C’s Don’t Measure Up. Again.

The Celtics had another opportunity to make a statement yesterday. Once again a statement was made, but not the one that the Celtics and their followers were hoping for. The statement is that the Celtics are not a championship contender at this time, and until they start playing with a little bit of urgency, they’re not going to be one.

Lack of effort means trying times for Celtics - Julian Benbow has effort the biggest thing separating the two teams yesterday, as even LeBron James said that the Celtics look bored yesterday.

Time for some new math - Gary Washburn says that Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo need to take the mantle of leadership from the Big Three and make this their team.

Practice push might be just what these Celtics need - Tim Weisberg says that it might be time for Doc Rivers to push his team harder in practice.

Concern evident for Sox’ Westmoreland - Peter Abraham reports on the Red Sox concern over 19-year-old prospect Ryan Westmoreland (from Portsmouth, R.I.) who is suffering from a rare brain condition that requires very serious surgery that could lead to brain damage or even death if something goes wrong.

Expert: Westmoreland’s surgery has risks, but full recovery is likely - Daniel Barbarisi has more on the risks of surgery, and the overwhelming odds for a full recovery.

Jed Lowrie checks out OK - John Tomase wraps up many of the other items from camp in his Red Sox notebook.

Sammy Morris has book on free agent Josh Reed - The Patriots running back talks about his former Bills teammate and what he could bring to New England.

Watson leaves with mixed emotions - This is from the weekend, but worth linking here. Mike Reiss talks to Benjamin Watson about his time in New England, and the opportunity in front of him. Watson talks about meaningful conversation he had with Bill Belichick at the start of free agency, and his appreciation for the coach and franchise.  

Names to Know Who Could Be Bargains in NFL Draft - Jeff Howe tries to discover the next Tom Brady or Marques Colston.

They’re all in it to win it, but a final of Kansas-Kentucky would be shining moment - Bob Ryan looks over the NCAA tournament brackets.

When did Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy become so annoying? I’ve never liked Breen and his Kobe/LeBron loving-style, but that telecast yesterday was just awful. How long did they focus on Jackson’s wardrobe, past and present? I honestly could not listen to them anymore and watched the game on mute. In the past Van Gundy and Jackson were at least a bit insightful on the game and giving us the perspective of a former coach and point guard in the NBA, but now they’re bringing nothing.

But that wasn’t the most disturbing thing to me yesterday. That distinction would go to A. Sherrod Blakely referring to LeBron James as “Bron-bron” on Twitter - twice.

Mark Farinella takes a thinly veiled shot in this direction in his Ask Fearless (only linked so I’m not accused of suppressing criticism aimed at me) feature yesterday.  The “basement blogger” moniker is clever, witty, AND original. I’ll just say that if I did have an “anti-media agenda,” wouldn’t that by definition mean that I would be hating on all media people? The whole idea of the “Top ten” links to highlight the good that is out there, and to stay away from the bad. If I have an agenda, it’s only against the awful stuff out there that shouldn’t be promoted.

I do find it amusing that he does basically admit that there is an anti-Patriots agenda in the media, when he says that I am “as guilty of having an anti-media agenda as the sportswriters and other media members they accuse of being biased against the Patriots.” If he’s saying I’m guilty…which he is…then he is also saying that the others are guilty of their anti-Patriots bias. Or, if those sportwriters and other media members don’t really have a bias against that Patriots, then neither do I have an agenda, because he’s saying the two are comparable.

But as usual, the point is missed completely. I’ve gone over this a million times, lets try it again. No one has ever said that all fans want is for the media to “further enhance their blind love” for their favorite team. Fans do want to know where their team is failing short and what needs to be improved. That type of criticism is not only acceptable, it is welcomed.

What aren’t welcomed are the snide comments, personal attacks, doom and gloom, and glee over failure that is so evident in much of the reporting that we see today in this area.

What is so hard to understand about that concept?

  • mike b

    Bruce, what you’re asking is far too subtle for any sportswriter to understand. Put another way, if they had any brains, they wouldn’t be sportswriters.

    Good luck in trying, though.

  • http://3rdstringqb.blogspot.com Pip

    It’s not that they don’t understand. They understand completely! It is just not what they think sells papers. They are truly scared that if they were honest and sincere, and cared, they would be out of a job.

    You and what you do, scares them. They don’t like the idea of bloggers as content editors and content distributors for many reasons. Some legit, some dumb.

    There is money to be made in Quality, and that is a mind boggling concept for the media right now.

    If I can ask a question. Aren’t you actually a journalist with a regular column at the Metro? So if you hate the media, you hate yourself right?

    All I can say, you are successful for good reasons, and you know the reasons. And your readers know. The rest will either figure it out or they won’t.

  • Lance

    Apologies for reading Farinella – but mostly to myself for a complete waste of time. A very lazy column for someone clearly dealing with writers block.

    And Bruce, your comments are 100% correct and it seems like fans in this area have been saying what you write but to no effect. This sub-species appears to never let it sink in. Hell, my dog at least gets “it” after 20 times.

  • J.R.

    Let’s face it. Why do we really need beat writers anymore in the year 2010? We all watch the games, see the press conferences live, and have a gazillion online outlets to see highlights, read articles, etc. By the time the morning paper rolls off the presses, it’s already old news.

    Guys like this one who write for the Attleboro Bugle or whatever it’s called (Attleboro? Really?), and others of his ilk, pine away for the good old days when they were a critical link between the teams they covered and its fans. That antiquated notion is about as current now as doctors making house calls or having milk delivered to the back door, or “stoop,” as it were.

    Times and things change, so either lead, follow, or get out of the way, boys and girls.

    • L3s

      Great call JR. Farinella is pining for the early ’90s despite all the reluctant blogging he does. The guy is so snide with his remarks about sports radio and anyone else who is critical of him and newspapers, or his in favor of new media, that it hurts his credibility. I just ask one thing: When was the last time you broke a story Mark? We know you’re the longest-tenured writer covering the team from the smallest paper blah blah blah. Yeah yeah. Transcribe another gang interview of Brady for us while you’re at it.

    • L3s

      *is not *his in favor…

    • Tiki

      I dont know if you read/follow Farinella but he actually pretty much wrote what you assess above – he liked it better when training camp was down in RI and there were no ropes for the reporters and you the fan had to rely on him to parse out his stories as he and his editors saw fit. He is flummoxed becuase on the one side there is much more regulation between team and media and on the other he’s got so much more competition/

      • Classless

        Too bad. Newspapers are just about dead. He’ll never break another story again.

      • Brian

        Sounds like he’s basically complaining that he now has to actually work to get a story. When Schilling first came to Boston, one of his first “Curt in the Car” calls to ‘EEI was to rip Tony Mazz because Mazz was complaining about players (specifically Nomar) not being media-friendly enough for his liking. Schill had a good smackdown line when he told Mazz “That’s your job to go out and get the story, it’s not ours to give it to you”. Mazz came back with a whiny reply saying that when Schill and other players had charity events to promote, that he wasn’t going to mention them in his stories anymore. Childish.

        • Tony

          Mazz might be the worst hack in town, and in a town with Borges and Shank, that’s saying something. He has utter contempt for his audience and is the living, breathing example of the media’s “entitlement” mentality and superiority complex.

          He’s just God awful.

  • Tony

    I’m with Bruce on the ridiculous attitude that some of these mediots have about the fans. For the last time: we don’t *only* want to read good things about the teams we follow. What we want is FAIR criticism, not agenda-driven negativity driven by either a personal desire to be “contrarian” at all costs; or a personal animosity towards the organization, the head coach, the GM, or whomever the writer has personal animosity towards.

    Give me fair criticism, and I’m all ears (and eyes).

    Give me an agenda-driven hack piece, and you’ll turn me off pretty quickly.

  • Chris

    Boston media is, to a large degree, in chaos. A lot of their beloved ‘private sector advertising’ has evaporated and so too have their readers, listeners, and viewers. It’s against that backdrop that media people have become snide, defensive, and enraged. There’s a genie that got let out of a bottle with the advent of the Internet, and these media ‘gray hairs’ desperately want to shove it back in. They are realizing that they can’t and never will.

  • Classless

    Mike Reiss is the only reporter that gets it, as proven day in and day out by reading most of the links here.

  • Paul of Fox

    Bruce,
    What is the greatest sin that a sports media member can commit in Boston? We know it’s not plagarism (Borges) or racism (Dennis & Callahan); it’s not fabricating facts (Tomase) or inserting themselves into the story (Will McDonough). It’s not even threatening a player’s charity (Massarotti).

    It’s homerism. A sports media member cannot stand to be called a homer. It’s a deadly insult. Therefore, every Boston sports media strives to prove to their brethern that they are *not* homers. The “…snide comments, personal attacks, doom and gloom, and glee over failure…” is all part of that, IMHO. One can hardly be called a homer when one is constantly slamming the teams and players, right?

    The reason why, IMHO, the media gets so defensive when you call them out on this obvious anti-team bias is that it shows that they are so amendable to peer pressure that they are not as independantly minded as they claim to be. For a profession that prides itself on being independant, being shown that they are merely “following the herd” of their fellow scribes opinions has to be humiliating on some level. Therefore, it’s your fault, Bruce, for pointing it out (for which we the fans thank you). How dare you? Heh.

  • Eddie

    I agree 100% on the New York Knick alumni association…. Breen, Van Gundy, and Jackson. There are way too many inside jokes. Many times there is a whistle and they just continue telling their stories and never say what was called. I wish the radio was in synch with TV. Jackson tries to make a dramatic pronouncement every time he opens his mouth. I keep expecting him to say something like “AND THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE” or some other trite tag line. Breen is just a shill for Lebron and Kobe and is a Celtic hater. He should go back to doing flashes for Imus. Van Gundy is the best of the three, but not good enough to overcome the other two.

    • Classless

      LOLZ @ the Rock line!