On my most recent podcast, sportswriter Cecil Harris discussed with me his interactions with Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena. We talked ahead of the release of ‘King Richard ‘, starring Will Smith, about Cecil’s up-close interactions with the real life Williams family.
Cecil also gave us a look at the 76 page plan Richard Williams made to woo coaches and bring his girls up to be tennis superstars. We also discussed how adaptations made by the Williams Sisters were led by ‘King Richard’. Is it possible one man inspired generations of women by just hearing the term The Williams Sisters ? Click the interview link below to find out Cecil’s answer to that one !
The conversation also covered Colin Kaepernick’s Netflix Series , ‘Colin in Black And White’.
I write this with one major plea. Please do not make check swings reviewable!
If you had tuned in Thursday night to the Los Angeles Dodgers- San Francisco Giants NLDS Game 5, you got the classic you hoped for !
Baseball fans were in elation that this legendary series dating back to the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants was alive and well in 2021 on the West Coast! Interestingly enough, the ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ that propelled the NY Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers was 70 years ago this month!
That is why I say the check-swing that ended the 107-win SG Giants season is the check-swing heard around the world! It had that magnitude as Wilmer Flores CLEARLY held up yet first base umpire Gabe Morales called him out . Morales later explained , “Check swings are one of the hardest calls we have. I don’t have the benefit of multiple camera angles when I’m watching it live. When it happened live, I thought he went, so that’s why I called it a swing.”
As bad as the call was to end the NLDS classic, the call was what we have fell in love with in baseball, the pure human nature of the game. Of the call of the umpire, and the nature of the game. That’s why to call for check swings to become reviewable will continue to shred the purity and the human error this game was built on! For goodness sake, E is for ‘error’ on the scoreboard! Why can’t umpire calls be left sacred? Why must this game become more robotic via video review? It will become too robotic for the average fan and the purist!
As this league looks to make the game faster, a reminder there is no clock and all the reviews in the world simply add two minutes to an already 3-plus hour game! It would be insanity to add check swing to the growing list of video reviews !
Earlier this week, Alex Garrett Podcasting remembered New York Rangers legend Rod Gilbert ! Rod was not only a member of the Goal-A-Game line, he was an integral part of the community off the ice as well.
You might have read the article about the Islanders connection to my alma mater, Henry Viscardi High School, well Rod has roots at the Viscardi Center as well! He always took time out to support the kids at the Sports-night Gala year in and year out. In May of 2021, this was no different as he took part in a ZOOM breakout session before the virtual Sports Night event took place for the Viscardi Center! That would be the last time I would get to thank him for everything.
One of the last times I got to see him, it was at a Rangers 5k in Flushing Meadows Park. I remember this excited feeling of seeing him after a long period of time, and LEAPING into his arms as if he was family. Quite frankly, Rod made you feel like family! As you’ll find out in research , Rod also had to ADAPT to spinal fusion and multiple health crises that made him a stronger hockey player!
The below picture is where this story gets even more intriguing!
Where this gets interesting even more is the bib number (343) I wore that race was actually the number of FDNY firefighters lost on 9/11/01 that tragic day alone! My friend, Steve, pointed this out to me and I’m forever changed by the information.
To inadvertently represent the men and women who lost their lives defending our city, trying to save many lives, it’s God’s plan for sure!
For this 20th commemoration, I will proudly honor the firefighters who lost their lives that day as well as their loved ones, because now that I have this knowledge, I would love to support New York’s Bravest through this period even more!
God Rest Rod Gilbert’s soul and God Bless America!
On the Sportshour side of Alex Garrett Podcasting, Alex tackles whether records in sports are truly meant to be broken.
Met legend Tom Seaver’s 10 straight strikeout record established in April 1970 against the Padres has only been TIED in 2021 by the Phillies’ Aaron Nola and the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes . Is Seaver’s record meant to be broken?
Alex shares his thoughts about whether or not the Seaver record is unbreakable like the Joe DiMaggio 56 game hit streak or Cy Young’s 511 wins is unbreakable !
It’s only fitting that a little school and center on Long Island produces greatness . Fact is the Viscardi Center was BUILT with greatness and on a foundation of greatness.
If you know anything about Dr. Henry Viscardi, you would know how great a man he was. He , himself, overcame having limbs that were underdeveloped requiring prosthetic legs. His life experience inspired him to help others and provide opportunities for those returning war veterans who became disabled during combat in World War II! That center, Human Resources, grew and added The Henry Viscardi School for kids with disabilities .
I’m very humbled to say I became a graduate of HVS in 2009. I had gone to school there from K-12 ! A large part of my current day motivation is influenced by seeing friends in the disabled community and HVS community adapt and thrive! Stories from this community can help others ease into adaptation for their current day situations, I know it!
What also makes HVS so great is that our community welcomes greatness! I can discuss so many different ways the Viscardi Center community welcomes greatness , but to be topical I’d like to focus on the Islanders partnership. As you may know , the Islanders are about to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the semi-finals!
Since I can remember , the current New York Islanders have played hockey with the Viscardi kids year in and year out at HVS. The catch was that these tall hockey players would become wheelchair-bound and be on the level with fast kids in power wheelchairs and regular wheelchairs. The Islanders humbled themselves because they wanted to experience the incredible spirit HVS students have! (https://www.viscardicenter.org/ny-islanders-play-hockey-at-hvs/)
The Islanders have also made available legends such as Bobby Nystrom and Clark Gillies to join our annual gala which raises funds for the Viscardi Center and Viscardi School ! For a tough group of guys, this kind of outreach show how much of a heart these hockey guys can have for the community and I am here for it!
