2011 Approval Ratings – Fluto Shinzawa

It’s been three years since the original round of BSMW Approval ratings were run. Things are much different now, people have come and gone, moved to new positions, and there are even new outlets that weren’t here previously.

The concept is very simple. Each day (or thereabouts) a short profile of a Boston sports media member is posted, and you simply choose “Approve” or “Disapprove.” There is no middle ground. Then tell us why in the comment section.

With the Bruins in the spotlight right now, it feels right to start things off with a member of the Bruins beat. Fluto Shinzawa is a 1999 graduate of Boston University, and started at the Boston Globe in 2002. He covered college hockey (with a focus on Hockey East) and NASCAR for the Globe before moving to the Bruins beat around mid-decade.

Prior to coming to the Globe, Shinzawa had worked for the Concord (NH) Monitor, where he also had a hockey focus, covering the UNH hockey team, as well as NASCAR and high school sports. At the time he joined the Globe, Shinzawa was employed as a senior editor for the RobbReport,  a luxury lifestyle publication.

Fluto Shinzawa 2011 Approval Ratings
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Avoiding Super Bowl Media Crush No Easy Feat

Much of the time, I tend to take a very Boston-centric view to the sports world. While I certainly keep up with the sports world outside of New England, there much out there that I could take or leave. The Super Bowl media hype for a game not involving the Patriots is one of those. Especially when much of the media focus seems intent on trying to compare Ben Roethlisberger to Tom Brady or trying to determine the real “team of the decade” – even though we’re firmly in a new decade by this point.

When Sunday comes, I’ll be watching the game, but until then, I’m not too interested in the coverage leading up to it. I can’t avoid it, but that doesn’t mean I’m enthralled by it.

Patriots should think outside the system – Mike Reiss does tie a Super Bowl angle to the Patriots, looking at pass rushers LaMarr Woodley and Clay Matthews, both of whom were available to the Patriots in the draft, and wonders if it is time for Bill Belichick to adjust his thinking on the position.

Twitter’s got the NFL by the tail – Tom E Curran has an interesting look at the problems that Twitter is causing for the NFL, as the league can’t control the things being tweeted by its players.

Management was so impressed with Tony “Miserable” Massarotti’s straw-man-laden Boston.com column yesterday – “Don’t Count The Lakers Out Yet” that they repackaged it and put in the Globe sports section today – “Too early to plan Celtics parade.” I’m wondering exactly who these people are who are counting the Lakers out and already planning the Celtics parade route for June.

Some, like Chris Forsberg, are writing that the Celtics the best, and getting better – but no one is saying that they are unbeatable and are a lock to win the NBA title. Gerry Callahan writes today that the Celtics are Leaving it all on floor – but he also acknowledges the possibility that the Celtics could “run out of gas and come up short of a championship.”

It’s just like Massarotti to take a very convincing and satisfying victory and do his best to discount it and make fans miserable.

Did Kevin Garnett Turn Down A Ball Boy With A Bin Laden Reference? – Deadspin.com follows up on the disappearing Tweets of J. A. Adande and Marc J Spears about KG’s treatment of a Lakers ball boy. They report:

Twitter being what it is is also what led both writers to take down the messages within minutes of being posted. We’re told that the sheer number of people retweeting the messages — thousands of them — were overwhelming the writers, making Twitter unusable. The easiest thing to do was to simply delete the Tweet and move on, the news already having been put out there.

So there you go. No misquotes, no warnings from Big Brother Stern. Just the limits of mobile technology.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound just right to me.  Adande in particular doesn’t tweet enough for this to impact his ability to use Twitter. Deleting the original message has a limited impact. If people are using a third-party twitter client – which many people do – the message is still going to appear. Most of those clients also have the ability to turn off viewing of retweets, an option that the writers could’ve used to keep on working. There was no limit of mobile technology in play here. Limited knowledge by the user, perhaps, not the technology.

Celtics aiming to keep focus – Julian Benbow has the Celtics looking to avoid a letdown in Sacramento.

Red Sox brass discuss Pedroia, Yanks, TV ratings – Sean McAdam reviews the Red Sox “town meeting” held last night. Michael Vega  and Alex Speier also cover the event.

