Tag: Boston

Noontime’s Sunday Thoughts (Jan. 3, 2021)

By Matt Noonan

Happy New Year, everyone!

Yes, I know I am not the first to wish you, as well as your family and friends, a very happy and healthy new year, but hopefully this post – the first of many, of course! – will fill you with some much-needed joy and happiness on a rather gray and overcast day here in Boston, Massachusetts.

As promised in my year-end video, I am eager to produce some new (and old) content, including my first-ever ‘Noontime’s Sunday Thoughts’ column, which will be a mix of thoughts, ideas, and links from the sports world, along with some other topics, too.

I am excited for this column and hope you are, as well – I am sure it will look different each week, but that is the beauty of trying new things, right?

So, without further ado, here comes my first post of 2021 – I am excited and optimistic for a much better year for everyone!


Thought No. 1: 2021 will be much better than 2020: Yes, this is an understatement, but I believe better days are ahead – I am an optimist.

However, I don’t expect an immediate bounce back now that it is January 3, 2021. We still need to wear our masks, social distance, and wash our hands. And we need to “hold the line,” so we can finish strong.

We can do this – I believe in my fans and friends!

As we get closer to the spring and summer, I expect some sense of normalcy will return, but that feeling of gathering or watching a game safely won’t truly happen until late September or early October. Maybe early November?

This is an educated guess – I am not a scientist, so I could be wrong (fingers crossed!) – but once we are able to assemble safely at a future sporting event, I will breathe a sense of relief. I know that day will come and it will be an exciting occasion for everyone.

Thought No. 2: The NFL’s 2020 Season: To be honest, I did not expect the National Football League (NFL) would be able to play a full 17-week season during a pandemic. But somehow, they persevered.

Yep, I was wrong – sorry, everyone!

I was shocked that the league was able to play three weeks without an outbreak, but somehow, they overcame a hurdle of obstacles from the Tennessee Titans to Cam Newton to moving the Pittsburgh SteelersBaltimore Ravens game from Thursday to Sunday to Monday to Tuesday.

The NFL seemed unprepared for its 2020 season after successfully conducting their collegiate draft in April via Zoom, but somehow they proved me wrong, so let’s enjoy the final day of the regular season because who knows what happens next week once the postseason begins.

Thought No. 3: The 2020 College Football Season: I am not the biggest college football fan, but I did watch a few games this past fall, including a pair of must-see Boston College contests against Clemson University and Notre Dame.

But what I witnessed outside of the Boston College matchups I watched was poor play by numerous teams, including various student-athletes, as well as coaches acting as if they were invisible to the coronavirus – did anyone actually wear a mask on the sidelines this year? I give my buddy Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle credit for the mask comment.

In addition to the playing field being mediocre, I have also found some of these bowl games rather boring – to be honest, I would rather watch bull-riding than some of these games, but again, what do I know?

The 2020 season was a wild ride for the college sports world – remember, not many of us knew if and when games would begin last fall – but similar to the NFL, the college football world deserves some credit for finding a way to play games safely. Hopefully the championship game between Alabama and Ohio State will be a good finale for the 2020 season.

Thought No. 4: Podcasts will continue to grow in 2021: If there is one thing 2020 taught us, it is that podcasts will continue to be a go-to medium for many of us working from home until at least the summertime, maybe the fall?

And while podcasts under big-time brands like Barstool Sports and The Ringer will continue to flourish, I do expect some smaller to medium size shows to gain more listeners (and yes, followers, too).

Our podcast – the Noontime Sports Podcast – has grown immensely, thanks to our fans and friends, but also because of the amazing guests that have joined me over these past few months (thank you to everyone that has joined me – can’t wait to have you all back again soon!).

I am excited to produce more shows this month while continuing to listen to new shows (and podcasts) I discovered last year.

Here are a few shows I would recommend listening to (and yes, hitting the subscribe button, too!):

I’ll definitely be highlighting podcasts more in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned for future posts!

Final Thought: Could we see some new hyper-local blogs, websites or podcasts emerge this year, especially in New England?

My answer: Yes.

As many know, 2020 was not a good year for media, especially newspapers, that have shuttered or reduced their newsroom. There were also some big-time outlets that let-go of some well-established (and up-and-coming) writers, producers and on-air hosts, which leads me to think that many would be willing to take their following from social media to their own respective website, blog or podcast.

Here in Massachusetts, we have seen some smaller digital outlets grow over the past few weeks and months, including the New England Football Journal, which has done a good job with online shows to complements their high school and college football coverage. John Sarianides has hosted some video shows, including coaches chats that I have enjoyed and know my fans would, as well.

Pending high school football occurs (and is played) next month, the NEFJ will be a site to follow for coverage – make sure to follow the site’s co-owner Kevin Stone, who is very passionate about hyper-local sports coverage.

Speaking of college and high school football, make sure to follow Adam Kurkjian‘s coverage through MassVarsity – similar to John and Kevin, Adam has done a good job with providing Massachusetts football fans with content to consume with very few games being played – while Ryan Lanigan and Josh Perry have done a phenomenal job with their coverage through HockomockSports.com.

These are just three sites – yes, I know there are more – but these outlets have provided future content producers, writers, and editors with a blueprint of what they could create in certain pockets of the state of Massachusetts, along with the region for areas that have lost or need additional college and high school sports coverage.


