Remote Control Episode 1 – 8/28/2014 – #swegstorm

Are you ready for some football? Here we go. Starting with Texas A&M and South Carolina.

6:02 p.m. - Duhrood – Swegstorm

6:06 p.m. - Given the issues ESPN is having getting cable companies to carry the SEC Network, this could be the smallest audience Brent Musberger will have ever broadcast to.

6:08 p.m. – There was almost no pressure by the Gamecocks on that drive. Texas A&M offense sans Manziel (Sanziel?) > South Carolina defense sans Cl- oh, for God’s sake, replay while I’m typing this?

6:09 p.m. – Right call, and gratuitous name drop of the producer to boot.

6:11 p.m. – As I was saying, Texas A&M offense sans Manziel > South Carolina defense sans Clowney.

6:12 p.m. – If there were other games going on right now, this would be the point where I change channels and start blogging another game. Alas, we wait out a Hardee’s commercial.

6:15 p.m. – Well, that pass… sucked…

6:20 p.m. – This is not how the ninth-ranked team in the nation should be performing in its home opener.

6:23 p.m. – Can somebody explain to me the random chairs dispersed among the benches in the stands?

6:27 p.m. – Even when the Gamecocks bring pressure, the Aggies get positive yardage, and, in this case, another first down.

6:30 p.m. – Too easy, and then too fancy.

6:33 p.m. – This Snackeez commercial is the most unnecessarily enthusiastic ad since Ovaltine.

6:34 p.m. – He’s human!

6:39 p.m. – Well, that’ll finally wake up the fans. 10-6.

6:42 p.m. – #swegstorm

6:44 p.m.  – Hey look! Defense!

6:52 p.m. – The second quarter opens with a painful reminder of what most of the game has been like for SC thus far.

6:55 p.m. –  I feel like A&M should be up 21-7 right now given how they’ve been moving the ball.

7:00 p.m. - At the next commercial we’re going to Wake Forest and ULM.

7:01 p.m. – That was the most awkward touchdown celebration shot I’ve ever seen. Stop staring at the dude’s junk, camera guy.

7:03 p.m. – I’ll tell you who doesn’t like Duck Dynasty. Me. I have standards.

7:04 p.m. – I’m on the fence about ULM’s camo uniforms. I’ll defer to Paul Lukas.

7:06 p.m. – I hope you folks realize I’m not exactly expecting much from this game…

7:09 p.m. – And I certainly wasn’t expecting that punt block!

7:11 p.m. – Back to A&M and SC. #swegstorm

7:12 p.m. – Solution for SC’s offense? Throw the deep ball! That’s the only way their offense has been working thus far, it seems.

7:18 p.m. – “Gamecocks have no answer on defense.” – Creepy Uncle Brent Musberger

7:18 p.m. – Back to Wake/ULM.

7:20 p.m. – I think there should be a rule that says “If your last name is Chubb, you have to be an offensive lineman or nose tackle.” At least Jumbo Elliot had the decency to be an offensive lineman.

7:22 p.m.

7:23 p.m. – Did you just say ULM has no punt or field goal team?

7:27 p.m. – Back to A&M/SC. Alabama and LSU are probably watching this game and thinking to themselves, “Is this the object of this game?”

7:28 p.m. – I know the defender had his back turned to the ball, but I wouldn’t necessarily call that interference… slapfighting on the ball doesn’t warrant interference in my book.

7:30 p.m. – As a gamer, whenever I see Jordan Mastrogiovanni’s name, I immediately think of Giovanni from the original Pokemon games. “Master Giovanni”? I wonder if he got any Team Rocket jokes when he was young.

7:39 p.m. – Kenny Hill is putting on a damn clinic right now. This is how the 2-minute drill is run, kids.

7:42 p.m. – You run all those passes, you get the defense to back off, and then BANG – option pitch. Getting pretty quiet in Columbia.

7:46 p.m. – That’s a pretty healthy hit. I wonder if that could be the difference in the game down the line.

7:49 p.m. – Well, I wouldn’t want to be in the South Carolina locker room at halftime.

7:58 p.m. – This has been a really iffy night for the ULM punter. So much for being on the Ray Guy Award watchlist. All right, now let’s go to Boise State and Ole Miss.

