Tag Archive | "steve mcnair"

Where are you getting your Baltimore sports news & information? Sharing is caring…

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Where are you getting your Baltimore sports news & information? Sharing is caring…

Posted on 29 January 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

This blog was originally published two years ago. We’ll be revisiting this with a three-part series and updating these thoughts with a new 2012 WNST “State of Baltimore Sports Media” survey next week while we broadcast live from Indianapolis all week. This is Part 3 of 5: The State of Baltimore Sports Media (circa 2010).

The saddest day of 2009 for any Ravens fan was also the day that I saw the state of the world had changed for WNST.net via the instant power of our text service. On the 4th of July at 4:17 p.m. I was sitting at home watching midday holiday baseball when I got a tip from a friend that Steve McNair had been murdered.

After receiving that quick text, I jumped onto the computer and saw that every Tennessee TV station was reporting his murder within the previous five minutes. At 4:21 p.m. more than 3,900 people received a WNST Text reporting the only facts we knew: “Tennessee media is reporting that Steve McNair has been murdered. More to come…”

At 4:50 p.m., ESPN finally reported it. And at 5:37 p.m. – a full 76 minutes later, The Sun finally had it on their website.

While I was blogging feverishly, looking for any information I could get from Nashville in the first 30 minutes on a sweltering holiday summer day – monitoring all of their TV stations and newspapers and fielding a wide variety of emails, Tweets and texts – apparently the 3,900 people on our WNST Text Service had taken matters into their own hands in forwarding our message to tens of thousands of other people like a game of virtual phone booth. More than 23,000 people had visited my blog by 8 p.m. on a premier national holiday on a day when virtually no one was in front of a computer. They were all coming from the palms of theirs hands via their mobile devices.

THAT – in the previous 25 years of my media existence — would have been impossible in the old, dinosaur world of local news. And it certainly would’ve been exclusively the area of the three local TV stations and, probably, WBAL Radio. But in the new world, they were all coming to the local source of the breaking sports news: WNST.net.

But the one thing about our WNST Text Service that often goes without saying is this: when we report it, you KNOW it’s true. Through our own goodwill, hard work and credibility, we have established a reputation for never, ever being wrong on a news story. And there are now more than 5,200 of you on the WNST Text Service.

Join the WNST Text Service…

And it goes without say that “timeliness” and the element of surprise is, in fact, the essence of what makes it “news.” News is immediate. News is shareable. News is eternal.

And, clearly, not all news is good.

But the depth of our content was also apparent on that sad, summer day. Ironically, we had video of Steve McNair joining about 1,200 Ravens fans in Nashville to greet them from January of last year before the big playoff game in our You Tube video vault. It’s a really weird clip — especially given it was the last time he’d do anything with his Baltimore roots. We raised $5,000 that night last January for the Air McNair Foundation and the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House. I had given very little thought that night at Limelight in Nashville that I would never see Steve McNair alive again.

Like most breaking news stories – and all tragedies – it was completely unpredictable that Steve McNair could die

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The Reality Check Presents “The Five Plays That Have Defined Ravens History”

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The Reality Check Presents “The Five Plays That Have Defined Ravens History”

Posted on 11 October 2011 by Glenn Clark

With no game to offer analysis for this weekend, Ryan Chell and I decided to go a different way with our Tuesday “Five Plays” segment. Instead of “The Five Plays That Determined The Game”, we went with “The Five Plays That Have Defined Baltimore Ravens History.”

Interesting, huh?

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Tony Siragusa pancakes Oakland Raiders QB Rich Gannon in the AFC Championship Game (January 2001)

gannon

4. Le’Ron McClain 82 yard TD run against the Dallas Cowboys to close Cowboys Stadium (December 2008)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzGRUNJorz8&feature=related[/youtube]

3. Steve McNair intercepted by Indianapolis Colts DB  Nick Harper in AFC Divisional Round playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium (January 2007)

harper

2. Kyle Boller drops ball, Denver Broncos DL Demetrin Veal recovers fumble (December 2005)

boller

1. Ray Lewis breaks up pass intended for Eddie George, returns INT for touchdown against Tennessee Titans in AFC Divisional Round (January 2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRlIEMhv-ZE[/youtube]

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Ravens Right to Honor Mackey Friday, But Fans Also Right To Want More

Posted on 17 August 2011 by Glenn Clark

Tuesday afternoon on Sports Talk 1570 WNST I asked a question that had an answer I felt was fairly simple.

“Do the Baltimore Ravens owe it to the community to honor late Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts TE John Mackey in a public way this season?”

When I asked the question, I had the benefit of knowledge on my side. As I reported Tuesday, the Ravens will recognize Mackey’s passing with an in-game tribute Friday during their preseason home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. The tribute will not include a moment of silence, as the team determined it would be inappropriate.

The team will not publicly salute former Colts DE Bubba Smith, who also passed away this summer. That determination was made because Bubba did not achieve Hall of Fame status as a player and “did not stay connected to Baltimore”, according to a team source.

My question was brought on by something written by former Colts DL Joe Ehrmann, who I talked to on Tuesday’s show. In a press release issued last week by the Baltimore Colts Alumni group before he officiated Mackey’s public memorial service Saturday, Ehrmann suggest the entire National Football League should take time this season to honor the life of Mackey.

“To truly honor our fallen teammate and leader, I hope the NFL players will demand — and the league and union will agree to — at least one game this season where every player wears a “88” patch on their jersey and each team airs appropriate public service announcements aimed at educating coaches, parents and young athletes on the prevention of head traumas.”

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Mason says it’s up to Ravens to decide if he returns

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Mason says it’s up to Ravens to decide if he returns

Posted on 26 July 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — On a day when players were thrilled to return to the Ravens training facility, receiver Derrick Mason faced the sobering possibility of leaving a place he’s called home for the final time.

