Tag Archive | "Sports"

Ripken & Teixeira bring Cal Sr. charity event to Baltimore

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Ripken & Teixeira bring Cal Sr. charity event to Baltimore

Posted on 10 February 2012 by WNSTV

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Live from Indy: Former Terps QB Zolak dishes on Brady, Boston & Flacco

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Live from Indy: Former Terps QB Zolak dishes on Brady, Boston & Flacco

Posted on 30 January 2012 by WNSTV

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Live from New York: Nestor examines future of sports media and technology

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Live from New York: Nestor examines future of sports media and technology

Posted on 09 November 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

I’ll be live blogging all day from the Sports Business Journal “Sports Media & Technology” Conference 2011 in New York.

This is my fourth year live covering this event, which shapes the way WNST.net moves to serve Baltimore sports fans in a better and more interactive way. I’m always learning about life and work and business and marketing and technology.

Today will be a fun day of discovery.

Follow along with me on Twitter as well @WNST.

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The first panel is about “TV Everywhere”…it’s about how we as sports fans can access our cable television and programming that we’re already paying for in our homes and get it delivered to our mobile devices.

I’m finding this more fascinating every day. We ALL pay Peter Angelos for MASN and Orioles games in the summer. We pay him a LOT of money for this “right” to have Major League Baseball in our living rooms, bedrooms, mancaves, etc.

So, next April, try to get that same game that you’re already paying for on your mobile device.

(Here’s a hint…you CAN’T)

Some people are starting to see the hypocrisy in this model across all cable television networks.

The topic here today is “When will you cut the cord” and move to a mobile or tablet (IPad) as a preference for consuming sports content and live programming.

Here’s question of the moment: Do you think we’ll ever abolish the monthly cable television bill and be able to buy our favorite websites/platform/content ala carte and have it delivered to whatever screen we’re watching — mobile, tablet, old-school television?

Also, what sets sports aside from all other kinds of television and content programming is that it’s almost instantly disposable, unlike sitcoms, movies, reality television that has an afterlife for reruns and re-distribution. Other than watching last Sunday’s Ravens win over the Steelers, most Ravens fans don’t go back and watch past games over and over again. Except for ESPN Classic and the rare NFL game you’d wanna watch again during the week, live sports programming is worthless after the game ends.

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The topic now has moved to 3D television and how it will impact sports. I saw the first-ever 3D screenings of an NFL game and it was amazing but I don’t know anyone who has a 3D set and I’m not really sure what programming they’re actually watching and how often they’re putting on those funky glasses.

Have you ever seen an NFL or college football game in 3D?

It’s superbadass…but feels very inaccessible to me.

These executives here today are trying to figure out if there’s a demand for it in the future and how it would make money.

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The late morning panel is the one I’m most fascinated about today in New York — “Independent Digital Media Outlets — Leveraging Sports Content”

It’s a panel that includes the leaders of SB Nation, Bleacher Report, The PostGame, etc. Several of these people, I’ve known for a number of years and I respect the national platforms they’re building and trying to galvanize local bloggers to create content.

In my opinion, most of the “amateur” content is just that — amateur content.

I’ve always tried to make WNST.net content “expert” or “insider” content, not just someone in a basement writing about sports as a fan. Having done this for 27 years, I can tell you that there’s an ocean of differentiation between a real journalist and sports writer or broadcaster and someone who is a  fan writing without perspective, intelligence and experience that I as a self-considered expert care to read.

If your opinion has no sources, no background, no true expertise, I have no interest in reading it.

And I think it shows — the analysis of a truly seasoned sports expert who is working as a journalist.

What do you think of amateur content that is “packaged” as expert opinion on websites?

And do you find yourself returning to these kinds of sites often?

Bleacher Report?

SB Nation?

Yahoo Sports?

The PostGame?

Grantland?

Big Lead Sports?

Shannon Terry of 247Sports just said it all: “Can we hire the best sportswriters and talent in the industry and attract new readers, users to our website and platform?”

That’s what we’ve tried to do at WNST.net and that’s what the national players are doing…

Another great Terry quote: “The internet exposes you…are you aggressive, accurate, timely, relevant?” The internet and the users will tell you whether you are. Facebook and Twitter will give you an honest evaluation of your relevance.

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At least I know I’m thinking the right way at WNST.net.

