Tag Archive | "memorial stadium"

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Remembering Only “Magic” I’ve Known

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Glenn Clark

I know just how frustrating the 2011 season has been for Baltimore Orioles fans.

I also know how frustrating the 2010 season was. And 2009. And 2008. And 2007. And 2006. And…I think you get the point.

I was born on September 6, 1983. Just over a month later (October 16) the O’s vanquished the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5 to claim their third (and still most recent) World Series title. Despite being alive for 40 days when it happened, I’m ashamed to say I have no memories of the title.

The 1989 Birds were a special group. I’ve watched the “Why Not” video a number of times in my life, mostly thanks to my friends BJ and Chris Appel. While they finished short of winning the American League East crown, the team has left many folks in Charm City with special memories.

Unfortunately, I had just turned six years old when the season was cut short. My memories of the ’89 Orioles are extremely limited, and the team itself really didn’t mean much to me as a baseball fan.

I’ve made it quite clear that I am much more of a lacrosse person than I am a baseball person. I’ve made it obvious that certain things about baseball in recent years have made me turn from the game. That’s been made worse by the fact that the team here in Baltimore has given me almost nothing to enjoy for nearly 15 years now. Like many other fans in this city, the demise of our own team has lead to a lessened interested in the sport in general.

That wasn’t the case in 1996.

My 12th birthday was September 5, 1995. It was a special day to be an Orioles fan (like I need to tell you) as Cal Ripken passed Lou Gehrig by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game. My parents were kind enough to purchase me EXACTLY what I wanted for my birthday that year-an oversized Orioles “Starter” brand jacket.

(I know I wasn’t the only one who wore a Starter jacket at the time.)

I’m pretty sure I didn’t take that jacket off for two years-even in the summer.

Baseball was my most significant love in 1996. The Ravens came into existence during the offseason but wouldn’t “take over” the city for another three to four years. In fact, as rabid as we were in Baltimore for the return of the NFL, there were multiple games between Memorial Stadium and what was then known as PSINet Stadium in the early years of the Ravens’ existence that were “sold out”, but featured less than empty crowds.

It was a baseball town, and I loved the Orioles more than I even loved girls.

One of the most exciting moments of my life was the day I found out Home Team Sports (HTS) had been moved from the “premium” tier of Comcast programming in Baltimore County and instead became a basic cable channel.

I was that crazy about the Orioles.

In 8th grade, I was often caught not paying attention to teachers in class. While other kids were writing love notes, I was found to be drawing miniature baseball diamonds and impressing my friends with my ability to name the starting nine for every other team in Major League Baseball.

I was a complete and total nutjob when it came to baseball.

I’m not sure I can fairly explain how much those 1996 & 1997 teams meant to me as I hit puberty. My entire attitude was determined by what the Orioles had done the night before.

I still remember coming home from Perry Hall High School one late fall afternoon in 1995 to have my dad tell me the Orioles had signed Roberto Alomar. I didn’t believe him at first, but ultimately celebrated as if I had received straight A’s on my report card.

The 1996 & 1997 Orioles gave me some of the happiest memories of my life as a sports fan. They also of course gave me some of the saddest memories of my life, as they failed to advance past the ALCS in both years.

As far as “Orioles Magic” is concerned, the only thing I REALLY know about “magic” for the Orioles franchise happened during those two seasons.

I’ve explained my excitement about Alomar’s impending induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame many times. Part of my identity as a Baltimore sports personality is tied to my affection to the man who will take his place in Cooperstown next weekend.

I find it fitting that as Alomar enters the Hall of Fame, he will share the stage with the architect of those Orioles teams, former General Manager Pat Gillick. Gillick’s career is directly tied to Alomar, having brought the second baseman to the Toronto Blue Jays, where the pair would win two World Series titles. Gillick would go on to bring Alomar to Baltimore, where he would lead the O’s to their only Wild Card playoff berth and their first AL East crown in 14 seasons.

My guess is that most of the coverage surrounding next weekend’s induction ceremony will be about the time Alomar and Gillick shared with the Jays. But for Orioles fans, next weekend’s ceremony will be a reminder of a special (albeit short) era of success in Baltimore.

It’s with that in mind that I am happy to announce that Thyrl Nelson and I have come together to dedicate next Friday’s (7/22) edition of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to the 1996 & 1997 Baltimore Orioles.

We’ll use the show to congratulate Alomar and Gillick on entering the Hall of Fame, as well as to honor the teams that were truthfully the most special in my lifetime.

We’ll talk to players, coaches, broadcasters and even fans who were around those teams. Some interviews will be live, some will be taped earlier in the week. As guests continue to confirm, I’ll do my best to pass them along.

Older Orioles fans might not look back on the ’96 and ’97 with the same fondness that I do. But this is all I’ve known of winning baseball in Baltimore…well…ever.

It’s going to be a lot of fun. I hope you’ll tune in next Friday to AM1570 WNST or online at WNST.net to join in the celebration. I hope you’ll chime in with calls, emails, Tweets (@WNST or @GlennClarkWNST on Twitter), Facebook messages and other memories of those teams.

It’s the only “Magic” I’ve ever experienced, and it doesn’t look like it will be changing soon.

(Eds. Note: A previous version of this post mistakenly stated the Ravens had experienced “multiple blackouts” in their early years.)

-G

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5 lowest moments of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry

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5 lowest moments of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry

Posted on 14 January 2011 by Luke Jones

You have to remember where you’ve been in order to get where you want to go.

