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!

  • http://twitter.com/CSL_Duke Jon Duke

    When does 98.5 start getting heat, as EEI did for hockey, for the lack of basketball centric co-hosts? Certainly Sports Hub hosts aren’t as openly hostile as Ordway was with his “Hockey Talk” segment but they have no one on that station whose opinions a basketball fan would respect. And I don’t believe Scalabrine’s 15 minutes a week or Mike Gorman’s call-in interviews are enough.

    • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

      I’m going to assume you mean Felger here.

      I wondered the same. Even if you don’t like the team or the sport, isn’t it required in the town because enough people do care? You can’t just ignore it like certain markets can do with teams because they are so bad that not enough people care and they just find their way to forums or something else.

      Even if SH doesn’t have the Celtics rights, I can’t imagine the brass being happy with this if the Celtics were to get good. You don’t have to force someone to like the sport but there is no reason to not cover it in a fair manner.

      • http://twitter.com/CSL_Duke Jon Duke

        Actually it isn’t specifically Felger. Toucher and Rich are the only program on the Sports Hub that offers any sort of consistent Celtics discussion.

        Looking back on the reasons for Ordway dismissal (and EEI’s fall from grace) many looked at the dismissive tone he and his station took toward the B’s in prior years. I don’t believe that was THE reason why EEI was overtaken in the ratings, but it is a fair criticism of EEI and should be for the Sports Hub in their lack of knowledgeable basketball experts.

        Felger is an entirely different matter, and I agree with your comment above RE: Felger’s generalizing comments about the fan base. Of course those comments go unchallenged with Mazz the Lap Dog sitting next to him. Shameful is probably too strong of a description, but seems to me Felger is already sowing the seeds of his own demise, just as Ordway did, years ago.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FRKAEIA2MOTPFCR3FYADUP6YIU Mark

          If you think Hockey Talk took down Ordway, you’re dreaming. Kicking a part of your audience makes no sense, but the Bruins audience was never going to make or break sports talk in Boston. Ordway’s act had just grown terribly stale. There’s been no change in ten years – you could literally take segments from 2003 and put them on the air today and you wouldn’t notice.

    • Winning_Again

      Agreed Jon! I’ve brought this up in the past in regards to Felger specifically. He has in fact gone on the air stating “I’m doing to basketball what certain people in this town did to hockey for years.” It has become a personal vendetta against this town as a whole, and his personal hate for the Celtics that he either mocks or dismisses legit Celtics talk. And anyone bringing up C’s topics is a fan-boy. It doesn’t help that his Co-Host has the spine of a jellyfish. Squeaky claims to enjoy the Celtics without Rondo, and you would think he would call Felger out. Won’t happen!

      I find it ironic that TSH was to give sports fans an alternative. It seems that specifically in the 2-6 hour, the alternative is just another sucky, biased show with hosts that mock and ridicule anyone with an accent, opinion, or alternative view.

    • dan

      I think it’s different because there isn’t really such a thing as a die hard basketball fan who listens to talk radio. The demos are mostly white twenty somethings to middle aged white men who listen to sports talk radio and the majority of this demo doesn’t give a crap about talking about the NBA. They would probably get more traction if they talked about College basketball since March madness is coming and that is a major gambling event that middle aged white guy sitting at their cubicles love.

  • bosox3054

    I think Ordway’s point was fine….its a legitimate debate if the Celts should stay the course or make changes.

    Felger’s attacks on Ainge, on the other hand, were baseball. No one seemed willing to remind him that, he in fact, made up the “Trader Danny” thing. He was attacking it as if it was a legitimate moniker coined by a real analyst.

    • bosox3054

      Yeah were baseless not baseball. Lol.

    • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

      One of the things I think Felger does is take whatever some of the hardcore fans say, generalize it, and then make it seem like everyone in town says it. Do we really have any clue what % of Celtic fans would fall into the “Green Team” category? I’d have to imagine it’s the same % of fans you consider hardcores, which every base has. He has to know that not every fan is like this and its a minority vs. majority.

      Like I said below to Jon Duke’s post, I don’t think this is a good way to cover a team.

      One of the big things dictating all of this is the new cap penalties. Every big analyst on the networks said this. One went even as far back as to say this is why Mark Cuban blew the Mavericks up after the 2011 title. The new cap/luxury tax is so punitive that you won’t see these big deals anymore.

      I brought this up because enough people hinted at it, some of them being the folks who have “sources” as to where I think it really stopped GMs from doing typical blockbuster deals on trade-deadline days.

      Did anyone local bring that up?

      • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

        Right around 2:35pm, Beetle brought up where “Trader Danny” (gun shot sounds with emphasis) came from because he said that nobody had ever used it from. (I thought it came from a media member.)

        I don’t know his name but the producer (behind the glass) said “it came from across the street.” (WEEI)

        Felger laughed and agreed.

        So, if this is the case, the entire myth/name started from people he enjoys mocking (fine) but then applies to everyone/all Celtics callers and fans.

      • bosox3054

        I read about the cap/Cuban but I don’t remember where and if it was local. One of the problems with the Celtics beat, perhaps, is that Steve Bulpett isn’t on EEI or 98.5, ever. He’s arguably the best in town and unlike say, Bedard or Reiss or Dupont or Red Sox writers, he doesn’t do media. So maybe the hosts are missing that valuable analysis and information because their Celtics media guests aren’t up to snuff with the other teams.

  • Ryan

    It truly is pathetic to see so few people in the media here that can talk about basketball here.

