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Category: football

This day in sports,April 30th by Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

In todays installment of “This day in sports”, you will be able to see photos from Jets, Yankees,Rangers, and Mets. Dialy stories will be a part of upcoming articles!

#10 chad pennington with head coach herm edwards/ Neil Miller/The New York extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
4/30/06 – toronto blue jays Vs. New York Yankees @ Yankee Stadium : / yanks lead 4-1 on jason giambi 2 run homer with Derek Jeter in the 7th inning Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/30/08 pittsburgh pirtates vs ny mets at shea stadium pirates win 13-1 #5 david wright exits the dugout after the game today Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/30/08 #2 hal gill cross checks #16 avery in the late stages of the 3rd period in sundays game in pittsburgh neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/30/09 joe paterno press conference at the plaza hotel coach paterno a press conference this evening Neil Miller/The new York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/30/09 new york rangers locker clean out at msg practice facility westchester ny henrik lundqvist in locker room this afternoon Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/30/10 ny mets vs philadelphia phillies at citizens bank park phila pa #44 jason bay makes great catch at wall on a ball hit by shane victorino in the bottom of the 2nd inning Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/30/11 Toronto Blue Jays Vs. New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium : Yankees win 5-4 #33 nick swisher and #11 brett gardner celebrate at the end of the game today Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/30/12 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semi finals game #2 Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers at msg New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist #30 makes a save during the second period. Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/30/16 San Francisco Giants vs mets at citifield queens ny New York Mets lead 4-1 after 2 1/2 innnings New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker #20 hits a base hit in the 1st innning Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
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NFL Draft: Jets and Giants Improve; Patriots Do Not

ROBBINS NEST

By Lenn Robbins

  Now what?

  The NFL Remote Draft is in the books and the next live sporting event we can look forward to is…?

 Commissioner Roger Goodell looked stiff and uncomfortable throughout the first round. Bill Belichick’s dog, Nike, would be considering a holdout after his outstanding draft poise but he knows his owner would unceremoniously trade him.

The Giants and Jets fared fairly well. Both teams fulfilled Mission A – bolster the offensive line. And both upgraded their secondary with potentially fantastic safeties.

Two of the league’s better GMs – Belichick and 49ers John Lynch – didn’t fare as well as usual. Ravens GM Eric DeCosta hit it – again while the Panthers and Jaguars, often mistaken for each other, bolstered their defenses.

The Cowboys, with CeeDee Lamb will have to outscore teams. The Raiders (Henry Ruggs III) will have to outrun teams.

Aaron Rodgers is not a happy camper. Kirk Cousins is. Go figure.

Speaking of figures, here are our draft grades, from best to worst:

 Jaguars – Best pick: Laviska Shenault, Jr., WR, Colorado – Our second favorite playmaker in the draft. Fave pick: Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami – one of the more under-appreciated players in the draft. Skinny: No misses and a revitalized defense. Grade: A+

Panthers – Best pick: Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois – Eric Weddle redux. Fave pick: Runs like a deer, hits like a rhino. Fave pick: Tony Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame. Smart and speedy. Skinny: They got three starters on defense and Pride might make four. A+

Ravens – Best pick: Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State – Gets to the ball carrier quick and hard. Fave pick: James Proche, WR, SMU – Won’t win any races but will catch any pass. Skinny: The Ravens are about defense which they got with LB Patrick Queen, DT Justin Madubuike and Harrison. Grade: A+.

Bengals – Best pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU – No reason to believe he won’t develop into an elite QB. Fave pick: Akeem Davis-Gather, OLB, Appalachian State – He can run and hunts like a Power Five backer. Skinny: A franchise QB who can throw it up to Tee Higgins and A.J. Green have. Grade A.

Browns – Best pick: Grant Delpit, S, LSU – The next great LSU DB. Fave pick: Nick Harris, C, Washington – We’ve sworn off using steal but getting this brawler in the 5th round? Larceny! Skinny: And they got the second-best OT with the 10th pick. Grade: A.

Bucs – Best pick: Tristian Wirfs, OT, Iowa – Getting the best tackle with the 13th pick –  wow! Fave pick: Antoine Winfield, Jr., S, Minnesota – If every football player played with his tenacity – ouch! Skinny: And fifth-round pick, WR Tyler Johnson, is going to be a Brady favorite: Grade: A.

Cowboys – Best pick: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama – Take Byron Jones’ locker. Fave pick: Our No.1 WR, CeeDee Lamb at No. 17? Touchdown! Skinny – Boys filled defensive needs and gave Dak Prescott as dangerous a WR corps as there is. Grade: A.

Cardinals – Best pick: Josh Jones, OT, Houston – A starting tackle in the 3rd round? Wow! Fave pick: Evan Weaver, ILB, Cal. – Not an elite athlete but the 6th-rounder is tackling App who just might stick. Skinny: A tackle for Khyler Murray and the best $LB in Isaiah Simmons. Grade: A-.

Broncos – Best pick: Lloyd Cushenberry III, C, LSU – A third-round pick he can be the Day 1 starter. Fave pick: K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State – slotted between first-round pick WR Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. Skinny: Drew Lock’s April Christmas. Grade: A-

Vikings – Best pick: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU – Perfect opposite Adam Thielen. Fave pick: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State – Pencil in this second-rounder as a 10-year starter. Skinny – If seventh-rounder Kenny Willekes, DE, Michigan State, sticks, GM Rick Spielman nails another draft. Grade: A-.

Chargers – Best pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon – All this pre-draft talk about being an introvert is bollocks. Fave pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma – plays like he’s pissed off.  Skinny: If Herbert wins the starting job at any point this season, the Chargers will be thrilled. Grade: B+

Giants – Best pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama – The best safety in the draft – Round 2! Fave pick: Cam Brown, LB, Penn State – even if he never becomes more than a special teams star, high character addition. Skinny: Just can’t help wondering why they made Andrew Thomas the first OT off the board. Grade: B+.

Dolphins – Best pick: Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise St. – He’s not the second coming of DeMarcus Lawrence but he’ll get after it. Fave pick: Malcolm Perry, WR, Navy – Former Navy QB is a player. Skinny: Feels like this was a draft for two years out. Grade: B – could be an A or an F.

Jets – Best pick: Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal – One of the best athletes in this draft. Fave pick: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia – Jets defensive backfield has quality depth. Skinny: If 1st-round pick Mekhi Becton keeps his weight down, the Jets finally have a solid GM in Joe Douglas. Grade: B

Lions – Best pick: Julian Okwara, OLB, Notre Dame – Third-round pick with a first-round first step. Fave pick: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia –  RBs aren’t highly valued but Georgia is RB U. Skinny: Lot of pressure to win now. Does this draft really accomplish that? Grade: B.

