Celtics Fall Again

We’re coming down the home stretch of the 2006 BSMW Fall Fund Drive, with three more days to go after today. I appreciate the support from those who have donated to the site.

The winner of the book yesterday was Bernie Porter.

Today’s prize is a $25 DineGift Certificate from Rich Shapiro at Asset Mortgage Group.

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Site Announcement – Join us tomorrow at 3:00pm for a live chat with Moving the Chains author Charles P. Pierce. He’ll be taking your questions for about an hour tomorrow. More details will be coming…

Mike Reiss has Daniel Graham and the Patriots still trying to figure out what they are offensively. You can almost feel the glee from John Tomase as he writes about some of the comments made by several Patriots after the loss. Richard Seymour, Mike Vrabel and Troy Brown are among those quoted. On the MetroWest Daily News website this article is entitled “Patriots question coaching.” Tomase also has Seymour setting up a Fan Hotline for Patriots fans to contact the All Pro. Shalise Manza Young and Alan Greenberg have more from Seymour on his reduced playing time in the Jets game.

Michael Felger has his Patriots Report Card this morning. Ian Clark also has a report card on the Patriots, and notes that the club is quickly approaching gut-check time. Rich Garven says that it is not time to panic yet, as the Patriots will likely be getting back a few core veterans down the stretch run to help solidify things. Greg Doyle provides a Second Look at the Jets game after watching it again.

Gerry Callahan writes about Bill Belichick taking a lesson from Eric Mangini and says that the Patriots coach needs to “hate Mangini on his own time.” Hector Longo says that Mangini attacked the Patriots in their weakest position – wide receiver – and made the club feel the losses of Deion Branch and David Givens. Eric McHugh says that the Patriots are in search of their lost mojo. Michael Parente notes that it is more than just Tom Brady who has been struggling for the Patriots lately.

Albert Breer looks at Jabar Gaffney getting a chance to make some plays after Doug Gabriel left the game on Sunday. Christopher Price wonders when we’re going to see the old Tom Brady fourth quarter comeback trick. Tom King is waiting for the real Patriots to show up.

Reiss’ notebook has a more balanced look at Seymour’s comments. Tomase’s notebook has Belichick not getting too worried about Tom Brady’s recent struggles. Young’s notebook has Billy Yates heading to the IR after suffering a broken leg in the loss. Parente’s notebook has Seymour spreading the blame around equally. McHugh’s notebook says that Ellis Hobbs is getting noticed for the wrong reasons lately.

Celtics Fall Again

The Celtics suffered another tough loss last night, this time at the hands of the Orlando Magic, 92-89. The Celtics had a one point lead with under a minute to go, but couldn’t get a defensive stop. Orlando shot 53% from the field on the night, as Jameer Nelson, Grant Hill, and down the stretch, Trevor Ariza killed them with big shots.

Peter May says this one was very much like the other tough losses the Celtics have endured this season, they simply cannot close out games. Steve Bulpett has more on the loss, which leaves the Celtics at 1-6, their worst start since 1978-79. Carolyn Thornton has Doc Rivers saying that he’s willing to be patient, but he’s going to need to be very very patient with this club. Lenny Megliola says Rivers is having a hard time keeping the faith with this group. Bill Doyle says it will be interesting to see what happens to Rivers if the Celtics keep losing. Interesting?

Bob Ryan notes that the Celtics are pretty much a Murphy’s Law team right now. In that column, he also notes the contributions of Leon Powe last night, who gave Doc Rivers yet another personnel decision to make. Ryan has a second column today (You think Shaughnessy would ever give you two columns like this?), where he outlines why he is still optimistic about the future for this Celtics team. Ryan has seen a lot of basketball through the years, and he assures us that there is talent here, and it’s talent that other teams would like to have. He also identifies himself as a Doc guy, though in my opinion, doesn’t really give a ringing endorsement of why Doc should stay. Mark Murphy isn’t quite so positive, saying that the Celtics “are 1-6 and going nowhere.”

May’s notebook says Al Jefferson is just happy to be alive after his emergency appendectomy last week. Bulpett’s notebook has more on Leon Powe, as well as a Theo Ratliff update and old friend Tony Battie praising Paul Pierce’s rebounding. Thornton’s notebook has more on Pierce’s rebounding, as the the Celtics captain entered the game fifth in the league in that category in the early going. Doyle’s notebook has only three Celtics on the All Star ballot in the East.

Other

Do you have Daisuke Matsuzaka fever yet? Today is supposedly the day when the Red Sox find out whether – as has been speculated since late last week – they’ve made the high bid on the services of the Japanese pitching star. Nick Cafardo and Michael Silverman have the latest on the waiting game. Silverman’s notebook has former Sox prospect Hanley Ramirez taking home Rookie of the Year honors in the National League, he also has a number of Red Sox related items in there. Follow the Red Sox coverage during the day on the Red Sox News Mashup.

Mick Colageo has a look at the Bruins trade for Stanislav Chistov and notes that it’s not a matter if the Russian can play but whether he will. Stephen Harris and Fluto Shinzawa also report on the deal. Kevin Paul Dupont has a piece on goaltending guru Warren Strelow, currently working with the San Jose Sharks farm team in Worcester.

John Molori’s Media Blitz looks at NESN’s “Be a Bruin” reality show.

Michael Vega and Rich Thompson have coverage of Vermont stunning 14th ranked Boston College last night. Mark Blaudschun’s ACC notebook has the BC football squad trying to figure out their bowl position.

Versus has Rangers/Devils at 7:00.

Patriots Streak Jettisoned

We’re on week two of the 2006 BSMW Fall Fund Drive. Week one finished a little behind schedule, but still at a very nice $2465. I really appreciate the donations that have come in thus far from all who have taken the time to show their support for the site. I appreciate reading the nice comments that often come along with the donations as well, it really makes my day.

Today’s prize is a copy of a very fine baseball book: Red Sox vs. Yankees – The Great Rivalry. This large book is a look at the century long battle between the two franchises, with plenty of stories and terrific photographs. The book was originally published in 2003, but this is an updated copy that now features the Red Sox incredible comeback in the 2004 ALCS.

All donations of $25 or more receive an entry in the drawing for this prize. You’ll also be eligible for the grand prize drawing at the end of the drive for a Sling Media Slingbox.

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For nearly four years now, Patriots fans have been able to get over regular season losses rather quickly, knowing that a win was only a week away. Now as the Patriots and their fans face a second consecutive week of coming off of a discouraging loss, there is a lot to question about this Patriots team. Are they real contenders in the AFC? Do they even have a shot any longer at a first round bye? Do they now face competition in the AFC East at the hands of the Jets? Will they ever win another game?

Ok, maybe the last question is a bit hyperbolic, but this is not a feeling or situation that we’re used to here in 21st century New England. It appears however, that for this season, we may need to adjust our expectations for the Patriots, who have set their own bar incredibly high. Speaking of hyperbolic, here’s the links for today:

Mike Reiss has a look at an afternoon where the Patriots were completely outplayed, out hustled, out executed and outcoached. Shalise Manza Young says there is plenty of blame to go around for this one. John Tomase says “For the Pats, the division race is officially, regrettably, surprisingly on.” He continues the week long Boston Herald/Corey Dillon feud by claiming that the Patriots running back was “in good spirits” following the loss. Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots getting smacked down in the fog by the Jets. Albert Breer says this just looked like it was the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth quarters of the Colts game. Jennifer Toland notes that all of a sudden, things are getting very interesting in the AFC East. Dan Pires looks at a statement game for the Jets, and notes that all of a sudden the AFC East is a two team race. Michael Parente tells us that the streak is over and the trouble has just begun for the Patriots. Mark Farinella has more on the Patriots coming back to the pack in the AFC.

