Kevin Mannix isn’t impressed with

Kevin Mannix isn’t impressed with the Patriots. They aren’t playing championship football and lack the ability to deliver the knockout punch. But I wonder. Had the Patriots punched the ball into the end zone with 30 seconds left yesterday instead of taking the knee with class, would the 27-12 final score have had people looking differently at this team? Doesn’t keeping the ball for the final 9+ minutes of the game equal a “knockout punch”? Ron Borges is thankful for Troy Brown. Mannix and Alan Greenberg also submit articles on the player probably most important to the team. Michael Felger and Nick Cafardo are both thinking that signs seem to point to the team going down a familiar road. Tom Curran looks at Tedy Bruschi’s contributions yesterday and notes that Patriots fans should really be hoping for a quick recovery. Karen Guregian writes about the blitz attack the Joey Harrington faced all day. Alan Greenberg sounds a little skeptical of how good the Patriots are after another win over a weak opponent. Jim Donaldson counts his blessings. The importance of that final drive isn’t lost on Michael Smith. Antowain Smith was once again a factor in the game, Karen Guregian submits a short article detailing his contributions. George Kimball says that Tom Brady looked like — and played like — Matt Cavanaugh yesterday. Ian Clark breaks the game into a Thanksgiving dinner. Curran has a notebook that is informative and entertaining at times. Felger’s notebook and Cafardo’s notebook both put much of their focus on the injuries.

Shira Springer writes about the Celtics looking to “take care of home”. Jim O’Brien has had a talk with the new owners, reports Steve Bulpett.

Stephen Harris and Jim Greenidge look ahead to today’s noontime Bruins matchup with the Canadiens. A little revenge might be in the air.

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star isn’t too happy with Theo Epstein’s hiring. He feels the Red Sox “once again have thrown cold water on every African-American and minority candidate and have managed to alienate every loyal, front-office person of any race in team scouting and player development departments who aspired to reach the pinnacle of their profession the old-fashioned way.” He goes on to add that “There will be an entire generation of passed-over candidates (and friends) who would like nothing better than to see him and the Red Sox fall flat on their face

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If you receive WEEI’s “Clubhouse”

If you receive WEEI’s “Clubhouse” E-mails, then today’s “Major Announcement” came as no surprise. As touted in the latest Clubhouse e-mail, sent earlier in the week, WEEI will be honoring its top “Whiner line” callers in an awards ceremony called “The Whineys” to be held in January. Awards will be handed out in several categories, and Lenny Clarke will be the host of the event. Early odds have the caller known as the “Ghost of Harry Carey” as a favorite to walk away with some of the top honors.

Dale & Neumy had a

Dale & Neumy had a lot of Bruins talk on WEEI today, understandably. Dale had to clarify his comments from the NESN telecast last night when, in the closing minutes, he remarked something along the lines of “Soon, the people of the Commonwealth are going to wake up a realize they have one of the best teams in the NHL here.” Dale had to clear up that he wasn’t knocking the fans who weren’t showing up in protest to Jacobs, but rather talking about fans in general who just aren’t aware of how good the team is. They also took a few calls on trading Kyle McLaren. One exchange was fairly frustrating, as when the caller wanted to know exactly why McLaren wants to be traded, does he have a beef with management…they respond with ‘That’s not it…McLaren has nothing against the Bruins team or its management. McLaren has a personal issue that doesn’t involve the team.’ When pressed, Dale said, “I can’t divulge this information”. It’s frustrating from the viewpoint of the listener, it’s almost a teasing, “I know something you don’t know” type of thing. At the same time, Dale is respecting McLaren’s privacy in whatever his personal issue is. Of course, it wasn’t frustrating to listen to Dale mention this site as the one that guided him to the John Tomase article on Theo Epstein, which was also discussed during the show.

The Eddie shots across the bow continue. Today in response to a caller who mentioned “the other end of the dial”, Andelman said he didn’t know too many people who would walk away from the offer that they put before him. He said there are good people there, Dale is a good guy, Ted is a good guy, but otherwise the place is filled with the “slimiest characters” you could imagine, and that he is a family man and couldn’t stand to be associated with them any more. The rest of Eddie’s show was his annual pre-Thanksgiving “turkeys” of the year in sports.

