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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jets-Bills Contest will not be played in Buffalo

When the Jets and Bills kick-off their Week 12 contest it will not be at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, NY., the lake effect snowstorm that has crippled northwestern New York with six feet of snow has forced the NFL to move the AFC East clash to another venue.

What that venue is and when the game will be played is up in the air.

According to NFL.com, Ford Field in Detroit, or FedEx field in Landover, Maryland are possible relocations spots. The Lions are in New England this week, which opens up Ford Field this week, however Detroit would be a long distance trip for both the Jets and Bills; I find this location least likely. FedEx field wouldn't be bad for both clubs, with the Redskins are in San Francisco this week.

The Meadowlands is out, at least for Sunday, since the Giants play there on Sunday night against Dallas. That doesn't mean Monday night wouldn't be a possibility, however. The Patriots and Eagles are also playing at home this weekend, which cancels out those two venues.

Other locations that have been floated include the Skydome in Toronto, where the Bills have traditionally played one game a year in its Canadian series; the series was suspended for this year. Pittsburgh would be an ideal spot, since the Steelers have a bye week, and it is not that far for either team to travel to, just a couple hours for the Bills, and five hours for the Jets.

Regardless, there is no way this game can be played in Buffalo until the state of emergency is lifted and the snow is cleared out. Plus the Bills would like to practice a bit before this game ever takes place.

Jason Kidd Gets Booed by Nets Fans

Jason Kidd made his return to Brooklyn, months after a messy divorce with the front office, in which he campaigned to have General Manager Billy King fired, so he could have the title of both General Manager and Head Coach. The Nets refused to balk to Kidd's demands and as a result the ex-Net became the Head Coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Apparently Nets fans were happy to see him.


Kidd got the last laugh, as the Bucks defeated the Nets in triple overtime 122-118. The Bucks are one of the surprises in the East thus far, posting a 7-5 record. The Nets are 4-7. However you cannot blame the Nets for letting Kidd walk.

Kidd had this response for the boo birds.


Even if Kidd pretends that he didn't hear anything, looking at the video of the actual event, it looked like Kidd was taken aback by the boos from the crowd. His eyes popped out of his head, and he tried to smile after the 10 seconds of booing ended. Kidd can say whatever he wants, the booing bothered him.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BlogTalkRadio: Open Mike Hockey Special!

Take a listen to Wednesday night's Open Mike program, featured on BlogTalkRadio. Tonight I had an opportunity to speak with Dan Rice of TheHockeyWriters.com, to talk about the slumping New Jersey Devils and surging New York Islanders. It's a terrific listen.

LISTEN HERE!

Open Mike is live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on BlogTalkRadio at 5:30 p.m. ET.


Bills expect to play Jets in Buffalo despite snow

The city of Buffalo and upstate New York has seen enough snow to last a typical winter. Reports of five to six feet of snow have crippled the area, leaving residents stranded at home, people stuck on the road, and sadly have cost some individuals their lives.

It has not been a good time of things lately upstate, and certainly football is the last thing that should be on anyone's mind.

However, the Buffalo Bills do play a home game at Ralph Wilson Stadium this weekend against the New York Jets, kickoff at 1 p.m. The snow is supposed to continue to cripple the area at least two more days, and there is reason for concern whether the game will even be played on time.




As of right now the Bills expect to play the game on schedule at Ralph Wilson Stadium, however they are working with the league on this matter and those plans could change between now and Sunday. If they do, the game could get moved to Monday night.

There is precedent for this. Three years ago, the Minnesota Vikings were involved in a series of snow delaying events that moved a couple of their games around. First, the roof to the Metrodome caved in when the weight of the snow become too much for the structure; as a result the Vikings Sunday kick-off with the Giants was moved to Monday night in Detroit. Weeks later, the Vikings had another game postponed when the city of Philadelphia called a state of emergency in anticipation of a monster storm. That storm never came, but the game was still played on Tuesday night.

Obviously this is a much worse situation then those two examples. Moving the game to the Meadowlands is impossible, at least on Sunday, since the Giants host the Cowboys that same day. The game could be played at the Meadowlands on Monday if needed. The two teams could also move the game to Foxboro, Massachusetts, but the Patriots are also playing at home this weekend.

