Friday, September 14, 2007

You're My Perception, with footnotes (footnotes?!?) on Raggin, Roggin, and Belichick

This morning on Roggin (Raggin? [1]) and Simers Squared, Fred Roggin [2], Tracy Simers, and Dave Dameshek (T.J. Simers is in Nebraska) were discussing the popularity of NFL teams outside of their home cities. While the three noted that Americans generally like successful teams (witness the popularity of the Steelers and Cowboys in the 1970s), for some reason the New England Patriots have not been the beneficiaries of that popularity - and that was before the current videotaping scandal.

Interestingly enough, when I went to the Hewlett Packard Americas Partner Conference in June 2006, I actually saw Bill Belichick [3]. An entertaining speech, which was enjoyed by the mostly sales crowd.

And, regarding Patriots popularity - back in 2004, the Patriots were more popular than the Celtics.

In Boston.

Everyone loves a winner. The problem for the Boston Celtics is, they haven't won it all for a long, long time.

In a market that has seen two local teams take home championships in the past two years, the Celtics face a crisis of marketing: Do you hearken back to the team's Hall of Fame heritage -- or do you push the team forward, hawking its new ownership, new management and new coach?...

The Boston Celtics face a new identity or at least a rebuilding of a brand that, of late, has slipped its championship status.

I suspect that there are die-hard Patriots fans outside of New England - probably more than the die-hard Broncos fans which Tracy Simers assumes are situated throughout the land.

And no, I'm not apologizing for the footnotes.

[1] Just in case you didn't follow the link, I couldn't pass this up. It's from the Yankton Press, and was discussed on the radio this morning.

Our family philosophies are similar, but that isn't hard to understand. T.J. was born in Wheaton, Ill. He and his wife are very close to their two daughters, just as we are to our children. One is married with their only grandchild -- a girl. The other daughter is an accountant who is not married. Since dad feels obligated to remedy this problem, he is constantly fixing her up with dates. This daughter also works with him on an early morning drive-time talk show five days a week at an L.A. radio station -- Raggin & Simers Squared.

T.J., who called into the radio show from Lincoln this morning, obviously prefers this name to the real name of the radio show. Perhaps even Fred might get used to it.

[2] Can't remember if I talked about this or not earlier. I remember the story when it happened, but no one seems to talk about it any more. Ironically, the story is only preserved by the one guy (Jon Weisman) who DIDN'T cover it at the time:

Stories like Milton Bradley's domestic troubles are essentially why I left full-time sportswriting.

It wasn't as if I couldn't do them. I just didn't want them. But if you do the job, you have to take them....

I woke up on a Friday morning, like virutally every morning during my Daily News career, with that slightly nervous feeling in my stomach that wouldn't be eased until I saw the Times hadn't beaten me on a story. This Friday morning, it had. Leading Larry Stewart's TV-radio column was the news that Roggin, the KNBC sportscaster, had checked into drug rehab. Blissfully ignorant, my media column led with changes at The Sporting News.

I came downcast into work that day, churning over the reaction I would get from Rick Vacek, then the Daily News sports editor. The grief I got was even worse than I had expected. Apparently, I was the most clueless person in Los Angeles for not knowing that Roggin's need to detox was imminent.

I tried to imagine what I was supposed to do - stake out every broadcaster in Los Angeles every night and see what they were sniffing? I know there are some reporters who live for this stuff, but that was not what I got into sportswriting to do.

[3] If you haven't seen it, here's Belichick's statement about the recent unpleasantness:

"I accept full responsibility for the actions that led to tonight's ruling. Once again, I apologize to the Kraft family and every person directly or indirectly associated with the New England Patriots for the embarrassment, distraction and penalty my mistake caused. I also apologize to Patriots fans and would like to thank them for their support during the past few days and throughout my career. "

"As the Commissioner acknowledged, our use of sideline video had no impact on the outcome of last week's game. We have never used sideline video to obtain a competitive advantage while the game was in progress."

"Part of my job as head coach is to ensure that our football operations are conducted in compliance of the league rules and all accepted interpretations of them. My interpretation of a rule in the Constitution and Bylaws was incorrect."

"With tonight's resolution, I will not be offering any further comments on this matter. We are moving on with our preparations for Sunday's game."

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