Time For the Friday Megalinks

Let’s do the Friday megalinks as we steam into Thanksgiving holiday week. Lots of links to get to so let’s not waste any more time.

The Weekend Viewing Picks have what’s in store for college football, college basketball, NFL, NASCAR and plenty of other sporting and primetime viewing picks.

To the links.

National

We’re hearing rumblings of executive firings at ESPN. This has to do with an affair that was originally outed by Deadspin and confirmed by the New York Post. And there are more details including affairs involving the talent as well. As Chris Rock said, “people have gone lost their minds.”

Michael Hiestand of USA Today says both Fox and ABC will have familiar announcing crews calling the BCS.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings is taking the NBA by storm.

Darren says a plan to sell “stock” in the Boise State athletic program is off to a rip-roaring start.

Len Berman went on the Today Show this morning to pimp his new book “The Greatest Moments in Sports“.

Tom Van Riper of Forbes credits Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary pass against Miami 25 years ago for increasing the audience for college football.

Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports speaks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that Detroit Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson will host a new program that will tour various sports stadia and arenas across the country.

The Sports Media says last Sunday’s NASCAR event on ABC fell in the ratings, mirroring the downward trend for the entire year.

SMW has notes on two sports media figures who passed away this week.

SMW mentions that ESPN’s ratings for the NBA are down thus far this season.

Chris Byrne in the Eye on Sports Media suggests how best to use links in social media.

Chris tells us that the University of Michigan sports information department is credentialing bloggers for Saturday’s Ohio State-Michigan game at the Big House.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe lists some of the best personalities in the local sports media.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Comcast SportsNet New England is ready to take on NESN on TV and on the web.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times profiles Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News is fed up of the talk leading up to the Jets-Patriots game this Sunday.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post feels the NFL should go back to the 1950′s.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks with ESPN/ABC’s Sean McDonough.

Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that Baltimore-Washington is becoming a huge media market.

Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post profiles John Riggins who has carved a niche for himself in the DC market.

South

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has the highs and lows of the NFL Network’s production of the Dolphins-Panthers game.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle talks with noted college football writer and CBS College Sports host Tony Barnhart.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes that for the second year in a row, the State High School Football Championships won’t be televised.

In his media notebook, Mel writes that the first Oklahoma University basketball televised game was hard to watch.

Midwest

Jim Woods of the Columbus Dispatch says Erin Andrews’ alleged stalker apparently shot video of her in a local hotel room.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes about an 18 year kid who is calling college hockey games professionally.

Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN is hopeful that Jon Gruden will be with them for the long haul.

Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers in sports business and media.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times has the transcript of an interview NBC’s Bob Costas did with WMAQ-TV in regards to the Bears refusing interview requests by the network for Sunday Night Football.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News would like to see a local sports personality back on the Utah Jazz game broadcasts.

The Arizona Daily News prepares readers for College Gameday’s visit to Tucson on Saturday.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune is feeling melancholy over not being able to see the NFL Network.

To John Maffei of the North County Times talks with CBS’ Dick Enberg who is enjoying calling a number of “home” games this season and is being considered to join the Padres broadcast team.

Jim Carlisle from the Ventura County Star says the economy is very much different for the NFL and the Olympics based on their ad sales.

Jim writes that Fox Sports Net West is celebrating 50 years of the Lakers in L.A.

Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times breaks news of a scuffle between TNT’s Marv Albert and 50 Cent’s entourage backstage at Jimmy Kimmel Live this week.

The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth talks with ESPN soccer analyst Alexi Lalas about his days as L.A. Galaxy GM.

Tom has more with Alexi in his blog as well as some news and notes.

Daniel Lyght of the Fresno Bee talks with ESPN football analyst Trent Dilfer who got to call his first game this week.

Bob Condotta from the Seattle Times has the TV info for next week’s annual Apple Cup game between Washington and Washington State.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Glove and Mail gets on his high horse and scolds a Denver Post reporter for reporting a shouting match that was overheard behind closed doors.

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star talks with former Rogers Sportsnet personality Mike Toth.

William Houston of the Truth & Rumours gets on the Globe & Mail for having its reporters and editors taking part in the Olympic Torch Relay.

