MIKE DIMAURO - RECENT COLUMNS

If you think picking an all-decade girls' hoop team is easy, think again

Published: January 25, 2020 | Mike DiMauro

So much for an all-decade team serving as an amusing distraction. This was hard. And also testimony that the ECC may have been the best league in Connecticut in girls’ basketball — at least at the top — for the entire decade.

Can we all pay attention to Chief Malerba's message?

Published: January 23, 2020 | Mike DiMauro

Alas, the opinions from our lawmakers on this issue are irrelevant. So is mine. I am not Native American and have little concept what is truly offensive. I can surmise, sure. But I have not lived it. This counts.

Courtney Gomez is right where she belongs: NFA

And yet here is Courtney Gomez, with an energy level that could make Eversource take notes, happily following The Guy at Norwich Free Academy

UConn-Tennessee: drama, diatribe, Doral, choke signs and utter humanity

The residual effect of women's sports' greatest rivalry has been greater awareness for female athletes everywhere. Not just in Connecticut. Women's sports are bigger and better than ever because of the history behind what's about to transpire again Thursday night at the XL Center

The world needs more of Mike Fiers and less of Jessica Mendoza

Mendoza's dizzying levels of obtuseness illustrated a fundamental lack of understanding of the media's job, especially in a day and age when anonymity stonewalls progress.

Do you trust the outcome of a Major League Baseball game anymore?

What assurances do we have that the cheating that permeated baseball during the recent runs of the Astros and Red Sox is going to stop?

Doing what we think is right with Killingly

The politicos in Killingly — one of whom once had ties to what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a "general hate group" — just spit in the eye of all the kids and all their work. The "Redmen" are back. Happy days are there again, apparently.

Dr. I: UConn the 'basketball capital of the world?' More like a suburb

Idle Thoughts, while waiting for pitchers and catchers, March Madness and Gerrit Cole's impending Cy Young Award.

Auriemma says UConn 'not at Baylor's level'

Their voyage of self-discovery turned a bit gruesome Thursday, to the point where by night's end, the man with more championships than everyone else admitted that his team just isn't at Baylor's level.

Through his life lessons, Mortimer has never stopped caring about people

In many ways, this is who Dave Mortimer has always been. Now he's reinvented himself to all the people who perhaps only knew him by what they read.

Hiring of a new AD gives New London chance for an athletic rebirth

New London's athletic department has become a symbol of what ails much of the school system: systemic failure, stemming from a lack of supervision and evaluation of all parties involved. There is not enough — if any — accountability.

ECC basketball: A decade with star power ... and powerful teams

The idea came from the kids on Twitter, asking my opinion about the decade's best high school basketball team here in our corner of the world. I thought: Why not name an all-decade team within the ECC and throw in some other awards, too?

Montville's 'innocent climb' in boys' basketball is underway

No longer is "Montville basketball" an oxymoron. "Montville basketball" is where the undefeated guys go now, all the way to their first home game tonight at 800 Old Colchester Rd.

Don Imus was controversial, complicated and yes, comical

Those of us in the public eye — local, regional or national — should take long and serious pause from not merely reading, but completely absorbing, the national obituary written about Don Imus.

This is a story of purpose ... and discovering ways to find it

This is the story of us. All of us. Any of us. And it's nothing more complicated than the mere suggestion that we all have more in common than we think.

The Harshbergers' Burgers are a thing at Daddy Jack's

And so this past Thursday, there we were in the Daddy Jack's kitchen – me, Jack, Jackson, Jeremiah and camera man Glen Peltier – doing an official cooking show. Title: "The Harshberger's Burgers."

We can't learn from history if people who lived it are muted

The stories Newtown folks have carried with them since 2012 were no less poignant before the outcome of Saturday's game. And sadly, had the football team not won, we would not have heard them.

Final home game hit all the right notes for Eli Manning

It wasn't merely a victory Sunday at the Meadowlands. As Paul Schwartz of the New York Post aptly wrote, "it wasn't a perfect 10, but it was perfect for '10.'"

A genuine graciousness permeates Killingly's football program

Maybe Killingly's graciousness in losing came from once having known the euphoria of winning. Maybe it's just a nice bunch of kids. Maybe it's the culture of the program. More likely a combination of the three.

Adults have turned our kids into pawns again ... this time in Killingly

And so, the latest episode of "You Can't Make This Up" comes from Killingly, where some newly elected politicos have ensured the high school football team, playing for a state title Saturday, will do so without a nickname or mascot.

New London's Dillon leaves BC as its humble statesman

It was fun to watch A.J. Dillon throw away tacklers, run them over and then sound like a diplomat explaining them to the media after games

Hammerin' Harshbergers have made Waterford football cool again

Jeremiah: senior lineman. Jackson: junior linebacker and fullback. Know that song "Country When Country Wasn't Cool?" Here are two kids from the country who were playing football when football wasn't cool in Waterford.

The moment Waterford became Tuscaloosa

The universe hit the cosmic pause button for a moment Wednesday night at Waterford High, a scene we might have thought reserved for only what we see on TV instead of wondrous reality.

Agripino's path to sobriety through boxing is worth celebrating

Marcia Agripino's road not taken was more akin to Bourbon St.: parties, good times and booze. Her true path on the higher road, although perhaps quieter, has been considerably more rewarding.

Waterford's Bakken a beacon for playing multiple sports

Waterford's Ryan Bakken is a renaissance guy, a throwback three-sport connoisseur who only enjoys every millisecond of being a high school athlete.

Of Muck, Sully, caring and the potential of more history in Lancerville

Waterford cam become the first CIAC school to win football, basketball and baseball titles in the same calendar year

The NFA kids never quit ... and look at them now

There have been teams with better records in NFA lore and legend. Just never one that ever taught its participants — and the rest of us — more enduring lessons.

Note to CIAC: Schools of choice do not belong in Class S

I've written about schools of choice and their inherent competitive advantages for a while now.

Will the adults allow the NL-NFA football game to be played?

Officials still not in agreement

Metal detectors at the game our kids play: The end of our innocence is here

None of us are immune from the tentacles of violence.

Fitch needs to ban certain fans from Thanksgiving Day football game

Fitch coach Mike Ellis needed a police escort off his home field last Friday night.

A happy retirement to an utterly good man

Coast Guard Academy's Bill George knows there's no fighting time.

Empty seats at Gampel looked like (gulp) a UConn football game

Wednesday night at Gampel Pavilion offered little proof that, as the analytics geeks like to say, fan interest in UConn men's basketball is truly trending upward.

A cruel ending to a great season for the Fitch boys' soccer team

Soccer deities not kind to the Falcons

The day they sent some demons away at NFA

The time was right for this moment at NFA.

Dr. I: New London Legion now has an Oscar winner and a World Series champ

Idle Thoughts, while waiting for Thanksgiving, more RPO (run-pass option) and less RCS (Road Construction Season): ● Dr. Idle, Dr. I to his close friends, has a question. (And thanks to old friend Hank Cormier for bringing this to Dr. I’s attention.) Has there ever been...

Unless Westbrook goes public, NCAA can hide in privacy

Unless specifics surface about the NCAA's alleged callousness toward Evina Westbrook, the former Tennessee women's basketball player seeking a waiver to grant her immediate eligibility to play at UConn, the NCAA can hide behind its esoteric canons.

Ostrowski discovers new, bright outlook in sunny Florida

Dev Ostrowski, among the most popular young men to ever hit our corner of the world, the East Lyme whiz kid whose basketball career ended long before it should have, is over the moon in Miami now, healthy and happy and hopeful.

This alliance thing is working, but it can be much better

The whole EEE consternation has mostly denied us the concept of Friday Night Lights.

It's time to reverse roles and be there for Chip Jessuck

They will gather today at Filomena's not merely to honor a man, but his calling. And Chip Jessuck's 51 years with us so far have been the best validation yet of Ziggy Marley's line, "people treat you according to the energy of what you put out there."

I would rather lose than tie ... and the St. Bernard girls agree

A wise guy sportswriter once said that soccer is the only game where the coach can get his (or her) 100th tie before the 100th win.

Turnier, now coaching cross country, knows what it means to be a Whaler

Norwich — This is the story of why New London still has a pulse, despite recent (and not so recent) headlines about the 06320 that ought to carry their own background music. Like “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.” This is the story of a good guy named A.J. Turnier, a...

Our corner of the world goes national ... with Menhart and Nationals

And so. the World Series begins Tuesday, once again with representation from The Little Region That Could.

UConn leadership has betrayed Edsall yet again

Randy Edsall is not to blame for the disaster that has become UConn football. He was handed a grenade, whose pin was finally pulled in the summer when his leadership — again — set the program up to fail.

If only New London shared the same passion for politics as sports

There are segments of New London that just aren't in the game. It needs to change. Bonnie Raitt sings, "I can't make you love me if you don't." I can't make people care about this if they don't. But they need to start.

For Sun, suffering will make winning all the sweeter

It is either ironic — or entirely fitting — that the Connecticut Sun can look to the man from the old days, the man who built this, as a beacon for the days ahead.

OK ... the written word needs to generate more respect these days

The death of the written word is happening a lot like tooth decay: a little worse every day, so as not to be seen, except for the day reality finally reveals itself. The death of the written word. I’ve seen it in the past few days. I’ve read about it, too. I begin...

Before we think about Game 5, let's enjoy the spectacular Game 4

From most of the 8,458 fans, anyway, the ones not wearing the red of the Mystics, but the Orange of the Sun. It was near the end of the game, the greatest game inside the history of the arena, with the Sun leading by one.

Sun still have a chance in a season where the buzz has returned

It wasn't so long ago, when Mike Thibault, the man who will occupy the other bench Tuesday night, built this into an entity that regularly filled most of the seats inside Mohegan Sun Arena.

Star power was missing when the Sun needed it the most

This was the stage where greatness manifests. Where stars embrace the struggle and blossom.

Ledyard loses its Colonel, RIP Bill Mignault

Mignault's program was a monument to the unspoken incorruptibility of simplicity. He ran seven plays to perfection: 36 pitch, 26 boot, 58 sweep, 29 counter, tailback jet, 23 crossbuck and 19 fade.

How lucky we are to have Mr. and Mrs. Volleyball (the Bynons) in our midst

New London — Unless you are married to a coach, you have no idea what it’s like to be married to a coach. Streams of consciousness, for example, happen at the darndest times. “Honey, can you please pass the potatoes?” “Sure. But can I tell you how...

Some New London school administrators need to start doing their jobs

The kids in New London need guidance. They are vulnerable. And so is returning an email too much to ask? Is doing your job too much to ask?

'Friday night lights' has nothing on 'Tuesday afternoon decorum'

This just in: "Friday night lights" has nothing on "Tuesday afternoon decorum," which has only become the most fun part of the week at Waterford High.

Alyssa Thomas: The hardest working woman in show biz

Alyssa Thomas finally came off the floor after 74 straight minutes.

Buscetto, the ECC and Safe Futures show the power of together

This is a wonderful example of how “different” can still produce the concept of “together.”

Nobody thinks the Sun can win, you know

The underdog Sun represented themselves just fine in Game One, listening to their fans' request to "Beat L.A." and pulling out an 84-75 win, suggesting the underdogs have some gas in the tank after all.

NL football coaches teaching 'coping skills 101'

Engagement after enragement is one of the most difficult tasks assigned to an educator.

Back on the field 16 hours later is the real safety issue

So we'll protect our kids from a bunch of obscure mosquitoes, but tell them it's permissible to get back on the field 16 hours later, in spite of the requisite bumps, bruises, sprains, cramps and discomforts the physicality of football games produce?

The folks at Coast Guard all need to be in the same boat

They know this intimately at Coast Guard Academy, where the squeeze of the fiscal year’s conclusion (at the end of September) has caused some consternation within athletics.

Administration is failing the kids at New London ... again

Athletics have a mythical allure and charm at New London High. And leaving the programs who have authored all those state championship banners in the hands of a novice is an insult to the proudest athletic traditional of them all around here.

Edsall's emotions on display after a tough day

Hours before UConn arrived at Rentschler Field to play Illinois, Edsall learned that his mother, who had been ill, passed away.

Shekinna Stricklen, the agent of orange, has won us over

Shekinna Sticklen has become perhaps the most popular Tennessean ever here in the land of steady habits. She is among the loudest cheered at Sun home games.

Ledyard choir brings the sounds of music to Fenway

A bunch of kids from Ledyard High, maintaining the choir's 27-year tradition of spirit through song, got to sing the National Anthem at Fenway Park before the Red Sox played the Twins.

UConn needs to make it a little easier for its football fans

We begin here: Any media person in Connecticut who doesn't root in some form for UConn sports doesn't get it.

Why is it so hard to watch a sporting event these days?

I got home in time to watch the Boston College football game on Saturday. And I couldn't. And I'm thinking this is becoming an issue for sports fans across the country now.

For UConn football, forward is forward and a win's a win

OK. Go ahead with the comedy routine. They beat Wagner. Wagner! Wagner?

Columnist Of The People is back to tell you the etiquette of tailgating

A very important season begins Thursday in Connecticut. Football season? Kinda/sorta. It’s actually what is attached to football season. Tailgating!

To those in the media mocking Andrew Luck: You're kidding, right?

I hope the rest of us will turn the channel, unfollow or simply ignore the musings of Mr. Dakitch and Mr. Gottlieb. They didn’t merely question a man for choosing his family and his health over his career. They mocked him. And are still employed. Nice gig if you can get it.

Passionate performance by Alyssa Thomas was uplifting

In 16 years covering the Connecticut Sun, I have never seen another player try as hard as Alyssa Thomas did.

You rooted for Lindsay Whalen because you couldn't help it

Lindsay Whalen was a ball of humor, humility and humanity in her days here as a guard for the Connecticut Sun. You rooted for her because you couldn’t help it.

Nothing bad can come of meeting for Tigers' owner Prentice

Here is what I believe: This country works best when we include everyone of all colors, religions, ancestries and orientations who learn with, play with and learn about each other.

Starting H.S. football earlier would be a win-win

High school football has become a de facto four-month sport in Connecticut.

Catch the fever for high school football on Thanksgiving Eve Day

Idle Thoughts, while waiting for the first day of school, AJ Dillon to win the Heisman and for Dr. I’s spin rate to match his exit velo.

The talent level is on the right track, thanks to people like Kareem Brown

Ah, but there are some people — the few, the proud — who not only want to help, but actually do something about it.

Mitchell and New London need to keep working on this softball field issue

It’s too easy here to join in the choruses of apocalyptic growls masked as “here we go again” and “only in New London.” But not this time.

Sun players show some resolve in grinding out another win

It's a curious thing sometimes, this sports watching thing. We all have our teams. And if we watch them long enough, we can convince ourselves they'll never win another game.