Monday, November 30, 2009

Back After A Long Weekend

After what was a long holiday weekend for many it’s back to work or school today…depending on how much shopping you did over the last few days today might feel more like a vacation than the weekend.

The Jackson Memorial High School Athletic Department will hold their Fall Sports Awards Night this evening and induct Ashley Eure as their newest member into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. A 1991 Jaguars graduate, Eure was a three-sport standout but best known for his ability on the soccer field where he earned All-County, All-Shore and All-State honors and helped Jackson win the Group 4 title in 1990. Eure also played basketball and spring track and would later attend Temple University and play soccer for the Owls. Tonight’s Awards Night is open to varsity letter winners only and their parents and will take place in the Fine Arts Auditorium.

Had my first opportunity to broadcast a football game from Jackson Liberty High School on Thanksgiving Eve and what a tremendous facility. They can probably seat more people than any other place in the area and with the locker rooms right under the bleachers and a first-class press box it’s just a great setting for a football game. Special thanks to Lions head coach Tim Osborne for the hospitality and help in broadcasting the game on the Shore Sports Network.

Speaking of our football broadcasts we will be doing two championship games from The College of New Jersey this weekend. Friday Night on the Shore Sports Network we’ll carry the Manasquan-Matawan Central Jersey Group 2 Final and then Saturday we’ll return to TCNJ as Brick Memorial defends their Central Jersey Group 4 title against East Brunswick at 3pm.

The Toms River-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual Holiday Luncheon on Thursday, December 10th at the Holiday Inn of Toms River. The event will also find Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ocean County receiving the Chamber’s “Season of Giving Award” for all they do to make life better for others in our community. For information and registration you can call the Chamber office at (732) 349-0220.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Favorite Holiday

To me it’s without question the best holiday of the year and maybe more than ever a day we should try to enjoy and savor. Thanksgiving celebrates all things good in life while of course reminding us about the sad realities that it’s not that way for everyone. There’s no real commercialization, you don’t have to worry about gifts and for most of us features the three F’s…family, food and football.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful day for so many reasons. Loved ones travel from near to far to reunite with their families and often renew traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. For some the day will start by taking in a high school football game as there are more than a dozen in the shore area alone, including long time rivalries Toms River South versus Lakewood and Neptune against Asbury Park. Others may chose to not watch but play a little touch football as they work up an appetite and then rationalize that it’s okay to overeat. Food will come in all directions and you will try and remind yourself that it’s not a sprint but a marathon. I always start by saying I’ll go easy on the appetizers but in truth I’ll be pretty much shot before the turkey is even sliced. Turkey of course is the day’s staple but many will offer a diverse menu that will include lasagna, ham and more sides than you can count. My favorite is stuffing with sausage…a real healthy offering that is part of the reason the average American will consume about 4,500 calories tomorrow. Are you below or above average?

Eating is not done in the form of a meal but stages and takes hours which gives you time in between to watch football on TV, including traditional games in Detroit and Dallas. Both games might be awful but who cares…they are just reasons to sit on the couch and loosen your belt. By the time the evening game featuring the Giants kicks off many will be working on desert or even leftovers. Then of course there are those who will end this great day early to get ready for Black Friday…some will begin their shopping just after midnight.

You can have the savings….I’ll take our greatest holiday tradition. It may be harder than ever to give thanks for our blessings but we should and I will.
So Happy Thanksgiving…my favorite holiday of the year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Living With Rain

I can’t tell you officially but it sure seems like we’ve had a lot of rain this fall and it makes me wonder how anyone can live in a place like Mobile, Alabama which is the rainiest city in the country. They get about 67 inches of rain annually and average about 59 rainy days during the year. Of course many of you thought Seattle, Washington was the wettest place in the U.S. but they actually get less rain then we do but they do have 226 cloudy days over the course of an average year. On the other side you have Las Vegas which receives only 4 inches of rain in a year.

Anyway to kind of get back to my point it sure seems like we’ve had a lot of wet days in the last few months and it really has a major impact on the mood of most people, including yours truly. I hate starting my morning by running out to the car in the pouring rain like I did this morning. I pull up to the drive-thru at Dunkin Donuts and as I open the window to order the rain is coming in to the car and the same when you pick up your coffee. It’s just a giant inconvenience and not the best way to start your day. The other thing that strikes me is how dark it is and it sometimes stays that way for the entire day. It’s really depressing and you often fall into this state of lethargy…isn’t that why people say “it’s a great day for staying in bed.”

