Celtics Media Day, Patriots Head To Buffalo

The Celtics/Miami series feels like it just ended (and still stings) and here we are at the start of another Celtics season. The Celtics hold their annual media day today, hold their first practice tomorrow, and then head to Turkey early next week.

Long-ago abuse, and years of repressing the memories, take toll on Dooling – Jessica Camerato has what should be an award-winning feature on recently retired Celtics guard Keyon Dooling, who was hospitalized this offseason after memories of abuse that had been repressed for years came flooding back to him. This really is an amazing story and work by Camerato.

Rebuilt Celtics take another shot at championship – Paul Flannery looks at how Danny Ainge rebuilt the Celtics in one offseason.

The Patriots head to Buffalo this weekend, and there is genuine concern locally that New England could lose its third game in a row, and fall to 1-3 on the season.

These Bills are ready for Patriots – Tedy Bruschi says that the Bills were built with an eye on beating the Patriots.

Bad time to space out – Matt Chatham says that the Bills creative ways of manufacturing space for their offense is something the Patriots need to be wary of.

Get all the Patriots coverage today and this weekend at Patriotslinks.com.

NESN’s Caron refused to spin bad Red Sox season – Chad Finn has the Red Sox TV host speaking candidly about the difficulties of covering an awful team.

Matt Chatham offers Patriots fans a different style – My SB Nation Boston media column looks at one of the newer ex-Patriots who are now working in the media.

UMass football radio analyst needs aspirin from day job – Bill Doyle looks at UMass football radio analyst Matt Goldstein, who manages a Walgreens when he’s not calling games.

Gorman and Golf are a Perfect Fit – John Molori talks to CSNNE Celtics voice Mike Gorman about his love of golf, and desire to announce golf someday.

Dan Shaughnessy Hates Ideas and Loves it When the Red Sox Fail – One of the better takedowns of the Globe columnist. I wish I wrote this:

The Boston Globe allows Shaughnessy to write his columns in such as a way as to be trolling his audience. I have come to the conclusion the only way Dan could be fired is if he murdered someone, and even then the Globe would probably allow Shaughnessy one more column to taunt the family of the person he killed.

Tony Massarotti had an epic meltdown yesterday over people who insist he is nothing more than Mike Felger’s yes-man and lapdog. (Who says that??) The most amusing thing was his insistence that Felger is always right and that’s why he doesn’t disagree with him! He’s also sick of everyone coming after him just because they hate Felger.

Way to dispel commonly-held notions, Mazz.

No one is saying that Massarotti needs to automatically take an opposite stance. That sort of contrived debate is just as annoying. But when Felger is on one of his insane conspiracy theories, how about grilling him a little? Making him explain things. How does he know this? Ask what is to be gained by the Patriots freezing out Welker? Why would they do it? Why are the Patriots cheap? Why would they not want to win? In what ways have the Jets passed the Patriots in organization building and as a franchise? (Oh wait, that was two years ago.)

Show some skepticism over what Felger says once in a while, instead of blindly agreeing with every damn thing the guy says. Work at it a little bit. Not only would Mazz shed the lapdog image, it would actually make for better radio.

Red Sox end home portion of schedule with what else, a loss

The Red Sox played their last game of the 2012 season at Fenway Park and fitting with how the season has gone it was another loss. The fell to the Rays 4-2, thus being swept in the brief two-game series. The Red Sox finished the year  34-47 at home, their worst record at Fenway since 1965. It was also the first time since 1997 the team finished the year with a sub .500 record at home, and it was also the last time a team finished below .500 overall as well. Could this have been the last game Bobby Valentine manages at Fenway Park?

The team followed up Tuesday night’s honoring of the 2004 World Series team with a pre-game ceremony naming the All-Fenway Park team. The team included 40 Red Sox players voted on by the fans as well as the organization. It was a very good mix of players from many decades, past and present, many of whom were on hand Wednesday night for the ceremony. Unlike Tuesday night’s ceremony honoring the 2004 team, this was a very nice way to wrap up the 100th anniversary of the Red Sox and not a PR stunt to try and attract fans to a meaningless game. If there is one thing to be said about the 2012 Red Sox is they do know how to put on a great pre-game ceremony, which have gone on throughout the year.

