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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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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 13 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball: Maryland @ Delaware State (Sunday 4pm from Dover); High School Basketball: Perry Hall @ Parkville (Wednesday 6:30pm), Meade @ Glen Burnie (Friday 7pm); Soccer: MISL-Omaha Vipers @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena)

10. Usher (Friday 8pm Verizon Center); Sean Kingston (Tuesday 6pm Rams Head Live), Alter Bridge (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), KIX (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Wu-Tang Clan (Sunday 8pm Sonar); Aaron Neville (Thursday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Joe Satriani (Wednesday 8pm Strathmore), O.A.R. (Saturday 8pm Strathmore), Kenny Rogers (Sunday 5pm Strathmore); John Waters Christmas (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere); Michael Jackson “MICHAEL” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

There’s a ZERO percent chance I won’t be in Bethesda Saturday night. OF A REVOLUTION…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Typ01AiVz4[/youtube]

I would never go see Sean Kingston live, but I’ll admit that I kinda dig a few of his tunes…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6giXgG6qQzo[/youtube]

I prefer my Creed to be not so Scott Stapp-y. That’s why I don’t mind Alter Bridge so much…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYG3BPvFOgs[/youtube]

And while I might dig listening to the ol’ graybeard croon “The Gambler”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn481KcjvMo[/youtube]

I feel like I might actually prefer another Kenny Rogers show…

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

9. Glenn Clark’s annual Christmas party (Friday, time and location withheld)

It’s not that I won’t tell you where the party is because I don’t want you to be there. It’s that I can’t tell you for legal reasons. It’s somewhere on the Eastern Side of Baltimore County…sometime this week. Here are some pictures from past parties. You might understand more…

xmas
xmas
xmas

These are simply the ones I’m allowed to show you. It’s going to be epic…and it WILL involve me reading everyone “The Polar Express” at 2am like we were in 4th grade. That’s the way it is.

8. College Football: New Mexico Bowl-BYU vs. UTEP (Saturday 2pm from Albuquerque live on ESPN), uDrove Humanitarian Bowl-Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State (Saturday 5:30pm from Boise live on ESPN), R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Ohio University vs. Troy (Saturday 9pm from New Orleans live on ESPN)

You know it’s a bad week when THESE games somehow make the list.

I’m not really sure how I can make any of these sound appealing, so I won’t bother.

The FCS semifinals are also next weekend, and I know who I’m rooting for. Georgia Southern is at Delaware Friday night. Since Joe Flacco played for the Blue Hens, I’m with them. Villanova visits Eastern Washington Friday night, and there’s no doubt I’ll be pulling for the Wildcats. What do I have against EWU? Well, it’s the alma mater of a certain clown on ESPN Radio…

cowherd

There’s simply no chance I’m pulling for the school that gave us Colin Cowherd.

7. College Basketball: UMBC @ Morgan State (Saturday 7pm Hill Field House); American @ UMBC (Tuesday 7:30pm RAC Arena); Loyola @ Georgetown (Saturday 12pm from Verizon Center live on MASN)

I’m not legally allowed to type the word Georgetown without immediately following it up with this…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voa9p1zyRy4[/youtube]

I prefer “elated” Gary Williams to “angry” Gary Williams myself.

6. Boxing: Bernard Hopkins vs. Jean Pascal (Saturday 10pm from Quebec City, Canada live on Showtime), “The Fighter” opens in theaters (Friday)

I found my way onto a screening list for “The Fighter” Tuesday night in White Marsh, and I’m sorta excited. It looks like a really good flick…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71l-kIhJ5j8[/youtube]

Of course, if we’re talking boxing movies, I guess I need to make sure I give a nod to the Hall of Famer…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN8T2S9Z_yU[/youtube]

5. NBA: Los Angeles Lakers @ Washington Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ New Jersey Nets (Thursday 7pm from East Rutherford, NJ live on Comcast SportsNet), Miami Heat @ Washington Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Charlotte Bobcats @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

The circus comes to DC Saturday night, as LeBron James and the preseason NBA champion Heat pay a visit. I wonder what my buddy Mike Polk thinks about it…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIe23C1NvU4[/youtube]

4. NHL: Anaheim Ducks @ Washington Capitals (Wednesday 7pm from Washington live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ Boston Bruins (Saturday 7pm from Boston live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Washington Capitals @ Ottawa Senators (Sunday 7:30pm from Ottawa live on Comcast SportsNet)

The DUCKS play the Caps this week? The DUCKS? I know where my support will be…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyVF1glhAfk[/youtube]

Gordon Bombay is a hero.

3. Mixed Martial Arts: WEC-Benson Henderson vs. Anthony Pettis (Thursday 9pm from Phoenix live on VERSUS)

There are a group of MMA fighters who are probably going to be a BIT distracted before their big event this week. I mean, they’re headed to Arizona of all places. There’s a little bit going on in the Valley of the Sun…

uofa

(Edit from GMC: I’m well aware that Arizona is in Tucson, not Phoenix. I’m also well aware that Arizona State girls are hotter. But I always post pictures of ASU girls. It was time for me to give a nod to gals from the U of A.)

2. Pro Wrestling: WWE Tribute to the Troops (Saturday 9pm from Fort Hood, Texas on NBC), WWE TLC (Sunday 8pm from Houston live on Pay-Per-View)

A couple of things here. One-the WWE may not be headed to Iraq of Afghanistan like usual, but the military special is ALWAYS the coolest thing they do every year. Just an awesome concept and event. I really dig it.

Speaking of cool concepts-it’s ALWAYS a good thing when the company hosts an event that incorporates Tables, Ladders and Chairs…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm0E8pliM4Y[/youtube]

1. NFL: New Orleans Saints @ Baltimore Ravens (Sunday 1pm from M&T Bank Stadium live on FOX)

I was really hoping this wasn’t going to be a showdown of 2nd place teams when I looked at the schedule before the season.

In honor of Reggie Bush coming to Charm City, I think there’s only one photo that can finish up this list this week. NO-it’s not a picture of the Heisman Trophy, but I appreciate your humor. I think losing this HAD to be more painful than losing the Heisman for the former USC star…

kimk

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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A Tale of Two Johns: Like Cooper Had to Beat Michigan, Harbaugh Has to Beat Steelers

Posted on 08 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

2-5 isn’t quite 2-10-1.

That being said, 2-5 might not be a totally fair representation.

Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh has learned a tough lesson this week following his team’s heartbreaking 13-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday.

In Baltimore-much like in Columbus, Ohio-fans simply won’t accept rivalry losses.

John Cooper was a tremendous college football coach. During a head coaching career at Tulsa, Arizona State, and Ohio State that spanned from 1977-2000; Cooper posted a 192-84-6 record and tallied nine conference championships.

Cooper was the head coach of the Buckeyes from 1988-2000. He went 111-43-4 during that span, claiming three Big Ten titles. Cooper guided the Buckeyes to bowl appearances in 11 of his 13 seasons and finished with a losing record only once-his first season in Columbus. Cooper counted wins in both the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl during his time as the Buckeyes’ head man, and played in bowl games on New Year’s Day or later an impressive nine times.

Cooper had incredible success as the Head Coach at Ohio State. The type of success that might have earned him the right to determine his own fate. “Might have” if not for one glaring problem.

2-10-1.

As head man in Columbus, Cooper’s Buckeyes posted just a 2-10-1 record against the Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State’s biggest rival.

It wasn’t just that Cooper’s teams struggled in their regular season finale against the opponent alumni and fans despised the most. The bigger problem was that Ohio State’s battles with Michigan regularly determined the final outcome for the Buckeyes’ season.

In 1993, Ohio State entered the Michigan game with a 9-0-1 record, but a 28-0 loss in Ann Arbor cost them an outright conference title. In 1995, Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George lead the Buckeyes back to Ann Arbor with an undefeated record and national title dreams. After a 31-23 defeat, the Buckeyes were sent to the Citrus Bowl instead.

1996 provided the greatest heartbreak for the Buckeyes in the John Cooper era, as they entered the Michigan game again undefeated and ranked #2 in the country. The Buckeyes had a 9-0 lead at halftime against Lloyd Carr’s Wolverines, but ultimately fell 13-9 at home.

OSU would eventually win another game against Michigan under Cooper in 1998, but they never posted back to back wins in the series under his guide. Cooper was fired following an 8-4 campaign in 2000. While academic and off-field troubles surrounding the program played a role in his firing, his record against Michigan ultimately played a major role.

In fact, when new coach Jim Tressel took over in Columbus he made a point to put special emphasis on the Michigan rivalry. After the former Youngstown State head coach was hired by the Buckeyes, he made a memorable halftime speech at a Ohio State-Michigan basketball game, according to ESPN.com…

“I can assure you that you will be proud of our young people, in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the football field.”

Following Sunday’s loss, Harbaugh now holds a 2-5 record against the Ravens’ heated AFC North rivals, including the 2009 AFC Championship Game.

(Every Ravens fan knows that both of Harbaugh’s wins in the rivalry came in games where Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was not on the field. That’s why the 2-5 record may not be such a fair representation.)

In 2008, Harbaugh’s second loss to the Steelers cost the Ravens a shot at the division title and forced them to hit the road in the playoffs. After a hard fought divisional round win over the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, the Ravens appeared flat when they hit the field for the conference title game at Heinz Field. Harbaugh’s third loss to the Steelers cost the Ravens a trip to Tampa Bay to face the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

(Harbaugh’s first loss to the Steelers-a Week 4 Monday Night Football defeat early in 2008-was also a loss that could have earned the Ravens home field advantage had they won the game. Week 4 losses just don’t tend to be quite as agonizing as losses in Week 15.)

Harbaugh’s fourth loss to the Steelers wasn’t quite as crushing. Despite losing in the Steel City in late 2009, the Ravens held on to earn a Wild Card playoff berth via a tiebreaker after the teams finished with matching 9-7 records.

Harbaugh’s fifth loss in the series shapes up to be as crushing if not more than any of the others. Had the Ravens held on for a Week 13 win over the Steelers, they would have controlled their own destiny (and actually held a one game margin of error) to win the division, receive a first round bye and host a playoff game in the divisional round.

The Ravens were a home win over the Steelers away from having a significantly clearer path to Dallas and a chance to again play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy this season.

We know now that the path isn’t so clear.

Had Sunday’s loss been to the Cincinnati Bengals or Cleveland Browns, it would have been difficult for fans to stomach. Sunday’s loss was particularly costly, and it would have left a dark cloud hanging over Charm City no matter who the opponent had been.

Yet because it was a rivalry loss, because it was the Steelers, there is simply no doubt that the black cloud left by the defeat remains darker than anything that came from fires on The Block or in Mt. Vernon.

(As an aside, does anyone see symbolism in the fact that the city has dealt with multiple REAL black clouds after a Steelers loss?)

The fact is, this fanbase CANNOT stomach losses to the Steelers, especially not losses of such magnitude. Losses hurt, but losses to the Steelers are absolute gut punches.

As Drew Forrester and I opined last week on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, this city doesn’t look at a Ravens loss to the Steelers as a NFL loss. The city tends to look at such losses as a loss to the city of Pittsburgh in general. There’s a natural feeling that it wasn’t a football team that won on Sunday night, but instead the entire Western Pennsylvania area.

It leads to frustration, pain and anger. As I wrote immediately following Sunday night’s game, the ability for fans to be rational goes completely out the window after a loss to the Steelers.

Harbaugh found that out Tuesday night during his radio show on WBAL.

A caller to the show questioned Harbaugh on the job status of DL Coach Clarence Brooks, one of the more respected assistants on the Ravens’ staff.

Harbaugh didn’t handle the question well, chiming back “Clarence Brooks does a great job. We will fight our tails off. If that’s not enough, then find another team to root for” according to the National Football Post.

It wasn’t the only time Harbaugh lost his cool during the show. Again according to NFP, Harbaugh also explained at one point: “if you’re not proud of this football team, then you don’t know football.”

Harbaugh probably didn’t handle the questions the best way he could have. There’s no doubt that his frustration reflected poorly with the fans who were listening, even if his answers were fair.

But the problem wasn’t the response. The problem was the result.

Ravens fans are NEVER going to be accepting of losses to the Steelers.

When the Ravens lose to the Steelers, the fanbase is going to respond poorly. This won’t be the last time a John Harbaugh-coached Ravens team plays the Steelers with major AFC North or overall playoff ramifications. In fact, the majority of the games the two teams will play against each other will be played with a lot on the line.

While college football and the NFL aren’t similar in many ways, this is an area where the rivalry is much like Ohio State-Michigan.

It isn’t just a rivalry because the two teams (or fanbases) don’t like each other. Ole Miss and Mississippi State don’t like each other, but their games rarely mean much of anything in the SEC. Ravens-Steelers games regularly mean a lot in the AFC.

The comparison is something John Harbaugh should really understand. John went to Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor. His father (Jack Harbaugh) was an assistant under Bo Schembechler at Michigan. His brother (Jim Harbaugh) was a quarterback for the Maize and Blue. (Jim’s teams were 3-1 against Ohio State.) Ohio State-Michigan is in John Harbaugh’s blood.

In that way, Harbaugh probably understands well what happened to Cooper at Ohio State. Hopefully that understanding can be transcendent.

