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Keeping Score

Keeping Score: Talkin’ Football

Friday, November 21, 2014

Good morning! Column contributor Jamin Hemenway has been from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville to Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. He was at Mountaineer Field the day Tavon Austin rolled up 572 yards against Oklahoma, and he was at Memorial Field in Lawrence to see Kansas beat Colorado with five fourth quarter touchdowns. “I would’ve seen Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush play at Notre Dame in 2005 but I was in Shanghai, listening on internet radio in a Chinese hotel room at about 3 a.m.,” said Hemenway, who posts his gridiron experiences on pigskinpursuit.com. Two weeks ago he witnessed something new. He saw UMass beat Ball State at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. “Believe it … 0

Keeping Score: Going strong

Friday, November 14, 2014

Good morning! Former UMass safety James Ihedigbo has played for four NFL teams, including the Patriots. This year, he signed with the Lions. According to spotrac.com, the terms included a $750,000 base salary, a $375,000 signing bonus and a $25,000 workout bonus. Watching him slap his hands back and forth against his helmet after picking a pass on Sunday, I got the feeling … 0

Keeping Score: Rivalry redux

Friday, November 7, 2014

Good morning! Today’s marquee game is 20 miles down the road in Amherst where the Lord Jeffs host Williams College. This historic rivalry will resume for its 129th year. The game will be contested at Pratt Field. The gridiron dates to 1891, making it the third-oldest NCAA playing site in the country. New additions include lights and an eight-lane track around the field. … 0

Keeping Score: Horse play

Friday, October 31, 2014

Good morning! Quiet time’s up for John Dobrydnio. He’s read the Form, watched the replays, talked to the railbirds and is ready to proclaim the winner of tonight’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. Two months ago he picked long shot VE Day to win the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, but … 0

Keeping Score: Writing lesson

Friday, October 24, 2014

Good morning! One morning over coffee at Green Fields Market, my friend Bob Diamond guessed how long it takes for me to write the Saturday column: “What, a couple of hours?” Guess again. Assumptions like Bob’s are what caused German essayist Thomas Mann to wryly observe: “A writer … 1

Keeping Score: The long goodbye

Friday, October 17, 2014

Good morning! Mike Russo’s career coaching soccer at Williams College is drawing to a close. “Probably if I was smart I would’ve gone out last year when we went to the Final Four,” joked Russo, who grew up in Deerfield. One win in the Ephs’ final three matches … 1

Keeping Score: No win situation

Friday, October 10, 2014

Good morning! How would you like to be football coach for a day, have a 27-point lead and try keeping it for the last 31 minutes of play? Think you could do it? UMass coach Mark Whipple couldn’t. He let what was a 41-14 blowout slip away last … 0

Keeping Score: Lost Cat

Friday, October 3, 2014

Good morning! Every Saturday each fall Rick Farnham leaves his home in northern Vermont to watch a college football game, be it at Middlebury, Dartmouth or UMass, where he and his wife Diane tailgated prior to last week’s game against Bowling Green. What’s easy to spot is the … 0

Keeping Score: Welcome home

Friday, September 26, 2014

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 … 0

Keeping Score: Ups and Downs

Friday, September 19, 2014

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 … 0

Keeping Score: So long, sport

Friday, September 12, 2014

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 … 0

Keeping Score: Same ol’ song

Friday, September 5, 2014

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 … 0

Keeping Score: Whipple effect

Friday, August 29, 2014

Good morning! The Mark Whipple Show debuts today at Gillette Stadium, where the UMass Minutemen are 17-point underdogs against Boston College. UMass athletic director John McCutcheon took his mulligan the day after Christmas when he fired Charley Molnar with three years and $836,000 remaining on his contract. “There … 0

Keeping Score: Caught looking

Monday, August 25, 2014

Good morning! A while back I wrote a column about a local teacher who aspired to be a major league umpire. His career path began in the New York-Penn League, and on a summer evening I watched him ump a Single-A game in Lowell. We met in the … 0

Keeping Score: Summer travels

Friday, August 15, 2014

Good morning! My annual sojourn to Saratoga Race Course resulted in a whopping $5 profit. I put the pen away this trip and enjoyed sitting with friends under a television carousel near the Big Red Spring where brave hearts with strong stomachs drink mineral water that tastes like … 0