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Seth Wickersham Defends Book On WEEI Amid Criticism From Bill Belichick

“According to NBC Sports’ Chris Collinsworth, the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach was not happy about the book.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: NBC

Editors for ESPN writer Seth Wickersham wittingly scheduled his book on the New England Patriots dynasty, It’s Better To Be Feared, to be released close to Tom Brady’s return to New England.

That fact meant Bill Belichick would hear about all of the different storylines dug up from its pages. According to NBC Sports’ Chris Collinsworth, the six-time Super Bowl-winning coach was not happy about it.

“Bill Belichick was hot. Getting ready to play a game like this. All the stories, all the books, all these things start coming out,” Collinsworth said. “And he was like, ’20 years, and you’re going to take 10 seconds out of this conversation this year and 20 seconds out of that conversation in that year, and somehow you’re going to make this into something it wasn’t? We had a great relationship. We learned a from each other. I learned a lot from Tom Brady.’”

Belichick is probably one of the last coaches anyone expects to feed into media narratives, but we are all human, and the Teflon mentality wasn’t working this time around.

“When he got to talking about ‘you guys in the media,’ we both threw up our hands and said ‘Woah Woah,’” Collinsworth said. “But it was an emotional thing for Bill. He did not like that people were trying to portray it besides something very, very positive for the two of them.”

Wickersham actually answered pointed questions about his sourcing and vetting process when weaving a tale like the one in this book. The writer went in-depth on the topic last week on WEEI as he sat in-studio with Merloni and Fauria.

“The people who I quoted in the book,” Wickersham said on last Friday’s show. “For the most part, were people who witnessed things firsthand. Who were in those meetings. Who were playing in those games. Those are the primary sources I relied on.”

Wickersham prefaced that with his process for smelling out BS. He interviews each subject then picks out a few things to use from conversations held over hours at a time. After he identifies those key nuggets he then goes back to the source and makes sure he has all of the context correct about the information.

The painstaking process is a necessary evil to make sure aggrieved parties like Belichick can’t just cast aside well-reported journalism as fake news. The book’s title is fitting after Wickersham showed no fear in his quest to accurately report on the greatest dynasty in NFL history.

Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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