The Boston Sports Media You Probably Aren’t Reading, But Should Be

Changing things up a bit here, I’m going to list out some folks out there who do a great job (they really do) but aren’t necessarily at the big outlets, or the top billed at their place of employment.

Nick Underhill, MassLive.com @Nick_Underhill

Underhill covers the Patriots, and does it very well. He delivers extensive analysis each week, such as this week’s film study and report card which is clearly not written just “off the cuff.” He’s rewatched the game several times with keen observations and takeaways.

Jay King, MassLive.com @ByJayKing

We’re sticking with MassLive here to mention King, who covers the Celtics. Again, King is prolific in his coverage, and looks at both advanced statistics as well as traditional means of analysis in his writing and tweeting.

Christopher Smith, Lawrence Eagle-Tribune @SmittyOnMLB

Smith has been covering the Red Sox for a few seasons now over in the valley, and he’s been consistently good. His Sunday baseball column this week On Pro Baseball looked at Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan as a possible solution for the Red Sox at the position.

Erik Frenz, Boston.com @ErikFrenz

He writes the Going Deep blog for Boston.com, which is mostly about the Patriots, but he also provides updates from across the entire AFC East. He brings good film and play analysis and agenda-free coverage of the team. It’s worth checking regularly.

Mick Colageo, SouthCoastToday.com @MickColageo

Colageo is a veteran writer whom I’ve linked to many times in the past. Though he’s covered the Bruins for over 20 years,  his work these days is often locked behind the paywall at the New Bedford Standard Times, but he also provides Rink Rap blog at SouthCoastToday.com, which is definitely worth checking out. (Mike Loftus @MLoftus_Ledger at the Patriot Ledger is another veteran Bruins writer worth paying attention to, if you can navigate the myriad of pop-ups and pop-unders at the paper’s website.)

Dave D’Onofrio, Boston.com @davedonofrio

D’Onofrio covers the Red Sox for the NH Union Leader, but also writes the Red Sox Extra Innings blog at Boston.com, as well as the Off the Field blog. Busy guy. His stuff is good though, and worth checking out. While you’re on Boston.com, the On Deck blog by Craig Forde, (@OnDeckBDC ) which  looks at Red Sox prospects and minor league baseball throughout New England, is also very well done.

Who are some other lesser-known media types that should get more attention than they do?

America Disappointed As Patriots Stun Broncos

Well, if America was truly pulling for the Denver Broncos last night, then the Patriots played the role of spoiler, erasing a 24-0 halftime deficit and beating Peyton Manning and the Broncos 34-31 in overtime in Gillette Stadium.

If you left the game, or tuned out…I can’t really say I blame you all that much. I was almost to that point. The start of that game last night reminded one of the 2010 playoff game against Baltimore, where New England couldn’t get out of its own way, handing the ball and scores to the opponent in bunches.

It seems like halftime was the worst possible thing that could’ve happened to the Broncos, who then gave up 31 straight points before sending the game to OT with a Manning TD pass in the fourth.

Wes Welker’s return to Foxborough probably was not as triumphant as he would’ve liked, as the former Patriot dropped a couple of passes, and contributed to the muffed punt which led to the winning field goal for New England.

He was certainly a focus before and after the game, with ESPN and NBC conducting interviews with him.

For ESPN, Welker was interview by Tedy Bruschi, and this quote was interesting:

On a difference he noticed going from the Patriots to the Broncos …
Welker: “It’s just different as far as the media in general. You have 15 reporters trying to get you to slip up just a little bit, where in Denver it’s a little bit of a different feel.”

They routinely get ripped for it, but isn’t it interesting that almost every player who leaves here has something to say about the media?

Also on ESPN was the segment with ex-Patriots talking about the “Patriot Way” (as defined by ESPN) which is getting rid of star players in favor of lesser-known (and less expensive) players. Ty Law and Drew Bledsoe were among those interviewed. Here are some notes:

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Notes and Quotes: Week 12

On NBC, Bob Costas had the interview with Welker, and Scott Pioli and Tony Dungy had some interesting things to say about the relationship between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, which has led to them sharing thoughts and advice over the years.

Notes & Quotes From “Football Night In America” – Week 12

Locally, a highlights from the postgame were Rosevelt Colvin on Fifth Quarter, asking Belichick during his press conference “Who was your favorite all-time linebacker from the city of Indianapolis, Indiana?” Which actually made Belichick smile, and he went bounding up the aisle to greet Colvin once he finished with his press conference.

