The World According to Keitho

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Posts Tagged ‘New York Jets’

1958

Posted by keithosaunders on January 14, 2016

In the meantime I’ve read a great book – The Glory Game –  by former NY Giants running back, Frank Gifford about the 1958 NFL Championship game between the Giants and the Colts.  This was the game that is considered to have put the NFL on the map on its way to sports supremacy.

Now talk about salaries:  Most of these players were earning less than $10,000 a year – well less.  Many of the players couldn’t afford their own apartments, doubling up in dorm like rooms in a Bronx Hotel a few blocks up from Yankee Stadium where they played their home games.

They played 12 game seasons. The league was divided into two conferences consisting of six teams.  There were no playoffs!  In 1958 the Giants finished in a tie with the Cleveland Browns so they, in fact, did have to play a playoff game which they won on a last second field goal by Pat Summerall.  (yes, that Pat Summerall)

My father, who recently passed away, went to the Championship game with my Uncle Herb. It was played on December 28th at Yankee Stadium.  They didn’t have tickets — they decided on the spur of the moment to go.  Imagine a world in which you can take a subway to a stadium where a championship game is being played, walk up to the box office, and buy a ticket.  That’s what they did.  They probably paid $5.00.  (incidentally, my best friend, who lives in the Bronx, tells of doing the same thing for the 1976 World Series between the Yankees and Reds)

The Giants started off shaky with sloppy offense and porous defense.  Gifford, never known as a good ball handler, fumbled twice and as a result the Giants found themselves down 14-3 at the half.  In the second half the Giants turned it around and took the lead 17-14.  A late Giant drive stalled out at their own 40 and with 4th and inches and 2:30 to go in the game coach Jim Lee Howell elected to punt. A first down would have put effectively put the game away for the Giants.

After a punt the Colts took over on their own 14 and that’s all Unitas needed.  He proceeded to engineer one of the great drives in NFL history, picking apart the tired New York defense.  The drive ended in a 20 yard field goal as the clock expired in regulation forcing the very first overtime game in NFL history.  No NFL game to that point had ever gone overtime.    Don’t forget, up until the 1980s if a regular season game ended in a tie it was over.  There was no sudden death overtime — there were ties.  So when the clock ran out the players didn’t know what they were supposed to do!

The Giants won the coin toss and elected to receive.  Don Maynard, who would later go on to win a Superbowl with the Jets, muffed the kickoff return but recovered his own fumble.  Regardless, the Giants went 3 and out and punted.  The Colts took over on their own 20 and once again Unitas put together an epic drive culminating in a Alan Ameche touchdown.

Some people consider this the greatest game ever played.  All I know is that my Dad was there and that I have the program to prove it.

Displaying IMG_2959.JPGDisplaying IMG_2959.JPGDisplaying IMG_2959.JPGgiants prog

 

Posted in football, sports, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Same old Jets? Not really

Posted by keithosaunders on January 26, 2011

It was a disappointing championship Sunday for this ex-New Yorker and I can’t say that I’m looking forward to this years Superbowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Steelers need another Superbowl ring like the Bay Area needs more fog.  I’ll be rooting for Green Bay but I’m mostly just hoping for a compelling game. 

In Pittsburgh the Jets, after being all but left for dead in the first half, managed to put up a good fight, damn near pulling off what would have been the greatest AFC championship comeback ever.  They fell short due in no small part to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s terrific game plan.  He saw what the Jets secondary did to Tom Brady and he decided to go a different direction.  That direction consisted of running Rashard Mendenhall down the Jets throat.  Mendenhall single-handedly won the game for the Steelers in the first half rushing for 95 yards.  Every time he touched the ball it seemed as if he gained at least 8 yards.  The opening drive alone ate up over nine minutes.  Ben Roethlisberger, or as someone on my Twitter feed referred to him as, Rapey, did not have a great game statistically but he made the clutch plays down the stretch.  None was more devisatating than the 3rd down 14 yard completion to Heath Miller with less than two minutes in the game.  Roethlisberger was flushed out of the pocket and it looked for an instant that he would be sacked but he managed to get the pass off while being chased to the sideline.  You just can’t tackle him!