Sox just want Beckett to be Beckett – Scott Lauber says that management doesn’t want Beckett to try to do too much.

Bruins find a keeper in Steve Kampfer  – Joe Haggerty examines the circumstances which led to the defenseman landing in Boston.

Bruins may shut down Marc Savard – Joe McDonald has Peter Chiarelli acknowledging that shutting down the center might be the best decision.

Shaughnessy Column Corrected

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post – Fun With NFL Payrolls and Draft “Value”

From the Globe this morning:

Correction: Because of a reporting error, the ranking of the Patriots’ payroll among NFL teams was incorrect in a column about the Jets-Steelers game in Sunday’s Sports section. The NFL salary cap can be tabulated in different ways, but in three of the most-commonly acknowledged ones, the Patriots are ranked second, ninth, and 12th.

So did he just Google “NFL Payroll?”

Fun With NFL Payrolls and Draft “Value”

It seems that the payrolls of NFL teams can be interpreted in many different ways. This is apparent from a pair of statements in articles over the last couple of days.

On Sunday, Dan Shaughnessy wrote the following:

If the Jets win the AFC Championship at Heinz Field, perhaps the Krafts will be inspired to spend a little more money on payroll next year (are we supposed to feel good that the Patriots have the third-lowest payroll in the NFL?).

Today, Mike Reiss has this:

“We’re comparing teams by a simple, bottom-line metric: Player payroll dollars spent per regular-season victory,” Hruby writes. “Using the most recent and accurate salary figures available, we’re also examining which clubs have been penny-wise and which have been pound-foolish.”

Hruby ranks the Patriots fourth in the NFL — their $152.73 million was the second highest in the league and the team produced 14 regular-season wins.

So which is it?

This is a game I’ve heard the likes of Ron Borges, Michael Felger, and Shaughnessy play. They interpret the payroll one way so that they can accuse the Krafts of being “cheap” and others calculate things out so that it shows that the Patriots are near the top of the league in payroll. They cite bonuses, “dead money” and actual salary paid for that season as variables that can be swapped out, apparently to make your argument either way.

Where did Shaughnessy get his information? If you type NFL Payrolls into Google, this page is the second result, and has the Patriots third-lowest in the NFL. The problem is that the data on that page is from at least 2008.

I’d like to think that Shaughnessy used better information than just a quick Google search.

Shaughnessy also snuck in: Maybe New England will stop trading down to get “value’’ for high draft picks.

I think that strategy, while criticized, has worked out pretty well the last two years. In 2010, they traded down twice in the first round, and still ended up with Pro Bowler and Second Team NFL All Pro cornerback Devin McCourty. In trading down from their original position at 22, the Patriots obtained the picks used to later select Taylor Price (3rd round, from Dallas) and Aaron Hernandez (4th round, from Denver).

Then check out this maneuver – During the 2009 draft, the Patriots obtained the #47 pick in 2010 in exchange for a third round pick in 2009. Then in this year’s draft, the Patriots traded that second round pick (47 overall) to Arizona for a later second round pick (58 overall) and a third round pick (89 overall).  They then sent the #58 pick to Houston for #62 (Brandon Spikes) and #150 (Zoltan Mesko). They then took that #89 pick and sent it to Carolina for their 2011 second round pick, which is now the top pick in the second round.

So from that one third round pick in 2009, they turned it into Brandon Spikes, Zoltan Mesko and the top pick in the second round in this coming draft.

Instead of sarcastically refering to that as “value,” I’m going to say they got VALUE from that one pick and a couple of trades.

For some reason, the media and fans HATE when the Patriots trade around in the draft. It generates snide remarks like the one from Shaughnessy, who can’t be bothered to see what actually comes of those moves.

Why The Patriots Media Policy Is The Right One

This tweet from Globe football writer Greg A Bedard caught my attention last night:

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Bedard went on to explain a little bit more of what he was referring to, by saying that he wasn’t talking about the Packers, and adding:

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It appears he was attempting to say that the Patriots should treat their players like adults by trusting them not to say dumb stuff to the media.

This continues a glorious Boston Globe tradition carried on by the likes of Nick Cafardo, Jerome Solomon and others of complaining about lack of access to the Patriots and implying that the Patriots players are somehow held under some sort of bondage and indentured servitude down there at Gillette Stadium.

