Who Ordered The Jets “Sideline Wall?”

This goes a little outside the usual realm of this blog, but I’m not seeing much discussion of this in the media.

Check out this photo of the Jets sideline:

Note the blue line. As far as I know, that indicates the furthest spot that sideline personnel are allowed to stand.

I heard a WFAN  caller (the infamous incarcerated bob) claim that two Jets players said that the Jets were angry that the Dolphins gunner had been going out of bounds during kickoffs, and that this formation was done to stop that.

Should they have been there?

From the NFL Rulebook:

Rule 13, Article 5 Coaches and other non-participating  team personnel  (including uniformed players not in the game at the time) are prohibited from moving laterally along the sidelines any further than the points that are 18 yards from the middle of the bench area (i.e., 32-yard  lines  to  left and  right of bench areas when benches are placed on opposite sides of the field). Lateral movement within the bench area must be behind the solid six-foot white border

The rule book also contains a diagram:

So, Jets strength coach Sal Alosi and his cronies (practice squad players?) were standing the zone marked for “Coaches and substitution players only” and they were lined up as close to the edge – both to the playing field and edge of the bench area zone as humanly possible.

Definitely a planned lineup, no? Who had them do this?

I don’t think the plan was for Alosi to stick his knee out and knock the player down, but he was put into that position. By whom?

After the game, Rex Ryan professed to be unaware of the situation until the team’s director of media operations informed him.

So many questions here.

  • Did Rex Ryan order this formation?
  • Is it common to do this?
  • Do other teams do it?
  • Is it only a big deal because Alosi stupidly stuck his knee out?
  • Is this rule even enforced?

What Alosi did was a penalty:

Palpably Unfair Act (Non-Player)
Rule 13, Section 1, Article 8

Article 8 Non-player personnel of a club (e.g., management personnel, coaches, trainers, equipment men) are prohibited from making unnecessary physical contact with or directing abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures at opponents, game officials, or representatives of the League.

Penalty: Loss of 15 yards. (Unsportsmanlike conduct.) Enforcement is from:
a) succeeding spot if the ball is dead;
b) previous spot if the ball was in play; or
c) whatever spot the spot Referee, after consulting with the crew, deems equitable.

Should it be more?

Also see:

Legal Consequences of Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi tripping Miami Dolphins DB Nolan Carroll


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Adam Schefter adds the details that he is being fined $25,000 and that it is the Jets who took this action, not the league.


Patriots Keep Rolling, Bury Bears 36-7, Improve to 11-2

The Patriots clinched  a playoff spot in snowy Chicago yesterday, jumping out to a 33-0 halftime lead, and beating the Bears 36-7.

It was amusing to hear even the locals sports radio hosts this weekend giving the Bears an advantage in this one, “because Brady won’t be able to throw the ball” and “the Patriots passing game will be severely limited by the conditions.” I heard it on both 98.5 (staffed with a bunch of fill-ins) and on WEEI with the dreadful Mustard and Johnson.

Have these people never seen Brady and the Patriots play in bad weather?

Speaking of the sports radio stations, Chad Finn had a Sunday media feature yesterday on the battle between the two stations:

Talking a good game

I enjoyed the subtle jabs directed at the likes of Mike Adams in this one.

Patriots building up head of steam – Mike Reiss says that this all seems very familiar.

These Pats have a near-perfect feel – Michael Felger needs to be fitted for his footy pajamas.

Welker, Branch proving to be perfect partners – Robert Lee has the Patriots receivers torching the Bears all afternoon. Bob Hurst in the Herald also looks at the duo.

Yet another storm is weathered – Greg  Bedard notes that neither weather nor locale seems to matter to this team.

Patriots pulling out all the stops – Karen Guregian has the Patriots defense continue to grow and get better right before our eyes.

Patriots go from rebuilding to remarkable – Tom E Curran is as surprised as anyone that the Patriots have turned into a wagon.

Patriots: Loaded for Bear – Ron Borges says that Chicago did what Bears do when the weather is cold and snowy – went into hibernation.

Fighting through it all – Bob Ryan thinks the Patriots can get even better.

Yep, they’re that good – Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago is now a believer.

Patriots play does the talking against big-mouthed Bears – Ian Rapoport’s notebook has the Patriots silencing another foe. The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young and Monique Walker has more on the weather to lead off, The Patriots Journal from Robert Lee and Jim Donaldson has Brian Urlacher being served some humble pie. Hector Longo turns in his two-minute drill.

How Carl Crawford became a Red Sox – Sean McAdam says that the courtship and signing of the Red Sox new outfielder was months in the making.

Carl Crawford gives Terry Francona lineup choices – John Tomase looks at some of the possibilities for the Red Sox manager.

Perkins getting better all the time – Scott Souza has the Celtics center still working his way back.

Everyone pitches in during Celts’ latest win streak – A Sherrod Blakely says that the Celtics 10-game winning streak is truly a team effort.

Does anyone doubt that if it was a Patriots staffer that tripped and injured and opposing player during a game, the national outcry would be 10 times greater?

Doing Your Friday Megalinkage Early For A Change

At least early for me. Hoping to get these done to free myself for the evening. Lots of stuff to get to.

Your Weekend Viewing Picks give you sports and entertainment viewing suggestions.

Let’s do your links now.


USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with NFL Films president Steve Sabol about the new HBO Sports documentary, Lombardi which premieres Saturday night.

Mike Snider of USA Today got an inside look at the Madden NFL video game development meetings.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says if you’re looking for some drama during ESPN’s Heisman Trophy Presentation regarding Auburn QB Cam Newton, then you’ll be looking in the wrong place.

Joshua Weinstein of Variety looks back at sports television’s biggest rights deal in 2010, the CBS/Turner agreement with the NCAA for the men’s basketball tournament.

Michael Malone at Broadcasting & Cable mentions some changes in the Univision news and sports divisions.

John Eggerton at B&C writes that a March hearing date has been set for the carriage dispute between Tennis Channel and Comcast.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that four US cable and satellite providers will carry CBC’s first 3-D presentation of Hockey Night in Canada tomorrow.

Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine writes that the Foxwoods sponsorship deal with MSG Network could have far reaching effects throughout sports.

Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser says Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will be profiled on Sunday’s edition of 60 Minutes.

Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid gets behind the mystery of why Chris Berman had a mustache earlier this year.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the NFL’s doctors are nervous about the league having an official helmet.

Darren talks with the chair and CEO of sports powerhouse IMG. 

Sports Media Watch notes that ABC’s college football ratings and viewership were down from last season.

SMW says on the other hand, ESPN says it had its highest viewership for college football in more than a decade.

SMW says the ACC Championship Game’s ratings were up on ESPN, but still very low overall.

And SMW tells us that the Big 12 Championship Game’s ratings suffered a drop from last year.

Amanda Rykoff writing for espnW has some observations from her first Baseball Winter Meetings.

Amanda also notes that the Winter Meetings aren’t an Old Boys Club anymore.

Awful Announcing notes that the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett is keeping an eye on the wardrobe of TNT’s Craig Sager.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe notes that the Red Sox’s offseason moves are good for NESN’s ratings in the summer.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald notes how coach Bill Belichick has his weekly segment down pat on Patriots All-Accessw.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has his take on the ESPN production of Jets-Patriots on Monday Night Football.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times recaps Auburn QB Cam Newton’s interview on ESPN which aired Thursday.

At the New York Post, Phil Mushnick reminds us that we watch the game for the event, not the announcers. Thank you for that, Phil.

The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for Fox Sports’ Jimmy Johnson.

Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says Bills fans in New York’s Capital Region won’t be able to watch their team on Sunday.

David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun asks readers which announcers seem to have a bias against the Charm City.

Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says Capitals analyst Craig Laughlin was not swearing on live TV the other night and explains why.

