Daily Noontime: Let The Countdown To Week Zero Begin


By Matt Noonan 

Welcome to the midweek point of yet another week.

The weekend – yes, the two days saved for relaxing – are insight. And so is supposedly some college football games, which are scheduled to begin Saturday, August 29.

As we learned yesterday from Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports, the NCAA issued a “blanket waiver” on Monday, July 27, which would allow various D-I programs to start their respective seasons earlier than usual. This decision would certainly allow teams some flexibility to play (hopefully) a full season, pending how things shake out with the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

From a quick glance at the FBS schedule on ESPN.com, there are a few games scheduled for Saturday, August 29, including Missouri State visiting Oklahoma and Southern Illinois taking on Kansas. No times have been announced for these or any of the games listed, so stay tuned, college football friends.

ESPN’s Andrea Adelson answered highlights some important questions for those wondering if and how a college football season is possible during a pandemic – she even gave insight into what a Miami Marlins Covid-19 outbreak would mean for the sport, too.

Here is what else is going on in the sports world these days:

  • Joe Kelly of the Los Angeles Dodgers sparked” a fight last night between both his team and the Houston Astros.
  • Locally, the Little East Conference (LEC) canceled its upcoming fall sports season, joining a slew of NCAA D-III leagues that made the same decision over the past few days and weeks.
  • Following the LEC’s decision to cancel fall sports, UMass Dartmouth announced they will not be playing any sports until 2021.
  • Believe it or not, NFL training camps have started – yes, preparations for the 2020 football season are underway, despite an ongoing pandemic. But while teams begin to prepare for the strangest season in years, someone has to highlight various New England Patriots camp battles, right?

Mass. College Football: Local Colleges Represented In NFC Training Camps

By NoontimeSports.com 

As noted in an earlier post, the NFL 2013 season is slowly underway, (training camp, wahoo!) and similar to our list of AFC players, here are the former Boston College Eagles, Harvard Crimson and Massachusetts Minutemen that’ll be competing in various NFC training camps.  

NFC East

Alex Albright (LB/Boston College) Dallas Cowboys

Mackenzy Bernadeau (G/Bentley University) Dallas Cowboys

Ron Brace (DT/Boston College) Washington Redskins

Michael Cox (RB/Massachusetts) New York Giants

Victor Cruz (WR/Massachusetts) New York Giants

Mark Herzlich (LB/Boston College) New York Giants

Jeremy Horne (WR/Massachusetts) New York Giants

Emil Igwenagu (FB/Massachusetts) Philadelphia Eagles

Mathias Kiwanuka (LB/Boston College) New York Giants

Ifeanyi Momah (WR/Boston College) Philadelphia Eagles

Chris Snee (G/Boston College) New York Giants

Matt Tennant (C/Boston College) Philadelphia Eagles

Jeremy Trueblood (T/Boston College) Washington Redskins


NFC North

Robert Francois (LB/Boston College) Green Bay Packers

Kevin Murphy (T/Harvard) Minnesota Vikings

B.J. Raji (DT/Boston College) Green Bay Packers


NFC South

Nick Clancy (LB/Boston College) Atlanta Falcons

Luke Kuechly (LB/Boston College) Carolina Panthers

Matt Ryan (QB/Boston College) Atlanta Falcons


NFC West

Will Blackmon (CB/Boston College) Seattle Seahawks

Jo-Lonn Dunbar (LB/Boston College) St. Louis Rams

Mass. College Football: Local Colleges Represented In AFC Training Camps

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the 2013 NFL season slowly underway, (training camp!) we’ve decided to provide a list of the various players with local ties that’ll be competing for positions.

In this particular blog post, we profile the AFC, which features a variety of former Boston College Eagles, Harvard Crimson and Massachusetts Minutemen.

AFC East

Vladimir Ducasse (OL/ Massachusetts) New York Jets

Donnie Fletcher (CB/ Boston College) New York Jets

Antonio Garay (DL/Boston College) New York Jets

John Griffin (RB/Massachusetts) New York Jets

Chris Pantale (TE/ Boston College) New York Jets

Ryan Quigley (P/ Boston College) New York Jets

Josh Samuda (Offensive Lineman/Massachusetts) Miami Dolphins

Jason Vega (Defensive Lineman/Northeastern University) New England Patriots


AFC North

Desmond Bryant (DT/Harvard) Cleveland Browns

James Ihedigbo (SS/Massachusetts) Baltimore Ravens

Kyle Juszczyk (FB/Harvard) Baltimore Ravens

Jeromy Miles (S/Massachusetts) Cincinnati Bengals


AFC South

Jeremy Cain (LS/Massachusetts) Jacksonville Jaguars

Anthony Castonzo (T/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Gosder Cherilus (T/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Emmett Cleary (T/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB/Harvard) Tennessee Titans

Matt Hasselbeck (QB/Boston College) Indianapolis Colts

Stephane Milhim (G/Massachusetts) Jacksonville Jaguars


AFC West

Dan Koppen (C/Boston College) Denver Broncos

Damik Scafe (DE/Boston College) San Diego Chargers

John Wetzel (T/Boston College) Oakland Raiders 

Patriots 2012 NFL Training Camp Starts July 26

By NoontimeSports.com 

The New England Patriots announced on Tuesday that their 2012 training camp will begin on Thursday, July 26 at 1:30PM. That particular session will be opened to the public.

