Day Three Wrap

The Boston media is out in force in Arizona this week, but not all those who have covered the team all season are out there for the biggest game of the year.

GateHouse Media, which operates eight daily newspapers (and dozens of weekly papers) in Massachusetts, including the MetroWest Daily News, the Quincy Patriot Ledger, the Brockton Enterprise and the Taunton Daily Gazette, has declined because of cost reasons to send any reporters to the Super Bowl in Arizona. That means writers like Douglas Flynn, Eric McHugh, and Glen Farley, who have been on the Patriots beat this year are home this week while their papers run wire copy stories from the AP.

Christopher Gasper had a chat from Arizona on Boston.com today. Hector Longo says that Steve and Zak DeOssie are on top of the world this week. Manny Ramirez will be at the Super Bowl, apparently thanks to the Patriots. Peter Gelzinis chastises Mayor Menino for talking about the parade plans for the Patriots next week.

Michael Silver examines The Belichick Way. Ira Miller has a look at the Patriots coaching staff. Len Pasquarelli focuses on Dante Scarnecchia. Charles Robinson writes about the kinder, gentler Tom Coughlin.

Peter King offers up his thoughts on Eli Manning, and five things from today.

Jason Cole says that Jason Cole lets his play do the talking. Wright Thompson and Jemele Hill each have articles on Randy Moss.

SI.com also has Dr. Z’s Positional Breakdown for the game.

Tonight’s Patriots/Super Bowl Programming

6:00PM, NESN – Globe 10.0
6:30PM, CSN – Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight – 30 minute special live from Glendale
7:00PM, NFLN – NFL Total Access at the Super Bowl – Live from NFL Experience
8:30PM, NFLN – Playbook Hosted By: Sterling Sharpe & Brian Baldinger
Topics:
* A look at the Patriots’ defense and how they will try to generate pressure to keep Eli Manning off-balance.
* Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg explains why the Patriots might be able to slow down the Giants’ run game.
* Why could the Pats secondary be exposed by the Giants?
9:00PM, NFLN – Super Bowl Classics – Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills
9:00PM, CSN – Road to Perfection Special – 1 hour live special from Glendale
10:00PM, NESN – SportsDesk
10:00PM, CSN – Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight – 30 minute special live from Glendale
11:00PM, NESN – SportsDesk
11:00PM, NECN – Sports LateNight
11:30PM, NESN – Globe 10.0

Mid-day Links, Day Three

Tom E. Curran talks to Bob Kraft about how the Patriots were constructed.

Mike Sando has part one of an exploration into whether Tom Brady is the greatest QB of all time.

Len Pasquarelli examines how Bill Belichick’s defensive system cherishes veteran linebackers.

Cold, Hard Football Facts has New York’s blueprint for victory. Pat Kirwan would like to take the Giants, but his head says otherwise. Troy Aikman says that the Giants best plan might be to just let Laurence Maroney run wild. Ron Borges says that the Giants are going to have to play a whole lot better if they have any chance of beating the Patriots. At least he doesn’t pick the Patriots to win 73-0.

Don Banks is impressed with how Randy Moss has conducted himself in interviews with the Patriots. Mark Kriegel is also impressed with the new Moss. Clark Judge is waiting for Moss to show up in a playoff game. Jim Corbett has Moss hoping to play a key role on Sunday. Pasquarelli reports that because of a technicality in the CBA, the Patriots cannot talk to Moss about an extension until the start of free agency.

Jemele Hill says that the ladies love Teflon Tom. Alex Marvez examines the celebrity-level scrutiny that Brady is now under.

Kevin Hench is puzzled by a Matt Cassel quote about how he’d rather play four quarters and lose Sunday instead of one snap and win. Scott Zucker checks in with Lonie Paxton.

Gregg Rosenthal has 16 reasons the Patriots will win Sunday. He also has 16 reasons the Giants will win.

Jason Cole has an unhealthy fascination with Logan Mankins’ beard.

Down to Business

Morning Links submitted by guest blogger Brian. Reach him here.

One would think Media Day has special significance for some, especially those who dabble in the realm of sports media; unfortunately, that’s just not the case for me. Media members from every possible outlet throughout the country are allowed free reign to make wedding proposals, ask Bill Belichick music and movie questions, and in particular this year, try to elicit 19-0/dynasty comments from your New England Patriots. However, amidst a media contingent nearly double that of the Giants, the Pats players didn’t stray much from addressing the one-game season, albeit with some “humorous” back-and-forth throughout the course of the day. It’s unfortunate, because I was starting to like the jovial, endearing Bill Belichick we have seen the past few days, but I for one am excited to get down to business and start breaking down this game in the coming days. Sadly, no more images of Brady’s potential future wife.

Patriots

Over at Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp echoes my feelings exactly, and while wanting to start the game amidst the hype overkill, it is a great problem to have if you’re a Pats fan.

Dan Shaughnessy gets us started with a recap of the scene with snippets on Bob Kraft, Belichick, Brady, and Moss. Karen Guregian touches on the charming and talkative Randy Moss yesterday, who discussed his desire to retire a Patriot, as well as his plans to make his presence felt this Sunday far more than his previous two playoff games. John Tomase takes a look back at Moss’ big game against the Giants back in week 17. Shalize Manza Young has more on Moss enjoying his long-awaited first Media Day. Josh Egerman has Moss and Robert Kraft reflecting on the process that brought Moss to New England. Mark Farinella has more on the chatty and upbeat Moss from Media Day. Dave Goldberg takes a broader approach to the Patriots players performance yesterday, saying almost all of Belichick’s veterans are an extension of the coaching staff both on the field and off. David Heuschkel takes a deeper look into Belichick’s press conferences, and how the local media has adapted to dig deeper for meaning into his daily pressers.

