Category Archives: New Jersey

Obama/Corzine (09!) Rally in Newark

The Prudential Center in Newark, NJ was buzzing today. It was a buzz I’m sure has never been present for any New Jersey Devils game….ever. Today was not your typical Sunday in Newark though. Barack Obama was back in New Jersey to campaign for Governor Jon Corzine’s reelection.

I’ve been spoiled recently with all the great seats at these rallies here in New Jersey so today felt like I was sitting a long way away. We were up in the nosebleed section but managed to work our way down to the lower level unfortunately just now close enough to get a better view. What made it even worse was that it appeared as though they took people from the nosebleed section and brought them down right in front of the stage moments before Governor Corzine and President Obama took the stage. I got there around 9:30 and got a decent enough spot in line. Gates opened at 11:30 AM. This was the 2nd event of the day schdeduled in New Jersey for Obama and Corzine yet Obama hadn’t even left Washington yet. I had figured we’d be there for a while.

The event itself seemed to go by a lot quicker compared to other recent events. We didn’t have as many local speakers so that definitely helped with the pace. The event just started abruptly. The national anthem was already a couple of verses in before the crowd got up. There was no announcement made asking everyone to stand as it is usually done. Three congressmen spoke but the crowd didn’t care much at all even when they were using Obama campaign slogans of “Fired Up!” and “Yes we Can.” The last congressman Frank Pallone introduced Loretta Weinberg who interestingly enough was at the event early. Was she not at the Camden event?

Loretta Weinberg used the same themes as her speeches last week as the rallies last week. He speech centered around the diverse crowd and how it reflected the Democrats. Senator Weinberg also referred to Christie as a “pretender” adding that he was “trying to sell himself as an agent of change”. The Senator went on to add that if Christie wants to talk change he should come to her because she “broke more glass ceilings than Chris Christie has had automobile accidents….and that’s not easy”. Ouch! This of course is a knock on Chris Christie’s driving record. I was going to add that unlike the events of last week we got no mentions of Sarah Palin or Mark Sanford. Why did they drop that? I thought it was a pretty effective attack on Christie.

Up next was Mayor Cory Booker of Newark. I assumed he was there to introduce Jon Corzine but I was wrong. If you haven’t heard him speak you definitely should. He’s going to be next Senator (once Lautenberg retires) or next Governor from New Jersey. Doesn’t hurt that Barack Obama seems to be a fan as he mentions him at all his New Jersey stops. This is a mayor who has done great work in Newark. This is a mayor who actually goes on patrol with the city’s cops at night actually being in touch with what is going on in the streets of his city. Not to anyone’s surprise he got a louder cheer at this rally than Governor Corzine. Cory Booker joined a long list of people who’ve pitched Jon Corzine in a better fashion then John Corzine. Booker spoke with his usual optimism adding “Yes We Can in Washington!….Yes We Can in Trenton!….Yes We Can in Newark!….Yes We Can!” Cory Booker rallied the crowd to stand behind Barack Obama and Jon Corzine in these tough times.

While Jon Corzine was having this big rally Chris Christie had Joe “You Lie” Wilson campaigning on his behalf.

When Jon Corzine didn’t immediately take stage following Cory Booker’s speech I figured another last minute addition had been to this event like the Caroline Kennedy addition at the FDU event last week. No such luck this time.

Crowd was fired up during this long pause. This DJ did a great job getting the crowd fired up just as he did at the Obama and Biden rallies last week here in NJ. There was actually an attempted wave. That one just confused me.

Governor Corzine referred to this as a “victory rally”. He once again referred to the diverse crowd. He reminded everyone (just in case we had forgotten) that a year ago at the polls we said “Yes We Can!” Corzine added that just like President Obama he believes that “Health Care is a right and not a privilege.” Corzine emphasized that “Christie is wrong where it matters most.” The Governor hit his opponent hard on education and healthcare. Chris Christie’s comments about pre-school being “babysitting” keeps hurting him as every speaker at every rally I’ve been at has mentioned it. Corzine referred to himself in 3rd person a couple of times which was awkward. Corzine made sure to mention that Chris Christie was campaigning today with the “extremist” Joe Wilson of South Carolina.

Has anyone heard an official attendance number from this rally? Someone mentioned to be that White House Officials said 12,000. I saw Corzine people say 13,500. I had estimated a crowd of around 10,000 from how packed the arena was.

