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Keeping Score

Keeping Score: Whip gets a Ford

Friday, February 5, 2016

Good morning! All eyes were on Punxsutawney Phil this week when up popped Andrew Ford, a junior college quarterback unearthed by UMass coach Mark Whipple. The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Pennsylvanian was two-time All-State and a Gatorade Player of the Year, but past performance doesn’t always equate to future gridiron success. Ford played at Cedar Cliff near Hershey, the same high school as tight end Kyle Brady who played at Penn State and then spent 13 years in the NFL. A 3.8 student and member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Ford turned down offers from Pitt and UVA to play for Virginia Tech. He inked his letter of intent two years ago yesterday. Three months later, … 0

Keeping Score: A long story

Friday, January 29, 2016

(Second of two parts) Good morning! When the mercury dips below 50 in South Florida, people don’t come out for the newspaper, but Burmese pythons will come out from the underbrush. “This cold weather’s perfect,” said Brian Wood, an alligator hunter who’s lived in Florida for more than 40 years. “They’ll get up … 0

Keeping Score: Snake catchers

Friday, January 22, 2016

(First of two parts) Good morning! The nine-foot long Burmese python slid out of the cotton bag and made a beeline down the grassy slope toward the swamp. The only obstacle between it and freedom was me, but that was quite by accident since I simply wasn’t paying attention. That’s been the fate … 0

Keeping Score: Chicken soup, or ...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Good morning! UMass and Learfield Sports jointly announced this week that Williamstown native Andrew Stuebner has been named general manager of the UMass Sports Properties team. Learfield Sports is a branch of Learfield Communications, a Texas-based company that … 0

Keeping Score: Old timers

Friday, January 8, 2016

Good morning! Mention of the Tuskegee Airmen Monument in Walterboro, South Carolina, stirred childhood memories for Mark Enoch of watching BAA track meets with his father at the old Boston Garden. It was the late ’50s, and the Boston meets attracted some of the finest athletes in the … 0

Keeping Score: Free men

Friday, January 1, 2016

Good morning! The UMass football team won’t be celebrating Independence Day this year until Sept. 3, when they play the Florida Gators in Gainesville. That’s the day UMass actively joins Army, Brigham Young and Notre Dame as the only independent teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. UMass freed … 0

Going southward

Friday, December 25, 2015

Good morning! Satellite radio was playing Fats Domino’s 1960 hit “Walking to New Orleans” the foggy early morning I parked next to a dormitory and waited for two students I was driving to JFK Airport. The Uber era … 0

Keeping Score: Sight to behold

Friday, December 18, 2015

Good morning! Greenfield’s Walter Boyd was at Saturday’s Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field, the 69,000-seat home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. “I spent the day with a buddy of mine who runs a charity that supports the troops.” Boyd was referring to LA-based television producer Tom Fick, … 0

Keeping Score: Price chopper

Friday, December 11, 2015

Good morning! Last week on the Sports Hub “Toucher and Rich” interviewed Dirk Hayhurst about his run-ins with David Price. It was the sort of interview that makes 98.5-FM the highest-rated station on morning drive-time in Greater Boston. Hayhurst pitched briefly for the Padres, but was better with … 0

Keeping Score: Worth the wait

Friday, December 4, 2015

Good morning! Jim Reid was beginning his seventh season as the UMass football coach when athletic director Frank McInerney called him into his office and gave him the bad news. It was early 1992 and Governor William Weld … 0

Keeping Score: Out of its league

Friday, November 27, 2015

Good morning! The second half was underway when I backed my car into an empty space near the softball complex and walked the last quarter-mile to the UMass football stadium. There was a time when fans got in for free after halftime, but not anymore. Six yellow-jacketed employees … 0

Keeping Score: rare opportunity

Friday, November 20, 2015

Good morning! A normally quiet November night in the city might become bedlam near Yawkey Way when Boston College hosts Notre Dame this evening at Fenway Park. The 3-7 Eagles have lost six straight games and are 161/2-point underdogs against the 5th-ranked Irish. The gridiron barely fits on … 0

Keeping Score: Fantasy spoiler

Friday, November 13, 2015

Good morning! It didn’t take long for FanDuel and DraftKings to get too big for their britches. This week the New York Attorney General’s office ordered the two fantasy sports leagues to shut down by the end of the weekend. It’s called a cease-and-desist order, akin to your … 0

Keeping Score: Carrying On

Friday, November 6, 2015

Good morning! As the days approached to retirement, Deerfield native Mike Russo knew boredom would be his primary adversary. Every autumn for 36 years he’d coached the Williams College men’s soccer team. Williams College SID Dick Quinn says the 69-year-old Russo was named National Division III Coach of … 0

Keeping Score: Honor System

Friday, October 30, 2015

Good morning! The days are dwindling down to a precious few, as the song goes. Baseball’s done, the leaves are down and darkness looms at 5 p.m. Just shoot me. It’s easy being on the front end of John Steinbeck’s remark, “What good is the warmth of summer … 0