The Best Games of the Decade: My View From The Sidelines

As we approach the end of this decade, it’s a good chance to look back at just how successful the professional sports teams in New England have been, and by default, how spoiled it’s fan base has also been. Two World Series championships by the Red Sox. Nothing will ever compare to 2004. But the fact that this team was the best in baseball two times over the last 10 years is no small accomplishment by any means. One Stanley Cup Title. Hoisting the cup in 2011 was pretty awesome, and while there could also be an argument made that there should have been one or two more, that one was pretty special. Three Super Bowl wins. This historic run of almost two decades featured two of the greatest Sup

Great UMaine Sports Memories from Across The Country

As the decade of the "10's" comes to a close, a look back reveals a pretty decent 10 years. As 2009 closed out, so then did my military career with the Maine Air National Guard. With all of my kids being grown adults, I really found myself with no legitimate reason to stick around Maine and it's 9 month long winters. Apologies to our local supermarket giant, but my gig stacking yogurt just didn't have that much of an appeal. After a very short stint in Austin TX , home of THE University of Texas and an even shorter stint as a " ramp rat" for US Airways, I ended up in Oklahoma. A mere 3 days after I moved in, we got 12 inches of snow. How far south did I have to go to get rid of winter? Good

This has been one forgettable decade for UMaine hockey

The second decade of the 21st century has been a forgettable one for University of Maine hockey fans. The lows, unfortunately, outweighed the highs from 2010-2019 for this once fabled program. The Black Bears made just one NCAA Tournament appearance, that coming in the 2011-12 season. Dismal. They also had a solo showing in the Hockey East tournament semifinals, also coming in the spring in 2012, ending with a championship game loss to Boston College. That's a far cry from the five Frozen Four and two National Championship game appearances UMaine posted between 2000 and 2010, with both national title game losses coming in heartbreaking fashion. While the last decade didn't yield outstanding

The Top 10 of the 2010's

Anyway you cut it, the 2010’s have been very very good to Boston sporting fans. I think its easily one of the two best decades this century. Because this is the lazy season of sports journalism, and the “is Die Hard a Christmas movie” debate has been drilled into the ground and left to smolder, it’s time for a year in review. But wait, this is the end of a decade, so as to bask in the riches that the 2010’s hath bestowed upon us, here are the top 10 Boston sports figures of the 2010’s. 10. Devin McCourty Drafted in 2010, McCourty narrowly edges out Dont’a Hightower for the 10th spot on this list only because he’s played two more seasons in New England. McCourty along with Xander Bogaerts are

A Simply Great Decade Of Sports and Sports Media

While I am wicked excited to dive head first into 2020, it’s also pretty darn cool to take a look back at 2019, an amazing sports year and a kick butt sports decade. I feel this way as a local fan, and professionally as well. I started the decade by wrapping up my 6 year run as the afternoon host at WZON AM 620 The Sports Zone in may 2010. I was lucky enough to keep my nose stuck in the business through the rest of the decade. I wrote columns for the Maine Edge for a couple of years and was a contributor primary fill in host for a couple of years on Downtown with Rich Kimball on WABI AM and later 92.9FM WEZQ. When that show was dumped from the Ticket, Jim Churchill invited me to help him sta

Absolutely Pathetic Loss By The Patriots

Remember back in September and we thought the Patriots' receiving core would feature Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman, Demariyus Thomas and Phillip Dorsett? Well, this Patriots offense is a shell of what it was back when the grass was green and the sun was setting well after 4 p.m. That was evident as Tom Brady's bunch laid an egg against the Tomato Can Miami Dolphins that gave some Patriots fans flashbacks to the Drew Bledsoe days. The 27-24 loss to Miami relegated the Pats to playing on Wild Card weekend for the first time since the 2009 season. This writer happened to be in the stands in Foxboro for that 33-14 beatdown against the Baltimore Ravens. The question is, who is to blame? The answe

Great First Third of the Season for the C's

Injuries, trades, the rookies, and more Celtics talking points at the one-third mark The Boston Celtics men’s professional basketball club has played 26 games as of Dec. 19, sitting comfortably in second place in the East (despite them being 5 games back of the first-place Bucks. The NBA season is nearly one-third of the way over *shudders.* Somehow, with five just days of rest during the meat of the first half of the NBA season (which is downright-awful scheduling, by the way), the Celtics went from having two players on the injury report to four. Brad Stevens said Hayward has been dealing with a “sore foot” on-and-off this season, and since he missed time with the broken hand, it just didn

Patriots Should be Punished- Big Time.

