Round of Applause
Anthony McKernan deserves our loudest round of applause for his decision to serve our country by joining the U. S. Army. All of the great things we enjoy and take for granted every day—especially sports—wouldn’t be possible without the selfless service, dedication, and sacrifice of people like McKernan to protect our freedom. We might all disagree on politics and wars, but one thing we can all agree on is appreciating and supporting our troops. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to individually recognize all the citizens and high school graduates among us who choose to join the service, but most of us know at least a few military men and women who have put their lives on hold for us. When you get a few moments, thank these people for all they do.
Football practice finally got underway on Monday for both Naugatuck and Woodland. This week has been specifically for conditioning before full pads are allowed on Saturday. The fall sports season is right around the corner as the rest of the teams at both schools begin their conditioning work and tryouts on Saturday in advance of the new school year. There’s nothing like the start of fall sports season—I think I’m looking forward to it more than some of the athletes are. We’re already getting primed for the best coverage of local high school sports you’ll find anywhere, including my personal preparation. I acquired a camouflage hoodie from Cabela’s last week which will become part of my sideline apparel this fall. Either I’ll blend in or stand out.
Plaxico Burress made his return to the football field on Sunday in the Jets’ preseason victory over the Bengals. I’m going to do the typical football fan thing of completely forgetting about Burress’ dumb-as-all-heck crime of shooting himself in the leg with a concealed handgun in New York in 2008 and focus on what he brings to my football team this fall. As long as he’s got his old legs and hands on him, he’s going to be a huge plus for Mark Sanchez and the Jets receiving corps. With the big red zone target in Burress, the shifty Santonio Holmes, and the veteran Derrick Mason, I really like the weapons on the outside for this team. The running game needs to be as strong as it usually is with Shonn Greene supposedly moving more strongly into the starting role as LaDainian Tomlinson is used in different packages rather than as an every-down back. As long as the offensive line patches up its holes, I think these guys will be just fine—thanks in large part to Burress.
Chorus of Boos
The Oakland Raiders never learn, it seems. With one of the longest stretches of futility in the NFL, their handling of players and acquisitions has been dreadful. They’ve been awful in drafts and poor in free agency, and they made another highly questionable move this week when they picked Ohio State troublemaker Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft. Pryor is a project at best, probably isn’t an NFL quarterback, and just cost the Raiders a third-round pick in next year’s regular draft. Al Davis has done it again.
Terrell Thomas is gone for the season after tearing his ACL in a Giants preseason game this week. Thomas is the best player in the New York secondary and he will certainly be missed on a team that is already suffering with plenty of injuries. Thomas doesn’t receive the boos here—instead, Lady Luck gets the jeers. It’s always tough to see a player go down for the year in the preseason. Here’s hoping for a speedy recover.
Anthony DelMoro dropped his milkshake right in front of the counter at McDonald’s the other night. He claimed the tray was too heavy after the vanilla shake hit the floor and exploded. As if the workers there didn’t have enough to do.
Lips to CN’s Ear
“My whole life I have played sports and developed a competitive nature. Joining the Army is taking that team concept to the next level. I will certainly miss the years I competed in sports but now it’s time to start a new chapter. … I know there is a lot of stuff going on all over the world. But this is a time when our country needs you the most. Both of my grandfathers served in the Army and this is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Former Naugatuck High football and baseball player Anthony McKernan on his decision to join the United States Army this fall. The 2010 Naugy graduate fulfilled a promise to his parents and tried a semester at Naugatuck Valley Community College but when it didn’t work out, he was determined to follow in the footsteps of his grandfathers and join the service. He will head to Ft. Benning, Ga., in October for basic training.