Mid-Week Thoughts On Media Topics

I realize I’ve been a bit scarce around these parts in recent weeks, and there has been a lot going on. Here are a few thoughts and observations from around the Boston sports media world.

I applaud the role Tom E Curran has apparently taken in deciding to call out some of the more ridiculous statements, storylines and agendas from radio talk show hosts, columnists and even his fellow writers. It’s not always easy to swim against the current, and it’s refreshing to have someone not just parroting and agreeing with what everyone is saying.

Mike Reiss is way too classy. He actually thanked Felger and Mazz in his Sunday notes a week ago this past Sunday, for letting him come on their show and basically call him a liar and a team mouthpiece over the Wes Welker situation. Reiss, I thought had done a very thorough job in covering all angles, placing blame on both parties in the situation, and yet Felger and Mazz still accused him of being in the bag for the team for even partly attributing blame to the agents, because, as we know, agents are infallible. Just ask the Broncos and Elvis Dumervil.

What’s worse, in my opinion, are media types who are nothing but mouthpieces for the agents. While using agents as sources and cultivating relationships with them is a necessary part of the reporting job, to just accept what they say at face value and print/report it as irrefutable fact is dangerous. Unfortunately, I think we have some reporters in all sports who are way too much in the control of agents.

Mentioned before but the continued dominance of pedophilia, illicit gay sex, masturbation, cross-dressing, sperm donations and transgender talk by John Dennis on the WEEI morning show is just weird. This is what they’ve decided their audience is craving? The Buzz Bissinger story and their fascination with it is just the latest example. While Toucher and Rich made fun of Bissinger and his proclivities, D&C painfully examined and dwelt on the details with an almost audible relish in their voices.

All Red Sox talk lately seems to center around Jackie Bradley Jr. Only the Boston sports media can make the anticipation of a highly touted prospect potentially  taking the next step in his career into a dragged-out, highly fraught, tiresome, annoying discussion.

So I guess all that talk about how the Celtics are better off without Rajon Rondo has pretty much died out, huh?

I’m not going to rush into judgment on the new Salk and Holley show, I like some of what I’ve heard from the duo, and other stuff not as much. Salk made the statement last week about Welker dropping the “easiest catch of all time” in the Super Bowl, and a few other head-scratching comments. At least one staffer at the station isn’t impressed with Salk, saying that he’s come in with a huge sense of entitlement and is causing waves behind the scenes, but then again, the entire atmosphere around WEEI remains toxic. It’s a mess back there.

I’d like to send out congratulations to Jeremy Gottlieb, who has done a lot of writing for various sites I’ve managed over the years, including Patriots Daily for his new job with Regan Communications.

  • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom Andre Dursin

    I’m not sure what to make of Salk & Holley either, as shows sometimes take a while to get into their groove. One issue is that it’s hard to gauge them when there’s not a lot going on at the moment: no big Red Sox or Pats games to comment on. The regular seasons in the NHL and NBA are winding down but it’s not the playoffs so the excitement level is kind of quiet around here for the most part…at least for a few more days.

    One thing that is interesting to note is that it’s basically “Salk’s show”. He drives the bus, handles the intros from commercial breaks…Holley seems to be merely a passenger, and I think it boils down once again to the fact that Holley is a real disappointment in terms of being a host. He doesn’t bring strong enough opinions to the table, he obviously “holds back” too often and the result is that he’s an intelligent, seemingly affable guy who’s just not that interesting to listen to.

    On the other hand, F+M have gone off the deep end into a territory I didn’t even think they’d go towards with their embarrassing commentary on Welker over the last month.

    Curran has been the sanest member of the media in this town — and F+M’s trashing of him and Reiss was absolutely unbelievable to listen to, even for F+M’s declining standards. And as much as I think Reiss is classy, why in the world he “thanked” F+M for the “opportunity” to stand behind his comments after they insulted him (as they often do) is head scratching.

    Come to think of it, why does nearly EVERYONE in this town back down from challenging Felger? Every CSNNE co-host just sits there and lets Felger throw out whatever trash he wants to every night, mostly never saying anything in disagreement. Most Sports Hub callers are mostly clones who seldom show any semblance of disagreement with him as well. Surely not everyone in this town agrees with him, do they?? And if not, why do we never hear from them unless it’s Curran?

