ForecastSunday: Mostly sunny and cool. Highs 27 to 33.
Monday: A chance of rain, sleet, and snow. Highs 32 to 37.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Highs 30 to 35.
The Bruins & Rangers will begin their best of seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series tonight at the TD Garden in Boston. The Bruins went 1 & 2 vs the Rangers during the regular season, however one loss came in overtime and the other was in a shootout! Both teams are very physical and have great goaltending so it could be a long series with very few goals. The one huge difference is coaching styles. Although both Claude Julien and John Tortorella have shutdown defensive style systems, Julien has a quiet calm demeanor, while Tortorella is a sports writers dream often giving off the wall soundbytes!
Tortorella who lead the Tampa Bay Lighting to a Stanley Cup Championship back in 2004 is a firey coach who has done a terrific job in New York. John grew up in Concord, Massachusetts and attended the University of Maine. He played hockey for the Black Bears from 1978-1981. His brother Jim who also played at Maine, Coached at Colby for 16 years before recently becoming an Assistant Coach at the University of New Hampshire.
It should be a terrific hard fought series with the winner moving on to the Conference Finals!
Did we really just see that? I can't believe the Bruins erased a 4-1 deficit midway through the 3rd period to come back and stun Toronto 5-4 in overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals! This was truly a game for the ages...For most of the game the Bruins played like a hockey team ready to hit the golf course rather thanmove on to round 2, however with just over ten minutes left in regulation the real Bruins reappeared! Patrice Bergeron scored the equalizer with under a minute left and then got the game winner midway through overtime. It's one of the great comebacks in NHL playoff history. Not to be out done was Bruns Goalie Tuukka Rask who had 24 saves including a couple that were spectacular. The B's will now move on to play the Rangers in Round 2...To quote the late great Jack Buck..."I can't believe what I just saw"!
How does he do it? The Patriots & Bill Belichick entered this years draft with only five overall picks. That is until the Minnesota Vikings entered the picture. The Patriots were scheduled to pick 29th in the 1st round, however the Vikings made Bill a deal he couldn't refuse. In return for the Pats 1st rounder, Minnesota sent over a 2nd (52), 3rd (83), 4th (102) & 7th (229) round draft pick. So instead of having only five selections order has been restored! The Patriots will now have eight picks overall! When Bill Belichick decides to put away the whistle he may want to become the next game show host for "Lets make a deal"!
With this being the first day of Spring I started thinking baseball and if the Red Sox had a real shot to compete for a playoff spot this season. If the Sox get some pitching and stay healthy I guess anything is possible. One thing we know for sure it will be a more likeable team this season with John Farrell at the helm.
Seems hard to believe that ten years ago the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry hit a (pardon the pun) fever pitch! I still remember being at Yankee Stadium for Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. I had my script written that the Sox were about to exorcise "the curse of the Bambino" once and for all. I mean afterall they had a 5-2 lead in the 8th inning with just six outs to go! Well I don't need to re-hash the script you know what happened! Grady Little kept Pedro in too long the Yankees rallied to tie it in the 8th and then Aaron Boone sent the Sox home for the winter with a tremendous walkoff homer in the 11th.
The following season will forever live in Red Sox lore! The Sox finally conquered Mount Everest! Boston was down 3 games to none in the '04 ALCS, but against all odds the Sox won 4 straight ending the Yankees season and the curse all in a 4 day span! That was when Big Papi became Senor Octobre!
Right now we don't know if Ortiz will even be ready for opening day because of an ongoing achillies problem. The Yankees have their own share of injuries and may even be worse off than the Sox! It's quite possible that the Red Sox and Yankees two perennial A.L. East juggernauts may slug it out for the A.L. East basement this season. But, hope springs eternal! I have to admit though, I really miss the rivalry! I miss those 5 hour white knuckler games when by the 5th inning you had no nails left. Those games in October when you turned off all cell phones and didn't dare take a bathroom break! Everything in life I guess is cyclical. Here's hoping one day soon the Red Sox and Yankees will once again re-kindle what I consider to be the greatest rivalry in sports!
The mad scientist strikes again! How Patriots Coach Bill Belichick could let Wes Welker shuffle off to Denver and join forces with Peyton Manning doesn't make any sense. The Broncos deal was for 2 years and 12 million bucks! Do you mean to tell me the Patriots couldn't have checked under the Gillette Stadium sofa for a few more pennies? Why wasn't the best slot receiver in NFL history signed to a long term deal with the Pats? Was it because of his one drop in the Super Bowl which was actually a terrible pass? Or was it his foot rant towards Jets coach Rex Ryan a few years ago? That one cost him some bench time for a playoff game. Only Belichick knows why Welker is no longer here. Keep in mind folks he gave Chad Johnson 6 million dollars for catching what...3 passes? It doesn't make any sense. Welker is the toughest receiver in Football and recently became the first receiver to have five straight seasons of at least 110 catches or more! Remember when Welker tore his knee up in a meaningless game in Houston a few years ago? Well he came back months ahead of schedule and was in the line up the line up on opening day. The Red Sox gave David Ortiz a brink truck and you wonder if they had anyone look at his achillies! Welker was looking for a fair deal and didn't get it! I love the Patriots, but here's hoping Welker has a great season in Denver!
When it comes to managing the Salary Cap, the Patriots wrote the book. The Pats may have swung and missed on a few free agents (see Adalius Thomas), but for the most part the Pats have done a great job at adding talent while keeping their key core players in place.
That brings us to Wes Welker. On Tuesday Wes will become a free agent. Now granted 99% of the teams that maybe interested in Welker don't have a Tom Brady to offer, but you wonder if Welker has had enough of Bill Belichick and "The Patriots way"? Welker has established himself as the best slot receiver in football and oneof the best in NFL history! With all due respect to Rob Gronkowski, Welker is Tom Brady's go to guy. He is the Pats "break glass here in case of emergency"! The Pats have refused to over pay for players in the past, however they should really think long and hard about keeping Welker. He is not only a great receiver, but has proven to be very tough, versitile and durable. Yes Welker dropped a crucial pass in Super Bowl XLVI a few years ago, but go back and look at the tape, it would have been a very tough catch! Should Welker choose to leave there will be a void in that Patriots offense that no player can fill. Please don't tell me about Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola. Remember when Welker tore his acl & mcl back in January of 2010 only to be back on the football field seven months later? Welker is that once in a lifetime receiver/returner who deserves a big pay day and I hoping he gets it with the Pats!
The Greely Boys Hockey team is now a win away from making it back to back Class B State Championships. The Rangers rolled past Camden Hills Wednesday night at the Colisee 7-1 to win the West. Standing in their way from a third title in five years is Messalonskee. The Rangers have been a well oiled machine under head coach Barry Mothes. Greely may play in Class B, but throught the season the Rangers play some Class A teams as well. Grelly will also compete in out of state high level Tournaments. The reason...The Rangers love the challenge! By playing a tougher schedule during the regular season, the Rangers are more than ready once the postseason rolls around. In fact Greely's hockey program has emerged as one of the best around and with just 4 seniors on the roster is showing no signs of slowing down!
In the interest of full disclosure I am a diehard Red Sox fan. I have been since 1975! Like many Sox fans I was thrilled when the team unloaded all those salaries and and malcontents to the L.A. Dodgers last summer.
But did the Red Sox learn from their past mistakes? The short answer is no. After packaging up Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto the Sox cleared more than 250 million bucks from the books. It looked as though the Red Sox would get a second chance to conduct their business with a little more discipline...
But this past offseason the Red Sox locked up David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew and others. And in typical Red Sox fashion they over paid for every player! Not too mention Ortiz and Napoli have been hampered by injuries dating back to last season and in Napoli's case even longer. Big Papi injured his achillies last Augusta and he's still not even close to 100%. So the money that was initially saved courtesy of the Dodgers has been put threw the shreader! The Red Sox are short on depth and short on talent. They may be a more likeable team this season, but it maybe a while before the Sox are playing meaningful games in October again!
I have to admit having produced two different series on concussions I had a pretty good idea of what athletes go through after sustaining a severe blow to the head. Well a few days before the Super Bowl, while cleaning off my sons ice rink I fell backwards slamming my head on the ice. Fortunately I didn't black out. That could have been a disaster, because it happened after 1:00 am.
For the next three weeks the nausea and headaches were unreal. I would tell my wife how everything seemed foggy almost like an outer body experience. The only thing I wanted to do was sleep and sleep some more. After taking a few days off from work I still wasn't right when I came back. I noticed my speech was slower and didn't have that same kind of energy I usually have. I wondered if I would ever be the same? Thankfully I am back to 100% almost a month later. I now know what athletes and every day people are going through. The worst part about concussions is once you get that first one it's much easier to get a second, or a third.
There's so much we are still learning about concussions and how some of the effects can lead to a variety of problems down the road. Concussions do not discriminate. They can happen on the football field, the ice arena or in your own driveway. The one piece of advice I can give everyone is if you have a concussion make sure you stay hydrated and rest as much as you can. Your brain will let you know when its ok to go back on the field or go back to work!
"Terrell Suggs...You just won the Super Bowl what are you going to do now"??? "I'm going to torture Patriot fans"!!!
Note to Terrell Suggs please grow up! You went on Sports Radio Station WEEI Wednesday to talk about your budding new career as a movie writer, yet you couldn't help taking more swings at the Patriots. From saying the NFL adjusts its rules to satisfy Tom Brady to CBS favoring the Patriots because of a restaurant named CBS Scene at Gillette Stadium. Let it go Terrell please. The Patriots have moved on why haven't you? You are a great linebacker one of the best around and your team just won the Super Bowl! Go enjoy it! Put your boxing gloves down..Do you think Tom Brady or the Patriots give a flying bleep what you think about them? Next year if the Ravens and Pats meet again then have it...
The University of Maine Women's Basketball team hasn't won many games this season, but on Tuesday night along I-95 near Georgetown, Massachusetts the team scored it's greatest win of all time. The bus carrying the lady Black Bears to Boston veered off the road and crashed into some trees after the driver suffered a medical condition which caused him to lose consciousness. Thankfully no one was seriously injured, however the bus players, coaches and bus driver were all taken to area hospitals as a precautionary measure. This could have been so much worse, but thankfully everyone on board is expected to make a complete recovery. What happened tonight definitely puts sports and life into proper perspective. Games can be made up...A bus can be replaced...But a life is priceless!
Joe Montana didn't do it and neither did Brett Favre. The days of athletes staying with one team throughout their entire career is slim to none. But someone forgot to tell that to Patriots franchise Quarterback Tom Brady. Late Monday afternoon word began to spread that Brady had restructured his contract to free up some much needed salary cap room and to make sure he'll be with the Patriots through the 2017 season when he'll turn 40! Brady will go down as one of the all time greats! He is right there with Montana and Johnny U. What makes this guy even more remarkable is his team first attitude! In a time where most athletes are looking to grab every last dollar, Brady instead would rather take less so his team can achieve more. It's a selfless act that keeps the Patriots competitive and Brady very hum'ble. The Patriots can now go out and re-sign Wes Welker. Lets face it Brady won't be hitting his wife Gisele Bndchen up for money, however he could have kept his old deal in tact which would have landed the Patriots in "Cap hell"!!! Brady wants that 4th Lombardi trophy and something tells me next year he's going to get it!
There is nothing better than a buzzer beater! That is unless your on the other end. On Friday night the Lawrence Boys Basketball team was just seconds away from knocking out the top seeded and undeated Hampden Academy Broncos...But as the great Yogi Bera likes to say; "It ain't over til it's over"! The brothers Zach and Nick Gilpin probably practiced this one play a million times never thinking it could really happen...With their season on the line older brother Zach grabbed a huge rebound off a missed free throw. Then with only 4 seconds left he heaved a long pass to his younger brother Nick...From there the freshman launced a 35 foot prayer that was answered at the buzzer! It will forever be known as "The shot heard round Hampden". It will hold a special place in Maine Basketball history. For the Lawrence Bulldogs a heartbreaking finish, but a fantastic season...the last one for longtime coach Mike McGee! Congrats to both teams for a game they'll be talking about for years to come!
While the Red Sox intensify their search for a new manager the Sox could also use a top notch pitching coach. Normally the new manager gets to choose his coaching staff (excluding Bobby V), but the Sox should bring Pedro Martinez back right now! For starters Pedro was the best right hander Red Sox fans have ever seen. From 1998-2002 he was one of if not the best pitcher in baseball! But more than Pedro's ability to win in Boston was his ability to knock opposing batters off the plate. Boston pitchers have either chosen not to pitch inside or just don't want to do it. During Pedro's brilliant run teams feared his ability to move guys off the plate. At times Pedro would hit an opposing batter which didn't sit well with teams, however it made those hitters think twice about stealing a chunk of the plate. The Red Sox have lost that art and need to bring it back! If nothing else having Pedro in the dugout will bring back memories of a much different time in Red Sox history. A time when the team was winning, smiling and cared about the great game of baseball!
The Bobby Valentine experiment is ova!!! Now what do we do? The Red Sox have a mess on their hands. There are more wholes in this line up than there are in a pair of Lady Gaga fishnets! The Sox first order of business will be to hire a new Manager...But who's call will it be? Ben, Larry, Tom or John?
Just five years ago the Red Sox were the toast of the baseball world celebrating a second World Series Championship in a three year span! But now the Sox are in ruins...The team is coming off it's worst season in 47 years. You can blame it on Bobby V, but lets face it he never had a fighting chance. The players never respected him from day one. The clubhouse was a mess and the communication was almost nonexistent. The next Red Sox Manager needs to be a great communicator and a great baseball mind. He needs to pick his own coaching staff and be able to run his team the way he wants. Enough with the meddling from above! Let the G.M. pick the players and let the Manager run the team!
So who's next? John Farrell who's been here and done that appears to be the front runner. But what has Farrell done in Toronto? He might be a great Manager in Boston, but why should the Sox settle? Explore the market bring in some new faces. Sandy Alomar Jr. and Tony Pena are two former big league catchers who would garner instant respect and a great vision for the game. There are other qualified candidates as well...Ryne Sandberg, Mike Maddux and Don Baylor just to name a few...
But we have all seen this movie before...The Red Sox will get Farrell and have to pay a steep price...It's funny though when Theo Epstein bolted for the Cubs, the Sox could have held out for a top level prospect...Instead they let Theo go and got a prospect who will probably be out of baseball by next season! Note to Red Sox...This time don't show your hand and think outside the box!
Whether or not the NFL owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell come to their senses and bring back the real referees, the 2012 season is already tarnished. Two of the NFL's elite teams Green Bay and New England are off to 1 & 2 starts thanks to some horrendous officiating. The football world watched Sunday night when Justin Tucker's controversial kick was called good even though there was some question as to whether the ball actually went over the goal post. And then we had the Super Bowl of blown calls Monday night when on the final play of the game Seattle's Hail Mary was answered in the endzone even though a Green Bay defender had possession of the football. Those are just two of a laundry list of blown calls that have cost teams a win and fans their Sunday afternoon! Even if the Patriots and Packers rally and make the playoffs chances are they will have to win on the road. Football is not Baseball. There are only 16 games in a regular season not 162. The longer these replacement officials remain employed the worse it will get. Some of the replacement officials we have working NFL games right now were fired by the Lingerie Football League. That's all you need to know! I completely understand and agree that the real NFL referees should not be rewarded like full time employees because really they only work half the year and many have other fulltime jobs. However, there has to be some middle ground where the two sides can meet and strike a deal asap! The clock is ticking on the NFL season and right now both the real referees and owners are out of timeouts!
The true Red Sox fans (and you know who you are) will continue to support this baseball team through the good times and bad. Unfortunately since last September we have seen plenty of the latter. To put it mildly the Sox have been abysmal! But what's been more troublesome is the lack of respect some of the players have shown towards, management and the fans. Relief Pitcher Alfredo Aceves who has already been suspended earlier this year for conduct detrimental to the team pulled another head scratcher last night. After giving up 3 hits & 2 runs in one inning of work Aceves was pulled for Chris Carpenter. Rather than handing the ball over to manager Bobby Valentine, which has been the norm since Cy Young was on the hill, Aceves instead handed the ball to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and then proceed to avoid Valentine by walking in an awkward large circle before exiting the field. It was just another show of disrespect by a player who's lucky to have a job. Regardless of how people feel about Valentine and whether or not he should even be the Sox skipper is irrelevant! Far too long the inmates at Fenway have been running the asylum! It has to change and change soon! It's time for the owners and management to Cowboy up and get their team back! Unless of course the Red Sox are for sale?
It's right up there with the Lufthansa heist! I still can't believe the Red Sox not only found a taker for Josh Beckett, but Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez as well. Nick Punto was the thank you card outside the gift box! Sure Adrian Gonzalez is one of baseball's top 10 players, but lets be realistic here, the Sox were saddled with plenty of bad contracts and bad baggage. Beckett no longer wanted to be in Boston, but we all thought good luck finding someone that would take his bad arm, bad attitude plus 2 years & 34 million remaining on his Sox deal! Wait...they did the L.A. Dodgers!!! Surely there's no way they would also take Carl Crawford? After all he was on the operating table when this deal was consummated! Would the Dodgers actually trade for a guy who struggled miserably in Boston, just had Tommy John surgery and still has five years and 102 million dollars left on his deal...The answer YES! Then there's A-Gone! Yes I agree he's one of the best in baseball, but with 6 years and 130 million still left on his deal I think the Red Sox can use that money elsewhere on say....PITCHING! The Sox not only cleared salary space, but in return received some highly touted pitching prospects in Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa! They also landed two more prospects in Infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Outfielder Jerry Sands! The Sox also got veteran 1B James Loney who already has 2 rbi in 2 games.
