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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Monday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 26 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Monday!

It’s a Happy Monday for me because I decided to spend the weekend out in the heat; going to see the Beach Boys with the great Tom Clark and Karen Clark Saturday night at Pier Six Pavilion; and hitting up Dave Matthews Band Friday night at Nationals Park with “The Artist Formerly Known as The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet.”

I apologize if you’ve already seen this on my Facebook page (search “Glenn Clark” to add me as a friend; I’ll be in a picture at Artscape wearing a Derrick Mason Dan Wilcox jersey); but I thought it was worth sharing again. I’ve seen Dave Matthews channel Willie Nelson for “Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away” a handful of times in my life, but I will admit that it was BETTER with Zac Brown along for the ride…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjkPpX0cAZA[/youtube]

Yeah, I managed to enjoy myself despite the fact that I was surrounded by insufferable folks from Washington. At least I had 4-5 guys come up to me during the night and yell “Go Ravens”, which I certainly appreciated.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Ravens LB Sergio Kindle stable after hitting head in accidental fall down two flights of stairs in Austin Thursday night

I hate to start such a laughable blog with such a serious topic; but clearly this is the most significant story of the weekend locally.

As I wrote yesterday, the news is “troubling” at best. We still don’t know many details surrounding the incident or a timetable for Kindle’s return; which only allows for more speculation from folks in the area.

What we know is that Kindle is at the University Medical Center Breckenridge in Texas, where he’s expected to make a full recovery after falling down two flights of stairs. What we DON’T know is how he managed to fall down two flights of stairs. Was it a fight? Was alcohol involved? Were drugs involved? Was it a simple accident?

It’s hard to ignore the troubles Kindle dealt with during his time with the Longhorns; but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should expect the worst here. As I said the night the Ravens selected him and Terrence Cody; they knew what they were getting themselves into. The pair had immense talent, but plenty of red flags to match.

The bigger question is what will it mean going forward. We’re hoping to find out more about that this afternoon when John Harbaugh addresses the media at the Best Western in Westminster. Make sure you’re tuned in to Nestor Aparicio this afternoon (he’s just filling in for Rex Snider this week, calm down everyone) to hear from the coach-hopefully with news on a timetable for Kindle’s return.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark breaks down 81 players on Ravens roster before Training Camp opens

As of this moment, I have David Hale as the last player MAKING the cut and John Beck the first player MISSING the cut. Want an explanation? You’ll have to click the link to check it out; as well as a breakdown of the other 79 players who are preparing to open practice at McDaniel College.

It’s really fine work from this particular writer; and I would know a thing or two about fine work. For example, I saw this picture of Shakira over at Don Chavez…

shakira

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Terrell Suggs’ shape, health of Lardarius Webb & Fabian Washington worth watching out for in Westminster

Also worth watching to see if Luke Jones and I melt in the heat.

Rookies (except Sergio Kindle), quarterbacks and select veterans (players recovering from injuries, practice squad guys, etc.) are all reporting to Westminster today; with the first practice of the year coming tomorrow at 8:45am.

It will certainly be worth watching to see what type of participation the two corners can offer (I’m assuming both will be reporting today) as they return from knee injuries; as well as players like Brandon McKinney-who hasn’t fully participated since suffering a back injury last season.

It will also be interesting to hear from Troy Smith, who is reporting to Camp as the #3 quarterback on the roster for the first time since his rookie season in 2007-when Steve McNair and Kyle Boller were ahead of him on the depth chart.

As we get to Thursday & Friday we’ll be able to take a look at the veteran players like T-Sizzle who have some question marks surrounding their arrival at Camp.

The good news? There’s football to talk about this week. OH.THANK.GOD!

4. The Sun’s Rich Scherr says Baltimore Mariners topped Wyoming Cavalry at 1st Mariner Arena to win first AIFA Championship Bowl

Awesome stuff. I’m well aware that it is the AIFA and not the NFL; but it is still a Championship. It’s particularly fulfilling in a year when the Baltimore Blast surprisingly DIDN’T win a Championship-as it guarantees the city of Baltimore a title of some sort this season.

Just awesome stuff all around; and an entertaining game whether you attended, listened online or simply followed our updates via Twitter (follow us @WNST.)

If you missed Mariners LB Fearon Wright this morning with Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST; make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to check it out. Other guests this morning included:

-Stacey Long (Camden Chat); who joined us in-studio to break down the end of baseball season in town
-Will Carroll (Baseball Prospectus); who took a look around MLB with Drew
-Ross Tucker (SI.com, GoBigRecruiting.com); who previewed NFL Training Camp season.

They can all be found in the Audio Vault today as well.

5. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says graduation important to Maryland WR Torrey Smith, who’s on pace to finish school in December

It’s natural to compare Torrey Smith to Darrius Heyward-Bey; although he hasn’t shown ANY of the leaping ability that DHB did during his brief run in College Park. Worse than that, Hey-Bey clearly has yet to live up to his Top 10 NFL Draft status during his time with the Oakland Raiders.

However, should Torrey Smith have a big junior season-he would put himself in the position to at least consider a jump to the NFL; even if he isn’t destined to be a Top 10 pick like the the previous Terps receiver ended up being.

So how do the Terrapins keep Torrey Smith in school if he has a big year? I’d suggest they tell him Jessica Hall would be impressed by that (Thanks Busted Coverage/F-Listed!)

jessicahall

Patrick’s in Greenboro for the ACC Football kickoff; make sure you check out his site (D1scourse.com) and follow him on Twitter (@D1scourse) for updates. We’ll discuss it in depth on this week’s “D1scast.”

6. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Jake Arrieta rocked as Orioles fell to Twins at Oriole Park at Camden Yards

After not watching a single game for the better part of a week; I actually sat down and watched the game yesterday.

I should’ve switched over to the “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” marathon they had on E!

You can wonder how things might have been different had Arrieta been able to retire Jason Kubel instead of giving up a 2 out grand slam; but it’s fruitless. He was playing with fire and got burnt. I’m certainly not panicking about Arrieta; but it has to be at least a bit concerning that he could only go 4 innings yesterday.

Luke Scott had a couple of doubles; which will hopefully help his potential trade value as we rapidly approach Sunday’s deadline.

Andy MacPhail can use all of the help he can get in that area. Hopefully Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Guthrie will be a bit more inspired on Tuesday and Wednesday as the Orioles hit Canada; as they could BADLY help this team.

7. The AP/WNST.net provide numerical evidence of loss

Corey Patterson added 2 hits (including a double), as did Felix Pie. Cesar Izturis added a couple of RBI in the 9th inning; which was nice as well.

But trust me-you REALLY don’t want to look at this. Instead, look at this photo of Alessandra Ambrosio from What Would Tyler Durden Do. We’ll regroup after that…

ambrosio

8. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Matt Wieters activated, Craig Tatum sent back down to Norfolk

Which is weird-because I remember a certain Drew Forrester saying to me last week “They’re NOT sending Tatum down.”

Sorta like a guy I knew who said about Maryland football last year “they’re not losing to Duke.”

I don’t like having Jake Fox as a backup catcher. But then again, I don’t like Jake Fox. Of course, I have to keep in mind that the choices in this situation are garbage and garbage; but I think Craig Tatum has at least performed at a more respectable level than Jake Fox this season. If garbage can be respectable that is.

Sorry guys, it is what it is.

9. Baysox.com says Steve Johnson pitched Bowie past Richmond Flying Squirrels on farm

And before we move on from the on-field Birds; a couple of things:

-The Orioles are back in action tonight; as they head to Toronto to face the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. First pitch between Brad Bergesen and Brandon Morrow is at 7:07pm on MASN. The Jays are 9-0 against the Orioles this season. It’s hard for me to imagine that changing tonight.

-With the baseball season now OVER in Charm City; we named our first ever “Apologist of the Year” this morning; with “The Great Arbitrator” making the final call. The nominees were:

  • MASN’s Steve Melewski
  • Post-game hosts Jim Hunter & Rick Dempsey
  • Chris Stoner
  • “Heath” from Dempsey’s Army
  • The Sun’s Peter Schmuck
  • 105.7′s Tom Davis
  • Our pal “Roar From 34″
  • The man in charge-Andy MacPhail
  • “Neal S” from The Loss Column
  • Our own Drew Forrester

And after careful deliberation; we are proud to announce that our first ever “Apologist of the Year” is……fellow Perry Hall High School alum Steve Melewski!

Amazingly, the news has traveled quickly in the PHHS circle; and our alma mater’s Wikipedia page has already been adjusted to reflect the honor.

GO GATORS!!!

