So I’m a day late on this one, having had yesterday wiped out with an illness, so I’m catching up with this Gary Tanguay/Michael Felger dustup on Sunday/Monday.

It apparently started with Felger’s comments on Sports Sunday, following the Celtics win over the Timberwolves:

Felger started off his show by saying that Tanguay was “afraid” to cover what Felger thought was the “real” story following the game. Felger believes Rondo was sat down on Sunday as a discipline issue.

Tanguay shot back on Twitter:

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Tanguay then did appear on the Felger and Massarotti show on 98.5 yesterday. Here is the segment.

Tanguay takes issue with Felger’s comments, and sounds genuinely agitated about how Felger portrayed Tanguay’s take. Tanguay claims that he actually told Felger before the show that Rondo was sitting down for more than just the finger injury that the team announced, and said that he mentioned this on the air as well.

Felger says the issue is with “tonality,” but that Tanguay is guilty for not covering that real angle more, and that everyone who covers the team is “in the bag.”

Then last night, Tommy Heinsohn came to the defense of Tangauy, ripping Felger:

So what do you think? Is this a real feud, or contrived? I’m always skeptical about incidents like this, especially when all the material is freely available on the media outlet’s web sites. If there were a true argument or spat between personalities, I’m not sure it would be so easily available. Tanguay does appear grieved at how he was portrayed by Felger, though I’m sure some of that was being played up.


32 thoughts on “Felger/Tanguay “Dustup” – Real or Contrived?

  1. C*ntarived. Emphasis on see you next tuesday for that brave guy Felger who was fed the info from tangay and still took the cheap shot.

  2. Felger is an insipid ass. According toi him, he's the only one in Boston who "tells it like it is". His schtick is to be the contrarian no matter what the subject. His ignorance of basketball is matched only by his ignorance of baseball.

    98'5 has dropped quite a bit in the last two ratings books, though I haven't seen an article about it by Chad Finn or Jessica Heslam (I guess they only write about it when 'EEI is dropping), but I wonder if Felger's show is a big part of the drop. If it is, you can expect him to do anything he can to draw attention to himself, which I'm sure this "feud" with Tanguay is..

  3. Good observations, Jack. I'm as tired of WEEI's schtick as evidently are a lot of local sports fans, so WBZ-FM's success this past year didn't really shock me. However, I can't see the endless and utterly phony contrarianism of Felger and Mazz having a very long shelf life. I have a very limited tolerance for the doom-and-gloom. I appreciate the fact that in listening to the shows my eyes are opened to areas of concern, but with that I want to hear from professional analysts about how those areas can be addressed. Frankly, even with all the Big Show baloney, I still feel I get a lot more of that on EEI than on 98.5. To put it another way, as the old saying goes:

    "Any damn fool can burn down a barn, but it takes brains to build one."

  4. As the old wrestling adage says… "If its done in front of a camera…its a work". 98.5 reminds me of a sprinter rather than a marathoner. They seem to have rushed to get a lead but have done nothing to capitalize on the hype. Gresh still has a job, Felger and Mazz have jumped the shark…they do not generate conversation…they spout "facts not opinion"…to quote my 13 year old daughter who is stuck in the 80's "As if". Now this crap. It is pro wrestling at its worst.

    Memo to Julie Kahn and Mike Thomas…all we want is quality sports talk. We do not need contrarians, we do not need fake feuds or even real ones that become fake when they are covered on morning shows. We do not want idiot radio. We want quality. Is that too much to ask?

  5. I can't listen to Felgah anymore. I preferred him and Mazz over The Big Show when Ordway had his goons like DeOssie and Smerlas, et al but the Felgah/Mazz shtick has gotten old – to me anyway. Can't someone just put out a decent sports talk show that intelligently debates the issues of the day without all the nonsense?

  6. LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! Felger is going to wear out his welcome here, there's no doubt in my mind, and it appears as if he's already started the process. I don't buy that this whole thing was contrived. I get the sense Felger is genuinely disliked by at least some of his colleagues and a lot of the athletes in this town — and while he might rejoice in that, sooner or later he's going to run into a brick wall when his numbers start to fade and people tune him out.

