Monday, February 15, 2016

St. Valentine's Day "McIlrath"

On a day meant for lovers, Dylan McIlrath endeared himself to Ranger fans with the Valentine that he sent to the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds.

It had been eight days since Simmonds clocked Ryan McDonagh in the face, putting the Rangers captain on the sideline with a concussion while thrusting himself to #1 on the latest "Garden Villains Hit Parade"

It took only 39 seconds to answer what was not only a punch in the face for McDonagh, but for the rest of the team, a punch in the stomach.

The question going in, how would the Rangers respond. "I wanted to stick up for my teammate", McIlrath said after the game, "our captain, our best player."

McIlrath showed a lot more than just plain old guts in sticking up for his teammate, he showed that he's become too valuable to be a healthy scratch anymore.

McIlrath and Simmonds squared off, both got some punches in and I found myself doing some "blow by blow" during an update on WFAN radio.

The crowd was already fired up as Simmonds hit the ice for the first time but after the first round of fisticuffs, you could feel the electricity had gone up a notch.

Twenty seconds later, it was Tanner Glass and the Flyers Ryan White who were engaged but not in the sense of a Valentine.

It was like an ol time encounter between these long time rivals.

Philadelphia even had a player wearing the name "Schultz" on the back of his jersey, though it was Nick, who is not related to Dave "the hammer".

Beside providing an answer for a Rangers team that was already close-knit, McIlrath continues to show improvement in his game.

He's cut down on the mistakes in his own end and has provided a physical presence that is sorely needed on the back line.

(I'm a little surprised that the Rangers have not tried McIlrath at the point on the power play. He's got a blistering shot and would be valuable on the ice with the man advantage)

It's becoming much more apparent that the Rangers are a better team with McIlrath in the lineup. The Rangers have a bit of a dilemma. McIlrath needs to play.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

So You Want to Work in the Sports Business by Danny Karpin

  by Danny Karpin            

     The night of Christmas Eve 2015, many people may be inside their houses with their families. Others may be having a nice dinner at a restaurant surrounded by the ones they love. On this night, I reside in the office of CBS Sports Radio. My shift has just begun and I am scheduled to run a “Best of” Show. There are probably many other things or other jobs that I could be doing at this moment.
               It’s not necessarily that I do not want to be here. I have never really been the type to enjoy any holiday and the job itself involves work that is not particularly challenging to me. Honestly I regard that lack of a challenge in a good way because it comes from working in one of my passions in life: sports. I got to work with great people most of the time covering interesting and fun sports events. The contempt stems more from the fact that I am here in general, working here in sports journalism.
               This was an area I never particularly saw myself going into. I did not watch professional sports games and ponder if I would be the one speaking to the audience one day. Like many I was more into fantasizing about playing for one of the teams I followed, but also like many that dream came to an end pretty early in my life. I did not attend games and think that I might one day be the one announcing the players who walk onto the field. These are not the positions and occupations I particularly saw myself in but it is something I could have been on track to. It was not something that I considered impossible for me to do; after all I do like sports a lot and follow them pretty much effortlessly. I’m a fan of the American big four: baseball, basketball, football and hockey, but the drive has to come from more than just being a fan. Nobody will tell you that though.
               Nobody said it is easy, nobody will tell you that it will all just fall into your lap. If it did then nobody would want to do it and it wouldn’t pay much at all, but sports journalism is an area where many find themselves trying to break into. If you like sports, then you think you can work in sports. If you cannot be a pro sports player then maybe you can cover sports or be a sports announcer.
               I asked myself, ‘many others do it, why can’t I? Why can’t I join the ranks of some of the greats within the sports journalism industry?’ I will tell you why, because it is harder than I or you or anybody else could have even imagined. While someone who pursues a professional sport might have to go up against more competition directly within their sport, their field is strictly performance and results based. When it comes to this industry, performance and results can be a lot harder to measure in the work of a sports journalist.
               If someone thinks you sound good it does not necessarily mean you do. Now consider if that person happens to have the power to put you in the position that you want to be in, such as on-air or covering a specific team that you enjoy watching. The subjectivity is overwhelming.
               Fast forward a week and I am here again, in the throes of the office, preparing to produce a nationally syndicated radio show. It is New Year’s Eve, many would not be willing to work on a night like this but I am in need of the money and the work. Again like I said the work does come easy to me. Still another thought looms in my mind as I work.
               Is this where I want to be? I look around at some of my co-workers, many like me, love sports and just want to do something involving something they love. Don’t we all? The problem for me is the drive and this industry requires a ton of it.
Drive has been something that, admittedly, I have had trouble finding for years.
               I do not want to push myself into an industry where the drive to succeed and advance is key. If I am speaking honestly that drive has to probably exist in most if not all professions, how far can you really go without the will or wherewithal to do what the others won’t.  Sometimes I recall a conversation I had one night with one of my co-workers regarding the secret to success. He told me a story, I am sure it was something told to him by a mentor or a teacher. It is definitely a story that has been handed down generations throughout the years. It provides a lot of insight to my situation.
               It mentions a man, a man who wants to succeed. So he consults a guru, who then brings him to an ocean and says the secret to success lies out there. The man takes steps out into the water until he cannot stand anymore without being under, the guru then proceeds to hold him under until he can barely breathe. Only when he is about to die is he finally able to push off the guru. In anger he confronts the guru who calmly tells him that the only thing he needs to succeed, is to bring that same drive he had to survive under water, to anything else. He claims “when you want success that badly, you will have it” I like to think this can apply to any job, career and/or future.
               It is about the drive, the drive to commit, the drive to accomplish, the drive to succeed. That drive is not something I have felt working in sports journalism and a part of that saddens me deeply. It really does because it is one of the few jobs I have had where I can go to work and enjoy what I do. Then I consider the other factors, the politics and commitment one has to have to succeed in this business and I am completely off put. Maybe I do not have what it takes, and I am willing to admit that. Above all else it is something that I have had to face; it is the reason why I am leaving my hometown where I have a job working in sports journalism.

