Sports Media Musings: Watney Out, “Felger & Mazz” Simulcast Debut, Links

I missed last week…No excuses, but if you want one, we were working on the new site.

So without further adieu…Time for an Infomercial…big time..

Check out the new diggs. It is still EXTREMELY naked, and has plenty of bugs to be worked out.

The site is basically a place for me to react (500 words at a time) to petty stuff like Gary Tanguay doing Gary Tanguay things and the Andy Gresh/Glenn Ordway tiff.

Normally, I won’t link up stuff of that nature here — unless it’s really warranted.

However I will, occasionally, write in the longer form such as my media “Winners & Losers” column in the PSU scandal — which I will direct readers of Sports Media Musings to.

Lastly, I had a great chat with Greg Bedard from the Globe on my podcast. Really liked his straightforward attitude towards covering the team and takes on new media.

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

Heidi Watney leaving NESN is something I’ve been writing about for months — it was a terribly kept secret, but you don’t care about that. You care about what it means. Unfortunately, beyond what may be remembered as a salacious stint as a NESN side line reporter, the answer is not much.

Watney’s exit to stage left (literally, she’s reportedly moving to LaLa Land to cover the LakeShow) was covered like an actual trade of a player (you know? the subjects she covers). And why? This wasn’t Bob Ryan leaving the Globe. She was here for four years. It was Adalius Thomas leaving the Patriots.

Does the local media feel as though they owe it to her, because – you know as well as I do – they most likely talked trash about her lack of objectivity (coming from NESN) and, moreover, the alleged Jason Varitek affair?

The coverage reminded me of euphemisms society feels obligated to convey when a celebrity dies (a la, Michael Jackson or Al Davis), even though we mocked or criticized said-celebrity while they were alive.

Give it time.

Personally, I had no issues with Watney. I wouldn’t call her a hardened journalist. Nor does she try to operate under that pretense.

Beyond the obvious aesthetics, Heidi wasn’t bringing much to the table. Marc Bertrand never led a headline with, “Heidi Watney is reporting at this hour that…”

Watney never wanted to be Michelle Tafoya. In the same light, Watney knew well enough to not be Lisa Guerrero.

I’ll give her this, she mattered in a job mostly perceived as thankless. Though, let’s be honest, no one with this avatar on Twitter (looks like a modeling headshot) really cares about being an arduous reporter.

(Cue the “Ryan, you’re wearing a sombrero in the header of your new site” joke)

As far as the actual move, Watney in Hollywood is like Jack Nicholson doing a Cialis commercial: For both parties (Nicholson & Cialis) it makes so much sense, but you feel bad for Nicholson.

And I’ll feel bad for Watney when either: A.) Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest — that’s always fun typing) scares the sh!t out of her — OR — B.) Her first story-arc on Days of Our Lives flops.

Oh, and as far as NESN goes, STEPPING STONE! STEEPING STONE!! STEPPPPPPPINNNNGGG STONNNNNEEEE!!!!

I’ve already written at length about that after Jade & Katie Tapps left. 

Without a Hitch

The “Felger & Mazz” simulcast debuted on CSNNE this week. I got to say, I was looking for holes and, ultimately, didn’t find much to complain about. The studio was modern looking and visually appealing. Additionally, CSNNE producers used solid graphics and appropriate highlights when necessary.

Michael Felger’s “Two Year’s of Abuse In Two Minutes” segment was done in the same vein and light as I painted him while first writing about his mantra.

Quick refresher from the piece –

Felger’s success is only matched by the perceived disdain that he himself perpetuates, although that statement is somewhat equivocal. For example, a sound byte often played by 98.5 The Sports Hub is Felger bemoaning “No one likes me enough to give me privileged information”; only he’ll oft say things like, “I have on good word, Brad Marchand was told to simmer down on the partying.”

Felger is our own Skip Bayless. We love to hate him and feel like we need to shower when we agree with him, yet the difference is – unlike Bayless – we respect his opinion. This is probably due to Felger’s own admission of miscalculated pretenses in the past.

I still stand by those remarks, even though Felger seems agenda-driven now more than ever (see my PSU “Winners & Losers” Column for more on that).

One other thing, Jermaine Wiggins wearing a “Wiggy Wear” t-shirt is high comedy because of the obvious self-promotion. Though, not as funny as Wiggy and his buddies getting together and someone saying, “You know what? We should do a clothing line!”

Would have loved to be in that room.

Two Other CSNNE Thoughts

Really looking forward to the “Thanksgiving” edition of Sports Tonight. If you missed it in previous years (because you have a life), producers put Tanguay and Felger with two other talking heads at a dinner table full of all the fixins’!

It’s predictably awkward and (I’m pretty sure) last year Dan Shaughnessy wanted out after the first segment.

———

I’ve now watched CSNNE’s re-broadcast of the Michael Jordan-63 point playoff game in ’86 twice. I really miss the Celtics, and CSNNE should come up something better to suffice.

