Author Archives: kevintraynor

All Hail the King

King James

King James

By: Kevin Traynor

He is more than a basketball player. He has transcended greatness, and ushered the NBA back into the forefront in the post-Jordan era. He has taken a pedestrian and a generally unsuccessful Cleveland Cavaliers franchise, and transformed them into a beast in the east. He is LeBron James, and we are all witnesses.

“Chosen one, huh?” uttered Stuart Scott in an ESPN commercial that featured a young James attempting to fix a copy machine at the ESPN headquarters. James has followed the mold set by Jordan: a mold that garners international recognition. LeBron is the next number 23.

This season, LeBron has entered an echelon all to himself. He steered a Cavaliers team to the best record in the NBA, home court advantage throughout the playoffs and as of today, the league’s MVP. He even entered his name into next year’s Slam Dunk Contest.

Most. Valuable. Player. This award is not given to the most outstanding player, although James arguably might be both.

Averaging 28 points, 7 boards and 7 assists per game, the league has been on notice since the opening whistle. Names like Kobe, and D-Wade were on James’ coat tails through the duration of the season, but on Monday, LeBron emerged from the pack as the league’s third youngest MVP.

The first round of the playoffs has provided the same dominance that America has grown accustom to seeing from James. His Cavaliers swept the aging Pistons in dominating fashion. During the series LeBron averaged 32 points, 11 boards and 7 assists per game.

The 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward has done something that many athletes fail to do. He has become more than a baller, and has emerged as a

King James tries law in a commercial

King James tries law in a commercial

personality. He and his teammates began a pre-game ritual this spring in which they created an air band, imaginary team photo-opp’s with a variety of poses and bowling pins with LeBron rolling in the ball. The Cavs have an unrivaled loose feel that has translated to success.

That’s the image LeBron has created. He’s entertaining both on and off the court. Have you ever seen a man that big that graceful? LeBron carving through the lane en route to the rack is a thing of a beauty.

However, don’t be mistaken, things for LeBron are not as easy as they look. After falling to the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last year, a game in which James’ scored a pedestrian 45 points, LeBron took a week off and headed back into the gym.

LeBron’s work ethic inspires his team’s play, and his attitude is so infectious that it has overhauled an otherwise dull NBA since Jordan. He is the answer we were all looking for. He is the next 23, and we are all witnesses.

Brett Favre is a Packer, a Jet and a Viking?

By: Kevin Traynor

This saga is starting to mirror a Seth Meyer’s Weekend Update skit from Saturday Night Live in which he ends his segment with a series of sentences with the word ‘really?’ Really Brett? Going to the Vikings now, maybe Adrian Peterson will save you, really? Or is it a never ending day time soap with more twists than a Twizzler?

"I'm comfortable in Wrangler," said Wrangler Jeans front man, Brett Favre

"I'm comfortable in Wrangler," said Wrangler Jeans front man, Brett Favre

Either way, Favre met with Childress Wednesday to discuss coming back to play for the Vikings. He could be the answer to the quarterback question that has been brewing in Minnesota since Culpepper’s departure.

Without Favre, the Viking’s starting quarterback job would be between returnee Tavaris Jackson and newcomer Sage Rosenfels.

It seems that as much as Favre may love mowing his lawn in Nowhere, Mississippi, he loves playing football more. At least that is what he conveyed last year with his summer long mini-series, which earned him a Jets jersey.

Favre excelled with the Jets, but after tearing his right biceps tendon, velocity dropped from his zingers. As a result, the Jets spiraled from atop of the AFC East standings to a mediocre 8-8 record,  just missing the playoffs.

Why shouldn’t we root for a healthy and effective Brett? Do we not think he’d look good in purple? Maybe you’re one of the people who thinks that he’s tarnishing his reputation, but you cannot blame the guy for competing while he still can.

Just think about it this way, if he returns to Minnesota, Favre will be the starting quarterback at Lambeau again, but this time donning a purple number four jersey.

This looks...right?

This looks...right?

With Favre, the Vikings could be poised for a run deep into the playoffs. If Peterson can sustain an effective running game, Favre can throw all day.

As a Jets fan, I have a love-hate relationship with Favre, but I cannot take anything away from his legacy. He is undoubtedly the best player I have grown up with. He’s the Gretzky of football. He’s Brett Favre whether he’s a Packer, a Jet or a Viking, and if un-retirement is what he wants then by all means…welcome back to football, Brett.

Red Foxes Fall Short in Loss to Jaspers for MAAC Tournament Berth

By: Kevin Traynor

Disappointment filled the air at Tenney Stadium at Leonidiff Field Saturday night as the Marist Men’s lacrosse team fell out of MAAC Tournament contention with a 10-9 loss to the Manhattan Jaspers on Senior Day.

