So if you wondered what the state of, and future of sports talk was, Glenn Ordway and Michael Felger discussed it last night on CSNNE. Ordway thinks internet radio is the next big thing (“They’re putting it in cars!”) while Felger dismissed the power of ESPN, arguing that local sports radio hosts (like himself) have much more influence.

I’d agree for a certain that Felger has more influence in Boston than ESPN does, but I find his criticisms of ESPN to be disturbing. He says the problem with ESPN is that they “don’t throw enough crap” against the wall. Like he does.

Um, Mike, Skip Bayless is on line one…

Here’s the segment, if you missed it:


Elsewhere, the WEEI morning show today was Dale Arnold and Kirk Minihane alongside Gerry Callahan, and what I heard of it was a pretty good show. The John Dennis influence really is amazing. As noted in the comment sections here, and elsewhere, Dennis really seems to bring out the worst in whomever he’s with.

The next few weeks are going to be really interesting at WEEI.


There are a number of personalities at the NFL Network who have admitted openly (Kurt Warner) or not so openly, but still obviously (Marshall Faulk) that they intensely hate the New England Patriots and openly root for them to lose. We can safely add Warren Sapp to the list, if you hadn’t already.

Warren Sapp drops F-bomb on a hot mic

In a way, you can sort of see Sapp’s larger point, Scott Pioli’s main attraction is his history with Bill Belichick and the Patriots, and his intimate understanding of their operation. He’s there to share insight on that operation. Mike Lombardi, before he took the job with the Browns, was there for much the same reason.

I’m sure some people are tired of that angle, much as they are tired of seeing the Patriots year after year. But how many times is Sapp going to embarrass the NFL Network before he is let go? It is becoming routine. Greg Bedard had him as good as fired a year ago, yet he still appears on their airwaves.


18 thoughts on “Felger: ESPN “Doesn’t Throw Enough Crap”

  1. Yeah, that “throwing crap” segment was a little weird, and quickly became meaningless. But it was one of those classic, “two-guys-making-the-same-point-but-appearing-to-disagree” schticks that Ordway has perfected over the years. He conceded Felger’s main point, that local media and talk hosts are generally more important than the national commentators when he said “You play inside 495, and so did I.” (Even if national writers keep breaking Read Sox news.) So they were really saying the same thing. For myself I can say I have no interest at all in SEC football or Big 10 basketball, so I don’t listen to national shows which feature things like that. I care about local pro sports.

    And yes, Bayless’ entire career has become flinging his poop all over the walls. I simply don’t find anything he says remotely interesting. A big part of his MO is to subtly play on racial stereotypes, and I can’t bear nonsense like that.


  2. At most there are 5 markets where the local hosts have more/any influence as compared to ESPN’s reach nationally…Boston, NY, Chicago, Philly and Miami. In all other markets ESPN’s influence is greater. What it really boils down to is that in the cities where college football and college basketball have as much or more interest than the pro games…then ESPN has more influence. Look at ESPN radio’s success it is everywhere outside of the 5 markets I mentioned. For years ESPN has been trying to get a successful national content affiliate in Boston and NY and they have struggled remarkably. On the other hand their national shows own markets like Omaha, Houston, Seattle, Portland, and Nashville.

    I am continually amazed at how “professionals” do not understand how myopic Boston or NY or Philly sports fans are as compared to poor saps in other parts of the country who are forced to follow teams like the KC Royals or Tampa Bay Rays or the Milwaukee Brewers. Its not about how much you throw against the wall…its about the inbred passion to even turn on the radio and care.


    1. That’s why I thought the segment became incoherent so quickly. “Throwing stuff against the wall” in a place like Boston really means focusing on local teams. Throw all the crap you want against the wall, as long as you’re talking about the local scene.


  3. Waiting for the puff of white smoke that indicates John Dennis is gone and Ryen Russillo can dance on his grave.


  4. ‏@MikeReiss Terms for Wes Welker, per @AdamSchefter, were 2 years, $12 million. … Opinion: Hard to believe Patriots wouldn’t go there.

    Sports… Talk… Porn….


    1. I’m guessing the difference is the Broncos guaranteed all of it, whereas the Patriots wouldn’t.


      1. I’m sure we’ll find out. At this point, the only solace is this:

        @JasonLaCanfora two very smart organizations, BAL
        and NE, not willing to pay $6M a year for aging WR this week. SF and DEN, two strong organizations, were

        Rationality out the window right now, though, so will have to wait until later.


        1. It’s not so much that Brady’s being paid less–he’s being paid plenty–than that he restructured (and gave up his free agent rights in two years) so the Pats could sign some more guys. I have little doubt Brady expected them to sign Welker. It’ll be interesting to see if he makes his frustration public.


  5. My only regret about the Welker thing is that this is now ALL we’re going to hear about until Thanksgiving at the earliest, unless the Pats start 8-0 with an average margin of victory of 77.

    Not that my opinion means much of anything, but I’m not particularly upset. Welker’s a good player, and Denver will likely get their money’s worth, but the only indispensable player on that offense is Brady. Welker is a system player. A very good one — but one whose hall-of-fame level production was a function of the team and the offense, not some intrinsic skill level he possessed. With the immortal (former Patriot) Kliff Kingsbury and BJ Symons throwing to him at Texas Tech, he was a good but unspectacular receiver. With the immortal Gus Frerotte and Joey Harrington throwing to him in Miami, he was a good but unspectacular receiver. With Tom Brady throwing to him, he was a hall of famer. See a pattern there?

    Frankly, the writing was on the wall in the season opener when Edelman stepped into Welker’s shoes and delivered roughly equivalent performance. What that tells me, and probably told the Patriots, is that a league average WR could step into this offense as it’s constructed now, and with Brady throwing to him on short routes, wind up with 90 catches for 750 yards or something in his sleep. And given that, the prudent long-run thing is to give that job to someone who is young and has the potential to become something much greater than league average, rather than give the job to someone who is greater than league average but starting to decline.

    The other writing on the wall was a little more subtle. Welker, for much of the past 6 seasons, was effectively the Patriots’ running game. The wideout screens and the short-route quick cut patterns were the equivalent of the 3.5-yard off-tackle runs that you’d get consistently from, say, a Curtis Martin-type back with respect to the way it forced defenses to sit up closer to the LOS, freeing up your wideouts (in the Moss era) or tight ends (in the Hernandez/Gronk era) to exploit gaps in the midfield coverage. Teams wound up forced to commit to one or the other — either shorten up the D and take away Welker, but leave the deep routes open (which proved suicidal in the early days of the 2007 season when Moss would just run past defenders at will), or drop an extra back or safety into deep coverage and surrender the Welker short routes. Most teams approach the Pats with the intention of taking away the big play, which means that Welker was targeted a lot. And as such, he caught a lot of balls. But now…. the Pats actually have a worthwhile running game. So not only is the Welker role fillable by lesser talent, it’s not as important in the offensive scheme as it used to be.

    Which is why it doesn’t surprise me in the least that the Pats drew a line here and (basically) walked away to let him take it or leave it. And I’m okay with that.


    1. Nice rundown Dave. My only question is was the 2 year $16 mill all guaranteed offer actually made last year? Seems to me 2 years $12 mill is cheap. So that means one of three things;

      – The Pats did not have an offer on the table in the neighborhood reported

      – Welker did not want to be in NE at any price

      – Or…Bill Belichick saw something in Welker or his personality last year that he did not want on this team any more. I can’t believe they let Welker walk without letting Brady know in advance it could happen which is why I do not believe the reports that Brady is upset.

      I firmly believe the pats have a backup plan. I wonder if the Pats brought in Amendola, Jennings and maybe some other receiver that people will forget about losing Welker. The important thing is that Bill Belichick has already moved on.


    2. Dave, great write.

      “My only regret about the Welker thing is that this is now ALL we’re going to hear about until Thanksgiving at the earliest, unless the Pats start 8-0 with an average margin of victory of 77.”

