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These Christmas carols tell story of New York sports in 2021




These Christmas carols tell story of New York sports in 2021

Every year, I wonder, is there enough material to clear our throats and join together in the community of song. And then, every year, I look at the standings in the newspaper. And I ask you to lend your voices to the call … 

“Good Day to You, Dave Gettleman” 

(Sung to “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”) 

Good day to you, Dave Gettleman 
It’s time for you to go 
You said you’d turn Big Blue around 
As Santa says, “Ho, Ho!” 
Instead you built the worst disaster 
Since the Alamo 
Yes the Jints stink top-down just like a fish
(Blame Mara/Tisch) 
The overwhelming wish. 

Good luck to you, Dave Gettleman
Who built this blue morass
Your D is built on tape and glue 
Your offense fiberglass 
And when you walk don’t let the front door 
Hit you in the … um, arse 
Yes the fans blame you and they hold a grudge 
(Also Joe Judge) 
Clean the Meadowlands 
Before it turns to sludge. 

Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“Stumbling Around the Meadowlands” 

(Sung to “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”) 

Stumbling around the Meadowlands
It’s the J-E-T-S Jets 
Haven’t been fine since ’69 
As the fans spit epithets. 

Bumbling around the Meadowlands 
Robert Saleh’s beaten stare
Can’t play D or kick for 3 
And the offense is threadbare 

You will get a queasy little feeling
When you see 
Wilson throws that bounce and flutter
Johnson’s fingers glazed with butter 

Grumbling around the Meadowlands 
Even Ira’s gone to tears 
Watching this slop and football flop 
For the past … fif … ty … two … years! 

Robert Saleh
Robert Saleh
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“Sanchez Baby” 

(Sung to “Santa Baby,” assist by Rob Ricco) 

Sanchez baby 
Catch a slider outside the zone, for me 
You’ve been a disappointing Yankee Sanchez baby 
So hurry to the backstop tonight 

Chapman baby 
Don’t throw the hanger when you can hit 103 
No smiles when the save goes badly 
Chapman baby 
And hurry to the DL tonight. 

Think of all the cash Hal’s mined
Think of all the stars he could’ve signed 
Next year we coulda won the whole cigar 
If Cash had only signed Storey or Seagar 

Cashman cutie 
Fill your lineup with righty dreck 
Those checks, 
Stanton signed right here on the X 
Cashman baby, 
Don’t give us analytics tonight 

Gary Sanchez
Gary Sanchez
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“It’s the Mets’ Wonderful Time of the Year” 

(Sung to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”) 

It’s the Mets’ wonderful time of the year
When the hot stove’s a-blazing 
They’re downright amazing
No boos in their ears! 
It’s the Mets’ wonderful time of the year 

It’s the Mets-Metsiest season of all
No bumps and no bruises 
No lame-ass excuses 
For lousy baseball 
It’s the Mets-Metsiest season of all …. 

There’s Jake and there’s Scherzer
(A true life preserver) 
And Marte, Cano and McNeil 
There’s Alonso for swatting 
With Showalter plotting 
A late-inning sneak triple-steal 
It’s the most Mets-iest time of the year 

There are no games for losing 
No hamstrings for bruising 
Not even Bronx cheers! 
It’s the most Mets-iest time … 
Of … the … year …! 

Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer

“New York Still Has 1 or 2 Cool Sports Things” 

(Sung to “A Few of my Favorite Things”) 

Kevin Durant, who’s the best on the planet 
Igor Shesterkin, with stones made of granite 
NYCFC with champion’s rings 
New York still has 1 or 2 cool sports things 

Rick at Iona and Mike with the Johnnies 
(Lest you forget my beloved dear Bonnies) 
Seton Hall might be a bear come the spring 
New York still has 1 or 2 cool sports things … 

So the Jets stink 
So the Knicks reek 
So the Isles are dead … 
So baseball is brawling 
(It’s gross and appalling) 
We still have

Saquon in space when he isn’t gang tackled 
Julius when hot and Kyrie when unshackled 
Stanton and Judge & the Polar Bear’s swings
New York still has 1 or 2 cool sports things

Vac’s Whacks

I happen to like analytics. But looking at the way the Chargers over-thought themselves into a crushing loss the other night against the Chiefs by being hooked up to the Analytics IV, it’s easy to understand why some might feel differently. 

Chargers coach Brandon Staley during his team’s 34-28 loss to the Chiefs.

There are a lot of other things caving down on the sports world right now, but the most obvious one seems to be keeping the NHL players away from the Olympics, right? 

No one was more thrilled with Gil Hodges’ (right) election to the Hall of Fame than Carl Erskine, the last surviving Brooklyn Dodger from 1955 who turned 95 last week. “Gil was the enforcer of our infield,” Erskine says. “He prevented so many fights when opposing players wanted to get at Jackie [Robinson]. No one wanted to tangle with Gil.” 

Miles McBride now. Why can’t Knicks fans have nice things?

