Red Sox officials continue to

Red Sox officials continue to try to hammer out an extension agreement with Curt Schilling which would bring the pitcher to Boston. Jeff Horrigan says Theo hopes to have the deal done sometime today, before the Holiday tomorrow. Kevin Gray says bet on Schilling to the Sox. He talks with the Arizona bullpen catcher, who is close to Schilling. Paul Doyle says a large part of the selling of Schilling on Boston will be Terry Francona. Doyle speaks with Rico Brogna, who played with Schilling in Philadelphia for Francona. Michael Gee has a pay column on the Francona/Schilling dynamic, and says that even if Schilling comes here, the first time he goes on the DL we’ll all be calling him a bum and questioning why the Sox didn’t go for Colon instead.

Don't say it wouldn't happen. Always has, always will. The delusional expectations that spin the Sox' wheel of causality are why the club hasn't won a World Series. As Donald Rumsfeld wrote of the war in Iraq, "the harder we work, the behinder we get.''

He says it’s the fate of the Red Sox for those things to happen. The Red Sox team that finally wins the series will be one that is picked to win about 75 games. Gordon Edes does some number crunching to determine how the Sox could afford Schilling, Foulke, and yes, ARod. Jimmy Golen of the AP looks at the shape of the 2004 Sox, and has quotes from Pedro on what it would be like for the Sox to get Schilling. Edes’ notebook has Francona already acting like the manager, and Horrigan’s notebook looks at the progress of the Foulke negotiations.

Michael Felger looks at what the return of Ted Washington has meant for the Patriots Defense. Ron Borges looks ahead to the Sunday matchup in Indy, and likes the Patriots chances. Michael Smith says the Colts win on BIG plays and if the Patriots can stop those, they’ll be in good shape. Jonathan Comey’s wednesday Morning QB looks at the Patriots in position to clinch a playoff berth this week, and how it all came about after the week one debacle. Alan Greenberg looks around the league at he playoff picture. Michael Parente says the Patriots are showing proper respect for the Colts. Jim Donaldson looks at the play calling of Charlie Weis and notes that you only have a problem with gambling if you lose. Smith’s notebook looks at Ken Walter and his job stability for this week. Felger’s notebook looks at the job the Pats secondary has in front of them this week. Parente’s notebook also looks at Walter.

Bruins had the lead with just over 30 seconds left last night, and still lost in OT. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy have the recap from St Louis. Jumbo Joe took a costly penalty at the end of regulation which gave the Blues the advantage of not having on the the NHL’s best players on the ice against them. Conroy’s notebook looks at the mistake by Thornton. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at a rough night all around for Thornton.

Celtics links are at Fox Sports Net New New England.

Jackie MacMullan looks at the firing of Holy Cross Football coach Dan Allen. The program is 1-11 this year, but the firing is noteworthy for because of Allen’s battle with multiple chemical sensitivity. Well, he wasn’t really fired, he was “relieved of his duties” and is still an employee of Holy Cross with full benefits. That part of it is classy by Holy Cross. Mark Blaudschun and John Connolly also look at the situation.

Monday’s edition of the Inside Track had this line:

Ex-NHL All-Star Joe Jaeger slapping down his credit cards while shopping at the Prudential Center Mall with a buxom brunette . . .

As far as I can tell, there has never been an NHL player by that name. There was a baseball player by the name of Joe Jaeger who pitched in two games for the 1920 Chicago Cubs, but no Hockey player. There is however a mysterious figure by that name on the BSMW message board who has posted exactly once in that forum. Has someone pulled a fast one on the Track Gals? Wasn’t me… (They didn’t mean Jaromir Jagr, did they?)

FSNE has Celtics/Magic at 7:00 ESPN has Pistons/Sixers at 7:00 and UConn/Georgia Tech at 9:30.

