Thursday Thoughts: Gorman gets the Gowdy, Railers get the shaft


It’s Thursday once again, so that means it’s time for this week’s edition of Thursday Thoughts. Now I had something else planned for the opening section, but the announcement of Holy Cross taking on Colgate in a college football game at Polar Park perked my interest. And, I’m sorry to say, not in a good way.

Now it’s not the idea of them they’re playing at Polar Park that rubs me the wrong way. It’s the fact that they’ve chosen to hold this event not only on the day of the Worcester Railers’ return to action after over a season of not playing because of COVID restrictions, but they’ve chosen to play a night game and essentially go head to head against the Railers.

A real reporter would call the Railers and ask them about the situation, but no one has ever accused me of being a real reporter. Plus there really isn’t any need to. I’ve known Railers owner Cliff Rucker long enough to know he would take the high road, and he would talk about how this will make for an exciting night in the city. He’d say all the right things, as he’s always done, and in the end, make you feel good about the entire situation. I’ve known Railers Chief Operating Officer Mike Myers even longer, and he’ll absolutely follow suit. Those two guys are both huge cheerleaders for the city, and lots of great things have taken place here because of their partnership.

Which is why that game being scheduled for when it is annoys the heck out of me.

There isn’t any way Holy Cross didn’t know the Railers were opening October 23rd. Even though the Railers didn’t officially announce that date until mid-April, it wouldn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out the 23rd was going to be the opener. In early March the Maine Mariners announce their opener was going to be the night before against Worcester, and as there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell the Railers would be having their home opener on a Sunday, that pretty much leaves the 23rd as the night.

Rumor has it that Holy Cross blames the Railers for blocking them from playing games at the DCU Center, essentially killing any chance of them becoming a member of Hockey East. The fact that Holy Cross historically isn’t that competitive against Hockey East teams and has only made it to the semi-final round of the Atlantic Hockey tournament once since 2005–06, the season they stunned Minnesota in the NCAA playoffs, certainly would seem a much larger hurdle to clear. Scheduling a media event football game at the same time the Railers are hoping to get back to business is absolutely something Holy Cross would do.

Remember when Holy Cross had power in this city? It’s not hard to see it in action, just drive down I-290 and notice the sweeping curves the road takes when it gets to Fitton Field. Holy Cross threatened to sue the state if the land was taken for the highway, seeking additional money far and beyond what the land was worth. It became cheaper to buy adjacent land and curve the highway, so that’s what the state did.

I could write thousands of words on the positive things the Railers and owner Cliff Rucker have done for the city of Worcester, but I’m hard-pressed to think of anything Holy Cross has done. Plus on top of that Holy Cross gets the benefit of all the services without paying taxes.

Now of course it’s possible that Holy Cross and Polar Park had no idea that the Railers would be opening their season on October 23rd. And obviously, they have been setting the gears in motion for this game for some time, but it seems to me that there were lots of opportunities for Holy Cross or Polar Park to reach out to the Railers to let them know what the potential plan was.

Because if I were setting up that football game I’d want to make sure I had the entire media spotlight for myself, and I’d make sure that any potential conflict was handled to make sure I had the spotlight all to my own. But I guess an email or phone call is too much work.

When I was a child I was taught that pride, greed, and envy were three of the seven cardinal sins, directly opposite of Humility, Charity, and Kindness, three of the seven heavenly virtues.

Perhaps someone should teach those to Holy Cross’s athletic department.

Boston Teams This Week
Thursday
RED SOX @ Toronto, 7:30pm
Friday
Washington @ BRUINS, 6:30pm
RED SOX @ Philadelphia, 7pm
Saturday
RED SOX @ Philadelphia, 7:15pm
REVOLUTION @ NY Red Bulls, 8pm
Sunday
RED SOX @ Philadelphia, 1pm
BRUINS @ Washington, TBD (if nessesary)
Monday
None
Tuesday
Atlanta @ RED SOX, 7pm
Washington @ BRUINS, TBD (if nessesary)
Wednesday
Atlanta @ RED SOX, 7pm

Worcester Hockey Alumni Highlights
Saturday Nick Saracino goal

Saturday Spencer Asuchak goal

Sunday Frank DiChiara goal

Tuesday Nick Saracino goal

Tuesday Yanni Gourde goal

Wednesday Willie Raskob goal

I’d listen to Mike Gorman read the phone book
As a huge sports fan, I love the Olympics. For many of the sports that take place in the Olympic games, it’s really the only time some of them get shown on TV in the US. Sure we can watch a lot of those sports on streaming feeds from around the world anytime we want, but for some of the sports, there’s no play-by-play in English so we miss out on a lot of information about the games.

Some of my favorite nitch sports in the summer games are handball, water polo, and volleyball. Now NBC’s Olympic Channel shows a lot of those sports, but one that you never see on there is handball, and because some might have no idea what sport I’m talking about I’ll link to Wikipedia so you can check it out. There’s another Wiki page that talks about handball in the US, which mentions a potential pro league forming.

To say the US National Team isn’t very good would be an understatement. Their accomplishment list, such as it is, is also on Wikipedia. To save yourself the click, I’ll tell you the US’s best finish ever positionally was 6th, in the 1936 games in Berlin. That’s because there were only six teams competing. They only scored three goals in the round-robin, and then matched that output in their classification loss. They allowed 40 goals in the tournament.

I was vaguely aware of handball before the 2012 Olympics in London, and I can recall watching a bit of it whenever I stumbled into it. But in 2012 I got hooked on the game, for perhaps the silliest of reasons: Boston Celtics play-by-play man Mike Gorman was calling the handball games on NBC. While I don’t watch much basketball I love the way Gorman calls games, so I made note of every time handball would be on just to listen to Gorman. And I got hooked on the game.

Nowhere in Gorman’s biography will it mention he got some guy from Worcester to be hooked on a sport that most people reading this have never seen before. But that’s pretty much the only thing that isn’t there. From calling basketball games for many networks, he also called Olympic tennis (with Bud Collins, no less), and if you can stumble into it listen to his calling the match where Jennifer Capriati stunned Steffi Graf 3-6,6-3,6-4 for the gold medal. There’s no “Do you believe in miracles?” moment, it’s just about pure play-by-play perfection.

The Basketball Hall of Fame announced Sunday that Mike Gorman has received the Curt Gowdy Electronic Media Award. I question why it took so long. His seasons as the voice of the Celtics, currently at 40 and counting, should have been enough years ago for him in, and while the list of previous honorees is impressive, Gorman is certainly qualified to be listed next to them.

Heck, just having to sit next to Tom Heinsohn all those years should have gotten him on the list.

Stuff you may have missed from 210Sports this week
Nothing But Shenanigans Podcast: The Shenanigans of season two! (And Charter still sucks) (Podcast)
WooSox Rewind: Worcester Red Sox enjoy some home cooking during 5-1 week (210)

Not so big finish
Got something you loved (or hated) about the post? Or for an idea for a future column? Head on over to the 210Sports Facebook page and leave a comment. You could comment on this post too, but fair warning, the spam filter catches lots of stuff it shouldn’t and it might be weeks before I see your comment. While you’re there, give the page a like if you could.

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