Biography

Jeff Jacobs was born in Kirkwood, Mo., and grew up in Newport, R.I. He got a degree from University of Missouri School of Journalism, then worked at newspapers in Michigan and New Jersey before joining the Courant in 1984. He covered the Hartford Whalers and the NHL for 11 years and has been the general sports columnist for 19 years, covering everything from Olympics, Super Bowl and World Series to UConn basketball and high school sports. He is a nine-time Connecticut Sports Writer of the Year and twice has been honored by APSE as one of the Top 10 national columnists. Married to wife Liz since 1987 and has two children, Katerina, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut, and Liam, a junior in high school. Passions: Sports, music, geography, genealogy, playing Sporcle. Hobby: Surviving heart attacks.

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Jeff Jacobs

Jeff Jacobs

Jeff Jacobs

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Sam, Schilling Both Stand Up To Bullies

Sam, Schilling Both Stand Up To Bullies

March 3, 2015

HAMDEN — On a snowy night in early March bound to hear Michael Sam speak at Quinnipiac University, all I could think about was Curt Schilling.

  • A Tuned-Up Rodney Purvis Means Ferrari Beats The Mustangs

    March 1, 2015

    HARTFORD — Buoyed by the most important victory of the season, Kevin Ollie said nothing is more powerful than a changed mind. Then again, Ryan Boatright said Rodney Purvis played his finest game in a UConn uniform Sunday because he stopped thinking.

  • For Mosqueda-Lewis, A Perfect Kind Of Senior Day

    February 28, 2015

    STORRS — This would be the perfect afternoon for the perfect shooter.

  • Stokes Has Two Tough Guys, Both Father Figures, In Her Corner

    February 28, 2015

    STORRS — Kiah Stokes smiled mischievously when asked what she will say to Geno Auriemma when they hug at center court of Gampel Pavilion during Senior Day ceremonies Saturday.

  • Tyson Builds Foundation For UConn Hockey

    February 26, 2015

    STORRS — He is a building block. To look at Ryan Tyson, all of 5 feet 9 and 187 pounds, calling him one might seem like a reach. To look at his numbers, one goal and nine points in 33 games this season, it might seem like an even bigger reach.

  • Disturbing Issues At Hall, Conard Need To Be Fixed

    February 26, 2015

    I once sat with Tom Moore under different, even more difficult circumstances. He was principal at Conard High at the time, a guy who had assisted long-time football coach Rob Cersosimo, and a rising star in the West Hartford school system.

  • Versatile Hamilton Has Matured Rapidly

    February 22, 2015

    STORRS — The lob pass is an undeniable piece of art, and with Daniel Hamilton the first brushes were stroked at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif.

  • Recruiting Sixth-Grade Football Players? Too Soon

    February 21, 2015

    For years now, Craig Bryden of Enfield has been unafraid, even eager, to share his son Daron's quarterback skills with the world.

  • Assaiante Has Trinity Fighting For Another Squash Title

    February 20, 2015

    HARTFORD — They have won it just about everywhere. They have won it just about every way.

  • XL Center Plans A Start, And They Make Sense

    February 19, 2015

    HARTFORD — This is the beginning. This is not the end. This is the beginning of the most important sports story in Connecticut in 2015. A story that will have no scoreboard, at least not until a decision is made on what route to take with the most important athletic facility in our state.

  • Verducci Coaching Tree Has Many Branches, But Roots In Jersey

    February 18, 2015

    STORRS — Bob Diaco played football for Frank Verducci's dad, Tony. Frank Verducci recruited Diaco to play at Iowa under Hayden Fry. Frank's brother Tom is the preeminent baseball writer in America. Frank and Tom's uncle? Gil Hodges.

  • Coming Soon: A Wonderful Ballpark (And The Usual Pessimism)

    February 17, 2015

    This Tuesday in mid-February dawned much closer to Ice Station Zebra than Fort Myers. The day was snowy. The day was single-digit frigid.

  • Remembering The UConn Team That Changed Women's Basketball

    February 14, 2015

    STORRS — They looked up at the video board, looked at each other and asked each other the same question.

  • Steph Curry, Klay Thompson Becoming New Faces Of NBA

    February 13, 2015

    NEW YORK — They have been one highlight reel after another. Stephen Curry has amassed YouTube clips as fast as he amassed votes for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game.

  • Welcome Back UConn Men, We've Been Looking For You

    February 13, 2015

    HARTFORD — When it was over, after Daniel Hamilton had notched his fourth career double-double and Ryan Boatright had scored north of 20 points again in another aesthetically clean game, two questions were begging to be answered.

  • Jeff Jacobs: In Westminster Ring, Woman, Dog Shed Cancer

    February 11, 2015

    Allison Thomson-Vicuna jokes that oral chemo and kisses from her boxer Molly keeps her ovarian cancer at bay. And maybe she is right.