Every panelist is talking mobile for sports media technology. Many platforms are getting 30% of their traffic from Iphone & Droids. They are debating the value of overinforming on Twitter or Facebook vs. getting direct traffic via their website. Using social media as a breadcrumb and then finding sponsors and advertisers to support the platform so they can afford to pay talent and content creators.

Very interesting day thus far…lots of food for thought.

I’m always trying to find better ways to bring instant Baltimore sports news and information to your on your phone. If you have any feedback for how you use WNST, please drop me a note: nasty@wnst.net.

 

MORE TO COME ALL DAY FROM NEW YORK…

 

 

 

 

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In Memoriam of my dear friend Papa Joe Chevalier

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In Memoriam of my dear friend Papa Joe Chevalier

Posted on 05 June 2011 by Nestor Aparicio

In a former life, I used to be “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio. And even though I don’t talk about it much or brag on as I probably should, I was a nationally-syndicated sports talk host on 425 radio stations across the United States back at the turn of the century. And every night when I was done my four hours of laughs and conversations, I handed the baton to a far better man than I named “Papa” Joe Chevalier.

Chevalier died yesterday at the age of 62 in Las Vegas from the complications of a stroke he suffered in March.

Papa Joe was a simple man. He’d always come booming into the offices about 90 minutes before his show and always with a hearty laugh and always penning his opening monologue and script on a legal notepad and rehearsing it on those who would hear him. Sometimes, I’d run into the bathroom to take a leak at the 5:40 break and he’d forever be trying out some one-liner on me or engaging me in sports talk – even if it was calling the Ravens “jailbirds” or digging some fun at something Baltimore-related.

Papa Joe Chevalier was old school – and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. He KNEW sports. He KNEW gambling. He KNEW the mentality of big business in sports and where the money came from. He was no fraud when it came to sports knowledge. He was the real deal!

Because I broadcast the majority of my shows from the second story bedroom at my house on Springhouse Circle in White Marsh, I didn’t get to see Papa Joe every day. But I heard his show every day because my station here at WNST-AM 1570 in Baltimore carried his show even before I ever met him or knew him. And the really sad part is that because we always crossed shifts, I never really got to go out for a beer after work in Chicago with him other than at work functions, when he truly held court with the staff of young producers. Everyone in that building liked Papa Joe.

He would always send me outta the studio when his shift would begin with a standard phrase: “I love ya, kid!”

And I think he did, too, even when I was on the backend of a few “Bite Me Wednesday” segments, which was his “airing of the grievances” and beefs.

My unique “broadcast from Baltimore” contract language created a scenario for him that opened the door for him to do shows back in his adopted Las Vegas. So my negotiating and hardcore “I’m not leaving Baltimore” stance with management at SNR bought him some leeway that he loved.  And it seemed like he was in Vegas every weekend so I never got to go to Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park with him but that would’ve been a real hoot.

That Sporting News Radio circle of people in Chicago was really a wonderful team of  great sports fans in retrospect. It was truly like a WKRP family of people, most of whom I really, really LIKED. I would start naming names but because they’ll all wind up reading this it I want to be careful not to leave anyone out. But there are at least a dozen people whom I keep in very regular contact with because I liked them so much and those memories are so dear to me as I learned a lot about the big corporate world during that period of my life when big money and agents were trying to “make Nasty Nestor a star.”

Chevalier, however, didn’t really care whether he was a “star” or not. He was a quirky old bird, indeed.

Our programming leader Matt Nahigian would implore “Papa” Joe to simply say his name before and after every break – a very typical, simple radio request that allegedly helped Arbitron ratings and “brand familiarity” but Chevalier wanted no part of it.

“I do the damned show every night,” he would squeal. “They all know who the hell I am!”

And who was he? A throwback – a real old-timer from Pittsburgh whose Steelers’ swagger didn’t play so great with me during those years because the Ravens won the Super Bowl on Jan. 28, 2001 when I was sitting in the national sports talk chair and I really had the upper hand on him every time during that fragile period in the Baltimore-Pittsburgh wars of two centuries. Anytime the Pirates and Orioles would come up he’d start pretending to blow the whistle of Omar Moreno’s wife to drive me nuts. And he’d routinely play “We Are Family” and send it as a “shout out” to me on national radio.

And while most of my angst against Pittsburgh and all people from Pittsburgh is legendary, I can honestly say his ribbing never bothered me because it was part of the beauty of our friendship.

We bet a dinner at Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa on the radio every time the Ravens and Steelers played and he lost a LOT. And he never, ever paid up! And for that I’m really, really sad! I would’ve loved a three-hour dinner talking sports with Joe over some sloppy steaks and red wine and we probably would’ve slipped upstairs for a café and a nightcap of ice cream and whiskey amidst conversations of Clemente and the Robinsons, Unitas and Bradshaw. And that would’ve been one helluva sports conversation, he and I — especially if we had added a few drinks and some microphones.

I found out he died late Saturday night from my pal Bernard Bokenyi on Facebook via this Las Vegas newspaper obit and writing about him makes me feel good and brings a smile to my face. Just thinking about the fuss we’re all making over him would make him bristle.

He was a really neat old guy and I never spent a moment with him that I didn’t enjoy. And his audience was immense, loyal and loved his charm. He created a fan “Bill of Rights” during the baseball strike of 1994 and had people all over the country send in baseball cards that he destroyed.

He was a man of the people and he was truly the same dude in real life as he was on the radio. Full of loveable bluster and an unending source of sports information!

In a media world fraught with frauds, phonies, liars, cowards and fools he was a man who had knowledge, integrity, an incredible sense of humor and we had a mutual respect that was unusually genuine.

I really LIKED Papa Joe. And he really liked me. It was a cool relationship and one that I probably didn’t cultivate or appreciate quite enough.

I hadn’t talked to him in a few years but I loved that old man. And I’m going to miss him and his soft voice. He was a really good man!

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William Donald Schaefer

Posted on 21 April 2011 by Shawn Credle

This past Monday, the city of Baltimore, and the state of Maryland, lost a true icon in city and state politics.  William Donald Schaefer meant so much to many of the citizens of this state, where he served as mayor of Baltimore for 16 years, Governor for 8 years, and Comptroller for another 8 years.  He dedicated his life to the people.  And the people loved him for it.

One visual that I will always remember was seeing him, in a old-style bathing suit, in the seal pool of the then-brand-new National Aquarium.  But, seeing things like that is what made the people love him.  And he loved the people.  He defended the city of Baltimore everywhere he went, especially when dealing with the city’s sports teams. 

During his tenure as Mayor, Schaefer would engage in conflict with Robert Irsay, the owner of the Colts.  Irsay demanded that improvements be made on Memorial Stadium.  When that didn’t happen, Irsay moved the Colts to Indianapolis.  It was a crushing blow to the city of Baltimore, and an even more crushing blow to Schaefer.  But, he wouldn’t stop.  And while Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore during Parris Glendening’s reign as Governor, the groundwork was laid down by Schaefer.  He successfully assisted in engineering another NFL team to come here, as well as lead the way for Oriole Park at Camden Yards to be built (to ensure that the Orioles would not leave also).  He knew how much the city loved its’ teams.  And, once again, he fought to do something that make the citizens happy.

Making citizens happy.  That’s what Schaefer did, even if he managed to make some other politicians upset.  Projects like the Aquarium, Harborplace, the Light Rail, and more are just a few projects that help change the city.  As far as sports is concerned, both the Orioles and the Ravens owe a lot of graditude to Schaefer.  Take a minute to imagine Baltimore without the Orioles and Ravens.  If it wasn’t for the dedication of William Donald Schaefer, we may have had to deal with no football on Sundays, and no baseball during the summer. 

Rest in Peace “Willy Don!”  And thank you for your 50 years of public service.  The Baltimore sports fanatics are forever in your debt.

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When Sports Really Don’t Matter

Posted on 09 January 2011 by Marty Mossa

We “live” and “die” sports.  What an interesting clique. Most people don’t, but I do know people who really do live and die with sports. 

In light of the tragic events that unfolded in Arizona yesterday, we really need to put sports into perspective.  Although Drew Brees and Peyton Manning both walked away losers yesterday; the sun still rose for them this morning. They still have their family and friends.

But such is not the case for the families of six people who attended a “congresswomen’s corner” town hall meeting yesterday in Arizona.  Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords was conducting a town hall meeting when a crazed gunman open fired and shot 20 people, killing six of them.  One of the dead was a nine year old girl who was interested in government.  Ironically she was born on September 11, 2001, and was the granddaughter of Dallas Green who guided the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies to a World Title. 

