The host I was using to create the website polls appears to have gone belly-up. I tried another host briefly, but the poll looked dog-ugly. I’m in the process of looking for another place to create polls with. I’ve looked at about 10 so far this morning, and none have been right. Most limit the amount of characters you can include in the question or answers, other have ads included in the poll, and others are just ugly. If anyone has a good poll software program, let me know. Then I’ll bump the Amazon box down lower on the page again. By the way…would there be any interest in an Amazon “store” here? I was thinking of putting together all the books and movies related to Boston sports and by Boston writers and creating a mini “store-front” type page. I would get some minor commission on anything bought through here. Not looking to get rich, just looking for more to offer. Any other site improvement suggestions are also welcome.
Ron Borges gets the story of what happened to AWOL Raiders center Barret Robbins. From a quick look at sites around the country, Borges appears to be the first to have broken many of the details contained within his story. A good job by Borges, showing what he’s capable of when not obsessed with petty grudges. My favorite line from the story, one which actually made me laugh at the irony, comes from Bill Romanowski, who says of Robbins: “Obviously, the guy has a problem. He’s got to get some help…Hopefully for his sake, for his family, he’s able to get his life cleaned up, whatever there is.” Gerry Callahan can’t resist taking his favorite whipping boys -Raiders fans- out to the woodshed one final time this season. Dan Shaughnessy flashes the good side of his bi-polar columnist skills. I read the column waiting for the other shoe to drop, for a shot at Boston somewhere…it never came. Kevin Mannix warns us not to write off the Raiders yet. He says they’re still a contender…he fails to mention that according to some reports, the Raiders will be around 45 Million dollars over the cap heading into next season. The team you saw Sunday is likely going to be much different next year. My namesake in Oakland has his work cut out for him. Hector Longo says they’re 50 Million over the cap. Michael Gee comments on the piece Bill Belichick wrote for the Op-Ed section of the NY Times Sunday. I meant to mention the Belichick piece yesterday, but got way too busy in the afternoon. If you haven’t read it, register for free at the Times and check out the piece. It puts many of the “ramblings” type columns that local sportswriters love to do around here to shame.
Bill Reynolds hates the Super Bowl. Nick Cafardo looks at John Gruden struggling to find time to spend with his family. Michael Smith looks at Raider taunts that got Simeon Rice fired up for the Super Bowl. George Kimball and Jim Donaldson write about how Gruden ran the scout team as QB in practice so the defense could get familiar with Rich Gannon’s mannerisms. Ron Borges reports on how that paid off for the Buccaneers, as they were able pick up on some of Gannon’s habits. Michael Felger looks at how the Patriots need to improve on defense. Cafardo catches up with Damien Woody, who will now be going to the Pro Bowl in the absence of Robbins. Kimball also has that in his Super Bowl notebook.
Jackie MacMullan has an in-depth look at the relationship between Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce, how their competitive drive leaves them bickering at times, but that they’re determined not to let it effect their friendship off the court. The sparring came to a head during the Christmas day blowout in New Jersey. Steve Bulpett looks at the two of them as they wait to see if they’ll be selected for the All Star game. Peter May looks at former Celtic Chauncy Billups, settling in as a Piston. Carolyn Thornton says Paul Pierce is coming of age in Walker’s absence. Bulpett’s notebook says the Pistons aren’t out for revenge tonight.
NESN has Bruins/Predators at 7:00. FSNE has Celtics/Pistons at 7:30. College hoops reign on ESPN, with Indiana/Michigan at 7:00 and Florida/LSU at 9:00. ESPN2 has Texas A&M/Oklahoma at 7:00.
Very interesting interview with Sean McDonough on WFAN from last week. He rips the Red Sox owners, he says he only took their offer because of his father, and now that Will is gone, if he had it to do over again he would be broadcasting Mets games. He rips the club for not giving up Casey Fossum for Bartolo Colon. He thinks Theo is getting a free ride in the Boston media. He said the Patriots got a free ride this year, no one criticized them at all, and they’re not likely to be contenders next year. A few other items in here too that make you think Sean is trying to get himself fired or something. (It’s a Real Audio clip)
I’ve posted my review of the Super Bowl as viewed in HDTV.
