Chris Villani and Ben Volin are in for Kirk and Callahan, and they talk about the AFC playoff picture now that all the teams have clinched their tickets.
Highlights and sound clips provide a look back at the final season in the legendary career of Red Sox DH David Ortiz
Pete and Chris gather across the street from Gillette Stadium on a rainy Christmas Eve to break down the match up between the Patriots and the Jets. Gabe Morency joins the show.
Pete and Chris gather across the street from Gillette Stadium on a rainy Christmas Eve to break down the match up between the Patriots and the Jets. Pete Davidson, rotobahn.com, joins the show to talk fantasy championship scenarios.
Pete and Chris gather across the street from Gillette Stadium on a rainy Christmas Eve to break down the matchup between the Patriots and the Jets. Tom E. Curran, CSNNE and Field Yates, ESPN join the show.

Rooke_JohnThinking out loud…while wondering why we still hate Christian Laettner.

— Are we happier that Clay “couldn’t care less” Buchholz has been traded to the Phillies because of the obvious salary dump, or because it’s more of an insanity dump? Let’s face it, every time he took the mound, it was like having a cavity filled without Novocain.

— But is there more to come in the aftermath of his departure? Our buddy Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggests as much, that the dispatching of Buchholz’ $13.5 million salary might – might – set the table for a big(ger) bat to enter the picture. Maybe even Ortiz’ bat?

— Edwin Encarnacion is off to Cleveland. But some bats need to appear from somewhere. With all of that pitching, to not have the offense to go along would be like giving a Porsche a tune-up, but forgetting to fill the gas tank.

— Were Tom Brady’s demons exorcised with the Patriots’ win over the Broncos in Denver? Nah. All good players have their trouble spots, and Denver certainly hasn’t been an oasis for Brady. But to the team – it felt good to slap those guys at least once, after getting slapped themselves twice a year ago.

— But is the defense really that good? Well, yes and no. The Broncos’ ineptitude on offense helped. But the Patriots are beginning to make plays – and they are better at getting off the field on 3rd downs. Execution at both ends are two trends that will need to continue for a run to Super Bowl LI.

— J-E-T-S? Just End The Suffering. That is all.

— It’s easy to say you wouldn’t sign Michael Floyd after seeing the video(s) emerge of his DUI arrest in Arizona. Bill Belichick did say this week they had seen everything they needed to see before adding him to NE’s roster. Does Floyd need some help? Sure. Perhaps some stability with his employment is part of the path he needs to travel.

— But there is a big difference in saying the right things – which Floyd did this week – and in doing them. It’s up to Michael Floyd to take the next step. No one can push him in the direction he should travel, that’s entirely up to him.

— There’s also this compensatory pick thing, if Floyd leaves in free agency, the Patriots will receive if things don’t work out with him. Shrewd is BB’s middle name.

— What is this? Someone else guilty of ch-ch-cheating in the NFL? What else would you call the New York Giants’ use of walkie-talkies during their win two weeks ago, against Dallas? It’s against the rules, no matter the situation – as the Giants had a malfunction with their headsets at the time.

— The NFL fined the Giants $150,000 and hit coach Ben McAdoo – who certainly should have known the rules, right? – with another $50K punishment.

— A fourth-round draft pick in 2017 has also been moved to the end of the round after any compensatory picks. Ok, so it’s not Deflategate-worthy, but this shows two things – one, that teams still do whatever they can to gain an edge. And two, the NFL isn’t completely biased against the Patriots. Equal opportunity punishment?

— Notice use of the word “completely” in the above sentence.

— LeGarrette Blount. Malcolm Butler. Nate Ebner. Marcus Cannon. Four Patriots’ who might have a beef over the Pro Bowl selections this week. But if you ask me, the entire team may have been snubbed with just four picks for the honor (TB12, Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater). Why?

— Not for nuthin’, but don’t the Patriots have the best record in the NFL (along with Dallas)? And only four guys get the nod? Maybe that’s because no one expects any of them to actually play in this farcical sporting event, held in Orlando next month.

— Did you see where the Seahawks’ Richard “Big Mouth” Sherman threatened a member of Seattle’s media this week, just because he didn’t like the question he was asked? “I’ll ruin your career,” was what Sherman told the ESPN 710 radio reporter, threatening to have his credentials revoked.

— Oh, Richard. Threatening the media is never a good idea. Quite the contrary, because in this day and age it only takes two seconds to go viral, smart guy. He later apologized, sort of, via Twitter. “I appreciate the role the media plays and they have a tough job. I let it get personal today and I regret that.”

— You know, I always thought the only dumb questions out there were the ones that don’t get asked?

— The story out there this week on the San Diego security guard fired from his job at Qualcomm Stadium because he was, uh, pleasuring himself while on the field in front of thousands at a Chargers’ game? Wrong on so many levels.

— But we’ll start with this – what could he have possibly found pleasurable about watching the San Diego Chargers? Aren’t they moving to Los Angeles, anyway? Just sayin’.

— This weeks’ “grumpy ol’ man gripe session” features two young men, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and LSU’s Leonard Fournette, who are undoubtedly talented football players with a ton of professional potential in front of them. That they’ve both chosen to sit out their team’s bowl games to “prepare for the draft” is yet but another sign that an athletic apocalypse is right on our doorstep.

— And it is the NCAA who is ultimately to blame. Sure, everyone needs to be accountable for oneself, and in today’s world of immediate gratification, why would we expect anyone in this age bracket (looking at you, millennials) to behave differently?

— When the collegiate poohbahs grabbed the dough, all right-minded, selfless thinking went out the window. And that’s what these two players are doing – giving up on team, principles, commitment, all that rah-rah stuff they’ve been taught for years – that WE’VE been taught for years – to move into the business of pro football.

— You reap what you sew. Or sow. Oink.

— You’ve heard the saying “there is no ‘I’ in T-E-A-M?” Well, there ain’t no WE, either.

— We may as well drop all bowl games short of the big-money playoffs. Bowl games, once a reward for a good season, are only so much cannon-fodder and obscure cable-channel programming these days and are barely noticed outside of the New Year.

— When do players start to quit on the NCAA basketball tournament because they need to get ready for the pros? That day is coming, because college coaches have long been able to “quit” on teams to jump to other jobs with little-to-no real repercussion.

— True amateurism in this country died in 1984, as far as I can tell, when the Olympic Games were marketed and sold like no event had been sold previously. To keep taxpayers from paying more than their fair share (a noble thought), “sports business” bought and sold our athletic souls along the way, replete with all the requisite sportsmanship ideals that are a part of our younger, innocent days. It shows that the almighty buck is the ultimate winner in these endeavors.

— We should have seen this coming.

— Before the season started, if you had told me the Providence Friars would have 10 wins (or more) before Big East play began, I would have told you to put down whatever it was you were drinking. And give me some of it.

— While PC has forged a new identity for the most part – through a thorough buy-in to defense – several individuals have also grown considerably in stature, if not in size.

— Kyron Cartwright has developed into a top-flight, Big East-caliber point guard. Jalen Lindsey is an elite defender. Emmitt Holt is tough and talented in the middle. And Rodney Bullock, as unassuming as he may sometimes appear to be, is lethal as a scorer and potential go-to guy.

— Just when we may have thought this team, this program, was a year or two away from being a part of March Madness again – they’re right back in the discussion for this year. That’s not just the mark of a good a team, you know. It’s the mark of a good a program.

— The Friars’ turning heads and potential tail-whoopin’ of foes this season should make for an interesting conference schedule, certainly. But they’ll have to go out there and earn it. The Big East has a history of eating its’ young in league play before they’re ready, in case you haven’t been paying attention.

— Talking about turning some heads, I mentioned recently the rapid descent of the once-vaunted Syracuse program – and was quickly chastised by a reader who reminded me “they were in the Final Four last year, weren’t they?” Yes, they were. I was there.

— But this year’s Syracuse team isn’t even a shell of the team on the floor last year, as I said. As evidence, I present to you a stunning, shocking 93-60 defeat to St. John’s at the Carrier Dome this week. St. John’s? Yup. Worst loss in the 36-year history of the Carrier Dome – by one of the worst teams (for now) in the Big East.

— Told ya’. St. John’s had beaten only one team with a winning record before squeezing the Orange. This Syracuse team isn’t good. All that traveling down Tobacco Road has been bad for their health.

— Our friend Edward, the women’s hoop nut, will be watching this – Fox Sports will be offering an all-access game in the Big East between St. John’s and Seton Hall on Dec. 30. The coaches will be mic’d up – LIVE – and no commercials. That’s right, no commercials, live on the sidelines, live in the huddles and even live in the locker rooms. Fox Sports Go will also stream dedicated cameras of each of the coaches with live audio.

— Will actions ever meet expectations for the URI Rams? Perhaps, now that Atlantic-10 play is at hand. But most assuredly, if Hassan Martin is able to find his way back into the lineup. His toughness and ability are a part of the Rams’ fiber. Next up, Saint Louis Dec. 30.

— Tough homecoming, of sorts, for former Rhode Island College head coach and PC assistant Bob Walsh this week. His Maine Black Bears did a lot of scrapping in a 79-59 loss to Providence Tuesday, and succumbed to a 55-point second half by Brown in an 82-77 loss to the Bears Thursday.

— More examples this week of just how tough times remain in the media business, with two familiar names (and friends) let go from CSNNE – Bob Neumeier and Sean McAdam. Word has it that more changes are coming from Comcast, partially as a result of the trickle-down effects of “unbundling” cable channels from your service. And all you’re trying to do is save a few bucks. Bet you didn’t know that.

— My buddy “Big E” sez he has a friend who is a government employee, and out of sheer boredom, decided to do some rummaging in an old file cabinet he found buried in his building’s basement. To his surprise, he found what looked like an old, brass lamp – so for kicks, he took it home.

— Wouldn’t you know, while polishing it, a genie jumped out and granted him three wishes. First, he wished for an ice-cold drink – and the genie delivered. Next, while sipping the drink, he asked to be on an island with beautiful women all lusting after him. Again, the genie delivered, with several beauties staring at him in admiration. Finally, the guy told the genie “I wish I’d never have to work again.”

— And just like that, he was back in his government office.

— Watching Duke’s Grayson Allen trip another player this week – for a 3rd time in the past year – and reading the fallout immediately set my thoughts to the most-hated Blue Devil of all time. It has to be Christian Laettner, doesn’t it? Laettner hit one of college basketball’s most iconic shots (at least before Villanova’s Kris Jenkins hit his national title game-winner last April) when he beat Kentucky at the buzzer in 1992’s NCAA Regional Finals. He had stepped on a Kentucky player during the game that started the “hate” – which still flows today. ESPN produced a 30-for-30 documentary on why he’s reviled – I Hate Christian Laettner.

— Perhaps, however, he’s hated simply because he was good? Laettner was a college player of the year, was elected into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the US Olympic Hall of Fame, and was the only collegiate player selected for the original “Dream Team” back in ’92. Today, he’s retired from basketball, but still into fishing, real estate and youth basketball camps.

— Nick in Las Vegas, Nevada posted on Facebook this week, on the Patriots’ play without Gronk: “I, for one, am at least a little amazed that they are performing this consistently without the Gronk. I understand, at least, I thought I understood more so than anyone how watered down the league is, but we also know that it’s never easy.” Nick: Replacing Rob Gronkowski is an impossible task. That the Patriots have been able to overcome (for now) his absence is due to the overall talent the team possesses, and the abilities of the players and coaches to game plan around his absence. Would they love to have him back? Of course. Can they win without him? Of course. To say they wouldn’t is to discredit a deep and still-talented roster.

— Here’s hoping you have a very Merry Christmas holiday season! It’s not much in the way of a gift, really, but your reading, following and commenting are greatly appreciated. Exchanging views is one of the best gifts we can give each other.

— Interested in having your questions on local Rhode Island sports (and yes, that includes the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics) answered in a somewhat timely fashion? Send ‘em to me! It’s your chance to “think out loud,” so send your questions, comments and local stories to john.rooke@weei.com. We’ll share mailbag comments/Facebook posts/Tweets right here! Follow me on Twitter, @JRbroadcaster…and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/john.rooke …

Don’t forget to tune into Providence’s 103.7 FM, every Saturday from 7:00-9:00 am for Southern New England Sports Saturday! Call in at 401-737-1287 or text us at 37937.

Blog Author: 
John Rooke
Patrick Gilroy talks about the Celtics, the Patriots and what each team needs to do to get better. He also talks about their upcoming games this Christmas weekend. In the 2nd hour Patrick talks to Barstool's Dan Greenberg about the Celts and how they look.
Chris and Rob cover all of the sports team during the show. Talking about the MLB free agent market and how they can replace Ortiz's bat. They also talk about the Patriots upcoming game and even talk about the Floyd video of his DUI. One of the biggest questions they had through out the night was what is Trump's waist size.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio makes his weekly visit on OMF. He discusses the Giants punishment for walkie talkie gate, and what he believes to be an unfair bias for NY teams in the NFL. Florio also gives his thoughts on NCAA players sitting out bowl games.

[0:01:35] ... that map to do issue and then swung it back to the Josh Brown situation. And hypothesize. That. The giants have a sense of entitlement Dick stems from the fact that their owner John Merritt news. ...
[0:02:37] ... probably you know learned this week is while guys like you know Tom Coughlin is working habits and the whole thing had to spend about the rounds or. For the raiders are you know Arizona and ...
[0:03:20] ... is the sense that different penalties applied different teams and I imagine Tom Coughlin I. Tom cup the last I checked was upset with the giants I'd I don't he may have been. Banging the drum ...
[0:03:55] ... he knew would he was doing in terms of running things for Troy Vincent being in charge but Tom Coughlin is an operations. Another woman apes Stephanie to rent who news. In operations. He use the daughter of and Durant who news. The long time secretary for John Mara and you have Coughlin in the air. Additionally Lisa Friel. Who is director of investigations sending him handed effort to investigate Josh Brown swung and missed and it's pretty well document that she has a shrine to the giants in her home and is a ...






Newly minted Patriots Pro Bowler joins Pete and Tom to talk about preparing for Bryce Petty and the Jets. McCourtey discusses what it means to him to make another pro bowl.