Tag Archive | "memorial stadium"

The Peter Principles (Ch. 1): So, just how did Angelos become ‘King’ of Baltimore baseball?

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The Peter Principles (Ch. 1): So, just how did Angelos become ‘King’ of Baltimore baseball?

Posted on 19 March 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

IT WAS HOT AS HADES in that lower Manhattan federal courtroom. Jam-packed with bidders, curiosity seekers and baseball fans, the Baltimore Orioles franchise was up for grabs on August 2, 1993, and the bidding was as steamy as the air in the room once the price began to rapidly accelerate into the stratosphere.

The fact that there was any bidding at all was somewhat surprising to Peter G. Angelos, a Baltimore attorney who had begun a power play five months earlier to purchase the Major League Baseball franchise that was being sold off via an auction nearly 200 miles away from its home on the Chesapeake Bay. In the hours leading up to the auction, Angelos managed to turn his sole competitor from a previous suspended bid for the team during June into a partner. William DeWitt Jr., a Cincinnati native whose father once owned the St. Louis Browns in the 1940s and a minority investor in the Texas Rangers, joined Angelos’ celebrity-led local group from Maryland just hours before the bidding was to begin in the sweltering Custom House. DeWitt was promised a role in the operations and management of the club.

It was an amazing coup for Angelos to pull DeWitt from being a worthy, legitimate competitor into a teammate that morning, after convincing him that he’d be involved and an influential part of the eventual winning group. It was shocking that DeWitt had pulled out because several times over the previous eight months, he was convinced that he was already the winning bidder and new owner of the Orioles.

In February 1993, after six months of lengthy, arduous negotiations on a fair price, DeWitt had entered into a deal with Orioles majority owner Eli Jacobs to buy the team for $141.3 million. Jacobs, who was in his final days of semi-liquidity and quietly on the verge of bankruptcy, didn’t have the legal authority to close the deal with DeWitt once the banks seized his assets in March. Instead, the Orioles wound up at auction five months later and suddenly Angelos – with DeWitt now shockingly a member of his ownership team – believed he would emerge victorious without breaking a sweat in the summer heat of The Big Apple.

But that afternoon, after entering the courtroom in what he believed would be a rubber-stamped win, instead he found himself embroiled in a bidding war with a stranger he never strongly considered to being a worthy foil in the fray.

Jeffrey Loria, a New York art dealer and Triple-A baseball team owner, wanted badly to be a Major League Baseball owner. Baltimore native and former NFL player Jean Fugett represented a group led by TLC Beatrice, which featured a rare minority bid for an MLB franchise on that day in New York. One bidder, Doug Jemal of Nobody Beats The Wiz electronics stores, had early interest but bowed out before the steamy auction.

That August day, the bidding began at $151.25 million, which included a “stalking fee” of $1.7 million which was originally awarded to DeWitt’s team because of his vast due diligence and legal work done months earlier when he thought he had won a deal to secure the Orioles in the spring.

George Stamas, who represented Angelos’ group during the bidding process, opened the bidding at $153 million, which was seen as a good faith gesture from the combined bid with DeWitt, which could’ve been perceived as artificially deflating the sale price by judge Cornelius Blackshear. Loria, who was a stranger to the Angelos group, immediately raised it by $100,000. Stamas barked out, “One million more – $154.1!”

And for the next 30 minutes, the bids drew north from the $150 millions into the $160s. With every bid, Loria would raise by $100,000. Stamas, on behalf of Angelos, raised it by $1 million at a time. After 13 rounds of back and forth money, Angelos had the leading bid $170 million. Fugett, who had been completely silent during the auction, asked the judge for a recess.

The request was granted and the judge headed to his chambers.

And, suddenly, it got even hotter in a blazing courtroom on a sweltering day in The Big

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Former Colts kicker Linhart dead at 70

Posted on 12 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Former Baltimore Colts K Toni Linhart died Sunday morning in Baltimore County after a battle with cancer. Linhart was 70.

The Austrian-born kicker came to the National Football League in 1972 (spending his first season with the New Orleans Saints) after playing soccer professionally for seven years in his home country, including six appearances with the Austrian national team.

Linhart overcame a relationship with Charm City fans that was at times frigid when he kicked a 31 yard field goal in a dense fog at Memorial Stadium in December 1975. After Bert Jones lead the Colts downfield, Linhart (who was described in that week’s Sports Illustrated as “having a history of the shanks”) connected on the kick to give the Colts a 10-7 overtime win over the Miami Dolphins. The win helped the Colts to a 10-4 record and an AFC East title, a season result that seemed very unlikely when the Colts started the season 1-4.

Linhart would go on to lead the NFL in scoring in 1976 and reached the Pro Bowl in both 1977 and 1978. He finished his career with the New York Jets in 1979.

Former Colts QB Marty Domres told the Baltimore Sun ”Toni was never flamboyant about his abilities.” He added about the man he once held kicks for “he was low-key and understated about everything. I doubt that a lot of people even think of him when it comes to Colts’ lore.”

Linhart lived in the Baltimore area in his final years and attended many Colts reunion events.

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SP FBN BENGALS RAVENS

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Did Not See This Coming

Posted on 22 January 2013 by Tom Federline

The Baltimore Ravens are going to the Super Bowl! Happy New Year? Surprised? Divine Intervention (according to Ray Lewis)? Are you kiddin’ me? Yes, Yes, Possibly and No. How about if we just call it “pleasantly unexpected?” Or maybe ……the team is simply on a roll, playing inspired football. Whatever it is, it has Baltimore and its fans energized. The Ravens are headed to New Orleans to play in the NFL championship game.

