In reality, I can’t say I have a lot of personal enemies. When it comes to the Boston sports media however, there are figures who I think do their best to simply annoy people, get under their skin and do nothing but bring attention to themselves. These people I view as “enemies” of the Boston sports fan. Their aim is not enlightenment or to be informative, but to upset and annoy people. They excel at it.
This is my current list. It is constantly changing based on events of that week or month, and I may update it periodically going forward. There are some who certainly would’ve been on the list in the past, but who have been quiet as of late, or haven’t been as effective at being annoying as they are capable.
1) Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The SportsHub, Boston.com.
I don’t see anyone knocking Tony off this perch in the near future. I know it’s called his “on-air persona” and that people insist that off the airwaves he is the nicest human being you could possibly ever want to know. I really don’t care. His 98.5 persona is the most miserable person I could imagine. According to Tony, everything and everybody SUCKS, he does incredibly terrible “impressions” of Boston sports fans (out of the Glenn Ordway playbook) and actually seems to hate sports and that fans that enjoy them. I cannot listen to him on that show. He makes Michael Felger sane, reasonable and likable by comparison.
2) Joe Sullivan, Boston Globe sports editor.
When he’s not taking shots at Patriots fans on Twitter, he’s using his staff to do it for him. Or he’s allowing his investigative reporters publish insinuations that Terry Francona was a drug-addled philanderer in his final days of his tenure as manager of the Red Sox. He does things like insist that his staff refer to Tom Brady’s Monday morning WEEI interview as a “paid contractual obligation.” He’s overseen the decline of the greatest sports section of the country, a section that pushes Dan Shaughnessy as its superstar over the much superior Bob Ryan.
3) Gerry Callahan, WEEI, Boston Herald.
Another miserable human being, though unlike Massarotti, I don’t hear a lot of people saying that he’s a great guy off the air. Maybe he is, but I haven’t heard anyone say it. If you heard Callahan’s interview with Kevin Garnett this morning, you were just waiting for him to say something that would have him back in sensitivity training. Nothing makes me switch the dial quicker than when the patented Callahan whiny sneer is employed.
4) Shalise Manza Young, Boston Globe.
What happened here? Shalise has become so much of what is wrong with the sports media today – entitled, whiny and uninformed. Her Boston.com chats are mind-numbing in terms of the strawman arguments she employs. “If you’d rather finish 13-3 and lose in the first round of the playoffs instead of going 11-5 and winning the Super Bowl, that is certainly your right as a fan.” Complaining about access and Coach Personality is her schtick, and she does it well.
5) Mark Farinella. Who?
I have a lot of respect for Farinella as the longest-tenure guy on the Patriots beat. He’s seen everything down there. Maybe he could share some of that perspective rather than talking about organizing walkouts of Bill Belichick press conferences or devoting entire columns and blog posts to childish foot-stomping against “self-appointed NH-based media critics.”
Others warranting mention: Dan Shaughnessy, Mike Adams, John Dennis, Lou Merloni, Andy Gresh, Ron Borges. Jermaine Wiggins.