The ovation for Barack Obama was just huge. New Jersey loves Barack Obama. Phil Elliot of the Associated Press compared the crowd noise to the 2008 campaign crowds. Barack Obama started by saying that he was back as he promised and that “they” couldn’t keep him away. Was that a dig at the recent GOP comments from Christie people saying Obama visits aren’t helping Corzine? Obama pointed out “one of the finest mayors in the country Cory Booker is in the house.” Obama went after Christie saying he acts as though New Jersey is the only state effected by the recession. Obama pointed out that recession didn’t start under his watch. Obama talked about the selective memory and amnesia about how we got into this mess. The President said that “we don’t mind cleaning up after someone else’s mess.” Obama brought out the “mop” portion of speech too. Implying that if GOP wouldn’t help clean the least they could do was not complain about “how we’re holding the mop.” One thing about Obama that I’ve noticed, he responds to every single “I love you Obama!” each and every time. Obama pointed out that Governor is the first NJ Governor in 60 years to reduce size of government in state. Obama said to not worry about political nonsense in ads and to look at the actual record. Obama said Corzine had been prudent with spending. He applauded Corzine’s expansion of children health insurance and added that the other guy has nothing to say on health care. Obama ended with an abbreviated version of the “fired up” story. Does anyone know if it was because the congressman beat the story to death before Obama even got to the event?

Full transcript of Obama’s speech.

Earlier in the day President Obama also campaigned for Jon Corzine in Camden.

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Barack Obama/Jon Corzine(09!) (also starring Caroline Kennedy)

BREAKING NEWS – The 3,500 people in attendance at the Rothman Center agree that Barack Obama is even more awesome in person.

When this Jon Corzine campaign schedule was revealed for this week I did all I could to attempt to go to all the major events. Today after a long but memorable day I can report that I did. It all started on Monday as Vice President Joe Biden campaigned at Middlesex County College in Edison. Former President Bill Clinton was at the College Avenue Gym at Rutgers University in New Brunswick Tuesday night. The main event was today. It was the day Barack Obama returned to the Garden State to campaign for Jon Corzine for the 2nd time in this election cycle. The President campaigned in Holmdel at the PNC Bank Arts Center back in July.

The doors were scheduled to open at 3 PM. I went with my sister and both of us thought we were a lot later then we wanted to be and had given up all hopes for a good sight line at the rally. Keep in mind that we had about an hour drive to get there. Much to our surprise at 1:00 PM there wasn’t a line at all. There were a couple of hundred people just walking around so we immediately went towards the gates and lined up at the front of what would be one of the four lines going in. That was victory number one on the day for us. Waiting in line for two hours provided plenty of time to talk to others also lined up. The crowd was filled with people young (I met kids as young as 5) and old. Black, White, Brown and pretty much everything in between. While in line I was interviewed by Nyier Abdou of  the Star Ledger. I’m trying to get my hands on a copy of the full interview.

Obama and Corzine supporters rally at Farleigh Dickinson University

Yes, this was the view I had from my spot in the line. It only got better as we got inside. Check out the view of the stage we had inside.

The atmosphere there was electric. It could be because this was indoors but this crowd of 3,500 felt as thought it was as loud as the 17,500 who were in attendance back in July. Like I said before, getting there at 1 PM I wasn’t expecting a good spot in the line. Had I been further back in line I probably would have gone into the bleachers rather then standing but getting into the front row obviously changed all that.

Once all the local officials had given their speeches urging the crowd to vote for the Democratic team on November 3rd we sat through about a hour break. During this break reports came out that Caroline Kennedy had been added to the event. What an addition! I knew she was going to campaigning with Jon Corzine, I just wasn’t expecting it to be at this event. Very happy that I was able to add her on my list of prominent Democrats who I have heard speak in person. While we are talking about this break have I mentioned the new law that makes it mandatory for all Democrats to be fans of Michael Jackson? Funny moment as we waited one of the Secret Service agents brought out a binder to the podium presumably carrying Obama’s speech. He got a huge ovation from the crowd and just shook his head as he left the stage. The D.J made sure to get that agent one more big applause.

Loretta Weinberg was up first after the break as we headed towards the main event. She gave pretty much the same speech she did at the Clinton event last night. She talked about the faces of the Democratic party in the audience mentioning the diversity. She even had the same height joke! For those who don’t know…Loretta Weinberg is a really short woman. I was too busy texting people about Caroline Kennedy that I hardly paid attention to Weinberg until she started to tease who was backstage (most people were not aware that Kennedy had been added to the event). Weinberg started talking there being a big advocate for women standing backstage. The crowd immediately thought about Obama and started to cheer before Weinberg continued by adding “She….” Senator Weinberg talked about the previous generation of Kennedy’s and then called up “our neighbor” Caroline Kennedy.

