Archive for category Sports
If you can’t work up enough rooting interest for either the New England Patriots in their quest for yet another NFL title, nor for the Atlanta Falcons’ shot at their very first one, there’s always the enticement of tailgate-style food and beverage and the persistent distraction of lavishly produced TV commercials.
Plenty of wagering opportunities abound too! If the point spread or the over/under of total points scored don’t interest you, there exist dozens of proposition bets to take advantage of that often don’t even involve actual game elements at all. The betting opportunities seem to become more unique and fascinating each year. The over/under for running time of the national anthem, first song performed at halftime, the opening coin toss, and what flavor Gatorade dumped on the winning coach are just some of the usual prop bets available to even the most casual fan willing to drop a dime or two.
Since my alma mater has the distinction of having the most players of any other school participating in the game this year (a fifth player is on injured reserve, yielding a total of four, tied with Alabama and Stanford) I’m throwing around a few Rutgers University themed prop bets to enhance the Super Bowl LI festivities.
First consider Atlanta receiver Mohamed Sanu. He’s a versatile enough player to have a whole prop bet tip sheet devoted solely to him. He’s been known throughout his scholastic and college career to lineup at quarterback on gadget plays to throw for a touchdown as well fun or catch for one. He plays special teams at times also.
I’m not an odds maker so I’ve arbitrarily assigned point values to various outcomes loosely based on level of difficulty. Take a a drink for each one if you are so inclined, or, if not, grab a chicken wing, dip some nacho chips, cheeseburger sliders, whatever.
Scores the first TD of the game. 2 pts.
Throws a pass for a first down or a TD or 2 pt conversion 3pts.
Catches a pass for a first down or a TD or 2 pt conversion 2pts.
Runs for a first down or a TD or 2 pt conversion 2pts.
Adjust the point totals as you see fit. If Sanu has a big day and you drink a shot for each big play, you could overindulge big time.
Rutgers Defensive Players
Logan Ryan, Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon all play defense for the Patriots, making for some unusual possible combination prop bets.
Two or more players each recover a turnover (fumble or interception). 3 pts.
Two or more players each score a touchdown (most likely involving a turnover). This could apply to both sides if Sanu were to score in addition to his former college teammates also scoring on defense. 3-4 pts.
Blocked punt, PAT or field goal
Touchdown or two point conversion.
QB Sack (extra bonus its if accomplished by three or four different players). 2-6 pts.
Sanu draws a pass interference penalty committed by a former college teammate covering him, or vice versa. This could interesting as I think I read that Logan Ryan and Sanu roomed together in college. 2 pts.
A Rutgers player scores the game winner. 3 pts.
A Rutgers player ends the game with the final play, i.e. game winning score, turnover, tackle/sack, exhausts the game clock running/catching the ball. 2 pts.
On-air specific mention of “Scarlet Knight(s)” or the full official name of the school, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. 1-2 pts.
Oh, and if there is either a play review or red flag challenge, you must run to the refrigerator and grab a snack, bathroom break, walk the dog/cat, etc. and make it back before the next play. 3 pts.
For the record, I think the Pats will win but I’m pulling for a Falcons upset and Mohamed Sanu MVP. But would be just as happy if one of the Scarlet Knight Patriots get MVP as well.
“For Amusement Only”
Featuring the Pete Dawkins retro bobblehead! Go Army v Morgan State! 🇺🇸
1) Ages 9 to 90+ can play. If you understand the basics of NFL football you can learn the game. If you’re old, young, short, tall, fat, played for your school, or never suited up for real at all, you can learn the game from a actual nationwide rule book that includes virtually every element of the actual game- running, passing, kicking, defense, etc. The game is a great social equalizer yet steeped in gridiron tradition.
2) Somebody in the neighborhood has one of these from their childhood that they got as a Christmas gift or birthday present, etc. Almost everyone is familiar with these games but few of us learned out how to play it in way true to the actual “real” pro game. If you can assemble chess pieces on a board you can set up a game, set up leagues, run tournaments, etc.
