Tag Archive | "1 Winning Drive"

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 July 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Geale (Saturday 9:30pm from New York live on HBO); MLL: Chesapeake Bayhawks @ New York Lizards (Sunday 3pm from Hempstead, NY live on CBS Sports Network); WNBA: Connecticut Sun @ Washington Mystics (Wednesday 11:30am from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV), Tulsa Shock @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV), Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV)

10. Finesse Mitchell (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); German Festival (Saturday & Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds); Carroll County Fair (Saturday-Monday Carroll County Agricultural Center); Hercules” and “Lucy” out in theaters (Friday); Transcendence” and “Sabotage” available (Tuesday)

There is not a single damn thing wrong with a good German festival.

The Rock as Hercules is fine and all, but this version of The Rock is obviously still better.

9. Dirty Heads/Pepper (Sunday 7:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Warped Tour feat. Anberlin/Yellowcard/Less Than Jake (Tuesday 11am Merriweather Post Pavilion), Beck (Thursday 6pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Neutral Milk Hotel (Friday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Phish (Saturday & Sunday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); KISS/Def Leppard (Friday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Dave Matthews Band (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Wiz Khalifa/Young Jeezy (Sunday 6pm Jiffy Lube Live); Lionel Richie/Cee-Lo Green (Tuesday 8pm Wolf Trap), Sarah McLachlan (Saturday 8pm Wolf Trap), Darius Rucker (Sunday 7:30pm Wolf Trap); Kelly Bell Band/All Mighty Senators (Friday 8pm 8×10 Club); The Dan Band (Friday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Mint Condition (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Ziggy Marley (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Jason Aldean/Florida Georgia Line (Friday 8pm Nationals Park), Billy Joel (Saturday 8pm Nationals Park); Believe in Music Festival feat. Thievery Corporation, Jimmy Cliff, Lake Street Dive, The Bridge (Saturday 12pm Oregon Ridge); Anberlin “Lowborn” available (Tuesday)

This Beck is fine and all, but I kinda miss THIS Beck…

Attention Phish fans: Decriminalization does not go into effect until later this year.

Among the Top 25 most played Dave Matthews Band songs of all time, this one doesn’t get enough appreciation.

Support our partners Living Classroom Foundation at Oregon Ridge. Also, Lake Street Dive is WONDERFUL.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 26 May 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-New York Liberty @ Washington Mystics (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Los Angeles Sparks @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Golf: PGA Tour the Memorial Tournament (Thursday & Friday 2:30pm live on Golf Channel Saturday 12:30pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS Sunday 12pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Dublin, OH), Champions Tour Principal Charity Classic (Friday 7pm Saturday & Sunday 5pm from Des Moines, IA on Golf Channel), ShopRite LPGA Classic (Friday 12pm Saturday 2:30pm Sunday 2pm from Galloway, NJ live on Golf Channel); Boxing: Carl Froch vs. George Groves (Saturday 4pm from London live on HBO)

10. Bruce Bruce (Tuesday 8pm & 10pm Rams Head on Stage); Tim Meadows (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Artie Lange (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Michael McDonald (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Maryland Craft Beer Festival (Saturday Carroll Creek Park); Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival (Saturday & Sunday Oregon Ridge Park); Taste of Three Cities (Saturday 11am M&T Bank Stadium); A Million Ways to Die in the West” and “Maleficent” out in theaters (Friday)

I never went and saw Tim Meadows’ “Ladies Man” movie because it looked terrible to me. I have to admit however this made me chuckle.

I’m not proud.

9. Luke Bryan (Friday & Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Journey & Steve Miller Band (Sunday 6:45pm Jiffy Lube Live); Foxy Shazam (Monday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Manchester Orchestra (Tuesday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Ballyhoo! (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Rusted Root and The Wailers (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Old 97′s (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); T-Pain (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); Matisyahu (Sunday 7pm Lisner Auditorium); Neil Young “A Letter Home” available (Tuesday)

I know ZERO about Luke Bryan. So here’s Luke Bryan playing an Adele song. I have absolutely nothing else to say.

