Flipity Flip-Flop

(Afternoon Links provided by David Vidinha. Dave can be reached here)

“The Spygate thing has diminished what they’ve accomplished”

“You would hate to have that attached to your accomplishments. They’ve got it.”

“I guess you got the same thing as putting an asterisk by Barry Bonds’ home run record”

That’s how Don Shula felt earlier this week when asked about the New England Patriots. Everyone you can think of stepped up and tried to analyze Shula’s comments. Some believed he was well within his rights to question the Patriots, while others questioned his intentions. Either way, those opinions no longer matter because today Shula said this…

“If they run the table, and they win all the games, then they are doing it within the rules of the National Football League”

“And there shouldn’t be any asterisk to it. That would be the accomplishment that they made. It would be the best in all of sports.”

In speaking on the Mike and the Mike show on ESPN Radio Shula essentially backed off of his comments from earlier in the week, performing a complete 180. This is just another example of a prominent sports figure backing away from comments that they made. Once they realized the incredible amount of scrutiny they were taking for it, they backtracked. Like I said yesterday, the anti-Patriot statements that are flying around are getting old. That being said, Shula is certainly entitled to his opinion, and once he makes his opinion known, he should stick by it.

In a landscape where the media dissects every word that comes out of a player or coach’s mouth, it’s no surprise that the vanilla answer is becoming the norm. You will be hard pressed to find a member of the media who enjoys listening to a monotone Bill Belichick press conference. They are essentially useless, basically a practice of following league mandate. No real information derives from them, and you are not going to get a good “quote” to dissect. Yet, everyone grumbles that Belichick is difficult, but can you blame him?

Speaking your mind has become a lose-lose proposition.

Case in point #2 Donovan McNabb…

These were his comments yesterday during an Eagles press conference….

“It’s easy to blame the quarterback when the team loses, but I’m definitely not the whole reason why we lost these games”

“I can definitely help – yes I can – but I (shouldn’t get the full) blame for everything that goes on around here.”

Nothing that juicy right? Well, not if you ask McNabb who writes in his Yardbarker blog this…

“I was surprised to hear that people were saying that I am not taking blame for us being 3-5.”

“There are a lot of mistakes I’ve made. [Whether] it’s throws I want back, [bad] decisions, whatever it may be, there are mistakes that I’ve made in every game- a lot of things that you’re not used to doing, a lot of things that you know you can do better. Everybody makes mistakes. But, in this situation, there’s no room for error, and that goes for each individual person. There’s no room for error.”

Next time Donovan should try to answer the questions the Patriot way…

“It is what it is”

Around the Web

Over at Patriots Daily we get an update on the whereabouts of some ex-Patriots from the Belichick era.

Here’s the latest “Buzz” on the Red Sox trade talks.

Over at Ed Berliner’s Speeding Bullet Network, NFL columnist Vito Stellino takes Shula to task for his comments.

E.M. Swift of Sports Illustrated says that there is smoke but no proof that Roger Clemens used steroids.

Scouts, Inc. provides mid-season grades for both the AFC and the NFC.

Dr. Z has a breakdown of the Pats-Colts from Sunday, as well as the Weekly Power Rankings.

Diehard Magazine has Curt Schilling’s opinion on the possibility of the Red Sox going to a six-man rotation

Jon Heyman has a list of the top free agents available and what they will command in this free agent market.

The jersey of Adrian Peterson a.k.a. “Purple Jesus” is really flying off the shelf. He’s now two spots away from knocking Brady and Moss out of the top ten.

Speaking of “Purple Jesus”, the guys over at Cold Hard Football Facts have busted out a Tale o’ the Tape on Peterson vs. Dickerson.

Awful Announcing has the NFL announcing schedule for Week #10.

Tonight on TV

The Bruins take the ice tonight at the TD BankNorth Garden in hopes of gaining a little of the Celtics mojo left over from last night. The Bruins will take on the 8-3-3 Montreal Canadians. The game can be seen at 7PM on NESN.

For the fans of soccer, the New England Revolution have quietly advanced to their 6th Eastern Conference Finals, as they take on the Chicago Fire tonight at Gillette Stadium. The game can be seen on ESPN2 starting at 7:30PM.

Over on ESPN at 7:30PM is (5-4) Louisville heading to Morgantown, West Virginia to take on #7 West Virginia (7-1) in a Big East battle.

For all the rest of tonight’s lineup check here.

C’s Chew Up and Spit Out Nuggets

(Morning Links provided by David Vidinha. Dave can be reached here)

“A laughable fare throughout”

That was Sean Grande at the end of the Celtics radio broadcast, and Sean basically summed up the Celtics thumping of the Denver Nuggets 119-93. In a game that saw the Celtics walk into the locker room with a 77-38 halftime lead the Celtics completely dominated a sluggish Denver team. The “Big 3″ combined for 77 points, and Steve Bulpett has Doc Rivers saying that “They like each other and they’ve decided that they don’t need anything for them individually. They want to win for a team.” Jackie MacMullan says It’s been a long time since a Celtics team made the game look so incredibly easy. Denver coach George Karl is happy to see a team that’s not into a rebuilding mode. The Celtics could be sending two of their players the the Utah Flash of the NBA’s Developmental League. After all the talk of the Celtics acquiring Allen Iverson last year, Steve Buckley says that was all just a fantasy, but Pierce, Garnett, and Allen are for real.

Also don’t forget to check in on the BSMW Full Court Press for all your latest Celtics news.

Red Sox

Michael Silverman has Day 3 of the Mike Lowell talks producing nothing as Theo Epstein sat down in person with Lowell’s agents the Levinson brothers. Even though the Red Sox are concentrating on resigning Lowell they still sat through a Boras presentation, and as Nick Cafardo writes they are also listening to the Florida Marlins. Within this piece we hear that the San Diego Padres are letting teams know that Jake Peavy is available for the right price. Young studs Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester will begin the offseason conditioning program that Jonathan Papelbon followed last offseason.

Despite the reports of his retirement, Roger Clemens still says there may be a possibility of him playing next season. Wow, that’s shocking. With the Dominican Republic being hit very hard by Tropical Storm Noel, Pedro Martinez is asking for help. Joel Sherman has Hank Steinbrenner ready to make “significant offers” to keep some of the Yankees old guard in pinstripes.

After the success of the backyard grill sale, Manny is trying to free up some more space in his garage with this latest endeavor.

Patriots

Colts GM Bill Polian addressed “CrowdNoiseGate” in his weekly Q&A on the Colts website. Here’s the quote..

Q: Can you comment on the allegations that the Colts artificially piped-in crowd noise at the RCA Dome Sunday?

A: I’m not sure that (Patriots Head) Coach (Bill) Belichick had any comments about crowd noise. There were a number of comments made on what I would call disreputable websites (Monday) morning. We reacted to it because we felt like it was an affront to our fans and to the integrity of our organization. I will read you a statement we issued earlier Monday. It says the following: ‘In reference to questions regarding the audio transmission of yesterday’s game, please refer to the following statement from the NFL: CBS has informed us that the unusual audio moment heard by fans during the Patriots-Colts game was the result of tape feedback in the CBS production truck and was isolated to the CBS broadcast. It was in no way related to any sound within the stadium and could not be heard in the stadium. We close with the following sentence: We trust this will put an end to the ridiculous and unfounded accusations that the Colts artificially enhanced crowd noise at the RCA Dome in any way.

Q: Where do people come up with these ideas?

A: I have no idea. These are people who in many respects just have axes to grind and have no responsibility for what they write. They simply write innuendo and rumor and garbage and then it gets picked up in the mainstream media. The unfortunate part of blogs these days is that if something completely unfounded, something completely untrue – as is the case here – is in a blog, then someone in the mainstream media can pick it up and they use the excuse, ‘Well, it was in a blog. So it was news, and we have to follow it.’ Well, you can follow this until the cows come home and there’s nothing to find. We didn’t do anything

The problem with Bill’s comments is that they are a little off base. The reports about the crowd noise did not originate on some “blog”. The first report came from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk which is a partner with NFL.com and Mike wrote the story in his weekly 10-Pack on The Sporting News website. Also, here in Boston, Michael Felger ended his weekly report card with this qoute “It felt artificially loud at the RCA Dome.” In addition to that, Jonathan Kraft made a formal complaint, so I’m not sure where Bill is getting the idea that this was just a “rumor” started by blogs.

