Fox25 Sports Sunday started off late (10:48), and with Butch Stearns wondering if he deserves to work in Boston. He says Buckley deserves credit for his article earlier this week. Says Pedro says he won’t take a hometown discount to stay in Boston. Patriots highlights followed, and Kevin Mannix was in after that. Butch talked about the Patriots being pushed around all day, and Mannix hopes it isn’t the start of a copycat trend. Priest Holmes was outstanding, and the Chiefs O-Line really got a great push and knocked the Patriots off the ball. Despite so many passes by the Patriots, they controlled the clock, Charlie Weis loves to do this spread offense. Daniel Graham’s catch and blocking was pointed out. Chiefs top running team in AFC, San Diego and Miami are the next top teams and they’re next on the schedule. Bledsoe highlights from Denver were up next.
Pedro’s comments over the weekend were up next, as well as his highlights from today. Butch noted Nomar’s hot streak since being ripped by Buckley and suggested Buckley go after Vin Baker next. On the Cy Young, Butch says Pedro should win it, but Zito will win it. The N.E. Revolution merited a mention on the show with their hot end to the season.
NFL highlights, led off the next segment, followed by Levan Reid’s segment, who talked about Priest Holmes running over the Pats, but the Patriots offense doing enough to overcome it. Reid also can’t remember the last time the Pats were pushed around like this, he’s scratching his head over it. Ty Law talked about people needed to step up when people are out. However Brady was “sick” throwing the ball all over the field including to all three tight ends. Clips from both rookies, Graham and Branch, who talked about the offense stepping up. Next week though if Bruschi and Phifer aren’t back, things could be ugly.
Stearn’s Last Blast was to the Red Sox owners, they need to sign Pedro up for the rest of his career during the offseason and to right the wrongs of the last regime who lost Clemens.
NECN’s “Sports Late Night” with Chris Collins, once again had Ronnie Lippett in studio to analyze the Patriots from today. Lippett talked about the players feeling good after a game like this because they didn’t have their top game and still found a way to win. Coaches job is to prepare the players, he shouldn’t have to motivate them at all. They also took calls from viewers.
WBZ’s “Sports Final” had Bob Lobel starting off teasing about a look at the sports media culture in Boston. A Larry Johnson cartoon with the Patriots defense with a bag over the head was shown. Steve Burton’s game story looked at the weapons on offense, and struggles in other areas, defense and penalties. A passing mention was made that the team was without their two best linebackers, and Burton called the defensive performance “inexcusable”.
Ron Borges, Scott Zolak and Steve DeOssie were in as the first panel, and Lobel teasing Borges about the e-mailers that write about him. Borges said after this game you should be nervous. Mentioned some injuries, and teams are going to look at this tape, and do the same things and the team will be in trouble. DeOssie chimed in that this game might not exactly be a blueprint about how to stop the Patriots. (41 points) Zolak said when you line up with an empty backfield in the shotgun, you’re going to have the QB get hit, but it’s worth it if you make a few good plays. Borges said you can’t let your QB get hit like he did today. San Diego goes after the quarterback and they take pride in it. Borges said when Bledsoe would throw 50 times people would complain that they’re passing too much, they’re doing it now with Brady. He added that after the first quarter, the Chiefs defensive coordinator decided to start going after Brady full time and other teams will copy that that. DeOssie said they will, but the Patriots also put up lots of points in the second half. Borges then said last week people had Richard Seymour in the hall of fame and today he was watching Priest Holmes run by him all day. From the post-game Will McDonough noted that this was a good victory because they didn’t play well and still won, and that’s what good teams do.
Nick Cafardo and Michael Felger were in next. How the Boston sports media is portrayed was topic. They had a poll asking what if the coverage was too negative too positive, or fair, 62% said it was fair. Felger thinks that maybe Boston sports fans in general are negative as well. Brady’s performance was discussed, Cafardo is won over. Felger talked about the perception being that he was just a system QB, that he wouldn’t mess things up, he and Troy Brown have carried this team. Cafardo is a little concerned that they need to add the running game in a bit more. Felger said that injuries could also derail this team. Cafardo said Bryan Cox would’ve helped today and that he was the biggest offseason mistake that the Patriots made. Felger questioned the coaching staff for the team coming out flat and not ready to play. Cafardo noted none of Weis’ trick plays worked today. The attempted run by the holder on the extra point was ridiculous. The travel and the heat factor could be big too with trips to San Diego and Miami.
Buckley’s column from earlier this week was discussed in detail. Nomar’s rebuttal was shown as well. Buckley joined the program from Florida. Lobel commended him for facing the music. Buckley said he never thought this would happen, he’s surprised about the media covering media. He struck back against those who said that he wrote the column and left town and didn’t talk to Nomar. Buckley said he doesn’t have a right to say Nomar doesn’t deserve to be here, he was simply using a “columnist device”. Interesting that Nomar immediately made himself available to all the media the rest of the week. Burton says this article was a wakeup call to Nomar. Next up were Pedro’s comments from yesterday. They showed his quotes from the weekend, Shaughnessy called them ridiculous and the owners would be crazy to extend him, and Buckley called the comments disingenuous, and that the team is falling apart like last year, this is Clemens cleaning out his locker early, and everyone looking out for himself. Burton said Pedro just wants more money. (When the showed the quote, they failed to show this part of it: (”I’m not in a hurry to get their money,” he said. ”They can defer whatever they have to. It’s not like I need the money.)
Sports Final OT opened with a rant about the show going on as long as it needed to go and that OT is a separate show because that’s the system. The incident in Chicago with the fans coming out of the stands was shown and briefly discussed. Burton went back to the Pedro quotes, and microanalyzed them. Shaughnessy talked about players not fulfilling their contracts they have, and the risk is all with the owners. Pedro has two years left, he shouldn’t be talking like this. He could be washed up by that time. Lobel said it’s never enough with Pedro, is it… A chat with Bobby Orr was shown next, Lobel asked him about the show with Ted and Larry and his memories, and Orr called it “exciting”. He said he didn’t know Larry very well, and he really enjoyed getting to know him a little. He reflected on Ted and his fishing, and the first time he met Ted, that Ted critiqued his casting technique and gave him pointers on it. The topic moved to the Denis Leary foundation hockey game in Worcester next week.
Wolde Harris from the New England Revolution was in studio to talk about the increasing popularity of the team and their rise as Eastern Conference champions. They had really no success in the past against the Metro-Stars and beat them 3-0 yesterday to clinch their title. They play the Chicago Fire in the first round, a best of three, and they’ve beaten them this year before.
On WHDH’s “Sports Xtra” Tim Fox wisely did make the point about the Patriots missing Bruschi and Phifer and that the team went into this game not really knowing what they would have for personnel. Fred Smerlas talked about how much Brady showed today. A look at Charlie Weis followed. Antowain Smith talked about Weis telling him to be patient and that they would work him in. With so many weapons, when a player gets his number called, they better produce. Brady and Weis have a great relationship and bounce ideas off each other all week. The segment ended showing Weis taking it slow getting down a set of stairs.
Gene Lavanchy talked about the sloppiness to start the game, Smerlas noted that it did start that way, but things started to swing and the team was able to take control. Lavanchy suggested perhaps the Patriots were getting too fancy on offense, trying too many trick plays, Fox said it is a concern that they could get into a pattern like that happened with Bledsoe, to go for the big play rather than the small gains. Next week, San Diego has a good running game too, but Fox said you probably won’t see the same team, with the linebacker shortage they went to the three safeties a lot of the time, and it caused some missed tackles. Smerlas noted Vrabel and McGinest weren’t able to force Holmes back to the inside. Both Fox and Smerlas noted that past Patriot editions would’ve lost this game. Lavanchy is still concerned with all the yards given up on the ground with San Diego and Miami up next. The penalties were what concerned Fox the most.
Pedro was up next. Gary Gillis had a segment looking at his season and his chances in the Cy Young race. Michael Smith and Michael Holley were in studio to talk Pedro. Smith picks Zito for his Cy Young winner, Holley also picks Zito. Their reasons were a little different, but they both seem to select him because of his team being better and that he’s pitched in bigger games. As for his contract, Holley says you don’t pay any attention to anything that’s said right now, people are spouting off all over the place as it’s the end of the season and they’re not going to the playoffs. Both agree that you can’t pick up the option yet because you don’t know about his health. Holley says though that you never trade great players. Neither Nomar nor Pedro should be traded, Smith agrees as this team is pretty close. Just need to fill a few holes. Holley says that most people in the media do not enjoy working with Nomar, he himself doesn’t always enjoy it, and that is where the media stories are coming from that he shouldn’t be here. The fact that Nomar doesn’t like the media just endears him more to fans. Holley said if Nomar came out this week and said he hated Boston, the fans would blame the media. The media will never win a fight with Nomar in the fans eyes. They very briefly mentioned the Revolution, and I got a little chuckle out of how Michael Holley said that “the Revolution will not be televised”. For me, it recalled an early Public Enemy album…