Celts Expand Record to 3-2

Saturday links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)

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After playing them even in the first half, the Celtics dismantled the Charlotte Bobcats in the second half en route to a 91-74 shellacking of the expansion club. The game action is captured by the Globe


BSMW FFD Day 5 Afternoon

A decent day for afternoon Patriots links, very slow day for the Fall Fund Drive. Yesterday we went over the halfway mark to the goal dollar amount for the BSMW Fall Fund Drive, a great accomplishment in four days. Now we can start aiming towards the final goal amount. If you’ve been hesitant to take the plunge thus far, I encourage you to do so now and help BSMW make the push towards the goal. As a reminder, with a donation of $25 or more, you are entered into a drawing for some great prizes. The more multiples of $25 you donate, the better your chances of winning the grand prize, an 80 hour TiVo Series 2. Thank you for your continued support.

Mike Reiss reports from Foxboro this morning with some infomation and humor from Bill Belichick, and Rosevelt Colvin missing his IPod. (A media person must’ve swiped it…kidding…) Ron Hobson looks at the schedule and says that the Patriots could be poised to run the table. Glen Farley looks at the impact Willis McGahee has had on the Bills. Michael Parente looks back at the performance of the Patriots defensive line Sunday in St Louis. Would someone please get Clark Booth another can of Ensure? I fear he’s not getting the proper nutrition at the nursing home. To wit:

If you want to know why a lot of NFL insiders will be happy when Bill Belichick gets his comeuppance some day, ponder that cheesy stunt he pulled in St. Louis that resulted in a 'touchdown pass' from Adam Vinatieri to Troy Brown on a fake field goal. The play was technically legal but laden with a deceit bordering on un-sportsmanlike conduct. That's sandlot stuff hardly worthy of this league, in the minds of true-blue football sorts who would also argue that humiliating a foe is to be avoided at all costs.

Yes, damn that Belichick for playing within the rules and winning the game. That whole notion is simply perverted. Booth also goes after Manny Ramirez for supposedly stiffing his High School’s requests for financial assistance. (A notion pretty much debunked in a thread at SoSH.)

Back to football and Bill Belichick, Mark Starr had a fairly glowing piece on the Patriots coach yesterday. Parente’s notebook looks at Richard Seymour picking up the pace. Ron Borges looks at the supremacy of the AFC over the NFC for MSNBC. Bill Simmons ranks the potential NFL playoff teams. In Buffalo, Jerry Sullivan looks at the selflessness of the Patriots. Tim Graham looks at the damage Willis McGahee could do the Patriots on Sunday night.

Mike Fine has a look at a healthy Raef LaFrentz, making a sizable contribution to the Celtics in the early part of the season.

Eric Wilbur weighs in on Ron Artest and bounces around a number of other topics.

David Scott has a Friday edition of Scott’s Shots, touching on Mike Reiss, Gary Gillis, and a bunch of other media related items.

BSMW Fall Fund Drive, Day 5

The Patriots continue their preparation for their Sunday night matchup with Drew Bledsoe and the Buffalo Bills. Michael Felger says that the Patriots expect the Buffalo defense to have learned from their last meeting and provide the Patriots with a stiff test. Eric McHugh says that the Bills are starting to gain an identity. Glen Farley observes that Bledsoe and Lawyer Milloy have both have big roles in the resurgence of the Bills. Tom King says there will be a lot of questions answered Sunday night about these Bills. A lot of player profiles today, Frank Dell’Apa slides over from the Revolution beat, and becomes the 24621st writer from the Globe to cover the Patriots this season. He looks at rookie cornerback Randall Gay, who has been thrust into the fire in his first year in the league. Paul Kenyon and Chris Kennedy have pieces on the development and improvement of Stephen Neal this season. Ian M Clark has a look at the breakout year that David Givens is having, just in time for his contract to be up at the end of the season. Alan Greenberg and Kennedy also file articles on Patriots tackle Brandon Gorin.

