Tag Archive | "stadium"

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Good to see fellow rookies get a chance

Posted on 21 November 2008 by joeflacco

It sure will be good to get back to our stadium and see (and hear) all the fans for Sunday’s game against Philadelphia.  We put that New York loss behind us right away and started preparing for the Eagles.  We’ve had a good week of practice and we all know Philadelphia has an outstanding organization with players who know how to win.  But we need a win too.  I guess that’s why we have to play the game on Sunday, right?

I’m not sure about the status of Jared Gaither, Willie Anderson or Adam Terry for Sunday’s game but it will be a great opportunity for other players to step up and play and that’s a good thing for them.  David (Hale) and O’Neil (Cousins) both got some snaps in New York and even though it came in the 4th quarter I know they were grateful for the opportunity.  They’ve been working hard all year for their chance and as a fellow rookie, I felt good for them on Sunday when they got in against the Giants.  I hope Jared and Willie are both healthy enough to play again soon, if not this Sunday, but David and O’Neil will do just fine if called upon.

It’s going to be a lot fun over these last six games.  We’ve put ourselves in a pretty good position 10 games into the season.  We just need to keep having fun and stay focused and we’ll be fine.  I have a lot of friends and family coming down for the game so I need to treat them and the rest of the fans to a win.  I’ll be doing my best for all of you, that’s for sure.  Have a great Thanksgiving next week!

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Are they who we thought they were?

Posted on 16 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

Any amateur football talking head can tell you that if you run the ball and play defense you’ll have a chance to win in the NFL. Of course, when you can’t stop the run it makes for a long afternoon for your defense.

We’ve all been spoiled by the Ravens’ defense over the past decade. They’ve consistently nullified the running game of every team in the league over the past three seasons but today’s effort at Giants Stadium was pedestrian at best and we saw the result: Giants 30, Ravens 10.

The Ravens got humbled today at the Meadowlands, beaten badly by the defending World Champions, who at 9-1 seemed to be toying with them after jumping out to a 20-0 lead with three straight scoring drives to start the day. It was a thorough beating by the NFC leaders, showing the Ravens to be more pretenders than contenders for a Super Bowl title at this point.

The Ravens knew all week that the running game of Brandon Jacobs and company was coming but they were helpless to do anything to stop it. You had to know they were in the trouble the first time Ray Lewis got punched five yards backwards on the first drive.

As for quarterback Eli Manning, he didn’t have to do much. Manning managed the game, made a few passes when he needed to but wasn’t ever put in any third and long situations that needed to be converted.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco didn’t have his best effort, but certainly wasn’t helped by the deflected passes off the pads of Derrick Mason and company. Flacco showed himself to be fleet afoot and there was a point there at the end of the third quarter when it even felt as though the Ravens might be en route to pulling a Cleveland-style comeback.

But, in the end, the Giants proved to be a formidable foe, forced turnovers and punts while keeping the Ravens in ugly down and distances most of the afternoon.

The most disturbing part of the afternoon were the penalties on both sides of the ball, frustrating occurrences that stopped drives and allowed the Giants to stay in control.

Matt Stover missed a field goal.

Flacco threw a few bad balls that thwarted drives.

And the Ravens’ secondary play and tackling was suspect most of the day as well.

It was flashes of Billick-like frustration in the fourth quarter as Flacco moseyed up under center and the team wasted four minutes on a fruitless 30-yard drive while down 27-10.

At 6-4 no one should be disappointed. Of course, San Diego could’ve helped but inevitably fell short as well in Pittsburgh.

But the truth as the team turns for the home stretch – a literal reference when they play four of the final six games at M&T Bank Stadium – is this:

The Ravens have beaten the smelliest teams in the league – Cleveland, Cincinnati, Oakland – and lost in various ways to the only four playoff-caliber foes they’ve seen in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Tennessee and now the New York Football Giants.

Until they can run with the big dogs of the NFL, they can continue to chalk up wins against the likes of Cincinnati, who sits on their schedule as a Thanksgiving dessert two weeks from now.

But Philadelphia, Washington, Dallas and Pittsburgh again are also on the slate and it will take a better effort than the one we saw today to get the Ravens to the promised land of a 10-6 season and a playoff berth.

