Patriots Preseason Network Affiliates, Schedule, and Crew

The Patriots today officially announced the changes to their preseason telecasts. The longtime duo of Don Criqui and Randy Cross is no more, and the format is being changed to something new in the world of football broadcasts:

According to Matt Smith, the executive producer of Kraft Sports Productions, the Patriots 2013 preseason game telecasts will be less of a traditional football broadcast, opting instead for more discussion and analysis from two former Patriots players along with insight from two beat writers who are regularly assigned to cover practices year-round.

“We are looking at the preseason games as an opportunity to try something different and find innovative ways to engage our fans in the discussion,” said Smith. “We are not looking for just a down-and-distance approach to calling the game. We want voices and opinions on what happened during the week of practice and how it relates to what fans are seeing on the field. We want a conversational, talk-radio approach on the important issues and roster battles that are going on throughout practice as well as in the game. We want our viewers to hear the opinions of the people watching every detail of the practice sessions during the week and how it relates to what is happening in the game.”

WBZ-TV is still the flagship station for the preseason telecasts, which will be hosted by sports reporter/anchor Dan Roche. Joining Roche in the booth will be former Patriot Christian Fauria.

Former Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham will serve as a sideline analyst, and Steve Burton will do sideline reports and interviews. Patriots Football Weekly writers Paul Perillo and Andy Hart will be in a separate studio for further discussion on the game, and to engage in social media interaction.

Here are the affiliates for the preseason games:

Preseason Television Network
WBZ TV……………… Boston, MA (Flagship Station) (Channel 4)

WPRI………………….Providence, RI (Channel 12)
WWLP……………….. Springfield, MA (Channel 22)
WCTX/WTNH………..Hartford/New Haven, CT (Channel 8)
WVII………………….. Bangor, ME (Channel 22)
WMTW………………. Portland/Auburn, ME (Channel 8)
WMUR…………………Manchester, NH (Channel 9)
WCAX………………….Burlington, MA (Channel 3)
KFVE……………………Honolulu, HI (Channel 5)

Here is the Patriots preseason schedule:

Friday, August 9th 7:30pm @ Eagles

Friday, August 16th 8:00pm Buccaneers (Broadcast on FOX)

Thursday, August 22nd 7:30pm @ Lions

Thursday, August 29th 7:30pm Giants

Games are also rebroadcast on the NFL Network.

Monday Tidbits

A few items as we start the new week:

Boston Herald Internet radio starts next Monday, August 5th. The 3:00pm sports offering will be called “Sports Town with Jon  Meterparel and Jen Royle.

This is part of a multimedia effort from the Herald, and a tweet from Royle reflects that:

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Gammons plans website launch this weekSports Business Journal reports that the veteran baseball scribe will have his own web site launch this Wednesday. It will be part of the Rafe Anderson-led Tru Media Networks.

Much of the content will be columns and interviews from Gammons, but the site is also looking to hire additional writers for content. While at least one sponsor is onboard, it appears crowdfunding is also being used to support GammonsDaily.com, and contributors will receive special perks.

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98.5 The Sports Hub afternoon flash guy Marc Bertrand tweeted today that he will be a part of the Patriots.com pre and post game coverage this season, along with Paul Perillo and Andy Hart.

This is not the 98.5 radio pre and post game show, those are still hosted by Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh, but a part of the Patriots website.

Camp Time

It’s hard to believe, but another Patriots training camp is upon us. After what has been a painfully long, yet at the same time fast offseason, it’s time to get down to football.

There is more uncertainty this season than in recent memory. Some feel the team has taken a step backwards this offseason, and will be challenged by the Dolphins in the AFC East, while others think it is just the same old Belichick/Brady business as usual.

It will be interesting to watch this team this camp as things get sorted out. Keep up with all stories at Patriotslinks.com

A couple of media stories for this morning:

Nate Silver is back to his roots at ESPN – Chad Finn has a look at the statistician leaving the New York Times for his own site with ESPN.

Torey Champagne’s documentary remembers Reggie Lewis – Bill Doyle looks at the excellent CSNNE documentary on Reggie Lewis, who passed away 20 years ago this weekend. The program airs Sunday night.

The documentary is outstanding, and for anyone who remembers that time, many memories, both great and painful will come flooding back. There is no Jimmy Meyers in the program, which some may view as a positive, but Meyers was very close to Lewis, and his perspective on the tragedy could’ve added interest to the show.