Redskins – Best pick: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State – Memo to NFC QB’s: The Redskins have as good a DL as you’ll find. Fave pick: Saahdiq Charles, C, LSU – they got a second-round talent in the 4th round. Skinny: Make D.C.’s team great again? Not so fast. Grade B.

Saints – Best pick: Zach Baun, DE/OLB, Wisconsin – A first-round talent in the third round. Fave pick: Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton – Another weapon for Drew Brees. Skinny: Saints only had four picks and nailed at least three of them, especially if Trautman is a quick contributor. Grade: B.

Seahawks – Best pick: Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford – Can see Seattle using a lot of two tight-end alignments. Fave pick: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech – The hits just keep on coming. Skinny: If second-round pick DE Darrell Taylor can be a force, Seahawks defense trends up. Grade: B.

Titans – Best pick: Isaiah Thomas, OT, Georgia – The offense is about winning the line so they add a 6-foot-7, 350-pound lineman. Fave pick: Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State – Even Derrick Henry needs a break. Skinny: Matt Vrabel stuck to the team’s personality. Grade: B-.

Chiefs – Best pick: Willie Gay, Jr. ILB, Mississippi State – Terrific size and speed for a sideline-to-sideline backer. Fave pick: LaJarius Sneed, S, Louisiana Tech – With his speed, a special teams player at worst. Skinny: Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round? Nope. Grade: B-.

Steelers – Best pick: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame – Big Ben needs more than JuJu Smith-Schuster. Fave pick: Last season’s trade for S Minkah Fitzpatrick. Skinny: The Ben Roethlisberger era is closer to twilight than sunrise. Not sure this draft did enough to help him win now. Grade: C+.

49ers – Best pick:  Brandon Aiyuk, WR, ASU – It has to be because San Fran needs another outside playmaker. Fave pick: Charlie Woerner, TE, Georgia – Might give the 49ers a goal line jumbo package. Skinny: GM John Lynch’s golden touch tarnished. Grade: C.

Patriots – Best pick: Josh Uche, OL, Michigan – Maybe not Isaiah Simmons light but in that mold. Fave pick: Josh Uche – See above. Skinny: S Kyle Duggar dominated at Lenoir-Rhyne but it was, well, Division II Lenoir-Rhyme. Skinny: Bill Belichick is as proven as it gets but this was an off year. Grade: C.

Bears –  Best pick: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah – Got one of the better corners in the middle of the second round. Fave pick: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame – Best tight end in the draft, by far. Skinny: Bears now have 10 tight ends on the roster, making for the core of an excellent rugby team. The NFL isn’t rugby. Grade: C-

Eagles – Best pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU – QB Carson Wentz at least has one target. Fave pick: Jack Driscoll, OL, Auburn – An NFC East blue collar blocker. Skinny: We like QB Jalen Hurts but not in the second round and not with other needs. Grade: C-.

Falcons – Best pick: Matt Hennessy, C, Temple – A Jersey brawler. Fave pick: Sterling Hofrichter, P, Syracuse – Watch this kid punt in Mile High. Skinny: They never recovered after reaching for first-round pick, CB. A.J. Terrell. And if the punter is a fave pick, ooh. Grade: D.

Packers – Best pick: None. Fave pick: None. Skinny – Not only did the Pack fail do anything to help Aaron Rodgers, but by trading up for QB Jordan Love, they started the Hall of Fame QBs clock. Grade: F.

Raiders – Best pick: Amik Robertson, CB, La Tech – Fourth-rounder plays with a chip. Fave pick: Lynn Bowden, Jr., WR – A player, plain and simple. Skinny: If the NFL was a 7-on-7 league, Raiders would compete. But it’s not. Vegas fans consider season distancing. Grade: F.

OTHER WINNERS

AREA CODES. Everyone now knows the area code for Cincy QB Joe Burrow’s hometown of Athens, Ohio.  Burrow wore a shirt with Southeast Ohio’s area code, 704. This is the greatest boost to area codes since Reggie Bush wore 619 on his eye black, San Diego’s area code.

PRICE ALERT: QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys continue to try to work out a new deal. If they don’t, he plays under the franchise tag next season, when he will have Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Zeke Elliott and first-round pick CeeDee Lamb to throw to. Price alert.

SOAP OPERAS – For such a storied franchise, Green Bay has become the soap opera capital of the NFL. Brett Favre didn’t welcome Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers didn’t take to Mike McCarthy.

 Enter Jordan Love, who The Pack traded up to get, setting the stage for Season 3 of TittleTown Tantrums (Hulu). Rodgers, 36, is in win-now mode. The Packers didn’t do much to help him. The over/under on how many times TV cameras focus on any interaction between Rodgers and coach Matt LaFleur is 26, where Love was drafted.

GHOSTS – If you were in Jon Gruden’s home for Thursday night’s draft, you were one of a select few who swear they heard the laughter of the late Al Davis seeping up from the basement like a chill.

The Raiders used pick No. 12 on speedy Henry Ruggs III, who we had as the No.3-ranked WR, behind CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy. Then they used the 19th pick on Ohio State CB Damon Arnette, who almost certainly would have been available in the second round.

Davis was known for always being smitten with speedy wide receivers, some of whom didn’t pan out, and being a contrarian. The Raiders went for the Davis cycle. Listen closely, “Just Win Baby.”

COUCH POTATOES – George Kinlaw, Javon Kinlaw’s dad, was in total couch potato mode, half asleep on the couch, until the 49ers, George’s favorite team, drafted Javon. Pops fell off the coach and proceeded to take a “victory flight” around the room.

This day in Sports, April 24th, by Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

tampa bay vs devils devils win 3-0 #alexander svitov takes down #25 niewendyke,leading to a powerplay on which the devils scored their second goal, Neil Miller/Ther New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
eli manning displays giants uniform after being traded form the chargers to the giants today/NeilMiller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
4/24/05 Washington Nationals Vs. New York Mets @ Shea Stadium: Mets #20 Victor Diaz reacts after striking out early on in the game. Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/24/09 new york rangers vs washington capitals @ verizon center washington dc eastern conference quarter finals game #5: rangers lose 4-0 #40 simeon varlamov makes a save in the 3rd period tonight Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/24/10 Atlanta Braves Vs. New York Mets Mets Ike Davis scores on an RBI double by Jeff Francoeur in the 7th inning. Neil Miller/The NewYork Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/24/11 Boston Celtics Vs. New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Eastern Conference Quarter Finals game #4 knicks #7 carmelo anthony scores a basket thru the defense of #8 jeff green in the 4th quarter Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/24/11 Boston Celtics Vs. New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Eastern Conference Quarter Finals game #4 Spike lee before today’s game. Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
4/24/14 St. Louis Cardinals Vs.New York Mets at Citi Field: New York Mets third baseman David Wright #5 flies out during the first inning. Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020

NFL Draft: Giants, Jets Go Big; Packers go Bizarre

ROBBINS NEST

By Lenn Robbins

There is no place like the Big Apple. Courtesy of the Giants and Jets, it just got a little bigger – and maybe safer for their quarterbacks.