There are people whose opinions about music I respect and they enjoy Manchester Orchestra. That’s what I’ve got for you.

I consider Rhett Miller from the Old 97′s a close personal friend after we hung out in Dallas a few years ago. I have no idea how he feels about the whole thing.

Matisyahu’s show down in DC is acoustic. This might be really good.

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Your Monday Reality Check-Ravens Not Surprisingly Doing Right Thing With Rice

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Your Monday Reality Check-Ravens Not Surprisingly Doing Right Thing With Rice

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Stop me if you’ve read this one before.

Nestor Aparicio and I spent the last four days at LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis for the annual National Football League Scouting Combine. Indy has been a bit of a second home for us over the first two months of 2012. I don’t know I could ever express just how awkward that is.

CBSSports.com NFL writer Pete Prisco stopped by our set Friday afternoon to record an interview that would air later on “The Reality Check”. We talked about a number of subjects, one being the status of Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice. Let me make sure I state this. I GREATLY respect Pete Prisco as a writer and football mind. For those who aren’t familiar with him, he’s been with CBS for over a decade covering the league and has covered football even longer than that. The following are quotes from Prisco regarding Rice…

“I wouldn’t pay any running back.”
“I’d franchise him…that’s it.”
“You don’t pay running backs.”
“If you’re building your team around a running back you’ve got problems.”

Prisco rightfully pointed out that the New York Giants won the Super Bowl despite finishing 32nd in the league in rushing. He also rightfully pointed out that the Jacksonville Jaguars won just five games despite being home to the league’s top rusher (Maurice Jones-Drew). They’re relevant points, even if he ignores the fact that the Giants upped their rushing average to 116.5 yards per game in the postseason and that the Ravens had the league’s second leading rusher (Rice) and were a Lee Evans drop away from playing those Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.

Of course the NFL is more of a passing league. We’re all aware. It doesn’t mean running backs aren’t still dressing for games and making an impact every now and then.

I’m not beating up Pete Prisco here. I’m pointing out an opinion about Rice that has been popular both around Charm City and for many throughout football. There are a number of fans and analysts alike who simply don’t think the Ravens should bother giving their free agent running back a long-term extension. Local writers/bloggers/talk show hosts (including even our own Thyrl Nelson) have pointed out that economically the team would probably be better off just having Rice play under the franchise tag each of the next two seasons.

The numbers would work out to the team having to pay the back between $16-17 million combined in his fifth and sixth NFL seasons, and would not involve any sort of signing bonus. The team will certainly have to hand out much more than that should they extend Rice, even if they come in short of the “Adrian Peterson money” his representation is reportedly interested in.

I promise the next part of this column isn’t meant to be any sort of “I told you so” moment. I’m just glad we can stop discussing that ridiculous thought process anymore.

As I chased Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome out of the media room at LucasOil Stadium Friday afternoon, we had this exact exchange.

“As far as Ray Rice is concerned, it’s definitely the thought process to get an extension done-is it not any thought to franchise him for a year and go from there?” I asked.

He responded “No. We have used the franchise tag only so that we can get a long term deal. We would like for Ray Rice to have a long career in Baltimore. If we have to franchise him, that would be the reason why.”

Nothing wishy-washy there. No posturing at all. That’s about as straight of shooting as a General Manager can possibly offer.

I’m so freaking glad it was Newsome who said it this time so that I don’t have to bother fighting with anyone about it anymore. You DO NOT give the franchise tag to a player if you don’t have interest in keeping him around.

At least…you don’t do that if you’re a competent, well run organization.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Miami @ Maryland (Sunday 2:30pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN2); High School Basketball: Dulaney @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm), Towson @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm); Baltimore Ravens Regional Scouting Combine (Saturday 1 Winning Drive Owings Mills)

10. Anthrax/Testament (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Black Stone Cherry/Cavo (Thursday 6:30pm Rams Head Live), Umphrey’s McGee (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); Wayne Static (Wednesday 6pm Recher Theatre); Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Presents the Rolling Stones’ album Sticky Fingers in it’s entirety (Friday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), The Darkness (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Jack’s Mannequin (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm 9:30 Club); Eric Benet (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); The Fray “Scars and Stories” and Van Halen “A Different Kind of Truth” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I probably enjoy Cavo a little bit more than I’m willing to admit publicly…

I both enjoy Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe…

AND I enjoy the Rolling Stones’ album Sticky Fingers. So I’ve got that going for me…

I really don’t care…at all…what you think. The new song by The Fray is freaking awesome.

9. Mike Epps (Friday 7:30pm & 10pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Nick Cannon (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory), Alonzo Bodden (Monday 8pm Baltimore Comedy Factory); “Safe House” opens in theaters (Friday); “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday); Wanda Sykes (Friday 8pm Strathmore); Motor Trend International Auto Show (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); Sex at the Zoo (Thursday 6pm Maryland Zoo in Baltimore); Wishful Drinking feat. Carrie Fisher (Tuesday-Sunday France Merrick Performing Arts Center-Hippodrome)

This is a bizarre combination of events for sure. Me personally, I’d watch Denzel Washington act his way out of a cardboard box, so I’m excited for Safe House.  Of course, there’s no way humanly possible it’s as good as Training Day (language NSFW)…

I don’t know if Eli Manning would be willing to donate his new car to the event at the Convention Center this weekend, but I’d certainly appreciate the opportunity to drool over the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Centennial Edition…

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Mocking The 53: A Look At Roster Ahead of Preseason Finale

Posted on 30 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Baltimore Ravens travel to the Georgia Dome to meet the Atlanta Falcons Thursday night, the final opportunity for players on the roster “bubble” to impress Head Coach John Harbaugh and coordinators Cam Cameron, Chuck Pagano and Jerry Rosburg.

As I am no longer the Ravens beat reporter here at WNST I have deferred to Luke Jones for most of our coverage during Training Camp. I have had the chance to get out to 1 Winning Drive this week, so I decided I would bring back “Mocking The 53″ to get a look at how the team may trim the roster from 80 players to 53.

As I’ve explained before, the team does not have a certain number of players they keep at each position, so I have never done this breakdown by position. Instead, I offer what is more like a “power ranking” of players from 1-80.

Keep in mind, GM Ozzie Newsome is likely to make an addition or two (a veteran backup quarterback-perhaps still Marc Bulger namely) before either Saturday’s cut day or the team’s opener September 11 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium.

1. DT Haloti Ngata
2. QB Joe Flacco
3. LB Terrell Suggs
4. RB Ray Rice
5. WR Anquan Boldin
6. S Ed Reed
7. LB Ray Lewis
8. G Ben Grubbs
9. G Marshal Yanda
10. CB Jimmy Smith

Whether or not Smith is a starter on September 11 is the only issue in this group. All of these guys are clearly on the team and significant contributors.

11. OT Michael Oher
12. WR Lee Evans
13. FB Vonta Leach
14. DE Cory Redding
15. P Sam Koch
16. TE Ed Dickson
17. S Bernard Pollard
18. K Billy Cundiff
19. DT Terrence Cody
20. LB Jarret Johnson

Like the first group, the players in the group above are all safely on the roster and are expected to be significant contributors.

21. CB Cary Williams
22. S Tom Zbikowski
23. C Matt Birk
24. OT Bryant McKinnie
25. CB Chris Carr
26. S Haruki Nakamura
27. TE Dennis Pitta
28. RB Ricky Williams
29. LB Jameel McClain
30. WR Torrey Smith

There’s no drama in this group either. McClain still appears to be the frontrunner for the other starting ILB job, while the team has remained steadfast in their support of Torrey Smith despite struggles. There’s a chance he’s not the third receiver on September 11, but he’s absolutely safe on the roster.

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Since I Already Know You, I Guess I Don’t Need to “Get To Know You”

Posted on 18 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

I’ve taken a number of jobs in my short radio career.

Having gone from station to station, format to format, time slot to time slot and market to market, I’ve had more than one occasion in my life where I’ve had to say something along the lines of “hi, I’m the new guy.”

In this case, I’m grateful because I don’t feel as though that will be necessary this time.

As you may have heard Thursday morning on “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones or read in Nestor Aparicio’s column today at WNST.net, there’s a change in my life.

After more than three years of getting up early and hanging out with Drew, I’ve been rewarded with an opportunity to sleep in a bit.

I have taken over as the afternoon show host (2-6pm) on Sports Talk 1570 WNST.

I’m incredibly excited.

As I’ve shared multiple times, I was a WNST listener when I was younger. Before I realized “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio was the father of one of my classmates (and friends) at Perry Hall High School, I had been handed a “Get Nasty” sign and was familiar with Charm City’s most well known sports talk host.

My familiarity as a WNST listener made my decision to leave KDUS in Phoenix much easier a few years back.

This is the next step for me, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend with Drew every morning for the last few years, and for everyone else in the WNST family (and the numerous others I’ve worked with during my time) for everything they’ve taught me.

As my headline would indicate, the fact that I’ve been able to get to know you guys means I don’t think you need to know much more about me.

I listen to a lot of O.A.R. & Robert Randolph. I’m much too defensive about Roberto Alomar & Gary Williams. I’ve never met a fruit-flavored craft beer I didn’t at least try if not immediately add to the collection. I’m probably going to get banned from Chick-Fil-A Nottingham Square at some point soon because I spend more time there than I do my own home.

You probably knew all of that.

I have plenty of other thoughts that I’ll be looking forward to share moving forward.

I have a few simple thoughts about local sports radio.

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Ravens Right to Honor Mackey Friday, But Fans Also Right To Want More

Posted on 17 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

Tuesday afternoon on Sports Talk 1570 WNST I asked a question that had an answer I felt was fairly simple.

“Do the Baltimore Ravens owe it to the community to honor late Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts TE John Mackey in a public way this season?”

When I asked the question, I had the benefit of knowledge on my side. As I reported Tuesday, the Ravens will recognize Mackey’s passing with an in-game tribute Friday during their preseason home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. The tribute will not include a moment of silence, as the team determined it would be inappropriate.

The team will not publicly salute former Colts DE Bubba Smith, who also passed away this summer. That determination was made because Bubba did not achieve Hall of Fame status as a player and “did not stay connected to Baltimore”, according to a team source.

My question was brought on by something written by former Colts DL Joe Ehrmann, who I talked to on Tuesday’s show. In a press release issued last week by the Baltimore Colts Alumni group before he officiated Mackey’s public memorial service Saturday, Ehrmann suggest the entire National Football League should take time this season to honor the life of Mackey.

“To truly honor our fallen teammate and leader, I hope the NFL players will demand — and the league and union will agree to — at least one game this season where every player wears a “88” patch on their jersey and each team airs appropriate public service announcements aimed at educating coaches, parents and young athletes on the prevention of head traumas.”

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It’s Only August, But No Concerns Addressed In Preseason Week 1 Loss

Posted on 11 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Just keep saying it.

It’s only August.

It’s only August.

The Baltimore Ravens are still a ways away from their regular season opener September 11 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium.

It’s probably for the best, as they looked to be just about as far away from compete football in their 13-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

It’s only August.

It’s fair to assume the team would be behind where they might in others had they not lost OTA’s and the start of Training Camp due to the NFL lockout.

“Everybody is (behind where they would be in other years). Obviously we’ve got tons of work to do” said head coach John Harbaugh following the loss. “We’ve just gotta get better faster than the people that we’re going to play. That’s our job.”

