The Patriots don’t have a game this weekend, but they remain in the headlines thanks to yesterday’s deal for troubled Tampa cornerback Aqib Talib.

The deal, which cost the Patriots a fourth-round pick in the coming draft (and got them back a 7th rounder) has been the subject of much debate and discussion already, with much of the talk centered around Talib’s considerable rap sheet. (Side note: Media folks relish digging up athlete’s rap sheets. But don’t ever bring up their own past transgressions or brushes with the law, that’s out of bounds.)

Critics of the deal have a two-pronged argument. The guy’s character, (or complete lack thereof) and the price paid by the Patriots for what could be a very short term rental.

On the other hand, if the Patriots didn’t make this deal, and it was later revealed that it was on the table, most of those same people would be killing the team for not addressing a weakness.

Some fans paint the move as a desperate attempt to save a “lost season.” Bingo? If you wanted to see a lost season, you should’ve tuned in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs last night. That’s a team on a lost season.

Pats add a headache to address a headache – Tom E Curran looks at what we know about Talib, and addresses the bleating voices who cry What about the children????

Different views of Talib deal – Mike Reiss collects a few different opinions on the move.

Catch up on all the views and news this weekend at

The Celtics have their home opener tonight, and look to avoid a Lakers-like 0-2 start to the season. Dan Shaughnessy, when he’s not saying that Dwyane Wade was correct in calling Rondo a punk the other night, has a fair decent column on why we’re lucky to have the Celtics.

Of course, I did almost lose my breakfast over this:

Here at 135 Morrissey Boulevard, we are trained to afflict the comfortable. We are cynics. We question motives. We try to represent the interests of the fans.

Get all the Celtics news this weekend at

David Ortiz could hit the free agent market tonight at midnight if he and the Red Sox don’t agree on a new deal. Interest in Ortiz by the Texas Rangers has been reported by Ken Rosenthal.

Short-term possibilities out there for Red Sox – John Tomase looks at some possible bargains for the Red Sox in free agency.

NBC putting its faith in soccer – Chad Finn’s media column looks at NBC’s new deal with the Premier League, and a few other items.

Bob Ryan has found perfect home on NBA TV – My SB Nation media column looks at why Bob Ryan on NBA TV is one of those things that seemed to make too much sense to actually happen, but did.

Give Tommy Heinsohn points for passion – Bill Doyle looks at the 78-year-old Celtics analyst and his continued passion for the Celtics.

Molori Unplugged: Dave Goucher – John Molori talks to Bruins announcer Dave Goucher, who has plenty of time for golf these days.

If you’re a subscriber to Patriots Football Weekly, my column on the new two-man broadcast booth for Monday Night Football, and the history of the two and three-man booths on that telecast appears this week.


11 thoughts on “Patriots On The Bye, But Still Making Headlines

  1. Bob Ryan to NBATV = good. I’m surprised ESPN didn’t get him more involved and prevent him from NBATV. He’s already on ATH/PTI enough. Also, I’m far from Bill Simmons biggest fan but having him on pre-game, thus far, is nice. I’m so sick of the “lets just talk Lakers/Heat” agenda of having what was Magic (do we really need him?), Barry, etc. They’ve changed this a bit Having a guy who does not like the Heat nor the Lakers should provide “some” balance but lets see.

    Anyone love how ESPN treats Laker regular season losses like The Weather Channel treats Hurricanes in major media markets outside of Florida?

    We’ve now lost the Winter Classic.
    @darrenrovell Does anyone really believe that the NHL canceled the Winter Classic today solely because of $250K in rental fees. Puh-lease.

    Are we at the point where the NHL has become a joke? Media outside of NBC (in the US) and non-major hockey markets either don’t bother to cover, drop to page 6, or just laugh out of the side of their mouth. Even NBC looks to be hedging its NHL “interest” with EPL (growing quite well in America).


  2. Odd coincidence the the “afflict the comfortable” quotes should come up. Columnist Jonah Goldberg just did a piece on the intellectual smugness of media types who deem that to be their ordained role in life.

    “But outside of religion, I loathe the saying. It was coined by Finley Peter Dunne, and has been endlessly modified and co-opted ever since, particularly by the journalistic profession. Cub reporters and J-school larvae are drenched with the idea that their task is to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” It never seems to dawn on them that this is advocacy journalism and nothing more.

    Well, actually it is something more. It’s mindless advocacy journalism. Who says that being comfortable gives license to a bunch of hacks to “afflict” you? And who is to decide whether someone is comfortable? What the hell does comfortable mean in the first place? Giving journalists that license is an invitation to bullying and hypocrisy on a massive scale. For the journalists who use this axiom like a secular fatwa choose to afflict only the ranks of the comfortable they do not like and lionize the comfortable they do like.”
    He is talking about the media (non-) reaction to Benghazi, but it works here, too.


      1. The mere existance and popularity of a site such as this should tell you something about the state of contemporary journalism of all stripes. My Dad is 78, and has done very well in life. However, like most people, he thinks that the media is obliged to tell the “truth” and that misrepresenting somethin on air or in print is illegal. So many people think as he does, even when they should know better. We are guaranteed a free press, not a fair one.


  3. People in Tampa are dancing in the streets over the Talib deal. most of the team’s fans just wanted their team to cut him – at total loss. Getting back a 4th round pick is seen as genius down there. So don’t tell us about ‘what about the children.’ When a guy’s name is associated with ‘pistol-whipping,’ fans have every right to be concerned. The guy came out of college without the support of his own college coaches, and he got into a violent altercation before he had been through a single practice. On top of that, he could be lying about the adderal. The league can’t say anything about the substance he was suspended for, so it could be anything.

    Can he play, and do the Patriots desperately need someone of his ability? Absolutely. Just don’t tell me I’m doing something wrong being extremely skeptical about him. He’s one of the worst character guys in the NFL – and don’t you dare mention Corey Dillon, who carried an NFL franchise on his back for years before getting sick of losing. Corey Dillion had his own off-field issues, but he was a hell of an NFL football player who finally refused to accept an incompetent management.


  4. 135 Morrissey Boulevard is the most ‘Soviet-styled’ building outside of Russia. In keeping with its occupants, one would agree.


    1. Wait, what?

      No overreactions? 19-0 or bust? Lack of reiteration of whatever facts that validate a writer’s personal shtick without
      balancing out good/bad? How dare he write something rational! How racist! What a biggot! What arrogance!

      Someone is having their membership to “The Lodge” ripped up.

      Bedard’s Sunday was also good on the subject:


      1. Except (and for the most part I think Bedard is excellent) but he does seem to make the jump and thinks it’s a foregone conclusion that Talib will get into trouble again.


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