Tag Archive | "Hines Ward"

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Smash Mouth Football, Jets vs. Steelers

Posted on 18 January 2011 by Michael Schwartz

The Steelers are facing the Jets at Heinz Field in the AFC Championship for the right to go to the Super Bowl. The Jets and Steelers both play great defense, and that is why they are still in the playoffs. The Steelers are the number one in the NFL and the Jets are number three. The Steelers have had a great defense since the Steel Curtain. They Steelers build their team to be good at defense, and the Jets have started to do this since Rex Ryan became head coach. The Jets had some good defenders but in the last two years they have acquired Trevor Pryce, Antonio Cromartie, Bart Scott, and many more. Rex Ryan was a defensive coordinator for the Ravens, and when he went to the Jets he wanted to make sure they had a strong defense. They have one of the best cornerbacks in the league in Darrelle Revis and this gives the Jets freedom on defense because Revis doesn’t need safety help over the top. That is a good thing because they can blitz more or double other receivers. The Jets also have helped their offense since Ryan became coach. He drafted Mark Sanchez, picked up L.T, got Santonio Holmes, and Braylon Edwards. This is why they have made it to the AFC Championship two straight years.

The Steelers on the other hand have not made many changes on either side of the ball because the players they have, have worked for them the last couple of years. They have a great quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger and they have good receivers in Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Ward is one of the best blocking wide receivers in the NFL, and Wallace is one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL. Rashard Mendenhall is a physical runner, but their offensive line is banged up. The Steelers offensive line had three injuries in their game versus the Ravens and since their playing the Jets, who like to blitz, Big Ben maybe needing to get out of more than usual. The Steelers offense will need to score and that’s no easy task on the Jets. This game will be smash mouth football just like when the Steelers play the Ravens.

The Jets offense will face a tough task, but they have played teams who have good defenses. They played the Ravens in their first game, and they also played the Steelers late in the season. The Steelers were without Troy Polamalu, and the Steelers are a totally different defense. The Steelers will need to run the ball effectively against the Steelers who allow just over 60 yards a game. Shonn Greene is a physical running back who has fresh legs since he wasn’t used too much in the regular season. L.T is probably going to be used in the passing game out of the backfield, because he is a finesse back. The Steelers are great at sealing off the gaps so there is nowhere to run, inside or out. The Jets want to run to set up the pass and that will take pressure off of Mark Sanchez. Mark Sanchez is still a young quarterback, and he needs to make sure he plays a game with little or no mistakes. Troy Polamalu is great at reading the quarterbacks eyes, so Sanchez will need to find Polamalu before the play. If he doesn’t he will have turnovers, and they won’t win this game. They will win this game if they can run the ball effectively, and get their receivers in the game early. Santonio Holmes is coming back to play the Steelers, and they know him and will probably shut him down.

The Steelers will probably have trouble throwing the ball against the Jets secondary. Revis may be on Wallace or Ward, but whoever he is on Cromartie will be on the other. Cromartie is not as good as Revis but is a good corner, but teams like to pick on him because they can’t throw on Revis. Big Ben will need to identify who is on whom so he can decide where he will throw the ball. The Jets like to blitz, even though they didn’t blitz the Pats much, and this means Big Ben will need to see whose coming or he will get sacked. The Jets do a great job at disguising the blitz, but Big Ben is great at avoiding the rush with his size. The Steelers will need to try to run, but if that doesn’t work, then Big Ben needs to take over the game with plays to Wallace and Ward.

Prediction: 24-20 Jets

The loud mouth Jets will win this game and go on to the Super Bowl. They are going to be the better team, and they know that they can beat the Steelers since they already did it. The Jets offense will have decent success running the ball and that’s what’s going to make the game tough for the Steelers. The Jets defense is going to get after Ben since their offensive line is very weak. They have many injuries and Rex Ryan knows how to play Big Ben from his days in Baltimore, so I think that Ryan will dial up the blitzes and get to Ben often.

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Part 1 of 3 – Aftermath of a meltdown in Pittsburgh

Posted on 16 January 2011 by Drew Forrester

I remember a scene moments after the Ravens lost to the Steelers in Baltimore back on December 5.  I wrote it about in my post-game blog, in fact, because it was so memorable and so fitting.

A veteran Ravens defensive player exited the team’s locker room at M&T Bank Stadium and I just happened to be in his path, coming at him from 20 yards away.  As we approached one another and made eye contact, I simply said, “Tough one” and he mumbled, just loud enough for me to hear, “We just can’t beat him.”

I saw that player on Saturday night after the game in the locker room in Pittsburgh.  He was among the devastated, sitting at his locker with a towel around his head and disbelief on his face.  This time around, I didn’t say anything to him.

What’s there to say?

He was right back in December.

The Ravens just can’t beat Ben Roethlisberger.

And that isn’t meant to be a dig at Joe Flacco, who was admirable enough most of the season and enjoyed a career-day in Kansas City before having to face the varsity on Saturday at Heinz Field.  As I wrote following the pounding of the Chiefs a week ago:  ”Joe won’t be seeing the Chiefs next Saturday.  He’ll be facing the Steelers.  That’s like going from a 6-furlong race to a mile-and-a-quarter.”

Turns out the mile-and-a-quarter race was a little too much for Flacco and the Ravens offense.

But it was just fine for Roethlisberger.

And I can say this with as much confidence as I can possibly have about a subject in sports:  Until the Ravens figure out a way to beat the Steelers when it counts, they’re not going to play in another Super Bowl.  And that means they MUST figure out a way to beat Roethlisberger.

It’s the Yankees and the Red Sox all over again.  Both of those teams go into every off-season thinking the same thing:  ”How can we be better than (the Red Sox/the Yankees)?”

If the Ravens can’t beat the Steelers, they can’t ever be great.

That’s a fact.

As Saturday night’s game ended, I was down by the area where the teams come off the field.  The Steelers bounded up the steps and Hines Ward yelled out, “They wanted us!  They wanted us!  And they got us!  Now, they don’t want us no more!”

Whether or not the Ravens “want” the Steelers is neither here nor there.  The fact remains that they’re going to have beat Pittsburgh when it matters at some point in the near future.  Ward was right.  The Ravens DID want the Steelers.  They felt good going into the game.  All that was left was to finish the job.  And they couldn’t do it.

The hows and whys of Saturday night are very easy to figure out.

Some people who can’t handle the truth will do what they always do: place the blame on the officials.  (And for the record, I thought the game wasn’t officiated very well AS A WHOLE, but both teams were affected by questionable calls and despite that, it was a one-score game with six minutes to play.)

Some people who know football will speak the gospel:  When you turn the ball over three times in a game you’re leading 21-7, you’re going to lose every single time.  When you throw a ball into the arms of your highest paid receiver in the end zone with six minutes to play – trailing by 3 points – and he doesn’t catch it, you’re going to lose most of the time.  And on 3rd and 19, when you rush 3 defensive players and let a speedy wide receiver get behind your deepest defensive back, a great quarterback is going to make that play and beat you.

A Ray Rice fumble, a Joe Flacco interception, and a bad snap from Matt Birk that Flacco couldn’t corral all conspired against the Ravens in that epic third quarter collapse.  What was a safe, comfortable 21-7 lead turned into a tie game before the quarter ended.

The Steelers didn’t make those mistakes, the Ravens did.

And that’s how you lose.

As Baltimore came to the line of scrimmage after stopping the Steelers on the opening drive of the second half, I leaned over (continued )

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Take your time…no need to rush through Friday Mud

Posted on 14 January 2011 by Drew Forrester

Sometime in mid-afternoon this past Tuesday, I started thinking ahead to this edition of “Friday Mud”.

Honestly?

I was a little worried.  My mind has been elsewhere this week, what with the Ravens having to visit Heinz Field this Saturday for a loser-heads-to-the-first-tee-and-a-long-vacation showdown with those rat finks in Black and Gold.

Tuesday night, I had NOTHING in my “Friday Mud” file.  I was concerned, wondering if maybe I’d have to put FM on the shelf for a week while I attended to more pressing matters like pacing the floor worrying about the Ravens/Steelers game.

Alas, those concerns were brief.

Friday Mud, is, indeed, present and accounted for, the way I expect the Ravens to show up in Pittsburgh on Saturday and make a fair statement about their ability to play the game of football.

I think you’ll like it.  Friday Mud hardly ever lets you down.

Just like the Ravens, I’d say.

They’re pretty reliable too.

————————————————————

> I spent many a night in a car or a tent at the old Capital Centre, waiting in line to see, among others, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, AC/DC and Journey.  Spending the night outside because you so desperately wanted great seats to see your favorite band was a rite of passage for anyone growing up in these parts in the 1970′s and ’80′s.  I didn’t know this (mostly because the team doesn’t send out press releases to WNST anymore), but the Orioles evidently put FanFest tickets on sale last Saturday morning and people actually camped out in order to make sure they got their tickets.  Don’t believe me?  Well, lucky for you our WNST staff photographer was down at the Convention Center late Friday night to snap THIS PHOTO of the gathering. I hope no one got left out.

> Upon meeting his untimely demise, a man faced his judgement day and St. Peter said, “Where did you attend college, sir?” The man remarked, “Well, I have to admit to you that I never once set foot in a college.”  St. Peter replied, “I regret to inform you that you’ll need to attend college for at least one year in Hell before we’ll allow you here, in Heaven.”  The man replied, “That seems reasonable…do they have a great college in Hell for me to attend?”  St. Peter pulled a photo out of his pocket.  ”Of course they do, sir…in fact, HERE’S A PICTURE of the campus right here.”

> New Orioles relief pitcher Kevin Gregg is also a well known self-portrait artist who spends a lot of time chronicling his day-to-day life with quick drawings of himself.  As he waited in The Warehouse last week to sign his Orioles contract, he grabbed his art materials and PRODUCED THIS to show what he was thinking at the time.

> You can file THIS PHOTO under the “politely shaking hands after a loss is so 1990′s” department.  It’s OK to squirm in your seat guys.  Now…back to work.

> You know, maybe I gave Jenn Sterger a bad rap.  All winter long, I took shots at her on the air and here in FM.  I decided to give her one more chance. And in order to do that, I figured it like this:  ”Let me find the woman in the industry who is widely known as “the best” and see how Jenn matches up to her.  Let me find some evidence of how they conducted themselves on the job and form my opinion accordingly.”  That, to me, was the fairest way to judge Jenn Sterger.  So you can take a look at these three pictures first — PIC #1,  PIC #2,   PIC #3.  And then take a look at these three pictures of Jenn — PIC #4,  PIC #5, PIC #6.  OK, maybe I should have come up with a better way to figure out who was the professional and who was the jock sniffer.

> New Orioles 3rd baseman Mark Reynolds recently did THIS INTERVIEW with an Arizona radio station.  It’s pretty good, actually, right up until the host asks him about “the greatest 3rd baseman in the history of the game” who played in Baltimore…Reynolds had no idea who it is (was), so he just guessed “Mike Schmidt”.  He shouldn’t be too embarrassed.  We have certain media members in this town who either talk or write about sports and Orioles baseball every single day who would have guessed the same thing.

> So, God was approached about the concept of making a “special child”.  ”God, please consider this,” said St. Anthony. “Please consider making a man…in body and soul…but as dainty and soft as a rose petal…as light and airy as a cloud…as feminine as the most gentle woman could ever be.  Please make this man an athlete too, so that we might test his femininity and fragility against the toughest men in the world.”  God nodded in agreement.  ”I will do just that,” he said.  ”And I will give this man a beautiful smile…and make him appear as tough as a nail being driven into a board…but I’ll make him the softest, most delicate human being I can.  He will be so soft, that many people will mistake him for a woman.”  About 3 days later, THIS MAN was born and God indeed had fulfilled his promise.

> Our WNST staff photographer recently took a trip to New Zealand and caught THIS FINE PERSON playing some kind of sport.  I think she’s playing cricket, but I’m not sure…I didn’t read the story that accompanied the photo.  So even though I’m not 100% sure what she’s doing, I’ll say this:  Any athletic endeavor that requires the women to wear knee-pads seems just fine to me.

> I put on the Groucho Marx fake nose and mustache last week and made my way up to the Orioles executive offices.  The secretary greeted me and I said, “I have a 1pm meeting with Andy MacPhail.”  She said, “Oh, great…walk through this door right here and make a left and his office is there.”  I walked through the door.  ”Make a left!” she yelled.  ”Go left, sir!”  ”His office is to the left…can’t you see the sign up above your head?”  Sure enough, THIS SIGN was right there the whole time. Left, indeed.

> I’m heading up to Philadelphia on Tuesday night to watch the Capitals and Flyers.  A friend of mine scored us a couple of skybox tickets, so we won’t have to sit down in the arena with the rest of the great unwashed, but I do have to take part in a tradition of sorts in Philly.  It’s pretty cool, actually.  Apparently when someone invites you into their skybox, you’re responsible for bringing some kind of food or drink to share with the other 10 guests.  Not knowing what kind of wine anyone prefers, I figure I’ll just give the female Flyers fans THIS SNACK for their enjoyment.

> It’s so hard to pick song #6 of my all-time best CD, because I’d really like to put 3-4 songs from RUSH on it.  But if I’m going to be true to my word and only put 16 tunes on it, I need to keep it to one RUSH song, I suppose.  And THIS SONG is, by far, one of the greatest pieces of music ever.  These dudes put out 40 GREAT songs, but this one tops my list.  True story:  I almost had my wife ready to sign off on calling our son “Geddy”.  For a moment, I thought I was going to pull it off.  But we settled on Ethan.  She’s not a big RUSH fan, obviously.

