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Pats Fans: Would You Trade a Super Bowl Win If It Would Erase a Super Bowl Loss?

Sterling and I have a mutual friend. We'll call him "Rob."
Because that is his real name.

He asked the following question last week on Facebook:

"Patriots Fans: Would you be willing to swap Edelman's miraculous catch and the 28-3 comeback Super Bowl win over the Falcons for Tyree dropping his miraculous catch in 2007 solidifying 19-0?"

He received a ton of response, so Sterling and I decided to debate the topic this week in the Sports Chowdah. Check out our thoughts then vote below in our weekly poll.
Jeff@sportschowdah.com
28-3 is Greater
Than 19-0

By Jeff Solari


It’s been more than eleven years since that awful f’ing Sunday night in early February, 2008. Time may in fact heal all wounds, but more than a decade later 18-1 remains infected and painful.

There’s a lot of Giants fans in Maine and I have the misfortune of being friends with a few of them. I also made the ill advised decision to watch Super Bowl XLII with one super Giants backer. I have to listen to him brag about that upset to this day and probably always will. Talk about salt in an open wound.

Every time I see a high light or hear about “the helmet catch” it's like ripping stitches out with pliers time and time again.

But from pain comes pleasure.

Since the crash landing of the 2007-2008 season, the Pats have played in the AFC Championship game almost every year. They have been in five more Super Bowls and won three of them, including the miracle 28-3 comeback over the Falcons in 2017.

Most of the people at my Super Bowl party that night had long since gone home before the The Patriots' mounted their 25-point comeback, the largest comeback in Super Bowl history.

Who knows if these “fans” really saw the first NFL championship to be decided in overtime? I did. Every minute of it.

And I’ve watched it a few times since. 

Many regard it as the greatest Super Bowl ever played. And the Pats won it. Why would I trade that to avenge a loss a decade earlier?

The win over the Falcons is not just a game. 28-3 is an inspiration. It’s license plate worthy. It’s tattoo material.

I’ve used the game as a positive message to my kids more than once hammering home a message about not quitting. It’s always on my mind when the going gets tough. The helmet catch is not.

I would not trade one of the greatest wins we have ever seen in any sport just to make up for one loss.

Yup, 18-1 hurts. Deal with it. Move on. And celebrate the success of
28-3 and ritually a 34-28 win.
19-0 Means More Than 28-3

By Sterling Pingree

What if the greatest pain of your life, could be taken away? Your greatest anguish. What if your greatest “what if this had happened instead”, could just be wiped away forever and in its place, the greatest moment of your life?

Instead of the homecoming queen breaking up with you the night before prom, she called to say her parents weren’t home, she ordered a pizza and invited you over to watch her try on bikinis? That is what it would be like if there was a “It’s a Wonderful Life” sort of deal, where you could trade 28-3 for 19-0. 

28-3 was great, but was it even the Patriots greatest Super Bowl victory? Is it distinguishably better than the Silence of the Rams? According to NFL Network, which is counting down the top 100 everything this year and they listed 28-3 as the 9 th greatest game all-time. Do you know what ranked 4 spots higher than the greatest comeback in NFL history? If you guessed the Super Bowl 42 debacle in the desert, you would be absolutely correct. 

The Helmet Catch is my nightmare. It’s my Bay of Pigs. It’s the video from The Ring. It’s Michael Myers (not the reliever), Jason (not Varitek) and Freddie (not Mitchell) rolled into one blob of unspeakable evil.

18-1 is our Scarlett Letter, our badge of shame.

So if you are to offer me the chance, to trade 28-3, the middle child of “Bill and Tom’s 2 nd Most Excellent Dynasty” for the greatest championship ever won in sport, I make that trade every day and twice that Sunday.

19-0. Nobody’s ever done it. Not the ’72 Dolphins. Not the ’85 Bears. Not the ’27 Yankees or the ’96 Bulls. This would be: THE 2007 PATRIOTS: The Gold Standard of sports. The answer to the eternal question of: “Who was the greatest team ever? Why it was the 2007 Patriots and there is no argument.”

