Sports Media Musings: Let’s Play Angry Birds On The Radio!

birds

GET INVOLVED, GUYS: Due to popular demand, I’ll be running a Media Musings Mailbag soon; in fact I may post it tonight, but more likely tomorrow morning. To contribute to the fun and games, either shoot me an email at [email protected], hit me up on Twitter @Hadfield__, or leave a response in the comments section of any one of my columns.

John Dennis & Gerry Callahan vs. Fred  Toettcher

(Because A Team-Friendly Contract Is Worth Embarrassing Yourself For)

First the build up: Back in late 2011, Andy Gresh called me an “idiot media blogger” on his radio show (Real rich coming from a dude whose immediate reaction to the Jerry Sandusky scandal was that Joe Paterno‘s legacy would remain intact. Really hit the nail on the head there, Geraldo Rivera. Nice work!).

I’d rank Gresh crushing me on the airwaves right up there with the first time I showed up unprepared for a pop quiz in high school or the time I couldn’t figure out how to unhook a girl’s bra strap while Dashboard Confessional was playing  in the background. Just grand memories. (Introspective Song Choice: GLOOOOOORRRY DAYS! DUH DUH DUH DUNNNN, GLORRRRY DAYSSS!!!)

Well, since then, I’ve gotten a few angry emails, a few nice emails, blah, blah, blah — but never my name came up in conversation on the air …

When Gerry Callahan responded to me saying it was more than one person John Dennis was irate with, my interest piqued. “GOLD, JERRY,” I said out loud to no one in particular. And hey, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that part of me thought, “Could it be? Will I have another moment in the sun?? I HAVE TO CALL MOM!” All for nothing, guys. (Sorry mom.)

John Dennis was perturbed at Toettcher (and Gresh) for his rant about Tom Brady’s letter to Dennis about his contract situation on Sports Tonight Wednesday night.

A few notes from this morning:

– First of all, SOME INSIDE MUSINGS for you guys: I get my fair share of emails from media members, many whom I write about. I would never publish these exchanges without consent, mainly because I’m not an idiot. RELATED: Evidently, John Dennis is an idiot. He and Brady had correspondence about why he didn’t want to talk about his contract on the radio; and, in turn, Dennis decided it was appropriate to disseminate the letter on the very medium Brady wanted to avoid. In the name of ratings, I guess Dennis subscribes to the saying, “Don’t ask for permission. Ask for forgiveness.” According to Dennis, Brady’s not happy with him. No matter — I suspect Tom won’t have to deal with him next season anyway.

– Second of all, everyone involved in this episode should be embarrassed. Dial it back, guys. This is the dumbest debate ever. And there have been plenty of dumb debates in this town (Clay Buchholz went to a pool party and signed autographs. DOES HE GET ‘IT’??? DISCUSS!)

– Dennis said he and his cohorts aren’t allowed fire insults back at “Sports Hub” personalities. In retrospect, another great executive decision by the Entercom brass. I like it: BE ABOVE IT ALL (Except, of course, in the ratings. Currently, they are below it all in the ratings.)

–  From the Semantics, minor details, and stuff everyone is overlooking department: The headline, “Toettcher: Screw You Brady,” is more than misleading. He was posed the question of how other players should react, and not necessarily his own reaction.

– “Dennis and Callahan” insinuating that all of “The Sports Hub” is in bed with the Patriots is laughable. This is a station that Michael Felger spent the better part of 2009-10 getting hot and bothered over how great the Jets organization is. The Jets for crying out loud — the same team interested in Brady Quinn! Worse, your station is LOSING TO THIS RHETORIC. I need to shower. Or a drink. Maybe I’ll start drinking in the shower … Is it noon yet?

– I don’t think this was a planned rant to combat the return of Rich Shertenlieb. I do think this was a planned attack at “The Sports Hub” in order to garner ratings. That’s totally fine. “Toucher and Rich” have been employing the same tactics for over three years now. Welcome to the show, guys.

– Does Toettcher, Gresh, or anyone else REALLY think NFL teams are going to the bargaining table tell agents that THOMAS EDWARD PATRICK  BRADY TOOK A TEAM-FRIENDLY DEAL. YOUR CLIENT SHOULD TOO!!! If so, we have bigger problems in the media than I initially anticipated.

