Ah, it’s Wednesday – man, this week is flying by and I hope everyone is continuing to do well while staying safe and optimistic!
We’re posting a bit later due to my flu shot this morning (and walking the dog!), but let’s get to the news beginning with some uncertainty surrounding the upcoming week of the National Football League (NFL).
Here is what we know (or is happening as of late this morning on the east coast):
The upcoming Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints contest could be moved to Indianapolis, due to Hurricane Delta Path, which is scheduled to hit Louisiana on Friday.
Two new members of the Tennessee Titans have tested positive, which means the facility is closed today and the team’s upcoming contest against the Buffalo Bills is in jeopardy.
Stephon Gilmore became the third member of the New England Patriots to test positive for the coronavirus. So, what does that mean for the team’s fifth game of the season on Sunday against the Denver Broncos? Who knows!
According to our go-to football site – that would be ProFootballTalk.com – NFL coaches are not happy with how the league is handling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Maybe it is time to switch to a bubble?
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are one win away from winning the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals – LA beat the Miami Heat last night by a score of 102-96.
While we anxiously await for the fifth game to tip-off, we did learn this morning that LeBron James will now be the face of Wheaties, which many consider “the breakfast of champions.” Serena Williams was previously on the front of the cereal box.
With the win, Kansas City improves to 4-0 overall while New England dips to 2-2. Kansas City is one of six teams that remains unbeaten through the first quarter of the season – can they continue their winning ways later this week against the Las Vegas Raiders? We’ll have to wait and see!
Staying with the National Football League (NFL), the league announced yesterday in a memo that if teams continue to not adhere to the current protocols in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, then they could lose a draft choice or even be forced to forfeit a game. The pandemic certainly through a wrench into the league’s plans last week with postponing a game to moving the Kansas City-New England contest from Sunday to Monday.
And of course, here are some more news and links to share from the world wide web:
Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini has been named to the WWE board. This is super-exciting news and perhaps this means we could see the wrestling league and Barstool Sports work together down the road for future shows and new content.
Amazon will unveil some new features for its “Thursday Night Football” streaming package with upcoming games available on Prime Video and Twitch.
Finally, the Sports Business Journaldoes not want you to worry about the NFL’s ratings – everything will be OK!
For the past few weeks, I have been wrestling with a slew of new ideas for Noontime Sports – I wanted to start a weekly series that you, my fans and friends, could read once a week.
Yet, I did not know exactly what this series was going to be about until I recently finished a podcast this afternoon that inspired me to not just share stories of networking and career advice, but instead to tell my story – the Noontime Sportsstory, to be exact! – with hopes of inspiring others to pursue their passion while finding something they love to do on a daily basis.
So, with not much going on locally with college or high school sports coverage, I have decided to hit the rewind button and tell you the story of Noontime Sports – well, more this 11-year journey that has allowed me to cover so many amazing events and contests to meeting some tremendous folks, both locally and outside the New England region, that work in sports.
The story of Noontime Sports is interesting – in fact, I never thought nor imagined I would start up a small hyperlocal media site here in Massachusetts because my main focus growing up was to pursue a life-long dream of becoming a play-by-play announcer. Writing was not my strength, but talking – yes, talking – was something I knew I could do quite well. Or at least I thought, right?
As an eight-year-old, I was always fascinated by the various broadcasters I watched and listened to, especially on FOX Sports where I was easily amused by the soothing tones of Pat Summerall. I thought his job as a play-by-play announcer was something I would like to do when I was older – hey, getting paid to announce the big game to millions of people, both locally and around the country (and yes, the globe, too) sounded like an ideal job to someone that absolutely loved sports.
My love for broadcasting would grow even stronger seven years later when I became an intern with The Needham Channel in Needham, Massachusetts, especially when I met Mike Riley, who has and continues to be an amazing friend and colleague.
Riley to me as a 15-year-old high school student was a rock star. Deep down, I knew he was destined to do some amazing things. And so far, he has, especially here in Massachusetts where sports fans can hear him share his thoughts on the local teams on 98.5 The Sports Hub, while PA announcing goals and touchdowns through various stadium speakers, including recently with the New England Revolution.
Learning from Riley was an incredible opportunity. He taught me so much about how to not just host a sports talk show, which aired once a week on The Needham Channel, but how to convey a big-time play like a touchdown or three-point conversion as a play-by-play broadcaster for the network. I was convinced I would one day work with Riley at ESPN where we would announce baseball or football or even lacrosse, but eventually, I was bit by the writing bug, which is something I credit not just my various high school English teachers, but also my college’s student newspaper editors, including the sports editor Hayden Bird, who you can currently read on Boston.com.
Bird, like Riley, was tremendous at his craft. He was a great writer, but also a very good editor, too. He challenged me to become a better storyteller, especially when tasked with writing about the numerous Wheaton College (Mass.) varsity or club programs for The Wheaton Wire.
Being able to learn from Bird about what makes a good story was something that would eventually lead me to leave the newspaper and launch my own weekly sports magazine as a junior – truthfully, I wanted to challenge my school’s student newspaper by telling more in-depth stories like the ones I read in ESPN The Magazine or Sports Illustrated.