It was great to see Caroline Kennedy get a huge ovation. I’m a big Kennedy person. Obviously wasn’t around for Jack or Bobby but was always fascinated by Ted Kennedy. Every country has that one political family that stands out and without any doubt the Kennedy clan is that. It’s a shame that Caroline Kennedy’s senate bid got derailed last year because she would be one hell of a senator. She is on the right side of the issues. She may not be the world’s most powerful speakers but her words do have a depth to them. It’s a shame that a lot of people almost looked at is “payback” for the Democrats after what had happened to Sarah Palin. What a big time joke that was. Caroline Kennedy is not Sarah Palin. What has Sarah Palin ever done in her life? What has she accomplished? Caroline did a good job pitching for Corzine calling him a friend and saying that “he had made the hard choices” as governor. She talked about how great it was to be back on the campaign trail with “our President Barack Obama.”

Jon Corzine was up next. He started off saying “I’ll get out of the way pretty fast because I know who you came to see.” That got him a nice round of applause. Corzine’s been joking about this at all his rallies but this continues to be a problem. Like I told the Star Ledger in the video above and I know a lot of people agree with me on this, the big names coming in to campaign for Corzine have made a better case for him then he has for himself. That’s just a shame. Like I have been saying Jon Corzine is the right man for the job at this time. How can Christie be campaigning about the corruption in Trenton when reports about his activities keep surfacing on a regular basis? All week long the Corzine and the other local Democrats have been lumping Christie with GOP governors Sarah Palin and Mark Sanford. It’s a brilliant strategy on the part of the Corzine campaign. They should continue this all the way to election day. Corzine also has been effective this week in tying Christie to the Bush/Cheney ways. Corzine also managed to get his mother booed by mentioning that she is a registered Republican. Ouch.

Barack Obama was the main event and he more then delivered his end of the bargain. Everyone knows what a great speaker Barack Obama is but the experience is even better in person. The buzz in the crowd when Obama took the stage was amazing. I go to a ton of sporting events and I have never seen, heard or experienced anything remotely like it. Obama talked about Corzine being a early supporter of his when he first ran for senate in 2004. Obama also pointed out two NJ congressmen who were in attendance and were early supporters of his Presidential run. Obama mentioned that Corzine is a friend of the White House and again mentioned his input into the economic recovery plan. Obama said Corzine was the first New Jersey Governor in 60 years to reduce the size of government (is it just me or does that mean that this added to unemployment?). Obama pitched his health care plan just like he did back in July. He emphasized that he needed the crowd for Health care reform. He said he needed the audience and so did Jon Corzine. Obama made sure to emphasize that it was Christie’s party that got us into this big mess over the last 8 years. Obama added “I’m telling you these folks have a lot of nerves…..they leave this big mess and suddenly they’re complaining about how fast we’re cleaning it up.” Obama knocked the trickle down policies of the GOP but the Democrats have to hope his charisma and powerful speech have a trickle down effect on Corzine and gets him a victory on November 3rd. Obama was so good in his pitch for Jon Corzine he even managed to get something done that even Corzine hasn’t been able to do lately….get a “Corzine!” chant going. Obama joked about the “selective memory” of the opposition. Obama ridiculed Christie’s stance on  the economy saying he’s been acting like New Jersey is the only state that is being affected.   Earlier this morning I sent out a tweet asking “New Jersey are you fired up for Barack Obama today?” My sister who went to this rally with me had her “Fired Up” T-Shirt on. Little did we know at the time that Barack Obama would finish off with the story on the “Fired Up” lady. I have heard that story a million times but I have to say that it is still great every time you hear it. Like Obama said…it gets you “Fired up….and ready to go!” He said the moral of the story was that “one voice can change a room. And if it can change a room it can change a city….can change a state….can change a country.” He urged the people in the crowd to go knock on doors and make phone calls for Jon Corzine and even joined in on a “4 more years” chant.

If you don’t have time to watch the whole speech right now you have to watch the “one voice” portion of it. It is a short clip.

