Doc’s House

The Celtics got back into the win column last night, with a blowout of Doc Rivers’ former club, the Magic in Orlando. This one was never really close as the Celtics took charge just about from the start. Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett have the game stories from the TD Waterhouse Centre. Bob Halloran says Paul Pierce doesn’t have a good record with buzzerbeaters. Marcus Banks had a big night with 20 points off the bench, getting his chance to play again after rookie Delonte West was sidelined with a broken hand suffered Sunday night in Miami. WWZN was the first to report on West’s injury midway through yesterday afternoon. The notebooks deal with the injury to West, with Springer’s notebook looking at possible roster moves, and Bulpett’s notebook has a couple other notes including rookie Al Jefferson not backing down to an attempt at intimidation from Kelvin Cato.

Kevin Mannix hands out a “C” to Tom Brady and a “D” to Special Teams in this week’s edition of his Patriots Report Card. Steve Grogan passes “A’s” across the board in his commentary on the Pats this week. Tom E Curran looks at Brady establishing himself as one of the greats in the game. Nick Cafardo and Mike Reiss each have stories on Ted Johnson, who has enjoyed a late career renaissance with the Patriots.

Rich Thompson and Ron Borges each write about punters and kickers and their place in the game and the Hall of Fame. Alan Greenberg has an interesting article on the transformation of Don Davis from linebacker to safety. Chris Kennedy notes that the Patriots remaining schedule is loaded with lightweights with the exception of a trip to NY to face the Jets. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) notes that the Patriots have accomplished perhaps the most impressive feat of all – they’ve all but silenced the critics in the local sports media.

Mannix misses giving out F's like Shelley misses Cheers, and he is not the only nattering nabob with a void in his life. The grand tradition of constructive criticism and thoughtful analysis that followed each Patriots game for four decades has been eliminated like a nativity scene in front of City Hall. The professional cynic on the Pats beat has gone the way of the cobbler, the milkman and Dan Rather.

The writers, the TV guys, even the cheap shot-lobbing radio talk show hosts have been all but emasculated by the Patriots, transformed into pom-pom-waving eunuchs who can only look on in awe at this flawless football machine. That might be more impressive than 25-of-26.

Maybe Gerry just feels that the Globe doesn’t exist anymore. Can’t really blame him in some aspects. Steve Buckley (subscription only) files a column on the always steady Adam Vinatieri, who can be counted on no matter the conditions…weather or game-wise. Curran’s notebook has Josh Miller annoyed at himself for his kicking on Sunday. Thompson’s notebook looks at the importance of the running game. Reiss’ notebook says the Patriots can finally get a mini-breather after last week’s crazy schedule. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli heading back to Cleveland for this Sunday.

Bob Hohler was the first with the news on Doug Mirabelli re-signing with the Red Sox, and he has the story in this morning’s Globe. David Heuschkel also reports on the Sox getting their backup catcher for two more years. Michael Silverman reports that the Mets have offered Pedro Martinez a guaranteed three year deal with an option for a fourth year. Jon Couture has a look at the World Series DVD. Silverman’s notebook has more on Mirabelli’s deal, and notes the Sox interest in Jose Valentin.

Bill Griffith notes the Patriots ratings success, and also reports on the quick demise of the Morning Sports Brawl on WWZN. What’s interesting about it is the Red Sox role in getting the plug pulled on the show. So when Ordway and the boys claim that they are not at all influenced by the Red Sox on their programming in the summer, this incident at the very least gives you pause for thought. John Molori’s Media Blitz has a number of Thanksgiving Leftovers from the world of sports media, including shots at Gerry Callahan, Joe Buck, and crazy fans.

11.29.04 Afternoon

A few items for the afternoon:

Did John Dennis really quote this parody story from TheBrushback.com this morning as his “buzzerbeater”, believing it to be a REAL, factual story? He even used the Zach Thomas “quotes”.

Last Thursday the LA Daily News published an article on the top dozen turkeys in the world of sports media. Making the list was Ron Borges and his confrontation with Michael Katz:

WHEN BOXING WRITERS ATTACK The culprits: Ron Borges and Michael Katz.

