Saturday links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)
Celtics game stories: The action last night is recounted by the Herald
Saturday links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)
Celtics game stories: The action last night is recounted by the Herald
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.
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.
Patriots WR Troy Brown and LB Willie McGinest will appear on
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 http://www.bostonsportsmedia.net/forum 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.
I’m hoping for a strong finish the next three days to the BSMW Fall Fund Drive. We’re still about $1200 under the goal amount. Some numbers thus far, we’ve had about 150 people send donations ranging from $5 to $100. That’s obviously a tiny percentage of the people who actually visit the site each day. There are thousands more of you who come to BSMW each and everyday. Step up and make a contribution to the site. I only run these drives for two weeks in the fall and a couple days in the spring. The rest of the year, I don’t bug ya, I just bring you the links. Let’s see if we can raise $1200 in the next three days, from among the thousands who visit the site each day but have yet to make a donation. I appreciate everything that comes in, and look forward to a long future for BSMW.
With the Patriots in a bit of an extended week, not playing until Monday, the Red Sox get top billing mid-week. A report from Boston Dirt Dogs (and if you’re a media outlet, you’d better credit him…or else. But I won’t mention the “Mark Bellhorn signs for 3 years” story) yesterday had Pedro Martinez meeting with George Steinbrenner in Tampa. Jeff Horrigan and Bob Hohler report on the meeting from the Red Sox perspective. Horrigan suggests at the end of his article that a Pedro departure wouldn’t lead to much mourning on Yawkey Way. Dom Amore covers the meeting from the Yankee side, noting that this meeting likely means that “The Boss flat-out wants him. The circumstances were similar a year ago, when Steinbrenner insisted on signing Gary Sheffield.” The thing about this situation is that with this new world we’ve entered in the last month, Pedro (or any player, really) can’t go to the Yankees with the excuse that he wants to win. He would strictly be chasing the money in this instance. Kevin Gray also has a report on the meeting between the Yankees and Pedro.
Michael O’Connor caught up with Jason Varitek at a charity event last night, and the free agent catcher again insisted his priority is to stay with the Red Sox. There is also an article from the ProJo with no byline that has more from Varitek. Chaz Scoggins advocates the Sox getting Varitek signed. Meanwhile, the Sox are making plans in case Varitek does depart. Tony Massarotti reports on the Red Sox making a two year offer to catcher Damian Miller. The Herald continues to crush the Globe in baseball coverage (2 articles by the Globe today, 7 for the Herald) as Michael Silverman has an article looking at the free agent relievers on the market. He also looks at what the Red Sox might do to rebuild their bullpen.
Jeff Horrigan, Bob Hohler and Jack O’Connell look at Vladimir Guerrero winning the AL MVP yesterday. Tony Massarotti writes that he wanted to vote for Manny, but just couldn’t justify it, he’s more outraged that Gary Sheffield finished second, with Manny finishing third, Tony did a little research about the voting, and came up with the following:
Of the five writers who placed Sheffield first, one (Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record) was from the New York area (what a shock) and two (Scott Carter of the Tampa Tribune and Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times) were from St. Petersburg and/or Tampa, where Sheffield was born and lives.
He goes on to note that neither Manny nor David Ortiz got a first place vote from the Boston area.
Meanwhile, another local sports media personality went on a cry for attention spree last night. Bob Halloran was a guest on Ted Nation on WEEI, and proceeded to take a Borges-like stand regarding the Red Sox. He said if Tony Clark’s double doesn’t go into the stands, the Red Sox lose, and we’d all be here killing the organization for letting Pedro, Varitek, Cabrera, etc go without getting anything in return. He said that Theo Epstein has batted .200 in his player moves, he has not been good at all. He said signing Schilling and Foulke were “no-brainers” (even though Schilling was a trade) and listed as examples of failure Theo’s attempts to sign Jose Contreras and trade for A-Rod, as well as putting Manny on waivers. These things should be counted as failures because Theo “wanted to do all those things” and they “would’ve turned out bad”. Interestingly, Halloran has a book out about the 2003 Red Sox “Destiny Derailed”. Coincidence? I think not. Sounds like someone is angling for a “Big Show” appearance. This was after his article yesterday saying Bledsoe is a HOF candidate. Of course, Halloran is a Bledsoe fan from way back. Check out a couple of articles from his days at ESPN.com Page2. It’s the story of a man named Bledsoe, and “Pats win for Brady, in spite of me.” and of course, “Exactly how I Drew it up.” Interesting reading.
