A Challenge To Dan Shaughnessy

Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy submitted a routine hack job of the Patriots and their methods in this morning’s newspaper. He made the usual comparisons (Nixon White House) and accusations (arrogance) and even made a statement calling out some of his colleagues in the media.

The Patriots are the Nixon White House of sports. They see demons everywhere. They bash dissent, deny the obvious, and rely on a silent majority of loyalists (including some credentialed media) to pledge allegiance.

(emphasis mine)

So here’s the challenge to the bravest columnist in town (as described by his editor, Joe Sullivan):

Name the credentialed media. Call them out by name. Do it publicly. Don’t send an email or make a phone call. Just name them.

I mean, this is a serious offense, is it not? These so-called objective media members, who have pledged allegiance to the evil empire that is the New England Patriots and their emperor, Bill Belichick, need to be identified.

I like how Dan is implying his own bravery here as well by mentioning the “silent majority of loylists” – the implication being that there are only a few brave souls – including himself – who dare speak against the evil being committed down in Foxborough.

So let’s hear it Dan. Who are the credentialed media members who have pledged allegiance to the Patriots?

Random Quote

“The New England Patriots, let’s face it…they’re NOT good anymore. They’re weak.”

— Trent Dilfer, ESPN – September 30, 2014
  • EvilStaceyJames

    Bravest columnist I know.

    Our official position is that Patriots Nation would be greatly served if Mr. Shaughnessy were to pass on due to one of those flesh eating viruses.


  • Tony

    "I'm Larry Lucchino and I approve of Dan Shaughnessy's message."

  • JFP

    With the exception of Mike Reiss I stopped reading anyone in the Boston sports media long ago.

    However, I'm curious of what he means by "deny the obvious"? Does he mean the fact that the Pat's have been rebuilding for two years and still made the playoffs? Oh the horror! If only they could be 1-15 again. Then there would be some real stories to write.

  • Tony

    You know, I'd be annoyed at Shaughnessy's nonsense this morning were it not for the fact that it's pretty clear that the guy simply doesn't even like football. He's always been a baseball first, basketball second, and then everything else type of guy. I remember hearing him on the radio in the late 80s, before he became a columnist, actually talking about how he hardly even followed football. As a beat writer, he covered the Red Sox and Celtics and never once ventured anywhere near Foxboro if I recall correctly. After he became a columnist he had to write about sports other than baseball and basketball, so that's when his "involvement" with the Patriots began. I've said it many times but it's worth repeating: the Globe should reconsider letting this guy write about any sport that doesn't involve a purely round ball, because his hack tendencies become even more pronounced when he's writing on a subject about which he has very, very little knowledge.

  • NorwoodZip

    Bruce, It's an hour and 15 minutes – have you heard from anyone on Morrissey Blvd. yet?

    JFP nails it.

    Any mother's basement references or get-a-lifer talk?

    I sent you an email about Shaughnessy's "effort" at the TPC over the weekend, I didn't even mention the drivel he put up on CNNSI.COM.

    It's one thing to be lazy, it's another to be lazy and shameless.

  • Wilson Tisdale

    "They bash dissent, deny the obvious, and rely on a silent majority of loyalists to pledge allegiance."

    Sounds like he's describing the inner workings of the Globe!

    • Tony

      In addition to Bruce's challenge to Shaughnessy about naming names when it comes to "loyalist" members of the credentialed media, I'd also like Dan to give one solid example of the Patriots "bashing dissent." Typically, their response to ANYTHING derogatory that's said about the coach, the team, the organization, a player, etc., is to not comment on it at all. I personally have never heard Belichick or Kraft "bash" dissent, not publicly at least. They usually don't comment at all. Now, it is possible that the 1998 Super Bowl Breakfast snub is what Dan's talking about. If Kraft would send over 3 dozen bagles and 10 tubs of assorted cream cheeses to the Globe offices tomorrow, would that make up for it? Kraft must be kicking himself for that stupid stunt–he made a media enemy for life when he failed to invite Dan to that brunch, and he should have known that this petulant child posing as a responsible "journalist" never would let him forget about it, and never would forgive him either.

  • J.R.

    We all know that, along with being some of the most self-absorbed and thin-skinned people on the planet, a good number of the sports media in this market are just miserable, not to mention pathetic, little human beings.

    When any of the teams are successful for an extended period of time (see Patriots), which is to say there's typically not a lot of controversy to write about, they pout, stamp their feet, and then hold their breath until they turn blue. They then harp on a contrived "issue" for weeks or months, backed by OPINIONS, not facts. Why? Because digging for facts takes time and effort and it's a helluva lot easier to simply SCREAM or write a bunch of contrarian nonsense ("it just seems to me caller").

