I hope you are somewhat excited for the weekend – sure, Saturdays feel like Mondays and Sundays feel like Wednesdays, but at least we can take a break from our home offices and enjoy time with our family, right?
Let’s kick off a new weekend with the ‘Daily Noontime.’ As usual, be well and stay safe, everyone, and we’ll chat with you again next week – I promise!
Noontime’s Daily Headlines for Friday, April 3rd, 2020
Here’s a thought: what if the Patriots secured the third pick from the Detroit Lions in the upcoming NFL Draft to select quarterback Tua Tagovailoa? I would be fine with that decision. However, the Patriots may need to surrender a current player, including wide receiver Julian Edelman.
2000: Ken Griffey Jr. made his debut with his hometown CincinnatiReds. The game was unfortunately postponed to the following day due to rain in the sixth inning.
2006: Billy Donovan led the Florida men’s basketball team to its first-ever NCAA Championship with a 73-57 win over UCLA.
2007: Candace Parker was named the Most Outstanding Player after leading the Tennessee women’s basketball team past Rutgers in the 26th NCAA Championship. The win against Rutgers provided the Volunteers with their seventh national title in program history.
It’s Monday, which means its time for a brand new week. Are you ready?
As usual, we’re here to put a smile on your face and take some time away from news of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is exactly what we will start doing … now!
Today’s Weather in Boston (and the Greater Boston Area): After a nice weekend with some sun and wind, it will be a bit cooler today – look for temperatures hovering between 34 and 38 degrees. It will be overcast for the majority of the day – maybe we’ll see the sun for a few minutes? – but then a wintry mix arrives later this afternoon, which will turn to rain for most of us this evening.
Luckily, tomorrow will be warmer and include the sun, but there seems to be a lot of rain in the forecast this week, which means we should all just stay indoors (and be safe, of course!).
The Noontime Headlines for Monday, March 23rd, 2020
Looking for things to do while staying indoors and hunkering down to protect yourself from COVID-19? Then check out this list of “Things to do” from Boston.com.
We started our first theme week here at Noontime Sports (and NoontimeSports.com) yesterday – we are producing content on Boston and New England sports teams from the past decade. And we began with our All-Decade Boston Bruins team.
On This Date in History
1948: Kansas topped Baylor in the 10th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship to claim the program’s first-ever national title.
1957: North Carolina beat Kansas, 54-53, in triple-overtime in the 19th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Wilt Chamberlain, who played for Kansas, became the fourth player to be named the tournament’s most valuable player despite not being on the championship squad.
1963: Loyola-Chicago beats Cincinnati, 60-58, in overtime in the 25th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, providing the Ramblers with their initial title in their first-ever finals appearance.
1994: Wayne Gretzky sets the NHL record with 802 goals scored.
Tonight is the 68th Beanpot Tournament at the TD Garden. Northeastern University, which won the championship last season, will skate against Harvard University at 5 p.m. while Boston College and Boston University will compete at 8 p.m.
The Noontime Headlines (and Links)
The Kansas City Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years last night, thanks to an exciting fourth-quarter comeback, which was led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. (FiveThirtyEight.com)
Kansas City’s Frank Clark ripped San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after his team’s comeback win last night in the Super Bowl. (ProFootballTalk.com)
Kyle Shanahan believes the 49ers should be “fired up for next year” after losing on Sunday in the Super Bowl. (ProFootballTalk.com)
Justin Bieber and others had some funny reactions to Tom Brady‘s Hulu Super Bowl commercial. (NESN.com)
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was booed in Miami during the Super Bowl pregame ceremony for flexing his championship rings. (Yahoo.com)
Sunday’s win over the 49ers was Andy Reid‘s 222nd on the sidelines, along with his first Super Bowl championship. (ESPN.com)
VIDEO OF THE DAY: Google’s Super Bowl commercial tugged at the hearts of many!
Welcome to the first Noontime Sports rewind post, which will recap the current year of New England (and Boston) sports as well as look back on the soon-to-be past decade of blogging for NoontimeSports.com.
In this particular post, we highlighted our favorite Boston sports teams that we covered (and chronicled) through the site – there were some fun teams to watch and others that made us sick to our stomach over the past nine-to-ten years.
We hope you enjoy this look back at the soon-to-be past decade of Boston sports, which certainly kept us busy, both here on the site and social media.
The Best New England Patriots Team of the 2010s: The 2014 New England Patriots. Sure, you can make the case for the 2016 squad, which overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons or the 2018 squad, which outsmarted Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams, but in my opinion, the 2014 squad was the best Pats team of the 2010s. Between the offense and the defense and just the way they manhandled teams after losing to Kansas City, this particular Patriots squad was perhaps one of the best teams under current head coach Bill Belichick.
One of the most impressive games this team played was against the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of the postseason. They ran a few tricky plays, including one that saw Julian Edelman throw a touchdown pass to a streaking Danny Amendola. Additionally, they stole a play from Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, which infuriated Baltimore coach John Harbaugh.
But the cherry on top of the sundae was the Malcolm Butler interception on a potential go-ahead touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Butler will be forever linked to that play – the result ignited an animated (and giddy) celebration by Tom Brady and … Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Best Boston Red Sox Team of the 2010s: The 2013 Boston Red Sox. Following the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, our city became enamored with the local nine, especially after David Ortiz delivered a heartfelt speech just days after the horrendous attacks. Ortiz’s words would be the catalyst for a magical season that concluded with a World Series victory at historic Fenway Park.
