Posted on 24 February 2012 by WNSTV
Posted on 09 February 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
As many of you might remember, my dear friend and mentor John Steadman would often channel Babe Ruth and write wacky letters to Baltimore sports fans from The Bambino in heaven.
So, on the eve of what would’ve been my father’s 93rd birthday, I’m writing an open letter to Steadman – and my Pop (and maybe even to Charlie Eckman) – to tell them what my eyes have seen in the years since their deaths in regard to the legacy of the Indianapolis Colts. I now realize in many ways I only really saw the Baltimore Colts and their glory through their eyes because other than three years of Bert Jones from 1975-77 when I was a kid, the Colts of Robert Irsay weren’t worth having in Baltimore.
The Baltimore Colts packed up the Mayflower vans on March 28, 1984. Twenty-eight years later and about that many trips to Indy over the years have taught me many life lessons about greed, loss, regret, hatred, football, forgiveness, civic responsibility and pride.
I spent nine days in Indianapolis last week and I’ll be back there again in 14 days for the NFL Combine. I’ll probably be going to Indianapolis for the rest of my life – or as long as they have the Colts – and I’m finally gaining some appreciation, clarity and personal growth for my adventures in the “friendly heart of The Midwest.”
Dear John & Pop:
I know you’re going to have a hard time believing this – and you might even think old Nasty Nestor has gone soft – but I have a very hard, long-term and deep-seated admission I’m going to make and you’re probably going to be very disappointed with me.
After all of these years, I have to admit that I like Indianapolis.
And I like Jim Irsay.
And I even like the Mayor of Indy, Greg Ballard, who I introduced to Chuck Pagano on our WNST set last week in Indy.
And I have to make the tough, honest admission that the Indianapolis Colts have become one helluva success story for the NFL and for their community in Indiana.
I know you might not have liked my “pardon” of all things Irsay and Colts and Indianapolis almost two years ago now, and you’re probably flipping over in your respective graves as you read this but the people of Baltimore almost found out last week what Indiana and “Hoosier Hospitality” is all about.
It’s a shame, really, because the people of Baltimore would’ve been there to see firsthand just how far Indianapolis has come in 28 years if Ravens’ WR Lee Evans would’ve just held onto a sure-touchdown pass from this scrappy kid named Joe Flacco up in New England in the AFC Championship Game. Half of the Charm City would’ve been packing up the family for Indiana like Jed Clampett going to Beverly Hills if the Ravens would’ve pulled out that win over the Patriots.
And that trip might’ve once-and-for-all “healed the war” between Indy and Baltimore. And it might’ve gotten us what we really want — pictures like THIS taken off the walls of local taverns like Kilroy’s because they are as disrespectful as a Confederate flag is to some men in their symbolism:
(And if you’re reading in Indy: Stop selling the Johnny Unitas jerseys in the Circle Center Mall downtown. And stop pushing Raymond Berry’s sorry ass onto the national platform as your own because he’s foolish enough to play along with the charade.
This stuff STILL bothers all of us in Baltimore! A lot…
Do that, and perhaps, all will be totally forgiven.)
But as much as it is hard for anyone from Baltimore to admit it — but time and facts have proven it all true — you have to give Jim Irsay some immense and serious credit. He inherited one of the most screwed up situations this side of Peter Angelos and his boys when he woke up as a 28-year old general manager in India-No-Place
Posted on 24 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
It’s Tuesday. And, upon further review, the season is still over. The Baltimore Ravens still lost to the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
And as many times as you torture yourself with “the drop” or “the miss” or the lack of a timeout or a review or any of the other myriad of topics that have given me alternating heartburn and heartache over the last 24 hours, it will never rectify it or change the fate of the gods. Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff and John Harbaugh and anyone else associated with decisions or tasks that determined the outcome on Sunday in Foxborough will truly bear that burden the rest of their lives. I hope they can find a way to gain some inner peace about it at some point. But, I’ll bet it’s not even fully sunk in.
It sure hasn’t for me. I know I awakened in a cold sweat at 5:15 a.m. this morning wondering what could’ve been and how it would’ve changed my life, our fun and the kind of business I’m building at WNST.net. It’s been a tough, tough 24 hours in my life after a 7-hour ride home on Sunday night with a century of similarly despondent Ravens fans.
But the Ravens cleaned their lockers out and are moving on, accepting their fate. And we are dusting off and preparing for life after football season and covering the Terps and Capitals and Towson and UMBC and Loyola and Morgan and Coppin and awaiting the annual last-place disgrace that defines Orioles baseball.
The WNST crew is headed to the Super Bowl next week. We’ll be broadcasting live from Radio Row and hopefully with some perspective I’ll say and write some intelligent things when I try to fully assess what Sunday’s loss means to the franchise and how they’ll have to recover from what will always be characterized as the worst loss in Baltimore football history since Super Bowl III.
So close yet, so far from Indianapolis.
You don’t get any closer than the Super Bowl berth in the hands of a veteran wide receiver in the end zone. You don’t get any closer than having a veteran kicker attempting a 32-yard field goal in perfect wind conditions to keep the game alive.
So many offseason issues, holes to fill, retiring players, free agents, rookies, drafts and combines – there’ll be lots of conversation to follow at WNST.net over the next six months.
I’m also doing the Dip At The Dock at Dock Of The Bay in Miller’s Island on Saturday along with a bunch of nutballs who go running into the cold water in late January for Special Olympics. The sun came up this morning. Life will move on…
And I’d like to say that the right turn I took on Pratt Street this morning did not conjure up visions of the parade route but it did. But life will go on…and that’s gotta start today.
If Ray Lewis can shake it off then I have to attempt to do the same.
Pitchers and catchers report in three weeks in Sarasota. The Caps host the Stanley Cup champs tonight. College basketball is in full swing. And the NFL offseason “hotstove” is now alive.
WNST.net – we NEVER stop talking Baltimore sports.
Even when it hurts like hell.
Posted on 25 November 2011 by WNSTV
Posted on 25 November 2011 by WNSTV
Posted on 25 November 2011 by WNSTV
Posted on 24 November 2011 by Drew Forrester
Believe it or not, I’m actually going to use a line from our resident nutjob Merton in Indianapolis to describe the Thanksgiving night appearance of the big, bad San Francisco 49′ers.
As ol’ Merton would say: ”All bluster and no muster”.
Really? That’s all the 49′ers had to offer on Thursday night?
Well, so much for Jim Harbaugh’s team being any good.
The Ravens borrowed a page from the book of year’s gone by and simply “managed the game” to a near perfect style, producing a workmanlike 16-6 win over the 49′ers to improve to 8-3 on the year.
And it really WAS that easy.
Sure, it was tied 6-6 heading into the 4th quarter, but this one never really was in doubt because the 49′ers could have kept playing until Barry Bonds is forgiven and they still wouldn’t have mounted a real scoring threat.
Playing without Ray Lewis for a second straight game, Baltimore’s defense unleashed a ferocious attack that had Alex Smith running for his life most of the night. I’m not sure what Cory Redding and Terrell Suggs had for lunch, but someone should immediately get a shipment of it sent to the Orioles. It’s been a long time since two defensive players dominated a game like those two did on Thursday night.
Baltimore sacked Smith nine times on the night and with the exception of a first-half TD pass to Ted Ginn that was called back due to a penalty, the only time San Fran saw the end zone was when they ran through it during pre-game warm-ups. In the match-up of storied defense vs. up-and-coming offense, the guys in black scored a knockout. How much of a rear-beating did Baltimore give their west coast guests? Well, let’s just say this: The trainer handling cuts in the 49′ers corner needed a new box of towels at the end of the fight.
The victory essentially erases the woeful display in Seattle a few weeks ago and gives Baltimore continued hope of winning the AFC North and securing either the 1st or 2nd seed in the post-season. With a layup game coming in 10 days at Cleveland and a visit from the winless Colts the week after, the Ravens can go into glide mode for a few weeks before a pre-Christmas trip to San Diego that promises to get their full attention.
Make no mistake about it: The fabled Cleat-of-Reality was delivered to San Francisco on Thursday night. Given the chance to prove their mettle in front of a national TV audience, they were swallowed up whole by a nasty Ravens defense that put together perhaps their best overall performance of the season.
Posted on 22 November 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
Posted on 14 November 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
The trip home from Seattle was just as long for me as it’s been for the Baltimore Ravens. They’ve had several hours of reflection now, and so have I, as the purple tour of North America continues with intermittent ugly losses and long plane rides.
The Ravens, as I’ve written and said many times since the initial debacle in Nashville back in September, have been become quite consistent in their inconsistency and unpredictability. We all know that there’s a very good football team someone in there based on the sweep of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the steely resolve they’ve used to overcome deficits like the hole they dug against the Arizona Cardinals.
But, when will the “real” Baltimore Ravens of 2011 stand up and define their season?
This latest smelling, wretched turd in Seattle will not sit well for the next six days as head coach John Harbaugh will go back to the drawing board – or maybe that’s Cam Cameron’s job? – as the Ravens attempt to game plan for a first-place showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday for the most recent “really important game” of 2011.
The Seattle game had all of the hallmarks of a lost game amidst the promise of an elite team and a still-potential Super Bowl year for the Ravens.
Sure, kick returner David Reed will be the fall guy for the two obvious field possession swings and the 22-17 loss to the Seahawks but as Ray Lewis told me at his locker last night it goes far deeper than a few fumbles or turnovers.
Some random questions and observations as the Ravens return from Seattle at 6-3 and still fully in control of their own destiny in the AFC race for a No. 1 seed, a January bye week and some home-cooking to start the 2012 Festivus season:
Is the defense aging?
The otherwise stingy Ravens defense began every stand yesterday in Seattle from a position of obvious weakness. When Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed lead their defense onto the field and the first mumble is: “I hope we can hold them to a field goal!” that’s never good.
The turnovers yesterday killed the spirit
Posted on 30 October 2011 by WNST Staff
Nestor Aparicio asked Ravens coach John Harbaugh if there were any miracle speeches at halftime when the Ravens were trailing the Cardinals 21-6.