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Lack of Reverence For Preakness in Baltimore Appalling

Posted on 20 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

The Preakness Stakes will never mean to Baltimore what the Kentucky Derby means to Louisville.

I will start my thoughts by offering an acceptance of that fact.

I couldn’t honestly say I understood the difference between the two Triple Crown races until attending my first “Run For The Roses” in 2010. It’s a different world. It truly cannot be replicated in Charm City.

Perhaps veteran horse racing columnist Jerry Izenberg of the Newark Star-Ledger said it best in 2010…

“Here in Crab Cake City, there is one thing that all of them — infielder, grandstander and the jacket-and-tie set, that actually know the words to “Maryland, My Maryland” — have in common. They all know how to treat a horse race like, well, a horse race.

Greater Baltimore is too big and too honest, and its people work too hard and wear out too many blue collars for it to be otherwise. It understands exactly what this race is. It is a break in the calendar when the Orioles will not be the lead story. It is an event that the town respects but does not worship.”

It’s hard to argue his point.

In fact, year after year the romanticism and celebration of the “Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” appears to be lessened throughout the city.

It’s not just because patrons were barred from bringing their own alcohol into the infield, either.

The fact is that it is safe to question at this point whether or not Baltimore truly even “respects” the Preakness, more or less reveres the city’s most significant event.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrN1NyHEiis[/youtube]

According to the Baltimore Sun, the 2010 Preakness spending generated roughly $1.3 million in 2010 in state and local taxes. The event was as significant if not more to area businesses including hotels, restaurants, bars, taxi and limo services, entertainment venues and grocery/convenience stores.

What can’t be measured beyond that is the value brought to the area by the exposure that comes with Preakness. NBC and VERSUS will combine to dedicate nearly eight hours of coverage this weekend from Old Hilltop, while HRTV and ESPN have also reported and broadcast from the track this week as well.

The Maryland Jockey Club said over 1,000 media members were credentialed for this year’s event, generating coverage in newspapers and on websites throughout the country and the world.

There is simply no arguing the significance of Baltimore’s biggest annual event.

While an argument could be made that a Baltimore Ravens playoff game could provide nearly as much exposure for the city, it would be difficult to picture a NFL game reaching the vast demographic group that the Preakness is able to touch.

Baltimore’s most significant annual moment happens just off Northern Parkway on the third Saturday of May.

As Bob Ehrlich told Drew Forrester this week in an interview on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, “For me, (the Preakness) was a wonderful day. It’s the best day of the year to be governor.”

Or as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told Rex Snider in an interview on “The Afternoon Drive” also on AM1570 WNST, “It really gives us a chance to showcase the city in a big way.”

It is hard to imagine a resident of our fair city not understanding how significant Preakness Saturday is annually.

Imagine my frustration when I was asked this question by a friend (and lifelong Baltimore resident) recently:

Everyone is getting together at Riverwatch for dinner Saturday because Tuesday is my birthday. You’ll be there, right?

After allowing the bewildered look to finally disappear from my face, I had my own question for my friend:

You’re aware they didn’t cancel the Preakness this year, right?

Even more troubling at the same time was my realization that the Baltimore Orioles were not only playing at home, but they were playing at 4:05pm.

Given that the average Major League Baseball game lasts two hours and fifty-one minutes (according to MLB.com in 2010) and the post time for the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes is 6:19pm-a conflict exists.

A source from the Maryland Jockey Club (who asked not to be identified) told me that the MJC reached out to the O’s after learning of the scheduling conflict, but the club deferred to Major League Baseball. Emails sent to the Orioles and MLB requesting further comment were not returned.

To be fair, the Orioles have to play on the third Saturday of May. But in the last 10 years, the Orioles have not played a game that directly conflicted with the Preakness despite playing seven times at home on Preakness Saturday.

It seems stunning that the Birds (and Major League Baseball) would allow a game to go off at the same time as the city’s signature event instead of altering the time of the game. The Boston Red Sox play an 11am game annually at Fenway Park as part of the city’s “Patriots Day” celebration. The Orioles could start at a similar time on Preakness Saturday to make way for Preakness, or could start later in the evening (around 8pm) to allow fans to attend both events.

In fact, they could even label the game as “the official post-Preakness party” and offer ticket discounts to attendees of the Preakness should they work in concert with the Jockey Club.

It would be the type of arrangement that could perhaps encourage out of town enthusiasts to “make a day of it” in Baltimore, seeing the sights of one of America’s classic sporting events and also viewing breathtaking Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

It’s a shame the city hasn’t worked with both parties to encourage such a partnership.

But the lack of reverence towards the Preakness in Baltimore is more appalling than even a baseball game.

Many Baltimoreans have simply told me in recent weeks that they feel no connection with the event despite understanding the overall significance of the event.

The reality is that some Baltimoreans are simply more interested in other events.

The problem with that attitude is that Baltimore doesn’t have anything else this significant. There is no PGA Tour stop. There is no LPGA, ATP, WTA Tour stop either.

The NBA & NHL Playoffs are irrelevant in Baltimore unless a fan chooses to root for a team from out of town. The NCAA Tournament might include a team from Baltimore, but the days of Tim Duncan and company playing March Madness games on the floor of what is now known as the 1st Mariner Arena have long passed.

The UFC has never staged a major Mixed Martial Arts event in Baltimore. There hasn’t been a significant prize fight in Baltimore in my lifetime. NASCAR has never come to town, and while the IndyCar series will hold the inaugural “Baltimore Grand Prix” in Baltimore this Labor Day weekend, the event has exactly enough significance that it was not picked up by the series’ network partner (ABC).

The Baltimore Ravens have never played more than nine meaningful home games in a season. The Baltimore Orioles haven’t played a significant home game after Opening Day since 1997.

In Baltimore, we have the Preakness and not much else.

But there’s no reason for that to be so depressing.

It would certainly bode well for the event if the sport of horse racing could make a “comeback” in Charm City. Pimlico has been outdated about as long as the Arena has, and it doesn’t serve well to generate excitement. The fact that racing only happens at the track for about a month out of the year hurts too.

No one has to be a horse racing fan to support Preakness, however.

The majority of the 100,000 or so fans that pack the track Saturday will likely not know the names of more than a few horses running in the actual race and even fewer could quickly answer “Lookin At Lucky” if asked who won last year’s event.

That being said, the folks who attend the event are at least expecting a good time-whether they’re watching Train on the infield or screaming at ponies from the grandstand.

There’s nothing wrong with being a Baltimorean and not attending the Preakness. The dirty secret in Louisville is that more locals actually attend Kentucky Oaks day on Friday than the actual Derby. (Which is aided by the closure of schools, government and many offices in general). The simple idea is that the city should somehow partake in the event in general-or at least feel more positive than negative energy in association with the event.

At the very least, everyone in Baltimore should ABSOLUTELY know that the third Saturday of May is Preakness Saturday.

It’s a shame that isn’t currently true.

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I left “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” playing on a loop on my DVD player the other night, which means I’ve seen THIS scene play out about twenty times now since Thanksgiving. It hasn’t gotten old.

(Edit from GMC: You know damn well there’s an “F word” in this clip. Act accordingly.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk74WprmZxY[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says John Harbaugh didn’t intend to direct Tuesday night comments to all Baltimore fans

But there’s no doubt how folks in Charm City TOOK the comments, and that’s what Harbaugh is going to have to keep in mind moving forward.

I’m a little spent on Harbaugh comments following my column yesterday comparing him and former Ohio State coach John Cooper (you should go here and read it). I’ve talked to a number of football fans in town over the last 24 hours and there’s no question the comments stuck with fans.

I understand where John Harbaugh’s emotion came from Tuesday night. I understand that he’s as frustrated (if not more) than anyone in town right now.

But he HAS to be more respectful to fans-even when they’re insane. (Edit from GMC: Says the guy who loses his mind on football fans on a regular basis.)

It’s part of the job, whether he wants it to be or not.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Jameel McClain will appeal $40k fine

There’s no doubt McClain’s fine was a bit excessive for a first time offender who had no intent to hit Pittsburgh TE Heath Miller in the head. But something tells me the NFL has decided they need to make a statement in this case because the game was seen by a HUGE audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Make no mistake. This will absolutely be a significant issue as the NFLPA enters labor discussions this offseason and we head towards a potential lockout in 2011. If the league wants any concessions from players regarding revenue, they are almost certainly going to have to concede this outrageous fines even if they are simply trying to protect their players.

It’s not going to be an easy fight.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ed Reed believes Steelers WR Hines Ward deserved fine as well

Speaking of fine, here’s a picture of Danielle Dwyer. (Thanks Brosome via Busted Coverage!)

danielled

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens lost CB Prince Miller to Detroit Lions, signed CB Danny Gorrer to practice squad

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

-The Ravens return to the practice field at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today. Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, LB Ray Lewis and others are scheduled to address the media. We’ll have full coverage, so make sure you stay tuned to AM1570 WNST, follow us on Twitter (@WNST) and keep checking back at WNST.net.