As John Harbaugh said in his postgame new conference, “There’s plenty of work to do.”

Amen.

That was a tough one today.

Are the Ravens the below-average team that Vegas had at a “6-win over/under” during August?

Or are they the 6-3 juggernaut who entered today on the heels of beating bad teams 41-13 on the road?

Or are they somewhere in between, just ripe to have a late-season collapse amidst the “going getting tough” schedule that began in earnest at 1 p.m. today?

After a 6-3 start, an 8-8 season would be a massive disappointment.

Some of us had our purple holiday lights ready to hang for Festivus season and our next promotion, “The Miller Lite Purple Palace” promotion, which will begin tomorrow on WNST.

Based on what we saw today and the big guy in the No. 27 getting out on the edge and the general exposing of the backend of the defense, perhaps we should hold off on that Festivus celebration for a few more weeks.

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Just how good are the Ravens?

Posted on 10 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s not time to start printing playoff tickets just yet but if there’s any message that the Ravens sent to not only the Houston Texans but the NFL in general yesterday, it’s that this team is suddenly “for real.”

Any team that can go on the road and paste a team 41-13 in November to go to 6-3 must be taken seriously as a January threat.

Sure, it’s easy to say this: “Who have the Ravens beaten this year that matters?”

The answer: Cleveland twice, Oakland, Cincinnati, Miami and now Houston – combined record of 13-29.

Fair enough.

But the next seven weeks will work all of that out.

Are the Ravens a mediocre team that has bested a homely lot or an emerging playoff team waiting to break out and start beating some quality opponents?

There is one thing we know for sure.

With a date at the Meadowlands pending – and yes, we still have a handful of seats left on our “Miller Lite Purple Bus” to the swamps of Jersey this Sunday – the Ravens now control their own destiny in this chase for playoff football and a potential AFC North division crown.

It’s down to the Ravens and the Steelers in the AFC North and as tough as the purple schedule looks during the upcoming holiday season, it’s not any easier for yins’ donton either.

The Ravens have played nine games and have laid just one egg. They could easily be 8-1 with a little luck and some fourth quarter defense in the losses against Tennessee and Pittsburgh.

But I’m delighted with 6-3 and an emerging offense, stingy defense and the veteran play of Ray Lewis, Trevor Pryce and company leading the way for John Harbaugh’s troops. Yes, it’s been a VERY good year thus far, especially given the team’s modest expectations to be a .500 outfit.

There’s no crystal ball and no telling how the team will fare when the likes of the NFC East comes calling. But all of a sudden the upcoming matchups against Jacksonville and Pittsburgh at home don’t look so lopsided and quarterback Joe Flacco has looked less like a rookie than a veteran game manager and occasional long ball tosser who, combined with an effective three-headed backfield of Willis McGahee, Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain, looks to be a factor in this run for January football.

It’s officially “Festivus” season in Baltimore.

Break out the purple lights.

Break out the expectations of fun on Sundays.

And by all means, enjoy this rarest of seasons – a November and holiday full of cheer, potential and hope for a playoff berth.

The good news came in waves yesterday.

The most significant developments happened on the offensive side of the ball, where Derrick Mason went down with a separated shoulder and Todd Heap got off the milk carton of the purple offense.

No doubt that No. 86 has heard the whispers of his pending demise and answered yesterday with his best game of the season.

Meanwhile, Ray Lewis turned in an effort with the impact he formerly had as a much younger man. Two interceptions, running sideline to sideline to once again hold an opposing offense’s star running back to less than 100 yards of rushing.

That makes 29 in a row, if my count is right.

Haloti Ngata’s interception at the goal line sparked a defensive effort that was classic Ravens defense but his contributions on every play should be earning him a grass skirt en route to Honolulu in early February. You’d be hard-pressed to find me a defensive tackle who is playing the game at a higher level right now as the defense continues to break the will of opposing running backs and frustrate and chase quarterbacks each Sunday.

Next up: the World Champion New York Giants.

They had their hands full with Philadelphia last night.

