2018 Was A Memorable Year For Maine Athletics

Just like that, 2018 is in the books. It was a year to write home about for the majority of New England sports fans. I personally was hoping for a lot more from the Cubs, but there is always next year, right. Obviously, the Red Sox winning the World Series has to be one of the top highlights, but there were also many highlights at the University of Maine. In chronological order, what a thrill it was to watch the University of Maine women’s basketball team win the America East Championship in a game played at the Cross Center. Coach Amy Vachon did an amazing job with a fairly young team. The experience that they got playing on the national stage against #2 Texas in the NCAA tournament was inv

Solari Justifies 5 Patriots Preseason Predictions That Weren't Quite Right

All of us loud mouth, blow hard, sports types make predictions. But most of us don’t have the testicular fortitude to go back and see if they came to fruition. But not this Carnac. I can admit when I am right and make lots of excuses when I am “wrong.” Let’s flash back almost four months to the start of the 2018 Patriots campaign and use some hindsight to see how I did: Solari Makes Five Patriots Predictions- September 6, 2018 This has been a bizarre offseason for the Patriots. And I think on the field this year it might be a bit different as well. So, this year I predict: Tom Brady will not throw for more than 4001 yards. WRONG. BUT….. I stand by my reasoning. No Edelman for four games. A r

3 FROM WAAAAAAAY DOWNTOWN!

3 Things Patriots fans should be rooting for during the bye week The sky is falling, the Patriots aren’t good anymore, Brady is done, Gronk is going to retire, Belichick resents Kraft, BOOHOO! 9 first round byes in a row! To quote 2018’s Man of the Year, Alex Cora: “Suck on it.” No Patriots football next week? There’s still some things to root for. We want the Texans to win. I know what you’re saying, “Source, why would we want to play the #3 seed?” I’ll tell you why, because this is about making things as difficult on the Chiefs as possible and if that means playing Houston at home in the divisional round again then so be it. If Houston takes care of business and eliminates the #6 seed, the

Celtics Look Ahead to 2019

I think it's fair to say that the 2018 Boston Celtics did not fully live up to their expectations. Both the fans, and the organization, surely did not envision a 21-14 record going into the New Year's Eve matchup with San Antonio, good for fifth place in the East. But that's neither here nor there. This is the 2018-2019 NBA season, and we are leaving 2018 in the dust. One could even argue that the 2019 portion is what really matters, due to the playoffs/Finals being in April, May and June of 2019 (now that I write that out, why do the playoffs take so long?). After a victory over the Sixers on Christmas, a confusing loss to the Rockets, and a resilient comeback win over the Grizzlies in the

No Debate Needed: Here's Solari's Definitive List of The Top Sports Stories from 2018

This was one of the most compelling sports years in recent memory around this neck of the woods. 2018 was a great time to be a Maine and New England sports fan. There does not need to be any debate; this is the definitive list of top sports stories for the year that was. #1 Red Sox Win the World Series Yes, they have done it four times in fourteen years. But never quite like this. The most regular season wins in franchise history. Mookie Betts brings home the MVP. And the sox make the postseason field, including the rival Yankees, look woefully inadequate. An 11-3 playoff record and a fancy trophy that was damaged by a beer can projectile at the Duck Boat parade. All of these lead tothe bigg

UMaine Football Fans Should Be Mad As Heck

Told you so. As promised it didn’t take long for UMaine football coach Joe Harasymiak to get the heck out of here. It’s been just days since the loss to Eastern Washington. Darn. I just learned how to get his last name spelled correctly without double checking. I saw a news story that states the average college football coach makes it five years. Coach H made it three. That’s below average. Of course the UMaine job is below average. Larry Mahoney reported this week that the $153,000 Harasymiak earned this year made him the lowest paid coach in the conference. You can safely say that he was one of the lowest paid head coaches in the country. Coach H is heading to the land of 1000 lakes. And b

The Boston Bruins Lack Scoring Punch

The first two months of the 2018-19 Boston Bruins season has been characterized by significant injuries that have cost many of its top players ice time. Patrice Bergeron has missed 14 games. Zdeno Chara has missed 15. For Charlie McAvoy, the number of missed games is 20. For Kevan Miller, it’s 22. Jake DeBrusk has missed five recent games and will miss some more before he’s able to return. Despite all those injuries to key players, the Bruins enter Monday holding the last Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. They will face the team directly in front of them, the Montreal Canadiens, tonight at the Bell Centre. The B’s trail the Habs by just a point, so a regulation win puts them back in

High School Refs Know More Than You. Trust Me.