      Yup. See the Patriots eulogies out there last night? Albert Breer’s timeline is a living one:
      Some Pats fans were out there reminding people of #81, #87, but the fires started by the anti-Patriots media were already sewn. What I’m wondering on the local angle is how many people aren’t spinning any and all of this into stuff like Borges did this morning (I won’t link out of respect for your eyeballs):

      “The Patriots did what they’ve done for years: they rewarded loyalty with a lowball offer and then discarded Welker, offering him a contract they knew he wouldn’t accept rather than being men enough to simply say, “Thanks for all you’ve done but Danny Amendola has more mileage left on his tires.”

      Don’t sportswriters BEMOAN and get DRIVEN NUTS if a team does this? Isn’t this going on right now with David Ortiz? (Different sport but same situation) I’m not throwing Borges in here, unlike some who generalize all the media to make their arguments sound better, but which way do people want things?

      As you said, we will hear every bit of this unless they’re undefeated with a +100 PD.


    3. Best analysis out there Dave. I agree wholeheartedly on every point…the big thing I take out of this is the OUTRAGE coming from every media person (or almost every one of them) this morning, and how they are going to be insufferable for months to come. I just cannot understand why they are so surprised. When Andy Gresh is the voice of reason — he’s been talking about the team possibly moving on from Welker since the season was ongoing — you know you’re in big trouble…and he picked a hell of a week to go on vacation!


  6. And apparently the other shoe has dropped: Pats reportedly signing Danny Amendola. Who will compete with Planet Mikey in the evenings. Wait… do I have that right?


  7. I can’t stop laughing at this crosspost over at SoSH, but someone has this down 100%. So you don’t have to click to read (if it’s excessive, Bruce, delete if excessive):


    Felger: “Welcome in to Felger and Massarotti, a lot of ways we can start with this Tony…”


    Felger: “We’ll get into that, but really, we should’ve seen this
    coming. Bill has had it out for that player for the past several years. It goes back to the comment about Rex Ryan’s feet, to phasing him out of the offense early this season. I was watching the games at Comcast with Troy Brown and Ty Law, and after ONE HALF against the Titans in week one, they knew Welker was a goner.”

    Mazz: “It’s just…UNBELIEVABLE, MIKE! IT REALLY IS!!!”

    Felger: “The Patriots toadies in the media told me, ‘Felger you’re a
    DB! There’s nothing to see here, you contrarian. You fraud. They’re not phasing out Welker.’ Well, Troy Brown and Ty Law saw it! I was watching the games with them at Comcast! Bill has had it out for Welker. Don’t give me the, ‘Patriots never extend themselves on players.’ They pay who they want to pay. Bill didn’t want to bring Welker back.”

    Mazz: “Look, Mike, given the cost, with this market, at this point in
    time…it’s just…if I were Brady, I would hold out this year!
    Leverage them!”

    Felger: “They left a Super Bowl on the table in 2006! They didn’t
    resign Branch or Givens. They were literally ONE PLAYER AWAY! But hey, at least Robert Kraft can brag about the deal he got at the owner’s meetings! He can thump his chest about taking Welker for all he’s got! I was watching the games with Troy Brown and Ty Law. They saw it!”


    Felger: “This is Josh McDaniels’ guy, just like Brandon Lloyd was his guy. It’s obvious, McDaniels is taking over the team this year.
    Belichick is letting him control the personnel, and will retire.
    Before you say, ‘Felger you’re a DB,’ read the tea leaves! It’s
    happening in front of your eyes! And that’s where we’re starting today.McDaniels is in, Belichick is out. Your calls, next.”


    1. This is my favorite part of this whole thing. Mazz acted like such a child every time somebody said Danny Amendola’s name. Now he has to hear it for the foreseeable future. Suck on that, Mazz.


  8. I don’t want to blow Glen’s mind, but I stream terrestrial radio … from any city … over the internet … on my phone … IN MY CAR!!!


  9. We got lost with the Welker stuff here but lost in this?

    Felger got his money’s worth today (Thur, 14 March) on “throwing crap”. Has to be a pretty dark day.

    On the debate he referred to? Love or hate @billsimmons but he became a voice of reason over this. ESPN wound up suspending him over his tweets criticizing that segment Felger mentioned with Ordway where Bayless and Richard Sherman were going at it:

    ltd had a great post on how we’re more “local” than “national” but ESPN still sets a tone for everything. (r/t back to latetodinner’s great post below)


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