Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chad Owens, outstanding player

TORONTO >> Former Hawaii receiver Chad Owens was honored as the Canadian Football League’s outstanding player Thursday night, three days before he leads the Toronto Argonauts against Calgary in the Grey Cup.

The 30-year-old Owens led the CFL in receiving with 94 catches for 1,328 yards and six touchdowns, also topped the league in return yards with 2,510 and had a record 3,863 all-purpose yards.

“Four years ago I had no real idea what the CFL was,” Owens said at an awards ceremony on Thursday night. “Everything that happened to me prior in my career, it all happened for this moment.

“In 2008 did I see this? No. But this offseason did I see this? Yes. You always have to believe you have a chance and I truly did. I’m just so thankful it came true.”

Owens, 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds, beat out Calgary running back Jon Cornish in voting conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada and the eight CFL coaches.

Owens received 41 of the 57 available ballots.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

138 points!

Grinnell College has been known to put lots of points on the board in basketball games over the years. The Division III school's "five-in, five out" run-and-gun style helps the team score over 100 points a game on a nightly basis.

Grinnell defeated Faith Baptist 179-104 on Tuesday night, but it was Jack Taylor's night that made history.
Taylor scored 138 points Tuesday against Faith Baptist to set an NCAA single-game scoring record.

Taylor made 52 of 108 shots from the field, including 27 of 71 from 3-point range. He made 7 of 10 free throws.

The previous NCAA record was held by Clarence "Bevo" Francis, who scored 113 points in a 1954 game for Division II Rio Grande.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Notre Dame #1

Notre Dame is suddenly very much alive for a national championship. Alabama and Georgia are too. Oregon and Kansas State may never quite recover from this heartbreak.

This is the type of Saturday night that makes college football what it is.

The BCS Championship Game picture was changed dramatically when Kansas State was embarrassed 52-24 at Baylor and Oregon blew a lead in the final minutes of regulation and lost 17-14 to Stanford in overtime. The Wildcats and Ducks were ranked 1 and 2 in the BCS standings. Now they're out - at least, unless there's more chaos before the season is over.

And Notre Dame, which hasn't won a national title since 1988, is now in the driver's seat.

The Irish won 38-0 against Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon, and then they watched the chaos unfold. If Notre Dame wins next week at USC, which might not have injured starting quarterback Matt Barkley, the Irish will play in Miami for the national championship.

The SEC, which has won six straight BCS championships, was on the outside looking in after Alabama's loss last week, but now that conference is almost assured a spot in the BCS Championship Game. If Alabama beats Auburn next week to win the SEC East Division, the winner of the Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship Game is almost certain to get an invitation to the BCS Championship Game. Alabama and Georgia will likely rank second and third in the new BCS standings.

And if Notre Dame loses at USC next week? Things are going to get really messy with a lot of one-loss teams claiming they belong in the BCS title game.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Colt Brennan Story

He was Hawaii’s golden child once destined for greatness. Colt Brennan earned rock star status with his boyish good looks and record-setting performances on the gridiron. Fans regularly waited in long lines to purchase jersey No. 15 or camped at shopping malls just to get his autograph. Hawaii’s Heisman Trophy finalist could do no wrong.

“He had legions of fans, and he took Hawaii to a place where it had never been before,” says longtime private investigator Matt Levi. “He helped put Hawaii on a national stage with his remarkable achievements. But his fame was a two-edged sword, and it came with a price.”

Brennan recently sat down with Levi and agreed to take part in a revealing tell-all interview. The veteran journalist, who has been sharing stories with Hawaii viewers for 40 years, says the 29-year-old Brennan spoke openly about his flaws and failures.

“We talked about his 2010 accident, the DUI arrest, even his problems in Colorado,” says Levi. “He went on television and spoke about things that are very painful to him. That’s difficult for a young man.”

Levi says viewers will hear stories that Brennan has never shared publicly.

Levi’s 30-minute special Matt Levi Investigates: The Colt Brennan Story will air three times next week: Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. on KGMB; Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m. on KHNL (following the Thanksgiving Day NFL game); and Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. on KGMB.

-- Midweek, 11/14/12 (posted 12/6/14)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lakers name Mike D'Antoni as new head coach

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Lakers hired Mike D'Antoni late Sunday night, signing the former coach of the Suns and Knicks to replace Mike Brown.

