Patriots Fall To 3-0, Media Ups and Downs

The Patriots still haven’t beaten anyone, and yesterday another hapless foe folded like a kid’s camp chair in front of the Gillette faithful. Or so goes the sports radio storyline today.

Get all the links from the game over at Patriotslinks.com

Some of the good and bad from the media yesterday:

Three Up

Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston

Prior to the game, Reiss broke the story of the Rob Ninkovich contract extension through the 2016 season. It seems like Mike might’ve had an inkling this was coming down, or else he was extremely prescient in his Quick-hit thoughts column yesterday (see #3).

Gerry Callahan, WEEI

Yeah, he and his cohorts spent plenty of time on the “they haven’t beaten anyone” meme, but Callahan did point out and call out the hypocrisy of the national media in two different storylines yesterday, first, what the national outrage would’ve been had it been Bill Belichick who chose to let a player play after it had been determined that the player was going to enter a treatment facility the next day. The second one was the criticism by Shannon Sharpe, Tom Jackson and others over Tom Brady’s outbursts on the field, acting like he is the only QB to ever react that way.

An aside on that, this was what Sharpe said yesterday:

SHARPE: I played with a guy in John Elway who was every bit of Tom Brady’s equal in his prime, and he never disrespected me and showed that kind of outward emotion even when I ran the wrong route and missed blocks and got sacked. There is a right and wrong way to handle everything. And that is clearly the wrong way.

This is from the January 12, 1998 Denver Post.

On the floor of Three Rivers Stadium, John Elway cannot see or hear his father. Everywhere the Broncos’ quarterback looks, 60,000 terrible towels wave in the hands of Pittsburgh fans. Everywhere he turns, there’s a teammate straining to grasp the details of a play called on third down and 6 from Denver’s 15 yard line.

“Just go get open!” Elway screams to tight end Shannon Sharpe, who doesn’t know what pass route to run.

“Just go get open?” Sharpe replies in a daze. “OK.”

How quickly they forget.

Ron Borges, CSNNE, Boston Herald

Ron was on his best behavior during his TV spots last night, and his column today is an example of what he does best when his head is on straight. Good, solid football analysis.

Honorable mentionHector Longo is pretty good today. He also gets credit for asking Adrian Clayborn about the play in which the defensive lineman ended up trying to cover WR Kenbrell Thompkins.

Three Down

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston

In the middle of an otherwise very good column, she slips this in:

The buzz word for the New England Patriots is fortunate. They are fortunate they are 3-0 as they continue to buy time for the return of Rob Gronkowski and an extra week of healing for Danny Amendola.

They also are fortunate that Tampa Bay was in the house Sunday. The Bucs could have (and should have) jumped out to a double-digit lead as the Patriots’ offense initially stalled, but their kicker missed a 38-yard field goal, the referees missed a third-down interference call that should have drawn a flag on Alfonzo Dennard and their quarterback, Josh Freeman, simply couldn’t close the deal when his team got into New England territory.

Why is it that if the Patriots lose a close game and the “what ifs” and “could have/should have” and the “referees missed the call” lines are brought out, it is evidence of a a “homer” and someone with “blinders on” but it is perfectly OK to apply them to the other team during a win?

Tom E Curran, CSNNE

Actually nothing on Tom’s work, which was up to the usual high standards. But Tom, you’re killing me by retweeting all the negative nitwit Patriots fanz (yeah, fanz) who are incapable of enjoying a game, and want to proclaim Brady and Wilfork done, the schedule soft as tissue paper, and take victory laps on Danny Amendola. Tom, I work very hard at actively trying to ignore these idiots, I don’t need to see them in my timeline courtesy of you, even if you are just exposing their idiocy to a larger audience.

Boston Globe Magazine

Do we still trust Bill Belichick? – That was the featured story yesterday. Does this mean we’ll see a “Do we still trust Larry Lucchino?” piece next week? The piece itself isn’t that bad, but leads off with a dyed-in-the-wool Red Sox/baseball guy in Glenn Stout (not someone I associate at all with football) who worries about the worship of Belichick, and also includes an essay from Gregg Easterbrook, who slips this in:

Belichick’s ethics leave something to be desired — troubling because NFL figures are role models for young people. His open contempt for the sports press is puzzling, given that the sports press has helped make him a multimillionaire. Maybe he’s just an ungrateful, heartless SOB. But he sure can run a football team.

Has the sports press made him a multimillionaire, or is it the 207 career wins (most of any active coach) or the 18-8 postseason record (also best of any active coach)? It seems incredibly arrogant to me to suggest it is the media who has made Bill Belichick.

On yesterday’s FOX broadcast John Lynch was talking about the relationship between Belichick and Greg Schiano, and told how the relationship started – Belichick’s son Steve was a long-snapper on the Rutgers team, and then Belichick invited Schiano and his staff up to Foxborough to observe practice, and at the end of that, Belichick asked Schiano what he liked and didn’t like about how they did things, and said he learned some things from Schiano.

