Weekend Watch – Bowl-ing Season

Reminder: Check out the Sunday links on the Patriots Game Day page…

It’s another busy holiday weekend of sports viewing on tap, with more football – both college and NFL than any fan has a right to ask for. The Bowl game season is upon us, with 15 games scheduled between now and Monday. In cities that do not have a home game scheduled, (including Boston) the NFL will be showing doubleheaders on both CBS and FOX on Sunday.

We’ve got the BSMW Game Day Roundtable posted for this week, as we review the Jacksonville win and look head to Tennessee and the playoffs. Check in Sunday morning for links to the stories in the weekend papers and Sunday night for a Rear View of the Patriots/Titans game.

Keep up with the Patriots coverage on the Patriots News Mashup. You can check in on the view from the opposition on the pages of The Tennessean.

Basketball and Baseball news can be found on the Celtics News Mashup and the Red Sox News Mashup.

Here’s your full College Bowl Schedule, complete with the network that will be carrying each game. It even has links to the official website of each Bowl game.

A couple of other schedules for the next couple of days – The Boston.com Weekend TV/Radio Sports listings and the HD Sports Guide.

Here’s your coverage maps for the final week of the regular season:

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Bill Simmons has his week 17 picks, which includes the following:

TITANS (-3) over Pats
Tom Brady is playing hurt. And I don’t mean emotionally. You don’t sail throws over the heads of open receivers for four straight months unless (A) you’re Jake Plummer or (B) something is physically wrong with you. There’s no other explanation. He’s hurt. The season is going to end in Baltimore in two or three weeks, and three days later, the Patriots will quietly announce that Tom Brady just had a successful surgery at Mass General for a broken left clavicle or a fractured right wrist or something. Anyway, the Titans have covered 10 of their past 11. And you know why? BECAUSE VINCE YOUNG JUST WINS FOOTBALL GAMES! That’s why.

Shira Springer’s Friday feature on Celtics rookie forward Leon Powe is a worthy read.

In his weekly Boston.com chat, Mike Reiss answered questions on the Patriots as they head into the regular season finale.

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A caller to the Paul Perillo/Steve Burton morning combo today suggested that Bill Belichick is headed to the New York Giants after this season to seek a new challenge. He presented as evidence the fact that the head coach wore an AFC East Champions hat following the game against the Jaguars last Sunday. He had never done this before and this, coupled with a number of “strange” quotes and incidents this season convinced the caller that Belichick was trying to savor every moment this season because he knows he’s gone following the season. Burton was immediately convinced and worried about the situation. To set Burton’s mind at ease, rather than immediately concluding that the caller was correct, how about considering the following about why Belichick might’ve chosen to wear the hat Sunday:

It was all about the SITUATION

  • Huge game for both teams
  • Extremely close and physical game against a very chatty team
  • His team had played one of their best games against a team that had absolutely dominated at home all year
  • They put the game away somewhat dramatically on some huge plays in the 4th quarter, including a last minute strip sack.
  • Christmas Eve
  • So he celebrated with everyone else and put a damn hat on!!

In addition, the whole “Moving on to a new challenge” thing is always overrated by the media in my mind, especially with Belichick. Isn’t it just as big a challenge to stay here and continue a run of greatness? To build a true dynasty? An argument can also be made that it’s a greater challenge to win AFTER so much success, player/coach comings and goings, having the “champion” bullseye on the club, constant injuries, etc. than it is to win the first time. If Belichick is truly only concerned with “challenges” there’s plenty here.

I’ve also always had the impression that Belichick likes the area, and has a good relationship with the owners. He has a comfort level here. His kids are here. I don’t see a reason to leave. It says here he isn’t going anywhere.

Tom Curran also dismissed the notion of Belichick to the Giants on the 10-2 show today. Then Steve Buckley brought it up to Peter King on the same show as “something making the rounds.” King replied that there wasn’t a lot of logic to the notion. At all. King actually the most salient point I’ve ever heard from him. “This story is alive because the media can’t figure out the answer.”

This article in the New York Daily News by Ralph Vacchiano is the source of many of these rumors.

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A reader who wishes to remain nameless is frustrated by the Boston College coverage in town:

I’ve bit my tongue for a long time. But when are you going to do an article on how much of a free pass BC gets in the Globe and all over Boston?

Is anyone ever critical? Jim O’Brien (the basketball guy) leaves in a huff and then his namesake leaves in slightly different circumstances … but with almost the same writing on the wall — problems with the AD.

Mike Vega is a joke. He had an article this week on BC bowl games and how they “don’t travel well.” Wake up and smell the coffee! He references the Cotton Bowl of the Flutie Era. Earth to BC Alums ….. You will never see that era again. Get over it. BC and Eastern schools in general aren’t going to be yahoo like the other schools in the ACC or SEC or even WVU!

If they hit a really big bowl and play for something …. very doubtful in the BCS era ….. people from Boston College (and the local BC “subway alums” … to grab a phrase from ND) will travel. Other than that ….. no one cares.

I know Boston is a PRO town … but after hearing the “Al Skinner Show” tonight on EEI with Ted (the apologist) sticking up for how valiant BC played in Kansas. And then they lose tonight to Duquesne — the team that was almost wasn’t!

Do me a favor …. note the “negative” comments M. Vega makes about BC in a season. The contrast to Borges is shocking even when the college to pro context is taken into account.

I can’t speak as to whether this guy is on with all his points, but I admire his passion on the topic.

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Here’s your sports media columns from around the country:

New York/New England

Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at Pam Ward, who will be doing play-by-play for ESPN in the Meineke Car Care Bowl tomorrow between Boston College and Navy in Charlotte, N.C. Phil Mushnick advises the ESPN Monday Night crew to shut up and watch the game, and notes that “ESPN is our TV Story Of The Year. What ESPN has long been moving toward – its self-destruction as a cherished sports network – was, in 2006, nearly completed.” Neil Best has a look at FOX getting set for their four of the five BCS bowl games. Andrew Marchand hands out his 3rd annual “Golden Clickers” awards for the best and worst in sportscasting for the year. He has 5 Questions for one of the winners, YES and ABC lead hoops analyst Mark Jackson. Richard Sandomir has a review of MSG’s 10 part series “The 50 Greatest Moments at Madison Square Garden.” John Howell has a further look at the growing pains of the NFL Network.

More East Coast

Michael McCarthy has CBS’ lead announcing team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms already making preparations for their first Super Bowl together. McCarthy also looks at Bowl coverage, Brett Hull joining NBC’s NHL coverage and a little back and forth between the FOX and CBS NFL pregame shows. Chris Zelkovich has winners and losers from the 2006 world of sports media. Jim Williams has a look at some big changes in store for sports TV in 2007. Joanne Gerstner has a look at the Detroit sports talk radio firing season continuing. Tim Lemke has ESPN saying that getting Monday Night Football was well worth the investment.

South

Jim Sarni leads off with a look at the NFL “double doubleheader” this Sunday. Dave Darling takes a look at the top sports-media stories of 2006. David Barron reports on the NFL Network still seeking an outlet in the Houston area. Barry Horn looks at the Cowboys place in the NFL Films series America’s Game – reviewing the top 20 Super Bowl champions weekly on the NFL Network. He has some other NFL Films tidbits and a look at FSN trying to get into the High School football game in Texas.

Midwest/West Coast

Judd Zulgad says that former ESPN staffer and current vice president of player personnel for the Vikings Rick Spielman should take a bigger role in dealing with the media and taking some of those duties away from coach Brad Childress, who clearly isn’t interested in carrying them out. Ed Sherman has more on FOX taking on big time college football for really the first time as a network with the upcoming BCS Bowl games. Jay Posner leads with “The Dave and Jeff Show” getting a run at a third different station in the San Diego area. He also has a little perspective on ESPN’s Monday Night Football numbers, which the network is touting as the highest rated cable TV series in history. John Maffei talks to Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton about the movie “We Are Marshall.” Hamilton was personally involved in the Marshall tragedy. Joe Davidson has his sports media wishes for the new year.

As 2006 winds down, I want to thank everyone for another great year at BSMW. I’m looking forward to 2007 as it will be the 5th anniversary of the site, making this site an old-timer in the blogging world.

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