This Was The Best Sports Weekend Of The Year

I hate to assume anything in life, because you know what they say about assuming something, right? Well if you don’t, look it up. I don’t have the time or energy to explain this to you. Anyway, I will assume that if you are reading this or any other blog on this site, you are probably a sports fan. That’s good. Following and watching sports is a great escape from the real world. There are too many problems with the world these days, you know, bad people, bad weather, and awful things happening. Sports can be the great escape. Not the 1963 Steve McQueen film, but an escape from reality. In this world, you can root for or yell at whomever you want. So with that said, this may be the best time

Making a Mockery of the Mock Drafts and the Mock-worthy Actual NFL Draft

4th And Goal With THE BAM Another NFL draft has come and gone. Or, should I say, another made for TV circus has come and gone. Beyond the first round, which is actually taken fairly seriously, this has become just a bunch of nonsense. A steady parade of former players, some that nobody has actually ever heard of, trudge out to the podium to announce the picks. Total joke. In fact, it got so bad that a former QB, went up to announce a Titans pick, and totally screwed up the name "Harold Landry". Bro, seriously, it's Harold! And it's written right on the damn card! How hard could that possibly be? Maybe that's why you aren't in the league anymore. Even Steve Harvey thinks it was terrible. Then

Humboldt: An Unthinkable Tragedy Hits Home

Two weeks ago, I awoke to the unthinkable tragedy of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Humboldt, which plays in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, was en route to a playoff game when the team bus collided with a tractor-trailer. Fifteen people died that late afternoon in the accident. Ten players, two coaches, the radio announcer, the statistician, and the bus driver perished. Later in the week, Dayna Brons, the team’s athletic therapist and only female on the bus, passed away from her injuries. The accident hit me hard. Really hard. I found myself crying every time I heard or read a story about the accident. I have literally spent thousands of hours on a bus between hockey and baseball tr

Tough 2018 Schedule for The Pats

With all of the offseason roster changes, player-coach drama, and draft day yet to come, the Patriots better be ready for one of the toughest, and most intriguing schedules they have seen in years. Let’s break it down: Bill’s Boys will play in the league maximum five prime time games. The Pats will play three Sunday night games, one Thursday night game and one Monday night game. All five prime-time games will be played in a seven-week stretch, including three in a five-week period at home under the lights. That’s a lot of late night traffic jams on Route 1 and tired Pats fans at work the next day. The three prime-time home games will be: Thursday Oct. 4 against the Colts. It would be great

Joe Kelly: You're A Rock Star.

Joe Kelly is a freakin' rock star right now. If New England had a Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, they would enshrine his goggles immediately. You've seen the video of the brawl with the Yankees I'm sure. Thanks to Kelly plunking the punkish Tyler Austin, the Sox- Yankees rivalry is alive and well again for the first time in at least a decade. Kelly, showing moves like Jagger, drilled Austin. Then he beckoned from the mound for the Yankee hitter to come and get some. Kelly emerged from the scrum with a little blood on his face and a ripped jersey. It was as if throngs of adoring fans had just greeted him coming off stage. Heck now Joe has a fan club. And probably groupies; women, and men. When he

The Rivalry Is NOT Back! Plus A Great Anti-Yanks Rant

4th and Goal I can't tell you how many times this week I have heard " the rivalry is back", referring to the Yankees and the Sox. Please stop. It's not back. Just because the Yankees will be paying Bill Gates type money to an overrated player, does not make this rivalry back. I'll give New York a little credit. They seem to have found a way to make Aaron Judge look like a better hitter this year. Giancarlo Stanton, The Yanks new prized possession, is finding out the hard way that it's not all wine and roses when you aren't batting against all the chumps in the N.L. East. So, because ESPN is madly in love with all things Yankees, including their former horrible color analyst now being their m

Baseball Brawls Are Here To Stay

(Mr. Korbitz shares his blogs via a weekly e mail I receive. They are always very good and from time to time I like to include these in the Chowdah. - Solari) Two weeks into the 2018 baseball season and two trends have dominated the headlines. The first one concerns hit batsmen. Batters are being hit (HBP) at a historically high rate, a total of 149 batters or 0.42 per game. That rate is 17% higher than last year’s full-season pace and if it continues for the entire season, it would be the highest since at least 1900 according to research posted on There may not be an overriding cause for the high numbers, but a confluence of early-season weather conditions and the sc

