OK…that was ugly. In a very un-Patriot like performance, New England choked up an 11 point lead with under four minutes to play. Rodney Harrison and Tom Brady each made inexcusable errors, and the Miami defense picked Brady off four times. Well, now maybe this is the chance to see if the Michael Gee theory has any validity. We’ll keep this brief, game stories: Nick Cafardo…Michael Felger…Tom E Curran…Alan Greenberg…Chris Kennedy and Michael Parente. Things were so bad that Ron Borges doesn’t even need to push his agenda, he’s got plenty of material with the lack of pass protection and lack of bodies in the secondary. Borges even calls one of Brady’s INT’s “Bledsoe-esque”, an uncharacteristic slam at his binky QB. Scott A Benson is so disgusted he mails one in this morning, 37 cent stamp attached. Bob Ryan says that the Patriots got what they deserved in this one, and at least it’s settled where the AFC Championship game is going to be held. Whether the Patriots are there is a whole different story entirely. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says this was a very different Tom Brady we saw last night, he tried too hard to be the hero, and ended up throwing the pick that allowed the Dolphins to take the lead.
Ed Gray (Is he back, or is this a correspondent piece?) looks at a rough night in the secondary for Troy Brown, who yielded the game winning touchdown. Fluto Shinzawa looks at the late interception by Brady that gave the Dolphins life, an interception cause by the pass rush of Jason Taylor. Mark Murphy has Rodney Harrison saying that the Patriots need to get better. George Kimball (subscription only) has the reaction of a shell-shocked Bill Belichick following the game, as the coach lamented the team’s execution, not their intensity. Kevin Mannix has nothing about last night’s game, but instead looks ahead to Sunday, where he feels Chad Pennington might be distracted by negative media coverage in NY. Bob Ryan weighs in on Ricky Williams. Jamey Eisenberg looks at the elated Dolphins, after they knocked off the Super Bowl Champs. Shinzawa says that one win doesn’t make up for the lost season for Dolphins fans, however. Ron Borges looks at how the Patriots would hold the edge over the Steelers if difficulty of schedule were a factor in playoff seeding.
Parente’s notebook looks at how last night brought the playoff picture into clearer focus for the AFC. Cafardo’s notebook has Belichick’s reactions following the game. Felger’s notebook points out how sorely the Patriots need Ty Law to return and restore order to the secondary. Curran’s notebook looks at the poor game by Tom Brady, while Kennedy’s notebook has recaps the rough night on defense for Troy Brown.
While the Patriots had the attention of sports fans, the Red Sox went out and made a trade last night, sending Dave Roberts to the Padres for Jay Payton, Ramon Vazquez, minor league pitcher David Pauley and $2.65 million in cash. Tony Massarotti has the details of the trade and what it means for the makeup of the Red Sox heading into ’05. David Heuschkel also looks at the deal. Jon Baker looks at the new additions to the Pawtucket Red Sox roster in this offseason. Bob Halloran looks at the difference in the Red Sox and Yankees Christmas shopping. Jon Couture notes that being a fan is more and more about rooting for the uniforms. He looks at the derision being directed towards Pedro for wanting money and Ricky Williams for giving up money. Kevin Gray talks with new Fisher Cats hitting coach John Valentin about his plans for his team.
Afternoon drive time yesterday saw some of sports radio at its worst. Glenn Ordway was pressing all the buzzword buttons to stir Red Sox fans up into a frenzy while at the same time attempting to temper his words and cover himself so later he can say “That’s not what I said”. The buzzwords he was throwing out there was that Theo Epstein’s offseason is a failure thus far. Edgar Renteria is not an upgrade over Orlando Cabrera. (who signed with the Angels last night.) He used that one several times. He hears from “people in the National league” that Cabrera is actually better. He repeated several times that Theo has failed in all his attempted moves. Even though he had earlier applauded the Red Sox for not giving into Pedro’s demands, he called not signing him one of the failures. If you couldn’t tell already, “failure” and “failed” were used over and over. At one point though, a caller stepped up and challenged Ordway, asking “What would you have done, Glenn?” The answer was pathetic. “I’m not the GM”.
Now, I am not saying that you can’t knock Theo for what he’s done in the offseason. Many fans have been frustrated with some of how the offseason has gone. Probably with good reason. However, to hammer over and over that it’s a “failure” and then when asked what should he have done, to just say “I’m not the GM” shows zero credibility on the part of Ordway. He looks like a blowhard buffoon, and no better than the fans he mocks who don’t have an answer when he asks them something similar when they call in to question say, the Patriots. How many times has a caller questioned something, and the hosts say, “Well what would you have done?” and then as the caller is stammering, they ridicule him? Happens ALL the time on that station.
Peter May looks at the increase in scoring in the NBA and notes how the Celtics are one of the teams leading the charge in this new and improved NBA. Mark Murphy looks at the new and improved Ricky Davis, who in many ways has become the Celtics defensive stopper. Murphy’s notebook looks at the play of rookie Tony Allen, who continues to open eyes, both with his own coaches and around the league. Peter Vecsey reports that Danny Ainge and the Celtics are trying to work out a deal to bring Antoine Walker back to the green.
Bill Griffith looks at the impact of Sirius satellite radio on sports coverage.
FSN has Celtics/Heat at 7:30. ESPN has the Champs Sports Bowl with Syracuse taking on Georgia Tech at 7:45. ESPN2 has college hoops with Texas Tech/Iowa at 7:00 and UCLA/Michigan State at 9:00.