It’s back, everyone – the Daily Noontime has officially returned and is not going to disappear anytime soon!
We’ll have some fun with our Monday through Friday post, sharing news and links, along with some videos, podcasts, and music, so we hope you’re ready for the re-vamped (and 2020 version of one of our oldest and favorite) posts.
So, enjoy our first of many Daily Noontime‘s – as always, thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend, everyone, and we will be back next Monday, January 20th, 2020!
Before we kick-off, a brand new year (and decade) of blogging, editor and founder Matt Noonan shared some thoughts on the blog while also reflecting on how this platform provided him an opportunity to pursue his love of sports, content creation, and video and podcast production.
Noontime Sports launched in 2009 in a Wheaton College (Mass.) dorm room but has become a go-to for New England college and high school sports fan, along with our favorite die-hards of the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, and New England Patriots. The site has covered multiple games and events over the past year (and decade), including contests at Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, and the TD Garden.
In addition to game coverage, Noonan (and colleagues and friends) have produced a variety of features and podcasts – we even hosted a radio show, too – while creating some entertaining (and enjoyable) videos for our YouTube channel.
We’re excited for the upcoming year and next decade of blogging and podcasting, along with some video production, too, and hope you will enjoy Noonan’s reflection on what he has built.
Welcome to the first Noontime Sports rewind post, which will recap the current year of New England (and Boston) sports as well as look back on the soon-to-be past decade of blogging for NoontimeSports.com.
In this particular post, we highlighted our favorite Boston sports teams that we covered (and chronicled) through the site – there were some fun teams to watch and others that made us sick to our stomach over the past nine-to-ten years.
We hope you enjoy this look back at the soon-to-be past decade of Boston sports, which certainly kept us busy, both here on the site and social media.
The Best New England Patriots Team of the 2010s: The 2014 New England Patriots. Sure, you can make the case for the 2016 squad, which overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons or the 2018 squad, which outsmarted Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams, but in my opinion, the 2014 squad was the best Pats team of the 2010s. Between the offense and the defense and just the way they manhandled teams after losing to Kansas City, this particular Patriots squad was perhaps one of the best teams under current head coach Bill Belichick.
One of the most impressive games this team played was against the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of the postseason. They ran a few tricky plays, including one that saw Julian Edelman throw a touchdown pass to a streaking Danny Amendola. Additionally, they stole a play from Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, which infuriated Baltimore coach John Harbaugh.
But the cherry on top of the sundae was the Malcolm Butler interception on a potential go-ahead touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Butler will be forever linked to that play – the result ignited an animated (and giddy) celebration by Tom Brady and … Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Best Boston Red Sox Team of the 2010s: The 2013 Boston Red Sox. Following the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, our city became enamored with the local nine, especially after David Ortiz delivered a heartfelt speech just days after the horrendous attacks. Ortiz’s words would be the catalyst for a magical season that concluded with a World Series victory at historic Fenway Park.
Boston, which went from worst (2012) to first (2013), concluded the 2013 campaign with 97 wins. They beat the Tampa Bay Rays in four games before topping the heavily-favored Detroit Tigers in six games. Shane Victorino hit a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh in game six before Koji Uehara shut the door on a possible rally in the top of the ninth.
The win over the Tigers secured the Sox their third American League crown, as well as their third appearance in the World Series in 10 seasons.
The Best Boston Bruins Team of the 2010s: The 2011 Boston Bruins. If the Bruins won the Stanley Cup earlier this year, I would have chosen that team, but instead, I’ll play it safe and go with the squad that won the Stanley Cup eight years ago.
After seeing the 2010 squad collapse in the second round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers, I was unsure if the 2011 Bruins would be able to make myself (and other Black and Gold fans) proud. But they certainly did.
Their Cup run began with an epic game seven overtime win in the opening round against the Montreal Canadiens, thanks to Nathan Horton. One round later, Boston erased memories of a dreadful collapse from one year earlier by sending the Flyers home with four-straight wins (it was sweet revenge, in my opinion!).
But perhaps Boston’s most impressive win came against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, especially in the seventh game. Horton netted the lone goal of the contest, while TimThomas, who won the Vezina Trophy, stopped every shot he faced.
Those ‘smiles’ would not disappear as those same grins reemerged days later after the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in six games to win their sixth championship in franchise history.
The win over the Canucks was exciting – it was also the team’s third game seven victory of the 2011 postseason, which was the most game seven wins by any team in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Unfortunately, their win over Vancouver did not result in a few more titles as Boston would lose in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and seven games to the St. Louis Blues in 2019.