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Mailbag: A postcard from Cleveland

Posted on 05 November 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

FROM THE MAILBAG:

nestor:

by the way, made the trip to cleveland last weekend. found the town and 99% of the people to be great. unfortunately there was one dude about 7 rows behind my 2 sons and i that seemed to have a problem with us wearing the purple.

there were some pretty hairy moments, particularly after they scored 10 unanswered to take the lead. i thought i might be watching most of the 2nd half from the lock-up.

needless to say, it suddenly got real quiet in the 4th quarter.

we had a blast.

signed,

brad

Hey Brad:

Well done…send along a pic from the roadie and I’ll post it from now on…

My videos are on wnstv…check ‘em out…
I go every year and I almost have a routine at this point.

I love the RTA…

I love the flight…

I love Paninis…I always order the turkey and the cole slaw and fries are the bomb!
I love paying $20 to a scalper for a ticket…

I have great memories of Cleveland…from the 1995 World Series, the 1996 playoffs, Oilers trips back in the 1980′s, Indians games at the old ballpark, nights with Ohio’s finest in the Flats, buddies at Baldwin-Wallace college who I met on a spring break trip…

I’ve seen Springsteen, The Who, Phil Collins, Def Leppard, The Alarm, The Smithereens…tons of bands and trips to Cleveland on Southwest Airlines for $19.

I’ve had many, many, man fun nights in Cleveland. Probably as many in Cleveland as any other place besides Baltimore on earth…
I get to catch up with Phil Savage…

I love the trip…wouldn’t miss it!

BUT…I REALLY love the trip when we kick their asses and I get to watch their fans mercilessly boo the home team…
I honestly don’t recall ever going to Cleveland and NOT hearing their fans boo the team.

It’s as much of a tradition as them playing “Hang on Sloopy”…

They made Tim Couch cry…

Honestly, I didn’t hear them boo them until Terrell Suggs picked off the ball, and for the 50,000 who were left many just grabbed their stuff and rolled.
They didn’t even have the ENERGY to boo them.

It really is a lot of fun going to the games every week and the reason I shoot the videos is to show you what it’s like to be a schmuck from Baltimore in the seats every week.

It’s one of my favorite parts of life: going to Ravens games on the road.
I don’t do “roadtrips” to Cleveland anymore because people really don’t want to go.

If you wear purple, it generally sucks. It’s just not any fun getting crap thrown at you and having your wife get called a whore for three hours. So, we wear black and just have “quiet” fun.

The fans sitting next to us didn’t know we were Ravens fans until the third quarter. We kinda snuck up on ‘em. It was a LOT of fun! Extremely memorable! With Obama buzzing around, Springsteen playing music that you could literally hear from our seats, it was pretty cool. And the comeback got me outta my seat high-fiving my wife and screaming like a banshee with a spear…

(Hey I was with Billick tonight at MaGerks…had to slip that one in there…It was a great time and an awesome crowd! Vids are coming soon!)

I can’t wait for Houston…

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What it must feel like in Milwaukee tonight?

Posted on 28 September 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

I’m a little conflicted to be honest with you. I spent today downtown watching the dozens of Orioles fans who blew off the NFL Ticket to spend one last day “at The Yard” before they close up shop for another winter. And I do mean “close up.” My guess is that we won’t hear a peep outta The Warehouse for weeks. That could be MANY weeks.

Like November at the earliest…

I think they want us all to forget that they played this season and that it didn’t end back around Memorial Day.

From now until then – and I’m guessing the next formal gathering will be the one when they don’t sign Mark Teixiera — the few of us who actually remember real Orioles baseball and are ashamed of what this sham has become over the past 11 years will watch something that is a faded memory: the MLB postseason.

Remember rushing around and setting your schedule to watch baseball in October? Crisp fall afternoon doubleheaders, with one game at 3 in the shadows and the other waiting after dinner. From Yankee Stadium to Chavez Ravine, from Royals Stadium to Riverfront Stadium.

And sometimes, once in a while, we got a taste of that on 33rd Street.

I do remember.

I want that back and this is the time of the year when I get the MOST pissed.

This is when I really feel cheated outta the juice of being a fan: a chance to win! At least as I board the purple bus in a few hours to go to Pittsburgh with 52 other crazy Ravens maniacs, I know the Ravens have a chance. And in the NFL, that’s a REAL chance. Hell, they might even win and Joe Flacco might throw three touchdowns! What a bus ride that’ll be if the Ravens win on Monday Night!

But back to the other birds…I digress.

The Brewers made the playoffs for the first time since 1982. Do you remember 1982?

I do.

I remember the “lost weekend” and the final Sunday, and Palmer vs. Sutton and Weaver’s (almost) last ride and the feeling and outpouring of community that now sadly doesn’t exist for the Baltimore Orioles.

I’m sure Harvey’s Wallbangers are a distant memory for many, but I have a feeling ESPN and TBS will be buzzing all week with images of Pete Vuckovich, Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and Ben Oglivie. And Harvey Kuenn, of course. And there will be images of that day at Memorial Stadium, and fuzzy 1980’s porn-style video of County Stadium and skinny, pre-roid guys running around the bases in pinstripes.

Surely, Gorman Thomas and Rollie Fingers and Don Money will be involved.

But I don’t need to “look it up.” I know what happened. I lived it.

I really love baseball and have loved it all of my life.

And I’ve honestly disliked the Brewers for much of my adulthood just based on that autumn weekend in 1982 when they broke my 13-year old heart.

So as I turn 40 years old in two weeks, it’s amazing that it’s been THIS long since the Brewers have had a taste of what Bernie Brewer ultimately slid into: the deep suds.

So, tonight, I salute the city of Milwaukee!

To the Fonz and Laverne and Shirley and everyone at the Shotz brewery and the Pizza Bowl…

To Mr. C and the whole gang at Arnold’s…

To former Brewers P.R. man Jon Greenberg, who was always a super guy…

To the best downtown summer festival in the world, Summerfest…

To the fun I’ve had at Miller Park and at the old County Stadium…

And to the memories of my childhood and rooting FOR Sixto Lezcano prior to 1982, I salute the Brewers, their fans, the city of Milwaukee and anyone who thinks the blue and gold “mb glove” logo is now “cool” after hating after that fateful 14th year of my life.

God bless ya, Milwaukee!

Go get drunk on anything brewed in the state of Wisconsin. And chase it down with some cheese curds!

You’re in the playoffs!

Welcome to October. As Colorado and many other have proven, YOU HAVE A CHANCE!

One day we hope to feel that feeling you’re feeling tonight.

But I’m not holding out hope anymore.

I don’t know if there’s a big frosted mug of Natty Boh we’re going to be sliding into anytime soon.

But I’m sure the Orioles will be mentioning Tampa Bay and Milwaukee a whole lot in whatever lame campaign they put together for Mister Angelos and Sons Network next spring.

Come to think of it, maybe baseball deserves a Tampa Bay-Milwaukee World Series?

Back to the 4th quarter of Sunday’s NFL action…

Go Ravens!

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Talk of the Town

Posted on 15 September 2008 by stevenlink

Wow, what a week in sports. But before I get to that, I want to first send my condolences and wishes to anyone who has family or friends in the Houston area. Also, my wishes go out to those persons affected by the horrible commuter train accident that occurred this past weekend.

And speaking of the situation with Houston, here’s, My Take about the talk of the town right now which is the Ravens-Texan’s schedule change and how it affects the Ravens:

I want to state a disclaimer beforehand that I do not know exactly what went on with the NFL’s decision about the Ravens-Texans game…all of this is pure speculation.

The last natural disaster the NFL had to deal with was that of Hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans Saints. The NFL decided to move the Saints’ opener of the 2005 season to the Meadowlands in New Jersey against the New York Giants.

In comparison, what occurred this week with Ravens-Texans game and the Saints-Giants game are two completely different situations. Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005 and the home opener for the Saints was scheduled for September 18, 2005. The NFL was able to coordinate with the teams, the cities, and the networks to move the game to New York. For this situation the NFL only had 2 weeks to prepare for the game to be moved and it was not until September 10th that the path of Hurricane Ike was determined definite.

