Super Bowl Week – Tuesday Roundup

Patriots Settling Into Indy

Super Bowl week gets into high gear with local radio stations beginning their radio row broadcasts and media day this morning.

Just because they’re saying it about Super Bowl XLVI doesn’t mean it’s true – Jonathan Comey looks at a few myths being perpetrated this week, including the oft-repeated statements about the Patriots awful defense.

Dispatches from Indy: Introspective Bill – Chad Finn looks at a very pleasant Bill Belichick yesterday. Mike Reiss says Belichick is smiling because he likes his team.

The Tuna bites, talks about coaches – Dan Shaughnessy talks to Bill Parcells about his two former assistants. Good piece from Shaughnessy, likely because of the 1149 words, he only wrote 436 of them. The rest is all Parcells quotes.

Similarities run deep with Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin – Ron Borges looks at the similarities and respect between the two coaches.

Veterans thrilled to reach pinnacle at last – Ian Rapoport has grizzled veterans like Shaun Ellis, Brian Waters and Gerard Warren thrilled to be going their their first Super Bowl.

Man in motion – John Powers has a feature on Aaron Hernandez, who is much more than just another tight end.

The Death of Spygate – Kirk Minihane wonders why the likes of Michael Felger and Bob Ryan feel the need to bring back Spygate this week.

For N.Y. headline writers, the game is on - Jim Donaldson has the New York newspapers going all out in supporting the Giants, even making things up. Tom E Curran has Victor Cruz’s win guarantee, with a shout out to BSMW.

Venting on media bashing, nutso fans and other things – Ron Chimelis is in a rotten mood.  

Some happy to fly under the radar - Mark Farinella’s notebook has some lesser-known Patriots seeing the spotlight. The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots with a business-like practice yesterday. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport has BenJarvus Green-Ellis testing a new chinstrap.

In the non-Super Bowl arena, Jessica Camerato has a feature on Celtics rookie Greg Stiemsma and his battle with depression.

Victor Cruz Guarantees Giants Win

I post this only as an example of how silly all of this is.

In the NY Post, which boasts this back cover today:

Steve Serby says that the Giants will make Brady pay for planning Patriots victory party.

What did Brady actually say?

“We’re going down there, and we’re going down there for one reason. We’re going to give it our best and hopefully we’ll have a lot more people at our party next weekend.”

Wow. “Hopefully.” That’s quite the taunt.

In the same paper yesterday there is a story entitled Patriots’ McCourty beat Giants’ Cruz for Rutgers scholarship.

In the story, Giants receiver Victor Cruz is quoted thusly:

At a pep rally at School 21 in his hometown of Paterson, NJ yesterday, Cruz gave the frenzied crowd of 5,000 a Joe Namath-style guarantee that he’ll prevail against his old nemesis.

We are definitely coming back with a ‘W,’ ” he said to wild cheers.

Actually, the entire premise of the story, which is that Cruz lost out on a scholarship to Rutgers because it was given to current Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty instead, is bunk. McCourty’s brother Jason tweeted the following last night:

[blackbirdpie id=”163842030320091136″]

Let The Madness Begin

Super Bowl week is finally upon us, and the insane hype and media madness that comes along with it. Lots of material out there, I’ll try to sort it out and get you some of the better stuff.

Bowl of Crow served – On November 7th, Ron Borges declared the Patriots Dynasty dead. Today, he says he was wrong, and in fact, even with a loss to the Giants this Sunday, he says the dynasty lives on. What?

Did Ron look around, and realize that Michael Felger and others have completely swiped his anti-Patriots schtick? Perhaps he feels the need to go the other way now, just to stand out? Perhaps 10 years later, we’re now going to once again see Felger/Borges on-air battles, but with the roles completely reversed? I kind of doubt that, but I don’t doubt that Ron realized that a Pro-Patriots column would get a lot more attention this week than his usual style.

Mike Felger spending last night talking Spygate? Predictable.

The Globe is wisely separating out the Super Bowl hype and the regular Patriots news and reporting. They’ve started the Double Coverage blog for the former while keeping the Extra Points blog for the latter.

Bill Belichick in good humor at Indy – Mike Reiss has the Patriots coach making a “4th and 2″ joke upon arrival in Indianapolis. Tom E Curran has Belichick in a much lighter mood than the last time his team was in this game. Shalise Manza Young has the coach taking a relaxed approach.