Nick Cafardo must be very excited. Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis, the “muted underlings” of Bill Belichick are going to be allowed to speak to the media today! Michael Felger beats Cafardo to the punch, filing an article that Nick likely wanted to write for tomorrow, looking at the head coaching potential of each of them. Felger also takes a shot, seemingly aimed directly at Cafardo with the section titled “Talking Heads”:
Can we please get over the popular, but inaccurate, notion that Belichick's policy restricting the media availability of his assistants hurts their chances of landing jobs elsewhere? It's preposterous.
He makes a few salient points and concludes with:
Remember, the no-access policy was brought into fashion by Parcells, and his assistants have never hurt for work. Tom Coughlin. Al Groh. Chris Palmer. Belichick. Crennel. Weis. What matters is competence, not face time.
Meanwhile Cafardo today looks at a couple practice squad moves by the team last night. Dan Pires looks at how the Patriots have been brainwashed into believing that no team…or circumstance is insurmountable, including themselves. Michael Parente looks ahead to the Patriots preparation for the Kansas City Chiefs. Glen Farley examines at the fall of the Chiefs. Michael Gee (subscription only) looks at all that Adam Vinatieri does for the Patriots, which goes well beyond simply kicking field goals. Kevin Provencher looks at a couple of Patriots heading up to NH to meet with fans. Chris Kennedy says that Robert Kraft and John Henry have become close. David Pevear says the Patriots are ready for the playoffs. Eric McHugh looks at the job done by Corey Dillon and his blockers.
Steve Bulpett looks at the new, low key Ricky Davis. I have to say that I have been impressed with the play of Davis thus far. He’s stayed within the offense and game plan, and has been a willing defender, even taking a long turn on Allen Iverson in the season opener. Check out today’s edition of the Full Court Press to get an extensive breakdown of each of the Celtics rookies and second year players. Mike Fine looks at how the relationship between the Celtics and Gary Payton is working out nicely so far. Christopher Price says the Celtics have an opportunity in front of them to get noticed again. Bulpett’s notebook says that Delonte West isn’t quite ready to be activated yet. He also has an account of an impressive dunk by Al Jefferson in practice.
Bob Ryan has a “thoughts” style column, touching on just about all areas of Boston and national sports.
Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the slow, painful death of the 2004-05 NHL season.
Just have to say, the Globe sports section today was WEAK. Two baseball articles, a tiny Patriots notebook, a Bob Ryan column, a Kevin Paul Dupont Hockey column during a lockout, and no Celtics articles.
FSN has Celtics/Wizards at 7:00. ESPN has Heat/Bucks at 9:00.
A few more entries trickled into the BSMW Fall Fund Drive yesterday, bringing us to within $1400 of the goal amount for the drive. I’ll take today to again call out to the media people who express appreciation for the site everyday … acknowledging that they use it as a resource for their own work. If that is the case, then why not send something in for the drive? PayPal is pretty quick and painless to use, if you don’t trust this new-fangled inta-net there is always the old check in the mail to the PO Box method. Let’s have a strong finish and reach the goal by the end of the week. Thanks again to all who have contributed already.
The grades are in from Sunday night, and as you might expected the Patriots once again receive high marks. Kevin Mannix hands out all A’s and B’s, with the exception of a C for Special Teams. His comments about the coaching are a little curious, but overall he’s pretty fair. Michael Parente concurs, handing out all high marks with only a C+ for the Special Teams. Steve Grogan on Patsfans.com once again has A’s for the offense and A’s for the defense in this one.