Boston, which went from worst (2012) to first (2013), concluded the 2013 campaign with 97 wins. They beat the Tampa Bay Rays in four games before topping the heavily-favored Detroit Tigers in six games. Shane Victorino hit a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh in game six before Koji Uehara shut the door on a possible rally in the top of the ninth.
The win over the Tigers secured the Sox their third American League crown, as well as their third appearance in the World Series in 10 seasons.
The Best Boston Bruins Team of the 2010s: The 2011 Boston Bruins. If the Bruins won the Stanley Cup earlier this year, I would have chosen that team, but instead, I’ll play it safe and go with the squad that won the Stanley Cup eight years ago.
After seeing the 2010 squad collapse in the second round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers, I was unsure if the 2011 Bruins would be able to make myself (and other Black and Gold fans) proud. But they certainly did.
Their Cup run began with an epic game seven overtime win in the opening round against the Montreal Canadiens, thanks to Nathan Horton. One round later, Boston erased memories of a dreadful collapse from one year earlier by sending the Flyers home with four-straight wins (it was sweet revenge, in my opinion!).
But perhaps Boston’s most impressive win came against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, especially in the seventh game. Horton netted the lone goal of the contest, while TimThomas, who won the Vezina Trophy, stopped every shot he faced.
Those ‘smiles’ would not disappear as those same grins reemerged days later after the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in six games to win their sixth championship in franchise history.
The win over the Canucks was exciting – it was also the team’s third game seven victory of the 2011 postseason, which was the most game seven wins by any team in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Unfortunately, their win over Vancouver did not result in a few more titles as Boston would lose in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and seven games to the St. Louis Blues in 2019.
The Best Boston Celtics Team of the 2010s: The 2017-18 Boston Celtics. After winning their 17th championship in June 2008, the Celtics have yet to return to top of the mountain but have had chances, including ten years after they beat the Los Angeles Lakers in six games when the Green and White almost beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Boston was without Kyrie Irving who missed the entire postseason, as well as Gordon Hayward, who suffered a serious end-of-season injury during the team’s initial game of the 2017-18 campaign, which happened to be against the Cavaliers. So, without two of the league’s marquee players, the Celtics turned to both their veteran and youth players to go on an exciting run, which included wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers (4-1).
Against Cleveland, Boston won the series’ first two games before losing four of the next five contests. They had chances to beat James and the Cavaliers in each of the final five contests, but the youth and inexperience eventually caught-up with the Green and White, who have been really fun to watch this season.
What made this particular postseason run so much fun was the play of both Brown and Tatum, along with Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and Marcus Morris.
In just a few weeks, Noontime Sports will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary, which is hard for me to fathom.
When I started my site as a junior in college, my intentions were simple: get a job in sports media and shut down your little entity that was predominantly focused on analyzing Boston sports – well, more attempting to opine on various hot stove issues surrounding the Boston Bruins, Celtics, and Red Sox, as well as the New England Patriots, too.
But over time, the site became more than just a hobby that produced daily or weekly podcasts on independent baseball or whatever I was watching on ESPN. Instead, it became a labor of love. And that labor of love blossomed into an outlet that covered games at Harvard Stadium, TD Garden, and WPI. And the list goes on and on.
The journey seemed unimaginable for a soon-to-be 21-year-old who was ready to imagine life after Wheaton College (Mass.). But looking back on the past ten years, I am so proud of what I built (and established) within the small college space, along with the occasional major and minor league sports coverage, and yes, some high schools, too.
My site has connected me with some amazing people, including current and past editors, writers, and stringers throughout the New England region, to new friends like Anthony Karpouzis of Zelos Athletics, Brett Sillari of Sillari Properties, and Mike Loveday of LaxRecords.com.
Additionally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my two favorite D3 football guys – that would be James Baker and Frank Rossi – as well as Rusty Eggen and Mark Therien, who helped establish a partnership with the Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA). All four have inspired me to produce content that highlights the true meaning of the student-athlete – I owe a lot to all four of these guys and am forever thankful for their help and support of coverage.
Of course, there are others that have made this journey so special like Tom Kelley, who became the first Division III football coach I ever spoke with when I elected to begin covering the small college sports beat in 2012 to Larry Anderson and Sonia Raman at MIT. And how could I forget Melissa Hodgdon, who has always believed me in since I was a student at Wheaton when I broadcasted her various basketball games, including an epic New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship win over Springfield College in 2008.
‘This is Noontime’ is a testament to the amazing people I have met throughout this journey – it is a tribute to their buy-in and appreciation for what I set out to do, which again provided hyperlocal sports coverage to the Division III world (and yes, even Division I and II in New England) years ago. (Did you know I tried to get UMass football on my radar?)
My hope is this series, which you will see both here on NoontimeSports.com, as well as across social media, will inspire you to chase your dreams and follow what you love. I can’t say this has been an easy journey – nope, there have been a slew of challenges I have faced and overcome – but again, I am proud of what I attempted to do and thankful to so many people for allowing me to step into their office, swap texts or emails, or speak with me for a 20 minute call, so I could tell their story through various mediums like features and podcasts.
I am excited to begin this new series and hope you will enjoy as much as I do, so stay tuned for the first video episode, as well as some written insight, as well.