Jack Edwards Needs to Chill on Social Media

It's not just heart-stopping game action that makes postseason sports - in particular the Stanley Cup playoffs - must-see TV. I'll admit, a big reason I broke into the sports reporting business was listening to Marv Albert call the NBA on NBC every Sunday in the 1990's. It didn't matter who was playing, although this Celtics fan loved watching Michael Jordan play. Hearing "YES, and it COUNTS!" was a childhood staple. Fast-forward about two decades, and there are some announcers who have talent, yet make a stink on social media when their plug gets pulled for a night. I'm talking about NESN play by play man Jack Edwards. Generally, NESN airs the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs when th

Boston Bruins are Rolling

The way the Boston Bruins finished the regular season gave me flashbacks to UMaine hockey. The B's were hosting a Florida Panthers team with nothing to play for to close the regular season, with a chance to finish with the most points in the Eastern Conference, but didn't hold serve at home, giving the Tampa Bay Lightning the top spot in the East and relegating the Bruins to a first-round clash with Toronto. Sounds like a certain college hockey team which could only muster one win in four home games against its league's two bottom-feeders, and we all know how the season ended. But the Bruins have done more than held serve on Causeway Street in the first two games against the Maple Leafs. The

McKay Does Stand-Up Comedy: "So What's The Deal With Hanley's Bling?"

I think for me it started with Andy Rooney. Remember him? He was the curmudgeon featured weekly on the ground-breaking television-journalism show “60 Minutes” (tick-tick-tick-tick tick.) Andy, famous for his unkempt eyebrows, was even more famous for starting each of his segments with “What’s the deal with: (fill-in the blank.)” Topics included anything from why cereal boxes are so hard to open, to why he always got stuck with the grocery cart with a bum wheel. Rooney had a way of connecting his observations to subjects we all could relate to. As we watched Andy, I could sense millions of other viewers nodding their heads in agreement as Andy spouted-off about one thing or the other. Of cour

Patriots Draft Preview from Foxborough

I was lucky enough to attend the annual New England Patriots Draft Preview Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Bob Socci, Pats radio play by play guy hosted a panel including Mike Reiss and Field Yates of ESPN Boston, Todd McShay of ESPN and Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston. At the end of the day, nobody “knows” what the mysterious Bill Belichick and the Pats brass will do on NFL draft weekend. But I wanted to share a few takeaways from the hour long session that you might keep in the back of your mind. Remember right now New England has two first round picks, two second round picks, and five of the top ninety five picks overall. This is rare for New England to have this many top picks, and if his

The Sox are 8-1, But Now The Season Really Begins

Don’t get me wrong. I’m freaking thrilled the Sox have the best record in baseball, a 2 ½ game lead in the AL East, and at 8-1 are off to the best start in franchise history. I’m all in on Cora’s crew and picked them to win 95 games and a division title. But let’s be real for just a moment. Tampa. Miami. Tampa. The Sox front office must have made a sacrifice the size of Pablo Sandoval to the scheduling gods. Nine games against Triple A teams to start a season? That’s a gift from above. I love the wins, but honestly the team with the highest payroll in baseball should dominate against two franchises that deserve to be folded. The Derek Jeter led Marlins talent dump is well documented. Tampa d

The Yankees Are Back! And That's A Good Thing.

(Mr. Korbitz shares his blogs via a weekly e mail I receive. They are always very good and from time to time I like to include these in the Chowdah. - Solari) The Yankees are back and whether you’re a Yankees fan or not, their resurgence is good for baseball. As recently as two years ago the team was arguably irrelevant, finishing the season with a middling record (for them) of 84-78 and bereft of star power. Home attendance was the lowest it had been in almost two decades. Yankee haters rejoiced. Little did they know their exuberance would be short-lived. Catcher Gary Sanchez joined the big club for the last two months of the 2016 season and swatted 20 home runs in only 53 games. Right fie