So the Genius had it right again. Back when the Patriots were slinging the ball all over the field early in the season, Ron Borges told us that a team that relied so much on passing couldn’t win a Super Bowl. Yesterday he also offered this insight to the game: “This is a game that could be close for quite some time and then, suddenly, explode into a one-sided affair.” Wow…the guy really does know what he’s talking about. Oh…the next line…”If it does, that side won’t be the Buccaneers'” All I can think of is “Announcer boy” on WEEI saying…”Sorrrryyy, Borges..”
Alright, I admit, that was a little piling on on my part on poor Borges there, and I’ll likely get slammed via e-mail by his supporters and told of my agenda against the guy. So be it. It’s nothing personal. He calls a Bucs player arrogant in his article today. Given his own behavior this year, I thought that a bit ironic. In any event, it’s the last game of the season, so Borges gets a respite after this, and won’t likely come under scrutiny again until draft time, when he’ll insist again that the Patriots should take a David Terrell type over a Richard Seymour type.
Michael Felger has the game story of the Raiders falling apart on the big stage. Nick Cafardo has a few more details. Michael Smith writes about the 5 int performance of Rich Gannon, who was made to look horrific by the Bucs’ D. Tom Curran says there is just no topping last years Super Bowl. Kevin Mannix vaults the Buccaneers right into the vaunted “great defense” category. Dan Shaughnessy looks at former Pat Greg Spires getting his ring, and ending the column with a knife twist to Patriots fan: “And Patriots fans watching last night no doubt wondered, ”Why can’t we get players like that?” No Dan…we weren’t thinking that. Speaking of Dan, how out of touch is he? Over the weekend, he did one of his “random thoughts” pieces and asked “Who is Jimmy Kimmell and why is ABC giving him his own show?” While I interpreted that as a sideways swipe at the whole younger generation, if Dan really doesn’t know who Kimmell is, he really has no business being a columnist at one of the biggest and most influential papers in the country. Sorry, now I’m gonna hear it from the Shaughnessy faithful…Mannix also looks at Spires’ role and gets a Tampa coach to knock the Patriots for letting him go. George Kimball has more on Gannon. I’ll say this for Gannon, on the Westwood One pregame show, when asked about the snow game and tuck rule last year, Gannon answered with class…he said it didn’t come down to that call, the Raiders should’ve put the game away on offense before the call, and they didn’t, and they should’ve stopped the Patriots after the call and they didn’t. Jim Donaldson says the Raiders were as bad as they could be. John Altavilla says Gruden was worth the bounty paid for him. I think it’s pretty ironic that the last two Super Bowls have now been won by coaches who were extracted from their former teams by paying draft picks. Borges also writes about unsung Tampa hero Michael Pittman. Smith takes a peek at the mystery disappearance of Raiders center Barret Robbins. It’s also the focus of Felger’s notebook, and the point is also made that Damien Woody could become a Pro Bowl player because of this incident. Jeff Jacobs says it doesn’t pay to be Rich, Felger agrees. Smith’s third article looks at Rice & Brown’s virtual no-show last night. John Habib notes that the game didn’t have the same feel without the Patriots playing in it. Shaughnessy also looks at the “brash” Gruden, and calls him the “god of all football“. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Keenan McCardell making the right move in skipping over New England, and notes how Will McDonough was honored in the press box.
Steve Bulpett reports on the Celtics victory yesterday over the McGrady-less Magic. Shira Springer reports on the game for the Globe. Mark Murphy looks at Paul Pierce elevating his play in the absence of Walker. Joe Burris agrees, noting this was a productive weekend for Pierce. Carolyn Thornton also looks at the magic performance by Pierce. Murphy also looks at Walter McCarty coming alive in the fourth quarter yesterday. Both notebooks look for a quick return by Walker. In the Herald’s notebook, news on Walker is followed by word on McGrady. In the Globe’s notebook, Walker is followed by a Battie update. Thornton’s notebook says the Magic didn’t have Heinsohn bulletin board material to motivate them yesterday.
I watched the Super Bowl in HDTV last night. I’ll have a review shortly.
No Sunday night wrapups. Working on Super Bowl article.
Dan Duquette has responded to the Boston Herald article regarding John Flynn. On the News page of the Dan Duquette Sports Academy , click on the link that reads “Duquette Outraged at Herald Article”. It’s a PDF file, so you’ll need Acrobat Reader to view the release. The ProJo also has picked up the Flynn story. Flynn also was a caller on WEEI on occasion.