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Sports Columns

Jaywalking: Barnstorming

It’s amazing where a story can lead you to. Two days before Christmas, I touched on some of the history of Nichols Gymnasium in Greenfield. The gym opened when the new high school opened up in 1958 and has all sorts of stories to tell from its 57 years of service to the area. After the story ran, I heard from a few people with tales to tell — things I missed or never knew even happened. One of those people was David Fitz of 0

Keeping Score: Taking the over

Good morning! The three best days of the football season are upon us. It begins today at Gillette Stadium where the Patriots are seven point favorites to beat the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Conference semifinals. This isn’t the match-up that Patriots fans wanted. The Ravens have come, seen, and conquered New England in two of their last three postseason encounters. New England’s only win was 23-20 on a fourth quarter touchdown run by Tom Brady in the 2011 AFC championship. Two weeks later they 0

On the Trail: Toby travelers?

The full Wolf Moon curls its lip, displays a stained ivory canine and snarls from high in the cold midnight sky. Uh-oh! Here we go again. Cougars. Yeah, you know — tawny, four legs, long, thick tail, square-ish face with black features along the nose and ears. Everyone who sees one is spellbound in awe of the power and grace, the body length, the unmistakable cat-like gait and agility. But this local tale is different from scores of others you’ve read here, because this time 0

Jaywalking: Goodbye friend

I never had the chance to work with Mike “Ace” Kelley at the Recorder. His days of newspaper writing ended when I was still in high school, leading up to our new millennium, his career another casualty of the disease that tragically claimed his life on Christmas Day at age 48. Although I knew of his diabetes struggles, that is not what defined the man I came to call friend. In fact, even though I knew it was the disease that kept him sidelined from 0

Keeping Score: Hazard in the rough

Good morning! There are more golf courses in Palm Beach County than any place in the country. Travelers can see the mowed fairways, clipped greens and sparkling ponds while their aircraft’s descending down onto the landing strip at PBI airport. It’s nature on a leash, and Frank White was explaining what happens when the leash breaks. White’s a caddie. He grew up in Providence and graduated from Boston College. Shortly after 9/11 he traded in his briefcase for a golf bag and works the Florida 0

On The Trail: Ace

Tuesday morning, sun bright, wind cold, up early to say farewell to an old friend and loyal colleague who lost a valiant battle to a heartless scourge. Complicating matters on this winter morn was a visit from grandsons Jordan and Arie, prepubescent Vermonters in town for school vacation. I made arrangements to clear space and was expecting Duke of Sports co-host Mike Cadran to arrive with passenger, neighbor and Recorder sports colleague Jason Butynski — ETA 9:15. The only reason I put it in those 0

Jaywalking: Holiday cheer

Happy 2015! Sure, I may be a day or two early, but I’m also probably the first person to say it to you, and there’s always something to be said for firsts. You’re likely to hear the phrase “Happy New Year” so many times in the next few days that you’ll be sick of it by the time the Times Square ball drops. But before all the celebrations to ring in the new year, let’s take a look back at the year that was 2014 0

Keeping Score: The Boca Bowl

Good morning! Graying snowbirds like me aren’t the only folks who retreat to Florida for the winter. Aging Captain Americas decked in shades, bandanas, earrings and tattoos roll full throttle into the Sunshine State once the frost hits the pumpkin. That buzz you hear on quiet winter days up north is the sound of senior citizens winding it up on their Hogs, thinking they’re Dennis Hopper but looking like Jed Clampett. I made the observation Tuesday on I-95 while en route to the inaugural Boca 0

Jaywalking: Greenfield ready to bid farewell to Nichols Gym

After 57 years of serving Greenfield, the Carl “Ump” Nichols Gymnasium will feature its final high school basketball game tonight when the Greenfield girls’ basketball team hosts Hopkins Academy at 7:30. The gymnasium will be demolished after the new year and a parking lot will be paved over the plot of earth that has held the gymnasium since it was built in 1958. The new gymnasium at the high school is located where the old main office used to be, basically in the space between 0

Keeping Score: Just peachy

Good morning! In the deep quiet of a winter night I awoke and stared into the darkness, disoriented and disturbed by the unfamiliarity of my surroundings. An air conditioner droned beneath the drapes and the hallway light shone from under the door. Slowly I realized I was at a Country Inn & Suites in Florence, S.C. I’d checked in at 10 p.m. a week ago and was reading a New Yorker article about Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban. The author, Ben McGrath, wrote of Bobby Holik’s 0