B’s, C’s Fall

Both the Bruins and Celtics were in action last night and both fell short in the end.

First, the Bruins dropped a 4-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Banknorth Garden. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins played fairly well, but the Sabres played with desperation. Fluto Shinzawa has the Sabres making a statement with their play last night.

Rich Thompson notes that a couple of “gray area” goals did in Tim Thomas last night.

Harris’ notebook has the Bruins looking into a new concussion treatment plan for Andrew Alberts and Patrice Bergeron. Shinzawa’s notebook has a look at a rough night for Dennis Wideman.


Out in Cleveland, playing without Kevin Garnett once again, the Celtics defense took the night, losing 114-113 to LeBron James and Cavs. Peter May is pretty harsh on the Celtics after this one, probably because he hasn’t had a whole lot to complain about thus far this season. Steve Bulpett has the Celtics hard on themselves for their performance on the defensive end.

May’s notebook has Ray Allen open to the idea of going to the All Star game as an injury replacement. Bulpet’s notebook has Paul Pierce and LeBron James taking different approaches to the fourth quarter of games now.


On Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp wonders if he might have to give up his Patriots merit badges.

Yeah, we’ll do some Patriots links today. Limited. Nothing from the Herald. I didn’t see anything of value in there anyway, at least from browsing the headlines. And we certainly won’t be looking over Dan Shaughnessy’s picked up pieces from the Super Bowl. You guys are all on your own for those links.

Christopher L. Gasper has Bill Belichick already moving on to the 2008 season. Joe McDonald also has Belichick taking a forward-looking approach to things. Glen Farley has more from Belichick on moving on. Jeff Howe also has Belichick looking ahead, rather than behind.

Shalise Manza Young can’t quite figure out the Man of mystery that is Bill Belichick. Tania deLuzuriaga and Laurel J. Sweet report on Willie Andrews getting busted for pot possession yesterday in Lowell. Gasper’s notebook has Belichick explaining his walk off the field with a second left on Sunday.

Gordon Edes and Amalie Benjamin report on the Red Sox re-signing Bobby Kielty yesterday, a move that would seem to indicate that the Sox are still planning on trading Coco Crisp.


Donaldson Checks in at HDH, Buy Simmons’ Moss Jersey on eBay

A couple of notes to pass along here.

If Tina Cervasio is really headed to a TV station in New York, then it’s only fair that we take one of theirs. Meet Julie Donaldson, your new WHDH Channel 7 sports anchor. Donaldson comes over from SportsNet New York, and is also a former Miss Florida USA.

No word yet on if she’s bumping someone out at HDH, though Dave Briggs has been spending an awful lot of time on Comcast SportsNet as of late…

After wrestling with the decision as to whether he should take it home and burn it, you can now buy Bill Simmons’s Randy Moss Jersey on eBay. The money is going to The Jimmy Fund.

Still Not Moving On Yet

Nope, not ready yet.

After a quick glance at the headlines, I’m still not ready to read articles like Time for classless Belichick to eat some humble pie.

Why would I be interested in reading a piece of bile like that? Is it going to enlighten me in any way?

Nope, it’s just another guy who has been lying in the weeds waiting for this opportunity to unleash his stored up venom on the Patriots and Belichick.

I probably shouldn’t have even linked it, as many of you will click on it, and the writer will feel like he’s on track for his long-awaited Pulitzer.

Look, I said it on Sunday night, and I’ll say it again. Give the Giants all the credit in the world. They won this game. They imposed their will on the Patriots. This was no karma coming back to bite the Patriots, or any comeuppance for past actions. You suggest that, and you’re insulting the New York Giants. By eagerly jumping on the chance to insult Belichick and the Patriots, these clowns are really insulting the Giants.

I will pass along this article that was sent to me overnight, Gregg Patton tells us that ” It’s still New England’s dynasty. The Giants are just passing through.”

Over on Patriots Daily, Christopher Price checks in with a season-ending edition of Inside Gillette, examining the future of a number of key Patriots contributors.

We’ll also give the always steady Mike Reiss some link love on his piece looking at the offseason decisions looming for the Patriots.

Jessica Heslam reports that the game was a huge ratings winner for FOX25.

Check the rest of the Patriots stories from today on PatriotsLinks.com.


Kevin Garnett is still feeling the effects of his abdominal strain, and may miss his return to Minnesota as the end of this week. Julian Benbow says that it is just as well, as the Timberwolves have made no plans to honor the player who was the face of their franchise for over a decade and is the teams career leader in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. Tim Weisberg says that thus far, the Celtics have been able to take their injury woes in stride. Mark Murphy has the Celtics taking some lessons from the Patriots demise, knowing that the Championship torch is now being passed to them to run with.

Bill Doyle has a look at Rajon Rondo, and how his quick mind and feet are huge assets to the Celtics. Interesting that the start of the article talks about stealing signs from the opponents…no outrage? It’s been 15 years since Johnny Most passed away, but he is still remembered by all that heart him. Shirley Coshatt remembers Most today on the BSMW Full Court Press. The Celtics are out in Cleveland tonight to take on the Cavs, Peter May examines how LeBron James is a one-man show out there, keeping the Cavs in the race all by himself. The Herald has two articles tagged as notebooks today, one with an update on Kevin Garnett and his injury and the other on Brian Scalabrine, who is expected to start for Garnett again tonight.


Stephen Harris has the Bruins secretly harboring Stanley Cup dreams for this season. Barbara Matson profiles Czech import Vladimir Sobotka, who has made an impact in 23 games with the Bruins, despite not scoring a goal.

In the Beanpot last night, Jeff Horrigan and Fluto Shinzawa report on Harvard reaching its first final since 1998, while Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and John Connolly have BC knocking off BU for the right to face Harvard in the final.

Rich Thompson has Northeastern coach Greg Cronin apologizing for his team’s performance last night. Connolly’s notebook and the Globe notebook each look at Ted Donato getting his Harvard squad into the final.

Moving On…Sort Of…

For those of you interested in revisiting the events of last night, Scott Benson has a look at the loss and what the future holds for the Patriots over at Patriots Daily.

David Scott also has a post mortem edition of Scott’s Shots, looking at the aftermath of the loss.

If you really want to get into the stories of today, I can refer you over to PatriotsLinks.com or even to the New York Sports Pages.

After an extremely fitful night of sleep, I’m not quite ready to move on, but I’ll get there eventually. I’m not ready to turn on the television, or visit any newspaper or sports web site (especially ESPN). Sports radio is off the agenda as well. Seems like the sane thing to do.

February is going to be a pretty busy month here at BSMW, as I’ve got a few things planned for what is traditionally a slow sports month. Stay tuned for more details…

Go Celtics.

New York Giants – Super Bowl Champions

Congratulations to the New York Giants, who put together a great game plan and played their hearts out tonight, defeating the heavily favored and previously unbeaten Patriots.

New York was in Tom Brady’s face the entire night, forcing the Patriots record-setting quarterback into many hurried and misthrown passes. Eli Manning came out fully from behind his big brother’s shadow, winning a championship of his own, tossing the winning pass with just 35 seconds left in the game.

It would be a shame if some put this loss down to comeuppance and karma coming back to the Patriots for the camera scandal and other events that people have found fault with the franchise for.

To do that would take away from what the Giants accomplished tonight, which was nothing short of amazing.

Congratulations again to them. They deserve full credit for this win.

I have a feeling most of you probably won’t feel like reading about sports today, or for perhaps a few days to come. I know I don’t.

Championship Sunday

(Super Sunday links are brought your way by guest blogger Bob Ekstrom. Reach him at bob02878@yahoo.com).

Rise and shine, New England. Time to get another Championship Day started, the third and final of a memorable 2007 as the Patriots look to follow the path of the Red Sox and avoid that of the Revolution. The winning path seems a bit more clearly delineated this morning after Senator Arlen Specter’s strangely-timed initiation of Spygate II days ago. The Giants will no doubt remember the fallout of Spygate I, when the Chargers became the first in a string of casualties that have led the Patriots to history’s door. Now, they have Specter pushing it open.

As with every Sunday morning, Scott Benson and the staff over at Patriots Daily bring you all the local Patriots coverage in Sunday’s Links. Grab your coffee and head over there; we’ll be here with some national coverage when you get back.

And what better place to start than in Arlen’s house. The Inquirer’s Bob Ford tries to convince himself and all of Philly that the 2007 Patriots don’t make honorable mention in his list of the greatest teams of all time. Ashley Fox thinks the Patriots themselves provide the best blueprint for an underdog to succeed in the Super Bowl. Bob Brookover finds one native that hasn’t been brainwashed into thinking the Patriots’ Super Bowl XXXIX victory over the Eagles was fixed, that being South Philly native and Pats’ fullback Kyle Eckel. On the other side of Arlen’s district, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gene Collier examines the Belichick vs. Coughlin match-up.

In the Big Apple, the Daily News’ Ralph Vacchiano says the Giants are ready for their shot at immortality, while Mike Lupica says tonight’s game is guaranteed to be unforgettable. At the Post, Paul Schwartz says the Jints cannot lose tonight, while Mike Vaccaro offers 42 reasons why they won’t. Steve Serby sees the Giants as some modern-day Persian emperor, bringing home the heads of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to parade them throught the streets. Are you ready for tonight yet? In Newark, the Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi has a placeholder ready for Big Blue in the list of the greatest upsets ever. Jerry Izenberg offers an entertaining and first-hand look at the commercialization of the Super Bowl over his 42 years of coverage. And straddling the Giants/Patriots border, the New Haven Register’s Joe Amarante finds the super glue that binds both sides.

Okay, back to reality. Here’s a shocker from Miami, as the Herald’s Dan Le Batard thinks that, win or no win today, the Patriots season is already more impressive than that of the 1972 Dolphins. Better stuff some spare tires in the trunk, Dan, because tormer Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson’s comments that a win puts Belichick’s season at the top in the annals of NFL coaching has him in a heap of trouble with those ’72 Dolphins. From Indianapolis, the Star’s Bob Kravitz cannot be more emphatic: forget about any upset today. Out west, the Union-Tribune’s Michael Stetz tells San Diego that tonight’s game should not compel them out of football hibernation, as the memories will be painful.

And since we’re looking to crown them as world champions, let’s see what a couple of international outlets are saying about our hometown team. The London Times has the Patriots as the most polarizing force in the States since the Civil War, but says they’ll be champs again sometime in the small hours of Monday morning. The Sydney Morning Herald gives ten reasons why the Super Bowl is can’t miss viewing, and the top three are because of your New England Patriots.


The Bruins availed themselves of their last opportunity to fly under the radar of football-frenzied Hub fans, falling 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings at TD Banknorth Garden last night. Despite the loss, Stephen Harris says the B’s turned in an admirable effort against the NHL’s best. Fluto Shinzawa has the B’s playing a perfect first period, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Red Wings winning streak, now at seven. Barbara Matson says the Bruins may have missed their chance in the second period, which included a fruitless 5-on-3 power play.

Bud Barth says that, at 6-2-1 over their last nine games, the B’s are headed in the right direction. In Harris’ Bruins Notebook, goalie Tim Thomas recounts the three goals he surrendered as the Red Wings snapped his career-best five-game winning streak. Shinzawa’s Bruins Notebook has B’s forward Marco Sturm becoming the NHL’s iron man among German natives.

Red Sox / MLB

It may have been too late, but Art Davidson has former Haverhill High School slugger Carlos Pena’s remarkable turnaround anything but too little, as he posted some staggering numbers with the Tampa Bay – drop the Devil – Rays in 2007, after finishing out the previous season in Boston.

As all of Red Sox Nation breathes a sigh of relief, Nick Cafardo gives Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman credit for not pulling off a Johan Santana deal. Michael Silverman says it’s good to be young, philosophies shared by both the Red Sox and Yankees front offices.

Be sure to stay tuned to BSMW for all the accounts on tonight’s big game. In the meantime, may Boston champagne bottles overflow as those of New York – and Miami – remain corked.

Here we go again

Saturday Links from Brian. Email him at bopes21102@yahoo.com.

Just when you thought Spygate was over, it rears it’s ugly head yesterday. Since the outset of this controversy back in September, a few media and football sources such as Tom Curran of NBCSports.com and formerly of the Providence Journal, have briefly alluded toward rumors that the Patriots taped the Rams final walkthrough before the Super Bowl in 2002. Yesterday, news of a former disgruntled Patriots employee Matt Walsh surfaced in a New York Times report questioning Roger Goodell’s destruction of the tapes confiscated by the NFL. Wouldn’t you know it, one day later, John Tomase has an “unnamed source” who confirms a member of the video/scouting department stayed behind after the Pats walkthrough and team photo to tape the Rams walkthrough. I don’t want to give this story too much play the day before the Super Bowl, but the storylines here are endless. Goodell claims the tapes destroyed were from the 2006 season and 2007 preseason, and that there was no evidence any of the tapes helped them in the Super Bowl victories, per Dan Ventura’s piece, and Mike Reiss’ hit on yesterday’s comments. But with Tomase’s story today, one has to wonder if there are more tapes that were not turned over, or did Goodell know about this and not want to put a black eye on the league? Furthermore, what is the credibility of this Matt Walsh, whose timing could best be described as curious? IMO, media members can speculate all they want and get unnamed sources until they’re blue in the face, but if there is no evidence, it’s all hearsay at this point.

Mike Florio over at ProFootballTalk.com discusses the fallout from the Herald piece today, particularly the frenzy to interview Rams from the 2001 team, but more importantly, that if there was any doubt the Patriots were going to win this game tomorrow, there no longer is and all this weak Plaxico-guarantee talk will take a much-needed backseat to the allegations of cheating on the eve of the game that began this dynasty. Steve Buckley claims Senator Arlen Specter, who brought this issue to the forefront once again, has a point in claiming Goodell’s actions underscore a cover-up, despite his obvious conflict of interest as a die-hard Eagles fan. My final thought on this; regardless of what the national media and public say about past Super Bowls, the Pats aren’t taping anyone this year under heavy scrutiny from the league, and thus far, have put forth the most dominant season in NFL history. Nothing will change that. I apologize for this, as I went into this with every intention to not give Spygate more play than the Bowl, but these stories were given heavy play in Boston, and duty calls. I’ll end this thought with Tony Massarotti’s piece on how everybody wants to attack you when you’re on top. Amen.

Over at Patriots Daily, Scott Benson recaps a crazy week in Arizona.

Oh yea, the game tomorrow. Karen Guregian has the Pats defensive front enjoying being overlooked with all the attention focused on the Giants front four. Mike Lowe also has Richard Seymour enjoying football for himself once again, as well as appreciating his return to the Super Bowl after being spoiled in his early years. Rob Bradford takes a look at the nasty, dirty tactics used in the trenches between offensive and defensive linemen, especially during fumbles. Rich Garven touches on the challenge Brady and the offense face against a very talented Giants secondary that has stepped up in the postseason. Christopher Gasper has a piece on the Pats dominance in the fourth quarter, particularly entering the 4th with a lead under Bill Belichick. Jim Donaldson has a great piece on Joel Collier, Pats defensive backs coach, lamenting the downfall of proper tackling in football over the years, hoping to correct one of the Pats few weaknesses this season. Mark Farinella has coverage of Belichick’s final presser, with BB saying he thinks the team is ready for Sunday, touching on his relationship with Bill Parcells, as well as a few other broader, league matters. But not Spygate, of course. David Heuschkel has more on Belichick’s final presser. Jackie MacMullan talks to a few of the departed former Patriots, asking them if they miss the success they had in New England. Dan Pires has Tom Brady not denying the significance of this game and what it means on many levels.

Many of the local outlets have nice pieces on individual players today, with Shalize Manza Young starting us off with an uplifting piece on Tedy Bruschi’s journey. Hector Longo has a story of Larry Izzo’s long journey as an undrafted rookie free agent to All-Pro special teamer in his fourth Super Bowl. Nick Taveres has more on Izzo’s understanding of his role with the Pats and desire to be on a winner versus maxing out every last cent. Robert Lee has Junior Seau hoping to add the last piece to his storied career; a Super Bowl ring. David Heuschkel has more on Seau’s decision to return this season and how a win would be the ultimate joy for him. I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired of listening to Matt Cassel talk about how ready he is to play every day, and wanting to get in the Super Bowl, per Lee’s piece here. Nick Taveres takes a look at the forgotten Patriot, Troy Brown, and his journey with the Patriots. Frank Dell’Apa has more on Brown’s long, strange journey in the NFL. Dell’Apa also touches on the versatility of Mike Vrabel, and how that makes him the perfect fit for the Patriots system. Rob Bradford has Vrabel supporting Andre Tippett’s nomination for the Hall of Fame this weekend. Amidst the guys who have been here before, Dan Ventura has a piece on the experiences of the first-timers this Super Bowl week. David Brown has a feature on Laurence Maroney’s ire toward the same reporters who doubted him when he was “tap-dancing” early in the season.

Ah, what would this weekend be without comments from the 1972 Dolphins. Just go play golf or cards or something. Just go away, you all come off as bitter, bored old men. Gasper has more petty, rambling comments from a few members of the Dolphins in his notebook. Mike Lowe has more on the Dolphins readying themselves for company in perfection. Dom Amore has more on the potential for two perfect teams. Mark Farinella has Jim Brown speaking to the Patriots before practice at the request of friend Bill Belichick. Longo’s notebook has more on Brown’s appearance at the final practice yesterday. Guregian’s notebook has Belichick pleased about where his team is from a preparation standpoint, and touches on the short injury report for the Pats. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Brown’s speech and the final practice session.


Dom Amore has yet another piece on the Giants coaching tree, including comments from Coughlin and Belichick on their relationship working together. Jim McCabe has a piece on local guy Brandon London, a Framingham native on the Giants practice squad, whose job has been to play Randy Moss. Amore has Plaxico Burress missing practice again yesterday with both ankle and knee injuries, officially listed as questionable. Amore has more on the kinder Coughlin this season and where it has gotten them.

Whew. That’s all I got for today. For coverage of the Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins, check out RedSoxLinks.com, CelticsLinks.com, and BruinsLinks.com. Feel free to shoot me any comments at bopes21102@yahoo.com. Enjoy the weekend, be safe, and go Pats!

Friday’s National Links

If you missed your Bruins stories this morning, you can go to BruinsLinks.com to read the coverage of the Bruins 4-1 win over the first place Ottawa Senators.

Aaron Schatz has the Football Outsiders Super Bowl Preview, calling it the biggest mismatch in Super Bowl history.

Michael Silver picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl before the season started, Is he really going to pick the Giants now? Michael McCarthy says that Brady and the Patriots are prime targets for naysayers. Tom E. Curran says that with a win on Sunday, Bill Belichick goes down as the greatest coach in NFL history. He also has Belichick’s 10 phrases to live by. In Miami, Armando Salguero tries to figure out if Belichick is a genius or jerk.

Bill Simmons has his Patriots/Giants prediction. He also has a Super Bowl edition of the links. The guy who does less with more access than anyone, Peter King has some Hall of Fame and Super Bowl thoughts. John Czarnecki says that even if the Patriots go 19-0, they won’t be the greatest team ever. Mark Kriegel says that Tom Brady is everything that Bill Belichick is not. Jarrett Bell looks at the relationship of the pair as they go for history on Sunday. Bells also says that Belichick’s greatness is in the details.

SI.com’s NFL writers make their Super Bowl Picks. ESPN has their analysts picks spread across two different pages. Some things are just too predictable. There is the first page where Merril Hoge picks the Giants. and the second page, where Gregg Easterbrook picks the Giants because they won 17 years ago. He also calls it “the most recent major Super Bowl upset.” Patriots over Rams wasn’t an upset? Wright Thompson? 35-3 Giants? (Yes, I know he is joking.) Gene Wojciechowski has 15 reasons the Patriots will win.

Mike Wilkening says that Laurence Maroney is a star in the making. Jim Trotter looks at how a diaper jump-started Maroney’s season. Troy Aikman says that the Giants need to stop Wes Welker. Chris Hanson doesn’t feel like answering dumb questions from Clark Judge.

Dan Wetzel brings absolutely nothing to table in his effort to explore whether the Patriots past victories are tainted by Spygate. Mike Celizic opens with “The Giants can win this football game, and anybody who doesn’t see that either just fell off the turnip truck or simply hasn’t been paying attention.”

Yes, he actually wrote that.

A few media columns: John Maffei and David Barron have FOX dreaming of a 50 rating for the Super Bowl. Dave Darling offers some suggestions for improving the Super Bowl. Neil Best has the New York media showing up in force in Arizona. Jay Posner says that we’ll see plenty of showbiz on Sunday. Bob Wolfley runs down the entertainment and schedule for Sunday. Phil Mushnick says that the tradition of Super Bowl parties is being killed by the NFL pushing the start time back further and further.

More “Look At Me!”

The New York Times reports that Senator Arlen Specter wants the N.F.L. to explain why the Patriots’ Spygate tapes were destroyed. Apparently he’s finally finished working on the single bullet theory.

Specter, an Eagles fan who regularly calls a sports talk radio show in Philadelphia, wants to call NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell before the Senate Judiciary Committee (of which Specter is the ranking member) to be questioned about the tapes as well as about the NFL’s antitrust exemption in relation to its TV contract.

Apparently these are now pressing issues that the government needs to address.

Dale Arnold said this morning that Specter told the Dan Patrick radio show that he sent his first letter to the NFL just before the Patriots played the Eagles this season, and also inquired if the scandal would’ve had an impact on the Patriots victory over the Eagles in the Super Bowl in 2005.

No self-interest there.

Celtics Interrupt Super Week

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Super Bowl week to bring you news of another big win from your Boston Celtics, who seem poised to carry on the streak of championship-level sports play from your local franchises.

Playing once again without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics got 26 points each from Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, while James Posey blanketed Dirk Nowitzki down the stretch, coming up with huge defensive stops when needed, giving the Celtics a 96-90 win over the now 31-14 Dallas Mavericks. Point guard Rajon Rondo had 14 point, and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, including a huge offensive putback in front of Nowitzki which gave the Celtics the lead for good at 92-90.

Steve Bulpett notes that the win pushed the Celtics to 13-0 against the Western Conference this season. Marc J. Spears says that the Celtics know how the West is won. Scott Souza says that this was a major statement game for the Celtics. Bill Doyle highlight’s Rondo’s game winner for the Celtics.

Peter May says that the Celtics can afford to give Garnett the time he need to get healthy right now, but they will need him back at some point. Jeff Howe says that the Celtics aren’t going to rush KG back into action. Rich Thompson has Paul Pierce getting named to the Eastern Conference All Star squad, while Ray Allen is snubbed in favor of Atlanta’s Joe Johnson. Tim Weisberg says that not making the All Start team is OK with Allen since he’s playing with a team with a chance to win a championship. Thompson has James Posey making the difference down the stretch last night for the Celtics. Lenny Megliola looks at the improbable path to the NBA for former Northeastern star Jose Juan Barea.

Spears’ notebook has more on Pierce getting the All Star nod, while remaining puzzled at Allen’s snub. Bulpett’s notebook has Rajon Rondo making the Sophomore squad at the Rookie Challenge, while Glen Davis was left off the rookie squad. Doyle’s notebook has more on Pierce’s selection to the All Star team.

We now return you to wall-to-wall Patriots Super Bowl coverage…


First, the important stuff. Do you have your food and drink menu’s lined up for Super Bowl Sunday? If not, the crew from Patriots Daily has a number of suggestions for you from their staff favorites.

With the Patriots sitting at 18-0, David Scott lists out his 18 oh-no’s of Super Bowl coverage this week.

How predictable was this? Dan Shaughnessy says that even if the Patriots finish off a perfect 19-0 season, this is still a Red Sox town and the perfect season won’t measure up with the 2004 World Series Championship in terms of local sports events.

