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Knowing the Score

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I must take a moment for a heartfelt message to a former member of my staff. 

When I first started at this paper over eight years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. This was my first real job; not including my glorious years of serving ice cream to hungry customers at Carvel, so to say “I was nervous” was an understate­ment. 

And on my first day with the paper, I was immediately sent out in the field to cover the announcement that NYPD’s then-Assistant Chief Patrick Timlin would be taking over the role as the new Bronx Borough Commander. I was sent to cover the press conference with Walter Pofeldt, who had only started as the photographer several weeks before my arrival. 

Over lunch at a nearby McDonald’s, Walter put my mind at ease and I was prepared for what lay before me, setting me up for the next eight years. Walter, who had retired from the NYCHA, had contemplated ending his newfound hobby to enjoy said retirement just before I was named managing editor a couple years later. Aware that I would lose my most-seasoned photographer right before taking on my new role, Walter stayed on board. 

Now, several years later, Walter Pofeldt, the man who traveled with me to so many sporting events, and was tackled in my very first game, as he attempted to get the best shots possible, has said goodbye to the Bronx Times Reporter and hello to some well deserved relaxation. Good luck, Walter.

Now, let’s get some stuff of my chest. 

It annoys me to hear so many people complain about how the New York Giants are charging up to $20,000 to season-ticket holders for the rights to hold on to their seats and then go out and dip into their 401K’s or life savings to pay the price. If you can’t really afford it, there are a lot better things to do with your money. Watch the game with friends on your plasma HD television that you can buy with the money you saved from not forking over wads of cash to the Giants. Or buy cheaper seats during the season. I had as much fun watching the Mets play from the loge level as I did from the nosebleed seats. In fact, I had as much fun watching the New York Knicks lose from the upper deck during the 1993 season as I did watching them beat the Bulls in overtime during the playoffs from the court level seats I paid $200 for that same year. 

It’s as bad as the people who complain that gas prices are too high, yet drive into the city when they can take a bus or bike. Don’t encourage the problem and then complain about it. 

At least the Giants and the Jets are optimistic about their future season. I, for one, am excited to see the Jets in action. But if both teams are charging exuberant prices to see them win, then shouldn’t the Yankees offer refunds to those who are watching them lose. How, if you are Hank Steinbrenner, can you just concede the season the way he did in the news the other day? He gave the old “Wait until next year speech” and there is still over a month of baseball action left. When your team is about to leave Yankee Stadium behind, a rallying war cry is more acceptable. An acceptance of defeat is just wrong. 

But I guess it is better than having to sit through another season of New York Knicks basketball when the team is obviously looking ahead to 2010 when they will try unsuccessfully to get the New Jersey Nets bound Lebron James. 

Of course, the Knicks have goals. When will the Rangers ever win a Stanley Cup again? 1994 was a long time ago. As a Mets fan, so was 1986. It’s time someone followed the Giants’ lead and won us some championships again. 

On a final note, we are looking for Bronx residents, young and old, who want to send us their very special Yankee Stadium memories. The best ones will get printed on Thursday, September 25. Send them to JMinners@gmail.com. I’m looking forward to reading them all.

That will do it for this week. If you haven’t been liking the columns as of late, wait until 2009. I’ll try harder then. 

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group