Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sports this 'n' that

So the Buffalo Bills dumped the Ryan twins, Rex & Rob, on Tuesday, with one game left in the season. The Pegulas couldn't wait any longer, and reached a mutual agreement with Rex, who some say might be better suited for television instead of another head coaching job. Rob, meanwhile, may be done, as he's been jettisoned from his 3rd different team in the last decade (Dallas, New Orleans), and might be better served in the college ranks going forward.

The Bills close the season at the Meadowlands on New Year's Day against the Jets, hoping to avoid a season sweep. You'll recall the Bills swept the Jets in 2015, but it's looking like it could go the other way this time. However, the Jets have chosen to go with past-his-prime Ryan Fitzpatrick for the finale at QB over rookie Christian Hackenburg after Bryce Petty was placed on injured reserve, also on Tuesday.

That decision alone might seal Todd Bowles' fate after 2 seasons (remember, he was signed to replace Rex Ryan with the Jets), due to his reluctance to use Hackenburg even in garbage time, similar to Jeff Fisher's refusal to use top draft pick Jared Goff, and that, more than a sub .500 record, led to Fisher's departure in Los Angeles earlier this month. Color Bowles gone come Monday, win or lose.
Meanwhile, after Jacksonville had sacked Gus Bradley last week, speculation had them talking to their original head coach, Tom Coughlin, about a reunion with the Jaguars. Now, with Ryan gone, Coughlin's name has come up in Buffalo, and you can bank on the tabloid press in New York stirring the pot for a return to the Meadowlands if in fact the Jets send Bowles packing next week. Just sayin'.
Some jabroni posted on a WWE fan blog about 2 1/2 weeks ago claiming that the Big Show (Paul Wight) had died in an auto accident. Nuh-uh. The former champ is alive and well and training for a likely match with ex-NBA star and current Icy Hot salesman Shaquille O'Neal for Wrestlemania 33 in April. The only thing Show has lost of late has been weight, and lots of it, tipping the scales at last check at under 400 pounds. Trust me, that'll help him in Hollywood if in fact his wrestling days are nearing the end........
Nothing speaks to the state of print journalism in 2016 than the lack of coverage of yesterday's games in the Niskayuna-Schenectady Mohawks hockey tournament at Union College. LaSalle avenged a final round loss to Essex Junction of Vermont in last year's final with a 4-3 verdict Tuesday afternoon, while host Niskayuna-Schenectady finished last in their own tournament, losing to West Seneca in the consolation game.

The scores weren't posted on Section II's hockey page until well after the LaSalle-Essex Junction game had ended, but as of this writing, it's still not complete, and that, perhaps, is the reason why there is no box score in either The Record or the Albany Times-Union this morning. Each paper will cite limited resources in terms of manpower availability, even though Monday's LaSalle-West Seneca game was on the front page of Tuesday's Times-Union sports section. Basketball at the high school level remains priority one during the winter season. In the case of The Record, their editorial staff chose not to assign a reporter for the tournament at all, this after the Cadets had finally gotten a feature article in the hometown paper a week ago. I don't think anything else needs be said.
Meantime, the December 21 bowling match at Uncle Sam Lanes between Troy High and Christian Brothers Academy went unreported as well. Given how Troy is locked in the basement of the Suburban Council in bowling, I'd guess they didn't want to embarrass themselves any further if CBA actually blew them out. Troy has yet to win a match this season, and likely won't until they hire a coach who actually knows and understands the game. Based on what I've heard from friends, and this is just ye scribe's opinion, mind you, it seems bowling has become so low a priority at Troy High, they'd have to discontinue it as a winter sport unless they can find someone who can treat this as something other than a casual side gig. Just sayin'.
Assuming CBA beat Troy on the lanes, it would salvage a horrific 24 hour period for the Brothers in the Collar City (December 20-21), which started with a 6-1 loss to LaSalle in hockey, and ended with a 15 point loss to Troy in basketball. CBA closes the regular season at home in the latter vs. Troy on Valentine's Day.

Meanwhile, Troy's boys host the annual Troy Holiday Classic basketball tournament tonight & tomorrow. Tonight's headline game, according to the Times-Union, at least, is a rematch of the Class A final from March between the Flying Horses and Lansingburgh. Troy, of course, is now in Class AA, so this will be the only meeting between the two schools this season. The women were supposed to play on December 10, but that game was cancelled for unknown reasons, presumably scheduling conflicts. The Troy girls dropped a heartbreaker to Glens Falls on 12/23, and will return to action on Friday, hosting Shaker.
While all six teams in the AFC playoff tournament have been finalized, the seedings have not. Well, at least they've a leg up on the NFC, which still has to decide the North division in the season's final game between Detroit and Green Bay. The Lions currently hold the #3 seed in the NFC, while Green Bay is the #6 seed. If Green Bay wins Sunday night, and Washington beats the 5th seeded Giants, then Green Bay moves to #3, and Washington would have to travel to Lambeau Field the following week. Granted, the AFC West hasn't been decided, either, pending the outcome of play on Sunday, with Oakland, currently holding the #2 seed in the AFC, playing Denver. If they lose, the Raiders would drop down to #5, with Kansas City winning the division and the #2 seed. Worse, a New England win over 6th seeded Miami would ensure that the road to the Super Bowl would again go through Foxborough.

After New England ran it up on the inept, injury-depleted Jets on Christmas Eve, maybe Bill Bellichump should apply for a college job should he ever leave the Patriots. Either that, or a few rules changes should be made to level the playing field.......

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