I know there are a bunch of reasons and also conspiracy theories out there as to why the game was not moved and how much of a disadvantage it is for both teams. Such as, why didn’t the NFL just move the game here to Baltimore for Monday night? It’s a good argument. The Orioles have an off day as they are about to travel to Toronto, and even if the Orioles did have a game, there would be more than enough space for the fans to park on W. Camden Street (you know, the street running perpendicular to the main Eutaw Street entrance across from Pickles). But the problems still remain about getting proper police protection, security, network personnel and equipment to Baltimore in such a short time. Preparations for our Sunday ritual are made months and months ahead of time.

Now, I am not saying that NFL was 100% correct with its decision; rather I think it did the best that it could do. The NFL tried its hardest to keep the game at Reliant Stadium for the Texans to have their home opener there. We can all agree that the last thing the NFL wanted to do was move the game to a different location. It also would have been great to see the game moved to a college campus in Texas because we know they have an abundance of them. However, again, people will have to make new arrangements that cannot be done in less than a week’s time. Plus, I especially believe the NFL does not want to have the game played at the UTEP football stadium after the…how can I put this delicately…the tainting of the hill. This is a huge lesson for the NFL and how, (like school systems prepare for snow and other inclement weather), it needs to have its own plan to prepare for situations such as this. Apparently the NFL did not think ahead after its dealings from Katrina, but hopefully it will learn from this instance. I mean come on, if Major League Baseball had a contingency plan with the Cubs-Astros game and moved that series up to Milwaukee, so why didn’t the NFL have one as well?

The Ravens and the Texans are at a huge disadvantage because of the game change. I know people did not predict the Ravens to do well this year, but what if we are doing well by the time our bye was scheduled? “Experts” are wrong all the time about their picks. The absence of our bye week will probably break our season at that point due to injuries and fatigue. Losing our bye is going to be detrimental to our season, but let’s not forget that real life and real people will always outweigh the risk and reward of a sporting event.

Your take: Do you think the loss of the Ravens’ bye depletes any chance they had at a winning season this year?

2 Minute Drill: Oh Maryland, my Maryland, why do you only show up against opponents that are favored against you? That was quite a game by the Terps upsetting Cal. Turner had a great game, as did the entire running game. Now maybe Maryland was looking ahead last week when they lost to MTSU, but that that is still no excuse. This team should be 3-0 right now and atop the ACC. If they had dominating performances against Delaware and MTSU, who knows, maybe they would be in Top 25? Okay maybe not, but they’d have a really strong case to be there, especially with a win like that over Cal. Again, I want to make the point that I want Coach Friedgen and the Terps to do well, but this win shows me that the coaching staff did not have the ears of their kids and did not motivate them enough for the previous two games. Ralph thought this was going to be the best team he ever had because of the amount of seniors he has on his roster. It should not be that difficult to motivate a team that consists of over 20 seniors. But maybe last week’s game was a wake-up call for the players and coaches?? Great win for them though, especially since not that many thought they could pull an upset like they did (including me). Let’s hope they can keep the momentum going and trounce the Eastern Michigan Eagles this coming weekend.

The Ohio State Buckeyes again got smashed on national television. The Trojans completely dominated that game on both sides of the ball. My question is why didn’t we see more of Terrell Pryor? I don’t believe having Terrell Pryor at quarterback throughout the game would have changed the overall outcome because in the second half the Trojans easily game-planned around him, but it would have made the game much more interesting. Poor Todd Boeckman was setting prey for USC’s defense whenever he went back to pass. The defense sure brought the pain for that guy. And maybe Jim Tressel finally needs to get rid of the sweater vest he sports. Maybe he should put in a special order from Bill Belichick’s hooded sweatshirt collection.

And speaking of Belichick, his new quarterback Matt Cassell did one of the best impressions of Trent Dilfer I’ve ever seen. Manage the football game and do not turn the ball over. It looks like the Patriots are going back to the game plan they had when Corey Dillon was their running back. However, it looks like, at least at this point, that Lawrence Mahroney may not be the bruising back Dillon was and instead that roll may be held for Lamont Jordan. This team is still my favorite for the AFC East until it shows signs that its wheels are finally falling off.

