Category: Commentary

Opinion: There Was No Need For Duxbury To Use anti-Semitic Play Calls

The Duxbury High School Football Team used anti-Semitic play calls during a recent game this month. (PHOTO COURTESY: Anderson Mancini on Visual Hunt / CC BY)

By Matt Noonan

There was no need for the Duxbury High School football team to use anti-Semitic language at the line of scrimmage earlier this month when the Dragons opened their spring season against Plymouth North High School.

According to the Boston Globe, the Dragons shouted words like “rabbi” and “dreidel” at the line of scrimmage – they even referenced Auschwitz, too, and because of these inappropriate actions, Duxbury Superintendent John Antonucci announced Wednesday afternoon that he had fired head coach Dave Maimaron.

Maimaron, who is a special education teacher within the Duxbury school system, has been placed on administrative leave, and according to the Patriot Ledger, “the school is hiring a law firm to conduct an investigation.”

As for Maimaron’s assistant coaches, they are currently “under review.”

Friday’s Patriot League clash between Duxbury and Hingham High School has been called off. And as of now, it remains an unknown as to when fans of the Dragons will see their team return to the gridiron.

And while this story seems to be changing on a minute-by-minute basis, I can’t help but wonder why Maimaron, as well as his student-athletes, felt this language was appropriate? Seriously, didn’t someone question the tenured coach’s motives when choosing these offensive words to alert the offense about executing another play?

Like many, I want action now – I want to know how a program that has been so successful over the past few years was never flagged or penalized for using inappropriate language. Additionally, I would like to know why it took just one football game – were there others? – to alert both the Duxbury community and general public about this high school football team’s inappropriate actions.

But as much as I want action – and yes, more answers, too! – I also want to know how the Duxbury school system, along with other districts throughout the state, will learn from this horrific incident.

I believe this is a teachable moment, not just for the football players, but for all of us. And that is something Rabbi Howard Cohen of the Congregation Shirat Hayam said earlier this week to the Boston Globe. Cohen said he would make himself available to the school and I certainly think he would be a great resource, but the same could said for Barry Finegold, a state senator that penned an open letter to the Duxbury football team with hope of helping the Green and White truly understand their actions from two weeks ago.

No matter what transpires over the next few days and weeks, I hope this this particular episode will help our coaches, athletic directors, and administrators, as well as the student-athletes understand that inappropriate actions and behaviors have consequences. And the Duxbury football team has had to learn this the hard way.

Noontime’s 2020 Rewind: Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021

Stay connected with our Noontime Sports content on YouTube!

By Matt Noonan

It’s time to say goodbye (and good riddance) to 2020 and hello to 2021 – hopefully this new year, which will arrive shortly for us on the east coast will be the start of something special, as well as the beginning of the end of Covid-19 (fingers crossed!).

2020 has been a challenging year – I never imagined that I would be going to the drawing board (and white board) almost everyday to come up with new content ideas (or plans) for the site, along with our social channels, too. But in the end, I am proud of what we were able to accomplish these last nine to ten months with most of the teams (and programs) we cover on the sidelines due to the coronavirus.

Our blog (and social channels) did grow this year, thanks to some new content we produced on adult sports leagues to amateur athletics to tech and startups. We welcomed some new and old friends to our podcast, which you can subscribe to on multiple outlets, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. And we also produced more videos than anticipated on our YouTube channel.

2021 will mark the 12th year of our blog – crazy, right? – but I am excited for this next chapter, which will feature some new and old content, along with more videos, podcasts, and social media posts.

Here’s to better days ahead for us all – I am an optimist, but also someone that loves to spread positivity, and like I said in the video above, I believe 2021 has the potential to be an amazing year for everyone!

Noontime’s ‘What If’ NFL Playoff Predictions (Week 10)

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are currently the top team in the NFC. (PHOTO COURTESY: NOLA.com/AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

By Matt Noonan

Another week of the National Football League (NFL) is set to kickoff this evening – are you ready for some football?

Whether you’re eager to watch tonight’s contest between the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans or Sunday’s bounce back win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it is time to dish out our second-straight ‘What If‘ NFL Playoff Predictions for the tenth week of the 2020 season.

