Rondo Gone. Media Happy.

For years now, some in the media have been complaining about Rajon Rondo. He didn’t always play nice with the media (though the beat guys generally got along fine with him), his unorthodox playing style offended some of their sensibilities, and his uneven levels of play were infuriating to some. When he would come up huge in a playoff game against LeBron James they would wonder why he couldn’t play at that level all the time.

I’ll admit I’ve had some frustrations with the guy, though less in the last few years. But I recognized the things he could do – things which not many NBA players of his size and position can do. In the end, I’m sad to see him go, for many reasons. When on, he was great to watch, his final game in a Celtics uniform the other night showed that. He was the last vestige of the championship team of 2007-08, and his trade signals that this rebuilding process with the Celtics is much more of a long-term project that we had hoped for. On the plus side, I’m looking forward to seeing him on a good team again and see him go against the top level talent in the postseason.

Meanwhile, we’ll have plenty of media bashing Rondo, we’ll have the same ones bashing Rondo and saying that he’s not an “elite” (UNIQUE ISN’T ELITE!) player criticizing Danny Ainge for not getting more for him, and then you’ll have idiotic trolls like Dan Shaughnessy posting things like this:

That’s the Boston sports media experience in a nutshell right there.  It’s all about how you treat the media.

How about the perspective of someone who was actually around Rondo a lot:

Trading Rajon Rondo was only solution – Steve Bulpett, as usual, has the best look at why the Celtics had to trade Rondo now, and why this was the trade they had to make.

Rebuild reset: Analyzing the Rondo trade and where Boston goes from here – Chris Forsberg breaks down the trade and what’s next for Danny Ainge and the Celtics.

It was finally time for the Celtics to trade Rajon Rondo – Paul Flannery is always worth your time when it comes to the Celtics.

Goodbye Rondo, hello rebuild – Rich Levine – as good as a columnist as there is in Boston – says that at least now we know the path this franchise is taking.

The Complicated, But Unforgettable, 8 1/2 Years Of Rajon Rondo – Sean Grande with an outstanding look back at the Boston career of Rondo.

Farewell, Rajon Rondo: Analyzing Boston Celtics’ blockbuster trade with Dallas Mavericks – Jay King offers his thoughts on the deal.

Will Rondo trade make Celtics better or worse? – The answer from A. Sherrod Blakely might surprise you.

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A few other links/thoughts:

Sports-talk negativity can be aggravating – Chad Finn isn’t as annoyed with the Felger and Mazz show as he is with fans who speculate ahead of time what the duo is going to say on their show.

I don’t agree. I’m venturing that many of those who are mocking Felger and Mazz – and that is what they are doing – are not spending a whole lot of time listening to that show. By now they know the angles that are going to be taken, and it’s an exercise in showing just how pathetic and predictable that the show really is. I also don’t think that group is as big as Chad thinks it is. A few hundred people would not be representative of any bit of Felger and Mazz’s loyal lapdog audience.

Wes Welker Will Not Be Denied – This ESPN longread on the former Patriot has Welker insisting that he is not putting his future at risk with his multiple concussions.

If you’ve watched the Broncos this season, you can see that Welker is not what he was even two years ago during his final season with the Patriots. Yet you still have people writing to the mailbags asking if the Patriots can re-sign Welker this offseason. They can’t see the giant concussion helmet he’s wearing and the fork sticking out of his back? (and I like Wes)

Matt Patricia: WINNING – Matt Chatham tells you more about the Patriots defensive coordinator than you ever heard before, and why he deserves as much credit as anyone for the Patriots defensive revival.

The Patriots AFCE-clinching *Yawn* Report

New England avenged their opening day loss in Miami, handing out a second-half helping of humility (via a 24-point third quarter) on their way to defeating the Dolphins 41-13 and clinching the division. As the 2-2 11-3 locals struggle to find their identity move on to New York, where a win against the Jets would get them one step closer to the top seed in the AFC, let’s spend a moment and reflect.

Here’s the moment: Twelve years of 10 wins or more. At times during the last couple of decades of the previous century, many New England followers just hoped for the Pats to get over .500. Some years, the playoffs seemed like too much to ask for. This new-millennium, winning-season streak might stand out as the most impressive aspect of the Bill Belichick era. Because, really, that’s all fans wanted: Just a glimpse at nine wins, a step toward respectability for this franchise.

Think about this: area middle-schoolers have never experienced a losing season. When I was in middle school, the Pats went  2-14 (1981). Vastly different gig.

Some things that have stuck out during this remarkable 10-1 streak…

If You’re Lost You Can Look And You Will Find Me, Tom After Tom: Well, it’s just a darn shame that Tom Brady’s on his way down.

Oh, wait: he has 32 touchdown passes against eight interceptions? For 3,847 yards? At a 64.4 percent completion rate? Yeesh. Way to cooperate with the narrative, Tommy. Way to stay the same ol’, same ol’ MVP-caliber QB.

While naysayers will point to his ill-advised interceptions against Indianapolis and San Diego that made him seem about as calm as a capuchin monkey with hot sauce on his nethers, we have to look at his overall body of work: Since falling to 2-2 at Kansas City, this team has gone 9-1, and the quarterback play has been a big part of it. Also a big part of it…

For Those About To Gronk, We Salute You: In this Patriots Daily piece from September of 2011, we proclaimed Rob Gronkowski the “best all-around tight end in Foxboro since Ben Coates.” We stand by that statement. (Just so we don’t get too big for our britches, you can also read our optimistic words about a certain other tight end from the 2010 draft who shall remain nameless.)

After 14 games, the big fella has 76 catches for 1,093 yards (14.4 avg) and 11 touchdowns. Gronk’s only the third TE in history with three seasons of 10 or more TDs. And he’s 25 years old.

Fiesta changes the offense. He seems to supplement the intensity of his teammates and change the mentality of the home crowd. Did you ever watch the kids’ show “ZOOM”? They made up a language called ubbi dubbi that I never quite got the hang of, which reminds me of Gronk. With him on the field, the Patriots offense speaks an entirely different dialect which other teams have a difficult time translating. Anyway, thanks, “ZOOM.”

Ohhh, Two O-o-o-one, Three Fo-o-o-our!

Revis Is Fundamental: No matter what happens against New York this week, New England (the team, the region, the clam chowder: everybody) needs to thank the Jets for letting Darrelle Revis go after the 2012 season. Look at his stats, and nothing really stands out: 43 tackles, one forced fumble, two interceptions.

The biggest surprise of that line for me is that he has so many tackles. Revis is like a veterinarian for geldings: when he’s working, he’s not going to see a lot of balls. (Top that metaphor, Jerry Thornton!)  He’s converse Gronk: where one attracts opponents’ attention, the other diverts it. The most important aspect of Revis’ presence gets summarized nicely by ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss, who pointed out in his Quick-hit Thoughts column that the Patriots have been in sub (pass-defense) packages almost 74 percent of the time this year. Without Revis, I wonder if that happens, and if it does, how much less effectively this D would perform.

Gray Skies Are Gonna Clear Up: Ah, running back Jonas Gray. The graph of his season production would look like the scariest roller-coaster ever created, a veritable Kingda Ka on creatine. First, gimme six zeroes for the beginning of the season that he spent on the practice squad. Then plot out 12 yards (Jets), 86 (Bears), 33 (Broncos), 201 (Colts), zero (Lions), four (Packers), nine (Chargers), and 62 (Dolphins). The man is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and continues to provide insurance for the playoffs – and for 2015.

He’s made a solid addition since the middle of the season. But he’s probably fourth on the list.

‘Tis The Season: As Christopher Price of WEEI.com has said on many occasions, the roster with which you enter the season is not the one you have for long. Looking at linebackers Akeem Ayers and Jonathan Casillas, defensive lineman/forklift Alan Branch, and running back/mini-loader LaGarrette Blount, the middle of this season has been a boon for Bill Belichick and company. Considering also that pass-rusher Chandler Jones and run-stopper Sealver Siliga have also returned from injury, the Pats look like they’re in solid shape as the end of the regular season approaches.

Ghost Is The Machine, Or Every Little Thing He Does Is Magic: As much as it hurt to see kicker Adam Vinatieri go lo these eight years ago, we have to appreciate Stephen Gostkowski. He’s the clock on the kitchen wall that you look up at when you come home for Thanksgiving and *whoosh* you’re back in high school on the phone that has the 17-foot-long stretchy cord, listening to Thompson Twins on the radio, trying to get up the nerve to ask that person who sits in front of you in English class out for chicken fingers and/or zucchini sticks at the Atlantic Café.

What? Just me? Anyway, he’s stuck around, proving to be nothing but dependable. This year, he’s made 94 percent of his kicks (31 of 33), including a long of 53 yards, hitting 11 of 12 attempts over 40 yards. Against Miami, he surpassed Vinatieri as the leading scorer in Patriots history with 1,165 points. Tony Franklin, Scott Sisson, John Smith: I tell you, the state of this franchise now? It’s not even funny anymore. And it used to be hilarious with those guys, in a laugh-to-ease-the-pain kinda way.

I Want To Be A Part Of It: We don’t know what will happen down in New York. Coach (for now) Rex Ryan will do just about anything to beat New England in what will probably be his last game against them as the HC of the NYJ. They came within a blocked field goal of winning against the Pats earlier this year.

But there’s something about this Patriots team right now, the way they play, the way they complement (and compliment) each other, the way the new additions have meshed with the stalwarts. We haven’t even discussed Julian Edelman (92 rec for 972 yards), or Brandon LaFell (63 for 819). We’ve neglected to bring up cornerback/street fighter Brandon Browner (21 tackles, 15 penalties) or linebacker/decathlete Jamie Collins (100 tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception, 41.2-inch vertical leap) And what about that offensive line and the emergence of rookie center Bryan Stork?

So many storylines. And not one of them involves going 9-7.

You can email Chris Warner at [email protected] or tweet him: @cwarn89

Celtics, Bruins Talking Trades

With both winter franchises struggling to regain past levels of excellence, there has been quite a bit of trade talk around both clubs.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears first reported that trade talks regarding Rajon Rondo have heated up, and with the Mavericks in particular.

Mavericks considering making trade offer for Celtics’ Rajon Rondo – Gary Washburn has more on the interest of the Mavs.

Market down, but Mavericks make offer for Rajon Rondo – Steve Bulpett says that the market isn’t what it once was for the point guard, but teams are showing interest.

Rajon Rondo trade rumors 2014: Danny Ainge says Boston Celtics ‘having a lot of discussions just like we do every year’ – Jay King has the Celtics boss telling 98.5 that this isn’t really any different from any other year.

The Celtics beat the Magic last night at the Garden. Get all the coverage at CelticsLinks.com.

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The Bruins are probably also looking to make some moves, as they look to jump back to contender status in the East.

Going for Hall, Bruins may have to wait – Steve Conroy says that Taylor Hall is probably wishful thinking at this point.

Hall, Oshie & Stewart Great Fits For Bruins – Joe Haggerty talked to Toucher and Rich about possibilities for the Bruins.

The Bruins beat the Wild 3-2 last night to halt a three-game skid. Get all the stories at BruinsLinks.com.

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My media column in Patriots Football Weekly this week looks at the teflon status of Jets coach Rex Ryan in the media. Despite this being the fourth straight season where the team will not finish over .500, everyone else gets the blame except Rex. Mike Tannebaum, John Idzik, Brian Schottenheimer, Tony Sparano, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, anyone but Rex. The media has defended him and continues to defend him simply because he’s fun and gives them plenty of fun quotes.

Run, don’t walk to the nearest newsstand and pick up your copy.

Patriots Run The East, Tomase Rewarded Again

Despite constant claims to the contrary, it is not easy to win the same division in the NFL 12 times in 14 seasons. The Patriots just make it look that way.

The Patriots clinched the AFC East yesterday by exacting revenge for an opening-day loss to the Miami Dolphins with a 41-13 pounding of those same Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

AFC Easy: Tom Brady, New England Patriots roll Miami Dolphins en route to sixth straight division title – Kevin Duffy looks at the win, and the Patriots getting a chance to throw Miami’s words back at them.

Patriots gain revenge with December drubbing of Miami – Christopher Price has New England waiting all season for this chance.

Patriots built for a title – Karen Guregian has the Patriots subdued following yesterday’s division win.

Tom Brady’s feet fire up Patriots in win – Michael Reiss looks at a 17-yard scamper by the ancient QB which got his teammates fired up.

Patriots defense making most of second chances – Richard Garven has the defense once again pitching a second-half shutout.

Rob Gronkowski can’t be stopped – Jacqueline MacMullan has Bledsoe calling Gronk the “evolution of the species” of tight end from his own target, Ben Coates.

Brady-Bledsoe bond has aged like fine wine – James Donaldson has the QB’s catching up after the game.

Patriots ‘just doing their jobs’ in 2nd-half turnaround – Thomas Curran has the Patriots just working better in the second half.

Halftime adjustments helped Patriots turn a close one into a rout – Benjamin Volin looks at the tale of two halves.

Jonas Gray reappears, makes clear impact – Lee Schecter has the running back giving the team a spark in the second half.

Knee-Jerk Reactions: Week 15, Patriots vs. Dolphins – Gerald Thornton’s Knee-Jerk columns are always eminently readable

Patriots’ Chandler Jones plays like he never left – Michael Whitmer’s notebook looks at the emotional return of the defensive end.

Get the rest of the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com

*****

John Tomase Joins WEEI As Columnist, Senior Sportswriter – As expected, WEEI.com announced that John Tomase would be joining the site to replace Alexander Speier.

The release states that  Tomase’s responsibilities will include serving as a columnist across all sports, while continuing to excel with his coverage of the Red Sox. Besides his work for WEEI.com, he will be a frequent on-air contributor for Sports Radio 93.7 WEEI in Boston and across New England on the WEEI Network.

Many of his colleagues have been praising Tomase today, and congratulating him on the move. He is well liked among his peers. The same can’t  be said for many fans, who will never forgive him for his story on the Patriots taping the Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl 36, which was later retracted and apologized for, yet is still taken as fact by most people. (Even though the Herald wrote: “we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed.”)

I like John personally, never had any issues with him in that regard, but it is astounding to me that he has had zero professional implications for that incident. He remained on the Patriots beat for another season before being rewarded with a move to the Red Sox. The likes of Michael Felger defend him and insist that his story was accurate and he only made a mistake by sourcing once, no matter what has been said about it.

Others have been drummed out of the industry for less. Tomase is rewarded, ostensibly because he’s a nice, well-liked guy.

And no, we’re not going to forget this. It happened.

*****

Twitter post of the week. (From Dolphins beat reporter Omar Kelly)

 

All About That Ace

As the Red Sox look to rebuild their pitching staff, they added Justin Masterson and Rick Porcello yesterday and are still working to finalize a deal for Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley.

While these are good additions, they still need to add that guy to the top of the rotation. It’s all about that ace.

Now it’s time for Red Sox to go get an ace – Nick Cafardo looks at James Shields (please no) and Cole Hamels as the top options.

Red Sox moves don’t look bad at all – Gordon Edes urges fans to have a little faith that the Red Sox know what they’re doing.

Don’t bet they’ll go to Max – Michael Silverman says never say never, but the notion of the Sox making a play for Detroit Cy Young winner Max Scherzer is unlikely, especially with Scott Boras involved.

Rotation built in a day: Sox land three starters after losing Jon Lester – Scott Lauber has more on the Sox moves from yesterday.

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The Patriots look to clinch the AFC East on Sunday when they take on the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.

Given the way he prepares, Tom Brady won’t be slowing down anytime soon – Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated looks at the fanatical preparation and work routine put in by the Patriots QB.

Patriots’ television ratings through the roof – Chad Finn’s media column looks at the ratings the team has garnered this year, and has several other notes, including Butch Stearns’ candidacy for the Boston Herald sports editior job that went to Sean Leahy.

Bill Simmons’s Voice Has Been an Important One in the Quest to Expose Roger Goodell – Finn also has this piece on Boston.com which praises Simmons for his work in getting details about Roger Goodell’s ineptitude out in the public.

It really is mindroasting to think about how Goodell can continue to not only avoid any type of sanctions, but actually keep and increase his power while maintaining full support of the NFL owners. In the same day that ESPN’s Outside the Lines released a report on the testimony that Goodell gave about his Ray Rice decision, in which Goodell is shown to be elusive, obstinate, inconsistent, probably dishonest and not very smart, the NFL announced its new personal conduct policy in which Goodell will remain as the ultimate judge, jury and executioner, and keeps him firmly in control of discipline.

If anyone can kill the golden goose that is the NFL, it is Roger Goodell. I just wish the NFL owners could see that.

NFLPA grievance: New England Patriots doctor put team ahead of patient – The Washington Post reports on a grievance filed on behalf of Jonathan Fanene, which alleges the team instructed the Doctor to delay surgery in hopes that the player would retire.

Browner gratified by support from fans – Nice bit from Mark Daniels about how the huge cornerback has fit into the team.

Patriots have developed successful run-pass balance – Michael Whitmer has a look at the quest for balance by the Patriots offense.

Devin McCourty finding a new life at old job – Jeff Howe has the Patriots safety getting some run at cornerback in the San Diego game.

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Zdeno Chara returned to the Bruins lineup last night, but his club still fell to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2.

Bruins play the right way, but losing continues – Fluto Shinzawa says there were plenty of positive signs in the loss.

Julien: ‘Effort was there, execution was poor’ vs. Chicago – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins coach praising his team’s effort.

Red Sox Facing Heat After Losing Lester To Cubs

I stayed up as late as I could last night awaiting the news on Jon Lester. Naturally the news broke just a few minutes after I turned things off and went to bed that Lester had agreed to a 6-year $155 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

I don’t sense that many people will be upset with Jon Lester for this decision. The heat, from both fans and the media will be directed at the Red Sox.

How will they react? Will there be a subtle leak in an attempt to turn PR to their side? (#SmearCampaign)

Their best move will be to acquire talent to try and fill the void in the starting rotation.

Here’s a sampling of articles from this morning:

Red Sox’ lowball offer last spring led to Lester’s depature – Sean McAdam says the Sox didn’t lose Lester last night, they lost him last spring.

When it came to Red Sox’ pursuit of Jon Lester, we should have known better – Rob Bradford says that the “Red Sox offered less than their competition, less than it would have taken to get Lester re-signed, at every step of the way.”

Red Sox have work, explaining to do – Gordon Edes says that the Red Sox have let Lester fans down twice, first with his trade to Oakland and now this.

Red Sox made curious strategy change in Jon Lester pursuit – Peter Abraham says that this will go down as one of the strangest chapters in Red Sox history.

Red Sox wouldn’t overpay for Jon Lester – Michael Silverman says that the Sox wanted to be in the hunt, but weren’t upset at not getting him.

What now? Potential Red Sox targets with Jon Lester off the board – Alex Speier looks at where the Red Sox go from here.

Jon Lester Was Everything a Red Sox Player Was Supposed to Be — So Why Is He a Cub? – Chad Finn laments the loss of the lefty.

The Red Sox don’t like to take heat from the media. They will respond one way or the other. Here’s hoping it is in the form of player acquisition, not some sort of whisper campaign or Boston Globe article from Bob “The hitman” Hohler.

Does John Henry appear on Felger and Mazz today? Does Larry Lucchino make some jabs at his former protege, Theo Epstein?

Or does Ben Cherington just go about his business of building a competitive baseball team? Let’s hope it’s that.

*****

Gronk! The Interview. – Lindsay Czarniak interviewed the Patriots tight end for ESPN The Magazine. It’s a must-read.

Larry Bird’s Greatest Shot Was the One He Didn’t Take – Larry Bird fans are very familiar with the former Celtic’s background, but this Indianapolis Monthly feature by Sean McCabe is worth a read.

Red Sox Need To Prepare For Rotation Without Jon Lester

While nothing is official yet, indications seem to be that the Red Sox need to start thinking of the rotation for 2015 and beyond without lefty Jon Lester at the head of it.

Ken Rosenthal had reported yesterday that Lester would likely choose between the Cubs and Giants, though Lester’s agents quickly refuted that report as did the Red Sox, who said they had no indication that they were out of the bidding.

No sign yet from Jon Lester – Scott Lauber looks at the signs that lead Lester away from Boston.

Lowballing Jon Lester haunts Sox – Michael Silverman has the team likely regretting their decision to produce such a weak offer to the pitcher earlier this year.

Only one man knows Jon Lester’s true intentions: Jon Lester – Rob Bradford says that speculation is useless.

In defense of the Red Sox: GM Ben Cherington explains Boston’s pursuit of Jon Lester –  Jason Mastrodonato has the Sox boss trying to outline what happened between the two parties earlier in the season.

Jon Lester has options to weigh – Gordon Edes notes that whichever way Lester chooses, he really can’t lose.

Red Sox continue to wait on Lester’s decision – Sean McAdam has the Red Sox content to wait things out.

With Jon Lester decision imminent, different levels of optimism for Red Sox – Tim Britton has the Red Sox admitting they’ve changed their view of Lester’s value since the offer last spring.

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington wading through options at Winter Meetings – Nick Cafardo says that the Red Sox haven’t only been focused on Lester in recent days.

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The Patriots resurgence apparently has Mike Felger yearning for his old days of writing about the team, as he has a new column up on CSNNE.com – These Patriots have a different feel.

Patriots used week in California as bonding experience – Shalise Manza Young has the team using the week out West to their advantage.

Film review: How Jamie Collins and the Patriots defense battered Philip Rivers and the Chargers = Kevin Duffy looks back on the win.

Bruins strictly average so far, and they will need help – Fluto Shinzawa says that it is time for the Bruins to make some moves.

Celtics hit Wall in 2 OT, lose – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics falling a point short last night, behind a huge game from rookie Marcus Smart.

Slugfest in San Diego Latest Win For Patriots

After the Patriots squeaked by the lowly New York Jets at home on October 16th, focus turned to the just-completed six-game stretch for New England, which experts said, would make or break this team. Some leaned towards the latter, predicting doom, even 0-6 over this stretch.

After going 5-1 over the six games, you’d think most questions would be answered. New England won blowouts, they won close, they won at home, they won on the road. They won scoring 51 points, and they won scoring 23 points.

With gauntlet complete, Patriots take another step on journey toward title – Chris Price with the Patriots establishing their contender credentials.

Patriots’ defense saves the day against Chargers – Tom E Curran has the team showing they can win a game with their defense, too.

Jamie Collins leads Patriots big defensive effort – Karen Guregian has the second-year linebacker taking charge with Hightower out last night.

Jamie Collins, New England Patriots defense overwhelmed San Diego Chargers Sunday night – Kevin Duffy has teammates raving about the young linebacker.

Patriots’ defense delivers after team bonding in San Diego – Mike Reiss has the week of preparation out West paying off for the team.

Brandon Browner disputes roughing penalty – Michael Whitmer’s extensive notebook leads off with the controversial call against the Patriots cornerback.

Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Sports media: Marshawn Lynch has his say — such as it is — in interview – Chad Finn’s Monday media column has the Seahawks running back speaking to a former teammate.

Sam Ponder on motherhood, football; misogyny among hockey media – Richard Deitsch’s media column covers the usual wide gambit.

Elsewhere:

One John Henry plane flight later, stage set for Jon Lester’s decision – Rob Bradford wonders if a second visit from the Red Sox owner could sway the lefty into returning to Boston.

Simple Truth: Boston a special place for Paul Pierce – Steve Bulpett has a talk with the former Celtics captain.

Worst Owners In Major League Soccer Look For Title Win Sunday

On Sunday at 3:00pm (ESPN) the New England Revolution will be playing in the MLS Cup final for the fifth time since 2002. This despite having the worst owners in Major League Soccer.

I won’t pretend to know a ton about the Revs or how the Krafts have done as owners to the franchise, but that article still strikes me as a lets strike at the Krafts and indirectly make the “cheap” accusation type of move. It was a great way to get talked about on afternoon drive sports radio, as the topic was right in the wheelhouse of one of the two shows in town.

