Fund Drive Day Three, Pats Post-Mortem

We’re now on day three of the BSMW Fall Fund Drive and making some steady progress. Today we’d like to get another $450 or so and reach $1800, which will keep us on pace to meet the final goal. Your support to the site is crucial going forward and appreciated greatly.

The post-mortem of the Patriots continues. Michael Felger hands out his weekly grades in the report card feature, the harshest marks going to Corey Dillon (“F” for turning his back on contact) and the secondary, (Also F). Tim Weisberg also has a report card on the Patriots. Speaking of the secondary, Jerome Solomon says that they were beaten in every way possible by the Colts on Monday. Lenny Megliola says we couldn’t have been all that surprised at what we saw on Monday night. Ron Borges says that the Patriots problems go beyond the absence of Richard Seymour, or the play of Duane Starks. Chris Kennedy and Eric McHugh look back at the loss on Monday as the Patriots were exposed on national TV. Bill Simmons says that while the Colts may have vanquished their Patriots demon, they still have to go out and win the Super Bowl. Jeff Jacobs says that the Patriots patchwork defense had no chance.

The BSMW Game Day Rear View checks in with a look at the flaws of the Patriots just becoming too many to overcome against the Colts. Tom E Curran has Tom Brady calling out for more passion and enthusiasm from his club. He feels that they’re feeling sorry for themselves at times. Alan Greenberg says that past glory and Super Bowls cannot mask the fact that this is a very average team right now. John Tomase and Dan Pires have Troy Brown noting that the team just has no passion right now. Albert Breer says that the Patriots are all about Brady right now, much as the Colts have been about Manning in the past. Ian M Clark and Christopher Price note that the Patriots are in an all-out battle for the division starting now. Jonathan Comey reminds us that the worst is now behind us for the Patriots. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that the onsides kick was the rising of the white flag and the end of the dynasty.

Bill Burt says that Peyton Manning is worth our admiration. Ron Hobson says that Manning’s patience is what is finally getting him the victories. Tomase’s notebook reports that if the Patriots are in the market for some secondary help, the pickings are slim at the moment. Curran’s notebook re-visits the onsides kick from Monday.

Once again the Bruins had a lead and allowed it to slip away, as they lost to the Flyers in Philadelphia last night, 4-3. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Stephen Harris have the game recaps. Dan Hickling also has a game story in the Providence Journal. Harris talks to former Bruin Mike Knuble, who says there are no hard feelings towards the club. Mike Loftus looks at Colton Orr as the young forward continues to build a role for himself on the Bruins. Burrell’s notebook has more on Knuble, while Harris’ notebook continues the Alex Zhamnov watch. Hickling’s notebook looks at the Flyers’ offseason moves as compared to those of the Bruins.

Apparently some rumors were floating around the GM meetings that Theo Epstein could still come back to the Red Sox. Dan Shaughnessy does what he can to fan those flames, but tells us:

Note to conspiracy buffs and sports-talk radio listeners: None of this comes from inside sources close to the negotiations or The New York Times Company, which owns 17 percent of the Red Sox (and all of the Boston Globe). It's not a suggestion from Curt Schilling or any of his little late-night, on-line friends. It wasn't fed to the Globe by Scooter Libby, Mark Felt, or any Lucchino consigliere. It's just something that makes sense.

Whatever, Dan, you’re irrelevant. Michael Silverman also addresses the Theo rumors, and also looks at the club’s plans for interviewing candidates this week. Bill Lajoie also returned to the club this week, after leaving at the same time as Theo. Gordon Edes looks at one of the candidates added to the list, Indians assistant GM Chris Antonetti. He also discusses some of the other issues around the club right now. For keeping up throughout the day, Edes has been doing a very good job with the Boston.com Extra Bases blog, filing several updates from the GM meetings yesterday. David Heuschkel also has a report on the GM search.

Peter May looks at a tough week at home coming up for the Celtics, with Memphis, San Antonio and Houston coming in between now and Sunday. Mark Murphy looks at Paul Pierce as the best rebounding guard in the NBA. Mike Fine reports on Dan Dickau, who finds himself back in the Celtics rotation after playing well on Saturday night in Charlotte. Murphy also had a bit on Doc Rivers helping out a coach from the South African national team. The piece also mentions former Celtic Sam Vincent, who coached the South African team and is now coaching the Nigerian squad. Murphy’s notebook has Rivers hoping to settle on a nine man rotation.

Howard Bryant has his farewell column today. It is a subscription only column, but if you can can get a copy, it’s a good read. He addresses the “cartel”, noting the relationships between the Red Sox, Globe, WEEI and other outlets have always existed really, but not nearly on the scale we see now, and it becomes a credibility issues. A few points from Bryant:

Reporters from newspapers other than the Globe, including those from the Herald, earn money from the all-powerful radio voice. It is a shrewd maneuver on the part of WEEI that insulates it from criticism. Ultimately, the consumer loses.

If the goal of NESN was primarily to serve Red Sox fans, its Globe-owned pre-game show would invariably interview the journalists who had produced the outstanding news of the day, whether the report appeared in the Globe, Providence Journal, or even the dreaded Herald.

The true role of the Cartel is to increase and expand the revenue stream of the New York Times, the brands of Globe, NESN, and the Red Sox, while providing its viewers content, exactly in that order.

For the record, since so many Herald readers seemed convinced I was obsessed with playing