ESPN’s Patriots article takes attention away from wild-card weekend

Getty Images

When it comes to major articles that make a stir throughout the football-following world, I’m always fascinated by the timing. Was the story published when it was because that was the first moment it was ready, or was the moment the item went live strategically selected?

In the case of Seth Wickersham’s article about the friction and dysfunction between and among Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft, it’s fair to wonder whether ESPN picked the Friday of wild-card weekend in order to draw attention away from the coming slate of games.

Or, perhaps more importantly (and maybe more accurately), to set the agenda for every pre-game, post-game, in-game, out-of-game NFL-related TV or radio broadcast on a weekend where the focus ideally would be and should be the eight teams that will be playing.

If that was the objective, ESPN is also hurting itself, sort of. Bristol has a playoff game on Saturday featuring the Titans and the Chiefs, and too much talk about the Patriots takes away from their one and only postseason broadcast.

It’s a small price to pay, however, given that the Friday-morning article will dominate the day and resonate into the weekend. Then, when the Patriots are available to the media next week, the story will find new life, as Belichick and Brady are asked about it.

Then there’s the reality that ESPN showcasing Wickersham’s article will inspire/shame the network’s small army of NFL insiders to track down as much information as they can to keep pushing the story forward.

So get ready for non-stop, wall-to-wall Patriots talk, here, there, and pretty much everywhere.

34 responses to “ESPN’s Patriots article takes attention away from wild-card weekend

  1. This is what the worldwide joke of sportscasting does, the spew out a pile of lies and innuendo when they need a ratings boost

  2. So get ready for non-stop, wall-to-wall Patriots talk, here, there, and pretty much everywhere.
    What’s new? It’s been that way for years anyway

  3. Ug… My Chiefs play during the ESPN game, I’m certain the announcers will be given a directive to talk this up, non-stop…. I loath ESPN and despise their attempt at timely shock ‘journalism’

  4. “ESPN’s Patriots article takes attention away from wild-card weekend”

    No it doesn’t. Nobody watches BSPN anymore.

  5. ESPN can make things up or do what they want to do. All I can do is base my opinion on facts. Questionable game changing calls always ending in patriots favor seems odd to me. Add two loses to patriots record this year for questionable calls that were overturned that saved the patriots. Year after year it’s the same thing.

  6. Best quote in this whole article ‘They haven’t just won games and titles. They’ve won at an unprecedented rate and over an unprecedented span, which makes the feelings of entitlement creeping inside Gillette Stadium unprecedented as well.’

    5 championship in 17 years? I’d feel a little entitled too when I’m expected to be in it every year. Not to mention the teams in that division are garbage.

    On the flip side, Cleveland has now taken entitlement on a paradigm shift and is throwing a parade to celebrate an 0-16 season. Let’s get things into perspective here. Non-story and once again ESPN and the media will find an excuse to talk about Brady and Belichick when nobody wants to hear it. They’re a good team and there are 7 other good teams in the playoffs too.

  7. It’s not just Pats fans folks. The entire sports world is obsessed with the NE. It’s as if the other 31 teams are just an afterthought. Every other story starts out, “in other news”.

    I do agree that it is more probable than not that NE is at least generally aware that the ride against which all other rides are measured, is likely approaching the station. No surprise. Everything ends. It does not however diminish the dominance of which we were all fortunate enough to have been witnesses.

    We can now resume observing the mediocre product that will remain once goats go off to pasture.

  8. That’s been paramount on how sports are covered these days. Look at me, not the sports. ESPN become the world wide leader of “look at us, we will tell you what to think and say about sports.”

    I have zero use for media “personalities” I’d much rather have a journalism major that strives to have a career as a journalist than some washed up ex player that wants to keep himself relatively famous.

  9. The author of the article has a history of inaccuracy and fabrication.
    Simple google search turns up his previous “research.”
    Also, his network has been known to willingly perpetuate lies before.

  10. although I have cut watching games down some this year, I absolutely have 100% stopped watching any of the pre-game shows because of non-game related junk like this.

  11. If that article takes attention away from the wild card games then the games can’t be very good because there’s nothing much in the article. There’s just no real substance to Wickerham’s piece. It’s as though it was spun out of the Boston sports media’s slow day nonsense minus the yelling. Pats fans have literally heard virtually everything that’s in it for the past 2 months almost any time they’ve tuned into sports radio.

  12. You know how much 31 other teams fans care about patriots talk?

    The same amount of interest as we have in your Kaepernick talk, ZERO!

  13. I think the timing is odd too. ESPN has always presented a somewhat negative view of the Patriots in most of its reporting, so I am surprised ESPN did not hold off until next Friday, one day before the divisional game.

  14. I call this article #fakenews

    Why would you think an article consisting of nothing more than speculation only using anonymous sources would “dominate” the day, much less the weekend.
    The Patriots aren’t even playing this weekend…you think a reporter is going to ask a Chiefs coach or player for their opinion?
    It may get mentioned in passing, but I think the only people would will be talking about it ad nauseam is you and Seth trying to make news out of nothing.

    Every organization on Earth has dysfunction and disagreements.

    Even if it all turns out to be 100% true…who cares?

  15. next week, the story will find new life, as Belichick and Brady are asked about it.


    How so? Belichick wont say anything other than about their opponent and Brady will cry and thank his parents. Big deal.

  16. .
    Somebody ought to locate Mike Reiss if ESPN Boston. He’s been the beat man for the Patriots for over a decade. He’s respected by the organization and fans alike. If he backs up the story, then there’s some truth to it.

  17. jbaxt says:
    January 5, 2018 at 9:52 am

    You know how much 31 other teams fans care about patriots talk?
    The same amount of interest as we have in your Kaepernick talk, ZERO!

    And yet you felt compelled to comment about it. From a Pats fan standpoint we’d like to be hearing more about the games that are actually going to played atarting tomorrow as well.

  18. It is not that powerful a piece. Take away WC weekend interest? Highly doubt that.
    I do think it cements the Pats resolve to secure another SB victory. Articles like this have a way of backfiring and eating crow is the first thing on the menu.

  19. ESPN/Wickerscam sources: Ron Borges, John Tomase, Ian O’Connor, Dan Shaughnessy, Tom Jackson, Bob Ryan, Karen Gregarious, and of course the late Will McDunghole. They’ve all been so spot on and responsible in their coverage of the Patriots since Belichick got there.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!