Media Roundup: Where To Look For Quality NFL Lockout Coverage

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: Former NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith jokes with media as he arrives for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

If you've tuned into Boston sports radio over the past week, you've probably had enough with all the hosts analyzing the Red Sox lineups. With that in mind, Bruce Allen shifts his attention to quality NFL Lockout coverage in his weekly roundup.

If you've flipped on sports radio this week, you likely got your fill of talk about the Red Sox lineup quite quickly, and moving Adrian Gonzalez to the outfield so that David Ortiz could get into the lineup at first base. If you were on one station you heard the hosts pounding the Red Sox for supposedly complaining and bellyaching about not being able to use the DH in National League parks - like this is a new development - or debating the benefits/risks of putting Gonzalez in the outfield.

That kind of constant talk gets old, quick. If I can't listen to it, I wonder how the hosts can keep it up, hour after hour, day after day. It's reason 197,293 that I have no desire to be a talk radio host.

The problem is, there isn't much else out there right now to talk about. What are they going to talk about? The NFL lockout? The NBA lockout? A very poor NHL free agency period? Until things change on the NFL labor front, you're pretty much going to be stuck with micro-analysis of the Red Sox.

Speaking of the NFL lockout, in consuming the coverage of this work stoppage, I find myself coming back to three people for information. They've consistently been on top of things, and seem to be getting good information, or providing good analysis that is being picked up by a lot of the other media around the country.

It's interesting to me that these three gentlemen are all ones of whom I've been critical of in the past, in all cases feeling that they sometimes are more about generating attention for themselves and hyping things up to tweak fans than they are in actually providing information. No one is a "winner" in a work stoppage like this, but these three have distinguished themselves in providing information during the lockout:

Mike Freeman, CBSSports.com.

Freeman, known in New England for columns such as the one in which he insisted Randy Moss "dogged it" for much of the afternoon, has strong inside sources among the players. He is usually first with the reaction from the players side when updates are given or to get a general feel of how the players think things are going.

Albert Breer, NFL Network.

Wherever the players and owners have been meeting, whether it is in Washington DC, Minnesota, Illinois or on Cape, Breer has been there, camped out near the entrance giving the latest comings and goings, and grabbing a word with those involved when he can. The former Boston Globe NFL writer was more known around these parts for pumping up the likes of Ohio State football (whoops) Chad Henne (Um, whoops again) and the Dallas Cowboys (uh oh, 0-3) than he was doing actual reporting. Since moving to the NFL Network, Breer has been the network's top reporter on the lockout, and had doggedly stayed on his post throughout.

Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com

Florio isn't reporting much news, but his site is the place to go to get the latest news on the lockout, regardless of the original source of the information. He'll pass along anything, (including Bill Burt's report that the lockout was over) but his real strength lies in his speculation and analysis of the events. His legal background allows him to shed light on proceedings that many other reporters are struggling to understand. His knowledge of the legal system and how things work there are very helpful in trying to make sense of moves, and to give an idea of the timing of how things will turn out.

I hope we won't be doing one of these things in four months going over the NBA lockout...

The Roundup

A column this week from former Boston Magazine writer John Gonzalez stirred up a lot of attention this week, but I think the best response came from former Boston Herald columnist (and Philly native) Michael Gee. WEEI.com's Jerry Thornton had a terrific writeup on The Tradition - the annual event put on by The Sports Museum over at TD Garden. Confession - not a big fan of Dennis and Callahan, but I've enjoyed their segments with David Portnoy, (AKA El Presidente) of Barstool Sports. Actually, I should say I've enjoyed Portnoy, who gives off the vibe that he's subtly mocking D&C with just about everything that he says.

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