After watching Drew Bledsoe on Sunday night, Nick Cafardo and Chris Kennedy come to the conclusion that hey, this Tom Brady guy is pretty good after all. Bill Burt has a obituary on the career of Bledsoe. Bill Reynolds looks at the fall of Bledsoe, the rise of Brady and how the two will forever be linked. Bob Halloran can’t understand why people around here are mean to Drew, because when it’s all said and done, he feels Bledsoe will be a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Most of the vitriol seemingly directed towards Bledsoe really has nothing to do with Drew. It’s backlash against certain media types to whom Drew was the best thing since sliced bread and who took every possible occasion to lavish praise on him, make excuses for him, and note how he was going to come back and haunt the Patriots, etc etc etc…. Their arrogance and blindness in this matter is justifiable cause for anger among fans who shouldn’t have to continually be insulted in this manner. When Drew fails, the “told ya so” mentality is more directed towards his media supporters than at Bledsoe personally.
Tom Curran says only the Patriots and the Eagles have shown themselves to consistently have what it takes to win week-to-week, he notes the Steelers have maturity issues and you don’t know what they’re going to do in January. Karen Guregian looks at the solid work done by the Patriots offensive line Sunday night. Mike Reiss looks at the incredible night the Patriots had in the running game against Buffalo. Alan Greenberg looks at Tedy Bruschi who seems to have avoided serious injury on that grotesque hit Sunday night. Michael Parente also has a look at Bruschi. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that these Patriots, no matter how well they play, are never satisfied and always looking to get better. Ian M Clark says the Patriots appear to be rounding into form nicely for the stretch drive. Tim Weisberg says the Patriots are making a clear case that they are the class of the NFL. Steve Conroy looks at a dominating night for the Patriots defense, despite their injuries. Weisberg also says that as good as Adam Vinatieri might be, he’s not as good as Gino Cappelletti…yet. The Herald looks at the Patriots’ 1986 drug scandal in today’s excerpt from Michael Felger’s book.
Cafardo’s notebook looks at Bruschi’s close call. Guregian’s notebook has more on the Patriots linebacker in almost a carbon copy article. Curran’s notebook says that Priest Holmes is likely out for next Monday night’s game against the Patriots. Reiss’ notebook has Belichick’s comments on Rodney Harrison’s penalty for a low hit on Drew Bledsoe.
Tony Massarotti wonders if the Sox are searching for left handed pitching this offseason, but notes that they just need to get pitching, period. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox offseason priorities remain Pedro Martinez and Jason Varitek, and has an “industry source” who says that the general assumption is that Pedro will remain in Boston. Bob Hohler looks at Manny Ramirez’s chances for the AL MVP. The general feeling seems to be that Vladimir Guerrero will take home that award. Massarotti also takes a broader looks at the free agent pitching market. Hohler’s notebook looks at the Sox interest in Carl Pavano, while Jeff Horrigan’s notebook says the Sox have a meeting lined up with Pavano for Thursday. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) has another article on Barry Bonds, who he compares to Rosie Ruiz. This was also a hot topic on Callahan’s WEEI show this morning.
Peter May says that the Celtics have been just fine with Gary Payton’s need to make visits to his family on the west coast. Mark Murphy looks at the improvement of Marcus Banks as Payton’s primary backup. After a pretty relaxed November schedule, Murphy’s notebook looks at an absolutely hellish December schedule.
ESPN2 has Preseason NIT college basketball starting at 7:00.
Some more extensive afternoon links following the Patriots win over the Bills last night. We remain about $1700 short of the goal for the BSMW Fall Fund Drive. If you’re able to help out and assist in reaching the goal you’ll get a chance to win some great prizes and know that you contributed to keeping the site running.
Tom King says it was a night to remember at Gillette Stadium, both for the game and what happened just prior to kickoff. Eric McHugh says that compared to the trickery of last week, the game last night was just your normal, routine run-of-the-mill domination. Chris Kennedy says last night just boiled down to the fact that the Patriots are “way better” than the Bills. Mike Lowe looks at a great display of teamwork by the Patriots last night. In his game story, David Pevear says that last night’s pregame ceremonies just showed that football is #2 in the hearts of New England sports fans. Glen Farley looks at the Patriots handing the Bills a major setback in their planned resurgence. Hector Longo also has a look at the Patriots win, curiously absent in his game story is any mention of the Troy Brown interception. Longo, as you recall, labeled the Troy Brown at cornerback experiment a mockery to the NFL and the Patriots fans.
