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“Rex Being Rex” Ain’t Good Enough ….

Posted on 19 August 2010 by Rex Snider

Over the course of the last week, we’ve all heard nearly every conceivable defense of Rex Ryan’s boorish, egotistical and salaciously driven style.

This community has an obvious and understandable soft spot for Rex and his publicly exposed antics. While the soccer mom in Des Moines, Iowa, might’ve dropped her jaw at a few snippets of last week’s Hard Knocks debut, we just shrugged and thought “yeah, that’s him ….”

And, to be totally honest, that was my initial reaction to Rex’s first couple drops of For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge bombs.

Yet, somewhere amid a program aimed at training camp reality, we seemed to be exposed to a boastful coach’s rendition of Andrew Dice Clay, minus the intimate gathering and cigarette. I think it’s fair to say Rex crossed the line of responsible representation.

As I’ve said in the past, he doesn’t simply represent Rex Ryan Inc.

He is the face of the New York Jets. He is a steward among 32 of the NFL’s elite minds. He is a role model for impressionable players and future coaches. At least, I thought he was …..

Now, I’m not so sure.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not offended by anything Rex Ryan says or does on television. And, I’m definitely not a hypocrite – I have used language that exceeds the vulgarity of anything heard on Hard Knocks. But, I don’t use it in mixed company, regardless of my purpose.

In the days that have engulfed last week’s Hard Knocks premiere, Rex Ryan’s name has become an even greater lightning rod for discussion and debate. It seems like EVERY football fan has an opinion of his antics.

And, to be totally fair about this subject, Rex has garnered a flattering amount of defenders and loyalists. Yeah, yeah, I get the whole 1st Ammendment argument. That’s fine. But, having the right to do or say something doesn’t qualify that action as responsible or prudent.

People pay extraordinary prices for things they say every single day.

That said, the most regurgitated and recycled defense of Rex’s antics last week …. or ANY OTHER SITUATION WHERE HE SAYS STUPID, ILL-ADVISED THINGS, is “that’s just Rex being Rex” or “that’s the way he is.”

Really?

Is that the best possible excuse available?

Unfortunately, the “that’s just ____ being ____” tag is being used way too often to oblige someone’s shortcomings.

The phrase, as I recall, was first used to defend Manny Ramirez’s lazy and distracted approach to playing baseball at the highest level. Manny’s quirky, disinterested customs eventually have a negative impact on the team he represents. Just ask Theo Epstein and Ned Colletti.

Yet, its become kinda sheik to arbitrarily say “that’s just Manny being Manny.” I guess the line is getting old with more people than me. I recently heard the Manny-phrase refigured to its true spirited intent …..

That’s just a JACKASS being a JACKASS.

Fair enough.

But, it doesn’t begin to excuse someone for improper behavior or decorum. In fact, there is no legitimate reason for being a JACKASS.

Manny Ramirez’s indifference to detail was tolerated, because he was productive with a bat in his hands. But, when the baggage outweighs the production, even Manny is shown the door. The Red Sox aborted their franchise of his presence – and paid his remaining salary ($7 million) for the 2008 season.

The Dodgers want to trade Manny, too. But, they’re not in a spot to eat his remaining 2010 salary.

The moral to this message? Even the productive jackasses find a way to ruin a good thing; a good home.

Now, I’m not calling Rex Ryan a “jackass.” I want to be very clear about that. I will LOVE him forever …. for bringing a decade of intensity to the Ravens feared defense. I will always respect his gameplanning and innovative techniques. And, I will wish him well, except when his team plays the Ravens.

But, aside from my personal perspective of anything regarding Rex Ryan, he will meet the same ultimate demise as Manny Ramirez and hundreds of other NFL coaches. That’s the way it is.

He’s in the FISH BOWL environment of New York. It’s the epicenter of anything media-related. Of course, this includes sports media.

Rex Ryan has not been totally spared by New York sports media, either. The Jets lost 6 of 7 games in the middle stretch of the 2009 season, and Rex took his beating from reporters. But, he lucked out and the Colts purposely tanked a matchup against “Gang Green” in Week 16 …. which opened a door to the postseason for the Jets.

As everyone knows, they got HOT at the right time. The Jets advanced to the AFC Championship, before losing to the Colts. The next day, the New York media took their shots at Rex …..

In the months that have passed, many New Yorkers embraced that postseason run and lauded “Sexy Rexy” for delivering some excitement that Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini, Pete Caroll and Rich Kotite (remember him?) couldn’t deliver. He’s become a cult hero, of sorts.

On the wave of popularity, HBO’s Hard Knocks showed up on the doorstep.

And, the love affair between Rex Ryan, New York’s media and the fans is a threesome for the ages. But, stay tuned …..

Potential critics are biting their tongues as the Darrelle Revis saga stretches on. But, let the Jets lose to the Ravens, without Revis in the secondary (he’ll be there) and Rex will hear it. If the Jets lose to the Patriots or Dolphins, Rex will hear hear it. If the Jets fall short of last year’s finish, Rex will hear it.

Welcome to New York.

Trust me, this Hard Knocks experience is going to rear a very ugly head at some point before that big ball falls in Time Square. And, Rex is going to be the target of everyone’s frustration …..

“You had to show off for the cameras”

“You had to bring in Broadway Joe”

“You had to brag about the Super Bowl”

“You had to let Sanchise get a bigger ego”

“You had to F-this and F-that”

Watch and see, it’s coming. Meanwhile, as I wrote last week, Belichick and Parcells/Sporano are hard at work, while secretly plotting to do two things …..

1) Win the AFC-East

2) Embarrass Rex Ryan

Just as Rex promotes himself, he also exposes himself. Eventually, the baggage becomes too heavy to bear. Enter, Manny Ramirez ….

While the bottom line is WINNING, Rex has compromised other important qualities demanded of a Head Coach. Yeah, Woody Johnson is willing to overlook the f-bomb debacle, so long as the Jets win. And, therein lies the first potential crack in this relationship.

Let the Jets lose. And, compound it with team sponsors avoiding Rex’s endorsement, because of his Hard Knocks stand-up comedy routine. Then, we’ll see just how appealing the “New York Rex Ryan” product will be for everyone.

Will Sprint, Marriott, MetLife, jetBlue, Coors Light, Pathmark and Primesport want Rex Ryan pitching their product. I’m betting “NO FREAKIN’ WAY.”

In fact, if Rex sticks to his guns and resulting language, he’ll eventually be unmarketable. And, that might suit him fine. But, it’s not good business.

Of course, this whole soap opera has birthed residual drama throughout the sports and entertainment world …..

Tony Dungy has suggested he wouldn’t hire Rex Ryan as a head coach.

Buddy Ryan (Rex’s pops) has basically challenged Dungy to a cage match.

And, virtually everyone else is saying “that’s just Rex being Rex.” For better or worse …..

I guess Rex really is being himself ….. or he was being himself. After watching last night’s Hard Knocks, I noticed that Rex cleaned up his publicly-placed language, significantly. In fact, he dropped the f-bomb just one time, and the camera camouflaged his mouth when it occurred.

