Posted on 09 November 2015 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 13 October 2015 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 07 October 2015 by WNST Staff
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Posted on 05 August 2015 by Luke Jones
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A familiar face addressed the Ravens after Wednesday’s practice in Owings Mills.
Of course, Brian Billick may not be as easily recognized by current Ravens players — Terrell Suggs, Sam Koch, and Marshal Yanda are the last holdovers from his nine-year tenure — but it was still a feel-good scene when the former head coach and Super Bowl XXXV champion spoke to the Ravens at the request of John Harbaugh. It’s been more than seven years since Billick was fired at the end of the 2007 season, but Harbaugh asking his predecessor to address the current team just felt right.
“Here’s a coach that coached a lot of bad-ass Raven football teams around here,” Harbaugh said. “It was pretty fun to listen to him coach, and I think it meant something to him. It meant something to all of us. He did a great job, and we’re proud to have him back.”
Billick was in Owings Mills as part of the NFL Network’s training camp coverage, but one can only hope the invitation to speak was an important step toward a much-deserved honor for Billick. Some time needed to pass before the subject was finally broached, but now seems an appropriate time for the Ravens to add Billick to the Ring of Honor.
Whether you agreed or disagreed with the decision at the time, it’s difficult to argue with owner Steve Bisciotti’s dismissal of Billick when you see how successful the Ravens have been under Harbaugh, but that shouldn’t take away from the accomplishments of the former. In 1999, Billick took the reins of a team that only knew losing in its first three years before leading the city of Baltimore to its first NFL championship since Super Bowl V in his second season as head coach.
He wasn’t perfect as his inability to develop a franchise quarterback ultimately led to his downfall, but a Super Bowl championship, two AFC North titles, and four playoff appearances in nine years comprise a resume that’s worthy of a spot on the M&T Bank Stadium facade. And he will surely be joined by Harbaugh one day, just as the two stood side by side on Wednesday.
Seeing Billick speak to the Ravens was not only a fun trip down memory lane, but it was a reminder of what needs to happen sooner rather than later.
Posted on 22 August 2014 by Nestor Aparicio
SIXTEEN YEARS AGO, DURING THE SUMMER of 1998, I had an amazing opportunity to create and develop Baltimore’s first all sports radio station – a dream come true for a Dundalk guy who was a fanatic and devotee of journalism, learning and all things local sports. WNST-AM 1570 – affectionately dubbed “The Station With Balls” – was to be “all day, all night, all sports.” There were only a handful of radio stations in America that had such a format.
Roch Kubatko, now an employee of Peter Angelos and MASN, inked a mostly skeptical and mostly accurate front-page sports story in The Baltimore Sun three months after we launched. It even allowed then market-leading WBAL general manager Jeff Beauchamp and others in the marketplace to scoff at me, pile on and go on the record as giving “Nasty Nestor” very little chance to succeed. (WKDB was the original call sign for our AM signal.) You can read it here.
As we quietly celebrated our 16th anniversary at WNST on August 3rd, and now in our seventh year of partnership with Super Bowl winning head coach Brian Billick and offering 5% of all of our company’s operating profits to The Living Classroom Foundation to benefit Baltimore youth initiatives, I can’t help but stand tall and proud of all that we’ve accomplished over the past two decades. We’ve given many aspiring journalists and sportscasters a chance to follow a dream, sit in front of their first microphone and start a career. That was my goal and dream all along – to create something great and to give others a chance that folks like me weren’t given on my way into the business.
Sure, I fought the power. If I hadn’t, nothing good would’ve ever come from my life. And I certainly wouldn’t now have the power that you’ve given me to help other people and pay forward all of those deeds and endorsements from the many who have supported me during my darkest hours.
And now, entering 2015, via the power of new media and no longer encumbered by a 5,000-watt AM radio signal with 1948 FCC rules and regulations – I’ve been given the chance to chronicle every moment of Baltimore sports moving forward in real time.
Beginning with my first broadcast in December 1991 with Kenny Albert at WITH-AM 1230, I’ve seen modern day media morph into something much larger and more useful than just “local radio.” I remember back in the 1980s when the only way the public could know what I was thinking was if my editor at The Baltimore Sun would send me on an assignment. And my byline would be in the newspaper the next day with a few paragraphs of information in black and white words. Now, every tweet, status, video and thought is instantaneous and in high definition, like something I could only then imagine on an episode of The Jetsons.
