The Dale And ???? Show

So Bob Neumeier is indeed out at WEEI after tomorrow’s show. It’s been three years already since Eddie Andelman left and Neumeier came in? The time just flies by.

I admit that I was not a big fan of the Neumeier hiring. It just seemed like another example of the “good ol’ boy” network of Boston sports media in action. That’s actually exactly what it was. A huge deal was made about replacing Andelman and the whole “search” process. Neumy was in from the start and everyone knew it. I didn’t really like Neumeier, didn’t think he brought much to the table. He started bringing a lot of statistics to the show, something that he has continued throughout his time on the show. His reliance on them was sometimes interesting, sometimes annoying.

For me, my dislike of his hiring started to fade a little over time. I think it was actually the “Voice of Bob Neumeier” on the Big Show whiner line that actually made me start to view him a little differently. Somehow that “voice” (my favorite whiner line bit, by the way – and I hope it continues.) softened my view on Bob and made him much more tolerable. I can’t explain it. I came to sort of appreciate some of his quirky humor and moments of grandiose pontificating. Of course, he still drove me nuts from time to time, but overall, I enjoy the Dale & Neumy show the most out of all the WEEI programs, as they try to stick to sports, they try to not to hammer the same subjects over and over, but instead try to look at things from different angles. That is where some of Neumy’s stats come into the equation.

So in the end, I’m going to sort of miss the big lug, but I’m excited about some of the possibilities that could be out there to replace him. Of course though, history tells us that we can rely on WEEI to bring us the lowest common denominator when it comes to a replacement.

Early speculation on a replacement has centered on Michael Holley, as I mentioned yesterday. From what I hear, Holley’s contract with FSN for I, Max will keep paying him until June. Holley would provide a much needed daily minority voice on the station. Rumor has it that he is the one they want.

Some others to consider:

Jackie MacMullan – The Globe obstacle is a big one, but she could be interested, would be a very good candidate, and would provide yet another demographic swing…bringing a female voice onto the daily schedule.

Sean McAdam – Would be a strong choice based on WEEI’s move into Rhode Island on 103.7. His areas of knowledge — baseball and hockey — would fit right in to the Providence audience. He knows his other sports pretty well in addition.

Pete Sheppard – You know the Big Show guys will be talking up Pete’s candidacy. I guess you can sat D&C will do the same for Jon Meterparel. Are either a serious candidate? No. Sheppard would get taken a little more seriously though.

Andy Gresh – He’s not bad, and would again represent an attempt to appeal to the Providence listeners. If they steal him from The Score, then I’m sure that’s a bonus to them.

Ryen Russillo – This guy has got to get a wider audience. He’s more prepared and articulate then just about any on-air media person in town and is going places. Is he going to WEEI? Not at this time, I don’t think.

Dave Jageler – Another guy lost in the signal of WWZN. But wouldn’t this be ironic. Hooking up two former Eddie Andelman broadcast partners. Ah, the war stories I’m sure they could tell…

Michael Felger – You know Felger’s interested. I don’t see him as long for the newspaper world period. He’s more of an on-air, radio TV guy. I don’t see it coming together with this show right now.

Steve Buckley – Again, if there’s a job opening, Buck will have his resume ready. He would be a “safe” hire if Jason Wolfe wants to go that way.

Michael Smith – Another minority candidate. Not sure how his duties with ESPN.com would affect his chances. He’s a young, talented, smart guy with a lot going for him. He might be looking past WEEI.

That’s my field. I’m guessing that one of the above names will be the in the chair across from Dale Arnold very soon. By the way…this will make three partners in four years for Dale. You know what that means don’t you? No other conclusion.

Dale’s a Diva.

Just kidding, Dale.

I’m going to be taking some time away from here for a few days. I’ve got some eager young rookies that are going to try to take on the links for Thursday and Friday of this week and Monday and Tuesday next week. Be nice to them.

Solomon in, Neumy out?

A couple afternoon items of interest:

The Globe has hired a Patriots writer…it is Jerome Solomon, from the Houston Chronicle. He’s been covering college football for the Chronicle and in his last notebook for the paper, he says:

This is the last Big 12 notebook for yours truly. I'm packing my "Best of Ames" guide and "Loving Lubbock" brochure and heading to the Boston Globe to cover the New England Patriots.