Though it doesn’t become official until Thursday, the 37-year-old wideout will be released in a cap-saving move, along with veterans Todd Heap, Kelly Gregg, and Willis McGahee. Mason was at the facility for his exit physical and met with general manager Ozzie Newsome.

After spending the last six seasons in Baltimore, becoming the Ravens’ all-time leading receiver, Mason remains upbeat and willing to return — if the Ravens want him.

“If they want me back, I’m back,” Mason said. “That’s all I can say. Now, if some other team wants me, then I think that’s one of those things you have to look at. My first thought would be to come back here. This has been my football home for the last six years, so why leave it so abruptly? I’m going to do what I can, and hopefully they’ll do what they need to do in order to try to bring me back. If not, hey, I can play football.”

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Mason caught 471 passes and 29 touchdowns from 2005 to 2010, including a career-high 103 catches in 2007. He is the only Ravens receiver to record a 100-catch season in the 15-year history of the franchise.

Serving as the union representative before and during the 134-day lockout, Mason was asked if he now had an empty feeling after learning of his impending release on the same day that the lengthy labor battle came to a culmination.

“[We were] trying to make football better, and we accomplished that,” Mason said. “Football is better, because we were out of football for 134 days. And because of the hard work that we put in – the executive committee, DeMaurice [Smith] – football is much better than it was.”

Mason understood the business decision made by Newsome, reminding everyone that he faced a similar fate with the Tennessee Titan, but had nothing but kind words to say about the organization and city he’s called home since 2005. He was set to make $4.5 million in the final year of a two-year agreement signed on March 10, 2010.

He arrived in Baltimore when Kyle Boller was still considered the quarterback of the future, welcomed his former Tennessee teammate Steve McNair, and eventually became the safety net for current quarterback Joe Flacco.

“Why am I going to be upset? It is what it is,” said Mason, ironically while his agent was calling him. “I have no reason to be upset. This organization gave me an opportunity six years ago to further my career. Only thing I’m disappointed with is I didn’t get an opportunity to win a championship. That’s the only thing I’m disappointed [about].

“This organization has been more than accommodating, the fans have been more than accommodating. I don’t think you can play for a better organization than this one.”

With an entire offseason condensed into a matter of days, it’s difficult to predict if Mason will be back in purple when the Ravens take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 or if he’ll be running sideline routes for another team looking for a steady possession receiver to move the chains.

One thing is certain, however. Mason doesn’t doubt his ability to keep playing — even in the November of his career.

“My gut says I can still play football,” Mason said. “Where? I don’t know. It might be playing football when I’m in the backyard with my son. I don’t know, but I still can play football. That’s what [my gut] says to me.”

Listen to Derrick Mason’s entire conversation with the media at 1 Winning Drive in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here.

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Best From Week 1 to Week 17-Ngata My Choice For Ravens MVP

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Best From Week 1 to Week 17-Ngata My Choice For Ravens MVP

Posted on 05 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

In past years, voting for Baltimore Ravens MVP has been particularly simple.

In 2003, no one would have really needed to consider anyone not named Jamal Lewis for the honor.

In 2006, there was hardly an argument that Steve McNair didn’t deserve the award.

Just a season ago, I fired back the name “Ray Rice” about as quickly as I had received my MVP ballot.

Yet when ballots were sent out last week for the 2010 version of the honor, my deliberation process was a bit lengthier.

Plenty of Baltimore Ravens players had solid seasons in 2010.

LB Ray Lewis, S Ed Reed, LB Terrell Suggs and K Billy Cundiff were all very deserving of their Pro Bowl nods. Each could very well be considered in this conversation.

Suggs and Reed in particular were exceptional at times; Suggs collecting 11 sacks and forcing two fumbles, Reed tallying a league leading eight interceptions despite missing the first six games while on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

QB Joe Flacco is also deserving of consideration. P Sam Koch is as well. OL Ben Grubbs would at least have to be on the list, as would RB Rice, CB Josh Wilson and WR’s Anquan Boldin Derrick Mason.

In fact, my 2-10 on the list would be (in order): Suggs, Reed, Lewis, Flacco, Koch, Cundiff, Rice, Boldin and Mason. Wilson would be right after that group.
But when it came to determining one individual winner, one player really stood out.

From Week 1 in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets to Week 17 against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium, there was no better Raven than DT Haloti Ngata.

That’s why he was my choice for Ravens MVP.

Statistically, Ngata might stand out in the way other players do. However, he posted a career high in sacks (5.5), and tied career highs in tackles (63) and pass deflections (5).

He did it in a season where he was asked to play multiple positions along the defensive line; including a number of snaps at Rush End after the team waived veteran DE Trevor Pryce.

The Ravens finished the season with the 5th best run defense (93.9 ypg) in the NFL. They allowed more than 150 yards rushing just once all season (173 yards in Week 3 against Peyton Hillis and the Cleveland Browns); they allowed 75 yards rushing or less five times.

This coming after an offseason in which national football writers (and many of us in the local market) speculated the team was going to be stronger offensively than defensively.

But statistics probably don’t do complete justice to Ngata’s value to this football team.

In 2006, there was no hiding from the fact that Lewis (a sure fire future Hall of Famer) wanted a great DT to play behind in order to help extend his career.

In four years, the big man from Oregon has done just that and more. In 2010, a 35 year old Lewis collected 139 tackles (good for 6th in the NFL) and anchored that 5th over rushing defense.

Without Ngata in front of him, it would be fair to question whether or not Lewis would even be playing at this point in his career.

In October, Head Coach John Harbaugh described Ngata as “playing as well as any defensive player in the league (right now).” It wasn’t an exaggeration then and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration now.

There might be some argument that the New England Patriots’ Vince Wilfork is as good an interior D-Lineman as Ngata. There’s definitely an argument that if he hasn’t yet, Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh will soon pass Ngata on the list of the league’s best players at the position.