Christopher Price does his usual fine job with 10 Things We Learned Yesterday. Bob Ryan says that with all the old storylines now expired, it’s time to create newer ones for this Patriots team – stories that may not have happy endings. Michael Felger says that it is getting harder and harder to say with any confidence that this team is headed to the top. Jim Donaldson tells that the Patriots are just not an elite team anymore, not after their third loss of the season at Gillette Stadium – a venue where they had been nearly invincible during their Super Bowl seasons. Tom King says that apparently you can’t give Eric Mangini and the Jets two weeks to prepare for a team…

Ron Borges crows that Eric Mangini had the answer for everything Bill Belichick and the Patriots threw at his team, including the post game handshake. Tony Massarotti also enjoyed the student taking the teacher to school, and describes Mangini as “affable, polite and even-keeled.” Guess Tony hasn’t been reading the New York papers. Ian Clark also examines the angle of the student having the edge over the teacher in this matchup. David Brown has a look at the Jets winning the sideline matchup in addition to the game on the field. Tim Weisberg looks at Mangini keeping the former Patriots on his roster focused in this one.

Steve Buckley looks at another off day for Tom Brady, who was picked off, leading to a Jets touchdown, and strip-sacked to end the game. Lenny Megliola looks at Brady coming up abruptly short in his attempt to trigger another last second miracle finish. Toland looks at the Brady magic missing at the end of this one. Breer looks at Corey Dillon answering his critics with a strong afternoon.

Joe McDonald looks at Reche Caldwell as a bright spot for the Patriots on an otherwise dreary day. Dan Ventura also looks at the big day from Caldwell, one of his best as a pro. Caldwell has started to emerge as the top wide receiver on the club, and Brady’s confidence in him grows by the week. Christopher L Gasper looks at Caldwell’s TD catch, which Brady called “one of the best plays of the year” by a Patriots wide receiver. David Brown looks at the Patriots getting productive days out of wideouts Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney, but it wasn’t enough.

Breer has Ellis Hobbs taking the blame for the loss because of his inability to make a play on the Jerricho Cotchery touchdown. Amalie Benjamin says that it was more than just that one play that lost the game on defense for the Patriots. Mike Lowe also has Hobbs putting the loss on his shoulders. Farinella says that the Patriots defense was solid, but just didn’t make a few key plays, which ended up costing them the game.

Rich Garven makes a lot out of the fact that Richard Seymour said that the Patriots were outplayed and outcoached. Dan Ventura looks at the Patriots offensive line getting pushed around all afternoon. Gasper also has a look at the Patriots offense not giving Brady enough time all afternoon to make the right throws. Farinella also observes that the Brady and the Patriots offense are still a bit off.

McDonald provides his game analysis from both sides of the ball. Greenberg chimes in with his Turning Point analysis of the action. McDonald notes that it would be unfair to name a player of the game for the Jets, he awards the defensive unit as a whole the honor. Felger looks at the Jets scheme being able to limit the “whams” of the Patriots.

McDonald cites Brady’s interception, which the Jets then converted into seven points, as the play of the game. Massarotti cites the Cotchery TD as the play of the game and gets reaction from all involved in the play. It’s Buckley’s turn to compile the best and worst from the afternoon.

Steve Solloway examines how much this win meant to the Jets. Peter Gobis has a look at Chad Pennington picking apart the Patriots defense. Young has a look at an extra satisfying victory for the Jets. Greenberg looks at Mangini enjoying his moment, despite a chilly reception. Get the rest of the Jets coverage on the New York Sports Pages.

Tomase’s notebook looks at the situation of Richard Seymour, who didn’t play for stretches in the second half, though both he and the coach didn’t give injury as the reason. Reiss’ notebook has more from Seymour. The Projo Talking Points has a number of notes, quotes and observations from the afternoon. Chris Kennedy’s notebook has Tom Brady still struggling this week after his bad outing against the Colts. Garven’s notebook says that Doug Gabriel was benched for his second quarter fumble. Weisberg’s notebook looks at the decline of the running game, which started out so strong in the first quarter. Parente’s notebook has more on Seymour sitting out long stretches of the game. Farinella’s notebook, which is quite extensive, looks at the Jets rendering the Patriots ineffective.

Revolution Fall in Title Match

It wasn’t a good afternoon for the other Men of Kraft, either as the New England Revolution lost the MLS title game on penalty kicks. Frank Dell’Apa and Mike Biglin have the coverage of this one. John Powers says this was an ending to scream about. Biglin looks at Clint Dempsey coming back from injury in time to help the Revs. Biglin’s notebook has the Revs early play forcing a change in the Dynamos style. Dell’Apa’s notebook says that for five Revs, this third loss in the MLS final was especially tough.

Other

Michael Silverman looks at this week’s GM meetings as a starting point to lay the groundwork for deals later this offseason for the Red Sox.

Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett look at the Celtics in the aftermatch of a 1-5 start and losing a game in which they held a 25 point lead in Cleveland. Over on the FSN Celtics Central page, I have a look at whether things are as bad as the 1-5 start would indicate and a look at the busy schedule this week.

Fluto Shinzawa and Karen Guregian report on Hannu Toivonen suffering a sprained ankle during practice in Providence. Mick Colageo says that it may be a new season, but in many ways it’s the same old Bruins.

FSN has Celtics/Magic at 7:30. ESPN has Bucs/Panthers at 8:30.

Weekend Watch – Veterans’ Day Edition

We’re onto the halfway mark of the 2006 BSMW Fall Fund Drive .

Here are some of the benefits the site provides which might be worth a donation from you:

  • Stories from most of the New England papers all in one place.
  • Exposure to different writers, such as ones at smaller papers around the region.
  • When I format the links, I have them point at the full page version of the stories, you don’t have to click multiple times in the same article just to finish reading it. For many people this is another convenience and time-saver that they’ve noted and appreciated.
  • As time permits, there are often transcripts and exact quotes from curious and controversial segments on radio and TV, brought to you, word for word so there is no mistaking what was said.
  • Two other media columns are published on the site each week, (Scott’s Shots and Media Blitz) and we’re looking to add more.
  • The individual team blogs (Patriots Game Day, Celtics Full Court Press and Bruins Power Play) offer an alternative perspective to your local teams and provide some analysis you perhaps hadn’t seen elsewhere.
  • As time permits, columns and commentary on some of the things happening in the Boston sports media. These are designed to give you a better idea of the motivations and intentions behind many of the columns, shows and outright acts that we see in the area today.

These are just a few of the benefits that come from the site. I’m looking to grow the site and make it even better going forward. If you haven’t done so already, please consider helping out the future of the site.

Thanks for your support thus far.

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Update Sunday, 11:00am – Like last week, Scott Benson has a full wrapup of the Patriots links in the Sunday papers on the Patriots Game Day page. Included is a blurb from Tom Curran which might explain a little of the animosity Bill Belichick feels for Eric Mangini.

Update Saturday 12:00pm I’m in full agreement with Dan Kennedy’s take on Keith Foulke’s departure and the Herald’s treatment of it.

The Patriots face Eric Mangini and the New York Jets for the second time this season in a divisional matchup at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Despite the loss to the Colts on Sunday night, the Patriots are in good shape to open up the second half of the season.

As per usual, the place to be on Sunday will be the BSMW Patriots Game Day page. Last Sunday featured links to the Sunday football stories and the flagship post-game blog. This week, you might get the same, or something different. We’re not telling. You can also check the news coverage of the team on the Patriots News Mashup page.

Check in on the Jets coverage on the New York Sports Pages – all four major dailies on one page.

Highlights from this week’s edition of Patriots All Access (Saturday 8:00pm WCVB, Sunday 10:00am)

  • A sitdown with the new all-time reception leader in franchise history, Troy Brown.
  • Bill Belichick shows us what has made the Jets passing game so explosive so far this season on the Belestrator.
  • Highlights from Larry Izzo’s second annual “Larry-oke”, a fund-raising effort that is near to Izzo’s heart.

