Carroll's Cuisine: NYC College Football Week • Latino Sports


Carroll’s Cuisine: NYC College Football Week


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Flushing, NY – Like country music, college football is far more popular outside of New York City than it is here. Nonetheless, the college football world descends upon New York the second week of December every year.

The big event is the Heisman Trophy that honors college football’s most outstanding player and last Saturday night it was awarded to University of Louisville sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson who became the youngest person to win it in its 82 year-history.

University of Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook finished fourth in the voting but he was certainly the most thoughtful of the five finalists who I spoke with at the media session before the start of the Heisman ceremony.

I asked him if he had ever met that famous basketball player who shares his surname and also works in the Sooner State, Oklahoma Thunder guard Russell Westbook. “No, but I have met his brother. I am hoping to meet him in the near future.

Being a Columbia alum I humorously asked Dede if he ever considered playing for an Ivy League school, which isn’t exactly a gateway for most to the NFL, and he gave a serious response. “I would love to have had the opportunity. The truth is that I did not take high school seriously and my grades weren’t very good. Fortunately I went to a junior college and that gave me a chance to mature and appreciate the importance of education.”

The presentation of the Asa Bushnell Cup, the Ivy League’s Heisman equivalent, traditionally kicks off college football week in the Big Apple. Princeton running back John Lovett was named the Offensive Player of the Year while Dartmouth linebacker Folarin Orimolade was the Ivy’s Defensive Player of the Year. It’s a shame that there isn’t a Bushnell Cup for special team players since Columbia place kicker “Scorin’” Oren Milstein was the conference’s best at that position this year.

Jay Fiedler, who won the 1992 Bushnell Cup when he quarterbacked Dartmouth, had a decent NFL career including a short stint with the Jets, attended this year’s ceremony. He now coaches aspiring quarterbacks from 7 year-olds right through college age.

He told me that he hasn’t watched the Jets much this year but could understand why head coach stuck with Ryan Fitzpatrick as long as he did instead of turning to Bryce Petty. “Players can tell in practice, meetings, and the weight room who the best QB on the team is and it’s the coach’s job to play the guys who best give the team a chance to win.”

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue spoke at the annual Sports Business Journal Intercollegiate Athletic Forum last Wednesday. He believes that college football players should be paid but that compensation should be linked to scholarship accomplishment. “If a player completes his degree with a good GPA then he can receive a bonus of say, $75,000.”

Also speaking at the Intercollegiate Athletics Forum was Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank. These have been heady times for Under Armour as it has established itself as the main competitor in the dog-eat-dog world of athletic apparel to Nike.

It has been active in locking up exclusive deals with sizable universities including our own St. John’s. Last week Under Armour scored its biggest coup when Major League Baseball announced that the company would become the official supplier of uniforms beginning in 2020.

Plank also talked about how Under Armour has opened a new plant in Baltimore, the location of the company’s headquarters, called the Lighthouse that will produce its first-ever American made clothing. While that certainly dovetails nicely with what Donald Trump was preaching on the campaign trail, Plank may have had business considerations to go along with his job-creation patriotism.

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About Lloyd Carroll

Lloyd Carroll is the Senior Columnist for the Queens Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper that has served the communities of Queens since 1978. This article as well as many future articles will also appear at Queens Chronicle. In addition, Lloyd also writes for our friends over at In today’s world of online publications, we at Latino Sports understand and value the importance of collaborating with other online publications in order to showcase and create awareness of each other’s work and dedication to our respectable communities.

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