Happy Friday, Noontime Nation fans and friends – hope you’re ready for a great weekend!
I am excited to introduce a new weekly piece of content – our Noontime Nation Sports Business and Tech notebook – which will highlight some Massachusetts news from the sports (and athletic) technology, business, and start-up world.
As someone that is passionate about sports business, start-ups, and technology, I am excited to introduce this new content that I hope you (and others) will enjoy and share.
Have a great weekend and thanks for checking out our first-ever Sports Business and Technology notebook here on NoontimeSports.com
News and Links from the Boston Sports Business & Tech World
PlayEasy – for those that may not be familiar with this company – is the equivalent of OpenTable when it comes to reserving basketball courts, skating rinks, and playing fields. The company is connected with more than 500 athletic facilities.
The Sports Innovation Labrecently examined in a blog post the ‘Power of Togetherness,’ as well as how sports are creating ‘a sense of community.’
In a recent interview with Fancred, Matt Lombardo doesn’t think that Eli Manning, who quarterbacked the New York Giants to two Super Bowls, is a lock for Canton, Ohio (the National Football League).
Fans can subscribe to the Fancred YouTube channel, so you won’t miss future videos (like the one above!) by CLICKING HERE!
Don’t miss the first DraftKings Over/Under Show tomorrow morning (Saturday, January 25th, 2020) on 98.5 The Sports Hub at 7 a.m. The show will be hosted by Joe Murray and Dan Lifshatz.
This is exciting news for the hyper-local daily fantasy company to continue expanding its brand through a well-listened to radio station in Boston, but also perhaps reach some new users, too.
I’m looking forward to tuning in – Joe Murray is an old friend of the site that appeared on our podcasts back in 2010 and 2011.
Upcoming Events to Attend (and network!) in Massachusetts
The Celtics are off tonight but are back in action tomorrow (Friday, January 24th) when they visit the Orlando Magic with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Boston Bruins are off until the end of the month – they entered the National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star break with some momentum for the stretch run by beating the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.
The Noontime Headlines (and Links)
Eli Manning, who quarterbacked the New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories over the New England Patriots, announced his retirement last night. (ESPN.com)
Will Eli Manning be elected to the National Football League (NFL) Hall of Fame? Possibly? (NFL.com)
Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens had some kind words to say prior to last night’s game against Jae Crowder, who played for the Green and White from 2014-2017. (Boston.com)
Former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe didn’t think Tom Brady was ‘going to be a starter.’ (NESN.com)
Employees at The Ringer, which was started by Bill Simmons, are worried about their jobs with talks of a sale to an audio company called … Spotify. (Washington Post)
Major League Baseball (MLB) plans to test robot umpires during spring training. (Elite Sports NY)
Throwback Video of the Day: In honor of ‘Throwback Thursday,’ enjoy a look back at a dominant sports decade in Boston Sports, courtesy of Boston Sports Highlights.
In a few hours, we will be treated to a seventh game of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Stanley Cup Finals when the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues collide on Causeway Street.
Are you excited?
It feels like its been years since the Bruins last skated in a seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals, but it actually occurred eight years ago when the Bruins clinched the series with a convincing 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
The four-goal win over the Canucks is the Bruins’ lone game seven victory in franchise history. The Blues have never skated in a game seven, so the arrow should favor the Bruins, not the team from St. Louis, once the puck is dropped.
Game seven is not new to the Boston Celtics, who have won this particular contest seven times in franchise history, including the final game of the 1984 National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Final, which happened to occur on the same date as this evening’s series finale. Boston defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 111-102, to clinch the series – it was the last time a professional team in this city captured their league’s respective crown in the Bay State.
The Boston Red Sox have also competed in the seventh game of the World Series, but haven’t been as successful as the Bruins and Celtics. Since 1986, the Red Sox are 1-5 in the seventh game of a World Series, including 1912 when they lost to the New York Giants before clinching the championship one day later in the eighth game. Yes, some World Series needed eight games to decide a winner.
Boston’s lone seventh game win in a World Series occurred in 1903 when they were called the Boston Americans. They beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-3, before clinching the franchise’s initial championship one day later with a 3-0 victory.
Excluding 1903 and 1912, game seven has not been kind to the hometown ballclub as they lost the series in 1946, 1967, 1975, and 1986. Two of those series happened to be against the St. Louis Cardinals. But luckily, those series are in the past as Boston has beaten the Cardinals twice in the current century.
The New England Patriots have never experienced as a seventh game because the National Football League (NFL) is all about one-game playoff series, not three, five or seven. But if the Patriots played a seven-game series, I would pick New England to win.
Game seven is often a contest many sports fans remember. And I bet there will be some amazing moments (and memories) this evening between the Bruins and Blues that will be discussed for years to come.
I am excited – why not have a seventh game to decide this particular series? – but also nervous at the same time. I believe the Bruins can win this evening but also think the Blues could steal this one.
Boston has won six Stanley Cups. St. Louis has never won a Stanley Cup, so winning the series against the Bruins, who beat them in 1970, would certainly be satisfying for those decked out in Blue and Gold this evening.
We want the cup, we want a game seven victory, so here’s to hoping game seven will result in another win for a Boston winter team, which is accustomed to celebrating a championship once this contest concludes.
And the answer for who the Patriots would play in week one was a familiar foe, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yep, the Steel Curtain will invade Gillette Stadium on the first Sunday evening of the 2019 season, and you know it will be a great game with hopefully the Patriots prevailing.
