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Rivalry Day in Annapolis Saturday as Navy Hosts Army

Posted on 13 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Game Preview
• Bragging rights will be on the line this Saturday when  Navy (5-5, 3-2 Patriot League) battles arch rival Army (5-6, 2-2) in the Star Game … the 91st edition of the Army-Navy Game is slated for a 12:00 pm faceoff at Michie Stadium in West Point … Saturday’s contest marks the first the Star Game has been played at West Point since 2008, though the two programs did meet at Michie Stadium for the 2010 Patriot League Championship.
• The Mids are looking to end a losing skid that has featured back-to-back losses to top-15 programs Lehigh (9-4) and Maryland (13-6) … Army, meanwhile, looks to have the momentum going into the weekend after stunning 15th-ranked Bucknell, 6-5, in double overtime in Lewisburg.
• General Martin E. Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be in attendance on Saturday.
• Saturday’s Star Game will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play by play) and Evan Washburn (analyst) calling the action. Live stats will also be available at NavySports.com.

More on the Black Knights
• In his seventh season as the head coach of the Black Knights, Joe Alberici has directed Army to a 5-6 record, including a 2-2 mark in the Patriot League.
• Picked to finish second in the league this season, Army is in a dog fight with the Mids to grab a spot in this year’s Patriot League Tournament … Army owns league wins over Lafayette and Bucknell, while dropping decisions to Lehigh and Colgate … the Black Knights have games against Navy and Holy Cross over the next two weekends.
• Three of Army’s six losses have been at the hands of nationally-ranked foes Massachusetts (12-9), Syracuse (10-9) and Cornell (18-7), while Lehigh (L, 7-6) was just outside of the top 20 when the two programs met in Bethlehem.
• Averaging 10.45 goals per game, Army’s offensive arsenal is headed up by junior attackman Garrett Thul who leads the team with 34 points on 31 goals and three assists … he is ranked 44th in points per game (3.09) and seventh nationally in goals per game (2.82).
• Rooke midfielder John Glesener presents the best all-around game for the Black Knights, producing his 24 points on 14 goals and 10 assists … meanwhile, senior attackman Conor Hayes has contributed 21 points on 13 goals and eight assists.
• Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Tim Henderson spearheads the defense as the Black Knights’ pole … he has recorded 16 caused turnovers and picked up 50 ground balls … junior Brendan Buckley has been a monster on defense, creating 26 turnovers for the opposition … Buckley is ranked No. 6 in the country with his 2.36 caused turnovers per game.
• Senior Zach Palmieri has taken over the keeper duties this season following the graduation of Tom Palesky … Palmieri owns a 9.09 goals-against average and is turning back 50.8 percent of the shots he has faced.
• Senior Derek Sipperly has enjoyed a fine season at the faceoff “x” where he has won 54.9 percent (118-215) of the draws he has taken … he is ranked 23rd nationally … as the team’s leader in ground balls, he is 14th in the country, picking up 5.73 grounders per game.
• Army’s extra-man offense is one of the best in the nation, scoring on 51.9 percent (14-27) of its opportunities … that unit is ranked No. 3.
• The one area Army has struggled this season is in saves per game … the Black Knights are 53rd with 9.18 saves per game.

America’s Most Storied Rivalry:  Army vs. Navy
Not just a rivalry played on the gridiron, the Army-Navy lacrosse tradition dates back nearly 90 years.  The Academies played the inaugural game on May 31, 1924, with the Mids prevailing, 5-0, at West Point.
Army and Navy battled each other from there out on a yearly basis until 1929 when the series was sidelined for four years because of war times. The series resumed in 1933 with an 8-5 Army victory and has not been interrupted since.
In 2004, Navy joined the Patriot League for lacrosse. With the new conference affiliation, it guaranteed the two service academies would meet at least once a year, and possibly a second time in the Patriot League Tournament.
There have been only six years in which the two programs have met twice in a season, including four of the last seven seasons.  In 1978, the Mids earned a 16-13 regular-season victory over the Black Knights in Annapolis.  Nearly three weeks later, the fourth-ranked Midshipmen defeated No. 5 Army, 16-15, at home in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
In 1981, 12th-ranked Army upset the No. 6 Mids on their home field, claiming a 9-8 victory.  Navy, however, picked off No. 3 Army at West Point, 16-10, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament a month later.
The two programs played one another twice in 2005, ‘06 ‘07 and ‘10, as Army and Navy met during the regular season, as well as the championship game of the Patriot League Tournament.  Navy earned wins in six of the eight games, including the April 16, 2005, matchup in which an Army-Navy record crowd of 12,117 piled into Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and cheered Navy to a 12-9 win.
The annual Army-Navy Game was played on neutral soil for the first time in the history of the series when the two programs participated in the inaugural Day of Rivals on April 11, 2009, at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. Anchored by a three-goal, two-assist effort by Brendan Connors, along with a career-high tying 16-save performance by Smartlink Player of the Game Tommy Phelan, the Mids scored an 8-4 Star Game win over the Black Knights.
The two have played at a neutral site three times total (2006, ‘09, ‘10).  Outside of the 2009 and ‘10 Star Games played in Baltimore, the only other time the two have faced each other on netural ground was on April 30, 2006, in a Patriot League Tournament matchup in Hamilton, N.Y.
The Midshipmen lead the overall series, 57-30-3, winning 14 of the last 18 meetings. Navy’s 13-game winning streak, spanning nearly an entire decade (1998-07), is the longest winning streak by either team in the series.
Additionally, Navy owns a 52-29-3 advantage in Star Games, including 10-straight between 1998-07.  The Mids have won 14 of the last 19 Star Games.

Series History
• Saturday’s contest marks the 91st meeting between Army and Navy on the lacrosse field, meeting for the 80th-consecutive year … it’s the longest continuous lacrosse series between Navy and another team.
• Navy owns a commanding 57-30-3 series advantage that included 13-straight wins by the Midshipmen between 1998 and 2007 … the Mids have won 14 of the last 18 contests in the series.
• The Mids also own a 52-29-3 advantage in Star Games, winning 11 of the last 14.
• Army, however, has won four of the last five games in the series, including each of the last three games overall and two-consecutive Star Games.
• Navy owns a 27-15-2 advantage in games played at West Point, however, Army has won two in a row at Michie Stadium (2008 Star Game, 2010 Patriot League Championship).
• There have been only six times in the 90-game history (dating back to 1924) in which the two programs have battled twice in one season (1978 and 1981 in the NCAA Tournament; 2005, ‘06, ‘07 and ‘10 in the Patriot League Tournament).
• Navy has scored eight or more goals in 21 of the last 23 games against Army … the Mids have held the Black Knights to single digits in eight of the 12 games since joining the league in 2004 … Army has reach double digits just twice in the last eight games against the Mids.

2011 Army-Navy Recap
• Led by attackmen Jeremy Boltus and Garrett Thul who combined to score nine goals, Army outscored Navy 10-2 in the second half to earn a 14-9 victory over the Mids at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
• In a tale of two halves, Navy dominated the opening 30 minutes of play over the Black Knights.  The Mids owned an 18-5 advantage in shots, a 15-9 lead in ground balls and held an 8-5 edge in faceoffs.
• After the two teams traded off goals, Navy staged a 4-0 run over the course of eight minutes.  Senior Kevin Doyle scored a pair of goals during the run, while freshman attackman Tucker Hull scored a goal and added an assist.  Assisting Hull on his goal was senior Andy Warner, who became just the 29th player in program history to reach the 100-point milestone.  He finished the game with a pair of assists.
• Navy owned its largest lead of four at the 2:33 mark in the second quarter after junior middie Nikk Davis used a role dodge to punch in his lone goal of the game and gave the Mids a 7-3 advantage.
• Army countered just under a minute later when junior midfielder Devin Lynch scored the first of his two goals running in from the right wing and getting off his shot before falling into the crease.  It was a goal that would trigger a five-goal run by the Black Knights, despite a 15-minute halftime break after Lynch’s goal.
• The Black Knights came out like gang busters in the second half, scoring four goals in the first six minutes of action, including two in the first 1:15.  Lynch picked up where he left off in the first half, blowing past Navy defensive midfielder Marty Gallagher and scoring off a lefty shot on the run 1:06 into the game.  Nine seconds later, long pole Tim Henderson fed Matt Hurley for a 15-yard sidearm shot that squirmed its way past Navy keeper RJ Wickham.  Henderson then scored the game-tying goal at 11:30.
• Army took its first lead of the game at the 9:03 mark, when the fantastic attack duo of Boltus and Thul hooked up with Boltus finding Thul on the crease to take an 8-7 lead.  Remarkably at that point in the game, Army had scored its eight goals on just 11 shots.
• The Mids scored the equalizer with 3:58 to play in the third quarter when Jay Mann’s  pass ricocheted off defenseman Larry LoRusso who was standing on the crease and went into the goal.
• Army, though, wasted little time in answering, as Thul found Boltus who cranked a 10-yard shot from up top at 3:04 to give the Black Knights the lead for good.
• Navy managed just one more goal in the game, as Hull scored his third goal of the game off an assist from fellow freshman Harrison Chaires on extra-man with 7:08 remaining in the contest.

Breaking Down the Rivalry
All-Time Army-Navy Record:  Navy Leads, 952-721-39 (56.7)
Navy’s Overall Record vs. Army, Last 16 Yrs.:  Navy Leads, 307-181-6 (62.8)
Navy’s Star Game Record vs. Army, Last 16 Yrs.:  Navy Leads, 231-112-6 (67.0)

Navy’s 2011-12 Overall  Record vs. Army:  18-10 (64.3)
Navy’s 2011-12 Star Game Record vs. Army:  16-4 (80.0)
• In addition to Saturday’s men’s lacrosse game, the Army-Navy men’s tennis match will also take place on Saturday … the two teams battle in Annapolis at 1:00 pm.
• Last Saturday’s dramatic win by the men’s outdoor track team (102.5-100.5) clinched the overall series … tied at 97.5 points apiece, the meet came down to the final event of the day with the Mids’ 4x400m relay edging out the Black Knights (3:18.55 – 3:19.78) … Navy has won the overall series 19 times in the last 20 years.
• Navy, who has dominated the Star Series this season, 16-4, clinched the series for the 16th-straight season when the Mids’ women’s basketball squad captured a 57-50 victory over Army on Feb. 11 at West Point.

2011-12 Star Game Victories Over Army (in chronological order): Men’s Soccer • Golf • Men’s Cross Country • Women’s Cross Country • Women’s Soccer • Sprint Football • Men’s Swimming • Women’s Swimming • Football • Men’s Indoor Track & Field • Women’s Indoor Track & Field • Women’s Basketball • Gymnastics • Wrestling • Men’s Outdoor Track & Field • Women’s Outdoor Track & Field.

Patriot League Tournament in State of Flux
• With two weeks remaining in the regular season and thanks to Army defeating Bucknell and Colgate defeating Lehigh last weekend, the Patriot League Tournament remains in a state of flux.
• Bucknell, Colgate and Lehigh all sit atop the league at 3-1, while Navy stands fourth at 3-2, Army at 2-2, Lafayette at 1-3 and Holy Cross at 0-5.
• If Navy defeats Army on Saturday, the Mids are in the tournament … should Navy lose, it would still have a glimmer of hope to get in, but a number of things would have to happen over the next two weeks.
• Also in is the winner of Saturday’s Bucknell-Lehigh game.
• If Bucknell, Colgate and Navy all win on Saturday, all three of those teams would qualify for the tournament, as would Lehigh … if Navy loses and Colgate wins, Lehigh also gets in.

