Fortnight From Hell

(Thoughts on this season that wasn’t from guest blogger Bob Ekstrom. Reach him at [email protected])

I have to give it to Bruce for being our first responder, trying to restore order to the chaos and carnage of last Sunday. Now it’s up to the rest of us to dig out of our personal rubble. For me, it was a hellish fortnight that began when I realized the road-warrior Giants were the designated visiting team in Super Bowl XLII, this being an even-numbered year. Then, Johan Santana signed with the Mets eight weeks after the Twins asked for Jon Lester’s medical records, a leading indicator that a trade for the Coco Crisp package was imminent. Days before the Super Bowl, the Lakers acquired Pau Gasol, thereby providing Kobe Bryant with newfound passion and earning him comparisons to our beloved Tom Brady. I never want to see those two names in the same sentence again, but it does seem plausible that Phil Jackson will break the tie with Red Auerbach yet. To kick it all, my son decided to paint his new room in Patriots blues, reds, and grays, courtesy of Lowe’s. It seemed we were tempting fate by immortalizing a perfect season upon his walls before perfection was achieved.

At about 6:30 Sunday night, the Patriots lost the coin flip and didn’t see the ball until his bedtime. Then, all hell broke loose.

Since Sunday night, I’ve searched for my therapy in front of the radio, rather than turning to websites or newsprint. Airwaves carry the voice of the real fan, and some were bound to express my sentiments. But now, I no longer want to hear that the Giants outplayed the Patriots. I saw that for myself. It doesn’t help me get over the fact that the Patriots should not have been outplayed, that the better team did not win. It may be sour grapes, but I’m a fan before a writer. Vic Carucci feels my pain, even as Logan Mankins says there are more important things than football. Are you kidding? Christopher L. Gaspar has Coach Belichick not dwelling on this one, either. Hey, I need these guys to be in the dumps until I’ve gotten up. Mike Vrabel and Dan Koppen understand that.

I also don’t need more complaints about the FG that was never attempted, or an O-line that provided as much resistance against the Giants’ rush as those turnstiles at the T do to the commuter rush. The bottom line is that our team got the footing for victory with 2:42 remaining, then ceded it. The end came 1:27 later, when a potential fourth-and-fifteen morphed into a first down with the Eli-to-Tyree catch, now preserved in Super Bowl lore as The Escape. 18 games, 58 minutes, and 45 seconds of perfection fell by the wayside when Rodney Harrison could not make that football do the same.

Karen Guregian puts Sunday’s loss in its quantitative perspective, but she also goes one better in addressing the emotional damage it could inflict on New England’s future. I’m down, but not that down. As one Giants fan pointed out in a call to WEEI this week, it took a super-human effort and all the bounces to set this team back. Already looking forward, Mike Reiss suggests that Randy Moss could be franchised, making the offense seemingly as potent next year. And, as they did after a fourth quarter defensive meltdown last year, Belichick and Scott Pioli should have one marquee defensive acquisition up their sleeves this year. Unfortunately, it might not involve keeping Asante Samuel.

Like my fellow Pats’ fans, I’m still alive, and if this one didn’t kill us, maybe it will make us stronger. For the time being, I’m still not ready to go into my son’s blue, red, and gray room quite yet.

A New Beginning

Sometime over the next week or so, BSMW will be offline for while. We’re moving to a bigger and better server, and also getting a re-design. The current front page has been here since 2004, making it pretty ancient in terms of design.

The new look is quite different, so I’m warning you now, though there will be many familiar aspects remaining, plus some new features.

During the time that is offline, the message board will still be up and running, as it is hosted on a different server and on a different domain. My email will also remain up and running, so you can continue to contact me as normal.

Patriots Daily will still be running, (and will be a good place to check for status updates) but Scott’s Shots and the BSMW Full Court Press will be down while BSMW is down, and possibly longer as there will be more configuration needed for those sub-sites. The Links sites will all remain up and running.

I’ll try to keep you posted as I get more information about the timing of the changes.

The Celtics held off the Los Angeles Clippers at the Garden last night to maintain their perfect record against the Western conference. Check the stories at

The Bruins next play tomorrow night in a rematch with the Sabres. Check for more.

Things seem to be getting back to football matters finally, as John Tomase and Mike Reiss look at some offseason decisions facing the Patriots.

Even down in Philly they’re not taking kindly to Senator Arlen Specter’s antics regarding the NFL and Spygate. Will Bunch says that the situation is even worse than it appears on the surface.

Spring Training actually starts next week, a stark reminder that the baseball season is soon upon us. We’ve still got spots open on the BSMW Travel Club trip out to California with the Sox as they take on the A’s in the Oakland home opener. It’s a great chance to get an early start on spring. We’d like to get the trip wrapped up by the end of next week, (the 15th) so if you’re thinking of going, please contact us using either the booking form or you can email [email protected]. You can also call Sun Valley Travel directly, just mention you’re interested in the BSMW package.

CSN Goes HD Full-Time, HBO Drops INFL

Comcast SportsNet, the home of the Boston Celtics on TV, announced today that the network will have a new full-time HD channel on Comcast systems.

Depending on your location, if you are a Comcast HD subscriber, you should see the new channel at 852 or 779.

This means now that all Celtics road games will be telecast in high definition, starting with Friday night’s game against the Timberwolves. CSN notes that they are also “working with all cable operators to make HD road game telecasts available to all consumers.”

In addition, there will now be Celtics On Demand, featuring live game replays (posted for 24 hours) and original Celtics content, available to all Comcast subscribers.

Comcast SportsNet will telecast 34 remaining home and away Celtics games in HD along with Celtics Pre-Game Live, Celtics Post-Game Live, Celtics Now and Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight as well as other programming. To celebrate the launch of Celtics’ away games in HD, Comcast SportsNet is sponsoring a fan appreciation night tonight when the Celtics host the Los Angeles Clippers at TD Banknorth Garden and giving away certificates for two HDTVs at the game.

After 31 years on the air, HBO has pulled the plug on the venerable Inside the NFL series.

HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg, who joined the network’s sports division one year after the debut of INFL, announced today that the season finale of Inside the NFL, which is set for tonight and will recap the New York Giants Super Bowl victory, will mark the final edition of the program on HBO.

Inside the NFL has been a hallmark program for three decades on HBO,” said Greenburg. “It has been a terrific franchise. But the television landscape has changed quite a bit over the last 30 years and we have to recognize the realities of the business. I’m not sure we had more than one competitor when the show launched in 1977.

“We wish NFL FILMS, our partner for the past 31 years, all the best with continuing the great tradition of Inside the NFL.”

While no further details were released, you’ve got to wonder if the NFL Films rights got to be prohibitively expensive for HBO, and if NFL Network has plans for creating a similar program using those highlight packages.

Per the Globe today, a funeral Mass for Keith Ryan will be said at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Paul Church in Hingham.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday in Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel in Hingham.

The note also states that the family is awaiting further tests regarding the death of Ryan.