-Did you miss Ravens TE Ed Dickson with Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” 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 hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Michael Bradley (Philadelphia Magazine)-who talked about his decision to not give his Heisman Trophy vote to Cam Newton with Drew Thursday
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From The Bleachers”, as Drew took a shot at Cam Newton winning the Heisman, and Glenn Clark took a shot at fans who don’t “get” the Army/Navy Game
  • Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News)-who went around the NFL with Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Barry Barnes (Fanhouse)-who went around the AFC North with Rex Wednesday
  • Jean Fugett Jr. (Former Washington Redskins & Dallas Cowboys TE)-who discussed the loss of Todd Heap with Rex Wednesday
  • Lee Hull (Terps WR Coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Steve Beck (Military Bowl Executive Director)-who discussed the Maryland-East Carolina matchup with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Mike Bauman (MLB.com)-who checked in with Thyrl Wednesday from the MLB winter meetings in Orlando
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday; including Dickson, Jameel McClain, Le’Ron McClain, Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Kelly Gregg
  • Post-game audio from Maryland’s win over UNC Greensboro last night; including Gary Williams, Jordan Williams, Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so make sure you take a few minutes today to check it out. You know you want to.

5. MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier says Orioles, Minnesota Twins could finalize deal for JJ Hardy today

Between this and Mitch Atkins, I’m not sure how the Birds CAN’T win the World Series next year!

If they’re still looking to make a splash before the end of the meetings, I have a suggestion for Andy MacPhail. Consider Alina Vacariu. (Thanks Guyism!)

vacariu

(Edit from GMC: UPDATE-CBSSports.com now says the deal is done. Hooray!)

6. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says O’s agreed to terms with Koji Uehara on one year deal

I don’t know if this has ever happened before, but if I were the Orioles I might go ahead and consider a ticker tape parade BEFORE Spring Training.

The Orioles made other news Wednesday, as they distanced themselves from comments made by Luke Scott in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.

I can’t imagine why…

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker respond to adversity as Maryland crushed UNC Greensboro

The Spartans stink. That being said, even they could beat Penn State.

Gary Williams said after the game he considered making lineup changes following the Terps’ poor offensive output against Temple in the BB&T Classic.

Cliff Tucker said he didn’t know he was starting until earlier in the day Wednesday.

Gary Williams WANTS to stick with Tucker and Bowie all season. Fans want to see Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard in the lineup.

What ends up happening will have everything to do with whether or not Tucker and Bowie can play with consistency over the next few weeks.

Maryland opens ACC play Sunday afternoon (4pm on Comcast SportsNet/Fox Sports Net) when they host Boston College at Comcast Center.

8. TowsonTigers.com says Josh Brown and Rashawn Polk scored 18 points each, but Towson couldn’t hold off George Washington in DC

A loss to the Colonials probably won’t impress anyone, but a six point game against GWU at the Smith Center is likely a sign of progress for Pat Kennedy’s team. One major problem from last night? They got just one point from Troy Franklin. I don’t think they’ll win many games that way.

Towson now heads to Catonsville next for a contest with UMBC at RAC Arena Saturday night. The Retrievers had a rough night last night, as they were pounded by Rider 81-39. I’d tell you something about that game, but what the hell is there to say?

9. The AP says Shane Walker & Robert Olson each scored 14, but Loyola lost to George Mason in Fairfax

Tough night for Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds last night at the Patriot Center.

In honor of the holiday season, I’m going to try to make some spirits bright here. Here’s a picture of Tehmeena Afzal. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

afzal

10. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terrapins Offensive Coordinator James Franklin finalist for head coaching gig at Vanderbilt

This COULD end up being helpful for Kevin Anderson and the folks in College Park.

James Franklin did a HELL of a job with Danny O’Brien this season. Should he leave for the Commodores, his leadership would be missed.

But the Terps have a MESS on their hands with this transition. Either they’re going to have to force Ralph Friedgen out and give the job to Franklin (which didn’t seem so unlikely a season ago), or they’re going to have to dish out a million bucks they don’t have.

If Franklin heads to Nashville, Maryland avoids that problem. Either they can extend Friedgen should he have another good season or they can hire whatever available coach they want to hire.

But bear in mind-the leadership at the University of Maryland WANTED James Franklin to be the next head coach. The move wasn’t just made to keep him from going back to Kansas State. They ABSOLUTELY thought Franklin represented what they wanted in a head coach.

It’s just become a much stickier situation than they originally expected.

And finally, I leave you with this.

Time for a few new versions of “The Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

It’s a Christmas edition this time around.

The retro version of TGSOATTW is “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds. WIN.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x33XlnWWfaI[/youtube]

The new version is the version of “Last Christmas” they did on GLEE. Please don’t judge me because I like this.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoNvv7hq364[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Stephen Curry threw a pretty ridiculous half court alley-oop to Dorell Wright last night in Oakland…

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says ‘rivalry week’ atmosphere setting in for Ravens at 1 Winning Drive

In fact, I heard that instead of giving away purple towels Sunday night, the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium will be handed t-shirts that read “Duck Fuke.”

Oh, me…

This really is the most exciting game of the year, there’s simply no other way to say it. You can tell from the moment you walk into the building that there is a different excitement and electricity to the week.

It’s palpable.

There isn’t quite the “hurry up and get past it” feel to this week that there was last week leading up to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, or the week before to the Carolina Panthers game.

This week there’s a “hurry up and get there, then please don’t end” feeling.

It won’t be this exciting again until January.

At least…we hope.

2. CSNBaltimore.com’s Joe Platania says Le’Ron McClain only Ravens player not practicing Wednesday

Which is a measure of good news for the Ravens considering all of the named on their injury report.

Dawan Landry was limited, but the rest of the guys were full participants. It would lead you to believe that McClain is the only player in SERIOUS jeopardy of missing Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Of course, if Michael Oher is suddenly missing from practice TODAY-whatever good news came yesterday gets IMMEDIATELY thrown out the window.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Terrell Suggs named AFC Defensive Player of the Month

Well deserved.

What honor comes from winning Player of the Month? THIS picture of Sandra Valencia. (Thanks Brosome via Busted Coverage!)

valencia

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says John Harbaugh dismissed Hines Ward handshake complaints

He handled the question better than I would have. My response would have been “Are you effing serious?”

It probably wouldn’t have been “effing.”

A few things before we move on from the Ravens…

-We’ll be back out in Owings Mills today as the Ravens return to practice. Coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST throughout the day, checking back here at WNST.net and following us on Twitter (@WNST).

-Did you miss NFL Network Insider Jason La Canfora this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today here at WNST.net to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Mike DeCourcy (Sporting News)-who talked early season college basketball with Drew Thursday
  • Our weekly Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From the Bleachers”-as Drew took a shot at “competition” and Glenn Clark took a shot at the Cleveland Cavaliers/Miami Heat buildup
  • Ralph Friedgen (ACC Coach of the Year)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Dave Miller (National Football Post)-who went around College Football with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Barry Barnes (Fanhouse)-who previewed Ravens/Steelers with Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Wednesday
  • All sorts of audio from Owings Mills Wednesday; including Harbaugh, Suggs, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Jarret Johnson and Haloti Ngata

It’s all in the Audio Vault…so…ENJOY! Thank me later.

5. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Orioles make offer to 1B Paul Konerko

And you guys HAVE to feel silly, because I already printed my World Series tickets back when they signed Mitch Atkins. You’re probably going to miss out.

The immediate rumors are that Paul Konerko is probably going to pull a Paul Konerko here. The O’s will offer him a bunch of money and he’ll say “thanks but no thanks.” The word is that because he lives in Arizona, he wants to play for a team that does (at least) Spring Training there.

My suggestion? The Orioles move Spring Training to Tempe. It would at least make me happy. Isn’t that what matters?

If Konerko turns down the money, the Orioles still have to go get SOMEONE. I’m not sure if they’re aware, but Adam Dunn is available. I haven’t heard about them offering him a contract, which is surprising-because he’s pretty good.

Someone should let them know.

6. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Birds could choose not to tender contract offer to Matt Albers

No matter what happens, Matt Albers HAS to return to Charm City. His fake Twitter account is amongst the best in town.

Of course, if Albers leaves town, the Orioles will need some bullpen help.

7. The AP’s Genaro C. Armas says Jordan Williams posted double double as Maryland won at Penn State

The Nittany Lions are SO bad I actually almost felt bad for Talor Battle for a second.

Empty arena in Happy Valley. Teammates that didn’t bother to come back out for the second half.

Wow.

