Marcus Smart Beats The Coronavirus
By Sam Minton
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was one of the first Boston athletes to announce he had tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Thankfully he has announced he has made a complete recovery.

On March 19th,  Marcus Smart  announced that he had tested positive for the Coronavirus. He said that he had no symptoms and was feeling great but this still can be a nerve-racking moment.

Well now everything is much better for Smart. After self quarantining, Smart announced on his Twitter Sunday night that he was healthy and received results on Friday that showed he was coronavirus free.

Courtesy of Chowder and Champions

The Virus Takes Over Twitter

AM Radio, Johnny Most, and Box Scores.
The Way Life Used To Be
One of the only bright spots in our new norm of living with this damn virus is watching all of the old sporting events on TV these days.

As I sat down this weekend top watch Tiger King (Turns out it has nothing to do with Jim Leyland leading the Tigers to the World Series in 84) I got to thinking about how it was being a sports fan “back in the day.”

Growing up on MDI in the 80’s we did not have cable TV. On a clear day we had the three local stations, if the roof top antenna was pointing in the right direction. That meant only seeing the Red Sox on TV maybe a dozen times per year.

It was a thrill to see Bird, McHale and the Celtics on the weekends and a bit more during the playoffs. The Patriots were around on Sundays, but not always shown and I honestly never saw the Bruins play until I was in college. 

It was enjoyable to listen to the Sox on the radio on warm summer nights and I loved the cigarette damaged vocal cords of Johnny Most calling the C’s on my AM radio all winter.

I used to check the Bangor Daily News every morning for box scores and it was a Sunday tradition to grab the sports section of the Maine Sunday Telegram to track how Wade Boggs was doing in the chase for another batting title. 

Speaking of box scores and newspapers, remember figuring out fantasy football scores from the sports pages every Monday morning? Lee Goldberg and I were in charge of our league in the early 90’s and often I had to grab the calculator and add up the league results.

It was a different time for sure. No phones. No internet. No whacko Tiger King guy. I miss it. And I miss todays sports. Which I hope will be back as soon as possible.

Never Gonna Happen in New England
By Ryan McLaughlin

It's all starting to blow over.

Well, sort of.

Tom Brady is a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. The divorce between the Greatest Of All Time and the New England Patriots is being called a messy one by fans and media alike. 

Patriots Nation is now asking the ultimate question: Now what? 

There are some out there who are already using "Tank for Trevor" hashtags.

Translation? Lose as many games as possible next season, and set yourself up to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the likely top pick in the 2021 draft. 

Sorry to all the Rachel Phelps wannabees in Patriots Nation, but that's not a good idea.

For one, let's remember the Kraft family is a proud family of owners. The Patriots have finished under .500 only twice under their ownership. They're not going to let that happen. 

Another thing, all it takes is one injury to hinder a player's future. 

A couple examples: Tua Tagovailoa just last fall. The Alabama quarterback was destined for the No. 1 pick before suffering a hip injury. He won't be ready to be a starter in 2020, no matter where he lands.

Willis McGahee. The 2003 first-round pick had an outstanding career with four NFL teams, and was a projected top-five pick. But, a devastating knee injury in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl cost him his rookie year. Miami Hurricane fans still argue to this day that it was a factor in them losing that game to Ohio State, sending that program into another downward spiral.

Lawrence is no doubt a future franchise quarterback, but one of the proudest franchises in professional sports throwing a season away for the sake of rebuilding is not a good idea.

Let's also remember this is Boston. Titletown. The word "rebuild" isn't one that fans like to hear around here. 

Weekly Poll

Last we asked:

Who will win more games this season?

