Got a holiday today, so this won’t be a regular posting day, as I’m going to try to get a few things done. Here are a few thoughts from the last few days.
First, thanks to everyone who supported the Ron Borges article from Friday. I wasn’t quite sure how it would be received, as it was a bit different tone from what you might normally see here in this space. I thought Kerry from CHFF did great job of writing the piece with enough of an edge to make sure it was noticed, and I tried to feed him enough facts, transcripts and articles to make the case as strong as possible.
It’s important to note that neither Kerry nor I are under the illusion that Borges’ job would really be in any sort of jeopardy. What was important, we felt, was to get the facts out there, and get the public to make some sort of statement to the Globe that they feel that Borges’ coverage of the Patriots is biased and unacceptable. The response was incredible. I thought that we might generate 100 or so emails total. From just this site, there were 500+ clicks on the email link, and though I don’t have specific numbers from the Cold Hard Football Facts website, they had their busiest day of traffic ever in the history of their site. The total number of emails sent is likely going to approach 1000. Of those, there have been perhaps 10 that were against the premise of the article. The message was sent loud and clear.
What is disappointing to me, is that the few media members that did comment on the article seem to have missed the point of it completely and were more interested in circling the media wagons than they were in presenting an accurate rendering of the facts of the article. Mike Felger and Mark Jurkowitz in particular seemed more intent on making it seem like the two of us, as well as fans, don’t like Borges simply because he doesn’t write positive articles about the Patriots all the time. These ones appeared to comment on the article without having read it, and used buzzwords such as “Borges’ rights” and “Opinion and freedom of speech” to hide what the real issues were…quality of reporting and respect for the readers, as well as unethical tactics used by Borges, such as talking with Tedy Bruschi “off the record” and then revealing the contents of that conversation later on the radio airwaves.
All in all, I’m satisfied that the huge response that the article got is proof positive that the readers in this region are tired of personal bias, mail-it-in type reporting, and are willing to instead speak up for quality reporting and quality journalism. Readers have a right to expect those things, and whenever we can get them to speak up in this manner, to this extent, it is a victory for the intelligent sports consumer. The Globe’s canned response was disappointing, but Globe management was at least shown that more that these feelings are more than just those of a few “internet yahoos”. What was also encouraging to me was the number of people who didn’t just use the pre-written email, but typed their own message to the Globe. Many of those also mentioned Mike Reiss as an example of the type of reporting that they want to see more of. I hope the Globe considers the wishes of these ones.
I believe that Cold Hard Football Facts will have a more thorough wrap-up on their site tomorrow.
Patriots’ Reign Ends
It was of course, crushing to see the Patriots reign come to an end in Denver on Saturday night. However, Patriots fans can take solace in knowing that their team is likely to be contender for the foreseeable future, and that if Tom Brady is as much like Larry Bird as everyone seems to believe, he’ll be spending this entire offseason working to improve and get back on top.
For me, I never liked the Broncos growing up. Probably because they always seem to beat the Patriots. (Actually that trend has never really gone away, has it?) But I have to say that I’ve got respect for this Denver team. I think they showed a lot of class, both in how they approached the game, but in how they played the game, and how they acted in victory. My hat is off to them and to their coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan and Bill Belichick have a mutual admiration society going on between them, and it is well deserved on both ends. I believe they’re clearly the best two coaches in football today. Patriots fans might be of the opinion that their team handed the game to the Broncos, but Denver capitalized on every miscue, which is the mark of a good team.
Red Sox/Theo Drama Continues
There was a little back and forth between ESPN.com’s Buster Olney and the Boston Herald this weekend, as Olney reported on his Insider Blog on Saturday that Theo Epstein was making calls on behalf of the Red Sox organization that that indicated to some “that he is a special assistant to John Henry.” Jeff Horrigan in the Herald yesterday had John Henry shooting down that report, and had Horrigan noting that “each passing day seems to indicate that a position as baseball operations director is less of a possibility.” Then, later on Sunday, Olney updated his blog with the following note:
The Red Sox say Theo Epstein's status hasn't changed. Stand by what was written here yesterday: He's made calls on behalf of the Red Sox -- as it should be. He's a great baseball talent and the whole Wizard of Oz thing the last 2