It would be as if the Patriots owned the only Lombardi trophy made out of the world’s rarest platinum, while all of the others were made of chocolate, foil and had the Cadbury bunny engraved on them instead of the NFL shield.

Winning 6 Super Bowls is an embarrassment of riches and picking which one you like the best is the champagnest of champagne problems. But sports are about seeing who is the best and 19-0 would have been the best.




WOULD YOU TRADE THE 28-3 COMEBACK VS. THE FALCONS FOR THE 19-0 SEASON AND WIN OVER THE GIANTS?
Yes
No



GET $5 IN "BARNEY BUCKS" FOR EVERY $50 SEA DOG GIFT CARD PURCHASED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON


What do Bob Barker, Pat Sajak and
Rob Gronkowski have in common?

By Jeff Solari



“Rob Gronkowski, come on down!” Just picture that chaotic scene as Gronk responds to the siren call for contestants on The Price is Right. Gronk’s youthful enthusiasm and whacky antics actually would play well on that show as “the next contestant” always is way over excited and seemingly super caffeinated. That’s Gronk. 

And I’m pretty sure he would spin that Showcase Showdown wheel right into the crowd.

As it turns out #87 really is going to be on a network game show soon. No he’s not risking a Cliff Clavin like perforce on Jeopardy. And he won’t have to worry about buying a vowel. Or figuring out what a vowel even is.

He’ll be a host of sorts.

The former Patriot tight end, party cruise host, WWE guest and all around fan favorite is set to star in the new CBS game show GAME ON!

The program will be hosted by actor Keegan-Michael Key and will feature Gronkowski and Venus Williams.

Will he be the Weakest Link in that group? 

Heres what CBS has to say about the new show:

“Equal parts comedy and game show, the genre-busting GAME ON! pits two teams of three, including captains Williams and Gronkowski...and a rotating mix of sports stars, comedians, and celebrities, against one another. Teams will go head to head in over-the-top physical challenges, from seeing who can dunk the most basketballs over a tank of water while harnessed on a bungee cord, to taking on a sumo wrestler in the ring. 

But in the spirit of classic trivia type game shows, there are questions to be answered too.

For instance some examples CBS tossed out were “Which football player cried the longest after winning a championship?” and "Which of these athletes was the largest baby when they were born?”

Will Game On! be worth watching? Survey says….! Doubtful. 

Although it will be fun to see Gronk spike various objects into the ground.

Really I think it would be more of a hoot to see Gronk compete on a show where he has to beat the clock like the 20,000 Pyramid, or see him yell “No Whammies” on Press Your Luck.

Or maybe given his propensity for laughing at sixty nine jokes, contributing to the double entendre humor on Match Game might make sense. 

“Tom Brady is so good looking, even his blank can get a date!”

I think Gronk will be just fine. Yes Regis that’s my final answer. 








UMaine Men's Hockey By The Numbers

By Jeff Solari

While we are only five weeks into the UMaine men’s hockey season, the Black Bears have already played nearly 1/3rd of their games. Let’s crunch the numbers so far.

The most important number for the program is wins, and that stands at 5. The overall record is a respectable 5-3-2 through 10 games. They sit at 2-2-2 in the conference. Not too shabby. 

As they used to say on the Beverly Hillbillies, lets do some “ciphering” to dig into that record.

The Black Bears are currently #21 in the all important Pairwise rankings. That’s also pretty darn decent. There are 60 D-1 hockey teams in the country by the way.

Maine has only played one team in the top 20 of the Pairwise rankings. That was #13 UMass Lowell this past weekend. Red Gendron’s crew went 0-1-1 against the River Hawks. 

Overall Maine has played only two other teams in the Pairwise Top 30: Quinnipiac at #22 and Providence which is #24. Maine went 0-1 against the Friars and 1-1 vs Quinnipiac putting their record against the top half of the teams in the nation at 1-3-1.

In case you are wondering about Maine’s other opponents thus far, Boston University is #36, Alaska Anchorage is #41 and Vermont is #53. All three teams have losing records. Math shows us Maine went 4-0-1 against those inferior teams. 