 Jets coach Rex Ryan has taken a lot of heat for his post game comments in which he said that the Jets will be back in the championship game and that he expects to win a Superbowl.  Media and fans alike seem to want Ryan to keep a lower profile.  I heard his post game interview and I found nothing offensive about his comments.  What do people want him to say — that the Jets had their chance and will be lucky to return?! 

I became a big Ryan fan after the foot fetish story broke.  The way I see anyone freaky enough to post foot videos of him and his wife on youtube is OK in my book!   As far as I’m concerned he’s got carte blanche to talk as much trash as he sees fit.   

The truth is that the Jets are not as good as the Steelers.  Their defense is top of the line but too often their offense has been inconsistent.  Does anybody really believe that Mark Sanchez, at this point in his career, is a Superbowl quarterback?  What the Jets really need going forward is a home playoff game.   

So are these the same old Jets?  I don’t think so.  After several years of mediocrity the Jets are relevant again.  They have been to the championship game in consecutive years and they are a relatively young team.  They didn’t choke against the Steelers; in fact they were a few plays from pulling off the upset of the century.  Pass me the koolaid!

Mike Tomlin and Rex Ryan

Posted in Jets | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

On any given Sunday: JETS!

Posted by keithosaunders on January 17, 2011

Nobody, including myself, thought that the Jets were capable of beating the Patriots on the road in the playoffs.  Except for Rex Ryan, their coach.  Maybe it’s the power of the foot fetishist but Ryan, in both of his  years as Jet head coach, has taken the Jets to the brink of the Super Bowl.

This year the Jets must travel the most improbable road, beating Indianapolis, New England, and this sunday, Pittsburgh.  No team had ever beaten Peyton Manning and Brady on consecutive weeks until yesterday.  Can you imagine a team beating those two plus Roethlisberger on three straight weeks?!  How about Manning, Brady, Roethlisberger and Aaron Rogers?  I’m crazed with success!

It could happen.  When you have a team that plays defense at the level that the Jets do anything is possible.  Brady was completely frustrated as time and again he had nobody to throw to.  He was sacked five times and sent to the ground numerous others.  It will be a little tougher to get to Roethlisberger, who is more mobile, but if the Jets can control the ball on the ground as they did against Indy — eat clock and get a few big plays from their receivers —  anything is possible.  Sanchez will give you fits which is why I like that Ryan has, for the most part, has not forced him to make big plays, staying on the ground and sticking with the short, high percentage passing game.

Is there anything more joyous than sending blowhard Bill Belichick on an early vacation?  Yesterday Belichick benched Wes Welker, who had broken a Patriots rule about not trash talking,  for the first series of plays.  Belichick wanted to send a message to Welker, but I thought he was really trying to send a message to the Jets.  Bill tried to out-cocky Ryan by in effect saying that the Pats could beat the Jets without their best receiver.  Nice try, Bill.  Enjoy your offseason.     

 

Posted in Jets | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Grannypack

Posted by keithosaunders on December 10, 2010

I was watching last Monday night’s Jets debacle with my 13 year old son when he asked, “Hey Dad, why do they wear the granny-packs? 

Granny packs?

“Those things around their waists.  You know, man-purses.”

I gave a closer look and sure enough about half of the Jets offense were wearing granny-packs.  What, I wondered, could possibly be inside?  Extra mouthpieces?  Steroids? 

We noticed that the Patriots players weren’t wearing them.  Had Bill Belichick instituted a strict no granny-pack policy?  Perhaps this is the secret to their dominance.  No distractions.  Focus! 

The other thing I’ve noticed is that every team has at least one lineman who is so large that you wonder where he could possibly find work outside of the NFL or the Los Angeles Clippers.  It’s amazing how big some of them are.  300 pounds is svelte these days.  They move remarkably well for their size.  They are quick, agile, and not to be trifled with.  I can’t help wondering what kind of wear and tear a body that size endures.  It can’t be pretty.