If John Harbaugh is going to succeed as the Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens, he is going to HAVE to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

There’s just no getting around that.

Harbaugh is not in jeopardy of being run out of town like Cooper was at Ohio State.

I repeat, Harbaugh’s job is NOT in jeopardy. Certainly not at this point anyway.

But if he’s going to succeed here long-term, he’s going to HAVE to beat the Steelers. If not, a few annoying calls to a radio show will turn into general discontent, and eventually a much more vitriolic fanbase.

That’s what happened to Cooper in Columbus.

Harbaugh doesn’t have to win EVERY game against the Steelers. Since taking over at Ohio State, Tressel has gone 9-1 against the rival Wolverines, which isn’t a realistic expectation for Harbaugh against the Steelers.

But he has to start winning SOME meaningful games against the Steelers, or the Ravens won’t accomplish the things they need to for Harbaugh to be successful as a Head Coach.

And if 2-5 is a pace that continues for Harbaugh against the Steelers, Harbaugh’s story will likely have a similar ending as Cooper’s.

-G

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Former Agent Josh Luchs confesses about giving money to NFL players, Janet Jackson tickets to Ogden

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Former Agent Josh Luchs confesses about giving money to NFL players, Janet Jackson tickets to Ogden

Posted on 13 October 2010 by Ryan Chell

Just imagine future Hall-of-Famer Jonathan Ogden, all 6’9” 340 pounds of him, yelling and screaming like a teenage girl fifteen some years ago at of all places-a Janet Jackson concert.

You wouldn’t believe it. Well, it did happen, according to a former NFL agent in Josh Luchs, who has spent 20 years in the business of trying to sign future NFL stars before they join in the league. How does he know?

Josh Luchs
He was there with Ogden.

But believe this: Ogden apparently took the tickets as a gift from Luchs, which is a minor violation of the rules governing gifts NCAA athletes and future NFL players can receive from agents before signing on as a client.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 13 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because once again I get to name two new “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” The first addition is the “new” addition to the list…”Grenade” by Bruno Mars…he played it on Saturday Night Live and it kicked a little ass…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kfkTJCv4j8[/youtube]

The “retro” version of TGSOATTW? It’s also Lesson 3 for “Boomer Sooner” as I prepare her for her first Dave Matthews Band show in November. It’s “#41″…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEbb621s_GI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. National Football Post’s Matt Bowen says Ravens, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers all playing better football than any NFC team

At this point, that’s probably true.

My hunch tells me that the only NFC teams that could end up being TRUE Super Bowl contenders would be the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants.

The Saints don’t look like Super Bowl contenders right now, but that’s mostly because they can’t run the ball. They’ll get Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush back, and they should be able to run again. The Green Bay Packers can get back on that list should they figure out a way to run the ball-but I don’t see that happening if Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn are the primary backs.

The point is-those three aforementioned teams are the only teams that look like they can stand up next to the three premiere AFC teams-at least the three that have stood out thus far.

The good news for the Ravens is that as of right now-this season is shaping up to be a season about “balance.” In recent years, teams that have won have tended to have the most powerful offenses or simply the best quarterbacks.

Early on this year, the teams that have had the most success appear to be the teams that are the most balanced. If it remains that way, the Ravens should be in good shape.

Of course, we know damn well that things can change quickly in the NFL.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s John Eisenberg says 4-1 start doesn’t ‘guarantee’ anything for rest of season

Of course not. But if it guarantees that Jamie Edmondson takes more pictures in Ravens gear, than 4-1 was PLENTY WORTH IT! (Thanks SI with tip from Derek Arnold!)

jamieedmondson

3. Boston Globe’s Monique Walker says New England Patriots still remember AFC Wild Card playoff loss to Ravens last season

This was a topic I discussed yesterday during Ravens Reports on AM1570 WNST. There will almost definitely be some level of a “revenge” factor when it comes to the Patriots Sunday. Bill Belichick is a proud man. Tom Brady is a proud man. These are men who will CERTAINLY remember the embarrassing fashion in which they were dismissed at Gillette Stadium in January.

Does that mean that the Ravens will quickly run into a buzzsaw in Foxborough? Not necessarily. But do I think this Patriots team will look at this game with a bit more significance than other games? Sure.

Should I ask another question and follow it up with another quick answer? I think I’ve run the course.

4. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says John Harbaugh, Ravens concerned with Pats returner Brandon Tate

Before we move on from the on-field Ravens, a couple of things…

-Harbaugh apparently reiterated on his radio show last night that CB Josh Wilson’s hamstring injury is not a major concern. I say “apparently” because I didn’t listen to the show personally. How could I? The replay of “The Morning Reaction” was on WNST!

-The Ravens are back in action today at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills. We’ll be out there all day with full coverage; so make sure you’re tuned into AM1570, following us on Twitter (@WNST) and checking back in at WNST.net throughout the day. We’re expected to hear from Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and others before practice.

-And this picture of Ray Rice-which has been passed around Facebook over the last 24 hours (add me by searching “Glenn Clark” and adding the best looking person you find) is kinda awesome…

rayrice

5. SI’s George Dohrmann says former Ravens OT Jonathan Ogden admitted accepting benefits from agent Josh Luchs while at UCLA

The funniest part of the story is Luchs saying that during an entire Janet Jackson concert, J.O. screamed “Janet!” at the stage. Of course, I might do the same thing if she was rocking out a little “All For You”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2KabvvLF7M[/youtube]

For the record, Luchs maintains that he did NOT pay or give benefits to either Ravens TE Todd Heap or LB Terrell Suggs while he was working with Gary Wichard and pursuing them at Arizona State.

Did you miss Josh Luchs with Drew Forrester and Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Wednesday morning on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Dabo Swinney (Clemson Football Coach)-who joined Drew Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” to preview the Tigers’ contest with the Terrapins Saturday
  • Craig Laughlin (Washington Capitals Color Analyst-Comcast SportsNet)-who joined Drew Wednesday to talk some Caps hockey
  • AJ Daulerio (Deadspin Editor)-who joined Drew Wednesday to discuss the Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger controversy
  • Ralph Cindrich (Long-time NFL agent)-who joined Drew Wednesday to offer his opinion on the Josh Luchs story
  • Jon Anik (host of ESPN’s “MMA Live”)-who joined Thyrl and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Marcellus Wiley (ESPN)-who went around the NFL with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports)-who discussed his new book “Death to the BCS” with Thyrl Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault-so consider today planned. Again. Because I’m awesome like that. Again.

6. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Buck Showalter had surgery Tuesday in Texas, no decisions imminent for Orioles coaching staff

Impossible.

There’s no chance that human injuries could affect a superhuman like Buck Showalter enough that he required knee surgery. I refuse to believe it.

That being said, the handful of folks who are waiting for news about the Birds’ coaching staff will have to keep waiting. In the meantime, MASN passed along that the O’s are apparently interested in Seibu Lions SS Hiroyuki Nakajima.

And you didn’t think Andy MacPhail was going to make the moves necessary to win in 2011. I know you feel stupid now. Hiroyuki Nakajima, babe. What are the dates for the 2011 World Series???

7. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Clemson coach Dabo Swinney prepared to face Maryland QB’s Jamarr Robinson, Danny O’Brien Saturday in Death Valley

Swinney told Drew Forrester this morning that having to prepare for both QB’s makes Maryland particularly tough. Maybe so, but I generally don’t think the Terps can win big games if they try to split reps between two quarterbacks.

They might not do that. They might end up having one real “starter” and a package for the other QB. But it’s totally possible that Robinson and O’Brien could alternate series in James Franklin’s offense. I would prefer the former.

I mean, I would prefer having one REALLY GOOD QB, but sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps coach Ralph Friedgen has good recent history at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium

I keep being reminded of Maryland’s win at Clemson two years ago. Maryland probably wasn’t quite as good as their record indicated, but they were able to hang around just long enough to let something goofy happen to help them win. I don’t THINK the same thing will happen Saturday, but it certainly could.

You know what else could happen? Kayla Collins could call me. I don’t THINK it will happen-but it certainly could. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

smokingjacket

9. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo expects FB Alexander Teich to be able to start Saturday vs. SMU

And with Vince Murray banged up, the Midshipmen could certainly use Teich on the field; as the Mustangs can score points.

They’ve scored at least 21 points in all six of their games, including 35 against Washington State and 42 against Rice. They’re VERY capable of scoring points in the June Jones offense.

The Mids however have scored 14 points or less in three of their five games thus far. It looks like they’ll need to score to win Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. It won’t be easy.

10. TowsonTigers.com says DT Yaky Ibia named semi-finalist for National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy

This is very cool. Cool enough that even Maggie Q should be interested. (Thanks Guyism!)

maggieq

And finally, I leave you with this…

I know everyone’s already seen it-but here’s the Grover/Sesame Street/Old Spice YouTube gem for the 5 or 6 of you that may have somehow missed…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkd5dJIVjgM[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because after a weekend in Ocean City, I spent the evening literally BATHING in aloe vera. I’m not kidding, I think I looked like Justin Bartha in “The Hangover”…

justinbartha

The thing is, it doesn’t hurt until you’re sober.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Miguel Tejada singled home winning run to lift O’s to sweep of Nationals

I didn’t think it was possible.

I especially didn’t think it was possible after Julio Lugo doubled with one out in the 8th and then proceded to get picked off 2nd base by Wil Nieves.

Shows what I know.

I’m well aware that it was the Nats, but it’s still a sweep. Around here, that’s almost as good as winning the World Series.

It’s been particularly nice to see the Birds put together some rallies and come back from early deficits in these games-but it would be nicer to see starting pitchers be a bit more effective. We’ll get back to that.

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of sweep

Jeremy Guthrie wasn’t bad yesterday. 6 innings, 3 earned runs on 3 hits with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. He certainly wasn’t GREAT, but he wasn’t bad. Compared to some of the other starting efforts we’ve seen at Camden Yards recently, it was really good.

Only Tejada had two hits amongst Orioles players yesterday, but that’s all that was needed. Maybe these guys are hitting better because Nick Markakis called them out publicly. Maybe they’re hitting better because they know the July 31 trade deadline is coming up and this is their chance to get out of Charm City.

I don’t really care why they’re hitting better. I just want them to keep doing it.

3. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Buck Showalter told ESPN Orioles have ‘some great pieces’

Yeah…like Markakis…and….ummm….Adam Jones for a week?

Clearly having watched the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks win World Series titles AFTER he left has made Showalter badly want another MLB gig. Of course, if he thinks he’s going to reach that level under Peter Angelos, he’ll probably be disappointed.

You know who DOES have some great pieces? Zaira Nara. (Thanks Guyism/Remix Magazine!)

zaira

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Andy MacPhail finally cut ties, DFA’ed Garrett Atkins

I’m trying to figure out the right way to say this. Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts were here before MacPhail got here. Adam Jones has been marginally successful. Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta all look like they’re talented but haven’t necessarily shown it yet.

As far as a “face” of the MacPhail era is concerned, umm….Atkins is about as good a choice as any.

This was a failure from Day 1. It represented the fact that the team decided to sign a lesser player instead of going out and actually signing a real impact player. That’s the real impact of the MacPhail era.

Maybe the marketing folks at the Warehouse should put together a “Mt. Rushmore”-type photo of Atkins, Rich Hill, Adam Eaton and Koji Uehara (who returned with the Atkins DFA). Could be a hot seller this Christmas. If I was better at Photoshop, I’d do it for them.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Felix Pie 2-4 with RBI, two runs for Frederick Keys on farm

Me, I’d put Felix Pie on the “Mt. Rushmore”, but someone would try to convince me that his 8 hits earlier this season mean he’s a good player. If Jake Fox was an offseason acquisition, he’d make it for sure. In the meantime, a few more things before we move on from the Orioles…

-Congratulations to our “Apologist of the Morning”, as selected by “The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester. “Heath” from Dempsey’s Army is no stranger to the AOTM-but this morning he received the award for citing Fangraphs in opining that Juan Samuel was wrong for trying to have Matt Wieters bunt last week. I don’t often credit Drew for being funny, but labeling a group of people as “Fangraph-sexuals” was pretty damn humorous.

-The Orioles are off today, but return to action tomorrow night opening a 3 game series against the Oakland Athletics at OPACY. Matusz, Kevin Millwood and Arrieta take the hill for the Orioles; Dallas Braden, Ben Sheets and Trevor Cahill go for the A’s.

-Thanks to Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus for joining us this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST to talk some baseball. If you missed it, head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Other guests this morning were SI’s Jon Wertheim (live from Wimbledon) and UMBC soccer coach Pete Caringi (who went around the World Cup). It’s all up in the Audio Vault.

6. National Football Post’s Matt Bowen says Ravens without Ed Reed would be like Pittsburgh Steelers without Polamalu

As a commenter eloquently scribed after Bowen’s piece (why do all of the good commenters post at NFP?), the Ed Reed situation really IS the “elephant in the room.”

If the Ravens are going to be Super Bowl contenders (and I believe they will be), it is hard to imagine them doing it with Dawan Landry and Ken Hamlin at safety. They need Reed to be some sort of difference maker in the secondary.

