Noontime’s Sunday Thoughts (Jan. 24, 2021)

By Matt Noonan

Happy Sunday, everyone!

It’s hard to believe this is the final Sunday of January where football will be played – yes, you will be missed – but since we have a few minutes before kickoff, allow me to share a few thoughts for the upcoming week.

As usual, thank you to everyone that has and continues to stop by, both on Sundays for this column and other content we’re producing throughout the week.

And just a friendly reminder, make sure to subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify – you can also support our show through Anchor!

Have a great week, everyone, and enjoy today’s football games!


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Since this column is being posted a bit later than anticipated, I am going to dish out just six thoughts, but plan to share my usual 10 next week.

Thought No. 1: Is it just me or is it getting harder to not root for Tom Brady? Yes, I know he is a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which have won just one Super Bowl, but I am having a hard time not rooting for the former New England Patriots signal-caller. And that is why I believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will find a way to beat the Green Bay Packers this afternoon.

Thought No. 2: I really like Josh Allen. And like I have said on previous ‘Football Friday’ podcasts, I believe he is the best quarterback that was selected in the 2018 National Football League (NFL) Draft. But today, I just don’t think he will be able to beat Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. I could see Allen and the Buffalo Bills back in this same spot next January, but today, the Chiefs will prevail. But these Bills are not going away anytime soon. They will get even better this offseason.

Thought No. 3: Friday’s news of NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) going off the air later this year was startling, but I think this plan from the three-letter network will workout just fine. Yes, this is probably a sign that NBC will put more of its sports content like hockey and car racing behind its paywall (Peacock), but it will also mean more people will tune into games and events on USA Network. NBC will be fine – don’t worry, they’re not going anywhere – but the streaming war will certainly continue if National Hockey League (NHL) or NASCAC fans have to subscribe to Peacock to watch their favorite teams and competitors.

Thought No. 4: I have throughly enjoyed Mike Florio‘s thoughts on the NFL this season, especially with how the league has ignored the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Thought No. 5: It was nice to see three New England D-III basketball games take place yesterday – fans were treated to a pair of exciting contests between Keene State and Rhode Island College (both men’s and women’s basketball). I am rooting for these teams, along with the rest of the Little East Conference (LEC) to succeed, but I am sure everyone knows it will take an entire league effort to keep everyone safe, both this week and next month, so games can be played.

Thought No. 6: The National Women’s Hockey League‘s (NWHL) began its two-week sprint to the Isobel Cup yesterday with fans being able to watch contests on their Twitch channel. I watched some of the first game – I enjoyed it, and give the league credit with not just offering a streaming service to watch every game, but also finding other creative ways to stay connected with its fans as games are taking place in a bubble environment. Additionally, I loved the tweets from yesterday’s Boston Pride contest. Kudos to the Pride’s social media team – keep up the great work with keeping myself and others in the loop with all the action as I love what you’re tweeting!

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.

Daily Noontime (Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to Thursday, everyone!

It is rather gloomy outside our home office, but that won’t stop us from thinking positive thoughts – we are an upbeat, positive media outlet. You know that right?

Alright, let’s get to some news, beginning with yesterday afternoon’s exciting announcement from the Hockey East.

The Hockey East Association plans to drop the puck for the 2020-21 season next Friday, November 20. Games for the opening weekend, as well as the first few weeks will be aired on NESN while other contests will be seen “through its partnership with ViacomCBSDigital.”

“We’re excited to make this announcement today, and very appreciative of all the hard work by so many in making it happen,” said Steve Metcalf, who is the league’s commissioner, in a statement.

Metcalf would continue by adding, “We’ve worked closely with all our member institutions in establishing protocols in an effort to play as safely as possible, while also giving our teams a complete and meaningful season.”

According to Wednesday’s release from the Hockey East, the league’s 11 men’s teams will compete in 20 contests this winter while its 10 women’s programs will skate in 18 games.

Prior to yesterday’s announcement from the Hockey East, Atlantic Hockey shared similar news last month about its ‘return to play‘ with games beginning later this month.

Staying in the college sports world, the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) also made an announcement yesterday about winter sports – the CCC remains “hopeful that our winter teams will have the opportunity to compete in the 2020-21 academic year.

Other New England NCAA D-III conferences have canceled winter sports competition, mainly conference play and championships, but did leave the door open for its various schools to pursue non-conference contests, pending it safe to do so.

According to D3Hoops.com, only a small number of conferences and schools have elected to cancel or “call off” competition for its winter sports teams. And there are a few schools on this list from both Massachusetts and other parts of New England.

While we do like to keep things positive, we do need to share a heartbreaking (and very sad) report: Penn State‘s Journey Brown is retiring from football due to heart condition, which the 21-year-old halfback discovered during “a routine COVID-19 test in early September.”

The news of Brown’s retirement was announced last night by his coach James Franklin, who did tell reporters that the condition is not related to COVID-19.

Brown shared an emotional tweet last night to his followers – he admitted he did not “expect to make it this far, but it’s about the Journey.”

We wish Brown all the best in the coming days and weeks – maybe we could see him on the sidelines as a coach with Franklin?

Alright, that will do it for now, but make sure to stop by later for another blog or two, and remember to keep smiling, everyone!

Bentley University Unveils Its 2020-21 Hockey Schedule

The Bentley University men’s ice hockey team will begin its season Friday, Nov. 27 against Holy Cross. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bentley University Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

If you’re craving some local college hockey this winter – well, more later this month – then you’re in luck as the Bentley University men’s ice hockey program unveiled its 2020-21 schedule yesterday with its initial contest scheduled for Friday, November 27 against Holy Cross.

Bentley is a member of the Atlantic Hockey, which announced its return to play last month, and will compete in three home-and-home series over the next few weeks against Holy Cross, Army West Point, and American International College (AIC).

The Falcons will also square-off against Sacred Heart, which is the fifth and final team in the league’s eastern pod – Atlantic Hockey announced it would divide its conference into two pods this winter to “mitigate some of the risk factors regarding COVID-19 exposure during travel.”

In addition to competing against its eastern pod opponents, the Falcons will also play one home-and-home series with Long Island University and Air Force. LIU is a new program that announced in April plans to play their first season this winter.

While fans will not be permitted to watch games in-person, they will be able to stream each contest on FloHockey this season.

SUNYAC Cancels Winter Sports

SUNYAC Logo (courtesy sunyacsports.com)

By Matt Noonan

Another NCAA D-III conference has announced its plans for the upcoming winter sports season.

Just a short time ago, the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) announced they have canceled the 2020-21 winter season.

The sports impacted by today’s decision are the following: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field.

As noted in this afternoon’s release, which can be seen on the conference’s website, the health and safety of “everyone involved with intercollegiate athletics,” along with each and every campus was why the conference made the difficult decision, according to Erik Bitterbaum, who is the chair of the SUNYAC Presidents.

While this is not the first announcement regarding the upcoming college winter sports season from the NCAA D-III world, it certainly won’t be the last. Earlier this month the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) called off winter sports while the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) has canceled conference play, including championships.