With a day to absorb it all, the loss Sunday night doesn’t look much better. Kevin Mannix explains that because of the late night, he didn’t have time to properly view the tape and do the normal report card, so he and a bunch of media cronies made one up on the plane home. The Union Leader also provides its weekly Patriots report card. Tom Curran assures us that a loss to the Raiders isn’t such a big deal, while Ron Borges contends otherwise. Borges believes the fact that the Patriots lose to teams with winning records is a bad harbinger. He takes a tough look at the team, he is cold, but objective. No joy in the loss, no “genius” cracks. Who staged the intervention with him? Conflicting opinions from the rest of the media crew as well. Alan Greenberg didn’t find anything encouraging about the performance Sunday and doesn’t seem too convinced that they can turn it around. Paul Kenyon says that not only do they have the same record as last year, but they’re in better position to make a run. At the end of his column, Bill Reynolds makes a very salient point. I’ve heard people say that this 5-5 record feels different from last years 5-5 record, that last years felt better….well, it all has to do with expectation. Reynolds notes: “maybe we’d be looking at this differently if last year had never happened. But it did. And it raised expectations. Expectations so high that 5-5 in late November is frustrating, even if the flip side is the Pats still are very much in the thick of the playoff chase.”
Gerry Callahan asserts that Brady still has time to learn the deep ball. Lenny Megliola seems to agree, but is a little more stressed over it. Nick Cafardo notes the calm demeanor of Coach Belichick yesterday. Steve Buckley observes that “miracle” teams usually don’t do too well the following season. Surprised he didn’t mention his personal favorite, the 1914 Miracle Braves, who the next season finished 7 games out of first. Deep Ball talk dominates the notebooks, with Mark Murphy discussing it, as well Cafardo in his notebook. Cafardo also notes the Falcons’ interest in Scott Pioli.
The Lowell Sun had reported last Friday in its article on Kedrick Brown that he had once suffered a “turf toe” type injury. The injury has returned. Peter May and Gus Martins have the coverage. May’s notebook looks at Paul Pierce attempting to get his three point stroke back, while Martins notebook focuses on a lack of execution hurting the team in it’s last two losses.
Gordon Edes reports that the Sox are in the thick of it for Cuban Ace Pitcher Jose Contreras, who one scout compares to Roger Clemens. Tony Massarotti leads with the interview of Jim Beattie and also ntoes that the team has contacted Tom Glavine.
Martin Lapoint’s first trip onto the ice since brekaing his foot was somewhat awkward, observes Steve Conroy. Meanwhile, Kevin Paul Dupont writes about the coming debut of 18 year old defenseman Shaone Morrisonn. Dupont’s notebook looks at Byron Dafoe’s options and the shortage of shots on goal.
John Molori writes about upcoming changes at NESN involving Red Sox Programming and “Sports Desk”. He also takes a jab at Jim Baker for disputing whether Heinsohn/Gorman is in fact the longest running duo in sports broadcasting. Baker looks at the numbers and coverage from the Patriots Sunday night, noting as I did yesterday about WBZ pumping up the ESPN coverage of the game. Bill Griffith also notes WBZ’s antics, and has a more detailed look at sports ratings numbers in Boston. He also caught Jonathan Kraft’s appearance on WBCN to address the issues Will McDonough keeps bringing up about over zealous stadium security.
Dennis and Callahan are railing against a good cause this morning, giving out the phone number to Paul Gaston’s offices in New York (212-644-3800) and encouraging people to call and question why Gaston has sucked every penny he can get out of the franchise, leaving it in horrible shape cap-wise, being the only team in the league with only 12 players on its roster, refusing to sign another even so they can hold a full practice. All the while he (Gaston) hides out and refuses to answer any questions put to him. Better watch out guys….don’t you remember that 100 million dollar lawsuit he was going after the Wall Street Journal for?
NESN has Bruins/Maple Leafs at 7:00. ESPN has a college basketball doubleheader with Florida/Louisiana Tech at 7:00 and Holy Cross/Kansas at 9:00. ESPN Classic has a Babe Ruth SportsCentury at 8:00 & 11:00.