A UMass Football Fan’s State of the Union

By Luke Eggers Twitter/Instagram: @Leggers15 

“Because he’s the voice Amherst deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector-

A minuteman”


Before I begin writing my first article for Mr. LaBelle I would like to clear the air regarding my relationship with UMass Athletics.  I am a lifelong UMass fan hands down no questions asked. Not exactly surprising as both of my parents graduated from here. Although I would say that I am a militia member, I have to use my emotions to react to the good, bad, and ugly of UMass athletics.  I will state the facts and let you decide what’s wrong (or right) with UMass athletics. With that being said, I would like to introduce my first UMass sports commentary:

UMASS WON A FOOTBALL GAME YESTERDAY

The University of Massachusetts Amherst won a football game against the only other FBS football team that might be worse.  In modern sports culture, this is of course known as the “toilet bowl”.

Let’s take a look at UMass football in recent years and see how we got here. 

UMASS football
Yes, this a real picture of an NCAA FBS collegiate football game.  Good to see all 500 people supporting the minutemen. (UMass vs Akron 9/24/19)                                                                                                            –

My goal for this piece is to demonstrate the absolutely preposterous development of UMass football in recent years.  From competing toe to toe with top SEC opponents to losing to FCS schools- UMass football follows no logic or correct order of thinking.  Let’s get something straight, SEC football is BIG time football. These games featured NFL caliber football players who UMass had no business even touching the same grass that these guys were on. 

They were not worthy.

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That being said, UMass seemed to get up for some very specific, very random big-time games. Shall we take a trip down memory lane for diehard UMass football fans?

UMass Amherst VS Tennessee 9/23/17

UMass 13 – 17 Tennessee 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHGbWRk0czU  (highlights) 

TENN.jpgOn this day in history, UMass football waltzed into Neyland Stadium in Knoxville Tennessee and lost a nail biter to the Tennessee Vols in front of 102,455 THOUSAND PEOPLE  (I’d say it’s a bit of a different environment compared to McGuirk stadium). In a game where the UMass defense refused to let up a single point in the first 25 minutes of play, the Minutemen kept it close.  

UMass Amherst VS Mississippi State 11/4/17

UMass 23 – 34 Mississippi State 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y9J4ttzuWU (highlights)

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Yep, UMass football lost by just 11 points to Mississippi State only TWO years ago.  On a day in which coach Whipple lead the Minuteman charge straight down the teeth of an SEC opponent, the boys were rolling.  Let me remind you that this is the same Mississippi State program that will be playing the best Alabama team of all time later in the season.  On the contrary, this is the same UMass program that went on to play, and lose, to the Old Dominion Monarchs. With Miss. State being a 31 point favorite on the books that day, one might ask “how does this make sense?”.  It makes zero sense and I refuse to credit UMass football for this. I am confident that this game was staged because UMass football is not this good (especially in 2017).  

UMass Amherst VS Florida 9/3/16

UMass 7 – 24 Florida

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEglH8VQrFQ (highlights)

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At this point, I am finding it difficult to even imagine UMass playing in these games.  In this one, UMass went head to head with the 14th ranked college football team in the entire country.  Like, you have to be kidding me! This game should’ve ended in an absolute bloodbath. Florida by 80! Nope, UMass said not so fast and lost by a little over two scores.  This was a VERY competitive football game.  

Although I have only written about losses thus far, these were impressive given the circumstances.  However, my next game example will blow all of your minds. It is possibly the most ridiculous game result in UMass football history.  And no, it isn’t a competitive November tilt against an SEC opponent. Rather a stunning blowout loss to an FCS football program.  FCS!!!!!????  

UMass Amherst Football VS Southern Illinois (FCS)

UMass 45 – Southern Illinois 20

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKgm9F9Z_iM (highlights)

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Where do I start folks?  Should I rant as a UMass fan or should I calmly reflect on this disaster from the perspective of a UMass sports reporter?  I think I’ll do a little bit of both. Let me remind you of a few components regarding this game. This was the home opener for UMass football.  Considering the current state of the Minutemen football program, this was possibly the biggest game of the year for them because when students go to the first game for the sake of going to the first game, you better win or else NOBODY will be stumbling in from the tailgate next week.  It’s pretty apparent that the athletic department wanted to schedule a sure-fire win for the boys.

Not exactly how it ended up.

As I reflect upon the game, I would reckon that this was the worst possible outcome for UMass football. I think that the militia and myself would’ve rather seen them get blown out at home by a respectable FBS opponent.  At least then we could go to sleep at night. (Wow, this was certainly all rant and little reporting… but I’m ok with that)

All of these game results are here for a reason.  I want UMass fans to be able to grasp what our football program has become.  What would happen if we put the 2019 UMass football team up against Florida this year?  I genuinely would like to see the result of that. Would UMass lose by 200? 300? Maybe they would be the first-ever football team to lose by 1,000 points.  What a sight that would be.  

With that being said, I didn’t forget about the big win yesterday. 