Lynch said “that’s what makes Belichick great, he’s not above anyone, he’s willing to listen to a college coach about what they do well and don’t do well.”

But yes, he’s an ungrateful, heartless SOB, not to mention he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else and has all the answers.

  • Trip McNeely

    Basketball season cannot get here soon enough for me. Hopefully then Jackie Mac will stop gracing us with her football thoughts.

    • brickseller

      Jackie can rip Bill for next to nothing and pander to what SI characterized as “deadbeat dad” Larry Bird. Sure gives you some insight into the relative integrity of sports writers doesn’t it?

  • bsmfan

    HOW DARE THE PATRIOTS NOT FIRE BILL BELICHICK AFTER AN ABYSMAL 3-0 START. WHAT’S WRONG WITH BOB KRAFT? FANS SHOULD PROTEST AND STOP WATCHING, BUYING PATRIOTS GEAR AND GOING TO GAMES.

    If you watch CFB, this weekend was an absolute joke. Out of something like 46 games, there were two upsets. What does this matter? In the NFL, there is no BCS nor “BCS Chaos”. You don’t spend 5 of your 13 games scheduling FCS doormats so you can pay them $500k to show up and dumptruck them 76-0 or something absurd. In CFB, if you “barely” win (see Michigan almost losing to UConn and Arkon) you can drop in the polls. There is nothing like this in the NFL, which is all that matters.

    In the NFL, none of this exists. A win is a win. No style points. Maybe it’s just old age but when you win the games you win, that means you’re doing well. It doesn’t matter if you win 13-10 or 23-3.

    I feel like I’m restating the obvious for good fans here but man do some of the media make even bigger clowns of themselves than they already are. You can pick apart good/bad in a win/loss but the people ‘complaining’ about the schedule should just shut-up. The Patriots didn’t pick to ‘play’ Savannah State–I mean the Bucs–and pay them to come. They did their job and won.

    Best pointing out the Aldon Smith stuff. If it was BB, man would the media be out burning him on the decision to play. There were quite a few national guys who burned Harbaugh on the decision but nothing like the response if someone like BB had done it.

    • latetodinner

      Three thoughts for you bsmfan…

      1) No one in NE watched College football…no one ever does. :-)

      2) Your point on Aldon Smith and the reaction to Harbaugh’s decision is good. However I do not think you are going far enough. If the 49ers did not take the necessary steps to keep Smith from playing the criticism should be on Goodell’s office…they should have stepped in any time before kickoff and told the 49ers that Smith was not eligible to play this week unless he took a blood test confirming he was clean of all drugs. There is no way he would have been able to pass such a test and the problem/embarrassment is gone.

      3) On the Von Miller story…if I were a Fred Smerlis black helicopter disciple I might suggest that the reason nothing more is happening to Miller is because the NFL wants golden child Peyton to win an SB in Denver and one way to help is to get Von Miller back on the field.

      • bsmfan

        1.) I do realize it’s like being a hockey fan down south or NASCAR fan here. Don’t worry about that. However, the reason I mention it is to contrast it as close as possible to the same sport, just at a different level.

        2.) I’m glad they’re getting him help — if it’s legit help. I’d rather see a guy who has a promising future, even if it’s not on my team, clean up his life instead of us reading about how he’s broke and in jail on something stupid in a few years. I do agree with you on sitting him. The 49ers clearly knew he was going to be out but they “milked” one start out of him. Goodell should have phoned York and told him that was a no-no. They won’t take a huge hit (team or NFL) but it continues to enforce the “theory” that drug testing in the NFL is a sham.

        3.) Ha. I think McCann was indicating that there was something going on behind the scenes or that Von Miller isn’t the first time that this has happened.

      • Rick Mc

        The nFL can’t just ask a player to take a drug test.

      • bsmfan

        A follow-up to #3:

        Dan Patrick said this morning, Tuesday, on the DP show, that he’s been told that Von Miller was not the only name of NFL players who paid off this collector. They might not be “of the stature that Von Miller has”, but that he’s sure they’ll eventually come out.

        I’ll post a clip if they post the segment online. Usually, they only have youtube clips available of the guests/interviews and this was right after Michael Irvin was on around 9:45.

        Have ever reason to believe DP here as he was months ahead of everyone with the Biogenesis stuff and doesn’t share this type of information unless he knows its legit.

  • HomerGreenz

    How about a special “4th down” to the nitwit that created this phony story:

    Brady denies contact with Lloyd and Branch http://es.pn/16usCB6

    • brickseller

      Shag, but he didn’t create, he just copied.

  • bsmfan

    If you are not a fan of Peyton Manning or the Broncos, I suggest you avoid ESPN most of the week.

  • brian

    This is embarrassing even for Jack Edwards standards:

    Pretty even fight yet Edwards going way over the top with the homerism.

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