  • Gamecocks Had No Answer For Jefferson

    February 10, 2015

    STORRS — They arrived in the New England snow with plenty of swagger and 26 of the 34 first-place votes in The Associated Press poll.

  • Auriemma On Messages Sent And A Golf Game With Dean Smith

    February 8, 2015

    STORRS — Breanna Stewart, the best player in America, was talking about messages. The message Geno Auriemma sent Morgan Tuck, Kiah Stokes and Stewart with love not-so-tender in Elvis Presley's hometown Saturday. The message the three intended to return to their Hall of Fame coach at practice Sunday and again Monday night in the battle between the top two women's basketball teams in the nation.

  • Blame Schools This Time, Not NCAA

    February 7, 2015

    The NCAA is the tin can we all love to kick. And don't get me wrong. I have worn out the tips of my holier-than-thou loafers kicking that can.

  • Diaco Gets A Biggie: Cespedes (6-8) Eager To Help UConn

    February 4, 2015

    NEW LONDON — Last February, after he had been to the national championship game as a defensive coordinator and before he had experienced one game as a head coach, Bob Diaco talked about going after big bodies, big minds and big aspirations.

  • Breakout Stars, But Amazing Storyline Steals The Show

    February 2, 2015

    GLENDALE, Ariz. —Chris Matthews stole America's heart and Tom Brady stole it back. Jermaine Kearse pulled off a miracle on Malcolm Butler and, thanks to perhaps the worst decision in the history of sports, Butler pulled off an even bigger miracle to give the Patriots their fourth Super Bowl triumph of the 21st century.

  • True Or Not, Cheating Label Sticks To Patriots

    January 31, 2015

    GLENDALE, Ariz. — Rob Gronkowski, one of those savage workout beasts and natural party animals who inevitably reach the point in life where two roads diverge, credits two men with helping him choose the one wiser traveled.

  • No Sympathy, But Hernandez Is Tragic Figure In So Many Ways

    January 31, 2015

    — As Aaron Hernandez sits there in a Fall River courtroom, accused of the most heinous of crimes, it might sound both disingenuous and superficial to argue he is our loss.

  • A Shaky Address By Commissioner Goodell

    January 30, 2015

    PHOENIX — Roger Goodell tried to walk the difficult line between humility and authority in his annual pre-Super Bowl press conference on Friday. Given the NFL commissioner's robotic nature, it's not surprising that he tripped over that line a number of times.

  • Instead Of Walking Away, Blount Now Facing Things Head On

    January 29, 2015

    CHANDLER, Ariz. — LeGarrette Blount, built like a Mack truck and able to cut like a Ferrari, was talking about his feet the other morning.

  • Friendly Fire: Browner Out To Smack Ex-Teammates In Seattle

    January 28, 2015

    CHANDLER, Ariz. — Brandon Browner has a Legion of Boom tattoo on his arm. He calls it a tribute to his brothers. At the same time, the Patriots cornerback has no problem encouraging his teammates to break Richard Sherman's arm and Earl Thomas' shoulder in the Super Bowl.

  • No, Nothing Party: Belichick, Brady, Lynch Don't Say A Thing

    January 27, 2015

    PHOENIX — Channeling his inner Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick showed up relaxed in jeans and flip flops. Channeling his inner One Direction, Tom Brady showed up with hair somewhere between boy band and bed head.

  • Deflategate: Was NFL Out To Sting Patriots?

    January 26, 2015

    PHOENIX — The longer Deflategate dragged on the less it figured to be about the pressure inside a football and the more it figured to be about the pressure on the NFL to prove its own integrity.

  • It's Easy For Geno Auriemma To Get To Root Of Coach K's Success

    January 25, 2015

    They are sons of immigrants. One's Italian surname ends with a familiar vowel. The other's Polish name ends with an equally familiar "ski." Forever sons of immigrants, and they embrace that birthright with all their being.

  • Belichick Makes Shrewd Move Trying To Deflate Deflategate

    January 24, 2015

    Although Bill Belichick kept repeating that he is not a scientist, he is a genius.

  • Who Let The Air Out? Brady, Belichick Won't Take The Blame

    January 23, 2015

    This has become much less an episode of "CSI" and much more an episode of "Hogan's Heroes." How Patriots coach Bill Belichick and, more important, Tom Brady could stand there Thursday in separate press conferences and play the "I know nothing" card is, in retrospect, not entirely shocking.

  • GM Maccagnan Hopes To Use Trinity Education To Revamp Jets

    January 21, 2015

    FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The headline writers at the New York tabloids figure to be heartbroken. On a Wednesday morning when they were having the time of their lives trumpeting the Patriots' deflated footballs controversy, the freak show that has been the Jets took a decidedly professional turn.

  • Effects Of Inflation: Once Again, We're Talking About Football

    January 21, 2015

    It doesn't matter if we want Deflategate. It doesn't matter if we don't want Deflategate.

  • Even When You Guess Right, Bill Belichick Has You Fooled

    January 19, 2015

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Poor Chuck Pagano. Even before the opening kickoff, he had it right.

  • Luck-Brady Will Be The Stuff Of History

    January 17, 2015

    An AFC Championship edition of Half-Baked Jake:

  • Well-Rounded Walter Harrison Of UHart Honored By NCAA

    January 16, 2015

    As a lover of both the sonnet and the box score, someone who can address Viola and Frank Viola, it is fitting that Walter Harrison's two goals in life have been to see every Shakespeare play performed live and to see a game at every major league park.

  • Patriots' Revis Won't Look Back, His Focus Is Solely On Colts

    January 15, 2015

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady got poked in the eye last weekend against the Ravens and Thursday the Patriots' quarterback was able to joke about it.

  • Patriots Discussion: Conservative Rush And A Big Bag Of Wind

    January 14, 2015

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — There have been two pressing questions in the hours and days leading to the AFC Championship Game.

  • OSU-Oregon Magnifies UConn's Futility And Distance From Top

    January 13, 2015

    Big-time college football never seemed farther away from Connecticut than on Monday night.

  • Brady Wins The Duel With Flacco

    January 10, 2015

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — In this wildly entertaining playoff game, the kind of night that makes the NFL king among North American sports, there was only one perfect quarterback.

  • Olympics In Boston? City Always Seemed Smarter Than That

    January 9, 2015

    They dumped tea into Boston Harbor in 1773 over taxation. So you've got to figure at some point the citizens of Boston, inexorably tied to their sports and their history, will dump enough Coca-Cola — official drink of the Olympics — into the harbor to persuade the IOC that Paris, Berlin, Casablanca, anywhere else is a better idea for the 2024 Summer Games.

  • We May Have Disagreed, But Stuart Scott Had A Way With Words

    January 8, 2015

    Stuart Scott didn't like what I wrote about him 17 years and three days before his death.

  • How Could Any Writer Not Vote For Pedro Martinez?

    January 6, 2015

    He sent chills down our spines. Yes, every time he went to the mound, gripped the ball and unsprung that small, tightly wound frame on the world, Pedro Martinez sent chills up and down our backbones.

  • Mosqueda-Lewis Remains Undeterred

    January 4, 2015

    NEW YORK — When it all goes perfectly, and sometimes it does for the UConn women, their performances over the years have been compared to a Broadway play. When the ball rotates so crisply, bing, bing, bing, open three for Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, it looks so beautifully choreographed you feel like throwing roses out on the floor.

  • Four Is Fun, But Wouldn't Eight Be Great?

    January 3, 2015

    When something as intense and sweeping as a national college football playoff invades our sporting lives for the first time, there is an irresistible urge to dive into every crazy nuance of the two Final Four games and overlook the obvious:

  • Hamilton's Pain Was Worst

    December 31, 2014

    HARTFORD — Ryan Boatright limped away from Wednesday afternoon with a deep left-thigh contusion. Hitting the battle for a rebound, Omar Calhoun left with a laceration above a bandaged left eye, his eyelid partially shut the way a boxer's would be after going 12 rounds.

  • Jeff Jacobs: Hard-Bitten Writer Finds Fun Again In Son's Game

    December 30, 2014

    The sports fan in me died Sept. 9, 1972. Forty two years later, it isn't difficult to make such an admission. The hard part is admitting the sports fan in me returned from the dead in the waning days of 2014.

  • Duke's Bigs Come Up Small Against UConn's Grit

    December 30, 2014

    HARTFORD — All that talk about Duke's height and Duke came up small again.

  • As NFL Season Ends, Maneuvering Begins

    December 28, 2014

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The games ended Sunday and now the games begin.

  • UConn And Tennessee: Time To Renew Women's Basketball Rivalry

    December 27, 2014

    The pen of women's basketball history is in Geno Auriemma's hand now.

  • Central's Dickenman Looks For Positives In Difficult Season

    December 26, 2014

    Howie Dickenman continued a family tradition of nearly four decades at his home on Christmas Eve. Only this time, the Central Connecticut basketball coach had another guest.

  • UConn Teams Need A Better Home In Hartford

    December 22, 2014

    BRIDGEPORT — Last season, Webster Bank Arena was kind of cute. This season, the UConn basketball games in Bridgeport are kind of a nuisance.

  • Gabby Williams Moving Forward Quickly

    December 21, 2014

    UNCASVILLE — It was after one of the campus practices early in the season when Geno Auriemma's attention turned to Gabby Williams.

  • Baseball Hall: Keep The Voting Serious And Fair

    December 20, 2014

    My 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina.

  • It Can't Be All Boatright, All The Time

    December 19, 2014

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Mike Krzyzewski said that UConn played like the championship program it is. What the Huskies didn't play like on this Thursday night in the Meadowlands was like a championship team.