Credit Twitter

The Giants opted not to trade down and fulfilled Dave Gettleman’s vow to improve the offensive line. But instead of going with Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Jr., Iowa’s Tristian Wirfs, or Louisville’s Mekhi Becton with the No.4 pick, Gettleman took Georgia’s Andrew Thomas.

“We spent a lot of time on this and we want to fix this offensive line once and for all,” Gettleman told reporters. “Andrew has a hell of a pedigree. Three-year starter. He’s played big-time ball in front of a lot of people … He’s ready.”

The Jets had their choice of Wirfs or Becton and went with the most massive player in the draft. Consider this, at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds, Becton can dunk a basketball – and not blow out his sneaker.

“He brings an edge for us,” coach Adam Gase told reporters on a conference call. “He brings nasty to our offensive line room.”

The draft, perhaps because of the complications caused by the coronavirus, was lacking in wheeling and dealing early on. But made up for it late with four trades. There were six 1st-round trades last year.

It was the Packers who shocked the NFL world by trading up to take Utah State QB Jordan Love. One problem. The Packers have a QB by the name of Aaron Rodgers (36). He expects to play for another Super Bowl or two.

  1. Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU – After turning in perhaps the greatest statistical season in college football history, capped by a national championship, Cincy hopes Burrow is the second coming of John Elway. Or at least not the second coming of JaMarcus Russell.
  •  Redskins – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State – Ron Rivera starts the Redskins major rebuild with an elite pass rusher. The big questions in D.C. – is Dwayne Haskins the answer at QB or is it “Tank for Trevor?”
  • Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State – No drama. No trade. Okudah is the best CB prospect we’ve seen since Patrick Peterson (2011). That’s worked out pretty well.
  • Giants – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia – Dave Gettleman stays true to his word and drafts a Hog Mollie. But did he get the right one? We had Iowa’s Tristian Wirfs rated hired. Our streak of opening 3-for-3 snapped.
  • Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama – If the hip, and the rest of his body hold up, he has everything to be a franchise player. Most accurate QB in the draft and a terrific young man. Aloha nui.
  • Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon – Let the debate begin: Herbert or Tagovailoa? Another top-shelf young man. Herbert has a stronger arm and no injury worries. Tua more mobile and accurate. We shall see.
  • Panthers – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn – Goodbye Gerald McCoy. Hello Brown. A high-character, high-effort, highly unmovable presence in the middle of the line. Brady, Brees beware.
  • Cardinals – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson – Ever since the Cardinals made Deone Bucannon a $LB in 2014, teams have been searching for hybrid defenders. Swiss Army never made a knife as versatile as this defender.
  • Jaguars – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida – Jalen who? The only CB in this draft that can be mentioned in the same sentence as Okudah. His 4.39 speed and 6-foot-1, 204-pound frame, he replaces Ramsey, without the baggage.
  1. Browns – Jedrick Wills, Jr., OT, Alabama – Baker Mayfield just got the protection he needs to emerge as an elite quarterback. Wills blocks like he has a personal vendetta against any defender.
  1. Jets –  Meckhi Becton, OT, Louisville – The Zion Williamson of the NFL. A man 6-foot-7, 364 pounds who runs 5.1 40. Jets will have to keep a tight eye on his weight. He won’t hard to find. Flagged drug test. J-E-T-S.
  1. Raiders – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama – They can move the franchise to Bora, Bora, the Raiders can’t resist speed. Ruggs is the fastest player in the draft. Is he the next Tim Brown or Darius Heyward-Bey?
  1. Bucs (from 49ers) –  Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa – Tom Brady continues to live a charmed life. GOAT career. Model wife. Signs with a team that has a bounty at WR. The best tackle in the draft falls to the Bucs who move up.

14. 49ers – (from Bucs, plus No.117) Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina – Lose      DeForest Buckner in a trade, replace him with a 6-foot-5, 324-poud disrupter. GM John Lynch continues to build inside out. Smart.

15. Broncos – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama – Courtland Sutton, a 6-4 target and ball snatcher broke out last season. Team him with Jeudy, last year’s No.1 pick, TE Noah Fant, RB Melvin Gordon, and QB Drew Lock just might take the next step, ending John Elway’s QB curse.

16. Falcons – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson – The second truly baffling pick, behind the Giants. Terrell has all the tools to be an elite corner but is he the third best corner in this draft? Atlanta better have gotten this right or it becomes Hotlanta.

17. Cowboys – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma – The Cowboys had their choice of S Xavier McKinney or DE K’Lavon Chaisson but when a talent like Lamb, our No.1-rated WR, it’s too good to pass up.

18. Dolphins – Austin Jackson, OT, USC – There are more NFL-ready tackles than the 20-year-old. But this makes a lot of sense if the Fish “redshirt” Tagovailoa, giving Jackson a year to develop.

19. Raiders – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State – Okudah got all the publicity but Arnette would have been the Buckeye’s best CB in most seasons. Just not a first-round pick in this draft.

20. Jaguars – K’Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU – Not too long ago, this was one of the best young defenses in the NFL. They might be there soon again. With Chaisson off the edge and Henderson at the corner it’s a good night in Jax.

21. Eagles – Jalon Reagor, WR, TCU – New aspect to the Cowboys-Eagles rivalry: Lamb or Reagor? Both are highlights waiting to happen. It would have been negligent not to give QB Carson Wentz a big-time playmaker.

  • Vikings – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU – Lose Stefan Diggs in a trade, add a WR that wins a lot of contested balls.
  • Chargers (from Pats)  – Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma – The Chargers are severely lacking at linebacker and Murray is the best pure linebacker in the draft. Was it work giving up a 2nd and 3rd? Hmmm.
  • Saints – Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan – Simple. Before Drew Brees heads to the broadcast booth, the Saints need to do everything to help him get one more ring. Ruiz can play center or guard. Not a need but insurance.
  • 49ers (from Vikings) – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, ASU – The Niners needed to address this position in a big way. Aiyuk has a catch radius that would make an NBA forward proud. Jimmy Garoppolo, meet Baker Mayfield.
  • Packers (from Dolphins) – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State – Aaron Rodgers eventually replaced Brett Favre. The cleat is on the other foot: Love is the heir apparent. No WR for Rodgers. Another Green Bay soap opera.
  • Seahawks – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech – A mean, sideline-to-sideline linebacker who is addicted to hitting. The Red Raiders weren’t very good and Seattle has other needs. They thought best player available.
  • Ravens – Patrick Queen, ILB, LSU – LSU has replaced Miami as my favorite college for NFL talent. The Tigers play with a speed and tenacity that’s a football purist’s joy to watch. So do the Ravens.

