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Spending an evening with WNST and Joe Flacco

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Spending an evening with WNST and Joe Flacco

Posted on 05 November 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

On Monday night, Joe Flacco joined friends of WNST and The Living Classrooms Foundation at The Prime Rib in Anne Arundel County for conversation and charity.

The videos here feature a wide-ranging Q&A and a lot of laughs. Hope you enjoy “An Evening With Joe Flacco.”

 

 

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“The Reality Check” Week 7 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 7 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 16 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week 32)

When you watch the documentary about the 2013 Jags, the highlight will be halftime of last week’s game.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31)

Does the MRSA outbreak even end up in the Top 5 worst things to happen to them this season?

30. New York Giants (30)

They’re on Monday Night Football because ESPN is dying for you to find out what “The Blacklist” is all about.

29. Minnesota Vikings (27)

Oh-also they really wanted you to see an episode of The Voice, too.

28. Oakland Raiders (26)

They beat the Chargers?

27. Washington Redskins (23)

But their Special Teams Unit is number 6.798,544,213.

26. Pittsburgh Steelers (29)

Please tell me this wasn’t the start of them becoming the Steelers again.

25. Carolina Panthers (28)

There’s no in between with them, is there?

24. Atlanta Falcons (24)

Please Harry Douglas. Please Harry Douglas. Please Harry Douglas. Love, former Julio Jones fantasy owner.

23. Buffalo Bills (22)

Matt Flynn will definitely throw for 400 yards at some point this season, right?

22. Houston Texans (21)

They actually can’t get worse, can they?

21. St. Louis Rams (25)

So wait, is Zac Stacy a thing?

20. New York Jets (19)

It would be SOOO Jets for them to beat New England Sunday.

19. Tennessee Titans (18)

Jake Locker’s injury will be an undernoticed major storyline to the season when it’s over.

18. Philadelphia Eagles (20)

Nick Foles definitely starts every game the rest of the way, no?

17. Arizona Cardinals (15)

The good news is that Seattle doesn’t have a Vernon Davis.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The 15-7-0 loves unicorns and show ponies but hates Tom Brady comebacks

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The 15-7-0 loves unicorns and show ponies but hates Tom Brady comebacks

Posted on 14 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

15 positive observations from the weekend of football, seven not so positive observations and we acknowledge a “zero” from outside the world of football. A reminder, there’s never any Ravens game analysis here. We do plenty of that elsewhere. It’s a trip through the weekend of football via videos, GIFs, memes, pictures, links, Tweets and shtick.

True story. Tom Hanks only took the starring role in “Captain Phillips” because he was turned down for a similar role in a movie musical version of the 15-7-0. We parted amicably after negotiations, so truthfully I have not cared for some of the things he’s chosen to say in the media during the blitz for the film. I’ll take the high road…as always.

15 Positive Observations…

1. Tom Brady’s final drive was so good Sunday it might actually HAVE involved unicorns and show ponies.

Yes, Tom Brady threw an amazing game winning touchdown…but…ummm…

Let’s check in with Rob Ryan for his thoughts.

Remember that time Brady played John Harbaugh to Julian Edelman’s James Ihedigbo?

Just a guess, but I’d imagine this didn’t happen after THIS play…

2. So long, Virginia. Will be awfully nice to not have to pretend to have any idea what a Wahoo is in the future.

We won’t miss you.

Boston College toyed with Clemson for awhile elsewhere in the SEC, I assume for this reason.

Further elsewhere in the ACC, Syracuse should probably get their medical experts on this.

3. I don’t know if I feel “good” for Penn State, but watching that game Saturday night made me happier than Dikembe Mutombo blocking a shot.

I made a trip to Pennsylvania this weekend to see the Coyotes ground the Flyers and was treated surprisingly well. I imagine Michigan fans probably got the same in their visit to the Keystone State?

In the loss, credit Dennis Norfleet for…survival?

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Tevin Coleman is why Indiana can’t have nice things.

4. The Cincinnati Bengals are in first place by themselves. Reports say Satan got the better end of the deal.

Ladies and gentlemen, Gio Bernard.

5. Joseph Fauria > Christian Fauria > overpaying for EA Sports’ most recent underwhelming effort.

But we’re probably getting dangerously close to Fauria jumping the shark…

Remember when Brandon Weeden suddenly remembered he was Brandon Weeden?

I know the Browns lost the game, but is there really any loser when you attend a game and get to witness this?

(Continued on Page 2…)

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“The Reality Check” Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 09 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week 32)

Would they lose 63-0 to Florida State?

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31)

The Miami (Ohio) job is open if Greg Schiano’s agent wants to get cracking.

30. New York Giants (29)

But only two games out of first place.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers (28)

They’ll probably be very competitive the rest of the season…in Conference USA.

28. Carolina Panthers (21)

I feel like such a fool for buying into them.

27. Minnesota Vikings (27)

I bet with Josh Freeman as quarterback, they end up as high as #20 on this list at some point.

26. Oakland Raiders (30)

Just when you think you’ve got them figured out.

25. St. Louis Rams (26)

You can only get so much credit for beating Jacksonville.

24. Atlanta Falcons (18)

Just cancel fantasy football season already.

23. Washington Redskins (23)

President Obama also thinks they should consider changing their defense.

22. Buffalo Bills (20)

Starting a quarterback from Duke cannot possibly lead to moving further up this list.

21. Houston Texans (16)

Since it will almost certainly be asked, it CAN get worse. It’s just hard to imagine it will.

20. Philadelphia Eagles (22)

Can only play the Giants twice a season unfortunately.

19. New York Jets (25)

I know they’re 3-2, I just can’t believe they’ll be 6-4 in five weeks.

18. Tennessee Titans (11)

You wouldn’t wish Ryan Fitzpatrick upon anyone.

17. Dallas Cowboys (17)

It’s enough to make you think they’ll be okay in that division.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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“The Reality Check” Week 5 NFL Power Rankings

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“The Reality Check” Week 5 NFL Power Rankings

Posted on 02 October 2013 by Glenn Clark

Glenn Clark’s Rankings…

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week 32)

Hey! Thanks for your tackle! Any tight ends or receivers you’d like to send along too?

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (31)

You think Greg Schiano called Bobby Petrino for tips on how to sneak out in the middle of a season?

30. Oakland Raiders (30)

More wins than the two teams ahead of them, less good players.

29. New York Giants (22)

My buddy Gregg Rosenthal from NFL.com just keeps telling me that if you took the names of the back of the jerseys you’d think they were the Jags.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (24)

They’ll still be winless next week.

27. Minnesota Vikings (29)

Their only win is over one of the worst teams.

26. St. Louis Rams (20)

Sam Bradford kinda makes you long for the days of…I dunno…Marc Bulger?

25. New York Jets (26)

Good news. They’ve left the door open for Matt Sims.

24. Arizona Cardinals (25)

Perhaps they could make a trade to get Brian Hoyer back?

23. Washington Redskins (23)

They beat the Raiders. That doesn’t move them up.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (19)

I’m so stupid I once had them in the Top 10.

21. Carolina Panthers (21)

1-2 doesn’t seem so bad all things considered, does it?

20. Buffalo Bills (27)

Still kinda in denial.

19. Cleveland Browns (28)

Finally NFL Network gets a good game Thursday night.

18. Atlanta Falcons (13)

They’re better than this. They are.

17. Dallas Cowboys (14)

About right.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Purple Reign 2: Flacco & Bisciotti met, talked Super Bowls & millions last August

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Purple Reign 2: Flacco & Bisciotti met, talked Super Bowls & millions last August

Posted on 30 May 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

This is an excerpt from a new, 480-page book on the Baltimore Ravens championship run called Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story. If you enjoyed every aspect of their Super Bowl win in New Orleans, you’ll love this book that chronicles how the team overcame adversity and personal tragedies, and used theology sprinkled with faith, family and love on the way to a Baltimore parade fueled by inspiration, dedication, perspiration and yes, a little bit of luck.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 15 of the definitive book on the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII victory in New Orleans, Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story.

