Lynch grades out Super at Gillette

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Tuesday, December, 04 By Bill Kipouras
Staff writer

It was a 16-hour day for him, but Channel 5 sports anchor Mike Lynch of Swampscott loved every minute of his marathon broadcasting assignment of all six high school Super Bowl games at Gillette Stadium.

He and color commentary partner Scott Zolak were razor sharp over the slate of a half-dozen games that they broadcasted live. Zolak, an ex-Patriot quarterback, has a morning radio show in Providence and does commentary on Navy football games.

Perhaps the most amazing part of the super job they did was that they had never worked together in the booth before. "I can't think of one thing that went wrong. I was delighted," said the 54-year-old Lynch. "We heard no complaints.

"Russ Kenn, who produces Red Sox baseball, was our producer in the truck talking in my ear, and everyone worked hard to make it happen. I guess it helped that my alma mater, Swampscott, was involved. The fans sat right in front of our booth."

"Lynchie" also made mention that he was a teammate of John Squires at Swampscott High in the late 1960s and early '70s. Squires' son, Ryan Squires, played on the Big Blue team that won the Division 3 Super Bowl Saturday in the second of six games that day.

"We called his father Squirrel," Lynch said. He also spotted Steven Moran in uniform. Lynch and Steven's cousin, Larry were also teammates.

Lynch plugged just about everybody from Swampscott except the town's most famous barber, Phil Rosa.

"I took care of Phil at the Red Sox parade," Lynch pointed out. "Johnny Pesky was in the caravan, it was held on Tuesday, and I said on TV that Pesky is usually in Phil's barbershop on Tuesday."

Lynch said he's had real lengthy days before, but not as consistently on-going. He worked from 8 a.m. until midnight on the World Series, and every Wednesday goes from 8:30 a.m. until the midnight hour. The "Patriots All Access Show" featuring Patriots' coach Bill Belichick starts his morning in Foxboro.

"This was different," Lynch said. "As much as I enjoyed it, it was tougher than any exam I had at Harvard." He, the personable Zolak and Gary Tanguay (who was stationed outside Saturday, the poor guy) met at 8 a.m. in Foxboro and ran down on what they'd focus on during the six-game schoolboy showcase.

"Once the games started it was all football, and that was the easy part," Lynch said. "I didn't have any rosters beforehand, and that made it difficult. So I researched all the newspapers on the Thanksgiving games, made notes, then added more info after the (playoff semifinal) round. I probably stayed up until after midnight putting a notebook together. I also went on line for stuff and had a complete folder for the finals.

"But it wasn't until the night before that I got rosters and could match the names and the numbers."

The one roster he had was Swampscott's, courtesy of his sister Maura. She has a freshman son, Mark McMahon, in the Big Blue program.

He got three minutes for bathroom break, had a slice of pizza, half of a roast beef sandwich and one munchkin during the marathon.

"You can't run out, and the only commercials were at the end of each quarter," he said.

Matt Smith of Kraft Productions, who once was Lynch's colleague at Channel 5, added to the telecast.

"This production had all the drama you'd want," he said. "It was by far the most enjoyable assignment I've had."

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