I remain as baffled as anyone by the results of the annual New England sports and media poll as presented by Channel Media and Market Research.

It discourages me to see how Boston sports fans apparently enjoy being trolled by their sports media. It really would interest me to see the demographics of the fans polled.

(Entire Survey Here)

As Steve Buckley notes, the survey was especially hard on the Bruins.

I mentioned last week about the WBZ preseason telecasts. Watching other preseason telecasts around the league, it’s striking to me how different the Patriots’ broadcasts are. Most teams seem to hire an established NFL announcer and analyst for the preseason, the Patriots sort of used to do this when they used Don Criqui and Randy Cross – who weren’t exactly at the top of their game.

I applaud the Patriots for trying something different. But when I see some of the other preseason broadcast teams, I realize the gap in quality.

All that said, the overwhelmingly negative atmosphere of Boston sports radio and television has made me appreciate guys like Steve Burton and Dan Roche more than I have in the past. They may be awkward at times, but I know I’m not going to be trolled, and that they’re good people who enjoy what they’re doing.

I can’t believe I wrote that, but there it is.

By the way, they’re on tonight:

The Red Sox must have the most gut-punch losses of any playoff contending team. It is astounding, it really is, yet there they sit, tied with the Blue Jays atop the AL East.

Imagine where they’d be with someone other than John Farrell as the manager. At least that’s the hot take of this season. Some minor (and a few major) sports media members in town have made crucifying Farrell for every loss into a personal mantra.

Second-guessing the manager is a time-honored tradition, especially in Boston, but the constant criticism here by some sound more like efforts to establish hottake bona fides.

Speaking of hottakes, the half-hearted effort to generate some sort of quarterback controversy, or rift between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and Jimmy Garoppolo are nonsensical. The alleged evidence being that Brady has been distant, grouchy, generally a little less genial than we’re used to.

Why shouldn’t he be? Isn’t being pissed off and angry exactly how we want him to be right now? The guy just got railroaded by the NFL, suspended for a quarter of the season, while guys like Le’Veon Bell get their suspensions reduced, and serial wife beaters like Josh Brown can get suspended for just a game.

The Brown case is especially infuriating as the pious John Mara who apparently is one of the puppet masters behind Roger Goodell and the case against Brady, hypocritically brushed off the allegations against Brown because of not having sufficient evidence.




30 thoughts on “Who Are These People?

  1. I think the Mara situation really reeks. He was pounding the drum against Brady. At the time, I understood (to a point); the guy owns a rival team and anything bad that happens to NE is good for the Giants. I don’t agree with the sentiment, but I get it. But I thought his casual dismissal of the allegations was really cringe-worrty. You have to wonder how he’d feel were it his daughter


  2. “Second-guessing the manager is a time-honored tradition, especially in Boston, but the constant criticism here by some sound more like efforts to establish hottake bona fides.”

    In April, every radio host, columnist and sycophant fan of these trolls agreed that the “Red Sox had to get off to a fast start” or Farrell would be fired in May. There were segments on the radio shows, the entire purpose of which was for the hosts and callers to give their predictions of the date that JF would be fired. If this isn’t rooting against the home team in order to satisfy a pathological, personal agenda, then I don’t know what is.


  3. On the “2016 Favorite Local TV Sports Personality” section, which they called an unaided write-in, the 5th most popular with 6% and tied with Bob Neumeier, is Charlie Moore. What?


  4. Doesn’t an email survey mean they used the emails of subscribers to WEEI, CSSNE, etc., and wouldn’t that explain some of these results? For example, as a rabid Bruins fan, I wouldn’t be caught dead going to Joe Haggerty for Bruins news, and WEEI mostly ignores them.

    If that’s not their method, I’d be interested know how they find random Boston sports fans.


  5. “the half-hearted effort to generate some sort of quarterback controversy, or rift between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and Jimmy Garoppolo…”

    I had no idea about this “half-hearted effort”… why? because I pay no attention whatsoever to the local sports clowns anymore (other than to check in here once in awhile) Best decision I ever made. I see I’m not missing anything…. same old crap


  6. The hot takes about Farrell come from folks who would wet their pants if they ever had to fill out a line up card, manage a game or set a tone in a club house. Easy to be brave when you can shoot your mouth off from behind a microphone. A lot harder to actually be in the arena.


    1. Yet Farrell has single handily lost at least 5 games this year because of his dumb decisions. So not sure why you’re railing on people with microphones who are only stating the obvious to those who think rationally and not because they dislike those behind the mikes. The survey said it all about what fans think of Farrell. You my man are in a small, small minority because Farrell is a terrible field manager and has cost the Red Sox too much already. His record stands for itself too. He’s been a loser and last place finisher his entire career except for one miracle season where the team did it all despite his managing.


      1. The Red Sox are flawed, especially in their bull pen, yet the team plays hard and has to this point avoided distraction or a meltdown. They remain in contention despite their shortcomings, and every time the media has projected their demise they have regrouped and bounced back. Farrell’s leadership plays a role here, whether you want to admit it or not. But maybe not, in the all-the-blame-none-of-the-credit sphere in which you live.

        The month ahead promises to be very challenging, and if they don’t make the postseason then Dombrowski – whose moves so far have not panned out, and who has escaped serious criticism – will make a change. The fact that he hasn’t so far, based on his deep inside view of the team, is telling.


        1. I have significant issues with how Farrell manages during games. However, it’s clear that he has the respect of his players, which is why they keep fighting to the very end in every game, even if they’re down by 8 runs.

          It’s a tough call for me. I would love to see them hire a field manager who makes the “logical” moves all the time, rather than some of the head-scratcher decisions that Farrell makes (in case anyone has forgotten, this is the guy who brought the little-used, and very awful, Franklin Morales into Game 6 of the 2013 LCS at Fenway, with men on base…..didn’t work; Victorino bailed him out in the bottom of the 6th with his game-breaking grand slam).

          With that said, the stuff that goes on behind the scenes is important, and Farrell seems to have a pretty good handle on that.

          Sox management is in a tough position. The team almost has to miss the playoffs in order to have an excuse to fire Farrell, I think, and nobody wants that. He’s like the Marty Schottenheimer of MLB, with the exception being that one of Farrell’s teams, inexplicably, managed to win a championship, and Marty’s teams could never even get to a Super Bowl.


        2. I think that Dombrowski’s moves have fared better of late. Zeigler only gave up an earned run in one outing in the past month (granted it was 3 run to Yankees that led to loss; and he’s allowed inherited runners to score) and probably would have been – or should have been – pitching on Buchholz’ spot last night. Pomeranz has had 6 pretty good starts in row after a rough beginning. Chris Young has been better than expected. Kimbrell’s been fine when healthy, although not by his previous standards (this could still be a very poor trade long term if prospects blossom and Kimbrell continues downward career trend). Abad has pitched better or late, albeit in low-pressure situations. He clearly doesn’t have Farrell’s trust.
          Overall, I’d grade him a B-. I like Pomeranz for beyond this year. They don’t have a reliable lefty specialist, and i think Kimbrell and Ziegler will be solid down the stretch. If they make the playoffs – and i think they will – Dombrowski will have done his job.


      2. I have a lot of issues with Farrell and his management. But then I think of Bobby Valentine, and Farrell looks like freaking Walt Alston by comparison.

        Be careful thinking about that greener grass on the other side of the fence.


        1. And Walter Alston had his detractors, too! The Bobby V season may have been the most bizarre in Sox history, one of the many reasons that made 2013 so satisfying.

          Am sure Dombrowski has a short list of folks he’s identified to succeed Farrell if Sox fail in the next month, but I do hope they are playing deep into October.

          Farrell may be less like Schottenheimer – Showalter is probably the better parallel – and more like Joe Altobelli, who had a championship tucked inside a mostly undistinguished won/lost record.


        2. I know what you’re saying, believe me. And I do understand that the guy who succeeds Farrell could end up being worse.

          Still, take last night’s infuriating loss, for example.

          Using Buchholz in the 8th inning of a tie game, in just his second relief appearance since making three or four starts in a row, and on the night after he’d been used for mop-up duty and had thrown a lot of pitches in a rather ineffective inning, made absolutely no sense. Ziegler was brought in by the GM for exactly that type of situation: tie game, at home, 8th inning. Yet Farrell seems to only use Ziegler when the other team already has a huge threat brewing in an inning, or earlier in the game (6th or 7th inning), which is not why Dombrowki brought him here. He was brought in to set-up for Kimbrel, to pitch the 8th or 9th in a tie game, or to close for Kimbrel if the latter is not available.

          It was a no-brainer that Tampa was going to score against Buchholz. My buddies and me were texting back and forth the entire inning about it….predicting it. And then….Longoria went BOOM.

          I’m putting last night’s loss on Farrell, even though I recognize that Pomeranz needs to be taken to the woodshed for hanging a two-out, two-strike curveball to the #9 hitter and allowing a game-tying 2-run homer in the 7th. That was inexcusable.

          This has been one of the more frustrating Sox seasons in recent memory, and, at my age, I’ve been through a LOT of frustrating Sox seasons.


          1. I hate replying to my own posts, but in the series finale against the Rays, Farrell just used gas-can Junichi Tazawa in the biggest spot of the game. Predictably, he allowed a game-tying 2-run single. He (Farrell) has a closer who throws 98 MPH out in the bullpen, and there are four outs to get in order to secure a very important win. But Farrell, for some reason, has yet to be convinced of the fact that Tazawa is done. He can’t pitch anymore. He’s no longer effective. The fans can see this. The media can see this. The manager cannot, apparently.

            THIS is the type of game that drives me crazy about Farrell!

            I realize that Ziegler apparently is not available due to illness, but with four outs to go, with the bases loaded, clinging to a two-run lead, Tazawa is NOT the move to make there. Go with Kimbrel. At least you can say you went with your best guy if the move doesn’t work out.


  7. why does WBZ’s screen zoom in so much during the games? I can barely see the box score chyron


  8. Love Roachie, but have to say that Kraft Productions who produces the Pats’ telecasts is brutal.I guess I expect nothing less from an outfit more worried about their bottom line then actually producing an NFL worthy telecast. I was wondering if they have still in college interns running the show. The camera men in all the games have been off way too much too many times. The director has no clue about timing screen shots or instant replay. Too busy focusing in on Jimmy G’s face behind center before each snap and holding onto that view way too long while missing the typical side view of all the players in enough time to see offsides or where players are lined up prior to snap, etc. Don’t need to see Jimmy’s face before a snap morons. Replays are just as bad. Many delayed or running into live plays so they’re cut because it took too long to show OR sometimes they’re never shown at all on plays you want to see a replay on. And how many times will Andy Hart but sometimes Fauria and even Roachie talk over the ref on the field making a call on his mike on the fieldl. Or bow they’re so quick to go to an ad (remember it’s $$$$$)meanwhile a flag is down and the ref is talking but they’re already queuing the music for the break. This has happened in all 3 games so far, Absolutely a second rate broadcast compared to what I’ve seen of other local broadcasts. But I bet those other local broadcasts aren’t being produced by the home team’s owners. Like I said, I love Dan Roache but how many times will he say it’s 2nd and a bunch or 3rd and a ways instead of telling us the exact down and distance? Is it too much to ask for a first rate production? I guess not as long as those advertisers are paying the $$$$$ that we know is all that really matters to those in charge!


    1. In defense of the Pats’ preseason game productions, I don’t think they care that the announcers talk over refs’ calls because they changed up the production a few years back so it would be less like a regular season NFL game broadcast and more like a bunch of guys talking in a bar about the game going on in front of them, only with perhaps a little more player information. I think the folks at Kraft Productions feel that fans tuning in to watch preseason football aren’t the same hardcore fans who watch on Sundays in the fall, and wanted to make these ultimately meaningless game broadcasts feel a little different.


  9. Re: The Josh Brown domestic violence case, I guess I shouldn’t be, but I’m surprised the media has largely let this story pass without comment. It’s teed up perfectly to blast Goodell and the league for vowing to “own the domestic violence space” and to “get things right.” They make a big show of setting up new guidelines, hiring Lisa Friel (a former NY prosecutor) to be a special counsel for investigating domestic violence cases, and producing the “No more” ad campaign, which prominently featured Eli Manning. When the Josh Brown incident became public, the Giants didn’t do anything and the league opted to suspend him 1 game instead of the 6 game minimum, per the new guidelines that were such a big deal 2 years ago. It seems pretty obvious to want answers for why Brown’s case was handled differently, or, if someone wanted to be provocative, ask why Friel, a Giants fan, was lenient when punishing a Giants player.

    Aside from people like Florio and Curran, that hasn’t happened. Peter King has ignored the story. Bart Hubbuch, who had plenty to say about deflategate, hasn’t written anything about a story happening in his city. Even Deadspin, who were all over the Greg Hardy story, hasn’t paid attention to this story. I’m not sure if the media is afraid of upsetting the NFL, can’t get worked up about this because it involves a kicker, is just being lazy, or a combination of all three.


    1. Are you sure you’re not auditioning for a sportsradio host job, Dave? You’ve got the trolling part down perfect because I’m responding to what looks like an outlandish statement.

      What do you mean by saying you’re ‘done’? You’re going to stop watching entirely? You’re now going to spend your fall Sundays doing yard work or picking apples? No fantasy football in your future? Going for an extra slice or two of turkey on Thanksgiving so the tryptophan kicks in even faster and you won’t have to watch the Cowboys game? No Super Bowl squares or remarking on how bad the commercials have gotten?

