Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rex Ryan Tells 'Cheeseheads' To Watch Their Backs

By Tony Mangia

The head coach of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan, had his stomach tied up last spring to limit his intake of food and lose weight.  Too bad they didn't stitch his mouth shut so we wouldn't be prone to his press outtakes as well.  The Meadowlands mouth may have only been joking yesterday when he warned the cheesehead fans of Green Bay about venturing into the New Meadowlands Stadium or cheering for their beloved Packers in New York bars, but  knowing Jets fans, it could cause some trouble.

"I wouldn't want to wear Green Bay stuff coming to our stadium---no way," the human bobble head  said when he was asked about the throngs of green and gold wearing fans who are known for taking over huge chunks of stadium seats--home or away.

"This is our fans...our team," the coach stressed.  I don't know if a Packer fan would want to waste his time coming to this environment.  But if they travel well, they travel well.  We'll see.  As long as they travel home mad and disappointed with the game, that's fine with me."

Ryan didn't stop there.  He riled up Jets and Packer fans who might cross paths in their local sports bars. "I'm not saying go to your local establishment, but go to your local establishment. Hopefully they'll have the game on there (fans can) pound a couple of beers.  I'm not responsible if they pound someone wearing a Green Bay Packer (jersey).  I just want to make sure that's been documented."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Versus Cancelling Jenn Sterger's TV Show

By Tony Mangia


Versus Sports Network is cutting the cable on "The Daily Line" TV show, hosted by Jenn Sterger, for lousy ratings.  Sterger is the woman in the middle of the ongoing NFL investigation of Minnesota Viking quarterback Brett Favre concerning amorous voice mails and lewd photos sent to her two years ago.

Meier Raivich, a spokesperson for Versus, confirmed the cancellation of the out-of-bounds interactive sports show due to lack of interest.  In it's seven month run, "The Daily Line" was a ratings black hole averaging 53,000 viewers and a microscopic 0.06 rating.  The last show will be on Thursday, Nov. 4.

Even with all the publicity surrounding the NFL's investigation of Favre, the four-night-a-week show couldn't achieve decent ratings.  Sterger's manager said the canning was 'unfortunate' and "part of the business."

It remains to be seen if the perky host will discuss the Favre allegations on the show before it gets thrown off the air next week.  Sterger has so far refused to speak with NFL investigators about the 2008 voice mails and texts while denying reports she is looking to get a monetary settlement with the shamed QB.  Unemployment has always been a good incentive to change some one's mind about money.

While the former-Jets sideline "hostess" has gotten the boot and ponders her next career move, Favre is wearing one and wonders if his football legacy is over.  On Sunday, Favre will limp into a game against the Patriots on a broken ankle and his consecutive game streak on the line.

Versus, the only channel where you can find hippo-hunting, will replace "The Daily Line" with a hockey show.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mike Tyson To Join "The Hangover 2" Cast in Thailand

By Tony Mangia


Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will fly to Thailand next month to film "The Hangover 2."  The sequel to last year's monster hit comedy has been making headlines for recently firing Oscar-winning movie star Mel Gibson.  Cast members of TH2 refused to work with the troubled Gibson because of his well-publicized drunken and bigoted outbursts and a custody and cash battle with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Tyson, a convicted rapist and admitted wife-beater, did a deadpan portrayal of himself in the first movie and is being readily accepted by his cast mates.

Director Todd Phillips vowed to find a role for Tyson in the sequel.  "He's (Tyson) been texting me,"  said Phillips in the past, "We're going to find something for him."

In deference to his cast mates, Tyson said he 'd "One hundred  percent" work with Gibson.  "I'm not ever in my life point my finger at anyone," Tyson said, "I don't live in a glass house.  None of us do.  I work with anybody, as long as they're respectful," the ear-biting ex-fighter added.

While Tyson passed  the morals board at TH2,  Gibson  was released from his role as a tattoo artist.  Gibson was locked into the role until stars Zack Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper  and  Justin Bartha complained about Gibson's past incidents and alleged assault and threats to his ex. Phillips finally relented and fired the "Lethal Weapon" franchise.  Liam Neeson has reportedly replaced the ousted Gibson.

The Thailand backdrop with it's sex-slaves, AIDS epidemic and 12 year-old prostitutes should be a comedy goldmine for the remaining TH2 cast.

Tyson wants no part of the controversy.  "We all have that guy--a Mel Gibson--in us," he explained, "We just don't want people exposed to it.  Maybe he needs to get help.  I am not against him, but I'm not for him."

After he finishes filming in Thailand, Tyson will head perform the duties as the Chinese "Boxing Ambassador to the World" in December.  "I didn't even know what an ambassador was," confessed the Mao-tattooed Tyson, "When I think of ambassador, I think of living off the government and jet-setting with girlfriends."  Sounds like a good premise for "The Hangover 3."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Knicks Declare Billboard War On Nets

By Tony Mangia

The New York Knicks have taken action against the New Jersey Nets by placing a billboard on a warehouse near the Brooklyn construction site of the Nets' new arena...two years before it's planned completion.  The obscure Knicks billboard looks like retaliation for the giant poster promoting the Nets and it's new billionaire owner.  That sign was hung with a pigeon's eye view of Madison Square Garden last July. 

The Knicks billboard features new Knick star Amar'e Stoudemire glaring out from in front of the Manhattan Bridge with "Brooklyn Represent" written underneath and "YOU, US, WE, NOW" scrolled along the side with the team emblem.  The Knick's  newest acquisition and face of the team could be a dig at the Nets inability to land a big-name free-agent this off-season.

The Nets billboard, which hung from a Manhattan building on 33rd Street, was much larger and featured Nets owners Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z staring directly down at the Garden.  The Knicks owner, James Dolan, was so incensed by the huge sign, he filed a complaint with the NBA.  He claimed it gave his Jersey competitors an upper hand in recruiting free-agent LeBron James last summer.

Dolan probably wishes he could have tacked Carmelo Anthony's face onto his new black and white promo.  The Knicks haven't commented on why they put one up near the Nets future home, but did say they put similar ones up around the New York Area.  They probably won't have to worry about putting any up near the Nets' current home, the Prudential Center, in Newark.  Today, on opening day,  some tickets on Stub Hub were going for .45 cents.

