Monday Briefing: Gang Green, Blue Waves get us to smile

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan took some heat last week for saying he badly wanted to win Sunday night’s game against the Cowboys because of the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Pundits were saying a football game and the senseless deaths of so many innocent people shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath. After all, it was just a regular season game.

But I’ll say this, after a long, trying day filled with editing Sept. 11 stories and photos as they streamed in from across our coverage areas, while also watching five heart-wrenching hours worth of 9/11 victims’ names being read at ground zero — not to mention a parade of melancholy-inducing commercials — the Jets’ Sunday night’s come-from-behind victory really gave me  something to smile about, if only for a few seconds on a day filled with sadness.

I’m sure that happened for all the other Jets fans out there, too, and probably even for those who may have lost a loved one 10 years ago.

Thanks guys, for never giving up last night; it was inspiring.

• Speaking of inspiring play on the gridiron, how about those Blue Waves? They came into the season ranked 7th by Newsday in Suffolk County’s Division II. Mighty East Islip was ranked 1st.

And the mighty have fallen.

To be sure, the Waves made it interesting before beating the division’s top-ranked team Saturday in Islip Terrace.The boys coughed up their long-held lead late in the game, but behind the arm and legs of quarterback Ryan Bitzer, they surged back.

The Blue Waves won 35-32. They’re now the team to beat in Division II. Yep, I said it.

But that means they’ll be facing their opponents’ A-games. Every week.

• With the earthquake, Hurricane Irene and the Sept. 11 anniversary behind us, our attention now turns to silly season in Riverhead — the town that usually ends up hosting the silliest of election seasons in Suffolk.

To kick things off, Registered Democrats will go to the polls Tuesday to vote in the Democratic primary for Town Board seats.

Greg Fischer of Calverton is challenging former supervisor and committee designee Phil Cardinale, and Ruth Pollak of Riverhead is challenging Democratic council nominees Matt Van Glad of Riverhead and Marlando Williams of Calverton.

You want to talk silly? Check out this bit of News-Review coverage from Thursday’s night debate at Polish Hall, which was organized by Mr. Fischer. (None of his or Ms. Pollak’s opponents showed up.):

After the event was over, Mr. Fischer received a phone call from widely known political sparkplug Jimmy McMillan, who ran for governor last year on the Rent Is Too Damn High Party. Mr. McMillan spoke for several minutes over a cell phone speaker phone that was held up to a microphone.

But since the phone reception was so poor it was very difficult understand what Mr. McMillan was saying.


• As if things weren’t busy enough, the big bond vote for infrastructure upgrades in Riverhead schools is scheduled for Oct. 11

Taxpayers who live within the Riverhead Central School District will be asked to vote on a $78.3 million bond proposal for the upgrades. They’ll also be asked to consider a second proposition to build a $7 million gymnasium at Riverhead High School.