My assumption remains that Ed does intend to come back, and will sit out the majority of Training Camp-part for health reasons and part because he probably doesn’t have that much interest in spending his August sweating it out in Westminster.

We know Ed WANTS to return. It SEEMS like he’ll be healthy enough to return. Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed that he IS.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says new LB coaches Dean Pees, Ted Monachino making impact in offseason

Maybe so, but even the Arizona State connection couldn’t help Monachino get Terrell Suggs to Owings Mills this offseason.

You know who’s REALLY made an impact this offseason? Wendy Braga. (Thanks Don Chavez/Busted Coverage!)

wendy

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens has Maryland 68th in offseason college football rankings

Boy.

I have had a bad feeling about this Terrapins club since the end of last season.

I know that luck played a role in 2-10 last season. I know that they lost close games throughout the season, and certainly had a chance to beat the likes of Middle Tennessee State, Rutgers, Virginia, Duke, etc. That being said, they still have a real lack of talent at crucial spots (namely O-Line and D-Line), and Jamarr Robinson is unproven at best under center.

There is talent on this team. A team with as many decent running backs (Da’Rel Scott, Davin Meggett, Caleb Porzel, D.J. Adams, Gary Douglas) and WR’s (Torrey Smith, Emani Lee-Odai, Tony Logan, Quintin McCree, LaQuan Williams, Ronnie Tyler, Adrian Cannon, Kevin Dorsey, Kerry Boykins) as Maryland does, they should really be better offensively.

If this IS Ralph Friedgen’s last season in College Park-it COULD be a long one.

9. Testudo Times’ Ben Broman says Eric Hayes will join Washington Wizards’ Summer League roster, Landon Milbourne joins Atlanta Hawks’ Summer League roster

And as I passed along yesterday via Twitter (follow us @WNST), Morgan State’s Reggie Holmes will join Greivis Vasquez with the Memphis Grizzlies’ Summer League team in Las Vegas. I should also know about Jermaine Dixon (who graduated at Pitt but is from Baltimore and is the younger brother of Juan Dixon) and his NBA future later today.

I will obviously be rooting for all of these guys this summer, but understand it will be a longshot for any of them to end up on a roster (other than Vasquez of course). The one thing that could help Hayes or Holmes is if their respective squads just simply want a player who can come off the bench and provide deadly accuracy from beyond the arc. I don’t know how those guys would do defending NBA guards, but I certainly know they can shoot against anyone.

And geez-the ‘Zards have Quinton Ross and James Singleton on their roster. You mean to tell me Eric Hayes isn’t better than THEM?

10. The AP’s Samuel Petrequin says Michael Phelps received ‘wakeup call’ at Paris Open meet

I’d personally prefer my own wake-up call in France to come from Emanuelle Chriqui from “Entourage” (Thanks Barstool Sports!)…

chriqui

And finally, I leave you with this.

I know that Team USA’s loss to Ghana in South Africa really limits the excitement fans have about soccer; but I’ll pass along these YouTube clips anyway for the 4 or 5 of you who haven’t already seen them.

Here’s the epic “world reaction” to Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria. ABC used it in the setup for the Ghana match…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbn3rOPmR9w[/youtube]

Now here’s Andres Cantor calling the Donovan goal…

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

Is the awesome Andres Cantor GEICO commercial available on YouTube yet? I could really use it.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Ravens Rookie TE Dennis Pitta on Heap: ‘He’s a Complete Tight End”

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Ravens Rookie TE Dennis Pitta on Heap: ‘He’s a Complete Tight End”

Posted on 09 June 2010 by Ryan Chell

Ravens rookie tight end Dennis Pitta lived in California a 49ers fan, and growing up as a wide receiver-tight end prospect, one of the people he idolized was Ravens tight end Todd Heap.

Now, the former BYU tight end is not only a teammate of Heap’s, he is trying to pick his brain at the team’s mini-camps in Owings Mills before Pitta signs before training camp.

“I have Todd Heap as a mentor and someone to look after,” Pitta told Drew Forrester this morning. “I feel fortunate to have him ahead of me to learn from.”

And if Pitta can learn from Heap, it could make him one of the best, complete tight ends in the league if he progresses well.

Pitta has no where to go but up.

In 2003, Pitta walked on to BYU as a wide-receiver/tight end prospects and earned himself a scholarship. Backing up starting tight end Daniel Coats, he got his opportunity when Coats got hurt, and Pitta saw more action.

After taking a two year Mormon mission to the Dominican Republic, he returned to the Cougars better than ever. In 2007, he recorded 59 receptions for 813 yards and five scores, earning himself all first-team Mountain West honors.

2008 was an even better season for Pitta, who went over 1000 yards and added six TDs. He was a Biletnikoff and Mackey Award finalist. He was named a third-team All-American.

Pitta said the modeled his game after Heap, who was a similar kind of tight end when Heap was at Arizona State in the late 1990′s.

“I think Todd Heap was a player I looked at in college,” Pitta said. “He’s a great receiver and he catches the ball well. He’s a complete tight end.”

Dennis Pitta

And with Heap being that complete tight end, if Pitta has to improve in some area, it would be in his blocking. They didn’t the run the ball that much at BYU, and the Ravens have always used that two tight end blocking scheme and run the ball out of it. That’s where Pitta will have to fit in.

“I think the bigger adjustment is mental,” Pitta noted. “Obviously there’s a physical adjustment as well, but the biggest part is the mental part cause you’re trying to learn a whole new system.”

Pitta was actually surprised to be a Raven, not because he didnt think he was good enough, but because the Ravens took another tight end before him in Oregon tight end Ed Dickson.

“After they took Ed, it was a little bit of a surprise coming back and drafting me. I’m now in a good situation and I’m excited to be a Raven.”

Something else Pitta has learned? To hate the Steelers with a passion. That seems fine for Pitta, who can continue being a 49ers fan.

“I haven’t had a taste of that rivalry,” Pitta said. “But I’m excited to play them. They’re telling me to dislike them, so I guess I have to.”

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 05 May 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because last night was the annual “Undie Run” at Arizona State University. As someone who lived right down the street from ASU for two years, I can’t even BEGIN to explain what a good idea this is…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRtPVxoB4AA[/youtube]

The failure to copy this idea at Towson University is absolutely UNTHINKABLE. The University of Maryland is putting together their first ever Undie Run in 6 days, and they’ll have a lot to live up to…

asuundir

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says AJ Burnett shut down Orioles as Yankees won 4-1

AJ Burnett is a hell of a pitcher. He might not be Roy Halladay, but he’s pretty damn good.

That being said-it is UNACCEPTABLE to have runners on 2nd & 3rd base with no outs and then see Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters strike out. It’s just unacceptable. There’s no other way to put it.

What Gary Thorne, Mike Flanagan and Ben McDonald said during the MASN broadcast was telling however. With runners and 2nd and 3rd with none out, the pressure in that situation was somehow on the Orioles hitters and NOT on Burnett.

How could it have EVER come to this?

ALL of the pressure was on the Orioles hitters. Instead of going to the plate and thinking “cool, another spot to drive in some more runs”, Orioles hitters were thinking something along the lines of “oh dear God I better get a hit here because I have no idea if we’ll ever get a chance like this again!”

How telling was it that in the bottom of the inning; after Jones misplayed Francisco Cervelli’s single into a triple; Dave Trembley decided to pull the infield in.

In the THIRD inning.

Watching the Orioles is slightly less fun than going to the dentist at this point.

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Maybe I’m the one responsible for this. I went away to hang out at the Kentucky Derby over the weekend, and the Orioles swept the Red Sox in 3 games I couldn’t even watch on TV. I’ve been able to actually SEE the O’s win exactly FOUR games this season!

FOUR!

The Orioles had no RBI at all last night, and haven’t driven a runner in from scoring position YET through two games at Yankee Stadium.

Brian Matusz was by no means bad last night, although he did walk in a run.

It’s just like a continuous nightmare.

I know what will brighten our spirits….a picture of Serinda Swan from BarstoolSports.com…

serinda

…yep, I feel better already.

3. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark uncomfortably says Birds ‘could learn from’ Washington Nationals

And believe it or not, it ISN’T just by putting a Ben’s Chili Bowl inside the stadium…

benschilibowl

I seriously credit Nats President Stan Kasten for saying the right thing when asked about low attendance. When you have a bad product (like the Nationals HAVE had; and the Orioles certainly DO have), it’s YOUR fault. YOU need to fix it.

And if Dave Trembley just said the wrong thing out of frustration when asked about attendance, Andy MacPhail just just make a statement to “correct” him.

Or the team can keep allowing the fans to be blamed for the bad product. That’s a good idea too.

4. The AP says former Tigers, O’s broadcaster Ernie Harwell dead at 92

While Ernie Harwell has very LITTLE to do with Baltimore, it is certainly worth discussing this. Harwell represented what fans used to LOVE about baseball-especially in towns like Baltimore. He will be SORELY missed.

Just try watching this without tearing up. Ernie Harwell was a SPECIAL man…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paWJl3qpUIM[/youtube]

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Robert Andino, Josh Bell, Zach Britton, Billy Rowell all had big nights on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few things…

-If you missed Zach Britton on with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; you can check it out in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net.

-Congratulations to today’s “Apologist of the Morning”, Steve Melewski from MASN. He wrote a great piece talking about how Luke Scott had a better slugging percentage than Brian Roberts last year-so we should defend Scott’s poor play this season.

That’s right. Luke Scott’s slugging percentage was better than the team’s leadoff hitter last year. That makes him a good player who deserves to keep his spot in the lineup.

Christ.

-The O’s and Yanks are back at it this afternoon in The Bronx; with David Hernandez facing licensed Orioles killer Andy Pettitte. First pitch is at 1:05pm. Follow us on Twitter (@WNST) during the game for humorous updates.

6.Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Elizabeth City State WR Reggie Smith to try out with Ravens this weekend

Cool!

But…uh…what the hell is Elizabeth City State?

I mean, if it was Elizabeth BERKLEY City State I might be a bit more interested…

berkley

(Edit from GMC: I love NO ONE more than I love Jessie Spano. Okay, maybe Topanga. But that’s it.)

For the record, Smith is a 5’11″ receiver who put up good numbers in college. If he shows up in Owings Mills again after this weekend, I’d be STUNNED.

7. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Edgar Jones switching back to OLB

Maybe they should just throw him in the kicking competition too while they’re at it???

The Ravens have a TON of depth at linebacker. Terrell Suggs is backed up by Paul Kruger; Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe are backed up by Tavares Gooden, Antwan Barnes, Jameel McClain, Jason Phillips, Prescott Burgess and Brendon Ayanbadejo; and Jarret Johnson is backed up by Sergio Kindle. Now add Edgar Jones to that mix.

I don’t think they’ll all be in East Rutherford the night the Ravens play the Jets.

If you missed Ravens center Matt Birk or QB Coach Jim Zorn with Drew this morning, they’re both up in the Audio Vault.

8. The Sun’s Katherine Dunn says Notre Dame Prep lacrosse beat St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes in honor of former teammate Yeardley Love

I haven’t had a chance to say much about the tragic situation at Virginia, and I probably won’t say much about it here, as we are MUCH too light-hearted for poignancy. The Cavaliers are probably doing the right thing by playing in the NCAA Tournament, but you can’t imagine it won’t have an impact.

“The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” is a NDP grad, and I know the community there has been TERRIBLY shook by the news. Prayers for all of them and blessings to the Love family.

9. UMBCRetrievers.com previews tonight’s America East Tournament semifinal against Albany at UMBC Stadium

For as bad a start as Don Zimmerman’s Retrievers got off to this season, they have a realistic chance of making the NCAA Tournament-although they would likely have to play the conference championship game at Stony Brook this weekend.

They certainly have a better chance of making the NCAA Tournament than I do of getting to know Tulisa Contostavlos on a more personal level (Thanks Guyism!)…

tulisa

10. TowsonTigers.com previews tonight’s CAA Tournament semifinal against UMass at Unitas Stadium

The Tigers also HAVE to win their conference tournament to make the NCAA Tournament, although it isn’t quite as steep a climb. They’ll be able to host the Championship game Saturday should they win tonight.

In a completely unrelated story, former Oregon cheerleader Amanda Pflugard is apparently a model now. I thought this was important enough to pass along (Thanks Busted Coverage!)…

pflugard

11. Daily Racing Form’s Marty McGee says Bob Baffert working with Lookin At Lucky in Louisville before making decision on Preakness

Rumor has it that when asked about what he’ll do differently this time after failing to win at Churchill Downs; I believe he may have said…”Well I’m sure as hell not going to talk to that clown Glenn Clark before the race this time.”

And finally, I leave you with this…

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!!

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 27 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because I forgot to name a “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” yesterday, which means I can give the nod today to Cypress Hill and Tom Morello for their tune “Rise Up.” It’s actually pretty good…

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. STATS’ Santosh Venkataraman previews Yankees-Orioles series starting tonight at Camden Yards

Well, the 20,000 fans of the Bombers who will descend on OPACY tonight will get some good news. The leadership of the Baltimore Orioles knew that there would probably be as many fans from New York and New Jersey coming through their turnstyles this summer as there would be folks from Parkville, Carney and Glen Burnie; so they decided that they needed to alter their catering options so that the patrons would have options besides crabcakes. With that in mind, one of these is now open inside the Warehouse…

attman's

That’s right. If you haven’t been to the ballpark yet this season; there’s an authentic New York Deli now out in Right Field.

And why shouldn’t there be?

If their fans are going to come stimulate our economy, I guess we SHOULD cater to them.

This is Birdland!

2. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Miguel Tejada thinks O’s will be better when they face teams like Yankees, Red Sox

“The Great Arbitrator” Drew Forrester didn’t have much of a choice this morning when it came to deciding on “Apologist of the Morning” on AM1570 WNST’s “The Morning Reaction.”

This was your winner in a LANDSLIDE.

Here are some of Tejada’s thoughts…

“I know we are not winning, but we want to play the good teams right now. Play the good teams, and our pitchers are going to be more ready and our bats aren’t going to go away,”

Well, they DID score 13 runs between Saturday and Sunday; so I guess the bats CAN’T go away-can they?

“When we beat the good teams, when we beat the Red Sox and Yankees, our attitude is going to be much better.”

And if we’re being fair-once again, they do already have ONE win against the Sox this season, and I think I can tell that the attitude is ALREADY better.

I don’t really even want to pile on here. I PRAY TO GOD that the Birds figure out a way to win a couple of games against the Yanks and Sox. And I really don’t think this is “bulletin board material” either.

Mostly because I think your opponent has to be concerned about playing you in order for there to be bulletin board material.

3. Virginian-Pilot says Josh Bell homered twice for Norfolk Tides in loss

You see? It’s a good think Andy MacPhail didn’t go out and sign someone like Adrian Beltre! You can’t have someone like that block the path of Bell getting to the big leagues!

If I’m being serious, I’m happy to see Josh Bell break out of his early season funk. Hopefully he can continue to swing a hot bat. Hopefully it will be a bat so hot that he forces his way to the major league level and then begins a campaign to win Rookie of the Year.

Also, hopefully he can figure out a way to play both third and first base. I’m sure Rhyne Hughes is the next coming of Boog Powell, but I’d like an insurance policy.

Also, can Josh Bell close games? When I was covering Arizona State baseball out in Phoenix, I always thought it was cool to see an outfielder come in and close a game. It would be equally cool to see the Orioles pull their 3rd baseman over to do the same thing.

And can he manage? That would be really helpful too…

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Weber State CB Josh Morris declined offer from Ravens, will join Eagles

“Hello? Arlington Sheraton? Yes, this is Glenn Clark. Please cancel my reservations for late January and early February. The dream is over.”

Since joining a team as a UFA is usually no more than a tryout, it isn’t strange to see something like this happen.

And since the team is losing Josh Morris, I was wondering if they might be able to sign Zack Morris…

zackmorris

…who might have been equally as helpful to the team.

5. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Sergio Kindle will wear #49, Terrence Cody will wear #63

If you missed Terrence on with Drew Forrester this morning, head on over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault; and you can hear from the Ravens’ 2nd round pick.

Semi-strange numbers for both. Presumably, other numbers could be available in the future as roster cuts are made or in future years-but if the Ravens are going to try to sell some Kindle jerseys right now, they probably wouldn’t want him to change his number before the Ravens battle the Jets on Monday Night Football.

I don’t believe there is any truth to the rumor that the Ravens first offered the number “163″ to Cody before he settled on 63.

6. NBC Sports/ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio says Cowboys, Bills had interest in Jared Gaither

As multiple members of the organization told me while I was out in Owings Mills this weekend, they received not a SINGLE OFFER for Gaither.

I firmly believe that teams are INTERESTED in Gaither-but given the level of talent in the early rounds of this year’s NFL Draft, they just weren’t comfortable with the idea of giving up a pick to acquire Gaither.

I’m not comfortable with the idea of finishing this post without positing pictures of Nadine Velasquez…

velasquez

7. USA Today says Michael Oher to write book called “I Beat The Odds”, set for February 2011 release

I feel like I’ve read this book before. Wasn’t it called “The Blind Side”?

In fairness, it’s only right that Michael be able to write his own version of the book-with his own thoughts on what’s happened in his life. He didn’t like everything that Michael Lewis wrote-so it’s good that he is able to tell the story the way he wants to tell it.

I’m looking forward to writing a book one day too. Mine will be called “Steve Melewski & Me: How A Summer Of Orioles Love Changed My Views As A Broadcaster.”

8. Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Maryland assistant Chuck Driesell will take head job at The Citadel

A couple of things here:

1-While Driesell’s departure doesn’t exactly HELP the state of Gary Williams’ current staff, it does help Gary Williams indirectly-as he had only Mike Lonergan (Vermont) and Jimmy Patsos (Loyola) amongst former assistants who were head coaches at Division 1 programs. Dave Dickerson left Tulane this offseason and is now an assistant at Ohio State; Billy Hahn was dismissed from LaSalle quite some time ago and resurfaced as an assistant at West Virginia. This will extend the “Gary Williams Coaching Tree” to 3; which means a lot more to head coaches than you might realize.

2-There have been a TON of names floating around as potential candidates to replace Driesell on Gary Williams’ staff. Terrell Stokes (who previously interviewed for an assistant job in College Park and later served as an assistant at Loyola), Matt Kovarik (former Maryland assistant and current Loyola assistant), Matt Hahn (Vermont assistant), Duane Simpkins (St. Alban’s School Head Coach in DC), Byron Mouton (plays for the Maryland Greenhawks of PBL) and even Juan Dixon have been mentioned as possible candidates amongst former Terrapins. Of that list, Stokes has confirmed to me that he’s interested-and I’ll be poking around with some of the others today.

This isn’t a simple job. Working for Gary Williams never is. But it certainly isn’t a bad place to be for someone who is interested in moving forward with their coaching career.

9. Terrapin Trail’s Jeremy Schneider says Seton Hall Prep PG Sterling Gibbs commit to Terrapins

Which really is a pretty good get. You’re probably familiar with Sterling’s brother Ashton Gibbs-who plays for Pitt. He’s not big-we know that. He’s 6’1″, 180; and some who have watched him think those numbers are generous. But he can certainly play. Here’s a look…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqy0A7KsiXM[/youtube]

The only bad thing about the commitment is that it means more of a Jersey influence here in Charm City. There’s only so much of Chris Bonetti that I can take.