– How funny is it that, despite this posturing, Gregg Doyel still comes off as the biggest tool since Brady signed his extension? Talk about setting the bar.

– Kirk Minihane wanted no part of this discussion. None.

–  Does John Dennis walk around with a thesaurus? Love how he whipped out the word “unctuous” multiple times. So officious with his tone and vernacular rangggggeeee. CLASSIC DENITO.

Brady Contract Reaction Typical of Modern Media

If you were doing a case study about the modern news cycle, this Tom Brady contract extension that broke on Monday afternoon might be the ideal subject.

First, Peter King absolutely deserves credit for being the first with the story. He broke it, good for him.

The victory lap he took yesterday morning though, was a bit much.

Way to stay humble, Peter.

The story has been updated so many times in the last 36 hours or so, it’s hard to keep track of who is reporting what details and analysis about the contract. Every few minutes it seemed like someone, somewhere was “reporting” something different about the contract – the amount guaranteed, the clauses in the deal, the base salaries in the final three years, the cap hits, whether he really took less money, whatever. Some of it conflicts, some is the same, some just look at it from different angles. It might be hard to know which ones to believe or not.

Others speculate about the motivation of the deal. They insist that this extension was done with the expectation, if not the edict that the Patriots re-sign Brady’s pal Wes Welker. You’ve got agents crying to Mike Florio about how the deal will hurt their clients. You’ve got some saying if Brady were truly unselfish, he’d play for the minimum. Others insist this shows how evil the Patriots really are because now they’re just going to go cheap with everyone.

It’s all part of the modern, constant news cycle. I’ve probably ranted on this before, but this might be a case where the old days were better. There would be a gap when all the information could be gathered before it was put into print, or on the air. It’s nice to have news instantly, but it is also nice to have accurate news. King insists his story is all you need and is 100% accurate. Maybe it is.

In any event, the Patriots and Brady both reached a mutually beneficial agreement. Maybe that’s all that needs to be said. However, there are columns to be written, and hours of on-air time to be filled. So everything is dissected and analyzed ad naseum.

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A couple of updates on former Boston TV sportscasters:

Former WBZ sports director and anchor Bob Lobel has had a rough go of it in the last several years. In his column today for GoLocalWorcester, Lobel writes that “For the past four years, with three back surgeries and two broken femur bone heads from falls, I cannot walk without the aid of crutches. It means I can’t stand up without assistance.”

Yesterday, Frank Shorr of The Sports Institute at Boston University reported that former Boston sportscaster Bill O’Connell, who worked at WCVB and on Channels 7 and 56 among others, had passed away in Florida.

If you don’t remember O’Connell, here are some clips from his time on the air.

Sports Media Musings: Columnists Gone ‘Cray’

Is everyone alright? I only ask because sports scribes everywhere are producing work that, frankly, is wildly absurd. I know, I know: The quixotic endeavour of  journalism commentary has long been dead. I get that. And somehow, someway, Deadspin has become the voice of reason, leaving major outlets (e.g. ESPN, Fox Sports, and CBS) behind.

It started with news that ESPN was hiring Jay Mariotti as a freelancer.

I think the WorldWide Leader gets a great deal of criticism levied their way just for being ESPN. It gets old sometimes. But then Rob Parker makes race-baiting comments about RGIII, Skip Bayless continues to do Skip Bayless things (and collect a paycheck), and the list goes on and on (and on). To its credit, ESPN eliminated Parker. A good move, for sure. But then it brings in Mariotti? Confounding. It’s like giving up Burger King for Lent, but then embracing Wendys. Even on an one-off assignment, this wreaks of strangeness.

Mariotti, who has taken a sabbatical from writing, is loathed in the industry, mostly for being a jerk and writing sensationalistic (Read: crappy) columns. On a personal basis, if you’re not a fan of spousal abuse, Mariotti probably isn’t your cup tea, either. With so many other writers available (Hey! ESPN! Look over here!), why does the four-letter network bring in Mariotti for a freelance assignment? Odd choice.