Sox G.M. Ben Cherington should be given a key to the city! Unloading more than a quarter of a billion dollars will give the Sox some much needed flexability! This team was going nowhere so change was needed. Who knows five years from now the Dodgers may have won a few World Series titles...But my money says Cherington will get the Sox to the promised land first.
Lets face it the Celtics right now are playing with house money. Whether or not the C's can beat the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals remains to be seen, but for me the Celtics have already won! I absolutely love this teams heart and desire! With an aging front court and a depleted bench the Celtics somehow continue to find a way to beat a more talented and physically gifted Miami Heat team. The Celtics have also had to deal with officiating that has been horrific to say the least. Can you imagine what this team and series would look like with a healthy Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Avery Bradley, Chris Wilcox and Jeff Green? Pierce and Allen, two future Hall of Famers have fought through the pain and are actually getting stronger as the series goes on. The other half of the Big 4 Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo have carried the C's! KG continues to turn back the hands of time, while Rondo has been the best player in this series and that includes Lebron James and Dwayne Wade! It would be great to see this Celtics team have one more crack at banner 18, and a win Tuesday night in Miami will get them one step closer!
With all due respect to Forrest Gump...Tim Wakefield really was like a box of chocolates..."You just never knew what you were going to get"! For the past 17 years Red Sox fans cheered and sometimes squirmed when Wake was on the hill, but the one thing you always got was 100% effort and 0 % attitude! Earlier tonight Wake retired from baseball after 19 seasons, 17 with the Sox! His trick pitch "the knuckleball" made him millions and sometimes made opposing batters look silly! Wake will leave with several Sox records including appearances and innings pitched, but his work away from the mound will never be forgotten. Wakefield has worked tirelessly in the Boston Community helping people live a better life. From the Jimmy Fund to his own charitable foundation Tim Wakefield made a difference in so many lives. Yes he sometimes made us all crazy by walking the bases loaded or uncorking an untimely wild pitch, but Tim Wakefield did it all for the Sox from start to close to long relief and he did it all with a smile. Wake was one player who really loved the game for what it was and less about what it offered. He will be missed!
Ok I admit it...Like many of you I am a Fantasy Football junky...And it's getting worse. I am constantly scouring waiver wire, injury reports and weather conditions. Fantasy Football has both destroyed and made plenty of weekends! Years ago we had to wait until the box scores came out to total up all of our points. Now you get them instantly on your phone! My son Drew teamed up with me this year and as luck would have it we made it to the playoffs! But now Drew is becoming a mini me. On weekends after his hockey games we will sit in a Pub 99, watch 3 tv's and two phones all at once. This is not healthy!!! But it's so much fun! I have been a die hard Patriots fan since birth, yet there was one time when I had Mike Vanderjagt as my kicker and I wanted him to nail a 50 yarder that would have put the Pats/Colts game into overtime. I really felt like I needed to go to Church after that game. And when the season ends it's always a big let down. But summer will be here before you know it and it will once again be time to purchase that $10 dollar Fantasy Football bible! To all the fantasy addicts out there who are in the playoffs good luck and enjoy the games!
I have to admit I am really caught up in this whole Tim Tebow phenomena! I would be a millionaire if I had a dollar for each time one of the national reporters or writers said this guy will never make it as a Quarterback in the NFL. Well Tim Tebow is not only playing in the NFL he's winning in the NFL. And he's winning with a sub par team. Tebow may not have the pocket presence like a Tom Brady or an arm like Aaron Rodgers, however this guy just gets it done. Tebow can beat you through the air or on the ground, like UPS he delivers!
All week long many fans have voiced their displeasure over Tebow praising his Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I think it's fantastic and a breath of fresh air! As a society we often praise athletes who have had multiple runs ins with the law. That doesn't make them bad people, but really what has Tebow done that's so wrong. He's not pushing religion on anyone he's just saying what's truly in his heart and I applaud him for that. I honestly hope the Pats can pull it out on Sunday, but after Brady the guy I'll be pulling for wears #15 for Denver.
With the Red Sox signing catcher Kelly Shoppach today that all but spells the end for longtime Red Sox catcher & captain Jason Varitek. The Sox now have three catchers on the roster and with Jason on the back nine of his baseball career it appears his Red Sox career maybe coming to an end.
If that is indeed the case Jason Varitek will go down as one of the best catchers in Red Sox history! Varitek played a huge role in the Sox two World Series Championships! I will always remember back in late July of 2004 the Sox I believe were 9 or 9 and a half games behind the Yankees in the A.L. East. The team looked dead in the water, but on a rainy Saturday afternoon with the Yankees in town it was Varitek who begged the Red Sox brass not to cancel the game. With the game going back and forth Red Sox starter Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez with an off speed pitch which probably felt more like a mosquito bite. Rodriguez immediately started barking at Arroyo & then Varitek. It was at that moment the Sox fortunes would turn forever. Varitek stuffed his catchers mitt in A-Rods face as a major brawl ensued! The Red Sox not only won the fight that day they also won the game in dramatic fashion thanks to Billy Mueller's walk off winner in the 9th! I honestly believe had Varitek not gotten in A-Rods grille the Sox would have never won the 2004 World Series Championship. The fight bonded the team and created an even greater dislike towards the Yankees!
Varitek was also a master at handling the pitchers from Beckett to Diasuke! When he spoke they listened. I have to say out of all the players we would talk to at Spring training each year Jason Varitek was always polite and professional! If this is it for Tek I wish him well! He wore the "C" with pride and honor and will always be remembered for his role in the Sox reversing the curse!
As much as I would love to say the Patriots are a shoe in for Indianapolis and Super Bowl XLVI, I'm not so sure. Yes the Pats have Bill Belichick one of the great coaches of all-time and yes future hall of famer Tom Brady is New England's quarterback, however the teams defense has been a reclamation project since the summer. The Pats simply cannot stop opposing offenses period! New England is dead last in the NFL when it comes to total defense and lets face it when you get into January what's the old saying...."Defense wins Championships"!
Can you imagine Matthew Slater trying to cover Andre Johnson in the playoffs or James Ighedigbo making an open field tackle on Antonio Brown? The answers are no and no. Why Belichick decided to let go of Darius Butler, Leigh Bodden and James Sanders will remain a mystery even Agatha Christie would have trouble solving.
So the Pats will finish the regular season with a 13 & 3 record or possibly 12 & 4 get a first round bye and host a second round game. Remember the Patriots haven't won a playoff game since the '07 AFC Championship game. Since then the Patriots have gone winless when it really counts 0-3 in the postseason.
Can things change? Absolutely! Nothing would make me happier than a Pats sweep in the playoffs and a date with the Packers on February 5th. But between now and then the defense will have to improve otherwise the Patriots Championship dreams will once again end in a nightmare!
Dear Fitzpatrick committee:
Hey, Evans Boston here. So, yesterday's deadline has passed, and you probably don't have my ballot. That's because I never filled it out. Oh, I got it. But when I saw the list of semifinalists, I was confused. Why were the top two guys I was going to vote for not listed?
Sam Dexter and Anders Overhaug.
Don't get me wrong. This isn't a slight on any of the other kids that were named semifinalists. I just don't see how these two could be left out of the top 12. I fully expect Spencer Cooke of Cheverus to win the award, and he would be very deserving.
But I found it very disheartening that Dexter and Overhaug somehow didn't make the cut. Dexter, a senior at Messalonskee, had over 1,700 all-purpose yards. He was named 1st Team All-PTC by the coaches in Class A East.
Ahh, maybe that's the problem. Class A East. Dexter doesn't play in Western Maine. As always, the majority of the players are from Western Maine, specifically Class A West. Four semifinalists are from the SMAA. One is from PTC A.
What about Overhaug? Is it because he's playing in Class C? Well, that's bull. All he did was lead Yarmouth to a second straight state title, a second straight perfect season. All he did was average over 16 yards A CARRY. All he did was score ALL SIX touchdowns in the Clippers' Gold Ball win over Bucksport. I don't care if you play in Class X, if you put up those numbers, you should at least be a semifinalist. Overhaug was in Sports Illustrated for his efforts. You might have seen it.
Then again, maybe you didn't.
There's gotta be a reason. Maybe Dexter wasn't nominated. Nope, he was. Maybe Overhaug has poor grades. Wrong, I called the school. He's near the top of his class.
I was expressing my displeasure in the newsroom, specifically that Overhaug wasn't on the list. Someone said to me, "wait, I thought that was a Class A award." That's a problem. Only twice has a non-Class A player won the Fitzy. An SMAA player has won 10 of the last 13 Fitzpatrick Awards. Now, most years Class A West is the toughest competition and the players might be more deserving. But that's not always the case.
Point is, you dropped the ball. I can't figure out how such glaring mistakes could have been made. Therefore, I abstain from voting. Get it right next year. Or at least rename the award the "Western Maine" Award or the "SMAA" Award. Then this would make sense.
Well it's official! Mark it down on your calender...December 18th 4:15 pm on WGME TV. Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos will host Tom Brady & the Patriots! Tebow who is 6 & 1 since taking over the starting role in Denver has the Broncos marching towards the playoffs. Now Tebow isn't winning games by throwing for 300-plus yards and several touchdowns. He's getting it done with heart, soul and oh yeah his legs!!! Tebow has developed into an elite runner in the NFL. The Broncos have done away with their original playbook and are running the option something Tebow ran to perfection in college. It has definitely confused opposing teams so far, but will it give the Patriots defense a problem? Consider that the game is in Denver and the Pats right now are dead last in total team defense and you have all the makings for a wild game in the mile high city! Tebow vs Brady will be a must see match up in a game that could go right down to the wire!
Am I the only who is steaming mad at MLB Commissioner Bud Selig? When the Red Sox graciously let Theo Epstein out of his contract with still one year to go it was understood by all parties involved that the Cubs would be compensating the Red Sox in the form of players. Commissioner Selig said back in November that if the two sides couldn't agree on a package of players he would intervene! It's been nearly two months since Theo bolted from Boston to Chicago and the Sox have received NOTHING in return!!! If the cleat had been on the other foot the Red Sox would have already have sent the Cubs a package of top quality minor league prospects. Now Boston will be lucky to get a bag of balls! Sox President Larry Lucchino should have held firm and demanded the prospects the organization wanted and deserved!
Alright I admit it...Sometimes I turn into that typical cranky Red Sox fan. You know the one that thinks the umpires are out to get us and the Yankees always get the calls! Well here's another to add to that list! What the heck is going on with Commissioner Bud Selig! He vowed there would be closure to the compensation package for Chicago taking Theo Epstein. Theo has been President of the Cubs for almost a month now and the Sox are still waiting. I'll guarantee you the Sox will get very little in return maybe a box of day old donuts! But rest assure if the cleate was on the other foot the Sox would have already sent Chicago Will Middlebrooks and several other prospects. Are we going to sweep this under the rug or are the Cubs going to pay up? This will be very interesting to see what Chiacgo is going to fork over and I 'm not talking a deep dish pizza. Keep this in mind the Florida Marlins sent the other Chicago team 2 top prospects in order to land Manager Ozzie Guillen!
I remember a few years ago my daughter asking me if monsters were real. As any dad would do I told my princess "absolutely not"! "They are only for the movies", I would tell her. Well after watching and reading all the repulsive details coming out of Penn State I was wrong! Monsters are real!
I have always believed in the mantra "innocent until proven guilty", but in the case involving former Penn State Football Coach Jerry Sandusky I was wrong again! The 23 page grand jury report will make you sick to your stomach. How a grown man could sexually abuse innocent young boys is beyond comprehension. Even more disgusting was the cover up from Joe Paterno on down! How the many Penn State coaches and educators could sweep this under the rug is just as disturbing. According to the report, the descriptive details of what Sandusky did to these eight boys over a 15 year span is beyond description.
For years Sandusky hid behind his Second Mile charity that was supposed to mentor and educate troubled young boys. Many of his victims came from broken homes. He preyed on the weak and for a while got away with it.
There are so many disturbing side notes to Sandusky's story...Why he showered with young boys late at night and no one was around? Why his house is located within a stones throw of a elementary school? Why Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno and others failed to call the police years ago which could have saved a few victims during Sandusky's reign of horror? Why the judge let him free on an unsecured 100-thousand dollar bond? And why Sandusky doesn't have to wear an ankle bracelet even though he faces 40 counts of criminal sexual abuse?
This is a real American tragedy! And something tells me it's only going to get worse before it gets better. My only hope is that justice gets served and these victims who are now in their 20's can somehow move forward and lead a normal life. The next time my daughter asks me about monsters I will tell her the truth! Unfortunately they do exist!
We are only in November and already this has been one of the most interesting and wild offseasons for Red Sox fans.
After blowing a nine game lead in the Wild Card early in September the Sox fortunes have been going south ever since. Rumors of Pitchers drinking beer during games and on some occasions ordering fried chicken lead to the dismissal of longtime Manager Terry Francona. Shortly after that G.M. Theo Epstein uprooted and moved to Chicago to take over as the Cubs new President of Baseball operations. In between the Sox cut ineffective Pitchers Dan Wheeler and Scott Atchison. Closer Jonathan Papelbon bolted for Philadelphia and as of 8:20 am on November 15th slugger David Ortiz remains a free agent.
What the Red Sox need to do is layoff the Free Agency shopping sprees for a while and focus on the minor league system. Over the last few seasons the farm system has gotten depleted! The Red Sox need to get younger and tougher. The Red Sox are missing the right chemistry that can make a huge positive impact. Remember guys like Kevin Millar and Billy Mueller. The Sox don't win in 2004 without them. Whoever the new Manager is going to be discipline has to be priority one! The players need to be held accountable for their actions both on and off the baseball field!
Yes it should be a wild winter here in New England!
Regardless of what happens to the Red Sox from this point forward for me 1978 will always be the worst collapse in my lifetime! You have to remember before 2004 we had a very long title drought so everything bad that happened before that magical autumn was blamed on a so called curse! In 1978 the Sox blew a big lead but battled back to force a one game playoff against the dreaded Yankees. We all know how it ended! At least if the Sox do pull an El Foldo this time we won't be blaming the late George Herman Ruth! The Sox right now are lacking depth and heart! You have too many players who have their bags packed and ready for the off season to begin! The Red Sox need more character guys like Dustin Pedroia! You can blame this September swoon on bad free agent signings and bad attitudes, but ultimately this team was never ready to play out of the gate. A 2 & 10 start sent the Sox reeling and the team had to play catch up from day one. The Red Sox need to address two areas over the off season leadership and accountability!
Wow the Boston Bruins are finally Stanley Cup Champions! The B's downed Vancouver 4-0 in Game 7 Wednesday night capturing their first Stanley Cup title in 39 years!Over the last 76 months every major Boston Sports team has won at least one major championship! Bruins Goalie Tim Thomas was named the Conn Smythe winner! It's the B's 6th Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history!
Whether or not the Bruins can finish Vancouver off and win the Cup, this team has already won in my book! There are a lot of NHL teams that may have folded after suffering such heartbreaking losses in games 1 & 2, yet the Bruins not only rallied to even up the series, but have sent a message to the Canucks that nothing is coming easy! Since the unfortunate moment when the B's lost Nathan Horton to a late hit from Aaron Rome in game 3 the Bruins have played like a team possessed! Every Forward is finishing off their checks, the Defense has been rock solid while Goalie Tim Thomas has been the star of the Stanley Cup Finals allowing a total of 4 goals in 4 games.
The B's have more than created a buzz throughout New England they have rekindled a sport that was more or less dormant for years. And if Boston can somehow win two f the next three games they will have a special place in New England Sports history right next to the Patriots, Sox and Celtics! Good luck to the Bruins!
I'm certainly no David Letterman, but here are my top ten reasons why the Bruins will beat the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals later tonight!
#10 Dwayne Roloson is no Ken Dryden.
#9 The Lightning have reportedly made tee times on Saturday.
#8 Guy LaFleur is retired.
#7 The Garden will be rocking!
#6 Mount Zdeno will erupt!
#5 We have Tyler Seguin!
#4 Lightning can't strike a 4th time!
#3 The ice in Tampa is already melted.
#2 It's been way too long!
#1 The Bruins have Rene Rancourt!
Go B's--Dave Eid
Wow what else can you say about 19 year old Tyler Seguin. The Bruins rookie forward has put on quite a show here in the Eastern Conference Finals. Last night, Seguin lead the Bruins to a much needed 6-5 win over Tampa by scoring two highlight goals and notching 2 assists. What impresses me most about Seguin is not his speed, nor his quick hands or blazing shot, but his team first attitude. Seguin spent the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by watching his team from the balcony. Rather than pout and mope about not playing on hockey's biggest stage the youngster sat, watched and waited for his time to arrive. That time is now! The Bruins have no other choice but to make a permanent spot for him on their playoff roster. Seguin is growing up before our eyes! It is easy to see why the Bruins selected him with the second overall pick in the 2010 Amateur draft. Seguin is a game breaker who can score anytime and anywhere on the ice. Bruin fans will have many years to watch this kid excel into an elite player which is just a matter of time!
