Category Archives: Rutgers

What I Want to See in Sports in 2018

When you look back on 2017, not just what happened in sports but as a whole, I think I speak for everyone when I say the only logical reaction is “what the actual fuck just happened?” Definitely a year to remember, but one you wish you could forget. In terms of sports it was certainly an eventful year for my teams. The Yankees were supposed to miss the playoffs and came up one win short of the World Series, the Giants were supposed to contend for a Super Bowl and ended up with the #2 pick in the draft, the Knicks almost let Phil Jackson trade Porzingis only to fire him a week later, and Rutgers tried. On a day when everyone is making “New Year’s Resolutions,” I made a New Year’s wish list for sports because it’s more fun to ask for things out of your control to happen (no one gives a shit that you swear you’re gonna start going to the gym again Brad, get off Twitter.) Obviously it would be easy/unrealistic to say I want all my teams to win championships, so I got a little more creative with it. Here’s what I hope 2018 has in store in the world of sports.

The Patriots Lose in the Super Bowl

No, I don’t just want the Patriots to not win the Super Bowl. I want them to make it there, and then lose. Why? Because love them or hate them, you can’t deny that the big game is always better when the Pats are in it. Was it horrible to see them win last year in the best comeback/worst collapse in Super Bowl history? Obviously, but you can’t deny that it was an amazing game. Every Super Bowl Tom Brady and company have been in has been extremely entertaining (especially 42 & 46 in my opinion.) Give me Brady throwing a game-ending pick six in overtime or something. Fun for the whole family!

Duke Loses in the Final Four

The same logic applies here as my Patriots argument. I would love to see nothing more than Grayson Allen’s Ted Cruz-looking ass get embarrassed by 40 by North Carolina on national TV. March Madness is the best sporting event there is (don’t @ me), and seeing Duke lose just makes it that much sweeter.

The Mets Pitching Staff Stays Healthy

Hear me out on this one. I’m a Yankee fan, but I would love to see this happen for two reasons. First of all, as a baseball fan, I would love to see what a healthy staff of Syndergaard, DeGrom, Matz, Harvey, Wheeler staff could do in a full season. And second, if they Yankees could still beat the crap out of those guys, it would shut up every annoying Mets fan I know.

The Giants Pick a Franchise-Altering Player

I’m torn on who I want them to take at number two. I love the idea of Saquon Barkley in the backfield, but if you legitimately think Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield could be your next franchise quarterback, how do you pass that up? Knowing the Giants, they could also trade back and take a lineman later on, but they would need to get a substantial return to do that. All I know is that this is hopefully the last time they get a draft pick this high for a long time, so they need to choose wisely.

Rutgers Upsets a Big Ten Team at Home

I’ve wanted to storm the field since I got to Rutgers. Unfortunately, the football team has not exactly done a great job at beating their Big Ten opponents recently, or even losing by a reasonable margin for that matter. But after storming the court after the basketball team beat Seton Hall a few weeks ago, all I know is I need to experience that at High Point Solutions Stadium before I graduate. (The fact that 2018 will be my last go-around of tailgates is like the Sunday Scaries times a million, by the way.)

The Yankees Win the World Series

All right sue me, we came within a game of getting there last year and we just traded for Giancarlo freaking Stanton. You’re damn right I want a World Series this year.

Let’s hope 2018 is a year to remember for the right reasons. All of us here at Below the Belt are ecstatic to bring you another year of average blogs.

Schiano is Getting a Raw Deal

Hell must be freezing over if I am writing an article about college football.  Over the years, I gradually realized that I could not spend all day Saturday and all day Sunday watching football, so the NFL and Sundays won out.  I was last “into” college football in 2006-7, when Rutgers football peaked.  Obviously, Rutgers University is currently at its peak, now that it can lay claim to “BTB” editor, Nick Costanzo.  However, the football peak predates Nick by nearly a decade.

In 2006, Rutgers rose from the ashes of years and years of terrible football to become a quality program.  The Scarlet Knights had a legendary win over #3-ranked Louisville in November 2006 (the “Pandemonium in Piscataway” game).  Later, in December, Rutgers actually had the opportunity to win the Big East and advance to a big-time bowl game.  All it would have taken was a win over West Virginia, but Rutgers lost a heartbreaker in double overtime.  The Scarlet Knights were then forced to settle for a berth in the Texas Bowl, where they easily dispatched of Kansas State.

