Awful Early, Patriots Rally and Dominate Tebow, Broncos

The internet was an ugly place during the first quarter of yesterday’s Patriots/Broncos game. As the second quarter began, the Patriots made adjustments on defense, with several players crediting Matt Patricia with making adjustments on-the-fly, adjustments that worked and turned the game around. (Funny, I just read on Friday from a Patriots beat writer that Matt Patricia is in over his head with the Patriots {1:21} .)

Tom Brady and the Patriots offense was magnificent all game, and the Patriots won going away, 41-23 over Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.

Patriots fans should be 49ers fans tonight, as a San Francisco win over Pittsburgh would give the Patriots the inside track to the top seed in the AFC.

Patriots’ defense figured it out – Mike Reiss has the defense figuring things out after struggling early. More on the defense from Greg A. Bedard | Karen Guregian | Tim Britton | Tom E Curran

Here are Tom Curran and Ron Borges talking about the defense after the game. The best part of the video is watching Curran’s face as Borges goes on his insane rant.

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Ten Things We Learned Sunday: Brady, Patriots prove Tebow, Broncos not ready for prime time – Christopher Price has the Patriots making a statement with the win. Michael Hurley also offers a number of thoughts on the win.

For the Gator glory, it’s Hernandez this time – Michael Whitmer has Aaron Hernandez outshining his college teammate, Tim Tebow yesterday. More on the big day by Hernandez from Chris Forsberg | Mary PaolettiTim Britton | Pat Rooney

Anderson piles up the sacks – With Andre Carter going down with an apparent season-ending injury, Chris Forsberg has Mark Anderson stepping in and coming up big.

Protect Brady and Lombardi Trophy is theirs – Bill Burt goes a little overboard.

When the going got tough, the Patriots got going – Tony Massarotti is desperately trying to claw his way off the top of the enemies list. (Though John Dennis may have already wrapped up the award for this week.)

Tom Brady center of attention again – Steve Buckley has Tom Brady quieting the hype on Tim Tebow.

Jeff Green’s condition puts it all in perspective for Celtics – Steve Bulpett has Celtics players very glad Green’s condition was found in time.

Celtics rookie Moore impresses in debut – A. Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics second round pick impressing his veteran teammates.

New CBA leaves minimal options – Mark Murphy says that the Celtics will get no relief from the NBA for losing Green. They can only sign players for veteran minimum contracts.

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Celtics Green Lost For Season, Mayo Locked Up With Pats For Five

The Celtics announced today that Jeff Green has been diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm148190220939046912, and will miss the 2011-2012 season. He is expected to make a full recovery and is expect to be ready to play next season.

Here’s some reaction to the news:

What Green’s loss means to C’s – Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston.

JEFF GREEN WILL MISS THE 2011-12 SEASON – Paul Flannery, WEEI.com

Green to have surgery for aortic aneurysm; out for year – A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE.com

Jeff Green will miss entire season – Gary Washburn, Boston Globe.

ESPN’s Ric Bucher adds some thoughts on what the Celtics will do with Green’s contract:

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And then we have:

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Yeah. The aneurysm is totally on Danny. Totally. John Dennis is rapidly climbing the “Enemies List” for this week…

I mean, really? I think we have a candidate for stupidest tweet in the history of Twitter.  Jeff Green should be pissed because Danny’s hubris gave him an aortic aneurysm. Can he sue?

Of course, the big part of this is that this physical potentially saved Green’s life. That shouldn’t be overlooked.

With the Patriots, Adam Schefter reported this morning that the Patriots have agreed to a five-year contract extension with Jerod Mayo.

Rather than been viewed as a positive, some are viewing this as bad news for Wes Welker, whose contract is up at the end of the season.

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I don’t think Welker is going anywhere. Either the Patriots will tag him, or he’ll get a new deal. Many view Mayo as underwhelming, but his coaches and teammates rave about him, and he’s showing signs of becoming the playmaker his critics say he isn’t. It’s a great move to get him locked up through his prime.

Providing the Friday Megalinks

Let’s get to the megalinks today. Lots to get to including some interesting news that is breaking today.

First, the Weekend Viewing Picks are back after a week’s absence. Check out what sports and entertainment viewing recommendations I’ve made.

