Tag Archive | "AFC Championship"

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Ravens with clear advantage over Patriots on injury report

Posted on 18 January 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Though widely regarded as the underdog for this Sunday’s AFC championship game, the Ravens hold a clear advantage in terms of health if Wednesday’s injury report is any indication.

Safety Ed Reed was the only Baltimore player listed on the report, as the 10-year veteran was limited after turning his left ankle in Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans.

Meanwhile, the Patriots were without starting quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday and listed him as having a left shoulder injury. Brady is not considered to be in any danger of missing Sunday’s game and conducted his Wednesday press conference with the media.

New England listed 14 players as limited participants on Wednesday in a start contrast to the Ravens’ overall state of good health.

BALTIMORE
LIMITED: S Ed Reed (ankle)

NEW ENGLAND
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: QB Tom Brady (left shoulder)
LIMITED: WR Deion Branch (knee), T Marcus Cannon (ankle), S Patrick Chung (knee), LB Dane Fletcher (thumb), TE Aaron Hernandez (concussion), S James Ihedigbo (shoulder), DL Kyle Love (ankle), G Logan Mankins (knee), LB Rob Ninkovich (hip), T Nate Solder (concussion), LB Brandon Spikes (knee), T Sebastian Vollmer (back/foot), WR Wes Welker (knee), LB Tracy White (abdomen)
FULL PARTICIPATION: CB Kyle Arrington (foot), C Dan Connolly (groin), WR Matthew Slater (shoulder)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 16 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Wake Forest @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center), Maryland @ Duke (Sunday 3:30pm from Durham, NC live on ESPNU); Golf: PGA Tour Humana Challenge (Thursday & Friday 3pm Saturday & Sunday 4pm from La Quinta, CA live on Golf Channel), Champions Tour Mitsubishi Electric Championship (Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Ka’upulehu-Kona, HI live on Golf Channel); Boxing: Eddie Chambers vs. Sergei Liakhovic (Saturday 9pm from Philly live on NBC Sports Network); High School Basketball: Woodlawn @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm), Milford Mill @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm)

10. Dru Hill (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Taproot (Saturday 6:30pm Recher Theatre); Jimi Haha (Thursday 8pm 8×10 Club); Aimee Mann (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Ozomatli (Saturday 9pm 9:30 Club); Bryan Adams (Monday 8pm Strathmore)

For those of us in Charm City, Sisqo and the boys from Dru Hill are a bit of royalty-even if they’re not really all that famous anymore.  They were so freaking awesome in the mid-90′s…

I heart Jimi Haha-and not just because I beat the Jimmie’s Chicken Shack/Jarflys frontman a few weeks ago in “Everybody Beats Glenn”…

You’ve probably heard some Ozomatli, even if you don’t think you have…

I love Bryan Adams. So sue me.

9. Adam Carolla (Saturday 8pm & 10pm Fillmore Silver Spring); “Haywire” out in theaters (Friday)

Adam Carolla is a funny hombre. I LOVED him with Dr. Drew on “Loveline”, but I think I loved Crank Yankers even more…

I don’t know if you’d call me “excited” about the pending release of Haywire, but I AM excited about posting another new picture of Gina Carano…

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Your Monday Reality Check-Patriots Game Sunday, Not Yesterday

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Your Monday Reality Check-Patriots Game Sunday, Not Yesterday

Posted on 16 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

In the immediacy of the Baltimore Ravens’ 20-13 AFC Divisional Round playoff victory over the Houston Texans Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, I couldn’t help but notice something strange.

It wasn’t from ALL Baltimore Ravens fans, in fact it was far from it.

Instead it came from a particular group of fans who are regularly quick to over-analyze and are particularly negative. Instead of analyzing the team’s strategy and game play against the AFC South champions, they did something much more strange.

They analyzed the team’s strategy and game play based on their next opponent-the New England Patriots.

I’d like to take this time to do what we call in the radio business “resetting.”

The Baltimore Ravens will face the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts Sunday, January 22nd at 3pm. The game will be seen live on CBS.

In shorter form, the Ravens and the Pats are nearly a week away from facing each other. They were not scheduled to play (that I know of) this past weekend.

Over the weekend, the only team the Ravens were scheduled to play was the Houston Texans. They won that game 20-13 to advance in the National Football League Playoffs.