And through all of the accomplishments of my employees, our reputation for excellence and accuracy and my own personal achievements over 30 years in doing Baltimore sports media beginning at The News American in January 1984, I’m proudest of what WNST has done in the community over the years. With your help and love and support, we’ve raised nearly $1 million in goods, services, coats, food, donations, checks, goodwill, promotion, publicity and power for too many local causes to list. I’d also like to believe that we’ve helped create many magical memories for tens of thousands of Baltimore sports fans over the years. Somehow, someway, you’ve been affected by what we do at WNST and I’m very grateful to have shared that experience and to have your trust and loyalty after all of these years.
Maybe it was at Whiskey Joe’s in Tampa in 2001 or on the Natchez or during the Super Bowl march in New Orleans in 2013? Maybe you were in the upper deck at “Free The Birds” doing the right thing in 2006? Or maybe you just called in one time or met us on a road trip – we’ve now taken over 10,000 people on trips with the Ravens, Orioles, Terps, Caps and others – or at one of our hundreds of live Ravens players shows since The Barn in 1996 that began, appropriately, with Ray Lewis.
And if we’ve made you smile, you probably have the pictures and same incredible memories that I do of all that we’ve accomplished, celebrated, discussed, grieved and protested over the years since I took the microphone on Dec. 13, 1991.
If you’re here reading this – in some way – WNST has had some positive effect on you to keep you here through all of the years. Please let me begin this note with a gigantic THANK YOU for all that you’ve done to support me – and my family – over the past three decades.
As you might have heard, I’m going through some changes in my life these days.
Today, I announced the departure of several veteran folks – Drew Forrester, Glenn Clark, Ryan Chell and my office staff of general manager Paul Kopelke and Ashley Bishoff – in effort to create a basic change in the way we’re doing content and our radio format at WNST.net & AM 1570. They came to work every day and they gave everything they had to WNST. They’re good, hard-working, honest people and I wish them absolutely nothing but the best in their future.
I also want to thank everyone who has worked at WNST over the past 16 years. Many staffers and interns have come through our doors and learned the sports media and radio business from me, and several have gone on to further careers in the business, here in Baltimore and in other markets. All of them helped in some way to build WNST and make it great.
As most of you probably know by now, my wife was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia on March 20 and this sent my life into a place I’ve never encountered and could never recommend. She’s been fighting for her life every day over the past 160 days and it’s been an honor to serve her and watch her battle cancer. Every facet of my life – and my life together with my wife – has been put on hold through her remarkable journey except for the comeback of my daily radio show, The Happy Hours, from 3-6 p.m. on WNST.net & AM 1570, which was something we planned together for many months.
Since returning to the radio on April 1 as host of The Happy Hours, WNST.net has retained 17 new sponsors directly related to me coming back on the radio on a daily basis. All of these companies stepped up to help
Posted on 30 January 2014 by Brian Billick
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Posted on 14 April 2013 by Brian Billick
WNST.net returns to Carroll County this Tuesday night, April 16th, for a NFL Draft Preview show starring our very own Coach Brian Billick and presented by our friends at Freedmont Mortgage.
The first Super Bowl winning head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and a former Carroll County resident himself, Coach Billick has been studying the NFL Draft for the past few months as he prepares for his NFL Network broadcast duties on Draft weekend. Coach will be ready to answer your questions about Mant’i Teo, Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu, Alec Ogletree, D.J. Fluker, Kevin Minter, Jesse Williams and any other players the Baltimore Ravens may be considering this year.
Coach was in the room when the Ravens selected the likes of Ed Reed, Todd Heap, Jamal Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ben Grubbs, Haloti Ngata, Chris McAlister, Adalius Thomas, Jarret Johnson, Sam Koch, Marshal Yanda and more. His qualifications are impeccable. (We’re also aware he was in the room when the Ravens selected Kyle Boller, but after Joe Flacco lead the Ravens to another Super Bowl title we’re pretty sure it’s time to forgive that.)
Greenmount Station is located at 1631 N. Main Street in Hampstead and is the home of Carroll County’s best crab cakes. We were blown away by the support of WNST from the Purple Rowdies in Hampstead when we rolled out that way in the fall for our “Thursday Night Live” series with Dennis Pitta and we can’t wait to be back out there. Kickoff time for the taping of the show is 7pm Tuesday night and the show will air later in the week on AM1570 WNST.net. Get there early and grab a great spot, enjoy some great food and have a cold beer, it’s going to be a fun evening.
