Our Daily Dread: ESPN wants a Bruschi, Merriman avoids a Tequila Sunrise, and identity theft of local writers leave everyone else drunk with envy


To help bolster appeal for their new all-encompasing ESPNBoston.com sports website, the World Wide Leader says that recently retired New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi will join the team to provie NFL analysis. They will, of course, also squeeze appearances of him on “NFL Live,” “SportsCenter,” ESPN Radio and whatever else isn’t moving.

ESPNBoston.com launches next Monday, Sept. 14 — the day the Patriots open their season, against Buffalo.

There is already an ESPNChicago.com in place, an ESPNDallas coming in a couple of weeks (coinciding with the Cowboys’ home opener), and coming next year, ESPNLosAngeles.com and ESPNNewYork.com. The later two will likely launch with the start of the 2010 MLB seasons.

The Chicago site has already passed up viewership of the sports sites on the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

The business model for these ESPN-filtered sports sites seems to first, already have a radio presence (in L.A., it’s 710-AM KSPN), and then make a splash by hiring some of the top local sports media talent in each city and then tapping into the other websites and news gathering entities that already exist in the city. Boston’s website last week lassoed Mike Reiss, the Boston Globe and Boston.com’s top NFL writer. The site will also use Peter Gammons and Bill Simmons.

It would hardly be surprising if the L.A. site tried to hire away someone already with an ESPN presence — such as the Times’ Bill Plaschke — to go with J.A. Adande and Magic Johnson (who also have ESPN deals) and the talent at 710-AM.

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