Friday Links and Randomness

So is this NFL offseason going to entirely consist of Boston media types tracking down former and current Patriots players to ask them to talk about the demise of the franchise, and ask how poorly they were treated and how everything in Foxborough is just a house of cards?

Just wondering, since that is the early trend thus far. We’ve heard from Richard Seymour, Adam Vinatieri, Asante Samuel, Vince Wilfork, and yesterday, Adalius Thomas. We’ve had David Thomas thrown in our faces like he’s the second coming of Kellen Winslow. (The Dad, not the son.)

There have been a few props thrown the Patriots way, Randall Gay and Heath Evans have spoken positively of their time in New England, and Sean Payton has gushed about Bill Belichick and the Patriots as a model to follow, but their input is drowned out by all the negativity. I’m a little tired of it. I know that the Patriots have a lot of work to do, I don’t need it thrown in my face every time I turn around.

Ratings might match the hype - Chad Finn thinks that this Super Bowl might actually match all the hype that CBS and other outlets are putting into it.

Nantz was there as Saints marched in - Bill Doyle has Jim Nantz recalling attending the first-ever New Orleans Saints game, back in 1967 as an 8-year-old.

Forty-Four Facts About Super Bowl XLIV - Not much that Jeff Howe doesn’t cover here.

Patriots coaching staff in focus - What? Actual Patriots discussion that doesn’t involve the impending demise of the franchise? Thank God for Mike Reiss.

Players own early resolve - Albert Breer has the NFLPA preparing for a lockout in 2011.

Checking in at the V-Mart: A look at Victor Martinez’ value - Alex Speier looks at what the Red Sox catcher might be looking at in his next contract.

Best move for Bruins? None at all - With this season seemingly out of hope, Stephen Harris says that Peter Chiarelli should just stand pat and not make any moves aimed to improve the team this season.

Papelbon sticks to his guns - Brian MacPherson touches on a number of Red Sox-related topics.

Sunday super for Marquis Daniels? - Steve Bulpett has the Celtics forward hoping he might return to action on Sunday.

A program note on ‘biggest loser’ - With the 4-44 Nets in town tonight, Bob Ryan remembers the times the Celtics played the  ’72-’73 Sixers, who finished at 9-73.

  • VaTaHa

    Hey, Bruce, time for a little reality check. I think you do heroic work with your site and it’s one of my first Web destinations each day, but this:

    “their input is drowned out by all the negativity. I’m a little tired of it. I know that the Patriots have a lot of work to do, I don’t need it thrown in my face every time I turn around.”

    This from a guy who’s dedicated himself to being a Boston sports media watchdog? Seriously, if you don’t need it thrown in your face every time you turn around, you may want to consider a new morning activity…though you’d be missed

    • Bruce

      Dan, you really confused me here.

      If I’m a “sports media watchdog” shouldn’t I be saying what I don’t like about what’s in the Boston sports media – which is what I just did?

      I’m saying that perhaps they could come up with some new storylines and angles, rather than beating the same issues to death each day.

      Isn’t that type of statement exactly what I should be doing here?

      I’m not sure what point you were trying to make.

    • ThreeYardsAndAPuddleofMoisturizer

      VaTaHa. I for one enjoy hearing Michael Felger trying to bait Adam Vinateri into saying something negative about a team he left 5 years ago and than having Mike admit on TV that his goal on media day was to try and bait players into saying something negative about either 4th and 2 or there departure from New England.

      I love listening to Tony Mazz tell me over and over and over again what a great team builder Bill Polian is and how awful BB is. If that’s the case why have Polian teams only won 1 super bowl?

      Your down there to cover the game, cover the game – don’t try and push your agenda/act that you are a contrarian and not afraid to ask the tough questions.

      As someone pointed out on the message board this morning. When Joe Theismann observes that Tom Brady did not seem as focused this year – Felger/Spazz agree.

      When Chad Pennington defends his college teammate Randy Moss – Spazz and Purel Boy wait until he leaves and than rip him as a suck up.

      Michael Felger is champion of the little man and the downtrodden and hates to see people “get away with it”. Yet, he reveres a guy like Ron Borges who had to leave the Boston Globe under shall we say, “other than honorable” circumstances.

      It was a colossal waste of money for 98.5 to send them down there – they could have done their schtick right from Brighton.

      Finally VaTaHa, when dealing with Tony Mazz’s opinions always, always, always remember this is a man who defended Grady Little’s decision to leave Pedro Martinez in Game 7 in 2003. Tony knows less about football than he does baseball.

      • Tony

        Mazz also is the guy who RIPPED Patriots fans immediately in the wake of his then-employer, The Herald, being forced to “apologize” for the bogus Tomase/Walkthrough story. He didn’t just criticize them, he ripped them to shreds (the fans, not the team). It was beyond the pale and totally ludicrous. Mazz knows nothing.

        Of course, Felger also defended Tomase that week, too, stating that the story was only incorrect because of “semantics,” rather than just being a damaging, distracting story published irresponsibly on the eve of the biggest game in Patriots’ franchise history, that turn out to be completely false.

        Bruce’s viewpoint is valid here.

        The Pats, while they didn’t perform at the levels we’re accustomed to around here over the last decade, still won 10 games, fell a few critical plays shy of winning 12 or 13, and still made the playoffs.

        They have a lot of work to do in the offseason, sure, but the sky is not falling, and the media needn’t focus ALL of their offseason energies on telling us how the sky IS falling.

        Ask fans in Detroit or Oakland how they would feel about having a 10-6 season right about now.

    • Lance

      Sorry dude but your “reality” clearly isn’t based on the reality of this site – if you’ve read it all all for more than 5 minutes. I’ll choose Bruce’s viewpoint over yours. Bruce provides an excellent service to Boston – he reads stuff I don’t want to but I still know what’s going on with the pitiful Boston Sports media.

  • Bruce

    1) Where is the NFL headed in terms of style of play, and how do the Patriots fit into that future?

    2) An in-depth look at the rules that will be going into effect in the uncapped year, and how that might impact the 2010 roster. For instance, rules like this (Article 19, section B)

    In the event that an Unrestricted Free Agent has not signed a Player Contract with a Club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, in the League Year following the expiration of his last Player Contract, he may negotiate or sign a Player Contract from July 22 until the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m. New York time, only with his Prior Club, provided that the Prior Club by June 1 has tendered to the player a one year Player Contract of at least 110% of either (a) his Prior Year Salary (if his expiring Player Contract is not a Player Contract he entered into as a Rookie), or (b) his Paragraph 5 Salary (if his expiring Player Contract is a Player Contract he entered into as a Rookie, without renegotiation), in each case with all other terms of his contract identical to his prior year’s contract.

    3) What assets do the Patriots currently have on their roster, and how would they best be utilized?

    4) Historically, what percentage of teams have run a 3-4 front? Did these trends run in spurts? With so many teams jumping on the 3-4 bandwagon, the Patriots are competing for players with more teams. How can they keep their version fresh?

    5) The differences in the offensive style prior to 2007 and from that point until now…pluses, minuses of both.

    Those are five stories that I would read. Off the top of my head.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      Bruce, come on now. We are talking about the BOSTON sports media here. Those kind of stories would take WAY too much work and effort from the local hacks……not to mention there is not nearly enough DRAMA for them in those stories. They like to create their own “storylines” such as, “WHY IS RANDY MOSS ALWAYS LOAFING!!!??……”BRADY WAS SEEN WALKING DOWN THE STREET WITH GISELLE!..WHY ISN’T HE STUDYING HIS PLAYBOOK!!?? HAS HE LOST HIS PASSION FOR FOOTBALL?…..IS NEW ENGLAND STILL AN ATTRACTIVE PLACE FOR FREE AGENTS!??…THEY HAVEN’T WON A SUPER BOWL IN 6 WHOLE YEARS!……

    • Classless

      Bruce mentions his points because the agenda of the media down in Miami is clear: they are looking for all the “chicken little” and negative quotes from ex-players so they can run on the radio and say “I told you so! I told you they shouldn’t have traded Seymour/cut Thomas/sent Adalius home!”

      Besides, why are they bothering the Super Bowl participants with Patriots related questions anyways? They have no bearing on the Super Bowl and frankly I could care less what their opinions are.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    “I’d rather come to your sight being steered to quality sportswriting and interesting articles, etc”

    …LMAO…from Boston sportswriters??….seriously, Bruce does that all the time. Check out Wednesday’s blog where he lists the “Top Ten of the morning”…….as far as the “complaining and negativity” It’s called holding the media accountable and it’s the reason this site is so popular.

  • Tony

    Bruce, here’s another storyline I’ve already seen covered about 10 times since the conference title games ended two weeks ago: “Sorry Pats fans, but Manning is better than Brady.”

    Shank was the latest to chime in on Saturday morning.

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with stating that if you legitimately believe it, but in the case of Shank, Mazz and a few others, you know they’re just saying it to rile up the Pats fans.

    The funny thing is that two years ago in the wake of 16-0 and the 50-touchdown pass season, before the disaster in Glendale and then Bernard Pollard, that statement would have seemed utterly ludicrous, and these mediots (except for maybe Borges) wouldn’t have felt emboldened enough to write a story like that. Now, with the Patriots rebuilding and with Brady just a year removed from having his left knee put through a blender (and on his 3rd or 4th offensive coordinator since 2004); and with Manning in the Super Bowl for a second time (still two times less than Brady and still playing more than half of his games inside a dome, by the way); they now all feel “brave” enough to tweak Pats fans with this tired old storyline.

    Typical.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      right on, Tony….and isn’t that “the game” for 98% of the Boston Sports media?….to “tweak” the fans?….to “rile up” the fans?….it’s so tiring. That’s why Mike Reiss stands alone. Reiss has been critical of the Pats at times but he does it in a RATIONAL manner and backs it up with SOLID FACTS. I have no problem with that. ….It’s these screaming numbnuts like Felger,Mazz etc.. that I can’t stand. I don’t even believe their “opinons”….I look at those guys as actors who are playing a part. They are just doing their shtick. They look at themselves as “entertainers” not reporters….It amazes me how many people buy their act.

  • VaTaHa

    Glad to see my “reality check” provoked such an outpouring of commentary. On the other hand, sorry to see most of it was based on misunderstanding of what I meant…which was this: If you’re claiming Boston sports media as your turf, getting negativity thrown in your face every day goes with the territory. And I really don’t know that complaining about it does any good. Like that scorpion who hitched a ride on the back of the frog to get across the river, they do what they do. It’s their nature. Speaking of which…Danny-Boy’s torch is passed to Peyton piece this morning…I mean how utterly predictable was that? But pointing that out to the guy does no good. He’s like a kid in seventh grade who can’t wait to interrupt class with another fart noise. He relishes the negative reaction. I think the only fix is to link to the hardworking guys (Reiss!) and ignore the bozos unless or until they start to bring more to the party than their wise little asses.

    • mandb97

      With the New York Times looking like they are definitely going to charge for their content at the end of the year, which of course means the Globe will as well, you will have no problem ignoring Shaughnessy and Mazz. Since Larry Dolan, the genius who runs the New York Knickerbockers, has gone to a pay format a few months ago. A whopping 36 subscription have been sold for Newsday online content.

    • Bruce

      Which is what I’ve been trying to do more of, with the “Top ten” posts – just linking the very best stuff each day. I can see what you’re saying, but don’t I still have to speak up occasionally when there’s stuff I really don’t like?