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.

  • J.R.

    I happened to switch on Felger & Mazz yesterday afternoon as they were whispering in a conspiratorial fashion to each other that there's "something" about the Patriots that has "all" the other teams in the league wondering about them and their alleged tactics. The proof? Mazz(hole) cited the Jacksonville Jaguars complaining about their headsets not working in a 2006 game which was "obviously tied to Spygate." Really, you tool? Spygate didn't happen until the following year.

    You would think if you, ya know, yakked or wrote about sports for a living you would at a minimum have a rudimentary grasp of the facts.

    • Winning_

      A called also called them out and made them look stupid. Felger went into citing an article written about the headsets. I think Felger was enjoying ticking Pats fans off with this stuff, and purposely used it to fuel conversation. However, what he left out was that the writer/article had a addendum at the bottom. The caller pointed out that the implications in the authors piece regarding headsets was not proven and the Patriots were never found guilty. Felger quickly shrugged off the fact the he conveniently left out that piece.

      What a stooge!

      • 02062

        In fairness, "they were up against a break." FRAUDS

    • tl;138

      However, the roots of Spygate were planted in 2006. In the Jets vs. Pats game, BB kicked out Eric Mangini's defensive signals recorder so when the Pats played the Jets the following year in the Meadowlands, he returned the favor.

  • latetodinner

    pimping your own stuff when Bruce has a link above…shame, shame, shame… on the other hand…nice column George. Eek two compliments from me in the same month…I am totally going soft.

  • latetodinner

    Some sports media thoughts on this dragging Thursday:

    - Say what you want about D& C but they are right on with their unrelenting attacks on any Penn State sycophant who tries to celebrate Joe Paterno's "legacy" and white wash his enbling of Sandusky all in the name of protecting "the program". As John Dennis correctly pointed out this morning in answer to the SI.com column by Joe Posnanski, everything Joe Pa did was to protect the legacy at the expense of children. So what if he donated his salary back to the school or gave money to the library to enhance his legacy…he allowed a child abuser/ pedophile to exist and be protected by the Penn State football institution rather than getting caught up in the scandal…all to protect his legacy. I think John Dennis' observation that Joe Paterno stayed on as coach 20 years after the Pennsylvania state employee mandatory retirement age kicked in and the never to be answered question of why casts more light on the questions of what did Paterno know, when did he know it and why didn't he do anything about it.

    - Could someone explain to me when exactly the Giants defense became the 85 bears and their offense became the 2007 Patriots?

    - The bigger problem with scoreboardgate as I see it is how easily the media in Boston were co-opted. I heard Maz say that Bill Belichick brought this on himself because of spygate. How…he interpreted the rule to mean he could not film from that angle and use that film during the current game. The NFL said no it is never but as I think Belichick had an argument…might not have won but it was a decent argument. Yet now the afternoon duo on the Flagship station of the Patriots radio broadcast do not even attempt to be fair or understand how spy gate was a bunch of hooey. Instead they try and pile on. I don't care what the ratings are…if I were Kraft and the Pats brass I would be screaming at 98.5's program director to fix this.

    • Tom

      It can be summed up this way:
      'Spygate' is the single most overblown story in the history of sports media.
      Fact, not opinion.

      I really wish a high-profile, respected, national writer will someday write the definitive book/feature on 'spygate'. Something that details how it's statistically proven that taping signals had no impact on their success, how current/former coaches have dimissed it as any advantage whatsoever, and something that details how poorly the media (local and national) covered the whole episode and perpetuated false information.

      On another note… I want so badly to listen to T&R in the morning. I really do. I want to not have to listen to D&C. But the truth is, when T&R attempt to seriously talk sports, they LITERALLY have no idea what they are talking about… although with the Bruins, perhaps it's less so. I mean, it can be painful to listen to. It's bad when Jon Wallach is the one correcting them about obvious facts.

      • bsmfan

        So, local Boston radio boils down to two political jockeys turned sports talk (D+C) or two shock jocks turned sports (T+R). The "LOL WHATEVER" approach must appeal to more, since T+R are #1 in ratings.

        I said it last post but I don't know why Entercom doesn't pair D+C for a political show if they ever changed the morning lineup. Same employer, same building, and they can spend the bottled up energy they reserve for all sports scandals to where you usually hear it.