I can see where it might seem silly, me resetting like this. I just feel the need to do it because of the many responses I’ve seen since Sunday’s game went final.

“Tom Brady would pick apart this defense.”
“Joe Flacco will be embarrassed standing next to Tom Brady.”
“Cam Cameron isn’t aggressive enough to beat the Pats.”

For the record, I intend to make a pick for the AFC Championship Game this Friday on “The Friday Football Frenzy.” For a second straight week, I picked just two of the four NFL Playoff games correctly this weekend. I struggled coming down the stretch in the regular season as well. I picked the Ravens to win 12 of their 16 regular season games this year, and I was right nine times. I also picked the Ravens to lose four games during the regular season-I got only one of those (at San Diego) right.

My point is that I have no issue with someone looking into their crystal ball to guess who will win a football game. No matter how intelligent someone may be however, it is ALWAYS only a guess. No one (not even in Las Vegas-I think) actually has any idea of who will win a game before it happens.

But this is an appropriate thing to do on a Friday (or Thursday perhaps) after spending a few days breaking down the matchups and taking a closer look at the involved parties.

I stress to you-what happened Sunday here in Charm City may (or may not) have ANYTHING to do with what the Ravens will do in their next game against the Pats.

They weren’t playing the Pats Sunday. They didn’t prepare for them. They didn’t face the same matchups that they will face this coming Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Saying “they would have gotten destroyed by the Patriots today” is completely irrelevant. No one on the face of the planet has any idea how the Ravens would have done against the Patriots yesterday.

As the Ravens do prepare for their AFC title showdown, they will have plenty to look at. They will prepare for a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Brady, a MONSTER tight end tandem in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, a rushing attack that has been so inept their leading rusher in their Saturday night win over the Denver Broncos was Hernandez and a defense that ranked next to last in the NFL in the regular season.

In getting ready for the Texans, the Ravens prepared for rookie quarterback T.J. Yates, an all-world rushing attack lead by Arian Foster, one of the finest wide receivers in the game in Andre Johnson and a defense that was statistically ranked second in the NFL in the regular season.

Needless to say, the matchup is much different. The game will almost certainly be played in a different manner.

There is no guarantee that the Ravens will wander into Foxborough, beat the Patriots and march on to Super Bowl XLVI. There is of course no guarantee they’ll see their season come to a close either.

But there IS a guarantee that the NFL won’t move kickoff before the game is played. This one will start at 3pm Sunday, allowing each team a full week to prepare.

The Ravens’ performance against the Patriots could be the exact same as it was against the Texans-but I’ll bet it won’t be. I’ll bet the team has a different gameplan and the Patriots offer a different style of football-perhaps a more quick strike offense.

I say that facetiously.

The game will almost certainly be completely different. I’ll look forward to spending the week looking at matchups. At this point I’m definitely concerned about the 6’6″ tight end who came off the Ravens’ draft board because of a failed physical.

Physical-that’s a funny word to use with him.

Just please be willing to not use Sunday’s performance as an indictment of what the Ravens are going to do on the field in New England.

Carry on.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Joe says he’s ready for Brady vs. Flacco for AFC crown

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Joe says he’s ready for Brady vs. Flacco for AFC crown

Posted on 15 January 2012 by WNSTV

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Odds of Ravens Winning Super Bowl Now at 7/1

Posted on 12 January 2012 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV).

2012 NFL Playoffs – Which Conference will win the Super Bowl?      

AFC                  8/5

NFC                  1/2

2012 NFL Playoffs – How many road teams will win this weekend?   

0                      4/1       

1                      6/5

2                      2/1       

3                      10/1     

4                      125/1   

2012 NFL Playoffs – How many road teams will win this weekend?   

Over                  1½ (+160)

Under                1½  (-200)

2012 NFL Playoffs – Will any game go to Overtime this weekend?     

Yes                  3/1       

No                    1/4       

Exact Playoff Results for Each Team

2012 NFL Playoffs – Green Bay Packers Playoff Progress       

Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     11/4

Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               3/1

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       3/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        9/5

2012 NFL Playoffs – New England Patriots Playoff Progress    

Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     11/2

Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               5/2

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       2/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        11/4

2012 NFL Playoffs – San Francisco 49ers Playoff Progress      

Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     1/2

Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               5/2

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       7/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        13/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Baltimore Ravens Playoff Progress          

Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     5/2

Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               5/6

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       15/4

Super Bowl Champion                                        7/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – New Orleans Saints Playoff Progress       

Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     5/2

Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               1/1

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       11/2

Super Bowl Champion                                        7/2

2012 NFL Playoffs – Houston Texans Playoff Progress            

Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     2/7

Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               7/2

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       15/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        30/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – New York Giants Playoff Progress            

Eliminated in NFC Divisional Round                     2/7

Eliminated in NFC Championship Game               4/1

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       12/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        14/1

2012 NFL Playoffs – Denver Broncos Playoff Progress             

Eliminated in AFC Divisional Round                     1/8

Eliminated in AFC Championship Game               7/1

Super Bowl Runner Up                                       18/1

Super Bowl Champion                                        35/1

Divisonal Playoff Round Stat Leaders

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND – Who will record the most Passing Yards?

Drew Brees (NO) QB                              2/1

Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB                         5/2

Tom Brady (NE) QB                               9/4

Eli Manning (NYG) QB                           5/1

Joe Flacco (BAL) QB                             10/1

Alex Smith (SF) QB                               15/1

Tim Tebow (DEN) QB                             18/1

T.J. Yates (HOU)                                   18/1

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND – Who will record the most Rushing Yards?

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                                4/5

Arian Foster (HOU) RB                           5/2

Frank Gore (SF) RB                               7/2

Willis McGahee (DEN) RB                      4/1

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF WEEKEND – Who will record the most Receiving Yards?        

Wes Welker (NE) WR                            7/2

Marques Colston (NO) WR                     4/1

Rob Gronkowski (NE) TE                        11/2

Hakeem Nicks (NYG) WR                      11/2

Victor Cruz (NYG) WR                           11/2

Jordy Nelson (GB) WR                           7/1

Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR                7/1

Andre Johnson (HOU) WR                      15/2

Anquan Boldin (BAL) WR                       12/1

Michael Crabtree (SF) WR                      15/1

New Orleans at San Francisco

NO                    -3.5

SF                    +3.5

Over/Under      47.5

Passing Yards – Drew Brees (NO)       

Over/Under                    335½

Total TD Passes – Drew Brees (NO)    

Over                              2½  (-175)

Under                            2½ (+145)

Combined Yards in the game – Darren Sproles (NO)  

Over/Under                    175½

Receiving Yards – Marques Colston (NO)        

Over/Under                    82½

Will Jimmy Graham (NO) score a TD in the game?    

Yes                              -150

No                                +120

Passing Yards – Alex Smith (SF)         

Over/Under                    225½

Rushing Yards – Frank Gore (SF)        

Over/Under                    80½

Receiving Yards – Michael Crabtree (SF)       

Over/Under                    62½

Receiving Yards – Vernon Davis (SF)  

Over/Under                    52½

Will the 49ers allow a Rushing TD in the game?        

Yes                              -175

No                                +145

Who will have more turnovers in the game? 

New Orleans Saints                   EVEN

San Francisco 49ers                  -130

Denver at New England

DEN                  +14

NE                     -14

Over/Under      50.5

Passing Yards – Tim Tebow (DEN)                  

Over/Under                    190½

TD Passes – Tim Tebow (DEN)                        

Over                              1½ (+195)

Under                            1½  (-250)

Interceptions – Tim Tebow (DEN)                    

Over                              ½  (-165)

Under                            ½ (+135)

Rushing Yards – Tim Tebow (DEN)                  

Over/Under                    45½

Rushing Attempts – Tim Tebow (DEN)             

Over/Under                    9½

Completions – Tim Tebow (DEN)                     

Over/Under                    11½

Will Tim Tebow (DEN) score a rushing TD in the game?                    

Yes                              +135    

No                                -165    

Receiving Yards – Demaryius Thomas (DEN)              

Over/Under                    72½

Passing Yards – Tom Brady (NE)                      

Over/Under                    325½

Total TD Passes – Tom Brady (NE)      

Over                              2½  (-150)

Under                            2½ (+120)

Receiving Yards – Wes Welker (NE)                

Over/Under                    90½

Receiving Yards – Rob Gronkowski (NE)                     

Over/Under                    82½

Will Rob Gronkowski (NE) score a TD in the game?   

