Celtics Battle Warriors

The Celtics bounced back nicely last night after their dreadful loss in Chicago on Saturday night. At TD Banknorth Garden last evening the 14-10 Warriors were in town, and the Celtics rose to the occasion, especially in the fourth quarter, as the defeated Golden State 109-98. Shira Springer notes that an alley-oop from Paul Pierce to Ricky Davis with just under seven minutes left in the game really sparked the Celtics onto the win. Steve Bulpett credits the work on the offensive glass, which netted the Celtics 27 second chance points as a key to the game. Shalise Manza Young adds that the Celtics did everything that Coach Doc Rivers could’ve asked of them last night.

Steve Buckley (subscription only) has a look at big Al Jefferson, who while sometimes displaying the game of a man, is still just a 20 year old kid. Buckley notes Jefferson’s burning desire to be a great player. Peter May says that it all comes down to rebounding, which is about effort. So it would seem that on the nights that the Celtics put forth the effort, they’re successful. So why have they still not won two games in a row yet this season? Lenny Megliola says that the Celtics are in disarray, and the blame starts with the head coach. Bill Reynolds says that it is obvious that the Celtics (and Bruins) just don’t count in the way that they used to anymore. The point guards remain banged up for the Celtics. Buckley looks at Delonte West, who was still a little dizzy after his fall in Chicago on Saturday night. Bulpett reports on Dan Dickau undergoing achilles tendon surgery today.

Springer’s notebook reports that training camp invitee Will Bynum is having a terrific season in the NBDL.She also looks at the health of the Celtics point guards. Bulpett’s notebook has Paul Pierce urging patience, as he realizes it will take time for his young team to learn to play together. Young’s notebook has more on the point guard issues. You can get a look at the game reports from out west on the Bay Area Sports Page.

The Patriots are coming off their biggest win and best performance of the season, and are still looking to improve before hitting the playoffs. John Tomase says that for the final two games it is going to be business as usual, with no plans to rest starters extensively. Jerome Solomon says that this is just another week at the office for the Patriots, despite next Monday’s game having no real impact on the standings. However, even Bill Belichick has to smile at the improvement of the defense. Joe McDonald notes that the Patriots are hitting their stride, but they have not hit their peak just yet. Alan Greenberg writes that Bill Belichick may have finished his shopping already, but he’s still got plenty on his list when it comes to his team. Chris Kennedy has more from Bill Belichick, insisting that this will be a normal week of preparation. Howard Ulman of the AP also says that rest isn’t part of the plan this week.

Jonathan Comey says that it was hard to see this kind of turnaround happening, but it has happened…the Patriots are their old selves. The BSMW Game Day Rear View takes a look back at the Tampa game, and says that we’re in for another interesting January. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) writes about the pressure that will continue to be on Peyton Manning and the Colts, even though a perfect season is no longer on the line for them. He says that the Patriots performance on Saturday coupled with the Colts struggling in a game they were trying to win, has to breathe new hope into New England fans. This was a very good column from Callahan, who shows again that when he writes sports, he’s pretty darn good. Dave Goldberg says we could very well be headed for Pats/Colts III. Eric McHugh notes that while the Patriots may not be looking ahead to the playoffs, the fans and media certainly are. Karen Guregian looks at Tedy Bruschi, who appears to be finally all the way back to vintage Tedy after missing the first part of the season.

Solmon’s notebook looks at Patrick Pass winning the fan Pro Bowl balloting at fullback. Tomase’s notebook has Bill Belichick savoring the play of his team from Saturday. McDonald’s notebook has more on Bruschi’s improvement, which has come as no surprise to his teammates. McHugh’s notebook looks at some goals and milestones a few individual Patriots could reach in the final two games.

Follow the Jets this week as they prepare for the Patriots on the New York Sports Pages.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the USA Hockey team being announced, with no Bruins making the squad. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Stephen Harris look at coach Mike Sullivan choosing to give his players some more rest rather than cracking the whip on them.

Tony Massarotti says that Tony Graffanino accepting arbitration has sort of put the Red Sox in a bind, as they do not know exactly what they’ll do with him. He also reports that the deal with reliever Rudy Seanez is all but a formality now, and that he should officially be a member of the team this week. David Heuschkel doesn’t seem to think it is a done deal just yet, as he reports on the Braves making an offer as well. The Globe notebook reports that Wade Miller will not be back with the Red Sox next year, and looks at other items of business the team has going currently. I’m ignoring a column from He Who Must Not Be Read simply because it’s not worth my bandwidth to link to it.

The issue of whether Wendi Nix and her employer, channel 7 face a conflict of interest now that her husband Ben Cherington is a Co-GM of the Red Sox is a topic that has generated quite a bit of discussion as of late. John Molori’s Media Blitz explores this topic and talks to Nix about how she feels about the matter.

ESPN has the New Orleans Bowl, with Southern Miss/Arkansas St at 8:00. OLN has Avalanche/Predators at 8:00.