10. Inside Lacrosse’s Danielle Bernstein says RPI rankings released: Maryland 3rd, Loyola 7th, Towson 10th, Hopkins 14th

I came up with my own RPI rankings of gals I found over at Guyism.com. Kelly Brook got my top spot…

kellybrook

11. Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch says Lookin’ At Lucky put in final Kentucky Derby work Monday in Louisville

I’m limiting the amount of people who say “here’s 20 bucks, go bet it on a longshot.” I’m doing it for Tim Dotterweich because he’s letting me borrow a suit. If you let me borrow a cool hat, I’ll do it for you. You know, a hat like this…

hats

And finally, I leave you with this…

The Milwaukee Bucks mascot is better than yours. Just trust me on this….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3umtw179KA[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 06 April 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Figure Skating-Smuckers Stars On Ice (Thursday 7pm Verizon Center); Soccer-MLS: DC United @ Philadelphia Union (Saturday 6pm from Philly live on Fox Soccer Channel); UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals 2nd leg: CSKA Moscow vs. Internazionale (Tuesday 12:30pm from Moscow live on Fox Soccer Channel), Barcelona vs. Arsenal (Tuesday 2:30pm from Barcelona live on Comcast SportsNet locally, Fox Sports Net nationally), Manchester United vs. Bayern Munchen (Wednesday 2:45pm from Manchester, England live on Fox Soccer Channel)

10. Arctic Monkeys (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live) Bone Thugs -N- Harmony (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Live), Temper Trap (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club), George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club), Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Wednesday-Sunday 1st Mariner Arena), US Air Guitar Championships-DC Regional (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club)

Maybe not the most overwhelming week of live music, but there’s good stuff there.

If you’re a fan of The Strokes or The White Stripes, you’d probably dig the Arctic Monkeys…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm69M3jtZl4[/youtube]

This is technically Mo Thugs Family and NOT Bone Thugs, but does it really matter? This song RULES.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVm7Smq-T0c[/youtube]

And this song is either by Temper Trap or JESUS. I’m not 100% certain.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxKjOOR9sPU[/youtube]

9. Boxing: Evander Holyfield vs. Frans Botha (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Pay-Per-View), Andre Berto vs. Carlos Quintana (Saturday 10:30pm from Sunrise, FL live on HBO)

Umm….April Fool’s???

I seriously have no idea why (money) “The Real Deal” feels the need to step back into the ring at the age of 237; but if Bone Thugs -N- Harmony can play a gig in Baltimore this week, why shouldn’t we just go COMPLETELY 1996?

And since we’re thinking about 1996, I decided to Google Image search “Laura Winslow” (from the show “Family Matters”) to see how she was doing.

She’s doing well.

laura

8. NBA: Warriors @ Wizards (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Wizards @ Magic (Wednesday 7pm from Orlando live on Comcast SportsNet), Wizards @ Celtics (Friday 7:30pm from Boston live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Hawks @ Wizards (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Wizards @ Knicks (Monday 7:30pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet)

It is particularly cruel of NBA Commissioner David Stern to force the ‘Zards to finish the season. Seriously, couldn’t they just let them finish up after beating the Nets? They may be the Nets, but it ain’t getting any better the rest of the way.

Of course, if you ARE headed to a Wiz game the rest of the way (which can only make me think you’re also a glutton for punishment); you might want to wear this (Thanks Bullets Forever)…

bulletsforever

7. NASCAR Subway Fresh Fit 600 (Saturday 7:30pm from Phoenix live on FOX), IRL Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (Sunday 3pm from Birmingham live on VERSUS)

I remember when I went to my first ever NASCAR race (in Dover) back in 2006, I was told that I would be impressed by the attractiveness of the females in attendance.

I was lied to. My ex-girlfriend (“The FORMER Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”) was BY FAR the most attractive gal there.

However, after moving to Arizona-I came to find out that there WERE tracks where attractive gals attended races. Of course, this is the place where the gals look like this…

asu

6. Hockey-NHL: Capitals @ Penguins (Tuesday 7:30pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS), Thrashers @ Capitals (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on NHL Network & Comcast SportsNet), Bruins @ Capitals (Sunday 12pm from Verizon Center live on NBC); NCAA Frozen Four: Miami (Ohio) vs. Boston College (Thursday 8:30pm from Detroit live on ESPN2), Wisconsin vs. Rochester Institute of Technology (Thursday 5pm from Detroit live on ESPN2)

Ah…the Caps are playing. If you root for teams from Washington, you’ll be excited!

Meanwhile, the Frozen Four is awesome. Hopefully MASN gives Gary Thorne the weekend off so he can call the games, but even if he doesn’t-it should be a great weekend of puck. It breaks my heart that the Bemidji State Beavers didn’t make it; but there’s no DOUBT I’m rooting for this team, especially if they end up playing BC…

rit

5. Harlem Globetrotters (Sunday 12pm & 4:30pm Towson Center; Saturday 1pm Verizon Center, Saturday 7:30pm Patriot Center)

The joke here is that while they’re over there, they might as well use Pat Kennedy’s Tigers as opposition. They’ll be about as effective as the Washington Generals, right?

(Edit from GMC: I’m kidding!!! Kinda.)

By the way-if you don’t love the Globetrotters, go ahead and move back to Moscow you commie…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyyZaJag2Fc[/youtube]

4. Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (Friday 6pm, Saturday 12pm Timonium Fairgrounds)

Does anyone have a liver I can borrow this week???

Between our event Tuesday night at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Dundalk to celebrate the Orioles’ first game of the season; all of our Opening Day festivities Friday before the Birds play the Blue Jays (come by Luna Del Sea and I’ll allow you to buy be a few beers) and then THIS…BOY.

Seriously though; has any event ever been more appropriately named? You know what you’re getting here….

beer
bourbon
bbq
drunk

3. MMA: UFC 112-Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia (Saturday 10pm from Abu Dhabi on Pay-Per-View)

“The Spider” is one of the GREAT champions in Mixed Martial Arts history.

“The Black Widow” is a billiards player who looks like this…

jeannette

So now you know.

2. College Lacrosse: Navy @ Maryland (Saturday 12pm from Byrd Stadium live on WMAR2 & ESPNU), Loyola @ Fairfield (Saturday 1pm from Fairfield, Conn. live on AM1570 WNST), UMBC @ Towson (Wednesday 7:30pm Unitas Stadium), Albany @ Johns Hopkins (Saturday 2pm from Homewood Field live on ESPNU)

Are the most important games of the weekend being played in East Rutherford? Yeah, no doubt about that. But since they’re happening in New Jersey-they really don’t count.

Unless of course it involves that gal “JWoww” from Jersey Shore…

Jwoww

1. Golf: The Masters (Thursday 4pm Friday 4:30pm live on ESPN, Saturday 3:30pm Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Augusta. Par 3 Tournament Wednesday 3pm live on ESPN.)

I’ve had plenty of fun with Tiger Woods’ whores in recent weeks. But if I’m going to have to watch golf this weekend, I hope this happens…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1I55z-x6zc[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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