Friday Night Megalinks

After playing chauffeur all day today, it’s time to do some linkage for you.

As usual, we have the Weekend Viewing Picks. And now to our links.

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate the Jim Gray/Corey Pavin dispute.

Fanhouse’s John Walters was able to go inside ESPN’s college football meetings this week.

John writes that ESPN’s College Gameday is a rolling ambassador for college football.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that ESPN2 and Fox Soccer Channel will be all over the English Premier League for the next three seasons.

Mike says this past Wednesday’s Yankees-Rangers game set a ratings record for Fox Sports Southwest.

Katy Bachman of Mediaweek writes about ESPN the Gas Station continuing for a few more years. I actually wrote about this three years ago.

At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred goes after the Miami Herald’s Dan LeBatard. Just a mere few weeks since going after the Detroit Free Press’ Mitch Albom.

Bill Krueger at the Poynter Institute feels Deadspin betrayed Jenn Sterger by not waiting for her to confirm the Brett Favre sexting story.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks with Nike’s president about two of its most embattled clients.

Darren says Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is beginning to reap the benefits of being a star in New York.

Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk says he’s no longer writing for the Sporting News. 

Mike says HBO’s Hard Knocks’ season premiere featuring the New York Jets had a higher viewership than last year’s premiere with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Florio says Green Day will perform at halftime of the opening Monday Night Football game at the new Meadowlands Stadium.

Joe Favorito notes that bloggers are writing better and gaining more notoriety.

Sports Media Watch notices that last Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees game on Fox actually drew a lower rating than Braves-Reds the week before.

SMW says last weekend’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductions received a huge ratings bump from last year thanks to some star power.

SMW says ratings dropped for ESPN’s NFL preseason opener.

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media feels NHL Network should remember some of the league’s teams that no longer exist.

Amanda Rykoff, a.k.a. The OCD Chick, has a roundup of reaction to sexist remarks made by MASN’s Rob Dibble earlier in the week.

Rebecca Glass in This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes tells Dibble to shut up

Dave Kohl at the Major League Programs blog notes that baseball local radio ratings don’t often match the local TV numbers.

Emmitt Jones at the Sports Business Digest likes the idea of the University of Oregon soccer scarves doubling as season tickets.

Susan Shan covers a pick-up basketball game between two social media companies. 

Proud Canadian and unabashed Montreal Expos fan Jonah Keri asks us to watch MLB Network’s special on the 1994 Expos on Sunday.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn from the Boston Globe says there will be plenty of media outlets for new Celtics backup center Shaquille O’Neal to play with this upcoming season.

Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald writes that NESN is branching out from sports and will carry a program hosted by former Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kerry Healey. Does this mean no more Dirty Water TV?

Boston Sports Radio Watch says the war between WEEI and 98.5 The Sports Hub is getting even tighter in the ratings.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes on the return of Bob Uecker to the Milwaukee Brewers radio booth after heart surgery.

Neil Best sighting! Neil Best sighting! Neil Best of Newsday talks about seeing ads for New York Football Giants tickets, something he never thought would never happen in his lifetime.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News likes how SNY’s Bob Ojeda doesn’t mince words after another clubhouse incident involving the Mets.

Phil Mushnick at the New York Post wonders if WFAN’s Craig Carton, a noted critic of MSG head James Dolan, will be willing to still criticize now that his radio show will be simulcast on MSG Network.

Mark Cannizzaro of the Post says the Jets give themselves high marks after seeing themselves on HBO’s Hard Knocks.

The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for MLB Network’s Jim Kaat.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union catches up with New York Giants left tackle David Diehl who took part in the NFL Broadcasting Boot Camp earlier this summer.

At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that the Orioles are beginning to make a ratings dent in the nation’s capital.

Dan recaps DC NFL team owner Dan Snyder’s appearance on Friday night’s preseason game telecast.

Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner talks about the DC NFL team’s broadcast teams ready and rarin’ to go for the season.

Dave McKenna of the Washington City Paper profiles sportscaster Grant Paulsen who had to restart his broadcast career after it stalled after high school.

South

Bob Molinaro of the Virginian-Pilot says a local TV station values carrying the DC NFL team, but still isn’t showing the games in HD.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel writes that Florida coach Urban Meyer has a Twitter coordinator.

