Tag Archive | "Chris Turner"

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 11 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson (Saturday 9pm from Los Angeles live on HBO PPV); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 54 (Saturday 9pm from Atlantic City live on MTV2); High School Football: Perry Hall @ Eastern Tech (Friday 7pm CCBC-Essex) Georgetown Prep @ Calvert Hall (Friday 7pm); Golf-PGA Tour McGladrey Classic (Thursday-Sunday 2pm from Sea Island, GA live on Golf Channel), Champions Tour AT&T Championship (Friday-Sunday 7:30pm from San Antonio on Golf Channel), LPGA Tour Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia (Thursday-Sunday 9:30pm from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia on Golf Channel); Tennis: ATP Tour Shanghai Rolex Masters (Tuesday-Friday 2am Saturday & Sunday 4am from Shanghai, China live on Tennis Channel); Rugby World Cup Semifinals: Wales vs. France (Saturday 4am from Auckland, New Zealand live on Universal Sports), Australia vs. New Zealand (Sunday 4am from Auckland, New Zealand live on Universal Sports); Canadian Football League: Calgary Stampeders @ Toronto Argonauts (Friday 8pm from Toronto live on NFL Network); College Lacrosse: Fall Ball Notre Dame @ Navy (Saturday 12pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium)

10. Sunday in the Country feat. Josh Turner, The Band Perry & Joe Nichols (Sunday 11am Merriweather Post Pavilion); Zac Brown Band (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Wanda Sykes (Saturday 8pm Patriot Center); Arctic Monkeys (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); FUEL (Tuesday 6:30pm Recher Theatre), Phil Vassar (Wednesday 7pm Recher Theatre), Tommy Lee/DJ Aero (Friday 10pm Recher Theatre), Thrice (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre), Filter (Sunday 6:30pm Recher Theatre); Parachute (Tuesday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage), Vertical Horizon (Sunday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Spin Doctors (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage), Joshua James (Saturday 1pm Rams Head On Stage); G. Love & Special Sauce (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Smashing Pumpkins (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Boyz II Men (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Jill Scott (Tuesday 8pm Lyric Opera House), Tony Bennett (Saturday 8pm Lyric Opera House); Trey Anastasio Band (Thursday 6:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Blue October (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Bush/Chevelle (Monday 6:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Cecil County Food And Wine Festival feat. George Jones (Saturday 4pm Port Deposit Marina Park); Island Bay Day feat. Kix/Jimmie’s Chicken Shack/Kelly Bell Band (Saturday 11am American Legion Stevensville); Return of The Kings of Hip Hop feat. Rakim/Slick Rick/Big Daddy Kane/Kurtis Blow (Thursday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall), Duran Duran (Sunday 7:30pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Esperanza Spalding (Sunday 8pm Warner Theatre), Dream Theater (Monday 8pm Warner Theatre)

I enjoy so many of these things, but few do I enjoy more than the great Zac Brown…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOe25IfD0GE[/youtube]

I had no idea Filter was back together. Is Richard Patrick still in the band? Damn they had some hits…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8MAHQhKe7Q&ob=av2e[/youtube]

While I was checking around for Filter stuff I found out Richard Patrick and Lacey Mosley from Flyleaf were doing U2 covers. I’ll indulge them…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0IrmbKC2hU[/youtube]

I really shouldn’t publicly admit how much I enjoy Vertical Horizon…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8s_q3IaglQ&ob=av2e[/youtube]

Joshua James is one of the new acts I have absolutely enjoyed most this season…

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

9. Baltimore Beer Week (Tuesday-Sunday throughout Charm City); Donald Glover (Saturday 8pm RAC Arena UMBC), Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam (Friday 8pm Lyric Opera House); “Horrible Bosses” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday & Sunday RennFest Fairgrounds Crownsville); Second City: Charmed & Dangerous (Tuesday-Sunday Center Stage)

Beer? I LOVE Beer! Why, just the other day I was sipping a cold Moosehead…

moosehead

But seriously, I could sit here all day talking about beer. In fact I might. OR…with this being the last hurrah for RennFest, perhaps I should instead allow Hack & Slash to tell you about how much they love beer…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgXzc94PMvo[/youtube]

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A mistake on a pop quiz nearly ended former MD QB Josh Portis’ football career-now with a fresh start wants to finish this NFL test the right way

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A mistake on a pop quiz nearly ended former MD QB Josh Portis’ football career-now with a fresh start wants to finish this NFL test the right way

Posted on 17 February 2011 by Ryan Chell

Josh Portis

Josh Portis has traveled far and wide in his football playing days.

The Woodland Hills, California native was once one of the most highly touted, dual-threat prep quarterbacks in the nation, and appeared to be well on his way toward building up a decent pro resume in the NFL playing for the University of Florida and the Maryland Terrapins.

That was until his Division-I college career was derailed by coaching changes, transfers, and some bad decisions on his part.

Ultimately starting over though for Portis, while it may have appeared  to end his chances at making the NFL, it turned out to be a good decision on his part.

Portis joined Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” this week to share his enthusiasm for being invited to next week’s NFL Rookie Combine in Indianapolis on July 24th.

“It’s great to work out with the best competition, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Portis told Forrester. “I’m excited, anxious, and I’m looking forward to playing in the NFL on Sunday.”

Portis-whose cousin, Clinton, is an All-Pro running back in the NFL having played for the Denver Broncos and the Washington Redskins- saw his career as a Gator fall apart due to the presence of one Tim Tebow in Gainesville, forcing a transfer to College Park as he became a Maryland Terp for three seasons.

But Portis saw the same problem occur at Maryland as he did at Florida, where he could not break the depth chart in 2008 due to Chris Turner stepping up as the starter for the Terps.

This was after missing all of 2006 sitting out because of the transfer to Maryland. And in 2007, things seemed to get even worse for Portis, as a small but dumb decision on his part at the time may have cost him at chances at playing football for good.

Portis was caught cheating on a pop quiz while enrolled at College Park, and ultimately suspended for the year for violating the school’s Honor Code policy.

“Everyone knows about it. At Maryland, when I was there, it was a ten-point pop quiz. I made a mistake, and happened to copy someone else’s answer. Everybody moves on, but the school decided to suspend me for the whole year, but not the NCAA.”

With a ten point quiz, everyone makes a mistake. Something major happened to me on my part, and I moved on from it.”

And he expects the NFL scouts at the Combine will also ask him about his mistakes at Maryland the same way Forrester asked him about it on “The Morning Reaction.”

And Portis knows that he has to face it head-on the same way he would face an opposing defensive lineman barreling down on him.

“I feel like if you’re just open and honest about off the field things, it will take care of itself,” Portis said.

And so far, since his departure from Maryland, he has been forthright about what happened. But in order to make the NFL, you have to prove that you can play football too.

But most schools wouldn’t take a flier on a guy jettisoned from two Division-I programs, let alone one that barely played. So instead, Portis had to eat “humble pie” and and try and make an impression on NFL scouts at the Division-II level.

Which is what he did.

Portis was ultimately  invited to the NFL Combine mostly because of his play for the two seasons at the University of California in Pennsylvania, a Division-II program.

In those two years as a Vulcan, he had 69 passing touchdowns, a Cal U record. His 6,072 career passing yards were good for fourth best in school history.

He becomes the first ever player from the school to be invited to the biggest step in the process of becoming an NFL player.

Portis was actually eligible to come out for the NFL Draft after his first season as a Vulcan, but stayed on for a second year to boost his draft status.

Doing so helped become  ranked as the second-best Division-II quarterback prospect trying to make an NFL squad.

“It’s been a journey,” Portis said. I went to Florida, Maryland, now I’m at Cal U. It’s been a difficult road, but I’m finally here. God has given me perseverance, and I continue to work hard and continue to live my dream.”