The Nets CEO Brett Yormark called the Knicks billboard a "defensive measure."  "I'm glad to see they know where Brooklyn is," he said.  "Clearly they know what's coming.  It's fair play."

The "YOU, US, WE, NOW" slogan is a bit confusing.  Maybe the Knicks should have slapped a head- shot of their Russian center, Timofey Mozgov, to lure some of his comrades from Brooklyn's Russian enclave in  Brighton Beach.  The big man has recently done a public relations tour there. 

The Nets' new Russian owner isn't waiting until the new arena's ribbon-cutting to entice his Russian fanbase.  Prokhorov is publishing a Russian-language magazine called "S.N.O.B."  The magazine is geared to generating Net fans within the community.  The name is an acronym for the Russian words, "Accomplished , Independent, Educated and Thriving."  A Bloomberg report said the  Nets owner--who is already well-known in Russian society--has already sunk $100 million into the project.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Coughlin Rises From Dead...Again

By Tony Mangia


Maybe the New York Giants are just getting into the Halloween spirit.  There seem to be so many frightful cliches to describe their play after they turned the Dallas Cowboys into a thing that goes bump on Monday night, 41-35.  They put the final nail in the Cowboy's playoff dreams coffin.  The ghoulish Giants front four buried Tony Romo on the five-yard line, then planted a tombstone inscribed with "R.I.P. Super Bowl Dreams".

The whole Giants team turned the Cowboys into zombies for most of the game. Tom Coughlin has become Count Dracula and risen from the dead...once again.

The whole team basically toilet-papered and soaped up Jerry Jones $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium last night, but is Coughlin really becoming the undead?

One month ago angry throngs of Giants fans armed with pitchforks, torches and PSL's took to the swamps of the Meadowlands bent on ridding the team of the mad head coach. He is too strict and the game has passed him by they cried.  It has become a a fall ritual in New York since 2004.  Every year the same frightful screams for the coach's head and new blood. 

This year's Van Helsing was going to be Bill Cowher--the former Steelers head coach.  Rumors swirled that the "retired" TV analyst who has ties to the Mara family and would be interested in the Giants position, if it opened.  The Giants were 1-2 and the locker room had players tossing garlic and holy water onto the oft-criticized Coughlin. The team been mauled by the Tennessee Titans and looked like a ghost of the team that won the Super Bowl just a few years earlier. The team looked like a group of lost boys and tempers were flaring.

Coughlin, as he has always done in the past, never backed down.  The G-men finally rose up and played disciplined football--Coughlin-style football-- and punished the Chicago Bears (Midway Monsters? More like Monsters Inc.) while knocking out two Bears QBs in the process.  They chainsawed the Texans in Houston, Freddy Krugered the Lions at home and last night sent a message to the NFL that the Giants team is alive!

Big Blue fans might recall that the Giants started 2007 at 0-2 and ended up winning a Super Bowl.  This team has a similar feel. Coughlin took control then and is at it again.

Over the years, Coughlin has been called out by many players beginning with Jeremy "Cujo" Shockey and Tiki "Carrie" Barber to this year's town crier, Antrelle Rolle.  Since becoming Giants head coach, Coughlin has had only one losing season--his first--and a Super Bowl victory.  Barber retired and had to watch that upset victory from his prom seat on the Today Show, while newcomer Rolle has settled into the Coughlin system and they are winning.

The rosy-cheeked coach is an instructor and disciplinarian.  He has a good track record of sending many of his assistants on to bigger assignments and he molded Eli Manning into one of the NFL's most efficient quarterbacks.  He even taught Barber how not to fumble.

Everything is clicking for the Giants.  Brandon Jacobs looks like Frankenstein instead of Frankenberry and  Manning has reverted into Dr. Jekyll and not Mr. Hyde.  Even punter Matt Dodge doesn't look like Igor kicking some corpse's brain on fourth down.  Hell, the mad scientist Coughlin was correct on four replay challenges against the Cowboys last night!

Everyone in Jersey knows about the bodies buried all around the Meadowlands.  Every year disgruntled Giants fans look for another body to add to the graveyard after the first losing streak.  Tom Coughlin is always the first one they seek and every season he rises up. I can't imagine next year the townspeople won't be marching through the streets in their Giants blue looking for Coughlin's body parts again.

The head coach's contract is through 2011. He is getting up in age. His rules are outdated. The game is passing him by.  Tom Coughlin's annual resurrection with the Giants could be a Stephen King novel.  Let's call it The Blue Man in the Swamp.

Monday, October 25, 2010


By Tony Mangia


Brett Favre, the married quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, has admitted to sending inappropriate text messages to former-Jets sideline reporter, Jennifer Sterger in a twisted bid to rendezvous with the sexy TV personality.  According to Fox's Jay Glazer yesterday, Favre confessed to the voicemails but claimed he never texted pictures of his penis to her.  The NFL has not commented on the situation but if Favre is guilty of violating the league's player-conduct policies, he could be suspended and fined.

Last week, Sterger retained a lawyer, former federal prosecutor Joseph Conway last and, although she has not commented publicly, there is evidence she is "strongly considering" speaking with the NFL about the sleazy 2008 voicemails and texts. There have been indications she could meet with league officials as early as this week.

 Favre denies sending the photos of his privates but a website,, claims that both the text messages and images originated from the same phone number.

Sterger worked for the Jets and it was in training camp two years ago where the ex-Jets QB became interested the the attractive sideline reporter.

 If Favre is found guilty after the NFL's investigation, look for Commissioner Roger Goodell's punitive decisions to be swift but difficult.  Questions Goodell will have to consider.  Did Favre violate the personal conduct-policy?  Should he be suspended?  For how long? If Goodell suspends Favre, it would put an end to the player's NFL record for consecutive starts.

In one voicemail,  he suggests Sterger meet him at his hotel room.  "Just got done with practice, got meetings here for a couple of more hours..." the grandfather allegedly said, "Send me a text, I'd love top see you tonight." Not exactly XXX, but that's Goodell's call. 

Sterger's manager, Phil Reese said that FBI agents are working to find out who gave her phone number to Favre.  "There is a person of interest... and he is very aware that we know who he is," claims Reese.

"Unfortunately, the person in the picture didn't also hold up their driver's license," said Reese, "So I'm not going to speculate on an identity.  But I'm working with people to diligently get all the facts."

