4TH and GOAL with THE BAM Low Tide.

What a glorious weekend! The mighty Crimson Tide have gone down!!! No more with a monopoly on the Final Four of football!! Thanks to Auburn there will be some new blood at the top of the playoff rankings this year !! Now, some of you are probably going crazy right now, yelling your fool heads off about how they only have one loss, so they still deserve to be in . Blah Blah Blah! Zip it. You have no case. Bama is done. Ding Dong the Witch is dead. Deal with it. Alabama won 11 games. How many of those wins are against teams currently ranked in the Top 20? One. It is the loneliest number. Everyone seems really comfortable giving Wisconsin the shaft because of their schedule, but nobody wants to

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Full of Turkey and Other Stuff

It’s the season of giving thanks. I still haven’t heard from anyone that says they are thankful for me. That’s just wrong. Ok, that’s just how I normally am. Some people call me a pessimist. I call it being a realist. But for this column, I will give thanks for the good things in my life. 1. First and foremost, my wife, Miranda - she is a saint. She puts up with me and my quirks on a daily basis. I’m not the easiest person to live with, but she does it day in and day out, and sometimes has a smile on her face. I couldn’t ask for better. 2. My son, Joe - he may have been the easiest kid to bring up in history. I’m a yeller by nature. It’s how I was brought up. Anyway, he just gets it

New York Giants: Maybe Next Year

The hype is real folks. From the middle of November straight through to the last day of the year, it is nothing but chaos for everyone. Two major family holidays are positioned merely a few weeks apart and the stress of it all is off the charts. We are overwhelmed with so many tasks to complete that it’s a miracle if we somehow attempt them all, yet alone accomplish them. From planning a huge Thanksgiving feast, to picking out the right Christmas present, to planning the right spot to be at 11:59pm on New Year’s Eve, there are so many things going on that we can easily get overwhelmed. But this time of year also lends to us the perfect storm of Great Sports Viewing. As we come off the Astros

Watching, Not Working Sports on The Holidays is Best

I imagine that a good percentage of Americans watched at least part of a sporting event over Thanksgiving weekend. I’d bet that the percentage is even higher among those reading this newsletter. I spent Thanksgiving at my cousin’s house, and I know several times I went in and sat down on the couch to check out the football game. It’s what most of us do. I also look at holiday games from a different perspective. I’ve never asked a professional athlete their thoughts on having a game on a major holiday. They might love it. When I worked in athletics, however, I did not enjoy the experience, and I know that a lot of the student-athletes that I worked with did not enjoy it either. When there is

U Maine Hockey Finishes The Longest Road Trip in Program History 1-1.

The University of Maine hockey team spent the Thanksgiving holiday embarking on the longest road trip in program history, to Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Black Bears returned from the Friendship Four tournament having split their two games, falling 3-0 to Hockey East foe Providence College on Friday and defeating RPI of the ECAC 4-2 in Saturday's consolation contest. Let's jump to the positives first. It was nice to see the Bears bounce back for a refreshing win on Saturday against an opponent they'll face in Troy, New York, in December. Four different players - Nolan Vesey, Mitch Fossier, Tim Doherty and Brendan Robbins - tallied a goal apiece. Freshman goaltender Jeremy Swayman was solid

I Don't Care What Kind of Vehicle the Pats are- Just be Thankful They Keep Winning.

New England Patriots fans… We have it so good. SO GOOD! (Channeling a little Neil Diamond there) Be thankful. I think that we should all take a minute to be appreciative of that fact. Look around the league for evidence. As I sit here and watch the NFL on Thursday and Sunday and see other teams labor through the games you have to realize that what happens in Foxboro week in and week out… year in and year out…. Now decade in and decade out… is far from the norm. Remember when the Patriots were 2-2 and clawed their way through the first 4 to be that good? I was pretty sure that the sky was falling. Now, after a few weeks the truth became clear. The Patriots weren’t bad to start. They were jus

The Pats Look More Like An SUV Than a Sports Car. And That's OK!

What’s your dream car? If you could have any car, from any year, delivered to your driveway with a big red bow on top, what would it be? This is a tough question to answer for me, because I’m a bit of car nut. Other than changing the oil and filter and squirting some air in the tires, I’m certainly no mechanic, so I’m not particularly interested in a fixer-upper. I’m more of an Armor-All on the dashboard and Turtle Wax on the paint kind of guy. I’m a fairly decisive person, I don’t hem and haw when a decision has to be made. But when it comes to my dream car? That’s a toughie. One thing for sure-it won’t be anything from after 1980. For me, it’s got to be a classic…hard to beat a ’57 Chevy,

A Couple Thousand Frequent Flyer Miles Racked Up Chasing the Black Bears

4TH AND GOAL WITH THE BAM Here's a travel log featuring some of my memories on the GO BLUE roadtrip of a lifetime. -Bam I had an early departure from Oklahoma City en route to Boston via Houston. I know it was early because the bar was not open yet. Hoping for better operating hours in Houston. At least we got a semi on time takeoff and nobody has been kicked off the flight yet. Arrived safely in Houston. Connecting gate to Boston is basically all the way back to OKC and lo and behold, bar not open until 7am. What planet are we on? People are flying. Get those taps flowing!! Our pilot is getting NBA fever I guess. Perfect bounce pass from air to terminal at Logan Airport. Wow. Would hate to

U Maine Hockey: Rollercoaster Weekend

The most important position in the game of ice hockey is goaltender. When a team's goalie is on fire, his teammates feed off of that. In the case of the University of Maine, freshman Jeremy Swayman has shown that he's clearly coach Red Gendron's number one guy. The fourth-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins has won his last three starts, including an impressive 40-save performance in a 5-2 win over Boston University on Friday. A lot of fans expected the team to continue riding Swayman in going for the sweep on Saturday, but Gendron's pattern of splitting his goaltenders continued, and junior Rob McGovern was shaky in a 7-0 defeat in Portland. What a difference two nights make. On Friday, U

Former UMaine Goalies Succeeding in the NHL

Last Tuesday night I was listening to the Dallas Stars game against the Florida Panthers. I had not had the game on the internet 15 minutes when the announcers began talking about University of Maine goalies. Having worked with all three of Maine’s goalies that are currently in the NHL, my ears instinctively perked up. The announcers said that Maine currently has three starting goalies on NHL teams in Jimmy Howard, Ben Bishop and Scott Darling. They said that they were sure that it had to be the most of any college hockey program in the country. It’s true as I researched it. Maine is the only school with three goalies currently listed on NHL rosters. In fact, UMass Lowell is the only other s

Brad Stevens Bringing Happy Days to Boston Once Again

Really? Brad Stevens? You mean the guy that looks like he should be Richie Cunningham’s best friend on “Happy Days?” (Those of you 25 years or younger won’t get that reference…Google the show and you’ll see what I mean.) That was my reaction back in July of 2013 when Mr. Stevens was named head coach of the Boston Celtics. “Those NBA behemoths will eat that guy alive,” I remember thinking to myself. Ain’t no way this howdy-doody looking young fella will ever earn respect from the hip hoopsters making a ka-jillion bucks per year. Wow, was that a busted forecast. Brad Stevens has not only succeeded, he is consistently referred to by many in the league as one of the smartest, most respected coac

Ok Danny Ainge: You Know What You’re Doing After All

Since Danny Ainge became the Boston Celtics head of Basketball Operations in 2003, I haven’t been a fan. Early in his tenure, he chased off Jim O’Brien (who I really liked) as the team’s head coach. He traded away Antoine Walker. He set up a major tank in the 2006-07 season in order to draft either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, and ended up with the fifth pick instead because they lost the lottery. I warmed to him for a while. He masterfully set up to trade for both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, who won Banner 17 in 2008. They very nearly won the title again in 2010 (damn you, Kobe Bryant). Then, I fell out of love with Danny again. I was not happy when he traded Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green.

Some Ideas To Help Save High School Football

Another high school football season has come and gone and it's time to once again change the names of the divisions. It used to be East vs West. Now it's North vs South. It needs to be have's vs have not's. First and foremost let me tell you that I do honestly believe that the MPA is trying to find answers to the multiple problems facing HS Football in our state. They have been creative, first going to four classes, and now 5 classes (class E does not get to play 'countable games'),but it is still not working. We have tremendously lopsided scores (more often than not),with the same teams keep winning and the same teams keep losing, (more often than not). Not long ago, Maine was one of the fa

How Do We Make Black Bear Football More Like UNH Football?

Back around Labor Day there was quite a bit of positive buzz around U Maine football. Many felt there was much to build off from the prior 6-5 campaign. Fans might be treated to not only a winning season but perhaps another playoff appearance! Many in the media including some of my fellow members of The Drive on 92.9FM bought full shares of what was being sold. But just like the first game, the last game ended with Maine grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory. The Black Bears posted their fourth losing season in the last six, and sixth sub .500 effort in a decade. "Oh but they could have won at UNH." "They should have won the finale vs Stony Brook." "Blah blah blah.." Should have. Could ha

Trading Jimmy Garoppolo was a Bad Idea

Opinions on the decision by the Patriots to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers has run the gambit this week. I’ve been a big proponent of trading Garoppolo for the last year. But, in this case, the possible risk far outweighs the possible reward. Many Patriots fans and pundits have lamented not the fact that Garoppolo was traded, but the return New England got for him, a second-round draft pick. The Patriots spent a second-round pick in 2014 to grab Garoppolo from FCS school Eastern Illinois. The sample we all saw of Garoppolo last season during the Tom Brady suspension certainly gave fans reason to be excited. He was solid in an opening week win at Arizona and was doing even b

Memories of UMaine Trips to Fenway Park

Hockey and football at Fenway Park. Not your typical sports, but in recent years the University of Maine has had the opportunity to play each of these sports at one of America’s most beloved ballparks. With the football team playing at Fenway last weekend, I started thinking about the two hockey games played there while I was with the program. The first time that Maine played at Fenway Park was in 2012 against New Hampshire. I remember vividly Brian Flynn scoring 1:29 into overtime to give Maine a 5-4 win in front of an audience that was listed at over 38,000. As Flynny scored, I was standing on the field against the glass taking photos. It was an experience that I’ll never forget. I have ju

One of the Coldest and Coolest Nights of High School Football Ever.

Did you travel to a high school football game this weekend? If you did, you were probably a parent of a player, or just a true Mainer. Friday and Saturday were regional final days for football. The two best teams in their respective conferences played for the right to head to either Orono or Portland next week for the state games. All I can say is “bravo” to all the players, coaches, officials, and fans. Congrats if your team won, but a bigger congrats for braving the elements Mother Nature threw at us. I was at the Northern Maine Class D Final at Foxcroft Academy. I have seen my fair share of games there over the years, and I can honestly say, that might have been the coldest I have been in

Guaging the Calm, Cool & Collected Alex Cora

My ingredient into the Chowdah not too long ago was a call for Alex Cora to be the next manager of the Boston Red Sox. Turns out, Dave Dombrowski and the organization took my advice (not really, but makes me look good, doesn’t it?!) Cora was introduced to the media last Monday and I had a rare opportunity to spend a few minutes with the new Sox skipper one-on-one. I waited in a line of other media outlets wanting to talk with Cora, and lucky for me, I was able to score one of his first interviews wearing his new/old uniform. What struck me during the interview, and throughout the introduction, was Cora’s demeanor. This man seemed poised and at ease in his new role. My first question to Cora

Marriage Counseling for Bill and Tom

They say that two people that are married and fall out of love shouldn’t stay together just for the sake of the kids. Right? Not sure who they are… but I’m sure I’ve heard someone say it. Well, I’m here to say, that’s a crock. You bite the bullet and you tough it out…. At least if you are Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. If you are unhappy in your real marriage and you would actually consider taking love advice from me in my Chowdah article, well then yes, actually you should stay married. The fact you hoodwinked your spouse into tying the knot is probably like the Haley’s Comet of your life. I wouldn’t count on a sequel. Let’s go back to 2001, Bill had something going with this tall drink of w

4TH and Goal with THE BAM For U Maine Football, Home is Orono.

A disappointing loss to Delaware by Maine football to say the least. Although, not as disappointing as the game not being played in Orono on campus. Can we just stop already with playing "home" games in Portland? Orono is home. The University has pumped a ton of cash into facilities and game day experiences in Orono. To rob the eastern Maine area of a home game against a rival, just to cater to a handful of alleged "fans" who, for the most part, are unwilling to travel north up I-95 UMaine is ridiculous. Orono is home. That's where games should be played. People in the state of Maine are either going to support the teams or they aren't. Don't hide behind some lame excuse that Orono is too fa

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