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Saturday, February 28, 2009


Rey Maualuga has a shot at falling all the way to the Giants in the draft.

Curry the real deal.

Re Cushing .. ALL the USC linebackers (Cushing, Maualuga, Matthews) are good!

Stay away from Laurinaitis.

This year's draft is not nearly as strong as last year's.

Jacobs was a good signing.

Giants made a big mistake in not signing Ward. (Shout out to Bob, I'll give you Round 1! Round 3 is when #44 gets the ball.)

Boley signing with Giants... CANTY?!!!

Earlier today we asked Wonder about the three players the Giants were looking at:

Boley: ok if price is right ...3M/year
Bernard: NO, NO, NO
Canty: YES, YES, YES !!! BIG TIME PLAYER...6yrs. 36M about right with $12M signing bonus prorated...anything less is STEALING....6yrs. $42M acceptable...he's a rare "inside-outside" DL..

Boley is about to be signed for 25M/5yrs, richer than Wonder thinks is appropriate. But considering how tight Jerry Reese is, this does not sound so outlandish. Bart Scott signed for 8M/per. Boley is no Scott, but Boley is certainly better than the clowns we have right now who are masquerading as OLBers. THIS IS GOOD, BROWN THE 2M EXTRA PER YEAR, I am glad we have him on our team, he certainly addresses a huge need and will get the job done a helluva lot better than anyone on the team right now. He'll be 27 by the time the season starts, done. Show him his locker.

Now as for Canty, this guy is worth getting excited about. Next to DeMarcus Ware, I have always felt this guy made an impact for Dallas on defense. Funny, two of his three sacks this past season were against us, I guess I know why I like him. Wonder says that Canty is the best player left in free agency. I would so much rather spend $$ here on Canty than on TJH, because DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS. Last year we lost Strahan and Osi, this year if we could get Canty and Osi that would be a pendulum swing the other way, THE RIGHT WAY. Canty is visiting the Giants tomorrow- you know what that means... he is signing a contract with us or he is leaving permanently to visit and sign with someone else. This makes the Giants very live for getting him.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Free Agency about to begin

and nary a peep from the Ultimatenyg blog. Sometimes it is what we don't say that is just as important as what we say. Hit the snooze button when the Free Agency alarm goes off. Reese is so calculated that it is almost boring. He wanted Jacobs done, so he tagged him and then negotiated his deal without worry for the deadline. He wanted Dockery so he put a #2 draft tag on him for compensation. He was ambivalent about the market price for Ward (who still has a small chance of landing back in NY if his age scares enough people away) and Butler, so he let those two go to free agency. We'll stick with our bias called inertia. Inertia says a body that is at rest stays at rest. So a Reese that has been inactive with high-priced free agents the last two years will remain inactive with high-priced free agents this year as well. One site points to the Giants being hot for TJ Houshmandzadeh. I do not believe it. It means that Reese sees a dire need for WR and feels that he is worth the $10M reach. We have not seen Reese pay $2M, let alone $10M in free agency. So unless Reese can get a (more modest) deal for a player he likes in a position he needs, he is not opening up the wallet. $10 browning million? I like TJH, but not that much, and Reese is more conservative than all of us put together. For $10M, I want Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald. TJ Houshmandzadeh... nice player, too rich a price. Wonder: "TJHoushmandzadeh is a 30 uear old version of Steve Smith, so they won't do that." Thank you! Wonder just articulated my point, that TJH is not stretching the field for you the way a Fitzgerald or Johnson can. NOT HAPPENING!

By the way, I asked the Wonder what high-priced free agent would be good for the gmen... his answer: BART SCOTT!! "The Giants need Bart Scott so bad, it is ridiculous. I am afraid to admit it, because I want Bart Scott for the Jets, but the Giants would score if they could get him." AMEN. STOP THINKING WIDE RECIEVER AND START THINKING LINEBACKER! Back to planet earth, as much as I would love to beef up LBer, do not count on Reese going after him because thus far he has been tight with the dollars.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

PSL, Part 4

Part 1 discussed the email from the NY Giants, where we pieced together the fact that the "club" seats + Field 3 were no gift to Giants fans.

Part 2 discussed the Pat Hanlon response and the predictable flush of this offering through the waitlist as fast as possible so that they can market the PSLs to the corporates (read: fools who will pay $700/ticket instead of $160/ticket).

Part 3 highlighted the $300M Lehman bond financing fiasco, and the possibility/likelihood of this burden being passed onto PSL owners through higher ticket prices.

Yesterday I spoke with someone who made a commitment to purchase PSLs last August. He was given a brochure which had the following information:

"What if I am not satisfied with the location I am assigned?"

