The New York Week That Was (Dec. 4th, 2009)

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IDecember 4, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  Tom Barrise assistant coach of the New Jersey Nets, who has been named interim coach, in the closing minutes of the NBA basketball game against Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Nets fired coach Lawrence Frank on Sunday after losing their first 16 games of the season. The Nets tied for the worst start to an NBA season with their 17th straight loss. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

there will be blood

Daniel Day-Lewis has a new movie coming out that’s a sequel of sorts to There Will Be Blood . It’s based on my experiences as a parent, and is called There Will Be Yelling . In honor of that soon-to-be-released film, we’ll look back at the New York week in sports with an Oscar-like Best Performance slant.

This week we saw a record being broken, a coach getting fired, upsets, disappointments, a baseball manager coaching a football player, hot stove rumors galore, a middle linebacker put on season-ending IR, a Yankee legend dying, two Jets wins, no Giants game, a kaleidoscopic, injured quarterback, and Meredith Baxter announcing to the world that she’s a lesbian, which pretty much changes my whole world view. I’m going to have to reevaluate everything that’s happened in my life to date. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Record-Breaking Performance of the Week: The Nets

It’s official; they’ve broken the record for worst start in NBA history. Who knew clearing out salary cap space for 2010 would produce such ineptitude? Of course, injuries played a part in the losing, too. But still, it was a hard record to break, with the Clippers being in the league the last 30 years or so.

Lawrence Frank wasn’t around long enough to be the coach of record (he’s probably lying on a beach somewhere counting his millions and sipping a margarita: “Looking good, Billy Ray!” “Feeling good, Louis!”). And Kike Vandeweghe conveniently decided not to take over the coaching reins until tonight. So poor Tom Barrise was the unlucky schmuck on the sidelines for the record-breaker.

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Meanwhile, after being asked about the Nets’ impending move, a spokesman for the borough of Brooklyn stated, “What? Who? I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. We have no record of that being discussed anywhere. That new arena being built is for when the circus comes to town.”

Best Performance by a Star: Darrelle Revis

He shut down two star receivers in one week: Steve Smith (two picks, and he ran one back for a TD on Sunday) and Terrell Owens (another INT and only three catches for T.O. last night).

Best Performance by a Running Back: Thomas Jones

He gained 109 yards in Toronto, which put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth straight year.

Best Performance by a Kicker: Jay Feely

He didn’t have any competition as he was the only kicker this week, but he booted four field goals in the Jets victory over Buffalo.

Best Performance by a Quarterback With Crazy Color-Coded Wristbands: Mark Sanchez

Red means don’t throw an interception, yellow means don’t fumble, and green means he has a date with Raquel Welch after the game—oh wait, those were the codes for Joe Namath. What color is “Don’t get hurt”?

Worst Coaching Performance of the Week: Joe Girardi

The Yankees manager made it over to Jets practice to teach Sanchez how to slide, but the QB still didn’t get it right. Are we sure he wasn’t tutored by one of the Mets?

Best Performance by a Player Whose Season Ended a Month Ago: Derek Jeter

The Yankee shortstop was named Sports Illustrated ’s Sportsman of the Year. Coincidentally, I’ve often been compared to Jeter. If you take away his talent, fame, good looks, leadership skills, athleticism, baseball IQ, stature, popularity, levelheaded maturity, style, and savoir-faire, we’re practically twins.

Best Performance at the End of a Losing Game: Nate Robinson

The little guy (we’re not allowed to say midget anymore, are we?) poured in 22 points in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Magic, but it wasn’t enough for the Knicks to pull out a victory. Three days later he was a DNP-CD. Such is the wild and wacky world of Nate Robinson.

Upset of the Week: Knicks Over Suns

The Knicks surprisingly beat Mike D’Antoni’s old team, holding them to under 100 points for the first time this season. The two teams came into the game with mirror-image records (3-14, 14-3), and the Knicks played like the Suns and the Suns played like the Knicks. Danilo Gallinari was the star with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

Upset of the Week on Ice: Islanders Over Penguins

The Isles beat the high-powered Penguins 3-2, only allowing Pittsburgh 21 shots during the game. They went 2-1 for the week, with Matt Moulson scoring a hat trick in Thursday’s win.

Best Performance by a Player on a Sinking Team: Marian Gaborik

He scored two goals in the Rangers loss to Pittsburgh on Monday. Of course, nobody else scored for the team.

Worst Performance by a Team Not Setting a Record for Losing: The Rangers

Let’s see. They got killed on Friday, killed on Saturday, and then bounced back to see what they were made of and “only” lost 5-2 on Monday. Steve Valiquette was put on waivers and sent packing to Hartford and was Wade Redden put on IR, with Chad Johnson and Ilkka Heikkinen called up from the minors as replacements, and the Blueshirts picked up center Erik Christensen to try and fill a void at center.

At least they’re trying something to get back on track. Come back, Brandon Dubinsky. We need you.

Best Performance by a Team Fighting Through Injuries: The Devils

They just keep on winning consistently (two out of three this week) no matter how many minor leaguers have to fill out their roster.

R.I.P.: Tommy Henrich

Old Reliable died on Tuesday at the age of 96. The outfielder played seven World Series winners for the Yankees, was a five-time All-Star, and hit 183 home runs for his career. He always played his best in the big games, and was remembered for his ninth-inning strikeout in Game Four of the 1941 World Series: When Dodgers catcher Mickey Owen missed the ball, Henrich made it safely to first and the Yanks rallied to win the game and the Series.

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