Here's Why The Red Sox Should Fire The Manager Every Year

I love numbers. Not that I was a great math student, but I love to look at patterns. I wasn’t blessed with a ton of athletic talent, and I probably don’t look as much like Brad Pitt as I think I do. But I have a gift of remembering dates, scores, and numbers. If you tell me your PIN is 1967, I’d just think, “Impossible Dream”, and I would never forget it. If you said your birthday is August 4th, I’d think, “the final score of the last middle school baseball game I played in was 8-4”, and bam (no, not that Bam), I’d remember it for life. So as I’ve watched several innings of the Red Sox opening week, I got to thinking; Maybe the Red Sox ought to fire their manager every year. You say, Toby, t

UMaine Frozen Four Memories From Minnesota

I enjoyed reminiscing as this year's Frozen Four was being played in Minneapolis/St. Paul. It instantly brought me back to the 2002 Frozen Four, which was also played in Minneapolis. I remember it vividly. The memories still hurt. There are still moments that I see the number 52 and it instantly takes me back to the time that Minnesota scored the game- tying goal in the national championship game. It was my first year as media relations contact for the men’s ice hockey team, and legendary head coach Shawn Walsh had passed away in September, just prior to the start of the season. Tim Whitehead, whom I had worked with while I was doing my internship at UMass Lowell, took over as interim head c

42-1-2: The Story Of An Amazing Coaching Staff

This is the second in our series of 25th anniversary blogs from Joe Carr. Joe was the radio voice of the Black Bears during the 92-93 season. The sublime Maine Black Bears hockey team of a quarter century ago had it all. As we discussed above, the 42-1-2 national champions may have been the deepest team, when it comes to talent, the sport has ever seen. But there was something else special about that team – its coaching and leadership. The team faced unrelenting pressure, from pre-season through the championship. That was due, in part, to the disappointing way the 1991-92 season ended. That team was on track to the Frozen Four until Michigan State upset the Black Bears in the East Regional.

Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda (A Missed Rink-Side Seat to Witness Hockey History)

“Regrets…I’ve had few, but then again…too few to mention.” Recognize the words? Frank Sinatra made this tune famous decades ago when crooning “My Way.” Since then many others (Elvis included) have tried to match the ability of Sinatra to sentimentalize our lives as we look back at things we might change if we had the chance. I believe I may be one of the rare birds who can look back on my 57 years and not want to change a thing. I’ve lived a blessed life for sure. Although…..there was that phone call I received 29 years ago. In 1989 I was the morning host for WYOU radio, which was owned by WABI-TV in Bangor. One morning after spinning my last tune of the show, the front desk transferred an “

How the 1992-93 Maine Black Bears Made My Mother a Hockey Fan

Anniversaries of big moments are always a good time for reflection upon the great times in one’s life. Because, as those moments happen, it is difficult to understand how those moments end up affecting you for the rest of your life. Such is my story of the 1992-93 Maine Black Bears. It was the very first major hockey team I got to watch in person on a regular basis. It gave my first chance to see hockey played by a raft of future NHL players. Not just those on the Black Bears, but also those on rival Hockey East and other teams that came through Orono that year and the years to follow. That team became an inspiration for me to not only become a hockey broadcaster, but also to reach for the h

The Title Team Shaped My Entire Sports Life

The impact a single sports team can have on a young person's life can be enormous. I'll admit, when I was growing up, hockey wasn't a huge cup of tea for me. I grew up in an era where my family had basic cable, and Michael Jordan was on TV almost every Sunday. Yes I'm a Celtics fan, but I do miss that old NBA on NBC theme. Of course, I did enjoy the Red Sox and Patriots, but neither were nationally relevant in the early 1990's. My first true Patriots diehard moment came at the end of Drew Bledsoe's rookie season when he and Michael Timpson teamed up to knock the Miami Dolphins out of the playoffs. Some businessman named Robert Kraft bought the team shortly after, and well, you know the rest.

I'll Never Forget The Moment The Clock Hit Zero That Saturday Night in 1993

4TH AND GOAL WITH THE BAM I remember back in 1979 when we first got cable. It was the greatest thing ever. ESPN would show college hockey. It was my first exposure to championship schools like Bowling Green, Rensselaer and Lake Superior St. I had to use an encyclopedia back then to find where these championship teams were actually located. Then, in 1993, it was our turn! No encyclopedia required. Maine was playing for the National Championship. We were 41-1-2. No way we could lose . Way too good. I settled in for a night of celebrating. 28 seconds into the game and boom! Maine was on it's way. Then a 2-0 lead in the first. Man, where was the Staples button when you needed it! Then the 2nd pe

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