Mike Reiss tells us that last year the Patriots used the bye week to take care of some contract issues. Mike looks at some of the contract issues facing the Patriots during this year’s bye week. Karen Guregian says that the Patriots are not interested in Corey Dillon because they already have a backup to Laurence Maroney. Writing in his blog, the wise one Bob Ryan gives us his take on Don Shula’s comments. Tony Massarotti has the Patriots taking on a new persona in their quest to go undefeated.

John Tomase writing in The Point After has his breakdown of Sunday’s win over the Colts. Within the Globe’s Notebook we hear Richard Seymour give credit to his teammates for helping with his blocked field goal on Sunday, also the Pats have an additional receiver on the roster. In the Herald’s Notebook a Patriot has won Offensive Player of the Week for their performance against the Colts.

Mike Reiss has a few Patriot players making Pro Football Weekly’s All-Pro Team.

Over at Patriots Daily Dan Snapp explains the importance of “Sixty Minutes”.

Bruins

The Bruins suffered a 2-1 loss on a Clarke MacArthur goal 3:16 into overtime, Kevin Paul Dupont has your game story.

For all the rest of today’s Bruins headlines be sure to head over the the Bruins links page.

I’ll be back this afternoon with today’s “Around the Web”.

The Answer is in Boston

(Afternoon Links provided by Guest Blogger: David Vidinha. Dave can be reached here)

With Celtics fever sweeping Boston and all of New England for that matter, Kevin Henkin over at BSMW Full Court Press wants to give everyone a reality check.

Mark Kiszla from the Denver Post has his own nickname for the “Big 3″…“The Energizer, The Grouch, and the Philosopher”.

According to this guy, you shouldn’t be drinking the Celtics Kool-Aid.

Around the Web

What did you expect from no talent radio hosts? Original, funny content?

Mike Reiss has his weekly mailbag.

ESPN has their weekly Power Rankings. As always we like to keep tabs on our favorite losers the Jets. The Jets remained strong this week coming in the #3 spot, well #3 from the bottom anyway.

One thing I can guarantee is that the lowly Jets are not a part of Patriots Daily’s look at the AFC playoffs.

Don Banks has his NFL Mid-season Awards. The Pats are represented well throughout, and even the Jets manage to get an award.

Due to the Celtics having a new minority owner, Harrah’s will no longer be taking any action on the C’s.

Eric Wilbur takes his jabs at Don Shula’s comments.

I had originally intended on writing a column refuting some of Shula’s comments, especially the premise that this season’s accomplishments are “tainted”, but honestly this is beginning to get old. Every week there seems to be a new “comment” or “jab” thrown in the Patriots direction. Now, granted Shula is not a columnist or a former marginal offensive lineman, he’s a well respected NFL coach, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Shula coached the ’72 Dolphins, the last team to go undefeated. Essentially what I’m saying is that his comments should be taken with a grain of salt.

Over at Fox Sports the NFL Czar says that Don Shula’s comments belong in the Hall of Shame.

Peter King makes the case as to why the cold weather will not effect the Colts in Foxboro.

A “backroom-working thug who stuck a shiv in Grady Little’s liver” who said that?

If you were to ask John Dennis he would say Pedro, but he would be wrong. That quote is from Gregg Doyel, a CBS Sports columnist, and its safe to say he is not a fan of Joe Torre.

No need to call your cable company to complain about not having the NFL Network. Whatifsports.com has done a simulation and the Pats are going undefeated!!!

Jerry Crasnick has 5 key offseason questions for some of the MLB’s GMs in Orlando.

Michael Silver has his Mid-Season 32 Questions.

Tom Curran gives us eight blatant mistakes that went against New England on Sunday.

Dr. Z has his mid-season All-Pro Team.

Curt Schilling wants to know if Ken Rosenthal has a Cy Young vote.

