Cheers & Boos

New York Native Jake Stevens

It was an emotional weekend for many people on the 10th Anniversary of 9-11, remembering everything that happened that day that changed our lives and our country forever.  I had flown back from a college football road trip weekend in Texas the day before, slept in and was late to my job in SoHo, a section of Manhattan just north of the financial district.  I still remember coming out of the N train subway stop at Prince Street and seeing thousands of New Yorkers walking uptown.  I didn’t know why but found out soon enough…they had escaped from the towers, but sadly, nearly 3,000 others didn’t.

I didn’t need tragedy to provide perspective.  I knew sports were just games before the towers fell.  But I can also say sports helped me move forward.  When the Mets returned to the playing field 10 days later and Mike Piazza homered against the rival Braves to win the first game back, it gave me a chance to feel good about something again, to allow myself to smile, to laugh, to cheer.  It was a reminder that although I wouldn’t forget what happened, it was ok for me to start living again.

CHEERS for all the 9-11 tributes held throughout the sports world.

Nick Mangold of the NY Jets shows his support on 9/11

CHEERS for the NFL ignoring its own rules and allowing players to wear patriotic uniform modifications.
LOUD BOOS to MLB for refusing to allow the NY Mets to wear FDNY and NYPD hats during Sunday night’s game to honor those who died attempting to save lives.  According to player rep Josh Thole, Mets management instructed them not to violate the policy and intimated MLB threatened to come down hard on the organization if they did.
DEAFENING BOOS to MLB for having Joe Torre, who managed the Yankees in 2001, is a respected figure in New York City and now works for MLB, deliver a statement attempting to justify the decision.  “Certainly it’s not a lack of respect,” Torre said. “We just felt all the major leagues are honoring the same way with the American flag on the uniform and the cap. This is a unanimity thing.”  Decorum on this blog prohibits me from saying what I really feel about that quote.
CHEERS for the Michigan Wolverines, who rallied from a 17-point deficit in the 4th quarter to shock rival Notre Dame, 35-31.  In one of the wildest finishes in the history of college football, Michigan took the lead, 28-24, with 1:12 left, saw Notre Dame surge back in front, 31-28, with 30 seconds left, then went 80 yards in two plays to score the winning touchdown.  In the words of the late, great Jack Buck, “I don’t believe, what I just saw.”
CONCERN for Minnesota coach Jerry Kill, who is showing signs of improvement after suffering a seizure during the Gophers game against New Mexico State.
CHEERS for the Baltimore Ravens, who forced a team-record seven turnovers in a 35-7 pasting of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
CHEERS for the Buffalo Bills, who thrashed Kansas City, 41-7, scoring more than 40 points in an opener for the first time since 1992.  Not surprisingly, it was the Chiefs worst season-opening loss in team history.
CHEERS for the Houston Texans, who hammered the Peyton Manning-less Colts, 34-7.
BOOS to Kerry Collins, signed to fill in for Manning, who fumbled on consecutive snaps in the 1st quarter to help set up Texans touchdowns.
CHEERS for the Minnesota Vikings going with the youth movement at quarterback, upgrading from 41-year-old Brett Favre to 34-year-old Donovan McNabb.
BOOS to McNabb, who completed just 7 of 15 passes for 39 yards passing (39 is the correct number, that’s not a typo) as the Vikings lost to the San Diego Chargers, 24-17.
BOOS to the Chargers as well, who fired their special teams coach after last season, then gave up a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start this season.
CHEERS for NY Jets defensive back Isaiah Trufant, who was promoted from the practice squad Saturday, then returned a blocked punt for a touchdown with five minutes left to tie the game against the Dallas Cowboys.
CHEERS for NY Jets kicker Nick Folk, who was released by the Cowboys two years ago and kicked the game-winning, 50-yard field goal against Dallas.
BOOS to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who fumbled at the goal line when the Cowboys were about to take a 10-point lead midway through the final quarter, then threw a horrific interception directly to Darrelle Revis with less than a minute left, setting up Folk’s heroics.

Flashback - infamous meltdown at 2009 U.S. Open

BOOS to Serena Williams, who lost her cool, then lost the US Open Final to Samantha Stosur.  Already down a set, Williams came unglued after a controversial ruling when she yelled during a point early in the second set.  She argued with chair umpire Eva Asderaki and accused her of being out to get her, then defended her right to rant by saying, “We’re in America last time I checked.”  At least she didn’t threaten to stuff a ball down Asderaki’s throat.
CHEERS for all those who defend this great nation, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom and safety.


-Jake Stevens

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