Tag Archive | "Christmas"


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Strange, nostalgic day to be in Dallas

Posted on 20 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s a crazy day to be in Dallas. They’re shutting their stadium tonight amidst a potential season-wrecker if Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and the Ravens come in a steal a victory. It’s the Ravens’ first-ever trip into Dallas, the final city they’ve never played in over the 13-year history of the franchise (not counting the Minnesota preseason game two years ago). And the civic pressure is on here in “Big D.” You can almost feel the anticipation for this game if you just drive around town and hear people talking.

If the 2008 Dallas Cowboys lose their final game in Texas Stadium to get essentially bumped from a playoff spot, they’ll be all-time chumps. Especially on the backend of Tony Romo’s January meltdowns and T.O.’s loudmouthed nonsense. This game is significant here — the lead story on every TV channel and the headline of every newspaper.

A big giant “love in” is scheduled for the pre-game and the in-game. The pageantry they’re putting on – and you do know that EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas – will rival what we did for the Orioles in Baltimore on 33rd Street back in 1991. If you really want to vomit and hate the Cowboys more than you already do, just flip NFL Network on today. The pre-game show starts at 5 p.m. and that goof Rich Eisen has already promised to get “every breathing Cowboy legend possible” onto the show. Just hearing Deion Sanders wax on (and off) with every Dallas legend from Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett to Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith is enough to make you hit the “mute” button.

I’ve hated the Cowboys since Clint Longley…

But here’s the reality: the WHOLE THING is set up for the Ravens to get their asses kicked on national “house TV” of the NFL with the star at the 50-yard line and a team and a stadium that helped build the foundational greatness of the shield is going down. (A little different than imploding the Hoosier Dome, as was done earlier to day in Indianapolis…)

Not that the game doesn’t have enough interesting subplots already – with both teams fighting for their January lives and a crucial win tonight – but the stadium closing combined with the constant drama of Terrell Owens and the matchup issues (still no word on whether Fabian Washington will suit up…join the FREE text service and we’ll keep you in the loop) on both sides of the ball, this figures to be a great and memorable night either way.

The Ravens need this game. The city kinda needs this game. I don’t want to wake up on Christmas Day on the outside looking in after all of the fun this team has given us this year. I want a playoff game in New England or New York or Miami two weeks from now. I don’t want the season to end. Tonight could be kinda ugly, as the Ravens enter the game as 4 ½ point underdogs. As big of a home game as the Pittsburgh fiasco was the other night, this might as big of a December road game as the Ravens have played in their history.

It’s always fun when the Ravens play in big games. You can feel the weight of this one here in Dallas for sure.

The weather report shows that the temperature will be dropping like a rock during the game. It was 78 degrees here yesterday when we landed. We walked in short sleeves after dark last night amidst the holiday lights. This morning it’s 60 degrees, damp and kinda chilly. It’s supposed to be 55 at 6 p.m. and 45 at 9 p.m. and 32 by midnight. Tomorrow, it’ll be 35 degrees when we leave Dallas.

I’ll continue to check in from Dallas.

We found a lady bug on the window sill and thought it might be good luck…Ladybug

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A win today paints Baltimore purple for the holidays

Posted on 13 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The next 24 hours are yet another example of how great it is to have the NFL in Baltimore. Every watercooler and chat room and bar conversation in the city is buzzing with talk of Ravens vs. Steelers. There are Ravens hats and jackets and flags out all over the place. Indeed, as the holiday music plays, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

The anticipation, the buildup has truly been a lot of fun for anyone who loves Baltimore. It’s the most significant regular season game that’s been played in Baltimore since the Toni Linhart fog game against the Dolphins on 33rd Street.

It’s the biggest game of the NFL weekend and the rivalry is starting to get some true national heat for the first time since Baltimore got back into the league in 1996. We’ve ALWAYS hated the Steelers, but now they kinda hate us as much. It’s a legit “Hatfields” and “McCoys”! And at 4:15, it’s all on the line. The season, in some ways, comes down to the next 60 minutes of football against the team we all love to hate! It’s almost perfect!

So, you know what happens if we win? A piece of first place, a short work week and another huge Saturday night nationally televised game against Terrell Owens and the Cowboys in Dallas. And the families and friends and co-workers and Facebook and Twitter all talk of playoffs and home games and byes. The Ravens become the primary theme of the Christmas season of 2008. My purple Santa hat will come back out as a daily reminder of how much fun it is to have the Ravens in Baltimore.

