MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell leaves 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)
Boston celebrated the Bruins' first Stanley Cup in 39 years over the last week, but now focus is transitioning back to the country's most popular league, the NFL.
The parade is over, the Bruins are safely in the rear-view mirror, and we enter a transition period in the sports media world.
Here's a quick look at what's happening as the media scrambles to find the next big topic to glob onto.
Early on in the NFL lockout, Patriots owner Robert Kraft was widely quoted as saying that that fastest way to get a deal done would be to "throw the lawyers out of the room." Apparently they've done that, and Kraft probably should've added "keep the media in the dark as much as possible" as well. Negotiations are apparently going very well, though it seems very few in the media have any idea where these constantly-moving meetings are taking place. This week the meetings are being held right here in the Boston area, but as of this writing, no one in the local media has been able to find out where.
The meetings are being held, both sides have avoided the grandstanding to the press that was so prevalent early on in the process, and progress is being made. There is optimism that the full NFL season will be played, and July looks to be an incredibly entertaining month from a team-building and training camp perspective. I think keeping the lawyers at an arm's length has been the biggest impetus in these talks, but don't underestimate the impact of taking the meetings underground as a factor in the progress of the talks.
The struggles of John Lackey this season have been well-documented. Most observers are also aware that his wife, Kirsta has been battling breast cancer. Most people have connected the dots, and realize that Lackey's performances issues might have something to do with his concern over his wife. Being human beings, most people have also cut the pitcher some slack for his performance.
Not Peter King.
The Boston-based, self-appointed moral arbitrator of the free world demands further explanation from Lackey. King wasn't through. When called to task for this tweet, he responded with some of the following:
And there are more. There are few people out there more ill-suited for the medium of Twitter than Peter King. In his Monday Morning Quarterback column on SI.com he comes off an everyman, passing along nuggets of information from around the NFL, and sharing his thoughts on coffee, beer and travel experiences.
Twitter has exposed King as the ultimate "ugly American" - entitled, self-righteous, callous, passing judgment on others without a clue of the facts, and weighing in on subjects he clearly knows nothing about, while using his account as a bully pulpit.
The idea that Lackey needs to get up and explain to the media why he is struggling is mind-boggling. It seems pretty self-evident. What can he possibly say? It amuses me that when questioned himself about this matter, King resorted to short, snappy answers (In some aspects just a limitation of Twitter) which seem defensive.
A few, final TV numbers from the Bruins Stanley cup run:
Game 1 on NBC delivered a 2.7 national rating, up 17 percent over last year (2.3) despite that series featuring the No. 3 and 4 U.S. television markets (Chicago-Philadelphia).
The 2.76 million viewers on VERSUS for Game 3 made it the most watched Stanley Cup Final game featuring a Canadian club on U.S. cable since 1994 (Vancouver-NY Rangers Game 7).
Game 7 drew 8.54 million viewers on NBC in the U.S., the best for any NHL game in 38 years, up three percent over last year’s deciding Game 6 and seven percent over Game 7 in 2009.
Game 7 averaged a record 18.3 million viewers in the U.S. and Canada, also a North American viewership record for any NHL game on record.