GET INVOLVED, GUYS: Due to popular demand, I’ll be running a Media Musings Mailbag soon; in fact I may post it tonight, but more likely tomorrow morning. To contribute to the fun and games, either shoot me an email at, hit me up on Twitter @Hadfield__, or leave a response in the comments section of any one of my columns.

John Dennis & Gerry Callahan vs. Fred  Toettcher

(Because A Team-Friendly Contract Is Worth Embarrassing Yourself For)

First the build up: Back in late 2011, Andy Gresh called me an “idiot media blogger” on his radio show (Real rich coming from a dude whose immediate reaction to the Jerry Sandusky scandal was that Joe Paterno‘s legacy would remain intact. Really hit the nail on the head there, Geraldo Rivera. Nice work!).

I’d rank Gresh crushing me on the airwaves right up there with the first time I showed up unprepared for a pop quiz in high school or the time I couldn’t figure out how to unhook a girl’s bra strap while Dashboard Confessional was playing  in the background. Just grand memories. (Introspective Song Choice: GLOOOOOORRRY DAYS! DUH DUH DUH DUNNNN, GLORRRRY DAYSSS!!!)

Well, since then, I’ve gotten a few angry emails, a few nice emails, blah, blah, blah — but never my name came up in conversation on the air …

When Gerry Callahan responded to me saying it was more than one person John Dennis was irate with, my interest piqued. “GOLD, JERRY,” I said out loud to no one in particular. And hey, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that part of me thought, “Could it be? Will I have another moment in the sun?? I HAVE TO CALL MOM!” All for nothing, guys. (Sorry mom.)

John Dennis was perturbed at Toettcher (and Gresh) for his rant about Tom Brady’s letter to Dennis about his contract situation on Sports Tonight Wednesday night.

A few notes from this morning:

– First of all, SOME INSIDE MUSINGS for you guys: I get my fair share of emails from media members, many whom I write about. I would never publish these exchanges without consent, mainly because I’m not an idiot. RELATED: Evidently, John Dennis is an idiot. He and Brady had correspondence about why he didn’t want to talk about his contract on the radio; and, in turn, Dennis decided it was appropriate to disseminate the letter on the very medium Brady wanted to avoid. In the name of ratings, I guess Dennis subscribes to the saying, “Don’t ask for permission. Ask for forgiveness.” According to Dennis, Brady’s not happy with him. No matter — I suspect Tom won’t have to deal with him next season anyway.

– Second of all, everyone involved in this episode should be embarrassed. Dial it back, guys. This is the dumbest debate ever. And there have been plenty of dumb debates in this town (Clay Buchholz went to a pool party and signed autographs. DOES HE GET ‘IT’??? DISCUSS!)

– Dennis said he and his cohorts aren’t allowed fire insults back at “Sports Hub” personalities. In retrospect, another great executive decision by the Entercom brass. I like it: BE ABOVE IT ALL (Except, of course, in the ratings. Currently, they are below it all in the ratings.)

–  From the Semantics, minor details, and stuff everyone is overlooking department: The headline, “Toettcher: Screw You Brady,” is more than misleading. He was posed the question of how other players should react, and not necessarily his own reaction.

– “Dennis and Callahan” insinuating that all of “The Sports Hub” is in bed with the Patriots is laughable. This is a station that Michael Felger spent the better part of 2009-10 getting hot and bothered over how great the Jets organization is. The Jets for crying out loud — the same team interested in Brady Quinn! Worse, your station is LOSING TO THIS RHETORIC. I need to shower. Or a drink. Maybe I’ll start drinking in the shower … Is it noon yet?

– I don’t think this was a planned rant to combat the return of Rich Shertenlieb. I do think this was a planned attack at “The Sports Hub” in order to garner ratings. That’s totally fine. “Toucher and Rich” have been employing the same tactics for over three years now. Welcome to the show, guys.

– Does Toettcher, Gresh, or anyone else REALLY think NFL teams are going to the bargaining table tell agents that THOMAS EDWARD PATRICK  BRADY TOOK A TEAM-FRIENDLY DEAL. YOUR CLIENT SHOULD TOO!!! If so, we have bigger problems in the media than I initially anticipated.

