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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I have some new rules to unleash for “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week.” Previously, I handed just one honor out per week-but I’m going to mix that up. I will now be handing out both “New” and “Classic” versions of the honor.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook (feel free to search “Glenn Clark” and add the man who is sipping Orange Kool-Aid after losing a bet to Ed in Park Heights), you know that this week’s “Classic” version (the rule is that the song must be at least 5 years old) is “Out of My Head” by Fastball…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7reY8OyYmLI[/youtube]

This week’s new version of “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week” isn’t really even a song I like that much. Honest to God. Frankly, I find “The Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney to be a particularly insufferable song musically. BUT-the speech from New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton at the front of the video is so freaking epic that I’m going to give it the honor anyway.

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Luke French, Seattle Mariners shut down Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Yeah, but how are you expected to get anything going against a Cy Young Award candidate like Jeanmar Gomez Luke French?!?!? The Buck Showalter era has been very good in Charm City, but there have still been a few puzzling pitchers to shut the O’s down.

What’s weirder? The fact that the Birds were able to muster just 3 hits against some fella named Luke French or the fact that Josh Bell had two of them?

It all wasted the best start made by Kevin Millwood arguably all season. He gave up just 3 hits and 3 walks over 7 and 2/3 innings, allowing just one run to cross the plate. Armando Gabino sadly wasn’t quite as effective.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to remind everyone of this-but after the Birds have lost 3 of 4 for the first time under Showalter; I think it’s important.

You can’t win them all. You just can’t.

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of loss

Rough night for Ty Wigginton-who went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts and left 3 men on base. Of course, it was a rough night for just about anyone else who was wearing orange and black too.

In one of those “at least it’s familiar” feelings; you REALLY don’t want to look at these numbers. Trust me. Instead, check out something else baseball-related. Sara Saco-Vertiz is the gall that got hit by a foul ball recently at a Houston Astros game down at Minute Maid Park when her boyfriend “Bo the Bailer” jumped out of the way. She’s also a very pleasant distraction from what happened in the Orioles game last night. (Thanks H8TORADE!)

sarasaco

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says MRI on Craig Tatum’s knee ‘shows no damage’

Good news!

Or at least “oh…okay” news.

You know what-if this is the most interesting thing going on with the Orioles’ roster, it IS good news.

You know what else is good news? The new Harvard Sailing Team video that Dave Carey linked to my Facebook page last night. Thanks Dave!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FukzyfIqYf8[/youtube]

4. USA Today’s Paul White says O’s ‘soaring’ under Buck Showalter, but team still needs to improve roster

This is the unfortunate part about the reasonable success the Orioles have had recently. As solid as they’ve been, it just doesn’t REALLY matter.

The fact remains that it is MUCH nicer for us as fans to watch the team win a few games at the end of the season than to continue to lose games at a historic rate. I’m not trying to take away from the value of that, as it bothers me to watch losing as much if not more than anyone.

But this season has been over for some time. There was nothing to tangibly gain from a strong (or even semi-strong) finish to the season.

If the Orioles don’t make significant roster upgrades during the offseason and field a legitimate team come Opening Day; they’ll lose games in April and May of 2011 under ANY manager. Even Buck Showalter.

Wins this season are like “warm fuzzies.” They’re nice to have around, but they don’t actually help with anything. When you’re cold, you need a blanket-not something the size of pocket lint.

The Orioles don’t need warm fuzzies. They need a massive overhaul. It has started with the manager. Now they need more.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Bowie Baysox OF Xavier Avery had 4 RBI in win over Trenton Thunder on farm

A few things before we move on from the Orioles…

-The O’s and M’s wrap up their 3 game set tonight at OPACY. First pitch between Jeremy Guthrie and David Pauley is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Did you miss Xavier Avery this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who discussed all things Orioles with Drew
  • Peter King (SI/NBC)-who checked in from Westminster to preview this afternoon’s “Tweetup” at Amicci’s in Little Italy (4:30-6pm…make sure you come hang out!)
  • Seth Everett (ESPN Radio New York/ESPNNewYork.com)-who checked in with Drew to preview the Jets as we finished the AFC East in our preview of every team on the Ravens’ schedule
  • Our “Cheap Shots from the Bleachers”, including Drew’s shot at all parties involved in the Renee Gork Arkansas/Florida debacle and my shot at the Ravens’ “You Make the Cut” game
  • Plenty of audio from McDaniel College Tuesday-including John Harbaugh, Jim Zorn and Oniel Cousins
  • Todd Heap-who checked in with Rex Snider yesterday afternoon following Ravens practice
  • Matt Bowen (National Football Post)-who discussed his former teammate Brett Favre with Rex Tuesday as well

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so go check it out. Your day is planned now. You can thank me in form of cash money.

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says David Hale, Matt Birk, Davon Drew, Marcus Paschal, Brandon McKinney, Daniel Sanders, Stefan Rodgers, Jared Gaither all missed practice Tuesday at Ravens Training Camp

When it comes to Birk and McKinney, my initial thought is “I bet they’ll be plenty healthy when the team is in Owings Mills next week.”

I’m not quite as laid back about David Hale; as the team doesn’t really have much interior line depth. Birk, Ben Grubbs, Marshal Yanda and Chris Chester are there to handle the Top 4 spots; but the team clearly doesn’t want to have to use Chester as the reserve center.

Now-they could be more flexible if they had better tackle depth. Should they be able to start Gaither and Michael Oher with Cousins behind them; it COULD allow Tony Moll to play guard and have the team use Chester in a pinch as a reserve center.

The thing is-they need these guys to be healthy to do ANY of that. That’s an issue as of right now.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ed Reed has visited rehab specialist in Atlanta recently to ‘accelerate’ hip healing

You know what else might help Ed ‘accelerate’ his healing? Showing him this picture of Miss USA Rima Fakih. (Thanks Guyism!)

fakih

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Tavares Gooden working with first team defense at JACK LB spot

And before we move on from the Ravens, a few things here as well:

-I have no idea what to make of the JACK LB battle. The job appeared to be Jameel McClain’s to lose, but both Gooden and Dannell Ellerbe have gotten their chances to run with the 1′s after McClain started against the Carolina Panthers. At this point, I’ll still leaning towards McClain-but it will be interesting to see who works with the first unit at FedEx Field Saturday night.

-A reminder that the Ravens hit the practice field today-if you missed the 8:45am practice, you missed it. There’s a special teams practice at 2pm today. Today and tomorrow are the LAST TWO DAYS that you can see the Ravens practice in person at McDaniel College; as they are closed to the public Friday before Saturday’s preseason showdown with the Washington Redskins.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland WR Emani Lee-Odai fractured pinkie during practice, Ralph Friedgen expects him to need surgery

This is a tough break for the senior; who was expected to play an important role in a surprisingly deep group of receivers.

Congratulations also to Terrapins LB’s Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten; who were both named to the Butkus Award Watch List; and to Terps WR/KR Torrey Smith, who was named to the Paul Hornung Award Watch List-given to the nation’s most versatile player.

And if Maryland needs some depth at WR with Lee-Odai out, may I suggest Ann French? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

annfrench

10. UMTerps.com says Gary Williams to join Babe Ruth, Johnny Unitas, Art Modell, Jim McKay, Brooks Robinson in inaugural “Hall of Legends” class at Sports Legends Museum

We could debate the names that AREN’T part of that list (Cal Ripken, Jim Palmer, Frank Robinson, Chuck Thompson, Jonathan Ogden, etc.); but that isn’t the point of this really. They’re going to have years to get all of these guys in this group, and this first group of 6 is absolutely outstanding.

The real question is…which year will it be when we see “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio inducted?

I’m sure it has to be soon, right?

And finally, I leave you with this.

The young lady in my life (whatever that means) is a Dallas Cowboys fan. I’m not proud, trust me. We call her “Boomer Sooner” around here. I hope I NEVER hear her singing this song. (Thanks Deadspin!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KDuKAT5Apg[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I haven’t had a chance to post a “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” this week, and it gives me pass along the same message I passed along yesterday via Facebook (Feel free to add me as a friend-just search for “Glenn Clark” and find the guy in the Dan Wilcox jersey hanging out at Artscape).

I have no idea how Train-who I think is an overly solid band-managed to make such a garbage song as that “Hey Soul Sister” nonsense, but thank God their next single “If It’s Love” is much better…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxWK3qACDGk[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s Howard Fendrich says Jeremy Guthrie pitched Orioles past Angels in Buck Showalter’s debut

Yes-I lead with Jeremy Guthrie instead of Buck Showalter. Last night was much more about Jeremy Guthrie than it was about Showalter.

The one thing that Jeremy Guthrie has given this team for the better part of the year is a feeling that they have a chance to win a game.

The Birds couldn’t do much of anything against Trevor Bell last night, but thanks to Jeremy Guthrie keeping them in it-they were finally able to break through when Los Angeles (of Anaheim) went to the pen. Thanks Mike Scioscia!

That being said, you could tell there was a heightened sense of excitement in Baltimore last night, which is what SHOULD come in the first game under a legitimate MLB manager. The question now is whether or not that excitement can continue for SOME sort of prolonged period of time.

My guess is no-mostly because the players on the field are terrible. Not much can be done about that over the next two months. I’ll hope I’m wrong-but the evidence doesn’t suggest I would be.

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of win

Ho.Ly.Crap.

Felix Pie stole a base.

I thought it was a little strange when they stopped the game and removed the base; then brough Pie a mic for him to make a Rickey Henderson-type speech on the field. BUT-I understand that it was such a rare occurance they probably didn’t know how to handle it.

It was nice to see Pie have a solid night after fans were given Pie t-shirts. I’m not sure who picked up mine for me, but I’m at least one of you saevd one for me, right? It was also a big night for Matt Wieters, Josh Bell and of course Luke Scott. I hope we’ll see more of all of that.

Of course, I’m so used to saying “you don’t really want to look at the numbers” that I’m always confused when I don’t have to say that. With that in mind, why don’t you look at this picture of WWE’s Kelly Kelly (Thanks Don Chavez!) AND look at the numbers linked above. It’s a win-win!

kellykelly

3. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Showalter spent Tuesday afternoon chatting with Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, O’s veterans

The fact is that if the Orioles are going to be competitive at ANY point in the next 4 years, they’re going to have to build around Nick Markakis and hopefully Matt Wieters. Brian Roberts still has 2 years under contract, but is no longer a franchise-type player even when healthy. Adam Jones has talent, but his mistakes and mentality make him more of a “commodity” than a cornerstone.

Markakis is the guy. He’s under contract for 4 more years. He may not be a REAL franchise player in Major League Baseball, but he’s the closest we have in Charm City. Matt Wieters is under control for a few more years as well, so that’s what you build around.

The team is hoping they can build a rotation around some young pitchers as well; but assuming that Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta or Chris Tillman are there already is a mistake. They cannot be penciled in yet.

That’s what Showalter has. Now he has to work with Andy MacPhail to improve it. I think it goes without saying that I’m not overly hopeful.

4. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds to open 2011 season at Tampa Bay Rays April 1, host Opening Day at OPACY April 4 against Detroit Tigers

It doesn’t reflect tradition, but I will admit that I really enjoyed having the home opener on a Friday this year. I was excited to hear that baseball was moving the opener to Friday; so I’m disappointed to hear that the Orioles’ opener will be on the road.

Of course, I’m mostly saying that because it impacts my beer drinking schedule. Day drinking on a Friday > day drinking on a Monday. If it drags into the evening hours, it’s way better to not have to wake up the next morning.

Of course-if you’re drinking Flying Dog Tire Bite; any day is a good day for day drinking…

tirebite

5. Baysox.com says despite continued torrid play from Joe Mahoney, Bowie couldn’t top Portland Sea Dogs on farm

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

-The Birds and Halos are back in action tonight at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. First pitch between Dan Haren and Jake Arrieta is at 7:05pm, and the game can be seen on MASN. Dan Haren has yet to pick up a win since coming to the American League. My guess it that will change tonight, but I’ll be rooting that it doesn’t.

-If you get the chance to check out Drew’s Rick Dempsey blog today at WNST.net, it’s worth the read. I feel SOMEWHAT bad for Rick, as I know he badly wants the job-but I think at this point the two parties are going to have to part ways.

-Did you miss Baysox pitcher Wynn Pelzer (the player acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Miguel Tejada deal) with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? If you did, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out. Other guests this morning included:

  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports)-who discussed the Brett Favre drama and all things NFL
  • Ryan Sharrow (Baltimore Business Journal)-who broke down the messy divorce between MASN and the Ravens
  • Brad Johansen (Cincinnati Bengals Radio PBP Voice)-who previewed Cincy as we go around the AFC North this week

They’re all in the Audio Vault now if you want to check them out. Some other things in the Audio Vault worth checking out include…

  • Fabian Washington (Ravens CB)-who joined Thyrl Nelson following practice Tuesday
  • Matt Williams (Arizona Diamondbacks 1B Coach)-the former D-Backs and San Francisco Giants slugger who played for Buck Showalter in Phoenix; who joined Rex Snider and Allen McCallum Tuesday afternoon
  • Sean Salisbury (former NFL QB)-who discussed Brett Favre and the Ravens with Rex Tuesday
  • All sorts of audio from Westminster Tuesday-including John Harbaugh, Jared Gaither, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Ralph Friedgen and Ken Niumatalolo

So there you go. Your afternoon is planned out for you. Enjoy!

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Ravens WR Derrick Mason hurt ankle at Training Camp Tuesday, but injury ‘doesn’t appear serious’

Of course the hit would come from Dawan Landry. I think that’s a rule at McDaniel College.

WNST.net’s Luke Jones reported that Mason did not practice Wednesday morning (follow us on Twitter @WNST)-but after talking to him yesterday, I don’t get the feeling that the injury will keep him out for an extended period of time. In fact, I bet we’ll see him on the field Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium if not before. Just a hunch on my part.

By the way, both Drew and I named Derrick Mason the Number 1 “Most Dramatic” player in Ravens history in our “Training Camp Top 5″ this morning. Drew’s list:

5-Matt Stover
4-Shannon Sharpe
3-Chris McAlister
2-John Harbaugh
1-Derrick Mason

My list:

5-Jermaine Lewis
4-Chris McAlister
3-Ed Reed
2-Ray Lewis
1-Derrick Mason

7. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Jared Gaither plans to ‘put weight back on’

I’m really not all that concerned with Jared Gaither’s weight. He’s always been a more athletic tackle; and I think he will work things out in terms of body size.

What I’m more concerned about is what’s going to happen if and when Harbaugh stops flipping Gaither and Michael Oher between positions and finally decides to have Oher play LT and Gaither play RT. Gaither said yesterday he’d play anywhere the team wants him to and he’d “abide by” Coach Harbs; but we need to see that on the field to accept it.

You know who doesn’t need to put any weight on at all? Christina Moustaka. She’s just fine. (Thanks NextRound.net!)…

moustaka

8. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says WBAL, Comcast SportsNet options for Ravens after MASN partnership ended

We’ll make this easy. I don’t know how many people actually tuned in to watch the John Harbaugh Show or Purple Passion or whatever the hell those shows are called on MASN; but NOBODY will be tuning in to channel 11.1 to see them on WBAL’s digital subchannel. Fans might be willing to stream the shows on BaltimoreRavens.com, but they really need a better on-air alternative.

Using Comcast SportsNet PLUS, their COULD be room for them with CSN-but CSN is ABSOLUTELY intertwined with the Washington Redskins. These wouldn’t be strange bedfellows, these would be absolutely uncomfortable bedfellows. Of course, there aren’t many other options. Perhaps a WNUV 54 or maybe WUTB 24 could be options, but they wouldn’t be ideal.

It’s a shame these parties couldn’t get this worked out; hopefully something could still be figured out in the future.

Before I move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-Luke Jones is out at McDaniel College again today, where we are expected to hear from John Harbaugh, Matt Birk, Michael Oher and the commish-Roger Goodell. All of it will be up in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault later today.

-Jameel McClain continues to get the majority of the snaps inside next to Ray Lewis with the first team. It looks more and more like he’s moved ahead of Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden on the depth chart.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo tell media in Westminster they’d like to face each other more often

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Terrapins and Midshipmen should get together every other year, and M&T Bank Stadium is the ideal location to host the “Crab Bowl Classic.”

The successor to Debbie Yow in College Park will have a large say in whether or not this gets done, but sources there have told me before that the school would LIKE to play a game in Baltimore every other year (and play a game at FedEx Field every other year as well).

You know what else I’d like to see more often? Denmark’s Celina Hilslev; who was apparently on the cover of something called M! (Thanks Guyism!)…

hilslev

10. NavySports.com says former Duke standout Greg Paulus joins Midshipmen staff as assistant coach

As a Terps alum, I won’t root for the Mids on Labor Day (or any other time they play Maryland in any other sport); but for the most part-I consider myself a Navy supporter.

So with that being said, how could they POSSIBLY hire a Dukie?!?!? Only John Feinstein could be happy about this!

I’ll wish Paulus the best on Billy Lange’s staff; but I certainly won’t shy away from channeling Peter Rosenberg once more…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYOgC2Qbqh4[/youtube]

And finally, I leave you with this…

I got the chance to wander up to Bel Air yesterday afternoon and play some kickball. No seriously. The good news was that was actually NOT the worst player on the field, nor was I the most out of shape. In honor of that, I rewarded myself with Qdoba and Natty Boh.

We weren’t great, but we certainly weren’t as bad as this…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 18 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention-Women’s College Basketball: Miami @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center), Duke @ Maryland (Sunday 8pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet locally/Fox Sports Net nationally); Boxing: Steve Luevano vs. Juan Manuel Lopez (Saturday 9:45pm from New York live on HBO); High School Basketball: Carver @ Perry Hall (Tuesday 5:15pm), C. Milton Wright @ Aberdeen (Tuesday 6:45pm), Edgewood @ Havre de Grace (Tuesday 6:45pm)

10-Jeff Dunham (Thursday 7:30pm Verizon Center), Cheap Trick (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live), Cheech & Chong (Saturday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall), George Strait and Reba McEntire (Friday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena)

Yeah, so, these guys are pretty funny……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndaXQeRPO0g[/youtube]

And these guys are ABSOLUTELY one of the most underrated bands in American history….

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

And while I have NO interest in seeing Reba, I’ve needed an excuse to post this little piece of SNL brilliance in a blog….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg85BxArn7M[/youtube]

9-Maryland State Cheer & Dance Championship (Saturday 8am 1st Mariner Arena)

Look, if the people involved in this competition looked like this, this would be Number 1 on the list…

cheerleader

But since I’m PRETTY sure the people are involved are going to look more like this…..

cheer

…..so only Ray Bachman will be excited.

And NOT because he’s a pedophile-his girl coaches cheerleaders, so he’s sorta been forced into their world.

You guys are sick.

8-College Football: East West Shrine Game (Saturday 3pm from Orlando live on ESPN2)

OH MY GOD IT’S NFL DRAFT SEASON!!!!!!!!!

Maybe you guys aren’t as big of Draft nerds as I am, but you should be. I mean, what if Blair White completely goes off on Saturday? Could he be a Baltimore Raven next season? Holy crap I’m excited.

Maybe even more excited than when we stopped near Columbus for food Friday on the way to Indianapolis and I managed to find this……

greek

Wow.

7-Golf: Bob Hope Classic (Wednesday-Friday 3pm, Saturday & Sunday 4pm from La Quinta, CA live on Golf Channel)

Oh, Bob Hope…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgUlWIq3b3w[/youtube]

Wait, did I just put Golf on this list? GOLF? There better be a Tiger Woods whore picture coming….

HEY! Here’s Loredana Jolie!!!!

loredana

Everything is better now.

6-NBA: Mavericks @ Wizards (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Heat @ Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Clippers @ Wizards (Sunday 1pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

Since the ‘Zards stink, I have an idea of how they can still make our WNST bus trip to DC entertaining. I think Flip Saunders just channel WWE Champion Sheamus and put Mark Cuban THROUGH A TABLE……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMotWBNkb3c[/youtube]

Of course, it’s not quite as good as when the Dudley Boyz used to put 80 year old women through tables…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jgt95pDXuM[/youtube]

5-NHL: Red Wings @ Capitals (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Capitals @ Penguins (Thursday 7:30pm from Pittsburgh live on Comcast SportsNet and NHL Network), Coyotes @ Capitals (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

Ugh. I don’t even root for the Caps and I feel bad for them for having to go to Pittsburgh. What an awful place.

I mean seriously, what the hell is THIS?!?!?!

pitt

Have you heard the story about how people have gone to see the movie Avatar and then gone into depression because our world isn’t like Pandora? Pittsburgh is a lot like that. People go there and immediately don’t want to kill themselves anymore because they realize life isn’t so bad.

And since we’re talking about Avatar, here’s a picture of Zoe Saldana. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

oe

4-Soccer: Team USA vs. Honduras (Saturday 9pm from Carson, CA live on Fox Soccer Channel), Baltimore Blast @ Milwaukee Wave (Saturday 7pm streamed live on B2liveTV.com)

Can things get worse for the Red, White & Blue? First Charlie Davies, then Oguchi Onyewu, now Clint Dempsey? Who the hell is gonna be left to play? Soccer Dog?!?!?

soccerdog

3-Tennis: Australian Open (Tuesday 3am & 9pm, Wednesday 3am & 11pm, Thursday & Friday 3am & 9pm, Saturday 3am & 10pm, Sunday 3am & 7pm, Monday 3:30am & 9pm live on ESPN2; Tuesday-Monday 7pm live on Tennis Channel. All tennis from Melbourne, AUS)

Thank god Andy Roddick is still around, because I was about ready to give up after Maria Sharapova was eliminated.

Of course, my all time favorite Australian Open eye candy remains former champion Mary Pierce…..

pierce

And no, it’s NOT just because she was engaged to Roberto Alomar….

2-College Basketball: Longwood @ Maryland (Tuesday 8pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), NC State @ Maryland (Saturday 6pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN2); Northeastern @ Towson (Wednesday 7pm Towson Center), George Mason @ Towson (Saturday 4pm from Towson Center live on MASN); New Hampshire @ UMBC (Thursday 7pm RAC Arena), Boston U @ UMBC (Sunday 1pm RAC Arena); Delaware State @ Morgan State (Saturday 4pm Hill Field House), UMES @ Morgan State (Monday 7:30pm Hill Field House); UMES @ Coppin State (Saturday 4pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex), Delaware State @ Coppin State (Monday 7:30pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex)

Heh. You said “Longwood.”

Oh, North Carolina State. Remember when your fans were SO EXCITED to see Sidney Lowe replace Herb Sendek? How’s that worked out for you???

You know, other than no longer having a coach who looked like he was from Whoville……

whowho

1-NFL Playoffs: AFC Championship Game: Jets @ Colts (Sunday 3:30pm from Indianapolis live on CBS), NFC Championship Game: Vikings @ Saints (Sunday 6:40pm from New Orleans live on FOX)

Unlike the rest of Charm City, I’m really NOT rooting for Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, etc. You see, they play in New York-and that’s where the Yankees play. That being said, I would never……EVER…..root for the Colts. Ever. So I’ll be rooting for both teams to lose.

In the NFC, I actually really still dig Brett Favre, so it’s hard to root against him. BUT, Heather Rothstein roots for the Saints…..

rothstein

So…..WHO DAT?!?!?!?

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983……

-G

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Where Did Ravens Go Wrong in ’09? Look No Further Than Final 5 Minutes

Posted on 18 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

It was fitting to see the Ravens fall apart in the final 5 minutes of the first half Saturday night in Indianapolis. Fitting because the final 5 minutes of halves are exactly where everything went wrong for this team throughout the season in dropping 8 games.

Need a refresher?

Week 4 @ New England:
Final 5 minutes of 1st half-The Patriots were ahead 10-7, but a Sammy Morris 12 yard TD followed by a Joe Flacco interception put the Pats up 17-7 at the break.
2nd half-After driving the length of the field, a hopeful game-winning drive faltered when Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton dropped passes to finish the Ravens’ chances.

Week 5 vs. Cincinnati:
1st half-After getting into Bengals territory with :33 to play in the half, the Ravens were unable to get even as much as a FG attempt before the half. They were forced to burn their final timeout at the :33 mark because an 8 yard pass to Todd Heap was in the middle of the field. (The Ravens ultimately lost by a field goal.)
2nd half-Carson Palmer converted a 4th and 1 to continue a hopeful game-winning drive, then Ray Lewis’ personal foul on Chad Ochocinco and Ed Reed/Frank Walker’s pass interference on a 3rd & 16 put Cincy in scoring position. They cashed in, as Palmer found Andre Caldwell for the winner.

Week 6 @ Minnesota:
1st half-Trailing 14-0, the Ravens had a golden opportunity to make the game a 1 possession game with a 1st & 10 from the Vikings 12 yard line and 2 timeouts. Unfortunately, all they could muster was a 1 yard completion to Ray Rice, and they were forced to kick a FG. (The extra 4 points would have made up the eventual 2 point difference.)
2nd half-After what seemed like an impossible rally, the Ravens went ahead 31-30. It took Brett Favre little time to turn things around for the Vikes-as he went 58 yards to Sidney Rice on a play where Frank Walker couldn’t have interfered more. After a Ryan Longwell FG put the Vikings back ahead, the Ravens had a chance to win the game, but a bad snap from Matt Katula lead to a bad miss from Steve Hauschka at the gun.

Week 9 @ Cincinnati:
1st half-Trailing 17-0, the Ravens got the ball back with 2:52 to play and a chance to do SOMETHING before going to the locker room. It took just one play for Joe Flacco to be picked by Leon Hall on an unnecessary deep ball, and the Bengals took that same advantage to the locker room.
2nd half-Despite a Steve Hauschka miss with 6:12 to play, the Ravens still had a chance trailing 17-7 late. Approaching midfield on the better side of the 2 minute warning and with timeouts still in their pockets, everything fell apart. Joe Flacco was sacked on 3 straight plays, and the Bengals essentially clinched the AFC North.

Week 11 vs. Indianapolis:
1st half-The Colts punctuated an 80 yard drive with a 5 yard TD by Joseph Addai to put the Colts ahead 14-9. After some strange play-calling, the Ravens DID still manage to cut the Colts’ lead to 14-12 going to the break, but better use of the clock could have taken them the extra 18 yards into the endzone.
2nd half-Trailing 17-15, the Ravens were marching towards a sure-fire FG or a hopeful TD to re-take the lead. But the drive fell apart when Joe Flacco was intercepted by Gary Brackett on a short pass over the middle. After getting a stop, the Ravens had one more chance-but Ed Reed fumbled away a punt return on an unthinkable lateral attempt.

Week 13 @ Green Bay:
1st half-The Ravens had given up just 3 points when there were 5 minutes left on the clock. By the time they went to the half, they had given up 17. Sound familiar? Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver caught Aaron Rodgers TD’s to extend the lead. Unbelievably, the Ravens actually had a chance to get points before the half when they got the ball at the GB 37 with :32 to play and 2 timeouts-but they could get just 12 yards.
2nd half-Due to Joe Flacco throwing one of the worst interceptions in Ravens history, the final 5 minutes at Lambeau Field were mostly unnecessary. But the Pack rubbed salt in the wounds anyway, adding a Mason Crosby FG and finishing things with a Clay Matthews sack to finalize a 27-14 victory.

Week 16 @ Pittsburgh:
1st half-After driving into Steelers territory, a drive to tie the game or potentially go ahead was thwarted by an Ike Taylor sack. The Steelers responded by marching downfield, and a Ben Roethlisberger-Santonio Holmes TD extended their lead to 20-10. John Harbaugh decided for some inexplicable reason to call his final 2 timeouts in the last 35 seconds-saying he had hoped for a pass to set up a Hail Mary. It doesn’t make any more sense now than it did at the time.
2nd half-Trailing 23-20, the Ravens marched into PITT territory and were approaching Billy Cundiff FG range at the 35 when they faced 3rd and 7. Two LaMarr Woodley sacks later, the threat was over. The Ravens had the chance to get the ball back one more time thanks to a Tom Zbikowski INT return, but the play was negated by a Frank Walker illegal contact call.

Divisional Round @ Indianapolis:
1st half-Tied at 3, the Colts faced a 4th and 4 from the Baltimore 35 that had the Ravens stopped-they would have been in great position to try to take the lead going to the half. Not only did Joseph Addai pick up the first down, Peyton Manning ultimately found Austin Collie for what would end up being the game-winning TD. The Ravens got the ball back, but mixed a 1st down run with 2 incomplete passes-giving Indy one more chance. They made it count, as Reggie Wayne hauled in a short TD to take a 17-3 lead.
2nd half-As was the case in Green Bay, the final 5 minutes were mostly unnecessary. But the Colts made sure the Ravens didn’t get even as much as a glimmer of hope-as Antoine Bethea and Jerraud Powers wrapped the playoff victory up with interceptions.

As you can see, the struggles over the final 5 minutes were in every phase of the game. Untimely mistakes, bad play calling, clock mismanagement, errors in judgment, and lapses from the defense, offense and special teams. It wasn’t a season where Joe Flacco, the secondary, the O-Line or the coaching staff struggled in the final 5 minutes of halves-it was a season where EVERYONE struggled in the final 5 minutes of halves.

Ultimately, the responsibility to win the final 5 minutes probably does fall on the head coach. Managing what tend to be frenzied situations and having to make quick decisions are the responsibility of the man in charge-as there can only be one voice in the panic. The final 5 minutes would be the time where John Harbaugh needs to be able to veto a call from Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison OR Jerry Rosburg-or just make a call on his own.

But even if he chooses not to do that, the final 5 minutes are where attention to detail is most critical from a head coach. This has plagued Andy Reid throughout his career in Philadelphia, and is probably the biggest reason why Reid is thought of as a really good coach instead of a Super Bowl winning coach.

John Harbaugh just wrapped up his 2nd year as a head coach. He has time to change things. But with every issue the team faced this season-the final 5 minutes of each half were the most obvious place where this team lost 8 games.

Losing 8 games won’t be acceptable if this team wants to take steps forward in the future.

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 13 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

Admittedly, it is a BIT difficult to have a Happy Wednesday after a soul-crushing loss like the one the Terps suffered last night. But like any good soldier, I move forward.

“The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” was able to watch the live-and-die moments of the late 2nd half and overtime with me last night, although I’m not sure whether she was watching more of the game or more of my reactions to it. I’m a total wreck during games like that, I imagine I probably look a bit like this person…..

insane

Let’s see what everyone has to say…..

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Steve Bisciotti should give John Harbaugh contract extension

Correct.

Also, I should get Brittany Gastineau’s (who is apparently the daughter of Mark Gastineau according to our early morning conversation on “The Comcast Morning Show”) phone number…..

brittany

Hopefully all of these things will work out.

Look, I don’t mean to be so dismissive of this, it just seems like a no-brainer to me. The guy you hired to come here and win came here and won. He’s won playoff games in back to back seasons for just the 2nd time in franchise history, and he has a chance to become the first coach in franchise history to reach back to back AFC Championship Games.

What else can you ask for? (I mean, besides winning the Super Bowl.)

Give him an extension.

2. Ravens’ Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Matt Stover knows he could break all hearts in Baltimore with winning kick for Colts

If this happens, I would simply ask that SOMEONE ELSE come in to sit in with Drew Forrester on AM1570 Monday morning. I don’t think I could handle it.

I really don’t want to have any part in conversation about the decision to go in a different direction at kicker. The Ravens made the decision, and it was PROBABLY the right one at the time, it just didn’t land the right kicker to start the season.

I PRAY that Billy Cundiff kicks the winner-or Stover misses one. I love Matt Stover, but I will absolutely feel better if Matt Stover misses a game winner than if Billy Cundiff HIT a game winner. In Baltimore, we need closure.

3. The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says Heap practiced, Flacco was limping

For some reason, we never got an injury report yesterday. I would assume Todd was listed as limited, but I guess we’ll never know.

As far as Joe Flacco is concerned, count on him limping for the better part of the week. He’s hurt. But he’s tough, there’s no doubt about that.

4. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Harbs has ties to Indiana due to brother Jim, brother-in-law Tom Crean

Jim Harbaugh is in the Colts’ Hall of Fame??? Really?

I know he had a good run, but for some reason this surprises me.

I think Jim was probably smart to schedule a Stanford recruiting trip this weekend, as hanging out on the Ravens sideline would probably not go ever well with the fans in Indianapolis.

However, Tom Crean’s Hoosiers have a home game on Sunday afternoon-so he could be in a tough spot Saturday night. I would imagine we’d see him at LucasOil Stadium, which might not be the right thing to do politically in Indy.

5. Indianapolis Star’s Mike Chappell says Colts would like to limit Ray Rice, Willis McGahee

And I’d like Steve Pavlovsky to offer me an endless supply of Chicken Minis from Chick-Fil-A Nottingham Square….

chickfila
….but like the Rolling Stones say, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Look, we all know that if the Ravens want to beat Peyton Manning and company, they HAVE to control the ball on the ground-preferably with long drives of 10+ plays and solid defense. If they do that, I think they’ll win. If they don’t, I’m not sure they can pull it off.

6. Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel says Ray Lewis remains Ravens’ leader in league of quarterbacks

I thought about this after the win over the Patriots. It HAD to burn Ray that he had never beaten Tom Brady. As far as “players who transcend football” go, Ray Lewis is in that category with the likes of Brady, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger, etc. But he had beaten all of the other guys on the list besides Brady.

Now he’s beaten all of the guys on that list.

BUT…..he’s never won in Indy.

There’s no doubt he’d like to change that, too.

7. Orioles Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Spring Training tickets in Sarasota go on sale Saturday at 10am

STEP RIGHT UP AND GET YOUR TICKETS!!!!!

I’m really not trying to poo-poo this, but the level of excitement the O’s provided by acquiring Kevin Milwood and the small additional excitement that came from the additions of Garrett Atkins and Mike Gonzalez is gone.

The Birds would be well served to host some “come watch the Ravens with the Orioles” parties this weekend-sending Adam Jones and Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz out to local establishments to root on the Ravens with members of the sporting community.

That would build excitement.

Signing a 1st baseman might too.

Let’s move on, I don’t want to do this.

8. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Al-Farouq Aminu wore down Terps in OT win for Wake Forest

Jordan Williams really manned up last night, despite the missed free throws in OT.

But the Terrapins offer ONE big man right now who is capable of playing tough in key situations. The Demon Deacons offered 100.

The frustrating part about last night’s loss was the fact that Wake played EXACTLY how I expected them to play. They were tough inside and made some runs, but they were never able to deliver a knockout blow because they aren’t a very good shooting team.

Maryland SHOULD have taken advantage. As ACC play continues Saturday at Boston College (4pm), they really NEED to.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says biggest shots in loss to Deacs were again from Vasquez’s hands

“Beautifully erratic.”

Thank God for Greivis, because when this team most desperately needs someone to put games on their shoulders, he’s about the only one capable of doing it.

Unfortunately, that often leads to a number of poor shots, like some of the ones Greivis hoisted last night.

It doesn’t make me angry anymore. This is what you get from Greivis. It will always be remembered that he was a gutty, tough player who wore his heart on his shoulders and helped Maryland to a number of wins. It will also always be remembered that he was a flamboyant, emotional player who sometimes forgot what the team was trying to accomplish on a play and instead forced something that wasn’t there.

It’s part of his legacy. But I’d still rather have him than not.

10. The AP says Jake Wasco tallied double-double, but UMBC fell to 1-14 with loss at Boston U

Drew’s quote to me last night after I asked him how the Retrievers were doing: “Jake Wasco had 12 points! That’s like you having 12 points!”

While I have no doubt that Jake Wasco is more talented than Glenn Clark, clearly what Drew was trying to say was that it ISN’T a good sign.

No rest for the weary Retrievers-who are playing 4 games in 7 days, including a battle with Hartford tomorrow night at RAC Arena.

11. Towson Official Site previews tonight’s CAA tilt with Drexel at Towson Center

There’s no such thing as “must win” for a team that can’t get an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, but falling to 0-6 in conference play with a home game tonight would be really freaking tough. This Tigers team has played tough (despite their record), but tough play MUST translate to wins at some point.

Or…..Pat Kennedy is going to be in trouble. I think there’s no doubt about that.

12. Washington Post’s Steven Goff says Baltimore, Washington each amongst final 18 cities selected for World Cup bids in 2018, 2022

The idea of the World Cup in Baltimore is as exciting to me as a home playoff game for the Ravens. Not kidding.

This would be so big I couldn’t put it into words.

For the record, it would be the United States that would win the bid, and the country would have to then select the 12 cities to host matches.

Chicago was eliminated before Baltimore-despite being a frequent home to Team USA matches and hosting the opening of the 1994 World Cup at Soldier Field.

Suck it, Chicago!

Also, M&T Bank Stadium is a MUCH better option for soccer than FedEx Field and their awkward 90,000 seats would be. But I’d be happy to see both cities selected.

And finally, I leave you with this….

I guess the GEICO Commercials featuring the Gecko and The Cavemen were very popular, but these new commercials kick ass, especially this brand new one with The Waltons…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KajIm9lgImw[/youtube]

Talk to you shortly from 1 Winning Drive.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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Accomplishment of 2nd Straight Playoff Trip Can’t Go Unnoticed

Posted on 03 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

I understand why the excitement isn’t what it was a season ago.

A season ago, the Baltimore Ravens began the season with a rookie QB, a first year head coach and no expectations; which made a return to the playoffs particularly sweet for fans throughout Charm City.

But entering this season, last year’s run to the AFC Championship Game lead many fans to adopt a “Super Bowl or bust” type motto. Amazingly, the Ravens will be one of just 12 teams who will be alive in the race for the Vince Lombardi Trophy come Monday morning-despite the “I’m not sure they even belong” attitude a number of fans have adopted.

There’s reason for the less than enthusiastic emotions that fans in town have adopted. This Ravens team has been less than overwhelming this season-beating just one playoff team (San Diego in Week 2) en route to clinching a Wild Card berth against the Raiders Sunday in Oakland. The Ravens finished the season with 6 straight losses against teams who qualified for postseason play, and mixed in a loss to the Steelers-who will miss the playoffs despite posting a record equal to the 9-7 mark the Ravens posted this season. Joe Flacco appeared to regress in his 2nd season, and John Harbaugh made the type of mental mistakes that coaches probably SHOULDN’T make in their second season. The Ravens’ Wide Receivers have been troubling, and their secondary has been terrible at times.

The remarkable thing about all of this is that all of the problems the Ravens have been forced to overcome have happened during a season in which they reached the playoffs for a 2nd straight year for only the 2nd time in franchise history.

There’s a slew of players and coaches around the NFL who aren’t going to be participating in a 2nd straight postseason. The list includes Matt Ryan, Mike Smith, Tony Sparano, Brett Favre, Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Marvin Lewis, Tony Romo, Wade Phillips, Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning, Jeff Fisher, Chris Johnson, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Drew Brees, Sean Payton and John Fox. (Others-like Matt Hasselbeck, Mike Singletary and more will fail to reach even a single postseason over the 24 month span.)

Get the point?

Reaching the postseason in back to back seasons is a MAJOR accomplishment. The Ravens will be able to make money, gain exposure and build on their franchise history over at least the next week if not the next month. It will be remarkably difficult for them to go to Foxborough and beat the Patriots, but they might. Whether or not they do, they will have had an outstanding season.

It doesn’t change the problems this team faces. They will still need to overhaul their receivers in the offseason-but they will be doing it in an offseason where they are coming off a 2nd straight trip to the playoffs. The Steelers can’t say the same thing about their secondary overhaul this offseason.

It’s a big deal.

It’ll be a bigger deal if they’re still alive in 7 days.

-G

(If you’d like to join us at Gillette Stadium next Saturday, click the “Trips” tab at WNST.net)

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Top 25 Sports Moments of 2009

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Top 25 Sports Moments of 2009

Posted on 16 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

This is my companion piece to yesterday’s local version. Please feel free to chime in about either. Tomorrow will be my “Top 10 Games of 2009.”

Honorable Mention:
Bemidji State Makes a Run For the Little Guys, Rod Woodson and Bruce Smith Enter Pro Football Hall of Fame, Ms. Patrick Goes to NASCAR, Dwight Howard takes Magic to Finals, Michelle Wie Wins First LPGA Event, Syracuse Gets Another Lax Title, Kimbo Slice Goes to UFC, Thierry Henry Cheats France into World Cup, Serena Williams Loses her Mind, Del Potro Stuns Federer, Utah Gets Another Non-BCS BCS Win, Usain Bolt Does it Again, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta Get Big Wins for Girls, Philadelphia Loses a Voice, Alabama Ends Tebow’s Run, Michael Jordan goes to Springfield

25-Jimmie Johnson Makes it 4 Straight

jimmie

24-Rickey Gets to the Hall

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tcd0fdt4JyU[/youtube]

23-Bobby Bowden Hangs ‘Em Up

bowden

22-Favre is Back. Again.

favre

21-Manny Being A Cheater

manny

20-Phelps Outduels Cavic Despite Scientific Disadvantage

phelps

19-Texas Survives to Play For Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6Drr0-3I6k[/youtube]

18-Plaxico Burress Goes to Jail

plax

17-Syracuse/UConn Play College Hoops Classic

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em–HcJDVjo[/youtube]

16-Nick Adenhart Dies in Car Crash

adenhart

15-Sid The Kid Wins First Cup

cup

14-US Soccer Pulls Absolute Stunner

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqHWFT_6-sY[/youtube]

13-Erin Andrews Video Shuts Down Internet

andrews

12-Mine That Bird Wins One for the Little Guys

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjY-rrAoTl8[/youtube]

11-Michael Vick Comes to Philly

vick

10-Tom Watson NEARLY Does It

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_X3uGXCL28[/youtube]

Do you even REMEMBER that Stewart Cink won the British Open? Neither do I. In a sport that is completely irrelevant without its biggest star, it took a man on the verge of turning 60 to somehow find relevance. It was a fun weekend, even for those of us who don’t necessarily enjoy golf.

9-A-Rod Comes Clean

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwLszCGc8Vg[/youtube]

My how quickly a year goes by. If the Yanks don’t win the AL East (or World Series)-this might be the #2 story of the year, as it would have been one more time where one of the greatest players of all time let his team down. BUT-the Yanks won, and we all sorta forgot about this awkward moment in Spring Training. Could it cost Alex Rodriguez a place in Cooperstown one day? Maybe.

8-Brock Lesnar Gives UFC Biggest Moment in History

brock

The biggest fight moment of the year was also the biggest moment in Mixed Martial Arts history. (Of course, if they could somehow figure out a way to get Brock, Fedor and Kimbo into the same ring at one time-the world might explode.) Dana White hit a home run with Brock Lesnar. He brought in someone with major appeal due to his background as an amateur wrestler, WWE champion and a failed NFL attempt. Lesnar rose quickly in a watered-down heavyweight division; and with one win over Randy Couture-he went from “The Next Big Thing” to “The Thing” at UFC 100 in July. Everyone watched, everyone talked about it; and the UFC finally had their crowning mainstream moment.

7-Michigan State Lifts Detroit….Until Falling to Carolina

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

The “moment” belonged to the Spartans. The city of Detroit was DESPERATE for something to rally around given the dire state of their economy, and the run to the Final Four by Michigan State game them exactly that. None of this takes anything away from what North Carolina accomplished, either. Tyler Hansbrough will go down as one of the all-time great college basketball players in history, and what happened in Detroit was his moment even more than it was Michigan State’s.

6-Tim Tebow Gets His

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuUUGxrDR1M[/youtube]

Hate Tim Tebow all you want, but he’s been nothing short of amazing in his college football career. Plus, he’s been amazing off the field as well. His halftime rally was arguably greater than his on-field performance…..

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

And hell-as far as moments go, his return to Gainesville may have been just as good….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ981abswsI[/youtube]

How did Sports Illustrated manage to screw this up??? This was a NO-BRAINER for Sportsman of the Year.

5-Federer Moves Past Sampras with Wimbledon Classic over Roddick

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IwBJ41_jIk[/youtube]

Was it as good as Federer-Nadal in ’08? I don’t know. It’s easy to say know; but watching the highlights again-wow. These two put on an epic match without the #1 vs. #2 billing or the rivalry status that Roger and Rafa had in ’08. It seemed like a fitting way for Pete Sampras’ career major title record to be broken, as Federer had to withstand the greatest career performance by the top American tennis player.

4-Kobe Gets Redemption

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUE73GqyPuU[/youtube]

Some people said he couldn’t win without Shaq. Others said he wasn’t the same after what happened in Colorado. They were all wrong. Kobe Bryant was just fine. The group of players around him (Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom, etc.) certainly lacked the “sex appeal” of previous Lakers teams, but it didn’t limit their effectiveness. And even more remarkably; Phil Jackson broke the record for most NBA Championships by a head coach (10, surpassing Red Auerbach’s 9)-arguably the most significant record of the year and yet mostly unnoticed.

3-Yankees Do It Again

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsxZp6p8xqo[/youtube]

The excitement surrounding the New York Yankees winning their 27th World Series title had about as much to do with the anger most MLB fans felt towards the idea that the Yanks “bought” their title as it did with any actual celebration. Sure, the Yanks rolled out the equivalent of an All-Star lineup just about every night; but they still had to win the thing. Meanwhile, there were reports that baseball was played over the summer in Baltimore. We have not been able to confirm them just yet.

2-Steelers Win Super Bowl Classic

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

God I hate admitting that anything they do is good. But this one certainly ranks amongst the greatest Super Bowl games of all time, thanks to the remarkable individual efforts of Ben Roethlisberger, Santonio Holmes, James Harrison, Kurt Warner, etc. Now let’s all hope that nothing good ever happens to those a-holes in Pittsburgh again.

1-Tiger Shows He’s Human

crash

Was the moment Tiger Woods hit a tree in Florida the biggest moment of the year? Maybe not. But the collective “moment” that has extended from Thanksgiving to the end of the year has certainly been; mostly because it has obviously transcended sport. He’s the biggest athlete in the world-and he has peaked everyone’s interest; even if you don’t really care who he slept with. If Tiger eventually comes back and wins the Masters, this will be a story of redemption. If Tiger never wins another major, this will go down as one of the all-time great career declines in the history of sports. Probably the greatest. Enough to move Tim Finchem to alcohol…..

[myspace]http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=101355061[/myspace]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Previously Silent Questions About Flacco Will Echo Following Unthinkable Play in Loss to Packers

Posted on 08 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

15/36, 1 TD, 3 picks.

But it was more than just the numbers that made Joe Flacco’s performance so unnerving in a 27-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers Monday night at Lambeau Field. It was the brutal way in which he seemed to collapse in the game’s most important moments.

With the Ravens trailing 24-14 but still very much in the football game, Tramon Williams intercepted Flacco on a play that will replay in the minds of Baltimore football fans for a long time. The team had an opportunity to pull within 3 points following a 1st and goal at the Packers’ 1 yard line. Instead, they lost 2 yards on a run, called timeout; and then watched Joe Flacco roll to the right side of the field and inexplicably throw the ball off his back foot across his body to the middle of the field-where Williams was waiting to safely corral it.

Flacco went on to add another interception (this one collected by AJ Hawk) with the game still undecided; allowing the Packers to extend their lead to 13. After some more terrible clock management (John Harbaugh should be ashamed), Flacco looked disinterested in a lethargic final drive that appeared as though Harbaugh and Cam Cameron had decided to call off the dogs.

This was the lowest moment in Joe Flacco’s tenure as starting quarterback in Baltimore.

His disastrous performance in Indianapolis last year was forgivable because it was very early in the season; and even EARLIER in his career. It certainly appeared to work as a learning experience that allowed Joe to improve the rest of the way-ultimately reaching the AFC Championship Game.

Tonight’s game was a crucial moment where the Ravens needed to stay on pace in the race for the final AFC Wild Card spot. Instead of remaining tied for the final playoff spot-they now find themselves a game (and a tiebreaker) behind the Jaguars. It was also a game they needed to prove they could still beat good teams on the road. The last time they beat a quality opponent away from M&T Bank Stadium was September 20 in San Diego; and it feels like an eternity longer than that.

Tonight’s was a crucial moment for Joe Flacco, who has never won a game in regulation after trailing in the final minutes. With the Ravens having completely swiped momentum from the Packers in the 2nd half; Joe was primed for an opportunity to do just that on “The Frozen Tundra” before his unthinkable pass floated into the hands of Tramon Williams. He also needed to prove that he could beat another good NFL quarterback. Since out-dueling Phillip Rivers in Week 2 at Qualcomm Stadium, he was 0-5 against Carson Palmer, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Brett Favre. Aaron Rodgers-a statistically very good quarterback had never been a guy who could prove he could win a big game in the 4th quarter. Yet he made the plays when he needed to (including the TD pass to Jermichael Finley in the 4th quarter that gave his team a 2 possession advantage), and the man known as “Joe Cool” faltered under the spotlight of a Monday Night Football audience.

Joe will still be the quarterback Tuesday.

He’ll still be the quarterback Sunday against the Detroit Lions, no matter how many fans went scrambling to WNST.net, Facebook, Twitter and their cell phones to cry out for Troy Smith.

He just has to get better.

It’s not Joe Flacco’s fault that the Ravens are 6-6 right now. Injuries to Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Jared Gaither, Todd Heap, Jarret Johnson, Fabian Washington, Brendon Ayanbadejo and nameless others who have missed time or played at less than 100 percent are probably the biggest culprit.

But when a team is in a bad way, the quarterback is the one player who can rally the troops. While quarterbacks like the aforementioned Brady have found success (great success in fact) without getting too high or low emotionally; quarterbacks like Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning have all allowed emotion to be a great part of what eventually made them Super Bowl champions. I’d like to see SOME emotion…..at all…..from #5. It’s an emotional team. They need an emotional leader.

There is an argument that Joe’s ankle is the biggest reason he’s struggled this season, and that might well be accurate.

There is an argument that he is being asked to carry a team despite not really having enough playmakers to be effective offensively.

There is certainly an argument that a season after pushing all of the right buttons-the trio of John Harbaugh, Cam Cameron and quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson had too much faith in a 2nd year quarterback out of the CAA.

No matter the reasoning, Joe Flacco isn’t progressing in his 2nd season-and there’s an argument at this point that he’s regressed. That regression found a signature moment in Green Bay Monday night.

It has to change. It has to change now for the Ravens to have any chance at still getting to the postseason.

-G

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Why Ravens Win Tonight and a Purple & Red Crabs & Beer

Posted on 07 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Ravens 24, Packers 20

I’ve changed my mind. I was blinded by the Packers’ outstanding home record in December in recent years; and I picked the Packers to win.

I was wrong.

And it took me hearing something repeatedly this weekend to be reminded of just why it is that the Ravens will win.

Drew Forrester said it first Friday when he pointed out that the Ravens struggle against “elite” quarterbacks.

I read a few blogs over the weekend, and listened to some other radio stations throughout town and heard both hosts and callers describing Aaron Rodgers similarly-as an “elite” quarterback. One guy on the “Sports Leader” in town even went as far as to say Aaron Rodgers was on par with quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Carson Palmer.

WHAT?

Aaron Rodgers is NOT elite. He’s NOT in the next group right behind elite, either.

Aaron Rodgers is in the top half of NFL quarterbacks, and he’s posted decent numbers this season. But he’s nowhere NEAR elite. (He couldn’t sit at Drew Brees’ lunch table, either.)

The biggest difference between quarterbacks who are good statistically and quarterbacks who are elite is that the elite quarterbacks have put their team on their back and carried them to victory in very important games.

Ben Roethlisberger has done it. Peyton Manning has done it. Brett Favre has done it. Kurt Warner has done it. Tom Brady has done it.

Even Carson Palmer has done it this season against his biggest AFC North rivals.

Aaron Rodgers has not.

In fact, he’s been just about the opposite. In his 2 seasons as a starting quarterback, Rodgers is a whopping 3-9 in games decided by 9 points or less.

3-9.

Elite quarterbacks WIN those games.

Even more-in his first season as a starter, Rodgers’ only win after Week 11 came over the Detroit Lions (in the game that clinched the first ever 0-16 season in NFL history). His only significant victory of the season was a home win over Indianapolis in Week 7. He got the 2nd significant win of his career 2 weeks ago against the Cowboys.

Joe Flacco had more significant wins (4) in a MONTH last season (@Dallas, vs. Jacksonville, @Miami, @Tennessee) than Aaron Rodgers has had in his career. He’s won more significant road games (3) than Aaron Rodgers (ummm……zero) as well.

The reason I initially picked the Packers was exactly the reason Drew pointed out Friday. The Ravens struggle against elite quarterbacks.

The good news for tonight is that they don’t have to face one.

Ravens win.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say…..  

Best of Sunday’s WNST Blogs:

Luke Jones says Vasquez, Milbourne struggled as Terps fell to Villanova

Rex Snider grateful for Raiders’ win over Pittsburgh

Nestor Aparicio checks in from WNST trip to Green Bay

Glenn Clark says Lions coming to town won’t get Baltimore fans as amped as they usually are for Ravens games

And the best from the rest of the world…..

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Domonique Foxworth, Lardarius Webb have ‘big task’ ahead of them in trying to defend Donald Driver, Greg Jennings

The Official Site’s Ryan Mink remembers Baltimore Colts’ big win over Packers in ‘59

The Official Site’s Sean Patrick Byrne says ‘physical’ aspect of line play has put Grubbs amongst best Guards in NFL

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens have to get to Aaron Rodgers to win

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley picks Packers 27-17

The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Flacco’s ankle ‘X-factor’ in tonight’s game

The Sun’s Mike Preston gives Charles Woodson edge over Derrick Mason, Donald Driver edge over Domonique Foxworth, Aaron Rodgers edge over Dwan Edwards and Trevor Pryce

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Ravens need win tonight to keep pace with Jaguars in AFC playoff race

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Derrick Mason, Ravens not afraid of trip to Lambeau Field

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Cam Cameron thinks offense ‘weather-proof’

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens’ Wild Card hopes helped by Steelers’ loss to Oakland

Green Bay Press Gazette’s Mike Vandermause says Packers 18-4 in December, January regular-season games at Lambeau Field since 2000

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Lori Nickel says Dom Capers transformed Green Bay defense

Wisconsin State Journal’s Tom Ziemer says Packers defense enters Monday Night Football contest red hot

SI’s Peter King says Ravens 13th best team in NFL

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens’ defensive communication should improve playing on road

TERPS:

The AP says Sean Mosley’s 26 not enough as Terps fell to Villanova in BB&T Classic

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The AP says Scottie Reynolds tallied 25 to lead Wildcats past Maryland at Verizon Center

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Jordan Williams chipped in 19 points, 12 boards in defeat

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Vasquez played just 27 minutes in loss due to foul trouble

Carroll County Times’ Josh Land says Gary Williams thought Cats’ 45-33 rebounding edge ‘unacceptable’ in Maryland loss

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Wildcats hit 16 threes in win over Terps

The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says Vasquez struggled again, finishing with 12 points in loss

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Eric Hayes finished with 20, but thought Terps ‘just couldn’t get over the hump’

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says rebounding should improve with Dino Gregory scheduled to return Saturday

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Corey Fisher 3 ended Maryland run that got them within 3 in 2nd half

Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terps not amongst Top 45 teams in country

Washington Examiner’s Craig Stouffer says Herndon native Reynolds played like he ‘owned’ Verizon Center for Wildcats

Philadelphia Daily News’ Dick Jerardi says Jay Wright thought beating Maryland ‘real quality win’

USA Tim Gardner says Taylor King chipped in 13 points for Nova

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-What does Maryland’s loss to Villanova last night mean going forward? Well, it means they CAN’T lose a home game between now and the start of the ACC season. The date with William & Mary on December 30 looks tougher every week-the Tribe has already defeated Wake Forest and VCU this season and gave UConn a hell of a run for their money. Last season, the Terps could afford a home loss to Morgan State because they managed to top Michigan State at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. They won’t be able to afford a similar loss-even to a decent mid-major.

It also means the Terps will likely have to go 8-8 in ACC play to reach the NCAA Tournament. They should be able to do that-but it certainly isn’t a given. Even a win over North Carolina or Duke wouldn’t be enough to get a 7-9 league team into the dance without a marquee non-conference win. Unless of course Indiana finds eligibility for Jared Jeffries, Keith Smart or Isaiah Thomas and wins the Big Ten. That would be really nice, by the way.

Talk to you tonight in our “Purple Haze.” Go Ravens!

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: Non-Conference Matchup Comes Into Focus

Posted on 03 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

5:00- INJURY REPORT

Ravens-

DID NOT PARTICIPATE:
LB Prescott Burgess (thigh)
OT Jared Gaither (illness)
S KJ Gerard (thigh)
FB Le’Ron McClain (chest)
S Ed Reed (ankle/hip)
TE LJ Smith (ankle)
LB Terrell Suggs (knee)
WR Kelley Washington (illness)

LIMITED:
LB Ray Lewis (foot)

FULL:
QB Joe Flacco (ankle)
LB Jarret Johnson (shoulder)
DT Haloti Ngata (ankle)

Packers-

OUT:
LB Aaron Kampman (knee)

LIMITED:
OT Chad Clifton (hamstring)
RB Ryan Grant (shoulder)
CB Charles Woodson (shoulder)

FULL:
G/T Allen Barbre (ankle)
LB Brandon Chillar (hand)
RB Ahman Green (groin)
FB John Kuhn (hand)
QB Aaron Rodgers (ribs)

1:48-At lot made today of the entire “Lambeau Field experience” as well as the idea of playing the Packers in the cold in December. Here is a smattering of things we’ve heard….

John Harbaugh:
“It’s a great place to play, and our guys are looking forward to it.”

Joe Flacco:
Cold weather “never really affected me…..I like playing in the cold.”
“I’m sure Green Bay will be a fun place to play.”

Ray Lewis:
“It don’t get no better” than playing at Lambeau Field.
Stadiums like Lambeau Field “keep the tradition of football alive.” (He said it compared-to a lesser extent-to the Orange Bowl in Miami where he played in college.)

Ray Rice:
Lambeau Field is “lengendary…..you remember the Brett Favre moments. I can’t wait to get out there.”
“Cold is not gonna matter to me” (because he’s from New York).

Jarret Johnson:
“Reggie White was my favorite player” growing up.
He had a best friend growing up who was a Packers fans, they used to watch the games together and wear the cheeseheads.

A reminder to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates from 1 Winning Drive.

1:30-Practice update:

Terrell Suggs (knee), Ed Reed (shoulder/neck/you name it) and Jared Gaither (unknown) were not out on the practice field during the portion of practice open to the media. Gaither doesn’t appear to be a concern-as Oniel Cousins was working with the first team instead of Oher and Marshal Yanda sliding over.

Matt Birk (neck) and Le’Ron McClain (unknown) were each on the field, but dressed in shorts and unlikely to be full participants.

12:53-Hear from the following now in the Audio Vault at WNST.net……

Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Ray Rice
DE/LB Paul Kruger
LB Ray Lewis
LB Jarret Johnson
CB Lardarius Webb
CB Domonique Foxworth

11:09-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where we will be hearing from a number of Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers today before their Monday Night Football matchup at Lambeau Field. Today will be like a typical Wednesday out here-as we will hear from John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco and other Ravens players; while Packers Coach Mike McCarthy and QB Aaron Rodgers will be available this afternoon via teleconference. We will also be able to watch practice again today and we will see our first injury report of the week. Terrell Suggs is the biggest question mark surrounding the team-but we are not expecting to see him out there.

-G

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