    What's worse is he could have been exactly what this town needed in terms of a sports host — if he dailed it down, and actually thought about what he's about to say before he does it. I've repeatedly said he came off like a smart, intelligent guy when he first showed up here — but whether it's ego, a taste of success, or whatever, that guy is long gone and has been replaced by an utterly ridiculous clown.

    1. Right on point Doc!!! Agree with all you wrote… When he was EEI he was the perfect host asked the right question at the right time when most others were too focused on kissing butt or lacked the insight or ability… Anyway, now it appears all schtick and zero substance… And don’t get me going on that unfunny, horrible-to-listen-to Mazz… Tic, tic, tic…on what ever success they have had…

  7. I think it's both real and contrived, if that makes sense. I think it was a genuine disagreement at first but now it's being milked to get some publicity.

    I have to agree with Jack, Felger's ignorance when it comes to basketball is embarrassing for a sports talk radio host. He knows nothing about the sport or the NBA/NCAA and sounds foolish anytime he tries to discuss it. His baseball knowledge is better but pretty weak too. I only wish his ankle biting sidekick was a little stronger personality to make up for Felger's deficiencies. Tony certainly knows his baseball but for everything else he comes off like Felger's little brother trying to get a word in edgewise.

  8. It wouldn't shock me if Felger's "I hate the Celtics" schtick is going to rub other people the wrong way – but there's no way this isn't contrived. I'm amused that Tommy is in on this too.
    Let me put it this way – if Felger/Tanguay is real so was Mikey Adams locking himself in the WEEI studio.

  9. Tony – "you know Mike, you're right"
    I commented about two weeks ago that I would only listen to 98.5 since the Big Show torched my favorite show Dale and Holley. My how things change. Since then, I have heard and instantly turned off M&M, never listened to G&Z, and tried Big Show but got bored listening to Glen and not hearing Holley. That leaves F&M. Since the NCAA tourney has started, I cannot believe how stupid Felger sounds. His distaste for the sport of basketball is embarrassing. I feel like he makes it a purpose to belittle anyone who enjoys that sport. He should be smart enough to realize that Pro Basketball is huge here, and everyone likes NCAA (except him). He has turned into the "character" that WEEI used to have. A schtick guy that forces things down your throat and just won't tolerate you talking about something he despises, see: D&C, anyone who is non-republican, Glen- hockey, ESPN- anything non Lebron,Tiger, Favre.

  10. I figured Felger would be smart enough to no backtrack into what turned me away from WEEI. Tony doesn't help, as he has no spine, and sucks up whatever scraps Mike will feed him.
    I know I've been listening to alot more music and Bill Simmons BS Reports lately.

  11. Sad that Tommy got sucked into this charade. I guess what bothers me about Felger is his scathing vitriol towards everything in the Boston sports landscape. It's not just that he's a contrarian, its that he's borderline hateful.

    1. Good post. This is the third or fourth time I've heard Felger blame tonality for people's response to him. Hey douchebag, change it!

  12. i agree it was real and contrived, its funny how both guys are equal hacks.

    felger's analysis of bball in general is pathetic. Its cool if you don't like it, but to mock and belittle the sport and its fans is aggravating . The fact he feels so emboldened to share his disdain is nauseating, and not to mention a waste of time.

    He's also right about Tanguay. Tanguay is just a guy with a good voice. He's not smart or intelligent, and whenever he has a scoop or definite opinion, you know its either Jonathan Kraft, Danny Ainge, or Larry Luccino directly telling him what to say. He also knows nothing about the NBA, he wrote an embarrassing article on CSNNE about the salary cap and how the c's were poised to sign lebron and that article was quickly taken down for being completely illogical. I haven't seen too many tanguay articles since.

    Either way, the whole ordeal sounds like a gigantic waste of time.

  13. Next up – Felger locks himself in the studio and plays the song Lipstick on Your Collar for three hours straight.

  14. I find it interesting that the Big Show changes have led to at least two co-hosts (McAdam and Haggerty) to show up on 98.5. The substitute/fill-in hosts for The Sports Hub are pretty poor, so this strengthens their "roster."

    It's ironic that moving Holley to drive-time was meant to strengthen WEEI, but as a result, it may indirectly give their competitor more credibility. McAdam is rational and reasoned and Haggerty, while at times too excitable for my tastes, is fast becoming the #1 beat guy in this market for all things Bruins.