"If you are not satisfied with your assigned PSL zone and/or seat location, your PSL money will be refunded and your seats will be offered to another Giants fan."

(1) many seasons tickets holders like the person above made commitments before the economy started going into the tank
(2) ticket locations will not be disclosed to PSL buyers until ~Q1 2010

>>More than a few will use this opening to back out of their commitment.

Why so negative? Take a look at slide 64 and slide 65 of the linked presentation. This was done last September when the stock market (S&P 500 index) was ~1200. Today it is 765. If we go to 307, that is like Dow ~ 2920. Don't you get it? The Empire State Building was finished in the GREAT DEPRESSION and it took until after WWII to fill it. The New Giants Stadium will be finished in a depression. They may fill the stadium, but at what price? Of course people attended baseball games during the Great Depression, but they were not buying seat licenses and making commitments to buying packages of seasons tickets. And they didn't have television to bring in games for free. Connect the dots. This is a luxury item that will be cut out of people's budgets. MANY people's budgets. And many corporate budgets as well.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Giants Sign Jacobs to 4 Year Deal

Giants and Jacobs get deal done for 4 years. Good work Reese and Jacobs. Details of how much is guaranteed for the injury-prone RB will determine how well it was crafted for both sides, but it is still a positive for both sides.

Yet another hidden surprise of the PSL license

Everyone has this wonderful image of Donald Trump, the 'successful' entrepreneur. But those who have done business with him may have other things to say about the man. In the 1980's, he built this incredible luxury coop on Manhattan's East Side, and all the social climbers had to get into the building. But once they got in they were browned.

You see, when you deal with Mr. Trump, you have to beware of the fine print. As a coop, the owners did not own the land, and once a few short-lived tax perks disappeared it meant the annual maintenance on the apartments ballooned. When that happened, the price of the apartments in the secondary market tanked. People got annihilated. They bought in for $800K and their apartments were soon worth $350K. Nightmare. Being "partners" with Trump comes with risks.

So what does this have to do with owning a personal seat license? Well, once you buy in on this PSL, it is your OBLIGATION to pay the annual ticket prices for the 10 games. IN ESSENCE, YOU ARE LOOKING AT THIS THE WRONG WAY. Right now, everyone is seeing the PSL as this coveted gold key to own, when it is actually a potential LEAD BALL AND CHAIN. Once the Giants have the PSLs all sold, then they can charge anything they want for the annual tickets and the owners of the psl are FORCED to pay whatever they want or else they lose their license. I have not read the fine print, but technically they may be on the hook, and would need to sell it out to someone else. The parallels to the Trump maintenance fees are possible.

But what is the trigger for the Giants raising ticket prices for the PSL owners? After all, ultimatenyg, why would you think that the Giants are going to RAISE ticket prices when the economy is slumping? Well, the answer is fourfold:

1) with revenue down from other sources, the Giants may not have a choice but to tap ticket revenue

2) the CBA expires after 2009, which means labor strife is possible

3) building expenses skyrocketed way over budget for the new stadium due to paying ultra high steel and construction expenses at the top of the market

4) Shout-out to Mitch, who alerts us to something which dates back to September but which is as relevant now as ever: the Lehman Brothers nightmare

If indeed the Giants are left holding the bag on $300M, then they are going to have to ratchet prices up in order to pay for it.

a) 82,000 seat licenses.
b) Revenue from the NFL and luxury boxes will pay their players and other debt service
c) 5% ticket increases per year paying for general inflation and other annual increases
d) cannot start increases until 2011 because they are stuck in the old stadium in 2009 and have announced the price for 2010 in the new stadium

Using this set of assumptions, they could recoup $300M by 2020, if they put in

9 years of 20% annual ticket increases.

How motivated are you NOW for "owning" this seat license? Of course, if anyone from the Giants administration reviewed these numbers, they would poo-poo the conclusions the same way the government handwaves all of our current issues. But we all know this $300M disaster is going to have to get paid. The only variable revenue stream they have control over is ticket prices. Substantial ticket price increases WILL COME in 2011 and beyond. Plenty of us have been chasing the Giants seat, and like the dog who finally catches the car, what are you going to do when you actually get there?! EVERYONE will be able to buy as many seats as they want in the secondary market. When the sizzle has worn off a few years after the stadium has opened, the emotional element will be removed and you will have made a much better decision than paying for the Club or endzone seats now.

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. The "waitlist" that everyone talks about is about to be history, so this is like all those rent-controlled and off-market apartments all of a sudden becoming available. Just a little bit of patience and some financial planning will go a long way to everyone making the best decision for themselves. Maybe before reading the blog the past few weeks or months you thought that the PSL was a one-way ticket to getting a piece of the Giants. If more seat issues have been raised successfully, then this forum has done its job.

