2011 Approval Ratings – Gerry Callahan

Gerry Callahan is the co-host of the Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI.

It’s easy to forget that at one time, Callahan was perhaps one of the best sports writers in the country.

Callahan grew up in Massachusetts, graduating from Chelmsford High School and UMass Amherst. He started his career with the Lowell Sun in 1983 and then moved on to the Boston Herald five years later. In 1994, he moved on to Sports Illustrated, where was a senior writer for the publication.

He was a frequent Big Show co-host in the early days of the program, before getting his own show with John Dennis starting in 1997. After leaving SI, he rejoined the Herald as a columnist.

In 2007, Callahan missed several months of work on the show with a throat ailment. By the time he was healthy enough to return, his contract as well as that of co-host Dennis was up for renewal, which resulted in a brief lockout for the pair which had them returning in time for the first “Patriots Monday” of the 2007 season on September 10th.

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Sox Had Their Chances, Couldn’t Break Through Against Yankees

The Red Sox left 16 runners on base last night as they fell to the New York Yankees 5-2 at Fenway Park.

Left turn – Peter Abraham has CC Sabathia finally able to break through and beat the Red Sox, throwing 128 pitches in the process.

Yankees Finally Get What They Needed From Their Ace – Jeff Jacobs looks at a much-needed outing and result for Sabathia.  Gordon Edes has more on the Yankees ace, while Nick Cafardo says that the Red Sox still don’t fear Sabathia.

As beatings go, it wasn’t that bad – Bob Ryan has the Red Sox at least making it hard on the Yankees last night.

Sox living up to dream-team tag – Jon Couture says that the Red Sox have lived up the preseason hype. A couple nice little digs at the media, as well.

A tough time for Gonzalez – Michael Vega looks at a dreadful 0-5 night from the Red Sox slugger, who looked overmatched against Sabathia.

Drew and Youkilis hit it off in the minors – Jim Mandelaro has the Sox veterans rehabbing with the PawSox in Rochester, NY.

Fire up the rivalry – John Tomase has things getting tense between the clubs last night. Sean McAdam says that despite the fireworks, the rivalry remains uninteresting.

Salty ignores Cervelli – Scott Lauber’s notebook has the Red Sox catcher keeping his cool last night. The Globe notebook from Peter Abraham has Tim Wakefield getting his next start bumped. The Red Sox Journal has Clay Buchholz testing out his injured back. The CSNNE.com notes from Maureen Mullen have more on Buchholz. The MetroWest notes from Eric Avidon have PGA Champ Keegan Bradley throwing out the first pitch last night.

Chad Ochocinco continues to talk openly about his struggles picking up and getting adjusted to the Patriots offense. While this may be refreshing to the print media (no less than five articles were devoted to it this morning), it could backfire on him, as the radio hosts are already running with his quotes as evidence that he just won’t cut it here.

Patriots Make Wrong Decision in Cutting James Sanders and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts – Jeff Howe doesn’t agree with the decision to part ways with James Sanders.

Belichick credits elder DeOssie with changing snapper position – Paul Kenyon has the head coach going off on a discussion about how the role of long-snapper has changed in the NFL, and how Steve DeOssie broke the mold.

Pats Pregame Points: Preseason Final Vs. Giants – On PD Chris Warner looks at what we hope to see tomorrow night, while Dan Zeigarnik says last week was a needed reality check.

Welker feels fine, but he’s awaiting orders – Monique Walker’s notebook has the Patriots receiver claiming that he feels OK, but is waiting doctor’s permission to return to practice. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport has Sergio Brown already missing his mentor, James Sanders. The Patriots Journal has more on Welker.

A major problem with bloggers is that they post irresponsible content without checking into things first. Here’s an example:

Whatever Bob Kraft wants …
I was told as of 9:13 p.m. Monday night, the Bass Pro Shops at Patriot Place had power again.

The rest of Foxboro? No such luck.

It’s not hard to see where the priorities are. National Grid is telling people they may have to wait for the weekend to have their power restored, but with a Patriots preseason game scheduled for Thursday, the repair crews had to shake a leg to do the bidding of one property owner while the needs of thousands of others went unheeded.

Go Pats.