 Sterger is very much a person of interest for league officials.  She is not obligated to cooperate with the NFL.  League spokesperson, Greg Aiello, stressed, " We will continue to pursue opportunities to speak with individuals that potentially have information."

While Sterger has been clamming up--at least for moment--the New York Jets have been cooperating  with the NFL in it's investigation.  The Jets want to distance themselves as far away from  controversy and Favre as soon as possible.  They've had one-too-many sexy reporter incidents after last summer's locker room scandal with Mexican "journalist" Ines Sainz already on their player-conduct rap sheet.

Sterger's lawyers have denied there have been any discussions with Favre about a financial settlement.  She now works as a television host for Versus network.

It's been a rough week for the 41 year old quarterback.  On Tuesday, Favre was grilled by NFL Vice-president of Security, Milt Ahlerich, then yesterday threw three second-half interceptions in a national TV loss to his former-team and division rivals, the Green Bay Packers, and finally gets thrown under the bus by his head coach on Sunday night.

Vikings head coach, Brad Childress, ripped into his QB for throwing a foolish interception and wiping out any chance of a comeback against the Packers in a game that could be the final blow in a disappointing season.  "You can't throw it to them," the coach said,"You've got to play within the confines of our system."

Favre's pathetic attempt to woo Sterger proves the old gunslinger plays "outside the system" off the playing field as well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cowboys May See The Writing On The Wall

By Tony Mangia

Forget Eli's Autograph, Giants Ready To Write Off 'Boys

With all the controversy with coaching and losing surrounding the underachieving Cowboys, you would think Dallas fans and media would have more  important concerns than wondering if Eli Manning will sign his name on the  visitor's locker room again.  The Texas team--which had Super Bowl appearance written all over it--is 1-4 in a watered down version of the NFC and still  considers the autograph a sore spot in their Lone-Star hearts.

After last year's loss to the Giants in the brand-new $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium opening game, Eli Manning signed his name in the locker room area and topped it off with "First win in new stadium."  This so riled the Cowboy's players, they vowed to use it as motivation in their re-match in old Giants Stadium.  The Cowboys lost that game too.

Manning didn't take credit for the signature until almost three months later.  He said, "People made it sound like I went in their locker room and right for everyone to see, trying to do something disrespectful. It wasn't like that by any means."

In actuality, a Cowboys stadium worker invited Manning to draw his John Hancock after the week 2 game.  "I've done it in a lot of different places in the NFL," he confessed, "I thought they were starting a new tradition." The NFL Commissioner might want to come down hard on Eli and his graffiti tagging.

The squeaky-clean Giants quarterback came forth last December after admitting, "It's not right in the locker room, it's in the attendant's own little locker room," atoned Manning," Unless you're invited into the room, you're not going to see it."  Now no one will.  Manning's work was painted over by a stadium crew last year.

If his behavior in the Cowboys' locker room last September was not Manning-like, his play this season sure is.  The Giants fly into Dallas with a 4-2 NFC East leading tie with Philadelphia and Manning is playing consistently. Meanwhile,  Dallas is playing for their playoff lives and a good game by Manning and he could be writing the Cowboys' epitaph.

Jerry Jones, the  flamboyant owner of the Cowboys met with his stumbling team to give a positive message to his players.  When asked if he still confident his team could rebound from the mediocre start he said, "I'm not." This is a surprising answer from the pre-season Jones,  confident enough to believe his Cowboys would be the first true home team in Super Bowl history.

Dallas quarterback, Tony Romo, was asked if his talented but seemingly uninspired team and was playing their last stand on Monday night against the first-place G-Men?  "It's obviously important," he said, "And we do need to win."  You never know if 8-8 can gets in the playoffs or 12-4...we need to play our best game this weekend."

Romo will have this chance to get back into the thick of the playoff race and maybe--in three weeks-- have the opportunity to sign his name and "First Cowboy win in new stadium" in the Giants' brand-spanking-new, billion-dollar New Meadowlands Stadium as revenge.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eli Manning Named 5th Most Overrated Player?

By Tony Mangia


In a Sports Illustrated poll voted by 239 of his peers, New York Giants QB Eli Manning showed up as  the 5th "Most Overrated Player" on the list.  Manning trailed only Terrell Owens, Tony Romo, Mark Sanchez and Albert Haynesworth.  Manning took a step up---last year he was number four on the list.

Four  years ago,  Manning deserved to be on the list. He was a hugely-hyped number one draft pick who played erratically and looked befuddled both on the field and sidelines.  He was drafted alongside Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers and was the younger brother of Robo-QB, Peyton.  His draft mates got off to quick starts while Eli struggled to find his way.

Since 2006, Manning has a Super Bowl trophy and game MVP by pulling off one the greatest upsets in the game's history and, since he first started in 2005, is second to only Peyton in games won with 53.  He has one Pro-Bowl under his belt is on pace to surpass Giants great Phil Simms in every quarterbacking category.

Why is Eli always called overrated?  Maybe disgruntled ex-Giant--an Eli Manning critic-- C.C. Brown stuffed the ballot box.  Eli will always be compared to his incomparable brother, but to lump him in with the aforementioned group?  Romo may have a flashier style and bigger numbers but his post-season record speaks for itself.  Sanchez is considered to be the beneficiary of an awesome D while T.O.'s and  Haynesworth's blather can't conceal their downswings. Even the highly-regarded Rivers should get votes before Eli.

Eli has played in 86 straight games and, in that time, has had a 4,000 yard season and thrown for 20 or more touchdowns five years in-a-row.  Most importantly, he has shown progress in every aspect of his game.

To be fair, the poll was taken before the season began and after a year the Giants didn't make the playoffs.  The New York spotlight could be partially to blame.  Remember back in 2008 when Derek Jeter was voted the most overrated player in the major leagues.  All he had on his resume were a dozen All-Star games and four World Series rings.  Nothing breeds negative comparisons like positive results.

The bottom line is that Eli Manning has become a winner.  He is 58-42 for his career including the playoffs.  He is having an excellent season despite all of the interceptions--blame his slippery-handed receivers--and has the Giants tied for the NFC East lead with a record of 4-2. He is in the NFC's top five in completion percentage, yards and touchdowns.

