There’s an art to trolling. Some people can do it well, others just sound dumb when they try to do it.

Michael Felger is a master troller. He does his work on the airwaves, and it is amazingly effective. He gets the reactions, people are fired up, they keep listening even though they’re pissed off at him, and when called on it, he either 1) can somewhat intelligently defend his “take” or 2) sheepishly admit that he was just causing waves. I don’t like or enjoy it, but at least he’s good at it.

Others, like Ben Volin, try to troll, but they do so clumsily, and when they are called on it, either try to confuse the original issue or double down on their stupidity.

Here, young Ben is clearly attempting to troll, by insinuating that the Patriots somehow directly owe the families of the victims of Aaron Hernandez. Which is ridiculous.

When he was called on it, Volin clumsily tried to explain.

So there’s a pending lawsuit against Aaron Hernandez. Tell me again what this has to do with the Patriots? Volin then desperately grabs onto a Mike Florio post, (of all people) to try and make his case.

That post, ends with this line.

Which means that, by fighting to keep Hernandez’s money, the Patriots essentially are fighting to keep money from the families of the people he allegedly killed.

What Volin doesn’t (or can’t) explain is that there are two things going on here.

1) Families of victims are trying to prevent Patriots from paying Hernandez, because his lawyers will immediately take it all.

2) The Patriots are saying they don’t owe Hernandez any further money because he violated his contract.

The two situations have nothing to do with each other.

If the Patriots really wanted to screw the victims families, they would pay Hernandez. (which is what it seems Volin and Florio are insinuating they should do) The victims would never see the money.

The team doesn’t want to do that. Volin retweeted an AP story from the Globe today, which says:

The (team) lawyers said that in the ‘‘unlikely event’’ that the team is ordered to pay Hernandez more money after an arbitration proceeding, the team has offered to inform the plaintiffs and the court and will not pay Hernandez anything without a court order.

What that tells me is that if the Patriots ultimately are required to pay Hernandez, they’re going to give the plaintiffs and court first crack at it.

What would trolls like Volin and Florio have the Patriots do? Just hand over $3.25 million to families victims?

In the end, Volin just cries. Everyone is being mean to me!!!

No Ben, the backlash is from you being incredibly dim and trying to troll for clicks and attention and instead getting embarrassed.

If you don’t like it Ben, you can always go back to Florida.

Globe Troll, Case Two.

Then we have Dan Shaughnessy, who wrote his second column about ignoring this World Cup. This got him more attention via social media and even scored him an appearance on Outside the Lines on ESPN.


Some in the media defended Shaughnessy. Like Ben Volin, naturally.

Then there was national writer Pete Prisco:

It’s clear to me that Prisco didn’t read the column. Being anti-soccer may not be trolling. It may be his opinion.

This is trolling:

My anecdotal data indicates that there is no group with more conviction and less sense of humor than soccer fans. They are angry and firm in their insistence that theirs is the best game. Anyone who disputes this is dismissed as a xenophobic idiot.

When you attack not the game, but the fans and supporters, you’re trolling.

Anyway, how about those Red Sox?

How many weeks until training camp?

I’m out next week, probably won’t have anything up here, so enjoy the weekend and the beginning of July.


32 thoughts on “If You Can’t Troll Right, Don’t Troll At All

  1. Volin reminds me of the new kid in school who says things for attention and then hides behind the established “cool” kids even though they may not like him. But he is seen with them and that is good enough for him. These kids also always talk about how their old school was so much better than their new one, longing to go back even if the new situation is better.



    “Kennedy also asked to add the Patriots organization as a defendant in the lawsuit. He said his primary goal in adding the team was to be able to get information on the terms of Hernandez’s contract with the Patriots in an effort to try to secure assets for the families in the event they are awarded damages by a jury. Each family is asking for $6 million in damages.

    MacLeod said she would take that request under advisement, but was leaning against adding the team as defendants. The judge said Kennedy has other ways of getting the information he is looking for from the Patriots.”

    Adding the Patriots to the wrongful death lawsuit? I guess I just don’t know enough about the law. It sounds pretty ridiculous though.


  3. I saw that stuff from Volin and had to roll my eyes. I thought he was good at first but it seems like he’s falling right into that Globe-style they’re encouraging on the sports side.

    With sports/legal stuff, I usually look to McCann, who can at least offer some informed opinion.

    When this stuff came out on the 19th, McCann RT’d something he had wrote a year ago, after the initial arrest:

    @McCannSportsLaw Families of alleged victims of Aaron Hernandez sue Patriots & Kraft. As I wrote for @SInow, lawsuits face long odds:

    I’m not surprised that Florio offered his own “troll” on the take, despite him being a lawyer.


  4. Fantastic screen grab of Shaughnessy’s o-face. Just imagine that creepy mug above you, just inches from your face, his hot, sour breathe hitting your nostrils. I pity his wife.


    1. Excuse me. I’m trying to prep some food here for tomorrow’s bbq. Your descriptive words of the indescribable should be saved for Oct 31 and not this holiday. Now, because of your word picture, I have lost all desire for warm blooded flesh. Instead, I am fighting the urge to bang a long Q-tip up into my frontal lobe. I need to make that image go away.
      Pity his wife? Pity my friends tomorrow. Who instead of good food will be shown that picture along with your terror filled 3 line description. They will certainly be full afterward.
      I’ll probably need a mop.


  5. Stop paying for the Boston Globe. Stop clicking on their website or links. Stop giving these bags of excrement a pulpit to sling mud at the fans and your local teams. Just stop. They are in a dying business and they will resort to circus tricks to get your attention. Don’t give in.


  6. “Which means that, by fighting to keep Hernandez’s money, the Patriots essentially are fighting to keep money from the families of the people he allegedly killed”

    read that line again… Sometimes Patriot fans are accused of being paranoid or at the very least “sensitive”.. but read that line again and tell me there is no media bias AGAINST the Patriots. maybe not all media, but a helluva a lot…bullshit (and great breakdown,Bruce)


    1. You nailed it. We are not paranoid when it comes to the media’s “coverage” of the local NFL franchise. Remember, the Globe still employs as its “lead” columnist a guy who repeatedly takes personal shots at the team’s owner because of lingering bitterness over a 17-year old dispute/incident; and a guy as its “emeritus” columnist who continues to insist that the team needs to win at least one more Super Bowl to prove that the other three were actually “legitimate” and not “tainted” by the ludicrous “Spygate” nonsense. And the number one sports talk radio host in town continually refers to Mike Reiss–the best and most fair/balanced Pats beat writer–as Bob Kraft’s “son” because he doesn’t take unfair cheap shots at Belichick or the organization and only criticizes them when criticism is actually warranted. And then there’s Borges, who somehow remains employed by a major news organization in this town, in spite of his well-documented (and publicly admitted) personal hatred for the head coach. Add it all up and you’ve got a clear media bias against the Patriots in this town (and nationally, I would say, though perhaps to a slightly lesser degree). No….we’re not paranoid. The facts are the facts in this case.


  7. this is my all time favorite example of media bias. it’s an oldie but goodie from 2004. Clark Booth actually wrote this after the Pats/Rams game in which the Pats ran a successful fake FG against the Rams:

    “If you want to know why a lot of NFL insiders will be happy when Bill Belichick gets his comeuppance some day, ponder that cheesy stunt he pulled in St. Louis that resulted in a ‘touchdown pass’ from Adam Vinatieri to Troy Brown on a fake field goal. The play was technically legal but laden with a deceit bordering on un-sportsmanlike conduct. That’s sandlot stuff hardly worthy of this league, in the minds of true-blue football sorts who would also argue that humiliating a foe is to be avoided at all costs”


    1. Firstly, I had no idea this site was around in 2004. Respect, Bruce.

      Secondly, people were wishing ill will and comeuppance on Bill Belichick 3 years prior to the contrived hysteria of Spygate?!? Before he had even won his 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years? Goodness gracious. That speaks volumes.


