Snowy Friday Media Roundup

How many snowstorms this week have we had? I’ve lost count.

After Jets-Patriots, A Vain Attempt To Avoid The Sports Media - Here is my SB Nation Boston media column, with a look at the aftermath of Patriots/Jets, and examining more garbage from Tony Massarotti.

Jackson takes hit on his credibility - Chad Finn has a look at the ridiculous comments, spin and backtracking this week from ESPN’s Tom Jackson, who picked the Patriots to win the game, then afterwards said he only picked them to fire up the Jets, and then backtracked to say that he actually did think the Patriots would win. Kirk Minihane also goes after Jackson.

Jets run may not be done – Bill Doyle’s media column has CBS’ Phil Simms and Jim Nantz weighing in on the AFC Championship game.

A pair of WEEI hosts have engaged in media-on-media crime in the last 24 hours:

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Both are worth a listen, though in the John Dennis rant, one of his primary targets is Tony Massarotti. That’s a tough one – who to side with?

Rosy memories - This was a good piece from Buddy Thomas, who catches up with former Ohio State and Bears running back Bobby Watkins, who grew up in New Bedford and still lives in Dartmouth.

Ken Powers In Trouble Again

Remember Ken Powers? Fired from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for plagiarism in February 2005 after being sent home from the Super Bowl?

Well, it seems like he steals more than just words.

Reporter accused of $100,000 theft

UXBRIDGE — A well-known Central Massachusetts reporter is facing criminal charges that he stole $100,000 from a Sutton golf course where he worked as the pro shop manager.

Kenneth P. Powers, 49, of 36 Abbott St., No. 4B, Worcester, is scheduled to be arraigned in Uxbridge District Court Jan. 28 on one count of larceny over $250. A criminal complaint was issued Jan. 11.

Celtics Grind Out Win Over Pistons, Brady To Have Surgery

The Celtics were not at their best last night. For much of the night, their offense was stagnant. When cruch time rolled around, it was 38-year-old Shaquille O’Neal who gave them a spark, and Ray Allen hit a big shot late in the game to help the Celtics to a 86-82 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Shoot, give it to Ray Allen - Steve Bulpett says that even though Allen was 1-7 heading into that final shot, he was still the man the Celtics wanted to take the big shot. A. Sherrod Blakely has more on Allen getting the shot.

Shaquille O’Neal defies age with big play - Chris Forsberg has Shaquille O’Neal more than pulling his weight with this Celtics team. Mark Murphy says that Shaq shocked the Celtics into business mode last night.

Winning the games they shouldn’t - Paul Flannery says that the Celtics had no business winning this game, but this is what elite team do.

Surgery not in the cards - Julian Benbow’s notebook reports that Jermaine O’Neal will not have surgery, but instead another month of rest and strengthening work. The Herald notebook from Murphy has more on O’Neal’s knee.

Brady to have foot surgery today - Shira Springer and Monique Walker broke the news last night that the Patriots quarterback has been playing with a stress fracture in his foot, and will have surgery today to put a screw in.

Defense tackles many questions - Karen Guregian looks over the Patriots defense for who is worth keeping, and who should be gone.

Patriots hoping to draft up successful offseason game plan - Glen Farley has the Patriots looking to improve the team through the draft.

Rookie receiver Taylor Price’s future wide open - Ian Rapoport’s notebook has the rookie receiver looking for a bigger role next year.

Lavarnway next in receiving line - Peter Abraham has a look at minor league catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway. Christopher Smith has more on Lavarnway.

Red Sox and Ryan Kalish see virtue in patience - Alex Speier has Kalish’s AAA manager predicting that he’ll be a 10-time All Star – even though he’ll start the year at Pawtucket.

Red Sox insist minor-league talent hasn’t dried up - Sean McAdam has the Red Sox believing they’ve still got plenty of young prospects.

Ex-Portsmouth star Westmoreland continues rehabbing - Brian MacPherson has an update on the outfielder.

Curt Young set to pitch in - Michael Silverman checks in with the new Red Sox pitching coach.

Welcome to Red Sox 101 - Joe McDonald has a look at the rookie development program.

Bruins finding their third identity - Joe Haggerty has the Bruins becoming a team that can pull off third period comebacks.

It occurs to me that . . . - Bob Ryan has a thoughts column.