29. Titans – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia – Poly Prep’s latest product. Wilson still needs a little experience but imagine this: The 6-foot-6, 350-pounder blocking for the 6-3, 238-pound Derrick Henry. Pity the cornerback.

30. Dolphins – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn – There is no better athlete in the draft. In addition to corner he’s a terrific kick returner. But the Dolphins just signed Byron Jones and have Xavien Howard.

31. Vikings (from 49ers) – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU – Cornerback, WR, OT were the positions that were up for debate. Gladney makes up for his lack of height (5-10) with speed (4.48) and tenacity. Guess they wouldn’t take Trevon Diggs, huh?

32. Chiefs – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RD, LSU – Just what the NFL wants – another weapon for Patrick Mahomes. E-H is not the best RB in this draft but he’s the best for KC. The 5-7 back is a great receiver. Lot’s of YAC, the Chiefs M.O.

We’ll be back Sunday with our grades. Stay safe. Boo Goodell.

This day in Sports, April 22nd, by Neil Miller/ The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

conference at tavern on the green today from left to right archie manning chad pennington eli manning peyton manning………neil miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
4/22/05 Washington Nationals Vs. New York Mets @ Shea Stadium: Mets starting pitcher #47 Tom Glavine delivers in the first inning. Neil Miller/The New Yrok Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
4/22/06 New York Rangers Vs New Jersey Devils @ The Continental Arena :Rangers goalie #30 Henrik Lundqvist makes a save in the first period. Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
4/22/07 Atlanta Braves Vs. New York Mets @ Shea Stadium/ Mets Shawn Green hits a solo homer in the 5th inning to tie the game. Neil Miller/The New Yok Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/22/09 Washington Capitals Vs. New York Rangers @ MSG eastern conference quarter finals game #4: Rangers Paul Mara celebrates his goal with Brandon Dubinsky (R) in the first period. Dubinsky assisted on the goal. Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
04/22/17 Washington Nationals vs New York Mets at citi field queens ny New York Mets lose 3-1 New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom #48 pitches in the 3rd innning NeilMiller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020

Live From Goodell’s Basement: The NFL Draft

ROBBINS NEST

By Lenn Robbins

A LIVE SPORTING EVENT!

O.K. it’s not a game or even a preseason game or even an exhibition, but Thursday night sports fans hungering for a live sporting event will be sated by the NFL Draft.

It may not be the Super Bowl but the draft is arguably the most important day of the year in a franchise’s fortunes. The undisputed winners will be ESPN/ABC and the companies that locked in ads long before COVID-19 decimated the sports landscape.

The ESPN/ABC family of networks televised the draft last season, posting a record 47.5 million viewers. The price for a 30-second ad cost in the mid $100,000. With no other game in town, last year’s record could be shattered.

If you haven’t been invited to a remote draft party, you will be. Or host your own. Start a pool in which everyone picks the first round and the most accurate prognosticators take home prize money. You’ll just have to use Venmo.

As for the draft itself, there could be a lot of trade action as quarterback hungry teams jockey to secure the rights of Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Jordan Love.

 The Chargers, Dolphins, Raiders, Patriots and Saints all are in the market for their quarterback of the future. The Bears should be. The Titans need a backup to Ryan Tannehill.

A live sporting event is just 10 days away! Here’s our mock draft cheat sheet. Stay safe.

  1. Bengals – Joe Burrows, QB, LSU – In a draft riddled with questions: Who’s the best WR? Who’s the best OT? Who’s the second-best cornerback? The question of who’s the best QB prospect is not up for debate. The Andy Dalton era ends and Burrows era begins; forget hand size.

2. Redskins – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State – The Redskins need a lot of help but unless they get a trade offer they can’t pass up, Ron Rivera sticks with his defensive roots. Washington’s offense doesn’t have enough to compete. But a defense with Young and Ryan Kerrigan might steal a game or two.

3. Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State – As with the Redskins, the Lions are fielding offers like bees to honey. Okudah is one of the most college corners we’ve seen. There’s a significant drop off at cornerback after Okudah.

4. Raiders (from Giants) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama – Stunning trades and out-of-the box No.1 picks are part of the Raiders’ DNA. The franchise doubles down on its move to Vegas. They send the Giants their two, first-round picks –  12 and 19 – to the Giants, even though trading down is not in GM Dave Gettleman’s DNA.

5. Dolphins – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon – The Dolphins reportedly have been flipping coins between Tagovailoa and Herbert. By sitting tight, they don’t have to gamble on Tagovailoa’s health. Herbert is one of the smartest players in the draft and he answered a lot of questions through the predraft process.

6. Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State – The Chargers know exactly what they have without Phillip Rivers and with Tyrod Taylor – no future at football’s most important position. Chargers fans need a reason to make the trek up I-5 to the new stadium they’ll share with the Rams. Terrible.

7. Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson – Tough call for Carolina. They lost Gerald McCoy and Luke Kuechly. Derrick Brown could be a 10-year plug on the DL but Simmons can change a game with his ridiculous skill set. Can’t see the Panthers not finding that irresistible.

8. Cardinals – Meckhi Becton, OT, Louisville – Anyone claiming they know which of the four elite tackles will be selected first is not being honest. Becton is the biggest of the bunch and he possesses amazing athleticism (5.2 40 time) for a man listed at 6-7, 364-pounds.

9. Jaguars – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn – Just a few short years ago the Jaguars had one of the elite, young defenses in the NFL. Gone are Patrick Ramsey, Marcell Dareus, and Calais Campbell (Ok, not so young). We believe in building from the inside out.

10. Cardinals – Jedrick Wills, Jr., OT, Alabama – They have their QB in Khyler Murray and a great new target in D’Andre Hopkins (still find this hard to fathom). Time to make sure this connection stays healthy. Wills is a Day 1 starter.

11. Jets – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa – If this comes to fruition, Jets fans have reason to hope their luck is turning (finally!). Wirfs was coached at Iowa by Kirk Ferentz, a former longtime offensive line coach who has built a tradition of producing technically sound, tough O-linemen.