The end of the speech is where the madness begins. Being at the front we were prepared for the rush of people that was about to come our way. They really should put some padding on those railings because one of these days someone is going to get hurt pretty bad. We had two little kids in our section and it was a difficult task for their mothers to keep them shielded from the madness. Obama did his handshakes and left. One of the kids in our section had an Obama book that he was trying to get signed. Once Obama left, luckily the mother was able to get Reggie Love’s attention. He was nice enough to take the book to the back and get the book signed by Barack Obama himself. That kid will have one great story to tell for the rest of his life. For those who don’t know Reggie Love he was a former college basketball player at Duke University (have to enter the obligatory “I hate Duke!” warning here). He actually played for one of the better Duke teams in recent memory. Just look at that roster. He now serves as the “personal aide to the President” or the “Bodyman” as they are called. If you watched West Wing at all think of Dule Hill’s character of “Charlie Young.” That is what Reggie Love does. Did you watch his cameo at a White House press briefing recently?

One of the things I love about events like these is that you make new contacts and friends. It happened to be at the Obama rally in July and it happened here again.

Does anyone know why Obama didn’t have the Seal of the President on the Podium? Did someone from the advance team mess up?

Three different women fainted near the front, all in the same general area. It’s amazing to watch the Secret Service in action as they swooped in and carried the women out quickly without causing too much of a distraction as the speeches were going on.

Oh yeah, while this rally was going on Chris Christie was “campaigning” at a diner less than 2 blocks away. Is he setting up for another round of “fat” jokes. What a joke that he’s even trying to get some sympathy that way. Did you guys watch him on the Situation Room today?

I didn’t get to see the protesters before the event but did see one as I got into my car. She just seemed like she was protesting anything and everything because that sign had a lot of stuff on it. I only caught “No to Vaccines” and “No to dirty bombs”.

All in all an amazing experience. I’ll probably add more to this tomorrow as I recall more stuff but this was one of the greatest experiences ever. It’s been an amazing week and the rumor floating around is that Obama will be in Newark before the November 3rd elections. I am definitely looking forward to that. One thing of note was that Senator Lautenberg was present at the event but did not speak. I mentioned on Monday that he didn’t look good then and I continue to wonder whether he is just hanging around until Corzine wins so a Democrat would replace him because I don’t think he will finish his term which ends in 2014.

If you’ve never been to a political rally, make an effort to do so. If you know someone who’s not into politics make sure you drag them along. Watching the likes of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Caroline Kennedy will get them fired up. How many of you have seen Obama in person? How many of you seen any of these figures from this week in person? How about other political figures? Do share your stories. I’ll post a few more pictures below but a full gallery is present here.

That’s me.

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Bill Clinton/Jon Corzine (09!) at Rutgers University

The magical week for Jon Corzine continued Tuesday night at the College Avenue Gym. The place was rocking from the get go. There is no doubt about, this crowd was there for Bill Clinton. Everyone knew it and yes that includes all the other speakers there tonight.

The gates were supposed to open at 7:30 PM. I got there around 6:15 and by then there were already a couple of hundred people in line waiting to get in. Across the street were a grand total of 12 protesters who were hardly creative. Among the signs they were carrying were “No you can’t”. Really original there. There was a guy dressed as a chicken and holding a sign that said “Cluck U Corzine”.

The event was held at the College Avenue Gym at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The College Avenue Gym actually sits on the site of the stadium where the first ever college football game was played way back in 1869. The Scarlet Knights beat Princeton by a score of 6-4 on that day.

Members from the Corzine camp were giving out “Corzine/Weinberg” buttons and also t-shirts that said “Yes We can 2.0” I got my hands on a button but was not able to secure a T-Shirt. This one guy from the campaign did say he’d bring one over but passed by me twice saying “I’ll be right back” only to toss shirts to people directly behind me. Are you kidding me? Someone from the Corzine camp did get in touch with me via twitter and asked for my phone number. Just got a message from them claiming that they did have a shirt for me but didn’t see my reply with phone number until it was too late. I don’t know whether to believe them.

The evening started off with Middlesex County Democratic chair Joseph C. Spicuzzo. He was doing his best to bring humor to the event from the start. He speaks with a stutter, so he made sure to clarify for everyone that he wasn’t drunk but actually had a stroke last year. He was on the stage to introduce the President…………of Rutgers University Richard McCormack. Nice swerve which most of the crowd didn’t see coming. As expected it was a fairly young crowd and I’m sure it was the first political event for most of them. I’m sure a lot of them weren’t aware you have to sit through a ton of local politicians before the main event starts.

Honestly don’t remember much from Richard McCormack’s speech. I guess that pretty much says all there is to be said. He did talk about Bill Clinton making a trip to Rutgers University shortly after winning his first presidential election to make a policy speech. He also talked about Corzine being a friend of Rutgers University. Right around this time there was a loud “R…..U…..R……U” chant. That is a common chant at Rutgers football game where the student section yells “R!” and everyone else replies with “U!”. The chant inside this gym was about as loud as any of the recent Rutgers home games.

Three Freeholders were up next coming up one by one to announce support for Corzine and reminding everyone in New Jersey to vote “Column A” on November 3rd. Nothing out of the ordinary here either. Crowd was getting bored by this point. Carol Barrett in particular was really bad. She was literally reading her speech off of a paper and lost her place a couple of times leading to awkward pauses.

Up next was Dymir Arthur. He is a Rutgers graduate from the Class of ’09. He gave a really good speech urging the young voters in attendance to get out and vote. He emphasized that “us young people have more power then we realize.”

There was about 15-20 minute long break up next (might have even been longer). The crowd let it be known as to why they were there with a loud “We want Bill!” chant but were drowned out by the music being played. They were tossing a lot of Corzine T-Shirts into the crowd during this break too.

One thing I noticed was a disturbing lack of security. I asked a campaign worker and got to go through the entrance that people with the VIP “blue tickets” were taking. When I went through I was shocked to find out that only screening done was to check my ticket. There were no metal detectors at this entrance. There was no secret service or even local law enforcement officials checking you at this entrance. Me and plenty of other people just walked through by just showing our tickets. This is particularly depressing if you’ve read recent reports on how much the workload for the secret service has increased.

When the event resumed Mr. Spicuzzo was back at the podium. He gave a short biography of himself because he had failed to introduce himself earlier. He didn’t judge the crowd well at all. He started to talk about the newly expanded Rutgers Football Stadium. This got him some boos through the crowd. This stadium continues to be a sore subject with Rutgers students. For those not familiar with the situation, Rutgers Stadium just went through an expansion project which saw capacity rise by almost 12,000. The cost for the project was over $100 million. A lot of Corzine tied big donors had pledged to raise money for the project. When the time came though the recession forced most of those donors to back away leaving Rutgers University in a tough spot. The school ended up taking a large loan which obviously didn’t sit too well with the student body or some of the football season ticket holders as ticket prices soared while the team has taken a step back. This is a problem anywhere there is big time sports. People who don’t like sports will always have problems with big stadiums at a public university while tuitions are rising. They don’t like that the athletic department has such a large budget and that football and basketball head coaches make so much money. What they choose to ignore is that these sports bring in a lot of money for the school through merchandise, TV rights and ticket sales.

Our next speaker was State Senator Bob Smith. Found out a couple of days ago that he was my State Senator now that I live in Piscataway. He talked about knowing Hillary way back when they were both teens and his family had a summer cottage in Pennsylvania. He joked and said hopefully “President Clinton was listening backstage because if I had played my cards right I could have been a President.” The line got a huge applause and a “Hillary” chant. Turns out that this crowd loves both Bill and Hillary. Mr. Smith was out there to get introduce candidate for Lieutenant Governor Loretta Weinberg.

This is the first year New Jersey is having elections to elect a Lieutenant Governor as it is a newly created position. Weinberg isn’t the world’s greatest speaker and this is a big problem for the campaign that I will talk about below. Everyone knows that she wasn’t Corzine’s first pick but after the whole corruption episode was thrown into the spotlight.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again. I believe Jon Corzine is the man for the job right now. As Vice President Biden said yesterday he’s governed through some tough times well, he deserves a chance to govern as things get better. He kept his speech relatively short even joking that the people weren’t there for him but to see Bill Clinton. The Governor did talk about Loretta Weinberg being an advocate for women in Trenton. Corzine reminisced bout the Clinton years saying during those 8 years we “created 23 million new jobs.” He urged everyone to vote and to make sure you get others around you to vote. He referred to the infamous 2000 elections to emphasize the importance of every of every single vote. He said we would be a much different country if the Clinton/Gore policies had been around for the last 8 years.