3) Even if the board from your childhood is all busted up, you can build your own, or, if you are handy with tools, fix up and remodel the one you already got.
4) Maybe your favorite NFL team changed their uniforms and you hate it as much as I hate “midnight green”? With some hobby store paints you can relive the days of your favorite era. The kelly green and silver of Wilbert Montgomery, Reggie White and Randall Cunningham lives again!
5) A grown man can still wear his favorite football jersey even if he’s not going to a real game. Heck, if you’re a fiftysomething Cincinnati Bengals fan you can wear an Ickey Woods jersey and it’s OK. No millennial would dare ask who or even what an Ickey Woods is.
6) You don’t need cable subscription, or the latest Xbox, Playstation, Sega Genesis console.
7) No commercials. No Joe Buck either. Heck, if someone brings a decent enough sound system to wherever basement or upstairs bar lounge is hosting the thing there’s bound to be people there who think they can do a better job than him (and they might be right).
8) Did I say no cable subscription? But again, if someone comes equipped with a modern enough flat screen TV, some “cabling” cables and camcorder or cellphone cam you’re good to go. Put the highlights on YouTube. Highlights yes, but no video reviews of controversial calls are necessary because all players “freeze” to a full stop in their molded plastic bases at the end of every play.
9) No personal seat license fees required. Whether someone caters, brings their own or not, etc. food and beverage prices are way better that those at the stadium. No parking passes either, unless a tournament is going on at the Waldorf, where you have to tip valet parking?
10) No need to search for a league commissioner with a gajillion dollar $alary to arbitrate on PEDs, unauthorized OTAs, deflated balls, etc. Someone with a great looking board, a case full of beautifully painted players and social skills pertinent to effective event planning a must. Much better off without Roger Goodell.
11) The sport is the real deal and is trending. ESPN even hired an award winning filmmaker to do a short documentary about a neighborhood group who formed their own organized league. You can watch it HERE:
It’s one tier below Major League, but Coca-Cola Park in Allentown PA is one of the greatest places in North America to take in some baseball on a warm summer day. It is the home field of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA affiliate of our Philadelphia Phillies. The team’s colorful name, stadium signage, and sometimes wacky uniform logos reflect the heritage of the area’s steel and iron and coal mining industries.
The stadium seats slightly under 10,000 spectators and affords a reasonably priced opportunity to see players possibly destined for careers in MLB. Shown upper, left, is shortstop J. P. Crawford on the scoreboard. The home team went on to win big 16-1 v the Durham NC Bulls. However, things got a bit more tense as the night wore on with Crawford getting brushed back by a ball thrown tight inside, resulting in the pitcher’s ejection from the game, upper, right. After the game’s on-field fireworks, fans stayed around for a nice display of colorful, aerial summer night pyrotechnics, lower, left. The next day saw the IronPigs drop a Sunday afternoon game to the Bulls. Shown, lower, right, is outfielder Cedric Hunter just before hitting a home run during the game.
And, yes, that is a strip of bacon painted on the field behind home plate! In fact, the food vendors at this ballpark serve some of the best comfort food in all of baseball. Obviously bacon is served up in various varieties, along with roasted corn on the cob and very fresh soft pretzels. The sausage and pepper and bratwurst come with thick soft rolls sliced right in the middle so that your sandwich filling doesn’t squirt out the end of a squishy long roll. I hate when that happens! The gyros are absolutely delicious.
It is worthwhile to stay in nearby Bethlehem where you can explore the town’s historical areas and eating establishments between baseball outings. Happy Summer ’16!
Unless you’re a Temple University football fan, there hasn’t been much to cheer about if you live in the NJ/NY/PA region. Unlike the NFL’s bacchanalian Super Bowl finale, the college football season rolls out a huge variety of main events over the course of the holiday season. After Thanksgiving, regional champions emerge from the various conference championship games, with Temple traveling to Houston for the AAC title. Heading towards Christmas and the New Year, its bowls, bowls, bowls- some major, some (very) minor. It all culminates in college football’s own version of a superduper bowl playoff involving the nation’s top four teams ultimately decided by a committee. Yes, a committee. How else would a democracy made up of bookies, parlay players, fantasy team owners, beer, chilli and bratwurst infused tailgaters decide a thing of such import?
