MAINE'S SPORTS LEADAH!
Real Fans "Ink It In"

By Jeff Solari
Not that many years ago if you had a tattoo, either you served in the Navy or probably drove one kick ass motorcycle.

That’s simply not the case today as a huge percentage of Americans have at least one tattoo somewhere on their body. One estimate I saw was 36% of adults under the age of 54 have at least one. 

It’s also becoming increasingly common for fans to show their undying support for their favorite team with some ink.

Sometimes fans jump the gun and make what turns out to be a lifelong mistake. Like what this Cleveland idiot decided to do.

Many are truly works of art as you see in these photos. Some super fans spend dozens of hours and thousands of dollars.


Check out the Yankees fan for example. Talk about a tramp stamp!


I wonder if he overpaid for that tattoo as much as the Yankees have overpaid for their one championship these past 20 years? 


I have seriously considered getting the 28-3 score box done somewhere on me. That game taught us a valuable lesson: don’t ever give up.


Do you have a sports tattoo? Would you get one? Share your thoughts below in our pool. - SOLARI


Sports Chowdah Poll
WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON SPORTS THEMED TATTOOS?
LOVE THEM! HAVE AT LEAST ONE MYSELF.
I THINK THEY CAN BE PRETTY COOL BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY
NOT FOR ME
LAST WEEK WE ASKED:

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE FAKE CROWD NOISE DURING SOX GAMES ON NESN?

STRANGE BUT I'M USED TO IT: 44%

MAKES GAMES FEEL NORMAL: 33%

NOT CRAZY ABOUT IT: 23%

MLB Troubles Cause BIG Concern for Possible NFL Season

By Lee Goldberg
NEWSCENTER Maine


Ppd.... ppd....ppd....

Those letters are all too frequently replacing box scores right now in Major League Baseball.

Despite the best of intentions, MLB has serious problem on its hands and it will only likely get worse. It could also be a precursor to what the NFL is likely to encounter. 

The NBA has the luxury of the “bubble”. That league is controlling it’s own environment, everybody coming in, everybody going out, and that has led to zero positive tests.

The NHL does not have a bubble, but it is still controlling its environment as effectively as possible by having two host cities.

MLB is lacking the ability to control its players, and all the travel is conducive to more positive tests, which will lead to more postponements.

I want to sit down and watch a game like the next person, but this season is a joke. Not just because of the players who are not playing, but because of the teams having games postponed, and the lack of ability for teams to end up playing a full 60 games.

Not sure what the answer is. But this was starting off as a facsimile of major-league baseball, and now it’s even less than that. And about to get worse.

If these are the players that can spread out and be away from each other, what will it be like for football? I’m scared we will not like that answer.




Sox Roster:
Who The Heck Are These Guys?

By Sterling Pingree

If you want to be safe during the pandemic, wear a mask over your mouth and nose. 
If you’re watching the Red Sox pitch, wear one over your eyes. 
To quote Major League “I’ve never heard of half of these guys.”

If only it was just that bad. I don’t even know HALF of the Red Sox pitchers. 

“Who started for the Red Sox last night?”
“Osich.” Well then. 

Every night, aside from Nathan Eovaldi, the Boston Red Sox, not even two years removed from 108-wins, a World Series title and arguably the greatest club in team history, can’t even field a 5-man rotation of Major League pitching.

And that’s not all, they can’t field a Major League bullpen either. Brandon Workman, (ugh) Matt Barnes and (double-ugh) Heath Hembree can (maybe) pitch in the bigs, but the rest of these yahoos? 

Every night is a parade of journeymen in their 30’s who don’t throw fastballs. These pitchers, if they were left handed and got outs would be called crafty. But they’re not and they don’t, so they’re called junkballers. 

Every day, the Mookie Betts trade gets worse. (Yes, even yesterday when Mookie got hurt, it still got worse for the Red Sox.) When the trade was made it seemed like the Red Sox got nothing, and now when you look back, we got less than nothing!

When Chaim Bloom traded Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates, he got back Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows. For Chris Archer. Mookie Betts is worth a multitude of what Chris Archer is and the Red Sox got back a 4 th outfielder. The upside of trading a super star player is netting some top prospects to stock the farm system and maybe some day down the road one or two might become all-stars. The Red Sox farm system is so barren the bank won’t even foreclose on it, and for the best home grown player since Carl Yastrzemski they got back a bench player. 

Bill Parcells once said “The horse is dead, quit kicking it.”

That feels like what I’m doing here, but golly, watching the Red Sox trot out pitchers that Lou Brown would have cut from Cleveland camp while Mookie Betts hits home runs into swimming pools, it’s hard not to bellyache a little.

Like everything else happening right now, I hope it’s only temporary, but fear the long lasting ramifications.
Drop The Puck in Orono?
Fingers Crossed.
By Ryan McLaughlin
The hope for a University of Maine hockey season got higher on Wednesday afternoon. 

Hockey East announced that the league intends to play the 2020-21 season in its entirety while emphasizing competition between league members.

A start date and schedules have not been announced. but this is good news for UMaine and its Hockey East brethren. 

Realistically, non-conference games were not going to happen in college hockey this year, especially after major college football conferences announced plans to have teams play within the leagues. 

So that means no trip to Omaha for the Black Bears this winter after the Mavericks played a two-game series in Maine last winter. 

Now, you may ask, what does this mean for UMaine? 

Hockey East fully intends on constructing balanced scheduling models to ensure player and staff safety. Whether or not fans will be allowed inside Alfond Arena this winter remains to be seen. 

