Jackie MacMullan, ESPN, talks with Tim and Steve about the Patriots resting the starters in Week 17. Jackie's argument is that they have a bye, so they're gonna be rusty REGARDLESS of whether or not they play in week 17, so keep them safe. She also spoke about Peyton's MNF performance, and how the Celtics have looked since the trade of Rajon Rondo.

[0:05:29] ... on if I covered the page you can enter outrage at the Baltimore Ravens. Who are moot point at this point that they screwed up last week and and the Pittsburgh Steelers because. You know I probably little Ben Roethlisberger much any athlete I've ever been around. But having said that on a personal level. It doesn't matter because I have incredible respect for him professionally it's just a really big game quarterback at Digg dot heart dragged out scary. I'm Ben Roethlisberger scary. And booing when you look at that could put this. I don't think any of those teams actually jump out there ...
[0:07:23] ... the fact that they didn't have one single act straight back into Miami Heat. That horrible. Especially because watching late at that and how shall back within the whole point this year. With the young guys ...

NBC Sports analyst, Rodney Harrison, joined the show to talk about how he doesn't think Bill Belichick should rest the starters in week 17. He also warned against falling asleep on the Denver Broncos, Brady's durability, the Bengals and the Seahawks.

[0:00:00] ... But the AT&T hotline right now welcome Rodney Harrison was brought to us by dropped camp and doctor Robert Leonard and by big Y world class market right thanks a lot ...
[0:04:19] ... all that. Running do you think Q if remain doesn't win a Super Bowl this year you'd think that he comes back you think he's done. I have no light beer or that he walked the ...
[0:06:22] ... bought secret what are the ball in Seattle beat the bat there. Rodney Harrison former owner of the patriot and now with NBC make your watch in the NBC game between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh should be good one. Analysis in advance of the game and on the broadcast route as well Rodney thanks for joining us up to Christmas. Are you to record again Rodney Harrison here on the AT&T hotline brought to us by dropped and doctor Robert Leonard and big Y world class. Market. ...

Tim and Steve go "Behind Enemy Lines" to talk to Buffalo Bills sideline reporter, Sal Capaccio, about this Sunday's match up at Gillette Stadium. Neither team has much to play for. Buffalo might play for pride, but NE has the 1 seed wrapped up, and could be looking to rest their starters. Unless they don't.

[0:00:22] ... a victory against the bills and then Steve DeOssie and for both. Christian Fauria and Matt Maloney Steve that did it take over for two guys through that it. He's that good as. Very delicate about ...
[0:00:57] ... after this game will leave NB plane. Against her steamers. Or the Buffalo Bills let's find out from our guide from WGR in buffalo suck patch yourself how aria. Pretty good buddy Merry Christmas Kelyn. My ...
[0:02:30] ... don't know they're gonna turn EJ Manuel for the finale. Or go Kyle Orton adult you wanna win that game so I'm grown basic eight I want illegality tonight when that vote trial. There's a lot ...
[0:03:09] ... this turnaround Syracuse horrible mean they were horrible he got there under Greg Robinson waited two years. It habitable and another couple years later you know what. We have a debate here's the big debate we ...

OK, now that the internet has fixed itself after the Rob Gronkowski with kittens photo shoot, it’s time to break it again with the guy who wrote the book on sexy, black tank top and leather jacket kitty pictures.

You focus on winning the Super Bowl, Gronk. Leave the modeling to the professionals.

Merry Christmas, ladies. Enjoy the gift that’ll keep giving the whole year.

Check out some of the best photos from the shoot by clicking here or on the photo below.



Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

I have to admit, I didn’t know Tyler Seguin had this much fight in him. If he’d shown this much fire in the belly while he was with the Bruins, I have to think he’d still be here. It’s hard to imagine that the guy who lacked determination enough to set his alarm clock for the team breakfast in Winnipeg is now jawing with the refs like Cam Neely in his prime. But as Bruins fans, even though Seguin leads the league in goals by a wide margin and the decision to trade him pretty much looks like a disaster, at least we can take solace in knowing the kid can’t even intimidate a 40-year-old, 175-pound NHL official.


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
With Denver's loss to Cincy last night, the Patriots are guaranteed the number 1 seed. Peyton Manning threw 4 picks and looks awful. With the Buffalo game now inconsequential, does that mean Bill will rest guys like Brady, Gronk and Revis?

[0:00:36] ... like a football team Xbox before. And as we all now when Trent Dilfer says you're done you're done. Have we heard that somewhere before. We hurled the declaration the definitive statements. Follow. Darkness. From Trent. ...
[0:09:02] ... reason your pick yourself. But what it what is what it would Philip Rivers are there if they've got things all secure are already a picnic from year old perspective. Of these guys have to be ...
[0:11:09] ... of the company SP and not come I believe him even before bill Belichick's press conference. And there's a poll that espn.com. Put next to Mike's. Discussion as to whether or not the patriot should play ...
[0:15:14] ... and try to stretch it from but that's going to. He's a bill Belichick's editors press conference today. As you've beaten them perhaps as an incident and the that we might consider managing players. He's done. ...

Xmas Podcast

Adam Cormack joins the podcast to dress funny and talk about holiday TV viewing. (Jerry Thornton/WEEI.com)

What is Christmas all about, Charlie Brown? It’s about all the Who’s down in Whoville — the tall and the small — all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be. It’s about the warm embrace of kith and kin. It’s a yearly bacchanalia of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. I’m sorry, Marge, but I’m just a big kid. And I love Christmas so much. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Unless you have no singing talent at all, but you do have a blog and a podcast. Then you spread cheer by getting together with your good buddy, putting on goofy Christmas movie quote t-shirts, drinking egg nog out of Marty Moose glasses and you talk about the holidays, which is what I did.

In this week’s episode, my very good pal Adam Cormack joins me to run down our annual must-see Christmas viewing list. Those movies and TV specials you need to watch or else it’s just not the holiday season. With our special bonus worst Christmas choices ever thrown in for good measure. If you understood anything in that first paragraph, the list should be right up your alley.

Either way, Hee Haw and Merry Christmas.


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Nancy Frates called in to discuss her son Pete and her granddaughter Lucy.

[0:03:13] ... to be done here and he collectively with other you know other Michael Young guns and bail last. He police and OJ Ebert and Paquin and haven't won a whole bunch of non. You know they ...
[0:06:30] ... now is we're running raffle in conjunction with celebrities for charity which Ray Bourque is one of the co founders. It says the three week that it if you're apple and 50%. Income by. Two dollar ...
[0:09:49] ... say one happy and just two weeks ago at the at a Sports Illustrated events per meet personally. When Magic Johnson who was awarded Sports Illustrated legacy award. Got up to the podium to accept his award and the first thing is quickly turn to repeat. And he called it a blessing and certainty who is a little bit older. I remember back when he I and means so vividly I remember Magic Johnson. Sitting at that microphone. Telling people he had HIV. And I remember him. Can saying how he was not going to write ...

Peyton Andy Lyons

A sad Peyton Manning still has plenty of apologists in the media. (Andy Lyons/ Getty Images)

Denver Post - While concern regarding the Broncos is justified, history says Super Bowl hopes do not vanish in a loss in game 15 of a 16-game regular season. Since the NFL became a week-to-week mob of mediocrity, four of the past eight Super Bowl champions have lost their penultimate game – including last season’s Seattle Seahawks and Peyton Manning‘s 2006 Indianapolis Colts.

What is most puzzling about the Broncos as they get ready for the second season is Manning, who threw four interceptions. He struggled early as the Broncos were continuing to seek offensive balance in the first half. He got hot in the third quarter, throwing three touchdown passes, as the Broncos chucked their run-pass balance in exchange for the singular benefits of their quarterback’s right arm.

But then it started pouring rain in the fourth quarter and Manning’s passing seemingly became too much of a good thing.

ESPN - So, on that third-and-1, they were again using three wideouts, with Manning in the shotgun. Manning tried to jam the ball in for Thomas to get the first down. Except the receiver cut one way, the ball went the other, and Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick made a routine catch and ran it back 30 yards for a touchdown. …

But perhaps more concerning is the fact that the Broncos haven’t shown the ability to pull Manning through a rough night on the road to get a win. Their special teams cratered Monday — the Bengals had 206 return yards — the defense allowed 207 yards rushing, including an 85-yard touchdown run, and the Broncos’ injuries at linebacker appeared to have caught up to them.

CBS SportsIn a driving rainstorm at Cincinnati, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning fell apart in the fourth quarter. He threw three of his four interceptions in the quarter, including a pick-six with 2:41 left that put the game out of reach.

Manning made several brilliant throws in the third quarter before tossing a few wounded ducks in the fourth.

Is there anyone in the world who gets better press than Peyton Manning? Santa Claus doesn’t get this kind of support, and he’s really good in bad weather. And just to beat the metaphor to death, the sports media are elves, working around the clock on Manning’s behalf, making excuses for him like they’re toys, and the end of the season is always their busiest time.

The Manning Apology Machine has its work cut out for it after that white hot dumpster fire he delivered last night. It started, as it often does, with Jon Gruden. Just prior to that unforgivable pick-6 Manning threw to Tre Kirkpatrick, Gruden, with what I assume was a straight face, called Manning “one of the greatest crunch time quarterbacks ever.” Then after the play Gruden said, “You rarely see that from Peyton Manning in these critical situations,” apparently never having seen him do exactly that in last year’s Super Bowl, the 2012 AFC Championship Game or any of his NFL record 18 (and counting) postseason losses.

And it’s continued on into the morning. That Denver Post excerpt above was the first mention of Peyton’s name and it comes in paragraph 14 of the article, and even then it manages to spin his performance like he’s Kim Jong Un and they’re the North Korean state-run media. “Late season losses don’t matter. They relied too much on his magical right arm. His magnificent passing was too much of a good thing.”

ESPN tries — as did Gruden — to pin that interception on Demaryius Thomas who had as much of a chance of getting to that ball as Cooper Manning did. And CBS Sports can’t even go three sentences without changing the subject from the godawful throws he made to Bengals defensive backs to the “several brilliant throws” he made to his own players.

And of course, it wouldn’t all under the Peyton Manning infallibility doctrine if we didn’t blame the rain. Manning is the greatest quarterback that ever lived, if only it wasn’t for that nagging little complication known as the Earth’s environment. Put him in a climate controlled, hermetically-sealed, vacuum-packed, room temperature dome with the AC blowers turned off, and he’s unstoppable. Asking him to make clutch throws in God’s great outdoors is patently unfair.

So good job, Peyton apologists. You’ve got a busy week ahead of you, but you’ve had a lot of practice. And besides, this will get you warmed up for his inevitable playoff collapse once his annual Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) kicks in.


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.