On the other hand when the sun is shining you want to get up and get moving. You have that extra bounce in your step, whether at home or at work and it definitely affects your mood in a positive way. I really enjoy weekend days with sunshine, even in the winter. Put on a pair of shorts and go the gym in the morning, get a cup of coffee and head to the ocean. Sunshine is like a giant energy bar while the rain is like that feeling you have after eating way too much at a meal…you just want to take a nap.

The real dilemma is how to keep moving on a day like today when the weather is dark and dreary. The answer is to simply rise above it, put on a happy face and forge ahead. Or you can simply pull up the covers, ignore the alarm clock and go back to sleep. Good day for watching old movies.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Random Thoughts

Random thoughts on the Monday before Thanksgiving:

Brick Memorial is the only Ocean County team among the five from the Shore Conference who will be playing for NJSIAA sectional football titles in a couple of weeks. The Mustangs will look to defend their Central Jersey Group 4 title when they meet East Brunswick on Saturday, December 5th
at The College of New Jersey with kickoff at 3pm. TCNJ will also host the Middletown South-Monroe game that same day at 11am and the Manasquan-Matawan sectional final on Friday, December 4th (7pm). Toms River East and Lacey lost their semifinal games over the weekend.

If you went or attempted to go to the movies this past weekend you probably spent some time searching for a parking spot. That’s because people flocked to the theatres in record numbers to see “New Moon,” the second installment in the “Twilight” saga. The movie took in more than $140 million over the weekend, the third biggest opening ever behind “The Dark Knight” and “Spider-Man 3.” Second at the box office was another new move, “The Blind Side” which took in $34.5 million. We saw the movie, which is based on the real life story of Baltimore Ravens rookie Michael Oher, an uneducated and poor black teenager from Memphis, Tennessee who is taken in by an upscale white family. Oher became a football star in high school and later the University of Mississippi. The movie has some slow moments but is inspiring and a true rags-to-riches story well worth the price of admission.

One of the best things about this week is that college students have or will be coming home, many for the first time since summer. One of the worst things about this week is that college students have or will be coming home, many for the first time since summer. As a public service…be prepared, especially if they are freshman. You might wonder if they are the same kids who went away….the truth is they are not.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend Preview

Toms River South makes its first-ever appearance in a boys soccer group final tonight when the Indians take on Clifton in the Group 4 Championship game at The College of New Jersey. Coach Ed Liebe’s squad has become the “cardiac kids” of soccer with last-second and overtime wins highlighting their state tournament run. In tonight’s 5:30 match-up they meet a Clifton team that has not allowed a goal in it’s five tournament victories and has reached the Group 4 final for a third straight year.

On the subject of soccer how can you not be impressed with what’s been taking place at Monmouth University. The Hawks outlasted Big East champion Connecticut in a shootout Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before more than a thousand fans on The Great Lawn in West Long Branch. Monmouth next faces Ivy League champion Harvard Sunday in Cambridge, Massachusetts where a win would propel them into the final 16 teams left playing in the nation. By the way, the Hawks will lose only one senior to graduation so there should be more good times in the future.

The NJSIAA Football Semifinals are set for this weekend with Lacey, Toms River East and Brick Memorial the only Ocean County teams among the 12 from the Shore Conference still alive for sectional titles. Lacey takes a 7-game winning streak to Timber Creek tonight in a South Jersey Group 3 matchup while the undefeated Raiders battle Egg Harbor Saturday afternoon in a SJ Group 4 game that will be played on the turf at St. Augustine Prep. Defending champion Brick Memorial looks to turn the tables on Howell when the teams meet Saturday night in a Central Jersey Group 4 semifinal…the Rebels winning a regular season duel 37-27 four weeks ago.