    • APimpNamedDaveR

      I'm a little tired of people who believe they know the Revealed Truth of Everything based on a document that's meant to show that a reasonable person could conclude that the elements of a crime could be proven at trial.

      Let's say I go to the cops and say "Latetodinner raped me in a Satanic ceremony in which he also molested three altar boys and a raccoon." They believe me, and bring the case — not YOU, necessarily, just the CASE — before a grand jury. I testify before the GJ that you raped me and three altar boys and a raccoon. My friend Steve testifies that I told him about this, and that I also told him I sent a letter to your employer, BigConGlomHugeCo Inc., compaining about your rapine tendencies. Your boss, Joe "Big" ConGlomHugeCo, testifies that he did receive a letter in which I claimed the abovementioned stuff, and referred it to the ConGlomHugeCo general counsel. The raccoon is unavailable to testify.

      The grand jury members decide that a reasonable person could believe me and Steve, and therefore that you could potentially be convicted of the charge being sought by the Commonwealth. So they hand down an indictment, in which is contained the testimony which, if accepted by the jury or trial judge as factual, would lead to a beyond-a-reasonable-doubt certainty as to the presence of all the facts needed to support the criminal charge in question. That's IT — that's all a grand jury indictment means, that the prosecution has presented enough evidence that a motion to dismiss after their case presentation (in the absence of anything else) would not be supportable.

      But you, and braying jackasses like D&C (please note that I do NOT lump you in with the braying jackass contingent of the local media), apparently want to conclude with certaintly from the above that…

      (a) you DID rape me, even though I'll tell you right now that I'm lying through my teeth and paid Steve to back me up and support my story;
      (b) Joe ConGlomHugeCo deliberately covered up your rapes, and
      (c) presumably he did so to "protect his interests" at the cost of me, the altar boys, and the poor raccoon, all of whom weren't nearly as important as BigConGlomHugeCo's sales and products.

      Whereas if the case went to trial, your defense would get to introduce the fact that I wasn't able to identify you in a lineup, that I have never met you outside the internet, that there's a check written to Steve from me for $10,000 with "Frame that LTD guy for rape" in the memo field, that Steve is a convicted fraud artist, and that the letter Joe ConGlomHugeCo received also stated that I was Jesus, that Obama was a space alien from Orion sent to control us with health care death squads, and that Eli Manning was an elite quarterback, so he thought it was either a joke or something from a mentally imbalanced person. No jury would convict you — it's patently clear that I made everything up, even though I came across as sincere and believable, once you get the whole story.

      But a grand jury proceeding is NOT DESIGNED TO GET THE WHOLE STORY. It's only designed to gather, and only reports, information to support a charge.

      I'm not going to defend Paterno's actions. But I'm also not going to criticise him. Because I wasn't there, and I don't know what went on — and the grand jury report sure as hell doesn't give me the full story. But that's precisely how D&C work in their political/social buffonery — if there's a fact that supports whatever they believe, then that's conclusive proof that what they believe is true, and anyone who disagrees is "blind" or "stupid" or "a liberal idiot" or such. That's not analysis or cogent discussion, that's idiocy.

      • latetodinner

        Dave:Your answer sounds an awful lot like legal reasoning. You and I would agree that there probably was not enough evidence to convict Joe Paterno of anything. He was a master at keeping his heads clean. WHere we disagree is whether him being legally guilty is needed for his image to have been tarnished forever. I don't need a court of law to tell me Joe Paterno knew that Sandusky was raping children and he did nothing about it. In fact it appears (and perception is reality) that he was far more concerned about his legacy than the health and welfare of the children being molested by his long time friend. To me the rest is moot. I think D & C were correct in their condemnation of Joe Poesurski and SI.Com for attempting to revitalize Joe Pa reputation. I don't think D & C were saying this is the work of liberals but I do agree with them…anyone who is attempting to look at Joe Paterno's “legacy” and ignore his involvement in the Sandusky case is “stupid”, “blind” and “ignorant”…unless it is you because I know you are none of those things.

