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BSJ Daily Briefing 01.07.18: 7K for BSJ!

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(Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

Good morning!

Well, this was some welcomed and unexpected news:

On the nose! I think that calls for a...

In all seriousness, thank you so much for your support. 7,000 paid members in five-plus months continues to be way above what we envisioned when we launched this site. The reception we've received has just been tremendous, and it only reinforces that the Boston sports media scene was ready for a new "print" outlet that put the focus back where it belonged: on the readers, and on the hardcore coverage of your favorite sports teams.

Yeah, this week certainly went off the field, and that's not my preference. But like I've said before, we're going to stay between the lines or the boards unless we feel that what's going on outside of those areas is impacting, or has the chance to impact what's happening on the playing fields.

This Patriots story falls into that category. But, again, when all is said and done, I don't think any of this ends up affecting the Patriots. Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will still be doing their job for the next year or two or three, and really the only dynamic that has changed is the succession plan for Brady. The pressure is on for Brady to continue to be Brady during that time (when has he ever come up short?), and Belichick needs to go out and find the next "next guy," now that Garoppolo is gone. I expect him to come through, like he always does.

Again, thank you for being here from the beginning. And with 300-plus free military memberships, we're well north of 7,000 in terms of the daily hardcore users of the site. Those of you who are new, thanks for checking us out and please participate. It's going to feel strange, but this is one place where you play a vital role, not only in the Q&As and comment sections, but in your reading habits and emails. We are ALWAYS listening. We don't write with an agenda or for clicks. Every discussion I have with our writers is about, "What do you think our members want to read? Do you think that will really interest them, and keep them coming back for more?" That's the power of a subscription site. That's the power you have.

A few thoughts before we go:

  • Just when you think St. Patrice can't do anymore, he goes out and scores four goals against the Hurricanes. What a player for so long. They don't come any better all around than Bergeron.
  • Loved this quote from Kyrie Irving about Jayson Tatum's heroics: "He better make it. Wide open in the corner. Rookie or not, (laughs) you better make the shot.”
  • I'll leave the Tomato Can talk to Mr. Shaughnessy but, man, the Patriots are likely going to draw the Titans in the divisional round? I'm sure Patriots fans are happy, but I think I should start writing my gameday column now...
  • The Titans have no shot. The only question I have is if Josh McDaniels rides the Titans team plane back for his introductory press conference (kidding).
  • At least the Chiefs would have made it somewhat interesting, if Travis Kelce was healthy. I can't believe they lost that game. I mean, I can because it's Andy Reid and Captain Checkdown, but that second half was brutal. I'd be furious if I was a Chiefs fan.
  • Was there anyone in America who didn't think 28-3 when the Falcons led the Rams 13-0? You know Dan Quinn was.
  • We're two games into the playoffs and I'm already 0-2. The lesson here is, as always, I'm an idiot.

And away we go...

CATCHING UP

Patriots

5 takeaways from the Titans-Chiefs wild card game, as viewed through a Patriots’ prism
Tom Brady responds to ESPN report: It won’t impact our focus on what’s important
Bedard and Price make their NFL playoff predictions
Kraft denies forcing Garoppolo trade, believes Belichick ‘absolutely’ will be coach in ’18

Celtics

Jayson Tatum hit the big shots, but defense from the rookies mattered most
BSJ Game Report: Celtics 87, Nets 85 — Tatum saves the day
Live Coverage: Celtics 87, Nets 85

Bruins

Another career night for Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron
BSJ Game Report: Bruins 7, Hurricanes 1 — Bergeron produces a five-point night
Live Coverage: Bruins 7, Hurricanes 1

Red Sox

MLB Notebook: As Kimbrel nears free agency, Red Sox have a decision to make; plus rules changes coming and more

ON TAP

11 a.m.: Bruins pregame skate, PPG Paints Arena (McDonald)
1:05 p.m.: NFL Wild Card Playoff: Bills at Jaguars (CBS)
4:40 p.m.: 
NFL Wild Card Playoff: Panthers at Saints (FOX)
7:30 p.m.: 
Bruins at Penguins, NBCSN (McDonald)

PARTING THOUGHT

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