10. MLB.com’s Kyle Maistri says former O’s PBP Voice Jon Miller honored with Ford Frick Award at Hall of Fame ceremony in Cooperstown

I’m just going to leave this alone for right now, other than to offer this YouTube classic (Thanks Sam Angell!)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0j40hUOlXDc[/youtube]

Congratulations Jon!

And finally, I leave you with this.

After seeing DMB Friday night; I think I’m gonna go ahead and give “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week” honors to “Cornbread.” It’s so great…

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

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Jamal Lewis on 2010 Ravens: “It’s Really Up To Them How Far They Want to Go”

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Jamal Lewis on 2010 Ravens: “It’s Really Up To Them How Far They Want to Go”

Posted on 22 July 2010 by Ryan Chell

Jamal Lewis
Jamal Lewis has taken a ton of hits over the years as a between-the-tackles running back in the NFL for the last decade, and he feels like he is ready to move on to other more fortunate-and safer-endeavors in his life.

Lewis, the Ravens’ all-time leading rusher, spent the last three seasons with the Cleveland Browns after the Ravens released Lewis in February of 2007.

After being released by the Browns in February, Lewis and a business partner just recently invested in a hotel and water park in Columbus, Ohio called Fort Rapids Indoor WaterPark Resort.

Before tackling business propositions, Lewis was the anchor of Brian Billick’s offense from 2000-2007, in which Lewis ran for 7,801 yards in six seasons after Baltimore drafted Lewis out of the University of Tennessee with the fifth pick in the 2000 NFL draft.

In his rookie season, Lewis quickly usurped Priest Holmes as the starter, and was heavily leaned on in the Ravens’ Super Bowl run in 2000, as he recorded 1364 yards and 6 TDs in 13 starts.

His success forced the Ravens not to resign Holmes, who quickly left to have a great couple years in Kansas City. It was only after that decision to not resign Holmes that Lewis tore his knee in training camp, and the Ravens, with no running game in 2001, failed to defend their Super Bowl title as quarterback Elvis Grbac was asked to put the offense on his shoulders.

You all know how that worked out.

After coming back healthy, Lewis’ best year came in 2003, when Lewis was basically the Ravens’ offense. He became the fifth running back to reach 2000 yards rushing in a season, joining the likes of O.J Simpson, Terrell Davis, Eric Dickerson, and Barry Sanders.

He added fourteen touchdowns that year, and also set a then-single game rushing record, when he rushed for 295 yards against the Browns( recently broken by Adrian Peterson of the Vikings against the Chargers).

He earned the Offensive Player of the Year Award, as well as the NFL Writers Association MVP Award( the AP NFL MVP went to Peyton Manning and Steve McNair that year.)

And with Chris Johnson of Tennessee joining him in that elite company last year, Lewis said that Johnson would certainly be a guy he would build his team around based on his pure athletic ability.

“I’d take him just because of his speed,” Lewis told Thyrl Nelson of WNST Thursday. They’re giving him the ball, they’re throwing the ball to him on the outside, he can run with it. He can score probably from anywhere on the field due to his speed.

And he even threw a little respect to a current Raven running back as well as Johnson.

“Him and Ray Rice, those would be my two guys.”

No running back in NFL history has ever rushed for 2000 yards in consecutive seasons, but if Lewis feels like anyone can do it, Johnson can, but it’s not going to be easy, he said.

“To go through a 2000 yard season, it’s a lot of work first of all. It’s a lot of yards, but we call it miles. It’s a lot of miles on the body. It’s a lot of hits.”

“It is possible to go in and run for another 2000 yards, but it’s going to be way much harder than it was to go and try and do that. Guys are going to key on you, and defenses are not going to let you come in and just run over them. They already know what you’re capable of.”

And that’s what opposing defenses did to Lewis after 2003.  Lewis’ numbers, and his popularity in Baltimore, began to dip over his final years as a Raven.

The following year, he barely reached 1000 yards in 12 starts, and for the first time in his career, he missed a 1000 yard season in 2005 as ankle problems stopped the shifty, bruising running back’s ability to cut and hit the hole.

And despite reaching his potential in his final year as a Raven in 2006, getting back to 1132 yards rushing, the Ravens saw his 3.4 yards per carry as a concern and decided to go another route, releasing their franchise leader in rushing yards.

Lewis wore out his welcome in Baltimore fast despite his earlier success due to his contract concerns, his poor production and decline at times on the field in his later years, and a poor attitude.

Things got worse in 2004-2005 when he was cited for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine while he was in  Atlanta, and for that, Lewis served a four month sentence in a halfway house. It was incidents like that, along with him breaking down after 400 carries in 2003, that rushed him out of Baltimore and to division-rival Cleveland in 2007.

In his first year in Cleveland, Lewis had a chip on his shoulder, and with no competition around him, he saw a resurgence of the Lewis of old. He reached the 1,300 yard mark with Cleveland and for the second straight year in a row had nine rushing scores.

But again, as injuries, old age, and an attitude that sometimes got him in trouble, Cleveland soon grew tired of Lewis as well, and Lewis saw the last two years in Cleveland competing with the likes of Jerome Harrison and others.

Back in November after a concussion ended his season, Lewis announced his retirement from the NFL at the conclusion of the year. However, Lewis has yet to turn in his retirement papers to the NFL, and the only reason why he is out of football right now is due to the fact that Cleveland released him in February.

He finished his career-or his stats currently stand at-10,607 rushing yards, 62 total touchdowns, and a 4.2 yards-per-carry average.

With the injuries mounting up on him over the years, Lewis feels like he is done.

“Due to my injury, it’s been steering me away from putting the helmet back on.”

And now he has a chance to be a fan of the NFL, which he enjoys. And he has kept a big eye on what his original franchise in Baltimore has been doing this off-season in an attempt to get back to the Super Bowl, which Lewis helped carry them to a decade ago.

“The Ravens made some good good moves in Anquan Boldin, to come in and help balance the attack with Ray Rice,” Lewis said. “You still have Derrick Mason, who is a great great player. He’s an older guy, but he can still move the ball and catch and run with it.  All around, it’s really up to them how far they want to go, especially with the field cop in Ray Lewis leading the way.”

Lewis said he would have loved to have a team of this firepower years ago, but he did admit he would have definitely not achieved his 2,000 yard season with a Joe Flacco on this team, a record and distinciton of his that is very close to his heart.

“But with an Anquan Boldin and a Derrick Mason, and some guys over there like Joe Flacco throwing the ball down field, I don’t think I could have come out with a 2,000 yard season.”

But he said his time in Baltimore could have lasted a bit longer, as well as his career as a whole, if the team had this kind of balance when he was lining up in the backfield.

“It would have been a better situation than I think. We could have had a longer winning streak if we had that kind of talent and the kind of balance that they’re putting in place now.”

He has been paying attention to the buzz surrounding the team, and how many people think this team might go to the Super Bowl. But he warned this Ravens team not to buy into all that attention just yet, because that’s all it is.

No team knows where they’re going, but every team wants to go in a certain direction,” Lewis said.  “Whatever people say about what they’re going to do this season, or how far they’re going to go, I think its just hype.”

“But at the same time, due to free agency and the moves made around the league, the sorriest team could be the best team the next year.”

And now, as a hotel and water-park entrepenuer, Lewis and his business partners will be taking a lot of calls and reservations.

Lewis will just have to wait to see if there are reservations for him not only in the Ravens Ring of Honor, but maybe Canton as well.

Tune into WNST and WNST.net for more Ravens news as training camp starts next week! WNST-We Never Stop Talking about our Ravens-Past or Present!

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 06 July 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because I’m still basking in a 4th of July weekend trip to Chicago. If you missed any of my very important updates via Twitter/Twitpic (follow us @WNST), here are the most significant highlights…

I was in the Philadelphia airport Saturday morning preparing to fly when I wandered into the closest “Hudson News” stand I could find. I picked up the ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports NFL season preview, and flipped to the Baltimore Ravens section to see what I would find. I was a BIT surprised…

pft

I forwarded that picture to my parents…but I’m not sure they were impressed. In fact, I think the response was “when are you going to get a real job?”

When I finally got settled in the Windy City Saturday afternoon; our first stop was an early dinner at Lou Malnati’s. I was a little confused as to why we needed to get to dinner no later than 5pm…right up until I saw maybe 100 folks waiting in line for deep dish pizza after we had been there for a few minutes. We ordered a Chicago-Style Classic and a 312 Brew from Goose Island Brewing Company. I wasn’t disappointed in either…not even a little bit.

malnatis

We then hit the Hancock Tower. Apparently the Sears Tower is bigger, but their observatory isn’t as far up as the one at the Hancock. I have no comment, as math was never something I was particularly good at. What I do know is that this view was pretty freaking cool…

chicago

Saturday night was a stop at the Second City comedy club. If you’re not familiar, this is the improv factory that produced the likes of Chris Farley, John Belushi, John Candy, Gilda Radner, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey and the majority of the current/former stars of SNL. Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures. My bad.

