Life lessons from a golf course

Forty something years ago (gulp!) yours truly was “cutting cups” at Penobby. What does cutting cups mean, and where is Penobby? Well first, cutting cups refers to cutting into a golf green with a special tool that digs a round hole for the cup to be placed in. You know that thing the flag sticks out of on golf greens? The cup that often seems waaaay too small and hard to locate with your Titleist? That’s the cup I’m talking about. And Penobby? Penobby refers to the Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono, located just up the road a piece from the house I lived in during my schoolin’ years. Early each morning during the weeks of late spring, summer and early autumn, it was my job to careen aro

15 years ago the Sox finally did it!

As the people who are still interested watch this year’s October classic, a pretty special anniversary cannot go unnoticed. It was 15 years ago yesterday, that what can only be described as a religious experience for some, happened in St. Louis, Missouri. After 86 excruciatingly long years of waiting, the Boston Red Sox became World Series champions. Little did anybody know at the time that three more titles would follow in just over a decade. But that 2004 season will always hold one of if not the top spots in all of New England sports fans memories. Not only was the team good on the field, but they were extremely likable, and they liked each other. And that actually matters. Sometimes too

Pats Notebook through Week 8- and Amazing Pats Stats

This week’s sign of how good the defense is, our defensive tackle intercepted a shovel pass. Just when you think that an up-ended offensive tackle, accidentally kicking the ball away from his own running back for a scoop and score touchdown the other way is the wildest play you’re going to see all day, Jonathan Jones says “Hold my beer and watch me run down one of the top rushers in the league and peanut punch the ball loose.” And then, AND THEN, on the very next Browns play, Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Baker’s Mayfield baked me a turnover as fast as he can. Instead of rolling it or passing it, he marked it with a T, as in TO, as in he tossed the ball to Lawrence Guy as you would a Nerf ball to

The big debate: Whom should the Pats play in the Super Bowl?

OK. I will admit this is exactly the kind of thing that is expected from us egotistical, arrogant, self centered, and entitled New England fans. But it’s a legit issue for which I have spent some time pondering lately. Do I want to see Pats-Cowboys or Pats-Saints in the Superbowl? I know. Quandary right? I don’t want to say it’s been keeping me up at night. But I won’t say I have been sleeping as well as hungover guy in church Sunday morning either. Most fans just hope their teams will be in the playoffs. Many dream of a trip to the conference title game while they fantasize about what it would be like to have their favorite squad make the Super Bowl. But us once down trodden Pats fans have

Historically bad decade for the Yankees. That's a shame.

Hallaluah! Crisis narrowly averted. And it was a close one. The Yankees had a shot at winning a World Series title, something that is as rare for them as a positive Twitter post this days. But mercifully my prayers have been answered as the Yanks will have to settle for just their one World Series title this Millennium thus far. In fact heres something to throw in the face of a Damn Yankee fan when they get a little mouthy about the Sox lost season this year. As this decade wraps up and we move to 2020, this is the first time since 1910 that the Yankees never played one single World Series game in a decade. Nope, the Bronx Bummers did not play in the Fall classic once since this decade start

Who are THESE Black Bears?

Beating top-10 teams on the road? That's completely unheard of. But coach Red Gendron's club managed to get that accomplished for the first time in the Gendron era Friday night, knocking off eighth-ranked Quinnipiac 4-2 behind Eduards Tralmaks' three points (2 goals, 1 assist) and Jeremy Swayman's 31-save performance. It marked the first time Maine had defeated a top-10 team away from Orono since a win over third-ranked New Hampshire over the final weekend of the 2012-13 season. Maine couldn't complete the sweep, as the Bobcats fought back to earn a 4-3 victory on Saturday. Tralmarks completed the weekend with four points, and the Black Bears have a lot to be pleased about coming out of the

The Pats "D" Haunts Yet Another Young QB

Well the Patriots have broken another one. How many young quarterbacks, specifically in the AFC East, have the Patriots broken? Remember when Mark Sanchez was the San-chise? The Butt Fumble pretty much closed him down. Hell, New England has banished Ryan Fitzpatrick from more cities than plastic straws. Now it’s happened to Sam Darnold. I’ll never forget watching the Ravens-Chargers playoff game last year with Mike DeVito. The Chargers brought heavy pressure against Lamar Jackson the entire first half. DeVito arrived, saw 3 plays and immediately said “Jackson is seeing ghosts out there.” It was amazing that he identified the rookie’s problem after 3 plays. Jackson finished the game 14/29 pas

Regional sports and local sports media survey results

Last week we asked a series of questions as part of our first Sports Chowdah Local Sports and Media Poll. Questions included “Which is your favorite UMaine sports program?” “Which is your favorite regional professional team?” “Who is your favorite local sports talk radio host?” And more. We had more than 2000 votes cast and we share the results below. WHICH REGIONAL PROFESSIONAL SPORTS FRANCHISE IS YOUR FAVORITE? PATRIOTS - 43.5% RED SOX - 41.1% BRUINS - 10.1% CELTICS - 4.8% REVOLUTION - 0.6% It's not a surprise that the Pats finished first. But I think it is a little surprising that the Sox were this close behind. The Bruins are riding a wave of popularity following the Stanley Cup Final ap

Celtics fans: please don’t ruin this season with high expectations

Fresh start, turn the page, clean slate, new year, so on and so forth, the Celtics players and staff have reiterated those messages in various forms since the moment Celtics Media Day started up. Last year’s underwhelming, and frankly depressing season left a bad taste in the collective mouths of the organization, and to put it simply, they’ve moved on. Understandable. The early-season themes are in stark contrast to last season’s; team chemistry is at an all-time high, Gordon Hayward is actually 100% back, and most importantly, nobody is expecting this team to win 67 games and be a lock for the Finals. And that is exactly how it should be, given the obvious drop-off in talent and depth due