But for now, Ngata’s the guy.

And that’s really the biggest reason the team’s defense has remained a stellar unit despite the losses of Pryce, DL Justin Bannan and DL Dwan Edwards as well as the season ending torn ACL suffered by CB Domonique Foxworth at the start of Training Camp.

The best statement that can be made about Ngata this season is that there was never a game in which we found ourselves shaking our heads and thinking “what a pedestrian effort from Haloti today” or “are we sure Haloti knew the game kicked off at 1pm?” or “Haloti really hasn’t made an impact today.”

That can’t really be said about the other players in my Top 10.

From Week 1 to Week 17, Haloti Ngata showed up, gave a full effort and made a legitimate impact.

He was REALLY good in 2010. Not only was he the team’s best player, he was also their most valuable.

That’s why he got my vote.

ngata
(Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

-G

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Ravens appear to be ready for the NFL’s elite teams …..

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Ravens appear to be ready for the NFL’s elite teams …..

Posted on 11 October 2010 by Rex Snider

For the past few years, we’ve been accustomed to witnessing some dismal, yet predictable outcomes whenever the Ravens play the National Football League’s best competition. Such shortcomings are undoubtedly tied to a few mitigating reasons, but most importantly, the opponents have simply been better teams.

Of course, for the purpose of this conversation, “best competition” = INDIANAPOLIS COLTS and NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS.

Dating back to 2002, the Ravens have amassed a collective record of 1-11 against the Colts and Patriots. You got that? ONE WIN and ELEVEN LOSSES.

If we’re searching for answers, a few likely conclusions come to mind …..

The Colts and Patriots have outcoached the Ravens.

The Colts and Patriots have outperformed the Ravens.

The Colts and Patriots have outgutted the Ravnes.

And, as we all know, the Colts and Patriots have these guys …..
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While Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have merited the significant hand in matchups against a young Joe Flacco, Kyle Boller, Steve McNair, Anthony Wright, Jeff Blake and Chris Redman, an even greater reality exists in justifying such one-sided dominance.

The Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots have simply been been better teams. Heck, they’ve been the BEST teams of the last decade.

The Ravens have mounted some very spirited efforts against Indy and New England …..

Rewind the clock to December of 2007. On a blustery, snow flurried night, the Ravens nearly upset the undefeated Patriots, at M&T Bank Stadium. But, in the final seconds, the better team prevailed.

How about the trip to Indianapolis, in October of 2002? The Ravens lost a heartbreaker, thanks in part to an Oscar winning performance by former Raven, Qadry Ismail, on a disputable last minute pass interference call. But, once again, the better team prevailed.

The real reason the Ravens own ONE WIN against ELEVEN LOSSES in most recent matchups with the Colts and Patriots really boils down to the more talented team making things happen when it matters most. Indeed, this is a quality winners possess.

It also appears to be a quality the 2010 edition of the Baltimore Ravens are developing.

Yesterday’s win against the Denver Broncos didn’t really showcase any last minute heroics from Flacco & Company, but it did feature a well balanced offensive attack and this season’s first glimpse of a proposed powerful Ravens running game.

While Joe Flacco did not bring loud applause from his respective fantasy football owners, he did manage the game appropriately. He picked on a vulnerable secondary fill-in, when needed. And, he led an offensive effort that clearly wanted to win more than the Broncos defenders on the other side of the ball.

With exception to the hiccup in Cincinnati, the Ravens have improved their overall effort each and every week. And, the wins are coming with contributions from many facets of the team’s makeup. Yesterday, Ray Rice dominated. Last week, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Flacco stepped up at the biggest moment. Two weeks ago, Anquan Boldin burned the Browns.
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This is exactly how the Colts and Patriots have exploited the last decade. While Manning and Brady figure into every game’s outcome, they’ve reliably spread the ball, opportunities and credit among teammates.

Past games against the Colts or Patriots did not feature such an exercised strategy and performance from the Ravens. Years ago, Jamal Lewis was the lone offensive weapon, and more recently, Ray Rice and Derrick Mason have been the only real threats. Of course, the team’s defense has been heavily depended upon in each and every game.

But, it appears things are changing …..

Next Sunday, the Ravens will march into Foxboro with a more lethal offense than Bill Belichick has ever witnessed. Such a reality provides an optimistic feeling on this side of the fence. The Ravens pounded a “Welker-less” Patriots team, back in January. And, last October’s game …. well, lets just say that’s the game that slipped or “bounced” (off the chest of Mark Clayton) away.

There is legitimate reason to believe the Ravens are every bit as good as the Patriots. For the record, I think the Ravens are a better, balanced team.

That said, the Patriots are coming off their bye-week. And, history suggests Tom Brady is a very hard guy to beat when his team has two weeks to concentrate on an opponent. Regardless of the loss of Randy Moss, the Patriots will not lay down like the Broncos, nor will they be as unimaginative as the Steelers and Browns.

Next Sunday serves as a true test of the Baltimore Ravens legitimacy as an ELITE team in the National Football League.

It’s been nearly 9 years since the Ravens defeated the Colts or Patriots in a regular season contest. In the near-decade of matchups, Ravens losses have occurred in nearly every imaginable way. From last minute disappointments, to lackluster performances, to total blowouts, the Ravens have walked away from losses against the Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in nearly every possible scenario.

But, as I’ve suggested, that can really change next week. We could indeed witness the emergence of a couple of the NFL’s next BIG STARS …..
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And, to be quite honest, that’s the way it has to happen. Ray Rice is already on the brink and with yesterday’s showing, he’s primed to renew his 2009 outburst. With Joe Flacco, he needs the stage of serving notice on one of the guys who has done it many times. Beating Tom Brady, on successive efforts would be huge.

Most of all, the Ravens need to beat the Patriots, because that’s what winners do; they beat the good and bad teams.