Bill Belichick: Everybody’s critic - Jackie MacMullan has the coach humiliating his players every Monday morning in film sessions, saying that the “Belistrator terrorizes them with their human foibles, cutting a franchise quarterback down to a high school wannabe, making his linebacker and his safety feel as though they still haven’t made a single significant play in their Patriots careers.”

Mangini Makes Sense Of Giants Vs. Pats – Jeff Jacobs has Eric Mangini talking about the matchups, most of which seem to favor the Giants. For the Patriots to have a chance, Deion Branch needs to recapture past Super Bowl form.

Despite perception, Patriots and Giants defenses are pretty evenly matched – Paul Kenyon says the matchups might be more even than most people think.

Patriots still motivated by loss to Giants – Rich Garven says that the Patriots will use XLII as motivation.

Pats have more at stake than revenge  – Bill Burt says that the Patriots aren’t motivated by juvenile vendettas.

Sunday’s showdown will go a long way toward Brady’s legacy – You’re going to hear and read a lot about legacy this week.  

Supersized issues facing Pats – Karen Guregian runs through the biggest issues facing the two teams.

Belichick’s 10 most unorthodox moves – Mike Rodak examines some of the coach’s biggest gambles.

Welker a target during, after game – The Globe notebook has the receiver a big part of the Patriots success both now, and hopefully for the future. The Herald notebook from Karen Guregian has Jerod Mayo not taking the bait from Giants offensive players slighting his unit.

Doing Some Friday Megalinks

With a rainy day in Southern New England, it’s time to provide you with some media links. Lots of them on a Friday.

You can check out the Weekend Viewing Picks for the sports and entertainment programming suggestions.

Now to the links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with NBC’s Al Michaels about calling his 8th Super Bowl and 2nd for NBC.

Mike Ozanian from Forbes says NFL TV rightsholders will be able to reap financial benefits while non-rightsholders end up holding the bag.

Sam Mamudi of Marketwatch.com says you can follow along the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter results in real time thanks to a new Facebook app.

Michael O’Connell from the Hollywood Reporter has a sneak peek at some of the Super Bowls ads.

Kelly McBride of the ESPN Poynter Review Project looks at why ESPN made so much of Tim Tebow.

Alex Klein at Romanesko looks into why the Yale Daily News sat on a story for several months and how it took the New York Times to report on former quarterback Patrick Witt’s alleged sexual assault on campus. You may remember that Witt was a candidate to become a Rhodes Scholar but then skipped his interview. Now we know why.

Todd Spangler at Multichannel News says ESPN will let viewers see additional highlights and material from the Winter X Games via the Shazam mobile app.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes that NBC Sports Network goes into the NHL All-Star Weekend with increased ratings for the games.

Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily also has a story on the increased NHL ratings for NBC Sports Network.

Gabriel Beltrone from Adweek says Coke will have a Super Bowl microsite where its famous polar bears will react to the game and ads in real time.

David Gianatasio of Adweek writes one local Super Bowl spot will urge you to pee during its commercial.

E.J. Schultz at Advertising Age has Anheuser-Busch’s Super Bowl plans.

Matt Hardigree at Jalopnik says he’s solved the mystery behind the advertiser behind the Ferris Bueller-themed Super Bowl spot.

Adam Jacobi, the college football writer at CBSSports.com, who put the link to Onward State’s erroneous tweet about Joe Paterno’s death last Saturday has been fired. Jacobi says he understands the decision and has apologized to the Paterno family for his mistake.

Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group says NBC will take a lighter approach for Sunday’s NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

Harry A. Jessell at TV NewsCheck notes that while the national TV ratings for the NFL are good, go inside the local numbers and they’re even better.

ESPN PR man Bill Hofheimer gives you an inside look at the network’s Super Bowl studios in Indianapolis.

Sports Media Watch says college basketball ratings are up on both ESPN and ESPN2.

SMW has some news and notes on some various people in the sports media.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing goes into some of the on-screen typos on TV this week.

Jeff Pearlman gets vindication from Chris “Mad Dog” Russo.

Steven Crist from the Daily Racing Form feels returning the Breeders Cup to NBC can only help horse racing.

All Access says a Hartford, CT FM station has flipped to all-sports.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says NESN has selected Jenny Dell the replacement for Heidi Watney on its Red Sox broadcasts.

Chad says of all of the local TV outlets, Comcast SportsNet will have the largest contingent covering the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Johnny Diaz from the Globe says DirecTV subscribers will see the Super Bowl after all.

Bill Doyle from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette talks with NBC’s Rodney Harrison about Super Bowl XLII and how some present Patriots still remaining from the game want revenge.

Stuart Elliot at the New York Times says some Super Bowl advertisers are returning buyers.

Richard Sandomir of the Times has Joe Namath’s reaction to the HBO/NFL Films documentary on his career that premieres tomorrow.

Richard adds that Namath is right now estranged from his former team, the New York Jets.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says the Namath documentary for the most part is good.

Justin Terranova of the Post speaks with NBC NHL charlatan Pierre McGuire.

Mike Silva at Sports Media Watchdog wonders why Kim Jones left YES.

Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union says a local sports talk show will broadcast live from the Super Bowl next week.

Pete talks with the host of that talk show who also wears other hats in the Albany market.

Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says NYC residents will be able to hear the local and national radio calls of the Super Bowl next Sunday.

The Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News notes the firing of a CBSSports.com writer for falsely reporting Joe Paterno’s death.

DCRTV’s Dave Hughes at Press Row has media notes from the Baltimore-DC area.

South

The Tallahassee (FL) Democrat writes that a local sports talk show host who left his former station this week will be back on the air at another station later this year.

Billy Cox of the Sarasota (FL) Herald Tribune says ESPN’s Dick Vitale will be the subject of a profile produced by ….. ESPN!

Josh Bowe of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Fox Sports Southwest will stream Lone Star Conference football games and a highlight show over the internet.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks with a retiring local sports anchor who looks back at the 2011 Texans rather fondly.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman reviews the HBO/NFL Films documentary on Joe Namath.

Mel says ESPNU will be all over National Signing Day.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer talks with former Bengal Artrell Hawkins who is now co-hosting Fox Sports Radio’s national morning show.

Jeff Moss of the Detroit Sports Rag looks into the new program director and on-air host of a local sports radio station.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Wisconsin sports teams did well in the national TV ratings last year.

Dan McGrath of the Chicago News Cooperative notes the 20 year anniversary of sports talk radio in the Windy City.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says new Minnesota Twins radio voice Cory Provus has big shoes to fill.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks with Bob Costas about returning to host his familiar town hall format next week.

West

Thomas Harding of MLB.com says Root Sports Rocky Mountain’s Alana Rizzo is leaving the network’s Colorado Rockies broadcast team and heading for MLB Network.

John Maffei at the North County Times says HBO’s documentary on Joe Namath is on par with previous efforts.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star also reviews the documentary.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with Kings radio analyst Daryl Evans and also lists his best/worst LA broadcast analysts.

Tom has more on Evans in his blog.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says it’s time to play the NHL All-Star Game outdoors.

And that will do it.

Celtics Storm Back From 27 Down To Beat Magic

Following Monday night’s beatdown by the Celtics of the Magic at the TD Garden, most expected Orlando to come back with some pride last night at home in the rematch. They did.

For a half.

Orlando ran out to a 27 point lead last night, and then just shut down. The Celtics held the Magic to 25 points in the second and stormed back for a going-away 91-83 win.

The Celtics are not dead yet – Paul Flannery looks at  a character-building win for the Celtics. Gary Washburn says this one was a statement.

E’Twaun Moore like that, rookie – Steve Bulpett has the rookie guard forcing his way into the lineup and scoring 16 points in the win. A. Sherrod Blakely also has  look at Moore.

The skinny on beating the Giants - Greg A Bedard talks to Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, whose team beat the Giants twice this season.

Why BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a difference-maker for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI – Christopher Price thinks that the steady, sure-handed back could be the key to a Patriots win.

Mark Anderson finds niche with Patriots – Rich Garven has the former Bear finding a big role with the Patriots.

Heavy-hitting Spikes’ hashtag says it all – Hector Longo has a look at the second-year linebacker, who has become a playmaker on defense.

Sterling Moore picture of perseverance – Karen Guregian has a look at the rookie corner.

Brady true to his roots – Amalie Benjamin has the Patriots QB sticking close to his high school.

