When E! and ESPN collide


When E! and ESPN collide

By Mary Paoletti

Celebrity news is silly. I don't care about Lindsay Lohan's addictions or Charlie Sheen's addictions or the addiction of stalkers to Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen.

But sports media is an entertainment industry and certain athletes have reached celebrity status. Do thousands of fans know what Buddy Farnham's favorite color is? No, but they have chronicled every haircut Tom Brady has (or has not) gotten during the last decade.

It's when the Kardashians collide with the NBA that I feel awkward. It's when Jay Cutler marriesdoesn't-marry an MTV personality (is that what you call them?) and Mike Fisher steps out with an American Idol that I'm unsure of what to do.

Do I ignore those angles because they're slick with Ryan Seacrest slime? Or do I begrudgingly mention that Lamar Odom will be on the next season of Living Vicariously Through the Vapidashians because Lakers fans care? Or, more likely, because Celtics fans want to make fun of him.

I knew Chad Ochocinco's arrival in New England might present such dilemmas. When a sports celebrity like Esteban puts a microscope to his already-public life it's hard to know when to look away. He constantly Tweets his goings-on and over two and a half million people appear interested.

But what do Patriots fans want to know and what do they want filtered?

Teammate interaction: yes.

The Prius jokes have actually been entertaining. But while digging for more, I stumbled over that line onto the pink and frilly where his fiancee was talking about wedding plans.

During the Aug. 8 season finale, Evelyn confronted Chad after she saw him having lunch with another woman. We resolved it and we moved on, Evelyn confesses. I dont know if he sees my point, but theres always that man-woman conflict.But they have moved on and been trying to get pregnant with twins but Evelyns not pregnant yet. Thats the good thing with fertility, you can pick and choose when you want to have babies, she explains. We want to have the babies after the wedding.

So, basically..

Chad goes out with a woman who is not his fiancee --> Chad and fiancee fight --> they move on and try to have kids --> they don't actually want kids until after the wedding --> the wedding isn't until next year.

...Right. Yup. I don't care.

Lesson learned: Stay on the right side of the ball because it's scary and confusing over with the Kardashians. We and E! might all be working in entertainment news, but we don't seem to be talking about the same thing.

Boston Sports Breakfast Podcast: Can Patriots get back on track? Horford injury becoming a concern?

Boston Sports Breakfast Podcast: Can Patriots get back on track? Horford injury becoming a concern?

Can the Patriots turn it around once they reach the playoffs? Andy Hart and Troy Brown discuss the Pats woes with Brown taking Twitter questions from worried fans.

1:15 - Andy Hart joins Early Edition to talk about the Patriots final two games against the Jets and Bills, and discusses if New England will be able to ride the momentum from those games into the playoffs.

6:20 - Al Horford will miss his sixth straight game on Wednesday vs the Suns. How concerning is this injury becoming? Kyle Draper and Chris Forsberg debate.

10:41 - Tom Giles sits down with Patriots Hall of Famer Troy Brown, who answers questions from fans on Twitter such as what a film session was like after a loss and what his first impression of Bill Belichick was.



Former Patriots WR says there's "blood in the water" with New England right now

Former Patriots WR says there's "blood in the water" with New England right now

The Patriots have been the model of consistency in the Belichick/Brady era. 

Sixteen AFC East titles in 18 seasons. Sixteen seasons of 10+ wins. Eight consecutive first-round byes. Eight trips to the Super Bowl.

But New England has rarely been here, scuffling late in the season after two straight December losses and heading into Week 16 without a playoff berth already wrapped up.

Sure, it's a speed bump, but can they pull themselves out of the skid and right the ship? Earlier this week on The Ex-Pats Podcast, Rob Ninkovich voiced his doubts about where the team stands right now. And Tuesday night on "Boston Sports Tonight," another former Patriot echoed those thoughts.

"There is some blood in the water. They're wounded right now," Troy Brown explained. This team hasn't lost two straight in December since '02, so that's a long time for a team to be that consistent late in the year. You usually see this team not making the mistakes they've made the last couple of weeks. They're hitting their stride right about now and getting ready for that playoff push, and you just don't feel it, you don't see it.

"I'm pretty sure most of those teams out there now that are probably going to be competing in the playoffs are smelling some blood in the water. It's not gushing out right now, but it's a little paper cut."

Bill Belichick was questioned about the mental toughness of the 2018 Patriots on a conference call Tuesday, and though he said there's still time for this team to improve in that area, Brown said that's not a quick -- or easy -- fix.

"It just comes down to the personality of the players. That's the bottom line. If they can't fix that themselves, it's nothing you can coach into them. It's like [Belichick]said. He can't get them to play he wanted them to play in 2009; he probably can't do it now. So it just comes down to the players they have on the roster, and those guys wanting and figuring out how to get it done."

Here's the good news: The Patriots wrap up the season with home games against the Bills and Jets, two teams they've had a great deal of success against in the past, especially at home. A win Sunday would lock up the AFC East and guarantee at least one home playoff game, 

But here's the bad news: New England no longer controls its own destiny when it comes to a first-round bye, so the Patriots might have to go on the road for the Divisional Round and AFC Championship Game, and the road hasn't been friendly this season, with losses at Jacksonville, Detroit, Tennessee, Miami and Pittsburgh. Brown thinks that poor track record will likely spell a road loss in the postseason.

"If you're going to go to the casino and bet, then you're going to bet what you've seen so far. And what you've seen so far is a team that can't perform on the road. It's a different makeup. You watch these guys at home when they play - the amount of energy they bring to those games when they play at home, high-fiving, jumping up and down, chest bumping. And then when you go on the road, you see none of that."

Considering their track record, it would be foolish to bet against Brady, Belichick and the rest of the Patriots. But hearing numerous players who have been there and done that in their Foxboro tenures voice their concerns with where this team stands heading into the homestretch of a playoff run? That's pretty worrisome.

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