Searching For The Next Mosi Tatupu

It’s been a busy summer for the New England Patriots, for many of the wrong reasons. Now that training camp lies just around the corner (yes, please), we figured we’d get away from all that nasty business and start compiling a list of potential fan favorites for 2013.

Whether or not you were a card-carrying member of Mosi’s Mooses, you probably know something about the late, great Mosi Tatupu, a long-time running back/special teamer who carved out a spot with the team and with fans’ hearts from 1978 to 1990.

Was former Patriot Danny Woodhead a Tatupu? We think so – Woodhead gave us a chance to literally root for the little guy. Those two shared some of the requirements we’ll look for in each subject, including: Continue reading Searching For The Next Mosi Tatupu

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Brief Tuesday Media Notes

Both local sports radio stations are finalists for Marconi Awards this year.

98.5 The Sports Hub is a finalist in the Sports Station of the Year category. WEEI 93.7 is a finalist in the Legendary Station category.

A full list of the finalists can be found here: Marconi Finalists Announced.

Other Boston stations reaching the finals are Carter Alan of WZLX is up for Major Market Personality of the Year (Among others he’s going against Boomer & Carton of WFAN). WJMN is up for Major Market Station of the Year, WBZ-AM is up for News/Talk Station of the Year, and WZLX is up for Rock Station of the Year.

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If you missed it at the end of last week, the Boston Globe shuffled up its Bruins/NHL coverage. Fluto Shinzawa has been promoted up and will be writing the NHL Sunday Notes and the On Hockey columns, previously written by Kevin Paul Dupont, who will be in more of a general features/columnist type of role, as well as continuing his Sunday Second Thoughts column.

Former Red Sox beat writer Amalie Benjamin will be taking over the day-to-day beat writer role.

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Over at NBC Sports Radio Boston 1510, they’re continuing to build up their local lineup. Pete Sheppard is going to be joined in the afternoons by Darwin Zook (@DarwinZook ) who will be Sheppard’s co-host moving forward.

Zook, is an interesting guy, with a varied background which includes playing college basketball at UC-Santa Cruz, being an assistant coach at Emmanuel College, being a contestant on NBC’s Love in the Wild, a Reporter at Dirty Water TV NESN, and a location manager for several production companies who were filming in the Boston area.

In addition, look for an announcement coming soon that Ron Borges will also be joining the station on a daily basis in some capacity.

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I’ll admit that Stan Grossfeld’s feature today – What it’s like for Aaron Hernandez in jail – was fascinating to read. It did however leave me a bit uncomfortable with giving more attention to him as a celebrity. We still haven’t learned a whole lot about the victim in this case, and while this feature doesn’t glorify Hernandez, it’s still giving attention to a (alleged) criminal.

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Elsewhere in Globe news:

The Single-Question Mailbag: A Response To A Reader

After receiving this email this weekend from a reader with whom I had previously had a discussion, I responded and thought I would put the response here, as it might address themes or issues other people bring up from time to time.

Bruce:

Two weeks ago I sent you an email and said that you always seemed to be an apologist for the Patriots organization, but didn’t ever pass up an opportunity to take shots at The Boston Globe and The Red Sox, to name two…

You were quite kind in your reply …We discussed it in a couple of emails and you asked for an example of how you were an apologist for The Patriots and how I claimed you never passed up a chance to defend them.

Your example is Friday’s web site. You said the Patriots are the story again and everyone in the media is waiting to go after them….. Are you kidding me ? Are you going to tell me that Tom E Curran, Mike Girardi, Bedard, Espn Boston, Channel 4, 5, 7, and Ordway, Holley, 98. 5 morning Duo, Mutt & Merloni, Bob Neumier or a host of others are salivating at the prospect of going after the Patriots ???? Really ? Really?

The aforementioned, including you, are seemingly all members of the Patriots PR Staff !……

You seemingly are prepared to defend the Patriots at the drop of a hat, as one would do for their child or spouse……

Is there not a double standard here…..If these 2 guys were on Red Sox do you not think the media uproar would be more intense ?  Have you witnessed the 30 years prior to Red Sox 2004 ….and then 2011? Have you turned on the radio in those times….

To suggest that the negative media The Pats occasionally get is bad is laughable particularly if viewed through the Red Sox lens …..If the Red Sox had lost as many Game 7 World Series as The Pats did Super Bowls there would be a blackout in Boston as the phones would overheat and the media hot air would CONTINUE TO THIS VERY DAY….

Are there not legitimate questions that Bellicheck should answer in these 2 stories ? …..Or legitimate questions as to why no SB wins since last SB despite having ‘BEST TEAM IN NFL’ several times?

Come on ….Bruce

I welcome your reply

Here is my reply:

Hi [emailer] –

Thanks for the follow-up, I appreciate the opportunity to have a discourse.

I guess where we part ways, and that in my opinion  where you rather betray where your loyalties are and where you’re coming from is when you label that entire list of people as “Patriots PR Staff.”

Are you kidding me? I guess you didn’t see Tom E Curran’s very strong columns and tweets about the need for the organization to speak and admit fault over the Hernandez case. Mike Giardi has no problems being critical of the Patriots, just read his timeline or watch his reports to see that that is true. Bedard? He’s been very critical of moves the team has made, and has had no problems stating early on when he feels they’ve screwed up. Mike Reiss always gets tagged with that PR label, mostly thanks to Felger, but it is extremely unfair. It sometimes seems to me that Reiss has had a running theme about looking back at the 2009 season, as if he believes that is when the franchise lost its way. The TV stations? Well, channel 4 has a partnership with the team, with the preseason games and the pre-post shows, they’re not going to go over the top, but 5 and 7? I’m not sure what you’re watching, but it’s not the Sunday night show on WHDH which regularly features the likes of Shaughnessy, Borges and others who enjoy pointing out failures.

The 98.5 morning show? Seriously? They love to make fun of the Patriots, and with Toucher being a devout Jets fan, he revels in anything that goes poorly for the Patriots. Lou Merloni can’t stand the Patriots, and has to follow every “damn” storyline he can dredge up about them. Bob Neumeier? Where did that name come from? He again is someone who loves the storylines.

The thing with the first few individuals on the list is that they actually know the meaning of the term “objective” – and I appreciate that about them. They’re critical of the team when it is deserved – and it IS deserved at times. For you to label them “Patriots PR Staff” really speaks volumes to me as to where you’re coming from.

Where I have a problem is when the likes of Felger and Mazz, Adam Jones, Mike Florio, Lou Merloni, Ron Borges, Dan Shaughnessy, Gary Tanguay et al pile onto storylines and use them to fill hours of radio time, and inches of column space with convoluted criticism which contains high amounts of revisionist history, moving goalposts and 20/20 hindsight.

You’re telling me that when Alfonzo Dennard gets arrested for suspicion of DUI that the above list of people is not salivating over the opportunity to sit in gleeful judgement and moralizing finger-wagging? I’m not sure what you’ve been watching or listening to.

Perhaps I painted too broadly in saying “the media” would be salivating. I tend to take for granted that readers of the site know who I am referring to when I make references of that sort.

I guess I’m also confused on your continual need to bring up the Red Sox. I’ve found in my experience that there are many people in the region who are Red Sox fans, but not Patriots fans, to the point of trying at length to publicly discredit and ridicule the Patriots while making sure the Red Sox get their due. These are the folks who always make sure to point out at every opportunity that “this is a baseball town.” To each his own.

It is possible to be both a fan of the Patriots AND the Red Sox. Not mention the Bruins AND the Celtics. If you’re accusing me of being biased against the Red Sox, then you clearly haven’t been following the site for very long. The entire genesis of the website came about in the days of the “curse of the Bambino” and how fans where getting hit over the head with that every single time something went wrong.

At that time, people wrote into me and accused me of being a Red Sox toady and oversensitive to the criticism leveled at them.

The difference between criticism of the Red Sox and their losses in the past (prior to 2004) is that the media was in general, not gleeful over losses. They commiserated and yes, it got ugly with frustrations of people and pointing blame at whomever, but it was totally different from what we see today both in content and tone.

I’m also a bit bewildered as to why individuals as yourself and others demand that Bill Belichick ANSWER for the Hernandez and Dennard cases. He’s a football coach. The owner of the team, has already spoken.

Did the Carolina coach ANSWER for Rae Carruth? Bill Polian, who drafted Carruth IN THE FIRST ROUND was one of those taking a moralistic victory lap over the drafting of Hernandez in the 4th round. Did Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli ANSWER for Jovan Belcher?

By ANSWER, I don’t mean just talk about it to the media. I mean OWN IT, which what some of the people around here seem to want Belichick to do. They want him to grovel and admit fault.

As for losing Super Bowls with the BEST TEAM IN NFL as you put it, do all other coaches get subjected to this same standard? When the Giants beat the Packers and 49ers en route to that 2011 Super Bowl, were Mike McCarthy and Jim Harbaugh made to answer? Most “experts” felt those were the better teams, not only better than the Giants, but better than anyone in the AFC as well.

There’s a ridiculous double-standard there. In 2007, sure, the Patriots were the BEST TEAM IN NFL going into the Super Bowl. The Giants won the game. When else have the Patriots been the BEST TEAM IN NFL and lost? How does that compare to other franchises? When the Steelers went 15-1 and lost to the Patriots, did Bill Cowher have to ANSWER for that?

I’m sure I didn’t address all of your points to your satisfaction, but hopefully this gives you a better idea of where I’m coming from on things.

Thanks For Everything, Paul and KG

Today is when the Celtics/Nets trade that sends Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn can be completed.

In anticipation, the Celtics placed the following full-page ad in the Boston Globe today:
pierce-kg

It’s impossible to find the words to express what those two (along with Ray Allen, Doc Rivers and others) did to this franchise to finally bring it out of the championship drought. For many years though, Pierce soldiered alone, carrying the burden, seemingly destined to play out his career in frustration.

BSMW Board member “callahardfoul” had an eloquent tribute to Pierce last night, which reads in part:

What more can you want out of watching sports than to appreciate Paul Pierce?

On the court, he could do everything. Shoot from distance, finish in close, pass, space the floor, handle the ball, run the offense, offensive rebound, extremely underrated defensive rebounder, one on one defender, team defender, hustles, communicator, and whatever is left to do. His ISO action caused consternation in some, but the guy had ice in his veins and hit more contested distance jumpers than the rest of the franchise combined over his 15 years. You like flashy dunks? Paul’s got those. You like solid fundamentals? He’s got those as well. Good size, surprising athleticism but could play without his springs because of his smarts.

It’s going to be tough watching him in another uniform next season, but unlike others who have left town, Pierce and KG will be welcomed back with cheers and tributes when they show up at the Garden, and Celtics fans will be wishing them nothing but the best.

In fact, (hint to Garden management) if sometime next season, with a minute to go, the Nets happen to be leading comfortably over the Celtics at the TD Garden, I think a little Gino time, for old times sake, would make for an all-time Garden moment.

It’s been an honor to watch them both play, and is it OK to root for a Nets/Clippers NBA Finals?

By the way, CSNNE’s Paul Piece tribute is one of the best things to ever come out of that network. Great stuff.

A few media-related links before the weekend:

Nomar Garciaparra improving as TV analyst – Chad Finn looks at ESPN’s baseball coverage, and confirms the report here last week of the Boston Herald diving into online radio.

Sports Hub first in spring ratings, WEEI tied for fifth – Earlier in the week Chad reported on the latest radio numbers.

TNT’s 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coverage Continues with the New Hampshire 300 – It is race weekend in NH, and TNT will have the coverage.

FOX Sports Prepares Position Statement for FOX Sports 1 – You’ll get your first glimpse of the newest television sports network during the MLB All Star game next week.

Another Patriots Problem, Sox Win Again

Alfonzo Dennard doesn’t seem to have gotten the message. It may just cost him his job.

The Patriots cornerback was arrested last night around 2:00am in Lincoln NE, on suspicion of DUI. Even if he was not drunk, he showed incredible lack of judgement just by being out on the town at 2:00am in a city in which he was already convicted of assaulting a police officer.

Because Bob Kraft spoke the other day, and because of what he said, the team is almost obligated to cut Dennard right away, if not for DUI, then for being stupid.

The media is salivating over another Patriots incident, all enjoying the opportunity to get their licks in.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox keep at it, winning again in Seattle last night, this time sailing to an 11-4 win over the Mariners.

Red Sox have new fearsome twosome in middle of order – Rob Bradford notes that that Pedroia/Ortiz isn’t quite Ramirez/Ortiz, but it’s really good.

David Ortiz firmly
 in Sox’ high five – John Tomase says Big Papi belongs with Clemens, Pedro, Williams and Yaz as franchise icons.

Jacoby Ellsbury seems in no hurry to leave – Nick Cafardo has the Red Sox centerfielder saying he enjoys and appreciates playing in Boston.

Bruins sign Rask to eight-year contract – The Bruins officially signed goaltender Tuukka Rask to a huge contract yesterday, ensuring that Tuukka time will continue in Boston.

