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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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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 29 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Friday!

It’s a Happy Friday for me because Reggie Bush’s girlfriend (@KimKardashian) likes to update her Twitter account….

kimk

She seems nice.

Let’s see what everyone has to say today…..

1. Ravens Official Site’s Ryan Mink says Jermaine Gresham, Dez Bryant, Brandon LaFell, Syd’Quan Thompson, Golden Tate, Arrelious Benn, Brandon Spikes, Damian Williams all mocked to Ravens

Oh thank God. MORE NFL DRAFT PORN!!!!!

gresham
tate
spikes
syd'quan

It would be easy to dismiss a player like Brandon Spikes (besides his off-field troubles) by saying “the Ravens NEED a WR. They’re taking a WR.” But that just isn’t necessarily true. The Ravens WILL again take the best player available (like they did a season ago when they took Michael Oher despite needing a receiver), I just think it would be best served for everyone involved if the best player available at the time WAS a receiver.

2. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says John Harbaugh thinks Jarret Johnson Pro Bowl snub each of last 2 seasons

No one is going to disagree, are they?

But as was the case with Haloti Ngata this season, players are often rewarded the season AFTER their breakout year. They tend to have to build a reputation at positions where stats can’t tell the story. What Jarret Johnson (and possibly Michael Oher & Ben Grubbs as well) did this season should help him earn a trip to the Pro Bowl next season.

3. ESPN.com’s James Walker says Jamal Lewis, Todd Heap, Jonathan Ogden, Matt Stover, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Chris McAlister and Ed Reed “all-decade” players in AFC North

I guess I was a bit surprised that Terrell Suggs made this list-but there are no arguments from me here at all. I was a bit surprised Walker left Haloti Ngata off his “others considered” list at D-Line, but there have been a LOT of really good D-Linemen in the AFC North this decade.

Insert your own “Where’s Kyle Boller?” joke here.

4. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says late Millikan’s tenure began pavement on road to Terps’ eventual NCAA Championship

Clearly the influence Coach Millikan had on Gary Williams could be seen throughout Williams’ tenure in College Park-and Luke is right to point out that it was evident in how Gary brought together a group of kids headlined by Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter to cut down the nets in April 2002.

It has certainly been a tough year for the entire athletic department, as they have lost former athletic director James Kehoe, as well as major boosters Jack Heise, Thomas Fields, and Bob Novak.

5. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland has reached NCAA Tournament last 12 times they started ACC play 4-1

And since the NCAA Tournament was expanded, it makes nothing but a lot of sense that a team that starts 4-1 should still be alive come March Madness. In the ACC, you would have to go 4-7 or worse the rest of the way to miss dancing.

But they do HAVE to get those wins. Their quest to do that continues Sunday night at Clemson-the game can be seen on Comcast SportsNet locally, Fox Sports Net nationally.

6. Maryland Official Site says Lori Bjork scored 22 points to lead Terrapins women past Virginia Tech in Blacksburg

This was a much needed victory for Brenda Frese’s crew last night after 3 straight losses. If Lori Bjork is developing into a go-to player for them, they will be in a much better place moving forward. Now they make an odd trip to Longwood Sunday before returning to ACC play next Friday against Georgia Tech.

7. The AP says Greyhounds couldn’t hang on late, fell to Fairfield at Reitz Arena

REALLY tough way to lose a winnable game at home against a pretty good MAAC foe. The Hounds hung tight for 35 minutes, but couldn’t finish the Stags off at the end. Jimmy Patsos’ crew will have to bounce back on Sunday afternoon, as Niagara pays a visit to Reitz Arena.

8. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck believes Birds will DFA Armando Gabino to make room for Mark Hendrickson

I had guessed Cla Meredith. I guess I could see why the O’s would have more interest in keeping Meredith than they would in Gabino. The real question will really be what will happen with Alberto Castillo now that the Birds have another left handed reliever in Hendrickson.

9. Seattle Post Intelligencer’s Todd Dybas says Erik Bedard likely 3-5 months away from being down with rehab

There were also rumors yesterday that the Royals were interested in Bedard. Which might mean that for once in recent MLB history-there is a player who might actually be HOPING for an offer from Baltimore.

I’d be fine with the Orioles taking a flyer on Bedard-as long as that flyer doesn’t cost more than maybe $4 million. If he can return in May, he might be able to offer some help to this staff.

That being said, Andy MacPhail clearly painted the picture that the team would not be bringing in any more outside FA’s. Of course, if Bedard remains on the market, that could always change.

10. Toronto Sun’s Steve Green says former Orioles 2B Roberto Alomar to be inducted into Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Which doesn’t make up….AT ALL….for the travesty that was Alomar missing out on Cooperstown a couple weeks ago.

Humorously, I think Pete Rose is in the Canadian Hall of Fame as well.

11. The Sun’s Candus Thomson says despite missing Olympics, Kimmie Meissner hopes to compete again

In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying Kiira Korpi from Finland during the Vancouver….

korpi

12. The Sun’s Katherine Dunn says MIAA in talks to merge with Washington Catholic Athletic Conference in football

Can someone with actual experience here tell me how they feel about this? Having gone to Perry Hall, this doesn’t mean a whole lot to me-but I don’t think I would like it…

And finally, I leave you with this.

Andy Murray will face Roger Federer for the Australian Open title tomorrow night (which I believe is actually sometime in 2020 in Melbourne). If he hits a shot like this one he hit against Maran Cilic, he can’t be beat.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvx191mHonw[/youtube]

Talk to you this weekend.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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Live From Owings Mills: John Harbaugh’s Final Weekly Press Conference

Posted on 19 January 2010 by Glenn Clark

12:34-Hear from John Harbaugh & Ray Rice NOW in the Audio Vault at WNST.net.

