High Schools In Focus

We’re focusing on the High School side of sports media today with a few links to blogs around New England that will keep you up to date on the various high school football games going on today:

The High School Sports Blog (Boston.com)

High School Insider – (BostonHerald.com)

High School Sports – (MassLive.com)

HS Game Time – (RI & SE Mass)

Moving the Chains  – (NH Union Leader)

SouthCoastVarsity – (Standard Times)

High School Sports Section – (Hartford Courant)

If you’ve got time to kill waiting for the Turkey to finish and the relatives to show up, you can catch up with last night’s Pro action at CelticsLinks.com and BruinsLinks.com. The Pats are getting ready for the Steelers, and will have Matt Light in the lineup. Check PatriotsLinks.com for the news.

A couple of final other links for your reading leisure today:

Joe Posnanski has posted his AL MVP ballot and explanation, which as usual contains a ridiculous (in a good way) amount of explanation.

SmallWhiteBall, a really good New England sports blog that I only discovered this week (how is that possible) has a look at Boston Sports Radio’s Four Most Ridiculous Current Topics.

Right on the money.

Have a great day everyone.

Steelers’ D Will Be Tough Test for Cassel, Pats

A pretty light day for links today:

John Tomase has the Pittsburgh Steelers bringing the top ranked defense in the league into Gillette on Sunday to face a Patriots squad that has put up over 500 yards of offense in each of the last two games. AP writer Howard Ulman has Randy Moss hitting his stride just in time to face the Steelers.

 Mike Reiss runs through the Patriots options when it comes to Matt Cassel – will they franchise him, will they let him walk – what will they do? Steve Buckley tells us that Matt Light wasn’t too bright to get into a fight on Sunday against Miami. Jeff Howe has this week’s NFL power rankings.

Tomase’s notebook has Anthony Smith, now just a bit player with the Steelers, still mouthing off about the Patriots. Reiss’ notebook has more on the impressive Steelers defense.

Bruins

Joe Haggerty has four veteran Bruins reflecting on their time in Boston and how things appear to have changed from the tough times earlier this decade. After being a student in the Bruins defensive system much of last season, Dennis Wideman is now doing some teaching back there. Mike Loftus has the story. Barbara Matson has Marc Savard working to become a more complete player this season. Stephen Harris has the Bruins taking on the unfamiliar role of the hunted.

The Union Leader has Five questions with Ken Cail the radio play-by-play voice of the Manchester Monarchs.

Loftus’ notebook has the Bruins trying to be ready for the Sabres’s best tonight.

Celtics

Julian Benbow has the Celtics with Kendrick Perkins leading the way, collecting by far the most technical fouls of any team this season. Jim Fenton also examines the technical difficulties experienced by the Celtics. Mike Fine has Patrick O’Bryant hoping to get out on the floor more, but especially tonight against this old team, the Warriors.

The Celtics are mourning the passing of Helen J. (Weiss) Heinsohn, the beloved wife of Tommy Heinsohn, referred to by Tommy on the air as “The redhead from Needham.”

In his notebook, Steve Bulpett says has Doc Rivers saying that his team needs to get better. Benbow’s notebook has Paul Pierce in agreement with his coach.

Red Sox

Alex Speier has a look at what 22-year-old Japanese import Junichi Tazawa  means to the Red Sox and MLB. Michael Silverman has the Red Sox exploring options for replacing Jason Varitek. Dan Lamothe wonders when Scott Boras will begin allowing his players to sign. Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox announcing their 2009 Spring Training schedule.

Who Gets More Coverage – The Red Sox or Cowboys?

In this week’s edition of Patriots Football Weekly, I’ve got an interview with Albert Breer of The Sporting News.

During the interview, Breer, who left the MetroWest Daily News last year to join the Cowboys beat for the Dallas Morning News mentioned that the Cowboys are covered like no other franchise in sports.

In a followup that didn’t make the final edition of my final PFW column, I asked Breer if he felt that the way the Cowboys were covered by the media in Dallas even surpassed the way the Red Sox are covered here in Boston. I thought that the topic was worth posting here.

Here was his response:

Yes, I do think it is, and for several reasons.

First is the place of the team in the market. I wouldn’t question that the Red Sox are No. 1 in Boston, I just don’t think the gap is as great between the Sox and the other teams here as it is with the Cowboys and the other teams in Dallas. The Cowboys can go 2-14, and they’ll still tower over the Mavs, Stars and Rangers.

Second is the amount of coverage. Here’s an example — The Cowboys held their training camp in Southern California, and traveling people there, as you might expect, isn’t cheap. The Morning News had three beat writers and a blogger there, plus photographers, for all of camp (3 weeks.) Plus, there was a rotation with the three columnists, so one of them was always on the ground on the West Coast. About 10 people travel for the Morning News on every single road trip. And that’s not counting the NFL writer, Rick Gosselin, who does an annual trip of about 10 training camps, and is at a non-Cowboys game every week.

Quite simply, the NFL is king in Dallas and, in general, football rules in Texas to a degree that I don’t think exists here. Just my personal opinion. The Star-Telegram, in Fort Worth, commits similar coverage to the Cowboys, and ESPN has two of its most prominent NFL reporters — Ed Werder on the TV side and Matt Mosley for the dot-com (both DMN-exes, by the way) — in Dallas and covering the club on a near-daily basis. I’d challenge you to find another team in any sport that garners that kind of commitment from a national outlet.

Third is the sheer volume of content. Check the Cowboys Blog at dallasnews.com. I don’t think there’s another mainstream media, team-specific blog in the country that can come close to competing with it. In particular, look at this past offseason — We had 10-20 posts a day, and were generating record traffic even in slow times. As for the print product, there’s an NFL section separate from SportsDay (what DMN calls its sports section) every Monday. And if you look in the offseason, it’s not unusual that Cowboys OTAs (optional offseason workouts) would grab the centerpiece of the section in the middle of May, even with the Mavs and Stars in the playoffs and Rangers season in full swing.

Fourth is the interest in the team. I do know the power of the Red Sox brand, but I would say that their following isn’t what the Cowboys’ is, and for this reason: While Boston transplants are passionate and filling a lot of opposing ballparks, the Cowboys have a rather large faction of fans without having a connection to North Texas. It’s impressive, to say the least. I’ve seen these guys on the road, and even in cities like Charlotte and Detroit last year, when the team bus pulls up to the hotel, it’s like the Beatles just got there.

What do you think? Does what Breer describe about the media coverage in Dallas surpass what the Red Sox get here?