Another Patriots Win…

The Patriots once again overcame their depleted secondary against a high-powered offense and won in Kansas City for the first time in 40 years last night. Nick Cafardo looks at an extremely satisfying win for the Patriots who move to 9-1 on the season. Michael Felger writes that we shouldn’t be surprised that the Patriots once again went into a hostile environment and found a way to come out on top. Tom E Curran looks at the Patriots taking advantage of Kansas City mistakes and weathering the offensive storm of the Chiefs. Michael Parente says that the best defense for the Patriots last night was a time consuming offense. Chris Kennedy also has the game story from Arrowhead Stadium. Alan Greenberg looks at the return of Deion Branch as a key factor in this victory for the Patriots. Scott A Benson breaks down the game in this week’s edition of Patriots Rear View.

Ron Borges has a further look at the return of Deion Branch, who was on the field for the first time since week two, and had over a 100 yards receiving and a slick move on a catch for a touchdown. During the WBCN pregame last night, Borges called Rodney Harrison the Ron Artest of the NFL. Kevin Mannix says we should admire this battered Patriots team which continues to overachieve and get the job done. Jackie MacMullan looks at the Patriots continuing their mantra of “grab a victory, and get back home”. Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at Tom Brady who continues to throw the right passes and say the right things. Buck is impressed that Brady said “Hi Mom” last night in addition to crediting the total team effort. Michael Gee (subscription only) looks at the Patriots behind Rodney Harrison once again overcoming injuries in the secondary to win the game. George Kimball (subscription only) has a piece on Deion Branch coming back from injury to pick right up where he left off. Here’s hoping the Herald can find another sponsor for their columnists as they did during the baseball playoffs, as these subscription only columns don’t always exactly qualify as “premium content”. Not a knock against the columns today, but they’re just general game story columns, not “must read” opinions of influential writers that are going to cause the casual reader to pony up for a subscription. Just suckers like me, I guess.

With his budget slashed and department short staffed, Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan takes a turn at writing, turning in a pair of articles. First he looks at Ty Warren, who had a huge game last night. Warren as you recall is the player the Patriots ended up with after getting the pick from Buffalo in exchange for Drew Bledsoe. Moreover, one of Sullivan’s underlings (*cough*BORGES*cough*) suggested at the draft this spring that second round pick Marquise Hill was drafted because Warren was a bust. Sullivan perhaps has that in mind when he says Warren isn’t a star yet, and first round picks are expected to be stars. Rich Thompson has a piece on Corey Dillon, who had 98 yards and two touchdowns, but was killing himself over a fourth quarter fumble that allowed the Chiefs to take over and drive 97 yards for a score that brought them to within five. Tom E Curran says Adam Vinatieri should be a Hall of Fame shoo-in. Marcus R. Fuller looks at the Patriots stopping the Kansas City running game. Thompson also writes that KC’s 3-6 record coming in was a bit deceptive. Sullivan’s second article is a look at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mike Reiss files a number of items in his blog from last night. Felger’s notebook suggests that we might’ve seen the last of Earthwind Moreland in a Patriots uniform. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Dillon’s remorse over his fumble, has quotes from Moreland (prior to the game, obviously) and another suggestion that Scott Pioli could be a candidate to build a team elsewhere. The remaining notebooks lead with Deion Branch. Curran’s notebook looks at Branch’s impact last night. Kennedy’s notebook looks at the importance of Branch getting back on the field. Parente’s notebook looks at Branch’s return, a minor roster move prior to the game, and more on Pioli.

Sean McAdam writes that it appears that Pedro Martinez doesn’t grasp the concept that the Red Sox are not going to get into a bidding war with the Yankees over his services, nor do they need to. Dom Amore says the Yankees have made no formal offer to Pedro. Tony Massarotti reports that the Red Sox have offered a four year deal to Jason Varitek. David Heuschkel says that his Red Sox teammates desperately want Varitek back in the fold. Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox continuing a Thanksgiving Week tradition of raising ticket prices.

Andrea Estes reports on the Red Sox plans for the latest Fenway Park facelift, to be revealed at 11:00 this morning. Tony Massarotti looks at the Red Sox situation at second base, he also looks at the possibility of Jeff Kent as an option at that position. James Murphy has a look at the Red Sox World Series DVD. Nick Cafardo looks at the relationship between John Henry and Robert Kraft. Bob Hohler’s Red Sox notebook looks at Gabe Kapler heading to Japan. Massarotti’s notebook also looks at Kapler. The ProJo notebook has more on Kapler and looks at organizational moves by the Sox. David Borges’ notebook has the news on Kapler and a number of other items.

