Thoughts For Neumy, Alex Speier To Globe?

It’s a busy morning in the Boston sports media world.

We’ll lead off with thoughts for former WBZ and current CSNNE sports anchor Bob Neumeier, who suffered a stroke on Wednesday.

The news was broken by Michael Felger on yesterday’s edition of Felger and Mazz. Keep “Neumy” in your thoughts in the coming days.

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Glenn Ordway mentioned on his Big Show Unfiltered broadcast yesterday that WEEI.com baseball writer Alex Speier is heading to the Boston Globe.

While no official confirmation is in the offing at the moment, the move would be a tremendous addition for the Globe, as has been well documented here, I believe Speier is the single best baseball writer in this town.

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The Dennis and Callahan and Minihane show wrapped up their final simulcast on NESN this morning, marking the occasion by doing the show in full costume.

To replace Dennis and Callahan and Minihane, NESN will launch their own morning show – NESN Sports Update.

Baseball still a major draw on television – Chad Finn looks at the World Series ratings, and has a few other notes.

Get all your Patriots/Broncos news at PatriotsLinks.com.

The Bruins topped the Sabres last night, check out coverage at Bruinslinks.com.

The Celtics travel to Texas this weekend, check their stories at CelticsLinks.com.

Celtics Start Things Off Right

The Celtics began their regular season last night with a 121-105 drubbing of the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. The Celtics placed eight players in double figures last night.

While the Celtics may be fourth in Boston in terms of coverage and popularity st the moment while they rebuild, there is certainly much to be interested in as the team enters its second year under Brad Stevens.

DISH Network subscribers continue to miss out on the Celtics, as the Satellite provider dumped CSNNE in August, and it appears the sides are still very far apart. CSNNE struck back this week with a series of radio ads, but the station was still dark for DISH subscribers for opening night.

CSN New England Tips Switch Campaign Against Dish

Last night also saw another return to the Garden by Kevin Garnett, who was impressed with the young Celtics:

Kevin Garnett still bleeds green (Bulpett)

Rajon Rondo makes all the difference – Jackie MacMullan looks at the triumphant return of the Celtics PG. No mention of the trade demands she claimed earlier in the summer.

Get all the coverage from last night’s win at CelticsLinks.com.

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Are we almost done with the Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning comparisons for this week?

I don’t know about you, but it’s been old for a while now. Can we agree that they’re both among the all-time greats and just try to enjoy the experience of seeing them play?

It’s an easy topic for sports radio, which is why they’ve clung to it. It’s much easier to recite the same arguments over and over than it is to actually analyze the upcoming game.

You’re better off turning off the radios.

Heated rivalry turns corner with Darrelle Revis, Aqib Talib – Jeff Howe with a nice look at how each cornerback has been used this season and what we might expect for Sunday.

Pats should beware of Broncos’ Miller & Ware – Tom E Curran and Mike Giardi look at challenges from the Broncos defense.

Patriots face dynamic duo in Denver’s Miller and Ware – Glen Farley has more on the pass-rushing threats.

Patriots-Broncos through stats-based lens – Mike Reiss checks some of the relevant stats heading in.

Brady vs. Manning? It might come down to defense – David Pevear says this one might look different than past matchups.

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Remember Jimmy Young and Jimmy Myers?

The Boston sports broadcasting alumni are doing a weekly sports show on YouTube, called The Jimmy’s Sports Talk. Each Monday from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Nobscot Cafe in Framingham they are doing a live show.

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Oh yeah, there was some baseball game on last night? The San Francisco Giants won their third World Series in the last five years.

Your move, Red Sox.

Tom Brady’s Trade Value Will Never Be Higher

I mean, what else could the sports radio trolls conjure up today?

The previously washed-up Tom Brady submitted an almost perfect performance yesterday against the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium, as the “Let’s face it, they’re not a good team anymore” Patriots won their fourth in a row, this time a 51-23 shellacking of a Bears team in turmoil.

Now all the focus is on the Denver Broncos, who come to town on Sunday for a game which may decide home field in the AFC.

Pats, Broncos hitting crescendo heading into showdown – Tom E Curran looks ahead. He also has Darrelle Revis already eyeballing Broncos.

Tom Brady caps off brilliant stretch – Mike Reiss has the Patriots QB keeping things steady during the highs  and lows of this season.

Rob Gronkowski, Brandon LaFell have morphed New England Patriots offense from pedestrian to potent – Kevin Duffy looks at the two targets that have transformed the Patriots offense in recent weeks.

Brandon LaFell no second prize – Karen Guregian notes that the receiver has proved he was worth the signing.

Brady: I’ll take my offensive weapons over Manning’s – Wait, what? Brady has WEAPONZ? Since when, Phil Perry?

This is why Patriots picked up Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner – Ben Volin looks at the Patriots two biggest offseason acquisitions starting to hit their stride.

Lots of big ‘D’ contributors for Patriots – Adam Kurkjian notes that it wasn’t just the cornerbacks who stepped up yesterday.

Get the rest of the stories at PatriotsLinks.com.

Brandon Marshall a top topic on NFL TV shows – Chad Finn says that the Chicago WR’s weekly stint on Around the NFL should be interesting this week.

NBA may be at a high point – Finn’s Friday column was on the NBA and its television deals.

A new era for ESPN’s NBA Countdown; bashing Jay Cutler – Richard Deitsch’s media column looks at tension last season between Bill Simmons and Sage Steele on the ESPN NBA show, and a ton of other items.

“I don’t believe in damned curses…” Did something happen 10 years ago today?

Bruins Tickets 60% Below Average For Tomorrow’s Game vs Minnesota

The Boston Bruins will host the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night at the TD Garden in an East vs West conference matchup.  It’s already a crossroads in the season for Boston Bruins who have not exactly gotten off to a strong start and are without their captain Zdeno Chara for four to six weeks because of a knee injury.  After a season opening win over the Flyers, the Bruins then dropped three straight. They have bounced back with four wins in their past six games, but still need to play with more consistency as the season wears on.  Boston is coming off an easy win over the Maple Leafs in their last outing as they prepare for their first meeting of the season with the Minnesota Wild.

According to TiqIQ, Bruins tickets for this game have a current average price of $84.46 on the secondary market with a get-in price of $33. That price is 60% below the season average for home games on the Bruins schedule this year. With ticket prices dropping as the game draws nearer, it is currently the only game in Boston with an average price below $100.

The Minnesota Wild have only played six games so far this season but have just allowed six goals and have the league’s best goal differential at plus-13.  After opening the season with back-to-back wins over the Avalanche, the Wild suffered tight back-to-back losses to the Ducks and Kings, respectively. They have since rebounded with dominant wins over the Coyotes and Lightning as the Wild seeks its third straight victory.  Minnesota will now prepare for a two-game road trip, taking on the Rangers Monday night at the Garden and then traveling to the TD Garden to take on the Bruins on Tuesday night.  After six games, it’s hard to see where the Wild stand among the elite in the Western Conference but Minnesota sure looks to have a strong season and go even deeper into the playoffs following early exits in back-to-back seasons at the hands of the Blackhawks.

Chili Monday In October

There is a chill in the air this morning as the temperatures were in the low 30’s as many began their day throughout New England.

In a related move, the Red Sox made a little news last night, as Chili Davis agreed to become their new hitting coach. Hopefully he does better than the last highly-regarded coach that came over from the A’s.

The Patriots-free weekend made for some interesting viewing and media consumption. The biggest story was Peyton Manning and his quest to overtake Brett Favre as the NFL’s all time leader in touchdown passes.

Manning and the Broncos crushed the San Francisco 49ers last night 42-17.

Notes/Links:

“Friday Night Lights” Author Fails in NY Times Column on Sports Culture – Matt Chatham goes scorched earth Fire-Joe-Morgan Style on a recent Buzz Bissinger column.

What brings Buzz nuzzling in for relevance now is his opinion piece featured in this weekend’s NY Times titled “The Boys in the Clubhouse.” Buzz has no credible experience in sports. but has staked his career on pretending to have sports world insight. As clueless as he is on the subject, he can prose a bit, so his parlor tricks speak well to crowds of similar inexperience.

Definitely worth the read.

Dan Shaughnessy decided to do an all “positive” column this weekend. It was about as dreadful and disingenuous as you would imagine. I don’t recommend it.

Today Steve Buckley says that the Patriots are much more interesting and “fun” to follow this year because it is not a given that they are going to win every game. That’s a media take if I’ve ever heard one. Stories and talking points are tougher to come up with when a team is dominant, easier when the team has ups and downs. Besides, how long has it been since it was a “given” that the team was going to dominate each week?

Why Are Pats Fans Such Crybabies? – I would normally not link to Eric Wilbur in this space, but Eric was nice enough to solicit my opinion for his weekend column on the subject of Patriots. Naturally he and I see things very differently, but he let me have my say, and I respect that.

If Jets don’t want Rex Ryan, TV will take him – Chad Finn looks at the possibility of a media career in the near future for Rex Ryan.

Only in the world of the Boston sports media would you rather have Aqib Talib than Darrelle Revis. A year ago this topic would’ve been laughed off the air. You’d rather have the guy who always gets injured right when they need him the most?? You’re insane! Not to mention all the talk about Talib’s background, and whether he was a bad influence in the locker room. He’s a poor (cheap) man’s Darrelle Revis! Now he was a leader of men, while Revis is a robot who plays on autopilot.

Rajon Rondo feels positive vibe – This really doesn’t read like a guy demanding to be traded. So whatever happened to that big Jackie MacMullen off-air “scoop?” Are was she just saying stuff to sound in the know?

Patriots Swat Away Jets Upset Plans

All season long we’ve been hearing about how terrible the Thursday night football games have been. Teams have been ragged, worn down, and not sharp when playing just four days after their previous game.

Last night the Patriots looked ragged, worn down and not sharp. The Jets hung tough all night long, running the ball at will against the Patriots, who were playing their first game without Jerod Mayo this season.

For many of those following or covering the team, the Thursday factor is no excuse. It may be for other teams, but for the Patriots, last night was just another example of how poor the team is. (“Putrid” according to a Boston.com headline.) Gary Tanguay was shouting on the postgame  “WINDOW CLOSED!”

It’s funny, as much as Shaughnessy and others like to claim how weak the AFC East is, the division games are usually some of the toughest on the schedule. Buffalo excepted, most of the time. Games with the Dolphins and Jets are more often than not, ugly slugfests. Winning two division games in four days is OK with me, no matter how it happens.

This morning some tried to create a controversy out of the ending of the game, when the officials moved Donta’ Hightower from over the long-snapper on the final field attempt.

Why did official help Patriots avoid penalty before Jets’ field goal got blocked?

The NFL pretty quickly shot this one down.

On WEEI this morning, they demanded to know why Belichick didn’t challenge the David Nelson catch with 23 seconds left to go, which looked like a bobble while standing out of bounds.

They had to be reminded by the producer/engineer that coaches can’t challenge under two minutes. They then changed it to demanding that Belichick should’ve used a timeout there to allow the officials time to look at it. They then quickly moved over to talking about how 1-5 over the next six games is possible.

So, Jason Cole, what happened to the “surprise” that the Patriots and Darrelle Revis were cooking up for the Jets last night?

Get the coverage this morning over at PatriotsLinks.com.

Media Columns:

Jim Nantz, Phil Simms part of the CBS showcase – Chad Finn on the CBS tandem, and notes on the MLB playoffs and NBA preseason.

Socci thinks Thursday NFL games come up too fast – Bill Doyle has the Patriots radio voice talking about the challenges of games like last night.