    • bsmfan

      Since everyone keeps hitting on the same Salk point, I’ll join in because I’m on the same boat. Everyone keeps hitting at the same point of the Salk and Holley exchanges being somewhat unnatural or awkward. Maybe there is a better term but it’s almost like the stream of thoughts being 80% because of going in and out of a bad cell area. Something is just off and I’m not sure what it is. The opinions so far seem to target this at Holley.

      I wanted to give the show a month and, as you said, also wait until there was more to talk about. Obviously, with the playoffs for NBA/NHL around the corner and the critical first month of Red Sox, there will be ample opportunities for S+H to carve out what their direction and niche will be, and, more importantly, to (hopefully) set themselves up as a good alternative to F+M.

      So far, I’ve not listened to anything so far that makes me think that way. Ted, above, says “more Mike and Mike than anything”, which I can see. Mike and Mike is your vanilla sports talk that obviously lacks strong takes and poignant opinions. I don’t think this is going to work up against what F+M and SportsHub roll out at all. Commenter Mike, above, gives a precise example of this as they were discussing the concession discount that seemed to drone on and on. Holley does nothing to remedy and seems to be fine doing this. I just can’t see it putting up a good fight to F+M. Hosts can offer strong opinions that are intelligent, but I guess that’s what separates the good from the bad.
      Reading previous comments, this seems to be a common thread and complaint among Holley, even with Ordway. Salk has been called a “Felger lite” but I’ve yet to see anything even approaching this. What was he back in Seattle?

      • Ted Sarandis

        One of the reasons for the comparison to espn’s Mike and Mike is Salk’s constant use of the radio tease, which is infuriating to listen to and smacks mostly of an espn robot following orders from management rather than having an organic dialogue amongst hosts and callers

      • latetodinner

        BSMFan let me try to identify what you think you are missing with Salk and I will do it without slamming Holley because I have beaten that dead dog about as much as I can beat it.

        Yesterday the Mikes (kind of like the Donnas from Momma Mia only less talented yet with matching lamé jumpsuits) were discussing why fans would be upset about Sox lowering the price of beer and a few other concessions. Salk completely missed the point because he has not been in the market. No one was upset that they lowered the price…everyone said the same thing…too little too late…but the important point that Salk missed that Ordway would never have missed, even in his clueless fence sitting days was the fans were angry because Sox ownership choose to actively PROMOTE the lower of prices on select concessions…as if they were doing fans a favor… as if that was somehow going to make coming to the ball park ($85 ticket, $60 parking and now $5 beer) all better.

        Salk, a Boston native who clearly is out of touch with the Boston market after spending four years in Seattle, does not understand that fans believe the Red Sox are not a “property” rather they are a civic responsibility. There is a social contract of sorts in place…a group of people get to own/caretake the Red Sox and in exchange fans will allow them to make obscene amounts of money. The catch is the caretakers must put the Sox first. These fans have been demanding for two years now (since the collapse and through last years dreadful season) an apology and an action. The apology needs to come from Tom Warner or John Henry and they need to say “We are sorry we diversified, bought part of LeBron, Liverpool and Rauch Racing, effectively making the Red Sox just another asset in our portfolio. Although we will continue to have an ownership interest in those properties because they make us money, we will appoint managers to oversee those investments while 100% of our energy will be spent making the fans of Boston know that the Red Sox and putting a winning team on the field is our top/ only priority…similar to the way Bob Kraft owns the Revolution but everyone knows the Patriots are his top priority. To show our commitment to the fans and the garbage they have had to suffer through these past two years we have lowered some concessions stands and have told Ben Cherrington to put the best baseball TEAM on the field…not the most entertaining product. We are sorry we took our eye off the ball”.

        What Salk does not and cannot understand because he has not been here these last 4 years is that until something like that is said, the fan base for the Sox is going to be cynical, angry, ornery and apathetic unless the Red Sox miraculously win 100 games. So when they call up his show and mock his ridiculous position that “only in Boston could lowering concessions prices be thought a bad thing”, he shows how truly and utterly clueless he is. What his inane comments during the 3 hours he and Holley discussed this topic told me the guy is not very bright. Something that will doom him far faster than anything else in this market, especially when he is compared to Felger who is as quick as anyone not named Bob Ryan. Salk seems well studied and articulate. He knows obscure foreign born European Hockey players names, but his preparedness on what is arguably the single most important issue ever in the Boston market (the state of the Sox, its management, and the teams day to day performance) tells me he is in way, way over his head.