  8. Any #’s for NESN rating %’s? Not much competition but also not much to be excited about.


  9. Fill-in months.. where it’s usually a reminder why people don’t have weekday gigs, except for the rare times you want to hit more. Tom Curran in for Dale on D&H. Also really enjoyed Field Yates on today. TC is one of maybe two guys who I think can be fluent in the big 4 sports and is enjoyable, and this isn’t the first time I’ve heard him. It’s too bad he would not go to radio but I could never blame him with his spot @ CSNNE.


  10. Has anyone noticed Mike Loyko of His pre-draft stuff, as well as NFL material is pretty good. He’s on twitter and when he tweets about other sports, woah boy! He clearly has his whipping boys on every team and makes guys like Felger and Longo look like footsie wearing fan boys of all four teams in town. He was all over Kelly Olynyk for his summer league performance the other day and does he go over the top! He called KO the “worst offensive big in the nba.” When Brock Holt was recalled, he called him “utterly useless.” He does this with all sports, soccer, golf, hockey, whatever. He’s not always wrong but he seems to be going for the hyperbole award with every comment and it gets old, especially from someone who is so good at certain things.


    1. I’m a huge fan of his and bring him up here and elsewhere to local fans. His Patriots stuff is a great read and he actively comments on news and items related to the team. Each year, he also produces a draft book that he sells for $5. I know that Gresh and Zo use it but I think they’re the only people in town who would find value in reading about 300 potential draft picks, regardless of where they go. As you pointed out, he’s not afraid of offering up an opinion on the various sports in the area and other stuff going on. I wouldn’t call them #HOTSPORTZTAKEZ but look at his feed and decide if his stuff is worth a follow for you (@NEPD_Loyko). Personally, I consider him in the Matt Chatham category where they’re “non-traditional media” follows for anyone in the area.


      1. I don’t want to be overly negative on him because he’s really good at draft prep. I have never purchased his book, but a coworker did and it is top notch, especially for a guy doing it without a major outlet. I just can’t take all of the over the top negative tweets. I think I’ll unfollow until football season.


  11. Not sure if people missed the ratings yesterday, but WEEI is as close to 98.5 as it’s been in years — Chad Finn speculated maybe 2012 and the end of the Celtics run to me on Twitter. Sports Hub’s numbers are down from a year ago (and down from this past winter), while D&C are up strongly in the morning, nearly 2 ratings points. Minimal gains for the new midday show and Dale & Holley, but overall, a decent jump up for EEI. Probably the best news the station has had in a long time (EEI was 5th, 98.5 was still 1st, a .1 ahead of ZLX, overall).


    1. This is interesting. You could look at it and say, 98.5 seems to be on a steady decline. Yet, they’re still #1 overall and well ahead of WEEI (despite their gains). The question is, were this winter and last spring’s numbers unrealistic to maintain? Have they leveled off at where they are now because the shine has worn off? Or is this the beginning of the kind of backlash that WEEI experienced when their egos were out of control?

      I think DC&M’s gains and T&R’s losses are legit signs of change. A more than 7 point lead has dropped to less than 2 in the span of a year. It’s funny that everyone has been calling for D and/or C to be gone, but I bet in 5 years it’ll be T&R that are gone (to a different format).

      I would expect G&Z to tick upward when football season starts. I would likewise expect MFB to stay where they are, if not drop back down. I think that 1 point can easily be chalked up to people seeing what they’re all about. Merloni is garbage. Benz is a clone of every failure WEEI has brought on in the last few years. Fauria seems to be divisive so far.

