Beep. Beep. Beep. That Sound You Hear Is Media Walking Back.

I never said Tom Brady was finished.

You knew the Patriots would bounce back big this week!

We were only criticizing what was happening on the field!

Oh, so its the media’s fault the Patriots played poorly in their first four games?

It’s the Bengals! Wake me when they actually win a big game.

And on and on and on. There is a lot of walking back of #hotsportztakes coming through.

I’m also fond of The team finally listened to the media, and is doing the things we wanted them to do all along narrative coming from the likes of Tim Benz.

Yes, thank you sports radio, for all your brave criticism of the last week. We owe ya one!

As Benz noted, Al Michael and Cris Collinsworth spent a good chunk of last night’s broadcast pointing out the volume of criticism and cynicism that had been aimed at Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots over the last week, since the debacle in Kansas City, and how much of it was over-the-top in terms of reality.

I’m not much of a Collinsworth fan, but it was good to hear someone actually attempt to inject a bit of perspective and rationale to the situation.

Get all the reaction and coverage from the game at PatriotsLinks.com.

A few media columns, items for today:

Tom Brady a hot topic on NFL studio programs – Chad Finn looks at the chatter over Brady on the networks yesterday.

Sunday Night Football’s Al Michaels still at top of his game – Yesterday, Finn had a feature in the Sunday paper on the NBC broadcaster.

Turner Sports to rotate Anthony, Hill and Webber in place of Kerr – Richard Deitsch looks at the TNT NBA broadcast plans and a bunch of other media items.

Bob Ryan’s Memoir will be in stores tomorrow. I’ve been working my way through it, and as you would imagine, it is fascinating. It starts with Dave Cowens deciding to retire from the Celtics in Ryan’s hotel room, and continues on a heavy Celtics/Red Sox theme for much of the book.

Ben Golliver of SI.com talked to Ryan about the book:

Ten questions with Bob Ryan: Celtics tales, NBA’s G.O.A.T. and ‘Scribe’

The Globe Magazine ran an excerpt from the book: Bob Ryan on Larry Bird: ‘He possessed a total game’

Guest Post – Time To Move On From Rondo

This is a guest post from Sam Portman.

Time to Move On From Rondo

Boston Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge needs to acknowledge the writing is on the wall and make a bold move to complete his team’s rebuilding process without Rajon Rondo in the picture.

Ideally, the 28-year-old Rondo was supposed to be the centerpiece of a youth movement overhaul that Ainge started in the summer of 2013. All of the experience and mentoring that Rondo soaked in from the “Big Three,” along with his undeniable talent, made him the natural piece to build around. Easier said than done. While Ainge trusted that his four-time All Star would make a steady cornerstone piece during a tumultuous rebuilding period, Rondo has fallen short of Ainge’s expectations.

Last season Rondo didn’t have the opportunity to grab the reins of the team’s vacant leadership role because he was sidelined for more than half of the season recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in the middle of the 2012-13 campaign. As a result he only played in 30 games last season.

Even though last season’s Celtics team finished with a 25-57 record and didn’t qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2007, valuable experience was gained. In the absence of Rondo, the young team did experience growing pains but also found a silver lining with the newfound leadership from Jeff Green and Avery Bradley. Green finished with a career high 16.9 PPG and was a force at both ends of the floor. Avery stepped comfortably into Rondo’s point guard position and flourished as a starter. The fourth year player raised his 9.2 PPG in the 2012-13 season to a career best of 14.9 in 2013-14.

Even though Avery had his best season as a pro and Rondo still under contract, the Celtics interestingly decided to use their two first round draft picks this summer on guards, taking Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State with the No. 6 pick and Kentucky guard James Young at No. 17. Could this be a sign that Ainge is preparing his lineup for the departure of Rondo?

Drafting Smart, a sleeper for Rookie of the Year, seems like an obvious insurance policy in for Ainge and the Celtics. In fact it has already paid off because Rondo is starting the season on the injury list once again. This time he broke his hand falling in the shower. It was first reported that he would miss six to eight weeks but Rondo is optimistically pushing to get back in time for opening night. With Rondo on the shelf again, the door is open for the rookie Smart to benefit with starts at point guard.

Maybe worse than Rondo’s durability issues is the nonstop contract and trade rumors which have been lingering for over two years. This distraction is the last thing the young Celtics need hanging in the air. Rondo’s contract is coming to an end this season and will be asking for a max deal when he hits free agency.

