Monday, January 03, 2005

Weekend Update rings in the new year

Well, we’re another year into history, and the Jets are still the Jets. With life’s success or demise in 2005 to be determined in the coming 361 days, it’s comforting to know our beloved Jets are the planet’s one constant.

They didn’t need to win to reach the playoffs, so they didn’t. But before you Jets fans put a picture of Paul Hackett on the office water fountain and pray for plumbing problems, consider this: The Jets are 10-6 and in the playoffs.

The Jets started 5-0, then went 5-6 and still made the postseason for the third time in four seasons under coach Herm. Final record at the end of the regular season: 10-6.

But if the Jets started 5-6, then went 5-0, Jets fans would be pillaging Modell’s and other sporting goods stores looking for AFC Wild Card qualifier T-shirts. Interestingly enough, the final record at the end of the regular season would be . . . ? Bingo, 10-6!

So forget how they got there. They started this season playing for the wild card (no one was going to wrestle the AFC East title from New England) and that’s what they got. Turn over that new leaf, Jets fans. Be happy.

With this is mind, we begin 2005’s first Weekend Update with some events of the last few days and their corresponding New Year’s resolutions:

* The Jets get the 26-21 lead, based solely on its defense, then give up the lead, based solely on its defense. They kick a field goal to tie it at 29 at the end of regulation. Oh wait, the field goal would have won the game had Herm Edwards not opted to go for two in the third quarterXX after getting the 26-21 lead. An extra point was all that was needed then. It would have given the Jets a 27-21 lead, and then a field goal at the end would have won it, 30-29. But nooooooooooooooooo! Then the Rams win in overtime.
Herm Edwards’ new year’s resolution: I will coach to win the game.
Paul Hackett’s new year’s resolution: I will stop calling draw plays every 46 seconds.
Terry Bradway’s new year’s resolution: I will fire Paul Hackett and leave him in San Diego if we lose the wild-card game.

* The Giants win the game! The Giants win the game! The Giants win the game! Tiki Barber ran it in with 16 seconds and no timeouts left to end the Giants’ eight-game losing skid. In the process, Barber became the single-season rushing king of the franchise and Eli Manning won his first NFL game. And it all happened on a draw play.
Tom Coughlin’s new year’s resolution: I will build an offensive line next season.
Eli Manning’s new year’s resolution: Peyton ain’t s-bomb!

* Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury rang in the new year by proclaiming himself the best point guard in the NBA. Props to Starbury for believing in himself. You can’t get mad at that moxie. He then went out and pulled a Marbury: scored 31 points, assisted on 8 other baskets, lost the game to Jason Kidd and the Nets. Classic Steph. He’s a great point guard, but until he leads his team to a postseason series victory, he’s not the best. He’s just good. Point guards are floor leaders and possess that knack for the clutch play in the clutch moment. See: Kidd, Stevie Nash.
Marbury’s new year’s resolution: I will continue to talk trash, back it up, lead my team nowhere, then demand a trade.
The Knicks' new year's resolution: We vow to float around the .500 mark for as long as possible.

* St. John’s men’s basketball stunned – STUNNED! – N.C. State . . . and everyone else in populated areas of the world. The Red Storm outclassed an ACC team ranked No. 17 in the nation, three days after the Wolfpack’s Julius Hodge vowed to “bring some of Rucker Park” to Madison Square Garden for this little Holiday Festival.
Red Storm’s new year’s resolution: We’ll try to win a few more games, but if not, at least we won a tournament.
Julius Hodge’s new year’s resolution: I will keep my mouth shut.

* St. John’s women’s basketball played a meaningful game, but lost to UConn, 60-32. The Red Storm were 11-0 before the game, the Huskies just 6-3. That they lost mattered to the Red Storm. That people cared about the outcome mattered even more.
Red Storm’s new year’s resolution: We will not shoot 1-for-29 during any stretch of a game anymore.
Geno Auriemma's new year's resolution: I will continue to give outrageous quotes to reporters such as calling one of my players' shot "the worst in the history of basketball."

* Florida State beat West Virginia, 30-18, to win the Cotton Bowl. FSU quarterback Chris Rix, arguably the worst quarterback in college football history, led a pair of touchdown drives in the second half to seal the win.
Chris Rix’s new year’s resolution: I will stop playing football immediately.
Bobby Bowden’s new year’s resolution: I will recruit a real quarterback one day.

* Texas won the Rose Bowl, 38-37, over Michigan on Dusty Mangum’s last-second 37-yard field goal. It was an amazing back-and-forth game. Even more amazingly, it was the first meeting between these schools in the history of football.
NCAA’s new year’s resolution: We will stop being stupid.

* Randy Johnson became a Yankee.
George Steinbrenner’s new year’s resolution: I will destroy the world before I conquer it.

* Buffalo lost its playoff spot to a bunch of Pittsburgh backups. Denver won a playoff spot against a bunch of Indianapolis backups. Minnesota backed into the playoffs. Seattle earned its spot.
Drew Bledsoe’s new year’s resolution: I won’t take the sack in the offseason.
NFL’s new year’s resolution: We’ll stop talking about the NFC.

* Maria Sharapova donated some money to the tsunami relief fund and kept playing tennis in the disaster-stricked region as part of a promotional tour for the WTA.
Mark La Monica's new year's resolution: I will not stalk Sharapova. Well, at least, I promise not to get arrested for stalking Sharapova.