      F&M continue to dominate. Imagine what the ratings would be if they replaced The No-Talent Echo?! (@firemazz) Not surprisingly, Dale hasn’t helped. That was an uninspired choice. But maybe there’s no one they could bring in to help them beat F&M. Their ratings aren’t awful. Perhaps they should just be satisfied with that.

      I know it’s like putting down an old dog, but I think it’s time for Mikey to go.


      1. everyone has been calling for D and/or C to be gone

        They’ve said a number of things that are indefensible by anyone, but I get the feeling that many want them off the air because of politics. Which, again, I wish they would not talk about, but when I scroll through comments on other forums, the majority of that comes from things they say that don’t sit well with people who are on the other side.

        But maybe there’s no one they could bring in to help them beat F&M.

        Thought the same thing. Name anyone that has a chance here. I can’t. The only remote chance I would bring up is Ordway. Salk not only did nothing to dent the gap, but seemed to also lose listeners. It also seemed as if once Brown was fired, he had absolutely nobody in the building who liked him. We usually get a mixture of messages when personalities leave but have you ever seen the stuff that people have openly said about him? Sounds like the guy made no friends. On Dale, I wondered if he was just a stopgap to at least chip away, or if there were grander expectations? Dale, to me, is great on Sunday mornings for a show without callers. Trying to compete against F&M? The only way, I think, you can have a chance is a veteran, which Ordway is the only name that is worth a risk. Or, maybe they’re happy where the # is at and would rather it be stable with D+H?


  12. I’ve been listening to this absurdly named MFB show a little bit.

    The star of that show is clearly Fauria. Benz is annoying, grating and all about #HotTakez. Merloni is a loudmouth moron that changes his opinion every day. Fauria, on the other hand, just goes on the air and has fun. He doesn’t dwell on the negative, he doesn’t get caught up in the sideshow drama that so many self-described fans (and media, obviously) seem to be concerned with these days. He doesn’t give #HotSportsTakez, in fact, I’ve heard him demolish Benz’s attempts to produce #HotTakez on more than one occasion. He’s just a straightforward and (I think) funny guy. Fauria could EXCEL in this market, he just needs to be with better co-hosts. Benz is such a huge tool!!!


  13. yep… only sport he seemed to like was hockey and EVEN THEN, he seemed to be stuck on the 70’s and the Bobby Orr era Bruins ….sure they were fantastic but ya gotta move on at some point


    1. A all references to the “Heat Index” have been removed from the front page of the NBA section on espn . com.

      It didn’t hurt them in any measurable way, but I don’t see how a national sports news entity can get away with providing years of ongoing special focus coverage to a single franchise.


  14. Inside Track of the Herald today:

    According to the numbers for both stations’ target audience, men 25-54 years old, WEEI stayed pretty flat in the ratings for the three months ending in June. WEEI — which is choking on the $17 million it pays per year for the rights to air the Sox games — picked up nothing in the early part of the season, when the team should still have had some leftover World Series goodwill. The nighttime ratings, when most of the games are broadcast, were also down across the board.

    “That’s the dirty little secret,” said one radio insider. “The Red Sox broadcasts, for all the money and hoo-ha, don’t contribute anything to ratings.”

    Is there any proof to that? Each station, or their parents, must have some research here. There is no way you invest so much in rights, only to basically have them really yield nothing, no matter the sport. Most of us, here, we find our favorite shows and its usually based on content and style–but, I think this is the minority. Flip this: the majority pick their sports talk station based on who carries the sames? I’ve also never heard this. There has to be a mixture of both but no way either two extremes I just brought up are the majority reason for listenership on either station.


  15. I cannot not wait to find out how the Boston Media collectively, negatively spins Jon Lester’s latest comments about his impending free agency.

    When Lester re-signs, all of the on air “talent” on 98.5 and 93.7 and the writers, should be forced, by the citizenry, to resign from their jobs and immediately leave New England, along with every idiot parrot caller.


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