Tag Archive | "LeBron James"

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Rice, Suggs Make Bloomberg List of Most Powerful Athletes

Posted on 25 January 2012 by WNST Staff

New York, NY, January 25, 2012– The New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees (No. 1), Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers (No. 2) and New England Patriots’ Tom Brady (No. 3) top the Bloomberg Businessweek/Horrow Sports Ventures 2012 Power 100 ranking of the most powerful professional athletes in the U.S. To determine who the 100 most powerful athletes are on- and off-the-field going into 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek teamed up with Rick Horrow, host of Bloomberg TV “Sportfolio,” and CEO of Horrow Sports Ventures; CSE, a leading integrated marketing agency that created the Power 100 list for the third consecutive year using proprietary methodology; and the Nielsen/E-Poll N-Score.

As the business of sports continues to grow, endorsement contracts increasingly impact players, teams, and the industry. These contracts take into consideration many of the same factors as the Power 100 ranking – performance, name awareness, appeal, influence, trustworthiness and overall popularity, among other things. Social media, for example, played a role in boosting the rankings of such athletes as LeBron James (No. 4) and Shaquille O’Neal (No.7).  The Power 100 rankings are based 50 percent on these on “off-field” measurements, and 50 percent on “on-field” performance using a variety of industry statistics.

The most notable drops this year include injury-plagued Peyton Manning dropping from No. 1 to No. 51 and golfer Phil Mickelson dropping from No. 4 to No. 18. Due to the individual dominance of its top athletes, tennis commands ten percent of the spots on this year’s list, with the top female athlete on the list being American tennis stalwart Serena Williams (No. 25).

In addition, this year’s Power 100 rankings also emphasize the importance of team sports, with the NFL dominating the list with 26 players ranked in the top 100. The National Basketball Association came in second with the most athletes on the Power 100, with 20, followed by MLB baseball (16), tennis (10), golf (8), NASCAR (6), Olympics (4), soccer (4), hockey (3), boxing/MMA (2), and action sports (1).

“This is the third year of the Power 100, and it continues to be a cutting-edge tool to measure the power and value of athletes,” says Horrow, who will devote an entire “Sportfolio” episode to the special report on January 25.  “CSE’s consistent methodology provides the industry’s only analytics to provide integrated on field and off field attributes.”

Top 20:

1-Drew Brees-Football

2-Aaron Rodgers-Football

3-Tom Brady-Football

4-LeBron James-Basketball

5-Rafael Nadal- Tennis

6-Roger Federer-Tennis

7-Shaquille O’Neal-Basketball

8-Shaun White-Action Sports

9-Novak Djokovic-Tennis

10-Calvin Johnson-Football

11-Luke Donald-Golf

12-Tiger Woods-Golf

13-Kobe Bryant-Basketball

14-Dwight Howard-Basketball

15-Eli Manning-Football

16-Dwyane Wade-Basketball

17-Kevin Durant-Basketball

18-Phil Mickelson-Golf

19-Lee Westwood-Golf

20-Troy Polamalu-Football

All NFL players on list:

Rank

Athlete Sport

Pro Team / Hometown

1

Brees, Drew Football

New Orleans Saints

2

Rodgers, Aaron Football

Green Bay Packers

3

Brady, Tom Football

New England Patriots

10

Johnson, Calvin Football

Detroit Lions

15

Manning, Eli Football

New York Giants

20

Polamalu, Troy Football

Pittsburgh Steelers

23

Foster, Arian Football

Houston Texans

27

Peterson, Adrian Football

Minnesota Vikings

36

Turner, Michael Football

Atlanta Falcons

39

Jones-Drew, Maurice Football

Jacksonville Jaguars

41

Fitzgerald, Larry Football

Arizona Cardinals

43

Stafford, Matthew Football

Detroit Lions

44

Rice, Ray Football

Baltimore Ravens

47

Woodson, Charles Football

Green Bay Packers

50

Ryan, Matt Football

Atlanta Falcons

51

Manning, Peyton Football

Indianapolis Colts

57

Willis, Patrick Football

San Francisco 49ers

59

McCoy, LeSean Football

Philadelphia Eagles

61

Allen, Jared Football

Minnesota Vikings

67

Rivers, Philip Football

San Diego Chargers

72

Matthews, Clay Football

Green Bay Packers

77

Gronkowski, Rob Football

New England Patriots

91

Suggs, Terrell Football

Baltimore Ravens

95

Welker, Wes Football

New England Patriots

97

Anderson, James Football

Carolina Panthers

98

Wallace, Mike Football

Pittsburgh Steelers

 

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Let’s Back Our Way Into the 15-7-0

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Let’s Back Our Way Into the 15-7-0

Posted on 02 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. Matt Flynn may have just earned himself a boatload of money Sunday.

Perhaps Flynn’s success had much more to do with the Green Bay Packers’ scheme & wide receivers and even the Detroit Lions’ less than exceptional defense than the former LSU quarterback himself. But as he enters free agency, Flynn may have just made himself a viable option for teams that won’t enter 2012 with Andrew Luck on their roster.

Of course, 80 of his 480 yards and one of his five touchdowns came on this play to Ryan Grant. I’m pretty sure Ryan Chell could have made this throw…

The Packers can sit back and wait to find out who they’ll play in the divisional round while the Lions get to visit the Superdome next weekend. But I’d say it’s pretty much a toss-up as to who has the more difficult road ahead.

In an unrelated story, the Packers went with Pat Lee as their kick returner for the New Year’s Day game. He did something stupid…

And one more-here’s Packers LB Brad Jones handling a fan who ran out onto Lambeau Field…

2. The New England Patriots scored 49 unanswered points Sunday. I’m not really sure how to follow that up.

Much like the Fins a week earlier, the Buffalo Bills worked Charm City into a lather with hopes of ruining the Pats’ run to the Number 1 seed. Also much like the Fins, the Bills for some reason must have thought New England would quit when they fell behind early. But after spotting the Bills 21 points, the Patriots would go on to score the next 49.

But they can’t possibly win the AFC of course because their defense isn’t good enough.

Right.

You’ll see a lot of funny things in 2012. I’ll go ahead and guess that there won’t be many funnier than this Drayton Florence flop…

Also of note in this game was Bills WR Stevie Johnson, who exposed a “Happy New Year” message on an undershirt after scoring a touchdown…

It’s a shame Tom Brady didn’t have a “Happy 28 Point Beatdown” undershirt to respond with. For a semi-decent receiver, Johnson is about a full-fledged clown.

3. I still have no idea why he’s headed to Arkansas State, but Gus Malzahn made the Chick-Fil-A Bowl a lot of fun to watch.

Before departing his Offensive Coordinator gig at Auburn, Malzahn pulled out a bunch of tricks (including a Statue of Liberty Play of all things) to help beat Virginia in the Georgia Dome…

Elsewhere on New Year’s Eve Levi LaVallee and Robbie Maddison were doing extreme sport jumping of some sort on ESPN that may or may not have been amazing. None of us really know and none of us really bothered to watch. But technically it happened!

How did I spend my NYE you ask? At a place I can’t name because they aren’t a sponsor. They ARE however the home of Sweet Potato Tots and the “Billy Goat’s Gruff”…

It was a 14 out of 10.

4. There’s something about David Akers throwing a touchdown that I really enjoy.

I’d show you video of the play, but it’s not available on YouTube. Instead, those of you who REALLY wanna see it can check it out here and the rest of you can look at this picture of Elsa Hosk. We’ll all meet back at the local saloon.

The San Francisco 49ers clinched the #2 seed in the NFC thanks to their win over the St. Louis Rams. In Baltimore, we just want to say Thank You again. We can’t really say it enough.

The Rams will fire Steve Spagnuolo according to reports. Also according to reports, it will be cold this week.

5. Credit Gary Kubiak for not kicking an extra point Sunday. Now it’s time to go win a Wild Card playoff game.

The Houston Texans didn’t need to beat the Tennessee Titans Sunday for any tangible reason. They didn’t, thanks to Kubiak’s decision to go for 2 late (a decision that backfired after a Joel Dreessen false start and a snap sailed over the head of QB Jake Delhomme-who replaced a banged up T.J. Yates). Let’s take a look at the video board…

Earlier in the game, Bryan Braman made an awesome play…

The Texans host the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the postseason. If they win, the Texans visit M&T Bank Stadium in the divisional round. I would think most of us would be pretty happy with that matchup, especially considering the Steelers could be another option.

6. Texas A&M’s Ryan Swope is probably the best receiver you didn’t talk about this season.

Here’s video of the Aggies’ win over Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. You voted it “the video I’m least likely to watch this week” in an informal poll I just took…

Here was Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald’s reaction when he found out I was going to show the highlights of the game…

7. For as much as we laughed at them this season, the Philadelphia Eagles look capable of being dangerous in 2012.

Of course, that’s the only if Michael Vick stays healthy…and we all know that’s a significant “if.”

The highlight of the day in Philly happened well before Philly kicked the tar out of the Washington Redskins. It happened when Skins OC Kyle Shanahan tried to pump his team up before the game. It was HILARIOUS…

Kyle Shanahan makes Cam Cameron look popular.

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The 2011 Van Clarkenburg Awards

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The 2011 Van Clarkenburg Awards

Posted on 29 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

The Baltimore Sun’s Kevin Van Valkenburg joined me in studio Wednesday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. We held a very special year-end awards show that we cleverly titled “The Van Clarkenburgs.” Here is a rundown of our winners…

LOCAL SPORTS:

“Best” Orioles-

Glenn Clark: O’s decision to bring Zach Britton up with team from Spring Training
Kevin Van Valkenburg: Britton’s May 18 start vs. New York Yankees

“Worst” Orioles-

Glenn: Birds’ decision to demote Britton midway through season
Kevin: Mike Flanagan suicide death

“Best” Ravens-

Glenn: Terrell Suggs
Kevin: Drafting Torrey Smith

“Worst” Ravens-

Glenn: Trading for Lee Evans instead of signing free agent Malcom Floyd
Kevin: 12-7 loss to Jacksonville Jaguars October 24

“Best Other Local Sports”-

Glenn: Towson University Football
Kevin: Graham Motion trained Animal Kingdom wins Kentucky Derby

“Worst Other Local Sports”-

Glenn: Randy Edsall’s first season in College Park
Kevin: Kevin Anderson’s handling of Mike Leach, Sean Miller

NATIONAL SPORTS:

What topic deserved more conversation in 2011?

Glenn: Novak Djokovic’s incredible season
Kevin: Ugly nature of NCAA/College Sports

What topic received too much conversation?

Glenn: Tim Tebow
Kevin: LeBron James

Who did the best coaching job in 2011?

Glenn: Joe Maddon
Kevin: Rick Carlisle

Who did the worst coaching job in 2011?

Glenn: Norv Turner
Kevin: Norv Turner

What was the best game you attended in 2011?

Glenn: Maryland’s 4-3 2OT soccer win at UMBC
Kevin: Baltimore Ravens’ 23-20 win over Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field

What was the best game you watched on TV in 2011?

Glenn: World Series Game 6 St. Louis Cardinals/Texas Rangers
Kevin: Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal Team USA/Brazil

What about sports were we “better off” for in 2011?

Glenn: NBA starting on Christmas Day
Kevin: Appreciation of Women’s World Cup

What sports media type do you love but hate to follow on Twitter?

Glenn: Gregg Doyel (CBSSports.com)
Kevin: Darren Rovell (CNBC)

(Continued on Page 2)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 27 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Terrapin Classic Lafayette @ Maryland (Wednesday 12pm Comcast Center), Delaware/ECU @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center); Boxing: Jermain Taylor vs. Jessie Nicklow (Friday 11pm from Cabazon, CA live on Showtime); High School Basketball: Gilman Bristow Tournament feat. Gilman, Mt. Carmel, Coppin Academy (Tuesday & Wednesday Gilman School)

10. Dark Star Orchestra (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Halestorm (Thursday 6:30pm Rams Head Live), Child’s Play (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live); Rusted Root (Friday 8pm Recher Theatre); SOJA (Saturday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Matisyahu (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Drive-By Truckers (Thursday-Saturday 9:30 Club); Charlie Wilson/Melanie Fiona (Thursday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center-Lyric Opera House); The Roots (Thursday & Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Little Feat (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Wale (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); The Wailers (Thursday 7pm State Theatre); Downtown Countdown feat. Carbon Leaf (Saturday 9pm Hyatt Regency); Downtown Countdown DC feat. Third Eye Blind/Dirty Heads (Saturday 9pm Washington Hilton)

I saw SOJA open for O.A.R. at Merriweather Post Pavilion this summer. Not only did I sense I would enjoy their music, I also sensed there was no possible way these guys ever used any marijuana…

You might have missed it at the end of the year, but The Roots’ “Undun” was one of the best records of the last 12 months…

This is the part of T10BD where we listen to Little Feat play “Fat Man in the Bathtub”…

Look, if I WASN’T an obsessed 3eb fan, I’d tell you that.

9. Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular (Saturday 9pm Inner Harbor); Jeff Dunham (Wednesday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Archer Season 2 available on DVD (Tuesday); Tournament of Roses Parade (Monday 11am from Pasadena, CA live on ABC)

Just for the record, my services are available for NYE at the moment. I have no current commitments.

What services can I offer on NYE? I guess you could say I’m a bit like the moose from Family Guy…

(Continued on Page 2)

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MobTown Sports Blog – Tue 12/6

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MobTown Sports Blog – Tue 12/6

Posted on 06 December 2011 by Thyrl Nelson

Here’s a look ahead at the Tuesday agenda for the MobTown Sports Beat. It’ll be a late start today as “Monday Night Live with Brendan Ayanbadejo” will air from 10 until 11 am, but we’ll be getting it in after that.

 

 

Guest Lineup

 

Jason Butt from CBS Sports and the Baltimore Guide will join us at 11:30 to talk Ravens.

 

Luke Jones will provide the Ravens intelligence with a Ravens report at 12:30.

 

Ravens Reaction

 

A thankfully uneventful foray in Cleveland in the books the Ravens look ahead to a toothless Colts team. We’re always open to Ravens rap.

 

A Nickel and a Nail

 

Five topical conversation starters and a nail for someone who deserves it. Share your thoughts:

 

#1 – Unlikely MVP Candidates

 

As the season winds down and as we set the countdown to declare Aaron Rodgers MVP of the league, who else might deserve to be in the conversation albeit under unlikely circumstances?

 

Peyton Manning who proved his value even more in his absence than with the impressive body of work that preceded it. Tim Tebow who has delivered the Broncos from 1-4 to the top of the AFC West despite no organizational support and the trade of the team’s best receiver on the day Tebow got the job. Matt Moore who has rescued the Dolphins from the throes of winlessness and played them right out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Maurice Jones-Drew who has put together a terrific campaign despite being on a team with no other offensive weapons. Matt Forte and Frank Gore who literally carried their teams to unexpected success (Forte’s value may become more apparent in coming weeks too via his absence). Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, Marshawn Lynch, Arian Foster and Darren McFadden are all probably worth a mention too.

 

#2 – The Miami Heat of Baseball

 

Given the season the Eagles are enduring, carrying the title “Miami Heat of” anything is probably an unwelcome harbinger of struggles ahead. As the newly anointed Miami Marlins go about making their splash into big market baseball though, most recently by heaping money on Jose Reyes and now looking to pique the interests of Albert Pujols, this rapid reconstruct looks much more like the Heat than even Philly’s football version.

 

Forget for a second that Reyes’ career season and the timing thereof couldn’t have been better for him personally as it came just ahead of free agency, and color me cynical if I see a 28-year old Dominican and immediately assume there’s at least a chance he might be a tad north of his listed age. The fact that Reyes and current “face of the Marlins” Hanley Ramirez both play shortstop and like LeBron James and DeWayne Wade’s skill sets the move seems justifiable yet glaringly redundant. Adding the best player in the game in Pujols would cement the Heat persona for this team…perhaps by design.

 

If so, it’s probably worth noting that while the Marlins were looking to the Heat for their blueprint for success they should have been careful to notice the white slipcovers that cover the empty American Airlines Arena seats in a feeble attempt to disguise the problem these Marlins know all too well…even a team full of superstars is a tough draw in a city full of lavish beaches, tropical locales and loads of other entertainment options. If the Heat’s Big 3 can’t draw in Miami during the winter months what’s to keep folks interested in the Marlins on beautiful summer nights…Pujols or not?

 

#3 – Tough Luck Contenders

 

They’re still in the thick of their respective conference playoff pictures, but that’s about all that’s gone right for the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears this season.

 

The Texans lost Mario Williams for the season early, Arian Foster for most of the season’s first quarter, Andre Johnson for a handful of games along the way yet were still firmly positioned atop the AFC South when the bottom fell out on Matt Schaub…and then Matt Leinart immediately thereafter. A game TJ Yates showed well in his trial by fire win against the tough Falcons on Sunday but lost Johnson again along the way. They still have a 2 game lead over the Titans who are the only team in the division able to catch them mathematically, and would be well positioned in the wild card even if they faltered away the division. With dates @CIN, vs. CAR, @IND & vs. TEN left the Texans look like a lock for the playoffs no matter who they have to rely on to get them there, the question is what they’ll be able to do once they finally reach that long awaited summit.

 

The Bears on the other had started slow as quarterback Jay Cutler and offensive coordinator Mike Martz struggled to get on the same page and with an apparent lack of talent on the offensive line. They were able to right their ship and ride Matt Forte into wildcard contention in the only division in football seemingly salted away (by the Packers) in week 6. Hoping for the best from Caleb Hanie at quarterback, the Bears were dealt the worst possible blow on Sunday (as were all of my fantasy teams) with the loss of Matt Forte possibly for the season. With dates remaining @DEN, vs. SEA, @ GB and @ MIN and clinging loosely to the 1st NFC wildcard spot at present the Bears road to the playoffs is much more in doubt.

 

The Raiders can probably fairly count themselves in this group too, losing Jason Campbell and spending mightily to replace him with Carson Palmer only to lose Darren McFadden immediately and indefinitely upon Palmer’s arrival. They’re in a dogfight for the AFC West / 2nd AFC wildcard with dates remaining @GB, vs. DET, @ KC and vs. SD.

 

 

#4 – BC-Mess continued

 

I vented on this topic here yesterday and won’t rehash that argument again. I will however add a couple of things.

 

First is that the BCS title rematch is a result (in my opinion) of media arrogance above all else. As 5 of the 7 computer rankings had Oklahoma State ahead of Alabama for the BCS’ second spot but the human side of the ledger tipped the balance to Alabama. As the media ordained Alabama the best team in the country through most of the season, their willingness to shake that notion was evident as the talk of a rematch began before the first game was even played. Much like the writers who bought into the Eagles dream team persona in the lead up to the NFL season and as a result were calling the midseason games of a sub .500 and floundering team the “beginning of the Eagles playoffs”…really?!?!?!?

 

Would the media be so quick to put LSU back in a rematch if the shoe were on the other foot and Alabama had beaten them at home? I doubt it. And while the human element seems just and justifiable as part of the formula, who amongst the voters have actually watched all of the BCS’ top 25 in multiple games this season…and how many watch 3 or 4 marquee games per week and take the word of the media and the assembled highlights of SportsCenter and other highlight shows to form their opinions about the others? How does that make sense? And how does anyone who tried to “work the vote” by putting Oklahoma State 4th or 5th on their ballot ever hope to keep a ballot for the following season?

 

Second, since we’re all in agreement that LSU is the unquestioned #1, and since the real debate begins at #2 and #3; why not let Alabama face Oklahoma Sate in a bowl, crown LSU the champ and showcase them against Boise State, Oregon, Clemson, Wisconsin or some other conference champ with no real shot at beating the Tigers?

 

Crown LSU the champ and settle the debate surrounding #2. We’ll see who’s smarter, the voters or the computers, once and for all. As it stands now, if LSU loses to Alabama in the BSC title game, theirs’ (LSU’s) will still be the better overall body of work with a better out of conference schedule, a win in Alabama’s building and an extra win in the SEC title game, yet the Tide will be the BCS crowned and titular champion.

 

 

#5 – Lions Melting Down

 

Who will be to blame if the Lions miss the playoffs? After an encouraging start, the Lions can’t get out of their own way and seem to be more caught up on winning the battle or the fight than the football game. Is any of this attributable to head coach Jim Schwartz’ ugly episode around the handshake after losing to the 49ers? Is their reputation too far gone to rescue this season to any real success?

 

And the Nail Goes to … Jason Garrett

 

Not just for icing his own kicker on Sunday, but that’s surely a part of it. The offensive genius that Garrett was touted to be once upon a time has yet to emerge and Garrett is surely feeling the heat after Sunday’s debacle on top of the debacle of a season that has preceded it as well.

 

I was a big Garrett critic when the Ravens were wooing him but backed off of my criticisms after he seemed to turn the Cowboys around after taking over mid-season last year. He lost me again (maybe just as a bitter Felix Jones owner) when he helped the Cowboys blow an apparently safe late lead and called snap after futile snap from the shotgun inside of the 10-yard line amongst other things in rolling over for the Jets.

 

Below is what I wrote here about the Ravens pursuit of Garrett prior to the 2008 season. Thanks for making me look smart Jason Garrett…that isn’t always easy.

 

With the benefit of hindsight it’s unbelievable that the Ravens were more interested in Garrett than he was in them…laughable even. Thanks Garrett (and Jerry Jones) for saving us from ourselves on that one too.

 

Jason Garrett’s Professional Mentors:

 

As a Player:

 

Princeton University – played under Ron Rogerson and Steve Tosches

 

Columbia University – played under Jim Garrett (Jim Garrett resigned after 0-10 season and allegations of verbal and physical abuse)

 

San Antonio Riders – played under Mike Riley

 

Ottawa Rough Riders – played under Dave Ritchie

 

Dallas Cowboys – played under Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer and Chan Gailey

 

New York Giants – played under Jim Fassel

 

Tampa Bay Bucs – played under Jon Gruden

 

As a Coach:

 

Miami Dolphins – QB coach – under Nick Saban

 

Dallas Cowboys – Offensive Coordinator – under Wade Phillips
 
Hiring a guy with Jason Garrett’s limited experience would be considered a gamble in most cases, yet somehow Garrett has managed to create a bidding war for his services. What Garrett lacks in pedigree he must make up for in potential. He comes from a football family, but his dad coached in the Ivy League and guided Columbia to an 0-10 season in 1995. Garrett jumped from Princeton to Columbia to play for his dad, and then back to Princeton after his dad was fired.
 
Garrett lasted for a long time in the NFL, presumably on brains more than physical gifts, and played for the Cowboys dynasty in the 90’s and on the Giants Superbowl team in 2000. Although he has played on successful teams, he certainly didn’t come up under a who’s who of coaches. He played for Jimmy Johnson, Barry Switzer and Chan Gailey in Dallas, Jim Fassel in New York and Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay. He played 4 years of Ivy League ball, and a few years between the WLAF and CFL. Although Garrett was on successful teams and was said to have mentored Kerry Collins in New York, he wasn’t coming up under Knute Rockne or Vince Lombardi by any means.
 
Garrett’s coaching credentials are even more suspect. Two years with the Dolphins as QB coach, during which he oversaw 5 different starters at the position. And then one year with the Cowboys in which he did a good job, with an offense that was good before his arrival. Garrett was presumably brought in to fix whatever caused Dallas to meltdown in the last 4 games of 2006 and to fizzle in the playoffs. His offense was in the top 5 in both scoring and yardage, but again melted down in the last 4 games of the season and fizzled in the playoffs. Garrett’s second half play calling against the Giants in the playoffs has to be among the worst called halves in the history of the game.
 
What may be more troubling than the limited amount of time that Garrett has had as an NFL coach, are the coaches under whom he has learned. Before spending this season in the shadow of the legendary Wade Phillips, who is so highly regarded that he may be fired in favor of Garrett before this all plays out, Garrett spent his previous two seasons learning his craft from the icon Nick Saban.
 
Garrett may or may not have learned much about the game of football from Saban, but based on the way that he is handling negotiations so far, he must have learned something from Saban. Saban, who left LSU fresh off of a national championship, for a big payday with the Dolphins, and then turned tail and ran back to the college ranks as soon as someone else came along with money. That kind of puts a different perspective on Garrett’s negotiations so far, doesn’t it?
 
John Harbaugh may be quickly emerging as a favorite now. Interestingly enough, based on the way that the coaching trees are assembled, Harbaugh would probably not be on Bill Walsh’s tree, even though it was Ray Rhodes who gave him his first NFL coaching job. It looks like coaches whose fathers were coaches too, were assumed to have learned their philosophies at home. Count Rex Ryan among the coaches who don’t come from the same 3 trees.
 
I probably like Harbaugh the best of all of the serious candidates, mostly because he isn’t a retread, and he isn’t a coordinator riding the momentum of a big season, and a talented team. If John Harbaugh is being interviewed, they must really like him, because he doesn’t have a top 5 offense or defense to boast of. In fact, he doesn’t have an offense or defense at all, he’s a position coach. So he must bring something else very impressive to the table if he is getting serious consideration.
 
Looking at the current head coaches in the NFL, of those who have actually won Superbowls, only Mike Holmgren did it with the first team he coached. Bill Bellichick, Mike Shannahan and Tony Dungy were all fired by their first employers, and Jon Gruden left Oakland before winning it all in Tampa. All of those coaches seemed to learn from previous failures, and excel when given another opportunity. Hiring a retread seems to be a bad PR move, but is usually a safer way to go.
 
I have suspected all along that Bisciotti’s ego has been driving this whole process. He is out to put his stamp on this team and this organization. Art Modell didn’t look like a good owner to me when he first came to town. He was seemingly broke, and didn’t have another lucrative business outside of football as most owners do. Then along came Bisciotti with the money, and proved me, and lots of other doubters wrong. Hopefully he’ll do it again. I’m not ready to write him off as an owner just yet; hopefully this will be just a bump in the road. For now though, things aren’t looking so good.
 
Maybe Bisciotti’s quest to put a stamp on his legacy goes beyond finding a hall of fame coach. From the list of candidates, he looks like he’ll be trying to start a hall of fame coaching tree. If Garrett is indeed to be that seed, let’s hope that this apple fell far from the trees under which he’s grown up
 
 

 

The Big 3 Questions

 

Call it the Miami Heat of radio segments and tweet talk, 3 random questions. Hit me with your answers on Twitter @Thyrl or @WNST, by email thyrl@wnst.net, or at 410-481-1570. Whatever you do, get back @ me.

 

#1 – Are you taking the #Packers or the field to win the #SuperBowl as of now? #NFL

 

I’ll still reluctantly take the field.

 

#2 – Do the #Ravens have an issue at kicker?

 

I hope not…

 

#3 – Which #NFL QBs would you trade Joe Flacco for today?

 

Rodgers, Brees and that’s it for me. Disagree (I’ll bet you do) call me on it.

 

 

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With All of the Losses, Even the 15-7-0 Is Now in the BCS Title Picture

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With All of the Losses, Even the 15-7-0 Is Now in the BCS Title Picture

Posted on 21 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.

(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)

15 Positive Observations…

1. I have no concrete proof that Towson University is building a statue for Rob Ambrose, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t.

A lot of people are surprised by the Tigers’ success, but not me. I’m so effing stunned I’m still not a hundred percent certain it actually happened…

There’s no way anyone…in the world…could have ever seen a CAA Championship coming this season. This team still has more work to do though. They won’t feel incapable of beating anyone they play in the NCAA playoffs, starting with Lehigh December 3rd at Unitas Stadium.

Seriously…this is Towson we’re talking about. This can’t be real.

2. I thought I was happier to see the Washington Redskins lose when they play miserably, but I think I was even happier to see their fans suffer heartbreak Sunday.

I will admit that I thought those a-holes in DC were done after Tony Romo hit Jason Witten from 59 yards away…

…but somehow Mike Shanahan’s team stayed in the thing long enough to have a kick to win in overtime. Graham Gano of course missed the kick and DeAngelo Hall channeled DeAngelo Hall to help the Cowboys survive.

I celebrate your misery, clowns. May you never win another game…unless for some reason you play the Steelers. Even then, I dunno.

3. Tony Sparano is giving Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross something very similar to what Lou Brown gave Rachel Phelps.

Does anyone remember earlier this year when the Buffalo Bills were good? No? I swear I thought they were…

Stephen Ross started interviewing coaches before bothering to fire Sparano. Sparano used that to fire up his team, convincing them to win in order to piss off the ownership there that wanted to get new players and coaches. Suddenly Matt Moore and Reggie Bush are playing like real National Football League players and there’s a problem on South Beach…at least for now.

It’s very similar to what Lou Brown did back when he was managing the Cleveland Indians…

Did we ever find out if Brown won American League Manager of the Year that year? He was a hell of a skip.

(Side note. Every time the Orioles tried to hire a General Manager this offseason I assume the calls went awfully similar to that time when Charlie Donovan called Brown at Tire World to offer him the gig with the Tribe.

“How would you like to be the Birds’ GM?”
“Gee. I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? This is your chance to be a Major League Baseball General Manager!”
“Let me get back to you, will you Peter? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.”)

4. Andrew Luck has an impressive lateral motion towards the Heisman Trophy.

Do you get the feeling the Stanford quarterback is saying to himself, “Well, if no one else wants it…”?

I’d show you something from the Cardinal’s win Saturday night over rival California, but there wouldn’t be anything that would convince you Luck has locked up the award.

Instead, here’s Lee Corso dropping the “f-bomb” on ESPN’s College Gameday Saturday morning from the University of Houston. There’s no real reason to share the video, other than the fact that it includes the f-bomb.

5. If ANYONE has put their name back in the Heisman mix, that person is Baylor QB Robert Griffin III.

The Bears’ QB almost singlehandedly made sure next weekend’s “Bedlam” game was uninteresting to the rest of the country by throwing (and running) all over Oklahoma Saturday night…

It’s probably too little, too late as far as the Heisman is concerned-but it is certainly a reminder that RG3 has been one of the most entertaining players in the country all season. This TD pass to Kendall Wright however is probably not one he should take credit for…

Also humorous? Erin Andrews took the worst of a Gatorade shower intended for Griffin…

AND…in the hysteria on field after the win in Waco, America fell in love with a gal rushing the field on crutches…

6. At times, Matthew Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks in the world.

But if he did this more often the Detroit Lions wouldn’t have to make dramatic second half comebacks week in and week out like they did Sunday against the Carolina Panthers…

This game also involved Lions TE Tony Scheffler invoking an AT&T Flash Mob commercial in a TD dance…

And a note to Fantasy Football owners: Lions RB Kevin Smith ran for over 100 yards in this game. The physics of that alone are stunning, really.

I’m well aware it’s a different guy, but can we talk about this picture for a second? I say this as a HUGE Silent Bob fan. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Are those shorts? Is it some sort of jean skirt? Is it a denim quilt? Holy hell.

7. No one knows how to pronounce his name, but Chris Ogbonnaya had himself a fine day Sunday.

Well, I feel like a bit of a silly goose for taking fantasy advice and playing the Jacksonville Jaguars defense against the Cleveland Browns Sunday.

The only meaningful highlight in this one came from Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who invoked Cleveland “hero” LeBron James by tossing powder in the air after scoring a TD…

And in an unrelated story, here’s a 6 year old kid crying about the New York Jets after their loss to the Denver Broncos the other night. He has an awful mother…

El oh el.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 15 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-UFC 139: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Dan Henderson (Saturday 9pm from San Jose, CA live on Pay-Per-View), Strikeforce Antwain Britt vs. Lumumba Sayers (Friday 11pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime), Bellator Fighting Championships 58 (Saturday 7pm from Hollywood, FL live on MTV2); Soccer: Team USA @ Slovenia (Tuesday 12pm from Ljubljana, Slovenia live on ESPN2/ESPN3.com); MLS Cup: Houston Dynamo @ Los Angeles Galaxy (Sunday 9pm from Carson, CA live on ESPN); College Soccer: NCAA Tournament-Xavier/West Virginia @ Maryland (Sunday 5pm Ludwig Field); High School Soccer: MPSSAA Boys & Girls Finals (Thursday-Saturday UMBC Stadium); Boxing: Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. vs. Peter Manfredo (Saturday 10:30pm from Houston live on HBO); Women’s College Basketball: Towson @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Comcast Center), Maryland @ UMBC (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena); High School Football: MPSSAA Regional Finals-4A North Catonsville @ Poly (Friday 7pm), 3A North Aberdeen @ North Harford (Friday 7pm), 2A North Chesapeake-Baltimore County @ Edmondson (Saturday 4pm Poly HS), 1A South Surrattsville @ Dunbar (Saturday 1pm Poly HS), 1A North New Town @ Overlea (Friday 7pm CCBC-Essex), 1A East Cambridge @ Perryville (Friday 7pm); College Field Hockey: Final Four-Maryland vs. Old Dominion (Friday 4:30pm from Louisville, KY live on NCAA.com), NCAA Championship Game (Sunday 12pm from Louisville, KY live on NCAA.com); Canadian Football League Playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals-Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Sunday 1pm from Winnipeg live on ESPN3.com), Western Conference Finals-Edmonton Eskimos @ BC Lions (Sunday 4:30pm from Vancouver live on ESPN3.com)

10. Hank3 (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Airborne Toxic Event (Thursday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Brett Dennen (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live), Robert Randolph and the Family Band (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), Five Finger Death Punch (Monday 6:30pm Rams Head Live); Chris Robinson Brotherhood (Tuesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Bob Schneider (Sunday 8:30pm Rams Head On Stage); Owl City (Wednesday 5:30pm 9:30 Club), Mike Doughty and His Band Fantastic (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), The Kooks (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Ray Davies (Tuesday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Kid Rock (Wednesday 8:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring), LMFAO (Thursday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Warren Haynes (Saturday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Straight No Chaser (Saturday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Drake “Take Care” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I start with Brett Dennen, whose tune “Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog)” I play regularly on “The Reality Check”-a fine radio program that airs Monday-Friday 2-6pm on AM1570 WNST.net. You should really be listening…

Then there’s Robert Randolph. Holy hell I have no idea how many times I could possibly post this video. It’s just…it’s just…it’s just amazing.

Bob Schneider’s “Honeypot” is one of the most underrated songs of 2011…

Does the Chris Robinson Brotherhood play Black Crowes songs? I’ll bring my lighter…

9. Cirque du Soleil Quidam (Thursday-Sunday Verizon Center); Russell Brand (Thursday 8pm Patriot Center); Tony Rock (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Bob Marley (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tide” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

Instead of Russell Brand doing stand-up in Fairfax, is there any chance we could get a concert featuring Aldous Snow and Infant Sorrow???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t6beljyjyA

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All Eyes on Terps in Season Opening Win Over Miami

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All Eyes on Terps in Season Opening Win Over Miami

Posted on 06 September 2011 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — “You know while the Yankees always win, Frank?”

“‘Cause they have Mickey Mantle?”

“No, it’s ’cause the other teams can’t stop staring at those damn pinstripes.”

While I will spare you from going into the details of two mice falling into a bucket of cream, I will tell you that the above line (from the movie Catch Me If You Can) rang in my head over and over during the University of Maryland’s season opening 32-24 win over the University of Miami Monday night at a sold out Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

The exchange between Frank Abignale Sr. and Frank Abignale Jr. set the tone for the son to use elaborate distractions while committing major international check fraud crimes.

The only thing fraudulent about the Terrapins’ victory was their red zone offense, but I’ll save those crimes for another day.

After unveiling some 32 new Under Armour uniform schemes at an elaborate campus event a few weeks ago, the Terps managed to cause a bit of an internet firestorm. The attention (and the positive and negative feedback that came with it) served as great publicity for UA founder Kevin Plank (a former Terps special teams ace) and for the football team itself. While the attention surrounding Monday night’s season opener was mostly about the fallout from the Nevin Shapiro scandal in Coral Gables, the Terps did manage to generate some interest with the question “what will they wear”?

After warming up in more traditional colors before Monday night’s season opener, the Terps returned to the locker room and (with the help of a number of Under Armour reps) changed into some unique duds.

uni

Not even amongst the 32 prior combos, Under Armour’s “PRIDE” uniform placed the colors of the Maryland state flag quite prominently on the team’s helmets, shoulders, gloves and cleats.

Within moments of the team’s appearance on the ESPN broadcast, Twitter and Facebook were on fire with reactions. Reactions came from far and wide, with even icons like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony sharing thoughts about them.

Certainly not all of the thoughts shared were positive.

The game practically played a supporting role to the uniforms from that point on. While Abignale Sr. believed less focus was on Mantle than the unis the Bronx Bombers donned, I can say with certainly less focus was placed on the debut of new Terrapins head coach Randy Edsall or the performance of quarterback Danny O’Brien (31-44 for 348 yards with a TD and a pick) than the team’s gaudy threads.

The team itself didn’t find out what they would be wearing into the contest until earlier in the day.

“You should have seen today in the team meeting. We came over and had a walkthrough, (then we went) back and had a Special Teams meeting” Edsall said after the game. “I talked to the guys for a little bit, I said ‘I’ve got two things I’ve gotta show you.’ I put a video on, (we) showed them a highlight-type video and then we had a video that had the uniforms, because they hadn’t seen them. You should have been in that room when this video came on that Under Armour did-that they played when we came out. I think we blew the roof off the hotel. Those kids were so excited.”

“It’s about the pride” Edsall added. “They’re playing not only for themselves, but they’re playing for every Maryland player that went through this program. They’re playing for every person in this state. That’s what we’re trying to build.”

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If You Were Fortunate Enough to Be At Morgan Tuesday Night, You Got a Hell of a Show

Posted on 31 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

BALTIMORE — Don’t bother telling me. I already know.

There were plenty of problems with Tuesday night’s “Team Melo vs. Goodman League” basketball game at Hill Field House on the campus of Morgan State University.

It was thrown together late with little promotion and a venue change announced only 24 hours before the event (the game was originally to be played at St. Frances Academy). It was played at a venue that was still too small to accommodate the players, fans and media attention an event with such star power would attract.

There wasn’t enough parking. There wasn’t a whole lot of community involvement from the players involved, even the stars from Charm City who participated.

But despite all that, the event put on Tuesday night was pretty magical.

NBA superstars LeBron James (Miami Heat F), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder F), Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets G) and local stars like Memphis Grizzlies G Josh Selby (Lake Clifton), San Antonio Spurs G Gary Neal (Towson University/Calvert Hall/Aberdeen) and Sacramento Kings F Donte Greene (Towson Catholic) converged on MSU for an event that was for all intents and purposes “hosted” by New York Knicks F/Former Towson Catholic star Carmelo Anthony.

James and Paul joined Anthony on “Team Melo”, made up mostly of former Baltimore standouts (including retired NBA G and former University of Maryland star Juan Dixon). Durant headlined the Goodman League team, made up of Washington DC-based stars.

The event was very much an exhibition, as the level of defense played was comparable to the NBA All-Star Game. It was reflected in the final score, as Team Melo held on for a 149-141 victory in the contest.

But for as much about the event that was less than desirable, there was equally as much excellent.

Hill Field House was electric Tuesday night, as the 4,500 seat venue was filled to an overflow level with fans stacked everywhere room could be found in the building. Every time a star like James, Durant, Paul or Anthony would touch the ball the entire building would explode in anticipation. When one of those players would deliver a thunderous dunk, stepback jumper, sensational crossover or alleyoop finish the explosion would literally shake the building.

I’ve attended special events at Hill Field House (namely Reggie Holmes’ Senior Night beatdown of Coppin State in which he broke the Bears’ all-time scoring record), but I’ve never attended any basketball event in Baltimore that was as electric as the event was Tuesday night.

“I think Baltimore needed this” Anthony said after the event. “I think they definitely needed this, I think just to bring the morale of the city back up. The fans haven’t seen nothing like this in a long long time. We want to keep it going.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fFbRW8sL_c&feature=channel_video_title[/youtube]

There’s certainly an argument that Anthony is correct. Charm City summers regularly feature little for the city to rally around, as the Baltimore Orioles have offered little for the city to get excited about. Without a NBA or NHL team in town, there is a significant void between the end of Baltimore Ravens season and….the start of the next Baltimore Ravens season.

While late in that timeframe and surrounded by the nervousness of the current NBA lockout, Anthony and company did their part to fill the void in Baltimore with a memorable event.

The star of the show was Durant, who electrified the crowd at every turn. He finished (unofficially) with a game high 59 points, just short of the 66 he posted in an exhibition event earlier this summer at New York’s famed Rucker Park. Durant scored many of points in single coverage against James, thrilling those in attendance with an array of offensive moves.

For his part, Durant seemed to have enjoyed playing in front of the Baltimore crowd.

“(It was a) crazy atmosphere, playing in front of the Baltimore fans” the former Texas Longhorns star said after the game. “I grew up in Maryland. Baltimore and DC kinda have a big rivalry, so to play against those guys was a lot of fun for me. I’m excited I got that opportunity.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6ZhiVSV2Zg&feature=channel_video_title[/youtube]

The start of the game was actually delayed nearly 30 minutes due to Durant’s late arrival at Morgan State. The superstar apologized for causing the delay, noting he had run into traffic troubles on his way to the game.

The atmosphere truly was crazy, and would be difficult to be replicated elsewhere. It might not have been a sign that Baltimore is deserving of a NBA franchise to call its own, but it was certainly a sign that the city is still basketball-crazy.

If Anthony intends to bring his superstar friends back to town next summer or other times in the future a bigger venue (like 1st Mariner Arena downtown) could be an option, but perhaps some of the atmosphere would be lost as the venue size increased.

Maybe some of the magic of the event Tuesday night was simply based on the idea that screaming, sweaty fans in a small gym would provide a retro feel and make the atmosphere as exciting as the game itself.

If that was the case, the event was a success. It was a hell of a show.

-G

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Details Emerge For NBA Superstar Showdown in Baltimore Tuesday

Posted on 29 August 2011 by WNST Staff

A team of Baltimore NBA superstars and friends of Towson Catholic’s own Carmelo Anthony will face Kevin Durant and a team of Washington, DC superstars in a basketball battle Tuesday night at Morgan State University’s Hill Field House.

The details on the event have been sketchy, but the Washington Post’s Michael Lee was able to nail down some specifics from former Towson University star Kurk Lee, now the athletic director of the “Melo Center” here in Charm City.

The Baltimore team will feature Anthony (New York Knicks F), Miami Heat F LeBron James, New Orleans Hornets G Chris Paul, San Antonio Spurs G Gary Neal (Towson/Calvert Hall/Aberdeen), Sacremento Kings F Donte Green (Towson Catholic), Memphis Grizzlies G Josh Selby (Lake Clifton), Los Angeles Clippers G Eric Bledsoe and former Knicks F/C Eddy Curry.

The DC team will feature Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder F), Boston Celtics F Jeff Green, Sacramento Kings C DeMarcus Cousins, Milwaukee Bucks G Brandon Jennings, Denver Nuggets G Ty Lawson, Washington Wizards F Trevor Booker, Detroit Pistons F Austin Daye, Los Angeles Lakers C/F Ater Majok, former Syracuse C Arinze Onuaku and Goodman League players Anthony “Gumby” Williams & Omar Weaver.

Lee reports tickets will be available first-come-first-served at the door. Tickets $40 for general admission, $100 for reserved floor seats. Doors will open at 6pm with the game starting at 7pm. Ticket revenue will go to support various charities.

There will be no television/radio broadcast of the event. WNST plans to cover the event via Twitter (@WNST), WNST.net and WNSTv.

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