Tag Archive | "National Football League"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rice, Suggs In Running For Madden 13 Cover

Posted on 08 March 2012 by WNST Staff

EA SPORTS AND ESPN’S SPORTSNATION KICK OFF MADDEN NFL 13 COVER ATHLETE FAN VOTE

This Year’s Campaign Expands to 64 Players – With Play-In Round Featuring Two Athletes

From Each NFL Team Represented in Head-to-Head Matchups

March 7, 2012 – EA SPORTS™ and ESPN announced today the return of the award-winning Madden NFL Cover Vote campaign, where fans can cast their vote for the next athlete to grace the cover of one of the highest-selling videogame franchises in North America. Last year, nearly 13 million votes were cast through ESPNSportsNation.com and ESPN mobile in both companies’ most successful cross-platform activation. Tenth-seeded Cleveland Browns running back, Peyton Hillis, trucked through the six week competition all the way to the ultimate end zone – the Madden NFL 12 cover.

This year’s competition will incorporate more athletes and more chances to vote as the field has been expanded to 64 NFL players, putting even more control in the hands of the fans. Beginning today through March 21, fans can visit the SportsNation Facebook page to choose among the 64 candidates in a play-in round (each matchup features two players from the same NFL team) to advance to the official 32-player, seeded tournament.  The winners of the play-in round will be unveiled with the official seeded, 32-player bracket on March 21 on ESPN’s “Madden Cover Vote Special” from 5-6p.m. EST.  To ensure their favorite player advances to the next round, fans are encouraged to vote daily and tweet their picks using #MyMaddenCoverVote on Twitter.  Every Wednesday between March 21 and April 25, fans can tune into SportsNation on ESPN2at 5p.m. EST to check out the latest Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote standings.

In addition to the SportsNation Facebook page, fans will be able to vote in the play-in round via the open Web through widgets embedded on blogs, websites and more.  Each widget features an individual match-up for each of the 32 total teams in the league.  For the cover vote from March 21-April 25, all voting must be cast at ESPN.com/MaddenVote.

The star-studded list of candidates participating in the play-in round features past Super Bowl winners, perennial Pro Bowlers and some of the most popular players in the NFL including Drew Brees, Arian Foster and Rob Gronkowski. The full list of matchups featured in the play-in round are:

AFC

Ravens Terrell Suggs vs. Ray Rice Jets Mark Sanchez vs. Darrelle Revis
Steelers Troy Polamalu vs. Ben Roethlisberger Bills Stevie Johnson vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Browns Joe Thomas vs. Joe Haden Dolphins Reggie Bush vs. Brandon Marshall
Bengals Andy Dalton vs. AJ Green Patriots Wes Welker vs. Rob Gronkowski
Texans Arian Foster vs. Andre Johnson Chargers Phillip Rivers vs. Antonio Gates
Colts Dwight Freeney vs. Robert Mathis Broncos Tim Tebow vs. Von Miller
Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Blaine Gabbert Chiefs Dwayne Bowe vs. Derrick Johnson
Titans Jake Locker vs. Chris Johnson Raiders Sebastian Janikowski vs. Shane Lechler

NFC

Bears Jay Cutler vs. Matt Forte Rams Chris Long vs. Brandon Lloyd
Lions Calvin Johnson vs. Matt Stafford 49ers Vernon Davis vs. Patrick Willis
Vikings Percy Harvin vs. Jared Allen Seahawks Marshawn Lynch vs. Earl Thomas
Packers Aaron Rodgers vs. Clay Matthews Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald vs. Patrick Peterson
Falcons Matt Ryan vs. Julio Jones Eagles Michael Vick vs. LeSean McCoy
Saints Drew Brees vs. Jimmy Graham Giants Victor Cruz vs. Jason Pierre-Paul
Panthers Cam Newton vs. Steve Smith Cowboys Jason Witten vs. DeMarcus Ware
Buccaneers Josh Freeman vs. LeGarrette Blount Redskins Brian Orakpo vs. Ryan Kerrigan

The Madden NFL 13 cover vote marks the third-consecutive year that EA SPORTS has asked fans to help shape the face of the Madden NFL franchise through a cover athlete voting campaign.  It also marks the second year of its collaboration with ESPN’s SportsNation.

Madden NFL 13 is developed in Orlando, Florida by EA Tiburon.  For more information about Madden NFL 13, please visit: http://www.ea.com/madden-nfl. To download assets pertaining to the Madden NFL 13 please visit http://maddennfl13.newslinevine.com.

All player participation has been facilitated by National Football League Players Incorporated, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association.