Jeff Shain of the Sentinel says the Jim Gray/Corey Pavin tiff is another in a line of Golf Channel strife. 

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Ray Buck talks football and baseball with former Fox Sports NFL announcer Pat Summerall.

Mike Graham of the Dallas Morning News says Texas Tech is trying to reach more recruits by producing its own reality show and syndicating it to various cable systems in the South. 

To David Barron at the Houston Chronicle who talks with ESPN Radio hack (my words, not his) Colin Cowherd.

Richard Connelly of the Houston Press notes that ESPN Deportes Radio has arrived in town

This story is from last month, but I somehow missed it. From the Daily Oklahoman, Mel Bracht talks with ESPN legendary play-by-play man Ron Franklin about his return to the Alleged Worldwide Leader after originally deciding to retire in February.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer isn’t too happy with the Fox Sports Radio hiring of Pat O’Brien when a perfectly good candidate is working in the local area.

Jeff Bell of Business First of Columbus (OH) says the dispute between Time Warner and Disney which could take ESPN off cable systems follows a familiar pattern

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus isn’t too concerned over Tiger Woods’ finish in the PGA Championship.

Duane Dudek of the Journal Sentinel is puzzled over three local TV stations focusing on Tiger Woods’ personal life instead of golf.

Tim Cuprisin in OnMilwaukee looks at the off and on coverage of the Brett Favre sexting story.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has Fox’s Joe Buck still refusing to take responsibility for getting the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez hurt last Saturday.

Dan says the Gateway City’s top-rated sports radio station is forming a partnership with the market’s CBS affiliate to provide content and reports.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News says when Utah heads to the Pac 10/12, finding their games could be just as big an issue as it is currently.

Dick Enberg answered readers’ e-mails for the Denver Post. 

John Maffei at the North County Times writes that even though Fox is picking up the San Diego Padres on Saturday, just the West Coast will see them.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes about how Lakers owner Jerry Buss had the vision to realize how forming a cable channel would only help his team expand its fanbase.

Tom has his extensive sports news and notes in his blog (plus a link back to Fang’s Bites, thanks Tom).

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says the whole Jim Gray/Corey Pavin story is a “he said, she said” affair.

The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich warns Blue Jays fans about another potential dispute over a new cable sports channel.

That will conclude the megalinks. We’re done.

Another Good Reader Email

Continuing something I’ve been doing more of lately, here is a reader email I received today from a longtime reader that I think is worth sharing with the BSMW audience.

From Jim S. (In Walpole)
To Boston Sports Media
Date Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Hey Bruce,

I haven’t emailed you in awhile but your recent comments regarding Felger sparked this email.

I guess first of all I do think Felger believes most of what he says-like most of these newspaper/media guys nowadays I think they feel a need to be a bit over the top to make themselves relevant and he is right at the top of that list but I do genuinely think he gives his ideas some thought before he starts spouting. Bob Ryan is probably at the very bottom of that list and I would strongly welcome any station giving him a show on the radio.

What surprises me is that you neglect the total mushball Mazz has become. He made his name on EEI by constantly going after Ordway and challenging his conclusions but now with Felger all you hear is “Yeah I guess you’re right” or “I hadn’t thought of it that way” or “You make a good point”. Keeping in mind those comments are directed at Felger and you wonder what he has been drinking. I honestly don’t remember the last argument those two had over anything related to sports and I think that is what will kill their show if they don’t at least once in awhile go at it with each other. And God help me if I hear one more time why he doesn’t hate the fans but he hates the “fandom” in Boston. Talk about someone who doesn’t talk about what he believes-its him by a long nose. What all these guys fall into their traps is that they really believe that the callers totally represent the average fan in Boston.
(And do we need Mazz to remind us every week that the Texeira signing will bite the Red Sox in the ass until the day he retires?)

What they don’t know is that there are a lot of fans who think that Belicheck can be overly arrogant at times, that Ortiz did steroids and got away with it, that Papelbon is an idiot who may be self-destructing in front of us and that Terry Francona and Doc Rivers may be two of the best coaches this town has ever seen. But because they think these thoughts they can’t conceive that there are any other people with the same idea. Most Boston fans are not Yahoos but when all you do is sit in a press box, take moronic callers and bitch about EEI I guess your view of the world becomes skewed.

Anyway still enjoying your site-still the best way to get caught up on all the local news with the home town teams.

Jim

The thoughts on Massarotti are right on, and I do think he has reduced himself to the “You’re absolutely right, Mike.” role.

Pap Melts Down, Pats Warm Up

Jonathan Papelbon blew his sixth save of the season, as the Red Sox failed to complete a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, falling 6-5. Get the full links – if you want them – at RedSoxLinks.com.

Lackey does everything but win - Sean McAdam’s notebook touches on the major storylines from yesterday.

Lackey, Saltalamacchia look comfortable together - Brian MacPherson has the new catcher looking at home with the veteran starter.  

Weiland at head of the class - Amalie Benjamin’s minor league notebook leads off with a look at Portland starter Kyle Weiland.

The Patriots first team looked pretty good against the Saints first team, as the Patriots pulled out a 27-24 preseason opening win at Gillette Stadium last night. You can find all the links from last night over at PatriotsLinks.com.

Earlier in the week I talked about my admiration for veteran broadcasters. Well, last night was a very tough night for Don Criqui, who made numerous gaffes and errors in the course of the game. Randy Cross made a few as well, but Criqui was particularly brutal, constantly getting the teams mixed up, on one play, Brady made a completion to “Randy Cross,” while the real Cross praised the blocking of “Todd Lyght.”

Ten Things We Learned Thursday Night: For Brady, focus is back on football  – Christopher Price has the top storylines from last night.

A positive start for the Patriots - Mike Reiss says that there were a lot of pluses on display last night.

Brady’s new look was impressive - Albert R Breer says that the first glimpses of the 2010 offense for the Patriots were encouraging.

Patriots 27, Saints 24: Five points to remember - Tom E Curran offers his most important notes of the night.

Marquee matchup between the Patriots and Saints lacks excitement - Tim Weisberg wasn’t impressed with the product on the field last night.

Pats make rush to judgment - Rich Garven looks at the Patriots efforts to get a pass rush going.

Murrell has an outside shot - Monique Walker has the former Jet making an impact early.

‘Bam’ grateful for many fans - The T&G notebook has Sam Cunningham honored last night.

The inimitable Celtic - Bob Ryan has a feature today on one of my all-time favorite Celtics, Dennis Johnson, who will finally (posthumously) be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Peter May also weighs in on DJ.

No lack of outlets for Shaq here - Chad Finn’s media column notes that there will be no shortage of  media opportunities for Shaq here in Boston.

Discussing The Negative Impact Of The Little League World Series … Wait, Why? - My SBNation Boston media column has Glenn Orway beating a familiar drum this week.

Week Log: Ready For Some Football

Welcome back for another Week Log and, more importantly, another NFL campaign. The always controversial preseason kicks off for the Pats against the defending Super Bowl-champion New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium tonight, so let’s start in Foxborough.

Patriots

Pats Fans give you five good reasons for watching this game tonight, as if you needed any. Patriots Gab has the Saints following the Patriots model to perfection last season. Patriots Daily is worried how the Pats will fare tonight given all the new kids who’ve never played a down before.

Boston Sports Then And Now tries to figure out how the Pats can pressure opposing QBs this fall, while Pats Pulpit examines the lingering question of inside linebackers. NE Patriots Draft has Aaron Schobel a potential resolution to the uncertainty at outside linebacker. It Is What It Is has long-forgotten CB Terrence Wheatley beginning to pay dividends.

On ESPN Boston New England Patriots Blog, Mike Reiss doesn’t believe a Tom Brady deal will be done before kick-off tonight. The Rap Sheet reveals how Randy Moss kept himself in great shape this offseason, while Extra Points examines Wes Welker’s long and improbable comeback to the September 12th opener.

Pats Confidential‘s eyes tell them that, despite impressive career stats, Drew Bledsoe does not belong in the Hall of Fame. Jeff Howe has ex-Pats and Raiders CB Mike Haynes defending Jack Tatum’s 1978 hit of Darryl Stingley as coming in an intent-to-hurt era. Yeah, that works for me.

Red Sox

With a split salvaged in the Bronx, Boston Blood Sox has things not so doom-and-gloomy to start this baseball week. Hit And Run With Dan Roche says the chance to redeem yourself as Jon Lester did on Monday is what baseball is all about. Confessions of a She-Fan bemoans her Yanks’ lost game of what ifs. Subway Squawkers thinks this series lacked the typical Sox-Yanks buzzworthiness.

Recent Yankee woes have Bosox Injection declaring the full-time sport of scoreboard watching officially back in season. Extra Bases says there’s still plenty of room on the pennant-chasing bandwagon. Boston Sports Blog believes this 2010 edition is more entertaining, a better story, and a better team than last year’s. All the unsung heroes that have kept the Sox in dreaming range of the playoffs remind A Very Simple Game of the 1967 Impossible Dream team.

Surviving Grady is hearing the footsteps now as the Sox crept closer to the Yankees with a win to open their series in Toronto on Tuesday. Better Red Than Dead‘s prognostication of doom in Toronto got off to a bad start after Mike Lowell’s go-ahead homer proved the difference. Boston Dirt Dogs is glad to see Lowell back in the swing. The Bottom Line has timely hitting and – yes! – the bullpen as two sights for their sore eyes. Full Count calls last night’s win a collective effort by Clay Buchholz and the bats. Red Sox Monster says Buchholz keeps getting better and better. Over The Monster has the Sox closing the long ball gap between them and the Blue Jays after last night’s 4 HR effort.

Fire Brand of the American League does some reworking of the Sox lineup to maximize run-scoring potential. Beantown Sports Observer thinks it well worth the wait for Carlos Delgado to recover his stroke. The Mighty Quinn Media Machine wonders if the No. 21 jersey will be available when Delgado gets to Boston. And to goldbricking slackers like Jerry Thornton, J.D. Drew is a hero.

Finally, Beyond Fenway reports on an unprecedented trifecta of Players of the Week down on the Sox farm.

Odds & Sods
. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston blogging world

With UFC en route to Boston, SportsCenter 5 Overtime Blog says Shaq will not be the biggest thing to come to town this summer. We’re Just Saying found their summer oasis in the parks of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

As the Revs prepare for a chance to become the first two-time SuperLiga champs, New England Revolution compares this run to 2008.

Hey, are the big media outlets really plagiarizing the work of Masshole Sports? You be the judge as the prosecution takes the stand.

Thanks for checking in. We’ll be back next Thursday.

Sox Win In Toronto, Pick Up A Game on Rays

Bill Hall hit a pair of home runs, and Clay Buchholz once again showed that he is the ace of the 2010 Red Sox, going eight innings and giving up a single unearned run in the 10-1 Boston victory over the Blue Jays.

 How Bill Hall threw away his fears, and discovered a future - Rob Bradford looks at how Hall has regained the form that made him a 35 home run man for the Brewers.

Bill Hall surprising even himself - Gordon Edes has the supersub making the most of his opportunities.

Mature Buchholz is Boston’s best - Sean McAdam has Buccholz showing himself to be the Red Sox best starter.

Papelbon finally finds groove with his split - Brian MacPherson has the Sox closer harnessing his splitfingered fastball.

A weary Saltalamacchia finally arrives - Peter Abraham’s notebook has the new catcher finally getting onboard with the Red Sox.

Award shows that she has game - Bob Ryan writes about colleague Jackie MacMullen being honored by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame tonight.

Everything’s working out for Randy Moss - Karen Guregian has a feature on the work that the wide receiver puts in during the offseason. Seems odd for a guy accused so often by the media of “dogging it.”

Ten things to watch in Pats-Saints - What to watch for Thursday against the Saints - Patriots-Saints is more than exhibition - What to watch for: Patriots vs. Saints - Five Things to Watch in the Patriots/ Saints game

Reiss, Price, Longo , Underhill and Rapoport all have columns on what we should be looking for tonight.

A look at how the Patriots’ 53-man roster is going to shape up - Glen Farley takes an early stab at the roster.

Hard Knocks diary: I swear it was heavy on Rex Ryan - Kirk Minihane has a look at last night’s Hard Knocks debut. Tom E. Curran also offers some thoughts on the program.

