News came down a little while ago of the punishment handed out to the New Orleans Saints in the bounty program that was operated under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who is now with the Rams.
- Saints Head Coach Sean Payton is suspended for the entire 2012 season without pay.
- Saints GM Mickey Loomis is suspends for eight games.
- Saints Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt is suspended for six games without pay.
- Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely, with Roger Goodell re-assessing the situation after the 2012 season.
- The Saints give up their second round picks this season and next season.
- The Saints franchise is fined $500,000.
There will also apparently be player discipline coming down at a later time.
This makes the Patriots 2007 punishment look like a slap on the wrist.
(Of course, for some, this will go the other way, and some will claim the Patriots got off too lightly and will call for a retroactive suspension of Bill Belichick.)
Edit…and we have a winner:
Well, it seems like he steals more than just words.
UXBRIDGE — A well-known Central Massachusetts reporter is facing criminal charges that he stole $100,000 from a Sutton golf course where he worked as the pro shop manager.
Kenneth P. Powers, 49, of 36 Abbott St., No. 4B, Worcester, is scheduled to be arraigned in Uxbridge District Court Jan. 28 on one count of larceny over $250. A criminal complaint was issued Jan. 11.
The decade was rocked by two major plagiarism scandals involving newspaper sports reporters in Boston.
In February, 2005, the Patriots were in Jacksonville, getting ready for their third Super Bowl of the decade. Ken Powers was covering the team for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, when we learned on the morning of February 2nd, that he had been sent home from covering the team. The Editor & Publisher reported that Powers had been accused of lifting material from a Peter King Sports Illustrated story.
Later that day, with the help of a couple BSMW readers, I posted a side-by-side comparison of what King had written and what Powers had written.
Powers was promptly fired by the paper, after an investigation turned up “at least half a dozen” cases of plagiarism. He responded by telling WBZ-TV – “The termination is a terrible injustice to me.” - even as more cases were being posted here on BSMW.
Since that time, Powers has been working as a reporter for The Community Advocate and Central Mass. Sports Insider.
Two years later, in a Sunday Football Notes column for The Boston Globe, Ron Borges used numerous passages originally written by Mike Sando of The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington. The passages had been submitted by Sando to a “notes-sharing network” used by sports reporters across the country. Borges did not credit Sando in the notes, but there was a disclaimer at the bottom of the column (which ran most of the time in those Sunday notes columns) that “Material from personal interviews, wire services, other beat writers, and league and team sources was used in this report.”
Borges was then suspended for two months from the Globe, and barred from making outside media appearances.
Some have defended Borges, claiming that what he did was not really plagiarism. However, the Globe editor specifically stated in the announcement of Borges suspension that “The Globe does not tolerate plagiarism.”
Here are a couple of link collections about the story from that time period.
After serving his two-month suspension, Borges wrote one column, relying on fired Raiders offensive coordinator Tom Walsh, who had been operating a bed-and-breakfast in Idaho prior to taking charge of the Oakland offense, to tells us that Randy Moss was washed up, that his skills were in decline, and Moss was “in denial of those eroding skills.”
In 2003, Hartford Courant college basketball writer Ken Davis was suspended for a month after he lifted nine paragraphs from a Syracuse sports writer. (Journalist Plagiarism/Fabrication Scandals - also used for background on the Powers and Borges cases.)
These scandals put a black eye on sports coverage, and journalism as a whole, and certainly were among the biggest stories this decade in the Boston sports media.
I hate to do this, I really do, but I think Joey Porter needs to be defended a little bit here…
This morning’s articles, and in sports flashes and reports over the air since yesterday afternoon have, with a couple of exceptions, painted Joey Porter’s conference call with Boston reporters yesterday as just another Patriots hate session from the Dolphins linebacker.
Yes, Porter makes no secret of the fact that he hates the Patriots, and thinks that “Spygate” cost him two Super Bowl championships. However, during yesterday’s conference call, it was clear that Porter was being deliberately led down a path that would lead to him again revealing his hatred of the Patriots. He even mentioned it several times in the call, (which is available to read and listen to on Patriots.com- I encourage you to listen to the call…it’s pretty revealing at times.)