My first instinct upon reading the above tweets was to reply that the Patriots methods seem to have worked pretty well for them. But why? Is their method of dealing with the media the correct one, perhaps not for all teams, but for them?

I believe it is. Here’s why:

1) They don’t give opponents anything to take and use against them.

Some might believe that “bulletin board material” is overrated. To some extent that is true, but it is also true that professional athletes are a prideful bunch, and very much into “respect.” If they’re not getting it, they’re going to be motivated to prove themselves. Rodney Harrison was the master of this, he used slights, perceived or real, to give himself an additional shot of motivation. The Patriots don’t provide bulletin board material. Tom Brady starting that Terrell Suggs and the Ravens talk a whole lot for only having beaten the Patriots since he’s been there is about as far as they go. In most cases, they go the opposite route and praise the opponent – something that some media members (Bedard included) have complained about as well.

2) They don’t give away information that could be used in game planning against themselves.

In recent weeks, Rex Ryan has given out small details on how his team plans to attack an upcoming opponent. (Including the Patriots prior to their45-3 loss to New England.)  He talked about how they would defend Tom Brady. He said they wouldn’t kick to Devin Hester. He revealed that Mark Sanchez has cartilage issues in his shoulder. Why? Why would you give out any information about your team? Much of this is tied to injury matters, but it applies to general strategy as well.

3) Giving out no injury information is better than giving out incorrect injury information.

So if Bill Belichick goes up to the podium and says that player X has a strained knee ligament and will be out for two weeks, and then those two weeks and more go by and there is no player X on the field, wouldn’t that be pointed out by the media? You bet. They’d wonder if they had been deliberately misled, and speculate about what else they had been sold a bill of goods on. Why would Belichick give an answer about an injury, especially immediately following a game when not all the information is available? Even when the injury is fully diagnosed, different players heal at different rates, so it is unfair to place some sort of artificial deadline on a player recovery. It’s better to give the minimum required (league mandated) information rather than creating an expectation of a return time.

4) Having one voice for the organization prevents conflicting messages and keeps things consistent.

Yes, assistant coaches are now required to be made available to the media. When they get that chance, don’t they sound a lot like Bill Belichick? Of course. Whether he’s speaking or not, the messages coming out are the same. That consistency keeps things simple and protects the players and coaches from revealing too much.

5) The players can stay focused on the task at hand.

The players know what is expected of them when speaking with the media. If they feel uncomfortable dealing with a topic, they know the “pat” answer that can be given. If they’re more comfortable dealing with the media, they have freedom to speak – for themselves, not on behalf of the team. Some players use that freedom and speak more, others stick strictly to the company line.

Mike Reiss had a post today about a Patriots Today clip that showed a sign reminding the players what is expected of them. I think it applies to their media policy as well:

WHEN YOU LEAVE HERE …

* Don’t believe or fuel the hype

* Manage expectations

* Ignore the noise

* Speak for youself

In summary – The Patriots avoid giving themselves a lot of headaches or complications by the way they deal with the media. They keep things simple, and allow themselves to focus on the field. Their job after all, isn’t to please the media, but to win games. If they feel this is the best way to do it and it works for them, then they should keep doing it. I’m not saying it’s the only way to operate, but it works for them. It’s not about letting the players act like adults. It’s about staying consistent as an organization. If the end result is success, I don’t think the players much mind the “shackles” they are forced to operate under.

Amalie Benjamin Moves Off Red Sox Beat

In a blog post on Extra Bases, The Boston Globe’sAmalie Benjamin has announced that she is leaving the Red Sox beat.

New challenges, and a word of thanks

She makes it clear that she is not leaving the Globe, just the Red Sox beat, and will instead focus on “features and other daily duties in sports.”

As for the reasons for leaving the beat, which she describes as her dream job since high school, she writes:

But the daily grind of the beat — the hundreds of thousands of airline miles, the hundreds of hotel nights, the thousands of unhealthy meals — is over for me, a move that will allow me to report on the stories that are so important to me, and hopefully to you.

This sounds very much like what happened with Shira Springer, who toiled on the Celtics beat for a number of years (with some very bad teams) before moving off to another “features” type role. Hopefully we’ll get more from Benjamin than we’ve gotten from Springer over the last couple of years.

This opens up a spot on the Red Sox beat, which still has Peter Abraham as Red Sox reporter, and Nick Cafardo as national baseball writer.

Giving You The Friday Megalinks

Ok, let’s do the Friday megalinks. Getting a late start as I’ve been all over the place today, but better late than never.

Check out the Weekend Viewing Picks for information on the sports and entertainment programs for the first weekend in October.

Now to the links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about ESPN creating a new brand that will target women and could eventually become a dedicated TV channel. This was already scoffed at on Twitter. We’ll see how this evolves. Asides from ESPN Mobile, the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s ill-fated cell phone brand, when the network commits to an idea, it will usually work so we’ll see.

Eleanor Barkhorn from The Atlantic shares her thoughts, pro and con, on the new ESPN women’s brand. 

A Girl’s Perspective on a Boy’s Game blog has some thoughts on ESPNW.

Dylan Stableford at The Wrap notes there are many women who aren’t in love with ESPNW.

Joe Posanaski of Sports Illustrated has a very good tribute to Los Angeles Dodgers voice Vin Scully.

Noah Davis of SportsNewser says the Boston Globe will put all of its web content content except sports and breaking news behind a pay wall. 

Dave Kindred at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center looks into the history of one of his favorite leads and finds it doesn’t quite measure up to its legend.

Milton Kent of Fanhouse notes that weather delays at the Ryder Cup will force NBC to go live with its coverage on Saturday instead of planned taped coverage.

Fanhouse’s Brett McMurphy has a facetious look at the first televised college football game.

Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports says the Ryder Cup has to move to an earlier date to avoid inclement weather.

Spencer E. Ante of the Wall Street Journal notes NFL games are about to be seen on tablets.

Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter notes that Fox has pulled 19 of its channels including several sports regional networks off Dish Network over, what else? A carriage dispute.

Andrea Morabito from Broadcasting & Cable says in addition, MSG Network and MSG Plus were pulled from Dish over a pricing dispute.

John Consoli of Mediaweek looks at Fox making Game 3 of this year’s World Series an extra early start.

Mike Freeman of CBS Sports says LeBron James can’t call racism over criticism over “The Decision” when he’s never taken a stand in his life.

The Huffington Post has TNT’s Charles Barkley ripping James for his comments. 

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says US Ryder Cup team outfitter Sun Mountain Sports is getting heat over its non-waterproof raincoats.

The Big Lead notes a new poll in which an overwhelming majority of respondents want women banned from NFL locker rooms. 
Sports Media Watch says Fox’s regional coverage in Week 3 drew big ratings.

SMW notes that Fanhouse writer Jay Mariotti pleaded no contest to domestic violence charges and was eventually sentenced to probation and community service.

SportsbyBrooks says while ESPN doesn’t have Mariotti in its plans, Fanhouse is apparently lobbying owner AOL to keep him.

Dave Kohl in the Major League Programs blog looks at the stellar ratings for Monday night’s Packers-Bears game.

Brady Green at Awful Announcing says Screamin’ Gus Johnson is now launching a new clothing line based on one of his catchphrases.

The Thoroughbred Times says the Breeders’ Cup will be aired live on five ESPN networks. 

East and Mid-Atlantic

The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn talks with NESN’s Bruins voice Jack Edwards who’s looking forward to hockey season.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Bill Doyle looks at a local movie theater that shows New England Patriots games on its really big screen.

Amanda Bruno at Batter-up with Bruno has some thoughts on the Boston Globe’s online paywall. 

The Watertown (MA) Tab & Press talks with a town native who directed the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, “Once Brothers”, that airs later this month.

Over to the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir who delves into why Fox decided to start World Series Game 3 an hour earlier than the other games.

50 years later, Richard gets analysis from SNY’s Keith Hernandez on a pivotal play that occurred in the 1960 World Series.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with CBS/WFAN/Westwood One Radio’s Boomer Esiason who hardly has time to sleep these days.

Neil also talks about MSG and MSG Plus getting pulled from Dish Network.

The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says SNY’s Mets crew’s mocking of the White Sox Hawk Harrelson got them close to mocking the Yankees’ Derek Jeter. That’s what Raissman is contending.