No 16-0 for Indy

Purely an unscientific guess here, but I think that households across New England yesterday fell on one of two sides while watching the Colts play the Chargers. One part wanted the Chargers to put an end to all the undefeated season talk right then and there for the Colts. The other part, and I believe the larger segment of the two, wanted the Colts to win that game and their next two and finish at 16-0 going into the playoffs. Now I certainly know quite a few people who wanted nothing more than the Colts to do down yesterday. But I think the majority of New England fans were looking forward to a second round matchup between an unbeaten Colts team and a Patriots squad that seems to be finding itself at the right time. The game still has a very good chance of happening, but a little bit of the lustre will have been taken off of the game now that the Colts no longer will be unbeaten. In fact, there’s a good chance they lose next week in Seattle as well. The Globe had Nick Cafardo report on the Colts game yesterday, and he looks at the Chargers managing to make the Colts a bit of a one dimensional team, for a day at least.

So what do the feelings of New England fans mean? Did our desire to see the Colts go undefeated mean that WE wanted to be the ones that had a chance to ruin this dream season for Indianapolis? Or were we hoping that the pressure of being 16-0 and being in the playoffs would cause the Colts to feel a bit more strain and increase the Patriots chances of the upset? Does the loss really change anything? Not in the big picture. As noted, it simply takes some of the lustre off a possible second round meeting between the two clubs. It would still be a huge game should it come about, but it has been slightly tarnished by yesterday’s results.

For the Patriots, Michael Felger has his Report Card for Saturday’s 28-0 win over the Buccaneers. Jerome Solomon looks at the Patriots being able to turn things around in their last three games and takes a peek at the postseason picture. Tom E Curran says that it is just about set in stone that the Patriots will be hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round. Alan Greenberg notes that the Patriots timing appears to be perfect in putting things together just in time for the postseason. Michael Parente agrees that the Pats are peaking at just the right time. Jim Donaldson looks at the Patriots treating another division title as no big deal.

Albert Breer says that feeling is still that the Patriots season will come to an end with that second round game in Indianapolis, but that he wouldn’t bet his loose change on it. John Tomase notes that as usual, it is the little things that count, he lists out some small things that were being done wrong earlier in the season, and notes the changes now. Bill Burt says that any Super Bowl hopes that the Patriots still harbor will need to be based on their defense playing as it did Sunday. Christopher Price lists out his 10 things that we learned from Saturday’s game. Dan Shaughnessy says that the Patriots are going to beat the Colts in the playoffs. The signature of his column reminds us that he also predicted that the Red Sox would run away with the division this season. Tomase notes that the Buccaneers didn’t quite look as good as Bill Belichick made them out to be.

Shira Springer looks at another critical point of the season coming up for the struggling Celtics, who lost by 32 points in Chicago on Saturday night. Mark Murphy says that getting consistent on defense is the Celtics biggest problem right now. Also in Springer’s article and in a note from Steve Bulpett is the news that Dan Dickau suffered a ruptured achilles tendon in Saturday night’s loss. The Herald also has Ricky Davis doing a great deed for the community.

Steve Conroy has a look at the Bruins, who also lost Saturday night. He notes that the B’s have problems with their first line, goaltending and getting off to slow starts, but he also insists there were some positives in the 3-0 loss to the Flames. Kevin Paul Dupont says that the eight day NHL trade embargo for the holiday might be too much for the Bruins and some of their players to bear. Be sure to check out the BSMW Power Play Bruins Blog, where they are looking for your opinion on what the Bruins need right now in order to improve.

Tony Massarotti reports that Tony Graffanino is leaning toward accepting salary arbitration and remaining with the Red Sox. He also reports that the Red Sox and Cleveland have not had substantive trade talks involving Coco Crisp for weeks now. Rob Bradford examines what makes Crisp attractive to Boston.

Michael Vega and Jeff Goodman report on Boston College’s 80-53 win over Texas Southern yesterday. Lenny Megliola says that a visit from Texas Southern was just what the doctor ordered for BC. Goodman’s notebook looks at Akida McLain getting in sync for the Eagles.

Check out the New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages for more NFL, NBA and Hot Stove baseball talk.

FSN has Celtics/Warriors at 7:30. ABC has Packers/Ravens at 9:00. ESPN2 has Pepperdine/Kansas at 7:00 and Indiana/Charlotte at 9:00.

BSMW SporTView – 12.16.2005

Welcome to the second edition of BSMW SporTView. Last week, the feedback was positive, though a couple people expressed a wish to have a chart of sports events this weekend rather than having me go over each event in the blog entry. The result is the chart to the right below. You can leave it in the entry, or if you click on it, it will pop up into a separate window, which you can leave open on your computer for quick reference. You could also print it out to keep near your TV for the weekend.

Football widows beware, this marks the NFL’s first weekend of Saturday/Sunday coverage.

Jim McCabe and Jim Lazar have their weekend NFL picks. You can also check the selections of the Globe sports writers. Double D and I.M. Bettor also look at the action.

Patrick Hanrahan and Steve Britt file fantasy columns.

Ira Miller in the San Francisco Chronicle has a great column looking back at the snow game, and how it changed the lives of so many people involved.

Over the weekend, you can check in on the Patriots Daily Links Page and Game Day Rear View as well as Reiss’ Pieces for Patriots updates.

Be sure to also check in on the following:

Red Sox Daily Links Page

BSMW Full Court Press – Good stuff on WEEI’s efforts to talk Celtics this week.

BSMW Power Play – Create a Bruins wish list.

Sports Media Reporters from around the country:

    Note: some of these may require free registration. The easiest thing to do is use the FireFox browser with the BugMeNot extension…it will fill in all that stuff for you.

  • Richard Sandomir, NY Times – Show Proves Less Knicks Is More, More or Less.
  • Bob Raissman, NY Daily News – Media now mum on Tiki’s sked.
  • Neil Best, NY Newsday – Giving MNF a proper send-off.
  • Phil Mushnick, NY Post – Tenacious Tom.
  • Bill Conlin, Philly.com – Caught in Spin Cycle.
  • Jim Williams, Washington Examiner – A-Team tackles Skins-Boys
  • Ed Sherman, Chicago Tribune – BMW to drive off with Western sponsorship.
  • Barry Jackson, Miami Herald – The good, bad and ugly of ’05.
  • Michael Hiestand, USA Today – ABC alters studio complexion with celebrity guests.
  • Larry Stewart, LA Times – ESPN’s Smith Stays Close to USC.
  • David Barron, Houston Chronicle – Astros’ new road voice won’t be named till ’06.
  • Tom Hoffarth, LA Daily News – SI writer ready to own up to his story.
  • Chris Zelkovich, Toronto Star – Skating’s TV figures in death spiral.

Anyone else think that it is curious that all four major New York papers have a sports media columnist, while both major papers in Boston have cut theirs in the last year or so?

Media Bits from This Week:

This week’s sign of the apocalypse: Bill Simmons, the ESPN Page 2 Sports Guy appeared on WEEI with Dennis and Callahan on Tuesday morning. They were able to joke about Simmons referring to them as “Aryan monoliths” in the past. The appearance was to promote Simmons’ local book signings this week. Simmons then spent Wednesday with Michael Felger on ESPN Radio Boston.

If ESPN Radio Boston just had a better signal, I’m convinced they would take some listeners from WEEI. In fact, if I were to create a “plan to beat WEEI” (perhaps a future column) the item at the top of the list would be to get a station with signal strength. This week, The Drive with Mike Felger was very good, with Simmons one day, and Bob Ryan on another. They served as a welcome respite from soap opera sports radio.

The WEEI/Mike Adams studio “takeover” was mildly amusing at times, downright annoying at others. What gets me is that some apparently weren’t sure if this was a stunt or not. The station spent weeks setting this up. How about Butch Sterns giving the story attention on the FOX25 news? Not like Butchie has anything to gain from giving the station some more pub.

Good job Butch, you’ve just earned yourself more Big Show appearances in the coming weeks. Maybe you can put another addition on your house. You did say that WEEI paid for your last one, right?

Trust me, it’s no coincidence that Wednesday marked the end of the fall ratings book. Nice little soap opera/publicity stunt that the station pulled to try to make a final push to close out the period. Can’t blame them, and as I said, it was mildly amusing at times. Only Mike Adams could pull something like that off for that length of time over a show.

The 2006 WEEI Whiny Awards will be held on February 28th at TD Banknorth Garden.

Wednesday afternoon’s Big Show segment with Jamie Most, which had Glenn Ordway telling stories from his days doing Celtics games with Jamie’s father Johnny Most, was a true highlight of the week. Great memories and sound clips from my youth, including Johnny setting his pants on fire, and trying to pronounce the names of Yugoslavian players over in Madrid in 1988.

Rob Bradford is kicking butt and taking names at the Lawrence Eagle Tribune. It doesn’t always get noticed because of the ET’s weird online publishing schedule, but he has been at the front of every story this offseason, including an exclusive with John Henry, the fact that the Red Sox hired a consultant to examine Lucchino’s role with the team, the Sox being interested in Jeremy Reed and today’s story about a Coco Crisp trade with Cleveland being contingent on Nomar signing with the Indians.

Finally the Boston Globe Reader Panel sent out the following questionnaire recently:

The Boston Globe and Boston.com are considering launching a special online section called Sportsplus in early 2006. Sportsplus would be the essential resource for news, opinions and discussion about New England's sports teams, produced daily by the country's best sports writers.
Would potentially include:

a) Daily columns by Bob Ryan, Dan Shaughnessy, Jackie MacMullan or other Boston Globe sports columnists
b) Sports feature stories, pre-game and post-game analysis
c) Sports articles from opposing teams' newspaper web sites
d) Daily Blogs such as Reiss's Pieces, Extra Bases and Net Minders
e) Game-time Blog by Boston Globe reporter
f) Blogs by players and managers
g) Opportunities to submit questions and comments directly to Globe sports writers
h) Monthly online chats with sports writers from The Boston Globe
i) MP3 recordings of live interviews
j) An email that alerts you about the subjects of new articles
k) A scrolling banner on the Sportsplus home page that highlights key articles or breaking news
l) Access to archived articles from The Boston Globe, including organized collections of articles
m) Access to archived photos from The Boston Globe, and the ability to create your own photo gallery, screen saver or electronic greeting card
n) Poll other subscribers on subjects chosen by you
o) Opportunities to attend live interviews of players, coaches and managers
p) Opportunities to attend live player panel discussions
q) Opportunities to be in the audience during NESN broadcast tapings
r) Venues for subscribers to meet at games

If this potential product were launched, the exclusive content and access provided through Sportsplus would be available for free to those who subscribe to The Boston Globe printed newspaper. Others could subscribe to Sportsplus for a low monthly or annual fee. Those who do not subscribe to The Boston Globe printed newspaper or the Sportsplus section of Boston.com would no longer have access to Boston Globe sports columnists or the other benefits noted in the previous question through the main Boston.com web site. Based on a fee of $5.95 per month, or $49.95 per year for access to Sportsplus, what would you do?
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More from Paidcontent.org.

While there are some intriguing ideas here, I don’t see this going over very well should it be implemented. In fact, some people may rejoice that they can no longer read certain columnists…

The Globe Ombudsman might be a good person to contact to voice your opinion on this.

Pats, Brady Prepare for Bucs

The Patriots continue their preparations for tomorrow afternoon’s game with the Tampa Bay Bucs. John Tomase has a mini-feature on Pats receiver Deion Branch. Tomase also breaks down one pass play between Branch and Tom Brady to show how in sync the two are with each other. Jim Donaldson says to put your money on Tom Brady playing tomorrow. Michael Parente also reports on Brady and whether he is going to play tomorrow.

Ian M Clark notes that the weather won’t be all the chilly for the Bucs tomorrow afternoon, perhaps taking a small advantage away from the Patriots. Christopher Price looks at the Patriots defense appearing to round into form at the right time. Tony Massarotti looks at the Patriots success in December in recent years and how this year could follow the same pattern. Massarotti looks at Tom Ashworth preparing to make the move to left tackle if needed. Albert Breer looks at the strong work of the offensive line behind the leadership of Dante Scarnecchia.

Fluto Shinzawa has a look at the Tampa Bay defense, which is simple, yet constant and very effective. Tom E Curran has a look at Tampa QB Chris Simms and how the youngster making his 10th career start tomorrow is playing like an old veteran. Alan Greenberg looks at Jon Gruden’s first return to Foxboro since the snow game. Eric McHugh has more from Gruden on Foxboro and the snow game. Hector Longo also has a look at Gruden and his many faces.

Tomase’s notebook has Vince Wilfork expecting that the crowd will be loud at Gillette tomorrow. The Globe notebook looks at Tom Brady’s preparations for tomorrow, and the depth on the offensive line. Curran’s notebook says that the signs seem to indicate the Brady will play tomorrow. McHugh’s notebook looks at what the Bucs can expect from Doug Flutie if he is called upon to play tomorrow. Parente’s notebook has Wilfork spending a little extra time in the film room as of late.

Kevin Paul Dupont and Steve Conroy each report on the Bruins beating the Minnesota Wild last night 3-2. Conroy has a look at former Bruin Brian Rolston, now thriving in Minnesota. Dupont’s notebook looks at injured defenseman Nick Boynton making the trip with his teammates. Conroy’s notebook has Mike Sullivan sitting down veteran defenseman Jiri Slegr.

Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer each look at Raef LaFrentz this morning, as the Celtics big man has been struggling and demoted to the second unit. He’d would like a little clearer definition of his role from coach Doc Rivers. Scott Souza has more on LaFrentz. On the other hand, Mark Blount’s stock has been rising as of late, and Bulpett also has a bit on him. Rob Bradford says that the Celtics have dealt for troubled stars in the past, could Ron Artest be another? Springer’s notebook has more on Blount and his return to the starting lineup, where he is being paired with Kendrick Perkins. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the difference a little defense can make for the Celtics.

Michael Silverman reports that the Red Sox are still looking at trying to get in on the Miguel Tejada trade talks, but that the Red Sox don’t want to give up a pitcher and prospect in addition to Manny Ramirez. He also looks at Larry Lucchino’s appearance on WEEI yesterday where he had some strong words for the Herald. Lenny Megliola wonders when Theo is going to let us know if he is coming back or not. Dan Shaughnessy has a look at Bill Mueller leaving Boston and how with all the other events surrounding the Red Sox, this got almost no attention. Joe McDonald has a piece on Kelly Shoppach working hard this winter in an effort to win the backup catcher spot with the Red Sox behind Jason Varitek. Dom Amore has Mike Myers trying to recruit Johnny Damon to join him with the Yankees. Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at how Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer both played baseball in the New England Small Conference Athletic Conference.

