Tag Archive | "HBO"

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

Caps Lose 7th Straight in OT

Posted on 16 December 2010 by Ed Frankovic

This is surely a test from the hockey gods because given the way the Washington Capitals played on Wednesday night, there is no way they should have lost to the Anaheim Ducks. But somehow the Caps did, falling 2-1 with 57 seconds remaining in overtime on a Ryan Getzlaf tally to extend their losing streak to seven games. Jonas Hiller (31 saves) and his good fortune were the keys to a Ducks victory and Washington’s record is now at 18-11-4, for a total of 40 points. With the Tampa Bay Lightning defeating the Atlanta Thrashers (2-1) in a shootout on Wednesday, the second and third place teams in the Southeast Division played a Caps worst case scenario “three point” tilt, and now both teams trail the Capitals by just two points in the standings. However, the Bolts have two games in hand while the Thrashers have just one.

Here are the highlights, quotes, and analysis from what should have been a Caps victory, if not for the lucky golden horseshoe that Hiller is holding onto right now:

– With Alexander Semin out of the lineup, Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau took a different approach for this contest against the Ducks, who have arguably the best forward line in the NHL in Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, and Corey Perry, by matching units all evening. This strategy, which Boudreau has rarely used with his talented Caps club but has been employed by many hockey coaches for years, is one that takes on a playoff game mentality and if not for a hit crossbar and a lucky stick save, the game plan would have produced a victory for Washington. The 2007-08 Jack Adams Award winner attempted to put out Brooks Laich, Dave Steckel, and Matt Bradley every time the Getzlaf-Ryan-Perry unit was on the ice at even strength. For the most part it worked, although it was one of the Ducks big guns who scored the game winner. Still the Caps bench boss, despite the OT loss, was pleased with the effort and the way his club stuck to his script.

“They did the game plan to a tee. They were very focused. I thought we played very good. Sometimes you play very good and you lose. We got a point for the psyche, which is very big,” said a hoarse Boudreau, who then went on to talk about how hitting the 40 point mark was really good for the team from a mental standpoint.

“I look back to the Pittsburgh series where they were our checking line. I knew that if I gave them a job they would come out and do it. They were plus one until the overtime,” added Boudreau on the play of the 21-39-10 line, who played solid defense and also scored the lone Washington tally.

– Another side effect, and an advantage, of playing the line matching strategy, is that the entire bench has to be completely focused on what is going on in every situation in the game because they may have to jump on the ice in a moments notice. It is like a chess match and that type of style, which is draining if done night in and night out, will force players to become stronger upstairs. Boudreau commented on that following the tough loss.

“You are always on your toes, you are looking at what is going on. It makes you get mentally stronger whether you like it or not. We played a strong 3rd period, that tells me we are getting mentally stronger,” added the three time Southeast Division winning coach on the strategy and the improvement he saw in his squad on Wednesday night, this coming after a week in which he criticized the mental toughness of his team and its’ seeming desire to want to “feel sorry” for themselves when things went bad.

– For the first 30 minutes, this game was all Washington. The Caps outshot the Ducks 17-7 in the opening stanza but Hiller made some big saves. In period two, the goalie who carried Switzerland into the final four of the 2010 Olympic games, received some help from the iron on an Alexander Ovechkin breakaway and made an amazing stick save on Nicklas Backstrom when it appeared he had an open net to conclude a three on one break with Mike Green and Mike Knuble. In both situations, luck was clearly on his side and someone is intent on making the Caps suffer a little longer with this losing streak.

“I thought we did everything we could. When Alex hits the cross bar and Nicky, their goalie making a big save, and the chances we had to get to 2-0 or 3-0, it’s tough,” commented Boudreau on the bad fortune his team had early on when they totally carried the play.

– Backstrom was the best Caps player on Wednesday night and it was apparent that he is finally close to fully recovering from the flu bug. #19 set up the first Caps goal with a strong rush down the left wing boards around Lubomir Visnovsky. The Swede hit a charging John Carlson in stride but #74’s shot was blocked right to Laich in the slot. #21 then backhanded it home off of the left post at 14:22 of the opening stanza. Backstrom, who was 9-2 on face-offs, was the one who set up Ovechkin for his breakaway and as mentioned above, Hiller flat out robbed #19 on a 3 on 1 break with a lucky stick save that even Ducks coach Randy Carlyle commented on.

“When you go on the road, your goaltender’s got to find ways to give you a chance and he did more than his share of that. He gave us a chance and made some big stops. Particularly the one on [Nicklas] Backstrom – he was able to bat it out with his stick,” said the 2007-08 Stanley Cup winning coach and former Capitals assistant.

 

– Semyon Varlamov (22 saves) got the call in net for Washington after his worst performance of the season in New York on Sunday. #1 was fairly strong in net. His best save of the night was likely on Visnovsky, who had an easy lane to the cage after d-man Karl Alzner mistakenly left his feet in his own zone. That gaffe by #27 combined with Green battling to Varly’s right with a Ducks forward, allowed #17 to come down the slot, but the young Russian net minder made a superb pad save. The two tallies he allowed were not totally his fault. The first was a rebound in front on an Anaheim power play. The puck was fired on net by Cam Fowler and it hit #52’s skate and bounced right on Joffrey Lupul’s stick. Before Alzner could do anything the former Flyers forward deposited the puck by Varly. So when the bounces are not going your way, things like that happen, and clearly the Capitals are getting NO breaks right now. On the game winner, Getzlaf outworked Carlson on the boards and then he passed #15 off to Scott Hannan, but #23 was once again a step too slow and the superstar Ducks forward beat Varlamov in close. I am not sure how much of the shot #1 saw because of Hannan’s slow reaction.

– For anyone who watched the first episode of the HBO 24/7 series following the Caps loss, it was obvious that part of the Capitals problems right now is the change in style they are undergoing. The organization, after dominating in the regular season and then failing in the first round of the playoffs last season, is attempting to play a tighter, more defensive brand of hockey in an effort to gain more balance. For the second time in three games (with Saturday’s game against Colorado being the first), the Caps body of work on the ice seemed to be trending up.

“I thought if we can play like that, what did they have 21 shots? If you play like that, you are going to win a lot of hockey games. We have to win the 3-1 games and the 2-1 games. It might not look pretty and we won’t have a 60 goal scorer but we’ll have a 50 goal scorer. And he played tonight and he’ll get 50,” said Boudreau on what he thought of how his team played, the transformation they are going through, and the impact it will have on Ovechkin’s season goal total.

In addition, Boudreau said that he won’t always go this route against an opponent and it will all depend on his lineup and the matchups.