 This tragic event must remind us that sports are for entertainment, and it doesn’t matter whether the Ravens win or lose today.  Sports are for fun, and don’t affect our lives like real life events like yesterday’s shooting in Arizona.

 

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Gearing up for another season of Coach Speak

Posted on 15 August 2010 by Brian Billick

As many of you know, I’m doing another great season of NFL coverage on the radio here in Baltimore at WNST and again with Fox Sports and the NFL Network.

I just thought I’d provide a link to where I’ll be providing a lot of online content and insights and interviews with NFL head coaches each week via the Fox Sports platform and “Coach Speak.”

Hope you’re enjoying this training camp and hope that you’re readying up for what appears to be a promising season for the Ravens with the addition of Anquan Boldin.

Here’s a link to a full Ravens preview I did for “Coach Speak”

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Do the White Sox covet George Sherrill?

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

We’re getting down to the nitty gritty on the MLB trading deadline. The Cliff Lee deal today and a few other minor deals will have folks buzzing over the next 36 hours.

Ken Rosenthal floated some information today that was interesting in regard to George Sherrill at Fox Sports.

From Rosenthal:

“As many as eight teams are pursuing Orioles closer George Sherrill, and two or three are “actively engaged” with Baltimore in discussions, according to a major-league source.

The Orioles expect that the number of teams serious about Sherrill actually might grow once the big-name starting pitchers get traded — or not.

The Dodgers have maintained interest in Sherrill, and a number of their prospects appeal to the Orioles. The Angels are “mildly” involved, according to one major-league source.

The Phillies are unlikely to act on Sherrill now that they are preparing to trade four prospects for Indians left-hander Cliff Lee.”

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Take the ultimate Baltimore Sportstalk quiz now!

Posted on 14 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

There are many, many “pre-requisites” for being able to successfully be a Baltimore sports media member (in my humble opinion) circa 2009. Many, many times over the last 17 years I’ve railed against and “outed” various phonies, Johnny-come-latelys and “faux” sports media members in our marketplace.

These are the same people who call me the “amateur” when they can’t even grasp basic sports history in the marketplace and aren’t prepared or qualified to take a simple phone call about anything that happened before 2006.

As a kid growing up in Dundalk and reading the paper, listening to the radio and watching the 6 o’clock news, I always thought that anyone who worked in the local sports media MUST know more than me about sports.

How could they NOT, I thought?

“Isn’t that their JOB?” I thought as a young person in the early 1980′s.

Well, it didn’t take long as a 15-year old at The News American and then later The Evening Sun and The Sun to realize that knowing anything about sports was secondary to politics, race, gender, education and a whole bunch of other nasty and patently unfair “real world” issues that superceded actual knowledge, dedication and ability.

So, in the midst of this “Coors Light King of Baltimore Sportstalk” competition, I pulled out of my files some notes and a questionnaire from my “So you want to be a Sports Talk Show Host?” event almost three years ago and decided to update it and distribute it as a pre-cursor for Wednesday night’s live auditions at Donna’s Tavern in Dundalk.

Needless to say, I was shocked at how lousy some of my 12 finalists fared on the pop quiz. I won’t embarrass anyone with specific results or poor answers, but these inquiries are fundamental “How much do you know about current and past Baltimore and national sports?” questions that anyone who seriously wants to do this for a living should at least have “educated guesses” if not specific answers to these questions.

Along with Bob Haynie, Drew Forrester, Ray Bachman and Glenn Clark, we assembled a list of the questions below, just to test the waters.

For the record, we didn’t expect “perfect” answers but I was certainly taken aback by how little the prospective sports media “experts” really knew about the depth and bredth of the reality of the Baltimore sports media landscape.

Take the quiz yourself WITHOUT using google or any other artificial means.

These are the kind of “meat and potatoes” nuggets of knowledge that make a sports talk show host/blogger/new media writer credible and respected within the marketplace. In my opinion, it’s the essential ingredient to being able to host a four-hour show, write blogs with impact and perspective and carry forth as a true “expert” on Baltimore sports.

Needless to say, I think Anita Marks and various other “outsiders” would flunk this test in an embarrassing fashion, which in my mind makes them unqualified to act as an “expert.”

