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Voice of the 'Fan

Upstate New York gets dissed again!

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Twice in the last three weeks, in the WNBA & NFL drafts, there were chances of players with ties to my home turf getting drafted. Unfortunately, the pro leagues have once again treated upstate New York like the late Rodney Dangerfield. No respect!

Start with the WNBA. Jamaican-born Shereesha Richards, who makes her off-season home in New Jersey, was assumed to be a lock to be taken in the draft after dominating the America East in 4 seasons at the University at Albany. Didn't happen. The "Smallbany" mentality had struck again. Given her ties to the Tri-State area, you'd think Richards could've gone to the NY Liberty, but owner James Dolan again had his head in the sand.

Screw the bias against mid-major programs such as UAlbany. Dolan had a chance to make a splash for the entire state of NY, and blew it. Richards will land somewhere, likely overseas, but she's deserving of a spot on a WNBA roster.

Then, there is Jordan Canzeri, from my hometown of Troy, NY. Yes, injuries would have something to do with 32 NFL clubs deciding not to take a chance on Canzeri, who was injured in the Big 10 title game between Iowa & Michigan St., and that by itself torpedoed the Hawkeyes' chances. I wouldn't argue that Canzeri's small size was also a factor, not when you have someone like Darren Sproles playing in Philadelphia. I think it's the injuries, plus the bias against the Northeast, where very few players get drafted and/or stick with NFL clubs for very long, that have left Canzeri to schedule free agent workouts with New Orleans & Kansas City this week.

What excuses could there be otherwise? Another upstate NY product, Joe Vellano, won a Super Bowl ring with New England, then gets cut---twice--the following preseason. Last I checked, I think he was on the practice squad.

It ain't helping matters that ESPN & FS1 have their cameras at high school games in California, Florida, et al, but won't touch upstate New York, much less NYC itself, with a ten foot pole. Give me a break! When will they ever get a freakin' clue?

I am hoping Jordan Canzeri signs on with someone before pre-season, and just blows their minds to the point where he's in the starting lineup in September. The story will write itself.


  1. gojacks's Avatar
    Injuries, size, and a huge college workload all contributed to him not getting drafted. Yes, you have players like Sproles, but they are few and far between. I think he has a shot to make some heads turn at camp and most likely be a practice squad player. A lot of solid college players go undrafted each year. I don't think it's a vendetta against your region haha
  2. hobbyfan's Avatar
    Well, let's look at it from a geographic perspective. The percentage of NY kids going to the pros, be it NFL or CFL, is very low. Probably the lowest in the east, for all we know.

    It just irks me that my home area keeps getting the short end of the stick.
  3. Trevor44's Avatar
    Got to agree with gojacks, I believe it's in the best interest of teams to take the best player available, and I don't think they have a negative bias about a region.
  4. hobbyfan's Avatar
    So, why has there been a very small percentage of players from NY in the pros through the years? What other states have also gotten the, ah, short shrift?
  5. gojacks's Avatar
    It's simple. There is more talent in the other regions. Football just isn't the big sport in that region. Especially for high school aged kids.
  6. bblair_2002's Avatar
    Not too many famous sports figures from our region for sure. Only ones I can think of are Bill Dahlen,Pat Riley,Dottie Pepper and longtime MLB umpire John Kibler.
  7. hobbyfan's Avatar
    Kibler's from New York? Where exactly?

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