This is an ongoing story that will continue to develop. Reports are the snow has also affected the Bills practice schedule as nobody can even get out of their houses right now. Perhaps pushing the game back to Monday is the best thing for both squads right now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PHOTOS: New Outfield Fences at Citi Field are Almost Complete

One of the biggest complaints coming from the Mets and its hitters has been the fences at Citi Field. Deemed too deep of a ball park for the Mets to provide any power (even though their opponents have had no problems hitting homers at Citi Field), the Mets have brought the fences in.

On Tuesday the media got a glimpse of what the new dimensions look like. While left field has remained the same, it is the right field porch that has seen the most dramatic of changes. In 2014 the dimensions in right-center were 390 and 375. Now, the dimensions will be 380 and 370. The Mets hope this helps their beleaguered offense. Then again, getting some actual hitters might be a better tonic. 

Take a look: METS FACEBOOK PHOTOS!


NFL Making Right Call to Suspend Adrian Peterson for Season

In an era where the NFL Commissioner has come under fire for his handling of many things, this one is not going to be one of them.

The NFL had to level a severe penalty to Adrian Peterson, the once mighty superstar running back of the Minnesota Vikings.

Peterson was suspended by the Vikings, with pay until further notice regarding his hearing for child abuse charges back in August. Since pleading no contest earlier in November, and basically admitting that he beat his son, Peterson was closing in on a return -- that was until the NFL put a stop to all of that suspending him for the year without pay.

The information that came out regarding the situation, from images of scares on the child left by Peterson, to the facts that Peterson used a switch (tree branch) to beat his son for what he termed disciplinary reasons was too much to bear; not after the NFL already had a black eye over the Ray Rice fiasco. Bravo to Goodell for showing the guts to make such a tough move on a once very popular player.

Goodell leveled a severe and fair penalty to Peterson, and by reading his statement he made it sound like it would be a very long time before we ever see Peterson on the field again. Goodell says that Peterson's potential reinstatement into the NFL will be "based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in the decision. Under a two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions."

So for Peterson to even dream of returning to an NFL playing field he will have to undergo counseling, and rehabilitation. He cannot afford to another slip up or he is finished. The  press release goes on to add that the NFL has instructed Peterson to seek help from Dr. April Kuchuk by December 1. She is to develop the program for counseling, therapy and community service for him to follow strictly.

Goodell even takes time to admonish Peterson for his actions. Many have defended Peterson's actions as his rights as a father. However, Peterson went too far. What may have seemed like discipline to Peterson years and years ago as a child, and to a select few is in fact abuse. No child, no matter how old they are should be beaten to a pulp by their parents. That is not discipline. It's criminal.

Goodell said as much: "When indicted you acknowledged what you did but said you would not eliminate whooping my kids and defended your conduct in numerous published text messages to the child's mother. These comments raise serious concern that you do not fully appreciate the seriousness of your conduct, or even worse, that you may feel free to engage in similar conduct in the future."

READ THE ENTIRE GOODELL PRESS RELEASE.

Peterson can appeal through the Players Association and try to get onto the field by Sunday. The Association is already trying to do as much, however ESPN reports that such a process could be a little more complex and will involve a lot of lawyers. In short the NFLPA is on the short end of the stick here.

While the NFLPA has every right to protect its clients, DeMaurice Smith and company are barking up the wrong tree here. Peterson deserves to sit out for the rest of this season, and if he fails to show the kind of improvement that Roger Goodell and the rest of society is looking for, he deserves to never play in the NFL again.

This is only the beginning of what could turn into a long, long litigation process. Lawyers take your places.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mets gamble in signing of Cuddyer

The Mets want their fans to believe that they are ready to open up the wallets and go for it. That would be easier said than done. The Mets made a move this week, signing free agent Michael Cuddyer to a two-year $21 million contract just days after he rejected a qualifying offer from the Colorado Rockies.

The Mets did give up a lot for him. By signing Cuddyer they gave up their first round pick in the 2015 draft, a draft pick that was basically rewarded to the Rockies, who lost a player after their offer was rejected.

On the positive side, Cuddyer has done something that not many players have done in several years, he wanted to come to New York and play for the Mets. That's correct. Cuddyer grew up in Norfolk Virginia, once the home of the Mets Triple-A affiliate, and the home of Mets third baseman David Wright. Wright and Cuddyer have grown up together, and word on the street is Wright wanted Cuddyer to come to the Big Apple.

