No doubt, my absence around this address has been noticed. Part of this has been due to my new job (Though I could count writing this on the new WordPress editor as work-related.), but a bigger part really has to be with my recent total apathy with sports media in general.

Apathy over sports media? After having run a sports media site for over 13 years?

Yeah. Much has changed since 2002 when I began doing this, but a world in which Dan Shaughnessy is honored by a sports hall of fame is not one which has any sort of grip on what people are interested in. When was the last time Shaughnessy actually wrote a baseball column that was of value? How does that translate to hall of fame worthiness?

Sports media in Boston has always been antagonistic to a degree – back to the days of Dave Egan.

But it seems now, almost constantly on the air, and more and more in print, that the focus is on making fans miserable. Whether it be mocking them as “fanboys,” attempting to diminish accomplishments, dreaming up doomsday scenarios for local teams, telling us how arrogant the greatest coach in NFL history is, or just the constant trolling, it is enough to make someone wonder just why they subject themselves to this.

It certainly has made me wonder. Why have something so toxic like that as part of your life?  It’s not healthy. Toxic things come with a warning. They should be avoided. More and more, I’m avoiding toxic sports media altogether.

Sports should be a diversion from the stresses and anxiety of everyday life. It’s an outlet. We live in a country where mass shootings are happening seemingly every day,  and – yes this is hyperbole here – yet if you turn on your radio or read the alleged paper of record in this town, it would seem that Bill Belichick’s rugby on-sides kick attempt was a far more grievous a crime than some of the things happening in the real world.

I hear it already – oooh we can’t be critical, the fanboys get upset… If you’re saying that, you’re an idiot. There’s a difference between being critical of decision-making and of outlet trolling and intentionally being irritating and antagonistic.

It’s a twisted world in which we exist when people are rewarded for attempting to rile others up or just get a reaction – it doesn’t matter if it is negative or positive – from their audience, their consumers. The reason they are able to make a living.

  • Dan Shaughnessy has recycled columns and taken the same cheap shots for 25 years, made a cottage industry out of a hokey “curse”and it now rewarded for it by the Baseball Hall of Fame?
  • Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti have pretty much dedicated their program to taking shots at the most successful sports franchise of this century, telling us at every turn how fraudulant it is, and creating the perception of unending ineptitude. They’re rewarded with top-of-the-hill ratings.
  • Gary Tanguay, having been fired from jobs involving Celtics and Patriots broadcasts has attempted to turn himself into some sort of truth-teller, who actually has no grip on reality. He’s rewarded with every fill-in spot that comes up at WEEI.
  • John Tomase writes bold-faced lies, which are quickly taken as fact to this day by 90% of the population, his employer is forced to apologize and issue a meaningless retraction, and his career suffers not at all. In fact he is rewarded with a move to the Red Sox beat, and then as a columnist.

It’s mind-boggling, and encapsulates the very reason I’m so disgusted with the state of sports media right now.

Once again, I ask – why would anyone want this as part of their life?

I know that many of you have cut out the toxic sports media from your lives. I applaud you. But clearly it’s not nearly enough, so either these tactics actually are very popular, or New Englanders just love their sports so much they’re willing to put up with these constant slaps to the face.

During the last several weeks, I haven’t had the time to keep up as much with the local sports media. My viewing, reading and listening has largely been limited to actual games (and what I might see on Twitter). I’ve watched the Patriots, I’ve watched the Celtics. I’ve peeked in on the Bruins. I have read a few things on the moves the Red Sox are making.

I really don’t feel like I’ve missed much, if anything.

My aggravation levels are much lower (despite the Patriots having lost two in a row) and I’m not annoyed at faux controversies. I did make the mistake of flipping through the latest ESPN Magazine this morning and saw Seth Wickersham has another target on the Patriots, specifically Ernie Adams. But overall, my sports experience has been a whole lot better.

As a Public Service Announcement, I’m putting forward this list of local sports media people who you should absolutely, positively never read, watch or listen to.

Avoid at all costs

Dan Shaughnessy

Tony Massarotti

Gary Tanguay

Ben Volin

Ron Borges

Adam Jones

Marc Bertrand

John Tomase

Michael Felger

Kevin Paul Dupont

If you can cut those people out of your life completely, your existence as a sports fan will be much more satisfying. I highly recommend it.

Do it.

I’m issuing a 30-day challenge.

Do not consume anything from the people on that list above. You come across them on the radio, flip it, same with TV, someone tricks you with a link to a column, close it immediately. Do this for 30 days.

See how you feel.