  • Weaver Team Sending Its Own Message

    December 18, 2014

    The message, Weaver basketball coach Reggie Hatchett insisted, was not some knee-jerk reaction or copycat demonstration. The message his team wanted to send before its season opener against Bulkeley wasn't, "We hate cops" or "We hate white people" or "We hate anybody."

  • Can't-Miss Field Goals? Brimah Streak On Line Vs. Duke

    December 17, 2014

    STORRS — The name Jahlil Okafor jumps off the page and into every UConn fan's cereal bowl this week. But what about Ray Voelkel and Torian Oglesby?

  • Patriots Are Still Coldly Efficient, Like A Machine

    December 14, 2014

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — When it goes as it should, Stephen Gostkowski said, it's like a pitching machine. Snap. Hold. Kick. Snap. Hold. Kick.

  • Windsor Coach's Words Resonate Beyond Football

    December 13, 2014

    NEW BRITAIN — When it was over, after each of his assistants had spoken, after the "W" sign had been flashed, oh, 20 times, Rob Fleeting leaned into his giddy huddle of state champions.

  • Missing His Shot: UConn Could Use Calhoun, But He's Still Out

    December 12, 2014

    STORRS — There is no feeling in the world for an athlete like the feeling of being needed. Omar Calhoun has been needed. If, against Texas, Calhoun had hit one three-pointer — something he hasn't even attempted since the AAC tournament final against Louisville last March — UConn wouldn't be 3-3 today.

  • It's Different At Capital Prep – And That's A Good Thing

    December 11, 2014

    HARTFORD — Capital Prep has its chance Saturday against North Branford to become the first Hartford school in 15 years to win a state football championship. So it's probably no surprise to read that two of the Trailblazers came out to greet a sports writer Thursday in their uniforms.

  • No Way Around It, Red Sox Blew It With Jon Lester

    December 10, 2014

    As news spread overnight that Jon Lester had spurned Red Sox ownership in favor of the boy genius who once had escaped its employ dressed in a gorilla suit, another slightly less audacious scene began to spread across the Internet.

  • Big 12 Is Out In The Cold, So UConn Officials Should Strike While Iron Is Hot

    December 7, 2014

    If the grand pooh-bahs of college football had any sense of humor, they would have commissioned a 12-member committee including Condoleezza Rice — oh, wait, she's already taken — to select a four-team national playoff to determine the worst team in America.

  • Kiah Stokes Erasing Her Doubts

    December 6, 2014

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Muffet McGraw called her the difference in the game. And when asked who the leader of his team is, Geno Auriemma called out that same name.

  • Tebucky Jones' Comeback Complete; State Title Within Reach

    December 5, 2014

    NEW BRITAIN — Tebucky Jones thought he had something special back in camp when he passed out cards asking his New Britain football players to fill out what their individual goals were this season.

  • Beat Up Stewart? Geno Will Find Other Ways To Beat You

    December 3, 2014

    STORRS — A funny thing happened to Breanna Stewart on her way to winning four national championships and the final 125 games of her college career.

  • Ashiru's Father Had Harsh Words, And Diaco Was 'Crushed'

    December 2, 2014

    STORRS — This is the kind of accusation that can damage a college football program. It is a father's accusation that can damage a coach's reputation and his ability to recruit the sons of other fathers.

  • Painful Closing Seconds, Especially For Boatright

    November 30, 2014

    STORRS — A final play designed first to go to Myles Turner flashing to the basket switched in a flash to Jonathan Holmes wide open in the left corner. Of course the game-winning three ball Holmes dropped on UConn Sunday afternoon at Gampel Pavilion hurt. It hurt plenty.

  • QB Nebrich, After Leaving UConn, Excelling At Fordham

    November 29, 2014

    NEW YORK — The words came from the Jack Coffey Field press box with a full-throated fury.

  • Jeff Jacobs: Let's See What Boyle Can Do For Two Full Games

    November 26, 2014

    STORRS — Play Tim Boyle for all the snaps at Memphis.

  • Pickoff Move: Sox Change Course, Splurge On Sandoval, Ramirez

    November 24, 2014

    In the end, what they do is much more important than what they say. In the end, the players they put on the field in April and October are much more important than the words they stuff into microphones in November and February.

  • Patriots Had This One In The Bag

    November 23, 2014

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — After a defense led by Darrelle Revis had quieted Megatron and smudged Golden, Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner talked about a turnover bag his unit keeps.

  • Emotions Run Highest In The Game

    November 22, 2014

    BOSTON — The Game was relevant in every way again, among the patricians as well as the peasants who would tune in to watch Handsome Dan lick Kirk Herbstreit's face.

  • Pass The Drumstick, Then Everything Else, To Joey Chestnut

    November 21, 2014

    WEST HARTFORD — Growing up, the most famous eater in the world wanted no part of the big bird.