New Hampshire will be a good test this weekend in Orono as Maine plays two games against the #26 Wildcats who are 4-2-1. Speaking of home crowds, Maine is #24 in the nation averaging 3366 fans per contest through four home games. That’s 65% of capacity. That’s down from 3793 and 74% capacity last year. This showdown with UNH is a big weekend for the team and a chance for fans to flock back into the Alfond.

The biggest bright spot of the season besides the 5 wins, or should I say the biggest key to those 5 wins, has been Jeremy Swayman. He is #6 in the nation right now with a 2.40 Goals Against Average (GAA). This includes his only bad start of the season when he got rocked by Providence. Otherwise he has been a wall. 

One challenge UMaine has had through the years under Red Gendron is scoring. The Black Bears are not quite lighting the lamp enough with a 2.70 goals per game. That’s #33 in the nation. Its not awful but as mentioned they have not played the toughest competition their schedule has to offer yet, so adding some more offense going forward obviously will be vital.

I think fans would like the numbers 17, 18 or even 19 if one of those is the win total at the end of the regular season. Those numbers could be in reach if the younger players continue to grow and Swayman continues to prove why the Bruins picked him in the draft. 

Otherwise Gendron’s days could be numbered.

Jeff@sportschowdah.com





High School Football Has BIG Issues

By Lee Goldberg
NEWSCENTER Maine

63-0. 42- zip. 48 to nothing. 48-3. Those were the final scores of the class ‘A’ football quarterfinals this weekend. You remember class ‘A’ right? The one with 8 total teams in it? So yep, all 8 teams made the ‘playoffs’. Just think of how excited those kids from Edward Little (0-9) must have been to get on the bus and head to Saco to play the 9-0 top seed. After the 63-0 loss that bus ride home must have been equally pleasant. (insert sarcastic tone where you see fit)

I have been around long enough to know that blowouts happen all the time, but seemingly more in high school football and definitely more in class ‘A’.

If you are only going to have 8 teams (which is foolish in it’s own right, but that’s for another time) why do they need to have all 8 make the playoffs? Could they not have done just 4 teams make it and play one less round? Feels like that would have been a smarter way to go. Give those top 4 teams a bye after their 9 th  regular season game and let the kids rest.

I am sure they all could have used the break and since all 4 would have been off, no advantage would be gained. What ‘would’ be gained is the kids, coaches, staff, families that gave up part of their weekend to lose by a combined total of 201-3 could have been spared that. The season, which begins in August, is long enough. Do you think there was a surge in sales of Red Eddies ‘we made the playoffs’ tee shirts? I am guessing not.

There’s not much anyone can do about the same three teams being good every year (Thornton Academy, Bonny Eagle, Scarborough) and then the others fighting for scraps.

But not letting every team in the class make the ‘playoffs’ seems like the smartest place to start.

4th and Goal
With THE BAM

As another season of high school football approaches the end, it seems that the sport, in Maine, is in trouble.

A couple of schools started this year and didn't finish. There is virtually no competitive balance once you get beyond the top 4 teams in each class.

Of all the playoff games played thus far, I think I counted 5 that were within 14 points. Quarterfinal games in Class A were atrocious on every conceivable level. Final scores totaled 201-3. Yes, you read that correctly.

Schools in Maine were given a lifeline going into this season with the introduction of 8 man football. There were a lot of parents in various communities who were too lazy to do the research who thought it was the worst idea ever and that it wasn't
"real football". They were completely wrong of course.

A recent report seems to infer that perhaps as many as 10 schools will join the ranks of 8 man football for next season. It should be mandatory for the schools that didn't finish this season.

8 man football is Maine's best chance to continue to have relevant high school football. Without schools making this move, or coming together as co-op teams, high school football in Maine is going to cease to exist. That would be a shame.

So, it's time for some administrators and coaches to sit in a room and make some tough, but necessary decisions. For the parents in these communities, you have 2 choices: You can support the decisions of your administration to join 8 man football and support your student athletes on Friday and Saturdays. Or you can watch your community dissolve their football programs. So, let the admins do their jobs and let the kids play. 