“It gives us the ability to play both ways. We might want to play, say against Boston, the other way because we have had success that way,” finished the head coach who has come under fire from some in the local and national media/blogosphere (but not in this blog).

Notes: 24/7, which is covering both the Caps and the Pittsburgh Penguins in their build up to the Winter Classic on January 1st,  revealed that Green missed the last two games due to a sprained MCL. #52 had a good game against Anaheim and logged over 29 minutes of ice time…the Caps won the face-off battle, 29-23, however Mathieu Perreault went 1-9…Alzner was paired with #52, logged 23:37, and was +1…the Caps went 0 for 2 on the power play. Next up for the Caps are the Boston Bruins in Beantown on Saturday at 7pm. Washington will practice for the next two days and Boudreau was happy to have that break after a tough loss saying “I think it is important for us to have 2 days before our next game.”

Comments Off on Caps Lose 7th Straight in OT

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

Is Mark Sanchez really a fruitcake? We’ll find out tonight as Ravens visit Jets

Posted on 12 September 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

If you don’t watch Hard Knocks on HBO, you won’t get the humor in the headline but I have a hunch you will be watching tonight as eight months of sports silence in Baltimore and a revenge game on national TV for Jets coach Rex Ryan should whet your appetite for the deliciousness of the next 17 weeks and beyond.

Tonight, the Ravens finally play football. For real…

I have been quite silent this summer as the Orioles have continued to tank it en route to a last-place finish but today I recommit to telling you what I think during the football season. I’ve been busy 24 hours a day building the new WNST.net that many of you are enjoying daily via our many means to reach you: the Morning Newspaper, text service, Facebook, Twitter, AM 1570, this very website at WNST.net, etc.

The Orioles are winning and no one is watching while the Ravens have been dormant since that dark night in Indianapolis eight months ago but have once again captured the imagination not only of the local marketplace but they’ve become the national media darlings and are expected to be in Dallas in early February by many pundits.

The locals have been waiting since January for a reason to cheer and tonight we’ll get it in prime time glory with story lines galore for ESPN to pitch America.

The world expects the Ravens to be a playoff team – a 10-to-13 win machine of big-time offense with an emerging Joe Flacco and a hard-hitting (if not hard-covering in the secondary) defense still led by the credentials of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and some fresh faces on the back side.

Tonight we begin to find out not only what our Baltimore Ravens are made of but we’ll also find out whether Rex Ryan’s men in green actually “Play Like Jets” after talking incessantly for the past month in our living rooms via the loudest, brashest most reality-based reality TV ever made – “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the New York Jets”

The harsh words have all been exchanged: Rex Ryan disrespected Ray Lewis who disrespected Mark Sanchez which led to Kris Jenkins and Bart Scott piling on in what the linebacker formerly known as “Hot Sauce” called “part of the show.”

It was a week of pre-game hype that Vince McMahon and Don King could both appreciate but Ray Lewis summed it all up here:

Honestly, I was actually blown away when I finally watched last week’s “Hard Knocks” on Saturday afternoon to hear what Rex Ryan actually said on the show that set off No. 52 in a tirade for the ages. Before he spoke, Ray Lewis admitted that he didn’t watch it and still went nuts with the notion that the Jets could somehow be more relevant or favored in tonight’s game.

I was five feet away from Lewis when he went nuts.

I went over to him in the locker room 15 minutes later and told him that I’d seen ALL of the press conferences over the last 15 years and it was his finest moment. “Really, you think so?” he said with a smile.

Yes, Ray! That one was for the ages and has this city inspired to spit purple lightning at 7 p.m. tonight.

So how will this go tonight?

Here are the five things I’ll be on the lookout for from Sect. 324 of the upper deck of the New Meadowlands Stadium. If you like my analysis here at WNST.net feel free to join our Twitter page tonight or friend us on Facebook or chime in with your thoughts in our Purple Haze LIVE CHAT that will begin at 7 p.m. And if you’re coming to New Jersey this afternoon, make sure you join us in Parking Lot L for a BYOB pre-game party of biblical proportions.

Sanchez accuracy can’t be dirty

If the Jets are going to be a contender this year they need to utilize a strong receiving corps with a passing attack that was woefully lacking in 2010 as Mark Sanchez slogged through his rookie campaign until the last few weeks when their defense caught fire and led them to the AFC Championship Game in Indy. Sanchez was portrayed as a bit of a clown in “Hard Knocks” and was referred to by Mark Brunell as a “fruitcake.” I wasn’t impressed with Sanchez on or off of the field this past month in preparation for tonight’s game. I think he’ll throw the Ravens a few opportunities to change the game. What they do when he does that will dictate the Ravens fortunes because with a few turnovers I believe the Ravens could win this game in a rout. And that’s without Ed Reed!

Jets taking care of the ball

The Jets were quite sloppy in many facets of the game in the preseason and turnovers were a major problem. Their running game seems to be a strength in their attack and you’d have to believe that running up the middle against the Ravens will be a tall task for an aging LaDainian Tomlinson and company. In general, I’m wondering how the Jets will attempt to exploit the Ravens through the air because it’s their best chance to win, lining up mismatches in the secondary and hoping Sanchez will be protected and can deliver the ball accurately.

Revis rusty?

We know that Cam Cameron will be mixing it up with this compliment of offensive weapons that Ozzie Newsome has assembled in the offseason. This team went from having Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton to having Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh become a true No. 1 and 2 with Mason almost certainly to move into a more complimentary role as the season wears on. Not that this is a bad thing: Mason will be a true weapon come December and other teams wear thin in the secondary as the weather chills. But the real secondary story tonight will be the return of Darrelle Revis who will be out on the island tonight chasing Boldin in many cases with just five days of practice under his belt. They say he’s the best in the business. Well, tonight he’ll face live bullets and there’s no doubt the communication of the Jets’ back line will be put to the test early and often by Flacco and company.

Flacco directing the offense and multiplicity

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has had three years in the system now and the list of weapons he has is impressive by any measure. The best offense Baltimore football fans have seen since 1977 will take the field tonight. How will Ray Rice be used? When will Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain get the ball? How will Todd Heap and Ed Dickson be used? What role will Houshmandzadeh grow into in this offense? Tonight we get answers including the protection up front that Flacco will need to deliver in this ramped up offensive attack.