*************

Addendum

There are still media folks in this area who are worth your time. I’ve often dreamed of being able to put together my ultimate Boston sports site. These are the folks currently working here that I’ll read/watch/listen anytime. If I was putting together that site, this is how I would do it, and the roles each would have:

Alex Speier – Columnist, MLB

Chad Finn – Columnist, General

Tom Curran – NFL

Fluto Shizawa – NHL/Bruins

Mike Reiss – Patriots

Rich Levine – Columnist, General

Jay King – Celtics

Sean McAdam – Red Sox

Jen McCaffrey – Red Sox

Dale Arnold – Sports radio/TV

Mark Daniels – Patriots

Steve Bulpett – NBA

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127 thoughts on “P.S.A. – Avoiding Toxic Sports Media

    1. Portnoy is a clown. He’s not a troll, but he’s not worth anyone’s time. And “defending the wall” is a phrase that should never be used by a fan with an ounce of pride.

      1. Why not? You sound like Gerry Callahan. Or at the very least an old man who yells at the clouds. Barstool is not for everybody but he has balls the size of grapefruits. Doesn’t cow-tow to anybody, will ask anybody any question he wants. Mike Kensil is afraid of him. Bob Kravitz loses sleep over him. There’s a reason he was named the most influential person in Boston sports media. The Barstool reach and influence is vast. His minions KFC and Big Cat have the same stature in NYC and Chicago. Barstool is a national brand that has a rabid following not only by fans but athletes and media members as well. To say he’s not worth anyone’s time is pretty ridiculous when he’s created a legit sports empire. To each their own….

        1. Well is it to each their own or do I have to like Portnoy? Credit to him for building an empire of course. Felger is successful too. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t suck.

          1. Building an empire by stealing other people’s intellectual property. What a winnah. *slow clap*.

        2. It’s generational… I don’t think he applies to this discussion because he doesn’t legitimately write about sports or do radio… I’m a big fan of Danny Picard he puts out a podcast everyday brings in good guests from time to time and knows his stuff.. unfortunately not everyone can get over the delivery which is silly to me.

        3. “Mike Kensil is afraid of him. Bob Kravitz loses sleep over him.”

          I doubt it. I’ve seen a lot of his “confrontations” with these guys and they’re not scared of him because of what he has to say. They’re scared of him because he comes off as lunatic.

          1. The cult-like reverence some of his followers have for Portnoy is downright bizarre and kinda pathetic.

      2. I used to not like him. The “frat boy” isn’t my thing but I think he’s done really well carving out a niche and brand, using the “media” aspect to help. I’m not a reader or “stoolie”, either. The guys who carve their own brands out are always going to have a love/hate.

    2. “defending his wallet since the beginning”
      Look at me, now let me sell you a t-shirt (& not pay royalties)

    1. Thanks for posting this. I just watched a 5 minute video on Mark Hamill doing the voice of the Joker from Batman the Animated Series. Consider my day made.

      1. Keaton as Batman.. maybe it’s just the growing up with that as ‘my’ Batman, but I still think he was the best. Between this and Bale? Bad reboots. I think Bale really helped save the character.

        1. At the risk of derailing perfectly good sports talk, I like both of Burton’s Batmans, as well as the reboots (well, maybe except Dark Knight Rises). It’s one of the few franchises I think I can say that about. You can’t really compare them because visually and performance-wise, they’re just miles apart. Keaton was the perfect Batman for Burton’s vision, Bale was perfect for Nolan’s reboots.

          Now, as for Ben Affleck, eh …….

          1. Unfortunately, many “franchises” and icons have been polluted. I know Bruce is a big Bond fan and thought the Brocolli family did well till maybe Goldeneye.. yeah, I’m sure we can debate stuff like this for infinite threads and that’s for another site.

          2. Right right, good point. Let’s shelve this fun discussion and get back to what really matters.

            “Tony, it’s obvious the Broncos showed the template on how to beat the Patriots. You get the right weather, the right officiating crew, and a offensive few injuries and you make Brady beat you with his speed. It’s out there now. And the window is obviously shut on any more Super Bowls.”

            “You’re absolutely right, Mike!”

        2. Also, was there anyone in the 80s who could touch Michael Keaton? Even with Johnny Dangerously on his resume … 🙂

          1. Johnny Dangerously…his name was an ADVERB…I loved that Fargin film. Mr. Mom is still one of my favorites:

            Keaton: Hi, can I get you a beer
            Martin Mull: God god man its 7:00 am
            Keaton: Scotch?

          2. Everyone’s got their preferences, but Johnny Dangerously was an entertaining, harmless movie. I still use lines from that.

            Johnny Dangerously: Whatcha cooking, Ma?
            Ma Kelly: Beer.
            JD: With noodles!?

          3. Marone deported to Sweden…says he’s not from there. “Johnny Dangerously” always cracked me up. And that scene with Martin Mull from “Mr. Mom” you just described is also one of my all-time favorite movie gags.

  1. The “Random Quote” at the bottom of this post at this moment is perfect:

    “So the next time you hear some broadcaster or sportswriter muttering that BB never tells them anything, take that as a sign. If BB didn’t feel like wasting his time with them, you probably shouldn’t either.”

  2. Disagree, well i agree for the most part that your list of people to avoid suck and that Shank going to the HOF pretty much tarnishes that accomplishment for everyone.

    But i am not going to ignore media because i don’t like their point of views or what they are saying. Yes, some people like Gary Tanguay or Borges. They have obvious grudges and cannot be trusted on any opinion. I am not going to just ignore Felger and Mazz, Bertrand, Volin or KPD because i don’t like some of their opinions. Yes, they sometimes troll but some don’t some on your “good” list. Remember Tom E. Curran on WEEI 5+ years ago?

    Just because Felger and Mazz don’t just automatically praise everything the Patriots doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Yes, they can be annoying but i think they usually logically think things out or have reasons for not liking something not just “the patriots fired me when i unreasonably thought i should have got the play by play gig”. or “They traded my source so i will never write another positive thing again”

    Seriously I get that the deflated ball situation sucked, but damn you guys have lost your minds if you think ignoring different opinions is the way to go.

    1. Again with the “you don’t like Douchebag and Squeaky because they don’t automatically praise the Patriots” strawman crap. Give it a rest. I — and I bet most of the people Bruce is addressing — are perfectly happy reading stuff that deservedly criticizes NE.

      The problem is that Douchebag and Squeaky are insincere trolls. They don’t actually offer any actual criticism. They just troll. And they probably don’t even believe half they crap they say. And trolls deserve to be ignored.

      1. I always notice that when they are done bashing the Pats they pick them to win easily. It is silly. Even at their best they are not head and shoulders above every other team, but anything less than an easy win will keep the bashing alive. If the easy win occurs, Mazz will go on his the other teams suck and the games aren’t worth watching rant.

    2. “… you guys have lost your minds if you think ignoring different opinions is the way to go.”

      How about ignoring uninformed disingenuous opinions? Because that’s what those cats bring to print and the airwaves.

      I say your mind is the one to be worried about. We are what we consume.

  3. Preach!!

    I already avoid the bozos. Glad you included a list of the good ones.

    And it’s probably semantics, but Shank’s award (gag) was voted by fellow media members, not the HoF itself( same as Dupont).

    1. I can’t believe I’m going to do this, but I will actually volunteer to defend Shank, somewhat, on this “hall of fame” thing. There was a time, many, many moons ago, when he was a very good baseball beat writer. Yes, he was still the petty, vindictive asshat he is today and, as usual, he held grudges, some of which he still holds to this day (I think he’ll find a way to rip John McNamara at least once a year until the old guy dies….and then after that he’ll only rip him once very two years). However, I used to read him, and actually enjoyed his stuff when he was a regular on the Sox beat in the 80s, before the Globe made the egregious error of promoting him to general sports columnist. It’s also worth noting that Shank started his career not in Boston, but in Baltimore covering those great Orioles teams in the late-1970s, and so his past includes a lot of baseball beat writing, and he was one of the good ones during that era. The notion that any journalist belongs in any sports hall of fame is a dubious one, however. I don’t think Gammons belongs (always thought him to be overrated, and he became an unbearable suck-up after he moved to TV full time). I understand, however, that this isn’t an actual hall of fame award for Shank, but merely recognition from his peers. If it’s recognition for his years as a pure baseball beat writer, then I can almost understand it, even if I reserve the right to despise the utter b.s. he has spewed, and continues to spew, during his seemingly endless tenure as the “national voice” of the Boston sports media.

      1. Precisely. The frustration with Shank isn’t that he’s a Bart Hubbub-like talentless hack, it’s that we all know he could be so much better than he is, except he’s decided to basically sit on his laurels and rehash the same old pap every few weeks for the rest of his professional career (apparently).

