Good Morning, Mr Powers…

Before we begin the links today, a little business to attend to. Apparently there was a mistake in this space yesterday. I’ll leave it to Ken Powers of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette to point it out to you:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Powers
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 11:07 PM
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]; Nick Cafardo; Ken Powers; Ken Powers
Subject: Your Error in Reporting

Bruce --

it was brought to my attention that you posted today (Tuesday, 11/23) that Ron Borges, on the WBCN pregame show, called Rodney Harrison the Ron Artest of the NFL. I went to your site adn read it to find out that this is true, it's there on your site.

You're wrong Bruce. Completely wrong. Ron did not say that. I said it. I brought it up, we were talking about Tony Gonzalez and Rodney Harrison and their battles and I just threw it out there. I said it, and meant it, as a joke. I think it missed it's mark based on the reaction it received, but it was meant as a joke. In hindsight I shouldn't have said it. In hindsight it was a dumb thing to do.

The biger picture here, however, is that Ron Borges didn't say it. I said it. You got that wrong Bruce, completely wrong. And you owe Ron Borges an apology. In your column. In a prominent place. In, roughly, the same place you put the remark that he said it.

The funniest thing of all is that Ron predicted this would appear in your column in EXACTLTY the manner that it did. On the air, just minutes after I said it, he predicted this would get out, and get out wrong. Get out attributed to him. I find it amazing that he was so right about that.

A lot of people like to give Ron crap about his opinions and his style and the problem is, while they're doing that, they don't see the forest for the trees. He's one of the best football writers in the country, let alone Boston, and so many people just want to bad mouth him and dog him about everything he says, or in this case, doesn't say. It's a shame. He'll be gone before we know it and we'll be wondering what ever happened to the hard-nosed, tough journalists like Ron Borges.

I'll be watching for that apology Bruce,

Ken Powers
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

I’m not sure if Powers’ motivation here is to defend the honor of Borges, or to make sure he’s getting proper attribution for the asinine comment on the WBCN pregame. Whichever it is, this email did get under my skin a little bit, and not because I was wrong. I’ve been wrong plenty of times, and I’ve said so. Here’s my reply to Powers:

Ken,

I'll be glad to issue a correction. That's no problem, see unlike yourself and many of your distinguished colleagues, I have no problem saying when I was wrong.

An apology though? You have got to be kidding me.

Yeah, You and Ron issue "apologies" when you get your facts wrong. What a joke. You have your paper issue a "retraction" usually on some hidden page where no one is going to see it. An apology? Right. It's usually more like "The Telegram-Gazette" Or "Globe" "Regrets the error". I'll do the same. Nothing more.

I put one sentence on the page which says: "During the WBCN pregame last night, Borges called Rodney Harrison the Ron Artest of the NFL." That's hardly inflammatory or insulting. Your misplaced indignance here is laughable. Your email is the very definition of "thin skinned". You football writers are so tough in your columns and on the air, free to take personal shots at whomever you please and get your facts mixed up often, and yet when someone says something about you on a tiny little website you get your panties all up in a bunch. This is so petty I can't even believe it.

Since you were nice enough to include Ron and Nick on this email, I'll be sure to include them on this reply. I'll also give you the courtesy of having your entire letter printed on the website. All will see how wrong I was and how you put me in my place. Oh yeah, I will include this reply with it, as well.

Sincerely,

Bruce Allen

Was I harsh? Yeah probably. It may not have been necessary, but stuff like this annoys me. No problem for these guys to say all sorts of outlandish things in the paper and especially on the airwaves. Someone says something about them, and they go off.

The bottom line is I was wrong. Simple as that. I got bad information, much like Parcells got when he signed Marcellus Wiley. If I was going to go the newspaper route I could come up with some little statement like:

Due to a reporting error, Ron Borges was mistakenly identified as comparing Rodney Harrison to Ron Artest on the WBCN pregame show Monday night. It was actually Ken Powers who made the statement. BSMW regrets the error.

I got another email from Ken this morning, which was basically saying “No, YOU’RE being thin skinned…” whah whah whah. Whatever. His outrage over one simple line is hilarious to me.

Doc Rivers was right…his Celtics ran into a buzzsaw in the undermanned Pacers last night in Indiana, falling 106-96. Rivers had warned in a Steve Bulpett article yesterday that his team needed to not take the depleted Pacers lightly, as they were likely to be fired up and ready to play. They were. Mark Murphy and Shira Springer provide the game stories from Conseco Fieldhouse. The BSMW Full Court Press also weighs in on the action. Murphy’s notebook has Paul Pierce saying that Ron Artest’s suspension is perhaps a bit too harsh. Springer’s notebook has Tom Gugliotta headed to the injured list and rookie forward Justin Reed taking his place on the active roster.

With the Monday night game, the Patriots report cards were pushed back a day. Kevin Mannix believes that this Patriots team is once again on it’s way to doing something special. His grades are perhaps a little tough in areas, but overall I’d say he’s pretty fair about it. Michael Parente is much more generous in his grading of the team, always interesting to get two perspectives on the same areas. Alan Greenberg looks at how the Patriots managed to overcome some mistakes with critical stops when needed. Nick Cafardo looks at how important it was for the Patriots that they stopped the running game of Kansas City on Monday night. Chris Kennedy notes the play of the defensive line. Tom E Curran looks at the struggles of the secondary against the Chiefs.

The Patriots are now 26-3 since the start of last season, and Mike Reiss provides 26 reasons for the team’s success. Jackie MacMullan looks at how huge the addition of Corey Dillon is to this Patriots squad. Karen Guregian says the Patriots already need to be thinking about securing home field advantage for the playoffs. Steve Buckley (subscription only) notes that the Patriots are finally getting the national respect that their fans have craved. He’s not sure if this is a good thing or not, because by giving them to the world, they’re no longer “our own little football wanderers from down Route 1 way.” Ian M Clark looks at the return of Deion Branch on Monday. George Kimball (subscription only) has Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez still fuming over a non-call in the end zone that led to the Rodney Harrison interception just before the half.

Mike Reiss’ blog entry has thumbnail profiles of each of the Patriots coaches. This is the type of interesting and useful information I’m looking for from the media that covers the team. I’m not interested in ones who complain about the injury report, or that Bill Belichick is boring in his press conferences. These ones are more interested in being “edgy”, “hard nosed” and “tough”, drawing attention to themselves rather than to what they’re supposed to cover. Get me good, fresh, original information instead. Michael Parente says the Patriots may miss out on another top running back this weekend as Jamal Lewis could miss the game for the Ravens. Jonathan Comey’s NFL Power Rankings still has the Patriots on top of the heap, and takes a look at the numbers being put up by Peyton Manning. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the Patriots confidence in the passing game.

Shortstop is the topic when it comes to the Red Sox this morning. Bob Hohler reports that the Sox have not shown any interest in re-signing Orlando Cabrera, at least not to him or his agent. Michael Silverman says there are other options out there at the position. Silverman also notes that Nomar is no longer the class of the available players at the position. Silverman has a third article looking at the Mets expressing interest in Pedro Martinez.

Ron Borges’ boxing notes looks at Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins joining forces, trying to form a promotional company that will challenge the stranglehold that people like Don King have had on the sport.

FSN has Celtics/Sixers at 7:00. ESPN has Pistons/Cavs at 7:00 and Iowa/North Carolina college hoops at 9:30. ESPN2 has a college hoops triple header starting at 7:00.

Another Patriots Win…

The Patriots once again overcame their depleted secondary against a high-powered offense and won in Kansas City for the first time in 40 years last night. Nick Cafardo looks at an extremely satisfying win for the Patriots who move to 9-1 on the season. Michael Felger writes that we shouldn’t be surprised that the Patriots once again went into a hostile environment and found a way to come out on top. Tom E Curran looks at the Patriots taking advantage of Kansas City mistakes and weathering the offensive storm of the Chiefs. Michael Parente says that the best defense for the Patriots last night was a time consuming offense. Chris Kennedy also has the game story from Arrowhead Stadium. Alan Greenberg looks at the return of Deion Branch as a key factor in this victory for the Patriots. Scott A Benson breaks down the game in this week’s edition of Patriots Rear View.

Ron Borges has a further look at the return of Deion Branch, who was on the field for the first time since week two, and had over a 100 yards receiving and a slick move on a catch for a touchdown. During the WBCN pregame last night, Borges called Rodney Harrison the Ron Artest of the NFL. Kevin Mannix says we should admire this battered Patriots team which continues to overachieve and get the job done. Jackie MacMullan looks at the Patriots continuing their mantra of “grab a victory, and get back home”. Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at Tom Brady who continues to throw the right passes and say the right things. Buck is impressed that Brady said “Hi Mom” last night in addition to crediting the total team effort. Michael Gee (subscription only) looks at the Patriots behind Rodney Harrison once again overcoming injuries in the secondary to win the game. George Kimball (subscription only) has a piece on Deion Branch coming back from injury to pick right up where he left off. Here’s hoping the Herald can find another sponsor for their columnists as they did during the baseball playoffs, as these subscription only columns don’t always exactly qualify as “premium content”. Not a knock against the columns today, but they’re just general game story columns, not “must read” opinions of influential writers that are going to cause the casual reader to pony up for a subscription. Just suckers like me, I guess.

With his budget slashed and department short staffed, Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan takes a turn at writing, turning in a pair of articles. First he looks at Ty Warren, who had a huge game last night. Warren as you recall is the player the Patriots ended up with after getting the pick from Buffalo in exchange for Drew Bledsoe. Moreover, one of Sullivan’s underlings (*cough*BORGES*cough*) suggested at the draft this spring that second round pick Marquise Hill was drafted because Warren was a bust. Sullivan perhaps has that in mind when he says Warren isn’t a star yet, and first round picks are expected to be stars. Rich Thompson has a piece on Corey Dillon, who had 98 yards and two touchdowns, but was killing himself over a fourth quarter fumble that allowed the Chiefs to take over and drive 97 yards for a score that brought them to within five. Tom E Curran says Adam Vinatieri should be a Hall of Fame shoo-in. Marcus R. Fuller looks at the Patriots stopping the Kansas City running game. Thompson also writes that KC’s 3-6 record coming in was a bit deceptive. Sullivan’s second article is a look at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mike Reiss files a number of items in his blog from last night. Felger’s notebook suggests that we might’ve seen the last of Earthwind Moreland in a Patriots uniform. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Dillon’s remorse over his fumble, has quotes from Moreland (prior to the game, obviously) and another suggestion that Scott Pioli could be a candidate to build a team elsewhere. The remaining notebooks lead with Deion Branch. Curran’s notebook looks at Branch’s impact last night. Kennedy’s notebook looks at the importance of Branch getting back on the field. Parente’s notebook looks at Branch’s return, a minor roster move prior to the game, and more on Pioli.

Sean McAdam writes that it appears that Pedro Martinez doesn’t grasp the concept that the Red Sox are not going to get into a bidding war with the Yankees over his services, nor do they need to. Dom Amore says the Yankees have made no formal offer to Pedro. Tony Massarotti reports that the Red Sox have offered a four year deal to Jason Varitek. David Heuschkel says that his Red Sox teammates desperately want Varitek back in the fold. Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox continuing a Thanksgiving Week tradition of raising ticket prices.

Andrea Estes reports on the Red Sox plans for the latest Fenway Park facelift, to be revealed at 11:00 this morning. Tony Massarotti looks at the Red Sox situation at second base, he also looks at the possibility of Jeff Kent as an option at that position. James Murphy has a look at the Red Sox World Series DVD. Nick Cafardo looks at the relationship between John Henry and Robert Kraft. Bob Hohler’s Red Sox notebook looks at Gabe Kapler heading to Japan. Massarotti’s notebook also looks at Kapler. The ProJo notebook has more on Kapler and looks at organizational moves by the Sox. David Borges’ notebook has the news on Kapler and a number of other items.

Friday night’s NBA brawl is still on the mind of people. Bill Reynolds says it is evidence of the growing disconnect between NBA fans and players. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) writes that he was once hit with a paper cup filled with pennies and crumpled up at a game, and HE didn’t go charging into the stands. He says rule number one for any athlete should be to never go into the stands. Only bad things can happen. Because of that Artest’s actions are inexcusable. Bob Halloran says cowardice was the cause of the Friday night fights. Joan Vennochi ventures over from the Globe business and political side to weigh in on this matter. The Globe also has an Editorial on the subject. Jon Couture just wants to get back to sports. Enough of towels and brawls. He also takes ESPN’s Sunday Night football telecast to task for incompetence.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics need to be very cautious going into Indiana tonight, as they could be facing a wounded tiger in the form of the shorthanded Pacers. Bulpett’s notebook has Doc Rivers and Gary Payton commenting on the fight and the factors and reasons for it.

Bill Griffith looks at Fox’s new deal for the College Football BCS games. He also has a number of other media related notes.

Here are the winners of the prizes from the raffle for the BSMW Fall Fund Drive:
Tivo Series II DVR Melissa Shaw
John Feinstein’s “Let me tell you a story”: John Mechem
Leatherman Tool from Coastaltool.com: Wendell Shedd
2005 Football Prospectus from footballoutsiders.com: Joshua Friedman

FSN has Celtics/Pacers at 7:00. ESPN has a college hoops doubleheader starting at 7:00 with Texas/Iowa, followed by North Carolina/Tennessee at 9:00. ESPN2 has college football with Bowling Green/Toledo at 7:00, followed by college hoops with St. Joe’s/Kansas at 10:00.

Patriots/Chiefs on MNF

Got a bit of a late start this morning, so the links will be very brief this morning. I’ll try to put together an afternoon post as well, but we’ll see how the day goes.

Thanks to all who contributed to the BSMW Fall Fund Drive, with a donation this morning we squeaked over the goal amount, a tremendous achievement. I’m pretty overwhelmed by the support from everyone out there. The total may actually climb in the next day or two if there are any lingering checks that have not reached my mailbox yet.

In lieu of the links, I’ll be spending some time organizing the drawing for the TiVo and the other prizes. I’ll be contacting the winners via email, and once I have confirmation from them I’ll post their names and the prize they won here.

Kevin Mannix picks the Patriots by four. Paul Kenyon looks at the Patriots trying to win in Kansas City for the first time on 40 years. Michael Parente says the Chiefs are dangerous, even if Bill Belichick goes overboard in his praise of them. Alan Greenberg looks at the Chiefs’ main weakness: defense. Chris Kennedy writes that this is a matchup between a complete team and a half of one. Dan Pires picks the Chiefs to win by 10. Nick Cafardo looks at the six Patriots that have been together since 1996. A nice article, it would be interesting to see if any other teams have six guys that have been together that long.

The Celtics put together an impressive win over the Sonics last night, winning 102-83. Seattle had been 9-1 coming into last night. Game stories are submitted by Steve Bulpett, John Powers and Carolyn Thornton, but probably the most complete breakdown of the game can be found right here on BSMW. Jon Duke takes a look at the Celtics in all areas from last night. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Ricky Davis’ new role as instant offense off the bench. The rest of the NBA articles deal of course with the brawl in Detroit Friday night. Everyone is weighing in on this one, in print and on the airwaves. As with most NBA issues, Bob Ryan is someone whose opinion I’ll value.

ABC has Patriots/Chiefs at 9:00.