UMaine football needs to "Elevate the Standard." Quickly.

“Elevate the Standard.” That’s the motto of the 2019 Maine Black Bear football team. On one hand I get it. For every amazing season like last year, there are a few years where Maine hovers around or below .500. For example UMaine was 10-4 last year but 18-25 with one wining season the four years prior. So, consistent winning is an admirable goal. Although I have to admit the first time I heard the slogan, it it seemed like a big jab at ex Coach Jack Cosgrove and former players. Be that as it may, the Black Bears will have to “Elevate the Standard" in big way the rest of this season if they want to come close to sniffing another playoff berth. Actually the bar has been set pretty low so far,

Pats Notebook and stats: Week #4

“Nobody said it was easy. Nobody said it would be so hard.” The Scientist- Coldplay Tom Brady has won more games in Buffalo than any quarterback this century, but man it sure doesn’t feel like it. Buffalo is an arduous test and the stakes are raised based purely off the fact that we are so aware of the Patriots records against the Bills. Sunday followed this familiar script, except it was unlike any Patriot game in the last 15-years. The only offensive touchdowns in the contest were scored on a sweep by Brandon Bolden and a QB sneak by Josh Allen. The only other play to wind up in the endzone was a blocked punt that was scooped up by Matthew Slater for his first career touchdown. 16-10. Who

Red Sox games are way too long

The Red Sox season is over. It was a long, disappointing, dull season with just not that many memorable moments for Sox fans. Did I mention loooooooong? The Red Sox play the longest games in all of Major league baseball at an average of almost 3 hours and 20 minutes. For comparison, that’s 5 minutes longer than the total run time of the epic movie Titanic. So, watching the Sox is like watching Titanic every, single, night. It really did feel like that this year at times. The average length of an MLB game this season is three hours and 10 minutes, a new record. Even for old guys like me who love the sport, this is a wicked problem. Sure, homeruns are up this year. But so are strikeouts. For t

Long cold winter coming for Sox fans

What a bummer of a season for the Sox and us fans. Just 84 wins. They were left in the division race dust by the Yankees. The Sox were technically in the Wild Card hunt through August, but not really. They finished with a losing record at Fenway Park. They will watch the playoffs on a cable TV channel like the rest of us. The offense was electric. Boston scored 901 runs, the fourth most in baseball. They set a franchise record for home runs while having one of the best team batting averages in the league. Devers, Bogarts, and JD Martinez all hit above .300 and finished in the top 10 in batting average. Mookie was not far behind at .295. All four had great seasons and Vazquez had a breakout y

When baseball breaks your heart

It’s been a rough season for a lot of baseball fans. Optimism was high for the reigning World Series champions and we all know how that worked out. I’m a Cubs fan and the season has not been much better. After losing the Division lead, the Cubs don’t even have a wild card spot at this point. It looks unlikely that they will make the playoffs. Like the Sox, the Cubs have a lot of marquee names on their roster including Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish, and so on. I doubt that Joe Maddon will be back as skipper if the Cubs don’t make a lengthy playoff run. And that’s not going to happen. I think that one of the reasons that it hurts so much is tha

Holding out for a sports hero

“I need a hero….I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night…” Do these lyrics ring a bell? Step into the time machine with me; we’ll set the dial back 35 years, and step into 1984 together. Ghostbusters, the Karate Kid, Indiana Jones, and Beverly Hills Cop are drawing throngs of peeps to the movie theaters. The Celts, Raiders, the Detroit Tigers, and Gretzky’s Oilers are at the top of the sports world. And Bonnie Tyler was belting-out this message on top 40 radio with lyrics that have been with me for the last several weeks. Why? ‘Cuz I need a hero. Havlicek, Grogan, Orr, Yaz, Fisk, Mays, Starr, Sayers, Sanders (as in Barry), Everett-Lloyd, Staubach…..all heroes in my book. Were the

