February has always been a transitional month in sports. Once the Super Bowl is over, focus shifts to the NBA and NHL, and eventually to Spring Training, as the Red Sox equipment truck leaves today, and workouts start up officially next week.

There will still be football talk…the combine, draft prep, and of course the endless Rob Gronkowski offseason adventures, which will no doubt, be the most talked about Patriots subject on the airwaves.

When it comes to roster decisions, Mike Giardi reports that the Patriots have concerns about giving Aqib Talib a multi-year contract based on his work habits while here this season. He says they’d like to give a him a one-year deal, but that another team is likely to offer him more.

While some in town don’t bother to disguise their dislike for Rajon Rondo and declare the Celtics better without him, people who actually watch the games know that the Celtics improvement has been from turning things around with defense, and that the process started well before Rondo was injured.

The Celtics talk you’ll be hearing the most of over the next few weeks will be possible trades and whether the Celtics should just conduct a full-scale fire-sale, or play out the season and see what happens. Most of the “rumors” you’ll hear and read will have no truth to them, but that won’t stop them from appearing, as Rich Levine notes.

From now until the trade deadline, short of the Celtics breaking off a 20-game win streak, we’ll continue to hear rumblings of numerous deals that might be in the works — regardless of how realistic those rumblings are. Why? Because that’s the world we live in. No one cares about real. It’s all about headlines and clicks.

Indeed it is.

The Bruins are ramping up, getting ready for when the schedule starts to really pick up, and have gotten off to as good a start as you could hope for coming out of the lockout. The Bruins are enjoying the shortened season, with Tyler Seguin among the few Bruins struggling thus far. Rookie Dougie Hamilton has been impressive, and even as Steve Buckley rushes to compare him to Bobby Orr, he finger-wags those comparing him to Bobby Orr. Yeah, you read that right.

Today is Truck Day. A day that is either celebrated, or mocked, depending on your viewpoint. Some view it as the first sign that spring is coming, while others just mock it as another silly annual rite that is given way too much attention.

Players having already been informally working out in Fort Myers, and there are reporters there already covering them.

A photo like this suggests spring much more than a semi-truck being loaded up in freezing temperatures.

A guy to get excited about this spring is outfield prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. Alex Speier runs down why he seems a fitting successor to Jacoby Ellsbury. If you’re not interested in looking for positives, Gerry Callahan says that the Red Sox are going to be a team of great guys who are going to suck.

Finally, from the media side of things, Kirk Minihane has an opinion that many people share, Phil Simms was dreadful during the Super Bowl broadcast for CBS.


10 thoughts on “Mixed Bag Of Sports As February Gets Underway

  1. In the aftermath of the SB, I think every major media analyst was critical of Simms, if not most of the CBS “debacle” when the blackout happened. Monday morning, D+C went right at it, and I even heard a call to F+M yesterday, where they seemed to want nothing to do with it (I assume due to the conflict of interest). Is CBS paying attention? Some people were early on this but I started to notice how bad he was this year.

    AwfulAnnouncing had the best round-up in these two posts:
    http://bit.ly/WTb4hd – Quotes here: http://bit.ly/VF9DVN

    I really hope CBS considers its “talent assignments” in the future after that.
    What would have been a bigger taint: 49ers won after 33.5 minutes of blackout or what did happen with Ray Lewis and the
    banned substance? 120m+ domestic eyeballs/100m+ international and your power “doesn’t work”?
    Did you notice all the media outrage after Jim Harbaugh snubbed CBS for a post-game interview? Oh, wait… maybe Shannon Sharpe was too busy retooling his one-liners from the blackout.
    The media in-fighting over the Rondo-situation seems like it won’t end anytime soon. Losing Sullinger, I think, is more of a blow but this only gives the anti-Rondo crowd ammo if the team does struggle. So far, it’s media members doing their usual asymmetrical shots at each other on whatever medium they are on.


  2. Love hearing Merloni talking about team leadership. I’m sure he had the same conversation with Nomie the night Nomie stayed on the bench in Yankee Stadium in ’03.


    1. The best Lou call was a couple years ago. A guy called and asked him about playing in Asia. Lou said ” I didn’t play in Asia. I played in Japan.”


  3. I’m sorry but the Celtics are clearly a better TEAM without Rondo.
    I am a fan of Rondo but sometimes some things are just so clear and obvious that it’s almost laughable to argue against it just because their are some in the media who you don’t like are making that case.
    There are just some players who are excellent but don’t fit right with certain teams. It would appear that this is the case with Rondo and the Celtics.


    1. The “spread offense” that the Celtics are running right now – where they move the ball, find the open man, get open shots, etc…- is fun to watch and has been effective through four games. However, once teams start playing aggressive man to man defenses rather than soft zone defenses you will see that “spread offense” become much less effective. The way to beat man to man defenses is by having the playmakers (i.e. Rondo) who can beat their man in a one on one situation. Also, fast break points are like gold against good teams, and despite their success the past week, Boston has been squandering those far too often the past 4 games. These things will only be accentuated as the season goes on and the competition level increases.


  4. Thus far, the best on the Rondo situation I’ve seen was from Grantland (Zach Lowe):


    Ian Thompsen is supposed to have a good piece out today but I didn’t see a link up yet.

    The asymmetrical warfare continues on the local front:

    “Who needs Rondo, really? He’s selfish, he’s a punk, his teammates hate him, he’s not a leader, certainly not a franchise player and now there’s this — he doesn’t make his teammates better.”

    (Minihane on WEEI.com 2/7/2013) http://bit.ly/V0Kp1t

    Why don’t media members just call Felger out if he gets under their skin so much? Is it bad journalism or just relegating yourself to his level if you use his name but not if you attack his language?


    1. So I read Minihane’s article. Is he calling Felger a racist, without calling Felger a racist? Because I have to think that the “Rondo haters” comments are primarily for Felger, and then at the end he asks the question about if Rondo was white.


        1. That would make sense, since he’s had no problem calling out Felger on Sports Tonight episodes sitting next to him. I forgot that JD had also used the “punk” label.

          Are the Rondo supporters seriously going to try and use racism to discredit those who don’t like him? If they call the anti-Rondo people out because they don’t like his style of play, fine, but isn’t that a pretty heavy claim?


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