Yes                  -165

No                    +135

Receiving Yards – Aaron Hernandez (NE)                   

Over/Under                    60½

Will Josh McDaniels and Tim Tebow hug at the end of the game?    

Yes                              EVEN

No                                -140

Houston at Baltimore

HOU                 +9

BAL                   -9

Over/Under      35.5

Total Passing Yards – T.J. Yates (HOU)           

Over/Under                    200½

(HOU vs BAL) – What will T.J. Yates have more of?    

TD Passes                    2/1

Interceptions                  2/1

Tie                                7/5

Total Rushing Yards – Arian Foster (HOU)       

Over/Under                    75½

Will Arian Foster (HOU) score a TD in the game?       

Yes                              -110     

No                                -110     

Total Receiving Yards – Andre Johnson (HOU)           

Over/Under                    70½

Total Passing Yards – Joe Flacco (BAL)          

Over/Under                    235½

Will Ray Rice (BAL) score a TD in the game?

Yes                  -200    

No                    +160    

Total Receiving Yards – Anquan Boldin (BAL)            

Over/Under                    62½

Total Tackles & Assists – Terrell Suggs (BAL)

Over/Under                    4½

Who will record more Rushing Yards in the game?   

Arian Foster (HOU) RB               +25½               

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                    -25½

Who will record more Receiving Yards in the game?

Arian Foster (HOU) RB               +4½     

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                    -4½

Total Rushing Yards Houston in the game      

Over/Under                                100½

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

NYG                 +9

GB                    -9

Over/Under      53

Total Passing Yards – Eli Manning (NYG)        

Over/Under                    290½

Total TD Passes – Eli Manning (NYG)  

Over                              2  (-150)

Under                            2 (+120)

Total Receiving Yards – Hakeem Nicks (NYG)

Over/Under                    80½

Total Receiving Yards – Victor Cruz (NYG)      

Over/Under                    80½

Total Tackles & Assists – Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG)      

Over/Under                    5½

Total Passing Yards – Aaron Rodgers (GB)     

Over/Under                    310½

Total TD Passes – Aaron Rodgers (GB)           

Over                              2½  (-165)

Under                            2½ (+135)

Total Receiving Yards – Greg Jennings (GB)  

Over/Under                    75½

Will Greg Jennings (GB) score a TD in the game?     

Over                              -110     

Under                            -110     

Total Receiving Yards – Jordy Nelson (GB)     

Over/Under                    70½

Will Jordy Nelson (GB) score a TD in the game?        

Yes                  EVEN

No                    -130

Total Receiving Yards – Jermichael Finley (GB)         

Over/Under                    50½

(NYG vs GB) – Who will record more Rushing Yards in the game?     

New York Giants            -5½

Green Bay Packers        +5½

How many times will Aaron Rodgers be sacked in the game?           

Over/Under                    2½

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It was fun seeing Pittsburgh lose, but Broncos’ win may cost Ravens Super Bowl

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It was fun seeing Pittsburgh lose, but Broncos’ win may cost Ravens Super Bowl

Posted on 10 January 2012 by Peter Dilutis

Everyone in Baltimore takes pride in seeing the Pittsburgh Steelers lose.

We’ve all seen the shirts.

“I root for two teams: The Ravens and whoever is playing the Steelers.”

That’s all well and good. It’s fun to root against those slimy dirtbags from up north. They’ve ended the Ravens’ season two times in the past three years. They deserve our hatred.

While all of Baltimore is basking in the glory of watching Mike Tomlin and Big Ben walk off the field losers to a mediocre Denver Broncos team, I’m here to remind you that the high we’re all on right now may come at a very steep price.

That price could be the Ravens losing their chance at taking their talents to Indianapolis.

The Ravens are 8-0 at M&T Bank Stadium this year. They are 4-4 on the road, with losses to Tennessee, Jacksonville, Seattle, and San Diego.

Could the Ravens go to Foxborough and knock of New England in the AFC Championship? You bet they could.

Is it likely? I say no.

The Ravens did it in 2009 when they went ran all over the Patriots defense. They definitely have it in them to beat the Patriots in New England.

But an average road team going into New England this year is a much tougher proposition than staying at home in Charm City and facing a hobbled Pittsburgh Steelers team who the Ravens have already defeated twice in 2011.

