A Slow Monday

It’s an odd Monday for the middle of the football season, the Patriots didn’t play yesterday, nor do they play tonight. Instead, they’re getting ready for next Sunday’s critical matchup with the Miami Dolphins.

John Tomase says that the Patriots entire season hinges on this game down in Miami. Mike Reiss says this is just another reminder of what a difference a year makes. Christopher Price has the Patriots acknowledging their miss opportunities thus far this season.

Bob Halloran says that the Patriots have no depth. This despite the fact that many of the players who are starters now, are only in that position because the original starter was injured. Isn’t that what depth is for? Mark Farinella has another episode of Ask Fearless.

Michael Felger hates Randy Moss.

David Scott blasts NBC and CBS for hypocrisy in being very careful not to mention the point spread when discussing the controversial ending to the Pittsburgh/San Diego game yesterday.

Red Sox

Sean McAdam says that if the Red Sox want Mark Teixeira, they at least won’t have to outbid the Yankees for him. Rob Bradford says that Daisuke Matsuzaka is proving to be worth every penny the Red Sox paid for him.


Both Mark Murphy and Marc J. Spears each look at Brian Scalabrine finally seeing the court again for the Celtics. Tim Weisberg looks at Paul Pierce becoming Boston’s Superman.


Mick Colageo says that the Bruins were robbed on Saturday night, and that Patrice Bergeron did actually put the puck in the net. Fluto Shinzawa says that the Bruins will be hard pressed to replace Andrew Ference. Stephen Harris looks back at the Bruins first third period collapse of the season on Saturday night. Joe Haggerty says that the Bruins should not go after Brian Burke to run their organization.


Ron Chimelis and Adam Kilgore have UMass coach Derek Kellogg meeting up with his mentor John Calipari tonight.

Jeff Goodman looks around New England college hoops.

Mark Blaudschun looks back at a weekend of college football. He also has BC returning to top form and keeping their ACC title hopes alive.


Your Friday Megalinks, Part Deux

Ken from Fang’s Bites with Part 2 of the Friday Megalinks. I can also provide you with updates from the links that I had provided earlier.

But let’s pick up where we left off.


Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News talks with Dayton native Jon Seibel who’s holding his own on ESPN Radio.

Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that Fox NFL analysts Brian Billick and Jimmy Johnson don’t think it’s unrealistic for the Detroit Lions to go 0-16 this season.

And Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel say Billick and Johnson still like the Packers’ chances this season.

Shannon Ryan has the weekend viewing recommendations for Chicagoans in the Tribune.

Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says ESPN.com’s Mayne Street is one of the reasons why the internet is ruining the world. That’s a bit harsh. Perhaps Ted needs to get away from his computer and go to the Mosquito Coast.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says there’s a battle over the radio rights to the St. Louis University Billikens men’s basketball team.


Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News writes that fans can only watch BYU at Utah on the mtn. and nowhere else.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the world’s oldest goff tournament is breaking a new barrier, showing all four rounds on US cable TV. Jay also has the ratings from the San Diego market for last weekend.

John Maffei of the North County Times talks with CBS/CBS College Sports/Sports Radio USA college football/NFL analyst Dan Fouts about his multitasking this season.

Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star wonders if the BCS and the Rose Bowl could be cable exclusives come 2010.

The Los Angeles Times’ Diane Pucin says Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno is subtly using his own sports radio station to throw his team’s hat into the ring for free agent Manny Ramirez.

Over to the crosstown Los Angeles Daily News where Tom Hoffarth writes about LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks fans’ unhappiness over Fox Sports West’s excessive use of rinkside cameras during telecasts. Tom has extensive media notes including news about Hazel Mae joining the MLB Network. Tom says USC football voice Pete Arbogast managed to talk himself out of doing fill-in work for USC basketball. Good job, Pete. And Tom reviews the week in blogging.

John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers GM Scott McCloughan gave some cryptic answers when being interviewed this week.

Gary Washburn from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes that sports is getting less of a presence on local TV newscasts.


William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that the internet is adding a huge wrinkle in the sports broadcasting business.