This takes nothing away from what Gary Williams’ Terrapins did last night, as the Terps recovered from a terrible first five minutes to dispatch PSU easily.

It was absolutely what we expected them to do, but it was important that they did it.

The Terps return to action Sunday night when they face Temple at the Verizon Center in the BB&T Classic.

8. The AP says Isaiah Philmore’s buzzer beater lifted Towson past Western Michigan at Towson Center

For the first time in my life, I left the Towson Center last night saying to myself…

“What I just saw was really special.”

(Edit from GMC: No offense to 3 Doors Down, FUEL and Oleander-who put on a hell of a show at the Towson Center when I was in 12th grade. But this was better.)

Troy Franklin and Braxton Dupree did a hell of a job in leading the Tigers back from down 15 in the 2nd half, but it was the John Carroll product who delivered the dagger…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8alC-otdSrM[/youtube]

9. ESPN.com says San Diego State will be Navy’s opponent in Poinsettia Bowl

If I was Ken Niumatalolo, I probably wouldn’t care too much who my Midshipmen were playing…mostly because I’d be in SAN FREAKING DIEGO.

Other things I don’t care too much about? Anything to do with Jessica Burciaga that ISN’T this picture. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)…

burciaga

10. The Sun’s Katherine Dunn previews weekend High School Football championship games

And tonight’s first title game is Franklin-Wilde Lake (7pm, M&T Bank Stadium live on WNUV 54.)

I’ll go 26-16 Indians.

I know this much…North Harford isn’t there. That’s all that matters.

And finally, I leave you with this.

Here are my picks to win this year’s significant Grammy Awards (the nominations came out last night).

Album of the Year….Eminem “Recovery”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5-yKhDd64s[/youtube]

Song of the Year and Record of the Year….Cee-Lo “F*** You” (Language NSFW)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU[/youtube]

Best New Artist….Drake

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRLSQDCkcaA[/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 24 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I (like every Wednesday), can add two songs to the “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” category.

The new honor goes to Dave Matthews Band, who KILLED “Squirm” when I saw them in Charlottesville last Friday. As I’ve said before, there was a time when I didn’t think “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King” was deserving of the Album of the Year nod it was given by the Grammy Awards. I was TOTALLY wrong…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_0cTJF5vw8[/youtube]

And TGSOATTW “Retro” version is a nod to the “family” event that is Thanksgiving. Here’s “Dance to the Music” by Sly & The Family Stone…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiIBwu2mjs0[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Michael Oher, Le’Ron McClain, Haloti Ngata leading Pro Bowl voting at respective positions

Of this group, only McClain and Ngata have REALLY been the best players at their position in the AFC this season. Lewis has played at a Pro Bowl level but is leading in votes by reputation. Ed Reed has barely played but also has a reputation. Oher has had an up and down season, but there was a movie made about him.

Duffy points out that other Ravens are deserving of consideration for a trip to Hawaii. Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin, Ray Rice and Billy Cundiff are certainly deserving of being in the conversation, Terrell Suggs might be as well.

The good news (for people who care about this type of thing) is that the reputation of the organization alone will get more players to the Pro Bowl.

I don’t necessarily care much about which players make the Pro Bowl, unless a deserving player comes up short (like was the case with Jarret Johnson a year ago). Only Ngata and McClain really look like “must” Pro Bowlers this season, so I don’t think I’ll be disappointed when the teams are announced.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens signed former Kansas City Chiefs OL Colin Brown to practice squad

Unreal.

You mean to tell me there was an open spot on the Ravens’ practice squad (after they promoted Bryan Mattison and released Scott Kooistra) and yet they DIDN’T sign Emanuela de Paula? RIDICULOUS! (Thanks Guyism!)

depaula

3. ESPN.com has Ravens 3rd in power rankings

And at 3rd, the Ravens are ahead of every other 7-3 team and even the 8-2 New York Jets. Just keep that in mind.

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

-We’ll be out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today as the Ravens return to practice. We’re expecting to hear from John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and more around noon. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST, following us on Twitter @WNST and checking out WNST.net throughout the day!

-Did you miss Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric Decosta with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault today include…

  • Johnny Holliday (Legendary Terps PBP Voice)-who talked Terrapins football and basketball with Drew Wednesday
  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
  • Joe Beninati (Washington Capitals Play by Play-Comcast SportsNet)-who talked puck with Drew Wednesday
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots from the Bleachers”, as Drew resorted to BEGGING for the Orioles to get better players, and I got soft as I reflected on the community at Thanksgiving
  • Postgame audio from Maryland’s win over Delaware State Tuesday night, including Gary Williams, Cliff Tucker, Adrian Bowie and Dino Gregory
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Jorge Ortiz (USA Today) and Craig Calcaterra (“HardballTalk”-NBCSports.com)-who joined Allen McCallum and Rex Tuesday on “The MLB Report”
  • Andrew Perloff (Sports Illustrated)-who went around the AFC with Rex Wednesday
  • John Rallo (Shogun Fights)-who joined Thyrl Nelson for “The MMA Report” Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’d get over there…like…ASAP…to check it all out. You’ve got a long weekend ahead. ENJOY!

4. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Orioles add bench coach Willie Randolph to staff

There’s a natural “I’ve heard of this guy so I’m excited about him” mentality that comes with hiring a former MLB manager for a coaching position.

My gut says that Willie Randolph will be a nice addition to Buck Showalter’s staff. That being said, we don’t really have any tangible reason to expect that Willie Randolph will make any sort of significant difference in Charm City.

Unless of course he could play first base and hit 40 home runs.

Of course, the Orioles were looking at Victor Martinez to do those things, right? Ummm…..

5. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Victor Martinez passed on O’s offer, signed with Detroit Tigers

Argh.

As I said this morning, I’m not going to give Andy MacPhail a pass here. If everything we’ve been told is true (the O’s offered 48 million and Martinez accepted 50 million in Motown without giving the O’s the chance to counter), I hope MacPhail learned a lesson.

That lesson is that no player REALLY cares about the team’s late season growth under Showalter and their decent young nucleus.

REAL players want to win and want to make money.

Simply competitive offers won’t get it done. The team is going to have to OVERPAY.

The Tigers themselves had to do it to get Magglio Ordonez and Ivan Rodriguez a few years back. It didn’t seem like smart business at the time, but it eventually helped the Tigers reach the World Series.

They knew what they had to do to get players. Andy MacPhail and the Orioles will have to do the same thing this year.

6. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Birds chose not to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, Kevin Millwood

Obviously Millwood was never coming back, but I don’t know what to make of the Koji decision.

The good news here? With one (or both) of these guys gone, maybe the team can consider F.P. Santangelo…..’s future wife Michelle McLaughlin. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

santangelo

7. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Cliff Tucker lead way with 15 points as Maryland topped Delaware State at Comcast Center

A lot of folks were upset that last night’s tilt with the Hornets wasn’t available on TV.

Don’t be upset. You didn’t miss a DAMN thing.

This one was never pretty, and seemed downright strange in the second half. DSU actually outscored the Terps 33-32 after halftime, but that was mostly because Gary Williams decided to play with some strange lineup combos, including one stretch where he had nothing but reserves on the floor.

Berend Weijs had a nice night last night. I don’t think Berend Weijs is REALLY an ACC player however. Then again, I didn’t think Dave Neal was an ACC player either.

Maryland returns to action Friday night against Elon, Luke Jones will host a “Turtle Power” live chat during the game.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins OL Pete DeSouza hoping to return from accident in time for spring practice

This would be a very cool story if it were to play out that way. There was a thought that DeSouza’s football future wasn’t guaranteed in ANY way when he suffered the accident.

Should he return in the spring, it could provide a MAJOR lift to the entire program.

9. The AP says Aric Brooks scored 17 points to lead Morgan State past Western Illinois in Cancun

Kudos to Todd Bozeman and the Bears. If I was in Cancun, I’m not sure how focused I would be on the task at hand. Then again, the “Palace Arena” might help to humble me…

arena

A ballroom. An effing ballroom. Unbelievable. Eh…you’re still in Cancun.

10. The AP says Michael Harper lead way with 21 points as Coppin State topped UMBC as CSPEC

A couple of games today featuring local teams. Morgan plays a second game in as many days at the Cancun Challenge, as they face North Florida. Towson hosts Navy tonight at the Towson Center-that game tips at 7. Loyola visits Mike Lonergan and Vermont, that game tips at 7 as well.

And if all of that isn’t enough, here’s a picture of Monica Leigh, too! (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

monicaleigh

And finally, I leave you with this.

The Miz won the WWE Championship?!?!? AWE.SOME.!!!!!!!!!!!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmiF16nE9YI[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 18 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Jimmy Fallon actually did something funny. I won’t even bother with a “no offense” precursor. Fallon really isn’t that funny.