Basketball season is back. Over the last four weeks, high school basketball teams across the state have been getting ready for a run at the playoffs. By now, many teams have played two or three games and hopefully, they are seeing some progress. It’s no secret that I love basketball, particularly high school and college ball. On Tuesday night, I had the chance to just sit and watch the Foxcroft/MDI Boys game, a home game for me. I normally have some sort of “official” duty on game nights, but for this one, I just ran the live stream camera. It also meant I got to sit on the bleachers where the fans sit, and of course, “fans” is short for fanatics. Now I know why I love wearing a headset, bec

The 12 Days of Christmas - Just For Chowdah Readers

Bah Humb….. Well, it happened again. Just like last year. And every year before that. The Holiday Season has crept up on me again and I, per usual, am ill prepared. Why do I do this to myself every year? As of the time I am typing this I havent bought one present yet. Not one. Heck I don’t even have a clue as to what I am going to get ANYONE in my life. Now I would never call myself miserly, but I’m about three gift-giving holidays away from turning in to a ripe Old’ Curmudgeon. I love the actual Day of Christmas. I thoroughly emjoying watching peeople open presents, hanging out and catching up with family and just having the general sense of “Ahhhhh”. But maaaaan all the hub bub and chaos t

UMaine Hockey First Semester Report Card

The first semester of the season is in the books for the University of Maine hockey team, and it's safe to say the Black Bears are what their 5-7-2 record says they are. An average team in a not-so-strong Hockey East. Maine's league record sits at 3-3-2, "good" for seventh place in the 11-team conference. The good news is, there's plenty of time to make inroads over the second half of the season. But the grades are going to have to improve. OFFENSE: C- The Black Bears are averaging a dismal 2.2 goals per game (31 goals in 14 contests). That's not going to get it done. Junior captain Chase Pearson is having a strong first half (8 goals, 6 assists) but he needs help. Classmate Mitch Fossier ha

Patience is a Virtue: Seldom Found During The Holidays or With Celtics Fans.

Any family traditions for your crew this time of year? Our youngest son, along with his Mrs. and two young daughters, leads us on a yearly excursion to hunt for, and…..eventually……chop down a fresh Christmas tree. Sounds like a fun, fresh-air, family quality kind of thing, right? That’s very true, at least for the first hour. You see, our son is quite picky about which tree he will claim for his living room. Let me restate that a bit, our son is insanely finicky and waaaaaaay to judgmental when it comes to fir tree selection. Sure, initially it’s great fun to frolic around the Christmas Tree farm with a preschooler on my back, with the 3rd grader chanting Christmas carols in frosty (make tha

What's Next For Joe Harasymiak?

Man I’d love to be Joe Harasymiak’s agent. His future is so bright he’s gotta wear shades. He could be on the verge of a new job and a well deserved big raise. I know. It’s not what Black Bear fans want to hear. But a newspaper in New Jersey recently called him “the hottest New England football commodity not named Tom Brady.” Can you say cha ching? If the right offer comes along he’ll be out of here faster than a snowbird in January. As he should be. Will he ever have a better year at UMaine than this one? Not likely. It took the program more than a century to do this. You know the deal. Four wins last year. Picked a lowly 8th in the conference preseason poll this year. He has won ten games

Wicked Interesting Stuff To Get You Ready for The BIG Game

Here’s everything you need to know to impress your friends, family and fellow Black Bear fans regarding Saturday’s UMaine - Eastern Washington semifinal playoff game. The Black Bears (10-3) will play the Eastern Washington University Eagles (11-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday in Cheney, Washington. The town is named after former Vice President Dick Cheney. Ok. I made that up. But feel free to use it. After a few beers Saturday your friends will buy it. Everything else here is true. I’ll swear to it with my hand on a filled Maine stein. The Black Bears will be making the longest trip in its history. A week after traveling to Ogden, Utah (2,594 miles away), Maine will trek 3,003 miles to Cheney. Las Veg

