I mean, what else could the sports radio trolls conjure up today?

The previously washed-up Tom Brady submitted an almost perfect performance yesterday against the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium, as the “Let’s face it, they’re not a good team anymore” Patriots won their fourth in a row, this time a 51-23 shellacking of a Bears team in turmoil.

Now all the focus is on the Denver Broncos, who come to town on Sunday for a game which may decide home field in the AFC.

Pats, Broncos hitting crescendo heading into showdown – Tom E Curran looks ahead. He also has Darrelle Revis already eyeballing Broncos.

Tom Brady caps off brilliant stretch – Mike Reiss has the Patriots QB keeping things steady during the highs  and lows of this season.

Rob Gronkowski, Brandon LaFell have morphed New England Patriots offense from pedestrian to potent – Kevin Duffy looks at the two targets that have transformed the Patriots offense in recent weeks.

Brandon LaFell no second prize – Karen Guregian notes that the receiver has proved he was worth the signing.

Brady: I’ll take my offensive weapons over Manning’s – Wait, what? Brady has WEAPONZ? Since when, Phil Perry?

This is why Patriots picked up Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner – Ben Volin looks at the Patriots two biggest offseason acquisitions starting to hit their stride.

Lots of big ‘D’ contributors for Patriots – Adam Kurkjian notes that it wasn’t just the cornerbacks who stepped up yesterday.

Get the rest of the stories at PatriotsLinks.com.

Brandon Marshall a top topic on NFL TV shows – Chad Finn says that the Chicago WR’s weekly stint on Around the NFL should be interesting this week.

NBA may be at a high point – Finn’s Friday column was on the NBA and its television deals.

A new era for ESPN’s NBA Countdown; bashing Jay Cutler – Richard Deitsch’s media column looks at tension last season between Bill Simmons and Sage Steele on the ESPN NBA show, and a ton of other items.

“I don’t believe in damned curses…” Did something happen 10 years ago today?


29 thoughts on “Tom Brady’s Trade Value Will Never Be Higher

  1. It seems bleak, but there are other possible trolling takes still in play:
    * The Bears are a team you’re supposed to beat anyway.
    * Classless Bill Belichick ran up the score.
    * Shane Vereen/Julian Edelman had four combined drops.
    * The defense played a bad fourth quarter.
    * Krafts are still cheap.


    1. Felger, last night, said in response to the recent Vincent Jackson rumors, that he “hopes the Patriots go for it” if they identify a possible trading partner this week, because “it’s frustrating for fans (he really means that media guys like him try to get the fans to become frustrated by it)…….to see other teams like Denver spending money and trying to win while the Patriots continue along with one of the lowest payrolls in the league.” It’s always the same b.s. with him, and no amount of rational, factual counter-arguing will divert him from his narrative of the “cheap” organization that won’t spend the money to help poor, aging Tom Brady win another championship. If you try to tell him that the way the Patriots conduct business is why they’re always in the hunt, every year, and why they can lose their franchise QB 7 minutes into a season and still come out of it at 11-5 on the back end; or that the cap room the Pats currently have is transitory, and probably more of a forward-looking, strategic move than anything else, he’ll just counter with: “no championships in 10 years because they don’t spend money; the cap is crap; they have to go for it like Baltimore did two years ago (even though Baltimore really didn’t go for it two years ago, but that’s another discussion entirely), and like Denver and Elway are doing now!” Broken freakin’ record.


      1. Whoa…hold on….last week he called Vincent Jackson, and I quote, “a world class turd whom I wouldn’t want on my team.”

        Wow. Moving the chains on the debate indeed.


        1. To be fair, Felger did say in that same segment that he wasn’t a fan of Vincent Jackson and he wouldn’t necessarily want him on the Pats. His larger “point” was that no matter whom the Pats identify as a possible trading target before the deadline, they need to “go for it,” because, you know….10 years without a title; other teams are spending money to try and win; cap is crap; CHEAPSKATE ORGANIZATION! Lather. Rinse. Repeat.