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You’d never believe it, but Jason Whitlock wrote a stupid column. Yeah, this thing was actually published. I’m not saying there is — or isn’t — a homophobia problem in the NFL. But Whitlock irresponsibly conflating the Manti Te’o situation with coming out of the closet in an NFL locker room is a reach at best; an ill-fated attempt to bolster his crusade against Roger Goodell for whatever it is he’s botched most recently. (Seriously, is there a more hated commissioner? Goodell is terrible, but come on, David Stern curiously vetoed a trade involving a league-owned franchise for crying out loud! Gary Bettman nearly killed ANOTHER NHL season! And Bud Selig oversaw the steroid era!!)

A few fun excepts:

Goodell could and should free the gays.

Let me stop there for a moment.

Please do. Just stop. Oh wait — you’re going to keep writing, aren’t you? (Side note: “Free the gays”? There are so ma– Really???? … WTF!)

I am not stating an opinion on Te’o’s sexuality. I don’t have any inside or outside information on Lennay Kekua’s widower. I do, however, believe Mike Florio of NBC’s ProfootballTalk is correct in his belief that the Notre Dame linebacker’s sexuality is a topic of high interest for his prospective NFL employers.

Phewwww. Don’t worry, guys. He’s going to bring in Mike Florio: Purveyor of journalism! Thank god!

Because if Te’o is hiding in the closet, he is highly vulnerable to exploitation and extortion. There is a popular theory that the possibility of hustling money from Te’o — and not love — motivated Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the mastermind and voice behind Kekua.

It could all be a coincidence, but Te’o just happened to have a horrendous performance in the BCS Championship as the Kekua fraud was unraveling. Maybe he was distracted. Or maybe the wrong people knew his secrets.

I thought he had no inside information?

Whatever the case, difficult questions must be asked, and they should come from the commissioner’s chair. It’s Goodell’s job to protect The Shield. It’s Goodell’s job to protect the employees.

The best protection for the league and the players is the freeing of the gays.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE! (Side Note: I thought the “Free the gays” thing was a typo. I was wrong – ROLLIN’ WITH IT)

Let’s be honest. I think it’s reasonable to assume that 15 percent of NFL players are gay and/or bisexual.

Doing the numbers … Yes, your baseless claims seem to add up, keep going! You’re almost there!

Goodell should use this Te’o situation as a convenient excuse to enact tough measures and standards of behavior that attempt to eliminate the homophobic hostility within football locker rooms.

I can see the edict now …

Goodell: Fake Internet girlfriends can happen to you! Also, if you’re gay … We’re totally cool with it!

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The last shot taken before dry heaving ensued was CBS Sports columnist Gregg Doyel taking a hatchet to the notion that Tom Brady is a hero. BECAUSE WE NEEDED CLARIFICATION!

No reasonable person believes Brady is a ‘hero’ for taking a deal below market value as Doyel insinuates. He isn’t altruistic nor is he a philanthropist. But if you’re an absolutist, like Doyel, then it’s all or nothing. Take it away, Gregg!

Tom Brady is not heroic or noble or even unselfish for signing a contract Monday for considerably less than his market value. To be those things, he would have had to sign a contract for the NFL minimum.

And I’m kind of wondering why he didn’t.

Me too. Me too.

Being honest here.

Is it a red flag when you need to give an “honesty” disclaimer in your column? Methinks so.

Nobody in his position has ever done that, of course, but nobody — and I mean nobody — has ever had the freedom to be as altruistic as Tom Brady. His net worth is in the vicinity of $100 million, and he earns millions more in endorsements, and that’s not even what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about Gisele.

Who?

To be fair, Brady is unselfish in the sense that he’s not selfish.

So it’s either one … or the other? No gray areas. Got it.

A player’s contract is more than his salary. It’s his status symbol. That applies to almost everybody in professional sports — but it doesn’t apply to Tom Brady. He doesn’t need the biggest salary in the Patriots locker room to have the utmost respect of everyone there.

Respect > $20 million > Logic. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW, PREACCCCCCHHHH!!!!!

He’s sort of a team player, yes. He made a gesture. But if he’s going to think of his team a little bit, why not think of it a lot?

Let’s go a step further: Brady should start paying the Patriots for the right to play quarterback. THAT’S A TEAM PLAYER.

But let’s have some perspective, please.

Pretty please? Pretty, pretty please!?!

