BREAKING: Patriots Forfeit 2014 Season

After not signing anyone in the first day of NFL free agency and losing Aqib Talib to the rival Denver Broncos (who beat YOU in the AFCCG) the Patriots officially surrendered the 2014 season.

There is no hope. They’re done. Season over. Thanks for coming.

Hopefully that frees up your Sundays this fall. Plenty of time for raking leaves and shopping. Have fun with that.

Honestly. That contract that Talib got is mind-blowing. I loved having the guy here, injuries and all. But if the Patriots had given him that contract, they would be getting criticized even more than they are now.

It will be interesting to see the guys who have had “concerns” about Talib all along, and what they say now.

Check out all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Amongst all the hyperbole and the bellyaching yesterday, it was tough to hear Mike Felger again insinuate that the reporting of Mike Reiss was slanted.

Felger wanted to know where Reiss got his “independent numbers” for yesterday’s column. He somewhat snarkily asked if Reiss had hired Deloitte and Touche to examine the books for him. He then suggested that despite the claims that the numbers did not come from Patriots ownership that in fact they did, and that the entire premise of the article was the Krafts using Reiss and attempting to put the blame on Bill Belichick for the Patriots free agent failures. He even suggested that the choice of photo used with the column (Kraft looking disapprovingly at Belichick) was also chosen for Reiss.

On the lines of the tinfoil hat theories, anyone catch Mike Florio writing this:

Third, perhaps the decision of New England coach Bill Belichick to publicly cry foul about Welker’s hit on Talib was aimed at souring Talib on the possibility of signing with the Broncos.

Whew.

Enjoy the afternoon. It can only get worse, right?

  • bsmfan

    Bruce, didn’t you hear that there’s a new GM in Foxboro? http://i.imgur.com/MsN3l29.jpg

    (Taken via a reddit post.)

  • Trip McNeely

    F Felger. Remember when McAdams called him “Mr. Baseball” and he got all pissy over it. Who the hell is he to question another journalist. Why because Reiss is 5’ 2 Felger feels like he can be a big man. What a joke. Boston is in the middle of arguable the greatest sports run any American city has ever had, and all this guy wants to tell you is how everything sucks. If this town had more reporters like Mike Reiss, Nick Underhill and Tom E. Curran we’d all be better off.

    On a side note I am silently praying for Revis and Allen. The Pats need a shutdown corner for BB to maximize his schemes. It’s why the defense was so improved over the first few weeks of the season, before everyone got hurt. And adding an elite pass rusher who has made a lot of money and could be looking for a ring would be all the better. I have also heard the market for Justin Tuck is very small and that has ”given him motivation to prove people wrong.” Maybe he takes a 1 year prove it deal with Pats? A guy can dream.

  • http://www.omega-level.net Caffeine Powered

    The season ain’t over, but it’s still a bummer. Which is why I won’t go anywhere near F&M today. Instead of a place of discussion or commiseration, Felger will use it to twist the knife AND make every Patriots fan feel somehow responsible.

    I can already hear it.

    “YOU got your guy, and then YOU let him go as YOUR window is closing.”

  • http://www.omega-level.net Caffeine Powered

    FWIW, Salk just announced he’s leaving effective today.

  • Brian Shea

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years from listening to Felger & Mazz, its that when it comes to the Patriots, its championship or bust. If they fail to win the championship, no matter how far they get or how close the game that they are eliminated in is, the season was a failure, they wasted a year of Brady and they were not going for it.

    So tell me, how many Super Bowls has this incarnation of the Denver Broncos won? That they beat the Patriots in the playoffs this year should be 100% irrelevant, correct? They didn’t win the championship. Their season was a failure. And unless they win the championship this next year, all this signing of big time free agents by them is also a failure, right?

    You gotta be consistent, Felger. You want Patriots fans to bash the Patriots if they sign Revis because it isn’t the “Patriots Way”. So how will you be when the shoe’s on the other foot?

  • JonB

    *BREAKING*

    Mike Salk just announced that today was his last show on WEEI. Leaving for an unnamed “opportunity”. No mention of a replacement or what this means for Holley – got the impression he didn’t have much advanced notice, if any, that this was coming. Salk thanked most of on-air staff, excluding D&C and Minihane, whom he took a veiled shot at (without mentioning them by name) by saying they’d try and claim “victory” by saying they helped get him fired. Insists he is leaving on his own terms and was not fired (like everyone else Entercom has let go over the past 2 years).