The Best Boston Celtics Team of the 2010s: The 2017-18 Boston Celtics. After winning their 17th championship in June 2008, the Celtics have yet to return to top of the mountain but have had chances, including ten years after they beat the Los Angeles Lakers in six games when the Green and White almost beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Boston was without Kyrie Irving who missed the entire postseason, as well as Gordon Hayward, who suffered a serious end-of-season injury during the team’s initial game of the 2017-18 campaign, which happened to be against the Cavaliers. So, without two of the league’s marquee players, the Celtics turned to both their veteran and youth players to go on an exciting run, which included wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers (4-1).
Against Cleveland, Boston won the series’ first two games before losing four of the next five contests. They had chances to beat James and the Cavaliers in each of the final five contests, but the youth and inexperience eventually caught-up with the Green and White, who have been really fun to watch this season.
What made this particular postseason run so much fun was the play of both Brown and Tatum, along with Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and Marcus Morris.
Just hours before the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues squared-off in the seventh game of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals, Western New England announced some exciting news that they would be adding women’s ice hockey, the school’s 20th varsity sport, during the 2020-21 school year.
The exciting news of the school adding women’s ice hockey was shared by Matt LaBranche, Western New England’s Director of Athletics, Recreational Sport & Physical Education, who looking forward to seeing the team compete in 2020.
LaBranche also announced the hiring of Katie Zimmerman, who becomes the first head coach in the program’s history. Zimmerman previously served as an assistant at nearby Amherst College and has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.
Zimmerman also played Division III hockey forHamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
According to Wednesday’s release, Western New England will join 66 other colleges that sponsor women’s ice hockey at the Division III level.
Nichols College announced on Thursday that Brandon Linton has been named the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.
Linton replaces Scott Faucher, who guided the Bison to 28-3 record this past winter, including an appearance in the NCAA Division III sectional finals (elite eight).
“Nichols College is a special institution that offers a world-class experience for our student-athletes both on and off of the court,” said Linton in Thursday’s release. “I cannot wait to begin the process of getting to know our current players and continuing to build on the foundation they have created.”
Linton is no stranger to Division III basketball as he played for Clarkson University in the Liberty League (LL) and spent time as an assistant under coach Tim Gilbride at BowdoinCollege.
By now last night’s Stanley Cup game seven setback to the St. Louis Blues has officially set in for all of us. And it is a tough pill to swallow.
Waking up this morning was not as easy as it was yesterday – we were all excited for a seventh game, as well as the post-game celebration that would extend deep into the night and early this morning.
But instead, myself, along with other devoted Boston Bruins fans, were treated to a sight we may have not expected, a Blues victory, which included players, coaches, and various personnel skating around the TD Garden late last night celebrating the franchise’s initial championship.
And while St. Louis is certainly not singing the blues today, Boston is mourning a loss for a team that struggled to convey to reporters what exactly this setback means to both them and their fanbase.
Hearing stories from the locker room of players weeping to those that struggled to string together enough sentences for reporters certainly made me sympathize for them, but also made me realize how lucky we were as a fanbase to cheer on a dedicated group of hockey players for the past two months.
The Bruins captivated our attention every day by scoring impressive wins over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes. We also celebrated some exciting wins against the Blues, as well, including a 7-2 thrashing in the third game, which provided Boston with a 2-1 advantage.
But our hometown team’s five-goal route was quickly forgotten a few days later when St. Louis rallied to win both games four and five, which ignited an early celebration for numerous Blues fans this past weekend. And while St. Louis was eager to begin a long-awaited celebration on Sunday, they were instead forced to wait an additional 72 hours before popping champaign due to Boston’s game six victory.
St. Louis will celebrate this win every day this summer, as well as think about it when they reconvene for the start of the National Hockey League‘s (NHL) 2019-20 season.
The loss to the Blues will resonate with us all for days, weeks and months, but the good news is another season will be here before we know it.
In the meantime, we have the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots to help us cope with a disappointing finish, along with with Anthony Davis trade talk, too – hello, Boston Celtics fans. And of course, there is the World Cup, as well, but we will certainly miss our mid-week and weekend hockey games that meant something.
We will have games that mean something again soon, Boston Bruins fans. And when they do mean something, you, I and others will gather around the television eager to cheer on our beloved hockey team to victory.
No matter how you cope with this particular loss, just know one thing, it was a heck of a run and a fun season. And despite the outcome, I am eager for more hockey.
Stay connected with Matt Noonan on Instagram and Twitter today!