Like last week, I will list the current postseason teams in order for both conference, as well as highlight the best opening round matchup (in my opinion!), along with who will win their respective conference crown and yes, the Super Bowl!

Let me know what you think – send me a tweet to @NoontimeSports or an email to MattNoonan@noontimesports.com.

Who’s in the AFC Playoffs?

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-1)
  3. Buffalo Bills (7-2)
  4. Tennessee Titans (6-2)
  5. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
  6. Las Vegas Raiders (5-3)
  7. Miami Dolphins (5-3)

Who’s in the NFC Playoffs?

  1. New Orleans Saints (6-2)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (6-2)
  3. Green Bay Packers (6-2)
  4. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1)
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3)
  6. Arizona Cardinals (5-3)
  7. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)

Most intriguing first-round matchup:

  • Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs: The Dolphins are trending in the right direction while it appears as if the Chiefs are sleepwalking their way to victory. Sure, this match-up may not occur once the postseason begins, but I would love to see this Dolphins defense against Patrick Mahomes. Most likely, the Chiefs would prevail, but no one should count out these Dolphins, which have scored some impressive wins over the past few weeks.
  • Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals: These two teams have met previously in the postseason, but who wouldn’t want to watch Kyler Murray face-off with Aaron Rodgers? Pending how the rest of the season goes, this matchup could occur, but again, who knows? Both Murray and Rodgers have been players to watch this season, so you know it would be a game every football fan would want to watch next January.

AFC Championship Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Like last week, this is my AFC Championship prediction, but maybe the Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders or Miami Dolphins replace one of these two teams listed above? I could also see the Tennessee Titans in the championship game for the second-straight season, but in the end, the Chiefs are the defending champions and will beat the Steelers by a field goal, not a touchdown. PREDICTION: Kansas City over Pittsburgh

NFC Championship Prediction: Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints: The New Orleans Saints are the best team in the NFC – sorry, Seattle Seahawks fans, but your defense needs to improve its defense immediately. Additionally, I don’t think Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will go on a deep postseason run – maybe they lose in the opening round to the Philadelphia Eagles in the opening round? – but this matchup would feature two of the best quarterbacks in the game. And in the end, the Saints offense will make a few more plays to beat the Packers and celebrate a conference championship on their home field. PREDICTION: New Orleans over Green Bay

Super Bowl Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints: This has the potential for an offensive showcase, but which defense will not break? My answer: the Saints! PREDICTION: New Orleans over Kansas City

Noontime’s ‘What If’ NFL Playoff Predictions (Week Nine)

Heading into the second half of the 2020 NFL season, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites to win the Super Bowl. (PHOTO COURTESY: CNBC.com/David Eulitt)

By Matt Noonan

The second half of the 2020 National Football League‘s (NFL) season kicks-off this evening with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Green Bay Packers.

Yet, before we turn our attention to the game, allow me to share the first of many ‘what if‘ posts from Noontime Sports that will highlight the 14 teams in the postseason at the beginning of the remaining weeks of the 2020 season, as well as what teams I (Matt ‘Noontime’ Noonan) believe will win their respective conference crowns.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into our initial ‘what if‘ post for the ninth week of the NFL season!

Who’s in the AFC Playoffs?

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-0)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-1)
  3. Buffalo Bills (6-2)
  4. Tennessee Titans (5-2)
  5. Baltimore Ravens (5-2)
  6. Indianapolis Colts (5-2)
  7. Cleveland Browns (5-3)

Who’s in the NFC Playoffs?