It’s only August.

While starters played little time in Philly, the Ravens showed little cohesion throughout the exhibition contest.

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Live from Owings Mills: Rice labels new fullback Leach “all about business”

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Live from Owings Mills: Rice labels new fullback Leach “all about business”

Posted on 01 August 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Asked about the signing of All-Pro fullback Vonta Leach, running back Ray Rice broke into his rendition of “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters after practice on Monday.

And why wouldn’t he be after Leach was responsible for paving the way — or blowing it up — for the rushing champion as a member of the Houston Texans a season ago?

“I watched what he did for Arian Foster,” said Rice, referring to Foster’s league-best 1,616 rushing yards. “He’s an amazing fullback. He lays the wood on people. Everybody knows what his reputation is. I just can’t wait to follow him. I could probably trip and get five yards running behind him.

“I’m just excited to have a guy like that in front of me, because he’s all about business and all about hard work.”

Follow BaltimoreLuke on Twitter

Unlike free-agent fullback Le’Ron McClain, who seemed more interested in carrying the ball himself than opening holes for Rice, the Ravens know what they’re getting in Leach. After Leach received only three carries in his first seven seasons combined, it’s doubtful we’ll see any “Leach for Running Back” t-shirts popping up for sale.

With improving the running game deemed a priority as soon as the 2010 season came to an end against Pittsburgh in mid-January, it’s clear the Ravens are trying to recreate the identity they enjoyed in 2008 with a then-rookie quarterback Joe Flacco. The Ravens used a three-headed attack of McClain, Rice, and Willis McGahee when they carried the ball more than any team in the NFL and finished fourth overall in rushing yards per game.

And the man leading the way was a major reason why.

“We wanted the big physical fullback,” Harbaugh said. “Vonta’s going to have to come in here and prove it every single day. That’s what he brings to the table; he’s a presence. He brings the personality I think we had a little more the first year with Lorenzo Neal. He’s a guy that we really were targeting all the way back, so we’re happy to have him.”

J. Smith injured

Rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith missed the latter half of practice with an apparent upper leg injury. The injury is not considered serious.

However, asking Harbaugh for clarity on what happened to Smith gave the media its first lecture from the Ravens head coach about his distaste for talking about injuries in what’s become an annual occurrence. Harbaugh was in mid-season form despite the Ravens’ Week 1 meeting against Pittsburgh still 41 days away.

“I think I’ll just establish this right now, ” Harbaugh said, “but don’t even bother to ask about any injuries in training camp.”

Doss shines

Fourth-round pick Tandon Doss doesn’t possess great speed or overwhelming size (6-foot-2 and 200 pounds), but the Indiana product made two brilliant catches in the end zone during red zone passing drills on Monday.

One of the grabs was a one-handed, lunging attempt that drew plenty of attention from both offensive and defensive players. Doss has mostly worked with the second offense over the first week of training camp.

“He’s got great hands, and he’s got great [run-after-catch] transition,” Harbaugh said. “Catch the ball and get up field. He’s shown that. What we saw on tape, he’s definitely shown.”

Grubbs back, Birk out

Starting left guard Ben Grubbs came off the physically-unable-to-perform list on Monday and saw his first action of training camp. The fifth-year Auburn product — who is also the longest-tenured starter in the Ravens offense — appeared to take a full workload without fearing any ill effects.

Grubbs had started camp on the active PUP list as a precautionary measure after having offseason ankle surgery.

“He looked OK,” Harbaugh said. “It’s the first time he’s been on a football field since January. We’ll look at the tape, see how he looked, but I didn’t see any real major problems. It looks like he got through it physically.”

Center Matt Birk, however, missed Monday’s practice and his left knee wrapped in an ace bandage. Through his first two training camps with Baltimore, the 35-year-old regularly received days off when needed.