Bill Clinton was simply Bill Clinton. He did what he does best, better then pretty much anyone else out there. The Corzine camp better turn this speech into a campaign commercial fast. They were way too slow with the Obama one in July. Bill pointed out Rutgers Womens Basketball Coach and Basketball Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer being in attendance adding that “Hillary is outside of the campus the world’s biggest fan” of Coach Stringer. The man knows his audience. Bill Clinton in 15 minutes made a better case for Jon Corzine then Jon Corzine has all summer. Now of course Mr. Clinton is a great public speaker and to be fair there aren’t many in the country who are even remotely close to him. Clinton put on his glasses for emphasis and started reading off some New Jersey related statistics that show the state at or the near the top in a lot of key categories. Graduation rate is among the best in the country, early education is not only alive and well it is diverse. Public schools are scoring good scores on tests. More and more children have healthcare. Bill makes sure to point out that he took Weinberg’s law from New Jersey that saw to it that new mothers and their babies stayed in the hospital for 48 hours when his administration set the federal guidelines. Bill Clinton has this aura to him. It was fascinating to see this crowd fired up for him. As Mike Memoli of “Real Clear Politics” pointed out, most of the students in attendance were in diapers when Bill Clinton first won election in 1992.

The best argument for Jon Corzine’s election unfortunately is being made by others. As Christina Bellantoni pointed out Corzine is becoming a “sidekick at own events.” It was the case back in July when President Obama came to campaign. It was true Monday when Vice President Joe Biden swung by the Garden State for a little campaigning. It most certainly was the case today as former President Bill Clinton fired up supporters at Rutgers University. Wednesday Barack Obama will do the job once more. It may not be the worst thing in the world if as Corzine is being overshadowed by big speakers that him and everyone around him continue to tie Christie to George W. Bush. It should be a slightly disturbing trend for the Corzine campaign and I’m pretty sure the Corzine people are aware of this.

Looking forward to heading out to the Barack Obama event tomorrow. If you have attended any on of these recent rallies or are heading out to one of the upcoming ones let me know.

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A dozen people protesting….that’s all there were. It was a step up from the 10 that were at the Biden event.

The top portion was filled all across but these bleachers to the right had empty VIP seats through the event. Don’t know why they weren’t filled with people who actually there at the event. Keep in mind they turned away hundreds from the event. 

Professor Clinton giving the facts. 

The Secret Service’s worst nightmare as the crowd rushes forward to shake hands with Bill Clinton. 

This obviously wasn’t intended to look like this but ends up looking pretty neat. 

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Cory Booker is awesome

Not that people from NJ don’t know this already but Mayor Cory Booker of New Jersey is a fast rising political star in this country. There is no doubt in my mind he is going to run for higher office one day, I think the Senate once Lautenberg steps aside will definitely be an option. He’s doing great work in Newark and having fun doing it. Great to see that from a political figure.

Check out this clip.

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As most of you already know, Monday was the start of a week of vacation time for me spent in Toronto. I got here after a rather smooth drive of roughly 7.5 hours. Didn’t catch traffic at all along the way and the wait at the border was short as well. Its been nothing but family stuff so far but I am hoping to catch up with some old friends over the next couple of days.

I think I have mentioned this in the past but I love driving in the GTA. The highways are so wide open here and fast for that matter. Living in NJ you get used to driving on 2-3 lane highways and jug handles so this is always a nice change of pace.

It was pretty much a formality but its nice to see Calderon back in Toronto. I have to pick ul a jersey or something while I am here.

Rutgers Football – Great for College Football

The year hasn’t exactly gone as fans of RU football had hoped it would. The Thursday night win against Louisville last year has given a new mindset to college football fans in New Jersey. The win last night against South Florida was a much needed one. The team needed some credibility and last night provided that. As tough as losing to Maryland and Cincinnati was, last night we forgot about that. I have lived in New Jersey for 7 years and have never seen this kind of excitement for the Devils or Nets…..ever. Doesn’t matter where you go in the area, New Jersey has Scarlet Fever.
A record crowd of 44,627 including among others David Wright, Michael Strahan, Jason Kidd (missed the Nets game because of an “injury”) and Kevin James. ESPN at times tries too hard to make it seem like RU is New York’s team. All you see on the broadcasts are the Empire State Building and the rest of the NYC skyline like it’s just a couple of blocks from the stadium. The strategy is brilliant. As big as college football is one thing it has missed is a strong presence in the biggest media market of them all….New York City. Rutgers is the answer to that. Granted we need a couple more years of consistency to get to that level but this team is well on its way.
Schiano has done a good job spreading the “State of Rutgers” as he calls it. Reaching out into NYC and Philadelphia gives him another recruiting base and also builds the fanbase in those two cities. The fan base that exists already (including the bandwagon fans) has been phenomenal. The atmosphere in and out of the stadium is electric.

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