From 2009 until recently, MSG Varsity used to be a mega high school sports channel which broadcast a ton of games, had weekly highlight shows and great daily features on a range of sports. It was the SportsCenter of the local scene, expertly produced by the great media talents in greater New York.
Only problem was, unless you subscribed Cablevision, you couldn’t watch MSG Varsity, which did nothing to debunk the ongoing feeling that Fairfield County is cut off from the rest of Connecticut by a moat.
Nowadays, MSG Varsity has become an exclusively online enterprise, which is too bad. But, luckily for the rest of us, you don’t have to be a Cablevision subscriber anymore to watch its programming.
That means you can catch more of the greatest local sportscaster in the tri-state area: Mike Quick.
Mike, a Norwalk resident whose brother-in-law is Norwalk coach Sean Ireland, has been doing this for decades. Few know the deep history of southwestern Connecticut better than Mike, which is impressive because he’s also entrenched in Long Island, lower New York State and the city, and, of course Long Island.
Mike still does his online shows every Week, including ‘Quick Hits’ early in the week and his Prime Time preview every Thursday. He and longtime partner Jimmy Cavallo break down the MSG coverage area in Fairfield County, but they also touch on happenings around the state. It’s a must-watch not just because of Mike’s knowledge of the region, but because of his personal touch. Mike loves to tweak his buddies in the coaching ranks and their programs. It’s an honest and personal take on the Connecticut teams.
This week Mike and Jimmy talked Staples-New Canaan and the tremendous season New Canaan is having.
And Mike’s in love.
He’s calling this THE BEST New Canaan team he’s seen in all of his years covering local sports.
“They have a focus. I have been covering New Canaan high school since 1986 and this is the best… and they’ve had some great teams. This is the best one I’ve ever seen,” he said.
To demonstrate his affection for these Rams, Mike fired a loud warning shot across the bow of the current No. 1 Ansonia Chargers and the state media voting them No. 1 heading into Week 8.
“It blows my mind that in the state of Connecticut — and if somebody passes this along to Tommy Brockett, our buddy, he’s going to get upset but I don’t care,” Mike declared. “If New Canaan played Ansonia… it wouldn’t be close.
Mike went on to praise Arkeel Newsome, comparing him to Connecticut’s all-time greats: Floyd Little, Bobby Valentine, Rico Brogna.
“New Canaan would win that game by three to four touchdowns,” Mike added. “I’m telling you right now. I’m telling you. It just pains me that people don’t really size up the competition.
“Now everybody in Ansonia’s going to go crazy, “Oh, look at what we did to Masuk!” Masuk’s not Masuk, they’re definitely 3 steps below of what they’ve been.”
To which Cavallo warned, “You better not drive through the Valley any time soon.”
Mike doubled down later in the show.
After declaring unbeaten McMahon would have “no chance” against the Rams, Mike added “You could create an all-star team from the FCIAC and I don’t think they’d beat New Canaan.”
Mike’s making friends all across Connecticut.
Consider your message delivered, Mike. Especially since you brought my mother into it. [She LOVED the show’s open. I’ll never hear the end of it.]
The guys also touched on Darien-Ridgefield, McMahon, this week’s St. Joseph-New Canaan matchup, the FCIAC playoff race, Hand and Shelton and West Haven coach Eddie McCarthy.
Mike’s Ansonia-New Canaan comment begins at the 7-minute mark.