7:59 p.m. – That Johnny Manziel/Roger Staubach promo was pretty good…

8:02 p.m. – Quick plug for – free sports picks game where you can win real money – I’m picking Boise State +10.5 in this game. Click here to get started!

8:07 p.m. – Wow, there are more Boise State fans at this game than I thought, especially considering it looks like the entire upper deck is empty.

8:09 p.m. – Boise State? Defense? Blasphemy!

8:17 p.m. – Oof, I felt that hit. Keith Lewis!

8:19 p.m. – On to Tulane and Tulsa. Everyone from the American moved to the ACC, everyone from Conference USA moved to the American, and everyone from the Sun Belt moved to Conference USA. Realignment’s a hell of a drug.

8:21 p.m. - Back to Boise State/Ole Miss. Once again, Boise State showing signs of actual defense!

8:25 p.m. – “Disqualified from the contest”? Can’t you just say “ejected”? This is college football, man.

8:28 p.m. – Well, while this fumble call gets overturned, we go back to A&M/SC. And the Old Ball Coach™ is in a pretty deep hole that I don’t think he’s going to get out of.

8:34 p.m. – If the Gamecocks somehow win this game, Kevin Sumlin is going to have to teach his defensive backs to defend passes like soccer players in the goal box and tuck their hands in.

8:36 p.m. – Back to Tulane and Tulsa, which is looking more like an SEC game score-wise than A&M/SC.

8:38 p.m. – Five false starts in the first quarter on Ole Miss? This is practically a home game!

8:42 p.m. – While Boise State hasn’t exactly been in Cinderella status for a few years now, the disrespect towards the mid-majors still remains.

8:47 p.m. – What did I say about Boise State’s defense?

8:51 p.m. – That makes two passes to the end zone that could easily be reviewed, but that one was definitely in. And there’s still plenty of time left… but SC’s defense needs to play MUCH better.

8:53 p.m. – #swegstorm

8:56 p.m. – Only took them three hours, but the Gamecocks have apparently learned to play defense.

8:59 p.m. – Well, there are worse moments to throw a pick, but there aren’t many of them.

9:01 p.m. – If Michael Cole were calling this game – “Vintage Boise State!”

9:04 p.m. – Ian Johnson is not walking through that door.

9:08 p.m. – I don’t think we’re going to see Vanderbilt and Temple any time soon. Then again, who would want to?

9:09 p.m. – I woudn’t put it past SC to put up 24 points in 12 minutes, but if their defense isn’t going to pick up the slack, then the fans leaving early are justified.

9:13 p.m. – Aussie Aussie Aussie!

9:17 p.m. – Ole Miss is lucky to be leading at this point. Both QBs have thrown three picks each? Bring in the backups.

9:21 p.m. – Then again, if the Rebels are hitting that hard (especially on these last two plays) , it shouldn’t be that surprising they’re in the lead.

9:29 p.m. – Great interview there with Devon Walker. He and Eric LeGrand are great reminders that injuries like theirs don’t take away your value to society.

9:32 p.m. – Looks like Tulane is going to run away with this battle of the colored weather phenomena.

9:35 p.m. – With strong weather in the Nashville area, looks like I’m in live blogging purgatory for a little while.

9:40 p.m. – Shows what I know about Tulsa football.

9:46 p.m. – Break time! But for how long?

9:55 p.m. – All right, football again! This Boise State/Ole Miss game still sucks though.

9:58 p.m. – I know I’m really late to the party on this topic, but has anyone else noticed how much Boise State’s uniforms look like Florida’s?

10:08 p.m. – I know my rule is to only change the game when the current one goes to commercial, but I’m ready to switch off Boise State/Ole Miss right now.

10:10 p.m. – Ugh, finally, Rutgers and Washington State. (Never thought I’d say that.)

10:13 p.m. – Three things I don’t like about this game: 1) Rutgers’ helmets, 2) Washington State playing a home game in Seattle, and 3) Rutgers in the B1G.

10:16 p.m. – I forgot Wake/ULM was going on, but it’s about to end, so whatever.

10:18 p.m. – Back to Rutgers/WSU. Not exactly the highest-caliber B1G/Pac-12 matchup…

10:22 p.m. – Jeez, no wonder this Rutgers QB got benched for three games last year.

