Some random thoughts/observations/scorching hot takes.

*As far as satisfying wins goes, the win in Buffalo on Sunday was up there. It really was the full Rex Ryan experience. He spent all week talking big, getting his players to talk big, getting the Buffalo fans frothed up and with high expectations, and then the game came. Rex made curious calls – even if it was within the rules to challenge that play in the first half, why would he? That was the moment I knew the Patriots would win the game. The Bills were overhyped and took dumb penalty after dumb penalty, and got blown out before a 4th quarter garbage-time rally made the score somewhat respectable. Then Rex continued his arrogance in the post game, still defiant, still refusing to acknowledge Dion Lewis, and taking his usual shots.

*The hype for the game was reflected in CBS’s broadcast numbers of the game, which earned 34.2 HH rating and a 72 share in the Boston market. That 72 share is the second highest for a regular season game, after the 2007 finale, (a 75) which you’ll recall was broadcast on multiple networks.

*The production by CBS was awful. They listed Ryan Wendell as a starter, he was inactive, they missed plays, Butler’s interception wasn’t even on the screen, they cut away from action too quickly, they came back late from commercial breaks, one time not even bothering to explain that another Bills penalty had changed the spot from where the Patriots were snapping the ball, and a number of other snafus. We get the same broadcast team this Sunday for the Jacksonville game.

*If you missed it, the Ravens ran a formation Sunday in Oakland which looked almost identical to the one they complained about the Patriots using in January. You remember that play, where John Harbaugh angrily talked about “deception” and how no one has done that before, and how the competition committee would get together and change that up – which they did. Sunday, the Ravens scored a TD on a play very similar. The difference being that it was an offensive lineman (already ineligible) who lined up off the line, and jump back at the snap, and a tight end (already eligible) who lined up in the spot of the offensive lineman and took off down the seam for the pass.

If Harbaugh’s big issue was that the Patriots play was deceptive – why was he using an equally deceptive play? It was actually more deceptive because on the Patriots play, they had to declare someone ineligible and the ref announced it, thus giving a tip to the defense. In the Ravens play, no such announcement was needed. It just speaks to the hypocrisy of Harbaugh, the Ravens and the NFL.

*We’re in the final days of the Don Orsillo era, and he continues to be the ultimate pro. He is going to land a better job somewhere else. Be assured of that.

*The Red Sox have been surprisingly fun to watch over the last month or so, and Xander Bogaerts is probably going to finish second in the league in hitting. If there is a positive to take from this season, he is it, and is showing that he is the future of this team.

*I’m ridiculously excited for the Celtics to being training camp. I know they’re not a title contender, but they will be fun to watch, and you know they get the most out of what they have. They will take a step forward this year, and in the Eastern Conference, I don’t think 45-50 wins is unreasonable. The offseason additions, while not the “fireworks” that have been talked about for several years now, were solid. Defensively, I think this team has a chance to be really effective, well, except when David Lee is on the floor, but he’s going to contribute on the other end and on the boards. Jordan Mickey is already my new binky.

*The John Tomase perpetration of fraud continues, as yesterday morning on WEEI, guest Tony Boselli stated that the Patriots were punished during spygate for recording a Rams practice.

Don’t bother mentioning this on Twitter to John though, as you will be blocked.

*The general thin-skinnedness of sports media is always a source of wonder to me. From Bob Kravtiz, to Bart Hubbuch to Don Van Natta Jr to Michael Silver, to almost anyone, if you dare to criticise them in any way shape or form, or question their work or integrity or sources you are blocked. These people make serious, inflammatory, many times outright false statements, but when called on it, they will not respond, but rather shut out the person calling them out. Nice, insulated gigs.

In a way, I respect a guy like Albert Breer, who says plenty of stuff that many people find annoying and respond back to him, but he doesn’t block anyone.

*Dan Shaughnessy today sarcastically ran down the list of those teams/players/entities that had been against the Patriots during Deflategate and how they’re suffering now. The Ravens, Colts, Texans, Giants and Eagles are all 0-2, the Cowboys lost Dez Bryant and Tony Romo (who had made fun of the Patriots earlier in the summer) and then Shaughnessy worries about the media.

I worry for the Worldwide Leader and other media outlets/members who covered the coverup with a cynical eye. What’s going to happen to poor Bob Kravitz, Chris Mortensen, Don Van Natta, and my man, Gary Tanguay? Bill Polian? Lester Munson? Mark Brunell? Felgie? Mazz? Ben Volin? . . . (gulp) me?

We can hope Dan. Meanwhile, things will start with this:

Layoffs Are Coming to ESPN

Multiple sources inside and outside of ESPN tell The Big Lead that the network will be laying off “200 to 300” employees in the coming months.

Shaughnessy is a pathetic, predictable, vengeful, bitter old hack. Let’s hope he continues to be right about his “worries” in this case though.


94 thoughts on “Clearing Out The Google Drive

  1. I continue to openly wonder whether Disney would consider spinning off or selling ESPN. It’s the biggest black mark on their balance sheet right now; the only unit that isn’t growing its net return (because their rights fee expenditure is increasing at a much, much greater clip than their ad and carrier revenue is).

    1. Wondered the same, but isn’t ESPN also something like ~75% of their revenue?

      Out of all media companies, I think the ones most invested in sports (ESPN a clear forerunner) are in serious trouble. TBL or one of the sites that covers cordcutting did a bit of math and someone like ESPN is going to start to be in the red as soon as 2016 or 2017 due to the cutting, coupled with the increased rights fees (NBA). The mandate to cut their budget 250M in 2017 seems low already.

