Inside Noontime: The First Year

By Matt Noonan 

Welcome to the second installment of ‘Inside Noontime,’ a weekly series that tells our site’s story about how I (and others) built Noontime Sports, along with the lessons we have learned over the past decade.

This blog has provided me, along with others, an amazing opportunity to pursue our love for storytelling, as well as video and podcast production, too. And that is exactly where we pick-up with our weekly series! 

Months after our site launched in May 2009, I had returned to campus – Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, to be exact – for the start of my senior year.

I was excited for my final two semesters of college but eager for graduation day to arrive quickly so I could begin my content creation journey that has featured many twists and turns. 

Over the past few months, I blogged occasionally for the site – maybe three to four times per week? – but not as much as others I knew (or would eventually meet down the road) that produced five or six blogs per day. I was a college student – well, more a college senior, to be exact – and I wanted to have some semblance of a social life before I departed campus with a piece of paper that said I met the necessary requirements to graduate Wheaton, including a foreign language class that I barely passed after scoring a six on a midterm exam.  

As the fall progressed, I continued to stay connected with a few friends that were helpful with generating content during the first few years of the site’s existence, including Andy Lindberg, who I considered my right-hand man. Andy to me was more than just a friend, but a colleague – he was passionate about sports writing and would often produce blogs that were so well written that I often wondered to myself, “why the heck does this dude want to write for my little unknown site?”  

Like Mike Riley and Hayden Bird, who I mentioned in my initial post of the ‘Inside Noontime’ series, Andy challenged me to be a better writer and thinker. I credit Andy for his tutelage during the first few years as the site’s owner and editor. Andy was instrumental in helping me launch the site’s podcast – you know it today as Noontime Sports the Podcast, which can be heard on various outlets, including Apple Podcast and Spotify. We would record the show via Skype and then post the recording as a blog post. 

Did anyone actually listen

As the first year progressed, I became more and more obsessed with content creation – I really wanted to do what I was doing for Noontime Sports for a local or national outlet. So when I received an email in April 2010 that I was being considered for an entry-level role with NESN, I immediately wrote back that “I would love to interview for this particular job.” 

Unfortunately, I did not get the job. But the interview experience – and yes, the process, too! – provided me a better understanding of what I needed to do the next time I was in the running for a similar position. And I realize now how lucky I was to sit across the table from three amazing individuals, including a gentleman by the name of Mike Hall, who did some truly amazing things for the site, but also the outlet’s digital brand. 

As I drove home from the interview, I kept telling myself that pursuing a career in this field would still be possible. Think positively, Matt – you can do it!

The search for that so-called “initial job out of college” continued for the next few weeks, and eventually, I was able to accept two positions: one with the Pittsfield Colonials, who were an independent baseball team, and another with WEEI.com. Both positions were so helpful in shaping future content for the site you are currently reading – honestly, if it had not been for these two positions, then maybe Noontime Sports would not have lasted more than a year. Who knows? 

With the Colonials, I was able to produce some content on the players, as well as the manager, Brian Daubach, too, which I am still unsure if anyone read other than say, my family? While I was an employee of the team, I felt as though I was their in-house journalist with my blog – I am not sure they knew I was producing daily blogs about the team, but it certainly helped me learn a thing or two about being a beat writer. 

But one of my fondest memories of telling stories about the Colonials was hosting a weekly podcast with Kevin Tuve, who was the team’s scout. Tuve knows the sport of baseball inside and out – trust me, this guy would be a valued member of any professional scouting department if he was given the chance and was extremely instrumental in helping Pittsfield go from the bottom of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball (Can-Am) standings to first place.

With Tuve’s assistance, the team not only won a playoff series but also secured a spot in the championship round. Unfortunately, they would lose to the Québec Capitales but discussing both the series and season with Tuve was something I cherish to this day. The podcasts were usually 30 minutes and also posted into a blog post shortly after the conversation concluded. To me, it felt like talking about a major sports franchise with millions of people listening – did millions listen?

As the summer became the fall, I found myself in a similar position as I was a few months earlier: I needed a job as soon as possible! But while I constantly searched for similar jobs, along with positions a 22-year-old straight out of college was not qualified for, I decided to use the time to produce a post titled the ‘Daily Noontime,’ which has taken on so many different versions since I started it. 

