Daily Noontime (Thursday, October 16, 2020)

 

By Matt Noonan

Welcome to Thursday, everyone! 

It’s quite chilly outside this morning. In fact, I almost ordered a hot coffee from Starbucks but chose a cold brew instead. Was that a bad decision? 

Let’s get to some news from the sports world, beginning with a recent update from the National Football League (NFL): The Atlanta Falcons are shutting down their facility due to “multiple positive tests.” 

What exactly does this mean? We’re unsure, but as of now, the Falcons are scheduled to meet the Minnesota Vikings this weekend, but that game could be postponed or canceled, so stay tuned. 

I am sorry to share not-so-good news (again!), but Nick Saban, who is the head coach of the University of Alabama‘s football team, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Additionally, Greg Byrne, who is the school’s athletic director, also tested positive, which means this weekend’s conference clash between the Tide and the University of Georgia could be postponed, but who knows? 

As we noted yesterday on our mid-afternoon ‘Daily Noontime,’ two Southeastern Conference (SEC) football games for this weekend have been postponed. According to this week’s schedule from ESPN.com (as of 9 a.m. this morning), three college football games have been postponed this week. Could we see a few more due to a recent uptick in coronavirus cases?  

Staying in the college athletic world, the NCAA‘s Division I Council voted yesterday to provide student-athletes that compete during the wintertime an extra year of eligibility. And according to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, those that play basketball or hockey would be able to return to campus next year even if they play one or two contests. 

The NCAA also unveiled 450 host sites for upcoming championships, including lacrosse, which will return to Gillette Stadium in 2025 and 2026

Here are some more news and links from the world wide web: 

NCAA Lacrosse Championships To Return To Gillette Stadium

Gillette Stadium will be the site for four NCAA Championships in 2025 and 2026. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

The NCAA unveiled future sites for future championships over the next few years earlier today, including lacrosse, which is scheduled to return to Gillette Stadium in 2025 and 2026. 

All three men’s championships – D-I, D-II, and D-III – will take place both years at the home of the New England Patriots while the D-I women’s title games will occur each year, as well. 

Gillette Stadium has been the host site for all three men’s lacrosse championships five times, including in 2018 when Yale University captured its first-ever national title by defeating Duke University by a score of 13-11. 

One year earlier – 2017, to be exact! – Maryland defeated Boston College in Foxborough, Massachusetts in the first championship game held in Foxborough, Massachusetts by a score of 16-13. 

Daily Noontime (Wednesday, October 14, 2020)

By Matt Noonan 

Happy Wednesday, everyone! 

Yes, I know we’re posting a bit later, but after you read the ‘Daily Noontime’ for Wednesday, October 14, make sure to listen to a brand new Noontime Sports podcast with KC Chhipwadia, who is the chief executive offer and founder of Athlete Foundry. You will really enjoy this podcast – I came away very inspired by Chhipwadia’s story. 

Let’s begin this afternoon’s (and yes, today’s) ‘Daily Noontime’ with some good news: the New England Patriots are “reportedly” heading back to the practice field today. However, Jim McBride of the Boston Globe tweeted last night that the Patriots would just be at Gillette Stadium for “workouts,” not practice, so does anyone know what’s going on? 

One thing we know is that Massachusetts native Meghan Duggan, who led Team USA to a gold medal in the 2018 Olympics, announced she is retiring yesterday on Twitter

Duggan, who is from Danvers, played high school hockey locally at Cushing Academy before extending her career to the University of Wisconsin. She also played professionally for the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) and led the boycott ahead of the World Championships so the women’s national team would receive “increased pay and comparable accommodations to the men’s team.”

Staying locally, the high school soccer world has had to adapt due to the coronavirus pandemic, which included some new rules that one student-athlete considers “crazy.” This is a BAD look for high school soccer officials in the Bay State. 

Here are more links and news from the world wide web: 

  • The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has canceled not one, but two games for this upcoming weekend, including Florida vs. LSU. Uh oh! 
  • The 2020 National Basketball Association‘s (NBA) Finals ratings were not good. In fact, they were the “lowest-rated” series on ABC since the station began airing the championship contests 50 years ago. 
  • Is the youth sports world facing a crisis due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic? Maybe, according to the New York Times

Finally, Noontime Sports unveiled our first-ever ‘Noontime Original’ last night – we’re telling a story of a fictional high school football team in the Berkshires. Hopefully, you’ll read our first chapter

Belichick On No Fans: It’s Like Scrimmaging The Titans

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick compared his team’s win in front of no fans to a “practice” environment. (PHOTO COURTESY: Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan 

Bill Belichick never seemed fazed about playing football games this year without fans in the stands due to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

So when asked shortly after his team’s season-opening win over the Miami Dolphins what today’s atmosphere was like at Gillette Stadium with no fans in attendance, the long-time New England Patriots sideline boss said it was like “practice.” 