The Boston Celtics must find a way to beat the Miami Heat in three straight games otherwise the Celts season will come to an end. The Miami Heat gutted out a wild 98-90 overtime win on Monday night at the Garden. The Celts had every opportunity to win the game, but missed shots, getting out rebounded and mis-communication on the final play of regulation lead to a very disappointing night at the TD Garden. Can the Celts still win it? Absolutely! Will they that remains to be seen, but we should have a better idea tomorrow night at this time!
Anyone who was watching Celtics-Heat Game 3 had the same reaction:
"For the love of God, stop showing it! Stop showing replays!"
Slo-mo after slo-mo, Rajon Rondo's elbow bent in a way that no human arm should ever bend. It was disgusting. Rondo was in severe pain, and I thought we would not see him the rest of the night.
Boy, was I wrong. And I'm glad I was.
In one of the best comebacks since Willis Reed 41 years ago (tomorrow!), Rondo returned to the floor to start the 4th quarter. Playing with his left arm literally dangling, Rondo dove on the floor. He stole the ball. He dunked the ball. He threw in a circus lay-up. All with his right hand only.
I have never seen a performance like that. Kevin Garnett turned back the clocks with a 28 point, 18 rebound performance. Paul Pierce looked vintage. The Celtics defense shut down Miami's Big 3 (Chris Bosh - 6 points?!?).
But all anyone is talking about was Rondo.
That, and the fact that the Celtics are right back in the series.
For the first time in 19 years the Boston Bruins are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals! The Bruins erased the demons from last spring and blasted the Flyers Friday night 5-1 to sweep the series 4-0. The B's will now face off against Tampa Bay with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line. The Bruins once again got great Goaltending from Tim Thomas who had 22 saves.
To be honest with you I am very happy not only for the Bruins and their fans but for Head Coach Claude Julien who may have been run out of town had the Bruins not advanced past Philly. Besides being a great hockey guy, Julien is a very nice man who is now 8 wins away from leading the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup title.
Good luck Coach!!
For the second straight year the Boston Bruins are facing off against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. And for the second straight year the Bruins have a 3-0 series lead. In case you may have forgotten the Bruins saw that 3-0 lead evaporate last May when the Flyers scored 4 straight wins. What was most amazing about Philly's comeback was that in Game #7 the Flyers were trailing the Bruins in Boston 3-0. But, Philly found a way to comeback to win the game and the series 4-3.
Exactly one year later the Bruins are back in the drivers seat up 3-love. But, this year seems different for the Bruins, much different. For starters Goalie Tim Thomas is healthy once again and has been on fire. The Bruins are also scoring goals in bunches and have that confident look something we didn't really see last Spring. Other than Boston's powerplay everything is clicking for the B's and Head Coach Claude Julien. With a win over the Flyers on Friday night the Bruins would advance to their first Conference Final in nearly 20 years. Waiting in the wings is Tampa Bay who swept up the top seeded Washington Capitals. So can the Bruins end a 39 year title drought? Only time will tell, however one things for certain the Bruins are clicking and hockey in Boston is fun again.
Growing up a diehard Boston Bruins fan hasn't always been easy. For me the hardship began back in 1979, when a too many men on the ice penalty cost the Bruins a Game 7 win over the Canadiens in Montreal and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Speaking of the Cup, the Bruins haven't drank from Lord Stanley's Cup in nearly 40 years! There were plenty of close calls...But they have all been just that...This year the B's are hoping to lose that "bridesmaid" label! But after watching last night's game versus the Canadiens I have realized the more things change the more they stay the same...
Once again the officials in Montreal last night should have been on the ice for a mites game rather than a NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. The group of Kevin Pollock, Chris Lee, David Brisebois & Derek Amell did not bring their "A" game and that maybe an understatement! After blowing a call early that cost Montreal a goal it was quite evident from that point on the Canadiens would be getting make up calls the entire night and that's exactly what happend! Marginal calls cost the Bruins a chance to close out the series. What amazes me about the Canadiens is every player wearing red white & blue should be up for an Academy Award. The flopping and diving does not belong in this great game! Yet the Canadiens have perfected it and the officials are buying it!
Yes, Milan Lucic should have received a penalty for his hit on Jaroslav Spacek. But a 5 minute major and a game misconduct? If the roles were reversed and that was David Kejci on the receiving end would Pollack had sent a Canadien to the showers? The short answer is NO! Everytime the Bruins would get a man advantage it would quickly be a 4 on 4 battle...Thank goodness the Bruins won't have to play in Montreal again until next season. It's the one place where the ice always seems to be tilted! I hope the B's can find a way to rally and win Game 7 tonight, but really they should have wrapped this up last night...Boston was the better team, yet in the end two 5 on 3 powerplays gave the Canadiens new life and now it's a one game series!
It could not have been any better for Boston sports fans this week.
Let's start with the Celtics. Boston didn't lose a game this week, sweeping the Knicks right out of the playoffs. After looking shaky in the first two games, Boston dominated an injury-depleted New York team. Rajon Rondo was a beast: 30 points in Game 2, triple-double (including Celtics playoff record 20 assists!) in Game 3, 21 points and 12 assists in Game 4.
Kevin Garnett is back playing great basketball, unbelievable on defense, and knocking down the jumpers on offense. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are back to shooting the ball well.
Best of all, the aging Celtics get to sit back and watch Miami, who was unable to sweep the 76ers on Sunday!
Now on to the Bruins. Last week: 0-2. This week: 3-0, including two unbelievable games. A come-from-behind overtime victory in Game 4, and a thrilling double overtime victory in Game 5. Suddenly, surprisingly, the Bruins have a 3-2 series lead, and can close it out Tuesday night.
They won both games in Montreal. One more and it's on to the next round.
And what about our beloved Red Sox? 2-10 to start the season, This week: 6-1. The Sox have suddenly won 8 of 9, and the pitching staff is dominating. Dice-K: In 2 games, 15 IP, 0 R! John Lackey went 8 scoreless Sunday. Jon Lester got a win. So did Clay Buchholz. So did Josh Beckett. Even Carl Crawford hit a home run! Sox sweep the Angels.
It was a great week. Here's hoping next week, and the week after are just as great.
The Bruins faced a 3-1 deficit and a mountain of critics, and answered on all accounts Thursday night.
In a game for the ages, the Bruins, left for dead, came all the way back, beating Montreal 5-4 in overtime and evening the series at 2-2.
When Andrei Kostitsyn scored halfway through the 2nd period to make it 3-1, this game was over. The B's were on the road, and down two goals...but they didn't give up.
Andrew Ference: Goal
Patrice Bergeron: Goal
Just like that, the game was tied heading into the 3rd. Montreal responded, P.K. Subban taking advantage of their first power play, 4-3 Canadiens.
But with 6:00 to go, the Bruins answered with the unlikeliest of heroes. Chris Kelly, who was wearing a face cage after getting his face smashed on the crossbar in Game 3, batted home a rebound. 4-4. After a wild penalty kill at the end of the period, it was on to overtime.
They say that overtime either lasts a couple minutes, or a couple hours. It was the former for the B's. Michael Ryder buried a point blank shot. Somehow, someway, the Bruins won.
The road team has won every game in this series. After getting embarrassed at home, and holding on in Game 3, the Bruins stole Game 4, and you can feel the momentum swing.
Sure, the Celtics are up 2-0 on the Knicks. But things could be a lot different if a couple things didn't go their way.
Game 1, Ray Allen hits a huge shot. Celtics up 2. Carmelo Anthony fires a good look at a game-winning three, he misses it. Celts win.
Game 2, Chauncey Billups is out. Amar'e Stoudemire goes down with back spasms, he's out. That leaves 'Melo. One guy and four scrubs. And the Knicks almost win.
Anthony was a man-child: 42 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists. He could not be stopped. He drained an impossible three to give the Knicks a 91-88 lead in a there's-no-way-this-is-happening moment. It took until about 1:00 to go in the game for Doc Rivers to start double-teaming him. He's the only guy on the team!
This should have been an easy, double-digit victory, but the Celts showed their age. Instead of putting the Knicks away when Paul Pierce made it an 11 point lead in the 3rd, Boston fouled Anthony time and time again. 'Melo was just too fast for the aging Celtics.
Luckily, Kevin Garnett still had something left. On a night when Carmelo scores 42, and Rajon Rondo 30, K.G. is the hero, making two huge shots to get the Celts the lead, and then the defensive play of the year, forcing a steal and calling a timeout to put the game away. The Celtics shot 47% from the floor compared to New York's 35%, yet Boston had to pull out a 96-93 victory.
The Celtics should be glad they're up 2-0. But they should also know that this effort is nowhere near good enough to beat their next opponent, the Miami Heat.
Maybe the Bruins just need to play all their games away from the TD Garden, because they looked like a completely different team in Game 3.
Boston led wire-to-wire, a 4-2 win. The B's are right back in the series and can't wait for Game 4 Thursday night.
Boston got to Carey Price early and often, surging to a 3-0 lead. You can't question Zdeno Chara any more. The Bruins captain suited up, illness and all, and played a whopping 34 shifts.
Some argue that the Bruins played well in Game 1; that they had good shots but couldn't find the back of the net. I disagree. They looked way better tonight. The Bruins were playing like the team everyone expected. Strong forechecking, beating the Canadiens to the puck, and dominating on both ends.
Tim Thomas gives Boston a fighting chance, and finally the Bruins are in the series.
It may be two games late, but it's not too late. Not yet anyway.
Unlike the Bruins, the Celtics found a way to win at the Garden.
I guess that's the difference between the two clubs. Sure, they're different sports, but playoff pressure and determination are the same. The Celtics know how to win in the playoffs, the Bruins don't.
Boston trailed by as many as 5 points late in the 4th quarter, but unfazed came back, beating the Knicks, 87-85 in Game 1 of their series.
The dagger: Ray Allen buries a 3 to give the Celtics the lead for good. Allen poured in 24 points in the win.
The Celtics struggled down the stretch, but like last year, are looking like a serious contender in the post-season.
We'll see if the Bruins have anything to say in Montreal tomorrow night.
Hockey fans rejoice! It doesn't get any better than this!!! The QMJHL, AHL and NHL playoffs are underway. And here in Maine & New England there is plenty to cheer about!
After defeating Moncton in round one the Lewiston MAINEiacs are one win away from dispatching the heavily favored Montreal Juniors. The MAINEiacs took a commanding 3-1 series lead last night with a 4-1 win at the Colisee. Lewiston can close out the series and advance to the Conference Semifinals with a win at Montreal on Friday night!
The Portland Pirates who were swept out of the playoffs last spring by the Manchester Monarchs are back! The Pirates won the Atlantic Division title this season and have the talent to make a long playoff run. The Pirates will host the Connecticut Whale in Game 1 of Round 1 later tonight at the Civic Center!
Last, but certainly not least perhaps the greatest rivalry in the NHL will add a new chapter later tonight when the Bruins & Canadiens renew acquaintances at the T.D. Garden. The Habs who have owned the Bruins over the years especially in the postseason took 4 of 6 from the B's during the regular season. The B's will have home ice advantage to start the series where they seem to play much better against Montreal. The Bell Centre has been a chamber of horrors for Boston so games 1 & 2 will be crucial for the Bruins. If the B's can stay out of the penalty box they should easily win this series in 5 or 6, however if Boston decides to take some dumb penalties it could be a much different story and a much different series!
Enjoy the games everyone and make sure and tune into WGME 13 for all your playoff highlights!
On Sunday of the Masters, the Red Sox got their first masterful pitching performance of 2011.
It only took 9 games.
Josh Beckett looked like the young Florida Marlin from 2003, blanking the Yankees with a beyond-impressive 8 innings. He gave up no runs, and only 2 hits, striking out 10. The Beckett of old.
And Jason Varitek was catching.
Granted, there are other things that affect the outcome of a game. But from an outsiders' perspective, it appears that the Sox pitchers are having trouble with the everyday catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I have already seen on multiple occasions trips to the mounds, mixed up signals, and pitchers holding up their arms in disgust after getting rocked. (Remember Opening Day? Jon Lester gave up a long home run, NESN's replay shows Lester whipping his head around, glaring at home plate. Was he mad at the ump, or the pitch selection?)
It's enough to make you think. Pitchers in the past have said that Varitek calls the best game, hands down. The guy has caught a MLB record FOUR no-hitters!
We saw this come up with Victor Martinez last year, but Sox fans put up with it because V-Mart could hit. Salty can't hit, and the pitching staff looks the same as last year.
Lost without their captain.
Before the start of the season, NESN.com ran a column where they declared that the 2011 Red Sox would be better than the 1927 Yankees, the team that many believe was the greatest team of all time.
So far, the '11 Red Sox couldn't be further from the Bombers of '27. Murderer's Row? Please.
The Sox are now 0-5. The best team in the history of baseball looks like the worst.
Spring training is over, fellas. Routine things need to start happening. Take the bottom of the 6th Wednesday night in Cleveland. First, Dennys Reyes, one of the guys brought in to shore up the bullpen, faced three batters: HBP, HBP, BB. Bases loaded, no outs.
In comes Dan Wheeler, another 'pen savior. He does force a liner to Kevin Youkilis. Youk steps on third and fires home. Double play. Problem is, Jason Varitek didn't even bother to tag the runner. Safe at home. This is Little League 101, folks.
Next batter - Asdrubal Cabrera. 3-Run home run. 5 run lead for the Indians. Sox wind up losing, 8-4.
The Red Sox look like they were not ready for the start of the season. In spring training, the Sox lost ten straight games. It was shrugged off as part of the Grapefruit League warm-ups.
Now I'm not so sure.
Wow no one expected this! After three games the high powered Red Sox not only look mortal, but look TERRIBLE! The Rangers had no problems sweeping the Sox right out of Texas and right into Cleveland...With the exception of Adrian Gonzalez & David Ortiz the Sox offense has looked anemic! Forget about the starting pitching! The top three of Jon Lester, John Lackey and Clay Buchholz are suffering from neck pain after surrendering 11 homeruns in three games! For what it's worth I think the team is not ready leaving Spring training! We have covered many Spring training games in the past and many of the starting players are usually golfing by 10:00 am. Also, many of the starters don't have to take the long bus trips to Dunedin or Port Charlotte so instead of bonding they're either fishing or golfing by noon! G.M. Theo Epstein has given his manager all the tools to win and yet the Sox through three games look like a team that should still be in Fort Myers. I could be wrong, but Terry Francona needs to get his teams better prepared out of the gate. The team is off to its worst start in 15 years, yet their payroll is off the charts! Maybe three games in Cleveland will be just what the doctor ordered?
Well, that didn't last long.
Less than six minutes into Shaquille O'Neal's long-awaited return to the Celtics, and the Big Shamrock was looking more like a big sham.
After missing more than two months, Shaq pulled up lame. It's being called a strained right calf. The Celtics doctors say it's not too severe. That means Shaq could be out a couple weeks...maybe more.
The playoffs start in a couple weeks. Six games to be exact.
Don't get me wrong. I was a big supporter of the Shaq signing, and I still am. The Celtics signed a formidable big man for next to nothing by the NBA's standards.
But there was a big asterisk with Shaq. "When healthy," Shaq is a force. "When healthy," Shaq can help this team. "When healthy," Shaq can come off the bench and help Boston win another championship.
They never expected Shaq to fill Kendrick Perkins' shoes as far as minutes go. But when they traded Perk away, the idea was to give Shaq some of his minutes.
I'm guessing they were hoping for more than six minutes every two months. Let's hops it's more than that in the playoffs.
No, I'm not talking about football.
How about college basketball?
The national title game is set for Monday night: Connecticut and Butler will meet for college hoops' biggest prize.
VCU's magical run came to an end. You could see their hearts break as Matt Howard put back his offensive rebound with a minute to go. That put the game out of reach.
What a story. The Bulldogs, the 8 seed, are in the national title game. They were in the finals last year, too. (A half-court shot that ALMOST went in, Butler lost to Duke in the title game.)
How about UConn? Kemba Walker may not have won the AP Player of the Year, that went to BYU's Jimmer Fredette. But Kemba made his case Saturday night, with a very impressive performance in the Final Four: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists. The key play: Walker blocked a shot, then took it coast to coast to give the Huskies a four point lead. UConn held on to beat Kentucky by one.
This has been a very unpredictable tournament, and the finals should be no different.
I have been following the Red Sox for the past 36 years...I can't for the life of me recall a season with so much hype and promise. The Red Sox went to the ATM machine this past off season and spent nearly 300 million dollars on perennial All-Stars Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford! With a revamped bullpen, terrific starting pitching and an every day line up that could be the best in franchise history the Sox have been picked by many to win the World Series! But today in the teams long awaited opener the Red Sox looked like it was still spring training! Despite getting 3 rbi from Adrian Gonzalez and a solo blast from David Ortiz the Sox offense could do very little...As for the pitching...OUCH! Starter Jon Lester gave up 3 homeruns for the first time in his career and and ZERO strikeouts! With the game tied at 5 in the 8th hard throwing Daniel Bard came on to throw a bunch of off speed pitches...His line 4 runs on 4 hits in two-thirds of an inning! The end result a 9-5 loss deep in the heart of Texas! There's still another 161 games to go, however for Red Sox nation it would have been nice to win the opener...I guess we now have to "Wait til next year"!
If I were a power conference team in the NCAA tourney, the last team I would want to face is an at-large from the Colonial Athletic Association.
