A few items and thoughts leftover from this weekend and this morning…
I thought that the CBS team of Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon wasn’t horrible yesterday. I was prepared for Gannon to be annoying, but he actually was better than I thought he’d be. In any event, the pair was certainly better than the Dick Enberg/Randy Cross and Matt Vasgersian/JC Pearson teams that we’ve had the last couple of weeks. I guess I’ve become spoiled on HDTV, because watching the Patriots on a regular broadcast just wasn’t the same.
The Patriots offense was by no means great yesterday, they didn’t look as smooth as you would like at this time of the year, but to judge them solely on how many total yards the offense had (Hi Peter King!) isn’t totally fair. When you’re starting out at midfield most of the day, you’re not going to have many 75 yard drives on the afternoon.
Peter King has his Monday Morning Quarterback column, but if you want less pop culture and more actual football notes from yesterday, then ESPN.com’s The Last Call might be more your speed. Jim Williams has a look at the best lines on the NFL pregame shows from yesterday.
Peter Gammons was on ESPN Radio (MP3 file) with Dan Patrick last week during the Daisuke Matsuzaka talks and had these interesting comments:
Peter Gammons: …Boston is such a mean-spirited city, that you get…the media is praying for him to be hit hard – or a lot of it, and I think that there are fans, that just, they want to prove that boy it’s tough to play …we’re really tough – it’s tough to play in Boston.
Dan Patrick: You think the Boston media wants him to get roughed up?
Gammons: Oh, I think a lot of it does, yeah.
Patrick: It’s just a better story?
Gammons: Yeah, it’s a better story, I just think there’s a Les Misérables cult in Boston, moreso than any city in the United States. Moreso than Philadelphia moreso than any other city…
A few noteworthy links from the weekend:
- Gordon Edes had a terrific behind-the-scenes look at the wooing and signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka.
- Rob Bradford has his own look at how the Red Sox bluffed Scott Boras.
- Mike Fine had a look at Tommy Heinsohn’s 50 year association with the Celtics, and notes that the 72 year old Hall of Famer is “having a blast living and dying with his Celtics.”
- Doug Most thinks that Tom Brady and David Ortiz’s teammates should be furious with them for helping out the enemy during the season. Is he serious? He compares it to Bill Gates helping out Steve Jobs. This piece struck me as being written by someone who has no idea about the relationships between pro athletes.
- Chad Finn weighs in on the Nuggets/Knicks brawl on Saturday night and a number of other items.
- Richard Sandomir analyzes the Knicks announcing team’s performance during the fight.
- Seth Mnookin has an interesting post title today: “Murray Chass and the shaky ethics of the sports section.”
I liked this letter to the editor in Saturday’s Globe:
Advice to a young pitcher
December 16, 2006
IF DAN Shaughnessy were really interested in giving Daisuke Matsuzaka useful advice (Sports, Dec. 14), his first pointer would have been to avoid talking to or thinking about Dan Shaughnessy.
The way the Patriots handle the injury report has been a source of criticism from frustrated media types and opponents such as Bill Polian. For this reason, Gary Kubiak’s comments on the Patriots use of the list are worth noting here:
Kubiak said Friday that the Patriots’ methods make them one of the tougher teams to prepare for in the National Football League.
“I’ll tell you one thing about them. You’re not going to know a lot heading into the game,” Kubiak said. “They don’t tell you much. It makes them difficult to prepare for. They have some guys banged up, but you don’t when they’re coming back.
“You don’t know when Rodney is coming back, or the nose (tackle Vince Wilfork), or the running back (Laurence Maroney). None of them could be back or all of them could be back. There have been a few times I’ve played them when you didn’t what they were going to do. I think that’s one reason why they’ve been so successful.”
Some have called the Patriots’ ways tricky, others go as far as cheating, but few in the NFL have a problem with how Belichick and Co. handles their business.
“No, I think they do it exactly the way it should be done,” Kubiak said when asked if the Patriots stretch the rules with their injury report. “They do it fine, very smart on their part. It makes it difficult on your part, but that’s the way the game is.”