Awful Announcing is having a “Worst Announcer Tournament”

“Jacoby Ellsbury might be a young Steve Nash.” – Peter King

That plus many more in this week’s Media Circus.

In lieu of posting a “Video of the Day”, I’m going to give everyone reading this a “Tommy Point”

Tonight on TV

The Celtics are sure to garner a majority of tonight’s attention, as they host Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson, when the 2-2 Denver Nuggets visit TD BankNorth Garden. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30PM. The game can be seen as always on CNSE.

In addition to the Celtics game tonight, the Bruins head up to Buffalo to take on the 5-7-1 Sabres. The game will begin at 7PM from the HSBC Arena and can be seen locally on NESN.

For all the rest of tonight’s lineup, check here.

RunningupthescoreGate Revisited

(Afternoon Links provided by Guest Blogger: David Vidinha. Dave can be reached here.)

As everyone is aware of by now RunningupthescoreGate is the hot topic around these parts. The newest twist in this saga is now there’s a contingency that believes that eventually a scorned, embarrassed opponent will seek revenge by intentionally hitting Brady low or doing something that will injure him. I’ve even read a theory in which the scorned opponent will target Belichick on the sideline. Ending in an injury a la Joe Paterno. As Mr. Bruce Allen pointed out earlier today, this is indeed a sad turn of events. The Pats-Colts matchup this Sunday pins the two best football teams in the league against each other, in a game that may well determine who hosts the other in the AFC Championship Game. Yet, no one can seem to provide any analysis about the actual “game” that will be played on Sunday.

There of course has been groundswell the past few weeks regarding this “running up the score” dilemma, but I think it started to take a strange turn this week beginning with Mr. PTI Michael Wilbon taking a shot at the Pats and Brady during his weekly chat on the Washington Post’s website answer the below question by saying..

Tom Brady’s Knee: I can understand Bill Belichick’s desire to crush every team in the NFL, but why keep your franchise QB in there to do it? One cheap shot helmet to the knee and it’s goodbye Super Bowl unless Cassell suddenly gets good.

Michael Wilbon: You’re absolutely right. And if I was on the opposing team, I’d hit Tom Brady with everything I had as late as I could and take the penalty and join the fight that would surely follow. Football is a violent game and there’s got to be somebody out there sharpening his fans for the Patriots Golden Boy in the 4th quarter one of these weeks.

Even old friend Ron Borges has his take on this saga. I had to re-read this column twice just to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything, but all in all Borgie doesn’t really take all that many low blows at Belichick. Maybe Easterbrook has made me used blatant outlandish insults, but Borges doesn’t go there.

Mike Reiss has a sampling of opinions from NFL coaches.

Then of course is the Good vs. Evil angle…

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’s Frank Deford has the following to say about the Pats-Colts matchup..

“Their two coaches are the yin and yang, the alpha and omega, the black and white. Bill Belichick, the Captain Ahab of the Patriots, is abrupt, rude, bloodless, and, we know now, a cheater. Tony Dungy, the Mister Rogers of the Colts, is polite, spiritual and altogether human.”

If you’re going with the “These guys are professionals” argument, here’s a high school who scored 72 points on their opponent…………in the First Quarter!!!!!!!

Dr. Z weighs in with his opinion as well.

In his weekly 10 Truths, Jason Whitlock looks at the hypocrisy of everyone whining about the Patriots’ “never-let-off-the-gas offense”.

That’s just a small sampling. The guys over at Patriots Daily have a full rundown of all the stories from around the country that focus on “RunningupthescoreGate”.

Can anyone please write a column about the strategy going into this game?? Please, anyone?

Around the Web

Yahoo! Sports Tuesday conversation was with Patriots’ nose tackle Vince Wilfork.

Not only do Red Sox fans think David Ortiz is perfect, so does the Elias Sports Bureau.

The guys over at Cold Hard Football Facts have a tale of the tape on Belichick vs. Dungy.

Jason Cole says that even though the Patriots’ offense has generated the most buzz this year, the Colts’ offense is still the gold standard.

“When I was coaching defense it was my job to keep the score down, not theirs. When you’re playing defense it’s your job to stop them. It’s not [the offense’s] job to not score.” – Belichick

That quote plus more in Football Outsiders Week in Quotes.