The Patriots/Colts game was a frustrating one from the local perspective, but naturally still posted great numbers locally. On 7NBC, it scored a 32.2 Household rating with a 49 share. (22.0 Adults 25-54 rating; 29.1 Men 25-54 rating).

This week’s edition of Patriots Football Weekly has great analysis of the Patriots/Colts game, a preview of the Jets game, a midseason look around the AFC as several teams vie for the coveted first round playoff bye, a tribute to Troy Brown’s breaking the franchise record for catches and a “Where are they now” feature on Ronnie Lippett.

Here’s your NFL Maps for the Weekend:

CBS Single Game

FOX Game One

FOX Game Two

Here’s your College Football TV Schedule.

The Celtics have a pair of tough games this weekend, tonight against the Jazz and Saturday night in Cleveland against LeBron and the Cavs. Both games are at 7:30 on FSN and you can check the coverage on the Celtics News Mashup page.

The Red Sox are rumored to be among the leaders in the bidding for Japanese star Daisuke Matsuzaka. Keep up with the latest news on the newly re-designed Red Sox News Mashup page.

Don’t forget also that Gillette’s other team, the New England Revolution will be playing for the MLS Cup on Sunday afternoon. The game will be shown on ABC at 3:30pm.

Weekend Viewing Highlights

Friday
7:00pm UNH at BC (basketball) – NESN
7:00pm BU at UNH (hockey) NHPTV
7:30pm Celtics vs. Jazz – FSN (HD)
8:00pm Heat at Nets – ESPN (HD)
10:30pm Pistons at Lakers – ESPN (HD)

Saturday
3:30pm NASCAR Busch Series Arizona.Travel 200 – 7NBC
7:00pm Bruins vs. Senators – NESN (HD)
7:30pm Celtics at Cavs – FSN
7:45pm Alabama at LSU – ESPN (HD)
8:00pm Wake Forest at Florida St – ABC (HD)

Sunday
1:00pm Patriots vs Jets CBS4 (HD)
3:30pm Revolution vs. Houston (MLS Cup) ABC
3:30pm NASCAR Nextel Cup: Checker Auto Parts 500 – 7NBC (HD)
4:15pm Saints at Steelers FOX25 (HD)
8:00pm Rockets at Heat ESPN (HD)
8:15pm Bears at Giants 7NBC (HD)

Notes and Links

The Boston Phoenix relaunched their Media Log blog this week, under the byline of Adam Reilly. Nice to have another voice and opinion on the local media (news and sports) out there.

Charles P. Pierce and Stefen Fatsis debate the State of the NFL in Slate magazine, including Why the The Patriots Are the Least Sentimental Franchise in Sports.

Keep in mind that during the month of November you can vote at the National Baseball Hall of Fame to nominate three broadcasters to the Ford C. Frick Award ballot. Local names on the list include Ken Coleman, Joe Castiglione, Jim Woods and Ned Martin.

A good blog that I’ve been meaning to give a plug to and just keep neglecting to do so is 10 Cent Freeze Pops – check it out when you have a moment sometime.

XM Radio has a one hour Baseball Confidential special with Red Sox star David Ortiz. The slugger talks about his life, career and what makes him the most clutch hitter in baseball before a live studio audience. The first show aired yesterday, but you can catch encores at the following times:

Friday, 11/10 – 9 PM ET on MLB Home Plate – XM 175
Saturday, 11/11 – 9 AM ET on MLB Home Plate – XM 175
Sunday, 11/12 – 11 AM ET on MLB Home Plate – XM 175
Sunday, 11/12 – 8 AM and 11 PM ET on XM Sports Nation – XM 143

Bill Simmons with his weekend NFL picks, wonders what has happened to sports.

Here’s our weekly sports media column roundup:

New England

Bill Doyle has a look at John Madden’s life these days, spent mostly in the Madden Cruiser where he can now watch the afternoon games on Sunday while getting ready for the game that night. Are the Yankees trying steal away assets from the Red Sox again? John Howell looks at how the Yankees are negotiating with WTIC in Hartford, which has carried the Red Sox games for the last 46 seasons. Susan Bickelhaupt looks at CSTV working a deal to carry Atlantic 10 basketball games, but the package doesn’t kick in until January 6th when conference play starts. John Molori scored an interview with deposed FOX baseball analyst Steve Lyons earlier this week, and David Scott changes tact and tells us things that he actually likes in sports media.

New York

Phil Mushnick points out another example of “duh” programming, this time by HBO and also offers up some phrases from Knicks voice Gus Johnson to use this season in an effort to be positive about the team. Bob Raissman examines HBO’s decision not to air the Laila Ali/Shelley Burton fight on the grounds on not showing women’s boxing, when really it appears that their reason is that this fight is a total mismatch. Andrew Marchand has NBC considering moving Cris Collinsworth from the studio to the booth for the wild card playoff round. He’s also got Doc Rivers as a favorite for the third man in the booth for ABC’s lead broadcast team with Mike Breen and Mark Jackson should the Celtics coach be fired. Marchand also scores Five questions with John Madden, and his Memo of the week is to Stuart Scott for accusing the media of baiting Chad Johnson. Neil Best notes the sorry state of TV boxing. Richard Sandomir examines the Knicks marketing efforts.

East Coast

Michael Hiestand looks at NBC’s plans to stream online a substantial portion of the 2008 Summer Olympics from Beijing. He also looks at a series of DVD’s aimed to help “raise the next generation of sports fans,” by teaching toddlers uniform numbers, fight songs, stadium shapes, etc. Chris Zelkovich debunks the urban legend that Toronto isn’t interested in the CFL. Laura Nachman has a look at an NFL films special on “Philly’s Finest” which includes profiles of Eagles announcer Merrill Reese and former Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham. Now that both the Nationals and the Orioles will have their games broadcast on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, Jim Williams has an early look at how the broadcast teams might pan out.

South

Jim Sarni has a look at NBC kicking off the Flex-Schedule era this weekend with the Bears/Giants game getting moved to the prime time slot. Dave Darling looks at Daniel Dahm, who is leaving Terry Bowden side on WHOO’s afternoon drive show where he has been since 2003. (Note: I’m sensing a theme around the country…almost everyone mentions how sick to death they are of the John Mellencamp’s “Our Country” ads for Chevy.) David Barron has Eric Wynalda previewing the MLS title game between the New England Revolution and the Houston Dynamo. Barry Horn looks at declining TV numbers for NASCAR and what it could mean for the sport.

Midwest

With Notre Dame not on national TV this weekend for the first time in recent memory, Ed Sherman looks at how CSTV is offering an online stream of the game for viewers with broadband access. The stream costs $14.95 today or $19.95 tomorrow. Bob Wolfley has Jimmy Johnson saying that there could be plenty of changes in the standings for the second half of the NFL season. He also has SportsCenter anchor John Anderson saying that his interest in the Brewers broadcast position is “purely nostalgic and romantic.” Judd Zulgad notes that the T-Wolves radio move to BOB 106 FM has resulted in a much smaller broadcast area, which has upset some fans. Jeffrey Flanagan talks to Royals announcer Denny Matthews about again being on the Ford Frick ballot for the Hall of Fame. Dan Caesar reports on Martin Kilcoyne’s departure from KNFS’s “Morning Grind” and has some leftovers from the World Series coverage.

West Coast

Tom Hoffarth looks at a benchmark moment from 15 years ago this week – the announcement that Magic Johnson was retiring because he had contracted HIV. Hoffarth looks at the coverage of that event, noting the misinformation that was spread then and how different the coverage would be today. Hoffarth also lends come credence to the Boston Herald report earlier this week that the Red Sox were interested in bring Steve Lyons in as a possible replacement to Jerry Trupiano in the radio booth. Hoffarth has Lyons saying that “he hasn’t decided on the Boston deal because he has joint custody of his 8-year-old daughter in Hermosa Beach and might opt not to move that far away.” Jay Posner looks at the glut of games on cable television and yet no one is happy because we can’t all see the game that we want because of the battles between networks and cable operators. Joe Davidson has former volleyball star Ky Bell climbing the ladder at Comcast SportsNet in Sacramento.

BSMW Fund Drive – Midway point

Today will be the halfway point of the 2006 BSMW Fall Fund Drive, and we’ve got some catching up to do. We sit at $1785 raised thus far and to keep pace with our goal would like to be at an even $3000. I appreciate all those donations that have come in thus far and would like to encourage those who haven’t yet done so to please consider help supporting the site.

Yesterday’s prize winner of a pair of Bruins tickets to the November 18th game is Adam Howarth.

Today’s prize – for which all who have donated this week are eligible – is a one year membership to Hideaways International. This is a $185 value, and you will receive their yearly book and their magazines, which highlight some of the best places to stay around the world. Being a member also entitles you to discounts and benefits at these amazing locations.

Thanks again…

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It’s Friday, which means roundtable day on the Patriots Game Day page.

Christopher Price talks to Matt Cassel about the work he does each week serving as the scout team QB, imitating the mannerism and throws of the opposing quarterback that week. Christopher L Gasper has a look at Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who despite only being in his second year with the club, may need to see his role and leadership step up in the secondary with the absence of Rodney Harrison. John Tomase has Corey Dillon’s teammates talking about the veteran running back, who has been testy with the media (Cursing out Michael Felger earlier this week.), but they say he’s nothing but an ideal teammate who is focused on winning. Shalise Manza Young looks at Patrick Pass returning to practice. The Patriots fullback spent his downtime this year getting his first ever tattoos…six of them. Alan Greenberg looks at Tom Brady’s history of bouncing back after a bad game. Michael Parente says that the Patriots are aiming to limit the big plays of the Jets this Sunday.

Bob Ryan says that even though the Patriots have fallen to the second tier of the AFC, there’s still plenty to be impressed with from this team. Toward the end of Tony Massarotti’s column today on Chad Jackson, you get the sense he’s wondering when we should just give up on the rookie wide receiver. Rich Garven says that the Patriots tailor their offensive attack each week with the idea of keeping the opponent off balance. Albert Breer looks a a frustrating season thus far for Nick Kaczur, who has been battling a shoulder injury since camp. Hector Longo grades out the defense at the midway point of the season. Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots secondary having to again work without their leader.

Tomase’s notebook reports on Patrick Pass returning to the field after being taken off the PUP list and being cleared to practice. The Globe notebook looks at Chad Jackson and Patrick Pass. Young’s notebook has Belichick preaching patience…in his own way…when it comes to Jackson. Garven’s notebook looks at the Patriots preparation for Brad Smith, the multi-positioned Jets weapon. Parente’s notebook has more from Belichick on Jackson. McHugh’s notebook says Tom Brady should bounce back nicely this weekend.

Jim McCabe has his weekly NFL picks in the Globe. Jim Lazar has his picks in the Herald. The Herald also has the advice of Double D and I.M. Bettor.

Bruins

The Bruins lost a wild one at the Garden last night, handing the Maple Leafs an early three goal lead before mounting a spirited comeback, which in the end fell short to the tune of a 6-4 loss. Fluto Shinzawa has coach Dave Lewis praising his team’s third-period resiliency. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins paid for their shaky start and remain a hard team to figure out. Joe McDonald looks at Andrew Raycroft’s homecoming not going quite according to plan. Douglas Flynn says it was too little, too late for the Bruins last night. Bud Barth looks at the Bruins new problem of preventing goals. Mick Colageo looks at the Razor’s return turning into a circus last night.

Bob Duffy looks at Andrew Raycroft being glad to get his first visit back to Boston out of the way, after being booed in introductions and again after having to leave the ice because of injury. Karen Guregian says that the Bruins sure could’ve use Raycroft thus far this season. Duffy also has a look at the return of Hal Gill to the Garden ice. Guregian also looks at Gill coming home to New England where was raised and went to college before playing eight years with the Bruins. Flynn has more on Gill finding a home in Toronto. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins have shown signs of having offensive firepower.

Shinzawa’s notebook looks at Brad Stuart getting back on the ice, having returned from a broken pinkie. Harris’ notebook has more on Stuart, and also notes that the defenseman’s name has been mentioned in some trade talks with the Islanders. McDonald’s notebook looks at backup goaltender Brian Finley getting thrown into the fire early for the Bruins. Barth’s notebook has Raycroft acknowledging that yes, he asked twice for a trade from the Bruins, showing that perhaps it wasn’t the club that gave up on him.

Celtics

Shira Springer has Paul Pierce saying that the Celtics are looking to become an “opportunistic running team.” Steve Bulpett notes that fresh off their first win of the season, the Celtics know that they have plenty of work ahead of them. Both articles also report on former Celtic Walter McCarty stopping by practice. Mike Fine says that perhaps now Delonte West can relax a little in his game after hitting the game winner Wednesday night. Fine’s notebook observes that Al Jefferson’s appendectomy could’ve been a lot worse. Had it burst, he could’ve been lost for the season.

Other

David Scott has been accused of slashing for the sake of slashing. Today he shares some things he actually likes.

Bob Hohler has a feature in the Globe on the high number of NBA and NFL players who carry handguns.

Nick Cafardo says that the agents for Roger Clemens have touched base with the Red Sox, and that J.D. Drew might be a target for the team to replace Trot Nixon. David Borges has a look at Jerry Remy being inducted in the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Mike Biglin has the New England Revolution intent on seizing the moment and capturing their first MLS title this weekend. Bob Duffy has a feature on Revolution All Star Shalrie Joseph, who overcame the odds to be where he is today. Biglin’s notebook has the Revs seeking to treat the game, practice-wise, like any other.

Celtics Finally Get a “W”

We’re already nearly halfway through the 2006 BSMW Fall Fund Drive. We sit at $1275 raised thus far and would like to be at $2400 today to be on pace to reach the goal. Thank you to those who chipped in yesterday. The winner of yesterday’s daily prize was Jess Fiorelli.

Today’s prize is a pair of tickets to the Bruins game on Saturday, November 18 vs. Washington.

Thanks again as we push through what is shaping up to be the final fund dive in the history of the site…

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The Celtics finally picked up a win last night, holding off the pesky Charlotte Bobcats 110-108 at the Garden. The first win of the season did not come easy for the Celtics, who couldn’t hold off the Bobcats down the stretch of regulation and then needed to come back in OT to win on a buzzer beater by the cold Delonte West. (3-10 from the floor for the game, 6-26 on the season)

Steve Bulpett looks at the win as a baby step forward for a team that really needed to make some progress. Shira Springer looks at the Celtics getting 35 points apiece from Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak on the night, and still needing the buzzer from West to escape with the win. Shalise Manza Young says that of course the first win of the season wouldn’t be easy. Scott Souza tries not to imagine what it would’ve been like in the Celtics locker room had they not won this game. Bill Doyle looks at Pierce and Szczerbiak leading the Celtics to their first victory of the season.

Mark Murphy looks at Paul Pierce passing up the final shot in OT, dishing off to West, who made the winner. Pierce had a great night in some aspects, but also struggled with 12 turnovers, the most by a Celtic since they’ve started recording that stat in 1978. Peter May says that it took some “D” to win this one, and he’s not talking about defense. Murphy has a look at the surprise appendectomy that Al Jefferson had to go through after complaining on stomach pain at the morning shootaround. Murphy also reports on the Celtics getting threatening phone calls over the weekend aimed towards a a member of the team’s new dance squad. Murphy reports that the caller used information from Steve Buckley’s column about the squad on Saturday.

Bulpett’s notebook has a look at the frontcourt getting shuffled slightly with Al Jefferson being out for a few weeks and Theo Ratliff returning and making an impression. Springer’s notebook has more on Jefferson’s appendectomy. Young’s notebook has Jefferson’s streak of bad luck being extended once more. Souza’s notebook has more on Jefferson’s latest setback. Doyle’s notebook also looks at the latest bad news for the third year forward.

