Patriots Plunder, Pillage Vikings

Before we get to the Patriots links…I was away this past weekend and thus didn’t get to round up all the coverage on the passing of Red Auerbach. I’ve posted my own thoughts and memories of Red on the FSN Nothing But Net blog, but David Scott and John Molori both watched and read the coverage and got reaction on the passing of the most important figure in the history of the NBA. More on the Celtics and Red in a little bit…

It’s been five years and we still don’t learn. You just don’t count Tom Brady and the Patriots out. Last night was supposed to serve as a stern test for Bill Belichick’s crew, who went on the road to face the highly touted Minnesota Vikings, who seemed eager to test themselves against the Patriots, to the point that their rookie head coach Brad Childress appeared to try and engage Belichick in a little gamesmanship during the week. Experts warned of a trap game for the Patriots with the Colts coming to town next week. I got sucked into the hype, predicting a low-scoring, close Vikings win. Well the Vikings offense didn’t score a point, while the Patriots put up 31 points in a 31-7 rout at the Metrodome. Scott on the Patriots Game Day page has reaction in the aftermath of the dominant performance.

Mike Reiss says that this was a ring-worthy performance that the Patriots put on last night. John Tomase says that the Patriots look like one of the NFL’s elite teams. Shalise Manza Young looks at the Patriots once again turning up their game when the spotlight is upon them. Alan Greenberg says that perhaps if the Vikings could’ve borrowed Tom Brady, they might’ve had a chance last night. Rich Garven looks at Brady and the Patriots just dominating the Vikings. Michael Parente says that the Vikings can keep Bethel Johnson. The Patriots showed their receivers and kickoff returns are just fine without him. Mark Farinella says that it might be time to start believing that this team is going to play deep into January – or beyond.

Ron Borges writes that this game showed how far ahead of the NFC that the Patriots and the iron of the AFC are. He says in the NFC the Vikings are contenders. In the AFC, they’re cannon fodder. Michael Felger says that the Patriots left little doubt that they are among the elite teams in the NFL with that performance last night. Tony Massarotti looks at Tom Brady’s terrific night passing the ball, spreading it around to receivers who seem to be coming into their own in the Patriots offense. Jackie MacMullan notes that Brady has been waiting all season to be able to put up a performance like this, and to have the multiple targets to throw to. Joe McDonald looks at Brady shouldering the load once again for the Patriots.

John Millea looks at Benjamin Watson getting in on the action early and often last night for the Patriots. Christopher L Gasper looks at Troy Brown drawing to within two catches of Stanley Morgan’s club record. Ian Clark looks at rookie David Thomas learning all he can from Watson and Daniel Graham. Garven looks at Junior Seau using his experience to contribute to the Patriots defense. Christopher Price looks at Rodney Harrison as a master of getting to the quarterback.

Michael Rand looks at the Patriots defense thoroughly confusing veteran Brad Johnson. MacMullan has Tedy Bruschi reflecting on the one year anniversary of his return to football following his stroke. (His stroke was in 2005, not 2004 as the online edition of the column currently says.)

Felger says one play that the Patriots stayed away from last night was the tight end double screen – but it may reappear against the Colts. Gasper looks at the Patriots receivers showing their stuff last night in the Metrodome. Millea taps Maroney’s 77 yard kickoff return immediately following a 71 yard punt return by the Vikings Mewelde Moore as the play of the game. McDonald chooses the same play as his key play of the game. Greenberg also has the kickoff return as his turning point of the game, and provides further game analysis. Massarotti offers up the best and worst from last night’s game. McDonald has his game analysis article, looking at the action on both sides of the ball.

Chad Finn kept a running diary of the game last night.

The view from the opposition is on the pages of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune also has a Vikings Blog .

Tomase’s notebook has Richard Seymour not only making the trip and dressing, but seeing significant action last night. Bruce Allen, wrong again. Reiss’ notebook has Seymour doing what he can with the bulky elbow brace on his arm. Young’s notebook looks at the Patriots doing quite a job of keeping Seymour’s status for the game under wraps. Garven’s notebook has the Patriots kickers enjoying their one regular season game in a dome. Farinella’s notebook looks at Jarvis Green getting the start over Seymour last night.

Celtics

By now you’ve probably read many of the tributes and columns devoted to Red Auerbach. There are more to share this morning. Bob Ryan reports that Auerbach is going to be buried in a Celtic green coffin, and has friends and admirers sharing their parting thoughts on Red at the calling hours at the funeral home last night. Steve Bulpett also reports from the funeral home, talking to some of the all time greats of the game. Red is the subject of a Globe editorial this morning.

Here’s a few more of the major columns from around New England from the last couple days. Dan Shaughnessy’s Sunday column was well done. There’s also a link to the complete Globe coverage of Red’s passing. Bulpett wrote that Red’s spirit will live on. That article has links to the Herald’s coverage. Mike Fine tells a story I never heard before – a rarity – that a Patriot-Ledger writer first saw that Auerbach would be the perfect coach for the Boston Celtics. Bill Reynolds says Red always did things his own way. Jim Donaldson says Red had the magic touch when it came to building championship teams. Jeff Jacobs does his best to sum up Auerbach. I think his line that “Red was better at winning than anyone in NBA history” says it pretty well. Alan Siegel says Red wasn’t always well liked, but he did things his own way. Jim Fenton says that off the court, family came first for Red. Ken Hamwey had a very good profile of Red as well.

There were plenty of other articles, but those were some of the highlights. There were only a few articles on the current Celtics this morning. Bob Duffy looks at Delonte West attempting to go back to being a shoot-first guard, and finding his instincts hard to ignore. Mark Murphy says that the Celtics aren’t going to rush Theo Ratliff back onto the court, and that Kendrick Perkins will likely be the opening night starter at center for the Celtics.

Red Sox

Gordon Edes has the Red Sox picking up Tim Wakefield’s option for 2007. Tony Massarotti says that the Red Sox are certainly in better shape organizationally than they were last Halloween. Sean McAdam reports that the Red Sox and other clubs are gearing up to start bidding on Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.

TNT has Bulls/Heat at 8:00 and Lakers/Suns at 10:30.

Catching up with Bill Griffith

I mentioned back in May that one of the most helpful people I encountered in the early days of this site was Bill Griffith of the Boston Globe. He had offered advice and always answered my emails and silly questions even before I had started the site.