Yesterday afternoon, I drew a comparison (or difference) between Rex Ryan and Giants Head Coach, Tom Coughlin …..

If you recall, Coughlin was portrayed as a guy who would not fit in New York. His players hated him and he was known as a sheepishly bad interview. He’s now entering his 7th season on the job.

Rex Ryan, on the other hand, is being portrayed as the “perfect fit” for the New York media personality. His players love him and he’s as engaging as Bill Clinton at a stag party. Rex owns New York …. just ask him.

The differences between these two coaches are immense. Rex has that firey, tumultuous intensity. He’s a FLARE. He burns hot and bright. But, flares generally don’t last very long. Coughlin is a low key kinda guy. He’s a candle. He burns slow and dim. Yet, he lasts a fairly substantial time.

These qualities can and do exist in every pro sports town. New York, in the global scope, really has nothing to do with it.

So, here we sit less than a month before the 2010 season commences. Rex Ryan has been busy writing checks his team will be forced to cash. He has promised more than wins. He has guaranteed a Super Bowl.

Once again, his mouth could catapult him above the mere mortals. Or, it could prove to be his biggest liability. I’m betting on the latter. I love Rex, but his team got lucky, last year. And, they’re overhyped, this year.

While Rex will not be joining Manny Ramirez among the unemployed anytime soon, he’s bound to get humbled sooner rather than later.

I think we’re all going to find out that Rex Ryan is a bit of a charade. That aside, if he doesn’t deliver, he’ll eventually find himself commanding an NFL team’s defense in another city.

Regardless, I’d bet the house that Tony Dungy won’t be his boss …..

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jim

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (1/22/10)

Posted on 22 January 2010 by Jack McManus

9:24-

Lou in Phoenix calls in to talk about the Orioles. He believes that season ticket sales are much lower than expected and that is why the prices have been raised.

9:05-

Jim Larranaga head coach of the George Mason basketball now joins Drew. His Patriots team will face off against Towson tomorrow. He starts off by discussing how his team has performed well despite it being one of the youngest teams in the nation. He also states that the CAA is a very strong conference this season. He sees 4 very strong teams, with the Patriots still putting everything together. Drew mentions that Towson has not defeated George Mason in 15 tries. Larranaga is still concerned about the matchup becuase of Towson’s size and rebounding ability.

jim

8:53-

Randy Monroe is the next guest. He talks about his teams loss last night to New Hampshire. He explains that rough stretches during the season can be valuable learning experiences. Monroe wants to emphasize the importance of every possession during a basketball game. Drew asks if Monroe is surprised by his team’s struggles this season. He states that in some ways he is and in some ways he is not.

8:39-

Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk.com now comes on. He starts off by talk about the CBA negotiations. He explains that the owners and the players are better off not negotiating for a while because neither side will be willing to make their best offer until the 11th hour. Florio states that it will come down to a situation similar to an election between the players and the owners. He thinks that the lowest payroll will be around $70 million and the highest payroll will be around $160 million.

8:20-

Kyle Eckel, member of the New Orleans Saints and former Midshipman is next up. He explains that the city of New Orleans does a great job of supporting the team. New Orleans is still recovering from hurricane Katrina. He calls Sean Payton and “awesome” coach. Payton is involved with all parts of the team. He next talks about how the team has rebounded in the playoffs after a rough end to the season.

eckel

8:13-

Kevin in Lutherville calls in to talk about the Orioles’ ticket price increase. He thinks that instead of raising gameday ticket prices, the team should have rewarded those who buy tickets in advance. Drew points out that the team has done nothing to warrant a price increase. The only justification the Orioles give is that fact that their prices are still below average.

7:39-

After talking to Romeo Crennel who is coaching one of the East side in the East-West Shrine Game, Drew welcomes in Marty Schottenheimer who will coach the West side. He starts off by talking about the result of the Jets-Chargers game. His son Brian is the offensive coordinator for the Jets. On the topic of Mark Sanchez, Schottenheimer calls him a hard-worker with great potnential. Schottenheimer next talks about his squad for the upcoming Shrine Game. He believes it will be fun to watch these young players compete. He also explains that there is little left he wants to accomplish in his career.

schottenheimer

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4th Day Of Christmas ....

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4th Day Of Christmas ….

Posted on 21 December 2009 by Rex Snider

Damn the snow !!!!

Damn the Chicago Bears Travel Secretary !!!!

Damn these lists of holiday gifts !!!!

I’m going broke, and my blogs are suffering. At this rate, my “12 Days Of Christmas” are gonna take about 3 weeks. I’m running behind schedule – but I’m dedicated to catch up. So, stay tuned – OFTEN.

Today, I’m handing out the special gift of HUMILITY.

That’s right, some folks need a sweet dose (or sour ….) of it, and I’m ensuring they receive a fair portion, as a Christmas gift.
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JOHN HARBAUGH
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I’ll admit it, I’ve been pretty hard on the Ravens Head Coach, throughout this 2009 season. I’m not being personally disparaging, I just think we’ve finally observed some consistencies (and inconsistencies) that suggest he has some work to do – on his coaching game …..

If he’s being honest with himself – and his players, I would think Coach Harbaugh has some serious soul searching on the front burner of his Monday evening. While he won’t publicly admit it, Harbaugh has a problem with Chris McAlister. Everyone suspects it.

I get the whole concept of exiling players, and sticking them on the equivalent of the “Island Of Misfit Toys.” Respect and honor are key with many coaches. And, Chris McAlister probably did a few things we’ll never know.

But, John Harbaugh might very well find himself at a humbling intersection, as we sit just 4 days from Christmas, and 6 days from a trip to Heinz Field. Who’s covering Santonio Holmes? How about Hines Ward? Umm, Mike Wallace? Did you consider Heath Miller?

Maybe, we should try this guy …..

I can’t fathom the thought of going forward with the in-house corps of cornerbacks. I know John Harbaugh is dedicated to the TEAM concept and “Playing Like A Raven.” Well, Coach, that goes for YOU, too.

There is a locker room full of guys who’ve busted their asses, since late July. What do they deserve? Lets start with giving them the best chance to win – even if it means sitting down with Chris McAlister and seeing if a short-term marriage is in the best interest of both halves.

Call Sean Payton …..

Ask him why he signed McAlister. Ask him why he cut him? Ask him if McAlister’s short tenure affected the team negatively.

Better yet, just look at the current RAVENS and ask yourself, “what do they deserve?”

Coach Harbaugh is being wished some humility – and a sobering vision, for Christmas.
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CHRIS McALISTER
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Yeah, dude, you’re not blameless in this standoff. In fact, I’m imagining you’re probably 95% at fault.

It’s quite easy for me to toss criticism at John Harbaugh – he’s expected to be the “bigger man” and lead by a professional decorum and example. And, he’s pretty much done that.

