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Jeff Solari Jeff Solari
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Halftime is over

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Call it a midlife crisis if you like, but the fact remains that to put my life in sports vernacular, most likely the first half and even halftime are both over. Second half action is underway. As I crossed the 40 yard line heading for the 50 at a rapid pace, I realized that even in Japan, which has the highest life expectancy on the planet at 82, I'm running smack dab into Heartbreak Hill in the marathon of life. As Coach Bill wisely says, 'It is what it is.' I'm happy, lucky and blessed. Great family. Good job. Pretty decent health albeit carrying a slightly larger waistline than I featured in the first quarter of this game called life. But generally speaking my wife shouldn't worry about me bringing a sports car home anytime soon.

As I wonder what will be different about the second half of life, I think sports may play a smaller role than it has so far. Like so many boys, much of my spare time growing up was consumed with playing sports. I have paid the rent by covering sports for many years of my adult life as a sports anchor and reporter at WLBZ TV and sports talk host on WZON radio.

And, perhaps like you, I've been a rabid and passionate fan. I consider myself lucky that in the first 40 years or so of my existence I have seen about all I need to see.

I watched every pitch as the Sox came from three games down to beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS and then sweep the Cardinals for their first World Series win in 86 years. While I have seen many innings since, I could have ended my Sox fandom right there and died happy.

I was at one of the greatest Superbowl upsets ever as the Patriots won their first title by beating the heavily-favored Rams. I enjoyed Larry Bird and the Celtics of the '80s. Heck, I have now even see the Bruins hoist the cup.

I was working for WLBZ TV and was lucky enough to have a media pass and front row seat for the 1993 UMaine hockey team that went 42-1-2 and won a national title. I saw Cindy Blodgett play night in and night out at UMaine and called some of her 3000 plus points on the radio. One year later I was on play by play as the UMaine women won their first and only NCAA tourney game as they took out #5 Stanford. As a fan I was at a final four and saw UConn win and Duke lose, both things I am OK with.

I have seen the most dominant golfer in any 10-year span in history and then witnessed the rapid fall of Tiger. Will there ever be a better player than Michael Jordon? I guess I would have to see that to believe it. Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Tom Brady have all played on my TV many times. I've watched Wayne Gretzky skate for a couple of teams. You bet I saw Pete Rose set the record for most hits and Barry 'The Juice' Bonds set the record for home runs. I witnessed the local representative play on ESPN TV for a World Title in the Senior League World Series.

I bet if you are close to me in age or older you have many great sport memories too. Some made by you. Some made by others. How many more do you need?

Age brings many things, such as patience and wisdom. And of course middle of the night trips to the bathroom.

From here on out my sports memories will be made by watching my girls playing on a field or a court. Winning and losing. Scoring and missing shots. Big games and bad games; I'll be there for each and every one. That's my recipe for a second half win.


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