I decided to name the sports magazine Get In The Game, which was the same name of my radio show, which no one on campus could listen to in their car or on the radio. If you wanted anyone to listen to the nonsense you were spewing about the Boston Red Sox or Tom Brady or hear the awful music you were spinning, you had to send out a link to your family and friends.
Producing a weekly magazine was a lot of fun, but it did take me away from my studies, as well as group projects, too. I was less interested in my history assignments because my focus during these few weeks that the magazine was being published was on the various stories I hoped to tel so I could beat my former colleagues at the student newspaper.
Get In The Game – the magazine, to be exact – was a project that filled me with great joy along with some amazing – and yes, hysterical memories like getting yelled at by the school’s librarian for printing new issues – well, a lot of issues, to be exact! – to rehashing the entire 2008 Wheaton women’s basketball championship season.
Weeks after I stopped producing the magazine, I returned to the student newspaper with hopes of coming up with another idea. But this time, I was not looking to rival the paper. Nope, I wanted to start something that would allow both friends and recent graduates a platform where they could write and talk about sports – anyone ever heard of a podcast?
I was days away from returning to WEEI, a sports radio station here in Boston, as a production intern, and noticed they had recently redone their website and launched various blogs on the state’s various professional sports teams.
Similar to WEEI, other websites were also launching blogs, which is something we should all credit Bill Simmons (now with The Ringer) and Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports for leading this current revolution of sports media.
Blogs were slowly becoming a big deal – in fact, it almost felt like blogs were not just an overnight sensation, but something myself and others would use as part of the ever-changing sports media landscape. And as someone that did not go to school for journalism – I majored in American Studies – I thought starting a blog would be a great way to build digital clips and produce content that I could show off to future employers.
And thus began a journey that I hoped would be shortlived – seriously, I did not want this blog to last long as I had post-graduate visions of one day joining a digital team at ESPN or Bleacher Report, but currently, I am the digital team here at Noontime Sports – in fact, I still wear multiple hats in case you were wondering – that oversees a site that has and continues to be extremely important to me.
Next week, I will tell you about that first year of blogging for Noontime Sports to covering my first-ever semiprofessional sports team to finagling a way to welcome Bill Hancock, who is currently the executive director of the College Football Playoff, onto my no-name podcast.
Ah, the ‘Daily Noontime’ has officially returned – yay!
Yes, that is correct, everyone. The ‘Daily Noontime’ is back and will be with you going forward every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Are you excited?
The format will be somewhat the same – maybe we can mix in some new links, etc. – but this is a post that has significant meaning to our blog when we launched/got started with creating content in May 2009.
So, let’s kick off a brand new day – and yes, a brand new week, too! – with the revamped ‘Daily Noontime.’ Have a great day, everyone!
Russell Wilson shines against the New England Patriots
Russell Wilson matched a career-high with five touchdown passes last night as the Seattle Seahawks topped the New England Patriots, 35-30.
Wilson and the Seahawks improved to 2-0n while the Patriots dipped to 1-1.
This is the second time PFT has blogged about this issue after seeing a slew of coaches – and yes, personnel, too – not cover their noses and mouths last week during the opening week of the 2020 season.
Just a reminder to everyone … we are living in a pandemic, so make sure to mask-up!
The Dallas Cowboys’ comeback was … incredible!
Yes, our site’s editor and founder (Matt Noonan) is a life-long Dallas Cowboysfan, but for some reason, he didn’t worry too much when ‘America’s Team’ was trailing by 20 points.
It’s Thursday, which means we are ONE more day closer to a brand new weekend – woo!
It is rather chilly outside this morning – where did this cold weather come from? – so make sure to bundle up when heading to the mailbox or local Starbucks.
Alright, enough rambling about the weather. Here is today’s Daily Noontime from your friends at Noontime Nation. Have a great day!
The Boston Sports Scoreboard
No local team was in action last night, but the Boston Celtics are back on Causeway Street this evening as they host the Golden State Warriors at 8 p.m.
Boston is still in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 31-15 record, while the Warriors of Golden State are in last place in the Western Conference.
The Noontime Headlines (and Links)
Penn National Gaming acquired a 36% interest in Barstool Sports yesterday, as confirmed by multiple reports. The Pennsylvania company plans to “increase its ownership stake in Barstool Sports to approximately 50% after three years and additional investment.” (WCVB.com)
As noted in the Business Insider, Penn National Gaming and Barstool Sports are planning to launch sportsbooks in its retail casinos in the coming months while launching a betting app in August. (BusinessInsider.com)
It seems like the Boston Red Sox will trade right fielder Mookie Betts before the 2020 season, which should benefit their rival the New York Yankees. (NJ.com)
San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters yesterday that all players, including those that have sustained injuries over the past few weeks, will be good to go for Sunday. (ProFootballTalk.com)
Where will Tom Brady play in 2020? Perhaps with the Chicago Bears or Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Maybe the Carolina Panthers? (Boston.com)
Jimmy Garoppolo has nothing, but kind words for Tom Brady – he even called his former teammate “a great dude.” (NESN.com)
VIDEO OF THE DAY: Reggie Wayne has some thoughts on Tom Brady playing for the Indianapolis Colts.