Tag Archive | "matt stover"

It’s time to honor some local sports “saints” with our #WNSTSweet16

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It’s time to honor some local sports “saints” with our #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 18 March 2014 by Glenn Clark

This one was far too tough. I’ll be on Tuesday morning at 8am to discuss it with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones. If he tells me I’m wrong, I’ll probably just agree with him.

If you need a reminder of what this week’s topic (Sweet 16 Local Sports Saints-Athletes Who Gave Back) is all about, check it out here.

If you’re someone who I left off the list, I apologize in advance. This was agonizingly difficult.

(Editor’s note: You’re going to ask me why Elrod Hendricks isn’t on the list. It isn’t an easy answer. It’s a complicated thought about the difference between Elrod the “player” and Elrod the “coach”. Elrod the coach is ABSOLUTELY part of this list-but we said the list was for “athletes.”

In the end, I should have just put him on the list. In that case, he would have been Top 5. I told you it was agonizing. Stop yelling at me.)

16. Keion Carpenter

Carpenter never played for the Baltimore Ravens, but as a Baltimore native he has shown great concern for his hometown via The Carpenter House and the fight for affordable housing for the underprivileged.

Carpenter is also involved in what seems like every youth football camp in the area, including many with Baltimore Ravens players.

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NFL announces additional kickoff week events around Baltimore

Posted on 29 August 2013 by WNST Staff

NFL HOSTS KICKOFF EVENTS IN BALTIMORE TO CELEBRATE SUPER BOWL CHAMPION RAVENS & RETURN OF FOOTBALL

 

Events Will Take Place September 3-5

 

2013 NFL Kickoff will bring music, youth football, and a spirit of community to Baltimore as fans nationwide get Back To Football.

The following are opportunities for fans and media to take part in the Kickoff celebrations throughout Baltimore. Fans and media should visit www.nfl.com/kickoff and follow @NFL345 on Twitter for the most up-to-date Kickoff details. 

NFL KICKOFF CONCERT STAGE ARRIVAL

On Monday, September 2 at 6:00 a.m. the NFL Kickoff concert stage will be tugged into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor across from the Maryland Science Center. Media can capture the first shots of the stage that KEITH URBAN will perform on Thursday night as part of the unprecedented celebration for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

 

B-ROLL OPPORTUNITY: RAVENS LOGOS PAINTED ON YOUTH FIELD

On Monday, September 2 at 12:30 p.m., media can capture the iconic Baltimore Ravens logo being painted on the field that will be home to the NFL PLAY 60 Youth Football Festival at UTZ Field at Patterson Park.  Baltimore Ravens Director of Fields and Grounds DON FOLLETT will be on site along with executives from the NFL’s Creative Department.

 

NFL KICKOFF COMMUNITY LEGACY PROJECT

Former Ravens players JAMAL LEWIS and DUANE STARKS will join volunteers from the NFL, United Way and the National Dairy Council for a community service project at Hilton Elementary (3301 Carlisle Ave.) on Wednesday, September 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Baltimore Mayor STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE will take part in the event at 11:30 a.m., followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony. Hilton Elementary was identified by the Ravens and the National Dairy Council for their successful participation in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.  Volunteers will transform the outdoor area behind the school adding a greenhouse and garden beds. In addition, a new active play space will be built to inspire creativity, learning and cooperation among students.

KICKOFF VILLAGE

The NFL Kickoff Village will be open to fans on Wednesday, September 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Thursday, September 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:15 p.m at McKeldin Square and the Harborplace Amphitheater. This fan zone is free and open to the public and brings fans closer to the NFL through sponsors’ activations and dynamic promotions. Sponsors include: Bridgestone, GMC, Pepsi, Snickers and Verizon. NFL Legends will be on hand both days to sign autographs for fans.

For more information including interview opportunities with NFL executives, contact Joanna Hunter (Joanna.hunter@nfl.com).

 

NFL PLAY 60 YOUTH FOOTBALL FESTIVAL

The NFL PLAY 60 Youth Football Festival will take place Wednesday, September 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Thursday, September 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Former Ravens players including Hall of Famer ROD WOODSON and JAMAL LEWIS, KYLE RICHARDSON, JAMIE SHARPER, DUANE STARKS and MATT STOVER will team up with more than 850 students from the area to celebrate the start of the NFL season at UTZ Field at Patterson Park (200 S Linwood Ave). Students will learn NFL FLAG drills and Heads Up Football skills from USA Football coaches and participate in activities with players. Children will also learn about hydration, helmet fitting, and concussion awareness. NFL PLAY 60 partners HOPSports, National Dairy Council and Under Armour will be on-site as part of their ongoing commitment to motivate youth and families to be active.

 

FULL CLINIC SCHEDULE: 

Wednesday, September 4

  • ·         Clinic #1 (12:00-1:00 P.M.): Matt Stover, Kyle Richardson
  • ·         Clinic #2 (1:00-2:00 P.M): Matt Stover, Kyle Richardson
  • ·         Clinic #3   (2:00-3:00 P.M.):  TBA

Thursday, April 25

  • ·         Clinic #1 (10:30-11:30 A.M.): Jamal Lewis
  • ·         Clinic #2 (11:30 A.M.-12:30 P.M): Jamal Lewis
  • ·         Clinic #3   (1:00-2:00 P.M.): Duane Starks
  • ·         Clinic #4   (2:00-3:00 P.M.): Duane Starks
  • ·         Clinic #5   (4:30-5:00 P.M.): Jamie Sharper, Rod Woodson
  • ·         Clinic #6    (5:15-5:45 P.M.): Jamie Sharper, Rod Woodson
  • ·         Clinic #7    (6:00-6:30 P.M.): Jamie Sharper, Rod Woodson

 

UNDER ARMOUR | GE PRESS CONFERENCE ON HEAD HEALTH CHALLENGE II

The NFLGE and Under Armour will team up to kick off the second portion of the Head Health Challenge: Innovative Approaches for Identifying and Preventing Brain Injury on Wednesday, September 4 at 3:00 p.m. at Under Armour Global Headquarters (120 Hull Street, Baltimore). The event will include NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL, founder and CEO of Under Armour KEVIN PLANK, and SUE SIEGEL CEO of GE healthyimagination. BOOMER ESIASON will host the event, which also features CAL RIPKEN, JR.(MLB), LAVAR ARRINGTON (NFL) and STEELE STANWICK (Major League Lacrosse), and KELLY O’HARA (National Women’s Soccer League).

NFL BACK TO FOOTBALL RUN & PLAY 60 FUN RUN 

The special NFL Back To Football Run and NFL PLAY 60 Fun Run will take place Wednesday evening, Sept. 4 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Run Series invites fans to celebrate the return of football with a 5K starting at 7:00 p.m.; in addition, a half mile Play 60 Fun Run for youth fans begins at 6:00 p.m. (ages 6-12). Fans 5 and under can also participate in a run at 6:20 p.m. on the field.  The participants will experience the once in a lifetime chance to finish their race on the field of the very stadium where their Super Bowl champions play. Ravens cheerleaders and mascot Poe will be in attendance, and fans have an opportunity to receive autographs from Ravens alumni and take their photo with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Ravens alumni JAMAL LEWIS and KYLE RICHARDSON will be in attendance to help kick off the run and cheer on the runners.

Fans interested in participating in the run may sign up here: http://nflrunseries.com/ravens/. 

“NFL KICKOFF 2013 PRESENTED BY PEPSI” CONCERT

Grammy Award-winning singer KEITH URBAN will perform live, with activities beginning at 6:00 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, September 5 for “NFL KICKOFF 2013 PRESENTED BY PEPSI,” the NFL’s 11th anniversary Kickoff celebration to kick off the season and celebrate the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The event is free and open to the public.   Urban will perform from a floating stage barge in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor adjacent to the Maryland Science Center. The event will include music, fireworks, a showing of “America’s Game: 2012 Baltimore Ravens,” and a water light show.

To ensure public safety and security, the following items are prohibited: weapons, alcohol, food, beverages, all glass containers, fireworks, all chairs, tents of any kind, barbecue grills of any kind, umbrellas, blankets of any kind, cameras with lens over 12”, obstructive signs and animals other than service animals.

All attendees are subject to search, and prohibited items may not be abandoned at security checkpoints. Please allow adequate time to pass through security checkpoints before activities begin.

Guests can enter the concert site at the Baltimore Visitor Center on Light Street at Conway Street or off of Key Highway between the Science Center and Rash Field.  The entrances will open to the public beginning at 6pm on Thursday, September 5.

