Welcome to the 2010 version of “Crabs and Beer.” Instead of the tedious process of linking EVERY.SINGLE.LOCAL.SPORTS.RELATED.STORY.IN.THE.WORLD., I will now focus on the most important “Bullet Points” of the day, commenting on them individually. It will mean more of me-which I think we can all agree is the best possible thing. Most days, I will bullet point 10 items-while on Mondays I will probably bullet point 15 items to recap the entire weekend. Here we go……
1. The AP’s Josh Dubow says Ravens clinched AFC Wild Card with win in Oakland
As I said yesterday here at WNST.net, it is a significant accomplishment to reach to the playoffs, an even more significant accomplishment to reach the playoffs for 2 straight seasons. Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh can all breathe a bit easier today, as the critics who have said “that’s nice, but let me see them do it consistently” can no longer point out that the Ravens haven’t reached the playoffs in back to back seasons since 2000 & 20001. They’re in, and it is a major statement.
2. NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora says Ravens will look for first ever win over New England in AFC Wild Card round
Obviously, everyone inside the building at 1 Winning Drive was hoping for a trip to Cincinnati instead of a trip to Foxborough-and for good reason. The Ravens are 0-5 all time against the Pats, including a 27-21 loss earlier this season at Gillette Stadium that Mark Clayton would rather forget. I’m well aware of Tom Brady’s 3 broken ribs and broken finger, but I’m also well aware that he’s REALLY good in January. Like, historically good. Like, 3 Super Bowl rings good. Like, 4 AFC Championships good. The only good news is that the game is at 1pm on Sunday, which EVERYONE in Owings Mills prefers. It also means the game will be back on CBS with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the call, so Drew Forrester needs to put his pants back on.
3. The Official Site’s Ryan Mink says Willis McGahee put Ravens on back for 3 TD’s in win
My buddy Bill Romanowski is a Raiders postgame analyst for Comcast SportsNet in San Francisco. I think he said it best on Facebook yesterday….
“Hiram Eugene just got bitch slapped on a 77 yd run by McGahee.”
It was a hell of an effort from Willis yesterday. There’s NO argument that he should be the starter over a Pro Bowl back like Ray Rice, and there’s little validity that he should be getting more playing time. But it’s nice to know that there is a quality NFL running back to go in when Ray Rice comes off the field.
4. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Dannell Ellerbe “outstanding” with INT, fumble recovery in win
With no offense to JaMarcus Russell-the moment I saw Charlie Frye was going to be forced out of the game, my initial thought was “this one’s over.” JaMarcus Russell is just terrible, and obviously Dannell played the best game of his very short career here in Baltimore. Here’s a question for you-which was the better performance Sunday: Dannell Ellerbe or Charlie Daniels in the GEICO commercial???
Of course, the Ed “Too Tall” Jones one isn’t too bad, either…..
5. The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens won despite fact that Flacco “looked lost” on field
It was NOT his best performance. But as Preston also accurately pointed out, at least he didn’t turn the ball over. 102 passing yards won’t beat the Patriots next Sunday, that much I can say with assurance. It was a rather pedestrian performance if not poor, and has become all too common during the second season of the “Joe Cool” era. The play where he ran past the line of scrimmage and STILL overthrew Ray Rice was pretty bad. But with all of that being said, Joe Flacco will be leading a team into the playoffs for the 2nd time in his 2 year career-which is twice more than Kyle Boller…..
6. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps blew out UNC-Greensboro in ACC Tournament preview trip
The only thing that really came from this win was the fact that the Terps were able to look at Greensboro Coliseum before they return in March. Greivis Vasquez and Landon Milbourne were outstanding, but they should have been-the Spartans stink. Maryland has a week off now to prepare for their ACC opener Sunday night against Florida State in College Park, and they will have to improve their play against better teams. They finish the bulk of their non-conference schedule 9-4, with the only win of note coming at Indiana-you know, the same Indiana that lost to Loyola. Ugh.
We do know that it is a MUCH nicer morning in College Park than it is for ACC for NC State, where the name Chandler Parsons will forever be remembered as a dirty word in Raleigh…..
Does it make up for the loss of Terrence Ross? No, probably not. But certainly Pe’Shon Howard is a regarded talent out of Oak Hill Academy who would have been much more desired if not for his 6’2″ frame. He’s a natural point guard with the ability to play the 2 if necessary, although I’d be a bit worried he could be out-matched size-wise by a number of guards in the ACC. As I mentioned Saturday night (if you follow us on Twitter), the Terps will have 2 point guards in this class (Tucson’s Terrell Stoglin is the other), which has mostly worked with Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez.
The Sun’s Matt Bracken tracked down some Pe’Shon Howard highlights if you’d like to take a look.
8. Drew Forrester says Peter Angelos joined with Blow Horn Equity’s Jeff Seder in hopes to win Pimlico, Laurel auction
How can on our ongoing civic nightmare get worse?!?!?
Look, I still think that in the end-it will either be David Cordish or the Penn National group that wins this auction, as the tracks are just MORE VALUABLE to someone who owns a slots license than they are to someone who doesn’t. But Peter Angelos won’t be short on cash (check your Comcast or DirecTV statement to see the money he’s scraping so you can watch the Orioles on MASN), and clearly wants in. Friday is going to be a VERY interesting day.
9. Philadelphia Daily News says former Oriole Danys Baez spent weekend moving boxes up I-95 after signing with Phillies
No word on whether or not he’ll just leave the “S” in his name here in Charm City.
Look, Danys was not particularly good for the Birds last season, but they DEFINITELY could have had worse. For example, they could have had this guy…..
10. Corey Johns says UMBC opened America East play Saturday with loss at Vermont
Very clearly, Mike Lonergan’s Catamounts are an outstanding team and they are going to beat a LOT of teams at home-but the Retrievers are going to have to start winning games soon if they’re going to turn things around at all this season. It’s not as if they don’t have good players-Chauncey Gilliam and Chris De La Rosa are both very good, and Robbie Jackson should be able to overcome what he might not have in talent with his overwhelming size. But they have to figure out how to win. A visit from winless Penn Wednesday night will hopefully provide an elixir.
11. Towson Official Site says Tigers dropped CAA battle at Georgia State Saturday night
The impressive thing about Saturday night’s game was that the Tigers rallied from down 15 to get back into the game in Atlanta. The unimpressive thing about Saturday night’s game was that Pat Kennedy’s team couldn’t keep it going down the stretch. The Tigers shot just 34% from the field, and no Tiger scored more than Josh Thornton’s 14. The Tigers get a chance to wipe the taste of that loss away quickly with tonight’s tussle with Old Dominion at the Towson Center.
12. The AP says Loyola got 1st MAAC victory of season Saturday over Rider
This is a VERY good win for the Greyhounds. The mark of a program that is establishing itself as a team to beat is that they beat the other good conference teams at home. Jimmy Patsos’ Hounds made a statement by beating the Hoosiers, but games against Rider (and tonight’s opponent Siena) at Reitz Arena are MUCH more important in the long run. If they can finish the sweep tonight, they’ll be in a good place to make a conference run.
13. Maryland Official Site says Terrapins Women wrapped non-conference schedule with win over St. Joseph’s
The Terps finish their non-conference schedule 12-2 with no particularly impressive wins (only Minnesota could even be considered) and 2 arguably bad losses (the loss at Mississippi State is “bad” because it came by 29 points, the loss at Towson is forgivable, but still bad). Certainly the development of Diandra Tchatchouang (25 points Sunday) has been nice for Brenda Frese’s club.
14. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski details gun fun Washington Wizards are having
This isn’t technically “local” in my book, but I would occasionally mix in something about the Capitals-so I’ll give the same courtesy to the Wiz, especially considering the surreal nature of this story.
Thanks to Gilbert Arenas for making my “most overrated athlete of the decade” pick look better by the moment…..
15. Morgan State Official Site previews tonight’s trip to Robert Morris
Not much to accomplish here, but I feel bad for Todd Bozeman’s crew for having to make a trip to Pittsburgh this time of year…..or any time of year. Also, please to be checking this out.
I leave you with this……Kanye West doing “Heartless” on his Vh1 Storytellers show. The show is out on CD tomorrow. Spoiler alert: It’s really good.
Talk to you tomorrow.
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..