Sterling's Pats Notes after going to both home games this season

I want Tom Brady to play football. A lot of football. I want him to be healthy for the entirety of this season more than I want the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. And through two blow out victories I’ve been howling for Jarrett Stidham to see the first action of his NFL career. You know, to protect our 42-year old quarterback from unnecessary wear and tear. Sunday we got it. I saw his first completion, the first time he was sacked and his first pick-six to be immediately followed by his first benching. The lessons as always are: good things happen when Tom Brady plays football and Bill Belichick is smarter than me. The crowd is behind this defense in a big way. I’ve been fortunate to ge

Bye Bye AB. Now I feel a little less "icky" about being a Pats fan.

I love the New England Patriots. I have since 1985. Have mercy did I sit through some cold miserable games at the old Foxboro stadium in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Not a great place or great team back in those days. Perhaps like you, I used to spend many a Sunday afternoon watching the old “Patsies” find innovative ways to lose. I was lucky enough to be at the first Superbowl that they won against the Rams. I have not missed many games on TV in the past couple decades. I’m a legit fan. But this year, in spite of the great start by the team, I have not been entirely happy with, or should I say proud of, my Pats. I can sum it up by saying there’s just too much around this team that’s hard t

Eli Manning should not be in the Hall of Fame

In this embarrassing era where everyone gets a trophy, there are no losers, and concocted voting systems allow a candidate without the most votes to be actually elected, we have reached yet a new low in our cultural embracement of mediocrity. The internet is ablaze with ta lk about Eli Manning being a Hall of Fame quarterback. He is not. Debate over. The youngest Manning has had a good, lengthy NFL career. He won two Superbowls and was the MVP on each occasion. The upset of the Pats in 2007 was one of the great sports stories (Unless you are a Pats fan) of all time. But overall he was not the greatest of the great, the best of the best, for which the Hall of Fame is intended. There is no way

Pats Crush The Dolphins. How does this involve Creed Bratton?

WHOA baby this defense! The Dolphins had a tough time catching the football, but the blanket coverage and constant pressure that New England drew up made it a long day for Miami. The incredible thing (amongst all of the incredible things about the Pats’ defense through two games) is that even in the heat and humidity, they never had a breakdown. Not to be diminished either when you take into account that in the stretch in the second half when back to back Miami drives ended in a pick-6, the New England D was on the field for almost 30 minutes in real time. How much does Bill Belichick love this defense? Back to back weeks, up 30 and 43 points, he called time-outs inside of 10 seconds left to

We Are On To The Next Leg...

The tattoo artist was just doing his job when this person came in and requested some ink of the Hooded Genius on her leg. Of course it would have been even better if this image featured Bill in his hood and cutoff sleeves. I love the pencil behind the ear! This tat is the GOAT of tats! What's next? Well, you know she is taking it one leg at a time. Maybe TB 12 on the other calf? Then people can debate which tattoo is better, just like how they debate Bill vs. Tom.

Why Doesn't Anyone Care About Maine Football?

Saturday nights game was billed as the "biggest regular season game in the history of UMaine football.” It was the first time in the 127 years of the Black Bears that two nationally ranked, top 10 teams met in Orono. #7 Maine hosting #8 Towson. To me that is a must see matchup. Guess I was wrong. Not many people in the Pine Tree State gave a rats butt. UMaine listed the attendance at 6256, which is a number faker than a $7 bill. Most athletic events count attendance as tickets distributed, not butts in seats. And there were not 6256 souls on board for that one last night. Even if that figure is 100% correct, that still makes it the second smallest regular season turnout since UMaine played S

Stopping UMaine field hockey game was dumb, but not the gender based crime of the century

By now you probably have heard about the strange ending to the University of Maine field hockey game last weekend at Kent State. It’s been a week and the outrage continues to grow. Many national media outlets have even picked up on the story. While Kent State officials made a mistake, this is not the gender based crime of the century as some in the media would have you believe. Let’s recap. The Black Bears were playing a morning game against Temple on the neutral field. The game was heading to a second overtime when Kent State officials stepped in and declared the game over. UMaine quickly tweeted that their game had been called so Kent state football could kick off on time. Bizarre right? L