Of course, long before there ever was a Conference Championship weekend there was always the Army-Navy classic, usually (but not always) played in Philadelphia, as it will be a week from this Saturday. Navy is a huge favorite, having been a contender all season long to challenge Temple and Houston for a shot at the AAC trophy.
Army has struggled to win games the past few seasons, as is the case with my alma mater, Rutgers University, who have ended the season looking for a new head coach. Obviously, any competition involving the service academies is so much more than a game, as witnessed during a family trip to West Point, where Rutgers earned a too-close-for-comfort victory over the cadets on a beautiful fall afternoon.
The campus at West Point, NY is appropriately lauded in sports media as a truly special place to witness a college football game, and a trip there is a must for any sports fan. I would also like to express my appreciation for our armed services personnel and convey my gratitude to their commitment to the security of our nation, as we strive to maintain our legacy of liberty and freedom for future generations.
Lastly, I’d like to offer encouragement to my Delaware Valley University baseball family as they begin another drive to become the “DIII Beast In The East” on the diamond.
As in Baltimore Orioles “O’s” orange, as we try to squeeze out a few more days and nights from the fleeting summer…
Our home team Phillies and our sentimental AL favorite Orioles both stand outside looking in at the playoff picture this year. But a visit to Camden Yards seldom disappoints, despite a lengthy rain delay during Saturday’s afternoon middle game of the series versus defending league champion Kansas City Royals.
View of Friday night batting practice from the hotel room 11th floor. A black and orange sweatshirt giveaway brought in a sellout crowd so we settled for room view. O’s win on the strength of two grand slams in one inning.
The afternoon started out promising with a scarf giveaway…
After a two hour rain delay, it was time to “play ball”. As we’d already bought tickets for the following night’s game, I was hoping it would’ve been called, making way for a split game doubleheader. I remember our family going to real “twi-nighters” years ago. Many
O’s fans had already left with their scarves but a large contingent of Royals fans who had made the trip in were delighted with a sloppily played game won by the visitors behind the nine RBI of Mike Moustakas. Nick Markakis, incidentally, has flown the O’s nest for Atlanta but I don’t think it would’ve helped this particular evening. That packable L.L. Bean rain hoody is worth every penny though.
Third Baseman Manny Machado. Nice view from the lower part of the upper deck.
Lower level. ESPN nationally televised game.
The hot dog vendor steps up his game. And the lower level seats have cupholders!
Orange sky at night, O’s fan delight as the home teams takes two out of three for the weekend!
As I’ve mentioned before, Orioles Park in Baltimore might be my favorite out of town sports trip destination. So it was especially painful to learn of yet another Phils defeat at the hands of their I-95 rivals to the tune of a 19-3 blowout. But as Philly sports fans know full well, as bad as things are, they can always get worse.
Apparently, it got so bad that the Phils started running out of relief pitchers and resorted to having one of their outfielders pitch a couple innings. When he got tired, the pitching coach called for some arms in the bullpen to get up and throwing. However, the push button phone in the bullpen was off the hook! The pictures below are courtesy of phillymag.com and, as you can see, waving a white towel to get your pitching staff’s attention in the absence of decent telecommunication service is NOT a good idea!
Heck, buy a kid a hot dog and get him to run a note over for ya! And with all due respect to the O’s and Phils coaching staff, as quaint and beautiful Baltimore’s ballpark is with all its retro-nostalgic glory, maybe it’s time that ballparks upgraded their bullpen phones to 21st century touch screens.
Well, whatever. Let’s face it…
Phillies Rally Towel Giveaway Night Has Been Postponed ‘Til Further Notice!
I got this nifty rally towel during the O’s win v the Tigers during last year’s divisional playoff. During previous seasons I’ve scored a Manny Machado bobblehead and an Eddie Murray statue. But ultimately we truly hope that our own hometown Phils show signs of getting things turned around sometime soon.