Daily Noontime (Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Welcome to Wednesday, everyone!

As usual, hope everyone is doing well, staying safe, and having a great week thus far.

Let’s begin today’s ‘Daily Noontime’ with a tip of the cap – no pun intended, of course! – to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who captured their first World Series crown in 22 seasons last night with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Prior to the Dodgers celebrating their city’s second championship this month – the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat in the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals a few weeks earlier – Justin Turner tested positive for the coronavirus. Had the Rays beaten the Dodgers last night, then the seventh game of the Fall Classic, which was scheduled for this evening, may have been postponed to Thursday or Friday. Maybe Saturday?

And just for those keeping track at home, Mookie Betts, who helped the Boston Red Sox win the 2018 World Series, capped the best-of-seven game series by smacking a home run last night. Can someone please call Bob Lobel and ask him the following: why can’t we get players like Mookie Betts?

According to Scott Soshnick of Sportico, the final-out ball from last night’s sixth game of the World Series is worth $250.000. Anyone interested in purchasing it?

While the Dodgers will certainly receive a great deal of attention, both today and over the next few days for ending one of the craziest seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, one storyline that may not disappear for quite some time will be Kevin Cash‘s decision to yank Blake Snell off the mound in the sixth inning. Was it the right decision?

Perhaps this move will haunt the Rays for weeks and months – maybe years? – but I guess the only way the Tampa Bay fans can forgive Kevin Cash is by having the team capture the World Series next October. Maybe Tom Brady could help the Rays win some games?

One last baseball story – sorry, I know this is a very heavy-duty World Series post! – but one more tip of the cap to the home of the Texas Rangers, which I will always consider the finish line for the weirdest and strangest baseball season in my lifetime.

Alright, that will do it for today’s ‘Daily Noontime’ – remember, you can stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by searching “Noontime Sports” and follow us on Instagram at @NoontimeNation!

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Hello Tuesday – how are you?

From a quick look outside our window, Tuesday look rather gloomy and cloudy – that is in the Boston area, to be exact!

Let’s get to some news (and links), beginning with Major League Baseball (MLB) where the 30-team league “amassed an unprecedented $8.3 billion of debt from their various lender” this summer and fall. The league will also lose between $2.8-3 billion in operational losses, according to Rob Manfred, who conveyed the not-so-great news to Sportico yesterday.

A big reason for the debt was due to no fans in the stands, which is because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And if Manfred and the league does not have fans in the stands next season, which is certainly a possibility, especially in California and New York, then MLB could be face some additional challenges.

The 2020 MLB season could conclude either this evening or tomorrow in Texas – as of now, the Los Angeles Dodgers are one game away from winning their first Fall Classic since 1988. The Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-2, on Sunday in the fifth game of the World Series.

I am thinking the Dodgers will clinch the World Series this evening – just a gut feeling – but I could also see the Rays winning tonight to force a game seven tomorrow evening.

Let’s switch gears to college basketball where we learned yesterday that some early season contests and events that were initially scheduled to occur in Orlando, Florida next month, as well as in the beginning of December, will not happen. The main reason ESPN, which was scheduled to host these tournaments, pulled the plug was so everyone could stay safe and healthy.

ESPN’s public relations team released a statement on Twitter about the tournaments they were planning to host with the following message to their college basketball fans: “ESPN Events set out to create a protected environment for teams to participate in early-season events in Orlando. Based on certain challenges surrounding testing protocols, we opted to resume these tournaments during the 2021-22 season.”

Alright, that will conclude a short and to-the-point version of the ‘Daily Noontime,’ but we will be back with another blog post (or two) later today!

Daily Noontime (Monday, Oct. 26, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Happy Monday, everyone! And welcome to the final few days of October – crazy, right?

We’re eight days away from the election – have you voted? If not, there is still plenty of time. And you can visit vote.org to find out how you can vote.

Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com) is encouraging all of our fans and friends to vote because your voice matters, so please make sure to cast a vote by mail or in-person. And if you do in-person voting, please make sure to wear a mask, social distance, and bring your own pen!

Alright, let’s begin today’s ‘Daily Noontime’ for Monday, October 26, 2020 – have a great day, everyone!

