Covering The Patriots? Here’s Your Handy Flowchart For Coverage

If you follow the Patriots, you’ve no doubt become aware of certain patterns in coverage and talk about the team. It’s almost as if it were scripted sometimes…

On the BSMW messageboard the other day, we were talking about these patterns and jokingly started a flowchart on the subject. The result is this. (Thanks to Greg for putting it together.)

You can click on the arrows in the upper right corner to get the full-size version. The link at the bottom allows you to download the PDF.

Download flowchart

Elsewhere, Chad Finn (Difficult call must be made) is as nice and respectful as he can possibly be while saying that the time has come for Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti to leave the Patriots broadcasting booth.

That’s not going to be a popular column in some places, but the arguments are unassailable.

Media Roundup: NBA Media Weighs In On Boston Celtics’ Chances – I’ve got analysts from ESPN, TNT and NBATV weighing in on the Celtics chances this season.

  • fred

    Spot on but you forgot Bedard – his only replies are "Well the Packers are always successful because they…" or "You've alienated Wes Welker by paying Mayo."

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    Splendid on the flow chart. Amazing work by Greg/Bruce. I wonder how much air-time this gets?

  • JTK177

    Flowchart = Spot on!
    As for the Chad Finn article, it was spot on. I have been on the road a lot more this year during these games this year and it is obvious that they have both fallen off drastically. Zolak has been great as the third man in, however I want Tanguay as far away from the booth as possible.

    • bostonsportsmediafan

      Agree here. I enjoy Zolak on the sideline and what he did during the pre-game stuff. Are there any other serious contenders? If Tanguay is it, that's a very sad interview pool.

  • George Cain

    Agree on Tanguay, does one thing good, pre and post game shows. See my tweet about his comparables. Felger said is stupid to compare the Packers and Patriots defenses because of the talent. Well, that depends if the talent is playing well.
    Raji=Wilfok, Yes the Pats don't have a Woodson, but Andre Carter was having AS good a season as Clay THIS year. Tremon Williams was an undrafted guy, and while he's great he's the type of player the kill the Pats for playing. I think the biggest void with the Pats and the one diff with the Pack this year is health and a cover guy like Woodson. When you can lockdown one receiver or area, it changes everything.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    HA-HA-HA-HA-..That flowchart was great stuff!…..as far as Gil and Gino? Yes, an argument can be made HOWEVER Gil's got THE VOICE and besides Angry I'm an Old Sentimental bastard , KEEP EM'!..a few mistakes? WHO CARES?…don't know what the ratings are but gotta guess the majority watch the games on TV. If they are gonna replace Gil there JUST HAS to be a better choice than Tanguay. Hell, bring back Dale "Icky Balooky" Arnold (and for the LOVE OF GOD, don't look in Meterparel's direction)

    • tl;138

      I'm with you. Keep Gil and let Gino retire. But no to Dale…It still mystifies me why people like Dale to begin with. I find his voice grating.

      • Angry Old Bastard

        I actually agree with you on that. Dale's voice is GRATING. I was just thinking worse case scenerio, I'd rather have Dale than Tanguay. That's why I say KEEP GIL, great play by play voice. To me THE VOICE is what I look for in a play by play guy. Pat Summeral was always my favorite….most of today's play by play guys voices are just too "high and whiny"…The old play by play guys used to smoke like chimneys and pound down scotch at the bar that's how they got the great voices….what's this world comin' too?

  • mandb97

    Great stuff per usual Bruce. The flowchart is funny and completely accurate with many of the electronic BSM. Instead of taking in the criticism and thinking about how they do their work, many of the BSM get upset and huffy. They can do no wrong.

    As far as Chad Finn's piece goes, it another outstanding effort by him. It is critical of Santos and Cappellettii without being mean. I wrote about the broadcast after the first game of the season. It was bad. The most telling mistake was on the 99 yard touchdown to Welker, Santos said it was Gronkowski. It made national shows like ESPN and Dan Patrick and it was embarrassing and sad. Those shows have no idea how good Gil was at one time. I also said this earlier this year, I will take Gil Santos doing Patriots games at age 137 if it means Gary Tanguay does not get to do play-by-play. By the way, I disagree with George Cain on Tanguay hosting the pre and post-game show. Tanguay still feels you need to shout at someone to make a point and his points are usually dense.