If you enjoy it, please consider buying the books for the holidays as gifts for anyone who loves the Baltimore Ravens.

You can purchase both Purple Reign books by clicking here:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 9 here where Joe Flacco and Steve Bisciotti talk about the risk of $100 million:

You can read an excerpt from Chapter 15 on the firing of Cam Cameron and its impact on Joe Flacco

This is from Chapter 9, “Injury after insult after implosion – Psychology 2012.” If you enjoy this small snippet you can purchase the book and read another excerpt here. You can also join the Facebook fan page here. The book will be released on May 31st and will be delivered before Father’s Day if purchase before June 5th.

 

AS THE TEAM WAS ASSEMBLED in the preseason, questions lingered, but Harbaugh felt great that the team had survived an offseason without arrests, without incidents, without any member of a veteran team blaming Evans or Cundiff for the New England loss. He inherited a fractured team in 2008, and by the summer of 2012 he was feeling good about the unity of the players and their maturity.

But the obvious questions for fans, media, and The Castle staff were all the same:

Is this the last chance for Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Matt Birk?

Will the offensive line hold up?

Can the Ravens win the big one?

Can Joe Flacco win the big one?

As Bisciotti knew on draft day in 2008, and as Newsome, Harbaugh, and everyone else in the organization had experienced the hard way — it always comes back to the quarterback. Was Joe Flacco going to be the franchise quarterback who would win a Super Bowl for the Baltimore Ravens?

Flacco, who played perhaps the best game of his career and threw what would’ve been the pass that took the Ravens to the Super Bowl on his last drive in January, somehow went into the 2012 season as the man on the hot seat who had not only turned down a $90 million offer for more than six months, but who had gone on WNST.net & AM 1570 in April and said he thought he was the best quarterback in the NFL. As much as Tim Tebow was the darling of ESPN with a seemingly non-stop Jets theme on SportsCenter, Flacco became something of a punch line for a quarterback who could get a team to the playoffs, but somehow was perceived as “not Super Bowl caliber.”

Short of catching his own pass in Foxborough, he literally had done everything he could do to get his team into the Super Bowl and yet the abuse was seemingly endless.

But the game is won on the X’s and O’s and the execution, and Flacco knew this. Cameron and Flacco had talked about more passing, more shotgun formations, and more pressure on defenses, but over the summer of 2012 it became clear the Ravens would become more of a personalized offense for No. 5. If the Ravens were offering Flacco $90 million dollars, they’d need to trust him to earn that money. He loved the tempo of the no-huddle offense and loved that it allowed him to dictate to the defense both personnel and pace.

“What quarterback wouldn’t want to run the no-huddle or fast-paced offense?” Flacco said. “Let’s be honest, it’s more fun to play quarterback when you do that. We like the pace we’re running on offense right now, but it’s a work in progress. We’ve done OK, and we’ve played pretty quick. But, we know we can play better, and we will play faster as we get into it more.”

Harbaugh endorsed this ideological move from being a team that always allowed its defense to cut loose while always seeming to fear the worst from the offense — trying to utilize the clock, run the ball, and be more conservative. “We’ve talked about the no-huddle [offense] since Joe’s [Flacco] rookie season,” Harbaugh said. “He ran it at Delaware and has had success in it when we’ve run it the last few years. He is a key to running it, and he loves it. And, we have the parts for it right now, including the offensive line. We can run the offense very fast, a little fast, slower, and we can huddle. We’re in a good spot right now with how we can run our offense.”

While some of the idiot sports talking heads and media types were constantly flogging Flacco, the people who watch coaches’ film were always impressed with him, using the evidence and residue of four straight playoff appearances and his improving game to shout down the detractors.