Mark Farinella has Brady coming off as the real winner yesterday, with his smooth and thoughtful responses on every topic. Tony Massarotti talks more about Brady’s performance yesterday, as he handled all types questions with ease. Barry Wilner highlights the two “seasons” the Patriots endured this year, as the first half was filled with blowouts and superlatives, while the second half of the season had close games and “blueprints.” Troy Bown…remember him? Steve Solloway has Brown discussing his fifth Super Bowl with the Patriots, and reflecting back on previous games where he had a much larger role. Mark Farinella has Brown appreciative of the opportunity to be at yet another Media Day, even with his diminished, aka nonexistent role. Shalize Manza Young has more on Troy Brown’s emotions yesterday. David Brown has an interesting piece on Vince Wilfork’s freakish athleticism. Steve Buckley has Tedy Bruschi thinking back to Media Day in 2004, when he took on Warren Sapp for disparaging comments about guard Russ Hochstein. Tony Massarotti has Asante Samuel playing the role of Ty Law as shut-down corner in the Super Bowl. Buckley also does a nice piece on Jarvis Green’s friendship with Marquise Hill, and how the team has tried to keep him in their thoughts in Arizona. Jim Donaldson does a piece on Patrick Sullivan, the son of former owner Billy Sullivan, and his feelings on the Pats success since the Kraft family took over.

Yesterday was also a day of both teams trying to scrape up some bulletin board material, and neither team is going to have a shortage of that, thanks in part to some loose lips and ridiculous book promotions through the local media. See what happens with two Parcells disciples? Karen Guregian has the Pats players planning to do their talking on the field, after hearing about Plaxico Burress’ prediction of a 23-17 victory for the Giants. Dan Ventura has some of Burress’ coaches and teammates unaware of his victory prediction. For all you superstitious Pats fans out there, turn away now, as the Boston Globe and Herald were yesterday promoting books celebrating the Patriots undefeated championship season. In fact, Carol Beggy has a brief piece on the Herald’s “hypocrisy” for calling out the Globe yesterday, while they themselves had a championship book available through Amazon.com as well. The Giants also have a championship book on the website for pre-order. Riveting material here for the respective bulletin boards. Although John Tomase has a quick hit on the Giants choice of black suits upon their arrival in Arizona, as it represents a funeral for the Patriots perfect season.

Jennifer Toland’s notebook has more on the wedding proposals during the circus yesterday. Guregian’s notebook has the Pats secondary discussing the challenges they face in trying to contain Plaxico Burress, who burned them in the first game this season. The Projo’s notebook touches on Brady’s ankle, as well as the front office enjoying the moment of Media Day, and of course references the book pre-sale issue. Heuschkel’s notebook discusses Dean Pees and some potential bad blood between him and the former Uconn coach in 2003, and Matt Light accusing Bob Costas of coaxing Osi Umenyiora into his comments on “Inside the NFL” last week.

Giants

Don Amore has a piece on the spark Ahmad Bradshaw has provided the Giants. Shalize Manza Young has more on Burress’ prediction and some Pats non-reaction. Don Amore also has Burress confident in his team’s chances this weekend. However, Steve Conroy has the Giants glad that everyone is, wait for it…”disrespecting” them, and not giving them a chance as they fly “under the radar.” I’m sorry, but you can’t have it both ways, and it looks like the Giants want to have every angle possible, from “nobody gave us a chance,” to guaranteeing victory by a certain score. I guess this is what happens when the media gives all 53 players a chance to answer 300 pointless questions. Amore has a nice piece about the support Eli Manning received from John Mara following their playoff loss to the Eagles last season. Robert Lee discusses the story of Zak DeOssie, son of Steve DeOssie, and former ball boy for the Patriots during their Super Bowl run in 2001, now long-snapper for the Giants against his hometown team. I’ve always found this to be a fascinating story, as the elder DeOssie has done a nice job in balancing pride in his son with his allegiance to the Patriots. Although it would be nice to be a fly on the wall during some private conversations about football between the two. Conroy’s notebook discusses the changed Tom Coughlin this season, and the flu that has passed through the Giants locker room this week.

Red Sox

Oh yea, the Johan Santana sweepstakes came to close yesterday too, with the Mets landing the best lefty in the game. Gordon Edes talks to some Red Sox executives about the deal yesterday, and doesn’t get the sense they are terribly disappointed they didn’t make the deal, especially since he won’t be wearing pinstripes. Michael Silverman applauds the Sox front office and baseball ops for pushing the envelope with this deal and keeping Santana away from the Yanks.

Celtics

And the Celtics played last night too! Minus the services of Ray Allen and KG, the Celts rallied for an absolute beating of the Miami Heat down in Florida, 117-87. Steve Bulpett breaks down the impressive performance from the Celtics bench last night. Marc Spears has more on the big win coming after the heartbreaking loss to Orlando on Sunday. Bulpett’s notebook has Ray Allen headed to the hospital to receive fluids for the flu. Spears notebook also discusses Allen’s flu, along with the potential landing spot for Damon Stoudamire.

Over on the BSMW Full Court Press, Shirley Coshatt compares the ’08 Celtics to the ’86 Celtics.

Bruins

The Bruins also played and won in Boston last night, 3-1 against Nashville. For complete coverage of last night’s game, check out www.bruinslinks.com.

That’s all for this morning, Bruce will be posting updates throughout the day. Feel free to shoot me any comments at [email protected]