Remaining Patriot League Schedule
Saturday, April 14
•    Navy at Army    12:00 pm
•    Lafayette at Colgate    1:00 pm
•    Bucknell at Lehigh    7:00 pm
•    Holy Cross at Providence    7:00 pm

Friday, April 20
•    Colgate at Bucknell    7:00 pm

Saturday, April 21
•    Holy Cross at Army    12:00 pm
•    Johns Hopkins at Navy    12:00 pm
•    Lehigh at Lafayette    2:00 pm

Taking the Field In …
10    Navy has lost just five games (51-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 5-0 this season when reaching 10 goals … Army, meanwhile, is 3-1 in games in which it has produced 10 goals.
9    Senior attackman Taylor Reynolds owns nine-career multi-point contests, including 2-plus points in six of the last eight games.
8    Tucker Hull is one of only three players in program history to post three eight-point games in a season – 6-2 vs. VMI, 3-5 at Lafayette and 3-5 vs. Holy Cross … he joins Mike Buzzell (1978) and Dennis Nealon (1990) … no Navy player has ever recorded four eight-point games in a season.
7    Sophomore long pole Pat Kiernan has produced nine points on seven goals and two assists over his career … the seven goals are tied as the most by a defenseman in school history, along with Bucky Morris (2001-04) and Zack Schroeder (2007-10).
6    Since 2004, Navy owns an amazing 54-2 record when holding its opponents to six or fewer goals, including a 12-1 mark in the last four seasons combined … Army is 1-1 this season when being held to six goals, including a 6-5 win in double overtime against Bucknell last week.
5    Tucker Hull is ranked No. 5 in the country in points per game, averaging 4.60 … his is also ranked fifth in assists per game (2.30) and 24th in goals per game (2.30).
4    Navy has won four in a row when leading after the third quarter and stand 5-1 on the year when achieving that feat.
3    Navy is one of four teams who have captured three Patriot League wins this season … Bucknell, Colgate and Lehigh are 3-1, while the Mids are 3-2 … a win by the Mids on Saturday would clinch a playoff berth for Navy.
2    Navy has been outscored 13-1 in the second half of its last two contests (Lehigh, Maryland) … in last year’s Army battle, the Black Knights rallied in the second half to outscore the Mids, 10-2, en route to a 14-9 win.
1    Over the last four seasons, 24 (10-14) of the Mids’ 70 contests have been decided by one goal … Navy had lost five-straight one-goal games prior to its 12-11 victory over No. 12 Colgate on March 24 … 21 of the 90 games in the Army-Navy series have been decided by one goal, including the 2010 Star Game in which the Mids won, 7-6.

On The Road Again
• Navy will play half of its 12-game slate away from its home venue, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, this season.  Five of the six are true road games, while the sixth is a neutral site contest against Jacksonville which was played at EverBank Stadium, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, on Feb. 19.
• Navy stands 3-1 on the road this season with wins over Lafayette (3-10), Towson (3-13) and Colgate (3-24) … the Mids dropped their first road game of the year last  Friday at 12th-ranked Maryland (13-6).
• Since the beginning of the 2004 campaign, Navy has lost 22 of its 51 road games (neutral sites not included).
• Last year, Navy produced a 1-6 record in games played away from Annapolis … its lone road victory was an 8-3 decision over Holy Cross on March 19.

Patriot League Boasts Nation’s Top Scorers
• Three of the nation’s top-six point producers hail from Patriot League institutions according to this week’s NCAA statistics report.
• Colgate junior Peter Baum, who owns the nation’s seventh-leading scoring streak at 38-consecutive games, is No. 2 in the country with his 5.18 points per game, while Bucknell senior Billy Eisenreich stands No. 6 on the list, scoring at a 4.50 point per game clip.  Navy sophomore attackman Tucker Hull stands No. 5, averaging 4.60 points per contest.
• Hull has produced a point in every game this season and has registered hat tricks in five of the 10 contests.
• Hull, who possesses one of the most balanced games in the country, is ranked No. 5 in assists per game (2.30) and 24th in goals per game (2.30).
• Hull is one of three players in the country ranked in the top 25 in points, goals and assists, joining Massachusetts’ Will Manny (1st pts, 5th goals, 7th assists) and Siena’s Bryan Neufeld (4th pts, 9th goals, 10th, assists).

Rivalries in the Spotlight
• With one of the nation’s richest traditions in the sport of lacrosse, Navy plays three rivalry games each year that stand among the nation’s longest.
• Army and Navy have met 90 times, marking the sixth-longest rivalry in college lacrosse.  The two will play for the 91st time this Saturday at West Point.
• Meanwhile, the Mids have played Maryland 87 times, which is tied as the ninth-longest rivalry, and the Navy-Johns Hopkins series runs 85 games, which is 12th on the list.
• Cornell-Hobart is the longest-running series in college lacrosse with the two teams meeting 133 times.  Hobart was a Div. III program prior to 1995, but continue their series today.

Longest Rivalries in College Lacrosse
1.    133    Cornell v. Hobart    postponed, 2-25
2.    107    Johns Hopkins v. Maryland    April 14
3.    97    Hobart v. Syracuse    April 17
97    Cornell v. Syracuse    Cornell, 12-6
5.    93    Princeton v. Yale    Princeton, 10-9 (5OT)
6.    90    Army v. Navy    April 14
90    Princeton v. Rutgers    Princeton, 13-4
8.    88    Maryland v. Virginia    Virginia, 12-8
9.    87    Maryland v. Navy    Maryland, 13-6
87    Cornell v. Penn    Cornell, 16-11
11.    86    Harvard v. Cornell     Cornell, 14-10
12.    85    Johns Hopkins v. Navy    April 2

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Towson Hoops Adds Two to Recruiting Class

Posted on 11 April 2012 by WNST Staff

Tigers Add Guthrie & Marshall To Recruiting Class
Rafriel Guthrie and Marquis Marshall Sign National Letters Of Intent To Play For Towson

TOWSON, Md. - Towson head men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry has announced the addition of Rafriel Guthrie and Marquis Marshall to the Tigers’ 2012-13 recruiting class. Guthrie, a Washington, D.C. native, is a 6-3, 200-pound physical wing and Marshall is a 6-5, 170-pound versatile sharp-shooting guard from Reading, Pa.