First off, I dislike using

First off, I dislike using unnamed sources, and will not be putting stuff up like that on the site with my name again, as I did yesterday. I guess I could make the case that the trade was “announced” through various media outlets, and even talked about by Curt Schilling himself yesterday, but it certainly is not final. My info was bad, and it was a mistake to post it. Lesson learned. Jeff Horrigan and Sean McAdam report on the proposed deal and what it is going to take to get it completed and Schilling signed to an extension. Gordon Edes looks at the complete Red Sox picture, with Schilling, Terry Francona and Keith Foulke and what is likely to happen next. David Heuschkel says the ball is in Schilling court, the Sox would like it to be in his hand at Fenway the next few seasons. Jeff Jacobs says the Red Sox simply HAVE TO come to an agreement with Schilling, if only to keep him from the Yankees. Then we can sit back and watch what Steinbrenner and the Yankees do in reaction. Michael Holley writes about how the Sox need to go about their meeting with Schilling, skip the stats and talk baseball. (Though shouldn’t it be noted that Schilling was one of the first guys in baseball to carry a laptop with him everywhere?) Tony Massarotti likes what the Red Sox are trying to do here, and says Schilling and Foulke would be some great welcoming gifts for Terry Francona, expected to be named manager in the next week. Art Martone has a brief sidebar which should allay fears of Schilling’s performance and age. Gerry Callahan, a big Schilling booster, has a pay column today looking at how Schilling has grown up and matured since his days as a Sox farmhand and how he would be a perfect fit here. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the interview of DeMarlo Hale, which was lost in the excitement yesterday. The ProJo notebook looks at Foulke and Hale.

Nick Cafardo with the help of Tom Glavine has a very nice article in remembrance of Warren Spahn, who passed away yesterday at the age of 82. Well done. Don Amore also has a piece on Spahn.

Kevin Mannix has the Patriots Report Card for the week, he focuses on the achievements of Tom Brady, while handing out an F to special teams and a D to the offensive line. Tom Curran says Brady is the best in the clutch around here since the glory days of Larry Bird. Sometimes I fear Dan Shaughnessy goes too far the other way, setting us up for disappointment. That might be just my cynical nature though. Another positive article, though he does continue the glorious Globe tradition of taking a little shot at the Patriots coaches.

The Patriots and their fans have to stop thinking that New England's coaching staff is worth 7 points per game. There are good coaches on other teams, too, and it's arrogant to go into every week thinking you are smarter than the other guy.

Where that came from, I’m not sure. It mars an otherwise enjoyable article from Shaughnessy. Mike Reiss looks at the Pats as they come down the stretch run. Bill Burt says Tom Brady for President. Karen Guregian has more on Brady and his clutch performances. Alan Greenberg says the Patriots’ fragile offense gives their title hopes pause. Michael Smith’s notebook looks at the Patriots Dominant D.

The Celtics had another ugly loss last night to the Knicks. The links are at Fox Sports Net New New England.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins struggles in killing penalties. On WBCN on Sunday, Jonathan Kraft was high on the idea of the Bruins playing an outdoor game at Gillette stadium. In Stephen Harris’ notebook, several Bruins players think it’s a great idea as well.

Bob Ryan draws the tough assignment of covering the BC Eagles basketball team in the Virgin Islands. He reports on the 84-81 win for Boston College. Mike Shalin looks at the Bowl hopes of the Eagles football team.

Bill Griffith has the story of a local participant in the Golf Channel’s version of a reality show. He also looks at notes from the Patriots broadcast Sunday.

Somehow, the irony of this article from The Onion makes it a good fit for this page.

Kent Thaler has his weekly thoughts on the Patriots.

NESN has Bruins/Blues at 7:30.

It’s been circulating all over

It’s been circulating all over the internet and radio, (WFAN in NY had it first, it seems.) but it looks like the Red Sox have pulled off a deal for Curt Schilling. Going to Arizona would be Casey Fossum and two prospects. Unnamed sources with connections in the Red Sox front office have told me that the deal is done and will be announced later this afternoon. Stay tuned.

Update – John W Henry posted the following on the Sons of Sam Horn board:

There is a saying in business, "Until it's signed you don't have a deal."

Yesterday’s 23-20 Patriots OT victory

Yesterday’s 23-20 Patriots OT victory over the Texans should leave everyone happy. The fans are glad to get a win, and those who touted this as a “trap game” can say they told you so. Good times all around. Michael Smith tells us the Patriots are just trying to sample every way possible to win a football game. Michael Felger says the Patriots just don’t lose close games. Tom Curran says they were just tough enough to win. (Good anecdote about the CBS representative, too) Alan Greenberg says the Pats couldn’t give this one away no matter how hard they tried. Michael Parente puts the win right up there with the other come from behind victories of the Tom Brady era.

Ron Borges says the fact that the Patriots can make as many mistakes as they did yesterday and still come out on top is encouraging and bodes well for the future. Yes, they do need to make improvements if they hope to return to Houston, but they can feel fortunate after winning games like this one. Kevin Mannix says the Patriots go by the old UMass slogan “Refuse to lose.” Jim Donaldson says that it is clear that the Patriots weren’t at their best, but at 9-2, they’re looking good. Dan Shaughnessy writes about the magic of Tom Brady. He made some Bledsoe-esque mistakes yesterday, but still rallied the team to victory. George Kimball has a pay column on Brady, who may not want to look back on some of the gaffes he made, but can look with pride at another comeback OT victory. Steve Buckley has a pay column on Adam Vinatieri shaking off a missed kick and a blocked kick to win the game in OT.

Nick Cafardo looks at Daniel Graham, who bounced back from some brutal drops to make a couple of huge clutch catches, including the game tying TD. Ian M. Clark reminds us that winning ugly is still winning. Kevin Mannix, Alan Greenberg and Jim Donaldson also write about the second year tight end. Steve Buckley looks at a huge game from Kevin Faulk. Tom Curran gives credit to Charlie Weis for imaginative play calling because of his depleted offensive roster. Michael Felger looks at a dominant performance by Richard Seymour. Michael Parente says the Patriots did not let the trap close on them. George Kimball looks at Mike Vrabel’s interception in OT. Cafardo has a look at Adam Vinatieri bouncing back from the missed and blocked kicks to nail the game winner. Brian McTaggert says the Texans just fell one defensive play short in this one. Jim Donaldson says that Ramone Walker would’ve been the player of the game had the Texans pulled this out.

Smith’s notebook looks at Kevin Faulk’s emergence as the lead back and some other roster shuffling. Felger’s notebook looks at Faulk and Rohan Davey moving up on the depth charts. Curran’s notebook has Brady making amends for early goofs. Parente’s notebook also looks at the emergence of Faulk.

Bob Hohler looks at the importance of stats and data in baseball, and how it will effect hiring practices in the game. Jeff Horrigan looks ahead to the interview of DeMarlo Hale by the Red Sox today. Yesterday, John Tomase looked ahead to the tough player decisions the Red Sox have to make soon. Namely, Jason Varitek.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks back at Saturday night’s Bruins loss to the Flyers. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins will not panic as a result of the disappointing loss. Yesterday’s hockey notes by Russ Conway looked at the rising attendance in Boston and a number of other items.

Get your Celtics links over at Fox Sports Net New England.

A BSMW announcement – This site is now the on-line home to John Molori’s syndicated Media Blitz column. Each week’s column will be published on that page and archives of the column will be kept. This week Molori looks at Keyshawn Johnson’s FOX pregame appearance yesterday, and has news on Glenn Ordway’s contract negotiations with WEEI. Could he be taking the “Big Show” elsewhere?

FSNE has Celtics/Knicks at 7:00. ABC has Giants/Bucs at 9:00. ESPN2 has the Maui invitational starting at 5:00 and running through the rest of the night. ESPN Classic has The Flutie Game – BC/Miami at 9:00.

A number of good articles

A number of good articles in the Sunday papers today. Jackie MacMullan has an interesting look at Ty Law, who wants to stay here, and the implication is that he may just consider making some concessions with his contract after seeing what Lawyer Milloy is going through in Buffalo. Karen Guregian has a look at Rodney Harrison. John Clayton has an article on ESPN.com about the Patriots personnel decisons. Ron Borges looks at Keyshawn Johnson. The Borges article left me scratching my head a little bit. He seems to be defending Johnson pretty vigorously:

Johnson has long been perceived to be a selfish brat, but in reality he is not. He is insecure, afraid that he might not really be what he hopes to be, and his reaction to those fears is to beat his chest and stomp his foot.

He is not selfish. He is a young man without a sense of self, lost in the ego-driven mania of professional athletics.

OK. So he says Keyshawn is not selfish. A few paragraphs later, he says:

Not surprisingly, Keyshawn will get an instant forum to express his views on Fox's NFL pregame show today. It will be interesting to see if any of Fox's football-players-turned-journalists have the spine to ask him to explain his selfishness and the self-centered approach he has taken to life ever since he entered the NFL.

Um, which is it, Ron? Selfish, or not? This isn’t just a little swing of opinion here, it’s 180 degrees different…in one paragraph Keyshawn is not selfish, in the other he’s not just a selfish player, his whole approach to life is selfish. Of course, the bottom of the article contains the usual “Material from personal interviews, wire services, other beat writers, and league and team sources was used in this report.” So which part belongs to Ron? Did someone else write the second part? Does he think Keyshawn is selfish, or not? Weird.

A win at home for

A win at home for the Bruins. Stephen Harris, Nancy Marrapesse-Burrell and Joe McDonald wrap up the action from the Fleet. Mick Colageo wonders why the NHL doesn’t promote Joe Thornton more. Karen Guregian fears the team is starting to fall apart just as it did last year. Ron Indrisano says Martin Lapointe is finding his role with this team. Joe Gordon looks at the play of Andrew Raycroft. He also has a look at Glen Murray. McDonald’s notebook says that Coach Sullivan is in no hurry to name one of his goaltenders as the top one. Harris’ notebook has more on Lapointe and his role. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at the Bruins skills in the faceoff circle.

Another edition of Ask Nick is in the books, and as usual, there is plenty of Drew talk. Nick responds to one question on the Bills QB thusly:

Drew isn't my brother or anything. He's a player that I covered for many years that I grew to respect as a person. People love to trash him. They love to rub it in his face, which is something I just don't understand and never will. I don't think the guy ever did anything to deserve that. That's all. I had the same respect for Roger Clemens in the 12 years I covered him. Drew is definitely on the decline. Anyone can see that.

Nick doesn’t understand. Let’s see if I can explain it for him. It’s all well and good to respect a player as a person, and indeed Drew is someone anyone can respect in that manner. I don’t think a single person in this region can argue that Drew is a class act. The way he handled himself during the SuperBowl season, and then taking out the ads in the paper when he left town showed what type of person he is. Nick and others now have this act going where they say people around here “love to trash” Drew. I don’t see that at all. I like Drew and I always will. So does everyone I know. What Nick doesn’t get, or chooses to ignore is that any of this illwill that he perceives being against Drew around here, is really a product of the agenda driven writing that he and others in the media have put upon the fans. They anointed the Bills as the next dynasty in the AFC East, taking shots at the Patriots every step of the way. They proclaimed Tom Donahoe a genius for stealing Drew and Lawyer Milloy away from the Patriots. They denigrated the achievements of the Patriots and their coaching and management. They insulted the Patriots for trading Drew within the division for only a first round pick. For people rooting for the Patriots, all this Bills hype was just a continuous slap in the face. Nick and his cronies could barely contain their admiration for the juggernaught in Buffalo and now that after 10 games, that team has pretty much fallen on its face and is in disarray, the fans here feel exalted. The fact that Drew, the good guy, the class act is at the centerpiece of that collapse, is an unfortunate development. But after having it thrown in their face since the trade that the Patriots were making the Bills a championship contender for trading Drew to them, the fans here are throwing it back at Nick and the others. Their animosity is not towards Drew. Let me repeat. The fans animosity is not towards Drew. It’s not even that much towards Tom Donahoe, (though it is annoying to read him quoted in every article written) Lawyer Milloy or the Buffalo Bills. It’s towards the ones who have perpetrated this agenda that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are evil and that Tom Donahoe and the Buffalo Bills are the agents of redemption who will cause them to pay for their transgressions. Day after day, week after week this is pounded upon the fans. They’re sick of it. They’re striking back. I hope that clears it up for you.

(rant over, back to your regularly scheduled links)

Michael Smith writes about the new-look Patriot receiving corps. Rich Thompson looks at the re-signing of Dedric Ward. Mike Reiss looks at the QB ratings for each game against the Patriot defense this year. The ratings are down from last year, and as you might imagine, the highest rated performance against the Patriots came in game one this year. Some guy named Bledsoe. Alan Greenberg has a look at the struggles of Ken Walter. Tom Curran looks at the progress of Matt Light in this his third NFL season. Hector Longo looks at Kevin Faulk as the Patriots go-to guy on offense. Jim Donaldson says Keyshawn Johnson would be a better fit with the Red Sox, not the Patriots. Reiss’ notebook looks at the return of Dedric Ward. Curran’s notebook looks at the opposing quarterbacks against the Patriots this year. Thompson’s notebook looks at Dan Koppen facing Steve Martin. Smith’s notebook looks at Tony Banks.

DeMarlo Hale will be the next candidate interviewed for the position of Red Sox manager. David Heuschkel, Bob Holer, and Jeff Horrigan report on the candidate. Sean McAdam says the Red Sox are serious in their pursuit of Andy Pettitte, even though they’re realistic about their chances. Horrigan’s notebook says that Pettitte’s agents canceled a scheduled visit to Boston for today. Tony Massarotti says that the Red Sox have lost out on Kelvim Escobar. Gerry Callahan has a pay column saying this Red Sox ownership is not playing the fool this offseason, they won’t be used by Pettitte. The won’t make foolish choices in free agency, and that they should still go for ARod.

Get your Celtics links over at Fox Sports Net New England.

Bob Ryan lines up for his chance to bash the BCS.

Bill Griffith looks at Harvard/Yale, the 120th annual matchup.

FSNE has Celtics/Sixers at 7:00. ESPN has Timberwolves/Cavs at 8:00 and Rockets/Blazers at 10:30.

Rough night for the locals.

Rough night for the locals. An ugly 81-73 loss for the Celtics and a 5-4 OT loss for the Bruins.

You can read about the Celtics loss over at Fox Sports Net New England.

The Bruins had three leads and couldn’t hold any of them, continuing their struggles against the mighty Atlanta Thrashers. The Thrashers are to the Bruins what the Bulls are to the Celtics. Nancy Marrapesse-Burrell and Steve Conroy have a look at the breakdown in Atlanta. Kevin Paul Dupont has a one-on-two interview with goalies Felix Potvin and Andrew Raycroft for tonight’s edition of SportsPlus on NESN. Conroy’s notebook looks at Byron Dafoe, not happy with his backup role in Atlanta. Marrapesse-Burrell’s notebook looks at a critical hooking call against Nick Boynton last night, and Patrice Bergeron’s impressions of his first Patriots game.

Even though they will be interviewing more candidates, it appears more and more like Terry Francona is the clear frontrunner to be the next Red Sox manager. Jeff Horrigan & Tony Massarotti team up to look at the process. Bob Hohler also tabs Francona as the front runner and throws the name of Larry Dierker into the mix as well. Dierker is a guy I thought they would interview all along. Hohler concludes by saying the chances of ARod coming to Boston are very slim. Though he may never be a Red Sox, Dan Shaughnessy lays the groundwork for the build-em-up-and-then-tear-em-down campaign that would be sure to be waged in Boston should the Sox ever land Rodriguez. The article recalls a visit to Harvard by the Rangers shortstop, a visit that shows the intellectual, inquisitive nature of ARod. No, nothing bad or negative in there, but then again, he doesn’t play for the Red Sox yet, either. David Heuschkel investigates these ARod-to-Boston rumors. He concludes that where there is smoke, there’s fire. Shaughnessy has a brief sidebar with Larry Lucchino commenting quickly on Nomar’s contract status. Jeff Horrigan reports that Andy Pettitte may be making a visit to Boston soon. I would not count on the Sox being able to sign Pettitte. I don’t think he has any interest in coming here. Besides, as revealed on Dennis & Callahan yesterday by the Texas writer, Pettitte’s wife wants to go home to Houston and she apparently has a big say in the matter.

J.J. Stokes got on the practice field yesterday and naturally all eyes (and pens) where on him. Ron Borges looks at Stokes and how he knew he was done early in Jacksonville. Alan Greenberg says this is a good position for the 6-4 receiver. Hector Longo also looks at the addition of Stokes. Michael Felger has a look at Matt Light. You haven’t heard his name too often this season, and that’s a good thing. What are the odds of Keyshawn Johnson ending up with the Patriots? According to Tom Curran, pretty good. He looks back at comments made by Belichick about Johnson in the past and you can see that the coach thinks very highly of the skills and ability of the erstwhile Tampa Bay receiver. Buddy Thomas though, thinks Johnson is just a loudmouthed schnook. (Apologies to Henery Hawk) Mike Reiss looks at Bobby Grier, settled in with the Texans. Steve Buckley looks at a repentant Deion Branch, who acknowledges that he screwed up by getting the taunting penalty Sunday night, and likely cost his team points. He says he’s learned his lesson and that it will not happen again. Says Buckley:

But it does send out a powerful message about what's happening behind the scenes with these 2003 New England Patriots. When a player is willing to point fingers at himself three days after a victory, it says a lot about the team's mission statement.

Eric McHugh looks ahead to the Texans. He notes that since Tom Brady took over as QB, the Patriots are 9-0 against teams who entered the game with a losing record. Glen Farley looks at the collection of throwback jerseys in the Patriots locker room. Rob Bradford says that the Patriots have taken the heat off the Red Sox. Borges’ notebook looks at a $7500 fine from the league for Eugene Wilson. Felger’s notebook says the Patriots still have interest in Dedric Ward. Curran’s notebook has more on Stokes.

NESN has Bruins/Capitals at 7:00. TNT has Spurs/Mavs at 7:30 and Magic/Suns at 10:00. ESPN has TCU/Southern Miss. College football at 7:30. ESPN2 has Red Wings/Blue Jackets at 7:30 and Rangers/Avalanche at 10:00.

So does this ARod to

So does this ARod to the Red Sox hype have any legs to it? Some people feel that it does. Peter Gammons was speaking at Harvard Law School last night and it was one of the topics he addressed. He feels that ARod wants to come here, and that Manny’s agent is pushing the Rangers to make the deal. He also feels he can be the “out front” type of star that the Sox don’t currently have. This morning, Steve Buckley also tackles the topic, noting that this Red Sox ownership group is obsessed with winning, and adding:

And, again, Alex Rodriguez wants to be here. That's key. Fact: Cooperative players help teams make money off the field. And Manny Ramirez does not want to be here. That, too, is key. If you accept the premise that being ``comfortable'' is more important to Ramirez than being ``competitive,'' and if you believe just the opposite is now true with Rodriguez, it's easy to understand why the Red Sox would be eager for some kind of arrangement that would land A-Rod in Boston and Manny . . . anywhere else.

Buckley advises us to stay tuned, as something very interesting could be happening this offseason around here. Bob Hohler reports in the Globe today that Terry Francona appears to the be clear favorite in the managerial race, as he met privately with principal owner John W. Henry in Florida yesterday. Bob Ryan weighs in on the steroid issue in baseball. Howard Bryant’s Boston Uncommon article today is also on the subject of steroid use in baseball and he calls for Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa to address the issue.

Michael Felger, in his Patriots Insider looks at the post-playing career plans of Rodney Harrison and Fred McCrary, both of whom plan to don stripes. He also looks ahead to the Texans. Jim Donaldson declares this a trap game.

Still, I am worried about the Texans. I am worried that the Patriots are due to slip up, that they're due to stumble, that they're due to lose concentration, that they're due to lose a game.

Michael Holley says we should all know better than to predict anything in this league. Jonathan Comey has his Wednesday morning QB article, and he discusses the possibility of Keyshawn playing for the Patriots. He also puts the Pats at # 2 in his power rankings. Alan Greenberg and Michael Parente look at the signing of J.J. Stokes. Nick Cafardo looks at Troy Brown, and what he still has to offer the Patriots. Cafardo fears that Brown will soon be out the door courtesy of that heartless brute, Bill Belichick.

Maybe sometime down the road, Brown will go the way of other Patriot veterans who wanted to spend their entire career here only to be cut as part of the more businesslike approach the Patriots have taken in recent years.

God forbid the Patriots handle their business with a businesslike approach. That would just be wrong. That’s so unlike Ralph Wilson and the Bills, who have allowed franchise players like Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, etc to end their careers playing for the same team, right? Karen Guregian says that the Patriots as a team have a closer mentality. Christopher Young says that it is time to take this Patriots team seriously. Hector Longo says it isn’t time to be making SuperBowl plans just yet. Glen Farley looks at the weakness in the punting game. Eric McHugh looks at the receiving depth. (Before signing Stokes) Felger’s notebook looks at the signing of Stokes. Cafardo’s notebook does likewise. McHugh’s notebook looks at the call on Eugene Wilson at the end of the game Sunday.

Gregg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning QB is available at Football Outsiders. Oh yeah, Thoughts by Kent Thaler is available too.

Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins getting ready to face a team that has given them all sorts of trouble, the Atlanta Thrashers. Win Bates looks at a new book by Phil Esposito. Ron Indrisano looks at the difference in the Bruins when Sergei Samsonov is in the lineup. Harris’ notebook looks at how the Thrashers are coping with tragedy.

Get your Celtics links at Fox Sports Net New England.

Barry Scanlon looks at the role of hype in American sports.

FSNE has Celtics/Hornets at 7:00. NESN has Bruins/Thrashers at 7:30. ESPN has Pistons/Grizzlies at 9:00.

Here are the winners from

Here are the winners from the BSMW Fall Fund Drive

Grand Prize – (TiVo) David Hayes, Springfield, VA.
2nd Prize – ($50 Gift Certificate) Daniel Murphy, Canton, MA
3rd Prize – (Sports book & DVD) Rodger von Kries, Mission Hill, MA

Congratulations to the winners and thanks again to everyone who donated to the drive.

The winning names have been

The winning names have been drawn. Emails dispatched to the winners. When I hear from them all, their names will be posted here.

Get your Celtics links from a disappointing 89-86 loss to the Knicks, as well as an article from Bob Ryan that will put your day on even more of a downer over at Fox Sports Net New England.

Kevin Mannix hands out report cards after the win over Dallas. The offensive line, which protected Tom Brady from the pass rush that had engulfed Drew Bledsoe and Patrick Ramsey the last two weeks, got a C – The coaching gets an A, but Mannix is also quick to note that now Parcells will be out to settle the score after losing to Belichick by such a wide margin. Whatever, Kevin. I’m told that the exchanges between Mannix and Belichick when Kevin asks a question are priceless. Belichick has no use for Mannix, and why should he? The man has made some of the most egregious personal attacks to appear in a paper this side of Morrissey Blvd. Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots staying humble despite their success, and focusing on the Texans this weekend. Tom Curran reports on the wide receiver position for the Patriots, having success in the passing game despite injuries. Ron Borges surveys the AFC field, notes that the Patriots really don’t have anything to worry about in their division, but does throw up a few warning flags. He isn’t all doom and gloom however, as he notes:

At this juncture, what you need most is a team getting healthier, not sicker, and one that doesn't contribute to its own demise very often. Bill Belichick has such a team. How far he goes with it no one honestly can say, because while the Patriots are playing as well as anyone in the AFC, they are -- like their competitors in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Nashville, Denver, and Miami -- flawed.

Mike Reiss looks at the innovation of the Interchangeble Defense designed by Romeo Crennel and Bill Belichick. Ian M. Clark notes that plenty of hands pitched in on Sunday night. Michael Smith also looks at the Patriots D. Michael Parente looks at the play on defense as compared to last year. Dan Pires caught up with Terry Glenn after the game Sunday night. Reiss pumps up Crennel’s name as a successor to Gregg Williams in Buffalo. Bill Reynolds says Belichick doesn’t fit what “our” image is of a great coach, but that he is indeed one. Just what is “our” image and who is the “us” that created it? Gerry Callahan also writes about the image of Belichick in his pay column. Rich Thompson looks at the Patriots preparing for Houston next. Steve Buckley writes about the Patriot mistakes and that Houston is a trap game.

Looking back at Sunday night. Ken Lechtanski says Belichick and Parcells turned out to be friendly foes. Glenn Farley has Romeo Crennel admitting that this one meant a little more. Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots plan working to perfection. Bill Burt says that the Bills saved football in New England. Hector Longo looks at a perfect game pitched by the Pats defense. David Pevear looks at the Patriots owning the Big D. Pevear also writes about Parcells, but notes

Sports fans from this area are uniquely obsessed with athletes and coaches who used to work here and also those who might be coming here next. Only with Bill Belichick do they seem totally satisfied with what they have. The better Bill, they believe.

A SuperBowl championship buys a lot of goodwill.

Reiss’ notebook reports that the Patriots have interest in J.J. Stokes. Thompson’s notebook looks at the Receiver’s role in beating the Dallas blitz. Curran’s notebook looks at another thunderous late game hit from Eugene Wilson. Smith’s notebook has an injury update.

Bill Griffith looks at the numbers, sights and sounds from Sunday night.

Ron Indrisano has a piece on the Bruins’ Ian Moran. Steve Conroy looks at the leadership of Martin Lapointe. Conroy’s notebook looks at some off-ice activities for Rolston and Boynton.

Tony Massarotti looks at ARod on the trading block. Joe McDonald and David Heuschkel get the thoughts of Mike Timlin on Grady Little.

Jon Couture says that if fans care about steroid use in baseball, they do have the power to make a change. Joe Sullivan tells us all the things he despises about sports. Then why have you spent your life writing about them?