Finally, it must be a rule that every team has to have at least one player with Troy Polamalu hair.  You know what I’m talking about– the long, flowing curly locks billowing out of the helmet.  At first Polamalu was the only guy with that look.  Now even my grandfather has it.  It’s like, remember when Telly Savalas and Yul Brynner were the only completely bald guys you had ever heard of?  These days bald is a look.  Come to think of it, this actually bodes well for me.

Who loves ya, baby?!

Posted in football | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

And now for some Thanksgiving weekend taping foibles

Posted by keithosaunders on November 29, 2010

My friend, Jeff Mazzei, and I have spent many a fine afternoon recounting taping foibles; that is failed attempts at setting the VCR timer.  Yes, you read correctly, VCR.  I’m old school, baby!  Some of these anecdotes were recounted here.  As a kind of coda to the Thanksgiving weekend I present to you two more taping foibles of a most recent vintage.

Today I awoke to the good news that my New York Giants were getting some Bay Area television play.  This was a by-product of the hapless Raider’s inability to sell out their stadium.  The Raiders had a late game against Miami.  If that game had sold out it would have been televised in this market, thereby necessitating an early FOX game.  (the Giants were at home vs the AFC Jacksonville Jaguars which put them on CBS)  Instead we were treated to an early CBS game, the Giants, and a late FOX game, the Eagles vs da Bears.

I had an early brunch gig in San Francisco so I quickly sprung into action, setting my DVR (yes, I have moved into the 21st century) to record the Giants.  I checked and double checked and everything seemed to be in order.  I went to the gig without a worry in the world.

I arrived at the gig to find that there was a TV in the bar showing the Giants game.  No worries.  We were playing in a different part of the restaurant and the other musicians didn’t seem to sports fans.  Wrong.  The trumpet player arrived and quickly announced that he was the first cousin of David Girard, the Jaguar quarterback.

What are the odds?  You tape a game and end up playing a gig with the cousin of the quarterback of one of the teams you are taping!  Needless to say the trumpet player kept going into the bar to check on the score and he was not shy about letting us know that the Jaguars were kicking butt.  (they had an early 17-9 lead) 

By the first break I had abandoned all hope of avoiding the score so I happily joined the trumpet player in the bar for some third quarter action.  The Jags had the ball and were driving when the Giants D came up big for a stop.  A punt pinned the Giants at their own 10 and I boldly announced that they would drive 90 yards for the tying touchdown and two point conversion.  And they did.  We had to go back to work and by the time we finished the Giants had a 24-20 comeback win.  I wish I could have seen the entire game but at least I had a brush with greatness. 

Now for the rarest of rarities:  A taping non-foible!  Here it is in Jeff Mazzei’s own words.

Here’s my taping tale.  I opted to not tape any of the Thanksgiving games on the assumption that I’d hear or see the scores anyway, and I was getting back Sunday for the live games.  [Jeff was on vacation in Cape May, NJ]  I wound up seeing the 2nd half of the Dallas game which was real good.  I decided I’d just try to find the Jet highlights or read about it in Friday’s paper.  To this moment in time (Sunday), I have not been able to find out a thing about that game.  The taping gods mock me.

 This is the bitter irony that befalls the taper.  When you try to avoid the score you end up playing a gig with the quarterbacks’ cousin , but when you really want a score it is nowhere to be found.  Good day.

Posted in football, jazz | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Let’s talk turkey

Posted by keithosaunders on November 26, 2010

I spent Thanksgiving with my father in Las Vegas.   We had our “dinner” at 1 in the afternoon, which I initially thought to be way too early of a starting time.  In effect, however, it dovetailed perfectly with the NFL schedule allowing us to see most, if not all of the three games. 

The Lions were blown out in the early game but they did us the favour of jumping out to a big lead.  True, they gave us false hope of an improbable upset over Bill Belichick and the hated Patriots, but hey, they kept it close until the 4th quarter thereby giving us more joy than we had a right to expect from this ill begotten team.

