Weekend Watch – Five Years of BSMW

It’s hard to believe, but last Sunday marked the 5th Anniversary of Boston Sports Media Watch.

Yes, the site has been here for 5 full years. Looking back at the very first post, (which I never thought anyone would ever read) I see that I knocked Dan Shaughnessy and said that that WEEI was unlistenable. Man, I guess some things just never change.

It’s been a great five years in Boston sports. Since the site launched in April, 2002, We’ve had the Patriots winning Super Bowl 38 and Super Bowl 39 and the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series. Those memories will always remain.

Along with the championships, here were a few other news items from the last five years that were really huge in terms of the Boston sports media and this site:

The passing of Red Auerbach was off course huge news as well, but I was out of town when it happened, and unable to post extensively on the coverage.

Last May, I posted about the things I had learned in the first four years of BSMW, they all still hold true.

Observing the Boston sports media is a monumental task. There’s so much going on all the time, and it’s impossible for me to see, hear and read everything. But I try. I’m going to keep on doing it as long as I possibly can, as well. I get plenty of help and support from all of you, the readers. I appreciate it so much, and ask you to keep it coming!

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to get into the Don Imus story. I think everyone else in the entire world has already weighed in on that one, and Imus wasn’t even relevant anymore to begin with in my eyes. When I went to SI.com today and saw that the lead-in for Dr Z’s mailbag was “My thoughts on the Don Imus situation…” I knew this thing had oversaturated everything.

WEEI has been talking about it non-stop for days. WEEI is at their very worst when they attempt to discuss “real world” issues or issues that involve the media. I tune in every little while to see if they’re still on the subject, and when I hear that they are, I switch it right off.

That’s enough of that.

The Mike Felger show on ESPN Boston today was a nice diversion. Especially when they played the clip of Terry Francona announcing the changes to the pitching rotation that now has Matsuzaka pitching Tuesday, and someone close to the microphone saying “Jeesh.” Maybe you had to hear it for yourself…

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If you’re interested in learning more about me than you possibly wanted to know, Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal conducted an interview with me earlier this week for his web site.

With the help of YouTube, Dan Lamothe looks at the Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Stupid of Drew Bledsoe’s career.

Bill Simmons unleashes a nearly-3500 word effort on the shame of the Celtics. He’s not drinking the Danny/Doc Kool Aid, and like many is amazed at the free ride those two get in Boston simply because they’re so good with the media.

Zagat has listed a dozen restaurants you can dine at that are close to the finish line of the Marathon.

Albert Breer examines the list of college players that the Patriots are known to have had visit Gillette Stadium and why the team might be interested in each of them.

Tom Curran breaks down the outside linebackers available in the draft.

Bill Barnwell on Football Outsiders has a look at the offseason movement in the AFC East.

OK, two Imus links. Here’s the Jason Whitlock AOL column everyone is talking about on the topic. He also had one in the KC Star earlier this week.

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Here is WBZ-TV’s coverage schedule for Monday’s Boston Marathon:

5:00AM – Highlights in WBZ-TV’s morning newscast
8:00AM – Live pre race coverage begins
9:00AM – Mobility impaired race
9:25AM – Wheelchair race
9:35AM – Elite women’s race
10:00AM – Elite men’s race and wave 1 of all other runners
10:30AM – Wave 2
WBZ-TV’s continuous marathon coverage runs until 3:00PM. In addition, www.wbztv.com will have footage from live cameras along the route from 10:00AM to 3:00PM

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National Sports Media Columns

New England
David Scott notes that the painful “Voice of the fan” segment on NESN with Jack Welch will be brought back again this season. He also has mote on the Herald’s hiring of Rob Bradford. Susan Bickelhaupt has WBZ-TV as the only local station providing wall-to-wall marathon coverage this year. Bill Doyle looks at the major markets of Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles being missing from the NHL playoffs, and what that means for NBC and Versus, who are carrying the games. Andrew Neff has a look at Maine native Gary Thorne enjoying his new role as Baltimore Orioles’ television play-by-play announcer. Jim Baker has Tommy Heinsohn looking ahead to better times for the Boston Celtics and a few other notes. ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber urges the network to cut back on the shouting that seems to mark so many of it’s programs.