Beating one of the two teams that has dominated the NFL for so long would establish a new dominance for the Ravens, and I think it would serve as a psychological step in the belief they can beat any team.

The Ravens are better than the Patriots, and in 6 days they’ll have an opportunity to prove it …..

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History on Ravens’ side after opening win against Jets

Posted on 16 September 2010 by Luke Jones

Mark Sanchez continues to talk like he’s taken too many “hard knocks” to the head, boasting “there’s nothing wrong with going 15-1″ to the New York Post after an embarrassing 74-yard performance on Monday night, but the Ravens (1-0) now put the delusional Jets in the rear-view mirror and shift their focus to the Cincinnati Bengals — and the accompanying Twitter sparring with Chad Ochocinco.

As ugly as it may have been, what does the 10-9 victory mean for the Ravens and their fate in the 2010 season? If history is any indication, good things await.

In reality, a victory in Week 1 counts no more or less than the remaining 15 games on the schedule. But from the time the schedule is released in April, the opening game and opponent is dissected — even obsessed over — for nearly five months, longer than any other game the Ravens could potentially play this season, including the Super Bowl. It means more only because we — fans and media — look forward to it for so long.

However, the team’s first 14 seasons in Baltimore suggests the first game is a strong indicator of how the team will fare for the entire season. The Ravens had previously won six openers, subsequently advancing to the postseason five times. Of the eight times the Ravens fell in Week 1, they made the playoffs just once.

Of course, many variables factor into the Week 1 outcome and its correlation with season-long success, such as the quality of the opponent, the team’s overall health, and whether they start at home or away. In most cases — as is the case around the league — the Ravens won the opener when they were expected to be good and lost when they weren’t.

For perspective, of the 12 teams to advance to the playoffs in 2009, only the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals lost in Week 1. Logically and quite obviously, playoff teams win more often than they lose, so it’s unsurprising to look back at Week 1 success as a fairly accurate predictor in most cases.

Considering most playoff teams will lose somewhere in the range of four to six games and most bad squads will win four to six, the Ravens’ strong Week 1 correlation with the season’s postseason fate is interesting to examine. Of their 14 previous seasons in Baltimore, an opening Ravens win meant playoffs and a loss meant no postseason 86 percent of the time (accurate 12 of 14 years).

As was the case with the Bengals and Cardinals a season ago, losing the opener does not sentence a team for failure, so perhaps the Jets won’t need to muzzle the trash talk just yet (as if they need anyone’s blessing anyway?). The 2003 Super Bowl champion Patriots are the perfect example, finishing with a 14-2 record after losing 31-0 to the Bills in Week 1. Buffalo finished 6-10 despite the shocking victory over the eventual champs.

A look back at the Ravens’ history in Week 1 reveals several teams with high expectations who disappointed after a season-opening loss and a couple that laid the groundwork for great seasons with a surprising victory to begin the year.

The Ravens’ opening opponent and result is listed below with their final record and postseason fate listed in parentheses:

1996 Oakland W (4-12, missed playoffs)
1997 Jacksonville L (6-9-1, missed playoffs)
1998 Pittsburgh L (6-10, missed playoffs)
1999 @St. Louis L (8-8, missed playoffs)
2000 @Pittsburgh W (12-4, won Super Bowl)
2001 Chicago W (10-6, earned wild-card berth)
2002 @Carolina L (7-9, missed playoffs)
2003 @Pittsburgh L (10-6, won AFC North)
2004 @Cleveland L (9-7, missed playoffs)
2005 Indianapolis L (6-10, missed playoffs)
2006 @Tampa Bay W (13-3, won AFC North)
2007 @Cincinnati L (5-11, missed playoffs)
2008 Cincinnati W (11-5, earned wild-card berth and advanced to AFC Championship)
2009 Kansas City W (9-7, earned wild-card berth)
2010 @New York Jets W (???)

The inaugural 1996 team was the only one not to qualify for the postseason after opening with a victory. In contrast, the 2003 Ravens won the franchise’s first AFC North title despite a humbling 34-15 defeat to the Steelers at Heinz Field in rookie Kyle Boller’s first start.

Expectations were high in 2004, 2005, and 2007, but the Ravens laid a Week 1 egg in each case, setting the table for disappointing seasons in which they missed the playoffs. However, nobody thought the 2008 Ravens — with rookie head coach John Harbaugh and rookie quarterback Joe Flacco — would go on to an 11-5 season and an appearance in the conference championship game, but their bruising 17-10 victory over the Bengals showed what was to come.

Taking a deeper look at the Ravens’ Week 1 history might cause fans to book their hotels and airfare for the Dallas area in the first week of February after the win at New Meadowlands Stadium on Monday night. The only other times the Ravens have begun the season with a road victory were 2000 and 2006.

In 2006, the Ravens had moderate expectations after the trade for veteran quarterback Steve McNair, but a dominating 27-0 victory at Tampa Bay was the first step to a 13-3 record, the best regular season record in franchise history.

And what followed in the weeks and months after the Ravens’ 16-0 victory at Three Rivers Stadium to begin the 2000 campaign? I think you remember that story.

In reality, the 2010 version of the Ravens is a different team with no connection to previous seasons, other than the ageless Ray Lewis leading the defense for the 15th straight year. Nearly 23 percent of the players on the current 53-man roster played elsewhere in 2009.

But if the team’s history in Week 1 provides an accurate window to what lies ahead for Baltimore, Monday night was a far more beautiful sight than what the ugly 10-9 win might have indicated to a national TV audience.

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (1-20)

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Greatest Ravens by jersey number (1-20)

Posted on 25 August 2010 by Luke Jones

With Sports Illustrated releasing its list of all-time best NFL players by jersey number this week, I decided to look back at the 15-year history of the Baltimore Ravens to construct a list of the greatest players for Nos. 1-99.