Now to the links.

National

Developing today is that former Bruins defenseman and CBC and NBC NHL analyst Mike Milbury allegedly assaulted a 12 year old boy during a youth hockey game last week. WCVB in Boston has broken the story and we’ll what develops. Milbury has been charged by police, but still worked on Versus this week. He’s been removed from NBC for now

Michael Hiestand of USA Today says expect more reality TV like HBO’s 24/7 in sports.

Jen Floyd Engel from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes for Fox Sports that Craig James’ US Senate run should be music to college football fans who have had to endure his analysis on ESPN.

In a related note, Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid notes that James is taking leave from ESPN due to his run.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says the NFL, the TV networks and the fans are all winners in the latest 9 year rights deal.

Richard says as he becomes more popular, it’s only natural to see more media coverage of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.

Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable writes that Pac-12 Networks about to take operation next year, has secured headquarters in San Francisco.

John Eggerton of B&C says the American Cable Association is sounding the alarm bell on the new NFL TV deals.

Todd Spangler from Multichannel News writes that AT&T U-Verse customers in Connecticut will see MSG Network and its companion networks in HD starting in January just after Verizon Fios picked them up as well.

Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writing in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center looks at some of the negatives of the new NFL TV deals.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell tells us to prepare for DirecTV and NFL Sunday Ticket in cars. Yes, cars.

Leave it to Deadspin. Tommy Craggs has video of a young Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports appearing in an edition of HBO’s Real Sex from the 1990’s. Hilarious.

Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing breaks down the new NFL TV deals.

In the wee hours of this morning, I wrote some thoughts on the NFL TV deals and HBO’s 24/7 season premiere among other things.

Sports Media Watch says new NBA on TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal will not join Turner Sports’ coverage of the NCAA Tournament in March.

At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore wonders what’s up with a new program listing for NHL Network.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe feels five NBA games on Christmas Day are too many.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times mulls over the numbers in the new NFL TV deals.

Richard reviews the upcoming Army-Navy documentary produced by CBS Sports/Showtime.

George Vescey has written his last “Sports of the Times” column for the New York Times.

Newsday’s Neil Best says New Yorkers will not see New England-Denver on CBS this Sunday.

Neil notes that TNT’s Charles Barkley now endorses Weight Watchers.

Neil looks at Jeff Van Gundy’s frequent flyer mileage as he works two NBA games on Christmas Day.

New York Post curmudgeon Phil Mushnick says NFL TV analysts give Tim Tebow way too much credit.

Justin Terranova of the Post has ESPN/ABC announcer Sean McDonough complaining about too many bowl games.

Terranova has five questions for NFL Today analyst Shannon Sharpe.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union looks at one local radio station’s move to dump the New York Mets in favor of the Boston Red Sox.

Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette likes the new edition of HBO’s 24/7 Flyers/Rangers.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says there’s nothing like the NFL as a ratings draw.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com has the latest sports media news from the Baltimore-Washington, DC area.

At the DC Sports Bog, the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg notes that John Riggins has ended his daily sports talk show in favor of a new outdoors career.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner says the Nationals could see a hefty increase in their rights fee from MASN.

South

Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times talks with NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock who will call Saturday’s Dallas-Tampa Bay game with Brad Nessler.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has some quotes from Fox NFL Sunday analyst Jimmy Johnson.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has quotes from TNT’s Charles Barkley on the two Los Angeles NBA teams.

Mel has TNT’s NBA analysts discussing the Oklahoma City Thunder’s chances this season.

Mel notes that ESPN/ABC’s Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy will be quite busy on Christmas Day.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer looks into the sudden quitting of one local sports talk show host this week.

Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with Fox Sports Detroit NBA analyst Greg Kelser about the Pistons.

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

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that CBS’ Dan Dierdorf gets to call a rare “home” game on Sunday.

West

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that the Chargers have avoided a blackout for Sunday night’s game against the Ravens.

John Maffei of the North County Times says Louisiana Tech is happy to finally to have some exposure on the ESPN mothership after being relegated to ESPNU 9 times this season.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes that the Los Angeles Clippers are no longer a media laughingstock.

Jim looks into the new NFL TV deals.

