Tag Archive | "gregg"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Future is Coming!!!

Posted on 21 April 2009 by Nicholas Miskelly

The Future is Coming!!!

 
This was a very tough weekend for all of us Orioles fans out there.  We started the year playing good ball, getting timely hitting, and enough pitching to break out of the gate to the tune of a 6 and 2 record.  You figured that they would lose game 3 in Texas because, well, that was the pattern.  Win the first two games of the series and then lose the finale as we went for the sweep.  Hey, I can handle that.  This O’s team was going to win 66% of the games and the Orioles were going to win 107 games when Gregg Zaun started and then they would lose 55 games when Chad Moeller was the starting catcher.   

We were heading into Boston and hoping that this pattern would continue.  It looked good as we saw Zaun in the line-up.  Everyone knew we were going to win.  Okay, that might be a stretch.  Zaun is not that good and I gain no confidence that our team will win just because he is lined up behind the plate.  In fact, I was quite concerned heading into Boston.  I was really hoping we could split. Boy, things started out great. 

In game one of the series the Orioles jumped all over Brad Penny as Nick Markakis and his GRAND start to the game gave the Orioles a seven to nothing lead after just 2 innings.  This was great.  We had Guthrie, our number one starter, on the mound and we gave him a 7 run lead in the second!!!  The Orioles got off to a great start in Boston and they were going to take game one.  Now I start to think about the possibility of maybe taking one of the remaining three and there you go.  We might sneak out of Boston splitting a four game series.  Well…… 

The second inning of Friday night was the only time I felt good about this team as they humiliated themselves in Boston.  What started out so promising ending with everyone looking around and asking the question, have the Orioles thrown in the towel already?

That maybe a bit of an overstatement but one thing is for sure, the Orioles did nothing right.  With the exception of Uehara, this trip to Boston was a complete embarrassment.  I honestly did not expect the Orioles to do well.  I surely am not excited about the team’s chances to succeed this year.  The future is what has me excited.  But with all that said this weekend really turned me off to the Orioles.  It was not the fact that they got swept by a much better team; it was the appearance that this team never got off the plane from Texas.  I do not know where their heads were for this series but they sure did not seem to be in Boston.   

The pitching was atrocious.  Take out Uehara’s good start in game three and the pitching line for the remaining three games looked like this: 

24 innings pitched

28 runs

39 hits

17 walks 

That is terrible and I did not even mention the 19 runs Orioles pitching gave up in the last game of the Texas series.  You can not expect to win with outings like those from your pitching staff.  The problems did not stop there.  Nobody on this team looked like they knew or understood the concept of defense.  We are talking about routine plays that the Orioles used to film an adult version of the Bad News Bears.  Where is Billy Bob Thornton when you need him?  The defense was horrid and it goes well beyond the numbers. 

After determining that this team could not pitch or field in Boston, it was clear that the offense would have to carry them yet again.  The only problem is the offense showed up for only 2 innings in a four game series.  The Orioles scored 7 runs in the second inning of game one and then 4 in the fifth inning of game 2.  In the remaining 34 innings of the series the Orioles managed a whopping 3 runs.  You are not going to win any games when your pitchers don’t pitch, your fielders don’t field, and you hitters don’t hit.  That is a fact.

 
But as I mentioned early I knew this team would be bad.  There was no way this team with this pitching staff was going to compete.  What does bother me is that so far the fundamentals are missing.  They were supposed to be a team based around a solid defense and good fundamentals.  Where has that gone?  Well that is a topic for another day.

 
As I was saying, I knew this team was going to lose but yet I was still excited about Orioles baseball.  And the reason I was, was the future this club might have if the young guns can develop and play well.  I will watch tonight with lots of excitement and anticipation as one of the first pieces to the future that I incidentally still see as a bright one, makes his debut.  That’s right, Brad Bergesen will begin the new phase of the Orioles tonight as he is the first, of what I hope to be many, young Orioles to debut for the big league club.  He had a great spring and looked good down in the minors and I can’t wait to see how he does tonight.  I am not trying to put too much pressure on Bergesen but please, please give me something to hang my hope on.  We will all be watching tonight’s game and Bergesen. And with a good start to his big league career he could really put this season into perspective for us.  He can remind us that it will be ugly at times, hopefully not worse than the last 5 games, but help is coming and the future will be bright. 

