A sleepy time in the world of Boston Sports Media.

The Patriots made their first tough decision of the offseason last night, choosing not to pick up the option for 2004 on Antowain Smith. The running back now becomes a free agent and can sign with anyone, including the Patriots. Michael Smith, Kevin Mannix and Tom Curran all file pretty much the same stuff. Mike Reiss looks at where the Patriots might go from here at the running back position. Michael Parente says that the Patriots showed with this decision that they are not going to be bogged down by nostalgia this offseason. As if there were any doubt. Out in Cleveland, they’re slowly coming around to the idea that this Belichick guy just might know how to coach after all. This article by Bud Smith emphasizes the “class” of Belichick, how he has not struck back against any of the writers who were so brutal to him while he coached the Browns.

The NHL had its All Star Game yesterday, and Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins representatives not collecting a point among themselves. Steve Conroy has a short bit on the East’s 6-4 win over the West. Dupont also writes about Ray Bourque’s itch to bet back involved in the NHL. Conroy’s notebook looks at fan favorite Mark Messier.

I haven’t seen it mentioned officially anywhere, but Ron Borges recently bragged to a reader that he has been named Massachusetts Sports Writer of the year for 2003. He said this is his second in a row and third in five years. That was his answer after the reader brought up to Borges the comment he made after the Lawyer Milloy release where Borges inferred that Bill Belichick doesn’t have “the slightest clue how human beings operate”. (Globe, 9/08/03) Good answer, Ron, and by the way, Congratulations.

Celtics links are available over at Fox Sports Net, and surprisingly, there are a number of them this morning.

Dan Shaughnessy has a good article about University of Vermont hoop star Taylor Coppenrath, who is third in the country in scoring. Hmmm, 6-9 forward with a great shot from a tiny (population 1400) town?

Sorry, no Beanpot articles. I just can’t bring myself to do it.

TNT has Celtics/Cavs at 7:00 and Spurs/Rockets at 9:30. ESPN has college hoops at 7:00 (UConn/Notre Dame) and 9:00 (Kansas/Oklahoma State). ESPN2 has the NFL Films recap of Super Bowl 38 at 7:00.