Sunday, March 21, 2010

Class of 83 get together update

Hello fellow SHS classmates!

It has been so great talking to a great deal of you over on Facebook. I can't tell you how much I love reconnecting with the group of friends I care most about in this world, my high school classmates.

As you all know, on April 17 at the Stoneforge in Foxboro, we have a night planned where we will get together and share some memories over cocktails, and good food. I leave for Kentucky the following weekend for the summer, and I felt it was important to get together to see as many of you as possible before the long, hot grind of baseball season begins.

For those who have not seen Stoneforge, it is a great place. Located on Route 1 North in Foxboro (about a mile from Gillette Stadium) it has a huge bar, excellent food, TV's, and tables, for which I am hoping we can commandeer a corner table and sing a few tunes. I talked to Russ Goldstein and he is receptive to bringing his acoustic guitar , and between him and me, we could create some enjoyable stuff you can sing along to. I have always dreamed of having a pub session, and this is as good an opportunity as I believe there is.

Please come join us. If you graduated in our class, you're invited. If you know of classmates that are not on Facebook, but you are in contact with them, please let them know they are invited too.

I'll be there no later than 6. Last call is 12:30 AM. Let's make this a night we won't soon forget.



Fan Behavior

First of all, let me congratulate the Boston College Eagles on winning the Hockey East Championship at the TD Garden last night. It may have been the greatest championship game ever since the formation of Hockey East back in 1984-85. I love Jerry York and am thrilled for him and the Eagles as they move on to the NCAA playoffs next weekend. It was electric to be part of it.

Not everything was perfect about last night's experience though. I am not referring to the play on the ice, which was less than perfect in and of itself- but rather to the way that the BC fans conducted themselves in their "heckling" of Maine goaltender Dave Wilson specifically, and their chants of "Black Bears suck."

BC won the game 7-6 in overtime. Each time the Eagles scored, we were subjected to chants of " Wilson, Wilson, you suck.... in life..... in goaltending, it's all your fault, it's all your fault." Call me old fashioned, or a "prude", but I don't think that's right.

Look, I am all for expressing your love for your team. Be vocal, be loud, be enthusiastic, but be positive. BC fans did nothing but give themselves and their school a black eye in my view. Every college hockey fan base uses the word "sieve" when the opposing goaltender gives up a goal. I understand that, and it is relatively inoffensive in comparison. But please, people, clean it up. Last night went over the line. It wasn't about fun. It was about childishness.

You see it all the time with BC and BU fans going back and forth. BU fans will shout, "Jesus hates you" while BC fans come back with "BU football" making reference to the Terriers losing their football program. It has gone unchecked for a long time and once fans know they can get away with it, the problem just escalates. There is no consequence.

I am sure there were some Maine fans that engaged in some of that too, but if there was it was fewer and farther between compared to the BC fans last night.

Fans are warned prior to the game that unprofessional behavior will not be tolerated and that violators can be ejected from the arena. It doesn't happen enough. Maybe building security is afraid that if they eject someone for chanting and heckling in the manner described above, they will be sued for First Amendment violations. It needs to be enforced more. Buying a ticket to an athletic event is a privilege and carries with it certain responsibilities. If you can't enjoy the game in a fun and respectful way, don't go to the game.

Now, I want to make it clear that I am all for having fun at athletic events. I am not a killjoy. There are those that will argue that if you call a student on the carpet for heckling in an unprofessional manner, you are taking away their fun and their fun of the experience. I disagree. You can go to a game, have fun, be loud and enthsiastic, while being positive at the same time.

What I am saying here will not change anything. These chants will continue. Fans will continue to disrespect their opponents in the name of " having fun" and calling it "part of the college experience". But that doesn't mean I have to like it, or that I think it's right.

And I will give credit where it's due- the BC fans did warmly acknowledge the Maine players who were selected for the all tournament team. That was nice to see.