        Say what you want about F&M’s reactionary screeching…at least it generates entertaining and interesting radio and when it comes to the Sox at least they have identified points that that resonate with disillusioned fans who do not understand why the BBWA will not cover this team critically or hold them to any type of accountability standard. The Mikes have zero chance against F&M and I will be shocked if they are on the air together in a year because that is one boring, uninteresting, unthoughtful, unprepared show.

        One last thing. Who ever thought to make the final segment “Answer the Question, jerk”, while rebranding the whiner line and putting it on at 5:30 should be fired immediately. Either you want the whiner line…in which case leave it as it was or you don’t. Having the entire last 30 minutes being stupid, off topic, disjointed comments by either callers or the hosts makes absolutely lousy radio.

        • Mike

          As usual a well-thought and well-written opinion, LTD. Just to add in to your point on the concessions: apparently the reduced prices also include a reduced amount of beer, 12 oz. instead of 16, so it’s less of a savings than you might think. And that kind of businessman’s thinking is, as; you say, precisely why we Sox fans (I still can’t bring myself to root for these guys right now) are upset. An apology would be nice but I think more than that is in order–they need a track record, evidence of a change in philosophy and action. Until that happens, words are just words.

          And bsmfan–I’d heard a bit too (actually, I think mostly through this site!) that Salk was a bit of a Felger lite. Plainly he’s not (and I don’t think you’d necessarily have to play Felger’s game to beat him). Hell, even Damon Amendolara was a happy guy, didn’t attack people, but he was intense. Whenever I listened at night I liked his show. If Holley needs to be led, if he’s even more of a cosigner than Mazz is, then find someone who really knows how to drive. At this rate, EEI is going to be bringing in Max Kellerman by Christmas.

        • Mike

          PS anyone who seriously thinks Rush is the best band in history is, by definition, not that bright.

        • latetodinner

          Amen to that one. Best description I ever heard for Rush…hey Geddy Lee looks and sounds like a hamster of steroids.

          Rush is not even in the top 3 bands to come out of Canada….The Band was clearly the best (Levon Helm, garth Hudson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Robbie Robbertson), followed closely by Neil Young and Crazy Horse. # 3 would be a toss up between the Bare Naked Ladies and Robin Sparkles (If you are not a Big Bang Theory fan then I can’t help you).

        • MIke

          A hamster on steroids! Now I like Rush, though I wouldn’t list them at all among my favorites. But that is a good one. Though his cameo on Great White North was pertty decent…(“Hey, ten bucks is ten bucks…”)

        • Tyler

          The Guess Who? Hello.

        • bsmfan

          ltd,

          What his inane comments during the 3 hours he and Holley discussed this topic told me the guy is not very bright. Something that will doom him far faster than anything else in this market, especially when he is compared to Felger who is as quick as anyone not named Bob Ryan.”

          I’d give you more than one “thumbs up” if I could. You completely reified what I was trying to articulate on my post above but in a great way with an example.

          I’ll say this again that when Felger is on, his host and abilities to make takes are extremely good. When he’s on, he’s on, and (to me), it makes for some great radio. I find Colin Cowherd, as much as I can’t stand him and he makes some absolutely absurd comments, the same way. The balance between this is Dan Patrick, who I think runs one of the best shows in the nation.

          “…tells me he is in way, way over his head.”

          Day one when they had that “Lets force the hockey talk for as long as we can” gave me that impression, too. This is very premature but do you think he can learn or his time might be up long before he’ll become “cultured” to the fans here after being away for so long?

          “BBWA will not cover this team critically or hold them to any type of accountability standard.”

          Absolutely. The problem I was trying to hit home, which I think most of us joined in here, was that it does not extend to every sport. It’s one thing to question who is saying what due to the agents (Bruce mentioned it above, well discussed elsewhere, and it was almost a joke that Reiss had to “justify” his stuff, all thanks to what F+M did) but to basically just come out before the story was out there, which, even to this day, we will _never_ know what exactly transpired. To top it off everyone a liar/fraud if they were not reporting whatever was being said, basically torching 3 extremely respected reporters in the process, is what (if ever) will be the Achilles heel of the F+M program.

          “Having the entire last 30 minutes being stupid, off topic”

          Again, could not agree more. I was gonna wait to hit home on how bad this was when a month had passed but I have just turned off @ 5:25 or whenever they go to break before the segment.