Let’s look at a few of the questions and answers from the call, along with my thoughts (in italics):
Q: Joey, do you have any reaction to the Sports Illustrated poll that has you the second dirtiest player in the NFL? (Nice opening question – let’s just get him in a bad mood to start off, maybe he’ll explode)
Q: Do you think it’s because some people don’t like you and put you on the list?
JP: Oh yeah, I have a lot of people that don’t like me. That’s fair to say. I don’t like a lot of people. It works both ways.
It’s nothing that’s going to change my everyday me being in that poll — one, two, five, wherever they put me. Obviously,
I’m on somebody’s mind though, so that’s cool.
Q: Why don’t people like you, Joey? (Did she really just ask that? Yup.)
JP: What’s your name? (Joey needs to know the name of the person who asked such a pathetic question.)
JP: I don’t know, Karen. (I actually love this. Gets her name, like he’s going to address her personally. I see Karen Guregian with her pen poised in mid-air, ready to write down the explosion that is to come. “I don’t know, Karen.” is all he says. Perfect.)
Q: Last year with Matt Cassel, when he was here, you said you’d treat him like a backup. Obviously, Vollmer is a backup as well. So how are you going to treat him? (The object of this question seems clear – Porter went off on Cassel last year before the first game between the teams, maybe we can get him to do it again with another backup player.)
JP: You have the answers there already. You want me to say what you want me to say. Like you want me to answer that question. You answered that question about how I felt about [Matt] Cassel, you’re trying to get me to say the same thing about him so you can say, ‘Joey Porter’s talking about the backup.’ You go ahead and fill in the blank. I’m not falling for none of those little tricks. I get mad when I want to get mad. Right now, [with] you guys, none of you guys I’m mad at, so I’m not going to sit up here and give you nothing to talk about because I’m mad at neither one of you media guys in that room. So if that’s what this conversation is going to be about, about fishing, then you guys ought to come out here to Miami and we’ve got some good lakes we’ve got to fish here. You can come too, Karen.
(Porter calls them out on the question, knowing exactly what they’re trying to do to him, and he doesn’t seem to like it. He even tries to change things up by being funny. As we’ll see, it doesn’t work.)
Q: Joey, I heard the word ‘hate’ a lot in that locker room after you guys beat the Jets, and how you guys felt about them. And I remember you saying it’s always going to bring your best football out when you hate the other guy. You’ve played against the Patriots for quite some time whether it was with the Steelers or it was with Miami, what’s your feeling towards New England? (Duh. Did they have to be so obvious? Like they don’t know. )
JP: Same way they feel about me. So do you want me to say it first? (Again, Porter knows what they’re trying to get out of him.)
Q: I don’t know if they like you. (Playing dumb again.)
JP: You know they don’t like me. Everybody knows, let’s be honest, they don’t like me and that’s fair. I don’t like them and that’s fair. So it’s not like it’s a divorce happening, we were never really married anyway.
(It is what it is.)
Q: So you bring the same approach into this game as you would against the Jets last week?
JP: Yeah, it’s good to have a healthy rivalry. And, like I’ve said, to have a rivalry we have to win some, they can’t be one-sided. We split with them last year and the year before that they beat us twice. So this is my third year and [in this division] going up against them and we’re trying to change the way it used to be. My feelings toward New England goes back further. It goes back to my Pittsburgh days, so I felt a certain way after some things came out, way back when. I was in Pittsburgh for some AFC Championships that I’ve lost to them a couple of times that come to figure out a month later why we lost. So, yeah, I have a natural hate for them – period. And that’s just going to be with me forever. That’s not ever going to change.
(Now he decides to give in and give them what they want. Or he is just toying with them.)
Q: Can you identify what you’re referring to there, Joey? (Again, Duh. Why couldn’t one of them asked whether shoddy special teams might’ve had something to do with the Steelers losing that first AFC title game? THAT would’ve made for an interesting response.)
JP: Nope. You can fill in the blanks. Y’all are smart guys over there. (C’mon you idiots. Let it drop.)
Q: But you felt it cost you rings, then? (Salt. Wound. Rub. Maybe he’ll say even more. Please please please.)
JP: Yeah, I mean we do this every year around this time I do this conference call. You know exactly what I’m talking about. And they know exactly what I’m talking about. And that’s not going to change from my thought process on that situation.
(Haven’t we talked about this enough? Just read what I said the last 20 times this topic came up.)
