Easterbrook Speaks

(Afternoon Links provided by Guest Blogger: David Vidinha. Dave can be reached here.)

Bill Belichick’s favorite sports columnist Gregg Easterbrook was interviewed this morning on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan. The interview itself was around ten minutes in length. D & C asked Gregg to elaborate on some of the ridiculous comments he’s made in his recent Tuesday Morning Quarterback columns.

Easterbrook reiterated his belief that the destruction of the videotapes by the league proves there was something to hide. He also says that although he has no proof, he’s continuing to pursue the story. Gregg also states that the reason this issue (CameraGate) is no longer being discussed (really Gregg, no longer?) is due to the fact that sports writers are not investigative journalists. He also goes on to say he’s surprised the Boston Globe or the New York Times are not digging deeper into this story (Gregg, ever think that there actually may be no “juicy” story).

Easterbrook also believes that teams will now do what they can to knock down Tom Brady (easier said than done) if the Pats continue to “run up” the score on opponents. While Gregg did not advocate an opponent purposely trying to injure an opposing player he did say he would not be surprised if this will be something an opposing player may try.

A funny moment is when Gregg discusses the strategy he would employ to stop the Pats running it up, which would be to call a “double safety blitz”. This seems like a great strategy, but isn’t one of Brady’s greatest assets his ability to read coverages and set up protection? Why then would he fall for a “double safety blitz”? Easterbrook also used the Peter King defense when Gerry Callahan asked him if he had “a hair across his ass for Belichick”. Easterbrook’s reply was that when he wrote a glowing article about Belichick two years ago for NFL.com no one accused him of having an agenda. I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that but in any case a pretty lame defense.

Keeping with the Easterbrook theme, Gregg has his latest edition of Tuesday Morning Quarterback. In this week’s installment, Gregg manages to praise Belichick saying “No one draws up a better game plan than Belichick.”

He then addresses last week’s “Good vs. Evil” column saying “After the column posted, I felt badly that I had not made clear I was being satirical — that was my failing as a writer — because, after all, none of us has the slightest idea what is in the hearts of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.”

He even says this “I apologize to Brady for complaining that he smirks — saying this is an insult, and although it’s fine to criticize public figures, insults are childish. (Remember, my argument is not with the New England players, it is with bad sportsmanship and cheating.)

This is unbelievable, can Gregg truly be apologizing for his ridiculously biased columns, is the world ending, are pigs flying, I’m honestly nervous right now. Then I read the following sentence and I knew the world was OK.

“I even toyed with apologizing to Belichick, since comparing him to Beelzebub was a tad overloaded. But then I watched Sunday’s game and thought, Belichick is exactly what I said!”

Perfectly put Gregg. Return to your childish insults, this will surely cement the fact that you are unbiased.

Speaking of unbiased, over at Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp attempted to consult the unwritten rules to see which ones the Patriots are actually breaking in runupthescoregate. The problem is, none of these unwritten rules are actually written, which kind of makes things difficult.

Matt Mosley asks his readers if “Belichick has company?” by compiling a list of coaches who are notorious for running up the score.

Somehow the editors over at Fox Sports didn’t read Easterbrook’s column last week. They have as the lead story on their website “Good vs. Evil” Complete with photo-shopped horns and tail on Belichick. Wow, way to be creative guys.

This Good vs Evil, Patriots vs Colts theme has even made it to one of the biggest non-sports blogs out there, The Daily Kos.

Around the Web

Mike has a Celtics season preview over on the BSMW Full Court Press.

Ken Rosenthal has a few suitors in the A-Rod sweepstakes, even speculating that A-Rod will still be in New York next year. Jeff Passan does the same, giving you A-Rod’s top 10 destinations.

Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus has a great Hot Stove Preview for the AL East.

Tony Dungy stands by his CameraGate comments.

Within this sports media column, Charles Barkley gives his opinion on the Nielsen ratings system.

Michael Silver has his 32 Questions.

Mike Reiss has his weekly mailbag.

Get out your wallets, TO’s Sharpie, yes that notorious TD celebration Sharpie is up for sale.

Dan Lamothe over at Red Sox Monster has a look at this years World Series through the eyes of the Mario Brothers.

A writer from the Toronto Star agrees with my assertion that Fox dropped the ball on the World Series with their continued live in-game ads.

Darren Rovell recalculated how many free tacos Taco Bell handed out yesterday. I think the most disturbing thing is that people will actually wait in a line for over 20 minutes to get something valued at around $1, its totally fascinating stuff. Can you imagine if they were giving away something valued at $10? There would be riots.

Reggie Bush is getting sued again by the former aspiring sports marketer.

“(The Red Sox) played like they wanted to win the World Series.” – John Kruk Now that’s some hard hitting analysis Johnny. That and more in this week’s Media Circus.