               Without the drive the rest is useless. The climb would be useless because I would, without a doubt, fall before I get to the top. So I am taking a pre-emptive approach to that fall, an approach to make sure it does not happen. So I am writing this as a view into the other-side of things in the sports world. Just because you like sports does not mean you can handle the climb through the sports journalism industry. For those who are trying to break into it or have started working in it, just remember this, working as a successful and truly recognizable sports journalist is an art and it is not ever easily duplicated. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

If Giants Let Him, Beckham Will Wreck-'em

In what should be as "red a flag" as the color they wear on their white uniforms, the Giants need to get control of an "out of control" Odell Beckham Jr. or both sides will lose.

What went on at Met Life Stadium Sunday is inexcusable, much less tolerable which seems to be the way the coaches are viewing it.

The NFL suspended Beckham for one game for what was an embarrassing scene for the sport. His helmet to helmet hit (that certainly looked deliberate) on Panthers corner Josh Norman could not have come at a worse time for the League with the movie "Concussion" about to make it's debut in theaters on Christmas Day.

During a conference call earlier today, head coach Tom Coughlin was asked about why he didn't sit Beckham as he piled up three personal fouls and acted like a lunatic on the field. Shockingly, Coughlin said, "I don't watch one player throughout the course of the game and I wasn't aware that all of the personal fouls were directed at Odell."

With the penalties and the player's number being announced to the crowd by the referee through the use of a "state of the art" sound system in the Stadium, I find it hard to believe that Coughlin or the other coaches did not know that Beckham was racking up all that penalty yardage.

Beckham's antics may have already sealed Coughlin's fate because the Giants are not making the playoffs, no matter that they're mathematically still alive. If Washington wins Saturday night, then the tally will officially be four years and counting without post season football.

The officials, who have had their fair share of problems this season, did not do Coughlin or the Giants any favors by not ejecting Beckham.

If he gets tossed, then the decision whether to play him or not is taken out of Coughlin's hands and gives the coach plenty of "ammo" to sternly impart his message for his receiver being selfish, right after the game. Once Beckham caught the tying touchdown, the leverage kinda shrunk for the head coach at that moment, although, this suspension restores some of that if Coughlin chooses to go that route. It seems like he will not.

The Giants have to prod him certainly, but they also have to hope that Beckham starts to "get it" as to how he should be acting on the field.

It's looking more and more likely that Coughlin will not return next season. If there is a new head coach, he'll be facing the same hurdle that this one is facing.

A new head coach may not be so tolerant because he can't allow Beckham to ruin his credibility.

With Beckham demonstrating how selfish he can be, he may get turned off by the rigidity of a new head coach and be disruptive. Whoever is doing the hiring will have to take that into account and bring in someone for the good of the team, not someone who is there to placate an immature, but immensely talented wide receiver.