John takes an early look at the Patriots' chances this year.
It's table-turning time as Ian Rapoport is interviewed by Boston Sports Media Watch's Bruce Allen.
Why did Tom Brady have a rotten season? Why won't he be the same when he returns in August? According to Dan Shaughnessy, it's because he's gone soft. And he hasn't gone soft by sniffing wildflowers and professing his love for kittens in meter and rhyme; no, the real reason is because (and please make sure you're sitting down before your eyes behold the startling truth) Gisele Bundchen was feeding him during their Mexican vacation.
The U.S. Marshal for Boston and a federal lawyer improperly arranged government motorcades for the two Fox blabcasters during the 2007 World Series, according to a report by the Justice Department's inspector general.
The report centers on Joseph Band, an attorney for the U.S. Marshal's office in Washington:
Our investigation revealed that Band attended the 2007 World Series games as a paid, part-time sports statistician for Fox Sports, and arranged transportation from both games in an USMS vehicle for himself and for a Fox Sports colleague from one game. In addition, the OIG determined that Band arranged a USMS motorcade escort for the broadcasters' private limousines from Fenway Park following both games. We concluded that Band's conduct violated the standards of ethical conduct for federal employees and USMS policy governing the use of government vehicles.
Yvonne Bronner, acting U.S. Marshal for Boston, assigned deputy marshals to help Band in his Fox work at the two Boston games, the report says.
Oh, but wait, there's more: Seems Band got similar escort treatment at the 2008 Super Bowl, an NFL playoff game in Tampa and a college bowl game in Phoenix in 2007. However, the report says the U.S. Marshal in San Francisco refused to let Band get a motorcade to the 2007 All-Star game in that city.
The report concludes that the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston declined to bring any criminal charges.
NotErnie notes Gil Santos's retirement from WBZ, wishes he would retire from Patriots games as well:
... In the last few years, I have become increasingly frustrated at his inability to correctly name the down, distance or where on the field the ball is even marked. He's got a great voice and when he gets things right, he's tremendous. But he gets too much wrong. ...
Angela's all-Patriots Christmas tree is back up.