Awful Announcing has the announcing teams for the NFL games this week. No surprise for the Pats-Colts game. If you’re traveling this weekend and you hope to catch the game, you may want to avoid the Houston area.

In closing we get the “Video Clip of the Day”. In today’s clip we get to see the greatest sports agent/salesman in the world make a case why A-Rod deserves in excess of $30 million.

To steal a line from one of my favorite movies…

He can “sell a ketchup popsicle to a man in a white suit”, Ladies and Gentlemen, Scott Boras…

Take it away Scott….

Tonight on TV

I’m running a little short on time, so I will direct you here for tonight’s lineup.

Lovely Day For A Parade

Sorry folks, but I’m Riverdanced-out.

The rolling rally went through the streets of Boston yesterday, with periodic stops for Jonathan Papelbon to dance and go wild, much to the delight of the masses gathered to watch their heroes. On TV, viewers were treated to more inane comments from news people trying to cover a sports related event. The highlight of the afternoon at this address was Manny Ramirez speaking to reporters one last time in before heading out for the winter.

Boston fans now have today and tomorrow to exhale before jumping into Friday night’s debut of the new-look Celtics, followed by Sunday’s showdown of the unbeatens in Indy.

Jeff Horrigan offers up the top 10 golden moments from the 2007 season, leading off with Clay Buchholz’s no hitter against the Orioles. John Powers says that the pieces are in place for what would be a dynasty in this day and age. Gordon Edes and Amalie Benjamin say that it appears that Curt Schilling will not be back with the Red Sox next season. Schilling himself talks about the situation on 38Pitches, even listing the teams that he is considering for next season.

Alex Speier notes that this was a home grown title for the Red Sox. Joe Haggerty says that the Sox have work to do with Schilling and Mike Lowell. Horrigan’s notebook says that the Pirates have not contacted the Red Sox about speaking with John Farrell for their open managerial job.

Patriots

Mike Reiss says that since the Patriots and Colts last met, New England has overhauled both sides of the ball, adding speed to try and counter the Colts. John Tomase says the difference between the two clubs this season is how they are handling garbage time…which is another way of saying that the Colts have been every bit as dominant as the Patriots this season, they’re just not running up the score. Shalise Manza Young observes that in this matchup, the Patriots are now seen as the bad guys. Mark Farinella says that the Patriots march through the NFL is making them plenty of enemies eagerly awaiting payback.

David Heuschkel has the CBS’ analysts for Sunday’s game talking about the Patriots season and actions thus far. Douglas Flynn looks at how the Patriots and Colts have actually taken parallel paths to success. Eric McHugh has some midterm grades for the Patriots.

Reiss’ notebook leads off with Bill Cowher talking about the Patriots tactics, and also has a number of other items. Tomase’s notebook has more comments from Cowher, but you’ve got to love the comments from Phil Simms at the end.

Celtics

Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics depth after the trio will determine how far they are able to go this season. Mark Murphy has John Havlicek coming in to speak to the Celtics yesterday, and Kevin Garnett, for one, hung on every word from the Hall of Famer. Jessica Camerato has Garnett offering praise on Rajon Rondo, who had his contract extended by a year yesterday. Marc J. Spears has more on Garnett enjoying the experience of being around the Celtics legends.

Other

Mark Blaudschun notes that it will be a reversal of fortune when Florida State comes to town this weekend, hoping to play the role of spoiler to Boston College. Steve Conroy says that the BC receivers will be challenged this weekend. Blaudschun’s notebook looks at possible Bowl destinations for the Eagles.

Fluto Shinzawa says that the Bruins will now need to find a way to divide up Patrice Bergeron’s duties. Stephen Harris says that the two-game suspension handed down by the league on Randy Jones for the hit on Bergeron is a joke. Harris’ notebook has Manny Fernandez suffering a knee injury in practice yesterday.

Brought to you by….

(Afternoon Links provided by Guest Blogger: David Vidinha. Click here to email Dave. )

Today’s afternoon links are brought to you by Foxwoods. “Lets live for the wonder of it all, meet me at Foxwoods

As I attempted to stay up and watch the Red Sox complete a four-game sweep of the totally overmatched Rockies, I couldn’t help but think to myself, why exactly is this game was being played at such an utterly ridiculous time. I know, I know, call me a prude, I cannot stay up past 11:30PM to watch my beloved Red Sox, poor me. No seriously, how many people on the East Coast truly enjoyed watching a baseball game of such importance finish at an average of 12:30AM? Not me certainly, but in the big scheme of things, my or your opinion on this matter means nothing.

How many kids had the ability to watch at least one complete game of this World Series? I’m going to go out on a limb on this one and say not all that many. I’m 26 years old and for me to stay up past 1:00AM on a weeknight, with a 4:00AM wake up time looming over my head, is a near impossibility. Well, at least without the help of our sponsor, Dunkin Donuts, “America Runs on Dunkin”.

