John Molori’s Media Blitz features an interview with Tom Curran, who talks about leaving the newspaper side to go to NBCSports.com, gives his thoughts on the state of the Patriots dynasty and on the playoff games this weekend.

Mike Reiss has a look at the defenses for the Patriots and Chargers, and notes that even though both clubs run a 3-4 set, they do so in quite different styles.

Michael Felger has a look at “Marty Ball” and whether Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer might do something this Sunday to lose the game for his team. The Herald also puts together a quick game-by-game look at Schottenheimer in the playoffs. Dan Pires also has a look at the Schottenheimer/Belichick, Chargers/Patriots matchup this weekend. Michael Parente has a look at the most difficult challenge of the season for the Patriots.

Joe McDonald looks at the challenge that LaDainian Tomlinson presents for the Patriots on Sunday. Hector Longo acknowledges that the Patriots run defense is much improved, but still wonders if it is stout enough to take on the all powerful Tomlinson. Tom King has the Chargers throwing bouquets at the feet of Tom Brady.

Shalise Manza Young has Dan Dierdorf and Phil Simms giving the Patriots more than a fighting chance on Sunday. Alan Greenberg has more from the same conference call.

Bill Barnwell on BSMW Game Day examines whether cold weather is really an advantage for home teams in the NFL playoffs.

Mark Farinella says that those who complain about the intense media coverage of the NFL should remember that the league has brought much of it upon themselves and that part of the reason the league is so successful is their early efforts at being a media-friendly league.

Gerry Callahan writes about the lack of shame from Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman for his steroid suspension, and how he is still treated as a hero, while Mark McGwire is shunned.

Reiss’ notebook has a look at area of strength for each team.

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

Stan Grossfeld says that despite now having the Ravens, Baltimore has never really gotten over the loss of the Colts in the middle of a night almost a quarter of a century ago. Grossfeld also talks to Colts legend Lenny Moore about some of the race issues he encountered in the NFL with the team in the 50’s and 60’s.

Baseball

Nick Cafardo reports on Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame, while Mark McGwire and Jim Rice did not make it. Jeff Horrigan has more on the elections and on Rice coming up short for the 13th year in a row. Dom Amore also reports on the voting.

Dan Shaughnessy says that a strong message was sent to McGwire with yesterday’s results. Steve Buckley has more on McGwire wearing “the goat horns for an era gone bad.” Jon Couture admonishes self-righteous voters who have an inflated sense of self importance.

Celtics

Peter May observes that while the Celtics miss Paul Pierce tremendously, they are by no means alone among teams in the NBA missing key players. May’s short list of sidelined NBA stars includes Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming, Chauncey Billups, Dwyane Wade, Peja Stojakovic, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, Carmelo Anthony, Kenyon Martin, Nenad Krstic, Sam Cassell, and Lamar Odom.

Mike Fine wonders if Tony Allen is playing his way into a trade out of town. Steve Bulpett has Gerald Green as one of the few players who has been struggling with his shot since the league brought the old ball back on January 1. May’s notebook has Delonte West hurting all over.

Bruins

Kevin Paul Dupont and Steve Conroy report on the Bruins losing a 2-0 lead to fall 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators last night.

Conroy’s notebook has the Bruins adding another injury to their depleted defense as Jason York went down last night. Dupont’s notebook has the club ready to welcome Brad Stuart back after the birth of his first child.

College

Mark Murphy and Michael Vega report on BC’s 95-85 win over Wake Forest last night. Vega’s notebook has BC guard Tyrese Rice stepping up his game.

Bob Ryan has a look at the job done by Florida coach Urban Meyer in leading his team to the National Championship. Mark Blaudschun says that Ohio State was decidedly second-rate on Monday night.

FSN has Celtics/Pacers at 7:30. ESPN has Duke/Georgia Tech at 7:00 and Spurs/Nuggets at 9:00.

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