Category Archives: Sports

Stunning reversal: McDaniels turns down Colts’ job to stay with Patriots | The Associated Press via the Portland Press Herald

INDIANAPOLIS — Josh McDaniels has backed out of a deal to become the Indianapolis Colts head coach, a decision that shocked the franchise hours after it announced his hiring.

The Colts confirmed McDaniels’ decision in a statement Tuesday night after reports emerged that the Patriots offensive coordinator had opted to stay in New England with head coach Bill Belichick.

McDaniels had agreed to contract terms with the Colts to replace the fired Chuck Pagano. A news conference had been scheduled for Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts said McDaniels informed them Tuesday evening that he would not sign the deal.

“Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field,” the Colts said in the statement.

Read the rest of this story.

Will write for food! … Or walk your dog!

Hey there! Hey there! I’m still trying to line up a freelance gig or two for the coming weeks. Please let me know if you are in need or know someone in need of a writer-editor-blogger-dog walker-house-sitter-dishwasher. Cheers!

U.S. Olympics Committee: Redneck Olympics disrespects athletes | Lewiston Sun Journal

HEBRON, Maine — The Redneck Olympics “is disrespectful” to U.S. Olympic athletes, according to a letter from the United States Olympic Committee to Redneck Olympics organizer Harold Brooks of Hebron.

On Saturday, Brooks received a letter from the USOC asking him not to use the name “Olympics” if he intends to hold the Redneck Olympics in the future. The committee doesn’t seek damages for the word’s use in the Aug. 5-7 event.

Citing the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, the letter said there is “no question” that Brooks violated federal law by selling tickets to the Redneck Olympics, which cost $15 to $20 for the weekend, including camping. The act gives the USOC all rights to the word “Olympics” in the United States.

“We believe using the name ‘Redneck Olympics’ for a competition that involves toilet-seat horseshoes and bobbing for pigs’ feet tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games,” the letter reads.

Brooks objected to that characterization. “How can the people, the average person, in their activities, degrade anything?”

Brooks said the letter hasn’t changed his mind on holding another Redneck Olympics, a move that could spur a lawsuit from the USOC, who have filed suits in other instances of people using the word “Olympics.”

“They don’t scare me,” Brooks said Monday.

Click for the rest of the story by Tony Reaves in the Lewiston Sun Journal.

USOC letter

USOC letter


USOC letter Page 2.

USOC letter Page 2.


Aroostook County keeps biathlon buzz alive: Organizers of World Cup tour event in Presque Isle, Fort Kent seek status as Olympic Training Center | Maine Sunday Telegram

Aroostook County keeps biathlon buzz alive: Organizers of World Cup tour event in Presque Isle, Fort Kent seek status as Olympic Training Center | Maine Sunday Telegram


World Cup Biathlon in Fort Kent

Biathlon memories stick as athletes part | Bangor Daily News

World Cup Biathlon: One fantastic finish | Portland Press Herald

Hall-of-Famer Pippen enjoys biathlon baptism| Bangor Daily News

World Cup Biathlon moves to Fort Kent | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

World Cup Biathlon moves to Fort Kent | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.


WHERE: 10th Mountain Ski Center, Fort Kent

THURSDAY: Men’s 10K sprint

FRIDAY: Women’s 7.5K sprint

SATURDAY: Men’s 12.5K pursuit and women’s 10K pursuit

SUNDAY: Men’s 15K mass start and women’s 12.5K mass start

Nordic skiing enjoys resurgence in northern Maine | Bangor Daily News

Nordic skiing enjoys resurgence in northern Maine | Bangor Daily News

Biathlon World Cup in Presque Isle

Sweden’s Ekholm, Germany’s Peiffer claim biathlon sprint races | Bangor Daily News

Students volunteer medical assistance at biathlon | Bangor Daily News

Biathlon World Cup opening day becomes a team effort: Late replacement on U.S. team drives from New York to compete in men’s 10K sprint | Portland Press Herald

Black Bears knock off Boston College | Bangor Daily News

Black Bears knock off Boston College | Bangor Daily News

Coffeehouse observation No. 255

I am still recovering from the anguish that was yesterday’s game. The Jets team that was expected a month and half ago finally showed up in Foxborough … to play the Foxborough Community College Patriots. The Pats were awful yesterday – Brady throwing behind everyone and an INT, two dropped TD passes, fumbles, poor special teams play – and the team did not deserve to win. I will drown my sorrows in coffee! … When does spring training being?

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

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As a football fan, this Mainer is a can’t-miss | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

As a football fan, this Mainer is a can’t-miss | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram


DON CRISMAN, of Kennebunk: He was living in Denver when he was given tickets to the first Super Bowl by the insurance agent who was handling his mortgage, and continued attending with him even after he moved to Maine.

