Tag Archive | "Jamal Lewis"

Reliving Super Bowl XXXV glory means so much more to Baltimore

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Reliving Super Bowl XXXV glory means so much more to Baltimore

Posted on 23 October 2010 by Luke Jones

We’re always told not to live in the past in all walks of life, and the devotion to our sports teams is no exception.

It’s the same accusation we spew toward our adversaries in western Pennsylvania who constantly bring up their team’s six Super Bowl rings — particularly the four won in the 1970s — as a measure to claim their superiority over Baltimore and its fans. We should always be looking forward instead of celebrating past achievements in the rear-view mirror, right?

In contrast, Baltimoreans tend to romanticize the 2000 season in which the Ravens rose from relative anonymity in their fifth season to capture the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The feat emphatically recaptured Baltimore’s place in the National Football League after a 12-year absence had left the tradition-rich city without an identity — or professional football.

The lackluster offense and poor quarterback play that led to a five-game touchdown drought left those Ravens with a mortal 5-4 record before embarking on an 11-game winning streak to close the season as the top team in the NFL. It’s the ultimate case study that has provided hope in nearly every season since, as fans overlook the Ravens’ deficiencies — such as the current team’s lack of a pass rush and offensive struggles against the cover-2 defense — and point to the midseason struggles of the 2000 edition as reason for optimism.

Never mind that the 2000 team was perhaps the anomaly of all abnormalities in terms of NFL greatness, with a record-setting defense and an offense that simply succeeded in staying out of its own way. In many Baltimoreans’ minds, if lightning struck once, it can happen again, and the Ravens’ decade-long run of defensive dominance certainly contributes to that rationale.

But 10 years later, it’s clear to see how much that Super Bowl title really meant to the Charm City, in terms of short-term elation and the writs of passage it provided for generations of Baltimore football fans.

Entering the 2000 season, the Ravens had existed for four years but were more a civic novelty than an entrenched part of the local community. That’s not to say Baltimore hadn’t adopted the new football team immediately, but it was a new and different passion that had yet to be fully cultivated. Needless to say, the Ravens weren’t exactly a juggernaut in their early seasons and were just coming off their first non-losing season (8-8) under new coach Brian Billick in 1999.

Baltimore was still very much a baseball town as the Orioles were just finishing up their third straight losing season since playoff appearances in 1996 and 1997. The city had not experienced a major professional title — with apologies to the USFL’s Stars and the CFL’s Stallions — since 1983.

As we know, Baltimore’s feel-good story over the time period was the individual achievements of Cal Ripken, Jr., the local son and Hall of Fame shortstop who helped save baseball in 1995. It was a remarkable story in which the city took an immense pride, but it did not coincide with the championship success we all craved.

In retrospect, the timing of the Ravens’ championship march would prove perfect as the football team took its place as the toast of the town, with Ripken retiring less than nine months later and the Orioles slipping further into the abyss they’ve now painfully occupied for 13 years.

A new love affair was officially born on Jan. 28, 2001. (Video courtesy of the official site of the Baltimore Ravens)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNkzd4hZ9FE[/youtube]

The memorable plays and players have been immortalized through the magic of NFL Films and the current era of media in which we live, at times skewing our initial perspective because we’ve watched those moments again and again.

What we will never forget, however, is how that team and that championship made us feel — as a city and as individuals.

Watching Billick, owner Art Modell, quarterback Trent Dilfer, and Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis standing on that podium in Tampa to receive the trophy from NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue — a major antagonist in Baltimore’s struggle to regain a team — was the ultimate source of restitution. It was a scene older generations of Baltimore fans thought they would never again witness and younger generations never thought they would enjoy at all.

It was for our grandfathers and fathers — or even ourselves — who had wept in the early morning of March 29, 1984 as the Mayflower vans left Owings Mills on their trek to Indianapolis. That championship did not erase the intense pain of losing the Colts, but it signified that Baltimore would be more than alright in the years to come.

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Ten years later, the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV championship also reminds us of our own mortality. Two members of that team, fullback Chuck Evans and offensive lineman Orlando Bobo, are no longer with us. Linebacker and special teams standout O.J. Brigance now suffers from ALS, but still inspires the current Ravens and the entire community with his immense courage.

On a personal level, we reflect on those we’ve lost in the 10 years since that wonderful experience. More than the dominating defense or the bruising running style of Jamal Lewis, I remember the giant bear hug shared with my father during the final seconds of that game as two generations celebrated the accomplishments of the Ravens.

Our football team.

Sadly, Dad passed away less than four years later, but that moment is forever entrenched in my soul, as I’m sure similar moments are shared by others throughout the region.

Other than the heartwarming story of last year’s Super Bowl champion Saints and what it meant to the city of New Orleans after the devastating fallout from Hurricane Katrina, you’d have a difficult time arguing that a Super Bowl title ever meant more to a city than that championship meant to Baltimore 10 years ago.

It connected generations of old Colts loyalists to younger fans who relished the stories but were desperate to have their own legacy in Baltimore football history.

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Super Bowl XXXV this weekend and welcome back that cast of characters that brought us so much joy, hopefully we cherish just how special that championship really was.

We’ll remember the upper deck shaking at then-PSINet Stadium as the Ravens completed an early-season 39-36 comeback victory over Jacksonville (a team they had never beaten in four years), an early precursor of glory to come later that season.

Flashing before our eyes will be the image of Jermaine Lewis running down the sideline — pointing to the heavens after losing his infant son Geronimo only weeks earlier — and removing any doubt that the New York Giants could stage a comeback.

Perhaps we’ll even remember the raindrops falling on our heads as more than 200,000 people flocked downtown for the victory parade just two days after the Super Bowl triumph.

Or maybe we’ll simply think of that long, euphoric hug like I will, perhaps shedding a few tears.

A decade later, it seems like only yesterday watching one of the greatest defenses in the history of the NFL do their thing.

But more than anything, we’ll never forget how that team made us feel.

To relive memories of the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV victory, visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear interviews with countless members of the championship team including Peter Boulware, Michael McCrary, Jamal Lewis, Matt Stover, Rod Woodson, Jamie Sharper, and many others!