Dan Barnes of the Edmonton Journal writes about the effect of CBC’s wildly successful Battle of the Blades will have on figure skating in Canada.

The Canadian Press reports that Rush’ Neil Peart is recording a new version of TSN’s Hockey Song (formerly the theme to Hockey Night in Canada).

And that’s going to end the megalinks. I’ll be posting links at the Fang’s Bites @ BSMW page throughout the weekend.

The Friday Top Ten

So another Friday is finally here (was it me, or was this a LONG week?) and I’ve got another edition of the top ten from this morning’s sports stories.

Consider this one a periodic credit report - Chad Finn is going positive this morning, giving out props in his Friday media column.

Comcast builds a team to take on NESN - Bill Doyle checks out what they’re doing down there at Comcast SportsNet with their new on-line and on-air talent.

Pats-Jets rematch all about adjustments - Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss chat about Sunday’s Patriots-Jets rematch at Gillette.

Dismissive response - Mark Farinella looks at comments from Jerod Mayo, who says that as Bruschi isn’t on the team anymore, the former Patriot can’t comment accurately on how the defense was feeling after the Colts loss.

Wes Welker’s presence shapes what goes on - Ian Rapoport looks at the difference that Wes Welker could make on Sunday.

Bruins dig in, win in shootout - Fluto Shinzawa reports on the Bruins 4-3 shootout win over the Atlanta Thrashers last night.

B’s Start To Show Positive Signs - Graig Woodburn has the Bruins looking to play a 62-game schedule now.

C’s look to pay back Magic - Scott Souza previews tonight’s Celtics/Magic game, the first meeting of the clubs since last spring’s playoff series.

Free agency may not be a hit for Bay - Sean McAdam explains why Jason Bay may not get the huge payday he and his agent are looking for.

Ortiz says Sox need to power up - Peter Abraham has the Red Sox slugger saying that the team need to add some punch to the lineup…just as he did last year.

If you’re tempted to click on Dan Shaughnessy’s column this morning because it involves Larry Bird…don’t. Just read Jackie MacMullan’s book When the Game Was Ours as Dan’s column is just a retelling of a couple of stories from the book. That and Larry thinks Peyton Manning is pretty good. I’ve just about finished the book, and I have to say that the stuff about Cedric Maxwell within (which Dan rehashes again today) is actually pretty tame. You’ve heard it all, if you heard the stuff talked about on the radio or seen a review. Maxwell doesn’t deny saying that stuff that he is quoted as saying, though he claims it was all in jest, which it very well could be, but it’s still stuff you don’t say.

Check the Patriots Daily coverage with the following features:

Worry Wart – Game Ten vs. Jets - by Chris Warner

First (Second?) Impressions – the New York Jets - by Greg Doyle

Trading Places – Rematch With TheJetsBlog

Be sure to also check out Ken Fang’s take on the Top 25 Football Announcers.

Week Log: Belichick, On His Terms

Yes, I hurled all manner of verbal abuse at my TV on Sunday night and, yes, my wife walked out on me for the last 13 seconds. In fact, she got so flustered that she forgot to take our youngest with her, leaving him to ask to no one in particular, “Why is daddy so mad?” But four days of separation have now brought me to an appreciation of Bill Belichick’s fourth-and-two call.

Maybe I’m just one of those contrarians Bruce spoke of yesterday, and maybe I like it when radio pundits tell me I’m an idiot. I actually find it kind of validating. Look, that game was going to have its Armageddon. Whether the ball was in the Pats’ hands or the Colts’, the forces of good and evil were going to engage in a winner-take-all play before the final gun. Belichick merely forced its hand early and on his terms, sort of like Macaulay Culkin did to the Wet Bandits in Home Alone. Hey, I said I have young kids.

Anyway, we’ve heard from the columnists all week; now it’s time for the bloggers. Patriots Daily declares Bill Belichick an asset to the cause of winning. Pats Chowder loved going for the jugular rather than playing not to lose. Blaug is happy he has a coach with big marbles and hopes Belichick rolls them out again. Patriots Gab is looking for some law of unintended consequences payback down the road.

Green Street catches up with Doc Rivers, who says good coaching means never saying you’re sorry. Thanks For Playing loves the way Belichick is handling the fallout. And, in one of the most interesting takes yet, Fire Brand of the American League cuts over their baseball boundaries and triumphs Bob Kraft for building a culture that fosters creative thought without fear of reprisal.

Pats Pulpit is among an arguable majority who think the call was wrong but they’re outraged that anyone would flip the arrogance card at Belichick. Surviving Grady says there’s a greater power that moves even the great Belichick around like a pawn on the chessboard. The Patriot Act suggests that the statistical support in favor of Belichick’s decision would render the punt obsolete. Fenway Pastoral opines that punting is an antiquated concept with no place in today’s game.

Forward march. The NYJ are in town this week, and ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss has Jets CB Darrelle Revis feeling dissed and insisting he single-handedly shut down Randy Moss in Week 2. So, you should be able to do it again then, right Darrelle? Key injuries to the Jets and now the Dolphins lead Extra Points to wonder if the AFC East already belongs to the Patriots. The Rap Sheet checks in with Shawn Springs and Junior Seau, who have been hard to find of late.

It Is What It Is has Kevin Faulk mastering the art of blitz pickup, while Jeff Howe reveals how center Dan Koppen keeps the Pats’ offense greased.

NCAAF

The BC Eagles were involved in a controversial fourth down of their own last weekend, but they were on the winning end of both the play and the game, holding on to a 14-10 win over Virginia. After watching this one, BC Interruption wants those two hours of their lives back. BC Blog has this Saturday’s game against North Carolina a catharsis for the seniors who will be playing the last home game of their collegiate careers. Eagle in Atlanta says QB David Shinskie can’t afford any more rookie mistakes against the Tarheel’s stingy defense. And CBNB says the Eagles should be thankful for the return of some stability this Thanksgiving.

The View From Section X attempts to navigate the complexities of BC’s bowl chances. Sox & Dawgs have UConn on the brink of bowl eligibility and needing a win against the Fighting Irish this Saturday. The Harvard Crimson have Harvard taking no chances in their loss against Penn last Saturday that has left them with slim chance for another Ivy League title.

And no, there’s no playoff picture in Amhurst, only a prescient fourth down late in Saturday’s game where Minutemen coach Kevin Morris chose to punt – and lost. UMass Football Blog defends the call because, well, if they failed the game was over. So how did that work out? Show some big marbles and go for it next time, will ya?

Bruins

We’ve hit the 20-game milestone as The Hockey Blog Adventure takes another ten-game temperature reading of the B’s. Not to spoil it, but the mercury is low. The Old Bruins Fan is getting what he wanted all along – a good dose of adversity. Now he’s worried that it may kill them before it makes them stronger.

Despite a three-game losing streak, View From 311 is looking for the B’s to gel on the upcoming four-game road trip. Something’s Bruin says the B’s have looked pretty ugly without their two best forwards on the ice. Kathryn Tappen also thinks it hasn’t been pretty without Marc Savard who was, without ever playing, the best thing to happen to the B’s in the last three games.

The Bear Cave says Monday’s loss to the Islanders exemplifies both the B’s weak power play and strong penalty-kill.

Would you trade Brad Boyes for Dennis Wideman if you could do it all over again? That’s what Stanley Cup of Chowder wants to know in the first of their newest feature, so tell ‘em.

Celtics

The C’s were out-rebounded throughout most of last night but still got past the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden to snap their own losing streak of two. Red’s Army refuses to feel good about this win. Celtics Stuff Live thinks of the C’s as a bushel of corn: they look worthless now but should ferment into a fine bottle of JD by spring.

Celtics Hub has Doc Rivers trying to control Rasheed’s treys, which aren’t putting enough points on the board. Evans Clinchy has Marquis Daniels making the transition from stat-builder to team contributor. Celtics Blog says the length and size of Andres Nocione’s contract would make him an ill fit in Boston. Celtics 17 plays killjoy with our fantasy of seeing Nocione in green.

MLB Hot Stove

El Guapo’s Ghost says Roy Halladay may be just what NESN needs. Of course, the Sox will have to compete with their evil cousins down by the river, who, as usual, are always in the market for another eight-figure ace. Toeing The Rubber doesn’t care how the Jason Bay saga ends so long as it ends soon, while Peter’s Red Sox Forever hopes Bay will be back. The Bottom Line thinks Billy Wagner may be better off somewhere else, but he could add bullpen depth if his price is right. Boston Dirt Dogs sees a cold Hot Stove ahead, while Fenway West tells you why the Sox may be sitting out this offseason.

Tom Caron thinks that trade bait – errrr . . . prospect – Casey Kelly is best utilized as a full-time pitcher.

And finally, our Subway Squawking New York friends visit the finer side of Manhattan where they learn you can buy World Series rings but trivia contests are not for sale.

Like the rest of the 21st Century, I’m gradually assuming technology’s tools. Hey, I don’t have a Blackberry yet but I now have a Twitter. Follow me @BobEks for Week Log publishing alerts and the occasional cancellation notice when I can’t shake The Man and do my thing. See you on Twitter, or right back here next Thursday afternoon.

Celtics Wake Up In Second Half vs. Warriors

Frank Dell’Apa says that despite the margin of victory for the Celtics last night (109-95) the Celtics never appeared completely certain of themselves. Robert Lee has the road-weary Warriors, who only dressed eight players, worn out in the end. Mark Murphy has Rajon Rondo picking up the Celtics after a sluggish first half. Bill Doyle has the Celtics only playing half a game last night, but saying that it was good enough. A. Sherrod Blakely says that the basketball Gods set this one up as the perfect elixir for the Celtics recent woes.

Steve Bulpett looks at Rajon Rondo making up for his poor shooting by pushing the pace. Mike Fine has Rondo finding his rhythm last night.  Lenny Megliola has the Celtics riding Rondo to this win. Jessica Camerato has Rondo and the Celtics offering plenty to digest last night. Chris Forsberg has fueling a decisive third quarter spurt with his speed.

Bob Ryan goes back in time and remembers why Don Nelson has his number retired by the Celtics. Bulpett has Nelson dealing with adversity as the Warriors rebuild yet again. Gary Washburn chats with Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck about the potential of this season’s teams. (And Celtics franchise record for wins is 68, not 69.)

Dell’Apa’s notebook has Doc Rivers finally cracking down on the number of three pointers attempted by Rasheed Wallace. Lee’s Celtics journal has Danny Ainge shooting down the trade rumors of the last few days. Murphy’s notebnook has Kevin Garnett initially forgetting his ¾ court heave that was disallowed. Doyle’s notebook has Rondo getting some free throw tips from Ray Allen. Forsberg’s notebook has more on KG’s long-distance shot. Jim Fenton’s notebook has the Celtics putting their losing streak in the past.

Patriots

Jeremy Gottlieb goes Around The League on Patriots Daily.

Karen Guregian says that the Patriots have shown that they know how to bounce back from a tough loss. Brian MacPherson says that dealing with the Jets blitz will be New England’s top priority. Bill Burt reminds us that despite recent events, this is still a huge game for both teams. Rich Garven has the Patriots now firmly focused on the Jets. Glen Farley has both head coaches in the spotlight this week.

Ian R. Rapoport has Dan Koppen healthy and ready to face the Jets. Christopher Price has Tom Brady looking like he’s completely bounced back from his knee injury and early season struggles. Mike Reiss has Brady and Junior Seau helping their teammates to move on from the tough loss.  Andy Vogt has the team putting the Colts loss in the past and looking to the Jets. Reiss says that Belichick won’t be second-guessing himself over the Colts game.

Adam Kilgore and Monique Walker have Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis talking about shutting out Randy Moss by himself and how he’ll do it again this week. Rapoport has Revis still adamant that he did it all by himself in week two, without any safety help. Guregian has Rex Ryan still confident that his team can “whip” the Patriots again. Mark Farinella has Ryan offering no apologies for who he is. Shalise Manza Young says that Ryan doesn’t seem quite as cocksure as he did early in the season.

Rapoport’s notebook has Jonathan Wilhite moving on from his tough night with Reggie Wayne. Walker’s notebook says that the teams will both have a different look than they did in week two.  Farinella’s notebook looks at a long injury report for the Patriots. Farley’s notebook has the Patriots returning to work and prepping for the Jets.  Vogt’s notebook has Kevin Faulk talking about learning the craft of blitz pickup, and actually enjoying it. Young’s Patriots journal has Belichick giving his team a tongue-lashing as they returned to work yesterday. 

Misc

Kevin Paul Dupont has Peter Chiarelli disappointed in his team thus far, but still confident they can turn things around. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins enter the second quarter of the season as the self-inflicted victims of an identity crisis. Rich Thompson has Claude Julien bringing his team back to basics.

Michael Silverman has Terry Francona saying that Jason Varitek has accepted the backup role, and the Red Sox manager feels he’ll be “unbelievable” in that role.

Sean McAdam did a chat on CSNNE.com yesterday.

Mark Blaudschun says that Boston College should be proud of high ranking in the Graduation Success Rate.

Steve Conroy looks at the last home game for several Boston College seniors.

“Instigators” Returns, Comcast Offers More Celtics On Demand

A couple of quick programming notes:

 The Instigators Returns to NESN

The Instigators presented by Cadillac Village of Norwood returns for its second season on Thursday, November 19th at 6:00 pm. The Instigators is an Original NESN Entertainment (ONE) production that was first introduced last December. The weekly show is hosted by NESN studio analyst Mike Milbury who is joined by color analyst Andy Brickley, play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards and other special guests as they debate the hottest and most controversial hockey topics every Thursday night.

The Instigators, which will once again air every Thursday at 6:00 PM and again at 10:30 PM the same night, is unlike traditional regional sports network programs as Mike Milbury and his co-instigators tackle national topics like hirings and firings, NHL rules controversies, and debates about their favorite NHL tough guys and personalities.

Comcast Unveils Expanded Celtics On Demand Library

The new season of Celtics On Demand returns exclusively to Comcast to put fans in control and give them access to in-depth coverage of the players, team and Celtics Dancers, as well as press conferences and community events, which have been produced by the Boston Celtics.  With Celtics On Demand, fans can watch Celtics Captain Paul Pierce teach a new generation how to play basketball; see Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo rollerskating; and take a front row seat at Coach Rivers’ post-game press conferences.  Soon, fans will also enjoy the latest documentary “Take It Back,” which tells the story of how the Celtics added Rasheed Wallace and other talent to this year’s team to make for another championship-driving season. 

Additionally, fans can tune into replays of Comcast SportsNet’s Celtics game telecasts within four hours of each game’s conclusion.  Games are available On Demand for 24 hours. 

Celtics On Demand programming is updated regularly and is available around the clock with the ability to pause, fast forward and rewind selections for Comcast’s digital cable customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.  It’s easy to access just by selecting the “Get Local” or “Sports and Fitness” categories from the On Demand menu, then choosing “NBA TV” and “Boston Celtics.”  For game replays and other Comcast SportsNet content, viewers can then select the “Comcast SportsNet” category.  As with the vast majority of Comcast’s 17,000 On Demand programs available each month, Celtics On Demand comes at no additional cost to the company’s digital cable customers.

Red Zone = Red Light for Patriots

 Things appear back to normal on the written side, I’m still on the sports radio blackout, and will likely be all week…

Be sure to check out the latest Dan Snapp column on Patriots Daily: Beholden to None.

Albert R. Breer has a look at the Patriots continued struggles in the red zone, where they sit 25th in the league, behind such stalwarts as Detroit, Jacksonville, and Washington. Robert Lee says that those issues need to be corrected for this Sunday’s game with the Jets. Ian R. Rapoport has Matt Light looking to get back out on the field as quickly as he can.

Mark Farinella feels that Bill Belichick and the Patriots braintrust have lost their way, and that Sunday was perhaps an indicator of what is ahead for this franchise. Kerry Byrne separates fact from myth when it comes to the Patriots.

In the Midweek report, Breer looks at the struggles that the Jets have had since beating the Patriots in week two. Ron Borges says that the tears that Rex Ryan shed in his locker room on Monday show the difference between he and Bill Belichick. Glen Farley has the Jets coming in for a “Super Bowl” rematch.

Mike Reiss and Christopher Price have their weekly mailbags.

Joe Fitzgerald says that the fans are wrong to criticize Belichick for Sunday night.

The Globe notebook has the Patriots looking to keep their streak of games without consecutive losses alive this weekend. Rapoport’s notebook has Belichick ready to move on from the Indy game. Lee’s Patriots journal has Belichick getting back to business as usual.

Celtics

Gary Washburn has Kendrick Perkins not impressed with the Celtics practices this week as the team tries to bounce back from three losses in five games. Mark Murphy has the Celtics needing to get back into defensive mode. A. Sherrod Blakely says that defense is the key for the Celtics.

Jim Fenton has Paul Pierce returning to practice yesterday after sitting out on Monday. Blakely has a C’s vs. Warriors preview. Mike Fine has Warriors coach Don Nelson approaching more coaching records.

The Globe notebook has Andres Nocioni’s name being floated in possible trades to the Celtics. Murphy’s notebook has Piece back at practice.

Misc

Rich Thompson reports that Marc Savard could be back on the ice for the Bruins as early as tomorrow night. Brendan Hall has Milan Lucic returning to practice yesterday.

Michael Silverman has Mike Lowell once again in wait and see mode this offseason. Brian MacPherson has the Red Sox looking to make some noise in the Hot Stove league this winter.

Julian Benbow has a feature on BU mens basketball coach Pat Chambers, who set out on a new path in life after a brush with death in 2002.

Still Too Much Noise

The media is a strange, yet pretty predictable group. they’re almost always going to go against the tide, trying to buck popular opinion.

This means that nationally, where most people loath and despise Bill Belichick, writers and columnists are coming out and supporting the Patriots coach and his decision to go for it on fourth down Sunday night. It’s the edgy thing to do.

Locally, where most people respect Belichick and hold him in high esteem, the columnists are blindly savaging, mocking and insulting him (and enjoying it).

Neither side is enjoyable to read. Most are stretching too far either way to try and make their points. I suppose for some, perhaps the columns bashing Belichick serve as validation for their own feelings of frustration over the loss, but for me, it only makes me more mad.

Do they think people really want to read this garbage? After a day of peace and quiet yesterday, I’m ready to move on and think about the Jets and getting the AFC East under full control.

So I’m declaring this a “Fourth Down-Free Zone.” That actually wipes out about 80% of articles out there today.

Red Sox increase prices for some tickets - smart move by the Red Sox, sneak in a ticket price increase when Boston fans are ticked off about the Patriots. This is usually a day after Thanksgiving tradition, but with the uproar over Sunday night, the Sox managed to sneak this on in under the radar.

LeBron James’ numbers game at least raises eyebrows - Tim Weisberg’s NBA column looks at LeBron James’ announcement that he’ll ditch #23 because he doesn’t think anyone should be allowed to wear it, and choose #6 instead, which he associates with Dr J instead of Bill Russell.

No time, no chance - Brian MacPherson says that things changed for the Patriots Sunday night when Tom Brady no longer had time to throw the ball.

No running game equals no Super Bowl - Bill Burt says that the Patriots won’t win the Super Bowl because they cannot run the ball when it counts.

Bruins take another step backward - Mike Loftus examines another disheartening Bruins loss, this time 4-1 to the Islanders.

Respect Is Hard to Come By For Celtics - Paul Flannery’s look at why part of the Celtics problems of late might actually be a lack of respect for their opponents.

Rivers looks inward for answers to woes - Frank Dell’Apa has the Celtics coach taking blame for recent losses, and vowing to get things straightened out.

 Celts must stop ‘fense sitting - Lenny Megliola has Doc Rivers not afraid to call out his defense.

Red Sox may see pop - John Tomase has Sox pickup Jeremy Hermida’s hitting coach with the Marlins believing that Boston will see more pop from the former first round pick.

I guess we can toss in the report cards from Ron Borges and Jeremy Gottlieb though they each come with a warning  that fourth down commentary is contained within.

For the rest, head out to the link sites.

Making Sense

That’s something very few people are doing today, as they attempt to discuss the perhaps the worst loss (right up there with the Giants Super Bowl) of the Bill Belichick era.

I’m keeping it short and simple this afternoon, even as I duck out on listening to any sort of sports radio or television today. We’ll forego the hysterics, the gloating, and the smarm that appears in many stories today by sticking with these quick links:

Mistakes doomed Patriots before Belichick’s gamble - Shalise Manza Young’s game story in the ProJo.

