2011 Boston Sports Media Year In Review

Note: also see Media Roundup: The Year That Was In Boston Sports Media – my SB Nation Media Column this week.

Hard to believe that another year is almost in the books. We’re also closing in on 10 years of BSMW, which will happen in April.

Looking back at 2011, what do you think were the biggest stories in the Boston sports media for 2011? Here is a look back at some of what happened this year, along with some of the most visited posts on BSMW:

In an effort to stymie lagging ratings, WEEI shuffles their lineup, booting Dale Arnold off the mid-day show, teaming Michael Holley with Glenn Ordway on a new “Big Show” and inserts Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni on the mid-day show. Dale Arnold’s final show on the mid-day was bittersweet.  

We still couldn’t get away from Spygate. Peter King brought it all back up again in a column on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Then Gregg Easterbrook moved the goal posts again.

NESN’s Executive Vice President of Programming and Executive Producer Joel Feld left the network after five years on the job.

There was a silly Gary Tanguay/Michael Felger dustup over CSNNE’s coverage of the Celtics.

The Sports Media’s Guide To Twitter – Some media members still believe they are in-demand content producers when tweeting about Jersey Shore.

Remember when Bill Belichick had the audacity not to show up for a media breakfast at the NFL owners meetings?

NH Sportswriter Blames Prostitution Arrest on Newspaper Cutbacks – The economy hit everyone hard.

Twitter wars between morning sports radio hosts are always entertaining.

WEEI’s D&C Strike Out at Competitors, Media Reporters – When they attack media reporters, it’s even more entertaining.

After trying the Ordway-Holley experiment for a few weeks, WEEI got even more desperate and added Mike Adams to the show.

In the midst of the Bruins playoff run, Jack Edwards agreed to a multi-year contract extension with NESN.

Apparently Mike Adams thinks I kiss Felger’s ass too much. Really.

The Bruins added to Boston’s championship decade by winning their first Stanley Cup since 1972

Former Boston Herald columnist George Kimball passed away after a long battler with esophageal cancer.

98.5 crushed WEEI in the spring ratings.

It was reported that the Celtics would Acquire Up To 20% Stake in CSNNE. That deal has not yet been officially announced.

Guest Column: The State Of The Media – 2011 – Former Channel 7 Sports anchor Roy Reiss wrote this guest spot.

Former Pats LB Tedy Bruschi Joins WEEI’s Patriots Monday – This was announced with much fanfare, Bruschi appeared on a few shows, and then stopped appearing. Efforts to find out why have been unsuccessful to date.

Guest Column – The Rise Of Armchair Sports Commentary – Former Boston Herald columnist Michael Gee wrote this one.

A reckless blogger claimed that Bob Kraft bullied the utility companies into restoring power to Gillette stadium first after the August hurricane. Oh wait, it was an actual newspaper reporter?

Old friend David Scott landed at ESPN in charge of PR for news content.

NESN Daily host Jade McCarthy announced she was leaving the network.

Barstool sports posted pictures of Tom Brady’s son at the beach, which kicked off a giant battle with WEEI, where El Presidente, David Portnoy had been appearing regularly. First Jason Wolfe denounced Portnoy, (In the same post, plans were announced for the Dan Patrick show to simulcast on CSNNE) and then Glenn Ordway talked the subject into oblivion, prompting An Open Letter To Glenn Ordway from this address.

Guest Column: This Just In – George Cain kinda-sorta-in-a-way saw this whole Red Sox September collapse brewing.

It was announced that the Felger and Massarotti show would be simulcast on Comcast SportsNet New England.

When the Bills beat the Patriots in September, the Buffalo media cheered and taunted the New England media. Seriously.

Meet The New Red Sox, Same As The Old Red Sox.

NFL Films featured Patriots coach Bill Belichick in a two-part documentary as part of the A Football Life series. Some wondered why the Richard Seymour trade and “lategate” from the 2009 season were not included in the film. I asked director Ken Rodgers that very question.  

Losers All Around In Globe Article – I wasn’t a fan of the Bob Hohler Boston Globe expose with painted Terry Francona as a drug-addled philanderer who lost interest in managing the team. Another notch on Joe Sullivan’s lipstick case.

Bizzaro Boston: Shaughnessy Is On Point – Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Sports Media Musings: The Sports Lodge Is On Fire! – One of the most popular posts of the year, from Ryan Hadfield.

John Henry Speaks Out On Felger and Mazz – The Red Sox owner had enough of the trashing from the 98.5 afternoon show and showed up in their studios.

BSMW In The New York Times – Got a mention and some quotes in The Gray Lady.

Don Orsillo re-signed with NESN through 2015, while Heidi Watney was the latest departure.

John Dennis and Gerry Callahan talked for 12309474 straight hours about Jerry Sandusky, while inserting creepy jokes at least a couple times a show.

Michael Felger has a weird obsession with the New York Jets. If they don’t make the playoffs, is their way of doing things still the better way?

Remember the old 1510 The Zone? I caught up with a few of the cast members from that era.

Rumored Replacements For Heidi Watney at NESN – An announcement isn’t expected until next month on this.

BSMW Enemies List – Edition 1 – A lot of discussion spawned here.

John Dennis’ assertion that Jeff Green’s aortic aneurysm is a result of Danny Ainge’s arrogance might be a new low in sports media.

