A surprisingly busy day for links today.
Michael Smith has a look at the entire Patriots roster, what their salary situation is like and what the future may hold for each player. A very thorough job. Michael Felger has a look at the sweet and sour from this glorious Patriots season. Tom Curran shows us why he is so well regarded by many fans and his colleagues as he reminds us:
Here's a rule that should be seared inside the eyelids of every sports writer: Never complain about your job.
A nice article covering a lot of different points and angles from the Super Bowl. A must read. Eric McHugh says the Patriots watched each others backs all season. Ron Borges writes about the courts declaring Maurice Clarett eligible for the 2004 NFL draft. Borges was at it again yesterday on WWZN, tearing up the Patriots ’03 draft, declaring the only players they really got from it were Eugene Wilson and Dan Koppen. Bethel Johnson is nothing more than a kick returner, Ty Warren and Asante Samuel can’t play, and Dan Klecko will never be a player. He did upgrade his previous grade from a C- to a B, however. In a pay column, Gerry Callahan takes his parting shots at Super Bowl week. Targets include Mike Ditka, Warren Sapp and Kris Jenkins. Cathleen F. Crowley looks at the Patriots appearance at the Warwick mall last night. Christopher Price writes about the Patriots losing QB coach John Hufnagel to the NY Giants as their new Offensive Coordinator. Smith’s notebook has the Patriots giving the Raiders permission to speak to Eric Mangini about their Defensive Coordinator position. Smith doesn’t seem to think that Mangini is likely to take the job, even if it is offered to him.
With the Patriots season regretfully over, the Red Sox links continue to mount up. Yesterday the Sox had a press conference to announce the signing of Ellis Burks. NESN carried the entire conference, and as I was home sick with the flu…as I have been every day this week…I got to see it all. I have to say, maybe it was my condition, or the medication I’m on, but seeing Ellis back up there in a Red Sox hat got me a little emotional. I’ve mentioned before he was a favorite of mine in my youth, and now the Sox have a guy on their roster for this year who played the outfield with Rice and Evans. Pretty neat. Michael Holley says the return of Burks truly represents a change in times for the Red Sox and Fenway Park. Howard Bryant has a pay column on the return of Burks, and the article emphasizes how much things have changed around here since Burks departed. He does however, take a shot at pair of radio hosts in town who seem to cling to the old ways of hatred:
In a sense, Burks has outlived what the Red Sox were. The Yawkey dynasty is now extinguished and discredited, and while sports radio is home to a couple of Grand Dragons who play to the city's worst elements, they appear to be the embarrassing exception.
There is clearly now back and forth sniping between Bryant and the Dennis & Callahan program on WEEI. Stay tuned, this looks only to get uglier. Dennis and Callahan are off today, but you can be sure they will have their say on the matter, likely very early on Monday, or whenever they return. Tony Massarotti writes about the return of Burks, noting again how this is a sign of things made whole here with Boston and Burks. Massarotti also notes that Burks could see some time in the outfield this season, meaning he may not be exclusively a DH. Art Martone and David Heuschkel also have articles on the return of Burks. Gordon Edes has a mini-feature on Curt Schilling, who is never shy about sharing stories and talking about getting ready for Spring Training. Bob Stern writes about David Ortiz, preparing to play more time at first this season.
Kevin Paul Dupont and Steve Conroy report on the Bruins latest win, a 6-2 victory at Buffalo that sends them into the All Star break on a five game winning streak. Both the Globe and Herald notebooks lead with Joe Thornton. Mike Loftus looks at how Andrew Raycroft has become a rock for the Bruins. Win Bates looks at the Bruins exciting young players.
Celtics links are at Fox Sports New England.
Bill Griffith looks at a busy sports weekend on TV despite the lack of NFL football. Maureen Mullen has an article on new WEEI GM Julie Kahn and how things are working out in her time on the job. One somewhat weird comment which is sure to draw attention is regarding women listeners:
Expanding WEEI's audience to include more women, Kahn said, is not necessarily a desirable goal. "Broadcasting is really narrow in focus," she said. "The minute you try to be everything to everybody, you tend to lose the very target audience that you really intended to serve, so it really is not in our best interests to try to target women or welcome women too much.
It’s very clear the audience that WEEI tries to target: white males 25-54. I think it’s the last part of that comment that has me scratching my head. Targeting women listeners is one thing, I’d agree that the station probably doesn’t want to go that route, but not even “welcoming” them? In the immortal words of Michael Felger; “What up with that?” Is that the reason that many female callers to the Big Show are virtually harassed on the air, and made to look foolish? (Though they do not come close to the degrading treatment that any female calling the Eddie Andelman show on WWZN gets…)
FSN has Celtics/Hawks at 7:30. ESPN has Nets/Magic at 8:00 and Kings/Spurs at 10:30. ESPN2 will have the EA Sports NFL Matchup at 7:30, Patriots fans will likely want to catch this.