Shanked Stories

John Molori has his take of the highlights and lowlights of the Super Bowl.

While Ron Borges has drawn a lot of attention from this site as of late, we haven’t forgotten his Globe colleague Dan Shaughnessy. While the website devoted to watching Dan has done a great job of following his stuff on a daily basis, here are a couple of items that prove once again how far the Globe sports section has slipped and what shoddy work the lead sports columnist of the paper has been turning in.

First, from Sheriff Sully very early this morning:

I really don

SporTView

Even without the Patriots, the Super Bowl is still the main attraction for this weekend. It will be interesting to see what the numbers are in Boston for the game. Glenn Ordway has been espousing the view all week that the TV numbers in Boston will be rock bottom compared to other cities and other Boston numbers from past years, even games in which the Patriots did not participate.

Curiously, race has been a big topic on WEEI this week. There was quite a lot of talk towards the end of the week because of the Donovan McNabb interview on ESPN. It never fails to crack me up when the middle aged white hosts of the station proceed to pontificate on the subject. From Gerry Callahan using the death of Coretta Scott King to take a shot at Jesse Jackson, to the Big Show crew telling us that NFL owners aren’t racist, because after all, they hire plenty of African Americans to play on their teams, these guys continue to show us just how enlightened they really are.

While watching FSN on Wednesday night prior to the Celtics game, I saw Gary Tanguay, John Meterparel and Michael Holley discussing Super Bowl week. Tanguay and Meterparel were complaining that nothing was going on, nobody was saying anything controversial. Holley tried to make the point that if someone did say something stupid, they (the media) would be all over them for it anyway. So they complain when no one says anything, and they complain when controversial things are said. It was interesting seeing Tanguay and Meterparel admit that they like it when athletes and coaches say dumb things because it make their jobs easier. It gives them something to talk about.

Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

I didn’t have time to compile the full sports TV listings this week. I haven’t gotten much feedback on that segment, so I opened this poll to see if you find the chart helpful or not. If you have suggestions for listings in another format, please let me know.

Some of my favorites from among the Whiney Awards Nominees. (Yes, I listen to that segment whenever I can.)

  • Best Original Character: “Grady and The Champ” – a dead -on Francona impression makes this one the best. (Close second is the Wild Vested Burton Hunter…also terrific.)
  • Best Impression Sports Radio Personality : The Beano Cook impersonator guy just slays me.
  • Baseball Personality Impression: Johnny Damon impersonator.
  • Non-Sports Personality Impression: Mayor of Boston impression.
  • Best Sports Whine: Dan Koppen, Randall Gay placed on IR whine.
  • Best Red Sox Whine: Tony GraffaniNOOOOO!

That’s enough for now. Great work guys. Funny stuff, no doubt. For the Big Show producers, the whole Whiner Line thing has to be a ton of work, just sorting through them each day, and then keeping the best, and putting together the Awards show…it can’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.

On the other hand, the long awaited re-launch of WEEI.com finally came about this week. The station has now gone from having a website that was modern looking in 1997, to one now that was modern looking in 2001. Somehow, I thought that the most listened to sports radio station in the planet would be able to come up with a little more impressive site. Hopefully more things will be added to the site, but somehow I think this is what it will look like until 2010.

Sports Media Columns From Around the Country

David Scott, BSMW – Head Husky on Horde Head Crime; Bye Bye Bonnie, the Velvet Hammer.

Andrew Neff, Bangor Daily News – Tanguay enjoys movie set atmosphere.

Susan Bickelhaupt, Boston Globe – Michaels silent on future.

Richard Sandomir, New York Times – Rizzuto Keeps Memories, but Will Sell the Keepsakes.

Also from Sandomir: Yao in China: No. 1 in Hearts, No. 3 in Shirts.

Wooed by Many, N.F.L. Chooses Itself.

Bob Raissman, New York Daily News – TV Brownout could be next.

Neil Best, New York Newsday – ABC plans a glowing send-off.

Phil Mushnick, New York Post – Cha-Change, NFL Return$ to NBC.

Andrew Marchand, New York Post – CBS Sports Says, Bonnie Voyage.

Jim Williams, Washington Examiner – Final drive for ABC Sports.

Michael Hiestand, USA Today – Madden hopes to get the call to the Hall.

Also from Hiestand – 3 shows, 15 hours

Cellar Dwellers No More

The Bruins lifted themselves out of the cellar of the Northeast division for the first time since November with a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens last night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins continuing to right their ship and move up in the win column. Steve Conroy says that Bruins fans got their entertainment value from this one. Joe McDonald acknowledges the big win, but notes that and even bigger weekend is on tap for the Bruins. Douglas Flynn notes that the Bruins are not only climbing in the standings, they’ve become must-see TV with the likes of the end-to-end rush that Patrice Bergeron pulled off last night. Jackie MacMullan has a look at Tim Thomas, who came up big once again and has cemented his spot as the #1 goaltender for the foreseeable future. She talks to Mike O’Connell among others about the emergence of Thomas this season. Thomas could end up saving O’Connell’s job along with the shots he’s been stopping.

Steve Buckley looks at Glen Murray returning to the Bruins with a bang last night. Mike Loftus has a look at Wayne Primeau, who wants to be on the ice as much as he possibly can. Conroy has a look at rookie defenseman Andrew Alberts logging some time at forward last night. Burrell’s notebook has more on the return of Murray to the Bruins’ lineup. Conroy’s notebook has Brad Boyes getting robbed of a goal last night. McDonald’s notebook has more on Murray.

Peter May has Danny Ainge saying that he feels the Celtics are slowly getting closer to where we’d all like them to be. Mark Murphy has more on Ainge who wants the Celtics to become more than just a one and done playoff team. Mike Fine has a look at the Celtics still trying to mesh together as a team. Michael Muldoon’s article in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune is entertaining, as he has players present and past blasting Mark Blount. Former Celtics tough guy from the 50′s and 60′s Jim Loscutoff (“Loscy” in the Garden rafters) proclaiming “I probably would have punched him in the nose,” after Blount skipped down the court Monday night in Minnesota against this former team. Scott Souza has a look at Wally Szczerbiak trying to get settled in with his new team.

Shalise Manza Young has a quick look at Gerald Green, who is expected to be with the Celtics this weekend as they swing through Florida after tonight’s game with the Clippers. Murphy’s notebook has more on Green, who is expected to rejoin his Developmental League team next week. Fine’s notebook has Delonte West accepting his omission from the sophomore squad of the rookie challenge during All Star Weekend.

We’ll have much more football this afternoon in our Super Bowl edition of SporTView, but for now, I just can’t let this morning’s article by Ron Borges pass. There are several shots in the article at the Patriots and their way of conducting business. At one point, Borges writes:

Upshaw claimed high-revenue owners such as Bob Kraft and the Cowboys' Jerry Jones have repeatedly taken advantage of the present system because ''they're not spending on the players. They're not spending to the cap. They're spending on everything else."

An NFLPA source familiar with those numbers said the Patriots had spent only $76 million on player salaries last year despite a cap of $85 million, while Jones spent only $66 million on revenue of more than $300 million. The source produced NFLPA documentation to support those figures. Washington's Daniel Snyder was not lumped in that group because, according to the union's figures, he spends to the cap.

I’m not sure which documentation that this “source” was referring to. Borges apparently takes the source at their word, despite the fact that the NFLPA Web Site seems to directly contradict those numbers. I’m going to leave it to civilian cap guru Miguel to sort this out. Miguel says this morning on the Patsfans.com messageboard:

Well, look at

NFLPA Salary Document from November 2005

Page 9 - The Cowboys are listed as spending $82 million.
Page 13 - The Patriots are listed as spending $94 million.
Page 20 - The Redskins are listed as spending $66 million.