Another year, another Patriots division title and yet again another instance of the Patriots being caught red handed breaking the rules. For all of the on the field success, the Patriots are equally as horrible off the field. I don't think Tony Soprano cheated as much as these guys do. Stone cold busted at a Bengals game filming stuff they knew they shouldn't be filming, their camera guy, basically peeing his pants was pathetically begging security to just let him delete the footage. Again, the “Patriots Way.” When the heat gets turned up on them, just start destroying evidence. Delete video. Conveniently lose or destroy your cell phone. Whatever it takes. Remember when Antonio Brown got int

Jeff's Christmas Wish List

This blog originally aired as a "Jeff's Take" on WABI TV 5 News. It's pretty unlikely that I’m on your shopping list for a Christmas present That's ok. I haven’t been the best little boy this past year to be honest. But that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve some sports stuff on my Christmas wish list. More TB 12 Please For instance it’s safe to say for us Patriots fans Tom Brady has truly been the gift that keeps on giving. My Christmas wish is please, let him keep playing with the Pats or retire. I can't bear the thought of him in a different uniform next year. Montana. Favre. Peyton Manning all left their original teams. Please don’t let TB 12 do the same in 2020. Light the Damn Lamp Please In

Bold Predictions for 2020

Alas, it's been a great decade around here. So, what will be ahead of us as we start a brand new decade? Here are a few bold predictions to stuff your stockings with. - The University of Maine hockey team will play in the Hockey East semifinals Now before you call me crazy or too optimistic, the Black Bears have one of the best goaltenders in Hockey East in Jeremy Swayman. Should UMaine find some offensive consistency over the second half of the season, and take care of business against the bottom rung of the league, they'll be in the mix. But, should that happen, a message to Ken Ralph: No contract extensions please. - The Celtics will represent the Eastern Conference in the 2020 NBA Finals

That was a BIG win for the Pats

This was a great, GREAT win for the New England Patriots. The wolves were at the door and I don’t just mean the Buffalo Bills, I mean time, pundits, critics and the like were sharpening their knives to carve up the Patriots once and for all. “Ha! We’ll see what they can do without a bye, without home field, having to play three playoff games to get to the Super Bowl. The guard is the changing and even Brady & Belichick can’t stop it from happening.” But they did. In one of the hardest fought divisional game the Patriots have played this century, the Patriots were the Patriots. Situational football was once again the key and the team that owns 53-graduate degrees in Belichick’s Master’s progr

Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching, a Master Class

In this very space I have raved about Bill Belichick on the NFL 100’s All-Time Team show. (Did you see the corners and safeties episode with Ed Reed? I’m pretty sure Coach Belichick asked him to come live on Nantucket with him and Linda.) I thought that was the pinnacle of Belichick content and then Belichick & Saban: The Art of Coaching premiered on HBO (in partnership with NFL Films) Tuesday night. Tons of amazing footage and access on this 1 hour and 14 minute show, here are my highlights. Liev Schreiber narrates and plots out that this is an annual meeting between these two coaching colossus’ that takes place around Alabama’s Pro Day. Essentially, this is what happens every year after we

First Semester Report Card for the UMaine Men's Hockey Team

Heading into the short Christmas break, the University of Maine hockey team is right about where the preseason prognosticators expected it to be. The Black Bears sit at 8-8-3 overall and 4-6-2 in Hockey East, the latter mark "good" for a three-way tie for sixth place. Bill Parcells said it best when he once indicated that you are "what your record says you are." And that ,500 mark tells us the Black Bears, if I were grading them on their first half, would get a C-plus. Think average. Think Shawn and Cory from "Boy Meets World." And no, I'm not trying to be Mr. Feeny, here. This is an honest indication as to where this team is. The top four teams in Hockey East? Providence, UMass Lowell, UMas

Let's Take a Moment to Enjoy the Best of the Past Decade

Many moons ago when I was a young’un, I thought my parents were toasting their old Aunt Stine on New Year’s Eve. Turns out they were toasting to Auld Lang Syne, words contributed by 18th century Scots which mean “old long since,” or “to long ago times.” Before long, we will be hoisting a cup of cheer as we toast the past decade. Whaaat?!? Another decade come and gone? Yep. Seems like we were just huddled over our computers at 11:59:59 pm anticipating some sort of techie apocalypse as we clicked into the year 2000. Yet here were are, 20 years later, about to enter 2020. Yikes! So, to what might we toast as we scan the last 10 years? Wow-we’ve got some great choices. How about three Sup