Guests may view the concert from the general public viewing areas, which are adjacent to the Maryland Science Center and are directly in front of the stage. Access to the general public viewing areas is first come, first served. Guests also may enjoy the concert from West Shore Park and along the Inner Harbor promenade.

Guests planning to attend the event should follow @NFL345 on Twitter for the most up-to-date concert details.

Simulcast coverage of the 60-minute pregame show will air from 7:30 to 8:30 PM ET on NBC and NFL Network.  The show leads into the season opener between the Ravens and the Denver Broncos at Sport Authority Field at Mile High (NBC, NBCSports.com, Westwood One Radio Sports, 8:30 PM ET).

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Ravens gather to commemorate Super Bowl XLVII a final time

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Ravens gather to commemorate Super Bowl XLVII a final time

Posted on 08 June 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

The Super Bowl ring ceremony was quite the extravagant party in Owings Mills that served as a reunion for the 2012 Ravens as well as the final big celebration of the second championship in franchise history.

Yes, Baltimore’s home opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 15 will include the unveiling of a second Super Bowl championship banner, but that ceremony will be overshadowed by an actual game and won’t include those who’ve moved on to other organizations but were able to return to the team’s facility to receive their lavish Super Bowl rings.

Media access was limited at Friday night’s event as it was a party for members of the organization, but the Ravens provided an interesting foursome of players to speak to the media minutes after the rings were unveiled.

Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, and Torrey Smith all stood at different stages of their career as they received their championship rings with the 38-year-old Lewis speaking to reporters first. Having retired after winning his second championship, Lewis spoke as a fatherly figure throughout the postseason and once again expressed his satisfaction over not only having the opportunity to go out on top but to see his teammates experience what it meant to be a champion.

“I always told them I wanted them to really feel what the confetti felt like. Now to be here, to have something that symbolizes it, it’s the ultimate because now it connects us forever,” said Lewis, who also wore his Super Bowl XXXV ring after receiving the Super Bowl XLVII one to wear on his opposite hand. “It took me 12 years to get back and get another ring. I want them to cherish what this moment feels like right now while we’re world champions.”

Flacco, the Super Bowl MVP, responded only how he could with the honest assessment of a gaudy ring that includes white gold and 243 round-cut diamonds. As Lewis pointed out, Flacco won a championship in his fifth season — like the linebacker did with the 2000 Ravens — and the championship surely provided validation in the minds of those who wondered whether he could lead Baltimore to a championship.

The quarterback admitted he probably won’t wear the ring, but it won’t be sitting locked up in his closet either.

“It’s kind of unwearable,” said Flacco, drawing laughter from reporters. “When I see people for the first time, I’m sure they’re going to have some interest in seeing it or at least I’m going to have some interest in showing it off to them. I’m definitely going to bring it a couple of places. I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m going to wear it, but it’s pretty special.”

Entering his third season, Smith represented the younger players on the roster fortunate enough not to wait long to taste Super Bowl glory in their NFL careers.

And the former University of Maryland product struggled to keep his eyes off the hardware as he spoke to media.

“I told you all what I was going to be like. I didn’t cry or anything, but I can see how women feel when they get a ring,” said Smith as he laughed. “It has a lot of different meanings. There will never be another season like this. We can win the Super Bowl every year while I’m in the league and there will be nothing like this one.”

The most intriguing of the four to speak was 11th-year linebacker Terrell Suggs, who finally earned the Super Bowl ring he’s dreamed about after starring on the vaunted Baltimore defense for a decade. While Lewis, Flacco, and future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed received most of the attention for different reasons, Suggs won his first championship after the most difficult season of his career in which he recovered from a torn Achilles tendon in late April and then played with a torn biceps for the final two months of the 2012 season.

Always one to provide a colorful quote and having the reputation of being the class clown of the Ravens locker room, Suggs’ sincerity in describing how he felt upon finally seeing his first piece of championship jewelry was the highlight of the brief session.

“To have it so close, it finally hit me what exactly we accomplished together,” said Suggs, who figured out his ring was hidden in front of him when he was discouraged from moving his seat at the beginning of the ceremony. “It didn’t take a year. It took me 11 years to get it. It took coach [John] Harbaugh from when he got here in 2008 — we’ve been chasing this. It finally paid off, all that blood given. There’s not a word that describes what I’m feeling right now and all the emotions.

