Tom Brady and Pedro Martinez have brought New England sports fans some of their greatest moments over the last 17 years or so. Pedro was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week, and Brady is already a lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame whenever it is that he decides to hang it up.
In the span of four hours this week, the achievements, integrity and character of both stars was openly brought into question by the top rated show on local sports radio.
The accusations are veiled under the disingenuous the guise of “Hey I’m just asking the question,” but in reality there is no attempt here to “speak the truth”, as some lackeys of the show would claim. There is no claim of actual knowledge by the hosts – that would take actual work and effort – and they are even too cowardly to make an direct accusation. The one and only object is to lob innuendo-loaded bombs over the fan base to rile them up, and then sit back and laugh and collect a paycheck.
It was suggested – though in reality portrayed as fact – that both Martinez and Brady benefited from from performance-enhancing drugs. In addition, Brady was called a “prima donna” and the image of Martinez is that of a punk.
The show continues to gather huge ratings. My question is why?
Is this enjoyable? To whom?
At what juncture do we reach a tipping point, where the trolling and negativity just becomes weary? We clearly haven’t reached that point yet, and I’m not sure we’re even close.
It may actually take a few years of all of these teams actually being as bad as they are portrayed to be for this to wind down. If the Patriots are actually 4-12, week after week of saying how much they suck might be as grating to the same people who currently make that claim about week after week of saying that a 12-4 team is good. (Which in reality isn’t happening now, despite claims that it is.)
It used to be fun to listen to sports radio during the week-long buildup to big games. Now it is something to be avoided at all costs by the true fan.
At this point, there are really only 2 1/2 local shows that I would recommend listening to with any regularity. Dennis and Callahan and Minihane can be very good when the topic is actual sports, not hotsportztakes. The best thing Kirk Minihane has done has made me like Gerry Callahan again. Minihane has taken over the full-time contrarian role, allowing Callahan to just be the guy who actually likes sports and the local teams.
Gresh and Zo are the best program on the air locally for Patriots and NFL talk. They are definitely worth a listen. Dale and Holley is the other show that I recommend. People tend to hate on Dale, which I don’t fully understand. They can be critical of the local team without purposefully dumping on them just for attention. They work well together, and add Jerry Thornton to this show was the best fit for him.
Inevitably, I’ll get the “Oooooh, you just want the media to be positive all the time about the teams, Bruce.” comments, tweets and emails from the select few who send me that same crap all the time.
That notion is ridiculous. I have no issue with legitimate criticism of the local teams. There is certainly enough of it to go around, despite all the winning that has taken place around here.
I draw the line at local hosts impugning the character and achievements of Hall of Fame athletes simply to rile people up and draw attention to themselves. It’s shameful.
But it’s not going away anytime soon.