The crime: Borges, of the Boston Globe, and Katz, of maxboxing.com, were part of the media covering the Oscar De la Hoya-Bernard Hopkins bout in June at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Then, Borges and Katz became the undercard.

Katz, who wears a neck brace and walks with a cane, accused Borges of being a "toadie" for fight promoter Don King. Borges retaliated by slapping Katz and knocking off his beret.

"You schmuck, how can you hit a cripple?" Katz said.

"You've been getting away with that (infirmity) for years," Borges answered.

That caused Katz to start poking Borges with his cane, setting off a melee. One person landed on promoter Bob Arum, knocking him down.

The aftermath: Katz would only call the incident "embarrassing." Borges wouldn't comment. The judges scored it an ugly draw.

Mike Reiss files a report from Foxboro today where he says that Matt Light “looked fine” walking through the locker room today. He also reports on some other goings on around the stadium this morning.

Some links from the later papers. Game stories for yesterday from David PevearEric McHughMike LoweGlen Farley and Tom King. Also, Ron Borges looks at the AFC playoff picture for MSNBC. Ron Hobson and Win Bates look at the terrific afternoon for Corey Dillon. Steve Solloway says that watching the Patriots is better than any reality series on TV. Hector Longo says that Tedy Bruschi needs to be sent to his first Pro Bowl this year. King’s notebook has more on Dillon, while Lowe’s notebook looks at the Patriots preparation for days like yesterday.

Mark Farinella writes about the High School football playoffs…and still manages a major dig at Bill Belichick.

The folks who run Gillette Stadium have given absolutely no thought to playing host to the playoffs, nor will they as long as there is a grass surface in the stadium, or as long as Bill Belichick is head coach.

Belichick would never agree to having his field chewed up by high school football players -- even though, last year, he offered no objections whatsoever to the damage wrought to the grass field by his own team until the NFL intervened as the playoffs began, and forced the Kraft organization to re-sod the surface before the game against Tennessee.

Belichick wanted to play on a chewed-up field last year because his team was the one that chewed it up, and the groundskeepers managed the damage to his liking. Playing as many as four high school games on the Saturday before an NFL game would cause ruts and holes that couldn't be repaired to Belichick's specifications quickly.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Be sure to tune in next week when Farinella provides irrefutable evidence that Bill Belichick is solely responsible for Global Warming. That’s all this afternoon from the BSMW Ivory Tower…

Patriots Move to 10-1

After a somewhat mistake prone first half, The Patriots turned in another dominating performance yesterday afternoon in Foxboro during the third and fourth quarters, humiliating the Ravens 24-3. Despite the last two minutes of the first half, there was a lot to like in this one, with Corey Dillon repeatedly running over the likes of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Game stories for this one are provided by Nick CafardoMichael FelgerTom E CurranAlan GreenbergMichael ParenteChris KennedyChristopher Price and of course BSMW’s own Scott A Benson, who provides this week’s edition of Patriots Rear View. Michael Smith covers the game for ESPN.com. Why can’t the Globe get writers like that? Lenny Megliola says that the Patriots are not going to lose another game this season. Ron Borges looks at the depleted secondary, which looks exploitable by opponents…until they take the field. Borges praises the work of Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini in how the secondary is coping, conspicuously absent is the word “Belichick” anywhere in the article. Kevin Mannix says forget Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, Tedy Bruschi should be the MVP.

Bob Ryan says that we need to truly appreciate what we’re seeing with this Patriots team. Jim Donaldson says that New England sports fans -the fellowship of the miserable- don’t appreciate the Patriots and basically indicates that they’re not worthy of having this team. He trots out the tired line that New England fans are only happy when they’re miserable, and are more concerned right now with the breaking up of the Red Sox than with anything that is happening in Foxboro. The only miserable people in New England right now are sports columnists who might have to find a new angle to pursue in future articles because there isn’t anything to be negative about…the only ones talking about the subjects Donaldson attributes to the fans are WEEI hosts, “celebrity callers” and flashguys.

Mike Reiss and Kevin McNamara have the Ravens tipping their caps to the Patriots team effort. Ian M Clark looks at the Patriots making the halftime adjustments to enable them to reel off 21 unanswered points in the second half. Tim Weisberg looks at the Patriots defense adjusting to what personnel was available to them and getting the job done. Again. Jim McCabe also examines all the movable parts in the secondary being able to once again find a way to shut down an opponent. Michael Gee (subscription only) looks at the Patriots being proponents of the theory of evolution in football, constantly adapting to their circumstances and environments, ensuring survival. Karen Guregian looks at the defense totally overwhelming young Kyle Boller. Rich Thompson says the Patriots defense proved it is the equal of any unit in the league.

Corey Dillon continued his amazing season for the Patriots yesterday, wracking up 123 yards against the vaunted Baltimore defense. Paul Harber writes that getting Dillon was certainly an early Christmas gift for the Patriots. Mike Reiss says that getting Dillon for a second round pick certainly looks like a one sided trade at this point. Ted Ribeiro looks at Dillon once again putting on a show in the second half for the Patriots. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes about Dillon emphasizing after the game that he does not care about the numbers. He’s only interested in winning games. Buckley writes that Dillon appears to have totally bought into the Patriots way of doing things, something that comes as a surprise to many people who objected to the trade when it happened. Alan Greenberg has more on Dillon, who has been everything the Patriots have hoped for, and more. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated looks at how Dillon just got better as the conditions got worse yesterday.

Dan Pires writes that once again Adam Vinatieri proved why he’s the best in the game. Frank Dell’Apa says that Vinatieri could’ve made an even longer field goal yesterday as his longest still had yards to spare. Michael O’Connor notes that the conditions were no big deal for the Patriots kicker. Dell’Apa also looks at Tom Brady, who despite the horrible field conditions, still got the job done. George Kimball (subscription only) has a very similar article, looking at how Brady handled the atrocious conditions. Dan Ventura looks at Jarvis Green executing the “scoop and score” technique that the Patriots practice each week. Steve Conroy has Ray Lewis hoping for another shot at the Patriots down the line.

After yesterday’s Tom Curran article getting Scott Pioli to talk about his future, Felger’s notebook adds to that, with Pioli taking his name off the market for this offseason vowing to stay with the team at the very least through the length of his contract. This makes some of the “experts” who never talked to Pioli on the matter look very foolish. In fact, in his mailbag last week, Nick Cafardo stated that Pioli very much wants to run a team on his own, and essentially that anything he says to the contrary is a lie. Cafardo stated this never having spoken to Pioli. Curiously, while all the other notebooks today (except the Projo, which had the story yesterday.) have some mention of Pioli’s statements, Nick’s notebook has not a word on the topic. The ProJo notebook has more on the Gillette Stadium field conditions. The Standard Times notebook has more on the big day for Corey Dillon. Parente’s notebook looks at the Patriots improvement on run defense.

The Celtics early season struggles continue, losing another close one last night, this time in Miami to Shaq and the Heat, 104-102. Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer have the game stories from last night. The Celtics fell behind, and made a strong comeback, with rookies playing a big role. 19 year old Al Jefferson spent quite a bit of time guarding Shaquille O’Neal, doing a credible job against the big man, while Tony Allen and Delonte West also provided sparks for the green. BSMW’s Full Court Press also has a look back at last night’s loss. Bulpett’s notebook has Shaq commenting on Paul Pierce, while Springer’s notebook has a look at Shaq’s Miami sidekick, Dwayne Wade.

Michael Silverman files a Red Sox notebook today with word that Orlando Cabrera wants a 4-5 year deal, which would pretty much put him out of the team’s plans for the future. The Red Sox as a team were selected SI Sportsmen of the Year yesterday.

FSN has Celtics/Magic at 7:00. ABC has Rams/Packers at 9:00.

No Sugar Tonight

Sunday links by Ben (ben@bostonsportsmedia.com)

In arguably its most important football game in twenty years, #17 Boston College laid an egg yesterday at home against Syracuse, 43-17. Michael Vega of the Globe and Mike Shalin of the Herald have the stories of this horror show from Alumni Stadium. Shalin

Groundhog Day

Saturday links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)

Celtics
Game stories: The Celtics blew another lead in the 4th quarter last night, and the Herald

Stay Away From the Malls

Like the leftovers at a sportswriters postgame spread, the links for pro sports today in the local papers are pretty slim pickings. High School football stories are all over the place, of course as is the tradition. From high up in the “Ivory Tower” that is BSMW, here’s a look at the scattered pro links from around Boston today.

The Patriots continue their preparation for the Ravens, Tom E Curran writes that Baltimore provides almost an exact opposite challenge to the one that Kansas City presented. Alan Greenberg looks at safety Ed Reed, who with all respect to Ray Lewis, is the real heart and anchor of the Ravens’ defense. John Powers looks at the development of Baltimore QB Kyle Boller, who has enjoyed the confidence of the coaching staff despite a few bouts of shakiness. Michael Parente looks at what 37 year old Deion Sanders adds to the Ravens. Eric McHugh looks at the rest of the Ravens’ secondary. Tom King says that even shorthanded, the Ravens can cause problems for the Patriots.

Ian M Clark looks at the Patriots young defensive line trio of Richard Seymour, (25 years old) Ty Warren and Vince Wilfork (each 23), and how they could be a dominating front line for years to come. Michael Felger looks at how when the Patriots talk about “team defense” it isn’t just a cliche or coachspeak. Mike Reiss looks at how Tom Brady is continuing to get better and better. Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun looks at Sunday’s matchup of Brady vs Ed Reed. Curran’s notebook looks at what Josh Miller has added to the Patriots. McHugh’s notebook looks at the Pats catching a break with Jamal Lewis out on Sunday. Felger’s notebook also looks at Miller.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics have the pieces to be a good and likable team, but need to put them all together, and soon. Shira Springer says the Celtics still have time to put things together, as it is only 10 games into the season, but it needs to happen fairly soon. Mike Fine has a look at what Marcus Banks is learning from Gary Payton. Peter May has a look at the new and improved Ricky Davis for ESPN.com. Bulpett’s brief notebook has a single item – the fine handed to Paul Pierce for his spitting incident against Cleveland in the preseason. The Celtics and Cavs play tonight at the FleetCenter.

Alex Speier looks at the Curt Schilling trade, a year later. Seems to have worked out pretty well for the Red Sox. Michael Silverman looks at the free agent outfielders, headlined by Carlos Beltran, who will set the free agent market tone when he finally signs with someone. Silverman also looks at the Red Sox outfield situation, noting that they’re probably all set for next season, with only a right handed hitting backup outfielder possibly on their wish list. Gotta say, I like the Herald continuing to crank out baseball articles while the competition does nothing.

Bill Griffith spent a night in the FSN production truck during a Celtics game and reports on the experience there. Christopher Price says that Patriots radio analyst Gino Cappelletti would fit in nicely with this years Patriots team on the field during his playing days and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Andrew Neff takes a look at the Official World Series DVD.

FSN had a Thanksgiving edition of New England Sports Tonight with Michael Felger, Michael Holley and Sean McAdam sitting around a table with Greg and Gary, eating a meal. It was a pretty good show, bouncing around to the things that have happened in this tremendous year in Boston sports, and all finding things to be thankful for. A refreshing change as the tone was positive, with very little of the in-your-face yelling style so in vogue on these types of shows. In the portion I saw Felger and Holley each admitted things that they were dead wrong on about this year, Felger on Dillon and Holley on the Nomar trade. Good job with the show guys, I wish there was more of this stuff.

FSN has Celtics/Cavs at 7:30. ESPN has Heat/Pistons at 8:00 and Kings/Lakers at 10:30. ESPN2 continues a full tilt of college hoops through the afternoon and evening.

Good Morning, Mr Powers…

Before we begin the links today, a little business to attend to. Apparently there was a mistake in this space yesterday. I’ll leave it to Ken Powers of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette to point it out to you:

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Powers
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2004 11:07 PM
To: Bruce@bostonsportsmedia.com
Cc: borges@globe.com; Nick Cafardo; Ken Powers; Ken Powers
Subject: Your Error in Reporting

Bruce --

it was brought to my attention that you posted today (Tuesday, 11/23) that Ron Borges, on the WBCN pregame show, called Rodney Harrison the Ron Artest of the NFL. I went to your site adn read it to find out that this is true, it's there on your site.

You're wrong Bruce. Completely wrong. Ron did not say that. I said it. I brought it up, we were talking about Tony Gonzalez and Rodney Harrison and their battles and I just threw it out there. I said it, and meant it, as a joke. I think it missed it's mark based on the reaction it received, but it was meant as a joke. In hindsight I shouldn't have said it. In hindsight it was a dumb thing to do.

The biger picture here, however, is that Ron Borges didn't say it. I said it. You got that wrong Bruce, completely wrong. And you owe Ron Borges an apology. In your column. In a prominent place. In, roughly, the same place you put the remark that he said it.

The funniest thing of all is that Ron predicted this would appear in your column in EXACTLTY the manner that it did. On the air, just minutes after I said it, he predicted this would get out, and get out wrong. Get out attributed to him. I find it amazing that he was so right about that.

A lot of people like to give Ron crap about his opinions and his style and the problem is, while they're doing that, they don't see the forest for the trees. He's one of the best football writers in the country, let alone Boston, and so many people just want to bad mouth him and dog him about everything he says, or in this case, doesn't say. It's a shame. He'll be gone before we know it and we'll be wondering what ever happened to the hard-nosed, tough journalists like Ron Borges.

I'll be watching for that apology Bruce,

Ken Powers
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

I’m not sure if Powers’ motivation here is to defend the honor of Borges, or to make sure he’s getting proper attribution for the asinine comment on the WBCN pregame. Whichever it is, this email did get under my skin a little bit, and not because I was wrong. I’ve been wrong plenty of times, and I’ve said so. Here’s my reply to Powers:

Ken,

I'll be glad to issue a correction. That's no problem, see unlike yourself and many of your distinguished colleagues, I have no problem saying when I was wrong.

An apology though? You have got to be kidding me.

Yeah, You and Ron issue "apologies" when you get your facts wrong. What a joke. You have your paper issue a "retraction" usually on some hidden page where no one is going to see it. An apology? Right. It's usually more like "The Telegram-Gazette" Or "Globe" "Regrets the error". I'll do the same. Nothing more.

I put one sentence on the page which says: "During the WBCN pregame last night, Borges called Rodney Harrison the Ron Artest of the NFL." That's hardly inflammatory or insulting. Your misplaced indignance here is laughable. Your email is the very definition of "thin skinned". You football writers are so tough in your columns and on the air, free to take personal shots at whomever you please and get your facts mixed up often, and yet when someone says something about you on a tiny little website you get your panties all up in a bunch. This is so petty I can't even believe it.

Since you were nice enough to include Ron and Nick on this email, I'll be sure to include them on this reply. I'll also give you the courtesy of having your entire letter printed on the website. All will see how wrong I was and how you put me in my place. Oh yeah, I will include this reply with it, as well.

Sincerely,

Bruce Allen

Was I harsh? Yeah probably. It may not have been necessary, but stuff like this annoys me. No problem for these guys to say all sorts of outlandish things in the paper and especially on the airwaves. Someone says something about them, and they go off.

The bottom line is I was wrong. Simple as that. I got bad information, much like Parcells got when he signed Marcellus Wiley. If I was going to go the newspaper route I could come up with some little statement like:

Due to a reporting error, Ron Borges was mistakenly identified as comparing Rodney Harrison to Ron Artest on the WBCN pregame show Monday night. It was actually Ken Powers who made the statement. BSMW regrets the error.

I got another email from Ken this morning, which was basically saying “No, YOU’RE being thin skinned…” whah whah whah. Whatever. His outrage over one simple line is hilarious to me.

Doc Rivers was right…his Celtics ran into a buzzsaw in the undermanned Pacers last night in Indiana, falling 106-96. Rivers had warned in a Steve Bulpett article yesterday that his team needed to not take the depleted Pacers lightly, as they were likely to be fired up and ready to play. They were. Mark Murphy and Shira Springer provide the game stories from Conseco Fieldhouse. The BSMW Full Court Press also weighs in on the action. Murphy’s notebook has Paul Pierce saying that Ron Artest’s suspension is perhaps a bit too harsh. Springer’s notebook has Tom Gugliotta headed to the injured list and rookie forward Justin Reed taking his place on the active roster.

With the Monday night game, the Patriots report cards were pushed back a day. Kevin Mannix believes that this Patriots team is once again on it’s way to doing something special. His grades are perhaps a little tough in areas, but overall I’d say he’s pretty fair about it. Michael Parente is much more generous in his grading of the team, always interesting to get two perspectives on the same areas. Alan Greenberg looks at how the Patriots managed to overcome some mistakes with critical stops when needed. Nick Cafardo looks at how important it was for the Patriots that they stopped the running game of Kansas City on Monday night. Chris Kennedy notes the play of the defensive line. Tom E Curran looks at the struggles of the secondary against the Chiefs.

The Patriots are now 26-3 since the start of last season, and Mike Reiss provides 26 reasons for the team’s success. Jackie MacMullan looks at how huge the addition of Corey Dillon is to this Patriots squad. Karen Guregian says the Patriots already need to be thinking about securing home field advantage for the playoffs. Steve Buckley (subscription only) notes that the Patriots are finally getting the national respect that their fans have craved. He’s not sure if this is a good thing or not, because by giving them to the world, they’re no longer “our own little football wanderers from down Route 1 way.” Ian M Clark looks at the return of Deion Branch on Monday. George Kimball (subscription only) has Trent Green and Tony Gonzalez still fuming over a non-call in the end zone that led to the Rodney Harrison interception just before the half.

Mike Reiss’ blog entry has thumbnail profiles of each of the Patriots coaches. This is the type of interesting and useful information I’m looking for from the media that covers the team. I’m not interested in ones who complain about the injury report, or that Bill Belichick is boring in his press conferences. These ones are more interested in being “edgy”, “hard nosed” and “tough”, drawing attention to themselves rather than to what they’re supposed to cover. Get me good, fresh, original information instead. Michael Parente says the Patriots may miss out on another top running back this weekend as Jamal Lewis could miss the game for the Ravens. Jonathan Comey’s NFL Power Rankings still has the Patriots on top of the heap, and takes a look at the numbers being put up by Peyton Manning. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the Patriots confidence in the passing game.

Shortstop is the topic when it comes to the Red Sox this morning. Bob Hohler reports that the Sox have not shown any interest in re-signing Orlando Cabrera, at least not to him or his agent. Michael Silverman says there are other options out there at the position. Silverman also notes that Nomar is no longer the class of the available players at the position. Silverman has a third article looking at the Mets expressing interest in Pedro Martinez.

Ron Borges’ boxing notes looks at Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins joining forces, trying to form a promotional company that will challenge the stranglehold that people like Don King have had on the sport.

FSN has Celtics/Sixers at 7:00. ESPN has Pistons/Cavs at 7:00 and Iowa/North Carolina college hoops at 9:30. ESPN2 has a college hoops triple header starting at 7:00.