      1. Not that high. Media Networks is maybe 45% of their revenue — but that includes ESPN, ABC, the Disney Channel and its other cable ilk, A&E Networks and all its subchannels, plus the SEC Channel, which is a cash cow for them. (And ABC and their TV production segment, but that’s a relatively small percentage of the overall Media Networks biz — maybe 25% tops.) Disney doesn’t provide a ton of granularity in their segment data (and are not in any way required to provide more than they do, mind you), so it’s difficult to tease out how much of that is ESPN. It’s safe to assume that it’s a good chunk, but a good chunk of the expenses are there too… All we can go on is the rumors and whispers. And that they’re starting cost-cutting at ESPN. Clearly they’re concerned at the upper levels of Disney management. The question is how concerned they are….

        1. I think these things are cyclical. ESPN grows it bureaucracy…a bean counter upstairs sees a $2 bill NFL expense and starts wondering what Sal in the mailroom is doing when he is not fetching coffee. Disney employs well aver 500,000 people across all their companies world wide. A shakeout of 200-300 at one division that comprises of 5 on air stations + radio + print does not seem that big a deal to me. I doubt the 300 actually show up on the bottom line when they are gone.

          If Disney is worried about ESPN, cord cutting and most threatening Verizon’s new package that does not include ESPN as a basic channel, then they will have to look at rights fees. The NFL as ginormous as its fees are makes money for the Network. I doubt they make money on MLB or the NBA. Still live programming of sports is the only content that is immune from delayed viewing. People watch commercials during games.

          As for spinning off ESPN…ABC seems to be surviving as the only one of the major 4 without it. The Disney Channels make a ton of money. Maybe they can live without sports. Seems to me ego would not allow them to totally get out of the sports business but you never know. I cannot see them spinning off ESPN and then restarting the ABC sports brand. If they do something that dumb they should have kept ESPN.

          1. Does anyone have an idea of how well the ex-jock talking heads are compensated? There seems to be a mile-long list of them and 99% of them are useless.

          2. Yup. Most are just not set to do TV at all. But given how TV is more teleprompter or “fall in line”, style and name is gonna keep you employed at most networks longer than anything.

            As far as #’s, James Andrew Miller usually knows that:


            He’s better known as the author of the ESPN Book. If not him, it’s one of the clone “sportz and what’s trending on Twitter” sites like Deadspin, TBL getting leaks or writing about what Miller says.

            When I cared more, usually the retired jocks, say Ray Lewis, will start at 250-500k for the year. They get a ton of perks, of course, like 1st class to whatever event they’re covering, sideline passes/box access at other events, etc.

            Make it big? I recall reading SaS makes 3-3.5m a year, which seems insane considering the cuts. He signed the contract in early 2015. M+M have the same agent and literally negotiate the same contract (2.5m, iirc). Anyone big there and on TV will be seven-figures or above. I recall the top there is 6m/yr (forget who.. maybe Berman?). More shows, bigger timeslots, greater exposure = greater money (no surprise).

          3. I agree, those 300 people probably account for .5% of the 250-300 million Disney want’s ESPN to cut from it’s budget. It seams reasonable to assume that Disney told ESPN to cut that much from it’s budget because that is what they lost in revenue from the subscribers they lost last year and when investors found out that ESPN is losing steam they freaked and dumped the stock. Disney does not want to go backwards a second year in a row.

            Doesn’t ESPN account for 25% of Disney’s overall profit? I don’t see any scenario where Disney dumps ESPN given the $$$ they earn them. Not anytime soon anyway.

          4. 2.) Based on current Nielsen estimates, ESPN is currently losing 300,000 homes per month. Last I checked, SNL Kagan reported that ESPN’s carriage fee is $6.61/month, and ESPN2’s carriage fee is $0.83/month. That means ESPN’s total carriage fee income for those two channels decreases by $2,232,000 every month. Assuming a steady decline through the end of 2015, ESPN will be down to 91.4 million homes by Christmas and will have missed out on $174 million in carriage fees thanks to cord cutting and cord shaving.


            I can’t find the link with someone who projected that by 2017 or 2018, they’re going to be basically in the red if numbers stay steady (all expected to increase)

        2. Yeah, most of it is leaks when you try to piece it together. I remember a month or two ago, when the WSJ ran the big article, and all the media stocks dropped (always fun since it’s no like any of this is news..)

          I think the cuts in the next 1-2 years will really show it. TBL had some leak about them cutting everywhere, from the # of live sportscenters to not even sending crews out to smaller CFB/etc games). I posted below the bleeding that’s basically compounding and looks to get worse.

  2. Tomase should never have been allowed to work in journalism again. Remember, folks, that “exclusive” that he broke before Super Bowl 42 was nothing more than a seven-year-old, unsubstantiated rumor that had already made several rounds through the media’s smoke-filled rooms and was deemed non-verifiable, and, therefore, non-reportable, by every other reporter on the Pats/NFL beat at the time. Tomase was the only media hack to move forward with the rumor and turn it into a story, and he chose, of course, the eve of the most important game in NE Patriots franchise history to publish it (because he was afraid of “getting scooped” by the NY Time on the story — not too self-serving on his part, right?). It’s worth noting that the NFL, too, publicly acknowledged that they already had done a cursory investigation of the “Rams Walkthrough Tape” story, presumably during their initial Spygate “investigation” months earlier, and found no credible evidence. It was only after Tomase published his b.s. article that Goodell said he’d welcome any new information about the case. Enter Matt Walsh, who no doubt was Tomase’s source for the article and whom Tomase saw fit to trust, without questioning his motives as a disgruntled, fired, ex-Pats employee who had been relegated to working as a part-time golf pro by 2007. Tomase should have been fired and he should, at most, be working the copy edit desk at Grape Soda Monthly magazine today. The fact that he’s so cowardly and thin-skinned that he actually blocks people who still call him out for his infinitely damaging, false, ego-driven story is more evidence that the P.O.S. should be made to felt shame, forever, for what he did do the Pats and their reputation.