> Someone from 105.7 who is a fan of Friday Mud sent me THIS PICTURE yesterday and in the subject line of the e-mail, it read: “Lay-Up”.  I’ll say.  You can caption this one.  I’m leaving it alone.

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Blog & Tackle: A look at Ravens-Steelers PR game notes

Posted on 13 January 2011 by Chris Pika

Every game of the NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend is a regular-season rematch as both of the AFC games are between division opponents — the first time since 2000 that two games feature teams playing for a third time in a season.

The nastiest matchup of the weekend is the first on the docket: Baltimore at Pittsburgh. The teams have waged wars in the AFC North over the years, and 2010 was no exception. Each team scored 27 points total in the two games, and the games are as physical as any in the NFL over the previous decade.

The Ravens continued to have playoff success on the road as they beat Kansas City last Sunday 30-7 in New Arrowhead. It was the third straight season with at least one playoff victory for Baltimore, the only club in the NFL to do so over the period. QB Joe Flacco joined Bernie Kosar (1985-87) and Dan Marino (1983-85) to start a playoff game in each of their first three seasons in the league. The Ravens will try to advance to the AFC title game for the first time since the 2008 season.

Pittsburgh survived the loss of QB Ben Roethlisberger to a four-game suspension to get to a 3-1 start which included a home loss to the Ravens. The Steelers won six of their last seven games, including a road win at Baltimore for the division title. Roethlisberger Has thrown a personal-best 158 straight passes without an INT, the longest for the Steelers since QB Kordell Stewart had a streak of 159 consecutive pass attempts without an interception in 2001.

The teams split the regular season meetings, with the Ravens winning in Pittsburgh 17-14 in October, and the Steelers winning in Baltimore 13-10 in December.

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Would You Make A Sacrifice To See Ravens Win Saturday?

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Would You Make A Sacrifice To See Ravens Win Saturday?

Posted on 12 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

Before big games for local teams, Drew Forrester and I have a tradition on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST.

I’ll say something to Drew along the lines of “Hey Drew, would you give up golf for three months if the Ravens were to beat the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night?”

Drew will respond with something like “Glenn, would you exchange Maryland having a 6-10 ACC record for the Ravens beating the New England Patriots Sunday afternoon?”
Then I’ll throw out something silly like “Drew-how bout this? The Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday afternoon, but the Philadelphia Flyers win the next two Stanley Cups.”

And he’ll finish it up by saying “Okay Glenn, the Ravens win the AFC Championship Game; but you can’t go to Chick-Fil-A again until Training Camp.”

They’re goofy, they’re hypothetical and they don’t really mean anything.

It’s just two radio goofs doing a wacky bit on a morning show.

With the Baltimore Ravens again prepared to play an incredibly important game, we’re not going to be wacky anymore.

Instead, we’re manning up a little bit. In hopes of seeing a Ravens victory Saturday at Heinz Field, we’re going to be willing to make a sacrifice.

We’re not going to make a silly bet. It would be much to easy for us to call up to a radio host in Pittsburgh (like Greg Linnelli, who I happen to like a lot) and say something along the lines of “If the Ravens win, send me a case of Iron City. If the Ravens lose, I’ll send you a case of Natty Boh.”

We’re not doing that.

We’re not going to make some sort of weird bet about what we would do if the Ravens were to lose. Some folks might say something along the lines of “If the Ravens lose in the Steel City Saturday, I’ll wear a Hines Ward jersey to work Monday.”

That might make Matt Vensel smile; or certainly the Steelers fan who is in charge over at 105.7, but we’re not interested in any scenario that involves the Ravens losing.

So we’re not doing that either.

This city NEEDS a Ravens victory Saturday.

So we’re going to make a sacrifice in hopes of seeing a Ravens victory Saturday in the Steel City.

That’s why this Monday, Drew and I will head right down the street to the Royal Farms store on Providence Road in Towson. It’s just a Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin TD pass away from our location here at 1550 Hart Rd.

From 12-1pm, we will stand outside the store wearing sandwich boards that read…

“THANK YOU RAVENS” on the front, “FOR BREAKING THE FOUR DECADE LONG CURSE” on the back.

That’s it. We’re willing to sacrifice our time and our comfort (Weather.com says 38 degrees right now) if the Ravens win Saturday.

It means something to us.

We hope it means something to you.

We want to have you join us. You can bring your own signs, you can bring your own face paint, wigs, purple camo pants, whatever you want to bring.

It’s a holiday (Martin Luther King Day), so many of you will be off work or off school. For those of you who still have to go to work (we’re on the air Monday morning), we’re purposely doing this during lunch hour so you can take a few minutes to stop by.

Our friend Frank Schilling from Royal Farms has offered to chip in free coffee to keep everyone warm. We’ll have Ray Lewis Old Spice t-shirts to give away. There’s even a rumor that the folks from Tastykake will come by to give away treats as well (we’re working to confirm that right now).

We’re asking you to commit now to being a part of what we’re going to do.

We’re willing to make a sacrifice because Charm City needs this “psychological burden” (as Head Coach John Harbaugh explained Monday) lifted.

We’re willing to make a sacrifice, but it’s going to be fun.

But it’s all dependent on a Ravens win.

If they don’t win Saturday, it’s unlikely we’ll have gotten off the ground by Monday.

If they do, it’s ABSOLUTELY worth the sacrifice.

If you’re in, just let us know.

royalfarms

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I left “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” playing on a loop on my DVD player the other night, which means I’ve seen THIS scene play out about twenty times now since Thanksgiving. It hasn’t gotten old.

(Edit from GMC: You know damn well there’s an “F word” in this clip. Act accordingly.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk74WprmZxY[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says John Harbaugh didn’t intend to direct Tuesday night comments to all Baltimore fans

But there’s no doubt how folks in Charm City TOOK the comments, and that’s what Harbaugh is going to have to keep in mind moving forward.

I’m a little spent on Harbaugh comments following my column yesterday comparing him and former Ohio State coach John Cooper (you should go here and read it). I’ve talked to a number of football fans in town over the last 24 hours and there’s no question the comments stuck with fans.

I understand where John Harbaugh’s emotion came from Tuesday night. I understand that he’s as frustrated (if not more) than anyone in town right now.

But he HAS to be more respectful to fans-even when they’re insane. (Edit from GMC: Says the guy who loses his mind on football fans on a regular basis.)

It’s part of the job, whether he wants it to be or not.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Jameel McClain will appeal $40k fine

There’s no doubt McClain’s fine was a bit excessive for a first time offender who had no intent to hit Pittsburgh TE Heath Miller in the head. But something tells me the NFL has decided they need to make a statement in this case because the game was seen by a HUGE audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Make no mistake. This will absolutely be a significant issue as the NFLPA enters labor discussions this offseason and we head towards a potential lockout in 2011. If the league wants any concessions from players regarding revenue, they are almost certainly going to have to concede this outrageous fines even if they are simply trying to protect their players.