Jim has his weekend viewing picks.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with former DC NFL team QB Mark Rypien and his daughter Angela, who’s now one in the Lingerie Football League.

Tom talks with TNT’s Charles Barkley.

Tom has a few more hits that didn’t make his Barkley column.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail reviews the season premiere of HBO’s 24/7.

And that’s going to do it.

An Ode to Sports Media Musings

Cue the “Et tu, Brute?”, Anakin Skywalker, and Hulk Hogan to N.W.O. jokes. Or, even call me Judas..

Today I’m signing off because (and I’ve thought about a gregarious way to say this), I’m taking my talents to South Beach! I’m going to be writing for WEEI.com.

Needless to say, I’m sure some of you are reading this thinking, “fraud.” And that’s fine, obviously I’ve been critical of WEEI in this space before. But I’ve also been critical of ESPN, 98.5 The Sports Hub, and CSNNE.

I wanted to work in sports media in some capacity, and I really like the news gathering approach of WEEI.com. I think it will teach me discipline both in writing and in my reporting. I also like the writers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both before and after my stint began there.

The crux of the matter is, as I’m approaching the end of my graduate program, the TLC song, “No Scrubs” was slowly becoming germane to my personal situation.

I can’t thank my editors – KC Downey and Bruce Allen – enough for my time in the blogosphere as media critic for Sports of Boston and Boston Sports Media Watch.

Both gave me a platform and let me run with it. I’m sure at times each felt like Grady Little leaving Pedro on the mound during the ’03 ALCS. But, regardless, they let me ruminate and opine at my own discretion.

Additionally I have to give special thanks to David Scott, who provided me with advice when needed along the way.

I also can’t help but thank those in the media that took the time to talk shop with me whether it be on my podcast or in passing — Rich Shertenlieb, Chad Finn, Kirk Minihane, Michael Holley, Tom E. Curran, Jon Anik, Anna Clark, Gerry Callahan, Chris Price, and many more.

Sometimes I think back to last year when I was working at an investment bank and loathing life. I never thought I would have done half the crap I did in my short stint writing this column. From talking to a class at BU about sports media to writing on BSMW (a site I’ve frequented since I was about 18-years-old), it has been a great ride.

You hear the term “outliers” a lot these days, because of Malcolm Gladwell’s book. I can’t help but feel lukewarm about the term as it pertains to my run here. Let’s face it, a lot happened while I wrote Sports Media Musings.

From the politically correct debate of David Portnoy’s “baby-gate” incident to Michael Felger vs. Heidi Watney — the column basically wrote itself.

(As one reader pointed out, I’m happy to learn my “Sports Lodge Is On Fire” column is referenced on Felger’s wikipedia page)

I never wanted to be the Jim Rome or Skip Bayless of media critics, though. I didn’t want to make myself known by putting people on blast (although I’ll admit, when Andy Gresh called me a ‘chump media blogger’ on the radio, I smiled).

A friend asked me how much more mileage I could milk out of the column a few weeks ago. I never really looked at it that way. Bruce has been doing it for so long, David Scott did it before me, and someone will do it after me. That’s why the ”outliers” concept seems disingenuous to associate with Media Musings.

Predictably, I was assured this much while sitting at Health Point, waiting for Celtics practice to open up to the media Wednesday. I chuckled to myself when I overheard a few writers laughing about Bruce’s enemies list.

As far as my future goes, I’m excited to have this opportunity to be a part of WEEI’s site. Down the road, I’ll be doing a media podcast. Working under the prism of mainstream media will give me easier access to guests and resources. I’ll also be writing some other content for Rob Bradford & Co.

As for right now, I’m contributing to their Celtics coverage.  (Here is my debut piece on rookie, JaJuan Johnson. Later on today, I have something going up about Brandon Bass.)

I realize this is going about 500 words to long, so I’ll leave you with my new Twitter handle. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the column as much as I loved writing it.

Media “Friends” and Media Links

Glad to see the Enemies list post getting some good discussion going. The point of the list was not that these are people that I personally dislike, that’s not the case. It was those who I think at the moment are consistently and purposely being an irritant to the Boston sports fan.

Like to hear who I think some of the “fan friendly” media types are?

Greg A Bedard, Boston Globe

Bedard is a pro, who mainly sticks to just football, and while he has not problem pointing out the flaws and weaknesses of the Patriots, unlike some of his colleagues, he also has no problem pointing out the good and giving credit to things that working well. He is extremely accessible on Twitter, @Greg_A_Bedard and even organizes meetups with Twitter followers. He did one in Washington last weekend, and I believe one is in the works for this weekend in Denver as well.

A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE.com

Blakely is another seasoned pro, with great contacts around the NBA. He is also known for marathon sessions on Twitter with his followers, even when he has to answer Rasheed Wallace questions 20 times a day. He gives good reports both on television and in print, and always keeps things professional.

Michael Holley, WEEI

Holley is coming up fast after a rough start in his pairing with Glenn Ordway on the afternoon drive. Initially, Ordway dominated the show, and bringing Mike Adams on board compounded the confusion, as Ordway and Adams would talk inane things, leaving Holley out of the discussion. He’s asserting himself more, and spreading goodwill at his book signings around New England, where he is said to be gracious and friendly. He’ll also talk to fans on Twitter from time to time.

Ian Rapoport, Boston Herald/Mike Reiss ESPN Boston

Can’t have this list without Rap. Is anyone on Twitter more than he is? He answers questions, teases fellow reporters and still manages to bring solid reporting and information in the paper and online. Reiss is still the standard for a fan-friendly reporter, keeping agendas and personal gripes out of his work, and responding to even most annoying questions in his mailbag and chat session.

Others worthy of mention: Rich Shertenlieb, Gordon Edes, Carolyn Manno, Joe Haggerty, Chad Finn, Christopher Price, Tom E Curran, Rob Bradford, Bob Ryan.

I need to give Michael Felger credit on something. Two years ago, he was on the Tim Tebow bandwagon before anyone else. He talked day after day about how the Patriots should draft Tebow, (and I think they might’ve, had Denver not grabbed him in the first round) not so much to groom him as a QB, though that was part of it, but to have his leadership, work ethic and passion here in that locker room – all the things we’re seeing Tebow display in Denver. I’m not sure what Tebow’s role would’ve been here, but I’m sure Bill Belichick would’ve found a way to get him on the field, as he does with Julian Edelman.

Here are a couple of media links from this morning:

Media Roundup: Sick of Tim Tebow? Blame The Media, Not Tebow – My SB Nation Media column looks at why you shouldn’t be mad at Tim Tebow for the media overload around him.

Not in the holiday spirit – Chad Finn has Jeff Van Gundy feeling that the NBA is rushing things too much to get games played on Christmas Day.

Why Tony Mazz Is Wrong About Brady: Breaking Down His Monday Column – Tanya Ray Fox on SB Nation Boston has a nice takedown of Tony Massarotti ludicrous column about Tom Brady earlier this week, a column clearly written by “Mazz’s On-Air Persona.”

Friday’s Viewing Picks – Ken Fang has your Sports TV listings for tonight.

 

BSMW Enemies List – Edition 1

In reality, I can’t say I have a lot of personal enemies. When it comes to the Boston sports media however, there are figures who I think do their best to simply annoy people, get under their skin and do nothing but bring attention to themselves. These people I view as “enemies” of the Boston sports fan. Their aim is not enlightenment or to be informative, but to upset and annoy people. They excel at it.

This is my current list. It is constantly changing based on events of that week or month, and I may update it periodically going forward. There are some who certainly would’ve been on the list in the past, but who have been quiet as of late, or haven’t been as effective at being annoying as they are capable.

1) Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The SportsHub, Boston.com.

I don’t see anyone knocking Tony off this perch in the near future. I know it’s called his “on-air persona” and that people insist that off the airwaves he is the nicest human being you could possibly ever want to know. I really don’t care. His 98.5 persona is the most miserable person I could imagine. According to Tony, everything and everybody SUCKS, he does incredibly terrible “impressions” of Boston sports fans (out of the Glenn Ordway playbook) and actually seems to hate sports and that fans that enjoy them. I cannot listen to him on that show. He makes Michael Felger sane, reasonable and likable by comparison.

2) Joe Sullivan, Boston Globe sports editor.