With most things, balance is the key to success, Christopher Price notes that this is also true of the Patriots, who have shown this quality on the offensive side of the football. Felger also has a look at the Patriots success in opening and closing football games. Tom King looks at the Patriots ability to keep their offense going despite the plethora of injuries suffered thus far this season. Did you know that the Patriots prohibit their assistant coaches from speaking to the media? Mark Farinella says that these guys, though you’re not allowed to hear from them, have a huge role in the success of the Patriots. David Pevear looks at the flexibility of the Patriot roster. The Herald has another excerpt from Felger’s book, this one looks at Raymond Berry.

Dell’Apa’s notebook has a look at Milloy and Bledsoe. Felger’s notebook looks at the Patriots thin offensive line. Kenyon’s notebook examines the 2-way players on the Patriots.

Michael Silverman looks at the Red Sox free agents hitting the open market last night. Art Martone writes that the 2004 season ended at midnight last year, the World Series season is over, and now we’re into 2005. He looks at the status of the team’s top free agents. Bob Hohler’s notebook says that the Sox continue to talk with Pedro’s agent, and also have resumed talks with Scott Boras, though they remain far apart on the value of Jason Varitek. John Tomase writes that all the Sox top free agents could end up going elsewhere. Joe Haggerty talks to former members of the Red Sox, who advise the current group to stay right here if at all possible. Jim Donaldson says that Theo Epstein shouldn’t cave in to the demands of the agents, and overpay anyone. Nick Taveras looks at the top free agents on the market. Silverman’s notebook looks at the Sox interest in Troy Glaus.

Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan and Steve Buckley look at Johan Santana winning the AL Cy Young Award yesterday, in unanimous fashion.

Bob Ryan looks at Ron Artest’s ridiculous situation in which he requested a month off from the Pacers because he wore himself out on his rap album. Mark Murphy looks at Jiri Welsch, who might be a tad frustrated with his role on the Celtics at the moment, but wouldn’t complain publicly on the matter. Shira Springer has a similar article on Welsch. Murphy’s notebook looks at Gary Payton’s thumb, which continues to bother the veteran point guard.

Bill Griffith looks at the ouster of Gary Gillis from WHDH Channel 7, a move that seems typical of the way they do things down there. Jim Baker looks at the big bucks TV extension signed by the NFL, CBS and Fox. Andrew Neff looks at Giants fans getting their wish on the Bangor Fox affiliate.

FSN has Celtics/Bobcats at 7:30. ESPN has Heat/Spurs at 8:00.

BSMW Fall Fund Drive, Day 4

As the BSMW Fall Fund Drive creeps forward, we’re approaching the halfway mark for the goal, a little more than $400 short of that point. Even with the holiday today, it would be outstanding if we could get $400 or so today and get halfway to our goal amount. Again, if you haven’t donated before, please consider doing so. You have the options of PayPal, with which you can use a credit card, Amazon.com where you might already have billing information set up if you’ve ever placed an order there, or you can simply mail a payment to a PO Box. Once I again, I thank you all for your support.

The Celtics once again ran out to a big lead at home, only to see it disappear in the fourth quarter. This time, however, a bruised and battered Paul Pierce hit a 20 foot fallaway jumper at the buzzer to give the C’s the win. Accounts of the game are provided by Shira Springer, Steve Bulpett and Carolyn Thornton. The Celtics improved to 2-2 on the young season, and even <a href="http://www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/articles/2004/11/11/early_returns_are_encouraging?pg=full” target=”_blank”>Peter May seems a little impressed with how this squad has looked at times, seeing more good than bad. I confess I did get a chuckle at May’s description of Pierce as “dentally challenged”. Mark Murphy looks at Gary Payton, who reached the 20,000 point mark for his career last night, and even mentions the possibility of moving his family out here. Murphy also looks at the performance of Raef LaFrentz, who registered a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds last night. Springer’s notebook has more on Payton’s accomplishment. Thornton’s notebook looks at how Pierce and Payton have set the example for the younger guys. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Mark Blount stepping up and shutting down Zach Randolph down the stretch.