A Pure and Honest Hatred of the Yankees

My formative years as a baseball fan came in the second half of the 1990’s. 1995 was that season for me when baseball meant too much, but as a Red Sox fan it was a thrilling year. Mo Vaughn won the MVP, Tim Wakefield introduced me to the knuckleball and the Sox won the AL East. I went to Fenway for the first time on August 14th of that summer to see the Red Sox pound the Yankees 9-3 behind home runs by Mo Vaughn and Tim Naehring. Even the pre-game moment of silence to recognize the recent passing of Mickey Mantle did nothing to diminish Red Sox Nation’s vitriol for the Bronx Bombers, particularly Daryl Strawberry. I remember loving the “Daryl” chants and in his honor I learned every slang te

A better weekend on the ice for UMaine hockey

This past weekend was a great one for the University of Maine men's hockey team. The Black Bears bounced back nicely from a disastrous opening weekend in which they lost by an aggregate 12-0 to Providence College and the University of New Brunswick - the latter an exhibition contest - with a nice sweep of the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Most of Black Bear Nation reveled in the refreshing 7-1 and 2-1 overtime victories over the Seawolves of the WCHA, but let's pump the brakes a little bit. Alaska-Anchorage is the worst team in the nation. The Seawolves are the Miami Dolphins of NCAA Division I hockey. They won just 3 games last year and probably won't crack double-digits in victories this

UMaine Men's hockey team plays in front of smallest crowds in decades

After being shut out 12-0 in their first two games, the U Maine men’s hockey team finally scored Friday night at the Alfond Arena. Actually they scored early and often against perpetual tomato can Alaska-Anchorage, literally the worst D-1 hockey program in the country. The Seawolves won 3 games last year and finished 60 out of 60 in RPI. They don’t seem to be any better this year. But there is a bigger philosophical question to be pondered from last night’s affair: “If a puck lights the lamp and there’s nobody there to see it, does it really count?” Friday night UMaine played in front a minuscule crowd of 2975 for its home opener. This may very well be the smallest first game crowd since the

UMaine Men's Hockey opens in front of smallest crowd in decades

After being shut out 12-0 in their first two games, the U Maine men’s hockey team finally scored Friday night at the Alfond Arena. Actually they scored early and often against perpetual tomato can Alaska-Anchorage, literally the worst D-1 hockey program in the country. The Seawolves won 3 games last year and finished 60 out of 60 in RPI. They don’t seem to be any better this year. But there is a bigger philosophical question to be pondered from last night’s affair: “If a puck lights the lamp and there’s nobody there to see it, does it really count?” Friday night UMaine played in front a minuscule crowd of 2975 for its home opener. This may very well be the smallest first game crowd since the

Cookout with Curt Schilling was a home run!

Thank you for coming to talk some baseball with Curt Schilling Saturday night! Curt was just awesome as he shared stories and candid opinions, all with humor and humility. A few hundred people enjoyed food from Hero's, beverages from Jeff's Catering, grabbed photos and autographs, and enjoyed 90 minutes of Curt being Curt on stage. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Dirigo Pines! Also special thanks to WABI TV 5, plus our other amazing sponsors, Mainely Eyes, Bangor Federal Credit Union, Sluggers, TBA- Tires, Batteries and Accessories, United Insurance, Cyr Bus and Northstar Tours, and Maine Internet Radio. -SOLARI -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Patriots Notebook week #5

The offensive line is an issue. I was hoping that after Brady was chucking and ducking his way through Orchard Park last Sunday that the credit should be bestowed upon the Buffalo defense. However watching Brady shuck and jive around the pocket to buy time in the former RFK Stadium, it was plain to see that the offensive line is in a rare state of disarray. The most concerning aspect was that it wasn’t the replacements who were clicking turnstiles as Washington pass rushers got free admission to the Patriots’ back field, it was Marcus Cannon, who has long been a stalwart of Dante Scarnecchia’s unit. The line protected better in the second half and was more effective in the running game, but

How long can UMaine hockey fans "Keep the Faith?"

Billy Joel had a hit song back in my youth called “Keeping the Faith”. Catchy tune. Here are a few of the lyrics Joel sang: "The good ol days weren’t always good And tomorrow aint as bad as it seems.” That song was a hit in 1983, one year before Shawn Walsh was hired as the U Maine men’s hockey coach. Which makes me think Billy Joel was wrong. Because when it comes to UMaine hockey, Those were the good ol days and they were darn good. And as we drop the puck on this Black Bear season, tomorrow just may be as bad as it seems. Inexplicably Red Gendron is back as head coach for his 7th season. He has a dismal record of 82 wins. 116 losses and 25 ties. Maine hockey has not even won a quarterfina

Epically bad weekend for UMaine Men's hockey

Saturday the UMaine Men's hockey team opened the season with the biggest thud in program history, a 7-0 blood letting at Providence. As if getting shellacked at the hands of one of the top teams in the country wasn't bad enough, the Black Bears laid an absolute egg in a Sunday exhibition against the University of New Brunswick, with the Varsity Reds heading back to Canada with a 5-0 victory. So, that's two games, no wins and no goals. Yay. You have to ask, when is the administration at UMaine going to decide enough is enough and choose to move on from Gendron? He's approaching the final year of his contract, and may be out of a job come March if his team keeps playing like this. Fans are als

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