Virginia Commonwealth University had to win a play-in game to get the #11 seed. The Rams then beat Georgetown. Then they made the Sweet 16.
Now, they've knocked off #1 Kansas, and VCU is in the Final Four.
How many of you had VCU vs. #8 Butler in the national semifinal?
The Rams dominated a team that many believed was far and away the best in the country. 41 points in the first half, VCU beat Kansas, 71-61. An absolute stunner.
But George Mason was better.
Five years ago, a #11 seed out of the CAA, George Mason also shocked the world, beating #1 UConn to reach an improbable Final Four.
Let's break down the runs:
VCU beat #6 Georgetown, a team that was on upset alert.
VCU then beat #3 Purdue, a solid win
VCU then beat #10 Florida State in overtime, they didn't have to face #2 Notre Dame.
And they stunned #1 Kansas.
George Mason in '06:
beat #6 Michigan State, many penned the Spartans as a Final Four team.
beat #3 North Carolina - another contender.
beat #7 Wichita State.
beat #1 Connecticut.
Both runs are unbelievable, but I think George Mason had way tougher opponents. The fact that they beat three perennial Final Four teams in four games is beyond impressive.
Of course, George Mason lost to Florida in the Final Four. VCU has a chance to beat Butler and make their run the better run. By the way, the lowest seed to ever win the national title is Villanova as the #8 seed in 1985.
When Matt Cooke brutally injured Marc Savard, the Bruins had plenty of retribution for the Penguins thug the next time the two teams took the ice.
I, along with everyone else, thought that the Canadiens were going to do the same to Zdeno Chara. The Bruins defenseman obliterated Max Pachieretti in an unfortunately timed and placed hit 16 days ago.
The Habs talked about "retribution." There had to be retaliation for their star? The guy broke his BACK.
The teams met tonight. Nothing. No runs at Chara. There was one fight, but that was it. Pretty typical hockey game.
The Bruins, meanwhile, obliterated Montreal, 7-0. The Canadiens should be ashamed of themselves. Talk about not living up to the hype.
What a win for the Celtics.
Dead in the water at halftime, Boston was bloodied, but not fazed. The C's came all the way back for a huge 96-86 win over 'Melo and the Knicks.
Ray Allen was elbowed in the face in the 3rd Quarter. Blood flowed everywhere. But like Willis Reed did 41 years ago, Allen came back out of the locker room, to help the Celtics on an 11-0 run to take the lead.
Paul Pierce was lights out in the 4th. Kevin Garnett had his best game of the season, pouring in 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The biggest play of the game - K.G. forced a steal, then dove to halfcourt, forcing a jump ball with Amare Stoudemire. The Celtics won the tip, and then Garnett drained a jumper as the shot clock expired.
This was a gut-check win for the C's, who show no signs of letting up. A great way to finish the road trip.
Well I did it! I went to wgme.com tonight clicked on the Bracket Busters banner and made my picks!!! After very careful consideration I chose the .......................Connecticut Huskies to win the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. I have U. Conn edging Kansas in the finals 68-66! I hope you will join our growing Bracket Busters Challenge today. Just head on over to wgme.com and click on the Bracket Busters banner to get started. If you can correctly pick all the winners, you will score a cool 1-million dollars! Don't delay Game 1 is set for Thursday at noon!!!
Hello College Basketball fans! Tip off is almost here! Make sure and head on over to wgme.com before Thursday to join our Bracket Buster contest! I just posted my first round selections which are available to view on line! If you know your college hoops and can run the table you could win one million dollars. All the information is available at wgme.com
This was supposed to be the year that Maine Hockey returned to glory.
Expectations were sky high. An extremely strong returning core of players from last year's team, a team that came within a whisker of winning the Hockey East Tournament.
Instead, the Black Bears got a disappointing #5 seed, went on the road, got swept by Merrimack and are home cleaning out their lockers. No chance of the NCAA's.
What happened? Well, it didn't help that Maine had a revolving door in net. Four goalies used. Dan Sullivan was the best, but the freshman got hurt. He returned, but flamed out in the playoffs.
It's easy to blame the unexpected departure of Scott Darling last year on Maine's problems. But the fact of the matter is this senior class is graduating with ZERO NCAA Tournament appearances. At Maine, that is just not acceptable.
Since top recruiter Grant Standbrook retired, Maine has struggled. That's a fact. Head coach Tim Whitehead's job is safe for now, but I only say that because there is not a permanent athletic director in place. The university did just name a new president, so I imagine tops on the new guy's list is to find a new AD. And I gotta think the #1 priority of the new AD, whoever it is, will be to fix the hockey program.
Yes. It's that time of year again. Time for winning!
But unlike Charlie Sheen's world, there can only be one winner. And that winner could be you!
Play "Bracket Buster" on wgme.com. Sign up today, it's free! Pick the NCAA Tourney field. You could win $1,000,000!
As for the tourney, I'm surprised that Florida got a #2 seed. Other than that, no shockers here. Look out for Notre Dame.
Two state finals. Two overtime games. Two upsets.
Two schools winning their first ever ice hockey state championships.
Thornton Academy shocked Lewiston, beating the Blue Devils in a double overtime thriller. York did the same to an undefeated Brewer.
The Colisee was packed for the Class A final, and what a win for the Trojans. The same can be said for the Wildcats.
What a perfect way to wrap up the winter sports season.
Let me start by saying for the past 38 years And if you grow up a Bruins fan, then your disdain for the Montreal Canadiens usually runs pretty high this time of year. To say there is no love lost between these two origional six franchises would be a major understatement!
What happened to Canadiens Forward Max Pachioretty Tuesday night was both scary and very unfortunate. Pachioretti was hit by Bruins Defenseman Zdeno Chara near the bench where the turnbuckle sticks out. He suffered a broken vertabrae and a severe concussion. If you watch the hit over and over again Chara does nothing wroung. In fact the NHLdidn't suspend or fine Chara. There are no Bruin fans out there who would want to see Max Pachioretty get injured like that. Yet, Canadian officials want to launch a police investigation into the matter! This is a joke right? If the NHL deemed it a clean hit how can there be a criminal investgation?
The people are so mad in Montreal that Air Canada is threatening to pull out as a major sponser unless they do something about Chara's hit..That's all well and good..But Air Canada officials must have forgotten about the Matt Cooke's and Donald Brashear's of the world! Don't make it ok for one player and wrong for another.
Hey Sports fans are you ready for WGME 13's One Million Dollar Bracket Busters Contest? Tune into News 13 Friday at 6:00 for complete details on the most exciting, fun and easy to play Bracket Buster Tournament! Plus you could win a million bucks!!!
It's real simple and there are two ways you can play.
You can pick your teams round by round or you can pick the whole tournament up front. Or you can play both ways! Each gives you a chance to win $1,000,000.
As in any bracket contest, the thrill is playing against your friends. You can start up your own group and invite anyone you want! Our Bracket Buster site will keep track of your group, show you who is winning and who's losing! It will automatically keep track of your teams as they progress through the tournament. Your brackets will automatically update with winners, losers, and how you are fairing against everyone in your group.
You can also see how you stack up against resident sports experts Dave Eid and Evans Boston! They have their own section, which will also update after every game! So you can see how your are matching up against Dave & Evans!
You can print your bracket as well, or follow it electronically online.You can attach the contest to your Facebook page and follow it there as well. We are excited by the technology and the opportunity to have you follow the tournament with us this year, and we urge you to sign up and register today, so that you will be all ready to fill in your brackets on Sunday Night!
You can find the contest at http://wgme.collegebasketball.upickem.net/collegebasketball/registration/login.aspor go to our web page at www.wgme.com and click the Bracket Buster Logo on the home page.
The Boston Celtics have reportedly traded Center Kendrick Perkins and Guard Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Forward Jeff Green and Center Nenad Kristic. Ironically the Celtics drafted Green 5th overall back in 2007 only to trade him to Seattle in a deal that brought Ray Allen to Boston! More details to follow!
After a Sunday respite, the high school basketball tournaments tip off again Monday. Here's a look at the schedule:
Class A West - Girls Quarterfinals -
#6 Windham vs. #3 Gorham - 2:00 pm
#7 South Portland vs. #2 McAuley - 3:30 pm
#5 Sanford vs. #4 Cheverus - 7:00 pm
#9 Bonny Eagle vs. #1 Deering - 8:30 pm
Augusta Civic Center:
Class D West - Girls Quarterfinals -
#6 Greater Portland Christian vs. #3 Valley - 10:00 am
#7 Vinalhaven vs. #2 Rangeley - 11:30 am
Class C West - Boys Quarterfinals -
#6 Monmouth vs. #3 Old Orchard Beach - 2:30 pm
#10 Traip vs. #2 Boothbay - 4:00 pm
#5 Wiscasset vs. #4 Waynflete - 7:00 pm
#8 Livermore Falls vs. #1 Dirigo - 8:30 pm
Class D East - Boys Quarterfinals -
#6 Katahdin vs. #3 Washburn - 9:30 am
#7 Fort Fairfield vs. #2 Jonesport-Beals - 11:00 am
#5 Machias vs. #4 Schenck - 7:00 pm
#8 Deer Isle vs. #1 Central Aroostook - 8:30 pm
Class D East - Girls Quarterfinals -
#5 Fort Fairfield vs. #4 Southern Aroostook - 2:00 pm
#8 Bangor Christian vs. #1 Washburn - 3:30 pm
The High School Basketball Tournament tips off later today with a host of Quarterfinal games both in Portland and Augusta. This year the field is wide open in all 4 classes, however the York Girls will be awfully tough to beat in Class B. In Class A Boys the undefeated and 2-time defnding State Champion Cheverus Stags head into the Tourney as the team to beat, however watch out for Bonny Eagle! The State Tournament for Track, Swimming and Skiing also get started next week! Good luck to all the teams and athletes and make sure and tune into WGME 13 for Maine Madness as our local coverage kicks off tonight at 6:00 pm!
On paper the Celtics definitely have the team to beat this season! Unfortunately paper doesn't win NBA Championships. The Celtics who are one of the NBA's oldest teams have once again been bitten hard by the injury bug. We haven't seen Shaq for a while who is out with an assortment of injuries including a rib problem that you can only hope doesn't linger. All-Star captain Paul Pierce has been banged up for a while now and reserve guard Delonte West re-injured his broken wrist. The Celtics have been forced to play center Kendrick Perkins a ton of minutes even though Perk is coming off major knee surgery. Fortunately All-Stars Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen have all remain relatively healthy. As of today the Celts have hit the All-Star break with a 40 & 14 record which is tops in the East. But with younger faster teams like Miami, Orlando and Chicago nipping at the Celts high tops one can only hope the Celts have enough gas in the tank come playoff time!
Late Tuesday night the Boston Bruins acquired veteran Center Chris Kelly from the Ottawa Senators for Boston's second round draft pick later this June. By all accounts Kelly should help the B's down the stretch. But once again the Bruins seem hesitant to pull the trigger on a big trade that could put this talented team over the top. Granted the B's don't have a ton of salary cap room, however with Marc Savard's out until next season the B's do have a little wiggle room. The Bruins need another top flight blue liner who can move the puck out of the zone. Thomas Kaberle of the Toronto Maple Leafs is available and would waive his no-trade clause in order to come to Boston. The B's could also use another forward for the powerplay which continues to struggle. The window is slowly closing for Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas and Mark Recchi! The B's need to send a message to their fans and the league that things are gonna be different this spring!
I have always been a huge Mario Lemieux fan. If Lemieux didn't have the back problems and cancer he might have toppled Wayne Gretzky's NHL scoring record! Lemieux saved hockey in Pittsburgh! That's a well known fact. Not only for what Super Mario did on the ice as a player, but now as an owner. Lemieux has built the Penguins into a Stanley Cup contender lead by Sydney Crosby. Last Friday night the Penguins and New York Islanders combined for 346 penalty minutes and had 15 fighting majors in a very ugly game. The Islanders wanted redemption against Pittsburgh's back up goalie Brent Johnson who injured Islanders starting goalie Rick DiPietro in a fight the week before. What bothers me about Mario is that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. At last check Lemieux is still paying his top thug Matt Cooke! In case you forgot Cooke is the guy who pretty much ended Marc Savard's season last year and this year too! The Islanders may have gone a bit to far, however Cooke has been getting away with these types of hits for many years now! It's time Mario look at his own locker room before judging another!
If the Miami Heat can't beat the Celtics when half the team is hurt and Paul Pierce is sick, then they'll never beat them.
It wasn't pretty (Big Baby's bricked layup!), but the Celts won by three, now 3-0 against Miami. LeBron James scored 22, but again failed to convert from the charity stripe.
We've seen King James turn into a frog at the free throw line in the past. He chokes it almost every time. And it happened Sunday, with the Heat down 2, James was fouled by Pierce. He bricked the first free throw, essentially ending the game. (Mike Miller taking the 3 to tie it at the end? Gross.)
Rajon Rondo had a very quiet triple-double (11 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists), and the C's needed it. Pierce had a dismal night, shooting 0 for 10 from the floor!
The bottom line: 85-82. Celtics win again.
The hockey team finally got a win. The basketball team didn't.
What happened to the Maine men? Two weeks ago, the Black Bears were in first place, just one loss in America East.
Now, Maine has lost four in a row, dropping to 3rd. The latest, a 71-69 overtime loss at Stony Brook.
The loss isn't as bad as others, say, to UMBC at home?!?! But it hurts. The Black Bears had a huge lead in the first half.
Suddenly the team is wildly inconsistent. This looked like the year that Maine would make its first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. It's not over, but it sure feels like it. I was excited. Men's basketball has never been a big deal in Orono.
If they keep playing this way, they still won't be.
Boston Bruins Center Marc Savard announced on Monday that his season is over because of post concussion syndrome. Savard suffered his second concussion in less than a year on January 22nd after getting hit by Colorado Defenseman Matt Hunwick. Many people feel Savard was never fully recovered from his first concussion he suffered last March after Pittsburgh Penguins Forward Matt Cooke delivered a cheap shot that knocked him out of action for over a month. In retrospect Savy should have stayed out and rested. Instead he came back for the playoffs, but was never the same player. Concussions have halted so many brilliant careers. Eric Lindros and Pat LaFontaine quickly come to mind. We can only hope Marc starts feeling normal again...And that the headaches, dizziness and memory loss subside. Savard is not only a top flight Center, but a very classy guy. Something tells me we'll see #91 back in there next season...If not he has already given Bruin fans plenty to cheer about!
Super Bowl XLV was higher-scoring than I thought, but the outcome was what I expected.
It wasn't the best Super Bowl (last year's was MUCH better), but entertaining nonetheless.
The Green Bay Packers, the better team, took down Pittsburgh, 31-25. But don't let the score fool you. The Steelers never had a lead. They cut it to 4, then cut it to 3, but MVP Aaron Rodgers was in full command (when his receivers weren't dropping his perfect passes!).
The turning point - a turnover. Down 21-17, Rashard Mendenhall coughed up the ball on the first play of the 4th quarter. Rodgers promptly scored, Steelers went from driving with momentum to down 11 and running out of time.
Ben Roethlisberger added 2 interceptions. Green Bay had no turnovers.
Like they say, the team that wins the turnover battle wins the game.
He had a wide open net, and he was on the left face-off dot. Point blank.
He missed it.
Gustav Nyquist, a Hobey Baker finalist a year ago, blew a wide open goal with :45 to go against hated UNH. The game was tied, 4-4, and Maine should have won it right there.
Instead, the Wildcats went the other way, Paul Thompson scored an impossible goal with :15 to go. Agony in about 30 seconds.
Maine lost, 5-4. They should have won, 5-4.
This is a tough one for Black Bear fans. Maine has just one point in the last four games. The Bears were swept by UNH this season, and are in 5th place in Hockey East (5 points back of 4th place).
Neither Black Bear goalie is playing well. Sure, the Black Bears should have won Saturday, but Maine gave up 11 goals in two games in Durham.
Time is running out for the Black Bears.
The big game is here. Steelers vs. Packers. Should be a great matchup. So who will win?
Let's break it down position by position.
This is the the most talked about matchup of the game, and rightfully so. Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers are both superb QB's. Big Ben is the toughest signal-caller in the league, he's played with broken noses, broken ankles, and still wins. He's 2 for 2 in Super Bowls. (Some would argue that the Steelers beat Seattle in Super Bowl XL despite Roethlisberger's extremely poor play in the game - 9 for 21, 123 yards, 2 INT!
But as good as Big Ben is, Rodgers is even better. With so many injuries, and lack of a running game, A-Rod has led the Pack to the promised land. He threw for 3,922 yards, 28 TD and 11 INT. The game will be won or lost on Rodgers shoulders (and arm).
Talk about injuries, Green Bay star tailback Ryan Grant was hurt in the Packers' season opener! It has been running back by committee ever since, and they have survived. James Starks and Brandon Jackson have done a serviceable job, and Patriots fans know all about local hero John Kuhn. Watch out for him out of the fullback position!
The Steelers have one of the premier runners in Rashard Mendenhall. He is a very tough runner, that hasn't done much in the playoffs, but that was against Baltimore and New York. He rushed for 1,273 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2010.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS:
The Steelers have perhaps the best deep threat in the game right now in Mike Wallace. His blazing speed can get by anyone. Hines Ward is a former Super Bowl MVP who, despite his age, seems to always get open. Also a great pass-blocker. Heath Miller is better than any tight end on the Packers' roster, both receiving and blocking.
