By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
In an effort to use one of the oldest tricks in the book, we offer a “Winners and Losers” breakdown as our vehicle of choice to deliver the summary in.
One thing before we get into Winners, Losers:
Shots, through plain old dumb luck, is heading to China beginning next Monday. We won’t be adding much to this particular blog during our Asian excursion, but if we figure out a way to tell the story effectively, we will be detailing the 10-day journey for one website or an another. Stay tuned for more on that this week.
Meantime, we’re going to attempt to figure out some way to raise a few shekels for the China Earthquake Relief effort. I’ll have more on that in the days to come as well. If you have any ideas, reach out to me please.
On with the re-hash of the week that was:
He gave his spin early, took some swipes at ESPN and the Jets and then got all charitable at the awkwardly-timed Best Buddies International. (Audi got a nice bang out of that, by the way. Well worth whatever the investment ran.)
The Rest of Us
It got ugly around here. Ugly, ugly, we’d say. We saw a fan-ship with lots of pent up anger at being, as Bob Ryan nailed on Sunday, “. . the most despised and reviled franchise in all of contemporary American sport. . .”
We saw the main stream media unable to properly cover the Tomase angle and a new media that just didn’t quite know how to react. (We also saw WBZTV’s Steve Burton completely ignore the Tomase angle while leading a (supposed) wrap-up discussion with Mike Reiss and Steve DeOssie.)
Sadly, we also saw two media giants – CBS and HBO – get used by a very unconvincing character in Bill Belichick and a very unlikable character in Matt Walsh. Even the usually dead-on “Beat the Press” bungled its assessment with some absurd defenses from the Herald’s Joe Sciacca.
The Family – Jonathan and Robert – seemed to be ready to put things to rest early on, but Belichick’s appearance on CBS on Friday stretched the story at the same time it dulled the Walsh/HBO interview. Kraft the Elder obviously had to know BB was doing the CBS sit-down with Armen Keteyian, but he evidently didn’t see the harm of having the coach speaking on a matter that has been spoken on far too much already.
Maybe there wasn’t much harm done and now, until Walsh’s inevitable book or ESPN Original Entertainment deal, the matter can take a final bow on our stage. For everybody except. . .
His career is not over. That’s the good news – because the only person who probably should have lost his job, already did: Matt Walsh.
Tomase’s career is forever tainted – especially in this town. I sill can’t envision a way for him to be effective on the Patriots’ beat, but he made it clear in Friday’s, uh, whatever that 1,500-word missive was, that he would be sticking with the Pats’ beat. It will be worth monitoring as a change of scenery might do all aggrieved parties a degree of good.
You can pretty much guarantee there will be an immediate chilling effect from the Tale of Tomase. Discussion at the industry’s preeminent message board – sportslounralists.com – has been spirited and I get the feeling from talking to some folks in and around the beats, that reporters are taking a step back to assess whether or not they could ever “Tomase” a storyline.
Most like to think they wouldn’t. But the honest ones at least know they could. This episode will go a long way – in the near term – in making reporters better and more accountable.
All that said, the divide between the media and the fan – at least here in Boston – may now be at an all-time high. No telling yet what the Tomase Effect will be on the Herald’s sports section and the paper as a whole. At the very least, it brings the Herald heavy into the Google mix when a curious surfer keys in “newspaper apology.”
I had even been warned by a couple of wise souls that Tomase portion of the story would eventually be a major part of Spygate. For one reason or another – mainly that I figured Tomase was covered – I refused to believe it and neglected to fully ponder the possible scenarios that would result once the lack of a walk-through tape was confirmed.
I failed in my role as “watchdog” in that instance and hopefully it is a lesson I can learn from.
I may have been late to the party, but for cryin’ out loud, I live-blogged the explanation’s posting at the Herald website. That’s a sickness is what that is.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.
Scott’s first book, with Memphis Coach John Calipari, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2009.