Belichick on NBC Super Bowl Pregame

Michael Holley on WEEI today has stated that Patriots coach Bill Belichick will be a part of NBC’s Super Bowl coverage, doing a segment breaking down the Pittsburgh and Arizona defenses with Cris Collinsworth during the pregame show.

It hasn’t officially been anounced by NBC yet, but Belichick has done this sort of thing before, appearing as part of the coverage of the Steelers/Seahawks Super Bowl a couple of years back.

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Celtics Show Magic A Few of Their Own Tricks

Last night’s game in Orlando was billed as a “coming out party” for the Magic, who were winners of seven straight, and who found themselves sitting atop the Eastern conference following some struggles by the Celtics and Cavs. The Celtics controlled this one pretty much throughout and defeated the Magic, 90-80.

Frank Dell’Apa has Glen Davis coming up huge in the fourth quarter as the Celtics won their seventh straight game. Mark Murphy has Tiger Woods among those at courtside to witness the Celtics victory. Jessica Camerato examines whether the Magic are a legit threat in the East.

On the BSMW Full Court Press, Jeremy Gottlieb has a Back To Reality edition of the Five Pack.

Dell’Apa’s notebook has Kevin Garnett named to his 12th All Star team. Murphy’s notebook has more on the honor for KG.

Red Sox

Lenny Megliola says that we’ve reached decision time for Jason Varitek and the Red Sox. Count Dan Shaughnessy among those in favor of re-signing Varitek. Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox still have a few options if they do not decide to sign up Varitek.

Joe Haggerty has the Sox locking up their home grown talent. Daniel Barbarisi looks at the 7-deep Red Sox bullpen. Joe McDonald has Rocco Baldelli sending a thank you note to the fans of Tampa.

Patriots

John Tomase has a look at newly promoted Patriots quarterback coach Bill O’Brien.

Eric McHugh has Matt Cassel saying that he’d be willing to stick around as Tom Brady’s backup, since this is “Tom’s team.” Mike Reiss has more on Cassel’s willingness to play second fiddle to Brady, as does Tomase’s notebook.

Misc

Bill Burt ranks the top ten figures in Boston sports history.

Bill Doyle talks to Tom Caron about this weekend’s busy college hockey broadcasting schedule.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Versus making a name for itself.

Tony Lee looks at the Bruins cruising into the break in first place. Steve Conroy looks at the impressive first half of the season from Blake Wheeler. Conroy looks at a move by Peter Chiarelli that didn’t work out so well, trading away Kris Versteeg.

Joe Haggerty has the Hagg Bag II.

Over in the right hand column of the site, I’ve added a new section entitled “Hot Links.” I’m going to try this out for a little while, but what it will be is links that I come across during the course of the day. Many times I get a link or two that are interesting, but I can’t put together an entire post on on them. This way, I can get the links up on the site, and they will be have a short description with them, and so there will be fresh content to click on throughout the day. I think there will also be a “daily digest” of these links posted on the main blog here.

Week Log: The Snow From Within

I woke Sunday morning to four inches of powder on the driveway. Make it six more down at the trout pond, where I cleared a patch of ice big enough to teach my son to skate, then needed to sit and watch him learn from the younger guys who just came with a snowblower. On Monday, I stepped out of the house and into an unexpected seven-inch topper but despite it all, Nature’s snowing this week was not as deep as the one laid down by Jason Varitek.

Tek went Donovan McNabb on the Nation and, given his considerable baseball acumen, it’s not working on me. By playing the ignorance card rather than folding to a bluff gone bad, he has tossed his street cred into the pot as ante for a losing hand. The Sox half of YFSF shares my skepticism – particularly considering the messenger – but Clearing The Bases would disagree, pinning Varitek’s sudden confusion squarely on Superagent Scott Boras’ chest. SportsCenter5 Overtime says this whole orchestration is with Boras. Red Sox Reality Check has Boras’ advice to opt out of arbitration costing Varitek big. Boston Dirt Dogs has some good movie pitches for the whole mess. Hot Stove Daily says Varitek better take what the Sox are offering.