12. Giants (from Raiders) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia – If this comes to fruition, Giants fan have reason to hope their luck is turning. The Giants trade down and still get a starting OT. Next pick is just six spots away when Big Blue. Can they get another starter, on the other side of the ball?

13. 49ers – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama – Frankly we like CeeDee Lamb a tad more than Jeudy, but it’s impossible to argue against Jeudy’s 4.45 speed, broad jump of 10 feet, vertical jump of 35 inches and magnificent route running. He teams with Deebo Samuel and George Kittle to give Jimmy Garoppolo a terrific trio of targets.

14. Cowboys (from Bucs) – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida – The win-now Cowboys need to replace Byron Jones. Knowing the Falcons at No. 16 are in the CB market, Dallas trades up with Tampa Bay. Henderson has the speed and athleticism but he needs to hone his tackling.

15. Broncos – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma – Courtland Sutton, a 6-4 target and ball snatcher broke out last season. Team him with Lamb, last year’s no.1 pick TE Noah Fant, and Melvin Gordon, and Drew Lock just might take the next step, ending John Elway’s QB curse. Lamb is our favorite receiver in this WR-rich draft.

16. Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU – Atlanta has a tough choice here between addressing the defensive backfield and edge rusher. When you’re in a division that now has Tom Brady and Drew Brees, you better be able to get pressure.

17. Bucs – Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan – Every move the Bucs make must consider how it will maximize Tom Brady’s ability to excel. Jameis Winston was sacked 47 times. He also led the league with 677 drop-backs. And he is more mobile than Brady. Ruiz plays with tenacity and technique and he can play center or guard. Bucs mandate: Protect Tomba.

18. Dolphins – Josh Jones, OT, Houston – Just as the Bucs are all about Brady, the Fish are all about Herbert. Jones allowed just one sack and four pressures his senior season. If you think it was because he didn’t face elite competition at Houston, he was voted the top offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl.

19. Giants – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina – After trading down for the first time, Gettleman thinks, “This isn’t a bad way to go!” If getting Thomas at No.12 wasn’t good fortune, getting Kinlaw here sure is. He’s a better rusher than Brown and more athletic.

20. Jaguars – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama – I’m still not sold on the Jaguars being sold on Gardner Minshew II, III, or IV. But even if this turns out to be a one-season audition, get the man the fastest receiver in the draft. Ruggs, seen as a Tyreek Hill-like weapon, certainly could be off the board by this point.

21. Eagles – Josh Jefferson, WR, LSU – And so begins the run on WRs. A healthy Carson Wentz can be as effective as almost any QB in the NFL, if he has legitimate targets. No receiver in this draft wins contested balls like Jefferson. He can play all three wide receiver positions.

22. Vikings – Brandon Aiyuk, WR,  – The loss of Stefon Diggs hurts. He’s is an upper echelon WR and keeps Adam Thielen from facing constant double teams. Denzel Mims, Baylor is bigger. Jalen Reagor, TCU is the most explosive. Any of the three could go here.

23. Patriots – Zach Baun, OLB/DE, Wisconsin – The focus in New England and throughout the NFL is Tom Brady’s change of address. But this defense lost Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton. Baun is a smart, versatile defender. In other words, he’s a Belichick player.

24. Saints – Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma – The Saints need to do everything they can to give Drew Brees his best chance at one last Super Bowl before he heads to the broadcast booth. We know the Saints can score. The defense was solid if unspectacular last season. Murray, who plays nasty, becomes an anchor in the middle.

25. Vikings – A..J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa – Everson Griffen is gone. The Vikes face two terrific passers – Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford –  twice each season. With Epenesa, who has a great motor, on one side and Daniel Hunter on the other, the Vikes should be able to get pressure.

26. Dolphins – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia – Georgia has become Running Back U and Swift carries on that tradition. In addition to his speed, vision and ability to make defenders miss, Swift will stick his nose in on pass protection. He gives Herbert a serious upgrade over Jordan Howard.

27. Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State – The $17-18 million question is whether or not Jadaveon Clowney returns. The thinking here is that he heads to Cleveland, leaving a neglected defense with a major hole. Gross-Matos is one of the DE’s that is also good against the run.

28. Ravens – Patrick Queen, ILB, LSU – LSU has replaced Miami as my favorite college for NFL talent. The Tigers, especially on the defensive side, play with a speed and tenacity that football purist’s joy to watch. Queen fits the mold. The Ravens have tried to cover up the loss of C.J. Mosley but it’s time to address this second level of defense.

29. Titans – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State – Boise State doesn’t send a lot of players to the league in comparison to Bama, Ohio State, etc. But the ones that come off the blue turf have excellent success – DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, Matt Paradis, Alexander Mattison. The Titans offense is focused on Derrick Henry. Cleveland wowed in pre-draft workouts.

30. Packers – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson – After Devante Adams there is a significant drop off at the WR spot. With a QB such Aaron Rodgers, not having another top target on the opposite side is a waste of talent. Higgins is a step slower than the WRs that already have gone but at 6-4, he’s a red zone ball winner.

31. 49ers – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama – All any 49ers fan needs to do to find the No.1 position of need is to cue up a replay of the Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs. Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill combined for 13 catches for 203 yards. Richard Sherman is still a quality corner but he’s 32.  McKinney can play either safety spot.

32. Chiefs – Antoine Winfield, S/CB, Minnesota – This is my favorite player in the draft because of the way he plays. Yes, he’s only 5-foot-9, 203 pounds but he hits like a man constantly in a bad mood. He’s instinctual, versatile and has great bloodlines. Only concern is that he hits so hard he hurts himself.

A Live Sporting Event Just One Week Away

ROBBINS NEST

By Lenn Robbins

A LIVE SPORTING EVENT!

O.K. it’s not a game or even a preseason game or even an exhibition, but next Thursday night sports fans hungering for a live sporting event will be sated by the NFL Draft.

It may not be the Super Bowl but the draft is arguably the most important day of the year in a franchise’s fortunes. The undisputed winners will be ESPN/ABC and the companies that locked in ads long before COVID-19 decimated the sports landscape.

The ESPN/ABC family of networks televised the draft last season, posting a record 47.5 million viewers. The price for a 30-second ad cost in the mid $100,000. With no other game in town, last year’s record could be shattered.

If you haven’t been invited to a remote draft party, you will be. Or host your own. Start a pool in which everyone picks the first round and the most accurate prognosticators take home prize money. You’ll just have to use Venmo.

As for the draft itself, there could be a lot of trade action as quarterback hungry teams jockey to secure the rights of Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and Jordan Love.

