Must. Pound. Storylines.
For the on-air side of sports media this week is less about football than it is about their precious storylines. Legacies. Past failings. Worries. Concerns.
Then you have clowns like WHDH’s Dan Hausle, who only appears in Foxborough when there is something “big” happening. He showed up when Tebow was signed. He showed up when Bill Belichick addressed the Aaron Hernandez case. He showed up this week to ask the tough questions to Tom Brady about a poll which said he was the least liked QB in the NFL. He asked Belichick and Brady today about playing a game in Denver for the first time in which marijuana is legal for recreational use.
Belichick brushes him off, but you have to admire Tom Brady’s ability to take any question and answer it good-naturedly and with a smile.
Hey….Peyton as Wilt Chamberlain and Brady and Bill Russell? That’s why you’re the bravest columnist going, Dan Shaughessy! By the way, nice way to cover yourself. You’ve already said the Patriots will lose on Sunday. With this column today, if the Patriots manage to win, you can blame it on Manning! Genius!
And that you stole that premise from Felger and Mazz’s first hour yesterday? Brave! Original!
Heard the 98.5 morning zookeepers touting the storyline that whomever wins on Sunday is just going to be blasted by the NFC winner in the Super Bowl. Wasn’t that the line of thinking last season too?
As my friend Scott put it:
Its like there’s a centralized entity that writes the shallowest possible narratives on Sunday night and then sells them to all the radio stations, newspapers and internet sites on Monday before 6 am. Then the on-air geniuses keep repeating them over and over again until a fresh batch arrives the next week.
A few articles from today:
Aqib Talib has resurrected his career with the Patriots – Shalise Manza Young has a look a how the cornerback has fit in and become a mainstay of the Patriots secondary.
Julian Edelman is the Patriots’ Mr. Persistence – Kevin Paul Dupont has a nice feature on the Patriots breakout star.
A chemistry forged by triumph, failure – Jackie MacMullan has her second good column of the week, this time looking at the partnership of Brady and Belichick and their determination to reach the top once more.
Dante Scarnecchia, the Patriots’ Forgotten Man – Robert Mays on Grantland has a look at the offensive line for life coach.
Broncos huge test for Pats pass coverage – Matt Chatham says it isn’t about who take who, but how everyone is accounted for after the snap.
Patriots radio voice Bob Socci ready for biggest call of his career – Bill Doyle talks to Socci about his first season, the AFC title game, and working with Scott Zolak.
CBS foresees giant Patriots-Broncos matchup – Chad Finn has the CBS voices talking about the matchup.
Among the features on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown this weekend:
- Brady-Manning, The Beginning: Vignettes with memories from parents and close family members of young Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, as well as insights on how they each fell in love with football.
- Best of SNL: Best moments from Brady and Manning’s appearances as Saturday Night Live hosts.
- Brady-Manning’s Center: Dan Koppen (currently on injured reserve) was Brady’s center for nine seasons and Manning’s last year. He discusses the quarterbacks’ similarities and differences.
- Pick 6s: Ty Law, the only player in NFL history to get a ‘pick 6’ against both Brady and Manning, relives each of his interceptions against the quarterbacks and tells the story of how they both cornered him afterwards and inquired how he was able to read their plays.
- Omaha! Omaha!: Manning’s pre-snap audible calls – “Omaha! Omaha!” – last Sunday made Nebraska’s largest city a trending topic on Twitter during the game. The city’s tourism board entered the fray with a tweet thanking the Denver quarterback. Countdown essayist Rick Reilly visits Omaha to explore how Manning and the Broncos are helping to boost the city’s profile.
- Blue-Collar Rob Ninkovich: ESPN.com’s Greg Garber reports on where Patriots defensive captain Rob Ninkovich acquired the blue-collar style that reminds many of past Patriot linebackers.
- “We’re Going to the Super Bowl”: One of the most exciting moments in a football player’s career is when he finally realizes he is going to the Super Bowl. From the Cowboys in the 1990s, through Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s Patriots, to Ray Lewis and the Ravens last year, DJ Porter spins the emotional audio and celebrations from the last 20 championship game winners.
One Celtics article – Kobe Bryant longs for rivalry – Steve Bulpett has the injured Lakers star wistfully recalling the battles with the KG/Piece Celtics and wishing they had gotten one more chance to play for a title.