From when I first met him when I was Little Leaguer in the early 1980s, he grew into a league president and then a member of the City Council. Today, I know a good number of public officials, but when Al Stabile ran for the City Council in 1993, I never knew anyone who ran for office.
I was immediately on board with his campaign. I had just graduated college, and what I saw in this man was a regular guy with imperfections. He had pain in his life, losing his son Frank to a tragic car accident. I felt that he brought a human emotion to public life that was reflected, in a sense, in his south Queens district.
Sitting at his wake last week, the image in my head was not of when he was speaking at events. Nor was it when he was president of the Ozone-Howard Little League. I remembered when Al ran the concession stand at the Little League ballpark at Aqueduct.
He was just a parent back then. Not all parents were involved with their children’s lives, and it is even more apparent today. But Stabile was really involved. Part of why I was so supportive of his campaign was that I felt he was a good family man.
If history wants to look for imperfections, they will find them. This is the case with anybody in public life. I got into politics because of Al Stabile. He did not deserve to leave office amid dramatic allegations that went nowhere when he left office.
He represented the entire 32nd district, but for me, he was the embodiment of Ozone Park. There was a time when if I walked through Ozone Park, or “O-Z” as we called it then, I would certainly see someone that I knew. When walking to Stabile’s wake, I realized that is not the case any longer.
Neighborhoods change, not for the worse, they just change. But when Ozone Park was different, when it was more recognizable, it had a councilman who equaled that recognition.
Stabile worked for the Department of Sanitation in a previous life, and it was fitting to see that giant garbage truck made out of flowers at his wake: big, showy and beautiful.
Brady Should Have Taken It For The Team
Because the New England Patriots are a regular obsession for New York Jet fans, the Tom Brady saga is news for New York as much as it is for New England.
The Patriots have a history of tinkering with the rules (and getting caught). They also have a history of being a dynamite football team, regardless of their shenanigans.
When the National Football League suspended Tom Brady for what they felt was a breach of the rules (deflating footballs), it created quite a bit of drama. Now that a judge has overturned Brady’s suspension, what does this mean for the Patriots’ image in the long term?
The Patriots would have been better off taking the suspension, even if they disagreed with it. Backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would have been given the chance to start a few games if the suspension held, which would have been exciting.
Garoppolo was a great college quarterback, even breaking Tony Romo’s college touchdown record at Eastern Illinois. Does New England not have that much confidence in Garoppolo? Many teams (the Jets, for one) have had to go with backup quarterbacks to start a season.
Brady appealing the decision, while low-level Patriots employees are still suspended from their lower-paying jobs, looks bad. Both employees were suspended by the Patriots, and that means Brady could have fought for them within the organization.