Posted on 05 May 2012 by WNST Staff
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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 22 January 2012 by WNSTV
Posted on 02 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
As many of you know, I love to write. It’s my life’s passion — writing, opining and structuring prose. Lately, however, time has been short with my never-ending quest to move WNST.net from the radio world to the internet world and harnessing the power of social media and your involvement in Baltimore sports as fans — just like us — as the Baltimore Ravens go on their quest for a Super Bowl championships that would end in a very delicious turn of irony if (or when?) we march the Lombardi Trophy down Maryland Street in downtown Indianapolis.
So, here it is, I’m saying it and I’m not running from it.
I believe the Baltimore Ravens are going to the Super Bowl in two weeks.
And this is coming from a guy who was the only media member in the state who picked the Ravens to win on Sunday.
And, you might have a hard time believing this but you can look it up: I picked the EXACT score when I wrote, Tweeted, opined and Facebooked the Ravens’ 24-16 win. I hope my name — as well as my Flacco Fu — goes down as Joe Namath-esque. I’m not guaranteeing a victory — but I believe they’re going to win the Super Bowl next month and I see the parade coming down Pratt Street as clearly as I see the Fu on the face of Joe Flacco.
And I’ve got a little challenge for you below. Instead of writing how I feel, I’ve summed it all up in this video exchange with Glenn Clark and Luke Jones.
If you liked vintage “Nasty Nestor” you’ll enjoy this video from last night at Monday Night Live at High Topps.
Get some popcorn buttered and hear my message:
And feel free to opine below and share with your friends. Here’s the REAL question:
DO YOU BELIEVE, BALTIMORE?
Posted on 07 November 2011 by WNST Staff
Posted on 18 October 2011 by WNST Staff
We always like surprises and had already announced that Ray Lewis would be our special guest for Brendon Ayanbadejo’s Monday Night Live at High Topps with WNST.net after the Ravens’ big 29-14 win over the Houston Texans. As expected, Timonium filled with fans of No. 52 but just after he disappeared for the evening even the WNST staff — and we think even Ayanbadejo — was shocked to see Ray Rice walk onto the set and give all of the loyal purple contingent a real treat last night as Luke Jones and Glenn Clark chatted with the star of Sunday’s victory.
As you know, WNST was the originator of Monday Night Live back in 1996 with “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio at The Barn in Parkville, and with so many radio shows now being done around the city on any given weeknight sometimes the shows don’t feel as urgent or as “special” as they felt back in the pre-Super Bowl days.
But last night will be a legendary night for those who attended and we always appreciate your attendance at our live events and parties.
Facebook and Twitter were flooded with pics and some live video segments by the time Lewis exited and Rice walked into High Topps Backstage Grille around 7:40 p.m.
You can enjoy the entire audio of last night’s show with one click in our BuyAToyota audio vault or tune into WNST-AM 1570 over the next few days to hear the amazing conversation.
Monday Night Live is held every Monday night at 7 p.m at High Topps Backstage Grille in Timonium with Brendon Ayanbadejo “and friends.”
And clearly, he has friends in high places…
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Posted on 28 September 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
Our cool, growing (and still free!) sports media company had another great B2B-Business To Business event last week in Towson with @CoachBillick and an old friend and reader of WNST.net approached me and asked the eternal Orioles question:
“So, Nasty, I’ve read all of the issues regarding the Orioles and Mike Flanagan and Andy MacPhail and Free The Birds, but what are we as fans going to do? You need to offer solutions…”
Well, virtually every human being I’ve spoken to over the last three years – and I still have a ton of friends in upper management at Major League Baseball and all over the league — has concurred: this just isn’t going to change on the field as long as Peter Angelos is involved in Baltimore baseball ownership.
But, of course, I came to that conclusion five years ago when I did the original Free The Birds rally and campaign because in my mind – and time has proven me correct – this was long past the point of no return with the local community and most people of integrity within the baseball community in 2006.
And what I’ve come to realize is that this REALLY bugs the hell out of my internet critics – the fact that I’ve been right and honest and accurate all along.
I don’t think it took any “orange Nostradamus” or 19 chapters and 75,000 words worth of my book to predict that this civic nightmare would continue given Angelos’ tactics, mindset, age and propensity through his 82 years on the planet to want to fight with people. He sues people for a living.
I knew a long time ago that it was getting worse and not better. I knew it was going to become an easy $50 million annual profit center given the deal that Angelos negotiated with Major League Baseball once the Washington Nationals were hatched. I wanted to believe he was telling the truth in 2006 but he clearly wasn’t honest and indeed got the “last laugh.”
But I must say my worst fears of where this sick tale was going in 2006 never really factored in the possibility that Mike Flanagan would be committing suicide five years later in the middle of a fifth consecutive last-place season.
But I’m not at all surprised that the team has finished in last place every year since Free The Birds.
And I’ve now spent four full years without a press pass for this last-place debacle and sick civic disgrace while the team’s head of baseball operations runs away from me at public functions when I ask a few questions.
I’ve been asking myself for a month how the Orioles are going to handle this offseason of obvious unparalleled despair. Despite the kid gloves Captain Profit Andy MacPhail has been treated with here by his local media co-workers who are disguised as journalists — his tenure here is now complete and was a large, profitable “MacFailure” .
He’s slithering out of town in the dead of the night after changing exactly NOTHING about the Baltimore Orioles in real terms, other than the profit line. Oh, and there’s the spring training home in Sarasota that was 15 years overdue – and now another publicly-aided profit center — I don’t see anything about the farm system, the future or the current state of the roster that’s appreciably better than before.
I know this much: four years, four last-place finishes. That’s the record. It is what it is.
The whole franchise stinks.
What happens to Buck Showalter is anyone’s guess but word is he’ll be the new poobah in charge of “baseball operations” at 10:07 p.m. after Red Sox playoff magic leaves the Charm City – and all that really means is that he’s the next victim who will make a few million and go back to where he came from (in this case Dallas) a few years later with a tainted resume and some more losses and evenings of angst.
Of course, if he really thinks Angelos is committed to winning a World Series, angst is only the beginning.
Just 13 months ago Showalter said he knew what he was getting into with Angelos
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Posted on 18 August 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
It’s a momentous day here at WNST.net in many ways. Some great news will be divulged here today and other tidbits and updates will be best savored on another day. But make no mistake about it: today is a very proud day for me at WNST.net.
We’ve quietly made some changes in our format and I’m really blessed to loudly and proudly announce the addition of Luke Jones to our WNSTeam as Drew Forrester’s new co-host, producer and whipping boy on The Morning Reaction and the promotion of Glenn Clark to afternoon drive show host from 2-to-6 on weekdays replacing Rex Snider, who submitted his resignation last week.
I enjoyed Rex Snider’s passion and I really wish him well in the future. He was one of many folks who I was fortunate to meet and afford an opportunity to live the dream of doing a daily radio show at WNST and I hope this will launch him to greater things. He’s a man of integrity and I enjoyed watching his brand (and his hair) grow.
On a personal note, I can’t appropriately express my bursting pride in Glenn Clark’s progress as a host, writer, journalist and learner of all things Baltimore sports and he’s more than earned this “promotion” but he’s too humble to even show he’s really all that jazzed. It’s just his style – grinding and doing it more than talking about doing it.
Clark, strangely enough, was my son’s best pal growing up whom I never paid attention to in Perry Hall. If there’s some perverse justice in all of this for him, well, I’m stuck driving around town now listening to HIS show in MY former time slot. And now HE gets all the attention from the chicks…
Life is strange…
It’s always funny when folks in the community mention how many of my former “discoveries” have wound up on the air at my competitors (both still in business and out of business) and how I’ve been somehow forced to watch them take their brands elsewhere this is rich with irony. It was CBS Radio and their brain trust who chased Glenn to Arizona where he learned enough to come back and kick their asses every afternoon at WNST.net as our program director and media “bootcamp” coach. Those “experts” over at CBS Radio lost the best talent in the marketplace in Glenn Clark and they had him under their roof and instead hired the likes of Anita Marks and Jennifer Royle.
In our @Twitter parlance, I’d call that #winning for @WNST.
Glenn Clark has forgotten more about Baltimore sports than most anyone I know knows. And he’s not even 30! Beginning today, Glenn Clark will have Baltimore’s best afternoon drive radio show. Just watch it grow!
I’m so delighted to have Luke and Glenn in their new roles and I know you will be too if you’re a faithful WNST user, listener, lover or Baltimore sports fan.
Luke Jones will be a steadying force for Drew’s early-morning crankiness. Oh, and Luke has ALSO forgotten more about Baltimore sports than most anyone I know.
These guys are REAL experts, REAL sources within the locker rooms of the Ravens and Orioles and Terps. They are the best in the marketplace already and will only help WNST.net grow even more with their multi-talented skill set to write and create and contribute in cogent, historically relevant conversations about Baltimore sports.
I’ve forgotten more about Baltimore sports than almost anyone I know and I learn things from Luke and Glenn every day. They’re cool dudes!
So now please allow me to drone on and on about my sports media “man crush” on Luke Jones, who is by far the coolest discovery I’ve ever made in Baltimore sports media.
He went to Syracuse University wanting to do this with his life – become a sportswriter and journalist covering his favorite three teams (Ravens, Orioles, Terps – although I’m not really sure it’s in that order?).
Instead, Luke wound up becoming a school teacher in Shrewsbury, Pa. and recently made a difficult decision to give up a wonderful life and a career in education that he’s as equally passionate about to join our WNST Team.
I can say this: I’m TRULY honored to have Luke on our team.
I can say this for SURE: Luke Jones is as fine of a man as I’ve ever had knock on my door looking for a job. And he won a freaking contest two years ago!
Mark my words: Luke Jones will be the best journalist in Baltimore over the next 10 years and I’m going to hold us both accountable to hold up those words and watch them stick.
Luke will be our daily Ravens beat writer being assisted by Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester, Ryan Chell and Peter DiLutis. I will be providing live UStream video from the road on Saturdays and Sundays and we’ll be platforming plenty of roadtrip fun on our YouTube channel as well. If you own a local business, my rock star sales crew will be knocking on your door for sponsorship of our new programming.
Glenn Clark and I will re-institute “The Friday Football Frenzy” and we’ll have a bevy of rock star guests every Friday afternoon as we go deep into the purple fall and beyond. Thyrl Nelson will continue in his role as the ruler of the Mobtown Sports Beat from 10 a.m til 2 p.m. when Glenn takes over. Ryan Chell will remain in his role as producer of both shows while keeping his eye out on the news of the day.
WNST also has big plans ahead for a powerful mobile app for Droid and we already have heavy traffic to our IPhone site, where traffic is up over 300% this year.
And as much as we are saddened to see another talented WNST personality leave our nest, it’s also a wonderful thing to be able to give more new people with a dream a chance to make a living doing this in Baltimore radio and media. I love my role as a leader of people these days and I’m surrounded by youthful energy and exuberance that really gets my juices going as an entrepreneur and lover of great sports media.
Many of my former employees have moved into different spots in the industry and I’m very proud of having a reputation for being a “star maker” in Baltimore sports media. And these are the two brightest, young stars we’ve ever had at WNST.net.
Even Drew Forrester thinks these kids are good!
If you read or listen to their work, you’ll agree. And no one is a tougher critic of WNST or holds our brand to a higher standard than I do.
WNST.net will be bringing you Baltimore’s best football coverage all fall and Baltimore’s best radio, blogs, news and information all day, every.
We Never Stop Talking Baltimore sports.
Now, more than ever!
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Posted on 14 April 2011 by Nestor Aparicio
Two weeks ago Adam Jones, the starting centerfielder for the Baltimore Orioles who also fancies himself a free spirit, world social media maven and loose-lipped athlete, repeatedly told our local fans to come back to the ballpark in 2011 and “knock the s**t outta Yankees fans” when they bring their money to Camden Yards.
Being the only real journalist left in Baltimore with a free voice (and, conversely, no Orioles press pass), I wrote a scathing blog here about this very public pronouncement made by Jones on video at www.baltimoresun.com that cost me a local sponsorship and got me roundly slammed by the morons, apes and trolls on various “hangout” message boards and web blogs for “being too negative” about the Orioles.
Well, it turns out, a couple of Los Angeles Dodgers fans took the “advice” of Adam Jones and now a 42-year old paramedic named Bryan Stow – same age as me, by the way – is in a coma in a Los Angeles hospital and his two children might never have a father again.
Think I was a little too hard on Jones now?
Or were the other local “media” members, afraid for their jobs and press passes and encouraged by their bosses to “just pretend Jones never said anything that dumb,” a bunch of cowards in not writing the truth about Jones’ overt and brazen stupidity in recommending that our fans get violent with Yankees fans in Baltimore?
This has been the biggest sports story on the West Coast this week, with Giants and Dodgers fans speaking out about the violence and the senseless pain of this not-so-random attack.
Today, perhaps I come to you as a blogger or entrepreneur or social media critic or washed up sports talk show host, but just know one thing: I’m a REAL fan. I’d be willing to bet you any amount of money that I have sat with visiting team gear on in the upper decks of more out-of-town ballparks and arenas than you have in my 42 years on the planet – 27 of them covering sports as a journalist and fan.
And I’ve seen it all. I’ve had dog bones thrown at me in the upper deck in Cleveland. I’ve been punched in the back of the head in New York while standing at a urinal. I’ve been cursed and MF’ed in Philadelphia. I even somehow managed to find a**holes in Green Bay and Nashville, who made it thoroughly unenjoyable to watch a football game in their “hospitable” stadiums with purple gear on in the stands.
As recently as four days ago in my home ballpark with the same black and orange jersey on as the home team I was accosted by a fan, who crossed the line between passion and abuse.
On Sunday afternoon in the bucolic and mostly empty confines of Camden Yards, as I was exiting the stadium in Sect. 32 with my Baltimore jersey on, holding hands with my wife and walking next to my son and his girlfriend – in seats amidst Orioles wives, families, etc. in a stadium where you can literally hear a pin drop most of the time – I was accosted by an angry Orioles fan who stood up, pointed at me from five feet away and screamed in his loudest voice, “Nestor you’re a F**KING JERK!”
As I wrote two weeks ago when the largest media conglomerate in the country (if not the world) had one of its pathetic, in-over-her-head employees sue me and two of my employees for
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Posted on 04 April 2011 by Brian Billick
Julio Jones is a three year starter from Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. He measures in at 6’2 3/4 and 220 pounds. Jones has always been considered an elite prospect with a high first round grade, but he raised his stock even more during the NFL Scouting Combine. It was there that he ran a 4.39 forty-yard dash and jumped a 38.5 inch vertical, all while having a bone injury in his foot. Not only does that show supreme athleticism, but also a certain level of toughness that some NFL prima donnas at the wide receiver position lack.
Jones carries that toughness onto the field as well. He shows a no fear mentality when going across the middle, and often gives up his body in order to make a catch. He also displays that 4.39 speed in his route running by maintaining close to full speed when coming in and out of breaks. He also shows the ability to be a great double move receiver that is so often used in NFL passing systems. When the ball is in his possession, he runs “angry” and often picks up yards after contact. Jones is best when the defensive back tries to play press coverage, but could work on his technique to eat up separation when the corner is playing off coverage. He has above average hands, but will sometimes drop an easy pass by letting it get into his body.
Jones’ combine workout was very impressive, and encouraged NFL scouts and talent evaluators to go back and look at additional tape. Some teams have claimed to move him ahead of AJ Green on their draft board, but I would still consider him a close second. I believe Jones to be very comparable to Anquan Boldin and will give his future team that tough presence at the wide receiver position.
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