12:29 Ray Rice stopped by the media room to chat with us today, he missed yesterday’s locker room cleanout availability due to an illness. Ray continued to show why he is one of the most well-liked players on this team, as he was very honest during the 12 minute chat, talking about his relationship with his mother, sticking around in Baltimore in the offseason, what his upcoming trip to the Pro Bowl in Miami means to him, and more.

I also asked him about the biggest thing I heard fans say about him during our trip to Indy this weekend-

“The Ravens are gonna wear him down like they have every other back.”

Ray said he believes that while he has gotten a lot of touches, Cam Cameron gave him “smart” touches, and didn’t use him as a “battering ram.” This is particularly interesting, as a number of fans believe Jamal Lewis WAS treated that way, which shortened his career.

11:00-Here are some highlights from the coach:

-Harbaugh thanked the media for covering the team, saying “I know it’s tough.” He then thanked the fans, noting “We have great fans both home and away.”
-”I really like the makeup of our team. I like the foundation we have.” Says it’s “cause for tremendous optimism.”
-”I think we have to develop our current players….you always seek to add to what you’re doing.”
-”Offensively, we’re built a real good foundation. I like where we stand in the trenches.”
-”I thought defense was exceptional again this year. I’m excited about what our defense did this year.”
-”We’re gonna be a rough, tough, disciplined, hard nosed, clean playing football team.”
-”Patience is important….there’s no timeframe” for winning Super Bowl
-”Joe (Flacco) got better in so many ways, there’s so many ways he can get better.” He added Flacco is “on schedule.”
-says offense still “a work in progress.”
-Said both Derrick Mason and Ed Reed “love football”, and he thinks “they want to play.” He added that the team wants both players back.
-He thinks some coaches on staff will have opportunity to take promotions elsewhere, but wouldn’t elaborate.
-”We’ve got to put as many good players around Joe Flacco as we can.”
-”Ray Rice…fulfilled or exceeded” all hopes Ravens had for him.
-doesn’t think too many-if any-players who finished season on IR won’t be back for start of Training Camp.
-”There is a benefit” to being able to attend next week’s Senior Bowl
-says Billy Cundiff “big possibility” to kick next season, wouldn’t rule out Matt Stover return.
-”Trevor (Pryce) can still play”, says he has a few years left in him-wants to keep entire D-Line together.
-says Ray Lewis helmet to helmet wasn’t “cheap shot”, doesn’t think he will be fined by NFL.
-Says Tavares Gooden, Dannell Ellerbe, Brendon Ayanbadejo will all be in mix for starting LB position
- “We have no disappointment” in Paul Kruger….says he’ll be more of a contributor next season.
-Says Terrell Suggs committed to being part of “full offseason program” with Ravens
-Says he’ll be “very involved” with Ravens’ preparation for NFL Draft
-”There’s nothing more we can ask from Matt Birk.”
-guesses other teams around league will be interested in Troy Smith and John Beck
-”Michael Oher could play either side, and Jared Gaither could play either side. Right now, Gaither left and Oher right is working pretty well.”
-Harbaugh “excited” for Rex Ryan and other former Ravens staffers now with Jets, but he hasn’t talked to Rex.
-Jarret Johnson “always plays well, always practices well, plays through any injury.” “Not a better man in this league” than JJ.
-”Willis (McGahee) is a Raven.”
-says he, Steve Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome “respect the budget” Ravens have even if there is no salary cap.
-says Flacco had “bad contusion” on thigh…”swelled up legitimately”….thinks it was “restrictive for him.”
-He semi-disputed Adam Schefter’s report that Flacco couldn’t sit down on flight back from Oakland, saying “it was a 6 hour flight, I think I saw him sit down.”
-says he talked with Ed Reed yesterday, “I think I understand where he’s coming from.”
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believes Ed Reed will come back and play. “I’m gonna go under that assumption until he tells us differently.”

10:48-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where John Harbaugh will meet with the media momentarily for his final weekly press conference of the season. There will certainly still be plenty to re-hash about the Baltimore Ravens’ 20-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts Saturday night in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs, but there will be even more to discuss as the Ravens prepare to move into the offseason.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates.

-G

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Top 25 Local Sports Figures of the Decade

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Top 25 Local Sports Figures of the Decade

Posted on 23 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Others Considered: Todd Bozeman, Randy Monroe, Steve Bisciotti, Kimmie Meissner, Fang Mitchell, Dave Trembley, Katie Hoff, Brenda Frese, Kevin Plank, Jimmy Patsos, Lee Mazzilli, Sam Perlozzo, Todd Heap, Barbaro, Carmelo Anthony, Terrell Suggs, Joe DeFrancis, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Mike Flanagan, Pam Shriver, Haloti Ngata, Derrick Mason, Scott McBrien, Matt Stover, Steve Blake, Melvin Mora, Steve McNair, Michael McCrary, Ray Rice, Erik Bedard, Sidney Ponson, John Rallo, Shawne Merriman, Pat Kennedy

25-Joe Flacco

flacco

24-Nick Markakis

nick

23-Ed Hale

Hale

22-Kyle Boller

boller

21-John Harbaugh

harbaugh

20-Trent Dilfer

dilfer

19-Cal Ripken Jr.

al

18-Chris McAlister

mcalister

17-Dave Pietramala

petro

16-Brian Roberts

brob

15-Paul Johnson

paulj

14-Ralph Friedgen

fridge

13-Art Modell

modell

12-Hasim Rahman

rahman

11-Ed Reed

reed

10-Jamal Lewis

jamal

The greatest offensive skill position in Ravens history-a former Rookie of the Year, NFL Player of the Year, 2,000 yard rusher, Super Bowl Champion, and single game rushing record holder. He’ll be in the Ring of Honor in the next 12 months too….

9-Juan Dixon

dixon

He’s from Baltimore. He carried Maryland to a NCAA Championship. He’s Top 3 in Glenn Clark’s book…..

8-Brian Billick

billick

He won the Super Bowl as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, but became a polarizing figure until his firing due to his inability to groom a franchise quarterback. I’m not sure I could have stomached hearing the words “offensive genius” again however….