The New York Post’s Dr. Doom and Gloom is disappointed in NBC’s Cris Collinsworth. I’m sure Cris is going to change his style just for you, Dr. Doom and Gloom.

The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with NBC’s Johnny Miller about the Ryder Cup.

The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty looks at the revised Ryder Cup TV schedule.

Pete talks with the new voice of the AHL’s Albany Devils.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Bob Smizik explains why the local ESPN Radio affiliate is going by the wayside.

Brian O’Neill of the Post-Gazette says the long-lost TV footage of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series will be premiered by MLB Network in the Steel City before it airs on television.

DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes writing in Press Box says the Baltimore Orioles are shopping their radio rights between two parties.

The Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams interviews legendary DC area sportscaster Johnny Holliday.

South

Rodney Ho from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the Dish Network/Fox dispute could prevent Braves fans from seeing the Bobby Cox tribute tomorrow. 

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says the fans are the losers in the Dish Network/Fox carriage dispute.

William Pack from the San Antonio Express-News writes about the Dish Network/Fox dispute. 

Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman writes that both Oklahoma and Texas are working to develop their own independent TV networks.

Mel writes about Fox’s Jimmy Johnson getting voted off Survivor this week. 

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Northern Kentucky’s long-time basketball radio voice will be honored on Saturday.

John says Fox Sports Ohio among other Fox channels were pulled from Dish Network.

And John says the Cincinnati Reds will be featured in a new MLB Postseason promo.

Michael Zuidema in the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says a local TV sports director is busy during high school football season.

Arthur Rothstein of AnnArbor.com speaks with Big Ten Network’s Charissa Thompson. 

Terry Hutchens in the Indianapolis Star notes that Indiana University will go 3-D next Saturday.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers.

Ed talks with new Chicago Bulls President Ed Reinsdorf.

Julie DiCaro at the ChicagoNow blog doesn’t like the idea of a separate ESPN women’s brand.

Lauren Fitzpatrick of the Southtown (IL) Star writes about the sad story about the mother of a Comcast SportsNet Chicago anchor being allegedly killed by her husband.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley has Fox’s Brian Billick high on the Green Bay Packers.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says legendary Gateway City broadcaster Jay Randolph will most likely call his last Cardinals game this Sunday.

Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch writes that the Rams managed to avoid a blackout of this Sunday’s game against Seattle.

West

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union-Tribune has 1st year Padres TV Dick Enberg looking forward to calling the games again next year.

Mark Zeigler of the Union-Tribune says fans in blacked out markets are finding creative ways to watch NFL games.

And this leads into Kevin Acee’s article in the Union-Tribune that the Chargers are blacked out once again on Sunday.

John Maffei at the North County Times says there will be plenty of lineup changes on local sports radio stations on Monday.

Meg James at the Los Angeles Times looks at the Dish Network/Fox carriage dispute.

Mike DiGiovanna of the Times says Torii Hunter of the Anaheim Angels will be a guest analyst on MLB Network during the postseason. 

Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News says the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary unit has added a film on former Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.

As we go into the 10th month of the year, Tom has 10 sports media issues he’s thinking about.

Tom reviews the week in sports media.

Tom says thanks to the bad weather in Wales, the entire Ryder Cup will be shown live one way or another throughout the weekend.

Tom notes that the late Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Raiders voice Bill King is on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says UK’s Sky TV which is carrying the Ryder Cup shows no objectivity when it comes to covering the event.

Mark Brownlee of the Centretown News notes that Rogers Sportsnet’s new channel will leave Ottawa Senators fans out in the cold. 

And that will conclude the megalinks

You’ll Have To Pay To Read Shaughnessy Starting in 2011 (Perhaps Not)

The Boston Globe announced today that starting next year, they will break the content of the Globe and Boston.com into two separate sites. BostonGlobe.com will require a paid subscription to access, while Boston.com will remain free.

Globe to offer two websites: one free, one pay

So soon you’ll need to pay for the privilege of reading Dan Shaughnessy. On the other hand, apparently you’ll get all the Tony Massarotti and Chris Gasper you want for absolutely free!