The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich says much of Ontario province won’t be able to watch the Raptors this Sunday thanks to a conflict between TSN and Rogers Cable.

Now to some more links.


A couple of things from The Big Lead. First, it reports that NBC Sports is expected to layoff employees at its website and the New York television office. And Yahoo! Sports has widened its lead over ESPN.com as far as hits and traffic are concerned.

Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media ran a semi-live blog from the Nashville Predators-Anaheim Ducks game.

Kevin Downey of Media Life Magazine says sports TV is no longer recession-proof.

Steve Lepore of Puck the Media has decided to make following Jack Edwards’ calls a regular feature and he has the video of Jack going over the top during Thursday’s Habs-Bruins game.

Daniel Frankel of Variety writes that the new Ski Channel launches on Christmas Day on two prominent services.

And that will do it. Enjoy your weekend.

Your Friday Megalinks, Part I

Ken from Fang’s Bites and today, I’m giving you the megalinks in two parts today. Part I comes out now. Part II will come out tonight.

As usual, I give you the Weekend Viewing Picks.

The Celtics, fresh off their great win on Wednesday are back in action tonight and Saturday. Tonight at 7:30, the C’s take on Denver and on Saturday, it’ll be a quick trip to Milwaukee to face the Bucks at 8:30 p.m. Both games will be on Comcast SportsNet.

For the NFL, CBS has the doubleheader for the second consecutive week. In New England, WBZ and WPRI will carry the Baltimore-New York Football Giants game at 1. Then at 4:15 p.m., we’ll see San Diego at Pittsburgh. Fox 25 and 64 will show Chicago at Green Bay at 1. And on Sunday night, 7NBC and NBC 10 show another NFC East battle, this one pits the Cowboys at the Redskins. Sunday’s schedule is in the NFL Viewing Picks.

To the colleges, College Gameday will be live from Tallahassee, FL for the Hampton-Florida A&M game. And after that, there’s not much to showcase. In primetime on WCVB and ABC6, Boston College is at Florida State. Other local games include UMass at UNH on Comcast SportsNet at noon. CN8 has Harvard at Penn also at noon. National games of interest include Notre Dame at Navy (CBS, noon), Princeton at Yale (Versus, noon), Duke at Clemson (TV38 & CW28, noon), USC at Stanford (Versus, 7 p.m.), and Mississippi State at #1 Alabama (ESPN, 7:45 p.m.) The College Football Viewing Picks have the entire national coverage for Saturday.

The Bruins are in New York Saturday night to take on the Rangers at MSG. NESN has the game at 7.

For college basketball, ESPNU has a quadrupleheader on Sunday, Bradley at Florida at 2:15 p.m., my Rhode Island Rams at Duke at 4:30 p.m., LeMoyne at Syracuse at 6:30 p.m. and UMKC at Kansas at 8:30 p.m.

NASCAR’s final event of the season, provided that ABC doesn’t cut off the end of the race in favor of America’s Funniest Home Videos, is the Ford 400 at 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

HBO’s World Championship Boxing has Jermain Taylor taking on Jeff Lacy and you can see the replay of Joe Calzaghe’s win over Roy Jones, Jr. on the program that starts at 10:15 on Saturday night.

The Golf Channel has the Lorena Ochoa Invitational from Mexico over the weekend at 3:30 p.m.

And the ATP tennis tour finishes its season with the Masters Cup from Communist China. FSN has the semi-finals live on Saturday morning at 6:30 and again on tape at 1 p.m. The finals can be seen Sunday at 1 p.m.

Now let’s get to your links.


USA Today’s Michael Hiestand reviews the NFL TV partners’ rookie analysts, gimmicks and other features.

This comes from The Big Lead. It’s always sad to hear when brothers-in-blogging decide to stop posting and the excellent Fire Joe Morgan blog has done just that. Hopefully, the guys at FJM will reconsider and come back every once in a while.

Guest blogging for Darren Rovell, CNBC sports producer Tom Rotunno writes that Justin Timberlake becomes the first non-golfer to endorse Callaway Golf products.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the YES Network starts a series of sports business specials tonight.

Larry Barrett of Multichannel writes that ESPN scored with the finale of the World Series of Poker.

The great Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog looks at the migration of sports from network TV to cable.

Thanks to Awful Announcing, ESPN stopped a casting call for a commercial full of ethnic stereotypes.

Steve Lepore’s Puck the Media has part 2 of its NHL Tournament of Announcers. And Steve has video of the good Jack Edwards calling Wednesday’s Bruins-Chicago game. If you need a reminder of the bad Jack, Steve has the video of him calling the Stars-Bruins brawl from earlier this month.

The Sports Media Watch has some ratings news from this week. And the SMW looks at the NFL primetime ratings for Week 10.


Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe talks with ESPN’s and my fellow Rhode Islander Doris Burke about her expanded role with the NBA.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post writes about the slew of no-shows shown during the Grizzlies-Knicks game.

Also from the Post, Justin Terranova has five questions for the new #1 CBS college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg. And Justin talks with MSG Network’s Mike Breen about the Knicks.

Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News says NFL fans in the surrounding areas of Boston and New York were shut out of last night’s Jets-Patriots game.

Newsday’s Neil Best says it might have been weird for both Giants and Jets fans to hear Giants voice Bob Papa call last night’s Jets-Pats game for the NFL Network. In his blog, Neil says SNY will replace studio analyst Lee Mazzilli with Bob Ojeda. Neil reviews the NFL Network telecast which technically was not up to par in my opinion. And Neil says WPIX added a “C” to Erik Boland’s name during the Giants pregame show.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union also provides a review of last night’s NFL Network (to which I agree 100 percent). Pete also lists his Top 10 NFL TV game analysts. In his column, Pete suggests that NBC’s John Madden is no longer ready for primetime.

Laura Nachman says legendary Philadelphia sportscaster Bill Campbell will be honored next week.

From the Baltimore Sun, Ray Frager tells readers not to feel slighted by the national media.

Jim Williams from the DC/Baltimore Examiner says Notre Dame-Navy headlines the college football action and college basketball begins on MASN tonight.


Doug Nye from The State says new coaching eras for both of the University of South Carolina’s basketball teams will on display this weekend.

Dave Darling in the Orlando Sentinel likes ESPN.com’s Mayne Street web series.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram looks at a new book by former Cowboys defensive lineman Bob Lilly.

David Barron in the Houston Chronicle says the Astros will remain on their radio flagship station for the foreseeable future.

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says Mavericks analyst Bob Ortegel was dead on last night. And Barry interprets Fox Sports’ NFL analyst Jimmy Johnson’s answer.

From the Oklahoman, Mel Bracht reminds us not to call former media critic Bob Knight a member of the media now that he’s expanded his role at ESPN. Mel says Oklahomans won’t be watching high school football for the next few weeks. And Mel writes that Cox Communications will be showing MLB Network when it launches on New Year’s Day.

That concludes Part I of the Friday Megalinks. I’ll have Part II coming up this evening.

WEEI Commercial Free (for now)

If you’re listening to WEEI this afternoon, apparently there is a technical problem which does not allow them to play commercials at the moment.

They can still take phone calls from listeners.

The running joke from Glenn Ordway is that WEEI has turned into PBS and will be opening up the lines for donations soon.

Update: At 4:00pm, the commercials returned…

Asleep at the Switch?

A BSMW Messageboard reader found this sentence in the Red Sox notebook by Adam Kilgore and Nick Cafardo today about Red Sox third base coach DeMarlo Hale’s interview with the Seattle Mariners:

If the Mariners choose Hale, he will join the Rangers’ Ron Washington as the only African-American major league managers.

Is this off the top of their head?

Dusty Baker, Cecil Cooper, Cito Gaston and Jerry Manuel are all waving hello.

OT Coin Flip Dooms Pats

Sometimes it really does just come down to the coin toss…

Was there any doubt that whoever won the coin toss in OT was going to get a field goal?

Still, what a game, though you could’ve been excused for tuning out in the first half.