Ainge needs to play his hand wisely and get something for Rondo instead of nothing. Boston will be better off in the near future by finding a trade partner that can land then more pieces to build on than one liability.

Can Patriots Bounce Back Against Bengals?

According to most of the population of New England, it seems that the Patriots are DONE as a playoff contending football team.

The game has passed Bill Belichick by both as coach and GM, Tom Brady doesn’t have WEAPONZ and is disgruntled at the organization, Josh McDaniels is incompetent, and Bob Kraft is CHEAP.

Coming off that Monday night drubbing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, I can understand a certain amount of consternation at the possibilities for this team. I also understand the schadenfreude that non-Patriots fans and media are enjoying right now.

But this is over the top. I have not seen a week like this. The piling on and glee with which not only national analysts like Marshall Faulk and Trent Dilfer  have engaged in is distasteful enough, but even usually level-headed local reporters have seemingly done the heel-turn and declared Gillette a disaster area with no hope of survivors.

Some look at Sunday’s night’s game and see no way the team can turn things around in time. John Dennis, in his chat yesterday, said he thinks the Cincinnati game will be even worse than the KC game. Hard to imagine.

The media would rather be three months early on a burial than two seconds late. Their eagerness to bury and take shots at Bill Belichick and the Patriots is childish and unattractive.

Based on the pathetic showing of Monday night, a bit of smug satisfaction was to be expected. I’m not sure I expected it to snowball into The Patriots are a 5-11 team!

Can they turn things around and beat the Bengals on NBC Sunday night? It won’t be easy, but yes, they can. Will they? I sure hope so, I don’t know if I can take another week of this.

Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Tuning in: Root canal better than watching Patriots – Bill Doyle says that since “it’s like pulling teeth trying to get anything insightful out of Belichick” we need to rely on the nuanced expertise of people like Steve Young, Tony Dungy Trent Dilfer, Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden.

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait to hear Cris Collinsworth weigh in on this.

Derek Jeter’s website promises candor, but should we believe? – Chad Finn looks at Derek Jeter’s new website and whether it can be what it says it will be.

If you haven’t checked out Matt Chatham’s site Football by Football which is a similar concept, you should do so, it’s one of the best new sites out there.

Dennis & Callahan Edges Toucher & Rich, While Sports Hub 3d, WEEI 5th in Summer Ratings – If you missed it earlier in the week, Finn looked at the summer ratings book, and Dennis and Callahan and Minihane edged Toucher and Rich by .1 to finish second in their time slot, while T&R finished third.

It’s the end of an era at the Boston Herald:

Sports editor Hank Hryniewicz is calling it a career. Congratulations to him.

Maine broadcaster Bruce Glasier dies at age 69 – I grew up in NH, but my dad always got his weather from WCSH Channel 6 in Portland. Thus I got many of my early sports highlights from Bruce Glasier. Even though my dad isn’t a sports fan, I got to see the highlights because WCSH, unlike the Boston channels, did their sports report before the weather, rather than after it. Many Larry Bird highlights were narrated by Glasier in my home.

Enjoy the weekend.

Patriots 2014 First-Quarter Review

This one’s difficult to write. I began it before halftime.

New England sits at 2-2, sandwiching two wins (at Minnesota and vs. Oakland) between a grim season-opener at Miami and a listless effort in Kansas City. (And after they got one-room-schoolhouse disciplined by the Chiefs, the term “listless effort” drips with kindness compared to most descriptions we could think of.)

Monday night’s palindromic 41-14 loss in KC will send this team in one of two directions: they’ll either figure it out, come together, and get their requisite double-digit wins, or they’ll continue on this path and fail to live up to expectations. After last night, fans find it difficult to consider anything other than the latter.

Some thoughts on the season so far:

RECEIVERS. Okay, what the hell? Last year  by Game Four, then-rookie Aaron Dobson had 11 receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown. This year he has one catch for 13 yards and a growing collection of healthy scratches. In 2013, then-rookie Kenbrell Thompkins had 15 catches for 257 yards and three TDs through four games. This year, six for 53, plus a couple of healthy scratches as well.

Last year by this time, then-rookie Josh Boyce had one catch for 24 yards, a virtual career compared to his zero for zero due to his current practice squad status. Danny Amendola in 2013? Ten catches, 104 yards, all from his very first game in a New England uniform. Amendola suffered a groin injury that made a bris seem preferable, forcing him off the field for the ensuing three games. This season he has three grabs for 16 yards (and as many last night as all of the above pass-catchers, i.e., zero).

