Our old friend (and yes, former co-host for NCAA D-III football coverage in 2018 and 2019) James Baker of In The D3FB Huddle joined our podcast — we recorded the show on Monday, but the show is available now (Tuesday, June 8, 2021).
Baker and host/producer Matt Noonan discussed a variety of topics, including spring football — a handful of Division I teams in the northeast — that is our neck of the woods! — did compete while many Division II and III teams either practiced or scrimmaged a nearby team. Both Baker and Noonan believe the 2021 D-III season should feature some new storylines as most of the student-athletes we covered have graduated or perhaps transferred to another compete at another level.
In addition to some way-too-early D-III football talk — yes, we will have more from Baker and Noonan soon! — the guys also discussed the opening weekend of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), an upcoming Pac-12 football game being played mid-morning in early September, and the Boston Red Sox‘s recent sweep of the New York Yankees.
Happy Monday, everyone, and welcome to the first day of February!
We’re expecting a nor’easter to arrive in our neighborhood shortly, so please make sure your car is parked on the correct side of the street as we certainly don’t want complaints of parking tickets flooding our email inbox tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday.
Yet, before the snow, rain, and slush arrive, allow us to kickstart the day with a brand new Daily Noontime for Monday, February 1, 2021.
As usual, be well, stay safe, hold the line, and smile – we’re almost there!
Monday’s Headlines & Links (February 1, 2021)
Let’s start the day with perhaps the biggest news blast (and update) in our email this morning: Theo Epstein, who guided both the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs to World Series victories as en executive for both ball clubs, has joined Arctos Sports Partners, which is a firm that buys minority shares of pro clubs.
As we all know, Rob Manfred is the current MLB Commissioner, but putting Theo Epstein in charge may not be a bad idea as the sport could certainly use his help with being just as innovative as the other professional leagues.
Welcome to Super Bowl week, which promises to be quite different due to the coronavirus pandemic. But as one sports writer – Jay Mariotti – wonders (and writes), is reaching the championship game a win for the National Football League (NFL) or perhaps a sign that our country has turned a blind eye to this deadly virus?
Similar to NCAA D-I college football, the college basketball season has not been pretty – we have seen a lot of starts and stops, along with some programs calling it quits, but don’t be surprised if you see some teams or conferences pull the plug on their respective postseason.
The Los Angeles Rams apparently have a new quarterback for the 2021 season as they sent Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford. But prior to acquiring Matthew Stafford late Saturday evening, the Rams tried to trade for Aaron Rodgers, but the Green Bay Packers said, “no way!”
Monday’s Podcast Alert 🚨
Today on the Noontime Sports Podcast, Matt Noonan welcomes Scottie Rodgers, who is the director of communications with the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
Noonan and Rodgers discuss how the sports communication world has changed due to the pandemic, including how Zoom press conferences could be part of the “new normal.” Rodgers also discussed his role (and involvement) with the Racial and Social Justice Initiative Planning Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
You can listen to today’s interview, as well as past shows by visiting our Anchor page!
We’ll be back with more later today, but for now, be well, stay safe, and smile, everyone!
Heinsohn is also being remembered for his passionate and insightful color commentary – fans will certainly miss his insight this upcoming season as a broadcaster. The New Jersey native, who guided the Celtics to 10 National Basketball Association (NBA) championships and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player (1986) and coach (2015), is someone his former colleague Mike Gorman believes will never be replaced.
Prior to coaching and playing for the Celtics, Heinsohn competed locally at at Holy Cross where he led the Crusaders to the 1954 National Invitation Tournament(NIT) championship. He earned a pair of first-team All-American honors with the Purple and White, and was inducted into the Holy Cross Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 1962.
Numerous Celtics players, both current and past, shared memories of Tommy Heinsohn on Twitter, including Marcus Smart and Cedric Maxwell.
Switching gears to football, the National Football League (NFL) could welcome two more teams to the postseason this winter, pending upcoming contests get canceled due to the coronavirus.
Speaking with owners during a Tuesday video conference, Roger Goodell, who is the league’s commissioner, said the NFL is “committed” to completing the league’s current schedule. The NFL was not impacted by the virus until the third week of the season concluded.
As of now, seven teams from each conference will compete in the upcoming NFL postseason, which is scheduled to kick-off next January, with the top seed securing a first-round bye.
Here are a few more stories to read either later this morning or afternoon:
Hopefully everyone is doing well and thinking optimistically as we anxiously await the outcome of the election. Can it please end today?
Alright, let’s get to some news, beginning with the National Football League (NFL) as part two of the 2020 season begins tonight in Santa Clara, California with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Green Bay Packers at 8:20 p.m. (eastern).
Here are some pregame reads to get you excited for tonight’s matchup:
Five keys for the 49ers to beat the Packers without quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle. Both Garoppolo and Kittle are sidelined with injuries, and not expected to return to the gridiron anytime soon.
The Packers should be considered the favorites in tonight’s matchup with so many members of the 49ers on the sidelines. Some players on dealing with nagging injuries from the past few weeks while others have been placed on the Covid-19 list.
As we all know, the 2019-20 season concluded last month in the Orlando, Florida, so the turnaround time would be much shorter than a typical offseason, but according to a few reports, the league is planning to play 72-game season instead of the typical 82-game season.
And finally, here are some additional news and links from the world wide web – have a great day, everyone!
Apparently the first Mid-American Conference (MAC) football game of the 2020 season took place last night and featured a power outage – yikes!
While we anxiously await the outcome of the 2020 election, we did learn recently that three more states – Louisiana, Maryland, and Soith Dakota – will allow wagers “on sporting events,” which is good news for DraftKings and FanDuel.
Could Alex Cora become the next manager of the Boston Red Sox? It seems like a second stint is possible, according to multiple reports over the past few days, including MLBTradeRumors.com.
Enjoy a BRAND new Noontime Sports Podcast this morning (or afternoon) – today, we welcomed Darryl Konicki, who is the associate commissioner of the Little East Conference (LEC), to discuss the content he and his the league have produced over these past few weeks and months without games being played.
The situation with the Badgers is not good and we certainly don’t want to see any athletic department sidelined or impacted by the virus, but I will be keeping my fingers crossed for the men dressed in Red and White to return to the field next weekend against the University of Michigan.
Staying in the midwest – apparently, we’re covering the midwest stories these days? – a few members of the Durand/Pecatonica High School (Du-Pec) football team have enjoyed a successful fall semester running cross country.
With football games not occurring this fall in Illinois due to the coronavirus, student-athletes have been given an opportunity to try another sport such as golf and cross country. And it appears as if one member of the Du-Pec football team – that would be Liam Hammond, who plays wide receiver and cornerback – has gained great deal of respect for his classmates that compete for his school’s cross country team.
Let’s switch gears to baseball where Mookie Betts, who used to play for the Boston Red Sox, won his fifth Gold Glove Award after leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a World Series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays last month.
Anthony Rizzo, who plays first base for the Chicago Cubs, won his fourth Gold Glove while a few players earned their initial honor, including Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs), Tyler O’Neill (St. Louis Cardinals), and Griffin Canning (Los Angeles Angels).
And finally, let’s go back to football where my beloved Dallas Cowboys will not be starting Ben DiNucci this week at quarterback, but perhaps Garrett Gilbert?
Whoever they start, they better be prepared as Dallas will be hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers in what could be a real beatdown on national television.
Alright, that will do it for now, but as usual, be well, stay safe, and have a wonderful day, everyone!