Dartmouth Players Union Basketball

A poster of a basketball player is attached to a lamppost on the campus of Dartmouth College on March 5 in Hanover, N.H.

News Item: Dartmouth College men’s basketball players vote to unionize, accuse their school of being “stuck in the past.”

(Speaking as someone who used to attend the occasional Dartmouth basketball game …)

Let’s get this straight: Members of a 6-21 team at a program that hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1959 and hasn’t had a winning record since 1999 think they’re oppressed laborers? The Big Green fans — both of them — ought to unionize first, since it should be considered hard labor to watch these guys pretend to play Division I hoops.

The issue of college athletes and shamateurism should not be taken lightly, but it would carry more credibility if a blue blood, a nationally ranked team or just anyone from a power conference had made a stand instead of a glorified New England Small College Athletic Conference program.

News Item: Class D basketball championship doubleheader attracts good crowd of about 2,500 to Augusta Civic Center; Class C twin bill a near-sellout.

No snarky remarks from this corner. I’m genuinely impressed how towns big and small pour into the building at title time. If only fans wouldn’t shout “TRAVEL!” every time an opposing player drives up the lane. And speaking of fans …


News (?) Item: Mount View fan claims on social media referees missed 83 calls against their team in Class C boys championship loss to Monmouth.

Here’s some advice for fans who think all the officials on Earth are conspiring against their favorite team: If you think you can do a better job than the zebras, then sign up and become one yourself. There’s a nationwide shortage of officials, and high schools near and far could use your help. Otherwise, save the conspiracy theories for JFK, the moon landing and Carl Crawford suddenly forgetting how to play baseball once he left the hated Rays for the Red Sox.

News Item: UMaine men’s hockey loses five of seven entering this weekend, sky may be falling after hot start.

I was tempted to blame the slump on coach Ben Barr benching senior goalie Victor Ostman in favor of freshman Albin Boija. Ostman has the better winning percentage (13-5-1 to (7-5-1), but Boija has the lower goals-against average (2.08 to 2.79) despite Maine’s recent woes. And that leads us to the real answer: Maine averaged 3.6 goals per game before the slump, 2.3 per game during.

Deep breaths, everyone. No matter how the season ends, we should all be glad Maine hockey is relevant for the first time since Bob Barker was still hosting The Price Is Right.

News Item: Andrew Bailey has given Red Sox pitchers renewed confidence in spring training despite injury to ballyhooed offseason acquisition Lucas Giolito.


I know Bailey has received tons of positive press down in Fort Myers, but can we at least wait until May before we proclaim him the next Leo Mazzone?

Related News Item: Red Sox admitted they briefly talked to free agent pitcher Jordan Montgomery in the offseason.

That’s like bragging about having a 2-minute chat with your attractive neighbor. Whoopee.

News Item: The new Nike-designed, Fanatics-manufactured MLB uniforms cause consternation among players for, among other things, see-through pants. Commissioner Rob Manfred tells players they’ll get used to it.

Most of these uniform template redesigns are 99% percent marketing hype and 1% about actually making more comfortable gear for the players. Just check out the newer football uniforms: The jerseys are so tight they make even the most jacked-up superstar look like he’s carrying a beer gut. But apparel manufacturers and the sports leagues know fans are willing to drop cash at the next uniform “drop,” so they change the template every few years and add some baloney about making the players feel more comfy.

As for Manfred … Remember those old humor books consisting of nothing but quotes from certain U.S. presidents putting their foot into their mouths? Manfred’s gaffes would be good for a multi-volume set.


Oops. Kelce and his brother Jason were in attendance on their bobblehead night as their hometown Cavaliers ended the Celtics’ 11-game winning streak. You think a Boston team would ever have a bobblehead night for locals who made it big elsewhere? And speaking of the C’s …

News Item: Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla under fire (again) after Boston’s win streak ends.

I’ll admit my NBA knowledge is rather weak, but c’mon. Here’s a guy who in less than two seasons has racked up a .729 winning percentage and has reached a conference final, yet the pundits are treating him as if he’s still a rookie coaching an eighth-grade JV team. If you don’t want him, I’m sure about 50 other NBA and college teams would take him at the drop of a basketball.

News Item: Maine Mariners deal forward William Provost to the Wheeling Nailers, Provost’s fourth ECHL team this season.

Mr. Provost’s journey has taken him from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Allen, Texas to Portland to Wheeling, West Virginia — a total of 3,598 miles, if Google Maps is to be believed. It must be fun dragging those sticks, pads and skates through the airport on his way to his next team.

News Item: Kirk Cousins is considered the top quarterback available on the eve of NFL free agency.

Any team that thinks 35-year-old, injury-riddled Kirk Cousins, he of the 76-67-2 lifetime record and four postseason starts, is the answer to its QB problems has more than just QB problems.

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