3 FROM WAAAAAAAY DOWNTOWN! Our 3 favorite losers in Red Sox history

The "Unamed Source" is famous in media circles these days. This one in particular works in local sports media, but for any number of reasons, wants to stay anonymous. Our 3 favorite losers in Red Sox history. The following are the top 3 players in Red Sox history who lost a big game, but somehow became more popular than they were before. Nathan Eovaldi. 2018 World Series Game 3 vs Los Angeles Dodgers. He is the reason that I created this list. I’ve never seen anything like the outpouring of support for Eovaldi after he gave up Max Muncy’s walk-off home run. The support was justified because of what Eovaldi did that night in relief, keeping the Red Sox in the game, sacrificing his chance to s

Faith Rewarded for Maine Football Fans

People tend to do what is easy. When they come to a fork in the road that take the path of least resistance. Staples knows that people really like things easy. They even invented a damn “That was easy” button. Historically there has been no “easy” button for fans of University of Maine football. Being a true blue, loyal follower of the Black Bears has been a true test of faith. So have mercy do I feel good for the diehard UMaine fans following the 23-18 win over Weber State Friday night. I don’t mean the casual fans. Sure, you can be happy and proud today of this remarkable team. No problem there. Everyone should bask in the glow of a national semifinal berth. But I just smile thinking how t

Gordon Hayward Would Like to Re-Introduce Himself

The Celtics offense has undergone a serious rejuvenation since their dismal stretch that started about two weeks ago. They set their season-high in points two games in a row against New Orleans (124) and Cleveland (128). They’re playing with more pace, and getting back to the threes-and-layups style that best suits their personnel. In the last three games, they’ve jumped from 23rd to 19th in overall pace of play, and, FINALLY cracked the top-20 in offensive rating. The rest of this blog is a personal thank-you note to Gordon Hayward, whom I know for a fact reads all of the stuff I write. I saw in an article by Tom Westerholm of MassLive that Marcus Smart got Gordon all sorts of riled up in p

Abnormal is Normal in Maine Weather and Sports

Abnormal weather is normal weather here in Maine. That’s what a senior forecaster told me when I was a young cub weather reporter back in the day. Lots of wisdom there, right? The weather is usually not what it is supposed to be. By that I mean-if the normal average temperature for a particular day is supposed to be 45 degrees, it’s usually above or below that mark. How often does that day actually nail 45 degrees? Hardly ever. Let’s take the month we’ve just recently waved goodbye to for example. Never mind dreaming of a white Christmas jazz, we had a white Thanksgiving this year big-time. Total snowfall for November this year: 16”. And that’s just in the Bangor area; our county friends sho

A Three Point Weekend for UMaine Hockey

After last weekend's debacle, the University of Maine hockey team needed to quiet some critics this weekend. They didn't silence all of them, but earning three Hockey East points at Vermont - a 2-1 overtime win Friday and a 3-3 tie Saturday - will go a long way in earning fans' trust back. As we hit December, the Bears are a respectable 3-3-2 in Hockey East, good for sixth place. Red Gendron's team is just three points out of second place. Maine won't play another league contest until it hosts that current second-place team - Northeastern - on Jan. 11/12. Yes, Maine has struggled outside the league, but Hockey East play is where the Bears will have to make their charge. With Hockey East fill

Black Bears Deliver Beatdown to Gamecocks

For the first time ever, the University for Maine football team has won a home playoff game! Before I ramble on about anything else, stop. Take a breath. Let that sentence wash over you. And know that football started at Maine in 1892. Much hyperbole is uttered by sports people every day. But what we saw Saturday in Orono is literally a once in not one, but two lifetimes event. Now of course that Solari Stat of The Day is a bit misleading. Most are. Of course the playoff system didn’t always exist as it does today. No matter. The 55- 27 beatdown of Jacksonville State was historic for the Black Bears and the fans. Unofficial consensus in the tailgate area before the game was that Jacksonville

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