So what the hell happened to the receivers? Why did what had the potential of a bust-out season become merely a bust? Some potential reasons below.

OFFENSIVE LINE. These guys have yielded to pressure like gullible teenagers. With rookies Bryan Stork and Cameron Fleming manning the center and guard spots, respectively, maybe they have the formation that will work out for the best (despite Fleming getting roundhoused like a palooka at one point).  The raw numbers from this year actually depict similar pressure on Brady as in the first few games of last year (as submitted by @PatriotsSB49 on Twitter), but – combined with some curious play-calling, the offense has seemed far more consistently feckless than they have in years.

PLAY CALLING: Hey, Josh McDaniels? Maybe run the ball. Maybe, when you travel to the loudest, or second-loudest, or however-loud-it’s-always-louder-than-Gillette-Stadium-gets stadium, maybe avoid passing on the first three downs, punting, then giving the Chiefs the ball for the rest of the quarter? Just an idea.

And, no go on those bubble screens any more? You know, the ones where Julian Edelman, your best receiver, gets the ball in space? No viability in putting Dobson out there for a pass longer than 15 yards? No sense in running your biggest back, Stevan Ridley, on third and two?

When the Patriots mix it up, they can use play-action, which seems about the only way the Patriots receivers can get open. How much yardage they gain on the ground doesn’t matter as much as the fact that they make the defense look for it. In Miami, New England passed 56 times and rushed only 20 (for 89 yards). At Minnesota, they had 37 rushes for 150 yards, actually averaging less than they did in Miami at just over four yards per carry, but with enough consistency to get the job done.

And why the hell isn’t Tim Wright getting more looks? Is he not a matchup problem for defenses? Can’t they just pull an Ochocinco and call a down-and-out for him twice a game? Seems like he should be contributing more at this point. I mean, not all new players can be Danny Woodhead and offer major contributions after one week in Foxboro, but a player who caught 54 passes for Tampa Bay last year should have more than four with his new team.

Christ, remember Danny Woodhead?

BRADY: Because of our first three topics, Brady hasn’t been himself (or, perish the thought, maybe this is what he has become START GAROPPOLO NOW Oh Heavens help us). He forces the ball to Rob Gronkowski despite Gronk getting double- and triple-teamed. He forces the ball to Edelman despite having enough field in front of him to run for a first down. His performance in KC (14 of 23, 159 yards, one TD, two INTs) shows the kind of pressure he was under.

Last year he seemed to trust Thompkins. He sure as hell trusted Amendola, at least for one game. Now, not so much.

PERSONNEL: Some iffy choices by the coaches (see receivers issues above). Plus, hard to imagine this defense performing worse with lineman Tommy Kelly aboard. Say what you want about Logan Mankins’ decline and his price tag, but he would have offered some stability to a crew that has seen more shuffling than your grandmother’s deck of cards on a rainy afternoon of Crazy Eights.

On defense (and I refuse to focus on defense, because seriously, I can’t), where are the playmakers? If Chandler Jones doesn’t sack somebody, does anything happen? Is Revis Island more like Revis Sandbar, showing up half the time and then disappearing? And can someone get Rob Ninkovich some new cleats?

HEART. Or, as we say around here, HAHT. Where is it? Why does it seem that, when they get behind, most Patriots players seem to look around, waiting, hoping someone else makes a play?

Think about it. Taking size out of the equation, if you found yourself in a vicious cockfight, which New England player would you want by your side?

I’d take Edelman. Matthew Slater. Rob Goddang Gronkowski, who – bless his soul – had the good taste and wherewithal to avoid a Gronk spike Monday night after his late TD.

Who else? Jones? I’d say so. But Vince Wilfork? Ninkovich? I have to think about them. I would not have to think about putting Mankins on this list.

Brady? In a fight? I don’t know. Maybe he’s gotten weary. Maybe too much has been put on him. The coaches can’t – or won’t – depend on the running game. The O-line can’t give him the consistent time and comfort he needs in the pocket. The defense can’t get him the ball back quickly, if Monday night’s fecal-sluice-bag of a game is any indication.

