“Celtics Stuff Live” Joins CSN

Proving once again that BSMW is a stepping stone to media greatness, former BSMW Full Court Press lead writer Jon Duke and his partners on the popular internet radio show “Celtics Stuff Live” have moved their show to Comcast SportsNet.

From the CSN announcement:

The “Celtics Stuff Live” guys will now bring their Sunday night podcasts, postgame podcaps, and written commentary to the “Wicked Good Sports” blog section on Comcast SportsNet.com. Jughead and The Duke will also be frequent guests during our “Live Game Chats”, which will return for every Celtics game this season.They will continue to bring you the same unique fan perspective they have always brought to their shows, and the same great guests every Sunday night.

This comes on the heels of the announcement that CelticsBlog.com Is Joining SBNation

Congrats to Jon and the guys!

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Pats Ram St Louis

The Patriots improved to 5-2 and moved into a first place tie in the AFC East yesterday with a 23-16 win over a surprisingly plucky St. Louis Rams team, who have shown great improvement since Jim Haslett took over as interim head coach three weeks ago.

On Patriots Daily, Chris Warner has a look back at yesterday’s win, and looks at candidates to provide some unexpected help for the Patriots later this season.

Chris Price has his 10 Things We Learned Yesterday column.

Karen Guregian has the Patriots answering to adversity with this win. Christopher Price has Matt Cassel engineering his first fourth quarter comeback. Mark Farinella says that we should accept that the days of the 40 point wins are over (last week’s 34 point win wasn’t good enough?) and that the games are going to look a lot more like yesterday this season. Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots back in their rightful place atop the AFC East. David Brown has New England’s resiliency – combined with its weak schedule – keeping them afloat in the AFC playoff picture. Eric McHugh has the Patriots with some bad moments, but still coming away with a win. Shalise Manza Young has the battered but unbowed Patriots moving back into first place. Chris Kennedy says that there was plenty of good and bad for the Patriots yesterday. Andy Vogt has the Patriots silencing the Rams at Gillette. Matthew Roy says that the Patriots were good when it counted yesterday.

Bob Ryan has Matt Cassel making improvements in his game week-by-week, and turning in a pretty decent performance yesterday. Michael Felger says that this Cassel kid might be OK after all. Brian MacPherson says that yesterday was a step forward for Cassel in his development as an NFL QB. Hector Longo demands to know why the Patriots were so “giddy” with Matt Cassel’s performance yesterday against the “bottom feeding” Rams. Price has Cassel showing signs of promise in the win yesterday. John Tomase says that Cassel just keeps on improving and impressing. Brown has Cassel having to go out and win a game for the first time yesterday. Jim Donaldson says that Cassel graduated from game manager to game winner yesterday.

Mike Reiss has Mr Clutch once again stepping forward for the Patriots yesterday. Farinella has Kevin Faulk riding to the rescue yesterday for the Patriots. Bill Burt has a look at how valuable Faulk is to the Patriots, and how a lot teams wish they had this versatile performer. Dan Ventura has Faulk once again picking up the slack for the Patriots on offense. Tim Weisberg has the versatility of Faulk shining for the Patriots again. Glen Farley has Faulk turning it on for the Patriots when in counted. Robert Lee has Mr Dependable coming through again. Jennifer Toland says Faulk is always putting the team first.

Farinella has the Patriots’ defense hanging in there despite all the injuries. Adam Kilgore has the Patriots calling all hands on deck in the secondary after a rash of injuries yesterday. Chris Forsberg has the front seven, led by Adalius Thomas and Richard Seymour helping out the secondary by finally getting some pressure on the QB. Tomase has the Patriots defense answering the call yesterday when a play was needed. Daniel Barbarisi has the secondary tightening in the end when needed. Young has the Patriots’ pass rush a key to the win. Farley has the defense scrambling to put bodies on the field yesterday. Kennedy says that Belichick was a secondary mover and shaker during the game.

Ron Borges seems impressed with the Patriots ability to hang on until the end in this one. Steve Buckley has the Patriots feeding off their rallying cry that no one gave them a chance after Tom Brady went down. Farinella has the Patriots feeling pretty good about themselves and their 5-3 record to this point. Lee has Wes Welker proving the doubters wrong once again. Toland has Randy Moss coming up big on the winning drive.

Peter Gobis has the Rams looking good, but not quite good enough. Michael Vega agrees that the Rams were tough, but just didn’t have enough in the end.

Borges goes through the best and the worst from yesterday. Lee also offers up some postgame analysis from both sides of the ball. McHugh figures out who was hot and who was not yesterday. Mike Petraglia wraps things up from Gillette with soundbites from the locker room.

Gobis’ notebook has Wes Welker still Cassel’s go-to guy yesterday. Gasper’s notebook has the Patriots turning in the first penalty-free performance in franchise history. Guregian’s notebook has the shelves empty at cornerback by the end of the game. Weisberg’s notebook has the depleted secondary making a big play when it counted. McHugh’s notebook says Cassel had game when it counted.

Probably the best thing about FOX doing the games yesterday was that there was not a single reference to the CBS Scene at Patriots place…

Patriots Items on NFL Pregame Shows

A couple of notes from the NFL Pregame shows today involving the Patriots.

From the NFL Network NFL Gameday Morning:

Adam Schefter had the following report:

Based on the hard-line stance the league is taking on cheap shot and Vince Wilfork’s prior record of controversial hits, the New England defensive tackle is staring straight at the possibility of being suspended for next Sunday night’s game at Indianapolis for a hit he delivered Monday night vs. Denver. During the first quarter of Monday night’s win over the Broncos, Wilfork threw a blatant elbow at Jay Cutler after Patriots S Rodney Harrison knocked down the Denver quarterback. As Cutler attempted to get up, Wilfork drilled the quarterback in the head with an elbow that caught the attention of the Broncos and the NFL. Ironically, the only penalty called on the play came against Broncos OT Ryan Harris – who defended Cutler, knocked down Harrison and drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. ESPN cameras failed to capture Wilfork’s hit. But the coaches’ tape caught it and the league noticed it. Disciplinary action against Wilfork could come as early as this week for a player who has another controversial hit on his resume. Last September, the NFL fined Wilfork $12,500 for landing his right elbow on Bills QB J.P. Losman’s left knee. The elbow drew a penalty and knocked Losman out of the lineup, paving the way for Bills QB Trent Edwards to take over and the league to be monitoring Wilfork. This time Wilfork could be facing a fine and or a suspension.

On CBS’ The NFL Today, Charlie Casserly had the following to say on reports this week that Tom Brady’s knee surgeries weren’t going well:

I talked to someone who is very familiar with the specifics of the surgery. They told me first of all, he had his ACL repaired using his own patellar tendon. An open repair on the MCL, just like Carson Palmer had. Five days after the surgery, there was swelling around the MCL incision. A few days later the whole knee swelled up. They then went in and flushed out both incisions. The second flushing out was just precautionary. Right now everything looks like it’s a go for next season for him to be able to play. Now if the graft doesn’t take and they have to redo the surgery, that would happen in January. We had a player with the Texans, exactly the same time frame. October surgery, graft doesn’t take. January surgery, he played that year. All is not lost if Brady has to have another surgery. I believe he will play next year.

The Friday Megalinks. It’s About Time

Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog providing your Friday megalinks technically on a Saturday morning. Work issues prevented me from putting this up at my usual time, but they’re up and it’s time to get to the Weekend Viewing Picks.

The Patriots host the Rams at Foxboro on Sunday. Fox25 and Fox 64 will carry the game locally Sunday at 1 p.m. Chris Rose, JC Pearson and Nishelle Turner will be on hand for the call. Gil and Gino are alternatives on radio. In addition, there’s no Sunday night game because of the World Series. One of the games of interest will be San Diego and New Orleans and it’s not because of the matchup, but of the location, Wembley Stadium in London. CBS has that game at 1 p.m. Fox has the featured late game, the New York Giants at Pittsburgh at 4:15 p.m. NFL Viewing Picks are here for your review.

Boston College will be in action on Saturday against North Carolina. Raycom will syndicate the game to TV38, CW28 and a whole host of ACC TV stations at noon. Comcast SportsNet will air Towson visiting UNH also at noon. Charter customers in central Massachusetts will see Lehigh at Holy Cross at 1 p.m. Plus, College Football’s big game this weekend is Penn State at Ohio State. ESPN’s College Gameday will broadcast live from Columbus, OH starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. Then ABC will have the game that night starting at 8. CBS has Georgia at LSU starting at 3:30 p.m. The entire national TV schedule can be seen in the College Football Viewing Picks.

The Bruins will host the Atlanta Trashers at the Garden on NESN at 7 p.m. and the Kathryn Tappen-hosted pregame show can be seen a half hour earlier.

The World Series resumes on Saturday in Philadelphia, weather permitting. If the Series can be played on Saturday, it’ll be on Fox25 and Fox 64 at 8:29 p.m. And Game 4 would be played Sunday night at 8:29 p.m. as well. However, with a Nor’easter expected on Saturday, there’s a 70% chance of rain. I guess watch the Weather Channel to see if it actually gets played on time.

Horse racing’s last big event of the season, The Breeders’ Cup will be run at Santa Anita on Saturday. WCVB and ABC6 have the races starting at 1 p.m., then ESPN takes it to the conclusion starting at 3:30 p.m.

NASCAR heads to Atlanta for the Pep Boys 500 which ABC will carry at 2 p.m. on Sunday Indy Car heads Down Under for the Indy 300 on ESPN Classic, Saturday night at 10:30.

UFC 90 is on Pay Per View Saturday night.

The PGA Tour has the Frys.com Open this weekend on Golf Channel, Saturday and Sunday at 4.

And if you want to watch figure skating, NBC and Universal Sports have coverage of Skate America throughout the weekend.

Now to your links.

National

USA Today’s Michael McCarthy looks at the brewing feuds between Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer and ESPN and between Boomer Esiason and Troy Aikman.

The Sports Media Watch says the ratings for World Series Game 2 were the lowest ever in history.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the Tampa Bay Rays’ Jason Bartlett stands to make some money thanks to the Taco Bell stolen base promotion. Darren wonders if the slow sale of Jets Personal Seat Licenses is due to the economy. And Darren reports that the Boston Red Sox have won the “Sex Rod” case.

The Big Lead looks back at the five best players coached by former Arizona coach Lute Olson.

Christopher Byrne’s Eye on Sports Media looks at 90 year old Furman Bisher’s blog.

Joe Favorito looks at the impact of David Beckham possibly returning to Europe on MLS.

Awful Announcing discovers that ESPN’s Erin Andrews is looking at a move to cover Hollywood down the line.

Simon Thiel of Bloomberg talks about ESPN’s plans to bid for the German Bundesliga and may start a local version of its network.

East and Mid Atlantic

The Boston Globe’s Nancy Marrapese-Burrell talks with Comcast SportsNet’s Greg Dickerson about his role as Celtics sideline reporter.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks inside the lower ratings for Game 1 of the World Series.

New York Post curmudgeon Phil Mushnick goes after ESPN for something.

The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with Ohio State and Penn State alumni Cris Carter and Todd Blackledge about the game involving their respective schools on Saturday. And Justin has five questions for the YES Network’s Howard Cross about his former New York Giants team.

Newsday’s Neil Best speculates on the possible new sidekick for WFAN’s Mike Francesa. In his blog, Neil says New York was listed in the top 10 markets viewing Game 2 of the World Series. Neil talks about two new shows premiering on the World Fishing Network. I kid you not.

The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman talks with Tampa Bay Rays TV voice Dewayne Staats.

Will Leitch and Joe DeLessio of New York Magazine says ESPN is making up editorial policy as it goes along.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the local Fox affiliate has permission to break away from the Rams-Patriots game to go to the Giants-Steelers game. Pete says there’s a silver lining to the lower ratings for the World Series.

Laura Nachman says America is just not catching on to her Phillies.

Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun talks about the ESPN directive not to report Jay Glazer’s Brett Favre-talking-to-the-Lions story.

South

Doug Nye of The State wonders why sports radio talk show hosts criticize the South Carolina fans.

Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald says fans of the U won’t be able to watch Saturday’s game against Wake Forest because Comcast doesn’t carry ESPNU. And Barry writes about the latest Arbitron ratings for the sports radio stations in South Florida.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Dave Darling says the Fox Sports Florida-Bright House cable dispute is getting uglier. An editorial in the Sentinel says the dispute hurts Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Rays fans.

Ray Buck in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa have developed a great chemistry despite not being in the booth.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes that Fox is spinning its World Series ratings.

Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News enjoys his beat. And Barry gets a tidbit on the Cowboys from Siragusa. Barry says a majority of Americans aren’t watching the World Series.

Mel Bracht of The Daily Oklahoman writes that ESPN/ABC’s Brad Nessler is happy to covering his first Big 12 game of the season. Mel looks at what the national media is saying about the new Oklahoma City Thunder. In his media notes, Mel says Marv Albert did some extra work for the NBA Live video game thanks to the Thunder. And Mel has his weekend viewing picks.

Midwest

Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News says a popular sports anchor is leaving. And Chick Ludwig of the Daily News says he’ll miss her as well. And Marc looks at the 60 years of the World Series on TV.

Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that three Red Wings prospects get a chance to be on TV next week.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the ratings for the World Series locally were quite good.

Ted Cox from the Chicago Daily Herald writes that length matters to Fox.

Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says sports radio station KFAN has fired one of its hosts after he was arrested on drug possession charges.

Dan Caesar in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about the sports radio ratings in the Gateway City.

Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star says there’s another casualty for sports radio station KCSP.

West

Scott D. Pierce from the Deseret (UT) News says Utah’s football coach made the rounds on ESPN earlier this week.

Jay Posner in the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that CBS Sports is looking forward to producing the Chargers-Saints game from London. Jay has the ratings from San Diego from last weekend.

John Maffei from the North County Times says CBS Sports has some challenges broadcasting from Wembley Stadium in London.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says ESPN is dealing with its NBA personnel making some career choices this season.

Steve Springer at the Los Angeles Times says ESPN is going to try to make a big deal out of the Breeders’ Cup.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is the subject of Tom Hoffarth’s Friday column in the Los Angeles Daily News. In the first part of his extensive media notes, Tom looks at the start of the NBA season on TV. And Tom has more media notes here. Tom also has the ratings of World Series Game 2 in Philly and Tampa-St. Pete.

Gary Washburn of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says NBA’s national voices feel Seattle will be back in the game soon.

Canada

William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the Dallas Stars’ Sean Avery is causing TV analysts to rightfully trash the very annoying pissant of a player.

CBC Sports has announced its figure skating schedule.

That’s going to do it. Have a great weekend.

Kudos To Globe For Brady Coverage

I singled out WEEI and the Boston Herald  this morning for their sensationalistic and doomsday coverage of Tom Brady’s knee situation.

I should’ve also mentioned that I’m pleased with the even-handed way the Boston Globe has covered the matter. Yesterday, when WEEI was “reporting” every 20 minutes that the Patriots were upset with Brady for choosing a West coast doctor, the Globe never published that rumor on Boston.com. I applaud them for that.

Their coverage of the infection in Brady’s knee has been similarly even-keeled. The piece by Shira Springer this morning pointed out that “When doctors wash out a septic joint, a similar action often must be done two or three times to help clear out the infection.”

This is a change from most reports that just hysterically report that Brady needed multiple procedures to clear out the infection. Springer’s report points out that flushing the wound multiple times is a common practice when there is an infection. (Though I’m a little unclear about the comment about his return being delayed a couple months in the “best case” scenario.) The Reiss’ Pieces blog has only devoted one post to Brady’s knee condition in the last couple of days, and it was a post this morning pointing readers to comments by Dr James Andrew in the Los Angeles Times this morning which indicates that Brady is winning the infection battle.

Contrast that with this headline banner on WEEI.com:

I got an email from WEEI.com this morning pointing out that the screaming headline was an actual quote from the Doctor in the report.

“What will probably have to happen is that they will have to go in, remove everything–including the screws, everything—because everything has to be sterile and clean for (the repair) to take,” Kremchek said.

What does that mean in terms of timetable?

“Next year, I have to think, is seriously in doubt,” Kremchek said.

Now it becomes clearer why so many people are concerned.

Worst case?

“His career could be in jeopardy,” Kremchek said.

OK, so Dr Kremcheck did say Brady’s career could be in jeopardy.

In the Worst Case scenario.

If you read the Doctor’s comments in the report, his opinion is quite different from what others have said about the situation. More pessimistic, for sure.

WEEI.com chose to run with this approach to the story. The “worst case” angle, and play it up accordingly. That’s their perogative, and they likely will get a few more people to click over to the story by doing it that way.

Ron Borges in the Herald also chose to run with the worst case scenario, comparing Brady’s situation with a boxer who had surgery from the same Doctor that Brady did, and who never returned to the ring.

I’ll take the cautious, even-keeled reports in the Globe yesterday and today over the panic-mongering style shown in this incident by WEEI.com and the Herald any day.

Brady’s Knee in Focus

Tom Brady’s knee is the story that the media has attached themselves to this week, with reporters getting opinions from every single source they can find, relishing the doomsday predictions, and wildly speculating about the future of the reigning NFL MVP.

A lot of reporters and outlets are going for the sensational here. WEEI.com gave this Mike Petraglia report a banner headline of CAREER IN JEOPARDY?, Ron Borges questions the selection of Dr. Neal ElAttrache for the surgery, giving the worst case scenarios all around. Hector Longo says that it is time to panic. Eric McHugh is starting to believe in the Super Bowl loser jinx.

Karen Guregian reports that the infection is a result of having had to make separate incisions for the ACL and MCL, after the Dr found that the MCL hadn’t healed completely when he went in to repair the ACL. The Doctors consulted in that article, and the ones quoted by Shira Springer in her article are a bit more positive on the future prognosis for Brady’s knee. The doctor consulted by Shalise Manza Young says that even if the ACL has to be redone, Brady is only looking at a two or three month setback.

Meanwhile, stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Jim Donaldson says that the Patriots are way too secretive about player injuries. Mark Farinella says that the Patriots were circling their wagons to avoid inquiries from the media yesterday.

After discussing Rodney Harrison’s injury, Britt Schramm on Patriots Daily previews this week’s matchup with the Rams. Scott Benson also tied up a few Loose Ends last night.

As for the Patriots who will take the field this weekend against the Rams, Christopher L. Gasper has Matt Cassel talking about what he needs to do to avoid getting sacked so much. In the article, Gaspar consults former NFL QB and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer about the situation. Jennifer Toland has the ground attack led by Sammy Morris opening things up for Cassel last week. Robert Lee says that despite all the injuries, the Patriots aren’t running on empty just yet.

Mark Farinella and Robert Lee each have pieces on cornerback Mike Richardson, who finally made his NFL debut on Monday night against the Broncos after being drafted by the Patriots in 2007.

Michael Felger has his Patriots Mailbag on WEEI.com

Gasper’s notebook looks at the suddenly bare backfield for the Patriots. Guregian’s notebook has Cassel still getting advice from Brady about his play on the field. Toland’s notebook has more on Brady’s knee. McHugh’s notebook has Wes Welker getting back to returning punts on Monday night.

Bruins

Up 2-0, the Bruins allowed four unanswered goals to the Maple Leafs and fell 4-2 to Toronto at the Garden last night.

Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins turning in their biggest stinker of the season. Bob Stern says this wasn’t how it was supposed to be after Patrice Bergeron’s first goal of the season. Bud Barth has the lethargic Bruins letting the Leafs take this one right away from them. Steve Conroy has coach Claude Julien describing the Bruins effort as unacceptable. Joe Haggerty says that it wasn’t good times for the Bruins last night.

Kevin Paul Dupont has a look at P.J. Axelsson, the longest tenured Bruin, who is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season. Steve Buckley has Bergeron’s first goal a highlight of an otherwise dismal night. Haggerty has Bergeron coming Full Circle with his goal last night.  O’Ryan Johnson reports on a couple fans who were injured during the game. Bob Halloran says that for the Bruins, relevance is relative.

Shinzawa’s notebook has Milan Lucic shattering the glass with a second period check. Stern’s notebook has more on the big impact from Lucic. Barth’s notebook examines Boston’s struggles in the shootout. Conroy’s notebook also reports on the glass shattering hit of Lucic.

Red Sox/Celtics

Sean McAdam has the Red Sox waiting until the World Series is over to make Theo Epstein’s new deal official. Haggerty says don’t expect many changes to the Red Sox for next season. McAdam’s notebook says that Derek Lowe’s pricetag likely got too high for the Red Sox after another strong postseason.

Marc J. Spears has the Lakers talking about and wishing for a rematch with the Celtics in the NBA Finals. Mark Murphy has the Celtics looking forward to getting their rings. Frank Dell’Apa has the Celtics trying to get their bench in order.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Greg Dickerson talking about his role as the Celtics sideline reporter for CSN.

Laurel J. Sweet and Jonathan Saltzman have more on Boston sportscasting legend Bob Gamere’s arrest on child porn charges.

Patriots Statement on Media Speculation

On every sportsflash on WEEI today and on many other outlets nationwide, a report from ESPN was parroted regularly that said the Patriots were displeased with Tom Brady’s choice of a Los Angeles surgeon “because they wanted Brady’s surgery done under the direction of doctors of their choosing in Boston.” The Patriots released a statement tonight:

“Today, ESPN cited an unnamed source who supposedly expressed the feelings of the Patriots ‘organization.’ This unsubstantiated report does not represent the team’s views whatsoever. We have supported Tom Brady one hundred percent from day one of this process and will continue to do so. We issued a statement last Saturday expressing our complete organizational support for Tom. That support includes all aspects of the process. Unfortunately, our statement was not mentioned or referenced in ESPN’s report. Today, we reiterate our total support for Tom as he recovers from his injury.”

This is a separate issue from the speculation over the infection in Brady’s knee, which is a legitimate, if not unknown, issue. There is reason to be concerned about the reports we’re hearing about the multiple procedures needed to clear the infection, though Will Carroll on WEEI today did attempt to calm things down some.