Brady Signs, Media Sighs

The locals were beaten to the scoop last night when NBC’s Peter King broke the news at halftime of the Saints/Vikings season opener that Robert Kraft had told him that the Patriots had finalized a new four year contract with quarterback Tom Brady.

For all the absurdity that this situation garnered in the offseason, with reports of a “disconnect,” (that were eagerly jumped on by the local media) hints that the situation could get ugly, and that the Patriots were using the upcoming labor situation as an excuse not to pay Brady, the Patriots took care of business and got a deal done that handsomely rewards their superstar and keeps him here through 2014. Some will make the claim that the the Patriots made Brady “beg” for the new deal, and wonder why they waited so long. But they got it done before the Colts and Peyton Manning, despite claims from the Colts owner early this year that Manning would be signed – claims that many took at face value.

Meanwhile, does anyone think it still would’ve been a good idea for Brady to have held out of camp? Would this deal have gotten done? Are you paying attention, Logan Mankins?

It all adds up to a worthwhile deal - Albert R Breer with some analysis on what the deal means for Brady, the Patriots and the league.

Breaking down the Brady deal - Christopher Price says that both sides can claim victory in this deal.

An optimist’s view of Pats season - We’ve heard over and over about all the negatives and uncertainties about this Patriots team. Bill Burt tries to look for the positive.

Accuracy takes hit from rush - Chad Finn looks at the hazards of Twitter as a news source, highlighted by Tom Brady’s life this week. Steve Buckley attempts to defend the actions of the media mob in Foxboro yesterday.

Simms is picking Jets (sort of) - Bill Doyle has CBS’ Phil Simms reluctantly picking the Jets to win the AFC East.

This preseason, Pats in the market for players - Paul Kenyon’s Patriots Journal makes an interesting point – in the last few years, the Patriots were trading away players on cutdown day, this year they were trading for players.

Even Jerod Mayo can’t know - Ian Rapoport’s notebook says that even the Patriots linebacker doesn’t know what to expect from his defense.

Saltalamacchia cherishes chance to prove himself - Daniel Barbarisi has the Red Sox catcher looking to make an impression in the time remaining in the season.

Top 10 places to get better - Peter Abraham’s minor league notebook looks at how only two of the Red Sox top ten prospects showed great improvement this season.

It’s showtime for Red Sox prospects - Joe McDonald has the Red Sox giving the kids a shot.

Versatile Martinez wants a long-term deal - Maureen Mullen looks at what makes Victor Martinez so valuable.

McDonald earned a winter vacation - Abraham’s notebook has Darnell McDonald looking forward to a winter with his family for the first time in his career.

Ice brink - Kevin Paul Dupont has a feature on Bruins top pick Tyler Seguin, the most talked-about Bruins rookie since Joe Thornton.

Check out the Patriots Daily offerings for this weekend’s season opener:

Worry Wart – Game One vs. Bengals - By Chris Warner

First Impressions – Cincinnati Bengals - By Greg Doyle

Matchups Of The Week – Bengals at Patriots - By Dan Zeigarnik

Around The League – Week One (Part One – AFC Preview) By Jeremy Gottlieb

From The506.com – Where Patriots/Bengals Will Be Shown

Brady Shaken, Media Stirred

So at what time this afternoon does Michael Felger proclaim that Tom Brady was distracted by his contract situation and that was a factor in his car accident this morning?

WEEI was the first with the news, showing that breaking news on the radio might not be a dead art just yet.

Local and national media were tripping over themselves trying to rush out the details, getting several early ones wrong. He wasn’t in a Bentley, and he wasn’t brought to the hospital. The jaws of life were used on the other vehicle in the accident, not Brady’s.

This might be a good example of the flaws of the “new” news cycle, where the rush is on to get stuff out there, whereas in the past, the facts would be well established before you read them in the newspaper the next day.

Score one for the old-timers. With situations like this, I can wait 10 minutes for the correct information to be reported.

You can get the latest reports on the Patriots and Brady at PatriotsLinks.com.

The NFL season kicks off tonight, and there are plenty of season preview articles in the papers this morning.

If you’re a Patriots fan, be aware that (predictably) the columns in the Globe are going to tick you off. Bob Ryan spends half of his saying how Bill Belichick’s legacy is tainted by Spygate, and that he needs another title to get re-validated. Chris Gasper falls back on the tried and true the “mere idea of questioning Belichick’s coaching capacity borders on heresy” approach, while making the case that Belichick is too old to lead the Patriots to another Super Bowl.