        • APimpNamedDaveR

          No, what I'm saying is that you, and others, have DECIDED that Joe Paterno was solely interested in, as you say, "keeping his hands clean" and protecting the program, etc., and therefore you color every fact you are given towards that conclusion to justify saying, "see, he's really a phony who cares about nobody but himself." You come out and say it yourself: "I don't need a court of law to tell me Joe Paterno knew Sandusky was raping children and he did nothing about it." You don't truly care about finding the truth of what he did or didn't do. You've already created your truth, and are just forming the facts to fit it. It's called "confirmation bias", and is one of the major reasons why juror voir dire exists. It's also why we still have racism, and a whole lot of other -isms, even though we purport, as a society, to be open, rational, and fair. And it's wrong.

          Leaving aside the fact that we factually don't know what he did or didn't do — we just have three un-cross-examined stories that conflict — I can think of multiple reasons beyond "keeping my hands clean" for acting (or failing to act) as he did. Say that I, a complete stranger to you, come to you and say that your best friend in the world, or your spouse, or your child, or someone else whom you feel you know down to the soul, was doing something bad (vagueness intentional) to a kid in a bathroom somewhere. (Remember, we have no conclusive proof that Paterno was told about "rape" — he said he was told "something improper of a physical nature". Would you immediately run to the police, and run to his/her family, to scream "RAPIST MOLESTER PERSON" knowing full well that regardless of the truth it will ruin the person's life? Based on one thing that I, a stranger, told you? Of course you wouldn't — not in a million, billion years, no matter how noble you may be. It would have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with a desire on your part to protect yourself or your job — you just flat-out wouldn't believe me. You have no reason to believe me over that person, whom you (believe) you know completely. Maybe you talk to the person, and try to figure out why I'd be saying that sort of thing if it wasn't true, or ask directly about the person's interest in children. But what if they said "APNDR has it out for me — he wants my job and doesn't care about who he effs over to get it." Would you then go to the police? Of course not! That's just one possibility. There are others. For example… confirmation bias. If Paterno believed that Sandusky was a good person who harmlessly roughhoused kids from time to time, he'd fit the "facts" he was hearing into his preconceived, non-negotiable view of Sandusky — just the way you're fitting the facts you're hearing into your preconceived, non-negotiable view of Paterno. That, again, has zero to do with "keeping his hands clean" or "protecting the program" — his confirmation bias led him to believe that something different existed ("oh, that's Jerry, always roughhousing and wrestling, the scamp…") than the objective truth (assuming that McQueary actually communicated an objective truth).

          We don't know which scenario, out of the many potential scenarios, is the real one. Which is precisely why we should consider Paterno's "legacy" and character — objectively — when putting the Sandusky situation into context. What was Paterno like for the 50 years prior to the Sandusky incident? Was he a me-first guy who screwed over anyone and everyone? Was he a good guy who tried to do the right thing? And if he's the latter, why would he one day suddenly up and say, "you know, f–k the right thing, I'm covering my ass even if a few kids have to get raped"?

          I don't think anybody is arguing that we should "ignore" the Sandusky incident. What people — and I include myself in this — are saying is that it's unfair to Joe Patero to DECIDE that he is a terrible, awful, worthless POS based solely on this incident, then work backwards to discard and ignore every bit of the (massive) evidence that he was not, especially now that he's not around to defend himself anymore. But if you've already decided, regardless of the facts, that Paterno didn't just make a bad mistake that he regretted, he triumphantly capped off a lifetime of being the Devil Incarnate by cackling as boys were raped, (a) you're not conducting yourself rationally (although you're being perfectly human), and (b) you're not going to be convinced by anything I say.

          [Again, if someone wants to sponsor the Pimp & Dinner Sports Talk Hour on TV, I'm sure we're interested....]

        • tl;138

          tl;dr

        • Scott Benson

          really, why don't you just SHOVE this? I'm still waiting on your first post with any value, so you're the last guy on earth who ought to be dismissive of anyone else. Speaking of, why don't you put on your little skateboard sneakers and take a f**king hike.

        • latetodinner

          Dave:I think we are all adults and can come to rational conclusions as to what happened and why. In 1998 Sandusky is quietly “retired” from the Penn State football program in the wake of an allegation he molested a 12 year old. The mother had confronted him and he admits it. he is 56 at the time, heir apparent to Paterno and never sniffs a major or minor college football job. This is a guy who was profiled in sports illustrated for his work developing linebackers and referred to as the 'Dean of Linebacker U”. With hindsight it appears to me that a deal was made, Sandusky would fade away, he could still be around the Penn State program as a “volunteer” for his charity work, but for all intents and purposes his career is over. Now who could have made such a deal with him? I say the only person who could have done it was Paterno. He had to have known what type of man Sandusky was and at the same time I am sure Sandusky knew all about every skeleton in Paterno's closet. So to protect each other the deal was made. In 2002 Sandusky is caught by the graduate assistant in the locker room. He brings the info to Paterno who again makes the decision not to distance himself or the program from Sandusky. He wants this all to go away and not taint his “program” because the “legacy” is what is important to Paterno. I want to be clear, I don't think Paterno saw the situation in Black and White like those of us with distance do. I think he took little steps to protect the “legacy”, slowly over time, removing Sandusky officially, reporting a sanitized version of what the graduate assistant saw, etc. However there was never a definitive separation from Sandusky and his activities. You can make a legal argument that Paterno did not know and I am saying, not only did he know he enabled. We will never know for sure unless Sandusky talks (which won't happen) as Paterno is now dead. But my criticism of Joe Poesnitski and now Phil Knight still stand….to separate Paterno and his involvement in enabling Sandusky from his “football legacy” is exactly why Paterno did what he did…as such it should not be done and those that are doing it are wrong.As for our point counterpoint show…we should get Bruce to start a BSMW pod cast or live radio streaming…then we can get sponsors…and then we can argue on the internet. I would be all for that.

  • Lance_

    Don't be so harsh on yourself George, you're not. More of a "feminine hygiene deodorant spray" but not a douche…

  • 02062

    Mike went on and on about the Mike Silver of Yahoo.com "winner and losers" list that was discussed on the main board yesterday.

    Mike pointed out that people who want them to "stop trading down in the draft for value" are losers.

    "Reaching the Super Bowl isn't the be all end all."

    For the 2+ years of the existence of the program I had thought that losing in the AFC Championship game was the "be all end all"?

    Neither one of them had the courage to admit that THEY were wrong.

    Corky went in to his Boston accent guy voice. "YAAAH THEY DRAFTED GROOONK IN THE 2ND ROUND."

    They did draft him in the 2nd round Tony and you said it was a mistake – YOU AND THE GUY WHOSE RUMP YOU SWAB FOR 4 HOURS A DAY WERE WRONG.

    Be a man and admit it.

    • Tony

      Neither of those guys ever admit they're wrong. I can't respect guys like that. Felger "admitted" he was wrong about Claude Julien–halfheartedly at best–only after the B's won the Stanley Cup last June–if they'd lost Game 7 I'm sure he would have been crowing about how right he was all along.. And last night on his TV show he was, again, saying that the NFL salary cap is "meaningless"–despite the numerous articles written about the Jets' tenuous cap situation since the end of the regular season. I simply can't respect anyone who won't admit he's wrong. And I'll never understand why Mazz thinks that constantly insulting his audience and making fun of the way a very small portion of them talk makes for a good business model. Then again, Mazz is the same guy who ripped Pats fans to shreds in a Herald column the day after Matt Walsh's testimony to Goodell in 2008 turned up absolutely nothing new about Spygate….all to protect his Herald co-worker Tomase, who should have been fired for what he did, and for WHEN he chose to do it, especially.

  • Chuck Schick

    Fact, not opinion.

  • bsmfan

    Great column. I think this was the best because it split the team/politics issue that certain media members, specifically the ones around here, could not. It's sad now how certain decisions, no matter how benign the reasoning, get lumped into the r-word or something worse.

    It's funny how Felger went from loving Thomas to making him enemy #1. How soon before Thomas gets a nickname like "Texas Toughguy" If the opposite party were in the WH, I bet Felger would have already had the bronze cast for a Thomas statue next to Bird.

    And, now, we have "WhiteHouseSnub-Gate". Patrick, a Democrat, was asked about the controversy Thursday during his monthly "Ask the Governor" program on WTKK-FM. He didn't directly criticize goalie Tim Thomas, but suggested that the snub showed disrespect toward the presidency.