        1. Agreed. He’s not a talentless hack and he did some good work on both the Sox and Celtics beats during the 80s, though baseball really was, and still is, his main area of expertise. It’s frustrating and even a little sad to see what he’s become today. However, he always was a rabble-rouser during his time as a beat writer and he never shied away from trying to stir-up controversy in the locker rooms and clubhouses he covered (I once read that the ’82-’83 Celtics, almost to a man, wanted him tossed off the beat…not sure where I read it, but I know I saw it somewhere, and it wasn’t on the Internet either). Therefore, I guess it’s not too surprising that he turned out to be a total, crap-stirring DB as a columnist.

      2. He has the ability to write an awesome column. Every once in a while he does a human interest column, usually profiling a cancer sufferer. It’s usually an excellent piece of writing, something we don’t get on most of his columns.

  4. A caller to Dale and Holley (the last remaining show to which I donate my time) yesterday said he finds it entertaining when Belichick stonewalls, sidesteps or otherwise mocks the media. He never quite go to the point of why he finds it so entertaining, but he’s a caller to a sports radio show, so I cut the guy some slack. He’s lucky he understands how to operate sophisticated machine like a mobile phone. But the point is I also find it entertaining, and I was wishing he would have said what I was thinking …

    When I see Belichick stand before these agenda-driven jackals and hyenas — who without this phoney-baloney profession would likely be sweeping a floor or manning a toll booth somewhere — I feel like he’s taking a stand against all the #HotSportzTakes we have to endure as reasonable sports fans. He’s the one person who can bring all these goofs together in the same place at the same time and make life difficult for them. We all complain about the Borges and Volins of the world, but only Belichick is in a position to strike back against them by giving them nothing.

    At some point over the last 15 years, the goal of sports media became less to report on actual news and more to just write or say the most salacious thing that comes to mind. Even if it’s just speculation based on no discernible facts or sources, it no longer matters. It’s about making noise, clicks, and ratings. And as a result not only do our collective enjoyment of the sports we watch suffer, but the reputations of the men who play and coach these sports are placed under unwarranted scrutiny because of #HotSportzTakes.

  5. Hey, this made my day! I already tune 7 of these guys out, and I am not exposed much to the others.

    I find Jones to be the worst. “I wouldn’t claim that I am speaking out of my ass or anything, but it is interesting that they have fully developed vocal chords. You have to wonder about that, even if *I* think it is a coincidence.”

    1. Are you talking about the annoying Flo Progressive radio commercials. Talk about an insult to intelligence. Maybe that’s why they make up most of the commercials on sports talk shows.

  6. I have essentially taken this advice some time ago. Though I do read Reiss, McAdam, Speier from time to time, I don’t listen, read or watch anything anymore beside the actual game. It’s completely liberating. We win, awesome – lose? Bummer. It helps to have small kids that can pull my focus away, so for those of you that don’t – you’ll need to find a constructive hobby of your own, I guess. Bruce, thanks for making this place an oasis of sanity and hope you’ll come back soon.

  7. I’m not a fan of the local sports teams but I am a fan of sports radio. Felger and Mazz are on top because Mike Felger is a talented radio personality. On the WEEI side, Kirk Minihane is a talented radio personality. By talented, I mean they are funny and engaging.
    The shows that are winning in ratings are doing so because its good radio; not because of their sports takes.

    1. Felger would be far more tolerable with someone talented and insightful working opposite him. Mazz is as worthless as it gets.

  8. Personally, I don’t think Felger & Mazz have been as bad lately. At least on the Pats. After the Denver loss they were quite positive about the team. They even were willing to go along with bashing and putting a lot of the loss on the officials, which you never in a million years would expect out of them. Over the course of the season, at least when it comes to the on the field performance, I think they’ve been much better and reasonable than they have been in prior seasons. Maybe its because I’ve listened at good times and am just missing the bad times? Or maybe they’ve finally realized, especially after a season where the team won the Super Bowl that treating the team like a 1-15 team every single week, every single season just doesn’t fly anymore?

    They have been horrendous on Deflategate, with their complete and utter refusal to consider anything but Roger Goodell’s perspective. Giving Carlton from Norwell free reign to rant and rave (about often false information) literally every single day is extremely frustrating. As is how into the whole fumble matter they are, which has been proven from other sources as an utter farce.

    Their Sox coverage can be frustrating at times. Yet you gotta expect the criticism for a team that has come in last place 3 out of 4 years. The Sox deserve it.

    I got no plans to stop listening. Despite their flaws, they are still the most entertaining sports radio show in the area. I have successfully avoided everyone else on your list though.

    1. Brian I have been making a similar argument about F&M for years. I think their Pats coverage is questionable, their Bruins coverage is too much in volume but usually correct, their Celtics and Sox coverage spot on. So I listen.

    2. Way late on this but there was an exchange on F&M recently where a caller asked them “why are you so positive on the Pats all of a sudden.” Mazz started joking about something a higher-up at the station requested they do. Felger followed that with a “it wasn’t a suggestion, it was an order” — and he wasn’t kidding.

  9. I stopped listening to Boston-based sports radio and my sports life got quite a lot better. I’ll occasionally tune in afternoon drive on ‘EEI, but then Mikey comes on and I bail again.

    I do still pay attention to Ben Volin on Twitter, but I don’t read his columns. On Twitter, I filter it well enough so I get the information and not so much of the snark. Otherwise, I listen to some ESPN radio, and pick and choose what to read via Twitter. Your list is pretty much spot-on.

  10. When the media went from reporting and commenting on the story to trying to become the story, that’s where they lost me. There’s a difference between being critical and being a dick. These guys crossed that line a long time ago.

  11. Another reason I’ve started to tune out more and more lately is how much these shows — both radio stations, but mostly 98.5 — have devolved into glorified infomercials. Literally every segment, every call, every interview, every “expert”, is tied into some sort of advertisement. I completely understand it pays the bills and these are for-profit media corporations, but come on… give it a rest. I couldn’t care less what kind of sewer water Jim Murray is drinking today from Dunkin Donuts. Let commercials run during the commercial breaks and leave the on-air sports talk to being sports talk.

        1. Crap. My bad. That’s so absurd. Sometimes I genuinely feel bad for Tanguay. A drowning man doing anything he can to stay afloat, and it’s pathetic and transparent to anyone paying attention. Then it passes, and I go back to being annoyed at him.

          1. It’s auditory rubbernecking. I still don’t get why he’s allowed anywhere near a live camera or microphone. Hearing him enough, he’s genuinely not intelligent but one of those weaponized stupidity folks who think the opposite. I don’t think it’s a “lets bust out the hot take dartboard” ala Adam James, either. About the only thing I can think he did well was retain the Celtics and Patriots jobs for so long. How could he contain his ego that long and play the game? Gotta put food on the table but he seems to not be able to go 60 minutes without something really dumb coming out of his mouth.

            If he genuinely drives ratings on the radio side, I think this society has bigger problems than dealing with him.

    1. It’s pretty clear that Gary is playing the role of the dumb guy (“He’s a natural!”) and everyone at the station is in on it. Dale would never be that disrespectful to a colleague unless it was directed from above and Gary was (sort of) in on the joke.

  12. Excellent, Bruce, much needed. Thanks for covering this. Some of my impressions:

    Mazz: How does someone spend two decades as a baseball beat writer do such a good job of hiding it for three hours a day on sports radio? Nearly all of his complaints (always loud) pretend that baseball is football. His rush to hyperbole is exceeded only in his rush to unrighteous indignation.

    Volin: Just really bad at his job. I don’t care what side he takes with Deflategate and all that, he just brings nothing to the table – consistently.

    Tanguay: Not once, ever, has he made a statement – about anything – that contained insight. He is the ultimate empty cereal box. And what’s worse? He doesn’t know it. Maybe the worst of the bunch and, like Volin, I base this not a wit on Deflategate.

    Shank/Borges/Tomase: (Low hanging fruit, I suppose.) Must have pictures. Absolutely unemployable in any non-government or academic job known to man. (Sadly, Shank and especially Borges can really write. Wasted talent, regrettably.)

    Arnold: A less arrogant, less clueless Tanguay. Talks a lot but says nothing, applauds himself for overstating the obvious in an attempt to make it sound insightful. Asks interview questions intent not on gaining a valuable answer but in proselytizing commonly know things as if he is revealing them to his under-informed audience.

    The gold standard for me on radio is Chuck Wilson. The further you drift from him the more you end up on a list like this. In print, Bob Ryan and as we can all see there are few Mr. Ryan’s to be found in these parts.

  13. They wore me down months ago (maybe it’s even been a year) Its why I don’t post as much as I used to on this site…I just don’t give a damn about the sports media anymore. I don’t listen to sports talk or watch Comcast Tonight..(or whatever the hell it’s called now)…I pick and choose, I’ll read Curran,Chris Price, Mike Reiss..not much more. It’s beyond me how these clowns get the ratings they do. To each his own, but I’ve been out for awhile now and I don’t feel I’ve missed anything. Great column,Bruce.

  14. Remember when all those “if the season ended TODAY,” doom and gloom stories were all the rage last week regarding the Pats? Yeah, haven’t seen too many of them this morning. Weird.

    1. Strangely enough, the criticism of and calls for the immediate resignation, tar and feathering of Josh McDaniels have also been quieted.

      1. Oh no…I still want him tar and feathered. The first drive 3rd and short bomb to Lafell sent me ballistic. There were several plays like that…all while the guys on TV were talking about the Pats horizontal game. The only reason I did not write about it sooner is I was away in Baltimore all weekend. McDaniels can’t help himself. He is in love with he home run ball when what he really needs is patience and the occasional draw.

          1. really? I only counted one….it was a swing play to White. There may have been more but I was at Captain James Landing smashing the hell out of all the Crabs I could eat. I totally admit I could have missed a screen in favor of stuffing my fat face full of Blue Crab and the resulting tingling sensation of Old Bay.

          2. I saw at least three — and you know I’m on the lookout for these!!! 🙂 There was the swing to White, which was the most productive. There was also a quick WR screen to Martin early on in the game, which only went for a couple of yards, and another screen to White. It’s progress.

        1. The Pats ran a balanced attack to set up play-action and take a few deep shots down the field; the latter had the positive feedback effect of preventing Houston from stuffing the box on every run-look formation. And that horizontal game, as Jeff Howe broke down (http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/patriots/2015/12/2_minute_drill_highs_and_lows_from_patriots_win_over_texans), was pretty effective:

          4. The Patriots were more comfortable against Watt in the run game with 20 one-on-one blocking assignments and eight double teams, but they also schemed well with pulling blocks, traps, counters and misdirections. The Pats went side to side with their offensive line so much that Watt and the defensive line probably couldn’t predict who they had to beat on any given play. Considering Brady was only hit three times, compared to 32 hits in the previous three games, that strategy worked with overwhelming success.

        2. I understand that McDaniels is loved by Tom and Bill and he has done some nice things but I’ve never been high on Josh. Guys like him who are always auditioning for a head coaching job worry me. They sometimes come up with game plans or play calls that aren’t in the best interest of the team but are partly designed to showcase how smart they are. I’d rather have older guys who aren’t chasing that HC job anymore. Is Charlie Weis still chasing that dream? I would bring him back after Josh gets a HC job. Who better than the guy who taught Josh? Tom Moore is my kind of OC. Just the OC for years in Indy. His only goal was working with Manning. So if Charlie is at that stage in his life that would be my guy.

  15. Very late to the party here, but a few quick thoughts.

    I said this before on another post almost as a throwaway line but now I’m starting to think there may be some validity to it. I think Gary is the talent protector at WEEI. He goes on and the audience hates him so the regular staff is in no danger of losing their gig. And Gary doesn’t care if he’s the whipping boy because that’s better than being irrelevant. Hated still allows you to cash checks. But I got in my car this morning and heard his voice and changed to a podcast featuring Gilbert Gottfried. Think about that for a second. I would rather listen to the bird from Aladdin than Gear-Bear. Ouch.

    I have heard people say lately that F&M have toned down their anti-Pats talk as of late. I can’t help but wonder if it was tied to the fact that the Packers were in the tank for a few weeks. It’s tough to rip a team when your go to model isn’t doing so hot.

    I think it’s totally fascinating to see what happens in Denver over the next few weeks. If Brock struggles do they go back to Peyton? Does Peyton get his job back when healthy? The Broncos are heading for the playoffs and I’m not sure if they know who their QB is going to be. Plus they still have to play Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. All this in what many have speculated will be Manning’s last year. Crazy.

  16. Even later than Trip to the party, but this article encompasses my feelings about media in general, not just sports. It’s designed to illicit a visceral reaction that makes you call in to, click on, watch or listen to more of it. I cut out 95% of it. I tend to only have the ability to listen during the 6-7 AM hour anyways because of work constraints, so it makes it easy. But 93.7 or 98.5 never comes on my radio after that anymore unless there’s an actual game on and I’m out. I can’t stand this stuff anymore. It’s part of why I stopped commenting here for the most part. It’s practically a futile exercise. Bitching about something that is only getting worse and shows zero signs of getting better is a waste of time and energy. Media is getting more and more about generating clicks and ratings than it is about reporting the story or serving as a conduit to the viewer or the reader. The only recourse you have is to not consume it. My point to all this is don’t just skip the above mentioned people for 30 days as Bruce suggests. Skip em for good. If you read their content or follow them on Twitter, you endorse them whether you mean to or not. They give not one damn about whether you like them or hate them; as long as you click. Cut em off. You’ll be happier.

