Week five of Eastern A football pretty much held to the status quo. Deering won again, setting up a good match-up with Oxford Hills this Friday night. The Vikings, who fell at Portland Saturday night 14-7, held the Portland Bulldogs to zero second half points. It will be interesting to see how the Vikings defend Max Chabot and the Rams, while also seeing who the Vikings insert at quarterback, as Brady Lafrance took over under center in the second quarter against the Bulldogs. Playoff positioning could be on the line (ie “who avoids a trip to Bangor, Cheverus, or Windham”) and is a “must-win” for both Deering and Oxford Hills.
Local sports television lost two great ones, one to short-sighted corporate decisions, as WGME let go of longtime sports guy Evans Boston (yes, that’s his real name), while one left due to passing in Bruce Glasier, who passed away at the age of 69 last week.
Boston, who was informed of this decision about three weeks ago according to sources, did a great job with WGME’s school spirit trips, local coverage, and is an accomplished play-by-play voice who actually voiced the first ever Maine Sports Network radio broadcast, the 2010 Western A football final between Deering and Cheverus.
The good news is Boston landed on his feet, taking the job as communications director for the Maine Red Claws. I still fear this is not the end of the corporations looking at local sports as a way to cut costs, even though retransmission fees and contracts between the parent companies of TV stations are at record highs.
“I grew up wanting to be Bruce Glasier,” said Boston. “And I got to do his job for years.”
Speaking of Bruce, I couldn’t let this week’s post go by without at least a cursory mention. The Varsity Club, where he focused on a local athlete for their work on the field and off, was a groundbreaking series that really helped put the focus on the local athlete. In the old days, Bruce was the sports report, and you waited for the graphic at the end for the scores from around the NBA or NHL. There was no Twitter, Sportscenter, or round the clock local sports flashes.
I got to speak with Bruce a few times when the former “Maine Sports Network” aired on AM 870 & 1470 in Portland & Lewiston, as he came into the studio for Lee Goldberg’s daily show as recurring guest. The amount of information he could pull out of his head from the past 40 years was stunning, and the off-air stories were the ones that will last for all of time. He always had time for a story or a quip, like the one he told me about watching Super Bowl XX in New Orleans from a holding area at the Superdome, or his 1986 World Series game 6 post game interview with goat Bob Stanley. Sports Overtime, Maine Guides play-by-play, Bruce’s fingerprints are all over sports history in Maine. I’m sure he and the late Frank Fixaris are catching up as this is written.
The moral of today’s story: support your local sports coverage. Be vocal about it. Let TV stations know how much you appreciate it. Let the papers know you appreciate it. Share their stories on social media, or MBR, or wherever you know you can make an impact. Folks like Bruce are one of a kind, and the there is no next generation of local sportscasters at the ready with corporations ready to slice the sports departments down to one anchor and a camera guy. Maine sports coverage, especially the coverage that your kids get, deserve better than a three-week notice.