Some jersey numbers provide for good debate (Sam Adams or Jarret Johnson for No. 95?) while other integers provide quite the challenge to simply produce a warm body (Who was your favorite No. 46 to suit up for the Ravens?).

Some choices are obvious, others might anger you, and a few will make you say, “Who?” but let the debate begin.

1 Randall Cunningham (2001)

There was really no other choice here. Some Ravens fans are still hollering for Brian Billick to replace Elvis Grbac with the veteran backup.

2 Anthony Wright (2002-05)

No one will forget Wright tossing four touchdown passes to little-used receiver Marcus Robinson, as the journeyman quarterback engineered the greatest comeback in franchise history against the Seattle Seahawks in 2003.

3 Matt Stover (1996-2008)

Never mind the fact that he’s the only player to sport the number 3 in franchise history. There is actually a Stover tribute video on YouTube.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIxu_XtNNn0&p=C92451BE03B3F6A3&playnext=1&index=28[/youtube]

4 Sam Koch (2006-present)

With apologies to the current Ravens head coach’s brother Jim, who played quarterback for the Ravens in 1998, the current Ravens punter is the clear choice for No. 4.

5 Joe Flacco (2008-present)

The franchise quarterback won three playoff games in his first two seasons in the league. Not a bad start.

6 Steve Hauschka (2008-09)

Yes, I’m well aware of this…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6w8marhWJ8[/youtube]

The only other option here was J.R. Jenkins, the kickoff specialist in 2002. On second thought, Jenkins really got some distance on those kicks!

7 Kyle Boller (2003-08)

I realize most have already clicked back on their browser window after these last two picks, but the former Cal quarterback is still the franchise leader in total passing yards.
Boller
I’m not sure you were aware, but I once heard he could throw the football through the uprights. From the 50-yard line. On his knees.

8 Trent Dilfer (2000)

Flacco may be the toast of the town in 2010, but he has some work to do before making anyone forget about this guy.
Dilfer

9 Steve McNair (2006-07)

Many remember his poor playoff performance against Indianapolis in January 2007 and his miserable final season in Baltimore, but his arrival in 2006 helped orchestrate the best regular season record (13-3) in franchise history.

10 Eric Zeier (1996-98)

A punting performance by Kordell Stewart in 2004 and the brief hero-worship of Stoney Case in 1999 earn bizarre mentions here, but Zeier had six 100-plus quarterback rating performances and three 250-yard games in his three-year career in Baltimore. Height (listed at 6-foot-1) prevented the Georgia quarterback from getting a legitimate chance as the starter.

11 Jeff Blake (2002)

The former Bengal is the clear-cut choice here, but no one will forget him chuckling with Steelers coach Bill Cowher moments after tossing an interception in the end zone in the final seconds of a loss at Pittsburgh in 2002.

12 Vinny Testaverde (1996-97)

One of the most maligned quarterbacks in NFL history, Testaverde still owns the finest passing season in franchise history when he threw for 4,177 yards and 33 touchdowns in 1996.

Tony Banks gets consideration here with his five touchdown passes in the Ravens’ thrilling 39-36 comeback victory over Jacksonville in Week 2 of the 2000 season, a pivotal moment in the history of the franchise. Things fell apart quickly for Banks before eventually being replaced by Dilfer several weeks later.

13 Eron Riley* (2009-present)

Research indicated no player has worn No. 13 in the regular season for the Ravens. Riley wears the number on the preseason roster and was a member of the practice squad a year ago.

14 Wally Richardson (1997-98)

The pride of Happy Valley, Richardson was the third-string quarterback for two seasons and threw for one yard on two career attempts in the NFL.

15 Dave Zastudil (2002-05)

The front office took heat for drafting “The Weapon” in the fourth round of the 2002 draft, but Zastudil was a quality punter for four seasons before signing with the Browns.

16 Yamon Figurs (2007-08)

Tremendous speed that produced two touchdown returns his rookie season, but Figurs could never put it to use as a receiver.

17 David Tyree (2009)

Shayne Graham immediately takes this distinction if he makes the 53-man roster next month, but receiver Matt Willis (2007) was the only other option for this number. Besides, you may remember Tyree for something else a couple of years before his brief stop in Baltimore…
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-aKfTK2LiM[/youtube]

18 Elvis Grbac (2001)

Other than Boller a few years later, no player faced the wrath of Ravens fans quite like Grbac. The former Pro Bowl quarterback came to town with intense pressure to lead a repeat in 2001, but Grbac had no chance when Jamal Lewis was lost for the season after tearing his ACL early in training camp.
Grbac
He went down in flames against Pittsburgh in the playoffs and retired a few months later, but name a quarterback who would have won with Terry Allen and Jason Brookins as his feature backs that season.

19 Johnny Unitas*

Yes, I’m well aware Johnny U never played a down for the Ravens, but did you really think I could put this guy on the list?
Mitchell

20 Ed Reed (2002-present)

A nanosecond-long nod goes to the Super Bowl-winning safety Kim Herring, but Reed is the easiest choice among the numbers previously worn by other players. The ball-hawking safety is unquestionably one of the greatest free safeties in the history of the game.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVgUpwxR8Qg&feature=related[/youtube]

Next up: Find out which member of the Ring of Honor didn’t make the cut as I reveal the greatest Ravens for Nos. 21-40.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 11 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because myself, the lovely “Boomer Sooner”, “The Luckiest Dang Roommate on the Face of the Planet” and “The Luckiest Dang Roommate’s Girlfriend on the Face of the Planet” all wandered up to Camden, New Jersey (which might be the single WORST place on the face of the planet) to check out the great Jimmy Buffett.

