Because this has been a different week where I live, it's a different time for the Ten Things, with the feelings of some Giants fans who went to the game and some who couldn't even think of going Sunday.
1. This is the voice of Giants fan Benji Raisman: "My apartment in Far Rockaway is on the water, evacuated the second last week's Giants game was over. I still cannot return. I work for a company that is involved with senior care facilities, and I've been sleeping in my office to monitor the radio 24/7. I sleep on chairs when backup can come for an hour here and there. I have not showered in days. I am going to miss my first Giants game this week. Our office cable is down, and health of our residents comes before any entertainment. I am constantly getting to a state of near-depression. That may be a harsh word, but the feeling is that. I am dealing with it by reminding myself how lucky I am to have made it out of harms way when countless families and lives will never be the same.''
2. This is the voice of Giants fan Brendan Murphy: "My home in Rockaway Beach is destroyed. Friday, we were emptying houses of people's entire lives and putting it on the curb as garbage for collection. There's anger, laughter, desperation and hope. I don't see season-ticket holders leaving Rockaway peninsula to go to the Giants game. We don't have power or gas to run generators for cleanup, let alone gas to drive to New Jersey. We hope they win but we can't watch on TV with no power and with batteries running low probably won't listen on radio either.''
3. This is the voice of Giants fan Thomas Hourihan: "My wife and I had to evacuate our building. We grabbed a few things and left. Our car was completely totaled. We stayed with friends in Hoboken on Tuesday and then were rescued by my sister-in-law on Wednesday. We haven't been allowed back since. I am going to the Giants game with four friends. It's an annual trip as we pick out one game a year and make a day of it. We all can use a little bit of fun, good food and football. We'll worry about [the future] Monday.''
4. This is the voice of Giants fan Steve Suhocki: "Our power [in Bedminster, N.J.] came back [Sunday] morning ... I was without power since Monday. I've slept in a different bed every night this week, taking advantage of generous offerings from people with warm beds and showers. I have three-quarters of a tank of gas left, but I've been saving it to drive to the game on Sunday. After driving all the way to Pennsylvania Thursday night just to get gas, and to see the crazy lines and people for gas and food, it will be nice to just get away for a bit and focus on my favorite team for three hours.''
5. This is the voice of Giants fan Bill Smith: "We are going to the game despite having no power or electricity. Trying to give my three sons some sense of normalcy and provide a few hours of distraction and my wife some relief as the week has been a bear for her. My 79-year-old father and 78-year-old mother ... have no power either. I have them in a local hotel trying to get warm and keep them safe. Only apprehension for us is getting home at 9 p.m. or so after the late start, but we're committed. We won't be tailgating as this is no time to celebrate. The amount of destruction and death is mind-boggling.''
6. I think, before finishing the rest of the column, I'd just like to ask everyone who's feeling fortunate today to visit www.RedCross.org. Give what you can. In the metropolitan area, we have thousands, and I mean thousands, of people who have no idea where they're going to live, who have no clue where they'll be a month from today. Thanks for anything you can do. Now, back to football.
7. I think Bud Adams sounds like he's in no mood to be patient in year two of the Munchak Era. "In my 50 years of owning an NFL franchise, I am at a loss to recall a regular season home game that was such a disappointment for myself, and fans of the Titans,'' Adams told The Tennessean, after the Titans lost to Chicago by 31. "We were grossly outcoached and outplayed from start to finish today. At this time, all aspects of the organization will be closely evaluated, including front office, coaches and players over the next seven games. If performance and competitiveness does not improve, I will look at all alternatives to get back to having the Titans become a playoff and championship football team."
8. I think I understand the emotion Mario Williams must have after the Texans let him go without a fight in free agency. Logically, he'd want to have a great game for the first time against the Texans. But for him to sack Matt Schaub and then point a wagging finger at the Houston bench, as if to say, "You never should have gotten rid of me,'' well ... that was a great play, Mr. Williams. But if you think the Texans should be regretting NOT paying you $16 million a year, you're living in a different reality from mine.