I had written the Ravens off after the Houston Texans blow out game on October 21st. Ray-Ray was gone, Camera Cameron was still at the helm, defense was porous and they had just come off “gift wins” against the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowgirls. Anyone out there claiming, “I knew they were going to make it to the Super Bowl”, is either lying or ignorant to the game of football. Bye week  – then handily beat the Browns and Raiders. They receive 2 more “gift wins” at Steelers and at Chargers. Then they close it out with 4 of 5 losses. Oh yeah, the Ravens were by far - the peoples choice to head to the promised land. Crash and burn – I thought. Thanks to sub-par efforts by the rest of the division – the Ravens were handed the division title and slipped into the playoffs.

A few significant events happened along the way, though. 1. Camera Cameron was fired – “They have a chance!” 2. Ray-Ray was coming back for the playoffs -”They have a chance!” 3. Ray-Ray announces retirement – “They have motivation!” Rut-row rest of NFL, look out – it’s a brand new ballgame. Indy Irsays into town for Wildcard game – Ray Lewis’ last home game – yeah right, Irsays – you were leaving Baltimore with a win on that one ……..don’t think so. Travel to Mile High against another nemesis, Peyton Manning – A Ravens Classic game surfaces with a double overtime victory. Finally they travel to the dreaded Northeast against a whiner – result is a second half beat down – Ravens are off to the Super Bowl. Yeah, buddy.

None of those circumstances were on my radar. You can wish, you can hope, you can dream. But when such positive results endure such an unexpected series of events – it is just darn good for the soul. Baltimore is back on the map. The Orioles with their magic season and now the Ravens with their unexpected run of success. Win or lose, it’s been a nice past two sports seasons here in Charm City.

How about Rays retirement party being delayed 2 weeks? Hey Boston, MA – how was your season ending party Sunday evening? Better yet, how was your Monday? Come February 3rd though, Super Bowl Sunday will be Ray Lewis’, “Last Dance” – Donna Summer. In my book, Ray Lewis is one of the top 3 linebackers of all-time (if not #1). He is also the greatest team motivator and leader, I have seen in my lifetime. From the first game against Oakland at Memorial Stadium up until this past Sunday, Baltimore Raven and football fans all over, have been blessed with the opportunity to witness a legend in the making. Ray Lewis is taking/willing this team to the Promised Land.

In my point of view, he is a little over the top with his preaching, praying and quoting of bible verses. He is a passionate man on a mission to close out his football legacy………….whatever works Ray………you play it out. Carry John Horribaugh and your teammates as far as you can. Let them ride your coat tails Ray-Ray. Horribaugh has been on them the whole time. One more game, one more ride, one last dance.

And to think this season started out with “Replacement Refs”. GO RAVENS!

D.I.Y.

Fedman

 

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Lewis provided identity for lost generation of football fans

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Lewis provided identity for lost generation of football fans

Posted on 02 January 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The truth is I don’t know if Ray Lewis is the greatest middle linebacker to ever play the game.

Watching the best player in the history of the Baltimore Ravens over these last 17 years is an alarming contrast to the unofficial numbers, grainy images, and slow-motion video clips of yesteryear, my only exposure to seeing some of the NFL’s greatest at the position who played in a different era of professional football.

Dick Butkus, Ray Nitschke, and Sam Huff were all retired a decade or more before I was born.

I was still in diapers when Jack Lambert’s career was cut short by a debilitating toe injury.

I don’t vividly recall the prime years of Mike Singletary roaming the middle of the vaunted Chicago Bears defense in the 1980s.

But I will never forget Lewis punishing running backs, showing impeccable sideline-to-sideline pursuit, and displaying the cover skills of a safety in his prime years. The bone-crushing hits over the middle will be shown on NFL Films in the many years to come.

The assessments of where Lewis stacks up with those other individuals will be made by others, but 13 Pro Bowls, 10 All-Pro selections, and two AP Defensive Player of the Year awards are more than enough to seal Lewis’ first-ballot arrival in Canton in the summer of 2018. His leadership and work ethic are unquestioned for anyone having the privilege to play with the 37-year-old over the course of his career.

Selected with the 26th overall pick of the 1996 draft, Lewis has been a member of the Ravens organization for every game of its existence in Baltimore. He taught us to “raise the roof” at Memorial Stadium, to “let the dogs out” in 2000, and to get “hot in here” when walking out of the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium for the last decade. The fan base stood by him as he was tried for double murder following Super Bowl XXXIV and watched him rehabilitate his image after charges were eventually dropped and he pled guilty to obstruction of justice. To his credit, there hasn’t even been a whisper of off-field trouble for the linebacker ever since.

And the ultimate glory was realized as Lewis was named Most Valuable Player in the Ravens’ 34-7 win over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. The performance capped off an incredible postseason run that included an interception wrestled away from Tennessee running back Eddie George in a divisional round win over the Titans that might be the signature moment of the linebacker’s career.

The end of his run has been pondered for years, but it was a reality no one was quite ready for as Lewis made his announcement just over 11 weeks removed from a torn triceps that threatened to end his season. And the news made his improbable comeback and a wild-card meeting with the Indianapolis Colts fall to the background immediately.

“Everything that starts has an end. It’s just life,” Lewis said on Wednesday. “Today I told my team that this would be my last ride. And I told them I was just at so much peace in where I am with my decision because of everything that I’ve done in this league.”

What a ride it’s been for the last 17 years in Baltimore.

Simply put, Ray Lewis is the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Ravens are Ray Lewis. That will begin to change with the Hall of Fame linebacker walking away from the game after this season, but it’s the simplest way to express his significance to this franchise and to this city.