        2. You know, this reminds me of conversations overheard in a high school cafeteria among boys.

          (Pardon the language here, please.)

          #1 “Aw, man, that bitch is hot.”

          #2 “You should go talk to her and see what she’s up to.”

          #1 “Yeah, bruh.”

          (Does this and returns.)

          #1 “Dude, that bitch is seeing that loser (some other random guy.)”

          #2 “Man, that sucks, what a slut that bitch is anyways.”

          #1 “Yeah, bruh.”

          So, when he’s not ours on another team, he’s great. And, if we got him, unless he’s Jerry Rice, he sucks and the team sucks for getting him. Got it.


  2. Just in case you were on the fence about Tim Benz, I give you this:

    Tim Benz @TimBenzWEEI

    @ChrisVillani44 that’s the stuff I mean. No level of praise for Brady is high enough for some… unless he always stands alone.

    @ChrisVillani44 The fact is,my opinion of TB12 on any level couldn’t be higher.But the overprotective nature of some sycophant fans is nuts.

    Yes, he’s whining (and apparently asking to be taken seriously) about that ‘some’, i.e. a sub-section from a group of fans, i.e. fanatics, are ‘overprotective (of TB12) sycophants’.

    That’s ‘fanatic’ with an “F”.

    noun: fanatic; plural noun: fanatics
    1. a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal

    Can we please tar, feather and run this clown out of town?


  3. If the Patricheaps cared about winning, they’d have won 85-14. #WINDOWSHUT

    (Can I have a sports radio job now? Please?)


  4. Here’s something I wrote towards the end of last week, and wanted to save for a new post. If you hang on to read it all, good for you.

    I’m starting to think that Rick Pitino was right. All the negativity in this town does suck. I absolutely hate the fact that the shoe peers and contrarians are winning. Felger and Mazz quite literally hate everything about Boston sports. They look for ways to be negative about everything and then hide behind the phony notion that they are the purveyors of truth, and if you have the gall to disagree with them you’re a honk. You’re in bed with the team and your opinion does not matter. Here’s the crazy thing, it’s working for them! They are number one in this town, with higher ratings than any other sports show that I am aware of. So because it works for them, monkey see monkey do. The negativity has begun to spread out to other shows and on TV in hopes that they too will reap the rewards of contrarian opinions. There are far more shows and personalities willing to kill local sports teams than praise them for their success.
    I have said many times, I just don’t get it. If you are a fan of the team, how could you possibly want to listen to a show where you are told for 4 straight hours that your team sucks? I have heard others in this space say that they find it entertaining. Again I don’t get that either. To me the closest comparison I can make is that Felger is the ultimate wrestling heel. He comes into the ring for four hours a day and tells the crowd that their favorite teams suck. I get it; I used to laugh hard in college, along with my friends, when the nWo would hold court in the ring for a good chunk of time. We laughed equally hard when Vince McMahon would do that ridiculous strut down to the ring and say anything to piss off the crowd. But here’s the thing, Goldberg and Steve Austin are not coming into “kick the crap” out of Felger every day. There is no pay off for the ridiculousness that is their diatribe. I don’t listen, but I have been told that anyone who does get on the air and begins to challenge them is immediately hung up on. And because there is no hero to put a stop to the heel, what he says begins to sink in to, I would say, uninformed fans. I have actually heard people say at the bar that the salary cap is a bunch of crap. Seriously, I have heard that. Even though any knowledgeable person knows that is not that case. And to me this is the inherent danger of their unchecked tirades. People actually believe it.
    Maybe it’s in our nature to be negative and this just feeds the beast. Many New Englanders love to argue, so they get to have an argument with their radio every day. It’s a one sided argument, and a little bit crazy, but an argument nonetheless. Maybe people are so sports crazy that they actually think they know what’s better for the teams than those that run the organizations, (I myself get caught up in it from time to time) and they are seeking out likeminded people who are going to tell them that the guy in charge is wrong.
    But let’s be real here for just a minute. You can talk all you want about this player and that player and what scheme works for what team, and I would have done this or I would have drafted him all you want, but at the end of the day Bill Belichick, Danny Ainge/Brad Stevens, Claude/Cam/Peter, and John Farrell/Ben Cherington probably know what is better for their team then you do. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have the job. And if you knew as much as you claimed to know you would be working in sports for ridiculously more money than you are making now.
    That doesn’t mean that these guys are always right. There are decisions that should be questioned. I firmly believe this. But please stop trying to come off that you know better, because you don’t. I don’t understand why Belichick took a QB in the second round when there were players that could have helped this team this year. But I also know that he has a plan, and unfortunately for me he’s not sharing it. But that doesn’t mean that I get to say he sucks at drafting, or that Belichick the GM is hurting Belichick the coach. Has anyone stopped to think of how stupid that statement is? Like there are two personalities working within the man, and one is not as good as the other? Seriously? But that doesn’t make for exciting or entertaining talk radio I guess. Would people turn in for their long commute home if it was like the beginning of the Lego Movie, and the hosts just sang “Everything is Awesome” for four straight hours? Probably not, and neither would I. Having said that (thanks Buckley); it doesn’t have to be everything sucks either.
    Most people that visit this page are like myself and are looking for an entertaining show that talks sports knowledgably and gives honest opinions that are rooted in fact, not opinion. I want to hear what you really think, not what you think will upset me. Be honest, please be honest. I want to believe that the host is hoping that the team does well, not hoping the team fails. And being like that does not make you a ‘fanboy.” It makes you likeable to the audience. Do you realize that out of the 14 regular daytime radio hosts on both EEI and TSH only 7 grew up in the area rooting for local teams? Gresh, Callahan, Kirk, Lou, Benz, Mazz, and Dale are the only ones that like you and I have been rooting for these teams since we can remember. There are some on that list you might have a hard time believing that, but it’s true, I looked it up. Shouldn’t at the very least those 7 have what we’re looking for? And don’t start with the journalism angle either. I’m in the media I don’t root for teams. Please, why did you get into sports in the first place because you were a fan, right? I would hate to think that anyone was just like hey those guys get paid well for an easy job, I’ll go do that. These guys aren’t breaking stories about government corruption; they’re talking about sports; which in case you forgot, is a form of entertainment. Believe it or not these guys are not this generations Walter Cronkite, they’re on the same level as Pat O’Brien, Billy Bush, and whoever the hell works for Entertainment Tonight now. So drop the journalistic shield that you try and hide behind because no one is buying that load of crap.
    But back to the original point, the negativity does suck. To the point that I can barely listen or watch any shows anymore. What was the old quote from Michael Holley, It’s not what you know, it’s what you’re willing to say. This whole say something outrageous and wait for the fallout or as I have come to call it the Bayless effect has got to stop. It is ruining sports. Sure there are still quality writers and personalities out there, but they are becoming harder and harder to find, and more important hear. Cynicism is great in small doses, but entire shows built around it are annoying. Is that how these guys want to be remembered? Or is it all about the money, because clicks and ratings are all that count. Stop feeding the beast, stop watching/listening to the shows. When you hear people regurgitating HOTSPOTSTAKES call them out on it. Don’t be afraid or insulted when two douche bags, SummersEve and Mazzingil as I like to refer to them, call you homers or footy pajama wearers. Be proud, they can’t compete with your facts and knowledge so they have resorted to name calling. Stop the madness and remind them that it ok for the team to be good. Enjoy it while you can because as we have seen ourselves the good times will not always be here. Don’t be in a rush for these days to end. And try; just try, to enjoy sports again.


    1. Maybe people are so sports crazy that they actually think they know what’s better for the teams than those that run the organizations, (I myself get caught up in it from time to time) and they are seeking out likeminded people who are going to tell them that the guy in charge is wrong.

      That sound you hear is the nail being hit precisely on the head.

