As we wave goodbye to summer and say hello to fall, how about a list of ten sports stories that I will remember when I think of the summer of ’14…
— Mike Van Sickle and the 48th Greater Bangor Open Golf Tournament. He shoots an incredible Bangor Muni course record 60 on day one. He is whacking the ball out of the woods on the 4th playoff hole on the final day. He loses to David Chung and loses $4,000 in prize money.
— Bangor baseball. From high school state champs, to Legion Zone Champs, to Legion state champs, to 4-0 pool play vs the world at the SLWS. That will be a tough summer to duplicate.
— The World Cup Soccer Event in Brazil. How many of you took an extra long lunch hour for those 11am game starts. Or, how many of you got caught up in the endless debate of what the World Cup means to the sport’s popularity.
— Pete Frates, the former BC baseball player and the summer of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The sports community (and all communities) stepped up big time. $100 million dollars big time!
— The Boston Red Sox. What the hell happened in the summer of ’14? Can someone explain from last to first to last again? To GM Ben Cherrington – stop the roller coaster. I can’t take it anymore.
— LeBron James. I never thought one player could hijack the entire NBA but Lebron did. Would he leave Miami? Would he go home to Cleveland? Or some other city? Every other free agent player had to wait for LeBron. Every team had to wait for LeBron. Every trade had to wait for LeBron. Heck, ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst is now a household name because of LeBron.
— Mo’ne Davis. The Philadelphia Little Leaguer helped the LLWS become the most watched LL World Series ever – the Philly vs Las Vegas game drew almost 5-million viewers. The Chicago vs South Korea title game drew 5.3-million viewers. Anybody remember South Korea won the world title?
— Rory McIlroy. Did this guy save golf this summer? There is something about Rory. I don’t know exactly what it is. The Tiger story is old. The tour is filled with great players with little pizazz. And then there is Rory.
— Former UMaine players trying to make the NFL. While many of us were on vacation on hot summer days, Matt Mulligan and other former Black Bears were trying to earn a job in pro football. Mulligan won his spot on the Chicago Bears. His next game will be his 66th NFL game. How many Mainers, who didn’t play football in high school, have played in 66 NFL games?
— The Portland Sea Dogs. The season began with an opening day six inning no-hitter by Henry Owens. Mookie Betts went 4-for-4 with a home run. Blake Swihart went 2-for-3 on his 22nd birthday. All those guys, plus many others have gone to Pawtucket and beyond. Yet, the Sea Dogs kept winning…and winning. A franchise record number of wins and now playoff bound.
I can’t wait to see what the fall sports season brings! Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket gets it started Thursday night with a high school football Kickoff Special at 7 p.m. and Friday night game of the week live coverage, Bangor at Edward Little.