  • Upton, Davidson And Hungry UConn Field Hockey Team Want Another Title

    November 20, 2014

    On that magical Sunday in Norfolk,Va., last November, Roisin Upton talked about fatigue and the cold and wind. The UConn field hockey team had gone 100 minutes a few nights earlier, with little substitution, to outlast North Carolina in an overtime shootout. And now here they were exhausted and ultimately victorious.

  • Think Diaco Inherited A Mess? Just Ask, He'll Go On And On

    November 18, 2014

    STORRS — Bob Diaco has won only two of his first nine games as UConn football coach, but never let it be said that he has run out of ways to describe what a bad situation he inherited or the painfully long process he is undertaking.

  • Eli Manning Accurate At One Thing: Sticking A Fork In The Giants

    November 16, 2014

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Leave it to Tom Coughlin, cheeks reddened by the November chill and five successive losses, to figure out that two wrongs could make a right.

  • Yale Honors Its Football Past

    November 15, 2014

    NEW HAVEN — One after another, the pride of Yale football entered the big tent outside Portal 20 of the Yale Bowl.

  • Boatright, Filling Napier's Big Shoes, Leads Huskies Past Bryant

    November 14, 2014

    STORRS — Ryan Boatright knew he was getting his national championship ring in a ceremony before the season opener Friday night. What he didn't know was that his national championship mom Tanesha was going to be at Gampel Pavilion.

  • Celebrating Pagni's Legacy: A Special Night For State Hockey

    November 13, 2014

    His words were engraved on the back of Jonathan Quick's goalie mask during the NHL playoffs last spring. His words will be engraved in the heart of Connecticut hockey this weekend.

  • Hartford Took A Shot On Nwakamma, And It Has Paid Off

    November 12, 2014

    Four years ago, John Gallagher had questions about Mark Nwakamma's work ethic. Now, as the first Hartford player since Vin Baker to earn consecutive first-team all-league honors begins his senior season, Gallagher still has concerns.

  • Jeff Jacobs: Hard To Point Angry Finger At Silly Act By UConn Player

    November 11, 2014

    HAMDEN — Even now, 41 years later, I can't fully explain why I did it. There it is on page 188 among the senior homeroom pictures in my high school yearbook.

  • New Faces Looking Like Veterans

    November 9, 2014

    HARTFORD — On a Sunday afternoon when we began to see the many possibilities of Daniel Hamilton, we saw the specific pop of Sam Cassell Jr. for a second time.

  • A Horrible Loss For The Huskies Against Army

    November 8, 2014

    NEW YORK — After we sift through the could'ves, should'ves, successful onside kick, Chandler Whitmer's spine-snapping interception, Bob Diaco's steely postgame, long-term resolve and the, wow, wasn't it cool to play in the House That Jeter Built, it came down to this.

  • Auriemma Keys In On Piano, Not Retirement

    November 7, 2014

    STORRS — Geno Auriemma says it has been an obsession of his to learn to play the piano. He has an iPad app, he says, and likes to fool around with it in his office.

  • Hearty Meal For Hockey Starved State

    November 5, 2014

    A Boston College man, the governor of our state, made this night happen. A former Boston College coach defeated his mentor, a man he called the John Wooden and Bear Bryant of his sport, in a night that jumped for hockey like it hadn't in a long, long time at the XL Center.

  • UConn's Cavanaugh Will Face His Mentor As York Brings BC To XL

    November 4, 2014

    Mike Cavanaugh taught bowling at Bowling Green to get to a night like this one. He taught billiards on Bowling Green's green velvet tables. He taught volleyball for the opportunity to coach under Jerry York, an opportunity that would grow into nearly two decades of enormous success with a college hockey legend.

  • Edelman, Gronkowski Make The Big Plays For Patriots

    November 2, 2014

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Julian Edelman, all 5 feet 10 of him on his tippy toes, looked over a forest of reporters and cameras and spotted Rob Gronkowski walking past in the Patriots' locker room.

  • Using Foxx At Quarterback A Sly Move

    November 1, 2014

    EAST HARTFORD — The UConn offense had produced 15 yards in 15 plays when Deshon Foxx went in at quarterback with 12:34 left in the first half Saturday.

  • Why Do Stories Always Seem To Change In Domestic Violence Cases?

    October 31, 2014

    Friday marked the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness month, but we all know the scourge of domestic violence respects no calendar.

  • Memorial A Joyful Moment For Jasper Howard's Fiancee

    October 30, 2014

    Jazz's daughter is 4 now. Ja'Miya Howard is full of life. She is all personality.

  • Bourque Brothers Enjoying Time Together With Wolf Pack

    October 29, 2014

    Twenty eight years later, here was Raymond Bourque sitting inside the XL Center. That's right. The noblest opponent, who played more games, scored more points and skated infinitely more minutes than anybody against the Whalers, finally got off our ice.

  • UConn Got What It Deserved, But They Should Throw Book At UNC

    October 28, 2014

    There is no reason to feel one shred of sympathy for the academic fraud that is the University of North Carolina. Not if you are a UConn athlete, not if you are a UConn academic, not if you are a UConn fan. Not if you are standing in Storrs and looking 617 miles to the south, down I-95 toward Chapel Hill.

  • Money Needed To Finish Center Could Use Some NBA Bling

    October 17, 2014

    STORRS — The $40 million Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center, christened on a Friday when dual national championships would be celebrated across the street, is beautiful. Beyond beautiful, really, borderline spectacular compared to what the Huskies' basketball teams have used in the past.

  • Jeff Jacobs: After Nauseating Bickering, Give Stadium A Chance

    October 15, 2014

    Isn't democracy grand? Or messy? Or both? Anyway, after months of citizens spitting vitriol like chewing tobacco at each other, making numbers sing, making numbers dance, doing everything just short of proclaiming that a baseball stadium will either turn Hartford into Emerald City or forever bankrupt Connecticut, the Hartford city council voted Tuesday night to approve a sweeping $350 million development plan that includes a minor league ballpark scheduled to open in April 2016 for a move downtown by the New Britain Rock Cats.

  • Rizza's $5M Gift Comes From A Modest Heart

    October 13, 2014

    STORRS — He had made an anonymous $3 million gift a few years ago. And even as he pledged to match $5 million more in donations toward the construction of a new soccer complex, the largest single donor in UConn athletics history had to be encouraged to allow his name to jump from his checkbook to the public eye.

  • They Love To Run, And So Do The Ones They Love

    October 11, 2014

    Scott Mindel was running to jump a Southwest flight to Chicago immediately after finishing ninth at the 2014 NU Hartford Marathon.

  • Reception Warms Donovan's Heart

    October 10, 2014

    Jurgen Klinsmann cut Landon Donovan in May. And anyone who has ever loved someone or something as much as Donovan has loved soccer knows the first cut is the deepest.

  • No Coverup At Trinity: Tapsall Discards Wig, Inspires Others

    October 9, 2014

    Athletes often take off their gloves, their pads, their caps before they start an interview. Liv Tapsall takes a seat on the bench at the Trinity field hockey field and takes off her blonde wig.

  • In Refurbished XL Center, Whaler Green Is Missing

    October 8, 2014

    There was so much to look for at the refurbished XL Center when NBA hopes and NHL history suddenly collided on this Wednesday night in October.

  • It Has Been Ugly; Diaco Says UConn Has Been Own Worst Enemy

    October 8, 2014

    STORRS — On one level, on many levels, really, the rebuilding process will be a long one. Yet on another level, through the prism of gifts wrapped for the opposition and a defense not necessarily designed to create turnovers, the damage the UConn football team has done to itself through five games is stunning.

  • Class Act By Plainfield Students Follows Ugly Act At Game

    October 3, 2014

    PLAINFIELD — For someone who makes his living offering sports opinion, this is a difficult enough column. For a parent of a high school athlete who plays in a town with people accused of using the ugliest of racial slurs against high school athletes from other towns, this might be the most difficult of my 37-year career.

  • Despite Measly Resources, Toner Built Powerful UConn Empire

    September 24, 2014

    John Toner got UConn into the Big East. He hired Jim Calhoun. He hired Geno Auriemma.

  • Say A Little Prayer For Me: Dorothy Ollie In Jacobs' Corner

    September 20, 2014

    My Walk of Faith from the steps of the state Capitol to the steps of Gampel Pavilion, Hartford to Storrs, all 26 miles of redemption, will be Sunday, Oct. 5.

  • UConn's Offense Reported Missing In Florida

    September 20, 2014

    TAMPA — This was more than offensive frustration. Until the very end, this was offensive farce.

  • Emotional Night For Wethersfield's Tyler Murphy

    September 17, 2014

    It was, Tyler Murphy said, a day to remember. "And it was," Murphy said, "a night I will never forget. It's hard to put into exact words how special it was. I've never experienced anything like it."

  • Smart QB: UConn's Casey Cochran Goes Out A Winner

    September 15, 2014

    STORRS — By Casey Cochran's best estimate, he has played the game for 20 years. Casey Cochran is 20 years old.

  • Give Huskies A 'C' So Far, But 6 Wins An Attainable Goal

    September 13, 2014

    EAST HARTFORD — Over the past month, Bob Diaco repeatedly called the first quarter of his first UConn season "the preparation." On Saturday, after this 38-21 loss to Boise State, he called the next quarter "the present."

  • QB Career Over, So It Would Be Nice To Hear From Casey Cochran

    September 10, 2014

    STORRS — Few young athletes have been on our state radar as long as Casey Cochran. He is Jack's kid, the son of the most famous high school football coach in Connecticut history. He could not escape our attention.

  • TEST - QB Career Over, So It Would Be Nice To Hear From Casey Cochran

    September 9, 2014

    STORRS — Few young athletes have been on our state radar as long as Casey Cochran. He is Jack's kid, the son of the most famous high school football coach in Connecticut history. He could not escape our attention.

