Solomon in, Neumy out?

A couple afternoon items of interest:

The Globe has hired a Patriots writer…it is Jerome Solomon, from the Houston Chronicle. He’s been covering college football for the Chronicle and in his last notebook for the paper, he says:

This is the last Big 12 notebook for yours truly. I'm packing my "Best of Ames" guide and "Loving Lubbock" brochure and heading to the Boston Globe to cover the New England Patriots.

Congratulations and welcome to town, Mr. Solomon. When you get a moment, drop me an email and we’ll chat about some of your new colleagues…

According to water cooler talk here at the BSMW offices, I’m hearing that Bob Neumeier is likely done at WEEI. As reported by Bill Griffith recently, Neumy’s contract runs out on the 10th, and it appears that Neumy’s work with NBC might cause him to be a bit pricey and cause scheduling conflicts for a daily show in Boston.

It seems natural that Michael Holley could make a good replacement. He is no longer under the restrictions of the Globe, and in addition Holley’s TV show I, Max was also recently canceled by FSN, (it’s ends on Feb 18th) making him conveniently available for the program. Even if Holley is a shoo-in, you can count on WEEI to make a big deal about this, as they did when Eddie Andelman left the station. Everyone pretty much knew Neumeier had the job, but the station spent a month doing on-air “auditions” and guest hosts, attempting to stir up as much speculation as possible.

It says here that Holley is the best possible choice for the anticipated opening. Time to add some diversity to the day-to-day programming of the station, but beyond that, the guy is talented, knows his stuff and can speak intelligently and passionately about Boston (and national) sports.

Oh yeah, and Walter McCarty was traded to the Suns for a conditional 2005 second round draft pick today.

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Parade Day. Again.

Another day, another championship parade for the city of Boston. If you’re planning on going to the parade…you’re probably not reading this, but the ideal locations along the route appear to be Copley Square, Tremont (where it meets West Street), and alongside City Hall Plaza. These are locations where the duck boats will stop and Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick and a few others will be speaking. Scott S Greenberger and Dave Wedge have more information about the Parade. There is also a parade route graphic in the Globe today.

The Patriots will have some work to do, and very soon. The first order of business is to appoint two coordinators to replace Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel. ESPN Radio was reporting yesterday that Dante Scarnecchia and Eric Mangini were the top choices for those spots. Mike Reiss takes a look at all the candidates as well as some other key dates and decisions the Patriots are facing. Michael Felger also has a look at the issues facing the Patriots as they get ready to attempt to defend back-to-back titles. Ron Borges smugly points out that when the 49ers lost both their coordinators in 1994, they never returned to the Super Bowl. Of course, that was a team already in decline and on it’s way to salary cap hell as well. None of this article is really relevant. But it’s worth saving to look back on in the future. Alan Greenberg says that Bill Belichick is still ignoring any dynasty talk, as he knows there is plenty of work ahead. Nick Cafardo says that while there are now holes on the coaching staff, player-wise the Patriots are in pretty good shape. Lenny Megliola also looks at the inevitable changes and how it doesn’t diminish the remarkable accomplishments of this team.

Kevin Mannix has his Super Bowl report card and issues all A’s and B’s as summer vacation begins for the Patriots. Scott A Benson files a final Patriots “Rear View” on the season as well. Dan Shaughnessy files a “thoughts” column wrapping up Super Bowl week, and just for good measure, ensures that’s never to early to start complaining about the next Super Bowl venue. Among the other gems in this piece: “Sorry, but Andy Reid just looks too much like Glenn Ordway.” Bill Reynolds files his trademark column made up of three small ones, looking at how far the Patriots have come, black quarterbacks and just what the Super Bowl message is these days. Bob Ryan says that this team put it all together November 7th in St. Louis…that’s when we knew this was a special team. Jim Donaldson channels Tina Turner and says that the Pats are “simply the best.”

Bob Hohler, Michael Parente and Dan Ventura file articles on Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, who learned some tough lessons along the way to becoming an NFL star. Tom E Curran reports on the strategy that the Patriots used to keep Donovan McNabb and the Eagles grounded. Felger also reports that Troy Brown would like to return to being a full time receiver next season, and that in order to return to the Patriots at all, something will have to be done about his contract. Dan Pires says that despite now three Super Bowl wins, this just doesn’t get old for anyone involved. Jim Fennell says that the championship runs just keep getting better. Jon Couture says that it wasn’t too long ago that Boston fans were a lot more like Philly fans in terms of being championship starved.