Finally, the last part of the conference call was real football questions. Asking about facing Tom Brady, about what the Patriots did to them in the second game last year, how they spread them, and if last week’s game might’ve been a turning point for the Dolphins. Porter gave much more expansive and intelligent answers to those legitimate questions. Did you read any of that stuff today? Probably not.
It seems pretty clear to me that the object of this press conference was to lead Porter in a certain direction, with the object being to get the most inflammatory, outrageous answers possible. The general first impression that comes out of the reporting on this call is that Porter was just spouting out his hatred of the Patriots unprovoked, which just isn’t true. It is being said that Porter “tried to behave” – but how could he really? The media had a object in mind from this call, and they were going to do all they could to tweak Porter into giving it to them.
Boston.com reports that former TV sportscaster and “Candlepins for Cash” host Bob Gamere has been arrested on charges of transporting and possessing child pornography.
The article states that Gamere “told the Globe a year ago that he was “semi-retired,” though he had been doing some announcing at Boston University track meets and was until recently calling horse races at the Brockton Fair.”
He also did a one-time fill in appearance on WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan program.
We’re back with another installment of infamous moments in Boston sports media history.
The relationship between the media and professional athletes has always been an adversarial one. Rarely however, has it gotten physical.
On September 9th, 1979, the Patriots had just routed the New York Jets 56-3.
These days morning talk show hosts and ESPN analysts would be eviscerating the Patriots for running up the score and showing poor sportsmanship- the Patriots scored 14 points in the fourth quarter when they were already up 42-3.
The atmosphere in the Patriots locker room following the game should’ve been light hearted, but cornerback Raymond Clayborn was miserable. He had a bad week, twice scuffling with teammates in practice.
After the game, Clayborn was snapping at writers and bumping into them on purpose. Legendary writer Will McDonough of The Boston Globe took exception, saying “”Hey, Ray, there’s no need to do that.”
Clayborn reacted by jabbing his finger in McDonough’s face, poking him in the eye. McDonough then punched him twice, knocking him into a laundry cart and taking down a number of people with him.
The story immediately went into legend, with some accounts stating that McDonough had knocked Clayborn “out cold” with a single punch, and others describing more of a scuffle between the two.
McDonough was lionized among his colleages in the media for the incident, which was lauded as an example of “southie justice.”
From a Globe story after McDonough’s death:
”After that, he became a folk hero.” says Vince Doria, the former Globe sports editor who is now vice president/ director of news at ESPN.
”You know how when you’re a kid, you go around saying, `My dad can beat up your dad’?” says Sean McDonough. ”Well, after that, I went to school saying, `Never mind beating up your dad. My dad can beat up an NFL player.”’
What do you think would happen if a member of the media and an athlete got into a fight in the locker room these days?
Periodically, we’re going to look back in Boston Sports Media history and revisit some of the more infamous moments that this group has foisted upon the general public.
The left fielder of the Boston Red Sox is a brilliant hitter, with few peers in the history of the game. However, he hasn’t always cooperated with the media, and has been known on occasion to perhaps not go all-out on the field. Often categorized as “aloof” or “immature”, his accomplishments at the plate seem to be overshadowed by these characteristics. Some are sick of his act, and decry the negative example he sets for our youth.
We’re talking of course about Ted Williams.
Williams was a particular target of Boston Record columnist Dave Egan, who ripped Williams with a style and frequency that would make Dan Shaughnessy blush.
In 1952, Williams was headed to Korea for his second tour of combat duty with the Marines. It was his last game before heading out, and many showed up at Fenway Park to pay tribute to him. They were well aware that this might be the final game of his brilliant career, he could be injured or killed in the war, and no one knew how long the war might continue. By the time it was over, Williams might be too old to continue playing.
It was under these circumstances that Egan took aim at Williams for being a poor example for America’s youth. (Excerpted from the Ted Williams Reader.)
… Swings left-handed like Williams. Wears his pants long, like Williams. Plays the outfield, like Williams. And will not wear a necktie even when the occasion insists upon a necktie, simply because the great man will not wear a necktie.
The skies will not tumble down upon us, whether a boy wears a necktie or not, but I have the right and the duty to ask where Ted Williams is leading this boy. Does he also refuse to tip his cap, does he feel that even the most indecent gestures will be overlooked, so long as he can hit a baseball with a piece of wood? Is he a rebel against conformity, simply because the man after whom he models himself has successfully rebelled, and may he expect to be honored by the municipal big wheels at a later date, if he follows the pattern set by Williams?
It seems disgraceful to me, that a person such as Williams now is to be given the keys to the city. We talk about juvenile delinquency, and fight against it, and then officially honor a man whom we should officially horsewhip for the vicious influence that he has had on the childhood of America…
Williams has stubbornly and stupidly refused to recognize this responsibility to childhood. The kid has set a sorry example for a generation of kids. He has been a Pied Piper, leading them along a bitter, lonely road.
So on the day that Williams was leaving to serve his country and put his life on the line, Egan rips him because he prefers not to wear neckties. He’s worried that America’s youth will be tarnished because Ted Williams will not wear a tie.
Manny’s got it easy.
There will be no approval ratings today. Instead, we’re going with this analysis of the Boston Herald’s ongoing apology.
Has the Boston Herald been carefully orchestrating this whole walkthrough apology in order to generate the most attention (and revenue)?
It would appear so.
Yes, I certainly wanted more from the paper than simply the statement that was issued retracting the story and apologizing to the Patriots, but in addition to the apology, I would also expect some humility, contriteness, and sincerity to be a part of that package.
Dan Kennedy wonders how anyone could doubt the Herald’s sincerity, but he also admits that he believes Curt Schilling’s shoulder is a bigger story than the Super Bowl…
Herald editor Kevin R. Convey issued the following statement in regards to the episode.
A newspaper’s bond with its readers rests on credibility and accountability. When a mistake is made in reporting a story, that bond can remain intact, but only if the mistake is acknowledged, and acknowledged boldly, clearly and unequivocally.
The Herald did just that yesterday with its unprecedented front-page apology to the New England Patriots. We thought our story was solid. It wasn’t. And we owned up to it.
Nevertheless, I continue to stand behind the work of the Herald sports department and John Tomase, a talented journalist who has dealt with this difficult matter professionally while continuing to do his job under intense pressure.
In the end, as editor in chief of the Herald, I take full responsibility for the publication of this story, and I offer my own apology to our readers and our staff.
In tomorrow’s Herald, you’ll hear from John Tomase directly. And I hope that you’ll see, as our coverage of this story and others goes forward, that our dedication to accuracy remains unchanged, and that our first priority will always be maintaining that bond of trust with our readers.
I might be a bit too sensitive here, but his line about the “unprecedented front-page apology” strikes me as just a tad self-congratulatory. Look at us! We shouted it from the rooftops! Why couldn’t he have called it their “sincere” front page apology? Or just said “our apology?” Now is not the time to bask in your deeds.
He praises John Tomase for dealing with this “difficult matter professionally.” I’m just glad he didn’t laud John for his courage under “intense pressure.” Tomase brought this “difficult matter” and “intense pressure” upon himself by his lack of professionalism. We can’t forget that.
How about that last line: “our first priority will always be maintaining that bond of trust with our readers.” A little late for that, I’m afraid. Rather than maintaining, you’re going to have to build it first.
One sure way not to build a bond and trust with your readers is to publish pure garbage and hate like that spewed by Tony Massarotti this morning.
Not in New England, now the official home of yahoos, hero worshipers and gutless suck-ups. To this entire group, it was all about whether there was a tape; anything else doesn’t matter so much.
I don’t know about you, but reading that in the Herald gives me the warm fuzzies. I’m feeling a warm bond of trust building between the Boston Herald and all Patriots fans. Not that Tony is very specific. He says “this entire group” can’t see that the Patriots broke the rules. That means YOU.
Now let’s get to the stories behind the story, the stuff nobody wants to talk about for fear of being exposed. The media is a sordid business. Professional and personal relationships frequently collide. Patriots coach Bill Belichick gives Christmas gifts and holiday cards to some members of the media, cyanide-tipped glares to others. You’re either a Belichicklet or you are not, and there is no base-level membership.
If you’re going to buy in, you have to sell out.
Thanks but no thanks.
Right. Tony’s not going to sell out. I said Tony’s not going to sell out. Really. He’s above all of that material bullsh*t. He would never allow his personal and professional relationships to collide or get involved with a subject he covers. Never.
Whoops. I guess it really is a material world and Tony is a material girl.
As you are a member of the public, we strongly urge you to review all media stories (particularly this continuously developing one) with a cynical and skeptical eye. Try to discern which members of the media show up to work wearing Patriots Super Bowl jackets, and which of your pathetic, repressed middle-aged neighbors wear their Tedy Bruschi jerseys on Sundays.
I think he’s writing about my friend Matt here, but I can’t be sure. Oh wait, Matt has a Vrabel jersey. Can’t be him. Again though, the Herald is just cuddling me in a warm blanket of trust. A pathetic, repressed blanket of truth.
Oh, I see, he’s talking about Glenn Ordway, Pete Sheppard and Fred Smerlas. Do they also qualify as “pathetic, repressed” and “middle-aged?” Check. (according to Tony.)
Meanwhile, take time to wonder if those same neighbors are blogging and posting on message boards while spending hours on hold so they might hear their voices on the radio.
Just like karaoke!
Ah…now we’re into it. It’s the bloggers fault!
By the way, Tony would sell his firstborn child for a permanent co-host position on WEEI. When Eddie Andelman left the station, Tony badly wanted the job which eventually went to Bob Neumeier. He was so disgruntled, that he abandoned WEEI and jumped over to 1510 because they would give him more hours. Eventually when 1510 started to go South, he came back to the WEEI fold. I guess Tony likes to hear his voice on the radio too.
If WEEI calls and wants him on the Big Show this afternoon to capitalize on this story, he’ll gladly take the $75/hour (or whatever they’re paying Big Show co-hosts these days) and sit right next to those media members “wearing Patriots Super Bowl jackets.”
Also, isn’t it just amazing how much these bloggers and message board posters get under skin of these media types?
These are the people who preserve the sports fantasy world that justifies their own sorry existence.
Tony goes to the games, watches the athletes play sports, eats well, gets quotes from the athletes, writes snide columns, and gets paid. Who’s living in the sports fantasy world here? For most people sports is a fun subset of their life. They work in the real world. Sports are an escape. For Tony, it is his life. Does Tony feel he leads a sorry existence? Is that what this is about?
Somewhere along the line during this Golden Era of Boston sports, maybe we all went soft. In the past year or so, the Pats have been fined and stripped of a first-round draft pick, had two players arrested for drug possession and another suspended for the use of human growth hormone. Then the Pats went out and lost one of the biggest games in the history of professional sports against a team they were favored to beat by two touchdowns.
How dare anyone criticize them?
Let’s move the goalposts on what the subject is this week. Who said the Patriots couldn’t be criticized? That’s not remotely what this is all about. This outcry is about the fact that Tony’s paper ran a story that wasn’t true…and one they didn’t check their facts on. This isn’t about criticizing the Patriots, it’s about shoddy journalism.
Speaking of which, Convey emphasized the “dedication to accuracy” at the Herald. So much for that. The Patriots didn’t have two players arrested for drug possession this offseason. Kevin Faulk was not arrested. Small point, yes, as Faulk did get in trouble, but this “dedication to accuracy” should dictate that Massarotti and the Herald get their facts straight.
What was the point of this column?
My instinct tells me it’s the Herald capitalizing on the publicity that this whole incident has generated. Tony writes angry column. Fans can’t help but read it. They respond by commenting and talking about it with others. More papers are purchased. More ads are shown online as more pageviews are generated. The comments fly in on the page. People return again and again to read them, creating even more page views and thus ad views. The column gets analyzed on blogs and on sports radio.
Get ready for groundhog day, as the same thing is going to happen tomorrow. Tomase’s explanation of what happened and where the story went wrong is on tap. The paper is teasing it, getting people talking about it, building anticipation.
I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to say. It should be interesting, seeing as how he’s still been playing the antagonist with his reporting this week, even having a post removed from the Point After blog -(the one with the lede about Walsh admitting to spying on the Rams) either by himself or by the higher-ups at the paper. We’re supposed to believe he’s suddenly contrite and humble about the whole thing? I’d like to see Tomase address the issues laid out by Scott Benson. We also should see the source named. We will be waiting to see what he has to say.
Which is exactly what the Herald wants.
Yes, the Herald is orchestrating this whole event so as to capitalize on the publicity. I guess you can’t blame them. If they’re going to get all this attention they might as well make some money off it, right?