But he was the other night.

Here’s Fallon (joined by Bruce Springsteen) performing a version of “Whip My Hair” by Willow…AS Neil Young.

Sounds complicated. Just watch. It’s REALLY funny.

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens not looking past Carolina Panthers

Nor could they.

As I’ve said ad nauseam this season, it just doesn’t work like that in the NFL.

In the NFL, players literally do nothing all week EXCEPT prepare for that Sunday’s opponent.

Everywhere a player walks in Owings Mills this week, they see pictures of Panthers players like Jon Beason. Every time they talk to a coach, they’re hearing something about John Fox’s schemes.

They might well know that their NFC South opponent is inferior, but they’re still spending an entire week with their single focus on that team.

No one is talking about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No one is thinking about the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New Orleans Saints.

The ONLY thought process in the building this week is Sunday’s game in Charlotte.

In college football, there are distractions. An Alabama player can hear about Vanderbilt all week in practice, but when they go to class and when they’re sitting around the dorm room; their friends are all saying things like “yeah, but what about that Florida game?”

It doesn’t work that way in the National Football League.

The lecture halls are inside the facility. There are no dorm rooms.

There’s just a focus on Sunday’s opponent.

That doesn’t mean a victory is guaranteed at Bank of America Stadium Sunday. The ball isn’t round. Lots of things can happen.

But if the Ravens were to lose Sunday, it wouldn’t happen because the Ravens were looking past the Panthers this week.

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says secondary play remains ‘primary concern’ for Ravens

As I said before, I genuinely believe personnel to be the problem for the Ravens defensively.

For example, how much better do you think the secondary would be if Chuck Pagano had Tiffany Taylor to work with? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

tiffanytaylor

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Panthers haven’t decided between Tony Pike or Brian St. Pierre as starter

Not exactly Joe Montana or Steve Young, huh?

I feel like Tony Pike’s familiarity with the system makes him the better option; but then again-it’s Tony Pike.

More bad news for Carolina Wednesday, as the team was forced to place RB DeAngelo Williams (foot) on Injured Reserve. With Jonathan Stewart and Tyrell Sutton also banged up, expect Mike Goodson to start Sunday.

So…you know, the Panthers have that going for them.

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Tom Zbikowski didn’t practice again; Tavares Gooden, Todd Heap and Fabian Washington were all limited

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-The Ravens will be back on the practice field today at 1 Winning Drive, with coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg scheduled to speak to the media following practice, as well as RB Ray Rice. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST, checking WNST.net and following us on Twitter (@WNST).

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

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Brett Adams (Mustangs Basketball Coach)-who discussed the “Pride of Maryland” DIII Tournament with Drew Thursday during the Stevenson Coaches’ Report
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From The Bleachers” Thursday-as Drew took a shot at Andy MacPhail and Glenn Clark took a shot at Colin Cowherd
  • Plenty of Audio From 1 Winning Drive Wednesday; including John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Josh Wilson, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason and Jarret Johnson
  • Larry McReynolds (NASCAR Analyst-Fox, SPEED)-who joined Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to preview Sunday’s “Chase for the Cup” finale
  • Clark Judge (CBSSports.com)-who went around the NFL with Rex Wednesday
  • James Franklin (Maryland Offensive Coordinator/Head Coach in Waiting)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for the “Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Heather Dinich (ESPN.com)-who went around ACC Football with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”

Once again, it’s all in the Audio Vault. Make sure you head over there today to check it out!

5. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Buck Showalter not a factor in American League Manager of the Year voting

And I think we’re all smart to enough to admit that because he only managed for a third of the season, he DIDN’T deserve the consideration. It of course doesn’t take away anything that he did for the Orioles this season.

You might not know this, but I get a Manager of the Year vote. It didn’t go to Ron Gardenhire OR Ron Washington. Instead, it went to Jodie Marsh. (Thanks Guyism!)

jodiemarsh

6. WNST.net’s Rex Snider wonders why Andy MacPhail didn’t go after Dan Uggla

Peter Schmuck addressed this in his blog yesterday. Dan Uggla wouldn’t have been a PERFECT fit for the O’s. They already have a second baseman in Brian Roberts, and there would be a learning curve for Dan Uggla should he be forced to move to third base. He’s also only under contract for one more year.

That being said, the O’s could ABSOLUTELY use his bat in their lineup.

Of course, the Birds could use ANY bat in the lineup. It won’t be Uggla, but there are other bats on the table.

I’ve already explained how I feel about Adam Dunn.

7. The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd says legendary trainer Mack Lewis to be remembered with Charm City viewing today

It will be a great regret in my life that I was never able to get to know Mack Lewis.

The man was an incredible example of exactly what makes our city great. Almost in the vein of Bea Gaddy.

He will be sorely missed, and I am VERY sad that I never had the opportunity to sit down and talk with him.

Today’s viewing is from 4-8pm at the Vaughn C. Greene Funeral Home on York Rd. The funeral is tomorrow at 11am at Gilliam Concert Hall at Morgan State’s Murphy Fine Arts Center.

8. The Diamondback’s Jeremy Schneider says Maryland finally expecting big crowd at Byrd Stadium for Florida State battle Saturday night

The attendance has been a MAJOR issue for the folks in College Park.

Frankly, the attendance has a lot to do with why new AD Kevin Anderson wouldn’t guarantee Ralph Friedgen’s future despite solid on field performance this season.

The team deserves a great turnout Saturday night for the battle with the Seminoles.

It ISN’T just a game with major ACC Championship Game implications. It’s actually an elimination game for the Terrapins. If they lose Saturday night, the NC State game the following week will be meaningless, as FSU will guarantee themselves a 6-2 conference finish.

It’s a big game. There SHOULD be a big crowd.

9. The AP says Dylon Cormier scored 20 points to lead Loyola past UMBC at Reitz Arena

Also worth noting that Jamal Barney dropped in 14 points and 10 rebounds for Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds in the win; while Travis King lead Randy Monroe’s Retrievers with 22 points in the loss.

Morgan State is an action tonight, as Todd Bozeman’s Bears get another great chance to knock off a major conference opponent when they visit Providence at 7pm. Providence is picked to finish at the bottom level of the Big East this season, and Bozeman already has a win over a Big East team at Morgan State, as he beat DePaul in Chicago two years ago.

And some NCAA Tournament soccer action tonight, as Pete Caringi’s UMBC Retrievers visit Princeton at 7pm.

10. UMTerps.com previews Terrapins’ tussle with Pitt tonight at Madison Square Garden

I’ll go Panthers 84, Terps 71.

I wish I felt better about it.

To soften the blow, here’s a picture of Kelly Carrington. (Thanks Next Round!)

kellyc

And finally, I leave you with this.

I hope to see you out at the Down Under Restaurant at Fullerton Pub tonight. We’re trying to raise 1,570 canned goods this holiday season-so we need your help!

If you come out, we can BS about sports. Or food. Or beer. Or rock and roll. Or chicks. Or Pro Wrestling. If you approach me with a Chris Jericho-related question, it might earn you a beer.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SCpDUXEOsY[/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 17 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it’s time to name a couple “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” The NEW TGSOATTW honoree is from Zac Brown Band’s new CD “You Get What You Give”, which I can already tell you will be on my short list of nominees for Album of the Year this year. I love the tune “Keep Me In Mind.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFI8Sn-IoSI[/youtube]

The retro version stems from my trip to Atlanta last week, as I was reminded of the greatness of music from A-Town. Let’s not forget that this was the town that gave us the Black Crowes, Little Feat, Ludacris, Usher, Cee Lo Green, Sevendust and of course the AMAZING Outkast; who combine with Erykah Badu for “Humble Mumble”…

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. CSNBaltimore.com says Ravens’ Week 12 game with Tampa Bay Buccaneers at M&T Bank Stadium flexed to 4:15pm

LOVE this. Maryland plays NC State the night before, and I’m hoping it will be a relevant game that gets moved back to 8pm. If it does, I can use the extra sleep. 4:15pm is a PERFECT game time.

You would think that the game against the New Orleans Saints on December 19 would be a prime candidate to be flexed as well. The games at the Cleveland Browns and against the Cincinnati Bengals to end the season probably aren’t the type of premiere battles to warrant national television, but if there’s a lot on the line that could certainly change.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Joe Flacco in Top 10 in NFL in big passing plays

“TAKE THE HANDCUFFS OFF!!!”

Some of the numbers on these 25+ yard passes might be a bit skewed by short passes that ended up going a great distance, but I think this is a legitimate statistic.

I’ve laughed at the “time to open up the offense” comments that some fans have directed to Cam Cameron in the past, but I will admit that the Ravens don’t have the personnel necessary to TRULY be the type of dynamic offense some folks want to see.

