Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Pryce You Pay

After being unexpectedly released by the Baltimore Ravens earlier this week, 4-time Pro Bowl rush end Trevor Price made some plans with the family for what he thought would be a free weekend.

The Brooklyn-born veteran, though, had to change said plans when the Jets quickly got on the horn with his agent, who agreed to terms before even calling his client. Because he knew that Pryce would be eager for a reunion with his former coach Rex Ryan. Even if it meant missing that trip to Six Flags.

From JetsBlog:
"Pryce will play on Sunday, mostly in passing situations, although he originally had other plans. “My daughter and my niece are going to Six Flags,” he said. “I was really looking forward to that.”

Putting aside the facts that Pryce has the fourth-most sacks among active players and that he knows the Jets' scheme and that injuries have exposed a lack of depth on defense, I'm just psyched that this guy was psyched to go to Six Flags with his kid. He should fit in just fine.

From what I can gather, the Ravens were playing a little roster spot roulette and took a bullet on this one. They had let go of Pryce, who admittedly hadn't been contributing thus far in 2010, to make space for safety Ken Hamlin. They'd made the move quietly and hoped to re-sign Pryce on Monday. It was sort of like what the Jets did with fullback Tony Richardson just before the start of the season. Except letting a grey-beard fullback, no matter important he may be to team chemistry, off the leash is not the same letting a veteran defensive end hit the street. It's like comparing apples to prunes. And, yes, that is, in part, a joke at the expense of Richarson's age.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Félicitations à Frenchy

Former Mets outfielder Jeff Francoeuer will be participating in the 2010 MLB playoffs while the team for whom he raked at a .328 clip from Opening Day through Aug. 31 will be dismantled.

Every beat reporter's favorite clubhouse chatsmith was traded to the Texas Rangers just before the deadline for playoff eligibility, and last night I watched him celebrate a division-clinching victory with his erstwhile teammates. Frenchy wasn't in Flushing for too long, and I'll still think of him first as a Brave, so seeing, No. 21 backslapping and hugging with his new mates wasn't quite as surreal as that time Ramon Castro caught a perfect game shortly after leaving the Metsies.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rock and Roll Is Not Water Soluble

A moment after a duly ordained representative of Summerstage in Central Park, perhaps the second-best job in the New York City Parks Department after whatever job Jerry's cousin (Uncle Leo's kid) had in Seinfeld, informed the drenched crowd of mid-20s-to-mid-40s indie rock fans that Pavement's set was being halted for the safety of the band, the ever-inscrutable Stephen Malkmus retook the microphone to inform us, with that sweet sarcasm that may be his trademark, that the officials were, of course, worried about our safety as well.

Perhaps. I mean, they did eventually inform the increasingly waterlogged crowd that the metal bleachers toward the rear of the space were not ideal seating locations due to their lightning-conducting capabilities. We were also informed that the unexpected free time would be best spent purchasing beer and souvenir T-shirts. Considering that the sky above the park looked the final act of Ghostbusters (although I'm pretty sure that Dana lived on Central Park West), the enforced break was probably for the best. As instructed, I purchased a round of unopened beers can for my date and myself.

Unless you happened to grab one of three and a half spots under the umbrella at the City Winery stand (and then managed to not be pushed out by the older couple hiding from the weather in full rain gear and wondering aloud, "Why can't the band play in the lightning storm?") then you were soaked. But, for the most part, nobody seemed to mind. Which was nice. This was as unaffected a crowd as I've been around for a concert in any of the five boroughs in quite some time. There were "oohs" and "ahhs" as the lightning forked through the night sky but no exodus, no one (that I noticed) worried about their shoes getting wet or their vintage Shawn Bradley jersey getting soaked. Such an unaffected, hipster-free vibe at an NYC concert was even more refreshing than the rain after the wooly humidity that enveloped me when I left my Midtown office to hike up to Central Park. Maybe E. 69th street is too far to travel from Williamsburg and Park Slope?

When they came back out, Pavement rampaged through a hit-filled setlist (read: most of the songs that I, admittedly not a superfan, knew) with what may have actually been enthusiasm - something missing from most of the shows they played toward the end of the 1990s. I'd never seen these guys play live, but having heard about the vaguely antagonistic shoe-gaze fuzzfests that they were prone to before they hung up their instruments in 1999 and being a little weary of reunion shows in general, I was super-duper please with what I saw and heard. It was a great show.

I'm probably going back for the finale of the four-night run on Friday thanks to a friend with extra tickets. And friends with extra tickets are in abundance, because of the way the shows were announced, so if you have any interest in this band or would like to go see some live music this week then get up to 69th and 5th and you will find a way in for less than cost of a round of unopened beers can inside.

(Image is lifted from Brooklyn Vegan, where there are many pictures and more musically-inclined commentary)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Mudita

Sunday, September 19, 2010

NFL's Conservation of Advertising Animals

Similar to the way that all mass in a closed system will remain constant over time there is a careful equilibrium to the advertising messages during any broadcast of a National Football League game.

If there are five advertisements featuring Howie Long shilling alpha-male trucks that rattle off towing capacities as if the biological possession of testicles meant duties hauling of steel or lumber as regular as menses then there are also five spots, also featuring Long, for eco-friendly, pocket-sized cars trumpeting miles per gallon and emissions standards in a fashion that might not send Ed Begley Jr. into a tizzy.

This one part yin, one part yang and no parts that didn't already exist in another form. Mass media can neither be created nor destroyed. Just rearranged before and after punts and kickoffs.

So, it must be the case that the downfall polar bears is a boon for some other animal. And, yes, it is. Shrimp. Endless shrimp.

Fear the endless swarms and prepare to welcome your new crustacean overlords. Unless, of course, Red Lobster can fry, grill or saute enough of the decapod conquerers before it's too late.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

WWOD? Investing Tip of the Day

Some analysts find that gold and other precious metals are the safest investment, whereas others claim that the so-called vice stocks - gambling, alcohol and tobacco - are savvy choices in a down economy.

I advise running not walking to a computer, navigating the Interwebs to eBay, and sinking your fortune into vintage New York Knicks memorabilia. This will be arriving at the HQ shortly. It's size 48 and has been waiting for me, in a smoke-free home, to come along and claim it.

When I was a child going to Knicks games with my father, uncle and grandfather I dreamed of coming out onto the Garden floor wearing one of these warm-up jackets. And, years from now, it will be one tile in a mosaic explaining why my offspring must pay their way through college.