Update…

The following was posted on Twitter by a Boston.com sports producer:

The good news about all of this two websites business is that all of sports will be free. Sports fans have nothing to worry about.Thu Sep 30 20:13:32 via Seesmic Desktop

Now I have to say, if true, that is extremely smart on the part of the Globe. Sports articles are among the most visited on the website, (some people only visit the sports articles) and to continue to offer them from free would be a win for many consumers.

I can’t help but think that the amount of competition out there in this market for sports coverage lead to the decision to keep it free. Who would pay just for the Globe’s take on sports when they can choose from dozens of other outlets?

Who Will The Globe Hire To Replace Albert Breer?

This is Albert Breer’s last week with the Boston Globe before he joins the NFL Network next week. In his weekly chat on Friday, Chad Finn answered the following question from a reader:

What’s the Globe’s plan that Bert is leaving? 
 
Chad Finn:
Not my place to divulge names, but I know of at least one pretty well-known NFL writer who interviewed this week. I know Bert took a lot of heat from readers for his occasional contrarianism, but I’ll miss him. The only person I’ve met in this business who exudes a genuine passion for football like Bert does is Mike Reiss. He did get a very sweet gig at the NFL Network. He’ll be making 150 TV appearances over the course of a year as well as writing for NFL.com as one of their eastern correspondents.

It is a great gig for Breer, no question about it.

So who has interviewed at the Globe, and who might they consider hiring as a replacement for Breer has the top NFL writer?

Here is my very short list.

1) Todd Archer, Dallas Morning News  (@toddarcher )

A source tells me that Archer (right), Breer’s former coworker at the DMN, was actually very seriously considered when the Globe hired Breer. In fact, they may have preferred him over Breer, but couldn’t get the details worked out.

I don’t know if they would still have the same level of interest this time around, but Archer, who I believe does have Boston ties, would have to be considered a serious candidate.

2) Greg A Bedard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel(@Greg_A_Bedard )

I believe strongly that Bedard (right) is the “pretty well-known NFL writer” cited by Finn in his above chat. Ultimately, I think he is the one who may well end up with the job. In fact, my source says he’s been offered the job. He’s also got local ties, as Breer himself pointed out in a training camp blog post that Bedard did for Boston.com on the Packers, noting that like Breer, Bedard is a “Lincoln-Sudbury guy.” Prior to covering the Packers, Bedard covered the Miami Dolphins for the Palm Beach Post.

Bedard is prolific on Twitter, which is where I first came across him. This interview with Cheesehead TV gives you some more of his background, and that he cites the Boston Globe as  big influence on his career. (Uh oh, a slight slam at Shaughnessy in there.) This more recent interview with a Rutgers blog (Bedard is an alum) has Bedard weighing in on Devin McCourty, also a Rutgers product: “I like Devin McCourty but don’t think he’ll be any better than a pretty good player (not elite).”

In the end, I think Bedard is the one that they want, the questions will be a) whether he wants to move his family, and b) if the job, as offered is going to be appealing to him. How much support will he get from management…will he feel comfortable with the beat writers already in place at the Globe? Is the Boston Globe still an appealing destination for writers to come to?

I think we’ll find out relatively soon. I believe the position will be filled rather quickly, one way or the other.

A Challenge To Dan Shaughnessy

Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy submitted a routine hack job of the Patriots and their methods in this morning’s newspaper. He made the usual comparisons (Nixon White House) and accusations (arrogance) and even made a statement calling out some of his colleagues in the media.

The Patriots are the Nixon White House of sports. They see demons everywhere. They bash dissent, deny the obvious, and rely on a silent majority of loyalists (including some credentialed media) to pledge allegiance.

(emphasis mine)

So here’s the challenge to the bravest columnist in town (as described by his editor, Joe Sullivan):

Name the credentialed media. Call them out by name. Do it publicly. Don’t send an email or make a phone call. Just name them.

I mean, this is a serious offense, is it not? These so-called objective media members, who have pledged allegiance to the evil empire that is the New England Patriots and their emperor, Bill Belichick, need to be identified.

I like how Dan is implying his own bravery here as well by mentioning the “silent majority of loylists” – the implication being that there are only a few brave souls – including himself – who dare speak against the evil being committed down in Foxborough.

So let’s hear it Dan. Who are the credentialed media members who have pledged allegiance to the Patriots?