  1. Seattle Seahawks (6-1)
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2)
  3. Green Bay Packers (5-2)
  4. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
  5. New Orleans Saints (5-2)
  6. Arizona Cardinals (5-2)
  7. Los Angeles Rams (5-3)

Most intriguing first-round matchups:

  • Buffalo Bills vs. Indianapolis Colts: The Colts appear to be flying under the radar – yes, their schedule gets tougher, beginning this week with a must-see matchup on Sunday, November 8 against the Baltimore Ravens. Four days later, they’ll take on the Tennessee Titans, so we’ll certainly learn more about Indianapolis over the next week or so, but this team seems equipped to beat the Bills, who squeaked past the New England Patriots last weekend.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Los Angeles Rams: The match-up to watch in this game would be Jared Goff vs. the Buccaneers defense. I am not sure how Goff would do against these Bucs front seven, but I would certainly be interested in seeing how Tom Brady and the offense fared against the Rams defense, too. The Bucs offense – if healthy, of course – could pose serious problems for opposing defenses, not just the Rams, but everyone they would face in the postseason.

AFC Championship Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Chiefs and Steelers are the best teams in the AFC. And most likely, these two teams will be competing in the conference championship. But in the end, Kansas City will prevail, thanks to Patrick Mahomes. PREDICTION: Kansas City over Pittsburgh

NFC Championship Prediction: Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Similar to Kansas City and Pittsburgh, Seattle and Tampa Bay appear to be the best teams in the NFC. The Seahawks defense will need to improve over the next few weeks, especially if they want to stop Tom Brady and the Buccaneers offense. PREDICTION: Tampa Bay over Seattle

Super Bowl Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This seems like a logical matchup, especially at the halfway point, right? As much as I would love to see Tom Brady win another ring, I just have a weird feeling – maybe a hunch? – that Kansas City will prevail by at least a touchdown. PREDICTION: Kansas City over Tampa Bay

Alright, that will do it for now, but keep your eyes out for more ‘what if’ Noontime Sports content over the next few days and weeks!

BC Football Is Headed In The Right Direction

By Matt Noonan

Let me begin by saying I tuned into yesterday’s Boston CollegeClemson University football game in the third quarter – yes, I know I missed an amazing first half by the Eagles. But the fact that BC, which is led by first-year coach Jeff Hafley, was able to dictate a majority of their conference clash with the top team in the land was impressive.

First-year coach Jeff Hafley and the Boston College football program are trending in the right direction. (PHOTO COURTESY: Boston Globe/NIC ANTAYA FOR THE GLOBE)

Yesterday’s outing was a moral victory. It was a step in the right direction. And it certainly was a contest that attracted more eyeballs than anticipated, especially when it appeared as if Boston College was going to shock the college football universe with a 28-13 lead at the break.

And oh, by the way, the Tigers were playing without their star-studded quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who missed the game due to testing positive for the coronavirus last Thursday.

Unfortunately, momentum would shift to the Tigers, who clawed their way back to beat the Eagles, 34-28.

With the win, Clemson improved to 7-0 while Boston College dipped to 4-3.

The six-point setback still hurts somewhat this morning. But this feeling will pass – I believe it.

Sure, it would have been amazing to see hour hometown Boston College Eagles celebrate a win in “Death Valley” on Halloween 2020, but that day will come eventually. And so will more victories, too, along with conference titles and bowl championships.

Hafley said he was “proud of our guys” shortly after his team’s seventh contest of the 2020 season. He also told members of the media during his post-game Zoom session that these Eagles entered Saturday’s tilt with some confidence – “they came out believing in each other (and) they came out believing in their coaching staff.”

Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec believes in the Eagles, too. In fact, he told the media that he his and teammates “already knew that” they could hang with the top teams in the land. And that statement was echoed by his teammate, CJ Lewis, who claims he and his teammates “always play with a chip on our shoulder.”

“We wanted to come out and show the world that we can play with the top dogs,” said Lewis during yesterday’s postgame session.

Lewis and the Eagles did prove to the world – well, more the college football universe, to be exact – that Boston College can compete with the nation’s top teams. And hopefully, yesterday’s defeat will prove that these Eagles should not be taken lightly over the next few weeks.

Boston College is scheduled to compete four more times this fall with a big matchup looming in the near future against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. A win over Notre Dame would certainly turn some heads, as well as provide the program with some momentum heading into their final two contests.

No matter what happens over the next few weeks, yesterday’s contest against top-ranked Clemson proved Boston College is on the rise and heading in the right direction. And these coaches and student-athletes should be proud about what they’re building in Chestnut Hill.