TOM HENSCHEL, of Natrone Heights, Pa., and Tampa, Fla.: He compares the Super Bowl to “the Fourth of July and New Year’s put together.”

ROBERT COOK, of Brown Deer, Wis.: He was introduced to the other three at Super Bowl XXXIII by a member of the Green Bay Packers front office, who vouched for his perfect attendance.

LARRY JACOBSON, of San Francisco: Attended the first Super Bowl with a date he was trying to impress. She didn’t like football, so he stopped seeing her.

To see the Visa commercials featuring Crisman and his friends, go to:

Maine hockey team sweeps No. 2 North Dakota | Bangor Daily News

Maine hockey team sweeps No. 2 North Dakota | Bangor Daily News


Sunday River opens first ski trail in the U.S. | Bangor Daily News

Sunday River opens first ski trail in the U.S. | Bangor Daily News.

Maine knocks off No. 2 North Dakota | Bangor Daily News

ORONO — The University of Maine men’s hockey team didn’t waste much time welcoming the North Dakota Fighting Sioux to Alfond Arena Friday night.

 Maine scored just 43 seconds into the game en route to a five-goal outburst in the opening period that carried the Black Bears to 7-3 win

 over the nation’s second-ranked team in front of 5,216 fans.

 Maine snapped a three-game winless streak and improved to 2-1-2. North Dakota fell to 3-1-1.

 The teams will play again tonight at 7.

 “We played Maine hockey tonight,” said Maine junior right wing Gustav Nyquist, who had a goal and two assists. “We got the puck down low, we worked hard, we moved our feet and we were tenacious.”

Click for the rest of this story by Larry Mahoney in the Bangor Daily News.

Backyard ballgame: Wild for Wiffle | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

 Backyard ballgame: Wild for Wiffle | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Boston Celtics sign free agent Shaquille O’Neal – NBA –

[I didn’t even know the Celtics were talking to this guy. Very, very interesting. — KM]

Boston Celtics sign free agent Shaquille O’Neal – NBA –

Hamm, Garciaparra are among this year’s guest stars at Seeds of Peace Camp | Portland Press Herald

OTISFIELD — Cool sunglasses masking his eyes, microphone in hand, Wil Smith worked his audience, priming them with introductions of the visitors. By the time Smith reached Mia Hamm, his campers at Seeds of Peace were beyond delight.

Teenage boys and girls, mostly from the Middle East, were heading to a new level of excitement. Waiting for his wife after his own noisy welcome, Nomar Garciaparra didn’t try to hide his smile.

So this is why his agent kept inviting him to this former boys camp on the pine-lined shore of Pleasant Lake. Actually, Arn Tellem’s reason was only beginning to reveal itself.

“You know the lives they’ll go back to, but you look in their faces and see the joy,” Garciaparra said Thursday morning. “They’re giving me much more than I can give them.”

This is Seeds of Peace, the oasis away from the world’s centuries-old battle for hearts and minds and land in the Middle East. Children from other places where fear and danger are constant companions also arrive here each summer.

It’s a universal mission: Dialogue can affect peace better than terror. Plant that seed.

Click for the rest of Steve Solloway’s story in the Portland Press Herald.

The secret of Secret Rock is no secret at all — local lore

It must be the triple-digit temperatures that regularly hang over the San Joaquin Valley like a hammer against white hot steel just pulled from the forge.

Or perhaps it is because I was born on the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, the summer solstice.

Or perhaps it is because I grew up in the frigid expanse of the Deep Dark North Woods of Maine and it will take a lifetime – or longer – for all of me to thaw.

It really doesn’t matter. I’ve been thinking about summer quite a bit lately. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about the summers of my youth. And local lore.

Even before teachers started talking about summer reading lists and vacations of which they so longingly and protectively spoke – they always seemed to have a look in their eyes that spoke of the anguish that came with the long, long academic year – it was time to crank up Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.”

In case you forgot, here are the lyrics to that lovely tune.

Well we got no choice

All the girls and boys

Makin’ all that noise

’Cause they found new toys

Well we can’t salute ya

Can’t find a flag

If that don’t suit ya

That’s a drag

School’s out for summer

School’s out forever

School’s been blown to pieces


And so on.

But there was much more to the summer than sitting around listening to a man named Alice.

Sure, there were summer jobs and chores and that sort of thing. Summer school for some; summer camp for others.

And, occasionally, the dreaded family vacation. Being cooped up in a car for hours upon hours was no way to spend a summer vacation.

But there was so much more about summer than those things.

