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Volume 25 No. 24
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The Hub Of Activity: Patriots Dominating Boston Sports Scene More Than Usual

The Patriots "never have dominated the Boston sports discussion" like they did this week following the release of Seth Wickersham’s ESPN story about Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, according to Steve Buckley of the BOSTON HERALD. The Pats have "long since become entrenched as the dominant professional sports franchise in the region, but this week, it’s more than that," as they had the "entire stage to themselves." The Celtics had a week off before their game Thursday against the 76ers in London, while the Bruins are on their All-Star bye week. It was "all Pats all the time this week," and in a way that has never been seen "in a non-Super Bowl week or week after, and here’s why: It’s not as easy to rally around a common enemy as in crises past." While plenty of Patriots fans are dismissing Wickersham's story as "just another Bristol-generated hit piece, it’s more complicated than that." Even some local media folks are "agreeing that something is going on down Foxboro way, and the talk shows have full lines as longtime fans weigh in with their own grassy-knoll theories" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/12). In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy writes media in most cities read a story like Wickersham's ESPN piece and "try to advance the narrative." However, the local "Patriots Media Cartel" shifted into "overdrive to tell us that there’s nothing to see here." Wickersham in the process "becomes the Salman Rushdie of Patriot Nation" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/12).

WINNING MATTERS: In Boston, Chad Finn writes the city is a "hockey town when the hockey team is actually compelling," but more than anything else, Boston’s "favorite team is the one most successful in that particular moment." The "current sports riches" around Boston are "more abundant than massive snowbanks on the street corners." The Celtics are "on a 63-win pace" and the Patriots are "deep into their second decade of annual, legitimate Super Bowl contention." When the Bruins' season began, it "seemed inevitable they would slip to a second-class citizen" in Boston, but they have "reestablished their relevance" with a 23-10-7 record (BOSTON.com, 1/10).