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Author: mouthofthemidwest.com

June 14th 2024

Len & Kenn. My Dad and his brother Kenn. As I watch the U.S. Open this morning in Dallas, I’m thinking of them. It’s Father’s Day weekend and that means our national golf championship and great memories.

Dad loved golf and the camaraderie with it. He mastered the ability to still be talking while striking the ball. Every shot he gave a “very optimistic” play-by-play description!

Uncle Kenn “The Candy Man” Tirrell was a blast to play a round of golf with. Much of our matches were contested at the Crumpin-Fox Club in our native Massachusetts. Candy was a straight-shooting grinder. Off the tee he was right down the middle; didn’t hit it far, but kept it on the short hair.(the fairway)…

With both of these Cats, there was action. $ was on the line and it was small stakes; the $ was secondary—this was about bragging rights. Lenny was into gamesmanship too. Again, talking constantly. After putting out you’d get a complete recap of the hole just completed. Often I wondered if we were playing the same round?! So funny and I miss him and these times so much.

Father’s Day arrives again on Sunday. Both Dad and Uncle Kenn passed away in the last few years. I don’t think about them enough. Today and Sunday I’m going to have a threesome of golf with myself and them. Pops will be swinging and talking; Uncle Kenn will be hitting him short and straight.

I, on the other hand, will bask in the glow of memories of a simpler time; a time of a father/son sojourn around a golf course and showing love the way men do. And an uncle who was as sweet as “Candy”…

Isaiah 43:2

Len Tirrell

Picture of Kenn “ Candy Man “ Tirrell

June 13th 2024

On the cusp. The Boston Celtics most assuredly are going to be NBA Champions for the 18th time.

Two blanks to be filled in:
What game gets it done? ______?

Who is the MVP?————————

What you may have missed :
Luka Doncic cries after every freakin’ play.

Kyrie Irving is just a weird cat.
Wouldn’t want him on my team.
Mavs lose and he smiles.

Mark Cuban dyes his hair. Badly.

Celtics fans were too overheated to start trouble in Big D.
Heat index is over 100 and the Mavs can’t outscore it.

Having Mike Gminski alongside analyzing is gold. G-Man best sidekick ever. Loves Roundball.

The acoustic guitar for the National Anthem was sad… almost offensive to the Game 3 crowd at American Airlines Center.

June 12th 2024

Dallas, Texas-

Cleaning out my sports “junk
drawer”…

Red Sox fan for life, yet I’m pledging my allegiance to the Philadelphia Phillies. This P group reminds of 79-80 visiting
a friend – Doug Stotz- at UPenn and grabbing the SEPTA to Veteran’s Stadium to watch the
Phils. We’ll try and be in Philly for a few shows this summer.

Up 2-0, 86 percent of NBA teams win the series and the Championship. Number 18 for the greatest franchise in the history of sports is on its way.
The C’s!

Orioles – Phillies would be a a great World Series… just sayin’.

Sean Grande is the best radio
play by play guy in the NBA…
Sharp, prepared and knows the “moment” when it’s happening!
You can’t reach that – it’s talent.
Closing in on 25 years at the Celtics microphone. Ironic, both legendary Celtics announcers were born in New York City. Grande and Johnny Most. That should be a DQer- but we’ve been blessed to listen to them over 60 plus years.

Show tonight : Mike Gminski on Celtics/Mavs…
Evan Roberts WFAN….

Dallas gets a W tonight – Kyrie goes off!

We’re inside 74 days to 🏈!

Love the mags. Athlon, Lindy’s and Phil Steele is 2 1/2 weeks out!

June 11th 2024

Dan Hurley made a smart decision to stay put at UConn. His new contract with the Huskies will take him to among the highest-paid coaches in the country; he’s a great recruiter and with NIL he will continue to add to a dynasty in Storrs, Connecticut.

Further, the LA Lakers job is kryptonite. The last 8 coaches lasted on average 2 years. You cash the checks and are quickly “LeBron Gone.”

Aaron Judge just hit another HR…
He’s on pace for 75 plus…

Both the NBA and NHL Finals are duds… so far.
Sweeps for both the Celtics & Florida Panthers might just happen.

Scottie Scheffler looks unbeatable right now.
The US Open at Pinehurst this week finds him enjoying favoritism we haven’t seen since Tiger in his prime.
Sleeper pick: Tommy Fleetwood.

Anybody seen or heard from Dustin Johnson since he defected to the LIV Tour?
I’ve been checking milk cartons to no avail.

Ty Law sighting. At a parade hawking his vodka. The former Patriot is as kind and welcoming as they come.

Emily Kaplan is a rising star on ABC/ESPN hockey telecasts. She is excellent working the benches during the NHL playoffs… I could probably word that better, eh?

I’m still struggling with Coach Cal at Arkansas.
There again, he did coach at Memphis.

Tonight on show:
Euro 24 Preview.
6p East/5p Central
SportsByLine.com
IHeart Radio

Ty Law… all-time Patriots great

June 10th 2024

NBC was licking their chops! The billions the Peacock has laid out to continue its cache as the
TV $ streaming rights holder was about to yield a mega return on investment.

Two words were going to be the proverbial cherry on top of the sundae.

Caitlin Clark.

That is until Saturday when the 2024 US Women’s Basketball team was announced and did not include CC.

It felt like a cruel joke at first. But it obviously was not.

Look, I’ll spare you all the drama and groundswell. It’s a waste of time and energy.

Caitlin Clark is the essence of what an Olympic participant should be.

The powers that be at USA Women’s Basketball look small and petty; they are clicky and caddy.

Clark will ultimately be added to the team as she is the “first alternate” and watch how they (Jennifer Rizzotti) spin this disaster.

Tonight : Florida Panthers.

June 7th – 9th

Was that a puck I heard drop? Finally, tomorrow night we get Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers.

The Skinny:
Panthers avenge last year’s Finals loss with a 4-2 series conquest.

Conn Smythe 🏆:
Sam Reinhart
Florida

Six Celtic players in double-figures, a rollicking home crowd at the Gah-Den and a clear message to the Dallas Mavericks. ‘You may beat us, but aren’t beating ourselves.’

The Mavs looked intimidated and a 9-0 immediate 2nd quarter spurt by the Celtics (Three 3’s!) and the D
Boys never really recovered as the lead swelled to 20.

Kyrie Irving was just plain no-factor. 12 points , 0/5 from distance …

Luka scored 30 and looked bad doing it. Hey, it didn’t whine because he was too embarrassed.

Delonte West played for both the Celtics and the Mavericks …other teams too. West bought homes for both his parents, gave generously to other family members.

Like so many former professional athletes once the cheering stopped, Delonte’s life quickly spun out of control. Homeless and broke, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spotted West panhandling in Dallas and picked him up at a gas station and got him shelter and some help.

West is in court today in Virginia after being revived with Narcan from an apparent drug overdose. Police discovered an outstanding warrant.

While two of his former teams battled on the floor of the Boston Garden last night, Delonte West is fighting another round with the insidiousness of addiction.

June 6th 2024

Groundhog Day. The White Sox on back-to-back nights almost identically followed a script right out of the movie starring lifelong Cubs fan Bill Murray.

The consecutive 7-6 losses sprinkling in blown 5-1 leads just amazing. While the Southsiders are facing a 110-plus loss season, the Cubs pulled back to the .500 mark with a 100 games to go and a sense of upward momentum. We’ll see what the Counsellor has to say about this.

Sports Closet items:
College Football Playoff begins on December 20th. The title game a month later in Atlanta…

NBA left $ on the table raking in 76 billion from its 11 year deals with NBC, ESPN & Amazon.

TNT has 24/25 season as a victory lap of sorts.
Forget the idea of “Inside the NBA” with Sir Charles, Shaq, Ernie and Kenny the Jet going along for the ride. Ernie is sounding the ‘it’s closing time’ alarm.

Yankee pitcher Luis Gil (pronounced HEEL) looks like Pedro Martinez redux. 8-1 mark so far with a powder keg of run support from “Murders’ Row’ revisited.

It just feels like the Celtics will finally ramp up after three series where they thwarted 3 injury-riddled opponents in Miami, Cleveland and Indiana.

Refreshing to hear Jayson Tatum admitting he “feels the pressure” of an unrelenting Celtics fan base that can turn on a dime. If Tatum hits his first few beyond the arc, he likely settles in and gets things rolling.

However, the Finals (see 2022’) and the enormity therein, overwhelm him and he looks spooked.

The Pick:
Celtics in 6.
They go up 2-0 in Boston; split a pair in Dallas and register Title # 18 in the Garden in Game 6.
If so, grab a Cohiba and light one up for Red and the Little Leprechaun 🍀…. Finally, wear it well Boston. Don’t soil anything with mistreatment of Kyrie & Company. Take a page from the digits above you in rafters.

June 5th 2024

Only the Chicago White Sox. 11 losses in a row – make it 12 after blowing a 5-0 middle innings lead to the cross-town rival Cubs.

They are really bad.

Guy at Des Moines airport … Blue Jays hat, Maple Leafs zip up…. Not rooting for Edmonton.

College Football Mags are out … Iowa State 7th in Big 12. Athlon.

Iowa is picked 6th in the 18 school expanded Big 10. Oregon is #2 and USC just ahead of the Hawkeyes at #5.
Washington at 10 and UCLA round out the newcomers from the deceased PAC-12.

Notre Dame is the Big Apple of College Football’s eye. The Irish play two games in the Metropolitan area of New York.
October 26th the Irish face Navy at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
A month later it’s Army providing the opposition
in the Shamrock Series game at Yankee Stadium. That game is on November 23rd.

Notre Dame’s
schedule is lacking real girth in ‘24. The aforementioned Army/ Navy tilts will be lopsided but really fun to experience.

At Texas A&M opens the season on August 31st.
They host Florida State November 9th.

Otherwise …. Zzzzz.

Ah, my UMass Minutemen are the November schedule-filler fodder for the Georgia Bulldogs on 11/23😕. Pay day to get trashed by 60.

June 4th 2024

Any idea that the Florida Panthers vs. Edmonton
Oilers will be a “bust”
Stanley Cup Final is shortsighted from where I sit.

The Panthers are loaded with talent, grit and superb goaltending. They handle adversity calmly; don’t panic when they’ve gotten down in a series or games.

Last year’s loss in the finals to Las Vegas will only fortify and motivate them further. Coach Paul
Maurice has paid his dues with 26 seasons under his belt. He’s due.

Edmonton is riding a wave of success and goes into the series with Connor McDavid hitting his postseason stride perfectly timed.

One huge concern is goaltender Stuart Skinner can be super streaky; right now, he’s on the Wave with the rest of the Oilers. Can they stay afloat and win four more games and skate away with Lord Stanley’s Cup?

June 3rd 2024

Caitlin Clark with a … “3”
Right? A logo 3 just a simple part of her nightly repertoire as a professional basketball player.

Not the case in New York Sunday as CC was held to a career-low 3 points and the Indians Fever were humiliated by the New York Liberty.

These are trying times for Caitlin to state the obvious. The silver lining in all of this is it’s balancing her out. The meteoric rise to fame and fortune is now tempered with strife …. and turmoil. What’s a good day if you don’t have a bad day to compare it to.

Days are turning into weeks and very likely an entire season for the WNBA rookie.

Very soon (today?) Clark will get her slot on the USA Women’s Olympic team. Paris the thought she gets left off!