Mixing things up a little bit this Friday, rather than full links, we’ll jump around a little bit.

Patriots Daily is giving you what you need for Sunday’s Patriots/Falcons game. Weekly features like Worry Wart by Chris Warner, Trading Places – a chat with the Falcoholic blog and First Impressions get you warmed up for Sunday. Later today the Buffet Table and Matchups should be posted.

With an NFC opponent coming into town, FOX has the game on Sunday, however, if you live in certain parts of New England that happen to lie close to New York, you’re going to get the Giants game instead. Check Patriots Daily tomorrow for the weekly media notes feature. Check PatriotsLinks.com for all the stories today in the papers.

FOX also has the Red Sox/Yankees game on Saturday. So it’s a big weekend for Butch Stearns and crew.

One story that was kicking around yesterday was the news (first reported by Sports Business Daily) that the Kraft Sports Group has entered a business relationship with ESPNBoston.com to sell ads on the site. Mike Florio of Profootballtalk.com was apoplectic at the news, calling it “one of the most blatant and obvious conflicts of interest we ever have seen.” A bit of exaggeration there, for sure. This is sports. What kills me about how Florio handled this was his followup post nearly 12 hours later on the subject. He admits that ESPN got back him on his questions in the morning, yet he waited all that time to post the reply…because he didn’t have time. Yet, he had time to personally post15  items in between the two ESPNBoston items.

It seems more likely that Florio let the item sit on his site, knowing it was a hot topic, (83 comments and counting) and wanted to milk it as long as he could before posting the ESPN followup later at night. I can’t really fault him for this…it’s good website business. Keep those pageviews coming in. But Mike, don’t say you didn’t have time to post the followup. That’s lame.

Locally, Jenn Abelson in the Globe writes about potential conflicts of interest in the deal. That’s all well and good, and a legitimate concern to bring up. However, how in the world can the Globe not disclose in that article that they themselves are in a similar conflict, with their (for the moment) parent company also owning 17% of the Red Sox? Inexcusable.

My boy Chad Finn makes the same misstep in his media column today. He starts out with quotes from Tim McCarver on Red Sox/Yankees and Troy Aikman on Patriots/Falcons, and then dives into the ESPNBoston/Kraft Sports Group potential conflict of interest without mentioning the Globe’s situation. He describes the news partnership as starting off on “dubious journalistic ground.”  Sure, I think that most people are by now aware of the 17% but I find it a little hard for the Globe to be critical of ESPNBoston in this instance. 

Elsewhere, in real sports, Sean McAdam breaks the news that Jon Lester, not Josh Beckett, will get the game one start in the postseason. I’m shocked that the Red Sox failed to consult Glenn Ordway on this. He spent hours yesterday telling us it was a no-brainer that Beckett would get that honor.

Dom Amore tells us that this Red Sox/Yankees series is a bit more laid back.  Bill Burt tells us that a Red Sox/Yankees postseason series could come down to Daisuke Matsuzaka and Joba Chamberlain. Check RedSoxLinks.com for all the stories today.

Jessica Camerato has a nice piece on new Celtic Shelden Williams, who is married to WNBA superstar Candace Parker. 

It sounds like Gerry Callahan is going to be making an appearance on the Big Show this afternoon, at least that’s what was stated a number of times on the WEEI morning show today, hosted by Butch Stearns and Greg Dickerson. John Dennis is undergoing surgery this morning, and apparently will be out to at least start next week. At the end of the morning show, Dickerson said that Callahan would be back in the morning on Monday.

If you’re able to, I highly, highly recommend checking out Showtime’s Full Color Football series. It’s a history of the AFL, and is simply tremendous. I can’t say enough good things about it.

13 thoughts on “Friday Ramblin’s

  1. Gerry on the Big Show? That’s what we call desperation on WEEI’s part. They know that Mazz and Felger are stealing afternoon listeners as fast as the Boston Globe is shedding subscribers. Bright idea! Let’s mix it up and combine hosts from different shows, the way Happy Days used to have Laverne and Shirley on to spark some interest! I like Gerry, but I think I’ll stick with Felger and Mazz this afternoon.


    1. You so nailed this, KF. I’m sure they’ve promoted it as a Big Show visit from a long-lost friend, or something lame like that. If neither Stearns nor Dickerson are working on TV tonight, there’s was no reason why one of them couldn’t have appeared with Ordway this afternoon.

      The whole mix-up method reminds of when I was a kid listening to the radio. Whenever the morning deejay would take a week off the midday guy would fill in for him and then the sub would take the midday shift. Guess it was like throwing the midday guy a bone so for a week more people would hear him. And anyone remember the April Fools Day stunt a few years back when Sajak & Trebek switched places hosting ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Jeopardy’?


    1. The fear over at WEEI is what happens to the number of listeners if the Patriots continue to struggle. There also can’t be an over-abundance of optimism for the Red Sox. For the fringe suburb areas that struggle to pull in WEEI before the sun comes up and after it goes down, 98.5 is turning into more than a ‘we’re not worried about them’ competitor.


  2. Is there really any point to bringing the Red Sox/Globe conflicts into a Patriots story? It is not as if it was a conflict of Chad Finn’s making and it does not make his opinion of the ESPN/Patriots set up any less valid.


    1. Perhaps not, but by not acknowledging their own, greater conflict of interest/relationship with another team in town, the Globe submarines their own credibility on the matter. What else aren’t they telling us? It’s a slippery slope. Better to just acknowledge it, and then weigh in on the Patriots/ESPN matter.


      1. I agree with Bruce and would go further. The Kraft Group has agreed to provide a business service for ESPNBoston.com. But The Boston Globe is supposed to objectively cover the Red Sox. And, in what I think is a more relevant comparison, where are the Globe’s statements about their interest in covering NASCAR, BC sports, and other events that Fenway Sports Group, or whatever the name is, has a finger in?


        1. if it was an editorial I would say yeah. But everytime a Globe writer writes a sports business story you need to drag up that the company that owns the globe was part of the Red Sox ownership. Seems pretty distracting from the story at hand, unless it is a story about the Redsox ownership it does not seem any more relevant than the fact that the Celtics used to own EEI, or the Bruins/Red Sox ownership of NESN, or any other of the many media sports overlaps.

          Chad Finn media articles are not really supposed to be any more objective than a movie review it is what he thinks about what is happening in the media with a few bits of information. The other article was a fairly dry one telling of the ESPN/Kraft partnership I did not see any slant to it from the writer.

          The NYT stake in the Sox is pretty much public record and has been mentioned in a multitude of stories and columns over the years it is hardly hidden. They own a lot of real estate too should they mention that in every real estate story as well?


  3. I’ve quit WEEI completely, but Tony Mazz still sucks. He’s just as much as a no nothing know it all as the hacks on WEEI. Tony has been telling us all along that they would never in a million years bench Varitek in the playoffs. Whoops!

    And just yesterday he was going on and about how Beckett’s prior postseason performance would be the biggest thing Tito, Theo, Farrell and scouts would look at before making the obvious choice of Beckett as playoff Ace. Whoops again!

    It’s just like last season when the idiot sportswriters were telling us the Tampa Bay Rays would flop completely in the playoff because of a lack of so-called playoff experience.

    Were corrections issued all around? Not that I’ve ever heard.

    Their entire base of knowledge is nothing but cliched bullshit. Tony is one of them.


    1. I agree. Just because Garbage is on a different radio station doesn’t mean it’s tastier Garbage. Mazz is a top 5 hack in this town.


  4. Thought it was interesting that Jenn Abelson did the story as, until recently, she has covered retail for the the Globe. As such, she has crafted story after story touting the Krafts retail project to the point where it appeared that the Globe was carrying water for the Krafts in order to generate ad revenue from the project and/or access from the Pats.

    The fact is, the media members may be trained to be objective but the business model puts them into conflict. Look at today’s Globe and boston.com. Not only a story on a new Asian market in Burlington but a video as well?? Has to be an advertising angle (or the hope of such). No way should it command that presence in and of itself. With the decline in ad revenue, i’m sure there’s more and more pressure to employ the Phantom Gourmet model to “news” coverage.


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