    Definitely a victory for listeners, could not stand Salk and said here that it was a poor hire bound to backfire from the start. Now if the Pats sign Revis, my day will really be made.

    • bsmfan

      I think the writing was on the wall over the past few days with the ‘fillins’.

      The biggest surprise? Finn or someone else didn’t have the scoop? I’d love to know the story here.

      • JonB

        From what you hear, Jeff Brown was Finn’s top source for all of those juicy WEEI rumors. Don’t think it’s a coincidence that his inside scoops concerning WEEI have dried up since Brown got canned last year.

        Would love to see a Dale & Holley reunion happen, maybe with a rotating third host. Probably won’t happen (Dale wouldn’t let Entercom screw him again, would he?), but Dale, Holley, and Andy Hart were great together yesterday – huge improvement over the alternative on 98.5.

        • bsmfan

          Interesting. Yeah, it seems they have gone dry, no? Why did Brown talk to Finn about things, even though much wasn’t exactly positive for the station?

          Knowing how bad today was going to be, I tried the alternative. When I heard Salk, I clicked and wound up having to turn it off when F+M got into the fight with the caller who called them out on their BS.
          Looks like more options now. I wasn’t able to catch a ton but the Curran/Minihane pairing was also great.

          I forgot how descent D+H are together. The chemistry is clear. I’m more in LTD’s camp about Holley but think they do work. And, honestly, with what a F+M have morphed into, anything is better.

        • latetodinner

          Holley = death on the stick. He is the Jim Helwig of Sportsradio.

        • http://www.omega-level.net Caffeine Powered

          I’ve been a fan of Tom Curran for a while now. He doesn’t mind peeing in the wind, and taking on the bigger d-bags (Felger) in the open. My only concern is that giving him an afternoon drive gig would inevitably warp him into a caricature (okay a negative, I suppose all media heads are caricatures) on par with F&M.

        • bsmfan

          The big difference, with anyone, is that going from doing, say, a weekly slot or even a few, to a full 4 hours day means you wind up exhausting opinions on anything.

          I recall this came from Cowherd (odd, I know) but he said it best: 3-4 hours a day is something like doing 9 op-eds every hour.

          You wind up out of material. Some people don’t handle this well and can’t wind up integrating callers either. Would Curran or anyone else work if you’ve never heard them in this situation for a week? I don’t know. I can’t even say, for sure, if I know Curran would work in this.

          We talked about this with Mike Reiss. Almost all of us here like him. He does periodic fill-in duty, usually around the big breaks, and he’s fine. However, with his tone and approach that works great for his reporting, myself and others agreed that it would probably not work for this market. No problem here. I enjoy reading him and hearing him on segments or the fill-in duty.

          What works for Curran, though, is an obviously strong NFL/football background. He’s not prone to the ‘lets go stupid with #hotsportztakez’ stuff. Could he also carry a show where you do have to address the other 3 sports in town and do it daily? Also, would he want to? And, does his contract with CSNNE allow him this?

        • http://www.omega-level.net Caffeine Powered

          These are a lot of great questions, and good points.

        • latetodinner

          Curran would be awesome. He is smart, quick, opinionated all while irreverent. The issue is would he give up the beat for a more general job. Don’t know. What I do know is he would bring a very different voice to the airwaves and I would listen.

        • Andy Dursin

          I like Curran a lot though he can be so goofy that I don’t know how that would wear on the air 5 days a week. I’ve long thought that would be the problem with him taking a daily radio gig.

      • JonB
      • bosox3054

        Everybody around these parts was sick of Big Show and EEI’s arrogance when Felger came on 98.5. Thrilled for an alternative etc etc. Now the crowd is saying the same stuff about F&M. Maybe we’re just a fickle audience.

        • Moon

          Nah, I don’t think we’re fickle. There was a lot of promise with F&M started, but instead they are doing the exact same thing….arrogant,cliquey, politics,treating callers poorly, celebrity callers etc. WEEI had nothing to counter it so it so they took it as a sign of things people wanted (Didn’t EEI do that as well when they didn’t have competition?). Think of this, how many people know exactly what the Felger spin will be as soon as it happen? I don’t need to listen because I know he’ll say. F&M will suffer a similar fate it they’re not careful.

        • bsmfan

          There was a thread on SoSH about the same question. Did we (us here) change or did they?

          When something is new, you have that honeymoon nostalgia, most likely overlooking things that probably bother you now. But, when you’re so predictable, things are bad. Instead of giving users a reason to listen as to your opinion, you give them a good reason to not listen.