 The Chargers, Dolphins, Raiders, Patriots and Saints all are in the market for their quarterback of the future. The Bears should be. The Titans need a backup to Ryan Tannehill.

A live sporting event is just 10 days away! Here’s our mock draft cheat sheet. Stay safe.

  1. Bengals – Joe Burrows, QB, LSU – In a draft riddled with questions: Who’s the best WR? Who’s the best OT? Who’s the second-best cornerback? The question of who’s the best QB prospect is not up for debate. The Andy Dalton era ends and Burrows era begins; forget hand size.

2. Redskins – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State – The Redskins need a lot of help but unless they get a trade offer they can’t pass up, Ron Rivera sticks with his defensive roots. Washington’s offense doesn’t have enough to compete. But a defense with Young and Ryan Kerrigan might steal a game or two.

3. Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State – As with the Redskins, the Lions are fielding offers like bees to honey. Okudah is one of the most college corners we’ve seen. There’s a significant drop off at cornerback after Okudah.

4. Raiders (from Giants) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama – Stunning trades and out-of-the box No.1 picks are part of the Raiders’ DNA. The franchise doubles down on its move to Vegas. They send the Giants their two, first-round picks –  12 and 19 – to the Giants, even though trading down is not in GM Dave Gettleman’s DNA.

5. Dolphins – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon – The Dolphins reportedly have been flipping coins between Tagovailoa and Herbert. By sitting tight, they don’t have to gamble on Tagovailoa’s health. Herbert is one of the smartest players in the draft and he answered a lot of questions through the predraft process.

6. Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State – The Chargers know exactly what they have without Phillip Rivers and with Tyrod Taylor – no future at football’s most important position. Chargers fans need a reason to make the trek up I-5 to the new stadium they’ll share with the Rams. Terrible.

7. Panthers – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn – The defense lost Gerald McCoy and Luke Kuechly. The 6-5, 315-pound Brown can be a Day 1 starter for the next decade, plugging the middle. This might not be the sexiest pick but it’s the smartest.

8. Cardinals – Meckhi Becton, OT, Louisville – Anyone claiming they know which of the four elite tackles will be selected first is not being honest. Becton is the biggest of the bunch and he possesses amazing athleticism (5.2 40 time) for a man listed at 6-7, 364-pounds.

9. Jaguars – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina – Just a few short years ago the Jaguars had one of the elite, young defenses in the NFL. Gone are Patrick Ramsey, Marcell Dareus, and Calais Campbell (Ok, not so young). Kinlaw offers more of a pass-rushing threat from the tackle spot than Brown.

10. Cardinals – Jedrick Wills, Jr., OT, Alabama – They have their QB in Khyler Murray and a great new target in D’Andre Hopkins (still find this hard to fathom). Time to make sure this connection stays healthy. Wills is a Day 1 starter.

11. Jets – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa – If this comes to fruition, Jets fans have reason to hope their luck is turning (finally!). Wirfs was coached at Iowa by Kirk Ferentz, a former longtime offensive line coach who has built a tradition of producing technically sound, tough O-linemen.

12. Giants (from Raiders) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia – If this comes to fruition, Giants fan have reason to hope their luck is turning. The Giants trade down and still get a starting OT. Next pick is just six spots away when Big Blue. Can they get another starter, on the other side of the ball?

13. 49ers – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama – Frankly we like CeeDee Lamb a tad more than Jeudy, but it’s impossible to argue against Jeudy’s 4.45 speed, broad jump of 10 feet, vertical jump of 35 inches and magnificent route running. He teams with Deebo Samuel and George Kittle to give Jimmy Garoppolo a terrific trio of targets.

14. Cowboys (from Bucs) – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida – The win-now Cowboys need to replace Byron Jones. Knowing the Falcons at No. 16 are in the CB market, Dallas trades up with Tampa Bay. Henderson has the speed and athleticism but he needs to hone his tackling.

15. Broncos – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma – Courtland Sutton, a 6-4 target and ball snatcher broke out last season. Team him with Lamb, last year’s no.1 pick TE Noah Fant, and Melvin Gordon, and Drew Lock just might take the next step, ending John Elway’s QB curse. Lamb is our favorite receiver in this WR-rich draft.

16. Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU – Atlanta has a tough choice here between addressing the defensive backfield and edge rusher. When you’re in a division that now has Tom Brady and Drew Brees, you better be able to get pressure. Vic Beasley is gone and 2017 first-round pick Takkarist McKinely hasn’t emerged.

17. Bucs – Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan – Every move the Bucs make must consider how it will maximize Tom Brady’s ability to excel. Jameis Winston was sacked 47 times. He also led the league with 677 drop-backs. And he is more mobile than Brady. Ruiz plays with tenacity and technique and he can play center or guard. Bucs mandate: Protect Tomba.

18. Dolphins – Josh Jones, OT, Houston – Just as the Bucs are all about Brady, the Fish are all about Herbert. Jones allowed just one sack and four pressures his senior season. If you think it was because he didn’t face elite competition at Houston, he was voted the top offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl.

19. Giants – K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU – After trading down for the first time, Gettleman thinks, “This isn’t a bad way to go!” If getting Thomas at No.12 wasn’t good fortune, getting Chaisson here sure is. He’s a high-character, high-athletic prospect.

20. Jaguars – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama – I’m still not sold on the Jaguars being sold on Gardner Minshew II, III, or IV. But even if this turns out to be a one-season audition, get the man the fastest receiver in the draft. Ruggs, seen as a Tyreek Hill-like weapon, certainly could be off the board by this point.

21. Eagles – Josh Jefferson, WR, LSU – And so begins the run on WRs. A healthy Carson Wentz can be as effective as almost any QB in the NFL, if he has legitimate targets. No receiver in this draft wins contested balls like Jefferson. He can play all three wide receiver positions.

22. Vikings – Brandon Aiyuk, WR,  – The loss of Stefon Diggs hurts. He’s is an upper echelon WR and keeps Adam Thielen from facing constant double teams. Denzel Mims, Baylor is bigger. Jalen Reagor, TCU is the most explosive. Any of the three could go here.

23. Patriots – Zach Baun, OLB/DE, Wisconsin – The focus in New England and throughout the NFL is Tom Brady’s change of address. But this defense lost Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton. Baun is a smart, versatile defender. In other words, he’s a Belichick player.

24. Saints – Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma – The Saints need to do everything they can to give Drew Brees his best chance at one last Super Bowl before he heads to the broadcast booth. We know the Saints can score. The defense was solid if unspectacular last season. Murray, who plays nasty, becomes an anchor in the middle.

