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You be the Judge
NY Giants coach turning heads
Good morning all! Hope you are having a great midweek!!!
New York Giants first-year head coach Joe Judge is turning heads. After the team’s 1-7 start, players subscribed to Judge’s philosophy big time and have won four straight games, including an upset victory at Seattle on Sunday, 17-12.
I’ll admit, I was one of those critical of the Giants in earlier newsletters, but they are making me a believer, now that they are in first place in the NFC East. You can even make the case that the division, which does not have a team with a winning record, is no longer inept. After all, wasn’t that Washington that defeated the previously unbeaten Steelers Monday night in Pittsburgh?
The Giants and Washington have identical 5-7 records, but New York wins the tie breaker, having defeated Washington in two matchups this season.
But back to Judge. He has the club playing good, old-fashioned, smash-mouth football. The defense, under coordinator Patrick Graham - who hails from Waterbury, CT - has been tough. And the offense, under former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, has found its mojo, playing the type of ball-control that epitomized the era of coach Bill Parcells. Here are some numbers on which to chew:
The defense is eighth in the NFL in points allowed
They have the 11th fewest penalties
In their four-game win streak they have made only two turnovers, while forcing the opposition to commit 10.
The Giants finish up with Arizona, Cleveland, Baltimore and Dallas, no easy task, but each game is also winnable. Perhaps the tide has turned for the Giants, after going through three coaches in four seasons, before Judge’s arrival. The jury is still out on this coach, but early deliberations seem to favor how this former Bill Belichick assistant is handling the job.
Remembering John Lennon
Forty years ago this morning, America awoke to the news that former Beatle John Lennon had been shot to death outside of his New York City apartment the night before, Dec. 8, 1980. I remember it like yesterday. I was working morning radio at the time on WSNG in Torrington, CT, and that was obviously the dominant news story and topic of discussion.
The news of Lennon’s death was broken by Howard Cosell, during the broadcast of Monday Night Football on ABC. What a twist of fate that it would be Cosell, breaking the tragic news to the world.
In an excellent piece (paywall) by Rustin Dodd on The Athletic website, the author writes about Cosell’s relationship with Lennon. The iconic sports journalist had interviewed him on prior occasions, including during the halftime of a Dec. 9, 1974 game between Washington and the LA Rams. Standing next to each other, behind Cosell, were Lennon and then California Gov. Ronald Reagan, an unthinkable duo if there ever was one. Reagan, who played and loved football and broadcast baseball before his Hollywood days, was explaining football to Lennon, when Cosell asked Lennon to be a halftime guest.
Although not a rabid sports fan, Lennon understood American sports and had remarked to Cosell in a prior interview how much he enjoyed watching him on TV. In the interview, Lennon told Cosell the NFL made “rock concerts look like tea parties.” He also compared the NFL to rugby:
“The goals are the same. They have points the same, They have to get a touchdown the same. But they don’t have the scrum here, where both teams really punch each other, you know?”
Imagine that six years after this interview, the man who would relax on his sofa listening to Bing Crosby records, would be dead, tragically cut down outside his apartment. Like Crosby, Lennon’s music and how he and the Beatle’s revolutionized the industry, will live forever.
The “Clown Prince of Baseball”
He was the “Clown Prince of Baseball,” entertaining crowds in between innings of minor league games with zany, on field antics. Before there was the “Famous Chicken” or “Philly Phanatic” there was Max Patkin. In 1984, I interviewed Patkin and he was terrific. In my latest The Baseball Beat podcast, I resurrect the interview I did with Max, and you can hear it by clicking on the show art below.
Well, that is it for today. As always, thank you for your support and if you know of someone who might like to subscribe to my newsletter, forward this email and link that is listed below.