The Jets ran out to a 24-6 lead and the Patriots looked bad. Matt Cassel led a TD drive just before the half to make it 24-13, and the Patriot defense tightened up a bit in the second half as Cassel led three more scoring drives (two TD’s, a field goal and a two-point conversion) to tie the game at 24. Brett Favre led the Jets on a TD drive, leaving just over a minute on the clock. Cassel then led one final drive, which ended with Randy Moss catching a touchdown with Ty Law draped all over him with :01 left on the clock.

The score was tied…then the Jets won the coin toss, marched down the field and kicked a field goal. An anti-climatic ending if there ever was one. All the more frustrating when you know that between this one and the Colts game, the Patriots could be 8-2 right now instead of 6-4 and in second place.

Head over to Patriots Daily for Chris Warner‘s game recap.

Christopher L. Gasper finds some positives for the Patriots, though they’ll have none of that talk. Karen Guregian has the Patriots falling after twice crawling back from the dead. Shalise Manza Young has the Jets taking control of the AFC East with the win. Mark Farinella has the Jets turning Matt Cassel’s finest night into a bitter disappointment. Dom Amore has the Jets outlasting the Patriots. David Brown sounds annoyed that he had to go to the stadium last night instead of watching Ugly Betty and ER. Andy Vogt has OT proving unkind to the Patriots. Dan Hickling has the Jets outlasting the Patriots. Jennifer Toland has Matt Cassel sparkling last night, but not getting a chance in OT.

Michael Felger has the good and the bad from a crushing loss. Mike Reiss says that there were three games in one last night. Christopher Price chalks up the 10 Things We Learned Last Night for the Metro. Glen Farley has the Patriots defense failing early and late last night. Eric McHugh has the Jets spoiling the Patriots party when it got to overtime. Lenny Megliola has a late miracle giving way to reality for the Patriots.

Bob Ryan says that this one was even better than the hype. Bill Burt claims that the Jets became a force with their win last night. Ron Borges says that the Jets victory was not a changing of the guard of the AFC East. Jim Donaldson has the Patriots defense folding in the final minutes of a big game yet again. Rich Garven says this one was an old-fashioned donnybrook.

Steve Buckley looks at a career night for Matt Cassel, who threw for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also running for 62 yards. Young has Cassel achieving an NFL first with the 400 passing yards and 60+ yards rushing – the first QB to do that since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. Farinella looks at the dazzling numbers of Cassel not matching the final result.

Brian MacPherson has the Patriots learning from their mistakes. Lee says that late penalties on defense may have cost the Patriots the game. Donaldson has Randy Moss making the big catch when it counted. Weisberg has Jabar Gaffney shining in the shadows last night. Forsberg has a look at Jerod Mayo, who was the defensive star of the night with 20 tackles for the Patriots.

Chris Forsberg has Troy Brown bring honored at halftime last night. Borges says that Brown always believed in self, even when others didn’t. Robert Lee has the Patriots giving back to Brown after he gave them everything he had. Tim Weisberg has more on the fitting Foxboro send off for Brown. Hickling also reports on the Troy Brown halftime tribute.

Ryan also wants to know why Belichick hates those (naughty word) Jets so much.

Adam Kilgore talks to Ty Law about being beaten on the final play of regulation for the Moss TD. John Tomase has Law turning back the clock to 2001 with his performance. Lee has Law declaring that the Jets the team to beat now. Dan Duggan has Brett Favre leading the Jets on two late drives for the win. Donaldson has Favre impressed with Cassel and the Patriots comeback.

Donaldson also has the Jets getting the win they’ve long been waiting for against the Patriots. Lee has Eric Mangini insisting that the Jets did not let up in the second half. Farinella has the Jets acknowledging that they dodged a bullet last night.

Duggan has the best and worst from last night. Lee provides postgame analysis from all sides. Garven has facts and Figures.

Here are the notes from the NFL Network telecast.

Gasper’s notebook has Sammy Morris returning to field last night. Guregian’s notebook has Ty Warren sitting out last night’s game – a big loss for New England. Young’s notebook has Warren joining the ranks of injured Patriots. Farinella’s notebook has Brown enjoying life after football. Vogt’s notebook has more on Brown being honored at halftime.