The season's ticket holders who used to be down at the 30 yard line on the first level and who went upstairs for a more modest ticket price and sane PSL fee probably were afforded the best deal. Those 1K terrace and 5K loge seats offer a lot of value and will be firm in the secondary market. They will be in demand unless the ticket price inflation is acute. The other seats look a lot more vulnerable. If you have been sitting downstairs and now have to move upstairs, we've got news for you- you are going to be pleasantly surprised. The views from the (current Giants Stadium) third tier are better than anything except the second tier, which is now the Mezzanine Club gouge. The secondary market will flesh out all of these realities and put EVERYONE on equal footing.

Summary: The Giants' financial problems become YOUR financial problems when you buy that PSL. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Ralph Vacchiano got some feedback from some fans about the PSL progress. Add a little Hanlon and you have a NY Daily News blog post.

The "final stage" of PSL sales? The final stages of greed. The Giants have to peddle this schtick dreck Mezz A- Mezz B- Coach's Club garbage ripoff to their waitlist people so that they can finally market it to the corporates who pay the same stupidity for Knicks and Nets front row seats. They sent me an email and I never heard from them AGAIN. I am a waste of their time, obviously! I was on their waitlist for 10 browning years, one of their diehards. But they are smart enough to know one thing- let the waitlist people show their interest but do not use your salesforce on these people because the economy browns and almost none of these people are stupid enough to want these dreck seats. Maybe we can sucker some of the newbie-never-been-theres to bite on the Field 3 cheapo 5K end zone seats. But we need to plow through these waitlist terds so that we can say we gave you your chance and then move on to the Manhattan skyscrapers and NJ Pharmas.

"Limited Number." Were we born YESTERDAY? Maybe the day before yesterday, but not yesterday.

We had a very good response from our ticket holders,” said Giants VP of communications Pat Hanlon. “We anticipated being able to make a limited number available to the wait list. In fact, the response from the ticket holders was so good, we have less to offer the wait list than we had projected at the start.” What Hanlon won't tell you is how many of the seat holders had to trade "down" to the cheaper seats, going "up"stairs to the "loge" and the "terrace" seats. Do the math- they are going through the waitlist people like a hot knife through butter and they have 9,300 Club Seats, so that means that there are many thousands of fans displaced up and out of the way to make room for the corporates. Hanlon may be factual about having less seats to offer the waitlist people, but given the complete lack of attention they paid to the waitlist people, they realized quickly they mispriced the club seats for their existing ticket holders. Remember, the club seats are the prime locations, and they have been passed up. Every day we watch the stock market go lower, we know that cash is king and $700 for a single game means $7K PER YEAR PER SEAT, not to mention the $20K love kiss. (Oh, you forgot the fact that as a season's ticket holder you have to pay the preseason hidden 'tax' of buying that useless set of two preseason games?!)

Believe it or not, you cannot "argue" with what the Giants are doing. They are merely extracting as much value as they can from their stadium, a stadium they built and paid for. None of us may like it, but they can charge multiples (150K?!) of what they are charging if someone will be stupid enough to pay for it (see Jerry Jones). Caveat emptor. The rest of us are smart enough to realize that this is how you alienate your loyal customers- the ones who ultimately pay the bills. This is the road that baseball went down. Look where the dilution and the hijacking of the dollar got them. This will take many years, more likely decade/s, but when it is done the path the Giants owners took will be looked back on as a turning point in the decisions they had to make, one after the other, all leading down a rode of abandonment of the unwritten contract between business owner and people like us.. their fans, their paying customers. Steve Tisch heard the boo birds from the fans when he was called out at halftime. 10 years from now he won't hear ANYTHING from the corporate empty seats and then he will have much larger problems.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jerry Reese offseason comments, Gibril Wilson bank heist

Jerry Reese transcript Q&A at the NFL Combine.

The most interesting item of note was Gibril Wilson getting cut. Al Davis and the Raiders are clearly a derailed train, completely out of control. Do you realize how much Wilson scored from this? Try $9M for one year. Cha-ching. This is the same team that also coughed up $8M with DeAngelo Hall for 8 games. There was a $4.5M roster bonus coming due for Wilson in March, so they cut him. Wilson had 129 tackles for the team, so it was not as if he was doing a bad job there and laying down. As I said in the comments section yesterday, do not expect Reese to spend any serious money for the higher-priced free agents UNTIL you actually see him get involved in that segment of the market. We have not seen him even invite/bid for one of these players yet in his first two years as a GM. Says Garafolo of the Star Ledger: "I wouldn't expect Wilson back unless he gives the Giants a steep discount." Agreed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Volatility is your friend

This week when Brad Van Pelt passed away, there were all kinds of stories that surfaced. One of my favorites was naturally an intersection between him and Goerge Young.

