Chalk this one up to bordering on the bizarre. Local Assemblyman Anthony Impreveduto, obviously a New York Giants fan, was so angered by the referees blowing the big call in last Sunday's Giants playoff game with the 49ers that he wants the National Football League to somehow repay the people of New Jersey.
So Impreveduto is calling upon the head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to begin legal proceedings against the NFL - with the restitution being Giants Stadium being the host for the 2006 Super Bowl.
"New Jersey taxpayers may have been cheated of tax revenue the state would have earned from players' income and other Giants-related enterprises had the team advanced in the playoffs," Impreveduto said in his letter to George Zoffinger, the head of the NJSEA.
Last Monday, the NFL apologized to the Giants, admitting that Big Blue should have had a chance to kick the potential game-winning field goal, because officials failed to call an obvious penalty on a botched snap on the game's final play.
A day later, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, a Jersey City native, called the play "an outright disgrace and the biggest disappointment in my 13 years of being the commissioner."
Impreveduto's demand to have the 2006 Super Bowl moved to New Jersey as part of the proposed lawsuit has drawn criticism from several national sportscasters, like Keith Olbermann of Westwood One radio and Michael Wilbon of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption." They called Impreveduto's request "typical New Jersey extortion." Both sportscasters also accused the assemblyman for attempting to grab headlines.
But maybe there is some truth to what he said. In terms of local businesses like sports bars and restaurants, there is always more money flowing when the Giants are playing.
Will the demand hold water? Doubtful. The NFL has already committed to the 2006 Super Bowl going to Detroit. However, if a lawsuit is actually filed, things could get very interesting...
The Stevens Tech women's basketball team has a solid Hudson County flavor. The Ducks' leading scorer is former Union Hill standout Aracely Cruz, who is a complete bundle of fire when she plays. The Ducks' assistant coach is former St. Peter's College standout Patty Marchese, who since her playing days with the Peahens has totally become a Hudson County gal through and through.
Plus, sophomore guard Lisa Mariski, who is sitting out this season as a red-shirt, was born and raised in Jersey City before moving to East Brunswick, where she played high school basketball. Her father is respected Jersey City police officer Mark Mariski...
Can former Dickinson grid standout Luis Almanzar catch a break? He was among the final cuts by the St. Louis Rams in the preseason, so the defensive tackle decided to come back home to play for the New Jersey Gladiators in the Arena Football League this year.
So what happens? The Gladiators' owners decided that Arena Football will not work any longer in the Continental Airlines Arena and have moved the franchise to Las Vegas.
It has yet to be determined whether Almanzar will follow the team to Sin City, USA. But it's still a very rough road that Almanzar has traveled in the world of professional football in the last six months...
Congrats to former North Bergen standout athlete Czar Wiley for earning First Team All-New England honors this season for the University of New Hampshire. Wiley, the 1997-98 Hudson Reporter Athlete of the Year, was the leading tackler for the Wildcats last season, collecting 75 tackles. He also had an interception, a fumble recovery and forced two fumbles. Wiley, a senior free safety, completed his UNH football career with 273 tackles, ranking him seventh all-time in tackles at the school.
Also, congrats to Hoboken's Mike Eusebio, who has really become big time. Eusebio, who signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds last February and pitched last season in Dayton and has already been assigned to Stockton of the California League for the coming year, was issued a set of Bowman Chrome baseball cards, featuring him and his autograph. It is a stunning looking card and one for all collectors to look for...
Tickets are still available for the 13th Annual Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at the Casino in the Park on Thursday, Jan. 30. Some of the inductees include Hoboken football coach Ed Stinson, former Lincoln and Rutgers quarterback Ed McMichael from Jersey City, former St. Mary's (Jersey City) standout basketball player Jim Boylan and current State Assembly Speaker Albio Sires.
For more information about tickets, contact Jane Green at (201) 915-1386... -- Jim Hague