Our Shore Sports Network will broadcast tonight’s Central Jersey Group 2 battle between Manasquan and Rumson-Fair Haven. Kickoff is 7pm and you can hear the game on 105.7FM, 1160AM or at

The Cross Country season concludes tomorrow with the running of the Meet of Champions at Holmdel Park. Among the local runners to watch is Toms River North’s Joe Kotran, who won the Group 4 championship last weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Ocean County College Athletic Hall of Fame

The Ocean County College Athletic Hall of Fame inducted its latest class last night at a dinner at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood. Denise Stusnick Rosetto, Rene Roncin Nani. Kerrie Haskamp Farkas, Danielle Riebe Rosinski and Malcom Reed bring the number to 35 of former Viking athletes honored for their contributions while wearing the Green and White.

The committee also saluted its first Team of Distinction, the 1985 Women’s Field Hockey squad that gave OCC it’s first-ever National Championship.
13 of the 17 players from that team were on hand last night along with Hall-of-Fame Coach Sue Stusnick, who traveled from Florida to reunite with the players who 24 years ago beat Becker College of Massachusetts to win the title. Stusnick year in and year out produced great Viking teams but unfortunately the sport was dropped because there were not enough schools that fielded teams in the Garden State Athletic Conference.

As I have for the previous five ceremonies I served as Master of Ceremonies and some 150 people turned out to honor the former OCC greats. College President Dr. Jon Larson welcomed those in attendance and Athletic Director Ilene Cohen presented the new members with their awards which welcomed them into the Hall of Fame. Those wishing to nominate a former athlete, coach or contributor for consideration in the future can do so online at

The results of WOBM’s Biggest Loser competition are in and congrats to Account Executive Mike Mangan, who not only lost the most weight (21lbs) but also dropped the highest percentage of his original weight to win the first prize. Yours truly came in second with 18 pounds dropped in 7 weeks. Among others, newscaster Jason Allentoff shed 18 pounds and Sue Moll, lost 12 pounds. We all lost weight and had a lot of fun doing it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tales From The Playoffs

The Toms River South Boys Soccer team had its end-of-season banquet last Thursday but there was a slight problem…it wasn’t the end of the season.
On an evening that is usually filled with awards and honors all of those in attendance were really more interested in what would happen the following day when the Indians would play Lenape for the South Jersey Group 4 championship. South, in customary fashion would score a late goal in regulation and then prevail in overtime to claim the sectional title. I say in customary fashion because since tournament play began late last month this team has shown an uncanny ability to score dramatic goals late and I mean very late to win games. Last night the cardiac kids of soccer found themselves on the other end but responded anyway and are now a win away from the state Group 4 title…something unthinkable just a couple of weeks ago.

Memorial Field in Neptune was the site of a Group 4 semifinal between the Indians and their cross town rivals Toms River North. The Mariners had won both regular-season meetings on their way to claiming the Class A South title and entered last night’s game with a 16-2-1 record. North took a 1-0 lead but Dan Crashewsky’s goal and two assists gave South a 3-2 advantage and it stayed that way for much of the second half. However the Mariners used late-game lightning to send the game into overtime when Tanner Sica scored with just 22 seconds left in regulation. How would the Indians respond to the situation of their opponent carrying momentum into overtime? Their fans would not have to wait long to find out because Crashewsky, who has performed like an All-Star player in the post-season
scored less then two minutes into overtime to send the maroon and white into a delirious state. Crash, Steven Petrosino, John Nogiewich & Sean Casey now have one game left this season and that is Friday night when they face Clifton in the Group 4 Championship game at The College of New Jersey. Don’t think everyone at Toms River South is happy with this fact…as a matter of fact they’ll be some disappointed young ladies. You see while the Indians are playing this “ultimate game” they’ll be getting ready for the Homecoming Dance. They’ll have to excuse their soccer playing dates for missing pictures….hopefully they can make it in time for the last dance.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Playoff Time

80 teams from New Jersey high schools will converge on Monsignor Donovan High School today for the 5th annual Gateway Toyota Academic
Challenge. The participating schools will come from seven counties to take part in what’s become one of the largest academic competitions in the state.
Since 2005, Gateway Toyota of Toms River has donated $25,000 in support of the event with the sponsorship money used to run the tournament and also
provide scholarships for the winning teams and top students.

