Posted on 24 November 2013 by WNSTV
Posted on 24 November 2013 by WNSTV
Posted on 22 November 2013 by Drew Forrester
By this time next Friday, the shape of the Ravens and their playoff run will be in full bloom.
If they win both, that gives them a great chance to sneak in somehow, pending a successful December and/or some assistance from others in the AFC.
Given that both games — Sunday vs. the Jets and Thursday night vs. the Steelers — are in Baltimore, you have to like the chances of John Harbaugh’s team over the next six days.
So do the Jets.
And, yes, the Ravens are a 4-6 team, I know that…and their record indicates “we stink”, too.
But when two stinky teams meet up, the team stinking at home usually wins. See this year’s Bills/Ravens and Browns/Ravens games, for example. Or that Ravens/Steelers game in Pittsburgh back in October.
The Ravens aren’t losing at home on Sunday to a woeful offensive bunch like the New York Jets.
I realize the New York defense is pretty good, which could pose problems for a Baltimore offense that struggles to put together four good quarters of activity on the same Sunday, but unless that Jets defensive unit can shut out the Ravens, I can’t see any way possible Rex Ryan leaves Baltimore with a smile on his face late Sunday night.
The Jets won’t reach the end zone on Sunday. Ravens win in a semi-laugher, 23-9.
Peter Angelos donated $2.5 million to Franklin Square Hospital earlier this week.
His name is attached to several buildings in Baltimore now, a noble gesture from any citizen, no matter how much money you have in the bank.
I’ve said this for a long time now and it will always be worth repeating a few times a year.
Peter Angelos has, in my opinion, not been a very good owner of the Orioles since 1993. Even today, mostly removed from the day-to-day doings of the organization, his stewardship can be questioned if only by virtue of some of the people employed by him in the team’s front office. That said, Angelos has done a lot of good for the “non-baseball” community over the last twenty years with donations and financial assistance provided to numerous organizations that make Baltimore a better place. It’s a shame his good deeds haven’t been publicized the right way by “his people”.
We all might understand Peter Angelos better if, in fact, he was willing to admit he’s a lot more like the rest of Baltimore than he’s evidently willing to admit.
Posted on 12 March 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
When great expectations are met with poor performances, fans and athletes can find themselves at the ledge. That place where the temperature is always rising and the sky is always falling. The good news is things aren’t often as bad as they might seem to be. Here’s a look at who’s on the ledge this week.
The Carolina Tarheels
The Tarheels have been an oddity all season, clearly as talented as any team in the country, but prone also to a frightening level of indifference and lack of basketball IQ far too often. Carolina has the look of a team that spent the off-season soaking up the headlines, accolades and expectations that everyone seemed to be casting in their direction, They also look like a team that believes far too often that they can simply roll out the balls and win with their talent, and on most nights they can. Lately though, the Heels looked to be dialing up for a stretch run and scaring the field at large in the process. The absence of Jon Henson over the weekend though has given the Tarheels and their fans new reasons to be concerned. After losing Henson in a walk over Maryland on Friday, the Heels struggled with NC State and then fell to Florida State in the ACC Final. This time last week it looked like no one could beat the Tarheels without substantial help from the Heels themselves, now it appears they’ve come back to the pack, and maybe too late to develop a real heart as a team. Things are touch and go for Carolina right now as they hope to get Henson and their swagger back soon.
The Minnesota Timberwolves
Long the laughing stock of the league, the T’Wolves looked to be on the rise this season. Despite what many consider organizational ineptitude throughout the Minnesota franchise there are few credible arguments against Kevin Love being anything but the league’s best power forward, and the emergence of Ricky Rubio after arriving at last had Minnesota thinking of playoffs and turning the proverbial page. Now that Rubio is lost for the season and possibly longer with an apparently torn ACL, it seems the season for Minnesota is lost as well, along with their chances at dumping some guard talent at the deadline to reinforce their roster. Perhaps one more lottery bound season will add just the right piece to complete the puzzle in Minnesota but until then the apparent derailing of an unusually promising season in Minnesota has to be tough to take.
Posted on 03 January 2012 by Drew Forrester
In what seems like an annual occurrence in these parts, we’re all once again reminded that the folks running the football team at The Castle know more than all of us…combined.
Not sure what I’m talking about, huh?
Two words for ya: Rex. Ryan.
