“The Fellowship of the Miserable” – A Boston Magazine Feature on Sports Media

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You’ll recall that last year, Alan Siegal wrote a feature for Boston Magazine on 98.5 The SportsHub morning team Toucher and Rich.

Siegal, who has also written for Deadspin among other publications, is back in the pages of Boston Magazine this month with a feature entitled The Fellowship of the Miserable.  The introduction for it goes like this:

Whiny, petulant, entitled, self-important—no, it’s not Boston fans we’re talking about, it’s Boston sportswriters. How did the sports media in this town, once the envy of the nation, become so awful?

The piece focuses on how far the local media has fallen in terms of being beaten regularly by the national media on local stories, (The Jeff Passan piece on the Red Sox last summer, and Adrian Wojnarowski on the much of the Ray Allen stuff with the Celtics) and by non-beat reporters on other pieces (he reports that then-Globe publisher Marty Baron was the one who initiated what became the Bob Hohler “beer and fried chicken” column following the 2011 season, not sports editor Joe Sullivan) and why they seem to be getting worse and worse on the rest of the stuff. Dan Shaughnessy is among those dinosaurs who are targeted in the feature.

 To put it bluntly, “The Lodge”—as Fred Toucher, cohost of the 98.5 The Sports Hub morning radio show, mockingly refers to the city’s clubby, self-important media establishment—is clogged with stale reporters, crotchety columnists, and shameless blowhards. Their canned “hot sports takes” have found a home on local television and talk radio, but do little but suck the fun out of a topic that’s supposed to be just that. And we haven’t even gotten to Dan Shaughnessy yet.

If you’re a sports media junkie, it’s a must-read. And yes, I am quoted in it.

Toucher and Rich Featured in Boston Magazine

98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich are profiled in the latest issue of Boston Magazine, in a feature by Alan Siegel.

Revolution Radio

While the column mostly focuses on the rise of Toucher and Rich, (and all of 98.5) and their backgrounds, it also looks at the fall of WEEI.

A quick sample of the arrogance of T&R’s direct competition:

When asked about Toucher and Shertenlieb that summer, Gerry Callahan — their direct competition — said he’d never heard of them. “I am speaking to you from under my desk right now because I am so scared,” he told the Herald’s Jessica Heslam. “I’m afraid to come out.”

Then, to close the feature, after T&R had beaten D&C in four quarterly ratings periods:

In March, I asked WEEI program ­director Jason Wolfe about ­Toucher & Rich’s bomb-throwing.

“Sticks and stones…” he said in an e-mail. “If listeners want compelling, entertaining, and smart sports talk, they’re going to listen to Dennis & Callahan.” For his part, Callahan declined comment via e-mail. It’s unclear if he did so from under his desk.

Globe Taking on WEEI.com? Boston Mag on Belichick

A couple items of interest this midday:

David Scott has The Boston Globe preparing for life without Gordon Edes, and at the same time gearing up to battle with the all-new WEEI.com by creating an internet-only Red Sox reporting position in addition to a replacement for Edes. Interesting stuff. Scott provides a list of potential hires by the Globe for the open spots.  

Boston magazine has 14 armchair psychologists (including Senator John Kerry, Michael Felger, Will Leitch, Gregg Easterbrook, and embattled author James Frey) break down the mind of Patriots coach Bill Belichick.