Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un (“We surely belong to God and to Him we shall return.”)
Earlier today my maternal grandfather passed away. He was affectionately known as Papa to his kids, grandkids, great grandkids and by pretty much everyone else including neighbors, family friends and others in the extended family. The love and respect everyone had for him was always evident but especially so over the last three weeks. 

Please remember him and our extended family in your prayers today. 

He grew to love watching basketball because his grandkids used to watch it. All of his grandkids grew to love watching Jeopardy because Papa watched it. 

I’ve been thinking about this for the past month or so. The company I work for has been in the news recently. Before he was diagnosed with dementia he would’ve called to check up on me long before I had even had a chance to tell him myself. 

He lived an incredible life. He migrated twice and established great roots in his new country each time. He traveled the world. He was a man of faith. His countless hours of volunteer work will be remembered by all who knew him and benefited from it. It resonates even more for us in the current political climate. He devoted a good chunk of his life making sure those in America who were curious about Islam knew where to reach out and get the proper learning tools. 

I would urge myself and others to donate to Why Islam and other worthy causes and to help carry on this work. 

Manti Te’o story is crazy…..not sad.

Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax

This is among the craziest sports related stories I have ever heard. His statement to ESPN only creates more questions in the aftermath of past stories. ESPN played a video of him talking about “her beauty” in a prior interview. Manti Te’o’s father was quoted in this story in October saying “she” visited him in Hawaii.

They are already people out there questioning whether this relationship wasn’t about a “her” but a “him”.

While this story has been crazy so far, lets not call it a sad one. This is what a sad Notre Dame football story looks like and it is very much real.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

“Hello World?”

It has been reported for a while but Rory McIlroy was officially introduced as a “Nike Athlete” earlier today. This puts the two biggest names in golf under the Nike umbrella and predictably Nike already has a great commercial with them.

When Tiger Woods first signed with Nike this was the commercial Nike released.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

2013 BBWAA Hall of Fame voters should be ashamed of themselves

The Baseball Writers Association of America is a joke.

This Hall of Fame vote was a joke. The five people who sent in a blank ballot should have their votes taken away. The one idiot who voted for Aaron Sele should have their vote taken away. How does Mike Piazza get under 60% of the votes? What evidence is there against him? Will the reporters who kept votes from Piazza do the same with Jeter because he played on a team with so many known PED guys?  All writers should have to make their votes public. Here is a list of people who did make it public this year. Who are the eight writers who voted for Clemens but not Bonds? How do you explain that?

Hardball Talk has a good piece on Mike Piazza.

What happens in the next few years? The ballot is about to get really crowded. Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Jeff Kent, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux all get on the ballot in the next two years.

I’ve been mentioning on twitter how so many of these guys need to lose their privilege to vote. Journalists should be reporting the news, not making it. If you don’t vote for someone because they aren’t a “first ballot” Hall of Famer, you should lose your vote. A player is either a Hall of Famer or he is not. There is no in between. Worthy guys are going to get taken off the ballot because these writers want to be the story. Just look at next year’s ballot. Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Biggio, Sosa McGriff, Maddux, Glavine, Kent, Schilling, Bagwell, Mussina, Frank Thomas. Only ten can be voted for.

Here is a full list of who is eligible in 2014.

At this point BBWAA is the biggest joke this side of congress and the NRA.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

Bill O’Brien needs to stop talking about loyalty

To me there are few things more annoying in sports then a college coach who talks about loyalty when it is so obvious that they don’t mean it at all.

Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien is just the latest one.

Here is what he told

“I’m not a one-and-done guy,I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.” 

He interviewed for a job with the Cleveland Browns this week. If he made a commitment and wasn’t going to “cut and run” why did he take the interview? His buyout is somewhere north of $9 million according to Fox and that is one of the two reasons he is still the coach at Penn State with the other being that he got an extra $1.3 million courtesy of the owner of the Buffalo Bills. Why didn’t he mention that in his statement?

I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t have a problem with college coaches making the jump to the NFL because of the limited number of those jobs and the chances to get them but please spare the BS about loyalty, commitment and integrity. Bill O’Brien is not the first or the last but it is a shame that we continue to let these guys have a pass.
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.


Here we go. It is game day and the countdown is on to one of the biggest games in Rutgers Football history.

I honestly don’t think I’ll be able to fall asleep tonight. Just spent sometime watching highlights from the 2006 game on Youtube. Enjoy.
I found a couple of cool Jeremy Ito stories earlier today. The Star-Ledger did sort of a “Where is he now?” piece. The other one isn’t directly about him but you must watch this piece Tom Rinaldi did for College Gameday this past weekend.

There will always be people in this area who will thumb their noses at college football. Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger has a column out today addressing them.
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

Hurricane Sandy

We lost power 8:30 PM on Monday night as a result of Hurricane Sandy and just got it back after 39.5 hours.

We ended up being extremely fortunate when you consider the destruction around us. Two trees fell in our backyard but the only damage was to a shed. One of the trees just narrowly missed the house, had it fell in another direction by a foot it would have ended up in the master bedroom upstairs or the living room downstairs. There are houses in our neighborhood with trees on top of them. There are trees and power lines down all over the place. Even though we were without power all this time we have to be thankful that there wasn’t as much rain as last Irene. That storm had caused flooding despite us not losing power. If the same had happened again mixing with power outages that would have made sump pumps useless the damage from flooding would have been far worse.

All this led me to think how people who live in areas that are regularly struck by hurricanes manage to cope with the the destruction? Sandy was barely a Category One storm by the time it hit us yet the damage is almost unthinkable.

I have to applaud Governor Chris Christie. I was one of many who spoke out when both he and the Lt. Governor went on vacation at the same time during a major snow storm but his handling if Sandy has been fantastic.

I was thinking late Monday night about the deaths Sandy has caused long before it even reached the US. I believe I ready that it had killed 60 people before it reached the US yet in typical American fashion those numbers were largely ignored in our news broadcasts. As I sat in this crazy storm last night with the loud noises coming from outside that kept us awake most of the night I also had to pause and think about the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine who have seen their neighborhoods bombarded for years and have endured so many more sleepless nights.

Take a moment to be grateful for what you have because they are so man people out there who are in situation far worse both in and out of this current storm.

In closing, major kudos to PSE&G. Having power restored to us in under 40 hours after this destruction is very impressive.

This tree barely missed our house.
Neighbor’s tree fell into our yard
That same tree completely crushed the shed in our backyard
Kudos to PSE&G for having our power back in under 40 hours.

See the yellow caution tape? That is how power cables our.

Down tree on Easton Avenue in Somerset completely blocking one side.  
Downed cable a block away from me. 

This is the bottom of a downed tree in my neighborhood. 

Downed tree by New Brunswick Senior Center

Downed tree on a house in Somerset, NJ