Patriots

With Rodney Harrison being the latest Patriots defensive back to go down, and with Eugene Wilson having missed the last several games, Randall Gay and Tebucky Jones on IR, the Patriots secondary is once again decimated by injuries. It seems this happens each and every year. Or is that just our perception of things? Bill Barnwell on the Patriots Game Day page takes a look at the injuries to the Patriots DB’s, tries to figure out why they’re happening, and confirms statistically that the Patriots defensive backs are indeed the most injury prone over the past few seasons in the National Football League.

With Harrison out against the Jets this weekend and for the foreseeable future, the Patriots will look to a pair of veteran cornerbacks – Artrell Hawkins and Chad Scott to step in and attempt to fill the void left by Harrison’s injury. Mike Reiss and John Tomase each look at the pair and how they’re preparing to step in and play bigger roles as the season rolls on. Albert Breer has the Patriots seemingly better prepared to handle Harrison’s absence then they were last season. Joe McDonald says that the Pats will miss Harrison’s leadership as much as his play. Alan Greenberg focuses on Artrell Hawkins, whose deep booming voice will need to be heard in the Patriots secondary in coming weeks. Jennifer Toland asserts that Harrison’s Harrison’s instincts, his playmaking ability and the intensity will be missed in the weeks that he is gone. Dan Pires has a source that tells him Harrison will be out 4-6 weeks. Michael Parente also says that Harrison could return sometime in December.

Tony Massarotti questions whether this Patriots team can get it done when it matters. He says they make far too many mistakes that the old Patriots never would’ve made. Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots at the midway point of the season, notes the positives they’ve accomplished and notes that things actually could get easier from here on out. Bill Reynolds would still take Tom Brady over Peyton Manning…he thinks. Breer has Bill Belichick praising everyone associated with the Jets with the exception of their head coach. Ian Clark also focuses on the coaching soap opera.

Reiss looks at Tom Brady’s history of rebounding following his four-interception games throughout his career. Tomase says that the Pats QB isn’t shaken by his performance and is confident he and the team will bounce back. Tomase also has a brief note about Chad Scott’s interception against Peyton Manning, and how the Colts QB says Scott messed up and wasn’t supposed to be there. Buddy Thomas basks in the glow of the Colts win.

For more from the Jets, check the New York Sports Pages.

Reiss’ notebook says that Harrison’s return date this season is very much up in the air. Tomase’s notebook has rookie kicker Stephen Gostkowski not comforted by the fact that he out played Adam Vinatieri. McDonald’s notebook has Brady and Chad Pennington exchanging compliments. Toland’s notebook has more on Brady’s record after his four interception games. Parente’s notebook observes that the Jets have improved their running game since the last time the Patriots played them.

Bruins

Kevin Paul Dupont has Andrew Raycroft living large upon his return to Boston to face his former team. Karen Guregian has Raycroft throwing a little salt in the Bruins’ wounds by saying they gave up on him too soon. As Guregian points out however, Raycroft was the one who asked for a trade. Bud Barth says Raycroft comes to town with something to prove.

Dupont’s notebook has Brad Stuart ready to return to the lineup for the B’s. Guregian’s notebook has head coach Dave Lewis not ready to name a starting goaltender for tonight just yet. Barth’s notebook has the Bruins hoping their “BB’s” line can get hot.

Other

Dan Shaughnessy submits a thoughts column. I submit it without comment.

Mike Fine says that Theo Epstein and the Red Sox are gearing up to start talking trades next week in Florida. Paul Bistoff has a look at Curt Schilling setting up shop for his new company Green Monster Games.

The Herald has a number of college basketball preview articles in their college sports section.

NESN has Bruins/Maple Leafs at 7:00. ESPN has Bulls/Cavs at 8:15 and Mavs/Suns at 10:30. ESPN has Louisville/Rutgers at 7:30.

Harrison Scapula’d

We’re on day three of the 2006 BSMW Fall Fund drive and still a little behind schedule. To this point we’ve collected $825. To keep on track to meet our goal we’d like to have $1800 by the end of the day. If you’re putting something in the mail to send the site, please drop me a note via email, and so I can add it to the tally.

Today we’ve got a nice little prize package: A pair of Tickets to the December 17th Lowell Devils/Providence Bruins game along with a $20 Gift Certificate to Athenian Corner restaurant. This prize was donated by Ted Panos of the fine Sports Talk Blog from the Lowell Sun.

The winner of yesterday’s prize was Kristoffer Eriksen.

Again, all donations greater than $25 are eligible for the drawing. If you donate more than $25, you can get more entries…$50 gets you two, $75 gets you three and $100 gets you FIVE entries. You’ll also be eligible for the week one drawing on this Friday as well as the Grand Prize drawing at the end of the drive. The weekly prize is a one year membership to Hideaways International and the grand prize will be a Sling Media Slingbox.

Thanks as always for your support…

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The Patriots received a bit of bad news regarding Rodney Harrison yesterday, though it wasn’t quite as bad as it could’ve been, I suppose. The hard hitting safety suffered a broken scapula after landing on his shoulder taking down Marvin Harrison on Sunday night. Mike Reiss had the first report on his blog yesterday, and has a further report this morning in the Globe on the matter. Reiss reports that Harrison had a very similar injury in 1999 which caused him to miss much of the rest of the season and had a devastating effect on his Chargers team. John Tomase gets the opinion of Dr. Bill Morgan on Harrison’s injury. Alan Greenberg says not to expect to see Harrison until December or January. Christopher Price says there is still a lot that is not clear about the injury. Albert Breer, with an assist from Tomase, also has a report on the Harrison injury.

Reiss’ midweek report gives us some background on the NFL weekly injury reports. Michael Felger notes that things are about to get better for the Patriots…they always do in the second half of the season under Bill Belichick. He looks at specific areas in which they can improve, and wonders if the Patriots will spend time in practice the next eight weeks working on ways to beat the Colts and Broncos. Albert Breer hands out some midseason awards, and notes that the Patriots are good…but not great at this point. Michael Parente says that the Patriots have moved on and are now focused on beating the Jets.

Eric McHugh says that the Patriots veered their game plan on Sunday night and it likely cost them the game. Tom King looks at the Patriots taking their place as the third best team in the AFC. Glen Farley questions Josh McDaniels’ playcalling in the Indianapolis game. Hector Longo says that the Patriots need to simplify things and ride their version of the “big three” – Tom Brady, Laurence Maroney and Benjamin Watson.

I have no idea what Jim Donaldson is trying to say. Something about NFL celebrations, and that players should make big shows when they screw up as well as when they score…Mark Farinella puts together a session of “Ask Fearless” – a mailbag of mostly fictional questions.

The New York Sports Pages are starting to contain articles on this weekend’s Patriots/Jets game, including an article in the Post this morning were Eric Mangini expects to be booed on Sunday.

Reiss’ notebook looks at the Patriots having some uncharacteristic struggles at home. McHugh’s notebook has Troy Brown talking about how tipped balls can turn into interceptions, and how much of it is the receivers fault.

Red Sox

Quite a few Red Sox articles this morning, led by the news that the team has declined their option on reliever Keith Foulke. This doesn’t mean that the 2004 playoff hero won’t be back with the team, as he still has a player option he can exercise at a lower salary. Nick Cafardo reports on the situation, and also reports that the Red Sox have grabbed Gary DiSarcina from NESN to be a baseball operations consultant. Jeff Goldberg notes that the ball is now in Foulke’s court as to what he wants to do. Garry Brown seems to think that it is doubtful that Foulke will return to the team and looks at closing options for 2007. David Borges says that Foulke may decide he wants out of town and away from the Boston media, even if it means less money. Michael Silverman says that even if Foulke returns, the Red Sox are going to look externally for a closer.

Art Martone says that Theo Epstein has a busy offseason in front of him. Alex Speier says that the Red Sox have plenty of work to take care of, starting with the closer position. Jon Couture has Epstein prepping for plenty of house cleaning and a busy hot stove season. Mike Fine notes that even with the down year from the Red Sox, even a simple session like a informal sit-down with a new pitching coach can bring out the Boston media in full force. Silverman also reports on the re-signing of Alex Cora to a two-year contract.

Celtics

Both the Globe and Herald focus on Delonte West this morning, and with good reason. The third year guard has apparently been hampered by injury during camp and the early part of the season and it has shown on the floor, where West has shot 3-16 on the season thus far (.188) and has been a shell of the confident guard that we saw much of last season. Peter May says West is ready for a breakout game, and notes that the 6-4 West was banging with the big guys in practice yesterday, trying to boost himself. Mark Murphy also looks at West, and has Doc Rivers praising the fact that West is “nuts” and stating that he is close to a breakout game.

Bruins

The Bruins shook things up a little bit yesterday, sending goaltender Hannu Toivonen down to Providence. Fluto Shinzawa has reaction from the goaltender and a look at the situation for the Bruins, who traded away Andrew Raycroft this past summer and have seen their former goalie get off to a great start with the Maple Leafs. Matt Kalman and Joe McDonald have more on the demotion of Toivonen, who will get a chance to play more and work things out down there.

Other

Frank Dell’Apa has the Revolution and Dynamo right back where they should be this season, in the MLS final.

College Basketball previews are starting up and the Globe has a pretty good preview section up today, led by Jackie MacMullan’s look at BC’s Jared Dudley. IN the Herald, Rich Thompson has a look at Dennis Wolff and BU.

FSN has Celtics/Bobcats at 7:30. ESPN has Suns/Spurs at 8:00 and Pistons/Kings at 10:30.

BSMW 2006 Fall Fund Drive Day 2

It’s election Tuesday, and you can show your support of BSMW by participating in the 2006 BSMW Fall Fund drive. We got off to a bit of a slow start yesterday, with a total of $425 coming in. We need to average about $600 a day to reach the goal amount. Thank you to those to send along something. The winner of the $50 Staples gift card was John Mechem.

Today’s prize is a package of 50 ITunes Download codes along with a 2006 Patriots yearbook.

Again, all donations greater than $25 are eligible for the drawing. If you donate more than $25, you can get more entries…$50 gets you two, $75 gets you three and $100 gets you FIVE entries. You’ll also be eligible for the week one drawing on this Friday as well as the Grand Prize drawing at the end of the drive.

Thanks as always for your support.

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John Molori’s Media Blitz has an interview with Steve Lyons after his recent dismissal from FOX. Lyons’ name also was mentioned in a local gossip column as being under consideration for the Red Sox radio spot vacated by Jerry Trupiano. If that’s not a Dr Charles planted rumor, than I don’t know what is…

Michael Felger has his weekly report card, and Tom Brady scores a fat “F”. Ian Clark also has a Patriots report card, and the Pats QB gets a “D” from this professor. Michael Parente says that the Patriots performance against the Colts was a mixed bag, in all three phases of the game. Greg has a second look at the game film on the BSMW Game Day page.

Gerry Callahan writes that the Patriots did themselves in by abandoning the running game. Christopher L Gasper reaches a similar conclusion, but notes that that the third quarter rushing results were not productive and might’ve cause the playcalling to shy away from the run after that point. John Tomase also says that the Patriots curious playcalling decisions really hurt their cause against the Colts. Alan Greenberg says it’s easy to see why the Patriots lost the game: five turnovers. Plain and simple.

Shalise Manza Young notes that the Colts didn’t do anything new offensively in this game, the Patriots just couldn’t line up and stop them, even if they knew what was coming.

Steve Buckley talks to Troy Brown about his taunting penalty on the play in which he tied the team record for receptions. Brown notes that he’s never had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against him at any level of football. Buckley tries to show his tech savvy by throwing a YouTube reference in at the end of the column. Bill Reynolds assures us that the Patriots will get another shot in a big game, and the results could well be different next time. Christopher Price notes that the Colts have the edge in home field advantage for the AFC.

Albert Breer looks at an increased role for David Thomas since the injury to Daniel Graham. Chad Finn has a few leftover thoughts from the Patriots game.

Tomase’s notebook looks at the fears that Rodney Harrison may have suffered a torn rotator cuff against the Colts. That report initially came from the Lawrence Eagle Tribune. Gasper’s notebook has Belichick providing no details, as per usual, about the injury to Harrison. Young’s notebook does have Belichick praising those who replaced Harrison in the lineup. Parente’s notebook looks at a strange record breaking night for Troy Brown.

Red Sox

Sean McAdam and Jeff Goldberg have new Sox pitching coach John Farrell talking about the work he has in mind for his new pitching staff, especially young pitchers Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen. Kevin Thomas says that Farrell is here to work with the kids, many of whom will make up the core of the staff. Alex Speier reports that the Red Sox have got a new deal with infielder Alex Cora, while Nick Cafardo says a deal is close. Speier has quotes from Cora, so I’ll take his word. Cafardo is coming off a rough weekend in which he had to issue a correction for his woefully incomplete list of players in the 400HR/.300BA club that appeared in the Globe Sunday Baseball Notes column. The online edition of which has since been corrected. Joe Haggerty has a look at the chase for Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Bruins

The Bruins stumbled again, this time in Atlanta, where they dropped a 5-3 decision to the Thrashers. The Bruins came into the night 28th in the league in power play kills, and then handed Atlanta 11 power plays during the course of the night. As Fluto Shinzawa points out, that’s not exactly a formula for success. Stephen Harris says that this game was not nearly as close as the score would seem to indicate. Shinzawa’s notebook and Harris’ notebook each have GM Peter Chiarelli assessing trade options, but not ready to make any moves just yet, preferring to wait a little longer and learn more about the team he already has on the ice.

Celtics

Mark Murphy looks at Theo Ratliff taking part in a full practice for the first time in almost a month. Ratliff’s presence in the middle and defense and rebounding are qualities that this Celtics team desperately need right now. The article has Doc River noting a huge difference in practice scrimmages with Ratliff manning the paint. Peter May has more gushing from Rivers on what Ratliff can bring to the club. He notes that while Ratliff will certainly help, it will take a lot more from the Celtics to turn things around from this bad start. Scott Souza notes that Ratliff will also help the communication on defense, which has been lacking, and notes that for a positive, the Celtics showed improved ball movement against the Wizards on Saturday night.

Mike from the BSMW Full Court Press has a few thoughts on the rough start for the Celtics, and wonders whether bringing Wally Szczerbiak off the bench might be a consideration. If you missed it yesterday, I myself tried to figure out some reasons for why the Celtics haven’t been running in the early going over at the FSN Nothing but Net blog. In Murphy’s notebook, the search is on for a consistent third scorer for the Celtics. Right now Al Jefferson filling that role averaging 11 points a game in the first three games, but more is needed.

Other

Frank Dell’Apa looks at the Scottish roots in the MLS championship game between the Revolution and Houston Dynamo. Andrew Hush says defense was the key for the Revolution in getting the title game.

Mark Blaudschun has his ACC Notebook, where he observes that once again Boston College will likely miss out on a prestigious Bowl game after not taking advantage of the opportunity to improve their position.

Versus has Hurricanes/Devils at 7:00. ESPN2 has Toledo/N. Illinois at 7:30.

11.06.06 afternoon

Maybe the Colts smackdown of the Patriots has effecting the mood of people more than I thought. So far just one donation to the 2006 BSMW Fall Fund Drive, and if that holds up, that person will be the winner of the $50 Staples Gift card…if you get a chance, please consider sending along something to support the site.

Some afternoon links:

Glen Farley notes that if the NFL handed out championships in November, the Colts would be a dynasty. Tom King says that the trend had changed…the Colts are no longer afraid of the Patriots…at least in the regular season. Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots once again coming up short against the iron of the AFC at home. Hector Longo has more on the Colts defense showing a little something against the Patriots.

Rob Bradford says last night was pure Patriots football…Colts style. Ron Hobson notes that the Colts didn’t need Vinatieri to be their hero last night. Tom King has more of the more thorough articles on Vinatieri’s return to Foxboro.

McHugh’s notebook has a look at a rough night for the Patriots secondary. King’s notebook looks at the debate raging on…Brady or Manning?

John R Johnson says QB Matt Ryan is the key to BC’s ACC title hopes.

The Revolution are making another trip to the MLS finals, and with all the Patriots links this morning, they sort of got lost in the shuffle. Frank Dell’Apa has the account of the Revs beating D.C. United 1-0 to advance to the championship. Andrew Hush has the story in the Herald. Taylor Twellman scored the lone goal in the game, and Ryan Mink has the Revs forward deflecting attention on the matter. Hush’s notebook has the Revolution changing alignments for the game.

2006 BSMW Fall Fund Drive – Day 1

We’ll get to the Patriots links in just a moment, but first, welcome to the 2006 BSMW Annual Fall Fund Drive. Check the link for details and a full list of prizes.

We’ll be running the drive this week and next, and will be awarding a prize every day, in addition to a weekly and grand prize. Today’s prize is a $50 gift card to Staples, provided by BSMW reader “Walt”.

Donations of $25 and over are eligible for all prizes.

I thank you sincerely for your support. I couldn’t do this all without it. It would’ve been nice to kick this drive off with a Patriots win and everyone in a good mood, but unfortunately it didn’t happen that way.

Here’s your links, as depressing as they are after the 27-20 loss to the Colts:

Mike Reiss says this was a test that the Patriots didn’t come close to acing. Albert Breer asserts that the Patriots didn’t play that poorly last night, but mistakes killed them. John Tomase looks at mistakes costing the Patriots dearly as the Colts established themselves as the best team in football. Shalise Manza Young says that right from the start it was clear this wasn’t Tom Brady and the Patriots night. Alan Greenberg touts the Colts defense as the surprise of the game, as they seemed to have Tom Brady’s number all night. On the Patriots Game Day page, Scott Benson notes that this was like the Seinfeld episode where George and Elaine switch places. Chris Kennedy says that the Patriots have lost their edge against the Colts. Rich Garven notes that after years of struggling here, it seems Peyton Manning can’t lose now. Michael Parente agrees that the roles have been reversed in this rivalry. Mike Lowe says that Brady and the Patriots were unexpectedly ripe for the picking last night. Mark Farinella writes that the Colts were validated as Super Bowl contenders last night.

Tony Massarotti notes the role reversal on display last night as Tom Brady threw four interceptions on the big stage and Peyton Manning was cooly efficient. Ron Borges looks at Manning never losing confidence in himself despite the many previous loss to the Patriots. Jeff Jacobs says that the Colts certainly played well enough to deserve their 8-0 record, and Patriots fans might want to acknowledge that Peyton Manning is a winner after all. Jennifer Toland looks at Rodney Harrison going down with injury, creating a hole in the Patriots defense. Dan Pires notes that the Patriots had no answer for Peyton and Marvin Harrison all night.

Michael Felger looks at the what we can take out of last night’s game, including the fact that the Patriots aren’t as good as the Broncos and Colts, the team has a lot of work to do, and that the Patriots don’t have much of a home field advantage at Gillette. Christopher Price lists out 10 things we learned last night. Christopher L Gasper notes that Brady’s campaign for the office of best QB in football hit a rough patch last night. Lenny Megliola says that Gillette was like a wake as the fans filed out shortly before midnight last night. David Brown has more on the reception for Vinatieri. Steve Solloway says that the Patriots simply didn’t measure up last night.

Bob Ryan notes that after the last two weeks, the Colts are clearly the best team in football, and that they have a very realistic chance of running the table and going 16-0. Steve Buckley says Adam Vinatieri is relaxed and showing the Colts the way to winning. In a column clearly written before last night’s game, Jim Donaldson says he’d take Tom Brady over Peyton Manning. Amalie Benjamin examines a terrific night for Marvin Harrison. Paul Jarvey has Tony Dungy saying that his Colts are finding new ways to win games.

On a positive note, Breer comments on the Patriots defense tightening up quite a bit in the second half. Bob Duffy reports on Troy Brown becoming the Patriots all time leader in catches, and prompting a taunting call for which the official later apologized to him for making. Ian Clark notes that with his next win, Tom Brady will pass Steve Grogan as the QB with the most wins in franchise history. Farinella has more on Brown adding to his franchise legacy. Over the weekend, Eric McHugh had a good look at Pats Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. You can get the rest of the Sunday links from the local papers on this post from Patriots Game Day.

The Herald’s play of the game is the Marvin Harrison TD catch in the third quarter. They also list the problem of the game for the Patriots. Joe McDonald files his game analysis. Greenberg has analysis in his turning point feature. Felger looks at the Patriots being unable to stop the stretch play of the Colts. McDonald looks at the unstoppable Manning/Harrison combo for the Colts. Massarotti looks at the best and worst from last night. McDonald says that the tone of the game was set on the first two series by the Colts. Brown has Bill Belichick sharing in the loss with his team.

Jim Lazar looks at Brady and the Patriots letting their backers down.

Tomase’s notebook looks at Rodney Harrison going down with what appears to be a serious injury. The Projo notebook looks at Troy Brown becoming the Patriots all time leading pass catcher. Reiss’ notebook looks at the chilly reception for Adam Vinatieri. A second version of Tomase’s notebook, in the MWDN says that Daniel Graham’s injury could hurt his wallet. Kennedy’s notebook looks at a rough return for Vinatieri to Foxboro. Garven’s notebook looks at Brady’s winning percentage sitting at the top of NFL QB’s. Brown’s notebook has more on Troy Brown’s record breaking night. Parente’s notebook looks at the improvements the Patriots have made since the bye week, last night not included. Lowe’s notebook has more on Vinatieri’s reception from the Foxboro faithful. Farinella’s notebook looks at Billy Yates stepping in nicely on the offensive line.

Other Sports

The early going has been rough for the Celtics. With a loss to Washington on Saturday night, they fell to 0-3 on the young season. Steve Bulpett boils it down to no defense, and not running the fast break as two of the major reasons for the struggles. Shira Springer has the Celtics focusing on the need to come up with a win on Wednesday night against Charlotte. Get more Celtics news and notes on the new Celtics News Mashup page. Over on the FSN Nothing but Net blog, I’ve strung together a few ideas about why the Celtics have struggled in the early going.

Stephen Harris says that Peter Chiarelli and Bruins management needs to be patient with this club and note make any moves out of panic. Fluto Shinzawa looks at things around the club lightening after the 6-5 win over Tampa on Saturday night. Mick Colageo says Mike O’Connell did a couple things right in his final season with the Bruins by signing up Tim Thomas and P.J. Axelsson. On the BSMW Power Play, Mike looks at what we learned about the Bruins this week.

BSMW’s David Scott had a Q&A session with BC coach Al Skinner in this weekend’s Boston Globe Magazine. Michael Vega reports on a pair of Skinner’s players being suspended for violating team rules. Karen Guregian looks at the BC football team lamenting a wasted opportunity Saturday night against Wake Forest. Vega has more on the football team licking its wounds.

Joe Haggerty looks at Tim Wakefield ready to come back for his 13th season with the Red Sox.

Versus has Bruins/Thrashers at 7:00. ESPN has Raiders/Seahawks at 8:30.

Weekend Watch – Manning, Brady Square Off Again

Update – Check the Patriots Game Day page for complete links in the Sunday papers to Patriots stories.