Four Ocean County soccer teams have won state sectional titles and look to take another step towards overall group championships when they take the field tonight. Much of the attention will be focused on Memorial Field in Neptune, the site of the Group 4 semifinals. At 5pm the Jackson Memorial girls will face Lenape and following that at 7pm it’s an all-Toms River battle
for a spot in the boy’s championship game as North takes on South. The Mariners swept both regular-season meetings on their way to the Class A South title but the Indians are riding a wave of last-second victories in tournament play. Meanwhile the Point Boro girls are playing Hopewell Valley at 5pm today at Toms River North in the Group 3 semifinals.

It’s been an incredible season for the Monmouth University men’s soccer team and they begin the next journey on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Championships. The Hawks are coming off winning the Northeast Conference Tournament and are currently ranked 8th in the national rankings. Monmouth has drawn Big East Regular Season champion Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA’s with the game to be played on the Great Lawn Thursday at noon. The winner gets Harvard in the second round.

Freshman Derrick Russell collected his first college dual victory to help the Bucknell University wrestling team defeat North Carolina after losing close matches to Virginia and Virginia Tech earlier in the day at the ACC Challenge in Chapel Hill. Russell, wrestling at 125 pounds, is a former standout at Jackson Memorial High School.

Was anyone surprised to hear Governor-Elect Chris Christie say Monday that New Jersey’s fiscal situation is worse then even he imagined? Sounds like even rougher times are ahead.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Musings

After viewing the damage Mother Nature did to some area beaches it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of money to get them back in shape. So much sand moved that it looked more like snow with boardwalks and roads covered and what was truly amazing were the piles that resembled drifting snow banks. I had to walk up what appeared to be about a six foot
hill just to get on the 2nd Avenue beach in Seaside Park Sunday as this nor’easter really pounded the coast. There were many people who rode over to see the effects of the storm and I’m sure plenty checking on summer houses. By the way I understand the importance of collecting revenue but enforcing parking meters on a Sunday morning in November is greed….plain and simple.

Sometimes you just have to wonder what people are thinking. Yesterday I stopped at a local convenience store to get a cup of coffee and I was greeted by a young girl in a cheerleading outfit who was tagging outside the store.
She was not representing a school or youth team as it appeared to be some independent group and there was no indication of what exactly she was raising money for. However that was not what struck me buy rather she was very young…maybe 5-6 years old, had her hair done like one of those beauty contestants and was wearing a mid-driff which exposed her stomach. So am I a prude when I say that I didn’t find it cute but rather sleazy?

The Ocean County College Athletic Hall of Fame will induct several new members Wednesday during a dinner at Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood. The newest class of Hall of Famers is made up of swimmer Kerrie Haskamp Farkas, field hockey and track standout Rene Roncin Nani, former basketball players Malcolm Reed & Danielle Riebe Rosinski and three sport athlete Denise Stusnick. In addition the 1985 National Championship Field Hockey team will be saluted. I will once again serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event and for information you can call (732)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bring On The Playoffs

Congratulations to the Jackson Memorial Girls Soccer team as they captured their first-ever state sectional title on Thursday. Dana Costello’s second-half goal, her 27th of the season and the play of freshman goalie Sydney Lavan led the Jaguars to a 1-0 win over Manalapan and the Central Jersey Group 4 championship. Next up for Jackson is a Tuesday date with Lenape in the Group semifinals. Scheduled to play for Boys titles this afternoon are Toms River North and Toms River South and because both games will be played on turf they may actually take place despite the awful weather. The Mariners will host Rancocas Valley in the Central Jersey Group 4 finals while the South Indians head to Lenape where the South Jersey Group 4 crown is on the line. If both Toms River teams win they will play one another in the group semifinals next week.

The Southern Regional Girls Volleyball team is a win away from defending their State Group 4 Championship. The Rams topped East Brunswick last night to earn a spot in Saturday’s final against undefeated Bridgewater-Raritan at William Patterson University. Southern’s 40 wins this season is a state record.

