Comcast SportsNet Launches New England Football Night on Thursdays

Beginning Thursday, September 9, at 7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet is debuting New England Football Night, a new night of on-air and online football coverage featuring three distinct shows that cover the Patriots from every conceivable angle.

Each Thursday night will lead with a new Comcast SportsNet original production – Quick Slants - which will give CSNNE.com’s Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran a weekly chance to sound off on the Patriots and interact with fans on the week’s hottest NFL topics.

Quick Slants will highlight Curran’s experience covering the Patriots and his passion for talking football.  Curran will share his insights, spar with fans, and speak each week with Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo.  Quick Slants will also feature CSNNE.com’s Mary Paoletti, who will incorporate web coverage of the NFL, fan Tweets, CSNNE.com and Facebook posts, and text messages into the show.

Following Quick Slants is a totally redesigned Patriots Football Weekly (PFW) that will bring to life the publication’s insider coverage of the three-time Super Bowl Champions. Shot entirely on-location at Gillette Stadium, Comcast SportsNet will make Patriots Football Weekly a highly visual and compelling TV news magazine show that focuses solely on the Patriots’ players and coaches.

The 2010 edition of PFW features an all new look to showcase the top stories from the pages of the popular team publication and the contributions of Fred Kirsch, Paul Perillo and Andy Hart.  As a weekly publication, PFW is well regarded by Patriots fans for its insider access and comprehensive coverage.  PFW can be seen each Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Completing the night is New England Tailgate hosted by WEEI afternoon host Glenn Ordway and featuring two NFL standouts Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie. Each week, Smerlas and DeOssie will use their NFL experience to provide an in-depth breakdown on each Patriots win and loss and a detailed preview of the upcoming game.

Following Quick Slants’ completion, Curran and Paoletti will interact with fans on CSNNE.com throughout PFW and New England Tailgate.  During the on-line version of Quick Slants, Patriots fans can chat with Curran and Paoletti and react to PFW and New England Tailgate with Tweets, posts and text messages. Curran will also highlight the best online feedback with live Quick Slants television cut-ins during the remaining hour of New England Football Night.

Fans can interact with Quick Slants by Tweeting @TomECurran, posting comments at CSNNE.com, posting Facebook comments on Facebook/CSNNE or texting.

*****************

My thoughts:

I didn’t see the names “Michael Felger” or “Ron Borges” or “Gary Tanguay” listed with any of these shows, so to me, that’s a win for Patriots fans right there.

I’m intrigued by the new Curran show, as he’s got the ability to the informative and also engaging and funny. The PFW and Tailgate shows have both been around (off and on in the case of PFW) for awhile, so we know what to expect there. They’re solid shows.

I think if these shows can stick to football and avoid some of the other nonsense that tends to surround this team, this could be a very good night of programming for Patriots fans. I’m eager to check it out.

Plenty Of Blame, Moments To Point To For Sox

Whenever the Red Sox have a down year (and by “down year” we might mean 90 wins) there will always be over-analysis and blame handed out for the fate of the team. The media assigns themselves this job, and it is on display today.

I’ll sum it up for you so that you don’t need to read the pieces. Gerry Callahan blames the highly paid Texas duo of Josh Beckett and John Lackey for the Red Sox failure. John Tomase points to an early season sweep in Baltimore as a sign of a bad year to come. Dan Shaughnessy says that the team never had a chance because they weren’t built for winning, they were built as a bridge year team. Bill Burt calls the Red Sox fans quitters. Jim Donaldson wants to declare them dead, but is a little gun shy since 2004.

You get the drift.

On the plus side, there is now time to look at the future. There are some good articles this morning as well:

Alternative energy - Amalie Benjamin has a feature on Ryan Kalish, who many feel will be a fixture in the Red Sox outfield for years to come.

Rehabbing Westmoreland set for major personal milestone on Tuesday in Lowell - Daniel Barbarisi has Ryan Westmoreland continuing to make amazing progress.

Brian MacPherson checks in with three Red Sox prospects:

Power-hitting Anthony Rizzo climbing the ladder among Red Sox’ prospects

Jason Rice among those looking to make impact in Arizona Fall League

(Luis) Exposito still searching for his place in pecking order of Red Sox’ catching prospects

Five reasons to watch the Red Sox in September - Sean McAdam says there are still reasons to watch the Red Sox.