Eli will never be piled into the same group as Peyton or Tom Brady or Drew Brees and he'll never have the numbers of Aaron Rogers or Romo but he will end up the greatest Giant quarterback with at least one Super Bowl ring on his finger. He's durable and plays Giant football--get the ball into the gut of your running back, keep the defensive backs on their heels and win.  If that's overrated, we'll take it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Philly Fighter Says Tiger Sex Tape is Bogus

By Tony Mangia


The purported sex tape starring the golf great Tiger Woods is a fake.  A Philly club fighter, Teneal Goyco, 29, claims the "Tiger Woods" in the XXX video is him.  Goyco says he was paid $1,000 by Tampa hooker Devon James to pose as Woods for a steamy two hour romp.

Goyco claims that James and her husband Nick propositioned him at a Philadelphia nightclub on July 30, where the couple were appearing in a celebrity boxing match.  After a few beers and vodkas, the trio headed to a local Comfort Inn, where the action took place.

The cruiserweight fighter, who faintly resembles the golfer said the amateur filmmakers had him dress up  like Tiger in a sweater vest, blue khakis and topped off with a Nike hat.  "They put makeup on my face," the duped Goyco claims," Because I am a bit darker than Tiger."

"I saw an opportunity to make a few bucks to have sex with a pretty girl," said the fighter.  "It was cash up to get the paper," he recounted.

Goyco said James told him to play along as she repeatedly moaned and groaned the name "Tiger".   "I thought I was fulfilling this women's  fantasy of having sex with  Tiger Woods," he said.

The boxer thought nothing of the rendezvous until he spotted a website with a photo of James promoting the $29.95 tape.  The advertisements claimed that Goyco was Tiger Woods.  He was angered by the deception after he saw the raunchy promo.  "I had no idea she was going to set up a tape of Tiger Woods," the dismayed Goyco said.  " I wanted some money...not ruin someone's life."

James said she was paid $350,000 for the video by a DVD distribution company plus half of the profits.

 According to Goyco, the tape was to only be seen by the couple and not publicly distributed.  All three watched the tape before he left the hotel.  "I didn't know they would use it to make money," the Tiger stand-in stated.   James has called Goyco a liar.  "It's not true," she said.  "Nick (her husband) doesn't allow me to do to do boy-girl porn anymore."

The hooker also falsely claimed Tiger had a sexual relationship with her and was the father of her love child.

While the distribution company takes orders and  prepares for a Nov. 15 shipping date, Goyco's statements have cast doubts about the authenticity of the Tiger Tapes.  Goyco has spoken with a lawyer about a potential case against James and her husband.

A second-rate boxer is deceived into finding fame and fortune in Philadelphia.  I wonder if they are going to call it Rocky VII?

Monday, October 18, 2010

New York Giants Game Blacked Out. World Series To Follow?

By Tony Mangia


If you are a NewYork Giants fan and missed yesterday's game against the Detroit Lions, you weren't alone. A fee dispute between Cablevision and the News Corp meant that the Fox network yanked channels 5 and My9 from the cable giant over the weekend.  Monday will mark the third day of the blackout.

The cable company looped a message blaming the "greed" of Fox for denying over three million subscribers access to the the Sunday afternoon Giants-Lions game and both Saturday and Sunday's Phillies-Giants NLCS games.  It is the longest station blackout in a large market and is threatening to carry over until the World Series.

Football fans flocked to bars all over new York City and New Jersey in order to catch the game.  Both sides in the dispute are using the pissed off fans as pawns in their battle for control.  Fox said Cablevision is already charging its viewers "for free, over-the-air broadcasting," while Cablevision said,"They want more for Fox than we pay CBS, NBC, ABC combined." Cablevision says it pays $70 million annually for the Fox stations and will now be gouged for $150 million a year.  They claim Fox is holding the NFL and baseball playoffs as hostages.

Fox countered by saying Cablevision is "hypocritical" and claims it charges other cable companies even more for its two MSG channels than it pays for 12 Fox stations.

Fox aired a commercial during the Jets game on CBS informing viewers that the blackout would likely last until at least the World Series--which begins on October 27.  For a while, on Saturday, the News Corp. temporarily blocked Cablevision's customers from accessing Fox shows on the video website

The battle lines have been drawn and both parties are set to meet today but said they remain "far apart.".  If these corporations think football are baseball fans are angry, just wait until the "Glee" contingent organizes and protests.  Nothing like a bunch of riled up 'tweens with their tweets and twitters to get things in motion. 

Friday, October 15, 2010


By Tony Mangia


St. John's coach Steve Lavin continues to lure talented high school basketball players to New York.    Lavin scored his third major recruiting coup when D'Angelo Harrison of Fort Bend, Texas picked the Red Storm over Marquette, Oklahoma State and Baylor.  Harrison, a 6-foot 3 shooter will join forwards Jakarr Sampson and Maurice Harkless in what is shaping up to be one of the best recruiting classes in the country.

When Lavin took over as head coach of the Johnnies, many experts considered his chances of luring top name players to St. John's a long shot.  NCAA sanctions, penalties and middling teams had the program in a downward spiral for nearly a decade.  Lavin had no east coast connections, was away from coaching too long and the west coast was Lavin's only hard-wood harvesting grounds, the cynics cried.

The former UCLA coach has surprised everyone by making the Queens campus a hot destination. He came to New York City with a reputation as a good recruiter for any player west of Vegas.  He used the glamor of UCLA as enticement.  He had about as much of a chance to lure prospects to Queens as getting a cab on a rainy Madison Avenue rush-hour said the skeptics.  Lavin has now surprised everyone by displaying this much success so quickly with recruits from every section of the country.

Lavin seems bent on a recruiting mission and said he hoped to have three more commitments by the end of this week.  He is prohibited from commenting on specific recruits until the university receives a letter of intent from the players.

The team has seven remaining scholarships and is looking to get a big-time point guard.  The Johnnies are on the inside track to sign scoring guard Nurideen Lindsay of Philadelphia, have the possibility of getting small forward Amir Garrett and center Norvel Pelle of California and North Carolina small forward Dominique Pointer.

Harrison is the ninth-ranked shooting guard in the nation according to  Eric Bossi, a national recruiting analyst for the website, said if St. John's gets all the players  just named, it would be one of the great recruiting coups of all time.  "They're all top 50 players," said Bossi.  Harrison and Lindsay would give the Red Storm one of the most versatile and dynamic backcourts in the nation.


St John's will announce the hiring of one of college basketball's greatest coaching professors and possessor of one of the scariest stares in all of sports, Gene Keady.  Suddenly, comb overs may become vogue in New York basketball circles this winter.

Keady, the imposing 74 year-old, former head coach of Purdue will join the team as an Advisor to the Head Coach as early as tonight's Red Storm Tip-Off.

The long-time coach is one of Steve Lavin's mentors.  He gave Lavin his start as a Purdue assistant coach in 1988.  Keady's role will be of a non-coaching position.  He assist the Red Storm coaches with strategy, analyzing game film and as an all-around ambassador for the school.

The ex-Pittsburgh Steeler draftee casts quite a shadow on the court.  His career spans decades coaching at the collegiate, international and professional levels. He is regarded as a spectacular tactician and will help bring fundamentally-sound basketball back to Carnesecca Arena and Madison Square Garden.

Lavin and Keady---old school and new wave hoops peppered with blue-chippers.  The yin and yang of Lavin's poofed- up Hollywood hair and flair complimenting Keady's peculiar hair-do and Midwestern stoicism. 

Lavin says his former boss gives the team that "grandfather presence." "He's the most influential person in my coaching style," praised the pupil of his teacher.

Keady won't be sitting on the bench but it would be nice to see his icy stares and slightly askew coif on the sidelines.  His intimidating gaze would be worth the admission alone. I'd like to see U Conn's head coach, Jim Calhoun, out-glare the grizzled ex-coach with over 800 career victories.

Lavin may be paying back the man who gave him his first college coaching position.  St. John's new head coach has made great strides in recruiting and it looks like the future of Red Storm basketball  could be on a major upswing.  Its nice that Lavin didn't forget his roots and will take his trusted sage Keady with him.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A.J.: From Pie-in-the-Face to Pie-in-the-Sky Chance

By Tony Mangia


The sight of A.J. Burnett on the mound might scare a lot of opposing hitters---if only because he lead the league in "batters hit" with 19---but it should scare Yankee fans even more.  Out of desperation for a fourth starter in the ALCS against the Texas Rangers Yankees manager, Joe Girardi,  has called on the floundering Burnett to fill the pivotal role.  In a simulated game yesterday, Burnett's first throw soared over catcher Francisco Cervelli's head before his third pitch drilled Greg Golson.  Later, another errant pitch grazed Austin Kearns.  It seems like Burnett hasn't lost his inclination to turn his outings into an audition for Wild Thing in "Major League III."

Girardi's choice of Burnett is based less on merit than necessity.  Unlike last year's ALCS, there is no scheduled break between games 4 and 5.  A three-man rotation can't be trusted to just the Yankees' big three---CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes.  CC could probably handle the chore but to leave shortened rest-days to Pettitte, with concerns about his age and recent injury, or the inexperienced Hughes---who already pitched more than his allotted innings during the season---could spell trouble if they face down Cliff Lee in  game seven.

Using Burnett could be a monkey wrench thrown into the machine-like efficiency of the Bronx team---which swept the Twins in the ALDS.  In the six-inning "game" against the Yankee "B" squad, Burnett showed some signs of his old reliable self, but was mostly ineffective.  After bopping Golson, Burnett said, "Everything was good.  The hook was good, the curve was good." Just wait until he faces Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler and the claws and antlers of the Rangers' lineup.

Girardi is putting a lot of faith in the Pieman.  Burnett was 10-15 on the season with a 5.26 ERA.  By far the worst season by a Yankee in a long time.  He stumbled down the stretch and faces a Texas team which swept the Yanks only last month and clinched the ALDS by winning three games on-the-road in Tampa.  The erratic Burnett took his demotion from the starting line-up like a man.  Let's see if he can man up for game four.

After yesterday's game, Kearns said," His stuff isn't the question.  I think it's just, for him, can he keep throwing strikes."  Burnett confessed that after pitching his first game in ten days, "My knees were shaking."  If the imitation game was any indication, the Yankees' heads could be shaking on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

8 Things I Already Hate About The ALCS

By Tony Mangia

Another Fall, another Yankee playoff. This year the Bronx Bombers face the Texas Rangers in the ALCS. A lot has been made of Rangers finally winning a playoff series--tired of it already--and how the Yankees will be headed west to Texas to open the best of seven playoff on their quest to the World Series. The New York tabloids will have a field-day with their usual biased us vs. them comparisons. The Big Apple--no New Yorker ever called it that--against the Lone Star State. The city-slickers battle the hillbillies. Who cares! here's what is really going to annoy Yankee fans during the upcoming games.

TBS. Two words, Tim McCarver. He is filled with more hot air than Conan's promotional blimp. Bob Gibson got it right when, once in a mound conference, he told the know-it-all catcher, "When you learn to throw a fastball then you can tell ME when to." McCarver's subtle slaps against the Yankees' brass while in the broadcast booth this summer, in defense of his fired former-teammate Joe Torre, was none of his business. Joe came back for Steinbrenner's memorial service anyway.

Instant Replay Debates. Yankee fans were all for the idea last week after the umpire's (no six umps) blown call could have cost the Yankees a win. MLB, forget about the umpire's feelings. Just install a reviewing booth. Even pro bowling has replay to go with the trash-talking now.

Josh Hamilton's Past. Everyone knows its a great story of redemption and he is might be the league MVP but enough of Hamilton's ginger ale celebration shower in the locker room after the Rangers beat the Rays. When he said, "This stuff burns your eyes just like the other stuff," I wondered if his nostrils burned too.

Claws and Antlers. I don't know how this "tradition" started. The antler hands for a great speed play and claw hand to signal a great long-distance play. There are tee-shirts and I'm sure there will be crab and moose hats filling Rangers Ballpark out in Arlington (where exactly is that anyway?). Out of this ever-ending custom of teams not used to making the playoffs coming up with child-like team good luck charms appears this novel idea. Two years ago it was cowbells and mohawks introduced by the 300 or so Tampa Bay Ray fans. There have been hankies, towels, upside-down hats and monkeys. Where are they now? These cute animal parts will soon fade faster than Carl Paladino's political chances. Oh yeah, New York accepts the blame for introducing the "wave" at Shea Stadium.

A.J. Burnett. Alright, blame him for the shaving cream "pie-in-the-face" ritual after a walk-off win but hate him more for being named the number four starter. The $82 million, tattooed, door-punching and mysteriously black-eyed pitcher has been named to start the pivotal game. Should Yankee manager Girardi have gone with Javier Vazquez and will he pull Burnett at the first sign of trouble? Let the debate begin...and go on...and on...

Brett Favre's Text Messages. There is no way to avoid the Vikings quarterback and his Tigeresque ways. Will Jennifer Sterger cooperate with the NFL? Will Favre pay off the comely reporter? Will Rachel Nichols camp out on his Mississippi lawn?  Which joint on Favre's body will finally cause him to miss a start?  There is no avoiding Favre anywhere, anytime.

Cliff Lee's Greatness and Status. Sure, Lee is 6-0 with an ERA of 1.44 in the playoffs. He pitches complete games and strikes out at least 10. Well Andy Pettitte has 19 playoff wins and five rings to show for it. Get over it Yankee haters. Everyone knows that Lee is just auditioning for the Yankees and will probably be checking out the home team lockers in Yankee Stadium for next season. Hey Cliff, there are some nice homes across the George Washington Bridge that you might find in your $200 million price range.

Empire State of Mind. New Yorkers will have to endure the incessant playing of the Jay-Z song once again. At the stadium, on radio stations and TV commercials. Please make it stop. The Joy Behar Collection of Christmas Carols would be a welcome relief.

Honorable mention: Mayor Bloomberg (Thanks for jinxing the Yankees by already planning a parade), the humongous Steinbrenner Plaque (I'm sure there will be plenty of sentimental shots of the gargantuan monument) and The Hughes Rules.

Monday, October 11, 2010

NFL To Scout Favre

By Tony Mangia


The NFL has contacted former Jets game day reporter and Playboy pin-up model, Jennifer Sterger, to investigate a report from that ex-Jets Brett Favre sent inappropriate voice messages and lewd photos in a bid to woo to the 26 year-old team hostess.

Up to now, Sterger has kept a low profile and has not talked with league officials, but she has not said she wouldn't either. Sterger has made it clear that Favre crossed boundaries in his attempts to huddle with the sultry brunette. She called Favre "a creepy douche." In response to the sexting from Favre, Sterger stated," I never met him, saw him...because I don't roll that way, meaning old...or married."

The NFL wants to meet with Sterger. At halftime of yesterday's Chargers-Raiders game, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told the Associated Press, "We are going through that and making sure we understand all the facts."


On the cusp of one sex scandal, Favre has also been accused of sending salacious text messages to a Jets team masseuse. The married woman worked for the Jets during 2008 training camp and claims the quarterback spotted her while massaging a teammate. "He was looking at me like I was a hanging slab of meat," the unidentified woman stated.

The quarterback contacted the woman by phone, e-mail and texts. The masseuse told her husband. He said Favre texted his wife, "Why don't you and your friend come over...I have all these bad intentions." "I called Favre back myself," said the infuriated husband, " He's a f****** scumbag."

The New York Jets have confirmed that two women who had worked as massage therapists for the 2008 training camp at Hofstra University have filed complaints and the team sent their names to the NFL.

Favre will be contacted by the NFL soon. If he violated the league's personal conduct policy, a suspension must be imposed. The NFL could discipline Favre without Sterger if they can prove he violated any personal-conduct policies. One problem. Favre will likely be plowing Mississippi corn fields next season. If he retires (no jokes please) what good is the suspension then?

Goodell usually reacts to conduct violations swiftly and decisively. Look at how he came down on Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger. It's another thorny issue for the Commissioner, embarrass the league and all it supposedly stands for or tarnish the Hall of Fame bust of one of the NFL's most prominent players before it reaches Canton.

After all of the injuries, interceptions and lost games, it looks like a series of sordid off-the-field fumbles and the inactivity during a suspension could put the finishing touches on Favre's career.


It's been a busy week for granddad Favre. Tonight the Jets, Favre's old team, host the old gunslinger and his Minnesota Vikings in a critical game for the visitors. The Vikings--a pre-season Super Bowl pick--trail Chicago and Green Bay in their division. A loss could have Favre playing out the season.

The beleaguered QB celebrated his 41st birthday yesterday with a present wrapped in a Patriots red and white bow--game-breaker Randy Moss. How benevolent of New England that moody Moss was sent packing the week before Minnesota plays the Pats' division rival, the Jets. The Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick must really love Favre...nah, he just hates the Jets.

"I'm not getting into that," answered an angry Favre about the alleged scandal. "I've go my hands full with the Jets." Yes he does.

Tonight's nationally televised game should be a rough one for Favre. First, there will be the boos of Jets' fans. Don't forget the hisses from women's rights groups too. Then, the wrath of the Jets team: which has already been surrounded by more distractions than wins. They want to make a statement: We don't need another investigation from the NFL offices--especially because of that carpetbagger.

There will be the comparisons to Jets' QB Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is having a better season and represents the future of the team. His biggest scandal--posing topless in GQ Magazine.

Favre, once the face of the NFL, is now the poster-boy for alleged scandals, a losing record and a bruised body. It looks like the "old and married" warrior hung on a little too long and his exit won't be graceful.

Friday, October 8, 2010

He Still Thinks He's Playing In Mile High

By Tony Mangia

Chris Simms Goes From Quarterback To Half Bake

Chris Simms the former pro-quarterback and son of former New York Giants great, Phil Simms, was "like a zombie" when he was pulled over for making a "wild turn" according an NYPD cop who testified yesterday at Simms' court hearing.

The arresting officer said his tongue "got numb" from the smoke coming from the Mercedes Simms was driving. "It was coming from his breath," said Officer Francisco Acosta," There was a strong marijuana smell coming from the car." Acosta said Simms was "like a slow motion type of person."

Simms was pulled over at a DWI checkpoint on July 1 on West Houston street in Manhattan. He was with his then-pregnant wife who told him to keep quiet and refuse drug testing. When asked if he had any pot in the car, Simms told the officer, "I smoked everything before."

The former Tennessee Titan QB has pleaded not guilty to operating a vehicle while impaired. Simms' attorneys asked the judge to throw out the evidence because the police had no probable cause.


ESPN Boys Club Gets Bigger

An ESPN Emmy-winning motor-sports producer/cameraman joined Steve Phillips and the rest of the fraternity of ESPN perverts. Neil Goldberg was arrested on a warrant for public lewdness, simple trespassing and breach of peace after a dog-walker spotted the 52 year-old standing on a stool outside a neighbor's window pleasuring himself. When the watcher realized he was being watched, Goldberg went back into his own house. Goldberg created the crew-cam inside of racing pit-crews for ESPN. Wonder if Erin Andrews ever worked a NASCAR event?

