Super Bowl stories can wait

Super Bowl stories can wait just a moment. How many people turned off the Celtics game at halftime, when TNT’s Charles Barkley said the Celtics were a disgrace and that “Larry Bird must be rolling over in his grave watching the Celtics tonight.” or just after the half, when they trailed by 23? Sure the Sixers have been struggling, seemingly finding new ways to give away games every night, but coming back from 23 down in the third quarter on the road against anyone is an accomplishment. Mark Murphy and Shira Springer report from the First Union Center, affectionately known in Philadelphia as the “F-U” Center. Springer notes that Walker and Pierce were engaged in trash talk with fans down the stretch of the game. Perhaps not the wisest move. Especially if those two want to be Olympians and the coach of the Olympic team is sitting on the opposing bench. Dan Hickling writes that the comeback is a tribute to the heart of the Celtics. Murphy reports that surgery is a increasing possibility for Tony Battie. Springer’s notebook leads with an update on Antoine Walker’s knee, which hobbled him down the stretch, Hickling’s notebook touches on Battie, Grant Long and that last night was the midpoint of the season. Murphy’s notebook has more on Walker’s knee, and the trash talking and taunting between the Celtics and the Sixer fans. Philadelphia has it’s share of idiot columnists too, who revel in losing. (Boston hasn’t quite cornered the market yet.) Witness William Bunch’s article yesterday after the Eagles lost in the NFC championship.

Is there anyway a petition or fund can be started to send Ron Borges to Oakland for good? He used to cover to Raiders, and clearly loves the team, the fans and the owner. He praises the fact they have “an offense that dinks and dunks and tosses the ball quickly.” (wasn’t that what he hated the most about the Patriots passing game?) and adds that it’s “an offense perfectly suited to combat the fast, aggressive defense of the Buccaneers.” He goes on to conclude that the Raiders will win Sunday, because they won their last three Super Bowls with offense, (er, the last one was in 1983, Ron.) they should win this one too then. Can’t defy that logic. Maybe they will win, but it won’t have anything to do with 1976, 1980 or 1983. George Kimball on the other hand, isn’t so impressed by the Raiders or their fans. He notes that ” Super Bowl XXXVII may mark the first time in the history of the event in which Satan has an active rooting interest.” Michael Felger looks at the matchup of strength against strength. While Borges drools over the Raiders unstoppable offense, Jon Couture provides a history lesson to the effect that the better defense usually wins these games. My fever from last week must be continuing, as Dan Shaughnessy’s column is mostly readable again. Dan makes note of all the local ties and connections in the game, leading to who you should be rooting for. Bob Ryan is pretty pumped that the Raiders are back in the Super Bowl. Felger’s Super Bowl notebook looks at Bill Romanowski vying for his fifth Super Bowl ring, and a juiced Joe Jurevicius. Michael Smith looks at the Raiders cocky third receiver, Joey Porter. Nick Cafardo has a piece on NFC title game hero Ronde Barber. Christopher Price says this year’s Super Bowl has a lot to do to top the one we saw last year.

Gordon Edes reports on the Sox closing in on Shaughnessy favorite David Ortiz and Australian David Nilsson.Tony Massarotti reports that there is nothing to report on the status of Kevin Millar. Michael Gee says Bud Selig must’ve thought up this All Star game thing while smoking crack.

The presence of Jumbo Joe helped the Bruins secure a 3-3 tie yesterday afternoon. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that Thornton’s effort was reminiscent of another Bruin’s captain, Ray Bourque, lifting the team and carrying it on his back. Stephen Harris reports that the Bruins are pleased to have salvaged the tie. Kevin Paul Dupont says that now is the time for this team to get going, or Ftorek could pay the price. Karen Guregian concurs. Steve Conroy looks at the dual effort between Thornton and Glen Murray yesterday. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at the rough start by rookie center Kris Vernarsky. Harris’ notebook looks at a bruised P.J. Axelsson.

Jim Baker has a look at the troubled NHL and how that effects broadcasts. John Molori reports on the latest radio ratings book, (no surprise, WEEI continues to be the 800lb gorilla of the market) and has another tribute to Will McDonough. Joe Sullivan says this sports writing thing isn’t as easy as you might think. Try coming up with ideas week after week. We all pity your plight Joe. And no, I wasn’t the guy he mentions in his column that writes in ripping him all the time.

