John Tomase and Mike Reiss each report on Tedy Bruschi’s return to practice yesterday, where the Patriots linebacker sported a cast on his wrist with the words “Bear Down” written on it. Reiss explains that the slogan has been used as a rallying cry for the University of Arizona since 1926.

The BSMW Game Day crew makes their predictions in a weekly roundtable entry that could be pulled at any time.

David Brown looks at how the Patriots braintrust sees things when it comes to filling holes on the roster. Gerry Callahan thinks that Bill Belichick should be more like Bill Parcells when it comes to the Deion Branch holdout. Shalise Manza Young has Johnathan Sullivan asking people not to judge him until they get to know and see him more. Albert Breer has Tully Banta-Cain prepping for his increased role. Alan Greenberg has Tom Brady talking about his offensive weapons, but disagrees with him about their potential. Eric McHugh has Belichick talking about how being a special teams coach helped prepare him to be a head coach.

Karen Guregian notes that the Patriots appear to be in midseason form as far as not cooperating with the media is concerned. Jennifer Toland has a look at the exciting potential of rookie Laurence Maroney. Dan Pires says that an eventful offseason and training camp hasn’t blurred the focus of the team. Guregian also has a look at Josh Miller helping out rookie Stephen Gostkowski. Tim Weisberg has a look at the Patriots offensive line.

Ron Borges reports on Deion Branch’s hearing getting delayed. Tomase says that the hearings were delayed and the order flipped.

Reiss’ notebook has Chad Jackson trying to do a lot of catch up this week. Young’s notebook has more on Bruschi’s return to the practice field. Tomase’s notebook looks at Jackson and Nick Kaczur returning to the practice field. Toland’s notebook has more on Bruschi. Pires’ notebook looks at Tully Banta-Cain getting his chance to shine.

Jim McCabe, Jim Lazar and I.M. Bettor offer up their selections for the week.

David Scott offers up a look at NBC’s kickoff night, some USA tennis and a breakdown of NFL preview sections from Thursday. Susan Bickelhaupt looks at Chris Berman moving on from NFL Primetime – but seeing his duties increase with ESPN adding Monday Night Football.


Michael Silverman says that barring a historic collapse by someone else, the Red Sox are not going to the postseason in 2006. Gordon Edes and Phil O’Neill focus on the Red Sox who got away. Tom Yantz has Mike Lowell still going all out with the Red Sox fading away.

Sean McAdam writes that the Red Sox could still get to the bottom of some pressing issues over the final 22 games. He lists out five questions that need answers. Steve Buckley advises the Red Sox on what they should be focusing on for the rest of the season. Edes’ notebook says that Craig Hansen will be getting plenty of work for the Red Sox for the rest of the season.

An article in the Baltimore Sun discusses how Red Sox and Yankees fans have taken over Camden Yards and other ballparks when their teams come to town. If you needed more reason to dislike Dan Shaughnessy, this article provides it. He says that “It’s obnoxious how they take over other people’s parks” and then advises Baltimore fans on how to shut up Red Sox fans:

"Ask, 'How's that 9-21 in August working out for you?'" Shaughnessy says. "They folded like a cardboard box in a tsunami."

Even though Shaughnessy used to work in Baltimore, this is disturbing in that it is another example of he being the one that an out of town paper seeks out as they feel he is the authority on Boston.

Stephen Harris has Bruins veterans reporting a day early to check out rookie Phil Kessel, and finding out that he is as good as advertised. Douglas Flynn has former Bruin and Natick native Dan LaCouture getting ready to sign with the Devils and dealing with the duties of fatherhood.

Jackie MacMullan talks to Charles Barkley as he prepares to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Check back later for a look at Patriots programming and the weekly media column roundup…