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Jamie Sharper: If we had a guy like Flacco…it would have been a nice little run”

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Jamie Sharper: If we had a guy like Flacco…it would have been a nice little run”

Posted on 22 October 2010 by Ryan Chell

Jamie Sharper

Former Ravens linebacker Jamie Sharper will be one of 35 Ravens coming back to Baltimore Sunday to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the franchise’s 34-7 victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, and catching up with Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Thursday, he had some thoughts on not only his team ten years ago, but he was able to diagnose John Harbaugh’s 2010 team as well.

He liked what he saw ten years ago from Brian Billick’s team, and he likes the look of the 2010 Ravens as well.

“I’ve definitely seen them,” Sharper said. “I saw them last year, watching them on TV. I caught them up in New York for the Jets game, and it’s a good defense. They keep the big defensive lineman in there with Ngata and those guys, trying to keep Ray free as much as possible.”

“I think the only thing they don’t have is those shut-down corners, but they make up for it in that scheme.”

Sharper was of course a pivotal part of the Ravens record-setting defense back in 2000-2001 which allowed a record-low 165 points, and formed one of the best linebacker trios in NFL history combining himself, former first-round pick and sack master Peter Boulware, and the eventual Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.

Sharper was a second-round pick by the Ravens

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Edwin Mulitalo has second chance to re-live Ravens Super Bowl in celebration

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Edwin Mulitalo has second chance to re-live Ravens Super Bowl in celebration

Posted on 22 October 2010 by Ryan Chell

Edwin Mulitalo
Former Ravens guard Edwin Mulitalo didn’t have many regrets during his time in Baltimore.

He loved the team, he loved his teammates, and he loved Baltimore. Mulitalo is one of many players from the Super Bowl XXXV team that still continue to entrench themselves in the Baltimore area and community.

But one of his few regrets was in January 2001, when the Ravens reached Tampa and defeated the New York Giants, 34-7 to bring the Ravens their first ever Super Bowl and the first championship to Baltimore in 30 years.

Obviously he wasn’t disappointed with being there. He just kicks himself every day for not living it up in Tampa figuring the event would happen to him again.

During the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Mulitalo-then a second year offensive lineman out of Arizona-said he didn’t take as much time to enjoy the festivities leading up to the game itself, something he told Rex Snider Wednesday that frustrates him to this day.

“I wish I could have soaked it in and enjoyed it more like some of the older guys did like Tony Siragusa and Mike McCrary,” Mulitalo said.

“I looked at them and said, ‘Man, they’re really enjoying this’. I was so uptight as a second-year guy that I was trying to focus.”

Mulitalo is currently residing in Utah and is the offensive line coach at Herriman High School in Utah, and while still following the Ravens, desperately hopes to coach one day at the college level-preferably in Utah for BYU, Weber State, Utah, or Utah State.

“Hopefully I can help one of those teams and move on from there,” the Ravens guard said.

Multialo was of course a key part in the running game that allowed rookie Jamal Lewis to rush for 1,364 and six scores. He along with franchise tackle Jonathan Odgen formed a solid duo on the left side of the Ravens offensive line for years until Mulitalo left to play for Detroit this last two years of his career in 2007-2008.

Mulitalo will be one of close to 35 Ravens

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 20 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I get to name a couple new “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

Have you heard the new Kings of Leon CD “Come Around Sundown”? NO? This is no one’s fault but your own. You’re missing “The End”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B-t-WDRuXQ[/youtube]

And in the “retro” category, TGSOATTW is my current Facebook status (add me as a friend by searching “Glenn Clark” and clicking on the best looking guy you find). It’s the amazing “Hunger Strike” by Temple of the Dog…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjNjJR9jUGo[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather fined $50,000 for hit on Ravens TE Todd Heap

The more you looked at the hit, the more you realized he was very deserving of being HEAVILY fined. Meriweather’s hit was ABSOLUTELY in the “cheap shot” realm-the type of hit that the NFL will be looking to lay out a suspension for moving forward.

With Heap having come back into the game Sunday-it appears as though he’s fine and it seems like we can move forward from Brandon Meriweather-gate.

Now-and a tip of the hat here to KDKA in Pittsburgh-the league IS doing something right in cracking down on hits where a player leads with his helmet. In order to that, it is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE and frankly downright SHAMEFUL that they are currently selling this picture of James Harrison’s fine inducing hit on Mohamed Massquoi…

harrison

In their “NFL Photo Store.”

The league should be absolutely ASHAMED.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says John Harbaugh thinks “execution” cost Ravens in loss to Pats, not “conservative” play calling

Maybe I should just leave this one alone.

Of course…I won’t.

John Harbaugh is ABSOLUTELY right in this case. The Ravens’ failure to execute on big plays-mixed with New England’s consistent execution-were why the Ravens lost the game Sunday.

Sadly, Cam Cameron had nothing to do with Billy Cundiff kicking the ball out of bounds, or Le’Ron McClain’s personal foul, or Tom Brady finding Rob Gronkowski for 24 yards on 1st and 25, or Chris Carr not catching a Zoltan Mesko punt.

Those plays lost the game Sunday.

But that’s the end of it. As of this moment, I’m not discussing it any more.

I promise.

I think.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Trent Dilfer, Jonathan Ogden, Jamal Lewis, Michael McCrary, Rod Woodson amongst those expected in attendance for Super Bowl XXXV anniversary celebration Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium

The shame is that the entire team can’t be there. Brandon Stokley (Seattle Seahawks WR) has a game Sunday and Shannon Sharpe, Brian Billick and Tony Siragusa are broadcasting for CBS and FOX. Unfortunately, the Ravens do not have a home game this season that isn’t on a Sunday, so there really isn’t a game where the schedule would work out better.

And I’d like to take this time to honor these guys as well. To do so, here’s a picture of Petra Silander. Thanks Guyism!

petras

4. Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams says annual Ravens-Redskins game possible if NFL adopts 18 game schedule

Which means I’ll have an annual opportunity to be flamed on Deadspin. Count me in!

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

-The Ravens return to work at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today, and we’ll of course be back out there with full coverage. Ed Reed and Brendon Ayanbadejo are scheduled to return to the practice field; and we’re expecting to hear from Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice and others while we’re out there. Stay tuned to AM1570 WNST, follow us on Twitter @WNST and make sure you’re checking WNST.net throughout the day!

-Did you miss Yahoo! Sports NFL analyst Jason Cole Wednesday 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 have a listen. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Rich Dubroff (Carroll County Times)-who talked Ravens with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Jay Jaffe (Baseball Prospectus)-who talked ALCS and NLCS with Drew Wednesday
  • Matt Hendricks (Washington Capitals Forward)-who talked puck with Drew Wednesday morning
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Tuesday afternoon’s edition of “The MLB Report” with Rex and Allen McCallum
  • Mike Goldberg (UFC Play by Play Voice)-who joined Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report” to preview Brock Lesnar-Cain Velasquez Saturday at UFC 121
  • Othello Henderson (Former UCLA and NFL safety)-who joined Thryl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” after being named as accepting money from Josh Luchs in last week’s SI story

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so make sure you check it out today. Of course you’ll want to thank me later for planning your day. I accept my Thank You’s in the form of CASH.

5. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish won’t be an option for Orioles

Hear that sound? That’s the sound of me ripping up the World Series tickets I had already purchased for 2011.

Eh. Maybe instead Andy MacPhail and the Birds will spend their money on a real pitcher like Cliff Lee. I mean, I know they won’t-but it’s early and I’m tired. I guess I must be dreaming.

While we’re on the O’s, I wasn’t NEARLY as worked up about the Robinson Cano home run last night as some fans were. I giggled thinking about Jeffrey Maier, but it certainly didn’t anger me.

I love seeing the New York Yankees lose-TRUST ME on that. I was grinning from ear to ear. But unless it was Tony Torasco standing in Right Field, it wasn’t going to bother me that the Yanks got a questionable call.

If it had been Tony Torasco; I would’ve walked around Perry Hall Middle School completely dejected today just to remember the feeling.

6. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says O’s prospect Ryan Adams named Player of the Week in Arizona Fall League

Unfortunately, Ryan got the bad news today that winning this award in the AFL DOESN’T mean you get a date with Kimbyr Leigha. Thanks The Smoking Jacket!

leigha

7. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Danny O’Brien to start at QB for Maryland again Saturday against Boston College

And it looks like Ralph Friedgen is going to try to get Jamarr Robinson to learn the “Josh Portis Package”, so hopefully Robinson will actually take some time and learn the playbook.

Sticking with O’Brien seems to be the best way to go for the Terps, as he looks like he’ll give them the best chance to win. My guess is that a win won’t come against a tough Eagles defense Saturday in Chestnut Hill; but he might give them a chance to win next Saturday against Wake Forest.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says new Terrapins AD Kevin Anderson guaranteed more than $400,000 this season

It’s a little bit more than Debbie Yow was making, but I think that was to be expected. The salary might also say something about why they went with Anderson for the top job in College Park instead of one of the rockstar names (UConn’s Jeff Hathaway, Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione) who probably make more money staying where they are.

I feel like if I were putting together a contract for a significant job, it would read more like a concert rider than it would a real contract.

“Mr. Clark requests 4 Vitamin Waters and a table of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in his suite for every game at Byrd Stadium.”

Sure it would probably cost me some cash, but it would be freaking AWESOME.

9. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Navy will be without kicker Joe Buckley Saturday against Notre Dame

You don’t expect that this will make a difference against the Fighting Irish, but given that the last three games in the series (including two wins for the Midshipmen in South Bend) have all been decided by six points or less, this clearly COULD have an impact.

The bigger issue will be whether Ricky Dobbs and the Mids’ offense is back on track after a big second half against SMU. If so, this is certainly a winnable game in East Rutherford Saturday.

10. CAASports.com says Towson basketball picked to finish 10th (of 12) in CAA

But there’s good news! Despite being picked 10th, the Tigers still get to look at this picture of Melissa Satta…

satta

And finally, I leave you with this.

Hat tip to Deadspin for this one. Somebody is WAAAY too excited about something that happened in Madden 11. (Language is ABSOLUTELY NSFW!!!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P0yfq2wDvU[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (21-40)

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (21-40)

Posted on 26 August 2010 by Luke Jones

With Sports Illustrated releasing its list of all-time best NFL players by jersey number this week, I decided to look back at the 15-year history of the Baltimore Ravens to construct a list of the greatest players for Nos. 1-99.

Numbers 1 through 20 included greats such as Matt Stover and Ed Reed as well as lackluster selections such as David Tyree and Wally Richardson.

Part two (21-40) provides a few interesting debates with a few more selections of attrition.

21 Chris McAlister (1999-2008)

The paradoxical cornerback’s exit under the new regime of John Harbaugh was unfortunate, but there was no questioning McAlister’s talent when his mind was focused on football. The three-time Pro Bowl selection (2003-04, 2006) is the best cornerback in franchise history.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjj5OA1I5UU[/youtube]

McAlister will eventually be a part of the Ring of Honor, where he will become the second honoree to wear No. 21, but the only deserving one. Earnest Byner had a good NFL career in Cleveland (with the exception of “The Fumble”) and Washington, but he being the first member of the Ravens Ring of Honor is solely a product of Art Modell’s affection for the running back.

22 Duane Starks (1998-2001)

McAlister’s counterpart receives the nod in a close race with cornerback Samari Rolle. Starks lacked consistency in his four-year career with the Ravens, but his play reached new heights during the team’s postseason run that ended with the Lombardi Trophy in Tampa. Starks intercepted two passes in the AFC Championship and returned a Kerry Collins attempt the other way 49 yards for a touchdown in the Super Bowl (check out the 0:46 mark below).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW5vor6kZ4c[/youtube]

23 Willis McGahee (2007-present)

McGahee’s career in Baltimore has declined after a 1,200-yard season in 2007, but the veteran runner easily tops the list of players to wear the number, which includes Moe Williams, Jamaine Winborne, Earnest Hunter, and Dameon Hunter.

Though no longer a premier back, McGahee can take consolation in a certain moment in Oakland last season.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxTQAqB8Q0Q[/youtube]

24 Domonique Foxworth (2009-present)

Despite playing only one season with the Ravens so far (and missing his second with a torn ACL), Foxworth’s performance in 2009 trumps the likes of Corey Fuller, Donny Brady, Alvin Porter, and 2006 third-round bust David Pittman.

