Felger and Mazz - Creating False Naratives one day at a time

Sinistas

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The Sox are in the playoffs, Selig put a date on his retirement, and 98.5 just secured the rights to the Celtics...but let's complain some more about Rivera getting a ceremony at Fenway.

I'm done with this show until they make some changes. Enough's enough.
 

Buffalo Head

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They're not changing anything. There were roughly four or five callers yesterday alone complaining about their attitude/negativity and they couldn't be bothered.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Sinistas said:
The Sox are in the playoffs, Selig put a date on his retirement, and 98.5 just secured the rights to the Celtics...but let's complain some more about Rivera getting a ceremony at Fenway.

I'm done with this show until they make some changes. Enough's enough.
 
Good news is that they've stated they're refusing to talk much more Celtics! Hope that sticks. 
 

Helmet Head

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Oh good. More Brady bashing.

Why can't he take the blame for his mistakes?

How long will they continue beat this drum? It has been happening since week 1.

Why am I even listening? My own fault.
 

NickEsasky

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For the longest time I avoided sports radio because EEI was garbage. Then TSH came around and I finally had a reason to listen. I listened to T&R on BCN so that was natural, but I really enjoyed the first year of F&M, and DA was pretty good too for a night show. But now F&M have reminded me why I avoided sports radio for so long. They are just as bad as EEI was. Trolling constantly and pandering to the lowest common denominator. Facts will not get in the way of a "hot take!" I don't even bother with them anymore. 
 
I'll still listen to T&R and Adam Jones is all right, but I doubt I go back to F&M. 
 

HomeBrew1901

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NickEsasky said:
For the longest time I avoided sports radio because EEI was garbage. Then TSH came around and I finally had a reason to listen. I listened to T&R on BCN so that was natural, but I really enjoyed the first year of F&M, and DA was pretty good too for a night show. But now F&M have reminded me why I avoided sports radio for so long. They are just as bad as EEI was. Trolling constantly and pandering to the lowest common denominator. Facts will not get in the way of a "hot take!" I don't even bother with them anymore. 
 
I'll still listen to T&R and Adam Jones is all right, but I doubt I go back to F&M. 
Fact, not opinion.
 
Mentioned it above, but I outside of T&R I stopped listening to sports talk radio a few months ago and I'm happier for it.  
 

Marbleheader

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Yup. They were making me hate sports. Just enjoying the Sox run, looking forward to the Bruins season and cautiously optimistic about the Pats.
 

Dead Balls

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Is there a valid marketing reason for the show for Felger and Mazz to want their listeners to hate sports?  What made them think going full contrarian would be good for business?
 

Hendu for Kutch

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I listen to T&R on my way in to work, so when I get back in the car to head home, F&M are on for the 60 seconds or so it takes me to get settled and setup my MP3 player.  They don't disappoint, pretty much every day in that short span they're bitching about something, and it's usually stupid.  For anyone who listens to the whole show (I can't imagine why you would), do they really keep that pace up the whole time?
 
Yesterday there was a caller complaining about the Patriots letting Talib go after this season.  He was bitching about something that hasn't even happened!  And they were agreeing with him!
 

SidelineCameras

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Hendu for Kutch said:
Yesterday there was a caller complaining about the Patriots letting Talib go after this season.  He was bitching about something that hasn't even happened!  And they were agreeing with him!
 I thought they responded to that guy by talking about Hernandez and saying you have to be careful with character issue players. Mazz suggesting using the franchise tag on Talib for the next 3-4 years if necessary.
 

wutang112878

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They did suggest using the franchise tag on Talib.  They actually had a great point as well, that when they brought Moss and Dillon aboard everything was great initially, and it was when they were given multi-year contracts by the Patriots, thats when they had problems with those players.  That was part of the reasoning of using the franchise tag
 

Ralphwiggum

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Hendu for Kutch said:
I listen to T&R on my way in to work, so when I get back in the car to head home, F&M are on for the 60 seconds or so it takes me to get settled and setup my MP3 player.  They don't disappoint, pretty much every day in that short span they're bitching about something, and it's usually stupid.  For anyone who listens to the whole show (I can't imagine why you would), do they really keep that pace up the whole time?
 
Yesterday there was a caller complaining about the Patriots letting Talib go after this season.  He was bitching about something that hasn't even happened!  And they were agreeing with him!
 
Regardless of whether that happened in this case or not, getting worked up about things that have not actually happened yet, and arguing points that nobody has actually made, are two prominent staples of the show.  I can't stomach more than 5-10 minutes of this show at a time anymore, but either I hit it exactly right every time, or this is what they spend the majority of the show doing.
 

lostjumper

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Sigh. Listening right now because I was hoping they would talk about the bruins or Sox. Nope. Its 30 minutes of patriots bashing so far, and how evil they are. Right now they are discussing talib. Felger is saying you have to dig super deep with this guy, and be wary of signing him long term while saying they suck at drafting corners so they have to sign him. It's like they are hedging their bets so no matter what happens they can complain...
 

soxfan121

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lostjumper said:
Sigh. Listening right now because I was hoping they would talk about the bruins or Sox. Nope. Its 30 minutes of patriots bashing so far, and how evil they are. Right now they are discussing talib. Felger is saying you have to dig super deep with this guy, and be wary of signing him long term while saying they suck at drafting corners so they have to sign him. It's like they are hedging their bets so no matter what happens they can complain...
 
Aqib Talib is less than 12 months past a PED suspension (one more and he's suspended for a year) and less than 18 months past physically assaulting a cab driver while the cab filled with teammates was in motion and less than two years removed from pistol whipping a guy in broad daylight and then firing a gun (along with his mother) at his sister's pedophile boyfriend.
 
Yeah...the Patriots need to dig super deep on this guy. I love how he's played thus far this season but if I were Bob Kraft, Talib wouldn't get anything but the franchise tag. And they have sucked at drafting corners. I get why the negative tone bothers people but as Felger would say - these are facts, not opinions. The bottom line is that Talib is playing like an All-Pro, deserves to get paid, plays for a team that has had trouble finding reliable CBs and has a past/rap sheet/pending suspension that should make anyone with half-a-brain hesitate before giving him tens of millions of dollars guaranteed. It's a complicated situation that will probably end up with someone complaining. 
 

lostjumper

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soxfan121 said:
 
Aqib Talib is less than 12 months past a PED suspension (one more and he's suspended for a year) and less than 18 months past physically assaulting a cab driver while the cab filled with teammates was in motion and less than two years removed from pistol whipping a guy in broad daylight and then firing a gun (along with his mother) at his sister's pedophile boyfriend.
 
Yeah...the Patriots need to dig super deep on this guy. I love how he's played thus far this season but if I were Bob Kraft, Talib wouldn't get anything but the franchise tag. And they have sucked at drafting corners. I get why the negative tone bothers people but as Felger would say - these are facts, not opinions. The bottom line is that Talib is playing like an All-Pro, deserves to get paid, plays for a team that has had trouble finding reliable CBs and has a past/rap sheet/pending suspension that should make anyone with half-a-brain hesitate before giving him tens of millions of dollars guaranteed. It's a complicated situation that will probably end up with someone complaining. 
I agree that Talib needs to be vetted thoroughly before they sign him to any long term deal. But if you had listened to the conversation, you would have heard how they are already setting up the Pats to be criticized.
"They really need to dig deep on Talib"
"But no one is clean in the NFL, so you have to have guys like that on your team"
"They need cornerbacks like him because they can't draft them so they have to keep him"
"If they keep him, just shows their is now 'Patriot Way' and they are like every other team"
 
No matter what the outcome is, F&M are going to criticize the Patriots for how they handle it.
 

soxfan121

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I listened. And I said that I could understand why someone would be frustrated with the tone of their discussion. And you're right - no matter how it goes, F&M will find a way to criticize it. 
 
What you (and most people in this thread) miss is that it is their job to do that. No one listens to four hours of cheerleading, not in this market. But people listen to negativity in this town and they call to either argue or vent their frustrations or be validated, which ups ad revenues. So of course F&M are going to criticize the Pats if Talib signs elsewhere or if they sign Talib and he beats up another cabbie or they sign him and he turns into a pumpkin or if they don't sign him, draft a CB and that guy sucks...I mean....what are you expecting? Of course that's what they are going to do and it'll get ratings and there will be another 111 pages of people complaining about something. Circle of life and all that jazz. 
 

lostjumper

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No one listens to 4 hours of negativity either. That's what they don't seem to understand. I haven't listened in over 2 months. I had some time at work today, so I was hoping to hear about the sox or bruins, instead it was them bashing the patriots. Remember when they were a breath of fresh air compared to the Big Show? That's the big reason this thread reached 111 pages. Now, they are making every single mistake WEEI made.
1. Celebrity Callers
2. Terrible 3rd chairs - Wiggy
3. One tone the entire show(negative instead of the Big Show's positive)
4. Complete laziness (Mazz)
 
They are the Big Show all over again. Hopefully the ratings go down and they realize that the right formula was what they did for the first year they were on the air.
 

lexrageorge

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You know what would make a good show?  Start with the premise that "they suck at drafting corners".  Then take it a step further and explain how many teams similarly suck at drafting CB's, and how guys like Talib are difficult to find in the draft.  Perhaps go back and go through the first round DB's drafted over the past few years and discuss how many became Revis's and how many became Wheatley's.  Then you have an interesting show to goes a bit above the lowest common denominator of the pack-a-day set.  
 

soxfan121

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lostjumper said:
No one listens to 4 hours of negativity either. That's what they don't seem to understand. I haven't listened in over 2 months. I had some time at work today, so I was hoping to hear about the sox or bruins, instead it was them bashing the patriots. Remember when they were a breath of fresh air compared to the Big Show? That's the big reason this thread reached 111 pages. Now, they are making every single mistake WEEI made.
1. Celebrity Callers
2. Terrible 3rd chairs - Wiggy
3. One tone the entire show(negative instead of the Big Show's positive)
4. Complete laziness (Mazz)
 
They are the Big Show all over again. Hopefully the ratings go down and they realize that the right formula was what they did for the first year they were on the air.
 
I'm not going to argue any of that with you. It's been said before, sometimes by me. 
 
I did listen to almost the whole show (driving from 2:30-4, again from 4:45-6). And so did lots of other people, at least in the spring ratings book (from Chad Finn):
 
In afternoon drive (2 p.m.-6 p.m.), Felger and Massarotti of the Sports Hub was tops with a 12.3, beating runner-up WZLX's programming (7.0) by a significant margin. WEEI's Salk and Holley Show was fifth (5.4).
 
 
Far too many people seem to not listen but have daily or weekly complaints and they are always the same complaints. Like I've said - I get how the tone of the show turns people off. I understand. More over, F&M understand. They just don't care because they are slaughtering the competition in the afternoon drive ratings. They have a successful formula. It isn't everyone's cup of tea. It is, sometimes, nauseatingly bad. 
 
But not liking something (personally) is not the basis for an argument on whether it's working or will continue to work. Sure, in time TSH will reap what it is sowing like WEEI did. Do you realize how long The Big Show got away with being negativity central on sports while winning the ratings? DECADES. 
 
And FFS, everyone who says they hate Wiggy can shut the fuck up already. He is exactly what you wish Felger had as a co-host: an opinionated, passionate homer who argues with him. He has improved tremendously since his debut. He has embraced the weird in his personality (the 10 questions, audio-road show bits) and regularly calls Felger an asshole and/or racist. He can be funny (today he totally clammed up on the Party Bus/Boat joking but did it in a way that made him seem like a good dude - my opinion). Wiggy > Mazz. 
 

lostjumper

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Look back at point 4. No way that's happening now. A year ago maybe Bertrand talks about how difficult it is to forecast and draft cb's, but he's too beaten down to even try anymore.
 

soxfan121

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lexrageorge said:
You know what would make a good show?  Start with the premise that "they suck at drafting corners".  Then take it a step further and explain how many teams similarly suck at drafting CB's, and how guys like Talib are difficult to find in the draft.  Perhaps go back and go through the first round DB's drafted over the past few years and discuss how many became Revis's and how many became Wheatley's.  Then you have an interesting show to goes a bit above the lowest common denominator of the pack-a-day set.  
 
Felger does this regularly in the 2 o'clock hour when he introduces a topic. By 5 o'clock, they are on their 4th repetition of the discussion, have boiled down to talking points and are looking to grab the attention of the commuter getting into his car. So...you're right and they do it but they don't do it when you listen. 
 
ETA: lostjumper...the 30 minutes you've listened to in the last two months aren't a representative sample and just don't reflect reality. Again, I get that you don't like the tone but you're saying things that aren't true when you do bother to listen to the whole show, often.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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soxfan121 said:
 
But not liking something (personally) is not the basis for an argument on whether it's working or will continue to work. Sure, in time TSH will reap what it is sowing like WEEI did. Do you realize how long The Big Show got away with being negativity central on sports while winning the ratings? DECADES. 
 
Thing is when the Big Show was negativity central, there was good reason.  Sports in this town sucked in the 90s.  That was pre "tuck rule".  Pre "Idiots".  Pre "Anything is possible!"
 
Not to totally defend the cesspool that the Big Show became, but they went all Mary Sunshine about the local teams when they started winning.  They didn't maintain the negativity in the face of championship winning and otherwise perennial championship contending teams.
 
I think that's what's bothersome about the all-negative-all-the-time tack taken by F&M.  There's nothing wrong with acknowledging when teams do something right or things are going well.  Praising a team for starting 4-0 or finishing with the best record in the league doesn't automatically constitute brown-nosing and pompom waving.  I think what most people want in their sports radio is honesty and rationality.  Of course, that doesn't move the needle with the lowest common denominator audience that is their bread and butter.  I would think most people here understand that, but it doesn't make them wrong to hope for something better.
 

dcmissle

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Intriguing to me is that nobody here defends them anymore. Soxfan offers more of an explanation than a defense.

There is a remedy. Don't listen. Why subject yourself to the aggravation? I've not listened fori months and am happier for it. This is supposed to be down time fun, not punishment.
 

JohnnyTheBone

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
Thing is when the Big Show was negativity central, there was good reason.  Sports in this town sucked in the 90s.  That was pre "tuck rule".  Pre "Idiots".  Pre "Anything is possible!"
 
Not to totally defend the cesspool that the Big Show became, but they went all Mary Sunshine about the local teams when they started winning.  They didn't maintain the negativity in the face of championship winning and otherwise perennial championship contending teams.
 
I think that's what's bothersome about the all-negative-all-the-time tack taken by F&M.  There's nothing wrong with acknowledging when teams do something right or things are going well.  Praising a team for starting 4-0 or finishing with the best record in the league doesn't automatically constitute brown-nosing and pompom waving.  I think what most people want in their sports radio is honesty and rationality.  Of course, that doesn't move the needle with the lowest common denominator audience that is their bread and butter.  I would think most people here understand that, but it doesn't make them wrong to hope for something better.
Thís is a damn good post.
 

kolbitr

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I am someone who was very anti-Felger early on, only to come around to realize that he is a great media personality. He has charisma and intelligence enough to make for terrific radio (not so much on TV, but that's a side issue). I really came around on him during the Bruins run in 2011: his passion and withering critiques made for must-listen radio, and I'm not even a die-hard hockey fan (or perhaps that reveals something about why I enjoyed his shows??). I loved that he cared, and was tough on the team, and could be completely taken up with a Bruins team that was flawed, but immensely likeable, and the run to the Cup was terrific radio, every day.
 
These virtues are, for me, what are missing from the show these days, absent hockey. Felger, it is well-known, does not like the Patriots. He respects them, but he doesn't care about them, and does not mind when things go badly.** For me, that's a tough sell. I would rather hear him talk about the Packers (his team) or the Vikings (whom he abhors)...I gather he is relatively indifferent to the Sox, and he obviously despises the Celtics (the NBA). All of these traits make him a curious listen in a Boston market. I want to hear, in my sports radio, passionate fans of the home teams...praising and excoriating in turn. Such is Felger with the Bruins, but with no other local team. He is still a great radio personality, and it isn't suprising he wins the ratings...but he is also a boor. If he were paired with someone besides Mazz things would be different, but he is not--and his cohost gives the strong impression that he neither watches nor cares about sports at all.
 
As for WEEI back in the day...I listened assiduously in the Parcells-90s, and in the immediate aftermath of his departure. Those were not excessively negative shows. Contemporary scolds and yentas Borges and Shaughnessy regularly offered intriguing and measured takes on the Patriots, and less-measured takes on the Sox. It is interesting to recall the general (though not universal) disdain for Duquette as a personality...
 
[**footnote--he was insanely giddy following Black Sunday, which I cannot really forgive...]
 

Mystic Merlin

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dcmissle said:
Intriguing to me is that nobody here defends them anymore. Soxfan offers more of an explanation than a defense.

There is a remedy. Don't listen. Why subject yourself to the aggravation? I've not listened fori months and am happier for it. This is supposed to be down time fun, not punishment.
 
Yep.
 
Unplugging from sports radio - well, aside from Francesa, who is an object of curiosity for me - has been a good move for me.  It's not worth the time and energy, and I don't need yet another source of aggravation.
 

Ralphwiggum

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We have gone around and around with the same discussion in this thread a bunch of times, but the frustrating thing to me is that F&M have changed from how they were when they first came on the air at TSH.  I know some here disagree, but to me it is not the same show.  Felger has always been opinionated and, as noted, he's clearly not a fan of some of the local teams, and he's always been kind of a dick on the air.  But, I always felt he was honest in whatever opinion he was giving, and he owned up to it when he was wrong.
 
There is no way you can listen to Felger now and come to the conclusion that he is consistently honest, or that he owns up to his mistakes.  Most of the time when I listen now he's doing what was described above with the Talib discussion, where he's creating a false dilemma and then hedging his arguments so that no matter how it turns out he's established a position from which to criticize the local team.  The sign Talib to a long term extension and he gets another PED suspension?  They should have vetted him more.  They let him walk in free agency?  They are cheap and don't spend to the cap.  Plus, they suck at drafting CBs so they should have gone the extra mile and signed him.  They have done the same thing all month with the Red Sox playoff chances.  If they go out early in the playoffs?  Disappointing season.  If they make a long playoff run?  They are screwed because all of their free agents will now be more expensive and the front office won't give them a chance to defend the World Series title they haven't even won yet.
 
Obviously the formula works, no arguing with that, but I can still be disappointed with the product now, as compared to before. 
 

Rocco Graziosa

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I don't think he's changed at all.  Especially regarding the Patriots.  He just really doesn't like them.  Like really really really really really REALLY doesn't like them. 
 
He's the same way with the NBA.  Sometimes its interesting other times its bad radio.  Kind of depends on the topic............Patriots 4-0.......uninteresting.  Patriots blown out by the Jets in the first round of the playoffs, or beat by the Giants in the superbowl?  VERY interesting.
 
At least to me.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Rocco Graziosa said:
I don't think he's changed at all.  Especially regarding the Patriots.  He just really doesn't like them.  Like really really really really really REALLY doesn't like them. 
 
He's the same way with the NBA.  Sometimes its interesting other times its bad radio.  Kind of depends on the topic............Patriots 4-0.......uninteresting.  Patriots blown out by the Jets in the first round of the playoffs, or beat by the Giants in the superbowl?  VERY interesting.
 
At least to me.
 
 
I am godsmacked. How the hell is the bolded uninteresting? How could Felger, a supposed "expert" in sports who landed a gig talking to millions of people about sports for 20 hours a week, think that's boring? They have 85% of last year's receiving corps out of town. The defense (!) is the main cog of the team's wins this year. The have a CB playing at an level not seen since Asante Samuel was here.They are winning while using 3 RBs irregularly in terms of reps. Brady's numbers look like it's 2003 all over again and yet they're still winning. They're winning in ways completely opposite how they've won for the last 5 or 6 years.
 
How the hell is that uninteresting?
 
It's fucking fascinating to me, actually.
 

Buffalo Head

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Rocco Graziosa said:
I don't think he's changed at all.  Especially regarding the Patriots.  He just really doesn't like them.  Like really really really really really REALLY doesn't like them. 
 
He's the same way with the NBA.  Sometimes its interesting other times its bad radio.  Kind of depends on the topic............Patriots 4-0.......uninteresting.  Patriots blown out by the Jets in the first round of the playoffs, or beat by the Giants in the superbowl?  VERY interesting.
 
At least to me.
I can only speak for myself, but I feel like many others have echoed it over the past 6-8 months: Sure Felger always had those negative/cynical/contrarian elements to his on-air persona. The difference is that instead of bringing it out in smaller, focused doses, now its constant, about everything. That's where the change has come.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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And the contrarianism is about stuff that may happen. I was in the car yesterday for about an hour and it was an hour about whether Aquib Talib might leave via free agency. The NFL offseason doesn't start until early to mid-February, roughly five months away. Literally anything can happen to Talib and the Patriots in that time. And this wasn't one day, this was the SECOND FREAKING DAY of will Aquib Talib stay or go, what should the Patriots do, is Talib a good witch or a bad witch?
 
Massarotti kept saying the same thing over and over and over and over again, "I would franchise the guy. He seems to do well on one-year contracts, his off-field stuff is a concern, franchise him." And BTW, this is the correct answer. Yet Felger kept saying, "Durrrr, what if Talib gets mad? What if he holds out? What if he grows another leg? Then what?"
 
And then when callers phoned him to say, "Okay, let's sign him right now. Whatever he wants." Felger would call them fan boys. When Mazz said the Pats should wait or franchise Talib, Felger would go through his what-if's. Felger's obviously pretty good at this, but it's damn exhausting. 
 
I mean it was like asking someone, "What's two plus two", getting the answer "four" and then arguing with them about whether that answer is correct. For eight hours. Over two days. In front of hundreds of thousands of people. 
 
It's not like we're in the dregs of February and March either. The Red Sox are going to the postseason for the first time since 2009, the Bruins open their season on Thursday with a new cast of characters and the Pats are 4-0 coming off an impressive victory over a good team, yet this nitwit wants to split hairs about something that's going to happen in February. FEBRUARY!
 
How is this interesting to anyone except Aquib Talib and his agent? I shut my radio off after awhile and drove home in silence. 
 

Ralphwiggum

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Rocco Graziosa said:
I don't think he's changed at all.  Especially regarding the Patriots.  He just really doesn't like them.  Like really really really really really REALLY doesn't like them. 
 
He's the same way with the NBA.  Sometimes its interesting other times its bad radio.  Kind of depends on the topic............Patriots 4-0.......uninteresting.  Patriots blown out by the Jets in the first round of the playoffs, or beat by the Giants in the superbowl?  VERY interesting.
 
At least to me.
 
I could not disagree with basically this whole post any more.  I have always been a big Felger fan.  I liked him in the old days on WEEI, I like him on TV, I liked him as a columnist, and I loved F&M when it first came on the air.  Now I can't listen for more than a few minutes, so either he's changed or I've changed, but since I (and many others on this board) have noticed real changes in the way he approaches his show, I am pretty confident in saying he's changed.
 
Now maybe you are cool with the change and it is still right up your alley in terms of what you like on the radio, and admittedly with the ratings you'd be in the majority and I'd be in the minority, but I am absolutely floored that anyone would try to say that the show hasn't changed quite a bit.  And it has nothing to do with his like or dislike for the Pats.  That's always been there, but the reason I liked him talking football was because I felt like he knew the game and was fair in his assessment of the team, even when I disagreed. I can't tell you the last time I listened to him and thought "well, I disagree, but that's fair". 
 
In the old days he'd stake out an unpopular position, defend it the best he could with facts, and then own it if his position ended up being wrong.  You are high on crack if you listen to this show now and you think that is what he does now.  Just in this last page of the thread there are about five different people outlining his M.O. these days.  It involves staking out a position that allows him to claim victory no matter what happens, over, and over, and over.  It involves creating false dilemmas and then spending hours discussing worst case scenarios.  It is total, completely different then what it used to be.
 
And for the life of me I cannot understand what is uninteresting about this team being 4-0.  They have been an offensive juggernaut over the past 6 or so seasons and have won a shitload of games with that style.  Overnight they change out the entire receiver group and start winning grind-it-out defensive battles, and just won a fantastic football game on the road in a very tough place to play.  What the fuck is not interesting about that?  Are you not a Pats fan or something?  I assume the vast majority of the people listening to F&M during the fall are Patriot fans.  I do not for the life of me understand what is wrong with just being a fan sometimes and enjoying the ride when your team does well.
 

steveluck7

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
 
I am godsmacked. How the hell is the bolded uninteresting? How could Felger, a supposed "expert" in sports who landed a gig talking to millions of people about sports for 20 hours a week, think that's boring? They have 85% of last year's receiving corps out of town. The defense (!) is the main cog of the team's wins this year. The have a CB playing at an level not seen since Asante Samuel was here.They are winning while using 3 RBs irregularly in terms of reps. Brady's numbers look like it's 2003 all over again and yet they're still winning. They're winning in ways completely opposite how they've won for the last 5 or 6 years.
 
How the hell is that uninteresting?
 
It's fucking fascinating to me, actually.
I don't know if Rocco meant it as literally as you're interpreting it and I know Felger doesn't mean it that way. He's stated many times that 4 hours of tossing bouquets at teams is not interesting radio, and I agree to a point. 4 hours of "Did you see Thompkins lay out for that touchdown?!" would not be too interesting. How long has he chided the "Feety pajama crew" or the "green teamers"? 
Informed fans want analysis, which i think he thinks he's providing when talking about things like what to do with Talib. But it comes off as negativity for negativity's sake.  Of course, his personal disdain for the organization taints his "analysis", making it seem negative. But i think we also have the expectation that he'll be negative so we may ignore some of the rational, or even positive takes, he has and focus on the negative. 
Over exposure is also a problem for him now. As you mentioned, 20 hours of radio a week plus ~10 hours of TV is a lot of time to form and relay opinions.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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steveluck7 said:
I don't know if Rocco meant it as literally as you're interpreting it and I know Felger doesn't mean it that way. He's stated many times that 4 hours of tossing bouquets at teams is not interesting radio, and I agree to a point. 4 hours of "Did you see Thompkins lay out for that touchdown?!" would not be too interesting. How long has he chided the "Feety pajama crew" or the "green teamers"? 
Informed fans want analysis, which i think he thinks he's providing when talking about things like what to do with Talib. But it comes off as negativity for negativity's sake.  Of course, his personal disdain for the organization taints his "analysis", making it seem negative. But i think we also have the expectation that he'll be negative so we may ignore some of the rational, or even positive takes, he has and focus on the negative. 
Over exposure is also a problem for him now. As you mentioned, 20 hours of radio a week plus ~10 hours of TV is a lot of time to form and relay opinions.
 
One necessarily follows the other.
 
Look, if the team ever goes 6-10 one of these years than by all means fire away with the negativity. But what Felger is doing lately is finding negative shit to talk about for its own sake because he thinks it draws listeners. That's insulting. To maintain any shred of credibility, you have to actually acknowledge reality once in a while.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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John Marzano Olympic Hero said:
And the contrarianism is about stuff that may happen. I was in the car yesterday for about an hour and it was an hour about whether Aquib Talib might leave via free agency. The NFL offseason doesn't start until early to mid-February, roughly five months away. Literally anything can happen to Talib and the Patriots in that time. And this wasn't one day, this was the SECOND FREAKING DAY of will Aquib Talib stay or go, what should the Patriots do, is Talib a good witch or a bad witch?
 
Exactly. Setting up hypothetical strawmen and lose-lose situations for the Pats isn't being interesting on the radio, it's being a negative dickbag for its own sakes.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I'd also add that I wonder if listeners who love Felger's shtick - and there appear to be a not-insignificant number of them - enjoy sports at all.  Rocco's common refrain to criticism of this show is 'why listen?'  Well, fair enough.  But I find myself wanting to ask the people who digest sports in this kind of manner a similar question.  Why do they watch sports if all it seems to do is anger them?  If you can't enjoy Boston sports right now, then I think it might be time to retire from fandom.  It seems like a pretty tiresome, futile way to spend your free time.  Maybe I'm missing something here, but, to me, there seems to be a sizable subculture in this fanbase (well, all fanbases I suppose, but it is kind of glaring when your teams have been this successful) that gobbles up the Felgers of the sports world not only because it's entertaining performance art.  It's like if you showed up at a party at 10:00 on a Friday, then immediately started harping on why the coolers weren't lined up against a different wall, or commenting that it was certainly not the greatest party you had ever been to, or even dreading work on Monday while everyone else just enjoyed themselves.
 

steveluck7

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
Exactly. Setting up hypothetical strawmen and lose-lose situations for the Pats isn't being interesting on the radio, it's being a negative dickbag for its own sakes.
He genuinely thinks it is interesting and the ratings seem to validate that assumption. How sustainable it is remains to be seen.  At this point he probably has a faction tuning in just to see how he spins something like a road win on Sunday night against a tough team into a negative. It's like the discussions we've had previously in this thread about Stern. People who hated him would tune in just to see what he would say next. Felger has some of that going on. Those of you who have chosen to tune out have reached your limit and that's cool but there are just too many who haven't reached theirs, or who don't have one, for him to change at this point.
 
And he embraces the fact that he sets up strawman arguments. It's at least 2 times a week that they play the Dale Arnold clip saying "you're the best straw man argument person ever" when he gets going.
 

soxfan121

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
One necessarily follows the other.
 
Look, if the team ever goes 6-10 one of these years than by all means fire away with the negativity. But what Felger is doing lately is finding negative shit to talk about for its own sake because he thinks it draws listeners. That's insulting. To maintain any shred of credibility, you have to actually acknowledge reality once in a while.
 
Correction: It draws listeners. #1 in the time slot again. The common refrain of "who listens/wants to listen?" continues to be inaccurate and incorrect. 
 
Your final sentence is hyperbole and born from not listening. Which is fine - not your cup of tea. But why is there a daily investment in haranguing people who do listen with the same tired, negative critiques? Oh wait...
Mystic Merlin said:
I'd also add that I wonder if listeners who love Felger's shtick - and there appear to be a not-insignificant number of them - enjoy sports at all.  Rocco's common refrain to criticism of this show is 'why listen?'  Well, fair enough.  But I find myself wanting to ask the people who digest sports in this kind of manner a similar question.  Why do they watch sports if all it seems to do is anger them?  If you can't enjoy Boston sports right now, then I think it might be time to retire from fandom.  It seems like a pretty tiresome, futile way to spend your free time.  Maybe I'm missing something here, but, to me, there seems to be a sizable subculture in this fanbase (well, all fanbases I suppose, but it is kind of glaring when your teams have been this successful) that gobbles up the Felgers of the sports world not only because it's entertaining performance art.  It's like if you showed up at a party at 10:00 on a Friday, then immediately started harping on why the coolers weren't lined up against a different wall, or commenting that it was certainly not the greatest party you had ever been to, or even dreading work on Monday while everyone else just enjoyed themselves.
 
You're a very smart guy so I can only assume you've done this on purpose. I mean, there's no way personal taste is factor here, right? Those people must be bad fans and/or human beings. It's not like there's entire fan subcultures based on some self-aggrandizing perception of themselves and their "take" on the world of sports - is there? 
 
Is this thing on?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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soxfan121 said:
 
Correction: It draws listeners. #1 in the time slot again. The common refrain of "who listens/wants to listen?" continues to be inaccurate and incorrect. 
 
Your final sentence is hyperbole and born from not listening. Which is fine - not your cup of tea. But why is there a daily investment in haranguing people who do listen with the same tired, negative critiques? Oh wait...
 
The epic fall of EEI would probably show us that being #1 in a time slot is at least as due to lack of viable alternatives as it is to any real strengths of the show itself. Ordway and Wolfe learned that the hard way. We'll see if Felger and Mazz do as well.
 

PBDWake

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Felger is a talented host. That's without a doubt true. But.. when Felger came on 98.5 in 2009, this was what was happening:
The Patriots first year with Brady back from an injury, plus the awful loss to the Ravens in the playoffs
Aging Celtics team loses about 12 wins off its total from last year before unexpectedly battling to the Finals
Red Sox getting swept out of the playoffs in the opening round
THAT Bruins series against Philly
 
There was a lot to complain about in all 4 major sports. There were legitimate gripes with every team. Felger used to temper it with praise when it was due, but a lot of the listeners provided the negativity at that point, and Felger counterbalanced. And I'll say it, I love Felger when I'm on the same side of an issue as him. But more and more, I want to enjoy the things the teams are doing well instead of zero in on every single thing they could be doing wrong. And that's where I am. Maybe I've grown out of the age where I like to be righteously indignant because the guy on the radio is an idiot, because God knows I used to pull that shit all the time with my friends (Did you hear what xxx said on the radio? What an idiot!), but it's just not doing it for me anymore.
 

Mystic Merlin

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soxfan121 said:
 
You're a very smart guy so I can only assume you've done this on purpose. I mean, there's no way personal taste is factor here, right? Those people must be bad fans and/or human beings. It's not like there's entire fan subcultures based on some self-aggrandizing perception of themselves and their "take" on the world of sports - is there? 
 
Is this thing on?
 
I didn't say they were bad human beings.  I think that's an uncharitable interpretation of what I wrote.  And obviously it's ALL about taste, that goes without saying.  I'm not expressing disbelief that my particular way of experiencing sports is not the one and only way; I'm saying that I don't understand how the heck anyone who craves this kind of experience (e.g. 16-0? Well, they won't go undefeated next year, and, hey, they weren't dominant enough for my liking) is really enjoying themselves.  It's a brand of "personal taste" that I can't relate to on any level, whereas, in contrast, I can totally understand why someone would hate, or not care about, discussing stats.
 
So, yeah, I think if you're spending your sports-viewing time finding things to get angry about, and then seeking out echo chambers that reinforce those gripes, then you're missing out.  Look, people can and do what they want, I'm not calling for a pogrom here.  But the mere fact that they have a different 'taste' doesn't mean I have to respect it out of hand, or think it's a good way to experience sports.  It's certainly not one that I can relate to, as I said.  For all I know, these people really are enjoying themselves, but, I don't know, I kind of doubt it.
 

SidelineCameras

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At the risk of getting flamed left and right for this, I don't see Felger as automatically negative. For one thing, he has been beating the drum that the Patriots aren't "Frauds" because of their opposition - it's not their fault that they played three dogs at QB to start the season, and not their fault that Mike Smith made several bad decisions in the Atlanta game; they are 4-0 and he gives them credit for that.
 
Also, Soxfan's point about Wiggy is spot-on. Wiggy is a former pro and an unabashed fan of the team, his perspective is unique in that regard. He's only on two hours a week, and he obviously enjoys his quirky and specific role. It has become accepted in this thread that "Wiggy SUX!" but I completely disagree. I don't want Wiggy on all week but I think he's a great third chair.
 
Felger is crazy emotional about the Bruins, and I for one find it fascinating that the logic and rational he tries to use on the other three teams and leagues in general go right out the window when he's talking hockey. Best example I can think of from last spring: He was all over the Bruins for losing Game 4 against the Rangers last year in round two of the playoffs and failing to sweep the series. Tuukka's terrible goal/skate in a rut in that game aside, I heard his take on that game not as criticism of the team but as one fan's nervous fretting - is this Philly 2010 all over again, can this team close a series, do I trust Clode. If he had a "green teamer" derisive nickname equivalent for Bruins fans, and one of them called and made the same points Felger was making, he would have said "It's sports, let's see Game 5, they slew those demons two years ago, etc." But since he loves the Bruins like his footy-pajamas callers love the Patriots, he was slipping into the same patterns that they do.
 

Rocco Graziosa

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Just to let you know where I'm coming from, as I've aged I've completely lost interest in the local teams.  I've tried VERY hard to watch the Red Sox this year, but couldnt' do it.  Ten years ago I didn't miss a pitch.  I like the NFL but have never been a big Belichick guy, so I don't really follow the Patriots other than the games, and follow/care about my fantasy teams much more.  The Celtics are going to stink for the forseeable future.  I bonded with my daugther over the Bruins run this spring which was nice.
 
But now that I've entered my 40's the ammount I CARE about these teams has almost dissapeared.  So when I turn on Felger I just want to be entertained..........if its entertaining I stay.  If not, I turn the channel.  I think he's more entertaining when he's shitting on people. 
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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SidelineCameras said:
At the risk of getting flamed left and right for this, I don't see Felger as automatically negative. For one thing, he has been beating the drum that the Patriots aren't "Frauds" because of their opposition - it's not their fault that they played three dogs at QB to start the season, and not their fault that Mike Smith made several bad decisions in the Atlanta game; they are 4-0 and he gives them credit for that.
 
I agree.
 
SidelineCameras said:
Also, Soxfan's point about Wiggy is spot-on. Wiggy is a former pro and an unabashed fan of the team, his perspective is unique in that regard. He's only on two hours a week, and he obviously enjoys his quirky and specific role. It has become accepted in this thread that "Wiggy SUX!" but I completely disagree. I don't want Wiggy on all week but I think he's a great third chair.
 
Kill yourself.
 
And take Wiggy with you.
 
SidelineCameras said:
Felger is crazy emotional about the Bruins, and I for one find it fascinating that the logic and rational he tries to use on the other three teams and leagues in general go right out the window when he's talking hockey. Best example I can think of from last spring: He was all over the Bruins for losing Game 4 against the Rangers last year in round two of the playoffs and failing to sweep the series. Tuukka's terrible goal/skate in a rut in that game aside, I heard his take on that game not as criticism of the team but as one fan's nervous fretting - is this Philly 2010 all over again, can this team close a series, do I trust Clode. If he had a "green teamer" derisive nickname equivalent for Bruins fans, and one of them called and made the same points Felger was making, he would have said "It's sports, let's see Game 5, they slew those demons two years ago, etc." But since he loves the Bruins like his footy-pajamas callers love the Patriots, he was slipping into the same patterns that they do.
 
I heard the same exact thing you did, but came away with a completely different perspective.
 
He was riling the masses. He very rarely comes out and says, "Well, let's see how the team does in the next game before jumping to any conclusions". He all but implied that the "Tuukka skate" game was proof that this team couldn't close the door, that it may be time to fire Clode, that it was 2010 all over again, that the Kessel trade was stupid and the B's front office fucked up...all because the Bruins won in 5 instead of 4.
 
I also found it pretty ironic that by the time the Stanley Cup started, an underdog B's team - and rightfully so, regardless of how well they played in the playoffs, Chicago was a fucking juggernaut throughout the season - was favored in Felger's mind and if they didn't win in 6 games, they blew it.
 
Even when Felger came into the fold, I was never in love with the him as a host. I respect his ability, and the times hes being genuine or thought provoking is great radio. I don't think comparing peoples feelings to the show now to the show then is fair. We were so used to a terrible product (WEEI) that some well thought out arguments and provocation from Felger was like eating a cup of ice cream after only eating shit sandwiches for 6 months. the show might be more negative now than it was then, but not by a whole lot.
 
The biggest issues this show faces are the same as when they started. And that starts with the co-host being spineless and lazy. He's pretty decent on the baseball show, but when 40% of the air time is filled with a man who's primary role is to repeat the same 3 thoughts, echo Felger, and provide material during downtime (funny voices, getting picked on by felger, squeaky Mazz, etc), it's going to get stale. We all saw this when the show started, and now we're stuck with him.
 

soxfan121

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
The epic fall of EEI would probably show us that being #1 in a time slot is at least as due to lack of viable alternatives as it is to any real strengths of the show itself. Ordway and Wolfe learned that the hard way. We'll see if Felger and Mazz do as well.
 
It is possible. Of course, it is equally possible that this town enjoys its sports talk on the negative tip. And there's like two decades of data backing that possibility. 
 
I mean, if people REALLY didn't want negativity, then WZLX or WOKQ or any number of music stations would have overtaken both TSH and WEEI. But, again, that's not reality. 
 
This idea that if only there were a shiny, happy sports talk alternative, it would please everyone is a fallacy. Look at WEEI-AM's ratings since ESPN (i.e. shiny, happy national radio) took over the signal. Or, to go a bit deeper into history, it's why Sean McDonough's "Raise the Bar" efforts got no ratings (even within the crappy signal area) and didn't last very long. 
 
By the way - what's the standard on "we'll see if F&M do as well"? I only ask because per Chad Finn's latest, they've been atop the ratings for two years (plus) at this point and show few signs of losing the perch (given Salk & Holley's anti-negative show and stable, average ratings). 
 
I'm all for a thread where people who don't listen carp about the reason they don't listen. But to ignore the actual reality (i.e. the ratings) is kinda against the SoSH ethic, no? We look at the numbers (such as they are) and try to base our opinions on those facts.