Friday night’s NBA brawl is still on the mind of people. Bill Reynolds says it is evidence of the growing disconnect between NBA fans and players. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) writes that he was once hit with a paper cup filled with pennies and crumpled up at a game, and HE didn’t go charging into the stands. He says rule number one for any athlete should be to never go into the stands. Only bad things can happen. Because of that Artest’s actions are inexcusable. Bob Halloran says cowardice was the cause of the Friday night fights. Joan Vennochi ventures over from the Globe business and political side to weigh in on this matter. The Globe also has an Editorial on the subject. Jon Couture just wants to get back to sports. Enough of towels and brawls. He also takes ESPN’s Sunday Night football telecast to task for incompetence.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics need to be very cautious going into Indiana tonight, as they could be facing a wounded tiger in the form of the shorthanded Pacers. Bulpett’s notebook has Doc Rivers and Gary Payton commenting on the fight and the factors and reasons for it.

Bill Griffith looks at Fox’s new deal for the College Football BCS games. He also has a number of other media related notes.

Here are the winners of the prizes from the raffle for the BSMW Fall Fund Drive:
Tivo Series II DVR Melissa Shaw
John Feinstein’s “Let me tell you a story”: John Mechem
Leatherman Tool from Wendell Shedd
2005 Football Prospectus from Joshua Friedman

FSN has Celtics/Pacers at 7:00. ESPN has a college hoops doubleheader starting at 7:00 with Texas/Iowa, followed by North Carolina/Tennessee at 9:00. ESPN2 has college football with Bowling Green/Toledo at 7:00, followed by college hoops with St. Joe’s/Kansas at 10:00.


Patriots/Chiefs on MNF

Got a bit of a late start this morning, so the links will be very brief this morning. I’ll try to put together an afternoon post as well, but we’ll see how the day goes.

Thanks to all who contributed to the BSMW Fall Fund Drive, with a donation this morning we squeaked over the goal amount, a tremendous achievement. I’m pretty overwhelmed by the support from everyone out there. The total may actually climb in the next day or two if there are any lingering checks that have not reached my mailbox yet.

In lieu of the links, I’ll be spending some time organizing the drawing for the TiVo and the other prizes. I’ll be contacting the winners via email, and once I have confirmation from them I’ll post their names and the prize they won here.

Kevin Mannix picks the Patriots by four. Paul Kenyon looks at the Patriots trying to win in Kansas City for the first time on 40 years. Michael Parente says the Chiefs are dangerous, even if Bill Belichick goes overboard in his praise of them. Alan Greenberg looks at the Chiefs’ main weakness: defense. Chris Kennedy writes that this is a matchup between a complete team and a half of one. Dan Pires picks the Chiefs to win by 10. Nick Cafardo looks at the six Patriots that have been together since 1996. A nice article, it would be interesting to see if any other teams have six guys that have been together that long.

The Celtics put together an impressive win over the Sonics last night, winning 102-83. Seattle had been 9-1 coming into last night. Game stories are submitted by Steve Bulpett, John Powers and Carolyn Thornton, but probably the most complete breakdown of the game can be found right here on BSMW. Jon Duke takes a look at the Celtics in all areas from last night. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Ricky Davis’ new role as instant offense off the bench. The rest of the NBA articles deal of course with the brawl in Detroit Friday night. Everyone is weighing in on this one, in print and on the airwaves. As with most NBA issues, Bob Ryan is someone whose opinion I’ll value.

ABC has Patriots/Chiefs at 9:00.

BSMW Fall Fund Drive Day 10

Today is the final weekday for the BSMW Fall Fund Drive, and at present we sit exactly $250 short of the goal amount. If you can, please take a moment today to send in something to help achieve the goal. It would be a huge landmark for the site to reach that amount, and make a statement as to the importance of sites such as this one in the media world. Thanks for your assistance with this, and lets top the goal today!

The Red Sox hot stove season seems to be again be the biggest topic of conversation around newspapers and airwaves. Whether that actually coincides with the fans interests, I’m not 100% sure. Bob Hohler and Jeff Horrigan look at the Red Sox meeting with Carl Pavano yesterday, and both touch on whether there is room for both Pavano and Pedro Martinez in the Sox rotation and payroll. Pavano was assured that there is room for both, and the Joe Torre put out the welcome mat for Pedro in NY as well. David Heuschkel also files an article looking at both the Pavano and Pedro negotiations, as well as the Yankees interest in each pitcher. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says Pedro needs to stay in Boston. Going to the Yankees might get him a few more dollars, but in the large scheme of things, he’ll never notice that money, and no one there (except George) seems to want him anyway. Brian Fleming writes that Pedro and the Red Sox need each other. Michael Silverman looks at the Red Sox situation at first base heading into the winter, and what possible moves might be out there for the Red Sox. He also looks at the available first basemen out on the market. Michael Gee (subscription only) says we’ll probably have to wait awhile for any deals to get done, as Scott Boras’ clients will set the market, and none of them will likely sign before Christmas. Hohler’s notebook says the Red Sox have shown some interest in Edgar Renteria, and also looks at the future for Pokey Reese. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the Red Sox interest in infielder Placido Polanco.

