It’s been a busy time for everyone, but especially in the world of sports media, where things are moving fast and furious. A few items:

98.5 The SportsHub once again topped the radio ratings for the Fall book, demonstrating repeatedly that trolling is king when it comes to gaining and retaining listeners. WEEI however, finished a very strong second, with numbers they hadn’t approached since their heyday of the early-to-mid 2000’s.

The Sports Hub led the market with a 13.6 overall while WEEI was second with a 9.1.

The breakdown:

Timeslot Station Show Ratings
Mornings 98.5 Toucher and Rich 14.6
Mornings 93.7 Dennis and Callahan, With Minihane 13.4
Middays 98.5 Zolak and Bertrand 12.3
Middays 93.7 Ordway, Merloni and Fauria 8.5
Afternoon Drive 98.5 Felger and Mazz 16.9
Afternoon Drive 93.7 Dale and Holley, With Thornton 9.6
Evenings 98.5 The Adam Jones Show 11.4
Evenings 93.7 Planet Mikey 7.8

Those are tremendous numbers across the board for both stations. It has to be frustrating for WEEI, especially in morning drive, that they just can’t top Toucher and Rich. It amazes me, as other than the occasional guest – Mike Gorman, Rosevelt Colvin, etc, I rarely listen to 98.5 in the mornings. (or at all, to be honest.)

I’m clearly out of the target audience then, as 98.5’s numbers are just eye-popping across the entire grid above. Amazing. Hats off to them for figuring out what Boston wants to hear.

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WEEI made it official on Monday, hiring Tim Neverett as the new play-by-play host for Boston Red Sox radio broadcasts. He’ll work alongside Joe Castiglione after Dave O’Brien moved over the the TV side, taking the place of Don Orsillo.

The announcement came through on the Pittsburgh side as well:

Also, Chad Finn has a look at Neverett, who hails from Nashua, NH.

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Speaking of Chad, I enjoyed his column last week: Here’s the ‘nice’ list in local sports media

So Bill Belichick told his team they wanted to kick off to start OT.

Arrogant? Wut.

This is pretty much the perfect answer to that:

On Peyton Manning, I personally don’t care if he used HGH while recovering from his plethora of neck surgeries. I don’t think it’s a big deal. I am interested in seeing how the media and NFL react to and cover this story. Will there be the same zeal?

In other developments, Al Jazeera is a more credible news outlet than ESPN when it comes to the NFL.

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82 thoughts on “Catching Up – Ratings, Red Sox Announcers, et al.

  1. 11.4 for Adam Jones has to be the biggest typo in…ever. I flat refuse to believe that more people listen to that talking shitstain than listen to Dale and Holley. No way is that possible.

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    1. Its a far better show than Planet Mikey. The numbers also include the Bruins and Celtics broadcasts in the same time period. Whereas I agree with you the show is crap…the alternatives at night in Boston are not great…even the non sports ones.

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      1. One odd thing is that ‘EEI’s Providence station, 103.7, carries the Bruins and Celtics, frequently pre-empting Adams. So you hear the 98.5 flash guys and announcers on an ‘EEI affiliate.

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  2. Bruce…another time we can argue whether you should care about players taking PEDs. Suffice to say the issue no longer is about whether Manning did or did not take them, it is now about whether he lied about it, if the league will spend the resources it spent investigating the air pressure in footballs on this topic, and whether they will get to the bottom of this issue…you know…for integrity of the game reasons.

    No one I know is an Al Jazeera regular watcher and everyone I know has a hard time with a lot of their political reporting. Having said that so far this has been one of the best researched sports news stories I have seen in a while. Having a Brit do it was kind of brilliant and not having her on camera or becoming part of the story harkens back to the way 60 minutes used to do things way back when CBS did real journalism. So far each attempt at discrediting the story has been met with evidence and an a rational calm explanation. Sly recants they show more video and explain he talked for more than 27 hours. Guyer says he was not part of their facility in 2011…they show verification.

    There is no doubt in my mind Guyer and Sly and going back and changing their records. Sly said he keeps two sets of records, does not write things down and can easily erase the illegal stuff at the drop of a hat. So I am dubious at best as to whether there will be a Perry Mason gotcha moment. Having said that…so far nothing I have seen has discredited the report. There are no lawsuits and there will not be one because none of these guys want to open themselves up to discovery. The NFL can investigate but that looks like a difficult task as they have no subpoena powers and no real leverage.

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    1. So sad. When i was a kid Eddie was king of the dial. As the years have gone on and the further removed he has become, the stories that leak out about him are not helping what is left of his legacy. I mean if Dale hates your guts, you gotta be be some kind of other worldly POS.

      His kids should take his twitter account away before he hurts their brand.

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      1. Loved him when I was 12 or 13. Liked him through my college years. As I got older, however, I realized that he really didn’t know all that much about sports (not nearly as much as he thought, or thinks) and that making sure his cronies’ egos were stroked, and his personal friends were protected, while constantly harping on guys he didn’t like, was more important than actually doing his job. Also, please spare me this crap — straight out of Shank’s playbook — about how these mediots are there to “serve” us and that BB makes it more difficult for them to do so. How come guys like Reiss and Curran, then, have no trouble providing lively, interesting content on an almost daily basis? What a load of b.s. Those guys are there to serve themselves and further their careers, period. Or was John Tomase thinking of “the fans” and how he needed to “serve” them when he spun that fantastical tale of taped walkthroughs on the eve of the biggest game in Patriots franchise history?

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    2. Eddie Andelman and Gary Tanguay should team up to record the greatest train wreck Hot Sports Takes show in radio history!!!!

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  3. Does Ben Volin know how to think? I mean we’ve had several examples of his inability to use Google, something sixth graders can do. Now we see that he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about when it comes to the NFL.

    This morning he tweeted that the Patriots-Dolphins game may move to 4:25 because it has implications to the Broncos who play at 4:25 as both teams are alive for the #1 seed. However, when you step back and look, you realize that this was highly unlikely for a number of reasons:
    1. If the Chiefs win and Denver loses, the Chiefs win the division.

    2. The Chiefs and Denver are playing at 4:25 already, giving Denver something to play for.
    3. Once the NFL set the start times Sunday night, a spokesman said they were unlikely to make any more changes.

    Trolin had to then fire off a series of tweets backtracking on what he said including one with a schedule that said “networks are not known yet”. However, network assignments were known last night. I knew this, several here probably did too. Heck, other beat writers tweeted out the broadcast crews. Trolin didn’t know? What was he doing? What’s worse, he didn’t know how to find out?

    How can someone whose job requires them to relay information about the league to the masses not know basic info that fans know or can find with one or two clicks?

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    1. Kraft and AEI! lol…..still funny. This most recent gaff makes him telling Portnoy he’d “show him how journalism works” is laugh out loud hilarious. Even more than it was when he first said it.

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      1. Best part of that arse kicking was that gentle Ben had to come back after the break and fess up that upon further review he had a bunch of stuff wrong during his debate with Portnoy. He then explained that this admission was another sign of his professionalism.

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  4. Loser King on Rich Eisen’s show today:

    Rich Eisen goes right to the NE reaction.

    “It’s a little bit of a different story”

    Really? Well, as pointed out before, the one big “difference” is that the NFL was sanctioning the leaks and leading the charge. The only thing he’s right on is that its his wife, not him, getting the stuff. But, we already know if Giselle had these how it’d be completely different.

    “I want to remind people that reporting doesn’t happen instantaneously.” – Really? Be right not first?

    He claims we’ve got the biggest inferiority complex up in New England. Look in the mirror, buddy. (6 minutes in)

    Hints at what people being responsible, this time, about waiting until we know more. Novel concept, gentlemen.

    (h/t Portnoy)

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    1. The best is at the end Eisen asks out of Tom Coughlin, Sean Payton, or Chip Kelly, who’s out of a job. King answers Coughlin. Says unless Kelly demands a trade to Tennessee to work with Mariota he’s safe.

      How’s that working out for you?

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  5. We are blessed with two awful morning shows. 93.7 is slightly better with Meter Parel (sp)
    gone, and might be salvageable if either D or C is replaced. The ONLY time I’ve listed to 98.5 in the
    morning is a week when the fill-ins are on actually talking sports. 93.7 gets
    the nod. I don’t get the 98.5 morning BS
    at all . . .

    Mid-day is much better on 93.7 with Ordway back, and much
    worse on 98.5 with A.G. out. I really
    can’t stand Zolack, they should have replaced him instead, and he’s not good on
    Pats games either. Again 93.7 gets the
    nod here. Note to Glenn – I’m surprised
    you are still so condescending to so many callers, you already got fired once.

    Afternoons are good on both channels and luckily the
    commercials don’t always line up so you can flip back and forth. 98.5 get the nod here because as much as
    people like to complain about Felger and Mazz, they are damn good at what they
    do and good to listen to. Holley makes
    93.7 an automatic loser for this time slot, he’s about as vanilla as it gets. 😉

    I only listen to the night shows on occasion, I prefer 98.5
    when it is talk radio but overall I don’t really care.

    It’s been mentioned on here before, but perhaps a few shows
    with no callers would be ideal, especially from 10 to 2.

    Perhaps someday we’ll have a morning drive sports talk show
    on sports radio that actually talks about sports. When they go off the tracks on a subject or
    argue amongst themselves about inane issues, I’m thankful I have sat. radio.

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    1. I would think the Indy guys would be on this story. Peyton left town. They know he did not perform up to expectations while he was there. I don’t think they have any real reason to protect him. Why not expose Guyer? This story has a lot more to it.

      One other thing…Al Jazeera did not back track. They stated exactly what they did. They played a hidden camera recording of a guy who said he supplied Manning HGH by sending it to his wife Ashley. Al Jazeera never made an claims of accusations. For Manning’s side to be crowing over this when the dam is starting to crack is just silly.

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      1. I find it funny the Indy Star is now investigating about a football player/team and “drugs” when they’ve had years of fodder for an investigative story if they looked at Irsay. If this guy drives around with cash and pills in a briefcase, you know that he’s sloppy, and that anyone who just did some minor investigation could probably find a boatload of dirt w/o much effort.

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  6. Florio on D+C. Gary (yes, that one) played the first “Mort Report” audio from ESPN. Florio laughs and goes, “You left out the part where Peyton passed 11 of 12 drug tests.”

    bam!

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  7. Via PFT:

    Add the Dolphins to the list of NFL teams concerned that the Patriots try to get an unfair advantage.

    The Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins took extra precautions to guard against potential cheating by the Patriots when Miami went to New England in October.

    I view the Miami Herald article it links to and:

    – Mentions DG. Goes to say the judge reversed Brady’s suspension but the organization accepted the penalties as assumed guilt. (This point will never sit with Patriots fans.)

    – Mentions the Jets sweeping the locker room before a game there.

    This all brings us to the one ugly episode that even the Patriots don’t deny: Spygate.

    Writing for the local fanbase there but it’s still one of those depending on how and what you say..

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    1. Spygate was an “ugly episode?” (serious eye-roll). It was much ado about nothing. With a real commissioner and a fair media, it would have, and should have, faded away without a second thought (and a small fine, at most, for ignoring the memo). The fact that people still think it was some severe breach of sacred NFL rules and the rules of sportsmanship is laughable, and it proves just how easily led the masses are once the media pounce on a theme and keep pounding it home every day.

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      1. >Dolphins vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum has a history with the Patriots.

        Can’t imagine where this story might have leaked from. Can’t wait for Tomase’s follow-up.

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        1. I had no idea that Tannenbaum worked for Miami now. That explains a lot. He was really the guy behind “Spygate.” As Jets’ GM, he was the one who elevated the juvenile back-and-forth video camera gamesmanship between BB and Mangini, which had been going on since the previous season, into a “scandal” that required the involvement of the league office. And, alas, he found a willing foil in Goodell. Tagliabue, were he still in charge, would have laughed at him and told the teams to settle it on their own.

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  8. Hi Bruce, I’m surprised you don’t listen to T&R at all. Out of all the shows between both stations I think they troll the least to almost never. IMO it’s what a morning show is supposed to be. A mix of sports, entertainment and pop culture and some comedy bits thrown in. D&C are the ones who try to bait Brady, yell at callers, their flash guy yells at everyone and picks fights (a work) and I can do without hearing about terrorism, child molesters and Callahan shouting about evil Democrats. To me, it’s not something I’m looking for in my morning when I’m just trying to get my day to a good start.

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    1. They troll the least because they care the least about sports. And it’s evident by listening to them they know the least too. Might as well call Hill-Man and LB a sports show to over on ‘AAF. Basically the same type of morning show.

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      1. I would agree with that but is that a bad thing? Why pretend to be “experts” like the rest of the shows? Unless your name is Zolak or Merloni then then those other guys don’t now anymore than the rest of us. But I’ll tell you what, I hear just as much sports related talk from them as I do for D&C. The only difference is is that when they don’t talk sports is really heavy real or contrived about politics, Bruce ,or their favorite topic, sex offenders. Just not my idea for morning listening. They have strong ratings and they have an audience for that. That’s fine. I’m the rest of the audience who in my opinion doesn’t want to spend my mornings listening to 3 of the most unlikeable human beings I’ve ever heard on the airways. D&C, Mine are just flat out jerks. And that’s quite a statement considering the list of jerks who make up radio.

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  9. Moved from Boston almost 3 years ago, and the only show I keep tabs with
    is T&R. Get a feel for what’s going on with Boston sports without
    all the real and imagined angst and drama. Felger was not quite so bad when I moved, but I tried listening on my last visit back and it was ridiculous. Last had time for D&C in my life over a decade ago. They are vitriolic and glad handing at the same time. They had an obvious agenda at the time and I doubt that changed. Sure they changed sidekicks, but all I’ve heard from Kirk is how he hates Fred, the swearing for the sake of swearing Tanguay/Shank pod, and the Erin Andrews flap. The view from afar is that they’re the same as ever with alot more inside radio crap.

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  10. I have always thought Peyton Manning was just plain stupid. Now I have proof:

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/12/30/peyton-manning-welcomes-hgh-investigation/

    Oh where to begin…the questions that need to be asked and answered:

    – Confirm that HGH was sent to Ashley Manning. If so that coupled with Al Jazeera’s recording of Sly’s work dates as being from 2011 give much more credibility to Deborah Davies and her report than they do to Manning’s camp.

    – Can we confirm Ashley Manning was pregnant during 2011. If so she would never be given HGH.

    – Can we determine how much was sent to Mrs. Manning and for what diagnosis.

    – Is Ashley even willing to cooperate.

    – Is the NFL’s front office prepared to suspend Peyton Manning for obstructing and lying? Are they going to ask for his cell phone and email records?

    – Will Peyton ask Guyer to cooperate and share his and his wife’s medical records with the NFL investigation? If he does not do this or if the union directs him not to do this will the NFL suspend him?

    – Has Guyer already erased his records…my assumption is like Sly he has.

    – Can Fedex receipts be found?

    – Will any evidence of illegal shipments and prescriptions of HGH made to Ashley Manning be turned over to local authorities for prosecution?

    – How does a facility that was indicted for importing illegal Chinese HGH in 2007 get on an approved list of medical facilities for an NFL team?

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    1. – Can we confirm Ashley Manning was pregnant during 2011. If so she would never be given HGH.

      I saw someone say that the time where this was alleged to happen, it was 3 months after the birth of the twins. They made the point because this would negate the “it was hers.” But, I don’t know how/when it’s given or how they put it together.

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    1. He was the guy who took a month off during the summer, in the middle of training camp, too, according to Jeff Howe. I can’t recall any NFL-beat person doing this. Isn’t their time-off post Superbowl and they get blocks between all the NFL events like the combine, etc?

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      1. Eh, he works for the Globe, it isn’t like there would be any room in the sports section for training camp info when the Red Sox are playing. I mean you have to include the daily fluff piece on David Ortiz and do you understand just how much space a column analyzing Mookie Betts’ bowling shoe collection would take? Then you have the John Henry approved long form by Bob Hohler. Just how many pages do you think they have in August? They can throw a little AP blurb in the bottom corner under the WNBA scores to satisfy the Patriots fans.

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  11. Anyone who says that Boston fans are a bunch of spoiled bandwagon whiners (Peter King I’m looking at you) should go watch the Celtics game last night. Boston fans gave an amazing welcome and thank you to Kobe last night and then turned around and boo’d him when he touched the ball. And guess what, he LOVED it. Boston fans always appreciate the moments, perhaps more than any other city, and it because of the passion that we have for our teams.

    I couldn’t have been prouder of the Garden faithful last night. Way to show up Boston.

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  12. I thought Dan from the South Shore/Danny from Quincy was banned from WEEI but I turn on the radio just now and hear him screaming at Mustard & Johnson. This f’ing guy…

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    1. Good Lord, WEEI still puts that moron Mustard on the air on weekends? Teddy S. or Eddie Andelman aren’t available? Has Mustard come around yet to accepting the fact that his hero, Roger Clemens, cheated his way to another 160+ wins after leaving Boston, and that Dan Duquette was, in fact, correct when he said Roger was “in the twilight of his career” back in ’96? (He was in the twilight of his legitimate, non-juiced career, that’s for damn sure.) Every freakin’ Saturday in the late 90s and early 2000s it was the same old lame crap from Mustard about how he’d never root for the Sox again because they dumped Clemens, and how great Clemens still was, etc. Then, when the McNamee story came out, he went into full denial mode for a while. I gave up listening completely after that.

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      1. I just turned on the radio and the unholy trio of Mustard, Johnson, and Danny filled my ears and I nearly drove into a bridge embankment. Intentionally.

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    1. I have this image in my mind of Shaughnessy being chased down a dark street in Sharon by a pack of howling dogs…

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  13. The scariest thing about today’s game was not that the Pats weren’t trying, but that they were trying and couldn’t get anything done. The offense seems totally helpless, like a turtle on its back. Defenses are all over Gronk. Amendola is clearly well below par. Brady doesn’t want to throw to LaFell and seems iffy on Martin. Scott Chandler is a non-factor. What else is there? Sure, Edelman may return in two weeks but what’s the best we can expect from him? 80%? Will that be enough to turn the offense completely around? Right now this team doesn’t look anything like a Super Bowl contender.

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    1. You think they were trying? Maybe in the 3Q but at no other time did I get the impression they cared AT ALL about winning this game. Amendola played like 7 plays. Gronk draws quadruple coverage because he’s the only legit threat on the field the last three weeks. “iffy” on Martin? He’s been his go-to guy for the last 2-3 games. Why would Edleman only return at 80%? He’s been practicing with the team for the last two weeks and many speculated he’d play today. He didn’t and gets two more weeks to rest. If THAT only gets him to 80%……

      I feel like I’m talking to John Dennis on Twitter right now.

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    2. It was a bizarre game. It felt like the Pats thought they could just show up and Miami would turtle. The offensive game plan seemed to be…run, home run attempt, run/don’t throw to the first down marker, punt. All year I have been bitching that McDaniels is going to get Brady injured and in the last game of the year…he managed to do it. Long developing plays, not looking at Check downs and no designed screens or draws got Brady hit more than he needed. There was no tempo to the offense, no use of the short passing game in the flats, no dragging across the middle. It was as if McDaniels wanted to throw long, try to dishearten the dolphins and then go home. I thought for sure they would come out in the second half with a different game plan but I was wrong. They deserved to lose that game not because they played flat but because they played stupid.

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  14. I don’t know what a man sounds like with a raging 4-hour erection but I imagine it sounds a lot like Phil Simms and Jim Nantz did today in the 2nd half. I mean, my GOD…cancel the playoffs. Manning just won the whole thing by himself today. The greatest 5 for 9 zero touchdown performance in the history of North American football. 85′ Bears, 89′ Niners, any Pats team from the 2000’s…Denver will whoop them all, in the same day. Peyton Manning is back, guys!! The collective media orgasm today would fill the Grand Canyon.

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  15. AFC Championship Game – Kansas City @ New England. Yep. Peyton will do what he does better than any QB ever….lose in the playoffs. Another 1-and-done. And all this hair-pulling over not getting the #1 seed won’t matter. Road still goes through Gillette.

    NFC Championship Game – Seattle @ Arizona. Seattle is unstoppable right now and they can absolutely roll into Charlotte and win.

    Super Bowl – Arizona vs New England.

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  16. Are all of these LOLbe people who displayed unbridled courage, valiance and altruism going to nominate themselves for some GLOLbie Award now, too? Did Linda make sure to take a selfie showing off the designer outfit she wore when delivering a single paper?

    I’m shocked their union allowed them to do someone else’s job. That whole thing was one of the largest self-congratulatory circle jerks on social media.

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    1. Its not astonishing to me…its a non story in their minds. Peyton said he did not do it…therefore he did not do it. These people live in a universe filled with make believe. Less than 1PSI of air = federal case…especially when science proves nothing nefarious. However PED use to come back from an otherwise crippling neck injury…that could not possibly happen because if it did it would ruin the narrative. I completely believe that Jim Nantz does not think this is a story. For that reason the pretense that the networks are independent from the league should be ended. Everyone should wear NFL logos and broadcast the product as if it is sports Entertainment on par with the WWE.

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  17. Anybody catch Borges and CHB on CSNNE tonight w/ Beetle and Gresh? The young bucks said they WANT Manning to be the Denver QB because of his many limitations. The old farts said Manning is too dangerous. Danny Boy even went so far as to say “he’s had some good games against you as a Colt. Remember the 38-34 game.” Great point, DAN. Cite a game from 8(?) years ago as a reason why this broken down old man with a wet noodle arm is the boogeyman the Patriots should fear. Christ…..which is it Dan? March of the tomato cans or Denver is headed to Santa Clara?

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    1. Exactly. It is the perfect storm for CHB. Pats go to the Super Bowl and it is tomato cans for all. Pats lose and it is the curse of Chicken Parm-Arm.

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    2. Yes, I remember the 38-34 game, and Manning’s performance in the first half, which included a pick-six by Asante Samuel, was one of the reasons why the Colts were down 21-3 late in the second quarter, and needed massive intervention from the zebras to crawl back into the game, and eventually win it when the Patriots’ injuries on defense (and the flu bug) became too much to overcome. Oh boy, do I remember the 38-34 game; it still bothers me more than any other post-season loss during the BB era (even more than the 18-1 Super Bowl loss, because it was the Colts; it was Manning; it was Polian; and the game should have turned out differently).

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    1. So I was in Baltimore the weekend of December 17th. I was staying near the convention center inner harbor. On Saturday morning everyone I passed on the street was wearing Oriole Orange. I could not figure it out. Then I walked by the Convention Center and they were having Fan Fest. There was a line out the door and around the block to get in. I started chatting with one of the security guys and he told me they were expecting 15000 fans if not more. There were a few players signing autographs and tickets were available and souvenirs. 15000 fans came out to do nothing but mill about and talk Orioles baseball. No matter how much of a dumb idea I thought that was…lining up to meet Tessie tops it. The sick thing is that there will be more than 15000 who come out to do it. We really need to reintroduce the concept of the hobby to the general population if we as a society have any chance of succeeding.

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      1. I don’t mind mascots, or mascot promotions, so much. After all, a good chunk of the people attending games every year are kids, and having mascots around helps keep them from falling asleep in the 4th inning. However, the worst part of this scheme is the name of the new mascot……because it means we’re going to have to be subjected, over and over, to that awful recording of that “Tessie” song the organization made about 10 years ago. I thought it was dead and buried — not so. It will live on forever through Wally’s “relative”. Also, does this mean that Remy has to get a miniature “Tessie” doll and keep it up in the booth with him, next to this Wally doll? So many unanswered questions.

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          1. LOL…I didn’t realize that. I’ve only made it out to Fenway 2 or 3 times in the last few years, and yes, the Sox lost all of those games.

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  18. We all know Hall of Fame selection process is a joke at this point, but the Globe voters have added more proof. Shank voted for only four players (far fewer than his colleagues) and one of them was Billy Wagner, who was very good for a long time, but was still a specialty player. He voted for a closer over Raines and Edgar Martinez, one of the best hitters of the past 25 years (he also clearly avoided the PED guys). I suppose he is being anti-DH so he has an excuse to reject Ortiz next year, but what is more valuable 600 productive AB a year or 60 innings? (If he has to pick a closer, he was correct to select Wagner over the ridiculously overrated Hoffman, who got the votes of Benjamin and Cafardo).