Fascinating article about the financial impact of winning the World Series.

Dime Magazine has their NBA Power Rankings.

Dr. Z has his power rankings. Good news for Jets fans, your team did not lose their spot from last week. They remained strong coming in at the #29 spot. J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS!!!

Wayne Drehs over at ESPN has a story about Colts hard hitting safety Bob Sanders. Hey NFL analysts, did anyone notice how much of a menace Sanders was last year versus the Pats? Can you analyze whether this will be different in this year’s matchup, taking into account a new receiving corps? You know, stuff like that, I really care less what you think of Belichick the person.

Tonight on TV

The Bruins will take the ice tonight at the Garden against their foes from Buffalo, the Sabres. The game begins at 7PM, live on NESN. TNT has a double-header of NBA hoops action beginning at 8PM when the Pistons head down to Miami to take on Dwayne Wade and the Heat. That game will be followed by the Phoenix Suns traveling up to Seattle to take on Kevin Durant and the Super Sonics.

For the rest of tonight’s lineup check here.

Easterbrook Speaks

(Afternoon Links provided by Guest Blogger: David Vidinha. Dave can be reached here.)

Bill Belichick’s favorite sports columnist Gregg Easterbrook was interviewed this morning on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan. The interview itself was around ten minutes in length. D & C asked Gregg to elaborate on some of the ridiculous comments he’s made in his recent Tuesday Morning Quarterback columns.

Easterbrook reiterated his belief that the destruction of the videotapes by the league proves there was something to hide. He also says that although he has no proof, he’s continuing to pursue the story. Gregg also states that the reason this issue (CameraGate) is no longer being discussed (really Gregg, no longer?) is due to the fact that sports writers are not investigative journalists. He also goes on to say he’s surprised the Boston Globe or the New York Times are not digging deeper into this story (Gregg, ever think that there actually may be no “juicy” story).

Easterbrook also believes that teams will now do what they can to knock down Tom Brady (easier said than done) if the Pats continue to “run up” the score on opponents. While Gregg did not advocate an opponent purposely trying to injure an opposing player he did say he would not be surprised if this will be something an opposing player may try.

A funny moment is when Gregg discusses the strategy he would employ to stop the Pats running it up, which would be to call a “double safety blitz”. This seems like a great strategy, but isn’t one of Brady’s greatest assets his ability to read coverages and set up protection? Why then would he fall for a “double safety blitz”? Easterbrook also used the Peter King defense when Gerry Callahan asked him if he had “a hair across his ass for Belichick”. Easterbrook’s reply was that when he wrote a glowing article about Belichick two years ago for NFL.com no one accused him of having an agenda. I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that but in any case a pretty lame defense.

Keeping with the Easterbrook theme, Gregg has his latest edition of Tuesday Morning Quarterback. In this week’s installment, Gregg manages to praise Belichick saying “No one draws up a better game plan than Belichick.”

He then addresses last week’s “Good vs. Evil” column saying “After the column posted, I felt badly that I had not made clear I was being satirical — that was my failing as a writer — because, after all, none of us has the slightest idea what is in the hearts of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.”

He even says this “I apologize to Brady for complaining that he smirks — saying this is an insult, and although it’s fine to criticize public figures, insults are childish. (Remember, my argument is not with the New England players, it is with bad sportsmanship and cheating.)

This is unbelievable, can Gregg truly be apologizing for his ridiculously biased columns, is the world ending, are pigs flying, I’m honestly nervous right now. Then I read the following sentence and I knew the world was OK.

“I even toyed with apologizing to Belichick, since comparing him to Beelzebub was a tad overloaded. But then I watched Sunday’s game and thought, Belichick is exactly what I said!”

Perfectly put Gregg. Return to your childish insults, this will surely cement the fact that you are unbiased.

Speaking of unbiased, over at Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp attempted to consult the unwritten rules to see which ones the Patriots are actually breaking in runupthescoregate. The problem is, none of these unwritten rules are actually written, which kind of makes things difficult.

Matt Mosley asks his readers if “Belichick has company?” by compiling a list of coaches who are notorious for running up the score.

