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Keeping Score

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. FIU’s campus is in Homestead, gateway to the beautiful Florida Keys. However, the Panthers are most likely remembered for an ugly benches-clearing … 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 the hustle. “I had a gift to run. It came without working very hard, and … 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 the song goes, painted wings and giant strings make way for other toys. According to … 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

Keeping Score: Group Analysis

Friday, August 7, 2015

Good morning! Before the seventh race at Saratoga on Monday, Bill Gutfarb and several of his syndicate partners were keeping a keen eye on Analysis, their gelded racehorse sired by Freud. “He gets rattled in the paddock,” said … 0

Keeping Score: Fleeting pleasure

Friday, July 31, 2015

Good morning! A slice of cherry pie and coffee was the capper at Timoleon’s in Keene recently. I was browsing the local sports section and noticed the Swamp Bats were in town against the Vermont Mountaineers at Alumni Field. With nothing else to do on a splendid summer … 0

Keeping Score: That’s the ticket

Friday, July 24, 2015

Good morning! South Deerfield’s Bob Ouellette had four box seats to see the Yankees play the Red Sox at Fenway Park two weeks ago but nearly wound up watching from a Boston barstool. A diehard Yankees fan named John Sullivan had given him the tickets as a get … 0

Keeping Score: The long run

Friday, July 17, 2015

Good morning! Some businessmen frame their first dollar, but Bill Faucher wants to frame his first millionth. The 75-year-old New Hampshire resident owns an off-track betting parlor two miles east of the Hinsdale Walmart. His deal with the state requires him to take the profits and build a … 0

Keeping Score: Safe holiday

Friday, July 10, 2015

Good morning! Two tennis players were toweling off on the clay court next to my house a week ago Friday when I looked at them and yelled, “Happy New Year!” It was little more than a senior moment and not altogether wrong considering the Fourth of July marks … 0

Keeping Score: Boston smug

Friday, July 3, 2015

Good morning, and happy birthday America! Last November at the Manchester (N.H.) City Marathon, Jason Ayr had a Rosie Ruiz moment. The 27-year-old Westfield native had broken free from the pack at the 20-mile mark and was within two miles of winning the $1,500 first prize. More important … 0

Keeping Score: Local scholar

Friday, June 26, 2015

Good morning! Growing up in Greenfield, Kevin Hassett loved canoeing on Barton Cove, hiking along Sachem’s Head and watching the Fourth of July fireworks at Beacon Field. “There are so many wonderful things about Greenfield, it’s hard to pick a favorite,” said Hassett, who walks the trails behind … 0

Keeping Score: twice burnt

Friday, June 19, 2015

Good morning! Tampa’s Skip Smith has a travel tip for Caribbean-bound vacationers: watch your wallet. “Two guys on my crew learned the hard way,” said Smith. “One spent $12 on lighters in the casino shop and his card was charged over $950, and another guy in the same … 0