Jackie MacMullan has a mini-feature on the versatile Troy Brown, who has always done everything that could be asked of him with the Patriots, and who has held just about every role with the squad you can imagine. Tom E Curran looks at where and how things have gone wrong for the Chiefs this season. Michael Parente says that Dick Vermeil has somehow managed to hide his team’s weapons of mass destruction in Kansas City. Christopher Price looks at Bill Belichick’s comments regarding the Chiefs. Felger’s notebook says that the Chiefs’ talent and record just don’t add up. Kevin Paul Dupont has a Globe notebook looking at Belichick praising the Chiefs as a very dangerous team. Greg Dickerson on FSN last night proclaimed that he is not drinking the Patriots Kool Aid put out by Bill Belichick regarding the Chiefs. It’s a good thing we have guys in the media like Dickerson who offer a shield for the fans against that shyster, Bill Belichick. *insert eyes rolling here*

Michael Felger has Bill Belichick saying that he agrees “1000%” with Tony Dungy’s comments about the Monday Night Football opener. Chris Kennedy has Rodney Harrison also agreeing with the sentiments expressed by the coaches. Parente’s notebook has more on Harrison’s comments. Alan Greenberg has a look at second year linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, who has been seeing the field more and more and making an impact when he is out there. Ron Chimelis says the Patriots are their way to a 15-1 season. Michael Felger looks at Tom Brady, who is on pace for the best statistical season of his young career. Ian M Clark looks at Earthwind Moreland and also has a few other Patriots notes. Curran’s notebook leads with Adam Vinatieri, who is leading the NFL in scoring.

Mark Murphy has Paul Pierce hopefully learning a lesson from Gary Payton and Wednesday night regarding shot selection and playmaking during crunch time. Shira Springer writes that not automatically going to Pierce down the stretch might be a tough habit to break. Murphy’s notebook looks at the Celtics continued rebounding woes, and has coach Rivers assigning some viewing homework for his team.

David Scott files an extensive edition of Scott’s Shots, with notes on the Globe, ESPN, and his recent appearance on CN8. Bill Griffith doesn’t like the NFL’s strong arm tactics and it’s ability to dictate viewing policy to the networks. Jim Baker looks at Harvard/Yale tomorrow, also looks at the MNF flap, and has a few other media notes. Andrew Neff mostly looks at Maine HS Football, but also has a few NESN viewing notes for the coming week. John Howell looks at the Nextel Cup wrapping up with the Ford 400 this weekend, and he too looks at the MNF opener.

FSN has Celtics/Spurs at 7:30. ESPN has Pacers/Pistons at 8:00 and Kings/Grizzlies at 10:30.

BSMW FFD Day 9 Afternoon

Just a few afternoon links today.

Eric McHugh has more on yesterday’s press availability of Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis. Glen Farley has an article on Stephen Neal. Nick Cafardo has his weekly “Ask Nick” mailbag, and as usual, there are plenty of nuggets to pick apart from this batch. The questions selected are entertaining and compelling, such as the fan who forgot Rosevelt Colvin was on the team wonders why he isn’t having a big affect on the team…guess he forgot about the hip injury too. (Can anyone tell me the difference between what Romeo said about Colvin and what Belichick has said?) Then the burning question of why the back of Troy Brown’s jersey read “T Brown” on Sunday night, a question Nick confesses he tried to get answered after the game. An unhealthy number of Drew Bledsoe questions are of course, expected, and then a question about the relationship between Bill Belichick and Al Groh. Nick answers:

I think Groh is more loyal to Parcells, and I only say that based on my conversations with the late Will McDonough who was very close to Al and Bill Parcells. Al and Belichick were together for a long time as well, but I don't think Belichick would be in that fraternity any more based on the problems that occurred while he was with the Jets. I got to know Al when he was here with Parcells, and he's a great guy, someone who's very approachable, and indeed a fine football coach. I'm happy for his success at Virginia.

A couple of issues with this. First, he’s still basing his answer on conversations with Will McDonough? Nick, Will didn’t just pass away last week. It’s been almost two years. Second, Al Groh visited the Patriots earlier this season and even spoke to the team informally after a practice. Once again, it appears that Nick has no idea what he is talking about here. What’s the “fraternity”? There are more “Parcells guys” here in New England than there are in Dallas. There are plenty of other entertaining tidbits in this edition of the mailbag as well.