Media

CSNNE calls for blanket coverage – Chad Finn runs down all the plans from the local media outlets for Super Bowl coverage, and reports that Jenny Dell will be the replacement for Heidi Watney. I’m a little disappointed. I was rooting for the return to Boston of Erin Hawkworth.

Is Anyone Enjoying This Patriots Super Bowl Run? – In my SB Nation Boston media column, I’m wondering why so many people are miserable about the Patriots being in the Super Bowl.

Rodney Harrison on Patriots: ‘There’s still rage, there’s still anger there’ – Bill Doyle has the former Patriot, and current NBC analyst talking about Patriots/Giants.

DirecTV, Sunbeam reach agreement – Johnny Diaz in the Globe has the satellite TV provider striking a deal with the parent company of WHDH, clearing the way for the Super Bowl to be broadcast. (Not to mention the series finale of “Chuck” tonight..)

Out of Bounds featuring SI.com’s Jimmy Traina – Ryan Hadfield’s podcast for WEEI.com has SI.com’s Jimmy Traina about his Hot Clicks feature on the Extra Mustard Page. The two discuss the obscure content Traina finds, the blogosphere vs. traditional media, ESPN, Bill Simmons and some BSMW items.

On “Eager Reporters” with “Well-Intentioned” Questions

The latest masterpiece from Boston.com/Boston Globe is a slideshow entitled Why Everyone Else Hates The Patriots.

Gee, I’m shocked that Joe Sullivan would green-light something like this. How come this hasn’t been on the front page of the Globe sports section for 10 years?

I’ll spare you having to click through it all. The reasons are:

Pollard’s comments (Really? Sour grapes from a losing team is a reason to hate the Patriots?)
They’re perceived as cheaters (Felger and Mazz spent four hours on this topic yesterday.)
They dink and dunk — sort of (This is a reason to hate?)
They run up the score (Apparently in the entire NFL, only the Patriots are guilty of this.)
They’re smug  (To the media. This is a reason for the public to hate?)
They kill drifters and bury them under Gillette (OK, this one wasn’t in there, just seeing if you’re paying attention)
Their coach is dismissive
  (Again, to the media. Especially “eager reporters” with “well-intentioned” questions)
Their quarterback is pretty (This is just silly at this point)
They win (Bingo. Why not just have this one slide and end it at this?)
Their coach kicks puppies (Still paying attention?)
We’re all winning (So people hate the Patriots because the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. Got it.)

While yes, I get that much of this is tongue-in-cheek, and I even get the impression from his comments that writer Gary Dzen doesn’t even believe much of it, the comments that got me was under “Their coach is dismissive” when he wrote about “eager reporters” with “well-intentioned” Questions getting smacked down by Belichick.  Replace “eager reporters” with “lazy columnists” and “well-intentioned” with “agenda-driven” and it might be more accurate.

Do other cities do  “Why Everyone Hates The Incredibly Successful Local Team” pieces? Is there one up on a New York website about the Giants right now? Do they do a Lakers one in Los Angeles?

Miss-information on Billy Cundiff kicks around – Of all people, Ron Borges and Mark Farinella lay the smackdown against those who have been suggesting that the Patriots messed with the scoreboard to “cheat” their way to a win on Sunday. (Farinella’s column is very good)

How Belichick’s defensive insights helped Brady learn to play QB – A very good piece from Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal, including comments from a young Tom Brady before he even became the Patriots starting QB about how Belichick had helped his game already.

Kevin Faulk looks back at early days – Ian Rapoport talks with Kevin Faulk, who seems likely to be playing in his final NFL game next Sunday.

Ten Super Bowl stories you won’t want to miss – Mysteriously, Bill Burt omits Spygate, David Tyree, and all the lame storylines being pumped out elsewhere.

Patriots deserve to be Super Bowl favorites – Jonathan Comey says that while it may not mean anything, the Patriots do deserve to be favored in this game.

Looking back at Pats-Giants in Week 9 – Mike Reiss looks back at the regular season matchup between the teams.

Moore impact – Shalise Manza Young with a look at the big plays from rookie Sterling Moore.

Bruins Midseason Report Card: Forwards Earn High Marks, Head Into Break As NHL’s Highest-Scoring Offense – Douglas Flynn hands out some Bruins midseason grades.

Thomas’s White House Snub Brings Out the Cult of Media Hypocrisy – George Cain looks at the stunning hypocrisy and witch hunt against the Bruins goaltender from the likes of Tony Massarotti.

Dwight Howard to Hub? – Steve Bulpett has the Magic center not ruling out the Celtics as a possible future destination.

Celtics owe it to Rivers to shape up – Gary Washburn says that while no Celtics showed up at camp out of shape, they’re still not in “game” shape and owe it to their coach to get there.

Pitching dominoes poised to fall? - Gordon Edes has the Red Sox looking to round out their rotation with either Roy Oswalt, Edwin Jackson or Gavin Floyd.

Brady Didn’t Play That Bad In AFC Title Game. Wait, What?

When Tom Brady asserted that he “sucked” in Sunday’s AFC championship game, not many people were in a rush to disagree with him.

Upon a second look at the game, perhaps Brady was being a bit hard on himself, or so at least one Patriots reporter believes.

Brady got the job done – Greg A Bedard’s game review, which has consistently been one of the best weekly columns of this season, notes that Brady actually played well on Sunday, and that playoff football is completely different from regular season football.

Tom Brady Will Bounce Back With Strong Super Bowl Performance and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts - Jeff Howe thinks that Brady will have a big Super Bowl performance, though I’m not so sure, as Bedard notes above, the playoffs are a completely different style of football.

46 lines on 23 issues – Tom E Curran has some very interesting observations and thoughts from Sunday, including Ravens CB Chris Carr calling Brady an “arrogant [bleep] ” after the game, and memories of Asante Samuel’s selfishness.

Scouts’ Super Bowl Take, Part 1: How to beat the Giants – We’ll see tons of columns about “how to beat the Patriots” in the next two weeks, I’m grateful to Christopher Price for going in the opposite direction, which is what I think most fans around here really want to read.

Revenge a real factor for Patriots – Karen Guregian talks to former Patriots Rodney Harrison, Heath Evans, Jarvis Green, James Sanders and Ellis Hobbs about how they would feel about another shot at the Giants.

Not an instant replay - Shalise Manza Young runs through the rosters and notes that a lot has changed since 2007.

Heaps of hype, memories – Not bad, Farinella, not bad.

Giants quite familiar to Patriots – Guregian’s notebook has Bill Belichick recalling his time with the Giants. The Globe notebook from Michael Vega has Bernard Pollard with plenty of sour grapes. The Patriots Journal has Belichick without much to say about Rob Gronkowski’s ankle.

The Bruins lost 5-3 in Washington D.C. last night, in their final game prior to the NHL All Star Break.

The Bruins need a break – DJ Bean says that like a little child, the Bruins need some time out to think about what they’ve done in recent weeks.

Bruins could use a break – Joe McDonald concurs that the All Star Break is coming at just the right time for the Bruins.

Team is used to Thomas’s ways - Fluto Shinzawa suggests that Thomas’s decision, however, may be the first step in goalie and team parting ways. It could be Tuukka time sooner than we think.

I’m glad to see Larry Johnson is continuing to put his all into his cartoons:

Well, at least he added the whistle, right?

Patriots Savor AFC Win, Get Ready For Super Redux

The Patriots took a day to recover from and enjoy their AFC Championship win over the Ravens, while begining to turn their attention to the NFC Champion New York Giants.

The Super Bowl XLII replays have already begun on NFL Network. View at your own peril. Some of us still can’t stomach it.

Super Bowl may be a rematch, but teams are not the same – Tim Britton says that for all the attention about the “rematch” these are pretty much completely different teams than the two that met in XLII. Rich Garven has the Patriots looking to finish off the season the right way.

Making The Grades – AFC Championship, Patriots vs. Ravens – Jeremy Gottlieb has the grades from Snday and here are a pair of other report cards to look over, from Ron Borges and Hector Longo.

Patriots savor a little longer – Shalise Manza Young has the team taking a day to enjoy their AFC Championship.

A workout by Vince Wilfork – Ian Rapoport has a look at a very tired Wilfork following his monster performace against the Ravens.

In key moments for the Patriots, it’s keep calm and carry on – Christopher Price notes how the Patriots ability to come through in key moments has separated them from the rest of the AFC this season.

Rob Gronkowski will be ready – Rapoport’s notebook says that the monster tight end will be ready to play in the Super Bowl. The Globe notebook from Shalise Manza Young confirms that. The Patriots Journal has Julian Edelman not one to back down from a challenge.

The hot topic of sports radio this morning has been Tim Thomas and his boycott of the Bruins visit to the White House yesterday.

Thomas on his own as White House distraction – Joe Haggerty thinks the goaltender may have wandered a bit too far off the reservation. Joe McDonald thinks that Thomas put himself above the team.

Tim Thomas should be applauded for conviction – Kirk Minihane thinks Thomas was doing what he thinks is right. Michael Felger thinks that Thomas’ is an embarassment.

The Celtics put on a defensive clinic last night, holding the Orlando Magic to 25% shooting from the field, on their way to a 87-56 romp at the TD Garden.

Dwight Howard tips hat to C’s after ugly loss – Steve Bulpett has the Magic center saying that the Celtics went back to playing “Boston basketball” last night.

The Celtics we know – Paul Flannery welcomes back the Celtics.

Banged-up Celtics put hurt on Magic - Peter May has the Celtics putting on a defensive tour de force.

Pietrus is latest sidelined – Gary Washburn’s notebook looks at the latest Celtics injury and has the Garden welcoming back Glen Davis.

What the addition of Cody Ross means for the Red Sox – Alex Speier examines the signing of the free agent outfielder.

 

 

Pathetic Pats Back Into Super Bowl, Stand No Chance Against G-Men

Is there anything more miserable than a sports-talk radio caller? Holy crap. I’ve actually heard yesterday’s win described as “disappointing” and that the Super Bowl rematch with the Giants in two weeks “won’t even be competitive.” (with the Giants killing the Patriots) Both of these calls came from self-described “long-time Patriots fans.

Here’s a few thoughts on this Monday after the AFC Championship. (If you’re looking for links, PatriotsLinks.com has them.)

  • I found it interesting that in almost two weeks away from the Boston sports radio and TV scene, I had nearly zero thoughts that the Patriots would lose to either the Broncos or Ravens. I knew the Ravens game would be what it was – a slugfest, perhaps even worthy of the sainted Ravens/Steelers battles that the media drools over, but I felt the Patriots would emerge with the win, especially at home.

That, Shalise Manza Young, is why it is better to be 13-3 and not 11-5. (And Bill Belichick would prefer it to be that way.)

  • If you’re a DirecTV subscriber, you might be nervous about being able to see the Super Bowl, given the fact that the contract dispute between DirecTV and Sunbeam Television (the owner of WDHD Channel 7) has resulted in the station being blocked out for Boston area Satellite subscribers.  FierceCable reports that Senators Kerry and Brown of Massachusetts are attempting to intercede in the matter, but also notes that Sunbeam owns a FOX station in Miami, and allowed viewers in that market to view the NFC title game yesterday.
  • Listening this morning, Gresh and Zo were so much better than Mutt and Merloni it wasn’t even close. As a long-time Mike Mutnansky booster, that hurts to write. Even Troy Brown couldn’t save Mutt and Lou.
  • Here’s how bad Tony Massarotti has gotten for me; I’d rather read a Dan Shaughnessy column on the Patriots than one written by Tony Mazz.
  • Could this be the worst two weeks of Super Bowl talk ever? In between the constant highlights from Super Bowl XLII and the insistence from the likes of Michael Felger of having to discuss all the Patriots “misses” in the draft in recent years, it might just be better for us all to go to the West coast, figuratively speaking. Or just read the beat reporters.
  • I appreciate how much Drew Bledsoe has grown into and seemingly embraced his role in the Patriots past and rise to where they are now. Given his reactions during the 2001 season (running to Ron Borges for advice, really?) and his departure from here, it’s nice to see how both sides have handled things in recent months. Having him hold the AFC trophy yesterday and hand it over was a nice moment.
  • IF the Patriots can beat the Giants – their toughest game to date – it will be a nice settling of all family business this season. Sweeping the Jets, who then implode after the season, seeing the Colts fall to the bottom of the league and Bill Polian shown the door, beating Tim Tebow and the Broncos twice (and avenging the 2005 playoff loss to Denver) beating the Ravens, avenging the 2009 playoff loss.