A Step Further Away, Perspective Is Coming On Patriots

With the loss to the Jets a day further away, some are starting to come around to the notion that this was a surprisingly good season for the New England Patriots, and that the future is looking bright for the franchise. The labor situation in the NFL stands between now and the 2011 season, but assuming things get worked out, we should expect that his team will continue to get better.

Kraft laboring forward - Greg A Bedard has the Patriots owner keeping positive about not only his own franchise, but the league’s labor situation as well.

Patriot fans, all is not lost - Mark Farinella says that there certainly is reason to look to the future with optimism.

Deion Branch uses defeat as Jet fuel for 2011 - Dan Duggan has the receiver saying that despite the loss, he’s glad to be back in New England and excited for next season.

Ten quotes that define the legacy of the 2010 Patriots - Christopher Price has 10 quotes that will define this season.

All is not lost for fans - Bob Ryan says that Boston fans can look to the other local teams for support during this tough time.

The Continuing Slow, Agonizing Death of Sports Commentary - Michael Gee wonders why credit cannot be given to the other team after a loss, it’s always the fault of the home team.

Talent, not coaching, doomed Patriots - Staying consistent, at least, Ron Borges says that it wasn’t the X’s and O’s, it was the Jimmys and Joes that lost this game.

Tim Thomas remains way ahead of the pack, follows easy shutout with hard-earned win - DJ Bean with a look at last night’s Bruins victory over the Hurricanes.

Red Sox hope for rebound from Beckett, but he doesn’t need to be the ace - Brian MacPherson looks at the prospects for a bounce back season for Josh Beckett.

Jed Lowrie not short on hope in bid to be a Red Sox starter - John Tomase has Lowrie hoping to seize the starting shortstop position.

KG Returns, Celtics Beat Magic. Patriots Postmortems Continue.

Kevin Garnett returned to the lineup last night for the Celtics, and with 19 points and 8 rebounds and a key steal in the final seconds was the difference for Boston in a 109-106 victory over the Orlando Magic. Get all the links at CelticsLinks.com.

No D-nying KG’s impact - Steve Bulpett has Garnett making a huge contribution to the win. Chris Forsberg and A. Sherrod Blakely have more on KG’s impact.

Kevin Garnett’s frenzied, and brilliant, return - Paul Flannery looks at KG’s return, the Celtics defense on Dwight Howard, and a look ahead to the playoffs.

They’re cooking now - Gary Washburn says that perhaps more than anything else, chemisty is a key for this Celtics team.

Starting 5 together for first time since Finals - Brian MacPherson’s Celtics Journal says that with Perkins practicing the Celtics are able to finally get their starting five some work together. The Herald notebook by Mark Murphy has Ray Allen closing in on Reggie Miller. The Globe notebook by Julian Benbow has Paul Pierce late in getting on the scoreboard. The postgame notes from Chris Forsberg has Pierce getting a key bucket late from his sweet spot.

The final report cards are out for this season. As you imagine, the Patriots didn’t do too well in what turned out to be their final exam for the season. Making The Grades – Divisional Round Playoff vs. Jets - Jeremy Gottlieb on Patriots Daily leads us off, followed by: Ron Borges | Mike Felger | Mike Reiss | Kirk Minihane

Amid uncertainties, Belichick to return - Mark Farinella says that you know that Bill Belichick has really been thrown by a loss when he thanks the media for their patience and cooperation in his closing remarks.

Patriots offseason should be busy - Karen Guregian looks forward to the spring and summer for the Patriots.

The Pats begin a long offseason - Glen Farley has the Patriots with plenty of time to think about this one.

Not known when they’ll play pickup football - The Globe notebook by Monique Walker has the Patriots uncertain of the future with the labor situation. The Herald notebook by Ian R. Rapoport has Belichick defending the clock use in the fourth quarter.

Chara deserves tip of the hat - Mick Colageo has Zdeno Chara recording his first career hat trick in the Bruins 7-0 wipeout of the Hurricanes yesterday afternoon.

Milan Lucic back from injury - Steve Conroy’s notebook in the Herald has the forward back in the lineup. The Globe notebook by Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Mark Stuart also returning.

Jets Back Up Trash Talk, Shock Patriots

The Jets backed up their bravado and trash talk by dominating Tom Brady and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium yesterday 28-21. The game wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. The Jets pretty much controlled this one right from the Patriots opening drive when David Harris picked off a Tom Brady screen pass on what looked to be a promising drive.The Jets were after Brady all afternoon, sacking and confusing him, and the Patriots had no answers.