As the story goes, it is early 2004, and Van Pelt has had a very good season. He comes into George Young's office to plead his case for a raise, without his agent. George Young politely agrees with EVERY point that Van Pelt brings up, openly acknowledging and recognizing the 5-time Pro Bowler's significant contributions. He concedes every point! But then, in typical GBY fashion, he lowers the boom on Van Pelt: "Brad, you're right. You are one of the top three outside linebackers in the league. But we were 3-12-1 with you last year. I think we could have done that without you."

Last night, Bob pointed out correctly how good the Giants were with Derrick Ward. Facts are facts and Ward is a 1000 yard runner. So why the heck do you want to lose that?

The answer is simple: VOLATILITY. When you win and are the Super Bowl Champs, you want the status quo. When you are any of the other 31 teams out there that fell short, it does not matter whether you were a game away or 3-12-1, you LOST. But you can only lose once each season, which means you take your chances. The Giants cannot afford to allocate significant resources to Ward, who will be 29 years old come September. Granted, Ward does not have the mileage of other 29 year old RBs. He certainly was a big reason why we beat the Panthers, our only win in the last 5 games of the season. On paper it does not seem to make sense that you could let a 1000 yard runner go. But as a GM this is still not the place where you want to invest your cap dollars. You want it to go where the resources are needed. You commit to Jacobs, which they did. You already have Bradshaw and Ware, cheap and young. You need to leverage what is left elsewhere on the roster. LB, DL, OT.

This is the opportunity to see what #44 has. We may be wrong about him, but you'll never know if you don't try. Bradshaw deserved that much after what he did in 2007. Let's not forget what other professionals in this league were saying about him. I still do not understand why he did not get more opportunities in 2008, other than watching the idiocy of Gilbrown, a dead horse I do not choose to beat on anymore. The word is he was hurt for stretches this season. That is part of our collective confusion on the subject, given his presence on kickoffs (another insanity, pls use Hixon for this). So let's simply see what we have here and end the debate. Maybe it forces Gilbrown to adapt to #44 instead of #44 adapting to Gilbrown. Maybe, just MAYBE, it is the way for Jerry Reese to say to the Giants coaching staff that you have no choice now but to see what we have in #44. Let volatility be your friend. Shake it up. Roll the dice. You can only lose once. Championships last forever.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pre Free Agency moves, and a little reality check from Phil Mushnick

1) Giants tell Butler to check out free agency and keep them posted.

2) The Browns, Texans and Cardinals are rumored to be interested in Derrick Ward, who is asking for $4M/yr when he turns free agent next week.

3) ESPN's rumor central has decent buzz.

4) You hear it on this New York Giants football blog all the time, but it is so much more than a lesson in the business world: CONFRONT THE BRUTAL FACTS. So how many of you are surprised when we learn that Shockey will be attending the New Orleans Saints' off-season program? Brees is the boss down there, and Shockey is finally getting the discipline he needed, something the Giants coaches/players were unable to give him.

4a) On a separate note, at the end of the previous link, they mention the Vilma signing possibility wrt the deadline and the Giants draft pick. If you recall, we mentioned this many moons ago that it would NEVER EVER happen because even if Vilma got all the snaps and needed to be re-signed, the Saints would simply post-date the deal and negate the clause. Shady, yes, but it is done all the time, and there is nothing you can do about it. We're getting the #2.

5) One of the core themes this blog highlights whenever given the opportunity: protect the integrity of the game or else you have no game. So we get a reminder from Phil Mushnick of the NY Post about what that means. He exposes the blatant hypocrisy of baseball in its simplest form. We are supposed to believe that Donald Fehr held the sport of baseball hostage, that the Union would never let Selig and the owners get steroids tested for in any contract. Bullbrown. BULLBROWN. Take the low road. Do you like the view?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The passing of Brad Van Pelt

I like to tell the story of one my earliest Giant memories. It was the last Sunday of the season, the Giants were playing the LA Rams, they were 9-4 and a win meant the Giants were in the playoffs. They lost. That was 1970, and it took 11 more years until they got to the playoffs. During that time, being a Giants fan meant a whole lotta misery. How you got through it was basically an exercise in self-deception. You focused on the defense, and that meant watching guys like Mendenhall and Van Pelt. Van Pelt made the Pro Bowl 5 times, so that was the way you wore your colors. At least we had a guy who could make a difference.

Bluenatic tells the story of how Van Pelt was the oasis in the 1970's desert. And like others who wandered there too long, his star faded just as the championship arrived.

Russ stated in yesterday's comments that the Giants would be fortunate enough if they could get a LBer this year who could play like #10. Amen to that.

Long live Brad Van Pelt in our fondest of Giant Big Blue memories.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It doesn't cost that much to go Il Mulino!