25 Chris Carr (2009-present)

Despite a number of players wearing the number, Chris Carr wins out over inadequate cornerbacks such as DeRon Jenkins, Evan Oglesby, and Clarence Love.

26 Rod Woodson (1998-2001)
Woodson

The veteran transitioned from cornerback to safety and earned three trips to the Pro Bowl during his four-year stay in Baltimore. Dawan Landry deserves a mention and Priest Holmes wore the number his rookie season, but Woodson is the unanimous choice here.

27 Ray Rice (2008-present)

Safety Stevon Moore was one of the few competent members of the Baltimore defense in the early years, but Rice’s breakout 2009 campaign makes him a slam-dunk choice for No. 27. Entering his third season, Rice hopes he can make the number as synonymous with Ravens football as No. 52 and 75.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4-nT1WNuik&feature=related[/youtube]

28 Gary Baxter (2001-04)

McAlister wore the number his rookie season and Tom Zbikowski is making a name for himself, but Baxter was a solid member of the Baltimore secondary before ditching the Ravens for Cleveland, where his career was essentially ruined by patella tendon tears in both knees in 2006.

29 Chester Taylor (2002-05)

Taylor was a dependable backup in 2004 and 2005 when Jamal Lewis’ body began breaking down. His performance eventually earned him a nice payday in Minnesota before the Vikings drafted Adrian Peterson. Two players deserving posthumous recognition are safety Eric Turner and fullback Chuck Evans. Terry Allen also wore the number in the running back-starved season of 2001.

30 Obafemi Ayanbadejo (1999-2001)

With Eugene Daniel and Jamel White his only real competition, the man with probably the coolest name in the history of the franchise earns the honor despite spending the latter half of the Super Bowl season on Injured Reserve.

31 Jamal Lewis (2000-2006)

With a bruising style unlike any other, Lewis was an unstoppable force in 2003, rushing for 2,066 yards and a then-record 295 against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2. In his prime, Lewis was the type of runner defensive players were afraid to tackle. He is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuN3hN8j8L8&feature=PlayList&p=7FFF13B94FD79303&index=0&playnext=1[/youtube]

32 Sam Gash (2000-02)

The veteran fullback led the way for Lewis in his rookie season and is the most deserving of a group of backs that includes Musa Smith and Errict Rhett. Gash was the epitome of an “old-school” fullback.

33 Le’Ron McClain (2007-present)

Some will argue Priest Holmes as a deserving choice for this number—the first back to have a 1,000-yard season in team history in 1998—but McClain’s two Pro Bowl selections and improbable 2008 season in which he rushed for 902 yards earn him the honor.

McClain

McClain’s running style reminds you a little bit of Bam Morris, another back to wear the number in 1996 and 1997. Unlike the troubled Morris, however, McClain has managed to keep his nose clean, literally and figuratively.

34 Ovie Mughelli (2003-06)

Though he was a late bloomer in Baltimore, Mughelli grabs the brass ring with his only real competition being Jay Graham and current return man Jalen Parmele. The latter still has an opportunity to stake a claim in the future, but Graham’s injury-riddled career fell off a cliff after rushing for an amazing 154 yards in his first career start in 1997.

35 Corey Ivy (2006-08, 2009)

Despite his small stature at 5-foot-9, Ivy was a steady nickelback with the ability to blitz effectively. His standout moment with the Ravens came during a dominant 27-0 win over the Steelers in 2006 in which the defensive back grabbed an interception, sacked Ben Roethlisberger, and forced a fumble. Ivy edges Robert Bailey, the nickel during the 2000 season, and fullback Carwell Gardner (1996).

36 Jim Leonhard (2008)

B.J. Sams was a good return specialist for four seasons with the Ravens, but Leonhard personified the Ravens’ underdog season in 2008 in which they advanced to the AFC Championship game with a rookie head coach and quarterback.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQh3PngyyWw[/youtube]

The undersized safety’s play was a major asset in place of the injured Dawan Landry and earned him a nice contract with Rex Ryan and the New York Jets the following season.

37 Bennie Thompson (1996-1999)

Deion Sanders earned the most attention with his two-year stint in Baltimore, but Thompson was a special teams standout during the infancy of the franchise. Thompson played the game with the crazed demeanor needed to launch oneself into the wedge of the opposition’s return team. Thompson earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 1998 for his special teams prowess.

38 James Trapp (1999-2002)

Despite being an ordained minister, Trapp is remembered most for being ejected from a game in 2002 after stomping on the head of Steelers receiver Plaxico Burress, a move many in Baltimore didn’t mind a bit. Trapp was a quality backup in the Ravens secondary for four seasons and edged out the likes of Antonio Langham, Mike Anderson, and Raymond Walls.

39 Alan Ricard (2000-05)

After much painful debate, I decided against Daren Stone, the culprit of one of the dumbest penalties in franchise history, as the all-time No. 39.
stone

Ricard was the lead blocker and a Pro Bowl alternate in Jamal Lewis’ record-breaking 2003 season and was a great fullback for several seasons.

40 Cory Ross (2006-07)

Though he wore the number for just one season (switching to No. 34 in 2007), Ross filled in for injured return specialist B.J. Sams during the latter portion of the 2006 season, which was enough to earn the distinction for a very insignificant number in team history.

Cory Ross

The deceased Kenyon Cotton and current bubble defensive back K.J. Gerard are the only other competitors in an underwhelming group of No. 40s.

Next up: For numbers 41 though 60, we’ll find who grabbed the honors for No. 46 and 48 (Impressive if you have names off the top of your head), and I’ll end the suspense surrounding the pick for No. 52. Here’s a hint: it rhymes with Lay Rewis.

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (1-20)

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (1-20)

Posted on 25 August 2010 by Luke Jones

With Sports Illustrated releasing its list of all-time best NFL players by jersey number this week, I decided to look back at the 15-year history of the Baltimore Ravens to construct a list of the greatest players for Nos. 1-99.

Some jersey numbers provide for good debate (Sam Adams or Jarret Johnson for No. 95?) while other integers provide quite the challenge to simply produce a warm body (Who was your favorite No. 46 to suit up for the Ravens?).

Some choices are obvious, others might anger you, and a few will make you say, “Who?” but let the debate begin.

1 Randall Cunningham (2001)

There was really no other choice here. Some Ravens fans are still hollering for Brian Billick to replace Elvis Grbac with the veteran backup.

2 Anthony Wright (2002-05)

No one will forget Wright tossing four touchdown passes to little-used receiver Marcus Robinson, as the journeyman quarterback engineered the greatest comeback in franchise history against the Seattle Seahawks in 2003.

3 Matt Stover (1996-2008)

Never mind the fact that he’s the only player to sport the number 3 in franchise history. There is actually a Stover tribute video on YouTube.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIxu_XtNNn0&p=C92451BE03B3F6A3&playnext=1&index=28[/youtube]

4 Sam Koch (2006-present)

With apologies to the current Ravens head coach’s brother Jim, who played quarterback for the Ravens in 1998, the current Ravens punter is the clear choice for No. 4.

5 Joe Flacco (2008-present)

The franchise quarterback won three playoff games in his first two seasons in the league. Not a bad start.

6 Steve Hauschka (2008-09)

Yes, I’m well aware of this…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6w8marhWJ8[/youtube]

The only other option here was J.R. Jenkins, the kickoff specialist in 2002. On second thought, Jenkins really got some distance on those kicks!

7 Kyle Boller (2003-08)

I realize most have already clicked back on their browser window after these last two picks, but the former Cal quarterback is still the franchise leader in total passing yards.
Boller
I’m not sure you were aware, but I once heard he could throw the football through the uprights. From the 50-yard line. On his knees.

8 Trent Dilfer (2000)

Flacco may be the toast of the town in 2010, but he has some work to do before making anyone forget about this guy.
Dilfer

9 Steve McNair (2006-07)

Many remember his poor playoff performance against Indianapolis in January 2007 and his miserable final season in Baltimore, but his arrival in 2006 helped orchestrate the best regular season record (13-3) in franchise history.

10 Eric Zeier (1996-98)

A punting performance by Kordell Stewart in 2004 and the brief hero-worship of Stoney Case in 1999 earn bizarre mentions here, but Zeier had six 100-plus quarterback rating performances and three 250-yard games in his three-year career in Baltimore. Height (listed at 6-foot-1) prevented the Georgia quarterback from getting a legitimate chance as the starter.

11 Jeff Blake (2002)

The former Bengal is the clear-cut choice here, but no one will forget him chuckling with Steelers coach Bill Cowher moments after tossing an interception in the end zone in the final seconds of a loss at Pittsburgh in 2002.

12 Vinny Testaverde (1996-97)

One of the most maligned quarterbacks in NFL history, Testaverde still owns the finest passing season in franchise history when he threw for 4,177 yards and 33 touchdowns in 1996.

Tony Banks gets consideration here with his five touchdown passes in the Ravens’ thrilling 39-36 comeback victory over Jacksonville in Week 2 of the 2000 season, a pivotal moment in the history of the franchise. Things fell apart quickly for Banks before eventually being replaced by Dilfer several weeks later.

13 Eron Riley* (2009-present)

Research indicated no player has worn No. 13 in the regular season for the Ravens. Riley wears the number on the preseason roster and was a member of the practice squad a year ago.

14 Wally Richardson (1997-98)

The pride of Happy Valley, Richardson was the third-string quarterback for two seasons and threw for one yard on two career attempts in the NFL.

15 Dave Zastudil (2002-05)

The front office took heat for drafting “The Weapon” in the fourth round of the 2002 draft, but Zastudil was a quality punter for four seasons before signing with the Browns.

16 Yamon Figurs (2007-08)

Tremendous speed that produced two touchdown returns his rookie season, but Figurs could never put it to use as a receiver.

17 David Tyree (2009)

Shayne Graham immediately takes this distinction if he makes the 53-man roster next month, but receiver Matt Willis (2007) was the only other option for this number. Besides, you may remember Tyree for something else a couple of years before his brief stop in Baltimore…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-aKfTK2LiM[/youtube]

18 Elvis Grbac (2001)

Other than Boller a few years later, no player faced the wrath of Ravens fans quite like Grbac. The former Pro Bowl quarterback came to town with intense pressure to lead a repeat in 2001, but Grbac had no chance when Jamal Lewis was lost for the season after tearing his ACL early in training camp.
Grbac
He went down in flames against Pittsburgh in the playoffs and retired a few months later, but name a quarterback who would have won with Terry Allen and Jason Brookins as his feature backs that season.

19 Johnny Unitas*

Yes, I’m well aware Johnny U never played a down for the Ravens, but did you really think I could put this guy on the list?
Mitchell

20 Ed Reed (2002-present)

A nanosecond-long nod goes to the Super Bowl-winning safety Kim Herring, but Reed is the easiest choice among the numbers previously worn by other players. The ball-hawking safety is unquestionably one of the greatest free safeties in the history of the game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVgUpwxR8Qg&feature=related[/youtube]

Next up: Find out which member of the Ring of Honor didn’t make the cut as I reveal the greatest Ravens for Nos. 21-40.

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Ravens Now Forced to Work Past “Black Cloud” Feeling

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

WESTMINSTER, Md. The last 10 days have been troubling for the Baltimore Ravens, but they’re not unprecedented.

The team has gone into a season with Super Bowl aspirations and seen things go wrong very early before. Nine years ago, the Baltimore Ravens went through one of the toughest Training Camp stretches they have experienced in their short history.

On consecutive days, the team lost Pro Bowl OT Leon Searcy (triceps) and reigning 1,000 yard rusher Jamal Lewis (knee) during practices at McDaniel College. The injuries left the team without two of their most significant offensive weapons entering a season where they had replaced their Super Bowl winning QB (Trent Dilfer) with a new starter (Elvis Grbac) they had hoped would ignite what was at times a dismal offensive football team.

As the season went on, it felt as though the Ravens never really moved past those initial blows. The offense showed little improvement, the teams rotated through replacement running backs, and were eventually dismissed from the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Steelers after earning a Wild Card berth on the final night of the regular season.

“You knew we had a strong chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions with (Lewis) as our workhorse” then Ravens WR Qadry Ismail told me. “However, when he went down it really became a challenge to keep guys’ spirits up to make that special run.” Ismail-now a radio color analyst for the team-went on to add “it felt like there was a black cloud over us with those two injuries.”

Ravens Senior VP of Public and Community Relations Kevin Byrne agreed, adding that the losses were more significant considering the team had made investments specifically for the purpose of upgrading the offense.

The loss of CB Domonique Foxworth to a season-ending torn ACL and LB Sergio Kindle to a head injury that will cause him to miss an indefinite timeframe hurt this Ravens football team both on and off the field.

The injuries hurt the team off the field because it is easy to get caught up in the negative things happening around the team. Injuries have piled up at individual positions-leading Foxworth to say to the media Friday that (secondary coach) Chuck Pagano “needs to go to church more or something.”

The injuries hurt the team on the field because they had definitive roles and were being counted on to carry a heavy load for the team. Foxworth returned as the team’s top Cornerback after a tremendous stretch to end the 2009 campaign, and Kindle was expected to play behind Jarret Johnson and help improve the team’s pass rush.

Both were expected to be important parts of a unit looking to improve on the 200+ yards per game allowed through the air a season ago.

The 2001 Ravens proved to be resilient off the field; but the on-field losses of Searcy and Lewis ultimately proved to be too much for the team to work past. The combo of Kipp Vickers and Sammy Williams couldn’t keep Grbac on his feet; with Randall Cunningham eventually forced to replace the injured QB. The Ravens rotated Terry Allen, Jason Brookins and Moe Williams at running back, with none tallying even as much as 700 yards.

The 2010 Ravens will almost certainly have no trouble surviving off the field; as coach John Harbaugh and LB Ray Lewis were amongst those who quicky pointed out that all teams must face adversity in the preseason. Harbaugh said “it happens to every team…there’s always bumps in the road.”

He’s right, as every NFL team will go through some sort of injury of off-field issue before Week 1. Not all will be teams with real Super Bowl aspirations, and not all will lose their top player at CB or their first pick in the NFL Draft. However, all teams will go through some sort of trouble. Seasons will be defined by how each team responds to the off-field trouble they find.

The 2010 Baltimore Ravens will look to move past their own current “black cloud” feeling with a team that is built much better to overcome injuries. While the team isn’t loaded with top talent in the secondary; the likes of Fabian Washington, Lardarius Webb (as long as he’s healthy), Chris Carr, Travis Fisher, Walt Harris and Cary Williams give them a veteran presence. They will not necessarily be forced to rush out and find the best free agent CB’s available-where names like Frank Walker and Fred Smoot are unlikely to give them the type of security necessary in the secondary.

The team is much more likely to allow their group of veterans (as well as 2nd year safety KJ Gerard and rookie Prince Miller) sort out the available jobs in the secondary. None are “the answer”, but all are potential contributors.

The Ravens will be hurt by the losses, but they are in much better shape than the 2001 team was to move past them.

With that being said, they could certainly use a break from the “black clouds” that have hung over Westminster.

-G

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Jamal Lewis on 2010 Ravens: “It’s Really Up To Them How Far They Want to Go”

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Jamal Lewis on 2010 Ravens: “It’s Really Up To Them How Far They Want to Go”

Posted on 22 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

Jamal Lewis
Jamal Lewis has taken a ton of hits over the years as a between-the-tackles running back in the NFL for the last decade, and he feels like he is ready to move on to other more fortunate-and safer-endeavors in his life.

Lewis, the Ravens’ all-time leading rusher, spent the last three seasons with the Cleveland Browns after the Ravens released Lewis in February of 2007.

After being released by the Browns in February, Lewis and a business partner just recently invested in a hotel and water park in Columbus, Ohio called Fort Rapids Indoor WaterPark Resort.

Before tackling business propositions, Lewis was the anchor of Brian Billick’s offense from 2000-2007, in which Lewis ran for 7,801 yards in six seasons after Baltimore drafted Lewis out of the University of Tennessee with the fifth pick in the 2000 NFL draft.

In his rookie season, Lewis quickly usurped Priest Holmes as the starter, and was heavily leaned on in the Ravens’ Super Bowl run in 2000, as he recorded 1364 yards and 6 TDs in 13 starts.

His success forced the Ravens not to resign Holmes, who quickly left to have a great couple years in Kansas City. It was only after that decision to not resign Holmes that Lewis tore his knee in training camp, and the Ravens, with no running game in 2001, failed to defend their Super Bowl title as quarterback Elvis Grbac was asked to put the offense on his shoulders.

You all know how that worked out.

After coming back healthy, Lewis’ best year came in 2003, when Lewis was basically the Ravens’ offense. He became the fifth running back to reach 2000 yards rushing in a season, joining the likes of O.J Simpson, Terrell Davis, Eric Dickerson, and Barry Sanders.

He added fourteen touchdowns that year, and also set a then-single game rushing record, when he rushed for 295 yards against the Browns( recently broken by Adrian Peterson of the Vikings against the Chargers).

He earned the Offensive Player of the Year Award, as well as the NFL Writers Association MVP Award( the AP NFL MVP went to Peyton Manning and Steve McNair that year.)

And with Chris Johnson of Tennessee joining him in that elite company last year, Lewis said that Johnson would certainly be a guy he would build his team around based on his pure athletic ability.

“I’d take him just because of his speed,” Lewis told Thyrl Nelson of WNST Thursday. They’re giving him the ball, they’re throwing the ball to him on the outside, he can run with it. He can score probably from anywhere on the field due to his speed.

And he even threw a little respect to a current Raven running back as well as Johnson.

“Him and Ray Rice, those would be my two guys.”

No running back in NFL history has ever rushed for 2000 yards in consecutive seasons, but if Lewis feels like anyone can do it, Johnson can, but it’s not going to be easy, he said.

“To go through a 2000 yard season, it’s a lot of work first of all. It’s a lot of yards, but we call it miles. It’s a lot of miles on the body. It’s a lot of hits.”

“It is possible to go in and run for another 2000 yards, but it’s going to be way much harder than it was to go and try and do that. Guys are going to key on you, and defenses are not going to let you come in and just run over them. They already know what you’re capable of.”

And that’s what opposing defenses did to Lewis after 2003.  Lewis’ numbers, and his popularity in Baltimore, began to dip over his final years as a Raven.

The following year, he barely reached 1000 yards in 12 starts, and for the first time in his career, he missed a 1000 yard season in 2005 as ankle problems stopped the shifty, bruising running back’s ability to cut and hit the hole.

And despite reaching his potential in his final year as a Raven in 2006, getting back to 1132 yards rushing, the Ravens saw his 3.4 yards per carry as a concern and decided to go another route, releasing their franchise leader in rushing yards.

Lewis wore out his welcome in Baltimore fast despite his earlier success due to his contract concerns, his poor production and decline at times on the field in his later years, and a poor attitude.

Things got worse in 2004-2005 when he was cited for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine while he was in  Atlanta, and for that, Lewis served a four month sentence in a halfway house. It was incidents like that, along with him breaking down after 400 carries in 2003, that rushed him out of Baltimore and to division-rival Cleveland in 2007.

In his first year in Cleveland, Lewis had a chip on his shoulder, and with no competition around him, he saw a resurgence of the Lewis of old. He reached the 1,300 yard mark with Cleveland and for the second straight year in a row had nine rushing scores.

But again, as injuries, old age, and an attitude that sometimes got him in trouble, Cleveland soon grew tired of Lewis as well, and Lewis saw the last two years in Cleveland competing with the likes of Jerome Harrison and others.

Back in November after a concussion ended his season, Lewis announced his retirement from the NFL at the conclusion of the year. However, Lewis has yet to turn in his retirement papers to the NFL, and the only reason why he is out of football right now is due to the fact that Cleveland released him in February.

He finished his career-or his stats currently stand at-10,607 rushing yards, 62 total touchdowns, and a 4.2 yards-per-carry average.

With the injuries mounting up on him over the years, Lewis feels like he is done.

“Due to my injury, it’s been steering me away from putting the helmet back on.”

And now he has a chance to be a fan of the NFL, which he enjoys. And he has kept a big eye on what his original franchise in Baltimore has been doing this off-season in an attempt to get back to the Super Bowl, which Lewis helped carry them to a decade ago.

“The Ravens made some good good moves in Anquan Boldin, to come in and help balance the attack with Ray Rice,” Lewis said. “You still have Derrick Mason, who is a great great player. He’s an older guy, but he can still move the ball and catch and run with it.  All around, it’s really up to them how far they want to go, especially with the field cop in Ray Lewis leading the way.”

Lewis said he would have loved to have a team of this firepower years ago, but he did admit he would have definitely not achieved his 2,000 yard season with a Joe Flacco on this team, a record and distinciton of his that is very close to his heart.

“But with an Anquan Boldin and a Derrick Mason, and some guys over there like Joe Flacco throwing the ball down field, I don’t think I could have come out with a 2,000 yard season.”

But he said his time in Baltimore could have lasted a bit longer, as well as his career as a whole, if the team had this kind of balance when he was lining up in the backfield.

“It would have been a better situation than I think. We could have had a longer winning streak if we had that kind of talent and the kind of balance that they’re putting in place now.”

He has been paying attention to the buzz surrounding the team, and how many people think this team might go to the Super Bowl. But he warned this Ravens team not to buy into all that attention just yet, because that’s all it is.

No team knows where they’re going, but every team wants to go in a certain direction,” Lewis said.  “Whatever people say about what they’re going to do this season, or how far they’re going to go, I think its just hype.”

“But at the same time, due to free agency and the moves made around the league, the sorriest team could be the best team the next year.”

And now, as a hotel and water-park entrepenuer, Lewis and his business partners will be taking a lot of calls and reservations.

Lewis will just have to wait to see if there are reservations for him not only in the Ravens Ring of Honor, but maybe Canton as well.

Tune into WNST and WNST.net for more Ravens news as training camp starts next week! WNST-We Never Stop Talking about our Ravens-Past or Present!

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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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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 08 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a happy Monday for me for a few reasons (obviously), with the Terps winning and the Colts losing being chief among them. But don’t underestimate how good of a day it was thanks to “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet”, who not only made breakfast and then buffalo chicken dip for the Super Bowl, she also delivered me this little number…

grand cru

I don’t know what “Grand Cru” means….other than it means “DELICIOUS.”

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Vasquez scored 26, added 11 assists for Terps in win over Tar Heels

It wasn’t QUITE the “Mona Lisa”-type performance he put together last season in posting a triple double to beat the Heels, but he was pretty damn impressive yesterday. Clearly, the most impressive part of his day was his 6-11 shooting from beyond the arc, part of a 6-11 outside shooting day overall for the team.

The amazing thing is, for as many times as I’ve heard someone say “Maryland is a good shooting team”, they’re actually not. In fact, outside of Eric Hayes they’re probably a POOR outside shooting team. But something has happened this season that has turned them into good shooters when they’re at home. They still struggle from 3 point land away from College Park, but they’ve gotten so comfortable in shooting at home that they’ve really become a pretty good shooting team.

HOWEVER-For as great a day as Greivis had, I know someone who’s day was better….

puppybowl

How Jake beat Fava for Puppy Bowl MVP honors will be a mystery that might well take me years to solve.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Gary Williams thought atmosphere in Comcast Center “amazing” as Terps crushed Carolina

It was really pretty surreal.

I’m not sure any atmosphere will ever match the intensity of the Maryland-Duke game in 2005,where there were some 21,000 people inside a 17,000 seat building. You’ll remember this as the night the Terps swept the Devils in OT and John Gilchrist just recently stopped his postgame jubilation. That being said, there was a very special intensity inside Comcast Center yesterday thanks to the school allowing extra students not only in the building, but allowing them to move down and help surround the court.

Hopefully the students saved SOME of their energy for Wednseday night, as Tony Bennett gets his first crack at Maryland. Sylvan Landesberg really can flat out play, and Virginia will be no easy out for this Maryland team.

3. Raleigh News & Observer’s Patrick Stevens says Terps handed Heels worst loss in Roy Williams era

The funniest thing about yesterday’s game was that UNC actually played about as well as they were capable of playing. They shaved a 16 point Maryland lead in the first half all the way down to 3 early on in the second half, and there were a few players and coaches who were a bit concerned as they watched on.