  3. Speaking of Polian…did you catch him on the discussion about poor OL play this season? HIs reasoning: all the restrictions put on pre-season practice make it impossible to put a line together, which will have to be revisited by the competition committee, he warns. No mention of course that the Pats have managed to put together an effective line with those same restrictions…maybe they cheated. Polian is the biggest tool of the NFL office, and Trey Wingo is his wingman every time he refers to him as the “Commander in Chief.” I think these dark days at ESPN are the price we must pay for the glory days of the Pats. As Trey likes to say, Fair enough.

    1. Polian is an excuse-maker extraordinaire. I vented my spleen already this week on this site about the 2006 AFC title game, but the fact remains if the Colts didn’t steal that one — for the various reasons they were able to steal it — Polian would still be the “greatest GM without a championship” in NFL history. As for his ESPN gig, it was telling that when the Wells piece of excrement, er, “Report” was released in May, Polian’s biggest and most important takeaway was that “the Colts were exonerated for playing any part in a sting operation.” Yes, that was the most important thing about that “report” — it exonerated the Colts and Ravens from setting up a sting, primarily because Wells never investigated whether or not there was a sting set up, despite the NFL’s promises that he would.

      1. Polian will excuse any sort of bad behavior not involving the Patriots. A few years ago, there was a story that the Saints GM had tapped into the booth-to-sideline communications for opposing coaches at the Superdome. The morning after the story broke, Polian was on ESPN TV and radio saying that he didn’t think this would give the Saints any kind of advantage. This was an allegation of eavesdropping on what the opposing coaches assumed were secure, private conversations and Polian didn’t see how this could be helpful. Videotaping hand signals displayed on the sideline in front of the entire stadium and the TV cameras, that was a big problem, though. Along those lines, when discussing the three disciplinary cases the league was looking at this spring (texting by the Browns GM, the Falcons fake crowd noise, and the possibly deflated footballs with the Patriots), Polian thought the made up story was the one deserving the harshest punishment.
        Not only is Polian’s bias objectionable in these situations, but him being used as an “opinion leader” is, as well. He immediately downplayed the Saints allegations. That set the tone for how the story was viewed and handled from that point forward. If ESPN told him to hold back tears because he was so upset, it would have been viewed differently.

        1. Right. And I specifically remember him saying that Atlanta’s pumping in fake crowd noise didn’t provide a competitive advantage. Of course, he had to say that, otherwise he’d have to admit his Colts “cheated” all those years they were doing the very same thing inside the RCA Dome. I think what galls me the most about how the Patriots and their alleged “scandals” are treated is the fact that guys like Polian are treated like great stewards of the game by the very same media who vilify BB. I mean, here’s a guy who, just during his time in Indianapolis (to say nothing of what he may have done in Buffalo and Carolina) did the following: 1–he abused his position on the Competition Committee to get the pass defense rules altered in order to benefit his team; 2–he likely knew about, even if he didn’t order, the pumping in of fake crowd noise in the Colts’ old stadium; 3–he openly lobbied the officials on his weekly radio show prior to big Colts’ games by dropping lines like, “the officials need to be aware that New England’s receivers/Pittsburgh’s linebackers/Baltimore’s offensive linemen, etc… these things during games and they have to be ready to call it”; and 4–on that same radio show, he would fire shots across his opponent’s bow by saying “that’s something the Competition Committee will no doubt take a look at during the offseason”, knowing full well that he WAS the Competition Committee, pretty much, during his tenure in Indy. Oh, and this is to say nothing of the fact that local media reports, on more than one occasion, painted a picture of Polian screaming, cursing, pounding the table, calling for his players to “break his (Flutie’s) effin’ leg”, and famously pinning a Jets’ intern against the wall in various press boxes around the league….possibly while drunk (though that’s never been confirmed). But, you know, BB and the Pats….they’re the bad guys and Polian is Mr. Class.

          1. You left out “He has paid for a lot of reporter’s meals,” “He is happy to be the media’s ‘anonymous’ source,” and “He’s not Bill Belichick.”

          2. LOL…I didn’t know he paid for reporter’s meals. He’s a fraud. If BB is the anti-Christ, then Polian, at least, is fit to be one of BB’s minions in the underworld; but, for some reason, he’s never called out on a lot of the crap he pulled when he was working in the NFL.

    2. Belichick the GM once again ruins everything for Belichick the coach with his signing of the undrafted David Andrews and the drafting of Mason and Jackson.

      1. I found it interesting that BB was quoted last week as saying that this year’s offensive line group “is more talented” than last year’s. That means he must really, really like the youngsters he brought in during the offseason, because, you know, they did win a Super Bowl with that O-Line group last year, and they pretty much dominated the best defense in the league on the game’s biggest stage last February.

    3. When Bill Polian gets a speeding ticket, he petitions his congressperson to introduce a bill making police illegal.

  4. Did anyone hear the call (Wednesday), I think in the 9AM hour, to D+C, where the female said she was a caretaker at a home. One of the ladies she took care of said she loved when Tanguay was on because of his voice. I think we should pitch this to the AARP as a new spot test for Alzheimer/dementia now?

  5. Bruce you need to lighten up when it comes to Dan Shaughnessy. His column on the ‘Curse of Deflategate’ was tongue in cheek and quite funny.
    What is your problem???
    Why are so many Patriot wonks/pinkhats so humorless??
    You take yourselves and this team far too seriously.
    People like you make it hard for us fans who are not blind and miserable fanatics.
    It’s football!!!! Laugh a little. Jeez……..
    Yesterday ‘Pat Patriot Ordway’ had his satin panties in a bunch over the same column. His outrage lasted 60 seconds until his co-hosts mocked him and text messages told him he “should be smart enough” to see that Shaughnessy was writing tongue in cheek.
    Lighten up!!
    You have a “perspective” problem, Bruce.
    Yours is out of alignment.

    1. You give way too much credence to Shaughnessy’s intelligence if you think he is capable of being funny. The real issue with Shaughnessy is the fact that he is still angry he was not invited to breakfast the morning of the SB when the Pats invited the beat writers (he was a columnist then) in 1996. Shaughnessy then took Parcell’s side in the fight thereby losing most of his credibility. He was clearly on Bledsoe’s side and thought Belichick was crazy to go with Brady. Since then he has taken every effort he can to denigrate the Pats, BB and the Kraft family.

      He is pond scum…so what if he occasionally pens a chuckle worthy column….he still causes more problems than he is worth. As such…any ridicule heaped on him is warranted.

      1. Your facts are a little off. Breakfastgate happened at the 1998 Super Bowl. In November of 1997, Shaughnessy wrote a nasty column about Kraft after the Patriots had an ugly 20 point loss to the Buccaneers. I recall the gist was that “Amos Alonzo Kraft” was wrecking the Patriots by interfering in football operations, driving away Parcells, etc. That was likely the reason Kraft told poor Shaughnessy to pay for his own breakfast a couple months later.

        1. Correct. It was out in San Diego prior to SB 32 when Shank wasn’t invited to the breakfast. Of course, Kraft had good reason not to invite him, since the CHB had done nothing but rip him ever since the Parcells Affair a year earlier. What Kraft failed to realize is that the CHB acts like a five-year old whenever he feels someone has mistreated him, and he makes that person an enemy for life. Kraft made a media enemy for life when he snubbed Shank at that breakfast, and Shank has done nothing but criticize him ever since — even going so far as to just make sh*t up in order to rip him (“third-lowest payroll in the NFL in 2010” — after the Jets upset the Pats in the playoffs….the retraction in the Globe a few days later did NOT mention Shaughnessy’s name at all, by the way).

          1. I remember a Shank column (yes, i read it Linda, 20 years ago) in which he claimed Kraft dressed in a sweatsuit and used a stopwatch to time Tebucky Jones’ 40 run at Foxboro Stadium (some details of this may be wrong). Now that, if true (and with Shank that’s a big if), deserves ridicule and backs the prevailing wisdom that Kraft was meddling in football matters too directly at the time. But also if true, Kraft has shown in the last 15 or so years that he knows enough to let the football people do their jobs, which is something longtime owners like Al Davis and Jerry Jones never learned.

          2. I remember that, too. Yes, I think in beginning, Kraft did “meddle” a bit too much, but he’s admitted several times over the years that he was a new owner and he had a lot to learn back then. In other words, he did something that Shank is always loathe to do: he admitted he was wrong. To be fair, however, in Kraft’s first two off seasons as owner (1994 and 1995), Parcells was shopping for ALL of the groceries, and he had some very bad FA signings (remember Jeff Dellenbach and Myron Guyton?). He got Willie McGinest with fourth overall pick in the ’94 draft, which was good, but the rest of that draft class was pretty useless (got Max Lane in the sixth round, I think, which was OK). He had a good draft in ’95 (Ty Law, Ted Johnson and Curtis Martin), but the team slipped back to 6-10 in the ’95 season, largely because Parcells made some very bad FA decisions during that particular off season (letting all of Bledsoe’s receivers go, signing Dellenbach, etc.). So, Kraft had good reason to question the Tuna’s GM capabilities heading into that 1995-96 off season, and he rightly pointed to the 49ers’ model of having a GM and coach working hand-in-hand on the player personnel side of things as the “correct” way to run an NFL team. That’s what he tried to put together with Grier and Pete Carroll, but it just didn’t work out, and Kraft admitted that it didn’t. So, he handed the keys to the store to Belichick, and he got the hell out of the way. Shank, however, has never given Kraft credit for that. To him, it’s always 1996/97, and Kraft will always be the bad guy……because Shank is an immature tool with 500 different agendas, and always has been.

          3. I never thought Kraft meddled too much. I know that was what the Globe wanted everyone to believe. I have heard Kraft say that he was hesitant to continue to give Parcells complete control over the team because Parcells looked at the job as a year to year gig. He felt that Parcells may not have the teams best interests in mind because of his short term view on coaching.

          4. I think LTD’s post above helped to fill in some details that I wasn’t aware of. Kraft probably never meddled nearly as much as Shaughnessy would like us to believe. I mean, Shank was basically comparing Kraft to guys like Steinbrenner and Jerry Jones back then. That was never true. He hired a GM after Parcells left, and he encouraged the GM to work closely with the head coach. Jones just took over the Cowboys’ player/personnel guy after he and Jimmy Johnson went through their ugly divorce, and Steinbrenner, at his worst during the 80s, was actually calling the manager in the dugout during games. He finally mellowed after he came back from his suspension and allowed Michael/Cashman/Torre do their jobs and win him championships (but rumor has it that he still overruled Cashman in the 2004 off season when Cashman wanted to sign Vlad Guerrero, but Steinbrenner wanted Gary Sheffield instead). And you’re right, Kraft’s biggest problem with Tuna was his “I coach year-to-year” b.s. that he kept pulling. Kraft had $150M-plus in debt on his ledger at that time, and he needed stability in the organization. I guy like Shank could never understand or relate to a situation like that.

          5. Ahhh the famed stopwatch story. So because I am old and I remember it…Pete Carroll when discussing the drafting of Tebuckey Jones said that he brought Robert (that was his name for him) to a work out, gave him a watch and showed him Jones’ speed. Shaughnessy who was still angry about the breakfast snub, coupled with McDonough’s anger at being duped by Kraft over the Terry Glenn pick and then losing their boy Parcells in the power struggle, carried the Globe’s water by twisting innocuous events in a way that made Kraft look bad. The stopwatch was one such example. Bob Kraft was not out there timing Jones, or scouting him. Carroll really wanted Grier to pick Jones. He had this vision of him playing the big corner role that he eventually had Brandon Browner play in Seattle. He was lobbying Kraft because he wanted to take him with the first round pick and he knew it was a reach. So Carroll was doing his homework and covering his bases. It was not crazy as Carroll wanted to give this 24 year old with a wife and 2 kids out of a Ct school first round money.

            Shaughnessy turns the event into Kraft is out there on the scouting trail, doing the Al Davis thing, meddling in the player personnel decisions. It is not what happened. For years that misconception has been continually perpetuated all because Shaughnessy and the Globe have had more ink and paper than anyone else.

            I hate being old and remembering all this. Worse I hate writing anything that is remotely complimentary to Pete Carroll as he was the worst coach this franchise has ever seen. But he deserved credit. He saw a player he wanted, he worked within the system to get him. His mistake was not understanding Jones limitations and his lack of football smarts.

        2. You are correct it was 1998…I did get my dates mixed up. However, the reason why Shaughnessy was not invited to the breakfast was not because of his writing. It was because he was not a beat writer. Jim Donaldson who at the time wrote a lot about the Patriots but was a columnist for the Projo was not invited to the breakfast. Neither was Bob Ryan. Shank got his dander up precisely because he thought it was personal when in reality no one but the beat guys were invited. The Globe to make this into a story about themselves then announced that their guys (McDonough and Borges I believe at that time but I could be wrong) would not go because Shank was not invited…as if it was some affront to them. That was the last time I read a full Shaughnessy football column. It was also the last time I read the Globe.

          1. I wasn’t aware of the background info. That’s interesting. I had always assumed that Kraft — again, with good reason — didn’t invite Shank because Shank had been waging war against him in print ever since the Parcells “Shop for some of the groceries” press conference in January 1997. I didn’t realize it was ALL columnists that weren’t invited to that breakfast. That’s all the more reason to despise the CHB: he made personal something that wasn’t personal, and he’s ceaselessly carried out his “revenge” against Kraft for the last 18 years.

          2. To be fair…I have always thought it was a Globe editorial board decision to make that into a story more than Shank did on his own. I think Shank was annoyed or found it amusing to not be invited because he wrote for the Globe and back then writing for the Globe opened all doors. I think that he was kvetching about it in the newsroom and one of the editors called over to the Pats and asked why Shank was not invited. When told he was not a beat guy I think a conscious decision was made to try and embarrass the Pats. I remember arguing this on the old Pats USENET board with some Globe wonks. Their point was Shank spent 80% of in season ink writing about the Pats so he should be considered a beat guy and as such he had every right to be upset he was denied access to breakfast. I and others argued Beat Writers went into the locker room and faced the players the day after the story…the breakfast was their reward. Columnists like Shank never faced the players…so he was not invited. It was not that complicated until the Globe got the hair across its butt.

          3. Well, that version would also make some sense since the Globe has always had a hard time accepting the booming popularity of the Patriots and the NFL in this town ever since Parcells was hired (the sellout streak began in 1994, long before Brady and BB came along), and that has definitely affected the slant of their coverage of the team. I remember when the Pats’ Super Bowl 36 victory was voted in an online poll at to be the most important, or most exhilarating championship in Boston sports history, just edging out the historic Red Sox win of 2004. The Globies simply wouldn’t accept the results. They accused Patriots fan internet warriors of stuffing the ballot box and skewing the final vote totals, in fact. It never occurred to them that the NFL had become more popular than MLB, and, by extension, that the Patriots had at the very least caught up with the Sox in terms of local popularity, especially among the younger fans who had no frame of reference to The Impossible Dream Sox, Ted Williams, or even the Bucky Dent and Bill Buckner games.

          4. In fairness to the Globe…at the time of that poll the Red Sox had a 17% share ownership position with the NYTimes Company who owned the Globe. Further to be fair to the Globe they had a vested interest in keeping Boston a Baseball Town. It wasn’t that they did not realize Boston had become a football town with the arrival of Parcells and the BB team’s success 8 years later…its that they had a financial incentive to keep the news focused on the Sox. What has always amazed me about this is that the powers to be at the NYTimes and at the Globe never really understood that there is enough room in Boston for positive stories about BOTH the Sox and the Patriots. It never had to be a battle.

          5. No question the relationship with the NYT/Red Sox colored their Pats coverage. No question about that. I think it went a little deeper than that, though, as I believe that “old timers” like Ryan and Shank truly were caught off guard by the Patriots’ and the NFL’s ascendency in this town. For those guys, it was the Red Sox, lovable Red’s Celtics (when they were good, of course), and everyone else. They simply couldn’t fathom that a “cultured” and “refined” city like Boston would embrace such a brutish, violent game such as football. Both of them, in fact, openly admitted to not caring or knowing much about football before the Globe made them columnists, which pretty much forced them to take a crash course in Football 101 (which I think both of them failed). Just my take. I do remember Shank referring to football as a “violent game that was made for TV” in one of his sixteen thousand books about the Red Sox, whereas baseball was slow, pastoral, the thinking man’s game, etc.

      2. What “problems” does Dan Shaughnessy cause?? “Problems”??? latetodinner, you also have a “perspective” problem. Another humorless Patriot fanatic??
        Shaughnessy’s job is to give his opinion and to get you to read that opinion and react to it.
        Obviously Dan Shaughessy does his job very very well.
        In case you hadn’t noticed, and blind Patriot fanatics usually don’t because they can’t see through their own fanaticism, Shaughnessy rips on everyone.
        What I respect about Shaughnessy is he shows up and speaks to those he’s written about and ripped on……face to face.

        1. Shaughnessy’s job is to write columns. If you think he does his job very well I suggest you see a neurologist, psychologist, or exorcist – or maybe all three.

        2. Yes…that’s me…the humorless Patriots fanatic. I don’t read or respect Shaughnessy. Depending on the matrix you use…Dan does his job well. He poo stirs with the best of them. Dan does not show up. He does not go into locker rooms. He does not face people he slanders. Nor does he let the facts get int he way of a good rant at least not when it comes to the Patriots.

          Tom Curran is as critical of the Pats, in as funny way as anyone. He also gives their accomplishments respect. Your idol, Shank Shaughnessy has made a living looking for the other shoe to drop. If you think that is good journalism, or funny…bully for you. It just tells me you are not interested in rational thinking, legitimate reporting or reasonable coverage of the hometown team. If I want to hear the opposing point of view sprinkled with veiled anti-semitism I can read the NY press.

        3. Linda, you’re not going to win any points here by referring to we regulars as “humorless Patriots fanatics.” We want to read FAIR criticisms of the team, its players, its coaches, and its management personnel. What drives us insane, and what Bruce points out here, are the seemingly endless supplies of agenda-driven, dishonest hacks who cover the team and who relentlessly criticize them, their coach, their owner, et al, many of whom will simply make up certain things if it helps them to frame their “arguments”. Most of it is because they don’t like the way BB treats them and they’re too lazy to do their jobs when guys like BB are not making their jobs easy to do. Curran, Reiss, and a few others have taken it upon themselves to accept BB’s demeanor with the press, and work around it, and both of them, as a result, churn out high-quality — and fair — content about the team (and no, despite what the Felger’s of the world might say — insulting Reiss by calling him Kraft’s “fifth son” — their coverage is not all sunshine and kisses blown in the Pats’ direction). The organization down in Foxboro is in the midst of an historic, multi-decade run of success, the likes of which, really, has only been seen twice in NFL history (the 49ers under Walsh, Seifert, Policy/DeBartolo, and the Cowboys under Landry/Schram, etc.). And yet, to read and hear some of the “journalists” who cover and comment on the team over the last decade or so, you’d think the Pats were cranking out 6-10 seasons by the bushel and were responsible for singlehandedly corrupting the game of football for future generations (“What about the children?!!??” they cried during the NFL’s made-up fantasy “scandal” that was DeFameGate). Shank Shaughnessy is one of the WORST offenders. He simply is. The details as to why that’s the case have been spelled out by me and others in some posts on this page today. Bottom line: he’s had an 18-year agenda against Bob Kraft. Period, the end. There is no denying that this is a fact because there’s a ton of credible evidence out there to prove it. Plus, there’s his (Shaughnessy’s) history of holding grudges against other people he’s covered in other sports around town (he still will drop an occasional bomb on former Sox manager John McNamara, and Mac was fired 27 years ago!). He’s a child, Linda, and when he doesn’t like you, he uses his media pulpit to play the schoolyard bully.

        4. someone is a fanatic for disagreeing with what you said?

          Linda, if you look at most threads here, we’re pretty civil. You can disagree with someone; just if you’d like to respond, do it respectfully. We do it all the time here. I know it’s not common on the internet, but it is one of the nice things on when it comes to decorum here.

          1. No…I was a humorless Patriot fanatic. Which I find hysterical as I sip my afternoon ice tea from my Tom Brady cup, put it on my Patriots coaster, swivel in my Patriots Blue office chair, which sits on a Patriots themes floor protector, to the other side of my desk where my Troy Brown, Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady, and Andre Tippett Bobbleheads are bouncing away while I type away on my keyboard adorned in Patriots decals. Wait, my iPhone in its Patriot’s cover is ringing. Its Petsmart, it seems my custom order Tom Brady dog sweater made from an authentic Reebok replica TB12 jersey has been finished and it is waiting for me to pick up.

            A humorless Patriots fanatic…please. Tomorrow morning when I am eating my Gronk Flakes I am going to laugh about about this.