So Brad Bergesen I leave you with this:  We are counting on you to not only win tonight but to renew our hope that the future for this once great organization will be bright again.    

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Drinking the orange Kool Aid at Fan Fest

Posted on 04 April 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

There are two types of Orioles fans left in the Baltimore area and they are distinct groups:

Those who drink the Kool Aid…

And those, like me, who have examined the big picture of what’s happened to this franchise over the past 13 years and are pretty angry about its impact on our fun, our lives and the community.

With Opening Day looming, everyone who has EVER loved baseball perks up and pay attention. Even if it’s only to notice: “Hey, its’ Opening Day!” Most people in Baltimore realize this team won’t contend but if you love baseball you’ll at least open one eye on Monday afternoon to catch the score. I’d venture to say that 75% of the city will wake up Tuesday morning at the office and know whether the Orioles won. (That number used to be more like 98% in 1998!)

Those who unconditionally still drink the orange Kool Air or “want” to drink the Kool Aid probably went down to Fan Fast today at Camden Yards. I opted to not give Mr. Angelos any more money that he won’t spend to get the team a quality spring training facility.

Instead, I’m sitting here watching the Fan Fest festivities on MASN HD television and getting some of my WNST “CEO work” done and thinking about baseball season and how it’s going to go for the Orioles and Matt Wieters and these young players and what inevitable drama will unfold.

The only real “punishment” I’m getting for not having a press pass is being “banned” from knowing the Orioles players, which is almost ludicrous because as you saw last week, Jeremy Guthrie and Brian Roberts were happy to chat with me at the World Baseball Classic at Dodger Stadium. Charley Eckman would’ve called them “right guys” and they are decent, solid dudes. (As an aside, I also exchanged pleasantries with Davey Johnson, which is always fun.)

As a media member – well, at least I was for about 23 years until I was banned – I got to know so many of the players and what kinda guys they are. So I guess that’s my “price to pay” — I don’t get to report to you what good people the Orioles have on their team this year. Or not…

While it looked a tad bit chilly and windy at Camden Yards, the event was a “made for TV” informercial/season preview with interviews between co-workers Jim Hunter, Jim Palmer and the like of Andy McPhail, Aubrey Huff, Adam Jones, Dennis Sarfate and Ryan Freel.

They did a nice job with “get to know you” chats with these players and  I especially like that I can see Jim Palmer in high def. For a well-compensated network to finally “discover” HD in 2009 tells you all you need to know about the vision people at MASN.

But I digress…

Here are a few observations, because my seat is the same as yours at this point, which is its own unique point of view watching Jim Hunter and Amber Theoharis and others interview their co-workers in black hats that say “O’s”.

I honestly didn’t know what Ty Wigginton or Koji Uehara looked like until today. Ditto Freel, who really seemed to be a pleasant “aw, shucks” kinda guy. He reminded me of Bob Backlund back in the late 1970’s when he was a baby face.

Freel freely thanked the fans several times and seemed genuine. (As an aside, why doesn’t the owner of the team ever do that? Just come on the TV and say “thanks” on his own network that he’s making over $100 million this year on?)

Andy McPhail did a stand up with Jim Hunter and said all of the right things. He made it clear he expected a big improvement in Adam Jones. He also talked a lot about character and what kind of players — “gamers, blue collars guys, character guys” — he wants on the team. Fair enough.

I like hearing that the Orioles want good people in their organization. From what I know of the 2009 Orioles, they’re pretty good guys and they clearly dislike Angelos’ management and ownership style as much as the rest of us. (Again, this is one of the reasons the Orioles banning legitimate media isn’t a good thing for the fans. The fans never get to know the truth unless, like yesterday in The Sun, they speak out.)