When you cheer them on against Tampa this series , remember that these guys do it for the community and that community, I’m proud to say, includes that little but GREAT place in Albertson known as the Henry Viscardi Center !
For Brenly, I’d ask him what did he learn in that experience 20 years ago? It feels like he didn’t learn anything after hearing Tuesday’s comment!
Right now, Brenly has stepped away from the Diamondbacks broadcast booth after the backlash he received. He even released a statement that acknowledges he needs to undergo sensitivity training. How does a man who is a veteran of the game and of broadcasting in his 60s need to undergo sensitivity training? Does a hot mic really mean an open mic for some of these people?
The circumstance of that comment also surfaced because the benches DID clear after Stroman and the D-Backs own Josh Rojas were jawing at each other . Keep in mind the Diamondbacks have been frustrated going 5-26 in May! Was that a reason why a grown man like Bob Brenly would make that comment about Stroman? Is he frustrated in the broadcast booth too??
Bob Brenly said he was trying to be funny. I hate the cancel culture as much as anyone, but the comment made about Stroman’s headwear was crossing the line. My suggestion is that Stro wear one over his Met hat now just to prove the point that is his preference and he won’t let anyone deter him from wearing a du-rag on the mound. It’s very much his comfort zone to excel for the Mets, you can just see it.
Oh and Stroman just needs to keep doing his thing for the Mets, after all this team is in first place! Enjoy the basement , Bob Brenly !
WHAT YOU HEARD ON ALEX GARRETT PODCASTING THIS WEEK
Alex welcomed Razor Scooter representative Ali Kermani (@ILikeHermoney on Instagram) to discuss adapting to new ways of skateboarding and utilizing his scooter after surgery took him off the skating ramp for nearly a year! (https://www.spreaker.com/episode/45057600)
Charlie Culture joined once again to weigh in on whether changing NYC culture can be done through the Mayor’s race. Also, why is John Cena apologizing to China and are the Knicks back CULTURALLY for New York?
On my recent podcast, I introduced TigerHoodNYC, yes emblematic of Tiger Woods. Patrick Barr is the man behind TigerHoodNYC and one special block in Manhattan helps bring the community together through golf, milk cartons and overall positivity!
If you are or aren’t a golf enthusiast, I highly recommend giving this podcast episode a listen!
Drew Brees is by far the most worthy of having a Super Bowl ring. Brees became the ONLY QB with 80k career passing yards in the NFL! He accomplished that feat recovering from broken ribs, just last night against the Vikings on Christmas! Brees truly deserves the only Super Bowl he’s won so far of allll the elites who have won more and he definitely is a first ballot HOF!
I’ve gotten bent out of shape over the fact the New York Jets not only left their playbook in the locker room (did ya see the game in Buffalo?!), but I would also have to say their dignity. Some today seem to think not even being on the field for the National Anthem is dignified, I would highly disagree.
The unity that the players of this League are pushing for is just a part of the story. Yes , police brutality is an issue we all must tackle head on, do not misunderstand me. Yet, if unity was to be achieved, every name of people that have perished in this devastating COVID crisis should be mentioned. Amazing how the media loves to tell us numbers, but really doesn’t question why the NFL or other leagues don’t appear to make healthcare heroes or victims of this crisis front and center of these tributes!
If unity was the true goal of this idea to kneel or stay in the locker room, every cop killed in the line of duty should be mentioned! Every person or child that has been struck by a stray bullet in protest zones or just our inner cities should be mentioned or even worn on the helmets if we are to go there. Why isn’t little 4 year old Legend Taliferro (https://www.foxnews.com/us/murder-charge-legend-taliferro-operation-legend), for which Operation Legend is named for, being worn all over the place? He was murdered in his hometown of KC just sleeping innocently on the floor, yet he won’t be honored on any NFL helmet because his death is not due to police brutality, that is sad !
With all that being said, I will still support and watch the NFL. If we are trying to save our country, we should try and save the very fabric that makes us incredible year in and year out. The NFL is, excuse the cliche, woven into our fall routine each and every year!
Socially, the NFL’s culture brings us all together through the Super Bowl every year. Nowadays with places like Bleacher Report and Barstool, nearly every week seems to have dramatics that lead us to talk to one another. Economically , the gambling BOON is for real. DraftKings jumping on with teams and the League tells you they want the economic potential of these games to hit their pocketbooks too. TV revenue would be hit by lower ratings and some that want to boycott the League I’m sure would love to see loss of revenue. I do feel for owners that won’t have as many fans and therefore will take a hit that way also. I also do feel for Season Ticket Holders that can’t get to bond with each other and root, root for the home team. The socioeconomic here cannot be ignored. While one can condemn gambling, economically you cannot root for this sport to fail.
There is a bigger reason why I will still support the NFL. If we all turn our backs because of this ‘unity’ cry, we let the forces behind all these movements win. We let them win because they simply want to turn off the sport of football, because these forces know how foundational this League is to America. They also know how pissed off these fans get and find it comforting when many do turn away. In many ways, the forces behind these protests know EXACTLY what they are doing. They want to kill our country, and why not do it through sports, right? I won’t stand for the destruction of our way of life, even if they kneel! We cannot let these forces lead us into submission and destroy this country by weakening professional sports, that I believe is their end goal.
Support the NFL, pray these teams don’t buy into the external forces driving these protests and overall, don’t let the forces behind all the chaos win, or this country WILL be done for!