Wrapping The Week

As we wind down just another week in Boston sports, here are a couple of links and some thoughts:

What went wrong for Mike Salk at WEEI?

Chad Finn examines why the Massachusetts native just never seemed to fit in after coming back home. He also looks at Brent Musburger being replaced on Saturday Night Football (Moved to the SEC broadcasts.) and the curious experiment by the Red Sox to have the PA Announcer call the strike count after every pitch in a game this week.

Tuning In: Could Carmelo Anthony end up with Boston Celtics?

Bill Doyle talks to Celtics voice Sean Grande, who has his own plan for rebuilding the Celtics, which includes luring Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love.

This week’s NFL free agent frenzy has brought out the best and worst of reporting. As usual, Adam Schefter has been out in front of most major developments, and it seems at times that many reporters are just waiting to take their cue from him.

I’ve seen it a few times now, and I’m a little uncomfortable with media members congratulating players on signing new deals, or encouraging them to “go get theirs” on the market. After the number of lectures we get from the media about how they’re objective, and have no rooting interests in what they cover, just the best story, it seems really odd to me to be out there openly celebrating a player getting big money.

Equally disconcerting to me is how many media members are purely pawns of player agents. I understand that in many cases, agents are about the only source of information as the teams (especially the local one) are not usually that forthcoming with information, but sometimes, it’s just painfully obvious where information is coming from and it has to be viewed accordingly. Last night’s spat over the status of free agent cornerback Brandon Browner was a perfect example. After Ian Rapoport came out with the report that Browner had agreed to a two-year deal with the Patriots, the report was denied with such a vengeance that it was very clear where the denial was coming from – an agent who still wanted leverage in negotiations. That was confirmed later when the same verbiage came directly from the agent.

I realize it’s a tough business with everyone trying to get the scoop and being willing to use whatever sources at their disposal to get information, but when it becomes so clear what sources are being used, it can taint your perception of that reporter and have you wondering what the angle is with each subsequent report.

Our favorite sports editor is sick and tired of this Patriots talk.

  • bsmfan

    Sports editor of a newspaper here saying they’re sick of NFL/Patriots talk… isn’t that like TMZ saying they’re sick of Justin Bieber?

    • the_other_side

      Sports editor of a Red Sox-owned paper saying he’s sick of NFL talk…

  • Homer Greenz

    Does anyone else recall hearing Felger, Mazz and Adam Jones repeatedly and at length, over the last month, talk about how the Pats were not going to do anything big in this free agency, and they knew this because of what Bob Kraft told F & M at the Super Bowl? No? Neither do Felger, Mazz and Jones, apparently.

  • latetodinner

    Can we go a step further with Joe Sullivan’s comments. Does the Globe accept advertising money from the Patriots? Do they accept press releases? I ask these questions because the editor of the Sports department evidently thinks covering the Patriots is either a pain in his butt or just beneath him. The owners of the Globe, who happen to own the Red Sox have never really embraced the Patriots as a co equal in town.

    So the question I ask is…why do the Patriots continue to give access, advertising and promotional opportunities to the Globe. Between TV, Radio, the Web and the Herald it seems to me the Patriots could just stop supporting the Globe altogether and it would not effect them at all.

    At times I think the people at the Patriots PR office should remind the Globe that they need the Pats far more than the Pats need the Globe. That may not have been true 30 years ago but it is today. Newsprint is a dying medium and there are enough alternatives that an organization like the Patriots should not need to deal with an outlet as arrogant and as condescending as the Globe has become.

    On the flip side…if the Globe hates the Patriots like it appears their scribes, editors and owners do then I suggest they stop covering them altogether. Then we can see how fast they go out of business.

    • bsmfan

      Lets see how any media entity, no matter if they’re in a growing or dying industry, lasts without NFL. We all suspected this shift with the Henry-ownership, right?

      They’re so mad at how popular the NFL and Patriots are while their own sport is dying. Shows some great vision there. I wish we could see numbers from each section/story because you have to think it reflects similar popularity per sport.

      But, doesn’t this have the fingerprints of Larry or one of his underlings? I’d love for them to proceed in their obvious intent and really just stop covering the Patriots, outside of those monthly hit-jobs they send an intern to write. We also expect that the coverage for the Sox/Bruins will be obviously peachy. Celtics, who knows.

      If ever blocked, I suspect they’d have a great case with the NFLWA or whatever group represents the media side. You can’t just block out a ‘legit’ (laughs) entity. As much as they seem to act unlike one, they’re still an obvious entity.

      • latetodinner

        The Globe has hated the Patriots much longer than current ownership has been in place. All they do is exacerbate the situation. I do not read the Globe unless Bruce specifically tells me to and even then I click with trepidation. Your comments about FSG being mad at the popularity of the NFL appears to be spot on…but to be honest I am not convinced that ownership group even loves baseball…I think they just like running a sports franchise and being in the business.