In this case, Ravens fans can only hope it’s a trip to the AFC Championship after a win at Heinz Field on Saturday after countless disappointments against their biggest rivals.

Perhaps you’ve clicked this link because you’re a football masochist, secretly preparing yourself for the worst should Baltimore fall short yet again with the stakes as high as they’ve been since the conference championship game two years ago.

A bloodcurdling look back at the low points in the history of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry reminds us that as enjoyable as the highs have been for the Ravens, the lows have been that much more devastating over the 15 years the two teams have battled on the gridiron.

Beating the Steelers on Saturday would immediately become the greatest Baltimore moment in the rivalry’s history while a loss would only mark the latest chapter of bitter disappointment.

With a few honorable mentions to get things started, here are the five lowest Baltimore moments of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry:

Honorable mention >>>

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Confessions of a lifetime of hatred for Pittsburgh from a real Baltimore sports fan

Posted on 12 January 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s a big, emotional week of football in Baltimore and the reason it’s so significant is because of our civic desire to have another purple parade at the Inner Harbor and the sheer nausea we all feel in the pits of our bellies about the fact that at 8 p.m. on Saturday night this could be the worse loss of our lives all over again.

Just like all of our January losses to the likes of Indianapolis and Pittsburgh and Cleveland and New York.

Or, it can potentially extinguish the 40 years of domination from the city of Pittsburgh, but specifically the Steelers and their arrogant, obnoxious fan base here in the region.

This is an epic throwdown between two cities that don’t like each other but a rivalry that is so embarrassingly lopsided that it makes the Roadrunner look like a winner.

I’m up to my eyeballs in rattlesnakes throwing parties, organizing bus trips and running WNST.net – 12 hours of radio, the daily newspaper, text service plus all of our social media endeavors on Facebook and Twitter that truly is Baltimore’s best and most comprehensive sports coverage in the world. And for those of you who know me, you know what a massive time commitment it is being a washed up sports talk show host and new media entrepreneur of the station that no one listens to but the website and social media that everyone in Baltimore seems to visit and read.

This whole “Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore” thing takes on such a personal, vitriolic part of my inner soul that it’s almost best that I not focus on it too much and keep my head down and wait for the game at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday to release that part of my energy.

But some jackasses from the “out of town media club” (which encompasses the greater part of the whole local scene outside of WNST.net) have written, said and defended their typically insensitive and uneducated remarks just to remind us how out of touch and clueless they really are about what this community is about and WHY the Ravens are important in the first place.

Nothing in the local sports community divides like Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh. The Colts thing, while far from dormant, is now a distant second place. And the “I Hate Washington Club” is shrinking because the Redskins and Nationals are weak and irrelevant and the Capitals are the fastest growing brand in Baltimore and I have statistics to prove it.

And the out-of-town media geniuses all talk about expertise, ethics and journalism while all taking a chunk of your Orioles/MASN money to hush up criticism of an oozing, open sports cancer in Baltimore while waving purple pompoms in January like they really care about the Ravens and like they invented Festivus.

To anyone with half a brain from Baltimore, it’s insulting.

I attended a Smart CEO event last Thursday night where I was summarily subjected to a pair of morning show faux sports imposters from Boston and New York standing in front of a room full of mostly Baltimore upper-crust businessmen and patronizing them

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Top 5 moments of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry

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Top 5 moments of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry

Posted on 12 January 2011 by Luke Jones

Saturday marks the 33rd meeting (including playoffs) between the Ravens and Steelers in the 15 years since the NFL returned to Baltimore.

With Pittsburgh holding a 20-12 all-time edge and always coming out on top when the stakes are at their highest, the highlights are admittedly scarce from the Baltimore perspective despite the matchup blossoming into the most intense rivalry in the NFL. A conflict bred from off-field venom and disdain (circa 2001) has morphed into mutual respect and even tighter competition in recent years as the last six meetings in the regular season have been decided by four or fewer points (the Steelers won 23-14 victory in the 2008 AFC Championship).

The divisional-round encounter will add another memorable chapter to Baltimore-Pittsburgh lore, but before looking ahead to potential triumph or bitter disappointment, we look back at the top 5 moments (with a couple honorable mentions added for good measure) in the history of Ravens vs. Steelers — from the Baltimore perspective.

And for our Pittsburgh brethren lurking and ready to chime in, be sure to check back later in the week for the five worst moments in the Ravens-Steelers rivalry.

Honorable mention >>>

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Four decades of being “owned” by Pittsburgh must end today

Posted on 10 January 2011 by Drew Forrester

There’s “must win” and then there’s this, what the Ravens are facing in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

It’s more than must win.

It’s “win or be scarred for another year”.

It’s “win or let Roethlisberger continue to be your Daddy”.

It’s “win or let Pittsburgh continue to dominate Baltimore in playoff football.”

It’s way more than must win.

For the record, Baltimore, as a football city, has never – not once – enjoyed a post-season victory over a Pittsburgh team. When the Colts graced our Sunday afternoons, they were 0-2 vs. the Steelers in the playoffs.  The Ravens own the same record against the Steelers.

That’s 0-4.  But it’s 0-6 if you want to include two World Series losses handed to the Orioles by the Pirates.

Tough to swallow…losing to Pittsburgh in everything except a beauty pageant.

The city of Baltimore is 0-6 lifetime against the city of Pittsburgh in post-season competition.

That needs to change on Saturday at Heinz Field.

It needs to change for a variety of reasons, the least of which is the mere fact that the Ravens’ season gets extended if they pull off a win in the Steel City in five days.  That’s reason enough to win.  Fact: Baltimore can’t win the Super Bowl this season if they lose on Saturday.

But it’s so much deeper than that.

In all fairness, this whole “beating Pittsburgh thing” has morphed into something that’s actually somewhat uncomfortable for us here in Baltimore.  One football game…one athletic competition…one “event” that’s way more symbolic than meaningful to our everyday lives…just shouldn’t mean this much.

It’s not THAT important.  What happened in Arizona over the weekend with that nutjob shooting up a shopping center…now that is important.

Saturday is football, it’s not life and death.

But it’s awfully damn close in Baltimore.

The Pittsburgh people like to act like these games with the Ravens aren’t really that big of a deal.  I guess I wouldn’t consider them such a big deal either if the shoe was on the other foot and it was BALTIMORE that was 4-0 against Pittsburgh over the the last four decades.

I’d easily dismiss the uproar and the nervousness if the Ravens were the team with the upper hand over the years.

But it hasn’t been that way.

Baltimore started losing to Pittsburgh in football games that mattered back in 1975.  And they lost again in 1976.  That, of course, was the day the dude flew the plane into the upper deck after the game.

The Ravens carried on the tradition, if you will, by losing in January of 2002 and again in January of 2009 with a Super Bowl trip on the line.

So that’s why it’s important to us.

It IS uncomfortable for the game to be this important and it IS uncomfortable to literally start getting a nervous twitch in your neck when closing your eyes and visualizing Roethlisberger taking a knee with 28 seconds to go on Saturday and the scoreboard reading “PITTSBURGH 17 – BALTIMORE 14″.

Because no matter what the final score yields on Saturday, it is NOT “Ravens vs. Steelers”.  It’s BALTIMORE vs. PITTSBURGH.

These beatings and this 4-decade losing streak can’t continue any longer.

It just can’t.

Not to them, anyway.

If Baltimore somehow had a 4-decade losing streak to some team from Seattle or San Antonio or Detroit, we wouldn’t care nearly this much.

It’s four decades of not beating Pittsburgh in the playoffs.

It must end.

Saturday.

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Top 10 Ralph Friedgen Era Victories

Posted on 29 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Yep…it’s another list. Hey, it’s the end of the year.

As Ralph Friedgen’s tenure as University of Maryland football coach comes to a close with this afternoon’s Military Bowl contest against East Carolina at RFK Stadium (Luke Jones hosts our “Turtle Power” live chat here at WNST.net at 2:30), I figured I’d look back on the era of “The Fridge” by remembering his best victories as Maryland football coach.

(Edit from GMC: It was brought to my attention at 9:55am that my friend Patrick Stevens of D1scourse.com posted a similar list at 9:43am. S.O.B. I encourage you to check his list out as well.)

Honorable Mention: Maryland 24, Purdue 7 (December 29, 2006 Champs Sports Bowl Florida Citrus Bowl Orlando, FL); Maryland 35, California 27 (September 13, 2008 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD); Maryland 23, Navy 20 (September 3, 2005 M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, MD); Maryland 17, Navy 14 (September 6, 2010 M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, MD); Maryland 26, Wake Forest 0 (October 18, 2008 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD); Maryland 20, Clemson 17 (September 27, 2008 Memorial Stadium Clemson, SC); Maryland 14, Miami 13 (November 11, 2006); Maryland 27, Florida State 24 (October 28, 2006 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD); Maryland 28, Virginia 26 (October 14, 2006 Scott Stadium Charlottesville, VA)

10. Maryland 38, NC State 31 (November 27, 2010 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz6qO2a5nRI[/youtube]

The last regular season win of Friedgen’s career certainly stands out to some extent.

It looked (at the time) like this was the “statement” win the Terrapins needed with Danny O’Brien under center to prove they were headed in the direction of an ACC title.

They might still be, it just won’t be with Friedgen at the helm.

Wherever Torrey Smith ranks amongst the great players in Friedgen’s tenure, this was clearly his best game. He was absolutely DOMINANT against the Wolfpack…who I have a funny feeling will show up again on this list.

9. Maryland 37, Clemson 20 (November 10, 2001 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T6pGkM-Sxw[/youtube]

This game was already going to be meaningful, as it was the first time Byrd Stadium was sold out in the Friedgen era.

After North Carolina State beat Florida State earlier in the day, the game became very significant-as it put the Terps on the track towards the BCS.

The game itself wasn’t of the epic nature; but the Terps had lost eight straight to the Tigers before finally breaking through.

This was also the first “rush the field” moment in Friedgen’s ten seasons.

It wasn’t quite as big as the team’s next win, but we’ll get to that.

8. Maryland 26, NC State 24 (November 22, 2003 Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh, NC)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GQAxI9q5dI[/youtube]

This game was significant for multiple reasons.

First, it finished off a perfect 4-0 record for Friedgen against NCSU while Phillip Rivers was quarterback.

Second, the game did have a bit of an epic nature after Nick Novak missed what would have been a game-tying extra point. Leroy Ambush forced a turnover, and Novak was able to get redemption by kicking the game-winning field goal.

And third, it kept Maryland on track for what would eventually be a Gator Bowl berth on New Year’s Day.

7. Maryland 20, Georgia Tech 17 OT (October 11, 2001 Bobby Dodd Stadium Atlanta, GA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtcYJK21R0s[/youtube]

This might not be high enough on the list. Hell, I know it isn’t high enough on the list. But I already made the list. I’m not changing it now.

This was the very first significant win in the Friedgen era at Maryland, and it was absolutely miraculous.

Yellow Jackets RB Joe Burns inexplicably ran out of bounds late in regulation with his team ahead 17-14; setting up a career long 46 yard field goal by Novak (who had been AWFUL up to that point in his Maryland career) to send the game to overtime. In OT, another Burns fumble would seal the first win over a ranked team for Friedgen at his alma mater.

With the win, Friedgen’s Terps improved to 6-0; forcing fans throughout the Mid-Atlantic to take notice of what was happening in College Park.

6. Maryland 34, Rutgers 24 (September 29, 2007 Rutgers Stadium Piscataway, NJ)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=485yysHK7m8[/youtube]

Of all of the wins on this list, this is certainly the most improbable.

When Jordan Steffy went down against the Scarlet Knights, a large number of Maryland fans had to think to themselves “who the hell is Chris Turner?”

They’d find out in a big way.

Perhaps the game was more significant because of the sheer number of then-current or former Garden State residents who went to the University of Maryland.

There were definitely a number of households torn up and down the I-95 corridor because of the matchup.

For Friedgen, it would be the first of two wins over Top 10 opponents that season.

5. Maryland 41, West Virginia 7 (January 1, 2004 Gator Bowl Alltel Stadium Jacksonville, FL)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q63nyT2mhtM[/youtube]

The ONLY thing about this game that gets it on the list was the fact that it was a New Year’s Day game played on NBC-making it arguably the highest profile win in the Friedgen era.

The game wasn’t exactly exciting, save for some impressive Scott McBrien to Steve Suter theatrics. The matchup was disappointing, as the Terps had already posted a blowout victory over WVU earlier in the year.

It was the third straight high-profile bowl game Maryland reached to start Friedgen’s career. Unfortunately, it was also the last.

It was also the last time Friedgen would collect a victory over the Mountaineers.

Had those last two statements been different, the Friedgen era might not be coming to a close in DC today.

4. Maryland 42, Boston College 35 (November 11, 2007 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6di8qtmN9Zo[/youtube]

When he’s 70 years old, Chris Turner will still be able to tell everyone he talks to that he once beat Matt Ryan.

Ryan entered the Saturday night national TV showdown (ABC) near the front of the Heisman Trophy race. He didn’t necessarily disappoint (421 yards passing and 3TD’s) in front of the College Park crowd, but he was outdone by a guy who was better known for looking like Napoleon Dynamite.

Turner threw for 337 yards and 3TD’s himself, while Lance Ball added 122 yards on the ground and a rushing TD. Maryland was ahead 42-21 in the second half before eventually holding off the Eagles late.

It was an impressive victory for a frustrating team. Friedgen’s Terps beat two Top 10 teams that season, but finished just 6-6 and lost to Oregon State in the Emerald Bowl.

3. Maryland 20, Florida State 17 (October 30, 2004 Byrd Stadium College Park, MD)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGX8Mvr5Evw[/youtube]

Maryland was 0-14 all time against FSU until this game.

Friedgen was ofer in his first three contests against the Seminoles himself until this game.

History will forever note that Joel Statham was the first ever Maryland QB to beat Florida State.

Six years later, I still really can’t believe it happened.

2. Maryland 30, Tennessee 3 (December 31, 2002 Peach Bowl Georgia Dome Atlanta, GA)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDi9rXxCGSQ[/youtube]

You can count Ralph Friedgen’s wins over SEC programs on one finger.

Not only was Maryland’s Peach Bowl romp over the Volunteers the first significantly high-profile (New Year’s Eve on ESPN) non-conference win under Friedgen, it was also the statement game for E.J. Henderson; who will probably go down as the best player of the Friedgen era.

It was the type of win that allowed Maryland fans to measure the progress the Terps had made through two seasons.

It was also the type of win that made fans think more postseason wins over SEC teams would be coming in the future.

Obviously they didn’t.

1. Maryland 23, NC State 19 (November 17, 2001 Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh, NC)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QszioOHki8[/youtube]

Shaun Hill and Guilian Gary will forever be remembered as the combination that sent Maryland to their first ACC Championship in 16 years and their first Orange Bowl berth since 1956.

The only unfortunate thing about #1 is that most coaches probably don’t want to be remembered as collecting their most significant victory in their first season.

Friedgen never returned to this moment, but it doesn’t take anything away from the victory itself.

It was an awesome moment in University of Maryland athletics history.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Special teams gaffes doom Terps in 31-7 loss to Clemson

Posted on 16 October 2010 by Luke Jones

Despite an encouraging 4-1 start and an opportunity to end a nine-game road losing streak against a struggling team on Saturday, we didn’t know how improved the Maryland Terrapins really were in comparison to last season’s 2-10 squad.

A soft schedule — with only a victory over Navy passing as a respectable feat — caused most to wait and see how well Ralph Friedgen’s team would play during a trip to Death Valley to take on the Clemson Tigers, the last place they had won on the road in over two years. And despite a hostile environment at Memorial Stadium, it looked like a win for the taking with the Tigers having lost three in a row.

But if the ugly 31-7 loss was any indication, the Terps are far more similar to last year’s team than any of us had hoped. Despite looking like the better football team midway through the second quarter and outgaining the Tigers by 137 yards for the game, the Terps did exactly what we saw countless times in 2009.

Shot themselves in the foot. Repeatedly.

It started with special teams.

The facet of the game that invigorates your football team as quickly as it can suck the very life out of it doomed the Terps as they dropped to 4-2 (1-1 ACC) on the year. Ironically, Maryland had received major lifts from the special teams units in their first five games, particularly from punter-kicker Travis Baltz and punt returner Tony Logan.

The first gaffe occurred immediately after running back Da’Rel Scott tossed a 4-yard touchdown to quarterback Danny O’Brien — no, you didn’t read that incorrectly — to give Maryland a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter. Nick Ferrara’s ensuing kickoff was a low, line drive that was returned 87 yards for a touchdown by Clemson running back Andre Ellington.

It only got worse from there.

In the ensuing drive, O’Brien moved the Terps down to the Clemson 7 before being  sacked by Da’Quan Bowers — a common theme as the defensive end compiled three for the day as the Maryland offensive line really couldn’t block anyone — on third-and-1. The previously reliable Baltz came in to attempt the 33-yarder and missed badly to the right.

From that point on, the momentum shifted dramatically in favor of the Tigers, and Maryland barely voiced a whimper the remainder of the afternoon.

Later, Clemson’s Jaron Brown returned a punt 41 yards down to the Maryland 20 after the Terps went three-and-out to set up another touchdown, pushing the lead into blowout territory at 24-7.

Those three gaffes led to a 17-point swing on the scoreboard, which happened to be the deficit for much of the second half before Xavier Brewer returned an O’Brien interception 61 yards for a score late in the fourth quarter after the outcome had long been decided.

The reality is Maryland had an excellent opportunity to beat a not-so-good football team on the road and couldn’t get the job done. Despite looking like the better football team for the first 20-plus minutes of the contest, the Terps couldn’t recover from critical errors, even when they had opportunities to do so on both sides of the football.

To be fair, the special teams weren’t the only reason Maryland dropped its first conference game of the season, as missed tackles on third down, dropped passes, and critical penalties were themes of the afternoon, particularly in the second half.

An offense that looked promising in the first half managed just 118 yards and three turnovers after the intermission, unable to provide a lift to a defense that wasn’t as bad as the final score indicated. However, the unit’s inability to make tackles in several favorable spots allowed the Tigers to pick up key first downs in the second half.

Time and time again, the Terps drove the nails into their own coffin in Death Valley.

Watching them disintegrate over the game’s final 40 minutes was a clear reminder of how quickly things can fall apart. The talent isn’t there for this Maryland team to overcome mistakes, and Clemson made them pay for it in embarrassing fashion.

This one will really cause Friedgen and his football team to lose sleep, as there was really no excuse to lose by 24 points to a mediocre football team that managed just 213 yards of offense on the afternoon.

But when it came to special teams and doing the little things needed to get a victory, Clemson beat Maryland like a drum all over the field.

And the Terps could only look helplessly at the scoreboard as they walked off the field, with memories of the losses from last season fresh in their minds.

As good as the 4-1 start may have felt, Saturday’s performance was a very harsh reality.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 14 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

(And Happy Birthday to the boss-Nestor Aparicio-who Drew Forrester so eloquently described this morning as “looking good for 47.”)

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because tomorrow night is Homecoming at Perry Hall High School; and I can’t wait to see the Gators stomp some Franklin ass!

Ahh Homecoming…a chance to dress up and have your parents snap awkward pictures of you after your girlfriend stabs you in the chest with a boutineer. Speaking of boutineers…umm…why the hell did we ever wear boutineers anyway?

I remember my 12th grade Homecoming…

glennhomecoming

I couldn’t decide what to do with my hair that day-so I just shaved it off. When the girl I was dating at the time (she was a very nice girl named Kristen who-as you can tell-was MUCH too pretty to be dating a clown like me) saw what I had done, I think it would be fair to say she wasn’t exactly thrilled.

How awesome was I though? STX lanyard sticking out of my pocket to show some love for my lacrosse friends…NICE.

I don’t care what you say. 10 years later-that was a sharp look. I hope the PHHS class of 2011 will say the same thing when I’m working for them in ten years.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens not concerned with “Tom Brady Rule” against New England Patriots Sunday

While I have a funny feeling that at some point Sunday in Foxborough there’s going to be a close call that goes Brady’s way-this is OF COURSE the most appropriate response for Ravens defenders to have.

They obviously cannot head up to Gillette Stadium worrying about whether or not officials will be protecting Tom Brady too much. It might happen-but they cannot alter the way they play based on that. As Jarret Johnson said yesterday, players must simply be aware of where they are on the field; and what the appropriate way is for them to make a hit.

But…for snitzengiggles…here’s the “Tom Brady in a dress” picture from my friends at B-More Birds’ Nest that everyone enjoys so bad…

bradydress

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says John Harbaugh ‘still hopeful’ Ed Reed will return next week

Which makes two of us. Probably more than two of us in fact.

While I still wouldn’t be stunned if Reed (and Brendon Ayanbadejo) are held off until after the Bye Week just to get them some more time to prepare; especially considering that the Ravens are playing the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium next Sunday-maybe not the most imposing of opponents.

This would buy the Ravens some more time to make some tough roster decisions-including Jared Gaither of course.

As far as Matt Lawrence is concerned, I have a bad feeling-which was SEMI-confirmed by Harbaugh yesterday-that Matt’s time in Charm City might be coming to a close in the next few weeks.

If so, he’ll always be my second favorite Matt Lawrence, right behind my man “Jack Hunter”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv9VJWh4FOg[/youtube]

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Haloti Ngata (knee), Ray Rice (knee), Le’Ron McClain (shoulder) missed practice Wednesday

Please everyone calm down. As of this moment, there’s no reason for us to think that any of these guys won’t be on the field Sunday. This is the 6th week of the season. Clearly guys are beat up. Sometimes they need a day off.

But if for some reason one of these guys were to miss the game, I’d consider picking up Jessica Jane-Clement if I were Ozzie Newsome. (Thanks Guyism!)

janeclement

4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Pats not out for ‘revenge’ Sunday

And as Eisenberg rightly points out, some Ravens players are skeptical-including Ray Rice and Chris Carr.

Of COURSE the Patriots will want revenge Sunday. They would want to win against ANY team they’d be playing, but there will something a little more special about playing the team that embarrassed them so badly in the Wild Card round of the AFC playoffs last year.

This is where the Ravens want to be. They want to be the team that others are measuring themselves against, and are just a bit more excited to face. Speaking of which…

5. ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss says Ravens ‘measuring stick’ for Patriots

And before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-We’ll be out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills again today as the Ravens get back on the practice field; coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg are scheduled to meet with the media before practice. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter (@WNST), tuned in to AM1570 WNST and checking in at WNST.net for updates.

-Did you miss Ravens OL Scott Kooistra on “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester Thursday on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net to check it out! Other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Plenty of audio from Owings Mills Wednesday-including Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Rice, Ray Lewis, Fabian Washington, Derrick Mason and Johnson
  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Andrew Brandt (National Football Post/Former Green Bay Packers Executive)-who talked Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger, etc. with Drew Thursday
  • Pete Caringi (UMBC Soccer Coach)-who previewed the Retrievers’ big Friday night game (which will be seen on Fox Soccer Channel) with Drew Thursday
  • Paul Cantabene (Mustangs Lacrosse Coach)-who joined Drew Thursday for the Stevenson Coaches’ Report
  • Our Thursday Morning “Cheap Shots from the Bleachers”-as Drew sent high school athletics a low blow, and Glenn Clark sent a low blow to the end of “Midnight Madness”
  • Joseph Gannascoli (“Vito” from The Sopranos)-who joined Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to talk New York Yankees and MLB playoffs
  • Steve Martin (ACC Network)-who previewed Maryland-Clemson with Rex Thursday
  • Al Seamonson (Maryland LB Coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Howard Stevens (Former Baltimore Colts RB)-who joined Thyrl on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Wednesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so make sure you check it out today…then of course thank me later. (Like Drake said!)

6. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says ‘don’t expect’ Orioles to sign Cliff Lee

Sadly, Cliff Lee costs money.

If he didn’t, maybe he could have a future with the O’s.

That’s not a low blow. It’s just a fact. Thanks Ian Eagle.

7. WNST.net’s Jay Trucker says Cesar Izturis has ‘good chance’ of returning to Birds

Hear that? That’s the sound of me POUNDING MY HEAD AGAINST A TABLE!

Instead of getting a Japanese SS, Andy MacPhail should consider Anna Semenovich. I know I would. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

annas

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Ralph Friedgen told media on ACC Conference call that Terps haven’t decided between Danny O’Brien, Jamarr Robinson as starter Saturday at Clemson

At this point I feel like I might end up in the QB rotation Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Ralph is sticking to this “we’re playing both guys” thing, and that’s fine. But someone has to be “THE” quarterback. It’s much less about who is starting to me-much more about who is going to play if the game is hanging in the balance in the 4th quarter.

It’s too easy to say “whoever has the hot hand.”

I’ll say it probably needs to be Danny O’Brien if the Terps are going to win.

9. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Travis Baltz will kick for Terrapins again Saturday against Tigers

And before I move on from Maryland, a reminder that we will be at Comcast Center in College Park this afternoon for Maryland basketball Media Day. We’ll have audio from Gary Williams, Sean Mosley, Jordan Williams and more, so again-make sure you’re following us on Twitter, checking WNST.net and staying tuned to AM1570 WNST!

10. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Dick Vermeil to present Frank Gansz Trophy to Navy-SMU winner Saturday

And if I played for the Midshipmen or the Stangs, I’d think that was cool.

Of course, I’d probably think it was cooler if it was Taylor Momsen. (Thanks Drunken Stepfather!)

taylormomsen

And finally, I leave you with this.

Dave Matthews Band did a cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”? How did I possibly never know?!?!?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i4YyiUHuoM[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 13 October 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because once again I get to name two new “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” The first addition is the “new” addition to the list…”Grenade” by Bruno Mars…he played it on Saturday Night Live and it kicked a little ass…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kfkTJCv4j8[/youtube]

The “retro” version of TGSOATTW? It’s also Lesson 3 for “Boomer Sooner” as I prepare her for her first Dave Matthews Band show in November. It’s “#41″…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEbb621s_GI[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. National Football Post’s Matt Bowen says Ravens, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers all playing better football than any NFC team

At this point, that’s probably true.

My hunch tells me that the only NFC teams that could end up being TRUE Super Bowl contenders would be the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants.

The Saints don’t look like Super Bowl contenders right now, but that’s mostly because they can’t run the ball. They’ll get Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush back, and they should be able to run again. The Green Bay Packers can get back on that list should they figure out a way to run the ball-but I don’t see that happening if Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn are the primary backs.

The point is-those three aforementioned teams are the only teams that look like they can stand up next to the three premiere AFC teams-at least the three that have stood out thus far.

The good news for the Ravens is that as of right now-this season is shaping up to be a season about “balance.” In recent years, teams that have won have tended to have the most powerful offenses or simply the best quarterbacks.

Early on this year, the teams that have had the most success appear to be the teams that are the most balanced. If it remains that way, the Ravens should be in good shape.

Of course, we know damn well that things can change quickly in the NFL.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s John Eisenberg says 4-1 start doesn’t ‘guarantee’ anything for rest of season

Of course not. But if it guarantees that Jamie Edmondson takes more pictures in Ravens gear, than 4-1 was PLENTY WORTH IT! (Thanks SI with tip from Derek Arnold!)

jamieedmondson

3. Boston Globe’s Monique Walker says New England Patriots still remember AFC Wild Card playoff loss to Ravens last season

This was a topic I discussed yesterday during Ravens Reports on AM1570 WNST. There will almost definitely be some level of a “revenge” factor when it comes to the Patriots Sunday. Bill Belichick is a proud man. Tom Brady is a proud man. These are men who will CERTAINLY remember the embarrassing fashion in which they were dismissed at Gillette Stadium in January.

Does that mean that the Ravens will quickly run into a buzzsaw in Foxborough? Not necessarily. But do I think this Patriots team will look at this game with a bit more significance than other games? Sure.

Should I ask another question and follow it up with another quick answer? I think I’ve run the course.

4. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says John Harbaugh, Ravens concerned with Pats returner Brandon Tate

Before we move on from the on-field Ravens, a couple of things…

-Harbaugh apparently reiterated on his radio show last night that CB Josh Wilson’s hamstring injury is not a major concern. I say “apparently” because I didn’t listen to the show personally. How could I? The replay of “The Morning Reaction” was on WNST!

-The Ravens are back in action today at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills. We’ll be out there all day with full coverage; so make sure you’re tuned into AM1570, following us on Twitter (@WNST) and checking back in at WNST.net throughout the day. We’re expected to hear from Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and others before practice.

-And this picture of Ray Rice-which has been passed around Facebook over the last 24 hours (add me by searching “Glenn Clark” and adding the best looking person you find) is kinda awesome…

rayrice

5. SI’s George Dohrmann says former Ravens OT Jonathan Ogden admitted accepting benefits from agent Josh Luchs while at UCLA

The funniest part of the story is Luchs saying that during an entire Janet Jackson concert, J.O. screamed “Janet!” at the stage. Of course, I might do the same thing if she was rocking out a little “All For You”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2KabvvLF7M[/youtube]

For the record, Luchs maintains that he did NOT pay or give benefits to either Ravens TE Todd Heap or LB Terrell Suggs while he was working with Gary Wichard and pursuing them at Arizona State.

Did you miss Josh Luchs with Drew Forrester and Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Wednesday morning on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can find in the Audio Vault include…

  • Dabo Swinney (Clemson Football Coach)-who joined Drew Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” to preview the Tigers’ contest with the Terrapins Saturday
  • Craig Laughlin (Washington Capitals Color Analyst-Comcast SportsNet)-who joined Drew Wednesday to talk some Caps hockey
  • AJ Daulerio (Deadspin Editor)-who joined Drew Wednesday to discuss the Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger controversy
  • Ralph Cindrich (Long-time NFL agent)-who joined Drew Wednesday to offer his opinion on the Josh Luchs story
  • Jon Anik (host of ESPN’s “MMA Live”)-who joined Thyrl and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Marcellus Wiley (ESPN)-who went around the NFL with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports)-who discussed his new book “Death to the BCS” with Thyrl Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault-so consider today planned. Again. Because I’m awesome like that. Again.

6. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Buck Showalter had surgery Tuesday in Texas, no decisions imminent for Orioles coaching staff

Impossible.

There’s no chance that human injuries could affect a superhuman like Buck Showalter enough that he required knee surgery. I refuse to believe it.

That being said, the handful of folks who are waiting for news about the Birds’ coaching staff will have to keep waiting. In the meantime, MASN passed along that the O’s are apparently interested in Seibu Lions SS Hiroyuki Nakajima.

And you didn’t think Andy MacPhail was going to make the moves necessary to win in 2011. I know you feel stupid now. Hiroyuki Nakajima, babe. What are the dates for the 2011 World Series???

7. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Clemson coach Dabo Swinney prepared to face Maryland QB’s Jamarr Robinson, Danny O’Brien Saturday in Death Valley

Swinney told Drew Forrester this morning that having to prepare for both QB’s makes Maryland particularly tough. Maybe so, but I generally don’t think the Terps can win big games if they try to split reps between two quarterbacks.

They might not do that. They might end up having one real “starter” and a package for the other QB. But it’s totally possible that Robinson and O’Brien could alternate series in James Franklin’s offense. I would prefer the former.

I mean, I would prefer having one REALLY GOOD QB, but sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps coach Ralph Friedgen has good recent history at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium

I keep being reminded of Maryland’s win at Clemson two years ago. Maryland probably wasn’t quite as good as their record indicated, but they were able to hang around just long enough to let something goofy happen to help them win. I don’t THINK the same thing will happen Saturday, but it certainly could.

You know what else could happen? Kayla Collins could call me. I don’t THINK it will happen-but it certainly could. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

smokingjacket

9. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo expects FB Alexander Teich to be able to start Saturday vs. SMU

And with Vince Murray banged up, the Midshipmen could certainly use Teich on the field; as the Mustangs can score points.

They’ve scored at least 21 points in all six of their games, including 35 against Washington State and 42 against Rice. They’re VERY capable of scoring points in the June Jones offense.

The Mids however have scored 14 points or less in three of their five games thus far. It looks like they’ll need to score to win Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. It won’t be easy.

10. TowsonTigers.com says DT Yaky Ibia named semi-finalist for National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy

This is very cool. Cool enough that even Maggie Q should be interested. (Thanks Guyism!)

maggieq

And finally, I leave you with this…

I know everyone’s already seen it-but here’s the Grover/Sesame Street/Old Spice YouTube gem for the 5 or 6 of you that may have somehow missed…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkd5dJIVjgM[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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The “productization” of sports

Posted on 16 August 2010 by Domenic Vadala

We hear a term thrown around today with regard to sports that frosts me a bit: on-field product. When I think of a “product,” I think of something that I can buy at my local neighborhood supermarket, such as Crest toothpaste. I’m not sure where you people are from, but in my hometown a sporting event is a game. Crest = product, Orioles = game; capisce? However this is not how sporting events are marketed any longer. Nowadays it’s all about the “gameday experience,” and the “on-field product.” When my Dad used to take me to Memorial Stadium to see the O’s when I was a kid, nobody gave two hoots about the “gameday experience.” Speaking for myself, I could do without all of the swanky luxury suites and so forth. Yeah sure they might be nice and the food might be good, but is that really how sports were meant to be watched? The NFL in December is all about being out in the cold rooting on your team, not sitting on your hands in a suite asking someone to pass the Grey Poupon. By today’s standards, the Memorial Stadium “gameday experience” flat out stunk; but does that mean that things are better today?

I think that society is much more demanding today than it was when I was a kid (in the 1980′s) and prior. In some cases that’s a good thing, however not in this case. If a baseball stadium doesn’t have cushioned seats in the lower bowl between first and third along, it’s outdated. The same holds true for a football stadium that doesn’t have a temperature controled club level with a waitress to bring food to your seat. I went up to Boston last spring to see the O’s play at Fenway Park, which is still very much as it was when it was built in 1912. Sure the seats were a bit uncomfortable and the sight lines weren’t perfect, but it was a great park. The times I saw the Washington Nationals play the Orioles at RFK Stadium were much more enjoyable than what they have now at Nationals Park.

So again, we hear this term on-field product all the time. Basically, if the team stinks the people aren’t going to show up at the games. Again, sports is not a product, it’s a game. That means that you go out to the ballpark/stadium on gameday with your friends, kids, wife, husband, etc and have a good time at the game. Rooting for a winning team is certainly much easier than the alternative, however you shouldn’t let a “poor on-field product” dissuade you from being a fan. Furthermore, we keep hearing that product term…might that be why people are so fickle in their fandom nowadays? If you’ve consistently used Crest toothpaste and it ceases to be effective for you, odds are you’re going to switch PRODUCTS and start to use Colgate or Aquafresh. So if the Orioles lose enough and you deem that the PRODUCT has ceased to be effective, does that mean you’re going to switch your fandom to another PRODUCT? I suppose I’m still cut from the ilk which says that your favorite team in any given sport is very much a part of who you are. That doesn’t mean that I’m a loser because I root for the Orioles, but it does mean that I have an invested stake in the fortunes of that team. The same can be said for any Ravens fan, Yankees, Capitals, Redskins, etc.

We all have stories as to why we root for who we do. I guess what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t let a poor “product” sway you one way or the other. Back to the stadium issue for a moment; these new stadiums are being built to accomodate the more affluent members of our society. With sports’ salaries at an all-time high, owners need to be able to charge ridiculous prices for tickets and concessions. (Plus the ticket and concessions prices have to be high to help to finance and pay for the new state-of-the-art stadiums.) However have you noticed that as a result the atmosphere at games is different now? I’ll freely admitt that I’m a “seat poacher” when I go to games in that I pay for cheaper seats and identify a better area to which to move. I attended a game a few years ago between the Washington Nationals and New York Mets where I pulled this stunt. I stood up to boo a bad call at first base, and the lady in front of me turned around and asked me to be quiet. Furthermore, she looked at my friend and I and decided that we weren’t the type of people that would pay for seats in that section, and she called security. (Again I was poaching the seat, however if nobody’s sitting there why exactly is it a problem?) When you charge big money for tickets, expect that you’re going to be pricing out the blue collar fans that are truly the backbone of any fan base. Most people like that don’t go to games to support the team; they go to be entertained, and if the on-field product isn’t up to snuff they won’t be entertained and they’ll look elsewhere.

I’m not saying that putting a good team on the field is a bad thing, because winning’s the name of the game. However through the 1950′s and 60′s, the Washington Redskins had trouble winning and yet they still sold their games out. Nowadays if you have one lackluster season people start complaining; this is all due to the fact that they’re being conditioned by ticket prices and expensive merchandise to expect a superior product. You can call it whatever you want, but to me it’s a game and win, lose, or draw, you should support your favorite team.

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