25. Vikings – A..J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa – Everson Griffen is gone. The Vikes face two terrific passers – Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford –  twice each season. With Epenesa, who has a great motor, on one side and Daniel Hunter on the other, the Vikes should be able to get pressure.

26. Dolphins – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia – Georgia has become Running Back U and Swift carries on that tradition. In addition to his speed, vision and ability to make defenders miss, Swift will stick his nose in on pass protection. He gives Herbert a serious upgrade over Jordan Howard.

27. Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State – The $17-18 million question is whether or not Jadaveon Clowney returns. The thinking here is that he heads to Cleveland, leaving a neglected defense with a major hole. Gross-Matos is one of the DE’s that is also good against the run.

28. Ravens – Patrick Queen, ILB, LSU – LSU has replaced Miami as my favorite college for NFL talent. The Tigers, especially on the defensive side, play with a speed and tenacity that football purist’s joy to watch. Queen fits the mold. The Ravens have tried to cover up the loss of C.J. Mosley but it’s time to address this second level of defense.

29. Titans – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State – Boise State does send a lot of players to the league in comparison to Bama, Ohio State, etc. But the ones that come off the blue turf have excellent success – DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, Matt Paradis, Alexander Mattison. The Titans offense is focused on Derrick Henry. Cleveland wowed in pre-draft workouts.

30. Packers – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson – After Devante Adams there is a significant drop off at the WR spot. With a QB such Aaron Rodgers, not having another top target on the opposite side is a waste of talent. Higgins is a step slower than the WRs that already have gone but at 6-4, he’s a red zone ball winner.

31. 49ers – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama – All any 49ers fan needs to do to find the No.1 position of need is to cue up a replay of the Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs. Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill combined for 13 catches for 203 yards. Richard Sherman is still a quality corner but he’s 32.  McKinney can play either safety spot.

32. Chiefs – Antoine Winfield, S/CB, Minnesota – This is my favorite player in the draft because of the way he plays. Yes, he’s only 5-foot-9, 203 pounds but he hits like a man constantly in a bad mood. He’s instinctual, versatile and has great bloodlines. Only concern is that he hits so hard he hurts himself.

Is Fantasy Football Being Optimistic for an NFL?

Let’s get right to it.

This shelter in place deal stinks. We are social creatures forced to behave in an antisocial way. It stinks. I can pet my neighbor’s dog but can’t shake hands with said neighbor. I’m washing hands so often I will never sing, “Happy Birthday,” again.

One of the ways to cope is fantasy. This morning I fantasized that it wasn’t a Sunday in COVID-19 March, rather a Sunday in vaccine October. NFL season. Glorious NFL season.

Which team will be the most fun to watch:

The Arizona Cardinals, with Kyler Murray throwing to DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald and a tight end to be named later?

Or, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Tom Brady throwing to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard?

In fact, I’m willing to purchase a separate NFL South Division RedZone so I can see Matt Ryan throwing to Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Todd Gurley II and TE Hayden Hurst, and Drew Brees throwing to Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Alvin Kamara?

Or Patrick Mahomes throwing to Tyreke Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mercole Hardman, Travis Kelce and Damien Williams.

Or Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer throwing to tripled teamed Julian Edelman? (I’ve waited almost two decades for this)!

Or Dak Prescott throwing to Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Zeke Elliott?

Or Mitch Trubisky throwing to the yard marker? Or is that Nick Foles?

Or, don’t dismiss this one, Phillip Rivers throwing to T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal, Parris Campbell and tight end Jack Doyle?

Or, Deshaun Watson throwing to? It’s not fair. It’s just not fair.

Or Josh Allen hopefully throwing to Stefan Diggs, John Brown, Cole Beasley and Devin Singletary?

Or Sam Darnold throwing six more touchdowns than interceptions?

Or Lamar Jackson throwing, to himself?

Or Jared Goff throwing for 78 yards two weeks after throwing for 517 (both losses)?

Or Ryan Tannehill completing 70-percent of his passes with a quarterback/interception of better than 3-to-1? Ryan Tannehill?

Or Derek Carr throwing to Nelson Agholor? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Or Aaron Rodgers throwing to anyone at any time from any place on the field?

Or Drew Lock throwing for a passing rating of 48.2 yet going 4-1?

Or Tyrod Taylor hoping the Chargers pass on quarterback in the draft?

Or the Redskins passing on a quarterback because, well, they’re the Redskins?

Or a healthy Teddy Bridgewater getting his much-deserved chance to be a starter and having a weapon as versatile and potent as Christian McCaffrey?

Or Kirk Cousins posting his sixth straight season of 3,600 yards or more without getting to an NFC Championship game?

Or 23-year-old Joe Burrow throwing to 32-year-old A.J. Green?

Or Russell Wilson throwing to Tyler Locket, DK Metcalf and Greg Olsen?

Or Jimmy Garoppolo throwing for 165 yards one week and 349 the next?

Or Daniel Jones throwing from an upright position?

Or the warrior known as Matthew Stafford throwing to Marvin Jones, Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson.

Or Ryan Fitzpatrick playing catch with Tua Tagovailoa?

Or the Pittsburgh Steelers throwing a Hail Mary in the 2nd round of the draft?

Or Carson Wentz throwing to Zach Ertz or Dallas Goedert, or to Dallas Goedert or Zach Ertz?

Or Baker Mayfield throwing 21 interceptions and dropping 42 verbal farts?

Or Gardner Minshew II throwing to, uh, how ‘bout that draft?

Or Patrick Mahomes throwing to Tyreke Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mercole Hardman, Travis Kelce and Damien Williams? Wait. Didn’t we write that already?

O.K. how about this?

Training camp to open this summer giving all of us sports-starved fans hope of watching the NFL in the fall. Amen.

Difficult Without Sports But There Are Options To Our Isolation

Yes, this is difficult. We are home and staying safe. We are dealing with a Coronavirus pandemic and making that adjustment. This was supposed to be the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. 

We were five days away from Opening Day of the 2020 baseball season. Instead, at Citi Field, a makeshift hospital and relief center is being planned

We are without sports.  We are adjusting to viewing daily updates from the White House, your Governor, and Mayor. We are isolated and hoping this crisis will pass soon.

Saturday and Sunday, and next weekend,  CBS Sports is televising memorable games from past NCAA tournaments. MLB Network, the regional networks, are also replaying memorable games.

The baseball fix in New York includes a Mets marathon on SNY. The Yankees showing their classic series on YES, and audio feeds of the Michael Kay sports talk show on ESPN Radio.

The NBA and NHL channels also do their part to keep us entertained. 

How the WWE will stage WrestleMania, a reformatted two day event, and with  no fans at their Orlando performance center in two weeks will be interesting and different. 

