As you may have heard, 2014 marks the 16th year for WNST.net, a remarkable accomplishment for a sports media company that our competitors have written off time and time again during the span.
To celebrate our “Sweet 16″, we will be discussing a group of topics each week that we hope to make definitive lists for when it comes to local sports-“water cooler” type topics if you will. Every Sunday night I will introduce that week’s topic here at WNST.net. We’ll discuss the topic here, on-air via AM1570 WNST and via social media on Facebook and Twitter. Then each Tuesday morning-one WNST personality will unveil our list both here at WNST.net and on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones.
As you discuss the topic on Twitter and Facebook, use the hashtag #WNSTSweet16 to make your voice heard and your thoughts included in the debate.
The lists will be related to either something currently going on in sports or will be based on the date.
First up? In honor of the “debut” of our Sweet 16 discussions and the “debut” of the year 2014, we’re going with the “Sweet 16 Debuts in Local Sports History”.
“Debut” could mean a number of things. It could mean a first game (or day), a first season, a first at-bat, a first fight, a first week or anything else that you can spin into a “debut”. It could be a debut for a rookie or a debut for a new player or a debut for a stadium or an arena or a coach or a new team altogether. It’s wide open.
We’re calling it “local” sports debut because we want to include not only the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens, but also Maryland, Navy, Towson, UMBC, Loyola, Morgan State, Coppin State, Johns Hopkins, the Blast and other current and former area sports teams as well as high schools and individual local athletes.
I’m handling the first list. You’ll see my post Tuesday morning at WNST.net and I’ll join Drew and Luke Tuesday morning at 8am to discuss it. We’ll tackle the list again at 4pm on “The Reality Check Driven by Jerry’s Chevrolet”.
I’ve thought about those locals who have won “Rookie of the Year” awards like Ron Hansen, Curt Blefary, Al Bumbry, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Gregg Olson, Vernon Maxwell, Peter Boulware, Terrell Suggs, Ray Felix, Earl Monroe and Wes Unseld. (You probably forgot about or were completely unaware of a few of those names. I know I was!)
I’ve certainly thought about the first game in Ravens history, the first game for John Harbaugh, the first game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and even more.
But what haven’t I thought about?
What is our list incomplete without?
Like I said earlier, I want this to be as definitive a list as possible. I don’t want to exclude anything that deserves mention. Is there an area high school athlete who blew up very quickly upon arrival? Is there a jockey who hopped on a horse for the first time at Pimlico and quickly became a household name? Who had an incredible first season for the Baltimore Thunder or Baltimore Bayhawks or Baltimore Stallions that others either forgot about or never really knew about?
I’m looking forward to taking this trip down memory lane with you. We’ll be having these conversations and making these lists every week to celebrate a “Sweet 16″.
Let me know what I need to be thinking about, Baltimore. 2014 is going to be a lot of fun.