Sports Columns

Keeping Score: Welcome home

Good morning! A sellout crowd of over 17,000 will be at McGuirk Stadium this afternoon to watch the UMass football team play Bowling Green State University in the Mid-American Conference season opener for both teams. The last time UMass played in Amherst was Nov. 19, 2011, when the Minutemen lost to JMU, 34-17. I’ll refrain from any long monologues about what a mistake it was to move to Foxborough, except to mention that only 10,277 turned out to watch UMass lose to Colorado three weeks 0

On the Trail: Nut job

The Harvest Moon has passed, wild asters smile and Henry Ford was a fascist. If you don’t believe it, look it up. It’s true. I don’t know where that came from but must admit I’m under the gun. Off to a late start. Where does the time go? I do have an excuse. Got tangled in titillating conversation with an overnight guest. Old friend. Retired, high-ranking military officer who must have inhaled old-tavern truth serum. Yes indeed, a spellbinding chat we had over morning coffee 0

Jaywalking: Eye-opener

An estimated 550 people packed the dining common (and an overflow room) at Greenfield Community College Monday afternoon to hear the story of former NBA basketball player Chris Herren. High school students from Greenfield and Mahar were bused in and joined a large contingent of adults and other students to hear the story of Herren, a Fall River native who became a first-round NBA draft pick but had his life derailed by drug addiction. Entire sports teams from both schools attended the speech, which was 0

Keeping Score: Ups and Downs

Good morning! Pilots have been landing at the wrong airports this year but our pilot simply couldn’t pronounce the name, welcoming us aboard our flight to “Wooster.” JetBlue began using Worcester’s regional airport last winter to accommodate the overflow of travelers who were clamoring to escape the frigid weather. I’d never frequented the tiny airstrip but my travel agent Mary Greene at Cruise and Travel sold me on the cheap $265 roundtrip airfare and the easy 50-mile drive from home. Still, there was an incongruity 0

On the Trail: Animal instinct

A strange, busy week it’s been, spiced by interesting visits, some physical, others mental, maybe even a tad esoteric. We’ll begin with a light little deer caper anyone can get their head around — an unusual encounter that, due to its rarity, will not be soon forgotten — then see if there’s room for anything else. My wildlife encounter occurred on a splendid Monday morning, one of two such bright, crisp fall-like days bookending a gray Tuesday, the day of a visit by the man 0

Jaywalking: Bye Scott

For the first time since 1997, Greenfield High School boys’ basketball is searching for a coach. Scott Thayer officially stepped down last week after 16 years at the helm of Green Wave hoops. It was a decision Thayer said came to him rather suddenly, and he decided it was time step down. “It’s just time for a change,” he said. “I think the program needs a new voice. It’s just time. You just kind of know sometimes. I didn’t really decide until a couple of 0

Keeping Score: So long, sport

Good morning! Jet Blue Flight 2016 from Worcester to Fort Lauderdale landed at 10 a.m. last Sunday with a solid contingent of Patriot fans on board. The airport was a mere 20-minute drive from Dolphins Stadium, but I wasn’t there for the game. On Sept. 5 my 75-year-old friend Jimmy Johnson had passed away at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach. I met Jimmy in 1999 at a drug and alcohol treatment center in West Palm Beach called Hanley-Hazelden (now the Hanley Center). He 0

On the Trail: Guinea Gulch is Calling

An interesting crosstown trip to the feed store after my morning walk, a behemoth faraway bear, many familiar people, my ears buzzing with swarms of feedback about this and that, all of it pertaining to recent topics aired out right here in this space. Why not a little ramble? No, no, no! Fear not. I’ll keep to the out of doors, sort of, which is about as confined as I prefer to be, no razor-wire fences, no foreboding “Keep Out!” warnings, please. So let’s begin 0

Jaywalking: Welcome to the real world

Hello Patriots’ fans. Oh, have we been waiting for you. Welcome back to the club of “fans who actually worry about their NFL team.” I know it’s been a good long time since you were part of this popular club. You left for about 15 years to move on to an elite society reserved for fans of teams so dominant that fans of every other team in the league turn ill. That’s what the Patriots have been for nearly 15 years. The Pats just don’t 0

Keeping Score: Same ol’ song

Good morning! The sun angling downward past the three-quarter marker on Monday portended the beginning of high school football, and Kevin Hollister claims the game of the year will be Mohawk versus Tech on Oct. 11. “They hate each other,” said Hollister, a West County native who works at Tech. “Tech’s two captains transferred from Mohawk.” Informed of Hollister’s remarks, Mohawk coach Doug McCloud’s eyes widened a bit, then he smiled and laughed. “Sure go ahead, pour gas on the fire!” It’ll put excitement where 0