Return of the Broadsheet Bully

Ron Borges had a rough few days here covering the Deion Branch contract situation and trying his best at every turn to attempt to make the Patriots look bad. Here’s a look at a few statements made by the Boston Globe columnist, and some rebuttal thoughts on each:

From Friday’s Patriots dropped the ball column:

If their trade demands are absurd (read that a first-round pick or more when Donte’ Stallworth was worth only a fourth and a backup player, and Ashley Lelie cost basically a third-round pick and a short-yardage runner), what then happens to Branch?

Borges and the like can say that the Patriots can only get a mid-round draft pick or spare part because that’s what players like Lelie, Stallworth, etc were expected to fetch and that the Patriots are being unreasonable if they demand more. So is Borges saying that Branch is only on the level of a Stallworth/Lelie type?

However, Borges and others ALSO think Branch should get the 43 million dollar Reggie Wayne contract, and that isn’t unreasonable because he’s worth it, to them. So why isn’t he worth more in a trade? Isn’t the Reggie Wayne leve of receiver worth more in a trade than a Donte Stallworth or Ashley Lelie? Is Branch closer to Stallworth/Lelie or Joey GallowayKeyshawn Johnson? (Each were traded for two first round picks)

Follow along this further, if the Patriots see this through to the bitter end, and allow Branch to come back after week 10, and then franchise him next spring, other teams can still sign him…but will need to give the Patriots two first round picks. If that is the case, why should the team settle for a second rounder now? And why is demanding a first round pick now “absurd” as Borges says?

Borges went through the usual Patriots are “cheap” routine, and went through a list of “what if these teams allowed their receivers to leave” scenarios. This was a nice Straw Man tactic used by Borges.

While we’re talking cheap…let’s talk cheapness for a moment…were the Steelers cheap with Antwaan Randle El?…..Colts cheap with Edgerin James?……Jets with John Abraham?…..Bills with Nate Clements (who they franchised)….Denver with Trevor Pryce?….Saints with LeCharles Bentley?….Seattle with Steve Hutchinson?

In addition, one of the scenarios Borges outlined above was Pittsburgh allowing Randle El and Hines Ward to leave. Well, the Steelers did allow Randle El to leave, (as the Patriots did with Givens) however, Ward is still there, and Branch should still be here had he honored the last year of his contract.

The holes in Borges’ faulty reasoning are endless…another quote from the same article:

but no team has yet won a Super Bowl by running the ball and throwing to their tight ends.

As emailer Malachi S. points out:

In the last 10 years alone, both the ’97 Broncos and the ’00 Ravens did exactly that. Both teams were led in receptions by their tight end (Shannon Sharpe) and both ran the ball exceptionally well.

From Saturday’s Branch offers refused column:

According to the Jets, their offer of a second-round choice was flatly rejected, with no counter demand made by the Patriots.

The insinuation is that the Patriots have acted in bad faith by not counter offering. According to most published reports, Chayut and Branch have never countered the Patriots first contract offer of months ago. Who is negotiating in bad faith here?

The point has been made elsewhere, but bears repeating here: If these offers from the Jets and Seahawks were so genuine and sincere…then why did they come in at the last moment? Especially on the Jets side, it seems to be nothing more than trying to cause trouble for a division rival.

in the second section of Borges’ Sunday Football Notes:

It became fashionable for some Patriots toadies in and out of the media to attack not Deion Branch but his agent, Jason Chayut, since Branch’s summer-long holdout began, but Chayut proved his point Friday.

A disappointing development has seen Borges turning into little more than a toadie for agents such as Jason Chayut and Brad Blank. You’ll recall that Borges had up close and personal access to David Givens’ foray into free agency, thanks to their mutually shared agent, Blank. This relationship was of course never mentioned in the Globe stories.

With Chayut, Borges again seems to be trying to send a message…essentially separating himself from other media types and giving his support to Chayut. Borges’ anti-management stand (except when it comes to the Raiders) has been well documented. With more organizations becoming tight-lipped about their dealings, agents have become reporter’s best friends. Of course, their statements are always going to be ridiculously slanted in favor of their clients, making them not the most objective sources for stories.

As reader Dana B emailed in:

His over-the-top defense of agent Chayut tells us more about Borges than it does about the dispute. We know that he is rabidly anti-management. One might conclude that his support of the agent is an extension of that bias. I think the larger agenda here is to demonstrate his support for agents generally, who just might be his best source of insider info to help fill his columns. Why otherwise launch an ad hominem broadside at his colleagues and readers than to send a friendly signal. And then he panders to the poor players claiming that “… no one in the Patriots locker room feels Branch deserves to be treated this way.

You also gotta question a guy who has defended Don King to the point of blows with another writer having the audacity to call anyone else a “toadie.”

Just as significant is that no one in the Patriots locker room feels Branch deserves to be treated this way.

No one, huh Ron? Did you talk to every single person in there? I think you forgot to add “They hate their coach.” This “locker room unrest” theme was just way too predictable, not to mention impossible to prove or disprove.

To top everything off, after all this work, Borges can’t be pleased that Mike Reiss ran a column yesterday (Experts don’t back Branch) which said that Branch faces a tough battle in winning his grievances.

Borges did some great work over the summer covering the NFL’s search for a new commissioner to replace Paul Tagliabue. His reporting of the candidates and selection process was top notch and a credit to the Globe. It even had me rethinking an earlier position on Borges. However, this recent coverage again shows that Borges should not be allowed anywhere near a Patriots story, as he is simply incapable of writing objectively about the team. Keep on the national NFL beat…just keep him away from Foxboro.


Cellar Dwellers No More

The Bruins lifted themselves out of the cellar of the Northeast division for the first time since November with a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens last night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins continuing to right their ship and move up in the win column. Steve Conroy says that Bruins fans got their entertainment value from this one. Joe McDonald acknowledges the big win, but notes that and even bigger weekend is on tap for the Bruins. Douglas Flynn notes that the Bruins are not only climbing in the standings, they’ve become must-see TV with the likes of the end-to-end rush that Patrice Bergeron pulled off last night. Jackie MacMullan has a look at Tim Thomas, who came up big once again and has cemented his spot as the #1 goaltender for the foreseeable future. She talks to Mike O’Connell among others about the emergence of Thomas this season. Thomas could end up saving O’Connell’s job along with the shots he’s been stopping.

Steve Buckley looks at Glen Murray returning to the Bruins with a bang last night. Mike Loftus has a look at Wayne Primeau, who wants to be on the ice as much as he possibly can. Conroy has a look at rookie defenseman Andrew Alberts logging some time at forward last night. Burrell’s notebook has more on the return of Murray to the Bruins’ lineup. Conroy’s notebook has Brad Boyes getting robbed of a goal last night. McDonald’s notebook has more on Murray.

Peter May has Danny Ainge saying that he feels the Celtics are slowly getting closer to where we’d all like them to be. Mark Murphy has more on Ainge who wants the Celtics to become more than just a one and done playoff team. Mike Fine has a look at the Celtics still trying to mesh together as a team. Michael Muldoon’s article in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune is entertaining, as he has players present and past blasting Mark Blount. Former Celtics tough guy from the 50’s and 60’s Jim Loscutoff (“Loscy” in the Garden rafters) proclaiming “I probably would have punched him in the nose,” after Blount skipped down the court Monday night in Minnesota against this former team. Scott Souza has a look at Wally Szczerbiak trying to get settled in with his new team.

Shalise Manza Young has a quick look at Gerald Green, who is expected to be with the Celtics this weekend as they swing through Florida after tonight’s game with the Clippers. Murphy’s notebook has more on Green, who is expected to rejoin his Developmental League team next week. Fine’s notebook has Delonte West accepting his omission from the sophomore squad of the rookie challenge during All Star Weekend.

We’ll have much more football this afternoon in our Super Bowl edition of SporTView, but for now, I just can’t let this morning’s article by Ron Borges pass. There are several shots in the article at the Patriots and their way of conducting business. At one point, Borges writes:

Upshaw claimed high-revenue owners such as Bob Kraft and the Cowboys' Jerry Jones have repeatedly taken advantage of the present system because ''they're not spending on the players. They're not spending to the cap. They're spending on everything else."

An NFLPA source familiar with those numbers said the Patriots had spent only $76 million on player salaries last year despite a cap of $85 million, while Jones spent only $66 million on revenue of more than $300 million. The source produced NFLPA documentation to support those figures. Washington's Daniel Snyder was not lumped in that group because, according to the union's figures, he spends to the cap.

I’m not sure which documentation that this “source” was referring to. Borges apparently takes the source at their word, despite the fact that the NFLPA Web Site seems to directly contradict those numbers. I’m going to leave it to civilian cap guru Miguel to sort this out. Miguel says this morning on the messageboard:

Well, look at

NFLPA Salary Document from November 2005

Page 9 - The Cowboys are listed as spending $82 million.
Page 13 - The Patriots are listed as spending $94 million.
Page 20 - The Redskins are listed as spending $66 million.

I find it hard to believe that the Patriots spend only $76 million in 2005 when Brady took home $15.5 million, Dillon - $4 million, Green $3.4 million, Colvin - $2.6 million, Mankins - $3 million, Light - $7.5 million, McGinest - $2 million, Seymour - $4.5 million, Starks - $3.5 million, Vrabel - $6.7 million while having Adam playing under his franchise tag of $2.5 million and having 3 players playing under the RFA tag of $1.43 million.

I trust Miguel a whole lot more than I trust Ron Borges and any of his “sources”, whom I’m sure are NOT trying to skew the numbers in favor of the players. No way. I just know that they have no ulterior motive other than bringing the truth about Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli to the readers of the Boston Globe.

If you’ve never been to Miguel’s page, I highly recommend a visit.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Red Sox tried again recently to persuade the Angels to make a deal for Manny Ramirez.

David Scott has a monster Super Bowl edition of Shots.

As mentioned, we’ll have much more this afternoon/evening in this week’s Super Bowl weekend post.

Fire Ron Borges, the Broadsheet Bully

Fire Ron Borges, the Broadsheet Bully
By Kerry J. Byrne, publisher, and Bruce Allen, publisher,

Update: Ron Borges “Retires” From Globe

They’re already chiseling a Ron Borges bust and reserving a special place of dishonor for it in the Hack Hall of Fame.

His crime? Serial hackery below and beyond the call of duty.

Why Ron Borges should be fired
Boston Globe football writer Ron Borges, the Broadsheet Bully, believes fans dislike him because he expresses unpopular positions and because he challenges the New England Patriots organization and its management at a time when the franchise is hugely successful and popular.

This is simply not true.

Football fans dislike Borges because he’s wrong about virtually everything, he lacks basic journalistic standards and he uses his forum with the Boston Globe to bully his subjects, especially those whom he personally dislikes, while currying the favor of his inside sources. In fact, there are many reasons why Borges is perhaps the most unpopular sports reporter in America. There are many reasons, in other words, why Borges should be fired.

Borges lacks objectivity
Football fans have long wondered why Borges seems to hammer New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick so hard and so often. After all, the coach has set numerous NFL records, is the only coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in four years, has rewritten the book on NFL team management in the salary cap era and is considered by virtually every football expert to be the best coach in the game.

But not in the eyes of Borges, who continues to insist that Tony Dungy of Indianapolis, who has never won an NFL championship, is somehow a better coach.

Well, we discovered why Borges continues to hammer Belichick: He personally dislikes the coach. Football fans have long suspected that this was the case. But it was proven on Friday, Jan. 6, when Borges appeared on ESPN Radio Boston with host Michael Felger. Borges said he?s not going to invite Belichick over to his house any time soon, and otherwise admitted his personal distaste for the coach for the first time in a public forum.

Borges makes things up
Why does Borges dislike Belichick? Well, nobody knows but Borges and God apparently.

During that same Jan. 6 radio appearance, Borges implied that he has some dirt on Belichick that nobody else knows about:

“This fellow (Belichick) has cornered the market on convincing people with the help of his friends that no one has ever worked harder than he does and he’s out, uh, you know, when everyone else is sleeping, he’s working, when everyone else is eating, he’s working, uh, I could say something, but I won’t … about uh, how at least some of his time is being spent… “

Does Belichick kick dogs, don a white sheet and burn crosses or plot acts of bio-terrorism? Who knows? Borges did not say. All we know is that Belichick commits acts so dastardly and atrocious that it has forced the Broadsheet Bully to devote his life to exposing the coach as a fraud.

At least one caller to the program, “Bob from Marlboro,” questioned Borges about his accusation.

Caller: “Two minutes ago, Ron, you kind of hinted about something else Belichick does, whether or not it be coaching. That’s a major scoop on your end. What is it? Answer. I’d like to hear that. Outside of the football world, what is Bill Belichick doing that you don”t like?”
Felger: “I’m not going to allow this line of questioning.”
Borges: “I don’t think you should.”
Felger: “I don’t want Ron getting in trouble.”
Borges: “You don?’t have to worry about me.”

Borges did not come forth with his information. He simply tossed it out there like a big pile of mud to splatter all over the coach’s reputation, and then refused to explain himself. This means there are two possibilities:

1) Borges was referring to something intensely personal that doesn’t warrant discussion in a public forum and he realized it was inappropriate only after hinting at it. If this is the case, Borges should be raked over the coals for attempting to insert into the public discourse something that does not belong there.

2) Borges is simply making something up. What reporter has some personal dirt on a major public figure, admits he has this dirt, yet fails to tell people about it? Do you think the editors at the Globe are happy to hear this? Aren’t they paying Borges to report information that only he is able to uncover?

Why would he take an accusatory stance with the coach and then, when pressed about it, say that people should not be allowed to ask him questions on the topic – It stinks of the double standard the media has for itself that drives people crazy. Hey, there’s a reason why the media is the most distrusted institution in America. They spend all their time grilling public figures, seeking out dirt that, in many cases, ruins careers and even lives. But when someone dares to question a reporter about an entirely inappropriate statement the reporter has just made in a public forum, they shouldn’t be allowed to ask. It’s pharisaic.

If Borges knows something about Belichick he should share it, if only because it might resuscitate his own comatose reputation. Borges is wildly unpopular. Belichick is wildly popular. Borges apparently has information that would turn the tables, yet he continues to keep it a secret. Come on folks, are we supposed to believe that Borges is taking a bullet for Belichick, a person he openly despises?

Of course we’re not supposed to believe this. The only rational conclusion one can draw is that Borges made something up to fill time on the radio. So, Borges now has two options:

1) He could share his information and prove the doubting public wrong, or
2) He could apologize for his public fabrication and keep his mouth shut in the future.

Borges is a bully
Borges is also a boxing writer who seems to fancy himself a tough guy – at least if his behavior as a reporter is any indication – and wants everyone to know he’s a tough guy.

Former New England coach Pete Carroll often got the bully treatment from Borges, such as the time former linebacker Ted Johnson missed a tackle in a game that New England lost.

Borges berated the coach in the postgame press conference, demanding that Carroll mete out some punishment after – gasp! – a player missed a tackle.

The Broadsheet Bully attempted to flex his muscles most recently on Friday, Jan. 6 during that appearance on ESPN Radio Boston. Once again, Belichick was the target of his schoolyard antics:

‘Bottom line is, you know, I bet he (Belichick) had a lot of his lunch money taken from him in sixth grade. And you know what? And you know what? I’d have had all his quarters.”

Yeah, that is about the most juvenile thing we’ve ever heard. He says that back in school he would have beaten up the coach and taken all his money. That’s called a Bully Complex.

But, hey, it’s nothing like beating up a fat, old man who walks with a cane, which is exactly what eyewitnesses say Borges tried to do back in 2004 when he was covering a Bob Arum press conference before a fight card that featured Oscar de la Hoya and Bernard Hopkins. Borges apparently got into a physical altercation with a boxing writer named Michael Katz, who wears a neck brace, walks with a cane, and was described as an overweight man in his 60s.

Here’s how New York Daily news reporter Bob Raissman described the scene, which began with a verbal exchange between Katz and Borges:

Katz: “Yeah this sounds like a Don King toady, a Don King writer, attacking a guy (Hopkins) Don King hates.”
Borges: “You need a punch in the face, I’m really sick and tired of your …”
Katz: “Shut the (expletive deleted) up.”
“This is when the words turned into actions. Borges reached around and landed a hard open-handed blow on Katz’s right cheek. Katz never saw it coming. The shot sent Katz reeling back, separating his head from his beret, which went flying through the air.
Katz: “You shmuck. How can you hit a cripple?”
Borges: “You been getting away with that (hiding behind an infirmity) for years.””

Hey, Borges: Belichick may kick dogs. But at least he doesn’t smack aging cripples.

The irony, of course, is that Borges thinks Belichick is the Gridiron Anti-Christ. Yet in the boxing world, he’s considered a Don King “toady.”

Oh, yeah, and Borges’ other big sports management hero, besides Don King? Yes, it’s Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders.

Borges is wrong about virtually everything
Every writer, particularly a sports writer, is going to be wrong from time to time. We all understand that. But Borges is habitually wrong, comically wrong and, even worse, is not man enough to admit the errors of his ways when he’s egregiously wrong. And it seems he?s often purposely wrong, spitefully attempting to drive home his anti-Belichick agenda, such as the time he predicted a 73-0 win by St. Louis over New England in Super Bowl XXXVI.

New England won, 20-17.

There are far too many examples of Borges being wrong to list all of them here. But we?ll provide a few. And remember, it’s not that Borges is wrong. It’s that he’s wrong simply in an effort to spite Belichick and the New England organization.

For example, following the 2001 draft, Borges ripped New England for drafting defensive lineman Richard Seymour and offensive lineman Matt Light. He even taunted Belichick with a mock “genius” reference – and this was before Belichick had won a single Super Bowl as a head coach.

Quoth the hack on

“On a day when they could have had impact players David Terrell or Koren Robinson or the second-best tackle in the draft in Kenyatta Walker, they took Georgia defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who had 1 sacks last season in the pass-happy SEC and is too tall to play tackle at 6-6 and too slow to play defensive end. This genius move was followed by trading out of a spot where they could have gotten the last decent receiver in Robert Ferguson and settled for tackle Matt Light, who will not help any time soon.”

Seymour is a four-time Pro Bowler who was just named an Associated Press first-team All Pro for the fourth time in his five-year career. And…this must come as a surprise to a keen talent evaluator such as Borges… Seymour has proven one of the most versatile defensive linemen in football: he’s adept at playing defensive tackle AND defensive end. Light, meanwhile, started more than 60 straight games before being injured this season and was a stalwart at left tackle, the most important position on the offensive line. Both Seymour and Light have been key contributors during New England’s three Super Bowls teams.

Terrell and Ferguson, however, have been outright busts. Robinson has been a bona fide underachiever. Among the four players Borges would have chosen instead of Seymour and Light, only Walker has had a strong career.

Despite the preponderance of evidence that indicates that Borges was wrong about the 2001 draft, he still can’t bring himself to admit it. During the Jan. 6 appearance on ESPN Radio Boston, the appearance that should ultimately torpedo his career, Borges insisted that he was “right at the time.”

So, Borges was completely wrong in his ability to evaluate the NFL success of virtually every player he mentioned back in 2001. But, in his own mind, he was “right at the time.” Hey, we thought the Titanic was going to make it all the way across the Atlantic. Sure, it sunk on its maiden voyage. But we were “right at the time.”

Of course, failing to understand the draft is a Borges specialty. Last year, during the 2005 draft, he proved to be among the worst ?experts? in the nation when it came to predicting draft picks.

Another Borges specialty is misunderstanding the salary cap. He routinely rips New England for not paying its players enough, as if the organization has an unlimited pile of cash to toss at players.

What Borges fails to understand is that the salary cap creates a finite pie to be shared among all players on a team. For every dollar given to one player, it’s essentially taken out of the pocket of another player. His inability to comprehend the salary cap was on display last April, when he wrote about the contract of New England fullback Patrick Pass.

Interestingly enough, Borges ripped the player?s agent, yet never contacted the agent to get her side of the story.

Borges also seems to equate paying too much for a player with good management. When New England refuses to pay as much for a player as another team is willing to do, he takes it as a sign that New England is cheap. There is, of course, another possibility: The other team is overpaying for the player. But Borges’ default position is always the former: New England is cheap.

During his Jan. 6 appearance on ESPN Radio Boston, Borges said New England management is limited in what it can do in the offseason because it’s too close to the salary cap. He didn’t realize that this argument contradicts his default argument that New England doesn’t pay its players enough.

In an era when New England has won three Super Bowls in four years and is two games away from playing for an unprecedented third straight Super Bowl championship, you would think New England management would get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to personnel decisions. After all, its method is clearly working. New England currently stands on the cusp of NFL history.

But it’s all a mystery in the eyes of Borges. In his estimation, New England drafts poorly, doesn’t pay its players enough and has an overrated coach and quarterback.

Why is Borges wrong so often? Well, maybe you could blame the sports interns at the Globe. After all, Borges has said they are sometimes given the job of making his expert picks before each NFL game. It explains why Borges has frequently been caught picking one team to win in one medium and another team to win on the pages of the Globe.

That’s what happened last year during a TV appearance when Borges picked Indy to beat New England in the playoffs, but then in the paper picked New England to beat Indy. New England won.

Chalk one up for the interns.

Borges is not just a factless hack, he’s a tactless hack
Borges took the occasion of the death of Belichick’s father, Steve, to debunk the notion of Bill Belichick the “genius.”

Hey, Ron: We all know the term “genius” is overused when it applies to NFL coaches. And nobody really believes Belichick is an Einstein-ian mental giant. The term “genius” is, dare we say, a “relative” term when it’s applied to football coaches. We all know that. But did you really have to take the occasion of Steve Belichick’s death to state your case once again?

Borges routinely insults his readers
What do you say about a reporter who routinely insults his very own readers, the people to whom he owes his livelihood? We’d say he deserves to be fired.

In particular, the Broadsheet Bully is fond of insulting those fans (and other reporters) who admire the play of Tom Brady.

Ever hear of Brady? He’s the quarterback of the New England Patriots, someone who has had the most successful first six years in the league of any quarterback in modern NFL history. He has set numerous passing records, won three Super Bowls, earned two Super Bowl MVP awards and has become a darling of American pop culture. His ascension to the level of sports and pop culture icon was cemented last month when Sports Illustrated named Brady 2005 Sportsman of the Year. In the eyes of most people, that?s not half bad.

But Borges is unimpressed. On Oct. 7, 2004, Borges appeared on a show called Sports Plus on New England Sports Network. He said anyone who would choose Brady over Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is “an idiot.”

Brady has proven to be the best big-game quarterback of our time. Manning has struggled in the playoffs every year he’s been there. But if you’d pick Brady over Manning, Borges thinks you’re an “idiot.” In other words, virtually every Boston Globe reader …along with millions of fans, coaches, scouts and football observers all over the country…is an “idiot.”

But New England fans aren’t just “idiots.” They’re “drunk” idiots, said Borges on April 20, 2005, when he appeared with host Eddie Andelman on radio station 1510 AM in Boston.

Andelman: “Well, there would be a revolution if they (New England) didn’t (sign Tom Brady).”
Borges: “Well, I don’t believe there would be. I used to think that there would be because I use to think that the fans were smart around here, but they’re drunk.”

So, let’s get this straight: Borges admired the intelligence of Patriots fans back when they supported the team through its lean years and rooted for players like Drew Bledsoe, who many believe was Borges’ inside source during the quarterback’s years in New England.