Owner touts Terry Francona, Theo Epstein - Scott Lauber has John Henry standing behind his manager and GM.

Patriots hurting for healthy bodies - Mike Reiss has the Patriots already dealing with injuries.

Reel world sets in after unsightly loss - Shalise Manza Young’s notebook has the Patriots getting served more humble pie while reviewing the film from the Rams game.

CSNNE To Replay BC Football Games

Comcast SportsNet New England announced their college football schedule today, which includes the anticipated Colonial Athletic Association matchup between UMass and New Hampshire from Gillette Stadium on October 23, and replays of 11 Boston College contests. (Only Syracuse is not included.)

“Comcast SportsNet’s college football schedule offers tons of exposure for the top New England schools in the championship subdivision and gives BC fans a second chance to watch the region’s most prominent college football program,” said Bill Bridgen. “The UMass-UNH game in Foxboro will draw significant attention for New England football fans. Both schools are strong contenders for the postseason.”

Here is the full schedule:

2010 CSN COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Saturday, September 4   

3:30pm            CAA #1:  William & Mary at Massachusetts

Sunday, September 5     

8:30pm            BC Replay: Boston College vs. Weber St (D-9/4/10)

Saturday, September 11 

12:00pm          Big 12 #4: Georgia Tech at Kansas

3:30pm            Pac-10 #1: Colorado at Cal

7:00pm            Big 12 #5: Wyoming at Texas

10:30pm          Pac-10 #2: Virginia at USC

Sunday, September 12   

8:30pm            BC Replay: Boston College vs. Kent St. (D-9/11/10) 

Saturday, September 18 

12:00pm          CAA #2:  New Hampshire at Rhode Island

3:30pm            Big 12 #7: Air Force at Oklahoma

11:00pm          Pac-10 #3: Houston at UCLA (JIP)

Saturday, September 25 

3:30pm            CAA #5: Delaware at Richmond

10:30pm          Pac-10 #4: Oregon at Arizona St. (JIP)

Sunday, September 26   

8:30pm            BC Replay: Boston College vs. Virginia Tech (D-9/25/10)

Saturday, October 2       

12:00pm          CAA #6:  Delaware at James Madison 

3:30pm            CAA #7:  Villanova at William & Mary

Sunday, October 3         

8:30pm            BC Replay: Boston College vs. Notre Dame (D-10/2/10)

Saturday, October 9       

12:00pm          CAA #8:  Richmond at New Hampshire

3:30pm            Pac-10 #5: Teams TBA

Monday, October 11      

8:00pm            BC Replay:  North Carolina St. vs. Boston College (D-10/9/10)

Thursday, October 14    

7:30pm            Big 12 #12: Kansas St. at Kansas

Saturday, October 16     

12:00pm          CAA #9:  Villanova at Maine

3:30pm            CAA #10:  New Hampshire at James Madison

Sunday, October 17       

8:30pm            BC Replay: Florida St. vs. Boston College (D-10/16/10)

Saturday, October 23     

12:00pm          CAA #11:  Delaware at William & Mary

3:30pm            CAA #12:  Massachusetts at New Hampshire

Sunday, October 24       

8:30pm            BC Replay: Boston College vs. Maryland (D-10/23/10)

Saturday, October 30     

12:00pm          Big 12 #17: Teams TBA

3:30pm            CAA #14:  Massachusetts at James Madison

7:30pm            Pac-10 #7: Teams TBA (D-10/30/10)

Sunday, October 31       

8:30pm            BC Replay: Boston College vs. Clemson (D-10/30/10) 

Saturday, November 6   

3:30pm            CAA #16:  Maine at Massachusetts

7:30pm            Big 12 #19: Teams TBA (D-11/6/10)

10:30pm          Pac-10 #8: Arizona St. at USC

Monday, November 8    

8:00pm            BC Replay:  Wake Forest vs. Boston College (D-11/6/10)

Saturday, November 13

12:00pm          CAA #17 New Hampshire at Villanova

Sunday, November 14   

8:30pm            BC Replay: Duke vs. Boston College (D-11/13/10)

Saturday, November 20

12:00pm          Big 12 #23: Teams TBA

3:30pm            Pac-10 #9: Stanford at Cal

Sunday, November 21   

8:30pm            BC Replay: Boston College vs. Virginia (D-11/20/10)

Friday, November 26     

3:30pm            Pac-10 #10: UCLA at Arizona St.       