The ‘Daily Noontime’ was somewhat similar to a post I did when I was on the clock with WEEI.com as an intern. It was basically the equivalent of a modern-day email blast that linked back to various news stories and videos. And I think people read the post if I recall! 

But one thing I do recall doing at the end of 2010 was making a slew of videos – something I had not done until I purchased a camera and tripod after college – while welcoming a variety of guests onto my unknown (and no-name) podcast, including Bill Hancock, who is the executive director of the College Football Playoff and was certainly the site’s biggest guest. Bill was a wonderful guest – I am so glad we connected! – and I still cannot believe he made time for me, someone he did not know. But that experience of interacting with Bill, both on the podcast and after the show was recording, remains with me to this exact day.  

Eventually, I found a job – in fact, I found a few, to be exact (and honest!) – and as my first two gigs out of college, they also began to shape the site’s identity, including a freelance opportunity with ESPNBoston.com. 

Next week, we’ll dive into how the site decided to switch gears from covering national stories to college and high school sports in Massachusetts, as well as other parts of New England.

Subscribe To The Noontime Sports Podcast

NoontimePodcastArtJuly2020By NoontimeSports.com 

The Noontime Sports Podcast has officially returned after a short hiatus – we can be found on the following platforms (as of Friday, July 31, 2020):

You can also listen to our show – both recent and past episodes – through our website:

Today, we unveiled our first mini-podcast, a short and to-the-point podcast on if we should play college football this fall.

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Ty Anderson (WEEI.com)

Noontime Podcast

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Ty Anderson of WEEI.com joined Noontime Sports the Podcast this week to chat about his Boston Bruins coverage, both for the website and radio station, as well as the ongoing changes in the world of sports media.

Anderson arrived at WEEI last October (2016) and covered the team through their final game of the postseason this spring.

Prior to joining WEEI, Anderson covered the Black and Gold for HockeyBuzz.com.

Make sure to follow Anderson on Twitter (@_TyAnderson), as well as become a fan of WEEI on Facebook.

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Casey McGarvey (CGA) & James Baker (InThe HuddLLE)

Noontime Podcast

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Casey McGarvey (United States Coast Guard Academy Athletics) and James Baker (In The HuddLLe) highlighted today’s Noontime Sports the Podcast, which was hosted by Matt Noonan.

McGarvey, who is a sports information assistant/new media mogul at UGA, discussed the impact of social media on campus and how his office has explored new ways to tell stories about student-athletes and coaches, including blog posts, which can be seen on the academy’s athletic website. He also highlighted the football team’s final regular game against Merchant Marine Academy, which will be broadcasted by ESPN.

Baker, who was a frequent guest on the podcast last football season, shared his pre-season thoughts (and ideas) on the various New England teams to watch this fall, including Western New England, which secured a spot on this week’s D3Football.com Preseason Poll. The Golden Bears checked-in 24th out of 25 teams, while earning 100 points.

Entering this upcoming football season, Baker, along with co-host Frank Rossi, will be celebrating 10 years of D3 Football coverage. Their podcast has featured numerous student-athletes and coaches from the Liberty League, along with broadcasters and media members, too. They have also covered the NCAA Division III Football Tournament’s selection show, while interviewing the committee chair about postseason play.

Make sure to check-out past episodes of the In The HuddLLE by HOPPING HERE!

Noontime Sports The Podcast: Episode 25 (Logan Hansen | Hansen Ratings)

Noontime Podcast

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Noontime Sports the Podcast returned this week as host Matt Noonan welcomed Logan Hansen of Hansen Ratings to the show to discuss some NCAA Division III football.

Hansen runs a site that is all about rankings – yes, rankings. Yet, this isn’t just your typical rankings site based on records or perhaps strength of schedule. Instead, there is some ‘madness’ behind these rankings, which Hansen explains on this podcast.

Additionally, Hansen and Noonan discuss a few games fans should watch or follow in the first week of the season – Hansen also dished out an early championship prediction, too.

Make sure to follow Logan on Twitter (@LogHanRatings).