I thought the purpose of going to Taste of Chicago this weekend was to see Robert Randolph and The Family Band Sunday afternoon. While that was still the major highlight; I knew my experience in Grant Park (you’ll remember Grant Park was the large area where Barack Obama made his acceptance speech on Election Night in 2008) was going to be outstanding when this was the image that greeted me…

tasteofchicago

And that was BEFORE I hit the Harry Caray’s booth. I’ve had potato chips before, but I’ve never had THESE…

chips

These ended up getting some cajun seasoning and hot sauce as well; and were REALLY.FREAKING.GOOD. Another highlight? The watermelon at the Dominick’s stand was BIGGER THAN MY FREAKING HEAD…

watermelon

After wandering through Taste of Chicago for a few hours and adding on 4-6,000,000 calories; we hit up Millenium Park. The place has some really cool artwork, including this mirror-art thingy that probably has a much better name than what I’m giving it right now…

millenium

The Independence Day festivities wrapped up at Navy Pier, where I just so happened to bump into Ravens DT Brandon McKinney; who let me know that he had been cleared (back) to fully return to practice and would be ready to go when the team reports to McDaniel College for Training Camp.

Good news.

Good trip.

When it hits 104 today, I might go right back.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. The AP says Kevin Millwood roughed up as Orioles lost shootout to Tigers in Motown

Because I mentioned Motown and I’m gonna be depressed by talking about the O’s, let’s start today with “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTUiQzhA0Go[/youtube]

Speaking of which-Hey Kevin Millwood that started the season looking like a pitcher that might be able to get the Orioles something at the trade deadline: I WANT YOU BACK.

We’ll get back to Millwood shortly, as it wasn’t ONLY his fault yesterday. In fact, despite the fact that Millwood pitched only 1 inning, the Orioles actually came back to take the lead. Mark Hendrickson was particularly brutal after that, and the nine runs the Orioles managed to score didn’t much matter-although it is nice to see Jake Fox get another home run for a first baseman.

Geez…I’m excited about Jake Fox. What’s next? Getting excited about an indoor football game?

(Edit from GMC: I’m VERY excited for Saturday night’s AIFA Eastern Conference Championship Game between the Baltimore Mariners and Harrisburg Stampede at 1st Mariner Arena. I’ve always been an exception to the rules though.)

2. The AP/WNST.net offer numerical evidence of loss

Here’s the thing. How could these teams have combined for 31 hits without Nick Markakis getting A SINGLE ONE OF THEM?!?!?!?

It puzzles me.

It would be like Kelly Brook posing for Ultimo Lingerie and me not posting pictures! (Thanks, Tim D!)

kellybrook

3. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Birds have talked to Buck Showalter again, but he has not been offered job

But everyone seems to agree that he has moved past Eric Wedge and emerged as the front-runner. With no offense to Showalter, Wedge or anyone else involved in the process; this isn’t exactly like being the frontrunner in the Kentucky Derby. This is probably a little more like being the frontrunner in a race called by Rick from Reisterstown.

I have no idea what to make of this whole managerial search. It seemed like the team would be wise to let Juan Samuel finish things out this season and then make a hire after going through the full process in the offseason. Now it looks like they’re going to hire “The Best of What’s Around” (I’m going to see Dave Matthews Band Friday night, please forgive me) now.

I’d be surprised, but this is the Orioles we’re talking about. But don’t worry, Andy MacPhail is in charge and NOT Peter Angelos. Peter Angelos is totally out of the process, remember?

Remember?

Meanwhile-while the other candidates were busy being managerial candidates; Rick Dempsey was singing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. God bless him…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2nBFL76274[/youtube]

4. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says injury concerns could land Millwood on DL

Well……FRICK.

The Birds were NEVER going to fleece a team in a Kevin Millwood trade before July 31; but there was at least a hope that they could get something more than the Chris Ray they gave up for him…or a player that had a CHANCE to be more than Chris Ray.

Given the way he’s fallen off the face of the planet and now could end up on the DL, hopes of that are starting to slim.

Millwood was the team’s best chance to get SOMETHING before the Trade Deadline. Ty Wigginton, Miguel Tejada, Luke Scott, Will Ohman, Cesar Izturis and even Hendrickson could all be dealt, but none are being dealt for anything significant. Tejada is the team’s 2nd best hope-but Tejada now says he wants to stick around in Charm City.

With no offense to Miguel, but I doubt that’s because he’s EXCITED about losing in Baltimore. My guess is that it’s because he realizes he’s unlikely to be an every day player for a team with a real chance at winning the World Series.

That’s where we are.

5. Virginian-Pilot says Chris Tillman brilliant in 1 hit performance for Norfolk Tides in win over Charlotte Knights on farm

Of course, with Tillman throwing another gem (this follows up on his earlier no hitter this season) at AAA; there will be more clamoring for Tillman to get called up. Should Kevin Millwood end up on the DL, there’s almost no chance he DOESN’T get called up.

I don’t think any of us will be as excited about it this time, but the organization will eventually have to find out if Tillman is anything more than a 4A guy.

Before we move on from the Orioles, a reminder that they’re back in action tonight against the Detroit Tigers again at Comerica Park. First pitch on MASN between Jake Arrieta and Armando Galarraga is at 7:05pm.

Look…there’s nothing else on. Not even “Glee.” Just watch the game. None of the rest of us want to do it either, we just don’t have much of a choice.

6. ABC2′s Christian Shaffer says Mt. Carmel basketball star John Crowder murdered in Baltimore

Now we enter the part of Crabs and Beer today that I absolutely like the least. This is a TERRIBLY tragic tale in a city full of terribly tragic tales.

This one will hit home, especially considering there was a chance Crowder could have ended up getting a scholarship from Gary Williams and playing in College Park.

No matter where his life WAS going, it appears as though he hung out with some guys that were less than savory. Of course, all of the rest of us have hung out with some less than desirables ourselves at one point or another.

My heart goes out to John Crowder’s family and friends, as well as everyone surrounding the athletic department at Mt. Carmel.

There’s a bigger problem in Baltimore…that much we know for sure.

7. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says former Ravens QB Steve McNair remembered Sunday on anniversary of death

I was wandering around Grant Park Sunday in Chi-Town when I saw someone approaching me wearing a Ravens jersey. Excited, I yelled out “Go Ravens!”

I didn’t get the response I was looking for.

The young man was wearing a Steve McNair jersey, and was not a Ravens fan as much as he was honoring a great NFL player on the anniversary of his murder.

For such an open and shut case, it feels as though little closure has come in the year since McNair’s death. I was unmoved by CBS’ investigation last fall that insinuated the Nashville police hadn’t been as thorough in their investigation as they should have been.

Armen Keteyian’s was chocked full of friends of Sahel Kazemi saying she “wasn’t a violent person” and “didn’t have this in her.” I’m not sure how many friends and family members of murder suspects/convicted murderers usually say “Yeah, I always assumed this would happen.”

There isn’t much more to be said, other than very clearly Steve McNair is still missed not only in Baltimore and Nashville, but also throughout the country.

Thus ends the sad part of today’s Crabs and Beer. Back to sports and hot chicks…

8. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says ’10 offseason amongst best in Ravens history

I don’t disagree with this AT ALL. In fact, it could end up being THE greatest offseason in franchise history if Anquan Boldin helps hoist the Vince Lombari Trophy in Dallas in the winter.

Clearly the moves made before the Super Bowl win have to be viewed as the best offseason in franchise history; but I’m not sure they’ve ever made a more PERFECT move than acquiring a player like Boldin this year.

They still COULD make it the best offseason in franchise history with one simple move. Just go get Kim Feenstra. (Thanks FHM/Guyism!)

feenstra

9. The Sun’s Don Markus says NCAA-sanctioned Baltimore Summer League opens tonight at Reitz Arena

This is awesome. Amongst the players who are committed to playing in this event are Morgan State’s Kevin Thompson, Missouri’s Kimmie English and Ricky Harris-who just finished his career at UMass. The event is VERY similar to the Kenner League at Georgetown, with current and former college standouts from Baltimore highlighting the field.

Thayne Gould put the entire event together at Loyola, he joined Drew Forrester this morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST. If you missed it, make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out.

Will Carroll (Baseball Prospectus) also joined Drew to go around Major League Baseball, and Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network went not only around football-but also around the World Cup with Drew as well. We also replayed Friday’s interview with Ed Reed (we heard someone else was having him on 5 days later…); if you missed ANY of that, check it out in the Audio Vault as well.

10. Athlon Sports’ Eric Prisbell says 2010 likely final stand for Ralph Friedgen

There’s simply no question about that. If the Terps don’t show marked improvement (even 7-5 might not be enough for a new athletic director), things are set to change in College Park. The decision to keep Ralph and continue the succession plan with James Franklin was Debbie Yow’s. Another Athletic Director could be given more flexibility to go in another direction.

If there IS a coaching search in the future, I would like to be the first to suggest that the Terrapins consider Sheridyn Fisher… (Thanks Busted Coverage/Coed Magazine!)

sheridyn

And finally, I leave you with this.

While I’m frustrated that he didn’t play it Sunday afternoon; it’s not going to keep me from naming Robert Randolph’s “Walk Don’t Walk” this week’s “The Greatest Song of All Time This Week.” If you haven’t picked up the new disc “We Walk This Road” yet, you’re only hurting yourself.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3UOE9Sa6dw[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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A Sports World Look At The 4th Of July …..

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A Sports World Look At The 4th Of July …..

Posted on 05 July 2010 by Rex Snider

Well, another 4th Of July has come and gone. It was a relatively uneventful holiday in this house; grilling dinner, cold beer and fireworks. But, from a personally historical perspective, I can add a damn good pitching performance by Brian Matusz and a few head scratching All Star selections to my list of things I’ll remember about this July 4th.

The true meaning of INDEPENDENCE DAY is much more important than anything spirited in the realm of sports and competition. From the declaration of a freedom from the Kingdom of Britain, to the inventory of thousands of bodies upon the battlefields of Gettysburg, the day commemorates the inception of the AMERICAN WAY.

Over the last century, the celebration of July 4th has certainly included our love for sports. It’s an absolute tradition. Doesn’t everyone have a “July 4th” sports-themed memory or two (or twenty) from their lifetime?

Of course, just like every other day, the sun rises and sets. People are born, injured, married, arrested, hired, fired and even killed.

But July 4th is still regarded as a day of American Pride and enjoying SPORTS, along with cookouts, fireworks and family. In the truth of it being a very REAL day, here are some distinct memories ….
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1923 – Fists Of Fireworks
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Jack Dempsey knocks out Jess Willard to capture the Heavyweight Championship of the World. He knocked Willard down SEVEN TIMES in the first round.
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Dempsey would finish his career with a 60-7 record, including a 2-0 resume’ during Independence Day fights. He is regarded as the GREATEST BOXER in history, by many experts.
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1929 – How Is This Possible?
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Peter Angelos and Al Davis are born on the same exact day and year. How is THAT possible? I suppose there really is some truth to this whole Astronomy thing, huh?
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Quick, when were Danny Snyder and Jeffrey Loria born? There must be a common connection somewhere along this bizarre trail. ** For the record, I know George Steinbrenner was born on July 4th, too. However, I think he’s dug himself out of this group.
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1939 – The Luckiest Man Retires
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Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with ALS humbly bows out from the game that made him a household name in New York and around the world.
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Known and regarded as a great ballplayer in LIFE, Gehrig would be remembered as the “Original Ironman” and a standard of courage after his death.
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1964 – The “Show” Must Go On !!!!
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The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals square off in a twilght showdown at Memorial Stadium. Although, Boog Powell connected for his 21st homerun of the season, the game is halted as an official 6-6 tie after 8 innings.
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Did it rain? No …. the City of Baltimore stopped the game so that a pre-planned fireworks show could take place. How’s that for 33rd Street trivia?
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1976 – Borg Is Absolutely Perfect
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Bjorn Borg was the definition of UNBEATABLE on this day, just 34 years ago. He defeated Ilie Nastase to capture first of five consecutive (1976-1980) Wimbledon Championships.
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The astonishing part? Bjorn Born didn’t lose a single set during the 1976 Wimbledon Tourney. Now, that’s dominating !!!!
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1980 – “The Express” Notches #3000
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Many baseball fans and insiders consider Nolan Ryan to be the most prolific “power pitcher” in the history of the game. At just 33 years old, he collected his 3000th strikeout on this day.
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As we all know, he had plenty of GAS left in the tank. Nolan Ryan finished his big league career with 5,714 strikeouts …. along with one hugely famous bloody ass-beating of Robin Ventura.
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1983 – No Fireworks For The Red Sox
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You remember Dave Righetti, right? Well, he enjoyed his most masterful pitching performance when no-hitting the rival Boston Red Sox during a matinee matchup.
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Although, he was only 24 years old, it would be Righetti’s only no-hitter. A season later, he would become the Yankees closer and he enjoyed a solid career in that role.
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1998 – No NASCAR @ Daytona
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For the first time in 35 years, NASCAR did not host a race at Daytona International Speedway during a July 4th weekend. A growing swath of wildfires threatened the entire Daytona community, forcing the race’s postponement to October.
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This was an era when NASCAR was dominated by a certain car and driver. Thus, while the race was delayed nearly four months, Jeff Gordon still showed up and ran away with it.
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2004 – A Total Of 1735 Bombs
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Yesterday’s release of the All Star rosters was a mere formality. Heck, many fans haven’t even noticed, yet. There was no pomp and circumstance revolving around final appearances of Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn, or the anticipation of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in the same lineup. The biggest dilemma was “will Stephen Strasburg be an All Star?” He’s not.

On July 4th, 2004, All Star rosters were announced – and it was a historical moment. For the first time in BASEBALL HISTORY, three players with 500+ homeruns were elected to the same All Star squad – to start in the same outfield.
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When the 2004 All Star rosters were announced, a behemoth amount of career dingers were occupying the N.L.’s outfield …. Barry Bonds – 682, Sammy Sosa – 553, Ken Griffey – 500. As we sit here just six years later, we know these homerun totals were inflated and achieved via less than honest means. That said, electing an outfield of 1735 homers is still pretty amazing.
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2009 – Tragedy in Tennessee
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You remember exactly where you were when your phone buzzed with the WNST text, right? I was standing on a pier, in Canton. From that mid-afternoon moment, we browsed the internet, watched the news channels and made Steve McNair the topic of 4th of July conversations.
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It’s still hard to believe Steve McNair is gone. In the year since his death, many controversial disclosures and allegations have surfaced. Most recently, a select group is purporting a cover-up by law enforcement and prosecutors. I’m not buying it; too many people are privy to the situation. A cover-up amounts to a “secret.” And, we all know there is only one way to ensure a secret stays intact – if you’re the only one knows it.
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2010 – 54 Dogs & 1 Arrest
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Somewhere in Chicago, Glenn Clark is celebrating the feat of his hero, Joey Chestnut. The human hoover inhaled 54 weiners to win yesterday’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Yet, as the Coney Island crowd reveled in Chestnut’s title defense, a bit of reality drama broke out …..
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In a scene resembling a WWE Monday Night Raw skit mixed with Jerry Springer, former Eating Champ, Kobayashi, was arrested after storming the stage during Chestnut’s celebration. Kobayashi did not participate this year, because of a “dog dispute.” The arrest footage was pretty funny …. but, I would’ve loved to see him get tasered !!!!

HAPPY 5TH OF JULY – SEE YA TOMORROW @ 2PM !!!!

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The “Sunday Morning Blitz” Comes To An End …..

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The “Sunday Morning Blitz” Comes To An End …..

Posted on 22 February 2010 by Rex Snider

As much as I’ve loved crafting the SUNDAY MORNING BLITZ, I just knew this day would come, sooner or later. And, to be quite honest, I really thought the circumstances would be a little different.

While I’m an optimistic soul, I pretty much just assumed the appeal of the ‘Blitz would eventually run it’s course, or Jason Jubb and I would find LIFE seeping further into our respective Sundays. I’ve always knew it would end. But, I didn’t think it would happen so soon.

I cannot begin to convey my gratitude to Nestor and Brad Howard for the chance to further my ambitions on the daily afternoon show, with Ray Bachmann. It’s an endeavor I’ve always targeted – while making the weekend trek.

So, I’m relishing the new, vivid role at WNST. Meanwhile, Jason Jubb is selflessly giving his Sunday mornings back to his family. I’m not surprised; he always does the right thing. Jason’s baby boy greeted this world amid the span of our little Sunday morning radio venture. And, while he missed a couple shows, Jason has continued with the ‘Blitz. I know a huge part of his heart felt better, as he woke up with his son, yesterday morning.

