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Pats-Colts in the background

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Arriving in the media workroom this morning, the topic was brought up to Mark Farinella of Attleboro Sun Chronicle, the longest tenured writer on the Patriots beat.

Would you agree the Patriots, in a rarity, are in the No. 4 spot today from a media attention standpoint?

Here is what's on the schedule today in Boston pro sports:

1. Bobby Valentine introduced as Red Sox manager (5:30 p.m.)

2. Danny Ainge/Doc Rivers talk Celtics and NBA's return (10 a.m.)

3. Bruins announce David Krejci 3-year contract extension (1 p.m.)

4. Patriots players continue preparations to face the 0-11 Colts (11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

This had Farinella, who first started covering the Patriots in 1978, reminiscing about the days of covering the team when they were always No. 4. That's probably hard to believe for anyone who started following the team, or covering the team, in 1993 or later.

"The benefit was that you could arrive an hour before a game and get a parking space," Farinella recalled. "The really sad part about it was that if you saw 19,000 fans in the stands, you knew you were covering a team that was practically irrelevant."

Farinella said it wasn't always that way. The run in the mid-1980s, with quarterback Steve Grogan and coach Raymond Berry leading the way, had the Patriots in the top spot for a brief period of time.

"But then, of course, everything collapsed on them," Farinella said, before adding: "When they really legitimately got out of the four-hole for a long time was the hiring of Bill Parcells by James Orthwein."

[Editor's note with a chuckle: We will still be covering the team today. Happily.]