Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sports this 'n' that

Troy High's boys soccer team won a grand total of 3 games in its first two seasons in the Suburban Council. Headed into tonight's home match vs. Columbia, coach Mike Murnane's club already has 2 wins on the season, the latest a non-league win over Newburgh Free Academy on Sunday, which I didn't know about until I saw a box score in yesterday's Albany Times-Union. Kevin Vargas did all the scoring for the Flying Horses in a 5-3 win, snapping a 2 game losing streak. Troy will be at Bethlehem on Thursday, then back home for a Saturday night special vs. Niskayuna. Currently, Troy sits at 2-3 overall (1-3 in league play). Maybe they'll be a sleeper come sectionals next month? We'll see.
The Capital District Bowling Proprietors Association (CDBPA) is keeping their weekly show off the air this season while they try to figure out a few things. Here's an idea. Cut the fees down to a reasonable level, and the number of entries per week will go up.

Capital Region Bowling has been on the air on 2 different channels over the course of 15 seasons (2002-17), but there's too much lead time between when the show is taped and when it airs. I'm old enough to remember WRGB's iconic TV Tournament Time, which would tape on Friday nights, and be on the air less than 48 hours later, especially after they put bowling lanes at the station's studios in Niskayuna.

The point is, if the CDBPA wants to get the show back on the air, they need to make significant changes.

1. Lower the entry fees for each tournament. I've read where it's as much as $50 per entry. They would allow league bowlers to qualify in league play via a handicap system, which cost significantly less ($10 the last I knew). To attract more bowlers, the scratch fees for the deep pocketed high rollers would be lowered to $25, and handicap tournaments would be no more than about $20.

2. Tapings have been on Sunday afternoons prior to that night's league play. The only change would be to reduce the lead time from tape to air to 1 week, not 2-3, as has been the norm.

3. WNYA, the most recent home of Capital Region Bowling, if it decides to welcome back the CDBPA, should move the program back to a more reasonable time, say around noon, where TV Tournament Time usually aired back in the day.

4. Increased promotion. WNYA didn't run a lot of commercials, but then, the CDBPA wasn't buying enough time for ads, just enough for a weekly show.
Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books, and, oh, is it ever wack.

Consider this. Buffalo (AFC East), Jacksonville (AFC South), and the Los Angeles Rams (NFC West) all lead their divisions after 1 week. Now, we know Buffalo won't stay on top for very long. Miami has yet to play, and New England has assorted issues after losing their opener. The Rams, I think could make a run, now that 2nd year QB Jared Goff has had the training wheels taken off, as Indianapolis found out on Sunday, for the playoffs. Like, the NFC West could have both NFC Wild Cards this season, but, again, it's too early.

As for Jacksonville, so far, the early pre-season upsets have not been flukes after all. They may have given Kansas City the blueprint on how to beat New England, for all we know.

Meanwhile, ESPN's resident idiot, Stephen A. Smith, sounded off on Twitter after Detroit's Matthew Stafford threw a pick-6 on his first pass of the season vs. Arizona. Then, the Lions came back and beat the Cardinals. So, of course, Detroit fans had their fun with the First Take co-host. However, the next night, Suzy Kolber and the Monday Night Countdown crew, given a chance to have a few laughs at the Cosell wannabe's expense, gave him a pass in the C'mon Man! segment, which would've been more appropriate, not even mentioning Smith's ill-timed throwing of shade at Stafford, who signed a phat contract in the off-season.

Now we know why New York Daily News media columnist Bob Raissman refers to ESPN as the Bristol Clown Community College. This, though, should've been the general reaction to Smith's latest social media gaffe:

Like, c'mon, man!!

Smith's arrogance will remind folks of radio tool Mike Francesa, who thinks he knows everything, too, and often gets called out on it.
Speaking of the Daily News, their sportswriters are under the impression that the Jets are tanking on purpose this season with the goal of getting the #1 draft pick next spring. I don't think that could actually happen. Yes, the Jests did cut salary in the offseason by making some stupid decisions, but I don't think going 0-16 is the goal here. If head coach Todd Bowles had any idea this would be the case, would he preside over such garbage? No.
The NFL is looking to overturn an injunction blocking their suspension of Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott, this after Elliott ran for 104 yards the Cowboys' win over the Giants on Sunday. Good luck with that, but the pettiness that runs in the commissioner's office suggests that, one way or another, they'll enforce the suspension anyway, which is tantamount to abuse of authority. The courts cleared Elliott of charges of domestic abuse, so why can't the NFL? They've come too far in their irrational handling of such matters to actually do the right thing in the first place, such that they'll eventually drive viewers away.

Quite frankly, commissioner Roger Goodell should've fallen on his sword after the Tom Brady mess, but it's clear he hasn't learned thing one from that.
Finally, in WWE news, congratulations to Intercontinental champ/reality star Michael "The Miz" Mizanin, and his wife, Maryse, who announced on Monday Night Raw that they're expecting their first child. Now, WWE Uncreative has to figure out who should beat the Miz for the IC title so he can go on paternity leave in a few months. Meanwhile, the Mizanins' Total Divas castmate, Nikki Bella, will be on Dancing With The Stars starting next week. Two other WWE personalities have competed on Dancing previously. Stacy Keibler finished 3rd behind Drew Lachey and NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice in the spring of 2006. Chris Jericho finished somewhere in the top 10 as well a few years later.

The biggest problem for Bella isn't the prospect of fiancee John Cena in the audience, taking attention away from her (not likely until after the No Mercy PPV), but rather Drew Lachey's brother, Nick, and his actress-wife, Vanessa, who are also in the field. Don't say I didn't warn you, but I don't see Nikki winning. Just sayin'.

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