These Sports Turkeys Deserve to Be Dropped From a Chopper

It's one of the classic sitcom episodes of all time. The clueless radio team of WKRP in Cincinnati try a Thanksgiving Day promotion that involves giving people free turkeys. But they do it by dropping the live birds from a helicopter over a crowded shopping plaza. Obviously it does not go well for anyone involved. So in the spirit of clueless radio people here are a few turkeys from the sports world that we think should be dropped from a chopper. Kyrie Irving This bird flew the coop and thank goodness he did. Kyrie now has a phantom shoulder injury, has moodily sat out the last 4 games and now says he won’t play the next 3, including what would have been his return to Boston. As god as my wi

Solari is Feeling Thankful These Days.

In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday I have decided to show my kinder and softer side for once. So, I put together a short list of sports stuff for which I am legit thankful. Here we go: I’m thankful that David Ortiz survived the shooting in the Dominican Republic earlier this year. I can't even begin to imagine a world without Big Papi. I’m thankful for the kids who still sacrifice and give it their all to play high school sports in our state. The numbers are down but local sports and teams are such a part of the fabric of our communities around here. Would be a shame if that changed. I’m thankful for Roger Clemens renting a car and driving from New Jersey to Bangor back in Ma

My friend Bill Green is retiring. Where did the last 47 years go?!

So my pal Bill Green is retiring. Yep, the amiable and talented host of “Bill Green’s Maine” is hanging it up after…get this…47 years at WLBZ/WCSH TV. I was at these same stations for 22 years, which seemed like quite the stretch, but compared to Bill’s tenure? Not so much. I recall watching Bill back in the day (late 70’s) as he delivered sports highlights during the 11:00 news during my high school days. In fact, the folks had just purchased their first color TV, which led to the discovery that young Bill’s hair was quite red! Of course, Mr. Green’s “moss” (Dennis Eckersley reference) has, over his distinguished career, segued to a distinguished gray. I never had a conversation with B

Bill's hoodie must be tied too tightly if he thinks the Dallas Cowboys are "well coached.&q

Every week, appearing as if being forced to do so at gunpoint, Bill Belichick stands in front of the unwashed media masses, staring sternly out at the wide eyed throng, looking like he is in a great deal of pain as he listens to their questions. He repeatedly utters the same answers weekly, not even trying to veil his great disdain for those who dare to interrogate him with inquiries so unworthy of his time. I swear some week he is going to just bust out full Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. “I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself, to people who bask under the glow of the Lombardi Trophies I provide and then question the manner in which I provide them! I’d rather you

Here's why the UMaine football will likely miss the playoffs

Here’s a question that would stump even the greatest Jeopardy champion: With a win over New Hampshire Saturday will the UMaine football team qualify for the NCAA playoffs? Forty eight hours ago I thought I knew the answer: No. Nope. No way. Not gonna happen. But after a couple of days of research, I’m still leaning toward probably not. But maybe, just maybe they can sneak in? To quote the classic film Dumb and Dumber “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?” Yes I am. The Black Bears have saved their season with an impressive four game win streak. They were 2-5. They are now 6-5 and 4-3 in the CAA conference. The team has showed a lot of pride and character. Saturday’s rivalry showdown with N

Great weekend for UMaine hockey: here's what's next.

It was an incredible weekend to be a University of Maine hockey fan. Two near-sellout crowds watched the Black Bears send rival UNH back to Durham with a sweep, including a 2-1 overtime thriller Saturday in which Tim Doherty scored an extra-attacker goal to set the stage for Patrick Shea's overtime winner. The Alfond was rocking, and it felt like the good ole' days. The sweep of UNH has the Black Bears just one point out of first place in Hockey East with a 4-2-2 league mark (7-3-2 overall). Nobody had thought the Bears would have those marks 10 days away from Thanksgiving. It has undoubtedly been a great start for Maine, but the next seven games - all away from Orono - will tell us where th