We were finished with “dinner” by 2:30 which allowed us to repair to the living room for the  Dallas-New Orleans contest.  By the time we got to it the score was 17-0 Saints leading us to believe we were in for a long afternoon.  Not that either of us are Dallas fans — far from it — we just craved a competitive matchup while we digested our food.

Lo and behold the game turned around and Dallas actually went in front 27-23 late in the 4th and had the ball to boot.   When Roy Williams caught a breakaway pass late in the period it looked as if they would ice the game, but all of a sudden a defender, Malcolm Jenkins, snatched the ball away from for the turnover.  The Saints then drove 89 yards for the go-ahead score.  The game was not over, though, and Dallas actually got into position for a tieing 59 yard field goal.  The kick had the distance but went wide left.  Ballgame. 

The announcers couldn’t get over the brilliance of Jenkin’s takeaway.  To these amateur eyes, however, it looked like Williams could have covered the ball up more than he did. He has to know that even if he doesn’t score, as long as he keeps possetion, the game is probably over.   At worst it would have ended up tied going into overtime, allowing for more Thanksgiving day football!

Full disclosure:  We didn’t watch most of the Jets game.  The Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster film, Seven Days in May came on TCM and once we flipped to it during a break in the Jets game we couldn’t turn away.  It’s a tense, political thriller that seems just as relevant to today as it did in the cold war ’60s.

So there you have it.  I heartedly recommend the early Thanksgiving dinner.  It is the sports fan’s best friend.

Posted in football | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mr. U-Turn works his magic. Congratulations San Francisco Giants!

Posted by keithosaunders on November 2, 2010

The data you are about to read was complied by my best friend and greatest-ever Yankee fan, Jeff, of Where’s Mazzei fame.  None of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  That’s because nobody is innocent.

Jeff writes:

 So it occurs to me that before you came to New York, the Mets were horrible, the Yankees were in decline, the Rangers were the Red Sox of the NHL while the Devils were the ultimate doormats.  The Nets and Knicks were going no place fast, and the Giants and Jets were inconsistent on the negative side. 

While you were here, [New York] the Mets became immediate contenders and won their first series in 17 years while the Yankees eventually turned themselves around for one of their best runs since the fifties.  The Rangers won their first cup in over 50 years while the Devils followed with 3 of their own.  The Nets and Knicks made it to 4 NBA finals, the Giants went to 4 Superbowls winning 3, and the Jets at least were able to win some post season games and make it to the AFC championship game which hadn’t happened in ages.  And now you are 3 months in the Bay Area and the Giants win their first World Series in over 50 years.  And when was the last time the Raiders and 49ers won on the same Sunday? 

 It’s ironic, however, that when you arrived in New York, [1984] the Islanders were the 4-time defending Stanley Cup champions.  The first year you were here for the hockey playoffs, they set the all-time  NHL record by winning their 19th straight playoff series only to get swept in the finals.  Except for that 4-overtime game 7 thriller in 1987, it’s been all downhill for them which is why when you come to town, the sports franchises call you “Mr. U-turn”.  Expect a call from the Clippers.

And so, as we bid a fond adieu to the 2010 baseball season and turn our full attention towards the  winter sports I would like to say congratulations to the most unlikely of champions — The San Francisco Giants.  Who would have thought way back in  April — even as late as August — that this team, whose highest profile player, Barry Zito, did not even make the post season roster, would emerge on top.  We also have to give it up to the Texas Rangers, another unlikely contender.  Though they finally ran out of gas this past week, they have had by far the best season in their franchise’s history and with any luck should be able to compete in the foreseeable future.   

San Francisco, my work here is done.  I am now weighing offers from Washington D.C., as well as Seattle.  Chicago called to enquire about the Cubs but I respectfully declined saying that this is beyond even my powers.  Now…how about those Oregon Ducks?!  

Edgar Renteria

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »