Print this story

Rick Wilson takes a `Closer Look'

POSTED December 30, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

Closer Look

                                         Frank, Geno, Dan and more



           A hearty and healthy Happy New Year to all of you. May you continue to make good memories in 2014.


            Congratulations to Holy Cross girls coach Frank Lombardo on posting his 400th win recently. The accomplishment received very little fanfare but Lombardo has been very good for a very long time.  Lombardo is now up to 403 wins.


            Okay, I’ll admit it. I haven’t watched more than one minute of a bowl game yet. Maybe New Year’s Day but the 2,120 games really don’t spark much of an interest here. Can you say watching paint dry?


UConn here, UConn there, UConn everywhere. There has been much discussion of where the Huskies are playing their games and where they should play their games.  The XL Center, Gampel Pavilion, Saturday at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Mohegan Sun is in the mix.

All great for the fans around the state. But if you ask the players, particularly the men, there is no place like home at Gampel. As a writer I’m partial to the more central sites like the XL Center for travel purposes. Mohegan is a haul from this area and Gampel can be a long, long ride.

But it isn’t about us. The best plan at this point would be to expand Gampel’s capacity from its current 10,000. It would be nice to refurbish the XL Center but that doesn’t seem in the offing and Webster while nice is like a road game.  However, time to cut down on the Huskies’ nomadic existence.


Who would have thought one of my son’s favorite Christmas present would be a Manchester United shirt? The availability of the Barclay’s League games on television has soccer, excuse me futbol, exploding all over our household. Saturday morning Sports Center is at the very least sharing time with the Barclay’s League.

I was at Barnes and Noble Friday, the happy owner of several gift cards from Christmas.  Jonathan asked to me to pick up a book for him – Alex Ferguson. I can’t get him to read any of my old Chip Hilton (I’m still trying) and know he is reading about English soccer legends.  On Jonathan’s bucket list is to go to a game some time. Maybe someday.


Mr. Gaffney’s serious knee / leg injury raises the all-important question, will he be able to run in the Litchfield Hills Road Race in June. LHRR officials will be anxiously monitoring his rehabilitation in the upcoming weeks and months. It could be a nail-biter.


I’m a little worried about the Dallas Cowboy fans right now. How many last games can they lose in a row to not make the playoffs. At least the Giants didn’t tease us all year. They stunk from the beginning. By the way, sign Justin Tuck for another two years, he’s got at least that much left.


Former Seymour and UConn star Maria Conlon was in the house Sunday at Gampel Pavilion as UConn honored the 2002-03 and 2003-04 national championship teams. Conlon’s seat was at one end of the court behind the basket. Her position was noted by longtime UConn beat writer Carl Adamec of the Manchester Journal Inquirer.

“In the student section Maria’s behind the basket and can’t see anything,” Adamec chided coach Geno Auriemma. One turnover in three national championships games and can’t watch the game. She said she was happy because she couldn’t hear you.”

Auriemma, never at a loss for words responded,  ”She averaged six points a game, six points a game. The good seats were reserved for the good players.”

All of which had the room in an uproar. 


            The New York Dailey News speculates that John Sterling and Suzanne Waldman will be back in the Yankees’ radio both next season. I’ll let you Yankee fans deal with that one. Frankly I think they should hire Dan Lovallo.



For more from Rick Wilson click here