Hawaii on Horizon for Eight Patriots

There are worse places in the world than Cancun to be stranded while the Northeast undergoes a huge snow and ice storm. Originally scheduled to come back on Sunday, the storm grounded all flights to Boston from where we were, forcing us to extend our stay by two days.

Back in the cold, I’m tanned, rested and ready to settle in and watch the Boston winter sports scene unfold over the next few months. It promises to be an eventful time.

David Scott reports this morning on a front office shakeup at Comcast SportsNet, and also comments on the NCAA’s new live-blogging policy.

Eight Patriots received word yesterday that they will be recipients of a tropical vacation of their own come February as they were named to the AFC Pro Bowl roster.

Over on Patriots Daily, Scott notes something that six of the eight Patriots Pro Bowl selections have in common.

Mike Reiss has Rodney Harrison talking about his eight teammates who received the honor yesterday. John Tomase has the eight selections tying a team record set in 1985. Mark Farinella says that the Patriots that are going to the Pro Bowl are all worthy selections. He’s just glad Chris Hanson didn’t make it. Shalise Manza Young cites Ty Warren and Wes Welker as two deserving Patriots who weren’t honored. David Heuschkel notes that it is fitting that three of Tom Brady’s lineman join him in Hawaii. Christopher Price says that the Patriots can’t really use Pro Bowl snubs as motivation this season.

Tomase also weighs in with his latest Tale of the Tape review of Sunday’s game. Steve Buckley says that not all of the 1972 Dolphins are obsessed with the Patriots efforts to join them in the record books. Eric McHugh has his Patriots Report Card, and adds that we shouldn’t expect the team to let off the gas in the final two weeks of the season. Bill Burt has Welker fooling even the experts. Lenny Megliola has even Miami fans feeling hopeless about this Sunday’s game. Reiss’ notebook examines the Patriots fantastic four at linebacker, who looked fresh against the Jets despite their increased workload.

Mitchell Report

The fallout from the Mitchell report continues, as Roger Clemens broke his silence and denied the allegations laid forth in testimony given by his former trainer that he had injected the Rocket with both Steroids and HGH during his time with the Blue Jays and Yankees. Gordon Edes has the statement from Clemens, while Dan Shaughnessy says that it’s hard not to jump to conclusions with Clemens.

Largely lost in this whole mess has been the media’s role in the entire steroid era. If you missed it, in the Editor and Publisher, Joe Strupp examines How, Years Ago, Baseball Writers Blew the Drug Scandal. Well worth the read.

Celtics

The Celtics will face their first test of the young season when they take on the Detroit Pistons tonight at the Garden. Jeff Horrigan says everything has changed since these two teams last met. Desmond Conner says that the Celtics next 15 games will tell us whether this club is for real. Peter May has Ray Allen giving the Celtics a lift with his return to the lineup tonight. Jeff Howe says that the Celtics are sacrificing personal stats for the good of the team.

Tony Massarotti has a mini-feature on Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who has pressed all the right buttons thus far this season. Scott Souza has Allen confident that his shot will return to form after giving his ankle some rest. Over on the BSMW Full Court Press, Mike Brilliant offers up a Celtics Report Card for last week.

Horrigan’s notebook has more on Allen returning tonight. May’s notebook has the Celtics cutting rookie forward Brandon Wallace in order to get some salary cap flexibility for the stretch run.

Bruins

Fluto Shinzawa has the account of the Bruins 3-2 loss to the Senators last night. Bud Barth says that the lack of goal scoring is really hurting the Bruins right now. Steve Conroy says that the Bruins just weren’t good enough to keep up with the conference leading Senators.

Kevin Paul Dupont has B’s coach Claude Julien commenting on his team’s recent sloppy slide. Dupont also has a look at the Bruins latest cult hero, 19-year-old Milan Lucic, who has shown a willingness to mix it up. Rich Thompson has more on Lucic. Dupont also has the Bruins receiving an encouraging report on Patrice Bergeron.

Shinzawa’s notebook has defenseman Andrew Alberts suffering from headaches, which sidelined him last night. Barth’s notebook has Tim Thomas sitting out another game last night. Conroy’s notebook has more on Alberts being scratched.

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