ESPN Unveils New Tom Brady Logo

I was sure this was a hoax.

espn-12

Nope.

We created logos for 10 NFL stars

What, no switch logo for Adrian Peterson? No Adderall bottle for the Legion of Boom?

How come the Von Miller one doesn’t somehow show him bribing an NFL drug tester?

How about some play on how the stars in the NFL logo show what a player sees when he has a concussion?

Nope.

 

 

The Streak Continues

No, not Jackie Bradley Jr, who unfortunately had his hitting streak snapped at 29 games last night.

I don’t really mean Xander Bogaerts, who increased his streak to 19 games last night.

Clay Buchholz’s streak of lousy performances however, is alive and well.

Also alive and well is the ability of sports radio hosts to make ridiculous statements which have no basis in reality or fact.

I present to you Tweedledum and Tweedledee:

FELGER: BLAME FARRELL FOR KILLING BRADLEY’S HITTING STREAK

 

Of course, last night was the SIXTH different spot Bradley had hit in the lineup during his streak.

Tim Britton:

In fact, to blame the end of Bradley’s 29-game hitting streak on misplaced managerial meddling or the interruption of well-worn, superstitious habits is to ignore both a series of facts and the gravity of the accomplishment in the first place. Bradley’s hits were not the result of his spot in the order, and his lack of them on Thursday wasn’t either.

Sean McAdam:

First of all, Thursday night marked the sixth (SIXTH!) different spot that Bradley has hit during the hitting streak. He had hit second, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. So the notion that any change was disruptive was absurd.

As for the notion that Bradley would treat his at-bats differently because he was leading off? Also wrong. Bradley’s major adjustment since spring training has been being aggressive early in the count. So, do you know how many pitches Bradley saw in four at-bats as the leadoff hitter? Eight.

Does that sound like someone who was being forced to be more patient for the night, or someone changing their approach by working the count more?

Common sense and facts though, aren’t going to sway the tidal wave of #hotsportztakes.


I’ll expose my ignorance here and say I had no idea who Jim Breuer was prior to this week.

The comedian made big news this week by revealing he had an encounter with John Jastremski of Deflategate fame down in Mexico.

There are enough holes in his story to make it dubious, and his appearance on Toucher and Rich yesterday – the day before his album was released today, make the whole thing just a bit too convenient for me.


The by-the-book Ravens were punished by the NFL yesterday for breaking offseason training rules.

The punishment was a fine and loss of a week of OTA activity. Some wondered why the punishment wasn’t more severe.

Yet, this was the second violation for the Ravens since 2010:

It was then explained that this was their first violation during THIS CBA period.

Huh. The Patriots are still being punished for things that happened in 2007, isn’t that before this CBA?


Media should pipe down about Matt Harvey’s silence – Chad Finn looks at the media outrage over the Mets pitcher choosing not to talk to them.

Chris Berman to leave longtime ESPN gigs at end of 2016 NFL season – The longtime ESPN broadcaster refutes reports that he is retiring, however.

My Question

So here’s my question:

If Roger Goodell is “really not focused” on the Tom Brady appeal and he “didn’t see the report” from Congress on the NFL interfering with the concussion study, what exactly has he been doing?

Furthermore, if he “didn’t see the report,” (he said it TWICE) how was he able to spend considerable time in his press conference yesterday disputing the allegations made in the report?

Then there is this:

A Congressman issued that report without even talking to any of our advisors. I don’t think that’s appropriate. I don’t think that’s the right way to do things.

So all Congressional reports should be cleared with the NFL before being released. Got it.

I’ve said this ad nauseum, but with very few exceptions here and there, the media does not directly challenge Goodell on his deception and outright lies.

It’s baffling.

 

Tuesday Quick Hits

Catching up following a recent sojourn to Jamaica…

I like the new formatting for the Boston Globe sports articles. It’s a nice, clean, easy to read look. In a time when  web pages are cramming as much as possible onto a page, it’s nice to be able to see something like this.

HOW BOSTON CAUGHT ARIAN FOSTER FEVER – I enjoyed this piece from Tom E Curran for how he exposed that certain writers allow themselves to be used to carry water for agents. In this case Jason Cole.

Similarly, Mike Reiss gets props for calling out the hypocrisy of the media over the Baltimore Ravens being investigated for a full pads minicamp:

Contrast that with Peter King, who, on the very same subject wrote:

Now this is downright strange. The NFL is investigating the by-the-book Ravens for violating one of the simplest and clearest rules in the collective bargaining agreement: practicing in pads during their rookie minicamp.

The “by-the-book” Ravens, who were previously penalized for something very similar. Got it. Pete doesn’t think this is a big deal, no draft picks will be taken, just a stern talking to should do it.

Kevin Paul Dupont is a Twitter coward and an unabashed troll, but his Saturday piece on CSNNE’s Trenni Kusnierek and her battles with anxiety and depression is definitely worth a read.

Some solid thoughts from Chad Finn on the revamped NESN Red Sox broadcasts. It’s hard to tell if they’re more enjoyable because of the talent or because the team looks like it might not finish in last place this year.

How’d you like to work in NFL PR these days? The league is in a protracted battle with the greatest quarterback it has ever had – over nothing – and got blasted by Former US solicitor general Theodore Olson who is part of Tom Brady’s legal team in a brief filed yesterday, which opens:

“This case arises from an arbitration ruling by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that undermines the rights and expectations of parties to collective bargaining agreements, and runs roughshod over the rule of law.”

Also yesterday, a Congressional study found that the NFL tried to influence a government concussion research overseen by the National Institutes of Health.

But you can be sure of one thing, all NFL owners, especially Robert Kraft, are going to say that Roger Goodell is doing a great job.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

I realize that Upton Bell has not been relevant for at least 25 years, perhaps he was never relevant, but some Tweets he put out last night really sum up the hotsportztakes movement in a microcosm.

The Red Sox had won 4 in a row heading into last night’s game, were atop the division and have been crushing the ball as of late. So why exactly was Red Sox Nation lonely? Oh, because Price has been really bad this season.

Let’s get this straight: David Price has underachieved thus far so Bell thinks the pressure should be on him to perform. David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr are performing well, so they must be “on something.

It’s the perfect scenario. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You know, for an old guy, Bell has this hottakez thing down pat.

Now I’ll just go back to ignoring Upton Bell completely.


I received this email late last night regarding Tom Caron’s appearance in the NESN play-by-play seat with Dave O’Brien taking a night off:

…today (May12) is the day to analyze sports (Red Sox)announcer Tom Caron. I have read the comments many viewers gave several years ago (2008-2009). They reflect well the agony I suffer listening to him shout at me as long as he can. Why, in heaven’s name, has he not been told how unattractive and infuriating it is to have to listen to him. Tell: me this: if you invited a guest to a party at your home and he talked like Tom Caron does during all the time he was there, would you invite him again?. I find myself hitting the “Mute” button on the TV for most of the Red Sox Game

I like Caron as the studio host, but would agree that the play-by-play spot isn’t really his strength.


Misc:

I’ll be curious to see if NESN implements the “forced vacations” on O’Brien that they did on Don Orsillo the last few years.

Sean McDonough has perfect bloodlines for marquee NFL job – Chad Finn looks at the new MNF play-by-play man.

Glenn Ordway is bringing back the whiner line to WEEI. It will be on his midday show starting next Friday. Next up, Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie everyday during football season?

Wednesday Quickie

Catching up on a couple things from the last week or so…

ESPN made four correct personnel moves in one day?

Moving Sean McDonough to the play-by-play voice of Monday Night Football.

(Reportedly) Not bringing back Cris “Fall Guy” Carter and Ray “White Suit” Lewis.

Adding Randy Moss to NFL Countdown.

What is happening? 

Mike Ditka will also not be back on NFL Countdown, but he will still be around the network. Trent Dilfer could be gone as well, and the uncertain status of Chris Mortensen, due to his illness means that NFL coverage on ESPN could look very different on game days this fall.


I’m not going to try and make the case that David Ortiz is better than Ted Williams was, but nice job by Dan Shaughnessy taking that strawman and using it to write a column dripping with more undertones and suggestions that Ortiz must be using something in order to keep his performance level so high at the age of 40.

There’s no doubt that if Dan Shaughnessy was around in the 1950’s, he’d be trashing Ted Williams in the mold of Dave Egan.

Sure Teddy ballgame can hit the ball, but he’s not nearly the all-around player and man that Tris Speaker was.

The irony of all ironies is Shaughnessy decrying the era of “hot takes.”


Speaking of – you know things are slow in the Patriots hot take business when the topics have been Tom Brady’s cookbook and his mattress commercials.

Seriously.

Sox In First After Sweep of Yankees

It’s May 2nd, and your Boston Red Sox are a half-game in first place in the A.L. East following an 8-7 win at Fenway Park last night.

David Price continued his early season struggles, but again received the run support needed to move to 4-0 on the year.

While the WEEI morning show continues to rail against Curt Schilling’s replacement on Sunday Night Baseball, Jessica Mendoza, ESPN and Schilling continued their dance last night when inexplicably, the network cut out Schilling’s part in the 30 for 30 rebroadcast of Four Days in October last night. Game six, the bloody sock – never happened.

When asked about it, the network responded (somewhat snarkily) that the show was simply edited for time.

