Lakers Drop Celtics In OT, DeOssie Defended

Pau Gasol blocked a Ray Allen putback at the buzzer to give the Lakers an 88-87 win over the Celtics at the Garden last night. Get all the coverage at CelticsLinks.com.

It’s no surprise that Glenn Ordway completely circled the wagons yesterday around Steve DeOssie. He’s his friend and business partner.

In the Globe, Chad Finn defends DeOssie’s right to root for the Giants: Root of the matter: DeOssie in the clear

He makes the same points that I did about it being completely fine, natural even, that DeOssie should be loyal to the Giants. He also transcribes DeOssie’s statements from the pep rally and says of them: “Damning? Hardly.” He then adds that they shouldn’t be damaging to how he’s perceived in New England.

I disagree. While the words themselves may be relatively tame, it was the sneering manner in which they were delivered which has people annoyed. He clearly made it out like he simply tolerates us buffoons in New England while yearning to be in New York and around his beloved Giants. That’s the issue. Another issue is objectivity. I’m constantly lectured about how all reporters and analysts claim to be totally objective. They root for no team, especially the local teams. I realize that that statement is a complete farce – many have rooting loyalties, they just hide under the objectivity label to justify criticism.

I don’t think DeOssie should be punished in any way nor lose any of his analyst gigs. I’m just saying his credibility has taken a shot here, and it wasn’t the smartest business decision on his part. I think we’ve talked about this enough.

Media Roundup: Sports Are Fun, Except In Boston Sports Media - In my SB Nation media column, I’m looking at a couple of media members who have noticed the toxic atmosphere around Boston sports.

Our mean-spirited Super Bowl reflex - We’ll throw Howard Bryant’s log on the fire for discussion as well.

  • ben

    To your point on objectivity, i think where DeOssie is full of it is his statement that there are two Steve DeOssie's – the one that gives his analysis and the one that it outside his work at pep rallies, watching games with his brother, etc. Pep rally was fine but acting like he is a completely objective analyst is bs. Doesn't mean he shouldnt do analysis but he needs to acknowledge his underlying biases (whether or not he really believes Bostonians are the losers he makes us out to be). All the media can take a lesson here and think about acknowledging their biases – love a player because the guy is easy to talk to; hate a team because the PR flak sucks. Whatever it is.

    • rilawman

      Fire DeOssi and boycott Fred and Steves, end of story. He "struggles in New England" and likes New York so much then go to New York because we do not want you here. I will turn off any show he is on and I won't buy anything from sponsors who are sponsoring it.

  • frank

    Bruce, you nailed it – it was the way he delivered his shots to new england that upset me. I am done with him, no weei, no wbz, no csne shows he is on….bye bye deossie. your only hope is that your son plays in NE.

  • Randy

    I agree with your point that he just came off extremely bad. The idea that all his friends in the media and DeOssie himself are spewing that it doesn't effect his analysis is probably true. But I don't think that is really the point. He has made a lot of money off fans of the Patriots. Whether it be his restaraunt or the Patriots Tailgate. He has a right to be a Giants fan. All the power to him. However, don't expect us to support his business ventures. Don't act like we care that he can be an objective analyst. I really don't care about that. He should have tamed down his comments. Well, that is if he wants us idiot Patriot fans to continue to support his business ventures. To be honest I didn't really care for him before. Now I really can't stand him.

  • Tony

    Bruce, your column is outstanding. You really nailed it.

  • latetodinner

    Okay… I get it…everyone is upset at DeOzzie not because he is a Giants fan but because of his contempt for NE fans. His supporters argue that his personal allegiances don't effect his ability to analyze. I am willing to agree to that as well. What his supporters miss is that his contempt/disdain effect my ability to listen/enjoy his analysis. Whereas it might not effect the quality of what he is saying it does effect my ability to take him seriously. The media outlets that employ him might not think this is a big deal…but the numbers will soon tell them that it is. DeOzzie already has a buffoonish rep. Had he not been so dumb about his comments he probably could have shook off some of the "idiot by association with Fred" rep he has. Now he has an independent rep he can't shake. With the plethora of quality ex players voices out there…Ty Law, Troy Brown, Christian Fauria, Rodney Harrison, Atrell Hawkins…there is no reason WEEI or CSSNE ever use DeOzzie again.