I cannot rightfully describe my sincere gratitude to Jason for his dedicated and innovative efforts to WNST’s weekends. I know Nestor and Brad share in these feelings.

To be bluntly honest, Jason is very much responsible for my successes, at WNST. He helped me prepare for the “So You Wanna Be A Sports Talk Show Host” contest ….. he’s lent a wide ranging expertise to the show’s format ….. he’s blogged and attended events ….. he’s gone well beyond the boundaries of friends helping friends.

Heck, he stayed awake and on-air for 24 straight hours, for a very noble cause – and with very little recognition …..
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I’m a better sports mind and person, because of Jason’s friendship. I’m just glad he knows how I feel.

Over these last 3 years, we have covered some of Baltimore’s biggest sports stories, as well as some nationally recognized events. We’ve strived to present good analysis and content – while offering listeners and fellow fans an opportunity to lend a hand.

From the friendly demeanor of “Billy in Columbia” ….. to the perennial dissent of “Wayne in Timonium” ….. to the senseless rambling of “Rick in Reisterstown” ….. to the downplayed real-life experiences of “Rico in Towson” ….. to the reliable doom and gloom forecasts of “Dave in Hamilton” ….. to the personal connection of “Tommy in Pasadena” ….. to the Angelosian love of “Tom in Rising Sun” ….. to the quirky ideas of “Dan in Fallston” ….. to the fiscal suspicions of “Bob in Herfeord” ….. to the discerning wonder of “Lou in Phoenix” ….. to the unconditional love of “Dale in Rosedale” ….. to the thorough, five minute responses of “Justin in Highlandtown” ….. to the blunt realities of our patriarch, “Bob in Parkville” ….. the SUNDAY MORNING BLITZ has been a forum for any and every Baltimore sports fan.

In fact, it’s always been about the fan.

The very first edition of the SUNDAY MORNING BLITZ took place on Sunday, April 15th, 2007. For myself and Jason, as well as the WORLD, alot of things have changed since that day …..
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The Orioles Make A Huge Decision
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Ravens Get A New Boss, Too …..
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Local Kid Dominates the World
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Ravens Find Their Future …..
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Cal Gets His Day
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Ravens Come So Close …..
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Orioles Start To “Rebuild” …..
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While we always strived to make the show about BALTIMORE, the global realities and impact of sports was a weekly factor. Regardless of the coverage we desired to give the Orioles and Ravens, bigger stories sometimes dominated.

Michael Vick went to prison for dogfighting.

Roger Clemens stared down a steroids scandal.

The New England Patriots were nearly perfect.

These stories dominated radio for weeks and months. And, the Sunday Morning Blitz was not immune to such dialogue. However, such stories usually broke on weekdays – which relegated Jason and I to try twisting the topic in an original way, if possible.

Hey, that’s Sunday radio.

However, there were a couple times when the Sunday Morning Blitz served as the first landing spot for Baltimore’s initial sports discussion on a morning after something HUGE happened. Both events happened, in 2009. One was joyful and the other was quite sad …..
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January 10, 2009
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The Ravens went into Nashville and beat the heavily favored Tenessee Titans. The win earned the Ravens a berth in the AFC Championship game. Since the game was played on a Saturday evening, we seized first crack at breaking down the win and chatting with jubilant fans, the next morning. It was a GREAT day.
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July 4, 2009
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I recall standing on a pier, in Canton, on a beautiful 4th of July afternoon. I received the WNST text message. Steve McNair was found dead, in Nashville. As Saturday afternoon turned to night, numerous details emerged. It was a homicide. The following morning, Jason and I had the tough job of helping Ravens fans mourn. It was a surreal experience – no laughter, joking or light hearted fun. But, it was an important couple hours.

Each and every edition of the Sunday Morning Blitz was it’s own “animal.” We had some good shows and GREAT shows. We also had lackluster performances and fumbled the microphone on numerous occasions. Sunday was always an experience …..

From finding a snake outside the studio (BTW – that was a bit) …..

To hosting a “Man’s Baby Shower” …..

To losing every on-air wager I made …..

The last three years have been a fantastic ride and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve forged some special relationships and learned the ropes, so to speak. Along the way, many people had a hand in making the Sunday Morning Blitz a respectable weekend show. Such support came from many …..
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Katie Browne
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Josh Hall
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Chris Bonetti
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Jason Siemer
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So many people gave time and energy to making the Sunday Morning Blitz a success. To everyone – THANK YOU. I have no doubt that Jason and I will reconvene someday for a new show. Who knows when that day will happen? In the meantime, we’ll get together, on occasion, during the “Rex & Ray Show.”

Yesterday, I woke up for the first time, in three years, without any Sunday commitments. It was an odd feeling and I found myself looking for something to do. So, I sat in front of the computer and wrote this blog.

Maybe, I’ll just start a regular Sunday morning column, on WNST.net – or I’ll just learn to relax …..

To be honest, I’m gonna follow Jason’s lead and just give Sunday’s back to my family. Over the last three years, my wife and daughter have sacrificed a lot of weekend opportunities. They have given up so much, in an effort to let me pursue these radio ambitions.

While I’ve credited Jason with helping me craft my on-air talents, my wife has obliged every single move and decision I’ve made. So, while I’ll miss the Sunday Morning Blitz, I’m glad to give her weekends back and just in time for spring and summer.

In fact, I really do think our families deserve most of the recognition for their understanding and unconditional support …..
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In truth, Paula, Amy, Cheyenne and Ryan have given more than anyone – simply so a couple of good friends could share their love for Baltimore’s sports, on Sunday mornings. We’re both lucky guys, indeed.

I have a feeling Jason and I will do a show, again, someday. Until then, thanks for listening …..

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Comcast Morning Show Tuesday Top 7: Top 7 Quarterbacks of the Super Bowl Era

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Comcast Morning Show Tuesday Top 7: Top 7 Quarterbacks of the Super Bowl Era

Posted on 09 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Starting with Glenn’s List:

7. Peyton Manning

peyton

6. Dan Marino

marino

5. Terry Bradshaw

bradshaw

4. Troy Aikman

aikman

3. Tom Brady

Brady

2. John Elway

elway

1. Joe Montana

Montana

Drew apparently decided my list suggestion wasn’t good enough, so he went with the “Top 7 Quarterbacks Who Never Won a Super Bowl (in the Super Bowl era)”

7. Steve McNair

mcnair

6. Donovan McNabb

mcnabb

5. Ken Anderson

kenanderson

4. Warren Moon

moon

3. Jim Kelly

jimkelly

2. Dan Fouts

Fouts

1. Dan Marino

marino

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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The Decade’s Best

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The Decade’s Best

Posted on 01 January 2010 by Sam Angell

The day was January 1, 2000. The Baltimore Ravens were wrapping up the first non-losing season in franchise history and entered Week 17 with a glimmer of hope that they would make the postseason for the first time. For perhaps the first time (other than those first few games when just having a team was worth celebrating), Baltimore was truly embracing the Ravens. Still, Baltimore was predominantly a baseball town back then. Cal Ripken still manned the hot corner for the Orioles, a team which was stacked with big-name talent and had fans hoping that the brief, two-year absence from the playoffs was about to end.

Meanwhile, college fans wondered if Gary Williams’ Terps would ever break through the almighty Sweet 16 barrier, while Ron Vanderlinden’s Terps had recently completed yet another bowl-less season.

The decade came to an end yesterday, and while none of the area teams has transformed into a superpower, the past ten years have certainly been memorable for area sports fans. There were ACC championships in football and basketball for the Terps, accomplishments unseen in the decade previous. Fans who dared not even entertain the thought of a national title for Maryland hoops woke up on April 1, 2002 supremely confident that their team was about to be crowned the best in the land – and thanks to a tenacious and unstoppable guard from Baltimore, they were.

The losing did not stop for the Orioles, not with Albert Belle, Miguel Tejada or Javy Lopez. Not with Chris Richard, Matt Riley or Jay Gibbons. Ripken retired and followed Eddie Murray into Cooperstown, bringing with him the thousands who used to pack Oriole Park. And when the Ravens’ record-setting defense led the Colts’ successors to the Super Bowl XXXV title, Baltimore’s status as a football town was returned and unchallenged for the remainder of the decade.

Today’s blog takes a look back at three of the most memorable moments of the decade for the Ravens, Orioles and Terps. Because the choice to include the Terps’ 64-52 title victory over Indiana or the Ravens’ 34-7 romp over the Giants would be too easy, I am limiting this to games that did not win a championship (including ACC titles). So without further ado, the Games of the Decade.