EA SPORTS™ is one of the leading sports entertainment brands in the world, with top-selling videogame franchises, award-winning interactive technology, global videogame competitions and breakthrough digital experiences. EA SPORTS delivers experiences that ignite the emotions of sport through industry-leading sports simulation videogames, including Madden NFL football, FIFA Soccer, NHL® hockey, NBA basketball, NCAA® Football, Fight Night boxing, EA SPORTS MMA and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® golf, and EA SPORTS Active.

For more information about EA SPORTS, including news, video, blogs, forums and game apps, please visit www.easports.com to connect, share and compete.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company’s game franchises are offered as both packaged goods products and online services delivered through Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones and tablets. EA has more than 100 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2011, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.6 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster franchises such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™, and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Active, The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd.  Battlefield is a trademark of EA Digital Illusions CE AB.  John Madden, NFL, FIFA, NHL, NBA, NCAA, Tiger Woods, and PGA TOUR are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission.  Twitter is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Officially Licensed Product of National Football League Players Incorporated.

About SportsNation

SportsNation is a live sports television show born from the Internet, fueled by fan interaction and focused on fun.  The show, which has the youngest and most male audience on the ESPN network, features discussions of the day’s hottest sports topics but also smaller stories that generate buzz on the Web but are overlooked by other shows.  Feeding off the theory that if two heads are better than one, 200,000 heads are better than two, SportsNation engages hundreds of thousands of sports fans across the country via ESPN.com’s SportsNation page (http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/).

About ESPN Games and EA

ESPN’s long-standing relationship with EA produces deep brand integrations into console gaming titles such as EA SPORTS NCAA Football 12 and Fight Night Champion.  Additionally, the relationship in 2011 produced the biggest ESPN poll vote ever for the Madden NFL 12 cover vote, logging nearly 13 million votes, the most ESPN votes ever for a joint collaboration.  The Emmy award-winning EA Virtual Playbook also most recently extended to boxing and golf in 2011.

###

PLAY-IN ROUND VOTING THRU FACEBOOK & OPEN WEB

Thanks for your interest in SportsNation’s Madden NFL 13 Cover Vote.

EA Sports and ESPN’s SportsNation have chosen two players from each NFL team to be included in a social play-in round for the Madden NFL 13 cover.

Starting March 7th on SportsNation’s Facebook page and on voting matchups called ‘sapplets’ or ‘widgets’ embedded across open web (info below), fans will be able to vote on matchups from each NFL team to send one representative into the final bracket of 32 players at ESPN.com/MaddenVote on March 21st.

If you choose to embed one of the 32 individual voting ‘sapplets’, you can use the next page that includes all 32 embed codes for all 32 NFL teams. They post to your site much like a YouTube clip and can increase time spent on your site as well as traffic by generating debate about matchups.

The social Play-in vote launches on Wednesday, March 7th and closes two week later on Wednesday, March 21st. The Facebook tab and voting ‘sapplets’ will be live during those two weeks.

CHEAT SHEET:

WAY TO EMBED:

  • Go to page 2. Find your team.
  • Copy the embed code.
  • Paste the embed code onto your website where you would embed a YouTube clip.
  • The voting platform is ready and interactive on your page!
  • Please Note: do NOT embed on Tumblr and do NOT change the height & width

Canvas

NEW embed Code

49ers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1dce569c1” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Chiefs Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1e2f12fa0” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Broncos Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1e554e7b8” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Chargers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1e8357b31” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Raiders Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1eef16cb1” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Cardinals Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1f1180d75” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Rams Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1f3a44b7c” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Seahawks Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1fa90e9de” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Dolphins Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c1fd45f2ef” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Jets Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c20e43130c” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Bills Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c2117d9a4d” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Patriots Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c21a1d4a02” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Giants Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c21c93fefb” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Redskins Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c21edd2a3b” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Eagles Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c225bd9182” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Cowboys Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c228424971” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Texans Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c22a20240b” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Colts Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c22c505848” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Titans Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c22ea335e8” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Jaguars Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c23073bbef” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Falcons Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c232133f2a” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Panthers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c233b11b9a” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Buccaneers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c235a0c71c” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Saints Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c2378c8dfb” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Browns Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c239565408” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Ravens Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c23b5bf95d” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Bengals Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c23f69ceda” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Steelers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c2419ba2ea” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Vikings Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c244215f0e” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Lions Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c246389df6” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Bears Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c24811d1b2” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Packers Vote

<iframe frameborder=”0″ src=”https://channel.buddymedia.com/fanpage/index.php?canvas=4f3c249f8b23a” style=”height: 447px; width: 520px; “></iframe>

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Letters From Sylvia Mackey, Sandra Unitas Address Forgotten Widows

Posted on 06 March 2012 by WNST Staff

Letters Taken From FourthAndGoalUnites.com…

My husband played 18 years in the National Football League – 17 seasons with the Baltimore Colts and one with the San Diego Chargers.