          To me, that tipping point was the stuff with Welker last year. When they basically trashed Reiss on air, calling him a Kraft PR firm, that was the real moment where I started to take a long, hard look elsewhere. Salk had also just started at WEEI, which offered promise but seemed to be DOA. Within 2 weeks, here and elsewhere, it was clear he was not going to work.

          Their approach: anti-national media, ignore the ESPN hype/BS, don’t trust what you read. Is different and works (look at the numbers), the problem is that this then leads to “lets just mock everyone who doesn’t fit our agenda”. Their approach also showed us that you lose by just being a local PR firm (WEEI handling the Sox in 2011) but much of us are complaining about the exact opposite where they just discredit anyone who ‘disagrees’ and if they put out a pro-team message, they’re “toadie media”. I think both are equally as destructive.

          (To top this off, earlier this year Felger finally–reluctantly–admitted that he was wrong on this, but never really accepted it. He still refers to the deal as “the Patriots screwed it up.”)

          You don’t have to buy everything coming out of Foxboro. Many shows and analysts offer dissenting opinions here. We tend to be smart people here who are fine with informed opinions–give people a reason to listen to you, as Ryan Hadfield said on Twitter upon Salk’s departure.

          But, if your entire approach is now to meet some agenda because you have a beef with people being pro-team, how does that last with people? It’s one thing if all they’re doing is lying. Moreover, much of this agenda Felger roots in his famous “cap is crap” premise, that has been debunked how many times? And, it’s so bad that local and national analysts have to address it. The worst thing is that every single year (Steelers, Cowboys, Saints, among those this year), you see teams who, due to cap reasons, have to release big-name players. They ignore this because it would discredit the “cap is crap”.

          When the show started, Mazz/Beetle were also ‘voices of reason’ that used to balance out some of this early stuff from Felger. As time went on, that changed. Bruce has used the title for entries “You’re absolutely right, Mike!” for a reason. Even Beetle has changed a bit where instead of offering reason when Felger went off on something, he’s now become an echo chamber.

          As I’ve said before, if you’re not strong on football, you’re also dead. Even if your team sucks, NFL is a 24/7/365 thing. So, if you basically reject the concept/premise of the cap for personal agenda, how the hell can you talk about the sport and be taken seriously? On a smaller note, they clearly disdain CFB. I don’t think this matters enough in this market yet, but it could be something that becomes more important with hosts in the future.

          If the Celtics were to be good again, they have not only zero interest but a disdain for NBA. Will that come to haunt them like how WEEI treated hockey? I don’t know. I don’t think the Celtics/NBA will ever eclipse hockey/Bruins here. I’m not the biggest NBA fan here, so I can’t address it properly, other than knowing that there is a number of fans, and the sport will become popular once the Celtics are good again.

          I’m sure others here have different issues but these are the glaring ones. They, currently, have enjoyed no legitimate competition for a year. Times are real good. In the past 2 books, haven’t they posted the largest shares ever? I wonder what the history is here vs. 2-6 on WEEI. Glenn’s show starts Monday, so we’ll see how that goes. WEEI also has, again, another big decision.

        • latetodinner

          Nice Post BSM and I agree with almost everything except….CFB will never, ever be relevant in Boston. We will be talking Revs soccer before we talk CFB. The largest CFB stadium in NE is 25,000 seats. I keep telling you no one in NE cares about college sports. Not at the school level, not at the sports level and certainly not in the public eye. They are big in places out west and down south because those places can’t support pro teams and those people need some place to drink on the weekends. But listen to the talk radio around it…it is vapid, difficult and worst of all dissecting and critical of 18 year old kids. It feels dirty. It is never going to take hold on Boston or for that matter New York Radio.

    • Andy Dursin

      Jermaine Wiggins says Revis is at Logan…can only hope he’s as right about that as he has been about everything else.

      As for Salk, good riddance. Tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but he was just awful.

  • Andy Dursin

    Holley cans another one! Though, Salk DID suck…awful.

    • JonB

      Think it’d be a huge mistake for WEEI to move Minihane from the morning show. It’s the one time slot where they’re having moderate success, largely thanks to Minihane. Take him away and a ratings drop is almost guaranteed.

      Didn’t think Minihane/Holley were all that good when he filled in in the past. If they don’t pair Holley back with Dale, think Entercom needs to seriously consider moving on. Just too big of a risk to bet that Holley and the next guy will work out based on his past history.

