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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: 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

Keeping Score: Stories of David

Friday, June 12, 2015

Good morning! It might take some prodding, but even a sports fan like myself can enjoy the theater. On May 14 in Keene, my friend Marilyn Medina and I had $59 orchestra seats for an evening with David Sedaris at the historic Colonial Theatre. The 58-year-old Sedaris is … 0

Keeping Score: Epstein’s legacy

Friday, June 5, 2015

Good morning! Come back Theo, the Red Sox need you. Owner John Henry will piggyback you to Secaucus for Monday’s draft. It starts at 6 p.m. and the first 75 picks will be televised. The Red Sox pick seventh and 81st overall, and they need to hit the … 0

Keeping Score: George’s car

Friday, May 29, 2015

Good morning! On February 3, I stepped off a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale, picked up George Bush’s car keys at a Day’s Inn and drove his 2002 Buick Century back to Fort Lauderdale. This is the George Bush whose brother “Bullet” Lou Bush was an All-America running … 0

Keeping Score: Dry Run

Friday, May 22, 2015

Good morning! On a warm spring evening outside Fenway Park, Kung Fu Panda bracelets were selling for $3, vendors were hawking free “soxaholic” bumper stickers with each paid program, and parking attendants were getting $50 a car. They’ll take it while they can, because the most expensive division … 0

Keeping Score: Transition trouble

Friday, May 15, 2015

Good morning! Last weekend, six Atlantic 10 softball teams converged in Amherst to play at Sortino Field, the complex named for the longtime coach who passed away two years ago this August at age 63. Fordham won its third straight A-10 title by beating Dayton, 8-2, in the … 0

Keeping Score: Louisville Upstart

Friday, May 1, 2015

Good morning! Railbirds who are betting their vacation money that either American Pharoah or Dortmund will be wearing the blanket of roses at Churchill Downs today might be staying home this summer. “My first look if somebody told me you gotta pick now or you’re going to the … 0