        • Mike

          I’m absolutely with you on Dan Patrick–I love his voice and he runs one heck of a program. (Though not even he can make me interested in college sports.) I remember a few years back–perhaps before he’d landed his current syndication deal–when he subbed for D&C for about a week. I tuned in and within two hours he was slapping Meter around comically, with no effort at all. I was amazed at how smooth and in command he was of the show.

        • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom Andre Dursin

          I’m with you the whole way except for the part about F&M being “entertaining and interesting radio.”

        • bsmfan

          What you said is playing out, precisely, today. With the loss to MTL, your, “Does and cannot understand”, are ringing true. This comes in light of the botched JI trade and the SO loss to MTL last night.

          Salk is treating this like the Bruins just lost to the Florida Panthers in a close game. Basically, it’s another loss to him. Holley is clearly more agitated but is holding back and not taking the lead nor directing the conversation.

          I tried to come up with some analogy and this is the best I could: It’s like when a wife asks her stoic husband about how he feels after she intentionally cheated on him and all he does is say, “I’m mad”. She’s steaming because there is no emotion there and, basically, it’s too late now to do anything.

          The callers who I did hear on WEEI were mad/agitated but the conversation kept getting.. mitigated. Between Holley and Salk, it didn’t do much to further it or, again, match what was going on across the street. Flip over to F+M and the anger/energy/passion is there. They’re doing a
          better job on covering what happened in light of the JI botched trade.

          Maybe he could have fabricated some fake passion but I didn’t get the impression he knew how to care.. and no clue if he’ll know without being embedded her for a few years.

        • latetodinner

          Righteousness indignation has been the driving force behind compelling talk radio since the first time Eddie Andelman slammed Harry Sinden back on the old Sports Huddle. F & M use it effectively to make their show entertaining because they clearly delineate right from wrong (at least in their minds) and then allow the user to take sides. It makes the conversation flow and the show entertaining.

          As best I can tell…so far and I admit we have a small sample…Mike Salk is as devoid of feeling/ adn therefore cannot organically generate indignation. He seems to feel the Pacific Northwest mentality of “No worries” and ” We are just the fan” is not going to do anything other than chase more people over to the enemy.

          By the way if they wanted thoughtful sportstalk like what Dale does…maybe they should not have fired him. And at least Dale has passion.

      • Ryan

        I feel that both Salk and Holley are holding back a little because they don’t how each other would react when giving a stronger opinion

        • Mike

          I’m tempted to think of Sir Charles, when he was traded to Phoenix. In his first practice there, he was throwing elbows everywhere, and tossing guys all over the court. His new teammates blew up at him and he answered, “Hey, I need to know if you can stand up for yourselves. We’re going to battle together.” (Or some quote like that, I’m paraphrasing.) If Salk or Holley are pulling their punches now, I think there’s small chance they’ll ever do differently.

        • bsmfan

          That was my question I poised below to ltd and open to others.

          If they’re not doing it now, then when? To me, a sports talk host has less than a month to make themselves known and get an audience in–I’m not talking about the people who will just listen regardless or were ready to flip from F+M regulars because of their tone and/or what happened last week.

          Andre said the salient point of there being no “big” events yet where there could be something to react but it’s not like there has been nothing going on. I wanted to wait to give them a month with the playoffs transpiring before but most of the commenters here resonated the similar “something is missing” thought I had (ltd’s post below articulated it the best).

          Going sport by sport: F+M are still strong in Bruins talk and I did appreciate Jack Edwards on S+H today but I’m not sure how strong they are w/o Edwards. The “passive” Red Sox stuff won’t win folks over if F+M continue to hammer home the ownership and look at the “Fall from Grace” like they did today. NFL stuff — hard to compare but F+M will continue to get hammered if all they want to do is trash the team for it’s free agency/draft stuff. NBA is also laughable on F+M but they seemed to be fine without having strong coverage here for years now and it might not matter until the Celtics are true potential title contenders.

          I do hope they get better. I want there to be competition. I’d like an alternative because, while the NFL talk will calm down until the draft, the Welker stuff will come right back and I don’t imagine it changing. We’ll also get the half-assed NBA coverage regardless of how the Celtics do. Depending on how far the Bruins go, it could still favor F+M.