Let’s get into it:

UMass Amherst (0-4) VS Akron (0-4)

UMass 37 – 24 Akron

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I apologize but this game was such a disaster that I couldn’t even recover a single highlight tape from all of the internet.

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The absolute definition of a “toilet bowl”.  This is a familiar term to many of us millennials. However, in our minds, a “toilet bowl” was simply a figure of speech.  Well, I am proud to announce that I have witnessed the true “toilet bowl”.  Yesterday, I watched UMass squeak by the absolute worst team in all of college football.  Literally, the sole purpose of this game was to pronounce one of these two teams as the worst of the worst.  

130th out of 130 teams baby.  

As I sat at the top of an empty UMass student section, I thought of some interesting things.  I would bet that an SEC fan would be interested to witness a game like this. The game was so preposterous and pathetic that a high-end college football fan would probably want to watch it just to see how it looks, feels, and sounds. 

Let me tell you; it doesn’t look good, feel good, or sound good.

It is the most desperate sporting event that you will ever attend. As a student, they funnel you into the stadium from a widespread UMass endorsed party. Next up, you have to use your ID as a ticket (which is free of course).  That’s right, it costs $0 to attend these games. After this, they give you a plate of the best barbecue that you will ever have. You find yourself sitting in the stands with a gourmet meal in front of you. Aside from the game, there’s really not much else to do besides yelling at the Minutemen to stop fucking around and do something productive.  All that I think about after all this fanfare is just how desperate the scene is. Free game, free food, and free t-shirts.

What’s next, free tuition for anyone who comes out to cheer on the maroon and black?  

From close games with the likes of Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Florida, to blowout loses against FCS teams and close wins over the worst team in the league.  If I could describe the entire football program in one word?

Disappointing.

UMass is a big university with PLENTY of school spirit. If you are a student here, odds are you enjoy it and would be more than willing to cheer on a competitive college football team.  Let me point out one very specific man that doesn’t get enough shit. Whatever athletic director is sitting in their comfy UMass branded chair and is responsible for the last five years is SWEATING right about now. Does anyone have an idea of how this person should be punished?  This one person who has been calling the shots for UMass football has caused so many people so much pain and anguish. I want revenge! Throw ’em in the pond!

I have one last thing to discuss.  My friends and I sat directly behind the UMass men’s hockey team for the entire game.  When I say that these kids were shitting on the football team, I am NOT embellishing whatsoever.  These kids were laughing with us the whole game anytime some dumbass UMass safety let up an 80-yard post down the middle of the field.  Thought I had to share this interesting development.

I hope you all enjoyed my first piece for the site.  Let UMass hockey start so I can stop being so cynical and depressed.  Those boys are going to be a WAGON. Till next time…

-Luke Eggers 

UMass Athletics Aficionado

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The Most 1 Sided Battles in Human History

By Gerry Sullivan Twitter: @gerrysullivan12 and @UltSportsBlogs

The Patriots season has been a major beatdown so far. Sunday was easily their worst showing of the season and they still handled the Jets with ease. Last week’s game against the Dolphins was a beatdown. And the week before against the Steelers? Beatdown. Next week is against the 3-0 Bills and whether or not that game will be a competitive one remains to be seen.

Those 4 teams like to consider themselves rivals of the Patriots, but anyone with a brain knows that those are 1 sided battles. It got me thinking; what are the most 1 sided battles in the history of humanity?

So, without further ado, your official list of the most 1 sided battles in human history:

The NFL vs. The Patriots

I just talked about it and it’s an easy choice. In 19 years? 6 Super Bowls. 9 AFC Titles. Two separate dynasties. The best coach in history. The best quarterback in history. You know the drill.

Notre Dame vs. Teams That Are Actually Elite

The latest chapter of this fabled battle had a familiar ending on Saturday night with “powerhouse” Notre Dame shockingly dropping a nationally televised game against a top ranked team. Notre Dame is now just 1-19 vs top 5 teams in the last 20 seasons. Sheesh. But don’t worry, they’ll be ranked in the top 10 again by the beginning of next year.

Napoleon vs. The Russians

The French revolution- a time of rising French power across Europe led by the little general Napoleon Bonaparte. That is, until Napoleon opted to march into the Russian winter to try and take them on. He was bounced harder than a 16-year-old trying to get into a bar and got the boot off the French throne. Tough look for the little guy.

PS: Just googled it and it turns out Napoleon was 5’7. That’s not even that short. Weren’t people shorter in the 1800’s? Why did this guy get such a bad rap?

Hand Sanitizer vs. Germs

Maybe the most one-sided battle on this list. Despite the fact that hand sanitizer kills 99% of germs, they can never truly get that last 1%. Before you know it, you’re touching everything in sight, spreading your germs across the world. Nobody owns anything more than germs own hand sanitizer. Germs own the world and there is absolutely nothing hand sanitizer can do about it.

2014 Canton Freshman Basketball vs. Franklin

Nothing to see here. Not even sure why this one made the list. Might as well end it at this point since we’re just throwing things that shouldn’t be here on the list of one sided battles.

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Editor’s Note:

In regards to the last section (for all the non-02021 readers) …

Anyone who was on that team should never be allowed to so much as LOOK at a basketball again. #Couldn’tBeMe

Is Daniel Jones Who We Thought Baker Was Going to be?

By Jake Sockett  Twitter: @SockettJake

I’ve never been one to shy away from being wrong.

Did I predict the Bears to win the NFC North because Mitchell Trubisky was going to take the step this year? Yeah. Has he made me look dumb so far? Yes. Did I say Baker was going to win the MVP this year? Yeah, I did. Has he made me look like a jackass so far? Also, yes. Most importantly, I deeply regret my prediction that Freddie Kitchens would win COTY. That one I’m just sorry about.

I think that there’s still a good chance I’m right about my divisional picks, but I’m fairly sure that my MVP and COTY picks are far from what will actually happen. Kitchens and Mayfield have looked bad so far this year. You gotta win, people forget that.

Speaking of winning, you know who did a pretty good job of it? Daniel Stephen Jones, third of his name, King of the Giants and the Blue Devils, Lord of the NFC East, and Protector of the Pigskin (he’s working on that last part).

I am alllllll the way in on Daniel Jones and I don’t care who knows it. I know it’s been one week, I know it’s the Buccaneers, but Daniel Jones has made a fan out of me. He made some great throws into some great coverage and you could really see that the offense was reinvigorated by having him under center. On his first rushing touchdown, Jones allegedly got into the huddle and said, “let’s go fucking score,” which was the first time many of his teammates heard him curse. I love it.

He came out in the second half with a 75-yard touchdown pass to Evan Engram, and followed that drive up with another passing touchdown that included a 46-yard connection with Darius Slayton. That 75-yarder was mostly due to Engram’s legs and some great downfield blocking, but considering how many quarterbacks in the league don’t even see their open receivers, (shout out Mitchell Trubisky), Jones shouldn’t lose credit for hitting the open man. He finished with over 300 yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 2 rushing touchdowns, and a passer rating of 112.7. Get this guy a real defense and he might take you somewhere.

This leads me back to my title. Is Daniel Jones who we all thought Baker would be? Baker is a vastly bigger personality, but he hasn’t backed up any of the talk he’s been making. He keeps making this narrative for the Browns that they’re being doubted and that they’re the underdogs, but he’s not taking any accountability. Of course people are going to doubt you when you’ve thrown five picks in three weeks and have an average passer rating of 70.5. The only win his team has is against the Jets when he eked out 300 yards on 35 passing attempts.

Their teams have the same record, and as we know, you’ve gotta win. Baker is now 1-6 in his career against teams with winning records. Daniel Jones just led the Giants to their biggest comeback win in 49 years- just saying.

If you weren’t big on Daniel Jones; you should be.

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Sam Darnold Having Mono is the Most Jets Thing Ever

By: Jake Sockett

Yesterday morning, the Jets announced that Sam Darnold will be missing at least the next two games against the Browns and the Patriots due to mono. 

Talk about a rough break, right? I mean, for the New England game Darnold sitting out doesn’t really matter because it’s the Pats. Darnold is good but he’s not at a level where he’s going to win them that game. But the game against the Browns? That’s real tough. Sammy D and the Boys (which is now the only way the Jets should be referred to) would’ve had an okay chance against a Cleveland team that just looked plain bad against the Titans. 

But I’m not here to preview the Browns and the Jets, because it doesn’t matter who wins that game (the Browns have to win that game, by the way). I’m here to laugh at the Jets because, simply put, this is a funny situation. It’s not like Darnold’s season or career is over, far from it. He’s just got mono. This is such a Jets thing to happen. Let’s not forget the time Geno Smith had to miss at least six weeks after linebacker IK Enemkpali broke Smith’s jaw after punching him in the face.          

So, congrats Sam. I hope the kissing or the sip of someone else’s drink was worth it for you, because it’s really been worth it for me. Waking up and seeing that headline was quite possibly the best part of my day. I’m not exactly itching to see more Trevor Siemian quarterback play though- that side of this story is the real tragedy. 

The lesson to be learned for all you future NFL QB1s out there is to never, under any circumstances, kiss anyone that you don’t know for sure doesn’t have mono. Maybe if Darnold took after Brady and only kissed his wife and children, he’d be on the field this Sunday lighting up the Browns defense. 

 Well, probably not, but it sure beats having mono. #SaveSammyD

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NNNN Episode 13 with Yaw and James

Lucky episode #13 has a loaded slate featuring:

-A fantastic interview with Yaw and James about rapping and starting up a clothing brand

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A few good men

 

 

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Album Cover

 

-UMass Hockey roundup

-Bruins/Celtics talk

-Damian Lillard

-NFL Draft

-Brock Hoffman story

Baseball’s unwritten rules

-“Stumble on shows”

-“Half hand raisers”

-“Things We Learned”

Enjoy, lets have ourselves a weekend, and of course don’t forget to leave a 5 star review:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/no-names-no-numbers/id1457394246