OUT NUMBER ONE – ORIOLES

Fittingly, the Orioles’ inclusion on this list was not a great individual achievment or jaw-dropping victory (though those happened over the past 10 years, believe it or not). Instead, the most recent game on our list is a look towards the future for a team desperately hoping that the next ten years outshines the last.

May 29, 2009: Orioles 7, Tigers 2.

The Birds didn’t help poor Dontrelle Willis’ anxiety issues as they battered the former Marlins’ phenom for an easy early-summer victory over a team that, at the time, looked destined for the American League Central crown. The win came in the midst of one of the hottest streaks of the year for the Orioles, but it wasn’t the win itself that puts this game on the list. It was the official arrival of Matt Wieters, the top-rated prospect in all of baseball and the player viewed by many Orioles fans as the savior of the franchise.

Wieters did not smash a window in the warehouse on his first at-bat. He didn’t even get a hit that night, or run away with the American League Rookie of the Year Award. But as the season progressed, it became more and more evident that this was not a young man who was going to wilt under the pressure. Catching a roster full of young pitching talent, he balanced his defensive duties with offensive progression and displayed a maturity that left Orioles fans cautiously optimistic for the next decade. Paired with the likes of Brad Bergesen and Nolan Reimold – who also starred that night – as well as Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman, Wieters ushered in new hope for the Orioles during the final season of an otherwise all-too forgettable decade.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj7N-xn14R4[/youtube]

Runners Up: July 1, 2009: Orioles 11, Red Sox 10 in franchise’s biggest comeback. October 6, 2001: Red Sox 5, Orioles 1 in Cal Ripken’s finale. July 10, 2001: American League 4, National League 1 in Cal Ripken’s final All-Star Game. May 20, 2008: Orioles 12, Yankees 2 as Mussina fails to complete an inning. April 4, 2004: Orioles 7, Red Sox 2 as the Birds open the season with a win on national TV. May 27, 2009: Orioles 12, Blue Jays 10 as Nolan Reimold delivers a walk-off.

OUT NUMBER TWO – RAVENS

November 12, 2001: Ravens 16, Titans 10.

Before the Ravens and Steelers teamed up to create the best rivalry in today’s NFL, the Titans were the team Baltimore fans loved to hate. In another classic installment of that rivalry (the last before the realignment that left the teams in different divisions), the Ravens traveled to Tennessee for the first Monday Night Football game in team history. Remarkably, the event came in Week 9, not the traditional Week 1 showcase afforded the defending champions. Still, as Brian Billick was quick to point out afterwards, it was well worth the wait.

Although it had been the previous year’s version of the defense which set records, the 2001 Ravens were no slouch. So with the team leading 16-10 in the final seconds, the champs stepped up to provide one of the craziest and most thrilling Monday Night Football finishes in the 40-year history of the production.

After Jamie Sharper and Duane Starks stopped Kevin Dyson on the one yard line (did the poor guy ever actually SCORE a touchdown?), the Titans had to rush to the line and try to push their way across the plane with no time outs and the final seconds ticking off the clock. The late great Steve McNair took the handoff, pushed behind his center, and seemed to give his team the touchdown it needed as the clock hit triple zeroes. But even when it messed up, the Ravens defense in those days could do no wrong. Peter Boulware had tried to rush back onside for the final play, and in the process grabbed McNair’s head as he leapt back across the line. The contact resulted in encroachment, a dead ball which nullified the previous play and set up an untimed play from the half yard line.

The final play was the signature of the Baltimore Ravens defense of the first decade of the millennium. Unable and unwilling to give up even an inch, Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams forced their way through the Tennessee offensive line, and as Steve McNair tried to escape around the corner, it was Ray Lewis who put the final hit on the gritty Air McNair. The win was preserved, the defense’s reputation was intact, and the Ravens had made their presence felt in their first foray onto Monday Night Football.

I’m guessing that Brian Billick is still waiting for that check from ABC.

Honorable mention: November 23, 2003: Ravens 44, Seahawks 41 (OT) in the greatest comeback in team history. December 20, 2008: Ravens 33, Cowboys 24 as Baltimore closes Texas Stadium by keeping its playoff hopes alive. December 31, 2000: Ravens 21, Broncos 3 in Baltimore in the first playoff game since football returned to Baltimore. January 29, 2009: Ravens 13, Titans 10 as the Ravens set up an AFC Championship game showdown with the Steelers. November 26, 2006: Ravens 27, Steelers 0 in a game that will forever be known for Bart Scott’s bonecrushing hit on Ben Roethlisberger.

OUT NUMBER THREE – TERPS

March 24, 2002: Maryland 90, Connecticut 82

A little more than a week later, it would be all but a guarantee in many Terps fans’ minds that their team was finally going to win its first national championship. They were facing a fifth-seeded Indiana team that was no match for Juan Dixon and company. But more importantly, the Terps had already proven that they could withstand any test, something they did when they knocked out UConn at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse in the Elite Eight.

It was a slugfest, two teams which had played each other earlier in the season at the BB&T Classic (Maryland won that matchup 77-65). Although a battle with fellow-No. 1 seed Kansas awaited in the Final Four, it was the only time all tournament that the confidence of Maryland fans may have been shaken.

Fortunately, no one was shaking the confidence of Steve Blake and Juan Dixon. With the Terps down by three late in the fourth quarter, Dixon calmly received a pass deep beyond the three-point line at the top of the key and smoothly sunk the shot, tying the game. Maryland clawed its way to a three-point lead in the final minute, and with the shot clock winding down and less than 30 seconds on the clock, Steve Blake took his only shot of the game, a three-pointer that served as a dagger to the hearts of the Huskies. The bucket gave Maryland an 86-80 lead, and all but assured the Terps of their second consecutive Final Four appearance. This time, there was no stopping the Terps as they won Gary Williams his first national championship.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbe2uNaQ3o4[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq0Ez87a9eY[/youtube]

Honorable mention: February 17, 2002: Maryland 87, Duke 73 in a game that can be summed up in three words: OH HE STEAL! (and the only Honorable mention game that earns a YouTube post: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4YxXRRLbQc&feature=related[/youtube]

March 13, 2004: Maryland 85, NC State 82 as the Terps overcome a 19-point halftime deficit to propel themselves back to the ACC Championship game. February 25, 2007: Maryland 89, North Carolina 87 in yet another victory over #1 for Gary Williams and the Terps. February 9, 2000: Maryland 98, Duke 87 as the Terps invade Cameron–err…Dixon–Indoor Stadium and come out with a win, the first visiting team to do so in a season and a half. February 21, 2009: Maryland 88, North Carolina 85 (OT) as Greivis Vasquez puts together a triple-double in an upset that propelled the Terps back to the NCAA Tournament. October 11, 2001: Maryland 20, Georgia Tech 17 as Ralph Friedgen and the Terps officially announce their return to relevance. December 31, 2002: Maryland 30, Tennessee 3 as the Year of the Terp was capped by a dominant Peach Bowl victory. October 30, 2004: Maryland 20, Florida State 17 as the Terps finally beat the Noles in an otherwise forgettable campaign.

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s hoping for many more great memories for the Ravens, Terps AND Orioles in the next decade.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

….to no one in particular! So here’s a look back at the video that served as the official pump-up song for every championship team of 2000-01. Unfortunately, video of Art Modell dancing to this at the parade doesn’t appear to be on YouTube.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He82NBjJqf8[/youtube]

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Top 25 Local Sports Figures of the Decade

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Top 25 Local Sports Figures of the Decade

Posted on 23 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Others Considered: Todd Bozeman, Randy Monroe, Steve Bisciotti, Kimmie Meissner, Fang Mitchell, Dave Trembley, Katie Hoff, Brenda Frese, Kevin Plank, Jimmy Patsos, Lee Mazzilli, Sam Perlozzo, Todd Heap, Barbaro, Carmelo Anthony, Terrell Suggs, Joe DeFrancis, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Mike Flanagan, Pam Shriver, Haloti Ngata, Derrick Mason, Scott McBrien, Matt Stover, Steve Blake, Melvin Mora, Steve McNair, Michael McCrary, Ray Rice, Erik Bedard, Sidney Ponson, John Rallo, Shawne Merriman, Pat Kennedy

25-Joe Flacco

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24-Nick Markakis

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23-Ed Hale

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22-Kyle Boller

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21-John Harbaugh

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20-Trent Dilfer

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19-Cal Ripken Jr.

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18-Chris McAlister

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17-Dave Pietramala

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16-Brian Roberts

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15-Paul Johnson

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14-Ralph Friedgen

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13-Art Modell

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12-Hasim Rahman

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11-Ed Reed

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10-Jamal Lewis

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The greatest offensive skill position in Ravens history-a former Rookie of the Year, NFL Player of the Year, 2,000 yard rusher, Super Bowl Champion, and single game rushing record holder. He’ll be in the Ring of Honor in the next 12 months too….

