Note: Should have enough of juice for Friday’s mailbag, but if you have something on your mind, don’t be shy. Fire off an email to or, if you fancy yourself the progressive type, shout at me on twitter @Hadfield__.

[Update]: Dan Shaughnessy appeared on an Indianapolis radio station. It was everything you’d expect and more: “I’m begging [the Colts] to come in here and play up to [their] potential; in my view, [the Patriots] are one of the worst 12-4 teams ever assembled,” Shank drolly remarked.

Yup. Sounds like analysis devoid of bias. High fives all around at Morrissey Blv. this afternoon.


Listen to the spot here.

[End Update]

During the NFL regular season, you never go Full-Troll. Never do it. Everyone knows that. The playoffs, though, are a different animal altogether. To get attention away from the subject (e.g. the games) and onto what’s truly important (PAGE VIEWS! NATIONAL EXPOSURE!! CALCULATED OUTRAGE!!!), the usual suspects collectively put their best Tina Turner wig on and start singing. Yes, singing: “TROLLIN’, TROLLIN’ … TROLLIN’ DOWN THE RIVERRRRR.”

You see, we’re told the Patriots must win, and win CONVINCINGLY, on Saturday night against the hapless Colts. What’s more, style points do, in fact, matter. Opinion says so, because whoever said “you are only as good as what your record says” clearly didn’t know what the fuck they were talking about. The media needs it to look good; this way, next week if the Patriots lose, we can denigrate yet another AFC Championship appearance by chalking the “success” up to crappy competition. PASS THE TOMATO SAUCE.

It makes sense, really: the stakes are higher, fans fervent with excitement, and, thus, the #HOTSPORTSTAKEZ are passed around like a bottle of Fireball Whiskey on a Wednesday afternoon bender at Ryan Hadfield’s apartment. That analogy works, kind of, because a) We feel drunk consuming the storylines going into Saturday night’s tilt; b) the media has relieved us of any stress; this won’t be a football game, it will be a party.

So, TAKE A SWIG OF SOME OF THIS AWESOMENESS. Tastes good, doesn’t it? By the way, isn’t it JUST pathetic how Deion Branch is collecting a $23,000 pay check to play for Indy on Saturday? LIKE REALLY DEION: you’re going to throw away something intangible (YOUR LEGACY) to pick up a five-figure payday!  Please. During the snow storm last week, we didn’t feel like leaving our palace, so we used a few g’s as toilet paper. Seemed pragmatic at the time. Opportunity cost, ya know?! Neither here, nor there — back to Branch: Who’s outraged? I’m bothered by this and YOU should be too. Be upset. Deion is stabbing YOU in the heart.

Come on, plenty of bottle left, DRINK UP. Wait, you think we’re crazy? Well, for your information, the definition of crazy is repeatedly doing the same thing while expecting different results. So, yeah, maybe we are a little crazy … like a curly-haired poodle, that is!

Indy Star columnist just RT Shaughnessy’s latest, “Colts won’t be a challenge for the Patriots” to 40K followers. Globe wins internet today.

— Mary Paoletti (@Mary_Paoletti) January 7, 2014

The Boston Globe wins, but we all lose, because it didn’t stop there. The Indy Star columnist wrote an entire rebuttal.

The hangover is subsiding now. We’re starting to ponder: “Hmm. He roots for the story, which, in this case is himself. Maybe we’re still drunk, but we tend to think this form of incestual commentary is – oh, I don’t know – rather self-serving.” Yet, he is the voice of the fan, we’re told.

If true, please pass the Fireball. We need another drink.