The New Meadowlands as a weapon

The Jets have always been the second citizens of Giants Stadium. The team is a generational under-achiever. This year there’s more heat than there’s ever been due to Rex Ryan’s boasts and the braggadocio of the entire franchise being led by a cool, cussing, confident leader who expects to win tonight and every night. Tickets started at nearly $300 and have fallen to less than $100 to get into the game tonight. I know they’ve expanded the stadium but I thought the expanded expectations would expand their horizons to pack their own stadium in a sea of green for a Monday Night Football debut against a real contender and Ryan’s former franchise for a revenge bowl of biblical proportions. It will be interesting to see if the crowd can affect Flacco, who’s earned a bit of a reputation for being Joe Cool when impacted on the road. Flacco has won playoff games in Miami, Nashville and New England in his first three years in the league. I’m not sure the bright lights of New York will affect him tonight.

Quite frankly if Sanchez is the “fruitcake” Brunell alleged, the Ravens will waltz tonight at The New Meadowlands.

My prediction: Ravens 24, Jets 13

Comments Off on Is Mark Sanchez really a fruitcake? We’ll find out tonight as Ravens visit Jets

http://ibenimages.blog.friendster.com/files/tiger_woods_3.jpg

Tags: , , , , ,

It’s Time For More Weekly Awards …..

Posted on 20 August 2010 by Rex Snider

Another week, another list. Enjoy …..

Man Of The Week
.

.
Could it rightfully be anyone else? The “Earl Of Baltimore” celebrated his 80th birthday, last Saturday. I can luckily count myself among a generation that distinctly recalls the memory making experiences provided by the Weaver-led Orioles. And, I don’t take this for granted …..

We’ve practically raised our next generation into adulthood. Many of my friends’ kids are beyond their 18th birthday. Heck, some of my friends our GRANDPARENTS. I know hundreds of devout baseball fans who’ve never witnessed #4 sitting in the dugout. I did …. and I’m fortunate for it. Happy Birthday, Earl !!!!
.

Narcissist Of The Week
.

.
I’m thinking Jose Canseco could’ve won this award during an entire year’s worth of weeks over these past 20 years. In fact, this estimate might be a little conservative. Nobody loves Jose as much as Jose, right? Better yet, nobody shuns blame and culapbility like Jose …..

Last Sunday, this half of the BASH BROTHERS was evicted from a home he was renting in Los Angeles. He was two months behind in rent. Instead of raising the funds he OWED to his landlord, Canseco took to Twitter for an opportunity to bemoan his situation …. “I guess I’ll have to sleep in my car” …. “I had to give my dog away, because I can’t afford to keep it.” Yes, this is the point where I scratch my head …..

Who does he blame for this dysfunctional situation? Not himself. Not a chance of that happening. He blames Major League Baseball. Yeah, he tweeted about this too …. “Major League Baseball did this to me, they blackballed me.” Lets say they did BLACKBALL him; he still made more than $45 million playing the game. He’s earned an additional $10 million on his name, as it relates to baseball, over the last decade

Yet, he’s broke. And, somehow, it’s Major League Baseball’s fault? “I’m a great guy,” he tweeted. “I don’t deserve this,” he continued. I suspect Jose Canseco will leave this world penniless and lonely. I hope that doesn’t happen. I don’t wish loneliness on anyone. But, he’s betrayed his friends and the GAME that made him rich. Still, he thinks he’s blameless. He’ll go down loving himself for all the wrong reasons …..
.

Nobody Of The Week
.
https://i1.wp.com/ibenimages.blog.friendster.com/files/tiger_woods_3.jpg
.
No, Tiger Woods is NOT this week’s Mister Nobody. But, his half-brother, Earl Woods Jr., is quite deserving of the honor. Earl is known to be a very reclusive, camera shy kinda dude. I couldn’t even find a photo of him for this blog. Earl is not fond of doing interviews, either.

But, that all changed this week.

Earl broke his silence over his brother’s personal problems. In an interview with the World Wide Leader, Earl dove straight into Tiger’s relationship with estranged wife, Elin. He further advised that he hasn’t spoken to Tiger in nearly a decade. Really? Well, how do you know anything about your brother’s marriage? Be a good brother, Earl, and SHUT UP. I’d suggest this is probably the toughest time in Tiger Woods’ life, regardless of his own culpability. Perhaps, it’s not a stretch to think another human being, who has the same blood flowing through his veins, could just support his brother, huh?
.

Chick Of The Week
.

.
Oh yeah, I’m rolling out an ALL TIME BEAUTY. Forget the buxom newcomers we usually feature in these entries – although, I’m HIGH on them, too. Today, we’re featuring my favorite actress, ever. And, yes, she’s my favorite for a variety of reasons. She is certainly Oscar-worthy, as she nailed the role of down and out prostitute “Sera,” in Leaving Las Vegas.

Hail the one and only ELISABETH SHUE

These days, she appears in movies, sparingly. Fortunately for me, she has a new movie premiering, this weekend. Shue stars in Piranha-3, which opens in theatres, today. I’m not a fan of these fish-horror flicks. But, I’ll toss out 9 bucks to see a rare glimpse of my favorite Hollywood-Crush, ever. Damn, she’s still HOT …..
.

Player Of The Week
.

.
Over these past couple years, I’ve seized opportunities to praise Josh Hamilton for overcoming challenges much greater than hitting a baseball. While self-inflicted, Hamilton has defeated great odds and found his way to sobriety. My law enforcement career, especially as an undercover narcotics investigator, afforded me a firsthand look at the world of heroin and cocaine addiction. Full blown addicts usually don’t recover from their personal hell.

Josh Hamilton did.

And, as we all know, he recaptured the talent that led him to being a #1 draft pick a decade ago. I’ll admit he really hasn’t a very productive week, but he’s still meriting MVP numbers, with a .353 batting average, 26 homers, 81 rbi and 37 doubles on the season. The guy doesn’t run from his past and he seizes opportunities to help others. You can find find Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers at Camden Yards, thru Sunday.
.

Father Of The Week
.

.
Thanks to the good folks at HBO’s Hard Knocks, with cooperation from Rex Ryan Inc., we’re learning some interesting things about the New York Jets. The most compelling? Well, how about the fathering abilities of Antonio Cromartie? I don’t know about his parenting skills, but he’s a BABY MAKING MACHINE …..

On the most recent HK episode, Cromartie took a calculated stab at listing (and naming) his kids. Funny? At the moment, yes. But, in reality, no. Antonio Cromartie is 26 years old and he has fathered 8 children by 7 different mothers in 6 states. The oldest is 5 years old, and four of them were born in the same year – and they weren’t quadruplets, triplets or twins.

