Posted on 06 October 2013 by WNSTV
Posted on 25 January 2013 by Nestor Aparicio
Remember Whiskey Joe’s? Well, this time the name to remember if you’re a Baltimore Ravens fan is The Howlin’ Wolf in The Warehouse District in New Orleans, which will serves as the “Purple Ground Zero” for all who’ve ever enjoyed crabs, beer and Baltimore football on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
Here’s a link to learn more about The Howlin’ Wolf, a legendary place for music in New Orleans that will be a round-the-clock purple palace catering to Baltimore fans with legendary Louisiana hospitality, food and music.
If you’re on the WNST trips or shuttles coming from the Gulf Coast, The Howlin’ Wolf will also be where you get dropped and picked up in New Orleans. It is truly our “Purple Ground Zero” for all things Baltimore and Ravens while in The Big Easy.
Now for the important news:
We have a GRAMMY AWARD WINNING group of beloved local New Orleans musicians — Rebirth Brass Band will be rocking our Saturday night Purple Throwdown in The Crescent City.
Here’s video of them crushing Bourbon Street four years ago:
We’re wondering if they can learn Seven Nations Army?
We’re giving them a week!
The doors open at 7 p.m. and Rebirth Brass Band is expected to hit the stage around 11 p.m.
The WNST buses back to Gulfport have suddenly moved to a 1 a.m. departure!
At some point, we have to rest up for our 2:52 p.m. march on the Superdome to honor Ray Lewis on Super Bowl gameday.
On Sunday night…after we win the Super Bowl, we’ll return to The Howlin’ Wolf for a victory party to remember with the Hot 8 Brass Band, another awesome New Orleans act that will provide celebration music while the libations flow and the final dance of Ray Lewis’ career has been danced.
If you have purchased a WNST V.I.P. Purple Party Pass, you already have admission for both nights (and a free bread pudding at The Howlin’ Wolf, if you decide to dine there)!
And if you’re on the WNST Super Trips to New Orleans, you’ll also get the V.I.P. treatment.
Both of these events are open to all adult Baltimore Ravens fans coming to New Orleans for the Super Bowl.
Tickets for each event are $25 (ala carte) in advance.
You can buy each night separately or you can buy the two-day pass for $40, saving you $10 and any words like “sold out.”
Age requirements: Law is no one under the age of 18 can enter The Howlin’ Wolf. If you are 18-to-21, you can enter but not drink. You must be 21 to drink at The Howlin’ Wolf. (During lunch, children are welcome at The Den inside The Howlin’ Wolf, while dining with family.)
When in N’Awlins, do what the locals do, eat what the locals eat and listen to what the locals love.
Old friends and new friends, if you’re a Baltimore Ravens fans on Super Bowl weekend, this is going to be the place to be — just like in Nashville, Charlotte, San Diego, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Providence, Boston or anywhere else the purple has played before, when it comes to throwing a party our WNST crew intends to make this little bowl game on bayou, truly SUPER!
This has been one of the truly spectacular weeks of my life planning all of these WNST.net events so that we can set our media and community bar as high as Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco as we plan events that we — as a nation of Baltimore Ravens fans — want to remember for the rest of our lives as well as we party at the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
For more information about our WNST trips and all WNST events in New Orleans: http://wnst.net/nfl/all-faqs-for-wnst-super-trips-parties-in-new-orleans-here/
And please consider out WNST Super Purple V.I.P. Party Pass for $115.70 here: https://wnst.net/brian-billick/buy-our-wnst-super-v-i-p-party-pass-and-soak-up-the-excitement-of-new-orleans/
For all “party only purchasers”: We’ll have will call locations set up in New Orleans at each of our evening events beginning Friday night at Empire (300 Decatur) from 6 til 10pm and again on Saturday from noon til 2 p.m. at Steamboat Nanchez doors (Toulouse at The River). We’ll also have will call at Saturday & Sunday Howlin’ Wolf events right at the front door if those are the only events you’ll be attend with us in The Big Easy.
You’ll have an envelope and a wristband for your purchase. If you have a multiple-day pass, you’ll have a vinyl band that’s non-transferable.
PURCHASE THE TWO-DAY PURPLE HOWLING WOLF PASS HERE:
BUY SATURDAY NIGHT AT HOWLIN’ WOLF ONLY HERE:
BUY SUNDAY NIGHT AT HOWLIN’ WOLF ONLY HERE:
OR BUY THE WNST SUPER V.I.P. PURPLE PARTY PASS FOR $115.70 HERE:
And if I can answer any questions for you, please email me: email@example.com. My inbox is stacking up but I’m doing my best to keep the pace because I know how important this is to you.
