(Afternoon Links by guest blogger David Vidinha. Send him feedback at DVidinha@gmail.com)

Well, we got our first official taste of the new Monday night crew last night, and man was it bad.

It seems a little too easy to pile onto Tony Kornheiser but his addition or lack thereof to the MNF crew is astonishing. As I watched the game I kept asking myself what purpose he served as the 3rd man in that booth. I understand that the broadcasts cannot be solely geared towards the die-hard football fans, but come on. Kornheiser provided nothing but empty humor and failed miserably when he did make an attempt to actually comment about football.

With the Patriots up 10-0 and driving early in the 2nd quarter, Kornheiser opined that if the Patriots score the game was over, essentially eliminating any hope that Cincinnati’s offense could overcome a 17-point deficit, fair point right? Well, not even 3 minutes later Palmer throws a TD to Houshmandzadeh and we hear Tony chime in that the Bengals offense is “never out of the game, you can never count them out.” Well which one is it? Also the continued discussion of the Bengals lack of linebackers leading Tony to continuously make bad jokes about try outs and petitioning the league to play 12 instead of 11, please, spare me. For a man who’s a very talented columnist and commentator on PTI, he’s really failing at this football thing.

The other aspect of the broadcast that’s rather disconcerting is Jaworski’s lack of analysis. With Jaws taking the place of Joe Theismann I expected more in-depth analysis. Coming from someone who loves to watch the “Jaws’ Playbook” segment on Sunday NFL Countdown we really don’t get much more than the obvious analysis from Jaws nowadays. Early in the first quarter we heard nothing of the successful pass rush the Bengals were mounting against the Pats, just a strange graphic which showed how Brady “stays in the pocket”. The only real analysis came after the Samuel interception, which led to Jaws explaining how Chad Johnson has misread the defense causing him and Palmer to not be on the same page. Thanks Jaws.

On a positive note, last night saw the debut of Don Orsillo on TBS who was the play by play man in a phenomenal extra innings wild ending game. The NESN man did a fine job, although it was a bit strange initially listening to Orsillo sans Remy. It was refreshing to hear him not giggling with Remy about Sox Appeal but nonetheless it was different. I wonder what Sean McDonough thought?

Around the Web

Mike Reiss checks in with his weekly mailbag. He even manages to answer a question about whether Matt Cassel will be too expensive to keep around. Huh?

Bill Simmons updates his Levels of Losing to rub salt in the Mets’ wounds.

Bob Ryan tells us to treasure Big Papi.

Boston’s favorite football writer is back! Ron Borges has managed to create his own website. I wonder how long it will take before we hear Borgie’s take on SpyGate. Borges must have been livid that he had no platform to take shots at Belichick over the past few weeks, although, are we sure Gregg Easterbrook is not just a pseudonym?

Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus says that the Yankees collapse in the 2004 ALCS is only the 7th worst baseball choke.

We learn that Rodney Harrison won’t be the only player returning from suspension on Sunday.

Great piece in the LA Times about Mike Lowell, who was all but written off by everyone two years ago.

Old friend Willie McGinest will be returning to Foxboro on Sunday. To borrow a line from the comedic genius Tony Kornheiser, Willie serves his teammates some “humble pie served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream”.

Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders explains the importance of match ups in football.

This just in….Peter King loves Brett Favre. Peter continues on his gushfest, with a blow by blow of the record breaking touchdown.

Dustin Pedroia is the only Sox player to get any love from ESPN’s Jayson Stark who handed out his baseball awards

The guys at Cold Hard Football Facts are already looking ahead to the Pats and the Colts showdown.


NESN will be carrying the ALDS press conference live at 2PM

Other than that it’s a rather slow sports night on television with all of the Division Series games beginning tomorrow. ESPN2 has Marshall taking on Memphis tonight at 8:00. Memphis takes the field just two days after one of their players was shot to death on campus.