But once Bledsoe was traded and Brady ascended to become one of the premier sports icons in the nation, those same football fans suddenly became “idiots” and “drunks.”

Borges thinks his job is too hard
Interestingly, it was the 2002 trade of Bledsoe, whom Borges continues to defend to this day, that sparked an increase in the reporter’s attacks against the organization. Sports insiders say the loss of Borges’ most coveted source (and even his friend) sparked his anger at the organization.

There’s a reason, then, why Borges is often first in line to complain about the organization?s unwillingness to share information with the media. Other reporters still seem capable of digging up great stories about the team, including Felger and the Boston Globe’s Mike Reiss, among others. But Borges just lashes out at the team, asserting that the team does everything it can to make his job as difficult as possible.

New England is, of course, notoriously tight-lipped with the media. But we didn’t know making Ron’s life easy was part of the mission of the New England Patriots. We thought it was Borges’ mission to ferret out good stories and the organization’s mission to win Super Bowls and sell tickets. Well, only one party here is succeeding.

Borges knows nothing about athletes
The Broadsheet Bully’s adversarial ignorance goes beyond the world of football. In fact, he knows nothing about cycling, either, and is quite vocal about it.

Consider the case of Lance Armstrong. He has won seven straight Tours de France, an event considered by many to be the most demanding and punishing athletic challenge ever created. Because of Armstrong’s dominance of this event, most people consider him one of the great athletes of our time. Some might even argue he’s the greatest ever.

But not Borges. “Don’t try to convince me he’s the world’s greatest athlete,” Borges wrote on back in 2002. “First try to convince me he’s an athlete at all.”

There you have it: Armstrong, the guy who cycles up mountain ranges and across entire nations faster than any man on earth, is not an athlete.

There are two conclusions one can draw from this statement: Borges is incompetent and ignorant. Or he writes things not to educate and enlighten people, but simply to get a cheap rise out of them.

In either case, it’s an embarrassing indictment of the Broadsheet Bully’s method of sports reporting and should not be allowed in publications that take journalism seriously.

Borges is culturally insensitive
Boston Globe reporters, along with its discredited hacks like Borges, are not allowed on sports radio WEEI in Boston. The ban apparently began with something Borges allegedly said on the station back in 1999. According to some sources, he called New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu “a fat Jap.”

Concerned by the content of the station’s programming, the Globe soon banned its reporters, and hacks like Borges, from WEEI.

But Borges simply moved his venom up the dial, where insulting Japanese people, and Asians in general, seems to be a Borges specialty. On May 5, 2005, Borges was on sports radio 1510 in Boston when he had this exchange with a caller.

Caller: “Well, I just have the feeling that Belichick … we all trust him at this point…”
Borges: “We don’t all trust him …”
Caller: “Most of us trust him … three Super Bowls, he’s got a little bit of a track record around here.”
Borges: “Yeah, well, you know, Emperor Hirohito had a big lead in the early days too…”

Hirohito became emperor of Japan in 1926 and ruled the nation during a period in which it attacked the United States and invaded virtually every nation in Asia, slaughtering, raping and enslaving tens of millions of people in the process. Japan’s actions under Hirohito have been chronicled in numerous historical works, with names like “The Rape of Nanking.” In many Asian countries, he?s known as the “Asian Hitler.”

So, with one single sentence, Borges smeared Belichick, comparing him to a genocidal emperor, and showed a complete lack of sensitivity toward the hundreds of millions of people who were killed, raped, enslaved, conquered or otherwise adversely affected by the ruination that Hirohito’s Japan brought upon their part of the world. A politician who made a joke that insulted gays would be vilified in the pages of the Boston Globe. But Borges insensitively compares New England’s football coach to the “Asian Hitler” and someone holds a prominent post at the paper.

But, hey, at least Hirohito wasn’t a “fat Jap” like Irabu.

Borges misunderstands the role of the media
Borges certainly secured the noose around the neck of his reputation during his suicidal Jan. 6 appearance on ESPN Radio Boston.

The single worst thing he did in the appearance -other than implying that Belichick has a sinister side – was to consider himself a part of the story. We understand that inserting oneself into a story is a grand and glorious tradition among Globe sports writers ? a lesson handed down by the late Will McDonough – but it’s completely inappropriate for a journalist to do so.

Borges doesn’t seem to understand this, as evidenced when he said during his Jan. 6 appearance:

“You know what I find interesting about this? People always like to do this, say, “You know, Borges, what do you got against Belichick? Blah, blah, blah. Anyone ever say ‘Hey, Belichick, what do you got against Borges? What’s your problem with him? Have you had anything to do with this?’ No one ever, ever does it.”

Hey, Borges, why should people ask Belichick what he thinks about one of the reporters covering his team? How is this relevant? You are not the story. Belichick is the story. You are simply a medium through which the story is told. If Belichick has a problem with you…and he should…well, tough, who cares? If you have issues with Belichick and it affects your writing, well that is a problem, because every one of your readers care. Obviously, it corrupts your objectivity and your journalistic integrity.

Here’s why: Belichick’s job is to coach a football team. His opinion of a reporter does not affect his ability to do his job. Your job is to write about Belichick. Your opinion of Belichick does affect your ability to do your job. And, in this case, it affects your ability negatively.

That, Borges, is the difference between a story subject and the medium through which a story is told. Belichick is the former. You are the latter. Maybe a seat back in Journalism 101 might help you out a bit.

Borges is illogical
Borges believes Belichick gets more credit than he deserves. His argument is that New England?s players deserve more credit for the organization?’s success.

There’s certainly some merit to this argument. Belichick gets a large percentage of the credit for the team?s success. But, of course, Borges can’t legitimately make this argument without painting himself into a logistical little corner of his public doghouse.

Here’s why:
Borges says Indy’s Tony Dungy is a better coach than Belichick.
Borges says Indy’s Peyton Manning is a better quarterback than Brady.
Borges, as we have seen, believes New England drafts poorly.
Borges, as we have seen, believes New England doesn’t pay its players well.

Despite being handicapped by a second-rate coach and quarterback and by poor drafts and sub-standard payroll, New England stands two games removed from playing for an unprecedented third straight Super Bowl victory. This is the same organization that has just set every major winning streak in NFL history: it owns the record for longest regular-season win streak; longest overall win streak; and longest postseason win streak. Not bad for a team with all the problems Borges has identified.

Indy, for its part, has yet to reach a single Super Bowl and routinely gets hammered by New England.

Something has to give here, Borges. Either New England management picks better talent, the team has a better quarterback or it has a better coach. Based on the relative success of the two teams, at least two of those things have to go in New England?s favor.

You tell us which two.

Borges has brought shame and ridicule to his employer
Ultimately, employers have to make personnel decisions based upon the job their employees are doing.

In this case, and in the final argument, Borges should be fired because he does nothing but bring shame, embarrassment and public ridicule to the Boston Globe.

  • His knee-jerk negative response to virtually every move made by the New England Patriots organization does little to educate readers.
  • His personal vendetta against New England?s coach clouds his ability to report fairly.
  • He?s habitually inaccurate.
  • He beats up elderly, handicapped men.
  • He makes up things about the people he covers.
  • He makes culturally insensitive comments, a serious transgression at a newspaper that prides itself on its multicultural tolerance.
  • He insults the paper’s readers.
  • He misunderstands his role as a reporter.
  • He has painted himself into a logistical corner from which there is no way to emerge, except to admit defeat.
  • The Boston Globe’s reputation as a fair and accurate newspaper has suffered a damaging blow because of his reporting.
  • And, finally, Boston Globe readers deserve better than the Broadsheet Bully.

Sorry Borges. That doesn’t cut it anymore. Football fans are sick of your tired, old act. They now demand that the Boston Globe take action.

After years of listening to the Broadsheet Bully beat up on his subjects and insult his readers ? after years of watching Borges tie a noose around his very own reputation while being habitually and comically inaccurate – football fans have had enough. It’s time for his employer, the Boston Globe, to fire Ron Borges for incompetence – if only to save its own reputation, which is also taking a beating as Borges continues to bludgeon basic standards of journalism in an attempt to serve a personal agenda and vendetta.

It’s for this reason that and have teamed up today to call for The Boston Globe to fire Ron Borges. Firing Borges is the responsible thing to do.

CHFF Strikes Again

If you’re a football fan, you’re familiar with the website Cold Hard Football Facts. The site is a must read for their analysis, opinion, and most of all, their habit of exposing media members who aren’t truthful with the facts.

Today’s entry, entitled Boston media fails football fans is another must read entry from Kerry Byrne and company. With his permission, I’m reprinting large sections of this article here, but be sure to go and check out the entire article and website.

Remember…this not the entire article…there is more at the link above. The dashed lines just indicate sections I’ve snipped out for inclusion here.


For those of you who aren

Wednesday Links and Musings

Mixing things up a little bit on a Wednesday…

The Red Sox missed out on a great opportunity last night, falling to the Blue Jays 7-5 in the second game of the doubleheader. They had 3-0 and 5-2 leads in the game and couldn’t hold it. What makes it more frustrating is that the Yankees and Indians both also had rare losses and the Red Sox could’ve gone up a game on each. Get the stories on the Red Sox Daily Links page. Jon Couture looks at non-trades for the Red Sox this year that have worked out just fine. Alex Speier has Curt Schilling doubting himself after another rough start last night. Rob Bradford looks a David Ortiz once again coming up clutch…this time off the field.

Check out your Patriots headlines over at the Patriots Daily Links page . Dan Pires looks at the Patriots’ options with Rodney Harrison done for the season. Michael Parente looks ahead to the Chargers. A letter relating Tom Brady’s efforts to go out of his way towards a Make-a-Wish foundation patient makes up an article from Nick Cafardo this morning, which is a must-read.

Shira Springer has a feature on Celtics rookie Ryan Gomes, who hopes to settle into a starting position with the Atlantic Division champs.

Kevin Paul Dupont reports on Nick Boynton rejecting another offer from the Bruins. Stephen Harris reports that Sergei Samsonov is close to returning to the ice. Harris’ notebook recaps last night’s preseason game between the Bruins and Canadiens.

A few thoughts and items from the New England media this week.


On Sunday, Ron Borges in his NFL notes column led off with a section making the case for why Corey Dillon might be washed up. He did this after writing last Monday that it was far too soon for anyone to be making that assumption. Tom Curran called him out for this in a blog entry later that day. However that wasn’t the only item from Borges that has fellow media members questioning him. In the second section of the column, entitled “Caller ID: Brady on the line” Borges quotes a “defensive coach whose team has played the Patriots this season”. The coach says about the New England play calling:

"[Bill] Belichick doesn't even have a headset on, so how's he calling the plays? Smoke signals? If you think a 28-year-old kid [quarterback coach Josh McDaniels] is doing it, you don't understand much about Belichick."

Any fan who has watched the games realizes right away that this coach is incorrect in stating that Belichick doesn’t wear a headset. (This issue was curiously also discussed back in July by Nick Cafardo and Paul Attner, who stated that Belichick isolated himself on the sidelines.) Borges would obviously know this statement is incorrect as well, but he puts it in there anyway. Today Michael Felger calls out the statement commenting:

By the way: Is there really an opposing coach out there, as reported recently, who believes Belichick doesn't wear a headset during games? Is that for real? Anyone who pays attention just a little knows that Belichick never takes his headset off, save for a kneel-down at the end of a half.

Borges will tell you that he merely reports what others say. It is not his job to correct the quotes. To me, this is mind-boggling and irresponsible. For a factually incorrect statement to be allowed to stand in the paper without any sort of corrective context or statement undermines the credibility of the reporter and paper. If the unnamed coach had stated that Brady threw 50 interceptions last season, would the quote had been allowed to stand?

What’s worse for Borges and the Globe is that two reporters at rival papers have actually come on the record and basically ridiculed the content of the column. When has this happened before? The bottom line is that WEEI and internet shut-ins are not the only ones questioning the quality and quantity of the Patriots coverage in the Boston Globe. It has basically become a joke around town, and the Globe is content to sit back smugly with their measuring stick in hand and proclaim that they have the most and best Patriots coverage in the region.

When you’ve got rival papers mocking your coverage, you might want to re-examine your position.

Schilling’s Free Pass

I was asked last week if Curt Schilling deserves a free pass in Boston.

First of all, for the purposes of this site, is Schilling a media member? Obviously not. However, he is a hot topic in the media, with some circles holding the opinion that the guy does no wrong and is worthy of a complete “free pass” for what he did in helping bring the World Series Title to Boston.

How should the guy be covered by the media? That’s going to be more of how I answer here. So I as I mentioned, I was asked if he deserves a free pass.

I said absolutely. For on the field stuff. For what Curt Schilling the pitcher did for the Red Sox last season, I give him a total pass for anything on the field. He’s earned it. He can struggle this season, and even fail in the end, though I’m hoping for the best, and he will still be an untouchable in my eyes. I won’t criticize him one bit for any failings on the baseball field for the Boston Red Sox. The man gave us all he had last year, perhaps even his career.

That’s Curt Schilling, on the field, as a baseball player. Curt Schilling the man, once he steps off the baseball diamond – even into the clubhouse – he’s no longer infallible. He doesn’t have free pass in my mind to say and do whatever he wants and not be subject to criticism. Schilling isn’t afraid to speak his mind and is going to say some unpopular things. He usually is good when it comes to speaking about the ballclub, most of the time he’s not going to say anything that is going to put the team in a bad light. (Scott Williamson might disagree with me) That’s what makes this incident with the unnamed teammate so curious. That he would reveal to Bob Hohler how much this is galling him is baffling. That he would allow his wife to be brought into and comment on the matter is likewise curious. What is gained by this? Sean McAdam on FSN Tuesday night speculated that perhaps Schilling was using it as a means of motivation. To get himself charged up for the final week(s) of the season. Still, it brings unneeded heat and attention on a team already in the spotlight and pressure of a playoff chase. (More on Schilling in David Heuschkel’s notebook today.)

So the bottom line from me is that you won’t hear me knocking Schilling for anything he does on the field. He’s got a “free pass” there. Anything else, when he opens his mouth, he’s just another guy.

Old School Coach

Dale and Holley asked yesterday why Doc Rivers is referred to as an “old school coach” on those Celtics ticket promotions. On Sports Xtra Sunday night, Rivers answered that question in a sit-down with Joe Amorosino:

There are things that I think that have to be done the right way, and I think, that's where people get the 'old school coach' idea from, because I believe there are certain things you have to do to become a good teammate, and to become a good team, and I think we're starting that. And I can't...because our team is so young, I can't not allow them not to. I just can't. If this were a veteran team, you can let some of those things go, but with this team, you can't.

Hopefully that clears things up a little bit. He’s trying to instill old-school values into his young players.


  • WEEI continued to lob their own grenades in the direction of Morrissey Blvd over their Patriots coverage. Michael Holley questioned the placement of stories. Glenn Ordway ridicules the topic and placement of features and decries the lack of Patriots coverage. I agree to a certain extent. Yesterday the Globe had seven Red Sox and Baseball articles and two Patriots articles. This on a day in which the Red Sox were rained out the night before, and that the Patriots had lost one of their defensive and inspirational leaders in a huge conference win over a team they faced in the most recent AFC championship game. I think more than one Patriots story and a notebook was called for.

    Yet, the ironic thing is that the Schilling/unnamed teammate story dominated WEEI talk all day yesterday, not Patriots talk. Is WEEI really concerned about the Patriots coverage or are they trying to bully the Globe after being rebuffed once again in their efforts to bring the Globe writers onto the station?

  • If you’re looking for Patriots talk, The Drive on ESPN Boston with Mike (not Michael) Felger continues to impress. His lineup of guests is outstanding, with a variety of viewpoints and expertise, Mike Reiss is a regular and after the Rodney Harrison injury went through a list of possible roster replacements. Reiss and Felger could talk with insight on each of the candidates, something I don’t think you’d hear on 850. The weekly segment with Patriots punter Josh Miller is quickly becoming appointment radio. He even takes calls from the fans. Now if they could just do something about that signal and the online-streaming…
  • It’s again ironic that WEEI apparently tried to get the Globe writers around the same time that Felger and ESPN Boston were coming on the air. Trying to make a preemptive strike against a possible competitor?
  • CBS4 has relaunched their website, the idea to make it a place to also break news, as Bob Lobel did with the Rodney Harrison injury report on Monday. They also have a Red Sox Blog from Dan Roche.
  • Out in Los Angeles, Billy Witz says the Patriots are done. For the record, Jon Anik on 1510’s The Diehards also said on Tuesday that the Dynasty is over with the injury to Harrison.
  • In USA Today, Jon Saraceno has some interesting quotes from Phil Simms regarding Bill Belichick and his approach to injuries:

    "When we meet with NFL coaches (the day before games), many of them complain about injuries to us," Simms said. "Bill Belichick never

The State of The Boston Globe – Part Two

Bruce is out of town for a few days. This is the second of a two-part article looking at the current sports coverage by the Boston Globe. Today, we look at the football, basketball and other sports coverage, as well as a look at the job done by Sports Editor Joe Sullivan. If you’re looking for links to the Red Sox and Patriots stories, you can get some of them here:

Red Sox Daily Links

Patriots Daily Links

The State of the Boston Globe, August 2005. Part II

Football Coverage
Jerome Solomon
Nick Cafardo
Ron Borges (Boxing)
Adam Kilgore
Ron Indrisano
Mike Reiss?

While Snow has been great, I guess the jury is still out on Jerome Solomon, or is two games into the preseason too early to be passing judgment on a new beat writer? Hey, the media can tell us who is a bust by the time mini-camp rolls around, so maybe I

Bill Belichick and the New England Media

Around the country today, Bill Belichick is viewed as perhaps the best football mind in the game right now. His New England Patriots have won three out of the last four Super Bowl championships and have spawned a new wave of “Dynasty” talk, placing the team in the same echelon as the Packers of the 1960’s, Steelers of the 1970’s, 49ers of the 1980’s and Cowboys of the 1990’s. His teams play a smart, tough, efficient brand of football that is admired around the country, while at the same time the players for the most part are “character guys”, people who have avoided trouble off of the field.

You would think that with this organization in place, Belichick would be lauded nowhere more than in New England, where sports are taken as seriously as religion and politics. Curiously though, if you listen to some sports talk radio programs, or pick up newspaper articles by veteran NFL reporters, you’d think that Belichick was some sort of monster who mistreats people and is overseeing nothing more than a house of cards that is due to collapse at anytime. They constantly refer to his record in Cleveland, and most recently have started the chant that Belichick has won nothing without Tom Brady as his quarterback. You get the impression from these commentators that they would like nothing more than to see Belichick and the Patriots fail miserably.

On the other hand, you also have media members who go the completely opposite way in their treatment and coverage of the Patriots head man. In their eyes, he can do no wrong, every move is that of a genius and the mantra “In Belichick we trust” is their personal slogan. When a hot offense comes into town to face the Patriots, Bill Belichick will find a way to stop them. If there is a player out there on the scrap heap that no one else wants, Belichick will bring him in and make a player out of him. What has caused such polarization in the Boston sports media as regards this undeniably successful head coach?

When Bill Belichick resigned as “HC of the NYJ” after being appointed Bill Parcells’ successor, the Patriots didnt wait long to express their interest in him to take over their team. After some protracted negotiations with Parcells (a media favorite in New England) and the Jets, Patriots owner Bob Kraft eventually worked out a compensation package which allowed Belichick to take become the head coach of the team. Right around this time, certain media members started taking some shots at Belichick, likely because of his perceived disloyalty to the esteemed Parcells. Kevin Mannix of the Boston Herald infamously labeled Belichick “duplicitous pond scum” and a nighttime radio host on sports radio WEEI was also very vocal in his opposition to Belichick’s hiring, calling him “a despicable human being” (for which he later apologized). Michael Holley, then of the Globe, and a native of Ohio, also wrote a very negative article on the new coach. (Holley of course would later go on to write “Patriot Reign”)

Why the vitriol for someone who had just arrived in town? In addition to having crossed Parcells, who still can do no wrong in the eyes of many, there were still lingering stories among the media about Belichick’s tenure as head coach of the Cleveland Browns. The Cleveland media were only too happy to tell stories of Belichick as having been aloof, uncooperative and uncommunicative while having had to deal with him. To this day in fact, many of those Cleveland writers still sneer when his name is brought up. It would appear that many of the Boston writers were influenced by their Cleveland colleagues.

The Patriots went 5-11 in 2000, Belichick’s first year with the club, and while there was still a little grumbling about whether Belichick had the ability to be a successful head coach, for the most part things were pretty quiet. That spring, the team had used a sixth round draft pick on Michigan QB Tom Brady, who spent the season stashed away as the fourth quarterback, no one really paying much attention to him. After the 2001 draft, Belichick was criticized harshly by Globe writer Ron Borges for passing on receivers David Terrell and Koren Robinson in favor of defensive lineman Richard Seymour, sarcastically calling it a “genius move” in reference to Belichick’s reputation as a wizard with the playbook. He said that if you didn’t know better, “you’d think the Jets sent Bill Belichick north to destroy the Patriots from within.” The 2001 season started, and despite moving up to the backup position with a strong preseason showing, Brady seemed nothing more than a spare part behind the strongly entrenched Drew Bledsoe.

Drew Bledsoe had been the Patriots franchise quarterback since Parcells drafted him back in 1993. Over the course of his career, he was known for putting up big numbers, but also for making mistakes at the most crucial times. He was also known for standing in there?both in the pocket and in front of the press, where he always took full accountability for his miscues and faced the media without ducking the questions sent his way. This endeared him to some of the local media, who cultivated a strong relationship with him. Bledsoe was also very close to the Kraft family and was “in the loop” about many things going on “behind the scenes” with regard to the operations of the Patriots. He shared some of this information with some of the media members he was closest to. As a result, the media people always covered Bledsoe positively in their articles, even when he struggled, blaming it instead on his lack of weapons, or having had so many offensive coordinators over the years, or not having enough protection from his offensive line.

When Belichick took over, the “back channel” communications within the organization dried up. He insisted on being the voice of the Patriots, not allowing the press access to his assistant coaches, and limiting availability to his players, practice session and team executives. Even owner Bob Kraft, who had been out front and center in the past, now seemed to have disappeared. None of this pleased members of the press who had relied on these “sources” to compose their stories. The Patriots lost their first game of the season in Cincinnati and were on their way to defeat in the second game to the New York Jets when “it” happened.

Mo Lewis is held in some New England circles as a folk hero. It can be argued that the Jets linebacker’s massive hit on a scrambling Bledsoe in the fourth quarter of that game launched the Patriot dynasty. What is certain however is that the hit spelled the end of Drew Bledsoe’s tenure as the starter in New England, and also launched open season on Bill Belichick by certain members of the sporting press.

While Bledsoe was recovering from his internal injuries, which nearly cost him his life, Tom Brady stepped in and led the Patriots to a 5-2 record. There was considerable talk during this time on the radio, TV and in the papers about what would happen when Bledsoe was ready to return. While Bledsoe was out, some other things changed around the team. Bledsoe had always held his mid-week press conferences at a podium, where he was the focus, away from his teammates. Brady opted to hold his sessions at his locker, with his teammates around him in the room. Bledsoe talked during this time about when he recovered and got “his” job back. The medical staff declared Bledsoe fit to play, but on Monday, November 19, 2001, Belichick declared that Tom Brady was his starter for the “foreseeable future”.

