Wednesday, February 27, 2013

9 Sports Reasons Poughkeepsie Is Not Miserable

My hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York is an absolute dump.  At least if you believe Forbes' recent list of America's 20 Most Miserable Cities, which ranked Poughkeepsie number 18.
Ok, now that I'm done rolling my eyes, I'm here to say that, regardless of Forbes, the Poughkeepsie area is most definitely not a miserable place for a sports fan.  In fact, it's quite the opposite.
Here are nine reasons why:

1.  The Hudson Valley Renegades - Since 1994, delivering clean minor league baseball fun for the whole family.  An exciting atmosphere rarely matched in all of professional baseball.  The Goldklang Group has it down, and they do it right.  Proud to have called games there from 94-99.

2.    Terrific high school and local sports coverage - Ken McMillan, Dan Pietrafesa, Sean McMann, Kevin Gleason, Rich Thomaselli and others cover local sports with a purpose.

3.  West Point - Historic setting.  Also excellent broadcast voices, such as Dean Darling, John Minko, Rich DeMarco, Tony Morino and the legendary Bob Outer.

4.  Proximity to  three top sports broadcasting and journalism universities - Fordham (obviously number one), Syracuse and Marist. 

5.  Hudson Valley Sports-Talk, the Valley's longest-running sports talk show, hosted by the inimitable Carl Garafolo on WHVW Radio.  Carl's feel for NY sports and passion for community outreach has made the Hudson Valley a better place.  Class act all the way. 

6.  9 major professional teams within a couple hours away.  Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Devils and Islanders.  Plus two premier sports-talk sticks - WFAN and ESPN Radio, NY

7.  Fabulous local golfing at an array of courses.  From The Links at Union Vale to McCann, golfers have quite a choice.  College Hill even has a nicely-manicured 9, although this part of downtown really is miserable.  Forbes was right in this case.

8.  Marist Women's Basketball.  25 years ago, when Rik Smits roamed the court for the Foxes, women's games were the warmup to the night's main event.  These days the role is reversed.  With ten straight MAAC regular season titles, coach Brian Giorgis has built a powerhouse the likes of which the area hasn't seen in decades, if ever.  Unless, of course, you go back to Giorgis' days with Our Lady Of Lourdes.

9.  Amazing number of first-rate, national sportscasters and sportswriters to come through or from the Poughkeepsie area.  Freddie Coleman, J.W. Stewart, Brian Kenny, Jay Reynolds, Kevin Connors, Ryan Ruocco at ESPN.  Bill Rogan dominating Denver.  Jason Barrett running stations first in St. Louis and now in San Francisco.  Mike Vaccaro with the NY Post and Pete Caldera at the Bergen Record.  Oh yeah, Mike Breen is pretty good calling NBA games, after getting his start at Marist.  And these are only some of the successful sports voices from the Poughkeepsie area.  I'm sure I'm forgetting others.

It's no Flint, Michigan or Gary, Indiana, but Poughkeepsie is a pretty great place - at least if you're a sports fan.