– How funny is it that, despite this posturing, Gregg Doyel still comes off as the biggest tool since Brady signed his extension? Talk about setting the bar.

– Kirk Minihane wanted no part of this discussion. None.

–  Does John Dennis walk around with a thesaurus? Love how he whipped out the word “unctuous” multiple times. So officious with his tone and vernacular rangggggeeee. CLASSIC DENITO.


35 thoughts on “Sports Media Musings: Let’s Play Angry Birds On The Radio!

  1. Fred may have been answering the question “as a player”, but you can tell by his emotions he’s really giving his opinion. And if it’s not popular or things go wrong he gets to hide behind I was just paying a character. Sorry but I don’t believe he’s that good of an actor. The Jet fan saw an opportunity to trash Brady, on a stage where no one was going to disagree with him, and took it.

  2. I thought it telling that Dennis said they were told not to respond in the past, but that he was through with that. It sounded like a man who knows it’s almost over and truly doesn’t care what anyone thinks anymore.

    1. Writing is on the wall. Jason Wolfe is probably waiting for word from corporate that he can go ahead and eat ANOTHER big contract and dump that blob. Hence the animosity towards Minihane.

    2. His response was bizarre. He called the 98.5 guy about 25 nasty names, then said he wasn’t going to stoop so low and call him names.

  3. Quick Disclaimer: Want to apologize in advance for a few grammar/word choice issues in this post (e.g. “bargaining table tell” should be “telling”). Normally I would fix the mistakes before anyone noticed. But I had technical issues getting the CSNNE video up and Bruce had to step in and fix.

    Long story long: If I edit these mistakes, the player won’t show, and I’d rather have the segment in question up.

    Thanks for reading!

  4. Fred Toucher doesnt get it-I’m sorry , but the Brady rant was embarrassing. Toucher is not a Patriots fan, so to go off on Brady and his reasoning behind his new contract, implying that it comes from you intimate knowledge of the situation, or an intense investigation concerning the issue, is hypocritical, risky and sheer unprofessional bravado. In addition, (in typical Gresh fashion-trying to be the elite rather than just reporting on them) not agreeing with Brady and taking it personally, implies that you are a part of the exclusive stardom as well, and this hurts your wallet/status quo…Sorry, not a genius, but that comcast panel is not the talent…..just reporting on the talent, so acting as if this was a insult to your contingency is laughable. Bottom line-Tom Brady taking less money for whatever reason, in any way, is refreshing and reflects Brady’s actions for his entire career. If you dont see that for what it is, then why be a sports guy who speaks to the masses?

  5. When this TB12 letter was “teased”, via the “I don’t think he’ll mind me reading this” .. What was the point? Was it intentional or did he actually betray some trust here?

    Given all the media hype and national columns around it, did JD also think that whatever was said would not wind up going viral? Small timeline: he reads around 6:30-7AM. 8AM, PFT had it. By 9AM, Mike and Mike were reading it live on air (odd for them because they normally don’t break news that isn’t super big).

    If it was some ruse where you did have access but hyped it up as not being “authorized” to read, I don’t see the point. Everyone knows you have access. If the opposite is true why jeopardize the remaining half of Patriots Monday?

  6. While I’d admit to not being a regular reader, I do find that every time I read one of these, my main takeaway is that Ryan Hadfield sure is impressed with what Ryan Hadfield has to say.

    What exactly is the point of injecting yourself in the first part of the story? Because you thought someone was going to talk about you, then didn’t? Oh, well that’s worth keeping in there.

    1. He’s doing exactly what the execrable John Dennis did. It’s almost as if he wants a drunken voicemail from Dino

    2. Yeah, Ryan, what the hell are you doing providing commentary on the media on this media commentary website!

      1. What I was talking about wasn’t commentary on the media. It was “one time, Andy Gresh talked about me, and I thought it was going to happen again, but it didn’t,” followed by commentary on the media.