Alright, I’ll say it. The Mike Adams morning show on 1510 is a disaster. The thing is, Candy has actually gotten better. She’s no Suzy Kolber yet, but she’s better than she was when the show first started. Mike needs to drop the “I was out all night drinking and am severely hung over” act that he plays up every day. When did “Stumpy” or “Stampy” or whatever his name is become the co-host? That accent of his grates on the ears big time. Mike knows baseball. He doesn’t know basketball, and it is reflected whenever he tries to talk Celtics or interview a reporter or someone else on the topic of the Celtics and the NBA. The show needs to be revamped. Get Mike a real co-host who has interviewing skills, and who can be the “straight man” to Mike’s wackiness. Someone to keep him in check a bit. Let Candy keep doing the updates and traffic reports and give her time improve some more. When the show was launched, it seemed there would be various co-hosts coming in and out to join Mike. There haven’t been any. Adams is unquestionably talented and can be incredibly entertaining in the right environment. This isn’t it. I want to like this show. It could be a nice contrast to the biting anger of the Dennis & Callahan show, but right now, D&C, headlines segment and all, is the far better choice.

ESPN has Ohio State/Indiana college basketball at 7:00. They follow it with Alabama/Mississippi at 9:00. ESPN2 has Virginia/Virginia Tech at 7:30. NESN has George Washington/Richmond at 7:00.


Tony Massarotti and Michael Holley

Tony Massarotti and Michael Holley joined Gene Lavanchy on WHDH’s Sports Xtra. Tampa Bay is a surprise to have won today. Holley wants all Raiders fans to drop the tuck rule now, and he doesn’t want to hear a full week of Raiders vs John Gruden. But should be an entertaining week, with big personalities. Massarotti says that these coaches are being shown to be worth draft picks. Holley says Gruden is only worth the picks if they actually win. He mentioned the Bucs having to cut Keyshawn Johnson in the offseason because of salary reasons. The matchup between the two teams is going to be strength against strength. Tampa defense against Oakland offense. Onto baseball, the offseason has gone pretty much as planned, in that they weren’t throwing money around. But Massarotti noted the two biggest people they went after, Beane and Contreras, they didn’t get, so they failed on those. The team is going to be good though. Lavanchy says they really need a closer. Holley thinks another starter is a bigger need. Massarotti says the Yankees have questions as well, Clemens and Wells are old, Pettite has injuries and Contreras has never pitched in the big leages before. Holley says we say this every year though, and every year they win. Massarotti just thinks the Yankees are not as infallible as years past, but the whole American League is going to be better as a whole. Many more better teams. Holley would not have given up Fossum for Colon. He was excited at hearing all the teams interested in Hillenbrand, as he thinks he’s reached his peak, but now they can’t get anyone to take him. Lavanchy knocked the emphasis on on-base percentage. He thinks its overblown and not as important as Red Sox management is making it out to be. They all then ridiculed the All Star game changes.

After the break, Gary Gillis had a segment that remembered the Snow Bowl from a year ago tonight. Clips from the game, and clips from the post game conferences were replayed. Next week, they’ll look at the AFC Championship game against Pittsburgh.

WBZ’s Sports Final with Steve Burton started off showing what happened a year ago tonight. The snow game, the kick. Unfortunately the Patriots aren’t in the playoffs this year. Steve DeOssie and Otis Smith were in to talk about the football games today. The blowout in the Raiders game was not expected. Smith described Steve McNair as “a beast”. DeOssie says the 10 point swing at the end of the first half killed the Titans. DeOssie picks Tampa to beat the Raiders. A good defense is going to beat a good offense, and he cited the Giants beating the Bills in ’91 and the Patriots winning last year as examples. Smith agreed, saying he likes good defensive teams and lauded the job Ronde Barber did today. DeOssie doesn’t understand why the Eagles didn’t blitz against Brad Johnson today. They have great cover guys, and the Tampa receivers are not speedy, and they didn’t put any pressure on Johnson at all. Smith was surprised the Eagles didn’t play more 1-1 defense with their good cornerbacks. Burton went into the “easy story” John Gruden comes back to face the Raiders. DeOssie mentioned all the enemies Al Davis has around the league and how this could get those people fired up. Burton wondered if Gruden has an advantage knowing the Raiders players. Smith noted that the players also know what Gruden is going to try to do as well. DeOssie says the biggest thing Gruden has to face is the massive offensive line of the Raiders. They then discussed Rich Gannon and Bill Romanowski. DeOssie says Romanowski is a smart guy, knows how to play, knows how to work a crowd. Jerry Rice 40 years old, another Super Bowl, this year was his best year statistically in the last 5 years, coming back for another year next year.