I’ve known Gregg Zaun for 17 years. I’ve cheered – VERY hard – for Zaun for 17 years through his days in Kansas City, Florida, Toronto and Houston. He’s a great person and loves Baltimore and the Orioles. That’s an upgrade there no matter how you look at it and he’ll keep the seat plenty warm for Matt Wieters, whenever the Orioles decide to promote him to the bigs.

Even today on TV, a couple of the young players talked about what a cool guy Zaun is for them to be around and how he tells great stories (which he does!)

I must say that I didn’t envy Buck Martinez’s press pass today, interviewing his co-worker, Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara, whose only word in English was “Thank you!”

Uehara had an interpreter and the answer to the first question regarding Camden Yards was this: “Right field is pretty shallow.” That was the first of several laughs.

Honestly, it was like I needed an interpreter for his interpreter. It was borderline hilarious. It reminded me of my four days in Tokyo where communication was definitely at a premium.

I don’t care how much Uehara speaks. The Orioles need him to be a rock star if they’re going to win 75 games. But he seemed pleasant enough and thrilled to be at Camden Yards in a big-league uniform. Good enough for me.

If the only “communication” I’m going to have with the players is to see their co-workers ask them questions I might as well think they’re nice guys. Even if they’re complete turds, at least this won’t spoil it for me.

I’m ready for Opening Day. I’m ready to get to Hooters and have a Bud Light. I’m ready for baseball.

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2008 Ravens tribute: “Harmony Reigns”

Posted on 23 December 2008 by Drew Forrester

With only one week remaining in the regular season, the Ravens are on target to return to post-season play for the second time in three seasons.  The only thing standing in their way: a visit from downtrodden Jacksonville this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Get ready to celebrate.  There’s no way the Jags come here and beat the Ravens with everything on the line for Baltimore and nothing at stake for J’ville.  If, somehow, Jacksonville does win on Sunday, it goes down as the most disappointing defeat in Ravens history.  Period.  That Indy home playoff loss was a downer, but it WAS a playoff game and the team that beat the Ravens on January 13, 2007 went on to win the Super Bowl.  It wasn’t like a 5-10 team came limping in here ready to mail it in and suddenly found a win to pull the upset of all upsets to keep us out of the playoffs.  That’s the scenario the Jags face on Sunday.  I don’t see it happening.

So, when the Ravens win this Sunday and scoot in as the surprising 6th seed in the AFC, the reflective question of the day will be this: “How’d we do it?”

How did the Ravens go from 5-11 a year ago, with a locker room in complete disarray and a group of mouthy, disgruntled players, to an 11-5 team just 12 months later?

There are some easy answers and some complicated ones, but they all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

First off, last year’s team might have finished 5-11, but they weren’t really a 5-11 club.  They lost three games in memorable, completely unexpected (some would say “fluky”) fashion.  One of the losses came at home when Cleveland’s kicker booted a game-tying field goal that hit the goal-post and bounded onto the back stantion, where it promptly bounced forward and was ruled no good.  A review (of sorts) of the play resulted in a change of the call (rightfully) to “good” and the Browns went on to win in overtime.  A few weeks later, Baltimore beat then-undefeated New England except Rex Ryan called a time-out in the game’s final minute…just as the Ravens were stopping the Patriots and their winning streak on 4th down.  Moments later, after New England capitalized on 4th down opportunity #2, Tom Brady threw the game-winning TD and the Pats won a game they had already lost.  And in week #14, ultra-reliable Matt Stover missed a 43-yard field goal in overtime that would have given Baltimore a win at Miami.  

So, a 5-11 team really played more like an 8-8 team.  But 5-11 it was.

Also last year, injuries played havoc with Baltimore’s starting 22 and the depth of the team was fully exposed in the latter stages of the season.  At one point in 2007, 8 of their best players missed at least 20% of the campaign, some even more.  McAlister (knee), Ogden (toe), McNair (everything), Lewis (hand), Rolle (health), Heap (ankle), Pryce (hand) and Wilcox (toe) were all sidelined and their replacements were not only inadequate, but in some cases, liabilities.  Who can ever forget that Indianapolis home game?  Peyton Manning torched the Ravens’ depth-less secondary so much the Baltimore City fire marshal showed up at halftime and issued #18 a citation for outdoor burning.

