Tag Archive | "mason"

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Maryland Looks For First ACC Road Win Wednesday at Miami

Posted on 01 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Maryland (13-7, 3-3) at Miami (12-7, 3-3)
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 | 8 p.m. | Miami, Fla.
ACC Network (WNUV 54 in Charm City) | Terrapin Sports Radio Network

  • Maryland begins a road-heavy February with a trip to south Florida to face Miami. The matchup features a pair of teams in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 3-3 records prior to Tuesday’s games (Clemson is the third team at 3-3). The Terrapins face six road games in the month of February against only three home contests, including a return match against the Hurricanes on Feb. 21.
  • The Terrapins snapped a three-game losing streak with a 73-69 victory last Saturday against Virginia Tech. Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half to lead the Terrapins and post his 14th 20-point game of the season. Maryland is 10-4 when Stoglin scores 20 points or more in a game. Stoglin is sixth in the nation in scoring through last Sunday’s games with a 21.3 ppg average. He is one of only 14 players who were averaging 20 points or better in the Division I statistics.
  • Senior guard Sean Mosley added 15 points against the Hokies on Saturday, including a 5-for-5 performance at the foul line. Mosley is now 19 points away from becoming the 50th Terrapin in history with 1,000 career points. He is in line to become only the eighth Terrapin in history to combine 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 120 steals in a career. He hit the 3,000-minute plateau with his 32-minute effort on Saturday against Virginia Tech.
  • The schedule also stiffens in terms of competition for the Terrapins from this point on, as only three of Maryland’s final 10 games are against teams above 70 in the RPI. Five games are against nationally ranked teams down the stretch.

    Scouting the Hurricanes

  • After winning back-to-back conference road games, Miami is 12-7 this season with a 2-2 mark in the ACC… Under the direction of Jim Larranaga, who is in his first season at Miami after a 14-year stint at George Mason, the Hurricanes have an 8-2 home record.
  • Senior guard Malcolm Grant leads the team in scoring with 13.2 ppg and is one of four Hurricanes averaging double figures… Junior guard Durand Scott (12.6 ppg), junior forward/center Kenny Kadji (12.5 ppg) and junior center Reggie Johnson (10.1 ppg) are the others… Grant also ranks sixth in the ACC in 3-point FG percentage (.347) and as a team, the Hurricanes are second in the conference (.368).
  • Johnson, who earned All-ACC honorable mention accolades a year ago after averaging 11.9 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game, leads the team in rebounding again with 6.7 rpg… Kadji, a 6-foot-11 native of Cameroon, has a team-high 35 blocks including 3.0 bpg in conference play.

    Upcoming

  • Following the trip to Miami on 2/1, the Terps then return home to face nationally ranked North Carolina on 2/4…

    The Terps will then play five of their next seven on the road… Maryland has only three home games and six road contests in February.

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Towson Hosts 2011 Final Four Participant VCU Wednesday on WNST

Posted on 25 January 2012 by WNST Staff

SETTING THE STAGE: Towson and Virginia Commonwealth will both be playing their third game in five days tonight. The Tigers, coming off a pair of competitive games at CAA-leading George Mason Saturday and at Delaware Monday, are still seeking their first victory of the season. The Rams finished fourth in the CAA a year ago, but were one of three league schools to earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Once there, VCU went on a remarkable run all the way to the Final Four. This season, the Rams are off to a 16-5 record with a 7-2 mark in league play. The Tigers and Rams will meet again in just two weeks in Richmond.

CRASHING THE BOARDS: Towson has outrebounded its opponents in three consecutive games, including matchups against Old Dominion and George Mason, which both rank in the Top 5 of the CAA in rebounding margin. Towson has been especially aggressive on the offensive glass, corralling 37.0 percent of its offensive misses, a mark that ranks second in the league. The Tigers are one of just three CAA teams (Drexel, Georgia State) to have three players rank in the Top 20 in the league in rebounding. Senior Robert Nwankwo and sophomores Marcus Damas and Erique Gumbs are each in the Top 20 with Nwankwo ranking fourth in the league at 8.7 rebounds per game. Early in the season, Towson outrebounded Kansas, which is ranked No. 5 in the latest national polls.

DOUBLE FIGURE DAMAS: Sophomore forward Marcus Damas has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 14 games and ranks in the Top 20 in the CAA in both scoring and rebounding. Damas tallied 19 points at George Mason Saturday and posted a game-high 16 points at Delaware Monday to lead the Tigers in scoring in both contests.

LAST TIME OUT: Towson trailed by just two at halftime, but Delaware outscored the Tigers 38-21 in the second half to capture a 62-43 CAA victory Monday evening at the Bob Carpenter Center. Senior Robert Nwankwo was just one point shy of his fourth consecutive double-double as the forward scored nine points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Nwankwo also blocked two shots to become just the third player in Towson history to block 200 career shots.

SCOUTING THE RAMS: Virginia Commonwealth has won five straight games since dropping back-to-back league contests against Georgia State and Drexel earlier this month. The Rams are led by senior Bradford Burgess and sophomore Juvonte Reddic. Burgess leads VCU in scoring with 13.0 points per game while Reddic averages 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest. The Rams are among the leaders in the CAA in both scoring offense (67.7 ppg) and scoring defense (59.0 ppg).

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Towson Visits Delaware Monday Night on WNST

Posted on 23 January 2012 by WNST Staff

ON AIR: Monday’s game can be seen live on ESPN3 with John Sadak handling the play-by-play duties and legendary Towson coach Vince Angotti providing analysist. The CAA clash can also be heard live on WNST with Spiro Morekas calling all the action.

SETTING THE STAGE: The Towson men’s basketball team will be playing its second game in three days Monday as the Tigers make the short trip to Newark, Del. to take on the Blue Hens. The Tigers put up a valiant effort in a 72-60 loss at CAA-leading George Mason Saturday while the Blue Hens upended Georgia State in double overtime in their last game.

MR. DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Towson senior forward Robert Nwankwo has registered double-double’s in each of his last three games and now has seven on the year and 17 in his career. In his last three games, Nwankwo, who is 20th nationally in blocked shots per game, has averaged 14.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game.

SCOUTING THE BLUE HENS: Delaware enters Monday with an 8-10 overall record and a 4-4 mark in CAA play. The Blue Hens are coming off a thrilling 77-74 double overtime win over Georgia State on Saturday. UD is led by sophomore guard Devon Saddler and junior forward Jamelle Hagins. Saddler is second in the CAA in scoring at 18.6 points per game while Hagins has 11 double-doubles on the year and leads the leauge with 11.4 rebounds per game.

LAST TIME OUT: Playing its third straight game against a team that was leading the CAA, Towson nearly pulled off a major upset before George Mason held on for a 72-60 victory over the Tigers at the Patriot Center on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers, who trailed by as many as 18 points early in the second half, had pulled to within 63-58 when George Mason sophomore guard Sherrod Wright nailed a clutch three-point basket with 1:35 remaining enabling the Patriots to avoid the upset. Towson sophomore Marcus Damasled the Tigers with 19 points and seven rebounds. Senior forward Robert Nwankwo posted his third consecutive double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Nwankwo, who ranks 20th nationally in blocked shots, had three rejections against Mason. Freshman Deon Jones was just one rebound shy of his second double-double of the year as the guard tallied 13 points and grabbed nine boards.

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Towson Visits George Mason Saturday on WNST

Posted on 21 January 2012 by WNST Staff

ON AIR: Saturday’s game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic with John Castleberry handling the play-by-play duties and Ron Thompson providing analysist. The CAA clash can also be heard live on WNST with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling all the action.

SETTING THE STAGE: The Towson University men’s basketball team will play its third straight game against a team that is in first-place at the time of the contest as the Tigers travel to George Mason Saturday. The Tigers are looking for their first win of the year while the Patriots have won seven of their last eight contests. Both squads are in the midst of playing five games in just 11 days.

TOP FRESHMAN: Tiger point guard Kris Walden is the top ranked freshman in the CAA with 3.4 assists per game. The Richmond, Va. native, who is averaging 6.0 assists per contest in his last three outings, is seventh overall in the conference in assists.

TOP 20 NATIONALLY: Tiger senior forward Robert Nwankwo ranks second in the CAA and 20th nationally with 2.6 blocks per game. He’s averaging 4.8 blocks per game in his last four contests and is coming of back-to-back double-double performances against Georgia State and Old Dominion.

FAMILIAR FOE: Saturday’s game will be the 39th all-time meeting between Towson and George Mason. The Tigers have only played nine teams more often in their history.
The only other current CAA teams Towson has played more often is Delaware (65), Drexel (58) and Hofstra (55).

SCOUTING THE PATRIOTS: George Mason has won seven of its last eight games and is tied with Old Dominion at the top of the CAA standings. Senior Ryan Pearson leads the Patriots in both scoring (17.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.5 rpg). The forward tallied  a game-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Mason’s win against Delaware on Wednesday. George Mason leads the CAA averaging 71.5 points per game. As a team the Patriots shoot 47.5 percent from the floor, a mark that also leads the league. The Patriots are 8-1 at home this season with their only loss coming against Duquesne.

LAST TIME OUT: Towson senior forward Robert Nwankwo recorded his second straight double-double, but his performance wasn’t enough as the Tigers fell to Old Dominion, 71-41, Wednesday evening in the Towson Center Arena. Nwankwo led Towson with 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for his sixth double-double of the season and 16th of his career. Towson tried to combat ODU’s hot shooting by controlling the glass. The Tigers won the battle of the boards, 34-32, against an Old Dominion squad that entered the game second in the CAA with a +5.3 rebounding margin. Towson was hurt though by its 31.3 shooting percentage and 18 turnovers. Freshman Kris Walden dished out six assists in the loss to the Monarchs.

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Towson Making Upcoming TV Appearances

Posted on 20 January 2012 by WNST Staff

Tigers To Appear on ESPN3 Against Delaware Twice and at Home Verse Drexel

TOWSON, Md. – A trio of Towson University men’s basketball games will be broadcast on ESPN3 in the coming weeks. Both Tiger games against Delaware, on the road this coming Monday (Jan. 23) and at home on February 22, will be aired. A home contest against Drexel on February 4 will also be broadcast live.

Tiger fans can also see Towson take on George Mason on Saturday, Jan. 21 on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Tip time is set for 4 p.m. from the Patriot Center.

Including these additions, the Tigers will have appeared on ESPN3 seven times this season.

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Towson Tries Again to Snap Streak Wednesday at Drexel on WNST

Posted on 04 January 2012 by WNST Staff

SETTING THE STAGE: Towson will play its first CAA road game Wednesday against CAA Preseason favorite Drexel after hosting George Mason and Northeastern in the Tigers’ first two league games. The game, set to tip from the Daskalakis Athletic Center in Philadelphia at 7 p.m., can be heard live on WNST-AM (1570).

ROAD WARRIORS: Starting Wednesday, Towson will play three of its next four games on the road.The last time the Tigers were on the road, they played perhaps their best game of the season at No. 23 Virginia. Towson led by as many as eight and the Cavaliers could never extend their advantage to double digits in the game.

FAMILIAR FOE: Towson and Drexel played three times last year and the Dragons eliminated the Tigers from the CAA Tournament with a 75-69 opening round victory. Drexel has won five straight in the series and Towson has not won in Philadelphia since Jan. 12, 2002.

DEFENSE & REBOUNDING: Tiger head coach Pat Skerry has preached defense and rebounding to his players since the start of preseason and lately they have been getting the message. Towson has held three straight opponents to 65 points or fewer and consecutive foes to less than 60 points, including No. 23 Virginia. The Tigers rank sixth in the CAA in both rebounding margin (+1.6) and blocked shots (3.7 bpg). Towson has corralled 39.6 percent of its offensive misses this season, a mark that leads the CAA. Both Robert Nwankwo and Marcus Damas rank in the Top 15 in the CAA in rebounding.

LEADING FRESHMAN: Towson point guard Kris Walden leads all CAA freshmen and ranks ninth in the league in assists per game. Walden is averaging 3.1 dimes per contest.

LAST TIME OUT: Despite a career-high 14 points from sophomore Erique Gumbs, Northeastern pulled out a 57-48 Colonial Athletic Association victory over Towson Monday night. Gumbs, who made five of nine shots from the floor, added six rebounds and two blocked shots to his impressive stat line. Tiger sophomore Marcus Damas added 14 points for his seventh double figure scoring effort in the last eight games. Freshman Jervon Pressley scored a career-high 11 points and had six rebounds in the loss.

Towson outrebounded Northeastern, 36-28, but the Huskies took advantage of 19 Tiger turnovers that they turned into 28 points.

SCOUTING THE DRAGONS: Drexel (8-5, 0-2 CAA) had a six-game winning streak snapped Monday at Georgia State. The Dragons are a perfect 4-0 at home this season, winning by an average of 9.5 points per game. Preseason All-CAA First Team selection Samme Givens leads Drexel in both scoring (12.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg). Chris Fouch led Drexel with 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting at Georgia State Monday.

The Dragons and Tigers have just one common opponent thus far in the season. Drexel lost to Virginia in the Paradise Jam, 49-35, while Towson lost at Virginia, 57-50 just last week.

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Caps rally with four third period goals to beat Columbus, 4-2

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Hunter’s Adjustments Propels Caps Comeback

Posted on 31 December 2011 by Ed Frankovic

The Caps failed to score a first period goal on the road for the sixth straight game and after 40 minutes they trailed 2-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So much for using that start fast formula on the road that they’ve used lately at home that I blogged about last night, eh?!

But since Dale Hunter took over behind the bench this Washington Capitals squad has yet to quit in a game, regardless of the deficit and some lineup juggling by the Caps bench boss ignited a three goal in under three minutes explosion in the final frame. Alexander Ovechkin, who scored the first goal for the Caps, then lasered one by Steve Mason (22 saves) to make it 4-2 and Tomas Vokoun (35 saves) closed the door as the Capitals won their third straight game. It was a huge victory and moves the Caps to 20-15-2 overall. They are now just five points behind Southeast Division leading Florida. Washington has two games in hand.

After Columbus did a good job of shutting down Washington’s top line for 40 minutes, Hunter split them up putting Ovechkin with Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer while Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin added Marcus Johansson on left wing. The move gave the Caps energy and took Columbus off of their game plan. On the back end, the defensemen became extremely active and Dennis Wideman (1 goal, 2 assists) turned in a super period paired with Roman Hamrlik. On Ovechkin’s nail in the coffin on the power play, Dmitry Orlov made an intelligent move carrying the puck down the left wing boards and behind the net drawing the defense to him before slipping a sweet pass to the Gr8 who buried it with authority. Make no mistake about this, Orlov continues to get better and deserves to be up with the big club the rest of the season.

I know I mentioned the standings above, but as I’ve pretty much done since Hunter took over, I have tried to ignore them because this club needed to drastically fix its’ play before it could start rising back to the top of the Eastern Conference. After 15 games in under the Capitals legend the team has totally improved on the backend and now that they have corrected that, the offense, as predicted by Hunter, is coming on. Ovechkin, Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom have bought in defensively and they are really starting to reap big rewards for that. The Gr8 is on fire with four goals in his last two games and has nine points in his last six games. Semin’s goal that tied the game was a thing of beauty and he’s had six solid tilts in a row. Backstrom is the team’s MVP so far this season but he’s even gone to a higher level the last couple of weeks.

Another thing to be really encouraged about is the week Vokoun just had in goal. #29 came on in relief on Monday and stopped 16 of 17 shots then went 3-0 as a starter. Vokoun is making the big save at the right time. 14 seconds after Ovechkin tallied to cut it to 2-1, he made a huge stop on Mark Letestu on a quality chance in the slot. If Letestu scores there the game is over. Instead Orlov and Grant Clitsome go off for roughing shortly thereafter and the Capitals score twice on the four on four. I’ve said this so many times, but everything starts for a team in goal and Washington is finally getting some consistent netminding.

For those who watched the post game press conference with Hunter on Comcast, things looked exactly the same from old number 32 for the 15th time despite the dramatic comeback. It was hard to tell whether the team won or lost and Hunts always seems to be on such an even keel. Clearly his club is feeding off of his consistency behind the bench and his competitive drive is contagious.

Winning in Columbus is still no big feat, that Blue Jackets club is pretty bad. The Caps have a Calgary Flames team home on Tuesday before taking off to the west coast to take on some quality Western Conference talent in San Jose and Los Angeles. We’ll have an even better idea how far the team has come after those contests.

Happy New Year!

Notes: The Blue Jackets second goal should not have counted as referees Brad Meier and Francois St. Laurent missed an obvious interference penalty on Derek Dorsett in front of the Washington net. The Columbus pest shoved John Carlson to the ground with the puck on the boards but no call was made. Terrible work from the zebras…the Caps blocked 22 shots while the Blue Jackets only thwarted five. Assistant Coach Jim Johnson says if Washington blocks between 20 and 25 shots in a game that is a good sign…Hamrlik and Wideman were both +3. #44 looks so much better since returning from an early season groin injury. He is a smart player who is excelling in Hunter’s system…Washington won the faceoff battle, 32-31. Jeff Halpern was 8-3…Jeff Schultz had an awful first period giveaway and only played 9:46…Cody Eakin’s recall did necessitate a player going on injured reserve as I mentioned last night, but instead of Mathieu Perreault, the team retroactively put Mike Green in that capacity to meet the 23 man roster limit.

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CAA Showdown Saturday Night on WNST as Towson Hosts George Mason

Posted on 03 December 2011 by WNST Staff

Tigers Open CAA Play Against George Mason Saturday

Towson Men’s Basketball To Face Fifth Team Ranked Or Receiving Votes In National Polls

TOWSON, Md. – The Tigers are set to open Colonial Athletic Association play Saturday evening against rival George Mason. Tip time is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Towson Center and all fans attending the NCAA FCS Football Playoff game at Johnny Unitas® Stadium can attend the Tigers’ men’s basketball game free of charge.

Saturday night’s game can be heard live on AM1570 WNST.net. Coverage begins immediately following the conclusion of the Towson-Lehigh NCAA FCS Playoff game and can be heard here.

Towson (0-6) is coming off an 86-56 setback at UMass on Wednesday evening. Senior Robert Nwankwo posted his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 14 rebounds against the Minutemen.

The Tigers continued to dominate the glass in their last outing, holding a 50-43 rebounding advantage in the loss. Towson has now outrebounded its opponents in all but two games this season.

Including Saturday’s contest, the young Tigers quad will have played five teams ranked or receiving votes in the national polls.

George Mason, which is receiving votes in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, is riding a three-game winning streak and coming off a 61-57 victory over Bucknell. The Patriots are led by Preseason All-CAA First Team honoree Ryan Pearson. The senior ranked in the top-15 of both scoring and rebounding among league players last season, and is the conference’s fifth highest returning scorer. This season Pearson is averaging 20.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

Saturday’s game will be the 38th all-time meeting between Towson and George Mason. The Tigers won six of the first nine meetings between the squads, but have won just two of the last 28. George Mason has never lost to Towson as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. Their last loss to the Tigers was a 78-71 defeat in Towson in 1993.

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Calm down, we didn’t want Mason back anyway.

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Calm down, we didn’t want Mason back anyway.

Posted on 09 August 2011 by Mitchell Toland

I’ve heard  A TON of chatter lately on local radio shows and throughout different Baltimore Sports blogs.  Many of you have been expressing your anger over Derrick Mason signing with the Jets and his parting shots at the Ravens.  Yes, Mason did say that he went to New York because he thought it gave him the best chance to win a Super Bowl.  Why are you angry about that? If you got fired from your old job and then a great job offer came from a boss you’ve heard about and he really wants to bring you on board what are you going to do? You’re going to take the job.  You’re not gonna tell people you took that job because it might have been you’re only offer or that you just wanted a pay check.  You’re going to try to talk up the company you are now working for and how much better it is than your old job.

Let’s try it this way.  You’re girlfriend dumps you after you’ve been together for awhile.  You’ve been broken up for a few months and you meet this other great looking girl who’s really into you and always texting you telling you she misses you and all.  Then you’re ex comes back and is like, “Oh, Johnny I see you’re still single I guess we can get back together if you want to.”  You’re going to stay with the new chick if you’re smart and make her your girlfriend than be sure to tell all you’re friends how much better she is than you’re old girlfriend. Probably post a few Facebook statuses about how great the new girlfriend is because you know your ex will see it.  That’s all Mason did.  He just bragged about his new girlfriend after his old one dumped him.  We can’t forget that the Ravens RELEASED Mason.

Mason was great when he was here but he was aging and we didn’t really need two of the same receivers again.  Boldin is a younger Mason, just more physical.  The Ravens will likely try to add a veteran WR to the team before the start of the season.  The youth movement could be great.  With guys like Smith,Doss,Dickson, and Reid getting playing time this year will only make us better for the next 4-5 years.  Would you be upset with an 8-8, 9-7 record if it got these young guys ready for the next few years and really opened a window of great opportunity for the Ravens to compete and win a Super Bowl or two in the next 5 years? Honestly, as much as I love the Ravens and want them to do nothing but winning, if allowing these young guys to grow for a year gives us the next 4-5 years in the playoffs every year and competing for a Super Bowl I’d be OK with it.  I’d still be ticked every time we struggled but I would know the future was brighter.

Mason wasn’t a part of the future.  It was time to move on despite his productivity.  I really believe Flacco will take a huge step forward this year without having Mason on the field.  He will be able to  spread the ball around without having guys like Mason and  Housh on the team.  I think we are all in for a huge surprise from a lot of the young guys like Doss and J.Smith this  year.  We may at times miss Mason on a few third downs but by the end of the season I think we will look back and realize we made up for his production with the new additions. It was time the Ravens moved on and brought in the new wave of Ravens receivers to pair with Boldin and Rice to take this offense to the next level.

In Oz I trust.

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It needs to be said: Good riddance, Derrick Mason!

Posted on 08 August 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

Over the past two weeks I’ve read and heard and watched a myriad of different reactions to the swath of cuts the Baltimore Ravens have made to veteran players and unlike the overwhelming majority of the fan base here, I understand the salary cap and how it works.

(If you have any questions, feel free to forward them along: nasty@wnst.net. That’s why WNST.net exists – to educate you and answer your questions about Baltimore sports.)

Bottom line: the Ravens played about $14 million over the cap last year in a “wild, wild west” uncapped NFL season. In the new post-lockout 2011 season, everyone will need to align franchise expenditures with the reality of the league. For the Ravens, that means playing with less veteran (re: well-paid) talent.

This brings us to wide receiver Derrick Mason, who has somehow at 37 years of age  managed to stir up the fans of Baltimore using his Twitter account and his ever-present voice to make a case for himself as a returning veteran to the Ravens.

He was texting with John Harbaugh. He was talking about other opportunities and greener pastures. He was “shocked” by the Ravens’ cut, which had almost happened two other times over the last two years.

Here’s the truth: the Ravens didn’t want Derrick Mason anymore. And his “pick” of the New York Jets and all of the bluster that Rex Ryan blew around at the press conference about Mason electing to take “less money to play in New York” was just typical Ryanspeak.

Fact: Rex Ryan hates the Ravens more than any NFL team. He barely even speaks to me anymore because he knows I’m a Ravens fan. He stews about not getting the head coaching job every time he looks at me.

Fact: Derrick Mason wasn’t welcomed in Baltimore any more. The Ravens don’t have any cap room and felt that overspending on the clearly devalued stock of an almost-40 wide receiver wasn’t good business for them.

This was a good marriage for Mason and Ryan. It fits both of their needs to get even with the Ravens and to take the “Play Like A Jet” braggadocio to The Big Apple and potentially make another run at a Super Bowl appearance.

Oh, and the parting shot? Mason and Ryan both let it be known that they believe they have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than the Ravens do.

Fair enough.

And when these teams lock horns here in Baltimore eight weeks, it’s going to look like the NFL’s newest Holy War and if I could wave my magic wand and have it all work out right the Ravens would host the AFC Championship Game and play the mighty titans of New York for all the marbles here in late January.

Baltimore vs. New York? As long as it’s not baseball, I really like our chances!

And because I’ve said this before when Derrick Mason was wearing purple every week, I’ll say it again out of fairness and full disclosure. In my 16 years of chasing the Ravens all across the continent and working every locker room of every game, Mason was one of my least favorite Ravens.

It’s almost blasphemous because for most he was a media dream. He would always set up in front of his locker and welcome the lights and the cameras and the questions and would always fire off long, winding diatribes about his feelings and his insights filling notebooks and video storage devices. And I’m all for a loquacious athlete. It’s good for business all the way around.

Except in Mason’s case, I always thought it was personal and it was overkill. And he was always speaking down to the media, which in my opinion is speaking down to the fans.

Look there’s no getting around it, Derrick Mason was a helluva football player – a classic overachiever in every sense of the word and my respect for his abilities as an athlete is unquestioned. And I’m pretty sure he’s a good family man and an all-around decent human being. He did charitable things here and in Nashville and I know he really wanted to win.

But as a guy who plays on a team with 53 other guys?

You can have a 37-year old Derrick Mason, New York. He’s perfect for you!

He’s all about himself.

Don’t believe me? Well, I’ve talked to enough of his teammates and coaches over the years to know how they feel about him. Helluva player, but he’s gonna bitch loudly and unrepentantly about not getting the ball – win or lose. Many would say he’s a “typical me-first wide receiver” and that’s fine, too.

Last I checked that class full of brats — Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Chad Johnson — all have one thing in common: nude ring fingers!

I saw Mason stew after victories – many times – because he wasn’t the biggest part of the offense that day. I’ve seen him pop off and say all sorts of things that had a very “anti-team” edge to them as I heard them. And I also remember his retirement proceedings on his agent’s website two summers ago.

Apparently, so did Joe Flacco, who amidst the Ravens’ mystery “negotiations” with Mason threw him under the bus by calling him a diva in front of the world 48 hours ago.

I think that says it all.

Sure, there will be days this fall when Flacco would’ve loved having him on 3rd and 6, but the other six days and 21 hours of the week sure sounded like an issue for some folks at The Bellagio in Owings Mills.

And I get it.

But all of this green bluster coming out of New York is just that – another chance for Mason and Ryan to take a few verbal jabs at the Ravens and Baltimore, where they weren’t welcomed anymore.

We’ll see them on Sunday night, Oct. 2 here in Baltimore.

To be continued…

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