Patriots journal: Wheatley stands out for second straight day - Robert Lee has the third year cornerback finally making an impression.

Taking his shot - Paul Flannery has a cover story in the Phoenix about Mission Hill’s Will Blalock, who has played professional basketball all over the world, from Anaheim to Israel, but is still trying to make it big.

David Krejci’s Development at Center Position Crucial to Bruins’ Offensive Success - Douglas Flynn keeps the Bruins talk alive.

Patriots 2010 Preseason Television Network - Patriots Daily with a look at where you can watch tonight’s Patriots preseason opener.

TiqIQ Promotion

We’re running a little contest with TiqIQ here today. Here’s what you need to do – follow @TiqIQ on Twitter, and send them a tweet (not a comment here) telling them in which of the next three home games will Dustin Pedroia return to the lineup, and what will be the average ticket price for that game. The correct (or closest) guess gets a $50 eBay gift certificate.

Those three games are against the Angels, and there a some good deals available, especially in the bleachers.

Why I Don’t Hate Chris Berman

My friend and esteemed colleague Ken Fang put together a post over on Fang’s Bites entitled Why Do We Hate Chris Berman?

The post includes a lot of feedback from readers indicating just why they, in fact, hate ESPN’s Chris Berman. The first one is particularly nasty, and it continues through many of the rest of the comments.

I’m going to be in the minority among the readers of this site, and perhaps of sports media people in general, but I’ll just say it anyway.

I don’t hate Chris Berman.

Now, I’ll admit I don’t watch the Home Run Derby, which was mentioned several times in the comments from people. But let me get this straight – people are seriously annoyed at his performance during this fake sports event? Seriously? Do they want a serious announcer during this farce? Some of the criticisms about him may be valid, but do they warrent the type of hate that is generated out there?

I guess I view Berman like my Uncle George. My Uncle George is in his 70′s now, and when I saw him last week, he did all the same tricks for my two-year-old son that he did for me when I was a kid. He knocked on his head and made a noise like it was hollow. He pretended to pull off his thumb. My son laughed uproariously. You know what? I smiled too.

Maybe it’s just dumb nostalgia, but I like watching Berman on Sunday NFL Countdown. In fact, I like a lot of the older guys who have been around forever, even though they’re not what they once were. Even though they might make a lit of mistakes. Guys like Dick Stockton. Dick Enberg. Vin Scully. I actually miss John Madden.

Berman isn’t quite in that category, and it’s different because he’s not usually a play-by-play man like the above gentlemen. But he’s an institution in his own right. It’s somehow comforting to turn on the T.V. Sunday morning and hear him talking about the games that day. So  much has changed in the world, yet, Berman is a constant. He’s been there through so many stages in my life. It’s hard to explain, but there will be a void when Berman, and these other sports broadcasters of my youth (and well before that) are no longer doing their thing.

I often read and hear harsh, even mean criticism against some of these veteran broadcasters, and can’t quite figure where it comes from. These guys deserve a measure of respect for what they’ve accomplished in their lives.  Berman has been with ESPN almost from the beginning, and has worked himself into the position he is in now. He’s been loyal to the network, and they to him. He reportedly recently had overtures from the NFL Network, yet he signed a new deal with ESPN. From people who know him, he is a really good guy off the set as well. He doesn’t engage in the snarky criticism of everything like many of his peers, he focuses instead on the sports and games and not on made-up drama. I appreciate that.

Hearing a “Rumblin’, Bumblin’ Stumblin’” over an NFL highlight is much like my Uncle George pretending to pull off his thumb. It’s old. It is perhaps predictable. But I still smile.

Shaq Set For Final Chapter, Glory

The Celtics introduced Shaquille O’Neal to the Boston market yesterday, and the Big Shamrock did not disappoint, showing  respect and humility at joining the storied Celtics franchise.

Everything’s great about this move - Dan Shaughnessy plays it straight today, as he often does when writing about the Celtics, and submits a very good column on Shaq’s arrival in Boston.

Celtics never had likes of Shaquille O’Neal - Steve Buckley says that despite all the superstars who have worn the Celtics uniform over the years, none have been quite as big – on and off the court – as O’Neal.

Visit to Doc was right medicine - Gary Washburn says that Doc Rivers’ honesty sold Shaq on the Celtics.

After Shaq, what? Questions and answers for the Celtics - Paul Flannery looks at where the Celtics stand now that Shaq is on board.

Harangody under contract - The Globe notebook has the Celtics signing their second round pick, and waiving Rasheed Wallace.

The Red Sox picked up a 7-5 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto last night, thanks to an eighth inning home run by Mike Lowell that snapped a 5-5 tie.

Pieces come together for Red Sox - Michael Silverman has the Sox getting by with the players that they have.

Pedroia is feeling less pain - The Globe notebook has the Red Sox second baseman hoping to start a rehab assignment this week.

The Patriots and Saints got together for a pair of joint practices yesterday. They are practicing again this morning in preparation for tomorrow night’s preseason opener.

Worry Wart – Preseason Game One vs. Saints - Chris Warner checks in with his first game preview of the year, looking at some of the newest Patriots he’ll be keeping an eye on.

Patriots, Saints spice up practice - Mike Reiss reports on the action from Foxborough yesterday, with a timeline of the morning session.

Gay having a heck of a time in New Orleans - Mark Farinella has the former Patriots cornerback reflecting on past and present.

At Pats-Saints joint practice, a show of arms - Paul Kenyon says that the quarterbacks were the stars of the show yesterday.

A coordinated effort - Ian Rapoport’s notebook has Pepper Johnson talking about the Patriots not having coordinators, and a number of other items.


You want answers on all things Brady. That means you need to read my column when it posts on Y! Sports in a couple of hours. #PatriotsWed Aug 11 14:15:14 via web

You’ve been warned.

Sox Manage Split With Yankees, Still 4.5 Out of Wild Card

Thanks to strong pitching from Jon Lester, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon, the Red Sox managed to hold off the New York Yankees yesterday afternoon 2-1to earn a split of their four game series. The Sox are still 4.5 games behind Tampa for the Wild Card playoff spot.

The Patriots are practicing with the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints today in preparation for Thursday night’s preseason opener.

Shaquille O’Neal will meet with the Boston media this morning in what is sure to be an entertaining session. CSNNE (and NECN) will carry the press conference live, and it is expected that Gary Tanguay will have a one-on-one interview with O’Neal at some point during the telecast.

Don’t close book on Red Sox yet - Gordon Edes says that yesterday’s win shows that the Sox aren’t ready to pack it in just yet.

Lowered, but finally rising - Peter Abraham has a lineup move getting Jacoby Ellsbury finally on track.

An inning, and player, the Red Sox couldn’t do without - Rob Bradford looks at why Daniel Bard might be the most important player on the Red Sox roster.

Papelbon punches up performance - Amalie Benjamin’s notebook has the Sox closer at his best yesterday.

Picking the best tidbits from Pats’ media guide - Jonathan Comey’s NFL Blitz leads off with some nuggets on the Patriots.

Ty Warren injury adds to Pats’ woes - Mike Reiss looks at a banged-up Patriots training camp led by a hip injury to the starting D-Lineman.

Vollmer looks to build on memorable rookie year - Christopher Price has the massive offensive lineman glad to have his rookie season behind him.

Secondary can learn vs. Saints - Ian Rapoport says that the Patriots secondary will hope for better success against the Saints offense this time around.

Connolly is Plan C for the Pats at left guard - Glen Farley has the Patriots moving down the depth chart in search of a replacement for Logan Mankins.

Battle For Marco Sturm’s Roster Spot Highlights Bruins’ Training Camp Position Battles - Douglas Flynn looks at some of the jobs up for grabs on the Bruins roster.

Globe Weighs In On WEEI vs. 98.5

I’m on the road today, so no links this morning, but wanted to pass along this link.

Joseph P Kahn with a look today at the battle between WEEI and 98.5 The Sportshub.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Time For Friday Megalinking

Ok, we have time during the time where I can do the Friday media links. Nice to be able to them earlier than late at night.

Before we get to the links, there’s the Weekend Viewing Picks and you can see what’s on tap in sports and primetime right here.

National

Starting with USA Today, Michael Hiestand notes that NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci was in the middle of the Brett Favre story.

Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter says Madison Square Garden’s TV networks helped to drive the company to a strong financial 2nd quarter.

SportsbyBrooks reports that Keith Olbermann will not be on Football Night in America this season by request of NBC News.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell offers this year’s College Football all-name team.

Darren says a minor league baseball team plans to recreate the moment when the St. Louis Browns sent 3’7″ Eddie Gaedel to bat in an actual Major League game.

Steve Lepore of Puck the Media has part two of his series on the future of NHL TV and he looks at the possibility of bringing ESPN back into the fold.

Part 3 of Steve’s series explores whether Fox and/or CBS/Turner would be a good fit for the NHL.

If you missed Part 1 on NBC/Versus, check it out here.

Joe Favorito compares and contrasts ESPN and Deadspin on the stories the two entities had to deal with.

The Big Lead says the Chicago Sun-Times is not backing down from a story in which it said a Kentucky basketball recruit was offered money.

The Orbitcast satellite radio blog says Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew will host a show on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio starting this weekend.

East and Mid-Atlantic

In the Boston Globe, Chad Finn talks with Bob Neumeier who has been spending his summer filling in on WEEI, 98.5 The Sports Hub and Comcast SportNet.

Desmond Conner of the Hartford Courant writes about the new media rights deal between the University of Connecticut and SNY for football and basketball games.

Jackie Majerus in the Bristol (CT) Press talks with ESPN’s head of security

Neil Ostrout of the Greenwich (CT) Time says the deal between SNY and UConn will last three years.

Mark Nailor of the Ridgefield (CT) Press profiles the lead producer of “This Week in Baseball.”

Sox & Dawgs has the video of Red Sox teammates Marco Scutaro and Victor Martinez conspiring to touch Adrian Beltre’s head after he hit a grand slam home run against Cleveland last night. 

Justin Terranova at the New York Post says NFL Films and HBO have high ratings expectations for this season Hard Knocks.

Also from the Post, here’s Phil Mushnick’s annual anti-Little League World Series on ESPN column.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News gets on Hard Knocks for not spotlighting Darrelle Revis’ holdout from Jets’ camp. Does he want them to focus on it for the entire program?

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks with ESPN’s Adam Schefter who’s been traveling by bus to half of the NFL’s training camps.

Evan Weiner of the New Jersey Newsroom says don’t expect to hear criticisms of BP from International Olympic Committee Chairman Jacques Rogge as the company is a huge sponsor.

Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog talks with the departing CEO for the Dan Snyder-owned sports radio stations.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN/ABC college football analyst Todd Blackledge about … ACC football???

Jim says former DC NFL team great Russ Grimm’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be covered extensively by local TV and radio this weekend.

South

To the Miami Herald where Barry Jackson looks for the unique standouts in South Florida sports radio and TV.

Barry Shlachter of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg had to dig deep to finally win ownership of the Texas Rangers.

The Star-Telegram’s Ray Buck talks with Fox Sports/NFL Network analyst Daryl Johnston about his ex-Cowboys teammate Emmitt Smith who’s going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says having Nolan Ryan as an owner of the Rangers means good news for Fox Sports Southwest.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says a local TV station will air a one hour special to hype the new Pete Rose movie.

Jeff Rabjohns of the Indianapolis Star writes that Lucas Oil Stadium being the site of the new Big Ten Football Championship in 2011 will be a big economic shot for the city.

The South Bend Tribune notes that former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown is joining ESPN 3D.

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

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals radio rights saga has plenty of intrigue.

West

The Denver Post reports that former Broncos quarterback Brian Griese will join the team’s radio broadcasts this season.

Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that the local ESPN Radio affiliate is changing formats at the end of this month. Jay mentions that today’s sports media column will be his last as he’s taken over as editor of the Union-Tribune’s sports section.

John Maffei at the North County Times notes that after several years, the mtn. is still not carried on Time Warner Cable systems.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game means the NFL is back.

In the Los Angeles Daily News, Tom Hoffarth talks about the dangers of reporting through Twitter.

Tom expresses more of his Twitter concerns along with posting his extensive news and notes in his blog.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says reports of the firing of a legendary Vancouver Canucks analyst are untrue.

That will conclude the megalinks for today.