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Sports Media Musings: Watney Out, “Felger & Mazz” Simulcast Debut, Links

It's been a pleasure, Heidi.

I missed last week…No excuses, but if you want one, we were working on the new site.. Lots to catch up on…

So without further adieu…Time for an Infomercial…big time..

Check out the new diggs. It is still EXTREMELY naked, and has plenty of bugs to be worked out.

The site is basically a place for me to react (500 words at a time) to petty stuff like Gary Tanguay doing Gary Tanguay things and the Andy Gresh/Glenn Ordway tiff.

Normally, I won’t link up stuff of that nature here — unless it’s really warranted.

However I will, occasionally, write in the longer form such as my media “Winners & Losers” column in the PSU scandal — which I will direct readers of Sports Media Musings to.

Lastly, I had a great chat with Greg Bedard from the Globe on my podcast. Really liked his straightforward attitude towards covering the team and takes on new media.

Say Goodbye to Hollywood

Heidi Watney leaving NESN is something I’ve been writing about for months — it was a terribly kept secret, but you don’t care about that. You care about what it means. Unfortunately, beyond what may be remembered as a salacious stint as a NESN side line reporter, the answer is not much.

Watney’s exit to stage left (literally, she’s reportedly moving to LaLa Land to cover the LakeShow) was covered like an actual trade of a player (you know? the subjects she covers). And why? This wasn’t Bob Ryan leaving the Globe. She was here for four years. It was Adalius Thomas leaving the Patriots.

Does the local media feel as though they owe it to her, because – you know as well as I do – they most likely talked trash about her lack of objectivity (coming from NESN) and, moreover, the alleged Jason Varitek affair?

The coverage reminded me of euphemisms society feels obligated to convey when a celebrity dies (a la, Michael Jackson or Al Davis), even though we mocked or criticized said-celebrity while they were alive.

Give it time.

Personally, I had no issues with Watney. I wouldn’t call her a hardened journalist. Nor does she try to operate under that pretense.

Beyond the obvious aesthetics, Heidi wasn’t bringing much to the table. Marc Bertrand never led a headline with, “Heidi Watney is reporting at this hour that…”

Watney never wanted to be Michelle Tafoya. In the same light, Watney knew well enough to not be Lisa Guerrero.

I’ll give her this, she mattered in a job mostly perceived as thankless. Though, let’s be honest, no one with this avatar on Twitter (looks like a modeling headshot) really cares about being an arduous reporter.

(Cue the “Ryan, you’re wearing a sombrero in the header of your new site” joke)

As far as the actual move, Watney in Hollywood is like Jack Nicholson doing a Cialis commercial: For both parties (Nicholson & Cialis) it makes so much sense, but you feel bad for Nicholson.

And I’ll feel bad for Watney when either: A.) Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest — that’s always fun typing) scares the sh!t out of her — OR — B.) Her first story-arc on Days of Our Lives flops.

Oh, and as far as NESN goes, STEPPING STONE! STEEPING STONE!! STEPPPPPPPINNNNGGG STONNNNNEEEE!!!!

I’ve already written at length about that after Jade & Katie Tapps left. 

Without a Hitch

The “Felger & Mazz” simulcast debuted on CSNNE this week. I got to say, I was looking for holes and, ultimately, didn’t find much to complain about. The studio was modern looking and visually appealing. Additionally, CSNNE producers used solid graphics and appropriate highlights when necessary.

Michael Felger’s “Two Year’s of Abuse In Two Minutes” segment was done in the same vein and light as I painted him while first writing about his mantra.

Quick refresher from the piece —

Felger’s success is only matched by the perceived disdain that he himself perpetuates, although that statement is somewhat equivocal. For example, a sound byte often played by 98.5 The Sports Hub is Felger bemoaning “No one likes me enough to give me privileged information”; only he’ll oft say things like, “I have on good word, Brad Marchand was told to simmer down on the partying.”

Felger is our own Skip Bayless. We love to hate him and feel like we need to shower when we agree with him, yet the difference is – unlike Bayless – we respect his opinion. This is probably due to Felger’s own admission of miscalculated pretenses in the past.

I still stand by those remarks, even though Felger seems agenda-driven now more than ever (see my PSU “Winners & Losers” Column for more on that).

One other thing, Jermaine Wiggins wearing a “Wiggy Wear” t-shirt is high comedy because of the obvious self-promotion. Though, not as funny as Wiggy and his buddies getting together and someone saying, “You know what? We should do a clothing line!”

Would have loved to be in that room.

Two Other CSNNE Thoughts

Really looking forward to the “Thanksgiving” edition of Sports Tonight. If you missed it in previous years (because you have a life), producers put Tanguay and Felger with two other talking heads at a dinner table full of all the fixins’!

It’s predictably awkward and (I’m pretty sure) last year Dan Shaughnessy wanted out after the first segment.

———

I’ve now watched CSNNE’s re-broadcast of the Michael Jordan-63 point playoff game in ’86 twice. I really miss the Celtics, and CSNNE should come up something better to suffice.

About Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is the author of the weekly Sports Media Musings column at Sports Of Boston. Hadfield is known as one of the top sports media critics in Boston. He also contributes to Boston Sports Media Watch. In November 2011, Hadfield helped launch the new SoB Point Taken blog featuring his podcasts & musings on sports, media and culture. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

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