This one of the rare weekends during the year when there is a full slate of college basketball and football at the same time. There are several top games in both sports on tap this weekend that you can choose from. Included is Saturday’s Div 1-AA Quarterfinal playoff game between UNH and UMass.

The Patriots finish up their series with the NFC North this weekend as they host the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon. For the second week in a row, the game will be shown locally on FOX25. Sunday morning should find your Patriots links from the Globe and Herald as well as pregame commentary on the Patriots Game Day page. You can get Patriots stories anytime on the Patriots News Mashup.

Check the coverage from the Motor City in the pages of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News.

Jim Lazar and Jim McCabe have the weekend NFL picks in the Herald and Globe respectively. I.M. Bettor and Double D offer up advice on the lines this weekend.

The Celtics play in Toronto tonight, hoping to get back on track after the tough loss to the Nets on Wednesday. Check the Celtics coverage on the Boston Celtics News Mashup.

The Red Sox probably won’t have anything to announce before the winter meetings begin next week, (teams like to make a splash in front of their peers) but you can keep up with any news the team does make on the Boston Red Sox News Mashup.

Quick Links

It’s also Super Bowl weekend for high school football in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Check for your favorite team’s schedule, score and stories on the following blogs: The Globe High School Sports Blog The Herald’s High School Insider, Mass Live’s Varsity Voice and the ProJo High School Sports Blog.

Before making his NFL picks, Bill Simmons breaks down the best announcers in football.

Michael Gee addresses the fallacy of the idea that Boston is such a tough place to play for athletes. This topic was beaten to death this week on the Big Show as they debated whether J.D. Drew has what is takes to succeed IN THIS TOWN. Gee points out that Boston isn’t any different from any other area. If you’re bad, the fans and media are going to get on you.

Clark Booth hopes that the Red Sox sign J.D. Drew and he fails, “just to witness the inevitable fall-out, sure to be spectacular.”

I have to say, I’m really sick of all the race talk on sports radio, but I suppose as long as people (Larry Johnson, Michael Irvin, Steve Lyons) keep saying dumb things, the statements need to be addressed and it’s going to continued to be talked about. It’s actually a perfect topic from the radio station’s perspective, because it is a hot button topic that people are going to react to.

Exactly who was Dan Shaughnessy talking about when he made this statement in his column today? – “Fanboy bloggers (i.e. sycophants) hate Parcells and love Belichick.” I don’t know of any local blogs that slam Parcells. Seems more like Dan was merely setting up a Straw man to vilify the bloggers whom he obviously feels threatened by.

In the shameless self-promotion department, I just wanted to mention that BSMW is featured in a chapter of the book highlighted in the left hand sidebar – What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting: Real-Life Advice from 101 People Who Successfully Leverage the Power of the Blogosphere. Yes, it’s a really long title, but the book itself is rather small and easy to get through. If you see it on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, I’m chapter 57.

Weekend Highlights

7:00pm, Celtics @ Raptors – FSN
8:30pm, Kings @ Mavericks – ESPN (HD)

Noon, Kentucky @ North Carolina (BB) – CBS
Noon, UConn @ Louisville (FB) – ESPN (HD)
2:30pm, UNH @ UMass (FB) – NESN (Div 1-AA Quarterfinal)
2:30pm, Army/Navy (FB) – CBS
4:30pm, USC @ UCLA (FB) – ABC (HD)
5:00pm, Illinois/Arizona (BB) – ESPN
7:00pm, Bruins @ Hurricanes – NESN (HD)
7:00pm, Georgetown @ Duke (BB) – ESPN2
8:00pm, Nebraska/Oklahoma – (FB) ABC (HD)

1:00pm, Lions @ Patriots FOX (HD)
4:00pm, Jaguars @ Dolphins CBS
4:15pm, Cowboys @ Giants FOX (HD)
8:15pm, Seahawks @ Broncos NBC (HD)

NFL Coverage Maps:

CBS Single Game

FOX Game 1

FOX Game 2

Sports Media Columns from Around the Nation

New England

John Molori talks to NESN President Sean McGrail about the TV home of the Red Sox and Bruins. Bill Doyle talks to Greg Rota, a contestant in NESN’s reality show “Be a Bruin.” Gary Thorne tells how WZON in Bangor has put together a sports radio show that is actually listenable. Susan Bickelhaupt looks at the NFL Network and their struggle to get into more homes across the country. David Scott looks at the GateHouse Media/Wicked Local transition getting started, as well as a busy week in the life of Bob Ryan. Andrew Neff talks to UMaine hockey play-by-play man Dan Hannigan, who is only the third announcer the team has had in 30 years. (Thorne was one of the two others.) ESPN Ombudsman George Solomon says that Michael Irvin’s comments on Tony Romo crossed the line.

New York

Rob Raissman is disgusted with NBC for showing footage of Steve Smith vomiting into a trash can last Sunday. Phil Mushnick looks at Nate being Nate, Plax being Plax and other items of note from the week. Richard Sandomir examines why MLB clubs talking with Japanese clubs is good (and big) business. Mike Forde looks at Patrick Ewing trying his hand at the broadcasting business with NBA TV. Sandomir also looks at HBO’s documentary and interview with Bo Schembechler that will air next year. Included is an interview filmed the day before he died. Forde also has five questions with Verne Lundquist, and his Memo of the Week is to MNF execs, recommending Jimmy Kimmel be considered for the role of third chair in the booth for 2007. Neil Best and Brian Heyman report on the media circus that has surrounded the Giants this week.

East Coast

Robert Weintraub wonders why sports broadcasters always seem to be making racial gaffes. Michael Hiestand says that the NFL’s flexible scheduling for Sunday nights is accomplishing their goal. His colleague Michael McCarthy says it is making no impact. Laura Nachman looks at the strong ratings ESPN is getting out of Monday Night Football. Chris Zelkovich looks at various experiments being tried by TSN as they try to innovate their hockey broadcasts. Tonight’s Rangers/Sabres game will feature the announcers on the sidelines rather than up top, which is the first time North American NHL announcers have tried this. Jim Williams has Bryant Gumbel saying that he is not doing play-by-play on the NFL Network, and doesn’t intend on doing it. He says he is observing and reacting.


Jim Sarni looks at the BCS selection show going Prime Time this Sunday on FOX. Dave Darling says that the BCS system is broken and solicits ideas from media members on how to improve it. Barry Jackson addresses a growing problem in television sports, too much clutter, too many shots away from the game and too much action missed because of these things. Barry Horn says that late Texas Rangers announcer Mark Holtz deserves to be a finalist for the Ford C. Frick award, but probably won’t be. David Barron catches up with former University of Houston (and briefly NFL) quarterback David Klingler, who is currently a doctoral student at Dallas Theological Seminary, but also moonlighting this season as radio analyst for the University of Houston’s football team.


Ed Sherman looks at the battle of the network flex, with FOX and CBS ribbing NBC. Sherman also says that it is Time to take a stand against on-air idiocy after the latest round of stupidity. Dan Caesar says that the CDs chronicling the careers of legendary Cardinals broadcasters Harry Caray and Jack Buck put out by Cubs radio voice Pat Hughes are winners. Jeffrey Flanagan says that the NFL Network still has a ways to go when it comes to game production. Bob Wolfley reports on the top rated sports radio host on WSSP, Peter Brown, getting fired this week. WSSP is owned by Entercom, which owns among other stations WEEI in Boston. Wolfley has Brown speculating that his salary might’ve had something to do with the move. Judd Zulgad has the Gophers interim basketball coach trying to drum up interest in his team on local radio, and a number of other items from around the nation.

West Coast

Tom Hoffarth looks at rivals and former coaches Terry Donahue and John Robinson being put together in the booth to call Saturday’s UCLA-USC football game. John Maffei reports on the ongoing battle between CSTV and the San Diego area. Larry Stewart has Verne Lundquist reflecting on his long career in broadcasting and how he is now the dean of college sports announcers with the retirement of Keith Jackson. He also has a bit on how USC radio commentator Paul McDonald is putting family over football. Jay Posner isn’t a big fan of Brent Musburger and doesn’t like that he’s being used on the USC/UCLA game. Joe Davidson chats with Kings announcers Gary Gerould, who finds himself further and further away from the action at many of the NBA games he broadcasts on the road. Steve Bisheff says goodbye after 42 years in the business.