So the blogger is saying that the Patriots got preferential treatment from the power company, in fact, suggesting that Kraft bullied them into restoring power to Gillette first. Who is this reckless blogger? What? A newspaper reporter? Yup. A newspaper reporter, whose own paper this morning reported:

Many residents expressed anger at the Kraft organization and National Grid when they learned Gillette Stadium started getting power Monday night.

However, none of that power came from the Foxboro substation that serves the rest of town, according to James Nolan, a senior vice president with the stadium and Patriots.

Monday afternoon, buildings in the Route 1 complex were powered by generators, he said. The stadium returned to outside power around 8 p.m. Monday from electricity that came through a special line to the Wrentham substation. The Patriots spent millions of dollars when they built Gillette stadium to ensure the backup power, Nolan said, after suffering a blackout during the 1996 AFC championship game in the former stadium.

At 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Patriot Place began receiving power, along with some other businesses on Route 1, through that dedicated line from Wrentham.

 Also:

But selectmen Chairman Larry Harrington and Fire Chief Roger Hatfield said the stadium and Patriot organization did not jump the line to get power, and were taking extraordinary steps to help the town. “From everything we can find, the Patriots and the Kraft organization did nothing wrong,” Hatfield said. “In fact they’ve done everything right as a good neighbor in getting resources that we could not get. This has been a huge asset to the community.”

The Kraft Group has offered to provide the town with two large generators, which will be installed at the Carl Annon Court and possibly Centennial Court senior housing complexes.

 Meanwhile, the reporter continues to grumble about his condition: Fearless Held Hostage, Day 4.

Reckless bloggers! 

Look, all of us who have had to endure power outages have been inconvienced, and some, such as the elderly are in a potentially life-threatening situation without power. But hopefully most could refrain from suggesting that Bob Kraft bullied National Grid to restore power to Gillette Stadium ahead of others.

Sox, Yankees Set To Fire Up Fenway

Today and tomorrow, WEEI and NESN are holding the 10th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. There are few more worthy causes than this one. I highly encourage you to contribute, if you are able.

With the stretch run approaching this week’s Red Sox/Yankees series at Fenway Park takes on added importance to both teams, even though they are each reasonably assured of a postseason spot.

Dynamic duo: Ellsbury, Granderson embody game’s new superstar class – Alex Speier looks at the the new superstar outfielder in this rivalry.

Weighing the scales on Cano vs. Pedroia – Christopher Smith looks at the battle of the star second basemen of the two clubs.

Sox vs. Yankees: A battle of matchups – John Tomase looks at those two matchups, plus a few more, including Gonzalez/Teixeira.

Playing well is Sox’ 1st priority – Michael Vega says that even though both teams seem assured of a playoff spot, playing well against each other is still very important.

Red Sox need just 176 wins to catch Yanks – Bill Ballou has the Sox slowly making up ground in the all-time matchup.

Sox look to maintain complete control over Yanks – Mike Fine looks at the Red Sox dominance of the Yankees this season.

Likely to be pitched battle – Vega’s notebooks has John Lackey looking to  keep beating the Yankees.

The Patriots announced their first wave of cuts yesterday, and among them was veteran safety James Sanders. He’s a guy I’ve had a lot of respect for, and who has been a steady guy for them in the secondary. The reaction from the media on Twitter about the cut tipped you off that he was also a favorite of theirs, and likely a good source for many of them.

This cut has deep impact – Karen Guregian notes that this move means Brandon Meriweather no longer has a safety net.

Stormy start to a critical week for Patriots – Tim Britton looks at a rough start to the week for the Patriots.

Shooed from darkened stadium, Pats release 11 – Mark Farinella hopes that Bill Belichick gave his released players enough cab fare to get back to the stadium to pick up their belongings.

Deion Branch: Zero concern about no catches – Rich Thompson has the Patriots receiver not concerned about his catchless preseason.

Those missing need to be seen – Monique Walker’s notebook has the Patriots still needing to get a look at several players before making the final roster decisions.  The Herald notebook from Dan Duggan has the Patriots moving their Monday meetings because of a power outage at Gillette. The Patriots Journal has more on Branch.

Belichick to star in two-part documentary on life – Jimmy Toscano looks at the NFL Films Documentary on the Patriots coach which was announced yesterday.

The irrelevance of the sideline reporter – Kirk Minihane wonders if there is any value to the sideline reporter anymore.

2011 Approval Ratings – Tom E Curran

Tom E Curran covers the Patriots and NFL for Comcast SportsNet New England.

Curran has been covering the Patriots since 1997 when he was with the MetroWest Daily News. He moved over to the Providence Journal for several years before going national with NBC Sports in 2006. After four years there, he came back to the local scene with CSNNE in 2009.

He’s been a regular and favorite on WEEI for many years now, and even with the changeup in the format of The Big Show, they still get him on the air as often as they can. On CSNNE he is also the host of Quick Slants, a quirky Patriots show which airs Thursday nights at 7:00pm.

Curran is an entertaining personality, as well as a solid reporter, though he still gets needled about his report on Tom Brady’s knee recovery.

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Patriots Still Licking Wounds From Lion Mauling

Note – had a full length post here which got eaten. This is a shorter “Top-10” version.

While we continue to remove stray branches from the yard, and wait for the electric company to restore power, the Patriots are looking to move on from Saturday night’s 34-10 loss to the Detroit Lions.

While certain folks will point to the game as an indicator of absolute impending doom, and while there were definitely things to be concerned about, it’s helpful to recall that the 2004 Patriots got crushed in the preseason, not once, but twice, by juggernauts Cincinnati and Jacksonville by scores of 31-3 and 31-0.

Loss may be what Belichick hoped to learn from – Ian Rapoport acknowledges that the Patriots lost far too many one-on-one battles, but that this game may have been planned as a learning experience.

Patriots need more than Tom Brady – Tedy Bruschi thinks that Bill Belichick may have been secretly smiling after this one.

Curran’s 48 lines on 24 issues after Detroit beating – Tom E Curran has plenty of thoughts on this one.

Can Patriots take the heat? – Mike Reiss says that the defensive line needs to show that it can handle pressure.

Theo saved Ellsbury from Gonzalez trade – John Tomase says that in early discussions, the Padres wanted Jacoby Ellsbury as part of the package for Adrian Gonzalez, but Theo Epstein held firm.

Lowrie’s season has been uneven, but he’s helped Sox plenty – Tim Britton looks at a weird season for Jed Lowrie.

Jason Varitek still quite a catch for Red Sox – Mike Fine notes that the veteran catcher has still been a big contibutor this season.

Light in August: Red Sox rotation takes turn for better – Alex Speier looks at the improvements in the Red Sox rotation this month.

Perfect Sox storm? – Nick Cafardo thinks that two days off may give the Red Sox an edge this week over the Yankees.

The best of both worlds – Amalie Benjamin has a profile on Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly.

 

A Pre-Hurricane Friday Megalinks Edition

As we batten down the hatches for the impending hit of Hurricane Irene this weekend, I hope you remain safe and sound throughout Sunday.

For those of you looking for a diversion from Hurricane Irene coverage either on the Weather Channel or local news, I do have the sports and entertainment listings in the Weekend Viewing Picks. If you’re in the projected path or far from it, this will help you find the program you’re looking for.

Let’s get to the links.

National

Bob Velin of USA Today says Floyd “Money” Mayweather is ready for his HBO close-up again as he takes part in another edition of 24/7.

USA Today’s Mike McCarthy says ESPN golf analyst Paul Azinger took a jab at President Obama for playing golf on his vacation while people are out of work.

Sen Gregory of Time says ESPN The Magazine’s story making Michael Vick a white man was wrong on several accounts.

Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has secured the rights to ACC sports including football and basketball.

Multichannel News says soccer-centric Gol TV will air the start of Spain’s La Liga following the resolution of a player’s strike this week.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes that MSG Varsity will produce local editions of its High School SportsDesk program.

Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid reports that sports media site SportsNewser will be closing up shop at the end of this month. Sad to see. The site was a very good resource for Fang’s Bites. Marcus Vanderberg and Cam Martin from SportsNewser have become good friends and I hope they land on their feet soon.

Wayne Friedman at MediaPost says the New York Jets have become an innovator in their use of social media.

Joe Favorito looks at how sports marketing powerhouse IMG redefined itself into a marketer for college sports.

John Daly in his Daly Planet blog says Hurricane Irene coverage on several local ABC stations may put a crimp for fans who want to watch NASCAR on Saturday.

The Big Lead takes a look at ESPN’s plans for its annual all-day and all-night College Basketball Marathon coming in November.

Brady Green at Awful Announcing notes that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis did a stab at play-by-play in last night’s game against the DC NFL team.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe notes that fantasy sports can no longer be ignored by the mainstream media and he adds that Friend of Fang’s Bites Jen Royle is a candidate to fill one of three potential vacancies at NESN.

At SBNation Boston, Bruce wonders which reporter is apologizing for Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth.

Newsday’s Neil Best says Entourage tapped New York Giants owner Steve Tisch for an appearance on the HBO show.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is back from a brief vacation to hate everything in his path.

Justin Terranova of the Post speaks with CBS’ Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason on what they expect from New York’s NFL quarterbacks this season.

Justin has five questions for ESPN2 tennis analyst Brad Gilbert on the U.S. Open.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says due to Hurricane Irene, the Jets and Giants have moved the starting time of their NFL exhibition game to Saturday afternoon.

Pete says Marv Albert is happy to be calling NFL games on television once again.

Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says Capital Region fans will have two opportunities to see the Jets-Giants on Saturday.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes about a former area high school athlete who’s doing overnight updates for WFAN in New York.

Richard Rys of Philadelphia Magazine blasts ESPN for airing every game ofthe Little League World Series.

Childs Walker, Jeff Zrebiec and Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun says Mike Flanagan’s friends including MASN’s Gary Thorne are still coming to grips with his death.

David Zurawik of the Sun writes that WBAL-TV is standing by its report as to why Flanagan took his own life.

Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that an original Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic personality said goodbye last night.

Dan has the debut Geico spot featuring DC NFL Team linebacker Brian Orakpo.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will split its feed to air pregame shows of both the Baltimore Ravens and DC NFL Team during weeks when they’re programmed simultaneously.

South

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that while Verizon FiOS signed to carry the Longhorn Network, it won’t have tonight’s launch on its system.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says the Longhorn Network is having less than an auspicious launch.

David says despite the low viewership numbers at the start, the Longhorn Network’s staff remains upbeat about its future.

Gary Dinges of the Austin American-Statesman says most Texas fans will probably miss tonight’s Longhorn Network launch barring some miracle cable and satellite pickups.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman also writes about the Longhorn Network’s launch.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Time Warner Cable will air a slate of high school football games this fall.

Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star notes that ESPN is in town to air a couple of high school football games this weekend.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says NBC is going all out for the NFL regular season opener between the Saints and the Packers.

Ed Sherman has his winners and losers in sports business and media.

Paul Christan at the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says don’t confuse NFL Network with DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package.

Paul says the Minnesota Vikings without Brett Favre this season won’t be primetime darlings this season.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says don’t confuse BYUtv with the Longhorn Network.

John Maffei of the North County Times says if the NFL wants a Los Angeles franchise, it shouldn’t poach the Chargers.

T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times tells fans to stay home and watch the games on TV.

T.J. can’t believe the Dodgers are asking fans to evaluate Vin Scully’s performance as a broadcaster.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that Fox Sports West will air one high school football game a week and stream a whole host of them online.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says buyer beware when it comes to Twitter.

That will do it for today. Be safe wherever you are this weekend.

A Few Quick Links

Just a few quick links for the mid-day today, as we get ready for the hurricane…

Fantasy is surely part of reality – Chad Finn’s media column today has a number of items, leading off with the interest in fantasy football, to the point that even WEEI is having on-air experts talking about the subject. Chad also reports that @Jen_Royle is a candidate for one of the job openings at NESN.

Who Is Apologizing For Albert Haynesworth? In my SB Nation Boston media column, I’m trying find all these Albert Haynesworth apologists that the media tell me are out there.

Pats Pregame Points: Preseason Three At Lions – Chris Warner on PD gets you ready for tomorrow night’s all-important third preseason game.

 Weekend Viewing Picks – Ken Fang tells you what to watch this weekend. (As long as the power doesn’t go out.)