This year’s team battled injuries early on, but their BEST players, with the exception of Rolle, McAlister and Kelly Gregg, have all played the entire schedule to date: Ray, Flacco, Ngata, Suggs, Reed, Mason (banged up but playing every game somehow…what a warrior), Gaither, Brown, Grubbs, Scott, Pryce…none of those guys have missed extensive time.  It helps when your best players are playing. This year, for the most part, the Ravens best players have been available.

And it also helps when the organization learns from its mistakes.  Depth (lack thereof) was a major reason for last year’s failure, but depth is a big reason why the ’08 version is winning.  When Dawan Landry went down in week #2 with a season ending spinal injury, safety Jim Leonhard stepped in and did the job and then some, earning the respect of everyone with his week-in, week-out hard-nosed style of play.  And when Rolle and McAlister both missed time, newcomer Fabian Washington stepped in admirably at cornerback and even the oft-criticized Frank Walker has been decent enough to warrant a respectful tip of the cap.  Kelly Gregg’s absence hasn’t been felt at all, thanks to a monster year from Ngata and a breakthrough campaign for erstwhile back-up Justin Bannan.  And the triple-threat at running back has given the team different looks and different strengths all season long.  

“Players play, coaches coach” – that’s the old adage.  And it’s true.  But, when dissecting this year’s success, you’d be unfair if you didn’t mention the off-season front office work of George Kokinis, Eric DeCosta and, of course, Ozzie Newsome.  Via the draft and free agency, those three added depth in the secondary and on the offensive and defensive lines.  

John Harbaugh came in a with no-nonsense style that ruffled a feathers at the outset, but as he settled down, so did the discontent.  Coodinators Cameron and Ryan are well respected by the players and they quietly mirror Harbaugh’s confidence that this roster of players is capable of winning big games right away – even with a first-year quarterback at the helm.

But the two main components that contribute to the ’08 Ravens success are the complicated pieces that complete the puzzle.  I’ll call them “Peace and Quiet” for lack of a better term. 

First, and most obviously, it’s at quarterback, where Joe Flacco (“Peace”) has done the unthinkable. He’s gone from leading a Division 1AA school to its post-season to leading an NFL team to the brink of its post-season — all within 12 months.  And he’s done it with a quiet, reserved, hardly-a-pulse manner that has made his teammates believe in him almost from day one in Westminster last summer. Kyle Boller NEVER had the faith of his entire team in five seasons.  Joe Flacco gained it all in about five weeks. 

And without that distraction at quarterback and with the team in harmony both on and off the field, this year’s Ravens have been able to focus on playing football.  And good football, at that.

It’s been awfully “Quiet” this season.  Have you noticed how much bickering has gone on this year? Even when the team stumbled in October and dropped three straight, do you remember any public whining and moaning?  McAlister was involved in a fortnight of controversy with the coach over some misbehaving in Miami, but he suddenly suffered a season ending knee injury (*ahem*) that saved Harbaugh a tough mid-season talk.  And, other than Ed Reed dropping a “we don’t like the way Harbaugh talks down to us…” hint at mid-season, you heard no other negative whispers from the locker room.

No more complaints about the quarterback.  No crying about playing time.  No public campaigning for new contracts, extensions, etc.  No controversies, even on the occasion when results and fortune could have allowed for it.  

When the Ravens got pounded by the Giants in New York, they simply said, “we got beat by a better team today…” – Early in the year they lost a heartbreaker at home to the Titans when Tennessee orchestrated a late drive that was aided in large part by a phantom “blow to the head” call against Terrell Suggs…”we shouldn’t have been in that position…can’t let a good team like that stay in the game” was what the players said afterwards. – And last Sunday after losing to Pittsburgh in dramatic fashion with a goal-line TD call leaving everyone in America wondering about the effectiveness of instant-replay, the Ravens refused to bite: “we just have to go to Dallas and win a football game…we didn’t do the job on that last drive…can’t win many games if you don’t score touchdowns.”  No complaining this year.  No bellyaching about the referees, bad luck, bad coaching, etc.  

This team stayed positive all season long.

Looking for the BEST example of all?  Willis McGahee.  Essentially benched in the late stages of the season for lack of production, #23 took the chance to support his coach by saying, “If I were the coach, I’d bench me too…I’ve played like dog doo-doo.”  Gone are the days of hearing a guy chastising the coaching staff for not getting enough touches on the ball — McGahee took his demotion like a pro and put the team first. It’s been a while since I felt better about a player scoring a touchdown than I did on Saturday night when Willis broke off that 77-yard TD run.  He deserved that more than anyone else on the team.

The topper, though, has to be the unwavering championship play of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Bart Scott. All three are seeking a new deal and all three are – for the most part – competing with one another for that big cash cow at season’s end.  If Ray gets all the money, Suggs and Scott might not. If Suggs cashes in, Ray and Scott might be looking at giving a purple discount or moving on to another team. Yet, there hasn’t been one – not one – moment where any of those three took the opportunity to bellow about a new deal either here or elsewhere.

It’s a happy house in Owings Mills these days.

The team has won.

The players have played hard.  Injured players have been replaced by guys performing at unexpected levels. And certain players have battled ailments to the extent that it almost looks unhealthy for them to be out there in the first place.

The Ravens have come together as men and played for one goal.

And their focus has been on winning football games.  Nothing else.

Playing time, personal friendships, money, feelings about the coach and his staff…it’s all been put on the side in exchange for trying to win.

It’s been their ’08 success formula.

Let’s hope it carries over for just one more Sunday.

Then everyone starts at 0-0 again and it’s suddenly a 4-game season.

And, based on what I’ve seen over the last four months, I like the Ravens chances in January.

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

Who has the best Miller Lite Purple Palace?

Posted on 18 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

OK, we’re down to the nitty gritty in the “Miller Lite Purple Palace” contest. You can click here to see all of the palaces we’ve collected so far and the entries have been AWESOME! You could spend an hour here on WNST.net just looking at all of the cool submissions!

This weekend, we’re going to sift through all of the entries – and YES, you still have four days to get your entries in to us – and we’re going to select a “Final Three.” I’m going to be dropping by these folks’ places next week to shoot some holiday videos inside their palaces and making three “finalist” videos, which we’ll screen on wnsTV. Then, it’s all up to the votes…

We’ll have a winner in two weeks and those folks will be showered with WNST love – a visit from the WNST staff for some playoff football, a trip to Green Bay next year to see the purple take on Wisconsin’s cheeseheads and an autographed Kelly Gregg jersey to add to their purple palace.

Go look at the purple Festivus magic on the entry page and get those final entries in before Sunday!

Feel free to drop some comments about the contest and I’ll post them…any suggestions for a finalist?

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

So Long Ramon..Hello Ryan Freel

Posted on 09 December 2008 by caseywillett

Later this evening, it is expected to be made official that Ramon Hernandez has been traded to the Reds for Ryan Freel and two minor league prospects. This is a good move by the Orioles, because they get rid of a guy who just was not a part of the plans here any more and his effort and attitude pretty much echoed that. There were several pitchers who did not like throwing to Hernandez anymore because of the game that he called behind the plate. Ramon had an amazing first year here with the O’s in 2006 when he batted .275 with 23 HR’s and 91 RBI’s. However, Ramon has always been known more of as a defensive catcher than an offensive juggernaut.

I think the Orioles now will go get a guy like Gregg Zaun to fill the gap and be a backup and mentor for Matt Wieters. Zaun is very respected, plays the game the right way and will probably be a good teacher for Wieters.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , ,

Let The Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest Begin!

Posted on 18 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All of the official contest rules are below.

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

All of our entries are easily submitted via your computer.

There are two ways to enter:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008 “MILLER LITE PURPLE PALACE CONTEST”

RULES

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRAND PRIZE:

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

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beating the Giants would make Ravens a legit force in AFC

Posted on 16 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

As I wake this morning the Baltimore Ravens – and, yes, they used the word “Baltimore” before it was “comprehensive branding effort” – are 6-3 and could be in sole possession of first place in the AFC North if a series of positive events transpire later today at the Meadowlands and in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers host a desperate San Diego Chargers club coming east to play with their season in the balance.

No matter what, we’re gonna learn a lot about January today.

In my 13 years of fandom I’ve never seen a purple team this hard to read. Are they this good? Or were THEY that BAD?

I’m not really sure.

Here are the irrefutable facts:

• The Ravens have played nine games and have played eight of them well enough to win. That includes solid, representative efforts in Pittsburgh and here against the undefeated and “unstoppable” Tennessee Titans.
• The Ravens played one of the biggest turds in the history of the franchise in Indianapolis and any horse player might “throw this one out” if they can legitimately run with the New York Football Giants.
• Their only wins have come at the expense of the likes of the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders – the literal dregs of the league and darlings of next April’s NFL Draft.
• The road has been far from a nuisance for rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, who after appearing to have been playing the rope-a-dope in that game against the Colts, has rebounded nicely with huge efforts in Miami, Cleveland and Houston.
• The injuries have mounted – Kelly Gregg, Chris McAlister, Marshal Yanda and Dawan Landry are all done for the season – and the “next man up” has gotten the job done. Winning teams do that!
• The team has a rookie head coach, a rookie quarterback, a rookie left tackle and aging players at a variety of positions from wide receiver to defensive line to middle linebacker and week after week they’ve brought impressive moxie to the field no matter the circumstance. The secondary has been ravaged but is still percolating and when the front seven brings the heat this is a 3-and-out waiting to happen.
• They know how to come back from behind on the road as was witnessed in Cleveland, where they effectively ended their bitter division rival’s playoff aspirations on Halloween weekend.
• And finally, the Giants are 8-1. So let’s just assume they’re pretty good.

These are the facts. But how this game sets up is anyone’s guess.

The Giants are a prohibitive favorite. The weather is slated to be kinda chilly at 49 degrees. And we’re taking 57 purple WNST fans up to the game via the “Miller Lite Roadtrips.”

The rest is why we take the video camera…

Will the Ravens defense shut down the Big Blue running game – Earth, Wind and Fire – which leads the league in rushing?

Will Rex Ryan’s blitz packages get after Eli Manning or will the Giants solid offensive line give him their signal caller a chance to exploit a depleted secondary?

And how will No. 5 fare up the Turnpike from his home in New Jersey as the Giants disguise packages and send the blitz of Justin Tuck and company?

This is why I love football.

Can the Ravens go into the Meadowlands and defeat the reigning World Champions today?

That’s what we’re all wondering…

The bus leaves at 7 a.m.

Casey Willett, Drew Forrester and I will all be at the Meadowlands.

Blogs, stories, videos and hopefully, a victory, will be coming back with us.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ravens crush woeful Raiders, 29-10

Posted on 26 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Raiders have played an interesting foil in the annals of Baltimore football history.

There was the “Ghost To The Post” thriller on Christmas Eve in 1977. The Raiders were the first team to come to Baltimore to play the Ravens in 1996. And, of course, it was a trip to Oakland and a win in the AFC Championship Game in 2001 that took the Ravens to Tampa and a Super Bowl title.

Today, however, the Raiders look to be a shadow of their famed black and silver pirate crest, a hapless franchise with second-rate talent and an owner that makes Peter Angelos seem sensible.

What the hell happened to the “commitment to excellence”?

We’ve seen some bad football teams roll into Baltimore since the Ravens came to town 13 years ago challenging the great Billy Jo Hobert, but today’s effort by the Raiders might’ve been one of the worst we’ve ever seen in the Charm City. That’s about as bad of a football team you’re gonna find with the red, white and blue NFL crest on it.

Their offense was hopeless, the special teams were poor – making Jim Leonhard look like Dante Hall in his prime – and the defense was good enough to allow a slow, 6-foot-6 quarterback to spread wide and catch bombs from the backup quarterback. And who Tom Cable and where is Lane Kiffin?