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    Fireman Ed has become a Giants fan, ya hear? TEBOWNED!

  • Frank

    How can you respect Felger’s opinion if it’s not genuine? The contrarian of the Boston sports scene says things just to be different, which he masquerades as “honest.” Everyone knows he’s playing a role, that secret is worse than Heidi leaving NESN, but if it’s an act than how can it be a real opinion? And how is the listener supposed to tell the difference from “the act” and “the honest opinion?” I might actually listen to his show if he had someone to call him out on his BS instead of a sidekick yes man.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      couldn't agree more, Frank. I think they call it, "acting" or my other favorite, "Trying to inspire debate" when they are WRONG about something. When they are right about something then they say it was their, "honest opinion'

    • Will

      I agree 100% Frank. I've said similiar things regarding Felger on this site before and I stand by it. The guy is only good when he's taking personal shots at people, i.e. John Henry, Bill Belichick , and the NBA. I guess some people like that style of sports talk but when it comes down to just talking sports without taking jabs, he's overrated. You do have to give him his props because his ratings are good but he and Mazz are just not my cup of tea. I like guys who talk sports.

      • Angry Old Bastard

        And as far as Felger getting, "good ratings" I stand by THIS. People in this area love sports. While there seem to be a million talking heads around here there are actually only a few choices. Comcast or NESN?…..98.5 or WEEI?…These shows get "good ratings" almost by default….I swear you could start a Sports show with, "Joe Blow and Tom Dick and Harry" and it would probably get "good ratings" around these parts

  • King Larry

    Congrats to Heidi Watney on her move to LA…Varitek to sign with Dodgers?…Jack and Jill is the one film to see in 2011…Adam Sandler's sister is the hot new star fresh out of central casting a Norma Talmadge for the 21st century…look out Adam you're not the only star in the Sandler constellation these days…five losses in two days for the Jets, I haven't seen such a decimation since Appomattox…Chestnuts, get your fresh hot chestnuts here, ah when you could hear that on the streets of the Big Apple…Kim Kardashian got divorced again, keep it up kid and you'll be the 23rd Mrs. Larry soon enough…Have you seen these front page commenters these days? King Larry takes a break and it's skate punks and Felgerites…People ask if I'm enjoying retirement, I'm media baby I never worked a day in my life…Patriots are playing in Indy again this year!! February 5th…Belated congrats to the Bruins on their Stanley Cup win…It used to be the King Larry cup until I lost it to Stan in a game of shinny…Make sure you bring your winter coats to the dry cleaners now…Skateboarding IS a crime…Tragic about Penn State, how do you lose at home to Nebraska…Have you seen MiniVan Halen the midget Van Halen cover band…you will come Grammys

  • latetodinner

    Ryan…

    Nice job on the new site…I wish you all the best of luck.

    As for Heidi Watney, I know I will anger people when I say this but I think she was her own worst enemy here in Boston. She marketed herself using her amazing beauty…which is fine…but the flip side of that is she was not taken as seriously as she wanted to be. Toss in her alleged affair, the rumors of which could have been squashed had both of them emphatically said it did not happen. She did so recently, to the best of my knowledge he has never said anything. I think his problem with saying anything has to do with his now ex wife and the legal position denying the affair would put him in.

    As for the media coverage…I think it is less about guilt and more about it was a slow news day. The Penn State story was beaten to a pulp, no Celts, the Pats were in the mid week doldrums and the only Sox news is the fact that they aren't making any news. So Heidi leaving got coverage. Had it been announced on Monday after the Pats game…no coverage at all.

    In the end she was fun to look at and brighter than I expected…but she lacked Hazel Mae's personality or Tina C's insight. Hollywood is a good place for her. She was kind of a fish out of water in Boston.

  • Tony

    I don't know why Heidi denying the salacious rumors about her–which she's done publicly more than once in recent months–isn't good enough for some people. There's never been an ounce of credible evidence, to my knowledge, that's been presented to "confirm" these rumors about Heidi and Varitek, or Heidi and any other player on the team. Also, remember the Carolyn Hughe/Derek Lowel mess out in L.A.? Hughes was quickly dismissed by the TV network she was working for when that news came out. She was covering the Dodgers, she was having an affair witha married Dodgers player, and so she was axed. Does anyone really believe that this PR conscious Red Sox ownership group would have allowed a Watney/Varitek (who was married at the time) relationship to go unpunished if it were true? I certainly don't know any "inside" scoop, but based on everything I've heard it read, it still all seems like unfounded Internet gossip-mongering, and nothing more.

  • Tony

    Few types above—the worst was "everything I've heard it read." That should say "everything I've heard and read," of course.

    • Ryan Hadfield

      Agree, Tony. That's why I said, "Maybe remembered…"

      I'm not sure if people will relent on the theory or not — but right now the theory is in the head of the public …still