After two weeks of training camp updates, we finally get to take a look at the newest edition of the New England Patriots as they kick off their preseason tonight down in Georgia taking on the Atlanta Falcons.

Be sure to check out the BSMW Game Day Roundtable to see Mike Felger (Boston Herald/ESPN 890) get smacked down on a blog, and also check back on the same page this weekend for a recap of tonight’s Patriots/Falcons game. For newspaper and blog coverage of the Patriots this weekend, the Patriots Daily Links page has the headlines for you to browse. You can get the view from the opposition on the pages of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but you will need to register.

Saturday night at 7:00 on NFL Network, they will have live “whip around” coverage, as they jump between six preseason games being played that night.

The Red Sox return home to start an 11 game homestand tonight against the Baltimore Orioles. You can keep up with the Sox with the Red Sox Daily Links page and through the Baltimore Sun.

The Little League World Series is also being broadcast all weekend on ESPN.

Once again here is our weekly roundup of sports media columns from around the country, sorted out by region:

New England

Jim Baker looks at Gil Santos preparing to start his 30th season of calling Patriots football games. Baker had also made a cryptic reference to the fire chief of Sudbury being “fired after fund-raising irregularities involving a WEEI personality.” This section has been pulled and the Town Manager for Sudbury has issued a statement that the fire chief is in good standing with the town, has been since his appointment and has not been fired. Andrew Neff looks at Bangor sports radio station WZON getting ready for its own all-day Jimmy Fund Radiothon. John Howell covers Tony Kornheiser gearing up for his first season ESPN’s new Monday Night Football. Susan Bickelhaupt tells us what we can expect from CBS in tonight’s Patriots preseason debut. David Scott glanced over the New England sports pages and concludes “that Boston’s “racist sports town image” is alive and well – at least within the area’s sports media corps.”
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East Coast

Richard Sandomir reports on the death of ABC sports. He’s not being figurative, either. ABC Sports is no longer. It has been replaced by “ESPN on ABC”. Earlier this week, Sandomir reported on the NFL Network gaining ground in its battle with Time-Warner cable. Neil Best says that new NFL commish Roger Goodell needs to step in and give the Jets and Eric Mangini some lessons in being more helpful to the media. He says:

The Bill Belichick Mini-Me routine already is wearing thin, other than for comic relief. Take the depth chart in the game notes for the preseason opener: Players are listed in alphabetical order.

Danny Abramowicz, you retired too soon!

Early in the week, Erik Coleman's agent was quoted as saying the player had had his appendix removed. Asked about this, Mangini said only, "Erik is working on his illness." Appendix? What appendix?

Sounds like Mangini has learned well. Bob Raissman notes the huge fuss being made over Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca’s divorce and notes that the mid-1980’s Mets did things far and above Lo Duca’s affair, and that their antics went largely unreported. Phil Mushnick reports on more silliness on the YES airwaves, with Al Leiter and Paul O’Neill dismissing the Gold Glove voting as mere popularity contests. Andrew Marchand reports that while CBS will be going without sideline reports on their NFL broadcasts this season, they will have them for the Super Bowl. He also questions Michael Kay’s ability to remain objective on his radio show while also being the YES play-by-play voice of the Yankees. Sounds sort of like the Dale Arnold situation on WEEI. Marchand’s Memo of the Week forbids Mike Francesa from taking anymore vacations and leaving listeners stuck with an out-of-control Chris Russo.

Laura Nachman reports on Lou Tilley, who is currently out of a job, being nominated for three Mid-Atlantic Emmy awards. She also notes that former Boston College quarterback Glenn Foley is a co-host of a morning show on Sports radio 950, and that she is already sick of his Jets stories. Michael Hiestand looks at another former BC quarterback, Doug Flutie, getting set to start a new career as a pro and college football analyst for ABC and ESPN. Hiestand also offers suggestions as to what FOX Sports should do in terms of the yet-to-be-announced NFL Studio host position. Jane McManus gets opinions from various TV personalities about the value of sideline reporters on NFL broadcasts. Jim Williams looks at the NFL preseason getting ready to kick off in the Washington DC area. Chris Zelkovich looks at changes in store for Hockey Night in Canada.

South

Jim Sarni has more on Tony Kornheiser’s upcoming Monday Night Football debut and other NFL items. He also looks at TNT and PGA.com teaming up for a “multiplatform simulcast” for next week’s PGA Championship. Dave Darling looks at former Buc Hardy Nickerson joining the Tampa Bay radio broadcasts as the new analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Gene Deckerhoff. He looks at TV broadcasts for Florida’s three NFL teams and notes that while the Bucs will have all 16 games televised, the Dolphins and Jaguars will each only have 12 games televised. Is this really the case? I guess I thought unless there was a blackout, that local fans got to see all their home team’s NFL games. Barry Jackson has more on MNF, and like Neil Best in NY, compares the local NFL coach to Bill Belichick in terms of “lack of forthrightness.” Barry Horn looks at the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies. David Barron reports on Norman Chad “vacationing” at the World Series of Poker. He also looks at the end of ABC Sports.

Mid-America

The Bill Belichick school of football coaches is rankling media all over the country, as evidenced by Teddy Greenstein‘s column on Charlie Weis’ battles with the reporters covering Notre Dame. Anyone else finding this all pretty amusing? Greenstein also looks at Kornheiser, who has gotten the same advice from everyone he’s talked to about his new Monday Night Football gig. In Minnesota, Judd Zulgad checks in on Vikings camp, where new coach Brad Childress actually allows TV crew to film entire practice sessions. He has requested however, that injuries suffered to players in camp not be aired. That has lead to a conflict with a local station that threatens to get ugly. Bob Wolfley reports on Marquette University getting a new radio/marketing partner in WAUK-AM. Dan Caesar looks at the World Series of Poker and NFL football returning to television screens across the country.

West Coast

John Maffei looks at Rick Sutcliffe, returning to San Diego for the first time since the May 10 incident at Petco Park where Sutcliffe, “after a long hot day on the golf course and too many adult beverages” then went on the local broadcast and…well, embarrassed himself. The NCTimes also has a little feature about the “Most unwatchable ESPN programming.” Stuart Scott ranks high. Tom Hoffarth summons a fictional Mr Wise Guy blogger and questions him about the Los Angeles Sports Media. Larry Stewart reports on The Contender actually becoming one under the ESPN banner. Jay Posner looks at Padres play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian landing a contract to call NFL games on FOX. Michael Lev has speculation on the Angels plotting a possible radio move. (That the station changed its call letters to KLAA is a clue.) Jim Carlisle checks out ESPN’s plunge into Monday Night Football. Joe Davidson checks in with former KNBR host Larry Krueger, who was fired last year for referring to the Giants as “brain-dead Caribbean hitters”.

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