Scott’s Shots has reader reaction to the Pete Sheppard email from last week. John Howell looks at Phil Simms, who would like to keep his family life private, but that is something hard to do when you’re a retired NFL QB now working in TV, and your son is a starting NFL QB. The Globe’s Sports Media column for this week is by Mark Blaudschun and it looks at WEEI naming Mike Adams to the evening slot.

Be sure to check back this afternoon for this week’s edition of BSMW SporTView. It should be up around 2:00.

CHFF Strikes Again

If you’re a football fan, you’re familiar with the website Cold Hard Football Facts. The site is a must read for their analysis, opinion, and most of all, their habit of exposing media members who aren’t truthful with the facts.

Today’s entry, entitled Boston media fails football fans is another must read entry from Kerry Byrne and company. With his permission, I’m reprinting large sections of this article here, but be sure to go and check out the entire article and website.

Remember…this not the entire article…there is more at the link above. The dashed lines just indicate sections I’ve snipped out for inclusion here.

—————————————————————–

For those of you who aren

Celtics Take Control

In their first matchup since game 7 of the first round of last year’s playoffs, the Celtics defeated the Pacers, 85-71 at TD Banknorth Garden. Shira Springer reports on the game, as the Celtics pulled away from the Ron Artest-less Pacers in the fourth quarter. Still, according to Steve Bulpett, Coach Doc Rivers was not happy with the play of his team, as he feels they needed to play better against a flat Indiana team. Lenny Megliola writes that this game was almost entirely devoid of flow. Shalise Manza Young says it may have been an ugly win, but it was a win regardless.

Much focus was of course placed on a player who didn’t even play in the game last night, that being Ron Artest. Peter May and Mark Murphy look at the disgust that his Pacers teammates have for Artest right now, with Jermaine O’Neal being the most vocal in wishing the forward good riddance. Buddy Thomas thinks he knows how any Indiana/Boston trade talks involving Artest must’ve gone. Jackie MacMullan looks at Paul Pierce putting the nightmare of last year’s playoff series with the Pacers in the past. His immediate reaction after the series was to request a trade, but as time went on, he realized Boston was the place for him. In an article that will no doubt please the Get Buckets Brigade, the Globe has a piece by Mindy Pollack-Fusi this morning which looks at Ricky Davis, his home, and his family life, noting that the forward hopes to remain in Boston for some time to come. Murphy has a piece on Mark Blount, and how he was playing so well last night that Davis wanted to do whatever it took to keep him on the floor last night.

Bulpett’s notebook looks at Marcus Banks being held back from last night’s game, and has Stephen Jackson saying good things about Kendrick Perkins. Young’s notebook also looks at the delayed return for Banks. Springer’s notebook examines the friendship that Paul Pierce and Jermaine O’Neal developed over the summer out in Los Angeles. At the end of the notebook, she had a quote from Ron Artest saying that Pierce is the toughest player to guard in the NBA, tougher than McGrady, Kobe or LeBron.

Yesterday’s Patriots buzz centered around the health of QB Tom Brady. Listed as questionable on the injury report with shin and shoulder injuries, the two time Super Bowl MVP walked without a limp in the locker room and was on the field for the start of practice. Karen Guregian notes how ever, that he didn’t walk very far in the locker room, was dressed in street clothes for his Wednesday press conference. She also notes the Doug Flutie was nowhere to be found during the media locker room access. Alan Greenberg says Brady was in the trainer’s room prior to the press conference, which isn’t a long trip from his locker. Brady refused to give out any details on his injury at the behest of Bill Belichick, but Jerome Solomon notes, Jon Gruden opened his press conference yesterday giving out “some detailed information about the status of his injured players.” What was this “detailed information” you ask?

JG: Let me just go through the injury list for you. Anthony McFarland is probably going to be out of this game. He's doubtful at this time with a hamstring. Obviously that's a big loss to our team. Marquis Cooper, a backup linebacker, is questionable with a chest injury. We've got Matt Bryant - our kicker - probable with a hamstring, and Juran Bolden - a nickel corner - also probable with a lower leg bruise. I'll answer any questions I can.

That was from Gruden’s phone call with the New England media. He surely must’ve been more descriptive in talking to his home scribes, no?

12.14.05 Afternoon

I apologize for the lack of an AM update today. Just one of those days.

Here’s a few highlights from today:

Eric McHugh has a look at another solid season from the Patriots offensive line, led by Dante Scarnecchia. Michael Felger has his Patriots Insider. Steve Buckley has a mini-feature on Patriots rookie Ellis Hobbs. Glen Farley has a good look at Rosevelt Colvin, who finally feels that he is at top speed and the top of his game.

Mike Reiss’ mailbag this week is broken into two pieces. Here’s part one and then part two. He also has his frequently updated Reiss’ Pieces.

You can get a look at the Tampa Bay Locker Room quotes from yesterday, as they give their thoughts on the Patriots and this Saturday’s game. Ira Kaufman has a look back at the snow bowl/tuck rule and what impact it has had on the league. Nick Cafardo has a look at Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Michael Parente also looks at the Tampa defense.

Steve Bulpett and Jackie MacMullan look at what faces any team that should acquire Ron Artest. Bob Ryan has the second part of his series about the modern NBA and how it is bouncing back.

Other Links:

Michael Hiestand notes that there will be no Bowl games played on New Years Day, and what that means for the networks.

Dan Shaughnessy Watch – Some great quotes from Dan over the years.

Sheriff Sully – Holding a fund drive and preparing for a blogging marathon on Friday.

Mark Jurkowitz – a look at the Globe management reshuffling. Jerry Kronenberg and Brett Arends in the Herald also report on the Globe’s struggles.

Jim Williams talks to Mark Cuban about media, the internet and the future of sports coverage.

The Boston Globe Ombudsman is now blogging.

Sharing the Spotlight.

Michael Felger has his Patriots Report Card for their game against the Bills, and says they looked like the old Patriots in this one. Michael Parente points out that since Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk returned last week against the Jets, the Patriots have looked like a different team. Bill Burt thinks that Tom Brady should be the NFL MVP this season. He says Brady is the most feared player in the league, and perhaps the best athlete in pro sports right now. That might be overstating things just a tad, but there’s no doubt Brady should be at least seriously considered for his performance this season. Jonathan Comey says that twelve is the magic number for the Patriots. If they have twelve, they have hope. Chris Kennedy reports that Brady’s injury from Sunday is not serious. Alan Greenberg also looks at Brady’s injury, noting that prospects would be grim for the Patriots without him.

The Patriots Game Day Rear View looks at the Patriots making more progress this week in their efforts to make a run during January. John Tomase looks at the attack-style mode in which the Patriots defense has operated the last two weeks. Karen Guregian tells us not to get too excited over the last two games. The Patriots are after all, still only an 8-5 club without much hope of advancing past the second round of the playoffs. Jerome Solomon has a look at Tampa QB Chris Simms. Tomase’s notebook has more on Brady’s injured leg. Fluto Shinzawa’s notebook has Belichick defending Brady’s block on Sunday which was whistled for a 15 yard penalty.

So much for Patriots Monday, eh? The Red Sox once again swooped in and stole the headlines and talk away from the Patriots. You’re telling me that this press conference…with news that had been rumored for days…couldn’t have waited one day? Seriously, this is a front page, above the fold, news story? It sure seems that Dr Charles and the Red Sox PR people simply cannot stand to see anyone get attention (good or bad) besides themselves. It’s bad enough that Patriots coverage in the Red Sox house organ of the Boston Globe is relegated to a single, short notebook entry today (Solomon’s article about was the Tampa QB) but they had to be smiling to hear WEEI intros all afternoon on the Big Show: “Welcome to Patriots Monday…we’re going to get into this whole Red Sox Co-GM thing today…” Michael Felger’s ESPN Radio show was a welcome respite from the Red Sox talk, but as soon as I got in my car at 5:00, I couldn’t get the station in any more.

Chris Snow looks at the Red Sox announcement yesterday that Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington will be serving as Co-GM’s for the Red Sox. Jeff Horrigan notes that the duo will continue to live in the shadow of Theo Epstein, as they did even in their own introductory press conference. Shalise Manza Young says that what should’ve been a great day for Cherington and Hoyer was turned into an opportunity for the media to grill Larry Lucchino about Epstein. David Heuschkel has more on the appointment, and observes the power that Lucchino holds over them. Lenny Megliola writes that “it

Patriots Impressive

The Patriots made it two convincing wins in a row with a 35-7 romp over the Buffalo Bills yesterday afternoon. Tom E Curran says that the Patriots are starting to play like the Patriots. John Tomase adds that we might have a team to watch in the second round of the playoffs this season after all. Jerome Solomon says that for one day at least, the Patriots once again looked like one of the dominant teams in the NFL. Alan Greenberg says that the Patriots probably aren’t Super Bowl contenders, but the Bills were unable to exploit their weaknesses and thus allowed the Patriots run all over them. Ian M Clark asserts that this looked much more like the squad that has won three Super Bowls. Michael Parente notes that the Patriots were just looking to establish some consistency after last weeks win over the Jets, but took it a step further against the Bills.

Michael Felger says that the Patriots week-to-week improvement should, at the very least make for an interesting second round game at Indianapolis. Ron Borges says that the recent improvements are encouraging, but we need to see how the Patriots do against a good team such as Tampa Bay this coming Saturday before we can make any judgments on whether they’re actually any good. Curran provides his game analysis on both sides of the ball, a feature that Greenberg also does and calls turning point.

