Keith Strudler: The Pain Of Preseason Football

Aug 26, 2015

If you are so inclined to pay attention to the NFL right now, beyond Tom Brady and deflated balls, you know that this is the league’s preseason. Which basically means that these games don’t count. At least not in any standings that determine who goes to the playoffs and who goes home at season’s end. These first four games, while a full 25% the length of the 16 game regular season, really serve two purposes, neither of which have anything to do with winning and losing. First, this allows teams to cut their rosters from 90 to 53 players, essentially Survivor played out over four grueling episodes. That means young and marginal players compete against their teammates as much as any opponent. In fact, we only see star players sparingly during this stretch, since they’ve already cemented their spots. Second, the league and its teams use the preseason as a way of making more money. It’s four filled stadiums using largely marginal talent for games that have no particular significance. It’s like paying full price for preview shows on Broadway, oh, and they only used understudies. That’s the NFL preseason, half the sound and fury that means pretty much nothing.

Keith Strudler: To The Participant Goes The Spoils

Aug 19, 2015

What do Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker James Harrison and the Softball Little League World Series team from Washington State have in common? Well, very little, really. But in this one particular odd moment, they’ve both made strong statements about the state and place of youth sports.

It has been quite a summer in sports. New York Jets QB Geno Smith had his jaw broken this week by a the locker room.  As the NFL gets ready to start exhibition season, Tom Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met in a court room over "Deflate-Gage."   The Red Sox are enduring a lousy season. The Yankees just lost first place to the Toronto Blue Jays.  And then there's the first place New York Mets. There is a great deal to talk about!  Good thing we'll be joined by Marist College's Keith Strudler and Daily Gazette Sports Editor, Mark McGuire. 

Keith Strudler: Fighter J-E-T-S

Aug 12, 2015

Jets fans, all five of you, here’s the good news. Gino Smith will not throw an interception for the next six to 10 weeks. That’s the good news. The bad news, and there’s plenty, is that the Jets starting quarterback won’t throw anything for six to 10 weeks, at least not wearing pads and a helmet. That’s because Smith broke his jaw this week in a locker room altercation with now former teammate IK Enemkpali. According to reports, Smith owed Enemkpali $600 for a plane ticket he never used, and Enemkpali let him know by way of a fist to the jaw. The result is one QB on injured reserve, one backup linebacker on waivers, and enough material to keep late night talk shows in business for a generation.

5/12/15 Panel

May 12, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, SUNY Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao, and Associate Editor of the Time Union, Mike Spain.

Scheduled topics include Tom Brady four game suspension, Skelos out, White House anger over Seymour Hersh’s Bin Laden story, Arctic drilling, Picasso painting sells for $179 million.

Keith Strudler: The $ound Of $ilence

Jan 28, 2015

Money is a strong – no a fantastic motivator. Don’t want to slow down on the highway? You do because of the threat of a $200 speeding ticket. Working weekends? You might for time and a half. Outside of maybe food and certain unmentionables, money gets the job done better than any other positive or negative reinforcement.

Keith Strudler: The One That Got Away

Jan 21, 2015

One the most powerful words in sports, in life really, is regret. The sporting past is a road map of wins and, more importantly, the ones you should have won. Just ask a fisherman. It’s always the one that got away. For the Green Bay Packers, one got away on Sunday. With less than four minutes in the fourth quarter of last weekend’s NFC Championship Game and holding a commanding 19-7 lead that felt much greater, and with the ball, it seemed the only thing that could keep the Packers from a trip to the Super Bowl was divine intervention or willful intent. In fact, in that very penultimate moment, the Packers had a 97% chance of winning, according to the wonky sports statisticians that calculate this stuff.

1/9/15 Panel

Jan 9, 2015

  Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, political consultant Libby Post, and WAMC newsman, Ray Graf.

Scheduled topics include Paris investigation and continuing hostage situation, Honda fined for underreporting security issues, Senator Barbara Boxer won't seek re-election, and NFL news.

Keith Strudler: Should The NFL Return To L.A.?

Dec 17, 2014

Los Angeles has a lot. It's got movie stars and great weather and Disney and beaches and enough night clubs to entertain the Kardashians. But what they don't have is an NFL franchise. They used to. In fact, they had two, assuming we count the LA metro area, which includes Anneheim, the former home of the then Los Angeles and now St. Louis Rams. At some concurrent moments, the Raiders called the Los Angeles Coloseum home, before they returned to Oakland. But since 1995, the city of angels has been home to exactly one less NFL team than Jacksonville, Charlotte, New Orleans, and Buffalo, respectively, cities that collectively don't approach LA's populace.

Keith Strudler: St. Louis Rams Protest

Dec 3, 2014

Perhaps the last thing the NFL needs right now is this. Just as league officials were looking for something, anything, to divert the national gaze from Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, they go from the frying pan to the bonfire. That oncoming train came in the way of the St. Louis Rams. During the introduction of Sunday's home game against the Oakland Raiders, five Rams exited the tunnel with their hands raised in the now familiar "Don't Shoot" pose synonymous with the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson, Missouri. These five athletes, all African-American, received far, far more attention than the reported 75 or so protesters outside the stadium doing the exact same thing, only for a whole lot longer. The on-field statement lasted all of a few seconds, before the Rams  proceeded to beat the Raiders by 52 points, which probably says more about Oakland than anything else.