I honestly don’t think this was premeditated or some sort of statement from the network on Schilling, but I do think when they were figuring out which segments they could trim for the time requirements, when given a choice between Schilling and non-Schilling, they decided to cut Schilling. Subtly sticking it to him in the process.

When you think of the 2004 ALCS, you think of the Red Sox coming back from 0-3 down of course, you think of the heroics of David Ortiz in games four and five, you think of the blowout game seven, but Schilling and the bloody sock is as memorable as any of those.


For the first time ever, I did not watch a single moment of the NFL draft live. Not a single pick. I saw plenty of what was happening on Twitter, including Kevin Faulk’s all-time classic moment of introducing a Patriots pick while sporting a Tom Brady jersey.

While having Troy Vincent on the stage with Faulk was great, it would’ve been even better with Roger Goodell there instead.

Speaking of Goodell, how do NFL Owners feel having their representative booed endlessly and vociferously, and his response is “bring it on?”

Oh, I forgot. The owners all say Roger is doing a great job. Roger Goodell is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

Meanwhile I saw numerous reports that it sure seemed like ESPN (and sometimes NFLN) was trying awfully hard to not show any of the Patriots picks. Almost makes me wonder if after Faulk’s appearance there was some edict passed down to ensure the Patriots didn’t embarrass the league in that fashion in live TV again. Almost.


Was a little surprised at some blowback I received on Twitter about the job Danny Ainge has done with the Celtics, and whether this season was a failure following the first round 4-2 series loss to the Atlanta Hawks. There seemed to be a common theme among the critics, references to “green teamers” and other Mike Felger references.

The Celtics have steadily improved in the three seasons under Brad Stevens, and have a top pick in the draft in June, and the cap space to attract more than one top free agent this summer. I don’t know what could’ve been done significantly better, especially when you look around the NBA at other rebuilding projects.

The Patriots 2016 Draft Preview Review

Today we present our concise draft coverage review while marveling at how many NFL owners and general managers refused to pay attention during high school physics class.

Patriots “That Guy” 2016 Senior Bowl Edition – It all began on February 1 with our first “That Guy” column of the year, reviewing players we noticed during the Senior Bowl and other college all-star games from late January.

Player Of Note: Quentin Gause of Rutgers could fill one of many draft categories, including Rutgers Guy and Special Teams Guy. The 6-0, 243 pound linebacker led all tacklers at the NFLPA Bowl and had 96 stops in 2015. He was also a team captain and Academic All-Big Ten, among other Pats-Guy-type honors.

Our annual Round-By-Round Review came out on February 10, chronicling all the draft picks by Bill Belichick while in New England, organized by round. Pay special attention to New England’s overall success with Round One selections.

Player Of Note: Whomever the Pats won’t be able to pick this year in Round One. Damnit.

Patriots “That Guy” 2016 NFL Combine Edition – On March 2, our second “That Guy” column of the year came out, focusing on results from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and where some of those players might fit on New England’s roster.

Player Of Note: You can’t miss the performance of Justin Simmons out of Boston College. The free safety had a 40-inch vertical and a super quick 6.58-second 3-cone drill, all the more impressive given his 6-2, 202-pound frame. Last year for BC, Simmons had 67 tackles, five interceptions, and two forced fumbles.

Combine Snubs Who Showed ‘Em, Part I – Back in the middle of March, we posted Part I of our Combine Snubs series, taking a closer look at players who weren’t invited to the NFL Combine, but who succeeded at their respective pro days in the weeks afterward.

Player Of Note: Keeping Patriots receiver (and former college quarterback) Julian Edelman in mind, QB Jason Vander Laan out of tiny Ferris State absolutely ripped up his Division II slate, winning the Harlan Hill Trophy (D2 Player of the Year) two years running. As a senior, the 6-4, 240-pound QB passed for 2,626 yards and 27 touchdowns and rushed for 1,542 yards and 24 TDs. Also had a noteworthy 6.73-second 3-cone drill.

Combine Snubs Who Showed ‘Em, Part II – On April 19 came our second Combine Snubs review, checking out more players who would have fit in at Indianapolis but didn’t get the invitation.

Player Of Note: Running back Darius Jackson of Eastern Michigan had himself a great pro day. He ran a 4.35-second 40, catapulted 41 inches off the ground, and completed the 3-cone drill in 6.82 seconds, all of which would have made top two or better for combine backs. Jackson rushed for 1,067 yards in 2015, averaging 5.2 yards per carry while scoring 14 TDs on the ground. The best part is that he’s 6-1, 220 pounds, which could fill out New England’s need for a younger, bigger back.

Patriots “That Guy” 2016 April Edition – Finally, on April 21, we ran our last “That Guy” piece of the season, putting together our knowledge from both the combine and pro days.

