By Chris Warner

Before I prattle on about sports writing, please go online and buy Touching All The Bases, a collection of columns by the late, great Ray Fitzgerald. It’s four bucks. Go now.

Did you go? Good. Now, a few thoughts while my DVR plays back the last minute of the Super Bowl, again …

Sports are about the possible. Coaches, teammates, mentors, and (we hope) our own brains tell us, You can do this. You can make this happen. Rudy can get the sack. Team USA can beat the Soviet Union. New England can score 14 in the fourth quarter against the league’s best defense, then stop Seattle on the one-yard line.

You. Can. Do. This.

On the other hand, sports discussion is about the impossible: What if the 2007 Patriots played the 2003 Patriots? Could the winner of that game beat 2014’s team? Could Jimmy Foxx hit Pedro? What about Satchel Paige? Could a young Satchel Paige, drunk, shut down the 1975 Red Sox? 

What if the 2006 Patriots had paid Deion Branch?

See? Every single one: impossible to answer. When you have that kind of conflict: a medium of the possible described in terms of unattainable scenarios, you’re bound to get conflict. And conflict, as we know, sells.

(Speaking of conflict – and impossible to answer – what do you think the national reaction would have been if the Patriots had lost on a heartbreaking play and started a brawl in the final 20 seconds? Maybe some negativity there, one would think.)

But let’s back up a bit. Here are the main sticking points with journalism today, and my various levels of participation in them:

Be First

Back in November of 2009, I reported that NFL free agent quarterback Jeff Garcia was flying to Boston.  At the time, New England had only one backup QB on the roster (Brian Hoyer), and it made sense that they would try out a veteran.

Here’s the story behind that piece: A college friend of mine took a business flight to Boston and ended up next to Garcia. As I wrote in the story, Garcia said he was visiting friends. When my “source” (funny to call him that) asked Garcia if those friends were in Foxboro, he said “Yeah.” He didn’t elaborate, but the connection seemed obvious.

Within hours of posting that piece, two separate sources said the Patriots had not tried out – nor were they trying out – Garcia. The story got shot down before getting a chance to get any traction.

I still wonder what the heck happened. I could not have had a more believable source: I trust this friend with my life. Garcia implied he was headed to Foxboro. Was he messing with my buddy? Did the Pats get a whiff of the story that evening and put the kibosh on the tryout?

Maybe I should have waited, but then what? The Pats bring in Garcia for a tryout, and the next day I write something like, “I totally knew it!” Should I have written a coy piece instead, something about New England bringing in a veteran player for a look-see – details to come? I don’t know. I’d still like to find out what went on there.

Now, think about the consequences of posting greater gossip fodder. Commenting on a potential tryout pales in comparison to bringing up locker-room grumbling, or impending firings, or a league-wide investigation into whether or not rudimentary physics of air pressure apply to footballs.

That’s the trick of the Internet. Someone tells you something. You know you’re among the first to have the information. Do you wait for a second source, or do you go with it and, if you’re wrong, work out the details later? I hate to say it, but I understand the tendency for the latter. After all, if you’re info’s incorrect, you can move on to the next thing. A story can stop; the business of sports never does.

Besides, we all know we can’t believe everything we read on the Internet. Sometimes we who write count on that, because submitting stories online can resemble trying to paint a landscape on a Shrinky Dink: The final product often lacks the initial necessary detail.

Speaking of which…

Don’t Believe Everything You Read On The Internet. Unless You Want To

On the premiere of “The Colbert Report” several years ago, Stephen Colbert introduced us to the word “truthiness,” which he defined as “truth that comes from the gut, not books.” Since then, Mirriam-Webster has come to define truthiness (yup, it’s in the dictionary now) as “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.”

Did Bill Belichick order the deflation of footballs? Of course he did. Or, wait: no, he didn’t.