The Jets now advance their second straight AFC Championship game, where they will play the Pittburgh Steelers.

While the ending to this season was certainly crushing, I’m don’t think you can categorize the season as a failure. There were way too many positives in 2010, as the Patriots were rebuilt right in front of us. They’ve got a bright future, one that looks to have a fairly long window if they can have another successful draft in April.

It’s a holiday today (or is it a day of mourning?) so I imagine not many people are at work today to check in here. If you want all the coverage from the game you can check PatriotsLinks.com.

Ten Things We Learned Sunday: Nightmare will haunt Patriots all offseason – Christopher Price looks at another rough ending to the season for the Patriots.

Tom Brady, Patriots get zoned out – Mike Reiss looks at the defense the Jets played which totally befuddled Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Uncharacteristic ending for the Pats – Tom E Curran with a look at the stunning end of the season.

You know what? That’s enough. Even I don’t have the stomach for any more…

Let’s Bring Back The Friday Megalinks

Yes, time to do the the megalinks. One of these days, I’ll be able to have enough time to do this during the workday instead of at night, or not at all. But until I can end the shuffling between two offices on Fridays, this is kind of the schedule. Anyway, let’s start.

The Weekend Viewing Picks provide the sports and entertainment programs of note on TV.

Now let’s do the links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate whether the New York Jets should shut their yaps.

Ken Wheaton of Advertising Age looks at the dueling front pages in New York and Boston in advance of Sunday’s Jets-Patriots game. 

Andrea Dominack of Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News writes that Showtime and MLB Productions are teaming up for a 24/7-like documentary series on the San Francisco Giants.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Golf Channel has found some more providers to distribute the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in 3-D.

Mike Shields at Mediaweek looks at the new deal between Sporting News and AOL to take over the Fanhouse brand. We’ll have more links on this story throughout the megalinks.

Wayne Friedman of MediaPost writes about the NFL’s TV ratings. 

Diane Mermigas also of MediaPost takes a look at ESPN’s expanded digital offerings.

Katie Hasty of HitFix reports that Christina Aguilera will sing the national anthem during Super Bowl XLV. 

Jane McManus at espnW writes that female reporters still get treated as objects in sports. 

Sports Media Watch notes that the Cotton Bowl got its highest ratings in 12 years thanks to a new primetime timeslot.

SMW says NBA TV is beating MLB Network in the ratings all around. 

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media continues his series comparing NHL Network’s NHL on the Fly to Versus’ NHL Overtime.

Glenn Davis of SportsGrid notes that the debut of Onion SportsDome, the parody of ESPN’s SportsCenter, actually drew a bigger audience than the real SportsCenter on Tuesday night.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the country may be on its way back if golf is any indicator.

Joe Favorito takes a look at the possible return of one of the 1970′s biggest sports brands, the New York Cosmos.

Dave Kohl of Major League Programs looks at how Dick Vitale’s extension at ESPN was reported.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe discusses the record ratings for the NFL.

To Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette who writes that Jets coach Rex Ryan has CBS Sports NFL analysts scratching their heads.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times breaks news that CBS Sports has renewed its agreement to air the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, one of its signature sports properties.

Richard has an interesting article on how TV production meetings with NFL coaches can yield either a lot of information, or absolutely nothing at all.

And Richard looks at the new AOL/Sporting News arrangement that could affect many writers at Fanhouse.

Newsday’s Neil Best notes how the New York Jets have become TV darlings for the NFL’s broadcast partners.

Newsday also has the best of Neil’s blog from the week.

Phil Mushnick at the New York Post blasts ESPN for the BCS National Championship Game. Classic Mushie this week.

The Post’s Justin Terrnaova talks with ESPN’s Trent Dilfer about Jets-pats.

Brian Lewis of the Post’s soccer blog says MLS is hoping to get its TV situation with Fox Soccer Channel resolved soon (scroll down).

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says Rex Ryan could find himself as a pitchman if he continues to win.

To the Albany Times Union where Pete Dougherty has CBS’ NFL analysts wishing Rex Ryan would shut up.

At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg looks at Washington Wizards/Capitals owners Ted Leonsis’ relationship with the newspaper.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says while the players of Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers may hate each other on the field, the owners are a different story.

Jim says Versus will air the Indy Racing League’s Baltimore Grand Prix in September.

South

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says while the NFL set record TV ratings this season, it’s a different story in South Florida.

Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times says a local sports radio fixture is out of a job.

Shannon Owens of the Orlando Sentinel explores Erin Andrews’ new endorsement deal with Reebok. 

Barry Horn in the Dallas Morning News writes that a candidate has emerged to replace Josh Lewin on Texas Rangers telecasts.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Super Bowl XLV actually has two official logos.

Pete Alfano of the Star-Telegram notes that ESPN plans to construct a studio in Fort Worth to help show off virtual technology during Super Bowl Week. 

Pete says ESPN will be showing off Fort Worth’s Sundance Square during Super Bowl Week.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Comcast could give fans a sneak peek of what’s to come from its upcoming SportsNet Houston channel as it provides other Comcast regional sports networks to the market.

And David provides the new channels that are coming to the Houston market via an expanded Comcast lineup.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says the Dallas Cowboys are still tops in the Sooner State.

Midwest

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says the Michigan High School Athletic Association is not only streaming games, but giving students some good experience in producing them.

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

Over to Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who notes that ESPN’s Trent Dilfer has been praising the Green Bay Packers as the season has progressed.

West

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune notes that the San Diego State basketball team will be on national and local TV for its next three games.

John Maffei from the North County Times says the NFL’s TV ratings set records across the country.

Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times catches up with former NBC MLB broadcaster Joe Garagiola.

Bill Shaikin of the Times reports that Fox has advanced some of its rights fee to Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to help him meet operating expenses.

Tom Hoffarth in the Los Angeles Daily News has his look at the best and worst in Los Angeles sports talk show hosts.

Tom has his extensive news and notes.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail is fascinated by Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis who wants to bypass traditional mainstream media.

And that will finish our megalinks for this week.

Ticket Watch – Patriots/Jets 7-Day Tracker

Here’s a quick peek at the 7-day ticket trend heading into Patriots/Jets this weekend. As you can see, prices are actually declining, premium prices topped out at 64% above avg on 1/11.

Click on the image to look for ticket bargains.

We’re Almost There – Honestly!

We’re finally on Friday, on the cusp of the weekend, and closer to the kickoff of Patriots/Jets on Sunday at 4:30.

I’ll get this out of the way first, and I’m embarrassed about it.

This game concerns me. Greatly.

To me, this has the makings of an “exorcise the demons” type of game for the Jets. You’ve got the historically disappointing Jets coming off having their doors blown off by the Patriots a month ago. You’ve got Mark Sanchez and LaDainian Tomlinson, who have struggled mightily at Gillette Stadium, among others, getting a chance to atone for poor performances here in the past.

Sanchez has not looked good for much of the season, and he’s been horrible in two games at Gillette (1TD, 7 INT) but he’s been very good in the clutch this season. Could he be clutch for an entire game? I think he has the potential to have a good game here.

My lasting image of LT - besides telling reporters how classy he is – is from the 2007 AFC Championship with him sitting on the bench in a parka, helmet on. He also has a chance for redemption against a franchise that he despises.

The Jets have guys who have burned the Patriots in the past – Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, Jason Taylor. Could the Jet offense control the ball enough that the Patriots offense’s opportunities are limited? Can their defense hold the Patriots down in those limited opportunities? Tougher, but not out of the question. It seems like most people have pretty much conceded the game to the Patriots, but even that concerns me.

I hesistate to type this, but there is almost a 2004 Red Sox feel to these Jets, a loud, obnoxious group of idiots, who are looking to finally break through against a traditionally superior opponent.

Please. Tell me I’m stupid and way off base with this. I’ll feel better. If I’m wrong on Sunday, no one will be happier than me.

Alright. I’ll exhale now. It’s off my chest. Onto a few links:

Where the Coaches Let Their Guard Down, a Bit – From Richard Sandomir in the NY Times, a look at the pregame production meetings, with several broadcasters talking about how helpful and pleasant Bill Belichick is in these meetings. One says he can be even more forthcoming than Rex Ryan at times.

ESPN saves worst for BCS’ biggest game – On the second page of Phil Mushnick’s media column is this gem:

Who made the worst knee-jerk call in the history of modern sportscasting? Funny you should ask. One could logically guess Mike Francesa, given that he has made so many, but the title belongs to a more likable fellow, ESPN NFL studio analyst Tom Jackson.

After the Patriots opened the 2003 season with a 31-0 loss to the Bills, Jackson firmly, knowingly declared that “Bill Belichick has lost this team.”

The Patriots went 14-1 the rest of the way, won the Super Bowl, went 14-2 the next season, and, well, since Jackson’s claim, Belichick’s Patriots are 113-29.

Nice legacy.

In ratings game, NFL scoring lopsided win – Chad Finn’s media column looks at record numbers for the NFL this season.

Boston’s Morning Sports Talk Shows Are All A-Twitter – My SB Nation Boston media column looks at the Twitter antics of Boston sports radio morning shows.

Patriots’ winning ways put Spygate hand-wringing to rest – Mike Freeman says that Spygate was tremendously overrated.

SpyGate: The Most ‘Overblown’ Story of the Decade – Russ Goldman on Patsfans.com has a very good column on this subject as well, with quotes from Bill Cowher, Jimmy Johnson, and the Jets blogger who first broke the videotaping story.

Tuning In: Ryan’s hope is fading – Bill Doyle’s media column has CBS analysts scratching their heads over Rex’s antics this week.

Doubters abound, but Meriweather unquestionably makes an impact – Shalise Manza Young has a look at the Patriot that New England fans love to hate, safety Brandon Meriweather.

Green-Ellis finds yards almost every time – Ian Rapoport has some eye-popping stats on the production of BenJarvus Green-Ellis this season.

A year later, things are different for Vince Wilfork – Christopher Price looks at how far things have come in one year for the Patriots and their massive defensive lineman.

Among Kraft moves, coach gets top billing – Bob Ryan looks at Robert Kraft’s best move – hiring Bill Belichick.

Heat turned way up for rivalry game -  Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss break down the game on Sunday.

Patriots-Jets: How they match up – Karen Guregian examines the matchups.

Leigh Bodden still on corner – Rapoport’s notebook has the injured veteran corner enjoying the success of his teammates. The Globe notebook from Monique Walker has a look at Wes Welker’s comments yesterday. The Patriots Journal by Robert Lee and Brian MacPherson has Brandon Spikes a bit rusty in his return to practice this week.

Check out coverage of the Bruins 7-5 win last night over the Flyers at BruinsLinks.com.

Nice clip from Quick Slants last night – Tom E Curran with a nice jab at himself and his fellow media types for acting  “like fourth-graders” this week:

Longest. Week. Ever.

Can we just get to Sunday already? The non-stop talk by the Jets, along with the media repeating every bit of it over and over again was amusing Monday and Tuesday. By this point though, what else can be said? Lets just line ‘em up and play the game.

I’m trying to avoid the articles this morning which are solely about the talk, and link some actual football pieces:

You can find all the coverage over at PatriotsLinks.com.

Pressure is on Mark Sanchez - Ron Borges says that the Jets QB has “gone from one of the most overrated quarterbacks in football to perhaps the most underrated.”

Is he coming on strong? - Amalie Benjamin says that Shonn Greene might be the key to game for the Jets on Sunday.

Belichick has Pats ready for a title run - Lenny Megliola talks to Bill Belichick’s daughter Amanda and Patriots analyst Gino Cappelletti about the job the head coach is doing with this team.

Jets talk rings hollow - The headline of Karen Guregian’s column might lead you think it’s a trash talk article, but it’s more about New York’s weakness in the middle of the field.

Jets might back off the blitzes on Sunday - Christopher Price notes that the Jet might focus more on coverage this time around. Robert Lee also examines this subject.

Lined up for a return - Michael Vega has Dan Connolly talking about his kickoff return against the Packers for the first time.

Snap, tackle and pop - Ian Rapoport has Vince Wilfork looking ahead to the task of stopping the Jets running game.

New England Patriots bullish on tight ends - Tim Whelan Jr. has a look at how far the tight end position has come in a year for the Patriots.

Danny Woodhead focused on here, now - Rapoport’s notebook has the former Jet not looking back. The Globe notebook by Monique Walker has all Patriots arriving on time for practice in the snow. The Patriots Journal from Robert Lee and Carolyn Thornton has more on Connolly.

The Celtics ran over the Sacramento Kings at the Garden last night, 119-95. Get complete coverage at CelticsLinks.com.

The problem with Jermaine O’Neal’s knee - Paul Flannery’s three-pointer looks at another setback for the Celtics most expensive free agent signing of the summer.

Semih Erden goes distance for C’s - Chris Forsberg has Erden picking up the slack in the middle.

Mound of facts against Josh Beckett - John Tomase says that history doesn’t favor Josh Beckett bouncing back big from his miserable 2010 season.