As always, thanks for reading. @Hadfield__


6 thoughts on “Sports Media Musings: Small Talk For Small Minds

  1. Shank is so lazy. At least the 2-6 show uses “complex” logic to attempt to discredit and troll patriots fans. Rather then calling the Colts a Tomato can, they build up how good of a team the Colts and Andrew Luck are while simultaneously talking nonstop about how the Patriots should win big! So regardless of the result, they can use it to show just how right they are about this Patriots team. So if the Patriots lose, it is a choke job Felger and Mazz get another year out of their tired theme of BB can’t draft and is a terrible GM (walking the line of fire BB without really saying it because you would truly be stupid to say he should be fired). Not only that, they can keep beating the drum of Andrew Luck already being a HOFer. Then their fan base has to get ready for 12 more months of draft busts, bad FA signings and listening to ho the Green Bay Packers got the 2009 draft right. If the pats squeak one out, they should have won and the true test is the AFC championship, and they don’t have to give the team any credit for getting to this position since they should have been all along, and then bring up the same tired subplots of “did they draft enough talent to compete with Denver”. And if the Patriots win big, they were right all along and knew the Patriots were good enough to win.

    God forbid they make the Super Bowl, then it is two weeks of they started 3-0 and then might go 0-3!!!!!!!!

    But the point is they are not stupid enough to bring it all up at one time, they do it piecemeal over the 4 hour show and week. Thus creating a maddening and almost listenable 4 years of trying to prove the point that 3 years of drafting should completely overshadow a run of 13 years. Also if you disagree with them, you are ignoring the facts and just a biases uninformed homer. Bottom line, they troll and leave enough room to wiggle to a point where they are always correct and Shank is so lazy he just throws bombs and doesn’t care how right or wrong he is.


    1. Yeah, I’m exhausted with this technique in the media. The Patriots are somehow simultaneously awful and *should* beat their inferior opponents. Wait — what? It gives everyone from CHB to Felger and Mazz the laziest of positions from which they assail those of us who dare to actually root for teams.

      If the Patriots win, they beat a team that sucks/is a Tomato Can/lost the game (Patriots never win).

      If the Patriots lose they “suck, suck, suck!”, blew an easy opportunity, can’t draft, blah, blah blah.

      I know it’s revisionist history to refer back to some Gilded Age where the media wasn’t a collection of d-bags, but the last year has seen me really exhausted at being made feel worthless by a group of talking heads who are openly contemptuous of the pack of people who justify their positions even existing.


  2. This is why the Shaughnessy, “oh don’t look at me, I’m just doing my job”, reaction to his latest drives me nuts.

    Even NFLN brought on Bob Kravitz on: I saw that ESPN even gave him time on some of their NFL shows.

    Guess what that does? Now, most Colts fans and others (casual, >90% who don’t do their homework), wind up thinking most Patriots fans and people around here are just arrogant pieces of bleep. In the future, I’d be lucky if someone asks about it instead of just assuming the worst.

    Can you blame them for not asking or being informed? I don’t, fully, but it drives me bananas when having a discussion anywhere and you wind up having to address garbage like this. At the same time, this is straight out of the ESPN playbook on driving up controversy to stir ratings and future storylines (Ben Koo over @ AwfulAnnouncing had a longer but great piece on this exact thing: ). Still, out of all of this, Dan wins, as Mary said.

    How about when a formerly respected paper didn’t make the fan base look like clowns? When a “local” guy writes an opinion piece like this, its assumed and expected that the journalist is writing in the voice of a fan or at least resonating what fans think/feel.

    Didn’t this integrity mean something at some point or is it all page views? Now, this sole column wasn’t the reason the Globe is trash, nor is just their sports coverage, and you can also throw ESPN right in here because they produce and encourage this daily.
    WEEI re-upped most? all? of their online guys like Chris Price, Alex Spiers. Great move.


  3. Ryan – Love that you referred to yourself in the 3rd person in here. You’ve got a future in this biz.


  4. Caught this little nugget about CHB in a Grantland article about the Steroid Era…

    “I spoke to Shaughnessy recently about the steroid issue. “I’ve never been an investigative reporter,” he said. “I’m not really interested in that. It’s not what I got into this for.””
    Of course that’s not what you “got in this for” you shit stirring rabble rouser.


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