Sox whack Dombrowski: That's fine with me

Boston is a tough town. In general and when it comes to sports. Less than a year removed from a World Series title, John Henry and his ownership group whacked President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski like Jack Nicholson’s character would have done in The Departed, also set in Boston. Until this season, the Sox have been massively successful under DD. They have won three division titles and the aforementioned World Series. Yet still I’m ok with having Dombo walk the plank. Here’s why: His ignoring of the bullpen issues last off season was pure incompetence. The Sox would have been much closer to the Yankees if the bullpen hadn’t been one of the worst in baseball the first half of the

The NFL Needs To Investigate The Shenanigans By The Pats With This Antonio Brown Signing

Antonio Brown is a great Wide Receiver. He's also a knucklehead. Or at least he has been acting like one lately. For example he knuckleheaded ( if that's a word) his way out of Oakland without even playing a game there. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, he ended up in New England about 30 seconds after he was eligible to sign with a new team. So, one of the best players in the NFL gets released and signed by the Patriots in the span of 2 hours? Nothing to see here. I would be very curious to see the call logs on Belicheck's phone, but of course we know what happens to phones in New England when you ask to see them for an investigation. This whole thing stinks to high heaven. I believe th

Even haters should respect what TB 12 is doing this season

In sports, and probably life, we often don’t appreciate what we’re seeing at the moment it happens. I know I often think back and say “man I wish I could go back in time and watch this person or that team again.” I have worked hard to appreciate the amazing run of the New England Patriots the last 20 years or so. That includes watching in wonder as Tom Brady has cemented his place as the greatest quarterback of all time. I know this could fall on deaf ears, but even if you’re not a Pats fan, I encourage you to watch TB 12 perform this season. Because everything you see him do has never been done before. Tom Brady is 42 years old. Did you know there are currently 8 head coaches in the league

Some fans don't let facts change their opinions

I am not a big fan of Facebook but from time to time it's perfect for a heated sports debate. A Patriots fan posted that he was ready for the season and another Super Bowl win. He then pondered if the Cowboys would make the playoffs. Cowboys fans are touchy because they know in their hearts that their team has been largely irrelevant for a quarter century. One such fan turned this into an argument about how the Pats are only good because of the weak AFC East. While I agree that division is a bunch off bums almost every year, it really has no bearing on the greatest dynasty the NFL has or will ever see. Here's the debate. Cowboy Fan: I suppose you think the Pats would end up 13-3 if they pla

Double Feature: Do Your Job Part III  & America’s Game

Wednesday night on NFL Network featured the greatest double feature since KFC and Taco Bell started cohabitating. Do Your Job has become a signature special for the New England Patriots where not only Bill Belichick, but the entire coaching staff break down big decisions and play calls from the inner sanctum of the coaches offices. This year’s edition focused on the relationship between Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels. The line that stuck out to me was from this year’s ring ceremony (because in New England you have to specify which ring ceremony you mean) when Bill said “Josh, I’m glad you didn’t go to Indianapolis.” It’s something that has been left unsaid, but being a fly on the wall for

Patriots should be playing for Lombardi Trophy #7 in Feb

Will the Patriots be the first NFL team to win seven Superbowls? The Pats have a pretty reasonable road ahead to earn the right to defend their title in Miami this winter. Here's what ESPN has to say: Chance to win Super Bowl LIV: 15.2% Chance to make the playoffs: 86.4% Caesars Super Bowl odds: +650 The Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions and face the easiest schedule in the league, per FPI and Football Outsiders. They can win the Super Bowl by continuing to be the Patriots. That sounds good to me! On paper this schedule is a “Tale of Two Seasons”. Much of the first half of the season is made up of basically bye weeks, while the second half could present some challenges. The Pat

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