TB 12 and Tampa: 57%

Coach Bill and the Pats: 43%

Coach Bill- Media Nemesis-
Is Nominated for An Emmy!
By Sterling Pingree
Bill Belichick: master of his tight lipped domain.
King of the non-answer.
The greatest nemesis modern media has ever known, has bested the rest at their own game. For his work on NFL Network's "NFL 100 All-Time Team" series, Bill Belichick has been nominated for a sports Emmy award. 
40-words in and I realize that I have already written that statement twice, but you had to admit, it is startling to read. It's a lot like reading that gasoline is free, or Trump has deleted Twitter, it just seems completely improbable even for 2020. 
I wrote about Coach Belichick's work on the show earlier in the year because he was remarkable. Seeing the usually staid coach positively effervescent while chatting with Ed Reed, Lawrence Taylor and Roger Staubach was a major accomplishment for television as a medium. It was 6-episodes of having your first beer with your parents, at first it doesn't feel quite right but you quickly realize that this is a moment in time. 
Coach Belichick is nominated for "Outstanding Sports Personality- Studio Analyst" and his competition in the category is: Michael Strahan, Charles Barkley, Al Leiter, Jay Bilas and Kenny Smith.
Belichick is the only nominee who didn't play the sport he analyzes. Barkley has won the award 3 times already, Strahan has been nominated before but never won. The category has been dominated recently by Barkley, Kirk Herbstreit and Harold Reynolds (what?). 
What are the chances he wins? His biggest competition will be Strahan, who people seem to love or Barkley who seems like the safe choice to win any given year. But Bill Belichick winning an Emmy for broadcasting has to be too juicy for Emmy voters to ignore. 
Prepare to repaint the boat and christen it "VIII Rings & I Emmy"

Hobey Baker Hat Trick Memories
By Laura Reed
I honestly never considered what life without sports would be like. I can tell you I don’t like it. Typically, I fall asleep every night listening to some type of game, but that all changed about 2 ½ weeks ago. I am learning a new normal and I don’t like it at all.

I have been blessed that I still have my job and have been able to work from home. My new office space is a corner in my loft as working downstairs was too tough. My puppy did not understand why I was home all day but unable to play all the time. 

As I was working upstairs, I noticed one of the framed and autographed posters on my wall. It was of the Hobey Baker Hat Trick from 10 years ago in 2010. I let myself stop for a moment to reminisce. The Frozen Four was played at Ford Field in Detroit that year and the Hobey Baker finalists were Gustav Nyquist, Blake Geoffrion, and Bobby Butler. 

Coach Whitehead, Gustav, and I arrived in Detroit on Thursday. We saw a bit of the two semifinals games that day. The Hobey Baker presentation was the next day. Friday was a full day. I remember Coach Whitehead, Gustav, and I heading to do interviews with ESPN early Friday morning before the ceremony. 

The Hobey Baker Ceremony was early evening as I recall. It was right on the ice at Ford Field. There were probably several hundred people in the huge NFL stadium. Blake Geoffrion ended up winning the award. His Wisconsin Badgers team was in the Frozen Four and playing for the National Championship the following night against Boston College, a game that the Eagles won. 

Gustav received a ton of attention as he had been drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. This was the first time that the majority of the Detroit media had ever spoken to him in person. They all knew his impressive hockey skills. 

Gustav has gone on to have the best NHL career by far. He is playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season and is second on the team in scoring with 15 goals and 27 assists for 42 points in 70 games. He has played the majority of his career with the Detroit Red Wings. He was traded at the trade deadline last year to San Jose, before signing with Columbus last offseason. He has 146 career goals and 202 assists for 348 points in 570 NHL games. 

Although the result was not as I had wished, it still provides a great memory. In this ultra-challenging time, I encourage you to reminisce about some of your own favorite sports memories. 

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Golf: Business Not As Usual In 2020
By Joe Perdue
PGA Golf Professional
Hidden Meadows Golf Course

Normally by this time of the year we’ve had our practice range open for a few weeks. Usually we’re getting all of our mowers sharpened, and like the little kid in the back seat pestering his dad ‘Are we there yet?,’ I’m asking our Green Superintendent Chad Armell ‘When do you think we’ll be able to open the course?’ on nearly a daily basis.
Oh how things are so different in 2020.
We did open our range on March 14 th , but quickly closed it on March 25 th  when Governor Mills mandated that all ‘non-essential’ businesses in the state of Maine close. We re-opened on March 27 th  after clarification of her mandate.
It was not a decision that was made lightly. Amongst the questions we asked ourselves:
  • Is it socially responsible to be open?
  • Is being open worth the revenue that we would generate in the months of March, April and May?
  • How do we take care of our employees?
  • Are we putting ourselves in harms-way by being open?
  • How is our small, seasonal business going to be able to pay our bills and survive?
We did a lot of research, talked to a lot of people, and did a lot of soul searching. A LOT of soul searching. After all of that, we went step-by-step through our entire process of how to have a safe environment for our patrons, how we could limit ‘touches,’ how we could run our business and make all of this work within the guidelines set by our Governor.
Here is a link to our Facebook page, showing what we came up with, along with all of our current policies:

