Noon Update

Got in the car this morning just in time to flip on WEEI and hear Dennis and Callahan talking about Roger Clemens and steroids. They did have an interview with Robert and Jonathan Kraft, which was mildy entertaining/interesting, but baseball and steroids talk…Super Bowl week?

Paul Schwartz has Plaxico Burress predicting a 23-17 victory for the Giants.

Dan Shaughnessy had a chat on Boston.com today.

Gene Wojciechowski says that to understand Bill Belichick, we need to look at what he did in Cleveland.

Mike Sando offers up a great spreadsheet on the Patriots roster.

Mike Reiss has a Super Bowl media day mailbag.

If you’re looking for food ideas for your Super Bowl party, the food blog Slashfood is running a Super Bowl category all week long.

This afternoon is, as mentioned, media day. The Patriots go first. You can actually watch much of it at NFL.com

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Try And Keep Up, Will You?

They’re checking the loose threads over at Patriots Daily.

Christopher L. Gasper has a feature on Patriots Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork and his wife Bianca, who make up quite a team together. Tony Massarotti has a look at Junior Seau, who will become the oldest defensive player to play in a Super Bowl. Jim Donaldson has Matt Light proud to be Tom Brady’s left-hand man. Chris Kennedy also checks in on Light. Mark Farinella has Light cracking up the crowd at his press conference yesterday. David Heuschkel has a look at Mike Vrabel, who is finally enjoying the national recognition after a versatile career with the Patriots. Rich Garven says that quiet efficiency is what marks Vrabel’s play.

Frank Dell’Apa has a look at Ty Warren, who tries to keep a low profile, even though his career has taken off. Shalise Manza Young has more on Warren and his rise from humble beginnings. Nick Tavares has Warren unaffected by the media storm of the Super Bowl. John Tomase has Rodney Harrison talking about the reception he got in the Patriots locker room when he returned from his four game suspension to start the season. Tomase also has Harrison still angry at Bobby Wade for what he perceives as an intent to injure him. Jeff Jacobsalso has a piece on Harrison, who addresses a wide range of topics, but backs off a bit when asked about HGH and steroids.

Karen Guregian has Bill Belichick at the top in terms of finding ways to gain an edge, even with the injury report. Dan Shaughnessy writes about the polite, relaxed Belichick that we’ve seen over the last few days and demands to know who invaded his body. Joe Posnanski revisits Belichick’s time in Cleveland, though from a little bit of a different angle than you might’ve read before. Joe Fitzgerald looks at Belichick as a leader of men. Jennifer Toland has another look at former colleages Belichick and Coughlin facing each other in this title game. Farinella has Patriots players singing the praises of their coach and the organization.

Michael Vega compares Wes Welker to Dustin Pedroia and how the impact that Welker has had this season is similar to that of the Red Sox rookie second basemen. Robert Lee also has a look at Welker, who has always defied his critics. Michael Felger checks in with former Patriot Joe Andruzzi, who is now cancer free, and serving as an inspiration to his former teammates on the Patriots offensive line. Bill Burt says that all ex-Patriots were served as much humble pie as this group has gotten. Josh Egerman looks at the contributions of the Patriots practice squad.

In a story sure to make the Patriots and their fans cringe, Donovan Slack and John C. Drake report on plans for the Patriots victory parade, which is an issue because it might interfere with Super Tuesday election balloting. What’s next? The Globe announcing a book on the Patriots perfect season? Oh wait, they’ve already done that. You can pre-order 19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England’s Unbeatable Patriots on Amazon.com now. The Giants wish to thank the Globe for providing bulletin board material…Some Patriots fans aren’t too happy with this already.

Guregian has Michael Irvin talking about the importance for the Giants of taking Randy Moss out of the game early. Gaspar reports on Randy Moss and his attorneys agreeing to keep the Florida restraining order in place while Moss finishes the football season. Laurel J. Sweet also has an update on the situation. Peter Reuell has a former Belichick classmate scoring four Super Bowl tickets. David Brown has the mind games starting already for the two clubs.

Robert Lee in the ProJo has The Patriots Story part III. Sean Smith recaps the Patriots season. Young notes that some members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins seem to be warming up to the Patriots. Garry Brown says that the Patriots and those Dolphins actually share a number of ties. Christopher Price has Don Shula talking about how to stop the Patriots. Tom Yantz talks to a few high school coaches of Patriots and Giants players for their reaction on their former pupils.

Mike Reiss has sort of a Super Bowl notebook, which leads off with Dolphins kicker Jay Feely talking about his Michigan teammate Tom Brady. Among the items in Don Amore’ snapshots is the revelation that the Giants had a pillow fight on their flight to Arizona.

Ron Hobson remembers Mike Holovak.

The Globe notebook has Tom Brady with a slight limp at practice yesterday. Guregian’s notebook has Brady’s teammates happy to see him at practice yesterday. The ProJo notebook has more on Brady getting back on the practice field. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Brady. Kennedy’s notebook reports that it was a solid practice for Brady. The Telegram notebook has Harrison healthy and ready to go. Farinella’s notebook has Brady going the distance in practice.

Giants

John Powers has Amani Toomer happy to get another shot at the Super Bowl. Dom Amore has Plaxico Burress saying that his injury has actually made him a better player.

Mark Blaudschun has a look at Giants punter Jeff Feagles, who started his career back in 1988 with the Patriots.

You can also check in with the New York Sports Pages for more stories and coverage.

Jim McCabe’s notebook has the Giants showing unity by wearing black suits on their flight to Arizona. Amore’s notebook has a few Giants with the fever – literally.

We’ll try to be back with links throughout the day. Keep up with site on your mobile phone browser at m.bostonsportsmedia.com

Check here for your other sports news:

CelticsLinks.com

BruinsLinks.com

RedSoxLinks.com

Our Sympathies To The Ryan Family

It was mentioned in the previous post about the sudden passing of Bob Ryan’s son over in the Middle East. Some more details are now available, as the Globe has posted an obituary for Keith Ryan.

The younger Ryan was 37 years old, and was serving as an attache for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency over in Pakistan. He apparently took his own life.

Our thoughts and sympathies again go out to the entire Ryan family. In addition to Bob and his wife Elaine, Keith leaves behind a wife, Kate and 8-year old triplets Conor, John, and Amelia, as well as a sister, Jessica. .

The sentiments of David Scott are certainly echoed here.

Wrapping Up Day One

From Bill Burt‘s blog today:

Word had circulated around the media room this morning that Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan’s son had died in Afghanistan.

I don’t have any details, just that it happened. There were a lot of reporters stunned by the news. It would a nice if you could keep Bob and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

We’d like to also send our condolences to the Ryan family for this terrible news.

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Mike Reiss had a chat from Arizona today.

Michael Silver has the story of Tom Martinez, Tom Brady’s personal throwing coach since he was a teenager, who is battling severe health problems, and will be watching the Super Bowl from home.

Don Banks says that the Patriots realize the increased significance of this Super Bowl.

Dennis Dillon has Wes Welker going from pest to asset for the Patriots.

In baseball news, Gordon Edes reports on the Red Sox acquiring relief pitcher David Aardsma from the White Sox in a trade.

Sports Media Journal has an interesting interview with Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.

Wondering who the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee is made up of? Yup, Ron Borges is still the New England representative.

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Here’s the Patriots/Super Bowl related programming on TV tonight:

6:30pm, CSN – Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight – 1 hour live special from Glendale
7:00pm, NFLN – NFL Total Access at the Super Bowl (including Patriots press conference)
9:00pm, CSN – Road to Perfection Special – 1 hour live special from Glendale
10:00pm, NFLN – Total Access at the Super Bowl (including Giants arrival press conference)
10:00pm, NESN – Sportsdesk
10:00pm, CSN – Sports Tonight – 1 hour live special from Glendale
11:30pm, NFLN – Total Access at the Super Bowl

Monday PM Links

Here’s a few links from today’s national Super Bowl coverage:

Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback leads with Tiki Barber insisting he has no regrets about walking away from football and the Giants last season.

Bill Moore of Football Outsiders breaks down the week 17 matchup between the Giants and Patriots. Gil Brandt also looks back at that game for clues to this week’s rematch.

Don Banks explains why the Patriots cannot lose this game.

Judy Battista in the New York Times, has a look at how the Giants haven’t left Bill Belichick.

Lauren Farrelly of CNBC looks at the business side of Bob Kraft and the Patriots, and talks to Michael Holley about the team.

The classy and talented Mike Freeman dubs this Super Bowl the Jackass Bowl because of the two head coaches.

Len Pasquarelli examines how the spirit of Marquise Hill lives on in the Patriots locker room.

Tom Weir has a look at the friendship between the Giant’s Justin Tuck and the Patriots Adalius Thomas, which goes back to their hometown.

Ira Miller has a look at Urban Meyer and the role the Florida coach has played with the Patriots.

John Walters lists the best sporting moments between Boston and New York. Alan Abrahamson says that the rest of the country is sick of Boston vs. New York.

Randy Hill gives us a tour of the Phoenix/Glendale area for Super Bowl week.

Mike Celizic says that this Super Bowl merits all the hype.

Mike Florio offers 10 Things to get you up to speed with this Super Bowl.

Hub Arkush explains how the Giants/Patriots matchup is a fitting end to a remarkable NFL season.

ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown on Super Bowl

Some comments from yesterday’s edition of ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown:

On The Giants and Concern about Tom Brady…

Emmitt Smith: “Tom Brady’s boot is not really my concern; if I’m the Giants my biggest concern is that I wanted to play the Patriots today. Not next week, today. And the reason why I wanted to play these guys today is because the way we went on the road and beat Tampa Bay, the way went on the road and beat Dallas at Dallas and the way went to Green Bay and took care of business in Green Bay. We were on such a nice roll that this bye week could be the interrupter that we did not need. And so now what we needed to do is stay focused at home, be physical last week in practice, then go to Arizona and sharpen some skills, put finishing touches and go to Super Bowl and play our best football of the whole entire season.”

Keyshawn Johnson sits down with Bill Belichick

On being undefeated going into Super Bowl …

“I think it’s a story for the fans and the media. Kind of like an old wise man Teddy Bruschi said a couple years ago…We got a one-game winning streak, 16 or 18 times….we take one game at a time, and that’s where we’re at now. It’s a one-game season and there’s only one team to look forward to and that’s our preparation for the Giants.”

On Randy Moss…

“I had never worked with Randy before and in working with him, he’s very professional, he’s consistent, he works hard, he’s very intelligent, he’s the same guy every day. He’s been great to work with, he really has. He’s been a great leader; he’s been a terrific teammate Monday through Sunday and a great example for all the players.”

When you look back at this season, what do you want to be remembered for…

“I’d like to be remembered for this next game and right now that’s where it’s all at. I think there’s a time to reflect back somewhere down the road, but right now is not the time.”

On what a fourth Super Bowl win would do for Belichick’s Legacy …

Mike Ditka: “If they win the super bowl and go 19-0, I have to think in my mind that he has to be considered the best coach of all time.”

On the biggest reason the Giants got on their Super Bowl run …

Smith: “I think its been coach Coughlin … I think he’s done a tremendous job of finding the balance that most coaches need to find … He found a balance between being a hard-nosed coach and giving a little leeway to his players, so they can feel comfortable with where he’s at. He’s also gotten great productivity out of his team because he’s found that balance … He’s also given the power back to the players, to police themselves in the locker room and allow that leadership to rise from the inside out.”

Today’s “Look at Me” Candidate

We appear to have an early favorite for today’s winner of the “LOOK AT ME” media award. This award is given to the writer or media person who submits a body of work for no other reason than to draw attention to themselves, and hopefully get linked to on sites such as this one, which will generate more views and publicity for the writer.

While normally I’m loathe to give this free publicity away to people who are clearly begging for it, this week promises to have no end of this type of work.

This morning’s strong candidate is Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. (Free registration may be required)

You might be familiar with Plaschke for his riveting performances on the ESPN atrocity Around The Horn, which is nothing more than a bunch of sportswriters yelling at each other. (Why not just put a live webcam in the media lunchroom?)

In his column today, Plaschke makes the contention that:

Tom Brady is football's, well, um, Alex Rodriguez.

Meaning, a hyped player, who will be in the Hall of Fame based solely on numbers, but is not the greatest at his position. His argument is that Brady can’t tie the shoes of such true greats such as Johnny Unitas, Otto Graham, Bart Starr, Sammy Baugh and Joe Montana.

Some of his arguments are ludicrous:

He doesn't have fire in his eyes because today's teams don't need it.

Has he ever actually seen Brady play?

He consults with such unbiased sources as John Unitas Jr. in making his case. The younger Unitas says: “I hear all these people talking about Tom Brady and I just sort of smirk.”

No doubt Plaschke is sitting back right now with a smirk on his face, waiting for all the attention that is sure to come his way. If there is a surefire way to get attention these days, it is to insult something about Boston sports.