Solari explores the biggest Google searches of 2019

This blog originally aired as a "Jeff's Take" on the WABI TV 5 News. SO A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO GOOGLE REVEALED THE PEOPLE AND THINGS THAT WERE MOST SEARCHED IN 2019. IT MAY BE JUST ME BUT I THINK FINDING OUT WHAT PEOPLE CARE ABOUT ENOUGH TO GOOGLE IS PRETTY INTERESTING. AND SOMETIMES A LITTLE SCARY. FOR INSTANCE, RANKING HIGHLY ALONG WITH THE AVENGERS AND GAME OF THRONES, ANTONIO BROWN WAS 5TH MOST SEARCHED OVERALL THIS YEAR. AND OF ALL THE PEOPLE GOOGLED HE WAS #1 NOT KIDDING. OF ALL HUMANS, LIVING OR DEAD THAT COULD HAVE BEEN SEARCHED IN GOOGLE, IN 2019- ANTONIO BROWN WAS #1. PRETTY SURE THATS A SIGN 2019 IS GOING DOWN IN HISTORY AS A BAD YEAR. BRYCE HARPER AND ROBERT KRAFT WERE THE ONLY O

Patriots Notebook: Gilmore, Pass D, Special Teams and our Pro Bowl Picks

This felt a lot like the Washington game. Bengals hit a big play, kept it close in the first half and couldn’t hang in the second half. But why would they want to? Cincinnati came into this game 3 losses away from drafting Heisman winner Joe Burrow. True a win against the Patriots would prove to be the greatest moment in team history since winning the AFC championship in 1988, long term it wouldn’t be worth it if it potentially cost them a franchise QB. There was no point in the Bengals winning, but that’s not why Andy Dalton threw 4 picks. No, Andy Dalton threw 4 picks because: 1. Stephon Gilmore is the defensive player of the year. 2. It looked like Andy Dalton was being scouted by a team

Jim Montgomery is not coming back to coach at UMaine

Jimmy Montgomery is not coming to Orono to coach the University of Maine hockey team. There. It's been said. In case you have been living under a rock, the former Black Bear captain and 1993 national champion was iced by the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. According to an NHL.com report, Montgomery was let go due to "unprofessional conduct inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the Dallas Stars and the National Hockey League." No sooner did that news break than the "Get Jimmy on the next plane to Orono" hot takes scorched throughout Black Bear Nation. First of all, Orono doesn't even have an airport. Unless Montgomery's plane was going to touch down on Morse Field, there's no way he can b

Pat Ricard gets a well deserved new contract from the Ravens

This blog originally aired as a Jeff's Take on WABI TV 5 News While taking classes at the University of Maine, Pat Ricard studied economics. He can now use some of that financial knowledge personally as his own economic situation improved greatly last week when the Baltimore Ravens extended his contract through 2021. 2 years and 7.5 million dollars. This year Ricard is making around $645,000 and earning every penny. He is the only guy to play more than 100 snaps on offense and defense this season. Ricard plays fullback, defensive end and is a key contributor on special teams. His total 2019 snaps: Offense: 231 Defense: 127 Special teams: 78 In his role as a fullback, he’s an integral part of

Patriots Notebook: More to The Loss Than Bad Officiating

I’m not going to talk about the officiating. Jeff Solari beat everybody to the deadhorse and you know what Bill Parcells said about dead horses: “The horse is dead, quit kicking it.” At half time I was resigned to the fact that this Patriots team, as constructed, were not going to be a factor in the AFC playoffs. Sure, there is still a good chance of them winning out and getting the #2 seed, but for the first time in 7 seasons, the Patriots would be an actual underdog as far as going to the Super Bowl. The issues seemed to stem in the middle, James Ferentz, son of long time Belichick disciple and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz was getting beat like a drum up the middle. I’ve never seen the Pat

The Black Bears appear to be who we thought they were. Too bad.

Is this University of Maine hockey team "who we thought they were?" A middle of the pack team in a middle of the road conference? The way the Black Bears were manhandled at the Mullins Center by UMass this weekend - 5-1 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday - proves that theory to be a harsh reality. Sorry, Black Bear Nation. This isn't me trying to be negative. It's just the truth. The Bears aren't ready to sit at the dinner table with the Hockey East big boys. With the sweep by UMass, Maine slips to 0-6-1 against Providence, UMass Lowell, UMass and Northeastern, four of the top five teams in the league. There's no doubt goaltender Jeremy Swayman is playing at a high caliber level. But without any

Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags

Get in Touch

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

© 2023 JEFFSOLARI.COM