Michael Felger So is he a newspaper writer, radio personality or television host?

Felger holds all three roles at the moment, though his work at the Boston Herald has been scaled back considerably. He first joined the paper in 1989 and worked his way up to the Bruins beat where he served from 1997 to 1998 before being pulled off the beat after an incident involving the Bruins ownership. He was moved to the Patriots beat starting in 1999, and really started to make a name for himself as an early supporter of Bill Belichick’s decision to go with Tom Brady over Drew Bledsoe in 2001.

He became a regular on WEEI’s Big Show, as well as on WBZ’s Sports Final, where his battles with Globe writers Ron Borges and Nick Cafardo were appointment viewing for a time. In those battles Felger was viewed as a Patriots toady, and ironically, since that time he has pretty much done a complete 180 and is now among the team’s more outspoken critics.

In 2005, Felger jumped to the new 890 ESPN Boston where he was given his own drive-time show in competition to WEEI’s Big Show. In the last year he has also taken over as co-host of Mohegan Sun’s Sports Tonight on Comcast SportsNet, replacing Greg Dickerson, who moved to the role of sideline reporter for the Celtics broadcasts on the station.

Felger is originally from Milwaukee and a graduate of Boston University. He is married to former WBZ/WSBK news anchor Sara Underwood.

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{democracy:48}

101 thoughts on “Approval Ratings – Michael Felger

  1. Secretly works for Patriots PR dept. Belongs nowhere near a Basketball telecast, even at halftime. DISAPPROVE!!!!!

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  2. Approve. I’ve always found Mr. Baseball to be quite entertaining, and he’s FAR better than the jackasses on the Big Show.

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  3. I’m not sure I could disapprove more of anyone as I do Felger.

    It is a shame too because before he got his own radio show, I thought he was pretty decent. He was never the brightest guy but he at least gave a more balanced perspective of football in this town than the Borges/Mannix types.

    Now he is nothing more than a guy who fires out every sensational thing he can think of in order to try to pump up his ratings.

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  4. I’m sure to catch stauch opposition here, but I strongly approve of Felger. I think he’s the only sports personality in this town willing to take a step back and look objectively at the teams. Does he take the “objective/negative” schtick too far sometimes and take some of the fan enjoyment out of things? I’d say yes he does, but he does his research and knows more about the business of football in particular than anyone else in this town. His show is head-and-shoulders better than the Big Show, as him and his guests actually talk sports in an objective discussion, rather than scream blatant homerism at the top of their lungs.

    Rather than listen to Dale & Holley slobber over Seymour/Harrison and what they did on their off-day, or how sweet their fantasy football teams are, I’d much rather listen to Felger have insightful interviews with Vrabel/Light/Watson, where he doesn’t throw weak softball, @ss-kiss questions at them…let everyone else around here do that. He’s one of, if not the only person in this town who can objectively be a fan, but take a critical eye to the teams, even the ones that feed him, and i respect that. When he has Ryen Russillo on his show, it’s the best sports talk in town and they should have their own show.

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    1. Are these the conversations with Vrabel where you can hear the animosity in the players’ voices because they know that Felger is an assclown, and is only being contrarian so people will listen to him. By the way, being contrarian, and being wrong at the same time does not make for intelligent sports talk. Russillo should have his own local show again a million times before this piece of garbage should be heard from again.

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    2. Dissaprove! Everytime I here Felger go to that guy “Salky” Mike Salk, my hair stands on end. If there was ever a wanna-be, jock sniffing, self proclaimed know it all it has to be Mike Salk. Plus, that “S” lisp is an instant dial turner!

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      1. Lot of venom you have for a relatively obscure radio guy Marek, now even more obscure since Felger has left 890. Do you know Salk personally? Can’t say he’s any worse of a know-it-all than anyone else on the radio these days. At least Salk’s voice sounds much better since his throat surgery.

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  5. He could earn a gigantic dissaprove just for his calling Gary Tanguay “Gare-Bear.” It doesn’t get much queerer than that.

    But there is so much more to loathe about this guy. He’s Ron Borges-lite. Rallying against the Patriots is the quickest way to get attention in this town. However, it’s dangerous territory (HOWDY John Tomase!!!)