Image result for 2006 rutgers
Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report

Why am I randomly bringing up Rutgers football today?  It is because the program’s coach during that “peak” was Greg Schiano.  Truthfully, I did not think he was a great in-game coach, but he was a strong recruiter.  Plus, it seems like players played hard for him.  Either way, the proof was in the pudding.  Rutgers has been terrible at football during most of my existence, but the program managed to have a few good seasons with Schiano at the helm.

Of course, Greg Schiano has now been a huge story this week – maybe not as big a story as Matt Lauer or Eli Manning, but still huge.  Schiano was set to be hired as head coach at University of Tennessee until a bunch of people in Tennessee protested the hiring.  The rationale for the protest was that these individuals believe Schiano was part of the Jerry Sandusky cover-up at Penn State.  I think that is silly logic and that Schiano is getting a raw deal.  I will explain.

In the early 1990s, Greg Schiano was a low-level assistant coach at Penn State.  During the hearings for Jerry Sandusky, Mike McQueary (a Penn State assistant coach in the early 1990s) testified that another assistant coach said, “Greg had come into his office white as a ghost and said he just saw Jerry doing something to a boy in the shower”.

That sure does not sound like “covering up” to me.  That sounds like someone seeing a horrible act and reporting it.  Given that, why are people flipping out in Tennessee?  It is because some people have lost all sense of degree.  It seems to me that people are equating Joe Paterno’s actions or lack thereof with Schiano’s, and that is patently unfair.

I assume that the protesters feel Schiano should have done more than tell another assistant what he had seen.  The protesters probably feel that he should have screamed from the mountaintops that he had seen a horrific crime and that Sandusky should be locked up in jail.  However, I find this to be an unreasonable expectation for a low-level assistant coach.  In any profession, low-level employees do not want to make big stinks out of things.  If a low-level employee has integrity, he/she will report a heinous incident to somebody “higher up”, and that is precisely what Schiano allegedly did.  Schiano allegedly DID report what he saw.  It is just that the people above him chose to cover it up.   That is on the people above Schiano, not on Schiano himself.

Greg Schiano was not in a position of power; it was not his job to see Sandusky brought to justice.  That job belonged to head coach Joe Paterno, school president Graham Spanier, and those in law enforcement.  Joe Paterno essentially “ran” central Pennsylvania in those days.  He was “above” the police and “above” the university.  The fact that he did nothing about Sandusky’s child molestation is criminal.  However, the fact that Greg Schiano – who was at the bottom of the coaching ranks – “only” reported the abuse to another assistant coach is not criminal.  Blame the head coach, blame the school president, and obviously blame Sandusky himself…but do not blame Schiano.  Furthermore, Schiano has claimed in recent years that he did not actually see any abuse, so take that for what it is worth.  That said, Schiano has not been found guilty in court of any crime.  He should be Tennessee’s coach.

 

PS: Since Eli Manning is a big story this week, I will weave Eli and Schiano with this nugget: I am a big Giants fan, but it never bothered me that then-Bucs-coach Greg Schiano had his defense rush Eli Manning on a 2012 “victory formation” kneel-down.  I had seen that done many times previously, and I do not really know why people freaked out so much about Schiano doing it.  “Keep chopping, Greg.”

The Yankees Are All I Have Left in Sports

This weekend was a tough one for me for sure. I consider myself a fan of four sports teams – the Yankees, the Giants, the Knicks, and Rutgers. I’m a Rangers fan too, but I haven’t followed hockey closely enough for the past few years to really consider them one of my main teams. 3 of those 4 teams, with the exception of the Yankees, are doing less than fine right now. I’ll start with Rutgers. Continue reading The Yankees Are All I Have Left in Sports

Hey, Rutgers: Do the Right Thing and Free the Alley

With fall semester right around the corner, Rutgers students are ready to finally get back to school and hit the books hard. Although most of us love studying whenever we can, some students are excited to dabble in the social aspect of college. And during fall semester, that means tailgate season.

Since Rutgers is a Big Ten school, they must have awesome tailgates at the parking lots outside High Point Solutions Stadium, right? No, of course not! Our tailgates are actually in a different city than where the game takes place (kind of a cheap shot but Busch is in Piscataway and College Ave is New Brunswick). Continue reading Hey, Rutgers: Do the Right Thing and Free the Alley