OK, for some perspective, here is Doyel’s bio on CBS Sports:

Hi. Hello. Congratulations, you found me. And I know why you’re here — it’s because of that column you just read. It angered you. So here you are, trying to decipher my motives.

Good luck.

I can’t CRACK THE CODE. Hold on, I think — yes, I figured something out — you’re just a troll. That’s all. Just like the rest of them, only with a bigger forum. You probably took an ethics class in college, and you most definitely tried joining the debate team. You play devil’s advocate hoping not that you’ll convey any greater point that no one considered, but that it will piss people off.

Hmm. And to think: It only took me reading, the words, “Being honest” as a disclaimer. LUCK MUST HAVE BEEN ON MY SIDE.

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Finally, this Deadspin Q&A with the National Sports Journalism Center on how they handled the Te’o story is incredible. Read it.

As always, thanks for reading, give me a shout on Twitter: @Hadfield__

The Daytona 500 Was Fixed, And Other Miscellaneous Monday Thoughts

Gerry Callahan is fearless.

Only he has the integrity to call out NASCAR and shine a light on the fact that its biggest event of the year was fixed.

This morning he insisted that there was an arrangement in place to ensure that Danica Patrick finished in the top 10. He said that other racers were instructed not to bump her car and that the neon green paint of the car assisted other drivers in letting her have the position. He stated that it’s really all about the car, and Danica was provided with a car that guaranteed a top-10 finish, and was surrounded by a gifted team which really was responsible for the showing. Danica, he said, isn’t a very good driver, and that this was simply a reward by NASCAR for all that she has done for the sport.

When asked by Kirk Minihane if he was joking, Callahan repeated his points.

OK then. WEEI, once again on the cutting edge. Clearly they’re about to turn this ratings thing around.

How long can the three-man morning last? Things are going to come to a head soon there. It’s inevitable. Maybe that was the plan all along.

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Last week I railed on the combine, questioning why outlets send their whole crews out there. I guess I was speaking from the reader/viewer perspective, as the experience is largely useless from that standpoint. For the media, it’s an important networking event. They meet executives, agents, other media people, form relationships, groom sources. It lays a foundation for future material. The player stuff is largely an afterthought.

All that said, the best column from the combine that I’ve read was a Friday feature from Tom E Curran:

2011 NFL Combine a bad scene for Mallett; was it fair?

It is a fascinating look at the grilling Ryan Mallett received at the combine two years, and is especially interesting in light of the session from Manti Te’o from this year’s combine.

Media types like Mike Florio and Jason Cole come off as complete asses in the story. They kill Mallett for talking to the media about the drug rumors around him, as Mallett said he would only talk about that subject with the teams that he met with. A perfectly reasonable stance. Why in the world would he talk to the media about it? Yet, Cole and Florio (and others) come off as entitled, whiny, self-appointed guardians of the gate. Some interesting stuff from Mallett’s agent and also from Gil Brandt, who suggests that agents routinely start smear campaigns at these events to hurt players who might be in competition with their own clients for draft position.

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Dan Shaughnessy’s last seven columns:

  • It’s hard to get excited about these Red Sox
  • How much like J.D. is Stephen Drew?
  • Ben Cherington merits blame too
  • Red Sox put all the blame on Bobby Valentine
  • No chance Jacoby Ellsbury is staying with Red Sox
  • Downsized expectations for Red Sox’ Mike Napoli
  • Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez still complaining about Boston

Anyone sense a pattern here?

I understand low expectations for this team. But these are the stories that “represent the interests of the fan?” (as Dan claims that the media does.)

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Hard not to be impressed with the job Brian Scalabrine does on the game broadcasts. He’s good. His insight into the makeup of the team, and his ability to interpret the moves of Doc Rivers is outstanding. It’s even on little things. He mentioned on Friday and last night about Rivers playing newcomers Terrence Williams and Jordan Crawford at the same time. Initially you might think it would be tough to have two guys who just joined the team on the floor at the same time. Scalabrine pointed out that in the past, when new guys would join the team, Rivers and the coaching staff would show them just a few plays at a time in the walk-through or practice, so that in the game, they would know the same plays. They would both be at the same level. Small things, but an interesting insight into the workings of the club.

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I also enjoyed Cedric Maxwell’s calm, patient smackdown of Michael Felger in this CSNNE video. Felger starts out demanding to know what happened to Danny Ainge’s “sack” and goes downhill from there.

Predictably, Dennis and Callahan also hated Lee Jenkins’ feature on Rajon Rondo in Sports Illustrated, mostly because it was positive. They hated that it made him look like a great point guard and didn’t portray him as a selfish assist-seeking punk, and that it didn’t run down all the flaws in his game, like that he cannot shoot at all.

Bird’s Rookie Year — Game 62 vs. the Hawks

Celtics (46-15) vs. Atlanta (38-25)
February 26, 1980
Hartford Civic Center

The Celtics traveled to the newly opened Hartford Civic Center for a road game with Hubie Brown’s Atlanta Hawks to continue a tough stretch of games for the Green.  After traveling for a five game road trip, making stops with Western Conference staples in Seattle, Portland, and Phoenix, Bill Fitch was on record that he considered this stretch a seven game road trip: five on the road, one “home” game in Hartford, and a tough match-up back at the Garden with the San Antonio Spurs.  Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe reported on Fitch’s philosophy:

Fitch contends that the Celtics are off on a seven-game road jaunt. There are five indisputable road games… [including] the tough Atlanta Hawks.

“We’d better put our road faces on for that one,” Fitch says.  “That’s the equivalent of a road game.”  He’s right, of course.  Traditionally, the Celtics view these home-away-from-home games in Hartford, Providence, Springfield, etc. with all the enthusiasm of a vegetarian ordering up a Big Mac.  Finally, there is the home game of Wednesday, Feb. 27.  Fitch is a firm believer in the theory that states that the first home game after a long road trip is actually the last game of the road trip.  Presto – a seven-game road trip.

With the way the Celtics were playing, however, it really didn’t matter where the game was held.  Boston ripped through Atlanta, 108-97, to improve to 4-1 against the Hawks.  The win stretched the C’s winning streak to three games, and the team was paced by a dominant effort from the front line.  Cedric Maxwell finished with 15 points and 9 boards before fouling out, but Larry Bird (25 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists) and Rick Robey (27 points, 13 rebounds) dominated Atlanta’s big men.  Nate Archibald and Chris Ford kept feeding the ball to the big men, combining for a dozen assists, and even though Pete Maravich did not make an impact (4 minutes, 2 points), the Celtics remained successful — and picked up their first victory in Connecticut, as Bob Ryan noted in that next day’s Globe, in years:

Last night’s game at the Civic Center marked Boston’s first appearance here since the infamous roof collapse in January 1978. In their last game in the “old” building, which seated 3000 less than the rebuilt edifice, they were beaten by the Phoenix Suns as Paul Westphal (43) and Walter Davis (40) shot them down…

The game also marked the return of Dave Cowens to the lineup.  Fitch promised that he would easy Cowens back into the rotation, and the head coach was good to his word: Cowens logged fourteen minutes off the bench.  In order to make room on the roster, Don Chaney was placed on the five game injured list.  Remarkably, he managed to pull a hamstring at the exact moment the Celtics proclaimed Cowens was ready to return.

The Celtics returned home — this time to the Garden — for a game the very next night with the San Antonio Spurs.

 

 

2_26_80

Bird’s Rookie Year — Game 61 vs. the Nuggets

Celtics (45-15) vs. Denver (24-40)
February 23, 1980
McNichols Sports Arena

The Celtics wrapped up a five game road trip by making quick work of the Denver Nuggets, 124-105.  The win improved the C’s to 20-11 on the road.

Looking to build another winning streak to help distance themselves in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, particularly from Philadelphia (44-17), the Celtics relied on a team effort that produced seven scorers in double figures.  There were also three players (Larry Bird, Cedric Maxwell, and Rick Robey) who also recorded double digits in rebounds, as the C’s hit the glass and out-boarded the Nuggets, 58-35.  The Celtics also produced 69 first half points and continued to display their willingness to share the ball, registering 34 assists (nine by Archibald, eight from Bird).