Explain this? We’ll go for it - Albert Breer provides level-headed analysis of Belichick’s decision.

Defense takes share of the blame - Chris Forsberg has the defensive players denying that Belichick’s decision was an indictment of them.

Ten Things We Learned Last Night: Pats And Belichick Fall Short - Christopher Price takes more away from the game than simply the fourth down call.

Weak effort beneath Celtics - Yeah, the Celtics had a bad trip to Indy this weekend, too.

That’s all I got for now. Check Patriots Daily and  PatriotsLinks.com if you want all the gory details.

The Calm Before the Storm Friday Megalinks

As we wait for that huge storm to come up the East Coast from North Carolina and Virginia, I’m just waiting for the rain and wind this weekend.

Anyway, let’s provide the sports media stories for today. But first, for the weekend sports including college football, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, various other sports and primetime TV, check out the Weekend Viewing Picks.

Now to the links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with CBS college football analyst Gary Danielson who lobbies for the SEC over teams from other conferences.

Jim Chairusmi from the Wall Street Journal talks with Andre Agassi about his autobiography.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders if Kevlar can revolutionize sports.

Darren looks at LeBron James discussing a number change and how that could affect jersey sales.

James Hibberd of the Hollywood Reporter writes that Spike TV is going to launch a new series involving sports personalities and their cars.

Georg Salazai of the Reporter says the NFL is happy with its current TV deals including one with DirecTV.

Rick Kissell of Variety the sluggish economy has led to higher ratings for the NFL.

Alex Weprin of Multichannel News looks at ESPN snagging the South American TV rights for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics.

Sports Business Daily has highlights of NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol’s speech at the FSA Sports Media & Technology Conference.

In the Sporting News, Dan Levy of On The DL looks at this Sunday’s NFL games on TV.

CBS College Sports’ play-by-play man Tom Hart writes a guest column for the Eye on Sports Media on the importance of a good statistician in the booth.

The Sports Media Watch has some ratings news and notes.

SMW says the SEC package on CBS is paying off with high ratings.

SMW says get ready for another primetime finish for next year’s U.S. Open golf tournament.

And SMW says Versus is seeing ratings gains for the NHL and college football despite being dumped from DirecTV.

The Big Lead speculates how much money the woman who sparked the Steve Phillips affair would seek from ESPN.

Maury Brown has highlights of an interview MLB Network’s Bob Costas conducted with Ernie Harwell.

Steve Lepore of Puck The Media has suggestions for programming on Versus.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with former Fox25 sports anchor Butch Stearns who signed off for the last time last night.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette says Holy Cross is putting interviews and highlights of its greatest athletes on its new website.

Kristine Leahy has today’s version of The Five on WEEI.com.

Richard Sandomir from the New York Times speculates on the future of Versus and Golf Channel if NBC Sports’ Dick Ebersol gets to run them under a Comcast-NBC umbrella.

Stuart Elliott of the Times writes that the NFL has put the kybosh on a guerrilla ad campaign involving players and donating money to charity.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says the finish of the Giants and Jets this season will directly affect the sales of their Personal Seat Licenses for their new stadium.

Phil Mushnick in the New York Post criticizes Derek Jeter for attempting to gouge his fans.

The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty talks with Siena radio voice Robert Lee.

Speaking of Siena, Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says Siena’s radio network adds a station.

Paul Farhi of the Washington Post profiles the public relations henchman for DC NFL team owner Daniel Snyder.

Tim Lemke from the Washington Times wonders why the NBA out-of-market broadband package costs more than MLB.TV.

South

Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times says South Florida fans are angry that the local ABC affiliate won’t showing next week’s game against Louisville in favor of Ohio State-Michigan.

Sarah Talalay from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel talks about the rumors that surfaced yesterday that The Who is going to play the Super Bowl halftime show.

Ray Buck in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes about some former college football coaches getting their acting bug in a new movie starring Sandra Bullock.

The Star-Telegram has a video of ESPN’s College Gameday setting up at the TCU campus in town.

To the Dallas Morning News and Evan Grant who says the Texas Rangers and TV voice Josh Lewin are now talking about a new contract.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says a local sports radio station went against the grain and hired an outsider for its morning show.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman tries to scrape up ten college football games to watch this week.

