Weekend Watch – Divisional Playoffs Edition

It’s onto the Divisional round for the NFL playoffs this weekend, and the Patriots are headed out to San Diego to take on the very impressive Chargers.

As usual, your place for game day links and post game reaction is the BSMW Patriots Game Day page. You can also consult the Patriots News Mashup for the latest headlines and blog entries across the web on the Patriots.

The out-of-town links:

Patriots All Access will air a live, playoff edition from San Diego at a special time, Friday at 7PM on WCVB-TV. Among the highlights…

  • It’s been a great week to be a University Florida receiver in Foxboro. The Patriots Fab 4 gets together and gives us their thoughts on their alma mater, as well as their development with the Patriots and Tom Brady.
  • Linebacker Don Davis goes into the film room to show some of the reasons why the Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson is the NFL’s MVP.
  • Mike Lynch catches up with Patriots linebacker and former Chargers icon Junior Seau in San Diego.
  • Bill Belichick shows us on the Belestrator why the Chargers are deserving of the # 1 seed.
  • Jacksonville Jaguar defensive lineman Marcellus Wiley will be live to breakdown the match-up.

WBZ-TV has all your action on Sunday, starting with an hour-long Patriots GameDay at 11:30 am. College basketball (Illinois/Michigan State) fills the time while FOX shows Bears/Seahawks (1:00 pm) until CBS has the NFL Today at 4:00 leading into Patriots/Chargers at 4:30. Patriots Fifth Quarter comes on immediately following the game.

Tom Brady’s Playoff Moments

The Patriots quarterback is 11-1 in the playoffs and 3-0 in Super Bowls. ESPN’s NFL Countdown on Sunday will look back at the greatest moments in Tom Brady’s playoff career.

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Weekend Viewing Highlights

Friday
7:30pm, FSN – Celtics @ Raptors (HD)
7:30pm, NESN – BU @ Maine (Hockey)
8:00pm, ESPN – Wizards @ Hornets (HD)
10:30pm, ESPN – Rockets @ Nuggets (HD)

Saturday
2:00pm, TV38 – Virginia @ Boston College (hoops)
2:30pm, NBC – Bruins @ Rangers
4:30pm, CBS – Colts @ Ravens (HD)
7:30pm, FSN – Celtics @ Pistons
8:00pm, FOX – Eagles @ Saints (HD)

Sunday
1:00pm, FOX – Seahawks @ Bears (HD)
4:30pm, CBS – Patriots @ Chargers (HD)

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Speedlinks For The Weekend

Mike Reiss had a Boston.com chat on Friday, looking ahead to Sunday’s playoff game.

Bill Simmons has his weekend picks, but only after handing out a series of awards for the Wildcard round first.

Clark Booth says that this Chargers/Patriots game could be the real Super Bowl. A surprisingly coherent column from ol’ Clark.

Cold Hard Football Facts has their predictions and also the Media Releases from each remaining playoff team.

Chad Finn was a huge Chargers fan as a kid, and has the evidence to prove it.

The Talking NFL blog makes fun of Chargers fans.

ESPN’s Patriots – Chargers Playoff Page.

Don Banks’ Divisional Playoff Preview.

FoxSports/Football Outsiders Divisional Playoff Preview.

Football Outsiders AFC Second Round Playoff Preview by Aaron Schatz

CBS Sportsline Patriots – Chargers Page.

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Media Links from around the Country

New England

John Molori talked to NBCSports.com’s Tom Curran about the transition from the newspaper world to the land of online media. John Howell talks to Dick Enberg, who feels he still has plenty in the tank, and to Brett Hull, who makes his debut as NBC’s new lead NHL studio analyst on Saturday. Susan Bickelhaupt has Phil Simms talking about Sunday’s Patriots game and saying that New England doesn’t fit the underdog role in this one. David Scott has a look at Peter Gammons warming up for his “Hot Stove, Cool Music” event. Andrew Neff reports on Bangor’s all sports station gearing up for their first annual “WZON Hot Stove Baseball Night” on Tuesday. As part of the event, Joe Castiglione takes the stage with Boston Globe sportswriter Gordon Edes at 7:10 p.m. Bill Doyle reports on the naming of the radio voice of Worcester’s new Continental Indoor Football League team, the New England Surge.

West Coast

Jay Posner has a look the comments by Phil Simms and Jim Nantz from a Chargers perspective. He also notes WEEI’s mocking of the Chargers pep rallies being held this week. John Maffei has more on the analysis by Simms and a number of other NFL items. Larry Stewart has more on Nantz, whose life seems to be a series of big sports events, one after the other. Jim Carlisle notes that the current Colts really have no idea of the significance of the team’s return to Baltimore this weekend to play the Ravens. Tom Hoffarth looks at how the David Beckham signing will affect the Galaxy’s broadcasts going forward. Stewart also reports that NBC’s pregame show, “NHL on NBC Countdown to Faceoff,” will air only on broadband via NBCSports.com. Joe Davidson notes that Raiders critic Adam Schefter was right after all about Art Shell’s firing.

New York

Phil Mushnick wraps up a week of steroids, slipups and kiosks in the big apple. Neil Best notes that Joe Torre and Tom Coughlin both learned who their friends in the media are in the last three months. Andrew Marchand reports on Kevin Burkhardt’s rise from car salesman to field reporter on SNY’s Mets telecasts – all in three years. He also has 5 questions with Jim Nantz this week. Richard Sandomir imagines what Tiki Barber’s future employment will really look like. Bob Raissman says that parity is ruining the game for the NFL viewers, as the quality of play in last weekend’s wildcard games would attest.

More East Coast

Aaron Bracy has Dick Stockton taking a strictly business approach to the broadcast booth – no shots, no celebrity visits, no talk show feel. Just the the game. Laura Nachman looks at Comcast Sportsnet’s “Eagles Post Game Live” which has become one of the most popular shows on the network. The cast includes Michael Barkann, Ray Didinger, Vaughn Hebron, Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and Derrick Gunn. Michael Hiestand has a look at TNT’s plans for advertising during NASCAR events without leaving the race. He also has a bit on Skybox element – a innovative idea from CSTV. Jim Williams has Dan Dierdorf talking about Ravens/Colts in Baltimore’s first real national exposure this season. Bracy also has an email interview with Drexel play-by-play announcer Dan Baker about his role there and also as PA announcer for the Eagles and Phillies. Chris Zelkovich has TLN experimenting with calling an NHL game in Italian.

South

Barry Jackman has Tony Kornheiser looking to improve and be more assertive in his second season on Monday Night Football. Dave Darling examines the two year feud between FSN Florida and Bright House Networks. He also has a BCS wrap and a weekend preview. Jim Sarni says that Patriots/Chargers is the game to watch this weekend. He’s got a whole lot of other information from the week as well. David Barron has more thoughts from Dan Dierdorf and Phil Simms on this weekend’s games.

Midwest

Ed Sherman compliments Bears radio announcer Tom Thayer’s ability to tell the listener something they didn’t know. Bob Wolfley notes that Milwaukee finished second to Pittsburgh in terms of TV ratings for the local NFL club. Dan Caesar has sports radio KFNS shaking things up in its lineup. Jeffrey Flanagan reports on Bill Grigsby being out as host of Kansas City Sportshow after 52 years.