Ivy League Cancels Winter Sports

The Ivy League has canceled its 2020-21 winter sports season. (PHOTO COURTESY: IvyLeague.com)

By NoontimeSports.com

There will be no Ivy League athletic events taking place this winter.

The Ancient Eight called off winter sports this evening due to an uptick in cases of COVID-19, both locally and around the country, while announcing fall sports, including football, would not occur during the spring semester. As for spring sports, they have been paused until “at least the end of February 2021,” per this evening’s release, which can be found on the Ivy League’s website.

Similar to the Ivy League’s announcement about fall sports in July, health and safety for both the student-athletes and coaches, along with each campus and community was a major reason why the Council of Presidents unanimously decided to cancel winter sports. However, the league did confirm that student-athletes that will not be competing this winter, as well as those that did not play games this fall, will not lose a season of Ivy League or NCAA eligibility, whether they are currently or not enrolled.

Despite competition for the winter season being canceled, the Ivy League will permit each institution to offer training opportunities and practices for its student-athletes that are enrolled on campus, but each program must adhere to the guidance issued by their respective institution as well as state and local regulations.

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.

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, October 13, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to a very rainy Tuesday, everyone! 

It’s going to be a VERY rainy day here in Massachusetts so it is probably best for everyone to stay inside and watch Netflix, right? 

Let’s kick-start your day with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime,’ beginning with some news about Cam Newton and our hometown New England Patriots

As of now, it seems possible that Patriots fans could see Cam Newton on the field next Sunday when the Patriots host the Denver Broncos, but as the team’s head coach Bill Belichick noted during his weekly radio appearance with WEEI‘s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria, the veteran signal-caller “would have to go through medical clearance” before being allowed to rejoin his teammates on the practice field.   

Newton is one of four Patriots to have tested positive for the coronavirus, but according to a few reports this morning, including PatriotsWire, it seems likely that the 2015 National Football League (NFL) quarterback will be back in the huddle at some point this week, which should be considered good news for the Patriots. Additionally, fans should expect Stephon Gilmore back on the field, too – we certainly need his help on defense! 

Sticking with the football theme, the NFL will be testing players and coaches on game days, along with “some other employees of each team,” as noted in Kevin Seifert‘s piece on ESPN.com, which was posted late last night. Seifert also noted a few more tweaks to the league’s update Covid-19 protocols, which include everyone wearing masks during walk-through practices to coaches having to wear either masks or double-layered gaiters during games. 

Let’s switch gears to the Boston Red Sox, who will have the fourth pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft. The last time the Red Sox picked fourth in a draft was in 1967. 

Boston concluded its 60-game season with a 24-36 mark, which was good for a fifth-place finish in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles, who have previously occupied the last spot in the division in previous seasons, finished fourth this year with an overall record of 25-35. 

Did you know that two of six teams in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) were independently owned? And did you know one of those two independently owned teams happens to play in hour home state? 

Yep, the Boston Pride, which recorded the best record last year and also secured a spot in the Isobel Cup, is one of the two teams that independently owned – it appears their setup will be the model for the league’s six teams going forward, according to a recent report (and yes, story, too!) from the New York Times

And finally, make sure to read the latest Boston Cannons legend spotlight on Sean Morris, who played locally at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) before becoming a star of the local Major League Lacrosse (MLL) franchise. It’s a great read! 

Noontime’s Take: The NFL Has A Covid Problem

By Matt Noonan 

The headline of this blog post says it all: The National Football League (NFL) has a Covid-19 problem. And the league must do something about it sooner than later. 

Whether you agree or disagree, playing football during a pandemic comes with risks, and unfortunately, the NFL, which may have been blinded by this feeling from the get-go seems to believe they can operate at full-blast. But clearly, we – the fans of this league – are slowly realizing the NFL was never equipped nor ready to combat its biggest opponent of the 2020 season: Covid-19. 

