Boston Globe Some residents in the Pioneer Valley have taken umbrage with a new rebranding effort that strips the three-county region of its longtime moniker in favor of an ostensibly hipper alternative — “West Mass.”

A petition on titled, “Stop ‘West Mass’ and Keep The Pioneer Valley!” contends that there’s no benefit to renaming the area, which includes Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

“West Mass is awkward on the tongue,”one person wrote on the petition, which has been signed by 165 supporters. “Pioneer Valley is a name that reminds tourists and citizens just how historic the area is. Don’t waste your money or time.”

The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts teamed up last year to hire a creative agency from Oklahoma to come up with a new name, part of a broader marketing campaign to attract new visitors, residents, and businesses to the area.

This is the worst tourism campaign video I’ve ever seen in my life.

It stars Michael Jordan, auto-tune, touts the area’s “fertility” and tells people to “develop and visit!” and “find your first” there.

Find your first what??????

Holy moly is this a mess. Calling the area “West Mass” is the least of the Pioneer Valley people’s problems.

It’s like a mix of public access television and the Yankee Doodle song in the Always Sunny in Philadelphia beauty pageant.

With this as your inspiration, how can you go wrong?

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge

Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

Good morning, here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

NHL: Washington at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Boston at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Michigan at Rutgers, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: DePaul at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: TCU at Kansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UCF at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Minnesota at Maryland, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Butler at Villanova, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Louisville at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UConn at Houston, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Fresno State at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oregon State at Stanford, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)


— Louisville coach Rick Pitino had a heated exchange with a UNC fan during halftime of North Carolina’s 74-63 win over his team Wednesday night.

As Pitino walked to the locker room tunnel, a fan reportedly yelled “Pitino, you suck!” at him.

He “got in my face and said something I didn’t like,” Pitino said afterward.

Pitino had to be restrained by his coaching staff and the fan was ejected.

“I take it from the students all the time; you expect it from the students. But from an adult? And then to turn his back on me like he’s a coward?” Pitino said. “And he is a coward, but North Carolina is a classy place and he doesn’t speak for the rest of the people.”

“I’ve always said this is the classiest place in college basketball, until I met a fan on the way out,” Pitino then said. “It always reminded me of a class place, but they’re getting just like some of the other places now.”

North Carolina coach Roy Williams apologized to Pitino after the game.

“I don’t like that. We’re North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else,” Williams said. “You can raise Cain, you can boo, but you don’t have to say stuff that we as coaches have to put up with on the road. I hope that never happens again at North Carolina.”

— Aaron Hernandez’ lawyers are reportedly exploring a marijuana defense in the former Patriots tight end’s murder trial.

The lawyers are looking to use Hernandez’ constant pot smoking as a desperate attempt to save him from the two first-degree murder charges he faces.

His lawyers added two experts to their potential witness list, one of which might “discuss marijuana use in the NFL.”

The other might talk about “the medical and psychological impacts for individuals who ingest marijuana” and the connection between violence and smoking pot.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “And stop @’ing me about taking less money. You take less money and your job? All of you take a pay cut hahaha.” — Martellus Bennett, on Twitter, after a report Bennett is likely to leave the Patriots in free agency 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Jerod Mayo (31)

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge
Kirk and Glenn continue their conversation from last week. In this episode Kirk and Glenn scream at each other about the infamous "station incident", what the news of the merger means to WEEI and the Sports Hub, and Kirk tries to get Glenn to answer what the perfect "Big Show" would be. You will not find a better look behind the scenes of radio.
Pete Sheppard takes a call from a Celtics fan that happens to rub Pete the wrong way.
Pete and John are talking about the Red Sox spring training and new pitcher Chris Sale, who has been very open in his remarks to the media about his time with the White Sox and his motivation in Boston.

[0:02:36] ... Absolutely. 6177797. Under through seven before the break editor rob Manfred commissioner Major League Baseball. Who's that something that you know expect out of Roger Goodell in his league I don't expect about rob Manfred but he ...
[0:05:26] ... to things like that would be like that Robert Edwards at the beach volleyball Alia that is. Horrible Leeson to combat from the one with a that was a terrible and he says two other things ...
[0:06:49] ... talking about expansion are you that he's talking about moving your current Major League Baseball team and moving it seemed there and I think what they're really getting at. Is all of these sports baseball in particular ...
[0:08:44] ... mean if that's canola. That's gonna draw your fans summit you picture Oakland raider fans traveling to Vegas if they do went up there. I don't either. You know can't it's that there seem to be ...

Pete and Tomase are talking about whether it's in the Celtics best interest to trade the Brooklyn Nets draft pick and players to get a superstar like Jimmy Butler, ot wait until the draft and see how everything plays out there.
Pete and Keefe are talking about the NBA trade deadline which is now less than 24 hours away. They discuss some of the big names Celtics fans have brought up as possible trade targets

[0:06:21] ... not in ten times ten billion Karl Sega billion billion years. Would Bill Belichick draft a running back at its political about it what Patrick said that I would. I don't sit and I would ID ...
[0:11:38] ... by one needs of the bulls you know or playing well without Dwyane Wade so that's why plus second chance points right if that the united going to be a tough first round series where you ...
[0:13:42] ... that you're forced to go another tree economic market Smart about it Isiah Thomas tied atop that some. That battle ground too so yeah I gotta keep that there and say pot by somebody to Isaiah and that's another debate we can review or discuss rooted in two. You know it's really. It's not that far away you're apple another year 25 games away right forearm Isiah Thomas either diplomats Contra I would not. Shocked me at all which probably shocked reload it was dealt. Now yet that would be ...
[0:20:20] ... in the playoffs and us here it was unbelievable and you know Isiah Thomas cut tests walled up and they had no. Other options that no return to their so. If they're just a healthy team ...

Dale, Michael and Keefe discuss the rumored increase in interest in Jimmy Garropolo and try and figure out what they'll get if they complete a trade for him.
Dale, Michael and Keefe discuss the rumored increase in interest in Jimmy Garropolo and try and figure out what they'll get if they complete a trade for him.