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Blog & Tackle: Revisiting 2008 draft intrigue: Ryan or Flacco

Posted on 10 November 2010 by Chris Pika

With the focus this week on the quarterbacks in the Thursday night game – the Ravens’ Joe Flacco and the Falcons’ Matt Ryan, I was reminded of a piece I wrote after the 2008 NFL Draft evaluating SI.com’s Peter King’s reporting of draft-day intrigue involving the Ravens, Falcons and Rams.

Tuesday, King re-visited the 2008 NFL Draft weekend in his SI.com MMQB Mail blog on Tuesday, and he repeated his reporting from that time that the Ravens had offered St. Louis their first-, second- and fourth-round picks in 2008 plus a third-round pick in 2009 for the No. 2 slot in 2008, which King presumes the Ravens would have selected Ryan in that spot.

BaltimoreRavens.com writer Sarah Ellison made mention of King’s article Wednesday in her “Late For Work” blog on the club’s website, and it is worth mentioning that Kevin Byrne, the club’s VP of Public & Community Relations shot down that particular piece of reporting in his draft day blog of April 27, 2008. Byrne’s key observations in the “The Byrne Identity”:

I started thinking: Am I out of the loop on my team? I just left my guys and there was no indication this was happening. The reality: St. Louis was leaking info that the Ravens wanted the 2nd pick to select Matt Ryan. Why? They wanted the Falcons to react and give them a draft choice to move one space to make sure they got Ryan. Ah, the games continue.

I mention this here because the Flacco-Ryan debate and the choice both the Falcons and the Ravens faced was very hot in the days before and after the 2008 NFL Draft. It is my contention now that either quarterback would have achieved the same results in the other’s huddle.

Flacco was expected to be the “quarterback of the future” in Baltimore and back up either Troy Smith or Kyle Boller in 2008. With Smith’s viral infection and Boller’s shoulder injury, Flacco became the man earlier than expected and seized the job. Flacco inherited a playoff-ready club with a veteran defense in 2008, and did not have to carry the team with his arm.

Not so in Atlanta. The Falcons decision on who to take had far-reaching implications for a franchise in turmoil in the wake of the dual Michael Vick (indicted) and Bobby Petrino (abandoned team for Arkansas head coach job) sagas, as King reported in Sports Illustrated the week after the draft. Ryan had to beat out just Chris Redman for the starting job, and it was no secret that he was the better man very early in training camp.

Both Flacco and Ryan are solid quarterbacks and solid citizens. And because of the comparisons of both coming out of college, both are tied at the hip when anyone discusses the quarterbacks of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Since King re-visited the Ravens “offer” to St. Louis, you get a chance to re-visit my estimation on what actually happened that weekend. The key portions from my “Blog & Tackle” April 28, 2008 WNST.net blog “Interesting Moves And Disinformation”:

Now for the intrigue. (Kevin) Byrne said he had been in the Ravens’ draft room and that there was no indication of a deal working between Baltimore and St. Louis. His verdict was that St. Louis leaked the “trade” info to get the Falcons to move one space from No. 3 to No. 2 to secure Ryan and for St. Louis to gather picks.

Two things of interest here: Rams’ VP of personnel Billy Devaney was the former assistant GM of the Falcons until February of this year and (Peter) King worked from the Falcons’ media area in Flowery Branch and had access to the Falcons’ decision makers (who may have leaked or confirmed the “trade” details given by the Rams). Devaney, knowing his former bosses and some of the Falcons’ early draft plans, probably knew how to push some buttons in Atlanta.

The way it goes down is much like a poker game. The Rams call the Falcons and say in a nutshell, “Baltimore really wants Matt Ryan and has offered trade terms X. We are interested because Chris Long is our guy, we don’t need a QB and we could use the extra picks. What do you want to do? ” If you believe Byrne’s version, and I do, then the whole thing is a bluff by Devaney to get the Falcons to panic and jump one spot. In the end, Atlanta stood firm and the top three went off the board in the order most expected.