The ending of the Chargers-Broncos game was ridiculous. However, you have to give out some respect points to Ed Hochuli for admitting that he blew the call, literally. When he blew the whistle early it stopped the play and because it was a passing play, the ball was given back to the Broncos where the ball landed. Norv Turner and the Chargers have had the worst luck so far this season. First it was the last second touchdown by the Panthers and now this. But Mike Shanahan did give the Chargers the chance to still win the game by allowing them to stop his team’s two-point conversion and the Chargers could not and therefore they deserved to lose that game.

The Redskins did a great job of exploiting the Saints rookie cornerback Tracy Porter. The Saints’ two starting corners already were scratched for the game and the injury to Aaron Glen was the turning point of that game. As soon as they put in Porter, Santana Moss put on his professor hat and started schooling the kid about how not to cover a wide receiver in the NFL. And it was great listening to Coach Billick in the booth during the game. He did an excellent job of critiquing both teams. My favorite line he said yesterday was when he was talking about the Redskins in the first half, “Now I know I am the poster-child for this because I was the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens for 9 years, but you can’t just score field goals when you are in the redzone. You have to punch it in there.” So isn’t an exact quote, but it is pretty close to what he said and it got a good laugh out of me.

Romeo Crennel, the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, tried his best impression of rookie head coach Jim Zorn last night with horrible clock management. Crennel actually surpassed Zorn with his blunders because at least Zorn has an excuse; it’s his first time coaching a position other than a quarterback. The clock management at the end of the first half was simply horrific for the Browns. After the Browns’ quarterback Derek Anderson ran the no huddle QB sneak for a first down resulting in 8 seconds left on the clock with no timeouts, they should have just kicked the field goal to get some momentum on their side. Then he decided to use his two final timeouts at the end of the second half before the 2 minute warning which was a wasted effort that you cannot fault him entirely for. But at that point in the game, you just knew that whatever the Browns did, they were going to lose the game regardless. And why was Kellen Winslow on the sideline for the final two plays of the game? That decision had me scratching my head too. That was a winnable game by the Browns, and while I know the players could have performed better, I believe they would have won had the coaching staff also called a better game.

And finally, Towson University started off conference play with a tough loss to Richmond Saturday, losing 45-14. Towson’s quarterback Sean Schaefer had a rough game but according to Towson University’s release, Schaefer “became the sixth player in CAA history to reach the 9,000-yard mark in career passing yards. In his career, he has now completed 809 of 1,268 passes (.638) for a school record 9,145 yards and 58 touchdowns.” http://www.towsontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=101455&SPID=12497&DB_OEM_ID=21300&ATCLID=1581565. So a big congrats goes out to Sean and his record setting performance.

Sayonara Bmore, I’ll get back at you next time.

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How will Houston Texans leave town for game at this point?

Posted on 13 September 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

Like the rest of you, I’m watching in horror at what’s happening in Houston right now.

On the football side, it appears that New Orleans could be the first option but even that must be a sticky proposition right now and I’ll go into that later in this blog.

But before I do, I’d prefer to address the “real world” issue by saying that i was up late and into the early morning tracking this storm because I have some other vested interests.

I have family in Houston. I have friends in Houston. I have some really great memories of Houston. But seeing this storm roll through has been painful. We’re all praying for them but it looks quite messy and devastating. Glass everywhere downtown, buildings just devastated.

Back to Ravens football and the game: Yesterday I took a straw poll of all of the folks around WNST and none of us really believed they were going to be playing this football game on Monday night at Reliant Stadium. All you had to do was look at the storm and see its tracking and know this was a bad situation.

Now word comes out of Houston that Reliant Stadium has roof damage and that the “game is off” according to the newspaper.

The Ravens have no official word. The league officials must be scrambling but, honestly, had to see this coming. There’s a conference call slated for later in the afternoon.

We’ve all heard about the “skip the bye week” schedule change. We’ve all heard about the possibility of a doubleheader in Dallas on Monday night (not realistic because of staff, warmups, hotel evacuaees from Houston and locker rooms…this would be a stretch). We’ve all heard about moving the game to New Orleans — probably the frontrunner simple because of distance and availability — or Atlanta and play in front of an empty house.