I find it hard to believe that the Patriots spend only $76 million in 2005 when Brady took home $15.5 million, Dillon - $4 million, Green $3.4 million, Colvin - $2.6 million, Mankins - $3 million, Light - $7.5 million, McGinest - $2 million, Seymour - $4.5 million, Starks - $3.5 million, Vrabel - $6.7 million while having Adam playing under his franchise tag of $2.5 million and having 3 players playing under the RFA tag of $1.43 million.

I trust Miguel a whole lot more than I trust Ron Borges and any of his “sources”, whom I’m sure are NOT trying to skew the numbers in favor of the players. No way. I just know that they have no ulterior motive other than bringing the truth about Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli to the readers of the Boston Globe.

If you’ve never been to Miguel’s page, I highly recommend a visit.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Red Sox tried again recently to persuade the Angels to make a deal for Manny Ramirez.

David Scott has a monster Super Bowl edition of Shots.

As mentioned, we’ll have much more this afternoon/evening in this week’s Super Bowl weekend post.

Comeback(s) Fall Short

The Celtics fell behind by 21 points in the first half last night against the Phoenix Suns before mounting a furious comeback led by Paul Pierce. However, the original hole was too big to completely climb out of, and Boston wound up losing the game, 102-94 at TD Banknorth Garden. Peter May says that even a Kobe Bryant-like performance from Paul Pierce (40 points, 33 in the second half) wasn’t enough to lead the Celtics all the way back. Mark Murphy notes that at the very least, Pierce put on a convincing case to Jerry Colangelo that he should be included in team USA discussions. Shalise Manza Young has Doc Rivers pointing to 16 first half turnovers which led to a lot of layups and three-pointers by Phoenix as the Celtics main downfall. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic holds that the Suns might’ve gotten a little bored after they breezed through the first half.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics just need time to develop the talent that they have assembled around Paul Pierce. In the meantime, Pierce will probably need more nights like he had last night. Pierce sounds like he’s with the program on this one. Buddy Thomas suggests that the Celtics should consider sitting Pierce in the closing moments of close games since he’s become prone to missing clutch free throws. Bulpett has Rivers and former Celtic Marcus Banks trading a few jabs in the press. May’s notebook and Young’s notebook each report on Delonte West somehow missing out on being selected for the sophomore team in the rookie challenge during All Star Weekend. Murphy’s notebook has Danny Ainge getting too close for comfort to an FSN camera. He also reports that Gerald Green could join the team for their two game swing through Florida this weekend.

Boston College also needed a second half comeback against the second ranked Duke Blue Devils, and came up just short, falling 83-81 at Conte Forum. Michael Vega has BC feeling a little shortchanged by the officials in this one. Rich Thompson and Lenny Megliola also report on a game in which Boston College certainly had its chances, but couldn’t stop J.J. Redick, who ended up with 28 points on the night, and Sheldon Williams, who had 21. Bob Ryan looks at big time college basketball coming to The Heights, and the stars coming out to see this first ever ACC League matchup between Boston College and Duke. Tony Massarotti has more on the big night at Conte Forum.

Bill Burt however, couldn’t work up much enthusiasm for this game, saying that no one cares about college basketball around here. Mark Blaudschun notes that Boston College once again came up short when it had a chance to make a statement on a national stage. Ryan notes that it was just another win in Boston for Mike Krzyzewski, who is now 22-1 in road games against BC, BU, Harvard and Northeastern. Vega’s notebook looks at BC’s Craig Smith being united with Duke’s Williams, as the two of them played for the US in the World University Games last summer.

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Michael Felger says that Pittsburgh

Things Heating Up In Motown

Eric McHugh takes a look at the Patriots secondary, an area which the team will surely be focusing on during this offseason. McHugh also notes that the Patriots’ ranking in pass defense this season would not have placed them in good stead for the Super Bowl, had they made it that far. John Molori’s Media Blitz has a look at a few of the national stories surrounding the Super Bowl. One of the topics is the idea that the Patriots are done as a contender. Molori dismisses this notion. Yesterday on ESPN radio Nick Cafardo was strongly asserting that the Patriots “little” dynasty is over, that they’re done winning championships and that the league has caught up with them. He also complained about the Patriots “lying” about injuries. Mike Felger tells us briefly that things have not thawed between Bill Belichick and Tom Jackson, though the latter insists there is no ill will on his part.

John Tomase examines Massachusetts native Lofa Tatupu and his improbable journey to where he is today. Nick Cafardo has a look at league MVP Shaun Alexander, who is ready for a couple of big payoffs…the Super Bowl and free agency. Dan Shaughnessy has a piece on Seahawks linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski, who is a product of Harvard. Tomase has more on Kacyvenski, who had to overcome a tough childhood to achieve what he has in life. Jeff Jacobs has more on Kacyvenski and also Niko Koutouvides, who both have New England ties. John Altavilla looks at the Seahawks, who know this could be their one and only shot at a Super Bowl title. Cafardo’s notebook has Lofa Tatupu enjoying his first Super Bowl media day. Tomase’s notebook has Seattle’s Grant Wistrom looking back at the worst day of his life…the night the Patriots upset his Rams in the Super Bowl.

Jerome Solomon has Joey Porter not giving the media anything inflammatory to run with during yesterday’s media session. Michael Felger has more on Porter, whose behavior yesterday was quite out of the ordinary for him. John Altavilla looks at Ben Roethlisberger, who could pass Terry Bradshaw in the hearts of Steelers fans with the way his career has started. Solomon’s notebook reports on Jerome Bettis being given a key to the city of Detroit, an honor he shares with Saddam Hussein. Seriously. Felger’s notebook has Sean Morey talking about his love-hate relationship with the Patriots, his hometown team.

There’s plenty more Super Bowl coverage in the New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages.

Tony Massarotti says that despite all the insanity of this offseason, the Red Sox team that has been assembled for 2006 could be one of the more balanced and versatile editions of the hometown nine. Gordon Edes looks at Alex Gonzalez, who will take a physical this morning, and should all go well, he will represent the final piece of the infield puzzle for the Red Sox this season. Sean McAdam reports that Gonzalez took his physical yesterday, but has a few remaining tests to take this morning before the deal becomes official. Michael Silverman also says the physical will be today, and notes that this deal carries very little risk for the Red Sox. Paul Doyle also reports on Gonzalez.

Edes has a nice piece this morning on Tommy Harper, who has been through a lot of ups and downs with the Red Sox, but thanks to John Henry and company, he finally feels at home and part of the family with the team. Dom Amore has Johnny Damon saying that the Red Sox pursuit and acquisition of Coco Crisp has made it easier for him to move on from the team. Silverman’s notebook reports that Gabe Kapler will be invited to spring training.

Shira Springer looks at Doc Rivers and the Celtics still trying to piece things together and figure out how to best use Wally Szczerbiak and Paul Pierce together. Steve Bulpett talks to Kevin McHale, who thinks that both his club and the Celtics came out of last week’s deal as winners. Bulpett’s notebook has Paul Pierce giving his thoughts on the deal.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the roll that the Bruins find themselves on, quite a turnaround consider how the club has looked for most of the season. Steve Conroy lists out five reasons for the Bruins remarkable transformation. Conroy also looks at Josh Langfeld, who was picked up from the Sharks off of waivers by the Bruins yesterday.

Amalie Benjamin has a look at Duke’s J.J. Redick, who along with the rest of the ranked second in the nation Blue Devils, will invade Conte Forum tonight to take on the 15th ranked Boston College Eagles. Rich Thompson and Michael Vega each note that junior guard Sean Marshall will be handed the assignment of trying to guard Redick. Lenny Megliola has a look at Joe Pagliuca, a junior guard for Duke, who is the son of Steve Pagliuca, one of the Celtics majority owners.

FSN has Celtics/Suns at 7:30. (HD) ESPN has Notre Dame/West Virginia at 7:00 (HD) and BC/Duke at 9:00. (HD) NESN has Virginia/NC State at 7:00. ESPN2 has Iowa/Purdue at 7:00 and Texas/Missouri at 9:00.