Pettitte Comes Up Big

By Tony Mangia


If the Twins are tying to impress Martha Stewart it's a good thing, but all the begonias in Minnesota still can't spruce up the play of the Twins or hide the smell of impending defeat. The designers of Target Field probably thought the pretty flowers and trees which adorn the outfield walls would be a nice touch. Last night, he Twins sent out once vilified ex-Yankee Carl Pavano to face his former team's playoff veteran Andy Pettitte and, in the end, the visitors contributed some funeral orchids as a parting gift.

In every game, it seems like the Twins' team never get a lead they don't handily give back to the Yankees. Regular season or playoffs, its always the same. The Twins were the hottest team coming into the playoffs and, for the Yankees, it was the "Core Four"s Final Tour. Now it looks like the Bronx Bombers were only playing possum. The line-up has come up with timely hits and the uncertainty of Pettitte has been answered.

Pettitte settled down after a shaky second and went seven solid innings. There was no sign of the groin-pull which kept him side-lined for seven weeks until ten days ago.

The left-hander had a little help from his fellow Texan and former-Astros teammate, Lance Berkman, who doubled in the seventh. All those Yankee fans who were hopping-mad yesterday about not having a replay booth were grateful the video-umps are still on the shelf.

"Fat Elvis" was happy about it. In the seventh inning, broadcast replays showed Pavano threw a strike three to Berkman while home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called it ball two. On the next pitch, Berkman promptly launched a run-scoring double giving the Bronx Bombers a 3-2 lead they never relinquished. The flora in centerfield wilted after that call.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire bore the brunt of his team's mounting frustrations. The call was at a crucial point in the game and his foul language got him tossed from the game. Gardenhire's ire is understandable since he has skippered all of the Twins' playoff ousters by the Yankees in 2003, 2004 and 2009. Yesterday's loss makes it 8 straight ALDS to the pinstriped team.

Berkman also homered in the fifth to give the Yankees the lead before the controversial run. Yankee outfielder, Nick Swisher called it, "A Texas two-step. It was amazing for Andy to go out there like that, and his Texas neighbor provided the pop for him." Berkman said last week that one big hit in the series would wipe out the disappointment of his first couple of months in the Bronx. Last night's performance should be a good springboard to feeling like a real contributor.

Pettitte was considered by many to be a question mark coming into the series. After returning from a groin injury, he was middling in three tune-up starts. The Twins had Pettitte on the ropes in the second inning. He looked tentative but escaped a bases-loaded, one out situation by giving up only one run. His cutter returned and he retired the next 12 Twins batters.

The gritty Pettitte always reaches back and comes up big in the playoffs. There have been more important games and has been more dominating but a lot was riding on coming back from an injury at his advanced age. His post-season record of 19-9 can attest to his greatness. CC Sabathia may be the work horse for New York, but it is Pettitte who you want on the mound for the pivotal game. When Pettitte peaks over his glove and his glare is on...batters beware!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Umps Targeted For Blown Call Again

By Tony Mangia


Nobody is screaming louder for instant replay today than New York Yankee fans. Last night's grind out win against the Twins was exciting enough but an umpire's bone-headed call could have overshadowed Roy Halladay's masterful no-hitter and made the mis-call the hot topic on sports-talk shows and ESPN.

The Yankees were leading 6-4 with two outs when the Twins' Delmond Young's line-drive blooped into right field was called a single. Even after replays clearly showed that Greg Golson scooped up the ball in the glove's web. After second baseman Robinson Cano pointed out there were "no grass stains" on the ball, a squad of six umpires convened and said the ruling on the field stood--Golson trapped it. Fans were throwing their beers at TV screens all over the Yankee Universe. A hydra of boneheads with every angle of the diamond still couldn't get it right. The Yankees' eventual victory let MLB dodge another bullet with instant replay written all over it. Never mind the ball, MLB could have ended up with one huge skid-mark on it's face.

The scary part for the Yankees was the fact that home-run hitter Jim Thome was swinging his bat in the on-deck circle. Thome, who will probably be the last untainted 600 career home run hitter who isn't scrutinized for the feat, has been clutch all season and represented the tying run against closer Mariano Rivera. It's ironic how quickly Yankee fans have converted to advocates of the replay and conveniently forget that the Jeffrey Maier/Tony Tarasco controversy in 1996 was the original call-to-arms for the use of video replay.

The flubbed call could have ruined a big come-from-behind win for the Yanks. Even though the team looked like the Pirates down the stretch, they did lead the league in comeback wins with 48 and these were the Twins who have now lost seven straight playoff games to New York.

The muffed call could have been an embarrassment to MLB. Every year the playoffs breed controversial calls. The games staff two extra umpires on the field. Why not put them in front of a couple of monitors and let them have the final say. It's a lot simpler than NFL replays where there are more aspects of the play to break down--knees on ground, bobbling the ball, and crossing planes. Opponents argue that using replay takes up too much time in a sport which is already delayed by players stepping out of the box and pitchers brushing off signs. Tennis uses computers to make calls without any delays. Technology makes it easy to spot balls and freeze frames.

Even overseas Rugby leagues use instant replay for disputed "tries". A indecisive referee just looks up at the replay booth, holds up a finger and awaits the "final" call from above. The problem with MLB may the fragile egos of the umpires. Tightly-wound umps don't like being showed up by players and surely don't want to constantly be called out by one of their own. Last night's cut and dry call could have been resolved in 30 seconds from a replay booth leaving only one slightly humbled ump and the right call.


The Fall season in New York can guarantee a lot of things: Woody Allen's latest old guy/young girl film release, Mets' fans refilling their Zoloft 'scrips', Christmas decorations sneaking into store windows, and the Yankees beginning a playoff run by beating the Twins. Once again, the most popular fashion accessory becomes a baseball cap with the white "NY" embroidered on it. The Giants and Jets are temporarily put on the shelf.

