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Jeff Solari Jeff Solari
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When I want your opinion I'll give it to you

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When I want your opinion I'll give it to you AP Photo/Gail Burton

I'm sure you've heard the saying: 'Opinions are like butts: everyone has one.' Well, when you're in sports talk radio or you write a sports column, in my opinion you really need one. An opinion that is. And some predictions too. Lots of both make for good radio. Some people must think you're a genius. The rest should regard you as something lower than a snake's belly. If you're in between you're radio vanilla and at some point you will be passed over for a new and more exciting flavor.

But above all else, you must embrace being wrong. It happens to everyone. I still remember Peter Gammons saying flat out there was no way the Red Sox would ever trade Manny Ramirez. Two weeks later, Manny was being Manny in LA.

Having written this column since 2007 and worked almost eight years doing sports talk radio on WZON and now on the FOX Sports Maine network with Rich Kimball, I've given a boatload of opinions and predictions. I got a few right. I bombed on a bunch too.

Need proof? How about the column I wrote in this paper in 2011 saying the Bruins were the 'proverbial poop in the punchbowl of New England sports'? A couple of months later they raised the Stanley Cup. Did I get hate emails? Yup.

Just three weeks ago I made the bold prediction that the Heat would beat the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, which did happen. So that makes me wicked smart right? Nope. Because I said it would happen in just five games. When the Celtics were up three games to two, there were plenty of notes on my Facebook page reminding me I was dreadfully wrong. That got me thinking, maybe I should reflect a bit on a few of my best and worst opinions and bold predictions.

WRONG: When and the Sox signed Hideki Okajima I boldly predicted that this was nothing more than them buying a playmate for the newly-signed Dice Kay. 'Okajima would be gone by August,' I proclaimed. Well, by August Okie was an All Star and the ace out of the Sox pen. He pitched four plus pretty decent years in Beantown.

RIGHT: JD Drew would suck in Boston. I said it the day the news broke that Theo signed him. Of course this pick was easy. Most people hated the Drew signing. I said the same thing about Carl Crawford by the way. Jury is still out, but right now I'm chalking this up as another in the right column.

RIGHT: A team should draft Kevin Durant over Greg Oden. This was a real debate when it looked like the Celtics would have to make that choice. I can't tell you the number of calls we took on the radio from people saying you need a center to win in the NBA so Boston should pick Durant. I was so frustrated I would bang my head on the microphone. I knew Oden was going to bust. And Durant was the man. The Cs never had to choose. And the rest is history.

WRONG: Just a few months ago I pointed out that UMaine baseball and perhaps no team from the northeast would ever make the college world series again. Someone didn't tell Stonybrook, who plays there this week. Amazing. Will Maine get back there for the first time since 1986? Who knows? But now I think it can be done.

WRONG: I said Tom Coughlin would be fired early in the 2007 season and the Giants were not good. Two Super Bowls later I concede I might have missed that one.

There are dozens more. If you remember anything spot on or was off the mark I've said or written over the years drop me a note. Especially if you remember something I said that was right!


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