Reggie Lewis was the only athlete I ever wore a jersey of. (Well, other than getting a Marcus Allen when I was about 8 – the only “Allen” jersey that could found…)

Len Bias & Reggie Lewis: The Greatest NBA Superstar Duo That Never Happened – What if…what if…what if…sigh.

A few national media stories this week of note:

Starting Five for FOX SPORTS LIVE Set – The new network announced the talent for its nightly flagship show.

NASCAR and NBC Sports Group Reach Landmark Media Rights Agreement – NBC took NASCAR away from ESPN and TNT with this new deal.

Time To Be AccountaBILL

Has anyone else used that god-awful headline yet?

Sometimes I’m envious of the sports-radio host mentality. It must just be so awesome to sit in judgment, move goalposts and criticize an outcome no matter which way it goes.

I loved Felger yesterday attempting to make the point that since all the Belichick toadies said he shouldn’t talk, that they should now be pissed at him because he is going to talk. That makes total sense. Except that I don’t care if he speaks or not. I personally hoped he wouldn’t just to infuriate the media even more, but since he’s going to, I’m certainly not going to pissed at him.

There is a ton of sarcasm and speculation over how this afternoon’s press conference is going to go. Many are taking the approach that he is not going to say anything at all, other than “we’re moving on” “we’re going to do what’s best for the football team” and “it is what it is.”

I think you’ll see more than that. I don’t have any special insight or knowledge here, but this is my guess based on how things have been handled in the past in various media situations.

First, a few things to consider:

1) This does not involve a competitive situation, so the “coach-speak” is less likely to dominate. He’s not going to fear losing any competitive edge in talking about this. Thus, he may appear a bit more “human” – a cry that has gone out among many sports radio hosts who are interested in Accountability.

2) He will be limited from a legal standpoint. He can’t stand up there and openly discuss particulars of open murder investigations. Not even to discuss the character of Hernandez.

3) Since this press conference was scheduled aside from the actual start of camp, it’s clear it is to be about the Hernandez with the aim of putting as much of it behind them as possible and moving on to the start of the season.

I expect a statement to begin, with sympathy expressed to the families of the victim(s) and basically repeating much of what Robert Kraft has already said. There will be some questions taken, but most of the answers will be limited and the legal issue being given as the reason.

Will he go into a discussion of their internal operations and how they will assess players moving forward? Perhaps in general terms, but again not specifics and nothing that can be used against him or the franchise in the future.

I do expect it to be somewhat thorough, again with the aim of being able to state, going forward “I’ve already made my statement on that particular issue. We’re here for football.”

Patriots best served if Bill Belichick addresses Aaron Hernandez’s arrest – Dan Wetzel had one of the best pieces I’ve seen on the subject thus far. Of course it takes a national guy to give the proper perspective.

Make no mistake, Belichick owes the media nothing. Perhaps he owes a little more to New England fans, but even that’s debatable. It’s not like he ever made himself out to be the sage of the region, counted on to lead the masses in times of uncertainty.

He’s the local pro football coach. He’s there to win games. He delivers, and then some, on that task. If he wants to say nothing, it’s his right.

Still, Belichick will do plenty for his reputation if he takes inquiries into such an historic story with at least a modicum of patience and perspective. Belichick is highly intelligent and, contrary to his news-conference demeanor, is mostly engaging, charismatic and interesting. The say-nothing approach is as much a coaching tactic as anything else.

Meanwhile the video of Gary Tanguay and Kirk Minihane on CSNNE last night has made the rounds. I don’t recommend watching it. These screencaps should tell you why.

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Yes, this is what passes for sports “journalism” in this town, in this day and age.

CSNNE Presents “Remember Reggie: The Reggie Lewis Story” on Sunday 7/28

COMCAST SPORTSNET PRESENTS:

“REMEMBER REGGIE: THE REGGIE LEWIS STORY”

DEBUTING JULY 28TH AT 8PM

COMCAST SPORTSNET PRODUCES IN DEPTH 90-MINUTE DOCUMENTARY ON THE EXCEPTIONAL LIFE OF REGGIE LEWIS SURROUNDING THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH

BURLINGTON, MA, July 23, 2013 – Reggie Lewis lived an exceptional life in the limelight as a basketball phenom, from his younger days in Baltimore, MD to his exemplary college career which put Northeastern University on the basketball map, to his drafting by the Boston Celtics and receiving of the captain’s torch from Larry Bird – no doubt that Reggie’s was a life of talent and promise.  In July of 1993, as the young star was quickly becoming the face of the Celtics franchise, Reggie collapsed and died of heart failure during a team practice. (BSMW Note – this is inaccurate, Lewis collapsed and died while shooting around at Brandeis University.) For Boston sports fans, Reggie was a touchstone figure in the city’s sports history, but the full story of his life and untimely death on the court has never been told with great depth – until now.