The 2013 Patriots made it all the way to the AFC Championship with an injury-depleted roster. With many of those injured players back playing, the 2014 Patriots suffered their worst loss since 2005 on their way to a .500 record through the season’s first quarter. I don’t know exactly what’s happening. Maybe they don’t, either. But in Buffalo in two weeks – after a presumed loss to Cincinnati and a 2-3 record – they’d better figure it out.

Chris Warner can be consoled at chris.warner@patriotsdaily.com and on Twitter at @cwarn89

Now That This Jeter Nonsense Is Behind Us…

Derek Jeter will go into the baseball Hall of Fame. He deserves to be there.

But “Greatest Yankee” ?

Deserves to be the first unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame” ?

Worthy of an over-the-top sendoff at Fenway Park, and a tongue-bath from Dan Shaughnessy and the rest of the Boston Globe (and media)?

I don’t think so.

I understand the appeal of Derek Jeter, I do. As someone with more than a passing knowledge of the history of baseball, I see his place in the game. For the past two decades he was very much the face of the game. Shortstop and Captain of the New York Yankees. World Series champion. Clutch hitter.

Had he been the shortstop for the Houston Astros for this time period would we be having this conversation? If we swapped out Jeter and Craig Biggio, It would’ve been Biggio who was feted at Fenway to end his career.

The baseball media is blinded by Jeter. As great as his career was, it was made even bigger by playing for the Yankees and by the fawning media coverage he received.

I am not denigrating the career of Jeter. I am saying his great, Hall of Fame career was made even greater by his team and that media.

Media that Jeter treated very well and worked very well, mind you. Witness Peter Abraham – What it was like to cover Derek Jeter

If the Yankees were in a losing streak or caught up in some controversy, he would be sure to make himself available to the media before and especially after games. Jeter would stand at his locker and patiently answer every question until they ran out. Then he would look at the reporters around him and say, “All set?” before walking away.

And…

Jeter was extraordinarily patient, too, making sure nobody walked away feeling they were belittled. Even silly questions got some kind of answer. He had a good sense of humor when the cameras were off, but never was it mean-spirited.

Had Jeter played here, Dan Shaughnessy would’ve spent the last two decades ripping his night life, lack of range and his “selfishness” for refusing to cede his position when Alex Rodriguez joined the team. Fact, not opinion.

Instead, as a Yankee, Jeter gets nothing but praise from the likes of Shaughnessy. That much is obvious and Shaughnessy is not the only one that has done this. That is what made this weekend’s coverage so farcical.

OK, enough before lightning comes down from the heavens and strikes me dead.

The Red Sox season is over, (144 days until spring training starts!) and this offseason will  be very interesting. Ben Cherington has a lot of work to do.

Meanwhile, check out this WBUR profile of reporter Jonny Miller, who will no doubt be the first reporter to arrive for Spring training. Miller is the voice you hear usually asking the first question at Red Sox press conferences, and has been on the job for 42 years while living with cerebral palsy.

*******

The Patriots are in Kansas City tonight for the Monday Night Football matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. While the game will be on ESPN, it will also be broadcast locally on WCVB channel 5, which will start out with “SportsCenter 5 Countdown To Kickoff” at 8:00pm.

WCVB’s SportsCenter 5 anchor Mike Lynch – @LynchieWCVB – will report live in-studio from the Channel 5 sports desk. Plus, SportsCenter 5 reporter Bob Halloran – @BobWCVB – will be reporting from Kansas City, covering all the pre-game action live from the field. He will be joined by the Boston Globe’s Chris Gasper.

WCVB’s postgame coverage will be provided by the SportsCenter 5 team in NewsCenter 5’s late newscast immediately following the game.

Matt Chatham uses his experience playing for Bill Belichick to decipher clues from the head coach from the past week on what we can expect from the team – Expect the Patriots to Change  (The site has had some issues this morning, keep checking back until it is back. It’s worth a look.)

Get all the coverage tonight on PatriotsLinks.com.

In defense of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman – Chad Finn rates the FOX broadcast duo only behind Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth.

Bill Simmons: A deeper examination of his suspension from ESPN – Richard Deitsch looks further into the suspension and answers questions from readers on the topic.

Today is Celtics media day, check out Baxter Holmes and his long-form piece on rookie guard Marcus Smart:

Celtics rookie Marcus Smart’s hard past drives his future

When Bill Simmons Said He Would Go Public If Disciplined.

