Our old friend (and yes, former co-host for NCAA D-III football coverage in 2018 and 2019) James Baker of In The D3FB Huddle joined our podcast — we recorded the show on Monday, but the show is available now (Tuesday, June 8, 2021).
Baker and host/producer Matt Noonan discussed a variety of topics, including spring football — a handful of Division I teams in the northeast — that is our neck of the woods! — did compete while many Division II and III teams either practiced or scrimmaged a nearby team. Both Baker and Noonan believe the 2021 D-III season should feature some new storylines as most of the student-athletes we covered have graduated or perhaps transferred to another compete at another level.
In addition to some way-too-early D-III football talk — yes, we will have more from Baker and Noonan soon! — the guys also discussed the opening weekend of the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), an upcoming Pac-12 football game being played mid-morning in early September, and the Boston Red Sox‘s recent sweep of the New York Yankees.
And welcome to the first Friday of February – let’s celebrate.
It’s a BIG weekend for so many of us as the final game of the 2020 National Football League (NFL) is scheduled for Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Can you believe it?
Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will compete in Super Bowl on Sunday, which is one of many subjects – and yes, topics, too – discussed on today’s Football Friday Podcast (listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Anchor).
Alright, let’s kickstart the day with a brand new Daily Noontime – as usual, be well, stay safe, and hold the line, everyone!
We missed this story earlier this week, but according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports (FOS), ESPN is apparently interested in luring Jim Nantz away from CBS to become the network’s face of “its NFL and Masters golf coverage.”
Nantz’s could become a free agent broadcaster this summer, pending current contract negations, but this would be a BIG hire for the world-wide-leader.
Holy Cross will play its first game of the spring season on Saturday, March 13, but the initial FCS spring contest will occur next weekend when McNeese State visits Tarleton State University.
Finally, our Black History Month celebration on the men and women that have and continue to make an impact on the sports world continued yesterday with getting to know Paul Robeson, who starred as a defensive end with the Rutgers University football team.
Last night – Sunday, August 9, to be exact – we learned the Big Ten conference, which met twice this weekend, is leaning toward canceling its football season. And if football is canceled, it is likely both the presidents and chancellors of each institution would pull the plug on other fall sports, too.
An announcement from the Big Ten is expected if not today definitely this week, and pending the league’s final decision on the 2020 fall sports season, it is possible other Power 5 conferences such as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12) could cancel their respective fall sports seasons or perhaps make tweaks to their newly updated schedules.
While nothing official has been announced by the Big Ten or any Power 5 conference as of this morning, Bob Bowlsby, who is the commissioner of the Big 12, did provide some insight into what leagues might take into consideration when deciding to cancel games this fall: players enduring longlasting cardiac issues from contracting the coronavirus (Covid-19) that may prohibit them from future competition.
As noted in a recent story from Sports Illustrated, team doctors and physicians are worried that youth athletes, who are healthy and may be asymptomatic, could develop life-long heart problems, including myocardial, which causes damage to the heart muscle. It appears this issue is just one of many both presidents and chancellors are grappling with when it comes to making a decision on the 2020 fall sports season.
Here in New England, it appears as if both Boston College and the University of Massachusetts will play football this fall, but it is not a given that either program will play or perhaps complete its entire schedule. It is possible, pending future announcements from the Big Ten and other leagues, that both seasons could be canceled or punted to next spring.
Merrimack College, which competes in the Northeastern Conference (NEC), will have to wait and see if their football team will be allowed to play games this fall. According to last month’s update, the NEC President’s council will reconvene on Thursday, October 1 to assess the ongoing pandemic and see if it’s possible to provide not just the Warriors, but every team in the conference with some form of competition.
Other New England schools, including those that compete at both the Division II and III levels, will not be competing this fall, despite some athletic departments still not announcing that fall sports are canceled. But it is likely those announcements could come if not this week later this month once students return to campus.
At the end of the day, these are not easy decisions, so fans and football fanatics need to respect whatever is announced either today or over the next few days. Yes, no college football in the fall would seem strange, but if these decisions result in keeping the student-athletes safe, along with everyone else involved with college athletics safe and healthy, then we should applaud both the presidents and chancellors for making the right call.
Switching gears to professional football (again), the New England Patriots have a lot of cap space due to eight players opting-out for the upcoming season, which makes us wonder the following question: who should they acquire to replace some key pieces?