The correct answer? Even if we throw common sense aside, even if we want to believe the story, it seems highly implausible. Early reports on the topic used the terms “deflate” and/or “under-inflated,” both pointing to human activity and not weather effects on pressure. Also, 11 of 12 footballs were allegedly “as much as” two pounds under pressure. That term obfuscated specific numbers and downplayed a huge variance. Coffee can cost “as much as” 10 bucks in some fancy restaurants, but no one’s shelling out big clams for a medium hazelnut at DD.

That’s where the web becomes a light-speed version of telephone. Writers go with the “Be First” rule but can’t confirm; they send out teasers (tweets, posts, etc.) on upcoming reports in order to maintain their position at the “front” of the story while allowing time to suss it out. People believe what they want to believe. “As much as two pounds” becomes “two pounds each.” Our own Bruce Allen called out one tweeting nitwit who confused pounds per square inch (psi) with pounds (lbs). This Bumbling Bernoulli questioned the believability of Tom Brady being unable to tell if a football weighed two pounds under regulation, as if the air inside a ball actually had that much gravitational pull.

A well-put, insulting-yet-pointed piece on medium.com called “Deflategate And The Softness Of The American Mind” focuses on how the story got out of hand partly due to our ignorance regarding the science of air pressure. Worth a read. Combine a dearth of knowledge with a specific bias, and you get a rumor-based scandal. Easy.

The Patriots cheated? Pats fans (and science) say no; many others say yes. That has become an aspect of sports, or, better said, it has become the sports aspect. Most items of interest possess a sports aspect. Whether a defendant on trial should be found guilty or not, whether a singer in a contest should win or not: those are the conflicts. Those get attention.

As readers, we need to look for question marks, literally. If I’d posted “Garcia To New England?” then I would have gotten more hits. Seems like more people would’ve believed it more quickly. But as a journalist, why am I asking that question? Shouldn’t I confirm it and take the role as one telling you?

Last week I posted a piece on Bill Belichick, and I called him a cheater. Though I did so with a sense of admiration and even loyalty, I didn’t word it right, and my voice just melted in with the cacophony of those calling him out. I apologize for that. I have always admired Coach Belichick’s attention to detail, and much to my regret, I put football air pressure into the same category as scouting, personnel, and planning.

I believed initial reports. I believed what I wrote when I wrote it without waiting for more information. Bad call. But, these days, believing is not all that important.

You Don’t Have To Believe It To Write It

I have a hard time admitting this, but here goes: I used to write for Bleacher Report. This was before that site found its current format, when they’re going for legitimacy with experienced writers. This was when hits meant everything.

So here’s my most-read article. Ready?

Christ, this is embarrassing.

NFL Predictions 2011: Why the New England Patriots Won’t Make The Playoffs. 

Hoo, boy. In my defense, my first two reasons are Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth, but after that it devolves into the hit-seeking missal it really is. Not sure if it still works the same, but BR made it easy for writers to set up slideshows. First, think up your headline (e.g., “Is Tom Brady Unhappy In New England?”). Next, pick out photos from their extensive library. Last, write a few sentences for each caption.

From the aforementioned article:

Sure, Haynesworth has shown flashes of greatness, but only flashes. The big man might do some good things, but if he fails to bring any consistency, the Patriots defense will fail to live up to expectations.

Ugh. Again, I apologize.

Now, compare that “effort” with one of my most difficult pieces, “NFL Draft Predictions 2011: One Prospect Each Team Should Target on Day 3.” For this, I had to come up with a potential late-round draft pick for all 32 teams. There I sat on Day Two, clacking away on the computer as the ESPN draft ticker rushed along the bottom of the TV, hoping my candidates wouldn’t get picked by some other team that night. It felt like trying to build a card table on a Lazy Susan: if one fell, many others would follow. The fun I’d had leisurely picking out photos for the previous slideshow had devolved into scrambling to find any likeness of the candidates that could accompany two or three relevant factoids.

And after all that effort? Fewer than half as many readers as the “Pats Won’t Make The Playoffs” bumblefart. Plus, the draft piece got zero comments, as opposed to 73 for the negative take.