    • nutcracker

      Agree. I even find it humorous that CSNNE Celtic insider Kyle Drapar is a diehard LA Laker fan. (was on his recently deleted personal website). Don’t tell Tommy.

  • dan

    I think someone should write an article about some people’s obsession with having a “perfect” sports station where non of the hosts are controversial and they all talk about each and every sport in a fair and balanced way and all the callers are treated like royalty no matter how dopey are. It’s just sports talk guys…it doesn’t matter one iota whether it’s fair or not. Go listen to a political talk show…that’s real savagery.

    • Mike

      Yeah…besides, I don’t find Felger quite as vicious toward the Celtics as other folks do on this board. He makes no secret of his disdain for NBA “I’m a baaaaaaaadd man!” culture. He seems to prefer something out of the 60′s, or even up to the mid-80′s, when trash talk was less and actual violence was greater. For all of his trashing of Heinsohn as a green team broadcaster, I think Felger would’ve loved him as a player. But you’re missing the point if you say that Felger is 100% down on the Celtics and NBA players. I’ve heard him praise the team for good defense and efficient offense–obviously not happening quite as often these days, as KG and Pierce age–and both he and Mazz will happily rip the players who they feel epitomize the sport’s shortcomings like pre-championship LeBron). But they actually spend quite a bit of time talking about the sport, and I’ve never heard Felger shut someone down for simply disagreeing with him, the way Glenn, Steve and Fred would several years ago over the Patriots. Fleger & Mazz don’t outright ignore basketball the way EEI (except Dale) used to ignore hockey.

      Yes, I do like Felger & Mazz, and I enjoy listening to someone who has antagonistic opinions about sports, teams and individuals. I’m entertained and I learn things. I think their frequently antagonistic tone is actually one of the show’s strengths. And pending what Salk is like, the lack of that will be the greatest weakness of any show Michael Holley headlines.

      • dan

        Good points. I also think that Felger gets blasted way too much here for really just doing his job well. If you don’t like what his narrative is you can call him up and challenge him which he gladly does unlike Ordway or email him. I have had numerous emails read on air challenging him. The point is is that while he can go overboard with his schtick it’s not like he doesn’t realize it and you can’t call him out on it.

        Also is it just me or is it a better show when Beetle is filling in for Mazz? Beet challenges Felger a lot and calls out his mistakes especially on the NFL CBA and the Jets mess. He wouldn’t let Felger move on until he got him to admit that he was wrong on the CBA. It was awesome.

        I think Beet knows well enough to be the exact opposite of Mazz. WEEI would be wise to try and steal him from the Hub.

        • Mike

          You’ve got a good point there–Wiggy calling Mazz out as a cosigner will stick with them forever. I’m pretty impressed with how much Beetle knows, and he chimes in with some original thoughts now and then. He’ll be a pretty damn good host some day. One thing I’ll credit Mazz with is that he knows baseball and he can talk in some depth about the Sox–I really enjoy his Baseball Reporters show. But he’s such a beta guy that he’s allowed himself to be completely boxed in by Felger. I can see how Dale Arnold and Gary Tanguay, two very proper and mannerly guys, detest working with him–he can be pretty domineering.

        • dan

          I love Mazz when he is talking baseball. The problem is that Felger doesn’t really let him talk about the actual games, he instead steers Mazz towards the soap opera element of the ownership. And that kind of discussion is good for rating so I guess that’s why they had to give Mazz his own show.

        • GC_Wayland

          Good stuff Dan & Mike, I do think Beetle and Wiggie are tremendous and make a HUGE impact on that show. Largely because the co-hosts are getting extremely predictable and repetitive! I mean to the extent that you need only listen to a 15 minute interval and you’ve got it all for that day. F&M are just going to keep regurgitating the same lines over and over. I used to be a big MF fan, now his starting to get old. I picture Maz sitting there frantically taking notes (spelling-challenged of course) and looking up definitions while Felger talks, to use as talking points later in the show or next day. They need a real character (with personality) to team with Felger if that show is going to have legs. I think Mike Holley – if they can bring him over, is one possible candidate. But they need to get Felger off of the RPEDs and caffiene,

    • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

      Eventually, someone always brings up something like this.

      “MAN U GUYZ COMPLAIN TOO MUCH. IF FELGAHH SUX TOO MUCH TURN THE TV/RADIO OFF.”

      I’m not hitting at you here but just addressing this in general.

      I happen to think he’s one of the better guys to listen to. It is just some of his approaches to topics that wouldn’t fly everywhere (NBA, cap is crap). Where I brought up complaints on his Celtics coverage, as much as I’m not a NBA fan, is just pure fodder. Felger, like the others we critique here, are professionals and know this comes with the job. Just remember that this is a media watch/board, so some of the discussion eventually becomes a fantasy league on who you want for a sports talk lineup. There are healthy ways to have a mature discussion on who you might want or not. We do it all of the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.kelley.5203 John Kelley

    I gave up sports radio 3 months ago. Best decision I ever made.

    • dan

      That’s not really much of a decision. I would consider something like boxers or briefs to be more important that that.:)

  • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

    Bedard has the most accurate/best stuff on Denard in his Sunday notes:

    http://bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/02/24/could-dolphins-finally-emerge-true-rival-patriots/20vZlcGz6tkUvMqrT9P84J/story.html

    tl;dr: Didn’t plea because offer was bad–had nothing to lose; will most likely get 3 months; 0 suspension from NFL due to all of this being outside their window/type of punishment (NFLPA would fight if Goodell got cute).

    Also, if you want to see an absolute train wreck of PR, watch NASCAR’s presser that aired all over around 7PM after the finish line wreck.

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