It's been a busy week, so let's get right to it: 10 observations, thoughts and new nuggets on the Boston sports media scene:
- Glenn Ordway has ventured into the podcast world with his first Big O'Cast this week. Ordway was joined by WEEI.com Celtics writer Paul Flannery as they discussed the Celtics season thus far, as well as some other items from around the NBA. Growing up in the 80's and early 90's, I always listened to Ordway on the Celtics radio broadcasts alongside Johnny Most, and listening to this exclusively Celtics podcast, which runs about 18 minutes, took me back to that time period.
- Speaking of the 1980s Celtics, Hall of Famer Bill Walton joins Mike Gorman in the CSNNE TV booth for four games on the West coast, including two this week -- he already did Thursday night's game against Portland and Friday night he'll call the game in Phoenix.
- With all the attention on the Patriots and Celtics to this point, and the Red Sox coming up in a few weeks, the Bruins may have been lost in the shuffle. That's not entirely true. The Northeast Division-leading Bruins have gotten some impressive ratings numbers this season. A mid-January matchup with the Flyers on NESN earned a 4.2 Household Rating in the Boston DMA according to Neilsen, which is NESN's best Bruins game rating so far this season. To date, NESN's season average is a 2.8 household rating, on pace to achieving their highest Bruins season average since 1995.
- As the Red Sox prepare to head to Fort Myers to begin the 2011 baseball season, the team is partnering with NESN to host a special town hall style meeting for fans on Monday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. The 2011 Red Sox Town Hall presented by Bigelow Tea will feature a lively and interactive conversation between fans and Red Sox executives. It will be held at WGBH’s Calderwood Studio, and televised in its entirety on NESN at 9 p.m. The Red Sox executive panel is expected to include Chairman Tom Werner, President/CEO Larry Lucchino, Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein and Manager Terry Francona. NESN’s Tom Caron and Heidi Watney will serve as hosts for the one-hour event. Fans throughout Red Sox Nation can participate in the 2011 Red Sox Town Hall by submitting questions in advance via NESN.com/townhall. A complete recording of the town hall event will also be posted on NESN.com/townhall immediately after it airs on NESN. Due to the limited space, in-studio audience attendance will be by invitation only.
- The NFL Network will feature a Super Bowl Highlight Reel Marathon this weekend, with films from each and every Super Bowl game. If you're interested in setting your DVR for the Patriots Super Bowl highlight films, they are scheduled as follows:
Super Bowl XX vs. Chicago Bears: Sunday January 30th, 3:30 AM
Super Bowl XXXI vs. Green Bay Packers: Sunday January 30th 9:00 AM and Midnight
Super Bowl XXXVI vs. St. Louis Rams: Sunday January 30th 11:30 AM
Super Bowl XXXVIII vs. Carolina Panthers: Sunday January 30th 12:30 PM
Super Bowl XXXIX vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Sunday January 30th 1:00 PM
Super Bowl XLII vs. New York Giants: Sunday January 30th 2:30 PM (Feel free to skip)
- This week the Patriots continued to be the dominant theme of sports talk radio, a highlight was Ron Borges appearing on WEEI's Big Show on Wednesday and having his lunch handed to him by Ordway.
- Don Ohlmeyer finished up his run as ESPN Ombudsman this week. His final column - Can you hear me now? - was posted on Wednesday, and runs over 5200 words. He also references health issues which have prevented him from posting more frequently, a complaint often made about him in his tenure. So who is next in line for the position? SI.com's Richard Deitsch would be an interesting candidate.
- NESN will kick off their Red Sox spring training broadcast schedule on March 4, with a spring training game against the New York Yankees in Tampa. The 13-game schedule concludes on March 30, with a game in Houston against the Astros, two days before the season-opener with the Texas Rangers.
- Are Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti still talking about how the Patriots disgraced themselves by suspending Wes Welker for one series against the Jets? Why yes, I believe they are. Time to move on, fellas.
- One of the best under-the-radar Patriots reporters in the region is NESN.com's Jeff Howe. Since coming to NESN from the Boston Metro, Howe has consistently produced good reporting and material. He had a tidbit to watch for this week when he talked to former Patriots receiver Donte Stallworth, who expressed interest in coming back to the Patriots. The Patriots may be in the market for an outside receiver, and Stallworth was very productive in that role in 2007.