A light afternoon for links, but some interesting items nonetheless. Scott A Benson looks at the playoff picture this week, who can clinch, who would be seeded where, and what Patriots fans should be hoping for this week. Eric McHugh says the Patriots are going to need a little help if they hope to secure the number one seed for the AFC. Glen Farley looks at Corey Dillon renewing old acquaintances this week. Mike Reiss has his daily update from Foxboro, where he looks at Tom Brady’s play the last two weeks and spots Tyrone Poole getting instruction from Romeo Crennel. McHugh’s notebook says that Charlie Weis is a candidate for the Notre Dame job.

A BSMW member posted the following on the message board this morning and I felt it captures the frustration of the sports radio listener quite well:

I've got to ***** about the AWGs this morning YET AGAIN. Once again, they were beating their "we can't talk about the Patriots because everyone thinks Belichick can't do anything wrong" horse at the start of the 8 o'clock hour because they've been taken to task for trying to turn small curiosities into major soap operas. Maybe they didn't realize it, but their brief whining was a tacit admission that they really are incompetent and ignorant "sports-talk" hosts who can't generate discussion unless there are palace intrigues and Melrose Place like antics going on with the local teams. They can't, you know, talk about the stuff on the field because that might actually take some work. It's much easier to stir up the natives when you can put a black hat on someone, a white hat on someone else, choose your sides, and stoke the ensuing blaze.

This couldn't have been further underscored not more than 30 minutes later when they started getting into Gary Payton's comments to Bulpett. Anyone who pays even a little bit of attention to the Celtics has come to understand that Paul Pierce's poor shot selection and decision making has been hurting this team for a while now. It's an interesting topic that I would think the "#1 Sports Radio Station in the Country" might have dealt with extensively in the past. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the AWGs talk about the Celts about as often as [the unabomber] bathes. This morning we've got a teammate in Gary Payton saying to Bulpett what we've all seen. BINGO! Tension! Intrigue! Dissension! The possibility of controversy! So finally, the AWGs jump on the Payton/Pierce topic, even though Pierce's issues could have been fodder for intelligent discussion for quite some time now.

(In case you’re wondering, AWG stands for “Angry White Golfers” – the official BSMW acronym for Dennis and Callahan.)

Callahan said on the show that they cannot discuss the Patriots on their program because their “listeners are not capable of handling it”. He said all listeners are basically Pete Sheppard-like clones who just sit around and say “Remember that long bomb Brady threw to Patten…that was AWESOME!!”. How about using your brains, radio show hosts, and coming up with an intelligent conversation. How about trying to figure out how the Patriots secondary has continued to get the job done despite having nickel and dime backs as your starters? Is it scheme, or are these guys pretty good? About Brady…is his completion % drop a result of struggles, or throwing more long passes because he has a running game now? Instead of just rehashing and contriving controversies…do some work. Foreign concept, I realize.

Dan Patrick on ESPN Radio reported that Pedro Martinez re-signing with the Red Sox is “imminent”. They also reported that the Sox have signed Matt Mantei. In the local afternoon papers, Mike Fine writes that the Sox are going to take their time with making moves this offseason. Bob Stern looks at Theo Epstein
taking a patient approach.

The Globe “moles” report that the second sportswriter hire (see yesterday afternoon’s post) is a college hockey writer…