Nowadays, we’re so quick to label players as “great” and even “legendary” without realizing how special such terms truly are, but Lewis is deserving of those distinctions. Where he ranks in the hierarchy of the NFL’s top defensive players of all time is debatable, but you won’t find a player who impacted a city and a fan base in quite the same way as Lewis.

And that’s where the line blurs for me as a reporter and native Baltimorean at the age of 29.

Being part of a generation that grew up without football in our formative years, we settled for second-hand stories of Johnny Unitas and Lenny Moore and Art Donovan from our parents and grandparents. It was a heritage we cherished, mind you, but we could never fully understand it as our own while enduring quiet autumn Sundays and seeing Memorial Stadium dormant at the end of each baseball season.

But the Ravens’ arrival — and Lewis specifically — provided our own stories to one day pass along to our children and grandchildren. It wasn’t the same as the Baltimore Colts, but it didn’t need to be. It was new and it was ours, with No. 52 leading the way as the best player on Baltimore’s NFL team. He provided a football identity to a town stripped of one for 13 years.

We were no longer chasing what felt like ghosts of the Memorial Stadium gridiron but instead could watch Lewis chase down ball carriers with our own eyes. More than anything, he gave us an overwhelming sense of pride.

CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE >>>

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For one night, the “Magic” of Orioles baseball returned to Baltimore

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For one night, the “Magic” of Orioles baseball returned to Baltimore

Posted on 07 September 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

As much as we can credit any number of factors on the field – the Matt Wieters home run, the Adam Jones home run, the Mark Reynolds home run, the Chris Davis home run – what everyone in the ballpark at Oriole Park at Camden Yards will always remember about Sept. 6, 2012 was the energy of the crowd.

 

Last week I wrote about Adam Jones’ Twitter pleas for more support from Baltimore’s baseball fans amidst an embarrassing number of empty seats for a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox last week. Yesterday, I predicted the special nature of last night’s game simply because of the sheer volume of Orioles fans that would engage with the team inside he stadium.

 

As the Orioles Magic song says: “You make the magic happen…”

 

And last night the heroics on the field and the outcome better represented the weary and jubilant fan base more than anything that Peter Angelos has repeatedly done to extinguish the fire and passion of Baltimore Orioles fans around the world.

 

On a personal note, this is exactly why I led the “Free The Birds” walkout in 2006. It’s why I’ve been so vocal regarding the demise of the franchise and have illuminated the many reasons for the great emptiness in the city, stadium and in our hearts as Orioles fans.

 

Last night was what Baltimore Orioles baseball was about for two generations. It’s the finest example of what’s been missing since 1997 amidst a circus of mismanagement, mean-spirited and petty behavior and a flat-out awful product on the field that this city has endured.

 

The last chapter of the 2012 Baltimore Orioles is far from written and we’ll continue to chronicle it here at WNST.net and our many social media resources during the games – even the ones the Orioles won’t win during this stretch run.

 

The ballpark is sure to be electric again tonight and all week as the 2012 Baltimore Orioles have a chance to be, in the words of manager Buck Showalter, “pile divers.”

 

But Thursday night will live in the minds of fans for a long time. What a night to have a ticket for a Baltimore Orioles game and be a part of that kind of a local sporting event!

 

I’ve been doing sports media for almost 29 years and I’ll never forget the wide-ranging emotions of Thursday – from the death of Art Modell before sunrise to the emotions and love for him in Owings Mills in the early afternoon to the Cal Ripken statue ceremony to every pitch in a rollercoaster ride of a game vs. the New York Yankees.

 

It was the most exciting night of Baltimore baseball since 1979 at Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street when Doug DeCinces ignited a two-decade love affair with a huge home run to beat the Detroit Tigers.

 

You can argue for any of the Cal Ripken 2131 proceedings in 1995 or the Rick Sutcliffe Opener in 1992 or any of the playoff energy in 1996 and 1997. Obviously the 1989 Why Not? season – led by the Mike Devereaux foul-poul homer – and the 1983 World Series win will have memories to mark on our baseball journey.

 

But for a single game on a single night with the impact and the stakes being first place against the New York Yankees? And the statue dedication of Cal Ripken replete with every living legend in the history of the franchise being inside the jammed, overflowing ballpark?

 

I’ve been an Orioles fan since 1972.

 

I’ve never seen anything or been a part of anything baseball-oriented in Baltimore that was more special than Thursday night at Camden Yards.

 

The only thing that could top last night would be some playoff games next month and a parade down Pratt Street. As I wrote last week, anything is possible with this new-found Orioles Magic.

 

Onto Day 2 of a week of Baltimore sports magic.

 

Who says it’s Purple Friday?

 

Maybe, for one day at least, it’s Purple and Orange Friday?

 

And as a lifelong fan of the Orioles and the Ravens, that’s beautiful music to my ears.

 

 

 

 

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An open letter to Adam Jones (and anyone else who doesn’t like Orioles attendance)

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An open letter to Adam Jones (and anyone else who doesn’t like Orioles attendance)

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

It was only a matter of time before Adam Jones started popping off on Twitter regarding his feelings about the lack of people standing behind him in centerfield at Camden Yards. It wasn’t as juicy as last year’s advice to “knock the s**t outta the Yankees fans” but he made his feelings well known yesterday about the worst crowd of the season to see the season’s most significant game to date.

It’s very apparent that Adam Jones cares more about whether the good people of Baltimore come to Orioles games than his bosses and owner do but still not enough to vest himself in our community enough to recruit people to come and pay to see the team play.

