I received this e-mail the other day from John Dederer in Stratford, who’s daughter, Allison Romano, lives in Somerset, N.J.
Check out his photo of the Patriots ballpark after Hurricane Irene came through …
Archive for August, 2011
U.S. Open golf champion Rory McIlory made his girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki, very happy by running a mile and a half on the pink Cybex treadmill here at the New Haven Open at Yale for breast cancer research.
Here’s some video …
French Open champ Li Na held a meet and greet after her match against Maria Kirilenko with members of Yale’s Chinese Scholars Group (and others) on the Grandstand court.
Here’s some video …
The tremors from the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that was centered in Northern Virginia were felt all the way in Connecticut, especially at the Connecticut Tennis Center, where play was suspended and the building evacuated for close to two hours as firemen and engineers checked the facility.
Gregg Doyel of CBSsports.com is reporting that Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with dementia, but will attempt to coach this season.
Here’s the release:
Former women’s basketball players at Tennessee are getting calls Tuesday that Volunteers coach Pat Summitt, 59, has been diagnosed with dementia.
An announcement is expected later in the day, CBSSports.com has learned. Former players are flying into Knoxville, Tenn., from all over the world to be there for Summitt — who will try to coach this season, according to a former player.
Summitt is the arguably the most successful coach in U.S. basketball history — male or female, pro or amateur — with 1,071 career victories, eight national championships and an Olympic gold medal. She was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.
Here’s my column for Saturday on the retirement of Trumbull’s Chris Drury … still hoping that he’ll call me.
It was time.
There wasn’t going to be a big press conference scheduled. No gathering of the masses to announce that the end had come. That’s not Chris Drury’s style. Never has been. Never will be. All it took was a phone call and eight small paragraphs in a press release later, and that was that. A stellar career was over.
After 12 seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, the Calgary Flames, the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers, Drury called it quits, retiring from professional hockey. There were too many nagging injuries. Too many nagging unknowns. Could he have kept playing? Without question. But today, he turns 35 (happy birthday!) and with a blossoming family life highlighted his lovely wife Rory, his kids, Luke, Dylan and Lindsey and even a budding business career – he’s part-owner of the Colony Grill in Fairfield with Little League teammates Ken Martin, Cody Lee and Paul Coniglio – Drury decided to hang up the skates.
It didn’t take long for Drury to make his mark in the NHL. With the Avs, he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 1999 and two years later, held the Stanley Cup high. He played three seasons with the Sabres and four more with the Rangers, earning the captain’s “C” in October of 2008.
But a twice-broken finger on his right hand and knee surgery limited him to just 24 games last season. His only goal came in the Rangers’ final game. Overall, he played in 892 games in his career, scored 255 goals and added 360 assists.
“It was a great honor and privilege to be a New York Ranger for the past four years, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to fulfill that childhood dream,” Drury said in June, after the buyout. “I would also like to thank Ranger fans. They always inspired me to do the best I could in whatever role I was asked to play. Playing before them in the Garden was a thrill of a lifetime.”
In June, the Rangers bought out the last year of his contract for $3.33 million.
“Throughout his career, Chris Drury was always a great competitor, a tremendous leader and teammate, and the heart and soul type of player that every team would love to have,” Rangers GM Glen Sather said in a release Friday. “His commitment, determination and will to win were apparent each and every day. Those characteristics will have a lasting impact on all those who were fortunate enough to learn from Chris over his 12 years in the National Hockey League.”
Drury’s career has been the stuff of legend. As a 13-year old, he pitched Trumbull National to the 1989 Little League World Series over Taiwan. That same year, his Bridgeport Youth Hockey League team that played at the Wonderland of Ice won the national Pee Wee championships in Chicago
At Fairfield Prep, the Jesuits won the CIAC title his freshman year. At Boston University, he won the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s top player as a senior and helped the Terriers win the NCAA title as a freshman and capture four straight Beanpot crowns.
“When he was a freshman in high school, you could see it in his eyes that he was a leader. A winner,” said John Ferguson, who runs the pro shop at the Wonderland of Ice and has known Drury since he was six. “His work ethic. He would ride his bike here and line up 100 pucks across the blue line and, shoot, shoot, shoot.”
He won a silver medal with the United States in 2002 at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and another in 2010 in Vancouver and also earned a bronze medal at the 2004
World Championships in Prague.
“Chris is a winner,” long-time Boston University hockey coach Jack Parker said in a 2010 story on Drury. “He’s a competitor. He knows how to fill a role on a team and he’s ready to play every night. He’s always been that way.”
And that’s why Drury was selected for his third Olympic team in 2010. Said USA Hockey general manager Brian Burke: “We picked Chris Drury because he’s Chris Drury.”