Jackie MacMullan isn’t quite ready to let go of what the Patriots did Sunday in St Louis. Michael Felger looks ahead to the new and improved Buffalo Bills. Tom E Curran also looks at a Bills, who come into Gillette on Sunday night having won three out of four. Alan Greenberg has more on the Bills and the emergence of Willis McGahee as a key reason for their turnaround. Michael Parente also looks at McGahee. Mike Reiss says the Patriots will be focusing on kick coverages on Sunday night, an area that burned them against the Bills the last time these teams played.

Nick Cafardo gets Mike Vrabel’s thoughts on Maurice Clarett. Buddy Thomas says the Dolphins will likely raid the Patriots and take Charlie Weis and Scott Pioli. Weis could be a possibility, but Pioli isn’t likely to be going anywhere soon. Cafardo’s notebook has more on the McGahee angle. Felger’s notebook looks at the still tight relationship between Tom Brady and Lawyer Milloy. Curran’s notebook and Reiss’ notebook each look at the upgraded status of Deion Branch. Parente’s notebook looks at the addition of Lance Nimmo to the practice squad.

Bob Hohler has the Red Sox ownership taking issue with some of the claims put forth by agent Scott Boras. David Heuschkel also looks at the demands from the agent for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. Michael Silverman says all 16 Red Sox free agents will likely hit the market tomorrow. Tony Massarotti looks at Terry Francona’s fifth place finish in the AL Manager of the year. Jeff Horrigan and Hohler’s notebook look at how Curt Schilling will likely be edged out by Johan Santana for the AL Cy Young Award. Matt Kalman looks at Wade Boggs being inducted in the Red Sox Hall of Fame. Silverman’s notebook has Manny home from Japan, resting his hamstrings.

WEEI’s “Big Announcement” yesterday was word that they’ve extended their agreement with the Patriots to continue to carry the “Patriots Monday” programming. Now a bigger announcement would’ve been had they actually said that they were going to talk about the Patriots on that day. The agreement also means more years of New England Revolution soccer on the station…

BSMW FFD Day 3 Afternoon

A pretty strong day for the 2004 BSMW Fall Fund Drive yesterday, but we still have a long way to go to reach the goal. As donations have come in, I’ve seen a lot of familiar names, people who have donated in the past. That means so much to me to see that. However for you who haven’t donated in the past, why not do so now? The traffic on the site has grown steadily, I know you’re out there. As mentioned yesterday, if you’re hesitant about using PayPal or Amazon, there is a PO Box you can mail a donation to. If you choose that route, drop me an email when you send the payment, and we can add it to the Drive total. Once again, all transactions and personal information are kept confidential. Thanks again.

Another fairly slow day for afternoon sports links. A few items of interest, however. Mike Fine has a look at Pedro and the other Sox free agents. It’s time to see just how much Martinez and the others really want to stay in Boston. Eric Wilbur says that despite his obvious leadership and defensive skills, Jason Varitek is likely gone if his agent holds to his demands. Tom Robinson writes that perhaps the Sox should be sending a World Series share to Maury Wills. Scott Kerman looks at his extensive Boston sports wardrobe, with outfits for all occasions.

Eric McHugh has a midterm report card for the Patriots. Corey Dillon is his first half MVP for the team. Bill Burt checks in with Otic Smith, who wouldn’t mind another run with the Patriots. Mike Reiss checks in with an update from today in Foxboro. He says there are a full media hoard there today (75+) and has a couple interesting notes and stories from this morning. In the Herald’s other football blog, The Pigskin Diaries, a challenge is extended to CBS Sportsline writer Pete Prisco, who declines the opportunity to debate Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. Larry Mahoney look at the Patriots adaptability.

Mike Fine also submits an article on Celtics rookie forward Al Jefferson.

BSMW Fall Fund Drive, Day 3

Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider tackles a number of topics surrounding the club, he looks at the disappearing tight ends in the passing game, has some further review of plays and strategy from the Rams game, and looks ahead to the Bills, noting that Drew Bledsoe has not been sacked in the last games, perhaps as a result of the emergence of Willis McGahee. Michael Parente says that Buffalo is not the same team it was earlier in the season and this Sunday night they will not be a pushover. Alan Greenberg looks at a strong first half of the season for the Patriots, but curiously ends his piece fretting about the Patriots not winning the division and only ending up with a number 5 seed in the playoffs. He feels the offense, if it gets healthy could be the best in franchise history, despite a thinning offensive line. Michael Felger also takes a look at the best and worst of the first half of the season for the Patriots.

Bob Ryan declares Troy Brown his “all-time get-to-the-gut, most rootable Patriot”. He recaps the career of Brown, and captures what this guy is all about. Enjoy him while he playing, because you’re not going to see another guy like this for a long time. Chris Kennedy looks at how Randall Gay and Earthwind Moreland were relaxed enough to help the Patriots pound the Rams on Sunday. Jonathan Comey hands out some midseason hardware around the NFL. He’s also got his Power Rankings, where he slides the Patriots back into the top spot. Alisha A Pina looks at a 7 year old getting a visit from Tom Brady and Bethel Johnson. The Herald has another passage from Felger’s book today, this one looks at Darryl Stingley in the present day. Parente’s notebook says that the Patriots might be in the market for some help on the offensive line. He also has some quotes from Mike Martz mocking Troy Brown’s play at DB.

Michael Silverman and Bob Hohler look at the situation with Jason Varitek and his agent demanding a 5 year contract with a no-trade clause that would easily exceed 50 million dollars. Bill Burt says that Pedro Martinez belongs in Boston and that it should be an easy choice for him to stay. Art Martone says the Red Sox could repeat history if they let Pedro walk. Lenny Megliola writes that sometimes even Terry Francona’s father questioned his moves this season. Jeff Horrigan reports on the surgery for Curt Schilling. Jason Stark of ESPN.com has the gory details, including photos of the ankle. Steve Buckley has Bruce Hurst thrilled over the Sox championship. Silverman’s notebook observes that with so many question marks with their own players, the Red Sox hot stove season could be off to a slow start. Hohler’s notebook has more on Schilling’s surgery.

Roger Clemens took home his 7th Cy Young Award yesterday. Gordon Edes and Michael O’Connor look at the honor for the 42 year old Clemens. Steve Buckley writes that the term “great” just doesn’t even begin to capture what Roger Clemens is. Jack O’Connell speculates if Clemens really will hang it up this time. As long as he’s in the NL, I hope Clemens keeps pitching. It makes me feel young, seeing this guy who has been playing since I was a kid…

Steve Bulpett and Peter May each have articles on Celtics rookie Al Jefferson, who will likely see his playing time increase as he has been impressive in the time that he has been on the court thus far. Tommy Heinsohn already loves the kid, and raves at every little thing he does. Both articles above emphasize that he still have a lot of learning to do. May’s piece goes a little more into how he ended up on the Celtics and how they viewed him prior to the draft. The second edition of BSMW’s Full Court Press has the panel taking a position by position look at the early season Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Paul Pierce enduring seven hours of dental surgery, but planning on being ready to go tonight.

Russ Conway has a fond look back at the long and storied career of Ray Bourque.

Ron Borges has an outstanding article on Evander Holyfield, who will just not give up the ghost, and continues fighting on. Borges is gentle in his treatment of Holyfield, giving him respect, yet not ignoring the obvious…the fighter’s skills are clearly eroded. Articles like this make Borges’ football articles all the more hard to swallow.

FSN has Celtics/Blazers at 7:00. NESN has SportsPlus at 6:30 and 10:30 and Tom Caron, Bob Ryan and Nick Cafardo talk Sox, Celtics, BC football, and the Patriots and Caron goes one-on-one with Hall of Famer Ray Bourque. On CN8 SportsPulse at 10:00, Mike Dee of the Red Sox and the Fenway Sports Group will be on to discuss Fenway Park, and BC Hockey coach Jerry York will also be on.

BSMW FFD, Day 2 Afternoon Update

The 2004 BSMW Fall Fund Drive got of to a somewhat slower-than-expected start yesterday, but the contributions that did come in are gratefully accepted. Please consider donating to keep this site as a free resource for you. Donations of $25 or more earn you a chance to win a cool prize. If you’re a media member who has used this site for show preparation, or to keep up with what your colleagues are doing, (and I know you do – you’ve told me so.) please consider sending in something. If you’re worried about Internet transactions, there is a PO Box address you can mail a check to. Your transaction and personal information will be held in strict confidence. Thank you for your support.

Scott Boras, the agent for Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek was on the Dale & Neumy show today, and said that they are seeking a 5 year deal with a no-trade clause. Sam Borden of the NY Daily News says that the Red Sox and Yankees are preparing to battle it out for Carl Pavano. Gordon Edes writes about Roger Clemens, who may walk away from the game after claiming his 7th Cy Young Award.

Eric McHugh says that the Patriots’ coaching staff are not afraid to take chances and move players into roles they might be good at. Garry Brown gets a little misty eyed as Adam Vinatieri’s fake field goal Sunday reminds him of a high school trick play 40 years ago. Tom King looks at the willing attitude by the Patriot players to fill any role asked of them. Mike Reiss weighs in on his blog with some thoughts and observations from this morning in Foxboro. Nick Cafardo had a Patriots chat on Boston.com today. McHugh’s notebook looks at the Patriots success in the two minute offense.

Eddie Andelman on WWZN made the modest claim today that the Patriots would not exist today if weren’t for him…

BSMW Fall Drive – Day 2

It’s Tuesday, and that means report card day for the New England Patriots. Not too much to complain about this week, Kevin Mannix hands out all A’s and B’s for his students. Michael Parente also sweeps through A’s and B’s for the Patriots players and coaches after their win over the Rams. Steve Grogan, doing his fifth straight year of commentary and grading for Patsfans.com, gives straight A’s to the offense and defense for this one. He also gives some good insight into what is going on out on the field and in the coaches room.

Referring to them as “Belichick’s muted underlings”, (twice even) Nick Cafardo praises the work of the assistant coaches in getting the Patriots ready and prepared to face and beat the Rams. Gerry Callahan says that Belichick has passed Bill Parcells as a coaching genius. In addition to the overall big picture, he compares what Belichick and the Patriots did this week to what Parcells and the Cowboys did, and how each coach reacted afterwards. Careful Gerry, you might find a horse head in your bed courtesy of certain local sportswriters if you keep writing that stuff…Mike Reiss looks at the Beli-flex system, where players can be called upon to do many different things. Tom E Curran says the the 2004 Patriots may have found their identity Sunday in St Louis.

Christopher Price looks at how the Patriots versatility has enabled them to shine through difficult situations. Steve Buckley says that Bill Belichick doesn’t limit his thinking, he’s not afraid think outside the box and use players in different situations. He notes that Terry Francona did some of this as well, such as using Doug Mientkiewicz at second base one game. Michael Gee also focuses on the Patriots versatility, noting that it helps keep the players and coaches challenged and focused. Michael Parente looks at the attitudes of Troy Brown and Mike Vrabel, a couple players who have been used in different roles. Joe McDonald has Belichick pleased with his team’s performance on Sunday. Chris Kennedy looks at the work of the inexperienced defensive backs on Sunday.

Cafardo’s notebook looks at the Patriots being unable to come to an agreement on a new contract for Adam Vinatieri before last night’s deadline for applying pro-rated signing bonuses to this year’s cap. McDonald’s notebook looks at the yeoman effort turned in by an aching Corey Dillon on Sunday. Reiss’ notebook looks at how the absence of Tom Ashworth will affect the Patriots.