Good arguments can be made, both for and against, whether or not we should be open.

From a safety standpoint, we finally decided that if people will follow all of the guidelines we have in place, hitting a bucket of range balls or playing a round of golf is probably safer than going to the grocery store or the gas station.
Is it essential? Again, good arguments can be made either way, and we respect everyone’s perspective.
In the end, golf, by its nature, is a social distancing activity. There are a lot of benefits to being able to get outdoors, take in some fresh air and get your body moving. As long as everyone is respectful of their fellow human beings, and will follow the guidelines we have in place, golf is a safe, healthy activity that everyone can enjoy during a period of time that is arguably the most stressful any of us have ever endured during our lives.

Forced To Grow Up Almost Overnight
By Matt Cunha

On January 26th, a Sunday morning, I woke up with a semester left of my graduate classes. 11 of 12 semesters completed in the whirlwind industry that is sports journalism. The job hunt was beginning as I embarked on what I thought would be a normal end of a six-year college career. 

 Nothing has been close to normal since then. Childhood idol Kobe Bryant, who helped bring me into the field of sports, was announced dead after a helicopter crash that Sunday morning. The news hit me hard with a variety of other stress factors accumulating in my life. That afternoon I stared at the television not really sure what to think. 

Everything since then has been just as strange either in high or low. I got to cover the Beanpot for the Patriot Ledger which was a real dream come true. At that moment, I felt I couldn’t be stopped in the pursuit of my life long dream of getting to cover a professional team. I felt for the first time, I could see the finish line, my dream is fulfilled. I could see my life taking shape. 

On March 17th, around a month later, things feel completely different. 

A few weeks later I embarked on a spring break trip to Panama to do some reporting, it was clear to me within moments that this trip would be a life-changer. From hiking through the jungle of Mamoni Valley to spending a day on the breathtaking, San Blas Islands, it was the best experience of my life. 

The cloud nine experience went to a national emergency in a flash. In a week plus since returning, Coronavirus has sent us me out of Boston and into social distancing. I will lose my last semester of college, my masters’ commencement and the last few months of living up the college experience. All gone. From leaving the greatest week of my life to the social isolation at my brother’s house within a week. All sense of normality is now gone. 

My one emotional escape during all these years does not exist. My current co-op in the Patriot Ledger sports department is fluctuating by the minute. The sports job market doesn’t exist when no sports exist. 

The final sense of normalcy left on the morning of March 17th when my other childhood idol departed the New England Patriots. The lone sports news that exists was hard to take at this moment. 

In many ways, this feels like the end of an era. My childhood era. Three of four idols as a child have ended their careers for my team. Patrice Bergeron provides some hope, but the Bruins aren’t playing right now. The end of the era comes when I desperately didn’t need it. I am Stuck in quarantine for my last semester, without any sports to cover and no jobs to even apply for. 

I can only hope that when I look back at this moment, it is not the end of an era, but the start of a new era. A part of my life’s greatest story. 

I have hope that this is the moment that taught me so many life lessons. This is the moment where I look myself in the mirror and knew who I was and the person I wanted to be. That this is the moment that will make turning on a game in eight weeks the greatest feeling in the world. That this is the moment that I hear the sound of a ball hitting hit a bat one of the greatest in my life. 

The moment where I look back at and say “I wouldn’t be here if this did not happen.” The moment where I see the Panama trip as the greatest week of my life again. The moment where I made decisions to improve my life. The moment where I become an adult.
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.

Jeff Solari | Sports Chowdah | (207) 735-7323 |  |