Rob Gronkowski Will Compete For The New England Patriots In 2018

ap-2016-10-16-rob-gronkowski-clapping-1511559047
Rob Gronkowski announced on Instagram this evening that he will be returning to the gridiron this fall with the New England Patriots. (PHOTO CREDIT: WCVB.com)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Rob Gronkowski announced this evening on Instagram that he will return to the gridiron this fall to compete for the New England Patriots.

Gronkowski wrote the following on Instagram: “I met with coach today and informed him I will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats. I have been working out, staying in shape and feel great. Looking forward to another championship run.
#bandsamakeherdance.

The announcement allows members of Patriots Nation to take a deep breath – yes, there was speculation following the Super Bowl that Gronkowski would retire and pursue other opportunities. However, today’s post squashes any rumors or thoughts that Gronkowski won’t be back for another season with New England.

Gronkowski concluded the 2017 season with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns. He played in all three postseason games, too, hauling in 16 of 27 targets for 218 yards and three touchdowns.

Against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, he scored two touchdowns, while recording 116 receiving yards on nine receptions.

Report: Tom Brady Has Yet To Commit To 2018 Season

tom-brady3
According to various reports, Tom Brady has yet to commit to playing in 2018. (PHOTO CREDIT: NESN)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

According to various reports on Wednesday (Apr. 18th, 2018), New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has yet to commit to playing this upcoming season.

Brady led the Patriots to the Super Bowl last season, but was unable to deliver the franchise its sixth national championship. Instead, Philadelphia celebrated its first-ever Super Bowl – the win was the squad’s first against the Patriots in the ‘big game’ since falling to New England in 2004.

ESPN‘s Adam Schefter confirmed via his report this morning that one source believes Brady will play this season, but did say, “what goes on away from the football field, I don’t know.”

Brady, who will turn 41 in August, has told multiple outlets over the years that he would like to play beyond his 40th birthday, but has recently been focused on spending more time with his family.

The news of Brady’s uncertainty to play this season adds another wrinkle to what has been a very bizarre offseason for the Patriots, which has seen multiple players from last year’s squad, including Malcolm ButlerNate SolderBrandin Cooks and Danny Amendola depart New England to sign with other teams.

Additionally, news continues to surface about Rob Gronkowski‘s future – will he remain in New England or pursue other opportunities such as wrestling or acting? We will have to wait and find out!

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ Football Twitter handle for New England Patriots, College and High School news at @Noontime_FB

Noontime 2017 Year In Review: Revisiting The New England D3 Basketball Season

2017 BASKETBALL REWIND

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

We’re t-minus three days away from the end of 2017 – let’s party!

Yet, before we officially turn the page to 2018, let’s take a look back at the year in New England Division III Basketball, beginning with the Babson College men’s basketball team, which captured its first-ever national title.

Similar to the hometown New England Patriots, the Beavers overcame a 25-point deficit in the national semifinals to defeat top-ranked Whitman, 91-85, before edging Augustana, 79-78, in the championship.

Joey Flannery netted a game-high 23 points in the final, while blocking a potential go-ahead layup by Augustana’s Nolan Ebel to secure the one-point win in Salem, Virginia.

The victory capped an exciting run by the Beavers, who closed out their 2016-17 campaign with 31-2 overall record. Babson won all six of its games in March, including a second meeting with Tufts University in NCAA Sectional Semifinals.

The Bay State also celebrated another national championship with Amherst College defeating Tufts in the women’s basketball national championship, thanks to a game-high 21 points from Ali Doswell. The win marked the third time the Mammoths has defeated the Jumbos last season – one of those victories came in the 2017 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship.

Amherst concluded its 2016-17 season 33-0, and remain undefeated this season thus far – they are back in action this afternoon (Thursday, December 28th) when they face UC Santa Cruz at the D3Hoops.com Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In addition to Amherst and Babson, the 2016-17 season saw some other teams enjoy exciting runs, including the UMass Dartmouth women’s basketball team, which advanced to its first-ever ‘Elite Eight’ after knocking-off La Roche (71-64), Montclair State (71-63) and SUNY New Paltz (67-57).

On the men’s side, we saw Williams College advance to the national semifinals, while Keene State advanced to sectional finals to face Babson after defeating Amherst (69-66), Ramapo (92-91) and Christopher Newport (68-64). Endicott College also made a splash in the big dance, earning a pair of victories over Nichols College and Salisbury before falling to Middlebury College in the third round. The Panthers would fall to the Ephs of Williams the following day.

Following the final whistle – or game, technically – we unveiled our Noontime Sports Teams of the Year, including our first-ever Rookie Team, too!

Men’s Basketball Team of the Year 

Women’s Basketball Team of the Year

Men’s Basketball Rookie Team of the Year

Women’s Basketball Rookie Team of the Year

A few days after the Beavers captured their first-ever national title, we caught-up with their play-by-play guy – that would be John Cabral.

In addition to speaking with Cabral, we also spoke with Stephen Brennan, who guided the Beavers to an exciting championship win.

Finally, we wrapped-up our 2016-17 basketball coverage with a prediction blog post – what teams to watch or follow this season (2017-18). How are our predictions doing?

