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Hey John: You can’t be 4-4 and seriously talk playoffs

Posted on 09 November 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Just judging from the sheer volume of social media I consumed all day yesterday, the fan base here is in “quit on the 2009 season” mode. The lofty expectations following a rookie campaign for John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco that ended in the AFC Championship Game led all of us in the Charm City to feel as though this year would somehow be better.

Well, we’re halfway through the race and things haven’t gone according to the best laid plan.

The Ravens have lost four of their last five, including yesterday’s turd in Cincinnati. The team, overall, just hasn’t been as good as advertised in many ways. The Bengals have now embarrassed the Ravens twice in four weeks en route to sole possession of the AFC North lead and have earned the right to crow.

While yesterday’s loss certainly felt like more of a beatdown than the final score — and we’ll get to Steve Hauschka’s missed kick in a minute — the NFL only counts one thing en route to a playoff berth in the tournament: wins. And right now, at 4-4, this isn’t going to get it done.

I could make excuses for all of the other three losses — and losing in the waning seconds on the road to New England and Minnesota doesn’t make you a bad team. But the pair of losses to the Bengals has been illuminating, especially when you consider Marvin Lewis’ recipe for building a team with a 6-2 start.

The Bengals have just about everything you’d want — a world-class quarterback with a world-class wide receiver and a running back who runs like Jamal Lewis with a line that’s got a nasty streak. On defense, they’ve built through a young linebacking corps (sound familiar?) and a pair of first-round cornerbacks who allow the safeties and linebackers to play hardball with the pass rush. Oh, yeah — they also arguably have the best kicker in the sport.

The Ravens, as was in full display yesterday, are sorely lacking in various departments but especially the ability to get off the field consistently on 3rd down on defense. It’s been a defensive franchise for the better part of 11 seasons. All good things must end and the 2009 defense is not up to “Play Like a Raven” standards.

Is that Greg Mattsion’s fault? Is that because of the clear falloff at the cornerback position? Is it not having Rex Ryan? Is Bart Scott missed that much? Is Ed Reed OK? Will Haloti Ngata be injured all year?

The entire secondary was beaten in coverage during the first half and the penalties were dreadful. All over the field. Ray Lewis is still the Ravens best player when Ngata is not dressed and that speaks volumes.

The first three losses were “excused” in my opinion. Yesterday, however, did a lot to expose the Ravens as a team that’s pretty good but not a serious playoff contender, especially not with that secondary and lack of pass rush.

Sure, Haloti Ngata’s absence needs to be factored into the equation in the Bengals debacle, but the Ravens have sufficient depth at that position and I’m not sure Ngata would’ve been a difference maker in the outcome yesterday in Cincinnati.

As for the offense, Joe Flacco just was not good enough yesterday, nor was the offensive line, which played its worst game of the season. Penalties? All over the place and ill-timed. Productivity? How about making their first third-down conversion in the fourth quarter? That’s just putrid, unacceptable and not worthy of the NFL playoffs.

They didn’t run well. They didn’t pass well. They were out of sync all day and Flacco looked bewildered during his short stints in the first half. Flacco has now dropped five straight to teams led by Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer.

Derrick Mason and Ray Lewis declined to comment after the game yesterday but I’m sure they’ll have something to say on Wednesday at The Castle.

Harbaugh did his usual tap dance around any tough questions from the media — (memo to John: denying that the team doesn’t tackle well is laughable at this point) — but it’s easy to do what you want when you’re in the AFC Championship Game and things are going better than advertised.

But when the team is a disappointing 4-4 at the turn and the one decision that’s truly pinned to Harbaugh’s special teams badge of expertise — the banishment of kicker Matt Stover in the offseason — costing the team team parts of two of the losses, the questions are only going to get tougher around the head coach and around Steve Hauschka.

This team was supposed to go to the playoffs. This team was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender. The “upgrades” of the offseason were well-calculated and the draft went well. The Ravens and the fanbase were not prepared to be swept by the Bengals and be 4-4 at the turn.

All eyes will now turn to Cleveland, where the Ravens most certainly will awaken eight days from now at 5-4. Right? We can only hope…

The Ravens have amassed four losses and haven’t yet seen the Steelers, the Colts or a frigid December night at Lambeau Field and a West Coast trip to the zoo in Oakland in early 2010. There’s a lot of football left to be played.