The NJSIAA Football Playoffs open tonight and weather certainly could be a major factor. 18 teams from the Shore Conference have qualified for the state sectionals, including defending champions Brick Memorial, Manasquan and Asbury Park. The Memorial Mustangs appear to have the toughest path to repeating as they visit undefeated Hunterdon Central tonight and if they get past that will probably face Howell in the Central Jersey Group 4 semifinals. Speaking of undefeated, Toms River East opens its quest for a South Jersey Group 4 crown tonight at home against Washington Township in a game that will be broadcast on the Shore Sports Network, including 105.7FM and 1160AM. In that same sectional, Toms River North visits undefeated Williamstown this evening. The hottest team coming into the state tournament is Lacey as the Lions have run off six straight wins, the last five all by shutout. Tomorrow Lacey will host Pemberton in a South Jersey Group 3 first round matchup.

Not to be lost in all this outside sports action is the fact that Monmouth University opens its Men’s Basketball season tonight in their brand new $57 million MAC against Florida International, coached by Isiah Thomas.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Things For A Thursday

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The only good thing to come out of our involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East is that all of our nation has come together to respect and appreciate those in the military…past and present. That was evident by not only all the local events to commemorate Veteran’s Day on Wednesday but the enthusiasm shown by many in attendance for those who have and do wear the uniform. Now that Veteran’s Day is over we have to keep those in the armed forces in our thoughts and prayers and not forget the families many have left behind. The holiday season that is approaching is especially tough for military families and we should do whatever we can to help them while their loved ones are overseas.

In the spirit of events to benefit our community one of my favorite organizations will be holding a fundraiser tomorrow night. “Kevin’s Kids”
is the annual effort to bring Christmas to families in Manchester Township
who Santa Claus might forget. It was founded and is directed by Manchester school administrator Kevin Burger and his wife Peggy and I have seen up close and personal the incredible effort they and many volunteers put in to make this a great success. Tomorrow from 4-8pm there will be a “Kevin’s Kids Proceeds Night” at the Wendy’s restaurant on Route 37 and Bananier Drive, west of the Garden State Parkway in Toms River. 20% of proceeds during those four hours will go to helping the cause and all you need to do is let the cashier know you’re there to support this great organization.

That will take care of your dinner tomorrow night and I can offer a breakfast suggestion for Sunday. The Summer in the Park Business Association will sponsor a Pancake Breakfast to benefit the Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company and Tri-Boro First Aid Squad. The delicious event takes place at the Tri-Boro First Aid Building on J Street in Seaside Park from 9am-noon.
The donation is just $7 for adults and $5 for children between the ages of
4-12 and of course you’ll be helping two organizations who routinely help others.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembering Ocean County's Veterans

It would be hard to find anything positive about our involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East over the last several years with one exception….and that is the new found respect many have for those who serve in the military. With the exception of Operation Desert Storm in the early 90’s we had experienced a relatively long period of peace from the end of Viet Nam until this current conflict. During that time it was easy to overlook the contributions made by those in the armed forces, past and present because as the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”

We of course know all too well this is not the case today and young people are growing up in a time of war just like many of us did, whether it is World War II, Korea or Viet Nam. They are witnessing the pain that goes with having family, friends and neighbors serving overseas. Unlike the 60’s and 70’s when Viet Nam divided our nation, we are united in our respect for the men and women who wear the uniform even if we’re split over the cause they are fighting for.

Today is Veterans Day which marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I in 1918. It’s a federal holiday although there are schools open who use today to learn about and honor those who have served. Many students will participate in and watch the annual Ocean County Veterans Day Parade, which begins at 9:30am at the Toms River Shopping Center at the intersection of Route 37 and Main Street. The parade follows the same route as the Halloween Parade, heading south on Main Street and then east on Washington Street. It’s a good way to come out and “thank a veteran” for their service.

Once again this year the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals on St. Catherine Boulevard in Toms River is paying tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. With the help of local Boy Scouts, they have placed American flags on their lawn to commemorate the more than 5,000 American men and women killed in Iraq & Afghanistan. It’s a striking and sad reminder of the times we live in and that freedom comes with a price and is never free.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When Does Christmas Start?

Let me begin my saying I like Christmas…at least most things about it. I like the warm feelings that many people have for their fellow man during the season, love the excitement children get at the thought of Santa coming to their house, am awed at the site of churches decorated to celebrate the significance of Christmas and often just enjoy taking in the sights and smells that go with the holiday. Christmas means different things to different people and I understand and appreciate that. It is for many a wonderful time of year.