  • Derek Jeter, As Always, One Cool Captain

    September 7, 2014

    NEW YORK — On a day the Yankees honored Derek Jeter, a Sunday when Joe Torre called him the best player he'd ever managed, Torre recalled a moment from October 1996. Jeter was a 22-year-old rookie. Torre was a rookie Yankees manager.

  • Some Good, Some Bad, In UConn's Win Against Stony Brook

    September 6, 2014

    EAST HARTFORD — The first reaction that Bob Diaco had when Luke Allen, who had endured a number of low, short liners, leaned into a third-period punt was, "He just outkicked his coverage."

  • A Night Ranaudo Won't Forget: Fans Jeter For First Strikeout

    August 2, 2014

    BOSTON — It was barely a year ago when Anthony Ranaudo stood in the rear of the New Britain Stadium press box, stretched to his full 79 inches and smiled at a question he knew was coming.

  • What's Next For The XL Center?

    June 14, 2014

    I have no answer. I'm going to ask the question, anyway.

  • Problems With New Britain Stadium Put Solomon On The Move

    June 13, 2014

    Rock Cats owner Josh Solomon doesn't like being called a liar. Nobody likes being called a liar. And that's probably as good a place as any to start.

  • Summer In The City? Baseball Would Make It Special

    June 3, 2014

    We have a history. Oh, do we have a baseball history.

  • March 15, Where It All Started [We Know The One Team UConn Can't Beat]

    March 15, 2014

    In this column that appeared in The Courant on March 16, 2014 - after UConn's loss to Louisville in the AAC tournament final - columnist Jeff Jacobs went out on a limb. Read on!

  • Aaron Hernandez Had Everything – Except Courage

    June 26, 2013

    As he walked out of the front door of his $1.3 million McMansion on Wednesday morning, handcuffed under his white T-shirt, it struck me that Aaron Hernandez looked like he had alligator arms.

  • Sports No Salvation For Alleged Bomber

    April 21, 2013

    After a marathon that danced with joy and ended in horror, surely we see what sports can mean to a city. By now, after pregame tributes marked by an anthem singer's fist pumps and the most appropriate f-bomb in New England history, yes, we see how sports can serve as the great stage to unite a region and lift its spirit.

  • Bombings Hit A Race That Is Peaceful At Its Heart

    April 16, 2013

    Amby Burfoot was a little more than a half mile from the finish line Monday, running happily with childhood friends from Groton, when suddenly a human traffic jam confronted him.

  • Soccer Stars Give Newtown Kids Something To Smile About

    January 8, 2013

    This was Chris Canetti's idea. This is Marcus Tracy's hometown.

  • Athletes Who Use Guns Must Use Their Influence In Wake Of Newtown Massacre

    December 17, 2012

    Some of the best hunters and anglers in the world are to be found on the rosters of American professional sports teams. Some of the best hunters and anglers in the world are to be found enshrined in Cooperstown, Canton and Springfield. They are respected as both sportsmen and sportsmen.

  • Let's Have Hugs, Prayers And No More Need For Tributes

    December 17, 2012

    John Prior saw the news flash across CNBC on Friday and it staggered him.

  • Calhoun: Guts And Glory

    September 14, 2012

    STORRS — The reality of 40 cold New England winters are behind him. We begin with the Jim Calhoun legend now, and when legend becomes fact, they say, print the legend.

  • Calhoun's A Legend; Get A Legend To Replace Him

    September 12, 2012

    We knew the toughest man in the room, the most competitive man in the gym, the greatest college basketball coach in New England history would battle until the end. We knew he'd go the full 15 rounds.

  • Jeff Jacobs: Never A Doubt Webb Simpson Was Coming To Travelers

    June 20, 2012

    CROMWELL — He passed on Letterman. He passed on Leno. He didn't pass on the Travelers Championship.

  • Michael Thompson Is Rising Toward Top Of PGA Tour

    June 19, 2012

    Michael Thompson lived last week on the crookedest street in the world, which is entirely fitting given his profession. He arrives in Connecticut this week all too aware that no sport puts you on the crookedest street of emotions like golf.

  • Nov. 23: Bobby Valentine Will Be Fun With Red Sox, But It Won't End Well

    November 24, 2011

    This started Nov. 3 at the Hartford Club. And make no mistake, it would end spectacularly. This started with an arranged meeting before a World Affairs Council event on Prospect Street. And the prospect of it ending in flames on Yawkey Way isn't really a prospect at all.

  • Kemba Walker Embraced The Process

    April 13, 2011

    STORRS — Jim Calhoun was using Charlie Villanueva as a comparison, but the truth is the UConn coach could have inserted the names of hundreds of college basketball players. The difference with Kemba Walker, Calhoun insisted, is he didn't have to learn how to work.