Dan says the Caps are just barely beating the Wizards in the local TV ratings.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner speaks with the producer of the joint NFL Films/HBO Sports documentary, “Lombardi”.


Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald feels it could make for interesting TV when Bill Simmons joins ESPN’s team to call tonight’s Heat-Golden State game.

Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes that the Miami Heat have launched their own store on Facebook.

Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times has some various sports media stories in today’s column.

Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News has a quick preview of Jerry Jones’ appearance on 60 Minutes this Sunday.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Fox won’t be using Pat Summerall to call January’s Cotton Bowl and will use it as a dry run for the following month’s Super Bowl XLV.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks with ESPN’s Tom Jackson about the Texans as his Super Bowl pick.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman discusses the end of ESPN’s critically acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series.

Mel also has his sports media notebook.


John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes the Queen City will be getting a live local sports morning show in January.

Mike Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Gazette talks with the man who will call the Michigan State-Michigan outdoor hockey game on Fox Sports Detroit on Saturday.

Jeff Arnold of AnnArbor.com says Fox Sports Detroit plans to give the outdoor game a big event feel.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has some thoughts on Don Meredith’s passing.

Bob has Fox’s announcing assignment for this Sunday’s Green Bay-Detroit game.

Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers in sports business and media.

The Chicago Tribune live blogged the funeral services for Cubs third baseman and radio announcer Ron Santo.

At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dan Caesar notes that the NHL likes being on Versus despite some huge warts.

Dan says the St. Louis Billikens are preparing for what they believe is their first nationally televised over the air broadcast against Duke.


Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune points out that the Chargers narrowly averted another blackout this weekend.

John Maffei at the North County Times says two sports documentaries tomorrow are definitely “Must See TV”.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says Don Meredith helped to make color analysts, colorful.

Jim notes that the Miami Heat have helped the NBA’s TV ratings.

Mike Perrault of the Desert Sun (CA) writes about a new Golf Channel series that will chronicle the comeback of a former homeless man who was once a prominent golf instructor.

Diane Pucin from the Los Angeles Times notes that Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner will receive an honorary doctorate.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Steiner will also be the mid-term commencement speaker at his alma mater this month.

Tom has a look at the new espnW site.

Tom has more on espnW in his media column.

Tom also has his extensive news and notes in his blog.


Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail has a look at the local sports radio ratings.

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star looks at CBC’s first foray into 3-D TV with Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.

Kimiya Shokoohi of the Vancouver Metro also writes about the CBC’s 3-D production.

And that will conclude the megalinks. They’re actually done before 3 p.m.! That’s bonus for you and me.

Celtics Edge Sixers On Last Second Hoop

The Celtics struggled much of the night last in Philadelphia, looking like a tired, beat up team. Missing much of their front line, and with Paul Pierce battling the flu, the Celtics struggled to the finish with the upstart Sixers and a fired up Philly crowd. With the Celtics trailing by a point with 6 seconds left, Rajon Rondo executed a perfect pick and roll with Kevin Garnett, and hit KG with an alley-oop pass that Garnett gently laid in with 1.6 seconds left to give Boston a 102-101 victory.

The Bruins also were victorious, beating the NY Islanders 5-2 at the TD Garden.

Yes, that really is the cover of the Boston Herald this morning.

Apparently things are going well around here. Dan Shaughnessy is all puppies and sunshine this morning. Don’t be fooled. As soon as things show the slightest sign of going wrong, he’ll return to form.

Theo Epstein now unstoppable – John Tomase says that Epstein is no longer a child prodigy.

For Theo, the gift of faith – Gordon Edes has more on Epstein emerging as an ace closer.

Crawford likely to be worth it for the full 7 years of his Red Sox deal – Some talking heads say that its dumb to give a seven-year deal to a guy who relies on speed. Brian MacPherson believes otherwise.

Media Roundup: Adrian Gonzalez Drama Would’ve Benefited From Old News Cycle – My SB Nation Media column looks at the Sox jumping back into the media spotlight.