    2. He may have been writing “tongue in check” about how these other teams are now “cursed,” but it’s mainly just a transparent device to rehash deflategate and call the Patriots/Belichick arrogant. Let’s look at the regular Shank tropes he trots out for this one:
      – Nixon reference, check
      – Calls the Pats :sanctimonious” or synonym, check
      – 73-0 reference (hat tip to his fellow yellow journo Ron Borges), check
      – Self reference (a Shank favorite), check
      – Creates a new “curse,” check (i smell a book deal!!)
      – Animal House reference,….what, no?! Man, he must be slipping.

      There’s nothing funny or insightful or creative about this column, or 99% of Shaughnessy’s cut-and-paste efforts. Shaughnessy serves only to make sports less enjoyable for any reasonable New England fan, because his cynical drivel is parroted by simpletons throughout the region. Like Felger, he somehow has influence and low-information fans think he speaks truth to power (or whatever the hell they think) And with him as the go-to “Boston voice” for the national media wanting to pile on the Boston teams, and Patriots in particular, he has a regular platform to demean the region’s fans across the country.

      Shank is lazy, cynical, uninformed and downright miserable. But Bruce needs his “perspective aligned” (whatever TF that means).

      1. …and you read him all the time.
        In fact he has you making a checklist of the references he makes in his column.
        And you don’t think YOUR perspective is out of whack and in need of alignment???
        People like you (and Bruce) are the reason he tweaks the Patriots as much as he does and the way he does.

        1. I almost never read him anymore, but having grown up in the area he has been impossible to ignore, especially in the pre-internet days when the Globe was pretty much the only game in town. If you read a Shaughnessy column in 1993 it is just like reading one from 2015. And I hear all about his lame columns from smart, savvy folks like you.

          1. You read Shaughnessy and you listen to Felger and Mazz. They all go away when they have no one paying attention and their ratings/readership is low. YOU feed into their schtick by following them.

          2. You seem to know a lot about me.
            Since you can’t bring anything of substance to the table, i think this is a good time to remind everyone that Shank has still not explained whether he made up 2 sources that allegedly told him the Red Sox were confiscating “Save Don” signs at the Fenway gates, or he accepted the ruling from above, perhaps from his publisher and Red Sox owner, that it be removed from the story. Either way he’s a terrible journalist, and you should be embarrassed for defending him here.

        2. And your evidence of him being a good columnist shouldn’t really be citing my evidence that he is a terrible columnist.

        3. I’m confused. You think people who read Shaughnessy and hate him (I don’t read him because I hate him) can’t criticize him because they always read him?

          But you’re doing the exact same thing to Bruce.

      2. @high Lawyers, guns and money? @linda. I don’t read him. Ever. He sucks completely. Wholly. In every conceivable sense of the word. The people who read him are the slaves now out of Egypt but walking in the Sinai, completely lost.

    3. Linda, Let’s test your Shank bonafides –

      Who did Dan refer to as “A useless bag of you know what” before he ever played a game for his team in this town?

      Who is Ivan DeJesus?

      If Dan cares so much for integrity and fair play, why did he continue to grab a check on the radio with convicted plagiarist Mike Barnicle?

      Who is Ivan DeJesus?

      Why did Dan call in on the air and apologize to Kirk Minihane?

      Who is Ivan DeJesus?

      Why should I “laugh a little” at something that’s not remotely humorous?

      Who is Ivan DeJesus?

      Who got busted writing bogus positive reviews for one of Dans piece of crap books on Amazon?

      Who is Ivan DeJesus?

      Did you come up with wonks and pinkhats on your own?

      Who is Ivan DeJesus?

      Lastly, you sound like a real prize, some morning your gonna stroll out to the garage and find your hubby dangling from the end of a rope – and he’ll be a lot happier.

  6. Just for laughs here but always fun when people do make Tanguay look like he’s president of MENSA.

    At some point in his career, Dexter Manley realized that he could get
    more laughs and feedback out of radio listeners by screaming something
    outrageous than by actually offering a measured opinion.

    Chris Russo is suing for trademark infringement.

    “First of all let me tell you something, let me ask you guys a question:
    who would you take, Joe Theismann or Tom Brady?” Manley began. “I’m
    taking Joe T. I’ve got a guy [at work], he loves Tom Brady, and I think
    Tom Brady, I ain’t gonna go there, but Tom Brady can’t even pack Joe
    Theismann’s jock. This [co-worker], that’s all we debate all day is
    about Joe Theismann or Tom Brady. I think Tom Brady can’t pick up a
    first down. He has no athletic skills, he’s surrounded by good people,
    but the guy is in the toilet, in my opinion. In my opinion he’s in the

    “I’ll take Joe Theismann, I’ll take [Matt Ryan], anything over Tom
    Brady,” Manley went on. “I’ll take Joe Theismann first, I’ll take Matty
    Ice second, and I might take Doug Williams third, but I’m not gonna take
    Tom Brady to lead my team nowhere….Tom Brady is garbage. He can’t pick
    up a first down. He has no athletic skill. He’s surrounded by people,
    but Tom Brady is garbage. Garbage!!!!”

    HE SUCKS MIKE!!!!!!! HE SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. ESPN is like a job-entitlement program run amok. Bob Ley doesn’t have to worry about his next nine meals today: He’s a lifer. Same with Berman. Too many haughty, insufferable Lifers there. Neil ‘Don-We-Now-Our-Gay-Apparel’ Everett is the poster child for their on-air ‘talent.’ And of course they took a ‘Statist’ posture in Brady v. the NFL, refusing to speak ‘truth to power’ like good journalists should. Witness the ESPN hit job(s) on New England mere hours after the court ruling. These assassination attempts were ‘Plan B’ if the ruling didn’t go the ‘Government’s’ way…and it didn’t. Finally, notice that ESPN is being MUCH more deferential to ‘Euro-Sports’ such as ‘futbol’ and ‘rugby.’ Anything to knock down American sport while elevating the ‘global’ view. And of course, Bob ‘My-Meals-Are-Forever-Paid-For’ Ley will never reject an opportunity to wax enthusiastically about ‘gun control,’…a la Bobby Costas.

    1. That is a fantastic rant and Neil Everett is the worst!!!

      They have fallen so far since the glory days with Craig Kilborn.

    1. San Diego’s not a bad place to spend your time, if you can afford it. I’m sure Orsillo’s new deal will allow him to take advantage of all that city has to offer. He’ll probably miss the passion of the Boston fan base, but baseball is baseball between the white lines, and he is, more than anything else, a baseball junkie.

      1. IMHO, saying “San Diego’s not a bad place to spend your time” is like saying “Charles Lindbergh was not a completely obscure aviator”…. 🙂

    1. Just like they had “no doubt” Judge Berman would rule in their favor? And I’m sure the court has NOTHING more important on the docket than this appeal and will certainly expedite it to the NFL’s liking. Jeezus Christ this is the single most embarrassing thing a sports league has ever been through. FIFA is laughing at the NFL at this point.

    2. McCann has already debunked this. He says no way this appeal decision is reached before 2016, citing his experience as an appellate lawyer, and the fact that the NFL has not requested an expedited ruling (no briefs filed yet either). Just more NFL b.s. to keep fanning the anti-Brady/anti-Patriots flames.

      1. They actually filed for an expedited ruling today. “Expedited”, though, at the appellate court level means the case gets dealt with in months instead of years.

    3. Missed this quote,

      “What this person doesn’t realize,” WFAN host Boomer Esiason responded,
      “(is) that they all felt the same way prior to Judge Berman’s ruling.
      But what they didn’t know is that Judge Berman was going out to The
      Hamptons to hang out with (Patriots owner) Bob Kraft.

      Uhm.. didn’t know Boomer was in the troll biz.

      1. It’s amazing. These people realize they’re accusing a Federal judge of favoritism, right? While it’s true that many judges let their politics affect their decisions at times, if the NFL had any suspicions at all that Berman had a pre-existing relationship with Kraft that would cause him to render a biased, pro-Brady verdict, they probably would have petitioned for him to recuse himself, or they would have, at the very least, used their media flacks at ESPN and elsewhere to let it be known, BEFORE the verdict, that Berman was compromised in some way.

      2. As I see it there are two types of people in the NFL universe. Those that have read everything and understand why the NFL lost in Berman’s court (the court of their choosing) and those that continue to follow the story through sound bites, feelings, assumptions, a basic lack of simple science knowledge, the nature of the offense and a complete misunderstanding of what happened. I am not sure who is dumber…the NFL front office exec who should not have said anything…and when I say that I mean he should be fired for making such an idiotic statement to a member of the media…or Boomer and Carson from reporting the statement and thereby giving credibility to yet another unsubstantiated piece of innuendo coming out of the NFL offices.

        I know we keep thinking someone in the NFL front office has to step up and be the responsible adult in the room but this is getting ridiculous. If I were Goodell, I would have told my staff to never say another word about the Brady case until after the appeal is heard and done. Complete radio silence. His lack of control of his people amazes me. All this is going to do is piss off Bob Kraft more. He already wants heads in the legal department to roll. The commish might think his job is safe but Kraft is still an influential owner and I can’t believe the other owners want to hear anything more about deflate gate after the last 7 months. Let’s find out who this leak was…its not like protecting the source is a national security issue…and then see him get fired.

    4. How do we know there actually is a “source” and this isn’t completely false?

      Personally I put little faith and credibility in anonymous sources anymore. Either put a name to the source or I just can’t believe it.

    1. bsmfan…thank you for letting me know it was safe to go back in the water. I had to stop listening to the Tanguay Experience the moment I heard…”filling in for Kirk today is…”

  8. Suggested HotTakez(tm) for the weekend (because you guys/gals know I care):

    — Patriots peaking too early; setting themselves up for late season fade
    — Manning struggles show Patriots stupid for not moving on from Brady
    — Patriots fans swallowing Kool-Aid by prejudging team that hasn’t faced elite teams like Dallas/NJG*/Denver yet
    — Something something something tomato cans

    — Farrell’s job on line as Sox face Orioles in home finale
    — Hanley Ramirez: worst contract ever, Satan incarnate, or Dominican Hitler?
    — “Soft” Sandoval’s refusal to play through pneumonia causes clubhouse dissent
    — Something something something Curse of Ben Cherington

    — Inability to compensate for loss of Chara/Seidenberg should cost Juilen his job
    — Ray Bourque paid off son to injure Chara as part of ill-advised comeback attempt
    — Preseason play is totally a fair predictor of team’s talent; season therefore over
    — Something something something Cam Neely

    *Typo, and it’s totally staying.

      1. Not in terms of MLB prestige, no, but then again it’s not as if he was choosing SD over BOS. If the terms outlined by Edes are correct I think it’s a pretty good deal for DO. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back here at some point.

      2. 365 days of sunshine, never warmer than 90 never cooler than 70. No pressure from the fan base. Fabulous Mexican and Japanese food. It could be worse, he could have taken the Tampa job.

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