For three weeks, the NFL seemed invisible. 48 games were played with no positive tests. But as we began to turn the page to the fourth week, things went in a different direction. 

Two teams – the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans – became the league’s epicenter for the virus while other squads have recently announced at least one – maybe two? – positive test results over the past few days. And due to an uptick in positive cases, the Patriots’ matchup on Monday with the Denver Broncos has been postponed (again!) to next Sunday, October 18. 

As of this morning, nothing has been said nor reported about Tuesday’s matchup between the Titans and Buffalo Bills, but I think if the league is going to move the Patriots-Broncos game to next weekend then they better reschedule this particular matchup, too. 

Sure, postponing or canceling games will throw a wrench into the current schedule, but if the NFL wants to continue its 101st season then they better consider some alternative plans that should begin with an emphasis on finding ways to keep its entire organization safe and healthy. 

The NFL in my opinion is more interested in playing games and keeping their partners and sponsors happy, but instead, they’re creating a chaotic environment with so much uncertainty and certainly a not of clarity. 

If I were Roger Goodell, who is the commissioner of the league, I would do the following to save the 2020 season: 

  • First, press the pause button on games this week and next week – we need to find a way to slow the spread of this virus. 
  • Second, call an emergency meeting between the owners and NFL Players Association (NFLPA) – we may also want to include/connect with our league’s stakeholders, partners, and sponsors, too, so we can alert them of our plan for returning to the field either later this month or at some point in November or December.
  • Third, it is time to adopt or re-think the “bubble” environment. And while establishing a “bubble” at this juncture of both the season and year may not be entirely feasible, perhaps the league could create regional bubbles where teams like the New England Patriots, New York JetsNew York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Philadelphia Eagles played each other twice. 

    Of course, creating a “regional bubble” would impact the current schedule, but if there is one thing I guess we’re learning from the college football world is that conference play seems to be working, and that might be the only way to salve the 2020 NFL season. 

These are just a few thoughts and ideas I have at this exact moment – of course, I am sure I could generate other thoughts, too, so please stand by! – but if there is one thing that seems to be working, especially in 2020, it is establishing a “bubble” environment. It has worked well for other sports and seems to be working for certain family members or friends of mine, so if the NFL really wants to play football then maybe it is time to create a “bubble” while putting the health and safety of every member of its organization at the top of the list.  

Like you, I want to see football played every Sunday, but as of this morning – and yes, the past few days, too – it just seems like the NFL has ignored this virus and thinks its business as usual. But unfortunately, 2020 is not business as usual, and we all know that. 

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, September 22, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone! 

As you know, we’re back to producing a ‘Daily Noontime’ every day – well, every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to be exact – and we are excited. And speaking of being excited – yes, we’re smiling while writing this post! – let’s kickstart a brand new day with the Daily Noontime for Tuesday, September 22, 2020. 

Be well, stay safe, and keep smiling, everyone! 

Viva Las Vegas (Raiders)! 

After scoring a wild – and yes, crazy – opening day win against the Carolina Panthers, the Las Vegas Raiders won its first-ever contest in the state of Nevada as the Silver and Black topped the New Orleans Saints by a score of 34-24. 

Derek Carr highlighted his team’s second-straight win by completing 28 of 38 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns while Darren Waller led all receivers (and yes, tight ends) with 12 catches for 103 yards and one score.

Las Vegas has posted 34 points in back-to-back games and will look to continue its early-season momentum on Sunday when they visit the New England Patriots.  

DraftKings continues to expand its portfolio 

While 2020 has been a year of ups and downs, it has also been a year of positives for DraftKings, which not only when public in the spring, but has continued to expand its daily fantasy (and yes, sportsbook) empire. 

Recently, the Boston-based daily fantasy company inked a new deal with Athletes Unlimited to expand the league’s fan experience as they head into the final days of their initial softball season. 

Athletes United has been in the news lately for its professional women’s softball league, which concludes September 28, but they will also have an indoor volleyball league that will startup next February. 

More headlines (and yes, links!):