Practice

Yep, that was exactly how Belichick answered the reporter’s question, who seemed curious about the game day atmosphere. 

Belichick would eventually expand on his answer, saying the following: “It’s like scrimmaging the (TennesseeTitans or scrimmaging Detroit (Lions) or scrimmaging the teams that we scrimmage. There’s – there are a few fans there, but basically there’s no fans there. It’s basically a competition and there’s some energy from your teammates and your own energy. So, that is what it is.” 

And without fans in the stands, the Patriots looked just fine, thanks to a solid showing by both the offensive and defensive units, which limited the Dolphins to just 11 points and 269 total yards.

The Patriots will play in front of no fans next weekend when they visit the Seattle Seahawks for an 8:20 p.m. kickoff. Seattle also scored a win in front of no fans this afternoon by cruising past the Atlanta Falcons in Georgia. 

Noontime Commentary: Five Potential Landing Spots For Tom Brady

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Where will Tom Brady play in 2020? PHOTO COURTESY: Charles Krupa / Associated Press/LA Times

By Matt Noonan 

It may be only February – Friday, February 14th, 2020, to be exact – but the thought of where Tom Brady will play next season continues to be on the minds of many, including myself.

So, below are five potential landing spots for the six-time Super Bowl champion – I am sure all five of these teams, including the New England Patriots, would certainly benefit from having Brady both in their locker room and on the field guiding their respective offense.

Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys begin a new era under head coach Mike McCarthy. And you know the former Green Bay Packers coach would love to have a veteran quarterback like Brady to guide his offense to not just a division crown, but also a Super Bowl championship.

Dallas may have their quarterback of the future in Dak Prescott, but it seems as if he and his agent want a lot of money for a signal-caller that has yet to guide the Silver and Blue to a conference title. Prescott is 1-2 in the postseason, and does not seem interested in attending minicamp and possibly training camp until he receives what he wants, so why not lure Brady to Texas so the Cowboys can win their sixth (and possibly seventh) Super Bowl in franchise history.

Las Vegas Raiders: Could you imagine Tom Brady donning a Silver and Black uniform? If so, I’ll buy it – I don’t wear jerseys anymore – but with Brady under center, he would immediately turn the Raiders into a team that would not only compete with the Kansas City Chiefs for an AFC West crown but also a conference championship.

The Raiders begin a new era in their franchise history this fall – sadly, they are not competing in Oakland or Los Angeles anymore, so adding Brady to their roster for one or two years would be an ideal way to start the next chapter of Raider Nation.

New England Patriots: Returning to the Patriots makes the most sense to me, but I am not entirely sure if Brady would want to play for New England, especially with how this past season concluded.

Sure, the Patriots weren’t “loaded” or the team to beat this past fall as they relied more on their defense than their offense, but if Brady were to return then I think coach Bill Belichick would need to lure some marquee free agents to Gillette Stadium so the veteran signal-caller can have a chance to end his career with at least one or two more Super Bowls.

Tennessee Titans: The Titans’ postseason run was exciting. But imagine what it will be like next year with Tom Brady under center?

If Brady joins the Titans then consider them the team to beat in the AFC besides the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens.

Most likely, Ryan Tannehill will return to Tennessee, but I could see Brady’s former teammate and current head coach Mike Vrabel finding a way to lure the veteran signal-caller to Nashville.

San Francisco 49ers: This would be an ideal way to end a historic career.

Brady, as we all know, grew up rooting for the 49ers, so why not find a way to end your career with your favorite team. And I am sure both Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch would love to have Brady compete for a team that is certainly capable of returning to the Super Bowl next season.

For this move to happen, Brady could do one of two things. He could sign with the 49ers once free agency begins next month or ink his name on a new deal with the Patriots, but then ask either Bill Belichick or Robert Kraft to trade him to San Francisco. And if the Patriots did trade Brady, then you can bet that Belichick would ask for Jimmy Garoppolo in return.

I know this sounds like a crazy idea and I doubt the 49ers want to give up on Jimmy G,  but if Brady were to sign with the 49ers then he will certainly have a chance to end his career with at least one, possibly two, Super Bowl rings.


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