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Sports Media Musings: Massarotti Confuses, Hank Williams Jr., Tito on Fox?

Hank Williams, Jr (image from

Light round-up today after the special mid-week edition

Leading Off

Was Tony Massarotti drinking at the open of the Wednesday edition of “Felger & Mazz”? Was I drugged at roughly 1:50 P.M. by a potent uknown substance? These are questions that need to be answered. I swear, when posed the question of whether he would have fired Terry Francona by his co-host Mike Felger, Mazz gave about 16 different answers..

“I wouldn’t have fired him, but if I was John Henry I would.”

“Yes he did deserve to be fired.”

“I’m easy though, I wouldn’t have fired him.”

Mazz was much more clear in his approach when asked about Theo Epstein..

“He doesn’t deserve to be fired, yet. But he’s getting in that area.”


Mazz was seen, later that night, wandering the streets of Waltham incessantly YARM-ing (YARM – “You’re Absolutely Right Mike”) to anyone who would listen.

Since we’re talking about this — Here is a fun retro-column by Mike Barnicle on the relationship between Theo and Tito. It was posted in July when the Sox were rolling.

You Want Me On That Wall…You NEED Me On That Wall..

Somewhere along the way – I was either reading or watching the 17th piece on Hank Williams Jr. and his well-played analogy about our President and Hitler that went over super-well – I remembered that this was the dude who sang the opening theme of Monday Night Football. Then, somewhere along the way, I figured out this was the best traction ESPN has gotten this season for the extraordinarily expensive package.

  • Week 1 – Pats vs Fins … Raiders vs Broncos
  • Week 2 – Rams vs Giants
  • Week 3 – Redskins vs Cowboys
  • Week 4 – Colts vs Bucs

Not exactly a murder’s row of games. Williams’ scandal falls somewhere between ‘Skins/Cowboys and Pats/Fins as far as relevancy. And that’s only if you’re a believer in the Tom Brady effect and also bizzaro Rex Grossman being who Rex Grossman actually is.

Anyway, according to Williams’ website, it was HIS choice to leave the four-letter network. Classic. (Thanks to for finding this nugget)

“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment
Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE.  It’s been a great run.” — Hank Williams Jr

I think I read the quote six times before it properly resonated. Two things before we all move on..

1.) Is anyone else reminded of Col. Jessup from A Few Good Men and his tirade? And yes, I’ll concede this is my favorite movie of all time and maybe that’s why I’m using it. Also if it’s running on AMC, I’m sitting down and watching it — no matter what scene.

Anyway, Can’t you see Williams saying..

“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it.”

I don’t know, I feel like Williams thinks he has that sort of pull.

2.) It has GOT to be a red-flag when you go to google Hank Williams Jr. and the search engine auto completes the search with “Hank Williams Jr. Confederacy.”

Food For Thought

Thursday night I spoke at Boston University about being a sports media critic. In the period, I was asked if I would have written about the Red Sox drinking in the clubhouse. I came to the conclusion that if I strongly felt it was a reason for the demise then I would have. However, if the drinking wasn’t an issue, then I would have stayed away.

Felger went after the beat reporters for holding off this information. A student in the class brought up the point that relationships have to be maintained and, at the end of the day, you can’t bite the hand that feeds you. To that I say, write a retraction. If you felt Tomase was headline-grabbing and this wasn’t relevant, then write a column about other reasons why the collapse happened.

I do subscribe to the theory that this WAS an issue. One can tell reading quotes from different players that guys weren’t taking care of themselves. And it turns out if you are a professional athlete, it IS DETRIMENTAL to be out of shape. I confirmed this fact with Shaq.

Since we’re here, Gerry Callahan is still awesome in print. Great read.

Tito To Fill-In

Terry Francona will be filling in for Tim McCarver during Game 1 & Game 2 of the ALCS as Fox’s analyst. So he goes from an ownership group which, although successful, oozes arrogance to Joe Buck… Who does much of the same.

How do you all think he’ll do?

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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