Did anyone enjoy Dan Shaughnessy this morning? I thought the piece was dreadful and demeaning, but maybe that’s just me. Perhaps I should give credit to Dan for trying to keep things light, but he’s jaded me so much that I’m suspicious of everything the guy writes. My cynicism and Shaughnessy radar tell me he’s discrediting the snow game and the comeback in Chicago, implying that the Patriots aren’t truly deserving of either win, and by extension the Super Bowl. Maybe I should give him credit for having the talent or persistance to sneak a Buckner reference into a Patriots column. Or maybe this has something to do with me watching JFK the other day on cable…

Michael Smith gets the Patriots/Raiders fires burning with word of Charles Woodson guaranteeing a Raiders win on Sunday. Michael Felger notes that the Patriots have a lot of improvements to make if they want to go on the type of run they did last year. One question…why would the Raiders give that Brady video to Phifer when he visited them as a free agent this past offseason? Did they think that would be an inducement to get him to sign with them? Alan Greenberg can’t make heads nor tails of the AFC and provides some notes from around the NFL, including Terry Glenn’s premature Lambeau leap. Joseph P. Kahn has a interesting Globe feature on Jonathan Kraft. Rich Thompson takes a look at the Patriots backs, who are able to take the short dumps and turn them into big gainers.

Bob Hohler wonders if the Red Sox could go right to Theo Epstein for the GM position. Testimony from around the league seems to say he could handle it. For what it’s worth, Butch “Jim Thome to the Red Sox is a done deal” Stearns reported last night on Fox25 that Epstein would be named Red Sox GM within the month. I talked about my Shaughnessy radar earlier. I’m also developing a Steve Buckley radar. Today he compares Mike Port working with Epstein to “Tony Bennett performing a duet with Eminem”. I kid you not. Sean McAdam updates the GM search and has info on the Sox new bench coach. Yesterday, John Tomase had Lucchino ruling out Epstein as a candidate. Hohler’s notebook has media pal J.P. Ricciardi speaking for Beane. Tony Massarotti has a couple bullpen names the Sox seem to be interested in, Tom Gordon and (ugh) Roberto Hernandez.

Gus Martins previews tonights Celtics/Sixers matchup. Michael Muldoon writes about the suddenly passing fancy, Paul Pierce. Frank Dell’Apa looks at the activation of the not-ready-to-play Kedrick Brown and also previews the Sixers. Martins’ notebook deals with the difficulty of getting the ball in to the low post in today’s NBA.

Despite an owner that has alienated their fan base, the Bruins keep rolling. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has details of last nights 4-3 win in Buffalo. Steve Conroy views it as escaping with the win after a dreadful start and poor finish. Dan Hickling’s notebook in the Projo looks at Robbie Ftorek’s lineup tweaking. Conroy’s notebook has rookie Ivan Huml taking a seat to watch the game from above the ice.

Couple items of note from Jim Baker. He’s got Joe Theisman talking about the tuck rule and Patriots/Raiders, in addition, ever since the breakup of the Madden/Sumerall duo, we’ve heard how Heinsohn/Gorman is the longest running broadcast duo in sports. It’s just been accepted as fact by everyone. Turns out, everyone was wrong. Apparently Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren have been calling Atlanta Braves games together for 28 years. Most, if not all of those right in front of a national audience on TBS. Baker also manages a major slam at Bill Simmons with his concluding line: “Word that Bill Simmons is LA-bound to join Jimmy Kimmel has prompted good-riddance reactions.” Man. Talk about a blind, uncredited blanket slam.

FSNE has Celtics/Sixers at 7:00. ESPN has Spurs/Nets at 7:00 and Warriors/Kings at 9:30. ESPN2 has Panthers/Flyers at 7:30.