Should Maine Punish Coaches for Lopsided Wins?
By Jeff Solari

(This blog originally aired on Jeff's Take on
WABI TV 5 News.)

Last week a high school football coach in New York was suspended for one game. Why? Because the final score in his teams win was 61-13. So he violated the Nassau County policy designed to prevent lopsided results in football games.

If a team wins by 42 or more points, the winning coach must explain to a special committee why such an large margin of victory could not be avoided.
In this case “The Committee” decided that when the coach was up by 35 points to start the fourth quarter he should have pulled his starters and did not. So they suspended that coach for one game.

This policy has been in place for 3 years. And it seems to be working. In 2014 there were 26 games with a margin of victory of 40 points or more in Nassau county. That number has gone down every year all the way to just four games this season.

So I ask you, should Maine have a policy like this? 

Let me give you some stats on blowouts here in Maine, which are plentiful in the struggling sport of high school football.

Through the 8 weeks of the 2019 regular season there were just over 300 games played. By my rough count. Statewide I found 53 games that were one sided by at least 42 points. Thats about 15% of all games played.

So it could make some sense to put in a rule here in Maine that punishes coaches for not taking it easy on the other team.

But it doesn’t. This rue is is a dumb idea that like most things it should just stay in New York

We are quickly creating the softest generation of kids this country has ever seen.

Todays parents circle like helicopters making sure little Johnny or Jill faces no adversity whatsoever. Making coaches go before a committee to explain their game plan and play calling is absurd and an utter waste of everyones time.

Sometimes in life you lose, and you lose big. You must learn how to bounce back. Dust yourself off.

A great example is the Nokomis football team the last few years. That team stunk and went winless for two years. The kids stuck with it. They won a few games. Then as Seniors that group rolled everyone and won a state title. 

That’s how you do it. Persevere. Overcome. 

Don’t make up rules to punish the winners.

jeff@sportschowdah.com



Sports Chowdah Poll Results
Presented by Hero's
Last week we asked:



"Should Maine implement a rule to punish high school football coaches for lopsided wins?"



NO: 81%
YES: 19%


Random Sports Notes From
a Patriots Bye Week

By Ryan McLaughlin

Some picked-up pieces while trying to figure out what to do on a Patriot-less Sunday "Funday." 

- It's admittedly difficult for any University of Maine sports fan to root for anything Minnesota given what happened on an ice sheet in St. Paul in 2002, but how can you not be thrilled for former Black Bear football boss Joe Harasymiak?  

Coach H is now coaching the defensive backs at the University of Minnesota, and the undefeated Gophers earned one of the biggest wins in program history, knocking off fourth-ranked Penn State 31-26. It was only fitting that Coach H's secondary sealed the impressive victory with a late-game, red zone interception, Penn State's first red zone turnover of the season. Black Bear Nation should be proud of Coach H.

- The UMaine hockey team could only muster one point in a weekend series at Hockey East leader UMass Lowell, but you have to marvel at this team's compete level.

Yes, winning matters, but the Black Bears woke up Sunday morning in third place in Hockey East with a big home series against hated New Hampshire on the horizon.

P.S., this weekend is the last chance to get to the Alfond until after Christmas. Hopefully the place will be rocking.

- While Southern Maine schools typically dominate their North cousins in state championship soccer competition, the girls from Camden Hills have embodied a standard of excellence the last four years. The Windjammers won their fourth consecutive state championship last weekend, and its senior class exits the program with an impressive record of 64-0-1. That's incredible. 

- Gordon Hayward just can't catch a break. Or does he catch too many?

The Celtics won their seventh straight game in San Antonio Saturday night but Hayward will be sidelined at least a month with a broken hand. Fortunately, the C's have the talent around Hayward to hold down the fort until he returns to the lineup. Don't panic, Celtics fans. 

- Congratulations to Andrew Fleming on eclipsing the 1,000-point mark, the 31st man in the history of the UMaine men's basketball program to do so. The Norway native and Oxford Hills alum has been a great model of consistency as coach Richard Barron tries to rebuild the program, and he's one of only two seniors on the Bears' roster.