The Sports Industry would like to believe they are immune to the economic downturn, but even they have to confront the brutal facts: ticket sales and advertising dollars are slowing down. It is back to earth for every sport across the board.

In Baseball, headlines are in the form of Citi being challenged on its $400M sponsorship of the new NY Mets Stadium despite the company essentially being (all but in name) nationalized by the US Govt.

NASCAR is facing contraction in ticket sales (Daytona prices had to be dropped to sell out) and racing teams (many are merging to cut costs).

In football, this past weekend Ultimatenyg got the email from the NY Giants:

Dear New York Giants Wait-list Member,

As you may know, the Giants will be moving into a new state-of-the-art stadium scheduled to open for the 2010 season. The new stadium will provide Giants players, coaches and, most importantly, Giants fans with the first class facility, services and amenities they deserve.

Our records indicate that you have been a Giants wait-list member for a number of years. Please call us at (deleted) to update your contact information and to discuss your opportunity to become a Giants season ticket holder in the new stadium.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

I never thought it would be this fast. I have been on the wait-list since 1998. I've got the big screen hdtv giving me plenty of football enjoyment. You think they are going to get me out there for the December night games and the flex-screwed schedule games and then ask me for a license fee on top of that? VOTE WITH YOUR FEET. Send a message with ONE SINGLE VOTE. The fact that I got the notification from the Giants surprises me, but then again it really should not. IT IS BROWNING AWFUL OUT THERE, FOLKS. This economic downturn is not a drill. This is the real deal. Many people are clueless to how real and severe this is, and for fans to shell out the money for this entertainment "right" when they can still go to individual games on a pay-as-you-go basis is nothing but a luxury.

Considering that fans in attendance at Giants games are in the NY Metro area and that Wall Street has imploded, why BID? The landscape has changed. Time for the Giants, who wore the risk the entire time (no crying, season's tickets holders who cannot afford this!), to feel it and make the players back off on salaries and give the fans something a little (how about a lot) less costly. VOTE WITH YOUR FEET. If you want to support the Giants owners and buy a license, go ahead. I would suspect that there will be enough people who will end up going for it. Let's look at what is still available: go to the NY Giants New Stadium site. Click on "Seat Allocation," tab to "Pricing and Seat Views." Before you look at the PSL prices, look at the ticket price column. There are essentially two groups of seats, those for $85-160/ticket, and those for $400,$500, and $700/ticket. Would it shock you that all the premium tickets are still available?!! Those "clubs" have corporate written all over them. For an extra four hundred to five hundred dollars per game they feed you! It doesn't cost that much to go to Il Mulino!! And let's not forget that the tailgating is one of the most important parts of going to the game. But wait, we cannot eat, we have to wait until we get inside to eat the Club food. Huh? That these seats are still available is not only not surprising, it is completely logical. Oh, and one more small minor item, those seats also come with the $7500, $12500 and $20000 personal seat license price tag. So if you are going to be rich enough to spend $20G's on a seat license, you go to Field 1 and pay $160 per game instead of the Coach's Club, were they basically charge you another $540 to get all you can eat.

There was one other location that was still available besides the 3 Club locations.. Field 3. While they only carry the $120/ticket price per game, they are imo the worst seats in the stadium. I do not like the end zone and the end zone on the first level also has no perspective once they get past the 30-40 yard line. Logical once again that these seats are still around. No thanks.

I am sure there are plenty of people still behind me who are chomping at the bit to buy. But the resale market is going to change now because by the time they are done there will not be the pent up demand BEHIND THE CURRENT BUYERS. So the secondary market in coming years (when, fyi, this economic downturn is worse than it is now... we are just getting started) is going to be where the real opportunities will be. Two years from now when that emotional purchase of a seat license needs cash, you will see the secondary market seek the TRUE level of what these licenses are worth. A chunk of people who were contacted and made commitments months ago are already regretting their purchases.

Summary: Sit back and let the secondary marketplace determine the value of a seat license. The economy is going nowhere for a while, so consider it a short hedge vs Gilbrown and the Giants to be on the sidelines in cash while this water seeks its level. The secondary market will offer you precise locations for what you want instead of these dregs of SuperPriced Club seats and 5K end-zone seats. And if the PSLs and ticket prices are not attractive, do the Ultimatenyg Seat Plan- 1 big screen hdtv for $1K and $0 for each game, $0 for parking, temperature controlled, no parking lot traffic after the game. With the money you save, you can go to Il Mulino, and I guarantee the food will be better.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Clayton on Rosenhaus and Burress

This was from Thursday. I for one do not believe this was a 'clerical error.' Rosenhaus is letting the world know of the frosty relations between his client and the Giants. The Giants were pissed because it reduces Burress's trade value to have him outed like that. But Clayton's perspective on the Giants' decision (latter part of the excerpt) should be appreciated, because he has just enough distance from the situation to be objective.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bruce Juice

The Giants, New Jersey, The Super Bowl... BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN! From his journal, the Boss talks about a 12 minute gig at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium that was one of the biggest shows of the band's life. Shout out to Max Weinberg (seen in between/behind Bruce and Patti), drummer for the East Street Band, Conan O'Brien, and Columbia High School grad (where my daughters currently attend).

Friday, February 13, 2009

Reese tags Jacobs

The Giants put the franchise tag on Brandon Jacobs. Not sure if you remember, but we noted when Charlie Casserly of CBS first suggested it as a possibility. Logical. Jacobs is injury-prone. So you insure that you get his services in his prime without giving him the store so that he is gone from football after 2 years of a 6 year deal. Jacobs may not be happy not getting a long term deal, but he'll get paid well this season and the Giants may use it as leverage to extend the deal with incentives instead of simply an enormous signing bonus.

Jacobs' transformation up the leadership ladder was tied to Strahan's retirement. Strahan was the emotional leader of the team. He had the voice that everyone looked to. Jacobs filled the void and the players responded to him. It wasn't #27's fault the Giants fell to the Eagles. He led them and they came into that game with the intensity needed. You can talk all you want about his pounding opposing defenses, but to me the indispensible part of Jacobs is the man who the players gather around before the game. He has also matured.. got smacked in the head by his mother for showboating after TDs and showing up opposing players.

Note the details about the CBA, and how the Giants may be able to get Jacobs next season as well if the contract is not renegotiated beforehand. Right now everyone is saying the right things, that everyone wants a deal done. Jacobs wants his years and bonus, the Giants want the incentives. Jacobs better realize that 2010 is a dead year too and make some concessions, because otherwise this deal is not going to happen.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Soap Box

Some rants and some Giants talk.

1) Anyone who plays for ONE team in the NFL for 10 years or more deserves a modicum of recognition from the franchise they played for. If that franchise does not understand that, then there is something wrong. No, their jersey need not necessarily be retired, but to play for one organization and to play that long in the NFL is noteworthy. The way Toomer has apparently been cast off is inappropriate, to say the least. Does he deserve to have his # retired? Some here could make that argument. I will not. He wants to play more and the Giants no longer want his services, but he can still be recognized for representing the franchise in a tremendous way over the years. Every year in the NFL is like 2.5 years in any other industry. Toomer is not deserving of a ticker-tape parade, but he certainly was a big reason why the Giants got furnished one.

2) Favre already got his retirement press conference. What is this, his third retirement?! Only one allowed.

3) The Jets did exactly what they should have done in giving Favre a shot. It did not work out. You make that bet. You take that chance. At least you are trying. And anyone who wants to be a Monday morning QB and criticize the Jets for wasting a season does not know what they are talking about, because they obviously were not there/watching the game in Foxboro on Thursday Nov 13 when this man lifted the team to the biggest win for the franchise in many years and made everyone believers. He played hurt at the end and cost the team. But at least that guy is a warrior. Sour grapes from Jones et al? Perhaps. It is time for Ratliff to be given the keys. There is a foundation.. enough talent on that team to go for a title. Rex Ryan is going to put them in a position to win. 2008 was not a bad year for the Jets. And the fact that they got rid of Mr. Prevent-gini was a step in the right direction.

4) I am reminded that Reese likes to plug up needs before the draft by getting cheaper veterans like Mitchell (LB), Clark (LB) and Knight (S) to protect his flank in case the draft presents him with different solutions. It is a reasonable methodology to have body count there to promote necessary competition at positions lacking a minimum of talent. So look for Reese to do this again and get a linebacker or two in March. We have not seen Reese open up his wallet in free agency YET, so you have to assume (until proven otherwise) he will be behaving the same way again. Walmart, not Neimans. Reese is a scout. My read on him is that he always believes his organization can draft the talent. You have to assume he is not opening the wallet, so he better draft HIGH TWICE this year on LB.

5) Shocking! Not. Burress, Johnson and Boldin can be moved, says agent Drew Rosenhaus. If the Giants could somehow get a #2 (unlikely, given the 'holes' in that trade), where do I browning sign!! At this point if the Giants get ANYTHING for Burress, it would merely be so that the suitor could fend off others before he goes on waivers. Beggars can't be choosers, so take what you can get. Realistically, who would want to take on Burress's contract NOW? And have to deal with impending uncertainty of what will stand monetarily on the morals clause? Or the legal system? If I am any of the other 31 teams, there is very little getting me moved. Wait until the contract issues get sorted out before taking that over. This situation is not that much better than Pacman Jones or Michael Vick.