On Sunday, July 28th at 8PM, ComcastSportsNet will debut a 90-minute documentary “REMEMBER REGGIE: The Reggie Lewis Story” presented by New England Ford Dealers, recounting the life of Reggie Lewis on the same weekend of the 20th anniversary of his death. The program, produced fully by Comcast SportsNet, will be narrated by Boston media personality Glenn Ordway and will feature in-depthinterviews with some of the most important and iconic people in Reggie’s life – family, friends, teammates, coaches, colleagues, doctors, and more, including: HS classmate and NBA colleague Muggsy Bogues; Northeastern Coach Jim Calhoun; Celtics teammate Dee Brown; respected journalists Bob Ryan, Jackie MacMullan, Dan Shaughnessy; Reggie’s mother; his sister; and many more.

“In my office I always had a picture of all my kids — and Reggie. I’ll miss him forever, he was like a child of mine,” said former Northeastern Coach Calhoun in the documentary. “I remember Reggie hitting game winners. I remember Reggie being drafted. I remember Reggie being captain of the Celtics. I remember so much positive and great things about Reggie Lewis that nothing in this world can ever take that away from me, until the day Idie.”

“You know, people just don’t understand — life can be taken away from you just that quickly,” said former teammate Bogues in the film. “He reached the highest pinnacle that he had envisioned for himself which was the NBA. I just miss him.”

Starting the story back in Baltimore where Reggie’s basketball days began and journeying through time to that unforgettable day on July 27th, 1993, Comcast SportsNet will tell the story that has never been fully told in this exclusive documentary.

Immediately following the documentary, Comcast SportsNet will feature a special live edition of Sports Sunday which will be Reggie Lewis themed and will feature a cast of panelists talking about Reggie’s life.  The panel will include Ordway and Michael Holley, among others, discussing Reggie’s history, his rise to fame, and “what could have been”.

Additionally, CSNNE.com will feature exclusiveweb-only content surrounding the 20th anniversary of Reggie’s death and will offer viewers and opportunity to provide online feedback about both Reggie and the documentary.  For viewers outside of the Comcast SportsNet New England viewing area, they can watch the program on CSNNE.com as well.

Following are some of the people from Reggie’s life who are included and interviewed in the documentary:

Players and Coaches:

Jim Calhoun – Northeastern – Head Coach (1972-1986)

Dee Brown – Boston Celtics – Guard (1990-1998) Celtics Teammate 1990-1993

David Wingate – Charlotte Hornets – Forward (1992-1995) (teammate at Dunbar High)

Muggsy Bogues – Charlotte Hornets – Point Guard (1988-1997) (teammate at Dunbar High)

Kendall Gill – Charlotte Hornets – Small Forward (1990-1993)

Karl Fogel – Northeastern – Head Coach (1986-1994)

Bob Wade – Dunbar High School – Head Coach (1976-1986)

Relatives and Acquaintances:

Inez “Peggy” Ritch – Reggie’s Mother

Sheron Hughes – Reggie’s Sister

Michael Bivins – Hip-Hop / R&B Artist

Celtics Officials and Broadcasters:

Jan Volk – Boston Celtics – General Manager (1984-1997)

Jeff Twiss – Boston Celtics – VP of Media Relations (1981-present)

Dr. Arnold Scheller – Boston Celtics – Team Physician (1987-2005)

Tommy Heinsohn – Celtics Color Commentator

Bob Neumeier – Sportscaster

Mike Gorman – Celtics Broadcaster

Journalists, etc:

Bob Ryan – Sports Columnist

Jackie MacMullan – Sports Columnist

Dan Shaughnessy – Boston Globe – Sports Columnist

Ron Suskind – Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist (Wall Street Journal)

Andrew Brandt – ProServ Sports Representative (1986-1992)

Sgt. James Crowley – Former Brandeis University Police Officer

Late Night With Mike Napoli

The Red Sox and Yankees played until almost 1:00 am last night, going back and forth until Mike Napoli won the game in the bottom of the 11th inning with a solo home run for the 8-7 win.

Napoli’s 11th-inning home run gives Sox 8-7 win – Sean McAdam has a look at an up and down night for the first baseman, who had two home runs, but also two strikeouts and killing a rally by grounding into a double-play with the bases loaded in the eighth.