Four years ago – right around this time, in fact – people in Baltimore were clamoring for Rex to be named the Ravens top man. Players wanted it. Rex campaigned for it, on my show, in fact. The national media assumed Ryan would be the perfect fit for a Ravens club that was in dire need of having its swagger restored.
Fortunately, those in charge at 1 Winning Drive were smarter than everyone else.
All you have to do is look at what’s happened in New York this season to know how smart the Ravens were back in 2008.
They had a chance to hire Ryan, but decided instead to go with John Harbaugh.
Four playoff appearances later, we should all just say “Thank You…and go on our way” (that’s from A Few Good Men, in case you didn’t know).
The predictable meltdown at the Jets headquarters in the wake of their humbling 8-8 campaign rests squarely on the shoulders of their head coach, who – and I can’t believe I’m quoting our resident nutjob from Indianapolis, Merton – is clearly “all bluster and no muster”.
Did you see how the Jets handled losing on Sunday in Miami? Players sulked on the bench, players bad-mouthed teammates to the media, players refused to meet with the press, players gave people the finger and stormed out of the locker room.
What a classy group.
All led by their head coach, of course, who champions that kind of behavior as some sort of merit badge for grit and toughness.
Meanwhile, in Baltimore, the Ravens can put their feet up for a few days and rest before feasting on one of the playoff appetizers at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15.
If you’re not keeping count, I’ll do it for you: Four years — and four post-season appearances from the Ravens under the guidance of John Harbaugh. And while we’re at it, let’s tighten the knee pads a little bit and remind everyone that only ONE team in the entire NFL has made the playoffs four straight seasons. Yep, the Ravens. And John Harbaugh. And Cam Cameron. And Joe Flacco.
It should come as no surprise that the players in New York followed Rex’s lead and basically behaved like 5th graders at recess. That’s how Rex thinks “men” should be treated. Hell, that’s hell Rex himself behaves half the time. It’s a frat house in New York. All they’re missing at the Jets practice facility are bongs and Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” and most of the players would think they were back in college.
Meanwhile in Baltimore, the players are held ultra-accountable by everyone from the owner on down. The last guy to REALLY step out of line in the Harbaugh era was Chris McAlister. Remember him? He lasted exactly five games with John before the new coach sniffed him out as a malcontent back in 2008 and shipped him off to an early retirement.
Rex Ryan is getting precisely what he deserves right now. Chaos.
John Harbaugh is getting precisely what he deserves, too. A chance to go to the Super Bowl for the 4th straight season.
And football fans in Baltimore should once again thank the Ravens for knowing more about hiring people than all of us.
Posted on 02 January 2012 by Glenn Clark
You know how it works. 15 positive football observations, 7 “not so” positive football observations and one “oh no” moment from outside the world of football.
(As a reminder, we don’t do Baltimore Ravens analysis here. We do PLENTY of that elsewhere. This is about the rest of the world of football.)
15 Positive Observations…
Perhaps Flynn’s success had much more to do with the Green Bay Packers’ scheme & wide receivers and even the Detroit Lions’ less than exceptional defense than the former LSU quarterback himself. But as he enters free agency, Flynn may have just made himself a viable option for teams that won’t enter 2012 with Andrew Luck on their roster.
Of course, 80 of his 480 yards and one of his five touchdowns came on this play to Ryan Grant. I’m pretty sure Ryan Chell could have made this throw…
The Packers can sit back and wait to find out who they’ll play in the divisional round while the Lions get to visit the Superdome next weekend. But I’d say it’s pretty much a toss-up as to who has the more difficult road ahead.
In an unrelated story, the Packers went with Pat Lee as their kick returner for the New Year’s Day game. He did something stupid…
And one more-here’s Packers LB Brad Jones handling a fan who ran out onto Lambeau Field…
Much like the Fins a week earlier, the Buffalo Bills worked Charm City into a lather with hopes of ruining the Pats’ run to the Number 1 seed. Also much like the Fins, the Bills for some reason must have thought New England would quit when they fell behind early. But after spotting the Bills 21 points, the Patriots would go on to score the next 49.
But they can’t possibly win the AFC of course because their defense isn’t good enough.
You’ll see a lot of funny things in 2012. I’ll go ahead and guess that there won’t be many funnier than this Drayton Florence flop…
Also of note in this game was Bills WR Stevie Johnson, who exposed a “Happy New Year” message on an undershirt after scoring a touchdown…
It’s a shame Tom Brady didn’t have a “Happy 28 Point Beatdown” undershirt to respond with. For a semi-decent receiver, Johnson is about a full-fledged clown.