It’s pretty cool for me as well. We’d love to see your face in the place in New Orleans at all of our events for Super Bowl weekend.
And please spread the word about our Sunday march from where Toulouse meets The River…
Posted on 20 January 2013 by WNST Trips
WNST.net presents what you’ve been waiting 12 long years for in the Charm City – a real Festivus trip to New Orleans for a Super celebration and party for all Baltimore Ravens fans.
If you’ve searched for hotels anywhere in or near The Big Easy, you know that rooms are impossible to find and flights are equally non-existent. As always, we’ve got you covered for this once-in-a-generation trip to The Big Game with our Gunther Motorcoach charter and we’ll make this whole experience easy, fun, comfortable and affordable.
Prices will fluctuate due to the volatility of the marketplace for Super Bowl tickets so please act decisively!
WNST.net has driven and led more than 15,000 folks to Ravens away games and have logged more than 250,000 miles since 1996 and we always have as much fun as our guests. Families and children are always welcome on our trips and these are designed to be very easy. You board the bus and we take care of the rest! No driving, parking, hassles. We always say the bus is better than a limo because it has headroom, legroom and a bathroom!
PLEASE READ ALL ELEMENTS OF THIS LENGTHY POST BEFORE PURCHASING AT THE BOTTOM OR EMAILING US!!!
If you buy a full V.I.P. package from us, your game ticket will be REAL and you will be going to The Big Game in New Orleans. All of our current pricing is for upper deck endzone tickets. We will not be able to provide specific seat locations for your package until Thursday, Jan. 31st when our buses depart White Marsh Mall. You will be given your game ticket when you board the bus.
Please read all of this carefully and we hope you make the right choice in joining us for every minute of fun, football, family, friends and great memories as we travel south to the Gulf Coast to enjoy the magic of what the Baltimore Ravens mean to our community.
Our buses will leave at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31 and we expect to stop for three meals during the day and arrive in the Gulf Coast area around midnight. (And, yes, a lot of movies will be viewed!)
We have secured several hotels near the Gulfport Airport in Mississippi, which is about an hour from The French Quarter. It’s all highway and will make it easy to shuttle Baltimore fans in and out of the city twice per day on Friday and Saturday and one trip on Sunday for the game.
In addition, the Gulf Coast has great casinos and free transportation from all of our hotels if you’re not up for going into New Orleans on Friday and/or Saturday.
Here is our shuttle schedule from Gulf Coast hotels for the weekend in New Orleans. We will depart from Best Western Gulfport Airport. Please be prompt. The buses will not wait or headcount:
Friday, Feb. 1st
11 a.m. departure to NOLA w/Noon drop
5 p.m. to NOLA w/6 p.m. return to Gulfport/Bay St. Louis
Midnight return to your Gulf Coast hotel
Saturday, Feb. 2nd
11 a.m. departure to NOLA w/Noon drop at Toulouse at The River
5 p.m. to NOLA w/6 p.m. return to Gulfport/Bay St. Louis
10 p.m. return to your Gulf Coast hotel (early bus)
1 a.m. return to your Gulf Coast hotel (final run of night)
Sunday, Feb. 3rd
10 a.m. w/11 a.m. drop in New Orleans at Toulouse at The River
1 a.m. return to your Gulf Coast hotel from New Orleans
Monday, Feb. 4th
8 a.m. departure from Gulf Coast to Baltimore returning after midnight
WNST.net will not guarantee tickets in any groups other than pairs. If you order odd numbers of any kind you are subject to being split up at the game as most of the 90,000 seats in the Superdome are issued in sets of two. If you are adamant about special seating – odd groups, large groups or lower bowl premium seating – please inquire. Pricing and availability varies literally hour-to-hour but we’ll try to assist you to make your experience as desired.
All of our seats are guaranteed tickets in the upper deck end zone areas.
Our two hotel locations and multiple offerings are close enough to New Orleans to make this trip comfortable. Bay St. Louis is 53 miles from the French Quarter. Our Gulfport airport hotels are 72 miles from the French Quarter. It’s about an hour drive and you can enjoy refreshments on the ride into The Big Easy.
We are offering rental car assistance via Enterprise Rental Car so if you desire your own transportation upon arrival in the Gulf Coast area, the office is very close they can assist you. Keep in mind that traffic, parking and getting in and out of New Orleans will be extremely challenging on Saturday and Sunday so we highly recommend using our shuttle and being prompt.
Here’s what’s included in WNST.net VIP Big Game/Big Easy Package:
• Full roundtrip transportation via Gunther Motorcoach from White Marsh to your Gulf Coast hotel of choice on Thursday, Jan. 31st
• All transfers on our daily shuttles to/from New Orleans on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. (Twice-daily ride of about an hour)
• One V.I.P. WNST Party admission for our TBA grand event in New Orleans
• End zone game tickets (only guaranteed in pairs!)
• Hotel of your choice plus all usual included perks these establishments offer – internet, free breakfast, local shuttles, etc.
• Ice cold beer, soft drinks & water en route to The Gulf Coast
You can also purchase our travel package WITHOUT a game ticket as well and you will receive all of the above minus the Big Game ticket.
We are working on other combo packages such as “hotel only” and “ticket and hotel only” for those who have other transportation or travel arrangements. We’ll have these together soon. If you have a specific interest in these two packages, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org with detailed information and we’ll return your emails as soon as humanly possible.
WNST will NOT be selling “tickets only” for The Big Game.
ALL SALES ARE FINAL!!! We cannot offer refunds of any kind for any reason!!! You may resell your trip but we cannot offer name changes after Tuesday, Jan. 29th.
Once you buy a package you have locked your price. Prices are subject to change at any time due to the volatility of the ticket and hotel marketplace.
Due to hotels being overwhelmed, we ask that you request your hotel rooming situation on the checkout form. Given the volume & limited availability for rooms, we cannot guarantee this request at all locations but will do our best along with our hotel partners to honor your needs for your traveling party.
As you can see there are a variety of packages for different budgets and locations. Please choose carefully.
We’d love to have you on this legendary trip to The Big Easy for The Big Game as the purple moves to the New Orleans to win another championship.
ONE VERY IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR THIS TRIP:
We use PayPal at WNST.net and due to fraud issues and government regulations, we cannot accept payments larger than $10,000 via PayPal with credit cards. So, if you are purchasing triples or quads please purchase individually to equal the total amount so that your payment is received in full in two transactions.
OR, you can bring a check to WNST at 1550 Hart Road, Towson, MD 21286 anytime after 9am on Monday, Jan. 21. We will have full forms at our office to accept check payments. We realize this is a big transaction and we want to make payment easy but with online frauds and huge transactions this isn’t as easy as we had hoped. The earlier your check clears the sooner you are officially on the trip.
But we still have space for you and if you act on Monday morning we can promise that you won’t get locked out of our trip.
If you have any questions, email: email@example.com. We expect to be slammed with emails so act quickly and avoid SOLD OUT status on these properties and trips…
ALL PRICING IS PER PERSON!!!!!!
Hollywood Casino (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)
Knights Inn (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi)
Clarion Inn (Gulfport Airport, Mississippi)
Best Western (Gulfport Airport, Mississippi)
America’s Best Inn (Gulfport Airport, Mississippi)
Posted on 23 September 2012 by WNST Staff
Apparently, former Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward is still persona non grata in Baltimore. With the return of NBC’s Sunday Night Football to the Charm City for Ravens vs. Patriots, Ward is in town as part of the pre-game broadcast crew.
He posted on his Facebook page yesterday that he has not received a friendly welcome here in Baltimore:
From Hines Ward:
I had to share this with all of you, my loyal fans:
Heading to Baltimore tonight to do the Ravens-Pats game and as I’m at the gate heading to Baltimore, a flight attendant comes up to me and asks me, “You are Hines right?” and I said “Yes.” He says, “I HATE you!” So… I’m on the plane and the guy next to me says, “Are you Hines?” I say “Yes”. He says “I HATE you!” I’m thinking I’m about to have to fight this guy. As I’m flying, I’m praying the good Lord above isn’t a Ravens fan (Haha). When I get off the plane in Baltimore, the fine people at NBC have the car service guy hold up a sign under an alias name because they don’t want people to see my name in Baltimore. I get to the hotel and the lady hands me my key to my room and says, “thank you for staying with us today Mr. Ward, and by the way I HATE you” (Haha). I go to my room and the cleaning lady recognizes me from DWTS. She congratulates me but says, “I still don’t like you” (wow). Now I love crab cakes. It’s one of my favorite foods and Baltimore is known for their awesome crab cakes. But I’m too scared to order any from room service because I don’t want to be poisoned or have someone spit on them. I’ll starve myself today I guess. Guess what Ravens fans: I HATE you too but I will miss you guys the most. I had a great 14-year run here and besides the Super Bowls, I will always cherish the Ravens-Steelers rivalry. THANKS for the great memories Ravens fan. But I’m part of a new team now, NBC. I’m even picking you guys to win tonight because I know how hard it is to play in the LION’s DEN. But come on, I really just wanted to taste some of your great crab cakes. Can’t we all just get along? (Haha) – Hines
Posted on 31 August 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
It was only a matter of time before Adam Jones started popping off on Twitter regarding his feelings about the lack of people standing behind him in centerfield at Camden Yards. It wasn’t as juicy as last year’s advice to “knock the s**t outta the Yankees fans” but he made his feelings well known yesterday about the worst crowd of the season to see the season’s most significant game to date.
It’s very apparent that Adam Jones cares more about whether the good people of Baltimore come to Orioles games than his bosses and owner do but still not enough to vest himself in our community enough to recruit people to come and pay to see the team play.
It must be a bummer for any Orioles player to endure the emptiness of the home ballpark while finally playing meaningful games and quality baseball.
In 2012, the price to pay for 15 years of losing and the worst owner in the history of professional sports is what Adam Jones now sees with a fantastic view from centerfield every night: an empty stadium in downtown Baltimore and plenty of green seats to backdrop every fly ball.
It’s been very clear that the prescient message I sent with “Free The Birds” in 2006 – “if you’re not careful, Mr. Angelos, we might leave and never come back” – has now become a prophecy. The 2012 Baltimore Orioles are everything you’d want in a local sports team to follow – interesting, fun, lively and relevant – and a grand total of 48K came to Camden Yards over four days to watch the best baseball this city has seen in 15 years.
The empty seats are a glaring reminder of what’s gone wrong with the franchise and the city’s passion for the Baltimore Orioles since Peter Angelos bought — and then wrecked — the franchise.
Once Adam Jones stops talking out of the side of his mouth and at the end of this run of success in 2012 – and I’m not betting it won’t end in a parade just yet because I’ve seen stranger things happen — it’ll then be time to invest himself in our community the way he likes to on his Twitter account.
He got the $85.5 million deal back in May and it’ll be his turn to become a Baltimore resident or not. If he’s really interested in people coming to the ballpark then I hope he’ll spend the offseason with the fans here and be Mr. Oriole all winter.
Where will he be in November…and December…or January?
Will he be shaking hands, kissing babies and attempting to become a guy who eventually gets one of those shiny statues out on the patio that no one is visiting these days?
Will Adam Jones be in the community trying to win back the fans of Baltimore?
I’m not talking sitting at a table in a card shop or swag store charging $50 for an autograph. I’m talking about being a true ambassador for the community.
This isn’t about the marketing department. This isn’t about buying more billboards or state-run MASN ads. This isn’t about popping off on Twitter or mandating “sitdowns” with people like me who are still pissed about the entire tenor and arrogance of the Baltimore Orioles and Peter Angelos over two decades.
If the players on the field are embarrassed by an empty stadium, it’s my belief is that THEY – directly – are the only ones who can do something about it. We have to care about them and want to invest our money
Posted on 19 July 2012 by John Sears
Yesterday news broke that there was a chance that the Ravens and Joe Flacco could come to terms on a long term contract by the time training camp rolls around; a “75% chance” to be exact. I’m sure most fans were excited to hear this, as was I. But when a report comes out like this, it’s important not to trust it blindly.
You see, teams will sometimes leak this information in order to sort of “put the ball in the players court”, so that if a deal doesn’t get done the player (Joe Flacco in this case) might look bad. Well, Flacco’s agent, Joe Linta joined Drew Forrester this morning to address the chances that Joe Flacco signs before training camp. He said rather sarcastically (in regards to the ‘75% chance’), ““That was news to me. That’s good. That’s a good number”. Quite simply put, there is no timetable on when it will get done.
Ravens fans shouldn’t really expect a deal to get done in the near future. In negotiations like this (where there is no timetable, unlike Ray Rice) the two parties will usually talk things over for a while. “You want to understand what their sides hot button, important issues are. They have to understand ours. We shake hands. We hug and we go at it. It’s not personal. It’s not the vitriol filled room that a lot of people might think,” Linta said.
Linta said Flacco really isn’t even worried about when it gets done which is very good news for the Ravens and fans. He said, “Money is secondary to him to the winning and the success he enjoys with the team.” This should make Ravens fans happy because the last thing we need is another player who’s mind is not on football when it should be (ahem…Ed Reed). Flacco is focused on winning games like he has done throughout his career. “His primary focus is to go out and play the game and win for the town and himself…He has a real affinity for this town,” said Linta.
Quite frankly, Ravens fans are lucky to have a player who generally cares about the city, wants to win for everyone and who is a top flight quarterback. Flacco takes so much undeserved criticism from people, including a large majority home town fans. It always amazes me how fans around here can criticize the best QB we have ever had here by a long shot. When did people become so spoiled?
Linta believes that it is due in large part to some of the mainstream media. He says, “There are people in the media who don’t watch the film so all they have to go on is statistics. There are a lot of guys that are on television that don’t know the difference between touchdown and goose down yet they are analyzing Joe Flacco’s performance. You have to laugh at that but they become influential to the public at large.”
And that’s just it. Flacco’s numbers obviously aren’t the best but if you actually watch him play. If you actually see what he does with the below average supporting cast (minus Ray Rice) around him, it’s hard to argue that he is not one of the best QB’s in the league.
Flacco also has a great deal of confidence in himself. Lack of confidence is often a downfall of some quarterbacks. Ravens fans, however, do not have to worry about this with Joe. Not to mention Joe’s calm attitude. “Nothing upsets him to the point where it deters his performance. That’s an amazing quality and one you really look for in a quarterback,” Linta said.
Joe is the perfect QB for this town. He cares about winning, he wants to stay here, he is focused on football rather than money and he is blue collar type of guy. What more could we ask for? Joe will lead us to the Promised Land, but he can’t do it alone. He needs your support. So stop criticizing his every move and just let him do his thing.
Posted on 09 June 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
We decided to video the evidence of the Philadelphia Phillies and their takeover of Camden Yards today as a 2012 tribute to Peter Angelos and “winning” Baltimore Orioles baseball.
If you’re from Philly, you’ll definitely enjoy it…
If you’re from Baltimore, you’ll be thoroughly revolted…but at least the song is good and Peter Angelos made a lot of money for himself, downtown hotels and restaurants!
Posted on 22 October 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
It was like a scene out of a movie today in downtown Baltimore, as Brooks Robinson was feted with a lifetime of community contributions with a beautiful statue at the foot of Russell Street on the plot of land in front of Pickles Pub. Visitors coming from the south will be greeted by a barehanded, throwing Brooks Robinson in the motion of cutting down another runner.
Come with us now at WNST.net via the amazing world of WNStv and take in an afternoon in honor of Brooks Robinson from the statue site. Enjoy these incredible stories of how No. 5 helped shape our lives in sports in Baltimore.
Here’s the entire speech from Brooks Robinson:
Here’s the unveiling of the statue:
Josh Charles amazing speech:
Barbara Mikulski’s incredibe authenticity, passion and humor:
Henry Rosenberg, former CEO of Crown Central Petroleum and great friend and business partner with Brooks. He is the one who got this amazing statue built and deserves all of the credit:
World-renowned sculptor Joseph Sheppard of Baltimore talks about why he made Brooks Robinson statue and all of the fun facts:
Posted on 25 July 2011 by WNST Staff
Steve Bisciotti just issued the following statement via the Baltimore Ravens:
“This is a good day for the NFL, all of its members and fans of our league. I congratulate the Commissioner (Roger Goodell) and the Players Association leadership for reaching this agreement. We’re excited to have the players coming back to our facility in Owings Mills, and we know the coaches are chomping at the bit to get the team ready for the season. I salute our Ravens players for the way they handled this process, particularly Domonique Foxworth, who was instrumental in getting this agreement completed.
“We want to thank our business partners, suiteholders and season ticket holders for sticking with us during the lockout. Your faith and financial support in us is greatly appreciated. I’d also like to give a salute to members of our Ravens family, who continued to work hard and be productive in recent months. We’ll be ready for training camp and the season. It’s time for football.”
Posted on 05 June 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
In a former life, I used to be “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio. And even though I don’t talk about it much or brag on as I probably should, I was a nationally-syndicated sports talk host on 425 radio stations across the United States back at the turn of the century. And every night when I was done my four hours of laughs and conversations, I handed the baton to a far better man than I named “Papa” Joe Chevalier.
Chevalier died yesterday at the age of 62 in Las Vegas from the complications of a stroke he suffered in March.
Papa Joe was a simple man. He’d always come booming into the offices about 90 minutes before his show and always with a hearty laugh and always penning his opening monologue and script on a legal notepad and rehearsing it on those who would hear him. Sometimes, I’d run into the bathroom to take a leak at the 5:40 break and he’d forever be trying out some one-liner on me or engaging me in sports talk – even if it was calling the Ravens “jailbirds” or digging some fun at something Baltimore-related.
Papa Joe Chevalier was old school – and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. He KNEW sports. He KNEW gambling. He KNEW the mentality of big business in sports and where the money came from. He was no fraud when it came to sports knowledge. He was the real deal!
Because I broadcast the majority of my shows from the second story bedroom at my house on Springhouse Circle in White Marsh, I didn’t get to see Papa Joe every day. But I heard his show every day because my station here at WNST-AM 1570 in Baltimore carried his show even before I ever met him or knew him. And the really sad part is that because we always crossed shifts, I never really got to go out for a beer after work in Chicago with him other than at work functions, when he truly held court with the staff of young producers. Everyone in that building liked Papa Joe.
He would always send me outta the studio when his shift would begin with a standard phrase: “I love ya, kid!”
And I think he did, too, even when I was on the backend of a few “Bite Me Wednesday” segments, which was his “airing of the grievances” and beefs.
My unique “broadcast from Baltimore” contract language created a scenario for him that opened the door for him to do shows back in his adopted Las Vegas. So my negotiating and hardcore “I’m not leaving Baltimore” stance with management at SNR bought him some leeway that he loved. And it seemed like he was in Vegas every weekend so I never got to go to Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park with him but that would’ve been a real hoot.
That Sporting News Radio circle of people in Chicago was really a wonderful team of great sports fans in retrospect. It was truly like a WKRP family of people, most of whom I really, really LIKED. I would start naming names but because they’ll all wind up reading this it I want to be careful not to leave anyone out. But there are at least a dozen people whom I keep in very regular contact with because I liked them so much and those memories are so dear to me as I learned a lot about the big corporate world during that period of my life when big money and agents were trying to “make Nasty Nestor a star.”
Chevalier, however, didn’t really care whether he was a “star” or not. He was a quirky old bird, indeed.
Our programming leader Matt Nahigian would implore “Papa” Joe to simply say his name before and after every break – a very typical, simple radio request that allegedly helped Arbitron ratings and “brand familiarity” but Chevalier wanted no part of it.
“I do the damned show every night,” he would squeal. “They all know who the hell I am!”
And who was he? A throwback – a real old-timer from Pittsburgh whose Steelers’ swagger didn’t play so great with me during those years because the Ravens won the Super Bowl on Jan. 28, 2001 when I was sitting in the national sports talk chair and I really had the upper hand on him every time during that fragile period in the Baltimore-Pittsburgh wars of two centuries. Anytime the Pirates and Orioles would come up he’d start pretending to blow the whistle of Omar Moreno’s wife to drive me nuts. And he’d routinely play “We Are Family” and send it as a “shout out” to me on national radio.
And while most of my angst against Pittsburgh and all people from Pittsburgh is legendary, I can honestly say his ribbing never bothered me because it was part of the beauty of our friendship.
We bet a dinner at Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa on the radio every time the Ravens and Steelers played and he lost a LOT. And he never, ever paid up! And for that I’m really, really sad! I would’ve loved a three-hour dinner talking sports with Joe over some sloppy steaks and red wine and we probably would’ve slipped upstairs for a café and a nightcap of ice cream and whiskey amidst conversations of Clemente and the Robinsons, Unitas and Bradshaw. And that would’ve been one helluva sports conversation, he and I — especially if we had added a few drinks and some microphones.
I found out he died late Saturday night from my pal Bernard Bokenyi on Facebook via this Las Vegas newspaper obit and writing about him makes me feel good and brings a smile to my face. Just thinking about the fuss we’re all making over him would make him bristle.
He was a really neat old guy and I never spent a moment with him that I didn’t enjoy. And his audience was immense, loyal and loved his charm. He created a fan “Bill of Rights” during the baseball strike of 1994 and had people all over the country send in baseball cards that he destroyed.
He was a man of the people and he was truly the same dude in real life as he was on the radio. Full of loveable bluster and an unending source of sports information!
In a media world fraught with frauds, phonies, liars, cowards and fools he was a man who had knowledge, integrity, an incredible sense of humor and we had a mutual respect that was unusually genuine.
I really LIKED Papa Joe. And he really liked me. It was a cool relationship and one that I probably didn’t cultivate or appreciate quite enough.
I hadn’t talked to him in a few years but I loved that old man. And I’m going to miss him and his soft voice. He was a really good man!