The Packers' star Donald Driver has a leg injury, but is expected to play. James Jones is okay, but has a lot of drops.
If Pittsburgh didn't have a big, tough, mobile QB like Roethlisberger, there would have been a lot more sacks allowed. The O-Line leaves a little to be desired. If center Maurkice Pouncey is able to play (he sprained his ankle against the Jets), that is a huge upgrade over Doug Legursky. Guard Chris Kemoeatu is the Steelers' best lineman.
The Packers' line is one of the best in the league, and they'll have to be to stop the Steelers formidable defense. Chad Clifton and Josh Sitton are studs.
Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji is almost a carbon copy of Vince Wilfork. He has been playing out of his mind. DE's Ryan Pickett and Cullen Jenkins sandwich Raji making a superior D-Line.
The Steelers' D-Line is also solid. Casey Hampton is a force in the middle, and Brett Keisel had a Pro-Bowl season at end. They're good, but the Packers are better.
We've all heard about James Harrison and his exorbitant fines. He is a punishing hitter from the outside position. Throw him in there with the ageless James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons, and that's a tough linebacker crew.
The Packers' linebacker Clay Matthews should have won the defensive player of the year award. (Troy Polamalu did instead). A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop have been great on the inside.
I can't give an advantage to either team here.
With apologies to CB Charles Woodson, who has been shutting down receivers since 1911, Polomalu is the best safety in the NFL, and gives the Steelers the edge. His play alone could shift the outcome of the game. Enough said.
The game can be won or lost here. I'll go with the better kicker, Mason Crosby. At least he helped my fantasy team!
Packers 27, Steelers 17. If Green Bay can get even a little running game going, Rodgers is going to be too tough to stop. Even if they don't, Rodgers can scramble and run himself. The Steelers will make it interesting, maybe even scoring on defense, but in the end the Packers' D will shut down Mendenhall, forcing Roethlisberger to throw. Woodson will help double-team Wallace, and the linebackers will shut down the middle of the field. Rodgers executes through a defense much like Tom Terrific, and like Brady has done three times before, the Pack will come away with the title.
Or I could be completely wrong.
I have to admit I use to be a sucker for all those all-star games. As a kid I couldn't wait to watch the mid summer classic or NFL Pro Bowl. But, over the weekend the all-star games lost some luster for me. Watching or should I say trying to watch the NHL All-Star game was painful...Unless you love offense...Once again we had a 12-11 game with no hitting and NO DEFENSE! Maybe what league officials should do is put the All-Star Forwards on Defense and vice-versa! Later Sunday night we had the NFL Pro Bowl. It was weird watching an All-Star game with no Steelers or Packers playing in it because of the impending Super Bowl. Once again the Defense was non-existent! The AFC and NFC combined for a whopping 96 points! It's the same in the NBA! I think the best all-star game amongst the big 4 is the MLB's mid summer classic. The players seem to try a little harder and the game actually means something once the World Series rolls around. Is there a solution? Short of telling the players to really try probably not. I feel bad for the fans who purchase the tickets!
Catch the Pro Bowl last night? Of course you didn't! Who watches it?
Well, you should have watched. Montell Owens, a former star at the University of Maine, scored not one, but TWO TOUCHDOWNS!
That's right, from Orono to Honolulu...and two TD's. The only position player to score multiple times last night.
Owens is a special teams star for Jacksonville. This is his second Pro Bowl. He scored a TD for the AFC on a fumble recovery in the 3rd quarter. Then, in on offense, Matt Cassel hit Owens for a short TD reception out of the backfield.
The NFC won, but who cares? Maine was represented at the Pro Bowl! When was the last time you could say that?
Well another Patriots season has come and gone and now fans will have to wait til next year! The Pats had a golden opportunity to get back to the Super Bowl, however someone forgot to tell the New York Jets! After scoring a 14 & 2 regular season record, the top seed and a week off, things looked great for the Pats...Two wins and it was on to Dallas...But the Patriots didn't have any answers for the Jets game plan. It pains me to say this, but Rex Ryan was a better coach than Bill Belichick on Sunday and dare I say Mark Sanchez played better than Tom Brady! The one positive fans can take with them this off season is that the Pats have the youngest Defense in the NFL and a ton of draft picks this coming April. Hopefully the Pats will clean house at the draft and start laying the ground work for another Super Bowl run...Hey lets face it...We've been spoiled for the past ten years...I'd still put my money on Brady and Belichick any day of the week!
It's Dave Eid from WGME 13. We will be covering Sunday's Jets/Patriots Playoff game in Foxboro and will be looking for Maine Tailgaters! If you see the News 13 mic please flag us down!!!
Enjoy the game and go Pats!
I can't wait for Sunday! The Patriots/Jets playoff game could be a record setter as far as viewers go. And with all the extra shots being tossed around it has only intensified the big match up! The Patriots can't stand the Jets and vice-versa...The big difference here is the Pats usually do their talking on the field...The Jets just love to talk and that's ok if you can back it up! Embattled Cornerback Antonio Cromartie used expletives to describe how he feels about Pats QB Tom Brady...One week earlier Jets Coach Rex Ryan took some shots at the soon to be NFL MVP. Will it work for the Jets? We won't know until Sunday, but one things for sure...Should the Pats roll again, and I think they will, the Jets post game press conference will be must see tv!
Make sure and keep it tuned to WGME 13 for the most in depth Patriots coverage all week long. Evans Boston will be in Foxboro on Tuesday to preview Sunday's showdown against the Jets. And then Dave Eid will wrap up the big game with all your post game reaction from Gillette Stadium on Sunday night! Of course the only place you can watch the game is on WGME 13 your New England Patriots station! We will also have updates and pictures from Gillette Stadium on our Facebook page as well!
Thanks to all who participated in tonight's live Patriots-Jets chat! We had an unbelievable response!!! We are planning to do a Pats/Jets post game live chat next Monday night from 7:00 to 8:00 pm! Whether your a Jets or Pats fan I hope you'll join in!
Hello to all Patriots & Jets fans...I would like to personally invite you to a special live on-line chat tonight from 7:00 to 8:00 pm....Please go to WGME.com and click on live chat. get your questions ready were gonna have some fun!!!
Thanks Dave Eid
As Nick Folk's kick sailed through the uprights, Jets fans rejoiced.
And Bill Belichick and the Patriots immediately got to work for the mother of all Divisional Playoff games.
The Pats and Jets will meet for the third time this season, this time with everything on the line. We all know the story. The Jets manhandled the Patriots in week 2. New England trounced New York by 42 points in week 13.
What will happen this time? The Jets seem to always find a way to win when the game is close. The problem for them is keeping the game close. Tom Brady will win the NFL MVP this season, and he has turned the Patriots from an offensive dud to an offensive juggernaut.
It seems like everyone thinks the Patriots will win big. I'm not so sure. I think it's going to be a very close game. I hope I'm wrong. One thing is for sure; I can't wait to see what Rex Ryan has to say. You gotta love him. He's the guy you love to hate.
By the way, Pats (and Jets) fans: log on to our website tomorrow (Monday) for a live online chat with Dave Eid about the big game!
Log on to www.wgme.com/chat to get involved in the conversation.
When Rex Ryan finally takes his team to a Super Bowl I will pay closer attention to his player analysis! Rex was asked Thursday to handicap the games two top Quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady...Ryan didn't flinch calling Manning the greatest ever! That's fine...You can easily make the argument that Peyton Manning is #1, but Ryan went on to say how no body studies like Manning & that Tom Brady "thinks he does"...He went on to say how Brady needs Bill Belichick more than Manning needs his Offensive Coordinator Tom Moore...Perhaps Ryan is still upset over the 45-3 beat down the Pats delivered last month. He should also know that Manning plays half of his games inside a nice cozy dome where there's no rain, snow or wind and the temperature is always 72! Perhaps Ryan forgot that Brady has lead his teams to 3 Super Bowl titles to Manning's one...We should also note that Brady has had a handful of Offensive Coordinators and Quarterback Coaches over the course of his career, while Tom Moore has been with Manning since day one. Don't let the facts get in the way with your argument Rex. When you actually win something then your press conferences will become relevant!
What has gotten into the New York Jets? We all got a kick out of the Jets this summer on HBO's "Hard Knox"...But since that award winning show aired, the Jets have been a P.R. nightmare! Days after a big win over the Patriots in September New York's outspoken Wide Receiver Braylon Edwards got nailed on an DUI charge. Former Quarterback Brett Favre allegedly sent provocative pictures to a former Jets reporter. There's now a lawsuit against Favre for allegedly making sexual advances to two former Jet massage therapists. Lost in the shuffle was Ines Sainz a reporter who says she was sexually harassed by several Jet players. And who will ever forget Jets strength Coach Sal Alosi tripping a Miami Dolphins player during a kickoff. Finally the frosting on New York's cake....A foot fetish video staring Mr. & Mrs Rex Ryan! It's absolutely amazing the Jets won 11 games! Now gang green will get ready for the Colts in the AFC Wild Card game. Should New York pull off a win, the Jets will head to Foxboro on January 16th with a trip to the AFC Finals on the line! Who would have thunk it! This is a football team that has redefined the word DYSFUNCTIONAL!
Las Vegas has the Patriots a 2-1 favorite to win Super Bowl 45! This should come as no surprise...The Pats finished the regular season with 8 straight wins and an NFL best 14 & 2 record! The Patriots also lead the league with 28 take-a-ways! The Pats will get to enjoy their bye week and then get ready for the AFC Divisional Finals against either the Jets, Ravens or Chiefs. The Pats will next play on Sunday January 16th at 4:30 in Foxboro. Personally I think the Patriots will beat the Ravens & Steelers to advance to Dallas and Super Bowl 45. I'm predicting the Pats will meet Michael Vick and the Eagles for all the marbles and the Pats will once again bring home the Vince Lombardi Trophy!!! But first things first and that's Wild Card weekend...So sit back relax and enjoy "the most wonderful time of year"!
Maine Hockey has a huge fan base that spreads throughout the Pine Tree State.
In order to accommodate the fans in Southern Maine, the Black Bears play an annual game in Portland, at the Civic Center. It is usually a huge draw, sometimes a sellout.
But the crowds have been smaller the past few years. Why?
The Black Bears have stopped playing regular season games here, and instead play an exhibition game against a usually inferior opponent.
I understand why Maine doesn't play, say UNH in Portland. (Could you imagine? That would be so great!) But I don't understand why the Black Bears won't play some non-conference game here.
Coach Tim Whitehead said in the past that he loves coming to Portland, and wishes they could play more here. Why doesn't Maine host a holiday tournament in Portland, like the one they just played in in Florida? Heck, why doesn't Maine try to host an NCAA regional at the Civic Center (once it's renovated, of course)?
Again, I understand that there are a number of other reasons why this won't happen. It just seems to me that the Black Bears are missing a golden opportunity. It was an incredible draw, and it could be again.
And just like that, Charlie Weis is back into college football.
Back where he doesn't belong.
Weis returned to the NFL this season, after getting fired as head coach of Notre Dame. His job in South Bend was beyond dismal. No recruits, no wins, see ya.
Weis joined Kansas City this year as offensive coordinator, the role that he thrived in under Bill Belichick in New England. It immediately paid dividends. Matt Cassel looks like a Pro-Bowl quarterback. The Chiefs scored points in bunches this year, going from a terrible team to AFC West Champions.
Out of nowhere, rumors emerge that Weis wanted to go to the University to become the offensive coordinator there. After today's Outback Bowl, the Gators announced that he was hired.
Why? Why leave the NFL? At least he won't be a head coach.
I'm not sure what Chuck W. is trying to prove, because he has proven to be a great coach at the highest level, not the second highest.
I'm going way off the grid this New Year's Eve...and talking about music. A lot of great albums, both local and nationally this year. Here are my favorites from 2010:
10. Weezer - "Hurley" - MUCH better than last year's effort.
9. Gorillaz - "Plastic Beach" - Finally a new Gorillaz album! Sadly, not as good as "Demon Days."
8. Elton John & Leon Russell - "The Union" - Need I say more?
7. Ok Go - "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky" - Thoroughly enjoyed this one. And the videos.
6. Tom Petty & Heartbreakers - "Mojo" - Best effort in a long time. Totally different sound.
5. Bruce Springsteen - "The Promise" - Classic never released songs from "Darkness" sessions.
4. MGMT - "Congratulations" - Wins award for "album that takes longest to grow on you, but when it does, it's awesome."
The top 3 are all incredible albums, so I'm labeling them all such:
1c. Kanye West - "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" - Believe the hype. Great album.
1b. Black Keys - "Brothers" - This is an unbelievable album. You can listen to it for weeks.
...and the top album of 2010...
1a. Arcade Fire - "The Suburbs" - A perfect 10. They nailed it...again.
Top 5 Local Albums:
5. Hutch Heelan - "Mercury Music"
4. Grand Hotel - "Grand Hotel"
3. Good Kids Sprouting Horns - "Give Up the Ghost"
2. Space vs. Speed - "Space vs. Speed"
1. Zach Jones - "Fading Flowers"
Happy New Year!
I don't care what Wes Welker says. He shouldn't play Sunday.
The Patriots square off against Miami in the regular season finale. New England (13-2) has nothing to play for. They have wrapped up the number one seed and home field advantage. Win or lose, nothing will change that.
Welker says he wants to play. You know Tom Brady and the rest of the starters do, too. They shouldn't. Why risk the injury?
I don't need to remind you what happened in last season's finale. The Patriots had sewn up a playoff spot, but still the starters played in Houston. In a freak play, Welker shredded his knee. As he went down, so too did the Patriots' playoff hopes.
It's not worth it. Let them play in the first half, like a pre-season game. But that's it.
For Celtics fans, it can't get any worse than this.
In what could have been a re-enactment of Feb. 19, 2009, Kevin Garnett planted both feet for a dunk, went up, and came down hopping only on his left foot.
He hurt his right knee again.
The Celtics are saying that it's not a knee injury, rather a "lower leg" injury in the muscle. Let's not forget: the Celtics misdiagnosed Garnett's knee injury last time. They said it was nothing. KG tried to come back; he couldn't. The Big Ticket was a no show for the '09 playoffs.
It's too early to tell how serious it is, and coach Doc Rivers is hopeful. But the look on Garnett's face while he sat in pain on the bench said it all.
What a moment for Brian Dumoulin.
The Biddeford native is playing for Team USA in the World Junior Championships. And Tuesday night in Buffalo, Dumoulin set up the fourth goal of the game, his first assist with the team.
Dumoulin has said that playing for Team USA is a dream come true. He is playing like an MVP. He was on the ice for three goals in the 6-1 win over Slovakia, and has a +4 rating in two games.
Brian and the Americans will next face Germany on Thursday night. All of Biddeford will be watching.
They have the best record in the AFC. They have home field advantage in the playoffs.
The New England Patriots are once again the team to beat.
It's really hard to believe how far this team has come. The early-season distractions - remember Randy Moss? How about Tom Brady's car accident? - looked like they would doom the Pats. The extremely young defense (youngest in the league) looked just that; young.
But all of a sudden, things clicked. Moss was traded away, and after the loss to the Browns, the Pats kicked it into another gear. Brady hasn't thrown an interception since October 17. He has thrown 24 touchdowns in that time. He is the league's MVP.
As for the defense, well...suffice to say like everyone else I am shocked. McCourty is playing like a veteran Pro-Bowler. Spikes and the rest of the young stars are playing unbelievably well.
This Patriots team is full of so many surprises. In many ways, they are even more enjoyable to watch than the 2007 Pats.
I have to admit I can't believe what I saw at the Meadowlands yesterday. The Jets strength coach Sal Olosi deliberately tripped Miami rookie Nolan Carroll as Carroll was running by him. The Jets have suspended him for the remainder of the season without pay. Olosi has since apologized for his actions. Yet you wonder how and why this sort of thing happens. The Jets have hit rock bottom since getting blasted by the Patriots a few weeks ago. Not only has the team lost two straight and are now 2 games behind the Pats, Lineman Damien Woody will miss the rest of the regular season with a knee injury and now we have "Thigh Gate"! The Jets will never learn. If your gonna talk the talk you must walk the walk. The Jets are a great trash talking team, but when it really counts gang green pulls a disappearing act that would wow Hoodini!
I love watching snow games. The conditions are awful, and usually teams have to resort to playing a different style, expecting a low-scoring game. Maybe a 6-3 final.
But the Patriots aren't your usual team. Their game plan didn't change at all in Chicago, despite the cold, wind and snow. Tom Brady came out firing from the get-go. Brady went 27 for 40 for 369 yards, 2 TD's and no interceptions.
Think about that. 370 yards in the snow! Imagine throwing a football that probably more resembles a rock. I can't even send a text message in weather like that, let alone move an NFL team down the field.
The Patriots (11-2) are tied with Atlanta for the best record in football. They beat the Jets by 42 Monday night, and have beaten every potential playoff team they've faced. Look at the list of good teams that Brady has beaten this year:
New York (9-4)
San Diego (7-6)
These could all be playoff teams. Brady deserves another MVP, especially after his performance in the snow.