  17. Here’s a logical follow-up question to this discussion. What is the saturation point? Is there one? Will we ever reach a point where there are too many #HotSportzTakes round table shows? What circumstances would have to arise to (professionally) kill off some of these jackals? At what point does Mohegan Sun realize they’re just throwing money away?

    1. And as long as we’re throwing out rhetorical questions, is there any permutation of Marry-Fork-Kill where Tanguay ::doesn’t:: get killed?

      1. Bill Polian – Dan Shaunessey – Gary Tanguay

        In your defense I had to think pretty long and hard to come up with that one.

  18. Apparently there’s a “feud” between Kirk and Dale/Thornton. Kinda like when Dennis/Callahan were at it with The Big Show back in the day. And it appears to be over Gary. Seriously. Kirk re-tweets nearly any criticism of Tanguay, including his own, but Dale and Jerry sound off on Tanguay and now Kirk is his white knight in shining armor? If it’s real, it’s pathetic. If it’s contrived, it’s at best, terrible radio.

    1. I guess the latest ratings were out and the gap between them and TR is wider than ever. Desperate move to seem edgy but that can’t really work when 2 out of the 3 hosts are on the verge of being eligible for social security.

      1. They are in their 50’s not dead. I can do without listening to t and r dump on the schlep adolfo everyday. That is not compelling radio.

          1. Ok he is older than 50’s, but I will take him 8 days a week over the dump on the moron Adolfo show. Tanguay has to go also, he cannot really believe the things coming out of his own mouth. The man should be on meds.

    1. It would bother the CHB a lot to know that the Pats clinched the AFC East after Miami’s loss last night by virtue of the “strength of victory” tiebreaker over the Jets, which is not the same as strength of schedule, but it still disrupts the “tomato can” narrative.

    1. There is something oh-so-Soviet in DEMANDING that a citizen publicly declare his political views, so that he can be criticized in the public square. No matter what he says, half the population would crucify him. He is being one of the few sane actors in this whole mess by simply playing Bartleby the Scrivener and saying, “I prefer not to.” WTF have we done to this country when someone’s politics and/or religion MUST be judged in public?

      1. The “media” is over saturated, out of control and lacks intelligence. There are a handful of people I still like hearing from, but because they tend to share platforms with the other idiots, I am slowly weaning myself from them as well.

      2. That’s the scary thing about politics: It’s turned into its own form of McCarthyism. So, if the ‘rumors’ are true and Brady isn’t a liberal, half of the area won’t be watching Patriots games and become Jets fans? What is his favorite color is red and yours is black? Maybe Brady is a strawberry ice cream kinda guy, too. Time to burn all your Flying Elvis gear and buy some Gang Green now?

    1. Great piece. Thanks for posting. It also shows that Belichick is very thoughtful, forthright and revealing when reporters aren’t asking him inane questions.

  19. The sports media cabal is nothing but a collection of back-slapping hacks, who are feted by an adoring ‘New England Emmy’ organization which tosses out meaningless ‘awards’ to these miserable cretins across print, TV, and radio. And the New England Emmy organization exists solely to backslap people who no one else believes should be back-slapped.

  20. This via our buddy, Chris Chase, one of the bigger DeflateGate media losers :

    Score one for the Cam which, after its creation, led to this now hilarious anonymous quote from Pro Football Talk:

    An industry source predicts that the shots from the pylon
    cameras will be “worthless” in most cases, pegging the chances of a
    pylon camera providing a conclusive view of a play at one in 100,000.

    The article linked to with the quote above references BB’s idea for fixed cameras at each angle. No reference to BB in the article, though. The shots he links to do really show off why these are the “one in a 100k” useful because it could determine the outcome of a game.

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/12/odell-beckham-catch-end-zone-giants-dolphins-pylon-cam-espn-gif-replay-video

  21. In honor of Portnoy wrecking Volin on WEEI (love it) right now.

    Dear NFL Network,

    Please hire Ben Trollin already. His qualifications under the “I hate the Patriots” skill is the best in the pile.

    Thank you,
    Concerned Boston Fans

    1. Portnoy telling him “you even LOOK like a troll” was worthy of a mic drop right from the get-go. Volin was a stuttering mess from the moment El Pres sat down. Even Dino landed some body blows on him and he was playing moderator. Only misstep, IMO, was when Volin was telling Pres to Google stuff, Portnoy should have fired back with “like you did with Kraft and AEI?”

      Volin telling Pres he’d teach him about journalism is even MORE laugh out funny than it already was on the heels of this performance.

      1. I love it when the “professionals” like Volin pull the “I went to J-School” card on the “non-professionals (blogging in their pajamas)” out there. Newsflash: I went to J-School, and it’s really, really, really not that hard. It’s not like they learn how to split the atom in those classes. However, I guess it’s really the only defense mechanism most of them have whenever they’re exposed as agenda-driven hacks.

    1. After Portnoy eviscerated him he came back on after the break and made, like 3 or so corrections to points he tried to throw in Portnoy’s face during the argument. He had to fact check himself to find out the points he was so proud to make, were wrong! Haha…wow.

      1. Portnoy, “You needed clicks. It’s John Henry’s new m.o.”
        Volin, “YOU ARE CLAIMING WE [Boston Globe] TROLL FOR CLICKS. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME.”

        It’s almost sad how bad he undressed him.

  22. Ben Trolling should ask Tom Brady, a former beauty pageant judge, about Steve Harvey screwing up the Miss Universe unveiling. That would allow him to write about Brady’s support for/refusal to publicly reject Donald Trump, who hired Brady (in a “intertwined” business relationship, or something) to judge the contest! Then he could also write about Brady’s and the Patriots’ “intertwined” relationships with Alex Guerrero, who has been in infomercials, just like Steve Harvey! And finally he could interview last year’s Miss America winner, who claimed Brady cheated, and rehash deflategate – because Brady should apologize and admit guilt before the appeal! It’s the Trolling Trifecta!

      1. I just got of the phone with Jones. This goes straight to the top! He told me how Kraft and Belichick orchestrated 9/11 to distract from the Bledsoe benching (Mo Lewis was involved too, of course) and then the league and Dick Cheney arranged for the Patriots to win the Superbowl (through rigged officiating and surveillance help from the NSA) to unite the county into supporting war for oil (remember Kraft’s coded message: “We are all Patriots.”) And Brady is really a Manchurian candidate trained by Al Qaeda who next year will be named Trump’s running mate. Trump will be killed by a poisoned toupee (it will be covered up!) and President Brady will institute Sharia Law…I’ve said too much…headed to my bunker.

        1. Your Dick Cheney theory is not, believe it or not, the craziest “Super Bowl 36 was rigged for the Patriots after 9/11” theory I’ve ever seen. Years ago (I think it’s been taken down by now), there was a website set up by disgruntled Rams fans (stlouisrams.net), that put forth the idea that “the NFL wanted the team with the name ‘Patriots’ to win the Super Bowl after 9/11.” They proceeded to “prove” their theory by picking out maybe 7 or 8 clips from the Fox TV game broadcast (not the All-22, mind you), and pointing out all of the “deliberately missed calls” on fouls or other illegal plays the Patriots allegedly were guilty of committing during SB 36. Of course, they strangely avoided showing clips of the six or seven (at least) uncalled offensive holding penalties the Rams’ O-Line committed that day, most of which are clearly visible on the NFL Films highlight DVD of the game. I have to say, those guys were creative……creative in their extremely one-sided interpretations of the NFL rulebook, that is; all of which, oddly enough, reached the conclusion that the Rams got hosed on each play they picked out (from the 100-plus plays that were run in that game). Based on his unhealthy bitterness towards the Pats over the last several years, it wouldn’t surprise me of Marshall Faulk were somehow involved with the creation of that site.

          1. “I think it’s been taken down by now.” Open your eyes! They were too close! More like erased from the web by Anonymous hackers on orders from the CIA, which also hired Columbian Narco assassins to systematically eliminate any posters on that site.

          2. Bart is at it on Twitter again, calling the Patriots salary-cap cheaters in response to this Guerrero/Brady story (completely dismissed as nonsense by both the NFL and the NFLPA). He’s really pathetic. I mean, we’ve got some pretty pathetic “journalists” in this town, but that moron takes the cake

  23. I really miss the days of opening the Heralds sports pages and reading Joe Fitzgerald, Tim Horgan, George Kimball along with a few others. They usually wrote uplifing articles but if they had to report on a scandal they kept to the facts and didn’t sensationalize to advance their careers or to sell more papers. They knew that the athletes are actually human beings and didn’t smear them for kicks or clicks.

    I listened to Felger and Mazz once for about 10 minutes last year during the initial Deflategate drama and they pronounced BB and TB guilty as charged 4 months before the Wells Report was released. They are just hateful sactamonious jackasses. Why would anyone want to listen is beyond me.

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