        The article’s fine. The top section of Ryan talking about Ryan not only doesn’t add anything to it, it muddles it for absolutely no purpose. (I’m an editor. Bitching about copy is what I do.)

      1. JonB, pelting Ryan Hadfield for pelting John Dennis from his glass, while actually pelting from behind his computer monitor. Equally as effective!

  7. Toucher was totally off about his rant and it was, frankly, stupid but it still gave D&C enough rope to look like the bigger fools.

    Not only did he piss Brady off by disclosing the e-mail contents but also outright lied about 98.5 being “in bed” with the Patriots given that The Sports Hub is a rights holder but STILL can’t get Brady, Belichek or Bob Kraft to go on their shows.(Probably because they do not want to deal with Felger).

    It was a desperate stunt to get people on their side and they ended up looking even worse.

  8. what brady did is awesome! he took less to help the team out, why is this a controversy? is there really nothing else to talk about? pretty sad when adults are like children…john dennis has to go!

    1. and in regards to jc below, you must really hate your life, go read somewhere else. let ryan do his thing, keep up the good work hadfield/hannable combo!

  9. I think whether John Dennis violated a trust between him and Tom Brady is a separate point and should not be confused with the real issue here. Fred Toettcher’s reaction was beyond emotional when the question only asked for a matter of fact response. He made it seem that Brady’s actions was a personal affront to him an insult to his moral character. Really Fred??? Talk about a “hey look at me ” reaction.
    BTW Ryan, don’t let big words intimidate you. The gentleman whose picture comes up in the dictionary when you look up unctuous will be strating on afternoon drive time in a couple of weeks. You’ll learn to use that word a lot!

  10. Brady didn’t take less money he just has less of his money versus the cap it’s actually a raise and majority gauranteed. For Brady to act like he’s taking the high road and saying people are hurting is just a joke I can understand he doesn’t want to talk about it in these tough times. But for all these “sports media” people to get on their knees and say Brady is the Ultimate Team guy, only cares about winning they have no idea how the salary cap system works. HE GOT A RAISE. These are professional athletes we’re talking about. They don’t care about the fans or winning for the fans they care about winning for themselves. Fred is 100% NFL guys are in union and anyone not strenghtening the union is hurting it. A team player is a UNION player. You’re all idiots and DnC are dinosaurs who are trying to hang on. STEAK AND EGGS, HEY GUYS HEY

    1. Dude seriously? We arent’t talking about canaries in coal mines. Unions, by def., are for those whose livelihoods are at risk because of poor working conditions, and whose compensation is unjust. Not sure if Joe Flacco wll miss a meal because of this one, and the only people reading the tealeaves on this one are people like Fred who act as if their position, or job, is impacted. As of today, no players are crying out as a result of Brady taking less, so to call out someone for that, with all the venom of a jilted friend, even though you are on the outside looking in, is ludicrous and self-serving.
      …Being a lapdog to a media lapdog is no way to go through life son

      1. Actually a Union is group of employees who work together to achive certain standards. Pay, Working conditions, and invested interests. So you’re saying just becuase they are multi millionairs working for mulitbillionaresthey don’t deserve protection like any other union and their members? So the owners should be alowed to pay a guy like Blaine Gabbert League minimum and with no health insurance becuase he a throw away employee? Fred was just saying if he was a player he’d be pissed becasue the union gets weaker on the whole when you give concession to management.

        1. Sports- You are just as much as a moron as your buddy Touchbag. What the fucksticks like you and at 98.5 seem to miss is the fact that Brady will more than make up any salary “cut” in future endorsements just by being under contract longer. Brady doesn’t give two shits about winning, salary cap relief for the team (or your ridiculous argument about weakening the player union)….its self service…he’ll get his either way.

          1. If what you write were true, Jack, Brady would’ve gone to free agency and signed with the highest bidder, and gotten his endorsements anyway.