But regardless whether there was an offer or not, depending on who you believe, King’s final statement on the matter in his MMQB Mail piece Tuesday rings true for all involved:

So believe me, Atlanta’s happy Baltimore didn’t make the deal, and Baltimore’s happy the Rams didn’t take the deal. Baltimore has Flacco and Rice. Atlanta has Ryan. Both teams are living happily ever after.

Thursday night, both Flacco and Ryan lead their respective teams in what could be the best game of the NFL’s Week 10 schedule. But just for a moment, imagine Ryan in a Ravens jersey and Flacco in a Falcons one — would the paths the two franchises have taken since the 2008 NFL Draft been any different?

For up-to-date Tweets on the NFL and the Ravens, please follow me on Twitter (@BlogAndTackle). For more national NFL stories, please visit my personal site at BlogAndTackle.net.

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Week 6 Coach Speak

Posted on 14 October 2010 by Brian Billick

My broadcast partner, Thom Brennaman, and I had another tight game on FOX as Tampa Bay beat Cincinnati in the final seconds at home. The first five weeks of the NFL season have been hard to figure out, and I tackled some of what is going on in the league during this week’s Coach Speak for FOXSports.com.

I talked to the winning coach of the Tampa Bay-Cincinnati game, the Bucs’ Raheem Morris, about Tampa Bay’s fast start, the evolution of the Tampa 2 defense and what’s ahead for the Buccaneers. I also talked to John Harbaugh about the Ravens’ victory over Denver, and how Baltimore is preparing for a big AFC matchup at New England this Sunday.

In my Billick 101 segment, there is a lesson in how to execute a play-action pass from Falcons quarterback coach Bill Musgrave, and Giants special teams coach Tom Quinn shows how to block a punt.

I take a look at how the Giants managed, even with harsh fans and lots of media in New York, to rebound after a tough start to the season. There was never a reason to panic, and I hope the fans and media have learned a lesson in how NFL fortunes can change week-to-week.

Lastly, we check out the Never Say Never Moment of the Week, including Jason Campbell coming off the bench to give the Raiders a huge win at home over the Chargers.

Here is this week’s version of Coach Speak:

Coach Speak: Week 6

This week, because of the NLCS on FOX, Thom moves over to work with Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver, so I will team with Chris Myers to call Seattle at Chicago.

If you miss any of my appearances on the station this week, please check out the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to listen to all of the great interviews on WNST & WNST.net.

Talk to you next week …

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Week 3 Coach Speak

Posted on 22 September 2010 by Brian Billick

This week on the show I host on FOXSports.com, Coach Speak, I talk with Eagles head coach Andy Reid about his two quarterbacks, Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb, I give my best “never say never” moments of the NFL’s Week 2 schedule, we get a tutorial from Jets’ defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman on how cornerbacks use press coverage techniques, Chargers’ tight ends coach Rob Chudzinski tells us about San Diego’s two-TE formation, I give my thoughts about not panicking when you have an 0-2 start like the Cowboys and Vikings have right now and I talk to Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh about one of his favorite subjects this week — too much protection for the quarterback.

Make sure you catch my on-air visits each week talking about the NFL on WNST during the football season. Here is Week 3’s Coach Speak …

Video: Coach Speak: Week 3

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A Real Wise Guy .....

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A Real Wise Guy …..

Posted on 01 September 2010 by Rex Snider

Have you ever celebrated or relished in another man’s punishment? I had to consider this question for a few moments, before finally conceding a resounding “YES.”

I can recall, as a kid, nearly suffering convulsions by laughing so hard …. as the crybaby twirp, next door, would get chased around by his belt-wielding old man. I don’t recall what he did to deserve the snap of that leather strap, but it was funny ….

I can also recall numerous circumstances of realizing some delight in criminal punishments, like when a guy I arrested for drunken driving went to jail upon his conviction. Hey, it was only his 4th offense …..

And, most recently, I found a selfish satisfaction in seeing Santonio Holmes get suspended to start the NFL season. Of course, I have some distinct reasons for my joy ….

A) He’s a former Steeler

B) He won’t be playing against the Ravens in a couple weeks

C) He’s a former Steeler

However, I usually don’t realize much satisfaction when someone gets punished. For the greater part of any day, I don’t find a customary happiness when a person goes to jail, loses their job or suffers some sort of loss by disciplinary means.

I didn’t think it was funny (nor justified) when Renee Gork lost her job for wearing the wrong hat to a press conference. I didn’t celebrate Plaxico Burress’ incarceration for unlawful handgun possession. And, I found Rafael Palmeiro’s suspension on the heels of his 3000th hit to be a very sad event.

I honestly do find most punishments to be unfortunate events – and you can toss the situation involving Mike Wise into this category.

For those who are reading this blog and brainstorming the name “Mike Wise,” he’s the Washington Post writer who reported Ben Roethlisberger’s supposed FIVE-GAME suspension, via Twitter, on Monday.

As a result of that “tweet,” countless media members and entities conveyed the report to respective audiences around the country. You can count ME and WNST’S AFTERNOON DRIVE as a combined launching pad for Wise’s breaking information.

Was I right to report it? Sure.

I had every reason to believe the disclosure came from Mike Wise and he’s a respected, credible member of an established news organization. Indeed, it did come from him. But, he used Twitter to circulate the message, rather than the Washington Post website.

And, this is where the story gets a little blurry …..

Mike Wise never had information that Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension would be reduced to five games. He never had any information regarding Roethlisberger, at all. He created the entire story. He made it up. He lied.

As with many Twitter messages, Wise’s post reached several thousand recipients. Those same people “re-tweeted” the message and it spawned just like a virus. Of course, the primary conveyor of the message and its disclosure was the website, ProFootballTalk.com, which is hosted by Tom Florio.

When it reached PFT, the message was opened to the eyes of MILLIONS of people. Those same people are football fans. Thus, you can imagine the frenzy it caused.

You know what came next, right?

Mike Wise must have felt some heat or paranoia, because he went back to Twitter and sent out another message discounting his original disclosure on Roethlisberger’s suspension. He admitted that he made the entire story up.

Too late.

Major news organizations already passed it on, as did thousands of others with a public voice, like ME.

When this entire abortion exploded in Wise’s face, he went on the defensive and rationalized his reasoning for contriving the tale. According to Wise, he made up the original story about Roethlisberger’s suspension reduction to prove a point that social media sources, like Twitter, are irresponsible.

Sorry, Mike, that’s not good enough.

You see, on Monday, when I reported the Roethlisberger hoax, I uttered the words that would end up proving to be the undoing of Mike Wise. I said “according to the Washington Post” …..

Very few people know Mike Wise’s name in this market. Yet, EVERYBODY knows about the Washington Post. Whether we like their theme or overall content, we trust the Washington Post as a source of integrity and credibility.

When Mike Wise reports ANYTHING, he really represents the Washington Post. And, that’s the problem.

The Washington Post is embarrassed by this hoax and they have suspended Wise for his actions. I think the suspension is a justifiable reaction. But, I don’t take any pleasure in his discipline. I feel badly to that extent; Mike Wise has a family and financial obligations, just like the rest of us.

I certainly understand what he was trying to do. However, I also think he might’ve underestimated the credibility of actual media members who report their “scoops,” via Twitter and other social media thoroughfares.

Mike Wise could’ve made his point in another way. He could’ve done something that did not include his employer. Indeed, that’s where his entire plan went up in smoke.

In a bit of irony, Wise has stood vigilant in protecting his cause, which is his trust of social media. Yet, this entire ploy unraveled, because so many people actually TRUSTED him and the Washington Post.

Perhaps, he’s going to get a firsthand look at the actual fallout from mistrust.

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It's A Beautiful Weekend In Baltimore ... With $10,431 Collected So Far !!!!

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It’s A Beautiful Weekend In Baltimore … With $10,431 Collected So Far !!!!

Posted on 18 July 2010 by Rex Snider

We’re nearly 20 hours into our “Curing Cancer …. One Call At A Time” 24-Hour Marathon, at WNST.net, and we’ve been blown away by the kindness of our listeners.

With the night’s darkness vanishing and the sun brightening the sky, we are very proud to announce that we’ve broken the FIVE DIGIT threshold. As of 7am, we’ve collected $10,431 !!!!

I cannot begin to describe how this makes me feel. Your generous gestures of giving are symbolic of a community that cares about BALTIMORE. This is such a wonderful morning for everyone.

But, be assured, we’re far from hitting the finish line. We’re rocking the marathon until NOON. So, please …. if you have not made a donation, consider giving whatever amount possible. Regardless, of the donation – 100% of each amount will be donated to Harbor Hospital’s Cancer Center.

You can give by clicking here DONATE NOW

We’ve also received a very kind offer from our good friends, Curt and Shonda Schilling. They graciously gave $1000 to the cause. And, they promised to give an autographed, authentic “Curt Schilling Red Sox” jersey to anyone who matches the $1,000 donation …..

Once again, please just click on the above link to donate online at WNST.net …. OR feel free to drop off your donation (check or cash) at the WNST Studios, at 1550 Hart Rd., in Towson. As always, your donation is 100% tax-deductible and Harbor Hospital will provide a receipt.

We’re talking sports and collecting donations thru NOON today. It’s the “Curing Cancer …. One Call At A Time” marathon.

It’s all about helping people. It’s all about fighting cancer. It’s all about Baltimore.

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Blog & Tackle: Purple Haze On Draft Live Chat tonight

Posted on 22 April 2010 by Chris Pika

You know the drill if you are a fan watching the NFL Draft. Keep the remote close to flip back and forth between ESPN and NFL Network, have plenty of food and drink on hand and maybe a few football-crazy friends. Well, add opening your laptop to the list. Tonight, we will have the first of three Purple Haze On Draft live chats starting at 7:30 pm.

Purple Haze On Draft Live Chat

All of the WNST/WNST.net crew (hosts and bloggers) will be in the chat, and we will have at least 20 Twitter feeds from national media streaming in with the latest picks, trades and rumors. But most importantly, your comments are a big part of this. Let us know what you think the Ravens should do with their first-round pick, and which players you want to see in purple this fall.

Friday at 6:30 pm, we have a tripleheader on tap with the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft, the Orioles’ series opener in Boston and the Capitals trying to close out Montreal in the first round of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Saturday, the NFL Draft finishes up, and the Orioles take on the Red Sox.

It’s easy to be a part of the Purple Haze On Draft live chat. Just click here to enter, and starting at 7:30 pm, we will give you a new way to watch the NFL Draft with us at WNST.net.

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The Orioles & Andy MacPhail - 5 Mistakes In 3 Years (Part III of V) ....

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The Orioles & Andy MacPhail – 5 Mistakes In 3 Years (Part III of V) ….

Posted on 16 April 2010 by Rex Snider

Well, here’s the third installment of the five-part series. As I’ve indicated, these “mistakes” are in no particular order, regarding importance or timeline.

As always, I look forward to your input …..

Mistake #3 – The Disappearance Of Peter Angelos

I’m certain a few readers saw today’s title and immediately thought …. “damn, Rex, you criticize the guy for being too meddlesome and now you’re giving him a hard time for taking a back seat.”

That’s not my perspective, at all. So, I want to extinguish any such interpretations, right away.

I’ll readily admit my feelings regarding the origin of the Orioles demise, which really began nearly 14 years ago. And, I do think Mr. Angelos has a substantial, if not, primary role in creating the environment of habitual losing that exists today.


We know the history of the Angelos-era, and I’ve certainly written about my views on Mr. Angelos’ meddling during the 1996 season and the domino-effect that resulted. Thus, there is no need to rehash a recent blog – it’s right here …..
Regardless of how I try to spin this impression, I’ll still be admonished by the few who think I’m beating up on a convenient and downtrodden target. Nope, not at all. I simply think Mr. Angelos has conformed his presence from one extreme to another.

And, I don’t understand it.

First, let me make this very clear – I think Peter Angelos has been treated poorly by a large contingent of “baseball fans” who take their BASEBALL way too seriously. We’ve seen it with other sports, as well. Some folks allow their love and passion for the game to cloud their approach to LIFE. They become hateful and juvenile …..

And, such fans have ended up disparaging a man, beyond his professional ties to Orioles baseball.

Now if you’re sitting back and saying to yourself “Rex, you work FOR and WITH two guys who’ve rained hate on Peter Angelos,” I will wholeheartedly disagree with your assessment. And, it has nothing to do with loyalty. I’m allowed to SAY what I desire, period. WNST ownership gave me two CARDINAL RULES when I was hired – DON’T LIE and DON’T BREAK FCC RULES. They’ve kept their word.

But, lets take a look at the two WNST personalities who have less than amicable relationships with the Orioles …..

Nestor Aparicio – He has some strong, animated feelings regarding Peter Angelos. But, I’ve never heard him stray in his criticism of the Orioles owner. It’s always spirited toward the ballclub and not the personal life of Mr. Angelos.

Drew Forrester – I know Drew, and he’s a guy who doesn’t take this stuff too seriously. He doesn’t judge people and he certainly doesn’t cross the line into personal vices. He has a strained relationship with Greg Bader. Does he disparage Greg? Does he say hateful things about him? NO. He simply gives his side of the relationship.

But, fans have a way of crossing the line. They get hateful and mean. In fact, I had one such caller make that mistake, on Wednesday.

A gentleman called the “Rex & Ray Show” and proclaimed that Peter Angelos is a “bad person.” He suggested karma was catching up to Mr. Angelos for living a “bad life.” I stopped him in his tracks. I asked if he knows Mr. Angelos, personally. The answer was “no.” I asked if he had first hand knowledge of Mr. Angelos as a FATHER, BROTHER, HUSBAND or FRIEND. Again, the answer was “no.”

Thus, I told the caller he had no way of knowing Mr. Angelos’ character as a person. He was excersing nothing less than reckless, contrived judgement.

But, this is the treatment Peter Angelos gets. Is it fair? Of course, not. Yet, is it a good reason for basically vanishing from the public eye, as an Orioles official? Nope.

And, this brings me back to my original point …..

Where is Peter Angelos?

I’m certainly happy he’s relinquished daily operations and authority to Andy MacPhail – if that’s accurate. But, I still think Mr. Angelos has a very public obligation to the baseball fans in this city – and to the very people who purchase his product.

Does he attend games? Does he have a genuine interest in the ballclub’s 2010 season? I don’t know. Do you?

In many instances, Peter Angelos is distinctly compared to the owner of Baltimore’s other professional sports franchise …..

From the perspective of success and overall fan reaction, Steve Bisciotti has “lapped” Angelos in the race for Baltimore’s affection. That’s what winning will do for you.

We all know Steve Bisciotti is a bit reclusive, himself. He doesn’t do many interviews or issue regular public statements. He’s not hob-knobbing with Ravens fans or posing for photos with pretty girls after swigging down a few beers.

But, we know he enjoys a cold bottle of beer.

We know he LOVES his team and attends EVERY game.

We know he’s fond of his family and his ordinary roots.

And, we certainly know he LOVES Maryland Basketball …..

It goes beyond their interests. Steve Bisciotti ensures ALL MEDIA have access to him, at least one time, per season. He ensures fans have rewarding experiences at Training Camp and M&T Bank Stadium. You know he’s there !!!!

Where is Peter Angelos? When is the last time he spoke with the assembled media? That’s how fans get their information. That’s how fans get a sense of ownership’s direction and commitment to winning.

God bless Andy MacPhail. But, he doesn’t own the team. And, he doesn’t control Peter Angelos. Fair enough. But, Andy hasn’t really obliged local media very often, either.

That’s right, they’ve got a POLICY against that. Don’t worry, that topic is coming soon.

I heard more from Ozzie Newsome during Tuesday’s “Liars Lunch” than I’ve heard from Andy MacPhail in the last year. And, Andy’s team is ON THE FIELD right now.

But, it goes back to Peter Angelos.

I shop at Home Depot, but I always prefer going to family-owned Ace Hardware franchises. There is no chance I’ll see Home Depot’s owner in the paint department. But, I’ll probably see a hardware store owner if I stop in for a few odds and ends.

The same applies to clothing stores, grocery stores and other types of retailers.

Peter Angelos owns a local retailer …..

Yet, I can’t help but feel he’s as far removed as the CEO of Home Depot. Regardless of what he does behind the scenes – he’s ABSENTEE to Orioles fans.

It gives me the feeling he doesn’t care ….. about ME, as a patron.

Being unpopular is no exuse, either. It’s his team – and we’re HIS fans.

We deserve better.

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Monday's PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 05 April 2010 by Chris Bonetti

Suggested Reading

SportingNews.com:  Outstanding TSN College Hoops columnist Mike DeCourcy suggests, “Don’t believe all the David-Goliath nonsense.” And you know what?  I agree, Mike.  In fact, not only will I take the Bulldogs and the 7.5 points, but I’ll pick Butler outright.  Just saying, the Monday night National Championship Game is the easiest big-time sports ticket to get your hands on.  You better believe all those West Virginia and Michigan State fans’ seats will be occupied with folks from Indy rooting for Butler.  If this game is tight with four minutes to go, it’ll be great to watch Duke’s Big 3 try to score against the stingy Bulldogs’ defense in front of a hugely pro-Butler crowd.  Butler has won 25 games in a row and hasn’t allowed any opponent in the Tournament to score more than 59 points.  If guard Shelvin Mack, who battled leg cramp issues, and center Matt Howard, who had concussion like symptoms, are ready to roll 100 percent with Gordon Hayward, Duke gets over that 60-point watermark, but it won’t be enough to prevent coach Brad Stevens’ team’s 26th straight win.

SI.com: College Basketball columnist, Andy Glockner breaks down tonight’s title tilt position by position in, “Title game matchup: Duke vs. Butler.”

NY Times: Kevin Armstrong takes a closer look at the off-court statistics of Duke and Butler in, “For Butler and Duke, a Very Public Affair.” They are the first two private schools to meet for the National Championship since Villanova-Georgetown 25 years ago.

USAToday.com: Bob Kimball dissects Tiger’s press conference from The Masters this afternoon in, “Tiger Woods speaks: Praises fans, apologizes to fellow pros on Tour”

ESPN.com: Sal Paolantonio looks back at McNabb’s career in Philadelphia in, “Eagles decide McNabb’s time is up.”

SI.com: A weekly must read, Peter King’s, “Monday Morning Quarterback: How the McNabb-to-Redskins trade impacts the rest of the NFL, draft.”

FanHouse: Kevin Blackistone unfortunately tells us about Matt James, an All American football recruit headed to Notre Dame in September, whom fell to his death while on Spring Break with friends in Panama City, FL this past weekend in, “An ‘Incredible future’ ends needlessly.”

ESPN.com:  Boxing columnist Dan Rafael says, “It’s time for Hopkins and Jones to retire,” after their bout this weekend in Las Vegas, won by Bernard Hopkins via unanimous decision.

Video of the Day

There’s been a lot of talk about DaSean Butler’s knee injury and its aftermath Saturday night with Bob Huggins consoling his senior, whom turned out to have a torn ACL and sprained MCL.  An odd sight sure… but a definite true sign of a coach’s compassion for his player.  I loved it; thought it was great.  However, I do have a HUGE problem with something.  The way Butler was carried from the floor was utterly UNACCEPTABLE!  How can a team physician and training staff not immobilize the knee in any way and allow two other players to carry their teammate of the floor with his leg just dangling, knocking against the ground with every step.  Jeez, further damage can be done so easily in that situation.  Unreal.

Tweets of the Day

The President of the United States, Barack Obama – BarackObama

Opening the 2010 baseball season with the first pitch at Nationals Park today.

The Trips Tab at WNST.net – WNST

News: Capitals Playoff Puck Bus now on sale via TRIPS tab: Join the WNST “Rock The Red” Baltimore crew for an “all… http://bit.ly/bBMlhb

The Trips Tab at WNST.net – WNST

News: Yankee Stadium bustrip for Wednesday, May 5 matinee now onsale: Miller Lite presents another WNST Orange Roa… http://bit.ly/dDqKYD

ESPN MLB Columnist, Jayson Stark – jaysonst

Nationals haven’t allowed 11 R on Opening Day since . . . well, last year . . . when they gave up 12 to Florida. Quite a tradition.

SI MLB Insider, Jon Heyman – SI_JonHeyman

just asked lasorda in lunchroom why padilla started today. “i dont know. you know how many people asked me that question?”

New York Times College Basketball Columnist, Pete Thamel – PeteThamelNYT

Just talked to a Butler official who said that the players went to their 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. classes today. Back for 12:30 film.

WNST NFL Correspondent, Chris Pika – BlogAndTackle

Butler-Duke tonight would be a game I’d like to see Jim Nantz lose his voice, and CBS go to the bullpen for Gus Johnson.

FoxSports.com College Basketball Columnist, Jeff Goodman – goodmanonfox

Fran Fraschilla, according to sources close to the situation, has withdrawn from the Iona opening.

SI.com NFL Columnist, Peter King – SI_PeterKing

I like the trade. Helps both teams. Lets Reid move on with kid he thinks could be ARodgers. Gives Shanny top-12 QB to play aerial game.

Former Ravens, Browns Scout and friend of WNST, Daniel Jeremiah – MoveTheSticks

Theory for the Eagles must be to let Kolb and the other young skill guys grow up together. That way they hit their prime at the same time

ESPN NFL Insider, Chris Pika – Adam_Schefter

McNabb has 3rd-highest winning percentage among active quarterbacks (83-45-1, .647) behind Manning (119-59, .669) and Brady (88-25, .779).

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On The Verge Of An Apocalypse .....

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On The Verge Of An Apocalypse …..

Posted on 01 April 2010 by Rex Snider

I can readily admit that magazine covers have always caught my attention …..

From the famous teasers, including Cindy Crawford, Jenny McCarthy and Amanda Beard ….. to the fairly anonymous models, like Amanda Paige and Kara Monaco, I’ve always anxiously awaited a new edition of Playboy for one specific reason …..

Yup, to see who appears on the cover.

A book or magazine really can be judged by it’s cover, right? That’s why an editor carefully sorts through prospective captured images – to find the one most likely to SELL. That’s exactly why famous (or sometimes infamous) female celebrities claim the front of an occasional Playboy.

Such exposures are timed appropriately and the model holds some degree of relevance, at the time they claim the cover.

Consider this prime example …..

Say the folks at Playboy had a choice between Olympic gold medalist, Dara Torres, and one of the final female contestants to get booted off this season’s American Idol, for a pictorial and cover of Playboy’s June issue. Who would they choose?

I can firmly go on record that I’d personally choose Dara Torres – she absolutely does IT for me. Yet, I’d bet Playboy would go the opposite way.

They don’t care about their own personal preferences.

While I’m certain Dara Torres would yield alot of views if she ever posed for Hugh Hefner, I’d be willing to bet the female who finishes highest on this season’s edition of American Idol, would sell substantially more magazines if she posed for Playboy – just one month after she was eliminated from the show.

While both women are attractive, the latter is just more relevant, RIGHT NOW.

The same rationale applies to other major magazines …..

Like Rolling Stone !!!!

How about that? The hottest new show on TV claims Rolling Stone’s cover, this week. Where the hell is Metallica? Jay Z? Rihanna? Muse?

That’s the way it goes, huh?


Whatever the exact reason, you can bet cover models have an absolute relevance with the target audience, as well as the desired demographic for a particular periodical. Indeed, the readers OR viewers OR listeners really dictate who graces the cover of the material they purchase.

Alas, the reasoning is not always positively spirited, right?

If you watch Entertainment Tonight or browse websites, such as TMZ, you’re pretty familiar with how badly Jesse James has screwed up his marriage and overall personal life. As a result, this week, he’ll get a fresh reminder whenever he walks into a convenience store.

No doubt, Jesse is in a “bad way” right now. Yet, the moment he pops into that 7-Eleven on the corner of Sunset & Highland Avenue, in Hollywood …..

Or the Easy-Mart, in Flagstaff …..

Or the freakin’ Pauline Food Center, in Topeka …..

‘Ole Jesse James will get a firsthand reminder of just WHO and WHAT he sacrificed, a few short weeks ago …..

If you’re wondering “where is Rex headed” with this diversion from sports blogging? It’s simple …..

For the past couple days, we’ve been forced to keep a secret under our hats, so to speak. While a huge public exposure has never been a desire of myself or Ray, we’re not likley to turn down free publicity.

We were recently humbled by being selected to represent EVERYONE who sits behind a microphone with an ambition of entertaining the people of Baltimore. Was it a surprise? Umm, yeah …..

Not only did we get selected, but the folks who bestowed such an honor on us, have graciously allowed us to share the news with WNST.net’s loyal audience, before anyone else in Baltimore finds out. Pretty cool, huh?

Regardless, I’ve wondered why a famed and respected hometown magazine would choose a couple homegrown kids to highlight it’s newest monthly issue. Maybe, they’re mistaken ….. or maybe, they find us “salacious”.

Who knows?

We’re just happy to be making history – and after just 8 weeks, together, on the radio …..

Then again, perhaps, these fine editors just concluded we’re the hottest and freshest product to hit Baltimore, in a long time.

Regardless of whether we suck.

We got the cover, baby. That’s all that really matters. If we keep this up, Nestor might be taking a page outta Ozzie Newsome’s book and locking us up for years to come.

And, if that’s the case, Ray will finally get some new tires and I’ll be getting those dearly desired hair plugs. Indeed, we’re true, blue Baltimore Hillbillies. And, we’ve got vision.

If you want a hard copy, the issue hits stores and newsstands, next Tuesday. Thanks, Baltimore Magazine – we really appreciate your confidence in us and this overwhelming gesture of exposure …..

But, don’t despair ….. YOU’RE RIGHT …..


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Tuesday With Rex & Ray .....

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Tuesday With Rex & Ray …..

Posted on 30 March 2010 by Rex Snider

It’s Tuesday, so that means we’ll welcome Allen McCallum in-studio for a couple hours of prime baseball talk. We’re less than a week away from the start of the Major League Baseball season, and it’s time to breakdown the Orioles prospective roster. 

We’ll discuss the announcement regarding the Orioles final spot in the starting rotation …..

In addition, we’ll take a look around the American League, and provide our thoughts and predictions for each division. Hey, it’s the only opportunity to work the Kansas City Royals into the conversation. Who wins the AL EAST, CENTRAL and WEST? We’ll provide our analysis and certainly invite your input, as well.

Of course, at 4pm, we make our daily detour for the ‘NST NEWS – which is brought to you by our friends, at Liberty Tax Service of Brooklyn Park …..

If we’re hitting TODAY’S quirky and lighthearted news topics, you know CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS are included, right? A wide collection of celebs celebrate a birthday, on March 30th …..




Of course, we’ll also cover the biggest events in history and monitor the breaking souces, in the event another member of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs afoul of the law.

It all starts at 2pm !!!!

As always, follow REX & RAY on Twitter, as well as the new REX & RAY page, on Facebook !!!!

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