As you’ve no doubt heard a million times already, Last night ESPN suspended former Boston Sports Guy Bill Simmons for three weeks following his podcast comments about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The criticism of Goodell probably isn’t what got Simmons suspended, as others at the network have expressed similar (though more guarded) sentiments about the situation.

What got Simmons suspended was his dare to ESPN management:

I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell. Because if one person says that to me, I’m going public. You leave me alone. The Commissioner’s a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast.

He  later repeated Please, call me and say I’m in trouble. I dare you.

ESPN took him up on his dare, and now Simmons is suspended until October 15th. No writing, appearances, Twitter or Facebook.

The network is making an example out of Simmons after being criticized for its discipline of employees in the past, especially given the outcry when Stephen A Smith was given just a one-week suspension for his comments about Janay Rice.

This is actually not unlike the reaction of Goodell following criticism over the two-game suspension to Ray Rice, he then dished out a much harsher punishment and vowed to revamp the league’s entire policies. It’s worth noting that Simmons has received a longer suspension that was originally given to Ray Rice for his actions.

The issue zoomed to the top of topics trending on Twitter last night, with the hashtag #freeSimmons leading the way.

The question now is, does Simmons actually “go public” on this matter? What does that entail? Will he follow through on it?

More from SI’s Richard Deitsch – ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for criticism of Roger Goodell

Long Way To Go For Patriots

Going into yesterday, most people expected the Patriots to beat up on the Oakland Raiders, who were making their second East coast trip in three weeks, and heading out to London for next week’s game.

The Raiders put up a fight, and the Patriots continued their struggle to put the ball in the end zone yesterday, and wound up with a 16-9 New England victory. They held off a last-second Raiders drive when Vince Wilfork grabbed a deflected ball to come up with the game-sealing interception.

It wasn’t a satisfying win, but it was a win, and we’ll take it. Get all the coverage at PatriotsLinks.com.

Ray Lewis is not a good TV analyst – Chad Finn nails it here, especially in light of Lewis’ mind-boggling quote from yesterday – “There’s some things you can cover up. And there’s some things you can’t.“

A salute to the great sportswriter Joe Murphy – The legendary Eagle-Tribune columnist passed away on Saturday at the age of 89. Michael Muldoon had written this column back in May remembering Murphy, who in many ways was a prototype of the cynical, opinionated sports columnist of today.

ESPN’s Cris Carter’s on-air growth showing in NFL coverage – Richard Deitsch looks back at a crazy week of NFL media.

On Friday, ESPN’s Outside the Lines released their devastating report on how the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL handled the Ray Rice case.

Rice case: purposeful misdirection by team, scant investigation by NFL

Done by Don Van Natta Jr. and Kevin Van Valkenburg, the report had the Ravens scrambling and promising a detailed reply this week.

While there is a ton to digest in the report, from a media perspective, and keeping a theme going that I’ve had on this site over the last few weeks, here’s another damning bit of evidence against Peter King and his role as Roger Goodell’s mouthpiece.

From the ESPN report:

By early July, NFL beat reporters kept hearing Rice would get a six-game suspension. But privately, Ravens officials said they felt confident Rice would get only two games. One source who spoke to Cass said he had heard at least two weeks before Goodell announced the penalty that Rice would receive only a two-game suspension. Rice’s friends say he didn’t hear his suspension was two games until July 23, the day before Goodell announced it.

This is from King’s MMQB in MAY:

Rice likely faces a short (maybe two-game) suspension from the commissioner for being a first-time offender under the personal-conduct policy. He’s got a strong résumé and is greatly admired for his work in the community. He shouldn’t be thrown out with the trash. But he’s got to realize that the performance the other day was tone-deaf.

So King knew that the suspension would be “maybe” two games before the Ravens or Rice did? How exactly did he know this, way back then? The reasons given are also what Goodell cited. He’s awful. The worst.

<insert picture of smoking gun here>

I also love the audacity of King to suggest someone else is tone-deaf. King has mastered the art of tone-deafness. Finn touched on it in his Sunday Mailbag yesterday.

Let’s look at today’s MMQB for some more tone-deal, ugly-American examples:

Walking back from Central Park around noon Saturday, I spied a crazy-long line outside the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. The line weaved in a maze of crowd-control stanchions, hundreds of people in the maze, and at the end of the maze, the line went east down 59th Street, a full city block to Madison Avenue.

It wasn’t too tough to guess what it was for—the rollout of the iPhone 6. I asked one of the security dudes: “How long a wait if I went to the end of the line right now?”

“Six hours,” he said.

So I went to the end of the line and asked a couple of young guys, 20 or 23, waiting with their heads in their iPhone 5s, “Did you know you’ve got about a six-hour wait in front of you? That’s what the security guy told me.”

“They told us it was about five,” one of the guys said.

Well, that certainly makes all the difference.

The guy who Tweeted delightedly about being able to inform a restaurant host about Robin Williams’ suicide now eagerly runs to the back of the line in Manhattan – where he lives – to inform the people there that they have to wait six hours. That last line is vintage Peter King.

6. I think if you’re waiting for me to call for Roger Goodell to be fired, you’ll have to wait a while. I’m not into mob rule either.

So people who are saying that Goodell needs to be gone are part of a “mob.” This is like when Peter referred to the “shrill cries” for his own job. And of course he isn’t going to call for Goodell to be fired. He’s got too much at stake himself.

Peter is also not into mob rule, but he is the one leading the crusade to change the name of the Washington football team.

a. My best to the family of Dave Rahn, former 49ers PR man, who died of melanoma Thursday. Dave was a good, good man with a terrific work ethic, and he was as professional a person as I’ve dealt with in this business. Rest in peace, Dave.

Well, that’s a nice sentiment, Peter.

b. I’ve had two significant melanoma surgeries, and it’s nothing to fool around with. Sunscreen and regular checkups are the only way to beat it—or to compete with it.

Of course. It’s always about Peter. He can’t even pay tribute to a man who died of cancer without making it about himself.

Tone-deaf doesn’t begin to cover it.

Week Wrap – Fat Cat Media Feels A Little Heat

In the wake of the NFL scandals of the last couple weeks, some of the long time and prominent media covering the league have been made slightly uncomfortable by having the light shined on their “coverage” of the league, which in many cases seems to consist of writing what Roger Goodell tells them to write.

Is there now a trust gap with Peter King? – Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing looks at the suspicions people are having of King, especially after his column this week which had a tough headline – It’s Past Time, Commissioner – but then leads off with the following paragraph:

A source with knowledge of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s mindset this week said something Wednesday that is very bad news for the 2014 playing status of Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy: “Roger has determined that he will be a leader in the domestic-violence space.”

So many questions. What exactly is  the domestic-violence space and how does one become a leader in it? A source with knowledge of the mindset? Was it Goodell himself, whispering in Peter’s ear? How can someone have a knowledge of someone else’s mindset?

Dave McKenna of Deadspin also wrote on this – Will The Elite NFL Media Still Be Stooges After The Ray Rice Scandal?

He targets not only King, but Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter as well. These types are not used to being criticized, especially King, who acts ridiculously out of touch and childish when challenged in the least bit.

If he’s feeling the heat, that’s a good thing.

When is Dan Shaughnessy going to feel some heat? Self-plagiarism gets old after a while. When was the last time the man had an original thought?

WEEI beat WBZ-FM in the summer book:

Some might say winning the summer ratings book is like going 4-0 in the NFL preseason, but it’s a start.

The media columns today:

Play-by-play man Allen Bestwick will miss NASCAR duties – Chad Finn has the Rhode Island native getting a bit wistful as ESPN’s run broadcasting NASCAR winds down.

Holy Cross radio voice Bob Fouracre recovered, ready to go – Bill Doyle has the football announcer coming back from colon cancer surgery.

In the actual sports area, we’ve got the Raiders coming to town for the Patriots home opener on Sunday. CBS has the 1:00pm game with Greg Gumbel and Trent Green getting the call. Evan Washburn will be the sideline reporter.

Catch all the coverage at Patriotslinks.com.

The Red Sox season is winding down, but the last week is actually pretty entertaining to watch with the lineup almost exclusively made up of young  and new players like Betts, Bogaerts, Cespedes, Castillo, Middlebrooks, Bradley Jr and Vasquez, as well as the young pitchers. Good experience for them. RedSoxLinks.com

The Bruins have started training camp, and have the first holdouts of the Peter Chiarelli era in Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. Get the latest a BruinsLinks.com.

Shame On You For Not Having an Opinion!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little sick of opinions. They may be repackaged these days as #HOTSPORTZTAKES but really in many instances, they’re just a way to justify saying something stupid.

Wait, did I just give my opinion?