      While I appreciate what the comment represents, none of us will ever be ‘done’ with this league, and that Ozz-wee-pay of a commissioner knows that. He knows he can water down the product and destroy all its credibility and we’ll keep coming back in droves every Sunday.

      Let them continue to insult our intelligence, because they’ve got us by the you-know-whats.


      1. For the record, I have not watched a second of a single NFL game not involving the Patriots since the azzholes on Park Avenue perpetrated that criminal fraud against Brady and the entire organization last year. That includes Super Bowl 50. For the first time in my life I didn’t watch a single down of the Super Bowl (and my first was Super Bowl 8, Dolphins/Vikings at Rice Stadium in Houston; long freakin’ time ago).

        I won’t watch it next February either, unless the local NFL franchise is the AFC’s representative.

        So, while I’m not boycotting it completely, I’m certainly boycotting the “other 31,” and will continue to do so indefinitely. Yes, I know Goodell works for the other owners and that a handful of them drove the entire De-FAME-gate nonsense, but he’s also got several ex-Jets working for him as underlings in the league office, and they ALL have anti-BB agendas/anti-Patriots agendas, even all the way down to the idiot millennial Jets fan who runs the league’s Pats-trolling Twitter account.

        Also, the pussification of the game, which began prior to Goodell’s arrival on the scene but has been accelerated since he took over — more likely to please the Fantasy Football cottage industry by creating more offense, rather than for the stated goal of improving player safety — was reason enough to tune in less and less, but the anti-Patriots agenda, for me, is the final straw.

        You can’t have a league with one set of rules for 31 teams, and another set of rules for 1.

        Enough is enough. I’m a Pats fan, but not an NFL fan.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m also “done” with the NFL as a whole because of the past year. If you had to categorize, I went from “fan” to whatever sits between really casual to don’t care.

        Once you try to stop caring, it’s not too hard–at least for me. Ditching cable/TV 1.5 years ago helped. I started to spend more time on hobbies. It is nice to be outside. Having other hobbies, which now get more time spent on, is a good thing.

        There’s the initial “shock”, and after a month-or-two, you start thinking less and less. Sports talk is still my work background noise, but that’s not a requirement anymore. There’s no shortage of content.

        IIRC, 50% of America doesn’t consume any sports. I recall a figure of 10% being in the “really care” (consume ESPN). These non-sports people have figured out something to keep their time busy, right?

        I won’t be able to do the watercooler talk at work, or “talk about the game” with friends, but that’s not a big loss. I’d only guess that if all/most of your social circle is heavy into sports, this won’t be as easy. I couldn’t participate at all in these, but it’s not like you can’t talk about something else.

        The only thing I can’t say for sure is if the Patriots were in the Superbowl if I’d attend a gathering. Most people who go just are there for the party and want “their team” to win, but go right back to not really caring for the other 364 days, no? I’d fall into that group, now.


      3. I can think of a thousand things to do on a Sunday that aren’t watching a bunch of sanctimonious meathead idiots pay a bunch of dumb jocks to give themselves brain damage. I’m done. Finito. When Bob Kraft kneeled down and fellated Rog “for the good of the Shield,” that was the last straw.

        I haven’t watched college football in a decade, and don’t miss it in the least. Won’t be any different with the pro game. I don’t need to watch a football game to continue enjoying my life. And football will be dead in 25 years anyhow, as high school and college programs become prohibitively expensive to insure as the head injury risks become more and more obvious.


        1. Okay, so what were Bob’s options vis a vis Deflategate? Appeal the punishment to the man who meted it out? Sue the league? His hands were tied. Bob Kraft isn’t Al Davis and I’m glad he isn’t.


          1. I have given a lot of thought to this. He should have sued the league. They took $1 mill and 2 picks from him for what the rule book says is a $25K offense. Kraft ate that rather than standing up for the principle of fairness. His hands were not tied…his ego was too big for him to do what was right. It was easy for him to cave…it would have been harder to do the right thing and fight. Unlike Dave I will watch…but like Dave…I have a lot less emotional attachment than I had before.


        2. I went from planning around Sundays to planning nothing. It’s nice having them open to do random things or nothing.
          But, on the media stuff. Same as above from what you said:

          When Bob Kraft kneeled down and fellated Rog “for the good of the Shield,” that was the last straw.

          Curran put it best: 31 > 12. I’ll support BB/12 until that time is over. Best of luck on the rest.


      4. Hat tip for using “Ozz-wee-pay.”

        Maybe you heard it someplace else, but, for some reason, that line from a Nicholas Cage SNL skit has stuck with me. There aren’t too many opportunities to use it, so nice job.


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