Keeping Score

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 were guarding the turnstile, so I walked to the ticket window and gave it my best shot. “One senior halftime discount, please.” “Ha ha ha,” laughed the ticket seller. “Still gonna be $20.” I forked over the Jackson, got the ticket scanned and came out from under the concrete seats to the bright green gridiron, where Alonzo … 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 what John Updike called Boston’s “lyrical little bandbox of a ballpark,” and stretches from under … 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 mother saying, Stop it! Fantasy leagues are kids games at heart. You pick your team … 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

Keeping Score: The frozen few

Friday, October 23, 2015

Good morning! They raised the banner to commemorate the 2015 NCAA hockey championship prior to the Providence College’s 4-1 win against Holy Cross last week. The NCAA title game was played last April 11 at TD Garden in … 0

Keeping Score: Just a thought

Friday, October 16, 2015

Good morning! Almost every morning I take a slow jog on the empty campus in Northfield. The property remains meticulously landscaped, like a Hollywood movie set with empty buildings and unused parking lots waiting for the next cast and crew to arrive. Occasionally a busload of South Korean … 0

Keeping Score: Overseas Blogger

Friday, October 9, 2015

Good morning! Jamin Hemenway’s “Pigskin Pursuit” college football blog is coming to you this year from France. The Deerfield native works in Paris for Danone, aka Danon. “Specifically, I work on global marketing for the Activia brand,” he wrote in a recent email. Coming into this season, Hemenway … 0

KeepingScore: Sports pourri

Friday, October 2, 2015

Good morning! The UMass football team hosts Florida International University this afternoon at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The Panthers are 2-2, including a 15-14 upset win in their season opener against the University of Central Florida. The Minutemen, who are 1-2 versus the spread this season, are 3-point favorites. … 1

Keeping Score: Properly motivated

Friday, September 25, 2015

Good morning! Success is equal parts skill and hustle. “The difference between champ and chump is u,” local gridiron coach Jim Smith liked to say. At Turners Falls High School, Craig Bodenstein had the skill but not always … 1

Keeping Score: Bucking the trend

Friday, September 18, 2015

Good morning! Tiger Woods’ fade from golfing glory is the downside of the golfing surge that began in the 1990s. Golf’s greatest and most polarizing figure since Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus helped grow the game, but as … 0

Keeping Score: Gar Story

Friday, September 11, 2015

Good morning! Garfish lurk in the murky waters of the Mississippi River and other parts of the world. The largest and creepiest are alligator gars. They grow to be seven feet and weigh over 200 pounds. Their long, … 0

Keeping Score: Bad call

Friday, September 4, 2015

Good Morning! I was sitting next to the cash register in Brad’s Place Thursday, enjoying a toasted sandwich packed with lettuce, tomatoes and three slices of hot greasy bacon. “Best BLT east of the traffic light,” boasted owner Dan Devine. Grillmaster Phil Courtemanche walked past me and asked, … 0

Keeping Score: Behold the Pharoah

Friday, August 28, 2015

Good morning! The gates opened early today at Saratoga Race Course, where 50,000 people are pushing and tugging for a look at Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Not since hippies danced in the mud at Yasgur’s farm has upstate New York been inundated by such a celebratory crowd … 0

Keeping Score: No breaks

Friday, August 14, 2015

(Second of two parts) Good morning! Monica Driver was “catatonic with nerves” before the seventh race at Saratoga Race Course on August 3. Turf races favor horses that have drawn the inside posts, and her 5-year-old gelding named … 0