By now, you probably know our beloved New England Patriots suffered a very bad loss yesterday, falling to Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers.

Yes, Jimmy G. looked good – we all enjoyed seeing our former backup quarterback compete against the unhappy Bill Belichick – but what really caught my attention from yesterday’s contest was the following:

  • Jeff Wilson Jr. had no issue running against the Patriots defense – before departing the game with an injury, he rushed for 112 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns.
  • Cam Newton and yes, Jarrett Stidham, both struggled to move the ball down the field – they also combined for four interceptions while the San Francisco defense sacked each signal-caller once.

New England will visit the Buffalo Bills next week for a VERY important divisional matchup.

Buffalo somehow outlasted the New York Jets yesterday, thanks to six field goals by rookie Tyler Bass.

Here are some other news and notes from another bizarre yet interesting day of professional football:

Alright, here is some other news and links from the world wide web:

Four D-III Football Games Have Been Played This Fall

By NoontimeSports.com

The fourth NCAA D-III football game of the 2020 season is in the books as Bluffton University captured its only contest of the fall semester yesterday by defeating Adrian College, 28-21.

Bluffton University won its only game of the fall semester on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bluffton University Athletics)

Bluffton, which won’t return to Salzman Stadium until next February, was led by Darian Greeley, who rushed for a game-high 285 yards on 41 carries and three touchdowns while Brady Hauenstein paced the Beavers defense with seven total tackles. He also registered one forced fumble.

Yesterday’s contest marked the end to a few games that have been played this month – one more D-III game remains on the calendar for next month with Coast Guard Academy visiting Merchant Marine for the Secretaries’ Cup.

Coast Guard Academy is the only New England school competing this fall – as of now, nothing has been confirmed or reported about the potential for other teams in the region, including here in Massachusetts, to play a few games next spring.

As of this morning, Bluffton and Trine University remain the only D-III squads without a single setback – the Thunder have scored wins this month over Adrian and Manchester University.

For more NCAA D-III football coverage and news, make sure to check out the latest In The D3FB Huddle show with Frank Rossi and James Baker!

San Francisco’s Kyle Juszczyk Receives Praise From Bill Belichick

Kyle Juszczyk will be a player to watch on Sunday against the New England Patriots. (PHOTO COURTESY: Twitter)

By Matt Noonan

As many New England football fans know, Bill Belichick has a soft spot for certain positions and players, both past and present, including opposing members of teams his New England Patriots meet on a weekly basis.

When asked about a certain member of the San Francisco 49ers, who will be competing against the Patriots this weekend, Belichick responded with some positive and kind words about their fullback, Kyle Juszczyk, who played locally at Harvard University before being selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round of the 2013 National Football League (NFL) Draft.

Since becoming a professional football player, the former Crimson has recorded 186 catches for 1,722 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 111 yards on 28 carries and two scores in 112 contests. His best season as a pro occurred in 2015 when he hauled in a career-best 41 receptions for 321 yards and four touchdowns. He also moved the sticks 17 times.

While Juszczyk may not receive the same attention or recognition as his other teammates do like quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo or tight end George Kittle, he is certainly someone to watch every week, according to Belichick, who considers him a “versatile player,” but also one of the best fullbacks in the league.

“When he was with the Ravens, they used him in a lot of different ways and then San Francisco signed him to a big contract for a fullback,” Belichick said when addressing the media via Zoom this morning. “(He) certainly is the highest paid player at his position by quite a bit if I remember correctly, and he continues be used in a variety of ways.”

Belichick would continue by highlighting the various personnel the 49ers use when he is in the game, including 11, 12 and 21 personnel, before adding that the 49ers “use the fullback more than any other team in the league.”

“He’s been very productive for them,” said Belichick.

Through six games this season, Juszczyk has caught six of ten targets for 75 yards while rushing for 18 yards on three carries and one score. He is averaging close to two targets per game and one catch per contest while averaging 12.0 yards per reception.

Juszczyk will be the third Harvard alum Belichick and the Patriots will face this season – New England defeated Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins in the opening week by a score of 21-11 before falling to Tyler Ott and the Seattle Seahawks in week two.