 

It must be a bummer for any Orioles player to endure the emptiness of the home ballpark while finally playing meaningful games and quality baseball.

In 2012, the price to pay for 15 years of losing and the worst owner in the history of professional sports is what Adam Jones now sees with a fantastic view from centerfield every night: an empty stadium in downtown Baltimore and plenty of green seats to backdrop every fly ball.

It’s been very clear that the prescient message I sent with “Free The Birds” in 2006 – “if you’re not careful, Mr. Angelos, we might leave and never come back” – has now become a prophecy. The 2012 Baltimore Orioles are everything you’d want in a local sports team to follow – interesting, fun, lively and relevant – and a grand total of 48K came to Camden Yards over four days to watch the best baseball this city has seen in 15 years.

The empty seats are a glaring reminder of what’s gone wrong with the franchise and the city’s passion for the Baltimore Orioles since Peter Angelos bought — and then wrecked — the franchise.

Once Adam Jones stops talking out of the side of his mouth and at the end of this run of success in 2012 – and I’m not betting it won’t end in a parade just yet because I’ve seen stranger things happen — it’ll then be time to invest himself in our community the way he likes to on his Twitter account.

He got the $85.5 million deal back in May and it’ll be his turn to become a Baltimore resident or not. If he’s really interested in people coming to the ballpark then I hope he’ll spend the offseason with the fans here and be Mr. Oriole all winter.

Where will he be in November…and December…or January?

Will he be shaking hands, kissing babies and attempting to become a guy who eventually gets one of those shiny statues out on the patio that no one is visiting these days?

Will Adam Jones be in the community trying to win back the fans of Baltimore?

I’m not talking sitting at a table in a card shop or swag store charging $50 for an autograph. I’m talking about being a true ambassador for the community.

This isn’t about the marketing department. This isn’t about buying more billboards or state-run MASN ads. This isn’t about popping off on Twitter or mandating “sitdowns” with people like me who are still pissed about the entire tenor and arrogance of the Baltimore Orioles and Peter Angelos over two decades.

If the players on the field are embarrassed by an empty stadium, it’s my belief is that THEY – directly – are the only ones who can do something about it. We have to care about them and want to invest our money

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Fans at the Yard

Posted on 13 June 2012 by Tom Federline

I do not understand all the hullabaloo acknowledging Philly fans in attendance at Camden Yards this past weekend. Was the Yard packed? Was the Yard packed with baseball fans? Were Philly fans in attendance? Were Oriole fans in attendance? Were the Philly fans drowned out at attempts to cheer for their team? I believe the answer is “yes” to all. So what’s the problem? Baseball fans enjoying baseball at one of the more elite Parks in the league. Should Camden Yards be at capacity with all Oriole fans? Yes. But does that really happen? Does that really happen at any Major League ballpark? The answer would be NO to the last two questions. Home fans, opposing fans, fair weather fans all intermingled into one setting. 120,000+ fans over a weekend and O’s take 2 out of 3 – sounds good to me.

People getting a little miffed that other baseball fans spend their money and time to visit Baltimore and Camden Yards. People getting miffed that Baltimoreans are not buying tickets for a losing franchise and greedy owner. People making videos of Philly fans at Camden Yards accompanied by a cover tune of “Philadelphia Freedom”.  I don’t get it. If you’re so miffed - go buy a ticket, get your friends to buy a ticket, be content you are doing your part. If you’re feeling strong about video – make a contrasting video on the other side of Camden Yards of Oriole fans leaving the Park going to their cars and Light rail to the tune of “Orioles Magic”. Maybe even make that video after Sundays game, after the O’s beat the Phillies in back-to-back extra inning games.

Why waste time publishing a “revolting” video clip of Philly fans leaving Camden Yards? I will admit, it always compelling to “stir the pot”. Missiion acomplished. A Philadelphia take-over? No, I don’t think so. The video was shot of out-of town fans heading down Conway street towards the Inner Harbor and their hotels. Baltimore fans are not headed down Conway to the Inner Harbor. Baltimore fans are headed home. How about this notion?  Philly fans travel and support their team well. And so do Yankee fans, Blue Jay fans, Boston fans, etc. etc. Philadelphia is 90 minutes up the road. Would you rather see a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia or Camden Yards in Baltimore?

I would rather see “fans” in the stadium than “people”. The only thing “people” add to the park are lines and rude cell phone usage. Opposing fans can be obtrusive at times and so can our own home town crowd. Ever go to a Friday night student drunk fest? Respectful opposing fans add to the event.

I have experienced section 34 at Memorial Stadium. I have experienced the “Golden” sold-out Years of Camden Yards. I have experienced these past 15 “lost” years. Give me 10-15,000 true Oriole baseball “fans” over 45,000 “people” in the stands any day. I would rather spend my time and money at a game with “fans – that want to be there” as opposed to “people – wanting to be there because it’s the thing to do.” I would rather “strike up” a conversation with a knowledgeable sports fan, than “listen” to a conversation of some cell phone using moron or Betty and Sue talking about Earl from the office and their next Zumba class.

Of course I’m not the one counting on the revenue from those “people”. It’s real simple and we have all heard it before – win and more “people” will show. Do I like it when there’s a sea of red (Boston or Phillies), blue (Yankees) at the Yards? Heck no. Do I like it when they start cheering for their home team? Heck no. I don’t even like it if an opposing fan is sitting in the same section as I am. Am I at the ballpark? Do I contribute and cheer louder than they do? Depending on the individual, do I strike up a conversation with that opposing fan? Yes, yes and yes.  