Hard to believe, but we’re coming up on a year since Griffith accepted a Globe buyout after nearly 40 years at the paper. I’ve tried to keep in touch with Bill, but it seems he’s had no problem keeping himself busy in the last year.

Since I’m out of town today, I thought it would be a good time to catch you all up on what Griffith has been up to recently, as well as to get his thoughts on the local media scene and the past glory days of the Boston Globe.

BSMW: Bill, first of all, I want to say thanks for agreeing to share a few minutes with us here…I know your schedule is pretty busy these days. Fill us in on what you’ve been doing since we last saw you in the role of sports media columnist at the Globe. Been to Italy I hear?

BG: NBC called the day my final column ran, offering a job editing their in-house newsletter, The Daily Olympian, in Torino. It’s not a newsletter in the traditional sense but more a detailed advance on the day’s events. Working with the folks in the research room — experts in individual sports — was an honor. I’ll never forget Andreas, our Alpine skiing expert, aplogizing for his writing in English. He’s an Austrian who’s fluent in at least six languages and correctly predicted at least half of the events.

There were two bonuses to the trip.

1. It gave me a chance to visit my daughter and son-in-law in Milan for 10 days following the Games.

2. The whole trip provided a six-week separation from the Boston sports scene, the longest by far in my adult life. If you’ve been away for 10 days or two weeks, you know how you lose a lot of the threads of local stories so it made a clean break from the local media coverage for me.

Since then, I’ve taken a part-time bookkeeping job (something different and nicely structured), been fortunate to be able to keep doing some part-time auto writing. In addition, I bought a motorcycle (don’t tell my mom) and learned how to ride this summer without damaging myself or anyone else.

BSMW: Sounds like you might have more going on now than you ever have had. Let’s revisit some of the things you saw over the course of your career. You were a Globe “lifer”, I think you told me you had been with the paper since 1965. You worked with them all; Gammons, McDonough, Fitzgerald, Montville, Ryan. They made up the best sports section in the nation. What made these guys so good?

BG: The unbeatable combination of hard work and amazing talent. Ray Fitz and Willie were outstanding athletes in their own right and could have been pros if modern medical techniques were around to treat their career-ending injuries. In addition, they all had/have encyclopedic memories. On top of that, Gammons, Ryan and McDonough could/can crank out copy as quickly as they could type, which was prodigiously fast. When they had time, RayFitz and Leigh would labor over their copy; when they were under the gun, they, too, were amazingly fast.

Leigh later told me one of the big reasons he left the biz was because of deadlines. He’d spend all day laboring on an early column — and some of his best work was in those columns — then do a rewrite after a late-night event (World Series, MNF, playoff game) in 20 minutes and not be able to remember what he’d written after he hit the “send” button.

Credit Ernie Roberts (then Globe Sports editor) for assembling the cast, which also included many others, including Lesley Visser, Kevin Paul Dupont, and John Powers, and then Vince Doria for taking that group, adding to it, and bringing the section to a higher level.

Being part of that group for 25 years as assistant sports editor was an honor.

BSMW: That bunch certainly set the bar very high, and I think the current Globe staffers probably struggle to live up to that legacy. Let’s turn to what you used to do in your last few years at the paper…the sports media beat. Susan Bickelhaupt has been doing a pretty basic weekly sports media column in the Globe. It’s different from how you and the previous guys (Jim Craig, Howard Manley) used to do it, less notes and items, and more of focus on a single media topic. Do you find it surprising that neither the Globe or the Herald has a full time media columnist, when sports media is such a huge deal here in Boston? The New York dailies each have at least one, and they’ll write several times a week.

BG: I was surprised when they cancelled the column, which was the main reason I took the Globe/Times buyout offer. The New York papers have reason to keep the columns because they’ve got the networks in their backyard.

BSMW: I guess that makes sense, when you bring that up about the networks. It still surprises me however, because it seems at times here in Boston the media is as big a part of the stories as the actual games and players are. Speaking of media that makes themselves the story…do you ever listen to WEEI now that you’re not getting paid to do it?

BG: Yes, but there’s no tape recorder or notebook next to me and I’ll hit the button when they go off on tangents or into their interminable advertising blocks. I like Mike Felger’s ESPN Radio show when I’m driving in the afternoon (can’t get it at home except on-line).

BSMW: Felger will be glad to hear that. Do you think the incredible ratings of WEEI are a direct result of the success of the Red Sox and Patriots in recent years, or in the talent of the hosts at the station?

BG: They’ve ridden the Sox-Patriots axis very well, but credit Jason Wolfe for being way ahead of the curve in establishing the station. He had the luxury of “growing” the audience and establishing WEEI as the dominant sports radio station in town and — love ‘em or hate ‘em — having the guts to yank Imus and go with Dennis & Callahan. That was a major gamble, but he hit the jackpot and it’s still paying off for him. And, behind all the fat-boy jokes, Glenn Ordway is a radio genius. At least five years ago he was talking about the New England-wide syndication of the station that is now happening.

BSMW: Moving back to the newspaper world…what do you think the outlook for the newspaper business is going forward? The struggles of the Globe and Herald print editions have been well documented…will they snap out of it, or is this a slowly dying industry?

BG: If we had the answer to that one, we’d be rich men. The advertising pendulum has swung way over to the Internet and will come back somewhat.

BSMW: I think we’re a ways away from the newspaper dying out completely, but I think at some point, the printed copy is going to fade away. People will get all their news and stories on personal devices that they can carry anywhere with them. There’s even “digital paper” that could have some sort of role in that…but I think I just revealed some of my geek background there.

Well Bill, I want to thank you again for taking some time to talk. I’m really glad to hear that things seem to be going well for you there, and also grateful for your thoughts on the above topics. We’ll try to do this again in the future.

——

A reminder to check in with the Patriots Game Day page. In addition, you can get all the Patriots news and blog entries from today on the Patriots News Mashup page.

The view from the opposition is on the pages of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune also has a Vikings Blog .

Weekend Watch – Mini Edition

I’m going to be away for the next few days, but I put together a few items for the weekend…

The annual BSMW Fall Fund Drive is set to be held November 6-17. We’ve gotten a few good prizes to give away during the drive, and could still use a few more. As a change this year, we’re going to try to give away a prize each day. Those who donate that day will be eligible for the prize. In addition, all donors will be eligible for the grand prize of a Sling Media Slingbox. If you’re interested in promoting your business by donating a prize, please contact me at [email protected]

If you’ve listened to sports updates on WBZ radio in recent weeks, you’ve heard them promoting their newly redesigned website heavily. With good reason, it turns out. The highest rated overall radio station in the market has added interviews and blogs to the impressive new WBZ1030.com. There’s a sports page with headlines and interview, but over on the audio page, in the right hand column you can listen to full interviews with local sports figures. These are the interviews that provide material for the next day’s newspapers, but you can listen to the full segments on the same day. Some of the other new additions to the site:

It’s a well done site and another great resource for Boston sports fans.

