In his debut weekly feature at SB Nation Boston, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch weighs in on the week that was in Boston sports, and the folks that cover it, from Brady's contract to the Celtics' trade rumors.
We're in silly time. It's that time of the year where there isn't much actual sports going on, so the name of the game for the sports media is creating news. Whether it be NBA signings and trades, or MLB trades, or contrived drama leading into NFL training camps, you're going to find the level of conjecture and speculation to be higher right now than at any other time on the sports calendar.
The biggest issue, is of course Tom Brady. Ever since alien John Clayton speculated on ESPN Insider (people pay money for that?) that it was "possible" that Brady might not show up for camp, the media has run with the topic. CSNNE's Tom E. Curran shot down Clayton's notion, but that hasn't stopped others from running with the topic. Some stubbornly clung to their insistence that this is a story. When asked if this Brady situation was a media create, the Globe's Albert Breer in his chat on Thursday insisted it wasn't, and said, "Anything involving a star of that magnitude is going to move the needle. That's just the way it is."
On Wednesday, Tony Massarotti, playing the lead host with partner Michael Felger on vacation, managed to milk almost an entire show out of a play that took place in a Dodgers/Giants game the night before, well after many here had gone to bed. In involved an obscure rule about the manager coming back to the mound in the same inning, and whether the pitcher has to leave the game or not. Granted, the subject and situation were an interesting one, but Tony played the old "you have a new audience every 20 minutes" game and actually ran down the entire situation several times an hour. it still interesting the first 10 or so times he recapped it, but when he brought it into his 6:00 P.M. "Baseball Reporters" show as well, it was quite worn out.
Thursday saw both WEEI's Dale & Holley show and the Big Show (minus Glenn Ordway) create entire shows based around Tweets from The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, who was playing around with scenarios in which disgruntled Hornets superstar Chris Paul could end up in the Boston. He tweeted a few trade ideas, which would seemingly work. Both shows took them and ran with them, generating callers and debate over Rondo vs Paul.
What killed me was that, in the end, nothing really could happen. As Simmons tweeted around 4:30 PM:
What? Five and a half hours of sports radio debate over something that turned out to be non-topic? That's five and half hours of your life you're never getting back.
Here are a few of the top media-related links of the week:
The 'Decision' dilemma - ESPN Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer pulls no punches in criticizing the network's judgment and execution in airing LeBron James hour plus long infomercial last week.
Ohlmeyer's take generated some discussion over whether he was being a hypocrite in his critique of the situation. Ohlmeyer was, you recall, the production brains behind ABC's Monday Night Football in the 1970s, unleashing Howard Cosell on the national public on a weekly basis and basically doing anything for ratings.
Remy agrees to contract extension with NESN - Chad Finn has Jerry Remy talking about his new deal with NESN, which will ensure the the "RemDawg" will remain a nightly fixture in Boston living rooms for the immediate future. Giving the health problems he battled last year, including cancer, pneumonia and depression, the fact that Remy feels well enough to sign on for a new deal is great news.
WEEI on top in radio ratings - Jessica Heslam, the Herald's media reporter looks over some of the numbers from the last radio ratings book, which has WEEI in their customary spot atop the sports rankings. While WEEI did win their time slots across the board in the coveted 25-54 demographic, WBZ-FM, which didn't exist a year ago, isn't far behind. That's the bigger story, in my opinion.