With the calendar turning to December, I want to revisit an issue I explored a year ago this month: how difficult it is to be a Jets, Islanders, and Mets fan.
The Jets can still make the National Football League’s playoffs with five regular season games remaining. But two of their losses have come in the Jets’ two games against the New England Patriots, the Jets’ main divisional rival. Jets head coach Rex Ryan said at the start of the 2011 campaign that other teams “besides us” had to step up and defeat the Patriots. The statement alluded to the Jets’ two victories last year over the Patriots in their three encounters, with the final one knocking the Patriots out of the playoffs. I know I’m not the only Jets fan who has grown tired of Coach Ryan’s endless bravado, and his insistence on being the bride at every wedding, and the corpse at every wake. Determined to find out how Ryan got this way, I purchased his 2011 memoir, Play Like You Mean It; I do not recommend other Jets fans do the same. Reading the book is akin to sitting next to a stranger on a New York to Los Angeles flight, and finding their endless chatter charming for the first two hours. Somewhere over Chicago, you start lamenting your decision not to rent a head set.
Election Day 2011 was over and done with when a direct-mail piece, which appeared to come from an elected official, landed this month in the Barry household’s mailbox. It was addressed to our family’s one registered Democrat.
With Mrs. Barry’s permission, I often review the correspondence Democrats send to Democrats. This mailer was issued and paid for by Rep. Gary Ackerman’s (D-Roslyn) campaign committee, and it was well done. But I believe the piece was prepared with an eye toward the upcoming Congressional redistricting fight, rather than Election Day 2012. I’ll have more on that later.
The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the only commuter railroad in the United States that offers a pension to employees who retire at the age of 50, if they’ve worked at the LIRR for at least 20 years.
The catch: if a LIRR employee retires at 50, he or she receives substantially lower LIRR pension payments than they would be otherwise entitled to had they waited until the age of 65 to retire.
ABC’s 20/20 and CBS’s 60 Minutes broadcast interviews last month with Stephanie Madoff Mack and Ruth Madoff, respectively, which left millions of Americans with the impression that everyone in the Madoff family, with the exception of Bernie, was so good they could each pose for holy cards.
The Madoffs, however, are all too human, according to Madoff Mack, the 30-something-year-old widow of the late Mark Madoff, who graduated from Roslyn High School in the early 1980s and was the eldest of Bernie and Ruth Madoff’s two sons. Madoff Mack chronicled her observations along with writer Tamara Jones in the just-published The End of Normal: A Wife’s Anguish, A Widow’s New Life (Blue Rider Press).
The late Irish playwright Oscar Wilde believed it was absurd to divide people into good or bad. People are either charming or tedious, he said.
It is difficult to guess which categorization the long-dead Wilde would affix to Long Island tabloid fixtures from the 1990s such as Amy Fisher and Joey Buttafuoco. But their ability to draw a national crowd in 2011 will be put to the test on Saturday, Nov. 5 when both participate in a Celebrity Fight Night boxing card at the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood, California.
The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Winter Classic, an outdoor game that in its fifth year will feature the New York Rangers playing in Philadelphia on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, was on New Year’s Day 2011 the most-viewed NHL regular season contest in 36 years.
I wondered early in my career why Nassau’s political leaders focused endlessly on winning town campaigns, and showed comparatively little interest in who represented the county in Washington, D.C.
But I quickly learned that Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay town government, while not the most glamorous corners of the municipal world, are where all of the significant action is. Town governments make crucial land use decisions in the county’s unincorporated communities; provide essential services (e.g., recreational facilities, garbage disposal) and dispense honest patronage.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) made news last week with the release of a 42-page study examining the Long Island Expressway’s (LIE) conditions in western Nassau County.
I know one person who did not read the FHWA’s entire report: the Newsday editor who decided ‘Danger on the LIE’ should be the front-page headline of the paper’s Thursday, Oct. 6 print edition.
Nassau’s Republicans will defend next month a GOP majority in the county Legislature for the first time in 12 years.
I say this because certain media outlets will leave the impression that Republicans have completely controlled county government since the Dawn of Time in the weeks leading up to the Tuesday, Nov. 8 elections. In fact, the actual date is Jan. 1, 2010, which is when County Executive Edward Mangano and 11 Republican county legislators gained a governing majority in Mineola.
One of the reasons movie reviewers raved about Moneyball—and baseball fans may not enjoy it nearly as much—is that most film critics had no idea that Major League Baseball (MLB) is another form of show business.
Baseball aficionados already know MLB is a lot like Hollywood—millions of young people aspire to play in The Show, and the barriers to entry are very high. Moreover, only a handful of athletes have the ability and drive to even make it in the door and, when your star fades, your contract is not renewed.
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Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net