Saturday, November 27 

12:30pm          Big 12 #25: Missouri vs. Kansas (Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO)

Saturday, December 4   

10:30pm          Pac-10 #11: Teams TBA

Sox Can’t Get It Done; Season Just About Over

The Red Sox dropped two out of three in Tampa over the weekend, falling 5-3 last night in a game which pretty much ended the postseason hopes for Boston as they dropped to 6.5 games out of the division and Wild Card standings. Check all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

So, exactly how bad is it for the Red Sox? It’s been better - Rob Bradford says that the Red Sox only remaining hope rests in trying to track down the Yankees.

Red Sox face math problem - Gordon Edes says that a playoff spot is hard to figure at this juncture.

Sox starting pitching fizzles in St. Pete - Sean McAdam has the Boston starting pitching coming up short in this series.

Deal for Angels’ Mike Napoli unlikely - John Tomase looks at the Red Sox putting in a claim on the Angels C/1B , but says he is unlikely to be coming to Boston.

Martinez’s catching is now well-received - Peter Abraham has Sox pitchers more comfortable with Victor Martinez behind the plate.

Tough choice made - Amalie Benjamin’s notebook has Adrian Beltre playing through a tweaked hamstring despite a noticeable limp.

The Patriots will be trimming the roster this week, first down to 75 tomorrow and then to 53 on Saturday. The projections are coming fast and furious: Shalise Manza Young - Mark FarinellaJeff Howe 

Patriots have to-do list before opener - Mike Reiss has preparations shifting into a higher gear this week.

Belichick not sold on early returns by Patriots - Glen Farley says that the coach isn’t ready to put his returners into the Hall of Fame just yet.

Night in cage all the rage - Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at a successful night of UFC at the TD Garden Saturday night.

Kenny Florian defends himself - Dan Duggan has Florian defending himself against comments from UFC President Dana White, who said that Florian “chokes in big fights.”

Hub debut a knockout - Duggan’s notebook has more on a great night for UFC in Boston.

Late Summer Megalinks

We have less than a month to go in summer and with our Labor Day weekend coming next week, we all know that September means school, end of vacations and the like. It also means football in earnest. Where I’m going with this thought I don’t know, but I’m feeling melancholy that the summer is almost done.

My sympathies to Bruce on the loss of his grandmother. Having lost all of my grandparents by my mid-20′s, I do wish at least one was around so I could still talk with him/her.

Let’s do the megalinks and there are plenty of stories for you to read. Of course, the Weekend Viewing Picks give you what’s happening in sports and entertainment.

Now to the links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand points out that a possible victim of an 18 week NFL regular season might be the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

At Sports Business Daily, John Ourand writes that CBS has almost sold out of its NFL regular season ad inventory. 

Milton Kent of Fanhouse says another possible victim to the expanded NFL regular season might be The Oscars.

Milton enjoyed listening to CBS US Open analysts John McEnroe and Mary Carillo square off over the ATP and WTA Tour schedules.

Kelly Riddell and Andy Fixmer of Bloomberg write that a hangup in the Disney/Time Warner dispute is the fees over the ESPN3.com broadband service.

Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says Gol TV in HD gets picked up by Time Warner Cable in New York.

Lucia Moses at Mediaweek writes that Golf Magazine is feeling bullish about the sport despite its problems this year.

At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred says journalists who try to build a personal brand do so at their own risks.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell feels a webcast on Ralph Lauren’s website might be the future of sports marketing. 

Darren notes that there’s a prime parking spot available at The Barclays this week.

Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest notes that Reebok is using an au naturel Kelly Brook to sell shoes.

Emmett says the NHL might create an all-women’s league to help the competitive balance in Olympic hockey.

Sports Media Watch has a few news and notes.

