How popular are the New England Patriots in New England ?  Popular enough to move events away from any conflicts with watching them play in the post-season.  The Patriots travel to Denver to meet the Broncos on Sunday.  Kickoff is set for 3:05 PM.  The University of Massachusetts Lowell hosts Binghamton University in a basketball doubleheader on Sunday.  Originally, the women's game was scheduled for a noon start followed by the men's game.  The school has moved the starting time for the first game from noon to 11 AM.  With a 30 minute break between the men's and women's games by the time the men's game with BU ends it should be right around kickoff time. Union-Endicott grad Chandler Jones starts at defensive end for the Pats.

The earlier start not only accommodates sports fans who may well have chosen to stay home and watch playoff football over attending the River Hawks games but also will enable Binghamton teams to get an earlier start home after what could be a snowy visit to Lowell. However, as of Thursday afternoon the Lowell forecast only called for snow showers over the weekend.

Jim Rogash