North Carolina is not a good team. They just aren’t. But it isn’t because they don’t have talent. Deon Thompson can PLAY. Ed Davis is tough. But their backcourt is just VERY disappointing. A team with Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson can just shoot their way to a victory over Maryland, a team with Larry Drew II and Will Graves just can’t.

If anything, this game was remarkably similar to last year’s game in Chapel Hill where the Terps fell 108-91 to the Heels. It wasn’t that Maryland was terrible, it was just that Carolina was that much better. This Carolina team isn’t terrible-in fact, a Maryland official said to me after the game yesterday “they’re gonna get better. Thank God we don’t have to go down to the Dean Smith Center this year.”

That being said, I think the difference in coaching styles between Gary Williams and Roy Williams is particularly evident right now. Maryland IS a better team, but I’m not totally convinced they’re a more talented team. Roy has his work cut out for him.

4. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Gary Williams emotional in aftermath of Terrapins’ win

You can beat him up all you want, but this is the beauty of college sports. College sports aren’t about stats and rankings, college sports are about emotions. When the greatest coach in the history of a program is also an alum, there are going to be emotions; much like there are for every other alum and fan of the program worldwide.

Was this as big of a win over Carolina as some of the others the Terps have had in recent years? Of course not. But was it a win over Carolina in trying circumstances? Yeah it was. Were those of you that are Maryland alumni proud of the team after the game? That was what was reflected in Gary Williams’ emotions.

I couldn’t help but think back on another night where Gary got pretty emotional after a win over Carolina…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eBreuzy15c[/youtube]

5. Morgan State Official Site says Reggie Holmes, Dewayne Jackson each scored 25 as Bears blew out Florida A&M

As I said on Twitter (follow us @WNST) after the game, “I sometimes wonder why MEAC teams even bother showing up at Hill Field House.”

That being said, the Bears now face what will likely be their toughest home test of the season. Bethune-Cookman visits Hill Field House tonight, meaning Morgan will have to play games on consecutive days for the 2nd time in as many weekends. The Wildcats have been off since a Friday night win over Coppin State-and they come into the game tied for 2nd place in the conference.

Todd Bozeman’s team knows it won’t be easy to try to finish with an undefeated MEAC record, but this is even a bit tougher than they likely expected.

On the flip side, Coppin gets a good chance to pick up their first conference victory, as they host FAMU tonight at the Coppin State Physical Education Complex. The Rattlers not only have struggled throughout MEAC play, but they are having to play back to back road games within a 25 hour span. If Fang Mitchell’s Eagles don’t get a win tonight, they might not get a win at all.

6. The AP says Shane Walker’s double double paced Loyola in victory at Manhattan

It doesn’t look like a huge victory because they’re only 5-9 now in MAAC play, but beating the Jaspers on the road was exactly what Jimmy Patsos’ crew needed. They now have off until Friday before hosting St. Peter’s at Reitz Arena, with a chance to improve their seed going into the MAAC Tournament.

Shane Walker’s transfer was probably expected to produce more for the Greyhounds than Andre Collins or Hassan Fofana, as Walker was more desired at Maryland than either of the other two. That only makes his struggles with the Hounds more disappointing, as he should be able to be a serious impact player in that league. Seeing Shane Walker get a double double really shouldn’t be so irregular.

7. Towson Official Site previews Tigers’ contest with James Madison tonight at Towson Center

You think there’s anyone in the entire Baltimore metro area that rooted for snow more than Pat Kennedy? After 59 and 42 point losses in the last two weeks, I just don’t think the Tigers were in a rush to play ANYONE this weekend. That being said, a home game against JMU is at least WINNABLE for Pat’s Cats, and there is nothing Pat needs more than a win.

8. Maine Official Site preivews tonight’s trip to Catonsville to face UMBC

Speaking of coaches who probably wouldn’t mind if another 20 inches of snow hit TODAY, I don’t think Randy Monroe is in a rush to face the Black Bears tonight at RAC Arena. I know the Retrievers actually managed to beat Maine on the road, but this will be a tough task tonight, especially knowing the Bears have that loss fresh on their mind.

I just hope UMBC doesn’t end up feeling like Betty White and Abe Vigoda this evening…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3rsaneyeXY[/youtube]

9. Maryland Official Site previews womens’ battle with Virginia tonight in College Park

Brenda Frese’s team needs a win, especially after a heartbreaking loss to Georgia Tech Friday afternoon. They beat the Cavaliers in Charlottesville earlier this season, but the Cavs have been a much more consistent team during ACC play.

There’s all the analysis you’re getting from me. Now let’s go back to Super Bowl-related things. I really liked the National Lampoon Vacation spoof…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cey36NRK0vQ[/youtube]

10. Ravens Official Site’s Ryan Mink says former Raven Matt Stover missed big FG in Colts’ SB loss to Saints

As I said last night, did ANYONE (not named Jim Caldwell) think Stover could make that kick? Even Jim Nantz noted a play earlier that Indianapolis was putting him on the edge of his range. I love Matt, but I was openly rooting against him yesterday and absolutely knew he couldn’t make that kick.

The one thing Matt wouldn’t answer for me last week was whether or not this trip to Miami would be it for him. He said he hadn’t really thought about his future, but wasn’t going to announce his retirement when questioned. Personally, I sorta hope this is it. It’s time for Matt to enjoy retirement and let us celebrate him and put him up in the Ring of Honor. In fact, I hope the Ravens can honor him and Jamal Lewis at the same game next season. I think that would be pretty special.

And before we move on from Super Bowl-related things, congratulations to Reggie Bush. Not just because he’s getting a ring-but because apparently this is a friend of his BEYOND the well known Kim Kardashian….

ortega

I bet she’s nice.

And finally, I leave you with this.

To everyone who complained that The Who are “old”, maybe you missed their ass-kicking last night. Sure, “Pinball Wizard” was a struggle at first, but they rocked for 13 minutes. Here’s the show in 2 parts….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Io05fTLSg[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCqgtb3Nby4[/youtube]

I tell you what. Maybe Avril Lavigne is available to do next year’s halftime show. She’s not “too old.” Geez.

On second thought, that might not be so bad…..

avril

Talk to you later.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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