Red Sox keep good times rolling – Gordon Edes has Napoli ending an “exhausting, exhilarating, maddening, compelling, interminable, sloppy, surprising and dramatic” game with his homer.

Talented Rays a big test for the Red Sox – Nick Cafardo has the red-hot Rays coming into Fenway looking for some payback.

Extension rumors show Red Sox, Pedey meant to last – Michael Silverman looks at what the possible long-term extension means.

Clay Buchholz to meet Dr. James Andrews – Pete Abraham’s notebook has the Sox pitcher going to see the specialist. Buchholz, the faker, is likely looking to see if a burning desire to win can be surgically implanted into himself.

Things to watch at Patriots camp – With New England starting training camp at the end of this week, Mike Reiss takes a look at some things to look out for.

Counting out the Pats after a tumultuous offseason? You might want to rethink that – The new Peter King website, themmqb.com launched today, and former Globe NFL writer Greg A Bedard has his first piece up this morning, a look at the Patriots ability to and history of blocking out distractions.

Sox Welcome Yankees To Town, Pierce and KG Introduced as Nets

The Red Sox welcome the New York Yankees to town this weekend to open of the post-All Star game portion of the schedule. This marks the first visit of the Yankees to town in 2013.

Red Sox better than likable, they’re back in it to win it – Jon Couture says that the Red Sox have moved past “win us back’ and are into “win it all” mode.

Sox breaking good as Yankees visit – Gordon Edes looks at what some of the Sox did over the break, and what lies ahead for the team.

A.L. East rivals set their eyes on chasing down the Red Sox – Tim Britton looks at the competition in the division as they look to overtake Boston.

It’s Make or Break Time For The Red Sox – John Tomase looks at a critical part of the schedule coming up.

Clay Buchholz status still a question mark – Julien Benbow’s notebook has the latest update on the ace, who had another setback yesterday.

Buchholz injury has again raised questions from some in the media about his “toughness” with some calling him a wimp and saying that he simply does not exude a burning desire to win.

Pitchers are different creatures than most athletes. Some need to be just right in order to perform, and I’d guess that in someone as slight as Buchholz that’s doubly true. John Lackey pitched injured and we saw how that worked out for him. Instead of being praised for his toughness in pitching through injury and wanting to win, he was shredded for his performance. Now Buchholz doesn’t want to pitch injured and his desire to win (and general manhood) is questioned.

Gotta love  double standards.

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I’ll admit, I could not watch the Pierce/KG introductory press conference in Brooklyn yesterday. Still can’t. Even though I know it was the right move to make, and it’s hard to see a player like Paul Pierce, who literally grew up here and was ours now belong to someone else.

For Paul Pierce, Celtics exit was difficult – Gary Washburn says it was tough for Pierce too.

Pierce trying to find way in Brooklyn – Chris Forsberg has more on the move for # 34.

Paul Pierce relishes new NY rivalry – Mark Murphy has Pierce looking forward to continuing his personal rivalry with the Knicks.

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A few media columns/links this morning:

Peter King ready to roll out SI’s new NFL-only site – Chad Finn has a look at the coming launch of themmqb.com, which goes live on Monday.

Muirfield anguish lingers for Paul Azinger – Bill Doyle has ESPN analyst Paul Azinger remembering his own struggles at the site of this year’s Open Championship.

Olbermann Returning to ESPN2 with Daily Late-Night Show Aug. 26 – The polarizing host returns to the network that really launched him into the national spotlight.

One Month To Network Sports Television History – NBC Sports Group Debuts Premier League On August 17  – While the main subject of this release is noteworthy, I appreciated the nod at the end to rival Fox Sports1 which launches on that same August 17th date. Classy little touch.

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Patriots training camp starts next week, and the hot storyline for Accountable Lou Merloni and others is whether Bill Belichick will even address the Aaron Hernandez case at all. Hours of sports radio time are being filled with this “debate” and whether they think Belichick will just try to ignore the case all together, and how all the national reporters will be there, and will stay there until he addresses the situation.

This will prove to another worthless debate. Belichick will address it, and move on. That’s how he has always operated with things, and that’s how it will go this time. Whether it comes in his first regularly scheduled press conference of camp, or in a special session prior to camp, it will happen. Accountable Lou, you can rest easy.

SPONSORED POST – Red Sox/Yankees Ticket Availability This Weekend

With the All-Star Break coming to a close, the Red Sox will host the New York Yankees this weekend to start off the 2nd half of the regular season. Red Sox tickets will be a tough grab, as the series average currently sits at $207 per ticket. This average price is almost $100 more than the Sox’s home average this season.

Demand for Red Sox vs. Yankees tickets is always high but this weekend’s hefty prices are mainly due to the Red Sox and Yankees place in the standings. The AL East is a tight race as usual, and the first place Red Sox are back to their usual sellouts after having their Fenway streak ended at the beginning of the season. The rivalry’s ticket prices were lower in the first few meetings most likely because the Red Sox and Yankees were not projected to finish at or near the top of the division. However, the Red Sox has responded well to new manager John Farrell’s philosophy and have held first place for much of the season. The Yankees come into this series trailing the Sox by six games, partially due to rash of injuries that have plagued the team throughout the season.

In Boston, fans have a lot of excitement in the direction of the team and would love to grab a great seat for a game versus a heated rival. The All-Star Break also creates buildup for the series and has Bostonians thinking more about flocking to Fenway this weekend.

Along with the fans, the networks have also picked up on the demand for this series, as all three games will be on national television. MLB Network has the Friday game, while FOX will air the Saturday afternoon game in regional areas. The weekend wraps up with a primetime game on ESPN featuring star pitchers Jon Lester and C.C. Sabathia.

Saturday’s game will be the toughest, or at least the most expensive ticket in town with a Get-In price of $70, compared to Friday’s and Sunday’s of $45 and $42, respectively. Saturday games tend to yield the highest prices because of convenience to fans, especially in this case with the Sunday meeting set for a late 8 P.M. first pitch. The Yankees have continued to set the bar high on the road, with Yankees tickets averaging $123 per seat. However, this series will be 69% more expensive than the average road price with the immense interest for this series. With attractive pitching matchups and an intriguing race in the division, ticket prices reflect the Red Sox vs. Yankees rivalry should be on full display this weekend at Fenway.

Searching For The Next Mosi Tatupu

It’s been a busy summer for the New England Patriots, for many of the wrong reasons. Now that training camp lies just around the corner (yes, please), we figured we’d get away from all that nasty business and start compiling a list of potential fan favorites for 2013.

Whether or not you were a card-carrying member of Mosi’s Mooses, you probably know something about the late, great Mosi Tatupu, a long-time running back/special teamer who carved out a spot with the team and with fans’ hearts from 1978 to 1990.

Was former Patriot Danny Woodhead a Tatupu? We think so – Woodhead gave us a chance to literally root for the little guy. Those two shared some of the requirements we’ll look for in each subject, including: [Read more…]

Brief Tuesday Media Notes

Both local sports radio stations are finalists for Marconi Awards this year.

98.5 The Sports Hub is a finalist in the Sports Station of the Year category. WEEI 93.7 is a finalist in the Legendary Station category.

A full list of the finalists can be found here: Marconi Finalists Announced.

Other Boston stations reaching the finals are Carter Alan of WZLX is up for Major Market Personality of the Year (Among others he’s going against Boomer & Carton of WFAN). WJMN is up for Major Market Station of the Year, WBZ-AM is up for News/Talk Station of the Year, and WZLX is up for Rock Station of the Year.

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If you missed it at the end of last week, the Boston Globe shuffled up its Bruins/NHL coverage. Fluto Shinzawa has been promoted up and will be writing the NHL Sunday Notes and the On Hockey columns, previously written by Kevin Paul Dupont, who will be in more of a general features/columnist type of role, as well as continuing his Sunday Second Thoughts column.

Former Red Sox beat writer Amalie Benjamin will be taking over the day-to-day beat writer role.

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Over at NBC Sports Radio Boston 1510, they’re continuing to build up their local lineup. Pete Sheppard is going to be joined in the afternoons by Darwin Zook (@DarwinZook ) who will be Sheppard’s co-host moving forward.

Zook, is an interesting guy, with a varied background which includes playing college basketball at UC-Santa Cruz, being an assistant coach at Emmanuel College, being a contestant on NBC’s Love in the Wild, a Reporter at Dirty Water TV NESN, and a location manager for several production companies who were filming in the Boston area.

In addition, look for an announcement coming soon that Ron Borges will also be joining the station on a daily basis in some capacity.

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I’ll admit that Stan Grossfeld’s feature today – What it’s like for Aaron Hernandez in jail – was fascinating to read. It did however leave me a bit uncomfortable with giving more attention to him as a celebrity. We still haven’t learned a whole lot about the victim in this case, and while this feature doesn’t glorify Hernandez, it’s still giving attention to a (alleged) criminal.

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Elsewhere in Globe news: