Sadly, you sports and media nerdles are going to have to find another way to kill a couple (or three) hours this afternoon. As you may have noticed by now, no chat today. I've got my bye week during the first week of the NFL season, with Shalise Manza Young sliding in to the noon slot this week to get you primed for the Patriots opener with her beat-writer wisdom.
Complete disclosure: Rather than chat a little later, and risk confusing my puny but charmingly devout audience by bouncing around various timeslots like "Freaks and Geeks" before eventual and unjust cancellation, I decided to take the afternoon to actually write a column for this blog. I know. That's been a foreign concept far too often lately, and while it's rewarding to be habitually busy working on other projects scattered around Boston.com (some recent stuff is aggregated below just to annoy you further), I don't visit this, my favorite neighborhood, nearly as often as I'd like.
So here are some recent links; I'm frequently told the media column is hard to find on the site (it's usually linked near the top of the headlines on Friday mornings, FYI). I've also posted a couple of Patriots quizzes I had great fun putting together that you may have missed.
And the photo of Mike Haynes? Just the usual nostalgia, but also a nice reminder that the best corner in NFL history played for the Patriots. He's pretty high on the list of Patriots players I wish I could watch play again. Top five, probably. Stingley, Morgan, Curtis Martin, Tippett . . .
(Why am I suddenly humming "Reminiscing" by the Little River Band? Make it stop.)
Anyway, on to the housekeeping/pathetic self-linkage. I'll be back here with a column this afternoon (topic: TBD), and I'm already looking forward to chatting about the 1-0 Patriots and 0-1 Jets next week . . .
- Today's media column on the fallout on the rush to be first in reporting the two major Tom Brady stories this week. A few of you guys have told me -- as well as certain Dirt Dog to my right in the office here -- that Dennis and Callahan agreed with my take, which came as a surprise given that we are well established as not-quite-BFFs, not to mention that I somewhat called out Adam Schefter, a regular weekly guest on their program during the football season. I didn't hear it, but it would explain the pigs circling Logan right now. I suppose it has to do with the fact that Channel 7 -- which was shameless in how it handled the Brady news yesterday -- is trying to infringe on WEEI's well-handled scoop.
(Aside: Did any of you crafty veteran TATB readers notice that I weaseled in a mention of Lyman Bostock? He's long been a pet cause around here. In my nearly two years of writing the media column, shoehorning in a reference to the doomed former Angel and Twin may well be my finest feat. And the MLB Network should do a show on him. And check out this picture of his locker from Sept. 24, 1978, the day after he died. There are at least three things here you'd never see in a baseball clubhouse today. A cigarette machine. Stacks of bottled Pepsi. And -- sigh -- a pile of newspapers.)
- Thursday's media column in our NFL section on what analysts at various networks are saying about the Patriots. As a reader pointed out the other day, Jon Gruden essentially said the opposite here of what he told Sports Illustrated. I like Gruden as an analyst, but he hasn't exactly mastered the concept of predictions yet. He's also picked the four AFC North teams to have better records this year than they did last season. That would be a hell of a feat given that three of the four teams won at least nine games a year ago.
- Last week's media column on NFL Films's ridiculously fun series on the NFL Network counting down the top 100 players of all time. I'd never talked to Steve Sabol previously, so it was cool to discover he's just as friendly and animated in an interview as he is as the host of so many NFL Films productions.
- Totally piggybacking on SI's entertaining concept of the best player in NFL history to wear each jersey number, here's our list of the greatest Patriots, Nos. 1-99. The toughest call for me: Randy Moss over Russ Francis at No. 81, though it probably shouldn't have been.
- Finally, a couple of recent quizzes. One on the history of Patriots openers, and an earlier one on general Patriots history. Love doing these, and I suspect they're more fun for readers than seeing them in gallery form.
Two other things: I'll be blogging the Pats-Bengals game from Gillette Sunday, so be sure to stop by the Extra Points blog for news, updates, and very possibly, some snark. Also, buy it! Now! Or I might have to snivel and beg, and no one wants that.
Column coming up in a bit . . .
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.