John Powers examines Tom Brady’s path to greatness. Robert Lee also looks at Brady’s rise to the top. Tony Massarotti looks at the “other” Brady, Kyle. Mark Farinella has Kyle Brady quietly getting the job done for the Patriots. Jennifer Toland also focuses on Kyle. Josh Egerman has Dante Scarnecchia withstanding the test of time with the Patriots.

Jackie MacMullan reminds us that Asante Samuel will be a rich man after this season, though probably not with the Patriots. I’m sure we’re all waiting for Jackie’s weekend feature article which will have some unhappy player, coach or executive taking shots at the Patriots and attempting to mute some of the joy of the weekend. Nick Tavares has Samuel focused on the Giants, not free agency. Michael Felger is glad that the Patriots and their coaches are forced to talk to the media during Super Bowl week because it makes their jobs a whole lot easier. David Brown says that Bill Belichick is not all business, all the time. Tom Puleo has a feature on former Patriot Tebucky Jones and the huge role he has in his community.

John Tomase has the Patriots buying into the high standards that Bill Belichick sets for them. With the players done talking for the week, Massarotti looks at them getting back to work. Farinella has the Patriots heading into seclusion for their final preparations. Rob Bradford looks at strength coach Mike Woicik, who is going for his seventh Super Bowl ring. Brown tabs Josh McDaniels as a rising coaching star. David Heuschkel has more on McDaniels. Shalise Manza Young has Don Davis fitting nicely into his new role with the Patriots.

Christopher L. Gasper notes how well the Patriots have taken care of the football this season. John Tomase matches up the Patriots and Giants head to head for Sunday. Mike Reiss talks to San Diego’s Antonio Cromartie about shutting down Randy Moss. Karen Guregian says that versatility is probably the Patriots biggest strength. Lee has Rodney Harrison enjoying every moment of this Super Bowl week.

Michael Vega has Adalius Thomas viewing this as his first real Super Bowl, as he was just a rookie reserve on Baltimore’s 2000 Super Bowl champion team. Ventura has more on Thomas getting a second chance at the Super Bowl. Guregian has the team looking forward to Junior Seau‘s pregame sermons. Bradford has Brady’s ankle injury being called a non-factor for the game. Lee has Richard Seymour still mending, but ready for a big game against the Giants.

Steve Buckley says that people should stop bring up the name Scott Norwood. Who is talking about Scott Norwood? Jim Donaldson has Stephen Gostkowski unfazed by the legend of Adam Vinatieri. Frank Dell’Apa has a look at punter Chris Hanson, who talks about coming to the Patriots this season. Dan Ventura has defensive line coach Pepper Johnson talking about his experience with the 1990 Giants, but also about the mindset of the Patriots. Egerman says that Johnson brings intensity to the Patriots sideline. Buckley has Ellis Hobbs getting a second shot at Plaxico Burress.

Gasper’s notebook has Jabar Gaffney hopeful that he’ll be able to go in the Super Bowl. Guregian’s notebook has Logan Mankins and Richard Seymour having their share of dustups in practice over the course of the year, but still staying friends. Egerman’s notebook says that the Patriots 2007 draft can be considered a success even if it only directly yielded one contributor. Farinella’s notebook has Mike Vrabel endorsing Andre Tippett’s Hall of Fame candidacy. The ProJo notebook has more on the Patriots draft. Heuschkel’s notebook has Randy Moss hungry for a ring.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell talks with former Patriots great Gino Cappelletti, who has been taken along for the ride this decade up in the broadcast booth. McCabe makes his Super Bowl Pick. Farinella provides some Tales of trees, TVs and treats from the media handouts at the Super Bowl.


With Brady profiled by Powers in the Globe, Jim McCabe does the same with Eli Manning. Steve Conroy looks at the local ties on the Giants coaching staff, of which there are many. Rich Garven has Antonio Piece hoping to put an end to the Patriots dynasty. Mark Blaudschun has Zak DeOssie hoping to get a Super Bowl ring with the Giants, just like his dad. Garven has Manning crediting his receivers.

McCabe’a notebook has Plaxico Burress sitting out practice once again yesterday, but with a sore knee this time. Conroy’s notebook has more on Burress sitting out practice. Toland’s notebook has the Giants at home living out of a suitcase.