From Yahoo!, Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy looks at the five things learned from this week’s World Hockey Summit.

Brett Barrouquere of the Associated Press reports on a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader who won a huge libel and slander award against a gossip website. 

Bob Stockton of World Tennis Magazine says this year’s US Open Tennis Series garnered good ratings for ESPN2.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn from the Globe says Hard Knocks with the New York Jets has become Must See TV.

Brian Ballou of the Globe reports that the son of NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy was arrested this week for allegedly groping a woman.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that Jay Mariotti is now wearing the shoe on the other foot after being bombastic throughout his career.

Bob Raissman at the New York Daily News feels Hard Knocks is riding the Darrelle Revis train despite his training camp holdout. Is Raissman actually watching the show?

Phil Mushnick in the New York Post says YES failed to cover all bases during an incident in a Yankees-Blue Jays game on Monday.

Claire Atkinson of the Post looks at how NFL fans can now watch games on their cell phones. 

Brett Cyrgalis of the Post writes that a lack of American players will hurt U.S. Open ratings for CBS, ESPN and Tennis Channel. 

Brett has five questions for SEC on CBS analyst Gary Danielson.

In NY Sports Journalism, Barry Janoff has the results of a readers poll of the greatest sports broadcast calls of all-time.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the new local AHL team is planning to be proactive on local TV and radio.

Pete has more on the Albany Devils broadcast hopes.

Pete says Saturday’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga goes to regional television after being on national TV for a quarter century.

Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record has a partial college football schedule for the MSG Networks.

Ken says get ready for preseason hockey.

Steve Sampsell of the Centre (PA) Daily Times talks with ESPN NASCAR analyst Tim Brewer.

The Delaware County Times says College Gameday will be visiting the Villanova campus in February.

Dave Hughes from DCRTV writes in Press Box that the Baltimore Ravens have signed with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic for most of its TV programming.

Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN/ABC college football analyst Jesse Palmer on Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen.

South

The Virginia Gazette picks up a story from William & Mary’s newspaper written by Virginia Nadler regarding ESPNU using school students to produce programming.

Tim Clodfelter of the Winston-Salem (NC) Journal says it’s getting down to the wire between Time Warner Cable and Disney. 

The State in Charleston, South Carolina says it’s moving its Go Gamecocks website to a pay model.

Josh Hoke of The State writes that big name high school recruits bring the big lights to town. 

Dave Scheiber of Fox Sports Florida has Rays analyst Kevin Kennedy recalling the moment when he got the networks’ attention.

John Lembo of the Bradenton (FL) Herald notes that ESPN is in town for a high school football game tonight.

John looks at the reasons why ESPN chose Bradenton as a broadcast location.

In the Orlando Sentinel, Shannon Owens has ESPN’s Lee Corso being bullish on the Florida Gators.

Stan Diel of the Birmingham (AL) News says the clock is ticking down in the talks between Bright House cable and ESPN.

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News writes that the Texas Rangers continue to rack up the ratings.

Matt Heika of the Morning News says the Dallas Stars will have a new radio studio host this season. 

Ray Buck at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram looks at former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach going to TV this season.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that the local Little League baseball team is pulling in the ratings.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says ESPN’s Lee Corso hopes to fulfill his new contract with the Alleged Worldwide Leader.

Midwest

Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says high school football will be covered heavily by local TV throughout the season.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at NFL Films’ new documentary series that will air on NFL Network throughout the fall.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has this week’s winners and losers.

Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune looks at the Fanhouse suspension of former Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti.

Interestingly enough, Mariotti’s former paper, the Sun-Times, uses wire reports to report on his suspension.

Paul Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that the Wild will have all of its games on TV for the first time since entering the NHL.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says a minor league baseball broadcaster still can’t over the death of a player last weekend.

West

Jay Drew of the St. Lake City Tribune looks at the factors, including ESPN, that led BYU to remain with the Mountain West Conference after briefly flirting with the WAC. Thanks to The Big Lead for the link.

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News says BYU has long been owed a bigger slice of the TV pie due to the audience it brings to the table.

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union-Tribune says long-time Padres broadcaster Ted Leitner will return for another season.