My husband completed 2,830 passes for more than 40,000 yards and 290 touchdowns during his NFL career. He threw at least one touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games – an NFL record that still stands today.

My husband was honored as the league’s Player of the Year three times. He was named All-Pro six times and selected for the Pro Bowl 10 times.

My husband was the quarterback of the 1958 NFL Championship Game – the first “sudden death” playoff game – that launched the nearly 54-year lucrative partnership between the league and television.

My husband suffered numerous injuries during his NFL career, including a broken nose, punctured lung, damaged knees, a shattered knuckle, ligament and ulnar nerve damage to his right arm, and broken ribs. He played through many of those injuries and, years later, when he lost the use of his right hand due to a football injury, the league he loved and the union he supported denied him disability benefits.

My husband worked diligently to protect not only himself and his family, but also his teammates and their families. A team leader on and off the field, my husband was greatly concerned about those who couldn’t afford health insurance following their NFL careers.

My husband chose the pension option that would continue following his death, to ensure that I would be covered. Recently I learned that I – along with more than 300 other widows of retired players who were receiving their pensions and died prior to August 4, 2011 – am excluded from the Legacy Benefit.

My husband – like so many pioneers of the league – helped build the league and the union. While the league has offered assurances that they will rectify the situation, the union has remained silent.

My husband would be appalled.

Sandra Unitas, widow of NFL Hall of Fame QB John Unitas

Comments (1)

Your Monday Reality Check-We’d Be Defensive And We’d Be Wrong

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check-We’d Be Defensive And We’d Be Wrong

Posted on 05 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ll just say this up front and deal with the consequences of the comment at some other.

I know-as a fact-that at least one high profile Baltimore Ravens player has been involved with a “Pay For Play” scheme of some sort. That discovery was confirmed to me by both a current and former teammate.

This column isn’t about the details of that revelation, as I have not found the details to be particularly newsworthy. If that changes in the future, I will fully accept the responsibility of sharing them publicly. Instead I bring the note up only to make it known that such schemes are not so particularly unique and it is easy for others around the game of football to offer perspective and commentary.

I also share this to set the tone for an answer to a question asked many times since the “Bountygate” saga surrounding the New Orleans Saints and former Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams broke days ago.

“How would we react if it had been the Ravens?”

The question has been asked in the face of sharp criticism levied in the direction of Williams and company. National writers and local analysts alike have cried for severe punishment for both the individuals and the organization. Amongst the penalties suggested have been the loss of draft picks, six to seven figure fines, firings, suspensions and even the forfeiture of the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV title.

We’ll find out reasonably soon what the actual penalties will be, but the down time between the release of the National Football League’s findings and sentencing has certainly allowed for sports media driven by the NFL to run wild with questions/comments.

There don’t appear to be great numbers of supporters of the Saints’ sins, but there certainly appears to be more than a few football fans who have been willing to suggest “everyone does this” or “injuries are a part of the game” as a response.

There is a sense of relevancy at least to the latter. There is an awkward nature about every football game played at every level. Every competitor in every game lines up knowing their chances of victory would be greatly improved if their opponents’ best players weren’t on the field.

It doesn’t mean players have regularly worked to ensure their opponents left the field early, it just means the thought is always very much in their minds.

It certainly doesn’t mean it is okay for a coach/organization to pay players as a bonus for injuring opponents.

The other question regularly asked by the small group of Saints defenders is “how would you feel if it was your favorite team?” As I’ve already noted, I’ve wavered on this since first being asked.

Here’s my gut feeling. If the circumstances were either the same (or at least in some way similar), Charm City would be likely to be supportive of the Ravens. If Gregg Williams was Rex Ryan or Chuck Pagano and Sean Payton was John Harbaugh and the players involved were actually Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Jarret Johnson-we’d be much less likely to call for a death penalty-caliber punishment.

We’d be way more likely to be defensive of the persons involved, suggesting “the bounty wasn’t the reason the unit was successful” or reminding fans that bounties have existed throughout football history.

We’d do it for the same reason San Francisco Giants fans continued to support slugger Barry Bonds despite the escalating evidence suggesting Major League Baseball’s all-time home run king perhaps cheated en route.

I’m not suggesting a football bounty in any way compares to steroid use. I’m only suggesting that it is easier to support players/coaches from your own favorite team because even if you don’t agree with their methods at heart, you believe something more significant.

Those players were trying to help your favorite team win.

When a player accepted money from a Saints assistant to go after an opposing player (or for simple on-field achievement), they did so as part of an attempt to win. Not only were they successful, they were so successful they turned a perennially miserable franchise into a Super Bowl champion.