The Lakers and D'Antoni's agent, Warren LeGarie, confirmed the deal two days after the Lakers fired Brown five games into the season.

D'Antoni agreed to a three-year deal worth $12 million, with a team option for a fourth season.
D'Antoni got the high-profile job running the 16-time NBA champions only after the club's top brass extensively discussed the job with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

The 11-time NBA champion coach met with Lakers owners Jerry and Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Saturday to weigh a return for a third stint on Los Angeles' bench.

The Lakers instead went with D'Antoni, a respected offensive strategist who coached Lakers point guard Steve Nash in Phoenix during the best years of their respective careers. D'Antoni was less successful during four seasons in New York, but at least restored the once-moribund Knicks to competence before resigning last March.

''Dr. (Jerry) Buss, Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak unanimously agreed that Mike was the best coach for this roster at this time,'' Lakers spokesman John Black said.

The 61-year-old D'Antoni underwent knee replacement surgery earlier this month, and could be physically limited early in his tenure. Black said the Lakers aren't certain when D'Antoni will travel to Los Angeles to begin work.

Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff will continue running the Lakers until D'Antoni arrives. Los Angeles beat Sacramento 103-90 on Sunday night, improving to 2-0 under Bickerstaff after a 1-4 start under Brown.
The Lakers' next game is Tuesday night against San Antonio at Staples Center.

After Brown's dismissal, Nash and Kobe Bryant both expressed enthusiasm about the prospect of playing for D'Antoni, although Bryant also campaigned eagerly for Jackson.

Bryant idolized D'Antoni while growing up in Italy, where D'Antoni was a star player for Olimpia Milano in the Italian pro league. D'Antoni also has been an assistant coach on various U.S. national teams featuring Bryant, including the gold medal-winning squad at the London Olympics.

Nash won two MVP awards while running D'Antoni's signature up-tempo offense for the final four seasons of the coach's five-year tenure with the Suns.

Nash and D'Antoni won at least 54 games each season and reached two Western Conference finals - and they eliminated Bryant's Lakers from the first round of the playoffs in 2006 and 2007, still the only first-round exits of Kobe's 17-year career.


In a stunning development late Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers opted to sign former Knicks and Suns coach Mike D’Antoni to a four-year deal as their next coach, ending negotiations with 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson. He was believed to be the prohibitive favorite to replace Mike Brown, who was fired last Friday.

D’Antoni and former Lakers, Blazers, Bucks and Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy interviewed with the Lakers over the weekend. But they were fallbacks, interviews done just in case the Lakers, somehow, could not reach a deal with the 67-year-old Jackson, who’d won five titles in Los Angeles during two stints as head coach.

But the Lakers could not reach agreement with Jackson, whose representatives had made it clear last summer that Jackson wanted a much bigger role in any organization that he joined, with hiring authority for coaches and other positions in the organization.

Negotiations with Jackson ended Sunday night, and the Lakers called D’Antoni’s agent, Warren LeGarie, as their home game against the Kings was ending. The two sides quickly worked out a contract somewhat along the lines of what Brown — another LeGarie client — received, though specific dollar amounts were not immediately available.

The Lakers never contacted other potential coaching candidates like former Blazers coach Nate McMillan, or former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan.

In the end, D’Antoni’s relationships both with Steve Nash, whom he helped get two MVPs in Phoenix, and with Kobe Bryant, who has known D’Antoni since he was finishing his playing career in Italy when a young Bryant lived there, made him the choice over Dunleavy.

D’Antoni’s Suns gave as good as they got with the Lakers in the playoffs, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to defeat L.A. in a 2006 first-round series. And his “Seven Seconds or Less” offensive system, which demanded pushing the ball up court — even after opponents scored — to get a good shot early in the shot clock, was much more in line with the old “Showtime” Lakers of Magic Johnson than the halfcourt-based Princeton offense that Brown tried to run.


The Lakers could have had Jackson. Jerry Buss could have made things uneasy for son Jim Buss and paid the money necessary to make it worth Phil's while to save the Lakers' floundering fortunes for the third time in 13 years, and the Lakers could have decided that with the team's massive payroll and the millions they're still on the hook to pay Mike Brown over the next few years that they may as well go ahead and pay the coach Kobe wanted the most. Instead, they picked up Kobe's second choice, and it's probably the best deal for all involved.