In acquiring Cromartie from the San Diego Chargers during the recent offseason, the Jets “fronted him” a cool FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS to reconcile delinquent child support payments. Reports have indicated the Chargers traded Cromartie, because his production was being affected by the personal issues. Is $500k going to cure it? Nope …. it just postpones the inevitable.
.

Rockstar(s) Of The Week
.

.
Hmmm …. this reunion with David Lee Roth must be working just fine, huh? Indeed, Van Halen is in the studio and recording an album due for release in March, 2011. Tidbits of information are leaking from VH camp, via Warner guru, Irving Azoff. The hot rumor is a couple longtime fans are lending some support. Their names? Stevie Wonder and Kenny Chesney; both of whom are very good friends with Eddie Van Halen. An interesting mix, I suppose.

According to Azoff, Van Halen will be hitting the road for a U.S. Tour in 2011, as well. I guess we shouldn’t hold our collective breath – the band has certainly divorced each other a couple times, and 2011 isn’t here, yet. Perhaps, they’ve just outgrown the ego driven challenges. Or, maybe, Ed and Dave have simply realized they’re a better fit while on the same stage. I wonder what the album will be titled? Van Halen IV …..
.

Blogger Of The Week
.

.
I think it’s a pretty fitting choice, huh? I blogged four times, this week !!!! And, I covered nearly every imaginable sports topic. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear my ego is resembling that “Rex Guy” up in New York.

Thank God for the SHAKEWEIGHT …. it’s gonna make me a star. And, perhaps, this blog will finally garner me a spot in Crabs & Beer …..

After all, Glenn Clark is a big supporter of FLEXING MIC MUSCLES. And, by my account, this photo portrays a MICROPHONE & MUSCLES, along with a pretty handsome mugg …..

Have a GREAT WEEKEND !!!!

Comments Off on It’s Time For More Weekly Awards …..

Tags: , , , ,

“Rex Being Rex” Ain’t Good Enough ….

Posted on 19 August 2010 by Rex Snider

Over the course of the last week, we’ve all heard nearly every conceivable defense of Rex Ryan’s boorish, egotistical and salaciously driven style.

This community has an obvious and understandable soft spot for Rex and his publicly exposed antics. While the soccer mom in Des Moines, Iowa, might’ve dropped her jaw at a few snippets of last week’s Hard Knocks debut, we just shrugged and thought “yeah, that’s him ….”

And, to be totally honest, that was my initial reaction to Rex’s first couple drops of For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge bombs.

Yet, somewhere amid a program aimed at training camp reality, we seemed to be exposed to a boastful coach’s rendition of Andrew Dice Clay, minus the intimate gathering and cigarette. I think it’s fair to say Rex crossed the line of responsible representation.

As I’ve said in the past, he doesn’t simply represent Rex Ryan Inc.

He is the face of the New York Jets. He is a steward among 32 of the NFL’s elite minds. He is a role model for impressionable players and future coaches. At least, I thought he was …..

Now, I’m not so sure.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not offended by anything Rex Ryan says or does on television. And, I’m definitely not a hypocrite – I have used language that exceeds the vulgarity of anything heard on Hard Knocks. But, I don’t use it in mixed company, regardless of my purpose.

In the days that have engulfed last week’s Hard Knocks premiere, Rex Ryan’s name has become an even greater lightning rod for discussion and debate. It seems like EVERY football fan has an opinion of his antics.

And, to be totally fair about this subject, Rex has garnered a flattering amount of defenders and loyalists. Yeah, yeah, I get the whole 1st Ammendment argument. That’s fine. But, having the right to do or say something doesn’t qualify that action as responsible or prudent.

People pay extraordinary prices for things they say every single day.

That said, the most regurgitated and recycled defense of Rex’s antics last week …. or ANY OTHER SITUATION WHERE HE SAYS STUPID, ILL-ADVISED THINGS, is “that’s just Rex being Rex” or “that’s the way he is.”

Really?

Is that the best possible excuse available?

Unfortunately, the “that’s just ____ being ____” tag is being used way too often to oblige someone’s shortcomings.

The phrase, as I recall, was first used to defend Manny Ramirez’s lazy and distracted approach to playing baseball at the highest level. Manny’s quirky, disinterested customs eventually have a negative impact on the team he represents. Just ask Theo Epstein and Ned Colletti.

Yet, its become kinda sheik to arbitrarily say “that’s just Manny being Manny.” I guess the line is getting old with more people than me. I recently heard the Manny-phrase refigured to its true spirited intent …..

That’s just a JACKASS being a JACKASS.

Fair enough.

But, it doesn’t begin to excuse someone for improper behavior or decorum. In fact, there is no legitimate reason for being a JACKASS.

Manny Ramirez’s indifference to detail was tolerated, because he was productive with a bat in his hands. But, when the baggage outweighs the production, even Manny is shown the door. The Red Sox aborted their franchise of his presence – and paid his remaining salary ($7 million) for the 2008 season.

The Dodgers want to trade Manny, too. But, they’re not in a spot to eat his remaining 2010 salary.

The moral to this message? Even the productive jackasses find a way to ruin a good thing; a good home.

Now, I’m not calling Rex Ryan a “jackass.” I want to be very clear about that. I will LOVE him forever …. for bringing a decade of intensity to the Ravens feared defense. I will always respect his gameplanning and innovative techniques. And, I will wish him well, except when his team plays the Ravens.

But, aside from my personal perspective of anything regarding Rex Ryan, he will meet the same ultimate demise as Manny Ramirez and hundreds of other NFL coaches. That’s the way it is.

He’s in the FISH BOWL environment of New York. It’s the epicenter of anything media-related. Of course, this includes sports media.

Rex Ryan has not been totally spared by New York sports media, either. The Jets lost 6 of 7 games in the middle stretch of the 2009 season, and Rex took his beating from reporters. But, he lucked out and the Colts purposely tanked a matchup against “Gang Green” in Week 16 …. which opened a door to the postseason for the Jets.

As everyone knows, they got HOT at the right time. The Jets advanced to the AFC Championship, before losing to the Colts. The next day, the New York media took their shots at Rex …..

In the months that have passed, many New Yorkers embraced that postseason run and lauded “Sexy Rexy” for delivering some excitement that Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini, Pete Caroll and Rich Kotite (remember him?) couldn’t deliver. He’s become a cult hero, of sorts.

On the wave of popularity, HBO’s Hard Knocks showed up on the doorstep.

And, the love affair between Rex Ryan, New York’s media and the fans is a threesome for the ages. But, stay tuned …..