The Giants administration simply does not want or need unpredictability in its midst. We want things that are predictable, like the underachievement of Gilbrown, damnit!

Separately, the angered posturing of the Giants against Rosenhaus is predictable. Rosenhaus is a dirtbag, always has and always will be. He works hard for his clients and seems to cross the line regularly. Effectively he 'outed' his client/s. TFB. He is 'calling the question' on these organizations, making them admit that they will be parting ways unless something dramatic changes. He'd rather get that done NOW than after the free agent money has already been spent.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Carr re-signed for 1 year. Madison, Droughns & Knight cut.

David Carr was signed to a 1 year, $1M contract as the Giants' backup. Surprising that the Giants could get him this cheaply, as his stock price increased this season. No, he is not a terrific #1, but he got it done as the #2 and looked good out there. Thumbs up.

As for Droughns, this was a numbers game. Older running backs are not going to get the playing time when younger guys like Bradshaw get wasted with less playing time. Wait. Stop. Wasn't that supposed to read Bradshaw getting MORE playing time? Ooops, sorry. Foolish of me to try to make sense of that. Well, you know.. Droughns was so far down the depth chart that he was relegated to specials, and you can get a rookie for that job.

Sammy Knight? He had some injuries, but Safety was crowded too. Butler's lack of speed was supposed to limit his playing time and give Knight more oppty, but Butler only got roasted a few times (Steelers game for one, remember?). Last year someone did not like it when I referred to Knight as sausage filler, but that is exactly what he was. Please remember that whenever you bring in a 33 year old free agent for a lower sticker price, it is as a role player. We doubted him playing through his contract, and that is exactly what happened. Knight is a good player, but this business takes older players and spits them out. This is yet another reason why Pierce is perishable now, and why LBer is so incredibly vulnerable. Considering Pierce is the best of the bunch and he'll be out there with a wheelchair pretty soon, you better start getting MANY LBers, not 1 or 2.

Sam Madison was voted off the island months ago by the Giants. It is never pretty watching a talented veteran slowly lose just enough of their skills to become expendable. Guys like Madison and Toomer need to be celebrated a little more in their exit. We get guys like Favre with multiple press conferences and retirement fetes, while guys like Toomer (and Madison) win you rings and get discarded with the garbage. I thought the Giants were better than that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

the non-news story of the Super Bowl

The officiating this season was horrendous. Goodell et al have been defending the year’s penalty ugliness with carefully selected (horse manure) statistics, but they are in denial and are not confronting the brutal facts. So when the Super Bowl devolved into the same set of problems as we have seen all year, it was barely any story… merely the continuation of an existing one. Yes, yes, it is a shame that the biggest game of the year for the NFL should get tarnished, but this is EXACTLY what denial gets you… continuation of the SAME problems.

For anyone who gets dismayed by the outcome being affected by these blind bats, get some peace by being a Bill Walsh “quality win” adherent. His philosophy was that if you were winning by less than 7 points your fate was essentially ALWAYS in the hands of the refs, so you had to target winning EVERY game by greater than 10+ points. This way, when some ref did something stupid which cost you big time, it would hopefully not cost you entirely with the W becoming an L. The next time your coach goes into the prevent (why were the Cardinals in zone at the end when DRC was doing fine on Holmes for the first 58 mins?) and you lose, understand that that would not have happened with Bill Walsh as your coach. The only thing uglier than the officiating in ANY season is always going to be watching a coach going into the prevent offense or prevent defense.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Jay Glazer gives us some February Giants news

As busy as it was for me at work this week, it was equally as SLOW or even slower for Giants news. So we have two things noteworthy:

1) Jay Glazer reports that Plaxico Burress is fighting with the Giants to force them to honor their contract. Yesterday the players union filed a grievance and a few more items came to light. Whether you or any player thinks that Burress should come back in 2009, it certainly looks more doubtful when these details come to light. Could it simply be a financial manuevering ploy? Yes, and arguably for both sides. But as long as they are fighting over money he is not wearing blue.

2) It is not often (read: never) that you hear about someone from my alma mater getting attention for sports. Hey, it's February and there is no football, so if the NY Times can give it some ink, we can too.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pittsburgh 27 Cardinals 23

This was a terrific game. Pls feel free to comment.

Betting on the Super Bowl

Few of you who visit this site have any idea the depth to which this New York Giants Football Blog could easily become a "betting" or "gambling" site. (Don't worry, no plans, just a one day excursion.) I was raised in a household where playing games was a rite of passage. The point spread to the game was like breathing to life. I knew what the odds were on every bet on the craps table by the time I was ~9 yrs old.

At the very beginning of the blog a decision was made to avoid too many gambling discussions because I did not want to send the wrong message to anyone visiting. First and foremost, this a NY GIANTS BLOG. The point spread is discussed in its relation to how the Giants are perceived. In reality, there is so much more information in a point spread. Without sounding arrogant (my apologies in advance when I do), most visitors to this blog and 99.9% of the betting public have almost zero clue what gambling is all about and what these point spreads are really doing.

If there is one day that it is appropriate to really discuss gambling in a serious way, it is on Super Bowl Sunday. Super Bowl to gambling is like New Year's Eve to drinking. It is amateur hour. It is the single largest betting day of the year, when ordinary people become gamblers for a day.

Let me just get it out there before this discussion goes any further. Do not waste your time gambling. Not on the Super Bowl, not on anything. YOU CANNOT WIN. The gambling industry is a PROFESSION. The sole purpose of the other side of your bet is WINNING. What makes you think YOU are going to be smarter than that? If you want to make one bet a year or bet something small enough that your savings and your bills will not be altered to any significant degree, go right ahead and make your deposit. That is actually not gambling, that is called entertainment. (Entertainment? Try this for betting entertainment.) Do not confuse the two. When wagers become large enough or aggregate over time to become large enough, that is gambling. Gamblers NEVER win. The one or two stories of someone who gambled and won are the black swans. For that, you should read a very good book by Nassim Teleb called Fooled by Randomness.

Now at this point in the discussion there are a few of you who still do not understand or believe fully what I am saying when I say Gamblers NEVER win. The House, the Bookie, they work with vigorish, or "vig." The vig is the great equalizer on skill. And since you will invariably fall to 0.500 in your picks over time, you WILL be a loser because of the vig. I have stated it here on the blog before, but it is a rather enlightening saying: "Las Vegas wasn't built on winners." The game is stacked against everyone. So if you have a friend at the office and you bet the Super Bowl vs him straight up (without any vig), God Bless, be entertained, have a great time. But do not think for a second that you have the ability to conquer the point spread. If you are willing to dedicate the time and resources to become a professional bettor, then we are getting into the realm of something completely different.

Let me give you an example or two of where betting becomes professional. If you can spend your entire time studying football odds and analyzing trends, looking for inefficiencies and finding overlays that are systemic, then you are onto something. And then you have to determine what percentage of the time they occur, how much you can bet each time, what are your drawdowns on capital going to look like, what is your expected value, by how much will this EXCEED the vig, will that edge be ENOUGH to play because of the frequency of occurrence, will you be able to play every occurrence... in short, this becomes a FULL TIME business to beat the house's FULL TIME business. Now, if you are going to win, that is NOT gambling, that is work, that is a job. The glamour is gone, and those stupid zebras (aka refs, humans) who wreak havoc over individual outcomes (Pitt 11, San Diego 10 was this year's poster child, and if you have no idea what I am talking about, then that means you are smarter for not being involved in that world) better not drive you crazy and put you off your plan.

There was one time ~7 years ago when I noticed a trend which I believed was statistically significant. The New Jersey Nets were new and fresh, and Jason Kidd had two forwards named Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson who could run like the wind. They were a team with a gimmick, the transition fast break. That was their EDGE. Kidd was never a consistent and reliable shooter in the half court game, Jefferson was too young at the time to have the polished game, and Martin was the leaper, the power forward whom my father called a glass-wiper for his tremendous ability to pull down rebounds. If Kerry Kittles could have ever stayed healthy enough and been consistent enough as an outside shooter, the Nets would have had a (legitimate) chance at winning a title. But as long as their half court game was flawed (despite the great assists of Kidd), the key to understanding the success of the team was their transition offense and those jackrabbit forwards. The betting seam (scheme?) was simple: short (bet against) the Nets when they played a second game back to back. The tendency I was noticing was that the team became quickly and incredibly average when they lost their legs. The transition offense deflated, the advantage of youth was lost. It was a good idea, but the problem was that there were so many other variables to research and quantify. Back to back home games? Back to back road games? Home and then away? Away and then home? What if the opponent was also playing its second consecutive night? What if the first game saw a Net blowout and the stars not even playing in Q4 of the first game, so that their legs would be fresher? And what would happen if I missed one or two games to bet on? Maybe it was better to bet WITH the Nets when they were well-rested? Maybe both? THIS WAS A JOB FOR WHICH I WAS NOT GOING TO BOTHER INVESTING THE SERIOUS AMOUNTS OF TIME TO FIND OUT THE ANSWERS.

Summary: if you ever think for a second that you can WIN in this racket, you can email me and I will do my best to talk you out of it. Good luck with your bet this evening, and if you win do not begin thinking about your next career as a sports handicapper. The odds are against you.

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