10:28 p.m. – After an uneventful end to the third quarter of Boise State/Ole Miss, it’s back to Rutgers/Washington State. Speaking of unremarkable…

10:34 p.m. – You know, folks, after 4 hours and 32 minutes, I think I’m going to call it a night. I didn’t go insane, but the games have slowly become more unwatchable. See you Saturday.

Remote Control primer

Remote Control, LSP’s college football live blog, debuts in 2 1/2 hours. Here’s how it works, in two simple steps:

  1. I park my rear end in front of the TV and turn on the first game of the day. Then I blog my thoughts as the game progresses. Refresh for updates.
  2. When the game goes to a commercial, I switch to another game (if available). Then I start blogging my thoughts on that game. Repeat ad nauseam.

Tonight’s slate (all times Eastern):

  • 6 p.m.: Texas A&M @ South Carolina, SEC Network
  • 7 p.m.: Wake Forest @ Louisiana-Monroe, ESPNU
  • 8 p.m.: Boise State @ Ole Miss, ESPN; Tulane @ Tulsa, CBSSN
  • 9:15 p.m.: Temple @ Vanderbilt, SEC Network
  • 10 p.m.: Rutgers @ Washington State, FS1

You can make this worthwhile and show your support by donating a little bit of your hard-earned cash to your friendly neighborhood freelance sports journalist via the Donate button on the front page. Or you can stick a big fat advertisement in the middle of the article (you must provide the image) for $40. Email me for more info.



Andre Chiefs win 2014 ICL Championship

The Andre Chiefs won the fifth and deciding game of the 2014 ICL Championship Series by a score of 4-0. It is their second ICL championship in three years, and they got it thanks to – what else – a stellar pitching performance by Jared Freni.

Freni had a no-hitter going through 5 2/3 innings and finished the night allowing two walks and two hits while striking out nine. He finished the postseason 3-0 with no runs (earned or unearned) allowed in 20 1/3 innings, with 28 strikeouts and a 0.934 WHIP. He has not lost a game in the postseason since the 2011 Championship Series to the Blue Sox, and even then, he redeemed himself later in the series with a 10-inning, 11-strikeout performance in a game 4 win to force a fifth and deciding game.

This was the second championship clincher that Freni pitched against the Blue Sox. In game 5 of the 2012 series he pitched a complete game six-hit shutout with five strikeouts. But perhaps his most memorable postseason performance was in game 4 of the 2013 series, when he pitched a complete-game, one-hit, 100+ pitch shutout on three days’ rest to force game 5.

Freni was supported offensively with solo shots by Mike Gedman and MVP frontrunner Johnny Welch.

To relive games 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the 2014 ICL Championship Series, or the rest of the Lexington Blue Sox season, click here to be taken to the on-demand archives. And come back tomorrow night for the premiere edition of Remote Control, a live blog of a whole day’s (or, in this case, evening’s) worth of college football action.

Blue Sox to face Andre Chiefs in ICL Championship Series for Fourth Straight Year

It has become a late-summer tradition: the Andre Chiefs and the Lexington Blue Sox, consistently the two best teams in the Intercity League for the past six years, will meet in the best-of-five ICL Championship Series for the fourth consecutive year and the fifth time in six years. The last three meetings have gone all five games, with the Blue Sox winning twice and the Chiefs winning once. Last year’s series provided plenty of memorable moments, from Dan Graham’s game-winning grand slam with two outs in the top of the 7th to steal a victory from the Chiefs, to Jared Freni’s one-hit 1-0 shutout on three days’ rest to force game five, to the Blue Sox’ offensive explosion in game five and the ensuing celebration with Pete Frates on the field. The Blue Sox will look to wrap up their 11th championship in their 20-year history and re-Pete for Pete Frates, in what has become the summer of the Ice Bucket Challenge in his name.

All five games will take place at Morelli Field at Melrose High School. By virtue of Andre being the higher seed, they will be the home team for games one, three, and five, with the Blue Sox being the home team for games two and four. All five games will be broadcast live on Ustream and made available for download the next day on MediaFire. The schedule is as follows:

Game One: Wednesday, August 20th, 7:55 p.m.
Game Two: Thursday, August 21st, 7:55 p.m.
Game Three: Friday, August 22nd, 7:55 p.m.
Game Four (if necessary): Sunday, August 24th, time TBD
Game Five (if necessary): Tuesday, August 26th, 7:55 p.m.

Saturday is the traditional off-day for the Intercity League, and Monday the 25th is the day of Steve Buckley’s annual Old Time Baseball Game at St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge. If you can’t make it to the game, you can watch it at CTN Media at 7 p.m. This year’s game is a dual fundraiser for the Pete Frates #3 Fund and the ALS Therapy Development Institute of Cambridge.



Blue Sox gear up for playoffs

Local Sports Productions will have complete coverage of the Lexington Blue Sox’s run towards an 11th Intercity League Title starting Thursday or Friday at 8 p.m. on Ustream, depending on potential weather delays of tonight’s games. In the meantime, relive the entire Blue Sox season in the On-Demand Archives here, including their regular season finale win over the Andre Chiefs here.

Blue Sox Playoff Baseball is brought to you by The Fish Nook Pet Center of Acton.

“Remote Control” coming to LSP this fall

Remote Control is a new live blog coming to Local Sports Productions this football season. On as many game days as possible, I’ll sit down in front of the TV and watch as much college and NFL football I can. I’ll pick a game to start and live-blog my thoughts as the game progresses. Then, when the game goes to a commercial, I’ll change the channel and start live-blogging the next game. Repeat ad nauseam until the games are done.

Assignments for the Lowell Sun, Groton Line, and LSP take priority, but once I’m home, I’ll get started. Sounds like fun, right? Tune in Thursday, August 28th at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. (depending on if I get the SEC Network – thanks, Comcast).

Blue Sox enter stretch of nine games in 12 days

The Lexington Blue Sox will test their mettle in the next two weeks with nine games in twelve days. including two against the rival Andre Chiefs (and possibly a third, TBD). They passed the first test easily with a 12-1 victory over Wakefield last night, which you can download here.

LSP will broadcast seven of the remaining eight games. Here’s the schedule:

Sunday, July 27th @ Melrose Americans – 3:55 p.m.

Wednesday, July 30th vs. Andre Chiefs – 7:55 p.m.

Thursday, July 31st @ Mooney Dental Tanners – 7:55 p.m.

Friday, August 1st vs. Andre Chiefs – 7:55 p.m.

Sunday, August 3rd @ Reading Bulldogs – 4:55 p.m.

Monday, August 4th vs. Reading Bulldogs – 7:55 p.m.

Tuesday, August 5th vs. Mooney Dental Tanners – 7:55 p.m.

All of these games can be streamed live on or by downloading the Ustream app for your Android or iPhone and following lsplive. Then download the games the next day on MediaFire.

On a personal note

This Saturday is the Eastern Mass. All Star Classic, a one-day tournament featuring the best players from the Intercity League, Cranberry League, Yawkey League, and Park League. It will be played at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, home of the Brockton Rox of the FCBL.

Unfortunately, I will not be there.

That day, I’ll be in Maine, where my family will be holding a service for our first dog, Spunky, who passed away in March of last year. We adopted him when he was three years old in September of 1997. He was a very good friend to me, especially at times when I felt like I didn’t have any friends. He would sleep at my feet every night. He would stand on his hind legs and do dances for treats. He would try to occupy my mother’s chair in our living room. And to think he almost didn’t make it to his first Christmas with us – he broke into a box of chocolates that were under the tree, forcing us to call the Canine Toxicology Hotline (a 900 number, at that). Thankfully, we saved his furry little butt, and he lived until he was 19.

I’m dedicating all of this week’s broadcasts to Spunky’s memory. Please find it in your heart to find your own Spunky – adopt a dog today. If you’re in the Boston area, I’d suggest the Buddy Dog Humane Society – the same place where we found Spunky.



All LSP broadcasts now on one UStream channel

Effective immediately, I’m overhauling the UStream page by deleting all four individual team channels (MIAA, Blue Sox, LHS, BB&N) and broadcasting all events from one easier-to-remember channel: (capital letters not required).

This is easier on both myself and you, the listener. Now you can bookmark just one channel for all broadcasts, and I don’t have to type out one of four different URLs to announce when I’m going live, especially considering that all the channels were multiple words and had several hyphens in the domain name.

So update your bookmarks, follow the new channel if you’ve got a UStream account, and tune in tomorrow at 5:55 p.m. when the Blue Sox visit the Watertown Reds.



P.S. – Listen to Mike Bourdon’s two-hit shutout against the Reading Bulldogs from Monday here.