Potential critics are biting their tongues as the Darrelle Revis saga stretches on. But, let the Jets lose to the Ravens, without Revis in the secondary (he’ll be there) and Rex will hear it. If the Jets lose to the Patriots or Dolphins, Rex will hear hear it. If the Jets fall short of last year’s finish, Rex will hear it.

Welcome to New York.

Trust me, this Hard Knocks experience is going to rear a very ugly head at some point before that big ball falls in Time Square. And, Rex is going to be the target of everyone’s frustration …..

“You had to show off for the cameras”

“You had to bring in Broadway Joe”

“You had to brag about the Super Bowl”

“You had to let Sanchise get a bigger ego”

“You had to F-this and F-that”

Watch and see, it’s coming. Meanwhile, as I wrote last week, Belichick and Parcells/Sporano are hard at work, while secretly plotting to do two things …..

1) Win the AFC-East

2) Embarrass Rex Ryan

Just as Rex promotes himself, he also exposes himself. Eventually, the baggage becomes too heavy to bear. Enter, Manny Ramirez ….

While the bottom line is WINNING, Rex has compromised other important qualities demanded of a Head Coach. Yeah, Woody Johnson is willing to overlook the f-bomb debacle, so long as the Jets win. And, therein lies the first potential crack in this relationship.

Let the Jets lose. And, compound it with team sponsors avoiding Rex’s endorsement, because of his Hard Knocks stand-up comedy routine. Then, we’ll see just how appealing the “New York Rex Ryan” product will be for everyone.

Will Sprint, Marriott, MetLife, jetBlue, Coors Light, Pathmark and Primesport want Rex Ryan pitching their product. I’m betting “NO FREAKIN’ WAY.”

In fact, if Rex sticks to his guns and resulting language, he’ll eventually be unmarketable. And, that might suit him fine. But, it’s not good business.

Of course, this whole soap opera has birthed residual drama throughout the sports and entertainment world …..

Tony Dungy has suggested he wouldn’t hire Rex Ryan as a head coach.

Buddy Ryan (Rex’s pops) has basically challenged Dungy to a cage match.

And, virtually everyone else is saying “that’s just Rex being Rex.” For better or worse …..

I guess Rex really is being himself ….. or he was being himself. After watching last night’s Hard Knocks, I noticed that Rex cleaned up his publicly-placed language, significantly. In fact, he dropped the f-bomb just one time, and the camera camouflaged his mouth when it occurred.

Yesterday afternoon, I drew a comparison (or difference) between Rex Ryan and Giants Head Coach, Tom Coughlin …..

If you recall, Coughlin was portrayed as a guy who would not fit in New York. His players hated him and he was known as a sheepishly bad interview. He’s now entering his 7th season on the job.

Rex Ryan, on the other hand, is being portrayed as the “perfect fit” for the New York media personality. His players love him and he’s as engaging as Bill Clinton at a stag party. Rex owns New York …. just ask him.

The differences between these two coaches are immense. Rex has that firey, tumultuous intensity. He’s a FLARE. He burns hot and bright. But, flares generally don’t last very long. Coughlin is a low key kinda guy. He’s a candle. He burns slow and dim. Yet, he lasts a fairly substantial time.

These qualities can and do exist in every pro sports town. New York, in the global scope, really has nothing to do with it.

So, here we sit less than a month before the 2010 season commences. Rex Ryan has been busy writing checks his team will be forced to cash. He has promised more than wins. He has guaranteed a Super Bowl.

Once again, his mouth could catapult him above the mere mortals. Or, it could prove to be his biggest liability. I’m betting on the latter. I love Rex, but his team got lucky, last year. And, they’re overhyped, this year.

While Rex will not be joining Manny Ramirez among the unemployed anytime soon, he’s bound to get humbled sooner rather than later.

I think we’re all going to find out that Rex Ryan is a bit of a charade. That aside, if he doesn’t deliver, he’ll eventually find himself commanding an NFL team’s defense in another city.

Regardless, I’d bet the house that Tony Dungy won’t be his boss …..

Comments Off on “Rex Being Rex” Ain’t Good Enough ….

The Hard Knock On Rex?  He's Gonna Be Outsmarted ....

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

The Hard Knock On Rex? He’s Gonna Be Outsmarted ….

Posted on 12 August 2010 by Rex Snider

I wanna take this opportunity to express my humble gratitude to Brad Bergesen. Thanks to his efficient disposal of the Cleveland Indians, last night, I was able to switch the channel at 10pm.

That’s right, you can toss me in the same boat with MILLIONS of football fans, who settled on the edges of our seats as 9:59pm came and went. Of course, we were locked into HBO for the debut of this summer’s hottest reality show …..
.

.
What more could a sofa-jock ask for on a Wednesday night?

A two hitter for the Orioles and their new Grand Poobah of the diamond, Buck Showalter …..

A countdown of less than 24 hours before seeing Anquan Boldin on the receiving end of a Joe Flacco laser …..

And, Rex Ryan being HIMSELF – in more possible ways than most of us imagined – in front of a nationwide crowd …..

I honestly don’t know where to start; I have so many things to say. But, lets just do the normal thing and start at the beginning of what’s bound to be the likely undoing of the 2010 version of the J-E-T-S …. JETS.

While I give my thoughts from the beginning, I’ll need to borrow some dialogue from the entire first episode of Hard Knocks to really provide an accurate perspective.

And, in doing so, I’ll suggest that I was a little surprised that Rexy kept the conversation so G-rated when he addressed the collective crowd awaiting the Jets’ arrival, at their Training Camp home, in Cortland, New York.

In fact, I can vividly envision him saying “What the FU#@ is going on everybody? …. Did anyone bring me a FU#@ing cheesesteak, umm I mean salad?

Should we expect anything different?
.

.
Aside from the bird-flipping image of Rex Ryan at a mixed martial arts event, last year, I thought we would see a guy who has become a little more polished, in 2010. Evidently, not.

Yes, we witnessed the slimmer version of Rex Ryan. But, he was still the hammy, and at times, self indulgent guy we’ve come to adore. I don’t dislike him, regardless of where he is coaching. He had a significant hand in making the Baltimore Ravens a WINNER over the last decade.

But, I was a little surprised at the needless vulgarity during the show. Don’t misunderstand my message, I know the content is supposed to be reality-based and in that spirit, coaches use the f-bomb on the field.

I’m a guy. I was a cop. I hang around Nestor. I’m fully aware of the conspicuous presence of the word describing “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” in our everyday conversations.

But, was it necessary to include that language in casual conversations from last night’s first episode? I don’t think so. When you hear it a couple times, while the team is practicing, it seems like a natural fit. Beyond those circumstances, such language just cheapens the appeal.

