Wringing Out Some Friday Megalinks

Let’s do your media megalinks since last week you did not get any.

Hard to believe that college baseball, college lacrosse and NASCAR seasons are starting up, but they are and they’re included in the Weekend Viewing Picks along with the regular Golf, NBA, NHL, Skiing, Soccer, Tennis and Entertainment recommendations.

To your links now.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Jeremy Lin will make his nationwide broadcast network debut this weekend.

Tim Baysinger from Broadcasting & Cable notes that Floyd Mayweather’s next pay per view fight has been set by HBO for the spring.

Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News writes that Jeremy Lin continues to drive the MSG Network ratings engine.

Mike Shields of Adweek looks at CBS/Turner Sports’ plans to charge to view the NCAA Tournament online.

Ted Johnson of Variety talks with Ken Solomon of Tennis Channel on his ongoing battle to get a better footing with Comcast.

Michael Bradley at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says the Jeremy Lin media coverage is over the top.

Sports Media Watch notes the increased viewership for the NHL on NBC Sports Network.

SMW says Pardon the Interruption’s Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon have lent their voices to a Disney 😄 cartoon series.

Andy Hall at ESPN Front Row PR blog celebrates the 5th anniversary of NASCAR’s return to the network.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell speaks with Jeremy Lin’s agent.

Andrew Bucholtz writing his first article for Awful Announcing looks at the reaction to Jeremy Lin in Canada.

Mat Yoder at AA says the ratings for last weekend’s Pebble Beach National Pro-Am show fans are still interested in Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Joe Favorito explores the steady growth of college lacrosse.

Mark J. Miller of Brandchannel says NASCAR fans don’t like it when drivers juggle sponsor logos throughout the Sprint Cup season.

The Big Lead has ESPN’s Erin Andrews out and about during New York’s Fashion Week.

Chris Chase at Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner notes that ESPN has been coaching Jon Gruden to use his words judiciously.

Harrison Mooney of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy says Jeremy Lin’s drawing power might indirectly benefit the New York Rangers, Islanders, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils which have been missing from Time Warner Cable systems in addition to the Knicks.

David B. Wilkerson at MarketWatch wonders if the MSG/Time Warner Cable feud will eventually push sports into a premium tier.

East and Mid-Atlantic

The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn gets some advice for new NESN Red Sox field reporter Jenny Dell from MSG’s Tina Cervasio.

BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen in his Media Roundup at SB Nation Boston pays tribute to Bob Ryan.

Surviving Grady has a podcast with Jen Royle.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the new charge for viewing the NCAA Tournament online.

Richard writes about the increased ratings for Knicks games since Jeremy Lin arrived on the scene.

Phil Mushnick at the New York Post is in rare form today even for him.

Brett Cyrgalis of the Post has five questions for CBS college basketball analyst Bill Raftery.

The Post’s David Seifman reports that the New York City Council is pressuring MSG Network and Time Warner Cable to work out a deal.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News writes that ESPN bumped tonight’s Hornets-Knicks game not realizing it would be another opportunity to showcase Jeremy Lin.

Jerry Barmash from Fishbowl NY has reaction from various NYC sports anchors to the death of former Mets catcher Gary Carter.

Mike Silva at the Sports Media Watchdog feels hockey coverage in New York is woefully inadequate.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a local sports TV reporter received a New York Emmy nomination.

Pete lists his top studio analysts.

DCRTV’s Dave Hughes has the latest in Baltimore-Washington DC sports media news in Press Box.

Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has a clip of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon as cartoon characters.

Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner says talks with sports business writer Evan Weiner about the NFL’s antiquated blackout rules.

South

Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald has some thoughts on Shaquille O’Neal’s rookie season at TNT and ESPN’s decision to remove Ron Jaworski from Monday Night Football.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says the Astros plan to bring in former players to their radio booth to celebrate the team’s 50th season.

Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman notes the first network appearance of Jeremy Lin is this Sunday.

Midwest

The Detroit Free Press notes that all of the Tigers games will be on TV this season.

Bob Wolfey of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Dick Enberg told a captive audience at Marquette University about the art of the pause and when to use it in broadcasting.

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

To the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin where Paul Christian writes that Fox Sports North will be all over the Minnesota Twins this season.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals have mostly put the kybosh on late afternoon games at Busch Stadium this season.

Dan says a local sports radio host is recovering after undergoing heart bypass surgery.

West

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that the new Fox Sports San Diego is set to launch next month.

Jay writes the San Diego Padres stand to double their rights fees from Fox as compared to Cox a year ago.

John Maffei at the North County Times says the official announcement between Fox Sports San Diego carrying the Padres is due any time now.

At the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle says NBC and the NHL have become very good partners.

Jim feels ESPN should not have jettisoned Ron Jaworski from Monday Night Football.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times notes that ESPN college football analyst Ed Cunningham is up for a Best Documentary Oscar.

Bill Shakin of the Times says Frank McCourt’s legal problems are holding up Fox’s announcement with the Padres.

Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News recaps a lecture from three noted network broadcasters discussing TV coverage of the Olympics.

And that’s going to conclude the megalinks for today.

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Advice For Jenny Dell, The Globe’s Disrespect of Bob Ryan, and More…

Catching up on the world of Sports Media this morning. (For stories on the Celtics loss to Chicago, head to celticslinks.com.)

Sideline coaching for Dell – Chad Finn has Tina Cervasio offering some advice for new NESN Red Sox reporter Jenny Dell.

Chat sports and media at 2:30 p.m. – Chad will be doing his weekly chat at 2:30 this afternoon.

Media Roundup: Bob Ryan, The One Of A Kind Boston Sports Media Icon – My SB Nation Boston media column has a look at how Bob Ryan is more respected nationally, but for some reason the Globe views Dan Shaughnessy as their “star” columnist.

Here are a few of the national items in the world of sports media this week:

New MNF Commentator Team – This week ESPN announced that Ron Jaworski would no longer be part of the Monday Night Football broadcast team, but had signed a new multi-year deal with the network for an “expanded multi platform NFL analyst role.” Finn touched on this in his column this morning and earlier this week.

Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA Unveil NCAA MARCH MADNESS LIVE for the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships – Did you enjoy watching the NCAA Tournament online from your office for free in the past? Well, now that you’re sucked in, you’ve got to pay $3.99 for it this year.

MLB ON FOX Lights The Night in 2012 – FOX announced their Saturday national broadcast schedule for this season, which is heavy on night games. The Red Sox are on the schedule the maximum of nine games.

Who will be the #1 Pick? NFL Network & NFL.com’s 2012 Scouting Combine Coverage – NFL Network announced their scouting combine coverage for the week.

From NESN yesterday afternoon:

NESN has produced a unique, behind-the-scenes special that follows Boston College hockey player Tommy Cross, chronicling his day on Monday, February 13th leading up to the Beanpot Championship at TD Garden. “Beanpot All-Access: Game Day” will debut on Saturday, February 18th at 10:30pm.   NESN’s camera crew was given unrestricted access to the Eagles’ senior captain and the rest of the team on game day, and the result is this compelling look at the life of an elite student-athlete.

NESN will also carry Tim Wakefield’s retirement announcement this afternoon at 5:00pm.

Bruins Come Through in Shootout, Celtics Lose To Lowly Pistons

The Bruins blew a 3-1 third period lead, but survived overtime, and got a goal from Tyler Seguin in the shootout to beat the Canadiens 4-3 in Montreal last night.

The Celtics, meanwhile, got a big game from Rajon Rondo, but didn’t get Ray Allen and Paul Pierce involved in the game hardly at all, and dropped a home game to the lowly Detroit Pistons, 98-88.

Point taken by Bruins – Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins will take this one as they began a six-game road trip.

Bruins’ Victory Proves Costly As Rich Peverley Suffers Knee Injury, Zdeno Chara Takes Puck to Face – Douglas Flynn says that the Bruins paid a price for this one.

Will Brad Marchand be suspended again, and will Rich Peverley miss time? – DJ Bean notes that a possible suspension for Marchand could make this win even costlier.

B’s may be finding their focus – Joe Haggerty thinks that the Bruins might be getting their act together.

Fans cheer Zdeno Chara injury – The Herald notebook has the Montreal fans cheering loudly when the Bruins captain took a puck off the chin. The Globe notebook from Kevin Paul Dupont has Johnny Boychuk happy to have found a home.

C’s lost at home – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics unable to take advantage of a favorable home-heavy schedule to being the season and will now spend much of the rest of the season on the road. Chris Forsberg says that there have already been a lot of squandered opportunities for this team. Paul Flannery says that an uncertain road awaits the Celtics.

Celts out of sync offensively – A. Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics struggling to score again last night.

Wilcox contributes energy, points – Diana C. Nearhos has the free agent signee a bright spot last night with 17 points.

Source: Celtics wanted to grab Jeremy Lin – The Herald notebook says that the Celtics tried to claim the Knicks new sensation twice – only to have teams ahead of them grab the guard. The Globe notebook from Frank Dell’Apa has Kevin Garnett sitting out last night.

Buchholz feeling strong – Peter Abraham has the Red Sox righty feeling strong heading into camp.

Why the future is not now for Jose Iglesias – Alex Speier says that even though the Red Sox traded Marco Scutaro this offseason, don’t expect Iglesias to fill the hole at shortstop.

Painting a picture by numbers – Greg A Bedard completes his season-wrap of the Patriots with a look at some relevant statistics and numbers.

Brandon Lloyd’s agent puts Pats on call – Ron Borges talks with Tom Condon, the agent for Lloyd, who has had a famously poor (or nonexistent) relationship with the Patriots since the ugly rookie contract negotiations for Benjamin Watson.

Greg Dickerson Opens Up on Battle With Epilepsy, Tourette Syndrome

In an interview with Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, CSNNE Celtics sideline reporter Greg Dickerson outlines his recent health scares, and opens up about his battle with epilepsy and Tourette syndrome.

Greg Dickerson, Celtics reporter, details battle with Tourette syndrome, epilepsy

Two days before the Celtics’ season opener against the Knicks on Christmas, Dickerson, his wife Shannon and their 3-year-old son Cole hopped in their car to drive to New York. Shannon didn’t feel well and had asked Greg to drive for the beginning of the trip, but she got behind the wheel any way.

“Nobody said a word about it,” Dickerson said. “We just went off on our way, but if I had driven, the three of us would be dead.”

Not long into the drive, Dickerson suffered a seizure. He recalls having difficulty speaking and slamming his fist on the dashboard in frustration, then blanking out. The next thing he remembers is sitting on the side of I-95 in Attleboro while the state police and fire and rescue squad tried to convince him to get out of the car. Dickerson spent the night at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro. Medical tests ruled out a brain tumor, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, but doctors weren’t sure what the problem was.

He January he suffered another seizure, this time in the middle of a Celtics broadcast. He’s since been diagnosed with epilepsy (Chad Finn had reported that on February 3rd) and is on medication to prevent further seizures.

In addition, from the Doyle article:

Dickerson revealed for the first time publicly that he has also suffered from Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder for 15 years and dyslexia, a reading disability, since the third grade.

He detailed how he copes with those conditions and the support he has received. He’s been back on the job during Celtics games since January 31st, and expects to improve as time goes on.

Bob Ryan Bowing Out, Bruins Blanked

It wasn’t exactly breaking news, but when Bob Ryan told Bill Simmons yesterday on the B.S. Report that he will be hanging it up after the 2012 Olympic games in London, it caused quite a stir.

Ryan had hinted previously that he’d likely be scaling things back following the Olympics, and he emphasized yesterday that he won’t be going away completely. He’ll still be around for the occasional column or TV/Radio appearance, but he wants to move on, and do some other things with his life, which he deserves to do. Interestingly he cited the demands of blogging and tweeting in this modern age as things he’s not comfortable with, and part of the reason he feels he doesn’t fit in anymore.

The last link to the glory days of the Boston Globe, Ryan has had a tremendous career and his weekly voice will be missed. The podcast is exhibit “A.” Even if you’re not a huge NBA fan, it is a great listen, and you really get the sense of his passion for the game. Couple this podcast with last week’s with Larry Bird, and Simmons is on a roll here.

There will be more on Ryan as we get closer to the Olympics, I’m sure.

The Bruins continue to stumble as they were shut out by the New York Rangers last night 3-0.

Ice dam – Fluto Shinzawa reports on Henrik Lundqvist shutting out the Bruins last night.

Where did the Bruins go? – Stephen Harris says that hitting the road might be the best thing for the Bruins.Joe Haggerty says that the Bruins have work to do.

Bruins clearly have big expectations for Johnny Boychuk – DJ Bean says that the new deal for the defenseman reflects the faith they have in him.

Peter Chiarelli proceeds with caution – Joe McDonald says that the Bruins GM would like to swing a trade.

Rockland’s Josh Hennessy feels at home in Boston Bruins dressing room – Mike Loftus has a look at the callup.

Johnny Boychuk stays a Bruin – Dan Duggan’s notebook has more on the new deal. The Globe notebook from Fluto Shinzawa and the Bruins Journal both have the same lede.

Kevin Garnett’s turn to take seat – Peter May has KG as the latest injury casualty for the Celtics. Scott Souza says that the Celtics are a team of wounded. A. Sherrod Blakely says that the KG injury might mean the first career start for JaJuan Johnson.

Ivy climbers – With the success of Jeremy Lin in New York, Bob Ryan takes a look at other Ivy League players who have made an impact in the NBA.

Reuniting Brandon Lloyd With Josh McDaniels an Interesting Possibility and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts – Jeff Howe thinks the Patriots have an excellent shot of returning to the Super Bowl.

Brandon Spikes hyped-up for ’12 – Karen Guregian says that the linebacker could be a difference-maker for the Patriots defense.

Which Patriots made the grade? – Greg A Bedard knocks out the grades for the entire Patriots roster.

Bard ready to toe the starting line – Nick Cafardo has Daniel Bard ready to give it a go as a starter.

Think what you want, the Red Sox do spend – Ron Borges dispels the notion of the alleged belt-tightening at Fenway. It was amusing to hear Tony Massarotti scream that the Red Sox were cheap AND that they overpaid for David Ortiz within the span of 10 seconds yesterday.

Red Sox spring training gets a face-lift thanks to Tim Bogar, Bobby Valentine – Rob Bradford looks at how things will be different this spring.

Beckett arrives, takes mound – Peter Abraham has Josh Beckett showing up and getting some work done in Ft Myers.

Ranking the best (and worst) TV announcers in Boston sportsKirk Minihane still doesn’t like Jack Edwards.

It’s Been Target Practice for the Boston Sports Media – George Cain looks at the current targets.

Season Ending Patriots Media Thoughts

Much like the Patriots season, the performance of the media covering the team this season was marked by highs and lows.

For the most part, the day-to-day coverage from the beat reporters was solid. It’s a veteran group, who understand how things work down in Foxborough, and have learned to make the best of what can be a challenging situation for the media.

Beat reporters generally stay away from the hysteria that often accompanies good or bad performance or controversial transactions. I’m lumping the “NFL Reporters” (Such as Greg Bedard) in with the “beat” reporters, because both are generally down at Gillette everyday. Here are a few thumbnails on some of the reporters who covered the team this season, in no particular order:

Tom E Curran
In addition to his work on the CSNNE.com website, Curran also hosts the weekly show Quick Slants. He brings a unique sense of humor to his job, while still maintaining solid reporting and analysis. Curran is usually good for one or two headscratchers a season, where he seems to deviate from the script a little bit. This year was no exception, as a couple of times during appearances on WEEI’s Big Show, he took a harder line stance against the team on a matter. Overall though, Curran is thoroughly enjoyable to both read and watch/listen to.

Ian R Rapoport
It’s a testament to Rapoport’s prolific output of Tweets and blogging that if you type “Rapsheet” into Google, his stuff comes up first. Engage him, he’ll respond, at almost any time of day. Like Curran, humor is a big part of his coverage, but he also is a very good reporter. He started doing weekly appearances on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan this season, and while it took half the year for John Dennis to say “Rapsheet” instead of “RapReport,” Rapoport did a good job defusing many of D&C’s conspiracy theories and attempts at controversy. He tends to go off-track on his Twitter account from time to time, but he’s an entertaining follow, and does break his share of news, especially when it comes to injury reporting.

Mike Reiss
While he created much of the blueprint for how the Patriots beat is covered in the Belichick era, Mike is still at the top of his game, bringing endless bits of information to his blog and keeping a level head in chats with so-called “fans” of the Patriots. He’s expressed frustration at the level of negativity around the team, and you also get the sense he doesn’t always love the stuff that ESPN sort of force-feeds into his blog. He still does things no one else is doing, such as the offensive and defensive snap counts, which are used by almost every other media outlet in town – whether they give Reiss credit or not.

Greg A Bedard
A very good hire from Joe Sullivan. And no, I’m not intentionally damning with faint praise there. Bedard is knowledgable about the game, well-connected around the league, and truly objective in his coverage of the team. His weekly breakdowns of the previous game are must-read features, and his radio and television appearances are mostly informative. Bedard is also responsive on Twitter, and has set up meetings with Twitter followers on the night before road games. He’ll occasionally gripe about the lack of access/communication or compare things unfavorably with how things were run in Green Bay, but he’s kept this to a minimum this season. From a pure football standpoint, Bedard is probably the most knowledgeable on the beat.

Christopher Price
Another solid year for Price, who still utilizes the “10 Things” model that he brought over from his days at the Metro. Price is very good at breaking things down into an easy-to-understand and digest format. His on-air appearances on WEEI are solid, and the affable Price is truly one of the nice guys in the business. He generally stays pretty positive in his approach to the team, while still telling it like it is when necessary.

Shalise Manza Young
From a straight reporting and writing standpoint, Young is solid. She has gotten several scoops this season, mostly relating to injuries and transactions. Her stories in the Globe are well written and usually look at the subject in a personal manner. It’s when she gets on Twitter, or does the online chats on Boston.com that Young seems to go off the reservation a bit, and takes a different view of the team – complaining about access, making up strawman arguments about Patriots fans preferring to finish 13-3 and lose in the first round of the playoffs instead of going 11-5 and going to the Super Bow. Turns out you can go 13-3 AND go to the Super Bowl. Who knew?

Karen Guregian
A solid pro, Guregian and Rapoport are a solid team at the Herald. They crank out daily content in quantities surpassing the competition, and most of it good. Guregian usually takes the “larger picture” view of things, looking at how things are trending, good or bad, and also focuses on the individual players and their perspective.

Others
A few thoughts on some others on the beat: Mark Farinella is the ultimate trick or treat. One day he’s writing a very good story, the next day he’s accusing Bob Kraft of forcing the power company to kowtow to his demands to restore power to Gillette Stadium before residences in Foxborough. One day he’s done a great profile on a player, and the next he’s angrily blogging about self-appointed NH-based media critics. Ron Borges is now an afterthought when it comes to the Patriots. Perhaps he’s seen that his schtick has run its course or been done better by others and is plotting his next move. Curran’s sidekick Mary Paoletti is much more than the email girl on Quick Slants. She does solid player features and is a good follow on Twitter. Glen Farley does a solid job for the Gatehouse crew. Jonathan Comey is always an interesting read down at the New Bedford Standard TimesJeff Howe probably deserves more than being lumped into this paragraph, as he is down there every day, and I like his analysis on NESN.com and on NESN Daily. Nick Underhill at MassLive.com might be an up and comer, while Paul Kenyon at the Providence Journal is a solid vet, who did some very nice work toward the end of this season. I can’t leave out Hector Longo. I think he actually knows the game a little bit, but he’d be better off served not trying to get noticed by bashing Jerod Mayo in every single column. Monique Walker did a very nice job at the Globe before departing to Baltimore. She got the notice of Bill Belichick who acknowledged her last day on the job. The Patriots Football Weekly crew of Paul Perillo, Andy Hart and Erik Scalavino are all pretty good, their value seems highest during training camp when the full practice reports come out and the PFW ones are usually the most detailed.

On-Air

This is where things get crazy. Sports radio and television in so many ways is completely out of control. Here, it’s all about opinion, and having an edgy take. We’ll take a look here at things outlet-by-outlet, rather than personality or show.

WEEI
Starting the day off, Dennis and Callahan have some good guests during the season, led by quarterback Tom Brady. As the Globe is sure to tell you, this is a contractually obligated paid weekly appearance by Brady. The QB is unfailingly polite to the pair, and sometimes you wonder why, given the length and substance of some of the questions put forth. Some of the other guests – Mike Lombardi, Boomer Esiason, are also usually worth a listen. What happened to Adam Schefter? When not talking to guests, the show can get brutal, especially when the Patriots have dared to win a game by too many points. The mid-day show is just a disaster when it comes to the Patriots. This time slot used to be my favorite on the station. Now it’s the one I’d like to avoid at all costs if I could. Whether it is Lou Merloni screaming about the Patriots defense or the weekly appearances from Peter King, this show just doesn’t isn’t capable of talking about the Patriots in any intelligent fashion. Then we have the Big Show, which I’ve come back to somewhat, especially when the other station is simply screaming every five seconds about how something SUCKS. Glenn Ordway is still a good interviewer, though his opinions are still pretty awful. Michael Holley is an enigma. I like the guy – how can you not? His books are extremely readable. Yet, I feel like something is lacking. He doesn’t seem to provide the “inside access” that I, and I’m sure everyone else, really wants. Whether this is from wanting to not tell tales out or school or what, I wish he gave us more insight. I generally like when he feels strongly enough about something to challenge Ordway. Have we ever found out what happened to Tedy Bruschi on Patriots Monday? They promoted him big-time, and then all of sudden he wasn’t there any more. I can’t get comment on it, but the feeling seems to be that it was ESPN-related. In the evenings, Mike Adams can be OK sometimes. That’s about the best I can say.

98.5 The SportsHub
To their credit, Toucher and Rich acknowledge all the time that they are not the most keen sports commentators out there, though of the two, Rich is the superior in that regard. When it comes to the Patriots, they rely on guests, whether it is Albert Breer, Greg Bedard or Chris Gasper. It’s hard to really judge them too much on Patriots coverage as they don’t try to do much with it. They don’t sit there and try to analyze the games. Fred will come out from time to time and insult Bill Belichick, but that’s coming from a bitter Jets fan, so you take it for what it is. On the mid-days, the biggest surprise I’ve found this season was that I was listening to Gresh and Zo almost every day. I like Scott Zolak as a football commentator and analyst. Andy Gresh, when he keeps it reined in, is pretty solid too. The pair of them were very good in talking Patriots this season without going berserk on the same topics everyone else was pounding. Albert Breer was a weekly guest on the show, usually spending an hour or two with them, and they would challenge him on some of his blanket statements about things. I don’t need to say too much about Felger and Mazz which hasn’t been said already. Yes, we know the Patriots SUCK. The drafting SUCKS. The defense SUCKS, and the CAP is CRAP. You’re absolutely right, Mike. Rinse, repeat. You see Damon Amendolara on some of those NFL Films shows, and that tells you the guy has some NFL knowledge, too often though, I hear him falling into “storylines” and going with those rather than real analysis. Which, I know, is asking too much of any radio host these days, as the game is all about having a great take.

As far as actual game broadcasts – Chad Finn noted last week that Gino Cappelletti has likely done his last game in the booth, while Gil Santos may get another year. Finn says Zolak will be moved from the sideline to the booth for next season. I think Santos might capable of doing more than one more year, if he is given the proper support – better spotters, etc. He’s still got the voice, and paints the picture beautifully.

CSNNE
When it comes to the Patriots Sports Sunday and Sports Tonight are simply continuations of the Felger and Mazz show. Whatever storylines were being followed there will be brought up here, with added guests. Tom Curran can occasionally interject some realism into things, and Troy Brown and Ty Law are terrific, especially together. SportsNet Central is a nice highlights show with minimal commentary. The Thursday night football lineup of New England Tailgate, Quick Slants and Patriots Football Weekly is a nice way to transition into the weekend.

NESN
I actually found myself watching more NESN Daily as the season went on. Matt Chatham and Mike Flynn make a good duo for analysis from the former player perspective, and Shalise Manza Young, Greg Bedard and Jeff Howe keep their reports pretty business-like, with some good-natured ribbing amongst them. Max Lane, well, he tries.

WBZ-TV
I’ll admit. I enjoy Patriots All Access. Yeah, I fast-forward through quite a bit of it, but the segment leading off, with the sights and sounds of the previous game, and especially the locker room footage, is always a must-see. The Beli-strator segments are interesting and informative, and Lyndsay Petruny is a guilty pleasure on the show. I’m always intrigued by that little diamond she makes with her hands when she’s speaking on camera. The pre and post game reports – Game Day and Fifth Quarter are pretty generic, Steve Burton always brings unintentional comedy to whatever he is on, but Fifth Quarter is always a must-view for the post game interviews with Belichick, Brady and other key players. The preseason games draw outrage from columnists offended by Patriots golf shirts, but they are what they are. Don Criqui isn’t what he used to be on play-by-play and you hold your breath every time Randy Cross breaks out the telestrator, but we don’t really watch these games for the announcers.

Who did I miss? I know there are the TV anchors and reporters like of Mike Dowling, Joe Amorosino, Dan Roche, and Levan Reid, as well as columnists like Shaughnessy, Buckley, Ryan, etc, but I tried to focus more on Patriots-oriented types. There is Pete Sheppard and his Patriots.com radio show, which can be a nice alternative during the season as well.