    2. This is semantics. If franchise QB’s are currently getting $18 -20 mill a year in their mid to late 30’s…see Peyton Manning and Ben Rapistburger then Tom Brady accepting a 3 year extension for $9 mill a year is him taking less money to help the team. What he did not do is give back any already agreed to money. Instead by taking most of the money plus $3 mill owed to him over the next two years as a guaranteed bonus he was able to reduce his cap hit …which is not real dollars.

      But if you look at it, the last 3 years are a bargain for a QB Brady’s caliber. He took less than market value for those 3 years in order to free up cap money to bring in other players today. I doubt we will see Manning playing in Denver for that kind of Money…not when he can make $20+ mil a year.

  11. I’m not a D&C fan but I thought Toucher’s tirade was idiotic. It’s no secret Fred dislikes the Patriots so I assume he hates Brady too (and no matter what Fred says, he’s speaking HIS opinion not what an NFL player is thinking). I noticed he’s re-tweeting every tweet he gets that bashes D&C; might as well shoot when the ducks are flying. Surprised to see media taking sides. Gary Dzen and Eric Wilbur blew Fred kisses and trashed D&C in tweets too. Hide the kids – it’s getting nasty out there.

  12. Gresh is embarrassingly bad. He is the prototypical neanderthal and what makes it really bad is that he has no shame ever about all the stupid things he says. Never mind bragging about his URI football days and acting like he was playing big time football.

    Ordway is available the midday show on the hub sucks. IT’S A NO BRAINER!

    A boston radio legend who needs work or Gresh?

    Bring the “big show” to the Hub and let Ordway be the ringleader again. Zo can still join in some days like he did back in his WEEI days. That ordway format would work quite well in the midday and just demolish that snooze fest called Mutt and Lou.

    1. Ugh, whether they are young or old, these Fat F’s grow more smarmy, arrogant and complacent in their roles. That said, I’ll go with the young Fat F. The ’90’s are over Dan.

  13. Ryan sez,

    “- From the Semantics, minor details, and stuff everyone is overlooking department: The headline, “Toettcher: Screw You Brady,” is more than misleading. He was posed the question of how other players should react, and not necessarily his own reaction.”

    Ryan, what are you talking about?????????
    I cannot believe you’re trying to spin that Freddy’s spewing of his Commie Manifesto last night was simply his representation of how players should react.
    Come on Ryan. You’re a bit more intelligent that. No?!?!
    John Dennis is a fool for discussing a private email.
    Fred Toecchter is a fool…..who needs a bath.
    Freddy, if you’re going to do TV at least de-grub first.

    1. Then again, Linda, you might want to brush up on what commies are, and what they believe in. Toettcher’s rant was the opposite of communism. His point was, Maximize what you can earn as a player or as anybody, if you’re good enough. (The only faintly remote whiff of communism in his statement was that all members of a market–players, radio personalities, whoever–are in the market together, and what affects one affects all.) That said, I think he was being fairly sincere in his “Screw you” rant, particularly since he referenced radio. But don’t forget that noted thinkers Dan Shaughnessy and Andy Gresh agreed with Fred 100%–Dan’s role-playing (and laughing) response to Brady was, “Bleep you”, and Gresh’s was “What he [Toettcher] said.”

  14. I thought both stations sounded like 10 year old children this morning, it was ridiculous, I had to turn the radio off. My guess is both stations will continue the nonsense tomorrow

  15. Saw Dennise and Calahan groveling on NESN between periods of the Bruins game tonight, as only media hacks can do. Boy, they both looked very, very sickly…in a ‘they-have-some-disease-you-should-stay-away-from’ sort of way. I mean these two media hacks looked withered, ragged, and, well, sickly.

  16. There is NO way Tom Brady wrote that e-mail thinking it wouldn’t be read on the air. That thing read like a well-rehearsed statement I’d expect to see coming from the White House.

    Tom knew full well that would spread around (making him look like a hero, even though THERE IS NO PAY CUT – he’s actually getting way more guaranteed money right now than he was before). If it was just meant to say thanks, but no thanks to Dennis’s request, it would have been one line along the lines of, “Thanks man, but I don’t want to talk about it.”

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