WrestleMania, a highlight show on the wrestling calendar for the WWE and fans, was supposed to be held before 75,000 or more at Raymond James Stadium, Sunday April 5 in Tampa .

Instead, the evening before, with reportedly some taped matches, will highlight the mega event. No pyro, no fans, and matches scrapped. Pro wrestlers are making the adjustments and it will be similar to a rehearsal or audition they have experienced before gaining their stardom to the top.

We are in this together. And, said here again, sports are not the priority here as much as the world of fun and games would be a diversion from this crisis that confronts our world and nation.

So without sports, there are some options as we continue to isolate in our homes. This past week, in between some writing and dealing with the isolation, there were some good options to get your fix.

Sports books, the classic events and movies to pass the time are becoming a norm.  Though there is nothing better than viewing a live event, and we could be without that for the next few months,  .

 Any hope for the start of the 2020 season is not anytime soon. The hope, as can be determined, MLB season openers are on hold at least to June.

And that is being optimistic, all depending of course on how long the Coronavirus Pandemic abates. Talking to numerous sports personnel over the past few days, and the overall opinion is MLB and other leagues will await the first move of the NBA when it comes to resuming their schedule.

Why the NBA? The National Basketball Association was the first to shut down and seem to be at the forefront of taking control. Other sports leagues will follow their path. 

In addition, with the 2020 MLB season, players would need another two-week spring training period for conditioning and the schedule would need a major readjustment. That means doubleheaders that are rare on a schedule and a shortened season which are not the norm.

Again, that is speculation as we go day-by-day with this crisis and hope for the best.

Pitchers were at the point of throwing at speeds where they should be. The hitters, always behind the pitchers, they will need more time to catch up and that is usually the case during a normal spring training period..

Let’s say 81 games or fewer, instead of a regular 162-game slate and no All–Star game. Players would get paid when the season begins. 

Now, as understood, the MLBPA and  owners are working out details of the specifics as to their contracts and payment and pertaining to  details about pay scales in cases such as a national state of emergency.

The other sports will deal with specifics, perhaps not as complicated for the NHL and Major League soccer.  Boxing will resume with lucrative network deals and promotions at Top Rank, PBC, Matchroom, Golden Boy, and others.

They  will saturate the market with events every weekend for the boxing fan as the non mainstream fighters train at home and await their next payday. Most, if not all of the boxing gyms have been closed due to the pandemic.

The Kentucky Derby, Masters Golf Tournament, major events on the spring calendar, have announced they are rescheduling their major events to a later time.  

Still up in the air is how the USTA will handle the U.S. Open In Flushing Queens. That was scheduled for the later part of August. 

In the meantime some books to suggest to get your fix:

  • Staying Positive The Story of The Real Paul Banke (Boxing)
  • Once There Were Giants. The Golden Age of Heavyweight Boxing (Jerry Izenberg)
  • Inside Pitch. My Life As a Major League Closer (Skip Lockwood)

More to come in the coming days as we go through the pile with some of the best books and classic sports to view.

Most of all be SAFE! We are in this together and will get back to normal in due time. 

Comment: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

Mets Fans Know Exactly How Pats Fans Feel Today

ROBBINS NEST

East Rutherford, N.J., Monday, October 21, 2019. Patriots QB Tom Brady looks to pass to tight end Ben Watson, right. (Photo by David L. Pokress,The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com)

By Lenn Robbins

The beauty and curse of being a sports fan is that you never forget some days.

June 15, 1977. I was working a summer job at a pool club Canarsie when the news began to spread. Unbelievable news in the sense that it simply could not be true. It was unbelievable. Then it became friggin’ unbelievable! And then all sight and sound became a jumbled cacophony. Everything happened in slow awful motion.

The Mets were trading Tom Seaver.

It couldn’t be true.  But that night, there was the most Amazin of Mets crying on television. We cried, too. It was dubbed the Midnight Massacre and surely thousands of Mets fans felt a piece of themselves get killed that night.

Patriots fans woke up Tuesday morning to their own version of The Seaver Nightmare: There will be no Brady sequel.

Brady announced he was ending his 20-year marriage in New England, with Boston, with Patriots Nation. He’s packing up his six Super Bowl rings, four Super Bowl MVP trophies, three NFL MVP awards and deflated balls and heading to where?

Tampa? Some nice beaches for sure, but it pales in comparison to the culture of Beantown and the close-knit community that is New England.

San Diego? Can’t beat the weather but the Chargers have flipped that city the birdie by moving to Inglewood and sharing a stadium with the Rams. Nothing like eight road games and eight neutral site games to end your career.

Chicago? Wonderful second city with an odd attempt at pizza, but if Brady wants to win another ring, the Bears don’t have better weapons than the Patriots. And Chicago’s line was rated 29th in the league in 2019 meaning Brady might want to pack his Cape Cod Beach Chair.

You know what? Who cares?

It doesn’t matter where Tom lands. It’s where Tom is leaving.

Mets fans didn’t care what team their Tom had been traded to. Cincinnati? Where? What? They were despondent that No. 41 would be wearing a different jersey, dazzling another fan base, making hitters look the fool.

Of course, there are differences between their Tom leaving and our Tom leaving although both moves were tied to free agency, the bane of every sports fan everywhere. Never again can fans embrace a player as theirs. Just ask Cavaliers’ fans.

Seaver was already in a brutal, year-long conflict with owner M. Donald Grant over the direction of the team. He was livid the Mets did nothing to improve the roster after a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached the previous summer. He wanted to remain a Met but felt he couldn’t under Grant’s penny pinching and elitist attitude.

Brady, knowing a new CBA would likely be reached this year, insisted the Patriots deal he signed last season prevented New England from slapping the franchise tag on him. When the new CBA was approved on Sunday, Brady was a free agent. He wanted to find another home.

In about as brutally timed announcement as imaginable, Brady took to Twitter on a St. Patrick’s Day like never before. Bars and pubs are closed because of Covid-19. There’s not even a place to drown one’s sorrows with other mourners!

You know what? Who cares?

Patriots fans know one brutal truth today – their franchise is done. The Greatest of All Time is leaving. New England is just another team on the NFL map.

Sure, there will be storylines to follow: Is Jarrett Stidham the answer? Is Phillip Rivers a good stopgap for a season or two? Is the replacement in the upcoming draft and will the Pats will make a stunning deal to move up?

You know what? Who cares?

This is not to say we feel bad for New England. Hell no. It just means Mets fans know the feeling that Pats fan are experiencing today. It will never be forgotten. They’ll never forget where they were today. It’s a wound that never heals.