Empowered by John Henry’s visit to Atlanta, 38 Pitches dug up some tangible evidence that allegedly supports Varitek’s intangibles, namely, his ability to call a good game. I can only hope that Schilling’s radio debut today will be better than this actuarial debut of his on Monday.

We’ll revisit the Sox in a bit but first, the winter teams get the stage.

Bruins

Stanley Cup of Chowder is a settling into their new digs over at SB Nation with a zebra’s perspective of Monday’s controversial goal by the Blues’ David Backes. That goal left Wicked Bruins Fan waxing Dickensian as he chases away his birthday Blues.

Kathryn Tappen says an extra log on the fire during the upcoming All-Star break may be just the remedy for various B’s aches and pains. Pucks With Haggs dissects the All-Star skills competition, which will keep Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard from their seats by the fire. And what a difference a year makes says Boston Sports Blog, which is hearing whispers of a cup on the anniversary of a debacle in Montreal last year. Naoko Funayama regales us with her weekend in the Nation’s Capital, as the B’s found themselves in the midst of presidential inauguration festivites.

In the ‘When I Was A Kid’ department, doesn’t it seem like there were more B’s / C’s doubleheaders at the old Garden? Well, we got one on Monday, and Mazz‘s chronicle provides us a good seguey from ice to hardwood.

Celtics

Loy’s Place has a collection of comments from the Heat side of last night’s C’s victory in Miami. CelticsBlog says the C’s will try again in Orlando tonight after coming up short in two previous statement games. Lex Nihil Novi is laboring hard trying to turn his buddy’s metallic butt into a metaphor for tonight’s game in Orlando. Celtics 17 talks with Marc J. Spears, who will tell you the C’s secret weapon and which team poses the biggest threat to Number 18.

On Red’s Army, Rick Barry uses a basketball to demonstrate the techniques that have made him the progenitor of 13 sons. BTW, he’s got a few pointers for LeBron as well.

Red Sox

Forget the snow because spring is coming. Extra Bases pumps us up on Truck Day and other spring training matters, while Red Sox Monster is circling Truck Day on the calendar. Amy Derjue needs Truck Day to pull her out of the snowbanks and close out her fugly winter. OT reminds us that pitchers and catchers report in 21 days, and Chad Finn hopes the Captain will swallow some pride because he’s still a better option than a Spalding 15275.

Keeping with the Dickens theme, Touching All The Bases looks at the best and worst of times in Red Sox history. One of the worst may well be the new Jacoby Ellsbury ballad that is debuting on Big League Stew.

Toeing The Rubber goes Fall Out Boy with Rocco Baldelli thanking Tampa Bay for the memories. Stew also offers a take on Baldelli’s single-handed effort to keep print media afloat and, in the spirit of inauguration week, asks our Subway Squawkers from the Apple to send a Yankee or Met to Washington. Makes even an elephant like me grateful for the way things turned out.

The Bradford Files has Jonathan Papelbon attaining another leg of his journey toward contract immortality. Even though Papelbon has been temporarily appeased, The Bottom Line offered a good pre-contract analysis of the closer market that will surely come into play if the Sox add more onto this one-year deal.

Fenway West quashes any Big Papi comparisons to Mo Vaugn by dropping the S Bomb on Hit Dog. And yesterday, the WGS Red Sox Blog contended that, with John Smoltz’s arrival, Schilling’s ego will have to take a back seat.

Patriots

The Tom Brady interview sent shock waves throughout the Hub media community yesterday, in part because it was an infomercial for Myo-Med, in larger part because they were dissed. The Producers Blog offers Chach’s explanation of how he and WEEI got scooped by a city – make that country – that doesn’t even have an NFL team.

Patriots Daily is getting ready for spring by critiquing earlier Pats’ drafts. Where’s Trags? reports on Wednesday’s big Patriots score for WBZ-TV and TV-38, complete with a 2009 program guide.

A little late with today’s klogs, but the job thing kept popping up. We’ll be back a little earlier next week. Until then, e-mail me at bob02878@yahoo.com.

CSN Scores Papelbon Comments on Deal

Comcast SportsNet cashed in on their relationship with Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon last night by getting an interview with the All Star, who talked about his decision to take the one year, record setting contract from the club instead of a longer term, more secure deal.

CSN has had a regular segment with Papelbon on its Sports Tonight program, and they were able to get Papelbon’s thoughts on avoiding arbitration and choosing to accept a one year contract with the Red Sox. Papelbon said that in the end, he believes the Red Sox will agree that he is worth Mariano Rivera money…

Listen to the segment on the CSN Website here.

Road Warriors Once Again

Both the Bruins and Celtics secured road victories last night, as they approach the All Star break for each league.

The Celtics relied on some torrid outside shooting from Eddie House (25 points) and Ray Allen (27 points) to shoot down the Heat 98-83 in Miami for their sixth straight win.

Frank Dell’Apa says that last night was a prime example of difficult the Celtics can make it for opponents to pick their poison. Paul Flannery serves up a six pack of observations from last night’s win. Mark Murphy says that the Celtics needed long distance help to beat the Heat last night, perhaps a sign that not all is well.

Bob Ryan says that the NBA is “the most egalitarian major institution in our society.” Flannery tries to answer the question: Are The Celtics Back? after their struggles of a few weeks ago. Scott Souza has a look at rookie Bill Walker and his surging popularity. Jessica Camerato has Walker showing his commitment to Boston. Dan Guttenplan says that Stephon Marbury would be a bad idea for the Celtics.

Dell’Apa’s notebook looks at House’s huge night, specifically the second quarter in which he scored 20 points. Murphy’s notebook has Ray Allen talking about his trip to Washington on Tuesday.

Bruins

Kevin Paul Dupont has coach Claude Julien riding a hunch in the shootout last night and going with Michael Ryder, who got the deciding shootout goal to give the Bruins a 4-3 victory. Steve Conroy has the Bruins able to catch a bit of a break now.

Michael Felger has jumped on the Bruins bandwagon, and examines what has made this season different for the black and gold. Danny Picard notes that the Bruins are now expected to win.

Dupont’s notebook says that the All Star Break is coming at a good time for the Bruins. Conroy’s notebook has Martin St. Pierre grabbing an in-game redemption.

Patriots

Chris Warner scouts the East West Shrine Game for Patriots Daily.

Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots promoting Bill O’Brien to Quarterbacks coach, putting him in a position to follow the career path of Josh McDaniels. John Tomase has Matt Light not worried about Bill Belichick spreading himself too thin with the departures of McDaniels and Scott Pioli. Shalise Manza Young has Light saying that  the Patriots are using their extra time off the heal. Eric McHugh looks at the Super Bowl ad that Light will be appearing in. Tom Wilcox examines what the Patriots are doing in their personnel department.

Tom Brady spoke on Toronto sports radio yesterday, mostly to promote a product, but he did talk about his recovery from the knee injury he suffered on opening day of this season. WEEI.com has the full transcript of the interview. Mike Reiss has Brady saying he’s going “really well” in his recovery. Tomase’s notebook has Brady not saying whether he’ll be ready to start the ’09 season. Young has Brady talking about his season on the sidelines and what he did during games. Eric McHugh has Brady saying he “watched everything” the Patriots did this year.

Red Sox/Misc

With the hole in the middle of their lineup, Charles P. Pierce proposes that the Red Sox should perhaps consider…bringing Manny back? Dick Trust talks to Bobby Doerr about Jim Rice finally getting into the Hall of Fame. Chad Finn has a few thoughts as we creep closer to spring training. (Hey February 6th is ‘truck day!’)Maureen Mullen has a look at Casey Kelly, the Red Sox top pick in last year’s draft. Dan Lamothe looks at the Red Sox efforts to build up their bullpen this offseason.

Eric Wilbur says that it is a great time to be a baseball fan in New York. A public school teacher? Not so much.

Jeff Goodman has a look at Al Skinner’s recruiting style at BC and wonders whether it can last.

Curt Schilling makes his Big Show debut today, and there will be a live chat during the show. I ask, Why, Curt?

Tom Brady To Do First Interview Since Injury

Since Tom Brady’s season ended on opening day last September, we’ve heard a lot about, but very little from, the Patriots MVP quarterback. He hasn’t given any official interviews, and his statement have pretty much been limited to releases on his website, or simple statements at charity events.

That makes tonight’s interview with Brady very interesting, and curious at the same time…curious because he’s chosen a Canadian radio station 590-AM in Toronto as the outlet from which he will give his first interview in five months. (a product promotion, perhaps? Yes, it is. )

The station is The Fan 590-AM and the show Brady will be appearing on is Prime Time Sports, hosted from 4:00-7:00pm by Bob McCown.

On the station’s website, there is simply a note that “in a FAN 590 exclusive, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be a guest on Prime Time Sports tonight . . . it’s Brady’s first interview since his injury in September.”

The station does do Live Streaming.

Thanks to Chris in Ontario for the tip…

Schilling To Be A Regular on The Big Show

I guess this is “Press Release Wednesday” among the local media outlets.

WEEI announced today that Curt Schilling will be a monthly in-studio guest on The Big Show, and that every Thursday he will have a 20-30 minute call-in appearance on either The Big Show or the Dennis and Callahan program.

Curt Schilling Gets Regular Gig on The Big Show

World Series hero joins Big O every Thursday in addition to Dennis & Callahan phone ins

BOSTON (January 21, 2009) – WEEI has announced that 6-time All-Star and World Series hero Curt Schilling will join Glenn Ordway and the crew on The Big Show on a regular basis. Schilling, who is also a regular contributor to WEEI.com, will be a guest during the show on Thursdays, beginning January 22, 2009. He’ll be in studio once each month, joining the cast for the entire four-hour show. On the other three Thursday’s, he’ll be calling into either The Big Show or the Dennis & Callahan Morning Show for a twenty to thirty minute segment.

Schilling’s new on air gig is a further expansion of his role with the WEEI Sports Radio Network. In November of 2008, he began a weekly writing stint on WEEI.com, now home of his popular blog, 38pitches.com. In addition to his writing for WEEI.com, Schilling will also participate in live game-day blogging for six Red Sox games during the 2009 season. He will contribute his thoughts and observations in the live blog with other members of WEEI.com’s editorial staff. This past October, Schilling joined WEEI.com for a live blog of Game 7 of the Red Sox ALCS series with the Tampa Bay Rays. Schilling has also had a regular call-in with WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Morning Show since 2005.

“This is my first spring training without baseball in my life. I am looking forward to continuing my involvement in the game and the connection to Red Sox Nation by contributing to The Big Show,” said Schilling.

The Big Show, which has been hosted by Glenn Ordway since its inception in 1995, has ranked number one among men 25-54 in every ratings book but one since the spring of 2003. It has also ranked number one with adults 25-54 in every ratings book but three over the same period of time. The show airs from 2 PM – 6 PM each weekday.

“Curt has always been outspoken and very thoughtful in his comments about the Sox and baseball in general,” said Ordway. “He speaks from the heart and is extremely passionate about the game….I think he’s perfect for the format of our show, but I wish he’d gain 40 or 50 pounds so he’d look a lot more like the group.”

“When Curt talks, people listen,” said Jason Wolfe, Entercom New England’s Vice President of AM Programming. “He knows the Sox and the league inside and out and this expanded role will be a great compliment to his blog and to our overall baseball coverage.”

Schilling pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 2004-2008, helping the team win two World Series. Originally drafted by the Red Sox, Schilling made his major league debut in 1988 with the Baltimore Orioles and has also pitched with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2001, Schilling shared the World Series MVP Award with teammate Randy Johnson.