Michael Silverman says the Red Sox need to get a deal done with Pedro Martinez. The alternatives out on the market do not match what Pedro can bring to the team. Bob Halloran hopes that Pedro comes to his senses and accepts the Red Sox offer. Bob Hohler previews the GM Meetings. Tony Massarotti and Silverman look at Curt Schilling as he prepares for ankle surgery. Silverman’s notebook looks at the Sox laying some groundwork for player movement at the GM Meetings.

Steve Bulpett talks to Ernie DiGregorio, who remains high on the potential of Marcus Banks, saying that the second year point guard could be an All Star someday. Peter May has a quick article on Raef La Frentz who has been healthy and able to contribute in the early going of the Celtics season. Bulpett’s notebook has Gary Payton flying to the West Coast to be with his wife, who has been ill.

Raymond Bourque was enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame last night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Steve Conroy, Paul Doyle and Douglas Flynn all have coverage of the event. Kevin Paul Dupont has a look at the incredible rush, and feeling of invincibility at times that Bourque could feel out on the ice. Karen Guregian says that the NHL lockout put a bit of a downer on the whole evening. Mick Colageo says things are reaching a desperate point in the NHL lockout. Conroy’s notebook looks at Paul Coffey also being inducted, Coffey as you recall, had a short stint with the Bruins as well. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at Coffey and Larry Murphy.

John Molori bounces around the Boston sports media scene in this week’s edition of Media Blitz. Bill Griffith has a look at WEEI’s continued dominance in the Arbitron ratings. He also has a piece on the NFL extending it’s TV contracts.

No professional sports on regular cable TV tonight. ESPN2 has college football with Toledo/Northern Illinois at 7:30. NESN Retro debuts tonight at 8:00. CN8’s SportsPulse will have Mark Blaudschun to talk college football and Mike Petraglia, Kevin Winter, Joe Haggerty to talk baseball at 10:00.

2004 BSMW Fall Fund Drive

Welcome to the 2nd Annual BSMW Fall Fund Drive. Please donate for a chance to win a TiVo Series2 Digital Video Recorder. The drive will last only two weeks and the drawing will be held on Monday, November 22nd. Thank you for your continued support. Click on the above links for more details about the drive, how to donate and other prizes up for grabs.

The Patriots got back on the winning track yesterday, embarrassing the Rams in St. Louis 40-22, thus avoiding a formula for disaster. Remember all the media vitriol in August when Bill Belichick was using players at different positions in preseason games? One local scribe said the coach was making a mockery of the game by giving Troy Brown some time at cornerback. Others voiced similar opinions. Some hinted that Brown was forced to do that against his will, and others accused Belichick of over coaching and micro-managing. How silly do these people look now? Of course they can just pretend it never happened, as usual. Michael Felger did make mention of this on Fifth Quarter yesterday, saying that once again Belichick was smarter than the media and everyone else.

Game stories from St. Louis are as follows. Ron Borges has an almost glowing account of a team that “that always plays to its capabilities. And sometimes beyond them.” More on Borges later, as he had an embarrassing stint on the WBCN pre-game show yesterday…Michael Felger says that once again, St. Louis was no match for New England. Tom E Curran observes how the depleted Patriots still had plenty in the tank to ward off the Rams. Alan Greenberg says this win yesterday was almost a work of art for Belichick as “he and his Patriots can paint a gridiron masterpiece with bright brush strokes.” Michael Parente looks at the Patriots pulling out all the stops to beat the Rams. Scott A Benson says that we’ve learned once again to never count out this Patriots team.

Dan Shaughnessy takes some time away from pounding the keyboard writing his new book to look at a total team effort for the Patriots. Kevin Mannix looks at the Patriots overcoming the plethora of injuries. Jim Donaldson says yesterday’s performance should silence any doubters of this team. Ian M Clark writes that yesterday’s game could turn out to be a defining moment for the 2004 Patriots. George Kimball looks at Adam Vinatieri and the Pats throwing the Rams a curve with their fake goal. Christopher Price says the Patriots once again took advantage of Mike Martz’s stubbornness in refusing to change his game plan. Michael Smith of ESPN.com looks at the emergence of David Givens as a top NFL receiver.