Head coordinator - We’ll give Monique Walker a link, as she plays it straight in her story.

Developing situation - Albert Breer is good today too, as he looks at the challenge the Patriots have in developing so many young players.

CBS’s No. 1 team still playing favorites - Chad Finn has a Thursday media column, looking at the NFL broadcast teams.

Patriots wipe their slate clean for 2010 season - Ian Rapoport looks at the Patriots starting fresh in many ways this season.

Rapoport gets an important detail right about the pictures being removed at Gillette. The previous impression that was given was that it was just the Super Bowl teams that had pictures removed, but that’s not the case. Pictures from any win from the past decade, including those in the last few years were removed.

When FOX broadcasted the Patriots second preseason game, sideline reporter Pam Oliver made the statement about “memorabilia” being removed, which wasn’t true at all. It was only pictures. Rapoport gets it right.

Trying to separate the triple terrors of the AFC East - Jonathan Comey looks at the three-headed monster in the AFC East.

Previewing the 2010 season - Mike Reiss and Tedy Bruschi preview the new season for the Patriots.

Not looking good for Wheatley - Tom E Curran’s notebook has the cornerback in a walking cast.

‘Hard Knocks’ diary: No cliffhanger on Revis Island - Kirk Minihane recaps the season finale of Hard Knocks.

The Red Sox beat the Rays last night at Fenway 11-5 behind five home runs. Get all the stories at RedSoxLinks.com.

Gifted Lars Anderson collects first hit - Dan Duggan has the slugging prospect getting his first Major League hit.

Tim Wakefield is aware of his Red Sox legacy - Mike Fine has the knuckleballer aware of where he stands in Red Sox history.

Tim Wakefield inches closer to mark - Joe McDonald has more on Wakefield.

Sox offer Martinez 2-year contract; agent says catcher wants long-term deal - Daniel Barbarisi has the Red Sox looking to start talks with Victor Martinez.  

Francona fields questions on bad throws - Peter Abraham’s notebook has the skipper talking about his clubs issues throwing the ball.

For Coleman, a long journey to BC - Eric Avidon has a look at the redshirt wide receiver for the Eagles.

Milan Lucic not 100 percent - Stephen Harris says that the LW is still recovering from his ankle injury.

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?

Tom Brady Contract Talk Dominates

Only in Boston can a new multi-year contract not even be signed yet before the media starts trying to panic the fans about what will happen after the deal has run its course.

That’s the case here, where Tom Brady and the Patriots have yet to formally agree to a new deal, yet newspaper writers and radio hosts are already trying to stir up Patriots fans into a panic over the short “window” that the Patriots will have to win a Super Bowl while Brady is still here, and before he heads to San Francisco or a new team in Los Angeles, or wherever. Others tie it to when Bill Belichick’s contract runs out, and stir things up about what the team will do then.

We’ll try to stay away from that, as well as comments like the one from Ron Borges this morning, where he claims that the Patriots will try to make it look like Brady signed for less than he really did, just so they can make the claim that he took a discount. When two columns this morning compare the Patriots to the Nixon White House, (even if one of those columns is defendingthe team) we’ll just leave them both out, including Dan Shaughnessy’s column today, which we’ll avoid except for one segment that will be the topic of a post later this morning.

Brady was on Dennis and Callahan this morning, and side-stepped the contract questions. The better answers came when he was asked about the national media picking seemingly everyone but the Patriots.

Tom Brady deal close - The Herald (after it was mentioned on WEEI yesterday) has led the way on this story right from the start.

Tom Brady may have deal soon - After semi-shooting down the story yesterday, Adam Schefter confirms many of the details of the potential deal.

Brady deal is closer, but not done yet - Albert Breer weighs in on the situation as well.

Pats face stiff challenge right out of the gate - Robert Lee says that Sunday will be a tough one for the Patriots.

Rookie Fletcher earns his keep, for now - Monique Walker’s notebook has a look at the undrafted rookie linebacker.

Gotta Love NT Kyle Love’s story - Ian Rapoport’s notebook looks at the undrafted rookie defensive lineman.

Red Sox will have to wait ’til next year - Michael Silverman has the plug officially being pulled on the 2010 season last night.

Dice-K snuffs all remaining hope - Bill Ballou has Matsuzaka getting lit up in a must-win game.