Hopefully Donte’ Stallworth can continue to progress health-wise and his speed will add something to the offense. That being said, the Ravens are STILL missing the 6’4″-6’5″ type WR to haul in jump balls downfield. I know there’s the whole NFL Draft process, but could they just petition to pick up Georgia WR AJ Green for the rest of the season?

3. ESPN.com drops Ravens to 4th in power rankings

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

-We’ll be out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today as the Ravens return to the practice field. We’re expecting to hear from Head Coach John Harbaugh, LB Ray Lewis, Flacco and others following this morning’s walkthrough. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST throughout the day, following @WNST on Twitter and checking WNST.net for updates!

-The Carolina Panthers made a roster move Tuesday, signing veteran QB Brian St. Pierre from their practice squad. With starter Jimmy Clausen expected to miss Sunday’s battle in Charlotte, St. Pierre would back up rookie Tony Pike. Armanti Edwards is also on the roster, but the Panthers have been in the process of moving him to WR.

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Orioles have ‘already been in contact’ with free agent Adam Dunn

Is this thing on?

ATTENTION ANDY MACPHAIL: PLEASE FINISH THE JOB!

It is NOT enough to simply talk to free agents like Adam Dunn. Adam Dunn would be an almost PERFECT piece to add to the Birds’ lineup, but he has to agree to come to Charm City.

That’s the hard part.

That being said, Dunn’s been in the area and has played for a wretched franchise with few signs of hope. The American League might help his numbers, and while the Orioles might not want him to play first base-they also don’t have anyone blocking him from the position.

There’s no reason why the Orioles COULDN’T get Adam Dunn. Especially with all of that money they have their regional cable network.

Right?

RIGHT?

5. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says former O’s prospect Scott Moore re-signed with Chicago Cubs

He will be missed.

To warm your hearts with Scott Moore gone, I figured I’d pass along this picture of Candice Boucher. (Thanks Brosome!)

boucher

6. UMTerps.com says Gary Williams announced Tuesday that Sterling Gibbs, Nick Faust officially signed LOI

While we knew both players had already committed to coming to College Park, but it’s always hard to feel TOO confident until that LOI is signed.

Maryland supporters can certainly breathe now.

They both SHOULD be good players at the college level, but clearly there is no guarantee. That being said, it is simply nice to see well thought of players headed to the University of Maryland.

Of course, we thought the same thing when McDonald’s All-American Mike Jones debuted at Comcast Center…

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland center Jordan Williams named to Naismith Award watch list

While I doubt that Jordan Williams will be on the list at the END of the season, it is VERY nice to see his name on these lists (he’s also on the Wooden Award watch list) to start the season.

I did happen to think there was one notable name left off the watch list. Renata Kuerten. I believe there’s no relation to Gustavo. I know I’LL be watching. (Thanks Guyism!)

kuerten

8. The AP says Rashawn Polk scored 29 points to lead Towson past Coppin State at Towson Center

And a nice debut from former Calvert Hall and Maryland big man Braxton Dupree, who tallied six points and 14 rebounds in his Tigers debut.

More local college hoops action tonight, as UMBC visits Loyola at Reitz Arena. Tip-off is at 7pm, you can see the game live on MASN.

And in women’s action last night, Maryland fell to Georgetown 53-45. I thought Brenda Frese was supposed to have a high-powered group this season?!?!?

9. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terrapins trying to avenge ’08 loss to Florida State at Byrd Stadium Saturday

Did you miss Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher Wednesday with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net today to check it out! Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Solomon Wilcots (CBS Color Analyst)-who previewed Ravens-Panthers with Drew Wednesday
  • Todd Bozeman (Morgan State Hoops Coach)-who talked about the start of the Bears’ season with Drew Wednesday
  • Anthony Burgos (Franklin High School Football Coach)-who previewed Friday night’s showdown with North Harford (they’re doing God’s work) with Drew Wednesday
  • Steve Roberts (Arkansas State Football Coach)-who previewed the Red Wolves’ showdown with Navy Saturday in Annapolis with Thyrl Nelson Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Wes Shivers (Strikeforce fighter)-who joined Thyrl Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’ve planned your day for you. You can thank me later.

10. People Magazine says Michael Phelps dating reality TV star Brittny Gastineau

You’re thinking to yourself: “You didn’t really just post this to put up a picture of Brittny Gastineau in her underpants, did you?”

You already know the answer.

gastineau

And finally, I leave you with this.

Complex.com named this Trinity College miracle the greatest trick play in football history. It WAS pretty awesome, but does it top the hook and lateral from Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl? I don’t know…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfKL3EUj7vA[/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 10 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because A-I haven’t gone all Vincent Van Gogh yet and cut off my ear despite the intense pain.

And B-It’s time to name a few “Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.” First is the “new” version of the honor, which you’ll probably make fun of me for. There’s no reason for me to like the song “What’s My Name?” by Rihanna and Drake, but damnit-I really do…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kCXaPcW3Js[/youtube]

As far as my “retro” version of TGSOATTW is concerned, I offer an ode to two things. One, the Black Crowes are at Rams Head Live tonight. Two, with the Baltimore Ravens headed to Atlanta to face the Falcons this week, I remind everyone that the Black Crowes are (along with Outkast) amongst the most significant musical contributions we’ve received from the A-T-L. Hard to believe their version of “Hard to Handle” is over 20 years old…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09WlrVnramo[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens want improved red zone offense for trip to Georgia Dome

As I’ve stressed, there is no simple solution here.

The best Red Zone scoring team in the NFL is the Detroit Lions. The Detroit Lions just so happen to have a 6’5″ star receiver (Calvin Johnson) who has grabbed 8 touchdowns already this season. (They’ve also made a few less trips to the red zone than the Ravens, who are 24th in the league in finding paydirt from inside their opponents’ 20.)

The Ravens just don’t have a 6’5″ star receiver they can lob the ball up towards in the red zone.

This is actually fairly scientific. When you enter the red zone, the field shrinks vertically. There isn’t as much space to find receivers, defenders have less space to cover.

Therefore, teams have to find space in other ways. The best way to do that is to find space ABOVE the ground. That’s where receivers like Calvin Johnson (and Larry Fitzgerald…and Andre Johnson…and Vincent Jackson, etc.) make such a significant difference.

Todd Heap is 6’5″, but just really doesn’t leap like he did at one point in his career. TJ Houshmandzadeh is 6’2″, but plays more like he’s 5’11″. Anquan Boldin is 6’1″ and Derrick Mason is 5’10″.

Without that jump ball threat, it won’t be so easy for the Ravens to improve their numbers in the red zone. Ed Dickson (6’4″) could be the wild card, but he has to continue to earn the trust of John Harbaugh and Cam Cameron just to be on the field.

I don’t expect the Ravens to have another one touchdown in seven trips performance as they did Sunday, but I don’t know that there is a simple solution either.

Of course-limiting penalties would certainly help.

2. WNST.net’s Chris Pika says Ravens-Falcons could be ‘Super Bowl XLV preview’

If I’m a betting man, I’d bet AGAINST this happening.

That being said, both teams are tied for the best record in their respective conferences, and have the one factor that is most necessary to win in the NFL this season…balance.

You can’t help but notice the similarities between Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco to the Falcons’ Mike Smith and Matt Ryan. You can’t help but notice how the teams have running backs that are similar in style in Ray Rice and Michael Turner.

They’re both really good teams who I have no doubt will be playing in the postseason. But if I was a betting man, my money would say they don’t face off again in Arlington to finish the season.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ray Rice admitted he made ‘bad decision’ in taking to Twitter after being pulled over

Thank God Twitter didn’t exist when I was in college. Can you even IMAGINE how many dumb things I’d say? I said enough dumb things on MySpace and Facebook over the years, so I’m just grateful I didn’t have Twitter to worry about as well.

Clearly Ray Rice should have never mentioned that he got a break from an officer and gave him an autograph no matter what the circumstances were. That being said, this is really not a big deal at all. Rice has been a model citizen during his short NFL career, and as long as he gets his window tinting taken care of, he’ll be abiding by all rules again.

This is just a quick lesson in not needing to pass EVERYTHING along via Twitter. A lesson we probably all need to learn at some point.

4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Josh Wilson could be in line to start Thursday night

At this point, Greg Mattison and the Ravens don’t have much of a choice but to start Wilson over Fabian Washington at this point.

That being said, I have to wonder if they’ve considered all options. For example, was Nicole Craner considered? (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

craner

5. ESPN.com elevates Ravens to 1st in power rankings

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

-The Ravens are back at work at 1 Winning Drive today, but today’s walkthrough is CLOSED to the media before they depart at 2:30 for “Hotlanta.” We’re not departing just yet, so we’ll still have Ravens Reports throughout the day on AM1570 WNST.