Also, the afternoon practices on July 27, 28, and 29 will be opened to fans, too. All four practices will begin at 1:30PM and conclude at 4:00PM.

Additional practice dates will be announced soon. For more information on the Patriots training camp — CLICK HERE.

NFL 2010: Teams on the “Bubble”

In every NFL season, we watch various teams emerge or appear that were not expected to do well or let alone make the playoffs. Below, I have provided one team from each of the eight divisions that I expect to perform rather well and be a possible playoff contender.

I know some may consider these picks laughable or completely incorrect, but if 2010 is not the season for these squads, at least they will be a team that will continue to make adjustments, correct mistakes and increase their progress in moving toward the top of their divisions.

Tom Brady practices at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, July 31, 2010

AFC East – New England Patriots: Almost every season, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots offense and defense is always prepping themselves to capture their fourth Vince Lombardi trophy. Yet, the football writers and spectators seem to be agreeing that this particular squad will not do well or even be playoff bound. I disagree, especially from what I saw on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. Yes, the Patriots have questions, such as, who will be their true leader on and off the field, can Brady focus on playing football and less about a new contract, as well as will the young defense be able to hold their ground against talented offenses. These questions and others need to be addressed, but in the meantime, I classify the Patriots as a team that will be under the radar all season, especially in a competitive AFC East that features two talented rivals, the Dolphins and Jets.

AFC North – Cleveland Browns: In a division where the Browns doesn’t receive much love, nor a hug, I will toss the dog pound a bone and consider them a team on the rise. Don’t get any ideas Browns fans, but your team will turn around and eventually win eight or nine games or eventually, 10 or 11. Unsigned rookie defensive back Joe Haden will help Eric Mangini build a solid defense and by having veteran quarterback’s Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme will help prepare rookie quarterback Colt McCoy for a bright future in orange and white.

AFC South – Houston Texans: Being a Dallas Cowboys fan, I am somewhat high on the other Texas team too. They had a good campaign in ’09, but expect them to be a true playoff contender come December. Texans fans need to watch the Colts and see if they can stop last year’s Super Bowl runner up, as well as earn four wins against both the Titans and Jaguars. Although, a team that has pro-bowl caliber candidates, which includes DeMeco Ryans, Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub and Owen Daniels, why wouldn’t the Texans be feared? If they improve their ground attack, become more aggressive on defense, act smarter in the red-zone when on offense, as well as remain healthy, then they should be a team to watch this fall.

Thomas Jones will be utilized this season in Kansas City.

AFC West – Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs are really, (New England Patriots 2.0). They certainly were dismal and not fun to watch in ‘09, but with a new group of coaches intact, which includes former Patriots offensive and defensive coordinators, Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel, as well as general manager Scott Pioli, it is safe to say the team is headed in the right direction. Quarterback Matt Cassel needs help offensively and hopefully newcomer Thomas Jones can provide relief. Mike Vrable will be key to anchoring the defense and by providing leadership.

NFC East – Washington Redskins: The Dallas Cowboys should run this division, but who is a solid pick for second place… the Washington Redskins! New head coach Mike Shanahan already has his hands full with newly acquired quarterback Donovan McNabb and veteran defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth. The New York Yankees of football have talent and need to come together as a unit in camp.

NFC North – Chicago Bears: Chicago just watched the Blackhawks hoist the Stanley Cup trophy, which will be the only championship for the Windy City to celebrate at the moment. The Bears are not a championship team, nor at the Blackhawks level. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz is a key addition to head coach Lovie Smith’s staff, but can he work peacefully with a quarterback that threw the most interceptions in ’09? Also, how will linebacker Brian Urlacher do, following a season ending injury that occurred in week 1 against the Packers? Questions and concerns remain for this Bears team, but if they finish the season 8-8, especially in a division that will be ruled by the Packers and Vikings, then maybe Mayor Robert Daley could consider having a loser parade for his gridiron gang.

Can Matt Ryan rebound after a rocky 2009?

NFC South – Atlanta Falcons: Quarterback Matt Ryan had a sophomore slump, but the Falcons still played well. With literally the same team in tact, along with a few new additions of rookies and veterans, I expect the Falcons to return to their ’08 form and capture the NFC South.

NFC West – San Francisco 49ers: Similar to Houston, I support San Francisco because clearly they are the best team in this division. Quarterback Alex Smith is the question mark, but if receiver Michael Crabtree remains healthy and the offense establishes a running attack, how can the 49ers not be a team to fear?