Whack Back at Vac

Ron Weintraub: How awesome is it to have the best two performers in their sports in New York — Jacob deGrom and Kevin Durant? We hardly ever have the top player in their sport now we have two. Amazing. Appreciate, the beauty of Durant’s game. 

Vac: That seems like a fine holiday thing to be thankful for. 

Jacob deGrom, Kevin Durant
Jacob deGrom, Kevin Durant
Charles Wenzelberg, Getty

John Sullivan: Unfortunately for the Giants, there is no George Young coming through the door to rescue us from the abyss this time. Also, no Bill Parcells … no Bill Belichick … no Lawrence Taylor. … But things could always be worse. We could be Jets fans. 

Vac: Though you could see that kicker coming a mile away … it still makes you smile that the intramural rivalry still breathes. 

@BartBusterma: Meyer has brought new meaning to the phrase “Urban Legend.” 

@MikeVacc: I’m thinking Notre Dame, among others, feels like it dodged a bullet with this one. He was rumored to be coach-in-waiting there for years. 

Ron Freiman: I see where you mentioned the banner flying over Giants Stadium back in 1978. Well, I’m still here rooting for the Giants, Knicks and Syracuse. Just maybe I’ll have a winner one of these years. It’s been a long time since I arranged that event, but things are still the same. 

Vac: Yep, that’s the fan who helped arrange the banner flying over Giants Stadium all those years ago. If you’d like to thank him for the four Super Bowl rings that came between, I’ll pass those greetings along.


Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death




Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died Tuesday morning at 85, the NFL announced. News of the football icon’s passing hit Twitter on Tuesday evening, and athletes, coaches and broadcasters from across the sports world reacted.

Fellow broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, called Madden “the greatest analyst of all time of any sport” in his Twitter tribute.

Former Yankees pitcher and notable Raiders fan CC Sabathia said “your legacy will live forever.” Madden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, a couple of years before Sabathia, a Vallejo, California native, was born. Lakers star LeBron James had similar words about Madden’s lasting legacy, adding an infinity emoji.

Former tennis star and social justice activist Billie Jean King recalled meeting Madden as a “privilege.”

Radio voice of the Rangers Kenny Albert, a five-sport broadcaster who’s been with FOX Sports since its inception in 1994, shared a photo circa 26 years ago to remember Madden.

ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a bit of a shot at current color commentators, noting that Madden “set an unreachable standard.”

Frank Caliendo, who’s made a career out of impersonations, including one for Madden, said he was surprised how emotional he felt.

Several football players, and others, including Saints running back Mark Ingram II and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, credited Madden with being part of the reason why they love football.

Rams wide receiver and NFL MVP contender Cooper Kupp quote the late coach in his tribute: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence




Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Knicks got back another body in rookie point guard Miles McBride, who was cleared from protocols Tuesday and rejoined the team in Minnesota.

But there is no longer any hype for the rookie’s return. Kemba Walker is back as the starting point guard and coming off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors with four standout games, including his Christmas Day spectacular. The Knicks have gone 2-2 since Walker regained the starting job.

“It’s great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He had a great week. He’s playing great basketball. The team winning helps him get recognized and he was a big part of driving that winning. It’s great for the team.’’

McBride was also spectacular in his last outing before getting COVID-19, when he played the entire second half Dec. 16 in Houston and seemingly earned a spot in the rotation. In fact, McBride had strung together two decent outings before he was ruled out. But things have changed since his emergence and McBride is likely back to being a bit player.

Without a practice, McBride wasn’t even expected to see time when the Knicks faced the Timberwolves to kick off a four-game road trip.

Miles McBride
NBAE via Getty Images

Of course, with Walker’s arthritic knee, anything is possible. The Knicks play Detroit on Wednesday in a back-to-back, so it’s uncertain whether Walker will complete both contests. In addition, Immanuel Quickley is out of COVID-19 protocols but Thibodeau wasn’t sure he was ready for meaningful minutes.

That left Walker against the depleted Timberwolves, who were missing their three top players (Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell), all because of COVID-19 .

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker

When McBride got sidelined by the virus and Derrick Rose needed ankle surgery, Walker was resurrected by Thibodeau and it’s been a stunning comeback story.

Though Thibodeau has clear reservations about Walker based on his nine-game banishment due to his defensive malaise as an undersized point guard, he admitted after the Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta that Walker is playing “much more aggressive.”

Walker’s triple-double that featured 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds was a lot different than his prior outing, when he scored 44 points against Washington.

“I thought his passing was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks resumed their schedule.

“Kemba had control of the game. The game tells you what to do. That’s what I loved about the way he played. I don’t think he forced anything. They puts size on him and were aggressive in their pick-and-roll coverage. He didn’t fight it. He attacked pressure the way you like to attack pressure. You don’t fight pressure with pressure. Don’t try to split it. Get rid of it, go to the backside. Let the game tell you what to do.’’

The Knicks coach is finally seeing all the elements of what Walker can do. Before his demotion, Walker was nothing more than a no-defense, 3-point shooter whose plus-minus was an abysmal minus-122.