Don Cherry Says What He Means and Stands By It, Even After He Was Fired

By Jeff Solari

We don’t have an equivalent to Don Cherry in America. Howard Cosell comes to mind, but certainly in today's media nobody comes close to Cherry in stature as a legendary broadcaster. 

Cherry is, or was, an iconic Canadian hockey commentator. But this weekend he was fired for his on-air remarks alleging that the country's immigrants don't properly honor fallen soldiers.

ESPN.com explains he used his "Coach's Corner" segment on "Hockey Night In Canada" to criticize individuals who didn't wear poppy pins leading up to the nation's Remembrance Day. The pins are sold by veterans groups and are worn to symbolically honor those who served.

"I live in Mississauga [Ontario]. Very few people wear the poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it. Nobody wears the poppy. ... Now you go to the small cities. You people ... that come here, whatever it is -- you love our way of life. You love our milk and honey. At least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price for that," Cherry said.

After immediate backlash on social media Sunday, the majority of media reaction Monday morning called for Cherry's removal. By the afternoon, word spread that he had been fired.

Cherry is 85 years old. He would not take back what he said.

"I know what I said and I meant it," Cherry told the Toronto Sun after he was fired. "Everybody in Canada should wear a poppy to honor our fallen soldiers.”

He added to the newspaper that: "To keep my job, I cannot be turned into a tamed robot.” 

Good for you Don Cherry. 

Look, I’m not saying I agree with what he said. And I’m not saying I disagree with him being fired. But I am sure as hell saying that I am glad he did not bow to politically correct pressure and meekly take back his comments. 

Most people would acquiesce on the spot to save their butts, even though the apology would be said with a crocodile tears.

But Cherry apparently meant what he said. He stands by it. Agree or disagree with the stance, you have to admire someone who speaks their mind and doesn’t crumble instantly when called on it.

Most people cave. The don’t dare take a stance. If they say something even moderately controversial they backtrack like they just ran into a bear on a hike up Katahdin. 

Not Cherry. He stayed by his opinion, which last time I checked we are all still allowed to have. 

His opinion was not shared by his network and they canned him. That’s their right. No problem. The NHL has condemned Cherry’s comments as they should. 

But Cherry remains firm. He refused to apologize Sunday as well. "I have had my say," he told the Sun.

Cherry’s longtime co-host, Ron MacLean, who gave a "thumbs-up" to Cherry's comments during that segment, decided to keep his job instead of back his friend. He offered apologies on social media and on the air during Sunday's Sportsnet NHL coverage.

”Don Cherry made remarks which were hurtful, discriminatory, which were flat out wrong. We at Sportsnet have apologized. We know diversity is the strength of the country. I owe you an apology, too. I sat there, I did not catch it, I did not respond.”

A tamed robot. Something Cherry will never be.

Some content in this blog courtesy of ESPN.com


Travel Schedule
Presented by Bangor International Airport

The Patriots travel to Philly this week to take on the Eagles.

Kick off is at 4:20pm.

Remember wherever your travels take you, FLY BGR!


Catching up with Jonathan Papelbon


By Sterling Pingree

Remember Jonathan Papelbon? The wild eyed Red Sox closer from late last decade? It doesn’t seem very long ago that he was River Dancing in bicycle shorts on the Fenway Park mound and pouring Bud Lights on the ALCS trophy. 

We haven’t seen much if anything of Pap since he departed Boston.

The last time he pitched in a Sox uniform, Papelbon was blowing the 162 nd game of the 2011 meltdown in Baltimore. From there, #58 closed for 5 more years in the National League for the Phillies and Nationals.

The most memorable moment of his post-Sox time was slamming Bryce Harper into the dugout wall in Washington.

Since his 2016 retirement, Papelbon has been a ghost, so you know, only Sam Darnold has seen him. When I heard that Jonathan Papelbon was going to be at a Sportsman’s show this past weekend (along with a couple of Red Sox World Series trophies, who could remember which years) curiosity got the best of me.