“We’ve spent time with Joe [Flacco], and I perceive a change in him,” said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, who saw Flacco play at Audubon High in his hometown of Philadelphia. “He’s won since Day One with the Ravens, but he’s more confident now. They’re confident in him, too, and the improved offense reflects all of that. He can make every throw. He can bring his team from behind. The question becomes, ‘Can they win a Super Bowl with Joe?’ And the answer is an emphatic, ‘Yes!’”

Mike Lombardi, who was doing NFL analysis in the summer of 2012 before becoming the general manager of the Cleveland Browns, said “That anyone spent the offseason criticizing [Joe] Flacco strikes me as ludicrous. Flacco didn’t drop the ball in the end zone against the Patriots. In fact, it was Flacco who drove the Ravens to give them two chances to win that game. It was others who didn’t make plays. While he doesn’t play in an offense that shows off his skills statistically, Flacco is a winning QB, and his record [45-21] shows it.”

ESPN’s Ron Jaworski spoke out on Flacco’s arm strength and ability to attack opposing defenses. “Arm strength – that’s Flacco’s No. 1 attribute,” Jaws said. “I get so tired of hearing how arm strength is overrated. It’s far more important than people think. He has the strongest arm in the NFL. And he has an aggressive, confident throwing mentality. The element always overlooked by those who minimize arm strength is the willingness of quarterbacks like Flacco to pull the trigger. Few recognize that because there is no quantifiable means by which to evaluate throws that are not made by quarterbacks with lesser arm strength. It’s all about dimensions. Flacco gives you the ability to attack all areas of the field at any point in the game.”

Flacco took the responsibility as a personal challenge and something he embraced.

“It’s definitely my offense as a quarterback; it’s my job to get out there and lead these guys and direct them and run the traffic, and get it run the way that I want it to be run,” he said in training camp. “Cam may be running the plays, and I may be controlling certain things on the line depending on what the play is, but the fine details of being a good offense are all of the fine details. And it’s my job to get those correct and that we have everyone on the same page. As long as I’m out there in practice getting it to the games and on game day, as long as I’m doing that and expressing to the receivers, expressing to the running back, and to the offensive line how I feel, and what I see back there and as long as we can get on the same page as that together, then that’s when we’re doing something, and that’s when I’m doing my job.

“You talk about being paid that much money, they don’t do that so that they can go out there to do every job, they do that so they can delegate some jobs onto me. And I can go out there and get it done the way it should be. That’s a big part of being a quarterback. To be able to make sure that everything is running smoothly and everybody sees it the way I see it. And that once we get there on Sunday, we can just react and play. Because we’re all up to speed and we all have the same vision of everything. I think that’s what good quarterbacks are able to do, is to take that and then take a certain play and make it great, just because everyone has a good understanding of that.”

By the beginning of training camp it was very clear that the Ravens and Flacco were at an impasse in negotiating a new contract that would replace the final year of his five-year deal from 2008. Newsome called Bisciotti and said that after tireless conversation with Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, there was no way to get a long-term deal and that the Ravens would need to play out the season and consider signing or franchising their star quarterback in 2013.

Bisciotti authorized a final offer – a “bump and roll” contract that gave Flacco a $1 million per year bonus if he won a Super Bowl and $2 million per year for the six years of the deal if he had won two Super Bowls. It would’ve been a raise that stayed on the books for the life of the deal. The average salary number was $16.7 million per year on the Ravens’ base offer, which would’ve made Flacco the fourth-highest paid quarterback behind Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning. Flacco was essentially turning down $90 million because he was rejecting the notion that he was the fourth best quarterback in the NFL.

Linta and Flacco once again turned it down the week before training camp opened.

Bisciotti was flustered, wanting to get the deal done and ran into Flacco in the cafeteria in Owings Mills during the first week of training camp and summoned the quarterback to his office upstairs.

“I had never, ever – not for one minute – even spoken to Joe about the contract,” Bisciotti said. “That was for Pat [Moriarty] and Ozzie [Newsome] to do, but I wanted to take one more swing at it and try to understand the situation.”

They spent 45 minutes with the door closed.