Oh well.

The NFL is a mess. That much is obvious. What is also obvious is that the media will insert themselves into the narrative for their own gain. This is not breaking news. We’ll get pieces threatening to stop watching the NFL. (Hi Adam Kaufman!) which, when I see, only makes me hope this means they’ll actually stop writing and talking about the NFL too.

We get Kirk Minihane going on a week-long binge of attacking those who don’t express their opinion. All of a sudden Minihane is Senator Joseph McCarthy seeking out members of the communist party. Tom Brady hasn’t said he’s against child abuse. So that must mean he is for it….How long have you supported wife beating, Rodney Harrison?

Oh wait, my bad. Kirk says his issue is not that Brady isn’t willing to give an opinion (but really, that IS what Kirk’s problem is) but that he thinks Brady is wrong to say that his opinion isn’t going to make a difference.

That’s a matter of opinion. A really, really dumb opinion.

Will the NFL and the Vikings change their stance based on what Tom Brady says? No. Of course not. The only reason any changes are happening right now is because sponsors and advertisers are either pulling out their money and support of the league or are threatening to do so. Does Brady speaking out influence that? No. Is it an impossible scenario? I guess not, but likely? No. What influences those entities is cries from the consumer and threats that they will stop purchasing the product.

Minihane and ProJo Red Sox writer Brian MacPherson went on a Twitter string together about how Brady’s comments were “Pretty weak” a “total whiff” and “shockingly out of touch.

What they don’t get though, is that had Brady made a comment about it, even a simple condemnation of the act, it becomes HUGE. Not a little 10-second thing to deal with as Kirk would have you believe.

Rich Levine outlines this scenario better than I ever possibly could. Which is why he’s making the big bucks and I’m a lowly part-time media blogger.

Why Tom Brady doesn’t speak out

Read it.

Also on CSNNE, a cerebral piece by Tom E Curran.

Free speech is also about right to stay silent

As Curran says:

Brady offering anything wouldn’t cause an epiphany for Adrian Peterson. It would, however, cause moans of pleasure in our business because it would add content and a new angle. Of course, Brady – and any other marquee player – taking a pass provides us this content anyway. (Which is what this column is…)

Which is all most in the media really want.

Even nationally, Brady is taking heat. Witness these two blog posts:

Tom Brady deliberately remaining quiet on NFL’s many current crises

The Patriot Way: Tom Brady Declines to Take a Stand On Ray Rice, Other NFL Scandals

The second article suggests that Brady doesn’t want to speak because he doesn’t want to offend Peterson because the Patriots plan to sign him once he’s released by the Vikings, because the Patriots have a history of bringing in troubled players.

The writer isn’t wearing a tinfoil hat in his photo, but I think he was while writing that post.

What I don’t get is the target Brady has on him for this. Where are these articles about Peyton Manning? Aaron Rodgers? Has Calvin Johnson weighed in? (Er, check that.) How about the never reticent Richard Sherman, who has no problem talking about other people? Are there articles being written about them?  No? Why not?

NESN Hires Guerin Austin As Bruins Rink-Side Reporter

From NESN:

September 15, 2014 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, announced today that Guerin Austin (@GuerinAustin) will join the network as a reporter/anchor/host. She will begin her tenure at NESN serving as the network’s Bruins rink-side reporter and doing features on NESN Sports Today and NESN Live.

Austin’s portfolio of experience includes five years in Washington, D.C., where she served as host of Caps Red Line, a weekly behind-the-scenes look at the Capitals airing on the NHL Network, and as a morning host/reporter at the FOX affiliate in Richmond, VA. She also served as the in-arena host for Capitals home games at the Verizon Center.

The 2004 Miss Nebraska USA got her start in television as an on-air host and associate producer at the ABC affiliate in Denver, and at the CW station in Omaha, Nebraska. Originally from the Seattle area, Austin grew up in skating rinks, from competing as a figure skater to watching her dad and brother play hockey. She lived in Connecticut for two years training at the International Skating Center in Simsbury.

“Guerin has a wide-range of experience as a television reporter/host, including several years working with an NHL team,” said Joseph Maar, NESN’s Vice President of Programming and Production/Executive Producer. “She is a versatile on-air personality with a range of skills from speaking French to producing features. We are very excited to welcome a reporter/anchor of Guerin’s caliber to NESN and our Bruins broadcast team.”

 

NESN's Guerin Austin