Up at the top of this page, you see a new search box. It may not remain in that particular location, but will likely stay on the page somewhere. You see, this is no ordinary seach box. This is new Google Custom Search which was a new service released by Google this week. What the service does is allow people to create their own custom search engines. In this case, the search box above only searches the sports sections of a number of New England newspapers and selected sports websites. This allows you to get back better targeted search results from sites that are likely to have the information that you are looking for. For instance, if you were looking for information on agent Brad Blank, but were looking for more Boston-oriented results instead of national ones, then typing “Brad Blank” in the search box will give you local results. Give it a try and if you have suggestions for other sites that should be added to the engine, let me know…

David Scott is out in Vegas on assignment for CSTV, but still manages to file a look at Chris Collins’ engagement and a number of other items.

The Patriots travel to Minnesota for Monday night’s matchup with the Vikings. The game is broadcast by ESPN, but if you don’t have cable, the game will also be broadcast locally on WCVB channel 5.

Be sure to check in with the Patriots Game Day page. We had our weekly Roundtable discussion this morning, and should have another post or two as the weekend goes on. Keep up with all the Patriots news and blog entries on the Patriots News Mashup page.

Check out the coverage from Minnesota on the pages of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Star Tribune also has a Vikings Blog which they update pretty frequently.

This year ESPN has made it their aim to treat each Monday night game as if it were the Super Bowl. This includes starting with SportsCenter Special Edition: Monday Night Kickoff at 3:00pm ET.

Monday Night Countdown starts at 7:00pm and leads into the game at 8:30. The game will be called by the the ESPN broadcast team of Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann and sideline reporters Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya.

Wendi Nix – formerly of 7NBC – and Kolber will provide additional reports on the Patriots with Paolantonio and Tafoya covering the Vikings. Other highlights of the 90 minute show:

Soundtracks: Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick’s teams are historically among the best-prepared in the league. In Monday Night Countdown “Soundtracks,” viewers will experience how the three-time Super Bowl champion runs a practice.

Tedy Bruschi Makes a Wish Come True
Last summer, Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi granted a wish for six-year-old Andrew Geracoulis. Born with a heart defect, Geracoulis wished to meet Bruschi, his favorite player. Chris Connelly reports on a wish granted by Bruschi through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (This feature was originally aired as part of SportsCenter’s “My Wish” series)

Ugly Betty Takes On the Pats
Bill Belichick’s gray sweatshirt isn’t exactly the height of fashion. So what happens when the staff of the fictitious Mode Magazine gets a hold of the Patriots coach? The cast of ABC’s hit show Ugly Betty takes on the fashion disaster on NFL sidelines.

Field Pass
Monday Night Countdown gets ready for kickoff with the analysts breaking down the important storylines and key players before the game, focusing on how Chester Taylor has become the second-leading rusher in the NFL, and answering the question about who are these unknown receivers catching Tom Brady’s passes?

This week on Patriots All Access: (WCVB Saturday 8:00pm, Sunday 10:00am)

  • Bill Belichick illustrates why the Minnesota defense has been so strong this season.
  • One-on-one with Asante Samuel, whose play so far has made him a popular candidate as the next Patriot to re-sign with the club.
  • Go inside the CBS production meeting with the Patriots the night before the game to what what goes on in those sessions.

Here’s your NFL coverage maps for the weekend: CBS Game 1, CBS Game 2 and FOX Single Game. (Thanks to gribblenation.net for providing these each week.)

It’s another big weekend for college football. Check the TV broadcast schedule here.

Enjoy the weekend! I won’t be back until late in the day on Monday, but I’ve got a post already lined up for Monday morning.

Book Review – Moving the Chains

Moving the Chains – Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything
By Charles P. Pierce
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
264 pages


Carthusians
Ostrogothic class
Cypriot
ecclesiastical omerta
ecumenical
febrile tectonics
incantatory spells
Gutzon Borglum
carapace
Marshall McLuhan
trompe l’oeil

The above words, names and expressions found in the text of Moving the Chains should assure you alone that this is no ordinary football book. Then again, Tom Brady is no ordinary football player. Charlie Pierce isn’t your ordinary sports writer, either. In his biography of the Patriots quarterback, Pierce draws on elements that have shaped Brady into the person, football player, teammate and leader that he has become. Family is a huge part of it, as is the Catholic background of the Brady clan, and Pierce weaves aspects of the Vatican II into the narrative at various points, to show how even aspects of that council eventually and directly or indirectly had an influence on Brady. Pierce quotes liberally from a 1908 work entitled The Philosophy of Loyalty by Josiah Royce to make points about Brady. Pierce’s book is no doubt going to also help the sales of Michael MacCambridge’s America’s Game – a history of the National Football League that Pierce also quotes and draws from often.

The focus of the book is how Tom Brady has become a leader without putting himself above his teammates. He is able to balance being “one of the guys” with being a leader of them. Brady has genuine qualities that most politicians try to fake. He has the ability to make each person he talks to feel at ease and comfortable, and to feel like he thinks they are important. He is immune to the peer ridicule that many people would encounter in group situations. Brady is constantly “moving the chains”, both in his life and on the football field.

The reader is taken on a back-and-forth journey through Brady’s life. The main setting is the 2005 season, where most games are chronicled, but interwoven throughout are bits from the past, from Brady’s father’s childhood, to Brady’s high school and college days and early days in the NFL. Here in New England, for most of us, Tom Brady really only burst into our consciousness when Drew Bledsoe went down in week 2 of 2001. However, Brady had already been here for a season at that point, under the public radar, but very much in the spotlight of the coaches. In his first season, as the 4th QB, he would run the scout team, preparing the first team’s defense by running plays used by that week’s opposition, but in addition to that, he would keep his fellow rookies after practice and run the regular Patriots offense with them, just so he could get more familiar with it. By the next training camp, he had already beaten out Damon Huard to become the 2nd string QB, and there was a movement among the coaches that he should be given a chance to compete with Bledsoe for the starting job.

The Patriots have had a number of books written about them in recent years, and although this one focuses mainly on Brady, many of his teammates are profiled throughout the book as well. We get a number of looks at David Givens, who had suffered injuries at the wrong times in his career – such as just prior to the draft when he was coming out of Notre Dame – and was worried that it would again haunt him when it came time to get a new contract. Mike Vrabel is shown seizing the opportunities given to him by the Patriots after being buried on the depth chart in Pittsburgh, showing many of the same qualities as Brady in many ways. Charlie Weis is a huge figure in the book, and the time that Brady spent in the hospital with Weis’ wife as the Patriots coordinator lay close to death for several days is a memorable section. The player that is linked with Brady the most on the field in the book however, is kicker Adam Vinatieri, as the two of them teamed up for some of the biggest moments in Brady’s football life. No hint is given however of any discontent from Vinatieri towards the Patriots or that the kicker was on his way out the door just the next spring.

A recurring figure is current Oregon State head coach Mike Riley, who as an assistant at USC, lobbied hard for the school to bring Brady in out of high school. He was overruled. Then as head coach of the Chargers, Riley again lobbied hard for Brady, urging his GM to draft him out of Michigan. Once again, he was overruled. Then, during the 2001 season, Riley watched Brady throw for 364 yards and two touchdowns against his Chargers in leading the Patriots back from a 10 point fourth quarter deficit.

If you’re looking for “inside information” on the Patriots organization and game preparation, there isn’t a whole lot. This is more about Brady and his relationship with those around him. We do learn however, that Brady was pretty seriously hobbled by a sports hernia last season, and that this was the reason that many of his passes seemed to “sail” and go over the heads of his receivers during the course of the season. He also banged his leg late in the season against Buffalo, and that injury left him in a lot of pain as well. We get the stories of how the late Dick Rehbein was sold on Brady from the day he saw his pro day at Michigan, and how Brady encountered Bob Kraft in the parking lot of Foxboro stadium an evening in the summer of 2000 and told the Patriots owner that he was the best decision that the franchise ever made…and managed to not sound arrogant while saying it.

Pierce comments on the media coverage of the Patriots in the Boston area, mentioning a “low-level feud” that the team has with the Boston Globe, claiming that the Patriots count the number of articles in the paper about the Patriots as opposed to the Red Sox, and saying that the organization is “hypersensitive” about the media coverage, and whispers complaints about the Globe being “a property of the New York Times Company, which also owns a piece of -wait for it- the Boston Red Sox.” He contrasts this with the “gooey weekly infomercials” presented by WEEI, which he describes as being “in the tank” for the team. In a memorable quote, Pierce writes at one point: “local sports punditocracy blew enough sunshine up the franchise’s ass to light up the moons of Neptune.”

I just had one quibble as I was reading through the book…”Where’s Bridget?”. Brady’s moviestar girlfriend doesn’t make an appearance in the book until page 193. Even then, the reference seems to indicate that the couple is all done: “When he dated Bridget Moynahan”. She merits a few more cameo mentions in the last section of the book, but not more than 4-5 total references – she’s probably not critical to the development of Brady and thus wouldn’t be a major part of the story – but how can you have a book on Tom Brady without details about how they met and what their relationship is like?

Overall, Patriots fans are going to want to read this book. I think it’s a step above the books written by Michael Holley and David Halberstam the last few years, the only problem with this book is that the legend of Brady is likely to continue on for some time to come. Brady himself protested that he was too young to have a book written about him. That might be a true statement, but this effort from Pierce is certain to keep you turning the pages to see how Brady got to where he is now…how he has kept moving the chains.

Check back at 2:00 this afternoon for a mini-weekend post.

Bledsoe Turned to Borges for Advice…

A transcript of a segment of the Mike Felger show on ESPN Boston yesterday afternoon, regarding the time 5 years ago when Bill Belichick made the decision to stick with Tom Brady even after Bledsoe was ready to play again. Borges claims he felt Belichick made the right decision, but didn’t like how it was handled:


Borges: What I was up in arms about was the fact that he LIED to the guy about what the situation was gonna be in terms of what he had to do to win his job back.

Felger: OK, let me ask you about that. Why do we care so much that a football coach lies? What’s the diff? He’s a football coach!

Borges: Well, because I think if you want your players, to…I just don’t think it’s a smart way to deal with the players. If you want to lie to me, fine, they make a living doing that. They want to lie to you, they lie to you everyday.

Felger: How did Belichick lie? What did he say to Drew?

Borges: What Bledsoe said to him at the original meeting, when he was cleared to practice, and I know this firsthand, for a lot of reasons,

Felger: Why…you were sitting there on the couch?

Borges: I PREPARED THE GUY TO GO MEET HIM! Quite frankly!

Felger: Hold on…so you talked…Bledsoe called you up and said “Ron, I’m about to go talk to Belichick, help me out”

Borges: He said, you know, how’s this, what’s the, how do you think this is likely to go down? And I told him, which turned out to be exactly what it was. I said, when he says to you, uh, you’re going to have to show in practice, which is, of course what he said, you need to ask him how long you have…

Felger: Meaning what? What do you mean how long you have?

Borges: In other words, Are you going to look for a week, and then make a decision, do I have two weeks? Do I have 10 weeks? How long do I have? And according to the way that…it was related back to me what happened in that meeting, it was a question he didn’t anticipate. And you know how…you’ve seen Belichick when he doesn’t…uh…know what’s coming…

Felger: Well, he’s not really quick with the…retorts.

Borges: Right, and his response was ‘as long as you need’, Well, you know, once you say that, I think, I have as long as I need.

Felger: If I’m a professional athlete, certainly in the NFL, which has as cutthroat no-guarantee contracts, obviously we know the deal in the NFL, I don’t…I don’t buy what anyone says to me. There’s no such thing as lying.

Borges: That’s why you’re not a player in the NFL.

Then that morphed into a conversation about how players do what their coaches tell them, even when they know it isn’t going to work.

We knew that Bledsoe was a favorite of many of the media members. It was rumored that he was the source of many of the “inside” stories that would come out of the Patriots organization. Now we have Borges admitting…no, BRAGGING that the Patriots quarterback called him up to ask him advice about how to handle a confrontation with his head coach.

Maybe Drew recalled Borges’ confrontation with Pete Carroll a couple years earlier and thought, “Hmmm, now that’s a guy I’m going to turn to when I need some advice for how to best navigate a delicate situation with my coach.”