Manhattan opened the scoring in the first stanza behind Synowiez’s goal, but Marist answered quickly with goals by Teichmann and Santavicca, giving the Red Foxes a 2-1 lead heading into the second quarter.

Marist Lacrosse Captain: Paul Santavicca

Marist Lacrosse Captain: Paul Santavicca

“They had the pole on me all night, but I still wanted to shoot,” said Matt Teichmann, a Marist midfielder.

In an up and down second quarter, Marist jumped out to a 6-2 lead only to see that lead vanquished going into half-time tied 6-6.

“I think that really took the wind out of our sails,” said Ryan McNierney, a sophomore midfielder for the Red Foxes.

Synowiez, who finished the night with three goals, scored off a Justin Jensen assist with 13:38 remaining in the third quarter. Marist responded within a minute as Santavicca ripped a goal unassisted past the Jasper keeper to tie the game at seven.

This would be the last tie of the game. The Jaspers went on a 3-0 run, which was slowly advanced throughout most of the fourth quarter. Santavicca scored again on a man-up opportunity with under two minutes remaining.

“Our seniors worked hard all game, and Santavicca tried to carry us all night but we fell short,” said Scott Nelson, Head Coach of Marist Lacrosse.

Marist lost the ensuing face-off, but caused a turnover on the defensive side of the field. Midfielder Keegan Blaney picked up the groundball and heaved it downfield to Ryan Sharkey who turned and fired a goal as time expired to cut the lead to 10-9.

“We battled hard, but couldn’t make the plays we had to throughout the game to get the win we needed,” said Matt Schunk, a senior midfielder.

Women’s Lacrosse Falls Short in MAAC Championship

 

Single Season Record Holder for Goals Scored: Stephanie Garland

Single Season Record Holder for Goals Scored: Stephanie Garland

By: Kevin Traynor

After setting the single season record for wins (12), the Marist College women’s lacrosse team lost to Fairfield 19-9 in the MAAC Championship game at Iona College Sunday afternoon.

“Losing this year to Fairfield was a tough loss for us since we were the returning MAAC champions,” said Marist senior, Stephanie Garland.

Kristin Coleman opened the game by scoring the first 3 goals for Fairfield. The Stags continued their scoring ways stretching their lead to 7-0 midway through the first half.

Marist senior Stephanie Garland found the back of the net off a Kate Noftsker feed to cut the Fairfield lead to 6, but it would be all Fairfield for the rest of the afternoon.

The Red Foxes cut the lead to 5 behind the efforts of Stephanie Garland and Cristin Begley at 9-4 with 8:38 remaining in the first half.

Fairfield proved to be too much as they went on to score five of the first six goals of the second half to build a double digit lead.

Stephanie Garland set the single season scoring record for Marist with 55 goals while cutting the lead to 18-8.

“After the game I found out about breaking the record which was a nice personal accomplishment, but it could never replace the feeling of winning the championship game with my teammates.Both Marist and Fairfield traded goals for the rest of the way as Fairfield won 19-9,” Garland said.

On the afternoon, Fairfield scored on 7-14 free position shots, whereas Marist could not beat Fairfield keeper Lauren Chatnik, going 0-8.

Fairfield won every major category including shots, groundballs, clears and draws.

Marist concludes the year with a record of 12-5.

“It was upsetting to realize it was the end of my career at Marist, but I was very proud of our team for fighting until the very last second of the game,” Garland said.

Who Do Ya Got?

NCAA Final Four home: Ford Field

NCAA Final Four home: Ford Field

By: Kevin Traynor

What began with a 64-team field has now dwindled to two, and on Monday night the NCAA Tournament will crown its champion. So, the question has to be, ‘who do ya got?’

The North Carolina Tar Heels have cruised their way into the game winning all their previous contests by double digits. Their most recent victim was the darling Villanova Wildcats who they handled by 14.

On the other side, Michigan State has battled their way to the title game behind the efforts of standouts Kalin Lucas and Goran Sutan. The 3-seeded Spartans defeated the favored UConn Huskies Saturday night to earn their bid to the title game.

However, Monday night will not mark these team’s first meeting. On a game played in early December, UNC stomped the Spartans by 35 albeit without Michgan State’s big man and leader: Goran Suton.

UNC vs. MSU in December

UNC vs. MSU in December

“I saw that game,” said Josef Schaetzle, a junior baseball player at Nassau Community College. “It was awful. I had to turn it off. Michigan State was ranked in the top 10 and it was billed to be this big time game, but North Carolina wasn’t having it.”

Things have changed since that matchup. Suton is averaging nearly 10 points and 8 boards a game, and guard Kalin Lucas has been putting up 14 points per game this season. In order to get a win tonight, Suton is going to have to neutralize the reigning NCAA Player of the Year in Tyler Hansbrough.

