Saturday, October 31, 2009

Live blogging Florida-Georgia from the Tapper Pub, Tampa

For the First Time Ever in History, Georgia wears black helmets. Dawgs won toss, chose to kick. Gators promptly marched to TD.

On their first possession, Georgia can't buy a thrill, but get a good punt to put Gators deep.

Florida receiver Brandon James could maybe double as a juggler--nice try.

Tebow throws a strke to Rodney Cooper, his roomie, for another TD. 14-0 Gators, Still 1st Q.

First play of second possession, Georgia penalized for false start. Gator LB Brandon Spikes (how many Florida players are named for this Tampa suburb?) has great dreads.

End of 1Q. Georgia passing game starting to click.

Start of 2Q. Georgia march stalled, but Dawgs get on board with a FG.

Second is all Georgia so far, as they get a pretty TD on a pass by QB Cox over the middle.

Gator offense gets stuffed, but Sturgis notches 56 yard FG.

Nice Georgia run nullified by holding, but Urban Meyer still looks as if his patience is sorely tried.

A Dawg defender also has impressive dreads, so long I can't read the name on his jersey.

Tebow scores on a dive play, passes Herschel Walker for SEC rushing TD record. 24-10 Gators.

Cox sacked. Shades of Watergate! Halftime.

Watching halftime report. Northwestern has a QB named Kafka. Wonder if he's subjected to inexplicable penalties.

Start of second half. A.J. Jones hits Georgia QB Cox, ball goes up and Jones grabs it for interception. Next play produces another Tebow rushing TD.

Georgia drives and gets a TD on a strike from Cox to a receiver with magnificent dreads. 31-17 Gators.

At this point, I had to forsake the Tapper when a call on my cell phone brought the unexpected but welcome news that my mother was about to be discharged from the hospital and sent to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility. Earlier in the day I had been told that, for administrative reasons, this wouldn't happen until Monday.

With Mom safely and comfortably in her new place, I stole a glance at the game's final minute on the activities room TV. From the highlights, I gather that after I stopped watching Florida got another FG, then the aforementioned Brandon Spikes scored on an interception to make the final score Gators 41, Dawgs 17. Apparently, having knock-'em-dead dreads was very important in this game.

So, my latest fearless prediction about the Gators, just like my previous one, has proved wrong. Once again, I'm glad it did.

My skepticism about my alma mater, South Florida, also was unfounded, as they rebounded from their drubbing by Pitt to defeat the 20th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers, 30-19.

Addendum: Tebow has a thing about putting scriptural citations in the little black anti-glare patches on his cheekbones. For the Georgia game it was Phil. 11-something (I never could discern the verse number). From Georgia's point of view, however, it probably should have been Hebrews 13:8.

Second addendum: Here's a photo of the Tapper's proprietor, and my high school friend, Kay Groetsch, tending the bar:
As you can see from Kay's welcoming smile, the Tapper is a friendly place. If you find yourself on Dale Mabry Highway (once designated the ugliest stretch of road in the U.S.) in the vicinity of Britton Plaza, a strip mall that has been around for about fifty years and should probably be on the National Register of Historic Places, and feel like having a brew or two, by all means drop in.

Marine art preserved in a New York subway station.

In 1913, the elegant Hotel McAlpin was completed at Broadway and 34th Street. The artist Fred Dana Marsh was commissioned to produce paintings illustrating the history of New York Harbor to decorate the Hotel's restaurant. These were executed on tiles, bordered by decorative terra cotta. Because of the paintings' popularity, the restaurant became known as the Marine Grill. In the early 1990s the McAlpin and its restaurant closed, and a developer bought the building for conversion to condominium apartments. The paintings, and their terra cotta borders, were preserved and re-installed on the walls of the heavily trafficked east-west passageway of the Broadway-Nassau/Fulton Street subway station in lower Manhattan. The painting above shows a four-stack transatlantic liner with Cunard's funnel markings (still in use today), probably the first Mauretania, which went into service in 1906.

This painting shows one of the coastal or inland waterway vessels that, in competition with the railroads, carried passengers between New York and places upstate along the Hudson as far as Albany, or New England by way of Long Island Sound.

This painting shows Dutch ships of the early seventeenth century bringing settlers to what is now New York. In the background is a gallows, with the bodies of two hanged criminals dangling from it.

I began work on this post several days before, in Brooklyn, and was referring to a photo I took of a plaque mounted in the station for information about the paintings and their removal to their present location. When I came to Florida, I neglected to include my photo of the plaque in my draft for reference, and therefore had to search the web for information to complete this post. In so doing, I discovered a much more thoroughgoing post on this subject by my friend Flatbush Gardener. It confirms my identification of the Cunard four-stacker as Mauretania, identifies the coastal passenger vessel as Commonwealth of the Fall River Line, shows some other paintings in the collecction, and gives the full story of how the art works were preserved and reconstructed after having been removed from the walls of the old McAlpin and the tiles scattered willy-nilly in bins.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Score one for the Real Baseball League: Phils 6, Yanks 1

Cliff Lee outpitched his old friend C.C. Sabathia, who gave up two dingers to Chase Utley, as the Phils beat the Yanks in the Series opener, at Nuevo Yankee Stadium.

Fans of short-attention-span ball may argue that, this game having been on an AL field, it was won with the DH rule prevailing. Nevertheless, the result without the DH would likely have still been a Phillies win, as they could have done without the two RBIs of their DH, Ibanez. (The Yanks' DH, Matsui, scored zip.)

Update: Has this Phillies fan taken "ball game" to a whole new level?

Game 2 update: Yanks even the Series, improving the chances for my hoped-for seven games.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Series from Hell?

According to Lisa Swan, a Yankees versus Phillies Series should give any Mets fan agita. This Mets fan wanted the Yanks to win the pennant once the Red Sox (my favorite AL team by dint of spousal loyalty) were out of contention, if only for the boost it would give to New York City's economy. Now that they're up against the Phils, the question is, for whom do I root? As a Mets fan, I should naturally loathe the Phillies, who are division rivals and frequent nemeses (and, for those with long enough memories, sent us Juan Samuel in a slumping year). On the other hand, I'm a Pennsylvania native with Philadelphia ancestry, and loyal to the National League for preserving real baseball instead of pandering to short attention spans with the DH rule. So, what's to do? Flip a coin?

For now, it's not who I'm rooting for, but what: seven games.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

College football: USF falls again, and a fearless prediction.

The South Florida Bulls, designated gladiators of my alma mater, appear to be reiterating a familiar process, i.e. start hot, get a big upset victory, lose a tough one, then fall to pieces. Have the sports gods cursed me by making me both a Mets and Bulls fan?

Meanwhile, the Florida Gators, my arch-loyalty from the days before USF football existed, managed to keep the longest winning streak in college ball going with a victory over Mississippi State. Last week, I wrote that this game had upset potential, and it was something of a struggle for the Gators, though not as much as their previous game against Arkansas. Next Saturday, though, Florida faces a different set of Bulldogs: their arch-rival Georgia. Here is my fearless prediction: Dawgs over Gators, in a close one. (Note, however, that my last fearless prediction came a cropper.)