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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 … 0

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: History lessons

Friday, November 28, 2014

Good morning! I spilled two sodas on the steps between Sections G and H at the Mullins Center last Saturday. An usher mopped up my mess but couldn’t help John Micheletto clean up the mess between the pipes. The University of Vermont was scoring at will. Every third … 1

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 … 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, 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 … 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 … 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