It’s over

Sorry New England football fans, but your season is over. Gerry Callahan has declared that the Patriots cannot beat the Colts, no matter what. The greatest offense of all time is headed into Foxboro on January 16th, and will plunder and eviscerate the decimated defense of your New England Patriots. Peyton Manning is out for revenge and no scheme concocted by Romeo Crennel and Bill Belichick will have any effect whatsoever in slowing down the juggernaut of the Indianapolis Colts. Callahan made this declaration both in a column in the print edition of the Herald, (not available online…even to susbcribers…) and on his WEEI radio show.

It was a perfect example of what is wrong with sports radio in Boston. I’m not talking about Callahan’s stand that the Colts can beat the Patriots. That certainly can happen, and I don’t subscribe to the theory that Belichick and the Pats have Peyton Manning’s “number” and will just roll to victory based on that. I can see the Colts coming in here and beating the Patriots. What was awful on the air was Callahan’s repeated use of Straw Man tactics in debating the points. Whenever John Dennis, (who I cannot believe I’m defending here…) would bring up the matter of the Colts schedule…that they played a number of the weakest defenses in the NFL this season, and that certainly contributed to the numbers put up by the offense, Callahan would shout him down, saying something along the lines of “So it’s Manning’s fault that they had to play those teams…was he supposed to schedule tougher teams?” A Straw Man is described as “Description: It is a fallacy to misrepresent someone else’s position for the purposes of more easily attacking it, then to knock down that misrepresented position, and then to conclude that the original position has been demolished. It is a fallacy because it fails to deal with the actual arguments that one has made.” Callahan would never touch or discuss the fact that the Colts played some truly miserable defensive teams and admit that perhaps his offensive numbers might’ve benefited from that fact. Instead he chose to mock the theory to try to misrepresent or discredit it. I realize of course, that prior to the show, this was all planned out, that Gerry’s article would be brought up, and that John Dennis would attack it, and Callahan would stick to his guns no matter what, stir up the listeners and generate calls and “heated” talk on the air. That was all pretty much scripted. The least they could do is be a little more creative and not quite so transparent and contrived in their views. We all know Callahan doesn’t really think that the Patriots have no shot against the Colts, but that’s his stand today and he’s got to stick by it.

Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider declares that the team as a franchise has some work to do to be considered among the great dynasties of the NFL. Alright…who wrote this next piece and what have they done with Nick Cafardo? Seriously, a good effort today. Instead of getting the Bills GM to take shots at the Patriots, he gets staffers from around the NFL to discuss the playoff picture, and what they think of the Pats. Jim Donaldson is late to the party, as he discusses whether Belichick played Brady too much last Sunday. Michael Parente looks at the Patriots playing a waiting game this weekend. Jonathan Comey looks at the brilliance of Belichick and has a look at the playoff picture in general. Shalise Manza Young looks at Romeo Crennel looking to take calls from any team looking for a coach. Felger’s notebook looks at the Patriots coming to an agreement with former Ravens QB Chris Redman for next season. Cafardo’s notebook and Parente’s notebook look further at Crennel meeting with the Browns sometime this week.

Charlie Weis’ attorney has responded to the allegations headlined in yesterday’s story in the Herald. Shockingly. not as much attention is being paid to this side of the issue, either with the placement of this piece in the paper, or to mentions on the air. I do wonder though, if there will be an uproar over the fact that apparently Weis’ attorney doesn’t allow him to speak to the media either…

Wade Boggs was elected to the Hall of Fame yesterday, and the former Red Sox (and Yankee) third baseman is the subject of a number of articles this morning. Dan Shaughnessy remembers Boggs as a player with a penchant both for hitting and the headlines. Jeff Horrigan, Steven Krasner, Paul Doyle and David Borges all also remember the career of Boggs. Chris Snow, back at the Globe from Minnesota, also has a report on the election of Boggs and Ryne Sandberg. Gordon Edes talks to George Digby, the Red Sox scout who discovered Boggs. Michael Gee has a subscription only column on the election of Boggs to the hall, Boggs got 91% of the vote and would be revered in today’s game which emphasizes OBP.

Peter May talks with Mark Blount about the Celtics problems on defense this season. The Celtic center believes that better communication and more talking on the floor will help the team. A lot of fans are down on Blount this season, I’d say I’m a little disappointed, but not as much as many people are. He is what he is. A serviceable 7-footer. Not a great piece by May, who continues to show that he probably doesn’t watch a whole lot of these games, and continues to yearn for the days of Obie-ball. Mark Murphy looks at Walter McCarty providing a spark off the bench recently. Murphy’s notebook has a look at Tom Gugliotta, who might find minutes hard to come by for the foreseeable future.

Russ Conway, who has been touted here as the best Hockey writer in New England, had a proposal in yesterday’s Lawrence Eagle-Tribune on how to save the NHL. Conway worked up an Initiative Proposal along “with an informal panel of 36 recruited from the ranks of the game’s most experienced people. They include top pro hockey executives who have been in the business 10 years or more, players and former players, union officials, longtime sports agents, coaches, lawyers and veteran hockey analysts in the media.” The proposal has been sent to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Players Association Executive Director Bob Goodenow. Outstanding job here. I can’t think of many other sportswriters who could come up with something like this…If this proposal makes it anywhere, it could be the second time Conway has helped save the league, the other time being when he helped exposed the NHLPA scandal.

FSN has Celtics/Warriors at 7:00 ESPN has Princeton/Duke at 7:00 and Suns/Rockets at 9:00. ESPN2 has Notre Dame/Seton Hall at 8:00 and Alabama/Vanderbilt at 10:00.