Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sports this 'n' that

Headed into a home match today vs. Canisius, the University at Albany's men's lacrosse team is ranked #1 in the country at 6-0. They've already beaten Syracuse and Maryland, for starters. Unlike their basketball & football brethren, however, UAlbany doesn't have a radio deal for lacrosse, though some games did air on local cable before Spectrum merged their news & sports channels together last year. Keep up the good work, guys. You're making the home district proud!
High school baseball & lacrosse season starts in 2 weeks. Due to Easter being on April Fool's Day (4/1), the first week of games will be early afternoon matinees with the schools otherwise closed for spring/Easter vacation. The colleges are on Spring Break this week.

Later in April, Joe Bruno Stadium and the Tri-City Valleycats will host the annual Friday Night Lights high school baseball series. Three weeks of double-headers, scheduled for April 20-May 4, barring rainouts. The only game announced so far is the first half of the April 20 double-dip, a Colonial Council matchup between Watervliet and LaSalle. It'll be a home game for the Cadets. The rest of the schedule will be officially made public the week of April 16, but all you need to do, really, is scan the league schedules (Colonial, Suburban, etc.) to see when your teams are booked for the Joe. Crossing fingers that LaSalle isn't the only hometown school playing at Bruno Stadium this time.
What goes into the mind of a veteran NFL coach like the Patriots' Bill Belichick?

New England doesn't believe in continuity. Local product Dion Lewis took the money and ran to Tennessee, for example. Danny Amendola went to Miami, and his Wikipedia page was sabotaged by angry, butt-hurt Patriot fans. Jeremy Hill comes over from Cincinnati to replace Lewis, but watch. Belichick may have just given new Titans coach Mike Vrabel a means to unseat the Pats as the beasts of the AFC. Remember, Belichick let LeGarrette Blount walk last spring, and now he has a 2nd Super Bowl ring after New England fell to Philadelphia last month. There's no guarantees that Julian Edelman, who missed the season with an injury, will be 100% ready by July, when training camp opens. Sure, New England picked up defensive lineman Danny Shelton (Cleveland) to shore that up, but what difference does it make, then, if everyone else catches up to New England in the coming season? Not everything works for the best.
So the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) represented the America East in the NCAA tournament on the men's side, and went further than UAlbany was ever allowed to go, reaching the 2nd round before being eliminated. The Lady Danes finished their season with a one-&-done in the women's NIT, so they still have a glass ceiling to overcome.
So the Jets took a turn on the QB carousel, picking up Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota), while retaining Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, & Christian Hackenburg. The Vikings also parted with Case Keenum and Sam Bradford, with Kirk Cousins taking over as the starting quarterback. Apparently, the team's ownership decided to go el scrimpo on all three of their 2017 QB's. That will cost them. Trust me on that.
Back at home, when the Albany Empire take the field for their first Arena Football League game at Times Union Center on April 14, there'll be some local talent on the field. Wade Hansen (Tamarac High/University of West Virginia/RPI) and former Troy High star Jordan Canzeri, who played his college ball at Iowa, have signed with the Empire. Both played in Japan (!) last season. They may not be the last Section II products to sign with the Empire or any AFL team before this is all said and done.
Local Mets fans will have it easier to find radio broadcasts of the team's games this season. Pamal Broadcasting, which took over some former Albany Broadcasting properties, has moved Mets games to WROW (590 AM), which now has mostly talk radio. I can remember the days when WROW AM meant muzak. Seriously.

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