9-Juan Dixon

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He’s from Baltimore. He carried Maryland to a NCAA Championship. He’s Top 3 in Glenn Clark’s book…..

8-Brian Billick

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He won the Super Bowl as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, but became a polarizing figure until his firing due to his inability to groom a franchise quarterback. I’m not sure I could have stomached hearing the words “offensive genius” again however….

7-Debbie Yow

yow

Her place on this list is based on a mix of her accomplishments as Athletic Director (national championships in men’s and women’s basketball, new arena, and somehow managing to balance the budget in College Park) and how many people despise her due to her testy relationship with a fella who is still to come on this list……

6-Ozzie Newsome

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Jamal Lewis. Todd Heap. Ed Reed. Terrell Suggs. Haloti Ngata. Ben Grubbs. Joe Flacco. Michael Oher.

Unfortunately, this decade also included Kyle Boller and Travis Taylor…..

5-Jonathan Ogden

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He will soon be the first player to go to Canton AS a Baltimore Raven, and some would argue he’s the most important player in franchise history. Those people have a legitimate argument.

4-Michael Phelps

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He’s won 14 gold medals in Olympic competition. No one else ever has. I’d explain more-but if you don’t get it, you never will.

3-Peter Angelos

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Not since Bob Irsay has there been a local sports figure so universally disdained by the entire town. If this were pro wrestling, Sgt. Slaughter would have looked like a babyface during his Iraq support days in compared to the level of seething hate directed towards the city’s baseball dictator. He’s killed an entire sport in a city where baseball was king. His failures are so epic I’m not certain ANYONE could have accomplished anything similar.

2-Gary Williams

gary

If it weren’t for the necessity of corporate sponsoring, it would be Gary Williams Arena-not Comcast Center. The guy will find himself in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and only Earl Weaver is ahead of him in the list of the greatest head coaches in local sports history. And while some might accuse me of blasphemy, he may be greater than even Earl.

1-Ray Lewis

ray

When #52 does something, says something, thinks something, etc…..it is ABSOLUTELY more meaningful than when anyone else in town does. He will eventually have a statue at M&T Bank Stadium-somewhere in the neighborhood of Johnny Unitas I assume. Do I need to explain further?

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Top 25 Local Sports Moments of The Decade

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Top 25 Local Sports Moments of The Decade

Posted on 22 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

Others Considered:
Maryland Wins Soccer Championships in ’05 & ’08
Maryland football hires Ralph Friedgen
Rachel Alexandra first filly to win Preakness in 85 years
Towson reaches 2001 NCAA Lacrosse Final Four
Michael Phelps wins 6 Gold Medals at 2004 Olympics
Big Brown wins 2008 Preakness, Smarty Jones wins 2004 Preakness, War Emblem wins 2002 Preakness
Jonathan Ogden Announces Retirement
Jamal Lewis sentenced to jail time
Hopkins Stuns Duke to Win ’07 NCAA Lax Title
Pam Shriver Enters Tennis Hall of Fame
Maryland Opens Comcast Center
Ravens Trade for Steve McNair, Steve McNair murdered
Coppin State Returns to NCAA Tournament
Salisbury wins 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 D3 Lacrosse Titles
M&T Bank Stadium hosts NCAA Lacrosse Final Four for first time
Orioles trade Bedard to Seattle for Adam Jones & George Sherrill
Baltimore Blast win titles in ’03, ’04, ’06, ’08 and ’09
Navy wins 8 straight vs. Army-7 straight C-I-C Trophies
Kimmie Meissner Wins US Figure Skating Championship
Ravens Hire John Harbaugh

25-Morgan State and UMBC Make First Trips to NCAA Tournament (2009 and 2008 respectively)

boze
randy

24-Johns Hopkins Finishes Undefeated ’05 Season with NCAA Title

hopkins

23-Preakness Bans Beer from Infield (2009)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SejCwUzRa1U[/youtube]

22-Eddie Murray Enters Baseball Hall of Fame (2003)

eddie

21-Maryland Football Claims ’01 ACC Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QszioOHki8[/youtube]

20-Jamal Lewis Breaks Single Game Rushing Record (2003)

jamal

19-Cal Ripken Jr. Enters Baseball Hall of Fame (2007)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5qn74GBIH4[/youtube]

18-Ravens Fire Brian Billick (2007)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N060MpjVLrg[/youtube]

17-Navy Snaps 43 Game Losing Streak at Notre Dame (2007)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehnd0seZyRg[/youtube]

16-Ravens Choose Elvis Grbac over Trent Dilfer (2001)

grbac

15-Terps Lose to Duke in Final 54  seconds, again in First Trip to Final Four (2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhoAuSamgr4[/youtube]

14-Ravens Lose to Steelers in Return to AFC Championship Game (2009)

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

13-Johnny Unitas Passes Away (2002)

si

While there are a number of all-time great Baltimore Colts still with us, clearly Johnny was the greatest. The time this city took to honor him (including a genuine tribute from Ravens QB Chris Redman) was well-deserved.

12-Terps win 2004 ACC Tournament

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU6lXzsVXJo[/youtube]

John Gilchrist could have run for governor in March 2004. Of course, he couldn’t have borrowed a dollar by March 2005.

11-Mike Mussina Signs with Yankees (2000)

moose

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the moment that marked the real start of the current Orioles era of darkness. The team had struggled and made poor decisions BEFORE this, but they had at least tried to spend some money and get better players. After this day, it happened very little.

10-Barbaro Collapses After Start of ’06 Preakness

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A20joY7g3dA[/youtube]

I guess this would be the “most gasping” moment of the decade, for sure. Barbaro entered the 2006 Preakness viewed more favorably as a Triple Crown contender than even Smarty Jones or Big Brown. Barbaro captivated this country after the Kentucky Derby, and even more after his collapse at Pimlico. For those of us who were there that day (and sober enough to watch the race), that image won’t leave our minds any time soon.

9-Rafael Palmeiro Busted for Steroids (2005)

raffi

Has there been a more maddening year than 2005 during this decade plus of losing than 2005? After trading for Sammy Sosa, the Birds actually found themselves……..winning!

That of course came to a crashing halt around the time of the All-Star Game; and the biggest highlight of the season (Rafael Palmeiro’s 3,000th hit) was soon completely tarnished by what I might call the biggest “we should have seen this coming” moment of the decade.

There were other steroid era moments that could have qualified, including that fateful day in front of Capitol Hill, but this was the most embarassing of all of them.

8-Maryland Women win 2005-2006 NCAA Hoops Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNpNRtFN1K0[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGuFhlJYyRc[/youtube]

Maybe this would be the “Hey, that’s pretty cool!” moment of the decade. It didn’t have the significance of a men’s title; but it was still a pretty awesome moment for Maryland fans everywhere. There were probably a number of Maryland fans who couldn’t have named the coach of the team before that night, but those same fans were probably guilty of saying something like “if only Gary Williams could recruit like Brenda Frese” after that night.

Also, Kristi Toliver’s shot ranks up there with Juan Dixon’s 3 against UConn and his baseline jumper against Indiana in the pantheon of great shots in Terrapins history.

7-Michael Phelps Breaks Mark Spitz’s 7 Gold Medal Record (2008)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXkjFQ1hRqA[/youtube]

The moment was made by the scene at M&T Bank Stadium. It would have been an incredible moment in Beijing no matter what, but it was an even more incredible moment for Baltimore given the fact that fans around town could stick around after the Ravens’ preseason game to watch it happen. I think I would call this the “most significant record-breaking moment” of the decade in local sports.

6-Hasim Rahman stuns Lennox Lewis for Heavyweight Title (2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZN6ONCH7B0[/youtube]

I would classify this as the biggest “Did you hear?” moment of the decade. Most sports fans in town didn’t just have no idea Hasim Rahman was FIGHTING for Lennox Lewis’ belts, they didn’t know who Hasim Rahman WAS. But Hasim put together one of the great knockouts in the history of heavyweight title fights; in what most American fight fans consider the last significant heavyweight title change the sport has seen. Lennox Lewis was not an “Alphabet Soup” champion who dodged the best contenders the way heavyweight champions of the last 5 or 6 years have been-he was the legitimate “Heavyweight Champion of the World.”

And thanks to one punch, a young man from Baltimore became the legitimate “Heavyweight Champion of the World” as well, at least for a short time.

5-Ravens Fall to Colts in ’07 Divisional Round

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dd-jglYaWc[/youtube]

I think this would be classified as “Biggest Emotional Letdown” of the decade. This city ABSOLUTELY identified this as the chance to exercise the demons of the Mayflower vans, and to finally move past Bob Irsay’s move from Baltimore to Indianapolis. On top of that, the 2006-07 Ravens appeared to give the city its best chance to win another Super Bowl this decade.

Obviously, none of that happened.

4-Ray Lewis Charged with murder in Atlanta (2000)

ray

I think I would describe it as the most “jaw-dropping” local sports moment of the decade. Did anything come of it? No, not really. However, this was still the best athlete in town facing charges of murder. And to this day, Ray can’t enter another NFL stadium without hearing about this moment.

3-Cal Ripken Jr. Plays Final Game with Orioles (2001)

rip

This may be too high on the list. We all knew it was coming, but it didn’t take away from the moment itself. I think the reason why I have this so high on the list anyway is because I’ve heard this phrase so many times over the last decade: “at least in the past I could go to the games and see Cal….I don’t have any reason to go anymore.”

We all hope Matt Wieters, Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, Adam Jones and company will bring about change-but the last GREAT memory any of us have at Camden Yards is absolutely this moment.

2-Maryland Claims 2001-2002 NCAA Hoops Title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EgsMpPyFhg[/youtube]

Look, it would have been Number 1 on my own personal list, and it wouldn’t have been close. But there is NO WAY it can drop below the #2 spot on anyone’s list-or you were just plain not paying attention for the better part of the decade. It was the culmination of the greatest season in Maryland history, and the crowning moment for Juan Dixon-the most significant college athlete the state of Maryland has ever seen.

1-Ravens win Super Bowl XXXV (2001)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0viE_bOYTw[/youtube]

Do I really need to explain this?

-G

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Top 25 Local Sports Moments of 2009

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Top 25 Local Sports Moments of 2009

Posted on 15 December 2009 by Glenn Clark

I will be doing a national version of this list on Wednesday. I did my best to make these INDIVIDUAL moments, but it was such a long list it was somewhat tough. I did not consider the Capitals in my list-as they have the word “Washington” in front of their name.

Honorable Mention: Orioles trade for Kevin Millwood, UMBC & Mt. St. Mary’s reach conference championship games-Towson almost joins them, Hopkins football gets buzzer beating win in NCAA Tournament, Ravens sign Matt Birk and Baltimore’s own Domonique Foxworth, Maryland soccer reaches Elite 8 in NCAA Tournament, Eastern Tech wins first state title, Ralph Friedgen remains at Maryland, Debbie Yow offers “full support” to Gary Williams, Gary nabs highly rated recruiting class, Mark “TNT” Tucker wins USBO belt, Ray Rice scores first career TD, Rod Woodson first Raven in Hall of Fame, Orioles extend contracts of Markakis and Roberts

25-“The Band That Wouldn’t Die” airs on ESPN

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWw-hewFfq0[/youtube]

24-Loyola soccer returns to NCAA Tournament

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmfgiKVAh9E[/youtube]

23-Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman make MLB debuts

matusz

22-Calvert Hall snaps Loyola’s streak in Turkey Bowl

loyola

21-Hopkins, Towson play lax thriller at Unitas Stadium

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbVdSEWTsQ8[/youtube]

20-Maryland beats Cal in NCAA Tournament opener

greivis

19-Ravens go to Miami for first playoff win since ’02

reed

18-Maryland, Virginia play 7OT thriller in lacrosse

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KesWW9FPFd8[/youtube]

17-Phelps beats Cavic in Swimming classic

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Bzckll19nU[/youtube]

16-MMA Makes Baltimore Debut

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOYOuubzg5Q[/youtube]

15-Baltimore Blast claim another NISL title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kM6KXaErKs0[/youtube]

14-Orioles rally from down 10-1 to beat Red Sox

os

13-Maryland Women win ACC Tournament

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

12-Navy gets 2nd win at Notre Dame in as many tries

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z82mcA0EOD0[/youtube]

11-Steve McNair murdered in Nashville

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAzUFVZe7kk[/youtube]

Was it technically a “local” story? No. But did it reverberate here in Baltimore? Big time. Other notable local sports deaths this year included former Ravens LB Tony Fein, Former Bullets owner Abe Pollin, Former Colts LB Mike Woods, Perry Hall High track coach Jerry Martin, “The Human Eraser” Marvin Webster, Hall of Fame 3B George Kell, Former Maryland football coach Lou Saban, Mervo track coach William Vaughan, River Hill lineman Steven Dankos and former Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart.

10-Maryland beats Wake Forest to “clinch” another trip to NCAA Tournament

wake

After a loss to Virginia in Charlottesville, the Terrapins NEEDED a win over Wake in the ACC Tournament to punch their ticket to March Madness. Not only did they get it, they got it emphatically.

9-Ravens Draft Michael Oher

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-bntZhLTV0[/youtube]

How many times do you know EXACTLY as much about the 23rd pick in the NFL Draft as you do about the 1st pick? Of course, this moment might not have meant as much had Oher not gone on to play at arguably a Pro Bowl level in 2009. And this thing……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu8zYsz04oE[/youtube]

8-Orioles Fans Boo Teixeira, Cheer on Win over Yankees on Opening Day

As Bob Haynie said, it felt like Memorial Stadium on Opening Day….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7zMpVvqm3w[/youtube]

And there is NO DOUBT that this is one of the lasting images of the season……

sevpark

7-Morgan State wins MEAC Tournament, Advances to NCAA Tournament

todd

It wasn’t JUST a revival for Todd Bozeman. It was the moment that completed the revival for the entire Bears program. For a school with a significant athletic history, a moment like this was notably missing from their resume.

6-Ray Lewis makes “The Tackle” in San Diego

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIuMQTC1D5c[/youtube]

Greatest play in team history? Quite possibly. The more significant thing to discuss would be whether or not this might be the lasting image we have over #52 as we reach the tail-end of his career.

5-Chelsea, AC Milan turn Baltimore into soccer town for one night

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WEcMD6ze1Y[/youtube]

It wasn’t just a special night for soccer fans. It was a special night for ANY Baltimore sports fan who has wanted something to do over the summer. While Oriole Park at Camden Yards remains barren after April unless the Red Sox or Yankees come to town, M&T Bank Stadium was PACKED for a night that was in a word-awesome. You probably don’t remember who won the match (Chelsea), but you might remember thinking to yourself after you left “Maybe I WOULD support a MLS team if they moved here.”

4-Rachel Alexandra wins Preakness with captivating performance

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12Trbs6huAY[/youtube]

Unbelievably, there was actually one thing that could take our attention from the bigger story-which was the MAJOR drop in attendance at Pimlico due to the decision to ban alcohol on the infield by the Maryland Jockey Club. BUT-the performance of Rachel Alexandra, and the opportunity for Calvin Borel personally to pursue the Triple Crown actually made us interested in THE SPORT of horse racing again. It was an incredible year for the sport all around-as Rachel was even more dominant in the Kentucky Oaks, Mine That Bird won an improbable Kentucky Derby, and another filly in Zenyatta was breathtaking in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

3-Matt Wieters makes MLB Debut

He created a rainbow for crying out loud……

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj7N-xn14R4[/youtube]

I’m not sure there’s ever been a more anticipated debut for an Orioles player…..ever. Ben McDonald? Jeffrey Hammonds? They were anticipated, but not like this. After 12 years of misery, O’s fans just needed hope. It wouldn’t mean the team was going on to win the World Series, but it was at least a positive step…..

shirt

2-Maryland stuns #3 ranked North Carolina

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26-U5Wb2aQo[/youtube]

Twice I was moved to tears by a local sports moment this season. This was one of them. Greivis Vasquez put together what I called his “Mona Lisa” in recording a triple double and leading the Terps back from down double digits late to beat UNC. It was one of the more breathtaking individual efforts we had ever seen from a Maryland player. There was a time when the College Park faithful wouldn’t have been so disappointed to see Vasquez depart for the NBA Draft, but this was clearly the moment that turned him from a polarizing figure to a player who is carving his own place amongst the great players in Maryland history.

1-Ravens beat Titans to advance to the AFC Championship Game

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOMnLysElj8[/youtube]

In a season that was built on emotion, it was the ultimate emotional game. As I wrote at WNST.net after the final gun, I was in tears. They didn’t make the Super Bowl, but there is no doubt that we will look back fondly on that team for years. The way they rallied around OJ Brigance, the win in Dallas, two playoffs wins-and all of it done with a first year head coach and rookie QB. It was some kind of special. On top of all of that, this would be the last time we’d see a meaningful kick from one of the most popular athletes in the history of Charm City…..

stover

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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