Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Stadium Closes

I can't believe Sept 21st is finally here. It is a weird feeling thinking that there will never be another game played at Yankee Stadium after tonight. (Unless a historic collapse by the Red Sox occurs.) Unfortunatly, I will be watching all the ceremonies and the game on TV, but this was the toughest ticket in town. I was lucky enough to go the last two nights and make sure I soaked everything in. I haven't written in the last few days because I have either been at the game or I have found it tough to actually write something meaningful on what Yankee Stadium means to me. It was really tough leaving yesterday knowing that I would never be coming back. There are so many great memories that I have had in the Stadium. Not even just seeing big, important playoff games but just going in June and being with either my parents (my mom was a good trooper and went to a bunch of games and would always stay till the end), or going with my friends. Yankee Stadium was just a great place to hangout and enjoy baseball.

The fact tonights game still means something, I know the season is over but they are still technically alive. It would have been awful for the final game at Yankee Stadium to be a truly meaningless game.

I am looking forward to the New Yankee Stadium next year, but I am still sad to see this one go. The new one will be amazing but I don't see how it can duplicate this place. I know the Stadium changed but it was the field where Mantle, Ruth, Gehrig, Dimmagio, and Munson played. I mean you can't duplicate that history, that will be gone. And I dont see how you can make the Stadium rock the way this one has. Where the upper deck would shake following a big moment and you half wondered if the old stadium would just collapse there. There are a lot of great memories that I will take from there.

I will spend hours today watching all the shows on ESPN, ESPN Classic, and YES about the Stadium, not watching football. I can't wait to see the return of Bernie Williams, he deserves a great ovation. Tonight is going to be a night where you get goosebumps, even sitting at home. The Yankees are going to put on a great show. *A side note, I read that the Yankees are not letting the players keep their game jerseys b/c they want to sell them. I find this to be truly ridiculous. The players should be allowed to keep them if they want, they basically told the players they will be arrested if they try to take them. That seems a bit unfair.* I will try to put some real thoughts about Yankee Stadium on paper during the week, including the top 10 games I ever watched there and the Top Games I ever attended there.

Lets go Yankees! Make sure the Stadium closes on a win, with Jeter putting the Yankees ahead and Mo closing it out 1-2-3.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Bretts Have a Chance

Eight minutes into this NFL season everything changed. When Pollard's body hit into Tom Brady's left knee and tore his ACL and MCL the whole NFL was turned upside down. The NFL lost one of its biggest stars and one of its ratings makers.

This has opened up the AFC East for a free for all. Going into the 2008 season- there was no chance that any of the other three teams could win the division but now they all have hope. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets have a great shot at stealing the division and since this is the NFL anything can happen and the Dolphins have some hope now too.

The Bills looked the best in week one, completly dominating the hapless Seahawks. But the Jets have Bret Favre and this gives them the best qb in the division and the best leader to try to get to the playoffs. He helps improve the running game as Thomas Jones already equaled last season's touchdown output in the first game.

This is not to say the Jets will definetly capture the East. It just says they have a thousand times better chance to do so now that Brady is out for the year. Would the feeling be so good if Chad Penningtons pass was a touchdown and not an interception with five seconds to go?Probably not but that didn't happen and a win is a win. The Jets have a chance to be 2-0, a very good chance.

I am also not saying the Patriots will be pushovers. They are still the team I would expect to see win the division. Matt Cassell may have not started a game since high school but the Pats still have a great defense and plenty of offensive weapons. They should still win 9 or 10 games this year with the defense and talent they have.

This Sunday's game will tell a lot. If the Jets don't win at home versus a Tom Bradyless Pat's team it will show their fans and them that they are still not on the same level. Even with all the changes and bringing in Brett Favre. We will learn a lot about the Jets, a win can energize the team and fanbase even more and show them that this injury has brought the Pats to their level. Look for the Jets to pull out a close one as Matt Cassell can't pull off the heroics that Tom Brady could.

The Final Home Stand

I cant believe this is it. As dissapointing as this season has been for the Yankees, the big story begining this week is the final home stand in Yankee Stadium History. This is not the way anyone in the Yankees orginization envisioned the season going. Everyone expected and wanted the final game to have Mariano Rivera closing out the final game of the World Series. That is clearly not happening now and it is obvious that Sept 21st will be the final game ever played in Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees havent handled the final season in the House that Ruth built the way everyone imagined. There havent been special ceremonies for legend players or for teams final time in the stadium. They have bungled the countdown lever puller during each game. The Yankees have enough former players and legends who could pull the countdown clock. There is no reason that Yankee Stadium staff or the GM of the Devils should be pulling the lever. There were almost enough guys at Old Timer's Day to do it once this year. Hopefully the Yankees have something big planned for this final week. A good start would be to have Bernie Williams come back and have the fans honor him the way he deserves.

This Cathedral of baseball will close its doors for the final time that night and along with it all the history and memories will be done. It is strange to think that there are only a handful of times that I will ever walk into the stadium on 161st street and River avenue. Ten games left to make a memory. There have been many great moments and some bad ones that have taken place in this building and plenty that I have witnessed. The Yankees are moving into a great new ballpark next year but this week is about the Stadium, not even the Yankees poor play can take away from that.

9/11/01- Never Forget

I know this blog is supposed to be about sports and mainly the Yankees and Baseball, but on the 7th anniversary of 9/11/01, I just want to make sure everyone takes some time out of their day and pays their respects to those victims of the horrible attacks. Our world changed forever that Tuesday afternoon and everyone should remember it. That morning was similar to this one in respects to the weather, except the Yankees were in first place. It even rained the day before, cancelling Roger Clemens chance at 20 wins. Walking by Ground Zero this morning, just like every morning I get chills and it is a reminder of the fact that people hate us for the freedom we enjoy.
No matter who you support in the 2008 election everyone is an American and we should all come together to mourn this terrible event.

*Some actual sports thoughts later tonight as the Yankees head to the final homestand and the Jets face the Bradyless Patriots