Before departing his Offensive Coordinator gig at Auburn, Malzahn pulled out a bunch of tricks (including a Statue of Liberty Play of all things) to help beat Virginia in the Georgia Dome…
Elsewhere on New Year’s Eve Levi LaVallee and Robbie Maddison were doing extreme sport jumping of some sort on ESPN that may or may not have been amazing. None of us really know and none of us really bothered to watch. But technically it happened!
How did I spend my NYE you ask? At a place I can’t name because they aren’t a sponsor. They ARE however the home of Sweet Potato Tots and the “Billy Goat’s Gruff”…
It was a 14 out of 10.
I’d show you video of the play, but it’s not available on YouTube. Instead, those of you who REALLY wanna see it can check it out here and the rest of you can look at this picture of Elsa Hosk. We’ll all meet back at the local saloon.
The San Francisco 49ers clinched the #2 seed in the NFC thanks to their win over the St. Louis Rams. In Baltimore, we just want to say Thank You again. We can’t really say it enough.
The Rams will fire Steve Spagnuolo according to reports. Also according to reports, it will be cold this week.
The Houston Texans didn’t need to beat the Tennessee Titans Sunday for any tangible reason. They didn’t, thanks to Kubiak’s decision to go for 2 late (a decision that backfired after a Joel Dreessen false start and a snap sailed over the head of QB Jake Delhomme-who replaced a banged up T.J. Yates). Let’s take a look at the video board…
Earlier in the game, Bryan Braman made an awesome play…
The Texans host the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the postseason. If they win, the Texans visit M&T Bank Stadium in the divisional round. I would think most of us would be pretty happy with that matchup, especially considering the Steelers could be another option.
Here’s video of the Aggies’ win over Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. You voted it “the video I’m least likely to watch this week” in an informal poll I just took…
Here was Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald’s reaction when he found out I was going to show the highlights of the game…
Of course, that’s the only if Michael Vick stays healthy…and we all know that’s a significant “if.”
The highlight of the day in Philly happened well before Philly kicked the tar out of the Washington Redskins. It happened when Skins OC Kyle Shanahan tried to pump his team up before the game. It was HILARIOUS…
Kyle Shanahan makes Cam Cameron look popular.
Posted on 02 January 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
The end of another NFL season and the beginning of a new calendar year is sure to bring change as unfilled goals and promises demand accountability. Continue Reading
Posted on 20 December 2011 by Thyrl Nelson
Week 15 of the NFL season brought about a heavy dose of perspective and a number of reality checks for teams that rightly appeared to be primed for the playoffs just a week ago. While frustration, part and parcel to any NFL season, isn’t easy to accept, it’s still far better than the alternative…apathy.
Sometimes seeing your own favorite team regularly and up close and for all its warts and blemishes makes it tough to mesh that perspective with the “bird’s eye” view that we get of most teams through highlights and limited national TV exposure. That said, fans in cities from Green Bay to Indianapolis are up in arms over the weekend’s action and could all probably use a healthy dose of perspective.
While the Ravens are far from perfect or infallible, they’re the devil we know, and for that I’m both happy and hopeful. As for the devils that we don’t know, here are 10 of the most interesting NFL storylines that I’m glad to be seeing from the bird’s eye view, as they’re undoubtedly entertaining for fans, but probably best appreciated from afar.
Here are the Top 10 NFL Storylines That I’m Glad Are Playing Out in Someone Else’s Back Yard.
Storyline #10- Suck for Luck
For the first 5 or so weeks of the season there were anywhere from 5-10 interested and interesting looking candidates in the Luck sweepstakes. By mid-season it was down to 2, and as Matt Moore and the Dolphins tried against hope to rally around coach Tony Sparano, only Indianapolis was left in the Luck conversation. That invited a number of other conversations regarding Luck’s potential and Peyton Manning’s future with the Colts. Last week’s win by Indy may have reignited hope in both St. Louis and Minnesota as potential Luck destinations.
Posted on 05 December 2011 by Thyrl Nelson
Here’s a quick look ahead at the agenda for Monday on the MobTown Sports Beat:
The Ravens are always on the table, especially on MSB Mondays. We’ll look back on the Ravens impressive and needed win over divisional rival Cleveland and have plenty of reaction.
Five penny for your thought type topics of conversation and a nail for someone who deserves it.
#1 – BC-Mess or Oklahoma Statement
Despite an impressive thumping of the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, the Cowboys of Oklahoma State will be home watching the BCS title game like the rest of us. There’s little doubt that Alabama and LSU are the two best teams in the country, but do we really want to relive 9-6 snoozer that was the “game of the century” from just over a month ago? And how now can LSU lose a national title to Alabama after beating them on their own field in November and playing a much tougher out of conference schedule and the SEC title game? How much of this is due to the media’s inability to let go of their stated notion that Alabama was the best team in the country in the first place? Would LSU be getting this same opportunity if they had lost at home to Bama?
#2 – Tarheels are Baby Soft
They’re talented, there’s no doubt about that. The Tarheels are inordinately talented for a team in this the “one and done” era, the problem is that they seem to know it too. The juggernaut that Carolina looked to bring to the table after returning Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zellar and John Henson to fuse with the typical insurgence of Tarheel freshman talent so far has been anything but. After stumbling out of the gates last year only to turn it up for the stretch, Barnes looks to be making that his habit. Their talent will be enough to get them by on most nights, but when the real heat turns up, look for these Tarheels to wilt under the pressure like they did against Kentucky on Saturday. They appear poorly coached and at times altogether indifferent. Don’t believe the hype surrounding this Carolina team, as it appears that they themselves have already bought in too much.
#3 – NBA Free Agency to Begin on Monday?
Sort of at least…beginning on Monday it looks like teams will be free to at least make known their intentions and overtures to prospective free agents ahead of Friday’s projected final resolution in the lockout. Big men abound in free agency and no NBA team ever has enough of those. Greg Oden could be headed to the Heat, making him and them even more hated then each is already individually. Additionally, as “Big 3’s” are seemingly becoming en vogue, teams will be looking to fish or cut bait with a few marquee names that could quickly become trade fodder. Derron Williams, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard could all begin or end this season with new teams. And let’s not forget about Danny Ainge’s latest attempt to sabotage the Celtics. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of the Rajon Rondo trade rumors or their impact.
#4 – A.F.Seeding
The top end of the AFC all managed to hold serve on Sunday. Along with the Ravens win, the Steelers beat the Bengals 35-7, the Patriots beat the hapless Colts 31-24 and the Texans rallied behind TJ Yates for a 17-10 win over the fading Falcons, so the logjam continues at 9-3 atop the AFC.
Houston survived a tough opponent behind TJ Yates first start after losing Andre Johnson again mid-game in a scene eerily similar to the one that preceded his last hamstring injury and kept him out of action for several weeks, and Brian Cushing left early too. If it weren’t for bad luck, these Texans wouldn’t have any yet they still refuse to lose in this their ordained playoff season given the absence of Peyton Manning in the division.
The Raiders were blasted by the suddenly resurgent Dolphins 34-14 and coupled with another heroic Tim Tebow comeback effort, surrendered the top spot in the AFC West (by virtue of a tiebreaker) to Denver.
The Titans and Jets both picked up wins to pull even with Cincinnati in the race for the final wild card spot with the Bengalis still enjoying the benefit of the tiebreaker…for now.
#5 – Packers on a Roll
Green Bay survived its first real test of the season on Sunday when the Giants punched in a 2-point conversion to tie them with less than a minute remaining and one timeout for the Packers. We should have known on the kickoff that the Pack was about to do something special. Randall Cobb, who’s having a fine year, took a knee on the kickoff just a yard or so deep in the end zone, essentially conceding that taking time away from Aaron Rodgers and the offense, even a few seconds, would be unacceptable even for a return man adept at taking them to the house. Two plays later the Packers were in field goal range and the rest as they say was history.
If you’re giving me the Packers or the field today, I’ll still take the field but it’s getting tougher to do each week. You could argue that now isn’t the time to be playing your best football, but the Packers have been doing it since week 1 and still look to be improving. They’re much deeper than last year’s injury riddled bunch and now can count themselves battle tested too.
You’d almost like to get an L out of the way before the playoffs start, but if it’s going to happen for these Packers it looks like it’ll happen naturally, as they don’t seem to be slowing at all. Maybe the cursed Colts season has taught a lesson to anyone willing to take note, “embrace the 0, or the 0 will come get you”.
And the nail goes to the Ravens and Steve Bisciotti for their announcement to take their ball and go home, or more specifically to cancel indefinitely the Westminster training camp that had become engrained in the traditions of many a Ravens’ fan who can’t get to the stadium for actual games.
The move has money written all over it, in this immediate aftermath of the NFL lockout where we as a public were forced to endure the tug of war over an unfathomably fat cache of cash that we were all made too well aware of, that seems to be bad form. The team will surely try to make it up to the fans somehow, but attempts will be feeble at best compared to the rite of passage that was Ravens training camp.
(While not a regular attendee at Ravens training camp myself, I certainly understand the loss that some are feeling. As a 38-year old Baltimore native, my only “real” memories of the Baltimore Colts began and ended with training camps at Goucher college)
It’s not lost on us, Mr. Bisciotti, that you’re the same guy who encouraged us to offset the season ticket price increase of a few years ago by selling our Patriots, Steelers and/or Colts tickets as they were doing very well on the secondary market. Clearly the real plight and point of view of the average fan is lost on the occupants of the owner’s box.
What’s not lost on Mr. Bisciotti is the ability to pass the buck, or more aptly to allow crap to roll downhill, as he did by calling it a football decision. By stating that the Ravens were a better football team when they practice at their Owings Mills facility the owner laid blame right at the coach’s feet even without saying quite that much.
The truth is, it’s hard to say whether the Ravens are better or worse when they don’t have a camp, as this is the first year without one and also a year anomalous in the annals of NFL history due to the lockout. Using this season, as a barometer to measure anything is pointless at best and more likely irresponsible.
I’ll agree that life is easier for the Ravens when they don’t have to pack up and move operations from Owings Mills to Westminster and back, but easy isn’t the road to NFL glory. Eight times per season the Ravens will have to pack up and prepare, at least in part, away from the castle, usually in makeshift conditions not ideally suited or built for the purpose of readying a team for a football game. That the Ravens have struggled in doing it this season may speak to the “preparation” they’d have gotten in camp, under similar conditions.
The road to a Super Bowl is a tough one, and one that the Ravens took once already while holding camp in Westminster, and the team enjoys lots of cushy handouts and civic backrubs from fans who’ll never have the chance to set foot in the stadium for a game, to lock them out using the fortress that they in part financed is just wrong.
@ Me Back
@-1: Who are the top 5 on your #NFL rookie of the year ballot?
I’ll go Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, AJ Green, Torrey Smith & DeMarco Murray
@-2: Who would you seed 1-8 in a college football playoff?
Give me- #1 LSU, #2 Bama, #3 OK St., #4 Boise, #5 Stanford, #6 Arkansas, #7 Wisconsin, #8 Clemson/WVU play-in or Oregon if I have to pick 1.
@-3: Who looks the like the best college hoops team so far?
For me – Kentucky, Ohio State, UConn, Syracuse, Missouri…but there’s a lot of teams I haven’t seen yet and a bunch more I can’t wait to see again.
Posted on 28 October 2011 by Thyrl Nelson
This is not an inducement to gamble, in fact it should serve as quite the opposite. It is my attempt at picking all of the games (before injury reports are official) each week. The picks are broken into 3 categories, 5 picks that I love, 5 that I like and the rest.
I would encourage anyone looking for a little extra interest in Sunday’s game to try the MobTown $15.70 prop card. It’s free it’s easy and cash and bragging rights are on the line.
All lines taken from sportsbook.com.
Loves (100 pts for a win and -110 for a loss)
week 7: 2-3 (-130 pts) season: 13-12 (-20 pts)
Saints -14 @ Rams
Lions -3 @ Broncos
Steelers +3 vs. Patriots
Browns +9 @ 49ers
Chiefs +4 vs. Chargers
Likes (50 pts for a win and -55 for a loss)
week 7: 2-2-1 (-10 pts) season: 10-12-1 (-160 pts)
Panthers -3.5 vs. Vikings
Dolphins +9.5 @ Giants
Bills -6 vs. Redskins
Bengals -3 @ Seahawks
Cowboys +3.5 @ Eagles
Feeling Lucky? (20 pts for a win and -22 for a loss)
Week 7: 1-2(-24 pts) season 9-10-2 (-40 pts)
Titans -9 vs. Colts
Jaguars +9.5 @ Texans
Ravens -12.5 vs. Cardinals
Last week Total: 5-7-1 (-164 pts) Season Total: 32-34-3 (-220 pts)