Somehow the editors over at Fox Sports didn’t read Easterbrook’s column last week. They have as the lead story on their website “Good vs. Evil” Complete with photo-shopped horns and tail on Belichick. Wow, way to be creative guys.

This Good vs Evil, Patriots vs Colts theme has even made it to one of the biggest non-sports blogs out there, The Daily Kos.

Around the Web

Mike has a Celtics season preview over on the BSMW Full Court Press.

Ken Rosenthal has a few suitors in the A-Rod sweepstakes, even speculating that A-Rod will still be in New York next year. Jeff Passan does the same, giving you A-Rod’s top 10 destinations.

Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus has a great Hot Stove Preview for the AL East.

Tony Dungy stands by his CameraGate comments.

Within this sports media column, Charles Barkley gives his opinion on the Nielsen ratings system.

Michael Silver has his 32 Questions.

Mike Reiss has his weekly mailbag.

Get out your wallets, TO’s Sharpie, yes that notorious TD celebration Sharpie is up for sale.

Dan Lamothe over at Red Sox Monster has a look at this years World Series through the eyes of the Mario Brothers.

A writer from the Toronto Star agrees with my assertion that Fox dropped the ball on the World Series with their continued live in-game ads.

Darren Rovell recalculated how many free tacos Taco Bell handed out yesterday. I think the most disturbing thing is that people will actually wait in a line for over 20 minutes to get something valued at around $1, its totally fascinating stuff. Can you imagine if they were giving away something valued at $10? There would be riots.

Reggie Bush is getting sued again by the former aspiring sports marketer.

“(The Red Sox) played like they wanted to win the World Series.” – John Kruk Now that’s some hard hitting analysis Johnny. That and more in this week’s Media Circus.

Awful Announcing has the announcing teams for the NFL games this week. No surprise for the Pats-Colts game. If you’re traveling this weekend and you hope to catch the game, you may want to avoid the Houston area.

In closing we get the “Video Clip of the Day”. In today’s clip we get to see the greatest sports agent/salesman in the world make a case why A-Rod deserves in excess of $30 million.

To steal a line from one of my favorite movies…

He can “sell a ketchup popsicle to a man in a white suit”, Ladies and Gentlemen, Scott Boras…

Take it away Scott….

Tonight on TV

I’m running a little short on time, so I will direct you here for tonight’s lineup.

Brought to you by….

(Afternoon Links provided by Guest Blogger: David Vidinha. Click here to email Dave. )

Today’s afternoon links are brought to you by Foxwoods. “Lets live for the wonder of it all, meet me at Foxwoods

As I attempted to stay up and watch the Red Sox complete a four-game sweep of the totally overmatched Rockies, I couldn’t help but think to myself, why exactly is this game was being played at such an utterly ridiculous time. I know, I know, call me a prude, I cannot stay up past 11:30PM to watch my beloved Red Sox, poor me. No seriously, how many people on the East Coast truly enjoyed watching a baseball game of such importance finish at an average of 12:30AM? Not me certainly, but in the big scheme of things, my or your opinion on this matter means nothing.

How many kids had the ability to watch at least one complete game of this World Series? I’m going to go out on a limb on this one and say not all that many. I’m 26 years old and for me to stay up past 1:00AM on a weeknight, with a 4:00AM wake up time looming over my head, is a near impossibility. Well, at least without the help of our sponsor, Dunkin Donuts, “America Runs on Dunkin”.

The following paragraph is brought to you by Giant Glass “1-800-54-GIANT

The reason the World Series, the end all series of America’s pasttime didn’t begin until 8:40PM EDT was simply due to money. Fox had to recoup the ridiculous sum of money they shelled out to have the rights to broadcast baseball’s Fall Classic, and we helped pay the bill. As Sports Illustrated’s John Donovan wrote last week “Why not a 7 p.m. first pitch instead of 8? The game still would be on in prime time. And, if people missed anything, it might be the start of the game instead of the end.” “But that doesn’t take into account the large TV markets on the West Coast, where a 7 p.m. East Coast start time comes at the beginning of rush hour in L.A., and a 3 1/2 hour game barely creeps into prime time.” You get it, its because of those damn people on the West Coast. For some reason the NFL doesn’t seem to care about this when they schedule the Super Bowl.