Guthrie, who spent this past season playing for the College of Southern Idaho, will be a junior at Towson and can play immediately with two years of eligibility remaining. Marshall committed to Towson during the late signing period after starring for Berks Catholic High School.

“Rafriel Guthrie provides us with a level of tenaciousness that we sorely need,” said Skerry. “He can score, rebound and defend, but most importantly he plays extremely hard at all times. Marquis Marshall comes from great genes and is a terrific long-range shooter. He has a tremendous upside as he develops physically.”

During the 2011-12 season, Guthrie played in all 36 games with 34 starts at Southern Idaho, helping the Golden Eagles to a 31-5 overall record, a SWAC and Region 18 Championship and an eighth-place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament. The sophomore averaged 15.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and had 47 steals, all ranking second on the team. He also shot 49.0 percent from the floor and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc en route to being named an honorable mention National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American.

Guthrie came to CSI from Seward County Community College where he started 27 of the team’s 34 games as a freshman in 2010-11. He averaged 13.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while helping the Saints to a 27-7 overall record.

Prior to his time at Seward County CC, Guthrie starred at Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C. During his senior year, Guthrie averaged 28.2 points and 8.0 rebounds for the Clerks. He also was a member of the Cardozo football team where he played outside linebacker and wide receiver.

Marshall led his high school team to a 28-3 record and the Berks County and District III championship in 2012. He was named All-County and Third Team All-State (Pa.) after averaging 16.0 points per game during his senior season.

Marshall is listed as a two-star recruit and has been rated as one of the Top 20 players coming out of the state of Pennsylvania this year.

Marshall’s father, Donyell, played in the National Basketball Association for 18 years. An All-American at the University of Connecticut, he finished his collegiate career by being selected as the BIG EAST Player of the Year in 1994. Donyell was drafted after his junior year at UConn by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the fourth overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft. He played for eight different NBA teams from 1994-2009 and averaged double figures in scoring in a season on 10 separate occasions.

Guthrie and Marshall join Towson’s early signees  Barrington AlstonJerome HairstonFrank Mason and Timajh Parker-Rivera to make up the Tigers’ six-man 2012-13 recruiting class. Towson’s recruiting class was listed as the best in the Colonial Athletic Association and No. 6 among non-BCS schools by CBS Sports during the early signing period. Towson will also gain the services of BIG EAST transfers Jerrelle Benimon and Mike Burwell, who both sat out the 2011-12 season per NCAA transfer rules.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 09 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Brandon Rios vs. Richard Abril/Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Sergey Fedchenko (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Pay-Per-View), Friday Night Fights-Michael Katsidis vs. Albert Mensah (Friday 11pm from Las Vegas live on ESPN2); Women’s College Lacrosse: Virginia Tech @ Maryland (Saturday 12:30pm Ludwig Field); Tennis: ATP Tour U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship (Saturday 1pm Sunday 2pm from Houston live on Tennis Channel); Soccer: MLS DC United @ New England Revolution (Saturday 4pm from Foxborough, MA live on Comcast SportsNet); Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 5:30pm Du Burns Arena)

10. Kaiser Chiefs (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Rodney Atkins (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), The Ting Tings (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Ballyhoo (Saturday 6pm Recher Theatre); Nada Surf (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), All-American Rejects (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Robert Randolph & The Family Band (Friday 11pm Howard Theater) Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) (Saturday 11:30pm Howard Theater), The Roots (Sunday 9pm Monday 8pm Howard Theater); The Bacon Brothers (Friday & Saturday 7:30pm Birchmere); Alison Krauss & Union Station (Saturday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Cris Jacobs (Thursday 9pm Whiskey 1803 Annapolis), Local H (Saturday 9pm Whiskey 1803); Blues Traveler (Sunday 8pm State Theatre); Counting Crows “Underwater Sunshine (or what we did on our summer vacation)”, Alabama Shakes “Boys & Girls” & Florence & The Machine “MTV Unplugged” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Robert Randolph Robert Randolph Robert Randolph Robert Randolph. He’s my friend…

I remember seeing Blues Traveler a few years back at Power Plant Live on a Friday night. I swear to God I sang along to every word, even when they did Sublime…

Alabama Shakes TORE UP the stage at RHL Saturday night. I’m so all in on their record…

And I both enjoy FATM and I enjoy MTV Unplugged. How could this get better? What, could Florence Welch combine with Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age to cover “Jackson” by Johnny Cash???

9. Jim Norton (Thursday-Saturday DC Improv); Jim Breuer (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Corey Holcomb (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); David Sedaris (Thursday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “The Three Stooges” out in theaters (Friday); The Gathering (Friday 5pm Baltimore Museum of Industry); 16th Annual City Paper Brew Fest (Saturday 1pm Broadway Square Fells Point)

Judge me all you want. I still giggle about Jim Breuer in Half Baked…

Also of note in this-Stooges looks terrible and I’d go to The Gathering for THIS from Miss Shirley’s…

And Brew Fest? If I were to end up in Fells Saturday afternoon I would ABSOLUTELY end up spending too much time “sampling” this…


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Gregg Doyel Doesn’t Believe Calipari Leaving Kentucky After Winning Title

Posted on 04 April 2012 by WNST Audio

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Navy Puts Win Streak On Line Friday Night Against Lehigh

Posted on 30 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Game Preview
• Riding its longest winning streak since 2009, the Navy men’s lacrosse team (5-3, 3-1 Patriot League) will play host to seventh-ranked Lehigh (9-1, 2-0 Patriot League) Friday evening in a nationally-televised broadcast … face off is set for 7:00 pm at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
• Navy is coming off a huge upset victory over 12th-ranked Colgate last Saturday after sophomore attackman Sam Jones slipped the defense on the crease with 3.4 seconds left in the game to lead the Midshipmen to a 12-11 victory … while the Mids ran their winning streak to four in a row, they snapped the Raiders’ streak at five straight.
• Lehigh, meanwhile, scored its program-record eighth-straight victory when it dealt Holy Cross a 12-3 loss last Saturday in Bethlehem … junior attackman David DiMaria paced the Mountain Hawks with a seven-point effort that featured a career-high four goals.
• Friday’s contest will be televised by CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play by play) and former Syracuse All-American defenseman Steve Panarelli (analyst) calling he action.