It's true the Lakers players weren't listening to Phil when he and the team uneasily parted for the second time in 2011, same as was the case in 2004, but a few years away tends to change that. That's the guess, at least. It would have been a marvelous pairing once again, but one we'll never get to see.

For those disappointed in ego and money and control (those minor things) getting in the way of something special again, D'Antoni's presence is superb consolation.


Phil Jackson was prepared to return to the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday morning if negotiations between his agent and the team went well, a league source told late Sunday night.

When the Lakers called to tell Jackson that they had instead chosen Mike D'Antoni to be their next head coach, he was "stunned," according to the source, because he had been under the impression "it was his job to turn down," although no formal offer had ever been made.

Sources over the weekend said Jackson had made significant contract demands, including salary, personnel decisions and the ability to skip some road games, but ESPN NBA analyst Kurt Rambis -- who has since spoken to Jackson; the two are close friends -- said that was never the case.

Rambis, a former Lakers player and assistant coach who worked on Jackson-led staffs from 2001-2004 and 2005-2009 and remains close friends with Jackson, said Jackson told him there had never been any discussions of salary or restrictions on a potential return, and that he and the Lakers had agreed to wait until Monday to negotiate.


Between the hours of Mike Brown's firing and a meeting on Saturday morning with history's most accomplished coach, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak privately told people there was one candidate: Phil Jackson.

Jackson wanted to humiliate Lakers vice president Jim Buss far more than he wanted to coach the team. He wanted significant allowances on travel, coaching duties and an ability to veto player personnel moves that didn't fit his vision. With an unprecedented 11 coaching championships, Jackson had every right to make unprecedented demands. He doesn't have the right to be surprised when the Lakers rejected them and hired a pliable, cheaper coach in Mike D'Antoni.

"Phil wanted Jim Buss to walk away with his tail between his legs," one source with knowledge of the discussions told Yahoo! Sports. "He thought he had time to still negotiate with them, and see how much they would give him."

Now, the Lakers are going out of their way to spare Jackson the embarrassment of his overreaching, but this is pointless spin. They're working with him to sell the public that he hadn't asked for too much, that somehow the franchise chose D'Antoni over Jackson on sheer merit. It's noble, but laughable. Jackson heard those chants in the Staples Center and never believed the Lakers had the guts to call his bluff before circling back to him on Monday.

"Phil's assistants convinced him that they had his back on the concerns [Jackson] had about his load as head coach, and he was ready to get a deal done on Monday," a source with knowledge of the talks said. "But this was about Jim Buss giving him a royal you-know-what in the end."

Friday, November 09, 2012

Mike Brown fired after 5 games

The Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Mike Brown on Friday after a 1-4 start to his second season in charge.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak announced the surprising move several hours before they hosted Golden State. Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the Lakers against the Warriors while the club's top brass searches for Brown's replacement after just 18 months in charge.

''The bottom line is that the team is not winning at the pace we expected this team to win, and we didn't see improvement,'' Kupchak said at the Lakers' training complex in El Segundo.

Los Angeles began the season with championship expectations after trading for center Dwight Howard and point guard Steve Nash, adding two superstars alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. But the Lakers went 0-8 during the preseason last month for the first time in franchise history before stumbling into the regular season with an 0-3 start, losing to Dallas, Portland and the Clippers.

After finally beating Detroit last Sunday for their first win, the Lakers looked listless again in a loss at Utah on Wednesday, dropping to last place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles' defense has been largely poor, and the players still haven't figured out the new offense installed by Brown during training camp.

Combined with their aging core of talent and a massive payroll, Kupchak and owners Jim and Jerry Buss decided they couldn't wait another game to start winning. Brown was dismissed in a morning meeting.

''We're not looking five or 10 years down the road,'' Kupchak said. ''This team was built to contend this year. There's no guarantee that this team can win a championship, but we feel that it can be deeply in the hunt. We're also aware that our players ... are getting older, so our feeling is that we can contend at this level for another couple of years.''