With that said who and when made the decision to lengthen the season to where you can get tired of Christmas well before December 25th? It used to be that the “season” so to speak started the day after Thanksgiving. As a matter of fact I seem to remember that you pretty much first heard of Christmas when Santa Claus made his season debut at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. That was your first sighting of the big guy and then of course the next day he was in the Mall or your local shopping center.
Now it seems like Santa and Halloween go hand-in-hand…one ends and the other begins. The holiday really getting the short end is Thanksgiving which is my favorite day of the year because it really comes with no strings attached. But Thanksgiving doesn’t have enough retail value to most….it’s just an interruption between Halloween and Christmas. Thanksgiving actually is like New Jersey as many view us as just that place in between New York and Philadelphia.

It seems like each year we want to move the Christmas season up by at least a few days. Here we haven’t even reached Veterans Day yet and Santa’s been around for a while, every other TV ad seems to have a holiday theme, some have already decorated their house and even put up their tree and yes Christmas music is being heard on the radio. Why do we have to rush this season? Do we like it that much or have we let others influence our own actions? I am one who refuses to give in and will do all I can to boycott the Christmas hype until AFTER Thanksgiving. It’s the turkey not Santa who deserves the headlines for now…give him his due.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Joys Of HDTV

As I have gotten older I will admit to more and more enjoying watching sports from the comfort of my couch on my HDTV. Going to games in person for the most part is a giant headache as it involves a commute and often logistical obstacles that make you say afterwards “why did I put myself though this.” The one exception to this rule for me has been attending Penn State football games which I have always look forward to and enjoyed to the max. However I feel somewhat let down after this weekend’s trip to what turned out to be not-so-Happy Valley. Don’t get me wrong, I relish the opportunity to spend time with my brother and my son, a Penn State graduate. However these return trips with Brandon means trying to keep up his friends, which gets tougher each year and often just as painful is my brother and I always seem to pick up the tab.

None of this has really mattered because our weekend trips have just about always included a Nittany Lions victory which puts everyone in a good mood. As a matter of fact going into this weekend I believe I had only witnessed one loss by the good guys at Beaver Stadium and that was probably ten years ago. Everything was great about this weekend, especially the weather until the game against hated Ohio State kicked off Saturday afternoon at 3:30. Three hours later we walked out of the stadium dejected and depressed…it was so bad my son and his friends didn’t even want to go out later that night which did save us some money. Just when you thought it could not get worse came the drive home yesterday in which the traffic on Interstate 80 was so bad it took us two hours to go 26 miles at one stretch.
The drive is a lot more painful after a loss but that comes with being a fan.

In their first year of women’s cross country since 1995 Ocean County College has won a National Championship. Led by overall winner Jen Nelson of Barnegat, the Vikings claimed the NJCAA Division 3 title Saturday at Finger Lakes Community College in New York. Erine O’Connor, Alyssa Collier and Priscilla Anderson all finished in the top 20 to help OCC claim the championship. Vikings head coach Eddie Baynes, a former Toms River South running standout was named Coach of the Meet and also the NJCAA Division 3 Coach of the Year.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Theeee Yankees Win

With public schools closed in Ocean County this week I’m sure some Yankee fans from this area will make their way into the city tomorrow for the ticker-tape period down the Canyon of Heroes to celebrate the franchise’s 27th World Series Championship. The Yanks wrapped up the title with a 7-3 victory over the Phillies last night as they win the series in six games. It’s ironic that the best team money can buy won largely due to a player who will probably not be wearing pinstripes come next April. Hideki Matsui homered and drove in six runs last night and would be named the World Series MVP for his performance against Philly. However the 35-year old Matsui and Johnny Damon are both free agents and it would appear there is only room for one of them to return and that likely will be Damon.

Obviously I am not a Yankee fan but I must offer my luke-warm congratulations to those of you who are real fans and don’t think the franchise started with Derek Jeter. However when you have unlimited resources you start just about every year as the favorite to win the World Series and that won’t be any different come next season. Only the Yankees could have signed CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira in the same off-season but as tough as it is for me to admit they did perform very well as a team and are deserving of the title. As for the Phillies….chokers!

The dust is still settling on Election Day 2009 with many experts scratching their head over Chris Christie’s victory in the Governor’s race despite being outspent by incumbent Jon Corzine by a 3-1 margin. It does appear that those who wanted Christie and change came out and voted while Corzine could not inspire those who were likely on his side…they just stayed at home. Even with all the attention focused on this election less than half of New Jersey voters headed to the polls although the turnout was better in Ocean County where the GOP effort was organized and successful.

Among the guests on tonight’s “Thursday Night Football Show” will be coaches Lou Vircillo of Lacey and Chris Barnes of Wall. The show is broadcast live from Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar in Toms River from 6-8pm and airs on 1160 WOBM AM, Fox Sports 1310 and via the web at Matt Harmon and I will take a look at the playoff scenarios tonight with Steve Falk of the Asbury Park Press and Scott Stump of All Shore Media.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Election Recap

For all the talk of issues in the end it simply came down to this in New Jersey….we pay and pay and pay and don’t feel like we’re getting anything back. So Governor Jon Corzine will do like many others have in the Garden State and that is leave…at least leave his office in Trenton. In a race that was called a “toss-up” and predicted to drag well into the evening Republican Chris Christie prevailed by more than 100,000 votes and will make Corzine a one-term Governor.

I disagree with those who think that the popularity of President Obama was part of what was on the mind of voters when they cast their ballots Tuesday.
I truly believe this election was a mandate on the state of the New Jersey economy and many voters feel like things can’t get any worse so why not give Christie a chance where Corzine failed….to find property tax relief and somehow make our state more affordable to live and work in. Whether he will find a solution will largely determine what happens four years from now because the #1 issue is the economy and that’s not going to change. When times are good incumbents thrive but when they are not it’s tough to survive as Corzine found out yesterday.

You can also make the statement that it was the shore area which won the Governor’s office for the former U.S. Attorney. Christie carried Ocean County by 70,000 votes and Monmouth by 50,000….the 120,000 vote margin at the shore carried him to victory. It should mean we have a friend in Trenton because he knows that people like Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore delivered the majority he needed to prevail. I would think that would be a positive for us down the road.

Of course Ocean County is a Republican stronghold and last night was filled with victory parties as they won all but two of 44 races. The GOP domination of the Freeholder board continued as John Bartlett & Gerry Little coasted to victory and as much as some feel like it would be better to have two-party representation the fact is this current group has done a very good job even with the fiscal challenges they face.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Baseball, Politics & Soccer

While I know there are a lot of Yankees and Phillies fans totally into this World Series I have to tell you I don’t find it very exciting. I don’t know what it is but as a sporting event the “Fall Classic” just has not done much for me and it’s not because I don’t like either team. Maybe it’s all the rain or the fact that it’s November and we’re still playing baseball but I hope it ends tonight so we can concentrate on football. Maybe that’s the problem with the Giants…they are paying too much attention to the Yankees because it sure doesn’t like they’ve been prepared to play the last three weeks.

Speaking of ending…another trash-talking, negative-filled campaign has finally hit the homestretch and today will be the last day we’ll have to put up with the venom spewed in the New Jersey Governor’s race. It’s also the last day I’ll have to listen to those annoying phone messages on behalf of the three candidates although frankly I enjoyed hearing from Sarah Palin on Saturday. I tried to engage her in conversation about her family but she kept going on and on like she couldn’t hear me. I have been undecided about who to give my lukewarm support to but have finally made a decision and all I can say is us weight-challenged guys have to stick together. Back to those phone messages for a moment. The worst ones are those dealing with local town-wide elections…they pull no punches and frankly are a bit embarrassing.

Congratulations to the Ocean County College Women’s Soccer team as for the second straight year they’ve won the Region 19 Tournament. The Vikings needed penalty kicks to outlast Camden County College and they will now host the NJCAA District C Championships on Friday in Toms River.

The early-morning commute around Ocean County should be a bit easier this week as public schools are closed all week long. With Election Day and the NJEA Teachers Convention this week schools county-wide and in much of New Jersey have taken a recess. Word is that if you go to Disney World this week you’ll likely find it’s filled with people from New Jersey.