The biggest regular season game of the NFL season thus far is this Sunday night as the Patriots clash once more with the Indianapolis Colts. This game has all the usual Manning/Brady, Belichick/Dungy, Defense/Offense matchups, with the new added twist of seeing Adam Vinatieri kick field goals at Gillette for the opposition. If the TV crew is smart, they’ll also have a “Bill Polian Cam” to see if the Colts president attempts to assault any Patriots employees or is slamming things around in the press box during the game.

This weekend, be sure to check in with the Patriots Game Day page. We had our weekly Roundtable discussion this morning, and will have a Bill Barnwell column on backup quarterbacks posted this weekend, as well as a gameday blog and recap on Sunday. Keep up with all the Patriots news and blog entries on the newly revamped (yes AGAIN) Patriots News Mashup page.

Get the coverage from Indy in the pages of the Indianapolis Star. The Star’s Colts Message board is also a fun destination.

Some other notes and items on the game:

Cold Hard Football Facts dug into the numbers and discovered that Tom Brady has a better passer rating than Peyton Manning – both in domes AND outside.

On ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, look for the “Who’s better, Manning or Brady” argument to be part of the “The Great Debate” segment. In addition, “Soundtracks” will feature highlights from the Patriots/Colts rivalry from the last few seasons.

Bill Simmons really hates the Colts.

With the Patriots/Colts game on their network, the NBCsports.com website is sure to have plenty of coverage. They’ve already got a number of articles on the game, including a piece from Tom Curran who wonders what would happen if Tom Brady and Peyton Manning switched teams. Curran’s blog should be a good read as the weekend goes on.

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

* A one-on-one interview with Richard Seymour to preview the Colts game.

* A look inside the Patriots locker room to find out why the Minnesota victory was extra special for Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.

* Bill Belichick shows how play action is a vital part of the Colts offensive game plan on the Belestrator.

Household ratings in Boston/Manchester market for Monday’s Patriots game:
ESPN 16.3 / 26
WCVB 10.8 / 16
WMUR 2.0 / 3

A reminder – If you didn’t get a chance to check out the BSMW review of the new Charlie Pierce book on Tom Brady – Moving the Chains – you can find it here. If you decide purchase the book, keep in mind that if you buy it through that Amazon link, BSMW will get a small portion of the sale.

I’ll be redoing the Red Sox News Mashup and Celtics News Mashup (done) pages shortly, with a Bruins one on the horizon.

The Boston Phoenix had advice last week for those who would rather have wine with their football instead of beer.

Weekend Viewing Highlights

Friday
7:30pm – Celtics/Pistons, FSN
8:00pm – Cavs/Spurs, ESPN
10:30pm – Sonics/Lakers, ESPN

Saturday
Noon – Breeders Cup, ESPN
7:00pm – Celtics/Wizards, FSN
7:00pm – Boston College/Wake Forest, ESPN2
7:00pm – Bruins/Lightning, NESN

Sunday
1:00pm – Bengals/Ravens CBS4
1:00pm – Cowboys/Redskins, FOX25
3:00pm – NASCAR Dickies 500, 7NBC
4:15pm – Steelers/Broncos, CBS4
8:15pm – Patriots/Colts, 7NBC

Here’s the weekly maps of the national TV coverage for the NFL:

CBS Game 1

CBS Game 2

FOX Single Game

Here’s the full college football schedule.

Sports Media Columns from around the country:

New England

Susan Bickelhaupt checks in with Andrea Kremer, who will be working the sidelines of Sunday night’s Patriots/Colts game for NBC. David Scott checks in with his weekly installment of Scott’s Shots. This week’s topics include another look at the Borges article in Boston Magazine, comments on the Red Auerbach tributes on opening night, a MySpace page to support Jon Lester, and ESPN ombudsman George Solomon. Bill Doyle has a look at FSN expanding its HD availability to central Massachusetts with a new deal with Charter Communications. He also previews another Patriots prime time game. John Molori’s Media Blitz garnered reaction on the passing of Red Auerbach from a number of media figures. George Solomon, the ESPN Ombudsman, checks in this week with comments on his network’s coverage of the Miami/FIU brawl, the Cory Lidle tragedy, sideline reporters, and boxing.

New York

Phil Mushnick says that ESPN finally woke up for last Monday’s Patriots/Vikings game and delivered a quality broadcast centered on football. Andrew Marchand says that the Harold Reynolds/ESPN mess may get a whole lot messier, as the former Baseball Tonight analyst has hired a private investigator, possibly with the aim of bringing to light skeletons in the ESPN closets. Marchand also has five questions with Charles Barkley. Bob Raissman lays into the MSG Network for being nothing more than shrills for the Knicks. Neil Best tries again to decipher who is right and wrong in the ongoing battle betweenthe NFL Network and cable companies that refuse the carry the channel under the terms it is demanding. Richard Sandomir looks at a new high tech way to watch the NYC Marathon…through your PC.

East Coast

Michael Hiestand has a look at Kelly Hayes, who has served as Al Michaels’ spotter in the booth since 1978. He also notes that over at the NBC Sports website you can download the spotting board the broadcast crew will use for Sunday night’s game. Aaron Bracy has a few things that are bothering him in the sports media world this week. Laura Nachman has a Philly radio station upset that they haven’t gotten Eagles coach Andy Reid on their show yet. Chris Zelkovich looks at the Raptors less than ideal TV situation. Jim Williams has praise for the Ravens pregame show. Hiestand also has a look at tomorrow’s coverage of the Breeders Cup, which will be on ESPN after 22 years on NBC. William has more on the Super Bowl of Horse Racing.

South

Barry Jackson gives us his winners and losers in the NFL broadcast world as we come up on the mid point of the season. Jim Sarni looks at 34 Heat broadcasts on Sun Sports/FSN being fully produced in both English and Spanish. Dave Darling looks at Orlando’s WHOO facing the same problem many AM stations have when the sun goes down…they lose their signal. The station has a plan to try and overcome the problem. Barry Horn looks at the Cowboys possibly facing a “flex schedule” change on December 10th against New Orleans. David Barron reports on the Jim Rome show remaining on the Houston airwaves, and former NBA player Mario Ellie taking a shot at the broadcast world while awaiting a coaching job. in Barron’s blog, he muses over whether Calvin Murphy should be brought back into the Rockets broadcast booth.

Midwest

Ed Sherman looks at NBC trying to land the Bears on one of its “flex schedule” Sunday nights down the stretch of the NFL season. A logical choice would be the Patriots game on November 26th, but FOX isn’t going to let that one go without a fight. Judd Zulgad says that just because Comcast has taken over as the main cable provider in the Minneapolis area, viewers shouldn’t assume that the NFL Network will now quickly appear on their sets. Bob Wolfley reports on the Milwaukee Brewers search for a new television voice. There is no shortage of options available as over 60 people have applied for the position. Jeffrey Flanagan says that Larry Johnson was close to having had to sport an orange mohawk after an Xbox live matchup with Chad Johnson.

West Coast

Larry Stewart looks at FOX lining up a UCLA Bruin (Terry Donahue) and a USC Trojan (Pat Haden) in the same broadcast team for the January 2nd Orange Bowl telecast. Tom Hoffarth reports on Jose Canseco starting a new life as a reality show star. He also slams ESPN for taking Chris Fowler off College GameDay this week and having him call the Breeders Cup action instead. Stewart has more on ESPN’s coverage of the Cup. Jim Carlisle has more on College GameDay going ahead without Fowler this weekend. John Maffei hopes that Tony Kornheiser follows through on his statement that this might be his only season on Monday Night Football. Maffei asserts that the Washington Post columnist has not added anything to the telecasts. Joe Davidson looks at Raiders voice Greg Papa dabbling in the side calling a high school football game. Papa probably wanted to see a higher level of football than he’s seen in his regular gig this season…

The 4th annual BSMW Fall Fund drive begins on Monday. Thanks in advance!