-Did you miss Ravens DE Paul Kruger with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today at WNST.net to check it out! Other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Andrew Brandt (National Football Post/Former Green Bay Packers Executive)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
  • Steve Gorman (Black Crowes Drummer/host of “Steve Gorman Sports”)-who talked sports and rock & roll with Drew Wednesday
  • Dave Archer (Falcons Color Analyst/Former QB)-who previewed the Thursday Night Football showdown with Drew Wednesday
  • John Rallo (Shogun Fights III)-who previewed Saturday night’s event at 1st Mariner Arena with Drew Wednesday
  • Plenty of audio from Owings Mills Tuesday, including Harbaugh, Flacco, Rice, Wilson and DT Haloti Ngata
  • Urijah Faber (WEC Fighter)-who joined Rallo and Thyrl Nelson Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Tim Strachan (Maryland Football Analyst)-who previewed Saturday’s showdown with the Cavaliers in Charlottesville on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” with Thyrl Tuesday
  • Chris Knoche (Maryland Basketball Color Analyst)-who talked 2K Sports Classic with Thyrl Tuesday as well
  • Ovie Mughelli (Falcons FB/former Raven)-who joined Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive” to preview Thursday night’s game
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked all things Fantasy Football with Rex Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’ve somehow managed to plan your day AGAIN. This is getting totally out of hand…

6. MLB.com’s Evan Drellich says Orioles to reduce seating capacity at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, improve sightlines

And if Andy MacPhail and company had come to Glenn Clark and said “how do YOU think we could improve sightlines at OPACY?”, here’s how I would have responded.

“IMPROVE WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT!!!!!!!!! If I had a bad sightline for the Mona Lisa or a good sightline for a piece of cow manure, I’d pick the bad sightline all day.”

Of course, Peter Angelos and company haven’t asked me for an opinion since…well…ever.

(Edit from GMC: For the record, I think this is a good idea. I just want so many things fixed that one good idea doesn’t suddenly leave me completely thrilled.)

7. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says former O’s manager Dave Trembley accepts minor league gig with Atlanta Braves

Good for Dave Trembley, honestly.

I doubt Trembley will ever get back to the managerial level in Major League Baseball, but this should be a good role for him.

And no truth to the rumor that the Braves only hired Trembley after being turned down by New Orleans Saints cheerleader/Louisiana middle school teacher Chastity McLemore. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

chastity

8. UMTerps.com previews tonight’s tilt with College of Charleston at Comcast Center

Here’s what we know.

While they DID blow out Seattle in their opener Monday night, the Terps were quite sloppy in the victory. Turnovers, missed free throws and failed finishes were all issues against the Redhawks.

The Cougars are going to have familiarity with Gary Williams thanks to Bobby Cremins’ background at Georgia Tech. On top of that, this is a C-of-C team that managed to knock off North Carolina a season ago.

I don’t think the Terps are at risk of losing tonight, but I certainly don’t expect this to be a walkover either.

No matter what, we’ll have the “Turtle Power” chat going tonight at 7pm (the game can be seen on ESPNU with Rob Stone and Jay Williams on the call), Luke Jones (and perhaps Glenn Clark if he can survive his ear infection) will be live from College Park to provide companion analysis.

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins CB Avery Graham and S Desmond Kearse remain out, TE Dave Stinebaugh has not been ruled out for Saturday’s trip to Virginia

Despite Stinebaugh being a proud Perry Hall High School Gators alum, I will be the first to admit that Stinebaugh is not the difference in winning and losing.

That being said, a team that has dealt with so many injuries at skill positions can certainly use a player like Stinebaugh back on the field.

And speaking on behalf of PHHS grads everywhere-we don’t really have a lot of guys worth rooting for around the world, so we need him on the field too. It just makes all of us look better.

10. Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says Navy QB Ricky Dobbs missed practice Monday and Tuesday with slight concussion

Apparently Midshipmen coach Ken Niumatalolo expects Dobbs to return to practice today, so he shouldn’t really be at risk of missing Saturday’s Central Michigan game.

And while Kriss Proctor would probably do a more than admirable job of filling in for him should he miss the game, I would implore the Mids to make sure they consider all options before settling with Proctor. For example, I think Karol Jaramillo might make a good option as well. (Thanks Guyism!)

jaramillo

And finally, I leave you with this.

Apparently this play from a High School Football game in North Carolina last week lead to a penalty. It should have lead to a penalty for being an effing awesome idea…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 04 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Lil’ Wayne is getting out of prison today (or at worst in the next 36 hours). If you don’t know, I LOVE me some Weezy…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV2ssT8lzj8[/youtube]

…so much so that it inspired my greatest Halloween costume EVER…

weezy

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ray Lewis disappointed Shawne Merriman won’t be headed to Charm City

That being said, I never REALLY thought Shawne Merriman was coming to Baltimore. We knew John Harbaugh and company weren’t putting in a waiver claim for a guy whose career has been marked by injuries and ineffectiveness in recent years; and I always thought there would be another NFL team that would want “Lights Out” more.

But I NEVER thought it would be the Buffalo Bills.

This is the part where I’m supposed to say, “As far as the Ravens are concerned, they’ll be fine.” Unfortunately, I have no idea if they will or won’t be. They’re 24th in the NFL in sacks right now, and there’s no simple solution for how the number will improve.

But I don’t think Shawne Merriman would have made the difference in-season.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Zbikowski missed practice Wednesday

And everything points to the idea that Zbikowski won’t play again Sunday when the Ravens face the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens will be okay at safety with Ed Reed healthy. The other question is punt return, where there was hope that WR Donte’ Stallworth could step in immediately as he is expected to return from a broken foot Sunday.

However, Stallworth was not on the field during the Special Teams portion of practice Wednesday. That doesn’t mean he still couldn’t be involved, but it makes you think that maybe the team is trying to limit how much he does in his first game back.

Should Stallworth not be an option, the job would presumably be Lardarius Webb’s against the Fins.

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Matt Birk a bigger fan of St. Paul restaurant than Randy Moss

Should this really be considered Ravens “news”? Eh…probably not.

But does this particular subject reach home with me.

I mean, this would be like me arranging catering from The Fullerton Pub & The Down Under Restaurant only to have Ryan Chell go off about not liking the food.

My initial thought wouldn’t just be “how dare you?”. My initial thought would really be something along the lines of “what kind of idiot are you? This food is delicious!”

4. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg says Joe Flacco gets to gauge himself against fellow ’08 NFL Draft selection Chad Henne

This is actually a very unique couple of weeks. Not only does Flacco get to gauge himself against Henne, but he also gets to gauge himself against Matt Ryan in two weeks at the Georgia Dome.

And it isn’t just the quarterbacks, either.

These two weeks will be a good gauge for the entire team, as everything about the Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons is similar to what the Baltimore Ravens are these days.

They’re balanced. They have young QB’s. They have coaches who are in their 3rd year and have experienced success early in their careers.

And I’m gonna go out a limb here, but I get the feeling they’re also all three teams who enjoy this picture of Melissa Giraldo. (Thanks DJMick via Busted Coverage!)

melissag

5. USA Today’s Jim Corbett says Ozzie Newsome may have put together best O-Line, D-Line combo in NFL

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

-We’ll be back out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today; and we’re expecting to hear from coordinators Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison and Jerry Rosburg. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST and following us on Twitter @WNST throughout the day.

-Did you miss Ravens FB Le’Ron McClain with Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” 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…

  • Karl Alzner (Washington Capitals Defenseman)-who talked puck with Drew Thursday morning
  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • David Pollack (Maryland/Miami Color Analyst-ESPNU)-who previewed the showdown between the Terps and ‘Canes with Drew Thursday
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday-including John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice and Terrell Suggs
  • Scott Miller (CBSSports.com)-who talked MLB offseason with Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • John Czarnecki (FoxSports.com)-who went around the NFL with Rex Wednesday
  • Tom Brattan (Maryland O-Line Coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Steve Henson (Yahoo! Sports)-who wrapped up the World Series and talked hot stove with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”

It’s all there in the Audio Vault, so once again-your day is planned. I can’t believe how good I am to you…

6. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Orioles will hire Wayne Kirby as 1B/Outfield coach

Is there any chance he could still steal 25 bases for the Birds this season?

Or could his brother (Terry Kirby) could return punts for the Ravens?

Otherwise-I don’t really know how much it means to have Wayne Kirby as 1st base coach. Maybe he’s a GREAT addition, maybe he’s just an addition. It’s hard to really make a statement like that at this point.

It IS kinda cool to have a first base coach whose baseball cards I definitely collected a ton of however.

7. MLB.com’s Bryan McTaggert says O’s could spend more money at 1B in offseason than any other position

Once again-problem pinpointed. Now-can we just find a damn solution already?

Unfortuantely, I don’t think Kassie Lyn Logsdon will be an option-even if she would have been the team’s best bet. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

logsdon

8. ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Miami RB Damien Berry will miss Saturday’s game against Maryland

This is starting to get frightening.

How could so many things be going against the Hurricanes going into this game?

Randy Shannon said there’s a 75% chance that Jacory Harris won’t play Saturday, and their top RB is out Saturday as well.

I would STILL remind everyone that Miami has MUCH more talent than Maryland, but this continued good news really makes me think Maryland might actually have a chance.

A chance. Let’s not get carried away.

But if Jacory Harris and Damien Berry were healthy, I’m not certain I would have given them much of a chance at all.

9. LoyolaGreyhounds.com says Jimmy Patsos’ team opens season with exhibition contest vs. Shepherd tonight at Reitz Arena

I dated a girl who went to Shepherd. I know way more about Shepherdstown, West Virginia than I’d ever want to admit. There’s a Clarion Inn there. Don’t ask me any follow up questions to that statement.

For the record, the girl I was dating was NOT Raica Oliveira. If it was, you could ask me as many follow up questions as you wanted. (Thanks Guyism!)

raica

10. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says new facility needed to save horse racing in Maryland

Build a track downtown. Nab the city’s slots license and pair them together. Make it NICE. Sorta like what David Cordish is doing at Arundel Mills…

There’s no reason why this HAS to be the death of horse racing. It just has to be the death of business as usual. That’s tough for a lot of folks to understand…

And finally, I leave you with this.

Am I a nerd if I want to go see Megamind this weekend? It actually looks kinda cool…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJtot_f-snU[/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 03 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because it’s time to name “The Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

As I posted on Facebook last night, the retro version of TGSOATTW is the song “Wounded” by Third Eye Blind. There will never be a day when the song won’t mean the world to me…

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

As far as the NEW version goes, I also showed my hand on Facebook last night. (A reminder that you can be my friend on Facebook by searching “Glenn Clark” and adding the goofy guy in the pink shirt who is dancing at a wedding.)

When we look back on 2010 in the future, there is no doubt in my mind that we will remember it as “The Year of Cee-Lo Green.” For as great as “F*** You” is, there’s something even more amazing about “Old Fashioned”…

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

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says future of horse racing in jeopardy as David Cordish wins Anne Arundel County slots vote

Well…now we know.

I’m completely torn on this entire situation.

On one side, I ABSOLUTELY think David Cordish will create a world-class facility. I think it will be outstanding both on the interior and the exterior; and I think it will attract money from both inside the Old Line State and from elsewhere. His track record makes me believe he’s going to do a hell of a job.

On the opposite side, I also think the vote is an unquestioned blow to the state of horse racing in Maryland-at least for the short term. Immediate slots revenue at Laurel might not have been the BEST solution for the future of the sport in the state, but it was probably the best option right now.

The issue now is all about what the Maryland Jockey Club and MI Developments do moving forward. They’ve stated that this will mark the end of live racing at Laurel Park, with Pimlico instead hosting 40 days of live racing in the Spring.

While that might be a necessary move, it clearly isn’t the best option for the sport. The MJC (and MID) will have to go back to the drawing board and consider other options. Is it time to shift focus to a new track? Is it time to explore options for slots in Baltimore? Is it time to think about how the facilities could be better used?

I do not believe this has to be the final nail in the coffin for the sport in the state. But I DO believe it has the potential to be if the folks involved aren’t willing to immediately change course.

It’s going to be an interesting stretch over the next few months.

2. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome would be interested in Shawne Merriman if he clears waivers

Here we go…

I’ll say this much. If I was the GM of the Ravens, I’d pass on “Lights Out.” I think risking a roster spot in season on a guy whose career has been marked in recent years by injuries and ineffectiveness is a questionable judgment at best.

But I’m not saying that because I believe the team doesn’t have pass rush problems.

The team has MAJOR pass rush problems-there’s absolutely no question about that. I’m worried that there might not be an in season fix for the Ravens.

But I DON’T think the answer should include taking a risk on a player who is surrounded by more question marks than the book “Are You My Mother?”

Now-could Shawne Merriman end up in Charm City? Maybe. There’s almost no chance any NFL team claims him off waivers, so he’ll be available. If he passes a physical and is humble enough to understand that he isn’t the Pro Bowl player he was at the beginning of his career-maybe he’s a fit.

It certainly doesn’t smell like it though.

3. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens not interested in Randy Moss

We knew this-but now we don’t even bother having to mention it anymore.

The Ravens aren’t interested in Randy Moss…even if they should be. To me, this is one of those “right player, wrong time” situations.

Randy Moss would be the PERFECT compliment to Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and Donte’ Stallworth (I’ve never thought TJ Houshmandzadeh was a logical fit myself); but it’s not something that can be forced.

If the Ravens had an offseason to meet with Moss and discuss his role and what their expectations were for him-they might be in a place where they could feel more comfortable in adding him to the mix. But adding a player like that in the middle of the season is dangerous.

But then again…

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

4. National Football Post has Ravens 4th in power rankings

Which seems about right, considering Sarah Longbottom was ranked 3rd. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

longbottom

5. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark lists Haloti Ngata amongst NFL MVP candidates

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

-A reminder that we will be out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today, as the Ravens return to the practice field. John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and others are scheduled to meet with the media following practice-you’ll hear from them throughout the day on AM1570 WNST and at WNST.net.

-Did you miss Greg Gumbel with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? He’ll be at M&T Bank Stadium Sunday to call Ravens-Dolphins for CBS. 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 hear in the Audio Vault today include…

  • Lomas Brown (ESPN)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
  • Craig Calcaterra (“HardballTalk”-NBCSports.com)-who wrapped up the MLB season with Drew Wednesday
  • KC Keeler (Delaware Football Coach)-who previewed the Blue Hens’ visit from Towson Saturday and talked Joe Flacco with Drew Wednesday
  • Reed Harris (WEC GM)-who discussed the UFC/WEC merger and the future of both companies with Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday on “The MMA Report”
  • Kirk Hinrich (Washington Wizards Guard)-who discussed the start of NBA season in DC with Thyrl Tuesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Steve Johnson (Bowie Baysox Pitcher)-who talked about his former San Francisco Giants teammates winning the World Series with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Nate Davis (USA Today)-who went around the NFL with Rex Tuesday
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault. See what I did there? I planned your day for you again. This is getting a bit ridiculous.

6. The AP says Orioles declined option on reliever Mark Hendrickson, give him $200,000 buyout

So long Mark, we’ll always have the memories…

Like….ummm….

In all honesty, Hendrickson was serviceable at times, and was downright EFFECTIVE for stretches against left handed hitters.

I don’t think anyone is crying for the guy when he walks away with $200,000 either. What a nice life that must be…

7. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Juan Samuel apparently coming back to Birds

I will admit that I’m surprised. I’m not stunned, but I’m surprised. I thought Juan Samuel made a statement about what he was going to do moving forward when Buck Showalter was hired-so I didn’t expect him to end up back in Orange and Black.

Of course, Samuel likely thought there was a chance he could end up filling one of the managerial vacancies around Major League Baseball. Clearly this news means that he’s not in the picture for the Pittsburgh Pirates job, and the Milwaukee Brewers decided to go elsewhere when they hired Ron Roenicke yesterday.

As it appears that he’s coming back, hopefully he’ll be able to make a contribution. Sadly, I don’t think that contribution will be 30 home runs.

8. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says corner infield power bat, shortstop, starting pitching biggest areas of need for O’s

Like Dan Aykroyd said to Chris Farley in Tommy Boy, “Great kid, you’ve identified it, the next step is washing it off.”

Andy MacPhail knows what the team needs-now he just needs to go get it.

No problem, right?

Can I add one more name to the Orioles’ shopping list this offseason? I’d like for them to add Jorgie Porter. (Thanks Guyism!)

jorgieporter

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Maryland preparing for either Jacory Harris, Stephen Morris to be under center for Miami Saturday

This is a MAJOR question mark.

Against some teams, the dropoff from starter to backup wouldn’t be the most significant situation facing an opponent.

But if the Terps don’t have to face Harris when they play the Hurricanes Saturday, it is UNBELIEVABLY significant.

It doesn’t mean they’ll win. But it DOES mean they’ll have a chance, which I wouldn’t think they’d have if Harris played.

10. The Diamondback’s Conor Walsh says Terrapins women picked up double double from Alyssa Thomas en route to exhibition blowout over Gallaudet

The inappropriate joke of the day would be something along the lines of “Well-at least the Bison players didn’t have to hear any trash talk from the Terrapins at Comcast Center while they were losing…”

I wouldn’t say that though, because I’m not inappropriate.

Exhibit A: It would be inappropriate of me to NOT pass along this picture of Sofija Milosevic. (Thanks Totally Crap!)

sofija


And finally, I leave you with this.

This is the end of a real live Canadian Football League game. Honestly. I don’t understand any more than you do (Thanks Deadspin!)…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5BFaykcxGg[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because Bear Grylls did a “heli-oop” in a recent Degree commercial (Thanks Deadspin/YouTube!)…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AytBhd_NwH8[/youtube]

In a related story, I once rode in a helicopter. I was so nervous I peed a little. Bear Grylls once drank his OWN urine!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2zITvSp0Hk[/youtube]

You see, he and I have so much in common!!!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Tavares Gooden, WR Donte’ Stallworth don’t expect to find out status for Week 9 until Sunday

My gut says both guys will play, but I feel stronger about Stallworth than Gooden right now. The Ravens not only need a different option at WR (Stallworth POTENTIALLY gives them a speed threat), but they really need a punt returner-especially with Tom Zbikowski still out of practice while he remains in a walking boot.

As far as Gooden is concerned-there is at least a chance the Ravens could choose to hold him out for another week given the depth they now have inside with Brendon Ayanbadejo healthy and with Jason Phillips having played well on Special Teams. But if Gooden is fully healthy-and he looks like he’s pretty close-he plays.

At that point, the Ravens have to find seven true scratches again to go with an injured Zbikowski. The likely names are Scott Kooistra, Dennis Pitta, Ken Hamlin, Arthur Jones, Lamar Divens, Jason Phillips and David Reed, as they’re the guys who have been inactive at times during the first seven weeks of the season.

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Ravens came back to Owings Mills in 1st place in AFC North

Which is better than the alternative, but clearly doesn’t matter much.

The bottom line is that there is little chance the Ravens make it through the rest of their schedule without at least two more losses. They have tough games at the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans; as well as dates with the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. A more realistic expectation is probably an 11-5 finish.

The Steelers’ schedule doesn’t appear to be quite as tricky. The Ravens are the only team with a .500 or better record that they still have to face away from the Steel City. They do have to welcome the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets to Heinz Field; but that schedule sets up much better.

That’s why the Steelers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday night was significant. If they had won that one, they would have been in UNBELIEVABLE shape to win the division. At this point, it looks like the two teams will be in a dogfight.

(Note: This is Week 9. In a month, all of this could be different. In fact, it probably will be.)

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says CB Fabian Washington watched Buffalo Bills tape 3 times, ready to move on

We’ve all had bad moments.

During one of my first overnight DJ shifts back at WHFS, I forgot to turn my mic off after introducing a White Stripes record (I think it was “Seven Nation Army”) and listeners throughout the Old Line State were blessed with the opportunity to hear my variation of Jack White.

Why would I ever listen to that aircheck again? Mostly to make fun of myself. Why would Fabian Washington watch the tapes of getting abused by Lee Evans? He probably did it to get BETTER.

If the Ravens for some reason choose NOT to return Fabian Washington to his starting spot Sunday against the Fins, I would have to recommend they consider Ximena Navarrette. (Thanks Guyism!)

navarette

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says TE Todd Heap ‘feeling better’ after aggravating shoulder stinger in win over Bills

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-Did you miss former Ravens head coach Brian Billick (NFL Network/Fox Sports) with Drew Forrester Tuesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Nick Faust (City Guard/#25 ranked prospect)-who joined Drew Tuesday morning to discuss his commitment to head to College Park in 2011
  • Andrew Perloff (SI)-who joined Drew Tuesday morning to talk Randy Moss and all things NFL
  • Patrick Stevens (D1scourse/CSNWashington.com/Fanhouse)-who joined Drew Thursday morning to talk Terps hoops and Terps football
  • Our “Tuesday Top 7″-which this week was a look at the Top 7 NFL MVP candidates thus far this season
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Monday, including Head Coach John Harbaugh, WR Derrick Mason, Heap and Stallworth
  • Postgame audio from last night’s Maryland-Florida Southern game, including Jordan Williams, Cliff Tucker and Sean Mosley
  • Tommy Polley (Former Ravens/Dunbar LB)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Monday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to discuss Week 8 NFL action
  • Brad Edwards (ESPN)-who joined Thyrl Monday to talk all things BCS and College Football
  • Tim Layden (Sports Illustrated)-who joined Rex Snider Monday on “The Afternoon Drive” to discuss Ray Lewis’ legacy and more

It’s all in the Audio Vault. So your day…for the millionth time…is planned well in advance. Just go ahead and thank me now so you don’t have to do it later.

5. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Jordan Williams lead Maryland with 18 points in exhibition win over Florida Southern

And coming from someone who ventured down to Comcast Center, it was a real thriller. Trust me.

That being said, it was certainly MUCH better than it could have been.

This team is going to be able to get up and down the floor quickly and they will certainly be able to find ways to score points. There’s an argument that Jack McCallum might write his follow up to “Seven Seconds or Less” about Gary Williams’ team.

The real question is whether or not the team is going to be able to shoot. Last night they were just 4-12 from beyond the arc and 18-30 from the free throw line. It goes without saying that those numbers will need to improve.

That being said, they look like they have an identity post-Greivis Vasquez. That’s good news thus far.

6. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins appear to be loaded with “athletic ability”

I wholeheartedly agree. Patrick made a comment last night that this might be the most athletic group assembled in College Park since the Steve Francis/LaRon Profit/Juan Dixon/Terrence Morris team in 1998-1999.

That team was most remembered as being a team that never minded throwing up an alley-oop; no matter where they were on the floor. Of course, that wasn’t necessarily always a good thing.

If we remember, that team was eliminated (in semi-embarrassing fashion) by St. John’s in the Sweet 16 because the Red Storm were an OUTSTANDING defensive team lead by Ron Artest. Should this Maryland team figure out a way to reach a similar level in the NCAA Tournament, it would be an incredible overachievement.

7. UMTerps.com says Maryland QB Danny O’Brien named ACC Rookie of the Week after throwing 4 TD’s against Wake Forest

What’s more? A handful of fans even recognized him as he was sitting at Comcast Center Monday night watching the Maryland basketball game.

It’s really been a surprisingly good start for O’Brien this season. He’s not Scott McBrien just yet, but he certainly appears like he’s a much more naturally able QB than say Chris Turner.

He’s been good. Good enough that if Holly Peers were on campus in College Park, he’d probably be able to get a date with her. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

peers

8. ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terrapins face much more difficult schedule down stretch in ACC play

And before we move on from the Terps, a couple of things…

-On the basketball side, it was announced before last night’s game that Sean Mosley and Dino Gregory would be the team’s captains this season. It was a LITTLE bit surprising considering Mosley is only a junior and both Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie are seniors; but Mosley has a reputation for being a solid practice player and might have more “emotional leader” in his blood.

It also means that the Terps now have two captains from Charm City to go with two of the three assistant coaches on their staff (Bino Ranson, Keith Booth). But someone without a brain will still try to mention that Maryland “cares more about DC than Baltimore.” Lord.

-Also in basketball, the team will hang a banner honoring last year’s ACC (Co) Regular Season champions before next Monday’s season opener against Seattle.

-In football, the ACC announced kickoff times and TV for the team’s next two games. They’re game against the Miami Hurricanes this Sunday will kick off at 12pm and will air on ESPNU. Next Saturday’s trip to Charlottesville to face Virginia will kickoff at 3:30pm and will be seen on ESPN3.com. Hard to generate interest when no one is seeing the games…

9. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Rick Kranitz accepted job with Houston Astros, Texas Rangers special assistant Mark Connor expected to be Orioles pitching coach

Well, if he could help a lowly team like the Rangers win the World Series, just imagine what he could do with the Birds!

(Edit from GMC: Apparently the Rangers did NOT win the World Series. I will be forced to admit that I didn’t watch last night. I chose fake college basketball and Monday Night Football instead.)

I’d offer an opinion here, but it would be misinformed. I don’t REALLY know how much Rick Kranitz did for this team. I do know that the Orioles young pitchers steadily improved last season, so Kranitz might deserve some credit there.

I know LESS about Mark Connor-other than the fact that he shares a name with my 7th grade history teacher. Don’t ask me why I knew my 7th grade history teacher’s full name-and DEFINITELY don’t ask how I remember it.

10. The Sun’s Steve Gould says Baseball America named Manny Machado, Zach Britton top prospects in O’s organization

Yet somehow “JWoww” from Jersey Shore was left off the list despite wearing this for Halloween…

jwoww

Finally, I leave you with this.

In honor of Election Day, I’ll pass along my favorite sign from Saturday’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” at the National Mall in DC. This guy literally made this sign and brought it to a rally. If there wasn’t a legal definition for “awesome” before, there is now…

fajita

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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