Karen Guregian writes that Tom Brady must not be hurt all that badly, otherwise Bill Belichick wouldn’t have had him running the ball on third downs and putting him in other situations where his leg could be put in jeopardy. Dan Shaughnessy compares Brady to Larry Bird, Dr. Gregory House and Michael Jackson, all in the first five paragraphs. Tomase has a look at the strong outing from Corey Dillon, which included having a fan share his hot drink with him in the end zone. Miguel Rodriguez in the Herald looks at the versatility and big plays that Kevin Faulk continues to deliver in his role as the third down back. Adam Kilgore (called over from Syracuse?) also has a look at what Dillon and Faulk bring to the offense for the Patriots. Greenberg has more on Dillon, who would like to finish strong for the season.

Nick Cafardo looks at the Patriots dominating performance on defense, holding the Bills to 12 rushing yards and JP Losman to a 33.6 QB rating, but warns that we need to see how they do against Tampa. Guregian looks at Richard Seymour, who while improving and adding much to the Patriots defense, still isn’t satisfied with his performance, and says he isn’t 100% yet. Felger has a look at the secondary, which he says is playing noticeably better, even if it is against second rate QB’s.

Cafardo looks at the Bills hitting rock bottom. Was it really all that long ago that Nick was touting how Tom Donahue had fleeced the Patriots and that he had never seen a team help a rival get so good so fast? Get the take from Buffalo on yesterday’s game from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and the Buffalo News.

Solomon’s notebook looks at Tom Ashworth stepping in on the offensive line, and protecting Tom Brady quite well. Parente’s notebook has more on Brady’s leg and the game of musical chairs on the offensive line. Tomase’s notebook has a look at rookie James Sanders getting a gift interception and TD in the fourth quarter.

Today’s article by Borges was fair, but he absolutely needs to be called on the carpet for this line in his Sunday notes column from yesterday:

Coach Lovie Smith says he has no thoughts of benching Orton, but we're not talking about the kind of situation Bill Belichick faced when Drew Bledsoe returned to health in 2001. Tom Brady was playing so well then, it was absurd to consider a change. But the Bears seem to be winning despite their quarterback.

Are you kidding me? How arrogant can someone be that they can totally ignore their own stance of the time and write such revisionist history? Borges certainly did not consider the idea of returning Bledsoe to the lineup over Brady in ’01 “absurd” at the time, if anything he lobbied for the change. Who can forget columns such as November 22, 2001, where Borges said, among other things:

But of this you can be sure. If Bill Belichick is wrong and Brady doesn't become the future for the Patriots, Belichick will have no future in New England.

If Brady is not a quarterback he can rely on to win for him and win immediately, he will pay the ultimate price, just as he did in Cleveland. He will get himself fired. The difference is this time he will not be given another head coaching job in the National Football League.

Or from that same day:

They'll also decide one thing for Bill Belichick. Whether the future is now or nonexistent for him, because there's no turning back. Some people learn from their mistakes. Others are doomed to repeat them.

If you wonder which is Bill Belichick, go ask people in Cleveland if they've ever heard the story of the guy who benched Bernie Kosar for Todd Philcox?

So for Borges to now pretend that that decision was a simple one for Belichick and Brady should’ve been the guy all along is yet another in a long string of Ron Borges and Boston Globe embarrassments.

If the Red Sox can do anything to upstage the Patriots and steal the spotlight, you know they will do it. The rumors continue to persist of a Theo Epstein return to the Red Sox, and wouldn’t this be the perfect week for it. Jeff Horrigan says an announcement should come this week that Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington will be named co-GM’s, but what Epstein’s role could be is unclear at this point. The ProJo also has a short report on these issues. Whatever happens, Horrigan says that Larry Lucchino will remain in charge at Fenway. Rob Bradford says that things are in motion at Fenway for a Epstein return.

If not Theo Epstein’s return for a PR splash, why not Roger Clemens instead? Or at least the talk of a possible Clemens return. David Heuschkel reports on the Red Sox making contact with the agents for the future Hall of Famer. Horrigan’s notebook says that there are no negotiations going on, just a courtesy call. Chris Snow and Luis Andres Henao report that Edgar Renteria wanted to leave Boston, not because of the fans or the media, but because of the Fenway Park infield. Snow’s notebook has Miguel Tejada backing off his trade request somewhat. Lisa Wangsness in the Globe reports on a Boston city councilor proposing the idea of brining a minor league baseball team to Boston.

The Bruins lost yet another OT game, this time 2-1 to Wayne Gretzky’s Phoenix Coyotes. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins falling short despite another strong outing from goaltender Hannu Toivonen. Steve Conroy says that the Bruins got their strong start to the game that they were looking for, but couldn’t end that way. Joe McDonald wonders if Toivonen should be the regular goaltender ahead of Andrew Raycroft. Kevin Paul Dupont observes that the Bruins desperately need to put together a line that can provide a spark. Matt Kalman has more on Toivonen. He also looks at former Coyote David Tanabe, who lost to his old mates after facing them for the first time. Burrell’s notebook has more on Tanabe. McDonald’s notebook and Conroy’s notebook look at former Bruin Dave Scatchard getting back at his old team last night.