Another Patriots Win…

The Patriots once again overcame their depleted secondary against a high-powered offense and won in Kansas City for the first time in 40 years last night. Nick Cafardo looks at an extremely satisfying win for the Patriots who move to 9-1 on the season. Michael Felger writes that we shouldn’t be surprised that the Patriots once again went into a hostile environment and found a way to come out on top. Tom E Curran looks at the Patriots taking advantage of Kansas City mistakes and weathering the offensive storm of the Chiefs. Michael Parente says that the best defense for the Patriots last night was a time consuming offense. Chris Kennedy also has the game story from Arrowhead Stadium. Alan Greenberg looks at the return of Deion Branch as a key factor in this victory for the Patriots. Scott A Benson breaks down the game in this week’s edition of Patriots Rear View.

Ron Borges has a further look at the return of Deion Branch, who was on the field for the first time since week two, and had over a 100 yards receiving and a slick move on a catch for a touchdown. During the WBCN pregame last night, Borges called Rodney Harrison the Ron Artest of the NFL. Kevin Mannix says we should admire this battered Patriots team which continues to overachieve and get the job done. Jackie MacMullan looks at the Patriots continuing their mantra of “grab a victory, and get back home”. Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at Tom Brady who continues to throw the right passes and say the right things. Buck is impressed that Brady said “Hi Mom” last night in addition to crediting the total team effort. Michael Gee (subscription only) looks at the Patriots behind Rodney Harrison once again overcoming injuries in the secondary to win the game. George Kimball (subscription only) has a piece on Deion Branch coming back from injury to pick right up where he left off. Here’s hoping the Herald can find another sponsor for their columnists as they did during the baseball playoffs, as these subscription only columns don’t always exactly qualify as “premium content”. Not a knock against the columns today, but they’re just general game story columns, not “must read” opinions of influential writers that are going to cause the casual reader to pony up for a subscription. Just suckers like me, I guess.

With his budget slashed and department short staffed, Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan takes a turn at writing, turning in a pair of articles. First he looks at Ty Warren, who had a huge game last night. Warren as you recall is the player the Patriots ended up with after getting the pick from Buffalo in exchange for Drew Bledsoe. Moreover, one of Sullivan’s underlings (*cough*BORGES*cough*) suggested at the draft this spring that second round pick Marquise Hill was drafted because Warren was a bust. Sullivan perhaps has that in mind when he says Warren isn’t a star yet, and first round picks are expected to be stars. Rich Thompson has a piece on Corey Dillon, who had 98 yards and two touchdowns, but was killing himself over a fourth quarter fumble that allowed the Chiefs to take over and drive 97 yards for a score that brought them to within five. Tom E Curran says Adam Vinatieri should be a Hall of Fame shoo-in. Marcus R. Fuller looks at the Patriots stopping the Kansas City running game. Thompson also writes that KC’s 3-6 record coming in was a bit deceptive. Sullivan’s second article is a look at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mike Reiss files a number of items in his blog from last night. Felger’s notebook suggests that we might’ve seen the last of Earthwind Moreland in a Patriots uniform. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Dillon’s remorse over his fumble, has quotes from Moreland (prior to the game, obviously) and another suggestion that Scott Pioli could be a candidate to build a team elsewhere. The remaining notebooks lead with Deion Branch. Curran’s notebook looks at Branch’s impact last night. Kennedy’s notebook looks at the importance of Branch getting back on the field. Parente’s notebook looks at Branch’s return, a minor roster move prior to the game, and more on Pioli.

Sean McAdam writes that it appears that Pedro Martinez doesn’t grasp the concept that the Red Sox are not going to get into a bidding war with the Yankees over his services, nor do they need to. Dom Amore says the Yankees have made no formal offer to Pedro. Tony Massarotti reports that the Red Sox have offered a four year deal to Jason Varitek. David Heuschkel says that his Red Sox teammates desperately want Varitek back in the fold. Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox continuing a Thanksgiving Week tradition of raising ticket prices.

Andrea Estes reports on the Red Sox plans for the latest Fenway Park facelift, to be revealed at 11:00 this morning. Tony Massarotti looks at the Red Sox situation at second base, he also looks at the possibility of Jeff Kent as an option at that position. James Murphy has a look at the Red Sox World Series DVD. Nick Cafardo looks at the relationship between John Henry and Robert Kraft. Bob Hohler’s Red Sox notebook looks at Gabe Kapler heading to Japan. Massarotti’s notebook also looks at Kapler. The ProJo notebook has more on Kapler and looks at organizational moves by the Sox. David Borges’ notebook has the news on Kapler and a number of other items.

