Category: Commentary

Commentary: Adam Vinatieri Is The NFL’s Best Placekicker Of All-Time

Former New England Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images/ESPN.com)

By Matt Noonan

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will always be synonymous with the New England Patriots, but the same could be said for Adam Vinatieri, who announced his retirement from the National Football League (NFL) yesterday on The Pat McAfee Show

Vinatieri, like Brady and Belichick, helped the Patriots win their first-ever Super Bowl championship against the St. Louis Rams in 2002 — he clinched the win with a last-second field goal weeks after splitting the uprights twice in a snowy postseason affair with the Oakland Raiders. He would win three more championships over the next five years, including one with the Indianapolis Colts in 2007 (the victory marked the first of two titles for quarterback Peyton Manning, who would win his second Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos in 2016). 

The Yankton, South Dakota native has garnered multiple accolades throughout his career, including a trio of First-Team All-Pro honors along with a spot on three historic rosters: New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team, NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, and NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. He is currently the league’s all-time scoring leader (2,673 points) and holds numerous kicking records, including the most consecutive field goals made (44).

So, between his accolades and records, along with his four Super Bowl rings, is it fair to say Vinatieri is the best placekicker in NFL History?

My answer: Yes, he is, but some may disagree and say that Morten Andersen (2,544 all-time points) and Gary Anderson (2,434 all-time points) deserve some consideration as the best placekicker in league history.

Neither Andersen nor Anderson has won a Super Bowl, but they both competed for nearly three decades. Vinatieri kicked extra points and field goals for 24 years.

Andersen was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2017 — he is also a member of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame and ranks second in the league in games played (382). He converted 565 of 709 field-goal attempts and was close to perfect when it came to extra points (849 out of 859 attempts). Andersen kicked for five teams but spent most of his career with the Saints.

Anderson has yet to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame but should hear his name called one of these days especially after tallying 1,343 points with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Four years after he left the Steelers, he enjoyed one of his best seasons with the Minnesota Vikings where he converted every extra point and field goal attempt in the regular season. His streak would conclude in the 1998 NFC Championship Game when he missed a 38-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter. The Atlanta Falcons capitalized on the missed field goal by scoring a game-tying touchdown on the ensuing possession. Morten Andersen would cap the comeback with a game-winning field goal in overtime.

Similar to Andersen, Anderson competed for five teams. He spent most of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1982-1994).

All three kickers enjoyed successful careers, but after a quick stroll down memory lane, I still believe Adam Vinatieri is the best placekicker of all time. Had Morten Andersen won at least one — OK, maybe two Super Bowls, then maybe you could say it is a toss-up. Perhaps he would have earned more postseason honors, as well? But based on statistics and four Super Bowl titles, along with being the all-time scoring leader (as of this afternoon), I think it is fair to say that Vinatieri will always be the NFL’s best placekicker.

Commentary: Momentum Is On The Boston Bruins’ Side

Craig Smith’s game-winning goal on Wednesday provided the Boston Bruins with a 2-1 series lead against the Washington Capitals. (PHOTO COURTESY: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Matt Noonan

It’s hard to not think about round two of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, especially after an exciting (and thrilling) 3-2 double-overtime win last night by the Boston Bruins.

Yes, they need to win two more games against the Washington Capitals before advancing further in the postseason, but Wednesday’s hard-fought victory has provided the Black and Gold with all the momentum heading into the fourth game of their opening-round series.

Game four is tomorrow evening at the TD Garden — it is a tremendous opportunity for the Bruins to position themselves for a series-clinching win on Sunday in Washington.

At times, it appeared as if the Bruins had nothing left in the tank last night — to be honest, I was worried that Nic Dowd‘s goal at 18:15 in the second period would wind up being the eventual game-winner, but somehow the Bruins found a way to even the score at 2-2 with a much-needed (and important) power-play goal by Brad Marchand in the third period before Craig Smith sealed the win in the second overtime period.

Smith’s goal will certainly provide the Bruins with a spark tomorrow evening — I wouldn’t be surprised if Friday’s outing results in a non-overtime win by the Black and Gold. Yet, the way this series has gone thus far, a one-goal victory should be expected.

Game four is an important one for both teams, but especially the Capitals — this is a must-win for the Red, White, and Blue. A loss to Boston would present a serious challenge for coach Peter Laviolette‘s squad as they would have to win games five, six, and seven to clinch the series.

Sure, Peter Laviolette has prior experience leading a team past Boston — does anyone remember 2010? — but I don’t think this Washington squad is equipped to win three-straight contests.

