My 2011 Baltimore sports wish list

December 30, 2010 | Paul Hoke

We’re almost down to the final 24 hours of the year of 2010.  It’s been a long year, full of it’s ups and downs for everyone.  For me, 2010 was a pretty good year.  I took a road trip with the family that, for the first time in my life, led my further west on this great country than Columbus, Ohio.  To Montana, in fact.  I have watched my beloved Baltimore Ravens lose a divisional round playoff game in January to the hated Indianapolis Colts, then go out and trade for one of the top wide receivers in the NFL.  They then went out and have had a solid 2010 season, which has led to a franchise best third consecutive playoff appearance, and hopefully their first AFC North division title since 2006 if everything breaks right for them in Week 17.

In all, it was another year of ups (Ravens and Capitals), and of course, downs (Orioles, Orioles, Orioles, and in the end, the Caps and Ravens).  So, with 2010 quickly fading into the rear view mirror, here is my Baltimore Sports 2011 wish list… in no particular order, of course.

NO Ravens play in the Pro Bowl.

With no disrespect meant to the Baltimore Ravens who made the NFL’s All-Star Game, the reason that they would end up NOT playing in the game, of course, would be because they were playing in the Super Bowl the first Sunday in February.  Now, I’m not going to go into what it would take for them to reach the Super Bowl, this isn’t that kind of blog, but topping my 2011 wish list would be for my Baltimore Ravens to be playing in Dallas, 10 years after they did it the first time.

The Orioles to get closer.

Closer to what?  I guess I’m not 100% sure, but I just want them to get close to something good.  Would it be .500?  Would it be contention?  Would it be respectability?  I guess I’m just not sure because I don’t think they can do any of those things because they haven’t done anything to show me that they will do anything in 2011.  Maybe I just want them to get closer to what they were when they were the Orioles of my youth.  The Orioles of the late 70’s and early 80’s, when they were an integral part of the community and they weren’t the lying, thieving, money hungry whores that they have become.  Maybe it’s just that simple.  I want the Orioles of 2011 to get closer to being the Orioles that I remember them to be…mostly for my 10 year old who loves them.

Capitals make a REAL run at the Stanley Cup

It would be greedy of me, of course, to wish that after the Ravens hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy in February, that Alex Ovechkin would hoist Lord Stanley’s fabled cup in June.  I get that.  So, I’m going to make it simple.  My wish for my Washington Capitals is that they make a true run at the Cup, if only to make up for the first round choke job from a year ago.  Watching the last seconds of that Game 7 loss to Montreal last year hurt almost as much as watching that steaming turd the Ravens laid in Indy in January.  After going up 3 games to…you know what, not gonna rehash it.  My wish is that when Game 1 of the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Finals tips off, it is being played at the Verizon Center with Alexander Semin taking the faceoff.

The Preakness

Going to be honest with this one.  I’m not a fan of horse racing.  I’m a fan of the industry because I know that it benefits the city of Baltimore and the proud tradition of Maryland Horse Racing.  But I don’t go to the track, I don’t follow the races, heck, I don’t even go to the Preakness.  But as a huge fan of history, especially sports history, I appreciate just what the Preakness means to this city.  Not the drunken retards who gather in the infield and fight with cops, or throw beer cans at the horses, but the race itself that for one Saturday in May, puts Baltimore in the center of the sports world after the Orioles have already been eliminated from post season contention.

My son takes that next step

I have to throw this in there.  As I’ve stated before, my 10 year old is a baseball machine.  If he could, he would play baseball 24/7, and with each passing year, he just keeps getting better and better.  He’s always an All Star on his little league team, a member of his league’s travel team, and is closing in on becoming that pre-teen phenom that, to be honest, his father almost was.  I didn’t peak until high school, but my son has more PURE talent then I ever had.  I had to work hard to become a really good baseball player.  With my son, it just comes so easy.  It’s fluid, it’s something that as his coach, I can’t coach, but he has it, and my wish is that he keeps that love for baseball alive, and he continues to get better.

As I close, there are many other little things that I wish for in Baltimore sports for 2011, and I’m sure I will touch on them with future blogs.  But most of all, I want everyone to enter 2011 happy and healthy, and wish the entire WNST family a safe, and happy holiday season.

GO RAVENS!!!!!!!!!