Did Ron Borges actually write this article? It’s level-headed, calm, and lucid. Borges has actually been on good behavior the last few weeks. I wonder if all the letters sent in to the editor have had an effect. Or perhaps a missing prescription has finally been filled. Or could Borges just hate the Raiders more than he hates the Patriots? In any event, Borges has likely the best article of the morning, at least from the view of Patriots fans. Game stories are filed by Nick Cafardo, Michael Felger, Alan Greenberg and Tom Curran. Tuck obsession is evident in many articles this morning, Kevin Mannix says this time a real fumble did the Patriots in, while Jim Donaldson says there was no tuck call to save them. George Kimball captures the Raiders obsessions pretty well. Dan Shaughnessy files another piece of junk, and Karen Guregian focuses on the rough night by Tom Brady. Will McDonough provides a voice of reason, noting the Patriots still have control of their season.
Michael Smith notes that despite a no-show by the offense, this game actually came down to an on-sides kick with under a minute left. Smith also managed to venture into the Black Hole and escape with his life. Interestingly, there are actual people in those zany outfits. Michael Gee says this team still has luck, it just isn’t very good. Jim McBride provides a group of moments from the game. Karen Guregian looks at the weird Bruschi interception. Jim Donaldson loves Jerry Rice. Michael Gee looks at Otis Smith learning from Rice and Brown. Max Twine reports on fans watching the game from Gillette. Cafardo’s notebook deals with Red Zone struggles and roster tweaking. Felger’s notebook looks at Patriots fans not identifying themselves in the crowd, and a look at that weird on-side kick, Curran’s notebook has a look at the key first half play, and more of Al Davis’ persecution complex. Ian Clark’s notebook again reiterates that the Patriots are in control of their destiny the rest of the way.
Bill Griffith has a look at the ESPN coverage last night. TV Viewers last night had a choice of three pregame shows to choose from with WCVB, ESPN and the ‘BZ crew taking over UPN38 all previewing the game. Afterwards was similar, as you could tune into immediate postgame coverage on WBZ, while WCVB had a segment later in it’s newscast. WHDH’s Sports Xtra I believe was shown at its normal time, which was actually while the game was still going. You could also tune the radio to WBCN or WEEI for postgame. If you were on a computer and couldn’t get a TV or Radio account of the game, you could go to NFL.com where, for a fee you could tune into the Raider’s radio broadcast and heard gems such as while complimenting the job the refs were doing: “If we had him last January, we’d have Super Bowl rings on our fingers!”
Another interesting note was WBZ’s tactics in promoting their product. During the 49ers/Chargers games, screen graphics were used (and kept on screen for long periods of time) to advertise that they would be having a preview show on UPN38 as well as promoting their own postgame show. They also encouraged viewers to watch the game on ESPN. While it’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to in any way promote cross-town rival WCVB which was also showing the game, they didn’t do Patriots fans who didn’t have cable any favors by not mentioning that the game would be available over air locally. Brings up in interesting point…at what price does the public’s best interest come? While it’s unlikely that very many Patriots fans who didn’t have cable were unaware that they would be able to catch the game on WCVB, it’s still a possibility, and if WBZ is going to go so far as to encourage viewers to watch the game on ESPN, and then tune into their own postgame show, why not at least make cursory mention that the game would be available in the local market, perhaps not even having to say where exactly?
I’ll have more links from the rest of the world of sports later in the day.