    Fell in love with himself and the TV camera. Was a fairly solid writer until he was sucked in by the swollen masses at WEEI. Now on his own radio show, he flings dung against the wall more than Little Joe at the Franklin Park Zoo (HOWDY D&C!!!)

    Hot wife is his only redeeming quality at this time.

    DISAPPROVE!!!!

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  6. Proves the old axiom; everyone thinks they are the good guy. Bascially a boring look at me retread that was never fresh.

    Was one of the first to fuel the ‘taped walkthrough’ rumor.

    Continued to hate basketball on air and yet somehow landed the gig talking Celtics roughly 4 hours per week.

    His back’s to the wall. What else can he do but run naked down I-93 covered in advertisements.

    In the end the only evidence you need is that he gets haircut on Newbury St.

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  7. Mike — EVERYBODY in the entire New England area cannot be a moron and/or a dupe. It’s not mathematically possible. So please stop using that premise as the basis for every exasperated communication you bless us with.

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  8. I have never understood why people think blatant negative coverage (Felger) is objective but blatant homerism isn’t. Neither is objective in any way shape or form.

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  9. Just because someone has the gaul to question one of our teams doesn’t mean it’s “negative coverage,” it might be the way that the rest of the country views things, and what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with hearing another perspective? Do the Pats/Sox never do anything wrong or deserve to be questioned? Most talk shows in this town don’t think so, I wonder why…

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    1. Sure, as long as you’re intelligent about it. Anyone can be the Devil’s Advocate.

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  10. It’s sad to see what Felger has become. The early days of his 890 show were must-listen, until it got dark and the signal disappeared. Now he’s Ordway-lite, screaming about every “controversy” and playing the role of the allegedly objective contrarian who minimizes the accomplshments of the local teams in a time of unprecedented success and insults the fans in doing so. I’ll forgive his appearances on any thrid-rate cable sports show that will have him since his wife lost her CBS4/UPN38 gig, as he probably needs the $ to pay for the manicures and night nanny. I won’t forgive his tired act.

    DISAPPROVE.

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  11. 18 months ago I would have given a big APPROVE but he’s morphed into this “I’ll find a negative thing to say about every team” and now grates on my nerves so much I can’t watch or listen anymore. Is this what sells in this town? No wonder Rusillo can’t get a full-time gig.

    DISAPPROVE!!

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  12. Felger is your typical sports media streetwalker who grovels for any job that pays him or allows him free access to games and free food. It’s why these cretins get into this line of work in the first place, lacking any motivation or talent that might lead to a meaningful career.

    In the end, this guy is as smarmy as they come. A “OOOOooo! The camera is pointed at MEEEEEEE now!!!’ attitude and demeanor. A contrarian who believes that it’s a way to earn stripes.

    The best thing about Felger is his wife.

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  13. Felger’s the best football columninst in town and his radio show is much better than the Big Show. He doesn’t suck up to homers but he does give credit when it’s due. Big approval.

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  14. The worst possible person CSN could have hired to supplement their Celtics centric coverage.

    A lubriderm doused DISAPPROVE.

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  15. When a team doesn’t lose a regular season game and everything you say about them is negative, I would have to say that is negative coverage. Simply, if you listened to Felger during the Pats season, you’d think it was a 2-14 team he was talking about every week. By contrast, the Big Show would make you think the team was not only unbeaten, they cured cancer. Neither was objective and neither represented the national view.

    As for the idea that most talk shows in this town never questions the Pats/Sox that is laughable. The fanboys on the Big Show don’t question the Pats and Dale and Holley suck up to everyone. For everyone else, (D&C, Big show on all other teams, Mike Adams, the weekend shows) they almost universally only do topics that are negative.

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    1. He waited ALL YEAR to say “I told you so!” after the Patriots finally lost. He was only wrong 18 straight times…

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  16. Provided one of the funniest moments on the “Big Show,” when Peter Gammons lost it, and screamed at Felger “Have you ever heard of Albert Pujols!!??”

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    1. I thought Gammons embarrassed himself that day. He sounded like a pompous jerk. Felger should have replied ‘you mean the performance enhanced slugger? tell us Peter or should I say commissioner? Where was your reporting during the steroid era? How’s your buddy Bagwell?”

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  17. I could see how his Pats discussion toward the end of the year could’ve been perceived as negative, but without getting into revisionist history, there were problems with them toward the end of the year that were worth discussing, and not ignoring completely. I mean, don’t people want at least some different perspectives on our teams, or do we just want constant affirmation that we’re the best sports towns and our players/management are flawless? That’s not what sports talk radio should be about IMO…

    Felger’s show only competes with basically the Big Show and Dale & Holley, so who cares about Dennis & Callahan, who know absolutely nothing about any sport outside of New England, and not much about our teams either, and Mike Adams? Come on, he’s just ridiculous, not even worth a comparison. I guess i agree to disagree with most on this one…

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  18. Wait, you give Felger credit for doing what “Most talk shows in this town don’t” and it is pointed out to you that almost all other shows do exactly the same thing, suddenly your “most” becomes just the Big Show?

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  19. Five to seven years ago I thought Felger was doing a great job. He mainly stuck to writing, with a few Big Show appearances (where his complete lack of baseball knowledge was routinely exposed), and some Sports Final segments during football season. His constant beat downs of Cafardo on Sports Final during the 2003 Patriots season were fantastic. Unfortunately it’s been all downhill from there. The beginning of the end was when he got his own radio show. That’s when he decided to become Ordway-lite, always on the hunt for storylines and throwing things out there. Once he stabbed Dickerson in the back for the NEST hosting duties his transformation into a sockless pompous windbag was complete. Dissaprove!

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  20. thanks, Dean…”simpleton?” don’t kid yourself into thinking that spelling corrections gives you the right to be condascending and assume you’re dealing with some kid in his mom’s basement…

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    1. First off it’s “condescending” Brian, and second, I know exactly who I’m dealing with. Your reputation has preceded you here.

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  21. APPROVAL:
    After every Pats game Coach Bill B points out the teams weaknesses and says what they need to work on. He is not seen as negative by the Patriot Nation. In fact, he is considered a coaching genius, which he is. But when Felger and other media people say the exact same thing they are seen as disloyal to the Pats. Pointing out what areas need improvement is not negative. It is factual. Fans should want honest reporting that is FAIR & BALANCED & UNAFRAID. Otherwise they don’t need to waste their time listening to or watching sports shows. They can just get the teams media releases.

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  22. Has a good show on the radio. Much better than anything EEI offers that’s for sure. Type of dude that hung out with Brady way before Brady ever became the starter. Nobody at EEI would do that!

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  23. Stay with me for a moment here- He’s the Christopher Moltisanti of the Boston sports landscape. Not that there’s a Tony to take over for necessarily, but he could have been on top had he not gone down the contrarian hole that wannabe tough-guys like Borges and turd burgulars like Meter reside in.

    He was the best Pats beat writer by far, and when he first got the radio gig, it was must-listen to me for the Pats coverage while WSOX, er, WEEI was spending 99% of the airtime on the Sox, even during the Pats regular season.

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    1. “best Pats beat writer by far?” Ever heard of Mike Reiss? Felger isn’t worthy enough to even sniff Reiss’s jock.

      But please, link an article Felger wrote on the Pats beat that has information no one else provided.

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      1. Whoa, Mrs. Reiss? Don’t you think that’s a little strong?

        Please note the very, very important use of the word “was” in my statement.

        As in- Felger “was” (see? there it is again) a good beat writer before Mike Reiss even worked in this town, but now he’s a joke, while Mike Reiss “is” (this means present tense) the best beat writer now.

        See how easy that was?

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  24. I always want to hear what Felger has to say, and I’m thankful we have a decent afternoon sportstalk show in Boston. In fact, I’d much rather listen to the football talk on Felger’s show over WEEI’s hand-picked football crew – its not even close.

    Reading some of the comments here, I’m now curious to see the overall results of these polls; seems like about 1% of these people are liked. I think we should save the criticism (and our cred) for the ones that are truly bad!

    Felger knows his stuff; knows how to dig for the story and the underlying story. Compared to Shaunessey – actually, you can’t even do that. The only negatives: he’s yelling a bit too much lately for my taste, and he irritated me as well on the Spygate thing. Not so much because of his strained, overly-contrived contrarian stance, but more for his “rope-a-dope” tactics in addressing his possible involvement as one of Tomasse’s sources.

    But he’s straight-forward and genuine in a way that most local talk show hosts are not. I’ve heard him smack his co-hosts around (i.e. Bob Halloran) when needed. He can also be funny from time to time. Solid “Approve”.

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  25. Used to listen to The Drive/Mike Felger Show all the time when it came on the air in 2005. Haven’t listened since it became Storyline Central last football season. Felger is a media whore in more ways than one. In addition to his gig groveling, he’s deliberately morphed into a Moe Gresh with better hair. TWO THUMBS AND ALL OTHER APPENDAGES DOWN.

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  26. Slight approval. Felger seems to stoop to the level of his bad co-hosts (d-bags from Patriots mag, Halloran, etc…), but can put on a good show when paired up with someone with some sports knowledge and no given agenda (Rusillo, Hagerty, etc…) Decent read at the Herald as compared to Superbad Tomase or the bitter little guy. Doesn’t resort to ‘tough guy tactics’ a la Sheppard, etc… when challenged and is willing enough mock himself, always a nice trait in this over self important media market.

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    1. I like that he’s willing to mock himself and lately the Herald. I will say that I’ve never listened to his radio show and only know him from the Herald/Pats beat and NEST, but if you know what to expect (contrarian who often harps on the negative), he’s a decent counterbalance. I think he’s legitimately funny when he talkes about Brett Favre (“oh, it’s only the NFC Championship. Nothing at stake here. I don’t need to protect the football, I’m Brett Favre – gunslinger!!!”)

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  27. Mild disapprove, only because at one time this guy was actually pretty good. Years ago Felger was Mike Reiss before MR came on the scene, which is to say, he was a solid football beat writer who actually worked at his craft, wrote stories of substance, and delivered the goods in a straightforward fashion without any ax-to-grind agendas, hidden or otherwise. He was a refreshing departure from Borges, Mannix, and Cafardo at that time.

    Somewhere along the way, however, he lost his compass and became the incredibly annoying DB (NOTE: Doesn’t stand for defensive back) he is today. It started in a subtle fashion with his increased air time on Fraudway’s show. He has worked very hard all along the way since then to pimp himself out in order to establish his own electronic “brand,” partly due to the fact that, unlike Shank and others, he realizes that print journalism as has been practiced for decades is dying a slow death by a thousand nicks.

    His hot significant other really doesn’t factor into it as, although she is easy on the eyes, her breathy speech pattern is annoying as hell. I also deduct points for her willingness to let Mr. Handcream share a bed with her.

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  28. So many things to like about this guy; so many things to hate about him.

    I like the fact that he doesn’t seem to let his personal likes and dislikes for certain people get in the way of his job (unlike guys like Borges, Carfado and Kevin Mannix). He hits everyone hard if they deserve it, and praises them, though not effusively, when it’s also deserved.

    He will speak his mind and isn’t afraid of losing “access” if something bugs him, such as his criticism of C. Montgomery Burns, the Bruins’ owner. That essentially made him persona-non-grata down at the New Garden, but he spoke his mind, took his punishment from the team, and moved on.

    However, I have to agree with some other posters here that Felger has changed a bit too much since becoming a multimedia personality more than a sportswriter. He now does try to take the contrarian position, even if there’s really nothing to back it up, just for the sake of it.

    He also has an annoying habit of dissing the fanbase, like some other media people we’ve covered previously in these approval polls.

    Last season he jumped all over Pats’ fans for whining about the contact the Pats’ receivers were having to deal with in some games laster in the year, like the games against Philly and Baltimore. Felger basically went on TV one night and told the fans to “stop whining”, because we told the Colts to stop whining about it when they complained about THEIR receivers getting mugged. He left out one HUGE fact in his anti-fans rant that night: BILL POLIAN SUPPOSED FIXED THIS PROBLEM!!!!! The Colts’ GM got the rules changed after the Pats “mugged” his receivers in the playoffs, and now contact like that is no longer supposed to be allowed. Why then, was it NOT OK for Pats’ fans to be ticked off that the Eagles and Ravens DB were allowed to mug Moss, Welker, et al?

    That’s a perfect example of Felger just being the insulting, contrarian douche, just for the sake of it.

    I also have to give hime a huge markdown for his constant excuse-making for Tomase after the walkthrough story turned out to be untrue. If I had to hear Felger say one more time that Tomase only got the “semantics” wrong, simply because Walsh claimed to be AT the walkthrough, without filming it, I may go insane.

    Hey Mike…the NFL said that even if the entire Pats’ video crew WAS at the walkthrough, it’s not against the rules.

    THE STORY WAS DAMAGING AND THE STORY WAS INCORRECT.

    It was NOT a matter of semantics.

    He lost a LOT of credibility with me when he started spinning that tale a couple of weeks ago.

    Also, can he please drop the “I hate BC so I’m always going to rip and belittle guys like Doug Flutie every chance I get” schtick? That’s really tired by now.

    OK, I’ve convinced myself to vote Disapprove now, but it’s a mild disapprove.

    It’s too bad, really. Before he became a media whore, he probably would have gotten a thumbs up from me.

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    1. It seems I got so worked up that I made a few typos above. Most glaringly: BILL POLIAN SUPPOSEDLY FIXED THIS PROBLEM (with the Pats’ receivers getting “mugged” LATER in the year, not “laster”)

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  29. Not a huge fan. While I can appreciate the fact he takes a stand on an issue, he refuses to acknowledge his stand might be wrong, even when confronted with things like facts. He’ll shade his comments with a “yeah, but” when a caller points out problems with his opinion rather than admit he could be incorrect.

    When he first started at ESPN890, I liked him. He was refreshing, but he has slowly morphed into someone apparently willing to be oppositional for the sake of increasing ratings rather than provide a forum for sports fans in Boston.

    THUMBS DOWN

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  30. Challenged the Bruins organization and refused to accept their PR spin.
    Had two of the funniest exchanges in Big Show history (“mr Baseball” and “ever hear of albert pujols?”)
    Doesnt play grab-ass with the Pats players he interviews.
    Smart and secure enough to have someone as good as Rusillo as co-host (For example, Ordway would never let someone who knows more than he does about hoops on his show, other than max, and thats only because he can tease him about LB)
    oh yeh, has very hot wife.
    APPROVE!

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    1. OK, he was involved in 2 of the funniest Big Show exchanges, but he was the joke in both of them… McAdam schooling him on Mr. Baseball, and Gammons schooling him on ‘Albert Pujols’

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  31. Gotta disapprove on this one…
    If for no other reason, than the
    way he and Tanguay cross their legs
    together.
    I will say it is easier to listen to
    him than to anyone on EEIdiot, but I’m
    usually back to music after 5 mins. or so.

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  32. I approve, because I find his show and Dale and Holley’s show the only two listenable (let alone enjoyable) sports shows in town. (I like Mike Adams — I know, perish the thought — but don’t view him as an actual sports host doing a sports show.)

    Felger and D&H actually make points about things, discuss things rationally, and occasionally even entertain opposing viewpoints. Plus, the number of inbred cretinous retards who call in seem to be minimized for those shows. (I can only assume they’re all waiting to call in to the Big Show…)

    And don’t get me started on D&C.

    Since this is turning into a sports radio rant that has little to do with Felgie, I’ll stop now…

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  33. Brian, your points are valid and I guess the best response would be there’s a fine line in the media between being critical because it’s warranted and being critical for the sake of being a contrarian. Felger has straddled and blurred that line so often it’s getting hard to tell whether these are his honest opinions or he’s simply being argumentative. That’s why I have a hard time approving or disapproving the guy.

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    1. That’s a fair point, and I can even admit his critical eye sometimes takes away from the fan experience…i just value his knowledge, connections, and legitimate attempts to take a step back and look at things differently…it does go too far sometimes though, i agree…everybody’s gotta have an angle or they wouldn’t have a job…

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  34. Sorry to disappoint, Dean…i don’t post on message boards every day, just defending someone who i feel strongly about, and was a helluva nice guy to a young intern with the Pats…

    and the last post was a joke, apparently your spell-check didn’t pick up on that…

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    1. Did you get to tag along to Nantucket to Belichick’s house with your buddy Felger?

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  35. Tough call here. I think there is value in Felger’s willingess to take a step back and consider the view from outside of our own fanbase. I think he is effective at it and was very effective in playing that role in contrast to the blatant homerism on the big show.

    As someone else mentioned, his radio program was a breath of fresh air when he first started out. At some point thereafter, though, he adopted to ‘EEI “stooooryline” approach and started clearly embellishing his positions to create interest, controversy and calls (the ratings don’t seem to have followed.) It’s this new Ordway-lite (or is that “light”) persona which I find objectionable.

    His drive to be the story or fan the story line has made his show unlistenable, which is too bad. His reduced writing means his only exposure is the unlistenable radio show, or that train wreck Celtics show with Tanguay. Neither is his best work.

    Disapprove.

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  36. Does like to play the contrarian too much but will give it up to the locals when he has to so that seperates him from true jerks out there. I don’t get to hear his radio show so maybe I’m missing somthing but as a writer he’s pretty fair. APPROVE.

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  37. For Felger to start tweaking his 890 show so it more closely resembles ‘EEI’s Big Show makes no sense. Those who enjoy that style of sportsradio will continue listening to EEI so it’s not like he’ll steal listeners that way. Felger should have stuck to what he was doing in the earlier days of his radio program; in the broadcasting biz they like to call that ‘counterprogramming’.

    It’s all probably moot because I keep hearing and reading rumors of 890’s demise which will likely come sooner rather than later. Perhaps Felger wants to sound more like Ordway so his transition back to EEI will be seamless.

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  38. Approve, although less lately due to his weak lawyer-like Tomase defense. On the other hand it’s nice to see someone sticking up for a weak co-worker who can’t get it right thus needs defending. The Big Show with Sean McAdam is better, otherwise Felger is the listen every day of the week. He’s a DB and a contrarian, but not in the agenda driven style of Borges. Did you hear him question Borges over and over about his agenda? Borges couldn’t defend it and stopped going on Felger’s show because of it. That’s something I respect. He admits his personal foibles and rips a little to hard on the fans. He needs to get back to real stories on his show but otherwise I approve.

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  39. Approve… Mildly contrarian… Treats callers into his radio show with respect, regardless of whether they have a differing opinion. His show, when I’m able to pick up the frequency, is head and shoulders above the neanderthals on ‘eei.

    He’s a significant step up from Slick Dickerson on Comcast SportsTonight. Hopefully he’s the permanent studio host and Dickerson gets moved to cable access in Milford.

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    1. Felger is the permanent CSN studio co-host. That’s good news for you Abe, although you’ll probably see Dickerson filling in during the summer months when there’s no Celtic sideline to report from. 🙂

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  40. The question is . . .
    So is he a newspaper writer, radio personality or television host?

    He’s a dessert topping AND a floor wax.

    Has taken so many positions on so many issues that he can’t be taken seriously because you dont know if HE even believes what he’s saying–which would be fine–or if he’s just saying it because no one else is–which would make him a fraud. I lean fraud.

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  41. smarter than most in this market

    has become more annoying since getting the ESPN gig

    certified (Grateful) Deadhead, APRROVE

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    1. Never seen or heard any evidence that he has anything more than American Beauty in his rotation.

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      1. He was at The Other Ones at the Garden a few years back. Seemed to know his way around…

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  42. His standing up to the moron who runs the Bruins is evidence enough for me to APPROVE of him. Who else has ever really challenged that cheap SOB from Buffalo? But he also questions things in a way that makes people take note. Besides DANTHEMAN who else in this city really does that?

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    1. Just The facts……stating “just the facts”. BSF34 stop name calling, anyone can do that, & state your case! Are you one of those blowhards who keep giving Jacobs your green stuff. When will you learn???

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  43. Disapprove.

    His annoying I hate BC shtick is way over the edge.We get it.You were a BC reject who went to BU.

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