I would sit here and sing the praises of Jimmy Buffett (and/or the multiple Coronas we downed beforehand), but you already know just how great he is. Instead, I’ll let you know that my personal favorite Jimmy Buffett live song is “Southern Cross”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7Ah-Ch8NQ4[/youtube]

And yes, you ARE allowed to pick a cover as your favorite song to see live. Of course, now that I found out that it is ALSO Boomer Sooner’s favorite song; I think I’m going to have to consider another. I mean, this is still relatively new for me. I can’t let her think that I respect/value her opinion, can I? She’s a girl!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Birds crushed 4 homers against Justin Masterson, bullpen in win over Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field

WHO ARE THESE GUYS?!?!?!?

Felix Pie, Corey Patterson, Matt Wieters and Luke Scott all homered last night (Luke Scott did something on the road?); and the team survived a shaky performance from Jake Arrieta to win their 7th in their last 8.

I don’t know what else to say. The fact is it DOESN’T matter as the team has won 7 of 8 but STILL has the worst record in Major League Baseball-although they’re just a half game in front (behind) of the Pittsburgh Pirates in that race. However, it is really nice to have a stretch like this. They’re not going to win 87.5% of their games the rest of the way; but if they can compete to stay around .500 the rest of the way, we’d all be entertained.

But it still wouldn’t REALLY matter.

What matters is what happens this offseason, and what happens next spring.

But if we’re going to have to watch the games, I guess we might as well be entertained. It’s either this or watching YouTube clips “Come On” highlights from Arrested Development and South Park…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5BMQ-xpTog[/youtube]

Okay, that clip was more entertaining. Sorry to the O’s…

2. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of another win

By the way, Arrieta’s final line last night was 6IP, 6R (5ER), 6H, 2BB, 3K. I feel like I’m going to hear someone describe his start as “gutty” at some point today.

You know the (new) drill here. You actually DO want to look at the numbers now, which is stunning. Do that, then look at this picture of Nikki Mitchell from The Smoking Jacket/Busted Coverage. Win/win I call it!

nikkimitchell

3. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Mike Gonzalez, Koji Uehara could take save opportunities from Alfredo Simon

I know Buck Showalter is all about winning games (and trust me, I’m GRATEFUL for that); but I don’t think Uehara makes sense.

Uehara’s 2 year, $10 million deal ends in a month and a half; and I just can’t fathom Andy MacPhail having future plans for him in Charm City. Then again, MacPhail was the guy who gave him stupid money and a stupid promised start in the rotation originally.

If Showalter wants to find out whether or not he has a closer on the roster for next season (and I’m guessing he doesn’t), he should go with Simon and Gonzalez. If he’s just hellbent on making sure Steve in Homeland loses his bet with Drew Forrester; maybe it’s worth taking a shot on ol’ “Sideburns.”

4. Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker says former Mariners manager Wakamatsu could join Buck Showalter’s Orioles staff

Apparently these two have a history that dates back to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and this would be a natural fit. I’d be fine with it, but I’d prefer they go out and get an actual PLAYER from the Emerald City. For example, is Ichiro available?

This of course is part of the question surrounding what the Orioles’ staff will look like a season from now. Few in Baltimore would be saddened to see Terry Crowley depart, but baseball minds will tell you he’s still amongst the better true hitting coaches in baseball. There’s an argument that the young pitchers on the Orioles staff would be better suited to have Rick Kranitz stick around for continuity, but there’s also an argument he hasn’t earned that right just yet.

With no offense to Gary Allenson, T-Bone Shelby or Jeff Datz; those jobs really aren’t significant enough to worry about who handles them. Should Buck Showalter have someone from his past (Toronto Blue Jays 3B Coach Brian Butterfield comes to mind) that he wants to fill the role; that’s fine. Should he decide to keep one or more of the current guys in place, that would be fine as well.

5. The Sun’s Dean Jones Jr. says Scott Moore homered in Norfolk Tides’ loss to Indianapolis Indians on farm

And before we move on from the Orioles, a few things:

-The Birds and Tribe face off again tonight, with first pitch from the Comeback City at 7:05pm on MASN. Brad Bergesen faces Josh Tomlin-whoever that is.

-Did you miss Hall of Famer Earl Weaver with Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Drew and Earl talked about Buck Showalter, the anniversary of Cal Ripken’s MLB debut and much more. Head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Chorye Spoone (Bowie Baysox pitcher)-who joined Drew this morning to discuss his season in the O’s system
  • Orlando Alzugary (WQAM Miami)-who previewed the Miami Dolphins as we continue to preview AFC East teams this week in our look at the Baltimore Ravens’ schedule
  • Purple reports from Westminster with Luke Jones; as well as sound from McDaniel College Tuesday with John Harbaugh, Jameel McClain and Tom Zbikowski
  • Chris Chester (Ravens OL)-who joined Thyrl Nelson following practice Tuesday
  • Ken Singleton (YES Network)-who discussed the anniversary of Cal’s debut and some New York Yankees baseball with Rex Tuesday
  • Ryan Couture (Strikeforce fighter, son of Randy Couture) and Reed Harris (WEC General Manager)-who both joined Thyrl Nelson and John Rallo Tuesday during “The MMA Report”

It’s all there in the Audio Vault, meaning once again you have your day taken care of for you. As always, you’re welcome.

6. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Chris Carr, Jared Gaither likely to miss Ravens preseason opener tomorrow night vs. Carolina Panthers

We still don’t know about some of the other question marks on the roster, including Fabian Washington-who could be sat to protect him from the M&T Bank Stadium turf.

If Washington & Carr can’t play, it would be likely that Travis Fisher and Cary Williams would start. Wow.

They could still go out and make an acquisition. For example, I believe Paulina Stanek is available. (Thanks Don Chavez!)

stanek

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Domonique Foxworth underwent knee surgery Tuesday performed by Dr. James Andrews

That’s right, the ugliest name in all of sports medicine-which also so happens to be one of the best.

It’s a long road back from an ACL tear-but there’s no question in my mind that Domonique can handle it both mentally and physically. Because of the timing of it, he should be in good shape to be back in time for Training Camp next season.

