Schilling Can’t Go

It looks like a lot of the work on the site move will get started this afternoon, so it’s possible the site could be down later today. When we take the site off of this server and move it to the new one, it’s going to involve a DNS change, which can take 24-48 hours to propagate, and that’s when the site will be unavailable to most.I’ll try to keep you posted.With the uncertainty of the site availability here, I’ve posted on Patriots Daily a column entitled The Most Miserable 18-1 Season in History, which believe it or not, has nothing to do with the Super Bowl.

Yay, a Red Sox controversy to take our mind off football! The first one of many sure to come along this season. Curt Schilling has a sore shoulder. There was all sorts of speculation yesterday about the team trying to void his contact and whether he was going to have surgery or not. Gordon Edes and Rob Bradford report that even though Schilling isn’t going to undergo surgery, he will be out for a long time, and his pitching future is in doubt. Joe McDonald and Sean McAdam report that this injury could end Schilling’s career.

Nick Cafardo and Michael Silverman examine how this injury will impact the Red Sox rotation.Bradford has a feature on the Red Sox players who are working out at Athletes’ Performance in Tempe, Arizona. He also runs through a day in the life at the center.

Peter May has a feature on Kevin Garnett’s return to Minnesota tonight, even though the Celtics superstar is not expected to play. Steve Bulpett talks to Kevin McHale about the Garnett trade, and the ‘Wolves GM has no regrets about it. Mark Murphy has a look at Tony Allen starting to get his legs under him again.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Comcast SportsNet bringing their Celtics coverage to a new level.

Fluto Shinzawa and Jeff Horrigan have Glen Murray hoping to get back in the Bruins lineup tonight in Buffalo. Shinzawa’s notebook has Alex Auld hoping to another chance in net soon.

Pat Bigold has Asante Samuel wishing to stay with the Patriots, but saying that “it’s gonna take a lot” to keep him here. Bigold also has Mike Vrabel defending Bill Belichick leaving the field with a second left on the clock. Douglas Flynn has hard look back at the Super Bowl. Robert Lee says that the Patriots will need to aggressively rebuild their defense for next season.

Fortnight From Hell

(Thoughts on this season that wasn’t from guest blogger Bob Ekstrom. Reach him at [email protected])

I have to give it to Bruce for being our first responder, trying to restore order to the chaos and carnage of last Sunday. Now it’s up to the rest of us to dig out of our personal rubble. For me, it was a hellish fortnight that began when I realized the road-warrior Giants were the designated visiting team in Super Bowl XLII, this being an even-numbered year. Then, Johan Santana signed with the Mets eight weeks after the Twins asked for Jon Lester’s medical records, a leading indicator that a trade for the Coco Crisp package was imminent. Days before the Super Bowl, the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol, thereby providing Kobe Bryant with newfound passion and earning him comparisons to our beloved Tom Brady. I never want to see those two names in the same sentence again, but it does seem plausible that Phil Jackson will break the tie with Red Auerbach yet. To kick it all, my son decided to paint his new room in Patriots blues, reds, and grays, courtesy of Lowe’s. It seemed we were tempting fate by immortalizing a perfect season upon his walls before perfection was achieved.

At about 6:30 Sunday night, the Patriots lost the coin flip and didn’t see the ball until his bedtime. Then, all hell broke loose.

Since Sunday night, I’ve searched for my therapy in front of the radio, rather than turning to websites or newsprint. Airwaves carry the voice of the real fan, and some were bound to express my sentiments. But now, I no longer want to hear that the Giants outplayed the Patriots. I saw that for myself. It doesn’t help me get over the fact that the Patriots should not have been outplayed, that the better team did not win. It may be sour grapes, but I’m a fan before a writer. Vic Carucci feels my pain, even as Logan Mankins says there are more important things than football. Are you kidding? Christopher L. Gaspar has Coach Belichick not dwelling on this one, either. Hey, I need these guys to be in the dumps until I’ve gotten up. Mike Vrabel and Dan Koppen understand that.

I also don’t need more complaints about the FG that was never attempted, or an O-line that provided as much resistance against the Giants’ rush as those turnstiles at the T do to the commuter rush. The bottom line is that our team got the footing for victory with 2:42 remaining, then ceded it. The end came 1:27 later, when a potential fourth-and-fifteen morphed into a first down with the Eli-to-Tyree catch, now preserved in Super Bowl lore as The Escape. 18 games, 58 minutes, and 45 seconds of perfection fell by the wayside when Rodney Harrison could not make that football do the same.