    • Winning_

      My hiatus living in a cave is over. I agree LTD but want to point out a few things that should never be included in the same paragraph when talking about Steve D.

      "his ability to analyze" = Has none.
      "quality of what he is saying" = never heard this

      Heres the most important point from it all. "there is no reason WEEI or CSSNE ever use DeOssie again" = This is not because he supports the Giants. If Steve does not like us, then please don't spend any more of your time spitting nonsense. I've been living without it for years because of how horrible and pink he is. I would much rather have another Football player like Ty or Troy on in his place so I can actually listen to WEEI or watch the Tailgate show. Go hang with Joe and Evan down in da NYC pinkey.

      • Classless

        More Ty Law please

    • HighWireNickEsasky

      I agree with the point that, because of the success and popularity of the Patriots over the last decade, there is a much deeper pool of ex-players that viewers/listeners would rather hear from (not sure about Atrell Hawkins example; i barely remember his playing days).
      But taking the argument a step further, I think that this incident completely undercuts the entire rationale through which DeOssie became a local media figure in the first place. I think we can all agree that it is not for his cogent analysis or jovial demeanor, or that he looks good on TV. (And saying that he is better than Fred is not a good justification).
      The reasons DeOssie has a TV/radio career are pretty simple: He grew up here, played here in high school and college and had some time with the Patriots. He also won a Superbowl ring with Parcels, who was incredibly popular in New England when DeOssie first entered broadcasting. Now, we have plenty of former players who actually won rings with the Patriots; Parcels is long gone; and we find out that this local guy from Don Bosco and BC seems to hate being a local guy. With that pep rally appearance he took away any reason to not replace him with a Belichick-era Patriot.
      Prediction: he is gone from WBZ-TV programs next year (the station spokesperson didn't exactly back him up in Finn's piece). Tone-deaf WEEI brings him back until its ratings tank more and then unceremoniously dump him in November.

      • latetodinner

        Quick note on Artell Hawkins…I mentioned him only because he has an awesome radio voice and does really well when he does media. He is not from around here, only played here for 2 years and has a life somewhere else. It was more an argument made that there are far better radio people than DeOssie around.

    • tl;138

      I'm with you LTD, I've always wondered why two guys (Fred and Steve) who played for the Pats when they weren't good are still analyzing the team when players from this, more successful, era (now 11 years old) aren't at the forefront of Pats coverage. I mean, since BB rarely gives out any information, wouldn't it be great to hear from someone who's been on the team in the last, oh I don't know, decade than two has-beens who played most of their football careers in Buffalo and NYC?

      • bsmfan

        I don't care if an athlete was good, a superstar, or was mainly keeping the bench more. To me, a network hires them because they can break down the game, having played it, in ways that is helpful to their broadcast and the viewer. Now, the big problem is that all of these local networks clone ESPN and just hire whatever analyst is local to the area, assuming brand loyalty because they played and, usually, with a local team. The disconnect comes because I don't find many athletes articulate enough in the world of broadcast and presentation.

        (Made my thoughts here known about Wiggens before.)

        It has nothing to do with pure intelligence but if you cannot successfully articulate points clear and concise, live broadcast is not for you. I'm sure it can be coached but does anyone outside of ESPN and maybe NBC now with their network do this? Love or hate ESPN but they mentor and cultivate this. All of us have our personalities that we like (or don't) but ESPN has no problem moving on from talent when it is clear that they were not made for journalism.

        At this point, I don't see local outlets doing this at all. Maybe they do behind the scenes but it does not show it. I understand that they might lack the resources to be picky on this but they need to be. And, maybe they're fine with this because the majority of the audiance (sans the folks on here who comment) don't complain.

  • bsmfan

    Off the topic of the post but newsworthy:

    @SBJLizMullen Source: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski had successful arthroscopic surgery on his ankle this morning. Recovery time expected to be 10 weeks.

    (r/t'd by many of the big nfl news names)

    And, Jonathan Kraft was on ESPNRadio today. Here is a summary from Reiss: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patrio

    • Tony

      Did anyone see the Sound F/X thing on NFL Network the other night? (I know…painful if you're a Pats fan, but it's always interesting stuff.) Giants LB Michael Bolley (sp??), in the third quarter, was walking up and down the bench and telling the other defensive guys: "87 is an (expletive) decoy…he's about to come outta there." He then went on to demonstrate how Gronkowski "ran" on the Patriots' previous offensive play–more like a medium trot. Let's face it, the guy was not even at 75%. I'd say more like 50% at best. If he's healthy, who knows what might have happened Sunday night. Bernard Pollard strikes again I guess.

  • liz

    Thank you for being the first media person to recognize that Deossie did more than support his son. I think Deossie should support the Giants, he has a lot of good reasons to. I just don't see how he can expect fans to accept him as a Patriots analyst after that pep rally performance. And can he do objective analysis, when he is SUCH a big Giants fan? Patriots fans are entitled to a better deal in Patriots programming than Deossie has to offer.

  • Dave

    Oh, he most definitely NOT get a pass! Boycott, boycott, boycott. Did you see 10 pages of comments on EEI.com’s article yesterday? 98 percent against him. Who cares about objectivity now? Everytime I hear him I know he thinks we’re all jag off’s. When I hear him, I’m changing station. Never eating at their restaurant.

  • whitey b

    Reporters of yesteryear rooted for the team. Reporters of today root for the team until it wins, then they root for the failure. They always need something to criticize.

  • dan

    I could care less…I'm a sports hub guy so I haven't had to be subjected to the fat pink man for several years now. Don't get mad just make the switch to the Hub.

    • Doc Michaels

      And be subjected to a strict diet of Mazz, Bertrand, Wiggie? I don't know how anyone in this town can be a loyalist to either station and stay sane. 98.5 has its plusses — and its minuses.

  • John

    These "reporters" feel the same sneering disdain for the Pats and their fanbase as Steve DeOssie does. Yet they make their living off of us so that explains the cries of outrage from them when we call them on it. Aren't their any other Kraft era ex-players that could provide commentary and analysis minus the self-loathing?

  • bsmfan

    On to some more positive things, Mike Reiss does his usual Sunday "State of the Union" like post. A great read:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patrio

    Each bulletpoint in itself is a great hope/indication for next year.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      Agreed! not to go all "Fanboy" here but looking at it rationally I don't see how the Pats won't be even better next year. (barring catastrophic injuries of course) They are in excellent shape draft pick and salary cap wise. Players like Marcus Cannon,Nate Solder and others they drafted this year will benefit from having full training camp,mini camps etc..(no lockout)…..not saying they are guaranteed to win the SB or anything but I'm looking forward to next year very much.

  • bsmfan

    Another theme most of you have heard about: Liverpool v. Sox spending.

    Most of this started with the Jon Heyman article: http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/33714192

    One thing he fails to properly articulate, which the commenters quicky point out, is that a "transfer fee" is not a contract. In the soccer world, you pay another club to "transfer" another player in cash. It's a one-time fee and not their actual salary (called wages), which I don't think is always released.

    There is also something called "Financial Fair Play", which means that a rich owner can't just cut a check for player. They have to spend only the money that comes in via revenue (clearly favores large clubs like ManUtd, City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea.

    Now, I know most don't care about soccer here but most of the media talking about this have 0 clue. They equate transfer fees to salary, which is completely wrong and inaccurate.

    The one thing, like MLB, which seems to be common between both is that there is no minimum spending requirement. Last year, it was reported that Liverpool FC earned £280m. If you want to spend under this, it's within the ownership discretion. Last I checked, this is the same with MLB. There is also no "cap" last I checked.

    (I consulted with a big Premier League fan for most of this so if anyone here is more of a fan, please correct.)

    I only post this because you will hear more about it and everything I've heard on the radio station that can speak ill of ownership has put out bad information out there. "Cap is crap" all over again.