After a break, they came back to talk more about Gannon, today he not only passed, but ran as well. DeOssie again mentioned the huge offensive line, he likened it to the Dallas lines in the 90’s that won 3 Super Bowls. Smith said he didn’t even to slide today. They talked about the age of the Raiders, Gannon, Rice, Tim Brown, Rod Woodson…but if you’re just playing one game, age doesn’t matter. They then moved on to talk about the Tampa receivers, no burners, all possession guys, big guys. Mike Alscott was brought up, Burton called him a house, Smith called him a “mansion”. No one wants to tackle the guy. Burton asked Smith about his status, he’s planning on coming back next year, he’s looking forward to coming back and getting back to the playoffs and hopefully doing what they did last year. During the Dolphin game he was there, on the sideline, helping the guys out. He said it’s hard sitting home now watching the games knowing that they’re capable of being there playing and winning. Next year they will likely come in more hungry, more focused, looking to win as many games as they can, over 10 will be needed. Injuries this year were a factor, but they still should’ve won some of those games that they lost. Next year they’ll come back with a great sense of urgency. DeOssie says the high level of intensity that they had during the Super Bowl run is impossible to maintain over the course of two seasons. Smith said they also put pressure on themselves, they sort of shot themselves in the foot in October.

Gordon Edes and Steve Buckley were in next to talk about the Red Sox. Pedro’s comments were discussed, Buckley called it a “brush fire”, nothing to be concerned about. Edes agreed, the Red Sox don’t mind Pedro being cranky. Burton then read the comments from the Dominican newspaper. Buckley says there is no sizzle with that steak. He doesn’t think fans should be upset by his comments. Edes says Pedro doesn’t have the leverage here. The Red Sox hold the option and have the power. Buckley says a lot of times Pedro says things sort of offhand that come off looking ugly in print. Onto Millar, MLB has said that he has to honor his contract with the Japanese team. His agents feel there might be some wiggle room in the contract. But the only way he gets here, is he’s declared a free agent again and gets put out to the highest (sealed) bidder. Buckley says this guy is just a complimentary player, amazing what a controversy this has become. Edes says he’s a very good complimentary player, led the Marlins in hitting last year, the Sox need more, better complimentary players. They then talked about Theo’s appearance on stage with his band at the charity event. Buckley says this is not a big deal, it was a charity event, he represented himself and his age bracket. Edes likes the account of chair throwing, sounds like something out of the 1940’s. Bill Veeck would done that. They talked about the biggest floral arrangement at Will McDonough’s funeral came from George Steinbrenner. A tweak at the Red Sox even there. Buckley also says that Steinbrenner does indeed concern himself with the Red Sox, and is getting himself more involved in things. They talked about the time in the 80’s when he was in his prime at meddling and all the good players they got rid of in that span. It was when Steinbrenner was suspended that the Yankees rebuilt their farm system and became the power they are now. Burton personally likes Larry Lucchino’s mixing it up with Steinbrenner the last month or so.

Another day of “Guess the

Another day of “Guess the sports figure I’m thinking of” on WWZN. Riveting programming. I guess it’s better than “bash the Red Sox GM and ownership”.

Bill Simmons’ article today is very funny…sounds like he’s enjoying life in LA. We get to hear about some of the writers he’s working with on the show, and the tangents one of them in particular goes into. The only downer of the article is that Simmons has an Eddie Andelman-like view of Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino. If Simmons knew that was what Eddie has been saying over and over, I’m guessing he might rethink his position. Rob Bradford has an article on Antoine Walker cheering for his high school teammate Donovan McNabb this weekend. They also went to school with Simeon Rice of the Bucs. Chad Finn says it’s a good thing that the Red Sox didn’t get Bartolo Colon. Del Jones examines how a new breed of coach is in these conference championship games. Jeff Thomas has another look at J.R. Bremer.