 The Oriole/baseball “fans” are there at Camden Yards. Come join us. We are the ones in faded orange shirts and the ones not talking, e-mailing or tweeting on cell phones within the bowl. We are the ones that start our own cheers and not instructed to cheer by the Diamond Vision. Camden Yards is a nice evening out, at half capacity and Oriole Fans. Now bring on the playoffs, a packed house and the orange Kool-aid.

How about Roberts last night? Cross fingers. Get Markakis back, pitching holds/gets better, Andino on third,  ”Orioles Magic” – make it happen.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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Loyola, Notre Dame square off Saturday in Final Four

Posted on 25 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opponent NCAA Semifinals | Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Date Saturday, May 26, 2012
Time 2:30 p.m.
Location Foxborough, Mass. | Gillette Stadium
TV | Radio ESPN2 | ESPN3 | Sirius XM 91
Series Record Loyola leads, 13-6
Last Meeting Notre Dame 11, Loyola 9 – March 6, 2010 – M&T Bank Stad.

Game Data

Loyola University Maryland will make its third appearance in the NCAA Semifinals on Saturday, May 26, 2012, when it takes on the University of Notre Dame at 2:30 p.m.

The team will faceoff on the field at Gillette Stadium, home of the National Football League’s New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Mass. The winner of the game will face the winner of the other national semifinal between Duke and Maryland.

On The Tube, Web And Radio

The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 with Eamon McAnaney and Quint Kessenich calling the action. Paul Carcaterra will be the sideline analyst.

The action can also be seen worldwide on ESPN3, the broadband arm of the ESPN, and on the WatchESPN app on mobile devices.

Westwood One Sports/Dial Global will provide the NCAA Radio Network broadcast of the Championships with Dave Ryan on the play-by-play and Steve Panarelli on analysis. It can be heard on Sirius/XM 91 worldwide. A complete list of stations can be found at dialglobalsports.com.

Series History

Loyola and Notre Dame will meet for the 20th time in series history on Saturday and the third time in NCAA Championships play. Loyola holds a 13-6 advantage in the all-time series, but the Fighting Irish have won the last four meetings and six of the last nine. (Complete series history on page six of the notes)

The teams last played on March 6, 2010, in another NFL stadium. They met at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, home of the Ravens, in the Konica-Minolta Face-Off Classic where Notre Dame came away with an 11-9 victory. In all, this will mark the third time the teams have played in an NFL venue. They also faced off in the 1998 IKON Classic at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, former home of the Baltimore Colts.

The last seven meetings in the series have been decided by a total of nine goals with five of the games coming down to a one-goal difference.

Loyola and Notre Dame have played twice in the NCAA Championships, both in the first round, and each team has been the victor once. The Fighting Irish defeated the Greyhounds, 15-12, in Baltimore in the 2000 First Round, and Loyola was a 21-5 first-round winner in 1997.

NCAA Championships History

Loyola is making its 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championships, 18th at the Division I level. The Greyhounds are 10-19 all-time in Championships play, 10-17 at the Division I level.

Saturday’s game will be the Greyhounds third appearance in the NCAA Semifinals, first since 1998 when then lost 19-8 to Maryland in Piscataway, N.J. Loyola is 1-1 in NCAA Semifinal games having defeated Yale, 14-13 in overtime, in 1990 to advance to the title game.

Sawyer Sets Goals Record

Mike Sawyer scored the first goal of Loyola’s NCAA Quarterfinal game last Saturday and broke the school single-season record for goals in the process.

Sawyer now has 51 goals this season, breaking the previous best of 50 set by Tim Goettelmann in 2000. Goettelmann went on to become Major League Lacrosse’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Earlier this season, against Hobart, he became the first Loyola player to reach 40 goals in a season since Tim Goettelmann and Gavin Prout scored 50 and 41, respectively, in 2000. They are the only three Loyola players to top 40 this century.

In the ECAC Semifinal against Denver, Sawyer pushed his season point total to 50, a number that is now at 59, making him the first Greyhound to reach 50 in a season since Prout had 58 (37g, 21a) in 2001. It is the fourth time this century that a Loyola player has scored 50 or more points in a season. Goettelmann (65) and Prout (53) both reached the mark in 2000, and Prout did it again the following season. Sawyer’s teammate, Eric Lusby, has since joined him with more than 50 points (more later).

Lusby Right Behind After 5-Goal Game

After tying his career-high with five goals in the Greyhounds 10-9 victory over Denver, Eric Lusby leads the team with 61 points and is not far behind Mike Sawyer in the goals column with 45.

Lusby recorded a career-high seven points in the win over the Pioneers and was involved in all but three of the Greyhounds goals after recording two assists. He scored back-to-back goals twice, once during the second quarter and again in the third.

Three-For-Three

Loyola completed a three-game sweep of Denver with its 10-9 NCAA Quarterfinal victory last Saturday, marking the first time in school history the Greyhounds had ever played a team three times in a season.

It is the third time a team has beaten another three times in a season (thanks to Patrick Stevens of The Washington Times for the research). Loyola joins the 1992 Maryland (vs. Duke), 2007 Duke (vs. North Carolina) and 2009 Duke (vs. North Carolina) teams to have accomplished the feat.

Faceoff Turnaround

Loyola’s J.P. Dalton dominated the faceoff ‘X’ on Saturday against Denver, winning 17-of-22 (.772) against Denver’s Chase Carraro. It was a vast departure from the first two times the teams squared off where the Pioneers went a combined 30-of-45 (.667).

In the regular-season meeting between the teams, Carraro was 13-of-14 at the X, and he went 16-of 29 against the Greyhounds in the ECAC Semifinal game.

Dalton’s 17 wins were one off his career-high set earlier this season against Air Force.

Sawyer, Lusby Form Rare Tandem

Graduate student Eric Lusby and junior Mike Sawyer have formed the top attack tandem in the nation this season, combining for 96 goals in 17 games this season, an average of 5.65 per game.

Sawyer has scored 51 goals, and his 3.0 goals per game average is third-best in Division I. Lusby, meanwhile is right behind with 45 goals and a 2.65 goals per game mark, a number that is 11th in the country. Loyola is one of two schools to have two players in the top 11 of goals per game nationally (Robert Morris).

The Greyhounds have not had two players score 40 or more goals in the same season since 2000 when Tim Goettelmann set the school single-season record with 50, and Gavin Prout tallied 41. As a side note, the Goettelmann-Prout duo has gone on to highly successful professional careers. Goettelman recently retired from Major League Lacrosse as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 268 goals in 11 seasons. Prout has been an MLL Champion and has scored 314 National Lacrosse League goals to go with 625 assists as a multiple-time all-star.

The duo is now the top goal-scoring tandem in Loyola single-season history, eclipsing the performance in 2000 by Goettelmann and Prout.

Two Over 40/50

Mike Sawyer (51g, 59p) and Eric Lusby (45g, 62p) became the first set of Loyola teammates to score 40 goals and 50 points in a season since Tim Goettelmann (50, 65) and Gavin Prout (41, 53) accomplished the feat in 2000.

They are one of only two duos in the nation this year – Robert Morris’ Kiel Matisz (40, 64) and Jake Hayes (42, 61) are the other – to post 40 and 50.

A Lot Of Everything

The adage that a player does a little bit of everything does not necessarily apply to long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff. The Loyola junior does a lot, as he leads the team in ground balls (79) and caused turnovers (34), is fifth in goals (12) and is seventh in assists (7). His 34 caused turnovers are second-most in Loyola history – behind P.T. Ricci’s 51 in 2009 – since the stats became official in 2008.

A Tewaaraton Award nominee earlier in the year, Ratliff was named the Most Outstanding Player of the ECAC Championships after scoring three goals, one a game-winner, and recording two assists and 16 ground balls.

He had two goals, including the winner just eight seconds into overtime, and an assist versus Denver while picking up a career-high nine ground balls.

Ratliff, who was also an All-ECAC First Team honoree and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, then scored twice in the first quarter against Canisius to go along with six ground balls and three faceoff wins in the game.

Ratliff’s Scoring

Scott Ratliff had his third multi-goal game of the season in the NCAA First Round against Canisius, and he then added a goal in the Quarterfinal against Denver, raising his season totals to 12 goals and seven assists.

With his game-opening goal against the Golden Griffins, he set the Loyola single-season record for long-pole scoring, surpassing the record of 16 points set by current assistant coach Matt Dwan his senior season in 1995 when he tallied 11 goals and five assists and earned All-America honors.

Ratliff is second nationally this season in goals and points by a long pole, and his seven assists are tops in the country. Bryant’s Mason Poli leads all long poles this year with 19 goals and 24 points.

Ward Dishes Out Assists

Justin Ward was credited with two assists in the NCAA Quarterfinal against Denver, raising his season total to 30, and his 1.76 assists per game are now tied for 19th nationally. Those numbers are tops among the remaining players on the four teams in the NCAA Semifinals.

Ward is the first Loyola player this century to reach 30 assists, and his total is the most since Brian Duffy had 34 in 1996.

NCAA Semifinals Connections

Kevin Ryan’s family will have a rare connection to Loyola’s place in the NCAA Semifinals historically after this weekend. Ryan, who scored an EMO goal in the Quarterfinals against Denver, is the cousin of Sean Quinn and Kevin Quinn who played on Loyola’s semifinal teams in 1990 and 1998, respectively. Sean was a starting defender on the 1990 team, and Kevin a midfielder on the 1998 team.

Phil Dobson, a Loyola midfielder, will face his older brother, Devon, for the first time on a collegiate lacrosse field. Devon is a defensive midfielder for the Fighting Irish.

Top Spot

Loyola entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed for the third time in school history. The Greyhounds were also the top seed in 1998 when they defeated Georgetown, 12-11, in the Quarterfinals to move on to the Final Four for the second time in school history. There, the Greyhounds lost, 19-8, to Maryland. They were then the No. 1 seed in 1999 when they fell in the Quarterfinals to Syracuse, 17-12.

School Record In Wins

Loyola’s victory over Denver in the NCAA Quarterfinals was its 16th of the season, setting a school record for victories in a year. The Greyhounds eclipsed the previous best of 13 that the 1998 squad achieved with a 13-2 record.

This is Loyola’s 15th season all-time with 10 or more wins with 12 coming since the Greyhounds joined Division I in 1982.

Second-Half Run

Loyola used 13 unanswered goals to break open a 4-3 halftime lead against Canisius in a 17-5 victory over the Golden Griffins in the NCAA Championships First Round.

The Greyhounds took a 4-0 lead in the first quarter before Canisius scored three unanswered in the second. Mike Sawyer corralled a rebound of an Eric Lusby shot off the pipe and scored 1:20 into the second quarter to start the run. During the stretch, Sawyer scored all five of his goals, and Lusby had two of his three.

The run was the second longest in the brief, three-year history of Ridley Athletic Complex. Only a 14-0 run to start the game on March 20, 2010, against Air Force had more goals.

The Hardware Department

In the span of seven days, three teams in Loyola’s Department of Athletics advanced to their respective NCAA Championships by winning titles in three different conferences.

The men’s golf team started the trend with its fifth-straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference crown on April 29, and the men’s lacrosse team followed by taking the ECAC title on May 4. The women’s lacrosse team completed the trifecta on May 5 when it defeated then-No. 2 Syracuse to win its second-straight BIG EAST Championship. Also, in March, Loyola’s men’s basketball team won its first MAAC title in 18 years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994.

Sawyer Named One Of Five Tewaaraton Finalists

Mike Sawyer was named one of five Tewaaraton Award finalists on Thursday, joining Colgate A Peter Baum, Duke LSM C.J. Costabile, Massachusetts A Will Manny and Virginia A Steele Stanwick.

Sawyer is the first Loyola men’s player to be named a finalist, and he is also the first player from to hail the State of North Carolina to be so honored. He was one of three Greyhounds on the Tewaaraton Watch List where he was joined by Eric Lusby and Scott Ratliff, and Ratliff was a fellow semifinalist. The Award, which is given annually to the top player in college lacrosse, will be presented on May 31 at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Midfield Scoring

Loyola’s first midfield line of Davis Butts (19g, 32p), Sean O’Sullivan (16, 27) and Chris Layne (11, 21) has combined for 46 goals and 34 assists this season, while the second midfield unit of Pat Byrnes (9, 7), J.P. Dalton (9, 4) and Phil Dobson (7, 2) has added 25 and 13. Additionally, Nikko Pontrello has started to mix in with the second midfield, allowing Loyola’s attackers the opportunity to invert, and he has four goals and six assists.

Spreading Out The Scoring Wealth

Loyola’s first 11 goals against Denver in the ECAC Semifinal night were scored by 11 different players. Eric Lusby, Phil Dobson and Scott Ratliff finished the game with two goals, and eight others had one.

All three members of the Greyhounds’ first midfield – Davis Butts, Chris Layne and Sean O’Sullivan – scored goals. They received four goals from the four players who make up the second midfield line – Dobson (2), Pat Byrnes and Nikko Pontrello (J.P. Dalton did not score). Extra-man attackman Kevin Ryan scored, and two of the team’s three attackmen – Mike Sawyer and Lusby (2) – recorded goals. Ratliff scored twice in transition, and short-stick defensive midfielder Josh Hawkins added one. The Greyhounds’ other attack player, Justin Ward, did not score but had a game-high three assists.

In the title game, 10 different players scored for Loyola with all three attackers scoring and two of three from the first midfield like tallying goals.

Twelve In A Row Ties Mark

Loyola’s 12-straight to start the season tied the school record for consecutive victories, matching the number put up by the 1998 (3/14-3/17) and 1999 (3/6-3/8).

It also matched the best start to a season, equaling the 1999 team that finished the regular-season unblemished at 12-0.

Toomey Tabbed ECAC Coach Of The Year

Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey was named the ECAC Coach of the Year for the third time in his seven-year career. This season, Toomey has guided the Greyhounds to a 16-1 mark during the regular-season and the ECAC regular-season crown with a 6-0 mark in conference play.

The Greyhounds became the second team in USILA Coaches Poll history to start a season unranked and ascend to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. The only other team was Duke in 2007 – a year after the Blue Devils had their season suspended in March – which accomplished the feat after being unranked in the first poll, moving to second in the next version and first in the third. Duke was knocked from its perch as No. 1 that season when it lost to the Greyhounds at the First Four in San Diego.

The win over Denver in the Quarterfinals was the 60th victory of his coaching career, becoming the fourth coach in Loyola history to win 60 or more – Dave Cottle (181-70, 1983-2001), Charles Wenzel (62-104, 1954-1970), Jay Connor (61-46, 1975-1982).  Toomey’s .619 winning percentage trails only Cottle’s .721 at Loyola.

All-ECAC Honors

Five Loyola players earned All-ECAC Lacrosse League honors form the conference’s coaches. Long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff, who was also named ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, earned a spot as a defender on the First Team, where he was joined by Mike Sawyer on attack and Davis Butts in the midfield.

Sawyer led the ECAC during the regular-season, and is now third nationally, in goals (51) and goals per game (3.0). Butts has scored 19 goals and assisted on 13 from the Greyhounds first midfield line while also regularly playing a role on the wings during face-offs with 38 ground balls.

Attack Eric Lusby and defender Joe Fletcher were tabbed to the All-ECAC Second Team. Lusby is second on the team and is 11th nationally with 45 goals (2.68 per game), and he also has 16 assists this season. Fletcher came on as one of the top lock-down defenders around, earning Midseason All-American honors from Inside Lacrosse last month. He has 32 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers entering the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Big Runs

Loyola used runs of three-plus goals at important junctures of its 17 games, helping the Greyhounds to wins each time. In all, Loyola has scored three or more in a row on 34 occasions this season.

Loyola scored the first four goals of the ECAC Semifinal game against Denver and then tallied three-straight after the Pioneers pulled within 4-2. The Greyhounds then reeled off five in a row during the third quarter to take a 13-6 lead.

In the ECAC title game, Loyola used an 8-1 run that was comprised of runs of 3-0 and 5-0 to take control of the game.

On The Flip Side

Conversely, the Greyhounds have allowed a run of three or more goals just 12 times this year, with the most recent coming when Canisius scored three in the second quarter. Only Denver (seven in ECAC Semifinal), Johns Hopkins (five), Fairfield (five), Air Force (four) have scored more than three in a row this year.

On The EMO

This season, the Greyhounds are ranked second in the nation in man-up offense, scoring 48-percent of the time (24-of-50). Only Lehigh (.553) has a better mark this year. Loyola dropped below 50-percent for the first time this year by going 4-of-10 in the game against Denver.

The last time Loyola finished at or above .500 in man-up offense was in 1997 when it converted 39-of-77 (.506).

Second-Half Success

The Greyhounds have now outscored opponents 63-22 in the third quarters of games and 117-61 overall this year in the second half (including overtime).

The second-half scoring continues a trend from the last two seasons. Last year, Loyola outscored opponents, 69-52, after halftime (including two overtime goals), and 77-56 two years ago.

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March 29 a significant day in history of Baltimore football

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March 29 a significant day in history of Baltimore football

Posted on 29 March 2012 by Luke Jones

Ask any Baltimore football fan over the age of 35 the significance of the morning of March 29, 1984 and you’ll see their expression change as a flood of memories rushes over their countenance.

Thursday marked the 28th anniversary of Robert Irsay and the Baltimore Colts sneaking out of town in the middle of the night, leaving countless grown men and women — like my father and grandparents — to only sob when learning the news that morning.

(Video package courtesy of WMAR-TV in Baltimore)

Many say they’re over the bitterness of the Colts’ departure while others will take that anger to their graves. And younger fans, such as those of my generation and younger, either aren’t that terribly interested or will never fully grasp the emotions of that night and morning and the days and years that followed.

All of those perspectives are perfectly acceptable as long as the feelings of each person invested in Baltimore football are respected.

It took time, but Baltimore wound up better in the long run as the city secured another team and won a championship before the Indianapolis Colts ever tasted Super Bowl glory. The Ravens have become ingrained in the community as much as a franchise can be in the modern and more lucrative era of professional sports.

What I didn’t realize, or perhaps had simply forgotten over the last 16 years, was March 29 also being a more positive day in the history of Baltimore football. Twelve years after those Mayflower trucks pulled out of Owings Mills, Art Modell announced his newly-relocated franchise would be renamed the Ravens — the Marauders and the Americans were the other two finalists — in the first tangible step of establishing a distinct identity for a new NFL team in Baltimore.

Modell

The team’s move from Cleveland had been announced several months earlier, but learning the result of a fan poll to name the franchise somehow granted more authenticity to the idea of NFL football once again being played at Memorial Stadium that fall.

A plethora of detailed accounts by more talented, authoritative writers can easily be found, so I don’t feel the need to rehash the circumstances or emotions surrounding each relocation at length.

But I do believe in the importance of remembering and respecting the city’s football heritage, recognizing where we once were and how those events impacted our lives as well as our loved ones, many of whom are no longer with us.

March 29 represents both the darkest day in the history of Baltimore football and part of a new beginning.

And it’s why I’ll remember and think about my father and grandparents a little more than usual on this day.

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Unlucky Chapter 13: ‘The Magic’ and ‘The Oriole Way’ got stranded on 33rd Street…

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Unlucky Chapter 13: ‘The Magic’ and ‘The Oriole Way’ got stranded on 33rd Street…

Posted on 17 March 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

(Originally published as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in 2006, this is Part 13 of a 19 Chapter Series on How Bseball and the Orioles berthed WNST.net. Please save Thursday, April 5th for some civic action regarding the demise of the Orioles in Baltimore.)

There is very little question that Camden Yards only holds a handful of good memories for most of the “old school” Orioles fans who lived through the glorious Memorial Stadium days.

Maybe you consider the Bill Hasselman vs. Mike Mussina brawl in 1993 memorable. Or perhaps that Brad Pennington head-jerking launch toward The Warehouse by Ken Griffey Jr. on that Sunday afternoon in that pretty teal jersey jogs your memory a bit.

Opening Day and Sutcliffe in 1992 was also pretty outstanding.

The night Mussina almost threw that perfect game was memorable. And how about the night he took a liner off of his face?

And the ALCS games at Camden Yards in 1996 and 1997, while not victorious, were at least memorable.

The Marquis Grissom home run. The Todd Zeile incident. The Cecil Fielder home run. The Tony Fernandez home run. Darryl Strawberry, of all people, coming back to haunt the Orioles with home run after home run in October 1996.

Our community stole the Browns from Cleveland so we might have had karma working against us for that 1997 ALCS disappointment coming to us as fans — especially after that Robbie Alomar blast at The Jake the previous fall — but the Yankees thing in 1996 was just insufferable.

On second thought, maybe we CHOOSE to not remember some of the stuff during those two WINNING seasons because we got stuck watching the World Series on TV. And there’s very little doubt that the BALTIMORE Orioles were the best overall team in baseball throughout that ’97 season.

My feelings about those years are probably the same way my Pop would’ve felt about 1973 and 1974. He never talked about those years as particularly good (although he loved Rich Coggins) because 1966 and 1970 and, even 1969 and 1971, were so much better and more memorable for him.

Yeah, we were good in ’96 and ’97, and we had some big wins, but when it really mattered the most, in October — the big at-bats, the big pitches, the big plays, and in the case of Jeffrey Maier in 1996, the big calls — all were tilted mightily in the other direction when all was said and done and World Championship trophies were handed out.

Honestly, as close as we were, we CLEARLY weren’t very close at all when you saw how those games played out in October. And other than Mussina, Brady Anderson and Cal Ripken, none of those players made a dent in the heart of Orioles’ fans.

 

In his most recent public appearance/infomercial this past spring, Peter Angelos informed WJZ’s Denise Koch that “we were one pitch away from the World Series — you must remember that!”

The seats in the owner’s box must’ve shown a different set of games or “time” must’ve illuminated “the glory of their deeds.”

Because from where I sat, it looked like the better team won both years — with or without Jeffrey Maier —

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