    • latetodinner

      I want to correct something. Heyman may or may not have been confused about the difference between a transfer fee and salary. (Its not that complicated a concepts…it is no difference than the transfer fee the Sox paid for Dice K before negotiating his contract). The issue is total dollars spent in the calendar year. I think Sox fans are absolutely correct to be critical of the Sox ownership for their lack of spending/ reshaping the team in light of last years collapse. For the record I think mazz is completely correct in blasting the Sox over and over again about trading Scutaro as a salary dump. It seems to me that Sox ownership has completely taken high ratings and sellouts for granted this year. Until people stop going and stop watching they will not change because they do not understand Boston sports fans.

      • bsmfan

        (Apologies on the soccer talk again but I think it's relavent to both the media and how the media covers this situation. I know most people don't care about soccer nor ever will.)

        I was following up and realized that even my attempt to clarify wasn't good. My intent on writing this is that Jon Heyman didn't make it clear. I saw something in the Sunday Herald that put something similar up with the "ah whatever" on the details. When you can't even ask someone or research the details (it's not known here but also easy to find out), it's beyond lazy and borderline wreckless.

        If people start blindly equating transfer fees (yes, like what the Sox paid for DiceK) for salary, how soon before there are mobs down on Yawkey way?

        Can Liverpool/Sox mix the books and move money from one to the other because both are over the "minimums"? Probably influenced the Scuatro decision but you'll have to see what else happens during the season.

        Now, one point that a caller on SportsHub brought up (clearly a PL fan) was that Liverpool was like the Sox of the Premier League. They are a storied franchise that was very successful way back when, and have not done so well as of recent. Hicks and his ownership (yes, the Hicks of the Texas Rangers) had basically screwed up bad. Not only that but Anfield, where they play, despite being a large stadium (45k) is quite outdated. The other "big" clubs have expanded beyond 50k and are much more modern. There have been rumblings of Liverpool moving but they've announced their committed to upgrading the existing stadium. Sound familiar? Fenway = Anfield.

        The argument of "just another car in the garage" is alive and well.

        There is no argument that they are moving money from one to the other, but also none against. This thought will drive fans nuts on both sides and eventually wind up killing fans and the media.

        DA, on Sports Sunday, said it's a great plan as they hype up "Fenway 100" and will be happy to raise tickets, sell bricks and collect the pay, no matter how well the team does.

        I brought up this dichotomy before around the collapse and had a response to something like "tell Jack Welsh that he can't run more than one business". While these clubs might be businesses, they can't be run like pure businesses. Passionate fans will eventually reject being treated like product.

        See what I mean now?

        Liverpool is like the Red Sox where they're up on spending but clearly not the Yankees. The "Yankees" of the PL are the Manchester clubs right now and will always be. The Glazers might own the TB Bucs but think of the Glazers treatment of ManUtd like how Kraft treats the Patriots vs the Revs. Clearly, the Pats are #1 to him and the Revs are a distant 10th in his mind.

        Last year, when the Sox had just bought Liverpool and, only 2 monts into that, signed CC Agon, what do you think Liverpool thought? Go back onto some of their forums not run by the club and you'll see an identical response. I'll stick with my prediction that this won't turn out so well.

        Even if you try to spend or intelligently spend, does that mean you will win it? Nope. Look at the Yankees and this "pairity" exists even in the PL. You might have a chance to win but if your fans require you to win it all, and not just do well, it will never work.

        Think of two siblings with a single mom, each demanding something, and mom never being able to placate either fully.

  • NutCracker

    I usually agree with Chad Finn but not this time. The fact of the matter is I don't think Steve DeOssie was ever well-liked by Boston listeners BEFORE this pep-rally faux pas. Now he's not respected either. If you just judge him on his body of work as an analyst, I think he should be replaced. The Fred and Steve gig is stale and dated and there is good fresh talent out there that can replace them; ie, Ty Law, Troy Brown and so on. Here is what I'm going to find interesting going forward: do the companies who employee DeOssie (Jason Wolfe-Laura Hannon, etc) ignore and reject the overwhelming anti-DeOssie sentiment and keep him on the air or do they respond to their audience and replace him? Will they shove DeOssie down our throats or will they listen to the 9 out of 10 New England fans who have voted overwhelmingly with their comments that they don't want to see or hear him again? Time will tell.

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    You're on the mark, LTD.