This week’s Sports Illustrated has a excerpt from Bill Parcells’ new book. – Parcells: A Football Life

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Exclusive Book Excerpt: The Belichick-Parcells Split

Before he built the Patriots powerhouse, Bill Belchick was the Jets’ head coach – for a mere 24 hours. His shocking resignation and flight to New England produced one of the most memorable press conferences in NFL history and sparked a fuel with rival Bill Parcells that still rages on. SI has an exclusive excerpt on the behind-the-scenes closed door coaches’ meetings, Charlie Weis’ plea for the head coach position and all the events leading up to the press conference from Parcells’ new book, Parcells: A Football Life

“I didn’t begrudge Bill getting another job somewhere else. In fact, I’m probably the one that got it for him.” – Parcells on Belichick

“I knew I did the right thing and I didn’t know where my career was going.” – Belichick

“I’ve told many coaches that friendship and loyalty is going to be more important than ambition. Some guys don’t realize that until after they’re done. I don’t bear animosity toward Charlie. I can say that with a straight face because I know what he is. His actions back then don’t bother me anymore” – Parcells on Weis’ departure from the Jets

Nuggets from the Bob Ryan Publicity Tour

With the release of his new book Scribe: My Life in Sports last week, Bob Ryan has been doing media interviews as part of the publicity campaign for the book.

One of the reappearing themes from the interviews is how treatment of the media by the teams and leagues has changed over the years, specifically the NBA.

Last week he talked to Ben Golliver of SI.com.

SI.com: There’s a great picture in the book of you typing from a courtside seat with a group of fans looking over your shoulder. How important was proximity to the quality of your writing, and do you hold out any hope that NBA owners might reconsider their decision to move writers away from courtside and up into the bleachers?

Ryan: Without question, the treatment of the media and the elimination of media courtside seating has adversely affected the writing ability of anyone who is covering the game, the way we were able to cover games. Not only was I able to see the game unimpeded, but I was able to hear – the oral part of the game was a very big deal. You could hear things, you had rapport with referees and coaches during the game. It was so vital. It kills me seeing some 5-year-old kid eating ice cream, sitting in a seat that I should be sitting at or some beat man should be sitting at.

It all started with Jack Kent Cooke moving the beat writers off the floor. In hindsight, if the Los Angeles Times had boycotted the Lakers and said, “We’re not covering you until you put our people back where we belong,” we would have headed this off at the pass 45 years ago. But they didn’t and it gradually took root, and one team after another after another eliminated courtside seating. Now you have what you have: you can’t see the game properly. In places like Boston, they don’t even treat local radio with respect. Local radio sits in the same angled corner where the media sits. I could never have written the stories I wrote and did as well as I did writing game stories — that’s what it was all about then, that’s not what it’s about now — if I did not have that courtside seating. They’ve wrecked the opportunity that we had.

Ryan did an interview this week with Ryan Glasspiegel of The Big Lead, and added some more to this topic:

RG: It might be the case that I don’t have an NBA franchise that I really root for, and I just watch the league as a whole, so I’m probably thinking about it more as a writer.

BR: I’m speaking as a fan who happened to write. And I happened to have season tickets for 22 years — from 1978-2000. I still have Red Sox tickets. So I always relate to the fan experience. As far as writing, it’s very annoying what they’ve done to us. They treat the writers like cow dung. They care not one lick about the print press. They are so close to charging us to get in that it’s frightening. That’s a whole other matter.

RG: Wait, at this point in your career, you go and get credentialed and they send you into crappy seats?!

BR: I’m no better off than any other writer. At the Boston Garden they put me with the regular press, which is a terrible seat in the corner. That’s the regular press. The beat men for the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, and any of the other New England papers or visiting writers are stuck in the corner. Even home radio is stuck there because they don’t care about either entity anymore.

They care about one thing: Filling the courtside seats with people who have enough disposable income to overspend for them. And they care about television. That’s it. Everything else is a bother.

It should be emphasized that Ryan is mostly talking about basketball here, and the importance of being courtside for someone who is reporting on the game. For other sports, it isn’t as important to be right there, and in fact, the view for the other sports is probably better from a higher angle.

Speaking of other sports, Ryan has had about enough of football.

My personal premise on football is that it wouldn’t bother me at all if they stopped playing in the next five minutes. I can live without football. The sports smorgasbord has any number of other activities that could satisfy us over a 12-month period. We don’t need football.

He goes on to explain why – mostly the impact it has on the well-being of the participants later in life.

Grantland had a tremendous column by Bryan Curtis on Ryan, which examines the legacy he is leaving behind in the world of sports media.

He also mentions something I think is very important, and which is something that gets a finger-wag from media types today. The rooting aspect.

“[Sportswriters] say, ‘I never root. I only root for the story,’” Ryan said as he drove through town. “Not me. I want the team to win.”

Ryan was a writer-fan. In Boston, this wasn’t uncommon. “They all are out there,” said Larry Bird. “Not just Bob. They cared. They just wanted you to win. In New York, they want you to lose so they have better stuff to write.”

Ryan’s colleague (and competitor) Dan Shaughnessy may have invented the “rooting for the story” catchphrase, as it is a tenet that he lives by. Curtis explains though, that Ryan rooting for the team did not mean he wasn’t critical.

Now, a rooting sportswriter tends to get people flexing their J-school diplomas. So it’s worth explaining just how Ryan’s fandom manifested itself. He wasn’t Johnny Most yelling into a microphone. Ryan was the kind of Celtics fan who demanded good play and personnel management. Anything less he took personally — and litigated in the Globe.

Now, to me, that is what I want. Too often I’m accused by some of simply wanting cheerleaders for reporters. That’s not the case, I want the media to demand excellence from the teams that I root for, as Curtis explains, there is a difference between wanting the team you cover to win, and homerism. I don’t want homers or cheerleaders. But I don’t want the reporters and columnists seemingly rooting against the teams I follow.

Is Bob Ryan the last to understand this? At the very least, he’s among a dwindling few.

TiqIQ Patriots Ticket Preview

After starting the season with an alarming loss against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium, the New England Patriots have turned it around in recent weeks and now sit atop the AFC East with a 4-2 record. The team will play their next home game against the struggling Jets this Thursday, who have lost five straight since a Week 1 win against the Raiders. According to TiqIQ, New England Patriots tickets against the Jets will be the cheapest meeting between the two teams since the company started recording ticket prices five years ago. The following two home games on the Patriots schedule will be against the Bears on October 26 and Broncos on November 2 and ticket prices will increase significantly on the secondary market as the team welcomes stronger teams to Gillette Stadium.

10/16 vs New York Jets  |  Avg. Price: $163.72  |  Get-in: $68

The Jets head to Foxborough this Thursday to play the Patriots in what will be the cheapest home game at Gillette Stadium this season. The average price for Patriots vs Jets tickets this week is just $163.72 on the secondary market,  45.6% below the season average of $301.44 at home. The Jets have fallen into obscurity in the AFC East with a 1-5 record and will likely descend further when they play the Patriots, who own first-place honors in the division. The Jets’ poor play has made prices plummet and their stay in Foxborough this week will be greeted with significantly low ticket prices on the secondary market.

10/26 vs Chicago Bears  |  Avg. Price: $376.70  |  Get-in: $186

Following their game against the Jets this Thursday, the Patriots remain at home to play the Bears on October 26. Ticket prices will return to normalcy when the Bears visit, with average secondary price of Pats vs Bears tickets currently listed at $376.70 for the Week 8 game. The get-in price of $186 is more expensive than the average for Thursday night’s Jets game. The Bears last visited Gillette Stadium in the regular season in 2006, eliciting a high premium to see a rare game against Chicago in New England. The game will be the second most expensive on the remaining Patriots schedule at home this season, trailing just a visit from the Broncos the following week as the top-priced game this year.

11/2 vs Denver Broncos  |  Avg. Price: $561.93  |  Get-in: $205

As in all stadiums across the league, Peyton Manning will again catalyze a large premium on the secondary market for his visit to Gillette Stadium on November 2. The average price for Patriots vs Broncos tickets to the Week 9 game is currently $561.93 on the secondary market, one of the most expensive games in the NFL this season. The get-in price starts at $205. The Broncos also traveled to New England in Week 12 of last year but received their second loss of the season in a 34-31 loss. The teams would meet again in the Conference Championship and the Broncos would ultimately eliminate the Patriots en route to their Super Bowl XLVIII appearance. Week 9’s matchup will see AFC Champion Game-like ticket prices as Peyton Manning and company returns for what at this point could be one of, if not the, last Manning-Brady matchups.

Bruins Slow Start Continues With Last Second Loss

The Bruins have struggled to score in the early going this season, and while they played a littler better yesterday, goals were still hard to come by, and the end result – a Colorado goal with 0.4 seconds left to break a 1-1 tie was depressing.

Game Stories/Commentary:

Avs beat the clock, and Bruins 
at Garden – Steve Conroy

Bruins lose to Avalanche on last-second goal – Amalie Benjamin

Boston Bruins lose a shocker as scoring drought continues – Mike Loftus

Bruins’ misfiring offense leads to thin margin of error – Fluto Shinzawa

Three things that are wrong with the Bruins right now – DJ Bean

Colorado beats Bruins, 2-1, on last-second goal – Mark Divver.

Bruins need to reverse course fast – Joe McDonald.

What we learned from the Bruins’ 2-1 loss – Joe Haggerty.

Conroy also had a feature in the Improper Bostonian on goalkeeper Tuukka Rask – The Rask Factor

Get all the rest at BruinsLinks.com.

The Patriots are on a very short week as they face the New York Jets on Thursday night, and will do so minus Jerod Mayo and Steven Ridley, both of whom are reportedly lost for the season.

The team’s win in Buffalo was an encouraging one in many aspects, though don’t tell that to the Boston Globe/Boston.com Twitter mafia, who couldn’t find much positive to take away from the win.

Brady & Company: Little Things Pay Off Big – Matt Chatham looks at narrative crunch time coming on the WEAPONZ talk.

Jerod Mayo’s duties will fall upon multiple Patriots – Jeff Howe looks at how the Patriots will attempt to fill the void.

Fox fumbled its priorities in AFC debut – Chad Finn was not impressed with the debut of the “cross-flex” system.

Get all the other coverage from PatriotsLinks.com.

A  few last items:

Mike Napoli slated to undergo surgery for sleep disorder – Rob Bradford has quick report on surgery for the Red Sox first baseman, who recently shaved his beard in preparation for this.

Rich Gedman on list for Red Sox hitting coach – Peter Abraham says the former Sox catcher could be in play to fill the open position.

Bill Russell, K.C. Jones treated like ‘Rock’ stars at Alcatraz – On Sunday, Baxter Holmes had his farewell to the Globe, a longform piece on a 1956 visit to the notorious prison by the USF stars.

Media Circus: Keith Olbermann on burying the hatchet with ESPN – Richard Deitsch with a two-part media column and interview. This is part one.

Keith Olbermann’s future; Jim Calhoun moves to broadcasting – This is part two.

Bruins Drop The Puck Tonight As NHL Season Opens

The Bruins get back on the ice tonight as the regular season begins with a nationally televised game (7:30pm, NBC Sports Network) against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden.

Despite some personnel losses, the Bruins are still considered one of the top teams in the NHL. They’ll look to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals but will face some tough challenges.

Bruins doing their best in salary cap struggle – Fluto Shinzawa looks at how the Bruins were impacted by the salary cap coming into this season.

Bruins hope to follow Blackhawks model en route to Cup – Stephen Harris has the B’s looking to emulate the success of Chicago, who had to cut ties with some players for Cap purposes after their 2010 title, but still won another Cup. in 2013.

Get all the links on the Bruins at BruinsLinks.com.

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Another local team starts their season tonight, as the Boston Brawlers of the FXFL (Fall Experimental Football League) play their first game tonight against the Omaha Mammoths.

The league consists of four teams – The Brawlers, the Mammoths, the Brooklyn Bolts and the Florida (Miami) Blacktips. The hope is the the league can develop into a developmental or minor league for the NFL, similar to the NBA D-League.

Tonight’s game will be broadcast on NESN Plus at 8:00pm.

The Brawlers roster has several players who have spent some time with the Patriots, including offensive linemen Jon Halapio (6th round pick in 2014) and R.J. Mattes and wide receiver Wilson Van Hooser.