The Bruins were also in action last night, recording a 6-1 victory over arch-rival Montreal last night, snapping a 12 game regular season losing streak to the Canadiens.

Rich Thompson has the B’s moving into first place in the division with the win. Kevin Paul Dupont has the Bruins coming out strong on the second night of a back-to-back. Bud Barth has the Bruins coming up big in this early showdown. Mike Loftus has the Bruins’ depth carrying them to the win. Bob Stern has the Bruins getting the Montreal monkey off their backs.

Barbara Matson has the Bruins depth on display last night. Stephen Harris has brawler Milan Lucic enjoying himself last night. Joe Haggerty has more on the Bruins win.

Dupont’s notebook has the Jacob’s family shooting down the idea of Brian Burke coming to Boston. Thompson’s notebook has Marco Sturm figuring out this power play thing. Barth’s notebook has coach Julien defending his choice of P.J. Axelsson on the shootout in Chicago.

Celtics/Hawks = Record Ratings for CSN

From Comcast SportsNet:

The Boston Celtics are responding to the challenges of defending their 17th NBA Championship and Celtics fans responded in record numbers for Comcast SportsNet’s Celtics-Hawks telecast. The rematch of NBA first round playoff opponents was viewed by an estimated 245,000 households in New England. Specifically in the Boston television market, 163,000 households watched the game, a record 6.8 household rating.

Paul Pierce’s game winning basket was viewed by an estimated 364,000 households in New England when the audience peaked between 10:15 – 10:30 p.m. In Boston, 245,000 households viewed the game winner as the ratings peaked at a 10.2 household rating.

During the final 30 minutes of the Celtics-Hawks (10 – 10:30 p.m.) Comcast SportsNet’s telecast was the highest rated program on Boston TV averaging a 10.1 household rating. Comcast SportsNet outrated such programs as the Boston Bruins, House (Fox), CSN-NY (CBS) and Law & Order (NBC).

Comcast SportsNet’s previous regular season high rating was a 5.7 for the Celtics-Pistons telecast on March 5, 2008. The network has carried Celtics games for the past 28 seasons.

“The Celtics are white hot. Paul Pierce is playing at an MVP level and the team has responded to the challenges of being the defending champs. At this pace, Celtics fans are in for an exciting season,” said Bill Bridgen, Comcast SportsNet executive vice president and general manager.

ESPN’s Doria – We Don’t Report “issues that impugn character” without confirmation

ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber has her latest column up today.

Issues discussed include outrage over Lou Holtz invoking the name of Hitler, coverage of the Presidential campaign, and ESPN’s decision to ignore the allegations that Brett Favre had called the Lions to offer assistance in game planning for the Packers as reported by Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com.

I found the comments from ESPN’s senior vice president and director of news (and former Boston Globe Sports Editor) Vince Doria about the Favre coverage interesting.

“This wasn’t about not respecting or not wanting to credit Jay Glazer,” Doria said. “We have credited Glazer on many stories. If this had been a routine trade or injury story broken by another news outlet, we would have run it, attributed it to the other outlet, then tried to confirm and advance the story. But when a story involves criminal allegations or issues that impugn character, and when there is no track record of similar behavior by the individual targeted by the story, we don’t report it without further confirmation on our part.

“We felt this story called Favre’s character into question, and we couldn’t confirm it. Favre had a text exchange with [ESPN senior NFL analyst] Chris Mortensen, saying it wasn’t so, and the Lions said they had no knowledge of it. We couldn’t go to Glazer’s sources, because he didn’t name them, and the original lack of detail about what was said suggested to me they were secondary sources. They could have been anybody in the NFL.”

Why didn’t ESPN just report Favre’s denial to Mortensen?

“When allegations are made against somebody,” Doria said, “with no confirmation or evidence on our part, and you go to the person and get a denial, and then use the denial to you as justification for putting the allegations out there — to me, that has always seemed an unethical way to get a story out if it involves a matter of character.”