Pete Caldera and Bob Klapisch say that the Yankees meeting with Pedro was simply a ploy to put the pressure on the Diamondbacks to make a trade with them for Randy Johnson.

Eric Wilbur dips into the ABC Monday Night Football opener. A topic beaten to death on the WEEI airwaves the last few days. Christopher Young looks at glory days for Boston fans.

Patriots WR Troy Brown and LB Willie McGinest will appear on

BSMW Fall Fund Drive Day 9

BSMW was down for a number of hours yesterday, the site is actually hosted in a datacenter in McLean, VA, and the fiber optic lines that connect the data center to the Internet were damaged somehow, MCI is the owner of the fiber and they lost multiple OC-48s and OC-12s in the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area. They noted that is has been 7 years since something like this happened, and clients have been assured by the datacenter’s CEO that steps will be taken to add further redundancy to protect us from such an event occurring again.

Outage or no, the BSMW Fall Fund Drive had a very nice day yesterday, we’re now less than $400 away from the goal amount. Lets go over the top today and finish this thing off strong. I appreciate greatly all that has come in thus far, and glad to see several media members heeding my advice and sending a few shekels in. Thanks.

On another note, if this front page is ever down, you can usually still get to the message board as it is hosted on a different server. You can bookmark to get to the board.

The Celtics simply ran out of gas in Washington DC last night, falling 110-105 in OT to the Wizards. Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett file the game stories from the MCI Center. Springer’s notebook looks at the Celtics once again getting beaten on the boards in a loss. Bulpett’s notebook looks at an unexpected windfall for Ricky Davis.

After Pedro Martinez met with the Yankees on Tuesday, The Red Sox stepped in with a meeting of their own with Martinez. Jeff Horrigan and Bob Hohler look at the state of the Pedro negotiations, with Hohler seemingly a little bit more pessimistic about the state of things. Horrigan though, files a further analysis column, examining why losing Pedro might actually be a good thing for the Red Sox going forward. Lenny Megliola agrees that the Red Sox can afford to lose Pedro – even to the Yankees. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes that Pedro and the Yankees are just not a good match. With the holidays coming up, Buckley says that idea is like George Bailey going to work from Mr Potter. (Remember Bailey did go meet with Potter…) Jackie MacMullan ponders the idea that our beloved band of idiots will soon be history. David Heuschkel says that Curt Schilling and Carl Pavano go way back…and that for Pavano, working with Schilling could be a childhood dream come true. Ron Chimelis says that the Sox need to sign Orlando Cabrera. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Theo Epstein hurrying back from his Florida meeting with Pedro to meet with Carl Pavano today. Hohler’s notebook looks at the Red Sox catching options with or without Varitek in the plans.

As expected most stories out of Foxboro from yesterday center around Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel. With the long week, the media was granted access to the coordinators. After being smacked around a little by the Herald yesterday, Nick Cafardo finds an NFL executive to agree with him on the perceived importance of coordinators getting media time to “develop positive relationships that could help him get hired.” Ray Anderson of the Falcons is Nick’s source, and he is a former agent, which explains his easy accessibility. Unfortunately for the readers of the Globe, the article spends way too much time on this angle, and not on what Weis and Crennel actually have to say. Jim Donaldson puts forth the idea that Belichick doesn’t allow Weis and Crennel to speak to the media because they’re more articulate and entertaining than he is. Somehow I don’t think Belichick is that insecure.

In contrast to the Globe, The Herald has an article on each of the coordinators. (and one one another coach on the staff.) First there is a piece on Romeo Crennel and his responsibilities in the Patriots defense. Felger’s notebook focuses mostly on Weis, his use of Corey Dillon and how he would not be opposed to returning to the Patriots should he not get a head coaching job elsewhere. Mike Reiss compares each of the coordinators and tries to determine which one will end up a head coach first. Christopher Price also has a look at the two coaches. Michael Parente’s notebook focuses mostly on Crennel. Chris Kennedy also writes about the future of Weis and Crennel.

Alan Greenberg and Chris Kennedy each put in articles on Corey Dillon and his impact on the Patriots. Buddy Thomas writes about the end of the career of Drew Bledsoe. Michael Felger looks at another member of the Patriots coaching staff, 33 year old Eric Mangini, he talks to him mostly about using Troy Brown on defense, which has been a personal project for Mangini. It’s my opinion that someday Mangini will be the coach of the Patriots, perhaps when the day finally comes that Bill Belichick has had enough of coaching…a day we hope is still a long ways off.

TNT has Spurs/Sixers at 7:00 and Knicks/Rockets at 9:30. ESPN has college football with Maryland/Virginia Tech at 7:30.