Cuddyer's desire to play for the Mets, combined with his track record of clubhouse leadership should be a boon to a Mets franchise that for the most part is still in a rebuilding phase. He was once a very productive hitter for the Minnesota Twins, and, two years ago hit .331 with 20 home runs and 84 RBI.

However that is where all the good comes to an end regarding this signing. There is reason for concern because Cuddyer is coming off an injury riddled season in 2014, in which he only played in 49 games. In three years with the Rockies, Cuddyer became a pure Coors Field hitter, meaning he only hit consistently well in the thin air of Denver, Colorado compared to away from it. Case in point, Cuddyer hit .329 in three years at Coors field, but was hitting around .270 away from Coors. Also, he hit only .167 at Citi Field in that time span.

Plus, he'll be 36 years old on Opening Day, and with concerns about his durability, this feels more like a patch work move that could eventually blow up in the Mets' faces much like the Chris Young signing did last season. Cuddyer has no real position on the field. He could play both corner outfield spots, and first base, but the Mets don't need anymore platoon players -- they need to three main guys who can start in the outfield on an daily basis. They still don't have that.

This is a rather strange move for the Mets, one that we will have to watch before making a final judgment. Some will point to the fact that the Mets spent money as a moral victory, but until they start spending that money wisely, any move made by the New York front office will come with skepticism.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Giants Blow Golden Opportunity in Seattle

SEAHAWKS 38
GIANTS 17

The New York Giants had a great opportunity to do something special on a rainy Sunday in Seattle. They were up 14-7 and, later 17-14. They found a way to quiet the 12th man, and found a way to slow down Russell Wilson and company. A win in Seattle, coming off of a inept 40-24 showing at the hands of the Colts, would have not only been amazing, it would have breathed new life into a dying Giants season.

Instead the Giants blew a 17-14 lead, and watched it turn into 38-17, Seattle in the blink of an eye. It was like watching the tortoise and the hare, only instead of the lowly turtle winning the race, it was the rabbit, who realized he was better, faster and stronger and pulled away like most champions are supposed to. 

Now, the Giants season is on full life support; then again it might be D.O.A. Heck the Giants have only one more win than the Jets! Think about that.

With seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, everything the Giants hoped this game would be became the game they feared when Russell Wilson rolled to his right to avoid the rush and heaved a bomb down the sideline to Jermaine Kearse in single coverage, for a 60-yard gain to the Giants six yard line. You could feel the air came out of the Big Blue balloon.

Seattle settled for a field goal, 17-17. Not all is lost, right?

On the Giants ensuing offensive possession they teased us even more when Eli Manning his Preston Parker and Odell Beckham for huge third down conversions to move the ball deep into Seattle territory. That is when this game, once again, went from being everything the Giants hoped it would be to the game they feared it was meant to become.

Manning lifted a pass down the sideline to Beckham, but the rookie was heavily covered by Richard Sherman. Beckham had no choice but to try to knock it out of Sherman's grasp, but when he did it landed in the hands of safety Earl Thomas for the interception in the end zone. The play was eerily similar to the one in the NFC Championship game when it was Sherman who deflected a Colin Kaepernick pass into the hands of Malcolm Smith that sent Seattle to the Super Bowl. It was the same end zone too.

That Giants turnover was the turning point. Seattle never looked back as they plowed down the Giants with their running game. Christine Michael hit one up the gut for 18-yards; then Wilson dashed for 11 more and Marshawn Lynch ate up chunks of 17-yards, and finally three yards for the score to make it 24-17. 

The Giants were dead. On the next Seattle possession it was more of the same: Marshawn Lynch all day. Lynch gutted the Giants for 28-yards on the drive, including 16-yards on a touchdown run to blow the game open at 31-17. It was now a humiliating night for the Giants.

The Seahawks gorged the Giants for 350 yards on the ground and 510 yards of total offense. New York could do nothing with their running game since Rashard Jennings missed his fourth consecutive game with an injury. Andre Williams was his usual ineffective self.

At 3-6 it looks over for the Giants. They get the 49ers next week at the Meadowlands. The 49ers are in no great shakes themselves, but they did beat the Saints today in overtime. This is likely Tom Coughlin's last stand -- even though this is not all his fault.