Look for more New England Division III coverage in 2018, plus some new content and podcasts, too! As always, make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – you can also find us on LinkedIn, too! 

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, June 27th

Russell Westbrook
Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook was tabbed the NBA’s Most Valuable Player on Tuesday evening. (PHOTO CREDIT: Bleacher Report)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

It’s Tuesday – let’s dance!

Welcome into a brand new edition – well, technically a Tuesday edition – of the Daily Noontime on NoontimeSports.com.

Let’s get you ready for a great day, beginning with some news and notes from around the sports and entertainment world.

We begin with Russell Westbrook, who was named the NBA’s most valuable player last night at the league’s inaugural award show. Westbrook enjoyed an amazing and historic season by tallying 42 triple-doubles.

As noted in an ESPN report, Westbrook became the second player in league history behind Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double. Robertson recorded 41 triple-doubles during the 1961-62 season.

Crazy to think it took a few decades to break that record, but it happened, folks!

While Westbrook’s triple-double performance this season was quite impressive, one should wonder if any of these seven NBA records will ever be broken?

My guess is that no one will match or beat Bill Russell‘s 11 championships, but that’s just my ‘two-cents.’

Speaking of Russell, the former Boston Celtic was honored – he was presented the lifetime achievement award.

After Russell received the special honor, he announced (jokingly!) that he would ‘kick your ass’ to the following players: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning and David Robinson.

Good news, Boston Red Sox fans: the local nine is back in the win column! Last night, Chris Sale and Mitch Moreland led the way for the Sox as they beat Minnesota, 4-1.

Sale concluded the game with nine strikeouts, which bumped his total to 155 strikeouts (thus far).

Last season, Sale tallied 233 strikeouts in 32 games with the Chicago White Sox, so he is certainly on pace to match his total from a year ago. Sale retired a career-best 274 batters in 2015, but I am not sure he will reach that total this season.

As noted in a Variety.com, Spider-Man: Homecoming has dominated the social media landscape recently, accounting for 113,000 new conversations last week. That’s nuts!

I am not the biggest comic book guy, but did enjoy the Spider-Man movies from a few years ago – you know, the ones with Tobey Maguire, but I do plan on seeing this film when it opens on Friday, July 7th.

Finally, and this should not come as a total surprise (or shock), but Tom Brady was voted number one in NFL Network‘s annual top 100 players in the NFL. The New England Patriots quarterback beat-out Von Miller (Denver Broncos) and Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) for the top spot in this year’s poll.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone! And be kind and good to all!

Babson’s Brennan Reflects On An Exciting National Championship Victory

Babson Men's Basketball
It was a special moment for Babson College coach Stephen Brennan and the Beavers when they captured the program’s first-ever NCAA Division III men’s basketball championship. (PHOTO CREDIT: Keith Lucas)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

It’s been a few days since Babson College captured its fist-ever NCAA Division III men’s basketball championship and coach Stephen Brennan’s phone is still buzzing with text messages, phone calls and emails.

“I think that night after the game I had about 120 text messages,” said Brennan, who guided the Beavers to an exciting 79-78 victory over Augustana (Ill.) last Saturday in Salem, Virginia.

Everyone wanted to congratulate Brennan and the team, including past and current Babson presidents, friends from Bates College and current Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

Learn more about the connection between Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens and the Babson College Beavers, via MassLive.com

Even the New England Patriots expressed their excitement, tweeting out a congratulatory tweet to both Babson and Amherst College, which captured the women’s national title game last Saturday, too.

“When the Patriots sent a congratulator tweet, I was like ‘what’s that?’” said Brennan. “You don’t really expect that.”

The Beavers were also congratulated by Massachusetts Mayor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey.

Babson’s win provided a great deal of excitement to both Massachusetts and New England college basketball fans. They all feel touched by this particular victory, according to Brennan, including Babson’s conference foes and regional opponents.

“(This win) has touched multiple members of our community from alums to our opponents (in the northeast),” said Brennan, “so it’s certainly nice to touch so many people and share it with our friends and friends of our program.”

The win also touched a quartet of Babson alums – David MackTravis SheldonEric Dean and John Wickey – that positioned the Beavers over the past few years for a potential national title-run. And despite coming-up short two years ago in the national semifinals, Babson was able to avenge its disappointing setback with a dramatic one-point victory.

“The key for success is you have to pay the rent,” said Brennan, “and this team (especially the seniors) put in the time.”

The senior class certainly put in the time, they will depart Babson Park with 103 victories, which is the most wins in program history.

Joey Flannery, who was certainly a catalyst behind the Beavers’ run toward the program’s initial national crown, concluded his career with 2,620 points, which positions him eighth all-time in Division III history. Additionally – and as noted in the game’s release – he also scored 167 points in six NCAA Tournament games this season.

Brennan and the Beavers will continue to enjoy this special accomplishment, but know a new season will be here soon. And in order to continue their current success, the tenured coach knows his team will need to ‘pay the rent’ every day.

“Everyone will have to grow,” said Brennan. “We’ll need to continue our current work ethic and culture (moving forward, while continuing) our toughness and work ethic, too.”