Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Today's menu: Syracuse hoops revival, Derek Jeter's anger, John Lennon's passing

After eight lackluster performances in which the Syracuse Orange men barely survived the likes of basketball powerhouses Detroit and William & Mary and looked like the most suspect ranked-team in the land, they finally snapped out of it, crushing a very, very good Michigan State squad, 72-58, at their home-away-from Dome, Madison Square Garden. SU still has many flaws it must work on (perimeter shooting is concern No. 1), but this game showed that the Cuse is very talented and very tenacious on defense. (For more on Orange hoops, please check out my weekly Syracuse basketball column at Channel 8’s website: )


Derek Jeter said he was angry at being portrayed as greedy. Sorry, Derek but, with nearly 10 percent of the country unemployed and many others worried about joining those the ranks of the jobless, few people are going to feel your pain. Especially after the Yankees just rewarded you with a three-year extension for $51 million despite the fact that your work performance declined dramatically this past week. Take a moment to study your Yankees history, and you'll learn how shabbily they treated Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle during contract negotiations after seasons far superior to yours. Just be grateful and keep your trap shut.


I see where Sylvester Stallone is going to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota next summer for his portrayals of the fictional, rags-to-riches boxer, Rocky Balboa. Does that mean Robert Redford and Kevin Costner will soon be eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame?


It’s hard to fathom that John Lennon’s been gone for 30 years. Seems like only yesterday, I was watching Monday Night Football when, in a truly surreal moment, Howard Cosell told us that the famous Beatle had been gunned down outside his New York City apartment. Mark David Chapman may have killed this genius, but, thankfully, Lennon’s music lives on. Sadly, though, Chapman did rob us of even more brilliant music by Lennon and the cataclysmic Beatles reunion that eventually would have taken place.


Speaking of Monday Night Football, I was saddened by the passing of Don Meredith the other day. Football broadcasts were never as entertaining as they were in the 1970s and ‘80s with Frank Gifford, Cosell and Dandy Don in the ABC booth. Meredith, of course, was famous for singing Willie Nelson’s “Turn Out the Lights, The Party’s Over” during the final quarters of routs and he was especially good at putting the megalomaniacal Cosell in his place. I’ll never forget watching the waning moments of a Monday night game when the camera zoomed in on a drunken fan who had passed out in the empty seats of the upper deck of a stadium during a lopsided contest. At the last second, the drunk regained consciousness and upon seeing the camera, stuck out his middle finger. Without missing a beat, Dandy Don told the viewers who had bothered to stick with the telecast: “Folks, he’s just telling us we are No. 1.”


Some personal business: My condolences to longtime friend and colleague Frank Bilovsky, who recently lost his mom a month shy of her 100th birthday. Imagine all the extraordinary events and changes she witnessed in her lifetime. On a happier note, my congratulations to my niece, Laura O’Brien, who just got engaged to Donnie Smith, a former Rochester Americans player and all-around good guy, and to my longtime friend Matt Michael, who was engaged during Thanksgiving. To Laura & Donnie and Matt and robin, may your marriages be filled with incredible happiness and love.


Maxamillion said...

My dear Scribe,
After partaking in your Syracuse University's basketball victory over the State University at Lansing Michigan, I was filled with resplendent enthusiasm after witnessing Coleman, Derrick perspiring next to Mr. McNamara.
Having said that......
GO ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!

Scott Pitoniak said...

I think Derrick gets more excited now than when he was playing for the Orange. They still have a ways to go, but that was a BIG win.