So, if you had a choice between toiling away with fact-based, well-thought-out pieces or doubling your audience with a quick, irreverent, possibly offensive sportstake, what would you do?

You might appeal to a broader audience.

People Aren’t Dumb; They Just Don’t Pay Attention 

Let’s look at this game review I wrote after the Pats beat the Raiders back in 2008. Due to injuries, Bill Belichick had coaxed Junior Seau and Rosevelt Colvin out of retirement, prompting this comment from me:

This is hard to say, but someone must: the Patriots as currently constructed would have a hard time beating Boston University’s football team, much less a bunch of professionals. (For those of you who don’t know much about B. U. football, here’s some history. You see my point.)

The joke here is that Boston University had cancelled their football program over 10 years before. Get it? Hilarious. In any case, here are a couple of reader comments:

“…it is extreme hyperbole that has no bearing on reality.”

“It’s a lot more than Boston U could manage, (were) they to play in the NFL.”

Now, most of the readers got the gist of what I was saying, but it’s difficult to discount the two comments above. I use hyperbole to make a point; it’s just some ha-ha-jokey-fun to elucidate their lack of depth on defense. But the joke gets lost, people take offense, and you end up admitting (for lack of a better word) that, yeah, the Patriots could definitely beat a non-existent college football team.

People don’t pay attention, and they believe what they want to believe, evidence be damned. It’s a pick-and-choose Internet. Ignore that piece from the “established” media. I read the real story elsewhere!

Think of that mindset as the so-called news broke about flat footballs. Think of the leaps in the minds of millions of fans who dislike the Patriots.

Think of the temptation for reporters to get in on that action. That, as much as anything, is hurting journalism.

Reporting has been a business for a long time. Papers – the so-called established ones – used to get readers because they told the whole story, and quickly. Now, with speed-of-light exchanges of information, accuracy and clarity might not provide the catalysts for proper business models. Besides, it’s football: we’ve really only got so-called news once a week, summarized in one game story and a webpage of stats. With fans hungry for material, something has to get put out there.

I could write a column with the headline “The 2014 Patriots Are The Best Ever And Are Destined To Repeat,” or I could write “The 2014 Patriots: Overrated,” and have that lede read something like, “I don’t mean to deflate your mood right now.”

We all know which one would get more hits.

Chris Warner’s on Twitter: @cwarn89

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46 thoughts on “Why Sport Journalism Is Ailing (And How I Helped Make It Sick)

  1. Anyone see Felger last night on CSNNE? The King of All Trolls has come up with a masterpiece. He’s claiming that the Red Sox 2004 title is basically meaningless when compared to the Patriots championships just because as a whole the sport of football is more popular…wow.
    Never has it been more clear that this moron from cheese head land has no clue about the people from New England.
    I don’t know what’s a more idiotic statement. The 2004 Red Sox title not being as important as a Pats title or if a lung can magically “not collapse” itself after being collapsed?
    Felger go home,you need more sleep.

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    1. If he actually said the 2004 WS was meaningless, that’s over the top. But I agree with the sentiment that the Patriots’ SB titles are more important, in the sense that I enjoyed them more. In fact, I enjoyed the Celtics 2008 and Bruins 2011 championships more than I did any of the Red Sox.

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      1. Honestly, I think my favorite title during this amazing 15-year run was the 2008 Celtics. Is basketball my favorite sport? No. But that title was a big deal because up until a year before it looked like the C’s would never, ever contend for a title again. The dynamics of the NBA had changed exponentially since the late 80s. “Celtic Pride” and tradition meant nothing to a generation of players who’d grown up wanting to Be Like Mike; and playing in a cold, snowy place for an organization, and in front of fans that Spike Lee had been smearing as “racist” for 20 years wasn’t exactly an appealing thought to most NBA players. Even Garnett didn’t want to be traded here at first, but then Ainge brought in Ray Allen and Garnett began to change his mind. The other thing that made that title special was the feeling that I’d had since 1986 that Boston basketball fans had been cruelly denied more glory after Bias died, after Bird and McHale’s bodies broke down prematurely. When Lewis died, that seemed to be the coup de grace. Seeing them celebrate another title — by crushing the hated Lakers (I hate them more than ANY other Boston team’s chief rival) by 39 points in the decided game, no less — was just an awesome feeling. Oh, and as for Felger, that comment about the ’04 Sox title being meaningless is beyond stupid. It’s even beyond trolling. It makes absolutely no sense at all.