        • bsmfan

          Same on the Globe. I read some Volin/Finn columns and stuff Bruce links or I find elsewhere.

          And agree on your FSG/Sox ownership column.

          I honestly wonder what some of the bigger team ownership groups think. It’s not like MLB is going bankrupt in the next 20 years. They have 9+ at current deals but then numbers are very telling. The owners of MLB clubs, most billionaires or right there, didn’t get that way by selling something at the wrong time.

          Henry can dump the team and be done with it. No problem there. To me, I think his big thing is more the FSG marketing and Liverpool. The only reason the Sox are still around is because NESN prints money, as do team RSNs. Wait until people get sick of 20% of their cable bill, as they 2x in the next 5-10 years, go to sports they don’t watch and they’re forced to break them up. I think that’s why there was a rumor a few months back about NESN being for sale with FoxSports.

          I also think that when he put the feelers out there about getting MA taxpayers to foot the billion-dollar bill on a new Fenway being quickly shot down, it was the nail in the coffin. I don’t think attitudes here will change forever and it would take some serious bypassing of voters (see the Sacramento Kings, Vikings) to get something done.

          So, why not wait a few years and have a softer blowback when you sell? Team is too good to just go bad, a la KC Royals or something, but it’d irk more people to sell right after a championship.

          We touched on the dying aspect to the newspaper industry, with papers finding innovative methods to accelerate their irrelevance. I still wonder why Henry bought it unless it was for the land to combine NESN/paper. Maybe a better tax blow to write off the depreciation? We’ll see there.

        • HighWireNickEsasky

          Who cares if the Sox ownership loves baseball or not? An annually competitive team (aside from 2012), a improved Fenway experience and three WS championships kinda outweighs John Henry’s personal feelings on the sport. You know which owner really loves their sport? Jerry Jones.

        • latetodinner

          I only think it is relevant to the conversation in terms of motivation for buying the Globe and his long term interest in staying owner. I would agree with you that his results both on and off the field mean that his true feelings about owning the team are irrelevant.

  • DryHeave

    So, when free agency rolls around next year think some Patriot fans (and media) will remember to be patient?……ya, I doubt it too. Hysterical fools.

    • latetodinner

      It was media driven hysteria…most fans have “In Bill We Trust” attitudes.

      • DryHeave

        yeah,I agree…just that the fans who complain make the most noise….what sports radio callers I did hear this week all started off saying, “I don’t understand this team!…WHAT ARE THEY DOING!!!???”…….smh

        • bsmfan

          I was watching some of the Patriots dynasty week on NFLN and left it on when they took a break at 7pm to show their “Total Access” show (their version of SportsCenter). I assume it was taped because 95% of the content was more of a recap from the week in free agency. They did a clip about Revis, mixing together calls from WEEI and ESPNNY, contrasting what happened between Tuesday and Wednesday on WEEI. Amazing contrast.

          Just that Tuesday alone, after the Talib news, you could probably sift through 18 hours on each station and find some things people would like a mulligan about.

      • bsmfan

        “In Bill We Trust” <- PATRIOTS TOADIE FAN RIGHT HERE — Felger

  • GStill45

    I’m surprised Sullivan gives a crap about the NCAA tourney with BC being so bad this year. UMASS is in, but that’s news to him.

  • bsmfan

    If you were not watching TWD or one of the other Sunday @ 9PM staples, Requiem for the Big East was the 30for30 ESPN debuted last night. It was great. Shout out to Mike Gorman, who had a big role in it, being his usual “pro” self, as I forgot how integral he was in the whole “Big East” when it was at its hayday. I think ESPN will air it a few more times if its not already up on YouTube. If you are a history buff for it or have any remote interest, it’s worth your time. Outside of this, a lot of it does center around many New England things.

    Official page:
    http://espn.go.com/30for30/film?page=requiemforthebigeast

    Google the title name. There are a ton of reviews up.

    One good one: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1993873-espn-30-for-30-requiem-for-the-big-east-full-preview-and-viewing-info

    • OpinionNotFact

      Watched it last night, and if at any point you would plop yourself in the living room on Saturdays it’s well worth the watch.

  • bsmfan

    Big Show Unfiltered launched today. Only downside is being tethered to a PC to listen.

    In the first hour, they spent a good deal ripping WEEI, F+M:

    http://66.135.32.124/bigshow_mp3/BSU201403171400.mp3

    (Should download or open in a player like VLC)

    • Trip McNeely

      I listened to the first hour or so on my iphone. If you get the free TuneIn Radio app you can listen to your mobile device. And for those who plug their mobile device into their car radio you can then listen in your car.
      Seemed like the old days with Buck in the house for the first show. I have no idea if that’s a good or a bad thing, but hey I listened. And didn’t want to punch my radio so that’s a plus.