Speaking of Eddie, reader Matt Cullen writes (Greg) Dickerson was filling in for Teddy last night and an old man called up and asked “What ever happened to Eddie Andelman?” .. and Greg replied “Eddie is no longer working in radio, he has retired.” In the most serious tone .. It was strange, I felt bad for the old guy wondering where Eddie was!

I wrote last night about Borges loosening up on the Patriots. Maybe the Globe has put shackles on him, But MSNBC hasn’t. Borges submits an article highly critical of Tom Brady to that web site. He talks about “lingering doubts in the minds of many” about Brady. After mentioning that the Patriots have only beaten two teams with winning records this year, Borges adds: “In an area that for years insisted Ted Williams and Roger Clemens were

For the definitive piece on

For the definitive piece on Theo Epstein, John Tomase provides a story that that follows Epstein from childhood and to where he is now. If, after reading it you don’t feel he was “destined” to become the youngest GM in MLB history, and to run the Red Sox, then I don’t know what to tell you. This isn’t the first time Tomase has written a piece superior to anything you’ve read in the Globe or Herald. Tony Massarotti writes about the hiring of Bill Lajoie and also gets Grady Little’s thoughts on his new boss. In addition to news on Lajoie, Gordon Edes provides a few other tidbits, such as Pedro stating his offseason workouts, coaching rumors and Mike Port’s future. Steven Krasner and David Heuschkel report on the Lajoie hire. Tony Massarotti puts together a notebook on Charlie Manuel being offered the job as the Sox new hitting instructor, and Port’s future. Mike Sullivan reports that Jim Beattie is still a candidate to join the Red Sox, while Mike Flanagan is not. For the Cliff Notes version of the Red Sox news of the day, Alex Spier provides a nice concise wrapup in the Metro, and includes comments from a possible upcoming trade partner, Padres GM Kevin Towers. Tom Curran gets Patriots Vice President of player personnel Scott Pioli to explain what he’s done to make himself successful and presents it as a guide for Epstein.

Something the Patriots have been criticized for in light of last Sunday’s squeaker against the Vikings was the lack of a killer instinct. According to Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, the Bruins have developed on this season, an offers as evidence last night’s 7-3 win over the Flames. Steve Conroy reports for the Herald. Jim Greenidge and Joe Gordon have a look at Glen Murray’s hat trick, which he had finished off in the second period. Joe McDonald compares the Murray-Thornton combo to Wayne Cashman and Phil Esposito, Barry Pederson and Rick Middleton and Adam Oates and Cam Neely. The Bruin’s efforts to bolster their attendance are chronicled in the Globe notebook. Over at the Herald, the notebook has trade and injuries news and updates.

Michael Felger has everyone on the Patriots paying proper respect to the Lions and their record on Thanksgiving. Tom Curran looks at overmatched Detroit coach Marty Mornhinweg and his decision to give up the ball in OT last week. Michael Smith has a good look on safety Victor Green, who seems to always be in the right place at the right time. Alan Greenberg also has Belichick addressing the Lions on Thanksgiving, and hears from Pete Carroll fan Ty Law. Christopher Price says to expect the Lions to use a lot of no-huddle in tomorrow’s game, given the success that the Raiders and Vikings had against the Patriots with it. Curran’s notebook looks at the worrisome playoff picture. Smith’s notebook has more Thanksgiving stuff, a Tebuckey Jones injury update and the address to Richard Seymour’s web site. Felger’s notebook looks at Seymour’s increased production and Pat Patriot jerseys. Ian Clark also focuses on Pat Patriot. Good Lord. I need to check my temperature. Michael Gee writes the second thing in a week that I agree with. I think I’m running a fever.

Peter May looks at the young Bulls coming in tonight. Mark Murphy looks at the maturing of the former “El Busto”, Celtics center Tony Battie. Tim Weisberg envisions what Randy Moss on the Celtics might be like. Murphy’s notebook also looks at the running of the Bulls, and at chef Paul Pierce.

John Molori looks at Mike Lynch’s Thanksgiving day high school football coverage. WEEI promises an announcement of some kind this afternoon at 5:00.