If the Baltimore Ravens were accused of something similar, it would be much too easy for us to just say “I don’t necessarily like it, but I’m glad they did whatever necessary to win.”

It does not in any way alter the actual facts.

The facts here are very simple. The New Orleans Saints broke the rules and perhaps risked permanently altering the lives of men who were friends, former teammates and simply “brothers” on the gridiron.

There is nothing that can be said that will ever make that acceptable in any way. I won’t attempt to tell you what sort of penalty that should bring with it, I will only tell you I too believe it should be significant.

I will also suggest again that asking “what would you think if it was your favorite team” is not a defense Saints fans should even consider in conversation.

I would probably be supportive. I would DEFINITELY be wrong.

-G

Comments (5)

Whatever the max punishment is for the Saints — double it

Tags: , ,

Whatever the max punishment is for the Saints — double it

Posted on 03 March 2012 by Drew Forrester

I realize opinions are like – well, you know what…everyone has one.

But if your opinion is that the New Orleans Saints shouldn’t be punished or penalized for their “Bounty System” then something’s terribly wrong with the way you look at things.

The NFL should throw the book at the Saints, whatever “the book” is.  In fact, whatever the maximum penalty turns out to be, I say double it.

You simply can’t have players in the league creating a bonus structure for injuring other players.  There’s more to it than that, but it really is that easy to preside over if you’re the NFL and the task at hand is determining the gravity of the situation and the penalty for pulling it off for a couple of seasons.

It’s simply unacceptable.

Please don’t make excuses for the Saints…or anyone else in the league who has been guilty of this conduct.

Don’t make excuses for them by saying, “Football is a physical game”.  Or “We like to see those hard hits every Sunday”.  Or “The money doesn’t really change anything, they’re trying to punish each other on every play anyway.”

None of those words pave the way for putting a system in place where players are rewarded for helping to remove an opposing player from the game.

It’s essentially a locker room “prop bet”.  ”Maybe we can’t bet on the outcome of today’s game, but we can put some money up for the first guy to take out the opposing quarterback.”

It’s not gambling, but it’s close enough that the league most certainly could lump it in there with wagering.

And let’s not even mention what happens when the Federal Government gets wind of this and decides to make a big deal about the taxes that weren’t paid on that “income” laying around in the locker room.

But, there’s one element of this that no one has yet talked about that makes rewarding players for injuring other players a reprehensible act.

If they’re doing it in the NFL, it won’t be long before they’re doing it in college.  And if they’re doing it in the NFL and college, it won’t be long before it filters down to the high school level.

I went to a pair of high school playoff basketball games this past week.  I had to laugh out loud at the pre-game introductions of both teams (all four, if you count the two games).  Long gone are the days where they announce the player, his number and what year of school he’s in.  No, no, no.  Now, every starter has his own unique “intro welcome”, where a non-starter stands out on the floor and welcomes the starter when he’s announced by doing a fist-bump, two hand slaps, a quick body-search (as if the police were “frisking” him) and then a big chest bump.  All of that is done in a well-rehearsed routine.  And every player has a different one of those.

Do you know where those kids picked that up from?

College.

I wonder where the college kids learned it?

You can guarantee yourself this:  If the NFL is handing out money for big hits or “cart-offs”, it won’t be long before high schoolers are doing something similar, even if they don’t have money at their disposal.  Teen-agers are extremely creative.  They’ll figure out something to put on the table.  Weed, perhaps?  Or “beer money”, the equivalent of one dollar per-kid in the locker room.

How about this concept:  Maybe an enterprising coach comes along – say a coach who also doubles as a gym, math or science teacher – and starts handing out A’s if the other team’s star player doesn’t finish the game.

If you think high school coaches and players are above shenanigans like that, you’re living in a cave.

It looks like the NFL has the Saints dead-to-rights on this one.  I can’t imagine there’s a “chain of custody” excuse in the offing that will somehow make this out to be less of an offense than it is.

Financially rewarding a player for injuring another player is just about the worst thing you can do in all of sports.

These are fathers of children, husbands of women and good, upstanding members of their community.  Having to spend the rest of their life in a wheelchair because someone wanted to scoop up $1,500 after a helmet to helmet hit is unthinkable, yet it’s exactly the kind of result that’s possible when players are intent on injuring someone else.

It’s unacceptable.

Let’s hope the NFL does the right thing and throws the book AND the kitchen sink at the Saints.

And let’s all hope and pray that this sort of barbaric behavior doesn’t somehow trickle down to the high school level, where kids and coaches are already losing sight of the real purpose of athletics.

 

Comments (9)

Your Monday Reality Check-Ravens Not Surprisingly Doing Right Thing With Rice

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check-Ravens Not Surprisingly Doing Right Thing With Rice

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Stop me if you’ve read this one before.

Nestor Aparicio and I spent the last four days at LucasOil Stadium in Indianapolis for the annual National Football League Scouting Combine. Indy has been a bit of a second home for us over the first two months of 2012. I don’t know I could ever express just how awkward that is.

CBSSports.com NFL writer Pete Prisco stopped by our set Friday afternoon to record an interview that would air later on “The Reality Check”. We talked about a number of subjects, one being the status of Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice. Let me make sure I state this. I GREATLY respect Pete Prisco as a writer and football mind. For those who aren’t familiar with him, he’s been with CBS for over a decade covering the league and has covered football even longer than that. The following are quotes from Prisco regarding Rice…

“I wouldn’t pay any running back.”
“I’d franchise him…that’s it.”
“You don’t pay running backs.”
“If you’re building your team around a running back you’ve got problems.”

Prisco rightfully pointed out that the New York Giants won the Super Bowl despite finishing 32nd in the league in rushing. He also rightfully pointed out that the Jacksonville Jaguars won just five games despite being home to the league’s top rusher (Maurice Jones-Drew). They’re relevant points, even if he ignores the fact that the Giants upped their rushing average to 116.5 yards per game in the postseason and that the Ravens had the league’s second leading rusher (Rice) and were a Lee Evans drop away from playing those Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.

Of course the NFL is more of a passing league. We’re all aware. It doesn’t mean running backs aren’t still dressing for games and making an impact every now and then.

I’m not beating up Pete Prisco here. I’m pointing out an opinion about Rice that has been popular both around Charm City and for many throughout football. There are a number of fans and analysts alike who simply don’t think the Ravens should bother giving their free agent running back a long-term extension. Local writers/bloggers/talk show hosts (including even our own Thyrl Nelson) have pointed out that economically the team would probably be better off just having Rice play under the franchise tag each of the next two seasons.

The numbers would work out to the team having to pay the back between $16-17 million combined in his fifth and sixth NFL seasons, and would not involve any sort of signing bonus. The team will certainly have to hand out much more than that should they extend Rice, even if they come in short of the “Adrian Peterson money” his representation is reportedly interested in.

I promise the next part of this column isn’t meant to be any sort of “I told you so” moment. I’m just glad we can stop discussing that ridiculous thought process anymore.

As I chased Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome out of the media room at LucasOil Stadium Friday afternoon, we had this exact exchange.

“As far as Ray Rice is concerned, it’s definitely the thought process to get an extension done-is it not any thought to franchise him for a year and go from there?” I asked.

He responded “No. We have used the franchise tag only so that we can get a long term deal. We would like for Ray Rice to have a long career in Baltimore. If we have to franchise him, that would be the reason why.”

Nothing wishy-washy there. No posturing at all. That’s about as straight of shooting as a General Manager can possibly offer.

I’m so freaking glad it was Newsome who said it this time so that I don’t have to bother fighting with anyone about it anymore. You DO NOT give the franchise tag to a player if you don’t have interest in keeping him around.

At least…you don’t do that if you’re a competent, well run organization.

(Continue reading on Page 2…)

Comments (4)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Original Baltimore Colts Charter, Unitas Super Bowl V Ring Sold at Saturday Auction

Posted on 04 February 2012 by WNST Staff

EXTON, PA—February 4th, 2012— An anonymous bidder paid $46,000 for a 2011 game used Tom Brady jersey at The Super Bowl XLVI Live Auction in Indianapolis Saturday tripling the presale estimated value. Hunt Auctions had estimated the jersey’s value at $10,000-$15,000 prior to the sale. The jersey was worn by New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady during the October 16th, 2011 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

“The record price for the Tom Brady jersey illustrates the appreciation for high quality game used items relating to the premier players in the game today. Hunt Auctions is honored to have once again partnered with NFL Auction to bring the very best of football memorabilia to fans and collectors across the country,” said David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions.

In addition to the Brady jersey other top bids in the auction included the certificate of membership to the NFL given to the Baltimore Colts in 1953 which sold for $34,500, a Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1970 Super Bowl V championship ring which sold for $14,375 and a 2003 Carolina Panthers NFC Championship ring which realized $10,436. Also impressive in today’s auction was a 2011 Denver Broncos Tim Tebow game used jersey which also tripled the presale estimate of $2,000-$4,000 selling at $14,950.

In it’s 4th year, The Super Bowl XLVI Live Auction is an annual event produced by Hunt Auctions, in partnership with NFL Auction and the NFL Players. A portion of the auction proceeds benefit NFL Charities.

The final selling prices of all the auction items is available online at www.huntauctions.com.

AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: 

Tom Brady game worn New England Patriots jersey (Presale estimate $10,000-$15,000) SALE PRICE $46,000

Baltimore Colts Certificate of Membership to the NFL c. 1953 (Presale estimated $20,000-$40,000) SALE PRICE $34,500.00

October 23, 2011 Tim Tebow autographed game worn Denver Broncos jersey. (Estimated Price $2,000-$4,000) SALE PRICE $14,950

Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts 1970 Super Bowl V Champions 10K gold ring (salesman’s sample). SALE PRICE $14,375

2003 Carolina Panthers NFC Championship 14K gold ring (Player’s ring). SALE PRICE $10,436

Ben Roethlisberger autographed game worn Pittsburgh Steelers jersey with 9/11 patch. SALE PRICE $10,102.75

ABOUT HUNT AUCTIONS: Exton, Pennsylvania based Hunt Auctions has been a leader in the sports memorabilia auction industry for close to two decades. Numerous former players and their families have trusted their collections with Hunt Auctions including Joe DiMaggio (HOF), Whitey Ford (HOF), Curt Flood, Leo Durocher (HOF), Robin Roberts (HOF), Earl Weaver (HOF), Commissioner Bowie Kuhn (HOF), Clem Labine, Mickey Vernon, Jake Pitler, Thurman Munson, Roy Campanella (HOF), Bucky Walters, Walter Johnson (HOF), Bill McKechnie (HOF), Willie Mosconi, and Norm Van Brocklin (HOF). Hunt Auctions is also the Official Auction Company of Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and the Official Auctioneer of Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest. Hunt Auctions has worked with numerous institutions to include: The National Football League, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, National Baseball Hall of Fame, Chicago Bulls, National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, and Baseball Assistance Team.

Comments (0)

Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wrapping Up A Week at Radio Row in Indy

Posted on 04 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was another incredible week of Super Bowl coverage for us here at AM1570 WNST.net. Both “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones as well as “The Reality Check” with Glenn Clark emanated from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis every day. “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio was also part of the daily fun.

In case you missed anything we did, here is a list of the guest segments available for your consumption right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.

-Adam Sandler (Actor)

-Matt Birk (Baltimore Ravens C)

-Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts Head Coach, former Ravens DC)

-Curt Schilling (Former Baltimore Orioles/Boston Red Sox/Arizona Diamondbacks/Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher)

-Shannon Sharpe (Former Baltimore Ravens/Denver Broncos Hall of Fame TE, CBS)

-AJ Green (Cincinnati Bengals WR)
-Ingrid & Sarah Harbaugh (Wives of John & Jim Harbaugh)

-Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions Head Coach)

-Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons Head Coach)

-Marcus Allen (Hall of Fame RB)
-Larry The Cable Guy (Comedian)

-Priest Holmes (Former Baltimore Ravens/Kansas City Chiefs RB)

-Vanilla Ice (Musician/Actor)
-Will Forte (Actor/Comedian/Saturday Night Live alum)

-Lynn Swann (Former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame WR)
-Greg Ballard (Mayor of Indy)

-Dustin Keller (New York Jets TE)
-Jason Taylor (Former Miami Dolphins DE)
-Frank Caliendo (Comedian)

-Jay Mohr (Actor/Comedian)

-David Feherty (Golf Channel)

-Mike Haynes (Former New England Patriots Hall of Fame CB)
-Brian Billick (Former Baltimore Ravens coach FOX/NFL Network)
-Herm Edwards (Former New York Jets/Kansas City Chiefs coach, ESPN)

-Dick Vermeil (Former Super Bowl winning St. Louis Rams coach)
-Marv Levy (Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach)

-Joe Theismann (Former Washington Redskins QB, NFL Network)

-Lorenzo Neal (Former Baltimore Ravens/San Diego Chargers FB)
-Rich Gannon (Former Oakland Raiders QB, CBS)
-Antonio Pierce (Former NY Giants LB)

-Jack Youngblood (Los Angeles Rams Hall of Fame DE)

-Dhani Jones (Former Cincinnati Bengals LB)

-Robbie Gould (Chicago Bears Kicker)
-Morten Anderson (Former New Orleans Saints/Atlanta Falcons Kicker)
-Bonnie Bernstein (ESPN/University of Maryland alum)
-Peter King (SI/NBC)
-Lesley Visser (CBS)
-Sal Paolantonio (ESPN)
-Laura Kaeppeler (Miss America 2012)

-Chrissy Teigen (SI Swimsuit Issue model)
-Will Witherspoon (Tennessee Titans LB)

(More on Page 2…)

Comments (1)

Your Monday Reality Check-Wounds Re-Open With Arrival in Indianapolis

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check-Wounds Re-Open With Arrival in Indianapolis

Posted on 30 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

I had handled it much better than I ever did in the past.

Unlike the last three seasons, I wasn’t on hand to see the Baltimore Ravens’ season come to an end last Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. Instead of making the trip to Foxborough, I stayed in studio at 1550 Hart Rd. in Towson for “The Nasty Purple Pregame Show” and “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show.” I watched the game only with my producer Ryan Chell and I IMMEDIATELY hit the airwaves after Billy Cundiff’s kick sailed wide-not allowing me much time to stew over the dramatic end.

After fighting with a caller who labeled quarterback Joe Flacco as “a bum” following the crushing loss to the New England Patriots, I genuinely felt as though I had moved on. It only took about 30 minutes. No eight hour drive home with other miserable Ravens fans for me, just a 25 minute drive home to Monkton where playing with my dog quickly made me feel better about a tough loss.

On Sunday afternoon the WNST crew (Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones and myself) touched down in Indianapolis for week-long coverage of Super Bowl XLVI festivities at Radio Row. We do it every year, no matter when/where the Ravens’ season comes to a close. Immediately upon landing at Indianapolis International Airport, we were greeted by vendors selling Eli Manning and Tom Brady t-shirts. Everywhere we turned in Indy for the first 12 hours was remarkably similar.

New York Giants stuff here. New England Patriots stuff there. Live NFL Network video of Bill Belichick getting off the plane. Quotes filling up my GMail inbox from Tom Brady and Jerod Mayo as transcribed by the National Football League staff here on site. A replay of Super Bowl XLII following Australian Open coverage on ESPN2.

It all hit me like a ton of bricks. This was SO close to being the Ravens. Perhaps a Cundiff kick, perhaps a Lee Evans catch, perhaps a John Harbaugh timeout, perhaps Joe Flacco not throwing an interception to Brandon Spikes.

Perhaps.

We could have gotten off the plane in Indy and been greeted by Ray Lewis t-shirts instead of seeing Alex Flanagan try to get Lewis to change his mind about retirement on the sideline during NBC’s coverage of the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. We could have been covering the first media gathering of the week for the AFC champs instead of sitting in the hot tub at the J.W. Marriott or celebrating Forrester’s birthday at Buca di Beppo. (Both of these things were nice…but we’d rather not be there.)

It wasn’t as painful to arrive for Super Bowl coverage the last couple of years as there was really no argument that the Ravens may have been the best team in the AFC. Two years ago they were clobbered by the Colts here at LucasOil Stadium. Last year there was the feeling they let one go against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, but at least the loss didn’t come with a Super Bowl trip on the line.

This time there was a REAL feeling that we should be spending Media Day tomorrow chatting up Terrell Suggs instead of trying to track down Matt Birk for five minutes later in the week when he comes to promote the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

It wasn’t the only wound re-opened however.

As you can read about in Monday’s Indianapolis Star, there’s already a bit of a “friendly” back and forth going on between us and some of the folks in “The Friendly Heart of the Midwest.” While most of our comments have been made in jest, there is no doubt that seeing horseshoes everywhere I look and staring at a sign for the “Jim Irsay Collection” at the Indiana State Museum across the street have left a bad taste in my mouth.

The team my father fell in love with is now the reason why a city hundreds of miles from Charm City is experiencing a financial boon. The likes of Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore and Art Donovan left sweat and blood on the field at Memorial Stadium, the value of which has allowed governor Mitch Daniels to make millions of dollars-which will in no way benefit the city of Baltimore.

We don’t REALLY want the Colts back in Baltimore as I joked with the Indy Star reporter. We want an entire civic injustice reversed. We know it’s impossible.

The wounds are fully re-opened here. We’ll make it through (covering a Super Bowl in Indianapolis is STILL better than having to cover the Baltimore Orioles), but there will be a number of times this week where I’ll look over and say “damn.”

-G

Comments (2)

Your Monday Reality Check-Cameron Future Only Part of Postseason Agenda

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your Monday Reality Check-Cameron Future Only Part of Postseason Agenda

Posted on 23 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ve had the opportunity to make a number of radio appearances throughout the country during the last few weeks while the Baltimore Ravens marched along in the National Football League playoffs.

In virtually every conversation, I was asked a question about how the outcome of the next game could alter the future of Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron in Charm City.

It always felt a little strange to be asked about Cam Cameron. Usually I only hear Cam Cameron’s name when a listener/caller screams at me about him. It’s never in the form of a question.

After the Ravens’ 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium, it didn’t take 30 minutes for the screaming to start again. It was a bit odd considering there was really no way Cameron could be blamed for the loss in Foxborough.

The reality is that as the team’s offseason officially got underway, Cameron sits at the forefront. His future can only be labeled as “to be determined”, as his contract expires with the end of the season.

Head coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens’ coaching staff are headed to Mobile, AL this week for scouting at the annual Senior Bowl. It would seem as though the team wouldn’t want the situation with Cameron to linger far into the offseason, especially if they ultimately decide not to retain Cameron after four playoff trips in four seasons and have to find a new coordinator without a likely replacement on staff.

(That’s not an endorsement for either decision. It’s just a fact. I’m actually indifferent towards the situation, as I believe any coordinator in 2012 would need more offensive talent to work with.)

The next pressing situation remains on offense. The team’s Most Valuable Player in 2012 (RB Ray Rice) becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) at a time where NFL teams have been particularly unwilling to invest in long term deals for running backs. Also hitting unrestricted free agency is LG Ben Grubbs, who has never reached a Pro Bowl but has certainly played at a Pro Bowl level. (Monday update: Grubbs will in fact be making his first trip to Hawaii this season as a replacement for Patriots G Logan Mankins.)

There is a likelihood that the Franchise tag will come into play with one of the above players, as it did with DT Haloti Ngata last season before a long-term deal was reached.

DE Cory Redding, LB’s Jarret Johnson & Jameel McClain and S’s Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura highlight other Ravens who become Unrestricted Free Agents. LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (who has publicly stated he would like to play another season) is also on the UFA list, as are OL Andre Gurode, TE Kris Wilson, DT Brandon McKinney and LB Edgar Jones.

(CB’s Cary Williams & Lardarius Webb as well as LB Dannell Ellerbe are restricted free agents, all are expected to return.)

Also on the list of Unrestricted Free Agents is C Matt Birk, who denied a CBS report earlier this month that he had already decided to retire at the end of the season. With no “center of the future” clearly on the roster, it may behoove the team to bring the big man from Harvard back for one more season if he’s interested.

While we await Birk’s decision about his future, future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis told reporters in New England he intends to return to Baltimore for a 17th season. S Ed Reed’s future isn’t quite as defined, as he did not speak to reporters after suffering his second AFC title game defeat. Nagging back and neck issues appeared to affect Reed’s play at the end of the season, but he came with big plays in both playoff games.

Comments (8)

Before Kickoff, Score Is Gronkowski 1-Reed 0

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Before Kickoff, Score Is Gronkowski 1-Reed 0

Posted on 18 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

I can’t believe I’m going to write this.

As a sports talk radio host, my life is basically dependent on getting sports figures to talk. As you’ve seen this football season, it’s been particularly beneficial (at least in terms of viral recognition) when folks like Ralph Friedgen or Joe Flacco have answered my questions in colorful ways.

At the beginning of every week, WNST Executive Producer Ryan Chell and I run through a list of folks we can reach out to for that particular week in hopes of having them appear on my radio show-or any of the other shows here at AM1570 WNST.net.

As Ryan and I were chatting Monday, I mentioned to him that I knew New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski a little bit. I had covered his brother (Cleveland Browns TE Dan Gronkowski) for awhile when he played for the University of Maryland and had stayed in touch a bit since then. I also spent time chatting with Rob at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in 2010 and we exchanged phone numbers as I had reason to believe he was a legitimate target for General Manager Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens in the upcoming NFL Draft.

(Of course, that was well before we found out the monster tight end had failed a physical with the team leading up to the Draft.)

Ryan reached out to Gronkowski Tuesday morning and got a call back from him just after “The Reality Check” hit the airwaves Tuesday afternoon. When Ryan asked him if he would be available to chat with me later in the show, the former University of Arizona star politely declined (he did offer to chat again after the season was over) and deferred to the Pats’ media availability this week.

While I was disappointed, I fully understood. To keep peeling back the curtain, I never allow myself to get too angry when a sports figure doesn’t end up on the air with us. I always tell our staff “they don’t owe us anything” and look forward to the next opportunity to chat.

Baltimore Ravens DL Arthur Jones took us up on the opportunity to chat Tuesday on the show. As much as I tried, I couldn’t get him to divulge information on what kind of pass rush the Ravens would offer in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.

I tell this long-winded story because it ties into some other comments made this week that have lit up Charm City.

Ravens S Ed Reed appeared Monday on SiriusXM’s NFL Radio. You’ve read many of the quotes elsewhere on the internet, including…

“Joe was kind of rattled a little bit by that defense. They had a lot of guys in the box on him and they were giving it to him. I think a couple of times he needed to get rid of the ball. It just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense.”

And…

“He can’t play like that. One specific play that sticks out to me was when Ray Rice came out and got pushed out of the backfield and (Flacco) still threw him the ball and he had Torrey Smith on the outside. I can say that sitting on the sideline or sitting in the stands. You don’t know what someone else is seeing.”

(Continued on Page 2)

Comments (2)