Another story about ‘getting it’

May 27, 2008 | Drew Forrester

Daniel Wilcox of the Ravens joined me this morning to talk about his great foundation and one of its marquee events – the 2nd annual Celebrity Paintball Tournament, scheduled for this Saturday at Paintball Adventures Park in Taneytown.

It’s always good to visit with Daniel, who truly is one of the nicest athletes you’ll ever meet.  He’s a man who spends a lot of his free time involved in projects that enrich the lives of youngsters all over Baltimore.  His foundation, “Empowerment M.I.N.D.S.” provides students with educational and recreational resources that increase their access to reading materials, technology and cultural opportunities.  Empowerment M.I.N.D.S. (“Motivating and Inspiring Neighborhoods Determined to Succeed”) mission is to open up the horizons of disadvantaged youth in the inner city. 

Once again today, it’s easy to see why the Ravens have captivated the community and why their players are entrenched in Baltimore, even during the off-season. 

Wilcox’s appearance on The Comcast Morning Show is something the Orioles wouldn’t allow. 

It’s beyond any reasonable piece of common sense for anyone to understand and accept why the Orioles don’t allow their players to go on the radio in Baltimore and support their own community relations efforts. 

Last September, Brian Roberts organized a great fund raiser to benefit the University of Maryland Medical Center.  It would have been appropriate for Roberts to appear on EVERY radio station in town to talk about his event.  To that end, I contacted the O’s to arrange for Roberts to appear on WNST.  No return call.  No return e-mail.  Nothing. 

Meanwhile, Orioles players ARE doing good things in the community, but unless you’re a paying customer to the club (aka “a rights holder”) you’re not allowed to have a player on the air. 

Two weeks ago, an Orioles-designed promotion – Bike To The Park – was so unique and interesting to me that I contacted them about having the event’s spokesman (Jeremy Guthrie) on the air to talk about it.  No charity was involved…it was basically a ticket-sales promotion.  But I thought it was such a cool and novel idea that I wanted Guthrie on to discuss it.  I contacted the team.  No return call. No return e-mail.  Just crickets.

The Orioles have plenty of players doing great things in the community but they refuse to allow their players the opportunity to maximize their efforts.

The Ravens, however, have no such near-sighted and petty policies for their players to follow.  Daniel Wilcox has a foundation that benefits the community.  He develops a fund-raising event that, in turn, helps make Baltimore a better place.  And, therefore, the Ravens are thrilled to have Daniel Wilcox on the air – everywhere and anywhere – to promote his efforts and the work of his foundation.

I urge you to visit www.celebritypaintballtournament.com to see the list of Ravens players who are participating in this Saturday’s fund-raiser for Empowerment M.I.N.D.S.

The event runs from 9am-4pm and your paintball team will be paired up with a celebrity athlete (maybe Ed Reed, or Bart Scott, or Mark Clayton, for example).

It’s a great day, to benefit Daniel Wilcox’s foundation.

The Ravens are out in our community on nearly a daily basis, helping to improve it in a variety of ways.

So are the Orioles.

Unfortunately, we don’t really know what the Orioles are doing.

There’s a saying: You’re either a piano player or a piano mover.

Dan Wilcox is a man who moves pianos.  He puts in the work and the community benefits from it.

If only the Orioles could learn from him.

Better yet, if the Orioles could learn from the Ravens, we’d all appreciate them a lot more.

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