There should be more local kids playing on D-1 teams

This blog originally aired as a Jeff's Take on WABI TV 5 News College sports have changed just a bit since the mid 1800’s when Harvard and Yale squared off in rowing. That is believed to be the first collegiate competition. That was boys being boys battling for school bragging rights. Today there are almost a half million student athletes in this country. The NCAA is a complex multi layered organization with a boat load of challenges and problems. Most of which don’t have easy solutions. If any. So what the heck, let me create one more. I think state universities and colleges should be required have a minimum number of players on their teams rosters from that state. Today schools and teams r

Patriots Notebook: Tough win moves Pats to 9-1

On a day when you’re going to hear a lot of “It ain’t always pretty” and “A win is a win on the road” it’s important to remember that the Patriots improved to 9-1 with their 17-10 win in Philadelphia Sunday. But, that game was uglier than a driver’s license picture taken on July 5th.The Achilles heel of the Eagles this year had been their dreadful secondary, it sure didn’t look like it on Sunday. The Patriots couldn’t get anything going in terms of a vertical passing game. In fact most of the time that the Patriots “shot it deep” (trademark Gil Santos) the receiver wound up having to make a play to avoid an interception. Mark me in the camp that the line will be better when Isaiah Wynn retur

The best home weekend for UMaine hockey in years

The sign proclaiming “Maine: The way life should be” is long gone from the turnpike. But I’m ready to put up a new one around here that proclaims: “The Alfond: The way hockey should be. Once again.” This was the weekend for which loyal fans, boosters and alumni have been begging for years. Red’s Army won both games of the Border Battle with rival New Hampshire in an atmosphere reminiscent of seasons long past. There were not many empty seats as almost 10,000 people total showed up for the two games. The fans were loud, the band was rocking and the student section was as amped up! Home sweet home. Both nights the students brought plenty of energy to the old building and made life pretty hard

How I survived a Patriots bye week: College football and Christmas music

The Patriots haven’t played a football game since November 3rd, (even worse, they haven’t won a football game since October 27th vs Cleveland. Gulp.) The bye week couldn’t have come at a better or worse time. I say better because a week 10 bye is a prime time to have a week off during the NFL season and this year it was at another level because I was traveling for work, specifically on Sunday and I didn’t have to alter travel plans to accommodate kickoff. (One year, I took 4 college students to a conference and the Patriots kicked off at 1pm in Orchard Park and I had to drive to Bangor from Hartford. The students were NOT happy when I told them why they had to be down in the lobby at 5:30am.

Catching up with Jonathan Papelbon

Remember Jonathan Papelbon? The wild eyed Red Sox closer from late last decade? It doesn’t seem very long ago that he was River Dancing in bicycle shorts on the Fenway Park mound and pouring Bud Lights on the ALCS trophy. We haven’t seen much if anything of Pap since he departed Boston. The last time he pitched in a Sox uniform, Papelbon was blowing the 162nd game of the 2011 meltdown in Baltimore. From there, #58 closed for 5 more years in the National League for the Phillies and Nationals. The most memorable moment of his post-Sox time was slamming Bryce Harper into the dugout wall in Washington. Since his 2016 retirement, Papelbon has been a ghost, so you know, only Sam Darnold has seen h

What do Bob Barker, Pat Sajak and Gronk have in common?

“Rob Gronkowski, come on down!” Just picture that chaotic scene as Gronk responds to the siren call for contestants on The Price is Right. Gronk’s youthful enthusiasm and whacky antics actually would play well on that show as “the next contestant” always is way over excited and seemingly super caffeinated. That’s Gronk. And I’m pretty sure he would spin that Showcase Showdown wheel right into the crowd. As it turns out #87 really is going to be on a network game show soon. No he’s not risking a Cliff Clavin like perforce on Jeopardy. And he won’t have to worry about buying a vowel. Or figuring out what a vowel even is. He’ll be a host of sorts. The former Patriot tight end, party cruise hos

Should we suspend Maine High School Football Coaches who "run up the score?"