In reality, Portis said the competition was challenging at that “subdivision” of college football, and while it definitely wasn’t like playing in the ACC or the SEC, it still tested his skills.

“The competition obviously at the D-II level is a little bit lower,” Portis said.  ” The atmosphere may not be as big, but D-II is still some pretty good competition.”

And even before his invitation to next week’s NFL combine, he has already had his NFL-cousin, Clinton Portis, giving him advice on how best to direct his preparation toward making an NFL squad.

“I mean you guys have been around him when he was with Washington, you know he’s a straight forward guy,” Josh said of Clinton Portis. “You know, he definitely doesn’t play around with giving me advice. He’s just been telling me to stick it out and keep working, that my time will come. He’s been a great addition and help to me as I develop my career.”

Josh Portis said he hopes to have as long an NFL career as his cousin.

“Obviously he’s given me some confidence because he’s been at that level of play in the NFL for a long time..that level for a long time with the Redskins and the Broncos. He’s been there for nine years as a running back which is pretty good. He knows how to take care of his body how to be mentally prepared, and how to go out and get the job done on Sunday.”

Portis recently participated in the former NFL PA game, now known as the “Texas versus the Nation” game on February 5th showing off some of the NFL’s eventual rookie class prospects.

Portis was 7-of-17 for 80 yards, helping the Texas team beat the Nation, 13-7.

In the game, he got a lot of comparisons based on his play and physical attributes.

“Players were telling me, “Oh, you’re like another Mike Vick. Big, fast, strong arm, move out of the pocket, pocket awareness…but I want to be a quarterback who sits in the pocket for a little awhile and run when I need to. So I kind of see myself as a Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick late in his career.

“I’m like a Tom Brady and a Vince Young. The kind of QB who moves around and throws the ball first…Aaron Rodgers is another late in his career and he has won a Super Bowl. He’s not really an actual athletic quarterback, but he has some mobility around the pocket so he can make some throws.”

But maybe Portis’ biggest asset so far other than his physical skills?

His perseverance to keep going and rebounding after making some dumb decisions in his life.

“I mean, just not giving up on your dreams, keep working hard…God has a role for you at the end of the day. You just have to believe in him and you have to work and strive for your success.”

Glenn Clark will check Josh Portis out next week at the NFL Combine! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

And continue to follow all of Josh’s exploits at his website!


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Top 10 Ralph Friedgen Era Victories

Posted on 29 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Yep…it’s another list. Hey, it’s the end of the year.

As Ralph Friedgen’s tenure as University of Maryland football coach comes to a close with this afternoon’s Military Bowl contest against East Carolina at RFK Stadium (Luke Jones hosts our “Turtle Power” live chat here at WNST.net at 2:30), I figured I’d look back on the era of “The Fridge” by remembering his best victories as Maryland football coach.

(Edit from GMC: It was brought to my attention at 9:55am that my friend Patrick Stevens of D1scourse.com posted a similar list at 9:43am. S.O.B. I encourage you to check his list out as well.)

Honorable Mention: Maryland 24, Purdue 7 (December 29, 2006 Champs Sports Bowl Florida Citrus Bowl Orlando, FL); Maryland 35, California 27 (September 13, 2008 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD); Maryland 23, Navy 20 (September 3, 2005 M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, MD); Maryland 17, Navy 14 (September 6, 2010 M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, MD); Maryland 26, Wake Forest 0 (October 18, 2008 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD); Maryland 20, Clemson 17 (September 27, 2008 Memorial Stadium Clemson, SC); Maryland 14, Miami 13 (November 11, 2006); Maryland 27, Florida State 24 (October 28, 2006 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD); Maryland 28, Virginia 26 (October 14, 2006 Scott Stadium Charlottesville, VA)

10. Maryland 38, NC State 31 (November 27, 2010 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz6qO2a5nRI[/youtube]

The last regular season win of Friedgen’s career certainly stands out to some extent.

It looked (at the time) like this was the “statement” win the Terrapins needed with Danny O’Brien under center to prove they were headed in the direction of an ACC title.

They might still be, it just won’t be with Friedgen at the helm.

Wherever Torrey Smith ranks amongst the great players in Friedgen’s tenure, this was clearly his best game. He was absolutely DOMINANT against the Wolfpack…who I have a funny feeling will show up again on this list.

9. Maryland 37, Clemson 20 (November 10, 2001 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T6pGkM-Sxw[/youtube]

This game was already going to be meaningful, as it was the first time Byrd Stadium was sold out in the Friedgen era.

After North Carolina State beat Florida State earlier in the day, the game became very significant-as it put the Terps on the track towards the BCS.

The game itself wasn’t of the epic nature; but the Terps had lost eight straight to the Tigers before finally breaking through.

This was also the first “rush the field” moment in Friedgen’s ten seasons.

It wasn’t quite as big as the team’s next win, but we’ll get to that.

8. Maryland 26, NC State 24 (November 22, 2003 Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh, NC)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GQAxI9q5dI[/youtube]

This game was significant for multiple reasons.

First, it finished off a perfect 4-0 record for Friedgen against NCSU while Phillip Rivers was quarterback.

Second, the game did have a bit of an epic nature after Nick Novak missed what would have been a game-tying extra point. Leroy Ambush forced a turnover, and Novak was able to get redemption by kicking the game-winning field goal.

And third, it kept Maryland on track for what would eventually be a Gator Bowl berth on New Year’s Day.

7. Maryland 20, Georgia Tech 17 OT (October 11, 2001 Bobby Dodd Stadium Atlanta, GA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtcYJK21R0s[/youtube]

This might not be high enough on the list. Hell, I know it isn’t high enough on the list. But I already made the list. I’m not changing it now.

This was the very first significant win in the Friedgen era at Maryland, and it was absolutely miraculous.

Yellow Jackets RB Joe Burns inexplicably ran out of bounds late in regulation with his team ahead 17-14; setting up a career long 46 yard field goal by Novak (who had been AWFUL up to that point in his Maryland career) to send the game to overtime. In OT, another Burns fumble would seal the first win over a ranked team for Friedgen at his alma mater.

With the win, Friedgen’s Terps improved to 6-0; forcing fans throughout the Mid-Atlantic to take notice of what was happening in College Park.

6. Maryland 34, Rutgers 24 (September 29, 2007 Rutgers Stadium Piscataway, NJ)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=485yysHK7m8[/youtube]

Of all of the wins on this list, this is certainly the most improbable.

When Jordan Steffy went down against the Scarlet Knights, a large number of Maryland fans had to think to themselves “who the hell is Chris Turner?”

They’d find out in a big way.

Perhaps the game was more significant because of the sheer number of then-current or former Garden State residents who went to the University of Maryland.

There were definitely a number of households torn up and down the I-95 corridor because of the matchup.

For Friedgen, it would be the first of two wins over Top 10 opponents that season.

5. Maryland 41, West Virginia 7 (January 1, 2004 Gator Bowl Alltel Stadium Jacksonville, FL)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q63nyT2mhtM[/youtube]

The ONLY thing about this game that gets it on the list was the fact that it was a New Year’s Day game played on NBC-making it arguably the highest profile win in the Friedgen era.

The game wasn’t exactly exciting, save for some impressive Scott McBrien to Steve Suter theatrics. The matchup was disappointing, as the Terps had already posted a blowout victory over WVU earlier in the year.

It was the third straight high-profile bowl game Maryland reached to start Friedgen’s career. Unfortunately, it was also the last.

It was also the last time Friedgen would collect a victory over the Mountaineers.

Had those last two statements been different, the Friedgen era might not be coming to a close in DC today.

