Sad media note in Chicago, where 37 year old TV sports anchor Darrian Chapman passed away suddenly yesterday of an apparent heart attack while preparing to play hockey. Chapman had local ties, as he was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Mike Adams made his WWZN morning show debut with former WEEI intern Candy alongside providing sports updates and traffic reports. Reports on the show are mixed. Perhaps it can be chalked up to opening day jitters.
Jim Fenton recaps the Celtics season opener. Rob Bradford noticed Bulls GM Jerry Krause standing outside the locker rooms “throwing around the same sized smile seen after each of his team’s six NBA World Championships.” Mike Fine has the game story from last night, and in his notebook he writes on the subject of Kedrick Brown being placed on the IR: “A player on the IL at the start of the season can come off at any time rather than wait the mandatory five games if placed on the list at any other time.” Interesting. First I’ve heard of that. All other accounts just talk about him missing at least the first five games. (Same with Shaq) Bill Simmons says David Stern for President.
David Pevear has Drew taking care of the Bills. Eric McHugh looks at Drew facing his old team and how others in this game have fared in that situation. Glen Farley has Drew admitting that he took things for granted and what he’s done in this rebirth in Buffalo. McHugh’s notebook focuses on the media horde inundating Belichick with Bledsoe questions. Sal Paolantonio writes about Bledsoe’s revenge. Mark Malone and Merril Hodge look at the Bledsoe/Belichick matchup. John Clayton’s First…and 10 leads with Patriots/Bills. Peter King and Don Banks answer whether the Patriots blew it with Drew Bledsoe. Pete Prisco looks at Bledsoe for CBS Sportsline. Paul Attner says Drew is smiling more now than people have ever seen.
After one Celtics game, panic ensues. Jackie MacMullan reads like Ron Borges. Bob Ryan starts out a little down, but gets rolling and reminds us that Robert Parish was “brutal” in his first month with the Celtics. Steve Bulpett blames the defense for letting down last night. Shira Springer’s game story looks at the silence from the captains down the stretch. Ryan’s second article looks at the young Bulls. Lenny Megliola gives us his observations on the game. Carolyn Thornton has a straightforward game story. Gus Martins looks at Tony Delk’s scorching night. Michael Gee makes a comparison between last night’s game and the last game of the playoffs last year. Bulpett’s notebook has the interesting news that the new owners may attempt to build their own arena for the Celtics after their lease at the Fleet expires in eight years. Springer’s notebook focuses on Kedrick Brown’s stay on the IR. Thornton’s Projo notebook has Jim O’Brien saying he viewed Bill Cartwright as a potential coach back in his playing days with the Knicks.
Genius coach Ron Borges has all the answers to what the Patriots need to do. Tom Curran says Bledsoe had just as much to do with his departure from the Patriots as Bill Belichick had. Michael Felger looks at the reborn Bledsoe, who admits that he might’ve gotten complacent here feeling firmly entrenched as the starter. Bill Reynolds writes that Brady can learn from Bledsoe how to handle things during down times. Alan Greenberg looks at what his old coach and friends have to say about Drew. Today shows the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Nick Cafardo. Read his even-keeled, objective article on the Belichick press conference yesterday, and then think what Cafardo would’ve said about it had he been on Sports Final and been talking about the same press conference. Michael Smith looks at Bledsoe as the center of attention yesterday. Jim Donaldson also looks at Bledsoe’s rebirth. Felger also has Tom Brady clarifying his comments and taking blame on himself for the team’s slide too. Cafardo’s notebook also looks at Brady’s comments. Felger’s notebook has Donald Hayes practicing with the scout team, as does Curran’s Projo notebook.
Meanwhile, with absolutely zero fanfare, the Bruins continue their streak of not losing since opening night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has the story from the Bruins 7-2 win in Washington last night. Steve Conroy reports for the Herald. Both notebooks in the Globe and Herald focus on goalie Tim Thomas, making his second NHL start last night.
As for the Red Sox, Michael Silverman says the Sox still hope to talk to Billy Beane. Bob Hohler reports that the A’s have already denied permission for such talks. He also reports that if they can’t get Beane, they might put Lee Thomas in the job on an intern basis. Both stories also report on Manny Ramirez getting a perfect rating in the Elias Sports Bureau statistical rankings. Hohler seems a bit shocked by this. Manny is the fifth player in 21 years to get the perfect score. Now, if he would only try out there, right? Peter Gammons said again yesterday on WEEI how the Red Sox were “stuck with one of the worst contracts in the history of baseball.” If the guy didn’t produce, (See Hampton, Mike or even Mussina, Mike) that’s one thing. But he produces something this rare, and still gets raked over the coals. Only in Boston.
NESN has Bruins/Mighty Ducks at 7:00. TNT has Celtics/Wizards at 7:30 and Portland/Sacramento at 10:00 ESPN2 has Coyotes/Flyers at 7:30.
A lot of Celtics talk on both sports radio stations today. Dennis & Callahan had Chris Wallace on, Dale & Neumy had Steve Bulpett and Tommy Heinsohn as guests, and the Big Show with Glen Ordway had the baseball dudes of Buckley and McAdam, and planned to have Heinsohn and Mike Gorman on together later on. The McDonough Group had Sean, Bill Simmons, Kip Lewis and Steve Burton. While talking Patriots, Simmons and Burton were pro-Belichick, while McDonough and Lewis think the jury is still out as to whether he is a good coach.
The worst kept secret around WWZN will be revealed after the Celtics game tonight, when as reported by John Molori and Jim Baker yesterday, Jimmy Myers will host “Celtics Rewind” until midnight. I say the worst kept, but in reality, they did a pretty good job at keeping it concealed, since Myers was hired in August…
Mike Fine looks at the Celtics on opening night. Jim Fenton says for better or for worse, here they are. Rob Bradford wonders if the Dynamic Duo is going to be enough for this team, and looks at the rest of the roster. Tim Weisberg examines the roster and the increased expectations. Michael Muldoon looks at J.R. Bremer. Bill Simmons has a look at the Western Conference.
I’m trying to figure out Mark Farinella’s column today. He says he’s never been too fond of Bledsoe personally, but at the same time he hopes he shreds the Patriots and sends them to their 5th straight loss. He also is of the opinion that this team is cooked and will not be a playoff contender. Eric McHugh emphasizes the pass rush for Sunday’s matchup with Drew. Bill Burt says the problems are on defense. Len Pasquarelli notes that for the second straight year, the Patriots are 3-4, but for different reasons. ESPN.com has a Pro Football Weekly Patriots report.
If you need to feel a little better you can read Steve Serby in the NY Post describe how New York has become the new “Loserville”, or as he puts it, “the Rotten Apple”.
With the Celtics tipping off tonight, a few articles on them. Mark Murphy produces three articles in the Herald, His first has Walker and the Celtics eager to begin the season after their playoff run of last year. His second has them ready to begin the season tonight. Steve Bulpett gives himself a headache from thinking too much about the Celtics. (44 wins, he says) Shira Springer looks at the car Pierce is driving and tonight’s season opener. Carolyn Thornton looks at the Celtics as targets now around the league. Michael Gee says we all know what’s going to happen in the NBA anyway. Murphy’s notebook also looks at Pierce’s car, while Springer’s notebook has Walker assuring us that Vin Baker is going to be fine. Jim Baker catches up with Tommy Heinsohn, and previews the NBA coverage for the upcoming season.
The Red Sox GM search continues. Michael Silverman has word of two new, unnamed candidates. He also has Lucchino gushing over already interviewed Mike Arbuckle. David Heuschkel also places Arbuckle as the front-runner. With Gordon Edes out of the country on some R&R, Bob Hohler reports on Lucchino interviewing the Red Sox own Lee Thomas. He also mentions the two mystery candidates. Joe McDonald also reports on the search process for the Projo.
Curiously few Patriots items today in this week of megahype. Likely just the calm before the storm and we’ll be overloaded the rest of the week. Michael Felger looks at how the players are coping with the struggles and that none of them have even hinted at blaming the coaches. The WEEI guy also uses a quote from Mike Vrabel’s appearance on WWZN on Monday, the one where the Patriots linebacker invited Tom Brady to come to the defensive meetings to see if they’re intense enough. Michael Smith looks at Victor Green’s history of success against Drew Bledsoe. Felger’s notebook examines whether the legend of Belichick being able to stop Bledsoe is real or a myth.