New York
Phil Mushnick weighs in on all the principals in the Don Imus situation, noting that we should just name every second week of April National Hypocrites Week. Bob Raissman says that the suits are just as guilty as Imus in how all of this went down. Neil Best looks at what’s next for WFAN as they try to replace Imus, who really helped get the station off the ground 20 years ago. He recommends that the station hire Jason Whitlock to replace Imus. Richard Sandomir has a look at sponsors lining up for the May 5 fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pat Reichart has Colin Cowherd apologizing for requesting that his listeners take down the site TheBigLead. He also has Five Questions with ESPN baseball analyst Dusty Baker.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy of USA Today debate on the changes to the ESPN Monday Night Football booth, and both weigh in on how they would improve the broadcasts. Leonard Shapiro offers up some post-Masters musings on the CBS telecasts. Laura Nachman looks at the Imus firing and reports on a new morning host on Sports Radio 950-AM. Bob Smizik has KDKA sports anchor John Steigerwald landing his own show on WTZN-FM. Chris Zelkovich has CBC streaming more and more sporting events on their website, the latest being the NHL playoffs. Jim Williams has CBC legend Don Cherry bringing his unique style to the NBC NHL playoff coverage. He also has Dusty Baker talking about Jackie Robinson.

South
Barry Jackson says that NBC 6’s deal with the Dolphins shortchanges viewers when the tough questions aren’t asked of team officials during exclusive programming. Dave Darling looks at the offbeat offerings on the weekend on Orlando sports radio. He also weighs in on the hot topics of the week, including Imus and Colin Cowherd. David Barron checks in with recovering Rockets broadcaster Jim Foley, who has been on the job 32 years, but still trails his partner, Gene Peterson, who has been calling Rockets games for 35 years.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has Nielsen Media Research issuing a mea culpa to FSN North for ratings numbers for the Wild, Timberwolves and Gophers men’s hockey games, a week after saying the numbers were correct and there would be no adjustment. Eric Morath has FSN Detroit pulling a juggling act with the Tigers now in action and the Red Wings and Pistons both expecting deep playoff runs. Bob Wolfley has a look back at some of the memories of Jackie Robinson in Wisconsin, mostly during times when the Dodgers would play the Milwaukee Braves. Teddy Greenstein looks at Brady Quinn getting out to an early lead in the rookie marketing and merchandising race. Dan Caesar looks at viewers complaints about Channel 5’s shoddy coverage Sunday of the Cardinals’ World Series championship celebration.

West Coast
Larry Stewart notes that the Anaheim Ducks aren’t getting any love from NBC in the network’s playoff coverage. Jay Posner has ESPN’s Joe Morgan talking about the first time he met Jackie Robinson, and what he meant to him. Tom Hoffarth has more from Morgan on Robinson. John Maffei has a look at ESPN’s extensive coverage on the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color line in baseball. Jim Carlisle says that the Don Imus story reminds us that we are far from the golden era of broadcasting. The web page for the paper that Carlisle writes for has undergone a very nice (and much needed) re-design. Carlisle also has a bit on the ESPN coverage of the Robinson anniversary. Stewart’s notebook has HBO starting their four-episode reality series Sunday to help promote the May 5 Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight. Joe Davidson notes a few recent incidents which remind us that if you use slurs in your speech, you’re likely to lose your job.

Weekend Sports Highlights

Friday April 13th
7:00pm, NESN – Angels @ Red Sox
7:30pm, FSN – Bucks @ Celtics
7:30pm, TBS – Marlins @ Braves
8:00pm, ESPN – Pacers @ Heat
9:00pm, Versus – Stars @ Canucks
10:30pm, ESPN – Lakers @ Suns
10:30pm, Versus – Wild @ Ducks

Saturday April 14th
1:00pm, NESN – Boston College @ Maryland
3:00pm, NBC – Penguins @ Senators
3:00pm, CBS – Verizon Heritage
3:55pm, FOX – Angels @ Red Sox
7:00pm, TBS – Marlins @ Braves
7:30pm, Versus – Islanders @ Sabres
7:30pm, TV-38 – Toronto FC @ Revolution

Sunday April 15th
1:00pm, NESN – Angels @ Red Sox
1:00pm, NBC – Flames @ Red Wings
1:00pm, ABC – Bulls @ Wizards
2:00pm, FOX – NASCAR Nextel Cup – Samsung 500
3:00pm, CBS – Verizon Heritage
3:30pm, ABC – Spurs @ Mavs
6:00pm, Versus – Senators @ Penguins
6:00pm, FSN – Celtics @ Magic
8:00pm, ESPN – Padres @ Dodgers
9:30pm, Versus – Canucks @ Stars