(This blog originally aired as a Jeff's Take on WABI TV 5 News.) Last week a high school football coach in New York was suspended for one game. Why? Because the final score in his teams win was 61-13. So he violated the Nassau County policy designed to prevent lopsided results in football games. If a team wins by 42 or more points, the winning coach must explain to a special committee why such an large margin of victory could not be avoided. In this case “The Committee” decided that when the coach was up by 35 points to start the fourth quarter he should have pulled his starters and did not. So they suspended that coach for one game. This policy has been in place for 3 years. And it seems

Some picked-up pieces while trying to figure out what to do on a Patriot-less Sunday "Funday.&q

- It's admittedly difficult for any University of Maine sports fan to root for anything Minnesota given what happened on an ice sheet in St. Paul in 2002, but how can you not be thrilled for former Black Bear football boss Joe Harasymiak? Coach H is now coaching the defensive backs at the University of Minnesota, and the undefeated Gophers earned one of the biggest wins in program history, knocking off fourth-ranked Penn State 31-26. It was only fitting that Coach H's secondary sealed the impressive victory with a late-game, red zone interception, Penn State's first red zone turnover of the season. Black Bear Nation should be proud of Coach H. And given all that Penn State is one of the most

The Most Dominant Program in Maine High School Sports

(This blog originally aired as a Jeff's Take on WABI TV 5 News) Skowhegan can brag about a couple of wicked long streaks. For instance the Skowhegan State Fair is the oldest continuous state fair in the United States. It’s been around every August since 1818. Impressive. That’s a lot of fried dough. But if you Google Skowhegan there’s something that comes up ahead of the fair, and ahead of even the towns official website. It’s the Skowhegan field hockey team. They have an amazing streak as well:19 consecutive regional titles. Let me repeat. 19 regional Class A North Field Hockey titles in a row! It’s dominance never before seen in Maine high school sports. Heck, the streak is older than anyb

Maine Hockey Fans Should Be Pretty Happy Right About Now

Who expected the University of Maine men's hockey team to be 5-2-1 eight games into the season? Certainly not any of us at the Sports Chowdah, especially after the first weekend of the season in which the Black Bears got drubbed by Providence and New Brunswick by an aggregate 12-0. That's all ancient history now. There are many believers in Black Bear Nation. The target on head coach Red Gendron's back is slowly getting smaller. Slowly. The Black Bears took three Hockey East points from rival Boston University over the weekend, posting a 4-2 victory on Friday before the teams skated to a 2-2 tie on Saturday. Three out of four points is a great weekend for Maine. I know it's only November, bu

Patriots Notebook: Too Big of a Hole to climb out of vs. Ravens

On Sunday, the Patriots lost their first game since December 16, 2018 on the same day that the Miami Dolphins won their first game since last December’s Miami Miracle vs New England. And no matter if you are playing the Baltimore Ravens or those previously winless Miami Dolphins, you just cannot spot an opponent a 17-point lead. I can’t help but wonder if this game would have been different if two plays went different on the Ravens’ first drive of the game. If on the game’s third play Lamar Jackson hadn’t riggled out of a sack to find a diving Hollywood Brown for a first down, could the tides have been preemptively stemmed? Or if the Patriots hadn’t jumped on a Justin Tucker field goal attem

Former Black Bear a Star on Sunday Night Football

Lamar Jackson was the object of much affection from NBC during last nights Pats loss to the Ravens on Sunday Night Football. But Pat Ricard got some serious love last night too from the crew at NBC. Al Michaels and especially Cris Collinsworth showered praise on the former U Maine Black Bear pretty much from opening kick off. On one play the camera showed that Ri card had come into the game and Collinsworth gushed “There’s our guy!” When explaining how unique it was for Ricard to already have played more than 100 snaps on both offense and defense they glowingly called him a “Renaissance Man.” Ricard plays Defensive End and Fullback for the team formerly known as the Browns. On two separate o

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