Friday night’s NBA brawl is still on the mind of people. Bill Reynolds says it is evidence of the growing disconnect between NBA fans and players. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) writes that he was once hit with a paper cup filled with pennies and crumpled up at a game, and HE didn’t go charging into the stands. He says rule number one for any athlete should be to never go into the stands. Only bad things can happen. Because of that Artest’s actions are inexcusable. Bob Halloran says cowardice was the cause of the Friday night fights. Joan Vennochi ventures over from the Globe business and political side to weigh in on this matter. The Globe also has an Editorial on the subject. Jon Couture just wants to get back to sports. Enough of towels and brawls. He also takes ESPN’s Sunday Night football telecast to task for incompetence.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics need to be very cautious going into Indiana tonight, as they could be facing a wounded tiger in the form of the shorthanded Pacers. Bulpett’s notebook has Doc Rivers and Gary Payton commenting on the fight and the factors and reasons for it.

Bill Griffith looks at Fox’s new deal for the College Football BCS games. He also has a number of other media related notes.

Here are the winners of the prizes from the raffle for the BSMW Fall Fund Drive:
Tivo Series II DVR Melissa Shaw
John Feinstein’s “Let me tell you a story”: John Mechem
Leatherman Tool from Coastaltool.com: Wendell Shedd
2005 Football Prospectus from footballoutsiders.com: Joshua Friedman

FSN has Celtics/Pacers at 7:00. ESPN has a college hoops doubleheader starting at 7:00 with Texas/Iowa, followed by North Carolina/Tennessee at 9:00. ESPN2 has college football with Bowling Green/Toledo at 7:00, followed by college hoops with St. Joe’s/Kansas at 10:00.

Patriots/Chiefs on MNF

Got a bit of a late start this morning, so the links will be very brief this morning. I’ll try to put together an afternoon post as well, but we’ll see how the day goes.

Thanks to all who contributed to the BSMW Fall Fund Drive, with a donation this morning we squeaked over the goal amount, a tremendous achievement. I’m pretty overwhelmed by the support from everyone out there. The total may actually climb in the next day or two if there are any lingering checks that have not reached my mailbox yet.

In lieu of the links, I’ll be spending some time organizing the drawing for the TiVo and the other prizes. I’ll be contacting the winners via email, and once I have confirmation from them I’ll post their names and the prize they won here.

Kevin Mannix picks the Patriots by four. Paul Kenyon looks at the Patriots trying to win in Kansas City for the first time on 40 years. Michael Parente says the Chiefs are dangerous, even if Bill Belichick goes overboard in his praise of them. Alan Greenberg looks at the Chiefs’ main weakness: defense. Chris Kennedy writes that this is a matchup between a complete team and a half of one. Dan Pires picks the Chiefs to win by 10. Nick Cafardo looks at the six Patriots that have been together since 1996. A nice article, it would be interesting to see if any other teams have six guys that have been together that long.

The Celtics put together an impressive win over the Sonics last night, winning 102-83. Seattle had been 9-1 coming into last night. Game stories are submitted by Steve Bulpett, John Powers and Carolyn Thornton, but probably the most complete breakdown of the game can be found right here on BSMW. Jon Duke takes a look at the Celtics in all areas from last night. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Ricky Davis’ new role as instant offense off the bench. The rest of the NBA articles deal of course with the brawl in Detroit Friday night. Everyone is weighing in on this one, in print and on the airwaves. As with most NBA issues, Bob Ryan is someone whose opinion I’ll value.

ABC has Patriots/Chiefs at 9:00.

Panic in Detroit

Sunday links by Ben (ben@bostonsportsmedia.com)

That loud sound you heard yesterday morning? Turns out it was a giant sigh of relief from NFL headquarters as the Pacers, Pistons and the Pistons