And, it forces a parent (or uncle) to send a 12 year old packing.

Hey, I didn’t know what Rex or one of his cronies might say next. Thus, the kid has to call it a night.

If you think I’m being a prude, fine. But, I’ll bet Roger Goodell will set aside a few moments to call Woody Johnson, this morning. Heck, that phone might’ve been ringing, last night.

Alas, the sophmoric language wasn’t the only perplexing observation from last night’s season debut. A few other perculiar incidents caused me to raise an eyebrow, while thinking “is this the best they can do?”

I honestly didn’t laugh at the incidental f-bombs. But, I absolutely got a good chuckle when the Jets rolled out Joe Namath, in a pair of striped bermuda’s pulled up to the bottom of his man boobs …..
.

.
And, why did he bring Snooki from Jersey Shore?

Seriously, Joe Namath? I didn’t understand the objective in bringing in a guy who played the game in a different era. Is he really familiar with Brian Scottenheimer’s offense? I suppose I can see the symbolic tie to having Broadway Joe show up and pose for a few photos, while guaranteeing the Jets will win the Super Bowl …..

It worked 40 years ago, right?

But, today’s players don’t know about the NFL’s history. And, they certainly don’t care. Just look at the Ravens and Colts rivalry.

Throughout last night’s episode, one thing became very, very clear to me. Rex Ryan does not believe he can win WITHOUT Darelle Revis, who continues to be a no-show at camp. I don’t care what Rex says publicly, he’s obviously worried.

If we counted the half dozen words most often uttered, last night, the list would include …. the, a, I, and, if, Revis. And, probably in that order. Okay, if the list grew a little longer, we might be able to include FU#@, too.

After watching last night’s show, I’ll imagine Darrelle Revis and his agent have decided to dig their heels a little deeper into the figurative mud, this morning. He’s got ’em …. and he knows it.

But, this is probably Rex’s BIGGEST FLAW (as you’ll see in a few moments) …..

He simply cannot hide from blunt honesty. He’s a horrible liar and that’s what makes him so appealing. He tells the truth in the most brutal way possible. Even when he tries to be a little sheepish, he still concedes to the temptation of telling it like it is.

Rex Ryan’s hopes are tied to his disgruntled cornerback – period.
.

.
As a Ravens fan, I would love to see Darrelle Revis anywhere but the Meadowlands, on September 13th. But, that will never happen. Rex Ryan let that cat outta the bag, last night.

In consideration of everything I’ve mentioned already, my final and most poignant observation really didn’t dawn upon my noggin’ until after the premiere ended ….

Throughout Hard Knocks’ 50+ minutes of staged reality, we saw the most familiar trait of Rex Ryan several times. He loves the spotlight, and he equally loves to walk around like he’s got the biggest “WOODY” in the locker room.

That’s him.

He flashes his “WOODY”. He brags about his “WOODY”. And, he certainly makes sure everybody knows what he thinks about his own “WOODY.”

That said, his decision to bring in the Hard Knocks crew and embrace them with his unadulterated vulgarity and brutal honesty are evidence that he also thinks with his “WOODY” at some of the most crucial times.

This Hard Knocks & New York Jets marriage was a horribly stupid idea. Watch and see …..

About 15 minutes after last night’s debut ended, it dawned on me …..

Rex Ryan has most likley likely committed the CARDINAL SIN for leaders who are preparing their troops for battle …..

He is allowing the ENEMIES to get a good look at the infrastructure of his 2010 product. And, aside from all the bravado and swagger, his primary enemies are smarter than him – ON and OFF the football field …..
.

.

.
Why would Rex ever give these guys an edge? Why would he ever take a chance? His ego and pride won’t allow him to do it any other way.

The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will finish ahead of the New York Jets, this season. They’re already hard at work in finding a way. And, as we all know, Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick always find a way.

Meanwhile, Rex Ryan is chasing Darrelle Revis around and trying to entertain the camera.

Some guys are just smarter than others. Some guys just think with their heads …..

Others think with their “WOODY” …..

Comments Off on The Hard Knock On Rex? He’s Gonna Be Outsmarted ….

The Wednesday Wishlist .....

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

The Wednesday Wishlist …..

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Rex Snider

It took me a couple years …..

But, I’ve finally learned not to take myself or my sports opinions too seriously. While I’m very passionate about the Ravens, Orioles and other hometown flavors, I’ve come to realize many fans have their own in-depth opinions and analysis.

So, while I’ll continue to show my serious side, when it really warrants, I’m also happy to lighten things up or not be so “cut and dry.” I like humor. I like sarcasm. But, I’m also a sucker for a compelling story – while hopefully motivating people to remember there are, indeed, life events more important than sports.

Today, you’ll get a little bit of everything. It’s just an old fashioned “Wish List” ……

The Orioles Go Christmas Shopping …..

Well, we’re halfway through Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings and the Orioles have done ….. NOTHING.

Am I surprised? No. Am I disappointed? Not really. In fact, I’ve grown indifferent toward many of the Orioles principles and missions, because I don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t tell ME or YOU. But, I do “WISH” the Orioles great success and I have 3 very plausible additions that could help this team.

First, let me say I don’t believe free agency is the route this offseason. That’s right, TRADES are the way to improve a team. The Yankees just landed Curtis Granderson – and their minor league trade chips are more scarce than the Orioles.

At some point, I think Andy McPhail has to realize every single member of his coveted stable of prospects is not going to achieve success on the big league level. Some of these kids are real risks – why not “SELL them on the HIGH” ???

Which ones? I don’t know – that really is Andy’s job. But, there are young major leaguers available. Their teams might be openly shopping them, but I’d bet they can be had ….. for the right price.

Here’s 3 players who could fill a void RIGHT NOW. But, it would cost some young talent in return.

Chris Davis (1st Base) – Texas Rangers

A year ago, today, Chris Davis was regarded as the Rangers next “Big Thing.” He was fresh off a rookie campaign that saw him hit .285, with 17 homers, in just 317 plate appearances. And, he was just 22 years old.

Chris Davis entered 2009 as one of Fantasy Baseball’s worst kept secrets. Unfortunately, he did not live up to the hype. While Davis continued to hit for power, he was on pace to set a new record for strikeouts, through June. He was demoted to AAA, prior to the All Star break

He returned to the Rangers, in late August. With a shortened stroke, Chris Davis cut down on the strikeouts and hit .318, with 5 homers, during the season’s final month. It was no surprise – Chris Davis has hit at every level of the Rangers system.