    Did anyone remember when Madonna compared John McCain to Hitler? Guess who is performing at halftime during the Superbowl.
    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2008-08-24/news/1

    Oh, wait, you can do that as long as he's not a Democrat? Where's the rage from ESPN? Felger? Mazz? Nice job, hypocrites.

    • bsmfan

      I really hope this is the last we touch on the topic because of how sad the story has become and devolved media personalities to.

      I found another article on one of the independent hockey sites:
      http://spectorshockey.net/wordpress/2012/01/26/nh

      Worthwhile quote from it:

      SPECTOR’S NOTE: Prior to Thomas’ snub of the White House ceremony, there was no thought anywhere of the Bruins shopping him. With all due respect to Shinzawa, I think he’s over-reacting here. Sure, it’s possible Thomas could be moved this summer, but it simply makes no sense to trade the guy who carried your team to a Stanley Cup title, who’s won the Vezina trophy as the league’s top goalie two of the past three years, is a likely nominee for it again this season, and could well backstop the Bruins to another Cup this season, because of his political views.

  • Frank

    Free Bob Ryan! F the Globe.

  • bsmfan

    For some other "reasons people hate the Pats", here is an article on the new McMansion 12 and Giselle have:
    http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/01/26/tom-br

    And, Gronk has a rap now that is on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed

    Last link is the SoundFX from AFC Championship Game. Note: it has the usual disclaimer of some language in it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdu_esK0TII

  • bsmfan

    I'll take a few lines from D+C here, since they put it the best.

    Fall asleep at halftime with the Celtics down 27? Yup, they came back and won. In fact, they won by 9. They even went 4 minutes in the 4th without a point. I'll leave the links to Bruce or hit up your favorite news source.

    Here is the Orlando side: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/orlando-mag

    Apparently, Howard is "open" to considering Boston on his list. Given how this list seems to include a new rumor with a new team everyday, I don't know how much credibility to give it.

    The best part of it? KG's interview after:

    "Bar Fight" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0sDIlcQqGU

  • bsmfan

    Looks like BostonSportsMediaitis has made its way to NY. Article in the NY Daily News:

    Filip Bondy
    The genius of Bill Belichick could be running empty if New England Patriots lose to NY Giants in Super Bowl XLVI
    Although Belichick remains head coach, it's been awhile since he's had success
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants

    No clue if this guy has a history of this type of stuff but an interesting read.

    And, be prepared for much more CSNNE coverage:

    Michael Felger, Tom Curran, and Gary Tanguay are among at least 18 CSNNE personalities who will be in Indianapolis this week in anticipation of the Patriots-Giants rematch. It’s the largest personnel commitment of any electronic media outlet in the market, and CSNNE isn’t skimping in the programming department, either, dedicating more than 60 hours of coverage from Indianapolis to the game.

    ■NESN: “NESN Daily’’ Patriots reporter Dara McIntosh, online Patriots reporter Jeff Howe, two cameramen, and a producer form NESN’s contingent. Reports from Indianapolis will be included during Bruins programming and “Red Sox Hot Stove Live.’’
    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/ar

    At this point, not that I want anymore Felger on my TV, but doesn't NESN send five times the staff to Bruins Road games? Did they miss the memo about this game being the Superbowl and not a preseason game?

    • itt

      Prove to who? The only person that matters is his boss. The fact that you think he in any way needs to "prove" something to you and other fanz is ridiculous. Also, you don't know anything about football that isn't condensed into a regurgitated sound bite. When they win next Sunday will you stop with the nonsense permanently? Or will you just go right into "they gotta take a pass rusha in in the first round" nonsense? You suck. You and everyone like you. But I'm sure you'll be in line at Modells the next morning buying a t shirt and sending in your lame "Gronking" photos for the next Boston.com slideshow.

  • Classless

    I'm bracing myself for 2 scenarios:

    1. Patriots win. "They were the weakest, luckiest super bowl team in the last 10 years. They'll never repeat."

    2. Patriots lose. "Giants own Patriots. Fire Belichick. Dark days coming. Might as well root for the jaguars"

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