HERE IS THE ULTIMATE BALTIMORE SPORTS QUIZ:

(Feel free to distribute it to your Baltimore sports “expert” friends and see how you do. We think these questions are “hard” but fair…)

Who was Charley Eckman?

Who was the Orioles famous groundskeeper at Memorial Stadium?

Who kicked the GW FG for the Colts in Super Bowl V?

Who are the last 7 Maryland basketball players to have their jerseys hung in the rafters?

Who were the two Maryland football coaches prior to Ralph Friedgen?

Who is the Ravens defensive coordinator?

Who were the four 20-game winners for the 1971 Orioles?

The three names for Baltimore’s downtown arena?

The last line of the Memorial Stadium façade?

Memorial Stadium was the World’s Largest __________  __________ ________

This Orioles picked off three Blue Jays in one inning:

In your opinion, name the 3 biggest trades in Orioles history:

Name the last 11 Orioles managers:

Going backward, list every Ravens starting QB and years they started:

Name five Baltimore Colts head coaches:

Name three members of the 1973 Maryland Terps hoops team:

Who is the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs?

Who is the Beyer Speed Rating named after?

Name three current Washington Capitals:

Who is the Ravens head of college scouting?

Name as many Ravens assistant coaches as you can/titles:

What is the NFL’s overall team salary cap number for 2009?

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State launches new marketing initiative

Posted on 08 May 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

In a long-overdue announcement, the State of Maryland held a press conference this morning to announce that they’re getting serious about luring major events to the region with the formation of a joint coalition between the Governor, the Stadium Authority and a marketing group formed specifically to generate sports-related tourism and revenue here.

I attended the press conference and will discuss it on “Limited Access” at 2 p.m. today. The basic premise was a website launch and an organized outreach that will lure events — both recreational and professional — to venues throughout the state.

A good idea, I think. We’ll see what the benefits are beyond the obvious: AC Milan and Chelsea at M&T Bank Stadium on July 24. (By the way, they’ve sold 52,000 seats so far for the event!)

Here’s the press release:

STATE EXPANDS SPORTS MARKETING, LAUNCHES MARYLAND ‘HERE TO PLAY’

Cal Ripken Jr., State officials unveil comprehensive sports marketing database

Baltimore, Maryland (May 8, 2009) – Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development Secretary Christian S. Johansson and Maryland Stadium Authority Chairman John Morton, III were joined by Cal Ripken, Jr. and more than 100 sports industry executives at Oriole Park at Camden Yards today to officially launch www.marylandsports.us. This electronic marketing platform features an online sports facility directory, special event calendar and cooperative marketing network designed to increase the number of sporting events and travelers in Maryland.

“Sports travel is a $182 billion industry nationally,” said Governor O’Malley. “With world class facilities and abundant natural resources, Maryland is moving forward to capitalize on our incredible assets to attract more high quality sports events and host the millions of athletes and spectators who participate.“

Featuring more than 600 recreation and sporting venues – including major league stadiums, university arenas, state parks and both government and privately operated facilities — the online directory is accessible via the web at www.marylandsports.us and is the first of many resources planned for events rights-holders and promoters interested in Maryland. An Events Calendar and other links will also provide information on assets and activities in Maryland to the thousands of enthusiasts who comprise the billion-dollar sports travel industry.

“DBED’s strong partnership with the Stadium Authority is already paying dividends for the State’s economy by attracting world class sporting competitions to Maryland,” said DBED Secretary Christian S. Johansson. “We have helped secure the NCAA lacrosse championships in 2010-2011 and the first ever exhibition soccer match between international powerhouses Chelsea and Milan on June 24, 2009.”

“Bidding for lucrative competitions is a complex, competitive process, involving numerous state and local partners,” said MSA Chairman John Morton, III. “This new initiative further proves that when Maryland bids on an event – we’re in the game to win.”

Proposals for additional events in other parts of the state are in progress, as are plans to develop a signature “Maryland” competition that will draw participants, spectators, and media attention to the state and its many attractions.

“ The Governor and other visionaries who recognized the opportunities the sports event and travel industry present deserve tremendous credit,” said Terrance Hasseltine, Director of the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing. “We have an opportunity to capitalize on our sports assets, like our central location and excellent facilities, and tap into this growing segment of the economy. The partnership between the Stadium Authority and Department of Business and Economic Development puts Maryland in a stronger position to do so.”

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