Brooklyn has suddenly become a major player in the world of professional sports with the opening of the Barclays Center. The Nets will begin their season there by taking on the Knicks. And the New York Islanders, those perennial cellar dwellers of the National Hockey League — those years when labor issues don’t cancel the games — announced that they would be moving from the dilapidated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to the Barclays Center in the fall of 2015.
It’s completely understandable if Queensites feel a bit envious of all the attention our neighboring borough is getting, but there is another way of looking at things. Queens is connected to Manhattan, the home of Madison Square Garden’s Knicks and Rangers, by two bridges and a tunnel, while we also share a lengthy land border with Brooklyn. With our two million residents, Queens should be to New York’s winter sports teams what Ohio is to presidential election campaigns.
The Knicks, Rangers, Nets and Islanders should be competing for our loyalties by sending their players and alumni to our community events and by advertising in our newspapers (OK, I admit to some self-interest here!).
The Islanders in particular would be wise to promote themselves in our borough since they have far more fans here than in any of the other boroughs, including Brooklyn, since Nassau County is our neighbor to the east. The Nassau Coliseum is on average a 30-minute drive for many of us.
Isles owner Charles Wang said the team will still be called the New York Islanders and that their logo will be unchanged. I have no problem with the team name, but the logo, which features a map of Long Island, has always irked me because it only shows the land occupied by Nassau and Suffolk counties. They would be wise to now include all of geographic Long Island by adding Brooklyn and Queens to the design.
One of the ironies of the Islanders’ move from Uniondale to downtown Brooklyn is that they will finally be near a Long Island Rail Road station, Atlantic Terminal. The absence of an LIRR station at the Nassau Coliseum has always hampered the box office success of the Islanders as it disenfranchises fans who don’t have cars. Even those who have one may not want to drive it in bad weather, which is frequently the case during hockey season. Parking fees and high gasoline prices also have to be factored into the budgetary equation.
Congrats to baseball Hall of Famer and original Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner, who turned 90 last Friday. Ralph still offers commentary during select Mets games on SNY.
While it’s understandable that the Jets probably did not have their full focus on football last Sunday as everyone was preparing for Hurricane Sandy, their 30-9 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins was galling and badly damaged their fading playoff hopes.
QB Mark Sanchez, who enjoyed a decent outing against the New England Patriots last week, reverted to his ineffective ways. In fairness, his offensive line was the equivalent of tissue paper.
As has been the case all season, the Jets were penalized at the worst possible times, though the sad truth is that they should have been called for more infractions, but the referees probably wanted to get out of MetLife Stadium as quickly as possible since the game’s outcome was never in doubt from the get-go.
Even one of the Jets’ traditional pillars, special teams, was awful against the Dolphins as Miami was able to recover a surprise on-side kick early in the first quarter, and then block a punt shortly after that. The Jets also allowed a ton of yards on both kickoffs and punt returns.
The first words out of Islanders owner Charles Wang’s mouth when he made his big announcement at the Barclays Center were “Hello Brooklyn!” It seems as if that has become the hot 2012 catchphrase around here. Sportiqe, a sporting apparel company that makes fashionable T-shirts, cardigans, and hoodies, has signed a licensing deal with the Nets and the NBA to produce a line of “Hello Brooklyn” apparel.
Biz Bash held their annual fall trade show last week at the Javits Center to promote various venues for corporate parties. Two upscale Manhattan bowling emporiums (you can’t call these places “bowling alleys”), Bowlmor and Lucky Strike, exhibited there as a way of getting a leg up on competitors Frames and 300. My guess is that one of these companies will open an outpost in Long Island City or Astoria sometime in 2013.
Forget Democrats and Republicans or Coke and Pepsi. If you want to see two rivals who go at each other with everything they’ve got and more, check out Apple and Samsung, whose iPhones and Galaxies battle for world domination in the smartphone market. These guys file patent infringement lawsuits against each other on almost a daily basis.
Samsung took over Moynihan Station last Wednesday night to introduce the Galaxy Note II, a product that Samsung calls a “phablet,” a combination of cell phone and tablet that allows a user to handwrite emails as well as access the Internet with a stylus.
Humorist Mo Rocca, who many know from his past work on Comedy Central, and currently CBS’s “This Morning,” has launched a light-hearted show, “My Grandmother’s Ravioli,” in which he tries to learn recipes from senior citizens from various ethnic groups. The show airs Wednesday evenings on the Cooking Channel.