It’s that time again.

The NFL playoffs are upon us. The regular season has again just flown by and we’re hoping for another long postseason run by the locals. Their bitter rivals from the AFC East, the New York Jets come in for this year’s wildcard playoff game on Sunday. This matchup was a media dream with plenty of storylines and the whole added Boston/New York angle.

Check in with the BSMW Patriots Game Day page this weekend, both for Sunday morning links prior to the game as well as a post game column. The Patriots News Mashup page will also give you plenty of articles, columns and blog entries.

Here’s a few links you might also want to check out this weekend for the game:

WBZ-TV is the place to be on Sunday, starting with the Patriots GameDay pre-game show which will run from 11:00AM to Noon. The NFL Today then airs until kickoff at 1:00PM. Immediately following the game WBZ-TV will also have Patriots Fifth Quarter.

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown will have a segment with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady sitting down with Chris Berman to discuss their relationship. There will also of course be a segment on Belichick and Mangini. Rachel Nichols will lead that segment.

Patriots All Access is a single airing this week. A live show, Friday night from 7-8 PM on WCVB-TV. Segments include:

  • Fresh off his 2 interception performance against the Titans, they go one-on-one with Asante Samuel.
  • They take a look at some of the key components in the Patriots record setting defensive play this season.
  • Bill Belichick points out several of the top offensive and defensive players to watch out for on the Jets on the Belestrator.
  • They take a trip to Hempstead, Long Island for a report from Jets camp.
  • Injured Patriots linebacker Don Davis joins the show live to offer his unique perspective on the match-up


Weekend TV Highlights

8:00pm FSN, Celtics @ Grizzlies
8:00pm ESPN, Mavs @ Spurs (HD)
10:30pm ESPN, Heat @ Suns (HD)

1:00pm NESN, Flyers @ Bruins (HD)
2:00 pm WSBK, BC @ NC State
4:30pm NBC, Chiefs @ Colts (HD)
8:00pm NBC, Cowboys @ Seahawks (HD)
9:00pm ESPN, UConn @ LSU (HD)

1:00pm CBS, Jets @ Patriots (HD)
4:30pm FOX, Giants @ Eagles (HD)
6:00pm FSN, Celtics @ Magic


Rob Bradford talks to a body language expert to try to decipher the Belichick/Mangini Handshake. (Seriously)

Mike Reiss had a Patriots Chat on Friday.

Robert Weintraub looks at why center play is so important in the NFL playoffs.

Bill Simmons makes his NFL picks, after his top 10 highlights and lowlights from the extended holiday break.

Football Outsiders has their AFC Wildcard playoff preview.

ESPN’s Patriots/Jets Playoff Page is another place to check in this weekend.

Celtics News Mashup – The Green are on the road tonight and Sunday in Memphis and Orlando respectively. Donny Marshall sits in for Tom Heinsohn tonight on the FSN broadcast and Bob Cousy is in on Sunday.


As a followup to yesterday’s guest column about the statements made by Ron Borges and Michael Felger on ESPN Boston earlier this week, I have to say that Felger took it well on the air yesterday. He acknowledged the points made in the article and the corrections and was able to laugh at himself about it. His line about “when a transcript of what you said appears on the website, you know you’re in trouble” was pretty good.

On the other hand, Borges has stuck to his claims, even putting factually incorrect information into his Friday column and then repeating the claims during an appearance on Mike Barnicle’s radio show.

I guess the Red Sox really didn’t want Mark Loretta back. From Rob Bradford:

While signing a one-year, $2.5 million deal to return to Houston, where he spent a month with in 2002, was certainly a welcome scenario, Loretta had made it clear throughout the offseason that Boston was where he would have preferred to end up.

“At the Winter Meetings, my agent just said, How about a million dollars?’ It wasn’t a really serious conversation, but the point is that would have been, all things considered, my first option if there would have been any interest on the team’s side,” said Loretta from his San Diego-area home moments after returning from undergoing a physical for the Astros.

“We basically said, ‘Do you have any interest at any level at any dollar amount?’ And basically the answer was no.”

Check the Red Sox News Mashup for any Red Sox related news this weekend.


Sports Media Columns From Around The Country

New England

Susan Bickelhaupt talks with Bob Neumeier, who is happy with his new full time job with NBC, which will have him on the sidelines for the Colts/Chiefs game tomorrow. Andrew Neff talks with Gary Thorne, who is not doing NHL hockey in a non-lockout year for the first time in 21 years after ESPN lost the NHL deal and wouldn’t let him move to Versus. Thorne has instead done a lot more football this year. Lori Riley looks at the TV coverage of the UConn/Tennessee game, which annually draws the most attention of any regular season women’s basketball game. David Scott has a look at Gatehouse Media ruffling feathers among long time staffers at papers that it has taken over because of their bottom line approach to news. John Molori handed out his 2006 Blitzy Awards to various Boston sports media members. A guest column on BSMW this week shattered the claims of a pair of Boston football writers that the Patriots are trying to shield rookie kicker Stephen Gostkowski by going for it more often than any other team on fourth down.

New York

Phill Mushnick is sick of “reaction shots” in TV sports coverage. Neil Best says that the Jets coverage on SNY has gotten a little too cozy. Peter Vecsey remembers “The Mayor of Baltimore” – former Bullets (and Knicks) announcer Jim Karvellas. Bob Raissman looks at how NFL “experts” actually do little more than simply guess. Andrew Marchand has ESPN/ABC saying that they are not interested in hiring “The Czar of the Telestrator,” Mike Fratello after his dismissal from the Grizzlies. He also says Chris Myers has to be the worst wing man in history. Marchand’s Memo of the Year is to Tiki Barber, advising him that after all of this hype, he’d better be pretty good when he embarks on his media career.

More East Coast

Jim Williams has extensive quotes from John Madden and Cris Collinsworth about this weekend’s NFL wildcard playoff games. Bob Smizik says that ESPN often seems more concerned with promoting themselves instead of the games they’re showing. Michael McCarthy looks at the debuts of Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long in the broadcast booth for the Sugar Bowl. He also reports on the media taking Nick Saban to task. Chris Zelkovich notes that Canadian bosses might not get a whole lot of work out of their employees with this afternoon with TSN offering live online streaming of the world junior hockey final. Laura Nachman says that Ray Didinger was born to be an Eagles commentator. Aaron Bracy talks to Sixers broadcaster Marc Zumoff about adjusting to life without Allen Iverson. He also talks to Pam Oliver about the Eagles game.


Dave Darling examines the local TV frenzy over the Florida Gators playing for the National Championship. Jim Sarni looks at the shots at Nick Saban on the airwaves, NFL coverage this weekend and the disappointing numbers from the Orange Bowl. David Barron reports on FOX’s BCS numbers, which are way down from last year.

Midwest and West Coast

Jeffrey Flanagan has Cris Collinsworth talking about the Chiefs chances against the Colts. Bob Wolfley notes that Barry Alvarez saw a classic in his broadcast debut of the Fiesta Bowl. Judd Zugad looks at KFAN’s search for a new Vikings analyst.

Larry Stewart notes that NBC has a hit on its hands with Sunday Night Football. Jay Posner has more on the NFL playoffs this week, noting that if the Chargers play the Patriots or Jets next weekend, it will likely be the 4:30 (ET) game on Sunday. If they play the Chiefs, it would likely be the late Saturday game. John Maffei however, guesses that a Chargers/Patriots game would be at 4:30 (ET) on Saturday. Stewart also says that Chris Rose has become FOX’s new star with his performance in the BCS broadcasts. Tom Hoffarth examines the road traveled by volleyball legend-turned-Denver Nuggets TV play-by-play man Chris Marlowe. Jim Carlisle has Golf Channel (no “The”) gearing up for increased programming in 2007. Joe Davidson has more on Golf Channel.