More Red Sox related items

More Red Sox related items dominate the papers. Gerry Callahan says Theo Epstein shouldn’t feel pressured to “Do Something”, except perhaps to lose that hat he wore when he was on stage with his band. I think I’m running a fever, because I find myself in agreement with much of is in Dan Shaughnessy’s column. The column is essentially a rebuttal to Massarotti’s column in the Herald yesterday. Howard Bryant concludes his three part series on Red Sox management by looking at Mike Port. Interesting piece once again, and recounts some things Port did as GM of the Angels that sound eerily like the things the media here skewered Dan Duquette for. David Heuschkel runs down a few of the questions facing the Sox as discussed at the Boston baseball writers dinner last night. Frank Dell’Apa sizes up new second baseball Todd Walker. Michael Silverman chats with Grady Little and gets updates on several players in their offseason workouts. Jeff Horrigan writes about the Reds Jose Rijo, honored with the Tony Conigliaro Award last night. Rijo talks about a recent conversation he had with Pedro Martinez. Paul Kenyon writes about a happy-to-be-here Casey Fossum. Tony Massarotti says the Red Sox perhaps should’ve made a run at Twins GM Terry Ryan, though he likely wouldn’t have been interested. The Globe has news that Derek Lowe recently had surgery for skin cancer. Gordon Edes looks at the change proposed to the All Star game. The Herald’s notebook has word on the Sox interest in David Ortiz, and confident words from Johnny Damon. Hohler’s notebook updates the pursuit of Millar. Kenyon’s notebook also addresses the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry. Jonathon Comey wishes that a George Steinbrenner type owned the Red Sox.

Onto football, Michael Felger and Tom Curran report that Bob Kraft supports the idea of adding more playoff teams. Looks like it will happen, too. Curran also has details on some community awards handed out by the Krafts. Felger’s notebook has the Patriots looking at a Jacksonville assistant as a possible addition to their staff. The Globe’s NFL notebook by Michael Smith and Nick Cafardo has details on former Patriot Terrance Shaw, somewhat bitter about his time with the Patriots. Ron Borges writes about the age-defying Rod Woodson. Same age as Otis Smith, who is still playing cornerback. Nick Cafardo reports on Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress. Kevin Mannix, on the other looks at the Eagles defensive coordinator, Jim Johnson. George Kimball profiles Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown, perhaps the only reason one might want the Raiders to win. Leigh Montville is very funny today.

Mark Murphy and Shira Springer look at the newest Celtic, Grant Long. Rob Bradford thinks perhaps Amazing Grace’s return Wednesday night gave the Celtics a boost. J.P. DeLauri has a quick chat with J.R. Bremer. Murphy’s brief notebook looks at the depleted roster.

Jim Donaldson asks some really stupid questions and gives some really stupid answers. No, that wasn’t a slam on Donaldson, by the way. Lenny Megliola thinks LeBron James will be better off going straight to the NBA.

Jim Baker catches up with Ernie Harwell who was honored at the baseball writers dinner last night. Bill Griffith looks at the NFL telecasts which have dominated the TV programming. He also looks at NESN plans for the upcoming Red Sox telecasts and reports that NECN will be going to a two-anchor format for Sports Late Night on Monday through Thursday. They hope emulate the success of FSNE’s format.

Finally in The Week That Was I look at the McDonough coverage, and I’m sick of Eddie Andelman. (What else is new)

FSNE has Celtics/Pacers at 7:30. NESN has Bruins/Thrashers at 7:30. ESPN2 has Bucks/76ers at 7:00. ESPN has Lakers/Rockets at 9:30. (Might stay home for this one)

I’ve received a lot of

I’ve received a lot of requests from people who want to know about the Whineys and the Hot Stove Cool Music events last night.

Bob from NH reports:

“Duquette was a really good sport. Took the whole “Digital Dan Duquette” and “We spent more time in first place….” jokes with class.

Pete Sheppard was a drunken sweaty mess. He presented an award with Chris Nilan and Nilan kept wiping the sweat of Pete’s face. Nilan turned his attention to Freddy Smerlas who was at the side of the stage and appeared to be trying to coax him into a brawl (all in good fun.)

Dale Arnold pulled the “Voice of Dale Arnold” off the stage when the guy started going into an extended imitation of him. He was kidding, but I think he was also a little annoyed. Before that presentation, Lenny Clarke
made reference to “the old Chinese Food guy.” He said he must be dead because nobody can find him on the radio anymore.