Karen Guregian puts Sunday’s loss in its quantitative perspective, but she also goes one better in addressing the emotional damage it could inflict on New England’s future. I’m down, but not that down. As one Giants fan pointed out in a call to WEEI this week, it took a super-human effort and all the bounces to set this team back. Already looking forward, Mike Reiss suggests that Randy Moss could be franchised, making the offense seemingly as potent next year. And, as they did after a fourth quarter defensive meltdown last year, Belichick and Scott Pioli should have one marquee defensive acquisition up their sleeves this year. Unfortunately, it might not involve keeping Asante Samuel.

Like my fellow Pats’ fans, I’m still alive, and if this one didn’t kill us, maybe it will make us stronger. For the time being, I’m still not ready to go into my son’s blue, red, and gray room quite yet.

A New Beginning

Sometime over the next week or so, BSMW will be offline for while. We’re moving to a bigger and better server, and also getting a re-design. The current front page has been here since 2004, making it pretty ancient in terms of design.

The new look is quite different, so I’m warning you now, though there will be many familiar aspects remaining, plus some new features.

During the time that Bostonsportsmedia.com is offline, the message board will still be up and running, as it is hosted on a different server and on a different domain. My email will also remain up and running, so you can continue to contact me as normal.

Patriots Daily will still be running, (and will be a good place to check for status updates) but Scott’s Shots and the BSMW Full Court Press will be down while BSMW is down, and possibly longer as there will be more configuration needed for those sub-sites. The Links sites will all remain up and running.

I’ll try to keep you posted as I get more information about the timing of the changes.

The Celtics held off the Los Angeles Clippers at the Garden last night to maintain their perfect record against the Western conference. Check the stories at CelticsLinks.com

The Bruins next play tomorrow night in a rematch with the Sabres. Check Bruinslinks.com for more.

Things seem to be getting back to football matters finally, as John Tomase and Mike Reiss look at some offseason decisions facing the Patriots.

Even down in Philly they’re not taking kindly to Senator Arlen Specter’s antics regarding the NFL and Spygate. Will Bunch says that the situation is even worse than it appears on the surface.

Spring Training actually starts next week, a stark reminder that the baseball season is soon upon us. We’ve still got spots open on the BSMW Travel Club trip out to California with the Sox as they take on the A’s in the Oakland home opener. It’s a great chance to get an early start on spring. We’d like to get the trip wrapped up by the end of next week, (the 15th) so if you’re thinking of going, please contact us using either the booking form or you can email [email protected]. You can also call Sun Valley Travel directly, just mention you’re interested in the BSMW package.

CSN Goes HD Full-Time, HBO Drops INFL

Comcast SportsNet, the home of the Boston Celtics on TV, announced today that the network will have a new full-time HD channel on Comcast systems.

Depending on your location, if you are a Comcast HD subscriber, you should see the new channel at 852 or 779.

This means now that all Celtics road games will be telecast in high definition, starting with Friday night’s game against the Timberwolves. CSN notes that they are also “working with all cable operators to make HD road game telecasts available to all consumers.”

In addition, there will now be Celtics On Demand, featuring live game replays (posted for 24 hours) and original Celtics content, available to all Comcast subscribers.

Comcast SportsNet will telecast 34 remaining home and away Celtics games in HD along with Celtics Pre-Game Live, Celtics Post-Game Live, Celtics Now and Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight as well as other programming. To celebrate the launch of Celtics’ away games in HD, Comcast SportsNet is sponsoring a fan appreciation night tonight when the Celtics host the Los Angeles Clippers at TD Banknorth Garden and giving away certificates for two HDTVs at the game.

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After 31 years on the air, HBO has pulled the plug on the venerable Inside the NFL series.

HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg, who joined the network’s sports division one year after the debut of INFL, announced today that the season finale of Inside the NFL, which is set for tonight and will recap the New York Giants Super Bowl victory, will mark the final edition of the program on HBO.

Inside the NFL has been a hallmark program for three decades on HBO,” said Greenburg. “It has been a terrific franchise. But the television landscape has changed quite a bit over the last 30 years and we have to recognize the realities of the business. I’m not sure we had more than one competitor when the show launched in 1977.

“We wish NFL FILMS, our partner for the past 31 years, all the best with continuing the great tradition of Inside the NFL.”

While no further details were released, you’ve got to wonder if the NFL Films rights got to be prohibitively expensive for HBO, and if NFL Network has plans for creating a similar program using those highlight packages.

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Per the Globe today, a funeral Mass for Keith Ryan will be said at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Paul Church in Hingham.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday in Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel in Hingham.

The note also states that the family is awaiting further tests regarding the death of Ryan.

B’s, C’s Fall

Both the Bruins and Celtics were in action last night and both fell short in the end.

First, the Bruins dropped a 4-2 decision to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Banknorth Garden. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins played fairly well, but the Sabres played with desperation. Fluto Shinzawa has the Sabres making a statement with their play last night.

Rich Thompson notes that a couple of “gray area” goals did in Tim Thomas last night.

Harris’ notebook has the Bruins looking into a new concussion treatment plan for Andrew Alberts and Patrice Bergeron. Shinzawa’s notebook has a look at a rough night for Dennis Wideman.

Celtics

Out in Cleveland, playing without Kevin Garnett once again, the Celtics defense took the night, losing 114-113 to LeBron James and Cavs. Peter May is pretty harsh on the Celtics after this one, probably because he hasn’t had a whole lot to complain about thus far this season. Steve Bulpett has the Celtics hard on themselves for their performance on the defensive end.

May’s notebook has Ray Allen open to the idea of going to the All Star game as an injury replacement. Bulpet’s notebook has Paul Pierce and LeBron James taking different approaches to the fourth quarter of games now.

Patriots

On Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp wonders if he might have to give up his Patriots merit badges.

Yeah, we’ll do some Patriots links today. Limited. Nothing from the Herald. I didn’t see anything of value in there anyway, at least from browsing the headlines. And we certainly won’t be looking over Dan Shaughnessy’s picked up pieces from the Super Bowl. You guys are all on your own for those links.

Christopher L. Gasper has Bill Belichick already moving on to the 2008 season. Joe McDonald also has Belichick taking a forward-looking approach to things. Glen Farley has more from Belichick on moving on. Jeff Howe also has Belichick looking ahead, rather than behind.

Shalise Manza Young can’t quite figure out the Man of mystery that is Bill Belichick. Tania deLuzuriaga and Laurel J. Sweet report on Willie Andrews getting busted for pot possession yesterday in Lowell. Gasper’s notebook has Belichick explaining his walk off the field with a second left on Sunday.

Gordon Edes and Amalie Benjamin report on the Red Sox re-signing Bobby Kielty yesterday, a move that would seem to indicate that the Sox are still planning on trading Coco Crisp.

Donaldson Checks in at HDH, Buy Simmons’ Moss Jersey on eBay

A couple of notes to pass along here.

If Tina Cervasio is really headed to a TV station in New York, then it’s only fair that we take one of theirs. Meet Julie Donaldson, your new WHDH Channel 7 sports anchor. Donaldson comes over from SportsNet New York, and is also a former Miss Florida USA.

No word yet on if she’s bumping someone out at HDH, though Dave Briggs has been spending an awful lot of time on Comcast SportsNet as of late…

After wrestling with the decision as to whether he should take it home and burn it, you can now buy Bill Simmons’s Randy Moss Jersey on eBay. The money is going to The Jimmy Fund.

Still Not Moving On Yet

Nope, not ready yet.

After a quick glance at the headlines, I’m still not ready to read articles like Time for classless Belichick to eat some humble pie.

Why would I be interested in reading a piece of bile like that? Is it going to enlighten me in any way?

Nope, it’s just another guy who has been lying in the weeds waiting for this opportunity to unleash his stored up venom on the Patriots and Belichick.

I probably shouldn’t have even linked it, as many of you will click on it, and the writer will feel like he’s on track for his long-awaited Pulitzer.

Look, I said it on Sunday night, and I’ll say it again. Give the Giants all the credit in the world. They won this game. They imposed their will on the Patriots. This was no karma coming back to bite the Patriots, or any comeuppance for past actions. You suggest that, and you’re insulting the New York Giants. By eagerly jumping on the chance to insult Belichick and the Patriots, these clowns are really insulting the Giants.

I will pass along this article that was sent to me overnight, Gregg Patton tells us that ” It’s still New England’s dynasty. The Giants are just passing through.”

Over on Patriots Daily, Christopher Price checks in with a season-ending edition of Inside Gillette, examining the future of a number of key Patriots contributors.

We’ll also give the always steady Mike Reiss some link love on his piece looking at the offseason decisions looming for the Patriots.

Jessica Heslam reports that the game was a huge ratings winner for FOX25.

Check the rest of the Patriots stories from today on PatriotsLinks.com.

Celtics

Kevin Garnett is still feeling the effects of his abdominal strain, and may miss his return to Minnesota as the end of this week. Julian Benbow says that it is just as well, as the Timberwolves have made no plans to honor the player who was the face of their franchise for over a decade and is the teams career leader in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. Tim Weisberg says that thus far, the Celtics have been able to take their injury woes in stride. Mark Murphy has the Celtics taking some lessons from the Patriots demise, knowing that the Championship torch is now being passed to them to run with.

Bill Doyle has a look at Rajon Rondo, and how his quick mind and feet are huge assets to the Celtics. Interesting that the start of the article talks about stealing signs from the opponents…no outrage? It’s been 15 years since Johnny Most passed away, but he is still remembered by all that heart him. Shirley Coshatt remembers Most today on the BSMW Full Court Press. The Celtics are out in Cleveland tonight to take on the Cavs, Peter May examines how LeBron James is a one-man show out there, keeping the Cavs in the race all by himself. The Herald has two articles tagged as notebooks today, one with an update on Kevin Garnett and his injury and the other on Brian Scalabrine, who is expected to start for Garnett again tonight.

Bruins/Hockey

Stephen Harris has the Bruins secretly harboring Stanley Cup dreams for this season. Barbara Matson profiles Czech import Vladimir Sobotka, who has made an impact in 23 games with the Bruins, despite not scoring a goal.

In the Beanpot last night, Jeff Horrigan and Fluto Shinzawa report on Harvard reaching its first final since 1998, while Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and John Connolly have BC knocking off BU for the right to face Harvard in the final.

Rich Thompson has Northeastern coach Greg Cronin apologizing for his team’s performance last night. Connolly’s notebook and the Globe notebook each look at Ted Donato getting his Harvard squad into the final.

Moving On…Sort Of…

For those of you interested in revisiting the events of last night, Scott Benson has a look at the loss and what the future holds for the Patriots over at Patriots Daily.

David Scott also has a post mortem edition of Scott’s Shots, looking at the aftermath of the loss.

If you really want to get into the stories of today, I can refer you over to PatriotsLinks.com or even to the New York Sports Pages.

After an extremely fitful night of sleep, I’m not quite ready to move on, but I’ll get there eventually. I’m not ready to turn on the television, or visit any newspaper or sports web site (especially ESPN). Sports radio is off the agenda as well. Seems like the sane thing to do.

February is going to be a pretty busy month here at BSMW, as I’ve got a few things planned for what is traditionally a slow sports month. Stay tuned for more details…

Go Celtics.

New York Giants – Super Bowl Champions

Congratulations to the New York Giants, who put together a great game plan and played their hearts out tonight, defeating the heavily favored and previously unbeaten Patriots.

New York was in Tom Brady’s face the entire night, forcing the Patriots record-setting quarterback into many hurried and misthrown passes. Eli Manning came out fully from behind his big brother’s shadow, winning a championship of his own, tossing the winning pass with just 35 seconds left in the game.

It would be a shame if some put this loss down to comeuppance and karma coming back to the Patriots for the camera scandal and other events that people have found fault with the franchise for.

To do that would take away from what the Giants accomplished tonight, which was nothing short of amazing.

Congratulations again to them. They deserve full credit for this win.

I have a feeling most of you probably won’t feel like reading about sports today, or for perhaps a few days to come. I know I don’t.

Championship Sunday

(Super Sunday links are brought your way by guest blogger Bob Ekstrom. Reach him at [email protected]).

Rise and shine, New England. Time to get another Championship Day started, the third and final of a memorable 2007 as the Patriots look to follow the path of the Red Sox and avoid that of the Revolution. The winning path seems a bit more clearly delineated this morning after Senator Arlen Specter’s strangely-timed initiation of Spygate II days ago. The Giants will no doubt remember the fallout of Spygate I, when the Chargers became the first in a string of casualties that have led the Patriots to history’s door. Now, they have Specter pushing it open.

