Coverage of the Ken Powers plagiarism investigation – John Strahinich of the Boston Herald reports on the story, giving BSMW a mention and providing an excerpt from the Peter King column and the Powers column. The Globe goes with the AP Version of the story. If you weren’t aware, the Telegram & Gazette is also owned by the New York Times company, as is the Globe. The story has become a national one, with papers and news outlets all over the country picking up the AP story.

We still haven’t figured out “why” this happened. Ted Sarandis on WEEI last night referenced Powers’ medical history and wondered perhaps if there was a reaction to some medication or something like that which could possibly be involved here. Another theory is that Powers had King’s article up on his computer and was using it to fact check and “accidentally” cut and paste it over his own, and then sent it along to his editor unwittingly. That theory goes on to say that the editor then changed some of the verbiage of the column to be less “web” like and more “newspaper” like. (Not knowing it was someone else’s work) Some passages do appear to have been “cleaned up” a little bit. However, that theory seems a bit far fetched as well. There are just too many subtle wording changes to make that plausible. There just doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why this happened.

Many of the media types I’ve had contact with in the last day have expressed shock, disappointment and even some anger over this incident. All valid responses, as is pity, I believe. You have to have some feelings for a man who has pretty much thrown away his career. Some believe that he will be given a slap on the wrist, perhaps demoted off the Patriots beat and back down to local sports, but I don’t know if that would work. As mentioned above, the T&G is owned by the NY Times company, who, because of the Jayson Blair episode is not likely to treat this incident lightly.

Update (10:30 AM) WEEI’s Dale & Neumy show reported that Peter King has called the Telegraph & Gazette and asked them not to fire Powers. A classy move by King, but I don’t know if it should hold weight with Powers’ employers. What was done was egregious beyond any offense to Mr. King for using his material. It was offensive to his employers, who expect honest work from him, offensive to his readers, who need to be able to trust that what they’re reading is what it is claimed to be, and offensive to media colleagues everywhere who spend the time and effort to come up with their own material.

Super Bowl Madness

There’s no way I’m getting to all the links. For example, I counted 28 stories in the Boston Herald sports section alone on the game. The Globe weighs in with 16. The ProJo has at least 10.

Nick Cafardo has a look at the resurgence of Ted Johnson, who since going AWOL after being told he wouldn’t dress for the 2002 season opener, has really revitalized his career. Kevin Mannix says that the Patriots approach has no room for me-first individuals. Jackie MacMullan looks at Rodney Dangerfield…I mean Harrison, who is on a constant quest for respect. Tom E Curran writes that Harrison has been an impact player for the Patriots — in every sense of the word. The Hartford Courant has a new-look web page, and Alan Greenberg has a look at the Patriots defense, which isn’t flashy, but always manages to sparkle in big moments. Ron Borges has the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) coming out strongly against Terrell Owens playing in the Super Bowl. Jim Fennell has a piece on Bill Belichick, noting that the Patriots coach traces his NFL lineage not through Bill Parcells, but through Paul Brown.

Michael Felger says that the Patriots run of success is more impressive than those of past eras. He has a quote from Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham of the Steelers who says what the Patriots have done in this era is more impressive than his Steelers of the ’70’s. He also got a few words with Chuck Noll about the Patriots. Rich Thompson has Terry Bradshaw saying that the Patriots defense is among the best ever. Steve Conroy has former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson praising the job done by Bill Belichick and the Patriots. George Kimball says that the staff that Belichick has put together could rank up there with some of the greatest coaching staffs in league history as there are likely many future head coaches on board. Steve Buckley (subscription only) tells us that with a win on Sunday, the Patriots will become the second greatest dynasty in Boston sports history, only behind the great Boston Celtics squads with Bill Russell.