Kevin Paul Dupont has a feature on Sergei Samsonov’s concerns about his family back home in Moscow, where terrorist activity has resulted in over 100 deaths last week. Steve Conroy has Hall Gill adjusting to the new rules. Dupont’s notebook reports on the rumor of the day on a trade for Kyle McLaren, Conroy’s notebook looks at Coach Ftorek’s power play strategy.
FSNE has Celtics/Bulls at 7:00. NESN has Bruins/Capitals at 7:00. ESPN has Wizards/Raptors at 7:00 and Lakers/Trailblazers at 9:30.
The Globe has posted a few more NBA articles since this morning. Peter May looks at the vanishing species of the true point guard. Shira Springer looks at the Celtics point guard trio. May also lists out his Eastern and Western conference predictions.
Mike Fine has a Celtics Preview and also grades the preseason. Jim Fenton says Paul Pierce will be a marked man. Bill Simmons previews the Eastern Conference. He has the Celtics slated at # 6, behind the Wizards, Pacers and Pistons.
Glen Farley examines Drew Bledsoe’s resurgence. Eric McHugh has yet to spot any dissension on the Patriots. High School coaches grade the Patriots in the Union Leader. McHugh’s notebook has cutting down on penalties as a goal of the Patriots.
This, as they say, Just in. Howard Bryant, who is a Boston area native and has been covering the Yankees for the Bergen Record, will be joining the Boston Herald as a Senior Sports writer. Bryant, who earlier this year published the book “Shut Out – A story of race and baseball in Boston” is returning home after 16 years. He previously covered the Oakland A’s for the San Jose Mercury News and was an editorial writer and technology columnist for the Oakland Tribune.
Update. The Herald sports section has been updated and the links below as well.
Alan Greenberg looks at what the Patriots plan to do to stop Drew. Tom Curran ponders how the Patriots can get their “sense of urgency” back.” Nick Cafardo has Lawyer Milloy searching for answers. Bill Reynolds looks at the fine line between genius and buffoon. The Bitter Globe Columnist looks at The Head Coach trying to prepare for the matchup against The Quarterback, who, says to The Bitter Globe Columnist, is doing in Buffalo exactly what he did here all those years. (Does anyone recall the BGC being this big of a Bledsoe fan when he was here?) Contrast that article, with Rich Thompson’s piece in the Herald on the same subject. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the Patriots aging defense. Curran’s notebook looks at the lack of wide receiver production and a slight alteration in Tom Brady’s comments. Bill Burt suggests the Patriots go back to last year. Hector Longo says this team just isn’t that talented. Longo also gets a sampling of the emotions after the loss Sunday. Gerry Callahan looks at Brady/Bledsoe. Kevin Mannix hands out his report card. Thompson’s notebook mentions the bye-week fight in practice.
NBA tips off tonight. The Globe has a mini-preview. Likely more tomorrow when the Celtics tip off. Shira Springer is optimistic about the team. Peter May composes a few top-five lists from around the NBA. Springer, May and Jackie MacMullan make brief season picks. Paul Doyle has an overview of this non-traditional Celtics squad. Mark Murphy has Vin Baker giving himself a “B” for the preseason. Murphy’s notebook has O’Brien lauding his young leaders.
Gordon Edes says the Red Sox need to just copy the Angels model, listing out 20 points from the season. I hope he was kidding with #17. Angels people have admitted that they thought he might be a useful backup. Not something “special”. Bob Hohler looks at possible offseason moves, including the likely Floyd to the Yankees speculation. Michael Silverman also looks at the possible loss of Floyd. Tony Massarotti rehashes the Angels history and concludes there’s hope for the Red Sox. Steve Buckley gives us his closing thoughts on the World Series.
Bill Griffith looks at the debut of the NBA on ESPN. He also notes that the Globe has banned its writers from appearing on the Herald-sponsored FSNE “New England Sports Tonight” show. John Molori reports that WWZN has hired Jimmy Myers as host of its new season of “Celtics Rewind” starting tomorrow night. I say not so fast…don’t be surprised to find that Myers isn’t the one for that show. Jim Baker gives us World Series highs and lows, and also reports the Myers to WWZN rumor.
TNT has Magic/76ers at 7:30 and Spurs/Lakers at 10:30. ESPN2 has Sharks/Red Wings at 8:00. HBO has “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” at 10:00 with the segments including the coming out of former NFL player Esera Tuaolo.