CC Sabathia was pretty ordinary last night and dug an early hole for the Yankees. He hit Thome and gave up a two-run homer to Michael Cuddyer. Mark Teixeira sparked a sixth inning rally and hit the game winner in the seventh. Rivera posted his 40th playoff save with a four-out performance. The 40 year-old has been shaky in recent weeks but manager Joe Girardi was confident his closer could go over one inning. Tonight they will be greeted by former-Yankee bust, Carl Pavano. The Yankees are wagering Andy Pettitte's groin pull has rehabbed.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


By Tony Mangia


It seemed like a pretty simple decision for manager Joe Girardi. There was once a glimmer of hope that he could put together a legitimate four-man rotation for the playoffs. First Javier Vazquez took his fastball south for an early winter and then A.J. Burnett became the Yankees poster boy for futility. The Yankees have decided to go with a three-man rotation against the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS. The three starters, CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes will pitch on shortened rest, rehabbed groins and inexperience. The Yankees got the foe they desired--their whipping boys the Twins--but now don't have the starting rotation they planned and paid dearly for. A.J. Burnett the $82 million pitcher, will be exiled to the bullpen. The fouled-up deal to acquire Cliff Lee in July is rearing it's ugly Texan head.

Burnett is coming off one of the poorest pitching seasons in Yankee history. After Girardi gave the right-hander every opportunity to redeem himself, Burnett failed. The manager's reluctance to bench the pitcher was a season-long melodrama. It wasn't until Burnett was rocked by the Boston Red Sox "B" team last week that Girardi finally came to his senses.

Amazingly, the pitcher didn't flip out when he was told about the move. He took it like a man. No punched doors or mysterious black eyes. "I understand, man," he said, " It would be different if I had a great second half. I took baby steps." No, the Yankees took baby steps down the stretch, Burnett barely crawled.

Burnett was 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA--one of the worst records ever for a Yankee starter. The team was overly patient with the pitcher while he struggled--which was basically all year. Girardi, who pulls pitchers faster than Carmelo Anthony changes his mind, watched Burnett get shellacked in the early innings all season. Ten times he failed to reach the fifth inning and all along, Girardi continued to foster the belief that the tattooed-rightie still had a curve that could dip and a heater which could burn. Burnett seemed to be self-destructive. He allowed 36 stolen bases, hit 17 batters and had the second most wild-pitches (15) in the league.

Can Burnett help the team? He did go 2-0 against both the Twins and Texas Rangers this year. He did contribute in last years playoff run, even after that mediocre regular season but the Yankees are 13-19 in the games Burnett has started. Vazquez was 13-12 and is currently keeping a seat warm for Burnett in the Yankee bullpen. I don't know where Burnett fits in. He can't get the first out without giving up runs, so how is he going to handle middle relief? Maybe Girardi should just avoid Burnett altogether?

The Yankees will open with the big horse Sabathia. There was never any doubt about that. CC's innings pitched in 2010 can almost match the pounds on his scale. He will be facing Francisco Liriano. After that, its a crap shoot. The Twins have been monsters at their new open-air home--Target Field--even without the benefit of those huge air vents in the old, enclosed Metrodome blowing in while the visitors batted and mysteriously shutting off during the Twins' plate appearances. They have the league's best home record and are the real deal.

The Yankees have enjoyed beating up on the Twinkies for years. They have won the last three playoff series against them. The Twins may have visions of breaking in their new stadium with a world championship, just like the Yankees did last year. It is a tall order. If the Pinstripers win the World's Series, they will have to do it by winning all three series without home-field advantage. No Yankee team has ever done that.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ring of Honor and Bars of Steel

By Tony Mangia


The uneven start for the New York Giants' season got a little stranger this weekend. First Giants co- owner Steve Tisch visited prisoner number 09R3260, otherwise know as inmate Plaxico Burress at the Oneida Correctional facility in upstate New York the same Sunday the Giants inducted 30 legends into the team’s inaugural Ring of Honor class of 2010. Tisch said his visit was “uplifting” and from outside the cell blocks said, "I would love Plaxico to know that part of why we want to win tonight’s game is for him." Not exactly a "Win one for the Gipper" moment.

The G-Men did just that by sacking, smashing and humiliating the previously unbeaten Chicago Bears on Sunday night. Chicago was down to one quarterback when Bears' head coach Lovie Smith basically threw in the towel with over four minutes left in the game.

While Burress, himself, didn't exactly provide any "Rudy" moments, the fallen wide-out did get to watch his first Giant game on television since being locked up for gun charges over a year ago. Tisch said Plaxico was “excited to watch the game.” In prison, Tisch explains, “A committee of two or three people (prisoners--probably big and mean) decide what the greater inmate population gets to watch on TV.” There must be a lot of Bills fans up in the Rome lockdown.

Tisch was accompanied by Plaxico’s wife, Tiffany and an aide. The group were able to talk for an hour. Burress said he lost 30 pounds and is at his “college weight” due to the inedible prison fare. He passes the time as a receiver in the prison yard pick-up games and is teased by other inmates about dropping passes. In that sense, Braylon Edwards would fit in just fine if he ever finds his bad self in the joint. Burress expressed frustration about facing another eight months behind the same walls.

Even the induction ceremony had a bit of controversy in itself. Lawrence Taylor—arguably the greatest Giant—wasn’t in attendance. The original L.T. is currently embroiled in a sex assault case. Taylor and the late owner, Wellington Mara received the loudest ovations. Other names that will be displayed in the end zones of the New Meadowlands Stadium run the gamut from legendary gridiron heroes Phil Simms, Frank Gifford, Mel Hein, Bill Parcells and Pete Gogolak to more recent retirees like Michael Strahan

Tiki Barber, the former star running back was greeted by boos. The Giants all-time leading rusher has been critical of the team and head coach Tom Coughlin back when he played and still throws his two-cents in nowadays. Last week, Barber told the press that Coughlin had “lost the locker room” and the teams was in “crisis.” Words sounding eerily similar to quotes used by Barber directed at the strict coach four years ago.

Barber had fallen out of favor with Giant fans because of his shameless self-promotion as a player and his divorce last year from his pregnant wife after the horndog ran a down-and-out with a comely intern. Many were grateful that well-publicized divorce got the grinning and boring “correspondent” tossed from the “Today Show.” The half-time razzing would have probably swung towards Coughlin if the Giants hadn’t totally dominated the Chicago Bears in the first two quarters. Most fans were probably shocked that the self-centered Barber didn’t use the moment to credit his “pep talk” this week for the Giants’ first half domination.