Not only do we pay by having a later start time, but the commercials themselves run longer than normal. A normal commercial break between innings during the regular season runs 2:25, during Fox’s coverage of the postseason those same breaks were now 2:55. That’s an additional 18 minutes and we haven’t even taken into account the naturally longer games that are played in the postseason. In addition to all of this, we have all the live ads during the game. It’s one thing for there to be incessant commercials but the in-game drops are ridiculous. This year Fox took it to a whole new level with their Taco Bell promotion. As you all know, if a member of either team stole a base, America would win a free taco. The only problem is that it appeared as if Fox did all they could to tell you about this promotion, during the game! Even digging so low as to get Red Sox bat-boy Royce Clayton “miked up” to get into a “discussion” with Jacoby Ellsbury about the promotion. Again, I understand the need for corporate sponsors but this has gone to a different echelon in the past few years. Try and survive a Red Sox radio broadcast, it’s not that much better. They have a sponsor for every word that comes out of Castig’s mouth. I’m actually nervous that next year Joe will sell the rights to “Can you believe it”.

Ultimately, what does this all mean for us the viewers, well nothing of course, we are powerless. I guess we will just have to adjust and accept it. Look on the bright side, if you or your child was unable to watch the entirety of the four World Series games, you can head on down to the streets of Boston and catch the rally. All you need to do is skip work, have your child play hooky from school and you’re on your way. After you watch the Bank of America sponsored “Rolling Rally” remember that from 2 to 5 you can get that free taco Fox has been telling you about. Also, make sure to catch up on your sleep, because the way this Sox team looks, we might just be having some sleepless Octobers again next year.

From the Monday Must Reads….

Peter King talks to multiple people from around the league to get an opinion on this week’s Pats-Colts matchup.

Michael Silver discusses his week in London for Giants-Dolphins in Morning Rush.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio is convinced that the Pats are running it up on opponents in this week’s 10-Pack.

Around the Web

Tom Curran has part one of a three-part up close series on Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Mayor Menino somehow injured himself holding the World Series trophy, I’m not kidding, this rolling rally is some serious stuff.

Bill Simmons describes his feelings on the Red Sox second World Series.

Don Banks says that the Pats are indeed running up the score, and there’s nothing anyone in the league can do about it.

Anyone accusing the Patriots of running it up should read Tandler’s Redskins Blog.

The Yankees have hired a new manager.

Curt Schilling has began writing “Good Bye” letters to his Red Sox teammates.

Not surprising news, but Fox managed to “squeeze” five games worth of commercials into the Red Sox four-game sweep of the Rockies.

The Patriots “running up the score” is now an official topic for ESPN’s fantasy guru Matthew Berry to take a swipe at. Unfortunately for “The Talented Mr. Roto”, he lacks credibility when he does it the week after his Redskins were just decimated by the Patriots. Hey Matt, maybe Bill has Brady and Moss on his fantasy team?

Michael Silver reevaluates his prior opinions on Randy Moss.

ESPN has their weekly power rankings.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell has a look at who might be in the A-Rod sweepstakes, but from a financial standpoint.

Jon Heyman has four current Red Sox players on his list of the 15 most superb postseason performers since ’69

Sabernomics takes a look at the Detroit Tigers newest acquisition, none other than former Red Sox temporary shortstop Edgar Renteria.

Fox Sports Adam Schein has his midterm grades for all 32 NFL teams. I bet you can’t guess what the Jets grade was.

Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan says that there are so many intriguing story lines for this year’s baseball offseason.

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Donovan says that both the Red Sox and the Rockies are in a position to contend for years.

Major League Baseball had an statement in regards to the “A-Rod Announcement.”

Mr. Irrelevant does his best to channel Gregg Easterbrook for this post.

Finally, the best highlight from ESPN’s coverage of the World Series….

Peter Gammons and his thoughts on A-Rod

Tonight on TV

Not much going on with the local teams tonight. There are two NBA games and an NHL game if you’re interested. For a look at tonight’s action, check here.