So, why could he be had? The answer – Justin Smoak …..

He’s the Rangers #1 prospect and he’s just about ready for a shot at “The Show.” Smoak is more highly touted than Davis. It’s really that simple. Chris Davis is just 23 years old and he’s not eligible for free agency until 2014. He’s worth a look – but landing him won’t be cheap.

Alex Gordon (3rd Base) – Kansas City Royals

I know what you’re thinking – “Alex Gordon is UNTOUCHABLE.” Don’t bet on it …..

He was freakishly touted, as he hailed from the University of Nebraska. Alex Gordon was the #2 overall pick in the 2005 draft. He was “Can’t Miss” …..

Well, Gordon has now been through 3 Major League seasons, and realized mild success. In nearly 1400 career plate appearances, he’s hitting .250 with 37 homeruns. And, he’s experienced more than one bite from the INJURY BUG.

It’s still too early to say whether Alex Gordon will “MISS” or not. But, he’s no longer a rookie or prospect and the Kansas City Royals patience may be wearing thin. There are whispers regarding Gordon’s availability, as the Royals are constantly reinventing their roster.

Gordon is eligible for free agency following the 2012 season, and he’s a Boras client. But, if he keeps flirting with injuries and normalcy, he might be one of the rare Boras birds who can be had – before hitting free agency.

The talent is there – and the Orioles need a 3rd Baseman.

Zack Greinke (Pitcher) – Kansas City Royals

I know, another “yeah right, Rex” reaction, huh?

Well, if you’re the Kansas City Royals, will Zack Greinke’s stock ever be higher? He’s the Cy Young winner !!!!

He’s signed through 2012, and due nearly $35 million over the stretch. Is he worth it? The Orioles have the cash and he’s proven.

You can bet Kansas City is not keeping him beyond 2011 and due to some personal issues, he’s not likely to be a good fit in a high-pressured environment, like New York. Given his emotional makeup, Greinke is not comfortable with interviews or verbal confrontation.

Did you see him chatting about his Cy Young?

Exactly.

He didn’t really participate in the All Star media events, either.

Zack Greinke needs a comfortable environment. Baltimore could be it. But, once again, the Royals will not give him away. And, God knows the Kansas City Royals LOVE prospects !!!!
.

Danica Joins NASCAR

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity Boys ….. Danica’s Goin’ Racing !!!!

Indeed, the WORLD’S MOST POPULAR female driver is joining the WORLD’S MOST POPULAR RACING SERIES …. albeit, at it’s “Junior Varsity” level.

Danica Patrick has signed a deal to drive for Dale Earnhardt Jrs. organization, JR Motorsports. It’s a loosely binding arrangement, as she is driving a limited amount of races in NASCAR’S Nationwide Series.

Personally, I think it’s just a PR stunt.

I think she’s going to fail – miserably. And, it has nothing to do with talent …..

If you’re a devout follower of auto racing, you understand and appreciate the commitment demanded of competitors. It’s more than a full time job ….. it’s an obsession. And, Danica isn’t willing to put in the time or effort.

Her main concentration is still Indy Cars. I don’t blame her, she’s successful on that circuit and it more than pays her bills. The NASCAR gig could be short lived. In fact, I’ll be shocked if she’s still around when the Nationwide Series makes it’s 2nd return to Dover, in September.

I’m also not convinced Danica possesses the tempermant for NASCAR and stock car racing. She has a personal history of getting visibly upset and challenging others when their car makes contact with hers.

She’s had problems keeping her cool …..

And, I’ll guarantee this guy runs her into a wall or two …..

I’ll stand by my comments – I don’t think it will work. I “WISH” Danica well and I hope she succeeds, but a long line of people have tried it this way and things didn’t work. Regardless, we’re enjoying her while she’s here …..

Hey, us NASCAR fans might be dumb ….. but, we’re not stupid !!!!
.

Crosby, Stills & Nash = HORRIBLE

I watched HBO’s “Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame” concert, last night. Who dug up the bodies of David Crosby, Steven Stills and Graham Nash ???

I truly “WISH” that I will NEVER, EVER hear another Crosby, Stills & Nash song, again.

They were horrible 40 years ago ….. and they’re still HORRIBLE, today.
.

Tigers Woods – I’ve Pretty Much Had Enough …..

Then again, nah ….. I’m okay.

Keep ’em coming ……

I just “WISH” Rachel Uchitel would hurry up and strike a deal with Hugh Hefner …..
.

Harbaugh Interviews For The Notre Dame Job

The MOST OVERRATED JOB in the world is available, again …..

The Fighting Irish need a new coach to replace the recently jetisoned Charlie Weis. They’re scanning the ranks of potential candidates and the entire world knows about it.

What makes Notre Dame so special? Don’t get me wrong, I salute their dedication to academics – while not compromising their educational standards in the name of athletics. To HELL with Boosters ……

But, as Notre Dame’s world turns, we’re finding that Coach Harbaugh has surfaced as a candidate for the football team’s head coaching job. No, not that Coach Harbaugh ….. it’s COLLEGE and KIDS – they need DISCIPLINE, not yellow flags !!!!

And, God knows those BOOSTERS won’t accept “John Harbaugh-like” answers …..

In fact, JIM HARBAUGH, is rumored to be interviewing for the Notre Dame job. Good for him !!!! He’s a very likeable guy and his stock is seriously high, given his recent resume’ at Stanford.

The interview is supposedly planned over the next couple days.

When it happens, I gotta feeling the board of trustees will have a unique set of circumstances on their hands. Yep, they’ll have Jim Harbaugh sitting squarely in front of the table. But, a few steps behind, they’ll hear a couple whispers ….. only to see this face chiming in :

Indeed !!!! That’s how the Harbaugh’s ROLL !!!! It’s a family affair …..

The only remaining question …..

WILL JIM HARBAUGH FINISH HIS NOTRE DAME INTERVIEW IN TIME TO HELP COACH THE RAVENS THIS SUNDAY ???

I do “WISH” Jim well – and I hope he gets this Notre Dame gig – the MOST THANKLESS JOB in the world !!!!
.

Peter Gammons Leaves ESPN

Whoa !!!! Who’s gonna do the nightly Red Sox reports ???

Say it so, Peter …..

By the way, we’re still waiting for Peter Gammons to call WNST and lend his AGREED support to the “Curing Cancer ….. One Call At A Time” marathon. He’s only 154 days late. We’re waiting Pete, just dial (410) 481-1570 …..


.

What will the WORLDWIDE LEADER do without Gammons? Hmmm ….. maybe they’ll give more responsibility to John Kruk …..