9. I think, for all the times Cam Newton has been bashed this year, he deserves more than a little praise for engineering Carolina's 21-13 win at Washington. He was decisive, accurate and knew when to run and when to stay in the pocket. I thought his game was a step in his progression that was sorely needed.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Thank you for re-signing, David Ortiz.
b. I wouldn't take a chance on Josh Hamilton for more than three years, $33 million. That would mean I wouldn't get him, which would be OK with me. I'd be able to sleep at night.
c. Not a fan of Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri saying after his kicker, Kevin Harper, missed a 33-yard field goal in overtime, "We missed a field goal. That's why we lost the game." What a teammate Sunseri is. Pitt blew a 20-6 lead in the fourth quarter, and Harper made four of five field goals in the 29-26 loss. But he missed the one field goal that would have won it in the second overtime. Everyone who watched the game, and everyone in the Pitt locker room, understands a makeable field goal would have won the game. But to put the spotlight on one guy -- that's not what the quarterback on a team should do.
d. There's a reason I never hear Les Miles' name when there's talk of how certain college coaches would fit in the NFL.
e. LSU leads Alabama in the 59th minute and gives the Tide the best game, by far, it's had to survive in over a year. And the coaches poll in USA Today drops LSU from fifth to ninth in the top 25. Totally, ridiculously preposterous. And the coaches rip us for our occasional cluelessness.
f. Congrats to Mark Waller and his crew at the NFL for putting together, on very short notice, the 30-second PSA urging TV and web viewers to send money to help the recovery efforts. These were the PSAs narrated by Osi Umenyiora and Eli Manning that were invented Thursday and Friday by Waller and his staff.
It started when Roger Goodell called Waller into his office Thursday morning and said he wanted to do something special for a PSA on Sunday. "Great,'' said Waller. "Which PSA do you want to run?'' Goodell said: "The one you're going to create." So Waller got a 30-second spot together, and Tracy Perlman from his office got Manning and Umenyiora to record narrations at Giants offices Friday afternoon. Let's hope the stark images of the PSA get people to give.
g. Coffeenerdness: I couldn't figure out why, walking Bailey around Tuesday afternoon in the desolate city, after the storm, I saw 10 or so people outside a Starbucks with their laptops in one hand, or seated on the sidewalk with laptop in lap. Then I figured they must be using the wireless. Good citizenship by Starbucks, if it indeed was intentional to leave the WiFi up and running for desperate people to use.
h. Beernerdness: Had a chance the other night to sample a couple of Flower Power IPAs from the Ithaca (N.Y.) Beer Company, and it's one of the best IPAs I've ever tasted. Dry, easy to drink, with a faint scent of pine. Great beer.
Steve Politi, the entertaining, often poignant, terrific sports columnist for the Star Ledger of Newark, N.J., wrote an inspirational Sunday column about the undefeated high school football team in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. The column is about what community is about. You may have gotten to know Point Pleasant Beach from the storm pictures you've seen in the last week. So Politi accompanied the Point Pleasant Beach Garnet Gulls football team -- the entire team -- on its walk through town Saturday, the players going house to house and removing debris and helping neighbors do what needed to be done. Running back Danny Tighe told Politi: "It's not about football now. It's about our town." A terrific story.
As for the game tonight: Philadelphia 33, New Orleans 31. On Saturday, after the Eagles' final full-scale practice of the week, I asked Andy Reid a few things.
Q: How close did you come to benching Michael Vick?
Reid: "There really wasn't a decision to make. I was upset after the game last week. We didn't play well, and I needed to take a step back. I needed to look at everything, which I did. And Michael actually had one of his better games. There's probably three plays he'd like to have back. But as for replacing him, I wasn't there. I never was going to do that."
Q: Are you worried that with Vick saying things like he has to get his swag back and play like the old Michael that he's not going to follow the game plan?
Reid: "Not at all. I don't worry about that. He feels he's the leader of the team and he has to take control, and that's good. He's the most competitive guy. He's got an inferno of competition inside him. He feels like he can make plays, and we want him to make plays."
Q: When you're driving home, or have some quiet time, or thinking about the future, do you ever worry about getting fired?
Reid: "Listen, you know me. I don't care about that. I control what I can control, and after that, it's out of my hands. I understand what the deal is in the NFL. But all I think about now is Monday night. I'm all in for Monday night. You ask me what I think about driving home -- I think, 'The sun sure looks nice. Those trees are beautiful.' I'm not one to worry about the other stuff."
Morning, Jersey Shore.
Staten Island and Queens too.
We won't forget you.
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