    • Mike

      Well, one thing, Andre–at least a few of the Sports Tonight guests actually seem to agree with Felger. Like Bob Ryan that Boston could beat anyone on the playoffs except Miami, and Buck that Boston’s pitching should actually be OK this year. Felger has quietly modified his Rajon Rondo stance from “Boston’s better without him” to “Boston will do no worse in the playoffs without him” which isn’t quite the same thing. But that’s kind of the issue with Felger–I think he has intelligent opinions but he can be needlessly abrasive in delivering them.

      • Hotsportstake

        Is “the cap is crap” one of his intelligent opinions?

        • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

          I think yes. His point is, you can work around the cap by managing salaries intelligently. That’s his entire point. Don’t forget that one of Felger’s schticks is to boil things down to a phrase or name, memorable but frequently oversimplified or insulting. Cap is crap. Texas tough guy. Flounder. Fifth Kraft son. High glass line. The list goes on and on. Felger’s point on the cap, and I agree, is that you can keep the players you really want by managing their salary structure. You can’t have everybody, and he frequently uses 20/20 hindsight (such as in the example of Asante Samuel). But the only teams I’ve seen who really have cap problems are the ones who are badly managed: the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins are probably the best examples. Lately, with pretty big money doled out to nonproductive players like Mark Sanchez, you can probably put the Jets on that list.

        • alex

          So the cap is crap as long as you manage salaries intelligently and don’t over spend. Got it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

          Yup. When a team or an analyst cites the cap as evidence that they can’t keep someone, basically, the team doesn’t consider that player essential to their success. Vicious as he was about it, Felger smelled a rat in the Patriots’ dismissal of Welker: they devalued him as a player, and Kraft was disingenous at least in saying otherwise. I also wonder why the Patriots–Kraft, basically, since Belichick has said and will say nothing–has bothered paying lip service to “Welker was our top priority, we wanted him to retire as a Patriot”. That’s obviously not the entire truth since he’s now with the Broncos.

        • alex

          Felger’s implication regarding his ”cap is crap” theory is that the salary cap can never deter a team from signing any player because there’s always a way to circumvent it. This is the exact opposite of what you are saying. If a team feels the need to spend wisely and manage salaries intelligently, then clearly the salary cap is a major concern for them.

        • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

          He’s never said you can sign every player. He’s said you can sign a single player if you want that player. So when a team uses the cap as a reason why they can’t pursue one particular person, the real reason is likely that they simply don’t value that player very highly.

        • http://twitter.com/BruceNV Bruce Newman

          I don’t know if you work for those knuckleheads, but if you’re not paid for this drivel , you may be the biggest foottie pajama and knee pad wearing Felgie fan on the planet.

          WHen Mr. Underwood was saying that the cap was going up 5% or more a year; so in essence it WAS crap. It’s been flat for 3 years, so that’s why cap management isn’t crap. Although Mikey boy is.

        • Moon

          Ask Baltimore if the cap is crap. Sign one player (Flacco) and dump nearly everyone else. I’m guessing that they would have liked to have kept Boldin along with Flacco. Cap wouldn’t allow it.

        • Rick Mc

          You’re a moron. This is not what Felger has ever claimed about the cap. He has not bothered to think beyond “cap is crap.”

        • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

          rickmc, look in the mirror. You plainly haven’t listened much to him. Felger had a 10-minute discussion with John Kraft last year about this.

        • http://twitter.com/Quiddity99 Brian Shea

          “His point is, you can work around the cap by managing salaries intelligently.”

          That is reality, but is not Felger’s opinion. Felger’s opinion is that the cap is irrelevant to a point where any team can get any player they really want to get, and if they don’t get them (I’m sorry, I should say if the Pats don’t get them) they are either cheap or are using a foolish “value” strategy. Which has been proven to be monumentally wrong time and time again. If you mismanage your cap, by say, paying too much money to certain players, are you going to have cap problems? Certainly! But Felger was praising the Jets excessively for doing exactly that and bashing the Pats to death for “managing salaries intelligently” instead. And look at how that turned out for both teams. His “cap is crap” mantra is a total fallacy that he invented solely to use as ammunition to bash the Pats with.

  • bsmfan

    “I’m not going to rush into judgment on the new Salk and Holley show, I like some of what I’ve heard from the duo, and other stuff not as much.”

    Same thoughts. I thought it would be fair to give it a month before trying to really give a thorough analysis. So far, it is a local alternative for when F+M+Wiggens decide to spend the first hour doing another “lets trash the Patriots” instead of doing some good/bad analysis.
    ———-
    Things got odd again on D+C this morning. As you, Chad Finn, and others have pointed out, the show takes an amazing turn for the worst when being led by JD vs having Dale or Kirk there. Also pointed out by others here and continuing is this “where does Kirk go” and the conversation that ensues, along with the various variations of “Minihane” he comes up with.

    ————

    On the good journalism front, h/t to Bruce but a great read by Paul Flannery on the Celtics and their front office:

    http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2013/3/27/4149404/botson-celtics-gm-ryan-mcdonough-profile

    • Mike

      I think Dennis is in post-July, Bobby V “I dare you to fire me” mode now. He’s sticking it to everyone at the station who doesn’t like him.

    • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom Andre Dursin

      I don’t get it either. “Fine work” for the DA and Adam Jones programs doesn’t strike me as being anything noteworthy, that’s for sure.

  • Mike

    I’ve yet to hear much energy out of Salk, and that’s the only real failing I find in their show. They tend to sit on a topic, however inane, for a few minutes too long. I only get EEI–and that only faintly–where I live in Maine, so if I’m not on a computer or IPod or commuting to NH, I don’t hear the Sports Hub. So at home I still hear a fair amount of EEI, including Salk & Holley, though they’ve done little to earn my listenership yet. I might just bust back to an IPod while I’m home.

    But so far, Salk has seemed unwilling to say much of substance either, and that’s where he is most likely to improve, as he is steadily immersed again in the Boston sports world. Hearing him and Holley yesterday talk in circles about the reduced concession prices at Fenway, likening it to being in your wife’s or girlfriend’s doghouse, was the opposite of exploring a topic–it seemed to me they were deliberately muddying the issue. No mention of (a) the (to put it politely) questionable nature of the sellout streak to begin with, or (b) the fact that Boston has among the highest ticket prices in Major League Baseball, and they went 69-93 last year–even if they’re not, these guys make it seem like they’re in the bag for the team. Say what you will about contrarians like Felger just wanting attention, but I think it’s intellectually dishonest to not criticize local teams, players and owners. Businessman Larry has given baseball fans little to root for in recent years, and that seems worth pointing out. Never mind the brainless “come upstairs, honey” analogy. Just acknowledge t the team’s recent underachievement and ticket hikes. Callers will take it from there.

    If Salk’s a DB behind the scenes? Maybe he’ll wind up alienating Holley…and actually, I think that would help their show. It would add at least a little bit of excitement. Two guys in a “screw you, my opinion’s better” piss-fest for four hours? If they know their stuff, that would be good radio.

    I hadn’t heard or read Tom Curran defending his reporting mates, but kudos to him for doing so. Tom strikes me, in how painfully circumspect he is when he talks, as a guy who doesn’t forget or forgive insults. And Welkahpaloozah highlighted Michael Felger at his worst: far too gleeful to personally assault people in the biz for any failings whatsoever. Does Felger actually have personal, first-hand knowledge of a too-cozy relationship between Mike Reiss and Robert Kraft? If so, he should tell us what it is. If not, then calling Reiss the “fifth Kraft son” is a slander he needs to publicly apologize for. I didn’t hear him specifically call Curran a liar, but if he did, then he needs to apologize for that too. Or else specifically state how he knows Curran’s a liar (I really don’t think Curran is).

    • Ted Sarandis

      I find Salk to be a pretty big disappointment. He has turned the show into a clone of the Mike & Mike show on espn radio, which just touches on the topics of the day without any sort of pointed analysis or contention between the hosts (other than what is “manufactured” for radio). I think WEEI badly whiffed on this hire.

    • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom Andre Dursin

      Felger believes they’re liars because they don’t agree with him. Pretty sure that’s the gist of it.

      • Mike

        Yeah–I like their show a lot but that’s my least favorite thing about him. He needs to lay off the attacks.

    • DrakeW

      It’d only be slander if Felger said “Reiss likes to molest little kids” and Reiss lost his job for it (eg – he lost money because of a broadcasted untruth). The “fifth Kraft son” thing, while insulting, won’t cost Reiss his job. Heck, it won’t even hurt his reputation as a sports writer because people know he’s probably the best Pats reporter out there.

      • bsmfan

        On this, I’d go back and read the “op-ed” Ryan Hatfield posted on this a few days ago.

        If one of us on here calls Reiss the “Kraft’s 5th son” or “Mike ‘Kraft’-Reiss’ or say that Reiss is a bad journalist, does nothing but peddles the Krafts trash, or something even more salacious, does it matter? Not that much. We’re just guys on a message board here.

        Felger or someone on the media you’re supposed to trust do it? You bet it carries weight. Isn’t there supposed to be some sort of responsibility here to not just others in your industry but the listeners? We can only hope. It’s not like Reiss is some hack that does nothing but write columns that aren’t worth reading, either.

        Ryan had hit on this when referencing the Jets/Pats draft strategies that Felger had used over the past 3 years (can’t after this one) to basically trash the Pats draft strategy. I mentioned that I’ve heard people, who assert as fact, that the NFL “cap is crap”. Want to know their ‘authority’? Felger. They don’t even care to look up that they’re completely wrong nor figure out the difference between a completely wrong statement and having an opinion that the NFL’s cap is too small.

        Again, thank Felger here. At any point, he could have had Curran, Reiss or Bedard on to discuss their work and offer up his difference in opinion. Isn’t that good sports talk? Instead, Felger and Mazz cherrypicked every fact to back-up their story, ignored the facts coming out that ran counter to this, and spent the better part of a week on this topic. In the process, they basically questioned the core integrity of not just a “reporter” but one of the most respected and trusted in the area.

        Isn’t there some code in the industry to not poop all over fellow pride members? It just seems like a bad idea. When all of this was going on, if you checked @MikeReiss mentions, he had a ton of support coming from Curran and others like Chad Finn. Clearly, it bothered more than just Reiss.

        • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

          I do agree that they’d be smart to have some reporters on–more of Mazz’ baseball show model–to actually dig down into the issues. But that’s another weakness of Felger–he’s spectacularly bad at interviews and question/answer sessions. They always become snowball fights (case in point the Montreal TSN host they had on the other day). The constant antagonism is pointless. I think Felger takes an appropriately tough questioning line with Cam Neely, but that’s because he doesn’t dare cross Cam–he actually seems to respect him. I’d like to hear Mike show a bit more respect for the Boston reporters. He can hammer the BBWAA over their willful blindness on steroids–a valid viewpoint in my opinion–but he doesn’t need to go flaming everybody just for the sake of doing it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.sutherland.90410 Michael Sutherland

        Well, when Felger starts insinuating that Reiss is “in the bag” for the Patriots, that’s suggesting that he’s deliberately misinforming the fans. While not as vicious as the thing you mentioned, I do think it constitutes slander. And while I’m a Felger fan I do think he really needs to tone the attacks down.

  • John

    I find John Dennis very creepy. A few weeks ago he was talking about how long he views internet porn. That is not what I want to hear a 60 y/o man talking about when I’m tuning into sports radio.

  • CharlieORegan

    .
    Felger and Mazz = Lowlifes
    .

    • Linda Austin

      Agree. They really are slimey.

  • http://twitter.com/theaisleseatcom Andre Dursin

    To me this is also evidence of what’s wrong with Boston sports radio in general: putting talent together that doesn’t contrast, merely reflects.

    Mazz isn’t a contrarian to Felger, instead he’s a lap dog who agrees with everything he says. Holley doesn’t push Salk, so far they just talk in circles (hopefully this will change).

    You go over hosts who had a dynamic element together — yes, Mike and the Mad Dog being first and foremost — and it was their differences that made their program so compelling to listen to. Nobody in this market seems to understand that, which is why we’re in the boat we’re in, in so far as quality programming (specifically lack thereof) goes.

  • Tom

    I guess I’m in the minority. I’m enjoying the Mike & Mike show. I think they’ve got a good rapport and equal standing. I’m switching back a lot more than I have in the past, particularly as Felger and Mazz continue to reenact the final scene of Thelma and Louise with their show.

    As for Bissinger, I heard T&R’s account this morning and momentarily wondered, “God, how are D&C handling this one?” I can’t even cut over to that show during 98.5 breaks. Toxic doesn’t cover it.

  • bsmfan

    Hitting on something different:

    TV ratings are up in many markets for local NHL coverage, including the Bruins:

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2013-03-26/nhl-tv-ratings-lockout-penguins-root-sports-blackhawks-csn-chicago-red-sox-nesn

  • Linda Austin

    “I applaud the role Tom E Curran has apparently taken in deciding to call out some of the more ridiculous statements, storylines and agendas from radio talk show hosts, columnists and even his fellow writers. It’s not always easy to swim against the current, and it’s refreshing to have someone not just parroting and agreeing with what everyone is saying.”
    Curran has become a Belichick/Patriot parrot. Please note how E. only goes on the offensive when other media are going after the Patriots. His spirited opinions are nowhere to be found when it comes to being critical of how the Patriots conduct their business. At one time I really enjoyed Tom E. Found him edgy and entertaining. Sadly these days Tom E Curran is nothing more than a company man and it’s too bad.

    • LakevilleWonder

      Uh-huh – like Curran said – they’ve been to 5 title games, 7 conference championship games in the last 12 years. Like your hero’s on the radio say, they obviously dont know what they are doing down in Foxboro.

      • Linda Austin

        Since their last Super Bowl win in “2004″ the Patriots are 1 game over .500 in the playoffs. Sorry but the presence of future HOF’er Tom Brady and an incredibly weak division are the reasons the Patriots have such sweet won/loss records every year. Tom Brady has papered over a ton of Belichick mistakes over the years. Sadly that fact based opinion is not something you will hear from Tom E Curran. Tom E is very protective of his buddy Bill.

        • http://twitter.com/Quiddity99 Brian Shea

          Yeah, the year they went 4-12 when Tom Brady was hurt showed us all how terrible Belichick is at this thing. I say fire him immediately. Look forward to hearing from you tomorrow at 2:00 on the Sports Hub.

        • Linda Austin

          No actually they went 11 – 5 with a weak schedule in a lousy division and did not make the playoffs . Brian it is ok to criticize Belichick when its warranted and it’s been warranted on more than a few occasions. You fan boys are embarrassing with your Belichick idol worship. It’s bizarre.

        • Frank

          And your not embarrassing yourself by going out of your way to trash the man who is widley considered the best coach in the NFL, by many people who I would dare to say have a stronger football knowledge than you? Your a blatant Felger fangirl and not happy that Tom Curran has the gaul to question your idol.
          The door swings both ways sweetheart.

        • Patrick Pass

          When you go 11-5 and miss the playoffs, it seems pretty obvious you’re not in a “lousy division” and of course the 4 AFC East teams went a combined 26-14 that year against the rest of the NFL that year outside of their division, but yeah lousy. Genius.

        • http://twitter.com/BruceNV Bruce Newman

          Is 2004 in quotes because it wasnt actually in 2004?

        • Linda Austin

          That’s the best you can bring?? ha ha ha ha
          Why don’t you call the NFL offices and ask them which team is the 2004 champion.

  • Moon

    I can’t get over how bad evening drive radio is today.
    F&M are unlistenable to me. The Welker stuff was over the top. Of course, blame the greedy owners. Of course, bash the writers who don’t take your side. I’m not a Kraft suck up at all, but I agree with Reiss, they knew the market and moved on when they felt there was too much ground to be made up.

    Yesterday F&M are talking about how hated the red sox ownership group is and how they’ve never seen anything like it and never will. What? Apparently they don’t remember the vitriol for Jacobs after the first NHL lockout. Yes Mike people were outraged and wanted him to sell (and many still feel that
    way). Apparently he doesn’t remember the Paul Gaston days (who Shanks named Thanks Dad) and how they wanted him to sell. Doesn’t fit the argument for the show so just over dramatize how bad it is for today’s Red Sox group. That’s why I can’t take Felger seriously. He’s got an agenda. He’s turned into everything that was bad about EEI – arrogance (hang up on callers, don’t you dare ask him how he’s doing); Regular “celebrity callers” (Mike from Attleboro), aloof and unlikable. I’m sure
    he will blame B’s management for not getting the Iginla deal done. “They should have tossed him an extra million. They’re under the cap, they can afford it, but no they cheaped out like they always do” I can hear him saying.

    S&H? So far I’m unimpressed. I found myself wishing yesterday that I could turn on a station and hear Bob Ryan or someone similar talk passionately and articulately about sports. I find myself listening to ESPN radio a lot lately.

  • http://twitter.com/BruceNV Bruce Newman

    I feel bad for all of you, but especiallu those who think you’ve got good radio there.

    Turn off your radios. Get streaming radio or Cirius. Really. These idiots–all of em–suck compared to the rest of the country.