There were pickup games of baseball and basketball. There was golf. There was swimming and canoeing and sailing. There were barbecues. There were Red Sox games on the black and white TV. And more.

There is something special – mystical, even – about those summer days of youth. Days of personal and community lore, if nothing else.

Portage Lake is nestled among hills and mountains of central Aroostook County. State Route 11 winds its way from the south over a hill and down into the flatland where rests the town – Dean’s Motor Lodge, Coffin’s General Store, the post office, a few more businesses, and homes for several hundred residents.

Except for the public beach, the seaplane base, and the Forest Service facility, year-round homes and vacation cabins are sprinkled on the wooded hills and flats that make up the shore of Portage Lake.

The ancient hills for the most part are gentle and worn down over millions of years of shifting plates, pounding rains, persistent winds, and – a late-comer to the wear and tear – man and machine.

A contrast is an outcropping of earth and rock – very probably New England granite – that overlooks the water and town from just east of the lake.

Every community has lore. Some of it is good. Some of it is not so good. Some of it is simply neutral. Local lore many times sprouts from older children trying to impress younger children, the local lore that includes stories to scare younger children. It’s the lore passed down from generation to generation to generation of the people who are born, live and die in such places as this.

Part of the lore of Portage is a slab of stone known among generations of Portage school-age children as Secret Rock.

There was never any treasure or tragedy associated with Secret Rock, at least none that I recall these many years since. No pirates or other scallywags buried booty near Secret Rock. And no love-struck, lovesick couple ever took a plunge from Secret Rock.

There were no frightful creatures hiding in the cracks and crevices of the quartz-injected granite, no monsters hiding in the nearby forest. It was simply a rock, a rock not much larger than a tennis court, as I recall.

Frankly, there wasn’t much “secret” about Secret Rock. I could see Secret Rock from my childhood home, especially in fall and winter when the trees were free of leaves. And there were times when ant-size figures could be spied crawling up the face of the steep trail that led to Secret Rock.

Perhaps the secret was the one most children kept from their parents when it came to potential peril. After all, the trail up to Secret Rock was steep and children of a certain age did not tag along because they could not make the climb.

The climb also could not be made in winter. Snow and ice covered the rock and the trail leading up to it.

Climbing to Secret Rock was a summertime activity.

But it was the lore of the land and climbing the slope to Secret Rock was a rite of passage for generations of Portage Lake children.

Not far beyond the rock – at least, not far as I can recall – was another steep climb and the road that led to the local golf course with its holes set out along the hills just beyond the town.

It was an adventure for children to climb to Secret Rock and not much of an added strain to continue on to Portage Hills Country Club.

We all need local lore.

It is part of regional lore and national lore and global lore. It helps bind us a community. It solidifies shared memories of our youth. It gives us a common ground and reminds us that our differences, no matter how massive, how divisive, can never defeat us if we hold to local lore and all that it represents.

We all need local lore. We all need our Secret Rocks.

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Maine Stuff in My California Apartment No. 7: Maine crafted beers


Shipyard Brewing Company is based in Portland. This evening I went with the IPA, which I do not find as tasty as the brewer’s regular Export Ale. But it was not bad, either. The Shipyard glasses were purchased a year or two ago at BevMo in Stockton. Yes, that is a lobster bottle opener in the foreground. It is also Maine stuff.

A Maine native living “away” is required by his or her nature to have around him or her things that conjure up images of Maine.

And from time to time that comes in the form of chilled adult beverages. Fortunately, BevMo, the beverage warehouse store, carries several Maine brews, including Allagash, Shipyard, and Sea Dog products.

Today’s photo of “Maine Stuff in My California Apartment” includes glasses and brew from Maine. Be assured that no beer was wasted in the making of this blog entry.

Oh, and, yes, that is a lobster bottle opener. That also falls under the category of Maine stuff.

I also included a photo of a couple of Fenway American Pale Ale pint glasses. I don’t recall ever enjoying a Fenway American Pale Ale, but I figured I’d include it because it is a New England beer and I am a Boston Red Sox fan.

Recently had a bit of the Allagash Dubbel Reserve poured in an Allagash glass. Nice beverage. Allagash is based in Portland, Maine, nowhere near the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. The glasses were purchased a couple of years ago.

Nice head on the Allagash Dubbel Reserve. I have tried several of the Allagash offerings and have liked each of them.

Gotta love a beer that is corked.

OK, so this is a photo of beer pint glasses for a beer made in Boston. But I am a Red Sox fan so I thought I would add this photo of Fenway American Pale Ale glasses along with Maine stuff related to beer.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

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Six Red Sox players picked for All-Star Game | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Six Red Sox players picked for All-Star Game | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.