But I can’t fathom how the city is going to be able to provide any transportation to get the Houston Texans out of the city to play a game anywhere. The airport might not be available. And any buses might be hard to find given the carnage that this storm will leave behind.

I’m just saying…

The NFL folks are pretty smart about this stuff, but I wondered aloud a few times yesterday whether they shouldn’t have tried to get the team out of Houston before the storm. If New Orleans was the place, then why aren’t they already there? If Houston was fine after the storm, which always appeared to be a stretch/wish, it would be easy to get the Texans players/staff back into town. I checked the web hard to see if they did “evacuate” or “escape” but I see no evidence of that.

Like the rest of you, I’m just watching and reacting.

But how would the league mobilize a travelling party of 120 people in the Texans organization to fly or bus or drive anywhere tomorrow morning when Gary Kubiak’s cellphone might not work and there might be a tree blocking Matt Schaub’s car. Chances are most of the team doesn’t have electricity at this point.

And it ain’t like they’re gonna call a cab to get them somewhere.

Maybe the team spent the evening at a downtown hotel, but those are the very buildings that every CNN report said would be the most dangerous with glass windows and height in a storm of this magnitude. And the aftermath of the downtown glass destruction is now evident.

Strange days indeed…

More to come for sure…

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No Monday Night Football in Houston

Posted on 13 September 2008 by caseywillett

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Ravens – Texans game for Monday night is not going to happen. Here is the article from the Houston Chronicle stating that Reliant Stadium has had structural damage done,”facility will not be usable.”
I spoke with some one from the Ravens organization who said that they have not heard anything from league in regards to the game being cancelled and or moved at this time.

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Unity Through Tragedy

Posted on 10 September 2008 by Mark Suchy

What unites us?

If you’re a regular visitor to this website, it’s a love of sports. Perhaps it’s the Ravens, Orioles or Terps. Possibly all three. But a shared passion for following the games people play brings us together. The opportunity to discuss and dissect plays, games and strategies binds us and allows each of us to offer opinions and reactions. It’s a fun and worthwhile distraction from the daily chores of life we each undertake.

The sports section has long been referred to in newspaper circles as the “toy department.” As an avid, lifelong sports fan and participant, I’ve never taken offense to that definition. If anything, it made me realize that writers assigned to cover politics, local affairs or business were just jealous of those who were paid to cover the games people play to entertain us. After all, toys make life more fun, whatever age you may be. They help keep the inner child in all of us alive.

But there are times we simply cannot escape reality.

Like the morning of September 11, 2001.

We all have our own memories of what took place on that unforgettable morning. The world as we knew it as American citizens changed drastically and permanently. The unimaginable became reality. Our vulnerabilities as a free society were exposed and exploited. Things would never be the same, not for us or countless future generations. Fear and uncertainty took center stage. And the toy department closed for the better part of a week.

But what did we find in the aftermath of those horrific events? That such grand tragedy and loss had the power to unite us a people. That there was an unknown capacity inside millions of everyday Americans to sacrifice, to help in whatever way possible, to make a positive contribution to picking up the pieces and helping others heal.

We also discovered the power of sports in helping to get our American way of life back.

Remember those first few games after the attacks in Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium? I still remember tears welling up watching those players take the field wearing NYPD, FDNY and NYTA hats. I have never been a fan of New York teams, but those moments gave me chills. It drove home the enormity of the events, the fact that games could help to heal, that a shared love of the “toy department” really did matter. To this day, Mike Piazza’s home run in the first Mets game after the attacks remains one of my single most memorable regular season moments. The sight of NFL players openly crying during the Star Spangled Banner the week the league resumed play helped to demonstrate in a way never before possible that they were human too, just like the rest of us. They felt the same fear, pain and loss we did.

And the toy department helped unite us and begin the healing for the country.

Many of the brave men and women who perished that day were sports fans. They cheered for their favorite teams, despised their archrivals, planned weekends and vacations around games, played softball or football or basketball, and understood all the wonderful lessons that the games we play can teach us. About respect for yourself, your opponent, the game and even the officials. About fair play and sportsmanship. About how to deal with loss in its proper perspective. About the power of the games we play and watch to unite us. About taking direction and working within the framework of a team concept.

Lessons that I believe can only be taught through participating in sports. Sacrifice. Dedication. Practice. Respect. Teamwork. Unity.

So as you take the time to pause and reflect on all of the memories and emotions that fateful day brought with it, remember all those who paid with their lives, pray for their memories and their loved ones, and think about what really matters to you each day. Family. Dear friends. Cherished memories. Love and laughter and the hope that comes on a beautiful, cloudless September morning like the one in 2001.

Never forget those events.

And remember that, whether it’s Ravens or Redskins, Orioles or Yankees, Terps or Blue Devils, we are all Americans. Free to be the people we choose, pursue the dreams we have and love the country that has made it all possible.

That is what unites us.

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Maryland Football – National Signing Day Recap

Posted on 07 February 2008 by stevehennessey

The University of Maryland held its annual ‘national football signing day’ press conference for the media this afternoon.

Head coach Ralph Friedgen took the podium and gave a brief recap of each of the twenty players, including eighteen kids from the class of’08, plus two “greyshirts” who accepted a scholarship from Maryland in ’07 but deferred enrollment until January ‘08.

The Fridge said he was extremely pleased with this class and that it was by far the best recruiting class academically in his seven years in College Park. When asked if there was a position or two that they wished they could have added another player, he replied that one more DB and a LB would have been nice.

Six of the twenty recruits are already enrolled at Maryland and are eligible to participate in spring practice. Of the six, Friedgen mentioned that (MD) TE Devonte Campbell, who he said was fast, big and strong “like Vernon Davis” and (NC) LB Demetrius Hartsfield have the best shot of taking the field in the fall. (MD) WR Kevin Dorsey, whom Friedgen compared to Domonique Foxworth in terms of character, has a toe injury. (NY) DL Joe Vellano, son of former Terp DL Paul Vellano, reinjured his surgically repaired shoulder and will have surgery this week. Friedgen didn’t comment about their status for spring practice.

Of the remaining fourteen signees, Friedgen was particularly enamored with (MD) DB Cameron Chism who he called a “shutdown corner”, (CT) DL Masengo Kabongo, who speaks four languages, (MD) RB Davin Meggett, son of former NFL player Dave Meggett, an honor roll student of whom he said something to the effect of “I‘ve learned that if they’re fast and smart, I gotta take ‘em”, and (MD) WR Kenny Tate of whom he gushed about his unselfish play and character as a person.

Milford Mill High DL Teddy Dargan, who committed to play for Maryland almost a year ago, did not sign with the Terps today, supposedly due to academics.

Maryland had three players who had made verbal commitments during the recruiting process change their minds and go elsewhere. (DC) DB Tavon Wilson to Illinois, (PA) DE Tyler Urban to West Virginia and (MD) LB Zach Brown to North Carolina.

When asked about verbal commitments, Friedgen commented that they were more like “reservations” with players expecting schools to hold a scholarship for them while they look around for better offers.     

Friedgen mentioned that the ‘08 squad will feature twenty one senior scholarship players and nine senior walk-ons, the majority of whom are on track to graduate.

Recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo answered questions from the media after The Fridge stepped aside.  

Both Friedgen and Sollazzo are proponents of an early signing period.

Sollazzo mentioned that they want to focus their recruiting effort within a 5 hour radius of College Park and would like to do a better job in Pennsylvania, particularly the Pittsburgh area.

Maryland has added three new coaches since the end of the 2007 season.

James Franklin has returned to College Park to be the offensive coordinator. His recruiting areas will include PG County, DC and Baltimore. Sollazzo stated that coordinators have more work to do than other coaches and typically recruit closer to home.

Special teams coach Danny Pearman takes over Ray Rychleski’s territory of North Carolina (which he has recruited extensively during stops at Va. Tech and Duke), West Virginia and Northwestern Maryland.

Newly hired wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn will handle the state of Pennsylvania, focusing on the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas. Sollazzo describes Dunn as “very outgoing and personable”.

The Byrd Stadium renovations have begun. Parts of Tyser Tower have been removed and the scoreboard in the west end of the stadium is gone.

 

 

 

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