The media is a strange, yet pretty predictable group. they’re almost always going to go against the tide, trying to buck popular opinion.

This means that nationally, where most people loath and despise Bill Belichick, writers and columnists are coming out and supporting the Patriots coach and his decision to go for it on fourth down Sunday night. It’s the edgy thing to do.

Locally, where most people respect Belichick and hold him in high esteem, the columnists are blindly savaging, mocking and insulting him (and enjoying it).

Neither side is enjoyable to read. Most are stretching too far either way to try and make their points. I suppose for some, perhaps the columns bashing Belichick serve as validation for their own feelings of frustration over the loss, but for me, it only makes me more mad.

Do they think people really want to read this garbage? After a day of peace and quiet yesterday, I’m ready to move on and think about the Jets and getting the AFC East under full control.

So I’m declaring this a “Fourth Down-Free Zone.” That actually wipes out about 80% of articles out there today.

Red Sox increase prices for some tickets – smart move by the Red Sox, sneak in a ticket price increase when Boston fans are ticked off about the Patriots. This is usually a day after Thanksgiving tradition, but with the uproar over Sunday night, the Sox managed to sneak this on in under the radar.

LeBron James’ numbers game at least raises eyebrows – Tim Weisberg’s NBA column looks at LeBron James’ announcement that he’ll ditch #23 because he doesn’t think anyone should be allowed to wear it, and choose #6 instead, which he associates with Dr J instead of Bill Russell.

No time, no chance – Brian MacPherson says that things changed for the Patriots Sunday night when Tom Brady no longer had time to throw the ball.

No running game equals no Super Bowl – Bill Burt says that the Patriots won’t win the Super Bowl because they cannot run the ball when it counts.

Bruins take another step backward – Mike Loftus examines another disheartening Bruins loss, this time 4-1 to the Islanders.

Respect Is Hard to Come By For Celtics – Paul Flannery’s look at why part of the Celtics problems of late might actually be a lack of respect for their opponents.

Rivers looks inward for answers to woes – Frank Dell’Apa has the Celtics coach taking blame for recent losses, and vowing to get things straightened out.

 Celts must stop ‘fense sitting – Lenny Megliola has Doc Rivers not afraid to call out his defense.

Red Sox may see pop – John Tomase has Sox pickup Jeremy Hermida’s hitting coach with the Marlins believing that Boston will see more pop from the former first round pick.

I guess we can toss in the report cards from Ron Borges and Jeremy Gottlieb though they each come with a warning  that fourth down commentary is contained within.

For the rest, head out to the link sites.


14 thoughts on “Still Too Much Noise

  1. I know it’s difficult to read articles listen to sports radio after a tough loss when Belichick is the subject of much of the criticism. You lose a lot of respect when if the Pats had won that game at 5:30 AM on Monday we would have had all the media’s take. When they lose your hiding under your bed. You need to suck it up a bit. How you going to provide media analysis when you ignore them after a tough loss? Suggesting it’s predictable isn’t analysis.


  2. Good move. I refuse to listen. Actually I did listen to Boomer yesterday. Dennis was so friggin condesending it was nauseating. Boomer made an excellent point though: If they had punted and indy still scores, then everyone is beyaching about the defense.


  3. I always enjoy how the Sox note “this is the lowest percentage increase in [some time period]” when they raise prices. As if they think none of us can do math, and that we don’t realize that OF COURSE the percentage difference is lower when the starting point (the previous price) is four times what it was 10 years ago, or 15 years ago, or what have you. If you raise ticket prices $5 each year, then yes, each year has a lower % increase than the year before! But you’re still raising the price $5 every year…


  4. Bruce I couldn’t agree more.

    As much of a “really? REALLY?” kind of decision as it was, watching and hearing the comparisons to Grady Little, Bill Buckner and the Bucky Dent home run on TV and in print yesterday was just absolutely, positively insane. Did nobody notice those were all POST-SEASON games for crying out loud? One graphic on CSN said “Legacy Tarnished”! Even Dale Arnold was on yesterday talking like the team had no chance whatsoever of even getting the #2 AFC slot — when they’re only 1 GAME BACK with, what, 7 games left?

    Nobody seems to mention how well the team played on balance for 95% of Sunday night. If they play that way the rest of the season good things will be coming their way.

    It’s a time where I have no use for the local media around here either. The worst of times on both sides — especially the people usually more level-headed who seem to be relishing in the moment.


  5. It’s really pretty simple – Belichick will never come out and say it, but I think he thought Manning was going to score whether it was 90 yards or 10 yards. His defense was beaten up and tired out. Winning the game meant keeping the ball.

    Anyone comparing this to Grady Little is a complete ass. Much research has been done about success on 3rd and short 4th and short. Coaches that are afraid of taking the heat the way Belichick is will make the decision to punt that allows the blame to be focused on the players every time. Belichick hasn’t been going for in fourth down because he thinks it’s funny. He knows it’s a good percentage play.

    How many times have we seen a punt and than watch the opposition march back down the field and cross the former line of scrimmage with just a few plays? It happens every week, multiple times. The Colts had already scored twice in under two minutes in the 4th quarter prior to the last opportunity.


  6. The overreaction was predictable, and disappointing in its predictability. And the analysis has had no context. Belichick took a chance. It didn’t work. It was a season game. Belichick takes chances all the time. When he made the decision to go for it, I understood the call, and I was excited that he was willing to take a chance and go against the grain.


    1. I guarantee you that the ’06 AFC title game was in the back of his mind when he made the decision, because when he punted on 4th and 4 at midfield with a little over 2 minutes left in that game, he lived to regret it. He probably said to himself, “If I’m ever in that situation again against Peyton Manning, I’m going for it and taking the game out of his hands.”


  7. That said, I also don’t have a problem with criticism. But it’s been so overblown. For God’s sake, it’s not like Belichick shot someone’s dog.


  8. I didn’t even bother to turn on The Sports Hub or ‘EEI yesterday, simply because I knew it would be unlistenable. We all KNOW it was a devastating loss… Why do we need to hear a self-important host tell us this? I don’t want to hear 4 hours of rehashing the decision to go for it. Maybe touch on it for awhile, but also talk about the need to bounce back against the Jets this week…

    By the way Bruce, I really like the “Top Ten” that you’re starting to do occasionally with the links.


  9. I disagree with the first post. Saying it’s “predictable” is analysis and it’s right on. The media side of the Boston sports scene is depressingly tedious, a huge pack of lemmings in neckties and suitcoats. This site is one of the few local sites that is not. And a vast majority of the people posting on it very often leave excellent insights, better, in fact, than a vast, vast majority of so-called “professionals.” At any rate, I do agree with Boston Dan: Belichick knew that if Manning got the ball back, he would score.


  10. “Belichick knew that if Manning got the ball back, he would score.”

    So why not let the Colts score a TD on their first play once they took over on the 28 yard line? Then the Pats have the ball with well over a minute to play to score a FG.


  11. Seems to me it’s not a national/New England split – it’s a numbers savvy vs. old traditionalists split. Most of the dumber jocks and the older columnists nationally (like King or Priscoe) hated the move. Most stats geeks applauded going for it or thought it was at worst a push. I thought Byrne’s comparison of media blowhards vs blogging wunderkinds at coldhardfootballfacts was pretty good actually.


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