    All of the football (soccer) spending talk is absolute BS being spouted by people who know NOTHING about business. John Henry and FSG do not "spend" on the Red Sox — THE RED SOX ARE INSANELY PROFITABLE FOR THEM (largely because of the significant fraction of NESN they own). Arguments about "oh, FSG is spending too much on Liverpool which hurts their spending on the Sox" are totally wrong unless FSG is debt- or capital-financing the Sox. And they're not — BECAUSE THE SOX ARE PROFITABLE.

    And it's not a case of "FSG takes more profit out of the Sox than they would otherwise because of Liverpool; money that could have been invested in the Sox." The Sox are profitable including their hard capital investments (basically, capital expenditures for them = Fenway and Fort Myers facilities construction/improvement), and they cannot invest a ton more in "soft capital" — players — because of the de facto salary cap in MLB.

    The Liverpool expenditures are being paid mostly by the obscene amounts of money the big EPL teams get from TV revenue (there's a rights pool that's shared among all teams in the Premiership, and then each team gets paid based on specific games that are televised) and sponsorship revenue. The actual gate is probably the least of their revenue streams (although still quite significant, especially for teams like Man U and Arsenal who have titanic 60k-90k capacity stadia). For a rich team like Liverpool, the owners will be putting in, at most, about $10-30m per year. And that's only if they have to do so to keep the team solvent (insolvent teams can actually be penalized points in the standings — it's to prevent teams from debt-financing massive expenditures on players in the hopes that they'll recoup the funds via higher placement in the league, which rarely works and usually just drives the team into receivership).

    So the FSG/Liverpool talk really grinds my gears, because all the people complaining (Heyman, et al.) make clear is that they blatantly know nothing about business nor about how the EPL finances work.

  • latetodinner

    Dave…you bring up several points that I totally agree with and want to go a step further:I want to be clear…even without NESN the Sox are at worst the third most profitable team in baseball (Yankees and Dodgers…when run correctly). NESN gives them another boatload of money with which they can pad their bottom line.Rauch Racing is very profitable on its own.Liverpool Football Club is one of the 5 most profitable franchises in the world in any sport (Man U, NY Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and Real Madrid). They have international broadcasting contracts that dwarf what the Sox do with MLB and NESN combined. All over Asia and Africa there are local Liverpool “clubs” where they sell merchandising and develop more fans. They do not need co-mingled funds to run…although in my previous post I explained how that might happen.The real issue is commitment to the bottom line versus commitment to winning. It is clear to me that Sox ownership has decided that the role of Harry Sinden will be for now and in the future be played by Larry Lucchino. As such the days of doing what it takes to win a championship are now gone in Boston. They want this team run with a hard cap so they can be assured that X amount of profit will be made. They will take advantage of the refurbished stadium, squeeze as much as they can out of that. They will field a competitive team with a few stars but they will not spend whatever it takes to try and win. They will always have an eye on the bottom line. Its their team they can do what they want. Because I do not believe they are dedicated to winning I will not be going to games, buying merchandise and following their games on TV and Radio with the same zeal as I did in the past. That is my choice.One final thought. The Marco Scutaro player move, without accompanying announcement that Jose Ingelias will be the starting SS on day one of camp because of the progress he has made this offseason, has exposed John Henry as being a liar during his 98.5 interview. In that interview he said that the Sox were a rich team and money should not affect non major personnel decisions. Yet it did in this move. Had the Sox said they were moving Scutaro to make room for Ingelias there were not have been any push back as we all want to see the Wunderkind. Instead we saw the Sox act like the Oakland A's. That is not going to sell in Boston. So like I said in the previous email…Henry and Co better pray Liverpool does not start winning and at the same time the Sox aren't. That will cause so many more headaches and they will all be self created. No one in Boston wants to cheer for a bottom line driven team. It only took the jacobs family 30 years to learn that lesson.

    • bsmfan

      ltd/DaveR,

      You guys hit the nail on the head. Why not submit this as an op-ed to one of the papers? I think it encompasses the views of many here and has a good chance to get printed. Awesome take and much better summary than my thoughts.

  • bsmfan

    Actually, you summed up my point the best while also covering why it matters.

    I think it is important now because I suspected this would come up at some point, which it did, and will be an ongoing theme throughout the year.

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