BC fans, if you go to Worcester, have fun. Root the Eagles on. But please keep it positive.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stoughton High School 83 gathering

Hi everyone,

I wanted to touch base with all of you, dear classmates, to let you know that I have decided on a place and time for us to get together for those that are available and can make it. As you know from my previous posting on Facebook, I have chosen Saturday night, April 17 as the magic date (perfect..... the weekend after tax day- we will all need a drink then, right? ) . The place? I have decided on the Stoneforge on Route 1 North in Foxboro (about a mile north of Gillette Stadium). It has a huge bar and several tables. Good food and 36 beers on tap (and non-alcoholic choices as well for those who prefer not to drink). There are also hotels in the surrounding area for those that would need overnight accommodations.

I will bring the guitar, and if I get to use it at a corner table, great, if not, we'll make do. Don't see why it would be a problem though. There are also plenty of TV's to watch the Red Sox.

This is the week before I leave for Kentucky for the long, hot summer. I can think of no better way to leave town than to see your smiling faces again. Please join me. It will be a fun time.

I will get there by 6:00. Last call will be at 12:30 AM. Hope to see you all there.


Sunday, March 7, 2010


I am so thrilled to report that Merrimack hockey is back in the Hockey East playoffs for the first time since 2003-04. All of the hard work, sweat, and sacrifice has paid off for the Warriors and as a result, Merrimack will skate against Boston University in the first round of the playoffs which begins on Friday evening at Agganis Arena in Boston. I am thrilled for Coach Dennehy, his coaching staff, and all the players, particularly the seniors.

Merrimack has never won in this building, but I don't think that that matters now. It all comes down to execution and Merrimack has been one of the hottest teams in Hockey East coming down the stretch. BU will in all likelihood be the favorite to win, but if you talk to Coach Jack Parker of the Terriers, he speaks in glowing terms about how good Merrimack is and how he is not looking forward to seeing the blue and gold in this series.

These teams played three times in the regular season. On November 13 at Merrimack, the Warriors won 6-3, snapping a long losing streak against the Terriers. The next night, BU scored four in the first and went on to win 6-4. The teams then played on January 16 at BU with the Terriers winning again, 6-4. If the regular season is any indication, these playoffs should be fun to watch.

Incidentally, this will be my first playoff series since joining Hockey East five years ago, and I couldn't be more excited.

There will be some other great series too. Vermont plays at New Hampshire, Massachusetts goes to Boston College, and UMass Lowell will head to Maine. I think Massachusetts could upset BC, although not likely. Both teams are playing great hockey (UMass just swept Maine in Orono this weekend) and BC is hitting their stride too (they nearly swept UNH if not for a bad third period on Friday night). Maine is struggling right now and could have it's hands full with Lowell, that will be interesting. Vermont always plays UNH tough too. Don't be surprised if that series goes the distance. In fact, don't be surprised if all three go the distance.

Northeastern and Providence missed the playoffs this season. It is a shame that someone had to miss out, but the way this season went, with a great race to the end, someone was bound to be disappointed. It's hard to imagine a postseason without the Northeastern Huskies in it. And my hats go off to Providence, who battled hard on Saturday night and fought tooth and nail all the way. I hope the Friars get back in the show next season. I love the folks there.

Thanks for your time everyone. It's time for playoff hockey. Go Merrimack! I'll have more from BU next week!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Book Update

As some of you may know, I am in the process of writing my first book. It is a diary of the 2009 Kalamazoo Kings season as seen through my eyes in the broadcast booth. It is an exciting prospect but very time consuming. I thought I would just give a brief update on where that stands.

I am still working on the manuscript. Hockey season has taken up large amounts of time, but after the season ends (and before I leave for Kentucky) I plan on getting it done and ready for submission to a publisher. Since this is my first book, I am really flying by the seat of my pants here. Can anyone lend any advice to an aspiring author?

I'll post updates here on the blog as well as on my homepage, which is at

Thanks everyone!