This marked another very clear turning point in the relationship between Belichick and certain members of the press. By this time, many had taken their sides. They were either “Brady guys” or “Bledsoe guys.” Interestingly, many of the “Bledsoe guys” were the veteran reporters that had been around the team for some time. Guys like Ron Borges and Nick Cafardo of the Globe and Kevin Mannix of the Herald, men who had developed a strong relationship with the quarterback. The “Brady guys” were some of the younger, newer guys on the beat, such as Michael Felger of the Herald. The Bledsoe backers immediately cried foul at Belichick’s decision. Ron Borges wrote in the Boston Globe of November 22, 2001:

So the facts are simply these. He lied to Drew Bledsoe about what the competitive situation would be when the quarterback regained his health. There was no miscommunication. There was no misunderstanding. There was no hedging of the bet. He fibbed.

Whereas Borges had been somewhat critical, but at times supportive of Belichick up to this point, from that day until now, Borges has been on a seeming crusade to discredit everything the coach has done. Belichick had lied to his friend, Drew Bledsoe. Belichick had now crossed two of the media’s favorite people in Bledsoe and Parcells. Borges made numerous attacks of the coach and young quarterback for the remainder of the season. The Patriots made it all the way to the Super Bowl and as a show of his displeasure with the team, Borges in his pick for the game said that the Rams would win 73-0.

The Patriots of course won the Super Bowl, defeating the Rams in one of the most thrilling games in the history of the event. In the weeks following the win, Borges and cronies continued to try to discredit the victory and both Belichick and Tom Brady, saying that they only won by a field goal, and that Tom Brady?s winning drive was nothing special, as he didn’t even have to go half the field. Brady was dismissed as nothing more than a “system quarterback” who can only “throw sideways.”

That spring, Drew Bledsoe was traded to the Buffalo Bills. The critics had a field day on this one, criticizing Belichick for only getting one first round pick for the quarterback and worse, trading him within the same division. This they said, was the ultimate sign of Belichick’s arrogance, which would certainly come back to bite him. The Patriots went on to a 9-7 record in 2002, tying for the division lead and missing the playoffs by a tiebreaker. The critics were gloating. The Patriots were a one-year wonder. Brady was just a system quarterback. (Despite throwing for 28 TD’s and leading the league in that category) In addition, Bledsoe got off to a fast start in Buffalo, which just fueled the fire of the skeptics.

The following season, the Patriots signed safety Rodney Harrison in the offseason, and people wondered where they would play him, as they already had a top player at that position in Lawyer Milloy. The week before the Patriots regular season opener in Buffalo against Bledsoe and the Bills, Belichick announced that the team had released Milloy after failing to come to a contract adjustment. The critics were all over this. Kevin Mannix led off his column the next day in the Herald thusly:

Bill Belichick is pond scum again. Arrogant, megalomaniacal, duplicitous pond scum.

It was again open season on the Patriots coach. To top matters off, Milloy went off and immediately signed with the Bills, who then trounced the Patriots in the season opener, 31-0. ESPN analyst Tom Jackson made his infamous remark that the Patriots “hate their coach.”

Not much has gone wrong for the Patriots since that day, as they have only lost three games since and have won consecutive Super Bowl Championships. Yet the bashing and shots at Belichick continue. The Globe writers have written repeatedly about Belichick’s policies of not allowing his assistants to speak to the media, arguing that hindered their ability to get head coaching jobs. Yet this season, both of Belichick’s coordinators were hired as head coaches, Charlie Weis at Notre Dame and Romeo Crennel with the Cleveland Browns. Now that those two are gone, the critics question how Belichick will do without them. They still constantly bring up Belichick’s tenure in Cleveland, even recalling negative events from that period to use today, such as a piece that ran in the Sunday Globe this spring that brought up a time that Belichick supposedly scolded now-Dolphins coach, then Browns assistant Nick Saban for something he said to the media. We’re also reminded that the Patriots have won three Super Bowls by the margin of a field goal. As if that should somehow take away from the achievement.

It seemed like for a while there were weekly reminders in the some articles that Belichick’s career record was right around .500. The last two seasons have quieted that particular item, but the newest one that is heard daily on the Eddie Andelman show now is that Belichick has never won without Tom Brady, and that his record without Brady is 16 games under .500. I can tell you that right off the top of my head because it has been repeated so many times on that radio show. Of course, the irony here is that these are the same people (i.e. Borges) who were calling Brady a “system quarterback” a couple years ago and saying the team made a huge mistake in trading Bledsoe. Now he, not Belichick is the one most responsible for the success of the franchise. He is also accused of mistreating and underpaying his stars and heartlessly cutting players who have meant a lot to the franchise. This is an attempt to appeal to the emotions of the fans, who have attachments to the players. In reality, Belichick has yet to release a player who has gone on to really burn him. Most of the time, his assessments have been dead on, and the team’s salary cap has benefited as a result. Yet to writers such as Nick Cafardo, who pride themselves on getting close to players and agents in the game, the Patriots business-like manner of approaching things is distasteful. They would rather see “their guys” get taken care of. It seems like they have no concept of the salary cap.

It certainly seems curious that such a successful coach who seems to do things the “right way” would come under such constant negative scrutiny and criticism from certain people. Why do these people continue? At times they seem like the Black Knight from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” They have had all their arguments cut out from underneath them, yet they continue to stubbornly refuse to retreat. It can be traced back to a few things already mentioned. First, Belichick crossed their darlings, Bledsoe and Parcells. Secondly, they’ve gone this far in their stance, its too late to change now?besides they get attention they seem to crave so desperately by being “different” and standing out from the Belichick admiration. Third, Belichick has proven them wrong time after time, made them look foolish. For them this is enough reason to hate the man. Fourth, he doesn’t make their job easy. He doesn’t feed them “she” quotes and fill up their notebooks with glib quotes. Access is limited to his coaches, practices and team. The media is forced to do some work to get their stories. Some reporters thrive with this, (see Reiss, Mike) while others chafe and choose to complain instead. Fifth, things change in the NFL, this we know. At some point, the Patriots are likely to have a down year, or heaven forbid, suffer a key injury to someone they cannot afford to lose (Brady) or just get beaten by a superior team on a given day. When that day comes, you can be sure that the critics will be there, declaring that they were right all along. Bill Belichick is merely overseeing a house of cards up here in New England.

Bruschi, Blank & Borges

A number of Patriots articles this morning, as well as the news of the Red Sox deciding to call Fenway Park home for a long time to come. Barry Bond has a public meltdown, and the Celtics get back in action tonight in New York.

After representing himself for the last few years, Tedy Bruschi has hired agent Brad Blank. Ron Borges has the story, which should really come as no surprise, since Blank as been Borges’ agent in the past, and I assume that he still serves in that capacity. Borges speculates that Bruschi might sit out the upcoming season in order to make sure of his health situation. It could be that since Blank represents many media types in town, Bruschi could be looking for some advice in that area. Tom E Curran also has the story, however his is pretty much the same as Borges’ story, and in fact, a note at the bottom of the story says that “The Boston Globe contributed to this report.” Probably a way of Blank protecting his client, Borges, and making sure he gets the credits on this story. I say that because Mike Reiss has a note on the story, and in his account, Blank “refused comment when contacted”. If writers raise questions about Bill Belichick and Adam Vinatieri sharing the same agent…isn’t it fair to raise questions when writers share the same agent with players?

Borges has a second piece this morning, one that has Bill Belichick speaking about the release of Troy Brown, (“I love Troy Brown” the coach says.) who still could be back with the team later this summer. Belichick also talks about the coaching staff, and that they’re dividing the duties on offense and it’s not a given that he himself will be in charge of that side of the ball. Kevin Mannix reports on Scott Pioli winning the the George Young NFL Executive of the Year for the second year in a row. Mannix, quick to point out how Pioli can do better, says that the Patriots vice president of player personnel has some work to do.

They've always been deliberate and very selective in free agency, but this year they've stayed on the sidelines while other teams made moves and signed players. Championships are won in the fall and winter. Teams that win championships are built in the spring - through free agency and the draft.

I’m sure Pioli will take that reminder to heart, Kevin. Mannix also declares the 2004 draft a bust. Curran’s notebook also looks at Pioli receiving the award and looks at a number of other Patriots items, including the rumor that Ty Law has an offer to return to the Patriots. Curran’s line here regarding Law’s agent is good: “Perhaps Poston misunderstood.” Borges also mentions this rumor in an NFL Notebook he publishes from the NFL Meetings. Jonathan Comey looks at five questions around the Patriots at this time, and suggests that Ted Sarandis should be banned from the airwaves.

A major topic yesterday was the Red Sox commitment to stay at Fenway for the foreseeable future. Sean McAdam says that many of the players are happy with this decision. Jeff Horrigan also gets player reaction. Dan Shaughnessy looks at the decision, and makes reference to the “bag-job sale” of the Sox to the current ownership group, saying that when they took over, we couldn’t have imagined that we’d be here today knowing that Fenway would be around for a long time. This is a hit to Dan, who had mocked the “Save Fenway” crowd in the past. Paul Doyle also looks at the decision to stay in Fenway. Not everyone is happy with this decision. Eddie Andelman spent most of his WWZN show yesterday railing against the ownership and their decision to stay at Fenway. When a caller pointed out that Eddie would have been part of a rival group that wanted to own the team and that his bitterness could stem from that, Eddie acknowledged that he would’ve been involved, and that they would’ve built a new park. He then hung up on the caller. He made some strong statements about the situation, including a rant about the bathrooms, and how people just accept what they’re given by the ownership. He said:

People are starting to be like sheep. They’re starting to listen to how…this is how Jim Jones got people to commit suicide, this is how Hitler got people to do things, they have great public relations, they make speeches, but they’re empty speeches…clean up the bathrooms! You know something…I want Larry the Lobster to go to the bathroom there in the 7th inning. I want him to have two boiled cabbages and go down there. (Other voice: “I have a feeling he doesn’t need use those bathrooms”, then back to Eddie) Yeah, and then he tries to pass himself off as an owner…that fraud.

I’m not sure if comparing the owners of the Red Sox to Jim Jones and Adolph Hitler is exactly PC, but probably not enough people heard it to make it a public outrage. Just so there is no confusion, that is a word-for-word transcript. Speaking of ballparks, Kevin Gray has a look at the new home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the new stadium in Manchester, appropriately called Fisher Cats Ballpark. It looks like its going to be a great place to watch a game. The other story of yesterday was Barry Bonds. Gordon Edes and Tony Massarotti report on Bonds announcing he’ll be out until at least midseason, and perhaps he won’t ever come back. He blames the media for wearing him down. John Tomase says that winning it all has made the Red Sox very boring to cover this spring. Howard Bryant (subscription only) says that the Red Sox should get a honeymoon season after ending the 86-year drought, but it isn’t likely to happen. David Heuschkel and David Borges look at Johnny Damon returning to the lineup…clean shaven. Horrigan’s notebook has Curt Schilling looking to push up his return date…not to opening day though. McAdam’s notebook has more on Damon. Heuschkel’s notebook and Chris Snow’s notebook looks at the improvement in the health of pitcher Wade Miller. Borges’ notebook has more on Schilling.

Peter May wonders if Antoine Walker can finish in the top five in the voting for NBA MVP. Gabe Kahn feels that Celtics fans need to get a grip. This team isn’t winning the NBA title or even the Eastern Conference. He acknowledges they have become one of the top teams, but they’re not better than Miami. Steve Bulpett has a few Celtics players commenting on the struggles of Jim O’Brien and the Philadelphia 76ers. May’s notebook says that Gary Payton should be good to go for tonight. Bulpett’s notebook raises the real possibility of the Celtics introducing an “alternative” jersey for next season, which would include some black and a “more updated look.”

Top Five Links from Yesterday

1) Kevin Mannix (Patriots opener)
2) David Heuschkel (Theo Epstein’s trade of Dave Roberts)
3) Jeff Horrigan’s notebook (Francona not condoning Kim bashing)
4) Ron Borges (Patriots can chuck this hope)
5) Jeff Horrigan (Mirabelli’s comments on Kim)

FSN has Celtics/Knicks at 7:30. ESPN has Pistons/76ers at 8:00 and Mavericks/Warriors at 10:30. ESPN2 has NIT coverage.

Media Madness

Thanks to Tony Massarotti for the on-air order yesterday to publish that Michael Holley will be named Dale Arnold’s co-host for the WEEI midday program starting on March 1st. Whether this is actually true or not, I do not know at this point, but Tony Mazz ordered Bruce Allen to publish that information on his website, so that’s what I’m doing. I did not actually hear the remark, but I’m told it had a bit of an edge to it. Afterwards, Tony made a comment along the lines that he knows that Holley will get the job. (The comment was along the lines of

Squib Kicks

An MLK Day edition of BSMW. I took the opportunity to get some sleep this morning. A bit of a changeup today, as I’m sure most of you have read the stories by now. If not, click on the “Newspaper Sports Sections” link to the left and you can browse all the local papers and read their take on things.

Don’t forget to check out the BSMW Rear View column by Scott A Benson.

Interns running the asylum?

Last night I mentioned the incident where Borges was shown picking the Patriots in the Globe on Friday and the Colts Sunday and saying on the air that he didn’t make the pick that was in his name on Friday. In regards to those NFL picks made by the Globe writers, a former Globe employee emailed me to tell me how the process actually works.

Anyway, the picks are due by Thursday morning, they put together those football pages first thing that night because there's no deadline stories. If the picks are not in, a copy editor will make them. For years, Will McDonough's picks were made by a copy editor. I don't want to say his name because he's a good guy, but it always bothered me because people base their bets on these picks and McDonough was so well-respected football-wise. Borges and Cafardo sent them in sometimes, but forget many others, especially Borges. Sometimes, Joe Sullivan would make Borges' picks, sometimes a copy editor would and a few times, even a co-op or intern would. It's sad really because people take their picks seriously. Borges once said in the office that he barely looks at anything when he does make the picks.

So Borges wasn't lying when he said he didn't pick the Pats. I agree with you, though, that it's unethical that the Globe allows that. Especially the same paper that started World War 3 over the Boston City League reporting incorrect scores five or six years ago to keep from embarrassing losing teams. (example, Dorchester loses to English, 99-24 in hoops and they report the score, 66-40, or something.)

Kind of two-sided.

That’s pretty interesting, no? Yes, it’s a minor thing, the picking of sporting events…but where else are they doing things like this? Do they do it in the news section? Movie reviews? Is this just the tip of the iceberg?

Pathetic Prognosticators, take II

It seems that some have taken the comments that I made last night and tried to spin them that I’m mad at anyone who would dare pick against my beloved Patriots…thus trying to make me into just another Yahoo fan…

Let me state this clearly. I have no problems with people who pick against the home team. In fact, I think this Sunday’s game will present many problems for the Patriots and expect many Steelers predictions. My problem is with the so-called experts who get paid big bucks to make picks and who instead of giving any kind of thoughtful, reasoned out analysis, instead try to be outrageous, bring attention to themselves, go with the crowd, or bring mindless statements to the table. (“Peyton Manning is unstoppable.” or “This is Peyton’s year.”) These are the people that are worthy of contempt. Especially during the playoffs when there are no longer 32 teams to cover, but instead 12, 8, 4, or 2. They can spend more time on each time and come up with better analysis. But they don’t.

FOX lowers the bar again

Reader Steve from Maine has the following to say about Joe Buck and the FOX network’s treatment of Randy Moss:

Let me start out by saying that from what I