“There are two things here that I don’t understand,” Bisciotti said to Flacco. “I don’t understand why you’re walking away from this deal? As maligned as you are in the press and as little faith as so many pundits have in you, we’re offering you a $90 million deal and you can go wave that in their face and say, ‘F**k you guys! See, the Ravens DO believe in me!’ ”

Flacco was nonplussed. “I really don’t care about my critics,” he bluntly told the Ravens owner.

Bisciotti was exasperated. “I don’t understand it. Joe, don’t you think you’d play better with a clear head and having this contract behind you?” he continued. “You won’t have to answer questions from anybody, and you can just focus on playing and winning the Super Bowl.”

Flacco said it again. “Steve, I appreciate the offer, but I really don’t care about the media, critics, any of it. I’ve gotta trust my agent, and he doesn’t want any incentives in contracts. And I’ve gotta leave it to him.”

Bisciotti reasoned that until they won a Super Bowl together neither one would get that ultimate respect they desired. “I’m offering you a better deal than the one you’re asking me for if you’re planning on winning the Super Bowl,” he said.

Flacco wasn’t upset or emotional, as is his custom. He simply smiled and said he was going to play out the year. Bisciotti said, “Well, I tried,” as he shook Flacco’s hand. “Then go out and put a few rings on my desk and get what you think you deserve.”

“I figured if he’s fine with it then I should be fine with it,” Bisciotti said. “I wanted it behind both of us. I guess I didn’t really understand how different a guy he was. I told him, ‘You are a different cat, man!’ ”

Flacco remembers the conversation vividly. “Yeah, he couldn’t get over it,” Flacco said. “He said, ‘Do you know what you’re doing? This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard!’ I told him I knew what I was doing and my price wasn’t getting cheaper. I saw his point of view but I also thought that I was right. I’m a little bit of a hard head.”

Flacco believed the market always get set by the next elite quarterback that signs and the price always goes up if you perform. “It wasn’t a bad offer but I felt like I could do better if I waited,” he said. Like his adversary in this $100 million negotiation, he had gone to the Bisciotti school of downside management.

“My agent said to me, ‘Think about the worse possible situation and if you’re OK with that then hold your position,” Flacco said. The downside here would’ve been a catastrophic injury or a bad 2012 season on the field. “If I got hurt, I got hurt,” he said. “That’s the nature of the game. I was willing to look in the mirror and live with that.”

Flacco said he turned the tables on Bisciotti: “I told him, ‘You should give me four or five million more now because if I win the Super Bowl’ – and I did say ‘if’ – ‘then it’s gonna cost you $20 million.’ ”

Flacco figured he was still only making his base of $6.5 million in 2012 no matter what. The Ravens weren’t ripping up his deal. It was an extension. And there’s always a new “going rate” for top quarterbacks.

“I was actually glad that he called me up to talk about it because it was a cool conversation to have,” Flacco said. “Even though we weren’t agreeing it was a great conversation. It’s one of those talks that grows a relationship, I think.

“Hey, I tried to throw him a bone and save him some money.”

 

To purchase Purple Reign 2: Faith, Family & Football – A Baltimore Love Story, click here.

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Ravens keeping tabs on McKinnie as New Orleans shows interest

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Luke Jones

Just a couple days after saying the Ravens were “very open” to bringing back Bryant McKinnie, head coach John Harbaugh reached out to the 33-year-old on Thursday to say he’d like him to return to Baltimore this season.

Whether it happens remains to be seen as the tackle said in a text message that the New Orleans Saints are showing the most interest in his services with their left tackle position currently unsettled following the free-agent departure of Jermon Bushrod, who signed with the Chicago Bears on the first day of free agency last week. Former Ravens guard Ben Grubbs signed a five-year, $36 million contract with the Saints last offseason after playing his final season in Baltimore next to McKinnie on the left side of the offensive line in 2011.

McKinnie said that Harbaugh was simply checking in with the 6-foot-8 offensive lineman but wanted him to know he wants him back with the Ravens, who have already lost center Matt Birk from their offensive line due to retirement. The Ravens haven’t had any contact with McKinnie’s agent Michael George.

“They have other things they are working on, so it’s no rush,” said McKinnie, who joked with Harbaugh to tell general manager Ozzie Newsome to pick up the phone. “We will see how things go.”

The Bears showed some interest in McKinnie prior to signing Bushrod away from the Saints. However, McKinnie might be the top left tackle remaining on the open market as teams are now focusing on the best right tackle options available such as Eric Winston, Sebastian Vollmer, and Andre Smith.

Many have regarded McKinnie as no more than a backup plan for the Ravens at this point as they could look to the draft to potentially find their left tackle of the future. However, Harbaugh told reporters at the league meetings in Phoenix that Michael Oher and Kelechi Osemele would also be considered for the position if they do not add another veteran tackle.

The mention of Osemele’s candidacy for the left tackle position is intriguing after Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network mentioned on AM 1570 WNST earlier this week that new run-game coordinator and former Eagles offensive line coach Juan Castillo told him the second-year lineman might be a fit to play on the blind side.

“I think Juan is the single-best developer of talent on the offensive line in the entire league,” Baldinger said. “If Juan tells me he thinks that Kelechi Osemele can play left tackle, I want to see it. I want to see what he looks like if he lines up there.”

The 2012 second-round pick was a three-year starter at left tackle for Iowa State and split time between right tackle and left guard last season.

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neworleans

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Ravens give back to New Orleans police department

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Luke Jones

After triumphing in Super Bowl XLVII last month, the Ravens are giving back to the city of New Orleans.

Owner Steve Bisciotti purchased and donated two 2013 Harley Davidson FLHP motorcycles for the New Orleans Police Department traffic division. The gifts were presented to mayor Mitch Landrieu and police superintendent Ronal Serpas during a Wednesday morning press conference in New Orleans.

The gift was a show of gratitude for the services provided by the city during the Ravens’ stay in New Orleans the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 3. Throughout the duration of their stay, the Ravens received police escorts, 24-hour security, and outstanding community support, according to a team release.

“We wanted to do something to show our appreciation for how well our team, our families, and our fans were treated by everyone representing New Orleans,” Bisciotti said in a team statement. “Every place we went, the good people of New Orleans treated us with kindness and tremendous service — across the board. It started in our team hotel, continued with the police, and included many in the hospitality industry. The people of New Orleans were great.”

Pro Bowl return specialist and New Orleans native Jacoby Jones was in attendance to present the gift on behalf of the organization.

If not for teammate Joe Flacco, who threw for three first-half touchdowns in the win over the San Francisco 49ers, Jones would have likely been named Super Bowl MVP after accumulating a Super Bowl-best 290 combined yards. Jones caught a 56-yard touchdown pass right before halftime and opened the second half with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, which tied for the longest return in NFL history.

“I always talk to my teammates about southern hospitality, and the fact that it was on display enough during our Super Bowl week to have the Ravens donate something to the great people of New Orleans is special,” Jones stated. “Winning the world championship in my hometown and then being able to do something to help the people who protect it is a great feeling.”

The Ravens also took out a full-page ad in the New Orleans Times-Picayune offering thanks to the city and its hospitality.

These gestures aren’t typical of Super Bowl teams in past seasons, but it’s the latest example of the class epitomized by owner Steve Bisciotti and his organization.

“Our officers who assisted the Ravens last month truly enjoyed being of service to this team and this organization,” Serpas said. “It was an exciting opportunity, and this department was honored to be a part of it. These motorcycles are custom-made for the NOPD and are a lasting gift, as they’ll help in our efforts to keep the people of New Orleans safe for many years to come. We can’t thank the Ravens organization enough for their generosity.”

Despite a power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome lasting more than 30 minutes early in the second half, Baltimore prevailed 34-31 to win its second Super Bowl title.

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Flacco hoisting trophy

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RAVENS ROLLER COASTER RIDE

Posted on 12 February 2013 by Tom Federline

It has been a week. What just happened Baltimore? I’ll tell you what happened, the Baltimore Ravens losers of their last 4 out of 5 regular season games put on an inspirational run to win the NFL Lombardi Trophy. Is it time to get off the ride? Heck no, the city and surrounding area actually has claim to another National championship in a major sport. It has been 12 years and you don’t know when it will happen again – no you don’t get off the ride. Now, does the roller coaster level out? I sure hope so. That was one heckuva January run. I am not a fan of the roller coaster, not at this stage of the game. I’m to old, my heart can’t take it. Now, back in the day…………….different story, maybe that’s why my heart and blood pressure tells me,” cool out middle aged guy – just sit back and let the chips fall where they may.” Yeah right – not happenin’.

The Baltimore football Ravens took their fans on a ride of a lifetime. All the while catching the eye of sports fans around the country. Underdogs over-achieving, was story line enough. Then add on the Ray Lewis’ retirement. Then add on Ray-Rays religious dramatizations (and the Saturday Night Live skit http://www.myspace.com/video/saturday-night-live/weekend-update-ray-lewis/109174459 ). You go Keenan Thompson. Then to top it off, add on the sibling rivalry of the Harbaugh Brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl. “O” and don’t forget the Denver Classic and the dis-mantling of pretty boy Brady and his troll coach Bill Belichek.

The run, I mean the ride. I was lucky enough to be offered a ticket to the Colt game. The Ravens were not going to lose that game. Ray-Ray had announced his retirement during the week and it was going to be his last home game – the Ravens were not losing that game. Las Vegas money, Steve Bisciotti’s money and the NFL’s money was not going to end Ray-Rays run on that game. It was not going to be his last dance. It was an ugly game but they won. Denver game – wow, then wow, then wow again. Definitely one of the top 3 Ravens games of all time. New England game – sweet payback and no retirement party for Ray. San Francisco in New Orleans – hold the phone.

The ride had a couple more heart stoppers left in it. Heck at one point, it even felt like somebody had turned off the lights and play had to be stopped. Ravens up 28 – 6, the tide was a crestin’, 3rd and 14 for the bad guys and ”Boom, Boom, Out Go the Lights – Pat Travers Band. Ok gang, I actually have a little experience with this one – Rule #1, Electrical Engineering for Stadiums 101 – “You don’t lose power to the venue – unless there is a major city grid outage.” Two separate hot feeds to the venue with transfer and generator back-up for life safety. I do not know the history or infrastructure of the Super(?)dome, but somebody screwed up big time. Or a 49er’s fan, got access to the Substation or the Service Level and knew what switch to hit.

It almost changed the outcome of the game. I think the astronauts in the space station orbiting the earth could feel the tension emanating into the atmosphere directly above the east coast mid-atlantic region. It was not a pleasant evening there for about 1-1/2 hours there during the 3rd and 4th quarters, now was it. Still on the roller coaster, still hanging on, still hoping for a safe, happy ending. The power outage changed the momentum of the game. I don’t care what Roger Goodell said, I don’t care what Steve Bisciotti said, I don’t care what the Superdome Facility guys said, the power outage changed the game, but not the outcome. The Superdome and city of New Orleans should not host another Super Bowl until a new properly designed facility is in it’s place. The power outage was a nice final hairpin turn on the ride – it did not help the blood pressure.

Ravens Won.

Ravens Won.

A new generation now knows what it feels like for a local sports franchise to win a National Championship. The city needed it. The State of Maryland and surrounding area needed it. The Baltimore Ravens needed it and Ray Lewis deserved it. You Go Ravens!

Pitchers and cathers reported to Spring Training. Are we ready for another ride? Your darn right we are. GO O’s and Thank You - Ravens. Baltimore Sports Pride is front and center.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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My New Orleans march & Baltimore parade Super Bowl scrapbook of Ravens memories

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My New Orleans march & Baltimore parade Super Bowl scrapbook of Ravens memories

Posted on 10 February 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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