It’s a story that doesn’t reflect well on either Bledsoe or Borges. So much for the objectivity of the press, huh?

Then a little later, Belichick’s place in the history of the game came up:

Caller: …he wins one more ring, he’s the best coach in the history of the NFL. No one could argue that.

Felger: Ron, could you argue that?

Borges: Oh, I’m sure I could find a way.

Felger: You don’t think he’s one of the great coaches of all time?

Borges: I didn’t say that! There you go…you got no ears on your head, either!

Felger: Question mark. I didn’t accuse, I asked…I said do you think…do you not think he’s one of the greatest coaches of all time?

Borges: He’s one of the great coaches of all time.

Felger: That’s a big admission, right there Ron.

Borges: It’s NOT. I always say he’s a good coach. Doesn’t mean he’s not a lousy person.

Kevin Winter: You’ve said it before about inducting him if it ever happens…

Borges: Yeah, I’m the guy who’s got to make the speech. And it will be a helluva speech.

Well, that’s nice of Ron. He does manage to sneak the “lousy person” line in there even when admitting that the guy is one of the best coaches in the history of the NFL. I’m sure all the other coaches in the Hall are great people. Ron’s speech should really be a “helluva” speech…I wonder how many snide comments about the type of person Borges believes Belichick to be will be mixed in with all his career accomplishments.

Patriots Prep for Unfamiliar Foe

Mike Reiss notes that Monday night’s matchup between the Patriots defensive line and the Minnesota offensive line could be a battle for the ages, but a lot hinges on whether Richard Seymour is able to go or not. Glen Farley has Jarvis Green prepping to step in if Seymour is unable to go. Alan Greenberg writes that the Patriots are going to need a monster performance from Green against Minnesota. Rich Garven attempts to update us on Seymour and how Green will try to take his place if needed. Chris Kennedy has more on the battle to watch Monday night. Michael Parente has the Patriots getting ready for the versatile Chester Taylor. Bill Barnwell on the Patriots Game Day page takes a look at some other great Pass Catching backs along with Taylor.

Mark Farinella says that the Patriots will be blazing new ground when they go to face the unfamiliar Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. Eric McHugh has more on the new challenge that awaits the Patriots as they try to conquer the Vikings and then the rest of the NFC North. Jeff Howe has the Patriots making preparations for Minnesota’s tough run defense.

Joe McDonald has a look at Laurence Maroney’s contributions to the Patriots this season, including leading all NFL rookies in rushing, and making big plays on special teams. He talks to Maroney’s college offensive coordinator about his special skills. Ian Clark says that the future appears limitless for Maroney, who was named Special Teams Player of the Week for his long kickoff return against the Bills. Tom King has Maroney shrugging off his return to Minnesota this week.

Alan Siegel has Chad Jackson starting to get things together and break through with the Patriots. Christopher Price has the Patriots viewing Monday Night Football as just another night at the office. Albert Breer says that Matt Cassel might want to emulate Brad Johnson, who had a somewhat similar situation to Cassel coming out of college.

John Tomase has several of Drew Bledsoe’s old Patriots teammates talking about his demotion in Dallas. Bill Reynolds says these are not the best of times for Bill Parcells.

Check out the coverage from Minnesota on the pages of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which has articles today on Tom Brady’s career record in domes and a look at Laurence Maroney’s return to the scene of his college success, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which also has an article on Maroney. The Star Tribune also has a Vikings Blog which they update pretty frequently.

Reiss’ notebook looks at the Vikings trend this season of getting off to fast starts in games. Tomase’s notebook says that the Patriots are hoping Seymour can play, but have to prepare as if he will not be able to go. McDonald’s notebook has more on Seymour and the matchup with the Vikings. Farinella’s notebook has Tom Brady weighing in on Bledsoe. Garven’s notebook looks at Maroney going back to play in the Metrodome, where he had his share of success. Parente’s notebook has more on that topic.

Celtics

Bill Doyle has a look at last night’s preseason finale, a 106-102 loss to the unbeaten Toronto Raptors at TD Banknorth Garden. The Celtics ended the preseason at 3-5. Doyle also looks at what we’ve learned about this team during the preseason, it’s strengths and weaknesses. Lenny Megliola also takes a look at the Celtics and what we’ve learned about them in the preseason. Shalise Manza Young has the Celtics being cautious, but still making a game of it last night. Mark Murphy has Tony Allen awaiting news that the Celtics have picked up his option for next season. Shira Springer provides an update on Paul Pierce’s infected finger. Murphy’s notebook has Pierce lamenting the Celtics inability to finish out close games last season.

Bill Doyle’s Tuning In column this week looks at Tony Kornheiser’s work thus far on Monday Night Football.

NESN has Bruins/Canadiens at 7:00. FOX has Tigers/Cardinals at 8:00. TNT has Nuggets/Lakers at 10:00.

One That Did Get Away

Mike Reiss and Mike Felger each have pieces on former Patriot and East Boston native Jermaine Wiggins, who has flourished in Minnesota and is one of the few free agents to get better after having left New England. Felger also mentions whispers that Richard Seymour’s injury is more serious than “day-to-day”, and doesn’t think he has a great shot of playing Monday night. I’ll be shocked if he plays…Michael Parente looks at the challenges that the Vikings will provide for the Patriots. Glen Farley says that the Patriots haven’t done anything fancy this season, but they’ve gotten the job done. Eric McHugh notes that the extra work put into the passing game seems to be finally starting to pay dividends.

Lenny Megliola says that Bill Parcells is ready for a Tuna Meltdown. Mark Farinella says Drew Bledsoe has to realize that he is just about at the end of the road – a pretty good retrospective of Bledsoe by Farinella. Christopher Price says that Bill Belichick should be a Jim Leyland fan instead of a Tony LaRussa supporter.

Reiss’ notebook looks at the Patriots special teams discipline, which has resulted in very few penalties for the squad. He also has a number of other interesting items packed in there. Albert Breer’s notebook has Jarvis Green ready to go if Seymour can’t. Farley’s notebook has some unfamiliar foes coming up on the Patriots schedule…so preparation work is going to go overtime. McHugh’s notebook has rookie kicker Stephen Gostkowski taking pride in his kickoffs.

Celtics

Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer report on Paul Pierce missing last night’s preseason game and coming home to get an infected finger treated. Pierce’s finger had swollen up and he was unable to bend it after getting a paper cut. Mike Fine says that Allan Ray is looking like the odd man out at this juncture. Bulpett’s notebook has the Celtics falling to the Nets last night 109-107 in New Jersey.

Bruins

Rich Thompson has Belmont’s Paul Mara looking forward to getting his first taste of participating in the Bruins/Canadiens rivalry after having watched it for so many years growing up. Kevin Paul Dupont has coach Dave Lewis posting the standings in the Bruins dressing room so they can see daily how far they have to go. Bud Barth says the Bruins need to bump up their goal scoring production, but they also need to get healthy. Mike Loftus notes that neither Hannu Toivonen nor Tim Thomas have been particularly impressive thus far. Thompson’s notebook has Marc Savard looking to bump up his shots on goal.

Red Sox/World Series

Rob Bradford followed Curt Schilling to MIT to hear him speak about his new venture – Green Monster Games. Michael Silverman and Tony Massarotti team up for a Red Sox notebook, with news that Mike Timlin will be back with the team in 2007. Stan Grossfeld has a feature on former Red Sox pitcher Sammy Stewart, who turned into a Major League crackhead after retiring from baseball. It’s not a pretty tale, but Stewart, currently in jail, hopes to still be able to turn his life around. Jon Couture looks at a movement to bring old time (like 1860’s old time) baseball to New Bedford. Where’s Steve Buckley on this?

Bob Ryan and Tony Massarotti look at NH’s Chris Carpenter pitching the Cardinals to a 5-0 victory in game 3 of the World Series.

After a nine-day hiatus (apparently in rehab for his Dunkin Donuts coffee addiction) Chad Finn is back and posts responses to real and imagined emails.

FSN has Celtics/Raptors at 7:30. ESPN has Rockets/Heat at 8:00. FOX has Cardinals/Tigers Game 4 at 8:00.

World Series Rates in Boston

We lead off with a look at some local ratings numbers from the weekend.

The World Series numbers, though still likely a disappointment to FOX, still contain some interesting results here in the local area. Local pundits like to claim that Boston is so provincial that unless the Red Sox are playing, baseball doesn’t get watched. Well, the overnight numbers in the Boston market actually outperformed the national numbers for FOX. Nationally on Saturday night, game one garnered a 7.3/13, while Sunday’s game two, which had the benefit of an NFL lead-in and no competition from football on NBC, rated a 10.5/16 across the nation. As you’ll notice below, the Boston numbers were higher on both nights.

Game two was in fact, the second highest rated event that we charted this weekend, behind only the Patriots, who absolutely stomped the competition at 1:00pm Sunday.

Here’s a look at some other events of note from the weekend:

ratings102306.jpg

Note: I’ve been unable to get consistent cable numbers for NESN, ESPN and FSN. If anyone out there wants to help me out, please send an email.

Now onto the links…

Michael Felger has his weekly report card, and this week it consists of all “A’s” and “B’s”. Shalise Manza Young says that the Patriots once again showed an ability to correct their flaws and mistakes that they had made the first time they faced a club. Ian Clark also has a report card, and he hands out a “D” to the offensive line for allowing Brady to get hit too often on Sunday. Rich Garven sums up the Patriots this way: “A stingy defense, an opportunistic offense, a positive turnover differential. Those are the things we’ve been seeing from the Patriots as of late, and you can’t do better than that.” We’ve also got the Second Look from the game on the BSMW Game Day page.

Christopher L Gasper looks at the Patriots receivers and Tom Brady starting to establish some chemistry and rhythm. Lenny Megliola has Steve Grogan agreeing that the QB and Receivers are starting to come together. John Tomase looks at Benjamin Watson, who also benefits from the receivers coming along. For the first time this season, on Sunday he caught the ball with a little room to run. Michael Parente says that Brady looks comfortable as well. Christopher Price has more on the receivers stepping up.

Tony Massarotti says that the Patriots haven’t proven anything by steamrolling the cupcakes in the AFC East. Jim Donaldson agrees and says that the Patriots could be 5-3 and facing the 5-3 Jets on November 12th. Alan Greenberg has a look at the Patriots defense, which has been pretty impressive thus far this season. Breer also has Junior Seau starting to really establish himself in the Patriots defense. Tom King says that things will now start getting a little bit tougher for your New England Patriots.

Albert Breer says there is no sympathy in the Patriots locker room for the Chargers’ Shawne Merriman, who was suspended yesterday for four games, reportedly for steroid use.

Tomase’s notebook attempts to update us on Richard Seymour, and the only clue available is the fact that he didn’t appear on WEEI’s “Dale and Holley” show yesterday – something he didn’t do last season either when injured. If Seymour is out on Monday, Gasper’s notebook says Jarvis Green is ready to step in and fill the spot. Young’s notebook has the media being rebuffed in their efforts to find out about the Seymour injury.

Celtics

Peter May looks at the controversy among NBA players regarding the new synthetic ball that is being introduced this season. Many players have been outspoken in their disapproval of it, but at least one organization is pleased: PETA. Sean on the BSMW Full Court Press has a look at Tony Allen, and the decision that the Celtics face in the next week of whether to pick up his option for next season or not.

May also has a look at the center position for the Celtics. Theo Ratliff has been battling a sore back all preseason, and Doc Rivers doesn’t believe he’ll be ready to play in the opener, a week from tomorrow. Michael Olowokandi has been ok in the preseason, but much of the load is going to fall on Kendrick Perkins, Al Jefferson and even rookie Leon Powe. Steve Bulpett has a look at Powe, who has won the affection of Paul Pierce for his rugged, physical style of play inside…something that the Celtics could really use. Scott Souza has more on Powe, who didn’t play much in the early games because he struggled to learn the system.

Mike Fine looks at Al Jefferson finally showing some improvement on the floor after being called out a bit by Rivers. Bulpett’s notebook says that the Celtics might be looking to make a trade instead of a roster cut this week. Jim Fenton looks at the Celtics struggling to find some sort of rotation for the season.

Bruins

Rich Thompson says that the Bruins really need to show improvement on the power play – something that their next opponent, Montreal – has been very successful at thus far. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports on goalie Tim Thomas getting an ice chip in his eye in practice yesterday. Thompson’s notebook says Thomas will start in goal on Thursday, and says Hannu Toivonen had an ice chip hit him in HIS eye on Saturday’s night against Buffalo.

John Molori says that FOX deserves credit for firing Steve Lyons.

FSN has Celtics/Nets at 7:30. FOX has Tigers/Cardinals game 3 at 8:00. Versus has Devils/Penguins at 7:00.

Patriots Take Care of the Bills

The Patriots were their predatory selves of old yesterday, pouncing on mistakes made by the Buffalo Bills and converting them into points. They did this to the tune of a 28-6 victory in Orchard Park yesterday, a win that showed how far ahead of their division foes the Patriots really are.

David Scott has a look at CBS’ bungling coverage after having to cut away from the 38-38 Pittsburgh/Atlanta game.

Scott Benson leads the BSMW coverage on the Patriots Game Day page with a look at the action in Buffalo. Joe McDonald says that everything seems to be falling into place for the Patriots as they improved to 5-1 on the season. Mike Reiss reports on the Patriots taking care of business after a bad practice earlier in the week that led to a marathon session on Thursday and visible improvements yesterday. John Tomase says that the Patriots basically stepped aside and let the Bills lose the game themselves yesterday. Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots having plenty to smile about yesterday. Ian Clark says that yesterday was vintage 21st century Patriots football. Rich Garven reports on just another demolition job to an AFC East opponent. Michael Parente says that the Patriots have created a division between themselves and the rest of the AFC East. Mark Farinella says that the Bills are like a self-fulfilling prophesy for the Patriots.

Ron Borges looks at the Patriots defense, which he notes may not get as much attention as other “higher ranked” defenses, but their penchant for keeping opponents off the scoreboard will take them far. Michael Felger begins to fret over what is going to happen when the Patriots run out of AFC East teams to beat up on. That will be the drum that will get beat this week on air and in print by Felger…just watch. Tony Massarotti notes that the passing attack is miles ahead of where it was the last time these two teams squared off. Albert Breer notes that the Patriots and Bills were pretty even in terms of offensive stats yesterday, but the New England defense kept the Bills out of the end zone. Dan Pires has a report card from yesterday’s win.

McDonald looks at Asante Samuel, who had another strong performance this week, earning the praise of head coach Bill Belichick. Ethan Ramsey has more on Samuel, who is likely seeing his free-agent price rise each week this season. Breer has a look at Samuel bringing his 17-year-old brother up to Bellingham to live with him and go to high school, playing football and especially basketball.

Jackie MacMullan has a look at rookie wideout Chad Jackson, who caught a 35 yard TD pass from Brady, but also dropped his next pass attempt. She says Jackson will continue to be a work in progress, but the Patriots need his talent and production now. Breer also has a look at Jackson finally getting a chance to show his stuff to the Patriots. Greenberg looks at rookies Maroney and Jackson both making big plays for the Patriots yesterday.

Massarotti has more on the defense, again noting that it is better than it’s ranking. Farinella looks at the Patriots defense getting down and dirty in Buffalo. Garven reports on Tom Brady getting a bit battered by the Bills D-Line yesterday afternoon. Farinella has Brady keeping his receivers busy yesterday. Breer looks at Corey Dillon’s success in the red zone yesterday and this season. Christopher L Gasper has a look at the first quarter kickoff return from Laurence Maroney which led to a 14-3 Patriots lead. Felger also examines Maroney’s 74-yard kickoff return that sparked the Patriots.

Shalise Manza Young puts forth a game analysis for yesterday afternoon. Felger looks at Matt Light and Ryan O’Callaghan having a hard go of it at times in trying to keep the Bills off of Brady. Greenberg has his Patriots Sidelines report, which has analysis of the action. Pires had listed out 5 keys to the game yesterday and looks at how they worked out. Young names Tom Brady as the player of the game. Young calls the personal foul committed on Brady after he had gone down as the play of the game. Massarotti presents the best and worst from yesterday. Farinella has the Patriots getting in J.P. Losman’s head.

Check out the Buffalo side of things in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and in the Buffalo News.

Tomase’s notebook leads off with a look at Richard Seymour injuring his elbow in the first half and not returning for the rest of the game. McDonald’s talking points also addresses Seymour’s elbow injury. Reiss’ notebook says that Seymour should know more about the severity of his injury today. Garven’s notebook reports on injuries to Seymour and Eugene Wilson. Parente’s notebook has Rodney Harrison handing out some strong praise to Asante Samuel. Farinella’s notebook has the Patriots playing some good situational football yesterday.

Celtics

Mike Fine has Paul Pierce dishing out advice to his colleagues on the dangers of hanging out in the wrong spots. Pierce of course, can speak on this subject with first hand knowledge, having nearly lost his life in a stabbing incident back in 2000. Scott Souza says too many people have been too quick to judge Sebastian Telfair. Steve Bulpett has a look at Luke Jackson, who even if he doesn’t make the Celtics, will still have some appealing options open.

The BSMW Full Court Press continues to crank out analysis of the decisions that the Celtics need to make on the contracts of several young players on their roster. Shira Springer has Doc Rivers insisting that there will be no set rotation for his players this season. Bulpett’s notebook has Rivers saying that a rotation is only effective if your team is good enough to have one. Fine’s notebook has more on the decisions on rosters spots and roles that the Celtics still have to make. You can get these links plus a look at the Celtics Point Guards on the FSN Nothing But Net page.

ESPN has Giants/Cowboys at 8:30. Versus has Sabres/Canadiens at 7:00.

Weekend Watch – World Series Edition

Another edition of the fall classic is set to start this weekend, but how many people are going to be watching? The matchup of the Cardinals and Tigers is one of two old-school franchises that have plenty of history between them and a previous (1968) classic already in the books. The FOX network seems pretty confident that they will do just fine ratings-wise, and as usual, they’ve got plenty of innovations and gimmicks ready to trot out. See some of the media columns below for more information. The first game is Saturday night at 8:00.

The Patriots return to our televisions after a week off on Sunday. CBS has the game at 1:00, and Patriots 5th Quarter will air on CBS4 immediately following the game. The Patriots Game Day page will check in on the action over the weekend, and you can keep up with the local stories on the Patriots Daily Links mashup page.

Check out the Buffalo side of things in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and in the Buffalo News.

Weekend Viewing Highlights

Saturday
UCLA/Notre Dame, 2:30pm – 7NBC.
Boston College/Florida State, 3:30pm – ABC, (Iowa/Michigan is the national game). Bruins/Sabres, 7:00pm – NESN.
Celtics/Knicks (preseason), 7:30pm – FSN.
Tigers/Cardinals Game 1, 8:00pm – FOX.

Sunday
Patriots/Bills, 1:00pm – CBS4. (Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
Jets/Lions, 1:00pm – FOX. (Sam Rosen & Tim Ryan)
NASCAR Nextel Cup: Subway 50, 1:00pm – 7NBC.
Revolution/Fire, 1:00pm – ABC.
Redskins/Colts, 4:15pm – FOX. (Dick Stockton, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver)
Tigers/Cardinals Game 2, 8:20pm – FOX

Here’s a full local weekend sports schedule from the Globe.

Here’s the NFL coverage maps for this weekend: CBS Single Game, and Fox Game 1 and Fox Game 2.

Here is your weekend college football TV schedule.

On NFL Countdown Sunday morning on ESPN, there will be a segment on Tedy Bruschi. Last summer, Bruschi granted a wish for six-year-old Andrew Geracoulis. Born with a heart defect, Geracoulis wished to meet Bruschi, his favorite player. Chris Connelly will report on a wish granted by Bruschi through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (This feature was originally aired as part of SportsCenter’s “My Wish” series)

At the same time the Patriots are playing on Sunday, the Revolution will be playing on ABC in their Eastern Conference Semifinal playoff game against the Chicago Fire. (1:00 PM) Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda and Brandi Chastain will broadcast the game for ABC.

The summer radio ratings are out, and WEEI bounced back pretty strongly, but still came in third in the overall ratings, behind WBZ and WJMN.

An interesting article on Slate by Josh Levin looks at how YouTube is becoming a haven for those looking to prove that the refs did screw their hometown team.

The Big Show crew and whiner line callers have been giving Pete Sheppard a hard time this week for changing his signature sports flash sign off from “I’mPeteSheppardnthatsthesprkflsh” to “I’m Pete Sheppard and that IS the sports flash.” You’d think people could get behind even a small effort by Sheppard to make himself more intelligible.

Speaking of WEEI…Maybe it’s just me, but I have had my fill of middle-aged white men lecturing on the air this week about what too much bling is, and why young black men shouldn’t drive flashy, expensive cars.

National Sports Media Columns

Susan Bickelhaupt has Fox Sports president Ed Goren expressing confidence that the World Series will do well for his network. John Howell has the network coming up with yet another camera angle innovation for the World Series, this time the “CableCam” which is suspended above on a cable that will run down the first base line. David Scott checks in with former NESN anchor Paul Devlin after he was dumped by the network last week. John Molori’s Media Blitz reports on Larry Ridley getting set to join 7NBC here in Boston.

New York

Phil Mushnick says that the networks must be conducting some strange experiments to determine what it is going to take to finally drive off baseball viewers once and for all.

In Fox's case, it has been charged with trying to alienate the affections of baseball fans by presenting the opposite of what the audience would logically expect to see and hear.

Richard Sandomir takes the opposite approach, praising FOX announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver for their work last night. Neil Best also praises the broadcast team for their “usual understated, solidly professional” performance. Bob Raissman says that as usual, FOX was guilty of excess in its game 7 coverage. Andrew Marchand says it may one-and-done for Tony Kornheiser in the Monday Night Football booth.

"This is the one year,'' Kornheiser said. "I have no plans at the moment, but I don't think anyone should be stunned or shocked or surprised or blow their brains out if I just say, 'That was fun. Thanks a lot. See ya.'''

Marchand’s Memo of the Week is addressed to NHL Commish Gary Bettman for not promoting the start of the league’s season more.

Eastern

Michael Hiestand looks at how far Tim McCarver and Joe Buck have come from their first meeting…when Buck was four years old. Jim Williams breaks down the new MLB television contract for FOX and TBS that will run from 2007 to 2013. Aaron Bracy notes that despite having a pair of TV deals with CSTV and ESPN, the Atlantic 10 may still be hurting when in comes to getting games on the air. He has more quotes in his blog that didn’t make it to the column. Laura Nachman checks in with Rob Alberino, executive producer of the Eagles Television Network. Chris Zelkovich notes that Canadian viewers have choices when it comes to choosing a World Series telecast, but not so much when it comes to events like the Breeder’s Cup.

South

Barry Jackson says that the media, specifically ESPN, needs to tone down their condemnation of the University of Miami and broadcaster Lamar Thomas for the incident last weekend. Jim Sarni has more on the new MLB TV deal, which includes having the World Series start mid-week (Tuesday) rather than Saturday nights. Dave Darling notes that FOX is not just focused on providing great camera angles for the World Series broadcasts, 80 microphones placed around the field pick up the sounds of the game and park as well. Barry Horn talks to James Brown about his return to CBS this season. David Barron updates us on the sports radio battle in Houston. His 4 DVRs, No Waiting blog looks at NFL local ratings from around the country.

Midwest

Dan Caesar looks at the coverage of the Cardinals advancing to the World Series with their win over the Mets last night. Ed Sherman looks at a pair of new DVD’s that serve as video biographies/tributes to two legendary broadcasters, Jack Buck and Harry Caray. He also notes that Lou Piniella will make things interesting for the Cubs’ beat writers next season. Bob Wolfley looks at the Brewers dismal season reflecting strongly in their TV ratings. Judd Zulgad looks at fans losing the ability to watch a game and listen to it on the radio at the same time due to the implementation of 7 second delays to “prevent the broadcast of any indecent material.” Jeffrey Flanagan has former Chief Rich Gannon who will be working Sunday’s game for CBS talking about Chargers QB Phillip Rivers and if he’ll be effected by the crowd at Arrowhead.

West Coast

Larry Stewart reports on the mixed reactions to the firings of Steve Lyons and Lamar Thomas. Joe Davidson has more on the firings:

Steve Lyons and Lamar Thomas lost their jobs because of what they said. And -- let's face it -- because it's far easier to cut them loose than it is to offer any sort of damage control. You offend anyone on air, and you're history.

Stewart also has Tim McCarver addressing his internet geek critics. Jay Posner has FOX hoping that the World Series isn’t another quickie romp for the AL. Tom Hoffarth advises people not to judge the FOX broadcasts solely on whatever numbers “the Nielsen nincompoops” put out saying that they’re a failure. He also looks at the firing and media junket of Lyons. John Maffei looks at San Diego State fans getting a glimmer of hope that they soon might be able to watch their team on TV finally. Michael Lev says that the time for instant replay in baseball has come. Jim Carlisle says that FOX now has better things than baseball to show during prime time, which is why the network cut back slightly on its coverage in the new MLB deal.