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Two days later — Nothing matters now except beating Pittsburgh this Sunday

Posted on 01 November 2011 by Drew Forrester

That the Ravens struggled to beat the lowly Arizona Cardinals was a surprise to most of us, but in the aftermath of Sunday’s 30-27 thriller, the best thing to do is simply put it behind you and focus on something else much more important.

Joe Flacco beating Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh this Sunday.

That’s how it’s going to be viewed and, honestly, that’s the territory you’re in if you’re Flacco and you play in the AFC North and your first three seasons have been filled with losses at Heinz Field that have either ended your season or temporarily halted your drive to the playoffs.

Five Heinz Field visits for Flacco and four losses, with the only win coming against Charlie (Brown) Batch last October when Big Ben was suspended.

It should be noted, of course, that John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ray Rice also have the same record (1-4) as Flacco in those five trips to Pittsurgh since 2008.

It is, after all, a team game, and the Steelers have routinely had the Ravens’ number at Heinz Field in the John Harbaugh era.

But these days, the NFL game is mainly about your quarterback – as the Colts are proving week in and week out – and this Sunday’s affair will be won by one of the two guys behind center.

Which one?

I’m guessing Roethlisberger, simply because he’s done it time and time against the Ravens, but I sure as hell hope I’m wrong.

Roethlisberger is, of course, what we all want Joe Flacco to be.  He’s a gamer, a winner and a guy who doesn’t always look the part, but somehow usually winds up on top when the final whistle blows.  Yes, sort of like Flacco’s performance against the Cardinals on Sunday.  He wasn’t any good in the first half, but Flacco put the offense on his back in the final 30 minutes and made the throws that mattered in rallying his team from a 24-6 halftime deficit.  It was very Ben-esque.

That’s actually become a major part of the problem here in Baltimore as the fans go through their week-to-week evaluation of Flacco.  They want him to be something he’s not.  They’re asking for Joe to be Brady or Manning or Roethlisberger or Brees when, honestly, he’s not even Matt Schaub yet.  He can’t run from the numbers he’s posted this season to date – 8 TD’s, 6 INT’s and 7 fumbles.  Those look like something Bruce Gradkowski might post.  At the 7-game mark, those aren’t good for a starting quarterback who has taken every snap thus far. But he’s performed *well enough* in 4 of the team’s 5 wins to date and it’s safe to say that without him, Baltimore wouldn’t be 5-2.

But the seven games played are history and what’s next is what’s important now.

Beating Pittsburgh on Sunday in their building.

Last January as I walked across the bridge leaving Heinz Field and headed for the bus and a sorrow-filled 4 hour ride back to Baltimore, I went as far as to say that everything the Ravens would do in preparation for this 2011 season should be done with one thing in mind:  ”Does it help us beat the Steelers?”  Every player signing, every cut, every draft pick, every trade…every single player that puts purple on in 2011 should wear that jersey only after the front office has answered “yes!” to the question, “Does this guy help us beat Pittsburgh?”

If the Ravens go there and lay an egg on Sunday, it’s not the end of the world and AFC supremacy is still very much up for anyone to take.  For those of you keeping score at home, there was a playoff team LAST season that only scored one touchdown in 4 of their 16 regular season games.  Talk about an up-and-down offense.  In 25% of their games a season ago, that team only managed to reach the end zone one time.  Know who it was?  The team that won the Super Bowl.  Included in those four one-TD games was a 7-3 loss at Detroit in December, for those of you who don’t remember how the Packers 2010 season went on a week-to-week basis.  So if the Ravens don’t win on Sunday, it’s not like the season ends.

But if they do go to Pittsburgh and lose — and Roethlisberger once again outduels Flacco at Heinz Field — it will simply be a case of the same old-same old.  And it will serve as a stark reminder to the Ravens that the AFC North still goes through the Steel City, no matter what the opening day score in Baltimore might have suggested, and it’s largely controlled by the play of Roethlisberger, aka “The Ravens Killer”.

If the Ravens can’t win on Sunday in Pittsburgh, they’re just another team who can’t win a big game at Heinz Field.

And at some point soon, the Ravens and Flacco are going to have to shed that label if they want to be great.

The Steelers figured that in order to be great THIS season, they couldn’t let Tom Brady come in to their building and beat them this past Sunday.  New England lost.

