It’s going to be a VERY rainy day here in Massachusetts so it is probably best for everyone to stay inside and watch Netflix, right?
Let’s kick-start your day with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime,’ beginning with some news about Cam Newton and our hometown New England Patriots.
As of now, it seems possible that Patriots fans could see Cam Newton on the field next Sunday when the Patriots host the Denver Broncos, but as the team’s head coach Bill Belichick noted during his weekly radio appearance with WEEI‘s “Ordway, Merloni &Fauria,“ the veteran signal-caller “would have to go through medical clearance” before being allowed to rejoin his teammates on the practice field.
Newton is one of four Patriots to have tested positive for the coronavirus, but according to a few reports this morning, including PatriotsWire, it seems likely that the 2015 National Football League (NFL) quarterback will be back in the huddle at some point this week, which should be considered good news for the Patriots. Additionally, fans should expect Stephon Gilmore back on the field, too – we certainly need his help on defense!
Sticking with the football theme, the NFL will be testing players and coaches on game days, along with “some other employees of each team,” as noted in Kevin Seifert‘s piece on ESPN.com, which was posted late last night. Seifert also noted a few more tweaks to the league’s update Covid-19 protocols, which include everyone wearing masks during walk-through practices to coaches having to wear either masks or double-layered gaiters during games.
Boston concluded its 60-game season with a 24-36 mark, which was good for a fifth-place finish in the American League East. The Baltimore Orioles, who have previously occupied the last spot in the division in previous seasons, finished fourth this year with an overall record of 25-35.
For the past few weeks, I have been wrestling with a slew of new ideas for Noontime Sports – I wanted to start a weekly series that you, my fans and friends, could read once a week.
Yet, I did not know exactly what this series was going to be about until I recently finished a podcast this afternoon that inspired me to not just share stories of networking and career advice, but instead to tell my story – the Noontime Sportsstory, to be exact! – with hopes of inspiring others to pursue their passion while finding something they love to do on a daily basis.
So, with not much going on locally with college or high school sports coverage, I have decided to hit the rewind button and tell you the story of Noontime Sports – well, more this 11-year journey that has allowed me to cover so many amazing events and contests to meeting some tremendous folks, both locally and outside the New England region, that work in sports.
The story of Noontime Sports is interesting – in fact, I never thought nor imagined I would start up a small hyperlocal media site here in Massachusetts because my main focus growing up was to pursue a life-long dream of becoming a play-by-play announcer. Writing was not my strength, but talking – yes, talking – was something I knew I could do quite well. Or at least I thought, right?
As an eight-year-old, I was always fascinated by the various broadcasters I watched and listened to, especially on FOX Sports where I was easily amused by the soothing tones of Pat Summerall. I thought his job as a play-by-play announcer was something I would like to do when I was older – hey, getting paid to announce the big game to millions of people, both locally and around the country (and yes, the globe, too) sounded like an ideal job to someone that absolutely loved sports.
My love for broadcasting would grow even stronger seven years later when I became an intern with The Needham Channel in Needham, Massachusetts, especially when I met Mike Riley, who has and continues to be an amazing friend and colleague.
Riley to me as a 15-year-old high school student was a rock star. Deep down, I knew he was destined to do some amazing things. And so far, he has, especially here in Massachusetts where sports fans can hear him share his thoughts on the local teams on 98.5 The Sports Hub, while PA announcing goals and touchdowns through various stadium speakers, including recently with the New England Revolution.
Learning from Riley was an incredible opportunity. He taught me so much about how to not just host a sports talk show, which aired once a week on The Needham Channel, but how to convey a big-time play like a touchdown or three-point conversion as a play-by-play broadcaster for the network. I was convinced I would one day work with Riley at ESPN where we would announce baseball or football or even lacrosse, but eventually, I was bit by the writing bug, which is something I credit not just my various high school English teachers, but also my college’s student newspaper editors, including the sports editor Hayden Bird, who you can currently read on Boston.com.
Bird, like Riley, was tremendous at his craft. He was a great writer, but also a very good editor, too. He challenged me to become a better storyteller, especially when tasked with writing about the numerous Wheaton College (Mass.) varsity or club programs for The Wheaton Wire.
Being able to learn from Bird about what makes a good story was something that would eventually lead me to leave the newspaper and launch my own weekly sports magazine as a junior – truthfully, I wanted to challenge my school’s student newspaper by telling more in-depth stories like the ones I read in ESPN The Magazine or Sports Illustrated.
I decided to name the sports magazine Get In The Game, which was the same name of my radio show, which no one on campus could listen to in their car or on the radio. If you wanted anyone to listen to the nonsense you were spewing about the Boston Red Sox or Tom Brady or hear the awful music you were spinning, you had to send out a link to your family and friends.
Producing a weekly magazine was a lot of fun, but it did take me away from my studies, as well as group projects, too. I was less interested in my history assignments because my focus during these few weeks that the magazine was being published was on the various stories I hoped to tel so I could beat my former colleagues at the student newspaper.
Get In The Game – the magazine, to be exact – was a project that filled me with great joy along with some amazing – and yes, hysterical memories like getting yelled at by the school’s librarian for printing new issues – well, a lot of issues, to be exact! – to rehashing the entire 2008 Wheaton women’s basketball championship season.
Weeks after I stopped producing the magazine, I returned to the student newspaper with hopes of coming up with another idea. But this time, I was not looking to rival the paper. Nope, I wanted to start something that would allow both friends and recent graduates a platform where they could write and talk about sports – anyone ever heard of a podcast?
I was days away from returning to WEEI, a sports radio station here in Boston, as a production intern, and noticed they had recently redone their website and launched various blogs on the state’s various professional sports teams.
Similar to WEEI, other websites were also launching blogs, which is something we should all credit Bill Simmons (now with The Ringer) and Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports for leading this current revolution of sports media.
Blogs were slowly becoming a big deal – in fact, it almost felt like blogs were not just an overnight sensation, but something myself and others would use as part of the ever-changing sports media landscape. And as someone that did not go to school for journalism – I majored in American Studies – I thought starting a blog would be a great way to build digital clips and produce content that I could show off to future employers.
And thus began a journey that I hoped would be shortlived – seriously, I did not want this blog to last long as I had post-graduate visions of one day joining a digital team at ESPN or Bleacher Report, but currently, I am the digital team here at Noontime Sports – in fact, I still wear multiple hats in case you were wondering – that oversees a site that has and continues to be extremely important to me.
Next week, I will tell you about that first year of blogging for Noontime Sports to covering my first-ever semiprofessional sports team to finagling a way to welcome Bill Hancock, who is currently the executive director of the College Football Playoff, onto my no-name podcast.
The current morning show – “Kirk and Callahan” – will continue to be heard from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. from Monday through Friday and will be followed by “Dale and Keefe” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dale Arnold, who is one of the hosts of “Dale and Keefe,” used to be heard during the midday time slot when he was paired with Michael Holley, who left the station in February to join NBC Sports Boston in a full-time role.
“Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” will be heard from 2-6 p.m., while “Mut at Night” will take place rom 6-10 p.m. Mut at Night could be short some nights, however, as the station does carry the Boston Red Sox games.
“WEEI Late Night” will follow “Mut at Night” – listeners can hear that show from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Currently, “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” is being heard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while “Dale and Keefe” is taking place from 2-6 p.m. It will be interesting to see how both shows do in opposite time slots. Both shows will challenge the 98.5 Sports Hub (Boston) line-up, which recently secured the top spots in multiple categories the past few months, per The Boston Globe.
‘Extra, Extra’ is an occasional blog post that covers a variety of sports and non-sports topics!
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.
Kobe Bryant's 27 points helped the Los Angles Lakers defeat Boston on Thursday, 88-87 in OT! (Photo Credit: SB Nation)
It’s Friday, and before we break out into song and dance, let’s jumpstart the day with some headlines and news!
* The Los Angles Lakers snapped the Boston Celtics five-game winning streak on Thursday, as they defeated the Green and White, 88-87 in overtime. Kobe Bryantled all scorers with 27 points, while Andrew Bynumadded 17 rebounds. As for the Celtics, Paul Pierceled the team with seven assists, and Ray Allenfinished the game with 22 points. Boston will return to the hardwood on Friday when they travel to Toronto for a 7:00pm tip-off.
* Tim Thomascreated a few headlines on Thursday afternoon, as the Boston Bruins goaltender once again utilized his freedom of speech through social media to announce a few political thoughts for his fans. Yet, this isn’t the first time that the goaltender has used Facebook to state his beliefs on politics, especially since he announced a few weeks ago why he decided to forgo a visit to the White House. Thomas told reporters that he’s allowed to have his own beliefs and everyone should respect his personal thoughts going forward.
* The Boston Bruins will return to the ice on Saturday afternoon when they host the Nashville Predators for a 1:00pm face-off, and according to sources, the team hasn’t announced who’ll be starting in net, but it’s possible Thomas could be the backstop for the Black and Gold.
* According to the Boston Herald and WEEI.com, Red Sox first basemen Kevin Youkilisrecently got engaged to Tom Brady‘s sister Julie, who is a California schoolteacher with a 5-year-old daughter.