Sports Sunday on Fox25 with Butch Stearns opened with Red Sox highlights (in progress) against the Rangers tonight. Patriots were up next. “Reid between the lines” looked at the Pats offensive weapons. Pats restocked in the offseason. Brady says you want to try to make it difficult for everyone. Reid notes last year Brown carried the load, often drawing a double team. Graham, Branch, Hayes all look to make a difference. Christian Fauria wants to “score a million touchdowns”. Graham is big and quick. Then my cable system did one of those EAS system tests…
A fight from a Saints/Jags scrimmage led off the next segment (Brian Cox right in the middle) then a look at Terry Glenn talking about how important for the team it is for him to be out on the field. Then another EAS test… Rob Nikoleski had a segment with Adam Vinatieri, a clip from his college days, followed an interview the week before the Super Bowl on the possibility of a game winning kick. (“You just try to be prepared” he said) Determined not to be complacent this season.
A look at Cliff Floyd was next up. Mike Port and Jason Varitek raved about him. Jerry Remy had a sitdown with him from Texas, Floyd is excited to be here, to be settled, to have a chance for the postseason. Great bunch of guys here. He knows many from the Expos and John Henry from the Marlins. When he heard he was going to Boston his eyes lit up and he had a smile from ear to ear. Right field is new to him, new this year. He learned it overnight. Talked a little about first base, but that is something to consider for the future, not now. Being in a new league will be an adjustment, but “you got to block it out.” he’s been able to adjust in interleague play in the past, and wants to do well batting after Manny. “Because Manny’s the man around here.”
Butch Stearns compared winning the Super Bowl to winning the lottery, then asked players how their lives have changed since the win. Lawyer Milloy says he’s a champion now, and knows what that is like. What you have to go through. Richard Seymour is getting a lot of fan mail, had a parade in his home town, JR Redmond showed his ring back home, made the mistake of taking it off and letting someone touch it, He got it back, no one there is fast enough to run from him. David Patten’s son watches the tape of “his game” constantly. Last Blast was the Steve Spurrier era in Washington. Stearns is not rooting for him, he’s rubbed him the wrong way, doesn’t like his ego. A plug for 1510 the Zone ended the show.
WB56 “SportsZone” hosted by Mike Adams had its usual loads of highlights, along with Adam’s wisecracking style. According to at least one set of numbers I saw, this show actually garnered the highest ratings of the Sunday night shows last week.
NECN’s Sports LateNight with Chris Collins was only a half hour show this week instead of the usual hour. Highlights from around the sports world was followed by a segment on the Pan-Mass Challange, a bikeride for cancer. A short piece on Tedy Bruschi by Mike Giardi ended the show, Bruschi was a down lineman in college and had to change his game and style to play in the NFL.
WBZ’s Sports Final hosted by Bob Lobel, says Pedro had to win tonight, 24 hours ago people were lining up on the bridges. Lobel says bye-bye to Jose Offerman and replayed the clip of Samuel L. Jackson making fun of the Offerman signing four years ago. Shaughnessy said he had to be cut. Buckley gives Mike Port a round of applause for going to do it in person. Bob Ryan says Port has done a terrific job this season, but none of them give him much chance of returning after the season. Buckley says Ricciardi, Beane and Sabean are the likely candidates, in that order, but Port may be increasing his chances for another job. Lobel moved onto the tough losses the team has suffered in the last month. Two Yankee losses, the Tampa Bay ninth inning loss, and last night in Texas. Shaughnessy wants to blame them all on Urbina. The panel agrees that now they should be focusing on the wild card. (Just how does a team do that, I wonder) Ryan thinks it’s nice that Gillette is getting involved with the Patriots stadium. Shaughnessy thinks it should be Walt Coleman field. Buckley says he always thought the new Red Sox stadium would be named by Gillette. Lobel talked about all the changes that are going to have to be made in signage down there, etched into glass, road signs, etc. Larry Moulter was on with Lobel saying how well Gillette fits with football fans. Lobel thinks having to explain on Monday Night Football what CMGI means at 37 cents a share was a factor. Moulter thinks new Red Sox ownership will not tinker with naming rights for Fenway. It would really disturb the purists.
Steve DeOssie and Scott Zolak came in studio next and along with Lobel and Steve Burton talked Patriots. Going into the exhibition games, Zolak thinks it’s key to get Charlie Weis back full time. DeOssie thinks Belichick is under pressure. When challenged on that he then clarified that the pressure is mostly what he puts on himself. Zolak talked about the depth in the secondary. Milloy, Jones, Green. DeOssie says the Miami game last year told Tebucky Jones that he belongs in this league. Zolak talked about Brady doing all the same things now that he did as a backup. Lobel asked about the power Belichick has, that Weis kept his surgery under wraps because he didn’t want to be a distraction. DeOssie said that they’ve all bought into it. Parcells was here, it was all about Parcells. Belichick isn’t like that.
Cafardo and Felger were in next. Felger talked about the “Targeting September”. Everything Belichick has done has worked thus far. He thinks they’ll start strong. Cafardo thinks that Pittsburgh is going to come in fired up and the Pats might go 1-3 to start the season. Brady won’t be under any fear of losing his job, Felger disagreed strongly, Belichick puts the best players out there, period. Cafardo says with other positions, maybe but not with Brady. Felger talked about guys in the “Bledsoe camp” who look for Brady to fail and pick on everything he does wrong. (Clearly a shot at Cafardo) Nick tried to defend himself by saying he thinks Brady will be the QB no matter what.
A segment with Willie McGinest done by Steve Burton followed. He doesn’t hit to hurt people. It’s work, he doesn’t want to put guys out of work, but he wants them to feel it, for sure. Let them know it was him. Injuries over career….it’s a physical sport, he’s a physical player, but goes against guys that outweigh him by a hundred pounds or more. Holding call in SuperBowl, when he saw the flag…he was disgusted, but would still do the same thing again. Playing against Bledsoe…will not ease up on him, a friend but on the field is war and will try to drive him into the ground.
Felger challenged McGinest’s saying he’d hold Faulk again. Cafardo said it was the right thing to do. Argument ensued. Looking at the September schedule, Felger thinks if they get past Pittsburgh, they’re 4-0. Cafardo says they’ll be doing well if they go 2-2. Felger says Bettis has never done anything against the Patriots and he’ll take Bill Belichick against Kordell Stewart anytime. Cafardo rolled his eyes and said sarcastically “So Kordell Stewart will never play well against the Patriots?” A look at the rest of the schedule shows many tough games. Cafardo says Bledsoe beats the Patriots at least once, Patriots looking about .500. Felger says no way. A lot of tension between the two of them, it seems. A contact of mine in media told me that he doesn’t think they like each other very much.
Lobel ended the show saying how sad it was that Jose Offerman left town before they could have him on “beat the pro”. (A short golf tip segment that follows Sports Final each week, featuring a local pro or former pro athlete and a WBZ sports anchor.)
WHDH’s Sports Extra with Gene Lavanchy followed its highlights with a mention of Roger Clemens contract situation and the Patriots saying last year is done. Work ethic, concentration is there, distractions are not there. Brady says it’s a different team, going to do things different, but hoping for same end result. Jackie MacMullan came on to talk Red Sox, Daubach fulltime first baseman now. She can’t see them catching the Yankees. Yankees are vulnerable, but Sox can’t catch them. Her sense on the strike, she doesn’t like what she’s sees. They just don’t understand the deathblow this would be. They won’t recover. Losing their young fan base. Patriots talk, she likes Brady…he “gets it”. A one-on-one interview with Victor Green done by Kip Lewis was the last segment.