In the meantime…umm…does he maybe have a cousin who can come play for the Ravens???

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says Shayne Graham, Billy Cundiff to alternate kicks tomorrow night

And before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things:

-Training Camp is CLOSED to the public (and to the media) today, so if you head up to Carroll County-a trip to Chick-Fil-A will be about your only option. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Luke Jones will still be checking in throughout the day with Thyrl Nelson and Rex Snider today on AM1570 WNST as we prepare for the Ravens’ preseason opener tomorrow night.

-This morning’s “Training Camp Top 5″ was “If you were to get in a fight with Pittsburgh Steelers fans in the upper deck at Heinz Field, which current or former Ravens would you want on your side?”

Here’s my list:

  1. Orlando Brown
  2. Steve McNair
  3. Bart Scott
  4. Tom Zbikowski
  5. Arthur Jones

Here’s Drew’s list:

  1. Rex Ryan
  2. Kelly Gregg
  3. Ray Lewis
  4. Jarret Johnson
  5. Frank Walker

And via Twitter (follow us @WNST), here’s Nestor Aparicio’s list…

  1. Orlando Brown
  2. Bob Sapp
  3. Sam Adams
  4. James Trapp
  5. Ray Lewis

9. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins De’Onte Arnett, Taylor Watson to miss Training Camp in College Park

The Terps held their football Media Day yesterday at Byrd Stadium, and you will be able to hear from plenty of players (including Jamarr Robinson, Da’Rel Scott, Alex Wujciak, Poly’s LaQuan Williams, Antwine Perez, Torrey Smith and more) via WNSTv in the next few days/weeks.

It was a slightly awkward day at Media Day yesterday, as the cloud of last year’s 2-10 record and the uncertainty surrounding Ralph Friedgen and James Franklin (the man tabbed to be the program’s next head coach) remains. It will remain that way until (unless?) Maryland turns things around this season.

The other news to come out of Media Day was that LB Avery Murray has left the team for personal reasons, and Zach Kerr & Ronnie Tyler are still in summer school.

Patrick and I discuss Maryland’s O-Line, preview North Carolina and North Carolina State; and get into a spirited discussion regarding Navy football in this week’s “D1scast”-which you can hear now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.

10. LA Times’ Chris Dufresne names Navy 24th best team in country

What Patrick and I discussed yesterday surrounded the nature that this is CLEARLY the best team in Annapolis since maybe as far back as the Roger Staubach era; but all of the positive feelings could go away should Ken Niumatalolo’s Midshipmen lose just the season opener against Maryland.

Their schedule doesn’t allow for them to make too much noise the rest of the way (they face other ACC bottom-feeders like Duke and Wake Forest as well as a Notre Dame team that may or may not be a factor in the BCS this season). Should they suffer an early costly loss, it will be hard to maintain a Top 25 (or Top 25-range) status.

That being said, this is a FANTASTIC problem for the Mids to have.

You know who won’t have trouble staying in the Top 25 this season? Sophie Reade. (Thanks Guyism!)

sophie

And finally, I leave you with this.

I named “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week” earlier this week on Facebook (you can add me as a friend-just search for “Glenn Clark” and add the goofy looking guy sipping Orange Kool-Aid because he lost a bet to Ed in Park Heights). “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison isn’t just A comeback song, it is THE comeback song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB1D9wWxd2w[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 August 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I was out of town yesterday-but had an outstanding experience. I poked my head into a random farmers market (for security reasons, I’ll leave the location undisclosed), and it was a magical experience. A friend of mine (I think for future reference we’re going to call her “Boomer Sooner” here) made a delicious concoction of beeksteak tomatoes, feta cheese, a multigrain baguette, lemon basil and pepper.

Seeing as how my meals are usually made up of frozen pasta or Chick-Fil-A, it was a refreshing change of pace. Unfortunately my phone was dead, so I failed to Twitpic the experience. I’m sorry everyone!

But as I pointed out yesterday on Facebook (search “Glenn Clark” and add the guy who is drinking orange kool-aid and shaking his head because he lost a bet to Ed in Park Heights), the highlight of the event was the fact that this vision of food took place in direct earshot of a group called the Second String Band. I wish I had their version of “If I Had a Boat” available, but instead you’re going to have to settle for Dave Matthews’ version. No offense to Lyle Lovett, it’s just that everyone else does his song better…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap1ruVdAwl8[/youtube]

And while we’re here, let’s go ahead and post Dave Matthews (& Emmylou Harris) covering “Long Black Veil”-most famously from Johnny Cash. I mean, as long as we’re here…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCLqphW77aA[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net says Peter Angelos directly involved with Ravens, MASN divorce

My initial response? “Surprise, surprise.”

It’s frustrating to read this story, but it is by no means stunning. MASN has been nothing short of a trainwreck since it’s inception (that’s not a low blow), even when one Glenn Clark was briefly part of the programming. In fact, if you ever needed proof that MASN was a trainwreck from the go, the fact that Glenn Clark was ever part of it has to be absolute proof!

The good news that comes from the MASN/Ravens divorce? We’ll NEVER have to watch Tom Davis have to talk about a franchise he so clearly despises. The guy was almost comical in his snide comments regarding the organization-which was a bit interesting considering his over-the-top love affair with the Major League Baseball team in town. You know, the Major League Baseball team that employed him.

There was a sense that the Orioles finally came around to working with the Ravens out of necessity. The Ravens pep rally and giveaway nights at Camden Yards would attract the biggest crowds of the season; and it was always fun to see the likes of John Harbaugh, Steve McNair and Willis McGahee throw out the first pitch at a game.

I hope the Orioles don’t really think they don’t “need” the Ravens anymore. I hope they’re not foolish enough to think that they’ve fixed their problems and don’t need the help. I’m as excited as anyone else about the 5-1 start under a new manager, but this is still a desperate situation.

2. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Tavares Gooden, Chris Carr amongst Ravens who missed practice Sunday

The good news? Tavares Gooden returned to practice Monday, according to our own Luke Jones-who is reporting from the practice field at McDaniel College.

The bad news? Chris Carr did not practice again Monday morning. He wouldn’t answer questions about the injury (believed to be his hamstring) after practice Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium, and John Harbaugh dismissed questions as well.

I’m not sure what there is to know, but I know that an injury to Chris Carr is reason for concern. With Domonique Foxworth out for the year and Lardarius Webb on PUP, Chris Carr is a very important part of this football team. Hopefully the injury is not significant.

Luke passed along a few more notes from this morning-as OL’s David Hale & Stefan Rodgers as well as safety KJ Gerard WERE practicing, while Ramon Harewood, Tony Moll and Marcus Paschal were again NOT practicing.

Talking about football is just so great…

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says ‘cutting down penalties’ area of concern for Ravens in Training Camp

An area of concern for Glenn Clark? Finding more pictures of Nikoleta Rali (Thanks Don Chavez!)…

nikoleta

And a few more Ravens notes before we move on…

-Remember, today and tomorrow are the only days this week you can go watch the team practice at McDaniel College. The team will have a walkthrough Wednesday that is closed to the public, and are off Friday following Thursday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

-Our own Luke Jones is back out in Carroll County all day today, keeping you updated with Thyrl Nelson and Rex Snider every hour on AM1570 WNST.

4. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Jeremy Guthrie out-dueled Mark Buehrle as Orioles topped White Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Who in the hell are these guys?!?!?

I had a TERRIBLE feeling when Ramon Castro crushed the home run in the 9th off of Alfredo Simon to make it 4-3. But much like when I had a terrible feeling as the team tried to blow a 9-1 lead against the Los Angeles Angels last week, the team managed to hold on.

And with that in mind, I say “Buck Yeah!”

koolaid

It doesn’t REALLY matter what happens in these games the rest of the way as the season ended before even Memorial Day; but it is nice to actually win some of them anyway. What happens from April-June of NEXT year will be significantly more important, but I’ll continue to enjoy it for now. It certainly beats the alternative.

5. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of another win

And once again, I’m left without my tag line here.

Guthrie was absolutely stellar, allowing one run on 6 hits and just one walk over 8 innings. Felix Pie homered, and just about everyone in the lineup (including Cesar Izturis) had a double.

I CANNOT figure out who these guys are.

But just to keep up appearances, take a look at the numbers and THEN take a look at this picture of Shanna McLaughlin hanging out in the Central Florida locker room. I don’t know why she did it, but I’m glad she did. Thanks Busted Coverage!

shanna

6. The Sun’s Steve Gould says Troy Patton optioned to Norfolk, Craig Tatum expected to take his place on O’s roster

Apparently Buck Showalter went to Andy MacPhail and said he wanted another position player for the bench. I’m sure Andy MacPhail was happy to have someone offer him thoughts about personnel.

When Tatum officially gets called back up, make sure you’re signed up for the WNST Text Service. You’ll find out the news as soon as it happens.

I’m guessing Jake Fox will be happy to not have to catch anymore. Or at least I am…

7. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Buck Showalter wants to give Jason Berken ‘a break’

And given how he’s struggled recently after lighting the world on fire earlier in the season, it is apparent that his workload (leading the league in innings pitched) has caught up with him.

Now it is a bit strange that the team would option Troy Patton at the same time that they’re giving Jason Berken a break-but I will admit that the starting pitching has been pretty good recently. When Kevin Millwood wasn’t hammered in the first inning Saturday night, I thought it a minor miracle.

That doesn’t mean that I’m convinced that the starting pitching is somehow “fixed.”

I have a bad feeling that the team will end up getting at least a few rough starts soon (maybe not against the Cleveland Indians-they’re terrible; but possibly against the Tampa Bay Rays this weekend despite the fact that everyone else has no-hit them this season). It is probably a risk worth taking though, and hopefully Berken will be ready to go before too long.

8. NorfolkTides.com says Zach Britton roughed up in Tides’ loss to Louisville Bats on farm

And a few things before we move on from the Birds…

-They’ll close up their 4 game series with the Pale Hose tonight at OPACY, Brian Matusz takes the hill against Edwin Jackson. First pitch is at 7:05pm and the game can be seen on MASN.

-Did you miss Jay Jaffe from Baseball Prospectus this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Mark Kelso (Buffalo Bills Color Analyst)-as Drew continued to preview the teams on the Baltimore Ravens’ schedule this season
  • Rex Hoggard (Golf Channel)-who broke down Tiger Woods’ struggles in Akron and previewed the PGA Championship this weekend
  • A live check-in from Luke Jones this morning from Westminster at Training Camp
  • John Harbaugh’s Sunday press conference
  • Lomas Brown (ESPN Analyst and former NFL O-Lineman)-who joined Eric Aaronson to look around the league.

Now you have your day planned. You can thank me later.

9. UMTerps.com says 22 Maryland freshmen reported to College Park Sunday before practice begins Tuesday

Overheard from Ralph Friedgen’s tour of the area Sunday…

“This is Route 1. Never go here. I know you will anyway, so when you do-don’t act like an idiot. Don’t let me find out how stupid you are. Don’t get arrested at Cornerstone. Don’t bother women at Bentley’s. PLEASE and Thank You.”

Hopefully the young Terrapins were listening.

10. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terps trying to break streak of 6 straight seasons scoring 25 or fewer points per game

You know what would help this team offensively? A little photographic inspiration. May I suggest Pia Muehlenbeck? (Thanks Guyism!)…

pia

And finally, I leave you with this.

As I said yesterday via Facebook, I’m not sure if it even technically counts as a board game, but I know what the greatest board game of all time is…

connect4

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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