Alright, that will do it for my first-ever ‘Noontime Sunday Thoughts’ column – hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any thoughts or ideas for next week’s post, please let me know. Send me a tweet message to @NoontimeSports or an email to MattNoonan@noontimesports.com.

The B.A.A. Postpones The 2021 Boston Marathon

Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) logo.

By Matt Noonan

The 2021 Boston Marathon has been postponed. But according to Katie McInerney and Nathaniel Weitzer of the Boston Globe, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) is hoping to run its 26.2 mile race possibly next fall.

The B.A.A. announced earlier today that the 125th running of the Boston Marathon would not occur next April after canceling this year’s race for the first time 124 years in May.

According to today’s announcement from the B.A.A., the organization has been meeting regularly with the COVID-19 Medical and Event Operations Advisory Group with hopes of learning when the 125th running of Boston Marathon will be allowed to occur. Road races, including the Marathon, is not allowed to occur until the fourth phase of the state’s reopening.

“By shifting our focus to a fall date, we can continue to work with stakeholders to adjust the in-person experience for runners and supporters alike,” Tom Grilk, who is the C.E.O. of the B.A.A., said in a statement. “Prioritizing the safety of participants, volunteers, spectators, and community members, we continue to assess all elements of the race including a potential reduced field size or weekend date.”

The B.A.A. hope to provide a new date for next year’s race at the end of the year, along with additional information on other events, including their 5K and 10K races, too.

Boston Cannons Claim Its Second MLL Championship

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The Boston Cannons celebrated their second Major League Lacrosse Championship on Sunday. (PHOTO Courtesy: Boston Cannons/

By Matt Noonan 

The city of Boston had something to celebrate on Sunday when the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) captured its second championship in franchise history by defeating the Denver Outlaws, 13-10.

Sunday’s game between Boston and Denver occurred at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, which was the home site for the 2020 MLL season.

Boston and Denver were initially scheduled to meet during Saturday’s semifinal, but the game was moved to Sunday following news of three players on the Chesapeake Bayhawks testing positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19). The Bayhawks’ semifinal opponent the Connecticut Hammerheads, which were competing for the first time in franchise history, withdrew from the semifinals when they learned of this news, which was shared through the MLL’s Twitter handle on Saturday.

The Cannons’ three-goal win over the Outlaws was highlighted by John Uppgren (five goals, one assist), who guided Tufts University to a pair of NCAA Championships in 2014 and 2015.

Mark Cockerton contributed three goals and one assist while Bryce WassermanBen Spencer, and Challen Rogers each recorded two points (one goal and one assist), respectively.

Duxbury native Nick Marrocco, who played college lacrosse at Georgetown University, ended Sunday’s championship match with 10 saves.

The championship win was the first for coach Sean Quirk, who was hired to lead the Cannons on October 8, 2015. Quirk became the Cannons’ sixth head coach after guiding the Endicott College men’s lacrosse program for 17 seasons.

Prior to their meeting with the Outlaws on Sunday, Boston won four of six contests, including a 10-8 victory over Denver its season finale.

“We are already looking forward to the 2021 season,” Quirk said, via the Patriot Ledger.

Boston won its first Major League Lacrosse championship in 2011 by edging the Hamilton Nationals, 10-9.

Daily Noontime: Monday, July 13, 2020

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By Matt Noonan

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and ready for another great week.

This week, the ‘Daily Noontime’ will be taking a mini-vacation – I will only be posting it today and Friday, July 17, as I will be taking a few days off, but will look forward to reconnecting with everyone later this week.

As always, you can stay connected with Noontime Sports on social media – I am sure you will see some tweets or posts while away, but in the meantime let’s kick-off a brand new week with a ‘Daily Noontime’ – have a great day, everyone!


Noontime’s Headlines for Monday, July 13, 2020

As always, thanks so much for stopping by to read today’s Daily Noontime and we will look forward to producing a brand new one later this week following a short, three-day vacation! 

Gov. Baker Paves The Way For Pro Sports To Return To Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker provided a glimmer of hope for live sports to return in the coming weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker clearly misses sports – we all know he is a proud supporter of our state’s hometown teams.

So on Friday, Baker announced that the state’s professional teams would be allowed to begin practicing as soon as Saturday, June 6. That is also the same date Massachusetts residents should learn more about the second phase of the state’s reopening plan, which would begin Monday, June 8.

“I know we still aren’t to the point where we’ll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet,” Baker said during Friday’s press briefing. “The leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. And I think we all hope that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner.”

Professional sports have been idle since mid-March when the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) paused their respective seasons due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Since then, both leagues have been working diligently to find a way to restart their seasons safely in “hub cities.”

Major League Baseball (MLB) delayed the start of its 2020 season but continues to be stuck in neutral due to ongoing contract discussions between the players and owners.

Both Major League Soccer (MLS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) have announced plans to return to the pitch in the coming weeks, which should excited local New England Revolution fans.

Baker believes live sports would certainly help all of us during this unprecedented time. Additionally, it would be a great outlet for many, who have been consuming older contests these past few weeks, including a 2007 playoff run by the Boston Red Sox on NESN.

“I think for all of us live sports, and especially pro sports would be a great thing to see again because not only will it be a significant milestone for those of us who are fans but it will also send a big signal that we’ve continued to do all the things that we need to do to contain and control the virus,” said Baker.