FSNE has Celtics/Bulls at 7:00, followed by NE Tailgate. ESPN has Magic/Lakers at 7:00 and the Maui Invitational final of Virgina/Indiana at 9:30. ESPN2 has a college hoops tripleheader with games at 7:00, 9:30 and 11:00. NESN also has college hoops with Arkansas Pine Bluff (!) taking on Illinois at 8:00.

Eddie Andelman continued his assault

Eddie Andelman continued his assault against the Red Sox and their new owners and management today. He continued to take shots at them, as well as the Herald and other radio stations, while lauding the Globe for its objective coverage. He said that the Herald and the “other radio station” are in the pocket of John Henry and so go along with anything that he decrees. Eddie declared that he would never allow money to cloud his objectivity and would always be a straight shooter. Right. Never take freebies from an autoglass company or chinese food restaurant and then give them a plug, or an appearance on your station. Cool and Objective. That’s Eddie. He repeated what he said yesterday…that opposing GM’s will not want to trade with Theo because they’ll be afraid the “kid” is going to show them up. He had Brian McGrory from the Globe on and praised him for his “tongue in cheek” article this morning. Eddie read aloud the part about Lucchino taking Epstein to Chuck E. Cheese’s and couldn’t get it out he was laughing so hard. Didn’t think it was *that* funny Eddie….McGrory said he has been inundated today with e-mails from outraged 20-somethings. Good. Eddie also called Shaughnessy the best writer in the country. They also had writer Larry Platt on, who recently published a book on Allen Iverson. Eddie and Jags both displayed ignorance and even some prejudice about Iverson. Eddie went into a ramble about tattoos, cornrows and then said “What the hell is his problem?” Jags compared Iverson to Mike Tyson and said how people close to Tyson worry about his self destructive behavior and how it will destroy him someday, and asked Platt if people around Iverson have the same worries given his similar behavior. That question seemed to dumbfound Platt, as Iverson is really nothing like Tyson. Eddie wanted to go into all of Iverson’s “convictions” and arrests and legal problems. Platt tried to explain that Iverson has one conviction, back in ’97. His high school conviction was overturned on appeal and his troubles from last summer were “laughed out of court”. Eddie then patronizingly said that he knew Larry wasn’t trying to be an apologist for Iverson, but that anyone with good lawyers can get off of most charges brought against them. Platt said that he was only trying to make the point that the charges that have been brought against Iverson over the years have been relatively minor compared to many other athletes, but that people make a much bigger deal about it because it’s Iverson. Eddie didn’t really get it.

Bill Simmons chronicles his memories from his years in Boston. They’re memories we all share. He also says that he will return someday. Mike Fine has a really good Epstein article. Jonathan Comey says that 28, like 1918, is just a number. Eric McHugh looks at the Lions success in Thanksgiving games.

From the “you can’t make this up” department, with a little “not that’s there’s anything wrong with that” thrown in, check out this Amazon.com list. Then note the # 1 entry on the list.

Ready for the Theo articles?

Ready for the Theo articles? To shamelessly steal a phrase, I’m thoroughly enjoying the Theo Epstein era. I’m glad the Sox made this move. Yes, it’s a risk, but I don’t think it’s a huge gamble. I was reading somewhere yesterday that Theo could be the GM of the Sox for the next 30 years. He’d still just be 58 then. Imagine that. 2032 Theo Epstein retires after seven World Series championships. He recalls when the late Dan Shaughnessy ripped him for trading Nomar Garciaparra prior to the 2004 season. Little did Shaughnessy know that the Red Sox would receive two future hall of fame players in the deal. Epstein also recalled his long running feud with Herald writer Tony Massarotti who until the day he retired from the Herald five years ago, insisted that Theo channeled the spirit of Larry Lucchino before he made any moves.