Taking the Field In …
10    Navy has lost just five games (51-5) when scoring 10 or more goals since the start of the 2004 season … Navy is 5-0 this season when reaching 10 goals … Lehigh has scored 10 or more goals in five of its 10 games, winning all five.
9    Senior attackman Taylor Reynolds owns nine-career multi-point contests, including each of the last six games.
8    Tucker Hull in one of only three players in program history to post three eight-point games in a season – 6-2 vs. VMI, 3-5 at Lafayette and 3-5 vs. Holy Cross … he joins Mike Buzzell (1978) and Dennis Nealon (1990) … no Navy player has ever recorded four eight-point games in a season.
7    Sophomore long pole Pat Kiernan has produced nine points on seven goals and two assists over his career … the seven goals are tied as the most by a defenseman in school history, along with Bucky Morris (2001-04) and Zack Schroeder (2007-10).
6    Since 2004, Navy owns an amazing 54-2 record when holding its opponents to six or fewer goals, including a 12-1 mark in the last four seasons combined … Lehigh has scored seven or more goals in just three (2004, ‘09, ‘11) of the previous 30 games.
5    Looking to add to its four-game winning streak, the last time Navy was able to put together five-consecutive wins was in 2008 when the Mids captured wins over Mount St. Mary’s, Lafayette, Lehigh, Holy Cross, Bucknell and Colgate from Feb. 29 to March 23.
4    Attackman Sam Jones led Navy with four goals and an assist in last year’s Lehigh contest.
3    At least one Navy players has scored a hat trick in seven of the eight games this season … Towson is the lone game in which a player did not reach three goals.
2    Tucker Hull is ranked No. 2 in the country in points per game, averaging 5.13 … his is also ranked 15th in goals per game (2.63) and fourth in assists per game (2.50).
1    Over the last four seasons, 24 (10-14) of the Mids’ 68 contests have been decided by one goal … Navy had lost five-straight one-goal games prior to last week’s 12-11 victory over No. 12 Colgate.

More on the Mountain Hawks
• Off to its best start in program history, fifth-year head coach Kevin Cassese has led Lehigh to a 9-1 record including a 2-0 mark in Patriot League action this spring … the nine wins are the most by any Div. I team this season, however just a handful of teams have played 10 games to date.
• The Mountain Hawks’ lone setback of the season was a 17-7 loss to Villanova in the second week of the season … Villanova, ranked 12th in the country this week, is coming off a huge win over Syracuse last weekend … since that loss on Feb. 18, Lehigh has won eight in a row, including wins over nationally-ranked programs Penn (10-4), North Carolina (9-8), Yale (11-7) and Penn State (9-5).
• Lehigh owns a balanced offensive arsenal that including five players with 10 or more goals and seven players with double-digit points … anchoring the offense, however, is junior attackman David DiMaria who leads the team in points (33), goals (16) and assists (17) … none of DiMaria’s goals have been scored when a man up.
• Junior attackman Dante Fantoni has been nicked up this season … despite missing three games, he is the team’s second-leading scorer with 18 points on 10 goals and eight assists.
• Junior Ryan Snyder has had a fine season at the faceoff “x” where he has won 54.3 percent (82-151) of his draws … additionally he leads the team with 62 ground balls.
• Collectively, Lehigh’s defense is ranked No. 1 in the country, surrendering just 5.6 goals per game.
• Freshman goalkeeper Matthew Poillon has made a case to be named this year’s Patriot League Rookie of the Year … he owns a stingy 5.57 goals-against average, which is ranked No. 1 in the nation, and has turned away 62.6 percent of the shots he has faced, which is No. 2 in the country.
• Junior defensive midfielder Noah Molnar and junior defenseman Mike Noone are atop the league’s leader board in caused turnovers with Molnar pacing the team with 14 and Noone has contributed 13.
• Lehigh is one of the second-ranked extra-man unit in the country, scoring goals on 20 of its 31 attempts for a 64.5 scoring percentage … attackmen Adam Johnston and Kyle Stiefel have been the go-to guys for Cassese this season … the two have combined for 12 of the 20 extra-man strikes with Johnston leading the way with seven.
• The Mountain Hawks have limited their turnovers this season … they are ranked No. 4 nationally, turning the ball over 13.0 times per outing.

Series History
• Friday’s contest between Navy and Lehigh marks the 31st game in a series that began in 1910 … the Midshipmen own a commanding 28-2 series advantage.
• The Mids won the first three contests before suffering their first loss in the series, a 4-3 decision in 1913 … Navy had won 25 in a row against the Mountain Hawks until last year’s stunner in Bethlehem when Lehigh dealt the Mids a 14-10 loss in Bethlehem.
• Friday’s game marks the first time Navy and Lehigh have met in Annapolis since 2008 … the two played one  another three-straight years in Bethlehem … four of the last five games, in fact, have been contested in Bethlehem.
• Navy owns a 21-1 series advantage in games played in Annapolis … the Mids’ lone loss at home was the 1913 game.
• Since Navy joined the league in 2004, the Mids have scored double-figure goals in six of the 10 contests … Navy has produced nine goals in three of the other four games during that stretch.
• Navy and Lehigh have met twice in the Patriot League Tournament, 2005 and 2006, with the Mids winning both.

2011 Navy-Lehigh Recap
• Lehigh outscored Navy 8-2 over the final 24 minutes and went on to defeat the Midshipmen, 14-10, at Ulrich Sports Complex in Bethlehem, Pa. in what was both teams’ league opener.
• Navy, which trailed 6-5 at the half, took an 8-6 lead early in the third quarter on a goal by senior midfielder Andy Warner (13:40) and two straight by freshman attackman Sam Jones (9:41 and 9:04). The second goal by Jones was his fourth of the night.
• Lehigh stopped Navy’s run with 7:47 left in the third on a goal by Jonathan Stumpf and then tied the game at eight when Stumpf assisted on a Dante Fantoni goal. Lehigh would take the lead for good with 1:06 left in the third when Fantoni scored his second goal of the night and then Ryan Snyder won the faceoff and went right down the field and fired a shot by goalkeeper RJ Wickham to give Lehigh a 10-8 lead heading into the fourth.
• The Mountain Hawks would make it six-consecutive goals on back-to-back tallies by David DiMaria and Adam Johnston to make it 12-8 and the Mids would never pull closer than three goals the rest of the way.
• Navy outshot Lehigh, 35-32, but the Mountain Hawks dominated the faceoff (18-9) and the ground ball (32-24) statistics. Navy was just 1-5 (.200) on extra-man opportunities.
• Jones led the Mids with four goals, while Warner had two. Jay Mann, Brian Striffler, Nikk Davis and Michael Jones, who saw his first action in a Navy uniform, scored one goal apiece. Tucker Hull, Sam Jones and Warner each added an assist. Meanwhile, Wickham produced 11 saves between the pipes for the Mids.

Program Ties
• First-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell has a handful of connections with the Lehigh coaching staff.
• Sowell served as an assistant coach for the goal-medal winning Team USA squad at the 2010 World Championships in England … a team in which Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese was a member.
• All three of Lehigh’s assistant coaches graduated from Stony Brook with Sowell having coached 2007 grad Brendan Callahan and 2011 grad Tom Compitello … Callahan, an All-East goalkeeper, served as team captain in 2007, Sowell’s first season as head coach at Stony Brook … Compitello was an All-American as a junior, producing 37 goals and 35 assists to help lead the Seawolves to the NCAA Quarterfinals … Errol Wilson graduated in 2006 from Stony Brook.

Mids Join the Rankings
• Coming off a 12-11 victory over 12th-ranked Colgate this past Saturday, the Navy men’s lacrosse team has entered the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll for the first time since March 8, 2010 … the 5-3 Midshipmen have won four-straight games to position themselves as the No. 19 team in the country according to the weekly media poll.
• While Navy has received votes from the media over the last two seasons, the last top-20 ranking the Mids received was No. 13 in week four of the 2010 campaign.
• Navy, who finished the 2010 season with a 7-8 record and the program’s first losing season since 2003, fell out of the rankings on March 15 following a 15-8 loss to Lafayette … the Mids would later avenge that loss against the Leopards in the Patriot League Tournament, but fell short of claiming the title with an 11-8 loss to top-seeded Army.
• Six of Navy’s 12 opponents are ranked among the nation’s top 20 in this week’s installation of the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, including top-ranked Johns Hopkins … additionally, four of the seven Patriot League teams stand among the top 20, led by Lehigh at No. 7, followed by Bucknell (16), Colgate (17) and Navy (19).

Jones Chosen as Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week
• For the second time this season, Navy sophomore attackman Sam Jones has been named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, picking up this week’s citation after scoring the game-winning goal on Saturday against 12th-ranked Colgate.
• In addition to Jones, Lehigh’s Mike Noone (defense) and Matt Poillon (Goalkeeper) along with Bucknell’s David Dickson (rookie) were among those players recognized by the conference office as players of the week at their respective positions.
• Jones paced the Mids with a three-goal, two assist performance against Colgate, but it was his goal with 3.4 seconds left in the game that led to Navy’s first victory over a ranked team since snapping its 36-game losing streak to Johns Hopkins on April 24, 2010.
• Jones, who is Navy’s second-leading scorer with 24 points on 13 goals and 11 assists, came into the game having scored just two points in games played away from Annapolis this season.  Meanwhile, Colgate was the lone team to hold Jones without a point a year ago.

Navy-Colgate Rewind
• Navy sophomore attackman Sam Jones slipped the defense on the crease with 3.4 seconds left in the game to lead the Midshipmen to a 12-11 victory over 12th-ranked Colgate last Saturday in Hamilton, N.Y.
• The win gave the Mids their first four-game winning streak since 2009 when Navy claimed victories over Mount St. Mary’s, Lafayette, Lehigh and Holy Cross.
• Navy snapped a four-game losing streak when the opponent has picked up more ground balls … Colgate owned a slight 29-24 advantage.
• The win marked the program’s first one-goal victory since Navy earned a memorable 9-8 overtime win against Johns Hopkins on April 24, 2010 in Annapolis.  The Mids lost all four one-goal games a year ago and dropped a disappointing 9-8 decision to North Carolina earlier this season after the Tar Heels scored the game’s final four goals.
• The win was also Navy’s first win over a ranked team since that same victory over Hopkins … the Mids had lost five in a row against ranked programs.
• Just eight of the 23 goals were assisted in the contest, four by each team.
• The game was played without a single penalty by either team … the last time Navy was not penalized was the Feb. 12, 2011 game against VMI … the last time a Navy opponent was not flagged was the May 9, 2009 NCAA Tournament game against Duke.
• Senior faceoff specialist Logan West struggled at the “x”, but scored his first-two collegiate goals.
• Sophomore midfielder Erik Hoffstadt saw his five-game point-scoring streak snapped against Colgate after being held without a shot.

One-Goal Wonders
• Navy has played 70 one-goal games (of 235) since the start of the 1996 season, winning just 29 (41.4) of those contests.
• Among those 70 games, 25 of them have gone into extra minutes with Navy winning 11 (44.0).
• Over the last five seasons, 24 of the Mids’ 64 contests have been decided by one goal and Navy has produced wins in just 10 of the 24.
• The Mids had lost five-consecutive one-goal decisions dating back to 2010 before Sam Jones’ goal with 3.4 seconds left lifted Navy over 12th-ranked Colgate on March 24.
• Navy is now 1-1 this season in one-goal decisions, giving up a four-goal advantage over No. 4 North Carolina (2-25) to lose, 9-8.
• Outside of this year, which is yet to be completed, Navy has played at least three one-goal games every year since 1996 … in 2007, Navy played a program-record seven one-goal games, including five that were decided in overtime.
• Last spring, the Mids were 0-4 in one-goal decisions, dropping a 9-8 decision at Loyola (2-19), a 12-11 double-overtime loss at Bucknell (3-7), a 5-4 heart breaker to Colgate and a 9-8 decision at Georgetown … three of the four one-goal losses were on the road.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 27 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Lacrosse-Towson @ Maryland (Tuesday 7pm from Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex live on AM1570 WNST.net); Auto Racing: NASCAR Goody’s Fast Relief 500 (Sunday 12:30pm from Martinsville, VA live on FOX), IndyCar Series Honda Grand Prix of Alabama (Sunday 2pm from Birmingham live on NBC Sports Network); High School Basketball: McDonald’s All American Games (Girls Wednesday 7pm from Chicago live on ESPNU Boys Wednesday 9:30pm from Chicago live on ESPN); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 63 (Friday 8pm from Uncasville, CT live on MTV2); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Hank Lundy vs. Dannie Williams (Friday 9pm from Mashantucket, CT live on ESPN2); Soccer: Team USA Women @ Japan (Sunday 6:30am from Sendai, Japan live on ESPN2), MLS-FC Dallas @ DC United (Friday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on NBC Sports Network); Bill Maher (Saturday 8pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome, Sunday 8pm Strathmore); Donnell Rawlings (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Goon” & “Wrath of the Titans” out in theaters (Friday); Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

10. Van Halen/Kool & The Gang (Wednesday 7:30pm Verizon Center), Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (Sunday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Mac Miller (Saturday 8pm Patriot Center); Blue October (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); Mr. Greengenes (Thursday 8pm Recher Theatre); The Bad Plus (Sunday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); All Mighty Senators (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Sleigh Bells (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), The Temper Trap (Saturday 6pm 9:30 Club), Andrew WK (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Wednesday 8pm Warner Theatre); Patti LaBelle (Friday & Saturday 8pm Strathmore); Leon Redbone (Saturday 7:30pm Birchmere), Three Dog Night (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Of Monsters And Men (Monday 8pm Black Cat)

The new Van Halen is TERRIBLE (at least the song is-I haven’t listened to the record), but it doesn’t change how freaking awesome this is…

I don’t worship Bruce Springsteen. (Some of you would have to admit you do.) I DO freaking love this song though…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GbWwDIo8XU

I have no idea what Three Dog Night even looks like at this point. I would be more than happy to sing along with this though…

Here’s another fantastic tune by a band called Of Monsters And Men. So now we’ve done that…

9. NBA: Washington Wizards @ Indiana Pacers (Thursday 7pm from Indianapolis live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Philadelphia 76ers @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors (Sunday 6pm from Toronto live on Comcast SportsNet), Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS)

Since Sonny Weems doesn’t play for the Raptors anymore, he won’t be there when the ‘Zards visit Canada. It’s a shame because if he was he could bring his creepy foot…

I get the feeling there won’t be many folks willing to click on Page 2 or Page 3 after that, but we’re going to keep going here anyway.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Navy Picks Up Big Win at Colgate

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

HAMILTON, N.Y. – Navy sophomore attackman Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) slipped the defense on the crease with 3.4 seconds left in the game to lead the Midshipmen to a 12-11 victory over 12th-ranked Colgate Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium in Hamilton, N.Y.  While the Mids moved to 5-3 on the year, including wins in each of their last four contests, the Raiders suffered just their second loss of the season and had their five-game winning streak snapped.

“Wow, this feels great,” said first-year Navy head coach Rick Sowell.  “We talked all week long about drawing some positive attention to the program and you do that be getting some big wins.  We proved today that we can play to that level.  I couldn’t be more proud of the guys and the effort they gave today.”

The win marked the program’s first one-goal victory since Navy earned a memorable 9-8 overtime win against Johns Hopkins on April 24, 2010 in Annapolis.  The Mids lost all four one-goal games a year ago and dropped a disappointing 9-8 decision to North Carolina earlier this season after the Tar Heels scored the game’s final four goals.

After falling behind 1-0, Navy scored seven of the next eight goals to seize control of the game and owned a 7-3 advantage at the half.

The game, however, looked to take an eerily similar turn as the North Carolina contest, as the Mids held five-goal leads twice in the game, including a 10-5 lead with 9:13 to go in the third quarter.

Colgate, one of the nation’s most explosive offensive teams, rallied to scored four-straight goals, including three goals in under two minutes to clip the Mids’ lead to one, 10-9, with 4:20 remaining in the third quarter.  Navy did not have the ball on the offensive side of the field between the 9:13 and 4:20 mark, as the Raiders won four-straight faceoffs to keep the Mids’ defense on their toes.

The Raiders knotted up the game at 10-10 just seven seconds into the fourth quarter when faceoff specialist Robert Grabher won the draw and ran straight up the middle unscathed and punched in the equalizer.

Jones gave the Mids an 11-10 edge with 7:15 left in the game, sending his three-yard shot between Colgate keeper Jared Madison’s legs.