Speaking of Philly fans, they were the focus of Dennis & Callahan this morning as the duo used that subject as a large part of their program, telling war stories and taking calls from listeners who were there about how bad the Eagles fans were. The sooner the whole Jacksonville/Philly Fan ranting schtick can be put to bed, the better.

Felger’s notebook has more on the future for members of the Patriots coaching staff. Parente’s notebook looks at how the Patriots handled the loss of Corey Dillon early in the fourth quarter. This was a major issue with the Fox broadcasting crew…we never heard a peep about Eugene Wilson’s injury, and when Kevin Faulk was in the game at the end, with the Patriots attempting to run out the clock, there was no mention out of the broadcast booth as to why Faulk, and not Dillon, was on the field at that time. Tom Curran’s notebook says that Ty Law’s future is still very much up in the air.

Media Stuff

David Scott has a bonus edition of Scott’s Shots, with praise for Michael Gee (!), a look at the future of Michael Holley and wondering if the Ken Powers incident is a isolated one among mid-major papers. Bill Griffith has a FOX wrapup of Super Bowl Sunday. John Molori’s Media Blitz has a recap of the sights and sounds of Super Bowl week.

Pushing the Merch

A couple of notes for those interested in helping BSMW…if you purchase the Super Bowl DVD through the link on the left, BSMW gets a % of the sale. If you buy Super Bowl Merchandise through the Patriots Super Bowl Gear ad on the left, BSMW gets 10% of those proceeds…thanks for your continued support.

Tonight

FSN has Celtics/Bucks at 8:00. ESPN2 will have Boston College/Notre Dame at 7:00. ESPN has Illinois/Michigan at 7:00 and Florida/Kentucky at 9:00.

Back to Back Super Bowl Champions

OK Red Sox…now it’s your turn again.

What a run we are on here in New England. Can we enjoy it? As much as we all want to, there are still plenty of miserable media people out there, such as John Dennis leading off D&C this morning pronouncing that he’s going to be rooting against the Patriots next year because he doesn’t want to go to Detroit.

So many stories, so little time. Get all the Boston Globe stories on the Super Patriots. Go to the Patriots page at the Boston Herald to read their stories and the Providence Journal and Hartford Courant as well.

I expect to be in and out for the next week and half or so, but I am in the process of trying to line up some fill-ins and some other content here.

Pinch Me

Super Bowl Sunday links by Ben (ben@bostonsportsmedia.com)

So here we are. Sunrise on the morning of the Patriots third Super Bowl appearance in four seasons. And there is likely no one more thankful than the media members who have been digging hard for something fresh to write, or say, after a long two weeks. On a day like today, its always worth checking in a couple times for updates at

A Few Afternoon Links

Just a few afternoon links and Super Bowl breakdowns. First David Scott has a Friday edition of Scott’s Shots, with a look at Super Bowl articles, Ken Powers and the state of the Union. Other media columns…Bill Griffith talks with Joe Buck, who has never seen the Patriots in person. John Howell also has a piece featuring Buck. Jim Baker looks ahead to the programming schedule for Super Bowl Sunday. Andrew Neff looks at a busy weekend for Maine sports fans.

Football Outsiders (mentioned in the Wall Street Journal today) has a Super Bowl preview and does their usual terrific job with it. They’re picking the Patriots. The lads over at Cold Hard Football Facts also has a preview of the game and between those two articles, it’s fairly hard to make a case for the Eagles. Still, anything can happen. Over on SI.com, Bills coach Mike Mularkey takes a shot at breaking down the matchup.

Mike Reiss had a piece today with David Patten and Christian Fauria giving us a “day in the life” during Super Bowl week. He also has a recap of this morning’s Bill Belichick press conference. Reiss’ blog reports on the Patriots signing OL Billy Yates to the 53 man roster, and Corey Dillon being named to the Pro Bowl to replace Edgerrin James. Over at the Globe, Bob Ryan had a feature on linebacker/safety Don Davis, who had the following to say about his initial views on coming to New England.

"I said, `I ain't gonna play for the Patriots. It's New England. It's cold. And that coach had a reputation. Hard-nosed. Tough practices. Didn't treat the players well.' "

And now that he has been here for two full seasons?

"Every myth I had was totally blown out of the water," he declares. "Now I can't imagine playing anywhere else."