Coach is always willing to take pictures and sign autographs for fans in attendance, as well as answer that question that’s been bugging you for 10 years. If you want to ask something along the lines of “Coach, did you ever lose the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XXXV like the Ravens did after winning Super Bowl XLVII?” he’ll give you an honest answer. (Which we’re pretty sure is “no”, but admittedly not certain.)
It’s our NFL Draft Preview Show with Coach Brian Billick presented by Freedmont Mortgage, taping Tuesday night at 7pm at Greenmount Station in Hampstead. We can’t wait to see you out there.
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Posted on 21 January 2013 by Nestor Aparicio
It’s a great day for reading!
Here’s a chance to get the original Purple Reign (2001) paperback and Purple Reign: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story (2013) hardback for just $32.99 with FREE shipping.
Here are three links to excerpts from Purple Reign 2:
Get BOTH Purple Reign Both Books — the original softback cover from 2001 and the new hardback edition of 2013 championship:
Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story (2013)
Purple Reign: Diary of a Raven Maniac (2001) ORIGINAL SOFT COVER – now out of print!
$49.99 plus S&H
NOW: $32.99 with FREE SHIPPING
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Posted on 07 September 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
I’ve been reading a lot about the life and times of Art Modell over the last 24 hours. Obviously, my heart has been heavy with the loss of his charm, humor and kindness not only for my selfish emotions but for everyone who ever loved Mr. Modell. I’ll never forget seeing the raw emotions of Ray Lewis, Ozzie Newsome, Kevin Byrne and John Harbaugh yesterday in Owings Mills.
Today and all weekend at WNST.net & AM 1570 we will be presenting what I feel is the finest radio interview of my career – a long-winded, emotional, retrospective of the life and times of Arthur B. Modell, told in his own words.
In 2004, just after I retired from hosting a daily show after 13 years of grinding out quality sports talk radio, I decided to do a series of “sit downs” – I called them “Barbara Walters-style interviews” – with many Baltimore sports legends. Art Donovan, Cal Ripken, Phil Savage, Brian Billick, Marvin Lewis, Pam Shriver, Lenny Moore, Bob Ehrlich and several others were kind enough to participate in a series of monthly chats I did to shed light on their careers and how they came to enter their chosen field of work.
Every conversation was personal and memorable but nothing like my time with Art Modell.
I joined Art Modell at his office at M&T Bank Stadium in the spring of 2004 and wound up taking the better part of two mornings to get all of the questions answered.
I haven’t even listened to these yet myself to know exactly all of the ground we covered. I do remember him saying at the end, “You have enough there for a book. No one has ever asked me that many questions before!”
I remember him being emotional several times when I asked about his father. I remember him being a little upset at some of the line of questioning. I remember him being incredibly thoughtful and patient as I probed some memories that he was mostly uncomfortable sharing with me.
But I think we both brought our “A games” with us those two days as we chatted about his entire life and the many people who affected him and shaped his world. How he met soap opera actress Patricia Breslin and married her and adopted her two young sons, David and John. Tales of Jim Brown, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Ozzie Newsome, Ray Lewis, Lou Groza, Cleveland, the Browns, Bernie Kosar, Bill Belichick, Pete Rozelle – there’s a lot of meat in this conversation.
This will take some time – there’s about 3 hours worth of chatter here, most of it dominated by Art telling the best stories of his life.
The last question I asked him was stolen from Jim Lipton (and Bernard Pivot):
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Art Modell deadpanned: “First and long…”
There’s a lot of humor in this conversation as well because that was Art’s Way.
We’ll be playing this interview all weekend on WNST-AM 1570. You can listen in your car or you can click below to take with you wherever you go.
I hope you enjoy the chat. And, quite frankly, I hope it’s as good as I remember it being.
Here are the links via WNST.net and our Buy A Toyota audio vault:
Posted on 30 April 2012 by WNST Staff
Coach Brian Billick and the WNST.net crew will be at Buffalo Wild Wings Bel Air tonight for a post-NFL draft show from 7PM-8PM.
During the show, we’ll be giving away an autographed Joe Flacco jersey.
We’ll also be giving away a private dinner for 4 with Coach Billick which will be held after the show!
Those who come hang out with us can enjoy $3 appetizers and $3 Tall Natty Bohs throughout the show.
We hope to see you there!
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