A state high school title. A NCAA championship. A Stanley Cup. Two Olympic medals. Not bad. Not bad at all.
“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve been on a lot of good teams with a lot of really good players and head coaches. I’ve been blessed in that regard,” Drury said in 2010. “I know that I’m a pretty competitive guy and I hope that rubs off on people, whatever locker room I’m in. And I just hope that every game I can bring something that helps our team win.”
And he did just that. For 12 seasons.
“I think the reason why Chris has been so successful is he always manages to stay cool, calm and collected in the most competitive of situations. That’s why guys can rise to the occasion in big moments, because they don’t get rattled,” Parker said. “It’s a fine line to walk between being really intense and being really calm. He can do that better than
anybody. What defines Chris is: ‘Did I play hard tonight? Did I do my best?’ He’s a hockey player. A real good hockey player.”
This just came from the New York Rangers PR department …
STATEMENT FROM RANGERS PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER GLEN SATHER ON THE RETIREMENT OF CHRIS DRURY
New York, August 19, 2011 – The following is a statement from Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather on the retirement of Chris Drury:
“Throughout his career, Chris Drury was always a great competitor, a tremendous leader and teammate, and the heart and soul type of player that every team would love to have. His commitment, determination and will to win were apparent each and every day. Those characteristics will have a lasting impact on all those who were fortunate enough to learn from Chris over his 12 years in the National Hockey League.”
By Chris Elsberry
If you can’t get Venus or Serena, then landing two players in the Top 10 is probably the next best thing.
New Haven Open at Yale tournament director Anne Worcester handed out her last two wildcards Thursday afternoon, giving them to French Open champion Li Na, ranked No. 5 in the world and No. 9 Marion Bartoli. That means the NHO at Yale will have four of the Top 10 players and seven of the Top 15 players in the world when the tournament starts this weekend.
“When we started hearing that Kim Cljsters wouldn’t be able to play (abdominal tear) and that Venus (Williams) wasn’t planning on playing and that (Petra) Kvitova wouldn’t be able to play, we felt the luckiest we could get would be to get (Jelena) Jankovic, Bartoli and Li Na,” said Worcester. “We exceeded our expectations by getting all three. It’s all good.”
The main draw ceremony will take place today at 12:30 p.m. at the Connecticut Tennis Center’s picnic area. Worcester will be assisted in the draw by No. 12 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 43 Elena Vesnina, the 2009 Pilot Pen finalist.
“We are really and truly thrilled with this field,” Worcester said.
Not landing Venus Williams had to be disappointing for Worcester, who had been hoping that the four-time Pilot Pen champ (1999-2002) would need some hardcourt matches before heading to New York and the U.S. Open. But apparently, Williams felt rest was more important.
Venus, who pulled out of both Toronto and Cincinnati with a viral illness, hasn’t played a hardcourt match all summer long. In fact, Williams has played in just three events, the Australian Open, Eastbourne and Wimbledon, going 7-3.
An interesting tidbit, the last time Williams reached the U.S. Open finals was 2002 – the last time she appeared in New Haven.
“She never asked us to hold her a wildcard,” Worcester said of Williams. “But the logical assumption would be that she would consider a wildcard because she needed matches but her agent told me the other day that she is still recovering and that she wasn’t going to play before the Open.”
This has been a breakthrough season for Na, who reached the Australian Open finals in January before winning the French Open in May. She also won at Sydney and reached the semifinals in Rome and Madrid. She will be coming to New Haven for just the second time in her career, having appeared in 2006 and reached the second round.
She is 29-12 this year.
Bartoli is having a solid summer, winning at Eastbourne, along with reaching the quarters at Wimbledon and the finals at Stanford, losing to Serena Williams. She also made the finals at Indian Wells and Strasbourg and the semifinals at the French Open.
Overall, she is 43-19.
It will be Bartoli’s eighth trip to New Haven (2003, 2005-10). She has reached the quarterfinals four times.
“I had been in close contact with both players and it was clear that the only way they would consider a wild card (to New Haven) would be if they did not win their round of 16 matches (in Cincinnati),” Worcester said. “Not that we ever want anyone to lose, but … “
They both did. Bartoli fell to Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 and Li lost to Samantha Stosur 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Two qualifying draw wild cards were also handed out to Allie Will and Asia Muhammed. Will is a junior at Florida and has recorded a 24-2 dual meet record at No. 1 and 2 singles for the Gators, who won the NCAA Championship this season. Muhammed won an ITF event in Houston in 2007 and competes primarily on the Challenger and Futures circuits. On Wednesday, Robin Anderson, who won the Yale Summer Championships, was given a qualifying wild card.