As with every Sunday morning, Scott Benson and the staff over at Patriots Daily bring you all the local Patriots coverage in Sunday’s Links. Grab your coffee and head over there; we’ll be here with some national coverage when you get back.

And what better place to start than in Arlen’s house. The Inquirer’s Bob Ford tries to convince himself and all of Philly that the 2007 Patriots don’t make honorable mention in his list of the greatest teams of all time. Ashley Fox thinks the Patriots themselves provide the best blueprint for an underdog to succeed in the Super Bowl. Bob Brookover finds one native that hasn’t been brainwashed into thinking the Patriots’ Super Bowl XXXIX victory over the Eagles was fixed, that being South Philly native and Pats’ fullback Kyle Eckel. On the other side of Arlen’s district, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gene Collier examines the Belichick vs. Coughlin match-up.

In the Big Apple, the Daily News’ Ralph Vacchiano says the Giants are ready for their shot at immortality, while Mike Lupica says tonight’s game is guaranteed to be unforgettable. At the Post, Paul Schwartz says the Jints cannot lose tonight, while Mike Vaccaro offers 42 reasons why they won’t. Steve Serby sees the Giants as some modern-day Persian emperor, bringing home the heads of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to parade them throught the streets. Are you ready for tonight yet? In Newark, the Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi has a placeholder ready for Big Blue in the list of the greatest upsets ever. Jerry Izenberg offers an entertaining and first-hand look at the commercialization of the Super Bowl over his 42 years of coverage. And straddling the Giants/Patriots border, the New Haven Register’s Joe Amarante finds the super glue that binds both sides.

Okay, back to reality. Here’s a shocker from Miami, as the Herald’s Dan Le Batard thinks that, win or no win today, the Patriots season is already more impressive than that of the 1972 Dolphins. Better stuff some spare tires in the trunk, Dan, because tormer Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson’s comments that a win puts Belichick’s season at the top in the annals of NFL coaching has him in a heap of trouble with those ’72 Dolphins. From Indianapolis, the Star’s Bob Kravitz cannot be more emphatic: forget about any upset today. Out west, the Union-Tribune’s Michael Stetz tells San Diego that tonight’s game should not compel them out of football hibernation, as the memories will be painful.

And since we’re looking to crown them as world champions, let’s see what a couple of international outlets are saying about our hometown team. The London Times has the Patriots as the most polarizing force in the States since the Civil War, but says they’ll be champs again sometime in the small hours of Monday morning. The Sydney Morning Herald gives ten reasons why the Super Bowl is can’t miss viewing, and the top three are because of your New England Patriots.

Bruins

The Bruins availed themselves of their last opportunity to fly under the radar of football-frenzied Hub fans, falling 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings at TD Banknorth Garden last night. Despite the loss, Stephen Harris says the B’s turned in an admirable effort against the NHL’s best. Fluto Shinzawa has the B’s playing a perfect first period, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Red Wings winning streak, now at seven. Barbara Matson says the Bruins may have missed their chance in the second period, which included a fruitless 5-on-3 power play.

Bud Barth says that, at 6-2-1 over their last nine games, the B’s are headed in the right direction. In Harris’ Bruins Notebook, goalie Tim Thomas recounts the three goals he surrendered as the Red Wings snapped his career-best five-game winning streak. Shinzawa’s Bruins Notebook has B’s forward Marco Sturm becoming the NHL’s iron man among German natives.

Red Sox / MLB

It may have been too late, but Art Davidson has former Haverhill High School slugger Carlos Pena’s remarkable turnaround anything but too little, as he posted some staggering numbers with the Tampa Bay – drop the Devil – Rays in 2007, after finishing out the previous season in Boston.

As all of Red Sox Nation breathes a sigh of relief, Nick Cafardo gives Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman credit for not pulling off a Johan Santana deal. Michael Silverman says it’s good to be young, philosophies shared by both the Red Sox and Yankees front offices.

Be sure to stay tuned to BSMW for all the accounts on tonight’s big game. In the meantime, may Boston champagne bottles overflow as those of New York – and Miami – remain corked.