Tom Brady announced his retirement in the offseason, then changed his mind and decided to return. It is looking more and more like he should have stuck with his original decision. Alex Menendez/Associated Press

At the Valley News, a newspaper on the Vermont-New Hampshire border and my previous stop before I joined Central Maine Newspapers, my sports editor loved to write an occasional column called “Four-Word Sports News,” in which he would take sports items of the day and condense it to a four-word headline. (Example: for Brock Holt’s cycle in the Red Sox’ 16-1 2018 American League Division Series win over the Yankees, the “headline” was “Welcome to Spankee Stadium.”)

I’ve decided to take a stab at this concept myself, although my headlines won’t be as pithy as the sample above. But in this day and age of long, rambling internet headlines, often consisting of multiple sentences, it’s a challenge to boil the news down to its (very) bare essentials.

Without further ado, my lukewarm takes on some recent sports news:

News Item: Wizened Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, 45, is losing not just to fellow star QBs like Joe Burrow, but nondescript entities like Brock Purdy.

Headline: Pass the torch already.

News Item: The Red Sox’ dreadful offseason is lowlighted by the loss of franchise icon Xander Bogaerts, the addition of a couple of late 30-somethings and a Japanese outfielder derided as overrated by MLB scouts, and zero additions to an ailing starting rotation.


Headline: Just admit you’re tanking.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, left, said there will be no major changes to the offense, despite its struggles with Matt Patricia, right, calling plays. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

News Item: Matt Patricia, the Patriots’ de facto offensive coordinator, is  under fire from fans and media for the team’s cap-gun offense and poor season by QB Mac Jones. 

Headline: Pray Vegas fires McDaniels.

News Item: The Bruins and Celtics are off to hot starts while Boston fans continue to pout at the misfortunes of the Red Sox and Patriots.

Headline: You’re missing something special.

News Item: The University of Maine hires Jude Killy as athletic director, the Black Bears’ ninth since 2003, including interim ADs.


Headline: Please stick around … please?

News Item: The Portland Sea Dogs are sold to a conglomerate after nearly three decades of local ownership.

Headline: Don’t move to Worcester.

News Item: Pat McAfee continues to dominate the sports media landscape just a few years after punting for the Indianapolis Colts.

Headline: Too much, too soon.

Lionel Messi celebrates after Argentina beat France in a shootout to win the World Cup in Lusail, Qatar. The game ended in a 3-3 tie and Argentina won the shootout, 4-2. Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

News Item: Football fans complain when Fox’s World Cup coverage bleeds into the NFL games; futbol fans complain when the World Cup trophy ceremony is booted to FS1.


Headline: Sometimes, you please nobody.

News Item: Fans and media whine (again) about the proliferation of bowl games on TV.

Headline: Then watch the Kardashians.

News Item: Embattled Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sharver, suspended for a year because of workplace misconduct, agrees to sell the teams for $4 billion.

Headline: Being mean pays off.

News Item: Embattled Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder, under fire for workplace misconduct, may sell the team for up $6.5 billion, according to reports.


Headline: Being mean pays off.

News Item: Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson Jr. decide to play in the Sugar Bowl and not opt out despite their NFL intentions.

Headline: Loyalty? In college football?!?

News Item: Maine Mariners goalie Francois Brassard scores a goal in a 5-2 win over Adirondack.

Headline: Look ma, no defense!

News Item: Climate change is impacting the selection process for the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympics.


Headline: South Pole’s still available.

News Item: A man bit off another fan’s fingertip during a Bruins-Arizona Coyotes game in Tempe, Arizona.

Headline: Are concessions that expensive?

Tyson Thompson, left, of Maine Central Institute and Rohan Yadav of Cape Elizabeth High School play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate during the high school esports state championships at Central Maine Community College in Auburn. Tyson won the match, 3-2. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

News Item: The Maine Principals’ Association holds its first in-person high school esports championship.

Headline: When’s synchronized swimming happening?

News Item: Colts owner Jim Irsay, whose blustery father moved the team to Indianapolis from Baltimore in 1984, changes QBs, changes coaches, changes QBs again, comments on other NFL owners …


Headline: Like dad, like kid.

News Item: Celtics legend Paul Pierce taunts Lakers megastar LeBron James after Boston’s overtime win over Los Angeles.

Headline: The classics never die.

News Item: Bruins icon Patrice Bergeron is honored for 1,000 career points.

Headline: We are not worthy.

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