If Al Davis were in his right mind, he’d be ashamed of what a cruel hoax this is on the Raider Nation and the Black Hole. Next week, they might want to try to show up against the Falcons.

Sure, the Ravens looked great today and we’ll all gladly take this 29-10 win. At 4-3 on Halloween, this 2008 season has some real life and some real promise as the purple heads to Cleveland next week where a win puts them on a fast track for a potential playoff berth. It would be time to bust out the “P” word (or is it still Festivus?). No one could argue with 5-3 at the turn, even if the second half appears to be helluva challenge with so many potential playoff teams on the slate in November and December, including the entire firing squad of the NFC East.

But I can’t fathom how the Raiders are going to win another game with that band of ragamuffins.

Let’s take it around the victorious purple locker room:

Joe Flacco wasn’t brilliant today (12 of 124 for 140 years) but he threw a TD, ran for one and damn-near CAUGHT one. The maturation of Flacco as a rookie is going swimmingly well for the team, with him getting all sorts of initiations to victories, defeats, road and home games and all sorts of looks from defenses around the NFL. I’m glad we bought the stock months ago.

Terrell Suggs, for all of his stupid bluster and idiotic pronouncements, certainly showed up to play today and made his presence felt anywhere around JaMarcus Russell, who looks like the next No. 1 QB bust of this decade.

Ray Lewis continues to dazzle in his contract walk season, making play after play and I’m still not sure that Justin Griffith made it anywhere near the goal line on that lone touchdown, but he’ll no doubt still be feeling that hit on Wednesday.

Let’s hear it for Jim Leonhard, who has become a fan favorite with these “little guy” efforts on defense and special teams. He’s MY SIZE for crying out loud, but he plays like a giant on the field.

The running game was effective all day, racking up 192 yards on 46 carries as the Ravens controlled the clock and exhausted the Raiders’ defense. The three-headed monster of Ray Rice (8-64), Willis McGahee (23-58) and Le’Ron McClain (7-32) has been more effective than any of us realized back in training camp. And let’s give the offensive line some props as well — even with Adam Terry and Marshal Yanda out, they’re still protecting Flacco pretty well and allowing the backs to move the ball.

Even Matt Stover had a perfect day, which we’ll need more of as the weather turns and the games become tight enough that his foot will surely play a major role in deciding the season.

But the biggest game ball goes to John Harbaugh and the coaching staff, who have held the team together through several crises this season, not the least of which was the notion that the team didn’t have enough talent to compete:

•    The quarterback carousel during training camp and prepping and winning with a rookie signal caller in the NFL.

•    The horrendous injury/age situation on the defensive side of the ball, with Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle, Kelly Gregg and Dawan Landry all out of the lineup. And that’s not to mention various dings to Willis McGahee, Terry and the loss of Yanda on offense.

•    The bad, ugly, brutal loss in Indianapolis and a three-game losing streak and the bounce back in Miami and again today. Good teams rebound. The Ravens have nicely. That’s good coaching and a lot of heart.

•    The difficulty of navigating and covering for the stupid comments and actions by some of his childish players (this was essentially what got Brian Billick fired). Not only did Chris McAlister not play today, no one even bothered asking where the hell he was. (Disciplined? Absolutely. But will they say it was his leg? Absolutely. They should just come clean and tell the truth, instead of this silly gameplaying that went on last week.)

One more game ball might go to the Ravens’ still-stellar front office acumen in picking talent. Jameel McClain, Willie Anderson, Evan Oglesby and Brandon McKinney all made plays today and none of them were on the team in August. Hats off to George Kokinis and Ozzie Newsome, who have improved this team coming out of Westminster.

The real test, of course, comes in January when the team’s 2008 record is public.

But so far, at 4-3 with winnable games on the horizon in Cleveland and Houston, the Ravens are far more interesting, entertaining and enjoyable than any of us thought possible eight weeks ago.

And if crappy teams like the Raiders are on the schedule (and there’s at least one left with Cincinnati) we’ll take them every week.

