By Michael Gelbwasser, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Like many sports fans, Melissa Rebello, Kelly Jefferson and Edie Bamberger have an opinion of how the NFL handled the recent Ray Rice domestic violence case. But that's not a surprise, because the women have opinions about a lot of things regarding sports. And on Sept. 8, they shared some of those as part of a special panel hosted by the Shrewsbury Media Connection (SMC).
SMC has aired four women-talking-sports episodes of “Sentimental Journey,” hosted by Henry Grampietro, each year for the past three years. These two themed, 30-minute shows run in the spring and the fall, the beginning and end of baseball season.
“In talking to some of these people, I realized there are some women out there that know and follow baseball,” Grampietro said. “They listen to sports talk. They read the papers. They'se well-versed in baseball. And, I'se never seen a show with all women just talking baseball.”
The latest episodes, recorded Sept. 8, will air soon, he said.
Grampietro said he has hosted a show on SMC since 1994. The program was originally called “Sports Overtime.” Two 30-minute shows air every month. Each show airs for two consecutive weeks.
The all-women sports talk episodes usually feature Red Sox-Yankees talk, with other sports sprinkled in as well, Grampietro said. His daughter, Kelly Sommerville of Westborough, is a regular panelist.
Jefferson, a Webster resident, said she became a baseball fan in 1976. She listens to games on the radio. And she is not alone.
“You go to Fenway, and you'sl see women that are keeping a scorecard, women that know the stats,” she noted. ?”There are a lot of men that are doing that, too. But the idea that the women are all pink hats ”
“I think over the years there's [been an] increasing number of women at the games who are not with their husbands, [but] who are with their girlfriends, which is awesome to see,” she said. ?”It used to be you would go with your husband or your boyfriend because they were going.”
Rebello, who lives in Worcester, added that she is a Patriots fan.
“I's the “football voice” on the team,” she said.
Bamberger, meanwhile, is the resident Yankee fan.
“I have three brothers, and that's all they did was watch sports and talk about sports. My father used to take me to Yankee Stadium,” said Bamberger, who lives in Northborough.
Football was the hottest topic of the first of the two new “Sentimental Journey” episodes, with focus on the Rice controversy and the Patriots” season opener.
Rebello said that when Rice hit his then-fiancée, “he hit her hard, and she went down, and then he dragged her out like he didn's even care. That being said, don's tell me (NFL Commissioner) Roger Goodell didn's see that video clip. He saw that. They tried to put it under the rug. They tried to make it go away.”
For more information on SMC and to see when the Sentimental Journey program will be aired, go to www.shrewsbury-ma.gov, hover over “Departments” and click on Shrewsbury Media Connection.