  15. In a purse swinging contest between Tanguay and Felger…I'll bet the house on Steve Buckley in an upset.

  16. Enh.

    It's a legitimate media ethics issue. (Are you reporting the facts as you know them? Why? Why not?)

    On the other hand, Felger is friggin' annoying about it.

    So I'm torn.

  17. Is it 18-49 or 25-54 that is the "important" rating? When TSH was ahead 18-49, and WEEI was ahead in 25-54, it was the younger demographic that was better. When TSH started winning the 25-54 battle, that became the important range. WEEI is crushing TSH 6+. I find it hard to believe that the age ranges of 6-18/25 and 49/54+ are skewing the ratings so much that it results in a 40% difference in ratings. No matter the ratings, the advent of TSH has resulted in a better listening experience for WEEI. Not great, just better.

    1. Fred:

      I don't see it. Trading Dale and Holley for M&M was a total downgrade to the point now I listen to Michael Graham more than either sports station because they both suck at that time. Pairing Holley with Big O has taken away the Big Shows great strength…all the different voices. Now it is opinionated Glen radio…not his strength. They still have Mike Adams at night…he is unlistenable. D&C have not changed. This is not an anti WEEI post…I still believe it is the better sports talker….that is how little I think of TSH. But I do not see how the competition has helped the WEEI product or changed it for the better.

  18. I’ve been turning ‘EEI off at 10:00 AM and listening to music or Michael Graham. I tried Mut and Merloni for a week or so and sorry, not for me. Who the he** is Mut? Why should I be interested in anything he has to say. I remember when he got the occassional weekend show and wondered the same thing. Why did he get this gig? Dale and Merloni would have been fine. Or if Wolfe was resigned to getting rid of Dale(seems that way) couldn’t John Ryder have gotten a shot? How about McAdam, Buckley, Curran, Larry Riddley, Rob Bradford? Mut would have been at the bottom of the long list.

    The new Big Show, while better than D.B., seems kind of forced. Why does race come up EVERY bloody day? I could understand it at first, but it’s been a month.

    1. What I don't get is if you're ousting Dale under the auspice of attracting younger, hipper, 18-35 males, why are you naming your midday show (M&M Boys) after a pair of olde timey sluggers from the 1960s? Or even better, why are you naming your midday show — that airs in Boston — after a pair of olde timey sluggers FROM THE FREAKIN' YANKEES?

      Dumb. Very dumb. It will be a very interesting ratings book when it comes out in May.

      1. Easy to get, Neil. The average 18-35 male that grew up in Boston only knows M&M as a candy that doesn't melt when you hold it in your hand. You honestly think they have heard of Mantle & Maris? Those olde timey Yankees don't make the cut in the world of facebook and twitter. That demo doesn't recognize anything in sports prior to 1980, especially if it didn't happen in Boston.

        Yesterday I heard Tony Massarotti state that he is 43 years old, which makes him the oldest host on 98.5. How many EEI hosts are older than him? That and the FM signal are all you need to know when comparing the two stations.

        1. OK fine. Let's assume that kids don't remember anything that happened more than 7 minutes ago. It's still a stupid name. So, I should listen middays, because Mut and Lou melt in my mouth? Ewwwwwww

        2. I agree. The summer of the M&M boys was 50 years ago. Even those of us who remember it aren't making any connection. The problem with this show is the hosts. These guys aren't the Mantle and Maris of sports talk. These guys are a couple of banjo hitters, not sluggers. I think "Little Wolfie" really screwed up on this one.

  19. You can tell Tommy has little tolerance for Tanggay and Dickerson but he probabyly can't stand Felger so he wasn't playing along.

    He really must hate those long road trips since he's stuck with Tanggay in the studio.

  20. Accurate comments all around on this topic. What's sad is that both EEI (regarding the Adams stunt) and now 98.5 think that these WWF-like melodramas attract or maintain listeners.

    As for Felger and Mazz, they were starting to wear thin on me a few months ago. One can only hope that McAdam and these other EEI defections will increase the number of guest segments on 98.5 and add some occasional sports information to their discussion.

  21. Yes, the F&M act is getting old, I enjoy listening to Chris Gaspar on Fridays, because he has the guts to stand up to Felger, which is something Tony doesn't have.

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