Of all the teams in Hockey East, UMaine traditionally faces the longest road trips. It takes roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes just to get out of Maine if you're traveling by bus from Orono, and that's if the weather isn't lousy. I'm sure Hockey East will want to have road teams implement "down and back" bus trips in which hotel stays are not necessary. 

"Hockey East's geography allows the league to conduct conference competition, including the men's and women's championships, while mitigating non-essential travel and allowing maximum flexibility to adjust its schedule based on every-changing developments and best medical practices surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic," the league said in a statement released Wednesday.

The travel situation in terms of how UMaine will handle its road trips remains to be seen, but for now, we as journalists and fans should be thrilled Hockey East plans to make an effort to get the 2020-21 season started and completed safely.

We probably won't see the puck drop until December at the earliest. We probably won't see fans inside the Alfond unless Governor Mills increases the amount of people allowed at indoor gatherings in Maine - it remains at 50 - and I don't see that changing anytime soon. 

Hockey East and its institutions have the health and well-being of its student-athletes, coaches and staff at heart, and while it will be unusual to see no non-conference games, this is the only way we're going to see a college hockey season. 

Random Thoughts On A Humid Summer Day

By Ryan McLaughlin
Drumming up a few observations while pondering what the Dog Days of August will look like in a not-so-normal sports world of 2020. 

- The 2020 Boston Red Sox are an unwatchable product. 
The opening-day beatdown of the Triple-A caliber Baltimore Orioles was all a mirage. 

Bill Parcells once said "you are what your record says you are," and this band of Red Sox is a shell of the team that won 119 games and a World Series just a couple years ago.

The tone was set when Mookie Betts and David Price were shipped to the Dodgers in a Tampa Bay Rays/Oakland A's-esque salary dump. Chris Sale having Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez opting out of the season due to COVID-19 - may both of them be healthy for 2021 - didn't help the pitching staff. 

If Nathan Evoldi is your ace, you're not going anywhere. 

If the losing keeps up, pending free agent J.D. Martinez may be gone at the trade deadline. 

- With Dont'a Hightower and Patrick Chung the most prominent Patriots opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, it begs the question, what will Bill Belichick's defense look like? 

I'm not worried about the secondary. Even with the oft-injured Chung opting out, the Pats still have arguably the best secondary in football. But Hightower is the captain of the defense and one of the game's best linebackers.

That core already lost Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy to free agency. Ju'Wahn Bentley is the most experienced guy in that group. 

Starting right tackle Marcus Cannon will also keep his helmet in his locker this fall, which is a significant blow to the offensive line. 

The Pats are the AFC East favorites as long as Cam Newton is healthy but Belichick is facing arguably his biggest coaching challenge since the Art Modell drama in Cleveland in 1995. 

- The NHL and the NFL got it right in terms of protecting its players from COVID. That has come more into light recently as multiple Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID. 

How long will America's Pastime last before Rob Manfred shuts it down? Baseball fans better hope a big name such as Mike Trout doesn't test positive.

- A big congratulations to longtime Brewer High School coach Glendon Rand for his induction into the Maine Running Hall of Fame. 

I'm not just saying this because he was my coach for four years, two of which I was one of his captains, but Rand has done a lot for running in the state of Maine, whether it's coaching, promoting, or being in charge of the Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions, one of Northeast's largest fall invitationals. 

- The Maine Principals' Association deserves a lot of credit for continuing to find ways to assure a fall sports season in Maine will happen. 

The MPA announced last week high school football teams will play no more than six regular-season games, while the maximum for soccer and field hockey will be 10. 

The administrators understand how important athletics are to not only the student-athletes but to communities from Kittery to Fort Kent. 

These athletes have worked hard to get back on the fields, courts and rinks, and the MPA deserves a lot of credit for trying to make it happen safely. 

Whether or not spectators are limited to families, administrators and media staffing the games and meets remains to be seen, but all that matters is that the games go on somehow.

- I can't help but think of "The Last Dance" when I see the minutes restrictions the New Orleans Pelicans have on Zion Williamson. 

It takes me to Michael Jordan's second season when he returned from a broken foot to lead his Chicago Bulls to the playoffs, but Jerry Krause preferred to tank for a lottery draft pick, which angered his superstar. 

Krause even threatened to fire then-coach Stan Albeck on the spot if Jordan played any more than 14 minutes per game. 

Imagine if Albeck had listened to the maligned GM. The 63-point game at Boston Garden would've never happened. 

- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent running back LeSean McCoy last week. 

Tom Brady must be having flashbacks to 2007 in the context of the playmakers he has. I wonder how many Pats fans will play as the Bucs in Dynasty Mode once "Madden 21" comes out later this month? 

- RIP to former Red Sox skipper John McNamara, who was forever haunted by Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. 

We seem to forget how great that Sox team was and how they were ohh so close to ending the Curse of the Bambino. 

Godspeed, Mac. 



  
Only in 2020....
An oddly-shaped tomato posted on Twitter this weekend is gaining recognition — for bearing a strong resemblance to Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird. 

A Twitter user who appears to be located in Liverpool, England, posted a photo of the tomato on Friday with the caption, “The tomato of confusion has arrived.”

However, on Sunday, several people pointed out that the misshapen piece of produce looks like it bears the visage of the former Celtics star. 

The thought was apparently ubiquitous among many, because “Larry Bird” was trending in Massachusetts late Sunday afternoon, with more than 30,000 tweets about the topic, according to Twitter.

-BOSTON GLOBE

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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 Drive on 92.9FM The Ticket in Bangor and The Shootaround on WZON.

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.

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Jeff Solari | Sports Chowdah | (207) 735-7323 | jeff@sportschowdah.com  | www.jeffsolari.com