As expected, Boston Bruins playoff hockey has been fun, but also nerve-racking at the same time. Sometimes, I just wish most of their shots would sail into the Washington net, so we would not have to play overtime hockey. But after last night’s one-goal victory, I am thinking optimistically about tomorrow’s contest — in fact, I believe we’re going to win.

Let the countdown for Friday’s early evening affair commence — I hope the hometown fans are ready to do their part in helping the Bruins win their third-straight contest so we can possibly celebrate a series-clinching win late Sunday evening.

Noontime Celebrate 12-Years Of Blogging

By NoontimeSports.com

12-years ago, our journey — well, more the story of Noontime Sports officially began. And it has been quite a ride.

Our sports media journey officially began on a humid afternoon on May 14, 2009, with a post about Greg Paulus, who played college basketball at Duke University and football at Syracuse University as a graduate student. He did attempt to earn a roster spot with the New Orleans Saints in 2010 but sadly did not make the cut.

Since our initial post, our blog has featured a variety of posts on many topics — we would say a lot of the content centers around Boston sports, New England colleges and high schools, and sometimes, the National Football League (NFL).

In addition to blogs, we have produced a ton of videos that can be seen on our YouTube channel and have hosted a slew of podcasts — last year, we shifted our show from WordPress to Anchor, and our podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Four years ago, we produced a video about eight years of blogging — and yes, creating content — but we’re proud to celebrate 12-years with our fans and friends. It has not been an easy 14 months with so many local (and regional) sports offline (or on the sidelines until this winter or early spring) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we’re optimistic and excited to return to covering games in-person next month while generating ideas for fall sports coverage.

As we begin this exciting next chapter, we want to thank our fans, followers, and friends — your support means so much to us, and we truly appreciate you stopping by the site once, twice or a few times each week while engaging with our various posts on social media. We love producing content on a variety of sports topics and plan to do it for a very long time.

So, here is to the next step — the next chapter, to be exact! — and we look forward to having you join us on what should be an exciting post-pandemic ride filled with some exciting memories and moments.

Are The Boston Celtics Destined For A Deep Postseason Run?

Can Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics win the franchise’s 18th NBA championship this spring? (PHOTO COURTESY: (AP Photo) 
SOURCE: Marcio Jose Sanchez/ WCVB.com)

By Matt Noonan

Earlier today, I asked a few fans and friends of our site (and social channels) a simple question: are the Boston Celtics capable of a deep postseason run?

And while I don’t think so, many believe the Green and White will either be eliminated in the opening round or sent home in rounds two (or three).

Unfortunately, the Boston Celtics are not equipped for a deep postseason run. And a major reason is their depth, but also their health.

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker are good players, but they cannot carry the Celtics to 16 postseason victories.

Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, and Daniel Theis could certainly help Boston win a series – perhaps it would be in seven games, not five or six – and the same could be said for Payton Pritchard, who has started twice this season.

Oh, let’s not forget Tristan Thompson, who has been so-so since arriving in Boston ahead of the 2020-21 season. Thompson currently leads the Green and White in rebounds per game (8.2).

Like many Boston sports fans, I am eager to see the Celtics win their 18th banner in franchise history – their 17th championship seems like years ago. Additionally, the 2007-08 team was much different than these current Celtics that lacks depth, as well as some leadership and accountability when needed.

Last night, Boston had a chance to gain some much-needed momentum heading into the final stretch. But unfortunately, a late rally, along with some missed chances allowed the first-place Brooklyn Nets to escape with a 109-104 victory.

Boston should have won last night’s meeting with Brooklyn, especially after taking down the second-best team in the Western Conference: the Phoenix Suns. But instead, I and other so-called “Green-teamers” are wondering if we will have to wait another year (or two or three!) to see this team truly compete for another banner.

As of this late afternoon, the Celtics sit in sixth place with 12 games remaining. They are currently in line to meet the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, a team they have beaten twice this season in three attempts. But as we all know, this potential match-up (or meeting) could change, pending how the next few weeks go.

Boston is slated to compete against five postseason teams over the next few weeks, including the New York Knicks, who have won nine of their last 10 outings. But before Boston worries about slowing down the Orange and Blue, they must find their grove against the Charlotte Hornets, who are currently in position for the NBA‘s play-in tournament.

A win tomorrow afternoon against Charlotte is just what Boston needs – in fact, 12 wins down the stretch would be great, but that is probably unlikely. However, if this Celtics squad can find ways to win games by not squandering opportunities and playing as a team instead of five individuals, then maybe – just maybe this particular group could surprise (or shock?) some of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

It seems like ages ago when we celebrated a Boston sports championship – did one of those wins include quarterback Tom Brady? – so while I don’t believe this team is capable of a deep postseason run, I’ll remain optimistic like I always do for my hometown Celtics.

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.