But my favorite part happens when they replace every light bulb in the city with the purple gels. And the city starts to glow an odd shade of purple. It’s really kind of amazing when you think about, the spirit our city gets for this football team. (BTW: We are EXTENDING the deadline for the Miller Lite Purple Palace contest through Dec. 21st to allow everyone to play. As you can see here, we’re getting some awesome pics and videos! Keep them coming and let us know if someone you know has a purple palace worthy of entry.)

With a victory on Sunday afternoon against the Steelers, this city will literally become a giant purple sea of enthusiasm.

It’s been a rough year financially for virtually everyone I know. Business throughout the city is off. Everyone I talk to who owns a business has felt the impact. Business at our radio station is off. Business at EVERY radio station is off. The Baltimore Sun’s parent company filed for bankruptcy last week. Sometimes just putting on the television in the mornings is depressing. I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t been affected in some way by the international economy collapse but one thing that can make times at least a little better — here in Baltimore anyway — is having this football team win and watching the community come together and cheer a little. It’s like a civic tonic.

Do you remember the Colts game from 100 weeks ago? All of the same emotions that we’ve seen this week – minus the Irsay talk – were present. The buildup, the constant chatter and “can’t wait until Sunday” feeling we’ve all had this week. A win today would kind of blow the roof off of the city and we could embrace the 2008 Ravens as true “contenders” to win a Super Bowl.

A win over the Steelers and the real fun of the holidays and Festivus begins in Baltimore. A loss, and well…well, it would be one helluva hangover if this goes the wrong way. (I don’t even want to think about it. I’m still shaking off the Colts loss and it’s been two years!)

I predict a Ravens victory, 27-13. They must win. The city needs it.

Let the games begin…

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When do we paint the city purple and make some noise?

Posted on 25 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

It occurred to me as the National Anthem was playing on Sunday as I began my three-hour freeze in the upper deck of M&T Bank Stadium that the late-arriving crowd might’ve been looking forward to the cold as much as I was. Which is to say, “not so much.”

Sunday was the strangest of Ravens games from my perspective. Strange pacing. Strange crowd (I can honestly say that I didn’t see one problem with Eagles fans, although I heard a few horror stories. Of course, I sit in Sect. 513 and I only saw one person in green anywhere near my section.). Before the game I saw swaths of green and heard chants of “E-A-G-L-E-S” coming from inside the stadium as I circled to enter.

The Eagles fans – as well as the team on the field – seemed to leave their “game” at the tailgate lot.

But the purple crowd was even more bizarre and “dead.” Entering the game at 6-4, playing at home for the first time a few weeks and with a lot on the line, I thought our fans were kinda lame on Sunday. It was strangely silent. And the strong home field advantage we usually enjoy from the noise of the crowd on defense was strangely QUIET…

You can laugh, but I’m convinced it has to do with gloves. I remember being at the Panthers-Packers NFC Championship Game back in 1996 in Green Bay when the temperature was 8 degrees and thinking “it’s awfully quiet” at Lambeau Field. I looked around and realized that people were trying to survive more than be a home-field advantage, 11th-man crowd.

The only “roar” of the crowd comes with voices when 70,000 are wearing gloves. Or huddling under blankets.

Did anybody hear – or not hear – what I did on Sunday?

Sure, it was cold as hell. (Here’s where the macho will say: “Aw, it wasn’t that cold!” Yes…it was!) But it was also empty-ish upon kickoff. The crowds rarely rose to their feet when Donovan McNabb was on the field early in the game. I don’t know if was the weather or the Eagles or the pacing of the game, but it was hardly the rocking stadium we’ve seen and heard in the past. Hard to get loud when people are shivering, I suppose.

But, hey, a 36-7 win isn’t summed up with me bitching about the crowd. It was a great game, a great day to be a Ravens fan. But if you have been a PSL holder over the years, you must admit that the stadium was awkwardly library-ish on Sunday.

But today I’m wondering aloud when the city will get all oiled up and lathered about a 7-4 football team with a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback that should have the city salivating.

Maybe it’s because no one really thinks this team can with the Super Bowl this year?

Maybe it’s because the economy sucks and everyone is generally kinda miserable with their business, holiday, cash-flow situation, etc.?

Maybe it’s just not that exciting when the team isn’t playing knockout games just yet, even if seeing the little sea of green in the parking lot from Filthy didn’t get people worked up?

But I hope it changes and changes soon. The Ravens sent all of us at WNST a “reminder” about Purple Fridays, which is a good start. We had the 13-3 season two years ago and the city was purple and at a fever pitch by Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to see the city swathed in a sea of purple in a few weeks and harbor the thoughts of playing some January football – here or on the road. If you can’t get excited about 7-4 with a pending trip to Cincinnati to go to a potential 8-4, then why be a fan?

THESE ARE THE GOOD TIMES! It doesn’t get much better than sitting around watching football on Turkey Day with the Ravens being a factor in the mix. Two out of the last three years, the team has been dreadful and miserable to watch by Thanksgiving. This year our turkey talk combines nicely with our football when our families reconvene in 48 hours.

Honestly, won’t the Ravens and their season be a MAJOR topic of conversation around any event you attend on Thursday? That’s the fun part about football — the whole family gets in on the conversation and excitement.

December shapes up nicely if the Ravens can get through this “trap” game in Cincinnati.

The Redskins game has been moved into primetime.

The Steelers come here the following weekend and that game stands to be larger than life if the Ravens can win the next two and enter that game at 9-4.

We’ll then play in Dallas before Christmas on national television again. Tony Romo. Jerry Jones. Jessica Simpson. It’s a “made for primetime” event on a Saturday night.

And we’ll finish the season here against the woeful Jacksonville Jaguars, a game that will no doubt be aided by the flasks and anything else that warms the soul on a cold winter day.

So, just when does the party start?

When do we start turning the city on its purple side?

(BTW: The WNST Miller Lite Purple Palace contest is still in gear through the middle of December. We already have a handful of entries and we’d love to collect as many as we can. We’ll begin to show you the videos and pictures we’ve collected later this week. If you have a friend or neighbor or relative who has a “purple palace,” tell them to enter the contest here. Winner goes to Green Bay next year to see Lambeau Field and gets a visit from the WNST crew with a bunch of Miller Lite and food.)

I’m ready to bust out the purple rope lights around WNST.

I’m ready for the fun to begin.

I’m ready for Festivus!

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Let The Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest Begin!

Posted on 18 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

WNST Sports Media has set forth to find the biggest Ravens fan of them all. You know the one we’re talking about? The one with the purple basement? Or the purple room? Or the one with an office, room or space that has purple pictures, memories, autographs, signed footballs, jerseys, etc. It might be a seasonal show of Festivus lights and a purple Christmas tree? Or just holiday lights and a train garden?
Or maybe it’s a 365-day shrine to the purple on a new wing of the house? It might even look like a local sports bar? Or, as the contest is appropriately titled, “A Purple Palace.”

Every one of us at WNST grew up collecting autographs, pictures, baseball cards – you name it! And we all have some trinkets lying around our house that have sentimental value in regard to sports. But for the first time, we’re trying to find the virtual All-Star team – or is it the Pro Bowl? — of Baltimore Ravens fans.

There are no specific qualifications for entry. We’ll know the perfect “Purple Palace” when we see it!

But we need you to help us find “the biggest and the best.”

As a reward for the winner, we’re offering a helluva grand prize:

• An all-expenses paid trip for two to Green Bay next year to see some purple football! Oh, and if you consider it a prize, a bunch of the WNST staff will come over to your purple palace during the football playoffs in January and bring some Miller Lite and some food and watch the game IN your viewing palace. We’ll even shoot some wnsTV so our fans at WNST can see what they’re missing in your purple palace and get a better tour. We’ll also throw in a signed Kelly Gregg jersey to add to your purple wall.

There are also $500 and $250 restaurant gift certificate grand prizes for second and third place.

All of the official contest rules are below.

But you can help us spread the word by inquiring with your friends, co-workers or fellow tailgaters as to whose “Purple Palace” is the best!

All of our entries are easily submitted via your computer.

There are two ways to enter:

1. VIDEO: Upload all videos to www.youtube.com in the traditional way and send us the linking address.

2. PHOTOS: Email no more than 5 photos to us at purplepalace@wnst.net.

3. WORDS: You can write an optional 200-word or less essay on your place and what makes it special.

This is NOT an exercise in who can take the best pictures or shoot the coolest videos. We just need the evidence and stories to share with our audience.

All entries must be submitted by Sunday, Dec. 14.

The WNST staff (with help from the WNST.net readers) will pick the Top 3 “Purple Palace” finalists.

WNSTV will then go to the 3 finalist locations for a better look at them. We’ll shoot a 2-minute wnsTV video of your place and you and we’ll leave the voting to an “online” WNST voters format during Christmas Week.

Our winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 29th.

Spread the word. Help us find the coolest basements, Christmas trees, autograph and memorabilia collections and the ultimate “Miller Lite Purple Palace.”

Good luck to you and anyone who loves the Ravens as much as we do!

We can’t wait to see what might be hiding in your basement! Or under your tree!



All contest participants are bound to the following rules. Please read carefully before entering the contest.

1. You must be 21 years old to enter, a legal US resident and a permanent resident of the states of Maryland or Pennsylvania only.

2. Contestant’s name, likeness, voice, city and state of residence may be used for promotional purposes without additional permission or compensation.

3. Current or former employees of WNST, family members, clients, agents, successors, and assignees of WNST or any promotional agency involved with the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” are ineligible to participate.

4. Entries are limited to one (1) per person. No person may enter more than one time and no person may enter for another person, or in another person’s name. Any person found violating any of the above provisions will be disqualified and all entries submitted by said person shall be ruled ineligible for prize awards

5. All 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” entries must be filled out completely. Any incomplete entries will be ruled ineligible for prize awards.

6. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited.

7. Entries will be accepted from Monday 11/17/08 – Sunday 12/14/08 via the internet only on WNST’s official contest entry form which will be posted on the WNST website – www.wnst.net.

8. Contestants may submit up to three (3) photographs or one (1) video via WNST’s official website – www.wnst.net. Photographs or videos deemed by WNST to be illegal or vulgar in nature will be removed from the contest and the participant will be disqualified.

9. WNST will choose three (3) finalist from the entries submitted, go to their homes and film one “Miller Lite Purple Palace” video per finalist between 12/15/08 – 12/17/08.

10. The three (3) finalist “Miller Lite Purple Palace” videos will be placed on WNST’s website, www.wnst.net from 12/18/08 – 12/28/08, where WNST listeners can vote on their favorite video amongst the three finalists’.

11. Prize winners will be announced on WNST am 1570 and wnst.net between 6 am – 6 p.m. on Monday, 12/29/08.

12. Prize winner’s names will be posted on the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” webpage at www.wnst.net.

13. Substitution of prize or transfer of prizes to another person will be allowed. WNST, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to substitute a prize of comparable value.

14. Prize winners are responsible for any applicable federal, state or local taxes.
15. Any disputes or appeals regarding the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” rules will be decided solely by WNST using its interpretation of the rules. WNST will consider the intent and spirit of the rules; the integrity of the WNST contest; as well as the feasibility of accommodating any appeal. Any and all disputes or appeals must be submitted via email to Brad Howard, Vice President. Deadline for submitting a rules dispute or appeal is 11:59 p.m. EST on 12/31/08. Please include a detailed account of the dispute and resolution requested. All rulings made by WNST are final and binding.
16. By entering the contest, winner agrees to release and hold harmless Miller Brewing Company, WNST, their affiliated and subsidiary companies and other contest sponsors against any and all claims or inability arising directly or indirectly from contestant’s participation in the contest or acceptance or use of the prize. Upon request, winner will promptly complete and sign any documents effectuating this release.

17. Any participant who attempt to bribe, coerce, blackmail or otherwise influence an officer, agent, affiliate, vendor or surrogate of WNST in an effort to alter the standings will be prohibited from winning any prizes and will be eliminated from the contest. Any criminal behavior by a participant which attempts to corrupt or alter the fairness of the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” will result in civil and/or criminal prosecution.
18. Any attempt by a participant or any other individual to deliberately damage the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” webpage or undermine the legitimate operation of the contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws and in the event that an attempt is made, WNST reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent of the law.

19. WNST is not responsible for contestant’s inability to access the Internet due to ISP downtime, computer failure, equipment malfunction, disconnection’s, busy lines, misdirected e-mail, submission errors or other circumstances or incapability’s relative to web access or to contest application.

20. If the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” is cancelled because of an act of terrorism or any unforeseen catastrophe, or an Act of God, or lack of participation, then WNST is not responsible for any loss or liability incurred by any participant due to cancellation of the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest”.
21. 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” is governed by the laws of the state of Maryland without regard to principles of conflicts of law.

22. In the event that any provision of these Official Rules is found invalid or unenforceable pursuant to judicial decree or decision, the remainder of the Official Rules shall remain valid and enforceable according to its terms. The parties intend that the provision of these Official Rules be enforced to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law. Accordingly, the parties agree that if any provision are deemed not enforceable, they shall be deemed modified to the extent necessary to make them enforceable.
23. By entering the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple palace Contest” you agree that you have read and understand the contest rules.


1st place – One winner will receive a NFL playoff game (TBD) viewing party for up to12 people in their ‘Purple Palace” in January 2009. WNST staff members will attend and supply Miller Lite and tasty food for people 21+ years of age. The grand prize winner will also receive a trip for two (2) people (including airfare, game tickets, lodging plus transportation to and from the game) to the Baltimore vs. Green Bay football game in Wisconsin in 2009, and a Kelly Gregg autographed Ravens jersey.
2nd place – $500 in restaurant gift certificates
3rd place – $250 in restaurant gift certificates

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Christmas with Shaq and LeBron

Posted on 25 December 2007 by russletra

It’s Christmas afternoon. My kids are with their mother in Pennsylvania. My wife is two floors up making last minute plans for our wedding vow renewal on Saturday.
That leaves me with a TV and an icebox full of my favorite beverage. The problem is there’s absolutely no NFL or NCAA football on the tube, not even the Hula Bowl or the Blue-Gray game.
The way I see it, I have three choices: I can watch one of the 11 consecutive screenings of A Christmas Story on TBS, NBA basketball, or any of the junk on the other 120 channels.
I opt for basketball. The way I see it, if I have enough of my favorite beverage, even the NBA will seem exciting. Then, I see the warning label. “Please Drink Responsibly”. I change my mind.
Then, I get a great idea. I’ll watch the game on my treadmill. I jog a lot outside in the warm weather, but I lapse into hard-core couch potato-itis in the winter. That machine is just too darn boring.
But today, I’ll have the Heat-Cavaliers game to ease the boredom of the treadmill. On top of that, I’ll put on my MP3 player to ease the boredom of the game.
I start at the opening tip. As a warm-up, I walk at a steady 3 MPH pace through the first six minutes. Then, I resolve to jog anytime the players are on the court. I’ll only slow down to a brisk walk during the time-outs.
Things are working out well. As the players are racing up and down the hardwood, I’m working up a sweat on the in my basement.
Cleveland jumps out to a ten-point lead. Then, it happens. I hit a wall. Not because I’m tired. I can easily jog eight miles on the NCR trail in the summer, so this is a relatively brief stint on the machine.
No, what pains me is the game itself. Maybe it’s because they’re angry at having to spend Christmas in Cleveland. Maybe it’s because they like being on national TV. Or, maybe they’re just fond of blowing their whistles.
For whatever reason, the refs decide to call fouls early and often in the second quarter. Jogging with the players vicariously on the treadmill is one thing, but watching Shaq pitifully taking foul shots while I’m waiting for the endorphins to kick in is … well that’s pitiful also.
But I made a commitment and by golly, I’m going to stick to it. I kept jogging while yet another whistle was blown. I swear, if every NBA game was called this tight, there would be no NBA.
I watch poor Shaq get called for his second foul. He’s fouled out in each of his previous four games. I wonder if the refs are having fun with the possibility of having Shaq tie a fifty year old record for consecutive disqualifications.
On the other side of the coin, I see LeBron, racing to the basket. From a court-level camera, a Miami player has clearly established position as he bravely stands between an airborne James and the basket. The Heat guy goes down, but at least the ball doesn’t go in. But wait, there’s yet another foul. It’s gotta be a charge. (Keep in mind; I can’t hear the announcers because I’m listening to music.) Anyway, instead of seeing Wade dribble the ball into the front court, there’s James at the foul line.
Shaq may not be getting the star-treatment, but James sure is.
The first half eventually ended, but not before the refs gave me a good workout. I burned over 800 calories while they were calling 35 personal fouls. I jogged/walked over five miles while the Heat and Cavaliers attempted a total of 45 free throws.
All told, the first half lasted over 72 minutes.
I see the second half is already underway. No way am I getting back on that treadmill. Looks like I have to find another way to get through the second half.
Watch out icebox!

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