To the North County Times where John Maffei talks with Texas Rangers/San Diego Chargers voice Josh Lewin who will also be doing duties for Fox this weekend.

At the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle writes about Notre Dame requesting NBC to reduce its commercial breaks for football games this season.

In the Los Angeles Times, Diane Pucin has CBS/NBC/ESPN2/BBC/7 Network analyst John McEnroe’s controversial comments about women’s tennis schedule being too demanding for its stars.

Joe Flint of the Times says an 18 game NFL schedule could bring a new TV partner and a permanent date for the Super Bowl. 

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at the Sport Science franchise which ESPN picked up from Fox Sports Net.

Tom has more with Sport Science host John Brenkus who has been the human guinea pig for the show.

Tom also reviews the week in blogging and more.

Mark Glover of the Sacramento Bee says high school football is growing in the national spotlight.

Matt Phelps and Megan Managan of the Kirkland (WA) Reporter preview an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on a monumental Little League World Series upset from the early 1980′s.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders when a local sports radio station will name a morning show host.

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says the war of words over the new Rogers Sportsnet one is really heating up.

And we’re done. Thanks for reading.

Reality Check For Patriots

Before I begin I want to take a moment to remember my Grandmother, Frances (Schanda) Allen, who passed away this morning at the age of 96.

There aren’t many people left who can remember the roaring 20′s, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and everything since. Born in 1914, my grandmother could remember all those times, and even up until recently could talk about them. Hers was truly a great generation.

*********************

After so many positives in their first two preseason games, the Patriots took a big step back last night against the lowly St Louis Rams and rookie QB Sam Bradford, who lit up the Patriots first team defense well into the second half, and the Rams kicked a field goal as time expired to beat the Patriots 36-35 in the third preseason game.

While the media will be up in a tizzy for the next week over Laurence Maroney not seeing the field for the second straight game, don’t pay any attention to it, if you can. Despite the proclamations of guys like Peter King, Maroney is in no danger of being cut. My take on it is that the coaches already know what Maroney is, and that he will be the lead back much of the season. Belichick himself said earlier this week of Maroney “He’s ready to go.” They’re taking the games to evaluate the other backs (namely Morris and BJGE), to determine which of them is going to make the roster. I think Maroney and Fred Taylor (and Kevin Faulk, of course) are givens. Maroney could also be sitting down in part to protect him from injury. The Patriots have in the past held players without any known injuries (Deion Branch being one) out of the entire preseason simply to keep them healthy.

Though he may have a slightly smarmy way of saying it:

This has been a bad one for the Patriots. But I wouldn’t get overly concerned … Just like I wasn’t gaga like so many others after Atlanta.Fri Aug 27 01:21:58 via web

Albert Breer speaks the truth here. No need to get too concerned over a preseason game, one way or the other.

Consider it part of the learning curve - Breer says that while the Rams dominated the Patriots last night, there is no reason to press the panic button.

Patriots defense takes a step back - Mike Reiss says it plainly – This one stunk.

Ten Things We Learned Thursday Night: Maroney still MIA - Christopher Price leads with Maroney and nine other items from last night.

Five things to remember - Tom E Curran notes that this was not an unmitigated disaster, despite all the negatives.

Brandon Tate makes a favorable impression - Need a bright spot? Brandon Tate was one of the few with his 97-yard kickoff return to open the game. Jim Fenton looks at the night for Tate.

With Hernandez out, Gronkowski showcases skills - Rookie right end Rob Gronkowski was the other bright spot, catching a pair of touchdown passes. Danny Picard has a look at his night.

Few bumps for Tom Brady - Ian Rapoport’s notebook has the QB getting a look at what the offense needs to fix before opening day.

The Red Sox are in Tampa this weekend for what could be another “make or break” series for their playoff hopes.

This trip at Tropicana, it’s all or nothing - Jon Couture says that this Red Sox team is teetering on the line between feel-good and actually good, and that now is the time to show what they are.

For Sox pitchers, it’s show time - Joe McDonald says that the Red Sox built their rotation for series like this one.

Daisuke Matsuzaka nibbles less, fares better - Michael Silverman says that Dice-K has been picking up his pace, with improved results.

Bard having brilliant year in Boston bullpen - Mike Fine looks at the strong year from the hard-throwing reliever.

Prospect has good moves - Peter Abraham’s Minor League Notebook leads off with a look at the Sox trying to find the right position for first-round pick Kolbrin Vitek.

It’s hard to resist bombast of Jets - Unlike Tom Brady, Chad Finn has gotten sucked in by “Hard Knocks.”

Media Roundup: About That ‘NESN Daily’ Program - Over at SB Nation Boston,  my thoughts on NESN Daily…and a few other items.

Sox Split With M’s, But Really Needed Sweep

On a day in which they really needed a doubleheader sweep, the Red Sox took the first game 5-3, but dropped the nightcap, 4-2 in a game in which Adrian Beltre was ejected by a rookie umpire before the third inning for some friendly trash-talking with his friend and former Mariners teammate Felix Hernandez. Get all the links at RedSoxLinks.com.

A golden opportunity wasted - Daniel Barbarisi has the Red Sox blowing a chance to inch closer in the standings.

A little knuckleheaded - Nick Cafardo says that this game was lost the moment the Red Sox decided to start Tim Wakefield instead of Jon Lester.

‘Smack talk’ gives Adrian Beltre boot - Gordon Edes looks at the misunderstanding that led to Beltre’s ejection.

Grooming a replacement? Bard/Papelbon recalls a Yankees relief duo - Alex Speier talks to the Mariners bullpen coach, who says that the Red Sox closing situation reminds him of the mid-90′s Yankees.

Playing the angles in left field - Peter Abraham looks at the revolving door in left field for the Red Sox.

Unforgettable - Lenny Megliola remembers Greg Montalbano.

The Patriots play their third preseason game tonight at Gillette Stadium against the St. Louis Rams. What are you going to watch for tonight? Let the guys covering the team tell you:

Ian R. Rapoport - Christopher Price - Mike Reiss - Albert R. Breer - Tom E. Curran - Robert Lee

Homecoming for Grafton’s Spagnuolo - Rich Garven looks at a homecoming for the Rams coach, who has defensive coordinator of the Giants, put an end to New England’s perfect 2007 season.

No worries when it comes to safety - Karen Guregian says that the safety position seems to be one area in the defense with no concerns.

Bodden’s presence means Patriots have one less question answered - Glen Farley says that Leigh Bodden offers stability on the right side.

Patriots still lacking finishing touch - Jonathan Comey says that the Patriots perhaps one defensive lineman away from making a Super Bowl run.

Numbers are in place for Patriots-Brady deal - Steve DeOssie hears that there are just a “couple t’s to be crossed, i’s to be dotted” in a new contract for Tom Brady.

Extension speaks well of Stephen Gostkowski - Rapoport’s notebook has the kicker getting a four year extension (first reported by Mike Reiss).

‘Hard Knocks’ diary: Torture, f-bombs and one noodle arm - Kirk Minihane reviews the latest episode.

Jets lead NFL in talking, little else - Mark Farinella is taking a wait-and-see approach on the Jets.

With a spot to fill, Ainge is looking - Julian Benbow has the Celtics boss looking to fill one more roster spot.

Red Sox fan? Patriots fan? Both?

I’ve got some things to take care of this morning, so I’m going to leave you with this poll.

In his infamous “we should be more forgiving of the Red Sox and more critical of the Patriots” column last week, Chris Gasper noted that colleague Tony Massarotti feels that there isn’t much of an overlap between fan bases of the two franchises.

What do you think? Are you a Red Sox fan and a NY Giants fan? Are you a Patriots fan and a Yankees fan? (I know people who are both of those things.) I even know someone who is a Red Sox fan and Jets fan. In general, though, I think most Red Sox fans are Patriots fans and vice versa.

How Would You Classify Yourself?
Total Votes: 875 Started: August 25, 2010 Back to Vote Screen

If you are of mixed fandom tell us your rooting preferences in the comments below, perhaps with how you came to root for those two teams.