*snap* Back to reality. To be fair, Dan Shaughnessy seems actually willing to give the kid a chance. Everyone please remember this article for the future. Tony Massarotti writes that there are a lot of hard decisions to made and though acknowledging that Theo said the right things yesterday, from the tone of the article, Tony Mazz is going to be watching everything very closely. Gordon Edes gives us a thorough background on Theo, his family, his upbringing, how he got to this point. Makes for a good read. Steve Buckley likes the kid, even gives him some advice on a pickup line he can use. Bill Reynolds says that this is a leap of faith, for sure. Gerry Callahan outlines how Epstein might be an ever better choice than Billy Beane. He’ll be more dedicated, less distracted, and cost the Red Sox a whole lot less to put in place. Brian McGrory steps over from the City & Regions side of the Globe to mock the appointment. Sean McAdam weighs in and produces an article that reads just like he sounds. Jeff Jacobs weaves in Casablanca references and generally provides a fairly entertaining column, while cautioning Theo that this region eats its young. Bob Hohler writes that John Henry was convinced about giving Theo the job when he considered “that it’s the young turks in baseball who at this point may be making the largest contributions in the game.” Jeff Horrigan gets Billy Beane’s reaction to the hiring, and has John Henry sounding like Anne of Green Gables talking about “kindred spirits”. I don’t know what’s more embarrassing, Henry using that line, or me making that connection. David Heuschkel’s headline to his story says “Short Leash For Young Pup”. The story is not really like that however. It just talks about the circle that will be around to advise him and that the big decisions will be run by Lucchino and Henry, etc. This would be the case if Billy Beane were here too. Michael Silverman provides background on Epstein as well, and says heck, he could be commissioner by age 40. Lenny Megliola sounds a little skeptical. Boston.com compares Theo with the oldest GM in the game. Ken Fratus sizes up all the Red Sox GM’s through the years. Horigan has a notebook with word on Port and Thomas, as well as possible player and coaching moves. Mike Sullivan updates us on erstwhile candidates Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan. Dennis and Callahan spent some time on WEEI this morning begging for an anti-Theo call.

Theo could pay other dividends as well. Over the past week, I’ve gotten a huge chunk of traffic from searches on Yahoo and Google, people, (Women mostly, I’m making the huge leap to assume) searching under terms like “Theo Epstein married”, “Theo Epstein bachelor”, “Theo Epstein girlfriend” and “Theo Epstein bio”. The Red Sox could capitalize on Theo and his Tom Brady-like chin, cashing in with females who had never been interested in a team General Manager before. Imagine the woman that lands him, bringing him home to meet the parents. “So what do you do for a living, son?”

Jackie MacMullan looks at Tom Brady, the pressure he is under, and the unfair criticism he receives for all his early success. Kevin Mannix provides a report card with a whole lot of “C’s”. Paul Kenyon writes that the Patriots are glad to be playing on Thanksgiving, but wary of the Lions. Alan Greenberg chronicles the quick turnaround this week, and recalls Brady getting his first NFL snaps in Detroit on Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Mark Murphy looks at tough guy Joe Andruzzi. Nick Cafardo acknowledges the job Ty Law has done this season shutting down top receivers. Karen Guregian looks at the mess that is the Detroit Lions. Steve DeOssie (nice picture…gotta check it out. Wonder how soon this one appears on the WEEI website) writes about the Patriots for the Boston Metro. The notebooks all look at the return of Pat Patriot. The Globe, the Herald and the Projo.

Peter May looks at Antoine Walker’s frustration at not being considered for the Olympic team. Steve Bulpett looks at the bolstered point guard situation for the Celtics. May’s notebook deals with the prospective new owners missing their first deadline…not to worry though. Yet. He also compares the numbers this season of Vin Baker and Mark Blount. Bulpett’s notebook looks at some sickness going around the team and mentions that Tony Battie has a swollen knee.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins pushing all the right buttons and making all the right moves. Joe Gordon says the team is just going with the flow. Gordon’s notebook features Mike O’Connell shooting down trade rumors.

Bill Griffith previews tonight’s HBO’s “Real Sports” and looks ahead to Thanksgiving NFL coverage, including a planned segment on Charlie Weiss. Bruce Mohl looks at the impact NESN is having on increasing cable TV rates in New England. Jim Baker pans HBO’s boxing coverage and gives some opinion on the Patriots coverage from the weekend. John Molori praises Sean McAdam and Chris Collinsworth.

NESN has Bruins/Flames at 7:00. FSNE has BU/Harvard College Hockey at 7:00. ESPN continues coverage of the Maui Invitational, with semifinal games at 7:00 and 9:30. HBO has “Real Sports with Bryant Gumble” tonight at 10:00.