As long as the Ravens show up and beats them in the fashion they did today, it’s fun for all of us.

I’ve never been more excited about a trip to Cleveland…

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , ,

UPDATE: Roster moves, injury report, and notes

Posted on 01 October 2008 by caseywillett

4:30
Here are the Ravens roster moves that were made today:
The Ravens have placed the following player on practice squad/injured:
Joe Reitz (T, 6-7, 270, Rookie, Western Michigan)
The Ravens have also waived the following player from their practice squad:
Casey Bramlet (QB, 6-4, 220, 2nd-year, Wyoming)
Baltimore signed the following players to its practice squad:
Nathan Bennett (G, 6-4, 315, Rookie, Clemson)
Edward Williams (WR, 6-4, 215, Lane)
Here is the Ravens injury report for Wednesday:
OUT:
Kelly Gregg (knee)
Dawan Landry (neck)
Samari Rolle (neck)
Limited Participation:
Antwan Barnes (shoulder)
Yamon Figurs(hamstring)
Derrick Martin(shoulder)
Willis McGahee(chest)
Full Participation:
Nick Greisen(thigh)

Here are some news and notes from the Wednesday:

- Kelly Gregg will not be available to the team this week, as he continues to nurse a knee injury. Coach Harbaugh said they are sending his MRI’s to doctors to have them look at it, because it is a unique situation and they hope to have more information this week.
- Willis McGahee said he hopes to be able to finish a game. McGahee said that his injury to his ribs was in the back where he took a helmet. McGahee broke two ribs last year towards the end of the season. McGahee’s left eyes looks really bad, it had a lot of blood in it. That is the eye that he got poked in during the Browns game. McGahee takes exception to people saying he is getting these injuries because of him missing off season workouts. McGahee said he will have a better understanding on how he feels after practice today.
- Casey Bramlet and Joe Reitz are not longer with the Ravens practice squad. Bramlet was released while Reitz was placed on injured reserve. The Ravens have added. The players names were not available to the media yet.
- There was no sign of Samari Rolle in the locker room today. It did not appear that he has been here, based on the way his locker appeared.
- Coach Harbaugh said today that the team definitely see’s Troy Smith playing in some capacity this year for sure.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UPDATE: Injury report and news and notes

Posted on 26 September 2008 by caseywillett

4:45
Here is the Ravens injury report for Friday:
OUT:
Dawan Landry (neck)
Kelly Gregg (knee)
Samari Rolle(shoulder / neck)
Troy Smith (illness)
QUESTIONABLE:
Yamon Figurs (hamstring)
Nick Greisen (thigh)
Adam Terry (ankle)
PROBABLE
Tavares Gooden (hip)
Ray Lewis (foot)
Le’Ron McClain (migraine)
Willis McGahee(eye)
Fabian Washington (neck)
Daniel Wilcox (shoulder)

Here are some notes from the morning media session:

- Cam Cameron sounded optimistic that Willis McGahee will be ready to go on Monday night, “he’s doing fine from what I can tell. His eye doesn’t look great, but I think he’s doing ok. He was ok in the meeting today.” McGahee sounded optimistic that he will play on Monday night, but he did say right now though he is taking it day by day.
- Rex Ryan said they will wait and see about the availability of Samari Rolle for Monday night. Ryan said they are confident in what Frank Walker and Corey Ivy can provide if Rolle is not ready to play.
- Jarrett Johnson had a visitor in the locker room today as his friend and Baltimore Orioles Lance Cormier was visiting Johnson today. Johnson and Cormier have homes near one another in Alabama.
- Cam Cameron spoke very highly of the job that Rex Ryan and his coaching staff have done this week with the scout team defense. Cameron said that the defense has given them the best look that they could want from the defense.
- Chris Chester was at practice this afternoon wearing a #48 jersey. Chester was a former tight end at the University of Oklahoma.
- Here is what Cam Cameron had to say about the availability of Le’Ron McClain for Monday night: “He’s full go. He was great in meetings this morning and he will be ready to play.”

Comments (0)