David Scott takes a further look at the timing of the Globe’s Sunday story by Jackie MacMullan on Asante Samuel.

Richard A Johnson, curator of the The Sports Museum at TD Banknorth Garden writes in the Globe about the last time the Patriots traveled to San Diego for a playoff game. The year was 1964 and the Patriots got thumped 51-10 in the AFL Championship game.

Michael Felger has his Patriots report card for last Sunday’s wildcard playoff game against the Jets. Ian Clark also has his weekly edition of the report card.

Ron Borges solicits some advice from around the league on how best to stop, or at least slow down a little bit, LaDainian Tomlinson. Tony Massarotti also looks at the challenge of stopping LT, but doesn’t talk to anyone outside the Patriots, and his effort pales compared to that of Borges. Chris Kennedy says that Tomlinson gives the Chargers star power to match what the Patriots have in Tom Brady. Michael Parente says that keeping Brady upright has to be at the top of the Patriots priority list this weekend.

Albert Breer looks at the preparation work being done by the Patriots for this game, work that began with the advance scouts on Christmas eve and has included looking at nearly 2500 plays run by the Chargers during the course of the season. John Tomase notes that the Patriots are following at least one of their hallmarks from their championship season – they’re playing their best football at the end of the year. Shalise Manza Young looks at the Patriots going full speed ahead with their preparations for San Diego. Rich Garvin has the Patriots relishing their role as the underdog once again.

Christopher L Gasper has more on the immense challenge that the Chargers present for the Patriots this weekend. Tomase offers up a Cliff’s Notes version of the Chargers to help us know a little more about a team we haven’t seen all season. Joe McDonald notes that it’s not just the offense that is electric for the Chargers, the defense is outstanding as well. Alan Greenberg says that that Chargers are balanced and a team of few weaknesses. David Brown has more on the work being put in by the Patriots this week.

Jim Donaldson profiles Chargers GM A.J. Smith, a Cranston R.I. native.

Mike Reiss reports on Scott Pioli declining to be interviewed by the New York Giants, even after the Patriots had given permission for the Giants to talk to him. Christopher Price also reports on this topic. Tomase’s notebook has more on this topic. Young’s notebook has more on Pioli and several other items. Parente’s notebook looks at the chances that Rodney Harrison could see the field on Sunday.

There’s more on Pioli as well as leftovers from the Patriots/Jets game in the New York Sports Pages.

I would think that Brian McGrory would have more pressing things to write about instead of chastising Bill Belichick for the incident with Globe photographer Jim Davis following the game on Sunday. If we’re looking for righteous indignation on the topic, there’s plenty of people in the Globe sports department who could’ve written this column.

Check in with what’s being said on the opposite coast with the following links:


Mark Blaudschun reports on Florida steamrolling heavily favored Ohio State 41-14 to win the Bowl Championship Series national championship game.

Bob Ryan looks at Florida’s impressive performance, which was a surprise to no one more than Ryan himself.

Michael Vega has former BC head coach Tom O’Brien ready to turn the page and take on the new challenge of NC State. He gets O’Brien to list out his favorite wins at Boston College.

Bill Reynolds remembers former Providence and Lakers coach Joe Mullaney, who was honored Saturday night. Mark Murphy looks at senior Sean Marshall stepping up for BC on the court.

Blaudschun’s notebook says that changes to the BCS format are unlikely to take place anytime soon.


Steve Bulpett has the Celtics looking to improve their league-worst home record. Shira Springer has more on the Celtics home woes. Mike Petraglia says that a brutal road schedule the last few weeks has really worn the Celtics down as well. I guess this just means that the Celtics are a bad team…


The Baseball Hall of Fame voting results will be announced today. Jeff Horrigan looks at Jim Rice who once again is a candidate to receive a call from the Hall. Paul Doyle has more on Rice, who has no expectations for today. Nick Cafardo looks at the imperfect process which is the Hall of Fame voting. Horrigan also notes that Mark McGwire is expected to fall short of being elected.


Stephen Harris looks at Bruins captain Zdeno Chara still being sidelined with a mystery “middle body” ailment. Fluto Shinzawa has more on Chara sitting out at least tonight with the problem. Mike Loftus has Hannu Toivonen always happy to get some work, be it with Boston or Providence.

NESN has Bruins/Senators at 7:30.