When he’s not taking shots at Patriots fans on Twitter, he’s using his staff to do it for him. Or he’s allowing his investigative reporters publish insinuations that Terry Francona was a drug-addled philanderer in his final days of his tenure as manager of the Red Sox. He does things like insist that his staff refer to Tom Brady’s Monday morning WEEI interview as a “paid contractual obligation.” He’s overseen the decline of the greatest sports section of the country, a section that pushes Dan Shaughnessy as its superstar over the much superior Bob Ryan.

3) Gerry Callahan, WEEI, Boston Herald.

Another miserable human being, though unlike Massarotti, I don’t hear a lot of people saying that he’s a great guy off the air. Maybe he is, but I haven’t heard anyone say it. If you heard Callahan’s interview with Kevin Garnett this morning, you were just waiting for him to say something that would have him back in sensitivity training. Nothing makes me switch the dial quicker than when the patented Callahan whiny sneer is employed.

4) Shalise Manza Young, Boston Globe.

What happened here? Shalise has become so much of what is wrong with the sports media today – entitled, whiny and uninformed. Her Boston.com chats are mind-numbing in terms of the strawman arguments she employs. “If you’d rather finish 13-3 and lose in the first round of the playoffs instead of going 11-5 and winning the Super Bowl, that is certainly your right as a fan.” Complaining about access and Coach Personality is her schtick, and she does it well.

5) Mark Farinella. Who?

I have a lot of respect for Farinella as the longest-tenure guy on the Patriots beat. He’s seen everything down there. Maybe he could share some of that perspective rather than talking about organizing walkouts of Bill Belichick press conferences or devoting entire columns and blog posts to childish foot-stomping against “self-appointed NH-based media critics.”

Others warranting mention: Dan Shaughnessy, Mike Adams, John Dennis, Lou Merloni, Andy Gresh, Ron Borges. Jermaine Wiggins.

Patriots Grade Out Poorly In Win

The Patriots may be 10-3, but looking at the grades from Sunday’s win over Washington, you’d have a hard time believing that.

Patriots Report Card: No defense for league’s worst secondary – Kirk Minihane says Rodney Harrison is right about the Patriots secondary.

Patriots report card – Ron Borges says that if the defense doesn’t improve, Tom Brady might have a meltdown before the playoffs even start.

Patriots Center – ESPN Boston also has a low grade for the Patriots pass defense.

Hector Longo’s Two-Minute Drill He’s got Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork among his “No Shows” for the week.

Patriots Report Card: Dane Fletcher Brings Solidarity to Linebacking Corps, Rob Gronkowski Earns MVP Honors – Jeff Howe with a few words on the game.

Patriots report card Game 13 – Put your grades in on Boston.com.

Hail Mary passer – John Powers in the Globe scares up an Atheist to say that Tim Tebow’s prayers on the field are inappropriate.

Tim Tebow lords over NFL – Gerry Callahan says that Tebow has more than a prayer to beat the Patriots this week.

Pats say Broncos aren’t one-man team – Steven Krasner has the Patriots preparing for more than just Tebow this week.

Loyal to a ‘C’: Why Pierce won’t give up on Boston – Jessica Camerato with a great feature on Paul Pierce, who has been through everything in Boston, and who wants to be a Celtic for life.

A positive spin on Rondo revolution – Steve Bulpett with a tremendous look at Rajon Rondo, including an incident in last year’s playoffs where he shattered a video screen during a team film session, and how he says he’s ready to mature and be a leader.

How Danny Ainge built a roster from scratch – Paul Flannery with a look at how Ainge built a team in three days while preserving the team’s options for the future. Gary Washburn says that Ainge may not be done.

Will same old Celtics be enough? – Peter May says that missing out on Chris Paul and David West may haunt this team.

In first at-bats since surgery, Westmoreland says he ‘felt comfortable’ – Brian MacPherson has the Red Sox prospect feeling comfortable after seeing game action for the first time since brain surgery.

Red Sox should talk to Rick Peterson – Gordon Edes thinks that the unconventional pitching coach would be a fit on Bobby Valentine’s staff.

Bruins prepare for play without their giant Joe Haggerty has the Bruins getting ready to play a game without their injured captain. Douglas Flynn says that the team is confident in their depth and system without Chara. Joe McDonald says that it will still be a be void for the Bruins.