As the year winds down and the Patriots are the main topic of discussion, we have worries about Team X, complaints that you’re not allowed to criticize the Patriots and a handy flowchart of coverage options.

What does 2012 hold? I can only imagine.

Celtics Put Up A Fight, But Can’t Beat Heat

The aged and depleted Celtics put up quite a fight last night in Miami, giving the front-running Heat and their fans something to sweat about when they cut what had been a 20-point Miami lead to three points with two minutes remaining. However, in the customary fourth-quarter disappearance of LeBron James, rookie Norris Cole stepped up and made big shots which buried the Celtics in the end, giving Miami a 115-107 victory over Boston.

Last night had everything on display which makes people who hate the NBA, hate the NBA. You had the front-running Heat and their fans nearly choking away a game, relying on a rookie to bail them out in the fourth quarter, and then celebrating like they won the title. You’ve got the imminently unlikeable LeBron James and Chris Bosh (I found myself hoping Bosh would bite his own tongue off after sticking out after making a three.) the incredibly hatable Miami Heat PA announcer, and of course, officials like Danny Crawford and Dick Bavetta who can’t let the game just play out on its own, but have to insert themselves into it, and while attempting to “make up” for bad calls, just make things worse.

Time to make choices, not panic – While Bob Neumeier opened SportsNet Central on CSNNE last night asking if it was time to panic, Paul Flannery says that time has not yet arrived.

Celtics can’t let slow starts continue – Chris Forsberg says that eliminating slow starts has to be first on the list of priorities. A. Sherrod Blakely says that atrocious defense isn’t helping either.

Green plans to return stronger – Gary Washburn’s notebook has Jeff Green looking to come back from heart surgery better than ever. The Herald notebook from Mark Murphy has turnovers killing the Celtics.

Eight Patriots were named to the Pro Bowl yesterday, and that includes free agent signees Brian Waters and Andre Carter. It funny to me how we get columns like this – Haynesworth just another personnel whiff – but not much about the successes. Carter and Mark Anderson have 19 sacks between them. How much would that be worth if you paid top dollar for them? (How much are Freeney, Dumervil, Babin, Allen and Pierre-Paul – the other Pro Bowl Ends – making?) Waters was the only starter from opening day left of the offensive line during the second half on Sunday, and helped protect Brady in the comeback win.

Yes, there have been plenty of whiffs in free agency. There have been successes as well. You just don’t hear about them. Mike Reiss does give it a mention in his wrapup of the selections, and is especially happy for Matthew Slater.

Brian Waters has become steady presence for Patriots’ offensive line – Christopher Price says that Waters has been the Patriots best free-agent signing.

Wounded Buffalo limps in – Greg A Bedard looks at the Patriots final regular season opponent.

Bill Belichick’s Style Means Patriots Won’t Let Up Against Buffalo and 19 Other Thoughts – Jeff Howe says that the Patriots will probably play this one straight.

’Twine tied early Patriots together – Ron Borges with a very nice piece on Houston Antwine, who passed away yesterday.

If you’re unfamiliar with Antwine, he was named All-AFL five times, an AFL All Star six times, and is a member of the All-Time AFL team as elected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He’s also not in the Patriots Hall of Fame. It’s a shame that Antwine wasn’t honored before his passing. Drew Bledsoe could’ve waited 1 (or 10) more year(s).

According to Mark Farinella, the veteran’s committee of the Patriots Hall of Fame wasn’t expected to meet for another four years after putting Jon Morris in the Hall this year. I strongly urge Farinella, Borges and anyone else associated with the election committee of the Patriots Hall of Fame to seriously consider putting Antwine into the Hall immediately.

Patriots As Confusing As Ever, As Pursuit Of Top Seed Continues

The Patriots can clinch the top seed in the AFC with a win over Buffalo on Sunday afternoon. Despite obvious flaws and injuries that would cripple other teams, the Patriots continue to pull out victories, even when they dig themselves a deep hole.

What does January hold for the New England Patriots? No one has that answer right now.

Making The Grades – Dolphins at Patriots – Jeremy Gottlieb is worried/anxious/disappointed following this win. Other report cards: Ron Borges | ESPN Boston | Hector Longo | Boston.com

Holding their own – Greg A Bedard looks at the adjustments made to the Miami blitz by Bill O’Brien and the Patriots offense.

Pats take lumps of coal and deliver gold – Mike Reiss has some words of wisdom that I sorely wish some around here would take to heart.

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick Ruin Christmas With Comeback and Other Leftover Patriots Thoughts – I enjoy looking through Michael Hurley’s rambling Patriots thoughts columns.

A major plus for Pats ‘D’ – Karen Guregian says that the saving grace for the defense is turnovers.

Top priority is home field, but Bills loss lingers – Michael Whitmer says that the Patriots have some unfinished business with the Bills, who have already been chirping about sweeping New England. The Herald notebook from Karen Guregian has Stevan Ridley emerging as the crunch-time back.

Celtics, Heat resume legit rivalry – Chris Forsberg has the Celtics and Heat getting their first look at each other tonight. Gary Washburn and Steve Bulpett have the Heat humbled and focused this season.

Celtics following a familiar script – Bill Reynolds says that this is the early 90’s all over again.

Mike Boyle a good fit with Sox – John Tomase looks at the Red Sox new de facto strength and conditioning coach.

Travel plans for Bruins – Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins wrapping up their holiday break.