7-Debbie Yow

yow

Her place on this list is based on a mix of her accomplishments as Athletic Director (national championships in men’s and women’s basketball, new arena, and somehow managing to balance the budget in College Park) and how many people despise her due to her testy relationship with a fella who is still to come on this list……

6-Ozzie Newsome

ozzie

Jamal Lewis. Todd Heap. Ed Reed. Terrell Suggs. Haloti Ngata. Ben Grubbs. Joe Flacco. Michael Oher.

Unfortunately, this decade also included Kyle Boller and Travis Taylor…..

5-Jonathan Ogden

jo

He will soon be the first player to go to Canton AS a Baltimore Raven, and some would argue he’s the most important player in franchise history. Those people have a legitimate argument.

4-Michael Phelps

phelps

He’s won 14 gold medals in Olympic competition. No one else ever has. I’d explain more-but if you don’t get it, you never will.

3-Peter Angelos

angelos

Not since Bob Irsay has there been a local sports figure so universally disdained by the entire town. If this were pro wrestling, Sgt. Slaughter would have looked like a babyface during his Iraq support days in compared to the level of seething hate directed towards the city’s baseball dictator. He’s killed an entire sport in a city where baseball was king. His failures are so epic I’m not certain ANYONE could have accomplished anything similar.

2-Gary Williams

gary

If it weren’t for the necessity of corporate sponsoring, it would be Gary Williams Arena-not Comcast Center. The guy will find himself in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and only Earl Weaver is ahead of him in the list of the greatest head coaches in local sports history. And while some might accuse me of blasphemy, he may be greater than even Earl.

1-Ray Lewis

ray

When #52 does something, says something, thinks something, etc…..it is ABSOLUTELY more meaningful than when anyone else in town does. He will eventually have a statue at M&T Bank Stadium-somewhere in the neighborhood of Johnny Unitas I assume. Do I need to explain further?

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Top 25 Local Sports Moments of The Decade

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Top 25 Local Sports Moments of The Decade

Posted on 22 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Others Considered:
Maryland Wins Soccer Championships in ’05 & ’08
Maryland football hires Ralph Friedgen
Rachel Alexandra first filly to win Preakness in 85 years
Towson reaches 2001 NCAA Lacrosse Final Four
Michael Phelps wins 6 Gold Medals at 2004 Olympics
Big Brown wins 2008 Preakness, Smarty Jones wins 2004 Preakness, War Emblem wins 2002 Preakness
Jonathan Ogden Announces Retirement
Jamal Lewis sentenced to jail time
Hopkins Stuns Duke to Win ’07 NCAA Lax Title
Pam Shriver Enters Tennis Hall of Fame
Maryland Opens Comcast Center
Ravens Trade for Steve McNair, Steve McNair murdered
Coppin State Returns to NCAA Tournament
Salisbury wins 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 D3 Lacrosse Titles
M&T Bank Stadium hosts NCAA Lacrosse Final Four for first time
Orioles trade Bedard to Seattle for Adam Jones & George Sherrill
Baltimore Blast win titles in ’03, ’04, ’06, ’08 and ’09
Navy wins 8 straight vs. Army-7 straight C-I-C Trophies
Kimmie Meissner Wins US Figure Skating Championship
Ravens Hire John Harbaugh

25-Morgan State and UMBC Make First Trips to NCAA Tournament (2009 and 2008 respectively)

boze
randy

24-Johns Hopkins Finishes Undefeated ’05 Season with NCAA Title

hopkins

23-Preakness Bans Beer from Infield (2009)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SejCwUzRa1U[/youtube]

22-Eddie Murray Enters Baseball Hall of Fame (2003)

eddie

21-Maryland Football Claims ’01 ACC Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QszioOHki8[/youtube]

20-Jamal Lewis Breaks Single Game Rushing Record (2003)

jamal

19-Cal Ripken Jr. Enters Baseball Hall of Fame (2007)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5qn74GBIH4[/youtube]

18-Ravens Fire Brian Billick (2007)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N060MpjVLrg[/youtube]

17-Navy Snaps 43 Game Losing Streak at Notre Dame (2007)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehnd0seZyRg[/youtube]

16-Ravens Choose Elvis Grbac over Trent Dilfer (2001)

grbac

15-Terps Lose to Duke in Final 54  seconds, again in First Trip to Final Four (2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhoAuSamgr4[/youtube]

14-Ravens Lose to Steelers in Return to AFC Championship Game (2009)

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

13-Johnny Unitas Passes Away (2002)

si

While there are a number of all-time great Baltimore Colts still with us, clearly Johnny was the greatest. The time this city took to honor him (including a genuine tribute from Ravens QB Chris Redman) was well-deserved.

12-Terps win 2004 ACC Tournament

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU6lXzsVXJo[/youtube]

John Gilchrist could have run for governor in March 2004. Of course, he couldn’t have borrowed a dollar by March 2005.

11-Mike Mussina Signs with Yankees (2000)

moose

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the moment that marked the real start of the current Orioles era of darkness. The team had struggled and made poor decisions BEFORE this, but they had at least tried to spend some money and get better players. After this day, it happened very little.

10-Barbaro Collapses After Start of ’06 Preakness

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A20joY7g3dA[/youtube]

I guess this would be the “most gasping” moment of the decade, for sure. Barbaro entered the 2006 Preakness viewed more favorably as a Triple Crown contender than even Smarty Jones or Big Brown. Barbaro captivated this country after the Kentucky Derby, and even more after his collapse at Pimlico. For those of us who were there that day (and sober enough to watch the race), that image won’t leave our minds any time soon.

9-Rafael Palmeiro Busted for Steroids (2005)

raffi

Has there been a more maddening year than 2005 during this decade plus of losing than 2005? After trading for Sammy Sosa, the Birds actually found themselves……..winning!

