Attempting A Friday Megalink Post

This week has been hellish for me and I apologize for not being able to post as much as I would like at the Fang’s Bites BSMW. I’ve been away from my computer for most of the day and by the time I get home, I’m tired and don’t want to update the blog.

Well, with me already done my errands for today, I’ll give you some linkage that has been seriously lacking this week.

Of course, there’s the Weekend Viewing Picks which you can peruse.


Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Jim Rome is hoping to make a splash as he prepares to launch his new daily show on CBS Sports Network.

Reid Cherner of USA Today’s Game On! blog says perpetually angry ESPN college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb is throwing his hat into the Kansas State coaching ring.

The Associated Press was on hand to witness Root Sports Northwest’s production of the Seattle Mariners-Oakland A’s regular season openers in Japan without actually traveling to the Far East.

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim has more thoughts on the numerous conflicts of interest in tennis broadcasting.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand has Fox Sports’ statement on its carriage dispute with Time Warner Cable over Fox Sports San Diego.

John profiles legendary sports television producer Don Ohlmeyer.

Around the Rings has the press release regarding the European Broadcasting Union obtaining the rights to the World Cups in 2018 and 2022.

ESPN Ombudsman Jason Fry of the Poynter Institute says college basketball analyst Bob Knight should not be allowed to live by his own rules when he’s on TV.

Scott Soshnick and Steven Church of Bloomberg Businessweek says the Los Angeles Dodgers sale was sparked by media rights.

Alex Ben Block of the Hollywood Reporter says former Sony Pictures head Peter Gruber who’s part of the new Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group could bring a new attitude towards marketing the team.

Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable has Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott calling rights fees for college football are undervalued.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says NESN National is being launched in Indianapolis.

Tim Nudd at Adweek says Chrysler is unveiling four new follow ups to its “Halftime in America” Super Bowl spots during various events this weekend including the NCAA Final Four and Mad Men.

Adweek’s Mike Shields writes is partaking in Facebook’s Open Graph, but with some restrictions.

Jason Del Ray at Advertising Age notes that CBS/Turner brought in its highest sales revenue ever for March Madness Live.

Ronnie Ramos at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says March Madness has been enhanced by social media and the digital experience.

The Brothers Yoder at Awful Announcing cast the upcoming Anchorman sequel using ESPN’ers. This is good.

Ben Koo at AA is not a huge fan of the overhead shots employed by CBS/Turner for the NCAA Tournament.

Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid says the Los Angeles Times feels there’s one person who could spoil the new ownership for the Dodgers.

Ahmed Yussuf at EPL Talk gives a first-hand account of following the English Premier League from Australia.

Sports Media Watch says last weekend’s rain-shortened NASCAR on Fox event did not do well in the ratings.

Joe Favorito asks if ‘The Hunger Games” could give archery a boost in time for this summer’s Olympics.

Jason McIntyre at The Big Lead reports that Joe Posnanski is leaving Sports Illustrated.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks about two rival Hollywood agencies representing Tim Tebow simultaneously.

Bob’s Blitz says WFAN’s Craig Carton browbeat former Tiger Woods swing coach Hank Haney to the point where he hung up.

Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group says CBS returns to New Orleans where it began its Final Four journey 30 years ago.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says ESPN MLB analyst Curt Schilling is facing hypocrisy calls after he criticized his former Red Sox team this week.

Chad adds some thoughts on Schilling and on NESN’s Jenny Dell that didn’t make his column.

BSMW’s Fearless Leader Bruce Allen writes in SB Nation that a Tiger Woods in contention is good for The Masters® and its TV partners.

Bob Tedeschi of the New York Times reviews this year’s edition of the MLB At-Bat app.

Richard Sandomir from the Times examines the Dodgers sale.

Anthony Riemer of Newsday looks at Jeremy Lin’s lunch with the sacked editor who unwittingly made a racial slur last month.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post feels Fox Sports’ Jimmy Johnson should not be advocating violence. I don’t think he did, Phil, but continue to hate everything, ok?

Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for former Tennessee and current Sirius XM analyst Bruce Pearl on the Final Four.

The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty has the ESPN MAC football schedule.

Pete has CBS excited about this year’s Final Four.

Jane Kwiatkowski of the Buffalo News says this is a tough time for the local TV sportscast.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call looks at a local PBS documentary on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Laura Nachman says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia is ready for Phillies baseball.

Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the Fox sitcom “Raising Hope” gave another of many Capitals references.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with MLB Network’s Mitch “Wildi Thing” Williams.


David Barron from the Houston Chronicle writes that the Houston Open should be helped by a lot of interesting storylines.

David says Jim Rome is getting ready for his CBS Sports Network closeup.

David writes that Texans running back Arian Foster is taking his show to the team’s radio flagship station.

In The Oklahoman, Mel Bracht has ESPN’s MLB analysts predicting the upcoming season.

Mel says there will be plenty of baseball available in the Oklahoma City market.

Mel reports a local radio station has flipped to being a full-time ESPN Radio affiliate.

Mel writes that a local radio sports director has been laid off thanks to Clear Channel.


Elton Alexander of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer says New Orleans has provided CBS with plenty of Final Four excitement.

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says a local TV station plans to ride the Kentucky train for as long as possible.

John says a couple of long-time local radio veterans got the ax due to Clear Channel cost cutting.

John writes that a radio documentary on late Cincinnati Reds voice Waite Hoyt airs this weekend.

The Indianapolis Star says Butler coach Brad Stevens will be a guest analyst for CBS on the Final Four.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes the Brewers have extended their radio rights deal with their long-time flagship station.

Bob says a local sportscaster is back to work after a long illness.

Bob tells us that Marquette coach Buzz Williams will also be a guest analyst on CBS this weekend.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin writes that CBS loves New Orleans at Final Four time.

Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says 20 Cardinals games won’t be seen by AT&T U-Verse subscribers this season.

Dan writes that the defending champions Cardinals will be in the national spotlight quite a few times this season.


Jay Posner at the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Fox Sports San Diego is not optimistic of getting a deal with two cable providers in time for Padres opening day.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star has ESPN’s MLB analysts praising Magic Johnson’s presence with the Dodgers.

Jim was surprised that Kentucky-Louisville wasn’t the nightcap for the Final Four.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Lakers fans are enjoying having guest analysts on radio broadcasts this season.

Tom talks with Jim Rome about his CBS Sports Network show.

Tom has more on Rome in his blog.


The usually uninformed Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC Sports appears to be rudderless as it heads into a new NHL negotiation.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the viewership numbers for Canadian sports television from last week.

And that will conclude the megalinks.


Curt Schilling – Hypocrite? Shocking, I know.

We know we can always count on Curt Schilling to have an opinion. While every Red Sox fan is fond of Schilling for what he did on the field, many cringed even during his playing career at his affinity for the spotlight – or redlight – whichever you prefer.

Today’s Globe sports media column from Chad Finn looks at Schilling in his media role with ESPN, and how he’s already become what he despised as a player.

Schilling behind desk does an about-face

The column smartly points out how Schilling always berated media members who suggested they knew what took place inside the Red Sox clubhouse. Who can forget Schilling taking on Butch Stearns for suggesting that Schilling and Pedro Martinez didn’t get along? WEEI still plays the clips of that call-in.

This week, on those same airwaves, Schilling suggested that things weren’t going well in the clubhouse in an appearance on Tuesday’s Mut & Merloni show. Josh Beckett had the perfect answer when he appeared on the Big Show yesterday – Is Schilling one of our pitchers?

I only heard a little of the Beckett interview live on WEEI, but Glenn Ordway’s question about Beckett putting his daughter and family above baseball had to be one of the most awkward, rambling questions I’ve heard in some time. It was John Dennis-esque. I love when media people spend time ripping someone, and then when talking directly to that person, use the “some people are saying” line.

Speaking of John Dennis – ranting on about the competition’s attempts at publicity for the charity work (he didn’t name him, but Fred Toucher and HIS rants about NESN not letting him promote it was the target) and then naming all the charity work YOU do, just seems a little disingenuous. Almost the entire D&C section of is a listing of their charity work, and they often post dozens of photos of themselves with sick kids. The work is great, but I don’t see the need to get into a measuring contest about it.

Media Roundup: Is Tiger Woods Returning To Form In Time For The Masters? – On my SB Nation Boston media column, I’ve got ESPN golf analysts talking about whether Tiger Woods is back in the chase for Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record for career Major championships.

Celtics Stay Hot With Win Over Jazz

The Celtics beat a good Utah Jazz squad at the Garden last night to move to 13-5 since the All Star break.

Celtics 94, Jazz 82: C’s make sweet music – Scott Souza has basketball junkie Paul Pierce enjoying himself.

Is Kevin Garnett the center for now, and the future? – Based on KG’s play at the five this season, Paul Flannery wonders if he might be in that position for a couple more years here in Boston.

Kevin Garnett grinding at higher gear – Peter May says that KG’s play has lifted the Celtics in the second half of the season. It was a memorable postgame session for KG, who told the media ‘I hear y’all calling me old’ and made fun of their hairlines. Garnett has made the likes of Mike Felger look foolish this season, Felger  and his afternoon cronies proclaimed KG “done” and a stiff in the early part of the season.

Big Al Jefferson eats up the Hub – Steve Bulpett says that the man traded for KG still has a big fan in Doc Rivers. (And Jefferson is a free agent after next season)

Rivers gives blessing to son’s decision – Gary Washburn’s notebook has the Celtics coach saying that if his son Austin is still on the board when the Celtics come to draft, the team better pick him. The Herald notebook from Mark Murphy has the Celtics hoping for a Ray Allen return on Friday.

Lavarnway’s time? If not now, he wants it to be soon – Brian MacPherson has the young Sox catcher willing to wait for his shot – as long as it comes soon.

Pedro Ciriaco, surprise sensation – Gordon Edes wonders if the utilityman may have played his way onto the opening day roster.

Buchholz looks into upping his tempo – Maureen Mullen has the righty looking at working at a quicker pace this season.

The mystery continues: Where exactly will Jacoby Ellsbury hit? – Rob Bradford says that where the speedster/slugger hits in the lineup is one of the biggest questions in camp.

Brian Rolston’s Boston renaissance – Joe McDonald has the veteran forward with a chance to be known for more than just being one of the guys traded for Ray Bourque.

Chiarelli has mastered the tricks of the trade – Joe Haggerty looks at how the Bruins GM has master the art of the trade deadline pickup.

Bill Belichick’s brethren laud free agent pickups – Ian Rapoport talks to some coaches around the league about how their former players will fit in with the Patriots.

The NFL Salary Cap Debate – In this Patriots Fourth and Two podcast from Russ Goldman, Michael Felger and Marc Bertrand talk NFL salary cap, with Felger defending his Cap is Crap position.

Bruins Continue Playoff Warmups, Beat Lightning

The Bruins continued to show signs that they’re rounding into playoff form as they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 at TD Garden last night.

Bruins look ready for revival – Joe McDonald says that the team’s confidence is growing as the postseason nears.

Big night for Zdeno Chara, Bruins – Steve Conroy looks at a special night before and during the game for the Bruins captain.

Are Bruins getting where they need to be for the playoffs? – DJ Bean examines whether the Bruins are truly warming up for another long playoff run.

Ageless Rolston playing like a kid – Christopher Smith looks at the surprise contributions of 39-year-old Brian Rolston.

Approach here isn’t very defensible – Nick Cafardo is NOT happy that Mike Aviles has won the starting shortstop job for the Red Sox. He stomps his feet to make sure you hear his outrage. However, Chad Finn, Michael Silverman, Gordon Edes and Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox made the right move in sending Jose Iglesias to the minors to begin the season.

It’s time to give this Mike Aviles guy a chance – Rob Bradford makes the case that Aviles is a better player than Marco Scutaro, and that there wouldn’t be hand-wringing over sending Iglesias to the minors if Scutaro were still here.

Lineup may be preview of opener – Michael Silverman’s notebook has Bobby Valentine experimenting with a lineup that has Aviles leading off. The Globe notebook from eager and worthy cub reporter Dan Shaughnessy has Josh Beckett looking good yesterday.

Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley form winning combo – Mark Murphy looks at how the backcourt combination has been a winning one in the last two games with Ray Allen sidelined.

Celtics’ playoff possibilities plentiful – Chris Forsberg looks at the state of the Celtics as we head down the stretch.

Celtics not putting teams away when given the chance – A. Sherrod Blakely says that closing has been an issue for Boston.

Leftovers from breakfast with Belichick – Tom E Curran looks at some of the reluctant and expansive answers given by the Patriots coach yesterday.

A housekeeping note here – You likely noticed the post below from Chris Warner, which traditionally would be the property of Patriots Daily. Some technical issues with Patriots Daily, as well as an attempt to streamline and reorganize some of my publishing led me to consider publishing columns of that sort here, albeit in a slightly different format. As this blog is mainly devoted to keeping track of what’s being written and said in the local sports media, any sports-related columns will be posted as that one yesterday was – a short blurb with a link to click in order to read the entire post. Regular posts such as this one you are currently reading will continue to be displayed in their entirety.

At this point, it appears we will not be adding new posts to Patriots Daily, though the site will remain up, as it is a fine resource with eight seasons worth of work in it. There are many draft interviews that may become relevant, such as the one with new Patriots fullback Tony Fiammetta from 2009.

Thank you for your continued support. The 10th anniversary of BSMW is only a couple of weeks away. (April 8th)

Patriots 2012 Draft Wish List

By Chris Warner

With six picks this year in the top four rounds, New England should get busy starting April 26. No one knows which direction Coach Bill Belichick will take, so instead of guaranteeing failure with predictions (check out our upcoming mock draft!) we’re focusing on positions we’d like to see Mr. Kraft and Co. address.

Keep reading this post

Bill Belichick Shows Up For Breakfast, Media Stunned

Bill Belichick did an about-face from last year, and made an appearance at the coaches breakfast at the NFL Owners Meetings this morning.

For those who had their indignant column already lined up to go, this development was no doubt a disappointment, as instead, they had to listen to the coach say “we’ll see how it goes” in about 100 different ways this morning.

Edit – Some more precise numeration here:
[blackbirdpie id=”184663094474178560″]

It is March, after all, perhaps a little too early to be wondering if they’ve done enough this off season in one area or another.

The Celtics won a road game on the second night of a back-to-back situation, holding off the Charlotte Bobcats 102-95 last night, behind 36 points from Paul Pierce. The win moved the Celtics into a first place tie with the Philadelphia 76ers atop the Atlantic Division,

Bottoms up as Celtics beat Charlotte – Mark Murphy looks at the Celtics continuing to beat teams on the low-end of the NBA food chain.

The Celtics are in first place, can they stay there? – Paul Flannery wonders if this stay atop the division will be a short-lived one.

Pierce bringing it with playoffs approaching – A. Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics captain raising his game with the postseason in sight.

Rivers runs through son’s decision to go pro – Frank Dell’Apa’s notebook in the Globe has the coach talking about his son’s professional future, and notes that Mickael Pietrus has not started baseline testing after his concussion.

No easy answers as Bruins attempt to repeat – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins needing to rely on defense, goaltending and opportunistic scoring, something they showed signs of doing in recent games.

Retro ways have suited Bruins well – Mike Loftus says that the Bruins are getting back to what made them successful.

It seems there’s a bit of angst in the ranks at NFL meetings – Greg A Bedard reports on the owner’s meetings.

Kraft opens up – Ian Rapoport has the Patriots owner talking about the present and future of his team and league.

Belichick, Ochocinco in sync – Mike Reiss looks at why Chad Johnson is getting a second chance.

Catching up with pitcher Lackey – Dan Shaughnessy gets John Lackey to talk to him. A worthless writer talking to a worthless pitcher. Why am I linking this again?

Old, faithful – Stan Grossfeld talks to 94-year-old Lou Lucier, who pitched for the Red Sox in 1943 and 1944 and is the oldest living former Red Sox player.

UMass has found magic at MSG – With UMass in the NIT Final Four, Marty Dobrow looks at some of the University’s history playing in Madison Square Garden.

Bruins Launch “Bruins DEN” An Integration Of Club’s Web And Social Media Properties

From The Globe‘s Business Page this morning:

Bruins shoot for digital advantage with network

The new Bruins Digital Entertainment Network will include more than a dozen properties, including the team’s Facebook and Pinterest pages, Twitter accounts, a mobile app, and a YouTube video channel. The team is also planning to use the network to better understand the digital habits of its younger fans, who are heavy users of the Internet and mobile devices, and to develop new marketing and sponsorship initiatives.

Here is the release from the Bruins, which lists out all the aspects of the DEN portfolio:

Bruins Launch Digital Entertainment Network (DEN)

The DEN takes all the elements of the Bruins web and social media properties and binds them together, allowing for a more integrated experience and the ability from the team’s end to better track the reach of their efforts. A BruinsDEN page on the team’s official website serves as sort of a portal to the various channels and outlets that make up the network.

Celtics Win At Home, Bruins Win On The Road, Dell Debuts

Both local winter entries were victorious last night as the Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards 88-76 at the TD Garden, behind 23 points from Avery Bradley. The Bruins wrapped up their California tour with a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Celtics have plenty left in reserve – Mark Murphy has Bradley and Greg Stiemsma playing big roles for the depleted Celtics.

How good can Avery Bradley be for Celtics? – Paul Flannery looks at the potential of the second-year guard. Steve Bulpett says that Bradley’s performance is not a shock to his teammates.

Tacoma has provided Boston fans with Lester — and Bradley – Christopher Smith notes that Bradley and Jon Lester both hail from Tacoma, Washington.

When the W stands for weird – Peter May seemingly wasn’t impressed with the win, and Wiz coach Randy Wittman was not impressed with Bradley, offering some sour grapes after the game.

Bruins and Turco rain on Ducks – Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins win last night behind Marty Turco.

Looking at the healthy scratch debate and whether that was Marty Turco’s last start – DJ Bean thinks that could be the last start Turco gets with the Bruins.

Jenny Dell made her long-awaited NESN debut over the weekend – on tape. The first segment was an “interview” with Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy in which she talked about herself, and it almost seemed like she was interviewing for the job right then and there. She also had a segment with Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. There may have been more, but that was all I stuck around for on a Saturday afternoon.

It’s a little puzzling to me how NESN has handled this transition. Dell has been getting well-placed raves for her professionalism and work in spring training, yet the network seemed hesitant to put her on the air. Lack on on-air experience was cited as a possible concern, but what better way to build that experience than by putting her on during some meaningless spring training games that aren’t drawing a large audience? Instead, they held her back, which had people wondering why she wasn’t on, and then made a fairly big deal of announcing when she would make her debut – upping the pressure, if the was feeling it – and then drew it out some more on Saturday.

I think once they start using her in the role she’s actually going to be doing, she’ll do fine. NESN could’ve just done a better job getting her on the air.

Debunking the power struggle and other spring Red Sox myths – Rob Bradford says there is no power struggle between Bobby Valentine and Ben Cherington. There’s nothing to see here, nothing to see here…

New position for undecided Matt Light – Ron Borges talks to Matt Light, who is pondering retirement.

If only all coaches were like Erhardt – Mark Farinella remembers the former Patriots coach, and how he once posed for Farinella’s newspaper, unlike the current coach who is “treated as if he was Zeus seated atop Mt. Olympus.”

I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the outraged Tweets, blog posts and columns this week after Bill Belichick again skips the coaches breakfast at the NFL owner’s meetings.

Celtics Win In Milwaukee, Media Links Abound

Michael Felger wept bitterly as the hated Boston Celtics beat his beloved Milwaukee Bucks 100-91. The Celtics return to Philadelphia tonight, the site of an absolute embarrassment on March 7th, and again have the opportunity to play for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Bobby Valentine continues to make noise in spring training, last night blasting New York manager Joe Girardi for not being willing to go to extra innings in a preseason game.

The Bruins lost to the San Jose Sharks 2-1 last night, but Joe Haggerty says that the play of Tim Thomas was a silver lining to the loss.

Things are looking up for Celtics – Paul Flannery says that the Celtics are on an upswing, and showing they’re capable of pulling a playoff surprise.

Celtics high on ego trip – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics continuing to find ways to win on the road.

Helping themselves looks to be Celtics’ move – Gary Washburn thinks that the Celtics inability to sign anyone of note in the last week could be a sign of what this summer might be like for the club. That’s depressing.

Bill Belichick knows when to fold ’em – Mike Reiss looks at the Patriots’ decision to part ways with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Mark Anderson.

Patriots owner big fan of offseason moves – Karen Guregian has Robert Kraft talking about his club’s offseason thus far.

Parnell’s legacy in good hands – Gordon Edes with a nice piece on former Sox lefty Mel Parnell and his connection with Jon Lester.

Carl Crawford’s new look on life (and the Red Sox) – Rob Bradford has the Red Sox outfielder finding enlightenment this spring.

Terry Francona ‘still trying to stop bleeding’ – Scott Lauber has the former Red Sox skipper arriving in Ft Myers with ESPN and talking about how his exit still stings. More from Francona by Nick Cafardo and Brian MacPherson.

Terry Francona, ESPN analyst, set to take share of flap – Bill Doyle’s media column looks at Francona’s adjustment to his new role.

In CBS broadcast booth, laughs come easily – Chad Finn talks with Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery, and Lesley Visser about calling the NCAA Tournament, and has praise for Matt Chatham, which I heartily agree with.

ESPN Preps For Hockey’s Version Of March Madness – My SB Nation media column looks at the ESPN coverage of the NCAA Hockey Tournament, specifically the local teams in action this weekend.

Hitting the Course with Bricks – John Molori talks to NESN analyst Andy Brickley about his passion for golf.


With Fenway Park’s 100th Anniversary just around the corner, PBS (WGBH locally) is airing a one-hour special on the hallowed park this Tuesday at 9p called “Inside Fenway Park: An Icon at 100.”

The National Geographic special, features interviews with columnist Mike Barnicle, author Glenn Stout, commentator Dick Flavin, and ESPN Senior Writer, Howard Bryant, along with archival footage and photos. The documentary uses a 2011 Red Sox Yankees game as the basis for telling the story of Fenway Park’s history through the years and also takes a behind the scenes look at the operational side of the ballpark. Oscar winning actor Matt Damon narrates the 54 minute documentary.

Edit – The documentary will also be shown at 10p Monday night.


NESN’s new Red Sox Reporter Jenny Dell (@JennyDellNESN) will be officially introduced and welcomed to Red Sox Nation by Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy during NESN’s coverage of the Boston Red Sox – Philadelphia Phillies spring training game on Saturday, March 24th. NESN’s game coverage begins at 1:30 PM from JetBlue Park at Fenway South.

Boston Sports – Then And Now

Thanks to a message board reader, I came across this Frank Deford column in the July 13, 1970 edition of Sports Illustrated.

Who Are The Hub Men?

It’s about Boston’s refusal to build a public stadium in the city, which forced the Patriots to go and build in Foxborough. However, it is also an overview of the state of the teams in Boston and the mindset of the fans, and media:

In a section which talks about how people in the city recognize Red Sox players whereever they are out in public, Deford writes:

There is a reason for this phenomenon. Sam Cohen says that two things on the sports page sell papers in Boston. These are baseball and championship fights. Since interesting championship fights occur nowadays with the frequency of Halley’s Comet, there is a disposition in the Boston press to write about baseball. Eternally there is no off season. The stuff pours out like lava down Krakatoa. Newspapers may disappear in Boston, but not newspaper baseball writers—they come across the diamond in a phalanx. In Boston so much baseball is bombarded at the reading populace that it is difficult not to know a lot about the Sox even if you don’t want to.

Sounds familiar. So does this:

If Bobby Orr played with the Red Sox instead of the Bruins, they would have to build a new public library to hold his clippings. Even now, Carl Yastrzemski and Tony Conigliaro appear to be regular features, like the horoscope or Dear Abby. Before he ever strode to home plate in a major league game, some kid infielder named Alvarado had been come at so many ways during spring training that he was beginning to resemble the bridge at Chappaquiddick. Was Alvarado ready? Should he play third base or short? Switch Petrocelli to third? Are you crazy? Will this affect Petrocelli? Will it, in fact, affect Petrocelli if he even thinks Alvarado is being considered for short? Will it affect Alvarado if he thinks Petrocelli is affected by this possible switch? What will this do to Petrocelli’s hitting? His fielding? Alvarado’s? What do teammates think of this situation? Opponents? Rival managers? Alvarado? Petrocelli? After weeks of all this, by which time Alvarado had become a name and psyche familiar to every man, woman and child in the area, the season opened with Petrocelli at short and Alvarado at third. By June Alvarado was back in the minors.

Replace “Avarado” with “Iglesias” and that situation might be a description of today.

Despite the overkill, Boston writers do not live up to their image. For one thing, their potential power is limited by the fact that the money and the eggheads still scorn the Boston papers, except for occasional ventures into The Christian Science Monitor. Tennis, which draws from the upper-class element, is likely better served by advance publicity in The New York Times than in local papers. Nor are Boston writers exceptionally critical. Many are downright avuncular. Only one, Clif Keane of the Globe, may be classified as a character. Certainly none resemble Dave Egan, “The Colonel,” who was the “Splendid Splinter’s” nemesis.

Irascible and unpredictable when in his cups, which was often, Egan was a child of mixed parentage—Hearst, out of Harvard. The conflicts showed. He had an almost brilliant capacity to infuriate, and he came, before his death in 1958, to personify The Boston Sportswriter. It was bad casting. In reality, Ted Williams created a monster. Not only did Williams drive Egan to escalate their feud, but the stature Williams gave Egan caused other writers to try to emulate him as a knock artist. None, however, could match The Colonel’s artistry of invective. “You couldn’t help but laugh,” Jackie Jensen says, “even if it was your best friend he was knocking.” Besides, Egan was not all the blackguard Williams made him out to be. He often stooped to mercy. He was an original and flamboyant defender of Williams when most Hub Men had taken it upon themselves to launch vicious personal attacks against him for being a draft dodger and unfit father. Moreover, The Colonel was an utterly charming man when sober, and then his writing could become almost gooey. “He used to write columns about me that would embarrass my mother,” Cousy says.

Today, instead of Dave Egan, we have Dan Shaughnessy.

Still, reading through the article it’s a good overview of the state of Boston sports in 1970. The Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots are all looked at. The article concludes this way:

As usual, Boston is not out of step; it is a step in front. It should not be called the only city that will not build a stadium. It should be known as the first city that refused to. Once again, the Hub Men are coming.

Sometimes, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Robert Kraft fought a similar battle to Billy Sullivan in trying to get a stadium built in Boston, and in the end, simply built another one in Foxborough.

Last fall, ESPN the Magazine devoted an entire issue to Boston sports. It’s interesting to compare some of the things written in 1970 to how things are today. In an article looking at the state of the Celtics, Ric Bucher wrote:

One game into the Heat playoff series, longtime Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy compared the Celtics to 74-year-old actor Morgan Freeman. At the end of the series, ran the headline: “The Death of a Dynasty That Never Was.” A video of two Boston writers debating the Celtics’ chances for another ring had one joking that it was possible only if “LeBron James will take off the fourth quarter in four of six playoff games.” A running September fan poll asking “How are you feeling about the Celtics?” on a scale of 10 to 100 sat for a time at 10 and never topped 50. That same month, when another blog asked, “Is This Already a Lost Season?” message-boarders said they’d prefer to lose the entire season to the lockout than witness banner-fail in a quest for an 18th title.

Then there was the introductory story to the issue, entitled Why Boston is better than you. The writer, Peter Keating draws a conclusion not unlike the one that Deford came up with above:

“This city has a passionate fan base and smart fans and a supply of intelligent people coming out of universities nearby,” Morey says. “Boston’s got the lead. And they’re going to hold it for a while.”

We’ll see.