Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sports this 'n' that

Per James Allen of Spectrum (formerly Time-Warner Cable) Sports & the Albany Times-Union, Albany Academy for Boys will not play football within Section II this fall, opting instead for the New England Prep League. The Cadets have taken on more of an independent schedule, not beholden to any of Section II's leagues, for the last few years, though one of their more recent alums, running back Dion Lewis, won a Super Bowl last month with the New England Patriots. Anyone see a connection there? Just askin'.
Meanwhile, the Jets have signed journeyman quarterback Josh McCown as their likely new starter for 2017, or at least to compete with Bryce Petty & Christian Hackenburg. Geno Smith has swapped Jets green for Giants blue, as he moves across the hall, following behind receiver Brandon Marshall. Smith flamed out too quickly to suit Jets fans after being drafted out of West Virginia in 2013. McCown, like other wanderers, could use Hank Snow's "I've Been Everywhere" as his entrance music.......
One aspect of Charter Cable taking over Time-Warner and making with the name change to Spectrum Cable is the addition of channels like AXS-TV, the American broadcast home of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Problem is, for now, AXS-TV is a premium channel, meaning you'd have to pony up some extra cheddar to add the network. Now you know why my friend Ivan Shreve, Jr., proprietor of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, refers to Charter as "Charred-her". Just sayin'.
You knew the Mets wouldn't keep former Jets/Broncos QB Tim Tebow on the major league roster (he's not ready for that particular show), so he was sent down to the team's Class A affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina. Because of Tebow's celebrity status, dating back to his college days in Florida, SNY will track his progress throughout the season. So will ESPN & Fox Sports 1, just because.
Speaking of the Mets, pitcher Seth Lugo, catcher Rene Rivera, and infielder T. J. Rivera (no relation to Rene) could be bringing home the World Baseball Classic trophy at the end of the week, provided Puerto Rico wins the whole thing on Wednesday night. Puerto Rico is undefeated to this point (7-0), after beating the Netherlands. Team USA plays two-time WBC champ Japan tonight. After what I've seen of the Japanese team so far, with the Dominican Republic out of the picture, the US & Puerto Rico will have their hands quite full.

I wouldn't mind MLB Network getting domestic rights to Japanese pro baseball, would you?
So they found Tom Brady's lost Super Bowl jersey. Not just the one from last month, but also from two years ago. Seems a Mexican reporter is also a collector, as he also swiped other Super Bowl items. Convienently quit his job, claiming health problems, to try to cover up his crimes. Too late for that, pal, 'cause the horse has been brought back to the barn. All this jabroni did was prove President Trump has a point about building a wall.......
The WWE's Hall of Fame Class of 2017 is now complete, or so it'd seem, as there is still time for a last minute entry. The Class:

*--Kurt Angle: 1996 Olympic gold medalist parlayed amateur fame into a nearly 20 year pro career. There is talk of Angle lacing them up again in WWE, nearly 11 years after they cut him loose.

*--Beth Phoenix: The Buffalo native retired a few years back, then married fellow-Hall of Famer Adam "Edge" Copeland after winning a few women's/divas titles. Became one of a small, select group of women to compete in the Royal Rumble, eliminating India's Great Khali.

*--Rick Rude: Posthumous entry for the former IC & NWA International champion, who was taken from us too soon. Has the distinction of being with WWE, WCW, & ECW, all within the same calendar year, and for that matter on Nitro & Raw on the same night, the latter via videotape.

*--The Rock & Roll Express: Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson were the "teen idol" tag team in the NWA in the 80's, forever feuding with the Midnight Express. Ironically, the Midnights' manager, Jim Cornette, is returning to WWE to induct the Express, perhaps a sign that Cornette could get a HOF ring of his own one day.

*--Diamond Dallas Page: A late blooming success story, Page started as a heel manager in the AWA, but found his greatest success in WCW as both a manager and a wrestler, winning 3 world titles. Today, he might be better known for developing a successful yoga-based fitness training program.

*--Theodore Long: Referee-turned-manager-turned-on-screen authority figure, Long has also been involved in civic affairs in his hometown of Atlanta for many years. I guess he forgave the McMahons for publicly humiliating him so many times between 2008-16.

Also, the Warrior Award, named for the late Ultimate Warrior, will be presented to former Rutgers University star Eric LeGrand, whose football career ended with a paralyzing injury in 2010. Still, Topps honored him with a rookie card in 2012. Today, LeGrand is a motivational speaker.

Noticably missing from the list is former champion Ivan Koloff, who, surprisingly, for whatever reason, has not yet been inducted. Apparently, Vince McMahon couldn't be bothered to add Koloff as a last minute posthumous entry. Maybe next year.
10 days ago, the Section II football schedule, or at least a preliminary version of same, was released by the Albany Times-Union and other media outlets. Defending state Class AA champion Troy's schedule reads as follows:

September 1: vs. Columbia
September 8: @ Guilderland
September 15: @ LaSalle
September 22: vs. Bethlehem (homecoming night)
September 29: @ Schenectady
October 6: @ Shaker
October 13: vs. Colonie (senior night)

Just three home games on this year's schedule, but, considering that coach Bob "The Builder" Burns has not lost a home game in 2 seasons at Troy, going 11-0 over that span (12-0 if you can count the Class AA title game at RPI as a home game, which it should've been), maybe that's not so bad.

Troy just has to focus on spring sports now. Scrimmages are scheduled to start for lacrosse, softball, & baseball in the next few days, weather permitting, with the lacrosse opener scheduled for March 30 at home.

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