With a new season just months away, but a schedule now available to analyze (and think about), why not share some thoughts on how the hometown team will do in each contest, beginning with its week one match-up with the Steelers.
Noonan’s 2019 Game-By-Game Predictions
Week One: Pittsburg Steelers at Patriots (Sept. 8th, 2019 | 8:30 p.m.): There will be a lot of storylines heading into this one, but the most important one will be how will the Patriots do with Rob Gronkowski? I think they will do just fine. There will be some growing pains, of course, but in the end, the Patriots should find a way to sneak past the Steelers without two of their key pieces from the past few seasons. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Steelers 21
Week Two: Patriots at Miami Dolphins (Sept. 15th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): Coach Bill Belichick takes on former defensive coordinator Brian Flores. This will be yet another one of those master versus apprentice battles, but in the end, I think the Dolphins win this one, but the Pats will even the score later in the season. PREDICTION: Dolphins 24, Patriots 17
Week Three: New York Jets at Patriots (Sept. 22, 2019 | 1 p.m.):Adam Gase seems to think the Jets are better suited than his former team to beat the Patriots. He even inspired them to bring back a bad (and remixed) version of their Neil O’Donnell uniforms, too. The Patriots will be eager to bounce back from their week two loss to the Dolphins and earn their first divisional win. PREDICTION: Patriots 37, Jets 15
Week Four: Patriots at Buffalo Bills (Sept. 29th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): After cruising past the Jets, the Patriots should have no problem ending the month of September with a second-straight AFC East victory. PREDICTION: Patriots 24, Bills 10
Week Five: Patriots at Washington Redskins (Oct. 6th, 2019 |1p.m.): The last time the Patriots and Redskins squared-off in our nation’s capital, I believe there was some sort of shouting match between Tom Brady and Bill O’Brien. I don’t see Brady yelling at O’Brien this year – he coaches the Houston Texans, by the way – but I do see our hometown hero yelling at his teammates during the pregame to fire them up for another win. PREDICTION: Patriots 31, Redskins 21
Week Six: New York Giants at Patriots (Oct. 10th, 2019 | 8:20 p.m.): It seems like ages ago when these two teams met in the Super Bowl, but this game won’t be like the ‘big game.’ Nope, the Giants are rebuilding – should be competitive, though – but in the end, this has the makings for Sony Michel two or three-touchdown game. PREDICTION: Patriots 35, Giants 17
Week Seven: Patriots at New York Jets (Oct. 21, 2019 | 8:15 p.m.): As usual, the Jets usually play well at home, but can they rebound from a week three setback to the Patriots? Probably not, right? PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Jets 17
Week Eight: Cleveland Browns at Patriots (Oct. 27th, 2019 | 4:25 p.m.): Welcome to Foxboro, Baker Mayfield. The Browns should be in the mix for an AFC Championship this season – yes, I know what I just wrote (and said in my head!) – but somehow I see the Patriots pulling this out with a late touchdown. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Browns 24
Week Nine: Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (Nov. 3rd, 2019 | 8:20 p.m.): Coach Belichick versus quarterback Lamar Jackson should be an enticing game of chess. The Ravens always play the Patriots tough, and I think this is a tough spot for New England to secure a win before the bye week. PREDICTION: Ravens 21, Patriots 17
Week Ten: Bye Week (Nov. 10th, 2019)
Week 11: Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles (Nov. 17th, 2019 | 4:25 p.m.): Coming off their bye week (and a disappointing setback to the Ravens), the Patriots will return to their early season form and cause havoc to quarterback Carson Wentz. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Eagles 20
Week 12: Dallas Cowboys at Patriots (Nov. 24th, 2019 | 4:24 p.m.): Quarterback Dak Prescott does quite well in chilly temperatures – cold weather doesn’t seem to bother the young signal-caller. This should be a competitive game like the 2011 meeting, but in the end, I somehow see Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott winning the game on a one-yard score. PREDICTION: Cowboys 21, Patriots 18
Week 13: Patriots at Houston Texans (Dec. 1st, 2019 | 8:20 p.m.): After a tough loss to the Cowboys – I know, I showed some bias to my second favorite football team – the Patriots will find a way back into the win column, but it won’t be an easy win. PREDICTION: Patriots 29, Texans 23
Week 14: Kansas City Chiefs at Patriots (Dec. 8th, 2019 | 4:25 p.m.): This has the making for a very exciting contest – perhaps the winner could take over the top spot in the AFC for the upcoming playoffs. The Chiefs almost beat the Patriots last season but should be a tougher opponent this year, thanks to new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. PREDICTION: Chiefs 31, Patriots 27
Week 15: Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals (Dec. 15th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): Welcome to the beginning of a three-game winning streak. Sure, the Bengals will have a new coach this year, but they won’t be able to stop the Patriots at this point of the season. PREDICTION: Patriots 31, Bengals 20
Week 16: Buffalo Bills at Patriots (Dec. 21st or 22nd | TBD): The pre-Christmas game at Foxboro usually results in a win for the hometown team. Who knows what shape the Bills will be in at this point of the season, but the Patriots will once again dominate their divisional foe. PREDICTION: Patriots 28, Bills 14
Week 17: Miami Dolphins at Patriots (Dec. 29th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): One week after handing Buffalo an early holiday present, the Patriots will once again dish out an early Happy New Year gift by beating the Dolphins before the postseason. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Dolphins 10
Stay connected with our New England football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter!