Jun 19 2008
By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
Okay, so now what?
No, really. What the heck do we do now?
Too early for the Red Sox. Too tired of the Patriots. Too soon for the Olympics, too.
The inevitable comedown after these things – these wonderful, magnificent journeys through late nights and stirring comebacks – is almost too much to handle.
It starts, it meanders for a while, then steams at us and suddenly – IT’S OVER.
Kevin Garnett is overcome with emotion. Big Baby takes off his shirt on a duck boat. Doc Rivers’ Gatorade bath becomes an instant full-page ad for the drink-maker. Paul Pierce praises Red.
And that’s it. The games end, the game ends and we’re left with nothing on a Thursday night in June.
This title thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Oh well. Briefly, some media observations from yet another Championship Week in Boston:
. . . Say what you will about Comcast SportsNet’s Greg Dickerson, but his time-spent around the Boston Celtics in recent years truly paid off this week when he was able to nab just about every player and executive for interviews in the post-game celebration and during Thursday’s pre-parade run-up. We especially liked when he ditched Doc Rivers in the bowels of the Garden and began questioning Paul Pierce, who had just walked in with his MVP trophy.
Comcast consistently had the best coverage all week long, culminating with its not-too-over-the-top coverage of the rolling rally where Laura Behnke once again shined as did her “Celtics Now” compadre, Donny Marshall. (Final edition of “Celtics Now” will air Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and will include the final ‘Planet Pollard.’)
Marshall, by the way, was just killing Mike Felger ALL day on-air Thursday. It was quite amusing and probably had more truth to it than Marshall let on.
. . . How good of a PR man is Elevate’s Keith Gainsboro? The legendary Umie managed to get not one, but two mentions in a single Track Gals column on Thursday for his Celtics involvement. Impressive.
. . . Where was CBS4 on Clinch Night? Every other station in town stayed live with post-game coverage into the wee hours, but Bob Lobel-less Channel 4 went straight to Letterman. What a joke. Lobel is gone and the sports department gets no love, despite some good work from Dan Roche, which got play the day after. [EDIT: A Shots reader informs us that the coverage was switched to sister station TV38. I saw no mention of this on the scroll during Letterman and I'm guessing very few knew of the switch. No excuse for not keeping the celebration coverage on the mothership, but at least we now know the strategy.]
. . . If Lucky the Mascot had fallen off his duck boat, it would have been entirely appropriate for a street sweeper to broom him up and not think twice about it.
We’ll take the lovelies in tight Gino tees, but we still can’t deal with the Lucky Loser.
. . . ABC5 benefitted from having the games on its air, but Mike Lynch and, to a lesser extent, Mike Dowling, were thoroughly unimpressive throughout The Finals. Like Lobel before him, WCVB’s Lynch’s best days have been High-Fived away.
. . . The embarrassing local “news” deliverers went into full embarrass mode over the last two weeks. The jersey-wearing, pom-pom waving, jock-sniffing news-siders have become overbearing professional cheerleaders with each and every title and they should all be ashamed of themselves.
. . . Really the only thing we could find to put a bit of a downer on the week was listening to WEEI 850 AM – especially in the afternoon drive slot. Why does every major accomplishment by the local teams suddenly become all about the Entercommies? Of all the things that were better 22 years ago when the Celts last won, the top of the list has to be: “Sports talk radio wasn’t so prevalent.”
. . . I believe I had been asking for the return of caricature t-shirts a while back. This one is nice, but we’d take a KG, Pierce and Ray only one as well, maybe monikered as the “Next Big Three.”
. . . Lots of class moves by Marquette, including a half-page ad in Thursday’s USA Today congratulating one of their own, Doc Rivers.
. . . Someone’s got to say it, so let it be me: How does Cedric Maxwell retain his radio job? Max’s post-game “reports” from the locker room on Tuesday night were completely laughable.
. . . Finally, Sean Grande had the event worthy of his exuberant emotion with the clinching of No. 17. We’ve been harsh on Grande for being over-amped on more than one occasion, but he did a nice overall job – especially in The Finals – and has become a voice worth having in the market. He’s still a distant second-fiddle to Mike Gorman as far as play-by-play goes, but there’s no shame in that.
• Let us first point out that the Boston Globe didn’t deem Monday’s 18-hole playoff at the 2008 US Open worthy enough of having at least ONE of its L.A.-situated columnists to cover the event on the off day between Games 5 and 6. Both Bob Ryan and Dan Shaughnessy were within a two-hour drive of Torrey Pines, but neither was dispatched to join Jim McCabe, who had been on the Tiger Beat all week. (The Herald, which had been using AP copy during the week, sent Tony Massarotti to the Golf Tent over the weekend and he did both a “gamer” and a column for Tuesday, following the historic Woods win.)
In sports editor Joe Sullivan’s defense, Ryan did have TV duties on Tuesday that he needed to be back for and Shaughnessy couldn’t afford to have some travel snafu prohibit him from being in town on game-day either. So the predicament for Sully’s sports desk was considerable and not having a third columnist – Where have you gone Jackie Mack? – further muddied the waters. The local story was the Celts and Sully’s first allegiance was to the dribbling Green, not the putting greens. We get that.
Still, we firmly believe in our old friend’s sage columnist’s coverage credo: “Put yourself in the best position to be where the best stories are.”
With a limping Tiger playing on a Monday at a Major, the best place to be was San Diego and the best one-day golf story – maybe ever – emerged. Unfortunately, Globe readers weren’t able to read a columnist’s words on the thrilling finish.
. . . Yes, we know, McCabe is very good golf writer. But he’s not a columnist.
. . . The most astounding part of the Rocco Mediate post-Open TV tour (including CNN and “PTI” on ESPN) was that Mediate didn’t have a logo on him. Not a one.
• Former MetroWest Daily News writer and Patriots beat guy, Albert Breer, will be leaving the Dallas Morning News on June 26 to take a national job with The Sporting News on July 7. Breer, 28, will be moving back to his native Boston (a Lincoln-Sudbury graduate of 1998) and be based here for TSN. “This is what I want to do,” said Breer. “My goal has been to cover the league, not just one team, and that’s what I’ll be doing now.” (Breer will team with TSN’s Clifton Brown and Dennis Dillon on NFL coverage.)
There will certainly be an adjustment period for Breer as he develops deeper sources and contacts throughout the league, but his rise through the ranks has been impressive – aided, he said, by now having covered both the Patriots and the Cowboys. “I’m young, but I tend to get along well with football people,” said Breer. “This is a position I’ll be able to grow in.”
. . . Amusing to see how at least one of Breer’s colleagues at the DMN took to calling him Albert Einstein.
. . . Breer pointed out that the DMN is used to losing writers to national outlets. “Look at how many people have been poached from here: Matt Mosley, Ed Werder, Mark Stein, Tim Kurkjian – all those guys were DMN reporters.”
. . . Some of the names moving to the behind-the-scenes side of TSN are included in the first note here. Sounds like an Atlanta hockey writer will also be joining Jeff D’Alessio and Paul Kasko.
• Big ups to one of the more impressive regional network guys we’ve come across, CN8′S Gregg Murphy, who won his fourth Emmy Award last weekend at the D.C. edition of the Emmys. Murphy hosts the 7 p.m., Philadelphia-originating “Out of Bounds” – a show Shots has guested on.
You win four of anything and you know you’re doing something right.
• Little Feat at the South Shore Music Circus on Sunday night – put on your sailing shoes and look for me – I’ll be the fat man in the bath tub.
• “And that’s when I decided to do a shot.”
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.