Showing posts from September, 2010

Trying to see Blue through rose-colored glasses

With September football done, I thought this a good time for my own assessment of the Giants, to see if I can justify hope or should hop on a green bandwagon.

Well, the good news may be that their two losses have come out of the conference. That said, those losses were ugly, and revealed key weaknesses. I don’t have to stretch the imagination too much, however, to dig up some positives from these sound beatings.

To start, when manhandled by the Colts last week, my biggest gripe was what seemed to be Blue’s being completely outcoached—for example, not being prepared with a run defense or able to adapt to Indy’s no-huddle offense. They suited up scores of pass rushers and played plenty of defensive backs, and the few run stuffers were clearly pushed to exhaustion and the DBs were just pushed around. This past week, the Giants seemed more prepared in that aspect of the game plan.

And, since I mentioned the defensive line already, I’ll continue with them. I have no problem at all with the p…

Stadium mania!

Ouch…Thinking about that beating the Giants received this past Sunday still hurts. Before the bloodbath, I had posted about my first two football road trips, and now I’ve decided to continue with my first visits to other stadiums. If the team I am visiting is not playing the Giants, I usually simply root for the home team, but I’m more interested in seeing a good game.

On a cold and snowy December day in 1993, my Jets season-ticket-holding brother-in-law, one of his good friends, and I made the drive to DC for a Jets–Redskins game at RFK stadium. In the worst game I ever saw in person, the Jets won by a field goal, which happened to be the only scoring in the game. On an earlier FG attempt, the Jets’ holder was hit in the head with the snapped ball—no doubt the funniest play I’ve ever witnessed. Yeah, the day was long, the weather and game equally dismal, but we look back on the day fondly.

Four years later, one of my very good friends—a diehard Seahawks fan—persuaded a band of us to ma…

It was 20 years ago this season…

The Giants were steamrolling, and 8-0 at this point in the season that culminated with their second Super Bowl victory. They were playing the Colts in Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, and I had tickets. A check of the schedule had revealed that the Browns were home that Sunday, playing the team that the Giants would eventually face for the title. And just like that, I went on my first football road trip.

Starting with Cleveland, I sat with my feet on the dugout of the old Municipal Stadium, which might have been nice for a baseball game, but it hampered my view in the football configuration. The Bills absolutely trounced the Browns, winning 42-0. Punts were blocked by the fistful, as the home team played a dismal game all the way around.

After making the drive to Indy the next day (that's my Beretta in front of the Hoosier Dome), I watched warm-ups, and then moved to my seat, which was in a section made up of Giants fans and adjacent to that of the players’ families. This mad…

Paper birch

Look, the trunks are white!

This was the first tree I planted, back in 2007. Kind of non-descript as a sapling, I was assured that at 4 or 5 years of age the brownish trunks would whiten. Now, I wouldn't want my teeth this shade of white, but I really like the way it stands out now. When the leaves fall off within the month, this tree --visible from the kitchen window--will offer some interest to a somewhat drab area of the yard.

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And so it begins...

I should be outside prepping for some painting I have to do, but there is rain in the forecast the next for the next few days. So, I am watching NFL pregame shows instead.

What will this season be like for the Giants?

Will the wide receivers put enough of a scare into defenses that they take a step back and open things up for the running game? That could be the key to the success of the offense. When Plaxico Burress shot the Giants in the foot by shooting himself in the leg two seasons ago, opposing linebackers and safeties took a giant step forward, packing the box and hurting their running game. I expect it to be the case more so this year than last that some of the young receivers help loosen things up for the Giants punishing ground game. Yes, there is the big question of the health and even the age of the offensive linemen, but these are five strong and proud men, and I think they can still push around most run defenses. The fullback play was weaker last year than the year before, …

Testing a mobile app using my viburnum

Here is a picture of my viburnum mariesii, which has grown some since I posted in May about my battle wrestling her into the ground. The dry weather hasn't helped, but she's doing fine...

I figured it would be as good a subject as any for a test post of the "ShowMe! Photo Blogger" app I just downloaded...

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Football season is here!

Without question the first game of the NFL season gets my juices flowing much more than does opening day of the MLB season. Friends of mine seem to look forward to baseball more—from pitchers and catchers reporting to opening day—I think because it means an end to winter and the arrival of spring. Fair enough. I covered as much back in April.

However, I look forward to football big time. I’m a Giants fan, and they open their new stadium this Sunday, but tonight I will be enthusiastically watching the Vikings-Saints game. It doesn’t matter if it Sunday or who is playing: I’ll watch any two teams play any day of the week.

Now, baseball season is far from over. No, I am not turning my back on the season. I am a Yankee fan after all, and therefore am hoping for (and half expecting) nearly two more months of baseball. My visits to new ballparks, though, are done. I made it to three more this year (Tampa, Florida, and Pittsburgh). I now have been to 31 MLB ballparks, and have seen all but six…

They make moose in other places?

What, another post about New Hampshire moose? Nope, this is a quick one about other places where I’ve seen these critters.

I watched this pair of bull moose relaxing in a field for about 90 minutes one afternoon while in Yellowstone National Park in 1996. I waited for the light to improve, I waited for them to pose a little better, but it stayed sunny and warm, and they just weren't particularly active…

I observed this bull and cow pair meandering in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, in May of 1997. The bull was growing a new set of antlers and ambled near me …

And I recall being in the dining car on the Alaska Railroad in 2003, watching this guy bolting from us. They do move rather quickly when in stride…

No doubt, future travel will present me with opportunities to see more moose. Nonetheless, I still fondly recall those trips to northern New Hampshire, where the main objective to see one was met.

Mad mama moose...and her kids

In past years, it is around this time that I would be pondering a long weekend camping trip to northern New Hampshire, with moose watching of course the prime objective.

With the spotting success of a fully antlered bull discussed in one of my last posts, this post is about the far more frequently observed cow moose. Gangly, odd-looking beasts, I certainly wouldn’t make 400-miles trips to photograph them. Still, they have produced some interesting encounters, including one that gave me quite a scare...

The reader should note that I respect animals and their space, the respect enabled in part because I have always had (even before the advent of digital zooms) sufficient telephoto equipment to lessen the space between me and my subject. Unfortunately, too many others crowd wildlife. I have seen it done to bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and, on one trip to Pittsburg, NH, I saw it done to a moose. Further, like many animals, mother moose are very protective of their young. So, when I …