    As readers and listeners, we deserve a whole lot better than this collective tripe that allegedly "serves" us. And, we're not looking for "fanboy journalism" either. How 'bout an honest effort for once, minus the middle school-like hissy fits and vendettas. That would be a pretty good start.

    • Paul

      That probably won't happen regarding the Pats. Despite being very tight-lipped organization since BB took over (11 seasons ago!), they still haven't gotten it. To the media, it's the Pats that have the problem, not them.

  • Eddie

    I agree with Roger Clemens. Shaughnessy must have had a bad childhood.

  • Joe776

    The "curly haired boyfriend" is a self absorbed sanctimonious jerk. He is still smarting from the time that Kraft did not invite Globe writers to a breakfast press conference prior to one of the SBs. His columns are just trash. He and Borges are the dregs of the media.

  • mike

    Read his SI pieces as of late…he seriously puts together 100 words in like 24 seconds.

  • L3s

    What I don't get about these rants from Shaughnessy is why he thinks readers care about the team-media relationship and dynamic? Boo-hoo, Dan can't get good quote from the Pats.
    What business doesn't want to control the message/spin coming out about it? The Patriots are a billion-dollar enterprise; of course they're going to be careful about their public perception and media scrutiny. It's in their best competitive interest to be evasive and Nixon-esque with the media. The organization owes the media nothing. To boot, the media will always cover the team, providing a wonderful measure of free publicity. And at the end of the day, via their own website and Twitter/Facebook, the Pats can always choose to skip the middle man and provide news directly to their customers over these vehicles.
    Isn't it sweet when the old-school boys from the Blue Ribbon Dailys of the world get pissed when the Patriots Tweet their cuts to the world before putting out a press release and holding a press conference? Guess you boys just have to work a little harder, doncha?

    • J.R.


  • boohoo

    pats are once again becoming a joke and shaughnessy points it out—-and some don't like it—-like the kraft @sskissers. gimme a break—shaughnessy at least tells the truth —too bad some of you can't handle it, or are so scared of kraft and his money…..just wait until the pats are 5-11 —it will be awesome to see this town turn on the krafts and the team and you blind bats will suddenly be agreeing with curly haired boy

    • NorwoodZip

      His take on the Tiger Woods coverage was very similar to his bashing of Patriots loyalists. Dan was at the press conference but chose not to ask a question – or perhaps, the column was already written and Dan just went down there to play grabass.

      Dan has never asked when Roger Clemens started shtooping the underage country singer? Oh yeah, that's right Roger was nice to Dan's sick kid – he get's a pass.

      Hey Dan, maybe if Roger goes to the federal pen – he can link up with your old buddy Barnicle's good buddy John "Zip" Connolly. You remember Zip Danny? He's the one who told Mike that "Jimmy" kept the drugs out of South Boston.

      It's interesting the Globe's going under and Channel 7 is in 3rd place in a 4 horse race – both places where Dan Shaughnessy makes his living.

    • Jerry

      yeah—-too bad people cant use punctuation@approprite times too—-it will be awesome the day you learn these things—-and we are will then not be scared to read your post

      • NorwoodZip

        approprite – Spell check much Jer?

        • Jerry

          My reply was meant for boohoo.

    • Major

      Good to know we have to wait until the 16th game to decide whether to turn on the Pats and their stingy owner. I will mark my calendar.

    • Jon

      Howie Carr posts here? Hack hack hack!

    • Scott@PD

      It's beyond me how an individual becomes this twisted. A Boston sports fan who resents a local team for being successful.

      "Scared of kraft and his money" though – that one will live on in the lexicon.

  • Tony

    By the way, if any of you have Dan's book, "One Strike Away," a very readable tome about the 1986 Red Sox, a team Shaughnessy covered as a beat writer before he was a columnist, you'll find Nixon references in it as well, particularly when talking about managers who were not friendly to the media. Shaughnessy's frosty relationship with John McNamara was well known, but he also used "Nixonian" to describe Gene Mauch's statements to the press after the Angels' manager was second-guessed for how he handled his pitching staff in the 9th inning of ALCS Game 5, when California was just one strike away from the World Series and then blew it.

    So using Nixon and Watergate references are nothing knew to Shank. In fact, they're an old standby.

    • NorwoodZip

      One Strike Away was very good.

      • http://eeek.com Jimjoe

        NorwoodZip, no offense to you personally but that book reads like it was written like a 3rd grader. It reads like a school project.

    • Fred West Lynn

      So in 1986, Dan was trotting out references to events that happened in 1974. A dozen years old.

      And he's still trotting out the same old beaten dogs in 2010.

      Why does The Boston Globe hate its readers so?

  • Fred West Lynn

    Bruce's challenge should also deserve a response from Sports Editor Joe Sullivan, who not only does not challenge Shaughnessy's bitter hackdom, but (as Bruce mentioned) actively promotes his "star" columnist.

    That challenge should also be directed to whichever editor(s) make up the Globe front page, who repeatedly slap "Shaughnessy says…" or some other promotion on the front page (as happened today). Clearly this is a question for the editors as well as the miscreant columnist.

  • Fred West Lynn

    Bruce's challenge should also deserve a response from Sports Editor Joe Sullivan, who not only does not challenge Shaughnessy's bitter hackdom, but (as Bruce mentioned) actively promotes his "star" columnist.

  • Classless

    Shaughnessy doesn't seem to understand the average working slob could care less whether the Patriots give him a good quote or not. Work harder, Mike Reiss does.

    I also love how Shank and his brethren pine for the days of Bill Parcells and his silly press conference. It's like Homer Simpson being distracted by a treat on the floor: "Ooooo a piece of candy!"

    • Tony

      Parcells actually treating them WORSE than Belichick does. He openly feuded with them and insulted many of them in crass ways, publicly. But, of course, he was entertaining while he did it and he made for great soundbites and good copy. So The Tuna gets a special media dispensation for that.

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      That was James Woods, actually….

  • nhbob

    I don't think that Dan had his heart and soul in this piece. If he had, he would have trotted out a Lary Bird /Red Auerbach reference.

  • heavy-duty

    I like the challenge Bruce – good for you! Keep them honest. I don't expect much from Dan Shaughnessy.

  • sam


    how long have you been doing this, for tens years almost… drop shaughnessy et. al. it’s like a junior high talent show adaptation of a beckett play around here. evolve.

  • frank

    Once upon a tim eI read shaugnessey. Once upon a time I read the globe. Once upon a time I listened to all the sports talk shows.

    No need to suppost the fellowship of the truly miserable – MEDIOTS.

    I will read knowledgeable sports writers and watch & listen to those that actually talk about the game and strategy and action.

    It takes some searching to find the above, but it is out there…

    Great job as always Bruce!!!

  • ObjectiveBruce

    I think you can pretty much figure out who Shaughnessy is talking about. Start with every TV Bozo, especially those "covering" the game in official Patsies gear.

    Rather than trying to turn it around on Shaughnessy, and in the process make it clear that you doubt his thesis, perhaps it would make more sense to actually analyze the press conferences and look at what reporters suddenly turn bashful in the face of coaches who use intimidation to diffuse questions. Or maybe ask the club why they video tape the reporters.

    Media critics ought not to be apologists for sports teams, but that is precisely what you do in turning the story back on the columnist, rather than taking an objective look at the issues he raises.

    • Paul

      Wow, I didn't think that the whole Pats polo thing would cause such a stir…but being familiar with "Objective" Bruce, I'm not surprised.

      I know not everyone in the 6-State New England area is a Pats fan but folks need to get over themselves. First, it was a local broadcast. Second, it was a Kraft Sports production that only does pre-season and Pats-centric shows during the season. Third, these are sports reporters, not Woodward and Bernstien. Who cares if they're wearing a shirt with the Pats logo on it? I mean, does it really ruin your enjoyment of the game to know that they're not "objective"? Like I said before, sports reporters are one step away from being "Mean" Gene Okerlund.

  • Steve

    I'd have to say that Shaughnessy and the word bozo are far too close for Dan's comfort. ObjectiveBruce would be a refugee from the Shaughnessy Blogspot (we read him so you don't have to) and he was constantly accused of actually being Dan. Oh and the story was turned back on the columnist because it's Dan's MO – make an accusation – almost always contrarian, add in dated references, have every article give the impression that he hates sports and act bitter towards everyone involved in the New England press. However, with so many people onto his shtick, it doesn't provide him anywhere close to the publicity that he so desperately craves.

  • http://danshaughnessy.blogspot.com/ mike_b1

    By calling him “the bravest columnist in town,” Joe Sullivan must have meant it takes extreme courage to attach one's face to such tripe day after day. He couldn't possibly have meant it as a compliment.