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Media Roundup: Randy To The Rescue

The Patriots looked near dominant in their Week 1 win over the Bengals. But all anyone wanted to talk about was Randy Moss and his postgame rant, says Bruce Allen in this week's Media Watch.

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When you've spent the entire offseason blasting the personnel moves of a team, and telling anyone who would listen that the team is headed downhill FAST, and then that team goes out and looks very good on opening day, beating a team with a very good offense, what's a sports radio host or columnist to do?

Thankfully for these folks, they were able to easily gloss over the Patriots 38-24 opening day win over the Cincinnati Bengals and instead focus on a postgame gift from mercurial receiver Randy Moss, who curiously chose that time to talk about how his lack of a contract for next season and feeling wanted by the Patriots.

The media should be thanking Moss profusely for giving them something to be critical following the game. As that wound down, Tom Brady helped them out again with his comments about the crowd at Gillette, giving sports radio another few days of wall-to-wall content heading into the weekend. 

All in all, it was a pretty busy week in sports media here in Boston. Lets run down the happenings:

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Former Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated columnist Jackie MacMullan made her debut on ESPNBoston.com this week. MacMullan, the first female recipient of the Curt Gowdy Media Award, given by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame will be writing columns on a variety of sports for ESPNBoston.com over the course of the year.

If we're talking Celtics columns, this is good news for fans. MacMullan is as good a basketball writer as there is in the country, as evidenced by the honor from the Hall of Fame. If we're talking Patriots columns, well, I'll probably avoid those, especially ones on the morning of playoff games.

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When "Big Show" flashguy and backup host Pete Sheppard was let go from WEEI early this year, it was assumed that Sheppard would land over at WEEI competitor WBZ-FM 98.5. It didn't happen, even when the decision was made to replace mid-day host Gary Tanguay, the station chose to bring in Andy Gresh. Sheppard was out in the cold.

He's filled the time by playing in poker tournaments all around the region with the security of his severance package there to pay the bills if needed. But with the NFL season here upon us, Sheppard wanted an outlet to be able to talk about the Patriots.

What better place than Patriots.com? It was announced this week that Sheppard will be hosted a weekly show -- The Pete Sheppard Show -- on Patriots.com Radio Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. It's not the highest profile gig, but we know what the subject matter will be, and it's a start.

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With the NFL facing a lockout next season, The United Football League (UFL) has been ramping things up to potentially fill in the void next fall. They've added franchises, including one in Hartford, CT, and this week announced their national television broadcasters on HDNet and VERSUS.

It was also announced that NESN will be broadcasting two games of the Hartford Colonials, coached by former Patriots assistant Chris Palmer. NESN had interest in showing more Colonials games, but other commitments to the Bruins, Red Sox and ACC sports prevented it. Still, it's a smart move for NESN to get involved in the UFL, especially in light of their announcement about NESN National, and in case of a potential NFL lockout.

On another note, former Hartford Courant writer David Heuschkel, who covered the Red Sox and Patriots for several seasons, is serving as PR Director for the Colonials.

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I'd be interested to see what the ratings were for the Red Sox on their West coast swing this week. I've got to imagine they were some of the lowest in a long time -- with the Patriots and NFL getting started, the late night starts, and the Red Sox essentially out of contention.

It's too bad, because this has been a likable and fun to watch team for the most part in 2010.

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For years, each radio ratings period was met with on-air self-congratulations and backslapping on WEEI. These days, not so much.

Chad Finn reported in the Globe on Tuesday that 98.5, fresh off its first anniversary on the air, had beaten WEEI in the all-important 25-54 male demo in all three daytime shows during August.

To say that is shocking is an understatement. Many thought that 98.5's best hope lay in providing an alternative to WEEI. For them to beat them in the ratings after only a year is pretty mind-blowing.

Links of the Week:

No locker room talk for Patriots

With the New York Jets in the news for their treatment of Ines Sainz, Jessica Heslam of the Herald has quotes from Jessica Moran, Jackie MacMullan and Heidu Watney about females in the locker room.

Professional Athletes and the Media: What Randy Moss Did Right and Where He Can Improve

I'd never come across this site before, but an interesting take on how Randy Moss handled himself after the game on Sunday, (and with ESPN's Hannah Storm on Tuesday) and what he could've done better.