drive of the year, handing it to Shonn Greene basically every play and running it down the Patriots throats. That drive was impressive; it was the Jets of the past two years, unfortunately that was about the end of the good news for them this week.

Lets face it, the Jets were quite simply outmatched. They played a better team, on the road. They never had a chance. What did we notice that made the Pats so good? OFFENSIVE LINE! I don’t know how much I can preach this boys and girls. The Pats offensive line made it look like the Jets defensive line were a bunch of pee wee football players going up against the Varsity Team. It was David vs Goliath and Goliath wins in the trenches everytime. Brady had all day to throw, and the law firm had holes that even I could’ve run threw. The Pats don’t have the skill players the Jets do. The talent in those positions is far superior on the Jets. But as I keep preaching, the game isn’t won in skill position talent. If you don’t have time to get them the ball it simply doesn’t matter.

So what do we take out of this week? It was both positive and negative. They did show they didn’t completely lose the ability to run the ball despite the fact that they averaged under 4 yards a carry. But the offense still needs to be better. 7 3 and outs in totally unnacceptable considering the Pats had only had forced 8 3 and outs all year. We basically doubled that in one game. That is totally on Brian Schottenheimer for is inept play calling. His days might be numbered as Jets Offensive Coordinator and I can’t say I’m totally upset about it.  So hang in their Jets fans. The next four games are crucial. We need 3! Anything less and the playoffs are looking more and more less likely. Hopefully things start to click, but I’m not too optimistic just yet.

Two Game Slump or Bigger Problem for Jets?

Posted in Jets on October 3, 2011 by kfaris89

After a 2-0 start, it looked like the Jets had it in cruise control. They would get through the regular season without a problem, and hopefully continue with playoff success they’ve had the last couple years.  But unfortunately, two weeks later, things couldn’t look more opposite. Last night was a joke. There’s no way to make that performance sound good. Rex Ryan got embarrassed in his homecoming to Baltimore, flat-out. The Ravens were deeper, faster, and can actually get to the quarterback. I was ashamed to watch that game last night. I’m not one to overreact to one game but that was probably the worst display by the Jets under Rex Ryan since he’s been here. The offense looked clueless, and I don’t see it getting any better.

The biggest problem… offensive line. The Jets front office decided over the past couple years to put all this money into skill players. Santonio Holmes, Tomlinson, Burress just to name a few. But let me tell you something. Skill players don’t win championships. Dominance in the trenches wins championships.  Look at the Jets the last couple years when they were good. They’re offensive line was stacked. Brick, Faneca, Mangold, Moore, and Woody. Now these guys are replaced with Baxter, Slauson, and Wayne Hunter. Look at the Pats when they won all those games. Sure they had Moss one year, but when they won the championships, Deion Branch and Troy Brown were two of their top recievers. Their offensive line was dominant and gave Brady all day to throw. The Steelers… dominant on both sides of the ball in the trenches. I’m not sure what happened to Wayne Hunter but he might as well not even be out on the field. He has been horrific at right tackle this year, and with Mangold being hurt the line has been nothing short of abysmal. Sure Sanchez hasn’t played good but Peyton Manning couldn’t look good behind that line. You need more than a second and a half to be able to throw. And god for bid they could get a push to run. The Jets have been known for ground and pound. That has what made them successful for the last couple years. Playoff football is won if you can run, and stop the run. Right now the Jets can’t really do either.

The identity of this team is gone. They’re playing softer on offense, throwing it every opportunity they get. Get them back to that ground and pound that has been so effective and successful the last couple years. If that doesn’t happen, this problem will become more than a 2 game slump. Sure they might still go on to win some regular season games, and they might even get lucky enough to get in the playoffs. But if this team as constituted now, were to match up against the Ravens, Texans, or the Steelers (despite their offensive line being miserable yesterday too) in the playoffs, the Jets wouldn’t stand a chance. Run the ball. Run it again. And then run it again. Get that mean streak back in that offensive line. Get Wayne Hunters’ head out of his ass, and maybe then, this team will get back to being  the team we’ve had the last couple years and thought we had going into this year.

Choke: The Boston Version

Posted in Not in New York on September 29, 2011 by kfaris89

Well Red Sox and Braves fans, I write this article today, my first for this site, on what to many is just another September day. Kids have school, parents have work, lives are going on just as they would any other day. But last night; last night was not just another night. Last night was a historic night in baseball history. Usually every year a division or wild card race will go down to the wire, some even down to the last day. But last night… last night was different. The Red Sox, who had a 9 game lead September 3rd were fighting for their playoff lives. And the Braves, who it seems like have had at least a 5 game lead since July, were doing the same. Two of the most epic collapses of all time were happening in front of our eyes. It’s amazing how the reaction of two cities can be so different too. People in Boston are acting like they’ve just been through the apocalypse and that they are just waiting for God (or whatever power it is you may believe in) to damn then in hell for all eternity. While in New York, specifically Yankees fans,  have never been happier to blow a 7 run lead in the 8th inning. Cory Wade is possibly the most beloved loser in Yankees history. Thank you Mr. Wade, for knocking out the Red Sox by letting Dan Johnson, who hadn’t  hit a home run since April 8th, hit a game tying homerun off of you in the 9th. You are a hero to Yankees fans everywhere.. and for that your name will be part of stories from generation to generation when we are telling the story of how you knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs.

But as a Mets fan (yes I still admit to being a fan), I do have a different perspective on last nights events. As hard as I’ve tried to wash away the memories of 2007, I still have the random nightmare that I keep reliving those last three weeks of the season. I wake up cursing Willie Randolph and I immediately start to cry at the thought of Tom Glavine letting up 7 runs in 1/3 of an inning. But here’s the thing Sox fans… As much as you want to crawl into a hole and not come out, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is the difference between your beloved Sox and my dreadful Mets. The Mets have let 2007 stay with them to this day. The team, the front office, the owners, and most importantly the fans, not only haven’t forgotten, but will never forgive for what happened that year.  But the Sox have a chance to be different. They have a chance to make it right with their team and their fans, but there are certain steps that need to be taken to ensure this.

Step 1: The Team has to be changed. New Leadership is essential or this WILL happen again just like 2008 with the Mets.

As tough is may be to hear, the days of Manny, Big Papi and Pedro are over. The self-proclaimed “idiots” are gone.  This is a new team, and Big Papi should not be resigned. He had a great run with the Sox, and you got way more out of him then you thought you would over the last 2 years after he was almost cut, but don’t let your loyalty and heart get in the way of making a smart decision. Papi isn’t getting any younger, his bat is slowing down, and obviously, his leadership skills aren’t what they used to be. When a team like this chokes down the stretch it comes down to team leaders to be able to stop the bleading. There is only so much a manager can do because he is not on the field competing with them, which is why team leaders need to step up and do everything they can to make sure the collapse doesn’t happen. To me, this is why the 2007 and 2008 Mets were such a disaster. David Wright and Jose Reyes were young and not leaders, Beltran played like a leader, but was still immature and not the leader he finally was this past year before being traded to San Francisco. Carlos Delgado was as close to a leader as they had but he was always hurt and even he wasn’t loved by all of his teammates or fans. Sox fans, you need a new leader. Maybe he’s on your roster now. Maybe Pedroia steps up. Maybe Youkilis not being on the field was the reason they fell apart. Whatever it may be. It’s time to turn it over. Papi was one of the faces of the franchise. But it’s time to let go.

Step 2: Don’t make a knee jerk reaction and fire Francona. He deserves a second chance.

This may not be what you want to hear or what you’d expect me to say. But if you’re gonna change over to a new player as a leader, you do need some consistency in the clubhouse and Francona is the guy that should stay. Listen, don’t get greedy. Remember when youguys didn’t win a World Series for almost 100 years. Well Francona has won 2 in the last 8. That, by any teams measure, is successful. Yes this season was a disaster, and yes he is partially to blame, but he has more than earned another chance with this team. If i had told you in 2003 that he would’ve won you 2 World Series by now you all would’ve signed for that in a heartbeat! Francona is a perfect fit for this team, the veterans respect him, and he has a way to make his team gel. Firing him would be a mistake that down the road would be more detrimental than beneficial.

Step 3: Appease the fans and go make a big move.

This might be the biggest and most important thing the Red Sox can do this offseason. Even the Mets front office was smart enough to realize after 2007 they couldn’t go into the next season with the same team, so they made a calculated risk by trading off a lot of top prospects to get Johan Santana. This was needed to bring the fans back and to give the players on the team the hope and confidence that next year would be different (even though it turned out for the Mets to not be enough to matter). This is not a year the Red Sox can afford to be cheap. Here’s my suggestions. Cut/eat John Lackey’s contract. Let him start 4 or 5 games next year and if he’s not better, its time to cut ties. Hell you might be able to trade him to the Mets for Jason Bay at that point. Sign Jose Reyes and/or CJ Wilson. If the Sox did this, that lineup would be unstoppable. It would bring energy that they thought they were getting with Carl Crawford except Reyes would not disappoint. He’s a once in a generation type player with his speed and excitement. He would be a steal for the Sox and if you pay enough, the Mets are too cheap to match and he will be yours. CJ Wilson is another one that won’t come cheap but you need a pitcher. Starting pitching is what caused this problem, and by signing him, or trading for another big name starter, you will be fine for next year with Buchholz getting healthy again, Lester, Beckett, and Wilson/TBA.  With those 4, a good bullpen, and the best lineup in baseball. You will have a big enough lead in September where you could lose out and still make the playoffs.

So Red Sox fans, what have we learned… The end is not here. God doesn’t hate you, and you will all be fine. Take a deep breath and get ready for next year. You have a great front office, with great ownership whose not afraid to spend money. The core for this team is intact and for the most part is fairly young! You guys will be around for years to come and Yankees fans won’t admit it today, but they are happy you’re not in the playoffs and you are still the team they least look forward to playing every year. Think of it this way… you could be a Mets fan.