Player Of Note: Keenan Reynolds. Belichick has to draft the best rusher in Navy history, doesn’t he? Seriously, how could Reynolds not end up in Foxboro, at least for spring practice? He earned solid reports from Senior Bowl practices after his switch to running back. He rushed for 4,559 yards in his career, scoring a Division I record 88 touchdowns. I mean, Belichick will draft this kid just to talk to him on the sideline. And, hey, with uncertainty surrounding the first four games of the season, we could always see the triple option.

Please keep an eye out for our post-draft coverage, where we match up the Patriots’ picks with our “That Guy” predictions.

Much like the NFL from 1920 until 2015, Chris Warner couldn’t care less about air pressure inside a football. He tweets @cwarn89

Brady Suspension Reinstated.

The decision yesterday by the 2nd Circuit to reinstate Tom Brady’s four game suspension and to uphold Roger Goodell’s power to do anything he damn well pleases was just the latest turn in an unending case.

Interestingly, the Chief Justice of the court was the dissenting voice in the decision, coming down against Goodell and his methods. (Apparently he must be a “fan boy” too, eh, Dan Shaughnessy?)  Giants owner John Mara’s college law school classmate Judge Chin naturally voted in favor of the league.

Teams around the league are apparently coming to the realization that something like this could happen to them as well.

The Chiefs have already found this out.

I’ve seen a lot of finger-wagging towards the NFLPA on this, saying sorry, they gave Goodell this power in the last CBA…

Well if that was so clear, why did it take 16 months and two rounds of Federal court to make that point?

There may be no better example than Roger Goodell to the old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely.


Sean McDonough to Monday Night Football?  It could happen. Mike Tirico left ESPN for NBC, and the former Red Sox voice is the leading candidate to replace him.

ESPN Mainstay Mike Tirico Leaving To Join NBC


The Celtics and Red Sox are both in Atlanta, taking on the Hawks and Braves respectively.

The Celtics are tied 2-2 in their opening round playoff series, and the Red Sox pulled out a 1-0 win last night, with a Jackie Bradley Jr home run being the difference.

Schilling Canned By ESPN

ESPN decided it has had enough trouble from Curt Schilling and yesterday fired the former Red Sox ace from his role as baseball analyst.

Schilling doesn’t seem to be able to help himself from sharing his opinions, as he has found himself in hot water time and again since his retirement from baseball.

He probably didn’t help himself by his defiance and insistence on doubling-down on his comments, both on WEEI and on his personal blog. It’s one thing to own your comments and opinions and another to put the fault back on others for reacting to things you say.

Meanwhile, WEEI.com had a column by John Tomase endorsing the firing of Schilling.

Look, shouldn’t Tomase be the very last person in the Boston media to judge whether someone should be fired? Yes, I’ll say it again, the guy made up a story which resulted in his employer having to retract the story and publicly apologize, and he faced no public consequences whatsoever.

In irony of ironies, Tomase’s story yesterday has a correction on it for misrepresenting Schilling’s position on the matter.


NESN experimented with a three-man booth during yesterday afternoon’s Red Sox loss to the Rays. Play-by-play man Dave O’Brien was joined by Jerry Remy and Steve Lyons in the booth for the broadcast.

Reactions were mixed on Twitter during the game, but the move caught the attention on many. NESN has been mixing around the analysts with O’Brien thus far this season, not using Jerry Remy full-time as in the past.

The reasons seem to be mainly money-based, with the network not wishing to pay for full-time analysts, but instead mixing around a few part-timers instead.

NESN was also honored this week by Cynopsis Media as the Regional Sports Network (RSN) of the Year at the 5th Annual Sports Media Awards Breakfast held at the New York Athletic Club.


Former Boston Herald and Globe Patriots writer Albert Breer is on the move again, leaving NFL Network for Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback site.

Breer had a few rough patches at NFL Network, including a reputed disagreement with an editor which resulted in some time off the air. Moving to MMQB is a good opportunity for the well-travelled Breer.


Bill Barnwell, one of the original Grantland staff writers, and formerly of Football Outsiders (and Patriots Daily) will not be joining Bill Simmons on his new site The Ringer, instead Barnwell has signed a multi-year deal to stay with ESPN.


I enjoyed this piece from Tom E Curran yesterday showing how the NFL has time and again the NFL has publicly dismissed suggestions by Bill Belichick, only to come back and revisit and move towards those original ideas later in the future.

How long should Red Sox give John Farrell? – Peter Abraham thinks about 40 games should be enough to decide the future of the Red Sox manager.

Celtics must believe in themselves – Steve Bulpett says that too often in the first two games against Atlanta, the Celtics looked like they did not trust themselves.