      • Andy Dursin

        I agree, I wasn’t advocating that per se because Minihane has energized D&C. Still I heard Holley mention it.

        I would try to bring Dale & Holley back if I were EEI also…best show they’ve had on the station in recent times.

    • JonB

      Think a Dale/Holley reunion is the safest bet WEEI can make in the afternoon right now. They have a well-established working relationship with a track record of success in the ratings (at least in the midday slot) and an audience that’s already familar with them. Wouldn’t have to worry about on-air chemistry, which was the biggest issue when Holley & Ordway were paired up, or a cohost whose local sports knowledge was questionable and ability to relate to this market was nonexistant, as was the case with Salk.

      I don’t see Dale & Holley overtaking Felger & Mazz in the ratings, but think they could make a significant dent similar to what D&C have done to T&R with the addition of Minihane. Guess it depends if that’s enough to satisfy Entercom managment in the immediate term, or if they’re looking for yet another a total overrhaul in the afternoons. Based on management’s track record, I wouldn’t put too much hope in the next hire being a smash hit with listeners.

      If a reunion was to happen, think Dale woill need some serious convincing, whether that’s through big time money or contract guarantees, after Entercom put him out to pasture even though he was hosting their top ranked show (still don’t understand that move). Dale already has a pretty cushy gig at NESN and doubt he’s eager to scale back his commitments there to take on a greater role at WEEI, where there’s less job security than working for the Cleveland Browns.

      • latetodinner

        This is not that complicated. Although Salk sucked he is not the problem in the afternoon. Holley who has killed everything he has ever been a part of is the problem. He brings no insight to the conversation, he brings no humor, no intelligence, no interesting schtick, no insider knowledge…nothing. If I was more cynical than I am I would suggest that he harmlessly fills a quota that needed filling when Jimmy Myers was dumped years ago.

        Holley needs to go because it does not matter who the pair him with he is unlistenable. It is a testament to how good Dale is that he carried both Eddie Andelman and Mike Holley to time slot winning shows for years. Yet he was the one who was unceremoniously fired? I would love for Dale to have a regular show again. I think he is best suited for midday where he can explore topics in more of a long form discussion. I am sure he would be fine on drive but he would not be great.

        Afternoons at WEEI need a counter to Felger and Mazz. In my mind it means they need to pair a football guy with a baseball guy and both need to be strong. I long thought a Curran/McAdam pairing would be great but McAdam had a falling out with WEEI and I am not sure it is fixable. Another option would be Rob Bradford and Tom Curran. Or maybe Bradford and Christian Fauria. The trick to that show succeeding would be quality of guests (limiting callers) while bringing an alternative to the sky is falling straw man radio prevalent on F&M.

        The last option is to syndicate the new Big Show Unleashed that Ordway is going on the Web. I speculated before that going that route would be cheaper than developing its own local programming, would still have a local show in the slot, it would allow Ordway to get paid based on advertising performance and not a contract guarantee and most importantly it would buy WEEI and Entercomm time to develop something else should they want another option a year from now.

  • Brian Shea

    Revis signs with the Pats. Amazing. Never in a million years thought this would happen.

    This is Felger’s ultimate dream. But I think we all know that he will find some big time negative about this tomorrow afternoon. His “hot sportz take” will probably be the fact that its only a 1 year deal, and that the Pats will let him go after that.

    • the_other_side

      Four angles for F&M tomorrow, one for each hour (they can thank me later)…

      1. Why did it take until NOW for YOU to do this?
      2. This doesn’t mean anything unless YOU upgrade other positions too.
      3. Only one year? YOU will be right back in this position NEXT year.
      4. This just proves that the cap is crap.

    • bsmfan

      No, apparently signing Revis to a one year deal is “not the Patriots way” but all the “media toadies” will call it the Patriots way even though it’s not. He already started this today.

  • Homer Greenz

    Did anyone else catch Phony Tony the Contrarian going full douchebag on Bruins fans today?

    Two weeks after Tony, Mike, Jones, etc. declared that the Bruins could NOT, as constituted after the trade deadline, win the cup finals, Tony decided to bypass “Are they peaking too early” narrative and instead broke the news that not every team the Bruins have beaten during the streak is a good team or even a playoff team. Imagine that! You mean they don’t play Montreal, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis or Los Angeles every night?

    It’s funny (phony) though, Tony was responding to Bertrand simply mentioning the streak. It’s not as if Bertrand declared that the Bruins definitely WOULD win the cup finals.