Gee, now if they had only applied those same standards last season, or last February, for that matter…

Jets/Pats on NFLN Tonight

The Patriots and Jets battle it out for first place in the AFC East this evening on the NFL Network.

If you live around Boston and don’t get the NFL Network, the game will be shown on WCVB Channel 5 in Boston and WMUR channel 9 in Manchester, NH.

If you’re outside the area, and don’t get NFLN, you can go to NFL.com and watch the game online there.

In the New York papers today, this game is being touted as one of supreme importance for the Jets. Get a glimpse over at JetsLinks.com.

Gotta love the Jets. From Mark Cannizzaro

One Jets offensive player, who spoke under the condition of anonymity because he didn’t want to provide bulletin board fodder for the Patriots, talked about being “sick to our stomachs” about the Jets’ 19-10 loss in Week 2 at the Meadowlands. He felt the Patriots were vulnerable – particularly on defense. Not to mention it was the first game with Matt Cassel at quarterback, after Tom Brady was injured in Week 1 vs. the Chiefs.

The player spoke matter-of-factly about how “slow” and “old” a number of the New England defenders are and how he believes the Jets should be able to put up “a lot of points” on them tonight.

Um, just because you’re anonymous doesn’t mean your comments aren’t bulletinboard material, genius.

Christopher L. Gasper has a look at how the Patriots have filled the holes in their lineup this season, and how they favor play over pedigree. Tim Weisberg has Matt Cassel getting his first experience at facing a team for the second time. Shalise Manza Young says that these aren’t the same two teams that we saw in week two. John Tomase says that there is more than just a game on the line tonight. Kerry Bryne looks at some Surprise Impact Players for the Patriots over the years. K.C. Joyner says that this game should be old hat for the Patriots.

Jim McBride has the scouting report in the Globe today. Mark Farinella has a short week leading to a big game for these two teams. Christopher Price looks at the unique challenges the short week brings. Ben Swasey tells us why the Patriots will beat the Jets tonight. Tom Wilcox has a look at the Patriots depth. The Herald has Five things to watch for tonight. The Globe OT has Three keys vs. Jets.

Adam Kilgore has Kris Jenkins proving to be a good fit in New York, both on and off the field. David Brown has the Jets recent success coming on the ground. Rich Garven has sole possession of first place on the line tonight at Gillette. Brian MacPherson has the Jets getting a rare opportunity to knock the Patriots out of first place. Dom Amore says that if the Jets can’t overtake the Patriots now, when will they ever? Kerry J. Byrne says that you can count on Brett Favre coming up small in big games.

Over in the Metro, I’m feeling fairly good about the Patriots chances in the AFC. Michael Felger has this week’s Patriots Mailbag.

Gasper’s notebook has Adalius Thomas undergoing surgery yesterday, though not yet being placed on season-ended IR. I would expect that to happen soon, however. Guregian’s notebook says that the Patriots will try to force Brett Favre to beat them.


Kevin Paul Dupont and Stephen Harris have P.J. Axelsson giving the Bruins a 2-1 shootout victory over the Blackhawks last night.

Dupont says that the Bruins should try to bring Brian Burke in to run their hockey operations. Mick Colageo has the Bruins shooting for more than respect. Danny Picard has a piece on Chuck Kobasew in the Globe OT.

Dupont’s notebook has former Bruins draftee Kris Versteeg  doing well for himself in Chicago. Harris’ notebook has rookie Blake Wheeler rewarding his coach’s faith in him.


Dan Shaughnessy says that the Red Sox made the right move by not raising ticket prices. Chad Finn reflects on the tenure of Jason Varitek and the outrageous salary demands of his agent. Bob Lobel wants to thank Curt Schilling aka Joe the Plumber. Tony Massarotti looks at whether Dustin Pedroia or Kevin Youkilis is the more valuable player. Tom Caron, talks with Mo Vaughn. Maureen Mullen has the Sox making their shopping list for free agency.

Scott Souza looks at the energy of Kevin Garnett.

Will Leitch says that Boston fans are spoiled by the success of their teams.