Keeping Score

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 Minutemen lost to JMU, 34-17. I’ll refrain from any long monologues about what a mistake it was to move to Foxborough, except … 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 weather. I’d never frequented the tiny airstrip but my travel agent Mary Greene at Cruise … 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 wasn’t there for the game. On Sept. 5 my 75-year-old friend Jimmy Johnson had passed … 0

Keeping Score: Good pay, bad move

Friday, December 27, 2013

Good morning! Imagine you’ve convinced your boss to sell air conditioners on the North Pole. Two years later the company’s losing millions and the new boss calls you into his office. You’re gonna get fired, right? Not if you’re John McCutcheon, the UMass athletic director responsible for putting … 0

Keeping Score: Off the grid

Monday, December 16, 2013

Good morning! The UMass football team died another slow, agonizing death this fall, outscored 396-140 compared to 482-152 a year ago, a slight improvement but not enough to prevent another 1-11 season. It’s not easy winning only one of twelve games. It takes bad decisions, crucial penalties and … 0

Keeping Score: Runner without a country

Monday, December 9, 2013

Good morning! Mohamed Hussein is proud of his heritage. He was born and raised in Somaliland (not to be confused with Somalia), which borders Ethiopia to the west and Somalia to the south and is across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. A senior at Northfield Mount Hermon … 0

Keeping Score: Jeff and Hubie

Friday, November 22, 2013

Good morning! Former Red Sox publicity director Bill Crowley liked to say he could listen to a broadcast team for five minutes and tell if there was a rapport or if they were simply vying for air time. Crowley died in 1996, probably never having heard Bear Country’s … 0

Keeping Score: Reprieve

Friday, November 8, 2013

Good morning! On Thursday night, Pioneer Valley Regional School boys’ basketball coach Dave Hastings was notified by Principal Bill Wehrli that he’d be keeping his job. Hastings had been in limbo for six months, not knowing if he’d be back for a 12th season after being told the … 0

His Waterloo

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Good morning! Two weeks ago Derek Pratt’s suitcase landed inside the bedroom of an Iowa household, his next-to-last stop on a mission that began at the Collins-Moylan Arena and will culminate a year from now at the University of Connecticut. “I’ve been watching Hockey East all my life … 0

Honoring the bull

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Good morning! During that muddled time between college and finding a job, Conway’s Brad Scudder worked as a substitute teacher. Bored with the three R’s, one morning he broke out a deck of cards and taught his students how to play poker, for cash to better learn the … 0

Scenes from The Spa

Saturday, August 17, 2013

(First of two parts) Good morning! Race-goers beware, if the horses don’t get you, the hotel tab will. $399 at the Saratoga Hilton plus the 11.5 percent tax and $10 to park is $460.87. Bringing the Yorkie? Tack on another $50. I stayed 25 miles north, next to … 0

Saratoga misses

Saturday, August 24, 2013

(Second of two parts) Good morning! It was 10 minutes before the fourth race at Saratoga on Aug. 9. Six fillies — maidens all — had been called from paddock to post. They entered onto the track single file, their jockeys tugging reins leftward toward the railbirds standing … 0

Hone dem bones

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Good morning! Something you might be wondering about next month’s Bone Frog Challenge: What’s a bone frog? To answer that is recently retired Navy SEAL Brian Carney of South Deerfield. “It’s the skeleton of a frog. The majority of Navy SEALS have it tattooed somewhere on their bodies. … 0

Thursday, October 31, 2013

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Battle of the East

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Good morning! The skyline appeared over a hill on Route 2 in Belmont, the city a distant sprawl of skyscrapers, smokestacks and industrial storage tanks. It disappeared just as quickly, a tease, a promise of what lay past the apparition of Sammy White’s bowling alley and crew teams … 0