“The journey was long, but it was worth it. But I will tell you this, I damn sure want to feel like this again.”

Owner Steve Bisciotti took care of former members of the organization by not only awarding Super Bowl rings to David and John Modell, the sons of the late owner Art Modell, but to the five members of the team’s Ring of Honor who played on the Super Bowl XXXV championship team. It appears Bisciotti is setting a precedent by giving rings to Jonathan Ogden, Peter Boulware, Michael McCrary, Matt Stover, and Jamal Lewis, but fellow Ring of Honor member Earnest Byner wasn’t included in that group.

Byner was the only member of the Ring of Honor to have played for the Ravens — the Hall of Fame members of the Baltimore Colts are also honored — who did not receive a ring, so it appears this is a subtle way of ignoring the former Browns, Redskins, and Ravens running back’s inclusion, which was never accepted by fans from the time Byner was inducted in 2001.

He was a favorite of the late Modell, but seeing Byner’s name listed among Ravens greats as well as the Hall of Fame Colts has always looked out of place.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Congrats kid, now don’t miss

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Your Monday Reality Check: Congrats kid, now don’t miss

Posted on 27 August 2012 by Glenn Clark

I probably should’ve saved a few hundred of the words I spent on last week’s missive about the Baltimore Ravens’ kicking competition.

Hey, at least I’m going to save you from a story about my 16th birthday party. (Although if you really want to know the details you can always feel free to email me. I always have stories.)

I’m glad our own Drew Forrester has taken the time to commend former K Billy Cundiff over and over again for how he handled himself after missing a crucial kick that cost the team a chance to send the AFC Championship Game to overtime. Drew has been right to point out that Cundiff could have made excuses, could have dodged reporters, could have gone into hiding and waited to hear his fate after an underwhelming season.

He didn’t do that. He manned up. It truly is commendable.

There’s a caveat to our praise however. The fact is that we all know that if Cundiff had made the kick and then given the Heisman to media members postgame we wouldn’t have batted an eye.

The fact is that the only thing any of us (rightly) care about was that in a situation where a team (and a city) counted on one player to do their job, the job wasn’t done.

We’ve been through this exercise repeatedly in the months since the Ravens fell just short of a Super Bowl return. I actually have no interest whatsoever in reliving that moment and determining what happened or who deserves blame. I’m just reminding everyone that while Drew is right to commend Billy Cundiff, there’s an obvious reason why such praise isn’t prevailing throughout Charm City to start the week.

I could not begin to tell you whether or not the Ravens made the right decision by releasing Cundiff Sunday and sticking with rookie K Justin Tucker for the 2012 season. I understand the reasoning behind the decision (I’m pretty sure I made a compelling argument for both specialists last Monday) and support the organization in making the move.

I also fought off the urge to headline this column “Good Tuck, kid” so I feel like I deserve a bit of credit here.

Tucker has a great opportunity to establish himself as an above average kicker for a franchise finally moving past the significant shadow of Matt Stover. Tucker has the opportunity to not just make crucial kicks for the Ravens in 2012, but perhaps also for future Ravens teams both competing for Super Bowl titles and (unfortunately) just trying to stay afloat in the AFC North.

Based on my early conversations with Tucker (the most recent of which-from last Wednesday’s episode of “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net-can be heard in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault), I have every reason to believe Tucker is aware of the opportunity in front of him. He seems like an intelligent young man with what we can already tell is an exceptionally capable leg.

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Your Monday Reality Check: This is just plain awkward at this point

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Your Monday Reality Check: This is just plain awkward at this point

Posted on 20 August 2012 by Glenn Clark

For me, it was probably my 15th birthday party.

ESPNZone had just opened in the Inner Harbor about a month earlier and I wanted absolutely nothing more than to check it out. I convinced my parents to let me have a party there after weeks of haggling.

The agreement came with one significant stipulation. As my parents were by no means wealthy people (although clearly I was more fortunate than others), they informed me I could only bring three friends.

I knew then that the decision I made would easily be the most agonizing of my entire life.

(You probably think I’m being sarcastic. With the gift of hindsight, it’s understandable. But think back to the time you had to make a similar decision. Remember how significant you thought it was? I thought so.)

I was obviously going to bring Brandon, as he and I had been hanging out together almost every day that summer. I had also figured I would take Matt, one of my buddies since first grade. The third choice was by far and away the most difficult. Ryan and Andy were stepbrothers, so how was I going to pick one and not the other? Billy had invited me to his cool birthday party earlier that year, so maybe I owed him. Adam was having a paintball themed birthday later in the month, I definitely didn’t want my decision to jeopardize an invite to his party. And for perhaps the first time in my young life I thought perhaps it was more important to consider inviting a GIRL (Leslie) instead of one of my buddies.

I remember thinking “perhaps I could cheat the system.” I tried convincing my parents I couldn’t invite Ryan without inviting Andy. I tried seeing if they would allow me to invite a fourth if I promised to invite one fewer friend to my 16th birthday. I told them Brandon shouldn’t count against the limit because he was basically living with us that summer anyway. I had hoped to find out someone wouldn’t be able to come anyway because their family already had plans.

I wish I could tell you I remembered who I picked. I don’t. I just remembered how awkward the whole process was.

I’m assuming by this point you clearly see the analogy I’m trying to make between my 15th birthday party and the Baltimore Ravens’ preseason kicking competition. How could you possibly not? I’m laying it on so thick!

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Former Ravens K Stover Not Worried About Cundiff After Recent Conversation

Posted on 23 April 2012 by WNST Audio

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Ranking the Ravens’ biggest special teams needs

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Ranking the Ravens’ biggest special teams needs

Posted on 17 February 2012 by Luke Jones

As the start of free agency moves closer and teams prepare for April’s draft, the Ravens continue to evaluate their needs in all three phases of the game.

Earlier in the week, I looked at Baltimore’s biggest needs on offense as well as essentials for the defense. In the conclusion of a three-part series, we finally take a long at the often-forgotten but always-important phase of the game: special teams.

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron undoubtedly receives the most criticism among the coaches on the Ravens staff, but special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg may deserve the most heat after a disappointing 2011 season. According to footballoutsiders.com, the Ravens’ special teams ranked 30th in the league in a percentage contrived from efficiency in field goals, kickoffs, kickoff returns, punts, and punt returns.

Looking from a more simplistic stance, Rosburg’s units struggled in both kickoff coverage (31st) and punt coverage (24th) and allowed three returns for touchdowns. In the return game, the Ravens ranked ninth in kickoff return average and 19th in punt return average, rarely getting a significant spark from either group as injuries and ineffectiveness forced them to shuffle returners in and out of the lineup.

Kicker Billy Cundiff converted only 75.7 percent of his field goal attempts, ranking 28th in the league. The 2010 Pro Bowl kicker made only one of six attempts from 50 or more yards and was only 11-for-20 away from M&T Bank Stadium — where he was perfect on 17 attempts. And that’s not even taking into account his heartbreaking 32-yard miss in the closing seconds of the AFC championship game that would have sent the Ravens into overtime against New England.

If you’re looking for a bright spot, punter Sam Koch ranked 10th in punt average (46.5 yards) but 19th in net average, which was affected by the Ravens’ suspect coverage.

While it’s difficult to target a laundry list of special teams’ needs from a position-by-position standpoint — the units simply need to improve across the board — but two positions stand out this offseason.

1. Kicker

Before you get carried away, this isn’t the pitchfork mentality we’re talking about here. Cundiff isn’t going anywhere for now. However, his disappointing season topped off by the most devastating moment in the 16-year history of the franchise can’t be forgotten as the Ravens assess their special teams.

To their credit, the organization and Cundiff have handled the miss with as much dignity as can be expected, with no one publicly questioning whether the Ravens should have kept veteran Shayne Graham to kick in the postseason. It’s been a credit to coach John Harbaugh and the family atmosphere in the locker room.

But what everyone is thinking privately is a different story. In his defense, Cundiff battled a left calf injury late in the season, but it doesn’t excuse what was a very inconsistent year after signing a five-year contract last January. For a kicker without a proven track record beyond his Pro Bowl season a year ago, Cundiff may have reverted back to the inconsistent performer seen early in his career.

The Ravens need to bring in another kicker to seriously compete against Cundiff during the preseason. The organization will keep Cundiff for now in hopes of avoiding the situation in which they found themselves in 2009 after parting company with Matt Stover. Neither Steve Hauschka nor Graham Gano were fit for the job, forcing the Ravens to scramble during the regular season until they settled on Cundiff.

It needs to be a serious competition, whether the Ravens elect to find a rookie coming out of college such as Randy Bullock of Texas A&M or a veteran on the open market. Graham wasn’t good enough to win the competition against Cundiff two years ago and has struggled with long-distance kicks in recent years, so it makes little sense to bring him back for the competition.

Even if Cundiff performs admirably in the preseason and wins the battle, the Ravens and their fans simply won’t know whether he’s recovered from the disappointment in Foxborough until he finds himself in another late-game situation. It’s difficult to envision the Ravens ever fully trusting Cundiff again, but they’ll at least give him a chance in the preseason before moving on for good.

2. Kickoff-Punt Returner

The Ravens had 10 different players return kickoffs — three of those only returned squibs or pooch kicks –  in 2011 and never found stability at the position. Second-year return specialist David Reed was demoted after two fumbles on returns against the Seattle Seahawks and then tore his ACL when he finally earned another opportunity to handle kickoffs.

While Reed will certainly find himself in the mix if he proves healthy in recovering from the knee injury this offseason, the Ravens must look to add an impact returner, preferably someone who can handle both kickoffs and punts to allow Lardarius Webb to focus solely on his duties at cornerback. Field position is critical, and the return units rarely aided the Ravens offense in setting it up on a shorter field.

Of course, the new kickoff rule limited many returners across the league, but the Ravens cannot settle for a returner downing the ball in the end zone constantly as they did down the stretch with reserve safety Tom Zbikowski this past season.

The Ravens could look to the draft for a returner such as Arkansas receiver Joe Adams in the middle rounds, who could add depth in both areas. One name to keep an eye on in the preseason is receiver Phillip Livas, who was signed to the practice squad in the final weeks of the season. Though only 5-foot-8, Livas was a record-setting return man at Louisiana Tech and could be a sleeper to watch in the preseason.

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Stover set to join Ravens’ Ring of Honor on Sunday

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Stover set to join Ravens’ Ring of Honor on Sunday

Posted on 18 November 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — While the Ravens will be focused on keeping pace in the AFC North when they face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, they will also recognize one of their greatest contributors as Matt Stover joins a select group at M&T Bank Stadium.

Stover will be inducted into the Ring of Honor during halftime, and the franchise’s all-time leading scorer becomes the fifth former Ravens player — eight Baltimore Colts players and former owner Art Modell are also members — to receive the distinction.

“I can’t say enough about the community of Baltimore and how they embraced the team back in [1996],” Stover said. “Remember, I was part of that. Just for me to be up there, everybody else is going to be up there with me. It’s not just Matt Stover. I don’t take full credit.”

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By the time Stover finished his tenure with the Ravens in 2008, he was the only remaining member of the team who had made the move from Cleveland to Baltimore, earning him a special place in the hearts of fans. After he was unable to come to an agreement with the Ravens for a return in 2009, Stover eventually joined the Indianapolis Colts later that season when their regular kicker Adam Vinatieri went down with an injury.

Despite earning the opportunity to play with Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV, Stover met with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to clear the air for any possible misunderstanding that might have lingered about his departure after 13 years in Baltimore. His 207 games as a Raven rank as the second most in team history behind Ray Lewis.

“He kind of understood the situation prior to me even speaking to him, but I just wanted to sit down, man-to-man, because I respect him so much to say, ‘Look, here’s what happened,’” Stover said. “Right after that, he says, ‘You know, Matt, your name is going in that Ring of Honor.’ I went, ‘Wow. Are you kidding me? You want that for me? Unbelievable.’”

When asked about the favorite kick of his career, Stover recalled his game-winning kick against the Tennessee Titans in the 2008 divisional playoffs to send the Ravens to the AFC Championship game in a surprising season. The long-time kicker then mentioned his field goal shortly before halftime of Super Bowl XXXV to give the Ravens a 10-0 lead.

Because of the dominance exhibited by the 2000 defense, Stover’s field goal before intermission proved to be the game-deciding points.

“We get into the locker room at halftime, and the defense says, ‘It’s over. It’s over,’” Stover recalled. “I still get chills up my spine whenever I say that. It’s like, ‘It’s over? We only have 10 points!’ And they said, ‘They’re not scoring twice on us.’ And they didn’t.”

Stover may not have finished his career in Baltimore, but the man who produced 14 career game-winning field goals has no regrets about his time with the Ravens.

“I appreciated the opportunity that I had to play here,” Stover said. “It was a privilege to play. It was never something that I thought I deserved. I think with that mindset, it allowed me to step away from the game and say, ‘Hey, that was fun.’”

Listen to Matt Stover’s Ring of Honor press conference in Owings Mills right here.

 

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7-Next 7 Greatest Players in Ravens History

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Morning Reaction Tuesday Top 7-Next 7 Greatest Players in Ravens History

Posted on 26 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

In honor of the “Purple Massacre” moves the Baltimore Ravens made Monday (and the chance the Charm City careers of Derrick Mason and Todd Heap may be over), today’s Morning Reaction “Tuesday Top 7″ topic was “The Next 7 Greatest Players in Ravens History.”

We say the “Next 7″ instead of the “Top 7″ because we’re in agreement that the Top 3 players in franchise history are Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden and Ed Reed.

This is a battle for spots 4-10.

Understood?

Glenn Clark’s list…

10. Haloti Ngata

ngata

9. Derrick Mason

mason

8. Terrell Suggs

suggs

7. Todd Heap

heap

6. Peter Boulware

boulware

5. Chris McAlister

mcalister

4. Jamal Lewis

jamal

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Stover Ring Of Honor No-Brainer, But Who Will Join Him?

Posted on 27 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover formalized his retirement Thursday in a press conference at 1 Winning Drive.

“Playing for the Baltimore Ravens, I think I’ve always said that it’s a privilege” said Stover. “Being in the league has been a privilege-more than you can imagine.”

Stover had not kicked for the Ravens since the end of the 2008 season, he had not kicked in the National Football League at all since spending the end of the 2009 season with the Indianapolis Colts.

Stover, 43, spent 13 seasons in Charm City after coming to the city when the Cleveland Browns moved following the 1995 season. He was the only remaining player who came from Cleveland until he left after ’08.

During his 13 seasons in Baltimore, Stover made 354 of his 418 field goal attempts (84.6%), finishing 471/563 (83.7%) for his career. He was named the AFC’s Pro Bowl kicker twice in his career, including once in Baltimore (2000), the same season he played a significant role in helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV, the only Super Bowl title in the team’s brief history.

It came with no surprise that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti announced that the team would induct Stover into their Ring of Honor on November 20th when the team hosts the Cincinnati Bengals.

“The thing about being in the Ring of Honor is that I meant to much to my team, the community” said Stover. “That to me is an awesome, awesome privilege. I can’t imagine any greater honor that an organization can give to a player, and I appreciate the Ravens doing that. I’ll be proud to do it…to retire as a Raven with some other great players.”

Stover’s on-field role would have been enough to guarantee his inclusion, but his community involvement (most notably with the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes) set him apart from other successful players in franchise history. Stover was a beloved figure during his time in Baltimore, even amongst fans who wouldn’t be considered amongst the most passionate.

Clearly Stover meets all qualifications to join OT Jonathan Ogden, LB Peter Boulware, DE Michael McCrary, Former Owner Art Modell, RB/Contributor Earnest Byner and the Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts as being featured prominently at M&T Bank Stadium to be remembered for the eternity of the franchise’s existence.

The question moving forward for me is now “who will join him?”

The Ravens have been very fortunate to have a number of great players/contributors in recent years, many of whom are worthy of consideration.

Here is the explanation of the criteria used by the Ravens when selecting players to their Ring of Honor…

“Character: The induction into the Ravens Ring of Honor represents the highest honor for a career of individual accomplishment resulting in team success. Teams constructed with character reduce uncertainty and stay on their purpose Ravens of Honor maintain direction with intense focus character is at the beginning of the cycle and takes them all the way to a successful ending.

Gratitude: Ravens of Honor carry forth a special attitude of gratitude, to those around them, they are always a fountain rather then a drain. Each is different but all keep those around them on the path of progression. Their basic ability to enjoy their talents and gifts of others help them to continually contribute as opposed to contaminate.

Vision: Fueled by self-knowledge, great character and an appreciation for everything available to them. Ravens of Honor visualize short and long term successes in Technicolor. They are, through vision, great connectors. Those around them are energized and they use all that surrounds them to create an inspirational bigger picture.

Passion: Passionate Ravens have an unusual ability to face failure, physical setbacks and exhaustion. They have an internal tenacity that helps them get back up when knocked down. Their passion motivates teammates to join in on the pursuit of the team dream. Passion breeds conviction and turns mediocrity into excellence. With passion, we can overcome all obstacles.

Faith & Courage: Ravens of Honor stand tall in the good times as well as the rough times. They are help up by their deep faith in themselves, their teammates and their fans. Inspired by belief in a great destiny, these champions never waver from their victorious path. Faith is belief in what you cannot see. Great vision matched with unbridled passion sets up absolute faith. Faith evokes a special courage and confidence. When matched with action, faith kills worry and procrastination, the two traits which produce regular failure.

Competitive Spirit: True competitors want to be put on the line and measured. They thrive on adversity and use it to achieve a special edge. They know the easy lakes get fished out first, thus they skip the easy. Persistence, determination, tenacity and sportsmanship are the hallmarks of this warrior mentality. Ravens of Honor need character, gratitude, vision, passion and faith to become a championship caliber competitor. There are no shortcuts and they do not look for them, because their competitive fire will not allow them to.

Humility: Humility in oneself inspires the best of others and feeds our character. A vital aspect of the true leadership is the willingness of others to follow.”

Nowhere on that list does it state that a player has to have reached a Pro Bowl as a Raven, which has been believed to be a bit of an unwritten rule within the franchise. In fact, a Ravens executive told me Thursday the qualifications could really be stated as “extraordinary contributions to the NFL, the Ravens and the community.” The same executive was willing to admit however that “it will be more difficult to make our Ring of Honor if the player was never recognized as a Pro Bowler, but it could happen.”

There are a number of current Ravens whose inclusion in the Ring of Honor seems to be as simple a decision as Stover’s. LB Ray Lewis, S Ed Reed and TE Todd Heap all seem to be easy choices after their careers conclude. WR Derrick Mason certainly has an argument. LB Terrell Suggs and DT Haloti Ngata have laid the groundwork for what could ultimately become Ring of Honor careers.

Perhaps a bit more interesting in the list of former Ravens who have not yet been honored. RB Jamal Lewis, CB Chris McAlister, DT Tony Siragusa, OL Edwin Mulitalo  and former Coach Brian Billick (full disclosure-Billick is now a part owner of WNST.net) have all moved on from their careers but have not been honored. General Manager Ozzie Newsome would seem to be a potential future honoree, and LB/contributor O.J. Brigance was the subject of a recent Facebook campaign seeking his induction.

There is an argument as to why any of the above names should be in. The reality is that in the next ten years, the team’s Ring of Honor could grow exponentially.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with being an organization that has a number of great players/contributors afforded significant recognition. An argument could be made that it simply reflects the greatness of the organization to have such an expansive number of ROH honorees.

At the same time, the Ravens do face a dilemma as they consider the future of the way they recognize players. In thirty years, these names will all represent the finest players/contributors in franchise history. The organization must at least be willing to ask the question “will this player’s inclusion still make sense when we look back in 30 years?”

It is a more significant honor than the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame, where a player is simply noted on a tough to find outfield plaque at Oriole Park at Camden Yards after honored at a pregame ceremony and luncheon. Fans don’t have to stare at the names for decades and debate the merit of their inclusion during games the way fans do at M&T Bank Stadium.

We’ve all experienced the moment where someone sitting near us says “did they REALLY put Earnest Byner in the Ring of Honor?” The answer is yes, and we’re all equally uncomfortable about despite our great respect for Mr. Modell.

As the team considers other candidates, they must keep in mind those questions. “Is ______ really in the Ring of Honor? Didn’t he only play here for like four seasons?” “You guys put ______ in the Ring of Honor? Did he ever even get to the Pro Bowl?”

They’ll be relevant questions that Ravens fans will have to answer.

The team doesn’t want to make the requirements for induction more stringent, as they want to be able to make their own decisions about who to induct instead of limiting themselves by instituting additional requirements.

Make no mistake. Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Chris McAlister, Brian Billick, Ozzie Newsome and Todd Heap really should all be in no matter how the team defines the requirements. Ravens fans should always be see those names honored for the greatness they contributed to the franchise and city.

But as far as the others are concerned, the team will have to truly make difficult decisions.

Hear Stover’s press conference-including comments from Bisciotti, Newsome and Head Coach John Harbaugh in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net! Stover joined Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” Friday on AM1570 WNST, that chat is in the Audio Vault as well!

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