Mark Blaudschun, Jim Donaldson and George Kimball look at Troy Brown pulling double duty for the Patriots yesterday. Rich Thompson looks at Corey Dillon getting the Patriots off and running. Cliff Brunt and Blaudschun each have a look at the fake field goal. The Patriots had young and inexperienced cornerbacks on the field for much of the day yesterday, but Tom E Curran notes that they passed this test with flying colors. Craig Martin looks at the Rams’ baffled quarterback, Marc Bulger. On the other side, Tom Brady didn’t seem exactly “right” yesterday, but you can’t tell it by looking at his numbers, or the results. Rich Thompson looks at the Pats QB, who was able to lead several time consuming drives to keep the Rams offense off the field. Martin looks at Mike Martz once again left wondering where it went wrong.

Borges’ notebook looks at 100 yard performances from both Corey Dillon and David Givens, something that is becoming a common occurrence for both players. Felger’s notebook looks at Asante Samuel leaving and then returning with an injured shoulder. Curran’s notebook says that the Rams had a warning about the fake field goal and didn’t do anything about it. Greenberg’s notebook looks at the fake field goal. Parente’s notebook praises the Patriots preparation and versatility.

Back to Borges, on the WBCN pregame show, he was on fire, he and Dan Shaughnessy were guests and they were in the process of comparing the Red Sox and Patriots, it was noted that the Red Sox are a much more open, freewheeling and loose group. Borges commented that the Patriots players are individuals as well, and that “a lot of the players don’t like how things are done here, but they put up with it.” Yeah, winning is awful. Later, the topic turned to Mike Martz’s alleged role in getting the competition committee to enforce the illegal contact rule, and Borges went nuts. He railed on, saying that the Patriots organization complained for 25 years about a non-call holding incident against the Raiders and made the inference that they are hypocrites now for complaining about a group that simply wants the rules called as they are written. The thing is, when have you EVER heard a member of the Patriots organization, player or management complain about the rule being enforced? Show me the quotes. The best you’ll get is maybe Ty Law saying he’s still going to play the same style, and if they call it, they call. Borges added that if you watched the AFC title game last year, it was clear that the Patriots went against the rules, inferring once again that they cheated. He also went on to suggest that Randall Gay and Asante Samuel can not play, and that they would be torched by the Rams, he pronounced anyone who saw these guys make some plays as nickle and dime backs as “giddy” people who know nothing about football. He picked the Rams to win yesterday, but perhaps a little gun shy over his 73-0 pronouncement the last time these teams played, he refused to pick a score, something the other members of the panel had to do.

Some people might suggest to me that I’ve got it out for Borges. That is not the case. He simply keeps saying outlandish things to bring attention to himself, and all I’m doing here is relating the things that he has pronounced. I leave it up to you to make the judgment as to whether this guy knows what he is talking about.

Michael Silverman reports on what the Red Sox hope to accomplish at the Winter GM meetings. As reported yesterday, the team has made an offer to Pedro Martinez, but is also in the process of lining up meetings with Carl Pavano and Brad Radke.

Shira Springer looks back at the Celtics impressive win Saturday night in New York, noting how it showed the high potential this Celtics team could have. Steve Bulpett looks at Paul Pierce and some others coming in yesterday to get some work in on the off day.

Ray Bourque enters the Hockey Hall of Fame tonight. Russ Conway looks at the career of Bourque. Kevin Paul Dupont and Mick Colageo also look at Bourque being honored with a spot among the greats. Karen Guregian says that Bourque epitomizes the term “class”. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has a look at the events that led to Bourque asking to leave the Bruins. Steve Conroy talks with Harry Sinden, who couldn’t have predicted how great Bourque would become. Marrapese-Burrell also looks at Bourque thriving in retirement.

ABC has Vikings/Colts at 9:00.