If the Ravens truly have a great team — and Lord knows none of us REALLY knows which Ravens team will show up this Sunday – they’ll go in there and figure out a way to steal a win.  It might be 13-10 with Flacco managing an efficient passing game and Ray Rice churning out 94 yards on the ground.  Or it could be 27-21 with Flacco forced to take the offense downfield in an impressive 2-minute drive to end the game, similar to the manner in which he operated under pressure last October when his final minute TD throw to T.J. Houshmandzadeh gave the Ravens a win over Batch and Company.

A win is a win.

The Ravens need one this Sunday.

And so does Joe Flacco.

If he’s honestly going to work his way up the ladder of NFL quarterbacks and dance near that “elite” level, Joe has to handle the pressure of Sunday’s game and leave Heinz Field a winner.

It’s a quarterbacks league.

Your guy wins it for you.  Or the other guy wins it for them.

This one is on Flacco.  That’s a lot of pressure to put on the quarterback, but it’s the same pressure applied to Roethlisberger last Sunday when he welcomed Tom Brady into his stadium and walked away a winner 60 minutes later.

Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh will come down to Joe Flacco’s ability to rise to the occasion.

How will he handle it?

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The Reality Check Presents “The Five Plays That Have Defined Ravens History”

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The Reality Check Presents “The Five Plays That Have Defined Ravens History”

Posted on 11 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

With no game to offer analysis for this weekend, Ryan Chell and I decided to go a different way with our Tuesday “Five Plays” segment. Instead of “The Five Plays That Determined The Game”, we went with “The Five Plays That Have Defined Baltimore Ravens History.”

Interesting, huh?

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Tony Siragusa pancakes Oakland Raiders QB Rich Gannon in the AFC Championship Game (January 2001)

gannon

4. Le’Ron McClain 82 yard TD run against the Dallas Cowboys to close Cowboys Stadium (December 2008)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzGRUNJorz8&feature=related[/youtube]

3. Steve McNair intercepted by Indianapolis Colts DB  Nick Harper in AFC Divisional Round playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium (January 2007)

harper

2. Kyle Boller drops ball, Denver Broncos DL Demetrin Veal recovers fumble (December 2005)

boller

1. Ray Lewis breaks up pass intended for Eddie George, returns INT for touchdown against Tennessee Titans in AFC Divisional Round (January 2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRlIEMhv-ZE[/youtube]

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“The Reality Check” Week 1 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 08 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Power Rankings…

32. Oakland Raiders

I’m well aware they went 6-0 against the AFC West last year. They had Nnamdi Asomugha and Zach Miller then. I’m thinking like The Who now. I “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” The Raiders stink.

31. San Francisco 49ers

I don’t think an organization can have a “lose on purpose” philosophy. I think it’s impossible to convince a group of men to not try to win. But if a team was shaping up to get Andrew Luck, it would be the Niners.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

If I’m Jack Del Rio, I’m asking for the Jags to just go ahead and fire me now. The move is puzzling, but the bigger puzzle is “what will the name of the team be when they move to Los Angeles”?

29. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers actually went out and got a couple of players this offseason. Winning games will be predicated on Cam Newton progressing. It’s no guarantee, but they might have a chance.

28. Washington Redskins

If they didn’t have to play a quarterback they’d be higher in my rankings. Since I hate the Skins I smile a bit every time I hear the name Rex Grossman.

27. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincy’s defense is too good to be the worst team in the NFL, but Andy Dalton looks to be one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL at the moment.

26. Cleveland Browns

I’m not buying into Colt McCoy helping the Browns take the “next step.” I don’t think they’re very good and I don’t think it’s changing soon.

25. Tennessee Titans

If Matt Hasselbeck played all 16 games, the Titans would win 8. He won’t and they won’t.

24. Buffalo Bills

I don’t like much about the Bills, but I’ll give Ryan Fitzpatrick the benefit of the doubt. He was pretty good last year, perhaps he’ll be fairly decent again this season.

23. Seattle Seahawks

Once again, it’s a shame teams aren’t allowed to play without quarterbacks. They’d likely win more games with David Garrard than with Tavaris Jackson.

22. Minnesota Vikings

I’m gonna go ahead and guess that Donovan McNabb doesn’t play 16 games this season. I know I’m really going out on a limb.

21. Miami Dolphins

I like Daniel Thomas. I like Brandon Marshall. I like the Phins’ defense. I just don’t understand why I don’t like the Dolphins more.

20. Denver Broncos

I don’t like Kyle Orton nearly as much as some others do. But there’s probably more to like about the Broncos than I’m willing to give them credit for.

19. Dallas Cowboys

I can’t figure out if the Cowboys need to rebuild or simply retool. They clearly didn’t do enough this offseason either way. A healthy Tony Romo helps, but does it really make them a contender in the NFC East?

18. Arizona Cardinals

I immediately regret putting the Cards ahead of the Cowboys on this list, but if Kevin Kolb is any good at all the Cardinals have a great chance at winning the NFC West. There’s talent on both sides of the ball.

17. St. Louis Rams

Love Sam Bradford. Love Steven Jackson. Question marks just about everywhere else. Still think they win the division.

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Harvey Updyke Story Strikes at Nature of Rivalry in Sports

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Harvey Updyke Story Strikes at Nature of Rivalry in Sports

Posted on 17 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

There’s nothing in sports I enjoy more than rivalry.

I can honestly say that I became a sports fan growing up more because of the pageantry and tradition that I saw on display when I attended events than because of any of the athletic abilities I had the pleasure of witnessing.

As I’ve continued to follow sports both as a fan and analyst, there’s little I’ve enjoyed more than the nature of rivalry.

My father’s family has roots in Akron, Ohio. I fully understood growing up why Ohio State-Michigan was simply more important than any other game.

When Peyton Manning was at Tennessee, the youth minister at my church (David Robinson-now the minister at Community Christian Church in White Marsh) convinced me that nothing mattered more then when the Volunteers took on Florida. Given the results, maybe he shouldn’t have hyped these games up so much.

During the two years I was at KDUS in Phoenix, I dove fully into the Arizona-Arizona State “Territorial Cup” rivalry. I knew more about Chuck Cecil than any young man from Charm City would ever have a reason to.

But as someone who was born and lived in Baltimore for all but two of 27 years, there have been a few rivalries that have particularly stood out.

From 1995-1999, my life came to a halt whenever the Baltimore Orioles opened a series with the New York Yankees.

From 1999-2004, the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans stole my attention unlike any other National Football League contest could.

But since 1992, I learned the nature of what the word “rivalry” really meant by watching the Maryland Terrapins take on the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils.

I had no idea at the time that most sports fans worldwide really didn’t consider any of those games I was losing sleep over to truly be “rivalries.”

The reality is that the much truer forms of rivalry in the area were embodied by Calvert Hall & Loyola, City & Poly and Maryland & Johns Hopkins lacrosse.

As an adult who has made his living in the sports industry, I have found myself particularly interested in three very true forms of rivalry.

Every year I make the trip to see Army battle Navy in football, whether I have covered any other Midshipmen games that season at all. I’ve argued that the Army-Navy Game is the greatest institution in all of sports, and I’ve yet to be convinced otherwise.

The hoops rivalry between Morgan State and Coppin State is of particular interest to me. My grandmother spent more than a decade as an English professor on Hillen Road, and I waited a long time in my life to see the resurgence of the Bears’ basketball program that Todd Bozeman has provided. That being said, I view Fang Mitchell as a pillar of this city’s sports community and someone who deserves the admiration and respect of anyone who calls this place home.

But clearly the rivalry that I am most involved with is the rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens that many NFL pundits now believe is amongst the best the sport has to offer.

As the Ravens prepared to visit Heinz Field this January for their AFC Divisional Round playoff game, Drew Forrester and I tossed around a notion of “making a sacrifice” in hopes of seeing the Ravens get over the hump against their rivals from the Steel City. We agreed one day on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST that we would march with sandwich boards of gratitude at the Royal Farms on Providence Road in Towson should the Ravens be victorious.

We all know the outcome of January’s playoff game. Drew and I never made such a sacrifice.

During our week of Super Bowl XLV coverage from the Sheraton in Dallas, Texas; Drew, Nestor Aparicio and I found ourselves frustrated by the number of former Steelers who were parading around Radio Row and celebrating another AFC Championship, even if their team would go on to fail to claim a seventh Vince Lombardi Trophy.

We often remarked, “this is what happens when the Ravens can’t beat the Steelers.”