    P.S. I want to wish everyone a happy holiday if I do not post again today. Chad Finn has his chat at 12:30pm on Boston.com so there may be something to write about. But in case I don't, all the best.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    Tweeted the flowchart out to a few of the scribes….(what can I say? end of year and killin' my vacation time, along with a few brews) Curran and Ian Rapoport got a kick out of it judging by their replies

    • bostonsportsmediafan

      from @rapsheet wow. I didn't even make the cut. LOL
      from @tomecurran It's a joke. A very well executed joke.

      A+. If they can't laugh at that one..

      In other news, @tomecurran looks to be doing fill-in on WEEI from 2-6 today, Friday, if you're a fan and looking for an alternative.

      • Greg

        Are you Ian Rapoport?

        Finish in time to make your [insert hipster social sport] game with the Bankstress.

        Are you Tom E. Curran?

        Tamp down what's left of your pride and get ready to film Quick Slants.

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    In other news, charges against Milbury have been dismissed (h/t to @bruceallen for the r/t) and an article is up:
    http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/30063459/det

  • Rich

    This flow chart sucks. You suck. Finn sucks. The defense sucks. The pats are cheap. And bb can't draft. Merry effin Christmas and have a horrible Chanukah.

    Spot on today just felt like being a contrarian. Too much agreement in the comments today.

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    Bruce, just a technical question: I just had a (longish) comment eaten up as "deleted by admin" on submission even though I was logged in. Am I doing something wrong here?

    – Puzzled in Cyberland

    • http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com Bruce Allen

      You're not doing anything wrong Dave, and even when it says "deleted by admin" (which I don't know why it does that) your comment is never *really* deleted. If you submit something and it comes up with that message, shoot me an email and I should be able to find it and post it for you.

  • NutCracker

    Great chart – clever and right-on. Thanks for that, made my day. "You're absolutely right Mike" – LMAO

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    If one were to look outside of the Boston are or people with ties here, are there any names? I can think of blogs like http://www.awfulannouncing.com that track the bad but also some of the good. It's not just the analysis but the actual voice (which are so hard to find). Anyone?

    Outlandish suggestion: if you're a fan of Jack Edwards, Gus Johnson is his fellow on football (cfb/nfl) telecasts. SportsGrid.com/Deadspin.com have many clips of him.

  • latetodinner

    Here I will make this so simple for the Patriots they will not have to do anything. Offer Dave O'Brien who is the best football (voice of Monday night football on ESPN radio for a while) and baseball play by play guy in the country the job, give him a boat load of money and tell Tanguay he can stay where he is or leave…we don't care. On the 3 sunday's there may be a conflict between the Pats and Sox I am sure a suitable sub can be found. Give Zo the color guy's job as he clearly is capable.

    • bostonsportsmediafan

      I looked for some clips that could showcase him/his voice and this seemed to be the best:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrbATyRMo6g

      Like what I heard so far.

      Given what a coveted position this is and its something where you probably don't want to shuffle it around, wouldn't WBZ/Patriots hold some type of audition and keep their ear to the rail for fan vibe? On a basis of the comments here and what I know from friends/people who listen to SportsHub/Pats on the radio, I've seen very little support for GearBear.

  • mandb97

    A couple of items:

    1) I have been singing the praises of Jerry Thornton for some time now. I think he only trails Mike Reiss when it comes to writing about the Patriots. Here is a great breakdown of the Patriots defense and how absurd the local radio and TV squawkers sound when they talk about the team being the worst defense in all of football. He breaks down the stats and still talks about the flaws. Like Bruce says, all we want is balance. It is a wonderful piece.(NSFW, language) http://boston.barstoolsports.com/random-thoughts/

    2) Dan Davis of ESPN Radio retired today. "The Duke", as he is known, did the updates and covered the major golf events. You might be wondering why I would care about an update guy at ESPN. First of all, he is from my hometown of Portland, ME. Secondly, he had one of the most legendary calls in college football history when he was the play-by-play announcer for this historic game a little over 27 years ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeExa2R2nf0

    • bostonsportsmediafan

      On #2, he will be missed as well. I listened to this live. What a voice the man has; you can't just grow into this one or train yourself.

      He was on Mike + Mike. This is a clip of the best of. "Scroll" to about the 1:12 mark. He talks about famous events he called (bringing up what you mentioned) and Fenway/Boston things. He also does a little "burn all the folks who suck now" as he's leaving.
      http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=7376493

      It sounds like he's leaving the door open for part-time gigs.

      A+ if you can get someone like this.

      • etak

        And, since I failed to notice it til Davis pointed it out, Gino Capelletti was doing the analysis on that call. (Well, "analysis" — anyway, he was the person not doing play-by-play.)

  • Ryan

    This a extremely unlikely but i'll say it anyway. There was a commenter on boston.com that mentioned what ESPN 980 IN D.C did. Their PBP annonucer had lost a step and so they kept him in the booth but added another guy to do play by play. I have another way to do it though which keeps Gil and Gino, and gets rid of Gresh.

    Pregame/Postgame: DA, Wiggy, and Gino
    In the Booth: Tanguay, Santos, and Zolak

    Wish I could think of anybody other than Tanguay that is in this market already but I can't. Just thought I'd thhrow that out there even though it's highly unlikely

    • bostonsportsmediafan

      Here's the problem: Can you see Tanguay yielding talking-time to Santos or Zolak? I don't. And, this isn't TV where you can watch the interactions between the hosts to figure out what's going on.

      Wiggy on pre-game? I don't mind him for short segments but his analysis is as vapid as Smerlas.

      Wouldn't they want to bring in someone from the outside?

      • mark

        The arguments against Tanguay all make sence, I just don't get why Zolak is considered a viable option. I get it, he played the game. Ok, what else?

        1. His Pittsburgh accent effects just about every word he uses, and it makes for bad radio.

        2. From 98.5 to his commercial work: Comes across as arrogant, overbearing and childlike.

        3. Bad Timing Bad Timing Bad Timing.

  • Tony

    Love the flowchart. It's awesome.

    This is totally off topic, but for anyone still overly concerned about the Patriots' defense, I share your concerns, but I don't share your panic. Just look at the NFL over the last six days. Baltimore's "great" defense was completely shredded by San Diego for 34 VERY EASY points–that's a SD team that scored just 21 points against the Patriots earlier this year. Thursday night, the excellent Houston defense allowed 19 points to the Colts, and it would have been 22 had Vinatieri not hooked a FG attempt wide on the last play of the first half—New England allowed 24 points to that same Indy team and everyone in this town went ballistic. There are no great defenses anymore people–the NFL rulesmakers have decreed that offense is what they want, and so offense is what we'll see every week. Even "great" defenses can't keep up anymore. It's not a football league anymore, really. It's something resembling football but more like intramural "flag" football on the campus quad–offense rules in those games, too.

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    Balt gets shredded by SD who got torched by the Lions.

    Brain "Only reason I have a job is because of daddy Schotty" wants to basically do what the Ravens do and try to turn Sanchez into a ProBowl QB. It's hilarious when the Ravens stop running Ray Rice to under 10 carries.

    Oh, and, the Browns still put up 14 on you.. I'm sure we'd let them put up 21 and win with 28 if they were here.

    Pittsburgh? What if they're off like Brothelsburger was on Monday?

    Cinci? Get used to Dalton to A.J. Green (man is that guy a beast). However, can they face a 3/4 seed and win? Plus, they're not completely in as I read it.

    Denver? If you let Buffalo do that, I'd be willing to bet the outcome out be similar.

    Interject your headlines. Bust out Bruce's flow-chart to see who will write what, before it happens.

  • etak

    I was listening to the Pats in the car while driving hither and yon for family things.

    I was always a TV person until last year, so I don't have the basis for comparison, of having heard them in their prime. But Gino's just not there. He's hesitant, when he forgets names or doesn't know them, it throws him off his rhythm, and he too-often trails off at the end of sentences. (This is aside from the fact that even when he does have the facts to hand, Zo has a more up-to-date take.)

    Gil, as I've said before, just needs a better spotter.

    I don't /mind/ Tanguay, but I don't think he'd leave room for thought, or reactions, or non-manufactured emotion. Dale's not good enough, either, but he's better than Tanguay.

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