It’s hard to Trump Patriots-Jets on Monday Night Football – Bill Doyle’s media column recaps the Patriots appearance this week on Monday Night Football.

Bill Belichick and Scott Zolak put on quite a show – Ian Rapoport goes behind the scenes of Patriots All Access.

Red Sox big splashes make them compelling again – Sean McAdam thinks that the Sox TV and radio ratings will benefit from the moves of this week.

Celtics win tug-of-war with last move – Julian Benbow reports on the Celtics last second victory.

Celtics have kicked a bad habit – Gary Washburn has the Celtics avoiding the issue of losing to lesser teams this season.

Patriots getting that extra push from Mankins – Monique Walker has the Patriots lineman making his impact felt. Ian R. Rapoport has more on Mankins.

Sox Nab Crawford, Willingness To Spend No Longer Questioned

The Red Sox made a surprising signing last night, agreeing to terms with former Tampa outfielder Carl Crawford on a seven year contract that will pay out about $142 million over that span.

Peter Abraham and The Boston Globe were the first to report this story last night around midnight.

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With Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez on board, it’s been a productive (and expensive) week for the Red Sox.  You’d think they’d be using their own outlet, NESN to pump up this news, but I go the following email this morning from a reader:

Can’t believe what I’m seeing right now… While CSNNE went live at 1:00am with a live report on the Crawford signing… NESN at 5:30 am still is running a repeat from the day before where they predict Crawford signing with the Angels!! The Red Sox’s own network… Shame on them… At least run a commercial inside of misinformation!!!!
Dave B

If true, that’s a dropped ball by NESN.

I did get a note from NESN that there will be a special edition of Red Sox Hot Stove LIVE tonight at 6 PM with Tom Caron, Jerry Remy and Peter Gammons. The program will include a one-on-one interview with Red Sox Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.
The show will be the fifth Red Sox Hot Stove Live show that NESN has produced since Saturday.

Sox sign up Crawford for $142m – Here is Abraham’s story in the Globe today.

How Carl Crawford could transform the Red Sox – Alex Speier looks at how Crawford will impact the Boston lineup. Art Martone says that with Crawford, the Red Sox lineup lacks for nothing.

Red Sox to ink Carl Crawford – Gordon Edes notes that Crawford is the first player in the John Henry era to be given a seven year contract.

Crawford signing virtually the perfect move for Red Sox – Brian MacPherson approves the move.

Peppers piqued Pats interest but Bears won out – Tom E Curran says that you can blame Adalius Thomas for the Patriots not signing Julius Peppers.

Patriots must bear down against this line – Greg A Bedard says that the Bears will be a stiff test for the Patriots.

This is not your father’s Soldier Field – Mark Farinella has the Patriots making their first trip to Soldier Field since 2000.

Faulk a patient Patriot while knee heals – Andy Vogt has Kevin Faulk trying to support his teammates during his rehab.

Celtics defense continues to dominate – A Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics cranking up the defense against the Denver Nuggets.

Kevin Garnett shows again why he’s The Big Ticket – Steve Bulpett looks at another big performance from KG.

As a heads up, things might be a little inconsistent around here for the next few weeks. My dad had a heart attack the other night, and my wife is set to give birth to our second son here in the next couple weeks. There’s a lot to do around here, but I’ll do my best to keep things rolling here on the site as well.

Patriots TV Ratings Update

As I mentioned the other day, Monday night’s Patriots/Jets game did a 42.2 rating (62 HH share) in the Boston area. That number is combined between ESPN and WCVB-TV.

The Patriots-Jets game was the highest-rated game of the season in the local market and the third-highest all time, topping the Patriots Nov. 22 victory over the Colts, which had previously set the mark for the third-highest regular season local ratings.

The Patriots continued their record-setting pace for HH ratings through 13 weeks in their designated market area with an average 33.4 HH rating. In addition, New England owns the 10 most-watched television programs in the Boston area since football season began, with the Patriots-Jets game topping the list.

Here is the updated list of Patriots ratings locally thus far this season: