By Jeff Solari
Here are 6 random thoughts I compiled as I spent a cold, Patriot-less Sunday watching other sub-par NFL games:
1. It was a good weekend for the University of Maine hockey team. The schedule tossed the Black Bears a dented old garbage can to ravage in the form of American International. Now Mainah’s know what a bear can do to a trash can. AIC came to Orono with just 3 wins in 15 games and as hoped Maine won both games handily.
It was just what the Black Bears needed after wrapping up the first half of their season with a mere five wins, only one conference win and zero road wins. Not to mention they are dead last in Hockey East, just as the preseason poll predicted. Perhaps this will help Maine build some momentum for the second semester and conference opponents.
2. I watched some of the Pittsburgh at Buffalo game. The snowflakes were flying like Rob Ryan’s silverware at an all you can eat buffet. Football looks great in winter conditions.
Snow falling. You can see the player’s breath and the steam rising off their bodies. Loyal fans bundled up like Nanook of the North. It’s conditions made for TV, not for me. Anything below 65 degrees and I’m watching on TV.
3. I love the Papa John’s TV ad featuring Antonio Brown and Malcolm Butler. It’s fun and well done. It seems to me that Butler gets the best of the all world receiver in the spot. But I’m concerned Brown may get the last laugh in the postseason if the Pats and Steelers meet in January.
4. I don’t have the data in front of me and I’m too lazy on this day to research it, but as I watch the games this weekend, and all season, doesn’t it seem like there are more flags thrown than ever before? Sean McDonough even referenced it on Monday Night Football several weeks back, and I think he’s right. Every once in a while, between ref meetings about a flag, a football game sneaks in a play or two.
5. This might not mean jack squat to you, but to me the Duke vs. UNLV men’s basketball game Saturday brought back great memories for me. I grew up a UNLV fan in the 80’s and early 90’s. I once named a lobster boat the Runnin’ Rebel. My rock music stream on www.MaineInternetradio.com is the Rebel. I partied hard when the Rebels blew out Duke by 30 points in the National Title game in 1990 and I was devastated when the Blue Devils got revenge the next year in the Final Four. Saturday’s game was a joke with Duke winning big, but it was still fun for me to go back in time to the glory days of “Tark the Shark” and the Rebels.
6. I’m still wrapping my mind around the fact that Larry Bird turned 60 last week. I stink at typing, but that is no typo. 60! He was my childhood sports hero. Back in those days you didn’t get to see the Celtics on TV much, but when you did it was Must See TV in my house. I spent many a night lying in bed listening to Johnny Most’s gravelly voice call Bird’s highlights. Now he’s 60! I can speak for Larry, but that sure makes me feel old.
Jeff Solari is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live on DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.