January 9, 2017
By STEVE KRAUSE
There will be no wise-guy beginning to this notes column. We’re here to pay tribute to a pretty good guy who died last week.
Danvers is at the periphery of The Item’s coverage area. Unless the Falcons are playing one of our teams, generally we do not cover them. But whenever one of our hockey teams played Danvers, we always managed to go. For one thing, the Falcons in those years were always at or near the top of the Northeastern Conference, and always going deep in the tournament; and for another, it gave us all a chance to touch base with coach Kevin Flynn.
For those of us fortunate enough to have met him, “Flynnie” was a just a good guy. He was passionate. You knew he was around if you were at a game. He had a distinctive voice that cut through all kinds of crowd noises when he was behind the bench and, shall we say, unhappy with a referee’s call. He could be crazy if the situation called for craziness.
But when it was over, it was over. Whether you were a reporter, an official, or someone else, when the game ended, Flynnie was a regular guy as soon as the siren sounded to end the game.
Condolences to members of his family and to the Danvers sports community. My memories of Flynnie are of a good guy who was always available, always accommodating, and a lot of fun to cover.
I don’t know what happened in Swampscott with Dave Born. There are several things floating around, and it’s not really fair to make any comments about what specifically drove him out of the Swampscott boys basketball job.
But it’s certainly fair to give him his due.
Swampscott is a town that, athletically, at least, is still grappling with the fact that it is no longer at the epicenter of Boston-area sports. That tremendous run of athletes that gave the town its elite status in Massachusetts sports has ended. It’s nobody’s fault. That reservoir of talent that produced the likes of the Jaurons, Lynches, Beatrices, Woodforks, and so many others, has dried up.
A coach who ventures into Swampscott is also venturing into this maelstrom of flux that permeates the sports program. Lots of the school’s programs have been revolving doors for coaches, and as anyone who knows sports can tell you, stability is among the most important factors in a winning program.
Born came from a coaching tree that also produced John Walsh, the coach who led Danvers to multiple state titles. Both were assistants at Watertown, which through most of this century has been among the top programs in the Boston area. Born certainly knew how to coach.
All I know is that part of coaching is being thorough and attending to detail. Born always called in his games. Either that, or he was always available.
Good luck to Justin Fucile, who will coach the team in the interim. Justin’s also a good guy who has the best interests of the kids at heart.
I agree with those who say the Houston Texans should present few problems for the Patriots Saturday. But the Pats will face a real team in two weeks, whether it’s Pittsburgh or Kansas City (my money is on Pittsburgh, provided Ben Roethlisberger’s leg is OK). The Steelers aren’t worried about going on the road to play, and for that they are a scary team.
Kansas City is known as a very hostile place to play for road teams. The Patriots went out there two years ago and got waxed.
This is not going to happen to the Steelers. The three B’s (Ben, Bell and Brown) will handle the Chief and give the Patriots a big push in Foxborough.
One man’s opinion: I do not want Danny Ainge to trade the draft choice. I’m liking this Celtics team more and more. I like the idea that Isaiah Thomas can score 52 points one night and hand out 15 assists the next night. That’s what Larry Bird did. He always found the one thing that was missing in a given game, and provided it. Assists, points, rebounds, it didn’t matter. If more rebounding was needed, Bird rebounded. If nobody else was filling it up, Larry did. If Kevin McHale or Ainge himself was hot, Larry kept feeding them the ball.
I’d like to see the Celtics run as far as they can with this team, then I want them to get one more blue-chipper to add to the mix next season.
Steve Krause can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.