It’s not going to be an easy fight.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ed Reed believes Steelers WR Hines Ward deserved fine as well

Speaking of fine, here’s a picture of Danielle Dwyer. (Thanks Brosome via Busted Coverage!)

danielled

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens lost CB Prince Miller to Detroit Lions, signed CB Danny Gorrer to practice squad

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

-The Ravens return to the practice field at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today. Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, LB Ray Lewis and others are scheduled to address the media. We’ll have full coverage, so make sure you stay tuned to AM1570 WNST, follow us on Twitter (@WNST) and keep checking back at WNST.net.

-Did you miss Ravens TE Ed Dickson with Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Michael Bradley (Philadelphia Magazine)-who talked about his decision to not give his Heisman Trophy vote to Cam Newton with Drew Thursday
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From The Bleachers”, as Drew took a shot at Cam Newton winning the Heisman, and Glenn Clark took a shot at fans who don’t “get” the Army/Navy Game
  • Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News)-who went around the NFL with Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Barry Barnes (Fanhouse)-who went around the AFC North with Rex Wednesday
  • Jean Fugett Jr. (Former Washington Redskins & Dallas Cowboys TE)-who discussed the loss of Todd Heap with Rex Wednesday
  • Lee Hull (Terps WR Coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Steve Beck (Military Bowl Executive Director)-who discussed the Maryland-East Carolina matchup with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Mike Bauman (MLB.com)-who checked in with Thyrl Wednesday from the MLB winter meetings in Orlando
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday; including Dickson, Jameel McClain, Le’Ron McClain, Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Kelly Gregg
  • Post-game audio from Maryland’s win over UNC Greensboro last night; including Gary Williams, Jordan Williams, Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so make sure you take a few minutes today to check it out. You know you want to.

5. MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier says Orioles, Minnesota Twins could finalize deal for JJ Hardy today

Between this and Mitch Atkins, I’m not sure how the Birds CAN’T win the World Series next year!

If they’re still looking to make a splash before the end of the meetings, I have a suggestion for Andy MacPhail. Consider Alina Vacariu. (Thanks Guyism!)

vacariu

(Edit from GMC: UPDATE-CBSSports.com now says the deal is done. Hooray!)

6. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says O’s agreed to terms with Koji Uehara on one year deal

I don’t know if this has ever happened before, but if I were the Orioles I might go ahead and consider a ticker tape parade BEFORE Spring Training.

The Orioles made other news Wednesday, as they distanced themselves from comments made by Luke Scott in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.

I can’t imagine why…

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker respond to adversity as Maryland crushed UNC Greensboro

The Spartans stink. That being said, even they could beat Penn State.

Gary Williams said after the game he considered making lineup changes following the Terps’ poor offensive output against Temple in the BB&T Classic.

Cliff Tucker said he didn’t know he was starting until earlier in the day Wednesday.

Gary Williams WANTS to stick with Tucker and Bowie all season. Fans want to see Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard in the lineup.

What ends up happening will have everything to do with whether or not Tucker and Bowie can play with consistency over the next few weeks.

Maryland opens ACC play Sunday afternoon (4pm on Comcast SportsNet/Fox Sports Net) when they host Boston College at Comcast Center.

8. TowsonTigers.com says Josh Brown and Rashawn Polk scored 18 points each, but Towson couldn’t hold off George Washington in DC

A loss to the Colonials probably won’t impress anyone, but a six point game against GWU at the Smith Center is likely a sign of progress for Pat Kennedy’s team. One major problem from last night? They got just one point from Troy Franklin. I don’t think they’ll win many games that way.

Towson now heads to Catonsville next for a contest with UMBC at RAC Arena Saturday night. The Retrievers had a rough night last night, as they were pounded by Rider 81-39. I’d tell you something about that game, but what the hell is there to say?

9. The AP says Shane Walker & Robert Olson each scored 14, but Loyola lost to George Mason in Fairfax

Tough night for Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds last night at the Patriot Center.

In honor of the holiday season, I’m going to try to make some spirits bright here. Here’s a picture of Tehmeena Afzal. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

afzal

10. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terrapins Offensive Coordinator James Franklin finalist for head coaching gig at Vanderbilt

This COULD end up being helpful for Kevin Anderson and the folks in College Park.

James Franklin did a HELL of a job with Danny O’Brien this season. Should he leave for the Commodores, his leadership would be missed.

But the Terps have a MESS on their hands with this transition. Either they’re going to have to force Ralph Friedgen out and give the job to Franklin (which didn’t seem so unlikely a season ago), or they’re going to have to dish out a million bucks they don’t have.

If Franklin heads to Nashville, Maryland avoids that problem. Either they can extend Friedgen should he have another good season or they can hire whatever available coach they want to hire.

But bear in mind-the leadership at the University of Maryland WANTED James Franklin to be the next head coach. The move wasn’t just made to keep him from going back to Kansas State. They ABSOLUTELY thought Franklin represented what they wanted in a head coach.

It’s just become a much stickier situation than they originally expected.

And finally, I leave you with this.

Time for a few new versions of “The Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

It’s a Christmas edition this time around.

The retro version of TGSOATTW is “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds. WIN.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x33XlnWWfaI[/youtube]

The new version is the version of “Last Christmas” they did on GLEE. Please don’t judge me because I like this.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoNvv7hq364[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Stephen Curry threw a pretty ridiculous half court alley-oop to Dorell Wright last night in Oakland…

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says ‘rivalry week’ atmosphere setting in for Ravens at 1 Winning Drive

In fact, I heard that instead of giving away purple towels Sunday night, the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium will be handed t-shirts that read “Duck Fuke.”

Oh, me…

This really is the most exciting game of the year, there’s simply no other way to say it. You can tell from the moment you walk into the building that there is a different excitement and electricity to the week.

It’s palpable.

There isn’t quite the “hurry up and get past it” feel to this week that there was last week leading up to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, or the week before to the Carolina Panthers game.

This week there’s a “hurry up and get there, then please don’t end” feeling.

It won’t be this exciting again until January.

At least…we hope.

2. CSNBaltimore.com’s Joe Platania says Le’Ron McClain only Ravens player not practicing Wednesday

Which is a measure of good news for the Ravens considering all of the named on their injury report.

Dawan Landry was limited, but the rest of the guys were full participants. It would lead you to believe that McClain is the only player in SERIOUS jeopardy of missing Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Of course, if Michael Oher is suddenly missing from practice TODAY-whatever good news came yesterday gets IMMEDIATELY thrown out the window.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Terrell Suggs named AFC Defensive Player of the Month

Well deserved.

What honor comes from winning Player of the Month? THIS picture of Sandra Valencia. (Thanks Brosome via Busted Coverage!)

valencia

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says John Harbaugh dismissed Hines Ward handshake complaints

He handled the question better than I would have. My response would have been “Are you effing serious?”

It probably wouldn’t have been “effing.”

A few things before we move on from the Ravens…

-We’ll be back out in Owings Mills today as the Ravens return to practice. Coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST throughout the day, checking back here at WNST.net and following us on Twitter (@WNST).

-Did you miss NFL Network Insider Jason La Canfora this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today here at WNST.net to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Mike DeCourcy (Sporting News)-who talked early season college basketball with Drew Thursday
  • Our weekly Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From the Bleachers”-as Drew took a shot at “competition” and Glenn Clark took a shot at the Cleveland Cavaliers/Miami Heat buildup
  • Ralph Friedgen (ACC Coach of the Year)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Dave Miller (National Football Post)-who went around College Football with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Barry Barnes (Fanhouse)-who previewed Ravens/Steelers with Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Wednesday
  • All sorts of audio from Owings Mills Wednesday; including Harbaugh, Suggs, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Jarret Johnson and Haloti Ngata

It’s all in the Audio Vault…so…ENJOY! Thank me later.

5. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Orioles make offer to 1B Paul Konerko

And you guys HAVE to feel silly, because I already printed my World Series tickets back when they signed Mitch Atkins. You’re probably going to miss out.

The immediate rumors are that Paul Konerko is probably going to pull a Paul Konerko here. The O’s will offer him a bunch of money and he’ll say “thanks but no thanks.” The word is that because he lives in Arizona, he wants to play for a team that does (at least) Spring Training there.

My suggestion? The Orioles move Spring Training to Tempe. It would at least make me happy. Isn’t that what matters?

If Konerko turns down the money, the Orioles still have to go get SOMEONE. I’m not sure if they’re aware, but Adam Dunn is available. I haven’t heard about them offering him a contract, which is surprising-because he’s pretty good.

Someone should let them know.

6. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Birds could choose not to tender contract offer to Matt Albers

No matter what happens, Matt Albers HAS to return to Charm City. His fake Twitter account is amongst the best in town.

Of course, if Albers leaves town, the Orioles will need some bullpen help.

7. The AP’s Genaro C. Armas says Jordan Williams posted double double as Maryland won at Penn State

The Nittany Lions are SO bad I actually almost felt bad for Talor Battle for a second.

Empty arena in Happy Valley. Teammates that didn’t bother to come back out for the second half.

Wow.

This takes nothing away from what Gary Williams’ Terrapins did last night, as the Terps recovered from a terrible first five minutes to dispatch PSU easily.

It was absolutely what we expected them to do, but it was important that they did it.

The Terps return to action Sunday night when they face Temple at the Verizon Center in the BB&T Classic.

8. The AP says Isaiah Philmore’s buzzer beater lifted Towson past Western Michigan at Towson Center

For the first time in my life, I left the Towson Center last night saying to myself…

“What I just saw was really special.”

(Edit from GMC: No offense to 3 Doors Down, FUEL and Oleander-who put on a hell of a show at the Towson Center when I was in 12th grade. But this was better.)

Troy Franklin and Braxton Dupree did a hell of a job in leading the Tigers back from down 15 in the 2nd half, but it was the John Carroll product who delivered the dagger…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8alC-otdSrM[/youtube]

9. ESPN.com says San Diego State will be Navy’s opponent in Poinsettia Bowl

If I was Ken Niumatalolo, I probably wouldn’t care too much who my Midshipmen were playing…mostly because I’d be in SAN FREAKING DIEGO.

Other things I don’t care too much about? Anything to do with Jessica Burciaga that ISN’T this picture. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)…

burciaga

10. The Sun’s Katherine Dunn previews weekend High School Football championship games

And tonight’s first title game is Franklin-Wilde Lake (7pm, M&T Bank Stadium live on WNUV 54.)

I’ll go 26-16 Indians.

I know this much…North Harford isn’t there. That’s all that matters.

And finally, I leave you with this.

Here are my picks to win this year’s significant Grammy Awards (the nominations came out last night).

Album of the Year….Eminem “Recovery”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5-yKhDd64s[/youtube]

Song of the Year and Record of the Year….Cee-Lo “F*** You” (Language NSFW)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU[/youtube]

Best New Artist….Drake

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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A Batch of Facts about how the Ravens will beat Pittsburgh on Sunday

Posted on 30 September 2010 by Drew Forrester

It should be this easy on Sunday in Pittsburgh:  If you’re going to bet on someone, who’s it going to be:  Ray Lewis?  Or Charlie Batch? 

Right.  You’d bet on Ray, the Hall of Famer, over Charlie, the Hall of Lucky to Have a Job.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

As the Ravens have seen time and time again in Pittsburgh, you have to put together 60 minutes of football and you need all of your elements – offense, defense, special teams – clicking on all cylinders in order to have a chance to win. 

I think the Ravens are winning on Sunday.  Mostly, I think they’re winning because I don’t think they’re going to lose to Charlie Batch.  I’m fairly certain I’d be picking Pittsburgh to win if Big Ben were in their lineup.  But he’s not.  And I just can’t see Batch doing enough to beat the Ravens.

If the Ravens lose to Charlie Batch, they should walk home. 

I’m not going to go as far as calling Batch “semi-pro” the way Mike Preston of The Sun categorized the Browns as “semi-pro” last week…yeah, that same Browns team that took the Ravens to the final snap on Sunday.  But I don’t think Batch is good enough – or will be, over 60 minutes – to beat Baltimore. 

That said, I can also look back in the Ravens history under John Harbaugh and say, for sure, that Baltimore needs to play much better than they did in the Steel City in ’08 and ’09 in order to win there on Sunday.

First off, the most critical element of Sunday’s game from an offensive standpoint is for the Ravens to do three things:

A. Do not turn the ball over to Pittsburgh.  It isn’t about giving the Steelers offense the ball.  As the Ravens saw in the Jets game a few weeks back, if you turn it over to the other team and their offense stinks, you haven’t really done a whole lot of damage.  Here’s the problem in Pittsburgh.  When the Ravens have turned the ball over to Pittsburgh, they’ve given up points.  Go back to the 2008 Monday nighter when Joe Flacco made his Heinz Field debut and engineered the Ravens to a 13-3 halftime lead.  Early in the 3rd quarter, Flacco was sacked, lost the ball, and the Steelers rumbled into the end zone to begin their comeback.  Fast forward to the AFC title game later that season.  I won’t even mention the Polamalu pick at the end of the game that sealed the Steelers win because it makes my stomach turn.  

You just can’t turn the ball over to those guys in Pittsburgh because they make you pay for it.

B.  No matter how healthy Ray Rice is, the Ravens MUST use Le’Ron McClain as a tailback throughout Sunday’s game.  Rice is a great back, but he doesn’t punish anyone.  McClain is precisely the guy to use against Pittsburgh.  It’s not about how many yards he gets, it’s about how hard he runs and how many defensive players he can bruise along the way.  Using McClain early on Sunday might just be the tonic the Ravens need.  If he can run over a few Black and Gold defensive players, that could soften them up for the likes of Rice and Willis McGahee. 

C.  Flacco MUST get off to a good start in the first half.  He threw a pick in the first quarter of last December’s 23-20 heartbreaker at Heinz Field.  In fact, the one obvious achilles heel for Joe as a professional has been his inability to get off to a good start on the road.  Three regular season games stand out in 2009 — Joe was shockingly ineffective in the first half of three eventual road losses: at New England (losing 17-7 at half) at Minnesota (losing 14-3) and at Green Bay (losing 17-0).  Even this season, Joe’s performance in the first half of the games at New York and Cincinnati wasn’t very good.  It’s the one part of his game that still puzzles the staff and coaches in Owings Mills.  Why can’t Joe play well in the first half of road games?  This Sunday in Pittsburgh, his first half performance will once again be worth watching.  And for the Ravens to win, he’ll need to protect the ball AND make the throws necessary to keep the Steelers defense honest. 

Defensively, I expect the Ravens to pack 8 or 9 guys in the box and dare Charlie Batch and his receiving corps to beat them.  The only receiver who is a downfield threat – Mike Wallace – needs to be monitored, obviously, but Fabian Washington is healthy and certainly capable of going toe-to-toe with Wallace.  Hines Ward has always been a thorn in the Ravens’ side, but he’s not going to catch 10 balls for 110 yards and 3 TD’s.  That’s just not his style.  Pittsburgh has always built their offense on running the ball, even with Roethlisberger at quarterback, and Sunday won’t be any different.  If they run for 125 yards as a team on Sunday, they’ll probably beat the Ravens.  And I think the Ravens know that.  And I assume Baltimore will pack the box and say “you’re not running on us…have Batch beat us.” 

Special teams always seems to play a key role in Pittsburgh for some weird reason.  Go back to that aforementioned Monday night loss in 2008.  Sam Koch shanked a punt in the 3rd quarter (followed by a penalty from Jarrett Johnson) that gave the Steelers prime field position as they rebounded from a 13-3 intermission deficit.  True, that’s very un-Koch-like, but he can’t have one of those “oops moments” at Heinz Field this Sunday.  Two of Baltimore’s last three visits have been decided by a field goal — one of those coming in overtime.  Their field goal kicker – Jeff Reed – has made a living out of kicking well in a stadium that isn’t always kind to kickers.  The game this Sunday will be decided by LESS than 3 points, I believe.  That means Billy Cundiff will play a critical role. 

The final bullet-point for this Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh can go under the category of “play smart”.  You can’t win a game in that place if you make dumb mistakes, take ill-timed penalties and do stupid things at the worst time.  That means, among other things, you can’t hit a guy out of bounds after your punter shanks the ball (Johnson, 2008), you can’t hit a guy out of bounds after a kick-off (Darren Stone, 2009 AFC title game), you can’t get flagged for pass interference when the Steelers are on their own 5-yard line (Frank Walker, 2009), you can’t drop a pass when you’re wide open in the end zone with 5 minutes left in the game (Derrick Mason, 2010) and you can’t waste time-outs early in the 3rd quarter the way the Ravens occasionally have in the John Harbaugh era. 

To beat the Steelers, with or without Roethlisberger at the helm, you have to play at the highest level, especially in Pittsburgh where the football gods always seem to be dressed in Black and Gold.

I’m not changing my tune:  I can’t see the Ravens losing to Charlie Batch on Sunday.  If that happens, it will tell us much more about Baltimore’s team than Pittsburgh’s team.

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Perhaps, Michael Vick Just Won’t Get It ….

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Perhaps, Michael Vick Just Won’t Get It ….

Posted on 28 June 2010 by Rex Snider

While I’m not a passionate fan of Michael Vick’s play on the football field, I have been quietly rooting for him since last season’s return.

To be honest, my hope in seeing him overcome his past has no real tie to football or athletic achievements, at all. I’ve really hoped he would leave his sordid transgressions and the associated lifestyle in the rear view mirror, while proving to himself and others that he is indeed a “CHANGED MAN.”

Better yet, I thought Michael Vick could motivate a growing generation of adolescents who’ve made poor personal choices in their young lives. Maybe, just maybe, his story and ultimate rise from self-destruction would help others in an inspirational way.

There is just one “catch” ….. this anticipated story of a compassionate comeback needs to stay on track.

As recently as a couple weeks ago, things were looking very opimistic.

Today, I’m not so sure.

As the world now knows, Michael Vick celebrated his 30th birthday with a BIG BASH at a Virginia Beach nightclub, on Thursday night. It was promoted and advertised to the general public, via Facebook, Twitter and informal means.
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While some people might think that hosting parties and momentous celebrations are an expressed inclusion of our freedoms, many of us also realize that such events are an invitation to more than just dancing, drinking and eating birthday cake.

And, discerning between these two considerations is probably where Michael Vick screwed up.

I don’t care that he’s a convicted felon and federal parolee; I don’t simply assume he’s done something illegal. He’s paid his debt to society – he has every right to attend charity functions at Martins West, movie premieres in Hollywood and parties thrown in his honor.

However, a clearly distinct line distinguishes the difference between the “RIGHT” to do something, and whether it’s “RIGHT” to do something. I’m certain celebrities employ such decision making methods when considering their presence and involvement at events – both public and private in nature.

It doesn’t matter if they organize or host the event, if a BIG NAME is in attendance and something goes wrong, they’ll be forever tied to it. Just ask TMZ’s Harvey Levin …..

When is the last time this guy did something DUMB or ill-advised in a social setting?
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Good luck finding such an incident. You’ll likely search for days and still never find any smoking guns. And, there is a very plausible reason behind striking out on any quest in finding dirt on Peyton Manning – HE KNOWS BETTER.

Peyton Manning is aware of his image, reputation and obligation to an array of different people. The list includes …..
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His Team
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His Wife
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His Business Partners
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His Family’s Name
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I’m sure you see my point – even if you disagree. But, the names go beyond Peyton Manning. I’m confident this list of guys will not be arrested, accused of criminal conduct or attending a party where another attendee is SHOT, in 2010 ….. Drew Brees, Derek Jeter, Steve Nash, Donovan McNabb, Andy Roddick, Albert Pujols, Hines Ward, Tim Duncan, Jeff Gordon, Tom Brady, Joe Flacco …..

How about this ….. I can think of a list of guys who have endured legal troubles, while making some very poor choices in their respectives pasts. But, they’ve given us every reason to believe we won’t be seeing their name associated with crime and punishment, by year’s end. For me, the list starts with Ray Lewis.

It’s been a decade since Ray ran afoul of the legal system or found himself in a public meltdown of poor judgement. He’s way beyond such indiscretions – he values his reputation and image. He has plenty of company among those who’ve had troubles and overcame them, like ….. Kobe Bryant, Ricky Williams, Josh Hamilton, Kurt Busch, Bernard Hopkins, Brett Favre and Jamal Lewis.

Of course, the final group is those who’ve committed multiple transgressions. Arrested? Yes. Stupid decisions? Yes. Numerous occurences of one or both? Yes. These are the guys you’re most likely going to be hearing about during a BREAKING NEWS segment, early in the morning. This is where you’ll find Brandon Marshall, Elijah Dukes, Sidney Ponson, Marshawn Lynch, Mike Tyson, John Daly, Jeremy Mayfield, Cedric Benson, Allen Iverson, Matt Jones, Delonte West and Michael Vick.

Hey, it’s accurate.

Michael Vick may very well have intended to celebrate an innocent occasion, last Thursday. In fact, I’d be willing to bet on it. He doesn’t want to screw up – he doesn’t want to be out of a job – he doesn’t want to go back to prison. I honestly believe these things.

However, I also believe Michael Vick lacks the sensibility to dissect a proposed action or decision, while considering the ramifications of the FALLOUT if something goes wrong. That’s exactly what he should’ve done when the idea of his birthday party being held at a nightclub, and open to the general public was tabled.
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Why?

Well, there are a few reasons. Foremost, there is very little positive exposure to be gained in a nightclub environment. While nightclubs attract girls dressed in their sexiest wares, they also serve as a hotspot for people with checkered characters. Say what you will – Mike should be whoring himself to more “feel good” opportunities than President Obama, Tom Cruise and the CEO of BP, combined.

Another consideration is Michael Vick should not host, endorse or attach his likeness to ANY EVENT, unless he has direct control over it. I don’t care if a promoter really handled the party, its got the name MICHAEL VICK forever stamped to it. In the future (or in hindsight), he should celebrate his birthday with a party at home or in an establishment that can offer a respected reputation and a high degree of decorum.

If he wants to get CRAZEE and dance with some hotties, while fondling an expensive champagne bottle, he should have the party at home – and make all guests leave their cellphones at the door. Be assured, that’s what happens at Diddy’s house. And, he has much less to worry about than Mike does.

You don’t think Alex Rodriguez enjoyed the arrival of his 30th birthday? How about Ladanian Tomlinson? Dale Earnhardt Jr.? Shaq? They just make good decisions when it comes to enjoying themslves.

As we sit here today, Michael Vick has problems. He might not face any legal sanctions with his Probation Officer. But, I think that everything else is in limbo. I’d bet my HOUSE that a certain group of individuals are angry as HELL. They’ve attached themselves to Michael Vick and he has let them down. Of course, the most important one is obvious …..
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However, you can also include Jeffrey Lurie, Andy Reid, Tony Dungy and Arthur Blank. Each of them went to bat for him, helped him or had a HUGE part in giving him this most recent chance to make a living as a member of the National Football League.

What could they do differently, specifically ask “Michael, will you be celebrating your 30th birthday in a nightclub” ??? They should’ve expected that he would exercise better judgement. No doubt, they rightfully expected it from him.

With each passing hour, more and more details regarding the NIGHTLIFE of Michael Vick are surfacing. Welcome to the age of Twitter, Facebook and online tabloids. We now know Vick hosted parties in May, as well as April.

I wonder if dog fighting co-defendant, Quanis Phillips, attended those events. Probably not. Why did he attend this one? Well, it was held near his home. But, most importantly, he attended last Thursday’s party, because he could.

NOBODY and/or NO PLAN was in place to stop such a situation. And, if they did plan for it, they failed …. which is even worse, if you really think about it.

Thursday’s incident is a loud, distinct message to one of Michael Vick’s former endorsers, as if they have really considered resurrecting his marketability …..
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You can bet the folks in Beaverton, Oregon, are thinking one thing …. “MIKE AIN”T WORTH THE RISK.” And, if Nike is scared off, so is McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Visa and Under Armor. Like humans, corporations are known to forgive and reconcile, but they arguably take far less chances than people do.

Over the last few days, we’ve heard the typical “we will wait until all the facts are known before addressing the situation” line. It’s the SAFE thing to say …. and it may very well apply to the United States Justice Department’s role in the life of Michael Vick.

But, rest assured, NFL spokeman, Greg Aiello, was better off giving the politically correct statement, rather than saying “Roger is done with this experiment.”

As for the Eagles, did you expect them to say “Mr. Lurie is knee deep in trying to void Michael Vick’s contract.” Oh and “Jeff Garcia is visiting team headquarters, later this week.”

Perhaps, both Mr. Goodell and Mr. Lurie haven’t exercised such drastic measures. But, you can bet they’re not sitting on their hands while waiting for an outcome, either. Not a chance …..

They know what they need to know.

Michael Vick may never, EVER be involved in another incident of violence. He may never pose for another mugshot in his life.

But, he cannot be trusted to really think about a potential outcome to the hair-brained ideas of family, friends and cohorts. No doubt, he’s as spontaneously reactive to his cultural ideals as Paris Hilton is to shopping for shoes.

He’s evidently incapable of change. He is who he is …..

He just can’t be trusted to do the RIGHT thing.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I’m getting ready to head to Greensboro tomorrow morning (I know many of you will be devastated-practically unable to listen to “The Comcast Morning Show”-but Chris Bonetti will do an adequate job in my place), where I would LOVE to meet up with any Maryland fans who are making the trip. I would be MORE than willing to allow you to buy me 4-627 beers.

But also, I haven’t had a chance to talk about the Iron Man 2 trailer that debuted Sunday night on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. It was GLORIOUS…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siQgD9qOhRs[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST’.net’s Glenn Clark says Derrick Mason agrees to new 2 year deal with Ravens

Which gives the Ravens at LEAST a formiddable trio of receivers at the top of their WR depth chart. When they go 3 wide (which they usually do under Cam Cameron), they’ll have one of the toughest receivers in the league with Anquan Boldin, one of the most reliable receivers in the league with Derrick Mason and a receiver that they expect to be amongst the quickest receivers in the league in Donte’ Stallworth.

It’s a much more impressive group than most of the trios we’ve seen in Baltimore. In fact, it’s almost as impressive as Tiger Woods’ favorite trio…

howardstern

(Edit from GMC: With no offense to Howard Stern’s crew, I probably would have gone with Jamie Grubbs instead of Jamie Jungers myself.)

Is this one of the Top 3 receiving trios in the league now? No. I still think the Cardinals (Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Early Doucet); the Steelers (Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward, Mike Wallace/Antwaan Randle El); the Colts (Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Austin Collie/Pierre Garcon) and others still have better groups-but there’s legitimate argument that the Ravens have a Top 10 group.

Of course, maybe some fans who have already decided that they need to book hotel rooms in Arlington for next year’s Super Bowl should try to somehow temper their excitement. Teams have had really good offseasons before. In fact, there’s a certain team south of here that did it regularly….

skins

2. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens were out in full force to watch Devin McCourty at Rutgers Pro Day

I’ve had the chance to talk to Devin McCourty a couple times-he was hanging around Ft. Lauderdale the week of the Super Bowl and at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He clearly has a relationship with former Scarlet Knights teammate Ray Rice, who was hanging out in Piscataway yesterday as well.

The Ravens will ABSOLUTELY be looking for CB help in April’s NFL Draft. We know they at least LIKE McCourty, and they will likely bring him out to 1 Winning Drive for a look in the coming weeks.

3. ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports’ Gregg Rosenthal says Ravens/Steelers could be one of this years’s season opening Monday Night Football games

Which has to be the first time….ever….that a reputable reporter has sourced this man in his reporting….

bachman

Ray said via Twitter (@WNST) that Ron Jaworski (who is part of ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team) told a business group that the network wanted the game to help their season opening coverage.

As we know, NBC and the NFL wanted the Ravens to open last season at Heinz Field against Pittsburgh-but the brass at 1 Winning Drive requested they not have to play another primetime game in Pittsburgh.

It certainly would be better for these teams (who we expect to again be fighting atop the AFC North and/or for an AFC Wild Card spot) to play once during the middle of the season and again near the end of the season. BUT-having the league’s new “sexiest rivalry” in primetime would be good for both the league and their network partners.

For the sake of the Ravens, I just hope the game would be at M&T Bank Stadium.

4. The Diamondback’s Jakob Engelke says CB Nolan Carroll impressed NFL scouts at Pro Day in College Park

Obviously Bruce Campbell was the head turner, but NFL scouts were certainly in town yesterday looking to see what Nolan Carroll might be able to bring to the table. Carroll hasn’t been on a football field since breaking his leg in Week 2, and he was unable to get on the field for the Senior Bowl (or another All-Star Game) or at the Combine in Indy.

He’s expected to be a mid-to-low round choice, but has a higher ceiling than some may have expected. He’s a LITTLE bit taller than Domonique Foxworth or any CB on the Ravens roster-so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him make a visit to Owings Mills in the upcoming weeks.

5. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Greivis Vasquez could use ACC Tournament finals appearance, trip to Elite 8 to have realistic shot at tracking down Juan Dixon’s school scoring record

As Patrick has pointed out before, there really is something poetic about Dixon being the all-time leading scorer in Terrapins history. But if an ACC Tournament title and a trip to the Elite 8 are in the future, there probably would be something poetic about Vasquez passing him.

If they play 7 more games, it will take roughly 22 points per game for the senior from Venezuela. If he goes off for 40+ again at some point again like he did in Blacksburg, there will be a greater probability of this happening.

It will certainly be an interesting subplot to follow as the Terps move towards the NCAA Tournament.

Patrick also pointed out (after Paul in Hawaii asked me yesterday) that the Terps DID bring the gold uniforms with them to Greensboro, although they did not confirm whether or not they would be wearing them Friday night when they take on the Georgia Tech/North Carolina winner.

6. The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Gary Williams doesn’t feel like Greensboro a ‘neutral’ site

And obviously, it isn’t. BUT-no matter where they played the event, it wouldn’t be a “neutral site.” There’s an argument that maybe it could be moved around a bit more, but certainly Greensboro has been a solid “home” for the event.

Things didn’t necessarily work out for Gary’s team the one time they did get the event near here-as they bowed out to Clemson in the first round of the ACC Tournament when it was at the “MCI Center” (now the Verizon Center) in Washington, DC back in 2005.

7. Morgan State Official Site says Kevin Thompson lead Morgan State with 20 points, 16 boards in MEAC quarterfinals win over North Carolina A&T

The good news for the Bears is that they’ll now get a day off before having to face Hampton or Norfolk State tomorrow night in Winston-Salem. Especially seeing as how the Spartans took them to Double OT at Hill Field House just about 11 days ago.

If Kevin Thompson plays well, no one is beating Todd Bozeman’s team this weekend. There just isn’t a big man in the conference that can match up with him when he’s on his game.

8. The AP says Kareem Brown’s 16 not enough as Coppin State’s season ended with MEAC Tournament loss to UMES

It was a tough season for Fang Mitchell’s gang. Hopefully they will be able to move forward with the return of Jordan Lee and with the development of guys like Brown and Michael Harper. They’ll have to get some more reliable scoring, and they’ll have to get some real leadership, but Fang isn’t going anywhere-and the CSPEC should help them improve their talent.

And for any Eagles fan who is depressed about the season ending, I offer you a new picture of Megan Fox from Harper’s Bazaar, thanks to Guyism.com. This MIGHT be NSFW.

meganfox

9. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch says red hot Luke Scott tallied 2 more RBI as Orioles topped Pirates in Spring Training action

Insert your own gun joke here.

It is good for the O’s to get a win. Not really important, but you never want a team to get caught up in any sort of familiarity of losing-even if it is just during Grapefruit League play.

The Orioles return to action tonight in Fort Myers as they face the Twins. Kevin Millwood takes the mound against Scott Baker.

10. Examiner Jay Trucker says Mike Flanagan to join MASN broadcast booth

But apparently they’re still going to use the Eddie Murray/Brady Anderson/Mike Boddicker/Bill Ripken rotating color analyst group as well. AND Jim Palmer.

I guess they’re just going to give about any former Oriole a shot behind the mic this season. Which series do you think they’ll use this guy for???

jaygibbons

11. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck and Jeff Zrebiec say Ernie Tyler won’t return as Birds’ “ballboy”, instead choosing to remain in umpire room

Certainly the end of an era.

Tyler’s consecutive games streak at Memorial Stadium/Camden Yards ended in 2007 when he attended Cal Ripken’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony; but he’s continued to be one of the most recognizable figures at OPACY since then.

Congratulations to Tyler on 50 great seasons as “ballboy”, and good luck to him as he transitions into his new role.

12. SI’s Tom Verducci pens next Monday’s cover story about Matt Wieters

Which you should read, with or without pants.

Interesting note from “The Comcast Morning Show” this morning, as former MASN analyst and new Blue Jays TV PBP voice Buck Martinez told Drew Forrester that he believes Brian Matusz has “better stuff” than even Tom Glavine.

Wow.

And finally, I leave you with this.

I know it was a building full of history and whatnot, but seeing Yankee Stadium look like this can’t help but make me smile a bit….

yankeestadium

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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