Posted on 04 August 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 31 July 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
The every-fourth-year hubbub about the Olympics and swimming and local connections is underway and once again this week Michael Phelps has entered the worldwide sports consciousness every night as the most decorated athlete in United States history.
So if you’re a provincial, “local” Baltimore sports fan you’re almost obligated to cheer for the kid from Towson wearing the red, white and blue on behalf of our country as well as our community.
After all of the tape delay fiascos from England this weekend – I wrote my two cents here — I started thinking about Michael Phelps as being the unique sports figure of our time in Baltimore. Oh, sure we have some hometown sports heroes like Johnny Unitas, Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken and Ray Lewis, who will all have plenty of bronze likenesses and memories in our community and “time will not dim the glory of their deeds” but Phelps’ accomplishments trump all of them on his stage when you consider his competition around the planet and the scope and magnitude of the Olympics.
And unlike the Orioles, Colts or Ravens, most people have never been anywhere near a pool where Michael Phelps has swam a lap. The closest approximation to a “cheering crowd” for Phelps happened four years ago when the remnants of a Baltimore Ravens preseason game watched him swim for gold inside the stadium about 30 minutes after the football game ended.
You can see my view of it here:
So on Saturday afternoon before Phelps took his first turn in the pool vs. Ryan Lochte, I put up one simple, open-ended sentence for tens of thousands of our @WNST Twitter followers and our Facebook community. It was:
Michael Phelps is ___________________.
There were hundreds of comments across social media and by my count far more than 50% weren’t just negative they were downright personal and abusive in some cases. And this was on Facebook, where people sign their names and add their likeness to their criticism.
Perhaps it’s gold medal envy?
Maybe it was the DUI
Posted on 31 July 2012 by Glenn Clark
Honorable Mention: Pro Wrestling: Ring Of Honor (Friday 7:30pm Du Burns Arena); Soccer: MLS Columbus Crew @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet); Pro Lacrosse: Long Island Lizards @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS Sports Network); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Mercito Gesta vs. Ty Barnett (Friday 10pm from Las Vegas live on ESPN2)
10. Summer Spirit Festival feat. Erykah Badu, Common, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (Saturday 3pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); George Thorogood & The Destroyers (Wednesday 7:30pm Wolf Trap), The Temptations/The Four Tops (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap); 12 Stones (Sunday 6pm Recher Theatre); Old Crow Medicine Show (Thursday 7pm Friday 8pm 9:30 Club), Our Lady Peace (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Toadies (Tuesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Ted Nugent (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Dick Dale (Tuesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Daughtry (Wednesday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric), Lyle Lovett (Saturday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Aaron Neville (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); Civil Twilight (Friday 8pm Rock & Roll Hotel)
It’s really tough for me to choose whether I enjoy Sharon Jones or the Dap-Kings more…
Do people throw Wagon Wheels at OCMS shows? Should they just be called Old Crow Medicine Shows?
We all know America > Canada, but what do we make of the fact that Our Lady Peace is from Canada???
I’m man enough to admit I’m excited about Daughtry. Are you?
9. Tracy Morgan (Thursday 7:30pm & 10pm Howard Theatre); Jerry Seinfeld (Friday 7pm Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts); John Mulaney (Friday & Saturday DC Improv); “Hatfields & McCoys” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “Totall Recall” out in theaters (Friday)
Total Recall is about three days away from release. The number three seems to be relevant for some other reason I can’t think of ohyeah…
Oh and also, here’s Tracy Morgan giving birth. Neat!
Posted on 29 July 2012 by WNST Staff
Posted on 29 July 2012 by Nestor Aparicio
For those of you who have followed my radio career since 1991, you know that I’m a patriotic fan of American sports and the Olympics always seems to capture my attention in at least some small way.
This year, with local hero Michael Phelps back in the daily consciousness, it makes sense that I’d be interested in a Baltimore guy who has already made plenty of history but is trying to nab these three medals to be the most decorated athlete in the history of the world.
He’s from Towson. WNST is in Towson. I’ve attended two parades in his honor. As I said on my Facebook page, he’s kinda a big deal around here.
On Saturday, I began my morning after the Opening Ceremonies at 4 a.m. Immediately, I saw live tweets coming Andrea Kramer and others from London regarding Michael Phelps being in the pool for heats. I turned on NBC before sunrise and watched some early morning pool action. Phelps wasn’t strong but made the finals and I was intrigued by a Lochte vs. Phelps showdown “later tonight.” I downloaded the NBC schedule and saw that the finals were actually happening around 1:30 p.m. our time. The website even has a “your time” vs. “London time” setting.
I literally built my day around watching Michael Phelps swim for a gold medal.
Sometime around 2 p.m. I realized that NBC’s main feed was strangely nowhere near a pool and was more in “female pitch” time, doing feel good pieces on the gymnastics team and showing the already-tired Youtube girls swim team video of “Call Me Maybe” for the fourth time. I thought maybe the schedule on the web was wrong.
Sometime around 2:20 p.m. I became a little suspicious and I had the audacity to open my laptop on Facebook and Twitter and found out within 20 seconds of the end of the race that Ryan Lochte had defeated Michael Phelps soundly.
Within minutes, the global assault on NBC – via #NBCFail — had begun and I was among the millions who were duped into thinking that the biggest sporting event of the day – held in the middle of a sports Saturday in America no less – would be suppressed and embargoed by the network that paid billions of dollars to have exclusive “live” coverage of the London Olympics.
What a strange, stupid decision the folks at NBC made – a mandate to embarrass virtually everyone associated with anything “news” for their whole company.
Then, keeping with the rank and file mandate of some NBC exec in New York, on the 6 p.m. newscast WBAL-TV opted to “pretend” that the race hadn’t happened yet, speaking of it in the future tense. They even did a live shot at Meadowbrook and asked the reporter to drum up “people can’t wait for the race” rhetoric when every 15-year old who swims at the club had known the result for four hours.
Just monumentally embarrassing, especially for a local television station that uses “Live, Local and Latebreaking” as a trite mantra to attract people with gray hair who still think news doesn’t happen until 6 p.m.
God bless Sarah Caldwell (who I like a lot) but if some suit in New York told me to do the nightly “news” and then asked me to stare into the camera with integrity and pretend I didn’t know who won four hours after it was over?
Does anyone over there have a brain?
Twenty minutes later an almost contrite Gerry Sandusky offered to give the result only after pleading the viewership to turn the station off for a few seconds if they didn’t want the result.
Where is Dan Joerres or someone on TV Hill to call “bullhockey” on these goofy local news embargoes, especially when the Baltimore local news leads without giving the Michael Phelps result on the network that had the live rights to it?
The equally corrupt jokers next door at WJZ-TV and the CBS Locals must’ve been howling with laughter in the newsroom.
It’s 2012. There’s this little thing called the internet that allows us to share information in a free society.
But this isn’t as much about the embarrassment of WBAL-TV – heck the AM 1090 radio side proved their mettle as a news organization back during the 2006 “Free The Birds” walkout when the audio broadcast was essentially a 75-minute chant without nary a word of a protest of the Orioles that day – it’s really amazing that anyone associated with NBC’s news operation would bless this style of “journalism” regarding sports.
I guess nothing shocks me anymore – at the local or national media level — especially when a bunch of suits in New York smell freshly printed green money without regard to the customers.
But who exactly are they trying to appeal to by withholding the live events and pretending that anyone would tune in at 9:40 p.m. to watch a swimming race that everyone in the world had access to the result of if they cared enough to care about who won the race more than seven hours earlier?
Yesterday NBC Sports got what it deserved – a failing grade and a 2012 new media spanking in real time called #NBCFail.
In 1968, it was called “Heidi.”
In 2012, it’s called trending.
When will these guys learn they’re not really in control of information anymore?
The world – from wars to storms, from swimming results to the corruption of corporate money in our society to guys dressed up as The Joker on shooting sprees in Aurora – goes on in real time.
Not in tape delay.
Posted on 26 July 2012 by WNST Staff
Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV). Included below are the Gold Medal counts for the US, who will win the most Gold Medals, a plethora of Men’s Hoops odds, swimming, track and field, and much more
Total Gold Medals for Team USA at the 2012 Olympics
Most Gold Medals at the 2012 Olympics
Great Britain 33/1
Total Medals for Team USA at the 2012 Olympics
Men’s Basketball Props
Basketball – Men’s – Odds to win the Gold Medal
Great Britain 250/1
Basketball Men’s – Odds to win Silver
Basketball Men’s – Will USA and Spain meet in the finals?
What will be the average margin of victory for the USA Men’s Basketball Team at the 2012 Olympics?
What will be the largest margin of victory for the USA Men’s Basketball Team?
What will be the smallest margin of victory for the USA Men’s Basketball Team?
Lebron James – PPG for the tournament?
Lebron James – APG for the tournament?
Lebron James – RPG for the tournament?
Kobe Bryant – PPG for the tournament?
Kevin Durant – PPG for the tournament?
Carmelo Anthony – PPG for the tournament?
Historical Matchups – Who will Average More Points Per Game
Michael Jordan (1992) +2
(Note: Jordan averaged 14.9 pts per game)
Charles Barkley (1992) -1
(Note: Barkley averaged 18 pts per game)
Karl Malone (1992) +.5
(Note: Malone averaged 13 pts per game)
Historical Matchups – Who will Average More Assists Per Game
Magic Johnson (1992) Pick
(Note: Magic averaged 5.5 assists per game)
Game 1 Lines
USA -24.5 -8000 167.5
France +24.5 +1400
Total Points – Team USA
Total Points – Team France
Margin Of Victory
USA by 1-5
USA by 6-10
USA by 11-15
USA by 16-20
USA by 21-25
USA by 26 or more 1/1
France by 1-5 50/1
France by 6-10 200/1
France by 11-15 250/1
France by 16-20 300/1
France by 21-25 350/1
France by 26 or more 400/1
Odds to win Gold Medal
Swimming – Men’s 400m Individual Medley
Ryan Lochte (USA) 2/3
Michael Phelps (USA) 1/1
Swimming – Men’s 200m Individual Medley
Ryan Lochte (USA) 4/5
Michael Phelps (USA) 6/5
Athletics – Track – Men’s 100m
Usain Bolt (JAM) 7/10
Yohan Blake (JAM) 3/2
Tyson Gay (USA) 10/1
Justin Gatlin (USA) 20/1
Ryan Bailey (USA) 20/1
Asafa Powell (JAM) 25/1
Christophe Lemaitre (FRA) 50/1
Athletics – Track – Men’s 400m
LaShawn Merritt (USA) 1/1
Athletics – Track – Men’s 110m Hurdles
Aries Merritt (USA) 5/4
Athletics – Track – Women’s 100m Hurdles
Lolo Jones (USA) 33/1
Athletics – Track – Women’s 100m
Allyson Felix (USA) 7/1
Athletics – Track – Women’s 200m
Allyson Felix (USA) 1/2
Soccer – Women’s
Soccer – Men’s
Tennis – Men’s Singles
Novak Djokovic 3/2
Roger Federer 2/1
Tennis – Women’s Singles
Serena Williams 3/2
Maria Sharapova 4/1
Victoria Azarenka 5/1
Venus Williams 40/1
Tennis – Women’s Doubles
Williams/Williams (USA) 4/5
Who will win more Gold Medals at the 2012 Olympics?
Michael Phelps (USA) -175 (4/7)
Ryan Lochte (USA) +140 (7/5)
Who will finish higher in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley?
Michael Phelps (USA) +130 (13/10)
Ryan Lochte (USA) -160 (5/8)
Who will finish higher in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley?
Michael Phelps (USA) -130
Ryan Lochte (USA) EVEN
Will Usain Bolt (JAM) win both the Men’s 100m and 200m Gold Medals?
Yes +125 (5/4)
No -175 (4/7)
Will the USA win both the Men’s and Women’s 4x 400m relays Gold Medals?
Will the USA win both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Gold Medals?
Yes -600 (1/6)
No +400 (4/1)
Posted on 24 July 2012 by Glenn Clark
Honorable Mention: Pro Lacrosse-Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Boston Cannons (Saturday 2pm from Boston live on ESPN3.com); Boxing: Robert Guerrero vs. Selcuk Aydin (Saturday 10pm from San Jose live on Showtime), Friday Night Fights: Hank Lundy vs. Raymundo Beltran (Friday 10 from Atlantic City live on ESPN2)
10. BSO presents “The Music of Michael Jackson” (Thursday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), BSO presents “The Music of Led Zeppelin” (Friday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Vans Warped Tour feat. Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, Yellowcard (Tuesday 11am Merriweather Post Pavilion), Santana & The Allman Brothers (Monday 5pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Flo Rida/Cee Lo Green (Wednesday 7pm Verizon Center), Rod Stewart & Stevie Nicks (Friday 7:30pm Verizon Center); 311/Slightly Stoopid (Saturday 6:30pm Jiffy Lube Live), Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival feat. Motorhead, Slipknot, Slayer (Sunday 1:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); Summerland feat. Everclear, Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray, Lit (Wednesday 7pm Wolf Trap); Fuel/Filter (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Aaron Lewis (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), SOJA (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live), The Dan Band (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Dick Dale (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Toad The Wet Sprocket (Monday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Kenny Loggins (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere); Passion Pit “Gossamer” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)
Let’s just go All 90’s here. I once jumped live on stage with Art Alexakis at an Everclear show at 1st Mariner Arena (it might have been Baltimore Arena then).
And yet I’d be equally excited to see the Gin Blossoms…
You’ve definitely found yourself humming a FUEL song at some point in your life…
I have no shtick tonight. I enjoy Filter music. That’s what I’ve got.
9. “The Watch” out in theaters (Friday); Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week (Friday-Monday throughout Charm City); Otakon (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); Brian Regan & Dennis Regan (Thursday DC Improv), Rob Schneider (Friday-Sunday DC Improv)
I could post some pictures of food porn in honor of Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week, but I had a feeling you wanted to see some pictures of scantily clad Otakon-goers…
I’ll require a thank you card.
Posted on 19 July 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
In his near 3 decades as NBA Commissioner David Stern has at times been misguided, conspiratory, overbearing, greedy and contemptuous but rarely has the commissioner been stupid. Still, as Kobe Bryant surmised as much in assessing Stern’s desire to limit NBA participation in the Olympics to those 23-years old or younger, many seem to agree that the commissioner’s idea is stupid.
The United States never took kindly to losing in the international game, and in 1992 set out to prove their dominance on the world stage despite the fact that said dominance was already universally acknowledged. The result was the Dream Team and the 20 years of basketball history that has followed. The US while no less dominant is no longer the lone source of NBA talent, and the NBA has benefited immensely from the influx of global superstars to their ranks.
It’s probably safe to say now though that the Dream Team era has run its course and the excitement of seeing the NBA’s best on the Olympic stage has dampened. The NBA’s global reach is constantly growing as foreign-born players in the league’s ranks continue to compel new eyes to the game. It’s probably safe to assume that the risk/reward equation that the NBA once embraced in an effort to gain international exposure is now upside down and as a result the league is rethinking their growth philosophy.
One other thing has changed since the 1992 Dream Team. When the Dream Team was conceived, the NBA and the Olympics were both the broadcast property of NBC. Surely the NBA had a lot less issue with offering up their talent (essentially donating it) to the crown jewel sports property of their own broadcast partner than they do now, as the NBA has moved to ABC and recently agreed to stay there through 2016. Safe money suggests that ABC can’t be altogether happy about paying premium dollars to broadcast NBA games then watching the best talent compete for free while making money for rival NBC in the Olympics.
Now that the NBA has reached global status, it’s time to take another step forward. If you’re looking for a model to follow in growing a game worldwide look no further than FIFA and the world’s soccer scene for an ideal path to follow.
International soccer teams don’t send their best to the Olympics. They send very good players, but the best are reserved for World Cups and the like where FIFA stands to make the lion’s share of the money. Make no mistake; putting an age limit on Olympic participation is only step one for the NBA. The logical step two would be to create their own international tournament, own it, and pocket the money rather than providing talent to NBC and the Olympics. That’s not stupid.
Also, if the NBA limited its players, from all countries, from participating in the Olympics after age 23 it would only further stack the Olympic deck in favor of the US which still enjoys a seemingly endless supply of young talent, while other countries with less NBA players to begin with would lose most of their top end talent to the age limit.
From a competitive standpoint, the US would likely continue to shine while the rest of the world takes big steps back. From a US interest standpoint, it might be fun to see younger, more excitable, more anonymous players showing and proving on the international stage instead of the same collection of talent we see year after year at the All-Star game. There are some (myself included) who would much rather watch the rookie/sophomore game than the actual All-Star game on the NBA’s All-Star weekend.
Here’s my 12 man, 23 and under roster for the US this year. Not bad.
Notable Players Left Out for Injuries
Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and Blake Griffin
Kevin Love, DeMarcus Cousins, DeAndre Jordan, Greg Monroe, Anthony Davis
Kevin Durant, Evan Turner, Gordon Hayward
Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Jrue Holliday, Brandon Jennings
Notable Players Left Out
Tyler Zellar, Derrick Favors, Kenneth Faried, Al Farouq-Aminu, Kawai Leonard, Terrence Jones, Derrick Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilcrest, Thomas Robinson, Tyreke Evans, Kemba Walker, John Wall, Jeremy Lin, Brandon Knight, Eric Gordon, Paul George, Josh Selby
Posted on 06 July 2012 by Tom Federline
It’s hot. If you can’t be in a pool, in the bay or in the ocean, you might as well be reading my blog in air conditioning. I wish I was in a pool, heck I can even smell the chlorine. The pool thoughts reminded me of the Olympic trials which were on last week. Hope you caught some of the coverage on NBC and NBCSN. The focus was on swimming, gymnastics and track and field. I thoroughly enjoyed coming home from work and catching extended highlights prior to prime time coverage later in the evening. It was hot, I had to work, it was hot, limited outside activity, it was hot and the Orioles are not………..so bring on the Summer Olympics 2012.
It was actually a refreshing surprise, to witness the formulation of the US Olympic Team. Watching these athletes compete at such a high level and watching their dreams being realized or crushed due to a matter of tenths of a second or tenths of a point, really gripped me. Making the team or winning the event is nothing new to me or to any of us. Maybe it was because I was cheering for “all of them”, instead of routing “only for the Americans” or “only for the ones who don’t look like they are on steroids”. Maybe it was because the top two or three spots got to go. Maybe it was the drama and the realization that the culmination of years of training was unfolded in the matter of minutes or seconds. What ever it was, congrats Team USA, ya got me hooked.
There were some new terms thrown at me, like “qualifying standards” and “A or B levels”. Bottom line the athlete could win the event but NOT make the team if they did not meet Olympic standards. BOOOOOOO, Olympic committee, with a goofball rule like that, there would have never been an Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards or an initial Jamaican bobsled team. You train, you win, you are the best in your country for an Olympic event, your country (or sponsors) have footed the bill to get you to the Olympics, guess what? You have earned the right to go. The US almost didn’t have a discuss thrower. Every country should have a discuss thrower. The cool thing is, the guy qualified on his last throw, surpassing the Olympic minimum of 65 meters (that’s 213.5 feet for us Americans). He was like 6 inches short prior to his last throw. This guy can throw a “saucer” over 200′ and some wimpy selection committee judge is not going to let this athlete compete? WRONG. You go Lance Brooks. Following are names that stood out to me, during the trials:
Track and Field – Amy Acuff (yes, this is her 5th Olympics -high jump), Allison Felix (sprints), Ashton Eaton (Decathlon), Wallace Spearmon (200m), and Matthew Centrowitz (1500m – Broadneck High). I had the pleasure of watching Matt Centrowitz run a few years back, thanks to my step-nephew who was particpating in high school track (at a top level I might add). The young lad could run like a deer, seemingly effortless with gears no one else had.
Womens (Girls) Gymnastics – Jordan Weiber (all around – 16 years old), Aly Raisman (Floor and vault – 18 years old). Most of them are 16 – do they even have a drivers license? The minimum age is 16. Sixteen? Mens Gymnastics – John Orozco (all around – 19 yrs old) and Jonathan Horton (rings, horizontal bar – 26 years old). The women have a bulls-eye on them and are expected to medal. The guys are underdogs and that’s a nice spot to be in.
Swimming – The United States is just strong. Women – Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt, you are going to hear those names almost as much as these next two . Men – Ryan Lochte and some guy named Phelps. There is quite a wake building, concerning the Lochte/Phelps potential duals in the pool. Hope that all pans out. The swimming events are going to be where it’s at. It amazes me how those swimmers/dolphins can cut through the water like they do. I finally bought a pair of fins for in the ocean (body surfing and boarding). 1 – they work. 2 – it was so cool to swim with those things on. Now I know how those top swimmers feel when cutting through the water – a cool sensation.
I am currently not up on all the sports the Olympics have to offer. We all soon will be. I am a fan of the more obscure sports, pentathlon, archery, rowing and of course synchronized swimming. I am sure there are Marylanders that have made the team also. So offer your thoughts and info. that I haven’t touched on. It’s all good.
I’m looking forward to July 27 – August 10th. We need some feelgood stories. We need a break in the heat. We need minimal bad press, i.e “roids”. We need the Wide World of Sport. It’s hot. It’s so hot, It’s “Hotter than Hell’ – KISS. Hopefully the US Team can stoke the fire. U-S-A…. U-S-A…..U-S-A.
Posted on 27 June 2012 by WNST Staff
OMAHA, Neb. — Michael Phelps got back at Ryan Lochte, stretching out to win a thrilling 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
Phelps got off to a stronger start that usual, leading at the first turn and holding the advantage through all four laps Wednesday night. Both swimmers got a big boost off the final turn, with Lochte charging hard to chase down the winningest Olympian ever. But Phelps stretched out his right arm at the wall, touching just ahead of Lochte. The winning time was 1 minute, 45.70 seconds — five-hundredths of a second ahead of Lochte.
Both will head to London to resume their rivalry at the Olympics.
Phelps had a busy night, hustling to the warmdown pool to get ready for the semifinals of the 200 butterfly.