This week has been a lovefest for the Baltimore Ravens, both from the Patriots themselves, and from the local media.
It’s understandable, the Ravens have become a thorn in the side of New England pretty much since John Harbaugh took over. Do you realize that the 2010 Wild Card playoff game was the first time that the Ravens had ever beaten the Patriots? Since then, every single game has been a battle, with the possible exception of last year’s AFC title game, which the Ravens were running away with at the end.
The Patriots speak in reverential tones about the Ravens, even Bill Belichick today was waxing poetic about his relationship with Harbaugh and about his respect for and relationship with Ozzie Newsome.
There is a lot of respect there, and there should be. This is going to be a very difficult game to win, and will pretty much tell us if this Patriots team can still harbor hopes of a Super Bowl run, or is more of a one-and-done playoff team.
There is another possibility, one that the WEEI morning show, along with he-who-shall-not-be-named were drooling about, that the Patriots lose and are fighting for their playoff lives the following week against Buffalo. Wait, in order for that to happen, wouldn’t they been rooting for the Patriots to lose on Sunday? I thought your columnist was there to write, not to root?
Catch up on all the coverage today and this weekend on PatriotsLinks.com.
I did get a bit of a laugh yesterday from the Felger and Mazz show when Felger was launching into his YOU bit. “Joe Flacco plays great against YOU, the Ravens defense knows how to stop YOU, etc etc.”
Marc Bertrand (and even Mazz) called him on it, and he confessed that he doesn’t always realize he’s doing it, but that he does know that it makes him even more annoying, it’s a way to “twist the knife” on fans a bit more. He admitted to using YOU only on the negatives. When there is a positive, he just says “the Patriots.”
I laughed because it was a rare admission that it is all an act, and he actually did it good-naturedly. That’s the thing about Felger. I just can’t dislike him, no matter how much trolling and faux storylines he creates. He has moments where he actually breaks character, and its amusing when he does. Massarotti on the other hand, I have no use for. He has no redeeming qualities, and exists simply to shout agreements to Felger and to worry about how the sky is going to fall this time.
Chad Finn’s media column today – Formula ranks the NFL broadcast teams from bad to not-so-bad – looks at a study from SportsOnEarth of the national NFL broadcast teams.
He also has a few notes, and this morning he noted on Twitter:
I'd expect changes at WEEI in the new year. But I'd be shocked if cleaning house and going ESPN is one. And D&C are getting a new deal.
I don’t know what changes are afoot, but we can all guess. The bit about D&C (and Minihane) getting a new deal is interesting. They’ve definitely made a nice comeback in the ratings area, and I know I listen to them a whole lot more than I do to Toucher and Rich. The latter are nicer human beings, but come up lacking in what I’m looking for in a morning sports show. I definitely do my share of flipping back and forth, if there is a worthy guest on Toucher and Rich (Mike Gorman, Danny Ainge, Rosevelt Colvin, etc) I’ll listen in, but the discussions among themselves about sports are low quality.
If you see a Patriots Football Weekly on the newsstands near you, pick it up! My monthly media column is in there, and it is a three-parter. A look at the broadcast crews who have called the Patriots games this season, including Don Criqui making some history, a look at why this week’s game with the Ravens was flexed out of Sunday Night Football (Hint – it wasn’t because Eagles-Bears was a better game.) and debunking some conventional wisdom about the impact of playing in the AFC East for the Patriots.
One final link: How To Become The Next Great Sports Talker – Jason Wolfe gives his tips on how you can become the next Glenn Ordway.
Wolfe says he’s now considering becoming an agent for radio hosts.