Michael Parente has a good piece on linebacker Roman Phifer, who has spent his time in New England jetting back and forth to the West Coast to be with his son. The Super Bowl could mark the end of a long, production NFL career for Phifer. Lenny Megliola looks at the confidence that just oozes from Tom Brady, and projects that given his interests, he’s going to be a candidate for political office someday. Buddy Thomas says that the Patriots don’t get a lot of individual respect, but that they don’t deserve it either, based on individual numbers and statistics. It’s almost as dumb as a comment by Tom Jackson on ESPN Tuesday night where he said (verbatim) “I hate to think that they (the players) miss out on 2 to 3 Pro Bowls because they have this team concept in mind”. Mike Reiss looks at the Patriots’ Super Sophomores, the 2003 draft class. Dan Shaughnessy has a profile of Patriots punter Josh Miller. Jeff Jacobs looks at how Charlie Weis is handling his dual roles, especially on college signing day.

Andy Smith of the ProJo notes that if you live in the Providence viewing area, and bought an HDTV for the Super Bowl…you’re out of luck. He cites a “long-standing squabble between Cox Communications and Providence-based LIN TV, which operates both Channel 12 and Fox Providence.” Jonathan Comey has advice and alternatives for those who aren’t interested in watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night, including his grandmother. After looking at Gil Santos on Tuesday, today Bill Griffith looks at Eagles play-by-play man Merrill Reese.

I thought we might be done with the “Jacksonville is not suitable to hold a Super Bowl” stories, but Gerry Callahan (subscription only) has another for us this morning. It’s what you’ve heard everywhere else. The people are nice. The city is spread out too far. There’s no place to get a drink. Not enough rooms. Not enough cabs. Too much construction in the city. Bill Simmons had more on that yesterday in day three of his Super Bowl blog. He tells us how bad it is, and that ESPN sent him there to tell us all that.

It’s MY JOB to tell you these things. I’m here and you’re not. If the roles were reversed, I would want you to tell me one thing: “Is it fun there?” And the answer, honestly, is no. The weather stinks and it’s impossible to get around. That’s the bottom line. Everyone here is shaking their heads and saying, “Can you believe this?” These are the things you need to know. That’s why ESPN sent me in the first place.

Actually, I don’t care if it’s fun there or not. Seriously…why does the average fan care if the reporters are having fun or not? It’s not at all on my radar when I’m thinking about the Super Bowl. I don’t wake up at night wondering if Nick Cafardo is having fun in Jacksonville. If ESPN is sending Simmons to Jacksonville to report on the fun factor…I think there are better uses for his talents. Simmons goes on to suggest that Las Vegas should be the home to the Super Bowl every other year.

Pickin’ the Eagles.

Jon Meterparel has an ally in picking the Eagles over the Patriots. Sterling Sharpe was on ESPN radio this morning and gave some “sterling” analysis. He says that the Pittsburgh Steelers moved the ball up and down the field “at will” on the Patriots defense. He said that the Eagles will not go the way of the Colts, because they have “athletes with attitude”, in Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and Terrell Owens and that Andy Reid will win his initial Super Bowl because Mike Holmgren did and John Gruden did, and they’re all from the same coaching “tree”. In fact he said that Holmgren and Gruden are helping Andy Reid by looking at film and finding weaknesses in the New England Patriots. Not a strategic reason in that whole breakdown. Meteraparel meanwhile, is hanging his hat on his assertion that Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson will devise and “exotic scheme” that will confuse Tom Brady and cause him to throw a “few” interceptions.

Net Results

The Celtics got themselves a 21 point win over the New Jersey Nets last night, 110-89. Peter May, Carolyn Thornton and Steve Bulpett have the details. Mark Murphy has Gary Payton saying that there is a new Paul Pierce in evidence these days. Bulpett’s notebook has an update on the speedy recovery of Al Jefferson, a topic also pursued by Thornton’s notebook. May’s notebook has Bob Cousy praising the play of Jason Kidd.


ESPN has NC State/UNC at 7:00. NESN has game four of the 2004 ALCS at 6:00. TNT has Cavs/Heat at 8:00 and Spurs/Lakers at 10:30.