What would Pap even look like 3 years out of the game? Maybe he’d have a beard? Maybe he’d be bitter about the way things ended in Boston? Philly? Washington? (They did just win the World Series I hear.)

In the end, same old Pap. Back slapping, enthusiastic handshakes and an emphatic “How’s it goin Bud!?” in his strong Mississippi drawl which reverberated off the walls of the hall.

If I’d thought to have brought a case of beer, we might have seen a jig as well. 




Pick NFL Games Vs. Shannon "The Shark"

WIN GIFT CARDS FROM STOMPERS AND HERO'S

Each week Shannon "The Shark" will pick five NFL games. No point spread, just straight up winners. 

You pick the same five games and e mail us your winners. If you beat or tie her, you'll be put into the random drawing for the $25 gift card from Stompers and a $10 gift card from Hero's!



The Shark lost a bit of her chomp last week going just 3-2. That means lots of people beat her.

Through a random drawing we chose Terry from Clinton as our winner! Congrats!

SHANNON'S PICKS FOR WEEK 11

Steelers over the Browns
Jets over the Redskins
Colts over the Jags
Bills over the Dolphins
Cowboys over the Lions
The J-E-T-S Win The Battle
For Gotham City



Two the the NFL bottom feeders battled it out for bragging rights on who the best team is residing in Met Life Stadium The Giants and Jets are the only teams in the NFL to share the same stadium until next season when the Rams and Chargers will play in SoFi stadium in Los Angles. 

This was the 14th regular season meeting between these two franchises with the Giants leading the series 8-5 heading into the game.

As a LONG time Giants fan its extremely important to beat the Jets. To Giants fans over the age of 50 the Jets are the annoying little brother who won’t leave you alone when you bring your first girl to the house when your parents are gone. The New York Football Giants one of the founding fathers of the National Football League back in 1925 really disregard the legitimacy of the “Johnny come lately” New York Titans 1959 and then changed the name to Jets in 1964 as part of the American Football League.

Jets beat the Giants 34-27

I am going on the record now in saying the Giants will not win another game this season. Daniel Jones cannot hold on to the football. He had three more fumbles Sunday and one went for a defensive TD. I understand Jones threw 4 TD passes and 300 yards, but its similar to Matt Stafford of the Lions who plays solid with no team around him. Barkley cannot run behind that offensive line which gave up six sacks today. I believe in the first eight games the Jets only had five sacks. 

The defense is the worst in the league. I can’t even begin to list the myriad of problems that plague that side of the ball.

I am going to suspend my blogging about the Giants for the remainder of the season. I like to try and find the good in most situations to fire-up Giants fans. But being a fan for 55 years it is obvious to me this team is beyond desperate. I know in my heart us loyal Giants fans will continue to watch the games, wear our Giants gear hoping for improvement and maybe an upset of someone. 

I want to thank Jeff Solari for allowing me to write about the Giants in a Pro New England Patriot blog. I will be rooting with you Patriots fans to get back to the Super Bowl. 

So for now the New York Jets are the kings of Gotham City.


Lots of opinions from our bloggers again this week. As always they are just that, their opinions, and not necessarily shared by Jeff Solari and The Sports Chowdah, or our sponsors. We also from time to time share articles from other publications and websites. Obviously sharing links is very common today but we also like to share great content in its entirety. The authors' opinions and content belong to them, not the Sports Chowdah or Rock Lobster Media LLC.
Who Is This Jeff Solari Guy Anyway?

Jeff Solari is the President and owner of Rock Lobster Media and The Sports Chowdah. Jeff is also a former co-host of the regions most listened to afternoon sports talk show, The Drive on 92.9FM The Ticket in Bangor.

He has been in sports media since he was 17. He is not shy with his opinions or unique perspective on the world of sports.

Jeff is a graduate of Mount Desert Island High School and the University of Southern Maine.

THE SPORTS CHOWDAH IS A PROPERTY OF ROCK LOBSTER MEDIA LLC
Jeff Solari | Sports Chowdah | (207) 735-7323 | jeff@sportschowdah.com  | www.jeffsolari.com