I don’t know if the Revs can get over the hump and get that first title, but I’ll be hoping they do.

Taylor Twellman on the call for MLS Cup – Chad Finn’s media column has it sounding like Twellman believes the Revs will have a tough task in front of them to earn their first title.

Finn also confirms that Alex Speier will be leaving WEEI.com and coming to the Globe.

The role seems a bit ambiguous. Finn says Speier will be mostly writing for the BostonGlobe.com website, with some articles also appearing in the paper. He will also not be writing strictly about baseball. While I have no doubts that Alex Speier can write about any sport, it seems a bit strange to me to take the guy who is, in my opinion, the best baseball writer in town, hands down, and use him differently.

In what would be a related move, Finn on the SoSH media forum speculates that John Tomase could be in line to replace Speier at WEEI.com. That would make sense given the history between Tomase and Rob Bradford.

  • The Patriots will be playing their last prime-time game of the regular season, on NBC’s Sunday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers.
  • Boston sports media personality Jennifer Royle, who has done shifts at WEEI, the Boston Herald, and other outlets in town, is contestant on this season of ABC’s The Taste.
  • J.J. Watt would be a better tight end than Rob Gronkowski? Thanks to Pro Football Focus for setting the advanced stats/analytics industry back 10 years. (Same article, Mike Vrabel playing TE was just a “look-how-clever-I-am gimmick by Bill Belichick.”)
  • If you’ve been an overnight listener of CBS Sports radio and used to listening to Damon Amendolara, that will change in January as his show will move to 6-10PM. Amy Lawrence will move into the slot previously occupied by Amendolara.

Patriots/Packers Still Worthy Of Discussion, But…

It seems like some of the most influential conversation-makers in town would rather talk about how Josh Boyer is ruining the cornerbacks, or worrying about several Patriot players going to the Clippers game last night and ending up hanging out with Justin Bieber or drooling over the prospect of Bill Belichick being called to testify in the Aaron Hernandez trial and being forced to answer questions. ‘It is what it is’ isn’t going to cut it in cross-examination, haha!
I even heard the incredibly tired and cliche Did the Packers find the blueprint on how to beat the Patriots???

Anything, it seems, other than what was one of the best regular-season games the Patriots have been involved in for a while. The game had everything – except of course a win by New England.

Since I’m a day late on most of this, you’ve probably seen many of these, but here are some stories I enjoyed.

Patriots-Packers: What We Learned – Matt Chatham looks at some of the big plays and some gripes Patriots fans likely had.

An issue some people had with the game was the amount of time Aaron Rodgers had in the pocket. I really liked this answer from Tedy Bruschi to that question in his chat yesterday:

bruschi

While some are talking about this as a “moral victory” another former Patriot, Dan Koppen doesn’t think it is being viewed that way inside the locker room. – Can Patriots view loss as a moral victory?

Tom Brady on D&C, still frustrated by Sunday’s loss: ‘I felt like we should have won’ – It doesn’t sound like the Patriots QB believes in moral victories either.

Would television fee dispute ever affect a Patriots game? – Chad Finn’s media column yesterday looked at the blackout of FOX on FiOS which caused viewers to miss the Cowboys/Eagles game on Thanksgiving and notes that DISH subscribers, already without CSNNE, could lose Patriots games on CBS in the near future too.

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This could be an interesting week for the Red Sox as well:

Red Sox continue quest for arms – The team is waiting for Jon Lester’s decision, but is also busy exploring the trade market, according to Gordon Edes.

Jon Lester taking his time as he weighs his decision – Nick Cafardo looks at the Lester landscape.

Past as prelude? Pedro Martinez, Jon Lester and a potentially rocky Red Sox rotation remake – Alex Speier looks at Pedro Martinez’s free agency a a decade ago gives us any insight into Lester’s.

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Now we’re on to the section of the post known as “Articles that I will never click on.”

I’ll let Jerry Thornton address this, since he’s apparently one of Dan’s targets this morning.

benz

Nice strawman, Benz. Who is saying this? (Besides Felger and cronies?) I saw my buddy Wilbur mention it, but are actual Patriots fans saying this? Or is Benz just clickbait trolling?