That of course came to a crashing halt around the time of the All-Star Game; and the biggest highlight of the season (Rafael Palmeiro’s 3,000th hit) was soon completely tarnished by what I might call the biggest “we should have seen this coming” moment of the decade.

There were other steroid era moments that could have qualified, including that fateful day in front of Capitol Hill, but this was the most embarassing of all of them.

8-Maryland Women win 2005-2006 NCAA Hoops Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNpNRtFN1K0[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGuFhlJYyRc[/youtube]

Maybe this would be the “Hey, that’s pretty cool!” moment of the decade. It didn’t have the significance of a men’s title; but it was still a pretty awesome moment for Maryland fans everywhere. There were probably a number of Maryland fans who couldn’t have named the coach of the team before that night, but those same fans were probably guilty of saying something like “if only Gary Williams could recruit like Brenda Frese” after that night.

Also, Kristi Toliver’s shot ranks up there with Juan Dixon’s 3 against UConn and his baseline jumper against Indiana in the pantheon of great shots in Terrapins history.

7-Michael Phelps Breaks Mark Spitz’s 7 Gold Medal Record (2008)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXkjFQ1hRqA[/youtube]

The moment was made by the scene at M&T Bank Stadium. It would have been an incredible moment in Beijing no matter what, but it was an even more incredible moment for Baltimore given the fact that fans around town could stick around after the Ravens’ preseason game to watch it happen. I think I would call this the “most significant record-breaking moment” of the decade in local sports.

6-Hasim Rahman stuns Lennox Lewis for Heavyweight Title (2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZN6ONCH7B0[/youtube]

I would classify this as the biggest “Did you hear?” moment of the decade. Most sports fans in town didn’t just have no idea Hasim Rahman was FIGHTING for Lennox Lewis’ belts, they didn’t know who Hasim Rahman WAS. But Hasim put together one of the great knockouts in the history of heavyweight title fights; in what most American fight fans consider the last significant heavyweight title change the sport has seen. Lennox Lewis was not an “Alphabet Soup” champion who dodged the best contenders the way heavyweight champions of the last 5 or 6 years have been-he was the legitimate “Heavyweight Champion of the World.”

And thanks to one punch, a young man from Baltimore became the legitimate “Heavyweight Champion of the World” as well, at least for a short time.

5-Ravens Fall to Colts in ’07 Divisional Round

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dd-jglYaWc[/youtube]

I think this would be classified as “Biggest Emotional Letdown” of the decade. This city ABSOLUTELY identified this as the chance to exercise the demons of the Mayflower vans, and to finally move past Bob Irsay’s move from Baltimore to Indianapolis. On top of that, the 2006-07 Ravens appeared to give the city its best chance to win another Super Bowl this decade.

Obviously, none of that happened.

4-Ray Lewis Charged with murder in Atlanta (2000)

ray

I think I would describe it as the most “jaw-dropping” local sports moment of the decade. Did anything come of it? No, not really. However, this was still the best athlete in town facing charges of murder. And to this day, Ray can’t enter another NFL stadium without hearing about this moment.

3-Cal Ripken Jr. Plays Final Game with Orioles (2001)

rip

This may be too high on the list. We all knew it was coming, but it didn’t take away from the moment itself. I think the reason why I have this so high on the list anyway is because I’ve heard this phrase so many times over the last decade: “at least in the past I could go to the games and see Cal….I don’t have any reason to go anymore.”

We all hope Matt Wieters, Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, Adam Jones and company will bring about change-but the last GREAT memory any of us have at Camden Yards is absolutely this moment.

2-Maryland Claims 2001-2002 NCAA Hoops Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EgsMpPyFhg[/youtube]

Look, it would have been Number 1 on my own personal list, and it wouldn’t have been close. But there is NO WAY it can drop below the #2 spot on anyone’s list-or you were just plain not paying attention for the better part of the decade. It was the culmination of the greatest season in Maryland history, and the crowning moment for Juan Dixon-the most significant college athlete the state of Maryland has ever seen.

1-Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV (2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0viE_bOYTw[/youtube]

Do I really need to explain this?

-G

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Ravens’ fight for playoff lives is nothing new

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Ravens’ fight for playoff lives is nothing new

Posted on 17 December 2009 by Luke Jones

As the Baltimore Ravens continue to grapple for a postseason spot entering Week 15 (and here’s another great source for predicting your own playoff scenarios) against the Chicago Bears, the franchise finds itself in a familiar position.

While last season’s improbable run in John Harbaugh’s first season landed Baltimore in the AFC Championship, the franchise has found itself on the playoff bubble five other times in the last 11 years. Not counting the Super Bowl season of 2000 and a franchise-best regular season record of 13-3 in 2006 (the Ravens clinched a berth in Week 15 of both seasons), the Ravens’ playoff chances have always boiled down to the final week of the season.

Here’s a look back at the other “bubble” teams in the 14-year history of the Ravens, with some teams having more success than others down the stretch.

Tony Banks and Scott Mitchell
1999: 8-8 (2-1 in final three weeks), missed playoffs

Synopsis: Brian Billick’s first season as head coach saw the Ravens secure their first non-losing record. Despite starting the season third on the depth chart behind Scott Mitchell and Stoney Case, Tony Banks emerged as the starting quarterback by season’s end, leading the team to impressive wins over the eventual AFC Champion Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers (the Ravens’ first victory in Pittsburgh). A four-game winning streak kept the Ravens in the playoff hunt entering Week 17, but Baltimore fell to the Patriots in snowy Foxboro, 20-3. The strong second half was a precursor to a Super Bowl championship a season later, though Banks would find himself replaced by Trent Dilfer by mid-season. The soon-to-be record-breaking Baltimore defense finished second in the NFL in yards allowed.

What went wrong: Billick asked fans to take a “leap of faith” with the newly-signed—and much-maligned—Mitchell, and the experiment lasted all of 56 passing attempts and four interceptions in two losses to begin the season. The Ravens got off to a 4-7 start, too much to overcome despite the strong play of the defense and the emergence of Banks and new receiver Qadry Ismail down the stretch.

Terry Allen
2001: 10-6 (2-1 in final three weeks), Wild Card

Synopsis: Looking to defend their Super Bowl title by improving the offense, the Ravens replaced Dilfer with former Pro Bowl quarterback Elvis Grbac who struggled to win over his teammates and win games. Running back Jamal Lewis suffered a torn ACL in the first week of training camp, and the Ravens employed a committee of Terry Allen, Jason Brookins, and Moe Williams for the ground attack. Needing a win in Week 17 against the Vikings on a Monday night, the Ravens clinched a Wild Card spot with a 16-3 victory behind Allen’s 133 rushing yards and a bruising defensive performance.

What went right: While Ravens fans hold Grbac responsible for failing to repeat, the team literally had its legs cut out from under it with the loss of Lewis before the season started. While the defense could not match its record-setting numbers of a season earlier, it still finished second in yards allowed and fourth in points surrendered. Signed off the street during training camp, Allen provided an admirable effort with Brookins and Williams providing assistance. With Grbac struggling and fans clamoring for Randall Cunningham to replace him, Billick used the running game and the still-stellar defense to get into the playoffs and earn a road victory over the Dolphins in the first round before falling in Pittsburgh the next week, 27-10.

Jeff Blake
2002: 7-9 (1-2 in final three weeks), missed playoffs

Synopsis: In what was perhaps Billick’s best coaching job in his nine years as Ravens coach, the 2002 team managed to stay in the playoff hunt entering the final two weeks of the season despite saying goodbye to key veterans Shannon Sharpe, Rod Woodson, Tony Siragusa, and numerous others in the salary cap purge of the Super Bowl roster. The Ravens looked to be one of the worst teams in the NFL and got off to an 0-2 start before rebounding in a huge Monday night victory over the Broncos. Jamal Lewis returned from his lost 2001 season to rush for 1,327 yards, Todd Heap earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl, and linebacker Ed Hartwell and rookie safety Ed Reed led the defense after Ray Lewis went down with a shoulder injury early in the season. Back-to-back losses to the Browns and Steelers to close the season ended the Ravens’ improbable playoff hopes but could not devalue a very surprising season.

What went wrong: The team could not find consistency at the quarterback position with Chris Redman suffering a back injury and veteran Jeff Blake struggling with consistency. The loss of Lewis coupled with an inexperienced unit caused the defense to fall to 22nd in the NFL despite the encouraging development of several young players. Three out of four losses to end the season sealed the young team’s fate.

Jamal Lewis
2003: 10-6 (2-1 in final three weeks), AFC North champion

Synopsis: The Lewises reigned in 2003. While Ray Lewis earned his second Defensive Player of the Year award, the real story of the season was Jamal Lewis, who became just the fifth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Lewis’ 295 rushing yards against the Browns in Week 2 set a new NFL record and created the identity for the Ravens’ offense. Rookie Kyle Boller struggled before going down with a quadriceps injury, and journeyman Anthony Wright took the reins of the offense. The team clinched the AFC North title in Week 17 when the Browns knocked off the Bengals earlier in the day, but the Ravens knocked off the Steelers in overtime for good measure. Baltimore would fall at home in the Wild Card round the following week when the Titans stifled Lewis and the running game.

What went right: Jamal Lewis’ historic season made up for an otherwise ineffective offense. The defense finished third overall and was led by Ray Lewis and emerging star Ed Reed. Eight players made the Pro Bowl including both Lewises, Reed, Heap, Jonathan Ogden, Adalius Thomas, Peter Boulware, and Chris McAlister. With the Ravens struggling at 5-5, Wright threw four touchdown passes to Marcus Robinson in an improbable 44-41 comeback win against the Seahawks to initiate a three-game winning streak. However, an ugly loss to Oakland in Week 15 forced the Ravens to win their final two games to clinch the North. Lewis was up to the challenge as he shredded the Browns again for 205 yards and eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark against the Steelers with 114 yards in the overtime win to conclude the regular season.

Kyle Boller
2004: 9-7 (1-2 in final three weeks), missed playoffs

Synopsis: Following the script from the previous season, the 2004 squad struggled with consistency, as Boller completed his first full season as the starting quarterback. Once again, the defense led the way with Reed earning the Defensive Player of the Year honor, keeping the award in the Charm City for the second year in a row. A three-game winning streak in the middle of the season put the Ravens at 7-3 and on the short track to the playoffs, but losing four of five down the stretch placed their playoffs hopes on life support at 8-7. Needing a victory over the Dolphins and three other teams to lose in Week 17, the Ravens held up their end of the bargain in a 30-23 victory but didn’t receive enough help to steal a postseason spot.

What went wrong: With Jamal Lewis facing the repercussions of federal drug-related charges and serving a two-game suspension during the season, the offense plummeted to 31st in the league. Boller showed flashes of promise but lacked any consistent receiving threat with Heap missing most of the season with an ankle injury. Even with the struggles on offense, the Ravens controlled their own destiny down the stretch but lost road games to the Patriots, Steelers, and Colts and suffered a heartbreaking loss at home to the Bengals over a five-game stretch. The Ravens’ inability to win any one of these games ultimately sealed their fate.

Le'Ron McClain
2008: 11-5 (2-1 in final three weeks), Wild Card

Synopsis: With a rookie coach and quarterback, the 2008 Ravens were viewed as a rebuilding team with little chance of making noise in the AFC. However, Harbaugh reunited a divided locker room, and Flacco played more like a grizzled veteran than a quarterback playing at Delaware a season earlier. The three-headed attack of Le’Ron McClain, Willis McGahee, and Ray Rice combined for over 2,000 rushing yards, and a veteran defense finished second overall. After struggling to a 2-3 start, the Ravens won nine of their last 11 games to clinch a Wild Card spot with a 27-7 victory over the Jaguars in Week 17.

What went right: Nearly every move the Ravens made turned to gold as they marched deep into the playoffs. After receiving only eight carries in his rookie season, McClain came out of nowhere to rush for 902 yards to lead the ground attack, taking the pressure off the rookie Flacco. After getting off to a slow start due to a lingering neck and shoulder condition, Reed completed one of the greatest defensive stretches in NFL history by intercepting eight passes and scoring two touchdowns over the season’s final six weeks. After losing to the Steelers at home due to a controversial Santonio Holmes touchdown, the Ravens needed to steal one on the road against the Cowboys. Instead, motivated by rumors that they were handpicked as an easy opponent in the Texas Stadium finale, the Ravens dominated the Cowboys in a 33-24 victory. With a Week 17 win that was more of a formality than a challenge, the Ravens entered the playoffs and won two road games before falling to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game.

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Villanova 80, Maryland 73

The Terps aren’t a bad team, but Villanova is a GREAT team. This DOES have the feeling of the years when Maryland would stun teams like Stanford and Kansas at Verizon Center; but I just can’t make the pick.

Morgan State 69, Coppin State 57

If the Bears hadn’t lost 2 straight coming in, I’d probably pick the Eagles to win their opener in their new building. I just don’t think I could see Todd Bozeman’s club losing 3 straight.

Hofstra 84, Towson 72

Charles Jenkins will have 31 points for the Pride, who are just a bit better than the Tigers.

Toledo 72, UMBC 68

I think this one will be remarkably similar to some other losses the Retrievers have suffered this season.

Loyola 77, Canisius 71

But the “Golden Griffins” are still one of the cooler names in college hoops…

Best of Thursday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark says Jarret Johnson followed Packers, rooted for Reggie White growing up

Nestor Aparicio says WNST holding 2 ‘indoor tailgates’ in Green Bay

Bob Haynie wonders whether Greg Mattison or Cam Cameron has done better job in ‘09

Mark Suchy hopes Nets surpass Orioles’ 0-21 start

Ed Frankovic says Semin tallied 4 points for Caps in win over Panthers

RAVENS:

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Charles Woodson big part of reason why Packers have Number 1 defense

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Ray Lewis thinks Green Bay has addressed O-Line issues

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Harbs doesn’t think former Packer Tony Moll can help Ravens any more than former Raven Derrick Martin can help Packers

The Official Site says Packers coach Mike McCarthy loves playing in cold, snow

The Official Site says Mark Clayton doesn’t ‘even think about’ drop in New England

The Official Site says Harbaugh thinks Dom Capers has been ‘creative’ in leading Packers defense to #1 ranking in NFL

Packers Official Site’s Mike Spofford says Ryan Grant knows Packers must take care of football vs. Ravens

Packers Official Site’s Tom Fanning says Greg Jennings knows Packers will have to run ball in cold weather

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Ray Rice learning from Ray Lewis, Willis McGahee

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens can’t fail to get to Aaron Rodgers, let Charles Woodson change game, struggle in first half

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens need to ride Ray Rice, force turnovers, get production from Chris Carr

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Paul Kruger still ‘developmental player’

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Domonique Foxworth believes secondary battling Packers AND elements Monday night at Lambeau Field

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says it’s too early to judge Ravens’ performance in ’09 NFL Draft

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens need to go with Rice, McGahee, McClain to reach playoffs

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Ngata, Dwan Edwards battled over “Civil War” in Ravens locker room

The Sun’s Ken Murray says coming out of game with head injury would be ‘hard decision’ for 52

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Le’Ron McClain, Jared Gaither, Kelley Washington, LJ Smith, Prescott Burgess, KJ Gerard all missed practice Thursday

6 of 7 Sun analysts pick Packers

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Flacco thinks ankle ‘feels really good’

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens averaging just 1.9 sacks per game this season

Carroll County Times’ Matt Zenitz says former Raven Gano succeeded in UFL

Frederick News-Post’s Stan Goldberg says Ray Lewis looks at end of Jamal Lewis’ career fondly

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein says Aaron Rodgers has troubling memories of Monday Night Football debut against Ravens in ‘05

Green Bay Press Gazette’s Rob Demovsky says Brandon Jackson giving Packers ‘spark’ on 3rd down

Wisconsin State Journal’s Tom Oates says Ravens, Packers both like playing ‘physical football’

SI’s Peter King picks Ravens 29-17

Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager picks Ravens 27-23

ESPN.com’s John Clayton says Packers can determine AFC Wild Card race

ESPN.com’s James Walker thinks Ravens ‘hit’ on Oher, Kruger, Webb

ESPN.com’s James Walker says most experts don’t see Jamal Lewis as Hall of Fame-worthy

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says BB&T Classic close to ‘sellout’

Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg says former Terp Byron Mouton still beloved in area

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

The AP says Terps topped Minnesota in Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Comcast Center

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

The Diamondback’s Jonas Shaffer says just one Golden Gopher reached double digits in loss to Maryland

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Kim Rodgers lead Terps with 14 points in win

Washington Times’ Mike Fratto says Kizer chipped in 10 points in win

Turtle Sports Report’s Josh Vitale says Tchatchouang scored 13 points in win over Gophers

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:

The Sun’s Matt Bracken recaps season for commit Nate Clarke

The Diamondback’s Adi Joseph says ’09 season ‘particularly gruesome’ for Ralph

ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Debbie Yow will be in same situation next year if Terps don’t go 7-5

Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says Fridge met with QB commit Devin Burns (must subscribe)

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Travis Ivey was ‘emotional’ on Senior Day (must subscribe)

TOWSON FOOTBALL:

The Official Site says tickets on sale now for Tigers football banquet

LOYOLA BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews tonight’s MAAC opener at Canisius

The Official Site offers complete Greyhounds-Golden Griffins release (pdf)

STEVENSON LACROSSE:

Inside Lacrosse’s Jon Brand says Mustangs picked 2nd in pre-season D3 poll

Inside Lacrosse’s Sean Burns says Jimmy Dailey, Steve Kazimer preseason All-Americans

MT. ST. MARY’S BASKETBALL:

The Official Site says Mountaineers fell to Robert Morris in rematch of last year’s NEC Championship Game

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of loss

Frederick News-Post says Jeremy Goode lead Eers with 15 points in defeat

NAVY BASKETBALL:

The Official Site previews tonight’s tilt with Penn

The Official Site offers complete Midshipmen-Quakers release (pdf)

NAVY FOOTBALL:

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Navy AD Gladchuk believes moving game back a week allows rivalry to be ‘focal point nationally’

Washington Times’ Mike Fratto says new Army coach Rich Ellerson gives new ‘life’ to Army/Navy rivalry

Go Mids’ Adam Nettina says Mids could have moved into Top 25 with win over Hawaii (must subscribe)

ORIOLES:

The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin says Mike Gonzalez, Jose Valverde could be free agent closer options for Birds

CRYSTAL PALACE USA:

The Official Site says Palace partnering with WNST, Craig Willinger Fund for World Cup Draw party today at Della Rose’s

Examiner Jeff Hemelt says Palace/WNST event will include $1.50 Bud Light draft specials

BALTIMORE BULLETS:

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman ‘catches up with’ Gene Shue

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Kudos to Nick Markakis, Jeremy Guthrie and Brad Bergesen for being involved in the community over these 14 days.

Talk to you later from Owings Mills.

-G

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Three Thursday Thoughts

Posted on 03 December 2009 by Mark Suchy

So much has already been written and opined about Tiger Woods’ “transgressions” that I don’t rightly believe I have much new insight to offer, other than this:

Divorce is painful.  But perhaps not as painful as attempting to salvage a marriage where one partner has been unfaithful.

I certainly don’t know how Tiger and Elin Woods relate to one another as people, let alone husband and wife.  But I do know, from personal experience and from people close to me, just how terribly difficult it is to repair a relationship that has suffered the infidelity of one partner (or both, in some cases).  It’s extremely difficult.  Trust has been forever broken, and will never be the same.  Guilt, abandonment, loss of self esteem, and anger are just a few of the multiple emotions each partner will feel.  Nothing between a couple will ever be the same.  Ever.

All I know with certainty is that I would never trade places with Tiger Woods for all the money in his bank account.  The constant life under a microscope has to be draining.  The unwanted attention and lack of privacy has to be maddening.  The glamour just doesn’t justify the sacrifice of being unknown.  The pressure to be on your best behavior publicly at all times has to be overwhelming. 

I’m not condoning Tiger’s behavior.  I’m also not condemning it.  The truth is, in this instant media age we live in, nobody gets away with anything any more.  Money, power, prestige, none of it makes any of us immune.  And the world is all too quick to tear down in an instant those we’ve spent years building up.  So Tiger now joins the mainstream in his humanity. 

To any of you who have lived through a similarly painful episode, there really isn’t any humor to be found here.  It’s profoundly sad, actually, and I take no satisfaction in discovering that Tiger is/was a philanderer.  His humiliation is real, as is his wife’s pain.  Should they decide to “work through this together”, then I salute them for their courage and conviction and belief in their partnership.  Should they decide to “go their seperate ways”, then I completely understand and wish their children, more than anyone involved in this sordid episode, strength and love.

Much more will be chronicled, obviously, as regards this situation.  But not from me.  Because I know all too well.  Let them figure it out in private.  It’s only right and decent and fair.

Not that it will matter to the media, or to millions of others who want to keep following this “story”.

**********

Jamal Lewis’ football career has ended rather quietly and anonymously.  He was placed on Injured Reserve by the Cleveland Browns today.  I just wanted to take a moment and remember one of the all-time great Baltimore Ravens.  For a man who ran so loudly, JLew sure was quiet.  He was never a trash-talker, never a “bulletin board” quote type of player, never a “look at me” guy.  Just a hard running bruiser who gave it out as good as he got.  I’ll always remember him running through defensive backs and linebackers, shoulders squared, huge legs churning, just delivering absolute punishment.  I really believe Jamal could have played running back in any era of football.  His style was ageless.  Maybe not graceful, but definitely ageless.  The essence of the game has never changed: to be stronger, tougher and more relentless than your opponent.  Jamal Lewis was the epitome of that.  I think it’s highly doubtful we’ll ever see another running back in purple quite like him.

Here’s to #31!  See you in the Ravens’ Ring Of Honor!  Hopefully next year!

**********

I know the NBA is a bit “under the radar” here in Baltimore, but have you noticed the New Jersey Nets have lost their first 18 games this season?  Ah, memories of the Spring of ’88 here in Baltimore!  I, for one, am rooting intensely for 0 – 22.  Just so we can see more Pete Stanicek, Jeff Stone and Ken Gerhart recollections on SportsCenter as they chronicle the worst teams all-time from all sports.

It’s strange how much I’ve come to embrace those ’88 Orioles and their infamous 0 – 21 start.  As drastic and awful and hopeless as they were, I still remember believing in the franchise’s ability to turn things around and never return to such depths.  After all, they were the Baltimore Orioles, and they had the “Oriole Way”.  This was just the lowest depth in franchise history, and there was nowhere to go but up, right?  And they did, immediately, with the unforgettable “Why Not?” season of 1989.

After all, it wouldn’t be possible, ever, for a franchise with such tradition and history to suffer through something like, oh, say, eleven consecutive losing seasons.  Right?

Right?

**********

Talk to everyone tomorrow at noon on The Bob Haynie Show.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 03 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

I REALLY enjoyed the Towson/UMBC game last night. It was pretty good basketball and a surprisingly great atmosphere for the cross-town rivalry. Games like that last night are a reminder to me of why Drew Forrester is ABSOLUTELY correct in saying this city needs the “Battle of Baltimore” again.says Matt Birk thinks Packers’ December success on “Frozen Tundra” more to do with team’s success than weather

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

Best of Wednesday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark

Drew Forrester says Troy Franklin made huge steel in final minute to seal victory for Tigers

Tom Clayton says Gary Williams’ team likely to be better in February than in November

Drew Forrester thinks Billy Wagner might regret picking Braves over Birds

Glenn Clark says 10 different opponents to visit Ed Smith Stadium during Orioles Spring Training

Ed Frankovic says Boudreau doesn’t want Caps’ Ovechkin to change how he plays

Eric Aaronson says Brendon Haywood contributing to Wizards beyond Jamison, Butler, Arenas

RAVENS:says Harbaugh thinks Ravens have ‘six starting O-Linemen’ with both Marshal Yanda, Chris Chester

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Mark Clayton amongst Ravens ‘excited’ for chance to play at Lambeau Field

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says beating Packers would be major step in reaching playoffs

The Official Site’s Mallory Steinberg says Parmele, Oher, Heap, Mason, McKinney amongst Ravens involved in community this week

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Clayton not bothered that Flacco goes to Mason, Rice so much

The Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg says Sam Koch thinks punting in bitter cold like ‘punting a brick’

The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says Tony Moll loved playing for community in Green Bay

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens could struggle to get going early in Green Bay

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Jamal Lewis’ career will end with trip to IR

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Charles Woodson ‘exceptional cornerback’

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ray Lewis only player on roster to have been with Ravens for last trip to Green Bay

Green Bay Press Gazette’s Tom Pelissero says Katula will have big cheering section in native Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Lori Nickel says Dom Capers’ Green Bay defense wants to remain #1 in NFL

USA Today’s Sean Leahy says NFL admitted to mistake before Cundiff’s missed FG to end regulation against Steelers

5 of 8 USA Today analysts pick Packers

Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer picks Packers 30-27

4 of 7 Sporting News analysts pick Ravens

3 of 3 NFL Network analysts pick Packers

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco picks Packers 31-21

TERRAPINS BASKETBALL:says Landon Milbourne thought zone defense ‘threw (Indiana’s) offense off a little bit’

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler

The Diamondback’s Michael Katz says Tom Crean was livid with how Hoosiers fans treated Vasquez Tuesday night

The Diamondback’s Eric Detweiler says Gary Williams went with Jin Soo Choi ahead of Cliff Tucker Tuesday night in Bloomington

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Gary wasn’t thinking about Villanova Tuesday night

Washington Post’s Steve Yanda says Gary thought Vasquez delivered ‘great performance’ Tuesday night at Assembly Hall

TERRAPINS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:previews tonight’s battle with Minnesota at Comcast Center in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

The Official Site

The Official Site offers complete Terps/Gophers release (pdf)says Frese facing former team in Minnesota tonight at Comcast Center

The Diamondback’s Jonas Shaffer

TERRAPINS FOOTBALL:says Terrapin Club President Jaklitsch believes Friedgen on ‘keep the faith’ campaign

The Sun’s Jeff Barker

The Sun’s Jeff Barker says Terps avoid Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech on next season’s schedule

Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell offers transcript of Friedgen’s letter to season ticket holders

Washington Times’ Ryan O’Halloran says Navy, Eastern Michigan, Wake Forest, Virginia, Duke all “must win” games for Terps in ‘10

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh says Fridge plans to spend next two months recruiting before making staff/philosophy decisions (must subscribe)says Torrey Smith took ‘leadership’ role after Boston College game (must subscribe)says Titus Till amongst future Terps excited to hear Friedgen returning to College Park

Terrapin Times’ Keith Cavanaugh

Inside MD Sports’ Jeff Ermann

TOWSON BASKETBALL:says Nwankwo tallied 17 points, 14 rebounds for Tigers in win

The Official Site

The Official Site provides numerical evidence of win

The Sun’s Jeff Seidel says Pat Kennedy happy to see Nwankwo remain ‘active’ in victory

Examiner Matthew Schlissel says Josh Thornton scored 23 points for Tigers in win over Retrievers

UMBC BASKETBALL:says Shawn Grant’s 28 not enough as Retrievers fell at Towson Center

The Official Site

MORGAN BASKETBALL:previews Saturday’s trip to Coppin State

The Official Site

HOPKINS FOOTBALL:previews Saturday’s trip to Wesley in NCAA Tournament quarterfinals

The Official Site

The Official Site offers complete JHU-Wesley release (pdf)says Matt Stover helped Alex Lachman, Blue Jays

The Sun’s Mike Klingaman

LOYOLA LACROSSE:says Hounds picked to win ECAC by Inside Lacrosse

The Official Site

MT. ST. MARY’S BASKETBALL:previews tonight’s NEC opener at Robert Morris

The Official Site

The Official Site offers complete Mountaineers-Colonials release (pdf)previews next Saturday’s battle with Army in Philadelphia

NAVY FOOTBALL:

The Official Site

Washington Post’s Camille Powell says Niumatalolo knows Midshipmen must move past Hawaii loss ‘quickly’

SALISBURY FOOTBALL:says Cynewski to represent Gulls in Mexico City All-Star Game

The Official Site

ORIOLES:says Red Sox to visit Sarasota 3 times during Spring Training

The Sun

The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Birds not playing Nationals in Spring Training

Examiner Jay Trucker says O’s open Spring Training play March 3 against Rays

BALTIMORE MARINERS:says D-Lineman Adam Foley returns to AIFA team

The Official Site

SWIMMING:says Michael Phelps understands ‘humanization of super-athlete’ Tiger Woods going through now

SwimNetwork.com’s Mike Gustafson

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:

-Gotta run out to Owings Mills.

Talk to you from there.

-G

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