For some whacked reason I'm a little worried about Sunday's Pats game in Chicago. QB Jay Cutler certainly doesn't scare me, but Bears RB Matt Forte does. With Patriots Linebacker Brandon Spikes suspended (substance abuse) and the weather expected to be lousy it looks like we could see a ton of Forte who is a very good and very tough runner. Back to the weather where forecasters are calling for windy conditions, frigid temperatures and snow which doesn't bode well for the Pats prolific passing attack. However, there's no QB I'd rather have in a cold weather game or any game for that matter than Tom Brady. I think the Pats will squeak this one out, but it's gonna be very close...I'm thinking 17-14 NE. Shayne Graham will boom a 45 yarder with the wind at his back for the game winner! Remember one more win and the Patriots are in the Playoffs! Enjoy the game everyone and enjoy your weekend!
In a span of five days, the Red Sox have gone from dormant to one of the teams to beat again.
Five days, and the Sox added a couple names you might have heard of: Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.
The latter came as a shock early Thursday morning; the Sox sign the free agent Crawford to a 7-year, $142 million deal. Wow.
The Red Sox are infinitely better now, and they're not done. Rumors are swirling about catcher Russell Martin. The Sox are believed to be the front-runners for Scott Downs, the best set-up man out there (which is DEFINITELY what they need!).
In a span of five days, my excitement for the Red Sox is reborn. I can't wait for 2011!
WOW!!! Here it is after midnight I was closing shop and ready to head home when the news broke...The Red Sox had agreed to a 7 year/142 million dollar deal with free agent OF Carl Crawford. In the past week the Sox have added sluggers Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to a line up that already has Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Marco Scutaro! Crawford is a rare talent who has terrific power and blazing speed! The move now puts the Red Sox as the favorite to not only win the A.L. East, but the World Series!!! What a great week to be a Red Sox fan!
The Patriots steam-rolled the Jets on Monday Night Football 45-3 and it wasn't even that close. The Pats did everything right while the Jets could do very little! Tom Brady fired 4 touchdown passes while the Pats Defense picked off Mark Sanchez 3 times. The Patriots now own the AFC's best record at 10-2. The win now has the Pats in the drivers seat. If the Pats can win 3 of their final 4 they will most likely win the division and clinch the top seed in the AFC. It was a great win for the Pats who have now won 26 straight regular season games at Gillette Stadium!
The Boston Red Sox finally got their guy today! After years of trying to lure Adrian Gonzalez away from the San Diego Padres Sox G.M. Theo Epstein landed one of baseball's top players today! In order to land Gonzo the Sox traded away three of their top prospects, Pitcher Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo, OF Reymon Fuentes plus a player to be named later. The 28 year old Gonzalez is a .300 hitter with tremendous power to all fields! He's also a 2-time gold glover!!! With Gonzo at first the Sox will now move Kevin Youkilis to his natural third base position. Gonzalez actually played one season with the Portland Sea Dogs after he was taken first overall by the Florida Marlins in the 2000 Amateur draft. The Red Sox brass is now in Orlando for day one of Baseball's Winter Meetings! The Red Sox still want to get some bullpen help and will possibly make a strong move to land free agent outfielder Carl Crawford. But this is a great day for all of Red Sox nation!!! Watch out Yankees!!!!
I have a vote for the Heisman Trophy. It is easily one of the best perks of the job. I get a say in who wins the trophy. Last year I voted for Mark Ingram, and the vote came down to a slim margin. Pretty cool.
This year, my ballot is cast. Auburn QB Cam Newton, hands down. He is, without a doubt, the best player in college football, and he also happens to be on an undefeated team competing for the national title.
Yet some voters are leaving Newton off their ballots completely. Why? Because of allegations. Off-the-field allegations that, for all we know, Newton was not aware of.
His father has been ridiculed for trying to "sell" Newton to other colleges. He may or may not have taken money. But Cam Newton didn't. At least, that's what he says. Are we to assume that he is a liar and he DID take money? I though in America people were innocent until proven guilty.
The Heisman Trophy is all about exemplary performance ON the football field. It is a shame that some Heisman voters are going to punish a player for something his father did.
Is this actually going to happen? Are the Red Sox really going to trade three prospects for Adrian Gonzalez?
It's only been talked about for literally years. Theo Epstein's crown jewel, Gonzalez is a big, slugging first baseman who's left-handed swing fits Fenway Park even better than David Ortiz's.
And now, late into the night, all that stands in the way of this trade is the Sox signing Gonzalez to a monster contract extension, locking him up for 5 or 6 more years. This is AS BIG as Dan Duquette signing a free agent named Manny Ramirez ten years ago.
Gonzalez is a stud. He hit .298 last season with 31 homers and 101 RBI. In '09, he belted 40 homers. He has (knock on wood) not been hurt, only missing 11 games in the past five seasons.
Just like that, the Red Sox have gone from the dogs of the off-season to the geniuses. Sure, the price is heavy. Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo, whom we saw in Hadlock this past season, could be big time stars. But when a chance like this comes around, you have got to gamble away the prospects for the big star.
It's a great move by the Red Sox. This is Epstein's Manny Ramirez. This is a move that will make a huge splash in the A.L. East, and make the Sox relevant again. Who knows? Maybe the Sox aren't done yet.
The reports started floating out there Friday. The Red Sox had made an offer to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. What?!? Two years, $30 million?!?
Rivera wound up re-signing with New York for the same deal. Two years, $30 million. Not bad for a 41 year old! The Sox were probably not very close to signing the closer.
Then more reports came out. IF Rivera had signed with the Sox, then Boston would have not tendered Jonathan Papelbon.
Does this make sense?
Sure, Rivera is one of, if not THE best closer of all time. He's 41, and despite throwing just one pitch, can still bring it. But would it be worth getting rid of Papelbon, who is a younger, and just as viable option?
Papelbon had an atrocious 2010 season. After a 2009 season where he sported a 1.85 ERA, it ballooned to 3.90 in '10. Eight blown saves. Not good.
But still, is it worth dumping him for an aging Rivera? And so much money? I thought the Sox followed Billy Beane's philosophy of not paying for a closer, but rather finding one in your system. That's what they did with Papelbon in 2006.
Throwing $30 million at a closer is something the Yankees do, not the Red Sox.
I must admit I wasn't a big fan of Lebron's made for TV "Decision" this past summer, yet I still watched. As a basketball player I think he's right up there with the all-time greats! It was sad to see the Akron native leave Cleveland for Miami, yet Lebron is a big boy and made his decision. However, I can totally understand why the Cleveland fans feel jilted. On Thursday night Lebron made his return to Quicken Loans Arena were it was raining boo's from start to finish! But you have to give James credit he stayed focused and poised throughout and when it was all said and done James torched his former team for 38 points as Miami blew out the Cavs 118-90.
I remember as a kid growing up my favorite teams always stayed pretty much the same with the exception of a few new players here and there. Now a days loyalty doesn't mean much. For every Tom Brady there are a hundred players like Lebron. It's too bad James didn't stick around to finish the job in Cleveland. For a city who hasn't celebrated a championship in well over 50 years, Lebron could have been a hero in his hometown...Instead whether fair or not he is public enemy #1.
Early in the 2007 season the New England Patriots were found guilty by the NFL of "stealing signals" from opposing teams. And the NFL made sure the Patriots would pay a very steep price. Head Coach Bill Belichick was find 500-thousand dollars, Team Owner Robert Kraft was fined 250-thousand dollars and the team also lost it's first round pick in the 2008 draft. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell used the Patriots as an example that this type of cheating would not be allowed or tolerated...
Well the Denver Broncos were recently found guilty of taping the San Fransisco 49'ers walk through practice in London. The Broncos and their head coach Josh McDaniels were each fined 50-thousand dollars. The Broncos DID'NT lose a draft pick. Where is the justice? Why were the Patriots fined so heavily while the Broncos received a slap on the wrist. This is just another example of how the NFL continues to play on an uneven playing field. There is so much gray area concerning the rules and fines! Defensive players are being fined up to 75-thousand dollars for what the leeague calls "illegal" hits while players can throw hay makers at mid field and get away with a 25-thousand dollar fine. There is no rhyme or reason!!! What the Patriots did was wrong, but the franchise definitely paid a price...As for the Broncos they better make sure to send Commissioner Goodell more than a Christmas card this holiday season!
Deering took down Portland on Thursday in the annual Turkey Bowl. Next Thanksgiving will be the 100th meeting between the two city schools.
My question is, why aren't there more Thanksgiving games in Maine?
Every single rival plays on Turkey Day in Massachusetts. The same could happen in Maine. The Portland-Deering game has turned into a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition for students, alums, and fans alike. Here are some of the games I would love to see on Thanksgiving:
Cony vs. Gardiner - One of the oldest rivalries in the state, the schools don't play each other any more because Cony is in Class A and Gardiner dropped to B.
Bangor vs. Brewer - Seriously, does a cross-town rivalry get much bigger?
Biddeford vs. TA - A Turkey Day edition of the Battle for the Bridge!
Jay vs. Livermore Falls - This rivalry might be dead soon, if the programs combine, which would be too bad.
Lewiston vs. Edward Little - Pride on the line in L/A.
Lawrence vs. Messalonskee - So much history here.
Waterville vs. Winslow - Two schools with a history.
Brunswick vs. Mt. Ararat - Cross-town showdown.
Orono vs. Old Town - Island grudge match, play it at UMaine!
Stearns vs. Mattanawcook - The state's northernmost teams.
York vs. Wells - Of course, as a York grad, this is the rivalry for me!
To all our Facebook Friends & all our WGME 13 viewers here's wishing you a very safe & happy Thanksgiving! Please enjoy this day with friends and loved ones and remember how lucky we all our to live in such a great country & beautiful state. To all our brave men & women serving in the armed forces, who can't be home this Thanksgiving a heart felt thank you and God Speed!
Former Red Sox Catcher Victor Martinez signed a 4 year 50 million dollar deal to play for the Detroit Tigers today. The Red Sox could have and should have signed V-Mart, who besides Minnesota's Joe Mauer is the best hitting catcher in all of Baseball. Not too mention Victor can also play first and DH. The Sox made V-Mart a 2 year offer this past summer for a reported 18 million dollars. It has also been reported that Martinez was insulted by the offer. Rather than keep Martinez and Adrian Beltre who I'm sure will be gone soon, the Red Sox gave millions to Josh Beckett and John Lackey two pitchers who are more suited for the back end of a rotation rather than the front end! The Sox now have more holes in their lineup than a block of swiss cheese! The bullpen's a mess, Jarod Saltalamacchia is your #1 catcher right now and the team will soon need a third baseman! What is going on? It's not that the Red Sox aren't spending money they are...It's how they are spending it...The Beckett and Lackey deals look like disasters and now Victor Martinez a bonafide .300 hitter who is still just 31 is gone! Theo and the Sox need to start worrying less about Nascar & Soccer teams and start re-tooling this franchise. Although the future down on the farm is bright the Red Sox will not be able to compete with the Yankees and Rays unless they get proactive and start keeping some of their own stars rather than let them just walk away!!!
It started Saturday with the high school state finals, and ended Sunday with the Patriots thrilling win over the Colts.
This was a great weekend for football.
Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium, Eastern Maine learned "how the West was won." Cheverus won Class A, Mountain Valley won Class B, Yarmouth won Class C; a Western Maine sweep for the first time since 2002.
Cheverus led Bangor 9-8 at halftime (seriously, when was the last state title game where that was the halftime score?), but exploded in the second half - Spencer Cooke's 4 TD's led the Stags to a 46-8 win and Cheverus' first Class A title since 1985.
Mountain Valley used defense to shut down the top offense in the state. Falcons pitched their 8th shutout in 12 games, beating Leavitt 20-0. Another gold ball heads to Rumford.
And congrats to Yarmouth. The school's first ever state title in football, Clippers destroy Stearns, 34-6. That must have been a long ride back to Millinocket!
Sunday, what can you say. The Patriots survived. 31-14 after three quarters, it was almost deja vu all over again. But this time, the Pats didn't go for it on 4th down; they punted. And the defense actually stopped Peyton Manning. James Sanders a huge INT at the end of the game sealed it. This one had overtime written all over it...you know Adam Vinatieri wouldn't miss!
All in all, a great weekend on the gridiron.
Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein is in Orlando, Florida attending the annual G.M. meetings. The Sox have been rumored to and land Arizona OF Justin Upton, but the price tag would be very steep. Same goes for Adrian Gonzalez. The Padres 1B would cost the Sox some of their top prospects plus at least one major league ready player and or Pitcher. I think a simple solution is to keep Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre. The two Sox free agents who are testing the waters both enjoyed their time in Boston and both proved they can perform under the bright lights of Boston. By bringing back Victor the Sox would have their catcher plus an able back up in Jarrod Saltalamacchia. By bringing back Beltre who proved to be one of the teams top hitters the Sox could keep Kevin Youkilis at first. Forget about Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford! The Sox need to take care of their own and keep these guys in Boston...Remember if it ain't broke...Don't fix it!!!
10:00 3rd: 17-3 Patriots! You gotta love live TV. I go out to do the sports for the 10 p.m. newscast on Fox, and Tom Brady is starting the first drive of the 2nd half. By the time I'm back at my desk, it's 17-3. (I'm expecting the same thing to happen during the 11) I'm told that Rob Gronkowski has a 2nd TD catch. Tom Brady has played phenomenal tonight.
8:24 3rd: 4th sack of Big Ben. Hines Ward continues to ride the bike, but he hasn't come back. If he doesn't return, his consecutive games with a reception streak will end, because his catch was overturned on the review.
Matt Light looks a lot like Zach Galifinakis with his huge beard. Seems like a genuinely nice guy in the locker room. Called for a hold pushing the Pats back.
6:41 3rd: First poor possession for the Pats. It was a 4 and out, thanks to the penalty, and they punt it right back.
4:39 3rd: Big play. Pass interference called on Brandon Merriweather inside the 10. A 38 yard penalty. Steelers in business again.
3:40 3rd: Talk about dodging a bullet...Jeff Reed misses a chip shot field goal! Boos echo through Heinz Field. Who does he think he is, Jets kicker Nick Folk? The Pats' D clamped down again inside the 10 to force the field goal attempt.
:22 3rd: 23-3 Pats! Brady to Tate, 45 yards. Brady then dives it in for the touchdown, giving the Steeler faithful an "eff you" ball spike in the end zone. Side note: Shayne Graham just missed an extra point. Seriously. Brady has 302 yards and 3 TD's. The Pats have rushed for 69 yards, which is already above the average allowed by the Pittsburgh defense.
I'm officially convinced that the Patriots were looking past Cleveland last week for this game. They were so unprepared and flat against the Browns, it seems unbelievable that this is the same team out there, both offensively and defensively.
12:11 4th: 23-10 Pats. It's not over yet - Roethlisberger leads a 7 play, 71 yard drive, ending in a touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders. Worst TD celebration ever. Please tell me that it's not going to come down to that missed extra point.
9:12 4th: Pats punt it away. This has been a brutally physical game. Steelers get the ball again.
8:32 4th: 29-10 PATS - JAMES SANDERS INT! RETURNED FOR TOUCHDOWN! Great play on deflection...Patriots resume control. "Illegal group demonstration" called on Pats (haha!). No joke.
6:41 4th: 29-18 Pats - It happened again. I go out to do the 11, and this time the Steelers score. Big Ben to Mike Wallace, 2 pointer good. 11 point game.
4:23 4th: 36-18 Pats: GRONKOWSKI AGAIN! His 3rd TD catch of the night! Brady lofts a 25 yard TD on 3rd down to seal the game. Brady now with 350 yards and 4 TD's.
2:59 4th: 36-26 Pats: Hold the phone! Big Ben another garbage time TD to Mike Wallace, two pointer good, and it's a 10 point game. Steelers have 2 timeouts and the 2:00 warning. This game's over, right? Right?
1:53 4th: 39-26 Pats: Graham kicks a wild field goal, unlike that extra point, it goes in. 13 point game. Big Ben and the Steelers are going to finish with much better offensive numbers than they should.
:26 4th: Roethlisberger sacked again. It's all over. Tom Brady was not sacked on the night. The vaunted Steelers defense forced no turnovers.
What a terrific win for the Pats. Many thought, myself included, that New England had little chance to win in Pittsburgh tonight. But Bill Belichick keeps his streak alive; the Pats haven't lost two games in a row since 2003! New England improves to 7-2 and keeps pace with the Jets (why couldn't they have lost today??? Two straight road OT wins!)
Awesome game, great job!
Evans here, and when is this game ever going to start?
Finally, 8:25 p.m. Faith Hill's theme and the super-cheesy show open. Pats vs. Steelers.
Solid start for Pats' defense. 3 and out for Big Ben.
Pats' ball - NBC runs that starting lineup thing where the players say where they went to school. Did you see Tom Brady's hair? Wow. How about Deion Branch? He looked exactly like Tracy Chapman!
9:48 left in 1st: What a way to begin the game! Tom Brady leads an 8 play, 70 yard TD drive. Brady to Gronkowski, Touchdown. 7-0 Pats.
7:00 1st: Gary Guyton nearly decapitates Big Ben. Next play, another sack. Pats D looks a little better than last week to say the least.
1:03 1st: 10-0 Pats. THE SHAYNE GRAHAM ERA HAS BEGUN! After a costly chop block penalty on Green-Ellis, the Pats settle for a field goal. Graham boots a 31-yarder. At Friday's practice, I asked Graham about kicking at Heinz Field, and he said he feels no added pressure kicking there in game 1. His kickoffs aren't getting to the end zone, though.