Mel profiles ESPN/ABC’s college football analyst Craig James who’s happy to be out of the studio and calling games involving his son.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that local college basketball games are being bumped off Fox Sports Ohio in favor of the Cleveland Cavs and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Michael Zuidema in the Grand Rapids (MI) Press feels a one week suspension was proper punishment for ESPN’s Bob Griese. Zuidema is incorrect when he mentions Griese returns this week, he returned last week after being suspended for one game.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says NBC’s Tony Dungy is giving high praise to his successor at the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Caldwell.

On to Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business who has his weekly winners and losers in sports business and media.

Paul Christian in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says Patriots-Colts will be quite special for NBC on Sunday.

Scott Dochterman of the Iowa City Gazette says Iowa fans will have to find a way to watch basketball and football on Saturday as the Hawkeyes’ games overlap.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says fans are angry at Fox for its handling of NFL games in the market.

Dan writes about a sports radio talk show host who is now taking operation for most of the station’s daytime programming.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News is surprised at the sudden ESPN love for the Mountain West Conference.

Richard Obert of the Arizona Republic writes that the high school football championships may not be televised statewide due to a dispute between the state’s governing body and Cox Communications.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune talks with Fox Sports’ Brian Billick who’s enjoying his time on television.

Over to the North County Times and John Maffei who writes about a local sports radio host who returns to the air after suffering a heart attack.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says Pats-Colts gets the national spotlight this week.

Jim writes about a local resident who will be showcased on CBS’ presentation of the Arete Awards on Sunday.

Jon Weinbach of the Los Angeles Times looks at the increasing role of the league-owned TV networks walking that fine line of providing and potentially taking away content from other TV partners.

Diane Pucin of the Times says NBC’s Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison have personal interest in Sunday’s Patriots-Colts game.

To the Los Angeles Daily News and Tom Hoffarth who talks with NFL Today host James Brown.

In his blog, Tom has more with JB about his new book and other subjects.

Kelly Johnson of the Sacramento Business Journal looks at a new online companion to the Kings’ game TV broadcasts.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says it’s almost the end of the line for the 55 year career of a CFL radio announcer.

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star writes there’s more college sports available online for Canadians.

That concludes the megalinks. Have a good weekend. I’ll be posting links over the weekend at the Fang’s Bites @ BSMW page.

Friday’s Top Ten

It’s another busy Friday here on the sports scene in Boston, here are the highlights from today:

1) Being Tom Brady - Ron Borges with a feature on Tom Brady, his love of the game, and what motivates him to succeed.

2) Butch Stearns’ Goodbye - The FOX25 Sports Anchor signs off the station for the final time.

3) Stearns forced to pull up anchor - Chad Finn’s Friday media column focuses on Stearns, who says he is a  “casualty of the business model in local television.”

4) This is no time for the Sox to get cheap at shortstop - Ron Chimelis would like to see Alex Gonzalez come back, and put an end to the streak of free agent busts at the position.

5) Matchups to watch in Pats-Colts clash - Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss preview Patriots/Colts.

6) Crusaders’ greatest now starring on Web - Bill Doyle’s media column looks at Holy Cross’ redesigned web site, which features a 20 minute interview with HC and Celtics great Bob Cousy, and will interview more greats from the school in the weeks to come.

7) Banta-Cain proving to be more than able in his second stint in New England - Glen Farley looks at the return of the Patriots linebacker, who has been a pleasant surprise after a failed stint in San Francisco.

8 ) Number of storylines to ponder for the Red Sox - John Tomase looks at the major storylines to emerge from the GM Meetings held this week.

9) For Bruins, Desperation Must Become Contagious - Graig Woodburn looks at why the Bruins need to keep playing like a desperate team.

10) Pro-style QB leads Holy Cross revival - Two stories on Holy Cross in the top ten? Dan Shaughnessy plays it straight with a look at HC QB Dominic Randolph, who has a chance to take his game to the NFL.

Also, check out Chris Warner’s Worry Wart column on Patriots Daily, as well as Trading Places, Bonus Edition – A Conversation with ColtsChatter.

For the rest of the sports news today, you can always hit the link sites: