The St. John’s University men’s basketball team has garnered nationwide attention since Steve Lavin replaced Norm Roberts as head coach. The Red Storm flew out to California for a Nov. 16 ESPN game with St. Mary’s College, which they lost 76-71, and the score was deceivingly closer than it should have been.
After that opening loss, the Red Storm flew back to Queens to play my alma mater, those traditional doormats of the Ivy League, the Columbia Lions, at Carnesecca Arena 36 hours later. St. John’s quickly jumped out to a 24-12 lead but found themselves trailing Columbia at halftime, 39-35. Lavin, who was understandably hoping to rest most of his starters, had to play all of them nearly the entire second half to secure a 79-66 win.
I sat next to Bill Steinman, the former Columbia sports information director, who said he overheard two Red Storm fans saying the Lions must be a shoo-in to win the Ivy League title this year. “I didn’t have the heart to tell them that we were picked to finish next to last in the preseason coaches’ poll!” he said.
Hockey season is truly underway now that the Islanders, as per tradition, have fired their head coach. Scott Gordon, whose stone face and humorlessness made press conferences a chore to sit through, was canned after the Isles dropped their 10th straight. There’s no truth to the rumor that the Mets immediately tried to interview him for their own managerial spot.
MLB Network analyst and Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci was a guest speaker at last week’s Sports Business Journal’s Sports & Media Technology conference. “The Mets are at least two years away from being a contender,” he said. “Their problems go far deeper than the guys on their 40-man roster.”
At the same conference, New York developer and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told attendees that he has it on good authority that Time Warner Cable will soon add the NFL Network to its channel lineup.
Would someone please wake me up when Derek Jeter and the Yankees agree to that inevitable new contract? I haven’t read so much meaningless hysteria since I was in nursery school and heard the tale of Chicken Little. The sky will not fall. It’s pathetic how much space is being wasted in the dailies, including The New York Times, which usually has some immunity to such nonsense, on what will ultimately prove to be a non-story.
Sports Illustrated, ESPN, “Entertainment Tonight,” People, US Weekly and In Touch rarely all cover the same story, but that’s the case with the divorce of “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker. Parker reportedly was having a dalliance with an ex-teammate’s wife. It doesn’t get juicier than that.
The National Museum of American Jewish History just opened in Philadelphia. Queens College alum Jerry Seinfeld was master of ceremonies at the opening gala. Among the items on display are a glove used by Sandy Koufax and a bat belonging to Hank Greenberg. Located next to Independence Hall, it’s well worth the two-hour drive from Queens.