Tag Archive | "kelly"

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Caps Waste Holtby’s Strong 60 Minutes

Posted on 12 April 2012 by Ed Frankovic

Washington Capitals rookie goaltender Braden Holtby did everything right for 60 minutes in his NHL playoff debut. He played outstanding in the game’s first five minutes when the Boston Bruins were all over the Caps and he was the team’s best penalty killer during a six minute stretch of B’s power play time that started late in the opening frame and carried into period two. He stopped all 29 shots he faced in regulation and his puck moving ability helped his defense out all night.

Unfortunately for #70, overtime was not kind to him and Chris Kelly scored the game winning goal, and only tally for either club in this one, for the Bruins just 1:18 into the extra frame. It was a shot Holtby will likley want back, although it seemed that an out of position Dennis Wideman may have altered the shot’s trajectory with his stick. However, if not for Holtby this game isn’t tied going into the final frame.

There are lots of players to finger for the lack of scoring, but you have to start at the top. Alexander Ovechkin had seven hits, but when the Gr8 only gets one shot on net, the Capitals are simply not going to win very often. Ovechkin has to be better at getting pucks to the net. Shortly before Kelly scored the winner, Ovie had a chance coming down the left wing but instead of powerfully going to the cage and perhaps jamming one home he tried a fancy, through the legs type of move that led to a turnover. You are not going to win in the post season trying Harlem Globetrotters style plays and the Gr8 needs to realize that or this series will end quick, like many have predicted.

On the positive side of things, the Caps penalty killing was very good (Boston was 0 for 4) and the third period might be something Washington can build off of. The Capitals dominated that frame, had some traffic in front of Tim Thomas (17 saves), but didn’t have the hands around the cage to put a rebound by him. It was a super 20 minutes and the Caps did a lot of nice things.

At the end of the night, though, the Capitals needed more of the way they played in period three. Instead, they took some bad penalties, most notably Jay Beagle’s unnecessary four minute high sticking penalty (#83 hit David Krejci in the face), and when that happens your skill players have to sit while the grinders are forced to kill off the infraction. That leads to a lack of flow and Boston carried the play in period two as a result.

Overall Holtby did what his club asked him to do but the Capitals wasted a great goaltending effort. It was a performance in net that the Caps needed to capitalize on and they failed. Bottom line, when you get an effort like that in the cage, a team needs to find a way to steal a win. It will be interesting to see if #70 builds off of this or if he has a let down after such a fine outing.

So now Washington has the task of trying to win game two on Saturday in Beantown at 3pm (NBC). It isn’t a must win game, but a 2-0 hole against the defending champions would be difficult to climb out of, that is for sure. Ovechkin and company need to bring it on Saturday, employing the things that they did correctly in period three of game one, because if they don’t, and play more like the middle frame, this series will end rather quickly.

Notes:  Joel Ward was a presence in his limited time (9:21) and he actually had two shots on goal. #42 was a force on the boards and if he continues to play that way he’ll see more ice time…another place to put blame rests with the Caps power play. It managed just two shots in four minutes of advantage time. Washington had trouble getting in the zone and setting up. If they can get some goals on the power play then they have a good chance of winning the games and the series. The way it performed tonight, it is hard to expect that, though…the Caps won 32 of 65 draws (49%).

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Monday Bloody Monday: Ravens set to part ways with Heap, Mason, Gregg and McGahee

Posted on 25 July 2011 by WNST Staff

The action came fast and furious and with shocking force on Monday afternoon as the Ravens — via many sources, agents, players and media — are set to part ways with a bevy of big-name stars as the 2011 free agent period comes like a tsunami. Veterans Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Kelly Gregg and Willis McGahee were all informed of the termination of their contracts almost immediately following the NFLPA ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Several sources inside Owings Mills said that Heap and Mason will be offered a chance to return to the team at a lower salary. Gregg could also be offered a reduced role and a lower salary. Many other teams around the NFL are expected to release veterans in an attempt to lower their 2011 salaries and free up cap space.

It promises to be an unprecedented week of news, information and free agent signings.

For full, unfolding coverage you can always follow us in real time on Twitter @WNST.

WNST will have full coverage of all of the information and pending changes in Owings Mills all day Tuesday at WNST.net and AM 1570.

Ravens players are expected to start appearing the Owings Mills headquarters as early as 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

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First aid & Band aids don’t aid Ravens’ Festivus run

Posted on 30 November 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

As a card-carrying, eternal purple optimist, I suppose today is a day when my lavender heart gets tarnished. I’m going to do the unthinkable and be rational in my observation of where the Ravens are and where they could be heading between now and Jan. 3 in Oakland.

After seeing how this works over the last decade, since the Ravens really became a competitive squad in 1999, I think the NFL really boils to one thing – talent not withstanding – it’s injuries.

And this is why I think the Ravens are doomed this year, why they aren’t a good bet to make it through this minefield of games against the mostly lousy NFC North:

The most injured team in December loses. The healthiest team – with talent and key positions in tact – in January wins.

Right now, after watching them the past few weeks and after walking into the Ravens locker room last night, my veteran sportswriter eyeball test tells me that any purple Festivus miracle this year is a major, major uphill battle.

Part of why the team stinks right now is because they’re battered and bruised and the locker room looks like the walking wounded.

And it’s not just the devastating Terrell Suggs, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Fabian Washington injuries, it’s more about the walking wounded right now who are playing at far less than 90% and giving it all they have but just can’t perform at a Pro Bowl level with a variety of limiting injuries.

Let’s address the gimpy infirmary, not to mention the other aged players like Matt Birk, Trevor Pryce and Derrick Mason on the Ravens:

The three best players on the Ravens – and I’ll take any argument here – are Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco and Haloti Ngata. Right now, they are the “Purple Hearts,” if you will.

Let be honest – the NFL is all about speed. It’s the most significant attribute any player can have and it’s universal. Why do you think they spend so much time on 40-yard dashes at the combine every year? Speed kills. If you don’t have it, you don’t win.

Ray Lewis has a bad foot. Joe Flacco has a bad ankle. Haloti Ngata has a bad leg.

Lewis has shown it less in his gait than Flacco or Ngata (and the naked eye can tell from just watching them take normal walking steps in between plays what’s going on there) but he’s just as bad off from what we can tell and his several days of missing practice last week would tell you all you need to know. Lewis LIVES for practice. He loves it!

Flacco just looks like a mess right now. He’s all heart, but it’s pretty clear he’s gimpy and he got rolled up on again last night. Planting, moving, having a busted play become a big gainer – all of that is questionable on any given play. It also looks like his throws are sailing because of these subtle adjustments he’s making on the fly with monsters trying to tear his head off.

Ngata, another one with a heart the size of his own giant girth, is only playing on select downs and is about as banged up as any guy I’ve seen in my years of doing this who is still going out there on Sundays. Kinda reminds me of the year Peter Boulware played with one arm. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is mixing up the units and keeping Kelly Gregg, Justin Bannan and Brendan McKinney fresh, but there’s a major difference between a healthy Ngata and the rest of these guys – especially if you’re talking about 60-70 snaps a game.

This, my friends, is bad for the purple business and the Ravens aren’t going very far for very long with the trio of Lewis, Flacco & Ngata on the hobble.

How long will it take them to heal? Will they heal in the midst of five more games, three more roadtrips and 15 more hours of the physical hell the NFL game wreaks on the framework of these massive bodies?

We’ll see. But I wouldn’t take odds that any of these injuries are going to miraculously heal. They’re nagging, prolonged bouts.

It’s not that I don’t think the Ravens are “good” enough. Properly assembled and with less injured personnel, I’d think they Ravens would be a division winner – and that’s just if they had a kicker who was NFL-caliber the first half of the season.

But right now, at 6-5 with trips still pending to Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Oakland, the road is fraught with more bumps and bruises.

Coach John Harbaugh will downplay all of this. These guys won’t even address their injuries when we ask them on Wednesday’s media day. That’s fine. They shouldn’t talk about it.

But any astute observer would tell you that the Ravens are among the most banged up teams in the league and all at key positions. And banged up teams don’t fare well in the cold having to go on the road. And this is before we address the obvious shortcomings this 6-5 unit has as a whole.

They’re weak on special teams returns and magic. They’ve been previously weak on kicking and the team missed another 54-yarder that could’ve won the game on Sunday night. The offense has been nothing special and the wide receivers have been MIA some weeks. The pass rush has been less than we’ve known it for a decade and don’t get me started on the secondary, which is also playing with spare parts now that Washington is on IR and Frank Walker and Chris Carr continue to get exposed in key situations.

Sure Ray Rice has been explosive. And there have been times, especially early in the year, when the offense looked like it was in sync and could dazzle us with 30 points every week. But that’s not what we’ve seen in large part since September.

If Bill Parcells coined the phrase, “You are what you are!” than the Ravens of 2009 are the embodiment of that expression. They’re 6-5.

I want to believe. I’m going to pick them to win every week. I’m going to travel to Green Bay with a bus full of purple zealots on Sunday and Monday. We’re going to root hard and hope for the best.

But this injury thing, for me, it’s unshakeable. The late-season, winning NFL teams are usually much, much healthier than the Ravens appear to be here on Dec. 1.

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Caps News: Veterans Skate and Day 1 of Rookie Camp

Posted on 07 September 2009 by Ed Frankovic

There was quite a bit of activity for the Washington Capitals on Labor Day, the first official day of the 2009-10 season, at Kettler IcePlex in Ballston, Virginia. After the rookies were on the ice in the morning, which we will get to in a couple of paragraphs, 13 veteran skaters, rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth, and the Caps website producer, goalie Brett “Stretch” Leonhardt, took the rink over for some action. The skaters participating were Mike Green, Mike Knuble, Chris Clark, Matt Bradley, Brendan Morrison, Brooks Laich, Boyd Gordon, John Erskine, Shaone Morrisonn, Jeff Schultz, Dave Steckel, Brian Pothier and Jay Beagle.

The players did a number of drills, conducted a half ice scrimmage, and then finished with some skating sprints. Of note was the condition of Green, who appears to be in phenomenal shape. Green struggled down the stretch and into the playoffs last season with an illness and a bum shoulder but he showed no effects of any of that on Monday. #52 participated recently in August in a try out for the Canadian Olympic team, and although he might not make a squad that is predicted to capture the gold medal in Vancouver in February (that is what my sources tell me unless there is an injury or two), the camp clearly helped Green get ready to build on his monster 31 goal, 73 point (in just 68 games) 2008-09 season.

Now to the rookies, who hit the ice today for their opening session of training camp. Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau was eager to get things going and afterwards quickly summed up his mood and the tone for this camp.

“This is exciting, it is day one, but it is what we do, vacation is over…let’s get back to work.”

And work the team he did, putting them through some very tough suicides at the end of practice that apparently had some rookies struggling to finish. Boudreau felt this end of practice session was an opportunity to see where the younger players were conditioning wise.

“I think [the skate today at the end] is a good test, a good barometer. Every coach has some sort of barometer to see who has worked hard this summer and who took it easier than they should have. Most of our guys were really good with it and a couple of the guys who were late additions probably hadn’t skated as much – you could tell those guys from the guys who knew that they were coming to this camp,” said Boudreau.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, this team has a lot of depth and Boudreau was anxious to talk about it and the impact he sees it having on training camp.

“We think we’ve got tremendous depth. We think the Hershey guys that won the [Calder] Cup last year are going to push these guys really hard. They’ve won the Cup and now they want to make the next step, the NHL. I’ve said this before if you look at the history of teams that won the Calder Cup they always have 4 or 5 guys playing in the NHL in the next year or year and a half, at least,” started the 2007-08 Jack Adams Award winner, “We’ve got 3 good goalies, 11 NHL caliber defensemen, a multitude of forwards who are ready to make the step and I think there are battles all over the ice, which will make for good stories everywhere.”

Boudreau was asked about goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who played very well last post season, and appears ready to challenge for the number one goalie job.

“I think he looked great. Neuvirth [who was out with the veterans in the afternoon] will be in tomorrow. We are just switching both goalies up each day to get them work since [rookie goalie Braden] Holtby is here as well,” said Boudreau on #40’s first day performance before the conversation turned a little bit light hearted, “you know, he speaks English now…I was really surprised, that is a testament to how bad he wants to be in North America to take the language and learn it as quick as he did. I know I couldn’t do it the other way around…when the goalies are smart it scares me,” finished a laughing Boudreau.

A big topic of conversation was Washington 2008 first round draft pick, John Carlson, who made the jump from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League to being a significant contributor on the Hershey team that won the Calder Cup in June. Carlson continues to impress with his play and professionalism at the young age of 19.

“You know he’ s worked hard because that was a pretty tough skate at the end and he was easily the one that lasted the longest, all the time. He’s ready to put a push on to make this club,” said Boudreau on Carlson, who if he does not make the Caps can go down to the AHL in Hershey and play instead of London since he was a United States Hockey League (USHL) draftee.

Corey Masisak of the Washington Times and I caught up with Carlson after practice and here are some of the things we discussed with him and his answers:

On the USA World Juniors Camp he attended in Lake Placid back in August:

Carlson – “It was good. I saw alot of old buddies so that was fun and we stayed at the Olympic training facility, which is a first class place so it was a good way to jump start my training being on the ice once or twice a day for nine or ten days. When I got back I had that base and could really start to work more. ”

On if he is more ready for training camp this year than last year:

Carlson – “I didn’t know what to expect and I still really don’t know what to expect but the experience I had in Hershey is going to make me feel a lot more comfortable with learning the systems. Every day I am just going to come in and do my best and try and make an impression and wherever I end up that is the right place for me. ”

Is he focused on making the Caps?:

Carlson – “Obviously when you come into camp your goal is to make the team and it has been a dream of mine to play in the NHL ever since I was 3. It would be a dream come true but I try not to think about that too much. I’m just worried about making an impression day by day.”

Who did he work out with during the summer to prepare for the season?:

Carlson – “Off ice I trained with Rob Schremp (Oilers), Sam Gagner (Oilers), some of the older guys from the [London] Knights this year in Matt Clark and Phil McRae, and when we got on the ice Andy McDonald (Blues), Corey Perry (Ducks), Brian Campbell (BlackHawks), and Drew Doughty (Kings).”

How is the US world junior team going to do this winter?:

Carlson – “They’ve got a good team, it was a good camp, and it was competitive.”

How did you feel about not getting picked for the US World Junior team last season?:

Carlson – “I was disappointed but when you play hockey that kind of stuff happens so I tried not to think about it and just focus on my season and maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t go there. Who knows?”

I also had a chance to catch up with 21 year old Michael Dubuc, who had 35 goals in 49 regular season games for the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Kelly Cup Champion South Carolina Stingrays. Dubuc impressed me at the July 2008 Caps Development Camp and performed well again in this year’s development camp scoring a lot of goals.

WNST: So is your goal to make the Hershey roster permanently this year?

Dubuc – “Of course, it has got to be, I got cut last year and I needed last year to learn a lot about my game to play at the next level and hopefully I learned a lot of stuff. I am still working on it and the coaches are here to help me work on those things. On my part I had to work hard in the summer to get stronger and faster on the ice. I am going to give it my all to make the Hershey roster this year.”

WNST: You missed some games last season, didn’t you?

“I got hurt twice last year, both times in practice, and it was really unlucky. I ran into a guy in practice and got a concussion one month before the playoffs so that is why I missed some games in the playoffs because I completely lost my game feeling. I played the last two games [of the ECHL finals] and to win a championship, to win the Kelly Cup, as a first year pro it was unbelievable and when we scored that empty net and you’ve been through the whole year with those guys and all of the hard practices you just feel the achievement and there is a smile on everyone’s faces and it is amazing.”

WNST: Is “natural goal scorer” an accurate description of you?

Dubuc – “It is, but everyone in Washington knows that so I have to work on other things. It is fun to score goals but if I work hard it will come. Like you said it is natural but I have to work hard on other things to make it as a hockey player at a higher level. I talked to Bruce [Boudreau] outside and he said ‘Just work hard, you know what you have to do. We know that you can score, keep doing that, but try to get better and keep working hard.’ That is what I am going to do this camp and then Hershey’s camp and hopefully I can get a spot in Hershey, that is what I worked hard for all summer.”

News and Notes: The Caps convention set for September 26th at National Harbor is completely sold out…2005 first round draft pick Joe Finley, who was recently switched from defense to forward, left practice early today. “He said something was going to be sore…which is too bad because he was looking really good. I’d rather have him healthy and ready to go for the rest of camp than ruin him by trying to show something on the first day and hurt a groin or hip flexor or something,” said Boudreau…The Coach has a new weekly blog at WashingtonCaps.com, titled Behind the Bench, “It is something I wanted to do. We did it in Manchester. Washington hockey is pretty hot right now so we want to keep it that way,” added Boudreau….For those of you who are concerned about Washington’s salary cap situation, the team does not have to be under the $56.8M figure until the first game of the season, which is Thursday, October 1st, in Boston. It is not clear where they stand right now but by my calculations they are slightly under, but the only guys who really know for sure are GM George McPhee and Assistant GM/team salary cap guru Don Fishman.

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Who has the best Miller Lite Purple Palace?

Posted on 18 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

OK, we’re down to the nitty gritty in the “Miller Lite Purple Palace” contest. You can click here to see all of the palaces we’ve collected so far and the entries have been AWESOME! You could spend an hour here on WNST.net just looking at all of the cool submissions!

This weekend, we’re going to sift through all of the entries – and YES, you still have four days to get your entries in to us – and we’re going to select a “Final Three.” I’m going to be dropping by these folks’ places next week to shoot some holiday videos inside their palaces and making three “finalist” videos, which we’ll screen on wnsTV. Then, it’s all up to the votes…

We’ll have a winner in two weeks and those folks will be showered with WNST love – a visit from the WNST staff for some playoff football, a trip to Green Bay next year to see the purple take on Wisconsin’s cheeseheads and an autographed Kelly Gregg jersey to add to their purple palace.

Go look at the purple Festivus magic on the entry page and get those final entries in before Sunday!

Feel free to drop some comments about the contest and I’ll post them…any suggestions for a finalist?

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Let The Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest Begin!

Posted on 18 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

WNST Sports Media has set forth to find the biggest Ravens fan of them all. You know the one we’re talking about? The one with the purple basement? Or the purple room? Or the one with an office, room or space that has purple pictures, memories, autographs, signed footballs, jerseys, etc. It might be a seasonal show of Festivus lights and a purple Christmas tree? Or just holiday lights and a train garden?
Or maybe it’s a 365-day shrine to the purple on a new wing of the house? It might even look like a local sports bar? Or, as the contest is appropriately titled, “A Purple Palace.”

Every one of us at WNST grew up collecting autographs, pictures, baseball cards – you name it! And we all have some trinkets lying around our house that have sentimental value in regard to sports. But for the first time, we’re trying to find the virtual All-Star team – or is it the Pro Bowl? — of Baltimore Ravens fans.

There are no specific qualifications for entry. We’ll know the perfect “Purple Palace” when we see it!

But we need you to help us find “the biggest and the best.”

As a reward for the winner, we’re offering a helluva grand prize:

• An all-expenses paid trip for two to Green Bay next year to see some purple football! Oh, and if you consider it a prize, a bunch of the WNST staff will come over to your purple palace during the football playoffs in January and bring some Miller Lite and some food and watch the game IN your viewing palace. We’ll even shoot some wnsTV so our fans at WNST can see what they’re missing in your purple palace and get a better tour. We’ll also throw in a signed Kelly Gregg jersey to add to your purple wall.

There are also $500 and $250 restaurant gift certificate grand prizes for second and third place.

All of the official contest rules are below.

But you can help us spread the word by inquiring with your friends, co-workers or fellow tailgaters as to whose “Purple Palace” is the best!

All of our entries are easily submitted via your computer.

There are two ways to enter:

1. VIDEO: Upload all videos to www.youtube.com in the traditional way and send us the linking address.

2. PHOTOS: Email no more than 5 photos to us at purplepalace@wnst.net.

3. WORDS: You can write an optional 200-word or less essay on your place and what makes it special.

This is NOT an exercise in who can take the best pictures or shoot the coolest videos. We just need the evidence and stories to share with our audience.

All entries must be submitted by Sunday, Dec. 14.

The WNST staff (with help from the WNST.net readers) will pick the Top 3 “Purple Palace” finalists.

WNSTV will then go to the 3 finalist locations for a better look at them. We’ll shoot a 2-minute wnsTV video of your place and you and we’ll leave the voting to an “online” WNST voters format during Christmas Week.

Our winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 29th.

Spread the word. Help us find the coolest basements, Christmas trees, autograph and memorabilia collections and the ultimate “Miller Lite Purple Palace.”

Good luck to you and anyone who loves the Ravens as much as we do!

We can’t wait to see what might be hiding in your basement! Or under your tree!

2008 “MILLER LITE PURPLE PALACE CONTEST”

RULES

All contest participants are bound to the following rules. Please read carefully before entering the contest.

1. You must be 21 years old to enter, a legal US resident and a permanent resident of the states of Maryland or Pennsylvania only.

2. Contestant’s name, likeness, voice, city and state of residence may be used for promotional purposes without additional permission or compensation.

3. Current or former employees of WNST, family members, clients, agents, successors, and assignees of WNST or any promotional agency involved with the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” are ineligible to participate.

4. Entries are limited to one (1) per person. No person may enter more than one time and no person may enter for another person, or in another person’s name. Any person found violating any of the above provisions will be disqualified and all entries submitted by said person shall be ruled ineligible for prize awards

5. All 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” entries must be filled out completely. Any incomplete entries will be ruled ineligible for prize awards.

6. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited.

7. Entries will be accepted from Monday 11/17/08 – Sunday 12/14/08 via the internet only on WNST’s official contest entry form which will be posted on the WNST website – www.wnst.net.

8. Contestants may submit up to three (3) photographs or one (1) video via WNST’s official website – www.wnst.net. Photographs or videos deemed by WNST to be illegal or vulgar in nature will be removed from the contest and the participant will be disqualified.

9. WNST will choose three (3) finalist from the entries submitted, go to their homes and film one “Miller Lite Purple Palace” video per finalist between 12/15/08 – 12/17/08.

10. The three (3) finalist “Miller Lite Purple Palace” videos will be placed on WNST’s website, www.wnst.net from 12/18/08 – 12/28/08, where WNST listeners can vote on their favorite video amongst the three finalists’.

11. Prize winners will be announced on WNST am 1570 and wnst.net between 6 am – 6 p.m. on Monday, 12/29/08.

12. Prize winner’s names will be posted on the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” webpage at www.wnst.net.

13. Substitution of prize or transfer of prizes to another person will be allowed. WNST, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to substitute a prize of comparable value.

14. Prize winners are responsible for any applicable federal, state or local taxes.
15. Any disputes or appeals regarding the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” rules will be decided solely by WNST using its interpretation of the rules. WNST will consider the intent and spirit of the rules; the integrity of the WNST contest; as well as the feasibility of accommodating any appeal. Any and all disputes or appeals must be submitted via email to Brad Howard, Vice President. Deadline for submitting a rules dispute or appeal is 11:59 p.m. EST on 12/31/08. Please include a detailed account of the dispute and resolution requested. All rulings made by WNST are final and binding.
16. By entering the contest, winner agrees to release and hold harmless Miller Brewing Company, WNST, their affiliated and subsidiary companies and other contest sponsors against any and all claims or inability arising directly or indirectly from contestant’s participation in the contest or acceptance or use of the prize. Upon request, winner will promptly complete and sign any documents effectuating this release.

17. Any participant who attempt to bribe, coerce, blackmail or otherwise influence an officer, agent, affiliate, vendor or surrogate of WNST in an effort to alter the standings will be prohibited from winning any prizes and will be eliminated from the contest. Any criminal behavior by a participant which attempts to corrupt or alter the fairness of the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” will result in civil and/or criminal prosecution.
18. Any attempt by a participant or any other individual to deliberately damage the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” webpage or undermine the legitimate operation of the contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws and in the event that an attempt is made, WNST reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent of the law.

19. WNST is not responsible for contestant’s inability to access the Internet due to ISP downtime, computer failure, equipment malfunction, disconnection’s, busy lines, misdirected e-mail, submission errors or other circumstances or incapability’s relative to web access or to contest application.

20. If the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” is cancelled because of an act of terrorism or any unforeseen catastrophe, or an Act of God, or lack of participation, then WNST is not responsible for any loss or liability incurred by any participant due to cancellation of the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest”.
21. 2008 “Miller Lite Purple Palace Contest” is governed by the laws of the state of Maryland without regard to principles of conflicts of law.

22. In the event that any provision of these Official Rules is found invalid or unenforceable pursuant to judicial decree or decision, the remainder of the Official Rules shall remain valid and enforceable according to its terms. The parties intend that the provision of these Official Rules be enforced to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law. Accordingly, the parties agree that if any provision are deemed not enforceable, they shall be deemed modified to the extent necessary to make them enforceable.
23. By entering the 2008 “Miller Lite Purple palace Contest” you agree that you have read and understand the contest rules.

GRAND PRIZE:

1st place – One winner will receive a NFL playoff game (TBD) viewing party for up to12 people in their ‘Purple Palace” in January 2009. WNST staff members will attend and supply Miller Lite and tasty food for people 21+ years of age. The grand prize winner will also receive a trip for two (2) people (including airfare, game tickets, lodging plus transportation to and from the game) to the Baltimore vs. Green Bay football game in Wisconsin in 2009, and a Kelly Gregg autographed Ravens jersey.
2nd place – $500 in restaurant gift certificates
3rd place – $250 in restaurant gift certificates

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Beating the Giants would make Ravens a legit force in AFC

Posted on 16 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

As I wake this morning the Baltimore Ravens – and, yes, they used the word “Baltimore” before it was “comprehensive branding effort” – are 6-3 and could be in sole possession of first place in the AFC North if a series of positive events transpire later today at the Meadowlands and in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers host a desperate San Diego Chargers club coming east to play with their season in the balance.

No matter what, we’re gonna learn a lot about January today.

In my 13 years of fandom I’ve never seen a purple team this hard to read. Are they this good? Or were THEY that BAD?

I’m not really sure.

Here are the irrefutable facts:

• The Ravens have played nine games and have played eight of them well enough to win. That includes solid, representative efforts in Pittsburgh and here against the undefeated and “unstoppable” Tennessee Titans.
• The Ravens played one of the biggest turds in the history of the franchise in Indianapolis and any horse player might “throw this one out” if they can legitimately run with the New York Football Giants.
• Their only wins have come at the expense of the likes of the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders – the literal dregs of the league and darlings of next April’s NFL Draft.
• The road has been far from a nuisance for rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, who after appearing to have been playing the rope-a-dope in that game against the Colts, has rebounded nicely with huge efforts in Miami, Cleveland and Houston.
• The injuries have mounted – Kelly Gregg, Chris McAlister, Marshal Yanda and Dawan Landry are all done for the season – and the “next man up” has gotten the job done. Winning teams do that!
• The team has a rookie head coach, a rookie quarterback, a rookie left tackle and aging players at a variety of positions from wide receiver to defensive line to middle linebacker and week after week they’ve brought impressive moxie to the field no matter the circumstance. The secondary has been ravaged but is still percolating and when the front seven brings the heat this is a 3-and-out waiting to happen.
• They know how to come back from behind on the road as was witnessed in Cleveland, where they effectively ended their bitter division rival’s playoff aspirations on Halloween weekend.
• And finally, the Giants are 8-1. So let’s just assume they’re pretty good.

These are the facts. But how this game sets up is anyone’s guess.

The Giants are a prohibitive favorite. The weather is slated to be kinda chilly at 49 degrees. And we’re taking 57 purple WNST fans up to the game via the “Miller Lite Roadtrips.”

The rest is why we take the video camera…

Will the Ravens defense shut down the Big Blue running game – Earth, Wind and Fire – which leads the league in rushing?

Will Rex Ryan’s blitz packages get after Eli Manning or will the Giants solid offensive line give him their signal caller a chance to exploit a depleted secondary?

And how will No. 5 fare up the Turnpike from his home in New Jersey as the Giants disguise packages and send the blitz of Justin Tuck and company?

This is why I love football.

Can the Ravens go into the Meadowlands and defeat the reigning World Champions today?

That’s what we’re all wondering…

The bus leaves at 7 a.m.

Casey Willett, Drew Forrester and I will all be at the Meadowlands.

Blogs, stories, videos and hopefully, a victory, will be coming back with us.

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Ravens crush woeful Raiders, 29-10

Posted on 26 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

The Raiders have played an interesting foil in the annals of Baltimore football history.

There was the “Ghost To The Post” thriller on Christmas Eve in 1977. The Raiders were the first team to come to Baltimore to play the Ravens in 1996. And, of course, it was a trip to Oakland and a win in the AFC Championship Game in 2001 that took the Ravens to Tampa and a Super Bowl title.

Today, however, the Raiders look to be a shadow of their famed black and silver pirate crest, a hapless franchise with second-rate talent and an owner that makes Peter Angelos seem sensible.

What the hell happened to the “commitment to excellence”?

We’ve seen some bad football teams roll into Baltimore since the Ravens came to town 13 years ago challenging the great Billy Jo Hobert, but today’s effort by the Raiders might’ve been one of the worst we’ve ever seen in the Charm City. That’s about as bad of a football team you’re gonna find with the red, white and blue NFL crest on it.

Their offense was hopeless, the special teams were poor – making Jim Leonhard look like Dante Hall in his prime – and the defense was good enough to allow a slow, 6-foot-6 quarterback to spread wide and catch bombs from the backup quarterback. And who Tom Cable and where is Lane Kiffin?

If Al Davis were in his right mind, he’d be ashamed of what a cruel hoax this is on the Raider Nation and the Black Hole. Next week, they might want to try to show up against the Falcons.

Sure, the Ravens looked great today and we’ll all gladly take this 29-10 win. At 4-3 on Halloween, this 2008 season has some real life and some real promise as the purple heads to Cleveland next week where a win puts them on a fast track for a potential playoff berth. It would be time to bust out the “P” word (or is it still Festivus?). No one could argue with 5-3 at the turn, even if the second half appears to be helluva challenge with so many potential playoff teams on the slate in November and December, including the entire firing squad of the NFC East.

But I can’t fathom how the Raiders are going to win another game with that band of ragamuffins.

Let’s take it around the victorious purple locker room:

Joe Flacco wasn’t brilliant today (12 of 124 for 140 years) but he threw a TD, ran for one and damn-near CAUGHT one. The maturation of Flacco as a rookie is going swimmingly well for the team, with him getting all sorts of initiations to victories, defeats, road and home games and all sorts of looks from defenses around the NFL. I’m glad we bought the stock months ago.

Terrell Suggs, for all of his stupid bluster and idiotic pronouncements, certainly showed up to play today and made his presence felt anywhere around JaMarcus Russell, who looks like the next No. 1 QB bust of this decade.

Ray Lewis continues to dazzle in his contract walk season, making play after play and I’m still not sure that Justin Griffith made it anywhere near the goal line on that lone touchdown, but he’ll no doubt still be feeling that hit on Wednesday.

Let’s hear it for Jim Leonhard, who has become a fan favorite with these “little guy” efforts on defense and special teams. He’s MY SIZE for crying out loud, but he plays like a giant on the field.

The running game was effective all day, racking up 192 yards on 46 carries as the Ravens controlled the clock and exhausted the Raiders’ defense. The three-headed monster of Ray Rice (8-64), Willis McGahee (23-58) and Le’Ron McClain (7-32) has been more effective than any of us realized back in training camp. And let’s give the offensive line some props as well — even with Adam Terry and Marshal Yanda out, they’re still protecting Flacco pretty well and allowing the backs to move the ball.

Even Matt Stover had a perfect day, which we’ll need more of as the weather turns and the games become tight enough that his foot will surely play a major role in deciding the season.

But the biggest game ball goes to John Harbaugh and the coaching staff, who have held the team together through several crises this season, not the least of which was the notion that the team didn’t have enough talent to compete:

•    The quarterback carousel during training camp and prepping and winning with a rookie signal caller in the NFL.

•    The horrendous injury/age situation on the defensive side of the ball, with Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle, Kelly Gregg and Dawan Landry all out of the lineup. And that’s not to mention various dings to Willis McGahee, Terry and the loss of Yanda on offense.

•    The bad, ugly, brutal loss in Indianapolis and a three-game losing streak and the bounce back in Miami and again today. Good teams rebound. The Ravens have nicely. That’s good coaching and a lot of heart.

•    The difficulty of navigating and covering for the stupid comments and actions by some of his childish players (this was essentially what got Brian Billick fired). Not only did Chris McAlister not play today, no one even bothered asking where the hell he was. (Disciplined? Absolutely. But will they say it was his leg? Absolutely. They should just come clean and tell the truth, instead of this silly gameplaying that went on last week.)

One more game ball might go to the Ravens’ still-stellar front office acumen in picking talent. Jameel McClain, Willie Anderson, Evan Oglesby and Brandon McKinney all made plays today and none of them were on the team in August. Hats off to George Kokinis and Ozzie Newsome, who have improved this team coming out of Westminster.

The real test, of course, comes in January when the team’s 2008 record is public.

But so far, at 4-3 with winnable games on the horizon in Cleveland and Houston, the Ravens are far more interesting, entertaining and enjoyable than any of us thought possible eight weeks ago.

And if crappy teams like the Raiders are on the schedule (and there’s at least one left with Cincinnati) we’ll take them every week.

As long as the Ravens show up and beats them in the fashion they did today, it’s fun for all of us.

I’ve never been more excited about a trip to Cleveland…

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UPDATE: Roster moves, injury report, and notes

Posted on 01 October 2008 by caseywillett

4:30
Here are the Ravens roster moves that were made today:
The Ravens have placed the following player on practice squad/injured:
Joe Reitz (T, 6-7, 270, Rookie, Western Michigan)
The Ravens have also waived the following player from their practice squad:
Casey Bramlet (QB, 6-4, 220, 2nd-year, Wyoming)
Baltimore signed the following players to its practice squad:
Nathan Bennett (G, 6-4, 315, Rookie, Clemson)
Edward Williams (WR, 6-4, 215, Lane)
Here is the Ravens injury report for Wednesday:
OUT:
Kelly Gregg (knee)
Dawan Landry (neck)
Samari Rolle (neck)
Limited Participation:
Antwan Barnes (shoulder)
Yamon Figurs(hamstring)
Derrick Martin(shoulder)
Willis McGahee(chest)
Full Participation:
Nick Greisen(thigh)

Here are some news and notes from the Wednesday:

Kelly Gregg will not be available to the team this week, as he continues to nurse a knee injury. Coach Harbaugh said they are sending his MRI’s to doctors to have them look at it, because it is a unique situation and they hope to have more information this week.
Willis McGahee said he hopes to be able to finish a game. McGahee said that his injury to his ribs was in the back where he took a helmet. McGahee broke two ribs last year towards the end of the season. McGahee’s left eyes looks really bad, it had a lot of blood in it. That is the eye that he got poked in during the Browns game. McGahee takes exception to people saying he is getting these injuries because of him missing off season workouts. McGahee said he will have a better understanding on how he feels after practice today.
Casey Bramlet and Joe Reitz are not longer with the Ravens practice squad. Bramlet was released while Reitz was placed on injured reserve. The Ravens have added. The players names were not available to the media yet.
There was no sign of Samari Rolle in the locker room today. It did not appear that he has been here, based on the way his locker appeared.
Coach Harbaugh said today that the team definitely see’s Troy Smith playing in some capacity this year for sure.

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UPDATE: Injury report and news and notes

Posted on 26 September 2008 by caseywillett

4:45
Here is the Ravens injury report for Friday:
OUT:
Dawan Landry (neck)
Kelly Gregg (knee)
Samari Rolle(shoulder / neck)
Troy Smith (illness)
QUESTIONABLE:
Yamon Figurs (hamstring)
Nick Greisen (thigh)
Adam Terry (ankle)
PROBABLE
Tavares Gooden (hip)
Ray Lewis (foot)
Le’Ron McClain (migraine)
Willis McGahee(eye)
Fabian Washington (neck)
Daniel Wilcox (shoulder)

Here are some notes from the morning media session:

Cam Cameron sounded optimistic that Willis McGahee will be ready to go on Monday night, “he’s doing fine from what I can tell. His eye doesn’t look great, but I think he’s doing ok. He was ok in the meeting today.” McGahee sounded optimistic that he will play on Monday night, but he did say right now though he is taking it day by day.
Rex Ryan said they will wait and see about the availability of Samari Rolle for Monday night. Ryan said they are confident in what Frank Walker and Corey Ivy can provide if Rolle is not ready to play.
Jarrett Johnson had a visitor in the locker room today as his friend and Baltimore Orioles Lance Cormier was visiting Johnson today. Johnson and Cormier have homes near one another in Alabama.
Cam Cameron spoke very highly of the job that Rex Ryan and his coaching staff have done this week with the scout team defense. Cameron said that the defense has given them the best look that they could want from the defense.
Chris Chester was at practice this afternoon wearing a #48 jersey. Chester was a former tight end at the University of Oklahoma.
Here is what Cam Cameron had to say about the availability of Le’Ron McClain for Monday night: “He’s full go. He was great in meetings this morning and he will be ready to play.”

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