Prescient Ron Borges on Cunningham?

Patriots defensive lineman Jermaine Cunningham was suspended today for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

In his report card following the season-opener against the Titans, Ron Borges wrote:

Jermaine Cunningham, now mysteriously bulked up, doubled his career sack total with one and at times slid inside to DT, providing a distinct speed advantage without losing much strength.

When the suspension was announced today, Borges wasted no time in his victory lap:

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So how much did Borges know, if anything? Or is this another “even a stopped clock is right twice a day” type of thing?

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Cold Water For A Few Media Storylines

We’ll go with some random thoughts this morning, while attempting to debunk a few of the media’s favorite storylines right now.

I looked for it, but didn’t see the nationwide outrage last night as the New York Giants led the Green Bay Packers by 28 points and Eli Manning was in the game, throwing for the end zone on 4th down with 5:03 remaining in the game.

On Thursday night, just after halftime, for crying out loud, you had actual NFL beat writers (wait, does Buffalo count?) posting things like this:

I know the media roots for storylines, but rooting for injuries is cool?

Last night, not a peep. No hand-wringing over leaving Eli Manning in the game and risking the season. No accusations of hubris hurled at Tom Coughlin. Nothing. I’m sure the phone lines in New York are filled up with angry Giants fans embarrassed at their coach and his poor sportsmanship.

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Since the start of the 2010 season, the Patriots have forced 106 turnovers. That’s the most in the NFL. More than teams with heralded defenses like the Bears, the Giants the 49ers and the Steelers. More than any team. Not bad for the “worst defense in the NFL.”

I’m sure that’s just a fluke though, and that all those Patriots opponents just willingly surrendered the ball to the Patriots.

If it happened one year, maybe you can make a case that  it’s a fluke, but over three years, that seems like a pattern. It seems like something that is being aimed for. They give up a ton of yards, but they force the opponent into mistakes and miscues. Their points given up is usually upper to middle of the pack, which when you’re scoring as many points as the Patriots do, is perfectly fine.

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Watch out for the Broncos!

That’s the latest cry, with many in the media hopping on board the Peyton Manning express. Most are citing improvements that the Broncos have made as the season has gone along,  especially since the loss to the Patriots.Some have even made statements like “Is there any offense more potent than Manning and the Broncos?”

Last 4 weeks
Manning 100.0 QBRating / 7 td / 3 int / 862 yds
Brady 122.0 QBRating / 12 td / 0 int / 1195 yds

Broncos 114 pts
Patriots 190 pts

(Thanks Brian in LA)

Did the same people see Manning and the Broncos struggle against the worst team in the NFL yesterday? I know it was a division game, and those are always unpredictable (like the first Patriots/Jets game) but still, the Broncos really struggled at times, and Manning made some awful throws to boot. I’d take the Patriots running game over the Broncos, as well.

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We didn’t learn anything from this win.

This is a favorite of the local sports talk radio hosts. It’s been said after almost every win this season. Apparently we only learn after losses, or perhaps near-losses.

What did we learn after the last two wins? That the Patriots didn’t take these opponents lightly, and that they were focused on winning the game and moving on. They didn’t fall in any “traps,” they’re showing improvement on defense and special teams, and the offense continues to evolve and show new wrinkles.

Maybe someday we can learn to just enjoy games like these.

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Rajon Rondo is selfish because he’s trying to go for an assist record.

Is it possible to be selfish in trying to help your teammates score? Apparently so, according to some. (As much as he turtled to Tommy Heinsohn, Gary Tanguay is as guilty as anyone on this.)

About the only time the Celtics are being mentioned in the early going is when the topic of Rondo and his double-digit assist streak is brought up.

Tommy has the answer.

http://www.csnne.com/common/thePlatform/web_45/swf/flvPlayer.swf

P.S. – How bad is that Steve Buckley column today? That’s about as bad as it gets. In short, Patriots fans shouldn’t enjoy a blowout win over the Jets, because they did that in 2010, and look how that turned out. Also, Patriots fans can’t feel confident in the offense, since it has been stopped on occasion. Also, the dynasty is over.

Bird’s Rookie Year – Game 19 vs. the Hawks

Celtics (14-4) vs. Hawks (13-9)
Saturday, November 24
Omni Coliseum

Both teams entered the game on streaks: the Celtics were winners of the past two while the Hawks had dropped road games to the Bucks and Bulls.  The difference in this game, however, came down to one simple fact: the Celtics had Dave Cowens and Atlanta did not.  The Green Team received a vintage performance from the 6’9″ product out of Florida State. Continue reading Bird’s Rookie Year – Game 19 vs. the Hawks

Bird’s Rookie Year – Game 18 vs. the Pacers

Celtics (13-4) vs. Pacers (9-12)
Friday, November 23
Boston Garden

Just a month after the Celtics dropped their first game of the season in Indiana to the Pacers, Boston looked for a little retribution on their home floor. The Pacers were struggling coming into the Garden, having lost three of the last four.  The Celtics smelled blood against Slick Leonard’s bunch and allowed Red Auerbach to enjoy his victory cigar as Larry Bird dropped 30 points for the first time in his NBA career in a 118-103 victory over the Pacers.

Continue reading Bird’s Rookie Year – Game 18 vs. the Pacers

Patriots Post Another Meaningless Win Against Imploding Jets

The opening segment of CSNNE’s postgame is always entertaining as I await how Felger and the Lettermen are going to spin the latest Patriots win.

They did not disappoint last night, leading off with how the Patriots 49-19 was not a product of anything they did, but simply the Jets handing it to them, and that there was nothing really impressive with what the Patriots did.

Felger did call the Jets dead, which must’ve pained him after spending the last few years telling us how the Jets had passed the Patriots as an organization and how the Jets way of building a team was every bit as successful as the Patriots method.

We’re in the dark days, indeed.

The lack of faith that people continue to display in this team is mind-boggling at times.

Where does this come from?

By the time the third quarter rolled around the talking wags were already grousing about how much the Patriots were still throwing, and when they would take Tom Brady from the game. Expect more as the days go by.

Tom E Curran was a fun follow last night in all of this.

Do these same people make these complaints when the Saints leave Drew Brees in throwing during the last minutes of a blowout win? Of course not. This is all about the Patriots and Bill Belichick and a chance to take a shot at them.

Get all the Patriots coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

MEDIA

Media roundup: Even in victory, Patriots chatter in Boston unbearable – My SB Nation Media Column looks at a tough week on the Boston airwaves, and it appears more is headed our way.

Tuning In: Patriots can survive Rob Gronkowski loss – Bill Doyle had NBC’s Cris Collinsworth talking about the Patriots prior to yesterday’s game.

Who will replace Damon Amendolara on the Sports Hub? – Chad Finn looks at what routes 98.5 The SportsHub  might take in filling their opening in the evenings.

Enjoy the weekend.

Bird’s Rookie Year – Game 17 vs. the Nets

Celtics (12-4) vs. Nets (7-12)
Wednesday, November 21, 1979

The Celtics looked to begin another winning streak after a turnover-plagued loss to the New York Knicks with a home game against the Nets the night before Thanksgiving.  After dropping the game to the Knicks, as well as one to the 76ers, the Celtics fell to just 3-2 in the Atlantic Division but still entered the night in first place as the Sixers, now 13-6, had lost four out of their last six games. Continue reading Bird’s Rookie Year – Game 17 vs. the Nets

Q&A with WEEI’s The Big Show co-host Glenn Ordway

One of the longest tenured members of the Boston sports media is WEEI’s The Big Show co-host Glenn Ordway. Since 1975 Ordway has been working in the Boston media, working for all four major sports teams in the process. In 1987, when Ordway was a Celtics commentator the team moved their radio programming to WEEI where he became executive sports director. He was later named program director in 1996 and started The Big Show, not looking back since, adding numerous television appearances and even his own show, New England Tailgate on Comcast Sportsnet to his resume.

Boston Sports Media Watch had the chance to sit down and catch up with Ordway to discuss his career, including the changes he’s needed to make over time as well as talking about some of the coaches he interviews on a weekly basis.

Glenn Ordway has been a member of the Boston media since 1975, working with all four major sports teams in that span. (Photo from the Boston Herald)

Over the years what is the biggest thing that has changed in the sports media, especially radio?

A lot has changed. Believe it or not in the old days we didn’t have the internet so you didn’t have the capacity to go and dig out stories else where. You were dealing with the Globe or the Herald and maybe the Worcester Telegram, that’s what you were dealing with years ago. Nowadays everything is instantaneous, the media is immediate. Stories break in 15 seconds on Twitter.