As we thought about next year’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, I asked a question that didn’t necessarily have an obvious answer.

“What could we do as a civic group to help the Ravens get past the Steelers this year.”

I’m well aware of how goofy that question sounds, but I was genuinely wondering if there was something we could do as a fanbase to lift the Ravens up. The public outcry regarding the return of Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

My question was dismissed, as we all know that it will be the players and coaches that will decide whether or not the Ravens can finally get past their AFC North rivals.

But in Alabama this week, a story has been made public regarding how one fan decided to take the “Iron Bowl” rivalry into his own hands.

By now, you’ve probably heard the story of Harvey Almorn Updyke, who was arrested for criminal mischief in connection to the poisoning of the famous “Toomer’s Corner” trees at Auburn. Toomer’s Corner is the traditional gathering spot for Tigers fans to celebrate a big win, as fans would cover the trees in toilet paper. You can see an example of such a celebration in this YouTube video following Auburn’s BCS Championship Game win over Oregon in January…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iso55KnPCXc[/youtube]

The Auburn-Alabama rivalry apparently meant so much to Updyke that he (allegedly) decided he needed to take things into his own hands.

Updyke is believed to have phoned into the Paul Finebaum radio show (Finebaum is a media mogul in SEC Country) January 27 under the name “Al from Dadesville” announcing he had taken herbicide to the trees. He ended his call by saying simply “Roll Damn Tide.”

Updyke has since claimed in court that he was not responsible for the poisoning of the trees.

The crime has been met with mixed reactions by Crimson Tide fans. Some have denounced the activity, but others have stood behind the action as a statement in the heated rivalry. In fact, National Football Post pointed out Thursday that “Free Harvey Updyke” t-shirts are now available

updyke

The entire situation is interesting to me. As someone who loves the nature of a rivalry, I can’t help but enjoy rivalry pranks. When the Army Cadets steal “Bill the Goat” from Annapolis, I find humor. When rival high schools paint logos on each others’ campus, I tend to believe the kids involved should be absolved from punishment.

But rivalry can certainly cross a line into a violent, unacceptable area. Just two weeks ago, a City-Edmondson game was stopped in the second half due to violence between rival fans in the Baltimore gymnasium.

That’s clearly unacceptable.

The Updyke case is interesting. The alleged actions are deemed as criminal, so they cannot possibly be passed off as “acceptable” or as part of the nature of a rivalry.

But I wonder how we would feel today if we were Alabama fans.

Listener John from Towson, Ozzie Newsome, Jarret Johnson and Le’Ron McClain are notable Baltimoreans who ARE Alabama fans. WJZ-TV’s Marty Bass has a daughter in Tuscaloosa himself.

I haven’t reached out to anyone in that group yet because that’s not necessarily the nature of the column.

The bigger question is whether or not we would support similar activity should it be based in the Ravens-Steelers rivalry.

As the Steel City is by no means aesthetically pleasing, it’s not necessarily a fair comparison.

But if there were a park…or a field…or a garden that Steelers fans revered, would we celebrate should it meet a demise at the hands of a Ravens fan?

I’d like to think I wouldn’t, but I’m not sure.

We’ve all seen the pictures of a Ravens fan urinating on the grave of former Baltimore Colts owner Bob Irsay in Indy. While I have stated that I would never support or participate in such actions, I also would be sympathetic in a response. Should someone have been arrested in connection to the pictures, I would probably be of the opinion that the guilty party deserved some form of leniency, as the nature of sports rivalry can sometimes lead to lewd, maybe even despicable behavior.

I don’t believe it’s necessarily okay for a Ravens fan to urinate on the grave of Robert Irsay, but I don’t believe there should be severe punishment for someone who did.

So if Baltimore had it’s own “Harvey Updyke”, I’m not sure how I would feel.

Would I see him as a renegade who committed a shameful act regardless of my overwhelming support for the Ravens and disdain for the Steelers?

Or would I see him as a folk hero of sorts, who didn’t hurt anyone but made a memorable statement in the history of a sports rivalry.

The rivalry between the Ravens and the Steelers will NEVER be as intense as the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama, so it might not be a fair comparison. But it’s an interesting discussion point nonetheless.

I’d like to think I would denounce the activity…but I can’t say for sure that I would.

-G

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