The following paragraph is brought to you by Giant Glass “1-800-54-GIANT

The reason the World Series, the end all series of America’s pasttime didn’t begin until 8:40PM EDT was simply due to money. Fox had to recoup the ridiculous sum of money they shelled out to have the rights to broadcast baseball’s Fall Classic, and we helped pay the bill. As Sports Illustrated’s John Donovan wrote last week “Why not a 7 p.m. first pitch instead of 8? The game still would be on in prime time. And, if people missed anything, it might be the start of the game instead of the end.” “But that doesn’t take into account the large TV markets on the West Coast, where a 7 p.m. East Coast start time comes at the beginning of rush hour in L.A., and a 3 1/2 hour game barely creeps into prime time.” You get it, its because of those damn people on the West Coast. For some reason the NFL doesn’t seem to care about this when they schedule the Super Bowl.

Not only do we pay by having a later start time, but the commercials themselves run longer than normal. A normal commercial break between innings during the regular season runs 2:25, during Fox’s coverage of the postseason those same breaks were now 2:55. That’s an additional 18 minutes and we haven’t even taken into account the naturally longer games that are played in the postseason. In addition to all of this, we have all the live ads during the game. It’s one thing for there to be incessant commercials but the in-game drops are ridiculous. This year Fox took it to a whole new level with their Taco Bell promotion. As you all know, if a member of either team stole a base, America would win a free taco. The only problem is that it appeared as if Fox did all they could to tell you about this promotion, during the game! Even digging so low as to get Red Sox bat-boy Royce Clayton “miked up” to get into a “discussion” with Jacoby Ellsbury about the promotion. Again, I understand the need for corporate sponsors but this has gone to a different echelon in the past few years. Try and survive a Red Sox radio broadcast, it’s not that much better. They have a sponsor for every word that comes out of Castig’s mouth. I’m actually nervous that next year Joe will sell the rights to “Can you believe it”.

Ultimately, what does this all mean for us the viewers, well nothing of course, we are powerless. I guess we will just have to adjust and accept it. Look on the bright side, if you or your child was unable to watch the entirety of the four World Series games, you can head on down to the streets of Boston and catch the rally. All you need to do is skip work, have your child play hooky from school and you’re on your way. After you watch the Bank of America sponsored “Rolling Rally” remember that from 2 to 5 you can get that free taco Fox has been telling you about. Also, make sure to catch up on your sleep, because the way this Sox team looks, we might just be having some sleepless Octobers again next year.

From the Monday Must Reads….

Peter King talks to multiple people from around the league to get an opinion on this week’s Pats-Colts matchup.

Michael Silver discusses his week in London for Giants-Dolphins in Morning Rush.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio is convinced that the Pats are running it up on opponents in this week’s 10-Pack.

Around the Web

Tom Curran has part one of a three-part up close series on Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Mayor Menino somehow injured himself holding the World Series trophy, I’m not kidding, this rolling rally is some serious stuff.

Bill Simmons describes his feelings on the Red Sox second World Series.

Don Banks says that the Pats are indeed running up the score, and there’s nothing anyone in the league can do about it.

Anyone accusing the Patriots of running it up should read Tandler’s Redskins Blog.

The Yankees have hired a new manager.

Curt Schilling has began writing “Good Bye” letters to his Red Sox teammates.

Not surprising news, but Fox managed to “squeeze” five games worth of commercials into the Red Sox four-game sweep of the Rockies.

The Patriots “running up the score” is now an official topic for ESPN’s fantasy guru Matthew Berry to take a swipe at. Unfortunately for “The Talented Mr. Roto”, he lacks credibility when he does it the week after his Redskins were just decimated by the Patriots. Hey Matt, maybe Bill has Brady and Moss on his fantasy team?

Michael Silver reevaluates his prior opinions on Randy Moss.

ESPN has their weekly power rankings.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell has a look at who might be in the A-Rod sweepstakes, but from a financial standpoint.

Jon Heyman has four current Red Sox players on his list of the 15 most superb postseason performers since ’69

Sabernomics takes a look at the Detroit Tigers newest acquisition, none other than former Red Sox temporary shortstop Edgar Renteria.

Fox Sports Adam Schein has his midterm grades for all 32 NFL teams. I bet you can’t guess what the Jets grade was.

Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan says that there are so many intriguing story lines for this year’s baseball offseason.

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Donovan says that both the Red Sox and the Rockies are in a position to contend for years.

Major League Baseball had an statement in regards to the “A-Rod Announcement.”

Mr. Irrelevant does his best to channel Gregg Easterbrook for this post.

Finally, the best highlight from ESPN’s coverage of the World Series….

Peter Gammons and his thoughts on A-Rod

Tonight on TV

Not much going on with the local teams tonight. There are two NBA games and an NHL game if you’re interested. For a look at tonight’s action, check here.