Thibodeau was also concerned about his durability in sitting out two of the three back-to-back sets. The last load management game in Atlanta in late November triggered Thibodeau’s decision.

But now it’s only superlatives from Thibodeau in judging the last four games.

“Sometimes it’s going to be his shooting, sometimes it’s his penetration and getting in the paint to force a collapse and sometimes they’re being aggressive with their traps get rid of the ball quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “The overall play, his rebounding. When your guards rebound, those are key to fast breaks. The more guard rebounding we get the better we can be. ‘’

The Knicks still have three players in protocols — centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims and the newly infected Wayne Selden. Quickley and Kevin Knox were cleared on Christmas but were held out for conditioning.

No matter. The Knicks go as Kemba goes.

“He’s much more aggressive,’’ Thibodeau said. “That was the challenge. At the beginning of the year he and Evan were two new starters. Sometimes guys are trying to fit in. he’s being very aggressive which is the way we want him to play. Not deferring at all. When he and Julius [Randle] are aggressive like that our team is different.’’

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Bar raises dramatically for Zach Wilson in matchup with Tom Brady, Buccaneers




Zach Wilson and Tom Brady

When Zach Wilson stares across the MetLife Stadium field at the opposite sideline this Sunday, it won’t be Trevor Lawrence he’ll be looking at as his game-day counterpart.

Lawrence, drafted by Jacksonville one spot before the Jets selected Wilson at No. 2 overall last April, is a contemporary.

This Sunday at MetLife, the Jets rookie quarterback won’t be staring at a contemporary on the other sideline. He’ll be staring at the GOAT.

Tom Brady.

The bar raises dramatically for Wilson and the Jets, who are coming off of their feel-good, get-well win over the woeful Jaguars and Lawrence this past Sunday.

Brady and Buccaneers, who are 11-4, NFC South division champions and seeking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, play the Jets, who are 4-11 and seeking more signs of development from their rookie quarterback.

To say this is a step up in competition for Wilson and the Jets going from Lawrence and the Jags to Brady and the Bucs is as obvious as pointing out that Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown has had a few off-the-field incidents during his otherwise stellar NFL career.

There hasn’t been a lot to keep the interest of the Jets fan this season — other than watching Wilson’s development. That took an unfortunate pause for the four games Wilson missed with a knee injury, but he’s been back for five games and has looked like a better quarterback, throwing only two interceptions in those games (none in the last three) since returning from his injury.

The problem, though, is that Wilson hasn’t been producing enough touchdowns, throwing for three of them and rushing for four others in the past five games.

Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Baby steps, though.

Wilson was the better quarterback this past Sunday when matched up with Lawrence, who threw for more yards than Wilson did, but Wilson ran for 91 yards, including his electric 52-yard scoring jaunt, and made key throws when he needed them.

Wilson will not win Sunday’s game against Brady and the Bucs throwing for the 102 yards he had against the Jaguars. He and the Jets will need more.

Consider this: Brady enters the game having thrown 37 TD passes and for 4,580 yards this season and averages a league-high 305.2 passing yards per game.

Then this: The Buccaneers average 29.5 points per game this season, second most in the NFL.

And this: Wilson doesn’t have a single 300-yard passing game, averages 183 passing yards per game and has thrown seven TD passes in 11 games.

Seven TD passes is a pedestrian two-game total for Brady.

Wilson and the Jets are playing with house money anyway in what always has been a developmental season, so Sunday against Brady should, at its very least, be a great measuring-stick learning experience for Wilson, who’s studied Brady on tape.

Wilson revealed this month that he watched film of Brady before the Jets played the Eagles on Dec. 5 in an effort to pick up tips on how Brady worked against the Eagles defense when he played them earlier in the season.

“I thought it was really cool to see kind of how he went through his whole process, how he navigated the pocket, different things like that,” Wilson said at the time.

On Sunday, Wilson gets to see that process up close as Brady tries to dissect a Jets defense that has yielded 29.9 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.

That puts an added onus on Wilson to produce on the other side of the ball, because he knows Brady is going to get his. Wilson will likely need to produce four TDs — any way he can — for the Jets to simply remain competitive with the Super Bowl champs.

That’s a lot to ask of a 22-year-old kid who’s produced just 11 TDs in his 11 starts, up against Brady, who’s thrown 618 TD passes and for 83,784 yards in his remarkable career.

It, too, is a lot to ask playing against an aggressive Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 9 in the NFL in points allowed (20.8 per game) and is led by former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who’d surely like to send a holiday message to his former employer.

If you don’t think Bowles will be blitzing the bejesus out of Wilson, then you probably think Antonio Brown is a living saint.

The good news for the Jets is that Wilson has shown incremental improvements, particularly when it comes to his decision-making and quicker releases on his throws.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting more comfortable, he’s calmer back there,’’ Jets coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “He’s in a great headspace and it’s going to be fun to watch him grow, continue to grow.’’

A big part of that growth will take place this Sunday as he watches the GOAT operate from the opposite sideline at MetLife.

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