By the way, we’re still waiting for John Kruk to call WNST and lend his AGREED support to the “Curing Cancer ….. One Call At A Time” marathon. He’s only 154 days late. We’re waiting John, just dial (410) 481-1570 …..

I understand Peter Gammons will be leaving ESPN, effectively, at the end of Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings. He wants to pursue other interests.

I “WISH” just ONE OF THOSE INTERESTS would include calling our show, this Sunday. Hey, Harbor Hospital sponsors the 11:30 block of the show – and they were the benefactor of the Cancer fundraiser. Pete, any chance you can call Sunday?

We’d love to talk with you …..
.

My Thoughts & Wishes For Bryant Gumbel

In case you haven’t heard, Bryant Gumbel has announced he’s battling Lung Cancer.

On Regis & Kelly, Gumbel advised he recently had surgery and said “I’m okay for the time being.”

I will always remember Bryan Gumbel as the host of the Today Show on NBC …..

And, as a kid, I was a fan of Gumbel’s NFL commentary.

That said, at times, I’ve grown disappointed in Bryant Gumbel’s presentation of racial issues. While I’ve always enjoyed his journalistic approach, there have been occasions when I thought his mission was to create a divisive atmospehere – and race was the divider.

But, that’s just my opinion.

Over the past several years, I’ve grown to appreciate “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel,” which has become an HBO staple, since 1995. I’m interested in the intersection of SPORTS and LIFE, and nobody does it better than Gumbel and his staff.

My heart goes out to Bryant Gumbel and his family. I know the disease of LUNG CANCER too well. I lost a parent to it. She was the kindest person I’ve ever known. She didn’t smoke or live irresponsibly.

But, it doesn’t matter.

I “WISH” Bryant Gumbel good health and I hope he KICKS CANCER’S ASS !!!! Here’s to hoping for more Christmas seasons for Gumbel and many more episodes of Real Sports …..

Happy Wednesday Everybody !!!!!

Comments Off on The Wednesday Wishlist …..

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

The Wednesday Wheelhouse – Ruminations on All Things Sports and Otherwise

Posted on 19 November 2008 by Alex Thomas

What’s on your mind today on this chilly Wednesday in Baltimore?

-On Monday night I attended the annual Baltimore Ravens All-Community Team Auction to benefit several of the Ravens charities. I always hype these events because the Ravens do such a great job catering to their sponsors and fan base. It was another well-run event, with great food, even better company, and a chance to socialize with players like Ray Lewis, Troy Smith, Matt Stover, Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Jason Brown, and several others. Senior VP Kevin Byrne and Troy Smith were the MCs and guided the players on stage to talk to the community. Each player told us what they were doing to benefit the City of Baltimore, and it was refreshing to see so many high profile players doing all that they can to help others. Jason Brown was the life of the party. He certainly knows how to work a crowd and should make a great broadcaster someday.

-It will be interesting to see how the Ravens respond against the Eagles this week. I think the Ravens took this loss to the Giants personally. Not because they lost, but because of HOW they lost. I’d be surprised to see Brian Westbrook get more than 50 rushing yards this week.

-I was working at Conrad’s Crabs this past Sunday, filleting fish and talking sports with the customers, which is definitely one of the highlights of the job. Around 7 o’clock the place was packed (as usual), and most people were sitting around waiting for a bag of delicious steamed Maryland crabs. During that time, the TV was tuned to the Steelers/Chargers game. Toward the end of the game, one of the customers uttered a famous line from the movie Anchorman. I’ll give you a hint (because I can’t actually type the line into my blog): it was the famous line that Ron Burgundy said on-air that inevitably got him fired from the TV station. Remember: “Ron Burgundy will read anything you type into the teleprompter.” The PG version: Thanks a lot, San Diego. I’m still laughing about that…

-I hate the Eagles as much as I hate the Redskins. It’s because of one thing and one thing only, and this applies to both teams. Their fans hold this arrogant sense of accomplishment as if they’ve won something recently. Not to mention I’ve heard stories of Eagles fans cursing at children that wear the opposing teams’ jersey. Classy. In a past blog, I’ve mentioned that many of my life-long friends are Eagles fans…we just don’t hang out on Sundays.

-Entering the rumor mill, it looks like the Orioles are going to make a strong play for both Mark Teixeira and AJ Burnett. It’s fish or cut bait time for Andy MacPhail. Time to use some of that MASN “revenue.” Some may call it revenue. I call it loot because they basically stole money from Comcast subscribers, and the only way to rectify such a crime is to make an Andre The Giant-sized cannonball splash in the free agent market. If we see more of the same, i.e. Brad Hennessey and Donnie Murphy, maybe it’s time for a “Free The Birds 3”. And this time, let’s do it in the off-season by picketing in front of the Warehouse. I dunno, just a thought…

-Unfortunately Drew Forrester beat me to the punch on blogging about the Towson/Navy opener, otherwise I would have posted a blog about it myself. I was there too, donning my WNST polo, and I met a lot of WNST fans. I spent the majority of the time with Jimmy the Usher and Mike, who took his son to the game. We stood on the baseline near the Towson bench and watched Pat’s Cats punch the Midshipmen in the mouth. The Tigers won 86-68, but the score would have been much more lopsided if the Tigers weren’t taking stupid shots early, which Pat Kennedy addressed during a timeout with about 8 minutes to go in the first half. Troy Franklin looked great in his limited playing time against Navy (he was limited because of early foul trouble). He has great court vision, shooting ability, and inside toughness for a smaller guard. Brian Morris also played well, and Josh Thornton led the scoring attack with 24 points.

-The first snow flakes of the year fell on Baltimore yesterday afternoon, as Mother Nature yielded some sporadic flurries. With all of this talk about global warming, I’m pretty sure Baltimore weather will never change, because weird stuff like this happens all of the time. Snow before Thanksgiving? Last year, I came home for Christmas break and wore flip flops and shorts on December 27th…it was 64 degrees that day.

-HBO should pay me because I keep hyping season five of Entourage, and rightfully so. Did anyone else see that episode on Sunday night? It was more shockingly dramatic than comical, which was a different spin for the Entourage fan base in a good way. It drew me into the actual storyline instead of the debauchery, drinking, and naked girls (which are highly entertaining in their own right). This season has truly been the best yet, and I hope HBO renews the Entourage contract. Do yourself a favor and check out the new season with Comcast On Demand if you haven’t done so already.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

Comments Off on The Wednesday Wheelhouse – Ruminations on All Things Sports and Otherwise