The Ravens will sort this out on the field. They need to go 6-2 to have a chance. They need to go 7-1 to be assured of a spot.

If they do it, they’ll be good enough. If they lose two more times to the Steelers, they’ll be playing golf on Jan. 4th and deservedly so.

And if that happens, John Harbaugh’s gonna have a lotta ‘esplainin’ to do at that postseason press conference while he sits next to Steve Bisciotti and the Steelers and Bengals are still playing football…

Things like:

What really happened in the decision to replace Matt Stover with Steve Hauschka?

What really happened with Chris McAlister and how did we get sold that Domonique Foxworth and Chris Carr are upgrades?

Why all the penalties?

Where is the pass rush?

Where is Willis McGahee?

Where is the urgency on offense when the team is down two scores with three minutes left?

Of course, Harbaugh doesn’t really like the tough questions but they’re coming. It’s a tough job. It’s been a lot of fun, this honeymoon of riches and a great start to his era in Baltimore. Getting to the AFC Championship Game as a rookie head coach indeed buys you a hall pass for a while.

I have a feeling a lot of that ended yesterday, with a sweep to the Bengals and a 4-4 record at the turn.

But, as Brian Billick would no doubt tell him, these Monday mornings aren’t a whole lot of fun when the town gets disappointed and the team plays poorly.

And someone has to answer the questions…

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A somber locker room in Minnesota

Posted on 18 October 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

All of the videos are up now here at WNST.net. I’m sure folks will be crazy in the Purple Haze in a little while as well.

If you ever want to know what I’m thinking during the games, I’ve been TWEETING LIKE A RAVEN on Twitter each week during this season. It’s a LOT of fun for me to share my thoughts via the internet from my seat in the upper deck of the Metrodome surrounded by people in braids. Simply follow us on Twitter and you’ll know every stupid thought that’s on my mind.

It was a tough, tough loss today. The Ravens were outplayed dramatically in the first half and the comeback should’ve been good enough to save the day. Honestly, I was filing out of the upper deck before Ray Rice caught that pass thinking the game was over.

It was an amazing, memorable comeback and it leads you to believe that anything is possible with this team.

The final Frank Walker penalty was so blatant that it’s not even worth discussing. And, if you have a kicker who can’t hit a 43-yarder with the game on the line on the road, you’re not good enough to win.

The Ravens “victims” were very upfront in their candor after the loss and everyone in the locker room went out of their way to not throw teammates under the bus.

Steve Hauschka had bloodshot eyes a few minutes after the game when he faced the media.

And Frank Walker was somber at his locker…

Meanwhile, Ray Rice talked at length about the comeback and how strong mentally his offensive teammates were in getting back in the game with such a large deficit…

The Purple Haze chat begins in a bit. Hope you come in and chat with the crew. I might be a little late getting into the sphere but I’m going to try to participate.

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Friday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 16 October 2009 by Glenn Clark

Much like on Monday, only Purple links today. My intern was out this morning, so my productivity was particularly limited. Super Jack might have the bubbling personality of Joe Flacco some days, but he’s definitely helpful to have around. If you’re Jones-ing for information from yesterday’s Maryland basketball Media Day, please check out Patrick Stevens’ “D1SCOURSE” blog at WashingtonTimes.com Also, all of the audio from Media Day (including Gary Williams) is in the Audio Vault at WNST.net.

Here are our picks for Sunday’s game….

Drew: Vikings 29, Ravens 26 (OT)

Drew says Minnesota will get the ball first in overtime and take it right downfield for the winning score.

Me: Ravens 24, Vikings 13

This team is ALWAYS better up against the wall and when they have a chip on their shoulder. They’re going to rally around the criticism of Greg Mattison this week, and this defense is going to show up in a big way.

I think. I hope.

Let’s see what everyone else has to say….

Best of Thursday’s WNST Blogs:

Glenn Clark says Mattison has ‘great confidence’ in secondary

Nestor Aparicio says Stover concerned about being considered ‘traitor’ for signing with Indianapolis but never wanted to leave Baltimore

Mark Suchy says “The Band That Wouldn’t Die” brought back painful memories as Baltimore NFL fan

Rex Snider thinks Jim Irsay hypocritical for thoughts on Limbaugh after family’s history with Baltimore football

And from the rest of the world…..

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Matt Birk will be ‘enemy’ in native Minnesota

The Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Jarret Johnson, Haloti Ngata returned to practice Thursday

The Official Site’s Patrick Gleason says Ray Rice 2nd in NFL with 114.4 yards from scrimmage per game this season (only Tennessee’s Chris Johnson has more)

The Official Site says Cam Cameron believes getting Derrick Mason football his ‘responsibility’

The Official Site says Oher knows he has to ‘work hard’ against Vikes’ Jared Allen

The Official Site says Heap, Clayton, Oher hosting Halloween event at Dave & Buster’s in Arundel Mills Mall

Vikings Official Site’s Mike Wobschall says Percy Harvin limited in practice Thursday

Vikings Official Site’s Mike Wobschall says Ed Reed ‘game changer’ for Ravens

Vikings Official Site’s Mike Wobschall says Harbaugh knows slowing Peterson will take ‘team effort’

Vikings Official Site’s Mike Wobschall says Leslie Frazier thinks Benny Sapp fitting in ‘nicely’ in Minnesota

The AP’s Jon Krawczynski says 52, Favre share ‘respect’ for each other

The AP’s Jon Krawczynski says Vikings offense more than just Peterson

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens must defend run, slow down Jared Allen, succeed on 3rd down

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens can’t struggle in red zone; let Harvin, Reynaud break long returns; allow Favre to catch fire

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Ravens just 2-5 under Harbs in games decided by 6 points or less

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says fans can’t blame Billick for Flacco’s interceptions

The Sun’s Ken Murray says Favre has been ‘unpredictable’ historically against Ravens

The Sun’s Mike Preston says Ravens’ defense clearly misses Bart Scott

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Vikings TE Shiancoe ‘proud’ to represent Morgan State (who got a big win last night over Howard-Congratulations to Coach Hill-Eley)

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Vikes’ Loadholt, Tahi, Ray Edwards, Steve Hutchinson, Percy Harvin all limited in practice

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Edgar Jones (hamstring) practiced again Thursday

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Cam Cameron defended play-calling

The Sun’s Edward Lee says Cam Cameron ‘guaranteed’ Mason wouldn’t be shut out again

The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Cameron thinks Demetrius Williams not getting playing time just because he’s “4th guy”

The Sun remembers Boller’s Christmas Day win over Vikings in ‘05

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Ravens will be ‘tested’ by A.P. after being gauged by Cedric Benson last week

Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Jared Gaither didn’t practice again Thursday

Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Sid Hartman says Leslie Frazier excited for Matt Birk-Pat Williams matchup

St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Sean Jensen says Pat Williams ‘doesn’t care’ about Birk, Baltimore

SI’s Peter King picks Vikings 30-23 (mea culpa for earlier mis-quote)

Fox Sports’ Adam Schein says Ravens will win Sunday, be tied with Bengals again atop AFC North come Monday

ESPN.com’s James Walker says Ravens trying to start new streak against “All Day”

ESPN.com’s James Walker says pass defense will be ‘difference’ for Ravens in AFC North success the rest of the season

Here are the rest of our Football picks for the weekend:


Drew 21-7 Delaware, Glenn 13-3 Delaware


Drew 33-30 Navy, Glenn 28-20 Navy


Drew 19-13 Virginia, Glenn 21-17 Virginia

Rest of our NFL picks:

Chiefs 19-17
Texans 24-20
Steelers 34-13
Jaguars 24-10
Giants 27-17
Buccaneers 17-16
Packers 36-20
Eagles 34-10
Cardinals 30-27
Jets 20-13
Patriots 30-17
Falcons 27-21
Chargers 23-17

Redskins 16-7
Texans 31-20
Steelers 24-6
Jaguars 17-7
Saints 38-28
Panthers 20-6
Packers 35-23
Eagles 23-10
Cardinals 30-20
Jets 26-10
Patriots 19-10
Falcons 24-16
Chargers 26-21

Talk to you from Owings Mills.


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Not Auto-Matt-ic: Paging Stover...Matt Stover!

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Not Auto-Matt-ic: Paging Stover…Matt Stover!

Posted on 31 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Just in case you’re wondering, the Ravens have NOT contacted Matt Stover about their kicking needs for the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 13. Not yet, anyway.

But, of course, there are more than just a few people around the Charm City who think that might not be a bad idea.

And the team is led by head coach John Harbaugh, who spent his entire existence in the world of special teams and kickers and punters. This has to perturb Harbaugh more than most coaches.

The kicking game and life in the NFL is a strange one. Here is this macho game played by the biggest, fastest and toughest guys in our culture and along comes a little kicker with it all on the line to win the game on his foot and the 40 yards between the line of scrimmage and goal posts.

It’s not a cruel joke or coincidence as much as it’s weekly reality in the NFL.

After he made the game-winning kick in Tennessee last January, the Ravens jettisoned Matt Stover for three reasons, really:

1. He wasn’t their best bet on kickoffs, which forced them to carry an extra man on the roster
2. He cost them a lot of money (more than $1 million per year) as opposed to a rookie who’d earn 40% of that
3. He wasn’t getting any younger and his distances seemed to get shorter each year, even if he was considered “automatic” inside of 45 yards

Now, with just this lame preseason finale in Atlanta awaiting on Thursday, the Ravens appear to have two young kickers but no one that they can truly trust with big games on the line.

Both Graham Gano and Steve Hauschka have managed to both do something that Stover never did in 14 years in a purple helmet: they’ve manged to make us actually think about the kicking game.

Stover was so automatic, so universally forgotten about that his presence was a bit of a security blanket. Like Ray Lewis has been at middle linebacker. Like Jon Ogden was for many years at the left tackle spot.

Think about all of the kicks Stover made over the years. How many of them do you really remember?

Sure he missed a few biggies – one in the AFC Championship Game in Oakland back in 2001 as I recall. His most memorable miss is almost certainly the 0-13 Miami 2007 “gimme” that contributed to Brian Billick’s ouster as head coach.

But he just came in, made the kick, praised Jesus and ran back to the bench.

Well, over the last three preseason games, not only have we witnessed the competition drama of these two nice young men trying to fill the shoes of a “once a generation” kicker, but we’ve had the “hold our breath” drama over whether the three points is actually going up on the scoreboard on something most Ravens fans have viewed as “Auto-Matt-ic”.

Neither one of them is stepping up even remotely to the level of confidence we had with Matt Stover.

So, will the Ravens call Matt Stover?

Probably not. (For all of the same reasons they had eight months ago.)

Will the Ravens regret not calling Matt Stover?

Only time will tell.

But Stover is available, in shape and waiting by the phone. (For the record, I hear he’s enjoying his first August off in 24 years…)

And if I know that much, you can bet that Ozzie Newsome can’t be too far away.

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…

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Harbaugh refutes ESPN report regarding Ozzie’s interest in Vick

Posted on 13 August 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

On a bizarre night for breaking news in Baltimore — with Michael Phelps getting into an accident at Calvert & Biddle and Michael Vick abruptly signing in Philly — the wildest story came an hour after the Eagles fans went into deep shock and disgust when ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the Ravens were very much in the hunt for Vick’s services.

ESPN reported that Ozzie Newsome wanted Vick and had a lack of agreement with owner Steve Bisciotti and head coach John Harbaugh.

It didn’t take me five minutes after the game to find one “off the record” official who called it “bulls**t” and John Harbaugh then told me he was happy to go on the record as saying “that’s completely false, completely untrue.”

Who knows what those conversations sounded like in Westminster last week but both of my sources were very perplexed and almost angry about the report.

Either way, we can collectively breath a sigh of relief that Vick isn’t heading here.

For the folks in Philadelphia the second guessing and the drama has only begun.

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Ray Lewis calls McNair “a king” in eulogy

Posted on 12 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Yesterday Ray Lewis had one of the toughest jobs any man can have – burying a friend and trying to put into words the significance of a relationship and a life that ended far too early.

Steve McNair’s death – no matter your feelings regarding the situation, circumstances and salacious details of his decisions and subsequent murder – is a tragedy. For his wife. For his kids. For his friends. And for the NFL and the Titans and the city of Nashville.

Yesterday, Ray Lewis began his lengthy speech by calling Steve McNair “a king.”

In a passionate display, Lewis referred several times to their battles on the football field and said that he and McNair became friends “through fury.” He also implored McNair’s four sons to “walk with your head high.”

Below is the unedited, nearly eight-minute version of the speech from Mississippi:

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Now that we are partners with The Associated Press…

Posted on 09 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

We can link internally to stories like this one from the NFL link on our toolbar above.

This is about the McNair-Kazemi police incident last week when the SUV was pulled over. Hope you check out all that the “new” WNST.net has to offer and please tell your sports friends that WNST is full service on the web.

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Kazemi fired the gun that killed Steve McNair

Posted on 08 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Per TMZ.com, it’s now been confirmed by a Tennessean medical examiner that Sahel “Jenny” Kazemi fired the gun that killed Steve McNair on Saturday in Nashville.

More here…

Plus, The Tennessean is reporting that Kazemi listed all of her furniture on the internet the day before the murder-suicide.

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Any memories of Steve McNair?

Posted on 04 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

Obviously a very sad day here for anyone who cheered for Steve McNair or knew him. Obviously, he made quite a mark with the Baltimore fans just six months ago when he co-hosted our fan party in Nashville.

This is a place to post memories. Post below and we’ll get them onto the site…

Also, if anyone has any pictures they took from that night we’d love to get them (NASTY@WNST.net) and post them here on the site. Here’s the video from our night with McNair at Limelight in Tennessee back in January:

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Steve McNair in Nashville

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Latest updates on Steve McNair murder here…

Posted on 04 July 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

UPDATED 4:54 p.m. — Nashville police have now confirmed Steve McNair’s death was indeed a murder. More at The Tennessean including: “A Sunday morning autopsy revealed that McNair was shot four times – twice in the head, twice in the chest. His girlfriend, 20-year-old Sahel Kazemi, died of a gunshot wound to the side of the head. A semi-automatic pistol was found on the floor under her body.

But it will take many days of interviews with their families and friends and witnesses who saw McNair out on the town Friday night before police will rule whether the deaths were a murder-suicide or a double homicide.

“While it is clear McNair’s death is a homicide, the police department is not classifying Kazemi’s death, pending further investigation and interviews with persons who knew her and McNair,” police spokesman Don Aaron said at press conference this afternoon.

“We can’t be close-minded,” Aaron said. “All scenarios are on the table.”

The autopsy showed the two had died in the early hours of Saturday morning, hours before their bodies were discovered by a friend of McNair’s who had a key to the Second Avenue condominium.

Police are still waiting for the results of ballistics tests that could indicate whether Kazemi’s wound was self-inflicted. Toxicology tests will take weeks.”

Rumors are swirling wildly around the deaths and Aaron attempted to answer, or shoot down, the most common. The initial autopsy did not indicate that Kazemi was pregnant. Both victims were found fully clothed. It is not yet known who owns the pistol that was found at the scene. Steve McNair is listed in a state database as having a permit to carry a handgun.”

Kazemi, who was pulled over last Thursday and charged with drunk driving while McNair was in the passenger seat of the Escalade they co-owned, has no other criminal record in Davidson County, Aaron said. Police are conducting interviews with their friends, hoping to piece together their relationship.

“We’ve already begun talking to their friends to ascertain any squabbles they were having, were they upset with each other and if so, why,” Aaron said.

McNair was the 36th homicide victim in Nashville this year.

UPDATED 3:24 p.m. — Overnight, the internet became a feeding frenzy with speculation from various media outlets in Nashville with all sorts of “sources” and “rumors” about the tragic death of former Ravens quarterback Steve McNair. Most are speculating that it was a “murder-suicide” but clearly, this story will be taking on a life of its own in the coming hours and days in light of the autopsy and homocide investigation.

Steve McNair in Nashville
It’s a horrendous Sunday on many levels for the McNair family, the Titans, the fans of the NFL and McNair’s many friends, teammates and associates. At the bottom of this post and to the right in wnsTV you can see that Steve McNair enjoyed being with fans. He was extremely gracious with the hundreds of Ravens fans he came to meet at Limelight six months ago on the night before the Ravens-Titans game.

The initial media reports have all of the signs of sensationalism, sex, violence, fame and intrigue that surely will launch a sea of stories, sources and leaking of information. Some of it will be “bad” info and some will be accurate.

Below, I’ve simply linked out to to a variety of the best and most reliable reports and have aggregated the information. These are NOT WNST.net “sources.” They are simply links and information as media outlets in Tennessee are reporting them and in a “timeline” fashion over the past 24 hours.
McNair's alleged girlfriend

UPDATED Sunday 3:24 p.m.: Kazemi’s sister: “She would never kill anyone, ever” …

More from The Tennessean: The sister of Sahel Kazemi says she was a young woman who wanted to have fun and couldn’t have hurt anyone – not herself, nor anyone else.

Kazemi was actually the aunt of Sepideh Salmani, but they were raised as sisters. Salmani’s mother adopted her when she was 9, after Kazemi’s mother was killed in their native Iran. Salmani talked to her sister every day, and said she was very happy in her relationship with Steve McNair.

She doesn’t believe her sister killed McNair, or herself.

“She was one, young girl who had so many dreams that they never came true,” Salmani said. “She would never kill anyone, ever. Or anything. Not even a little bug. I want people to know that.”

An autopsy has been ongoing this morning. A press conference is scheduled this afternoon to discuss the findings.

Metro police have said that McNair was found sitting on the sofa, shot several times. Kazemi was lying on the floor with a single gunshot to the head and a pistol near her body.

UPDATED 11:08 p.m. — The Tennessean reports the girl’s name and many key new news items: Former Titans quarterback Steve McNair was killed in an apparent murder-suicide with a young woman he met at a local restaurant and have been dating for at least a few months.

McNair, the hometown hero who did extensive charity work in Nashville, died of several gunshots and was found on the sofa, police said. Sahel Kazemi, 20, was found alongside him in a Second Avenue condo he rented. She had a single gunshot wound to her head; a pistol was found near her body.
Sahel Kazemi

Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said they were leaning toward certain scenarios based on the evidence, but they hadn’t ruled anything out. Still, they were not actively looking for suspects Saturday night.

“The medical examiner will be conducting autopsies (Sunday),” Aaron said. “We expect to make additional conclusions after the autopsy process.”

Though much of the attention was on the Second Avenue crime scene, police also swarmed at the Cherry Creek apartment complex in Hermitage. They were questioning neighbors who said they often saw McNair visiting Kazemi. Sometimes, neighbors said, she would arrive home in a limousine in the early morning hours. She showed up with a new black car she said was a gift from her boyfriend.

She was arrested in that car, a black Cadillac Escalade registered to she and McNair, just two days before the deaths. She was charged with driving under the influence and refusing to take a breath test.

Keith Norfleet, Kazemi’s boyfriend for four years before they broke up five months ago, said he came to pick up the car for Kazemi.

Norfleet said McNair was in the car with her when the stop occurred, a fact that was not in the police affadavit but was confirmed by police Saturday night. McNair later bailed Kazemi out, according to bail bondsmen.

Norfleet said she told him she was seeing McNair, who she met while working as a waitress at Dave & Busters. He was worried about her dating a married man and hopeful they’d get back together. They had been living together for four years, since they moved from her family’s home in Jacksonville, Fla., to Nashville.

“She is the sweetest girl, and she did not deserve this,” Norfleet said upon learning of her death. “He was making her believe they were going to be together, and everything would be perfect.” Though they were broken up, Norfleet said they’d been speaking a lot recently and she planned to break it off with McNair. He said she banged on her door early Saturday morning, but he didn’t get there fast enough.

“She was a very strong, independent girl. A hard worker,” Norfleet said. “I mean, she had a huge heart. She was very caring, very loving.”

UPDATED 10:28 p.m. — Here’s the raciest report on the web, this one from NashvillePost.com: The pair died of apparent gunshots wounds and were found in a condominium at 2nd and Lea Avenues in Rutledge Hill. The woman, sources say, was approximately 20 years of age.

While Metro Police has reported that details are sketchy, NashvillePost.com sources say that at approximately 2 a.m. Saturday morning, McNair was celebrating the holidays at the Blue Moon Restaurant near the John C. Tune Airport.

According to the same NashvillePost.com sources, a white woman in her early 20s, around 5-foot-4, approached McNair at the restaurant and accused him of slipping her a “roofie” a year ago.

The woman then told McNair, according to sources, that her boyfriend was going to kill him.

Roofie is a slang term for Rohypnol, a sedative dating back to the early 1970s that is used in hospitals for deep sedation, but is now a fairly infamous date-rape drug.

Multiple sources have confirmed that this information has been shared with the Metro Police Department. Metro Police has yet to identify the dead woman, but is it unknown if the woman at the restaurant is the same woman found in the condo.

UPDATED 10:21 p.m. — According To The Tennessean.com: A car registered to Steve McNair and a 20-year-old woman was stopped two days ago on Broadway. The driver and co-owner, Sahel Kazemi, was charged with driving under the influence and refusing to take a breath test. The car was a 2007 black Cadillac Escalade.

Earlier today, a black Escalade was towed from the condominium complex on Second Avenue where McNair and a female who has not yet been identified by police were found dead this afternoon.

UPDATED 8:58 p.m. — From The Tennessean.com: “Wayne Neely, who also rents a condominium with McNair, arrived to find the bodies inside the condo on Lea Avenue off Second Avenue South, said Metro police spokesman Don Aaron.

The building at 105 Lea Avenue is registered to Charles Cardwell.

McNair appears to have suffered multiple gunshot wounds, Aaron said.

McNeely and another man, Robert Gaddy, were interviewed by police and released, Aaron said.

A Cadillac Escalade and a Lincoln Navigator were towed away from the scene.”

UPDATED 8:51 p.m. — NewsChannel 5 is Nashville is reporting: “According to police, there were no signs of forced entry at the crime scene. While the female victim’s identity has not been released, police are confirming she is not Mechelle McNair.”

UPDATED 7:03 p.m. –Reuters is now reporting Steve McNair’s death as “an apparent murder-suicide.”

UPDATED 6:25 p.m. — Steve McNair has been found murdered in downtown Nashville along with another unidentified woman. Rumors are swirling about McNair’s social life and how he was found dead of a shotgun wound to the head along with a female at a condominium off of 2nd Ave. in downtown Nashville and this story is less than two hours old.

McNair was found dead after 3 p.m. EST and Nashville Public Information Officer Don Aaron held a brief press conference at 4:45 p.m. and said that that two victims exist, a male and a female. “We now know that the male deceased is Steve McNair.”

“At this point we don’t know the circumstances of these shooting deaths. The investigation is going to be conducted by the police department’s centralized homocide unit. Those detectives have assembled here at the scene and the condominium still has to be processed. There’s a lot of work left to be done and it’s going to take many hours to process the scene and I don’t have any answers for you now as to what’s happened, who’s responsible and what the circumstances are.”

CNN.com said a “enforcement source close to the investigation said the woman is McNair’s girlfriend and that the residence is her condominium in downtown Nashville. Witnesses said he was a frequent visitor there.”

Obviously, we’ll be following this story but the video below is the way we best remember Steve McNair, who dropped by our WNST Nashville pre-game party back at Limelight in January and spent an hour chatting with purple fans everywhere and raising money for his Air McNair Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House here in Baltimore. This is a major shock to all of us who knew Steve.

Derrick Mason just appeared on ESPN and was “in shock. Steve spent a lot of time with his family. We ran into each other. We saw each other. During the season, we built a close bond throughout the years that not too many people can build. It’s still shocking to me. It’s just something that’s hard for you to believe until it all sinks in and you get all of the information.”

“Steve’s passion for the game, how relentless he was. Going out there and making sure we had a chance to win a game. Off the field, it was the same way. He was a guy who was happy and very generous. He’d give you the shirt off of his back. I knew if he could help you, he would.”

“His legacy is his toughness. I think that’s what people will remember him for. He’d play through anything. I hope off the field, he’ll be remembered as a good man.”

This video will show you the gentle and affable side of McNair, who worked the room at Limelight in January and couldn’t have been more available to the Baltimore fans in his hometown:

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