He hasn’t thrown you under the bus, publicly, one time. While it’s pretty obvious you guys haven’t exchanged Christmas cards, he’s been respectful of your image and public character, as far as the media and fans are concerned.

I would be interested in knowing if Chris McAlister has done anything to resurrect a sliver of his broken relationship with the Ravens Head Coach. He has the ties – he can get to him.

Where is Chris McAlister?

You should be appearing at any and every public service event. It’s CHRISTMAS ….. go find a cameraman, and hand out a turkey !!!!

Or a toy !!!!

Or some money !!!!

It’s all about perception, and it’s also about being humble. You did this. You caused the divorce. I’ve beat up John Harbaugh, because he hasn’t reconvened with your conflicted butt. You wanna play football?

What steps have you taken to mend the fence?

Chris McAlister needs the gift of humility, especially as he confronts a life that probably needs some straightening – beyond the football field.
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REX SNIDER

Well, I don’t think this has ever happened. Have I ever included myself, as a “sub-topic” of a blog?

I don’t think so.

But, I’m not immune to discerning treatment – especially as it regards a legitimate shortcoming. How do they say it ….. “if the shoe fits?”

I’ll be quite honest, and say I’m really disappointed in myself. While I appreciate this forum and virtual freedom to write (and say) about things desired, I also expect a responsibility from myself.

Yes, I expect more from ME.

For the past few weeks, I’ve seized numerous opportunities to pry on the personal life of Tiger and Elin Woods. While, I absolutely believe I haven’t been disparaging, I have walked into a couple’s “no go” zones.

I do think Tiger’s life is an open book. He’s a celebrity – and pitchman for commercial products. Thus, he’s accountable for a very public image. If he fails to uphold that image, he’ll be held to task.

But, his personal situation is not funny. It’s embarrassing and it’s sad. There are numerous victims in this situation – who can be further hurt by those with media credentials.

While I don’t think my past remarks infringe on Tiger’s family – a man’s family is none of my business. I’ll concentrate on being the best dad and husband, possible. And, leave Tiger and others to managing their own.

This is my humble wish for ME.
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The People Around Chris Henry

Chris Henry’s funeral is set for tomorrow. Many members of the NFL’s collective family are expected to travel to Gretna, Louisiana, to pay their final respects to the veteran wide receiver.

I’m certain we’ll see and hear and collection of poignant and touching remembrances. As with most funerals, I’m sure dry eyes will be hard to find. This is the way people grieve and it’s purely natural.

However, in the coming weeks and months, someone – ANYONE with a connection to the National Football League and Chris Henry must step forward and speak in sobering fashion about the often troubled young man. It’s the only way to truly learn from his brief, but interrupted life.

Will it be Chad Ochocinco? If he wants earn some credibilty beyond being pro football’s traveling circus, he should speak out. Tell the truth, Chad. Chris Henry made an awful lot of poor decisions – his latest discretion was life costing.

How about you, Roger Goodell? God knows you deal with poor behavior, front and center. If you speak honestly, it wouldn’t cheapen Chris Henry’s image or memory. If your goal is being productive, why not do it?

I think Roger Goodell has an obligation to talk about the game’s realities and risks. By all indications, Chris Henry was a very dysfunctional young man. The Bengals were managing his finances – like a parent oversees a kid’s allowance. Does this bother you, Mister Commissioner?

Perhaps, Marvin Lewis could address the conflicted and combustable topic known as “The Life & Times Of Chris Henry.” I realize Coach Lewis has a locker room to consider and his message would rely upon respecting the teacher/student principle.

Regardless, someone needs to be honest about Chris Henry and how he really lived his life. As with most deaths, surviving collegaues and friends are slathering Henry’s memory with compliments and testimonials …..

“He really turned his life around”

“He was on the right path”

“He hadn’t been in trouble in over a year”

Wow !!!! Is that the modern-day median line for good character? If people don’t get arrested, are they considered successful? I got a 14 year old daughter and I’m gonna expect much, much more from her.

Chris Henry hasn’t been in handcuffs for a substantial amount of time. I’m glad about that. But, he undoubtedly still had issues. He died after falling from a speeding pickup truck – during a domestic incident with his fiance’.

It’s December – it was 46 degrees, in Charlotte, on the afternoon Chris Henry died. And, he was shirtless in the back of a pickup truck. Yet, so many people want to convince us he was a changed man.

Consider this …..

If I handed you piece of paper, at the start of the 2009 NFL season – and asked you to write the names of the 5 players most likely to DIE within the next year, would Chris Henry be on that list? You’re damned right.

In a spur of the moment situation, Chris Henry made another poor decision. It was his worst decision, EVER. He is gone – and 3 children no longer have a dad.

It’s time for someone who really wants to change the image of the NFL to swallow some pride, humble up, and be honest about Chris Henry and the culture of many of the game’s players. That’s my wish for them.
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Rex Ryan

Admit it, seeing Rex Ryan’s swagger melt with each frustrating Jets loss is kinda comforting, right?

Where are the game balls for all those SUPER-JET fans, now?

Is Rex still leaving confidence-driven phone messages for season ticket holders? Or, is he making Mark Sanchez call the same people and apologize for wasting their hard earned money?

Back in September, Rex Ryan was being pimped around the Big Apple. He was the common fan’s hero. Yet, a short 3 months later, he’s being questioned and criticized by the same group of Gang-Green supporters.

From “toasted to roasted” …..

I think Rex Ryan is going to be very successful, in New York. But, he really needs a few spoonfuls of humility. The story should never, ever be about him. He’s the Head Coach, not the Head Star.

Rex needs to lighten up – he’s giving me a bad name …..

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holmes

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (11/26/09)

Posted on 25 November 2009 by Jack McManus

9:43-

Todd Bozeman, coach of the Morgan State Bears is next up. His team upset Arkansas last night. The bears defeated the Terps at the ComcastCenter last season. Bozeman looks forward to his team’s game against Coppin State, who handled UMBC.

holmes 

9:34-

Rick calls in to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. However, he talks about how since the Baltimore teams are currently struggling it is not completely happy in Reisterstown.

9:28-

Washington Capitals center Jay Beagle is the next guest. He talks about the team will not be satisfied if it is not the best in the East. Beagle also mentions his first NHL goal and how the team has framed the puck.

9:24-

A caller talks about how the Orioles should dump up the payroll due to the revenue added from MASN. He also mentions the death of Abe Pollin.

9:07-

Old Man Mattison calls in to talk about the outstanding performance of his defense against the Colts. He also mentions how he has prepared for Terry Bradshaw this weekend.

9:00-

Another caller discusses the Orioles’ free agent plans. He disagrees with Drew about going after a quality 3rd baseman. Drew does not think the team should not go after a player just because there are top prospects in the minors.

8:53-

Drew informs a distraught caller that Frank Walker will see significantly more playing time due to Fabian Washington’s injury. The same caller calls the game a must win for both teams Sunday night.

 walker

8:35-

Brian Billick joins us now. He will be in New Jersey for the Jets-Panthers game. He talks about how Rex Ryan has dealt with the pressure of coaching a New York team. He explains that rookie Mark Sanchez’s struggles should be expected. Brian next moves on to the bad weekend for AFC North teams. The type of loss that the Bengals and the Steelers suffered this past week can be very significant in the playoff race. In regards to the Ravens’ playoff hopes, Brian states the team must split the games with the Steelers and win the rest. Brian also discusses Ed Reed’s lateral at the end of the game. He explains that when he was coach the team actually practiced pitching the ball on defense after turnovers.
reed

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (10/21/09)

Posted on 21 October 2009 by Jack McManus

9:33-

Dean Evason, assistant coach of the Washington Capitals is on to talk some hockey. He begins by talking about the use of Alexander Ovechkin in shootouts. He explains that when a team has the best player in the world, it must use him as much as possible. He next talks about the tough schedule that Caps have faced in the early going.

9:08-

Joe Sheehan from Baseball Prospectus is the next guest. He states that the Angels missed out on an opportunity last night when they faced CC Sabathia on 3 days rest. Sheehan next talks about the defensive performance of Mark Teixeira. He explains that Teixeira had previously played thirdbase before coming to the majors which contributes to his range. He states that Teixeira should be a leading contender for the Gold Glove Award. Moving on to the Angels, Sheehan talks about how the team will try and keep some of its impending free agents. In regards to Chone Figgins, Sheehan does not see the Orioles as a good fit. Sheehan finishes up by talking about the high turnover in managers during the season and how this means that we will not see many moves on that front coming up.

figgins   

9:02-

Glenn is on with a Ravens Report. He explains why the team takes days off during the bye week despite the current losing streak. He states that if the coaches scheduled practice each day, they would lose the players. The team instead is able to relax and treat the next ten games as a whole new season. On the injury front, Jared Gaither stated he would definitely play against the Broncos and Kelley Washington would not have any problems due to the concussion he suffered.  Also, Michael Oher will not continue the feud between himself and Jared Allen.

8:31-

Clark Judge from CBS Sports is up with Drew. He attended the Ravens-Vikings game and had this reaction. He starts off by talking about the disappointments that are the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans. He also talks about how the Broncos have shocked everyone with their undefeated start. He next explains how the Redskins’ Jim Zorn has had his leadership taken away along with his play-calling duties. Judge also describes the risk of starting a rookie quarterback. He thinks that the Jets may have made a mistake by handing Mark Sanchez the starting job.

sanchez 

8:21-

Another caller starts to talk about the Raven’s weakness against the pass. He states that since the team seems to have major problems in coverage, the team should instead focus on playing more physically. Yet another caller brings up the play of Ed Reed. He states that while Reed is an excellent player, his risk-taking has hurt the Ravens coverage this season.

reed

8:00-

A caller talks about the struggles of the Ravens defense. He gives each defensive starter, except for Ray Lewis and Jarret Johnson, a failing grade for the season so far. He states that Greg Mattison is too passive to be an effective defensive coordinator in this league.   

mattison

7:52-

Glenn and Drew start discussing Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow. Chris Turner’s father recently made a message board post titled “Get rid of Yow” on insidemdsports.com. The athletic director must be able to effectively balance making money with putting good teams on the field/court.

7:41-

Next up is the head coach of the Northeastern Huskies, Rocky Hager. He starts off by talking about the challenging schedule his team has faced so far. He next talks about maintaining balance on offense. Injuries to the team’s quarterbacks have caused the team to allow more turnovers than Hager would like. Hager also explains that his team is not as bad as its 0-6 record. He states that his team just needs to be more consistent and put everything together for an entire game. Hager moves on to the competitiveness of the CAA. He believes that the CAA has clearly risen to the top of the conferences in the FCS and can be called the SEC of the lower division.

rocky

7:37-

I’m making my return from swine flu this morning. Rob Ambrose comes on to talk with Drew. He talks about dealing with the tragedy involving the UConn football team. He also talks about facing the winless Northeastern Huskies this weekend.

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When Life Gives You Lemons – Read My Blogs …..

Posted on 20 October 2009 by Rex Snider

Stover Would’ve Made It …..

Damn, it felt good to say it. And, as preposterous and pig-headed as it sounds, you know the prospect of Matt Stover, lined up for a 44 yarder, crossed your mind. You envisioned it – DON’T LIE TO ME …..

I’m not sitting here saying “WHAT IF ….”

It’s impractical. But, more than a few Baltimore football loyalists have been wondering how Steve Hauschka would fare when finally fronted with a crucial game-deciding field goal attempt.

You’ve been to Training Camp – it’s easy to put the ball between the uprights on a steamy summer morning, in Westminster.

You’ve also been to the pre-game festivities, at M&T Bank Stadium, when kickers display their version of batting practice homeruns, with 60 yard field goals.

You’ve watched Steve Hauschka convert extra points and “low-pressure” field goals without much regard for his game breaking ability.

You waited for Sunday’s game to get here. It’s HERE. And, now, the Ravens have another thing to worry about, because everybody has this uneasy feeling in their stomach. One thing will cure it – getting another chance and making it.

Until that time arrives, we’re gonna allow lots of crazy things to cross our minds.

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Steve Bisciotti- Wasting Money ??? Say It Isn’t So …..

For years, we’ve been told the Ravens owner is a guy who’s made his money the old fashioned way – he’s earned it. We know the real-life accounts …..

A modest childhood, in Anne Arundel County …..

Working his way through school, including Salisbury State University …..

Starting his own business, with little more than an insatiable desire to succeed …..

Steve Bisciotti isn’t living the American Dream. HE IS THE AMERICAN DREAM.

Right?

Every person living within the borders of this great country knows the economy has truly struggled over the past couple years. Times are tough – and we’re subsidizing some companies, while bailing-out others.

Whenever I see a corporation that has landed in the lap of dysfunction and desperation, I’ve wondered “Hmmm …. How would Steve Bisciotti feel about this?” Does he support the free rides given to GM, Chrysler and AIG?

I’ve never observed Steve Bisciotti as a guy who wastes money. By all accounts, he appears to be a MONEY MAKING MACHINE – and correct in virtually every business decision.

But, now, I’m not so sure. In fact, I’m wondering if Maryland’s Most Notable Gazillionaire is feeling duped by his staff’s decision to give Domonique Foxworth enough money to buy 540 brand spanking new Corvettes?

Yes, that would be Domonique “The 27 Million Dollar Man” Foxworth …..

The return on investment? Well, he really looks good while chasing guys – who have a football in their hands, huh? Actually, Foxworth wasn’t the most pedestrian member of the Defensive Secondary, on Sunday, but he’s still done very little to earn that new contract.

In all fairness, the Ravens owner and his staff have made good signings, as well …..

But, I do wonder what “Bank Bags” Bisciotti is thinking these days …..

The Return of “Little Bill” on Nickelodeon

If you’re a parent of a son or daughter under 25 years old, you certainly remember the hit Nickelodeon cartoon, “Little Bill.” It featured storylines from a book series, by Bill Cosby.

Well, I’m happy to report I’ve started writing the screenplay for “Little Bill – 2,” which I will be submitting for Mr. Cosby’s review. I plan on keeping it elementary and consistent with the preceding version.

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In “Little Bill – 2,” our main character, Little Bill, played by John Harbaugh, imitates his hero, Big Bill, played by Bill Belichick. And, with normal human instinct, Little Bill repeats his role model’s moves, mannerisms and quotes.

Look for Harbs, as he continues coining his trademark Belichick bytes …..

“They scored more points ….”

“We need to do a better job ….”

“We will work hard ….”

Thanks, coach. Can we quote you on that? By the way, it seems more credible for coaches with fists full of Super Bowl rings to do things as they please. Whereas, the coaches who are still learning the job and the town, itself, might want to be a little more endearing and cooperative.

When the Patriots lose a couple games (which hardly happens), the fans can rely on the team’s record of FOUR SUPER BOWL appearances, in eight seasons, as evidence that things will be okay. Bill Belichick has the “cred” to bluntly suggest “don’t worry about it” in very few words.

Where did John Harbaugh develop such a resume’ ???

He hasn’t …..

Thus, when reporters and fans ask for some reassurance or hopeful outlook, would it be too hard a task to elaborate a little bit? In fairness to Coach Harbaugh, I’m not referring to the post-game pressers, when emotions still run high.

But, the dramatic three word clichés, as a formidable response to a plausible question, a day later, are not acceptable. Oh, they might be allowed, per policy. But, it’s as unacceptable as the efforts of some players.

So, repeat after me ……

BIG BILL
LITTLE BILL

BIG BILL
LITTLE BILL

See the difference ???

Well, well, well …..

In fairness to Ravens Head Coach, John Harbaugh, his former D-Coordinator – turned Head Coach of the New York Jets, hasn’t been spewing his very quotable and borderline pompous remarks lately …..

I guess that’s what a ‘lil bit of losing can do for you, huh?

Damn, it was getting to the point where I was starting to avoid another guy named “Rex.”

What’s Sexy-Rexy gonna do if his team keeps doing stupid things, or if young Mark San-CHISE keeps throwing strikes to players in the wrong colored jerseys?

If things don’t work in the Big Apple, I would think Mr. Bisciotti would borrow some money from Domonique Foxworth, and lure his former D-Coordinator back to Bawlmer, for a promotion to D-Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach/Official Team Spokesman …..

Seriously, can you imagine this exchange …..

Reporter – “Coach, what happened out there today ???”

Rex Ryan – “They scored more points.” “We will circle the wagons.” “We are men.” “By the way, that’s a good question.” “Our players are tough.” “Play Like A Raven.” “Thanks for the good question.”

Nah – NOT A CHANCE !!!!

The Trade Deadline Arrives …..

We will finish this off in the spirit of all good Orioles fans …..

To recognize the looming NFL’s trade deadline, I’d like to propose the following possible deals …..

Baltimore Ravens TRADE Frank Walker, Prescott Burgess, the rights to former Raven Dan Cody, a Michael Phelps’ autographed bong and a handpainted portrait of Al Davis on the underbelly of a blue crab ….. to the Oakland Raiders for Nnamdi Asomugha

Baltimore Ravens TRADE Justin Harper, Jason Phillips, Samari Rolle, the rights to former Raven Leon Searcy, an autographed copy of his new novel “Burning Down The House” by Peter Angelos and an unopened suitcase found floating in the inner harbor ….. to the Cincinnati Bengals for Rey Maualuga

Baltimore Ravens TRADE Willis McGahee, the rights to former Raven Chris McAlister, any future rights to Brandon Marshall and Anquan Boldin, an authentic Anita Marks-Miami Fury jersey and a pair of New York Yankees panties ….. to the New England Patriots for Randy Moss and Steven Gostkowski.

Let The Countdown Begin …..

Without providing any free advertising to other Baltimore radio stations, we have just 19 days until the start of 24/7 Christmas music on one particular affiliate …..

Merry Christmas & Happy Halloween !!!!

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Ravens vs. Patriots – It’s Not Just Another Game …..

Posted on 01 October 2009 by Rex Snider

I think the next four days will serve as that proverbial “snowball rolling downhill” as the excitement builds for Sunday’s showdown, in Foxboro.

It’s being billed with various descriptions in newspapers, website/message boards and blogs …..

“Flacco vs. Brady”

“Harbaugh vs. Belichick”

“The NEW Guard vs. The OLD Guard”

“Big Randy vs. A Bunch Of Smaller Guys …..” (Yep, I actually saw this !!!!)

If you think of a witty moniker for this game, there’s a real good chance someone else has already thought of it, and posted it – ON THESE MESSAGE BOARDS. Indeed, the week leading up to a big game is every bit as contentious as the 60 minutes spent on the field.

But, all the hoopla just fuels the collective fires burning within rabid fans of both teams.

In reality, we know what this is really about …..

It’s just another football game. It’s the Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots – a couple non-divisional opponents meeting for a regular season contest. Both teams have games the following week – and they’re equally as important. Or, are they?

In looking at both teams, if I’m going to consider any comparisons, I’m likely to point out that both organizations obsess on the TEAM concept. This town and anyone who follows the Ravens are familiar with John Harbaugh’s devotion to team unity.

And, Bill Belichick has amassed a collection of Lombardi trophies and gaudy rings by beating opponents with larger collections of “stars” on the game’s biggest stage. We can name dozens of reclamation projects utilized and optimized by Belichick, right?

Well, it’s also legitimate to admit Tom Brady has been the consistent factor on the team, as well.

The Patriots have dominated the last decade on a “next man up” philosophy. Obviously, the Ravens have that same mindset – and we’ve observed textbook examples, with Justin Bannan, Chris Chester and others. In fact, both Tom Brady and Joe Flacco were cast into their current roles through unexpected circumstances and at unplanned times.

And, the world knows neither guy let the opportunity or job title slip away …..

But, Sunday’s game is not about the legend of Tom Brady, or the emergence of Joe Flacco. Although, that’s what the cookie-cutter networks will say in their coverage. Pimping the quarterbacks has always been that “sexy selling point” with national, mainstream analysis.

I’m not suggesting Brady or Flacco will be mere bystanders to Sunday’s eventual outcome. Both guys are leaders and they’ll intimately impact what happens – as every quarterback does. But, will they have any greater effect than other Week #4 matchups, like Roethlisberger vs. Rivers, Sanchez vs. Brees or the most overblown duel, Brett Favre vs. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers & ENTIRE STATE OF WISCONSIN.

Good grief, I’ll be glad when that game is over. But, you know what I mean – the nationally syndicated media will market the quarterbacks. However, we know it’s much more complex than that.

This Ravens/Patriots game is bound to be determined by more relevant matchups and scenarios …..

• Can the Ravens Defense pressure the Patriots into hurried execution and a repeat of the unpleasant circumstances similar to that day at the Meadowlands, a couple weeks ago?

• Will the Patriots Defense finally do something the Chiefs, Chargers and Browns failed to accomplish – STOP the Ravens passing attack, which really enables the running game? They’ll have the home crowd to their advantage.

• Aside from the presence of Randy Moss, can the Patriots present difficult matchups for the Ravens secondary? Be cautious of the Patriots’ Tight Ends; they’re big and offer another option for Brady.

• Do “Blueprints For Success” exist for both teams? Specifically, did Philip Rivers reveal the Ravens vulnerabilities? And, did Rex Ryan’s Jets-D lay a similar plan for his former pupils?

• Has Prescott Burgess been spending hours under a bright light, in Coach Belichick’s office? Get the Velveeta ready …..

• Perhaps, it will come down to Steve Hauschka vs. Stephen Gostkowski. Just remember, the Ravens’ new kicker hasn’t really stepped into a “do or die” situation, yet. It’s coming …..

Let’s face it, an array of possibilities exist, as Sunday fast approaches. In reality, it’s just 1 of 16 games. But, it holds some significant potential …..

In a similar standard to the San Diego game, this contest could serve as a tie-breaker for postseason homefield, and it could also lead to an extended lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will really face a tough challenge, against the Chargers, in another game without Troy Polamalu.

To be fair, this game has important intangible factors, as well. The Patriots have a collection of Super Bowl Championships, over the past ten years. Beating them has gotta be significant for a team’s confidence. They’re also one of those upper echelon teams and the Ravens need to beat such opponents, if they wanna go to Miami, in February.

In fact, it’s absolutely fitting to suggest the New England Patriots demand that same reverence as the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. And, do these 4 teams share a common relation with the Ravens?

You bet.

The Steelers, Colts, Patriots and Giants are jointly responsible for winning the past 6 Super Bowls. In the span of the last 24 months, the Ravens have played this collection of teams 10 times.

The Ravens are 1-9 against them. Did you get that? I said ONE WIN & NINE LOSSES.

This has to change. Forget about beating the bad teams. And, forget about beating the good teams. The Ravens absolutely MUST beat the GREAT TEAMS.

The ESPN Power Rankings, Sporting News Ratings and other in-season accolades are nice. But, there are no real awards for such distinctions. The prize is coveted by every NFL team, and it’s a Super Bowl Championship.

The teams responsible for the last half-dozen trips to Disney World have dominated the Ravens. The tables must turn. Maybe, Ric Flair was right – “to be the man, you gotta beat the man.”

Indeed, this is not just another game …..

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (9/24/09)

Posted on 24 September 2009 by Jack McManus

9:34-

Sean Salisbury is now on the show. He believes that the New York Giants will be a contender throughout the season. He goes on to talk about Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez’s impact on the Jets. He calls Ryan one of his favorite coaches in the league and Sanchez a special talent. He next talks about how Matthew Stafford’s arm strength is one of the most impressive in the league. Sean also talks about Josh McDaniels has set the tone in his first few weeks in Denver. He has demanded the respect from his players. Also, despite the Packers loss to the Bengals this past week, Sean believes the team can still win the division. He explains that the NFC North has quickly become a much stronger division. Finally, Sean describes how even though it is only week 3, the Tennessee Titans face a must win game. He thinks the team is overrated and will miss the playoffs. Make sure you check out Sean on Facebook and twitter.

9:05-

Pro golfer and member of the Champions Tour, Chip Beck is the next guest. Beck states that he is beginning to hit the ball well, and if he can sink his putts at the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship he will be on track. Beck calls the Champions Tour the “greatest mulligan in life.” Beck talks about the time in his career when he was driving poorly. He explains that this hurt his confidence and led to much of his struggles. Beck remembers that day he shot a 59 in Las Vegas. He describes the importance of the day to him.

8:29-

Charley Casserly is next up. He is currently an analyst for CBS Sports. He talks about the situations of some NFC teams. He talks about how the Packers have struggled this far, and need to turn it around. He also believes that the Bears’ win over the Steelers was very important. Casserly moves onto the improvement of the Cincinnati Bengals. He explains that the defense is healthy and improved this year. The wide receiving core is also more dangerous. Casserly states that Mike Singletary has done an excellent job coaching his team and getting them ready for the season.

8:18-

Brian Billick makes his weekly appearance. Brian will be calling the Washington-Detroit game this week. This game reminds him of the Ravens’ loss to the Miami Dolphins when the Dolphins were winless a couple years ago. Brian names the Ravens’ victory over the Chargers as the biggest win of the week. He thinks the team is a legitimate contender. He also talks about how the New York Jets must maintain their momentum and focus as much for the rest of their schedule as they did for the Patriots game.

7:50-

A caller questions the status of LJ Smith. Glenn states that Smith will most likely return to the field on Sunday. The next topic is the increase in offense throughout the NFL. Drew mentions that the number of shutdown cornerbacks in the league has greatly declined.

7:15-

Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain makes an appearance this morning. McClain talks about the loss of Prescott Burgess. He feels that the team’s linebacking core is like a family. However, he knows that football is also a business, and the players have to take events as they happen. McClain emphasizes Ray Lewis’ role as a mentor. He believes that Lewis is the best player and person to learn from in the NFL. He goes on to stress that the team is not over-looking the Browns this weekend, especially since they are a division rival.

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Comcast Morning Show Live Blog (9/23/09)

Posted on 23 September 2009 by Jack McManus

9:32-

Victor Rojas from MLB Network is now on to talk some baseball. The first topic is the American League playoff picture. Rojas calls the Texas Rangers a team of overachievers. He explains that his provides hope for the future of the team. He moves on to the Boston Red Sox pitching situation. The group’s inconsistency could be a problem in the postseason. On the National League side, Rojas states that the Phillies are the front-runners. Rojas next talks about the AL Cy Young competition. He agrees with Drew that Zach Greinke will win the award, particularly after his performance last night. In the NL, Rojas thinks the award will be given to either Adam Wainwright or Chris Carpenter, teammates on the St. Louis Cardinals.   

9:19-

Now, Fergus calls in. Fergus will be playing at the Baltimore Country Club in the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship. Fergus talks about the use of the long putter in golf. He argues that for many this is the most effective way to putt. He goes on to talk about the quality of the course at the Baltimore Country Club. He also mentions how thankful he is for the opportunity to play on the senior tour and prolong he career.    

9:14-

Keith Fergus, a professional golfer appears next is not reachable, and will therefore not be on the show.

8:36-

Newsday columnist, Bob Glauber is the next guest. He starts off by stating that a Giants-Jets Super Bowl in extremely unlikely. He goes on to talk about the impressive performance thus far of Eli Manning. He believes that the Giants are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. He also thinks that the NFC has more quality teams than the AFC this year. The topic next moves to Rex Ryan. Glauber explains the positive impact that Ryan has made on the media, players, and fans. The players have totally bought into Ryan’s system. He moves on to Mark Sanchez. He states that Sanchez has had not had a difficult time adjusting to being in the largest media market in the country. He next talks about how just because a team is currently 0-2, judgements should not immediately passed. Drew and Glauber agree that Drew Brees could very well be the best quarterback in the league. However, Glauber states that he would not trade Joe Flacco straight-up for any other QB in the league, while yesterday Drew named a number of players better equipped to win now.

8:25-

Glenn is up with a Ravens report. He talks about the roster moves the team made yesterday. The team traded LB Prescott Burgess to the Patriots for a 7th round draft choice. In a corresponding move, the team signed TE Tony Curtis. He will provide insurance for the thin TE group and also contribute on special teams. Also, the Browns confirmed that Brady Quinn will the starting quarterback against the Ravens this week.

8:00-

An Orioles fan calls in to talk about the bullpen’s recent problems and the organization’s handling of Michael Aubery. Another caller brings up how Gary Thorne discussed the attendance problems in Toronto for the Orioles game last night. He points out how Thorne would never bring up the Orioles similarly small attendance.

7:49-

Donald Hill-Eley, head coach of the Morgan State football team is next up. He starts off by explaining how the new-found success of the sports teams at Morgan have greatly improved the morale around campus. He next talks about his quarterback Carlton Jackson. He explains that Jackson’s decision-making skills have greatly improved this year. However, Hill-Eley states that the running game must improve in order to have more offensive success. Finally, he describes the importance of the game this weekend against Towson and its importance to the local sports scene.

7:34-

Towson’sfootball head coach, Rob Ambrose calls in to talk on the show. He discusses how he became very animated towards the officiating crew on Saturday. He says he later had a conversation with the head referee. He goes on to talk about how the Tigers have multiple players that can play different positions. Next he talks about the “buzz” in the stadium during the game. He felt that all the fans were very excited and truly believed the team could win the game. This is important to the success of the team, because Rob admits that the road to having a strong team may be rocky.

6:30-

Mike Gathagan, a spokesman from the Maryland Jockey Club makes and appearance on the show. He talks about the upcoming Jim McKay Maryland Million day at Laurel Park. He also describes the Two Rings for OJ event held on OJ Brigance’s 40th Birthday. For more information on giving to this charitable cause, click here.

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Ravens, Rants and Ratings

Posted on 15 September 2009 by kevinpb

Ravens, Rants and Ratings – week 1

Ravens 38 – Chiefs 24. Good win, weird game!!
First of all, thanks for covering, I have gotten beat more times then I care to count on back door covers. Glad to see it works the other way on occasion. My check book thanks you, Ravens!!
The game was a lot closer then the stats would dictate…or then it should have been. The Chiefs made some big plays and took advantage of the Ravens putting it in cruise control after they scored a quick ten points. Remember boys and girls, everybody gets paid in the NFL; if you let the underdog hang around, that can come back to bite you in the rear end.
On the positive side I really like the pseudo “no huddle” offense they came out in and also employed late in the game. It gave the Ravens a crisp pace and jump started the Raven’s offensive game. The offense carried the day. The defense should thank them.

Joe Flacco, 26 of 43 for 307yds an 3 TD’s. Read that stat line again and remember we are talking about a Baltimore Ravens quarterback. Yes he threw an interception, and he was high on a few throws, but this isn’t your father’s Raven’s quarterback. This kid is special. The first touchdown throw to McGahee was a terrific play, moving in the pocket to extend the play and keeping his eyes down field to find the open receiver. Dare I say it was very “Roethlisberger like”? He is going to be the type of game changer that makes your team a viable contender year after year…FINALLY!!!

The Ravens threw the ball the first 6 plays of the game and a total of 43 times. I LOVE the fact that they have that faith in QB 5; but I think it is important that while Harbaugh and Cameron want to increase the production from the passing game, that they not forget our smash mouth roots. You don’t beat Pittsburgh by being “cute-sy”…I’m just saying.

I thought it was interesting that Chris Chester got the start over Marshall Yanda. It will be curious to see if Chester has beat out Yanda or if the Ravens are just being cautious because of Yanda coming back from the knee injury. Chester played better then I have expected over the last year, but I still like the toughness that Yanda brings. This offensive line is going to be something else. Flacco had a ton of time to throw and in the second half the backs had room to run.

Someone send out a search party for Demetrius Williams. When the Ravens went 4 wide, Todd Heap and Troy Smith were split out more frequently then Demetrius Williams. It appeared that Williams was healthy at the end of training camp. I wonder why he is not playing all of a sudden. Wasn’t it Harbaugh that was saying what a great pre-season Demetrius had? Kelley Washington is going to prove to be a valuable edition to the receiving core. Mark Clayton, after being out all of training camp, was a force at receiver. He looked more in sync with Flacco then did Mason, who uncharacteristically struggled. He bobbled balls all day and had problems with his footwork. By the way, the first long ball that Mason juggled at the back of the end zone early in the game, was a ball that maybe only 5 or 6 quarterbacks in this league can throw.

First an inept defense, then constant clock management issues, now putrid special teams play. Please fix the special teams now!! I just want to see a game where we are not penalized repeatedly in the return game. For a team whose head coach is a formal special team’s ace and with a separate special teams coordinator/assistant head coach our special teams are atrocious. Please stop trying to be cute. Just line up and play football. Max protect, make sure tackles, kick the ball and catch the ball and I will be happy. Steve Hauschka, good luck! When he missed that field goal there was a palpable angst all thru the purple palace. Hauschka seems like a good guy and his kick offs were strong. There is definitely a difference when the other team starts inside the 25 yard line instead of starting at the 35 yard line. Here is hoping that he goes on a long streak of making field goals so the ghost of Matt Stover fades away. I think everyone in the stadium yesterday was praying that the game did not come down to a field goal chance. I still think this team ought to burn a roster spot for automatic Matt.

Defensively, we played fine but there were some definite bumps in the road. I am not convinced that our corners can hold up over the course of the entire season. Also I don’t think they have the ability to play physical bump and run, nor do I like their abilities in run support. The Chiefs did not challenger Foxworth much all day, but Fabian Washington had some serious lapses in coverage. The other thing about Washington is even when he has the opportunity to make a play, he fails to do so. The defense also had trouble getting to the QB unless they blitzed. Jarrett Johnson is a great football player that no one talks about. Great game JJ. It is really nice to see Kelly Gregg back on the football field. No turnovers by the Ravens defense that is definitely not Raven football.

RANTS

1. I really am over the Colts to Indianapolis thing, really I am. But the broadcasting that Peyton Manning just tied Johnny Unitas in wins for the Colts franchise still pissed me off. Just make a delineation between the two teams. Nothing against Peyton Manning, he is a great football player, but I don’t want to see continuous comparisons between the Baltimore Colts and the Indianapolis Colts. Leave my memories alone dammit!

2. Serena Williams, lose some weight girl, you are a professional athlete. In all seriousness that tirade she threw at the US Open looked very calculated to me. The Williams sisters long had a heated rivalry with the Belgian players, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne. I think she was looking for a way out without actually losing. Williams is known to only play the major tournaments, because she detests the tour life, and to her credit she usually does very well. But I think the fact that she could not just will herself to a win over one of her most hated opponents in a tournament she sees as her own, got to her. The fact the Kim Clijsters is coming out of retirement after giving birth and was assumed not to be in tip top shape had to wear on Serena. Turn about is fair play Serena. How do you think all the other players, who take their profession seriously and play week in and week out, feel after they lose to you after you show up in questionable shape and only when you feel like it?
3. How about a Maryland football player who actually has some success. Shaun Hill was 18 for 31 for 209 yards for the SF 49ers. On the game winning drive he was 9 for 13 for 57 yards. Shaun Hill harkens back to the glory days of the Friedgen era at Maryland. Way to go Shaun Hill.

4. Fat men can’t coach. How can anybody associated with the Maryland football team be happy about beating James Madison University in overtime? The university of Maryland supposedly a major Division I college program has 2 walk-ons starting on the offensive line. Charlie Weis is cost his team the game on Saturday against Michigan. The University Of Notre Dame does not have the ability to make adjustments in the game plan. They were flat out coached at Michigan and shoddy coaching decisions late put the last nails in the coffin. The winds of change cannot come fast enough.

5. The Seattle Seahawks are a solid yet stunning unspectacular football team. They have a strong running game, they upgraded their receivers and the defense is fast and aggressive. If Matt Hasselback stays healthy they will win the NFC West in a walk. Mark that one down.

6. How bad must it stink to be a Cincinnati Bengal’s fan? Neither Cincinnati nor the Denver Broncos will factor in the playoffs this year, but Cincinnati seems to invent new ways to lose. Losing a game like they did, on that tipped miracle catch and run, may destroy that team for the rest of the year. I would not want to be Marvin Lewis right now.

7. What the hell was Kanye West thinking? He absolutely ruined a magical moment for the girl, Taylor Swift. If I was Ms. Swift I would have wound up and kicked him right in the 5 hole. At least Beyonce tried to save the night with a class move at the end of the Music Awards, raising Taylor Swift’s arm in triumph. Kanye West is a punk, the clock is ticking, and your 15 minutes is almost up Kanye.

8. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player I have ever seen. For years, everyone always chided Michael Jordan for not speaking out, for not expressing his opinion. Now that he opens up at his Hall of Fame induction, maybe he was right for keeping quiet all those years. On a night of celebration, Mr. Jordan could not resist taking one more stab at all those people he battled and feuded with throughout his career. He couched his venom by saying that is what drove his competitive passion. He could have made his point without throwing a bunch of well respected people under the bus. David Robinson and John Stockton were the epitome of class.

9. Did anyone catch Brian Matusz against the Yankees this past Saturday afternoon? I actually turned off college football to watch him pitch. The kid was terrific and has been off the charts for his last 4 starts. He is going to be a real, real good one. Just stay healthy Brian. Now Andy McPhail, go get me John Lackey and Chone Figgins and maybe we are onto something.

RANKINGS

1. Pittsburgh Steelers – …”to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man…Woooo!!” Truer words were never spoken.
2. Philadelphia Eagles – very tenuous ranking here with McNabb’s rib injury, but they were still very impressive Sunday.
3. New Orleans Saints – Still not sure about the running game or the defense, but Drew Brees, WOW!! MVP!!
4. New York Giants – Workman like win over a decent team. No flash here just a lot of substance.
5. New York Jets – A shout out to Rex Ryan. Man he looks good in a wet t-shirt. Way to go coach. Nice line for the rookie QB, 18-32 for 272 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. Sanchez has got star written all over him.
6. Seattle Seahawks – I like the way this team played on Sunday. Good offensive line, workman like backs, speedy defense, capable QB and receivers and a lousy division.
7. Baltimore Ravens – Probably a bit high here; I am just giddy we have an offense.
8. Green Bay Packers – Showed great offense in the preseason, but defense may be the story here.
9. New England Patriots – Is there a crack in the foundation? They looked lost and slow against the Bills, until the last 5 minutes of course.
10. Minnesota Vikings – This great defense gave up 20 points to a bad offense. Adrian Petersen is a beast, 25 carries for 180 yards and 3 TD’s.
11. Atlanta Falcons – “Matty-Ice” good QB, lousy nickname.
12. Indianapolis Colts – Peyton Manning, yada, yada, yada…
13. San Francisco 49ers – I am rooting for the 49ers, lots of young talent here, Singletary is a psycho. Go Shaun Hill Go.
14. Dallas Cowboys – They haven’t had any heart in Dallas for over 3 years. When the going gets tough, the Cowboys lose.
15. San Diego Chargers – LT was very quiet, the Oakland Raiders took them to the brink, and Norv Turner is still the coach. Always lots of talent, but I am not feeling it.
16. Tennessee Titans – Funny this team is more like the Baltimore Ravens, then the Baltimore Ravens are. Defend, run the ball and make sure you don’t turn the ball over.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars – Still a rough tough defense with a superior back. Is David Garrard enough to win in the NFL?
18. Arizona Cardinals – I am on the fence about this team. Immensely talented, but I think they just caught lightning in a bottle last year.
19. Washington Redskins – Defense is really tough, Haynesworth will make them better. It is put up or shut up time for Jason Campbell.
20. Chicago Bears – That might have been the most disappointing opening night I have seen in a long time. Add that to losing Brian Urlacher for the entire year, it might be a long season in the Windy City.
21. Miami Dolphins – Last season the stars were aligned for this team. I think they played a good team on Sunday so let’s keep an eye on the Fish.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Defense is not close to what it once was, but running attack was very good and Byron Leftwich had some good numbers.
23. Oakland Raiders – There is a pulse. Defense has been sturdy for a couple years and the offensive line was greatly improved. The passing game showed some life.
24. Denver Broncos – This team is in trouble and needed a miracle to beat the Bengals. This might get ugly in Denver.
25. Kansas City Chiefs – I like Todd Haley, he has a fire and passion. The Chiefs should some spunk when the Ravens gave them a gift to get back in the game. Let’s see what happens when Matt Cassel gets playing.
26. Buffalo Bills – First wide right, then the Music City Miracle, now the Foxboro faux pas.
27. Detroit Lions – Matt Stafford showed some flashes. Kevin Smith is going to be a star and Calvin Johnson already is. Keep an eye on this team they will get better.
28. Cincinnati Bengals – Who dat, Who dat going to beat dem Bengals? Everybody, YUK!!! Can you say C-U-R-S-E?
29. Carolina Panthers – Easily the most disappointing team of opening weekend. They definitely spit the bit. Last 2 games for Jake Delhomme, 10 turnovers, 9 interceptions.
30. Cleveland Browns – This team is bad, but I love watch Josh Cribbs play football.
31. St. Louis Rams – they offered no challenge whatsoever to the Seahawks. It was pathetic to watch.
32. Houston Texans – Has there ever been a more over rated team. Year after year they are touted and fall flat on their face.

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