      You’re absolutely right, Mike… er, I mean, Trip. But don’t blame the messengers. F&M are the way they are — and they are exactly the way the leading sports shows have been in this town since the 1960s, because that’s what the consumer demands. The underlying question is “why”, which is what your highlighted quote touches on. And that’s the root of it, more or less. I don’t think you’ve totally captured the dynamic, though.

      We can say all we want that people want to hear thoughtful, reasoned analysis about their favorite sports teams. And some of us do — that’s unquestioned. But when we talk about “people”, it’s not just the brainy, well-above-average readers of BSMW that are involved. “People” is everyone. And the majority of people — here and everywhere — aren’t thoughtful and reasoned. At the risk of sounding elitist… they’re kinda dumb. And the last thing that people who are kinda dumb, but not idiots, want to hear is someone lecturing them about how dumb they are. What they want to hear is someone they (correctly or incorrectly) perceive as more knowledgeable (but not necessarily smarter, mind you) than they are telling them that what they think is absolutely correct. (This is also how politics has and always will work, too, by the way.)

      So you’ve got mobs of listeners out there thinking “WELKAH SHOULDN’T A BEEN LET GO. AMEDOLAH IS A HACK. I COULD RUN THIS TEAM BETTAH THAN BELICHICK”. What, therefore, do you get — and what will you ALWAYS get — on the radio?

      People talking about how Welker shouldn’t have been let go; that Amendola is a hack; and that some guy off the street could run the team better than a clearly-no-longer-elite Bill Belichick.

      Rinse, lather, repeat. It’s the circle of life.

      And no matter how much we wish it — this is never, ever, ever going to change. Ever.


      1. two things
        1) we all are/ were smarter and better at managing the sox than Bobby V.

        2) we all are/were smarter and better at coaching the Pats than California Cluless ever was when he was here.

        There is a place for fans and media being critical. What Pitino missed is that criticism needs context and solutions. The problem with Hotsportztakes is that they identify problems without offering realistic solutions. The reason that type of radio is monotonous is that it takes no thought to identify a problem.. the thinking comes when solving it. What we who visit this board want is sportschat that comes with intelligent solutions… right now that is not happening.


    2. I’d say this, Trip: sports talk radio, like political talk radio, and like cable TV, is entertainment. And they’re all looking for market share. Back in a seemingly innocent time, TV news was more or less a public service, and radio programming was required to follow some modicums of decency. No more. Cable TV ratings wars and the shredding of the Communications Decency Act paved the way for the ugliness on the airwaves and the grab-market-share mentality behind even the networks ostensibly dedicated to news. Reasoned, intelligent discussion doesn’t sell. Sex sells, fear sells, and anger sells (I’d say, in that order).

      Since F&M aren’t going to duplicate Howard Stern’s morning parade of strippers, and since fear isn’t really a big part of sports entertainment, they’re down to anger. And they’re not the only ones. Even fairly mild national personalities like Cowherd and Rome have to be torqued up about something to deliver lines about it with conviction. The opposite? Mike & Mike, who have nothing at all to offer–no intelligence, no analysis, and no energy whatsoever. But the things you find to be frustrated over in sports radio, aren’t limited to sports radio, and aren’t limited to Boston.

      Maybe we genuinely are more irritable and aggressive here than in other parts of the country. I blame the weather.


      1. I hear you, and I would not want a boring show either. But I do firmly believe that there can and really should be a show in this market that is funny, honest, and entertaining. There is a pairing (or trio) out there that could pull it off, I truly believe this.

        I would say that the negative shows use both anger and fear. Fear in the sense that because your team didn’t do this they will lose. I’m sorry but even in today’s crazy time and standards, integrity has to count for something.


    3. Bill Belichick himself has stated that the cap can be maneuvered in a number of different ways. http://www.patriots.com/news/article-1/Bill-Belichick-Press-Conference-Transcript/81a91f64-c6f3-4619-ba7c-cb36e33aa83e
      The whole point that Felger is trying to make that gets lost on the Felger haters is that there is almost really nothing to stop any excellent run organizations from acquiring impact players if they really want to make cap room for them. If the Pats really want someone they can maneuver space in Bill’s words to get that player.


      1. Clearly, the cap can be manipulated, as it’s been done in the past by numerous teams. The problem is that, eventually, you have to pay the piper and cut several guys you don’t want to cut when the deferred bills come due–the 2002 Raiders are a classic example. They loaded up for a SB run, got there, got killed, and then had to cut a ton of guys that spring. They’ve never recovered, although poor management at the top is the reason why their malaise has lasted as long as it has. The Jets “went for it” in 2010, got to the AFC semifinals, lost, and since then have regressed badly. With that said, the fact that the Pats COULD manipulate the cap is never the main thrust of Felger’s argument: the main thrust is that the organization is cheap and won’t “put out” to win another championship. That is simply not a true statement, and non-agenda-driven writers in this town have pointed out the fallacy of that argument on numerous occasions. The “Patriot Way” is not perfect, because nothing in life is, but it works. Bad luck, more than anything else, has prevented them from winning more Super Bowls since 2004. Yes, throw in some bad personnel moves as well, but luck (bad bounces, bad calls, ridiculously great/flukey plays by the opposition, injury issues, etc.) has been the main factor driving their “title-free” streak over the last decade.


      2. Felger’s argument back around 2009 when The Sports Hub first came on the air was that the cap was going up by a large amount of money every year, and that teams were not at as much risk for signing contracts where they spread out a lot of money over several years in the future, because as long as the cap is going up every year, especially by a large amount of money, teams were not at as much risk when signing those types of contracts.

        Over the years, two key things changed about this argument. First (incidentally right around when Felger & Mazz came on the air, or perhaps a year later), the cap actually stopped going up by huge amounts every year. In fact the cap went down at one point, and then went up by incredibly small amounts each year (something like 1-2 million). Which pretty much blew up his argument. The other thing that happened was that Felger got lazy with it. What was once a legitimate argument was dumbed down to “cap is crap”. Felger doubled down on his argument, and then dumbed it down incredibly, saying all the time that the Patriots and any team for that matter could sign any player for any amount of money for as many years as they want and that the cap didn’t matter at all. Which is total bullshit.

        Now the cap is going up again, and by larger amounts of money again. So if Felger structured his argument the way he used to, he would at least somewhat have a point. But does he do that? I listen to his show all the time and can’t really recall him making the argument he used to make in a long time. Instead he shouts out “cap is crap”, says the cap is irrelevant and that the Pats can sign anyone for any amount and the cap doesn’t matter, and that Robert Kraft is cheap.

        Also purposely not said on the show because it works against his argument is that the cap room of $14 million, or whatever it is that Felger puts out there isn’t really that. That amount does not count all of the players on the team (I think it is from a point in the season, which is long expired now, where the cap only counts for the top 51 highest paid players on the roster or something like that), I believe it doesn’t count players on IR or the Practice Squad either, and it doesn’t count possible incentives that players might make. So while Felger might claim its $14 million under the cap, the true number is considerably lower than that.


      3. Well, the reality is that only one organization has put a winning team on the field every year for the past 13 years (next closest is 3). They made the playoffs 11 of those years and one year, 2008, they missed the playoffs while winning 11 games after losing their franchise QB. They have four consecutive 12-win seasons. They have played in five Superbowls and eight AFC Championship games, including 3 in a row. If you’re a Pats fan, yours is the only team that is virtually guaranteed to play meaningful football games for 5 months every year.

        So nothing is stopping the Patriots from winning every year, but something (it can’t be the cap!) has prevented the other 31 teams (some of them “excellent run” [sic]) from doing so.


  5. Well, one guy called up F&M and said the Pats offensive weapons present match-up huge problemz for the Broncos. And, as we all know, one caller represents a millions fans in New England, so now EVERYONE is getting ahead of themselves! #PatriotsHonks! #FootiePajamas




  6. Plus, he’s named “Fluto Shinzawa”, which is just awesome. He really needs to have a second career as a superhero and/or wrestler.