    Nick voted for Jeff Kent and Sheffield but not Martinez. He voted for Roger, of course.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2016/01/05/how-globe-voted-baseball-hall-fame-election/eeYPtyjSm4ui02LAb8sVWJ/story.html?s_campaign=bostonglobe%3Asocialflow%3Atwitter

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    1. You can make an “integrity of the game” argument for keeping Raines out, because of his prominent role in the cocaine trial in ’85 and some other off-field issues. Unbelievable player, though. He could do it all. .294 career BA, 800+ stolen bases, good glove, and some pop in his bat as well. However, if Shank is going to keep the PED guys out, he also, by extension, has to keep Raines off his ballot, too. I can’t fault him for his consistency. Keeping Edgar off the ballot simply smacks of anti-DH bias. The “traditionalists” like Shank have never liked the DH and wish it would go away. Still, we’re talking about a guy, Edgar Martinez, with a career .312 BA, a career .933 OPS, more than 300 homers, more than 1,200 RBIs, and more than 2200 career hits. I’d take Edgar over Billy Wagner any day of the week. Closers deserve a spot in the HOF, but I think those spots should be limited to guys who were indispensable to their team’s success, especially in the post-season (Eck, Fingers and, eventually, Mariano, all qualify). Wagner’s post-season resume is thin. Remember, the save rules over the last 40 years have made it virtually impossible to NOT pick-up 30 saves a year if you’re given enough opportunities (you get a save if you come into the game with a three-run lead at the start of the 9th inning, for instance). So, regular season save totals don’t mean all that much in the grand scheme of things.

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      1. And i agree with your assessment of closers in the HOF. Good comp are punters/kickers in NFL: they should be enshrined but need to be exceptional. Like Vinatieri should make it for sustained success and post-season heroics (and for video of tackling Hershel Walker) but Matt Bahr shouldn’t (didn’t) because, while he had longevity and 2 SB rings, he just wasn’t accurate enough. Gostkowski is an interesting case if he keeps accuracy #s up, wins more scoring titles and makes memorable post-season kicks.

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  19. NYT does a follow-up on the Sly/Manning story:

    With the help of my New York Times colleagues Ken Belson and Doris
    Burke, I scrutinized the list of names, and it soon appeared less random
    than at first blush. Nearly all of the athletes he named are clients of
    Jason Riley, a fitness trainer based in Sarasota, Fla.

    All bigs in sports have ‘personal trainers’, who’s client list is usually star-studded. Makes sense and all if they’re good at what they do, they’ll attract the best elsewhere, as many of them are also friends or know each other. I’m not sharing any secret knowledge here, but these are almost always the guys who know someone who can get you ‘stuff’, if they’re not doing it on their own. Almost all trainers are former gym rats, and if you go to any serious gym, its usually pretty obvious who you can talk to in the weight area or on the staff that can *clears throat* get you those elite alvacado shakes that are all the rage.

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    1. It just seems like in football people don’t really care about PEDs…Isn’t the assumption that everyone is doing “something”? Even when someone gets caught, it’s a four game suspension and then they’re back without any further discussion

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      1. This is mind boggling to me…one case deflate gate was an equipment issue over less than 1psi (an imperceptible amount of air). The other is a clear case of cheating where the player used subterfuge to get the drugs, he then took them and came back from an injury that should have retired him. Yet people think deflate gate is the bigger story. I am amazed that someone can say that with a straight face. Deflate gate is a jay walking ticket, what manning did is racketeering. The world is seriously upside down. The more Manning and his allies push back the more Deborah Davies looks like a consummate pro who crossed every t and dotted every i. If the national media won’t do it then either the Boston press or the Indy press should start chasing this story.

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      2. I’m in the same boat. I think my guys and your guys (if not a Pats fan) do HGH. I don’t know how you stay on the football field without it. I don’t care. I want my guys doing it, and if say that, it means I also have to allow your guys to do it. The only reason they “test” (laughable) is so Congress doesn’t go after them.

        It’s all about the media coverage. If there was a report that Alex Guerrero got a HGH shipment in 2000, how quickly would ESPN and the rest be linking Brady to using it?

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  20. Thorton brings up a good point. Remember when one of those gambling-site dolts posted the fumble numbers during the DG rage? (Even though this was later destroyed by others who criticized the statistics approach, but they were all fanboi NE homerz.)

    So what happened in 2015?

    ‘€¢ The Patriots had the fewest fumbles of any NFL offense.

    ‘€¢ The Patriots had the best fumble rate of any NFL offense.

    ‘€¢ The Patriots had one of their best fumble rates of the past decade.

    Not a peep now that, apparently, the Patriots aren’t cheating anymore and had the least amount of fumbles in 2015:

    http://thornography.weei.com/sports/boston/2016/01/05/media-ignoring-fact-patriots-still-arent-fumbling-post-deflategate/

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