Then of course, there was Ron Borges, breaking out the appropriate headwear for his night:

Tom E Curran ruined a few storylines: Welker-less Patriots have a Jules in the slot

And from NBC:

Last night’s NBC Sunday Night Football thriller featuring Tom Brady leading the New England Patriots to a team-record setting 34-31 overtime win against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in “Manning-Brady XIV” – the 14th meeting between the future Hall of Fame quarterbacks – posted a 17.0 overnight rating and 28 share (8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET) marking the best primetime overnight for a November game in 17 years and a 26% increase over last season’s Week 12 SNF game (13.5 for Green Bay-New York Giants).

The Patriots’ epic comeback victory – they trailed 24-0 at halftime – kept viewers tuned in late, as the SNF overnight rating peaked from 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET at 17.9/34 (full half-hour rating chart below).  In addition, SNF more than doubled the overnight rating of primetime’s second-ranked entertainment show for the night – the American Music Awards (8.2/12 on ABC)

Catch all the stories you haven’t gotten to yet at PatriotsLinks.com.

Brady-Manning 14 In The Spotlight This Weekend

The fourteenth meeting between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will take place on Sunday night as the Patriots the Broncos on NBC.

It’s been another few days of “Who’s better?”  Which frankly, is pretty tired. They’re both all-time greats. The arguments reach absurd levels.

Hey, did you know that Peyton Manning has never lost a Super Bowl to Tom Brady’s kid brother? Fact, not opinion, caller.

The other argument this week is the return of Wes Welker. If you punished yourself and watched the Globe 10.0 with Joe Sullivan and Ben Volin, you’d learn that the Patriots would definitely, definitely be a much better team with Welker. But they might not have a better record. Wait, what?

Also that Welker will “fake his way through that concussion test” in order to play on Sunday, like that’s an admirable thing to do. If it were the Patriots doing this, Sully and pals would be up in arms over the evil Belichick forcing his players back on the field despite all the evidence about concussions and CTE.

Speaking of incredibly biased viewpoints, did you know Red Sox fans were perfectly justified in booing Johnny Damon when he came back to Fenway, but if you boo Wes Welker on Sunday, you are the worst kind of person. If you disagree with that sentiment then you are part of the Internet mafia [that] will come after you with claws better suited for digging their dignity in the sand, and will go on to no end to defend their religion.

OK then. I picture that being typed with growing hysteria and screaming paranoia with every word.

Al Michaels relishes latest Patriots-Broncos tilt – Chad Finn has the NBC play-by-play man talking about the rivalry between the two all time great QB’s. He also looks at a gaffe from Peter Gammons and Dan Dierdorf retiring.

Pundits pick Peyton Manning over Tom Brady as must-have quarterback – Bill Doyle has the NBC experts saying they would take Manning in a must-win game.

“Manning – Brady XIV” On NBC’S “Sunday Night Football” – Here is NBC’s release on the game, including video of the panel discussing Brady/Manning.

ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown will feature this must-miss segment:

·         The Patriot Way or The Highway: Wes Welker is a symbol of what has become known in NFL circles as “The Patriot Way” – replacing productive Patriots with lesser known players. As Welker returns to Gillette Stadium for visiting Denver on Sunday, ESPN.com’s Greg Garber sits with former Patriots – including Drew Bledsoe, Lawyer Milloy, Adam Vinatieri, Willie McGinest, Richard Seymour, Ty Law and Damien Woody – to discuss whether “The Patriot Way” has helped or hindered the team.

They will also have a Wes Welker interview with Tedy Bruschi.

Get all the coverage this weekend at PatriotsLinks.com.

As you’re probably aware, today is a significant anniversary for a historic event.

The butt fumble took place a year ago today.

Elsewhere:

Pats must have dead red focus – Matt Chatham outlines why New England must be tough in the Red Zone Sunday night.

Can the New England Patriots’ secondary slow Peyton Manning’s weapons? – Nick Underhill with a nice look at what the Patriots need to accomplish.

The Bruins lost in the shootout last night to the very tough St. Louis Blues.  Get all the coverage at BruinsLinks.com.

Brad Stevens’ story isn’t storybook – Jackie MacMullan looks at the setbacks the Celtics coach endured on his way to becoming who he is today.

Avery Bradley’s offensive evolution – Jay King with a very good look at the still-developing guard.