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      2. My ranking. #1 2015 super bowl
        #2 2001 super bowl #3 2003 and 2004 super bowls plus the two seasons of great football #4 2014 red Sox season helped me get thru a divorce. I hadn’t watched the Sox since 86 . After I watched them win the world series. I said thanks and good riddance to both of the the red Sox and the gold digging bitch

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    2. I agree with OLH. I realize that in Boston there are a lot of people that still love baseball and especially the Sox, but Felger’s point was that by 2004 the Pats were the biggest game in town, similar to trends around the country as NFL football is the nation pass time time (passed, past, somebody edit me.) On the radio he made a similar point but in no way did he say it was “basically meaningless.” I rank all the recent championships Pats 1 to 4 Celts 2 Bruins 3 then Sox all three of them. Admittedly, a lot of that has to to with my disdain for baseball players, the most overpaid losers on the planet. Having Manny on that team REALLY ruined the sox, and baseball for me.

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      1. Yup. I didn’t love any of those Red Sox teams in the runs up to their championships. Certain players, I did. But the further removed I am from those seasons, that list of players has shrunk.
        Every title won by the Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins in the last 14 years? Loved those teams top to bottom and still do.

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      1. 2007 SB win and your team is the greatest in the history of all professional American sports. 2004 WS is essentially achieving something that happens every year. It just hadn’t happened in 86 years around here. 2007 was immortality. When the Patriots lost that game, a piece of the sports fan in me died. I’m over losses almost immediately now. When the Red Sox won the WS, I wasn’t so much happy as I was relieved. It was something that should have happened a long time ago, and I was glad to be done with it.

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  2. Good column, and attempt at giving this a nuanced perspective.

    I agree with your main point that clicks and viewers are much more important than perspective. People in 2015 like arguing sports, so speculative stories and hot takes are the bread and butter of the trade.

    30 years ago, people liked the one-way transaction of reliving a game with the quiet of a morning newspaper. Those days are gone, and they aren’t coming back.

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    1. 30 years ago reporters had a monopoly on access. With the rise of the Blogosphere came competition and instant fact checking, with the rise of social media came direct access which had never before existed. What changed was the news dispersal paradigm which had basically been stagnant for 300 years.

      Those days are long gone. Today each athlete thinks of himself as a “brand”. Rob Gronkowski knows acting goofy will make him millions, Malcolm Bulter just learned that being in the right place at the right time results in free drinks in the North End for life. To capitalize on that he goes to Disney, his Western Alabama Coach is trotted out for a character reference and a new brand “The Butler Did it” is born.

      I think Chris’s article identifies a shift in how sports news is covered/digested. I am not sure whether his conclusions hold up. I am not sure I am that cynical.

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      1. Well – I think Mickey Mantle and Joe. D were brands long before the term was used – the MONEY is a lot different, that’s for sure. Carlton Fisk was riding 1975 for years and years before the internet. But you’re right that how players view that world is much different – now the brand is FIRST with media coverage a distant, distant second. That is new.

        You’re of course right that the direct access has changed in a revolutionary way – and the focus now is “in the moment” “right now” as opposed to a couple days later when things shake out.

        I don’t think it’s cynicism – it’s reality. The numbers prove what people want – they want things to argue about. Look at Dan’s piece on Ernie Adams (or whatever his name was)- good piece, but so what? No buzz about it.

        That’s the thing about a revolution…it’s hard to identify when you’re living in it, but it has been happening for the last 10-15 years. Sadly, what started as a “popular revolt” of true fan-driven ideals (early Simmons) is become corporate as the big media (Felger, Dan, modern Simmons, etc) figure out how to monetize it.

        Take a lot longer to discuss than an internet comment, that’s for sure!

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  3. Selfies, Twitter, Facebook, are destroying truth and facts. These three have turned people and media into the LOOK AT ME.

    These two groups have become, self absorbed ego maniacs, with jealousy of others added to there obsession over likes, hits,, followings. Not a good combo. Just saying Mike

    I now have come to follow and appreciate the wisdom of BB. Ignore the noise and do your job.
    I’m onto the 2015 football season. I’m onto free agency and the draft board

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  4. Chris, how soon before you pen a story about the duckboat in the parade that took enemy fire, and you lived to tell about surviving the crash? 🙂

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  5. I also enjoyed reading your article. I also found it lengthy and where I had to stay focused on reading it. Which brought me to realize almost every I read now on the web in these short bullet point pieces.

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  6. This really doesn’t apply to this article or not that anyone even really cares, but….last night I finally cut the cord with DB and YARM. I don’t know if it was Felger throwing the dig about FORMER PATRIOT, Aaron Hernandez….or Mazz still acting apoplectic over the Brady interception in the FIRST BLEEPING QUARTER…or the inner circle of negative callers that are allowed more time than the other and never get cut off by Felger, like Danny or one half of the idiot brothers who call…or maybe it was the fact even Paul Perillo is so negative on that show that Felger comes off as Sunshine.com….whatever it is, I just decided enough is enough and deleted the podcast from my library. It’s back to WEEI.

    I want to ENJOY sports. I don’t want to made to feel like a shmuck for liking Boston sports teams. And that seems to be the business model at 98.5 from 6am to 10pm, except from 10-2. Gresh and Zo catch a lot of sh*t from some people for the “frat boy” routine, but who cares!? It sure beats the alternative the rest of the day. How can people be fans of the local teams and listen to the Sports Hub? It flies in the face of logic.

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    1. Two thumbs up bro. Just saying.Mike. it’s been months since I said enough of this crap that sucks ..I have no clue why that station flipped on what made them successful in the beginning

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      1. I know I am going to catch crap for this but…
        98.5 and especially F&M has not changed from when they came on the air. They were a breath of fresh air at the start, especially considering what the Big Show had become. The critical eye was needed in the market. The smartness with which Felger uses to apply said eye has gotten him a huge audience.

        Your and a lot of people’s real complaint is that the always contrary opinion show has grown tired (I don’t disagree) and you want the pendulum to swing back…so does WEEI which is why they counter with Dale Arnold and not a return of the Big Show.

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        1. After I thought they went off the rails (trolling) more often, I used to espouse the opinion that if you put something reasoned on, it’d counter well. I don’t think that works anymore. D+H are a “counter” but it’s more of a Mike and Mike at points. In order to challenge (T+R vs. D+C) and have comparable ratings, I think they have to get someone more edgy and strong on there.

          I forget who, but someone said that with what @stoolepresidente did at media week, and how he countered F+M when on their air at Radio Row, he’d be a good addition to D+C. I’m not in radio but I think that person is correct in their reasoning.

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          1. The reason why D&H are not doing better is because Mike Holley is impossible to listen to on the radio. Give Dale Arnold a partner like Tom Curran or Sean McAdam or even Kirk Minihane and he would seriously challenge Felger and Mazz. This programming this is not that complicated. Get rid of the guy from Ohio he does not know, understand or have passion for Boston Sports.

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        2. My good friend. You won’t catch crap from me. The db has talent and can be very funny. It’s the crap of a co host that sucks. That made the show impossible to listen anymore for me

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    2. First YARM-free day and it was glorious. Dale, Holley, and Jerry made it fun to listen. I heard no “YOU people” or “YOU Patriot fans” I heard no hand-wringing over ponies vs horses, or meaningless (in the end) interceptions, no assclown callers, no “what if they don’t re-sign Revis, Mike!?!”…just fun radio. Soaking up the moment. Welcome back to the bosom, WEEI. I think I missed you.

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      1. And what is the over under of how many freakin times they say “it feels like” on THAT show? Nice little trick to say whatever you want with no facts because “you feel”. Anyone else notice this?

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        1. Fact not opinion, right caller? Except when YOUR facts don’t coincide with Felger and Mazz’s OPINION.

          I have ZERO problem with Dale or Holley saying “it feels like” as opposed to Felger insisting everything he says is a fact.

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  7. What I am wondering:

    We’ve had a number of “dynasties” over the past decades come in and dethrone the previous one.

    Packers->Steelers->49ers->Cowboys->Patriots.

    I know that sports talk/internet wasn’t around in its current form except for the Patriots, but with the succession of each one, did journalists and pundits act the same way when a new one appeared and had started to win or really win?

    Some of the people (players, pundits, talkers, journalists) have really reacted.. and you can go down the list here (Francesa, Haley yesterday, etc.)

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    1. Because I am old…

      When Dallas came in and dethroned SF there was consternation especially on the west coast. Aiken will never be Montana…he is a poor man’s steve young…etc. It was a return the 70’s and Tom Landry. On the other side…the SF dynasty and those crooks Eddie DeBartolo Jr. were finally done.

      It was as vicious as it got back in the day. But it was nothing like it is now because there was a lot less volume.

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      1. I figured the volume (internet, etc.) had something to do with it when I thought about my post.

        Even if someone is older like Francesa, to where he was at least old enough to understand or actually working in media, he’s still going to see the “what younger people” (me) see because I bet that most of his staff is younger. They’d be the ones who, for show prep, are printing out articles from the Internet or being briefed on what the “conversation” (Twitter/FB/sports talk) is. And, he’s not alone here, but I’m just using him as an example that you don’t have to be young to be exposed. Any host knows that listeners tune in to hear not just about what went on on the field but what’s being discussed off of it.

        I’ll tie it back to what Chris said in the article from the post: You have to “react” and reacting “faster” is better than “slower”. Reacting “louder” (#HOTSPORTZTAKE) is better than being reasoned. The former in each instance tends to yield more clicks, attention and listeners. All which have become the “what keeps your job” in media.

        And, this makes me think about the current events going on w/Brian Williams. My mom finally heard about it all and asked me ‘how the hell do you know who to trust anymore?’. (She falls under the type of person who just watches the news–any news–to try and hear about what’s going on in the world.)

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    2. You’re right about the Yankees. When i think about it I remember the absolute shear glee the fanbases from the rest of the country took when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 01. I remember the front page of the Projo declared the Yankees dynasty dead. This is what was also discussed non stop on WEEI. It didn’t matter that all they did was lose in the World Series. They got there. They almost pulled it out but because they finally went down in the Series people were saying they were dead. They couldn’t wait to bury them even though their core guys were still playing at a high level. And with Steinbrenner you know he always keeps adding talent. So in a way that was even more incredible that a lot of Yankee haters would’ve had them dead and buried for just losing a WS to a team that had two spectacular performances for the ages from Schilling and Johnson. Like the Patriots, they go almost a decade of lots of wins and and great play from their stars but the ball didn’t bounce their way until 2009. That’s just how it goes sometimes. Kinda like the Patriots losing two Super Bowls on two miracle catches. So many people get impatient and want to declare something dead or the best or the worst or whatever before the the history of whatever it is they’re watching plays itself ALL OUT.

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    1. Wow. Sorry Gresh haters. I enjoy listening to Gresh. I guess this might mean one less show to listen to.. if you’re winning the ratings war. … why change up?

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  8. This is pretty classic. Joe Sullivan’s most recent tweet (complete w typos) is from the Super Bowl pre-game,noting that Seattle fans are in the big majority. He made no tweets during one of the greatest SB ever, or post-game, or from the week’s celebration.
    Joseph Sullivan‏@Globesullivan
    Seahawks fans seen dominate based on noise when each team left the field after warmups
    0 replies0 retweets0 favorites

    5:51 PM – 1 Feb 2015

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  9. So I noticed something interesting. That chat was on Thursday afternoon and the question was a sarcastic, “What do I do now? There’s nothing to complain about!” To which Reiss responded, “Tune into a local radio show from 2-6 cause they’ll find something soon enough.”

    24 hours later Felger has a column posted on CSNNE of which the first 2/3 is regarding the Bruins depth and lack of first line talent. The last 1/3 then turns into an I-told-you-so on the Patriots because, to him, the Patriots didn’t win because of their depth (i.e. ponies) but because of their stars (i.e. horses). I think this was an obvious response to Reiss’s shot. Felger is so thin skinned that he couldn’t help himself.

    The funny thing is that Felger make specific references to guys he views as depth players who don’t cut it in his mind while ignoring that they made key plays in the SB. Rob Ninkovich with a big 3rd down sack in the 4th quarter. Brandon Browner not letting Seattle set the pick on the INT. He names Kyle Arrington, who didn’t play well in the SB. But as a result the Patriots replaced him with Malcolm Butler who made a game winning play. And if Malcolm Butler isn’t the perfect example of the importance of depth then I don’t know what is. He also fails to mention that four different receivers caught TDs in the game. Felger ignores all of that to reiterate that he was correct, that “going for it” is what wins you a SB. Oh, and two of the players that he calls “horses,” Gronkowski and Edelman, are also guys who in the past he questioned whether they could ever be relied upon because of injuries. Not a very well thought out piece, and clearly just a slapdash response to Reiss calling him out on his tired approach.

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  10. Here’s more from Reiss today:

    “Take a deep inventory of your own career and how closely you followed he rules before firing away at others.

    Otherwise, you might soon be referred to as Jerry Rice*.”

    Note the asterisk after Rice. There’s so much blather from all of the other “media” that it just becomes noise. Reiss just drops concise, precision guided bombs.

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  11. Where can I find a “hit-seeking missal”? My local Catholic church? Does Pope Francis know about hit-seeking missals?

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  12. As much as I loathe Peter King, he managed to write this week’s MMQB ontime after surviving an insurgent attack at the local Starbucks. He not only saved everyone inside starbucks, but helped rescue a puppy in the process.

    The top part, where he talks with TB12/McDaniels, recount the final 2 drives: http://on.si.com/16K8IKd

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  13. Give credit to Florio for being consistent:

    While it’s entirely possible that many if not most if not all receivers applied stickum to their gloves in the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, and now, cheating is cheating. If ESPN plans to body slam the Patriots for #DeflateGate, shouldn’t ESPN at least acknowledge that Rice — a former ESPN employee — has admitted to using an illegal substance with the goal of making it easier to perform the most important aspect of his job?

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/02/09/rice-admits-cheating-espn-and-nfl-ignore-it/

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  14. Adam Kaufman…broken record. One of the columnist trolls that I cited earlier for awarding the Broncos the offseason Super Bowl. He’s at it again.

    http://www.boston.com/blogs/sports/columnists/kaufman/2014/03/patriots_have_improved_but_broncos_still_superior.html

    Patriots have improved, but Broncos still superior
    Posted by Adam Kaufman March 17, 2014 06:05 AM

    and yesterday:

    http://www.boston.com/blogs/sports/columnists/kaufman/2015/02/red_sox_should_have_signed_james_shields.html?hootPostID=e94a190219367530c4e7522e1e414695

    Red Sox Should Have Signed James Shields

    What’s amazing is that someone can actually make a good living writing utter crap.

    What a country…

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