Enough with the Fenway 100 Celebrations– Tony Massarotti has had enough of all the celebrations this year.

The contrived party is over at Fenway Park– Dan Shaughnessy also didn’t like the pre-game festivities, especially last night. He says the franchise has lost its way.

Bobby Valentine not conceding this is the end– Michael Vega says Valentines pre-game press conference Wednesday sounded like his last one ever at Fenway Park.

A Fenway finale, but same Bobby Valentine- Scott Lauber looks at what could have been Valentine’s last game as manager at Fenway Park.

Red Sox look through gloom– Gordon Edes looks back at the final home game of the year and also how there is hope for the future.

David Ortiz: ‘It’s going to get better’– Joe McDonald says Ortiz wants to come back next season and also end his career as a member of the Red Sox.

After three days of replacement referee talks, the league and the refs finally reached a deal late Wednesday night and the refs will reportedly be ready to go for tonight’s Ravens/Browns game. All I can say is, it’s about time.

For all your Patriots coverage visit Patriotslinks.com.

(Hopefully) Last Day Of Replacement Officials Talk

Chris Mortensen is reporting at this hour that the is an agreement is “in hand” between the NFL and the officials and that the regular refs could be back on the field this weekend.

Patriot defense didn’t look revamped in first test – Greg Bedard’s film study reveals among other things, that Devin McCourty actually played his best game in some time. (Wait, D&C told me it was the worst performance by a Patriots player in franchise history.)

Bedard, by the way, had a marathon Twitter stream-of-consciousness last night where he weighed in on how the defense and schemes that the Patriots employ make it difficult – nearly impossible – for the cornerbacks to succeed. He noted that some of them don’t even fully understand the rationale for the things they’re asked to do.

NFL’s TV partners didn’t hold back on the refs – In a special edition mid-week media column, Chad Finn notes approvingly that networks like NBC and ESPN have not held back from being critical of the league for how it has handled the replacement referee situation.

The best show on radio this week has been Gresh and Zo and their even-handed analysis of the Patriots and of the officials. It’s been refreshing to hear someone in the media acknowledge that the referees did have a huge impact on the Patriots losing that game on Sunday night.

It seems most try to dismiss that by saying that the Patriots had plenty of opportunities to put the game away and failed to do so. (Can’t you say the same about the Packers? Shouldn’t the juggernaut Packers have scored more than 12 points against the Seahawks?)  The defense made some plays which were wiped out by horrific flags. Everyone is saying that the Patriots didn’t get a single sack or hit on the QB, but they got to Flacco late in the game, sacked him for a loss, and a defensive holding penalty was called on Brandon Spikes. If you look at it again, Spikes engages Dennis Pitta, but releases him prior to the 5 yards allowed. The ball was at the 10, and you can see below that at the 5, Spikes has already released him.  Pitta kept his own hand on Spikes’ shoulder and pulls him forward.

The flag was then thrown on Spikes.  Had the sack held up, it would’ve set up 3rd and goal from the 22, but instead it set up 1st and goal from the 5. On the next play, Flacco hit Smith for the TD. That’s one example, but really, it’s the turning point of the game. (apologies to the NBC Sports Network show which will tonight air what their own turning point of the game was.)

There were of course many other calls throughout the game, but this was the most damaging and egregious to the Patriots.

There’s the whole FG thing, but we won’t go there.

Yes, this is blatant yahoo homerism,(on my part) but I don’t think you can just dismiss what happened here in this game. Between this and the holding on Gronkowski against the Cardinals which negated the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute, it’s a tough 1-2 that the Patriots sit at right now.

A few other links:

It could be a Field of Dreams again – Sean McAdam says that seeing the 2004 club return last night should show us that a turnaround from a disastrous season can come faster than you might think.

Red Sox recall better times – Joe McDonald has more on the reunion.

At Least Price Was Right: Red Sox Game 155 – Jon Couture is a little 2004’d out.

He’s a man on a mission – Chris Forsberg has Jason Terry looking to be a Lakers and Heat “killer” for the Celtics.

Celts wonder about Darko Milicic – Mark Murphy has the Celtics wondering what they have in the 7-footer.