“Hansbrough is going to be the key to this game,” Marist basketball guard David Devezin said.

North Carolina has five players averaging over 10 points per game, and has been averaging nearly 90 points per game this season versus Michgan State’s 72.

Michigan State’s half court sets might serve as the remedy to slow North Carolina’s run-and-gun brand of basketball, and there is an x-factor that may also benefit the Spartans: it’s a ‘home’ game.

The National Championship game is being held at Ford Field in Detroit Monday in front of what is expected to be an overwhelming majority of Spartan fans. ESPN is reporting that between 40,000 and 50,000 fans will supporting Michigan State.

“A bunch of my friends flew out for the game,” said Garth Grillo, a junior at Loyola College (Md). “They called me from the game, and it was so loud that I couldn’t even hear them.”

Marist Women’s Lacrosse Handles Iona; Improves to 2-1 in MAAC

Marist Women's Lacrosse

Marist Women's Lacrosse

By: Kevin Traynor

After jumping to a 4-0 lead, the Marist women’s lacrosse team never relinquished their lead on route to an 11-7 victory over Iona. The win improved their record to 2-1 in the MAAC and 7-2 overall on the season.

Out of the gate, senior attacker, Kate Noftsker (Needham, Mass) opened the game scoring twice unassisted and tallied 4 by the final whistle on 6 shots.

However, Iona battled back to pull within 2 with 9 minutes remaining in the first half behind the efforts of Casey Scully and Kerry Thompson. This would be the closest Iona would get for the rest of the afternoon.

Marist answered with goals by Lauren Ciccarello (St. Anthony’s, NY) and Jori Procaccini (West Morris Central, NJ) opening their lead to 7-4 going into halftime.

Nofsker struck again early in the second half to improve Marist’s lead to 8-4, but Iona quickly responded to pull the lead back within 3 after Iona midfielder, Elizabeth Coholan, beat Marist goaltender, freshman, Kelsey Thoms (Newark, NJ).

Marist flexed their lead as they went on a 3 goal run midway through the second half as Ariel Kramer (West Gennesee, NY), Jessica Guarino (Wantagh, NY) and Erin Wilson (Ida, Mich) scored to make it 11-5 with 5 minutes remaining. Kramer and Guarino’s goals were both assisted by senior, Stephanie Garland (West Morris Central, NJ), who finished with 3 assists.

Iona rallied scoring two goals late, but it was not enough to surpass the Red Foxes. Keeper Kelsey Thoms anchored a tight defense while saving 8 shots.

Marist dominated every aspect of the game. They lead in every major category: groundballs, shots, clears and extra man opportunities.

The Marist women’s lacrosse team continues their conference schedule at Fairfield University this Friday at 3:30 pm.

Erin Go Bragh

By: Kevin Traynor

This year marked the 278th St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City. Lead by Grand Marshall, Michael J. Gibbons, the parade marched up 5th Avenue from 44th Street and ended at the Irish-American Society.

With Spring Break in full swing, this provided Marist students an opportunity to head into the city and partake in the fun that is St Patty’s Day. One student who took advantage of her day off was Ashley Linda, a senior.

Marchers in the St. Patrick's Day Parade

Marchers in the St. Patrick's Day Parade

“I took the bus in from Jersey,” Linda said. “It was an easy trip, and we got in around 11am, saw a little of the parade and went to a few pubs.”

A true marcher’s parade, no floats or balloons accompany the marcher’s. There are two types of people who attend the parade: those who march, and those who don’t.

“For the past couple years I’ve marched with the fire department,” said Dan Melia, a FDNY Battalion Chief. “This year my daughter turned 21, so we went out for a little afterwards, and got home in time for dinner, it was a good day.”

When the parade concludes, the day is just beginning. For Ashley and her friends, the question of where to spend the rest of their day was a unanimous decision: McFaddens.

Irish bars line 2nd avenue in midtown, but the place to be on St. Patty’s is McFaddens. Originally owned by Steve McFadden, the pub has changed hands since opening, but has kept the name.

“The place was packed,” Linda said. “I spent a majority of my day standing shoulder to shoulder in a sea of green shirts.”

McFadden’s offered traditional Irish food throughout the course of the day including corned beef, soda bread and an assortment of blood puddings which make up the traditional Irish breakfast.

“I’m not a big fan of any of that stuff, really, but some of the guys I was with had some corned beef,” Linda said.

Parade Onlookers

Parade Onlookers

The day ended relatively early for Linda and her friends, but they didn’t complain.

“I ended up home around 8pm, which is early for a regular night out, but my day usually doesn’t start at 11am either,” Linda said.

St. Patrick’s Day in Manhattan is an experience onto itself. There are no biases. Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s day.