Cedric Maxwell led the team with 19 points.  Paired on the floor with Tiny Archibald, Pete Maravich had his best performance, showcasing his ability to score in bunches, finishing with 14 points on 5-7 shooting in only 16 minutes.  Bird had another tremendous outing, refusing to let up on his domination of the league.  He finished with a line of 15/8/8, just shy of recording another triple-double. [Read more…]

Talking Heads Blast Ainge After #WastedDay

Michael Felger and Glenn Ordway may not have much in common these days – one is a well paid, top-rated afternoon drive radio host, and the other is unemployed – but they were united in one thought yesterday. Danny Ainge’s deadline day was a dud.

Felger, doing his best to irritate the “green-teamers,” said that we need to face the fact that “Ainge isn’t the badass GM he claims to be.”

Glenn is apparently still playing his character of the “Big O” – I guess old habits die hard – and he took to Twitter, the only outlet available to him these days, to weigh in on the day as well.

OK then. A wasted day it was. Picking up a guy for absolutely nothing who can get you 20 points on any night in Jordan Crawford might not be much, but it was something the team needed.

While Felger, Ordway and the like want to bash Ainge for not blowing up the team yesterday, it does take both sides to make a deal, and apparently Ainge was willing. I’m not sure you can slam him for trades that aren’t made, especially when all the facts are not known.

I was expecting to see Tommy Heinsohn finally reach across and grab Gary Tanguay firmly by the neck last night, but it didn’t happen.

The lack of on-air talent around these parts who are able to talk about the Celtics and the NBA and not embarrass themselves is jarring. I would say at this point, there are more Bruins/NHL capable people on the airwaves than Celtics/NBA. It will probably continue that way if the Celtics slowly sink the next few years while the Bruins remain contenders.

A few pieces on the trade deadline and the state of the Celtics:

Celtics miss on trade goals – Steve Bulpett got people going yesterday by saying that certain people within the Clippers organization were trying a last-minute push to make a trade for Kevin Garnett.

The LeBron effect: Celtics bide time at trade deadline – Dan Guttenplan has written a few things lately that have had me scratching my head. This piece is actually pretty good.

A brief thought on Jordan Crawford, Celtic – I though Chad Finn had a reasoned take on the situation as well.

Crawford will get a taste of ‘discipline, winning’ with Celtics – A. Sherrod Blakely thinks that a change in scenery will benefit Crawford.

Some other stories from today:

Bruins start to tap into full potential in Tampa win – Joe Haggerty works in a Star Wars reference in describing the Bruins win in Tampa last night.

Daniel Bard has positive first outing – Scott Lauber looks at the spring debut of the star-crossed reliever.

Bogaerts, Bradley show exciting ‘glimpse into the future’ – We also got to see the club’s two top prospects in the lineup yesterday, and Sean McAdam relates that they both show what they’re capable of.

Juan Nieves’ New England journey – From yesterday, Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox pitching coach and his early ties to New England.

Mike Salk excited to return to Boston – Chad Finn talks to the man that will be taking over the afternoon drive slot alongside Michael Holley.

Remember what I said about the NFL Combine yesterday? How all the local outlets sent their crews out? From Mike Reiss today:

1. Patriots will take a pass on meeting with non-team affiliated media. Word from the team is that head coach Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio will not be holding any formal media availability here at the combine. It is not required by the NFL and the Patriots are one of five teams to decline. Non-team affiliated media outlets here at the combine covering the Patriots include the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Comcast SportsNet, WEEI.com, Springfield Republican and ESPNBoston.com. Our guess as to Belichick’s thinking at this time: How does this help the team? He’d probably be peppered with questions about cornerback Alfonzo Dennard and tight end Rob Gronkowski, which is something he’d prefer to avoid.

My Twitter timeline is filled with combine stuff, very little of which has been interesting or useful. Hey Christian Fauria’s nephew is media-friendly just like him! Hey, Rex Ryan still can talk! The Bears new coach looks funny! The Jets, Dolphins and Bills are all taking aim at the Patriots!

Tribute to Lake Placid, 33 years ago today

It’s the story of the greatest team ever.

Sports_Illustrated_Miracle_on_Ice_cover

And they defeated the Russians 33 years ago today.

[Read more…]

Thoughts on Minihane to Morning Show, NFL Combine, NBA Trade Deadline

I half expected to tune into 93,7 FM this morning and find John Dennis gone. Instead, both Dennis and Gerry Callahan were there, and they were joined by Kirk Minihane, who, as Chad Finn reports, will be the third host, and not a flash guy.