Varitek wants to play a few more years - The CSNNE notebook has the veteran catcher not ready to call it career just yet.

Bruins lace ’em up with Zdeno Chara leading captain’s practice - Stephen Harris has many of the Bruins gathering for a “Captain’s Practice.”

NESN Launches “NESN National” in North and South Carolina

NESN announced today that Time Warner Cable customers in North and South Carolina will be the first cable customers in the country to have access to NESN National – the national television service of NESN.

Subscribers to TWC’s SportsPass will have access to NESN National, and be able to view Red Sox and Bruins pre and post-game programming, as well as NESN Daily and other programming on the network.

Live game telecasts of the Red Sox and Bruins, Red Sox replays or classic games, and certain other programs will not be available on NESN National due to league restrictions.  When these programs are airing on NESN in New England, Time Warner Cable customers in the Carolinas will see other programming.

Sox Playing Out The String; Patriots, Brady, Close?

The Red Sox seem to be officially playing out the string these days, loading up the lineup with rookies, but the kids looked good in a 12-5 rout of the wild card leading Tampa Rays. The Red Sox sit 6 1/2 games back in the wild card with 24 games left to play.

The bigger news this morning comes from the Herald, where Karen Guregian and Ron Borges report that the Patriots and Tom Brady are closing on a three-year extension that might be done within the next 24 hours. Dennis & Callahan also have sources saying that the deal is near.

No place like Boston for David Ortiz - Gordon Edes says that the Red Sox need to bring Ortiz back in 2011.

Minor misconceptions? The Red Sox’ minor league season in context - Alex Speier has a look at how the Red Sox top prospects fared this season.

Lenny Megliola and Nick Cafardo each look at the impressive story of Rocco Baldelli’s return to the majors.

Ryan Kalish making grand impact - Michael Silverman has the rookie outfielder hitting his second grand slam of the season.

Big step for Anderson - Amalie Benjamin’s notebook has Lars Anderson getting his first taste of the majors.

Bard Diary: Still a big series - The Red Sox reliever weighs in on Manny’s apology, and whether he could be a starter.

Randy Moss only wrong about the timing - Kirk Minihane says that Randy Moss gave the right message yesterday, but his timing was wrong.

Ten predictions for the 2010 season - Mike Reiss says 10-6 for the Patriots this year, and has nine other predictions as well.

Safety Jarrad Page loves move to NE - Ian Rapoport has the Patriots newest safety excited to come to the Yankees of the NFL.

Dane Fletcher’s Taking Nothing for Granted in Battle to Make Patriots’ Final Roster - Jeff Howe gets the undrafted rookie’s view of cutdown day and what he went through.

10 steps for the Pats to reach the Super Bowl - Hector Longo looks at what it will take.

It’s A Rainy Friday Megalink Thing

As it appears Hurricane Earl will brush Southern Rhode Island tonight, it’s time to do your megalinks. For this Labor Day holiday weekend, there’s plenty of sports viewing. You can check your sports and entertainment programs in the Weekend Viewing Picks.

In addition, we have our first weekend of College Football Viewing Picks so you can check out what’s up for Saturday’s games.

Now let’s do the links.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with ESPN’s Erin Andrews about her expanded role at College Gameday.

Milton Kent at Fanhouse profiles former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Eric Crouch who will be working college football games for Versus this season.

Hannah Karp of the Wall Street Journal says tennis players are quite thin skinned over the analysis from ESPN2 and Tennis Channel.  

John Ourand at Sports Business Daily looks at the new Time Warner Cable/Disney deal which brings forth some new services from ESPN exclusively for subscribers.

At Multichannel News, Todd Spangler says Time Warner subscribers will be able to watch ESPN programming online and through their cell phones.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes that ESPN will kick off a college football Red Zone Channel-type service for Time Warner on Saturday.

To Mediaweek where Anthony Crupi and Mike Shields have reaction to the Time Warner Cable/Disney carriage agreement.

At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred says Mike Wise’s fake tweet on Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension bit him on the butt.

The Big Lead talks with ESPN College Gameday analyst Desmond Howard.

Jay Busbee of Yahoo’s From The Marbles blog says Erin Andrews took a spin around Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday.

Yahoo’s Big League Stew blog feels Fox or TBS should hire Pedro Martinez for its MLB postseason coverage. That’s an interesting thought. 

In the Hollywood Reporter, Fox Sports Radio host Pat O’Brien reaches out to perpetual bad girl Lindsey Lohan.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell explores which college football player’s jersey sells the best.

Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest asks if Women’s Professional Soccer is in trouble?

Sports Newser finally recognizes a worthwhile sports media blog. Thanks, I appreciate it.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe looks at tonight’s premiere of NFL Network’s documentary series on the Top 100 players of all-time.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette says Holy Cross doesn’t have a radio station lined up for its basketball broadcasts.

Page Six at the New York Post says ESPN’s Erin Andrews was ensured that stalkers would not get near her during a recent stay in the Big Apple.

The Post’s Phil “Dr. Doom and Gloom” Mushnick gets on Virginia Tech for wearing all-black uniforms this coming Monday.

Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for Fox Sports’ Jimmy Johnson.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says sports radio is all over the Derek Jeter contract talks.

Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union speaks with a CBS Sports executive about using a Capital Region sports anchor for the network’s 3-D coverage of the US Open.

Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Time Warner Sports is adding tomorrow’s Syracuse game to its schedule.

The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog notes that ESPN personalities are denouncing the firing of MASN analyst Rob Dibble.

Dan recognizes a local sports TV producer who is retiring after over four decades in the market.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner previews tonight’s NFL Network series premiere.

South

David Ranii of the Raleigh News & Observer says a local sports technology company has raised over $10 million for an expansion.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson has some advice for NFL TV analysts.

Sarah Talalay in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says the Miami Dolphins’ plea for public money comes as bad timing in the wake of leaked documents showing the Florida Marlins are profitable.

Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times has ESPN’s Jon Gruden criticizing the proposed 18 game NFL schedule.

Larry Vaught of the Danville Advocate-Messenger says Erin Andrews will speak at a University of Kentucky basketball clinic in gratitude of the support coach John Calipari gave her.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal says Fox Sports will be teaming up with the famed St. Jude Children’s Hospital during NFL season. 

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says this was not a good preseason ratings-wise for the Cowboys.

Ray Buck at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has NBC’s Tony Dungy feeling a looming NFL lockout could weigh on the minds of the Players Association this season.

The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron says Dungy is bullish on the Houston Texans this season.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has his media notebook.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Reds pitching sensation Aroldis Chapman helped steer Fox Sports Ohio to high ratings once again.

Mike Zuidema in the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says a local native gets to call his beloved Detroit Lions for national radio.

To the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Bob Wolfley who writes that Fox Sports will be airing NFL games in true high definition this season.

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

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says Fox Sports North is into high school football in a big way.

West

Dick Harmon at the Deseret (UT) News wonders with Brigham Young University now locked with ESPN, how will its in-house BYU-TV survive?

Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune has ESPN’s statement on its new deal with BYU football.

At the Denver Post, CBS’ Shannon Sharpe answers readers questions on his old Broncos team and the NFL.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the syndicated Jim Rome show will be changing stations next month.

Jay notes that Fox will be picking up tomorrow’s Padres game and also be simulcasting their announcers for an inning.

At the North County Times, John Maffei says it was television that was the cause for BYU to leave the Mountain West Conference and become a football independent.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says ESPN pissed people off when it dictated terms at a high school game.

Jim says Tony Dungy has a pulpit at NBC to express his opinions.

Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News looks at the 800 lb. gorilla in college football that is named ESPN.

Tom reviews the week in blogging and sports media.

Casey McMerthney of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer delves into the paper’s archives to remember the Seahawks first radio broadcast team.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that a local sports radio station continues its search for a morning show host.

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says the Blue Jays are beginning to take hits over Rogers putting 25 games on a new channel that is hardly carried on Canadian cable systems.

With that, we end the megalinks.

Manny’s Return Causes Minor Spike In Ticket Prices

Patriots Wrap Up Preseason With Loss To Giants

The Patriots and Giants faced off last night in the final preseason game for the two teams, and the Giants pulled out a 20-17 win.

The 2010 outlook for this Patriots team seems mostly pessimistic among media members, with Karen Guregian taking the morning to lecture fans that this is no longer an elite team. (I think most of us knew that already.)

It’s going to take some time - Albert Breer says that while this defense is going to struggle, it will be for the right reasons – because there is young talent learning on the job.

Ten Things We Learned Thursday Night: Belichick makes a statement to starters - Among the points Chris Price makes is that the young cornerbacks actually had a good night.

The teachings of Patriots preseason - Mike Reiss also has 10 things to take away from this preseason for the Patriots. He also looks at the high praise for Alge Crumplerfrom Belichick.

Five things to remember - Tom E Curran notes the upbeat attitude of Bill Belichick after this one.

Bill Belichick’s Job No Easier After Patriots’ Preseason Finale - Jeff Howe looks at the job facing the head coach.

Hoyer secure in backup QB role - Robert Lee’s Patriots Journal has the backup quarterback growing in confidence and security.

NFL Films will bring out the best - Chad Finn’s media column look at the NFL Network’s countdown of the 100 greatest players.

These Games Mean Nothing, Unless They Lose - In my SBNation Media column, I look at how preseason wins are meaningless, while preseason losses are cause for DEFCON 4.

Holy Cross may be lacking in sound - Bill Doyle’s media column looks at the uncertain state of the radio broadcasts for Holy Cross athletics.

It just wasn’t Red Sox’ year - Lenny Megliola says that this season just wasn’t meant to be.

Beltre invaluable to Sox, but for how long? - Alex Speier looks at how much Adrian Beltre has meant to the 2010 Sox, and whether he’ll be here beyond this season.

New curriculum for former LSU standout - Peter Abraham’s minor league notebook has the Red Sox taking it easy with highly rated prospect Anthony Ranaudo.

Not making a big deal out of it - Fluto Shinzawa says that the league is taking its time in looking into Marc Savard’s contract.

Danny Ainge has a new vision for Celtics - A Sherrod Blakely looks at how the Ainge completely re-made the Celtics this offseason, even if it may not seem like it.

Shaughnessy Blasts WBZ For Selling its Soul to Patriots

The Patriots wrap up their preseason slate tonight with a game against the New York Giants on WBZ-TV. (NFL Network nationally.)

Dan Shaughnessy (no link for this) isn’t pleased. Still bitter over a breakfast snub years and years ago, Shaughnessy blasts WBZ in his column this morning for having “officially sold its news soul to the New England Patriots.”

Dan doesn’t like that the “talent” wears shirts with Patriots logos on the broadcast, says if they make them wear those shirts, then they can’t be trusted to report anything real about the team. He then uses the fact that Ben Roethlisberger is a knucklehead and that the current news director at WBZ-TV once worked in Pittsburgh as further evidence of the stations duplicity.

He tries to pass off the Globe’s Red Sox ownership stake by referring to  “our court-mandated NESN appearances.”

These preseason games are paid for and produced by the Patriots. (Through Kraft Sports Productions) It makes sense that they would push their brand in these telecasts. These are, again, preseason games, of which, at most, there are two or three that KSP actually does. How much “real” reporting or negativity is there to be gotten out of these meaningless (score-wise) games?  Besides, with the Globe around, we know that there will never be a shortage of negative reporting about the Patriots.

Contrast that with the Red Sox-owned NESN, which broadcasts almost 162 regular-season (real) games a year, and at the same time, we’re supposed to believe that Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy are completely objective and not partial towards the Red Sox at all?

I know it was sarcastic, but Dan even managed to work in a plug for the new season of “Pocket Money” on NESN later on in the column. WBZ is by no means the only outlet or individual in the sports media who has sold out to a sports franchise or athlete.

Now to the real sports stories of the day.

Jon Lester struggled early, giving up four runs in the first inning, but settled down long enough for the Red Sox to post a 9-6 win over the Orioles last night. Lester stuck around long enough to pick up his 15th win on the season. Get all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

Don’t count out Red Sox rotation yet - Gordon Edes says that we shouldn’t worry that this rotation won’t be good in 2011.

Bullish on Beckett? Why the Sox see hope in struggles - Alex Speier has the Sox optimitistic that Josh Beckett can turn things around in 2011.

Beckett sees spoils to be won - Amalie Benjamin’s notebook has Beckett still hoping to take something out of 2010.

What to watch for Thursday against the Giants - Chris Price looks at tonight’s Patriots game.

What to watch when Pats face Giants - Mike Reiss has a few things as well.

How the Patriots 53-man roster projects - Karen Guregian takes her latest crack at the roster.

Hard Knocks Diary: Rex Ryan goes Knute Rockne - Kirk Minihane with a diary of last night’s show.

Patriots hoping to head into regular season on a positive note - Glen Farley has the Patriots looking to create some momentum tonight.

Celtics bring guard Delonte West back to Boston -Jim Fenton reports on the return

BC’s offensive arsenal improves - Eric Avidon continues his series on the BC Football team.