Congratulations and welcome to town, Mr. Solomon. When you get a moment, drop me an email and we’ll chat about some of your new colleagues…

According to water cooler talk here at the BSMW offices, I’m hearing that Bob Neumeier is likely done at WEEI. As reported by Bill Griffith recently, Neumy’s contract runs out on the 10th, and it appears that Neumy’s work with NBC might cause him to be a bit pricey and cause scheduling conflicts for a daily show in Boston.

It seems natural that Michael Holley could make a good replacement. He is no longer under the restrictions of the Globe, and in addition Holley’s TV show I, Max was also recently canceled by FSN, (it’s ends on Feb 18th) making him conveniently available for the program. Even if Holley is a shoo-in, you can count on WEEI to make a big deal about this, as they did when Eddie Andelman left the station. Everyone pretty much knew Neumeier had the job, but the station spent a month doing on-air “auditions” and guest hosts, attempting to stir up as much speculation as possible.

It says here that Holley is the best possible choice for the anticipated opening. Time to add some diversity to the day-to-day programming of the station, but beyond that, the guy is talented, knows his stuff and can speak intelligently and passionately about Boston (and national) sports.

Oh yeah, and Walter McCarty was traded to the Suns for a conditional 2005 second round draft pick today.

Parade Day. Again.

Another day, another championship parade for the city of Boston. If you’re planning on going to the parade…you’re probably not reading this, but the ideal locations along the route appear to be Copley Square, Tremont (where it meets West Street), and alongside City Hall Plaza. These are locations where the duck boats will stop and Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick and a few others will be speaking. Scott S Greenberger and Dave Wedge have more information about the Parade. There is also a parade route graphic in the Globe today.

The Patriots will have some work to do, and very soon. The first order of business is to appoint two coordinators to replace Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel. ESPN Radio was reporting yesterday that Dante Scarnecchia and Eric Mangini were the top choices for those spots. Mike Reiss takes a look at all the candidates as well as some other key dates and decisions the Patriots are facing. Michael Felger also has a look at the issues facing the Patriots as they get ready to attempt to defend back-to-back titles. Ron Borges smugly points out that when the 49ers lost both their coordinators in 1994, they never returned to the Super Bowl. Of course, that was a team already in decline and on it’s way to salary cap hell as well. None of this article is really relevant. But it’s worth saving to look back on in the future. Alan Greenberg says that Bill Belichick is still ignoring any dynasty talk, as he knows there is plenty of work ahead. Nick Cafardo says that while there are now holes on the coaching staff, player-wise the Patriots are in pretty good shape. Lenny Megliola also looks at the inevitable changes and how it doesn’t diminish the remarkable accomplishments of this team.

Kevin Mannix has his Super Bowl report card and issues all A’s and B’s as summer vacation begins for the Patriots. Scott A Benson files a final Patriots “Rear View” on the season as well. Dan Shaughnessy files a “thoughts” column wrapping up Super Bowl week, and just for good measure, ensures that’s never to early to start complaining about the next Super Bowl venue. Among the other gems in this piece: “Sorry, but Andy Reid just looks too much like Glenn Ordway.” Bill Reynolds files his trademark column made up of three small ones, looking at how far the Patriots have come, black quarterbacks and just what the Super Bowl message is these days. Bob Ryan says that this team put it all together November 7th in St. Louis…that’s when we knew this was a special team. Jim Donaldson channels Tina Turner and says that the Pats are “simply the best.”

Bob Hohler, Michael Parente and Dan Ventura file articles on Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, who learned some tough lessons along the way to becoming an NFL star. Tom E Curran reports on the strategy that the Patriots used to keep Donovan McNabb and the Eagles grounded. Felger also reports that Troy Brown would like to return to being a full time receiver next season, and that in order to return to the Patriots at all, something will have to be done about his contract. Dan Pires says that despite now three Super Bowl wins, this just doesn’t get old for anyone involved. Jim Fennell says that the championship runs just keep getting better. Jon Couture says that it wasn’t too long ago that Boston fans were a lot more like Philly fans in terms of being championship starved.

Speaking of Philly fans, they were the focus of Dennis & Callahan this morning as the duo used that subject as a large part of their program, telling war stories and taking calls from listeners who were there about how bad the Eagles fans were. The sooner the whole Jacksonville/Philly Fan ranting schtick can be put to bed, the better.

Felger’s notebook has more on the future for members of the Patriots coaching staff. Parente’s notebook looks at how the Patriots handled the loss of Corey Dillon early in the fourth quarter. This was a major issue with the Fox broadcasting crew…we never heard a peep about Eugene Wilson’s injury, and when Kevin Faulk was in the game at the end, with the Patriots attempting to run out the clock, there was no mention out of the broadcast booth as to why Faulk, and not Dillon, was on the field at that time. Tom Curran’s notebook says that Ty Law’s future is still very much up in the air.

Media Stuff

David Scott has a bonus edition of Scott’s Shots, with praise for Michael Gee (!), a look at the future of Michael Holley and wondering if the Ken Powers incident is a isolated one among mid-major papers. Bill Griffith has a FOX wrapup of Super Bowl Sunday. John Molori’s Media Blitz has a recap of the sights and sounds of Super Bowl week.

Pushing the Merch

A couple of notes for those interested in helping BSMW…if you purchase the Super Bowl DVD through the link on the left, BSMW gets a % of the sale. If you buy Super Bowl Merchandise through the Patriots Super Bowl Gear ad on the left, BSMW gets 10% of those proceeds…thanks for your continued support.

Tonight

FSN has Celtics/Bucks at 8:00. ESPN2 will have Boston College/Notre Dame at 7:00. ESPN has Illinois/Michigan at 7:00 and Florida/Kentucky at 9:00.

Back to Back Super Bowl Champions

OK Red Sox…now it’s your turn again.

What a run we are on here in New England. Can we enjoy it? As much as we all want to, there are still plenty of miserable media people out there, such as John Dennis leading off D&C this morning pronouncing that he’s going to be rooting against the Patriots next year because he doesn’t want to go to Detroit.

So many stories, so little time. Get all the Boston Globe stories on the Super Patriots. Go to the Patriots page at the Boston Herald to read their stories and the Providence Journal and Hartford Courant as well.

I expect to be in and out for the next week and half or so, but I am in the process of trying to line up some fill-ins and some other content here.

Pinch Me

Super Bowl Sunday links by Ben ([email protected])

So here we are. Sunrise on the morning of the Patriots third Super Bowl appearance in four seasons. And there is likely no one more thankful than the media members who have been digging hard for something fresh to write, or say, after a long two weeks. On a day like today, its always worth checking in a couple times for updates at Mike Reiss

The Calm Before The Storm

Saturday links by Rich ([email protected])

The

A Few Afternoon Links

Just a few afternoon links and Super Bowl breakdowns. First David Scott has a Friday edition of Scott’s Shots, with a look at Super Bowl articles, Ken Powers and the state of the Union. Other media columns…Bill Griffith talks with Joe Buck, who has never seen the Patriots in person. John Howell also has a piece featuring Buck. Jim Baker looks ahead to the programming schedule for Super Bowl Sunday. Andrew Neff looks at a busy weekend for Maine sports fans.

Football Outsiders (mentioned in the Wall Street Journal today) has a Super Bowl preview and does their usual terrific job with it. They’re picking the Patriots. The lads over at Cold Hard Football Facts also has a preview of the game and between those two articles, it’s fairly hard to make a case for the Eagles. Still, anything can happen. Over on SI.com, Bills coach Mike Mularkey takes a shot at breaking down the matchup.

Mike Reiss had a piece today with David Patten and Christian Fauria giving us a “day in the life” during Super Bowl week. He also has a recap of this morning’s Bill Belichick press conference. Reiss’ blog reports on the Patriots signing OL Billy Yates to the 53 man roster, and Corey Dillon being named to the Pro Bowl to replace Edgerrin James. Over at the Globe, Bob Ryan had a feature on linebacker/safety Don Davis, who had the following to say about his initial views on coming to New England.

"I said, `I ain't gonna play for the Patriots. It's New England. It's cold. And that coach had a reputation. Hard-nosed. Tough practices. Didn't treat the players well.' "

And now that he has been here for two full seasons?

"Every myth I had was totally blown out of the water," he declares. "Now I can't imagine playing anywhere else."

So much for that reputation. Dan Shaughnessy compares the Eagles to the Red Sox, going up against the mighty Patriots and their “totally spoiled” fans. Alan Greenberg has a good story about how Belichick has used depth to build this Patriots team into champions.

More Powers ripoffs – Including the Globe

Ready for a couple more? This first one is from a Nick Cafardo article…a guy who was supposed to be a friend of Powers. Interestingly when Powers was lecturing me about journalistic integrity a few weeks back, he CC’d Cafardo on his emails. Wonder how Nick feels about Powers now. Nick has a chat on Boston.com at 2 PM. It will be interesting if he gets anywhere near this subject.

Again, I need to thank Gina for her help in finding this stuff. I think she stayed up all night doing it.

Harrison’s Hit Hard to Forget by Nick Cafardo 11/20/04 available through Globe Archives

Green Can’t Forget the Hit, Harrison’s Act Changed QB by Ken Powers 11/22/04, available through Lexis-Nexis

———-

Cafardo: The Chiefs’ Trent Green has never blamed Rodney Harrison for the hit Harrison, then playing for the San Diego Chargers, delivered against him in the third preseason game of 1999, when Green was the starting quarterback of the Rams.

Powers: It was the third preseason game of the 1999 season. Green was the starting quarterback for St. Louis, Harrison the starting strong safety for San Diego.

———-

Cafardo: As a result of the hit, Green, who went to St. Louis that offseason from the Redskins as an unrestricted free agent, missed the entire 1999 season with ligament tears in his left knee, and was replaced by Kurt Warner, who went on to win a pair of league MVP awards.

Powers: Because of Harrison’s hit, Green suffered three separate ligament tears, which took four surgeries to repair. He missed the entire 1999 season and was replaced by then-unknown backup Kurt Warner, who went on to win a pair of league MVP awards.

———-

Cafardo: Green remembers being carted off the field, and then the next day when then-Rams coach and current Chiefs boss Dick Vermeil announced with tears in his eyes that Green would be lost for the season.

Powers: Green was carted off the field, and the next day then-Rams coach and current Chiefs boss Dick Vermeil had tears in his eyes when he announced Green was lost for the season.

_________________________________________________________

Vrabel forms own curtain with Patriots” By Tom Reed of the Akron Beacon Journal, January 22, 2005.

Vrabel: Pittsburgh’s loss is Patriots’ gain” By Ken Powers, January 23rd, 2005.

Reed: Pittsburgh Steelers fans might have grown to love linebacker Mike Vrabel in the same way they do Jack Lambert and Jack Ham, if only coach Bill Cowher had figured out what to do with him.

Powers: Vrabel has all the makings to have been the perfect Pittsburgh poster child – athletic, hard-working, smart, brash, confident, cocky. This is a city where Hall of Famers Jack Lambert and Jack Ham, part of the Steelers’ dizzying linebacking corps of those magical mid-1970s, are still beloved.

———-

Reed: So after four seasons of primarily special teams participation, the Steelers allowed him to leave for New England, where Vrabel has won one for each thumb with the Patriots. Not only does he own a pair of Super Bowl rings, he has done everything in the postseason short of plotting the parade route.

Powers: So after four seasons, the Steelers allowed Vrabel to leave for New England, where he has won a pair of Super Bowl rings, and with a win today, could be playing for his third, in two weeks.

———-

Reed: A ‘tweener, that’s what they call players like Vrabel, a Walsh Jesuit graduate. Too small to play defensive end, too slow to beat out more athletic outside linebackers.

Powers: Vrabel was a tweener. That’s what football folks call guys like him.

———-

Reed: The Steelers coach liked Vrabel’s intensity, work ethic and savvy, but said he wasn’t the right fit at the right time.

Powers: The Steelers coach liked Vrabel’s intensity, work ethic and savvy, but said he wasn’t the right fit at the right time.

———-

Reed: Vrabel proved it again last weekend, collecting eight tackles and forcing a fumble in the Patriots’ resounding 20-3 win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots’ linebackers were awesome in making Peyton Manning look like Bubby Brister.

Powers: Last week, he had eight tackles and forced a fumble in the Patriots’ resounding 20-3 win over Indianapolis, and was part of a defense that made MVP Peyton Manning look like his kid brother Eli.

———-

Reed: It’s hard not to think what could have been.

Powers: But this is playoff time, Mike Vrabel time, a time Steelers fans might be forced to reflect on what might have been.

Michael Smith – Ken Powers Comparison

Here’s another in the growing list. One thing I’m wondering is if Powers ever legitimately wrote for NFL.com…research has found an article on NFL.com and one in the T&G which are identical…word for word. The NFL.com article does not have a byline. In any event, here is another example of Powers “work” this time ripping off Michael Smith of ESPN.com

Givens Continues Huge Season for Patriots” by Michael Smith, Nov 7, 2004
(via Google Cache)

“Givens Catches Attention” by Ken Powers, Nov. 14, 2004
Via Lexis-Nexis

Smith: Perhaps best known nationally as the co-star of the Sirius satellite radio spot who asks fellow Patriots wideouts Brown and Deion Branch, “I thought I was his favorite receiver,” referring to quarterback Tom Brady, Givens had a Fred Biletnikoff, Super Bowl XI type performance in New England’s 40-22 win, setting up three touchdowns and catching five balls for 100 yards.

Powers: Entering this season, Patriots wide receiver David Givens was probably best known outside of New England as the as a co-star of the Sirius satellite radio commercial which stars his teammate, quarterback Tom Brady, and features NFL coaching great John Madden.

In the commercial, Givens says to fellow New England wideouts Troy Brown and Deion Branch: “I thought I was his favorite receiver,” referring to Brady

———-

Smith: Givens is a rising star, a Hines Ward-type at 6 feet and 215 pounds. On Sunday he outshined two other perennial Pro Bowlers, Bruce and Holt, under the lights of the Edward Jones Dome.

Powers: Givens is one of the NFL’s truly rising stars. With a frame of that measures 6 feet and weighs 215 pounds, he reminds longtime league observers of Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward. Last Sunday, he outshone two other perennial Pro Bowlers – the Rams’ Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

———-

Smith: Givens, 24, has been the Patriots’ best receiver this season. He’s had a career year and it’s only half over. Only one of his team-leading and career-high 37 receptions has not gone for a first down, and he also leads the team with a career-high 644 receiving yards. Sunday was his third consecutive game with at least 100 receiving yards and fourth this season. He’s on pace to have the best year, in terms of yardage, by a Patriots receiver since Stanley Morgan had almost 1,500 in ’86.

Powers: Givens, 24, has been the Patriots’ best receiver this season. He has had a career year, and it’s only half over. Only one of his team-leading and career-high 37 receptions hasn’t gone for a first down, and he also leads the team with a career-high 644 receiving yards. He’s on pace to have the best year, in terms of yardage, by a Patriots receiver since Stanley Morgan had 1,491 yards in 1986. Givens has scored three touchdowns.

———-

Smith: This has not happened by accident, though New England is fortunate to have landed such a productive player with its second pick in the seventh round of the 2002 draft (No. 253 overall) out of Notre Dame. Givens made the team as a rookie because of his special teams prowess, but dropped some key passes that season. Last year, he led the team in touchdown catches (six) and caught one in the AFC championship game and the Super Bowl.

Powers: It has not happened by accident. New England is fortunate to have landed such a productive player with its second pick in the seventh round of the 2002 draft. Givens, who seemed to do a little of everything while at Notre Dame, made the Patriots as a rookie because of his special-teams ability, but dropped some key passes that season. Last year, he led the team in touchdown catches (six) and caught one in both the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl.

———-

Smith: Now he’s progressed from being “pretty good for a seventh-round pick” to being just plain good. Sure it helps that he’s got Brady as his quarterback and Charlie Weis as his offensive coordinator, but Givens’s production is more a product of his determination than circumstance.

Powers: He has progressed from being “pretty good for a seventh-round pick” to being good. It helps that he has Brady as his quarterback and Charlie Weis as his offensive coordinator, but Givens’ production is more a product of his determination than anything else.

———-

Smith: They didn’t have to last spring and summer. You can guess what’s coming next: Givens worked hard in the offseason. Once the Patriots’ workout program began in March, he channeled all his energy toward football, declining broadcast opportunities that could have put a little extra change in his pocket, which means more when you’re playing for the second-year minimum ($230,000). But Givens wanted neither the distraction nor the attention. Lately he’s even been declining interview requests from local media, preferring instead to stretch and receive treatment before practice. The Patriots just love players who think like that.

Powers: They didn’t have to ride him last spring and summer. Givens worked hard in the offseason. Once the Patriots’ workout program began in March, he channeled all his energy toward football, declining broadcast opportunities that could have put some extra money in his pocket, which means more when you’re playing for the second-year minimum ($230,000).

———-

Smith: One of Givens’s priorities in the offseason was to improve his speed. He learned to sprint with more body lean, shortening his steps, and reduced his 40-yard dash time from around 4.5 seconds to the 4.4 range. He devoured film of contemporaries (Hines Ward, Marvin Harrison) and predecessors (Lynn Swann), searching for the nuances of their games. His goal is to reach their level.

Powers: One of Givens’s priorities in the offseason was to improve his speed. He learned to sprint with more body lean, shortening his steps and reducing his 40-yard dash time from around 4.5 seconds to the 4.4 range.

———-

Smith: Lately he’s even been declining interview requests from local media, preferring instead to stretch and receive treatment before practice. The Patriots just love players who think like that.

Powers: Givens wanted neither the distraction nor the attention. The Patriots just love players like that.

“The termination is a terrible injustice to me.”

So sayeth Mr. Ken Powers, formerly of The Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Or to use another quote (from the past) from Powers, this whole thing was a “sham of a mockery of a sham”. Powers was fired last night and an investigation has revealed that this was not the first time that the Patriots beat writer had engaged in this type of thing. (More on that later.) First of all, a look at a few stories regarding the case. Katharine Q. Seelye of the New York Times (free registration required) reports on the story and includes this paragraph:

While The Telegram removed Mr. Powers’s Jan. 30 column from its Web site, the Boston Sports Media Watch, a Web log, reproduced it and lined up several of its paragraphs with those from Mr. King’s article.

I appreciate the paper for making the mention, especially since the subject was about an employee of an Times-owned company. The Media Drop has been following the developments in this case, as has Romenesko’s Media News on Poynter Online. For a bit more detail, Joe Strupp of the Editor and Publisher has more on the story, including reaction from Powers

Powers responded by claiming his firing was unjustified. “I am disappointed that a 20-year spotless record doesn’t mean anything,” he told Boston station WBZ-TV. “The termination is a terrible injustice to me.”

Apparently that “spotless record” was anything but. Whereas before, I had a bit of me that felt bad for Powers in this incident…I mean he really has ruined his career…I don’t feel so bad after reading that reaction. Especially because as Strupp’s article relates a statement released by the Telegram & Gazette:

“Ken Powers’ column on January 30 did not constitute his own work,” the statement said. “He does not dispute that. Further investigation has revealed that this was not an isolated incident and that he has previously used the work of others without proper attribution. We have terminated his employment and our investigation into his past work continues.”

Not an isolated incident. Not at all. In fact, the Times piece above informs us that:

Mr. Whitin said in the interview that the investigation had turned up “at least half a dozen” cases of plagiarism by Mr. Powers.

You want some more? OK. Consider a comparison of an NFL.com column from November 2nd, 2004 and Ken Powers column of November 7th, 2004.

NFL.com
Last week, it was “21 & Done,” as a sign at Heinz Field read when the Steelers broke the unprecedented 21-game regular-season-and-playoff consecutive victory streak of the New England Patriots.

Powers
Last week, it was “21 and Done,” as a sign at Heinz Field read when the Steelers broke the Patriots’ unprecedented 21-game regular-season and playoff winning streak.

NFL.com
The “Flock” touches down in “Roethlis-burgh,” as they’re calling it after stellar Steelers rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Powers
Pittsburgh was abuzz last week about the “Flock,” as the Eagles are called, touching down in “Roethlis-burgh,” as the town is being called to pay tribute to starring Steelers rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

NFL.com
Big Ben has captured Steel City hearts by not exactly coming from nowhere — he was the team’s first-round draft choice this year — but by not only starting the team’s past five games, but winning them. If Pittsburgh wins, he will tie former Steeler Mike Kruczek (1976) for the most consecutive victories by an NFL rookie QB since 1970.

Powers
A big reason for the frenzy has been the play of Roethlisberger. Big Ben has captured Steel City hearts by not exactly coming from nowhere he was the team’s first-round draft choice (11th overall) this year and starting and winning the team’s last five games. With a victory today, he can tie former Steeler Mike Kruczek for the most consecutive wins by an NFL rookie QB since 1970. Kruczek went 6-0 in 1976.

NFL.com
With nine TD passes, Roethlisberger already has broken the team’s rookie mark in the category of Terry Hanratty (8) in 1969. “He doesn’t look like a rookie to me,” Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said.

Powers
With nine TD passes, Roethlisberger has already broken the team’s rookie mark of eight, set in 1969 by Terry Hanratty.

“He doesn’t look like a rookie to me,” Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said after Roethlisberger beat New England, 34-20.

NFL.com
There will be some great sub-plots in the game. Pittsburgh running back Duce Staley, who had three 1,000-yard seasons in his seven years in Philadelphia, will face his old mates for the first time. “I spent a lot of good years in Philly,” Staley said. “All good years.”

Powers
In addition to Roethlisberger’s talents being on display, there will be several subplots to the game. Pittsburgh running back Duce Staley, who had three 1,000-yard seasons in his seven years in Philadelphia, will face his former teammates for the first time.

“I spent a lot of good years in Philly,” Staley said. “All good years.”

NFL.com
There also will be the NFL’s fifth-ranked passer, the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb (102.9), going against the league’s fifth-ranked defense, which has 17 takeaways, tied for second-most in the league … speedy Eagles left defensive end Jevon Kearse — coming off a two-sack game — against Steelers 317-pound right tackle Oliver Ross … and “T.O.” — Eagles wideout Terrell Owens, already (9) with more than half the team’s total TD catches of last year (17), against cornerback Deshea Townsend, with three interceptions on the season, including a 39-yard TD return against New England.

On top of all that excitement, the Steelers will salute the 25th anniversary of their Super Bowl XIV title team.

Powers
There also will be the NFL’s fifth-ranked passer, the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb (102.9 passer rating), going against the league’s fifth-ranked defense, which has 17 takeaways, tied for second in the NFL.

In addition, the Eagles’ speedy left defensive end, Jevon Kearse, coming off a two-sack game, faces off against the Steelers’ 317-pound right tackle, Oliver Ross.

“T.O.”Eagles wideout Terrell Owens, who with nine TD receptions already has more than half of the team’s total from last season will go against Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend, who has three interceptions. Last week, Townsend picked off New England QB Tom Brady and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown.

And, on top of all that, the Steelers will salute the 25th anniversary of their Super Bowl XIV title team.

Conclusion

A HUGE thanks to Gina for finding these stories and John for transcribing them for me. Gina is searching for other stories and if/when she find them, we’ll have them here. She’s already found another, a Mike Vrabel article from the Akron Beacon Journal which we’ll get up here in the morning.

Some might say…the man has been fired…hasn’t he suffered enough? This incident is beyond Powers now. Probably all writers out there are now considering their own situations…hopefully being grateful for what they have currently. Think about this…Powers was at the Super Bowl, in Florida doing a job that many people would be envious of. Now he’s not there. He’s unemployed. All those media types out there complaining in print and on the air about everything under the sun (rain?) down in Jacksonville should take a moment and reflect on how quickly it can all be taken away from them. All it takes is a little laziness, as exhibited by one Mr. Ken Powers. Let’s all take a lesson from it.