Entercom couldn’t really fire either Dennis or Callahan due to contractual obligations, so instead they added a third voice into the mix. I think we can expect Minihane to challenge some of the redundant thinking of D&C, though how vociferous he is with it is questionable. I don’t think for instance, we’ll hear him using the attack mode he used on Alan Siegel over the Boston magazine piece. He can’t do that, and be able to work with those guys each day.

So what changes will we see? Hopefully he’ll insert some reality into the conversations, make things a bit less one-sided on that show.

Speaking of challenging D&C, Alex Speier did a masterful job of it yesterday, making Callahan in particular look foolish, all very politely, and Callahan still had the gumption to claim victory after the call was over. Speier, by the way, again has the best read of the day with his piece on super-prospect Xander Bogaerts.

So what’s next for WEEI? Does Mike Adams have cause for concern over his position? Nights aren’t a priority for the advertising/ratings factions, but he does perpetrate the “old” image of WEEI, especially against the younger Adam Jones on 98.5. Management seems enamored with John Saucier, but I fear a show with him full-time would wear on one real quick.

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It’s time again for the NFL combine, and all the local outlets will be sending out their football personnel to the event.

Why?

It’s not to really cover the NFL prospects who are working out, though some reporters do more on this angle than others. The reason most of them are there is for the media availability of various Patriots and NFL people. But what do we really learn? Anything? I don’t recall off the top of my head any reporting from the combine that gave us any insight into what the Patriots will do at the draft. It’s interesting to follow on Twitter, I suppose, but there’s so much repeat material out there it’s tiresome to sort through to find anything of real interest.

I guess I’m just amazed that the combine has become the media event that it has, and that the local outlets, none of which are swimming in cash, keep sending their entire squads out there.

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The NBA trade deadline is this afternoon at 3:00pm ET. Either Danny Ainge is going to blow up the Celtics, or he’s not going to be able to do anything. It’s very hard to believe that Ainge will be able to keep his key pieces, and also add a piece that is going to increase their chances of being a contender this season.

I tend to think the Celtics will not make a major move, but it won’t be because of lack of effort from Ainge. Of course, I thought the same thing two years ago when the Perkins/Green trade went down.

The guy who is probably going to have any move first is Adrian Wojnarowski. @WojYahooNBA He has become the Adam Schefter of the NBA, breaking news from all over the league, usually ahead of just about everyone else.

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Shoot, I was really hoping Dan Shaughnessy was going to write a column finger-wagging the Patriots over Alfonzo Dennard.

Kirk Minihane To Join “Dennis And Callahan” Full-Time

John Dennis is safe (for now). Chad Finn is reporting Kirk Minihane will be joining Gerry Callahan and Dennis on the “Dennis and Callahan” morning show on WEEI, not as a sports flash anchor, but as an equal voice on the program.

From Finn’s report:

Minihane, whose informed, unfiltered opinions have helped him earn a following as a weekend host (most often paired with Dale Arnold) and fill-in on various WEEI programs, will be an equal voice on the program.

He has also emerged as a popular columnist for WEEI.com, a role he began in 2009, and hosted the Hot Stove Baseball Show along with Rob Bradford and Alex Speier during the Red Sox’ offseason.

Minihane will not handle the “Sports Flash” updates that were the domain of past, less prominent third voices such as Jon Meterparel, who left in October after more than a decade on the program, and Kevin Winter, who was fired February 12, just six weeks after replacing Meterparel.

Finn notes it is unclear whether or not the show will be entirely rebranded. Murmurings of more changes to WEEI’s lineup have been rampant since Glenn Ordway was fired last week. Earlier this month, Entercom, WEEI’s parent company, conducted focus groups to gauge public perception of their personnel. The group session reportedly skewered Dennis and Callahan along with Ordway.

As far as the change, the initial take here is that, while polarizing, Minihane is compelling as a personality. He typically has something to say, and it’s usually not idiotic (or racist … or misogynistic …or just generally offensive).

Ryen Russillo‘s day, it appears, is not yet here. More analysis to follow from Bruce Allen.

@Hadfield__