On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Chris Mason, who covers the New England Patriots for MassLive.com.
Among the topics Chris and I discussed were how how he got into sports journalism at a young age, how it was to go from covering the Red Sox for a newspaper to covering the Patriots for MassLive, his impressions of the 2021 Red Sox so far, his predictions for the 2021 Patriots, the key differences between the amenities at the Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium press boxes, and much more!
The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.
Thanks to Chris for taking some time out of his Friday to have a conversation with me.
You can follow Chris on Twitter (@ByChrisMason) by clicking here. You can check out his Patriots coverage for MassLive.com by clicking here.
Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!
(Picture of Fenway Park: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Even before he was drafted by the Red Sox in the third round of the 2018 amateur draft, Durbin Feltman’s New England connections ran deep.
Despite being born and raised in the Houston area, the 23-year-old right-hander grew up a fan of the New England Patriots.
One might think that may be due to former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s rise to stardom in the early 2000s, but Feltman’s fandom actually goes back to the days leading up to Super Bowl 38 in Houston.
Then six years old, Feltman had the chance to attend some of the fan-centered events with his family the week of the big game.
“They came to play in Houston in the Super Bowl in ’04 against the [Carolina] Panthers, so we went downtown to all the fan events,” Feltman explained to BloggingtheRedSox.com last week. “I’m like six at the time and at that age, you have no idea what’s going on in football. So, I was like ‘Ooh, I like this team’ and ever since then I was like ‘All right, well, they won the Super Bowl then.’ I picked them the week before the Super Bowl, and then I was just hooked ever since.”
Still, even though Brady may not have been Feltman’s sole reason for becoming a Patriots fan, the six-time Super Bowl champion certainly helped seal the deal.
“Once I actually got to know what was going on, Brady just solidified it,” the righty said. “Just watching how he works and just being a winner and doing whatever it takes to win. Probably the hardest worker out there [yet] he’s not the most talented guy. He’s got some gifts, obviously, but I try to take that same mindset of: I’m not 6’6”, I’m not super physically gifted, so it’s just ‘Hey you got to work. You got to work.’
“And he goes day in and day out, just does everything he can,” added Feltman. “Does his job, puts his head down, and goes to work. He solidified it, but he wasn’t the only reason — he wasn’t the main reason I picked them.”
Because Brady was not the main reason Feltman chose to support the Patriots way back when, he still closely follows the team today despite their struggles. The flame-throwing hurler gave his prognosis on what’s gone wrong in New England in 2020.
“It’s been a tough year,” he said. “We need some weapons, we really need some weapons. It’s been tough watching Brady. I’m still rooting for him down in Tampa, but man, it’s almost unnatural to watch the Patriots do what they’re doing. They were two plays away from being 8-4, three plays away from being 9-4, now they’re 6-8 after losing to Miami.
“We got to either find a new quarterback — I don’t feel like Cam [Newton] is too bad — but we need some new receivers, new tight ends,” Feltman continued. “We got a whole running back corps, just got to fix up the offense to do something. We haven’t scored a [passing] touchdown since [Jarrett] Stidham threw one three weeks ago, so it’s been tough.”
As a Patriots fan himself, Feltman had the opportunity to live with some native New England football fans when he played for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2017.
“They were awesome,” Feltman said of his host family that summer. “They came up to Lowell and saw me play. I flew up there, we went to a Patriots game together, got to watch Tom Brady beat up on Aaron Rodgers on Sunday Night Football, which was awesome. They were awesome.”
Feltman, then in between his sophomore and junior seasons at Texas Christian University, posted a 1.69 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over five appearances and 5 1/3 innings pitched for Falmouth in 2017.
When Tom Brady officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Friday, that decision was met with plenty of distraught from New England Patriots fan across the country.
One Patriots fan who wasn’t all that upset with Brady’s decision to move on from the Pats was former Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce.
The self-proclaimed “unofficially retired” 2018 World Series MVP makes his residence in Tampa, and he now has the chance to watch a future Hall of Famer who used to play for his favorite team up close and personal.
“I’m a Tampa Bay season ticket holder as of three days ago,” Pearce told WEEI‘s Rob Bradford via text message. “I’m still rooting for the Pats. [Brady’s] been my QB for the last 20 years. I’m just glad I get to see him still playing. He’s the GOAT. I’m a Tom Brady fan, as well. But…Go Pats!”
Pearce, who was born and raised in Florida, grew up a fan of all Boston sports teams thanks to his father, Steve Sr., who grew up in Rehoboth and North Attleboro before moving to Lakeland, Fla. as a 13-year-old.
Steve Jr. “unofficially retired” from baseball back in December after surpassing 10 years of Major League Baseball service time last season, meaning he is now entitled to a fully-vested pension.
The 36-year-old will forever be remembered in Red Sox lore for his performance during the 2018 World Series, when he slashed .333/.500/1.167 with three home runs and eight RBI over five games against the Dodgers en route to being named the series’ Most Valuable Player.
That’s a tremendous accomplishment within itself as the club, led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, will look for their sixth Super Bowl title in franchise history against the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta on February 3rd.
Following an eventful Winter Weekend at Foxwoods Resort Casino, it seemed as though a good number of Red Sox players and coaches had their eyes on this particular contest, and they sent their congratulations with a familiar theme to the Patriots following the exciting Championship Game win.