Danny Ainge happy, but salary cap a concern – Gary Washburn has the Celtics exec satisfied with his work thus far in the offseason, but still looking to get the cap situation under control.

Pressey already locked up spot in Celtics camp – A. Sherrod Blakely looks at the undrafted rookie, who has his camp invitation lined up with a strong showing in the summer league.

Meanwhile, Dan Shaughnessy outdid himself this morning with a snarky, bitter, sarcastic take on all four sports teams which likely took him less than 15 minutes altogether to write. KG a mercenary? Check. Lamenting the lack of disgrace being heaped on the Bruins for their “epic collapse” in game six? Check. Sucking up to potential future boss John Henry? Check. Shots at Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, the “holier than others” Patriots and their “legions of sycophants?” Check, check, check and check.

I’ve said it before, and will say it again. The best thing the Globe ever did was put Shaughnessy behind the paywall.

Piling On The Hypocrisy

Following some of the varied and predictable reactions from Bob Kraft’s statement yesterday, here is a post from long time BSMW member “02062” from the board last night. I think it deserves a wider audience.

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Just imagine if Kraft had hired private eyes to tail someone or start making inquiries about a media darling/quote machine?

Invasion of privacy, heavy-handedness would be tossed around for days/weeks/months.

Hell some of these same people who are outraged now about what the Patriots knew and when they knew it, sat around and played grabarse with Jose Canseco when they already KNEW about his domestic battery issues.

It was all #^$@z and grins and Davios gift cards, and they knew Jose liked to try and run down the ex with his car.

But hey, it was “guy radio” and they are all nice guys off the air.

One of them makes a racist remark? So what destroy the tapes. Two weeks of fill in time during July will pay for my vacation this year.

One of them allegedly beats up an old guy who walks with a cane? No big deal. 2 o’clock tomorrow with him? I’ll be there, will it be catered?

One of their offspring gets arrested and charged with the same thing Alfonzo Dennard did? Oh, that’s a personal matter, off limits, I have my journalistic integrity to uphold.

One member of their profession is caught red handed for not sourcing properly is forced to retire and than lands across town? Well, he’s a really good guy, so we won’t discuss it.

Another member of their pumps a video tape that up until now, DOES NOT EXIST. Well, lets move him to the Red Sox beat all is forgotten.

One of the more recently minted crapstirrers is in the big leagues at the height of the steroids era AND is best friends with a guy WHO WAS ACCUSED of being a doper? He now says he saw nothing and the rest of them say, good enough for me; would you like to play in my charity baseball game?

Hey you put Raymond Clayborn in a hamper and you visited a guy accused of 19 murders in the can at Leavenworth? What a delightful tale Willie. I’d sure like it if you could make a phone call for me and hook me up with a tee time at South Shore or Green Harbor.

“How are the kids?” Oh they’re terrific, one of them landed an internship at a production house run by one of the Sox ownership group. Small world, huh?

How about making inappropriately critical comments about the Bruins owner which gets you removed from that beat, put on the Patriots beat which is then a springboard to the highest profile job in the city?

I’m still waiting for ONE of them, anyone of them to look up some of the charitable filings by some of their colleagues and do a little journalism on that topic. But, if you do that, no second helping at the carving station and no free cigars for you pal.

You never really know people the way you think you do.

First the outrage was about Kraft’s silence and now because Kraft admits to being “duped” we’ll, that’s just unacceptable.

Besides feeling duped, I’m sure he’s embarrassed, humiliated, disgusted and ashamed.

The majority of the folks who cover all the teams could use a little of all four of those.

Enjoy your victory laps you miserable bastards.

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To be fair, not everyone in the media thought Kraft needed to talk. Kirk Minihane among them.

Bird’s Rookie Year — ECF vs. the 76ers

Philadelphia 4, Boston 1

**My apologies for the delay in the finale of these posts.  Bruins coverage took up the majority of time, but here is a look at games 3-5 of the 1980 Eastern Conference Finals in Larry Bird’s rookie season.

The Celtics entered the Philadelphia Spectrum with one goal: capture at least one of the next two games to regain the home court advantage.  After winning 61 games during the regular season and quickly sweeping the Houston Rockets, the 76ers took the series opener at the Garden.  The Celtics had yet to win a game in Philadelphia all season, and the team understood that returning to Boston in a 1-3 hole would likely spell doom. Continue reading Bird’s Rookie Year — ECF vs. the 76ers