The nation’s leading scorer Peter Baum stepped up for the Raiders, scoring the game-tying goal at the 2:38 mark as he swept across the middle of the box and fired in his third goal of the afternoon.

With just over a minute to go, Sowell called timeout and set up a play.  Navy midfielders Nikk Davis (Cockeysville, Md.) and Pat Durkin (Germantown, Md.) anchored themselves at the top of the box, playing catch for the better part of a minute before Durkin found Jones who curled around the left crease and got off a bit of a scoop shot with 3.4 seconds for the game-winner.

“We drew up a play, but it fell apart because they were pushing up,” said Jones.  “I looked up at Durks (Pat Durkin) and then looked at the clock.  He got me the ball and I knew I had enough time to dodge.  I had luck with that side all day long, so I felt confident with the ball.  I made my move and was leaning to the right trying to give myself a little bit of room and sort of got it off sidearm.

“We’ve been up in a lot of games over my two years and let it slip away,” added Jones.  “I think a lot of us in our minds were saying, `no, not again!’  I had complete faith in our team.”

It was particularly rewarding for Jones who has struggled in recent weeks.

“I’ve been in a slump the last few games and the fact that my teammates trusted me means the world,” added Jones.  “I love my teammates.  It just really made me happy to be able to come through for them.”

“I know Sam has been frustrated the last couple of weeks, but I knew it was just a matter of time before he broke out of it,” added Sowell.  “I think it was more about being unlucky than him not doing the right things.  There are a few guys we’d like to have the ball in their sticks at the end of the game and without a doubt Sam is one of them.”

Jones led all scorers in the game with five points on three goals and two assists.  Meanwhile, senior attackman Taylor Reynolds (Babylon, N.Y.), senior faceoff specialist Logan West (Berlin, Md.) and Durkin contributed two goals apiece with West’s goals being the first two of his career.  Sophomore attackman Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.), the nation’s second-leading scorer who was averaging 5.71 points per game going into the contest, was held to just one goal.

Navy senior keeper RJ Wickham (Penn Yan, N.Y.) put together a solid day in goal, turning back 12 Colgate shots on goal, including eight in the second half.  The Raiders took 28 of their 42 shots in the second, outscoring the Mids 8-5 over the second 30 minutes of play.

Baum, who scored just one settled goal on the Midshipmen, paced the Raiders with his hat trick, while Walsh delivered three points on two goals and one assist.  Madison, meanwhile, made just three saves for the Raiders.

The Midshipmen will be back in action next Friday when they play host to 11th-ranked Lehigh at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium beginning at 7:00 pm.  The Patriot League contest will be televised live by CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play by play) and Steve Panarelli (analyst) calling the action.

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Patsos Joins CBS Sports Network As Studio Analyst

Posted on 16 March 2012 by WNST Staff

NEW YORK – The media exposure and attention for the Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball program continues even after the Greyhounds’ NCAA Tournament Second Round loss to Ohio State on Thursday night.

Head Coach Jimmy Patsos will join the CBS Sports Network studio crew on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon to break down and analyze NCAA Tournament games from the network’s studios in New York City.

Former Purdue Head Coach and current St. John’s Special Assistant Gene Keady and former Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent will join Patsos in the studio.

The trio will work with hosts Adam Zucker and James Bates, as well as CBS Sports Network’s Wally Szczerbiak, Steve Lappas and Alaa Abdelnaby, insider Jon Rothstein and CBSSports.com writer Gary Parrish.

Patsos will be in the studio starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

For a complete listing of channels CBS Sports Network is available on, visit www.cbssportsnetwork.com.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 06 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Orlando Salido vs. Juan Manuel Lopez (Saturday 10pm from San Juan, Puerto Rico live on Showtime); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 60 (Friday 8pm from Hammond, IN live on MTV2); Soccer: MISL Eastern Division Final-Rochester Lancers @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena, Leg 2 Monday 7pm in Rochester); Tennis: ATP Tour/WTA Tour BNP Paribas Open (Saturday-Monday 2pm from Indian Wells, CA live on Tennis Channel); Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 5:30pm Du Burns Arena)

10. Black Keys/Arctic Monkeys (Friday 8pm Verizon Center); Boyce Avenue (Wednesday 6:30pm Rams Head Live), Pat Green (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live), moe. (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live), Orgy (Sunday 6:30pm Rams Head Live); Cris Jacobs Band (Friday 8pm 8×10 Club), Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Kindred the Family Soul (Friday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); Playing for Change Band (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Mutemath (Saturday 7pm 9:30 Club), Young The Giant/Grouplove (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Experience Hendrix feat. Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Tuesday 8pm Strathmore); Travis Tritt (Tuesday 7:30pm Birchmere); North Mississippi All-Stars (Saturday 9pm State Theatre); Bruce Springsteen “Wrecking Ball” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

The Black Keys sold out the Verizon Center. That’s amazing. I’ll most look forward to the part where the place that usually houses smelly Caps fans turns into one large Phoenix Coyotes rally…

Boyce Avenue is not an act I should ever voluntarily admit to enjoying. I should ABSOLUTELY never admit to enjoying their cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”…

The PFC band is fantastic. You’ll probably remember this…

Young The Giant authored perhaps the single most underrated song of 2011…

9. Bill Bellamy (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Kevin Pollak (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Todd Glass (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade/Shamrock 5K (Sunday 1:15pm Inner Harbor/Downtown Baltimore); “Friends With Kids” opens in theaters (Friday)

One-I love a good St. Patty’s Day throw down a week before the 17th. In honor of that, I think I’ll make a stop at the Tilted Kilt in White Marsh after the parade…

Note: I’m aware that’s a Scotish thing. It’s late. I’m tired.

Note 2: Does it really matter anyway?

And since we’re here, I actually think “Friends With Kids” has a bit of a “watchable chick flick” feel. It also has Jon Hamm. As in THIS Jon Hamm…

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

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

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Stop me if you’ve read this one before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Continue reading on Page 2…)

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