Mark Murphy says that the Celtics would’ve liked a little more out of their just completed five game road swing, but that there are reasons for optimism that came out of the trip as well. Shira Springer however, says that the team did not find the identity they were seeking on their trip through the Midwest. Tim Weisberg examines the team at the quarter mark of the season, and sees some positives thus far, but also stresses that the learning process needs to be accelerated.

Check out of town coverage from the New York Sports Pages and the Bay Area Sports Pages.

ABC has Saints/Falcons at 9:00. OLN has Penguins/Red Wings at 7:30.

BSMW SporTView

Since Bill Griffith’s SporTView column was discontinued by the Globe, (Though they did run a story today under the category of “Sports Media” ) I’ve been thinking of ways to try and fill that void, and add something more to this space than just daily links and my occasional thoughts and rants. I’m trying an experiment today to look over the sports events of the coming weekend, provide information on what’s going to be on, when and where, as well as a few links to assist you in making the most of your sports viewing weekend.

It’s likely going to be touch and go for a while here with this, as I will need to try to carve out time during the week to put it together. I’m also thinking about adding highlights/lowlights of the week, and making it sort of a weekly wrap up column, as well as a look ahead to the weekend. The post will remain up over the weekend, giving you a one stop guide to your weekend sports. I’m open to suggestions as to what you would like to see here as well.

What’s on this weekend:

NBA:

The Celtics are in San Antonio tonight and Dallas tomorrow night. Both games will be televised on FSN at 8:30. WRKO 680 AM has the radio coverage.

NFL:

The Patriots are in Buffalo Sunday afternoon Coverage is on CBS4 at 1:00 and despite earlier concerns that the game might not be broadcast in HD, it appears that High Definition viewers will indeed be able to view the splendor of Buffalo in December in that format. It will also be broadcast on radio on WBCN 104.1 FM.

If the Patriots win that game, they will be in position to clinch the division and a playoff spot with a Miami Dolphins loss to San Diego. That game can also be seen on CBS4 at 4:15. (note – I have one site that says Chiefs/Cowboys will be the second game shown locally, (See coverage map) but most I’ve seen say Miami/San Diego)

FOX’s game at 4:00 will be the Giants visiting the Eagles.

ESPN has a dreadful matchup of Detroit at Green Bay at 8:30, a game that can also be heard on WEEI 850.

For the NFL this weekend, you can check your picks against Jim McCabe and Jim Lazar. You can also see who the Globe writers (or their interns) are picking this week. Bill Simmons also has his NFL picks and thoughts on the league.

Double D and I.M. Bettor also help you out with the NFL action, giving your their take.

For Patriots coverage over the weekend, check in at the Patriots Daily Links page, which provides constantly updating headlines from the Globe, Herald, ProJo, Reiss’ Pieces and Topix.net on the Patriots. You can also check in on the Reiss’ Pieces page directly, as this is the single best resource for Patriots fans to come along in the last few years.

College Football:

This weekend features the semi-finals of the Div. I-AA Football playoffs. ESPN2 will have Northern Iowa vs. Texas State tonight at 8:00. Northern Iowa is of course the team that knocked out UNH last week up in Durham, NH.

ESPN2 will have game two on Saturday at noon with Furman vs. Appalachian State.

ESPN Classic will have the SWAC title game at 2:00 with Alabama A&M taking on Grambling St. (What’s the deal with ESPN Classic showing live games…I always find that confusing…)

Also on Saturday, ESPN will have the NCAA Div. II Football Championship with Northwest Missouri State vs. Grand Valley State facing off at 4:00.

The Heisman Trophy Presentation will be held at 8:00 on Saturday night. It will be broadcast on ESPN.

Saturday night sees the premiere of the newest ESPN Original Entertainment movie “Codebreakers“, which dramatizes the story of the 1951 cheating scandal at West Point. The film gets its first showing at 9:00 PM, but if you miss that one, you can be sure it will be shown many additional times…This program will also be shown in HD. Richard Sandomir has a review of the film for the NY Times.

College Basketball:

On Saturday, ESPN is showing California/Kansas at Noon and Ohio State/St. Josephs at 2:00. ESPN2 has Michigan/South Florida at 3:00, followed by Alabama/Temple at 5:00 and Michigan State/Wichita State at 7:00.

That same day, CBS will show Duke/Texas (In HD) at 1:30. The second game locally will likely be Kentucky/Indiana at 3:45.

NESN will have St John’s/Virgina Tech at 4:00.

NHL:

On Sunday, NESN will have Bruins/Coyotes at 5:00. WBZ 1030 AM has the Radio coverage.

Baseball:

Obviously there is no baseball on TV this weekend. But you can surely expect wall-to-wall baseball talk on any local programming done by WEEI.

If the Red Sox make news this weekend, you can read the stories on the Red Sox Daily Links page.

Misc:

Here is a sampling of Sports Media Columns from around the country today:
(Free registration required for some, BugMeNot works great for this)