So much for that reputation. Dan Shaughnessy compares the Eagles to the Red Sox, going up against the mighty Patriots and their “totally spoiled” fans. Alan Greenberg has a good story about how Belichick has used depth to build this Patriots team into champions.

More Powers ripoffs – Including the Globe

Ready for a couple more? This first one is from a Nick Cafardo article…a guy who was supposed to be a friend of Powers. Interestingly when Powers was lecturing me about journalistic integrity a few weeks back, he CC’d Cafardo on his emails. Wonder how Nick feels about Powers now. Nick has a chat on Boston.com at 2 PM. It will be interesting if he gets anywhere near this subject.

Again, I need to thank Gina for her help in finding this stuff. I think she stayed up all night doing it.

Harrison’s Hit Hard to Forget by Nick Cafardo 11/20/04 available through Globe Archives

Green Can’t Forget the Hit, Harrison’s Act Changed QB by Ken Powers 11/22/04, available through Lexis-Nexis

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Cafardo: The Chiefs’ Trent Green has never blamed Rodney Harrison for the hit Harrison, then playing for the San Diego Chargers, delivered against him in the third preseason game of 1999, when Green was the starting quarterback of the Rams.

Powers: It was the third preseason game of the 1999 season. Green was the starting quarterback for St. Louis, Harrison the starting strong safety for San Diego.

———-

Cafardo: As a result of the hit, Green, who went to St. Louis that offseason from the Redskins as an unrestricted free agent, missed the entire 1999 season with ligament tears in his left knee, and was replaced by Kurt Warner, who went on to win a pair of league MVP awards.

Powers: Because of Harrison’s hit, Green suffered three separate ligament tears, which took four surgeries to repair. He missed the entire 1999 season and was replaced by then-unknown backup Kurt Warner, who went on to win a pair of league MVP awards.

———-

Cafardo: Green remembers being carted off the field, and then the next day when then-Rams coach and current Chiefs boss Dick Vermeil announced with tears in his eyes that Green would be lost for the season.

Powers: Green was carted off the field, and the next day then-Rams coach and current Chiefs boss Dick Vermeil had tears in his eyes when he announced Green was lost for the season.

_________________________________________________________

Vrabel forms own curtain with Patriots” By Tom Reed of the Akron Beacon Journal, January 22, 2005.

Vrabel: Pittsburgh’s loss is Patriots’ gain” By Ken Powers, January 23rd, 2005.

Reed: Pittsburgh Steelers fans might have grown to love linebacker Mike Vrabel in the same way they do Jack Lambert and Jack Ham, if only coach Bill Cowher had figured out what to do with him.

Powers: Vrabel has all the makings to have been the perfect Pittsburgh poster child – athletic, hard-working, smart, brash, confident, cocky. This is a city where Hall of Famers Jack Lambert and Jack Ham, part of the Steelers’ dizzying linebacking corps of those magical mid-1970s, are still beloved.

———-

Reed: So after four seasons of primarily special teams participation, the Steelers allowed him to leave for New England, where Vrabel has won one for each thumb with the Patriots. Not only does he own a pair of Super Bowl rings, he has done everything in the postseason short of plotting the parade route.

Powers: So after four seasons, the Steelers allowed Vrabel to leave for New England, where he has won a pair of Super Bowl rings, and with a win today, could be playing for his third, in two weeks.

———-

Reed: A ‘tweener, that’s what they call players like Vrabel, a Walsh Jesuit graduate. Too small to play defensive end, too slow to beat out more athletic outside linebackers.

Powers: Vrabel was a tweener. That’s what football folks call guys like him.

———-

Reed: The Steelers coach liked Vrabel’s intensity, work ethic and savvy, but said he wasn’t the right fit at the right time.

Powers: The Steelers coach liked Vrabel’s intensity, work ethic and savvy, but said he wasn’t the right fit at the right time.

———-

Reed: Vrabel proved it again last weekend, collecting eight tackles and forcing a fumble in the Patriots’ resounding 20-3 win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots’ linebackers were awesome in making Peyton Manning look like Bubby Brister.

Powers: Last week, he had eight tackles and forced a fumble in the Patriots’ resounding 20-3 win over Indianapolis, and was part of a defense that made MVP Peyton Manning look like his kid brother Eli.

———-

Reed: It’s hard not to think what could have been.

Powers: But this is playoff time, Mike Vrabel time, a time Steelers fans might be forced to reflect on what might have been.