End 1st: James Sanders goes helmet-to-helmet on Hines Ward. Ward leaves the game. That never happens.
Love the Ochocinco ad for the new NFL Training video game. "You're the best...around!" Sweep the leg!
Play under review. Reversed. Incomplete. Just like Huey Lewis, we're going "Back in Time." :10 left in the 1st.
2ND QUARTER (FOR REAL):
13:00 2nd: Ward is questionable return with a neck injury. Big Ben sacked...again! Big Tully got him that time. Steelers punt for the 3rd straight drive.
11:10 2nd: We don't talk about it much anymore, but I still can't believe that Wes Welker is back and playing so well so soon. Brady with two straight first downs to #83. Brady has all day to throw. Brady was getting a nice rhythm, but the drive stalls. Pats first punt of the night.
8:55 2nd: Is there anything more painful than watching Roethlisberger run? He got the first down. Other than that, the Patriots have done a phenomenal job defensively, especially against the run.
7:00 2nd: ...scratch that. Mendenhall rips off a huge run. Miller was holding Guyton big time. Then Big Ben does one of those head-scratching scrambles, and hits Miller - Steelers in the red zone.
Side note: Mike Tomlin is the NFL head coach I would least like to fight. The head coach I would most like to fight? Wade Phillips. Oh, wait...
5:08 2nd: 10-3 Pats. Despite a "rookie" offsides penalty, the Pats' D comes up with a huge stop on 3rd and 3. Steelers kick a short field goal.
3:00 2nd: Is it necessary to show the "Welker getting destroyed" video from a couple years ago? To be fair, it looked like Welker heard footsteps, and dropped the ball. Pats punt.
Brady is fired up on the sidelines, screaming at everyone. Then he stopped, and parted his hair with his hands.
1:15 2nd: Pats get the ball back. Breathe a sigh of relief, Brady was hit right at the knees, but he's fine. Pats trying to get into field goal range before the half, but the Steelers' defense is stepping up.
:49 2nd: Patriots go for it on 4th and 6 on the 34 and convert it. But offensive pass interference is called on Gronkowski - Pats punt.
:08 2nd: Ridiculous screen play by Mewelde Moore. Huge gainer down to the 45. Timeout Pats.
:00 2nd: Hail Mary almost works. 10-3 Pats at HALFTIME. Great game so far!
Wow. What a game. Cheverus and Deering played their guts out, and it made for one of the greatest Class A Western Maine Finals of all time.
The final result, a 35-34 Stags victory; but that doesn't come close to telling the story.
It was one of those games that I wish I had 5:00 for those highlights alone. The game had it all - Deering had six turnovers (six!), but still mounted a furious comeback. It was 29-6 Stags at one point in the 2nd quarter, but late in the 4th, the Rams pulled ahead 34-29.
Cheverus answered, taking the one point lead. Deering wasn't done. Jamie Ross, who played out of his mind, got the ball down to the 20. His 36 yard field goal try went just left, and I mean just left.
Ross had 60 pass attempts. When is the last time you saw a high school game like that? Cheverus QB Peter Gwilym was just as nasty, including on defense. His 109 yard INT return for a touchdown was a momentum changer early on.
Deering had chances to topple the undefeated Stags, but in the end it was not to be.
Hats off to both teams for one of the greatest games I've seen, on about the biggest stage you can get in this state.
Hello WGME 13 Sports fans! Are you ready for Sunday night's Patriots/Steelers showdown from Pittsburgh? I sure hope the Pats are! Both teams are 6 & 2 so this game could decide home field advantage for the upcoming AFC playoffs! Please join me this Monday night from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm for a live post game chat. We can talk about the big game and all the key plays!
Here's what we know after 9 games of the NBA season...If the Celtics stay healthy they have a very good chance of playing Basketball deep into June...We also learned that the Miami Heat with their new "Big 3" of Lebron James, Chris Bosh & Dwayne Wade are good, but very beatable! As for the Celts, they have a ton of depth on their bench and a great mix of younger and older players. Kevin Garnett and Marquis Daniels are both healthy and so far that has made a huge difference. Other than the Celts and Heat the team I would worry about in the East is Orlando. After all the Magic do have guy in the middle better know s Super Man! Go Celts!!!
The Bruins will visit Pittsburgh later tonight and get to skate on the Penguins brand new rink "The Consol/Energy Center. Although the B's have gotten off to a terrific start tonight the Bruin players will have much more on their minds besides scoring goals! Eight months ago Penguins goon Matt Cooke nearly ended the career of Bruins Center Marc Savard. Cook's blatant cheap resulted in Savvy suffering a severe concussion. Marc missed the rest of the regular season but did return for the playoffs. This year Savard has yet to play. He is still suffering from post concussion syndrome and to be quite honest it maybe a while before he puts on a Bruins sweater! That brings us to tonight's game. Will the Bruins take another run at Cooke? Last spring Shawn Thornton settled the score with a first period knock out! But the Bruins are still upset that one of their top players is sitting home while Cooke continues to do his thing. Something tells me Matt maybe Cooked after tonight!
So the Patriots got embarrassed by the Cleveland Browns Sunday. That's right, the Browns.
While everyone is quick to point the finger at some "rookie" mistakes (Gronkowski!), Bill Belichick should be pointing the finger at himself. Browns coach Eric Mangini out-foxed the fox.
The apprentice defeated the master.
Lest we forget the bad blood. Mangini going to the Jets, blowing the whistle on his old friend, opening up a can of "Spygate" on Belichick. Today, all anyone was talking about was the Browns.
Mangini used a power running game against the Pats' weak defense. He said, "go ahead, stop the run." The Patriots could not. Peyton Hillis went off for a career high 184 yards rushing and 2 TD's.
But the key play was the one that put the Browns up 10. It was a "Wildcat" formation trick play. A crafty hand-off to Chansi Stuckey, who then reversed field and ran 11 yards to paydirt.
The Browns defense also did a nice job keeping Tom Brady and co. at bay. With no real deep threat, Mangini took away Brady's receivers, leaving him only with short passes to tight ends. That can only work for so long without a running game.
The Browns gave Mangini, the former Patriots assistant and former friend of Belichick, a Gatorade shower after the game. He was all smiles, and he should have been. Mangini deserved to win, and Belichick will be the first to tell you he didn't.
The region finals are set for next weekend!
CLASS A WEST:
#3 Deering at #1 Cheverus
CLASS A EAST:
#4 Lewiston at #2 Bangor
CLASS B WEST:
#2 Wells at #1 Mt. Valley
CLASS B EAST:
#3 Gardiner at #1 Leavitt
CLASS C WEST:
#2 Lisbon at #1 Yarmouth
CLASS C EAST:
#2 John Bapst at #1 Stearns
It's the most wonderful time of year! Of course I'm talking about the MLB's Hot Stove League. For Red Sox Nation all eyes will be glued on potential free agents, trades and other moves that can help the ballclub. Despite not making the playoffs this past fall the Sox had a very respectable season considering all the injuries this team had to deal with. So how can the Red Sox narrow the gap between themselves and the Yankees & Rays? Health will play a big role...With Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedoia and Kevin Youkilis back and healthy next season your talking about getting your number 1, 2 and 3 hitters back in the line up. As far as free agents go I say stay away from OF Jason Werth...He hits well in Philadelphia, but many of his homeruns were solo blasts...I would love the Sox to get Carl Crawford!!! Can you imagine an OF of Crawford, Ellsbury and Drew/Kalish? WOW!!! They may break the MLB record for steals in a season. Also, I hope the Sox hang on to Victor Martinez. Were talking about a relatively young Catcher/1B who can hit in any park at any time! The Yankees have their eyes on Victor and you know what that means!!! If the Sox can re-sign Victor and swing a deal for Crawford they should be in great shape! The next move will be addressing 1B & 3B. It looks like Adrian Beltre is a goner...Yuke could then slide over to third, but the Sox would need to try and make a move for say former Sea Dogs 1B Adrain Gonzalez who is signed through this season with San Diego. The last thing Theo needs to do is beef up the bullpen!!!! Even with all the key injuries this past summer if the bullpen didn't blow so many leads the team may have snuck in the playoffs this fall! Oh well enjoy your weekend! It should be a very interesting winter!!!
I must admit there was a sick side of me that really wanted Randy Moss back in a Patriots uniform, but in the end the Pats never put a waiver claim in and the Tennessee Titans did! Moss is an exceptional talent that for one reason or another just can't keep quiet. You have to take the good with the bad...But honestly, I know I'm flip flopping here, I think the Patriots will have better team chemistry without Randy! When you think back to those old Patriot teams they didn't really have many superstars just technically sound football players who drank the Belichick koolaid and wanted desperately to win! The Pats have done fine without Moss and I'm sure will continue to do so. Brandon Tate has already shown flashes that he can be that explosive deep threat. So good luck in Tennessee Randy you will always be remembered as one of the great Patriot receivers of all-time! And if it weren't for Eli Manning's great escape and David Tyree's Mother Teresa like catch the Pats would have gotten you that ring that has eluded you!
It may be one of the biggest upsets in Maine high school football history! #8 Brunswick went into Fairfield and beat #1 seed and undefeated Lawrence, 14-13. The Bulldogs had a 13-0 lead, but the Dragons came all the way back to win the game. Wow!
Brunswick moves on and will travel to Lewiston in the semifinals. A lot of predictions about upsets were made, and none of them came through...but the Dragons did. What an upset!
Meanwhile, a cluster in Class B West. Three teams - Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth and Greely - finished tied. There are only two playoff spots available. A series of coin flips will determine which two teams move on to face Mountain Valley and Wells, and which one team will go home. What a joke! Why do only four teams make the playoffs in B West? Class B East has 10 teams, and 8 of them make the post-season.
All in all, a terrific opening night of playoff football. We'll see if there will be any more upsets at Cheverus and Biddeford tomorrow afternoon!
It was billed as one of the greatest pitching matchups in World Series history. Cliff Lee, the Rangers' "6 million dollar man" (bigger, faster, stronger), versus Tim Lincecum, the Giants' "Small Wonder" (a weaker 80's robot reference).
Both entered the 2010 Fall Classic virtually un-hittable. Lee dominated the Rays and the Yankees, while pinstripers salivate for his impending free agency. Lincecum, meanwhile, was just as nasty, the only pitcher to beat Roy Halladay.
But as is the case so many times when a game is hyped, Game 1 didn't come close to living up to its billing. The Giants hammered Lee; Lincecum was barely better. Lee didn't make it out of the 5th inning; Lincecum didn't make it out of the 6th. The two aces combined for 10 earned runs allowed.
So much for a 2-1 thriller.
It's funny how momentum works in playoff series. All of a sudden, the Giants are the team to beat, and the Rangers are reeling. As for pitching matchups, C.J. Wilson vs. Matt Cain could be the duel everyone expected in Game 1.
If it weren't for Juan Uribe's 3-run homer, we'd be looking at a one run game. And let's not forget that Games 3, 4, and 5 are in the Lone Star State. It'll be interesting to see which way the pendulum swings if Texas bounces back tonight.
Will he or won't he play on Sunday afternoon? That's the 64-thousand dollar question! Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre supposedly has two broken bones in his ankle and is in a walking boot. Favre says he's gonna try and go! Favre currently owns the NFL record for consecutive games played which stands at 315 including playoffs. Whether or not your a Brett Favre fan you have to admire his toughness as a player, although it looks like his time maybe up. Favre doesn't look like half the Quarterback he was last year at this time. Perhaps father time has caught up to this future Hall of Famer!
The NBA season tips off later tonight at the Boston Garden and all eyes will be on the new look Miami Heat. With Miami's new additions (Lebron James & Chris Bosh) joining Dwayne Wade the Heat are the favorites to win it all! But the Celtics could give Miami a run! The C's maybe a little long in the tooth, however with a healthy Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, plus the addition of Shaq the C's should be a high seed come playoff time. The one thing that can ruin the Celtics chances are injuries. If the C's can stay healthy they should be able to compete with Miami and Orlando. Go Celts!!! Banner 18 is just a few jump shots away!
Here are the high school football quarterfinal match-ups set for next week:
CLASS A WEST:
#8 Windham (4-4) at #1 Cheverus (8-0)
#5 Scarborough (7-1) at #4 Biddeford (7-1)
#6 Thornton (6-2) at #3 Deering (6-2)
#7 South Portland (5-3) at #2 Bonny Eagle (7-1)
CLASS A EAST:
#8 Brunswick (5-3) at #1 Lawrence (8-0)
#5 Messalonskee (5-3) at #4 Lewiston (6-2)
#6 Cony (4-4) at #3 Mt. Blue (6-2)
#7 Edward Little (5-3) at #2 Bangor (7-1)
CLASS B WEST:
Only 4 teams make the playoffs, no quarterfinals.
CLASS B EAST:
#8 Morse (2-6) at #1 Leavitt (8-0)
#5 Belfast (4-4) at #4 Camden Hills (4-4)
#6 Mt. Desert Island (4-4) at #3 Gardiner (6-2)
#7 Waterville (3-5) at #2 Hampden (7-1)
CLASS C WEST:
#8 Livermore Falls (4-4) at #1 Yarmouth (8-0)
#5 Oak Hill (4-4) at #4 Traip (6-2)
#6 Dirigo (5-3) at #3 Winthrop (6-2)
#7 Jay (5-3) at #2 Lisbon (7-1)
CLASS C EAST:
#8 Orono (3-5) at #1 Stearns (8-0)
#5 Foxcroft (4-4) at #4 Bucksport (5-3)
#6 Calais (5-3) at #3 Maine Central (5-3)
#7 Rockland (4-4) at #2 John Bapst (6-2)
Unfortunately much of the news we see on tv these days isn't all that good. But every once in a while there comes a story that not only impacts us, but leaves a lasting memory! On Friday night Windham High Sr. Logan Jordan fulfilled a lifelong dream. Logan who suffers from a rare heart defect can't participate in sports however that all change on Friday night October 22nd. With the blessing from Logan's Doctor he kicked off for Windham midway through the 3rd quarter. You could see the emotion in Logan's eyes! It was a moment I know I will never forget having worked with Logan for so many years on our Telethon for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital! Congratulations Logan! You are a true Champion in every sense!
Although it's very early in the season the Boston Bruins have been playing some tremendous hockey. Goalie Tim Thomas is off to a 4 & 0 start with a Goals Against Average of under 1! Offensively new forward Nathan Horton has provided quite a spark scoring 4 goals in 5 games! The B's have a great balance of younger and older players. Rookies Tyler Seguin snd Jordan Caron have looked like seasoned veterans! The Bruins have made the playoffs the last couple of years however each time Boston has lost in Game 7 of the Conference Finals and Semifinals!
The Yankees are still alive.
Sure, Texas only has to win one of the next two games, and the superhuman Cliff Lee is waiting in the wings for a potential Game 7.
But I don't know about you, but I've got that uneasy feeling. The Yankees are still alive.
This series should have been a four game sweep, if it weren't for a ridiculous New York comeback in Game 1. Wednesday's Game 5 was the first game that the Yanks actually dominated. Ace C.C. Sabathia was solid enough, and the Bronx Bombers lived up to their name, clouting three home runs.
It's exactly what the Rangers didn't want. The Yankees have hope.They have certainly been there before; the Rangers have never been here before. The Rangers have home field advantage; the Yankees still found a way to win Game 1 on the road.
The Yankees are going to win Game 6 Friday night, setting up a decisive Game 7. They back-loaded their rotation so that Andy Pettitte will get the ball if that happens. It wouldn't surprise me if it does, or if New York beats Lee the second time around.
If the National Football League really wants to protect it's players from vicious hits why hasn't anyone been suspended. If a referee feels as though a player commits a helmet to helmet hit that official can toss a player from the game. It has yet to happen! Players like Brandon Meriweather are getting fined, but is that really enough of a deterrent to stop such egregious hits? The NFL can't have it both ways. If Commissioner Goodell really wants to clean up the game suspensions and not monetary fines should be implemented. Concussions are becoming a growing concern and problem. This would be one way to send a message!
Regardless of whether or not the Texas Rangers can dethrone the New York Yankees you have to consider Texas lefty Cliff Lee for Playoff MVP. In three postseason starts so far Lee is a perfect 3 & 0 with a scintillating 0.75 earned run average! On Monday night Lee mowed down the defending World Champion Yankees leading his Texas team to an 8-0 win at Yankee Stadium. The Rangers now lead the ALCS 2-1! Lee was spectacular tossing eight shutout innings with 13 K's! The Yankees are far from dead...In fact it wouldn't surprise me if New York comes back to win the series, however the run Cliff Lee is on right now is unprecedented. We are watching one of the great postseason runs by a starting pitcher in MLB history!!!
You know for years I always thought it was weird when people would argue that NFL games ran too long. Has anyone tuned into a College Football game lately? The average S.E.C. game averages close to 4 hours from start to finish. The clock seems to stop on almost every play...first downs, in-completions etc. I've seen some games near the 5 hour mark. Talk about long! For me Sports is pure entertainment. There are some games we watch that we wish would never end! My point is let the games go on! Don't rush greatness! It seems we are always in a hurry! So tomorrow when the Pats host Baltimore in a much anticipated rematch here's hoping it goes into overtime!
Move over Freddy Krueger...Step aside Michael Myers...There's a new October monster that can't be beat. The New York Yankees are NEVER dead in October. Even when the team looks down and out as long as they have a heartbeat, the Yankees will find a way to win! Case in point Friday night facing a jazzed up Rangers team in Game 1 of the ALCS, the Yanks entered the 7th inning down 5-0. One inning later New York had a 6-5 lead and never looked back. You have to admire the Yankees resilience! And this is coming from a die hard Red Sox fan. The Yanks proved that it's "never over til it's over"! This is one loss that could be the most damaging for Texas. How can the Rangers come back from such a devastating loss? We'll find out Saturday at 4:00 pm when the two teams square off in Game #2!
Can you believe what teen singer Justin Bieber did to Patriots legendary Quarterback Tom Brady? The pop sensation released a rap video Wednesday mocking Brady of his long hair. The words in the so called song which makes no sense at all basically tell Brady to leave the long hair to Bieber. Apparently Bieber cornered the market on wearing long hair. Show some respect Justin!!! Tom Brady is a 3-time Super Bowl champ who may go down as one of the greatest Quarterbacks of all time! Whatever happend to respecting your elders?
For the Texas Rangers, Tuesday night marked a huge milestone: the first playoff series win in franchise history!
The clubhouse was a familiar scene; the lockers were covered with protective plastic, the players were wearing goggles and spraying...ginger ale?
That's right, ginger ale.
There was champagne, too, but there was also a very good reason for the Canada Dry.
Texas star Josh Hamilton is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic.
He is the backbone of the Rangers' offense, leading the league with a .359 batting average. If it weren't for missed time with injuries, Hamilton could be an A.L. MVP candidate.
Hamilton's career was nearly over before it started because of drugs. He has had a painful recovery and even more painful relapses.
The Rangers wanted their star to join in their celebration. So, ginger ale it was. A class act by the Rangers. Anyone who knows someone struggling with addiction knows that it's no joking matter, and the Rangers obviously get it. Now, if only they can beat the Yankees!
For the first time in franchise history the Texas Rangers are headed to the American League Championship Series. The Rangers beating Tampa Bay in Game #5 of the ALDS Tuesday night 5-1 to win the series 3-2. The Rangers will now host the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS this Friday night. Before Tuesday night the Rangers had never won a playoff series. I can remember as a kid the Rangers always having great hitting teams with guys like Buddy Bell and Toby Harrah! The one thing the Rangers never really had (until now) was the pitching. Cliff Lee pitched a complete game 6-hitter Tuesday night holding the Rays to just 1 run while striking out 11. The irony in ll of this...The greatest Pitcher in Rangers history (Nolan Ryan) is now one of the owners!
Lets face it none of us our perfect including yours truly...But when your an NFL Quarterback and claim to be this rugged family man you are definitely held to a much higher standard. Brett Favre has been a great Quarterback over his 20 year career. My only complaint has been this made for television drama every summer revolving around whether or not Brett is coming back. Other than that I have always admired Favre for being a tough as nails Quarterback. A gunslinger straight from the old west! He is a shoe in for the NFL Hall of Fame once he decides that his playing days are over.
Recently, however Favre found himself running from an all out media blitz. While playing for the New York Jets a few years ago Favre allgedley sent some inappropriate messages and photos to a former team employee. The alleged photos of Favre's private parts were sent to a former massage therapist...The NFL is investigating the matter and Favre could face a suspension that could end consecutive games played streak which currently stands at 312. More than the pictures and the streak is Favre's family which will now unfortunately have to deal with an embarrasing non Football incident. Brett has since apologized to his Viking teammates, yet you get the feeling this is the calm before the storm.
Just stop the MLB Playoffs. Give the Philadelphia Phillies the World Series trophy and save us all the time.
I hope I'm wrong, because I want an interesting postseason, but nobody is going to beat the Phillies.
Look at Sunday night's Game 3: the Phils sent out their number 3 starter, Cole Hamels. A five-hit shutout. Series over, a 3 game sweep.
Let's not forget Roy Halladay's no-hitter in Game 1, just the second no-no in playoff history.
In between that, a furious comeback in Game 2 where the offense carried the team. The Phillies are the complete package. The lineup is stacked, and the rotation is unreal. They are the same team that won the NL Pennant last year, plus Halladay and Roy Oswalt. That's unfair.
The Phillies are on their way. Hopefully, someone will prove me wrong.
Just like that, hockey season has begun.
The Maineiacs have been playing for a few weeks, the Black Bears opened Friday night, the Pirates opened tonight, and the Bruins opened today a million miles away.
It seems too early, but then again, the weather is starting to turn pretty cold. And the prospects for all the local teams look pretty good.
Maine tied UConn tonight, thanks to a heroic effort by the Huskies' goalie (40 saves!). The Black Bears are ranked high, and rightfully so. They are going to be very good, and very fun to watch.
The Pirates didn't look like they lost anything on offense in a 6-5 win over Manchester. The defense will get there, Jhonas Enroth is back; things are looking up at the Civic Center.
And expectations are again high for the Bruins. They may have lost the opener in Prague, but it's just one game. (By the way, I think it's sad that the NHL has to fly thousands of miles away to eastern Europe to play season openers. Is the fan base in the U.S. really that bad? Maybe it is.)
The B's also locked up two mainstays, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara. Bergeron was for 3 years. Chara, another story: SEVEN YEARS, $45.5 million! That's right, Big Z is in Beantown through 2018!
All in all, the local ice should be on fire this winter.
Wow what a start to the season for the U. Maine Men's Ice Hockey team. The Black Bears absolutely clobbered U. Mass-Lowell at Alfond Arena Friday night 8-2. Maine came into the game ranked seventh in the country and second in Hockey East. the Black Bears just might be the team to beat this season. With the nations #1 power play and two outstanding young Goalies, the Bears should be a force come playoff time. Good luck to one of the real good guys in the game Maine Head Coach Tim Whitehead!
Randy Moss will officially meet his new teammates and coaches on Thursday. Moss who was traded to the Vikings early on Wednesday will be in the Vikings line up this Monday night when Minnesota travels East to battle the New York Jets. For Patriot fans it will seem weird not seeing number 81 in the line up. For the past 3-plus years Moss has been a favorite target of Pats QB Tom Brady. He has set records in New England and nearly lead the Pats to a perfect season and a 4th Super Bowl Championship. But once the Patriots made it clear that Moss wouldn't be getting an extension during the season he became a distraction. So rather than deal with an unhappy Moss, the Pats dealt him away to the team that drafted him 13 years ago. Will this move weaken the Patriots? I think initially yes! But over the course of the season and obviously next April the Patriots will be a stronger and younger team. Hey, Tom Brady has won Super Bowls with much less at Wide Receiver! Folks I'm telling you the Patriots will be fine! Keep the faith!
It's official! The Patriots have traded disgruntled wide receiver Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings for a 2011 3rd round draft pick. Moss was in the final year of a 4-year deal with New England. He was unhappy that the team failed to negotiate a long term deal prior to the Pats season opener. He will now join Brett Favre in Minnesota. ironically Moss began his career with the Vikings back in 1998. So the Pats lose their only true deep threat! What kind of impact will this have on the team going forward? The one bright spot, New England will now have multiple first, second, third & fourth round picks in next years draft!
Wow will the Pats really trade Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings? With the Patriots you can always expect the unexpected. Moss who's in the final year of a 4-year deal with the Pats is starting to become a distraction in the clubhouse. Moss has made it known that he wants a long term deal with the Pats, but he went about it the wrong way. Hasn't Randy learned from previous players that in Foxboro the inmates don't run the asylum! After the Pats opening day win over Cincinnati Moss spent 16 minutes at the podium talking about how he deserves a new long term deal and if he can't get it in New England he'll get it somewhere else. The Pats have reportedly talked with Minnesota about trading Moss back to the Vikings where he started his career 13 years ago! The sure fire Hall of Famer has just 9 catches in 4 games this season.
Despite having a sub par record in South Florida over the Bill Belichick era, the Patriots shreaded the Miami Dolphins Monday night 41-14 and it wasn't even that close. The Pats Defense which has gotten hammered all year came to play as did the offense and special teams. Pats Safety Pat Chung had an interception which he took 51 yards for a touchdown. Brandon Tate had a 103 yard kickoff return for a touchdown while Kyle Arrington blocked a field goal and took it 35 yards for a touchdown. All in all it was a phenomenal team performance for the Patriots who now share the AFC East lead with the New York Jets. Both teams are 3 & 1! This could be a season changing win for the Patriots who are very young, but have a ton of talent!!!
89-73. That's where the Red Sox finished the 2010 season. Eighty-nine wins and out of the playoffs for the first time since '06.
No blame game here, definitely a LOT of injuries, and seriously underachieving aces (Hello, Beckett and Lackey!). But Sunday's season finale may have been an even bigger finale for two of the Red Sox best players of all time:
David Ortiz and Jason Varitek.
Both players got enormous ovations when they left the game, and rightfully so. The fact that one or both of these guys will be playing elsewhere next year is hard to imagine. Knowing the Red Sox current regime, it'll probably happen.
The team can pick up an option on Ortiz and keep him around for 2011. They should. Hasn't he deserved it? Look at his number this year; they're better than you think. Big Papi had his biggest year in recent memory, batting .266 with 32 homers and 102 RBI. Pretty good, considering the slow April.
Varitek is a free agent who says he wants to start. That's not going to happen in Boston. I hope that 'Tek realizes that his days of catching 130 games are over, and the two sides reach some sort of agreement. You thought the pitching was bad this year? Wait until Varitek isn't on the team anymore. Will the Red Sox really rip the "C" off his chest? Probably.
If Ortiz and Varitek are both gone next year, then the team loses its two best clubhouse guys. Do you really want J.D. Drew as the team leader? Didn't think so.
Wow, what a beautiful day today! It couldn't have been more perfect weather to watch a football game.
Last night couldn't have been more perfect weather to play a football game.
It was raining, hard at times. Not a lot of people showed up because of the bad weather last night.
18 games were canceled throughout the state because of a little wet weather. The schools say they don't want to ruin their fields for the rest of the season. I say that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
Football is not baseball. It is meant to be played in all weather. Yes, the schools that can afford to have FieldTurf were on as scheduled last night, and had no problems.
Kennebunk has real grass, and the game was still on. South Portland has real grass, too. So does Windham. Those three schools embarrassed every other school that postponed because of the rain.
Football in the rain on a Friday night under the lights is what it's all about. I somehow doubt that other states are so quick to cancel football games because of the weather. I thought Mainers were supposed to be tough.
What a joke.
Back in 2004 before the Red Sox miracle run to the World Series Mark Rogers a young Right Handed Pitcher from Oors Island, Maine was selected fifth overall by the Milwaukee Brewers. It was a moment I'll never forget! WGME 13 was allowed access into Mark's home when the Brewers called moments after the draft began...But from 2005 to 2009 Mark spent much of his time trying to get healthy. The fastball pitcher underwent two major shoulder operations which required months and months of rehab. But Mark never gave up on his dream! After dominating in AA Mark was called up to AAA Nashville earlier this summer. His stay there was brief, however Mark was fortunate to be one of the Brewers September call ups! In his first two appearances (both in relief) he pitched 6 perfect innings! Then on Friday night September 24th Mark made his Big League debut against the Florida Marlins tossing 3 shutout and hit less innings! Then earlier tonight in just his second start Mark went 5 strong innings against Cincinnati allowing just two runs on two hits with six strikeouts! Throughout this great run Mark set a Major League record allowing no hits to the first 28 batters he faced!!! Quite an accomplishment for a young man who just a few years ago was mowing down batters right here in Maine. Should Mark have a solid Spring Training there's a great chance he'll crack the Brewers starting rotation next season. In case your wondering the Brewers play at Fenway Park next summer! Good luck Mark you have a whole State pulling for you!
Fourteen years ago the Bruins held the #1 pick the NHL draft and chose center Joe Thornton. Back in June the Brujns had the second overall pick and this time took speedy center Tyler Seguin. Seguin made the Bruins opening day roster and already looks like he belongs in the NHL. The question Bruin fans want to know is can Seguin deliver a Stanley Cup Championship much like Sydney Crosby has already done with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Seguin has blazing speed and is a magician with the puck. The one area that could hinder his growth in Boston at least early on is the physical play. Whether or not that is the case it's going to be very exciting watching this young forward blossom into a legitimate NHL superstar!
Lets face it Football fans here in New England have been spoiled over the past decade! Since 2001 the Patriots have been a perennial powerhouse winning three Super Bowl Championships along the way...But this season with a very young Defense the Pats could be in some trouble...Take a look at the Patriots schedule and you can make a case that the Pats could finish below .500. Hopefully that won't be the case! But with upcoming games against Baltimore, San Diego, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, the Jets, Chicago & Green Bay it's conceivable the Patriots could finish on the outside looking in!
As the Celtics open camp for the 2010-11 season, I got a little nostalgic. What might have happened if there weren't a draft lottery in 2007?
We've all seen Kevin Durant dominate the World Championships this summer, and he is clearly becoming one of the biggest superstars in the league. Maybe the best all-around player in the NBA.
Let's flash back. 2006-07. The Celtics suck. So bad in fact, they had the 2nd worst record in the entire NBA. Now if this were any other sport, the second worst record would mean the #2 pick in the draft. The '07 draft class was loaded. The obvious top pick would be Ohio State center Greg Oden (Hello, bust!!!) but there was a lot of talk about this kid out of Texas named Kevin Durant. Some felt that he was the best player in the draft. Indeed; they were right.
But this isn't any other league, and there is a lottery. So the draft lottery happens, and it doesn't go as planned. The Celtics drop to the #5 pick. Cut to Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers who are holding back the rage inside because they know they are being filmed. The Celtics missed out on Tim Duncan again. It happened again.
What happened next? Seattle drafted Durant at #2. The Celtics made a draft day trade with Seattle. The Sonics got Jeff Green at #5, Delonte West, and Wally Sczerbiak. The Celtics got Ray Allen and Glen Davis. Then they traded the rest of the crappy Celtics for Kevin Garnett. (Sorry, Al Jefferson).
And they won the NBA title that following season.
If there were no draft lottery, than the Celtics would have Durant, which would be great. But they would definitely not have won the NBA title in '08, and they definitely wouldn't have contended for one in '09 and '10, and this upcoming season as well.
Which would you rather have?
Well Red Sox fans at 10:05 pm on Tuesday September 28th the Red Sox season officially came to an end. With the Yankees beating Toronto 6-1 that ended the Sox slim chances at a playoff spot. So who's to blame? I'm really not sure! Sox G.M. Theo Epstein was obviously hoping for better results from his two recently signed pitchers John Lackey and Josh Beckett, but both have been major disappointments. On the flip side we saw the emergence of 17 game winner Clay Buchholz and 19 game winner Jon Lester! There was also plenty of feel good stories like the arrival of Daniel Nava, Ryan Kalish and Felix Doubront! Hopefully, next April the Sox will have their three injured stars back in the line up and ready to go. For much of the season the Sox have had to play without starters Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia & Kevin Youkilis. As Red Sox fans we can't be too disappointed...Despite all the injuries and call ups the Sox look like they'll still top the 90 win mark which is an unbelievable feat!
Hi fans it's Dave Eid from WGME 13! Lets face it since 2001 Patriot fans have been spoiled! Three Super Bowl Championships and one ALMOST perfect season! Yet there seems to be a crack in the foundation.
Ever since the Giants miracle win over the Pats in Super Bowl XLII, the Patriots have lost some of their mystique. First, Tom Brady went down with a season ending knee injury in 2008. A series of bad and I mean bad drafts have set this franchise back a few years. The Organization has misfired on so many high draft picks...Laurence Maroney, Chad Jackson and Bethel Johnson to name a few!
The coordinators who were instrumental on Bill Belichick's staff are gone! Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis are in Kansas City, Josh McDaniels is in Denver the list is endless! It just seems that the glory days are gone. Sure the Pats have a good team and they still have the worlds best Quarterback, but the Patriots are no longer the clear cut best team in the Division let alone the Conference.
I would like to see Bill Belichick get some coaching help on offense. I think Coach B. has way too much on his plate! Anyway it's officially autumn the Pats are playing football again and if things fall into place New England should still be playing meaningful games once the snow flies in January. The question remains can the Pats rekindle that ole magic and make another run at the Super Bowl? We shall see!
I'm not even going to discuss the Patriots-Bills game - anyone who is excited about Sunday's win needs to have their head re-examined. (Seriously, 30 points allowed? To Buffalo???)
What I was thinking about tonight was what a great week of high school football we had. Finally, some really great games. The highlights for me:
If looks could kill, than Tim Throckmorton would be obliterated to dust right now. At the end of WABI's broadcast of the Maine-William & Mary game, Jack Cosgrove looked like he was ready to take somebody's head off.
Who could blame him?
The Black Bears had a 14-3 lead with about 8:00 to go in the game, and despite a ridiculous amount of penalties, were playing very well against a team ranked #8 in the nation.
But Maine found a way to lose. W&M scored 14 points in :23 (seriously!), and just like that they had the lead. The Black Bears came back, but the Tribe capped it off with an 11 play, 70 yard drive for the go-ahead score. W&M 24, Maine 21.
For the Chris Treister fans, Warren Smith played well, with the exception of the pick-6, which swung the momentum. But really, with a lead, why was Maine passing the ball anyway?
What happened to the defense? 21 points in the final 8:00 of the game? There is no excuse for that, and I'm sure Coach Cos knows it. It's just another extremely disappointing loss for the Black Bear program.