Celtics Start West Coast Trip With Win

The Celtics got their first West coast swing of the season off to a good start with an 88-78 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Get full links at CelticsLinks.com.

A highlight of last night’s CSNNE broadcast was the debut of Bill Walton as a guest analyst for the West coast trip alongside the venerable Mike Gorman. Walton was his usual high-energy, entertaining, confusing, occasionally enlightening self, as he told viewers his advice that he gave to Greg Oden before the game was to “move to Hawaii lose a lot of weight and become a yoga master.”

While I enjoyed Walton and will enjoy him tonight in the Phoenix game, I think he’s best taken in smaller doses, meaning the handful of games he’s going to do for CSNNE this season is just about right.

All-Star wrinkle adds drama – Chad Finn’s media column has a look at the new format for the NHL All Star game, and has Dennis and Callahan reclaiming the top spot in the morning over Toucher and Rich – something D&C have been crowing about this week, including a “D&C #1″ sign visible on the NESN telecast.

10 Observations, From Bill Walton To The Bruins To Sports Talk Radio – My SB Nation Boston media column offers up 10 items from the sports media world.

Antoine Walker’s sights set on redemption – Greg Dickerson catches up with the former Celtic, who is toiling in the D-League, trying to make a comeback.

Depth isn’t a big issue – Gary Washburn looks at how stockpiling depth at center has paid off for the Celtics.

Return of Franchise Tag Indicates NFL May Avoid Lockout in March – Jeff Howe is reading the tea leaves, and thinks the owners may cave in the NFL Labor dispute.

Brandon Meriweather won’t be bothered by naysayers – Karen Guregian has the Patriots safety not fazed by criticism.

It’s time for real bargaining, NFL – Ron Borges says that the sides need to get down to business.

MVP performance by Tim Thomas has B’s in happy place – Mick Colageo has the Bruins in good position thanks to Tim Thomas.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before – Pressure is on to improve the pass rush –  Greg A Bedard looks at the prospects that might be of interest. Nick Underhill is losing patience with the Patriots in this regard.

Nick Caserio is a Patriots mystery man – Ian Rapoport checks in with Bill Belichick’s personnel guru.

10 Questions — No. 4: Who’s on the bench? – Gordon Edes continues his series on the Sox with a look at the bench.

  • Classless

    I enjoyed Walton's take on Joe Pryzbilla: "Pryzbilla does what he does best….violate the rules."

  • docmichaels

    Bruce, excellent SB column.

    I think at some point there ought to be a larger, macro view of what Felger has intentionally been doing on 98.5 in terms of disparaging other outlets who cover the Patriots.

    WEEI is "the other station" which does nothing but defend the Patriots.

    Mike Reiss is the fifth "Kraft child".

    Patriots Football Weekly is "Patriotssunshine.com" or whatever he refers to it as.

    He's been doing this, obviously, for a long time, but he's amped it up recently and it's really soured me on listening to him, because it's like he's using the Jets loss as an excuse to attack anyone and everyone who covers the team except him — because of course, he's the objective one (right?!). (In this regard Dale Arnold was dead on target and fared well combating his views last week on Comcast).

    At this point in time, the season is over. Yet while everyone else seems to be able to let go of just two weeks ago and cover how the entire YEAR went on balance, Felger is hung up on the Jets game and the Jets game alone. Something tells me this is how it's going to be for weeks and likely months to come — the same way he can't move on from the Bruins 3-0 series blown lead last year (mentions it for no reason at the end of every Sports Sunday), he's going to harp on that one game. (Notice I won't even mention Mazz, who's become a robot sitting next to Felger, agreeing with everyone he's saying).

    Felger to me is blowing a major opportunity here to rise above his typical antics. In spite of his "Contrarian" act, I do think he's an intelligent guy and he used to be a good writer — and at this point 98.5 is established on the scene as a major player on the Boston broadcasting scene. Does he need to perpetually waive his arms and shout "look at me!" consistently to get listeners? The Sports Hub has landed, for all intents and purposes…can't he restrain himself?

    The same way he's turned into this over-the-top buffoon, he could dial it back and turn into what he used to be — which was IMO a guy who spoke the truth, made salient observations and was once a breath of fresh air compared to the old guard of Lobel, McDonough, etc.

    Now he's just full of hot air, and sooner or later, people are going to tune him out because the drum that's being banged is loud, shrill and unbelievably biased.

    • Jake

      Good observations. He was miles different on ESPN 890, although the 'cap is crap' and 'trading down for value' started there, he was more balanced, more balanced, and less self-important.

  • TomS

    Well said Doc. I loved Felger when he started out on 98.5, but the act is wearing thin. He's better than this.

    • Jack

      I'm surprised he's lasted this long. His act wore thin with me years ago, long before 98.5. I was excited to hear about the new station until I heard that he was on it.

  • mandb97

    It's funny how D&C are patting each other on the backside when during the period in question they were out on vacation most of the time. Maybe the sign should have said "Bob and Neumy number 1."

    • Jon

      I might be alone on this, but I think the Sports Hub shot itself in the foot by dissecting the Jets game like it was the Kennedy Assassination I can understand discussing it Monday through Wednesday. But the weekend people next Saturday? Felger is still babbling about this. I was overjoyed when he discussed the Savard concussion on Friday. Finally…

      • mandb97

        Jon, by no means am I saying that the product on 98.5 is better. I believe three out of the four shows on both WEEI and 98.5 are dreadful. I just think it is funny that D&C were tooting their own horn when they were not there for at least half of the period. I listened to EEI more because they were gone.

        By the way 98.5 has added Mike Flynn and Ryan Johnston to their weekend lineup and they are terrific. It was great talk without any obnoxiousness. It was true breath of fresh air. Flynn was a guest on F&M last week. Felger thought for sure Flynn would rip Jay Cutler on leaving the game last Sunday. Flynn didn't for two reasons. One, you have no idea how bad an injury is, and two what goes around comes around. You could be in the same position as Cutler and would not like your toughness questioned.

        • Jon

          If I'm not mistaken, I believe you were referencing DA and Dale and Holley? Both of whom are better than what surrounds them (and we've disagreed plenty on T and R so I'll just leave that alone…).
          I think with the exception of Johnson and Mustard, the weekend content on both stations is much better in general although I've managed to avoid Ted Serandis and whatever 98.5 has on Saturday mornings is fairly boring.

        • mandb97

          You are correct Jon. I will agree with you on T&R in the fact that they are not mean spirited which I can appreciate. D&C just seem like pompous, miserable human beings. I could not agree with you more on the weekends. With the exception of M&J, Serandis and Gaspar, the programming on the weekend is better than most of the weekday programming. Even Shaughnessy, does not come off as a total tool on the radio.

        • Jon

          Which is shocking because I can't stand CHB in print. He's tolerable on the radio. He's the reverse Callahan.
          Troop and Hardy are a pleasant surprise. I think my comments about 98.5 being insufferable for a full week after the Jets game were actually based on Gasper's show…