4. Maryland 42, Boston College 35 (November 11, 2007 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6di8qtmN9Zo[/youtube]

When he’s 70 years old, Chris Turner will still be able to tell everyone he talks to that he once beat Matt Ryan.

Ryan entered the Saturday night national TV showdown (ABC) near the front of the Heisman Trophy race. He didn’t necessarily disappoint (421 yards passing and 3TD’s) in front of the College Park crowd, but he was outdone by a guy who was better known for looking like Napoleon Dynamite.

Turner threw for 337 yards and 3TD’s himself, while Lance Ball added 122 yards on the ground and a rushing TD. Maryland was ahead 42-21 in the second half before eventually holding off the Eagles late.

It was an impressive victory for a frustrating team. Friedgen’s Terps beat two Top 10 teams that season, but finished just 6-6 and lost to Oregon State in the Emerald Bowl.

3. Maryland 20, Florida State 17 (October 30, 2004 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGX8Mvr5Evw[/youtube]

Maryland was 0-14 all time against FSU until this game.

Friedgen was ofer in his first three contests against the Seminoles himself until this game.

History will forever note that Joel Statham was the first ever Maryland QB to beat Florida State.

Six years later, I still really can’t believe it happened.

2. Maryland 30, Tennessee 3 (December 31, 2002 Peach Bowl Georgia Dome Atlanta, GA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDi9rXxCGSQ[/youtube]

You can count Ralph Friedgen’s wins over SEC programs on one finger.

Not only was Maryland’s Peach Bowl romp over the Volunteers the first significantly high-profile (New Year’s Eve on ESPN) non-conference win under Friedgen, it was also the statement game for E.J. Henderson; who will probably go down as the best player of the Friedgen era.

It was the type of win that allowed Maryland fans to measure the progress the Terps had made through two seasons.

It was also the type of win that made fans think more postseason wins over SEC teams would be coming in the future.

Obviously they didn’t.

1. Maryland 23, NC State 19 (November 17, 2001 Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh, NC)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QszioOHki8[/youtube]

Shaun Hill and Guilian Gary will forever be remembered as the combination that sent Maryland to their first ACC Championship in 16 years and their first Orange Bowl berth since 1956.

The only unfortunate thing about #1 is that most coaches probably don’t want to be remembered as collecting their most significant victory in their first season.

Friedgen never returned to this moment, but it doesn’t take anything away from the victory itself.

It was an awesome moment in University of Maryland athletics history.

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 02 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because Bear Grylls did a “heli-oop” in a recent Degree commercial (Thanks Deadspin/YouTube!)…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AytBhd_NwH8[/youtube]

In a related story, I once rode in a helicopter. I was so nervous I peed a little. Bear Grylls once drank his OWN urine!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2zITvSp0Hk[/youtube]

You see, he and I have so much in common!!!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Tavares Gooden, WR Donte’ Stallworth don’t expect to find out status for Week 9 until Sunday

My gut says both guys will play, but I feel stronger about Stallworth than Gooden right now. The Ravens not only need a different option at WR (Stallworth POTENTIALLY gives them a speed threat), but they really need a punt returner-especially with Tom Zbikowski still out of practice while he remains in a walking boot.

As far as Gooden is concerned-there is at least a chance the Ravens could choose to hold him out for another week given the depth they now have inside with Brendon Ayanbadejo healthy and with Jason Phillips having played well on Special Teams. But if Gooden is fully healthy-and he looks like he’s pretty close-he plays.

At that point, the Ravens have to find seven true scratches again to go with an injured Zbikowski. The likely names are Scott Kooistra, Dennis Pitta, Ken Hamlin, Arthur Jones, Lamar Divens, Jason Phillips and David Reed, as they’re the guys who have been inactive at times during the first seven weeks of the season.

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Ravens came back to Owings Mills in 1st place in AFC North

Which is better than the alternative, but clearly doesn’t matter much.

The bottom line is that there is little chance the Ravens make it through the rest of their schedule without at least two more losses. They have tough games at the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans; as well as dates with the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. A more realistic expectation is probably an 11-5 finish.

The Steelers’ schedule doesn’t appear to be quite as tricky. The Ravens are the only team with a .500 or better record that they still have to face away from the Steel City. They do have to welcome the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets to Heinz Field; but that schedule sets up much better.

That’s why the Steelers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday night was significant. If they had won that one, they would have been in UNBELIEVABLE shape to win the division. At this point, it looks like the two teams will be in a dogfight.

(Note: This is Week 9. In a month, all of this could be different. In fact, it probably will be.)

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says CB Fabian Washington watched Buffalo Bills tape 3 times, ready to move on

We’ve all had bad moments.

During one of my first overnight DJ shifts back at WHFS, I forgot to turn my mic off after introducing a White Stripes record (I think it was “Seven Nation Army”) and listeners throughout the Old Line State were blessed with the opportunity to hear my variation of Jack White.

Why would I ever listen to that aircheck again? Mostly to make fun of myself. Why would Fabian Washington watch the tapes of getting abused by Lee Evans? He probably did it to get BETTER.

If the Ravens for some reason choose NOT to return Fabian Washington to his starting spot Sunday against the Fins, I would have to recommend they consider Ximena Navarrette. (Thanks Guyism!)

navarette

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says TE Todd Heap ‘feeling better’ after aggravating shoulder stinger in win over Bills

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-Did you miss former Ravens head coach Brian Billick (NFL Network/Fox Sports) with Drew Forrester Tuesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Nick Faust (City Guard/#25 ranked prospect)-who joined Drew Tuesday morning to discuss his commitment to head to College Park in 2011
  • Andrew Perloff (SI)-who joined Drew Tuesday morning to talk Randy Moss and all things NFL
  • Patrick Stevens (D1scourse/CSNWashington.com/Fanhouse)-who joined Drew Thursday morning to talk Terps hoops and Terps football
  • Our “Tuesday Top 7″-which this week was a look at the Top 7 NFL MVP candidates thus far this season
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Monday, including Head Coach John Harbaugh, WR Derrick Mason, Heap and Stallworth
  • Postgame audio from last night’s Maryland-Florida Southern game, including Jordan Williams, Cliff Tucker and Sean Mosley
  • Tommy Polley (Former Ravens/Dunbar LB)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Monday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to discuss Week 8 NFL action
  • Brad Edwards (ESPN)-who joined Thyrl Monday to talk all things BCS and College Football
  • Tim Layden (Sports Illustrated)-who joined Rex Snider Monday on “The Afternoon Drive” to discuss Ray Lewis’ legacy and more

It’s all in the Audio Vault. So your day…for the millionth time…is planned well in advance. Just go ahead and thank me now so you don’t have to do it later.

5. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Jordan Williams lead Maryland with 18 points in exhibition win over Florida Southern

And coming from someone who ventured down to Comcast Center, it was a real thriller. Trust me.

That being said, it was certainly MUCH better than it could have been.

This team is going to be able to get up and down the floor quickly and they will certainly be able to find ways to score points. There’s an argument that Jack McCallum might write his follow up to “Seven Seconds or Less” about Gary Williams’ team.

The real question is whether or not the team is going to be able to shoot. Last night they were just 4-12 from beyond the arc and 18-30 from the free throw line. It goes without saying that those numbers will need to improve.

That being said, they look like they have an identity post-Greivis Vasquez. That’s good news thus far.

6. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins appear to be loaded with “athletic ability”

I wholeheartedly agree. Patrick made a comment last night that this might be the most athletic group assembled in College Park since the Steve Francis/LaRon Profit/Juan Dixon/Terrence Morris team in 1998-1999.

That team was most remembered as being a team that never minded throwing up an alley-oop; no matter where they were on the floor. Of course, that wasn’t necessarily always a good thing.

If we remember, that team was eliminated (in semi-embarrassing fashion) by St. John’s in the Sweet 16 because the Red Storm were an OUTSTANDING defensive team lead by Ron Artest. Should this Maryland team figure out a way to reach a similar level in the NCAA Tournament, it would be an incredible overachievement.

7. UMTerps.com says Maryland QB Danny O’Brien named ACC Rookie of the Week after throwing 4 TD’s against Wake Forest

What’s more? A handful of fans even recognized him as he was sitting at Comcast Center Monday night watching the Maryland basketball game.

It’s really been a surprisingly good start for O’Brien this season. He’s not Scott McBrien just yet, but he certainly appears like he’s a much more naturally able QB than say Chris Turner.

He’s been good. Good enough that if Holly Peers were on campus in College Park, he’d probably be able to get a date with her. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

peers

8. ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terrapins face much more difficult schedule down stretch in ACC play

And before we move on from the Terps, a couple of things…

-On the basketball side, it was announced before last night’s game that Sean Mosley and Dino Gregory would be the team’s captains this season. It was a LITTLE bit surprising considering Mosley is only a junior and both Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie are seniors; but Mosley has a reputation for being a solid practice player and might have more “emotional leader” in his blood.

It also means that the Terps now have two captains from Charm City to go with two of the three assistant coaches on their staff (Bino Ranson, Keith Booth). But someone without a brain will still try to mention that Maryland “cares more about DC than Baltimore.” Lord.

-Also in basketball, the team will hang a banner honoring last year’s ACC (Co) Regular Season champions before next Monday’s season opener against Seattle.

-In football, the ACC announced kickoff times and TV for the team’s next two games. They’re game against the Miami Hurricanes this Sunday will kick off at 12pm and will air on ESPNU. Next Saturday’s trip to Charlottesville to face Virginia will kickoff at 3:30pm and will be seen on ESPN3.com. Hard to generate interest when no one is seeing the games…

9. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Rick Kranitz accepted job with Houston Astros, Texas Rangers special assistant Mark Connor expected to be Orioles pitching coach

Well, if he could help a lowly team like the Rangers win the World Series, just imagine what he could do with the Birds!

(Edit from GMC: Apparently the Rangers did NOT win the World Series. I will be forced to admit that I didn’t watch last night. I chose fake college basketball and Monday Night Football instead.)

I’d offer an opinion here, but it would be misinformed. I don’t REALLY know how much Rick Kranitz did for this team. I do know that the Orioles young pitchers steadily improved last season, so Kranitz might deserve some credit there.

I know LESS about Mark Connor-other than the fact that he shares a name with my 7th grade history teacher. Don’t ask me why I knew my 7th grade history teacher’s full name-and DEFINITELY don’t ask how I remember it.

10. The Sun’s Steve Gould says Baseball America named Manny Machado, Zach Britton top prospects in O’s organization

Yet somehow “JWoww” from Jersey Shore was left off the list despite wearing this for Halloween…

jwoww

Finally, I leave you with this.

In honor of Election Day, I’ll pass along my favorite sign from Saturday’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” at the National Mall in DC. This guy literally made this sign and brought it to a rally. If there wasn’t a legal definition for “awesome” before, there is now…

fajita

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Terps quarterback O’Brien playing well beyond years

Posted on 30 October 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — If you glanced up at the scoreboard Saturday evening, you might have wondered how Ralph Friedgen and the Terps managed to schedule Morgan State for a second time this season.

Maryland (6-2, 3-1 ACC) dominated all facets of the game in a 62-14 victory over a Wake Forest team (2-6, 1-4 ACC) that looked more like an FCS school than an ACC rival. The win makes the Terps bowl-eligible for the first time since 2008 — and after the first 10-loss season in the history of the program.

A soft schedule makes it difficult to figure out how improved the Terps really are — though a 48-point victory over a conference opponent will raise a few eyebrows at least — but the next four weeks will provide a clearer picture with the Terps taking on two teams currently ranked in the Top 25. We have to acknowledge the Terps, at the very least, are winning all the games they’re supposed to, a concept Maryland has struggled with in recent seasons.

Special teams play and and a emphasis on taking better care of the football have been major factors in the turnaround, but there’s no questioning one area in which the Terps have improved dramatically.

The quarterback position, with Danny O’Brien under center.

“He’s very intelligent,” Friedgen said. “He’s like a sponge, wanting to soak up experiences. He doesn’t get rattled if he makes a mistake, which is really quite a quality in a redshirt freshman. I think he’s going to continue to get better. I really do.”

Despite junior Jamarr Robinson beginning the season as the starter, the redshirt freshman O’Brien has seized control of the job more emphatically than any quarterback in College Park since early in the Friedgen era with Shaun Hill and Scott McBrien. He plays the opposite of what you expect from a freshman quarterback, taking care of the football (only three interceptions) and completing the throws the defense gives him (13 touchdowns).

Those three interceptions came in the fourth quarter at Clemson after the Terps had fallen hopelessly behind, eventually falling 31-7 in Death Valley. It was a rare time in which O’Brien looked the part of a freshman quarterback trying to force throws and making mistakes.

Entering Saturday’s game, O’Brien already held the freshman record for touchdown passes (nine) and added to that mark Saturday with four touchdown strikes despite being replaced by Robinson halfway through the third quarter with the game getting out of hand quickly in the second half. It was the most in one game by a Maryland quarterback since Joel Statham — one of several quarterbacks to frustrate the fan base over the last seven years — threw four at Duke on Sept. 25, 2004.

O’Brien finished the day completing 13 of 20 passes for 168 yards with the four passing scores to Torrey Smith, Quintin McCree, Haroon Brown, and LaQuan Williams. The young quarterback completed passes to eight different receivers in what’s becoming a trademark in his performances, diversifying the passing game and using a talented receiving unit that has been underutilized in recent years.

“Just getting into the flow of a game quicker and quicker every week,” O’Brien said. “I’m starting to [play with] more of a rhythm. I’m really confident just because I have playmakers all around me and a line that’s protecting me, so it makes my job pretty easy.”

To say O’Brien has played beyond his years is an understatement, but his performance is not as surprising to those who have watched him closely, especially Friedgen, who considered burning his redshirt eligibility late last season but decided against it. Offensive coordinator James Franklin immediately saw the potential in O’Brien by watching him practice a year ago, often looking like the best quarterback on the field.

Interestingly enough, I first watched O’Brien play in a scrimmage at Byrd Stadium in August 2009. For my money, he was the best quarterback on the field. Better than Chris Turner and Robinson despite having only walked on campus a few weeks earlier.

“He really hasn’t exceeded my expectations,” said offensive coordinator James Franklin. “I had very, very high expectations for him and our entire offense and our team. He’s accurate, he’s got good athleticism. He’s got a lot of the ingredients that we looked for when we recruited him, and all those things have held true.”

The freshman oozes confidence and efficiency for a Maryland offense that was plagued by the turnovers of Chris Turner and Robinson a year ago. The Terps offense now stands at plus-10 in turnover margin after Maryland committed an appalling 24 turnovers in 12 games last season.

That growing conviction has even radiated during his conversations with Friedgen, who shared how certain O’Brien was about beating Wake Forest, the college team he cheered for  growing up in Kernersville, N.C.

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After Leading Terps Through “Adversity”, O’Brien Deserves Chance to Stay Under Center

Posted on 25 September 2010 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Starting QB Jamarr Robinson (shoulder) was unable to practice at all. WR Tony Logan took the majority of snaps with the first team offense throughout the week.

As Head Coach Ralph Friedgen explained, the Maryland Terrapins were faced with quite a bit of “adversity” in the week leading up to Saturday’s game against the Florida International Panthers.

Redshirt freshman QB Danny O’Brien got the first start of his Terps career, and he made the most of it in leading the Terps (3-1) to a 42-28 win over Florida International (0-3) at Byrd Stadium.

It would be disingenuous to label the performance by O’Brien with some sort of overstated term like “brilliant” or “dazzling.” Instead, the performance would be best labeled as “effective.” Of course, “effective” was exactly what Friedgen and Offensive Coordinator James Franklin needed against a tricky Panthers defense that had put together a six sack, four interception performance at Texas A&M just a week earlier.

“Basically, we didn’t have a quarterback to practice with all week” said Friedgen. “(O’Brien) didn’t get many reps, and that’s always my concern. I was very impressed with his poise. He never got rattled. You’d think he’d at least be a little bit nervous, but I never got that from him.”

“We were trying to protect the quarterback, so we were trying to run the ball early” added Franklin. “That wasn’t as going as well as we would have liked, so the quick passing game was another way to move the ball and be able to protect the quarterback.”

They didn’t need “spectacular”, they just needed “effective.” They got it.

O’Brien finished the game a tidy 18-27 for 250 yards with two TD’s and no interceptions. His first touchdown pass to WR LaQuan Williams (Poly) was a particularly impressive nine yard fade to the back left corner of the south endzone. He also connected with WR Torrey Smith-the team’s top playmaker-eight times for 159 yards, including a 68 yard pitch and catch TD. He handled FIU pressure very well and effectively used his checkdown options instead of forcing passes into dangerous spots on the football field.

It was an especially effective performance for O’Brien considering how little Maryland was able to do on the ground in the game. Maryland finished the game with 169 net yards rushing, but all but 28 of them came on three big rushing TD plays. RB Da’Rel Scott broke off TD runs of 56 and 9 yards, while RB Davin Meggett capped scoring with a 76 yard TD scamper. But Maryland’s overall inability to establish a consistent running attack allowed FIU to hold a 34:05-25:55 advantage in time of possession and a 98-55 advantage in total offensive plays.

“I think it was a great team victory” said O’Brien. “I feel like I had a pretty good performance, (there were) a few plays I’d like back. We ran the ball and we protected great. I feel like everytime we do that, we have the receivers and running backs to beat everybody.

O’Brien got the start just a week after re-aggravating an ankle injury on his only snap in a 31-17 loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown. He said his ankle was “close to” 100%, and wasn’t a factor during the game. Franklin confirmed that Robinson would have been available in an emergency situation, but Friedgen said Logan (who returned a punt 85 yards for a TD in the 2nd quarter) would have been the team’s backup QB.

The only problem for Friedgen and the Terps’ staff is that the performance will do little to settle their overall QB picture. Robinson and O’Brien had both played in all three games before Saturday, but Robinson was the clear starter. In fact, O’Brien saw the field for just one snap in both the Navy and WVU games, with his only snap resulting in a fumble each time. It was only against the FCS-level Morgan State Bears than O’Brien saw significant playing time before getting the start in Saturday’s victory.

“I think both (Robinson and O’Brien) will end up still playing” said Friedgen. “I think both of them have strengths. I think if we’re smart we can utilize both of their talents and we should try to do that. I’ll know that a little bit more when I see what Jamarr’s condition is.”

While Friedgen is likely to continue to work both quarterbacks into games, fans throughout the Old Line State will undoubtedly spend the week leading up to next Saturday’s contest with Duke calling for Friedgen to go with O’Brien exclusively. Fans took to Facebook and Twitter throughout the game Saturday (although only 33,254 were announced in attendance at the game) to make such statements about the QB situation. That controversy is unlikely to die down as the Terrapins face an uphill battle with only ACC games remaining on the regular season schedule.

O’Brien certainly appears to have the mental makeup to be a winner. Friedgen praised O’Brien’s mental makeup after the game, saying “that’s what you need at the quarterback position. You need a guy that can make decisions, put you in the right play and give you a chance to be successful.”

O’Brien is also unquestionably talented, and did not appear rattled by a defense that entered the game with the 28th ranked defense in the nation despite playing their first two games against opponents from BCS automatic qualifying conferences (Rutgers, Texas A&M). That being said, the two solid performances from O’Brien this season have come in emotionally flat environments; as both the Morgan State win and Saturday’s win were played in front of less than full crowds in College Park.

O’Brien has never played against an ACC opponent of any sort, while Robinson started games against bowl-bound teams like Virginia Tech and Florida State last season. O’Brien hasn’t played in electric environment, while Robinson nearly beat the Seminoles in the last game Bobby Bowden would ever coach in Tallahassee. O’Brien is not a particularly mobile QB, while Robinson has already registered a 100 yard rushing game (against the Hokies) in his career.

There are benefits to playing both quarterbacks (if both are healthy), but there appears to be some real need for consistency and leadership at the QB position. Fellow backfield mate Scott said of O’Brien “he’s a very poised young person.”

Friedgen has always remained loyal to his upperclassmen, but perhaps in this instance he would be better served to stick with O’Brien. O’Brien appears to have the better combination of physical and mental skills to win, and Robinson could still be capable of entering games to throw opponents a different look. Maryland tried to employ a similar combo two seasons ago with starter Chris Turner and speedy Florida transfer Josh Portis, but Portis often came onto the field without understanding play calls.

Loyalty is admirable, but for a team that could attract only 35,000 fans on a beautiful day in the Mid-Atlantic area, winning is more important. Incoming Athletic Director Kevin Anderson isn’t likely to value loyalty at the end of the season the same way he would value wins and losses.

In this instance, sticking with the quarterback that stood up in the face of adversity is probably the best way to go.

-G

Hear from Friedgen, O’Brien, Franklin and Scott NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net!

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Maryland-Navy Notebook: Questions remain at quarterback

Posted on 06 September 2010 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The Terps will feel good about their 17-14 victory over the Naval Academy — Maryland’s first win since Oct. 3, 2009 — but a plethora of question marks remain for a team trying to rebound from a 2-10 season in 2009.

Perhaps none looms larger than quarterback Jamarr Robinson, who rushed for 92 yards on 12 attempts but completed only two passes for 11 yards.

Despite showing impressive speed, Robinson has yet to show enough consistency in the passing game to instill much confidence that the Terps can significantly improve after a disastrous 2009. In Monday’s victory over the Midshipmen, Robinson tossed an interception from the Navy 19-yard line as the Terps were threatening to add to a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.

“I felt like I could have thrown the ball better,” Robinson said. “We struggled in the passing game, but we came away with the win and that is all that matters.’

Maryland’s plight at quarterback might not be as frustrating if not for the extensive depth it possesses at the wide receiver position. Junior Torrey Smith, a Biletnikoff Award candidate, touched the ball just three times for a total of 11 yards, as the Midshipmen also kicked away from the dangerous returner throughout the afternoon. Adrian Cannon was held to one catch for five yards while LaQuan Williams, Ronnie Tyler, Kevin Dorsey, and Quintin McCree all failed to register a catch.

Of course, production in the passing game takes a backseat when a team rushes for 261 yards on 34 carries, but Ralph Friedgen’s decision to insert Danny O’Brien early in the fourth quarter during a tie game speaks volumes about the uncertainty the coaching staff feels with Robinson at the helm. Despite the change, O’Brien’s fumbled hand-off to Davin Meggett from the Navy 16 paved the way for Robinson’s return after only one play for the redshirt frosh.

The shuffling of quarterbacks, however, is not foreign to Friedgen, as he split time between Turner and Jordan Steffy as early as two seasons ago. The Maryland coach said it was planned to give O’Brien playing time against Navy and reiterated after the game that both quarterbacks would play this season.

“There was a mix-up on [Robinson's] interception,” said Friedgen when asked to assess Robinson’s play. “We’ve got some weapons out there that I’m sure we’re going to be using, but when you only get 39 snaps, that’s the other thing.”

Red zone, dead zone

Efficiency in the red zone is a must for any good football team, but if Monday was any indication, Maryland and Navy may both be heading toward difficult seasons.

The Terps went 3-for-5 in red zone opportunities with Robinson throwing a second-quarter interception from the Navy 19 and O’Brien fumbling from the Mids’ 16 after Tony Logan had snapped off a 57-yard punt return early in the fourth quarter. Maryland cashed in on its three other opportunities inside the red zone with scoring runs by Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett and the go-ahead 24-yard field goal by Travis Baltz.

Navy, however, brought its red zone inefficiency to a new level, going just 2-for-7 inside the 20. The Midshipmen missed a 32-yard field goal, finished three drives with fumbles inside Maryland’s 5-yard line, and sealed their losing fate when quarterback Ricky Dobbs was stuffed by safety Kenny Tate on 4th-and-goal from the Terps’ 1 with 0:34 remaining in the game.

“There’s no consolation in moving the ball,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said after the loss. “The object of the game is to score, and they did a good job keeping us out. We just had some mental lapses. I got out-coached. This is a team loss.”

Double duty for Baltz

Placekicker Nick Ferrara filled in for an injured Baltz last season, so it was only fair for the senior punter to return the favor in the 2010 opener. With Ferrara nursing a groin injury, Baltz handled both punting and kicking duties, making the eventual game-winning 24-yard field goal with 7:50 remaining in the game.

“I tried to mentally prepare myself and when I lined up to kick, I just visualized the ball going in,” Baltz said. “I think my preparation was very helpful for today’s game.”

It was the first field goal of Baltz’s career, and he was also 2-for-2 on PATs. He also averaged 53.0 yards per punt on three tries. Friedgen recognized the senior’s impact by making him a captain for Monday’s game and presenting him with the Crab Bowl trophy after the Terrapins’ win.

Beating Navy

The Terps improved to 7-14 all-time against Navy. Maryland’s last win against Navy had come in the schools’ last meeting, a 23-20 victory at M&T Bank Stadium in 2005.

With Friedgen’s future very much in doubt, Monday’s victory over the Midshipmen may have earned the coach bonus points with newly-appointed athletic director Kevin Anderson. After holding the same position at Army and never beating the Naval Academy during his tenure at West Point, there was little doubt how much satisfaction Anderson took in the Terps’ victory.

“I hope he’s appreciative [of the win],” said Friedgen, earning laughs from reporters in the post-game press conference.

Odds & ends

Meggett’s 67-yard sprint in the first quarter was the longest of the junior’s career. It was also the Terps’ longest run since Darrius Heyward-Bey had a 76-yarder against Clemson on Sept. 27, 2008. Maryland’s longest run last season was a 48-yarder by Scott. … Senior linebacker Alex Wujciak had a career-high 18 tackles and has now recorded double-digit tackles in 18 of his last 23 games. … Tate recorded a career-high 12 tackles, including his stop at the 1 on 4th-and-goal to preserve the victory. … Scott’s 58 rushing yards gave him 1,751 in his career, moving him past Keon Lattimore for 14th on the all-time list at Maryland. … The Terps did not have a pass completion until their first drive of the third quarter. … The announced attendance at M&T Bank Stadium was 69,348.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 23 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-MLS: DC United @ Chivas USA (Sunday 10pm from Carson, California live on ESPN2); Auto Racing: IndyCar Series Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 (Saturday 7pm from Joliet, Illinois live on VERSUS), NASCAR Nationwide Series Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Sunday 2pm from Montreal live on ESPN2)

10. Rock The Bells feat. Snoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan, Lauryn Hill (Sunday 12pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Jackson Browne (Tuesday 7:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), Trey Songz & Monica (Friday 8pm Pier Six Pavilion), Blondie & Cheap Trick (Sunday 7pm Pier Six Pavilion); Tears For Fears (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Nonpoint (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live); Saving Abel (Tuesday 7pm Bourbon Street); Matisyahu (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), NAS & Damien Marley (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Tony Bennett (Friday 8pm Wolf Trap); Patrice O’Neal (Friday-Sunday DC Improv)

I like a lot of this! I’ve said before on Facebook that I’ve lost many hours of my life wondering where Lauryn Hill ran off to. Never again…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE6Qcc6VDo8[/youtube]

I once saw Cheap Trick open for Aerosmith. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why Steven Tyler and company even bothered coming to the stage…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th370QmFtk8[/youtube]

I may not love Tears For Fears but I sure as hell love this song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bqgy1mebh8[/youtube]

Matisyahu played the last HFStival I was involved with when I was employed there. He carried his own equipment. And he kicked ass…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2zqAmP0DpM[/youtube]

9. Glenn Clark’s Fantasy Football Draft (Friday 8pm Mountain Branch)

And with the sixth pick in the “Full House Fantasy Draft”, Team Jesse and the Rippers Select…

christurner

No way we can lose now…

8. Baltimore Comic-Con (Saturday & Sunday Baltimore Convention Center)

So if I go, do I wear THIS costume…

spiderman

or THIS one…

hogan

I feel like they’re both equally good options…but I’m probably only fat enough for the first one.

7. High School Football: Gilman @ Archbishop Spalding (Friday 7pm), St. John’s (DC) @ Calvert Hall (Saturday 1pm)

I love High School Football. I might not be quite as excited this week because my beloved Perry Hall Gators aren’t in action yet; but I still love the concept of high school football-and just the idea behind “Friday Night Lights” altogether. I posted Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall” as “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week” earlier this week, but not because of the song. Instead, I posted it entirely thanks to the EPIC speech from New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton at the beginning…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlXDo5WhQXI[/youtube]

6. Team USA Basketball: Team USA vs. Greece (Wednesday 12pm from Athens, Greece live on ESPN)

I’ll always be grateful to our Greek friends for giving us things like baklava and Maria Menounos…

mariam

…but this is basketball we’re talking about. Kevin Durant and the boys in the red, white and blue have a simple responsibility. KICK SOME GREEK ASS.

But again, thanks for Maria Menounos. And baklava.

5. Golf: PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs-The Barclays (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS, Sunday 12pm live on Golf Channel 2pm live on CBS. All golf from Paramus, New Jersey); Champions Tour Boeing Classic (Friday & Saturday 6:30, Sunday 7pm from Snoqualmie, Washington live on Golf Channel); LPGA Tour CN Canadian Women’s Open (Thursday & Friday 11:59pm on Golf Channel, Saturday 3pm Sunday 2pm live on Golf Channel. All golf from Winnipeg, Canada)

Apparently it’s a big deal that Tiger Woods is playing this week in New Jersey. With no offense to a guy who has lost more than the Orioles and Pirates combined this season, but I’d be much more interested if it were J-Woww playing this weekend in anywhere…

jwoww

(Edit from GMC: Seriously…I love the Jersey Shore. I don’t care what you think about that.)

4. Tennis: ATP Tour U.S. Open Series Pilot Pen Tennis (Thursday 1pm Friday 12pm & 7pm live on ESPN2, Saturday 1pm live on CBS, 7pm live on ESPN2. All tennis from New Haven, Connecticut); U.S. Open Opening Round (Monday 11am live on Tennis Channel, 1pm live on ESPN2. All U.S. Open tennis from New York)

I know better than to be interested in American tennis players. We all stink right now. My love affair with Andy Roddick is completely pointless, as at some point he’s inevitably going to lose to a player whose future is more suited for the kitchen at PF Chang’s than it is the Wimbledon Champions Ball.

So I’ll go ahead and blame my own stupidity for getting excited when I watched Mardy Fish take the first set from Roger Federer in the final out in Cincinnati. I should have known better. Mardy Fish is Mardy Fish. Roger Federer is Roger Federer.

It’s similar to getting excited about Taka Michinoku when he gets some early offense in a matchup with Triple H. Oh you don’t remember the reference? I’ll remind you the WWF title was on the line…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I-iUL2IBn4[/youtube]

3. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC 118-Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn (Saturday 10pm from Boston live on Pay-Per-View); Bellator Fighting Championships 26 (Thursday 8pm from Kansas City live on Fox Sports Net)

So this is supposed to be the ultimate showdown between boxing and MMA, right? A boxer who has held titles at four different weight classes in James Toney against a mixed martial artist whose career has landed him in the UFC Hall of Fame in Randy Couture.

Whether or not the fight settles ANYTHING, I really hope that Dana White considers replacing Joe Rogan with Jim Gray for the post-fight interview (Some NSFW language in here…unless of course you work with my grandmom. I hear she’s gotten feisty late in life…)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgecPysuGB4[/youtube]

2. Maryland State Fair (Friday-Monday Timonium Fairgrounds)

I can’t explain this enough. Not only will I get beer from the Shriners and collect free swag from crappy radio stations I will never listen to; but I will ABSOLUTELY dine like a king…

turkey

and I will absolutely hang with some of my closest friends…

horse

1. New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens (Saturday 7:30pm from M&T Bank Stadium live on WBAL11)

Giants-Ravens, huh? Okay then….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeY-Nk-GKSY[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Not JUST a Cheap Shot-But a Low Blow AND a Fact

Posted on 09 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

I will be enjoying my first day off in some time today; as I will be headed up to HersheyPark with some family during the day, then on to see Dave Matthews Band with friends tonight. Some might say I don’t deserve it, but to you I say…yeah…yeah, you’re probably right.

If you missed out “Cheap Shots From the Bleachers” segment yesterday, I responded to the fact that some in town (including 105.7 and the Baltimore Sun) were about 4 days late in getting to the “Ed Reed wants a new contract” story that we found out about during an interview with Ed last Friday with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. (Which you can of course hear in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.)

As I pointed out yesterday, it really doesn’t bother me if others in town give us credit when we have something first-whether it’s an interview, story, or anything else. I understand the way things work in Baltimore. There are partnerships-The Orioles have partnered with the Sun, MASN, WJZ 13 and 105.7. The Ravens have partnered with the Sun, MASN, WBAL Radio/WBAL 11 and 98 Rock. Therefore, those folks need to give each other backrubs. That doesn’t bother me, it really doesn’t.

Instead, it reminded me that maybe some folks TRULY believed that by listening to other folks in town, they would be the first to get info or hear interviews. That’s simply not the case. If you want to hear from a sports newsmaker in Charm City, WNST IS the place to turn. Consider just these things from the Spring and Summer of 2010…

-WNST.net was the first media source to talk to new Ravens WR Anquan Boldin. We posted comments from Anquan via the website and Twitter (follow us @WNST) less than 15 minutes after the Ravens acquired him from the Arizona Cardinals; and before even BaltimoreRavens.com had posted comments from the receiver. Boldin appeared with us on WNST for a live interview after being introduced in Owings Mills.

-WNST was also the first media outlet to talk to DT Cory Redding after he was acquired by the Ravens. Redding, Shayne Graham, Ken Hamlin and now even Walt Harris (who appeared with Drew Forrester Friday morning on AM1570) have all since did their first Baltimore interviews with us on WNST. Dwan Edwards did his first interview after leaving Baltimore for the Buffalo Bills with us as well.

-While WBAL’s partnership with the Ravens allowed them to speak to certain members of the Ravens 2010 Draft class before anyone else; WNST was the first station in town to speak to ALL members of the Ravens draft class-Sergio Kindle, Terrence Cody, Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta, David Reed, Arthur Jones and Ramon Harewood. We also spoke live on-air with the undrafted free agents who have the best shot at making the roster out of Training Camp-CB Prince Miller and FB Mike McLaughlin.

-Did I mention the Ed Reed thing?

-It isn’t just that we’re first with the Ravens though. Following Selection Sunday, WNST was the first to talk live with Morgan State’s Reggie Holmes and Todd Bozeman, as well as Maryland’s Eric Hayes and Gary Williams. In fact, all 4 made live radio appearances on WNST within 13 hours of the Selection Sunday announcement.

-Since then, WNST was the first place to hear from Hayes, Landon Milbourne and Greivis Vasquez as those Terps prepared for the NBA Draft.

-Before that, WNST was the first place to hear from football Terrapins like Nolan Carroll, Chris Turner, Terrell Skinner and Bruce Campbell as they prepared for the NFL Draft.

-Also, WNST has been the first station to talk to Debbie Yow after she departed College Park for NC State, as well as Maryland interim Athletic Director Randy Eaton. We were also the first station to talk to new Maryland lacrosse coach John Tillman, new Loyola AD Jim Paquette and Towson interim Athletic Director Ted Zaleski Jr. After breaking the news that Xavier assistant Bino Ranson would be leaving Cincinnati for Maryland, WNST was also the first media outlet in town to talk to him.

-There’s more than that. After winning the Kentucky Derby and while looking towards the Preakness, both Calvin Borel and Todd Pletcher did their first Baltimore interviews with WNST. After winning the Belmont Stakes, both winning jockey Mike Smith and first time Triple Crown race-winning trainer Bill Mott did their first Baltimore interviews with WNST.

There’s more, but we’ll leave it at that for now. None of these were locker room sessions, press conferences, or a case where one of our hosts stuck a mic in someone’s face and got a comment. These were all LIVE radio interviews, and they were the first interviews done in town by important newsmakers in Baltimore sports.

Clearly, the Baltimore Orioles are missing from the list. That being said, the Baltimore Orioles have been missing from the field for the better part of the season as well. I could point out that WNST was the first to talk to Frederick Keys pitcher Nathan Moreau after he threw a no-hitter, but I’m not sure that would matter much. The relationship between the O’s and WNST is well-documented, and I’m not interested in re-igniting that fire here.

The reason I wrote this isn’t to “trash” other media outlets in town. I think a lot of folks in town do a really good job. I would know, as I have checked out the archives of every outlet on a daily basis to make sure that I wasn’t lying about any interview I claimed WNST had “first.” In fact, I’d encourage you to check out our own Audio Vault at WNST.net, and then check out the archives of other outlets in town (105.7, 1370, 1090) to confirm for yourself. Of course, you’ll learn exactly what I wrote above.

The reason I wrote this is to remind you that the BEST place to go to hear from sports newsmakers in Baltimore is AM1570 WNST and WNST.net.

Some other outlets like to tell you that they’re the “Sports Leader.” I’ll just encourage you to check our work.

A lot of folks in town do a great job of talking to folks ABOUT the news. But there is one CLEAR choice when it comes to hearing from the folks who are MAKING news.

It’s all there.

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 10 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because there was a Chick-Fil-A platter delivered yesterday afternoon during Rex Snider & Ray Bachman’s show. There may have only been a few chicken nuggets left by the time I drove as fast as I could to get back to 1550 Hart Rd., but it was well worth it.

Oh and also, it’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I finally got around to watching Zach Galifianakis host Saturday Night Live. I had to watch it on Hulu because my roommate (thanks pal) forgot to record it on our brand new Comcast DVR. It wasn’t QUITE as good as Jon Hamm, but it certainly had some moments….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQDqH7l3Co4[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Greivis Vasquez named ACC Player of the Year, Gary Williams ACC Coach of the Year

Boy, this picture Luke included with his blog says a lot….

greivis

Hopefully this story isn’t the watershed moment in the Greivis Vasquez-Gary Williams story. But even if it is; the story will be a tremendous one to tell for Maryland fans to tell over the course of the next generation.

Both Greivis and Gary were OVERLY deserving of these honors, and the voting portrayed exactly that. Vasquez was a runaway victor-with his performance against Jon Scheyer and the Blue Devils last week at Comcast Center clearly fresh on the minds of voters. Gary also won with a big margin over Coach K, his 2nd such honor during his 21 seasons in College Park.

Jordan Williams was 2nd in ACC Rookie of the Year voting (behind a VERY deserving Derrick Favors from Georgia Tech), leaving the Terps just short of an ACC awards sweep.

2. Washington Post’s Michael Wilbon says having veteran players could help Terrapins make run in NCAA Tournament

And of course he’s right about that. The trio of seniors (Vasquez, Eric Hayes and even Landon Milbourne); as well as veterans Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, and Dino Gregory off the bench will ABSOLUTELY help the Terps in the Big Dance.

BUT….other teams have good players too.

AND….other teams might be even more talented.

OR….other teams might go off for 60% shooting from beyond the arc in a strange atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon in Spokane.

Just having upperclassmen doesn’t guarantee great success in March. But it sure does help.

As a side note, Deadspin offered this yesterday…apparently from the Raycom broadcast of the Maryland/Georgia Tech game a few weeks ago. It humorously points out that the graphic looks similar to a certain part of the female anatomy. I wouldn’t giggle if it weren’t funny…

telestratorvag

3. The Sun says Terps, Texas given ‘reprieve’ from new rule limiting “coach in waiting” involvement in recruiting

The only thing I don’t understand in this whole process is why the NCAA would adopt a rule basically preventing teams from using the “coach in waiting” system, but not just ban the “coach in waiting” system altogether?

James Franklin (like the Longhorns’ Wil Muschamp) is an ASSISTANT coach. Ralph Friedgen is the head coach, like Mack Brown in Austin. Franklin and Muschamp should be allowed to recruit the same way every other ASSISTANT coach in the country is.

Nothing about this rule makes any sense to me. Giving these coaches ‘reprieve’ for one season isn’t the answer, either. Either ban the entire system, or let the coaches recruit the way they should be allowed to.

4. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Bruce Campbell, Nolan Carroll, Chris Turner, Cory Jackson to work out at Maryland’s Pro Day today in College Park

You know what’s a LITTLE bit weird? NFL Scouts are going to be looking at Bruce Campbell today the same way I look at “Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco…

Cuoco

…Okay, maybe not the SAME way, but you get the point.

Today is biggest for CB Nolan Carroll, who scouts like-but haven’t seen do anything on a football field after Week 2-when he broke his leg. He was in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, but only for the private meetings and medical checks, he didn’t actually work out.

It’s a big day for Chris Turner too. Not because he has any chance of reaching the NFL (I’m not sure he’s even really concerned about TRYING to reach the NFL-he has an idea about what he wants to do for the rest of his life), but because he would REALLY like for the scouts in the room to know him as something OTHER than the dude who looks like Napoleon Dynamite.

5. Morgan State Official Site previews tonight’s MEAC Tournament quarterfinal matchup with North Carolina A&T

I’m a LITTLE confused as to why the MEAC sets up their tournament to have some teams playing their first round games today and other teams playing quarterfinal games tonight, but it does appear as though it is set up to benefit the #1 seeded Bears. If they win tonight (as they should against an A&T team that had to play Howard last night), they’ll be off tomorrow night, and won’t have to play 3 games in 3 days to win the MEAC title and the automatic bid.

Instead, they’ll have to play Friday night and Saturday afternoon-which is still a difficult task, but not nearly as daunting as playing 3 times in 3 days.

6. Coppin State Official Site previews this afternoon’s MEAC Tournament opener against UMES

Fang Mitchell told me after the Eagles lost to Norfolk State last week that he was pretty sure he had never finished last in the MEAC until this season. The pain of that could be dulled a bit by getting a first round victory over the Hawks, although clearly not completely erased.

On the flip side, the job that Frankie Allen has done in Princess Anne cannot go unnoticed. That program struggled to win ANY games, but the former UMBC assistant has gone out there and brought a level of respectability to that program. I’m not sure it translates for long term success THERE-but hopefully it translates to long term success for Allen SOMEWHERE.

7. Inside Lacrosse says Steven Boyle, Kyle Wharton, Michael Kimmel and Zach Palmer all scored 3 goals as Johns Hopkins topped UMBC at Homewood Field

Good win for the Blue Jays-who needed a good win after their tough loss to Princeton Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium. They’re not going to get 4 hat tricks every time out, but if they can continue to get a more balanced effort from their attack unit, they’ll be in great shape.

They return to action Saturday night at Hofstra (expect a big crowd there on Long Island). Things get NO easier for the 1-3 Retrievers, as they visit Princeton Saturday afternoon.

8. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Chad Moeller homered, but Birds fell to Rays

Chris Tillman gave up 2 runs (1 earned) over 2 1/3 innings of work. As Brittany points out, no Orioles pitcher has managed to go 3 innings yet during Spring Training. That’s not overly concerning-but consider the fact that Jeff Niemann appeared to go an effortless 4 innings yesterday for Tampa. Also, the O’s committed 5 errors yesterday. That’s not good….at all.

What IS good? Well, as we first showed you yesterday on Twitter (follow us @WNST), Matt Wieters will grace the cover of next Monday’s issue of SI. Say what you want about a jinx, but having an Oriole on the cover of SI for the first time in 13 years is pretty cool…

wieters

Hell, there’s an argument that the picture is more attractive than even this picture of Trish Richardson that I found yesterday at Barstool Sports….

trishrichardson

9. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Andy MacPhail ‘admitted concern’ regarding Brian Roberts injury

This whole situation with Brian Roberts has been weird since Day 1. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that Brian was dealing with kidney stones, which was immediately shot down by Dave Trembley-who described it as a “lower back issue.” Almost immediately after that, it was diagnosed as a “herniated disc”, with a moderate level of concern.

Now, he’s having bad reactions to medication and the organization is concerned that he might not be ready even by Opening Day.

Does it make you wonder if maybe the initial report from Buster Olney was more accurate than the Orioles wanted us to think it was?

10. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says ‘no deal expected’ for Marlin Jackson after visit with Ravens

Not surprising. Marlin Jackson was in town yesterday (even though he apparently didn’t make it to Martin’s West), so it made sense for him to visit Owings Mills while he was in town. That being said, the Ravens would not be offering Marlin Jackson a money contract and a guaranteed spot to make the team. I doubt the Philadelphia Eagles will be doing that either. Frankly, I doubt any NFL will be doing that with a player who has been injured more over the last two seasons than he has been on the field.

That being said, I imagine (and I don’t have anyone reporting this to me) the conversation probably went something like “Look, we’re more than willing to let you come to Training Camp and prove you can be a part of this team-but we’re not going to promise you anything.”

11. USA Today’s Jim Corbett says Kurt Warner thinks Ravens got ‘another Ray Lewis’ with Anquan Boldin acquisition

And if there’s someone in that conversation who would know, it would be Kurt Warner. The same way that Boldin embodies the idea of “Play Like a Raven”, so does Kurt Warner. These guys are tough, they’re “warriors”, and they respect each other a great deal.

As I said yesterday, it really IS a “perfect fit.”

12. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio says in midst of controversy, Michael Vick did good at Ed Block Courage Awards

If you haven’t read this blog yet, PLEASE do so. And check out this video from WNSTv that accompanies it….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmp-fMr31c0[/youtube]

I don’t think it would necessarily CHANGE your opinion about Michael Vick, especially if you were one of THESE people….

vickprotest

….but I still think it’s worth the time to read.

And finally, I leave you with this.

RIP Corey Haim. Lost Boys meant a lot to all of us….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-epc4kzkKF4[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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