Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bits and Bytes: Of Homecoming kings, hoops and our skidding Bucs

Sigh. Another year in which Tom Pecora and I have a better shot at wearing a crown from BK than the Homecoming crown.

The latest evidence why it’s much better to go to a mid-major than BCS U. occurred Saturday during Homecoming, when Charles Jenkins, Greg Washington and other members of the Flying Dutchmen basketball team took in the football game without the National Guard being called in to make sure they didn’t try to storm the field and kick the crap out of the gridders. You know, unlike at, oh, I don’t know, KANSAS.

Before we saw Jenkins & Co., the wife and I walked into Shuart Stadium at the same time as Tom Pecora and his son. The Pecoras were unbothered except for some goofy-ass blogger asking Tom if he was going to win Homecoming King. His answer: “Guys like me never win Homecoming King.” I feel your pain, Tom, maybe next year we’ll finally split it.

Last weekend was the final one of the off-season for Pecora and the Dutchmen, who begin practice Friday and are now officially less than a month away from knocking off Kansas. The Jayhawks, chemistry-busting dysfunction and all, earned the top spot in Gary Parrish’s pre-season poll over at Add him to the list of non-believers!!

Some other (mostly) basketball-themed bits and bytes:

—You can gauge the expectations for the men’s basketball team by the efforts of the athletic department to promote it. Three years ago, with Hofstra still riding the waves of publicity generated by the Great Screw Job and the Dutchmen favored to win the CAA behind the returning trio of Loren Stokes, Carlos Rivera and Antoine Agudio, the school produced a weekly 30-minute show starring Pecora.

Hopes were not nearly as high entering the subsequent two seasons, and I remember counting about three dozen people in the stands for the annual Blue/White Scrimmage last October. Things are different this year, of course, which is why the university is providing regular updates on season ticket sales, coming up with a snazzy slogan for the season and organizing a day-long Fan Fest Oct. 24 that will be capped by that Blue/White Scrimmage. Safe to assume there will be a lot more than 30-something people there a week from Saturday.

Now comes the news that Pecora will host a show on the school’s official website. Pecora is funnier first thing in the morning than Jay Leno has been at any point after 10 p.m. since 1992, so here’s hoping the production values are worthy of the talent. The Hofstra Basketball Report looked as if it should have aired after Wayne’s World on Aurora cable access (and I remember a whole lot of 6 am viewings on MSG or SNY, so maybe it did).

—Hofstra is apparently trying to replace the Stony Brook rivalry with games against Long Island’s Division III programs. The Dutchmen, who played Old Westbury last year, will open the home schedule this year against Farmingdale Nov. 20. So for those of you keeping score at home, the Dutchmen will open the season at Kansas and with two games in the NIT—including a likely matchup against UConn—followed by a home opener against Farmingdale. One of these is not like the other.

The big news is that the Farmingdale game is free. I had to grip my chair tight when I read that, since “free” and “Hofstra” are in the same sentence about as often as “Jerry Beach” and “made deadline on time.” So enjoy it while you can…and wait ‘til next year, St. Joseph’s!!

—Not a good week for our beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers, known worldwide as The Official NFL Team Of Defiantly Dutch. The Bucs lost to the Eagles, 33-14, to fall to 0-5. More importantly, a late safety recorded by the Eagles’ defense cost me my fantasy football game against Loyal Reader Eric. I really don’t want to talk about it.

The Bucs’ struggles have made them a target of Daily News writer Sean Brennan, whose weekly “Going Deep” is hilarious must-read stuff, at least when he’s not attacking our favorite team. Brennan, whose local hoops blog made him one of our favorite writers until he was mean to the Bucs, figures the end of the world in 2012 can’t come fast enough for suffering fans like us. I don’t know about that, but I figure the Bucs better steal one this week against Carolina, because the schedule after that through November goes Patriots-Packers-Dolphins-Saints-Falcons. Uh oh. Can’t they schedule Farmingdale?

Email Jerry at or follow Defiantly Dutch at

No comments: