Tag Archive | "flacco"

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WNST’s Aparicio to take part in football roundtable Sept. 17 at Sports Legends

Posted on 21 August 2013 by WNST Staff


Baltimore Media Members to Provide Insight on 2013 Baltimore Ravens Season

Baltimore, Md. – Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards today announced that it will host a football roundtable discussion on Tuesday, September 17 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. with members of the local sports media.

The panel of Baltimore media experts will consist of  Pete Gilbert (WBAL-TV, WBAL Radio, 98 Rock & Ravens Broadcast Team); Bruce Cunningham (Fox 45 Sports Director & Public Address Announcer at  M&T Bank Stadium); Nestor Aparicio (WNST Founder &  Author of Purple Reign and Purple Reign 2); and Jeff Zrebiec (The Baltimore Sun). The panelists will discuss the Ravens off-season moves, provide their insight & predictions for the 2013 season and take questions from members of the audience.

“There is an excitement building as the Ravens prepare to kickoff their 2013 campaign, especially after winning the Super Bowl last season ,” said Mike Gibbons, executive director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation.  “Baltimoreans  love talking football, so we thought this roundtable would be a great opportunity for the media who cover the team and fans to come together to share their thoughts on the Ravens initial start to the season and the long-term outlook for 2013.”

Tickets for the program are $25.00 and include lunch, the roundtable program and admission to the galleries at Sports Legends Museum.  Attendees will have the opportunity to see the latest additions to the Ravens Gallery featuring new artifacts from the  Super Bowl XLVII Championship season. Artifacts include Ravens Kicker Justin Tucker’s cleats worn during Super Bowl XLVII; Ravens Defensive End Arthur Jones’ jersey (#97) worn during the Wild Card game against the Indianapolis Colts; a reproduction Super Bowl XLVII ring that is an exact replica of the one presented to Joe Flacco with his name and “MVP” engraved on the side; and more.

To order tickets, please contact Ashley Serano at 410-727-1539 x3013 or AshleyS@BabeRuthMuseum.org.

About The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation
The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the legacy of Maryland’s rich sports heritage.  The Foundation owns and operates both Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and the Babe Ruth Birthplace.  Located adjacent to Oriole Park, Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards opened in May 2005 and consists of 22,000 square feet of artifacts and interactive exhibits profiling Maryland’s sports history.  Among the items featured in the Museum’s Ravens’ Gallery are the Super Bowl jerseys of Jonathan Ogden and Matt Stover, as well as the football from the team’s first home game.

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Yanda, Rice, Flacco receive Ravens' top Madden offensive player ratings

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Yanda, Rice, Flacco receive Ravens’ top Madden offensive player ratings

Posted on 20 August 2013 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of EA Sports…

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Bovada gives Flacco 50/1 odds to win NFL MVP

Posted on 20 August 2013 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).


2013 NFL MVP – Odds to Win    

Peyton Manning (DEN) QB                    5/1

Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB                        13/2

Colin Kaepernick (SF) QB                      10/1

Drew Brees (NO) QB                              10/1

Adrian Peterson (MIN) RB                      12/1

Tom Brady (NE) QB                               12/1

Matt Ryan (ATL) QB                               15/1

Robert Griffin III (WAS) QB                    18/1

Russell Wilson (SEA) QB                       18/1

Andrew Luck (IND) QB                           25/1

Calvin Johnson (DET) WR                      25/1

Eli Manning (NYG) QB                           25/1

Arian Foster (HOU) RB                           33/1

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB                  33/1

Cam Newton (CAR) QB                          33/1

Matthew Stafford (DET) QB                   33/1

Michael Vick (PHI) QB                           33/1

Tony Romo (DAL) QB                            33/1

Matt Schaub (HOU) QB                          40/1

J.J. Watt (HOU) DE                               40/1

Chris Johnson (TEN) RB                        50/1

Joe Flacco (BAL) QB                             50/1

Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB                    50/1

Philip Rivers (SD) QB                            50/1

Jay Cutler (CHI) QB                               66/1

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                                66/1

Alfred Morris (WAS) RB                         66/1

Jamaal Charles (KC) RB                         66/1

Matt Forte (CHI) RB                               66/1

Steven Jackson (ATL) RB                      66/1

Doug Martin (TB) RB                             66/1

Andy Dalton (CIN) QB                            75/1

Alex Smith (KC) QB                               75/1

Josh Freeman (TB) QB                          75/1

Sam Bradford (STL) QB                         75/1

A.J. Green (CIN) WR                              100/1

Andre Johnson (HOU) WR                     100/1

Brandon Marshall (CHI) WR                    100/1

Reggie Bush (DET) RB                          150/1


Who will record the most Passing Yards in the 2013 Regular Season?      

Drew Brees (NO) QB                              4/1

Aaron Rodgers (GB) QB                        6/1

Matthew Stafford (DET) QB                   13/2

Peyton Manning (DEN) QB                    7/1

Matt Ryan (ATL) QB                               10/1

Tom Brady (NE) QB                               12/1

Tony Romo (DAL) QB                            15/1

Andrew Luck (IND) QB                           15/1

Eli Manning (NYG) QB                           20/1

Jay Cutler (CHI) QB                               28/1

Philip Rivers (SD) QB                            33/1

Matt Schaub (HOU) QB                          33/1

Cam Newton (CAR) QB                          33/1

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) QB                  33/1

Sam Bradford (STL) QB                         40/1

Carson Palmer (ARI) QB                        40/1

Josh Freeman (TB) QB                          40/1

Andy Dalton (CIN) QB                            40/1

Joe Flacco (BAL) QB                             40/1

Colin Kaepernick (SF) QB                      40/1

Robert Griffin III (WAS) QB                    50/1

Ryan Tannehill (MIA) QB                        50/1

Alex Smith (KC) QB                               50/1

Russell Wilson (SEA) QB                       66/1

Michael Vick (PHI) QB                           66/1

Mark Sanchez (NYJ) QB                        200/1


Who will record the most Rushing Yards in the 2013 Regular Season?      

Adrian Peterson (MIN) RB                      11/4

Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB                    7/1

Doug Martin (TB) RB                             10/1

Arian Foster (HOU) RB                           10/1

Alfred Morris (WAS) RB                         12/1

Jamaal Charles (KC) RB                         14/1

C.J. Spiller (BUF) RB                             14/1

Trent Richardson (CLE) RB                    16/1

Chris Johnson (TEN) RB                        18/1

Ray Rice (BAL) RB                                18/1

LeSean McCoy (PHI) RB                        20/1

Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) RB               20/1

Stevan Ridley (NE) RB                           25/1

Matt Forte (CHI) RB                               28/1

Steven Jackson (ATL) RB                      28/1

Frank Gore (SF) RB                               33/1

DeMarco Murray (DAL) RB                     33/1

Darren McFadden (OAK) RB                  33/1

Reggie Bush (DET) RB                          40/1

Lamar Miller (MIA) RB                            40/1

Montee Ball (DEN) RB                           40/1

Ryan Mathews (SD) RB                         50/1

Rashard Mendenhall (ARI) RB                50/1

Ahmad Bradshaw (IND) RB                    50/1


Who will record the most Receiving Yards in the 2013 Regular Season?    

Calvin Johnson (DET) WR                      11/4

Dez Bryant (DAL) WR                            8/1

A.J. Green (CIN) WR                              9/1

Brandon Marshall (CHI) WR                    9/1

Julio Jones (ATL) WR                            14/1

Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR               14/1

Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) WR                       18/1

Andre Johnson (HOU) WR                     18/1

Roddy White (ATL) WR                          20/1

Randall Cobb (GB) WR                          20/1

Vincent Jackson (TB) WR                      20/1

Victor Cruz (NYG) WR                            20/1

Wes Welker (DEN) WR                          22/1

Danny Amendola (NE) WR                     22/1

Dwayne Bowe (KC) WR                         33/1

Marques Colston (NO) WR                     33/1

Reggie Wayne (IND) WR                        33/1

Steve Smith (CAR) WR                          33/1

Antonio Brown (PIT) WR                        40/1

Hakeem Nicks (NYG) WR                       40/1

Mike Wallace (MIA) WR                          40/1

Eric Decker (DEN) WR                           40/1

DeSean Jackson (PHI) WR                    40/1

Pierre Garcon (WAS) WR                       50/1

Jordy Nelson (GB) WR                          50/1

Kenny Britt (TEN) WR                            50/1

Tavon Austin (STL) WR                          50/1

Miles Austin (DAL) WR                          50/1

Anquan Boldin (SF) WR                         50/1

Jimmy Graham (NO) TE                         50/1

Cecil Shorts (JAC) WR                           66/1

Torrey Smith (BAL) WR                          66/1

Steve Johnson (BUF) WR                      75/1

Greg Jennings (MIN) WR                        100/1


Who will win the 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year?        

Tavon Austin (STL) WR                          5/1

Montee Ball (DEN) RB                           11/2

Eddie Lacy (GB) RB                              7/1

EJ Manuel (BUF) QB                             10/1

Geno Smith (NYJ) QB                            10/1

Deandre Hopkins (HOU) WR                  10/1

Le’Veon Bell (PIT) RB                            12/1

Robert Woods (BUF) WR                       14/1

Tyler Eifert (CIN) TE                               14/1

Aaron Dobson (NE) WR                         16/1

Cordarrelle Patterson (MIN) WR              16/1

Justin Hunter (TEN) WR                         20/1

Keenan Allen (SD) WR                           20/1

Denard Robinson (RB) JAC                   25/1

Zach Ertz (PHI) TE                                 25/1

Matt Barkley (PHI) QB                            33/1

Joseph Randle (RB) DAL                       33/1

Mike Gillislee (RB) MIA                          33/1


Who will win the 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year?       

Ezekiel Ansah                                       6/1

Arthur Brown                                         15/2

Jarvis Jones                                         8/1

Manti Teo                                              14/1

Star Lotulelei                                         14/1

Tyran Mathieu                                        14/1

Barkevious Mingo                                 16/1

Dee Milliner                                           16/1

Matt Elam                                             16/1

Sharrif Floyd                                         16/1

DJ Hayden                                            18/1

Datone Jones                                       18/1

Dion Jordan                                          18/1

Alec Ogletree                                        20/1

Desmond Trufant                                  20/1

John Jenkins                                         20/1

Kenny Vaccaro                                      20/1

Bjoern Werner                                       25/1

Eric Reid                                               25/1

Jonathan Cyprien                                  25/1

Kevin Minter                                          25/1

Sheldon Richardson                              25/1

Sylvester Williams                                 25/1

Xavier Rhodes                                      25/1

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Phelps, Flacco, Ravens lead way in ESPY nominations

Posted on 28 June 2013 by WNST Staff


Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

  • AL MVP was the first player to win the Triple Crown in baseball since 1967
  • Led the AL with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs

LeBron James, Miami Heat

  • Won his fourth NBA MVP, second straight Finals MVP
  • Led the Heat to a second straight NBA title and franchise-record 66-16 mark
  • Only player to lead his team in scoring (26.8 ppg), rebounding (8.0 rpg) and assists (7.3 apg)

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

  • NFL MVP rushed for 2,097 yards, second most in league history
  • Averaged 6.0 yards per carry, scored 13 TDs and caught 40 passes

Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimming

  • Won four golds and two silver medals at London Olympics
  • His gold in the 200 IM made him the first man to win the same individual swimming event at three straight Olympics



Gabby Douglas, Olympic Gymnastics

  • Won gold medal in Women’s All-Around at London Olympics
  • Was a member of the gold medal-winning USA gymnastics team
  • First American to win gold in both the Team and Individual All-Around

Missy Franklin, Olympic Swimming

  • Won four gold medals and a bronze at London Olympics
  • Won a gold in the 100 backstroke and set a world record in the 200 backstroke
  • Became the second American woman to win four swimming golds at single Olympics, joining Amy Van Dyken in 1996

Brittney Griner, NCAA Baylor Women’s Basketball

  • Swept all major player of the year awards
  • Ended her career as the NCAA’s top shot blocker (748)
  • No. 2 on the NCAA Division I women’s scoring chart with 3,283 career points.

Serena Williams, Women’s Tennis

  • Won the 2012 Wimbledon and US Open singles championships
  • Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles
  • Won the 2013 French Open singles title



Joe Flacco, Super Bowl MVP

  • Earned MVP honors in Super Bowl win over 49ers
  • Completed 22-of-33 passes for 287 yards and three first-half touchdowns

LeBron James, NBA Finals MVP

  • Led the Heat to an NBA title in 7 game series over San Antonio Spurs
  • Averaged 25.3 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 7.0 apg over course of Finals
  • Had 32 pts, 10 reb, 11 assists in Game 6, 37 pts and 12 reb in Game 7

Brad Keselowski, NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion

  • Career high five victories including two wins during the Chase for the Sprint Cup
  • Set career bests with 13 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes as well as 735 laps led

Pablo Sandoval, World Series MVP

  • 3 HR in Game 1 of World Series, first to do so in his first 3 plate appearances
  • Hit .500/.525/1.125 over the 5 game series



Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

  • Became the starting QB in Week 11 and led the Niners to the Super Bowl
  • Threw for 1814 yards, 10 TDs and only 3 INTs while rushing for 415 yards and 5 TDs in the regular season
  • Had 798 yards and 4 TDs passing, 264 yards and 3 TDs rushing in the playoffs

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M football

  • Won 2013 Heisman Trophy, first freshman in history to do so
  • The first freshman in FBS history, and just the fifth player ever, to have 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season

Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers

  • First player in MLB history with 34 hits, 7 HR in first 20 games
  • Through 20 games hit .442 with 14 RBI

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

  • First player in MLB history with at least 30 home runs, 45 steals and 125 runs scored in a season
  • AL Rookie of the Year led league with 129 runs scored and 49 stolen bases, second in batting average at .326

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

  • 3rd round pick led Seattle to playoffs, and tied rookie record with 26 TD passes
  • Threw for 3118 yards with a 100.0 QB rating, rushed for 489 yards and 4 TDs



Drew Brees breaks Johnny Unitas’ record for consecutive games with a TD pass

  • Broke Unitas’ record with a touchdown pass in 48 straight games
  • Unitas held the mark for a half-century
  • Brees’ streak extended to 54 games

Calvin Johnson breaks Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yardage record

  • Passed Rice’s mark in Week 16, finishing the season with 1,964 receiving yards
  • The record had stood since 1995

Michael Phelps most decorated Olympian

  • Finished his career with 22 medals spanning three Olympics
  • Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina held the previous record of 18

Abby Wambach sets international scoring record

  • Broke Mia Hamm’s record of 158 goals by scoring four against South Korea
  • Wambach scored 160 goals in only 207 international matches, while Hamm scored 158 in 275 matches



Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown, NCAA men’s basketball tournament

  • 15th-seeded FGCU beat 2nd-seeded Georgetown 78-68
  • The Eagles went on to become the first 15 seed to make the Sweet 16

Louisville over Baylor in Sweet 16, NCAA women’s basketball tournament

  • Top seeded Baylor entered the game 34-1, having won 32 straight
  • 5th-seeded Louisville went on to the national championship game

Juan Manuel Marquez over Manny Pacquiao, Boxing

  • In their fourth meeting, Marquez finally scored a victory over Pacquiao
  • The 6th round knockout was the first of Pacquiao since 1999

Texas A&M over Alabama, College football

  • #15 Texas A&M upset #1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 29-24
  • Alabama’s lone loss of the season



Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos, AFC Divisional Playoff

  • Justin Tucker kicked a 47-yard FG in the 2nd OT to give the Ravens a 38-35 upset victory over the Broncos
  • Jacoby Jones caught a 70-yard touchdown pass with :38 left in regulation that brought the Ravens back from the brink

Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 7

  • Down three goals midway through the third period, Patrice Bergeron scored in the closing minute of regulation to tie it, then won it in the extra session
  • The Bruins became the first team in NHL history to win the seventh game of a playoff series after trailing by three goals in the third period

Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs, NBA Finals Game 6

  • Spurs had a five point lead with 28 seconds left in the 4th quarter
  • The Heat rallied and tied the game on a Ray Allen 3-pointer with 5 seconds left
  • Heat went on to win in OT 103-100



Jack Hoffman touchdown run in Nebraska Spring game

  • Hoffman is a 7-year old die hard Cornhusker fan battling brain cancer
  • After befriending Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead, he was invited to participate in the Huskers’ spring game, and ran for a long touchdown in the 4th quarter

Alex Morgan’s game-winning goal vs. Canada in Olympic semifinal

  • The US tied the game on an Abby Wambach penalty kick in the 80th minute
  • Morgan sent the US to the finals on a header in the 123rd minute, in the second period of extra time

Andy Murray finally winning at Wimbledon, with a gold medal in Olympics

  • 4 weeks after a heartbreaking loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, Murray met Federer again at the All England Club in the gold medal match
  • Murray beat the world number one in straight sets, becoming the first British man to win singles gold in the Olympics since 1908

Chuck Pagano returns to the Colts

  • The first year head coach was diagnosed with leukemia after Week 3
  • Pagano’s battle with the disease inspired an improbable Colts playoff run
  • Pagano returned to coach the team in Week 17, leading the Colts to a 28-16 victory over the division champion Houston Texans



Alabama football

  • Won the BCS Championship in a 42-14 win over Notre Dame
  • It was their third BCS title in four years

Baltimore Ravens, NFL

  • Defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 to win the Super Bowl
  • Beat the top seeded Broncos and 2nd seeded Patriots en route to Super Bowl

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL

  • Defeated the Boston Bruins in six games to win the Stanley
  • Started the season with 24 straight games without a loss in regulation, the best start in NHL history

Miami Heat, NBA

  • Won second straight NBA Finals in seven games over San Antonio Spurs
  • Had franchise record 66-16 record, included 27 straight wins

Oklahoma Softball

  • Won the WCWS championship by sweeping Tennessee in finals
  • Finished the season 57-4

San Francisco Giants, MLB

  • Swept the Detroit Tigers in the World Series for their second title in three years
  • Rallied from the brink of defeat to beat the Reds in the NLDS and Cardinals in the NLCS

US Women’s Gymnastics Team

  • The “Fierce Five” of Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney captured the team gold medal by beating Russia
  • First gold medal in women’s team gymnastics for the US since 1996



Bruce Arians, Indianapolis Colts/Arizona Cardinals

  • Took over the Colts for Chuck Pagano after Week 3,
  • Led the team to a 9-3 record before Pagano returned in Week 17
  • 2012 AP Coach of the Year

Geno Auriemma, UConn Women’s Basketball

  • Led the Huskies to their 8th national championship with a 35-4 record
  • Beat Notre Dame in Final Four, avenging three previous losses to Notre Dame

John Danowski, Duke Lacrosse

  • Won his second national championship in four years
  • After losing 4 of their first 6 games, bounced back to win 14 of next 15

Rick Pitino, Louiville Men’s Basketball

  • First NCAA Division I coach to win a championship with two different schools
  • Led Louisville to a 35-5 record

Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat

  • Led Miami to second NBA title
  • Had franchise record 66-16 record
  • 27 game winning streak, second best in NBA history



Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

  • Missed entire 2011 season due to neck injury
  • Threw for 4,659 pass yards, and 37 TDs with 68.6 completion percentage
  • AP Comeback Player of the Year

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

  • Tore his ACL and MCL in Week 16 of 2011 season
  • Started Week 1 just 9 months after surgery
  • NFL MVP rushed for 2,097 yards, second most in league history

Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

  • Only played 45 games in 2011 due to injuries sustained in a home plate collision
  • In 2012 became 1st player since Frank Robinson to win a league MVP, batting title (.336) and World Series in the same season

Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees

  • Misssed most of 2012 season after tearing an ACL during batting practice
  • Returned in 2013 at age 43, among the league leaders in saves



Usain Bolt, Athletics

  • Won three gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics
  • First to win back-to-back 100m golds since Carl Lewis in 1984 and 1988

Novak Djokovic, Tennis

  • First player to be year-end No. 1 in consecutive seasons since Roger Federer achieved four straight World No. 1 finishes from 2004-07
  • Won 2013 Austrailian Open singles championship

Juan Manuel Marquez, Boxing

  • In their fourth meeting, Marquez finally scored a victory over Manny Pacquiao
  • The 6th round knockout was the first of Pacquiao since 1999

Lionel Messi, Soccer

  • Awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the 3rd consecutive year
  • Scored 91 goals in a calendar year, shattering a 40 year old record
  • Led Barcelona to a Copa del Rey league cup title and La Liga season title

Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer

  • Led Real Madrid to a Spanish Super Cup Chamiponship
  • Scored 62 goals in 62 games for club and national teams



Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

  • Set single-season record with 1,964 receiving yards
  • Had 122 receptions and 5 TDs

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

  • Threw for 4,659 pass yards, and 37 TDs with 68.6 completion percentage
  • AP Comeback Player of the Year

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

  • NFL MVP rushed for 2,097 yards, second most in league history
  • Averaged 6.0 yards per carry, scored 13 TDs and caught 40 passes

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

  • Led NFL with 108.0 QB rating
  • Threw for 4,295 yards and 39 TDs to only 8 INTs

J. J. Watt, Houston Texans

  • Led NFL with 20.5 sacks
  • AP Defensive Player of the Year



Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

  • AL MVP was the first player to win the Triple Crown in baseball since 1967
  • Led the AL with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs

R. A. Dickey, Mets/Blue Jays

  • First knuckleballer to win 20 games in a season since 1980
  • NL Cy Young award winner, led league in strikeouts and shoutouts

Buster Posey, Giants

  • 1st player since Frank Robinson to win a league MVP, batting title and World Series in the same season
  • Led NL with .336 batting average

David Price, Rays

  • AL Cy Young award winner, led AL in ERA (2.56)
  • 20-game winner

Mike Trout, Angels

  • First player in MLB history with at least 30 home runs, 45 steals and 125 runs scored in a season
  • AL Rookie of the Year led league with 129 runs scored and 49 stolen bases, second in batting average at .326



Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Appeared in 36 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012-13 regular season, and helped lead the Penguins to first place in the Eastern Conference
  • Tied for third in the league in points (56), second in assists (41), and first in points per game (1.56).

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

  • Posted 24-16 record and 2.05 goals against average during regular season

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

  • Led the league in goals (32) to win his third “Rocket” Richard Trophy
  • Tied for third in the league in points (56), ranked first in power play goals (16)

Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Led the league in points (60) to win his second career Art Ross Trophy
  • Ranked first in assists (43), second in points per game (1.25)

John Tavares, New York Islanders

  • Finished third in goals with 28, had nine power play goals and five game-winning goals
  • Helped the Islanders return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007



Ryan Hunter-Reay

  • 2012 IndyCar Series Champion, first American since 2006
  • Won three straight races, and four overall

Tony Kaanan

  • Won 2013 Indianapolis 500
  • Kanaan passed Ryan Hunter-Reay in lap 198 to win his first Indy 500

Brad Keselowski

  • Career high five victories including two wins during the Chase for the Sprint Cup
  • Set career bests with 13 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes as well as 735 laps led

Sebastian Vettel

  • Captured his third consecutive Formula One title
  • Became the youngest triple champion in series history



Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

  • Led NBA in scoring in 2012-13 season (28.7 ppg)
  • Led Knicks to first playoff series win since 2000

Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Averaged 27.3 ppg. during 2012-13 regular season
  • Averaged 5.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Was second-leading scorer in 2012-13 NBA regular season (28.1 ppg)
  • Averaged 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game

LeBron James, Miami  Heat

  • Won his fourth NBA MVP award, second NBA Finals MVP
  • Only player to lead his team in scoring (26.8 ppg), rebounding (8.0 rpg) and assists (7.3 apg)

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

  • Helped lead Spurs to the NBA Finals
  • Averaged 20.3 ppg and 7.6 assists per game



Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever

  • Led the Fever to its first WNBA championship
  • WNBA Finals MVP

Tina Charles, Connecticut Sun

  • Led WNBA in rebounding during regular season (10.5 rpg.)
  • Fifth in scoring at 18.0 ppg
  • Captured her third straight rebounding title

Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream

  • Led WNBA in scoring during regular season (21.4 ppg)
  • Averaged more than 20 points per game for the third straight year

Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks

  • Averaged 17.4 ppg during 2012 regular season
  • Averaged 9.7 rpg

Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota Lynx

  • Led the WNBA in assists during regular season (5.39 apg.)
  • Dished out five or more assists in 22 games



Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Boxing

  • Beat Austin Trout to unify 154-pound title

Danny Garcia, Boxing

  • Moved to 24-0 with 15 KOs with a 4th-round upset of Amir Khan to unify the light-welterweight title
  • He went on to KO Erik Morales in his next fight

Jon “Bones” Jones, MMA

  • Defeated Chael Sonnen in most recent title defense

Floyd Mayweather, Boxing

  • Moved to 44-0 with a unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero

Anderson Silva, MMA

  • Defeated Stephan Bonner in most recent title defense
  • Last loss was in 2006



Rory McIlroy

  • Eight-shot victory in the PGA Championship
  • Won the money title and had the lowest adjusted scoring average in 2012
  • Youngest player to win PGA Tour player of the year since Tiger Woods in 1997

Justin Rose

  • Won 2013 US Open
  • Five top 10 finishes in 2013

Adam Scott

  • Won 2013 Masters
  • Runner-up in 2012 British Open

Brandt Snedeker

  • Won the FedEx Cup title
  • Won The Tour Championship

Tiger Woods

  • Returned to No. 1 ranking for first time since 2010
  • 4 tour victories in 2013 and five top 10 finishes



Stacy Lewis

  • 2012 LPGA Player of the Year
  • Won the HSBC Women’s Champions event in 2013

Inbee Park

  • Led the LPGA in money earning with $2,287,080 in 2012

Jiyai Shin

  • Won the 2012 women’s British Open by nine shots
  • Produced the biggest margin at the British since it became a major in 2001

Na Yeon Choi

  • Won 2012 Women’s US Open



Novak Djokovic

  • Clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking, becoming the first player to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons since Roger Federer achieved four straight World No. 1 finishes from 2004-07
  • Won 2013 Austrailian Open singles championship

Roger Federer

  • Won his record 17th Grand Slam singles championship and record-tying seventh Wimbledon singles championship

Andy Murray

  • Captured his first Grand Slam singles title when he beat Novak Djokovic in five sets to win the 2012 U. S. Open
  • Won the Olympic gold medal, beating Roger Federer in the finals

Rafael Nadal

  • Became first man to win the same Grand Slam tournament eight times when he won 2013 French Open



Victoria Azarenka

  • Finished 2012 as No. 1 ranked player in WTA
  • Lost in the finals of the 2012 U. S. Open

Maria Sharapova

  • Equaled her best season to date, finishing number two in the world
  • Won three WTA titles

Serena Williams

  • Earned her fourth U. S. Open singles title in 2012
  • Won her fifth Wimbledon singles title in 2012
  • Won the 2013 French Open singles title



Trey Burke, Michigan basketball

  • Won nearly every major college basketball player of the year award, including the Naismith, Wooden, Oscar Robertson and the Associated Press award, plus winning the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard
  • Led the Wolverines to the national championship game

Kyle Dake, Cornell wrestler

  • Etched himself into wrestling history with a fourth NCAA championship at an unprecedented fourth weight.
  • Dake outlasted defending 165-pound champion David Taylor 5-4

Drew LeBlanc, St. Cloud State hockey

  • Won Hobey Baker Award as top college hockey player
  • Bounced back from injury last year to register 13 goals and 50 points

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M football

  • 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, first freshman in history
  • The first freshman in FBS history, and just the fifth player ever, to have 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season



Kara Cannizzaro, North Carolina women’s lacrosse

  • Named NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
  • Helped the Tar Heels to claim the school’s first-ever NCAA title with a 13-12 victory against top-ranked Maryland

Crystal Dunn, North Carolina soccer

  • The midfielder led the Tar Heels to a 4-1 victory over Penn State at the 2012 NCAA Women’s College Cup
  • She scored goals in the first four games of the tournament and assisted on goals in both College Cup games, including the game-winner against Stanford

Brittney Griner, Baylor basketball

  • Swept all of the nation’s player awards the last two seasons and ended her four-year career as the NCAA’s top shot blocker (748) and female dunker (18) and ranks No. 2 on the NCAA Division I women’s scoring chart with 3,283 career points

Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma Softball

  • Led Oklahoma to the national championship
  • Named Most Outstanding Player in the WCWS
  • Finished the season with a 35-1 win/loss record



Pedro Barros

  • Has three straight X Games SKB Park gold medals

Nyjah Huston

  • Dominating win at the X Games Street League Skateboarding contest in Foz do Iguaçu
  • Gold medal at X Games LA in Real Street in 2012
  • Gold medal at X Games Barcelona in Street League Skateboarding

Mark McMorris

  • Gold medal in X Games Aspen Slopestyle
  • Won Slopestyle at Burton US Open and Dew Tour Breckenridge event
  • Claimed overall World Snowboard title in slopestyle and third  in Big Air

Ryan Villopoto

  • Returned from ACL surgery to claim 2013 AMA Supercross title
  • In 2013 AMA Motocross, has won 8 of 10 motos and 3 of 5 overalls



Kelly Clark

  • X Games SuperPipe gold at both Aspen and Tignes
  • Overall titles on the FIS World Cup and World Snowboard Tour series

Leticia Bufoni

  • X Games gold in Women’s Street at Foz do Iguaçu and in the Real Women video competition at Barcelona
  • Women’s Street silver medal at X Games LA
  • Claimed overall 2012 World Cup Skateboarding crown for women’s street

Stephanie Gilmore

  • Won her 5th ASP World Tour points crown in 2012

Laia Sanz

  • 2013 X Games Enduro X gold medals at Foz do Iguaçu and Barcelona
  • Won FIM Women’s Enduro World Championship and FIM Women’s Trial World Championship in 2012



Javier Castellano

  • 321 wins, over $22 million in earnings, 31 graded stakes wins (eight Grade 1)

Ramon Dominguez

  • 329 wins, over $25 million in earnings and 25 graded stakes wins (10 Grade 1)

Joel Rosario

  • Rode Orb to the Kentucky Derby title
  • Also won the $10 million event in Dubai

John Velasquez

  • 185 wins, over $19 million in purse earnings and 34 graded stakes wins (14 Grade 1)



Jeremy Campbell, Athletics

  • Set a Paralympic record en route to his second consecutive Paralympic Games gold medal in the men’s discus
  • At the Triton Invitational in San Diego, Campbell threw 60.19 meters, a new world record in the men’s discus (F44)

Jeff Fabry, Archery

  • After shattering his bow in the men’s compound W1 semifinals competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Jeff Fabry prevailed to make it to the gold medal match, where he became the first American archer to win a Paralympic gold medal since 1984

Raymond Martin, Athletics

  • Wheelchair racer won four gold medals at the 2012 Paralympics, 100, 200, 400 and 800m
  • Prior to the Games, he also took first place honors in the 200, 400 and 800m races at the 2012 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships, and also set the world record in the men’s T52 200m.

Bradley Snyder, Swimming

  • Won gold medals in 100m freestyle and 400m freestyle at the 2012 Paralympics
  • Won a silver medal in the 50m freestyle

Tyler Walker, Skiing

  • Took home the men’s sitting speed event trophy at the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing



Victoria Arlen, Swimming

  • Won four medals at 2012 Paralympics, a gold and three silvers
  • Set a world record in the 100 meter freestyle

Muffy Davis, Paracycling

  • Won three gold medals at 2012 Paralympics, two in individual events:  women’s H1-2 time trial and H1-3 road race, and a third in the H1-4 team relay

Jessica Long, Swimming

  • Won eight medals at the 2012 Paralympics (five gold, two silver and one bronze)
  • Set two world records (400m freestyle & 100m freestyle) and the five gold medals were in 100m butterfly, 400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 100m freestyle

Tatyana McFadden, Athletics

  • Won three gold medals at 2012 Paralympics, 400, 800 and 1500m events. She also won bronze in the 100m sprint
  • Also won the women’s wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon hours before the deadly explosions near the finish line.
  • Six days later, she won the London Marathon in the same division.

Shirley Reilly, Athletics

  • Captured gold in the women’s marathon at the 2012 Paralympics with a time of 1:46:33



Jason Belmonte

  • Won USBC Masters for his first major title and sixth career Tour title

Scott Norton

  • Won Earl Anthony Players Championship for third career title
  • Won Chameleon Championship at Geico World Series of Bowling IV

Pete Weber

  • Won Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions
  • First player to complete PBA Triple Crown for a second time
  • Oldest player to win Tournament of Champions



Thierry Henry, Red Bulls

  • 15 goals and 12 assists in just 25 matches, helping New York qualify for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes

  • Tied the MLS record for goals in a season with 27, helping San Jose finish first in the Western Conference

Graham Zusi, Sporting Kansas City

  • The midfielder had five goals and an MLS-high 15 assists to lead Sporting Kansas City to first place in the Eastern Conference.



Ashton Eaton, Athletics

  • Won the Olympic decathlon gold medal by 198 points

Ryan Lochte, Swimming

  • Won five medals (including two gold) at 2012 Olympics
  • Won the Men’s 400m IM … (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze); seventh male swimmer with five or more medals at single Olympics

Michael Phelps, Swimming

  • Won gold in the 200m Individual Medley, making him the first man to win the same individual swimming event at three straight Olympics
  • Phelps won a 17th gold in 100 butterfly, his final individual race in London.



Gabby Douglas, Gymnastics

  • Won the gold medal in the all-around
  • Was a member of the gold medal-winning USA gymnastics team
  • Became the third straight American to win Women’s All-Around gold
  • Is the first American to win gold in both the Team and Individual All-Around.

Missy Franklin, Swimming

  • Finished with four golds and a bronze at London Olympics; became the second American woman to win four swimming golds at single Olympics, joining Amy Van Dyken in 1996
  • Won Olympic gold medal in women’s 100m backstroke
  • Set a world record in the 200m backstroke

Aly Raisman, Gymnastics

  • The first American to win the gold medal in the floor exercise
  • Also earned gold as a member of the U.S. team all-around winner

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Purple Reign 2: Flacco & Bisciotti met, talked Super Bowls & millions last August

Posted on 30 May 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

This is an excerpt from a new, 480-page book on the Baltimore Ravens championship run called Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story. If you enjoyed every aspect of their Super Bowl win in New Orleans, you’ll love this book that chronicles how the team overcame adversity and personal tragedies, and used theology sprinkled with faith, family and love on the way to a Baltimore parade fueled by inspiration, dedication, perspiration and yes, a little bit of luck.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 15 of the definitive book on the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII victory in New Orleans, Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story.

If you enjoy it, please consider buying the books for the holidays as gifts for anyone who loves the Baltimore Ravens.

You can purchase both Purple Reign books by clicking here:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 9 here where Joe Flacco and Steve Bisciotti talk about the risk of $100 million:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 15 on the firing of Cam Cameron and its impact on Joe Flacco

This is from Chapter 9, “Injury after insult after implosion – Psychology 2012.” If you enjoy this small snippet you can purchase the book and read another excerpt here. You can also join the Facebook fan page here. The book will be released on May 31st and will be delivered before Father’s Day if purchase before June 5th.


AS THE TEAM WAS ASSEMBLED in the preseason, questions lingered, but Harbaugh felt great that the team had survived an offseason without arrests, without incidents, without any member of a veteran team blaming Evans or Cundiff for the New England loss. He inherited a fractured team in 2008, and by the summer of 2012 he was feeling good about the unity of the players and their maturity.

But the obvious questions for fans, media, and The Castle staff were all the same:

Is this the last chance for Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Matt Birk?

Will the offensive line hold up?

Can the Ravens win the big one?

Can Joe Flacco win the big one?

As Bisciotti knew on draft day in 2008, and as Newsome, Harbaugh, and everyone else in the organization had experienced the hard way — it always comes back to the quarterback. Was Joe Flacco going to be the franchise quarterback who would win a Super Bowl for the Baltimore Ravens?

Flacco, who played perhaps the best game of his career and threw what would’ve been the pass that took the Ravens to the Super Bowl on his last drive in January, somehow went into the 2012 season as the man on the hot seat who had not only turned down a $90 million offer for more than six months, but who had gone on WNST.net & AM 1570 in April and said he thought he was the best quarterback in the NFL. As much as Tim Tebow was the darling of ESPN with a seemingly non-stop Jets theme on SportsCenter, Flacco became something of a punch line for a quarterback who could get a team to the playoffs, but somehow was perceived as “not Super Bowl caliber.”

Short of catching his own pass in Foxborough, he literally had done everything he could do to get his team into the Super Bowl and yet the abuse was seemingly endless.

But the game is won on the X’s and O’s and the execution, and Flacco knew this. Cameron and Flacco had talked about more passing, more shotgun formations, and more pressure on defenses, but over the summer of 2012 it became clear the Ravens would become more of a personalized offense for No. 5. If the Ravens were offering Flacco $90 million dollars, they’d need to trust him to earn that money. He loved the tempo of the no-huddle offense and loved that it allowed him to dictate to the defense both personnel and pace.

“What quarterback wouldn’t want to run the no-huddle or fast-paced offense?” Flacco said. “Let’s be honest, it’s more fun to play quarterback when you do that. We like the pace we’re running on offense right now, but it’s a work in progress. We’ve done OK, and we’ve played pretty quick. But, we know we can play better, and we will play faster as we get into it more.”

Harbaugh endorsed this ideological move from being a team that always allowed its defense to cut loose while always seeming to fear the worst from the offense — trying to utilize the clock, run the ball, and be more conservative. “We’ve talked about the no-huddle [offense] since Joe’s [Flacco] rookie season,” Harbaugh said. “He ran it at Delaware and has had success in it when we’ve run it the last few years. He is a key to running it, and he loves it. And, we have the parts for it right now, including the offensive line. We can run the offense very fast, a little fast, slower, and we can huddle. We’re in a good spot right now with how we can run our offense.”

While some of the idiot sports talking heads and media types were constantly flogging Flacco, the people who watch coaches’ film were always impressed with him, using the evidence and residue of four straight playoff appearances and his improving game to shout down the detractors.

“We’ve spent time with Joe [Flacco], and I perceive a change in him,” said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who saw Flacco play at Audubon High in his hometown of Philadelphia. “He’s won since Day One with the Ravens, but he’s more confident now. They’re confident in him, too, and the improved offense reflects all of that. He can make every throw. He can bring his team from behind. The question becomes, ‘Can they win a Super Bowl with Joe?’ And the answer is an emphatic, ‘Yes!’”

Mike Lombardi, who was doing NFL analysis in the summer of 2012 before becoming the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, said “That anyone spent the offseason criticizing [Joe] Flacco strikes me as ludicrous. Flacco didn’t drop the ball in the end zone against the Patriots. In fact, it was Flacco who drove the Ravens to give them two chances to win that game. It was others who didn’t make plays. While he doesn’t play in an offense that shows off his skills statistically, Flacco is a winning QB, and his record [45-21] shows it.”

ESPN’s Ron Jaworski spoke out on Flacco’s arm strength and ability to attack opposing defenses. “Arm strength – that’s Flacco’s No. 1 attribute,” Jaws said. “I get so tired of hearing how arm strength is overrated. It’s far more important than people think. He has the strongest arm in the NFL. And he has an aggressive, confident throwing mentality. The element always overlooked by those who minimize arm strength is the willingness of quarterbacks like Flacco to pull the trigger. Few recognize that because there is no quantifiable means by which to evaluate throws that are not made by quarterbacks with lesser arm strength. It’s all about dimensions. Flacco gives you the ability to attack all areas of the field at any point in the game.”

Flacco took the responsibility as a personal challenge and something he embraced.

“It’s definitely my offense as a quarterback; it’s my job to get out there and lead these guys and direct them and run the traffic, and get it run the way that I want it to be run,” he said in training camp. “Cam may be running the plays, and I may be controlling certain things on the line depending on what the play is, but the fine details of being a good offense are all of the fine details. And it’s my job to get those correct and that we have everyone on the same page. As long as I’m out there in practice getting it to the games and on game day, as long as I’m doing that and expressing to the receivers, expressing to the running back, and to the offensive line how I feel, and what I see back there and as long as we can get on the same page as that together, then that’s when we’re doing something, and that’s when I’m doing my job.

“You talk about being paid that much money, they don’t do that so that they can go out there to do every job, they do that so they can delegate some jobs onto me. And I can go out there and get it done the way it should be. That’s a big part of being a quarterback. To be able to make sure that everything is running smoothly and everybody sees it the way I see it. And that once we get there on Sunday, we can just react and play. Because we’re all up to speed and we all have the same vision of everything. I think that’s what good quarterbacks are able to do, is to take that and then take a certain play and make it great, just because everyone has a good understanding of that.”

By the beginning of training camp it was very clear that the Ravens and Flacco were at an impasse in negotiating a new contract that would replace the final year of his five-year deal from 2008. Newsome called Bisciotti and said that after tireless conversation with Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, there was no way to get a long-term deal and that the Ravens would need to play out the season and consider signing or franchising their star quarterback in 2013.

Bisciotti authorized a final offer – a “bump and roll” contract that gave Flacco a $1 million per year bonus if he won a Super Bowl and $2 million per year for the six years of the deal if he had won two Super Bowls. It would’ve been a raise that stayed on the books for the life of the deal. The average salary number was $16.7 million per year on the Ravens’ base offer, which would’ve made Flacco the fourth-highest paid quarterback behind Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. Flacco was essentially turning down $90 million because he was rejecting the notion that he was the fourth best quarterback in the NFL.

Linta and Flacco once again turned it down the week before training camp opened.

Bisciotti was flustered, wanting to get the deal done and ran into Flacco in the cafeteria in Owings Mills during the first week of training camp and summoned the quarterback to his office upstairs.

“I had never, ever – not for one minute – even spoken to Joe about the contract,” Bisciotti said. “That was for Pat [Moriarty] and Ozzie [Newsome] to do, but I wanted to take one more swing at it and try to understand the situation.”

They spent 45 minutes with the door closed.

“There are two things here that I don’t understand,” Bisciotti said to Flacco. “I don’t understand why you’re walking away from this deal? As maligned as you are in the press and as little faith as so many pundits have in you, we’re offering you a $90 million deal and you can go wave that in their face and say, ‘F**k you guys! See, the Ravens DO believe in me!’ ”

Flacco was nonplussed. “I really don’t care about my critics,” he bluntly told the Ravens owner.

Bisciotti was exasperated. “I don’t understand it. Joe, don’t you think you’d play better with a clear head and having this contract behind you?” he continued. “You won’t have to answer questions from anybody, and you can just focus on playing and winning the Super Bowl.”

Flacco said it again. “Steve, I appreciate the offer, but I really don’t care about the media, critics, any of it. I’ve gotta trust my agent, and he doesn’t want any incentives in contracts. And I’ve gotta leave it to him.”

Bisciotti reasoned that until they won a Super Bowl together neither one would get that ultimate respect they desired. “I’m offering you a better deal than the one you’re asking me for if you’re planning on winning the Super Bowl,” he said.

Flacco wasn’t upset or emotional, as is his custom. He simply smiled and said he was going to play out the year. Bisciotti said, “Well, I tried,” as he shook Flacco’s hand. “Then go out and put a few rings on my desk and get what you think you deserve.”

“I figured if he’s fine with it then I should be fine with it,” Bisciotti said. “I wanted it behind both of us. I guess I didn’t really understand how different a guy he was. I told him, ‘You are a different cat, man!’ ”

Flacco remembers the conversation vividly. “Yeah, he couldn’t get over it,” Flacco said. “He said, ‘Do you know what you’re doing? This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard!’ I told him I knew what I was doing and my price wasn’t getting cheaper. I saw his point of view but I also thought that I was right. I’m a little bit of a hard head.”

Flacco believed the market always get set by the next elite quarterback that signs and the price always goes up if you perform. “It wasn’t a bad offer but I felt like I could do better if I waited,” he said. Like his adversary in this $100 million negotiation, he had gone to the Bisciotti school of downside management.

“My agent said to me, ‘Think about the worse possible situation and if you’re OK with that then hold your position,” Flacco said. The downside here would’ve been a catastrophic injury or a bad 2012 season on the field. “If I got hurt, I got hurt,” he said. “That’s the nature of the game. I was willing to look in the mirror and live with that.”

Flacco said he turned the tables on Bisciotti: “I told him, ‘You should give me four or five million more now because if I win the Super Bowl’ – and I did say ‘if’ – ‘then it’s gonna cost you $20 million.’ ”

Flacco figured he was still only making his base of $6.5 million in 2012 no matter what. The Ravens weren’t ripping up his deal. It was an extension. And there’s always a new “going rate” for top quarterbacks.

“I was actually glad that he called me up to talk about it because it was a cool conversation to have,” Flacco said. “Even though we weren’t agreeing it was a great conversation. It’s one of those talks that grows a relationship, I think.

“Hey, I tried to throw him a bone and save him some money.”


To purchase Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story, click here.

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Purple Reign 2 excerpt here: How to find a franchise quarterback

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

Ever wonder why the Baltimore Ravens fell in love with Joe Flacco in the first place? Here are all of the answers!

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 6 of the definitive book on the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII victory in New Orleans, Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story.

If you enjoy it, please consider buying the books for the holidays as gifts for anyone who loves the Baltimore Ravens.

You can purchase both Purple Reign books by clicking here:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 9 here where Joe Flacco and Steve Bisciotti talk about the risk of $100 million:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 15 on the firing of Cam Cameron and its impact on Joe Flacco:







“You can always look at how the guys play. You just look at the tape. But at the combine you find out what kind of people they are. What’s important to them? How important is football to them? How important is their family to them? If we get those two things right, we’ll be right most of the time.”
– John Harbaugh (March 2008)



AN NFL SCOUT’S LIFE EXISTS with perpetual hope. Every time he shows up on a campus to watch a kid run, or gets on a plane to fly to a college town to see a game in the fall, or fires up his iPad to watch film, he wants to believe he’s about to find the next player who will help his team win the Super Bowl.

It’s the eternal quest for any NFL scout – find the next Pro Bowl player who can become a Hall of Famer. Or, at the very least, find a player who can help you win every year for the next decade.

By the time Baltimore Ravens area scouts Andy Weidl and Joe Douglas got in their cars and made the one hour drive north up Interstate 95 from Owings Mills to Newark, Delaware on November 10, 2007, Joe Flacco wasn’t a secret to the college scouting world. And he certainly was no stranger to Douglas, who joined the team in 2000 and is known to all in the Ravens organization as “Big Joe D,” whose job it was to scout the Northeast for the team from 2003 through 2008. Douglas was made famous during the Ravens’ summer of 2001 filming of “Hard Knocks” on HBO as “The Turk,” the lowly scout who has the duty of summoning players from the locker room to the office of the head coach where “Coach wants to see you, bring your playbook” means you’ll be leaving the campus and chasing your NFL dream elsewhere.

Incidentally, UrbanDictionary.com defines “turk” as “someone who is extremely brave.” Joe Douglas spent six months talking Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and Joe Hortiz into drafting a Division 1-AA quarterback from Delaware in the first round of the NFL draft.

Douglas, by any measurement, is as brave as Joe Flacco is fearless.

By 2007, Douglas had moved up the ranks of the scouting system and was making that fateful Saturday a “quarterback doubleheader” – a rare chance to see two teams in one day, both with targets who could be the next quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens. The afternoon game in Newark featured the Delaware Blue Hens hosting the Richmond Spiders in a Division I-AA matchup. The nightcap on the docket was Boston College visiting the Maryland Terps in College Park and Douglas would be joined by longtime Ravens scouts Eric DeCosta and Joe Hortiz, whom he’d meet at the I-95 Park and Ride near Catonsville so they could travel together to Byrd Stadium. Their target that evening was visiting Eagles quarterback Matt Ryan, who many thought would be the first quarterback – if not the first player – taken in the April 2008 draft.

Incidentally, Douglas was rooting hard for Richmond that afternoon and not out of disdain for Flacco or Delaware. Douglas was the starting left tackle for the Spiders from 1995-1998 and had been through many battles with the Blue Hens on the field. He was also quite familiar with many of the coaches and players in this contest. Even when he didn’t attend Richmond games – and it was rare to see his alma mater in person because NFL scouts don’t scout a lot of I-AA football games unless there’s a specific prospect they want to evaluate – his father would give him weekly Spiders reports from stands.

It was Douglas’ dad, Joel Douglas, who first told Big Joe D about Joe Flacco a year earlier after seeing the 2006 matchup in Richmond.

“He went to the game with my uncle and he called me up and said, ‘I don’t know who that Delaware quarterback was, but Richmond couldn’t stop him,’” Douglas said of a day when Flacco, then a junior who was making his seventh start for the Blue Hens, went 31-of-45 for 305 yards and a pair of TD passes in a come-from-behind 28-24 win over the Spiders. “Honestly, I was more mad that Richmond blew the lead than I was concerned about who Delaware’s junior quarterback was that day.”

The NFL scouting calendar begins in May after the draft. DeCosta and Hortiz enlist the entire organization to target potential candidates to scout for the following year. By August, the scouts plan their entire schedule for the fall, trying to chunk as many practices, games, campus visits and interviews as possible into the schedule while also trying to see the Ravens play some games at home and away. As an NFL scout, this is the most important time of the year because it’s a grueling workload, traveling as much as six days per week in search of a handful of picks you’ll make next April. Choosing a wise schedule lends itself to more rest and better scouting when you’re not driving six hours every day between visits. The schedule has to flow and be manageable so every possible combination is considered around games, campuses, distance, dates and, most importantly, legitimate prospects.

In the summer of 2007, Ravens scout Mark Azevedo, who was assigned Delaware during spring ball, recommended that Douglas see a tall, lanky kid who played quarterback at Delaware.

“Mark said, ‘Delaware has a kid with an arm. Put them on your schedule,’” Douglas said. “I had to look up his name because it rang a bell from the previous year when Delaware beat my Spiders.”

Even with McNair coming off a big 2006 season, anyone with football intelligence knew that the Ravens would probably be in the market for a quarterback in 2008 just based on his age and the fact that no one on Newsome’s staff – or Billick’s coaches for that matter – believed that incumbents Kyle Boller or Troy Smith were the answer. So, Douglas believed that seeing quarterbacks was a major priority that summer and fall in the hopes of finding the right player the following spring.

It was a full time job, this searching-for-a-Super Bowl-MVP-quarterback work.

IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING, YOU CAN BUY Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story HERE:

Continue to the next page to keep reading excerpt from Chapter 6…

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Flacco says he wanted to get paid what he’s worth by Ravens

Posted on 04 March 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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My New Orleans march & Baltimore parade Super Bowl scrapbook of Ravens memories

Posted on 10 February 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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Flacco says the confetti is pretty cool

Posted on 04 February 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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See Harbaugh, Flacco, Lewis and more react to Super Bowl win here

Posted on 04 February 2013 by WNSTV

Our WNST.net staff took some video of Baltimore Ravens players offering their reactions to the team’s 34-31 over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday for their second Super Bowl title in franchise history.

Head Coach John Harbaugh…

Super Bowl XLVII MVP QB Joe Flacco…

Retiring future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis…

New Orleans native and future Hall of Fame S Ed Reed (Part 1)…

Ed Reed Part 2…

WR Torrey Smith…

DL Haloti Ngata…

(We apologize for the quality of the video at times. As you can imagine, the postgame scene was mobbed and our crew was multitasking to say the least.)

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