The two things that were key for doing talk shows years ago were the morning newspapers… In other words, you’d wake up at 7 o’clock in the morning and that’s the first time you’d learn about a rumor or trade. There was no at night, there was no SportsCenter, you weren’t getting any other that. The other thing that would happen is every once in awhile, somebody on Ch. 4, 5, or 7 on TV at night would break a story at 11 o’clock and I’d sit there and say, that’s my show tomorrow.

It’s much different. The sound that is out there, every game is either seen, or you record it — you can watch everything. The preperation for one of these shows is so much easier now than it was, and you can absorb and take in so much more.

What was it like transitioning from the two different co-hosts per day to now having one permanent co-host in Michael Holley?

It is a much different formula with three guys and a flash guy in Pete [Sheppard]. You have a lot of people talking. Yes, I know we were interrupting each other all the time, and it was by design, basically four guys sitting in a bar. That is what you do when you’re with your friends at a bar having a sports debate, you start jumping on top of each other.

On the other hand, for me it was a much different role because I was like the moderator and I had to poke at everybody. I had to jump in with an opinion so I could poke to get opposing views to create some type of entertaining confrontation. Because of that I developed that flip flop reputation and I am guilty as charged, no question about it. That was part of the role that I was in.

The role in this show now, is it is a two man team. So you need player A to have a strong opinion and you need player B to have a strong opinion and it comes out with the both of us challenging each other. I happen to have a partner that I have great respect for, and I think he and I really have found that niche in the show to be able to openly throw our opinions out there and not have to worry about it. It is a much different formula, much different.

How much attention do you pay to the ratings?

You have to. They are not everything because if you have ratings and you’re not driving revenue then you’re not really getting your job done. They go hand and hand. You have to watch ratings, and it’s not just ratings looking at the other sports station, the Sports Hub, you’re looking at what the music stations are doing, you’re watching the trends and trends change throughout the year.

Everybody busts us all the time, why do you take all your vacations in the summer? Because listening habits change dramatically in the summer time. People listen to far more music, people get away from sports, they get into nostalgic music, everything changes. Habits change so much so that’s the book that advertising agencies kind of dismiss. Spring and the fall are the two big books that people really pay attention to. You have to watch everything else that is going on.

Was Bobby Valentine one of the most awkward guys you’ve had on for a weekly interview?

I don’t think awkward would be the way I would say it — I would say the most unpredictable. You’d ask him a question and he was the one guy you never knew what the answer was going to be. I think I can ask a lot of people questions, people I interview on a regular basis, and have a decent idea of how they are going to approach the answer. With Bobby I never had an idea of how he was going to answer. That is why he caught me so off guard so many times.

What about Belichick, sort of the opposite?

With Belichick I kind of know the way he is going to approach it. So, you have to phrase the question in a certain way. You have to be ready to come back sometimes with a follow up. But, Bobby was great with follow ups because once you knew he was going to cross the line with the answer, you knew if you threw him a follow up he wasn’t going to stop. Bobby was not one of those to say, that’s it, I’m not going to talk about that anymore, he always wanted to say more about something. Bill wants to say less about something because he wants to protect his team.

On the other hand, if I were to ask a question to Bill about a play they had on Sunday and compare it to a similar play they ran in 2004, Bill would go back to that play in 2004 with tremendous clearity and he would detail every little thing that happened in that play, why it happened, and every player that was involved. When it comes to history and going into the past tense, because Bill doesn’t want to bring up the present or future, he gives you unbelievable stuff.

There are times when you really listen to Bill on Monday, that if you read behind the lines, there is stuff there, but you have to read between the lines. If he is not answering a question a certain way, or if he does, like the way he answered the question this past week on [Aqib] Talib and how much playing time he was going to get, he gave me the answer, but it was reading in between the lines.

What about the future for you personally, you’ve been doing The Dan Patrick Show nationally lately, do you like that?

I love it. Those guys are great — the Danette’s and Dan is a great friend. I like those guys an awful lot, I like doing the show. I love doing what I am doing right now. I’ve got to tell you, this is fun every single day. It’s fun waking up preparing for the show, doing the show, I have no regrets. I could actually have to work someday, this is fun. I have done an awful lot of things in the business, dealing with pre and post with the Red Sox, people forget I worked with the Bruins for two years, and the Celtics for 14. I am having fun right now.

But, there are challenges down the road. There are a couple of projects that I am working on right now that will hopefully come to fruition. So there are a bunch of other things I want to do, you always want to try and find new challenges and things to do. But, this is a blast and working with Michael has been a whole new level of enjoyment for me.