Steve Solloway says you can only feel pity for Drew Bledsoe at this point. Jim Fenton looks at another horrific night on Route One for Bledsoe. Ron Hobson says Bill Belichick was exposed as a liar once again last night. He hyped the Bills and they turned out to be dreadful. Eric Wilbur has thoughts on championships, Bledsoe and the NFL. Lowe’s notebook looks at the World Series trophy hitting Gillette. Kennedy’s notebook also looks at the cheers for the Sox. King’s notebook says that the Patriots coaches are happy with Rohan Davey as the backup QB.
A couple notes from BSMW favorites Borges and Cafardo, Nick in his notebook this morning stated that Asante “Samuel wasn’t on the injury report”. In reality, he was listed all three days last week as “probable”. As for Borges, if the guy wasn’t so belligerent and adamant about his views it might be different, but these quotes from a mere three years ago (Globe – 11/22/2001) just jump at you in view of his column this morning.
Maybe Bledsoe fails miserably and fades into the night, although I doubt it. He's much more likely to fade the way Curtis Martin faded when he went to the Jets and Roger Clemens did when he left Boston in "the twilight of his career."
Maybe he goes to play in Tampa if Bill Parcells takes over the Buccaneers, as is being rumored, or for Brian Billick in Baltimore. In either place, the bet here is he would light the football world on fire again for another half-dozen years or so.
I think the only thing Drew lit on fire last night was possibly himself, after the game. From that same article:
So now Belichick has hitched his future to Tom Brady. The remaining games are his to win or lose, barring injury or waffling from the coach. How those games go, and where Drew Bledsoe goes, will decide a lot of things for the New England Patriots.
They'll also decide one thing for Bill Belichick. Whether the future is now or nonexistent for him, because there's no turning back. Some people learn from their mistakes. Others are doomed to repeat them.
If you wonder which is Bill Belichick, go ask people in Cleveland if they've ever heard the story of the guy who benched Bernie Kosar for Todd Philcox?
I don’t think that even needs any comment. Wow. We wonder why Ron has been so bitter the last few years? He’s been made to look like an absolute fool the last few years. It’s only a matter of time before he reaches Clark Booth status. (See Friday’s afternoon post on this site.)
There’s been a good deal of talk today about Rodney Harrison’s below the waist hit on Bledsoe, which upended the 6’5″ quarterback. Bill Belichick addressed the topic this morning, and Mike Reiss has a recap of it in his blog entry, as well as seven other topics discussed by the coach in his press conference.
Out in western NY, Mark Gaughan and Sal Maiorana report on the Bills Foxboro flop. Allen Wilson looks at the Patriots picking on Bledsoe once again. Jerry Sullivan says this type of result is becoming too familiar for the Bills, who have played four Sunday night games in the Tom Donahoe era and have been outscored 119-18. Leo Roth has a Bills report card from last night.
The second (and final) week of the BSMW Fall Fund Drive begins today, and at present we sit a little less than $1800 away from reaching the goal for the drive. Your support is very important to the future of BSMW, and if you haven’t already, please take a moment and drop a little something to the cause. I’ve gotten a couple of reports of problems with the Amazon.com donation system, I’m checking on it. In the meantime, please use the PayPal or snail mail methods to express your appreciation for the work done here. Thanks again.
The Patriots absolutely crushed the Bills last night at Gillette, and the 29-6 score does not even begin to show just how much of a domination this one was. If Mike Mularkey and the Bills had any sort of “opportunity” last night, it quickly went by the boards as Drew Bledsoe and the Bills folded quicker than a Wal*Mart camping tent. Michael Parente says that Belichick and the Patriots are not simply in Drew Bledsoe’s head. They’re his nightmares. Alan Greenberg works his game story around Troy Brown’s interception of Bledsoe, and no, I don’t think Drew was confused at seeing Brown out there and thought he was still on his team, a silly theory floated out on a couple of media airwaves even before the game. Nick Cafardo says that that the way Bill Belichick was hyping up the Bills before this one, you’d have thunk this one was actually going to be a game. It was a lot more than just Belichick touting the Bills before this one, folks. Michael Felger notes that some of the Patriots might’ve felt for Drew after the game, but on the field they do all they can to beat him. Tom E Curran also leads with Brown’s interception, and then goes into looking at the running dominance of the Patriots. Mike Reiss looks at the second quarter as the time that the Patriots really put away the Bills. Also be sure to check out the BSMW Patriots Rear View by Scott A Benson for a look at last night’s contest.
Ron Borges has an obituary on the career of Drew Bledsoe, comparing him several times to Evander Holyfield. The flaw in that analogy of course, is that Holyfield actually won a number of times in his career. Oh yeah, that Minnesota game 10 YEARS AGO was great, thanks for reminding us once again. It’s sad that a game from that long ago is still used to defend Drew. Borges makes sure to tell us what a great man Bledsoe is, but I don’t think anyone has ever questioned that part of Drew. We all admire him as a person. His football career however, appears over. Jim Donaldson also looks at the end coming near for Bledsoe, as JP Losman will likely take over as soon as he is healthy enough to do so. Mike Reiss agrees that it is only a matter of time before Drew hits the bench. Jim McCabe, Paul Kenyon and Rich Thompson each have a look at Troy Brown’s interception of Bledsoe, which ironically enough could’ve been the final nail in the coffin for the career of the Bills quarterback. Michael Gee says Drew should never play another game at QB in Gillette Stadium. Shalise Manza Young looks at just how bad Drew’s numbers were last night.
Bob Ryan says the Bills simply did not live up to their pregame hype. Kevin Mannix looks at a devastated Bills team which was thoroughly dominated on both sides of the ball. Shalise Manza Young says that a supposedly improved Bills team was still no match last night. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at how the Patriots were able to handle the Bills so easily last night. Dan Ventura looks at another frustrating return to Foxboro for Lawyer Milloy.
Steve Buckley looks at Tedy Bruschi, who had an interesting night with an interception of old teammate Bledsoe, and seemingly miraculously avoiding serious injury after having his leg twisted under him in the fourth quarter. Paul Kenyon has more on Bruschi. Steve Conroy looks at another impressive performance from a banged up Corey Dillon. George Kimball looks at the influence and impact of Rodney Harrison on the Patriots defense. Jim McCabe looks at what the Gillette Stadium Operations crew had to do to get ready for this one. Karen Guregian says other NFL QB’s get the attention with their gaudy stats, but Tom Brady beats them all in the stats that count. Frank Dell’Apa looks at another busy night for Adam Vinatieri. Conroy gets some fan reaction to night games.
Rich Thompson and Steve Buckley take a look at the Red Sox being honored before the game, and how there is a new breed of New England sports fan now, ones who only know success. Lenny Megliola says the good times just keep going on around here, and predicts that the Patriots will repeat as Super Bowl champs.
Cafardo’s notebook looks at the injury to Corey Dillon suffered during the first half, and wonders where Asante Samuel was. Felger’s notebook looks at the evening for Adam Vinatieri. Greenberg’s notebook looks at what went right and wrong for the Patriots last night. Dan Pires and Tim Weisberg have a Patriots notebook for the Standard Times. Parente’s notebook says that the Jets loss yesterday could be huge for the Patriots.
Michael Silverman’s Red Sox notebook looks at the apparent departure of bullpen coach Euclides Rojas, while Dale Sveum appears set to return. Dom Amore looks at Carl Pavano, who wants to pitch for either the Red Sox or Yankees.
The Celtics have a three game winning streak of their own going. Shira Springer looks an another period of extended time off for the Green who will seek to keep their momentum going on Wednesday against the Wizards. Mark Murphy looks at rookie Delonte West, who is eager to get back in the mix after his thumb injury.
ABC has Eagles/Cowboys at 9:00.
As improbable as it may seem, the BC football team (“Why Not Them”?) owns the local headlines today with a big 36-17 win at Morgantown over West Virginia. West Virginia was set to clinch a BCS bid before their home fans on Senior Day. But that was not about to happen yesterday. In his game story, Michael Vega explains that BC’s special teams were just that, special. They included two punt returns for touchdowns, three for three on field goals and a 76-yard punt. Bob Ryan says BC put it all together on offense, defense, and special teams for 60 minutes. Mike Shalin explains that BC was up to Tim Bulman
Sunday Links by Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Boston College Football
In arguably their biggest win since their dramatic victory over Notre Dame eleven years ago, the Boston College Eagles put themselves on track for their first appearance in a BCS game (either Fiesta or Sugar per the Globe