Archive for April, 2003

April 28th, 2003 Comments off

Spent Saturday in the press box at Gillette Stadium watching the first two rounds of the 2003 NFL draft. I don’t really have much to say about the way the Patriots, or any other team drafted. I mean, what could I possibly have to say on that subject that hasn’t been said by others with greater expertise than I have? So I’ve just a few fairly trivial observations to offer, two of them about sportswriters. Before I get into them, though, I just wanna say that I didn’t see much of the big guys. The Globe and Herald writers were off in their private suites most of the day. Saw Ron Borges and Nick Cafardo milling about at various points, but that’s it — and I didn’t see much of either of them. Also didn’t see any TV reporters I recognized. I’m pointing this out for a reason, which will become clear presently.

OK, first of all, the food. Man, the Patriots organization catered the living hell out of that thing. From burgers and chicken to roast beef and sea bass, with all kinds of veggies, salads, desserts. All day long the food just kept coming. I kept wondering it that’s what it’s like in there on game days. Might be worth the hell of having to do game coverage (at least I imagine it’s hell) for that kind of spread.

Tangentially related to the catering: Sports writers are animals. OK, not all of them. I’m sure the guys I didn’t see eating (the Globe and Herald guys and such) are civilized, well mannered people. And my old friend Ken Powers, who covers the Pats for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette remains every bit the gentleman I’ve known since college (his T&G colleague, Jen, whom I met only that day, also has good manners). But some of those guys — my dear god. Who raised these people? I saw guys who don’t know how to hold a fork — OK, they probably do, which makes it all the more embarrassing for them that they actually opt for the backward grasp — guys everywhere hunched over their plates, elbows on the table, shoveling food into their mouths faster than they could chew, stuffing massive chunks of uncut food into their maws, filling their mouths until food actually fell back out, chewing with their mouths open, talking with their mouths full. Animals. I will never again watch an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” shake my head and think that no one with that little class and intelligence could be a professional journalist, because, baby, I have seen the sportswriting masses and it is uglier than Ray Barone at his most idiotic.

Finally, I am shocked by the degree to which these guys are just spoon-fed information by the league and team. Every time the Pats made a pick, someone would come around with a lengthy fact sheet about the player. And the facts on those sheets are exactly what I’ve seen in most of the daily newspaper draft reports I’ve read. Now, I’m not saying these guys ought to go out and report that stuff on their own when it’s being given to them. Not saying the info isn’t worthy of including in their papers, either. And many sportswriters (notably — hell, famously — those at the Globe) do the legwork on stories of actual import. So I’m not saying they aren’t good reporters, either. What I am saying is that holy crow would it be easy to cover an event like the NFL draft. You don’t actually have to do anything. The team stuffs you full of food, sends around fact sheets on everything you could think of, sets up conference calls with the draft picks (then hands out transcripts of those calls), and when all is said and done trots out the coach for a press conference in which he says virtually nothing of any substance, but which is dutifully copied and regurgitated in the next day’s paper.

I picked the wrong career path with this music stuff. I really, really did.

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April 20th, 2003 Comments off

The second of my two pieces on the Sea and Cake shows up in today’s Boston Globe.

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April 13th, 2003 Comments off

My feature on the remarkable Northampton band Lo Fine appears in today’s Boston Globe. Go read it. And if you’re in the Boston area, go see the band at the Druid Pub sometime over the next two weeks.

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April 6th, 2003 Comments off

Got a feature about Spoon in today’s Globe.

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