(By the way, check out RedSoxLinks.com and PatriotsLinks.com for all your sports news of the day. Also check out Worry Wart – Preseason Game Three vs. Rams by Chris Warner on PD. )

Sox Down M’s, Damon Leaning Against Return To Boston

John Lackey struck out a season high 10 batters, and Marco Scutaro drove in fourruns as the Red Sox beat the Mariners 6-3at Fenway Park last night. Get all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

The Red Sox claimed Johnny Damon off of waivers from the Detroit Tigers yesterday, but it remains unclear whether the 2004 World Series hero will return to the Red Sox. Damon has told Detroit reporters that he is leaning towards remaining with the Tigers, who are 10 games out in the AL Central and 15 games out of the Wild Card. Of course, that could just be  posturing to get something further from the Red Sox. The other possibility is that the Red Sox would like Damon, but were more interested in making sure that Tampa or the Yankees couldn’t get him.

A primer for the Johnny Damon saga - Rob Bradford tells us all we need to know about the situation.

Don’t be an idiot, Johnny Damon - Michael Silverman wants Damon back with the Red Sox.

Damon’s return makes all kinds of sense - Joe Haggerty says that this needs to happen.

Give Do-it-all Bill Hall the 10th player award - Christopher Smith says that the utilityman should be honored by the club.

Gerry Callahan and Dan Shaughnessy composed very different columns about Roger Clemens. The former blasts the rocket, while the latter chooses to remember the good times with Clemens, including the time he sent a 6-foot teddy bear to Shaughnessy’s sick daughter.

Catcher improved, mystified - Peter Abraham’s notebook has Jarrod Saltalamacchia still without answers about the infection that landing him on the DL and in the hospital.

Friends: Don’t count on Logan Mankins.

Fans: We’re not.

Ian Rapoport has friends of the holdout guard insisting that he’s prepared financially to sit out the season, with the hope that with a new CBA he’ll be declared a free agent. He lives on a self-sustaining farm and doesn’t spend money! He’s principled! It’s not about the money – he doesn’t spend money! But he’s not going to take less money!  That Frank Bauer (Mankins’ agent) really knows how to get public opinion on his side!

Light: Us ‘trained pigs’ will be just fine - Christopher Price has Matt Light confident in the abilities of his new linemates.

Patriots getting healthy - Mark Farinella has several injured Patriots returning to practice yesterday.

Guyton seeks his role after knee injury - Jennifer Toland has the Patriots linebacker looking to get back into action with his return to practice.

Tom Brady alone in knocking ‘Knocks’ - Mike Reiss has the QB’s teammates not following his example in expressing hate for the Jets and ‘Hard Knocks.’ And here’s Reiss being too soft on the Patriots again.

The Running Back Issue - Chris Warner tries to figure out if there is rhyme or reason to how Bill Belichick uses his running backs in the preseason.

I’d avoid Karen Guregian and her high horse this morning as she demands to know why Quinn Ojinnaka was not made available to the media to “provide some explanation for his past problems at home.” She then launches into how the Jets are signing all their malcontent players, why can’t the Patriots do the same?

NESN’s “After The Game” to Show Athletes at Home

NESN continues to look for ways to capture the casual sports fan’s attention with the new series “After The Game,” set to debut on Friday, September 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm.

Described as a new “lifestyle” program, “After The Game” will “showcase the personal homes, lives, and philanthropic efforts of New England’s beloved athletes.”

The show is produced by Linda Pizzuti Henry – wife of Red Sox owner John Henry - and Kelly Boullet of Nacho Mama Productions. The series will be part of  NESN’s new Made in New England programming lineup. 

Each show highlights the rise to becoming a world-class athlete, an inside look at their living space in a “Cribs”-style tour, followed by a look at the charities that he or she is passionate about. 

The first episode features Tim Wakefield walking viewers through his Florida home, explaining how he became the famous Red Sox knuckle-baller, and sharing why he takes time to support Space Coast Early Intervention Center and Pitching in for Kids– his primary philanthropic commitments. 

Future episodes will feature Patrice Bergeron, Matt Light, David Ortiz, Bode Miller, Tom Werner, Kristine Lilly, Doug Flutie and others.

To learn more about “After The Game” and the athletes, homes and charities featured on the show, you can visit www.afterthegametv.com, or follow @afterthegametv on Twitter.