Brown was hired in May 2011 to replace 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson, signing a four-year deal worth roughly $18 million in May 2011. Kupchak said the eight-figure payout they'll have to make on Brown's contract wasn't a factor in their decision.

''It's a pretty direct message to all of us,'' Gasol said while leaving the Lakers' shootaround Friday morning in El Segundo. ''There's no messing around. It's time for all of us to step it up.''

In a brief news conference, Kupchak did nothing to squelch speculation that Jackson could return for a third tenure with the Lakers. The 67-year-old Jackson walked away from the club in 2011 with few apparent hard feelings, and his health has markedly improved during his time away from the NBA.

Kupchak said he hasn't reached out to any candidates for the job, but thinks it's likely the Lakers will hire an experienced coach who isn't currently working. Kupchak said he hasn't talked to Jackson, but Jim Buss' sister, Lakers executive Jeanie Buss, is Jackson's longtime girlfriend.

''When there's a coach like Phil Jackson, one of the all-time greats, and he's not coaching, I think you would be negligent not to know that he's out there,'' Kupchak said.


After losing four of five games to start the season, the Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Mike Brown on Friday.

Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will serve as interim coach while the Lakers search for a long-term replacement. In a news conference, team general manager Mitch Kupchak left open the possibility of the Lakers making a run at bringing back Phil Jackson for a third time as coach.

"I think you'd be negligent not to be aware that [Jackson's] out there," Kupchak said.

On Friday morning at the Lakers' practice facility, Brown was meeting with his coaching staff to discuss the evening's home game against Golden State, when a Lakers employee interrupted and asked him to step out for a few minutes. Nearly 10 minutes later, Brown returned and informed his staff that he had been fired.

The Lakers will cease running the Princeton offense immediately, sources told Yahoo! Sports. Management was unhappy with the offense implemented this season, and Bickerstaff was told that he needed to move away from it. Some elements could still be used on Friday night but the team plans to install more traditional pick-and-roll NBA sets moving forward.

Another coaching candidate prominently being discussed as a long-term possibility: Mike D'Antoni.

D'Antoni has been without a job since leaving the New York Knicks in 2011. D'Antoni had knee replacement surgery in the past couple weeks and is not yet on his feet. Would still need time to rehabilitate before he could go back to work.

Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw also could become a candidate – though that's a dicier proposition, given the acrimony that ensued between the Lakers front office and Shaw after the team chose to replace Jackson with Brown over Shaw.

Also, the Pacers aren't expected to be willing to let Shaw, their associate head coach, leave for a potential head coaching job with the Lakers, sources with direct knowledge of his contract told Yahoo! Sports.

In conversations on Thursday, Kupchak made a case to Lakers owner Jerry Buss and executive vice president Jim Buss to give Brown more time before deciding to fire him, sources told Y! Sports. Brown also made a case to management that he could get the Lakers into championship contention, sources said.

''The bottom line is that the team is not winning at the pace we expected this team to win, and we didn't see improvement,'' Kupchak told reporters.

The irony is that Jerry Buss' son who runs the day-to-day operations of the franchise, Jim – and not  Kupchak – was the primary advocate in the hiring of Brown and the firing of him. Kupchak was partial to Rick Adelman as a replacement, sources said. Nevertheless, the Buss family lost patience with the team's sluggish start to the Princeton offense, and didn't accept the excuses of a weak bench with such a star-studded starting five of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash.


What sort of franchise hires a coach without at least discussing the prospects and candidates with their team's best player and the league's most headstrong star?

What sort of team hires a coach who routinely failed to make headway with his top star at his previous spot, sliding him into a role that even the legendary Phil Jackson couldn't handle toward the end of his run?

What kind of team watches as the coach cheerily embraces an offense that doesn't utilize typical point guard roles even after the franchise swings a trade for one of the finest point guards in NBA history?

What kind of franchise blames the coach for the fact that the triptych of Steve Blake, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol combine to put together perhaps the league's worst pick-and-roll defense at the two most prominent pick-and-roll positions, looking the other way when the hoped-for salve in Dwight Howard can't overcome the rustiness and pain that is obvious to anyone tuning in with standard-definition TVs?

What kind of team fires a guy on a game night?

It's the Los Angeles Lakers, chippies; and for all their front-office brilliance in acquiring some of the finest players of the last 16 years to lead them to their 17th title, they also blew it with the hiring, embracing and eventual firing of coach Mike Brown. USA Today's Sam Amick reported on Friday that the beleaguered coach will be glared at no more, at least during games, as the Lakers have sent the former Cavs head man and Spurs assistant packing just five games into an outright failure of a season.

Cable TV — and not the blogosphere, which has been pretty heady in its analysis mainly because they have Internet access — has prattled on for over a week about the Lakers' iffy offense, and the attempts to worm facets of the Princeton playbook into the Lakers' scheme. On the surface, Brown's interest in the offense seems a sound move; mainly because there really is no Princeton playbook, just a series of reactions based off of solid spacing and quick but deliberate movement. To a quotemonger, though, the idea was off — you don't take the ball out of Steve Nash's hands, you don't walk the ball up.

The problem is that the Lakers weren't walking the ball up. The team's 23rd ranking in possessions per game had more to do with their defensive issues than anything else as they took the ball out of the net. The team is seventh in offensive efficiency this season, an improvement over last season's 10th showing and an impressive showing considering two things:

1). Steve Nash has played just 50 minutes, all season. Steve Blake, his replacement, has had a miserable season.

2). The team turns the ball over on nearly 18 percent of its possessions, good for 29th out of 30 teams so far this year. That might damn Brown's offensive schemes all to hell, but to rank seventh in the NBA in offense in spite of giving the other team the rock on nearly a fifth of your possessions? That's remarkable stuff.

It's the defense, dummies. It's that miserable defense that was apparent from the start, with Nash and Gasol (two of our favorites at anything, ever) losing their way amongst quicker guards and big forwards, with a still recovering Dwight Howard unable to cover all the open spaces. The next coach will be the beneficiary of Howard's eventual defensive recovery (anyone can dunk, as Dwight has made over 67 percent of his shots on the season; but not everyone can hedge and dissuade three different opponents from easing into an easy shot), but for now the Lakers are a mess on that end.

This will be the ends justifying the means, assuming the Lakers choose the right replacement. Brown had to go. All this handwringing in the second week in November won't mean a thing once Howard has his sea legs back, and Steve Nash helps Kobe Bryant re-discover what a brilliant player Pau Gasol can be when he's put in the right spots. This is a low point, for the Lakers, but one they have 77 games and a playoff run to work their way out of.

For now, though, it's the final kiss-off on the Busses' great lost year of 2011. One in which they fired low-level employees just to keep the payroll tidy, dismissed longtime scouts without the benefit of an explanation, and treated the notoriously pouty Bryant as if he were training camp fodder in choosing the leader that would have to guide Kobe through the most stubborn seasons of his career.

This probably won't serve as a wake-up call to Lakers ownership. Hell, far from it. They'll just back into another championship or three, leaving us wondering why they couldn't find it in themselves to appreciate what Phil Jackson — 2011 sweep at the hands of the eventual champs or not — did for them.

Never change, El Lay. You big, bloated, mess of a thing that will somehow charm us by May.


Mike Brown had arrived at the Lakers' practice facility for the morning shootaround believing he needed a victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night to spare his job. Ownership and management had been meeting about his future throughout Thursday, and general manager Mitch Kupchak advocated to give the beleaguered Brown longer than five games before firing him, sources said.

Jim Buss, the Lakers' executive vice president, had gone along with the plan on Thursday, but something changed overnight into Friday. Jerry Buss wanted Brown out, and wanted him out now. As Brown gathered his assistants to plan for Friday night's game, a request came for him to step outside the room. The forever chipper, eager Brown returned to his coaching staff 10 minutes later with a decidedly different disposition.

"They fired me," Brown simply said.

All around the franchise, the belief was that the decision had come from Jerry Buss, who had lost patience with his $100 million roster investment losing four out of five games to start the season. He was tired of the Princeton offense, tired of the season-ticket holders' complaining, tired of the coach who he let his son, Jim, hire two years ago. For the $100 million of payroll – and the $30 million more of luxury tax – the old man wanted to bring Showtime back to the Staples Center. This was Jerry Buss playing the part of patriarch again.

Eventually, Kupchak would turn to his old NBA coach with the Washington Bullets, Bernie Bickerstaff, to get the team through Friday night's game against Golden State. Dump the Princeton offense, Bickerstaff was told. Showtime doesn't do Ivy League, and few in ownership – nor management – had to be convinced that the brief exploration had been a failure.

Only, the Lakers were sixth in offensive efficiency. In this short sampling, the bigger issues were defense and the bench. "Kobe likes the offense, and has from the start," one league source briefed on the conversations told Yahoo! Sports. "But they told Bernie: 'This is about the offense. It has to go.' "

This is about public relations now, about feeding that Staples Center and Hollywood monster, and Buss needs a coach with a pedigree. The greatest coach of all, Phil Jackson, could be waiting to come cash Buss' checks again, and motivated and inspired, his hiring would be a bargain at any price. He still needs to decide that he wants to coach again, that he wants the Lakers, but he's forever a sucker for the drama, for riding back to save the franchise. Two years ago, he couldn't wait to get out of the Lakers, get out of the NBA, and you wonder what's changed except for boredom and that lust for the next big score, that next big Hollywood ending.

"We want Phil," the Lakers fans chanted on Friday night in the Staples Center. "We want Phil."

Jerry Buss' plan is to give the people what they want: the great Phil Jackson. They remember the five titles with the Lakers, but everyone wants to forget the end, the way that Jackson dragged himself, dragged a team, to the finish line. This job is a grind, and those cheers fade fast. There are no Hollywood endings in the NBA – just old guys staying too long, coming back for all the wrong reasons.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Bruce Lee, the father of MMA?

More than a quarter century before the UFC, the late martial artist and film star Bruce Lee described in great detail what ultimately would become the sport of mixed martial arts.

The UFC was founded in 1993, partly in an effort to determine which fighting style is best. But as Lee had pointed out years before, it is a mixture of styles, not simply one, that is the most effective fighting form.

"The best fighter is not a boxer, karate or judo man," Lee once said. "The best fighter is someone who can adapt to any style. He kicks too good for a boxer, throws too good for a karate man, and punches too good for a judo man."

Nearly 40 years after his untimely death at 32 in 1973, Lee's fighting philosophies are on display in cages around the world. Fighters who were born many years after his death idolize him nonetheless and credit him with shaping them as athletes.

UFC president Dana White calls Lee the father of modern MMA. While there are others who deserve to be in that conversation, there is no question Lee's impact upon the sport is still being felt.

The UFC will host its first card on Chinese soil on Nov. 10 at UFC on Fuel 6 in Macao, a gaming mecca near Hong Kong where Lee grew up.

To honor Lee, White had an image of the martial arts icon included on the official promotional poster for the event.

"It's pretty amazing when you look back at 'Enter the Dragon,' " said Lee's daughter, Shannon. "There he is in the opening sequence in the shorts and the fingerless gloves, ending it in an arm bar. It's almost as if he knew what was coming. But that all sprung from his belief about what it meant to be a complete fighter. He really believed fully that in order to be a complete fighter, you had to have many different things in your arsenal and be able to defend against and attack in whatever situation may present itself."

Run Anyway

NEW YORK >>Never mind the cancellation. Here comes the marathon.

Thousands of runners poured into New York City's Central Park on Sunday morning to do what they had prepared so long to do — put in 26.2 miles.

That's despite the abrupt announcement Friday evening that the world's largest marathon had been called off because of Superstorm Sandy.

Hundreds of other runners, wearing their marathon shirts and backpacks full of supplies, took the ferry to hard-hit Staten Island and ran to hard-hit neighborhoods to help.

Shortly after dawn, groups of runners started gathering on the edges of Central Park to warm up, take photos and drop off clothing and other items for storm victims.

Italians stretched en masse near the Plaza Hotel. The Germans started from Columbus Circle. Everyone plunged into the park to pursue their own race. Some ran around the park clockwise, some counterclockwise, taking over startled dog walkers with a riot of color.

"A lot of people just wanted to finish what they started," said Lance Svendsen, who organized an alternative marathon called Run Anyway. By 8:45 a.m., his group had sent off five waves of runners from the marathon's official finish line, which had not yet been taken down. "It is amazing. My guess is about 600 people have left so far."

It was a throwback to the original New York City Marathon in 1970, which was run ragtag with 127 people and stayed completely within Central Park.