They had an ice sculpture of the “Big-O.” It was just like the Larry Johnson cartoon that they have on their website. While Glen was standing in front of it I went up to him and said “That gargoyle ice sculpture is scary
as hell.”

Smerlas was decked out in a tux and a huge 10 gallon cowboy hat. DeOssie was a pink-faced as ever.

Frank from Gloucester wore a Yankees cap, a sport jacket, and a Foxy Lady t-shirt. He said one of the secrets of staying young is to go the Foxy Lady twice a week.

Felger and his beautiful wife Sarah Underwood gave a good natured presentation. It was centered around his “Douchebag” nickname and how she can’t bring herself to say the word.

Voice of Harry Caray is actual a very normal looking guy but the rest of the callers were all nut-jobs. Jim the Wrestling goon showed up in a pair of Elvis style shades and a fur coat.

Larry Johnson was presented with a humongous sandwich”

Another version of the night can be found on the KFFL message board.

Reuben e-mailed in to add: “What D&C said this a.m. for the 15 minutes I heard them, about the whiners being pretty lame, and esp. King Lenny, was pretty accurate. Dale can say all he wants, but he pulled that guy off the stage because he was getting into Andelman material. Shephard wasn’t as bad as they made him out to be.”

As for the Peter Gammons event, The Boston DirtDogs site has a report of the event.

Baseball continues to be the

Baseball continues to be the hot topic. Howard Bryant provides the second in his three part look at Red Sox management. This article is an in depth look at why the Sox wanted Billy Beane so desperately, and we hear from Beane why he turned down the job. Tony Massarotti , trying to be the Ron Borges of baseball, scolds Boston fans for thinking that the Yankees getting involved in the Colon deal had anything to do with the Red Sox. He says: “You have to wonder sometimes if Red Sox fans ever will get it, if they ever will realize that they are nothing more than an unwanted speck of lint on those dapper, deep blue baseball caps in the depths of the Bronx. Rivalry? What rivalry? In New York they must see it for what it is, an inferiority complex of the highest magnitude.” Is that really the case? “Sure, and the Cross Bronx Expressway is paved with gumdrops”, says Bob Hohler who notes that Brian Cashman smugly called it “a fringe benefit” that they were able to keep Colon from Boston. David Heuschkel says you can pretty much forget about getting Vazquez as well. He notes also that the Red Sox are indeed on the Yankees radar screen. Christopher Price thinks the Sox should take a run at Vazquez anyway. Michael Silverman speculates that the Sox might show interest in Kenny Rogers. (ugh) Massarotti’s second article of the day indicates that that Kevin Millar will want to come to Boston, and all that needs to be done is to work out a deal with the Japanese club. So where Edes and Hohler onto something yesterday? It seems that might be the case, and the other writers and media people mocking Theo, saying he looked “foolish” and Millar was saying there would be “no way” he would come to Boston, might themselves look a bit foolish. John Tomase says that the Sox could now get Millar for nothing…(from yesterday) Either way, Millar is a minor piece. Breaking the “unwritten protocol” was fine, despite the protestations of people like Eddie Andelman, who mocked the move, and guys like Greg Dickerson who said strongly on FSNE that by doing that Theo is going to make enemies around the league. Right. As Massarotti points out, “the Florida Marlins already have been compensated for the player. The Marlins received $1.2 million from the Dragons when they relinquished their rights to the player.” So just why would the Marlins be mad at Theo? They already received what they were going to get. Hohler also catches up with Casey Fossum, who’s encouraged by the Red Sox faith in him.

The Celtics might be the only team in the league that is still frustrating to watch when they’re up by 22 points. For all the talk about Walker and Pierce needing rest, why did Walker play the majority of the fourth quarter? Why did Paul Pierce check back into the game with under 6 minutes left? Why don’t they use that “garbage” time to run plays for Kedrick Brown and get him accustomed to the taking shots and scoring in the NBA? Why doesn’t the media covering the team mention any of this? Instead, Shira Springer writes about the Celtics taking care of business and getting a “must win”. (And where is her editor? “After dropping two of their last 10 before facing the Hawks,”) Steve Bulpett notes that the entire fourth quarter was garbage time, but doesn’t question why Pierce and Walker played during it. I’m still scratching my head over this. These guys need rest. There is also the risk of injury. Peter May addresses the Hawks “playoff guarantee” noting that the Hawks switchboard still greets callers with “Thank you for calling the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks.” Rob Bradford takes a look at J.R. Bremer, consulting someone who coached against him in college last year. Mark Murphy also looks at Bremer, noting his point guard skills. Murphy also wonders if Mikki Moore has another 10 day contract coming to him. Springer’s notebook checks in with Celtic hopeful Grant Long, while Bulpett’s notebook leads discussing Tony Battie’s cranky knee.

The Bruins continue their struggles. Stephen Harris and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell recap the 3-0 loss in Florida. Harris’ notebook contains the latest Kyle McLaren trade rumor, while Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at the debut of Martin Samuelsson.

Nick Cafardo reports on Will McDonough’s funeral yesterday. Kevin Mannix looks at bulletin board material provided to Tampa by the Eagles Brian Mitchell. Michael Smith profiles the Titans’ Frank Wycheck. George Kimball notes that the Raiders really don’t have a backup quarterback with any experience.

Here’s something that annoys me. Looks like the Super Bowl DVD this year is going to be a huge improvement over the past. Full Broadcast of the game, AFC and NFC radio tracks, pre and post game coverage, the works. Any chance they can go backwards and re-do last years?

TNT has Magic/Wizards at 7:30 and Jazz/Sonics at 10:00. ESPN has Red Wings/Avalanche at 9:00. FSNE has BC/BU hockey at 7:00 and Arizona/USC college hoops at 10:30. ESPN2 has BC/North Carolina State hoops at 7:00, and Louisville/East Carolina at 9:00.

I think baseball season is

I think baseball season is upon us. With no more Patriots, and the winter teams struggling, New England is buried in snow, and talk of the Red Sox is heating up. Howard Bryant makes his feature debut at the Herald (he’s written a few Patriot sidebars for them in recent weeks) with the first of the three part series on the Red Sox management. The first part looks at the hiring of Theo Epstein, and the personality of Larry Lucchino. Bob Hohler and Gordon Edes report on the Red Sox breaking an “informal code” by claiming Kevin Millar despite the Marlins having sold him to a team in Japan. Their article also has details on which Tony Massarotti reports; that the Yankees have succeeded in keeping Bartolo Colon away from the Red Sox, as they have engineered a three way deal in which Colon will end up with the White Sox. Edes and Hohler seem to have inside information on the Millar situation as only they report that it looks promising that the Red Sox will end up with him. They even have Benny Agbayani pegged as the guy the Red Sox will compensate the Japanese team with. The other articles look negatively at the situation. David Heuschkel reports on the Sox claim of Millar, is uncertain they can get him, and is out of the loop on the Colon deal. Art Martone doesn’t think the Red Sox have much of a chance at all of getting Millar to play for them. Martone, it appears is of the opinion that the young GM looks a little foolish in this episode. Michael Silverman doesn’t give them much of a shot, either. John Tomase looks at the Red Sox supposedly barren minor league system, and digs out four possible gems.

Michael Felger provides the first NFL draft article of the offseason. He gives some names that the Patriots might be interested in. The Genius is loving the NFL playoffs, Ron Borges’ favorite team, the Oakland Raiders pushes forward. He counts their age and experience as positives. They (and he) still can’t let an article go by without a shot at the Patriots though. “Last year we felt like we were a better team than New England. We still feel we were the better team.” Michael Gee says to cut the referees some slack. Felger also has a look at former Patriot punter Lee Johnson, still kicking (and thriving) in Philadelphia.

Mark Murphy writes about how Texas, where everything is bigger, has exposed the Celtics fatal weaknesses. Shira Springer writes that the trip was good for some midseason evaluation, and what they could use as trade bait to secure reinforcements.

Steve Conroy reports that Joe Thornton hopes to hit. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that young goalie Andrew Raycroft is ready to get thrown into the fray. Russ Conway doesn’t like the value that the Bruins got for Grahame and Defoe. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook also reports on Thornton and has news of a couple callups from Providence.

Bob Ryan discusses the gaps between “athletic” and “academic” colleges and opines that the system that throws them all under one umbrella, the NCAA, doesn’t make any sense. Had anyone else wrote this, I doubt I would’ve read it. ESPN has a page reporting on the Will McDonough tribute at the Fleet center. So did Bill Parcells attend, or not? I don’t think he did, perhaps he’ll come to the actual funeral. I think it’s been put out there that it would be “too difficult” emotionally for Parcells to come. Bill Belichick was there yesterday, and we know how the media loves to paint him as an unfeeling monster. If Parcells doesn’t show, it speaks volumes about him as a human. Show up, Bill.

FSNE has Celtics/Hawks at 7:00. NESN has Bruins/Panthers at 7:30. ESPN has Kings/Mavs at 9:00. ESPN Classic will have an NFL Films special remembering Foxboro stadium at 7:00.

So just what was Eddie

So just what was Eddie all ticked off about today? Well, a number of you have provided details on the matter, here’s a sampling of three:

Dave Lane writes:

“Eddie’s comments quite likely are about EEI’s sister station, in the same building as EEI, WRKO. Yesterday “Ozone” (John Oster-something) went off on McDonough and his counterparts at WEEI, calling them a bunch of hypocrites for slamming the Globe and McDonough for the last 3 or so years ever since the Globe pulled their writers from the station, and then sucking up to Will once he retired and was able to come on EEI again. He referred to McDonough as a nasty, vindictive SOB with an agenda and used the term “MF” at least once, also referring several times to some of McDonough’s more notorious pals (Barnicle, the Bulgers, Connolly, etc.) Mr. Ozone, a former rock DJ, has had similar problems with the law as Mike Adams in the past.”

Mike from Southie writes in:

“I think Eddie’s rant was against Blute and Ozone on WRKO. For starters, Ozone could be the “druggie” reference unless you want to consider the entire on air staff at WAAF. This morning at about 7:15, Ozone said the more suitable venue for the Will memorial was Florian Hall (Sean’s ran into the wall there and Will quashed the investigation). Later, Blute, Ozone & Howie Carr laughed about the over/under on how many people would show up at the Fleet. Howie said the memorial should be held at one of Whitey Bulger’s death pits. The only negative reference I’ve heard in WEEI was a mention of Will’s column on Butch from the Cape. The day after Butch died, Will gave some details on Butch’s life that implied he was a RAT. ”

BK says:

“He was mainly talking about the WRKO morning show, which has basically used this John Connolly thing to slam McDonough at every chance they get. I think what might have happened is that this dumbass caller “Angry Bill” might have called the morning show and basically repeated what he said on Friday evening at about 6:25 on Howie Carr. He called a Will a legend in his own mind and talked about how I guess Will got Sean out of the mess at Florian Hall and then something about his other son Terry. Howie Carr let him go and then kind of distanced himself from the comments. But my guess is that somebody heard “Angry Bill”‘s call and got upset. When the hosts don’t refute what he says, I guess the implication is that they agree. Incidentally, Angry Bill, that nitwit, is upset because Will wrote a note about Butch from the Cape being a stool pigeon in the mob after he died. I guess this is his tit for tat.”

Eddie Andelman started his show

Eddie Andelman started his show today going ballistic about another station… He said “I’m glad I got the hell out of there when I did.” He goes on “I’ve been far too quiet for too long and I’m going to sink their ship.” He’s outraged about alleged negative comments toward Will and Sean McDonough. I’m not sure who he is talking about. He said he’s going to the management and clean their clocks. He likened some of the people at that station to pedophiles and murderers. Also said that there are “druggies” on the air over there and Will should have called them out when he was alive. When a caller said he agreed with Eddie and that “that afternoon show is horrible” Eddie said “not that station.” (It appears it was WEEI’s Entercom sister station WRKO that inspired this. An e-mailer tells me “Ozone” is the target of this wrath) Eddie then went on a tangent that sports just aren’t worth it anymore, all the owners care about is making money. Ticket prices are outrageous and not worth the price. He continued his very tired tirade against the owners of the Red Sox.

Dale & Neumy (Along with the Touchdown twins) spent most of their time discussing Willis McGahee, and his decision to come out for the NFL draft despite his serious injury. They all went back and forth for hours on whether his earning capacity is better if he comes out now and makes some money, tries for a bigger deal in a couple years, or stays in school, rehabs and tries to come out later.

About the only thing that I have heard that could be construed as negative against Will on WEEI was when Glen Ordway raised the point yesterday that Will McDonough is lauded for his loyalty, even when its being loyal to Connolly or the Bulgers. The Big O asked how you would feel about Will if you were a relative of one of the people Whitey Bulger allegedly whacked.

Nick Cafardo’s weekly mailbag from last week is finally up. Where do some of these questions come from? Hector Longo says the Chad Pennington myth is dead. Jon Couture feels the same as I do about the Jets. Scary. Bill Burt says that Steve Mariucci is done with the 49ers. Gregg Easterbrook says to ease up on the officials in his Tuesday Morning Quarterback column. He also looks at some of the coaching decisions over the weekend.

More struggles for the lads

More struggles for the lads of winter. Down in Houston, the Celtics got 22 points and 6 assists from a rookie making his first ever NBA start, they shot 33 three-pointers and made 14…shotting better from three point land than two point land, and lost by nine. The Rockets were hot themselves, something I don’t seem mentioned anywhere, they shot 50% from field on non-three, and they weren’t getting those in the paint. They didn’t seem to miss anything from 15-18 feet. It was all going down. The Rockets also made 20 free throws to the Celtics six. All in all, a god effort by the Celtics, but not nearly enough. Peter May captures it perfectly by describing it as a game of “cat and mouse”. Steve Bulpett provides a rather tepid game story. He does provide a nice look at Yao Ming, however, and mentions his dry wit and sense of humor. I personally wish Ming had made some sort of response to Shaq’s ‘ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh.’ taunt. He could’ve said something like, “Tell Shaq that in Chinese that translates to ‘I’m a cross-eyed, fat, arrogant buffoon.’ ” Bill Reynolds says you know what, this Vin Baker deal isn’t working out so good. Lenny Megliola has seen the future, and the future is Yao. He also praises Bremer and on the subject of Kedrick Brown, warns us “don’t get carried away by his highlight reel ball-stuffin’ of Tim Duncan Sunday night” Well, why not? That might’ve been the most impressive block by 6-7 guy on a seven footer since the days of MJ swatting Ewing. Brown was so high, he threw the ball straight down into the ground, not off into the crowd somewhere. May’s notebook says Larry Bird and Steve Belkin may now turn their sights on trying to purchase the Bucks. Bulpett’s notebook leads with JR Bremer, and ends with Bruce Bowen saying the Celtics style of play is the “downfall of basketball”.

Kevin Paul Dupont attempts to reason out why the Bruins gave away John Grahame. Karen Guregian says the Bruins gambled that Grahame could take the number one job, and simply failed. Marvin Pave covers the 2-1 loss last night. Stephen Harris notes in his game story that the Bruins just couldn’t keep the momentum that they had coming off the big win the other night going into this one. Joe Gordon observes that the Bruins were stoned last night by a kid making his first ever NHL start. Steve Conroy says the pressure is squarely on Steve Shields now, but that Andrew Raycroft is waiting in the wings. Harris’ notebook however, asserts that neither one of those guys is likely to be the answer for very long. Douglas Flynn says that Mike O’Connell might be feeling the heat. With the second NHL team in a month filing for bankruptcy, Dupont looks at the monetary struggles of franchises in a number of leagues. Dupont’s notebook gives an update on Joe Thornton.

Steve Buckley continues his quest to bring recognition to the Conigliaro family, (but not to himself…never.) with his account today of a ball that is supposed to be the one that beaned Tony C., and how it has been sitting in a drawer since 1967. The ball has been given to Buck and he is to use it in his unselfish quest to have Tony C’s number 25 retired by the Red Sox.

Bob Hohler says that the Sox likely now prefer Javier Vazquez over Bartolo Colon. Citing Vazquez’s youth and health, Hohler adds that “The Sox would be well positioned to land Vazquez and Colon.” Tony Massarotti says the Sox best hope might just be that the Montreal’s options run dry. He also has a short piece saying that Kevin Millar will most likely not be coming to Boston.

Kevin Mannix hopes the Patriots coaches were watching over the weekend. Steve DeOssie remembers Will McDonough.

Bill Griffith visits with legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell on a trip to Boston, Jim Baker reviews the weekend of NFL playoff action, and John Molori remembers Will McDonough.

Oh wait, did I forget Shaughnessy’s column today? In fact I did. Because it’s utterly forgettable. After all weekend talking about how much Will McDonough meant to him and influenced his career and was a model for him, Shaughnessy puts out this drivel for his first column post-McDonough?