  • UConn's George Blaney Not Just Along For The Ride

    April 9, 2011

    By his own calculation, UConn associate coach George Blaney had been to 36 Final Fours before 2004. He sat on the board of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. That meant Blaney always had good seats.

  • Finale Built Brick By Brick

    April 6, 2011

    Sure, it was a rock fight. Yet to focus on the rock is to miss the fact that the UConn Huskies moved a mountain over 28 glorious days.

  • Three For Calhoun In The Blink Of An Eye

    April 5, 2011

    HOUSTON — In one of those simple, brilliant leads that occasionally grace the sports pages, Courant beat writer Michael Arace sent 17 words back to Connecticut from St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 29, 1999.

  • Calhoun Vs. Calipari A Show In Itself

    April 2, 2011

    Coaches, players, Cinderellas, old New England turf rivals, they were all at a banquet to honor their Final Four achievement Thursday night when Jim Calhoun decided the time was ripe to play the "My Three Sons" card.

  • They're Riding High Out Of The West Again

    March 27, 2011

    ANAHEIM, Calif. — The three-pointer by Derrick Williams that would have ended this jubilant, most improbable UConn season bounced off the rim. Kyle Fogg kept the rebound alive and the three-pointer by Jamelle Horne that would have ended this jubilant, most unusual nine-game run bounced off the rim again.

  • With Jeremy Lamb, March Comes In Like A Lion

    March 25, 2011

    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Kemba Walker blinked. College basketball's omniscient guard, the god who sees all, knows all, does all, blinked.

  • Not Women's Or Men's, Just Greatness

    December 22, 2010

    Tina Charles flew in from Russia. Kemba Walker, Randy Edsall, Richard Blumenthal — the who's who of Connecticut — descended from all parts Nutmeg. In the middle of Geno Auriemma's postgame press conference on this historic night, even the President called.

  • Howard Baldwin Knows It Wouldn't Pay To Fight For Two Letters

    September 21, 2010

    The old Howard Baldwin probably would have fought this fight. In those days, the 30-year-old blond WHA rebel would be told he shouldn't do something by the hockey establishment, do the opposite and then dare the old codgers to do something about it.

  • Watson Triumphs On A Day That Had It All

    June 28, 2010

    If you saw the pitching wedge Bubba Watson topped from a fairway bunker into the water on the 17th hole, you saw a piece of it. If you saw his monster drive on 18, the one that bounced off the cart path 396 yards into Travelers Championship legend, yes, you saw another piece.

  • Micheel Has Special Delivery For Ill Mother

    June 27, 2010

    — The ball has traveled from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coast and it remains in a safe spot in Shaun Micheel's golf bag. The three-iron from 239 yards turned into only the second double-eagle in the 110-year history of the U.S. Open, and considering it occurred on Father's Day, any other time Micheel would gladly have presented the ball to his dad.

  • Rebuilding The Love Of The Game

    June 26, 2010

    — Seems like such a great life, doesn't it? Courtesy car is waiting at the airport. Mint chocolate is on the hotel pillow. Wake up and rub elbows with the big boys on the range.

  • Thursday Usually A Day For Dreamers At Travelers

    June 25, 2010

    Thursday in Cromwell can mean only one thing.

  • At The Travelers Championship, Wounded Soldiers Get Many Thanks

    June 24, 2010

    You watch Dan Nevins make his way slowly up the 18th fairway on two prosthetic legs. You look at Dan Perry's face, a face that has paid the price, a face that breaks into a huge smile after he chips in at the second hole at TPC River Highlands.

  • Howard Baldwin Makes First Move

    March 20, 2010

    Howard Baldwin is back and this time he insists he's not leaving. He has moved into an office at 100 Pearl Street and dug in for long days of work. Maybe the address is only fitting. For Baldwin will continue to swim out in the sea of his biggest dreams, 100 percent committed to finding the great pearl in the mouth of the whale.

  • Dobratz Always Had Time For Kids

    February 10, 2010

    They met skiing at Powder Ridge. Ray was months out of Maloney High in Meriden, soon to head for basic training in the National Guard. Paula was a Newington girl, still in high school.

  • Dixon's Journey Made Him A Leader

    January 3, 2010

    Andre Dixon took us into his locker room. Randy Edsall took us into his heart.

  • Aug. 26: UConn Football, Expect Big Year From Howard

    August 26, 2009

    Jasper Howard is a talker. He talks to his mom in Florida twice a day. He talks to the wide receivers in drills, oh, twice a minute.

  • Money, Allegations Squeeze Romanticism

    April 3, 2009

    For days I have been unable to get the thought out of my head. It creases my brain when I'm awake. It arrives in black and white footage in my dreams.

  • Greed? Arrogance? It's Waist Deep

    March 26, 2009

    First off, Coach, it wasn't a blog. The investigative piece was the result of six months of industry by Yahoo! Sports, one of the world's most visited websites. Calling it a blog, whether by intention or ignorance, sounded dismissive and the last thing you and UConn need today is to come off dismissive.

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