Friday Quicklinks

I’ve got a lot going on this morning, so I’m just going to pass a few quick links your way.

Broadcast really stands out - Chad Finn has Sean Grande talking about his confrontation with a Miami Heat fan during last Friday’s broadcast, which ended with the Celtics radio man getting doused with the beverage of a female fan.

If Celtics win this title, Grande says it would top all 18 - Bill Doyle talks to Grande and Mike Gorman about the Celtics/Cavs series which begins tomorrow night.

Bruins, Celtics re-ignite fans’ title passions - Gerry Callahan says we’re in for a manic May.

Eight issues Red Sox must overcome - Gordon Edes has a look at some things worth fretting about as the month of April comes to an end.

Sox have ups and downs in reaching level ground - Sean McAdam also has a look at the Sox as the first month of the season winds down.

Patriots rookies open minicamp - Mike Reiss has Ted Johnson remembering his first rookiecamp and what the current rookies can look forward to today and tomorrow.

A quick thought on the Boston sports radio wars – yesterday afternoon really highlighted why there is such a need for what 98.5 can bring to listeners. With two second-round playoff series ready to start, and the Red Sox season in swing, WEEI’s Big Show devoted almost all their time to the incident where the Miami Dolphins GM asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. They hammered this topic into the ground, which is what they do best over there.  

Meanwhile, on the Felger and Massarotti show on WBZ-FM, there was a lot of Bruins talk, and it was great, not so much because F&M are necessarily hockey experts – they’re not - but because of the passion of the Bruins fans, who are fired up about this team right now, and their prospects for the future. To their credit, F&M embrace this passion and encourage it.  Hockey ranks fourth on my interest scale among the four major pro sports, but this type of radio is great to listen to.

  • Jason

    Agreed on the 98.5 vs WEEI comments, particularly in regards to the Felger & Mazz vs. The Big Show. I find myself listening exclusively to 98.5 on the ride home in the afternoon, even skipping the vaunted whiner line. Love that F&M devote so much time to the Bruins when WEEI doesn’t seem to know they exist (outside of Dale Arnold.)

    • baffled

      I thought talk radio was caller driven. From what I could tell the phone lines were lit up on WEEI during the entire show. Good for 98.5 to talk Bruins but that doesn’t mean EEI shouldn’t have been talking about a hot topic.

      • J.R.

        The next time that ANY topic on ‘EEI is “caller-driven” will be the first time.

        With both winter sports teams advancing in the playoffs to the second round, the recently concluded NFL draft, and the Sox tepid start, and the best that Fraudway can focus on is “we’re gonna get into this whole ‘is Dez Bryant’s mother a hooker interview question’ thing, right after the break”? Come on!

        At most, this is a topic that should have been fodder for discussion for maybe a 20-minute segment — not the bulk of the show’s four hours. Memo to ‘EEI: Bryant was neither interviewed or drafted by the local NFL franchise.

      • Lance

        No it’s not. They screen calls and only those callers who want to talk about the idiotic subject of the day on EEI get through. When I used to listen someone would inevitably get through and ask a question/make a comment about something else and they’d get dropped.

        And seriously something about a Dolphin rookie WR is a hot topic around here? I know a lot of sports fans and not once has it been brought up. A few other things are going on around here, Dez Bryant isn’t one of them.

        • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

          Since WEEI is obsessed with such pressing boston sports legends as Lenny Clarke, the Man on the Way Up, Obama and the left fielder for the LA Dodgers, I’m somehow not surprised that the Dolphin’s drafting methods are big news.
          Anything to avoid talking about the B’s, C’s or hte failure that is “run prevention” in April.

        • Research Director

          In fairness, Dez Bryant was THE topic on ESPN radio (not that it can be heard in Boston) the day before and it generated tons of feedback from listeners as well as current and former athletes. It was a topic worthy of discussion. I didn’t hear the EEI discussion and I can’t imagine any new ground was broken, but it was a legit topic. If EEI doesn’t give the listeners what they want, over the long haul they will migrate. I’ve enjoyed some of the B’s talk on F & M. F actually knows some hockey and brings more to the table in that regard than most of the other hosts.

  • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

    If I hear that idiotic anti-Tim Cahill commercial on 98.5 one more time, I’m going to drive to Fred Toucher’s house to ask him stupid questions myself.

  • Char

    I had to turn Ordway off. Ugh.

    Would have given anything to hear the 98.5 Bruins talk, but I’m out of their range. 98.5 needs to expand into the rest of New England.

  • Tony

    I believe Sheppard was the only host on the Big Show who cared about hockey, and even then the subject rarely came up.

    Now that he’s gone, forget it…..all Sox and Patriots soap opera stuff.

  • Guntfather of Sports radio

    They have tapped into a hockey fanbase that has been mocked by morbidly obese hosts like Dennis, Ordway, the great Arch Duke of Duck Sauce, Eddie Andelman.

    • Tony

      When I was young (really young) I used to listen to The Sports Huddle because I thought Eddie was funny (remember, I was young, so I thought fart jokes were funny, too).

      But I was also a HUGE hockey fan growing up, and Eddie’s constant Bruins/hockey bashing drove me absolutely out of my mind. I don’t know how many times he said, “the problem with the Bruins is that they’re not skating to their left enough,” but I know it was probably more than “show me the money!!” was screamed out loud by various idiots in the 90s.

      I have to say, I really don’t miss Andelman at all.

  • J.R.

    I guess some shut-ins still listen to Fraudway’s piece of crap show, but why does anyone else? Look, I’m not a huge Felger or Mazz fan by any stretch, but on their worst day they’re still miles ahead of Fraudway & Co. on their best.

    Glen, what “worked” for you 10 years ago — contrived storylines beaten into the ground for four hours at the expense of real discussions about CURRENT sports events — is passe. I’d offer up that you’ve “jumped the shark,” but you can’t elevate enough to slide a sheet of paper under your little man size 5 shoes.

  • Rick

    I totally agree that 98.5 does a great job of making the Bruins relevant again on sports talk radio. The only downside is that occasionally they focus too much on the Bruins and ignore other topics of the day. Obviously they have a vested interest in discussing the Bruins but for all the positives they bring to hockey talk they deserve just as many negative points for their lack of Celtics discussions. It’s even more painful listening when they actually do attempt to talk basketball because both of them know nothing about the sport. How about a guest co-host to talk Celtics every now and then?

  • Greg

    You nailed it with the Bruins fans making great radio this week. On both T&R and Felger/ Mazz the fans have been uber hyped all week and it has been fantastic, the energy bleeds right thru the radio. Meanwhile it’s the same tired drum being beaten on the AM dial, boring.

    • Brent

      I’m sure if the Bruins are in 4th in terms of interest, a long playoff run would move them a few positions higher. The Bruins owned Boston in the 70′s and if this team has caught fire at the right time, just watch the bandwagon load. I think the future really looks rosy for the Bruins with some shrewd draft pick fleecing of the Leafs. Rask is the real deal. Savard will help the power play. The Philly series is going to be very physical and the Bruins better come out fired up right out of the gate. Go B’s.

  • http://www.jimmacleod.com Jim

    I’ve made the full time switch to 98.5. I enjoy sports talk. Enough with the same old garbage and “celebrity callers” of WEEI. And T&R’s humor segments WAY outweigh D&C’s “Everything is Obama’s fault” segments.
    I’ve never been a huge hockey fan, but listening to T&R as well as Felger & Mazz have helped me become a fan. And isn’t that the purpose of sports talk radio?

    • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

      I’m a bigger supporter of 98.5, but it seems like Mazz and Felger now have their own celebrity callers. And let’s be fair: – Toucher and Rich would have no problems clearing the lines if Crash, Gunner, the Faster Guy or – heaven help us! – the Chili Guy ever called in. I’m not sure about DA.
      But I did hear WEEI stallwart Danny from Quincy all in Felger and Mazz a few days ago. I think the trend transcends WEEI.

      • Jason Coyote

        Uh oh, if ‘Danny from Quincy via the Cape’ starts calling Shaughnessy, Hardy & Trup or completely ignores Mustard & Johnson, you’ll know he’s officially converted to 98.5. Not sure what happens to the SportsHub after that.

        Jon, you also left out Felger’s favorite 5:45 caller, ‘Chronic’ Mike from Attleboro.

  • Original(nottheArch)DukeofDuckSauce

    Hockey talk?

    Fill the nets with chocolate pudding.

    Does anyone know how I can get a hold of Bill Quackenbush?

  • Bruce

    So I finally get sick of Dale & Holley today, and turn over to Gresh and Zo, who are talking…Dez Bryant.

    Ugh.

    • Original(nottheArch)DukeofDuckSauce

      Felger – same thing.

    • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

      You caught that too? Ugh.

    • mandb97

      Bruce I am so glad you have mentioned Gresh and Zo talking about Dez Bryant. They talked about it for over an hour. Because of this conversation, I have decided that Andy Gresh will now join Gerry Callahan and Gary Tanguay as a nominee of the Boston Sports Media Moron Hall of Fame. It’s pretty unbelievable how quickly Gresh has risen to the top of the list of morons. I probably would have nominated Ordway but I did not hear him, lucky me. But, I digress. Gresh has joined Matt Millen, a Ken Fang favorite, kidding, Fang loathes Millen, in believing that it’s okay to ask if your mother is a prostitute. Gresh says that if a team is going to invest millions then everything is on the table. Here is the problem Andy, Jeff Ireland already knows that Bryant’s dad was a pimp and his mom was a prostitute. It’s called a background check. Voice of reason, Michael Felger (I can’t believe I said that) had to point that out to him. Why did he feel it necessary to to degrade and humiliate Bryant? He has also let the cat out of the bag to Bryant’s potential opponents during game day. Does this information effect how Bryant runs a route? I didn’t think so. Frankly, Ireland was lucky Bryant didn’t get up and slap him across the face. He might have gotten away with it. Andy Gresh is not getting away with anything though, as he has been slapped across the face with the newest nomination into the BSMM Hall of Fame. Congratulations.

      • Jason Coyote

        Gresh is too easy a nominee since he already looked and sounded like a media moron before ever giving us his opinions on anything.

        Good stuff, mandb97. Are you planning to nominate one or two morons a week? Might as well start construction on the Hall’s expansion right now.

        • mandb97

          Jason, nominations will come and go. If I just happen to read or listen to something that stuns me with its stupidity then I will let loose.

        • DaveR

          Did Tim Cahill divert funds for constructing the BSMM Hall of Fame to his cronies???? The taxpayers of Massachusetts want to know!!!

        • mandb97

          I refuse to answer on the grounds that I may incriminate myself.

  • Jobin

    I am a Full-Fledged Felger Fan, but the show has been driving me nuts. I echo the sentiments above that I thought sports radio was caller-driven, but Felger beats his “topic du jour” into the ground and refuses to deviate. It’s like they have a production meeting and Felger says “today we’re going to talk about the Bruins’ power play” and even if Buchholz throws a no-hitter, the Patriots trade for Larry Fitzgerald, and the Celtics score 290 points, at the top of every hour Felger repeats himself with the same statement he said to start the show.

    I always enjoyed Felger on the radio when he was being his miserable, opinionated self, because I agree with half of what he says and I laugh at how asinine the other half is. Mazz just agrees with everything he says with “Mike, you’re right” (something also said in the comments a few weeks ago) and they just go in circles agreeing with each other. I personally think Chris Gasper, who’s excellent on the radio and not afraid to take Felger to task and talk back, would be the perfect match as a permanent host.

    Just my opinion. I’ve given up on Ordway, who reads the papers and local sports sites and then changes one word to make it his own “unique” opinion. The next original sports thought he has will be his first.

  • Classless

    The Sports Hub talk about Hockey because they broadcast the games. It’s not rocket science.

  • ben

    Why would any station be “caller driven”? They are a tiny non-representative sample of listeners and advertisers pay for listeners not callers. Anyone who insists they are “caller driven” is either purposely misleading or too lazy to work at their job.

  • Eddie

    This board sounds like the “He-man WEEI Haters Club”. It reades like the media board at SoSH………they hate ‘EEI but don’t ever seem to miss a word. I haven’t been listening to ‘EEI as much, but it’s because of the hockey talk. Hockey is a niche sport. In Boston there is a core of fanatical die-haed Bruins fans. They deluded themselves into thinking that the Burins “owned” Boston 40 years ago. That never happened. They were #4 then just as they are now.

    As for 98.5, T&R are your zany FM morning zoo guys, who apparently have a problem with white people. Gresh and Zolak…….Puleeze. Felger was, is, and always will be an insipid ass.

    • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

      The only way the Bruins were #4 in the 70′s was in the fact that they’re best player was Bobby Orr.

      • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

        I meant “their”. Crap.

    • Bullock

      You’re telling me the Patriots had a wider fanbase than the Bruins in the 1970s? Eddie, are you on crack?

  • ikoiko

    I agree with the good addition of the 98.5 shows. Nice to have a choice. I am still on ‘eei the majority of the time.

    The baseball segment on 98.5 from 6 – 7 is great.

    However – If Pete Shepard ends up on 98.5; then I am gone. I still can’t believe a limited talented person like him made a living in the market.
    Awful at all he did. Brown-noser.

  • Bullock

    I agree with the premise that WEEI’s drive-time style has passed its prime. Storylines are only useful when the teams in town are awful (see: Boston’s late 1990s) or there’s a lull in local activity (see: MLB all-star break). But more and more, unless there’s a guest on who I enjoy (McAdam or Merloni), as opposed to the ones I don’t (Smurlas, DeOssie, LJ, Tom Eee Curran, Steve Burton, Butch Stearns), I simply cannot deal with WEEI in the afternoon anymore.

    F&M have their own flaws too. Far too often in listening, I feel like since The Big Show is basically comprised of Patriots and Red Sox kool-aid drinking yes-men, Felger and Mazz will just hate on the Sox and Pats for little to no good reason. It’s annoying.

    …. but I think with a little more balance, F&M have a much better show in the afternoon.

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