With Birk not practicing and right guard Marshal Yanda not allowed to practice until Thursday, rookies Ryan Bartholomew and Tim Barnes worked at center with the starting offense and rookie Justin Boren and 2010 practice squad member Brady Bond worked at right guard.

Hear more from John Harbaugh, Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, and running back coach Wilbert Montgomery as well as Lardarius Webb’s post-practice conversation with Glenn Clark in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here.

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Stover Ring Of Honor No-Brainer, But Who Will Join Him?

Posted on 27 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover formalized his retirement Thursday in a press conference at 1 Winning Drive.

“Playing for the Baltimore Ravens, I think I’ve always said that it’s a privilege” said Stover. “Being in the league has been a privilege-more than you can imagine.”

Stover had not kicked for the Ravens since the end of the 2008 season, he had not kicked in the National Football League at all since spending the end of the 2009 season with the Indianapolis Colts.

Stover, 43, spent 13 seasons in Charm City after coming to the city when the Cleveland Browns moved following the 1995 season. He was the only remaining player who came from Cleveland until he left after ’08.

During his 13 seasons in Baltimore, Stover made 354 of his 418 field goal attempts (84.6%), finishing 471/563 (83.7%) for his career. He was named the AFC’s Pro Bowl kicker twice in his career, including once in Baltimore (2000), the same season he played a significant role in helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV, the only Super Bowl title in the team’s brief history.

It came with no surprise that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti announced that the team would induct Stover into their Ring of Honor on November 20th when the team hosts the Cincinnati Bengals.

“The thing about being in the Ring of Honor is that I meant to much to my team, the community” said Stover. “That to me is an awesome, awesome privilege. I can’t imagine any greater honor that an organization can give to a player, and I appreciate the Ravens doing that. I’ll be proud to do it…to retire as a Raven with some other great players.”

Stover’s on-field role would have been enough to guarantee his inclusion, but his community involvement (most notably with the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes) set him apart from other successful players in franchise history. Stover was a beloved figure during his time in Baltimore, even amongst fans who wouldn’t be considered amongst the most passionate.

Clearly Stover meets all qualifications to join OT Jonathan Ogden, LB Peter Boulware, DE Michael McCrary, Former Owner Art Modell, RB/Contributor Earnest Byner and the Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts as being featured prominently at M&T Bank Stadium to be remembered for the eternity of the franchise’s existence.

The question moving forward for me is now “who will join him?”

The Ravens have been very fortunate to have a number of great players/contributors in recent years, many of whom are worthy of consideration.

Here is the explanation of the criteria used by the Ravens when selecting players to their Ring of Honor…

“Character: The induction into the Ravens Ring of Honor represents the highest honor for a career of individual accomplishment resulting in team success. Teams constructed with character reduce uncertainty and stay on their purpose Ravens of Honor maintain direction with intense focus character is at the beginning of the cycle and takes them all the way to a successful ending.

Gratitude: Ravens of Honor carry forth a special attitude of gratitude, to those around them, they are always a fountain rather then a drain. Each is different but all keep those around them on the path of progression. Their basic ability to enjoy their talents and gifts of others help them to continually contribute as opposed to contaminate.

Vision: Fueled by self-knowledge, great character and an appreciation for everything available to them. Ravens of Honor visualize short and long term successes in Technicolor. They are, through vision, great connectors. Those around them are energized and they use all that surrounds them to create an inspirational bigger picture.

Passion: Passionate Ravens have an unusual ability to face failure, physical setbacks and exhaustion. They have an internal tenacity that helps them get back up when knocked down. Their passion motivates teammates to join in on the pursuit of the team dream. Passion breeds conviction and turns mediocrity into excellence. With passion, we can overcome all obstacles.

Faith & Courage: Ravens of Honor stand tall in the good times as well as the rough times. They are help up by their deep faith in themselves, their teammates and their fans. Inspired by belief in a great destiny, these champions never waver from their victorious path. Faith is belief in what you cannot see. Great vision matched with unbridled passion sets up absolute faith. Faith evokes a special courage and confidence. When matched with action, faith kills worry and procrastination, the two traits which produce regular failure.

Competitive Spirit: True competitors want to be put on the line and measured. They thrive on adversity and use it to achieve a special edge. They know the easy lakes get fished out first, thus they skip the easy. Persistence, determination, tenacity and sportsmanship are the hallmarks of this warrior mentality. Ravens of Honor need character, gratitude, vision, passion and faith to become a championship caliber competitor. There are no shortcuts and they do not look for them, because their competitive fire will not allow them to.

Humility: Humility in oneself inspires the best of others and feeds our character. A vital aspect of the true leadership is the willingness of others to follow.”

Nowhere on that list does it state that a player has to have reached a Pro Bowl as a Raven, which has been believed to be a bit of an unwritten rule within the franchise. In fact, a Ravens executive told me Thursday the qualifications could really be stated as “extraordinary contributions to the NFL, the Ravens and the community.” The same executive was willing to admit however that “it will be more difficult to make our Ring of Honor if the player was never recognized as a Pro Bowler, but it could happen.”

There are a number of current Ravens whose inclusion in the Ring of Honor seems to be as simple a decision as Stover’s. LB Ray Lewis, S Ed Reed and TE Todd Heap all seem to be easy choices after their careers conclude. WR Derrick Mason certainly has an argument. LB Terrell Suggs and DT Haloti Ngata have laid the groundwork for what could ultimately become Ring of Honor careers.

Perhaps a bit more interesting in the list of former Ravens who have not yet been honored. RB Jamal Lewis, CB Chris McAlister, DT Tony Siragusa, OL Edwin Mulitalo  and former Coach Brian Billick (full disclosure-Billick is now a part owner of WNST.net) have all moved on from their careers but have not been honored. General Manager Ozzie Newsome would seem to be a potential future honoree, and LB/contributor O.J. Brigance was the subject of a recent Facebook campaign seeking his induction.

There is an argument as to why any of the above names should be in. The reality is that in the next ten years, the team’s Ring of Honor could grow exponentially.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with being an organization that has a number of great players/contributors afforded significant recognition. An argument could be made that it simply reflects the greatness of the organization to have such an expansive number of ROH honorees.

At the same time, the Ravens do face a dilemma as they consider the future of the way they recognize players. In thirty years, these names will all represent the finest players/contributors in franchise history. The organization must at least be willing to ask the question “will this player’s inclusion still make sense when we look back in 30 years?”

It is a more significant honor than the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame, where a player is simply noted on a tough to find outfield plaque at Oriole Park at Camden Yards after honored at a pregame ceremony and luncheon. Fans don’t have to stare at the names for decades and debate the merit of their inclusion during games the way fans do at M&T Bank Stadium.

We’ve all experienced the moment where someone sitting near us says “did they REALLY put Earnest Byner in the Ring of Honor?” The answer is yes, and we’re all equally uncomfortable about despite our great respect for Mr. Modell.

As the team considers other candidates, they must keep in mind those questions. “Is ______ really in the Ring of Honor? Didn’t he only play here for like four seasons?” “You guys put ______ in the Ring of Honor? Did he ever even get to the Pro Bowl?”

They’ll be relevant questions that Ravens fans will have to answer.

The team doesn’t want to make the requirements for induction more stringent, as they want to be able to make their own decisions about who to induct instead of limiting themselves by instituting additional requirements.

Make no mistake. Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Chris McAlister, Brian Billick, Ozzie Newsome and Todd Heap really should all be in no matter how the team defines the requirements. Ravens fans should always be see those names honored for the greatness they contributed to the franchise and city.

But as far as the others are concerned, the team will have to truly make difficult decisions.

Hear Stover’s press conference-including comments from Bisciotti, Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net! Stover joined Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” Friday on AM1570 WNST, that chat is in the Audio Vault as well!

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