PLEASE READ THIS ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING KING OF BALTIMORE SPORTS

June 06, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

I’ve been following the play-in round of the Toyota Live Web King of Baltimore Sports contest just like you.

I’ve put three months of planning into the contest (including many late nights) and getting emails and a buzz on the street about whether the contest is on the “up and up” is disturbing to me. And, honestly, I’m skeptical myself about the way the voting has taken place and whether Gary Gait’s voting run (among others) is legitimate.

And as the de-facto “commissioner” of the competition, someone has to look out for the integrity of the tournament. We’ve put a lot of energy and love into the contest and we want it to be done the right way and the winner should be above reproach.

And there can be no questions about whether there’s any chicanery or tomfoolery going on in the voting process. This isn’t the WWF and Vince McMahon. This is a contest with the purest and more honorable of intentions: we want to find the King of Baltimore sports as voted on by the city of Baltimore and its sports fans.

So, after consulting with several of my committee members, I’ve decided that we need to take action to insure the sanctity and legitimacy of the Toyota Live Web King of Baltimore competition.

I knew there would be some serious passion regarding some of the athletes. I knew that the first day we came up with the idea and began asking around. I thought people would get vigilant about Brooks or Cal or Johnny or Ray or Frank or Eddie or Boog or Artie or Lenny or whoever their favorite guys are. Hey, I am just as passionate about Baltimore’s favorite athletes and sports teams as you.

But I didn’t think for a second that there would be two separate internet campaigns to get Gary Gait and Rick Dempsey into the round of 32.

Here’s the truth about the competition and the voting this week: we left it wide open to encourage folks to begin the process of voting. At WNST.net, we’ve never had a competition quite like this nor have we ever encouraged folks to come to the website to vote on an in-house platform and I foolishly thought people would honor the “honor system” for a week in regard to the voting. We left the voting open purposely so folks could vote once a day without registering, knowing folks would have a mandatory registration on Monday when the actual brackets were ready to be filled out.

This week was an introduction of sorts, and a chance to allow some of WNST’s older, more non-computer oriented folks a chance to get their feet wet before the competition began in earnest. There’s no way to have a fair fight in the KOBS if the “over 50” crowd doesn’t vote.

We had more than 10,000 votes at WNST.net in four days. It’s impossible to know how many of them were legitimate.

Once again, the dark side of the human element rose to the forefront. People had a loophole to “cheat” and, of course, they did. Or at least it appears to the eyeball and sniff tests that they did. (When Gary Gait got 200 votes in one hour yesterday I needed to take action!)

I can’t and won’t be a party to a “fixed fight.”

So, in my crisis management yesterday – the worst thing in world anyone can say about me or WNST or this contest or any other contest is that it’s “rigged” – I’ve developed a fair and equitable solution: we’ll do a one-day registered recount on Monday to determine who the 29th, 30th, 31st and 32nd seeds for the tournament are.

Look, I hate registering for stuff on the internet myself. But in order to play in the competition we need to know who you are, what your email address is and how to contact you if you win. So, registration is a less than 3-minute process and you’ll never have to register on WNST.net again. My stats tell me that less than 10 percent of you are registered on the site, so I knew we we’re going to get some “push back” on that anyway but it’s unavoidable.

I really sincerely hope you register and vote for all of your favorites over the next eight weeks.

I want a fair fight and I want the best man to win. I think it has produced some of the best radio conversations I’ve heard in years and it’s allowed every WNST listener to remember the best times and best memories about Baltimore sports (and that’s really what this is all about).

We will pull down the brackets today and all day Monday you’ll be able to vote for four of the following “finalists” this week:

Mark Belanger
Paul Blair
Peter Boulware
Mike Curtis
Rick Dempsey
Gary Gait
Bert Jones
Tom Matte
Earl Monroe
Ken Singleton

We’ll tally up the votes at midnight Monday night and at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning the brackets will open for voting. Further specific instructions (along with security) will be provided for how the competition will work, the prizes and the rules.

Have a great weekend and let’s get the Toyota Live Web King of Baltimore Sports started in earnest on Monday!

We have the best of intentions and we want the spirit of the competiton to remain fair.

 

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