  7. Just for posterity, if you missed the Francesa/Jets rant that every show was playing yesterday and is playing today, here’s the link:

    Can’t even imagine the dumpster fire that this market would be if we were the Jets.


  8. They won’t struggle coming up with the “hot sports takez” I think. The media desperately wants the team (the Patriots) to be bad, because it will make the storylines easier for them and they will have more to rant about and portray themselves as smarter than the people who are actually employed by the teams to make these types of decisions. But the audience to listen to these “hot sports takez” will certainly diminish and they will suffer accordingly if we had a few years in a row of mediocrity (I think they could survive one down year). Seems ironic that the one thing that is helping these people get these great ratings and have all these TV gigs and such is the teams being successful when all they do is whine and moan about them all day long, The way the media relentlessly attacks the Krafts, you would think that they wished the team had moved to St. Louis and that we didn’t have a franchise here anymore.


    1. Ordway once addressed this issue and said that the sports media both wants and needs the teams to be good. I don’t think it’s some unique insight, but it seems to be the understood dynamic from within the industry.

      I was surprised but he explained it like this:

      When the Patriots lose, are you more or less likely to tune into TSH/WEEI to hear about it the next day?

      I think a majority would say they tune-in after a win, and not a loss. They don’t want more pain. How much of that is dictated by the already miserable media being even more, I don’t know.


  9. I actually put a lot of weight in their luck during the 2001 and 2003 seasons. They definitely had a lot of good breaks those two years. In 2004, however, they clearly were the best team in the NFL and that remains the best team in franchise history. The bottom line is that luck plays a huge, huge role in winning a Super Bowl during the salary cap era, because the “gap” between the great, good, and even just above-average teams has narrowed significantly. Gone are the days when you could predict, accurately, every August that it’s going to be Dallas/SF in the NFC championship game, and the winner of that game will then go on to rout the AFC patsy in the Super Bowl. Free agency and the cap have changed everything. Nowadays, it often comes down to which team is the healthiest in January, or which team, after having perhaps just an “OK” regular season, suddenly flips a switch and plays two or three levels higher in the post-season (recent examples: 2005 Steelers; 2007 Giants; 2008 Cardinals–lost the SB but almost won it after going 9-7 in the regular season; 2010 Packers; 2011 Giants; 2012 Ravens).
    The Pats have been good enough, at least four times since 2004, to win another Super Bowl, but for whatever reason, they haven’t been able to close the deal. A lot of it has had to do with luck. Key, critical injuries at the wrong times have hampered them in several of those years, as have unfortunate bounces (I can still see in my mind the two NYG fumbles deep in NYG territory that the Pats, inexplicably, failed to recover–one in SB 42 and one in SB 46). There also have been flags that either were thrown when they shouldn’t have been (“faceguarding” in the AFC title game at Indy, and the bogus offensive P.I. call on Troy Brown in that same game), or not thrown when they should have been (helmet catch play when Seymour clearly was being held–caught on camera!!); and other “variables” (e.g.–Samuel dropping the game-clinching INT in SB 42; Welker dropping the game-clinching reception in SB 46).


  10. Media coverage style or his Twitter feed?

    Rapsheet has the excuse that, in theory, Goodell is his employer. Peter King doesn’t have that. He just chose to be Roger Goodell’s bitch.

    I stopped following @RapSheet last year because he was becoming so verbose. He can’t go 10 minutes without Tweeting, and it’s not even useful stuff. 99% of it is an RT from some local beat guy, usually in multiples, with absolutely nothing added on. He’s like a 16yearold girl on social media. His kid, barely a year old, even has a Twitter account. I hate that. Basically you can get every single piece of NFL News by just following Schefter + Clayton, who won’t pollute your timeline, for all national stuff.

    I checked back during training camp. Every little bit of info, he’d have to RT with an “Oh..” or something like that. Guess NFLN wants him being Darren Rovell-esque on Twitter.


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